ironhorse_iv

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Vado... l'ammazzo e torno (1967)

This Spaghetti Western is somewhat worth playing. Just wish, it was a little more serious than silly. It got really dumb at times. I don't get why some Spaghetti Western critics and fans said that this film directed & written by Enzo G. Castellari, with some help from co-writers, Romolo Guerrieri & Tito Capri is a complete rip-off, of director, Sergio Leone's 1966's masterpiece, 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'; when in truth, it's really does not mirror that film that well. Don't get me wrong, the concept of three corrupt gunmen having to team up, and double-crossing each other in a cat and mouse game, in order to find ambiguous clues of the whereabouts of a hidden treasure, does sound familiar. Plus, the way, this film was shot, with certain scenes in very extreme close up or drawn out to stage gun sequences, with hands slowly reaching the holster, might look like it came from Leone's work; but the similarities end there. For starters, this movie doesn't have anti-war message, like the others, as the film isn't set during any period of historical wartime. Also it doesn't focus, too much on military supporting characters and their sense of morality. They barely made appearances after the first half. Instead, the movie focus on a group of bankers, and their morality bankrupt ways in getting the gold; along with Mexican gang members who willing to betray, one another for the chance to get near it; as surrounding characters. Another big different is that this movie doesn't do a good job, deconstruction the old west romanticism like Leone, did with his gritty, over violent action sequences. This film somewhat lost some realistic ground, with it's over the top cheesy fake-looking gymnastic trampoline style stunt work & pulp adventure style sound effects during fist fights. There are even comedy sequences where people fight in their underwear, in a bathhouse, and in a saloon with a midget helping out the protagonists. It's all quite ridiculous. Plus, these scenes practically derail the main story, as it adds to the runtime, as mindless filler. Because of that, it made the movie, so badly paced. Nevertheless, my main beef with this movie; is that the director doesn't seem to know exactly how he wants to approach the subject manner. It's felt like a hodgepodge of childish comedies and adult driven dramatics. The direction was all over the place; making it, very jarring to watch. Regardless of that, the movie is very well shot. I like, how the director & his crew aren't unafraid to try different new things with their camera. A great example of that, was the reflection in the spilled wine scene; with one of the main character's entrance being shown in a vivid reddish background; like dip in blood. Another series of amazing shots was near the opening of the film, with the train chuffing along the railway tracks in goldish dusk with distant mountain peaks rearing up dramatically in the background. It was spectacular. It gave the audience, a sense of foreshadowing, on what would happen, next. The ambush action sequence, that follow it, was truly, the best scene in the film. Sadly, the climatic Mexican standoff scene toward the end was not so memorable. It was highly buffoonery. Still, I have to give, props to the main trios of actors. You never know what their characters were going to do or say. George Hilton's wry and scuffed turn is solid as the ambiguous stranger was decent. Italian's Gilbert Roland adds presence and weight to the film and is effectively sly and dangerous as Montero. Not only that, but Roland also brings class and intelligence to his role. He look & felt like sophistical, Clark Gable-like villain. By far, the best performer in the film. While, Byrnes's boyish hair look quite ridiculous, the actor gives a poised performance as Clayton. It still holds up well for somebody that started his career in soaps. As for the rest of the supporting cast. Gerard Herter, Pedro Sanchez and Ivano Staccioli provide able support. While, Stefania Careddu AKA Kareen O'Hara doesn't get much to do. She truly was nice eye candy. In the end, the film had very excellent performances, overall. As for the music. The composition by composer, Francesco De Masi was a mixed bag. The opening song was catchy with it simple lyrics and loud guitar riffs. Yet, the circus like music that played during the fistfights felt bizarre and highly dopy. As for the rest of the music, it felt very average & somewhat forgettable. Not as iconic, as composer, Ennio Morricone's music from 'the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'. That's for sure. Still, I kinda dig how this movie opens up with three minor caricature of characters from that movie getting gunned down by 'the Stranger'. While, this scene was indeed pointless, as the rest of the film has nothing to do with it. It was a really well-done moment that tries to show, that there is a new badass in the Wild West, even if this later movie isn't as well known. After all, this film did it, a lot better, than the awful opening to 1967's 'Little Rita of the West', which really lampoon, the genre, by having a pop singer kill the well-known harden criminals. It's just sad that there isn't much, good picture & audio quality copies of this film, out there. A lot of the lower priced DVDs will have distinct audio hissing & poor color saturation. Some of them, like the cheap box set collections from Mill Creek and St. Claire are really in bad shape, as they're not presented in widescreen nor great dubbing. Then, there are those foreign DVD copies, under the film's alternatives titles 'Blood River', 'Glory, Glory Hallelujah', '300.000', 'For a Few Bullet More', 'Go Kill and Come Back', that impossible to watch, due to how out of sync, the languages are. Regardless, if you can find yourself, a good copy. This movie is still worth the watch, even if some of the action scenes & jokes don't leave you with a bang.

WCW the Great American Bash (1991)

This pro-wrestling pay per view was not great at all! Not even close. It belong in the trash. This event held in Baltimore MD, is a great example of everything wrong with WCW (World Championship Wrestling); horrible booking, majority of bad matches, and a severe lack of compelling story being told. It was painful to sit through & watch. If you don't believe me, let's start with the opening contest; P.N. News and Bobby Eaton facing off against the team of Steve Austin & Terrance Taylor in a scaffold 'capture the flag' match. Not only, did WCW officials shot themselves in the foot, by booking an extremely gimmicky stipulation with four wrestlers, not known for their daredevil highflying performances; but they also severe handicap those talents by having the plywood scaffold, only three feet wide. This cause the match to be, contested in a very slow, lumbering safe pace as none of the wrestlers were willing to take a risky big bump fall from the platform. Not only that; but the awkward ending with the hairspray was all screw up, as it look like somebody miss their cue. The next match, which had roidy, Diamond Stud/Scott Hall taking on the Z-Man was just below average. Having, manager, Diamond Dallas Page at ringside didn't really help, as this short contest, was very botchy. Nevertheless, the fight wasn't as big of a joke, as the next contest, which saw Oz AKA Kevin Nash facing Ron Simmons in a very slow botch fest. It was meh. However, the theatrical entrance for 1939's 'Wizard of Oz' character was somewhat entertaining, in a guilty pleasure, kind of a way. It was just silly & surreal, to the point that I really didn't care that the gimmick didn't look like the movie counterpart. The curtain castle backdrop & costume look awesome. Sadly, the bizarre stint as the Wizard of Oz didn't last long, after this, as Nash was moved into a gambler gimmick. It's somewhat disappointing, because Oz had potential of being, somewhat great. Oz could had been 'the Phenom' of that promotion. Anyways, this brings us to the next match on the card, which saw the Rock & Roll express members (Robert Gibson & Richard Morton) split up and fight each other. This bout was pretty decent. I like the in-ring storyline about Morton going after Gibson's injury leg. It made the match, very technical. Yet, it was far from boring. I just wish, Morton look more like the bad guy part. It's weird to see Morton look like a Jersey Rockstar, rather than a snobby, rich, Wall Street broker. Despite that, both men really gave Baltimore, a show. It's just sad, the crowd wasn't buying it. Dustin Rhodes and The Young Pistols (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) versus The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin & Badstreet/Brad Armstrong) in a six-man tag elimination match was up next and surprising; the tag, by far, one of the most entertaining contest of the night. Very impressive moves combos. Sadly, the next match, between Yellow Dog AKA Brian Pillman & Johnny B. Badd, couldn't follow it. That bout was really hard to watch for all the offensive gay slurs, being tossed around, & the fact that, they are going with the tiresome clichés 'Midnight Rider' mask storyline. It was not a good time. Much like the next contest, the Lumberjack match between Big Josh & Blackblood. The only time the crowd came alive is when the lumberjacks were brawling with each other. Yet, another stinker on this show, along with the next contest, between One Man Gang Vs El Gigante. Not even the dwarfs that surround El Gigante could save the match. It was ugly. At least, the next match, was not. I kinda like the Russian Chain match between Sting & Nikita Koloff. It was above average. This brings us to the biggest controversial of the night. As you see, the show was originally to be highlighted by a Steel Cage match between champion Ric Flair and challenger, Lex Luger for the WCW World Championship. However, two weeks before the show, then-WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd & Flair cut business ties, over a contract dispute & career direction. This cause the main event to be change to Luger and ex-horseman brother, Barry Windham fighting each other for the vacant world championship. However, since WCW did not pay Flair, back for the security deposit for the belt, Flair retained possession of the title and later brought it to rival company, WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Because of this, WCW had to commission a new championship belt. Things got even worst, for them, when a new belt wouldn't be available, in time for the event, so the company was forced to improvise. A Florida title belt that was in the possession of Dusty Rhodes was used and cheaply edited to look like WCW. If that wasn't enough, the steel cage took forever to set up, causing a lot of mindless ramblings going on. As for the match, it self, the crowd was not into any of the wrestlers, here & the wrestlers barely use the cage for any advances. In short, it was huge disappointment. Sadly, the main event between Rick Steiner versus Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously in a handicap steel cage was even worst, as it was nothing match. It was sad shell of its former self, which supposed to pit The Steiner Brothers and Missy Hyatt against Arn Anderson, Barry Windham and Paul E. Dangerously, but since Windham was moved up to the title picture and Scott Steiner sustained an injury, the match was changed into a mixed tag team match pitting Rick Steiner and Hyatt against Anderson and Paul E. Yet, that contest was scrapped as well, due to Maryland State Athletic Commission not allowing intergender matches. Either way, this was not a good match to be the climax. Luger & Windham should had ended the show. Overall: If this was fireworks. It would had been a dud. It was not a beautiful showcase. Can't recommended watching at all.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

It's no secret. National Treasure: Book of Secrets was not as good as the first movie. Regardless, it was still a fun watch. When it comes to unnecessary sequels. This film directed by Jon Turtetaub & produced by Jerry Bruckheimer takes the prize. It didn't really need to be made. Everybody in the original film, 2004's 'National Treasure' truly did lived happy ever after. At least, that was the climax of that Disney movie made it seems. However, I guess, that wasn't the case, as this sequel; has the crew of renowned treasure hunter Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) partake, yet another adventure. This time, in order to erase, Gate's family's ties of being a con-conspirator in President Lincoln's assassination. Without spoiling the movie, too much, while, the action sequences were compelling. The conflict & drive, for those scenes seemed a little forced. Look, I can understand, some people ostracizing Ben if one of his immediate family members done something wrong, somewhat recently; but judging his character, over something, his ancestors did over 100 years ago, is really stretching it. It's like hating an innocent modern day American, because his or her family, once own slaves in the 19th century. They have no control on who, they would be related to. Even if, Gate's forefather was indeed one of the con-conspirators, I really doubt, most Americans would bat an eye to continue to hold a social stigma, against the family. If some, of them, did, at least, they would be somewhat understandable & sympatric; as there are plenty of examples of living descendants of notorious figures from the past, just trying to live life as patriotic Americans. One such example is, Edwin Booth, the real-life brother of assassin, John Wilkes Booth. He just continued to do his job, becoming one of the most famous Shakespearean actor of the 19th century, following Lincoln's assassination. He was so beloved by the public, he even befriended, Lincoln's son, Robert at a very early age. Likewise, most people would see, past tragic events, like that, as 'water under the bridge'. Surely, it wouldn't make any current generation of Gates seem anymore un-American. Nevertheless, I do understand, why Ben was driven by a fierce desire to clear their family name of infamy, even if it's highly unhealthy exaggerating behavior. The value of good reputation is characterized as something worth preserving, even going to great lengths to protect and honor. However, it's not something, worth risking, life & limb for, if the grumbles are from a bygone era. I find it, highly ridiculousness, that Gates, is willing to break multiply federal and international laws, just to prove long dead 19th century people wrong. Honestly, besides one out of place kid, it seems like the majority of people in the film, don't really care, that he was related to a co-conspirator, if they continue to invite him, into White House, Buckingham Palace, and other famous social events. People still acclaim him for his treasure hunting skills than anything else, during the course of this movie. His name isn't really cover in mud, as part of the film, make it out to be. Because of that, I find his action to be jarring. Like really, what was his goal, anyways? How does finding a long lost city of gold absolve his forbearer from the crimes, he was accuse of? The movie made the quest seem a bit too vague, but if it's my guess, it seem like the crew bribe the government with enough gold, that, the federals look away or cover up theirs past crimes. If anything, Gates & his crew seem more like the villain than the heroes. Their willingness to lie, manipulate, assume false identities and trespass is bit troublesome. Nevertheless, moviegoers will surely, just be tempted to dismiss their actions completely because they were made in the service of an honorable end-and because the Gates family didn't intend to mean no harm. Still, I found their good nature request to be somewhat morally flawed. After all, it could had easily been resolved, in more quiet way, but I guess, we wouldn't have a movie if it was that simple. Regardless of that, the crew is mostly still mostly likeable. I just didn't like the subplot romantic argumentum elements that came with most of them. I found it, highly annoying. Still, most of the performers did fine work here, even new comers, like Ed Harris as the antagonist, Mitch Wilkinson. The villain was a huge improvement from the first movie. At least, Mitch was murky & creepy. Still, his heel to face turn in the climax was really jarring. The only flaw in what was otherwise, a compelling ending. Along with that, the music by composer, Trevor Rabin really adds to the suspense of that sequence. I love how the puzzles & heist elements wasn't as predictable. You really didn't know the twist & turns, the clues would led. It made the film a little more fun. This movie prove that smart, entertaining live action, adventure PG films, are still possible, even without a lot of harsh language, violence, & sex appeal to prompt people to take an interest in history. Still, it is necessary to suspend your disbelief at times, as nobody should take this movie as a legit American History lecture. After all, it is an action adventure film that claims that France & Britain knew about a Mesoamerican City of Gold in South Dakota for years & still gave up, those lands to the United States for cheap in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. Despite the imperfections with real-life history & its many plot-holes. I do have to say, the movie was compelling enough to look past its flaws. It really got you, into the sense of treasure hunting. Hopefully, a third installment will one day, come to fruition. Overall: With 4th of July celebrations, just around the corner, as of this writing. This is one sequel worth watching on Independence Day. It was a blast.

