ironhorse_iv

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Reviews

Aquaman
(2018)

Aquaman indeed made a splash with some viewers. Me not so much. It was just fine.
Packed to the gills with over the top cartoony action, clever nods to other pop works and hilarious comedy. This Warner Bros motion picture directed by James Wan, was the first DC live action movie in a long time to go with a lighter tone. Set in their extended universe, this fish out of water hero's journey story of a humanoid merman, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) being reintroduce to his culture's origins in order to reclaim his birthright before his half-brother Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson) takes the throne & seek revenge on the surface world, was entertaining. Without spoiling the movie too much. Brooding, over serious, and somber doesn't fit Aquaman at all. They made the right decision of tone, even if the actor's edgy badass presence doesn't fit well with the wholesome colorful silver age look. Nevertheless, I did like Momoa's surf bro style of acting. I just wish, the movie didn't make Arthur seem so much of airhead. After all, he's supposed to be a wise king that care for his kingdom. In this movie, he rarely thinks, or try to embrace with his people. All he wants to gain the people's trust is to find a silly lost McGuffin. While, the treasure hunting subplot is fun. It's still a bit odd, that his people who barely knows anything about him, would make Curry, their king, after he kill hundreds of them, just because he now holds a legendary trident. As for the other leader, the one they knew. He got off the hook, a little too easy as well. He done far worse. Regardless, who is the true leader, this senseless war resulted in large number of deaths & casualties; which this movie, sadly highly glazed over. None of the royals felt bad, about how many Atlanteans were murdered. A little comeuppance or selfless sacrifice would had been justified for both rulers. Maybe, Arthur losing an arm to save them or Ocean Master accidently drowning by his own hands would made the film, a little more satisfied. Plus, it would add more stakes, surprised twist, or innovative concept in a movie's plot that didn't take that much risk. As of right now, the main plot is kinda thin, bland, and generic. It's not adding much of anything new. In truth, I thought the film would had been a little bit better if they stay away from the surface world, as much as possible. Why? Very little of the history of the surface world make sense within the story, they trying to tell. Logically, it's really hard to believe that the Justice League wouldn't had interfered after the tsunamis, even if they were busy. The film did the right decision, by not hanging up too much from the previous movie. The film is already confusing enough, with people not believing Atlantis exist, despite that there has two alien invasions, an goddess running around, and a enchantress attack. Nevertheless, there were a lot of loose ends. The hero's superpowers & physical imperfections are kinda inconsistent & poorly define. This lend to a lot of confusement on what things could harms Curry. A good example of this, is the desert scene. Isn't the lack to expose water, one of Curry's weaknesses? To add onto that, how does he even have tattoos, if he has strong healing ability? Better yet, does his powers, give him a new orange-and-green suit? Things like that don't add up. Even the bizarre reunion with family members recognize each other instantly, despite one of them being a kid the last time was a bit offed. Regardless of the story. The visuals were beautiful even if they look fake and highly disproportionate. Nothing seem like it was physically or scientifically there. They really did overused the computer effects. Need more practical effects sets. CGI was overwhelming. Regardless, I did like how the movie look. It was bright & colorful, rather than the desaturated color palette and pitch black darkness. As for the dialogue. It was a mixed bag. I kinda dig the villain's eco terrorism reasons to fight. I wish the flick explore more of that. Sadly, a lot of the corny exposition given throughout the movie is highly repetitive. The film is full of people reminding each other of things, they should at the very least know already, like the rules of within their society. Then, there are things that are never explained, like what happen to the previous king. In spite of that, I really don't mind most of the casting. Some of the performers playing older parental figures despite being nearly the same age with their costars, whom are acting as their adult children, was fine with me. I found Nicole Kidman & Temuera Morrison working great as the movie's emotional heart piece. As for Amber Heard. I found Mera to enjoyable to watch, despite the controversies surrounding the actress's personal life. I also didn't mind Wilson being here, even if it's a bit jarring to see him in yet another DC movie after 2008s 'Watchmen' & 2015s 'Batman V Superman'. He was fine. As for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. He was good as Black Manta. Hopefully, he has a bigger role next time. Rounding out the cast are Julie Andrews, Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren. They were scene stealers. Trying not to rock the boat, the only acting that I didn't like, were the thespians playing the younger version of Arthur. They had really wooden delivery. Overall: While, this movie did swam up from the depths of the DC Universe and into theaters ending with a mediocrity end credit stinger. Nevertheless, I'm willing to dip into uncharted waters and say, this movie is whale of a time worth watching, even if its story is just a small drop in the ocean that didn't sail smoothly. In the end, it's still worth diving into, my man! At least, once or twice.

