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Batter Up
Not the best baseball movie I have ever seen. That honor belongs to "The Sandlot", however this one is a fascinating look at scouting, drafting, and general baseball management. Acting is good. Not sure that Jonah's performance was that awesome - he simply wasn't smoking a bong or getting stabbed at a kegger, which I think surprised some people. The tension of work and family does show up and adds a nice human element to the film. Mixed in with some baseball highlights of the actual events can add more power for the A's fans out there. Worth a watch if you like baseball or play sports video games and love building the teams up more than actually playing the games. If you don't know what I am talking about this movie may not be for you.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Iron man errr Batman vs Superman
If you can get over the fact that Batman is essentially Iron man then you can enjoy a decent super hero flick. Ben is a solid leading Batman, disgruntled with life and the appearance of all these dang alien hero people tearing his city up. I hate that too! So Ben ponies up for one more ride, but he is going to need a medal suite and of course kryptonite baby! So he does and the battle ensues to epic proportions. But little does Batman know the Superman is actually a legit nice guy that we see kissing and loving Lois Lane. Snap. Totally torn! Fun action, decent story lines, mostly logical, if you are into the heroes or not this is a good one to go see.


Jack as the Joker - spot on
Led by the dark vision of Burton, Batman appears on the big screen true to the comic book feel, but painted with shades of gray. Jack Nicholson plays a fantastic Joker, maybe the best maniac/mad hatter style ever done. Jack's performance is trying to achieve something much different than Heath's in the newest rendering. Heath did the demonic twisted Joker, Jack Nicholson turns in a performance more like the original TV show with added darkness. I really liked this 89 Joker after seeing it again for the first time in years. Keaton and Kim have a nice believable romance that is fun to watch when the action subsides. Definitely worthy of a re-watch for all the grown up kids.

Public Enemies

Coffee keeps me up
A very solid gangster film. A terrific cast led by Bale and Depp turn in killer performances. Bale plays the "good guy" that ends up getting dirtier than he wanted in order to get the bad guys. Who better than Cap'n Jack Sparrow (Depp) to be the bad guy we root for? No one. Depp is brilliant. Totally engaging as the bad boy who has a tender side. You want Depp's romance to be successful, you even want him to get away with the bank robberies, but alas - we all know this is a tragedy. Fun to watch this one play out! It would be wrong not to praise: costumes, set director, etc... who made this feel like an authentic time transport. Good work! Definitely one to see for those that like action with some true heart and great acting.


I'd rather eat leather
At first I just wanted to thumbs up the other 'bad' reviews to express my dislike. It baffles me that the majority of reviews with agreement from others are 'good'. The movie has an identity crisis. It has an odd desire to be a slapstick piece that lacks the timing or editing to get a laugh (from me). It also dragged, dragged, dragged, the unforgivable movie sin in my opinion. This happens when you do not create enough interesting moments in the plot, so you stretch out every scene to a tedious length. I'm not sure that the acting was so bad, just bad material mostly. No aspect of this movie is adequate enough for me to recommend. The sports scenes aren't very compelling because they are slapstick-esque and corny. The romance love triangle is not engaging, I could care less about all three of them. And it dragged! Did I mention that? Jeez! It's not a complete turd, but it does smell.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Live to fight in another battle again
The best of the best must fight and survive, again...

For me this is a forgettable follow up piece that employs much of the same formula as the first film, which isn't entirely bad - I enjoyed the first film mildly and I also mildly enjoy this film. Again: we see the romance tension because Catness must pretend to love her survival partner. Again: we must form alliances to survive the octagon. Again: crazy costumes. Again: training sequences. There just isn't anything particularly special past a one time viewing. The best aspect of the film is the end, when the story reveals itself to have a much grander scale and importance. So in a lot of ways this is a movie to setup the next movie. I think this is mostly for fans of the book/movie series.