Far Cry 5 (2018)

As far as 'Far Cry 5' goes, it's fun to play, but could had been a little bit better. I'm not as blissful as I should had been. Taking place in the fictional open world of Hope County, Montana. The game developed by Ubisoft, has you played, as an unnamed rookie, law enforcement agent, whom job is it to arrest, a dangerous religious cult leader, Joseph Seed (Voiced & Motion Capture by Grey Bryk) & return him to justice. However, once your helicopter goes down in the middle of the cultist stronghold, you have to do whatever's necessary to survive & complete your mission, even fight back from those who wants to save your soul. Without spoiling the game, too much; a great deal of the first person shooter is very similar to the previous titles; in the way, you destroy outposts, free up settlements, and rescue locals help who've been taken hostage. The main different is, for the first time in 'Far Cry' history, the player can customized, their character through look, gender, and style of clothing. However, it rarely makes a different, as the player never see themselves in the third person. That means cosmetic rewards for your avatar, doesn't really matter. It's also sucks, that your character isn't given any background, defined personality or even a name. Thus, it makes them, kinda bland. Another thing, playing, either a male or female deputy doesn't play much to the main plot; which is a shame. The game could had two different storylines with that. While, it's true, that the player can go to any region & take any mission, they want, for unique take of smaller sub-stories. Nevertheless, the main plot still fall in a repetitive, yet tiresome familiar pattern of capture & escapes with many mission obvious being traps. It's really hard to avoid the triggers, and to compound the player's frustration, many of the cut scenes that follows, are not skippable. While, the voice actors for the Seed family did a hell of a job, making the villains seem real, by fleshing out, their backstories. Their preachy mindless ramblings about future, just doesn't hold any real weight. It's monotonous & flat. Also, downright confusing. I won't get into specifics, but the supernatural stuff, are very silly. The cultist concept could had a lot to promise, but sadly, it doesn't bear much fruit. This game wasn't smart or complex. It's was a little far fetch, muddy, & a bit jarring at times. Its need to be more organic grounded. Still, it's cool that the game has three possible ambiguous endings; two during the climax and the other in the opening sequence. Who knows, if Joseph Seed get his comeuppances or not. Regardless, all of the endings are awfully depressing. Look, I know, it's supposed to represent, the surrealism & separatism nightmarish dogmatic heightened political and ideological state, which the US was in, when this game came out. However, that isn't what most Americans wanted for an escapism game. People were hoping for something, a little more exotic to get their mind off, the harsh reality, rather than forced social commentary. Regardless, I don't understand, why rightwing conservatives are mad about this game. There are so many decent God-loving Americans characters here than villains. It's shown in the friendly 'Guns/Fangs for Hire' AIs. They're well written, fleshed out individuals. Still, they tend to have a repertoire comprises no more than four or five lines each. Sadly, if there is conflict, nearby, you'll start over, and you will be hearing the same banter again & again until it's resolved. For the most part, they're somewhat useful. The chances of getting a game over is impossible. They always revived you even the animals. Still, the friendly AI characters are remarkably stupid, at times; getting run over, by vehicles, you're driving, standing still in areas that are on flames, or getting in front of your line of fire, while shooting. CO-OP is a better choice. The only drag is host player will get credit for completing missions, not the guest. If you play by yourself, you can now freely unlock your all of your own advanced abilities by accomplishing tasks with certain weapons, instead of paying micro transactions to access certain perks that has been blocked off. It makes the game, a lot more challenging to play, even if certain weapons are not that enjoyable or useful. Sadly, skins and attachments don't really play a factor, as they don't normally match, what the item truly needs. Because of that, the arsenal feels a bit light. Looting enemies is troublesome, at times, as you might accident drop your weapon, rather than look for cash and supplies during battle. It makes ammo management far more tedious. As for the hunting/fishing system, it's alright, but it's not very beneficial, as most of the specific upgrade is now gone. As for the transportation perks; it's useful. However, getting the wingsuit and airdrop perk goes a very long way, at a much faster rate, than anything else. Much of the other transports, are highly weaken vehicles with limited ammo. Trust me! You don't want to have to slowly repair your mode of transportation, while waiting for ammo to be instantly refilled for a small fee, during combat. It's not fun. It's better to use that time, crafting explosives & health products. Regardless, every location now works as a fast-travel destination, which spares you an enormous amount of time for other things like Far Cry Arcade. It adds more gameplay, allowing players to build and share small maps that have single player, two player cooperative, and multiplayer objectives, using assets from past 'Far Cry' games, as well, as from other game franchises such as 'Assassin Creed' & 'Watch Dogs'. There will also be DLCs (Dead Living Zombies, Hours of Darkness, & Lost on Mars) & a live-action short film 'Far Cry 5: Inside Eden's Gate', and creepy, but beautiful album by composer, Dan Romer to look forward to. All of this material, shows 'Far Cry 5' is far from over. Altogether, this is one solid game that will make you come back for more.

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

What!? You haven't saw this motion picture, yet! Are you trying to tear me apart!? Go see it! 'Rebel without a Cause' is a great coming to age film, even with its many faults! Loosely adopted from psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner's 1944 book, 'Rebel without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath', only by title & directed by Nicolas Ray, the film tells the story of an unsettled, lost, young teen named Jim Stark (James Dean), trying to find his place in the world, along with other alienated youths, after a night of heavy partying; only to find himself, being misled into tragic unfortunate consequences. Without spoiling the film, too much, this colorful wide-screen 1955's Cinemascope feature is probably best remembered for being the movie that made James Dean into a 1950's pop-culture icon. It opened at the Astor Theatre in New York on October 29th, 1955, about a month after Dean's untimely death due to a car wreck to great audience applause and wonderful critical reviews. It received accolades for the performance of Dean and the young stars who appeared. The film also received three Academy Awards nominations (Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Story). Despite being unsuccessful in winning any of those awards, the movie did deserve the praise. 'Rebel without a Cause' was indeed way ahead of its time in its attempt in portraying the moral decay of American youth, critique parental style, and explore the differences and conflicts between generations. However, it wasn't the first film to explore these issues. The idea that angst teen drama is an invention of the 1950s-part of the Western emergence of youth culture after the Second World War is understatement, and not accurate. Nevertheless, I can understand, why some film buff historians, retrospective, say the 1950s was the beginning. It was the era that Hollywood really did exploit this new demographic for ticket sales, but in truth, there has always been movies focus on the wild side of the adolescent demographic, since there has been films; even in the strict heyday of the Production Code. Most of the important types and tropes for teen film like conflict between independence and dependence, rebellion and conformity, maturity and immaturity; emerged in American cinema between 1910 and 1930, with rare films like 1923's 'Flaming Youth', 1933's 'Wild Boys on the Road', and 1937's 'Dead End' to name some. They all help show the dark side of the intermediate stage between childhood and adulthood, so well; while eroticized the rebel archetype. However, 'Rebel without a Cause' stood out more, because how complex & harsh, the existentialism subject matter was. There is no better example than that, then the class field trip scene at the Griffith Observatory; where the teens are faced with the hard truth, about the malaise feelings of living in a world without much purpose. Seeing the metaphor, of how tiny, life is, on Earth, compare to the unfathomable vastness of cosmos at the planetarium really does weight people down. It's no wonder, why some people found this movie, to be, bit too depressing to watch. I don't blame them. It's probably, not the best message to give to children. Most films, would probably use this scene, as tools to send a uplifting moral, to let the youth know, whatever positive things, they do, does matters. Yet, for this movie's sakes, it's work well to create conflict. It's here, where the movie, really does picks up. We get, why the disconnect teens acts the way, they does; even if some of their so-call reasons to rebel are ludicrous & somewhat dated like the protagonist. The idea that men need to beat up female; in order to show them, who's the boss, is a product of the time, where macho masculinity was all-time high. Nobody would bat an eye, these days about Jim's father, Frank (Jim Backus) so-called lack of masculinity. Every man cooks and cleans, today. It's not abnormal. Still, I love the film frame his father's milquetoast attitude and failure to stand up to his overbearing shrewish wife, Carol (Ann Doran), with him, looking much smaller & meek. A good example of this, is the stairway, where Jim is caught, between his constantly bickering parents about reporting a crime. Surprisingly, much of the movie's subplots, involving the three teens getting in trouble are Ray's attempt to come to term with his own failure as a husband & father; while also, confronting the sexual confusion, he had, at the time, that led to the abuse of his 13 year old son by his then-wife, actress, Gloria Graham. That's why homosexual was portray as a mental illness, much in the same vain with incest, sadist & psychopath in this movie. The idea that having such traits are bad & needs to be eradicate off, the planet, in order for more stable heterosexual relationships to blossom & fatherhood to champion, was his way to cope with the problem. Regardless, it is now view as an awful cruel way to end a movie. Not only, because the force love story between highly unlikeable & annoying undeveloped, Judy (Natalie Wood) & over-sensitive, kindhearted boy; Jim, seem kinda rushed, so soon after her ex's Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen) death, but also, due to the jarring nature, it has create, involving John "Plato" Crawford (Sal Mineo) acting like their son. It's was too much stuff to handle; being cram in. Despite that, the movie was still cut, even more to pieces & banned in certain countries, out of fear, that it would incite violence. Thank goodness, the film's original US version was not. It was deemed "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" enough, to be added to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. It was well deserve, regardless of the messy third act. The movie was still, very well-made. So, don't be a chicken! Put on your red windbreaker and race to go see this movie! In the end, 'Rebel without a Cause' still remains relevant, even today, despite the changes in teenage life and behavior all these decades. It's a must-watch.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Grab some chimichanga and give 'Deadpool 2', a watch! It's worth seeing, despite some flaws! Like the 2016 original of the same name, 20th Century Pictures' 'Deadpool 2' is also, an R-Rated pop-culture spitting, raunchy fourth-wall breaking, violent comic book movie that is clearly targeted specifically at older audiences. Expect tons of extremely graphic violence, harsh-language, heavy drug-use and sexual nudity to go around. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, and directed by Davie Leitch, the film tells the story of Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), trying to cope after the loss of a love one, by protecting a teen mutant, Russell Collins/Firefist (Julian Dennison), from a time-traveling cybernetic soldier, named Cable (Josh Brolin), whom sworn to eradicate him, before the boy can kill his family in the future. Without spoiling the sequel, too much, if this story sounds like familiar. Then, you're right. The three screenwriters: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds basically borrowing most of 'Deadpool 2' story elements from far more superior rival action films like 1991's 'Terminator 2' & 2012's "Looper'. However, they didn't use all the familiar clichés & tropes, correctly; leaving many mistakes, plot-holes & misdirection. Things like the 'Rule of Empathy' moral message felt like confusing regurgitation half-digested rehash. The movie could had work it better, if the writers took the concept more solemn. You know, show more of the emotional negative burden & pain, Wilson has to go through, when killing people, in order to show Russell that life as a contract killer isn't worth it, rather than showing Wade's selfish doing it to get some tail from his girlfriend, Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin). That might work. Even better, make Russell seem like he had some likeable innocent that could be lose. For the most part, Dennison's character was highly annoying and nasty. Nothing really worth redeemable. Since the movie didn't do that, the moral ground seem a bit muddle. So, it hurts the overall, emotional sentiment redemptive message about family & sacrifice, very much. For that reason, I found the movie's story to be jarring. After all, the movie makes killing look like a lot of fun & rewarding for the most part. There is even, another scene play off for laughs, where a minor supporting character from the first film, craves for a kill, like a sick psychopath. It's a bit disturbing to see this movie champion his wish; seeing how many vehicle mass-murders, happen in recent years. The moral message in the film seem a bit hypocritical. Another thing that hurts this film is not so serious climax. The mid-credit scenes including the ending felt like a cheesy cop out; a cheap happy go-lucky end that ruin the strong savage, inhumane nihilism ending, it should had. And above else, it doesn't make any sense; as why could Cable turn baby face and use his time machine to save Wade in the first place? It goes against everything that Wade wanted to do, in order to meet up with his wife. Wouldn't Cable rather use that time to revisit his family, instead? It's seem a bit off & odd. However, it could had been much worse, if Leitch kept the Hitler baby-killing post-credit scene. That was indeed too squeamish. Anyways, the ending for this film, didn't have the strength that previous 20th Century comic book movies, like 2014's 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' & 2017's "Logan', had. It was highly disappointing. Also, those films, told the fatherhood & destiny concept way better than this film could ever do, as well. Honestly if you cut it away, all the fan service & jokes, the movie's plot is pretty damn simpleton & generic, rather than unique & original. This movie could had been a little more complex than surface deep. Sadly, the writers couldn't go to the next level. No wonder, why Deadpool in universe, lampshade the story elements as lazy. Despite that, the comedy side of the script bulges with rapid-fire one-liners and pop culture references to just about everything kinda works for the most part, regardless if it feels a bit forced. It's mostly hilarious. Jokes like the unfortunate demise of X-Force were funny. However, some of them, like the shot of Deadpool's vestigial regenerating penis is highly cringe-worthy. It's borderline child pornography. Others jokes like might feel dated, as the years goes on, such as the jabs to other present day comic book movies. Regardless, Reynolds as Deadpool dominates every scene, steamrollering everyone around him. Even returning supporting performers are all firmly pushed to the sidelines. Some of them like T.J Miller get little screen time. Thank goodness, because he is not funny. Plus, the sexual misconduct allegations against him, makes me, hate him, ever more. Glad, he wasn't in the film, much. Nevertheless, it's the new characters that really get to shine. Brolin gave a cold grizzled mysterious presence as Cable, which help the film a bit, since the writers didn't give enough space to establish much of his character's background. Zazie Beetz is also good. She was made Domino, into an interesting character with her demeanor, during her limited presence. Even the surprise cameos were fun to see. I enjoyed every last of them, including the Vanisher cameo & the gigantic CGI villain character voiced by Ryan Reynolds. Another thing that work, was the visual effects. It was improved since the last movie. While, the movie is less gory and crass; the quality of action is also a lot better. It was amazing throughout the film, with the train scene being a highlight. It was particularly witty and well-executed. The music by singer, Celion Dion was also great. "Ashes' was a beautiful song. Overall: I have to say 'Deadpool 2' was a watchable superhero movie. It's a lot better than the first film, big time. So check it out with maximum effect.