Just Go with It
(2011)

This movie is awful! I can't go with it.
I can't believe, this 2011 comedy written by screenwriters, Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling, is a loosely based remake of the 1969 film 'Cactus Flower'. Nor could I imagine; that this was also an adaptation of an earlier successful, Broadway and French stage play of the same name. It was truly a less than stellar motion picture. Directed by Dennis Dugan, the film tells the story of Danny Maccabee (Adam Sandler) trying to fool his much younger fiancée, Palmer Dodge (Brooklyn Decker) into believing that he is divorcing a make believe pretend wife, Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston), when Palmer sees his fake wedding ring, during their first date. Without spoiling this Happy Madison Production movie too much, I can see the original writer Abe Burrows spinning in his grave. Why? It's because this remake was not funny. None of the crass, juvenile toilet humor, including jokes at the expense of the overweight or physically imperfect, landed for me. It didn't help that Sandler slept through this movie. Don't get me wrong, Adam does have some talent. He did displayed some depth and emotional range before. However, Sandler in this film, look like he could care less if this flick was a success or not. He put nearly no effort in his role, going back to his usual shtick, performing as the angry man child. Because of this, Danny comes across as very annoying, tiresome and unlikeable. It doesn't help that the character is a chauvinist pig for the most part, lying to women and being a jerk to others, due to one lady making fun of him in the past. Look, I'm willing to ignore and forgive the romantic lead for lying to the love interest in order to win her heart like the original movie, but lying for years upon years to multiple ladies and painting himself as a victim of domestic abuse is downright disturbing and wrong. I have no amount of sympathy for a guy that spends two decades manipulating women to become home wreckers, in order to sleep with them. Talk about being highly misogynist. So, it was really hard for us to overlook Danny's past events and root for him, even if he has a character arc, from debauch bachelor to semi good, family man. Also, as a rich plastic surgeon, he still broke multiple Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules, by discussing patient information to his friends. That's not good. As for Aniston's character, the same can go with her. I hate that Katherine knew about his womanizing from the beginning, and didn't do anything to stop it for years. It made me miss so much, the original 1969 character played by actress Ingrid Bergman. I like that she had no clue of the scheme at first. It made her seem so innocent. Plus, I like how her character was somewhat dowdy. So, it was nice to see her bloom into an attractive woman in the end of that film, rather than being already generically sexy like Katherine during this movie. Despite, the lackluster and plain performance from Aniston. She still lightyears better than Brooklyn Decker's so call acting. Besides her good looks, the model turn actress's character is so lifeless, bland and dull. When you compare Palmer to the heavily flaw free spirited original character played by Golden Hawn in the first movie. It's no match. Hawn's flower child performance, wins all the time. Decker's character is just that forgettable. Although, the main cast were below average, the supporting performers were a little bit better. I kinda love Nicole Kidman as Delvin Adams. The scene with her and Katherine dancing in a contest was somewhat funny, but very hot. She was very entertaining. As for Nick Swardson, I do dig him as the over the top cartoony character of Dolph Lundgren. The surreal dialogue given to him while highly unrealistic, is so out there bizarre, that I can't help laughing, even with the scene of him drowning Palmer to keep up with the deception. I also have to give props to musician Dave Matthews. His delivery of comedic lines are top notch. Who knew that he can act! Honestly, the only supporting characters, I didn't like, were the kids. They were a little too precocious & so very annoying. No wonder, why Danny told Palmer that those fake kids of his, has been killed in a tragic accident, after throwing one of them into the mud. Nobody really liked them not even their mother Katherine. Not only that, the whole Hawaii vacation idea that the children came out with is really stretching the logistic of the plot, very thin. I find it very unlikely, that anybody in real life would spent millions of dollars of lying material, just to get a woman he barely knows to engage with him within a week. The whole plan seem unrealistic, very rushed and last, but not least, highly superficial. Honestly, there is no reason for any of this charade as Danny couldn't even marry Palmer if he wanted to. Why? It's because he didn't divorce his fake wife yet. No wedding ceremony would even allow this. Even if this could happen. The film wouldn't show it. Oddly, all the dumping was done, off screen. What a disappointing cheap cop out! While, the film didn't showcases that, it was kind enough to show us, plenty of product placement advertisement for Pizza Hut and hotels in Hawaii. Because of this, the movie felt more like a travel brochure than anything else. It's not good. Overall: Just watch the 1969 version of this film. It's so much better than its offspring, any day. That's for sure.

Leprechaun Returns
(2018)