This IS my tempo!
Totally engrossing from frame one! Whiplash grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the very end. And we are talking about a movie focused on playing the drums. No murder plots, explosions, sex scenes, etc... simply a tight, well-told story. Fast cuts help move the plot along and it never drags. Surprises and twists make this a phenomenal movie that forces you to go back and analyze everything that happened. The music is great. I think that is really important because the sound becomes a character that helps tell the story. The greatest part is this movie is not a niche movie, it's not limited to "band geeks". I'd say it is identifiable to anyone who has worked in any way to be the best at something. Whiplash tells the story of a man who wants to be the best and shows the cost and torture he will endure to seek that goal. The language is vulgar, but even this serves a purpose; is our teacher abusive or tough with good intentions?

Cowboys & Aliens

One horse galaxy
Fun movie. Cool concept. The story is thin but present. Motives for all parties make sense but aren't rich or layered. For example the aliens show up because they really want gold. OK, flimsy but it is a reason. I reckon the Cowboys wouldn't really know why these creatures showed up so how could the audience know? It's not like the aliens sent out a memo. So we just get to assume it's for fuel or building, who know's what. It is a fun one time watch if you are looking for an action movie and like sci-fi. It surprised me because I expected nothing and got a coherent movie within the boundaries it created. You also get to enjoy some big name stars that turn in decent work.


The Dude Abides in Tron
Visually stunning and creative Tron dives into cyber sci fi. Definitely far out. I can only imagine how awesome this movie is in an altered state of mind. I was, however, sober minded and felt that most opportunities to send a powerful message was missed. For the most this movie fell in love with graphics and didn't give the script the attention it needed to deliver on every level (video game pun intended). One thread would get explored and then dropped, followed by the next. What I am trying to communicate is that lack of pay off with the story telling. I would have loved to see more exploration of the Son entering the Father's world to save it. I wanted to see Father and son get a second chance at relationship in the real world but was given the Hollywood "boy gets girl" ending instead. Didn't move me. I would not recommend.

The Equalizer

Action movie with purpose
I love the Denzel! Great action flick. So what?! It isn't a new concept, but I never get tired of the righteous defender rescuing the defenseless from evil oppression. If it is well done it's a great story line to follow. This one is well done. When you need a night of low life punks getting obliterated, sliced/diced, shot with a nail gun, cork screwed through the jaw, this is the one to watch! The interesting aspect for me is that every villain has an opportunity to stop his behavior before judgment. It's a really great picture of spiritual truth. Another powerful message comes through loud and clear. We all have the ability to serve someone in need. Take a look around and you will see someone you can help.


This move is SICK (in the good way)
Fast moving, interesting, and engaging! I really liked this movie. I especially liked the conspiracy aspect that was introduced and carried by Jude Law's character. It was very fun because they made it a judgment call for the viewer as to whether you should give credence to Jude Law or not. I was afraid to touch door knobs, car handles, etc... after watching this movie so they did a great job of portraying the movement of virus from person to person and object to object. There are a lot of big names that show up and give convincing performances. I truly don't get the low score for this film...YOU should go watch this movie and decide for yourself.

The African Queen

That's the ticket
Bogart and Hepburn turn in really good performances, Oscar winning for Bogart and an Oscar nomination for Hepburn. The chemistry between them makes the movie. The banter and overall transformation by both is fun to watch over the course of the movie.

To continue my praise would be purely to blend in with the "real" film aficionados that see the true brilliance of classic cinema. However, if the king is not wearing any clothes we have to say something, right? Well, besides Bogart and Hepburn the performances of other actors are bad, sometimes laughably bad. Hepburn's brother in the film simply bugs his eyes out over and over to convey his shock.

As one would expect the special effects aren't very special over 60 years ago, which I don't hold against an old film but it is something you notice.