Flubber (1997)

This remake is not really good. This flub of a movie will not bounce back. It's pretty weak. Based off the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor, 'Flubber' tells the story of Professor Phillip Brainard (Robin Williams) on his search for an energy based scientific breakthrough, in order to save his college from closing; while fending off, rivals trying to steal his research for themselves. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I can't believe, this live-action, Walt Disney film was written by fame screenwriter, John Hughes. This is not a good use of renewable resources for him. The reason, why, is because the original 1961's film, 'The Absent Minded Professor', in which, this remake was based off, has not aged well since then. While, the concept written by Bill Walsh was fine at the time. It's not really revisiting; unless they put a new spin with it, like Universal Pictures did with their 'Nutty Professor' franchise (1963 & 1996 movies of the same name). However, since the remake directed by Les Mayfield didn't do much different. It doesn't feel fresh or unique. Honestly, if you saw, the original film, then you pretty much, saw this movie as well. The basic story is pretty much, the same. There were only a few differences; such as the settlings being modern and the recycled joke sequences were update to be more extreme. That means more, over the top, facial expressions, more cartoonish violent slapstick physical comedy & more in your face special effects. While, this act, injected the movie to a PG rated; in my opinion, the movie should had been rated PG-13. Why, because all the updates, were really mess up! A good example is how the physics defying green rubberlike substance, now, has artificial intelligence, yet the Professor continues to break its body down, ever more, to use as a propulsion device. It's like, if we still use whale oil to power our electricity; despite knowing that they hold higher intelligence over other mammals. It's disturbing to see. Not only that; but, like the main character from the original movie, this version of Brainard is also a downright cheater who put a whole innocent basketball team in risk with Flubber enhanced sneakers, without telling them. In truth, they could had all suffer, a lot more injuries, than they did. Plus, the smalltime enhancements in their shoes, kinda ruined the quick foot works, step movements, and pivoting twist & turns, needed for them to master basketball fundamentals. Not only that, the stunt will indeed give the college, some really bad reputation, whenever officials finds out; that Flubber product was used. Who knows, businesses might stop funding intercollegiate athletic program, over the scandal! Then, the professor by coincidence, kill his college, he was so willing to work, so much, in order to save. What an idiot! However, that isn't the worst thing, the character did in the movie. It's his downright inconsiderate behavior, toward the end, when he put his career over his family as his top priority. It's not like, he's trying to save the college, by this point. The big sell to the car company should had stop that. Yet, he's still working; during the wedding when his family needs him, the most. It's clear by that action that he's doesn't care about them. Because of that, no amount of Robin William's loveable quirkiness & forced, 'walk a mile in his shoes' empathy will make me, ever, like this character. He's just a selfish jerk. Nevertheless, he isn't the only annoying character in this film, with some unlikeable psychological problem. I really can't stand, Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden); despite how good, the actress is, in other roles. Honestly, what does Sara see in him? There is no reason, for her to stay with him. It's like she was one dimension written. What a manic pixie dream girl! At least, she wasn't overly attached, jealous, sabotaging, deceitful, sentient computer trying to make love with its creator, while he sleeps, type of a woman, like Weebo (Voiced beautifully by Jodi Benson) was. That was some weird A.I robotic Electra complex crap for something that supposed to be a sweet, robot! All of her uncomplete love triangle subplot scenes, were surprisingly dark for what should had been an otherwise cheesy cheerful film. Regardless of that, her hovering sentience presence was a little jarring. It's really hard to believe, that Phillip wouldn't use her to save the college, even if he can't replicate the model. Keeping quiet on her, and not another sentient life like 'Flubber' doesn't add up. Innovations with robotics were really huge in the 1990s. He should had been a billionaire, when the film starts; or at least, Wilson Croft (Christopher McDonald) should had, since Wilson steal from Brainard, all the time. While, it's true, that McDonald is once again, typecast, as the stereotypical villain. He's pretty forgettable here. Still, watching the film; Phillip should had known, that Wilson is the bad guy. It's so obvious. Wilson even mention, his plan to Phillip. It's seem like every character was shallowly written. It's clear by the writing, John Hughes's heart, just wasn't into it. He just needed the paycheck. It's a total waste of his talent! He's better off, writing, then modern day coming to age comedies than silly remakes of 1950s/1960s family friendly kid movies. However, he's not all to blame for how messy this snot movie is. Editors didn't pay attention to the pace of the film, as there was way too many pointless scenes; such as colorful yet over the top dance sequence & the special effects look fake looking even back then. Still, overall: The film is a lot better than the 1988's television version, 'The Absent Minded Professor' that aired on 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color'. Regardless, neither remakes are as successful or highly regarded as the 1961 original & its 1963's sequel, 'Son of Flubber'. Those are the ones, worth discovering. 1997's "Flubber', not so much, it's an experiment that went horribly wrong.

Premium Rush (2012)

Surprising, 'Premium Rush' was not a bike-wreck of a movie. Even with its flaws, the film is worth the ride. At least for a rental. Made for maximum momentum & white-knuckle thrills. 2012's 'Premium Rush' is one entertaining popcorn flick. I like how it was all done on real streets without much CGI. Cinematographer, Mitchell Amundsen & director, David Koepp and his crew, including stunt worker, Austin Horse mostly did a hell of a job, capturing the fluidity of darting and weaving in New York traffic, to the point that we can't keep our eyes off. Nevertheless, the movie isn't a true climatic tour de force. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for classic masterpieces levels like 1948's 'Bicycle Thieves'; however, the story about an innocuous urban libertine, New Yorker bicycle messenger, Wilee (Joseph Gordon Levitt) being chased around the city by a corrupt police officer, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) over an envelope, the cyclist is carry; should had be a little more grounded in reality. The over the top sequences like Wilee's brain working really fast, to the point that he can slow down split-second decisions, by analyzing routes ahead of him, was really jarring. Look, I get that, he is a disenchanted Columbia Law School graduate, but adrenaline-fixes, doesn't make him, into Sherlock Holmes. If anything, all this cross modal attention will only impair the biker's visual attention and ability to make decisions, ever more; resulting more likely into a collision than safe passage. Meanwhile, seeing him crash into things like a 'Jackass', in his mind, really does take away from the thoughtful parts of the chase scene. I found myself, laughing my head off, than taking the film, seriously. The analyzing lightweight tongue 'n' cheek tone doesn't fit well with the gritty parts at all. It seem gimmicky out of place. Another problem with 'Premium Rush' is how it relies on an overlaid digital clock on the screen for the bulk of the chase, to show the time advancing from the start of the chase to the end to build tension; yet the movie laid back attitude toward key events doesn't feel like it could honest fit, between those periods of time. Are we to believe that, that Wilee was able to travel back and forth from Columbia University twice, go on detour, then walk away from a major crash, without injury and still able to have time do complex fancy BMX stunts, while escaping a well-guarded police compound, all before the 7pm!? I don't think so! So unrealistic. However, it's not the worst part of the film. That has to go to the giant bike flash mob scene. The idea that it can be formed, less than an hour, using a non-existing 'bike code' is dumb. Because, in reality, not only, would, most of them, be busy, doing deliveries; most of them are more likely to be independent contractors or work at rival companies. The idea that they would all pitch in, to harass a cop is abnormally impracticable. All of these sequences, mention, remind me of the 1983's film 'BMX Bandits', in how silly, they were. As for the way, the movie is presenting the cyclist profession as the most dangerous job in New York City. It come across as very smug and annoying like 1987's movie 'Quicksilver'. The stats, they're presenting are not true, one bit. Metro subway workers & cab drivers are more likely to get killed than a cyclist. While, it's true, that bicycling is such high demand in urban centers. Bicycle messenger is not popular. It has really fallen out of favor as a means of delivery, since the digital age. Because of that, the film seem dated, even for 2012. The concept just doesn't work. Much like the nonlinear narrative, the movie is presenting. It also fails to add any suspense; as there wasn't much, risky thought-provoking twist and turns. Obvious markers, throughout the film also kill the mystery. Because of that, the story was highly predictable. As for numerous flash-forwards and flashback. It doesn't seem to help much, as well. If anything, it really does slow the movie pace down. A good example is how the film is trying to establish that Det. Monday has a gambling problem. That montage of him, getting in trouble with the Chinese Mafia was a little too long. It really took a lot of screen-time away from the main plot. The same, can be said, with the futile flashback scenes with Wilee. The conflict with his girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) & his stock character, coworker, Manny (Wolé Parks) over the fact, that he lives a dangerous life; felt not needed; seeing how both of them, are, doing the same job as Wilee. It felt hypocritical. Also, its odd how never once, was there, a character arch with Wilee, being safer. The whole romance & buddy competition filler parts are just throwaways. It was disappointing. Despite that; Levitt was not that bad in this movie; even if his character is a bit shallow & stereotypic play as a cliquish, reckless, nihilist. Levitt's authentic, accessible charm make Wileee, somewhat watchable. As for the bike work. Levitt gets mad props. It's insane to hear that he needed 31 stitches on his arm, when, he accidently crash into a rear windshield of a cab at 30 mph, when performing a stunt. That was really crazy! As for Shannon's off-kilter performance. He was fine, but he could had been better. He mumble, way too much. It's really hard to hear or understand, what he's saying. It's not his best work. As for the filmmakers here, getting sued for plagiarism of author Joe Quirk's 1998's book, "The Ultimate Rush". It's clear, once you see this movie. These two media sources has nothing similar with each other. I glad, the courts, agree with me on that statement. Overall: Honestly, If you ignored the huge flaws of the film. It's still a worth pedaling after. You might find it, somewhat enjoyable, even with its faults. So, strap on your helmet, and go find this high-octane action movie. It's worth the rush.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

I had a bad feeling about this. 'Solo' truly did turn out to be very meh. This movie was not well made. No wonder, why this second Star Wars anthology film distributed by Walt Disney, flew a little low at the box office, compare to the franchise's first standalone film, 2016's 'Rogue One'. It really did a troublesome production, where, most of the movie had to be reshoot, due to creative differences between Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy and the original directors, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. The conflict reportedly came from Lord and Miller's easy going time consuming style of directing; which often delay production; due to their wiliness for improvisation and taking multiply takes. Kennedy was also, very unhappy with the tone of the film; as the filmmakers were pushing for a more meta-like adventure comedy; while the president wanted a more grounded, gritty space-western with a flair of film noire. Eventually, the dispute became public and the project started to be plagued by negative press. It got so bad, that Lord and Miller were let go, and were ultimately replaced by Ron Howard. For the most start, Howard did salvage the project, from, getting shelf, however, the damage was already done. Since the movie had to be remade, quickly & released on a certain date, there wasn't enough time to market the film. Causing, the standalone film's first trailer being released, only 3 months, before it hit theaters. Sadly, the ugly-looking, pitch black, visual story of a young Han Solo (Aiden Ehrenreich) having to complete the Kessel Run didn't drum up a lot of interest with audiences, especially when another Star Wars film's 2017's 'Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi' was still playing in some theaters just over a month before its release. It also doesn't help that 'the Last Jedi' was highly divisive among audiences; as people started to complain about 'Star Wars' fatigue. Added to that, like most spin-offs, the movie isn't strictly necessary, as most fans knew enough about the man in the original trilogy to understand his plight toward being a smuggler & his redemption toward doing something good. Some fans didn't felt like, yet another film show be introduce, to retell that. Even though Disney threw out pretty much every Star Wars comic and book that was written before they acquired Lucasfilm with the dish water. These fans are just not interested in getting onboard with the new 'canon' continuity of Star Wars; due to its confusing, rehash nature. The franchise felt a bit staled & prediction. Because of that, the paint by number movie couldn't combative stiff competition from compelling, progressive driven comic book movies such as Fox's 'Deadpool 2' and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War', that is every-changing their approach in the ways, they use their own content. Without spoiling the movie written by Lawrence & Jonathan Kasdan, too much; the story set prior to the events of 1977's 'Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope' is all over the place. While, it fills the answers to several call forward unanswered questions; there is little structure. It jumps around, spilling redundant information dump, introducing interesting characters; only to be killed off before we have time to get attached, in a series of filler action sequences. It's only, when we get to the second part, that the movie starts to come together. However, that frame work fell back, apart, toward the climax; when the Cloud Riders are reintroduced. The film took too long to find, its footing. It was so badly paced. Another problem with the film is the acting. Ehrenreich landed the dubious task of trying to live up to Harrison Ford's iconic portrayal. Although some people have praised his performance; I didn't think, he quite lives up to his predecessor. While, he was indeed charming, Ehrenreich doesn't captures Ford's smirky, roguish charisma. He was so bad in, getting the mannerism, that apparently, an acting coach was call it on set to help him. While it was probably smart for the actor not to try to do a direct impression, his acting was still jarring to me. Ehrenreich just doesn't stick the landing. As for the supporting cast, Woody Harrelson is fine as Tobias Beckett, but unsurprising, he's playing a role, he play, way too many times before. So, it wasn't very unique. As for Emilia Clarke. She was alright, but her character was never sympathetic nor femme fatale enough to really work as Han's would-be flame Qi'ra. She was disappointing. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian was not. He delivers. Glover captures the duplicity and bravado, very well. He even drop his voice about half an octave and enunciating words the same way, the original actor, Billy Dee Williams does. It was wonderful. I can't say the same with his droid copilot, L3-37 (Voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). She was highly annoying with her SJW feminism style jokes. Very cringe-worthy. As for the main villain, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). Too generic-looking. Don't get me wrong, Paul Bettany is an immensely talented actor and very frighten in this role. However, his character doesn't stand out, much. At least, the original actor, Michael K. Williams's costume and make up is pretty out there. This looks small; but the fan service is even smaller. As much as I love Warwick Davis & Clint Howard cameos. I kinda wish, more familiar characters like Jabba the Hutt & Boba Fett. Also, not having R2-D2 and C3PO there, was such a letdown. They appeared in every Star Wars film to date. Solo brought the end to that streak and it sucks. As for the surprise cameo in the end. He was very jarring for those who hasn't watch any of the Star Wars animation series such as 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' (2008-2015) and 'Star Wars: Rebels' (2014-2018). You'd have to watch a number of episodes from both series to get his whole story. In the end; while, this movie offers some pulpy fun. This film was no tour-de force. It's not a ride worth taking. At least, not in theaters.