Good luck on trying to watch this movie sober! That's for sure. This movie is a really hard sit without some Irish whiskey!
While, this 2018 SyFy original movie directed by Steven Kostanski, was indeed truly a huge improvement over the 2014 reboot 'Leprechaun Origins'. It still wasn't the gold standard of entertainment, I was looking for. It was an irritating watch. Don't get me wrong, the original 1993 motion picture is no masterpiece, as well. However, at least the characters there, were decent enough to care about. This film, not so much. All the college students feature here, were highly annoying at parts, with their tiresome one dimensional character trait. Not only that, but the story featuring them written by Suzanne Kelly, was really generic as hell. Plus, it was also lazily put together. Are we really out to believe, by sheer luck, that the college daughter of Jennifer Aniston's character from the first movie, Lila Redding (Taylor Spreitler) was not only willing to move back to the location, where the little creature was first defeated; but also cool enough to live in the same creepy old cabin!?! That's really stretching it, very thin. I get that, they were doing a solar energy project by living there, but come on! That building is a really out of the way for a sorority house. Another thing that bug me, was the idea that Ozzie Jones (Mark Holton) still had that coin in his stomach from all these years. It hasn't yet pass his system. That's hard to believe. If you going to keep that little detail around. Maybe, show more of him suffering from gold poisoning. The whole idea of the creature coming out of his stomach seem to come out of nowhere. It was a bit jarring. I really did forget about the coin being eaten from the first movie. Despite that, I don't mind that the film only serves as a direct faithful sequel to the original movie, ignoring the subsequent installments. Why? It's because none of the other films follow any kind of lore. They were all pretty inconsistent. However, the movie could had done a better job exploring the events of the first movie a little bit better than Lila spilling exposition dumps about her mother all the time or having ghost Ozzie follow her around. That subplot was a little too on the nose. It seem highly recycled from 1981 film 'An American Werewolf in London' for sure. Plus, it really doesn't make much sense for her to have nightmares of the Leprechaun (Linden Porco), seeing how the events happen, before she was even born. Regardless of that, the acting from Taylor Spreitler was not that good. While, she does have some comedic range with her Juno like Ellen Page performance. She still doesn't know how to act frighten or emotional when the film really needs it. Nor does, she have an intimidating presence when threating the Leprechaun. She sounds mostly disinterested, when spilling out cheesy one liners. As for the other performers playing the victims, they were also below average, much for the same reasons. They really didn't have the comedic chops as Taylor does. Nearly all the jokes from them, really did fall flat. One such example was the selfies. It really wasn't that funny. The only other victim character besides Lila that kinda got me to laugh a bit, was Rose. Sai Bennet seem to be, the only supporting actress in the film, well rounded enough to make me care about their character. I love her over the top facial expressions & delivery when trying to act afraid, angry or serious, throughout the film. It kept me glued to her character. As for the acting for the reprised characters. Mark was alright as Ozzie, even if he wasn't given much to do. As for Jennifer Aniston. She refused to resume her role as Tory Redding, nevertheless, the production contacted voice actress, Heather McDonald to do her voice in a few scenes. She did a hell of a job, imitating Aniston's tone. For the villain. Linden was fine as the Leprechaun. However, the pitch of his voice does go a little too high at times, making my ear's bleed. He was a still a good suitable replacement for Warwick Davis, whom downright refuse to reprise the role, due to fatherhood. As for all the prosthetics, the makeup does limited his facial expressions for certain scenes. Nevertheless, it's serviceable. Plus, it's not that noticeable. While, there is no nudity or even a lot of cussing in this movie. The film is a lot gorier than any of the previous installments. The practical effects for them were good, especially, during the bursting through the stomach scene or the drone blades chopping off somebody's head. It kinda looks real. Nevertheless, the sequences involving CGI could had been a little bit better. The solar panel falling down scene was a good example. The herky-jerky animation of plastic skin falling apart was not well done. Regardless, the movie was somewhat well shot. The moment where the Leprechaun look at the reflection of himself in a dead person's viewpoint, was unique to see. However, the night scenes were a little too pitch dark for my taste. I can hardly see, what is going on. Maybe, that's a good thing. Just note that watching 'Leprechaun Returns' is less like a pat in the back, but more like a shillelagh to the knee. In the end, it's a painful watch. Watch it if you dare, but I don't recommended. It's one movie that come a little short.

Atari: Game Over
(2014)

Atari: Game Over. Is this low-budget documentary, worth digging up? Somewhat. It's just very, very kitsch.
From all the notorious video game urban legends out there. The most infamous rumor has to be, the story about how Atari got rid of millions of unsold 1982 gaming cartridges versions of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi movie, 'E. T. the Extraterrestrial', by burying it in a landfill in the Alamogordo desert; during the early 1980s. In 2014, Fuel Industries, Microsoft, and others worked with the official New Mexico state administrations, to excavate the site, to validate the contents of the landfill as part of a documentary directed by Zak Penn, called 'Atari: Game Over'. I'm sorry to say this, but this 2014 movie didn't unearthed much. The film was somewhat overblown. In reality, there is hardly any mystery. There's plenty of evidence prior to the event excavation that already told enough, what exactly is buried in the landfill in 1983. In fact, there was a whole opening interview with an ex Atari warehouse manager, that explains, that it is a standard common practice in manufacturing, that extra cargo will indeed get tossed. However, that information was later cut from the final version of this film. Why? It's because in order to mislead the audience and build up the suspense that Atari shamefully cover it up due to some type of a scandal. I found this approach toward documentary filmmaking to be highly sensational & immoral. Purposely misleading the viewers by providing false information into believing that Atari did something wrong for the sake of entertainment is tabloid and yellow. That's one of the biggest problems of the film. All of the manipulations tactics are downright wrong. It's dishonest. They have a responsibility as documentarians to report the events, accurate, yet they didn't. It really hurts the films' credibility. It didn't help that the movie wasted time on unreliable sources, such as author Ernest Cline. I get that Cline is supposed to represent the everyman fan, but it feels like he is crammed in, just as a background. His scenes really don't add much, so in truth, they should had been cut from the film. Despite that, the flick does contains some really cool interviews from game developers, Nolan Bushnell, Howard Scott Warshaw & other Atari figureheads about the rise and fall of Atari through a cheeky, foul-mouthed sense of humor. These sequences are easily the best part of the movie. For a low budget film, the production values here are rather good with the amazing graphics & transitions, they used. It was also well mixed in, with the talking head interviews & stock footage from both films, news and television. Plus, every camera movement during this, was well shot. My only complain about these scenes, is the fact that they gloss over a lot of the complexities of the gaming crash of 1983. Adding further information about that, would had been more insightful. Regardless, I like how the movie defend the developer and his creation. The game just got a bad rap. After all, to say that the game alone killed the company isn't exactly fair. 'E. T' was indeed playable. The controls weren't broken. The visuals were passable for that era, even if some of the items and enemies are hard to figure out at first. It's just time consuming, frustrating, and monotonous. Honestly, if you figure out how to avoid the pitfalls, you might find this quickly produce game worth playing if you wanted the challenge. To be fair, rushed game development, studio interference, poor relationship with distributors, an increasing number of order cancellations, new competitors entering the market, and lack of a profitable marketing strategy to keep gamers, still interested in the product, cause 'E. T' to underperformed the most. There were other problems, such as market saturation, competition from home computers, and global inflation that led to the failure. Though it was believed that millions of copies of the game were disposed in that landfill, in truth, the dump site had various titles, regardless, if it was successful or not. It just proves that the 'E. T.' game was not the major contributing factor for the demise of Atari. Because of that, the climatic ending was a bit underwhelming to watch. Regardless of that, this documentary is still an entertaining film. It's truly, worth checking out on Netflix, Showtime or XBOX live for free. It's one movie, that doesn't belong in the dumps.