I'll give the film some extra credit: it filmed on location (Africa) when it was widely unheard of to do so. It also had to deal with the Nazi hearings in Hollywood, both Bogart and Hepburn participated in the hearings. So there is an interesting back drop and obstacles to overcome. Worth a watch!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Glow in the dark Jamie Fox
Yikes. So many moments that flat out do not make sense. When a brawl breaks out between two super powered individuals I guess I might be tempted for a split second to stand around and watch...then immediately remember that I don't want to die and RUN!!! Apparently I'm in the minority, most folks like to stand around and cheer when billboards are falling from the sky. Stand around and cheer! Yea!

Jamie Fox goes from nerd, to night light, to pure energy? Flowing into light sockets and speaking in a deep voice he decides to take out his years of torment and bullying on all of New York City.

And prepare yourself for continuous on again off again romance between Spiderman and Gwen Stacy. I think it was meant to build drama but it really just annoyed me.

Mostly this movie suffers from no clear drive towards anything. It's like a Hummer; on the outside large, shiny, powerful appearance - but has the engine of a weed whacker. A weak decrepit story driving us mostly in circles until we run out of gas and end up stranded.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Skate or die
I saw this movie about 3 years ago. What do I recall? I remember a 15 minute scene where Peter Parker used his new found powers to skateboard. Skateboard. He uses his powers to skateboard. Sure, I would have some fun trying out activities with super human abilities but that doesn't mean it would be fun for anyone to watch me for 15 minutes doing said activity. So I bring this up as an example that just because some things would be fun or look cool does not make it an interesting aspect of story telling. I did like exploring the avenue of pain and loss from having your parents leave as a child, which is why Parker lives with his uncle and aunt. You will get a full dose of action (so much that it becomes meaningless), the glossy/bright comic book feel, and occasional nice moments between actors. It is good for a one time watch, but nothing demands or warrants a second viewing in my life.


NO ah thanks
Wow. This movie took Noah from Biblical history and launched it into myth. Not even close to Biblical accuracy or message if you care about that sorta thing. Talking rock monsters, why not!?

They managed to make Noah about saving planet earth from evil flesh eating man(we should all be vegan) instead of God saving mankind from their sin.

The most perplexing twist is Noah's desire to end life after God led him to build the ark to save mankind. Whaaaa...???

You can also count on movie tricks like: kids do something really dumb and jeopardize everything for no reason, villain dies...just kidding he is alive, and things look hopeless then at the last minute help arrives out of the ground.

Just don't. Don't subject yourself to this interpretation of Noah.

Son of God

Slow motion for me
Lovers of Jesus, don't get upset. I don't like this movie. Why? Because I love Jesus! Just because you slap "Jesus" on the title doesn't make it perfect.

The problems:

  • We are given a mish mash jumble cluster of Bible sequence that seems like it went through a wood chipper. Most of the movie I was thinking "...wait a minute, that happened before/after/never" What audience is supposed to enjoy a jacked up sequence? People with limited knowledge will get wrong information and added confusion. Vets of the Bible will spend the whole time fact checking and finding out that the movie is WRONG.

  • Near the beginning one of the disciples asks Jesus, "what are we going to do?" to which Jesus says, "Change the world!" Besides the fact that this exchange never happened in the Bible, Jesus came to SAVE the world. It wasn't a political movement, social movement, or self-help class. Jesus came, lived a perfect/sinless life so he could die in our place of punishment to cover our sins with His blood. Simple.

  • The stoning scene was especially troubling to me. A group of leaders are gathered around the prostitute and want to execute her. They see this as a chance to test Jesus. Jesus gives the classic teaching "He who is without sin cast the first stone" to which we see all the stones drop from the crowd. The problem is they show Jesus like the rest of the crowd dropping His stone, implying that Jesus is guilty of sin. Either this is a terrible filming choice communicating the wrong message, OR an actual belief of the new age Downey... Jesus is blameless and without sin. This sinless life is critical to proving Jesus was God and also qualified Him to be the atonement for sin.