G.I. Jane (1997)

While, this movie was somewhat uplifting. 'G.I Jane' just didn't quite get my seal of approval. It was very mediocre. When Demi Moore, appeared on the red carpet with a bald head and a muscular built, for the premiere of 1996 'Striptease'. There was a lot of good buzz for her next big film, 1997's 'G.I Jane'. However, once the public got a hold of the film directed by Ridley Scott. The buzz turn into negative press. Without spoiling the well-shot movie, too much, one of the reasons, why this film didn't do so well at the box office, was, because viewers and critics, alike were under the impression that was going to be, a very realistic depiction of what life is like, for a woman to go through Navy SEALS training. However, the film wasn't like that. Actually, the movie was heavily fictional story of a Navy servicewoman, Lt. Jordan O'Neil (Demi Moore) being the first woman to enrolled in the Armed Force's 'the Combined Reconnaissance Team' (CRT) training program; a fictitious special operations until, that brings together operators from across all branches of the military into one group. Because of that, all the marketing for this film, including the trailers were misleading. It's hardly about Navy Seals at all! No wonder, why, this movie was called 'G.I Jane', despite the fact that the acronym is mostly used to describe the soldiers not sailors. 'The CRT' sounds like a team that a toy company like Hasbro would create, rather than the Department of Defense. Despite that outrageous figment artistic license, the movie training story is still not very well told. One such example is the out of the blue force action scene, toward the end of the movie. The idea that a national emergency situation, would require trainee's support, over years upon years, of well-trained, ready to go, Armed Force's special operation personnel is highly illogical. Not only that, but wouldn't it, make more sense, that the team that should support the U.S Army Rangers, in their mission, shouldn't be the trainees, but the Army's own, Delta Force or Green Berets. After all they're all in the same reconnaissance branch. Also, in real-life, any special operation trainee in any branch would probably take up to 2 years of training before, they ever saw combat. Such is the case with the real Navy Seals recruits. For them, they first have to go to Naval Special Warfare Preparatory School for 8 weeks; before advancing into BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL), training for another six months; follow up with another 3 weeks in parachute jump school/ plus 26 week course in SEAL Qualification Training (SQT), before finally, finishing off with SEAL Tactical Training (STT) that, normal workup or pre-deployment workup, including SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) is a 12- to 18-month cycle divided into three phases with them going to many different locations. The idea that this film is presenting, with a trainee skipping school programs and leapfrog toward any training site, within a few months, with the same instructors, plus go to war, with them, is not bound in any reality. No wonder, Moore went so far as to call then-President Bill Clinton to try to get advice from the Pentagon for the movie script. It's clear that screenwriters, David Twohy and Danielle Alexandra, had no clue, in what, they were doing. Despite the unrealistic inaccurate depiction of how the United States military operates their training courses, I still have to give Moore, some praise. While, her acting in this movie was alright; Demi really did look the part. Because of that, I highly disagree with critics, with her deserving a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for this film. If anything, Anne Bancroft's performance as Senator Lillian DeHaven was the worst. It was hammy and way too over-the-top for the character she's playing. As for Viggo Mortensen. He does a pretty damn good job of portraying Command Master Chief John James Urgayle. However, the idea that his character would trumped up charges of O'Neil being a lesbian (violating the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy), seem a bit, out of character, but once again, that's the writer's fault, not the actor. It's lazy writing. As for the infamous POW scene, where the Master Chief beats her up and threatens her with rape. Surprisingly, those acts are justified. That's is what would happen if she was indeed captured by the enemy. While, there are those, who particular annoyed by this, because instructors are not supposed to physically abuse recruits. Under SERE-C, it's possible that it could happen, however, very unlikely under regular SERE training. Especially if the trainee outrank the Master Chief; such as O'Neil being a Lieutenant. So that was a bit odd. As for her having mistreatment from other recruits. It also could happens, as shown in real-life scandals like 'Tailhook', but it's likewise very rare, due to trust and teamwork being so vital in the military. Still, no one can deny, there is some sexism in the Armed Forces; after all, women weren't allowed to serve in any special operation roles, until January 2016; which is kinda depressing, because, when it comes to utilizing women in those fields; the United States is in the dark ages, compare to countries; which already had a number of female soldiers holding their own, reaching and surpassing the standards of their duties. As of this date of this writing, there has yet to be a natural born female to join the Navy Seals; which is sad, because everybody should had the fighting chance to serve their nation, if they want to. The idea of women having not enough brawn power to be in special operation is really outdate excuse. The majority of missions don't fail, because of the lack of man power. They flop, because the lack of smart strategies and misused of resources. Much like this movie. Regardless, of that, I hope, this movie's positive message would encouraged women to fight. Maybe, one day, there will be a good real-life 'G.I Jane' story to tell than this fictional half-ass version. One can hope.

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Call me, Mr. Burns, because I thought, the Simpson Movie was 'excellent' even with its flaws. There was a period during the 1990s when it was impossible to avoid the unstoppable juggernaut that was 'the Simpsons'. The animation show aired on the FOX broadcasting network was must watch TV! However, those days are now over. With adult-driven animation shows being more couple, due to the thanks of cable networks like Comedy Central & Adult Swim, 'the Simpson' doesn't seem as funny and unique as it once was. It has really became, yesterday's news. In order to spice up, the show's ratings; in 2007, between Season 18 & Season 19, the sitcom created by Matt Groening & produced by James L. Brook, finally decided to make a full length movie with their writing and animation staff, after sitting on the idea for so long, since 1992. Thus, the first real steps of 'the Simpson Movie' was born. Directed by David Silverman, the movie tells the story of the working class family having to save Springfield from the Environmental Protection Agency, after Homer Simpson (Voiced by Dan Castellaneta), over-pollution the town's lake. Without spoiling the film, too much, I have to say, it must had been a challenge to make this movie. After all, they had to construct an overall story that they haven't done before for the die-hard fans, while, also bring forth something familiar. For the most part, they kinda achieve it. Taking elements from Season 2, Episode 4: 'Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish' & the opening parts of Season 4, Episode 12: 'Marge vs. the Monorail', 'the Simpson Movie' molded a compelling adventure story that was strong enough for movie length. Unlike, their first try, with Season 4, Episode 1: 'Kamp Krusty' idea, at which point the movie plans were dropped in favor of a season premiere. Numerous other ideas were also attempted, such as the Simpson saving the manatees, which was later used in Season 17, Episode 1 '"Bonfire of the Manatees", and a parody of 1998's 'The Truman Show'- which was later used as the plot in 2007's 'The Simpsons Game'. Groening even expressed a wish to make a musical parody of 1940's 'Fantasia', which also fell through. In the end, the environmental dome story was chosen. However, there are some debate if this story is honestly original, as some people had speculated on a perceived similarity between this movie and Stephen King's 'Under the Dome' novel. Regardless of that, the biggest flaw within this story, is how much, the sub-stories are tiresome rethread. Seeing, Ned Flanders (Voiced by Harry Shearer) try to win over, Bart Simpson (Voiced by Nancy Cartwright) felt like old news. We already saw this formula plot in past episodes like, Season 7, Episode 3 'Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily' & others. Even the idea of Marge (Voiced by Julie Kavner) threating to leave Homer for being a selfish, apathetic dick, isn't really new. Also, the way, the movie resolve, these issues in the climax of the film, doesn't feel complete or fulfilling. If anything, Homer's normally idiotic, selfish behavior is still around in the end. It's clear, that the film doesn't know, how to do, character arches; as the epiphany really didn't do much to change or evolve him. In my opinion, the movie would had done better, if they didn't make Homer into such an unlikeable jerk. At least, the movie would be, more watchable, as we can honestly root for the protagonist, rather than being dragged along with somebody, we don't care, as much. Despite that, I think there is only one sub plot in this movie that wasn't really needed, and that was Lisa Simpson (Voiced by Yeardley Smith) falling in love. Those romantic scenes really don't add much to the main plot. Plus, her relationship with the boy never really carry on, the main show, afterwards. It was totally pointless. It felt like filler. Regardless of the flaws in the story, as a fan of 'the Simpsons', I can safely say that, outside of a few good episodes here and there, this movie has the best animation. There is noticeably more prominent shading, a broader color palette and conspicuous CGI abound, not to mention a handful of more fluidly-animated scenes which were animated in-house that was really well-put. As for the voice performers, they all do a fantastic job. Even, guest voice actors like Albert Brooks, Tom Hanks and the band, Green Day did an amazing job. As for the jokes. It was a hit and miss. Some action sequences were really funny & smart, such as the breaking the fourth wall opening act with Homer yelling at the theater or Fox running ads for shows in the bottom of the scene. Even, the political satire were hilarious and clever. I kinda dig the jab at NSA (Natural Security Agency) listening in, to everybody and the scenes where the oil companies playing Alaskans to keep quiet, while they rampage the state's natural resources. They were very interesting. However, there were some jokes that seem really dated or flew over the heads of most viewers to understand; such as parody of 2006's documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth" & Easter eggs such as seeing a crashed ambulance near the gorge from Season 2, Episode 8 'Bart the Daredevil'. Those are a little bit, harder to catch. Regardless, the movie is probably best, watching on the internet or buying on DVD, than waiting for it to air on television; as it has been known, that certain sequences like the penis & flipping off the bird scene within the movie has be cut or altered by FOX network censors to fit in with FCC practices. Overall: While 'The Simpsons Movie' will probably not outshine any fan favorite episodes. It's still a triumphant collaboration of nearly a dozen of the series' best head-writers and producers. The result is a film that's truly worth watching for any die-hard or casual fan. Like a juicy donut, this is one movie, worth drooling, after. It's a must-watch.

NXT TakeOver: New Orleans (2018)

NXT: Take Over: New Orleans truly did let the good time rolls! This show was amazing! NXT once again, did the unthinkable! It outshine WWE's main show, 'WrestleMania' for the third year in a roll. 'NXT TakeOver: New Orleans" was 5 star entertainment! Taken place at the Smoothie King Center, the event saw the first crowning of the holder of the NXT North American Championship, by hosting a six-man ladder match for the inaugural title. Without spoiling too much of the match, all six competitors; including Adam Cole, EC3, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream did a hell of a job, making this match, entertaining. All of them, took their share of giving out & receiving punishment through some really dangerous stunt work. Surprising, for a ladder match, they weren't a lot of botches besides the one with Sullivan, Dream and Ricochet. For the most part, the performances was nearly perfect. If anything, the only thing, I kinda wish, the match, had; was a better build. The storyline behind the match seem somewhat rushed; as the North American Championship was only introduce, a week earlier on NXT TV taping. Even, some of the competitors like EC3 & Ricochet only been around for that short of time. There wasn't enough time to get general audiences to get to know, who these guys, were. Thank goodness for them, the crowd that made up, 'NXT: TakeOver: New Orleans' were all die-hard wrestling fans. If this was a normal event, there would be a little more confusement on who these guys are. As for the fanatic complains on championship belt design. I have to somewhat agree with them. The belt isn't that pretty to look at. Nevertheless, it's not the worst design. The old school prestige style metal plates are awesome. It's just the brown color strap that kills me. It really doesn't suite, the modern stage. It looks like a belt, stuck in the 1970s. It doesn't match well with the other belts in NXT. Talking about other titles, the NXT Women Championship match was next, with champion, Ember Moon defending her belt against challenger, Shayna Baszler. Once again, without spoiling the end; the match felt like a mixed bag. It was not as good as their encounter at 2018's 'NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia'. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad match, but if I had to nitpick. I really didn't like, how the roles were reverse from their past clash, with Baszler playing as the underdog, here. She supposed to be, a legit badass street fighter and yet, they have Moon dominate and become the aggressor, most of the contest. It felt odd for a baby face role to do. Still, I did dig how Shayna was able to show her gutsiness, as she forcefully re-socketed her shoulder that she was selling. Nevertheless, the most brilliant part of the match was how she adjusted her submission finish. That was kinda cool. Still, I didn't like how the finish came a bit of nowhere. It didn't fit with the story that they were telling the ring. In the end, the match did no favors for the crowd. It was average go to the restroom style crowd pleasing match. Despite that, it wasn't as jarring as the next match on the card, which saw a triple threat tag team match for the NXT Tag Team Championship and Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy between, 'the Undisputed Era', (Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly) (c) versus 'The Authors of Pain' (Akam and Rezar) versus Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong. Once again, like the previous contest in the night, all the performers did alright for most of the match. It just that the betrayal ending doesn't match well, with the story that they were trying to tell, most of the match. It didn't make sense, for somebody to attack another team, during the match, only for him, to deceive his partner, and align with the people, he just punch and kick, a few moments, earlier. The betrayal part wasn't well, choreograph. Despite that, the next match between NXT World Champion, Andrade "Cien" Almas facing number one challenger, Aleister Black was a lot better than their previous, one year-anniversary 'TakeOver' match in Orlando, FL. As least, this one had some build with Almas's manager, Zelina Vega being a thorn to Black's side, during the weeks before their encounter. I also dig that the fans honestly gave the competitors, the respect, they deserve here. It really surprise me, on how much, a year, can do, for a wrestler. This match turn them, into bigger superstars. However, the biggest highlight of the night, has to come from, the yearlong feud between ex-DIY partners, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in an unsanctioned match. Not only did this contest, had a wonderful build storyline, going into it, with Gargano fighting to get his job, back, after Ciampa cost it, in the previous TV tapings; but throughout the match, it had a masterpiece of story-telling and emotion. All the moves sets, really did make it, fun to watch; as these two, really had great chemistry in the ring. They really did steal the show. It's highly worth the five-star rating from wrestling insider, Dave Meltzer. It was pretty impressive stuff. Overall: 'NXT: TakeOver: New Orleans' is worth watching, time and time, again! It's indeed one of the greatest, NXT PPVs, shows of all time! So, grab some Bourbon and enjoyed! I highly recommend seeing this show, despite some flaws.