Nine 1/2 Weeks
(1986)

Nein! Nein! Nein! I know some people like this movie, but this film will never be a flavor of the week to me. It's a below average watch.
Based on the 1978's memoir with the same name from Austrian American author, Ingeborg Day, this motion picture tells the dangers of sexual obsession of New York City art gallery employee, Elizabeth McGraw (Kim Basinger) through her stimulating yet disturbing relationship with the mysterious Wall Street stock broker John Gray (Mickey Rourke), during the two month and a half timeline of knowing each other. Without spoiling the movie directed by Adrian Lyne too much, this erotic thriller was made during the most conservative time in America since the 1950s: the 1980s. Because of that, this supposedly provocative and steamy film sat on the shelf for nearly a year after it was finished, because the original distributor, TriStar Pictures dropped it, due to its controversial content. MGM did picked it up, but they couldn't figure out how to market a Rated X movie. After a few months, they finally decide to cut it down, to be available for public viewing as a Rated R film. They really did censored the kinky sadomasochistic & sexually explicit scenes to death before its US release. To the point that 14 hours of deleted scenes were never shown, not even in the Director's Cut DVD Edition. Despite, declaring this film as one of her favorite movies, she has ever done, I really doubt Kim Basinger whom own the clips, would ever release them, as she found the whole shoot as emotionally draining to the point that it contributed to marital problems with then husband Ron Snyder. It didn't help that the director used emotionally manipulative tactics on Kim during the shooting to get the performance he wanted from her. For example, Lyne didn't allow her to talk to her costars, off camera and off set. Not only that, but he spread hateful misogyny type rumors about Kim during production, in order to unnerve her, so that Basinger's actual lonely emotional breakdown over time would be effectively translated to the screen. To me, those tactics didn't really work, because most of the mental anguish scenes involving her character were omitted from the final product. So, we the audience really never got to see her act in a psychiatric breakdown matter. Despite that, both Rourke & Kim does have a little bit of likeable onscreen chemistry during the more absurd, cheesy and dumb moments like the food tasting montage and the Joe Cocker's 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' striptease sequence. Those sequences had spawn a number of tributes & parodies because of that. However, most of the other notoriety acts of eroticism between the two performers in the film, felt more over the top painfully awkward, rather than sexy. There is no better example of that, than the lovemaking on the street scene. The positions they were doing doesn't seem accurate. It looks somewhat rough & unpleasant. I don't know about other audience members, but the scene made me worrisome about them catching some sort of a deadly disease like Cholera from the contaminate rain. I really couldn't find that sequence to be arousing. The same, goes with a few other scenes. I guess, the rest of America kinda agrees, with me on that. This film didn't turn them on. Truly, its subject matter of sexual desires was such a turn off, that it bomb at the box office. Nevertheless, the romantic film did performed very well overseas, particularly in Europe & Latin America. Still, that begs the question, what was so stimulating, that it got these people to come back? It's sure, wasn't the nudity as there was hardly any of that, both in the male and female stars. Plus, body doubles were used for Kim throughout the movie. So, it wasn't really her expose self, in those sexy scenes. I can only guess, internationally, foreign viewers leaned more on the positives moments in the story's dominant & submissive relationship than Americans. In the US, most audience people probably wanted to see a more tragic morality tale tone than anything else. After all, in the novel, one of the characters is basically a sexual prisoner, being tied up, slapped and whipped, forbidden to do even the simplest of things for herself, such as brush her own hair or eat. Because of this, she ended up in an extreme trauma and had to be hospitalized. Instead of going with this downer prudish tone that most Americans at the time, wanted to see, the film screenplay by Sarah Kernochan, Zalman King, and Patricia Louisanna Knop, ends on a lot more positive & tamer somber tone, which somewhat betrays the source material's warnings of getting into a relationship like this. No wonder, why this movie got mixed reviews at the time of its released. Regardless, the film did developed a cult following, which resulted in two spin off movies, 1997s 'Another Nine and a Half Weeks' and a 1998 direct to video prequel, 'The First Nine and Half Weeks'. As for the film soundtrack. Lots of famous catchy tunes from a variety of musician artists are featured here. It's one of the best movie tracks, ever released in the 1980s. Give it a listen to. It's beautifully worth hearing. Overall: While, this motion picture about a woman forfeiting her sexual freedom to a man, she hardly knew, in order to push the boundaries between what is consensual and what is abusive; is not a great watch. It's still a lot better than the 2015 sexual film with a similar premise, 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. In the end, see this movie over that. Regardless, both films will never leave you happy on cloud nine. More likely disappointed.