Non biblical issue: SLOW MOTION ABUSE!!! Producers meeting: Guy 1 = Hmm, what is the best way to communicate that this moment is powerful/important... Guy 2 = I KNOW! Let's slow motion it. Guy 1 = I don't know, there are at least eleven important scenes. Guy 2 = Slow motion them all, it'll be great!!!

Apostle Peter and the Last Supper

If I lie Jesus will know
Writing a review for this movie is like telling an uncoordinated kid who dreams of playing professional sports that they should consider computer science. The desire of this movie is to challenge people to consider Jesus Christ as Lord. I get it. I promote the same message.

The quality and resources of the movie do not deliver. Within the first minutes I find myself looking at the rooftops of blatantly obvious computer generated houses from 1990. It would have been much better to scrap those shots, instead of reminding viewers of the location and Biblical time setting it reminded me I was watching a low budget movie.

One low budget aspect I enjoyed supremely was the wig and beard choices. Wow! I cried from laughing so hard. One of the disciples looked like Confucius.

Much of the acting falls flat and is not nearly inspired enough to warrant viewing the movie, in which we spend 50% of the time in a jail cell(obvious set).

The worst part is that this "Biblical" movie has a lot of conjecture and lines you will not find in the Bible. I'm not referring to the jail scenes which is obviously the setup for our flashbacks to Jesus. The flashbacks add lines...for instance: at the last supper one of the disciples threatens to harm the betrayer. Not recorded in the Bible. Sure, it could have been, they were passionate could have been part of the murmuring BUT IT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE.

Even if you don't care at all about Biblical accuracy the movie is sub par. I couldn't get through it without fast forwarding much of it.


Free will and RoboCop
RoboCop surprised me with fun action while offering me some deeper questions. The most obvious theme is when does robotic justice (drones, automatic street light tickets, etc...) pass from protection to oppression of freedoms.

It also grazed free will and making choices. RoboCop believed he was making choices but his human limitations would not allow him to act as fast as the machinery so when he thought he was deciding, he was simply along for the ride.

Worth a viewing if you want some action and debate on how big "big brother" should be.

I, Robot

My Father made me with purpose
Hidden inside of an action movie are some really good questions:

1) What makes us human? 2) How much should we rely on or trust technology? 3) Are we made for a purpose?

Of course there is great action and a murder mystery to boot. The story is creative and fun to follow. Will Smith does his Will Smith thing with a little chip on his shoulder, but it works for this role. All the acting works but is not particularly memorable, which really attests to the excellence of the story.

Besides the ho-hum acting, a few things keep this from being a great movie. With technology being advanced as it was portrayed for the setting couldn't all of Spooner's claims have been checked (robot pulling gun on him, demolition bot attacking him, highway attack, etc...) surely someone could have said, "video from highway" and seen the proof. And if it was all erased by Viki that would be suspicious enough to side with Spooner.

Of course there are the impossible action sequences, but that is forgivable because it is an action movie not poetry hour at the coffee shop.

All in all a fun film to watch with more value than demerits. We do have a purpose! May the Maker reveal it to us all.

12 Years a Slave

Great acting fixes everything
Slavery is an abomination. To treat human beings as property and inferior because of skin color is a horrific reality that man will be held accountable for at various time periods and places all over the world. Slavery is a powerful topic. What happened in this movie is the melding of a super charged topic with a cast of phenomenal actors. That's the simplified recipe of 12 Years a Slave. It is a compelling and heart wrenching story. Well done!

A couple things detract from the excellence. Others have said it already but I will agree:

-Over simplification of evil. Basically the white man is evil because of inaction or pure brutish oppression fueled by WRONG INTERPRETATION of the Bible. Brad Pitt is the token white man that isn't evil.

  • Drags and is predictable.

  • Nudity that will not make it accessible for the classroom. When you make a movie that is possibly the best slavery movie to date, think about the kids!

Ender's Game

Laser tag and video games will save us all
A few downfalls take Ender's Game from good movie to just OK.