The Kiss (1896)

Not much to watch, but at least, this silent short film is accurate. The first kiss is indeed, always awkward. When Broadway sensations May Irwin and John Rice recreated their kiss from the hit play 'The Widow Jones', in front of a camera at Thomas Edison's Black Maria Studio. That footage directed by William Heise became a notorious special attention for many years. Now, some modern day viewers might be rolling their eye on the idea that this 18 second film clip was something truly special, back in the day, but it was. People in 1896 really did want to see it! Sometimes, they paid a ticket to watch it in groups, on a projector in a really cold or hot tent at the local public park. Other times, audiences went to stag parties to watch it, alone in a room on a Kinetoscope. Either way, Edison made money. It was the most popular short film, in Thomas Edison Vitascope library. It was so famous that it caused a scandalized uproar and occasioned disapproving newspaper editorials and calls for police action in many places where ever the footage was shown. It even got the Roman Catholic Church's attention, as the pope call for censorship and moral reform, when it comes to the film. It was that scandalous. You might be asking, why. It's just a harmless kiss. Well, it's because kissing in public at the time was viewed as a physical and mental disorder. It was disturbance that people often view, would bring moral chaos to marriages and sexual diseases to the common household. Such acts were forbidden & inappropriate, and if acted, could lead to prosecution. Prim and proper prudish society was really that strict. However, it wasn't only snobbish moral code culture that had a problem with the film. The movie also got in hot water with some nonconformist, free-spirit bohemian critics as well; as they found the two leads, physically-unattractive & lacking chemistry with each other. They didn't find the short film, cute or sexy. They found the public display of affection, a very disgusting piece of art, as the kiss didn't feel genuine. Still, the way John Rice prepares his moustache before the act is quite funny. So, at least, it had that, going for it. Regardless, the kiss does look fake. In response in that, Edison Studios & director, Edwin S. Porter remade the short clip for the general audience in March 9, 1900, with two more attractive younger, leading performers with on-screen chemistry. This time, they made the embrace seem more heart-warming by having them, seem playful and flirtatious cuddling, rather than 'forceful pull you in' nuzzling intimacy, like it seem in the original clip. From what I've gather, this short film was released without any controversy. It even please the church. I suppose as far as early silent era, short film, exclusively about two people kissing goes, the 1900 version is certainly better than the original movie. Still, I have to somewhat agree with some modern viewers, that both short films are not much to look. It's really not that romantic or entertaining as a popcorn flick, nor does it bring a good enough insight on how life is like, back then, as a hard-hitting documentary. In the end, the films falls into mediocracy. Films like 1899's British short silent comedy film, produced and directed by George Albert Smith, 'A Kiss in the Tunnel' are far superior; with its innovating ways of narrative editing. The act of splicing stock train footage with clips of two performers, Laura Bayley and the director, himself, kissing onboard was ground-breaking. Also the use of point-of-view (POV) shot from the "perspective" of a moving train was outstanding. Regardless, all this films deserve some praise, as they were generally considered to be among the first romantic films in movie history. All of them are remarkable. While, 1896's 'the Kiss' is understandably jumpy and scratch. I just surprise, a highly flammable nitrate film clip, this old, is still watchable. Most short-length footage from this era, were destroy by accident fires or on purpose, in order to make room for vault space, as short clips perceived as having little or no commercial value after the end of the silent era. There was no thought of ever saving these films. Lucky for us, 1896's 'the Kiss' is one of the films that continues to be shown. In 1999, the short was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. The original rare footage had a strong case of surviving for many years to come. Even with that, the copies of this short movie is easy to find. You should be able to catch this short on DVDs on a number of different anthologies of early films. If not, you can search for it on the internet. There is tons of footage of this short on YouTube, along. So, nothing really stopping you. It's the question, if you really want to watch this short film. While, 1896's 'the Kiss' isn't really entertaining. It's still, worth watching for anybody curious about the early days of film. So, check it out, if you really want to.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

It's time to engage & watch Star Trek: the Motionless Picture. Is it good? Not really, but it's also not the worst. Its story is kinda smart, but parts of it, are indeed dull. As the first installment in the 'Star Trek' film series, this sci fi movie directed by Robert Wise hasn't aged well. The story about the crew of the USS Enterprise having a close encounter with the space anomaly is not really that fresh. Elements of it has been seen before in the television series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry, who also served as its producer; such as September 29, 1967's 'Season 2, Episode 3: 'The Changeling', Oct. 20, 1967's 'Season 2, Episode 6: the Doomsday Weapon', Sept 22, 1967's 'Season 2, Episode 2: Who Mourns for Adonis' and September 22, 1966's 'Season 1, Episode 2: Where No Man Has Gone Before'. Also, the film seem somewhat recycled from 1976's unproduced film script 'God Thing' storyline. To add to that, it didn't help, as well, that the film's story & visuals also bother & mirror other complex experience sci-fi movies hits at the time, such as directors, Stanley Kubrick's 1968's '2001: A Space Odyssey' & Steven Spielberg's 1977's film, 'Close Encounter of the Third'. So the movie doesn't seem that unique. However, its story about meeting the creator is a lot better than some of the later films; such as 1989's 'Star Trek V: The Final Frontier'. Nevertheless, this film is not as entertaining as number 5. Don't get me wrong, the ideas for 'Star Trek: the Motion Picture' are interesting, even provocative, but it's not being told in an exciting way. The pacing for this movie is unbelievably slow as most of the runtime is spent with spacemen gawking over the view of a ship or a space cloud that looks like a giant vagina, then follow by a lot of space jargon about trying to mind meld with a living machine. We get it, the movie is secretly about procreation. Can we move the pace, along now!? The movie has way too many 'awe and wonder' shots. To top that off, the movie has a few blurry, experience shots that just didn't work. It seem a little, unfocused. As for the action scenes, those sequences are limited to a one goofy short scene; the infamous funny improperly calibrated warp speed scene. It come across, as hilarious to watch, rather than compelling. Still, as goofy as that petite action scene was, I have to admit; the somewhat rushed visual effects are somewhat impressive for the time. Sadly, like the story, all the matte painting, make up work, model work, and early computer graphic, hasn't aged well. So, modern viewers might find the effects, dated and fake-looking. No wonder, Paramount released the updated Director's Edition of the film in 2001. 90 new and redesigned computer-generated images were create, in order to modernization the film. For the most part, great care was taken with the effects. It really does meshed seamlessly with the old footage. In addition, the movie had a better cut. The edition runs 136 minutes, about four minutes longer than the original release and has special features such as the deleted scenes which had been part of the television cut, released in the early 1980s. Regardless, what version, you watch, the film still did make great use of unused sets, props, and effects from the unproduced TV show 'Star Trek: Phase II' & the original unfinished Star Trek movie 'Planet of the Titan'. I just wish, they kept the original costumes for the movie. Look, I know that the original multicolored uniforms were too garish, but the new costumes for this film are really bland and ugly looking with Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (DeForest Kelley) looking the worst. He looks like a moisture farmer going to the disco. It's horrified! Don't get me, start on the duty branches uniforms. They, no longer, stand out, much. Also, I find it, funny that the director for this film deemed the miniskirts worn by females in the original series would now be considered sexist, yet he put 'Star Trek: Phase II' actress, Persis Khambatta in a sexy short white night gown as Lieutenant Ilia. To add insult, they had Khambatta conversation like a young maiden sex robot, before and after, her character became literally an android probe for creepy actor, Stephen Collins's character, Willard Decker to trick to have intimate relations with. Talk about going backwards in progressive. Those romantic scenes are really hard to watch now; knowing Collin's sexual abuse allegations history. Despite that, he was alright in the acting department. As for the other acting, William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk come across, as a little bit annoying with his oddly time pauses. Also, his character, in this movie, come across as a supercilious crazy, grumpy old coot that really likes to endanger his crew, when in truth, they are more logical solutions to their problems. As for Commander Spock, I like the return of Leonard Nimoy's remoteness acting. Glad, he made the movie, despite first declining, over royalty issues. Why? Because the movie made great use of the conflict, Spock has, about purging all his human emotion, in order to become a better Vulcan. It was very compelling. Sadly the rest of the cast, doesn't get much screen time and character development as most of the time was left for the trippy visuals. Despite that, the music by composer Jerry Goldsmith gave emotion, where the human characters, couldn't. No wonder, why it was reused for the television show, 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. The theme song was beautiful to listen to. Sadly, while the music was reference time and time again, the theme of the movie was not. There were no reference of this film's ending, in anything future Star Trek related. It's like the producers of the shows were ashamed of this movie. Overall: While, the original show went where no man has gone before. This movie was little too familiar to stand out. In the end, it was a huge disappointment. It's a film, not really worth trekking for.

Mother! (2017)

Holy Mother of God! What a weird psychological movie! Watching this horror movie from director Darren Aronofsky on Mother's Day, is probably not the best thing to do! Without spoiling the movie, too much, it's no comfortable sit popcorn flick. It's more like a nauseating 'Doomsday' want to abort, kind of a film. It's gloomy, disturbing, and highly annoying. However, it's something, you should had expect by now; seeing how Aronofsky's movies has always been hard sit. Still, as dark as his 2000's film 'Requiem of a Dream' & 2008's masterpiece 'The Wrestler', were; it did had an overarching message about hope & some uplifting moments sprinkle throughout the film. This one, not so much. Without spoiling too much of this movie, Aronofsky had turned everything good about believing for better days into a negative. It come across, as very nihilism & way too unpleasant. It will certainly turn off, positive thinkers and sensitive religionist people. If that wasn't enough, the director also, has a pessimistic misanthropy view on humanity as a whole. Focusing way too much on humanity's depravity and abuse of the natural world. Because of that, this movie has barely any redeemable characters. Most of them, are very unlikable. So, it was really hard to care or invest in what happening in the movie. If that wasn't enough, the film is also a miscarriage of sophistical ways to use surrealism metaphors in a dream-like settling. Aronofsky's writing is way too on the nose for it. Not only that, but it's really not that hard to see, where the director was going for, when he dreamt up, this fever nightmare, one night and wrote it in five days. The story of an unnamed woman (Jennifer Lawrence)'s anthropophobia mental state is being tested when uninvited guests kept on, arriving at her house is obvious, a retelling of the Bible told from nature's feminine perspective. Even, having the events set in modern day, was very poor attempt of hiding that. There was nothing really smart, in the way, Aronofsky's metaphorical scarf was trying covering the religious environmental message. I guess, that why, Aronofsky gave up, half way & just expose everything to the masses. At certain parts, the filmmaker even spell it out for you, like hinting at the apocalypse toward the end with a throwaway line of dialogue or having obvious visual tipoffs as the unnamed writer/poet (Javier Bardem) rubbing ink on the forehead of his fans or showing the infamous baby eating scene. Aronofsky is treating his audience members as if they were simpletons who can't interpret, worth anything. Not only that, but Aronofsky couldn't stop his damn mouth, before the movie was released in press interviews. He pretty much spill all the beans about his film, before people saw it. Because of that, there wasn't really anything, too surprising in the flick for people. Anybody that read the bible, knows, how it would end. 'Mother' really does lacks subtlety and nuance. So, it came across, as very predictable for a film built as a mystery. The story doesn't stand out on its own. Despite that, with its mute color choices and low lightning, the movie does a good job on making certain visuals from cinematographer, Matthew Libatique seem haunting. Even the sparing use of CGI from Andrew Weisblum and his crew kinda works for that behalf. All of those filmmaking tools really does made the house, seem really creepy. Another thing that works was the use of close ups. It really gave the feel of anxious and claustrophobic for the viewer. Yet, it's could had been, better used, if Lawrence's character's reaction was a little more emotional driven, than bland confusing stares. It made the film seem more hilarious than scary. To add on that, Aronofsky's misdirection for the over the top, gimmicky, quick paced action really does ruin the slow gothic 'Lovecraftian' fear of the cosmic unknown. It also really desensitized the viewers from feeling, the pain from more ground issues, such as the atrocities that have been done in the name of religion. It was very disconnecting in every way, despite how well-acted, the performers were. No wonder, why this movie nearly bomb at the box office. It felt like absurd Freudian wet dream, too extreme & esoteric for mainstream audiences. While, personally, I cannot recommended seeing this movie. I know, that 'Mother' is indeed, better, suite for art house crowds. However, even with that; overall, the movie is not worth worshipping about. It's a bitch to sit through.