Marty
(1955)

Hey Marty! Your movie is nearly perfect. It's one fantastic motion picture.
You lucky dog! Seeing you try to get a date, one night with science teacher Clara (Betsy Blair) at a dance, was emotional heartwarming! However, from all the films to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture, yours slice of life, dog eat dog world, romantic movie was the most ordinary. Despite your movie being so conventional, it's still worth watching any night. This 1955 film was beautifully shot. I just wish, your director, Delbert Mann used more of the New York City outdoor locations and sceneries. The movie spent way too much time, indoors, within a number of limited areas. Because of this, the movie felt more like a stage play than anything else. Look I get that your film was based off an earlier television play, however, with the bigger budget, the film could have look more dream-like, in a romanticism type of a way. It could had been the New Yorkers common folk's sweeping comedy version of 1953 film, 'Roman Holiday'. Despite the lack of strong backgrounds, the performances in this appealingly low-key character study was outstanding. Especially, Ernest Brognine as the titular character. He capture the isolated, lonesome, unmarried, lovelorn middle-aged man so well with his tone of voice and body language. The explosive scene that he had with his mother, (Esther Minciotti) about her having to live with the fact, that he is resigned to lived life with his lonely self is pretty heartbreaking to see. You could tell that the poor fella had gone through a lot of rejections. So, it was a very uplifting moment to see him, finally meet Clara. I really do cherished that moment, where Marty punch the stop sign. I really wanted to see Marty, have a happy ending, despite, everybody badmouthing, both of them. I just wish, the ending was a little more epic. The phone call bit was somewhat underwhelming. Honestly, to tell you the truth, I really wish to see them embrace. Regardless, this was a star-making role for Ernest Borgnine. He was previous best known for playing over the top villains like in 1953 film, 'From Here to Eternity' & 1954 western 'Johnny Guitar'. This movie led him to play more warm comedic roles, such in the case of the titular role in the 1960s sitcom 'McHale's Navy'. However, he wasn't the best performer, in my opinion, nominated for Best Actor at the 28th Oscars. The other nominees were a little more deserving. Nevertheless, it kinda makes me wonder, how well, the film could had been with the original choice, Rod Steiger in the title role. Something in me, says the movie would also had been a hit. After all, Steiger was in the original 1953 production that aired on the show, 'The Philco Television Playhouse'. Despite the actor not being able to reprized his role, most of the supporting characters from that episode, return for this movie. They were alright for the most part, but highly forgettable. For the role of Clara, it was initially going to be performed by the original actress Nancy Marchand. Even though Blair was blacklisted due to her Marxist and communist sympathies, she was so interested in playing the role that she lobbied hard for it. It was only through pressures from her husband, Gene Kelly, that Blair was able to get the role. Nevertheless, the amount of dialogue for all the performers in the film was a bit overwhelming & too bolstered. Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, who also penned the original teleplay, wrote & added too much of a subplot. Such in the case of the issues between Marty's career and the family problems with his mother, aunt (Augusta Colli) and her daughter in law (Karen Steele). Much of those could had been deleted, as those scenes don't really led to anything amazing. Another problem with the script, is how dated, the main conflict is. Being single is not something to be ashamed of, especially in the ages portrayed in the film, these days. Also, the idea that Clara is "one step from the street", because she is a college grad, is really demeaning. The film acts like having a job was such a terrible thing for a woman, back then. Nevertheless, the sleeper comedy open to great acclaim throughout the country. In some areas, the rom-com was screen, intensely two weeks prior to its opening day. A modest, black and white film in an era of wide screen color epics, its critical acclaim and box-office success were phenomenal. I can understand why, the motion picture does have a universal appeal of finding love, regardless of the social norms of beauty & class. No wonder, why the film's plot was remade, multiple times in flicks such as in 1975 'Queen of the Stardust Ballroom' & 1991 'Only the Lonely'. There is also a musical version of this movie, out there. Hopefully, with the popular title track from singer, Harry Warren as well. Overall: While, this comedy is the shortest film to win Best Picture, at just 90 minutes long, and doesn't have that much substance. The motion picture was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant enough by the Library of Congress that it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994. So, it's doing something right. In the end, the daring independent movie was wonderful and superb. It's one movie worth checking out today.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
(2019)