Like moths to a flame, bullies are to poor little Ender. Without provocation big lard brained and shrimpy jerks alike must harass Ender. No reason provided.

Second. Bad child acting. Always a danger when the subject is pre-teen heroes. I understand it is part of the beast, just bothers me.

Third point is connected to the second. So I am supposed to believe a bunch of greasy pre-pubescent boys playing video simulations is Earth's only choice for victory? There aren't any qualified, war tested adults (20-30)? Odd. Good help is hard to find I guess...

Fourth point. The kiddies spend hours playing glorified laser tag when ultimately they are being counted on to dispatch fleets of starships and direct them in battle remotely. It's like training for a marathon by taking karate.

Final point. I like the nuggets of wisdom and philosophy on war but at times it felt like I was at a Chinese restaurant opening up fortune cookies. One fortune could be profound, the next could be your lucky numbers and something like "man who stand on toilet is high on pot".

The Last Airbender

Bad acting can't be bent into entertainment
Brutal. When the opening scene of a movie makes your soul groan, you know it's going to be bad...really mind bendinglyness bad. Terrible. The brother and sister combo starts it off with fake, bad timing, exchanges that never improves. I was watching and hoping that it was just a pair of extras that we would never see again...but they never left. The biggest failure of the whole thing was the decision to cast the worst child actor to play the main role. I think he got the part because he was Asian and had a shaved head. His delivery was akin to someone reading off cue cards. Terrible! Never close to believable. So the acting was bad. The story also failed on many levels. I don't have the energy to dissect this turd. You best not step in this one.

Man of Steel

Ode to the Explode
I'm a mild mannered man, much like Clark Kent. I don't wear glasses, however, and I wasn't shot from the nether regions of space from a splodin' planet. I guess at this point I'm rambling which reminds me of the movie's random crash course of a story.

We start with explosions on Krypton. Then we move to explosions on Earth. Then the grand finale is MORE explosions on Earth.

Sure there is a diddy about some civil war on Krypton and an attempt is made to complexify our villain but it doesn't do much for me other than stack more time into this dragging movie.

The most powerful moment for me is when Clark has an opportunity to abuse his supernatural strength on an abusive jerk, but shows restraint. The theme that we all make choices about who we are is powerful. What will you do with your abilities? Other than that I was not impressed in any long lasting way.

For me, it is a one time watch.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Beam me up, but wait till I almost explode
I like Star Trek. I guess this is a Star Trek movie. I haven't escaped the feeling that the new folks aren't acting like actors of the original TV series. Another feeling that bothers me is the attempt to make these new movies slick and dramatic when the original was far-out and cheesy.

Anyways, the actual movie was an enjoyable story. A little terrorism, twists and turns. Sacrifice must be made, real emotions and conflict for Kirk and the gang. Very nice. The incorporation of the old cast movie story lines was also a very nice tip of the cap to die hard trekies. J.J. is truly a fan and I think that shows in this work.

A bit much with the explosions and dangling from this saucer and that cliff and beaming at the last moment and opening the door just in time so we don't smash into it when sky diving through outer space into a garbage shoot and stopping the bomb before it blows, etc...

Fun movie, creative infusion of Star Trek legacy, will make this a good one for Trekies. Average movie goer, just a one time action romp.

Spiders 3D

Flush this movie down the waterspout
Bad acting in a story filled with plot problems, it moves slowly and didn't even scare my wife who is terrified of spiders (which was my main motivation for renting it). The only redeeming quality was that it was actually so bad that we laughed to the point of tears at a couple spots. My favorite moment in the movie is when the main character is surrounded by a s.w.a.t. team and slowly backs away and then successfully runs away without one soldier managing to fire a single shot. The other moment I enjoyed was when the main character fights the mother spider with his fists after tanks, machine guns, and missiles failed to do any damage...sure that makes sense. This movie really doesn't deserve ten lines or ten minutes of your time, but alas my displeasure desires to have a voice.

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