Andre the Giant (2018)

What a wonderful documentary for the 'Eight Wonder of the World!' Executively produced by Janine Marmot and Bill Simmons, the HBO documentary film about the life of one of pro wrestling's most legendary and mythical figure, Andre the Giant, was a huge success. For the most part, the story move from Andre's childhood, as Andre Roussimoff in rural France to his superstardom as Andre the Giant in the United States, to his eventual downfall, with ease. However, there were parts of the documentary directed by Jason Hehir that seem to drift off, a bit. It venture too much time, into establishing how promoter, Vince McMahon and his megastar, Hulk Hogan change the pro-wrestling business in the 1980s to the national level, for a little too long. It really did, hurt the pacing for the film. In short, the filmmakers should had shown, more on how Andre the Giant help usher that era, a little bit better. They really did, skip, a lot of very important events and dates in Andre's career, such as his role in promoting wrestling in one of its first major PPV super-show, by fighting professional boxer Chuck Wepner in an unscripted boxer-versus-wrestler fight in 1976 in Japan. Another is his role in 1985's 'WrestleMania' & his only World Championship win in 1988. You would think, those moments would be mention. Sadly, those examples and others, not mention was not in here. The movie also ventures too much in the familiar & well verse route of story beats, bringing nothing really new the table. Anybody that watch, any of the previous Andre the Giant's documentaries, such as 1999's "Andre: Larger than Life', might not find anything in this HBO special to be really that stand out worthy. However, that isn't the biggest problem of this film. Another problem with this documentary is that, not everything is as accurate as it should had been. The documentary is so whimsical, so ridiculous and so out-there subtly, it's really hard to tell, the different between fact & fiction. Everything is so blur. Don't get me wrong, that isn't always a bad thing. I didn't mind the film telling exaggerating tall-tales stories of Andre the Giant's larger than life, lifestyle, such as it relates to his drinking, his strength, & how tall, he really was. After all, it's pro-wrestling. There is hardly anything real about that. Although, I kinda wish the documentary wasn't walking a tightrope in terms of the standards of journalistic integrity. Certain claims such as Andre's disdain for certain wrestlers should be, presented with some accuracy. After all, it's pretty hard for the dead to defend themselves. I really have to doubt, that Andre really hated Big John Studd and Randy Savage in real-life. If he did, there is little research to back, that statement up, by the filmmakers. So, any claim like that, should be, taken with a grain of salt. Despite that, I did like the talking heads sequences with his family, friends, fellow wrestlers, historians, and celebs, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ric Flair, Robin Wright, Tim White, Billy Crystal and others. Vince McMahon's emotional breakdown on Andre's time in the WWF, was also a highlight. It's rare to see tears, come out from Vinnie Mac's face. He really did humanize the performer. I also dig the discussion about 1987's 'WrestleMania III' main event was choreographed, in order, to hide Andre's body limitations. However, I have to doubt, Hogan's claim that Andre the Giant refused to decide how to finish the match ahead of time & he was having doubt that Andre was going to put him over. Industry journalists such as Dave Meltzer and David Shoemaker says otherwise, outside the documentary, which they are feature, citing the fact that Andre had lose before, outside of WWE's historic canon & the fact that Andre the Giant was professional about doing the job. Regardless, the idea that they didn't have a finish to the match did built some suspense that was somewhat worthy to watch on the documentary even if it's hardly true; much like Andre retiring to his farm after leaving WWF, when in truth, Andre popped up on WCW's Clash of the Champions XX broadcast as a part of a celebration in honor of 20 years of professional wrestling on TBS. Nevertheless, what happen in his last days on Earth; in the end, Andre the Giant left a giant legacy, worth remembering. Overall: While, it's hard for any documentary to distill a man's life in 90 minutes. I think, this HBO special did a great job with the giant task on doing so. Because of that, this is a must watch for any pro-wresting fan. It's worth visiting.

Red Hot Riding Hood (1943)

'Red Hot Riding Hood' is howling good time! It's worth the watch! Released with the 1943's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie 'Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case', Frederick Bean Avery, better known as Tex Avery 1943's animation short 'Red Hot Riding Hood' is one of the most wacky cartoon ever. Without spoiling too much of it; the animation short is seduction, lovely, adventurous, yet also dangerous, furious, and violence. It's a cartoon of the extreme. A rare taboo beast, in the back in the days of the Hays Office Code. Although, there have been many semi-sexy adult- oriented animation adaptations of the classic fairy tale, 'Little Red Riding Hood', before this short, like Van Beuren Studios 1931's short, 'Red Riding Hood', Fleischer Studios 1931's 'Dizzy Red Riding Hood' & Warner Bros, 1937's 'Little Red Walking Hood', which Avery also produced before leaving for MGM. None of them, stands the test of time, like this classic 7 minute film about a socialite playboy, literal and figurative wolf (Voiced by Frank Graham) trying to woo the heart of a beautiful nightclub singer (Voiced by Sara Berner). The reason, why, is, the unique way, the fame animator, portray sex & lust. Avery's complex parodic style of humor is really fast-pace, mostly relied on sight gags, wild takes, continuous fourth-wall breaking & hysterical fast animation. Its high energy & outrageous over the top howling mad. A style of comedy that works for adolescence and adults. A huge attention grabber! No wonder, why it stood out even if some of the humor do fall flat, like the dated cigarette girl, joke. I just glad, it's not really the slow burn, happy go lucky ground, toddler cartoons that was more common at the time. That would had been highly boring. Thank goodness, Avery's humor and perfect comical timing set the new tone of well-rounded comedy that is still used today by animators & filmmakers, alike. There is no better, example of that, than the hybrid films of 1994's 'The Mask' & 1988's 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' whom directors, were highly influence by Avery's works. However, there are some flaws in this animation short. One is the musical dance number. While, I did find, 'Miss Hood', attractive as hell, her singing voice provide by sultry singer Connie Russell, did not match with her normal voice, done by Sara Berner. It was very pitchy and off-key. Very jarring. Not only that but the 1941's song 'Oh Daddy' by Bobby Troup that they play in the background, were not the best choice for the film, as it barely relate to the piece. If anything, 1925's 'How Could Red Riding Hood (Have Been So Very Good)?', written by A.P. Randolph, suite the movie, better, even if that song is kinda banned from the public (except in instrumental versions), due to possible sexual connotations at the time. As for the sexual visuals; while, it's true that Miss Hood is portray as a sex object in the film. It's still nice to see, the woman here, is not portray as victim or weak. If anything, the way, she says 'no' and smash the wolf with a lamp, was very powering for the women at the time. As for the wolf, unwanted lust. It's not really that bad. It's pretty tame, compare to today's standards of cartoony versions of horny jerkoffs. Still, it did rub the wrong way with the Hays Code, at the time, to the point that MGM release a censor version, where the wolf doesn't react in highly cartoony wild way to Red's dancing. Thank goodness, an army officer at Washington, D.C, spoke out, against it, as he found that type of censorship, unnecessary, and asked Louis B. Mayer for uncut ones to show to military audiences overseas in World War II. However, the film's original conclusion with the shotgun wedding was sadly, not as lucky. It was never shown to the public. The same, with the other, alternate endings; in fear of the film promoting bestiality between a woman and a wolf. Instead, the movie went with the suicide angle; which today is pretty hard to watch. Honestly, if I had a choice on how the movie should end. I would had choose, seeing the grandma chasing the wolf, around & the black circle coming in, than the others. At least, that ending would been, somewhat tasteful. Despite that, the film is one of Avery's most famous cartoons, to the point that, two other sequels shorts were made: 1945's 'Swing Shift Cinderella' & 1949's 'Little Rural Riding Hood'. However, sadly, this cartoon, along with all other subsequent cartoons featuring these trios, was initially banned from television, judged as being too provocative. Only, recently, it just been release, online. Still, they are often, hard to find, even in the age of YouTube. As for DVDs copies. They are also very rare. Hopefully, one day, the short would be, a little more available to the public. Overall: While, this short is not really suitable for small children. It's still a nice animated film from Tex Avery. 'Red Hot Riding Hood' is a shining example of some of the best, the golden age of animation can bring to the table. It really did strike, when the iron was red hot. What a hoot!

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War is a Comic Book Triumph. Everything nearly assembled flawlessly. Ever since Walt Disney Company purchase Marvel Studios in 2009; they have been on a blockbuster roll, with their comic book movies. Their Cinematic Universe lead by producer, Kevin Feige has introduces countless amounts of superheroes and their stories to vary amounts of success. In return, every standalone & 'Avengers' assemble movie, the studio had made, has been built up to lead up to an all-encompassing climatic arch, in which big villain, Thanos (Motion Capture & Voice Acting by Josh Brolin) will one day, come to control the universe, through the use of six powerful infinity stones. Most of those films in their Phrase One & Two, kinda work, as they help push the apocalypse doom subplot, in a somewhat foreshadowing constant rate. However somewhere, in Marvel Studios Phrase 3 film campaign, that story thread began to lose some ground, as more popular & recent Marvel Comic story elements were put in the foreground like 'Civil War' & 'World War Hulk'. Because of that, it really felt, like Thanos threats of worlds domination storyline was not only coming at snail pace, but simply, delay, more and more, in order to milk more cash out of establish standalone films. Not only, was this decision, causing, doubt that this assemble movie would ever get release, but it was also, making people, wonder, if the film can be possible to be made. Finally, in 2017, we got our answer, as one of the biggest & the most ambitious film projects ever undertaken start to take shape with screenwriter, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors, Anthony & Joe Russo with their crew on hand, shooting back to back with a direct sequel. In 2018, on the ten year anniversary of the Studios first cinematic universe movie 2008's 'Iron Man', 'Avenger: Infinity War' was finally released to the public. Without spoiling the 19th overall film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, too much, it did live up to the hype as one of the best entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. It was somewhat accurate to the first half of the 'Infinity Gauntlet' comic book story, written by Jim Starlin, minus the absence of some key characters, like Adam Warlock, Silver Surfer and Mistress Death. Hopefully, they are in 2019 sequel. As for length. For 3 hour film, it was also surprisingly, well-paced. However, there were some really confusing exposition dump parts in the film that seem really odd. It seem like the movie cut a lot of sequences. One of them, involving the Nova Corp & the Power Stone, and the other, concerning the Soul Stone & Thanos's daughters. This also, includes the after credit ending, with the hints to Captain Marvel. Those parts really did seem like to come out of left field. Despite that, while, the movie does jump around, a lot; every scene was a very heart pounding experience built on many amazing heroic characters having to deal with such devastating stakes, in their own unique ways. Surprisingly, the movie gave, enough screen time to, nearly all the marvel characters, without, turning into a giant mess of a film. It's also truly unique, in how well, the writers, fully introduced the villain with all the heroic characters, having to deal with him, one way or another. The screenwriters really did flesh out, Thanos from a cartoony over the top, out there simpleton baddie, into a believable down to earth, well verse, complex nemesis through his fatherhood subplot. Not only that, but Brolin's acting is so commanding, that he really seem like a serious threat with his voice. It was a huge improvement, since his last appearance. He's the best Marvel villain, yet. Even as a special effect character, Thanos kinda moves as if he's really there. The only scene, that kinda look fake with him, was, in the beginning, when he was choking out, a character. As for the good guys, the CGI suits on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) & Spiderman (Tom Holland) could had look a little more realistic. It was given off, a 2011's 'Green Lantern' vibe. Other than that, all the action scenes with them, and the other CGI characters such as Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) & Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper) were compelling enough to overlook the CGI spot fest. As for full make up performers like Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillian (Nebula) and Zoe Saldana (Gamora). They did well in their scenes. As for Paul Bettany's acting was alright as Vision, but his makeup, was still a bit off. As for live action performers such as Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) & Starlord (Chris Pratt) and others. Every performer in this movie did a great job in their action scene & their acting. Even, the Stan Lee & Peter Dinklage cameo was great. I have no complains about that. As for the humor, it was fine. Lots of laugh out loud moments for a surprisingly dark film. As for the depressing bittersweet ending. I love it! While, a lot of diehard fans and young children might find, this climax to be upsetting. Just note, to take it, with a grain of salt. It's a comic book movie. There is always, going to be some kind of McGuffin or Ex Machina to bring them back. I just glad, Disney took the risk, rarely than play it safe. It was broad to subvert expectations. Overall: The movie was an exceptional achievement that somehow leaves you both fully satisfied and desperate for more. In the end, 'Avengers: Infinity War' ranks among the best adventures, we've seen yet from this stellar franchise. I can't wait for the next movie. I highly recommended seeing this.

Child's Play 3 (1991)

Is 'Child's Play 3' worth playing? To put it kindly, not really. Chucky in this movie is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He could had been better used. Under pressure from Universal Pictures, both screenwriter Don Mancini & director Jack Bender didn't have the time to invest much on the development of the story for the third film in the series. Hence, why this picture also known as 'Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking', was released only nine months after 1990's 'Child's Play 2' & underperform at the box office. Nevertheless, the story, they did choose for this horror film, was not that bad. The idea that Andy Barclay, now played by Justin Whalin being sent to military school and Chucky, the killer doll (Voiced by Brad Dourif) going on a rampage there, was a good idea. It just fell flat. The story had potential. It really could had taken, a satire good look, into the claim that violent and aggressive toys are grooming children into becoming sadistic soldiers, much like 1992's 'Toys' & 1998's 'Small Soldiers' were trying to do. However, the story & location wasn't well utilize. The military school didn't seem, believable, with the armory being unguarded and buzz cuts being quite long. So, the story settling came across, as quite fake. Not only that, but the film is so badly pace, that, some audiences felt like they were trick, into, watching a different film. "Child Play 3' spend too much, time on Andy doing random things at military school like dealing with bullies like Lieutenant Colonel Brett C. Shelton (Travis Fine) & falling in love with a female student Kristen De Silva (Perrey Reeves) away from Chucky that it felt like a annoying coming to age teen drama show, than a cheesy horror movie. It get worst, as most of Chucky interactions isn't with the school, at all; as most of the slayings, happens, either at a toy owner's penthouse, a garbage truck, or at a carnival with different characters. Honestly, for most of the film, he doesn't even target Andy at all. Instead, he go after, a new character named Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers), based off an assumption that he can transform, his soul into his body; despite the fact that the boy wasn't the first person that he reveal his possession to. If anything, in this movie, Charles should had been, targeting Mr. Sullivan (Peter Haskell), since, first off, he is adult with power to resurrect his body, multiples times, despite the dangers. Second off, he was the first one to see Charles in his new doll form in this film. Honestly, if Charles was thinking; he would had skip the voodoo body transfer act, since it's nearly meaningless, and just force Sullivan, upgrade his doll body to adult size. At least, he would, have, had, a figure to work it. After all, a small kid's body isn't much of an upgrade from a doll-size body. Instead, Chucky burns those bridges, like a dumbass. It really does seem like he get dumber with each sequel. Also, what is with Chucky, always wasting time? Does he, not know the concept of time management? The movie seems to be really running out of good ideas, on why Chucky is always playing the doll ruse, rather than committing to do the voodoo body transfer act. The whole trying to do the ritual really getting overplayed. Regardless of that, one thing that didn't get old, was the doll's persona with Brad always doing a good job, voice acting. However, lot of dumb silly puns, and gimmicky death jokes in 'Child Play 3' were not that funny. As for the action scenes with Chucky. I kinda like the war game moments and the climatic haunted house scene with the dangerous props like the open fan and really sharp scythe. As for the rest of the movie's kills; they were highly disappointing. The gore effects were very limited, due to the high budget of making the puppet of Chucky look believable. Because of that, much of the murders, in the film, were done off-screen or in a bloodless matter. In other cases, the effects were, clearly forgotten in continuous shots, such as the cut Achilles tendon and Chucky's stab wounds. As for the effects to make Chucky look real. While, highly outdated by today's standard, they were pretty good for the time. As for the supporting cast. I really didn't like, any of them. They were either, playing their roles, too, over the top or really, really bland. Still, I like Justin Whalin's acting, enough, to have him over original Andy actor, Alex Vincent, any day. Vincent was just boring. Nevertheless, the bitter ending with Andy is such a downer. I kinda wish actress, Catherine Hicks as the mom, stay with the series. Better yet, Christine Elise as Kyle, Andy's foster sister from the second movie. Their presence really could had made this film, so much better. As for the film being notorious in the United Kingdom, due to the idea that it inspired the tragic, real-life murder of James Bulger & Suzanne Capper. I found it to be, a lot of crap, when researching the cases. Those murderers never even heard of this movie. Blaming movies for incite violence seem a bit one sided argument, anyways. After all, in real-life, anything in the world can cause a trouble person to act out, violently. In the end, that's why we have a rating system. This movie wasn't made for everybody. Overall: 'Child Play's 3' was a huge disappointment. While, the original movie is also a bit over the top, corny, and silly. It's one of my favorite horror movies of all time. It had some great suspense. I wouldn't say the same for the 'Child Play' sequels. It's just not that fun to play around after knowing that Chucky is alive. No wonder, why these movies are buried in the bottom of the toy box. They're only good for a one time watch.