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing! Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woohoo!
These are the best words to describe how good, this sequel, really is! I truly do like this movie directed by Mike Mitchell, a lot. However, I do understand, those in the audience whom found this animation motion picture, somewhat underwhelming. Not everything in this film is truly awesome. The 2019 computer animated adventure comedy film produced by Warner Animation Group does seem to have some problems. For starters, the live-active parts for this motion picture written by Phil Lord & Chris Miller is very similar to the first film to the point that it seem somewhat recycled or rehash, even if they introduce that concept in the original 2014 movie. While, the struggles between siblings learning how to work together is compelling and emotional, doesn't go against Lego's founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen's policy of non-violence. It does felt a little less impactful, knowing now, that the story within the animation Legos world are told through the imagination of young children playing with them. The shock and awe of seeing live subjects in an animation movie is not as astonishing as it once was. It doesn't help that these sequences are also a little too over present and pacing really drawn out. In the end, that concept doesn't really seem that fresh. Nevertheless, I still have to give props to the film for going somewhere ambitious with the 'growing up' cynical & angst type narrative, even if the complex storytelling techniques involving intergalactic time travelling seem somewhat convoluted, vague & making little to no sense. Nor could I hold the film, against, the whole rushed marriage subplot, because, after all, in story, these parts are coming from a mixer of childlike fantasies from two different kids trying to cope & act more mature with each other. The story of Emmett Brickowski (Voiced by Chris Pratt) having to rescue his friends from alien kidnappers is supposed to be, somewhat sloppy. However, this choice somewhat ruins the big twist toward the end of the film; to the point, that became somewhat predictable. Regardless of the story, I still love the voice cast & its many wacky characters. Pratt is loveable in both the duo roles, he has here. Elizabeth Banks as Lucy was alright with the performance, she gave. As for the supporting characters like Benny (Voiced by Charlie Day), MetalBeard (Voiced by Nick Offerman) & Princess UniKitty (Voiced by Alison Brie). While, their characters weren't given much to do, the voice work for them were also fine. I also dig seeing the various Lego characters, either original or from licensed properties, make cameos or play bit parts. All of them both old and new, including their voice performers were decent, both in acting and in singing. Nevertheless, it is Will Arnett as Batman that takes the cake for me. Arnett's gravelly tones and deadpan delivery are excellent; especially with the scenes with Tiffany Haddish as Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, the shape-shifting alien queen. I'm one of the few people that love 'the Gotham City Guys' musical number. As for the other songs, including one about why the evil queen isn't evil and another that's an ode to the movie's closing credits. It's all very silly, but very likable stuff. The movie has own frantic sense of humor with inside jokes, sight gags, innuendos, breaking the fourth wall humors, slapstick, and pop culture references. Some of them, might goes over the head of certain people, whom hasn't expose to the source materials in which, the film is satirizing or making parody of. Other jokes might fall flat, due to the fact that they essentially, just callbacks to the first movie. Regardless of that, this motion picture is beautiful to look at. I like how the animation team recognized that how kids would likely not only use Lego bricks, but also incorporate other materials, such as fabrics and paper. It has that glitch prone stop motion characteristic of what a Lego movie might look like. However, the combination of quick moving CGI with stop motion characteristic is a bit hard to follow during a few action scenes. There were a few things on the screen, going way too fast for me, to figure out, what is going on. Still, for the most part, the movie's animation is top notch. Overall: This sequel is one block party worth going to! Everything about this flick is catchy. It reminds us, how powerful, imagination and teamwork can be, in the process of building and creation. That's a good message for all ages. This movie shows that Legos are still pretty awesome. Recommend to the highest degree, no matter who you are or how old you are. Go see it.

No Country for Old Men
(2007)

It's time to call it, friendo for what it is! A cinematic masterpiece.
Based upon, author, Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel of the same name; there is no doubt, 'No Country for Old Men' was an amazing movie. This film written and directed by the Coen Brothers was mostly entertaining from beginning into the end. However, there were some flaws. Such in the case of pacing. This Academy Award-winning best picture crime drama and neo-western really takes its sweet time, telling the story of a disillusion elderly cop, Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), having to find & protect an West Texas resident Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) whom recovered stolen drug money in a drug deal gone bad, before a psychotic and sociopathic hitman, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and the Mexican Cartels get a hold of him. Without spoiling this motion picture masterpiece, too much, while the game of cat & mouse story is a bit slow at parts, mostly in the opening & the subverted your expectations off-screen ending with Moss was a bit annoying. I still love this film. Glad, the Coen Brothers did cut out a few of the unneeded moments from the book, such as Moss picking up a hitchhiker. Nevertheless, most of the scenes, they did left, didn't felt unsatisfying & too scattered during most of the movie. The only one that was a bit bothersome was the swimming pool chat. I really don't get, why that was in the film. Nevertheless, while, the story is not that original, as there is striking similarities regarding the storyline and setting to 1973's crime thriller film 'Charley Varrick' aka 'The Last of the Independents" directed by Don Siegel & the 1968's novel 'The Looters' by author John H. Reese. One thing, the source material and film does well, is explores the human struggle toward trying to define the frameworks of code of ethics and morality, both within the perspective of the story's heroes and the villains with a minimal use of dialogue. I like how, each of the three main characters, has their own set of ideas of what that can be. Some of them, are very tired of the gruesome violent nature of humanity & struggles to find a moral center within it, to a point that they often abandon their authentic duties, due to being fearful. Others are not, like that; some function in a moral framework given to them by society, either by social norms, family or faith. However, the most chilling character in the film is the one driven by his own internal framework. His actions do not fall either, pragmatism or moral duty. That person operates outside of any sane understanding of morality and ethics, and continually raises conflicting philosophical questions to his victims often with a game of luck and chance with a coin toss. The only thing, he knows, is no matter, what people chose how to live life, death comes to us, all, either fast or slow. In his eyes, we all cattle, that one day, will be slaughter. We all, living pieces of meat. This is his mindset. No wonder, why his choice of weapon, the air powered bolt gun stronger symbolically his views. It's a powerful comparison. The actor, Bardem really did a good job, showing how unpredictable menacing such men can be, by his body language & facial expression, even if his character's haircut is a bit goofy. Glad, he still won Best Supporting Actor at that year's Oscars. As for the other performers, they were just as good, especially Tommy Lee Jones. The delivering of his character's dreams really does hold some emotional weight. It's here, we get hints what the title of the film taken from the opening line of 20th-century Irish poet William Butler Yeats' poem "Sailing to Byzantium", means, as he felt really defeated by the harsh ambiguity of this new time and mourns of the loss of the bygone era of decently, even if this ideal world might probably never even existed but has been an illusion, all along. While, this pessimistic somewhat preachy, yet violent ambiguous ending might turn off some viewer from rewatching this movie. I do have to say, the film is worth seeing, regardless. The cinematography alone is amazing. Some of the shots of the West Texas desert is beautiful to look at. Cinematographer, Roger Deakins did a hell of a job, setting up the camera & scenes. However, I wish, the movie had more of a score by composer, Carter Burwell to go with. For me, the minimized of the score leaving large sections devoid of music was a mixed bag. Some parts, the suffocating silence, kinda works like the gas station stop; in other moments, it undermined some of the gripping gory action sequences like the chase scene involving the Pitbulls. Nevertheless, overall heads or tails: the film still fire on nearly all cylinders. This is one motion picture worth checking out. It is a must watch.

The Deer Hunter
(1978)

Oh Dear! This motion picture is not historical accurate at all. Despite that, it's still worth hunting for.
This movie directed by Michael Cimino is supposed to be in-depth examination of the Vietnam War and how its events, impacts and disrupts the lives of three Russian American Soldiers in many ways, when returning back to their small industrial town in Pennsylvania. However, the characters in the film are more traumatic by having to play a game of "Russian Roulette' than anything else, they witnessed. The film really lingers on that in the 3rd act, to the point, that the movie is probably best known as today, as the 'Russian Roulette' motion picture. It has caused some film scholars to question if the movie really deserve all that praise, as it hardly has to do with any real after effects that soldiers came home with from the war. Don't get me wrong, this movie was truly one intense watch. However, I have to somewhat agreed, the flick is indeed highly fictionalized & somewhat unrealistic. Without spoiling the motion picture, too much, the reason for that, is because this 1978 Academy Awards Best Picture Winner was loosely based, first on an unproduced screenplay called, 'The Man Who Came to Play' by authors, Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker, about a group of gamblers risking it all in Las Vegas, by playing Russian roulette. However, when producer Michael Deeley bought the screenplay, he hired director Michael Cimino & screenwriter, Deric Washburn, who hate each other, to work together to rewrite it. They did this, by having the deadly game take place in a Vietnamese Prison Camp between capture American soldiers, despite there being no documented cases of the game being played during the war. Regardless, those roulette scenes were shot in real circumstances, in dirty locations with the performers getting real beatings. The reaction from all the faces from all three principal actors, were somewhat genuine, especially Christopher Walken, who had no clue that he was getting slap for real. According to the director, the performers got so method with their acting, they requested, one real live cartridge in the revolver to heighten the intensity of the situation. That's totally insane! It's just as crazy to hear that Robert De Niro and John Savage mostly performed their own stunts, including the 30 foot drop fall into the river, 15 times in two days. They could had really got seriously hurt or even died. They almost did, as during a helicopter stunt, the skids caught itself on the rope bridge, nearly causing the copter to fall on two of the actors. They took a good amount of risk for actors deed too old for the ages, their character was supposed to be. Besides the stunts, the acting in this film is outstanding. There is no better example of this, than the 'One Last Shot' sequence. De Niro's emoting here, is ever brilliant, such a thoughtful performance. While, Walken's character just looks like a dead soul waiting for the body to followed. He's so hollow. What an amazing scene. Not to be outdone, the supporting cast were just as good as the main two. Despite, being a vague stock girlfriend character, Meryl Streep was fine in this role. Streep's then, boyfriend, John Cazale was also alright in the film. It's surprised me, to hear that he was very weak when filming began, due to being diagnosed with lung cancer. You really couldn't tell. Sadly, Cazale died shortly after filming was completed & never saw his work. Nevertheless, not all acting was praise, the film got some criticize on its one-sidedly portraying all the North Vietnamese as over the top sadistic racists and killers. Regardless of that, it's really hard to say, that this movie is an indeed a war film, when technically, the sequences involving Vietnam were a small part of the 183 minutes runtime. Most of the movie takes place, during a wedding. 51 minutes to be exact. Because of that, the movie's pacing has been claim to be, somewhat of a slowed burn to the point that Universal wanted the movie to be trim, even more. I somewhat agreed. Scenes like the drunk nude streaking could had been cut. Despite, the film going way over budget and overschedule. The movie is beautifully shot. There is no better example of this, than the deer hunting scene & the depressing climax involving "God Bless America'. Overall: In spite of backlash from some Vietnam Veterans & War Historians who protest the film during its one theater released. The film was indeed successful enough at Oscars, that Universal Pictures widened the distribution to include major cities. It became a box office success. It made the bucks. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". That's how important, this film, has become to some people. For me, the over amount of praise for this movie is bit much. It's like, some critics don't mention, this film's big flaws in their reviews. Regardless of that, the movie is still worth watching. 'The Deer Hunter' might have starts out slow, but in the end, it's big bang. Highly recommended, checking it out.