Operation: Desert Stormy (2007)

Like any other type of storm. This sex comedy kinda blows. At least, it wasn't a total disaster. With the recent news of full-fledged scandal, between President Donald Trump & porn star, Stephanie Clifford AKA Stormy Daniels on an alleged relationship back in 2007 hitting the mainstream media; in which, the adult actress was paid hush money to keep silent. I think it's a good time to check out, one of her, more infamous movies before it get buried & lost in the sand of time, due to corporate censorship. Knowing IMDB, it probably will, in the name for the 'safety' of the people. They ain't really fond of showcasing pornography movies on their site. Anyways, produced by Wicked Pictures & directed by Stormy Daniels, herself; 'Operation: Desert Stormy' tells the story of an inept couple: secretary, Rachel (Stormy Daniels) & her secret agent husband, George (Steven St. Croix) having to save an top agent, X (Randy Spears), whom they mistake, has been kidnapped by notorious international Middle Eastern terrorist, Hussein (Ron Jeremy) on his quest to wipe the United States with a nuclear mission. Without spoiling this porno flick, too much, while a lot of critics, have point out, how similar this X-Rated spy genre film is to a 007 picture, due to the overuse of film tropes like secret agent gadgets & sexy-silhouette opening credit intro. I found the film to be, more comparable to a James Cameron's 1994 'True Lies' movie parody than the latter: due to the fact that the porno mostly deals with an unhappy couple searching adventure to save their marriage; while trying to stop some offensive caricatured Middle Eastern terrorists. Not only that, but the film includes a ballroom tango dance sequence with 'Por Una Cabeza' playing in the background. If that doesn't spell out 'True Lies', then I guess, nothing will. Regardless, I have to give some credit to this porno. Instead of making a shot by shot remake of that mainstream spy film, which other flicks like this, might do. This film also, written by Stormy Daniels makes a strong effort, in branding out on its own. It wasn't a total knock off, by any means. It did try to do, something unique by having long-drawn out sub plots of supporting characters. However, none of them, were any good. I found the scenes with the two, fabulous gay-looking unrealistic British field agents, Agent Jacks (Marcus London) & Agent Watson (Tony DeSergio)'s misadventures in freeing the concubines viva through orgy; misguide, gross & unfunny filler. The same, can be, said, with all the sex scenes, involved the clumsy terrorists and the harlots. None of them were even needed. It should had been cut, like the Nicole Sheridan & Derrick Pierce delete scene. It didn't affect anything with the main plot. Plus, I really don't like seeing an overweight older hairy man jerking off, to two sex-slaves going at it. Together, all of those raunchy scenes make me, want to vomit. Thank goodness, not all the sex scenes are like that. Some of them, are kinda hot. The opening dream sequence between Daniels & Spears was attracting to watch, even if some shots of them, in the dark, was too pitch black to see. At least, those scenes were lovely. As for the other sections. I found, Spears's scene with Kaylani Lei to be nice. Short and brief. It didn't drag, too long, like the other sex sequences. As for the climatic ending scene with Daniels & Croix, finally going at it. It was a bit disappointing. Don't get me wrong, both are superhot, even with Daniels's obvious fake-looking breasts. It just odd that Daniels didn't allow Rachel's husband to finish his job in her mouth like the dream sequence with Agent X. The film was really building up to the idea that they are finally, back in love with each other. I guess, in real-life, Croix and Daniels weren't as familiar with each other's bodies, as their counterparts. Honestly, there is a part of me, that wish, Rachel & George didn't end up, together. There seems to be more chemistry connection with the tech scientist, Amy (Jenna Haze) & George than the main couple, even if the square effects of the virtual sex sequence was somewhat annoying to look at. Plus, I know, the movie is trying to give cheap laughs, but all those scenes with Rachel's tazing George is borderline, domestic abuse. I wouldn't have, taken that. Regardless, Rachel is somewhat of a likeable character and Daniels does alright job, acting. I just wish, the movie would cut down on her 'spoil brat' attitude. It wasn't really funny. Her comedic scenes with the training montage with music that plays eerily similar to 'Eye of the Tiger', Mutt the Bounty Hunter parody and the 'Austin Power 2' style tent casting shadow scene was cringe-worthy. As for the husband's character, Croix is by far, the best actor, in this movie. He made me, laugh so much, with his facial expression and body language. As for supporting performers, they were a mixed bag when it came to jokes. As for the action scenes. They were a hit and miss, as well. Still, it was kinda cool to see a sky-diving scene, even if it was pretty random. Nevertheless, the special effects for the movie, needed a little more work. The CGI warhead was bit awkward looking, along with the California location, posing as the Middle East. Regardless, it was cool to see, the movie have the budget to rent out a camel. It was also nice to see that movie pack a lot of bonus scenes and extra features in the DVD. So, that's awesome. However, overall: This porno is not as good as the other critics on this site, make it out to be. In the end, it's just mediocre. As least, this storm wasn't that bad. It's not a tropical depression like its 2009's sequel. Now, that was hailstorm! Can't recommend seeing that. Check this, instead.

Ready Player One (2018)

It's time to level up and dive into Steven Spielberg's visually breathtaking pop culture Easter egg hunt 'Ready Player One'! Is this movie worth playing? Somewhat. It's fun. Set in the world of 2045, this Warner Bros film based off, author Ernest Cline's 2011's bestseller YA novel of the same name; tells the story of Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) on his dangerous quest to find one of the three hidden keys that brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance) has buried in his expansive virtual reality universe; 'the OASIS', the discovery of which will lead the winner to inherit the game creator's fortune & control of his company. Without spoiling the movie, too much, there are not a lot of filmmakers out there that could had adapted this book into film. None of them has the vast assemble of contacts throughout Hollywood, in order to convince other studios to lend out their IPS (intellectual property) for the piece, as Steven Spielberg has. He also knows how to bring out the best performances both live action and though, character animations with nearly everything being spot on, strong. He did that before in 1988's 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'. Not only that, but the book film neatly encapsulates Spielberg's biggest strengths, by taking the world's obsession with the unstoppable push of CGI technology, layered with clever inside jokes & nostalgia driven- pop cultural references and combine them up into a sci fi genre that can work, both as a mystery & adventure with its treasure hunting premise and you got yourself, nearly a match made in heaven without it turning into controversial vanity project. However, there were somethings in this adaptation that could had done a little bit better, such as adjusting the exposition narrative into more of a 'show don't tell' type story. All the slog info dump in the beginning, still felt like reading a book, than a movie. Another thing, unlike the book, the film is so enamored with the world of Oasis that it doesn't spend as much time fleshing out the real-world of 2045. Where is all the mentions of environmental destruction, overpopulation, and economic meltdown from the book? Isn't it weird to see sequences outside the 'stacks', with Columbus, OH still looking pretty well kept for a city that supposed to be, in the brick of collapse. Also, I never got the idea that the world is horrible, if everybody is able to connect to the 'OASIS'. The background visuals for this film seem underdeveloped, much like most the character's backstories, besides Halliday. There's not a lot of remarkable amount of depth & development with them. Wade honestly felt like such a self-insert/wish fulfilment type character. He has literally little flaws here, but the will to fall in love. At least, in the original, he had learn to overcome greed, devastation and gluttony. In the film, his obsession with the 'OASIS' isn't healthy, as his knowledge of the creator seen too all-consuming and come across, as just unrealistic. Tye's character wasn't really that interesting, despite his acting being alright. Supporting characters like Art3mis AKA Samantha Cooke (Olivia Cooke) had potential to be a great character with her cool rebellion backstory, as well. Yet, in the end, she was ultimately reduced to a love interest. It was a bit disappointing. Nothing in the film is particularly emotional. I expected more of a moral message with their relationship. Still Olivia Cooke did alright job. The same can be said, with the others side-performers. I just wish, their emotional scenes weren't cut out of the film. Scenes like where a character is toss out of a building and another character family member having to hide her race through an avatar were very powerful in the book. Not having it, here, was a big mistake. Another deviate from the novel, I hate, was having everybody in one place. Isn't 'OASIS' supposed to worldwide network?! Where is the scenes all over the world? The lack of scope come across as so underwhelming. As for the action scenes. Some segments like the Manhattan Sky-line car race & the climactic battle scenes are visually inducing seizure due to over sensory. While others, like virtual version of 1980's Stanley Kubrick's horror movie, 'The Shining' are brilliantly staged. Either way, all the action scenes are lot better than the book. The movie takes away the numerous trials to unlock multiple gates with keys: instead focusing on winning the key as the challenge. It made the plot move faster, while, keeping the mystery, complex, and worth trying to solve. However, I didn't like how characters would magically whip some convenient Deus Ex Machina like obscure unexplained knowledge or unestablished weapons in their arsenal. Look, as much as I dig the premise of a treasure hunt inside a gigantic immersive online environment, very much; the idea of the people of 2045, being fixated on cultural references, over 50 years ago is bit jarring. Online culture just doesn't work that way. People like novelty. The film should had create more recent fictional in-universe pop-culture references to work with. You know, works from 2020-2045. After all, nostalgia can only go so far, before people forget or become unaware, of past works. A good example is how you don't see many silent era film stars as internet memes, these days. It's just unlikely going to happen. The movie push its pop-culture references too hard to the point that it reach insanity & oversaturated. It come across obnoxious, too reminiscence and annoying at times. It's hard to keep up. Despite that, the movie the movie is cheeky & witty enough, on its own to keep viewers, interested. However, some of the jokes might fall flat, because how dated, they quickly can become. At least, the movie doesn't cringe-worthy creepy jokes about masturbating & stalking like the book has. As for the pacing. The film is better, but both share the choppy rushed ending. Regardless of that, this movie is still worth plugging into, just for the nostalgia trip factor, even if the book both celebrates and critiques online culture, better. It's a film, still worth checking out.

The Imposter (2012)

Something was indeed missing. 'The Imposter' is a good documentary that could had been great. How well do you know your loved ones? If you were separated for several years, would you recognize them instantly? In the case of the Barclay family, they thought, they knew their own missing child, Nicolas, only to find out that that something about his return is not quite right. Without spoiling too much of the twist for you in this review; I felt that 'the Imposter' could had done the same. Not spoil it all for the audience. They should had left some suspense about the return of so-called 'Nicolas'. However, the documentary directed by Bart Layton felt to spill all the beans about the audacious fraud, a little too early for my taste. 3 minutes in. It ruin any build any suspense that this 'Nicolas', was not the real Nicolas. Instead, the central focus of the documentary, is if the family knew, deep down that the person that they brought back to their home, was not their son, or not? After all, how in the world, did this family not recognize that the person portraying the Texan native, had a thin French accent, and didn't have any of the right facial features of the boy, but of, an adult man!? Even, the family doctor did not think the child was Nicolas. It seems so obvious! Yet, the family accept this person into their home. Are they that clueless or were they were so grief-stricken that they willing to take anybody to replace him? Or- as the imposter, Frédéric Bourdin alleges himself, to hide the fact that the family murder the boy. These suspicions questions about the family come to dominate, most of the film; as the documentary really does want you to suspect them, despite the police reports, saying the family was not in fault of Nicolas disappearance. This force direction by Layton really does seem its walking a tightrope in terms of the ethical standards when it comes to journalism. Why? The documentary's direction felt like an all over the place unfocused scapegoat interrogation type piece, rather than a keen open discussion on how the imposter was able to nearly get away with his crimes. Don't get me wrong, maybe, the family shouldn't come out of this, without some criticized. After all, following the boy's disappearance, the police were called to their home on multiple occasions. Most of the calls were due to fights between the parents, whose relationship grew volatile to the stress of looking for Nicholas. Regardless of that, the twists and turns through exploitative dramatization should focus on the imposter, rather than the family. After all, the movie barely scratch the surface on who Borden, truly is. Much of his mysterious past & his identity crimes after the Barclay case, remain untold. The film doesn't even show how he supposedly finally found love & happiness through other means, like falling in love with a woman and raising kids. I guess the film doesn't want us to feel too sympathy to this creepy guy. No wonder, why Borden hate this movie. As for the documentary treatment of the law enforcements in Spain & United States who mistake Borden for Nicolas. The officials also felt like they not accurately portrayed. Nearly all their quotes is taken out of context, quote-mined, or deceptively edited, in order to make them, look more clueless than they were, in real-life. It's highly extremely manipulative and kinda off-putting. Look, I get that, the film is about deception and self-deception. So, I get, where Layton was going for, with pulling the viewer, into the feeling of being fool by an unreliable narrator. However, there is no place for gimmicks like that. This isn't a fictional retelling like 2010's crime drama movie, the Chameleon'. This is a documentary film. Thus, it is expected to adhere to reasonable standards of journalistic integrity by presenting facts & research to back, certain claims up, in order to allowed people to decide for themselves. Despite that, the movie is well-shot. Every subject in the story is shot in a normal interview style, but looking off frame at somebody else. Except for the imposter, who is up to our face! Close up. Blur! With his sociopath's charm, Bourdin is utterly creepy. Seeing his words come from the lookalike actor, Adam O'Brian playing him in a reenactment was equally as disturbing. Those vocal crossovers parts are well done. The sequences including the slow-motion, dropped-out sound & time-lapse photography technique are also very smooth. Even the music by composer, Anne Nikitin & the London Symphony Orchestra work well with the piece. It capture the scope of the drama. Overall: If recommending this movie to somebody, could had help find Nicolas Barclay. I gladly promote it, even if I felt this documentary could had been a little bit better. As of this date, he still missing. It's been many years since his disappearance. I hope, that he is found alive, one day. Until then, films like this, will have to continue to shine, in order to keep the case active. While, 'the Imposter' has many flaws, this film is still worth searching for. I highly recommended seeing it.

You Nazty Spy! (1940)

Wait a minute!? You haven't yet saw this short film. Why, I oughta get you, a copy! It's a fun romp. Although, the Nazis Party has been mock in plays before World War II, including, author, George Bernard Shaw's 1936 play 'Geneva' & foreign films like Fritz Lang's German film, 1933's 'The Testament of Dr. Mabuse'. In the United States, films satirizing Adolf Hitler was hard to come by. After all, the Hays code at the time, discouraged or prohibited many types of political and satirical messages in films in fear of violations, boycotts and fines. Not only that, but the codes has require filmmakers to portray the history and prominent people of other countries "fairly". Because of this & the isolationist sentiment of the United States at the time, it prevent many ideas like silent era comedian, Charlie Chaplin mocking the Nazis from ever, getting greenlighted. That was until Warner Bros took a risk by producing 1939's 'Confessions of a Nazi Spy', a straight from the headlines crime film about the FBI unearthed and prosecuted a Nazi spy ring in 1938. Seeing how a serious drama movie produce by a major studio was able to get away with it. This gave Chaplin, the confidence to start filming 'The Great Dictator', knowing full well, a comedy movie about the Third Reich could be released under his distributed company, United Artists. Nevertheless, it was Columbia Pictures who made the first move with the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard) short "You Nazty Spy!' Without spoiling the movie, too much, nobody in Hollywood at the time, saw this coming. Even some top heads in Columbia Pictures like Harry Cohn didn't know, what they were getting their hands into. Thinking nothing of it. They thought, they were getting their hands on, another silly romp, in the same vein as Marx Brothers 1933's film 'Duck Soup', with their oncoming fictional slapstick comedy short about an unlikeable idiot being appointed leader of the small, bankrupt country. To their surprise, not only, did the Three Stooges verge off, a bit of their normally physical farce and slapstick routine by indulging in a deliberately formless, non-sequitur style of verbal humor written by screenwriters, Felix Adler and Clyde Bruckman; but also like Chaplin, the Three Stooges, were from Jewish ancestry, and really wanted to stick it to Hitler; by making fun of him. It became clear as the film went on, that the Stooges were not only satirize Nazi Germany, but also helping publicize the Nazi threat to the US audience with their anti-fascist message about them, wanting to conquer other lands. Instead of punishing the Three Stooges, which would be highly unpopular, due to the fact that they were one of the highest grossing acts within the company. Columbia Pictures chose to release the film as it is, even if it had scenes involving occultism and overt sexual references. The risk was successful as the short film was a box office hit. So popular, that the administrator of the Hays Code had to choose to lift some of the film restrictions. All of this, making it easy for other films like 'Great Dictator' to follow. While, the Three Stooges indeed beat Chaplin to the punch, releasing their film, 9 months before his. Still, Chaplin's film is by far, the most superior version of two. After all, in Chaplin's film, not only, does he performs as a funny clueless evil 'Adolf Hitler' type of villain, but he's also plays the likeable hero as the naïve Jewish barber who trying to talk about loving your neighbor and having humanity. In 'You Natzy Spy!", we the audience don't even get that. This movie lacks that driven emotional moral code. There is no powerful speech about being good. There isn't even any decent people in this film. The Stooges's characters in this film, are very unlikable, power-hungry, womanizing, psychopaths who commits murder. If they weren't so funny, this movie would had been so hard to watch. Even the heroine, Mattie Herring (Lorna Gray) is pretty mess up; only trying overthrow the Stooges's characters, in order to gain money & power. What a selfish person! Despite that, all of them, give thoroughly impressive performances. As for the jokes. It's a hit and miss. Some of them, are thought-provoking and well-played like the speech to the masses & map sequence. The Stalin line made me giggle. Others come across, as too childish like the golf ball & magic 8 ball gags. As for the visuals. It was a mixed bag for me, as well. The stock footage with the crowd & the long shot with the map was kinda jarring. Nevertheless, the rest of the film was alright, both in the black and white original and the color version. As for the 1941 sequel, 'I'll Never Heil Again'. It also worth viewing. You will find yourself, laughing out loud. Overall: While, this short is not as sophistical & clever as other films from that era, like 1940's 'The Great Dictator', 1942's 'To be or Not to Be' or 1943's 'Der Fuehrer's Face". It's soitenly, still worth a watch. So check it out!

Kidnapped for Christ (2014)

OMG! What a disturbing documentary! Christian therapy institutions like this, should be shut down! It's hell-like! Thank God! That somebody finally shine some light into how dark & disturbing, some of these faith-based reform centers can be. It's extreme evangelicalism at its very worst. Directed by a then- young evangelical filmmaker, Kate Logan; the 2014's documentary film set in 2006, takes an inside look at one of these institution; where kids are removed from their homes & forced to live in isolation in a foreign country, with little to no connect with concerned friends & relatives, doing hard labor, while also being subjected to a range of abuses, both physical and emotional. It's a very insightful enlightening documentary. However, there were somethings that could had made the film, a little better to watch. One of them, is having equal amount of experiences storytelling. I felt that, one of the subjects, David Wernsman's story, really did overshadow, the other two, Tai Mathieu, and Angie Blattner. Don't get me wrong, Wernsman's struggles in the rehab center was indeed, one of the most captivating parts of the documentary; but, if you're going to focus on the message about all the different types of negative experiences, an controversial Christian behavior modification program like 'Escuela Caribe' in the Dominican Republic has on people. Maybe, you shouldn't be, focusing most of your time on one person. That was one of the flaws of the documentary. Because of that, the film's core arguments & message does sound a little too repetitive & vague at times. This sucks, because the film could had gone into the really harsh nitty gritty allegations, made by other people against the center; such as death threats, sexually assault, & most of all, the unsafe working conditions that led to one death. It really could had gone deep, but instead, the film only cover the surface level of abuse. Sadly, this is not enough, to gain attention in the public & politic circles. A film like this, needs more victims like Julia Scheeres & Deirdre Sugiuchi to speak out about centers like this, to truly, make a different. Not only that, but more valid talking heads to endorse these claims. Because of the lack of that, these allegations will remain merely assertion, until they can finally be proved true. Sadly, it might takes another 'Jonestown' for any big reform to happen to these institutions. Another thing that could had, made this movie, even better, was giving more time on explaining how facilities like 'Escuela Caribe', were able to get, rich Evangelists parents to fly their children to outside countries like Dominican Republic, in hope that faith and discipline would cure & purge their sons and daughters of "ungodly" influences. After all, it was pretty jarring to hear stories of complete strangers being able to take children, oversea, by themselves, with only the parent's blessing. It really seen, like there was more to that story that the film wasn't telling us. It would had been nice to see, one of the parents being interview for this documentary to tell, their side of the story to see if they were aware of the center's questionable practices and motives. Sadly, we didn't get that. Instead, 2014's 'Kidnapped for Christ' made the parents of the subjects seem like unseen villains. Despite that, I did like how director, Kate Logan injected herself into her own film, as she played a vital part in helping one student try to escape. Seeing her, challenge her own faith, and developed a character arch from naïve religionist filmmaker into an activist for human rights was one of the highlight of the film. The film is so much more powerful with her, being there. However, it came with a cost, as the movie came across as somewhat biased; which happens to be, somewhat true. While, the documentary tries to be fair to a certain extent; allowing the faculty staff ample amount of time to tell their side of the story, through interviews. It's clear by the end, that the sheer weights of inhumane allegations against them, was too much, for Logan is play nice. After all, none of the living subjects, feature in the film, really deserve this type of punishment. Many of them, have never been in a juvenile delinquency center or commit a major crime. In the case of the three main subjects; their cases ranges from panic attacks, homosexual and physical childhood trauma. It's a clear conclusion that the folks in 'Escuela Caribe' had no clue, how to handle them. Even if, Logan was still trying to make a heartwarming film, it was nearly impossible for the faculty to be shown in a good light. The way, they ran that place was far worse than any modern day military boot camp. No wonder, why people found this documentary, upsetting. The things, they do in god's name is truly disgusting. The sheer fact that they drive most people away from religion is telling you, that they didn't do a good job. In the end, they close down and reopen under a different name 'Crosswinds'. Hopefully, they will shut down for good, one day. Overall: I have to say, educated yourself by watching this documentary! Learn how to be a good parent by trying to understand, what they're going through. Be aware, of their feelings. That's my advice. Don't ever sent your children, away to therapy institutions like this! Places like 'Escuela Caribe' can go to hell!

Judwaa 2 (2017)

Please, don't activate in your DVD Player! It wasn't wonderful! No twin magic can save this Bollywood film. This movie was awful! Identical twins has always show up far more frequently in movies than fraternal. The reasons, why, identical twins are so popular in cinema, is because how visually striking, they are. They add symmetry, symbolism and sometimes comedic moments to any story. However, if not use right, they come across, unoriginal and gimmicky. "Judwaa 2" is one such example. Loosely based on the Jackie Chan's Hong Kong action film 1992's 'Twin Dragons'. The sequel/reboot directed by David Dhawan follows the same tiresome formula of Dhawan's original movie, 1997's 'Judwaa'; which in turn is a remake of the 1994's Telugu film, 'Hello Brother'; by having two brothers, rowdy, Raj and nerdy, Prem Malhotra (Varun Dhawan in a dual role) find each other in a series of badly pace & edited, comedy of errors & sometimes unrelated filler hijinks, after being separated at birth, when an international crime had occurred. Along with over the top & unrealistic, illogical unbelievable coincidences like a loose soccer ball hitting an amnesiac, four twins with all the same names, meeting at the same time at a hotel or an oddly time, fist fight at a very well-known ivy college, it also comes the same type of dumb crass humor & unfunny slapstick that the original film, had; out of place, musical numbers, and awkward fake-looking slow motion, wire work, action scenes with cartoony sound effects like the offensive fight in Lord Ganesha's temple that can make any audience member, cringe in pain. If that wasn't enough, the film also has a jarring off and on simultaneously dual body-reflex that the twins can share whenever the script, ask for it. It's really awful as there are scenes in the film, where it is activated, yet the two twins don't share the same reaction to physical pain or body language. Unfortunately, the low brow comedy gets even worst, with its offensive sexism overtones. It demeans and objectifies women, big time. Apparently, it's alright to slap total stranger's derriere & rub against the domestic help, whenever you feel like it, as long as it play off, as laughs; which is all wrong. The normalization of sexual harassment is hard to watch. All these vulgar outdated characteristic should've just stayed in the 90s. The film also depicts the women of the film as nothing, but sexy love-interests. Actresses like Taapsee Pannu as Samaara and Jacqueline Fernandez as Alishka Bakshi, really don't do much, but look pretty. Their characters are very shallow. As for the leading man, Varun Dhawan. He was alright in the role, but, much of his performance suffers from overacting. Nevertheless, it wasn't as annoying as the supporting cast. Listening to supporting performers like Rajpal Yadav as Nandu, whine all the time, made my ears, bleed. If that wasn't enough, the movie has two highly pervert characters in Balraj Bakshi (Anupam Kher), Alishka's father & his unnamed assistant/brother in law, (Atul Parchure) whom are a little too involve in Alishka's relationship. Whenever, they were, on screen, spying; it was very cringe worthy. I felt like I was going to vomit. Another problem with the movie, is its racism fairness overtones. Like other Bollywood films, there was very few dark-skinned Indians in this comedy. It really didn't represent the whole of India, at all. Most of the dark skin characters were extras or clumsy side characters, such as Inspector Kuldeep Dhillon (Pavan Malhotra) & Passport Guy (Johnny Lever) who has little to do. As for British performers, they barely use them, besides Donna Preston. So, there was really no reason to set the piece in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, I do give it props for using some of the London locations & words from the English language to make the settling, stand out more, due to the lack of English performers. Other praise, I'm willing to give, is the fact that the songs in the film, like 'Tan Tana Tan' and 'Oonchi Hai Building' were fun to listen to, even if the musical numbers doesn't match, with what's happening much of the rest of the movie. Even, the film score was not that bad to hear. Some of them, can even become, my phone ringtone. Although, the music is alright, overall, the terrible overweigh the goods. A terrible dated comedy made from some very nepotism people. It's represent everything wrong with Bollywood. Don't bother watching it. Avoid the film at all cost, as if, it's an evil twin. It totally not worth finding.