Source Code
(2011)

This Sci-Fi movie is on right track. It's very compelling to watch.
Remember those problem solving enquiries back in school, where Train A leaves Station A at 45 MPH, and Train B leaves Station B at 35 MPH, and if the stations are 60 miles away from each other, when will they pass? Well, those problems just got a lot more complex, challenging and exciting, in this case: Train A leaves Railyard A at 70 mph, only to find out that, it's carrying a bomb, onboard that could kill everybody. How long will it take for the hero to stop it before disaster strikes? Well, hopefully in 8 minutes, because that is the time, that Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is given, when he woke up, in somebody else's body, determination to change a past event & save the future, by figuring out, who the bomber is, at least, until he fails and dies again. If this sound very complicated to understand and somewhat very confusing to you. Then, you're right! This movie directed by Duncan Jones & written by Ben Ripley, indeed, left a lot of viewers, scratching their heads. They were asking the same questions, you probably asking yourself. Like, how exactly does the source code, projects eight minutes of alternate realities with complete personalities and identities, by only using the memories of the recently demise? Also, if they only have eight minutes of memory, how can they create new memories in alternate state of being? To add to that, how is there, a number of Stevens in a multiverse of quantum worlds timelines within an uncertain state of existence? Best of all, why is there a Dunkin' Donuts on a Metra train? That was odd product placement. All good questions that the film, sadly doesn't answers. The plot is a bit muddled because of that. It's as if the theories of the Human condition & Quantum mechanics were mush into a sealed box with Schrödinger's cat; while the big bang is constantly, happening around it. I can see, some people getting turn off, by this mucho jumbo science nonsensical premise. There is a lot of plot-holes. Plus, it is somewhat hard to keep up, especially with the director & writers's crazy train of weird thoughts. Like me, it will take you, multiply watches to figure out, at least, the basics on what the hell is going on, with this movie. Despite that, if you willing to stay tune, you would find the TV Series, 'Quantum Leap' meets 1993's film 'Groundhog Day' meets mystery novel, 'Murder on the Orient Express' action, very entertaining, even if the CGI is not the greatest. While, parts of it, are highly Deja Vu repetitive. Each loop sequence is unique enough in its small changes to stand out on its own; which is good thing. Jake's performance is wonderful as the guy trying to figure, everything out. He really did look disoriented. Also, I don't know, if it was intent, but there was some humor that came along with the many of ways, Colter can get himself, in and out of trouble. All the reactions, by the surrounding cast involving him, made me laugh hard. The secondary characters for the most part, were very well played. First off, Michelle Monaghan as Christina Warren is one attractive, intelligent, funny, young woman who's you as the audience is able to warm up to the most. She really does have somewhat chemistry with Jake Gyllenhaal. You really wanted to see if Stevens can indeed save her. As for Vera Farmiga as Colleen Goodwin. She was not as believable as a serviceperson, as she should had been. Her character doesn't well trained, passionate or really that professional. Something was just off with her performance. Despite that, she didn't take me out of the movie. As for Jeffrey Wright, once again, he really master the role of innovation tech genius, so well. However, that has left his career as always being typecast as one. This is no differences. This film, like many sci-fi thrillers of the past, plays on societal issues with technology and it's potentially dangerous implications to the world. Not only that, but the film is also somewhat spiritual. I like the symbolisms of death, limbo, and rebirth with the cloud gate. However, I found that force happy ending a bit odd, seeing that Colter essential effectively murdered the real Sean and stolen his identity & his girl. In fairness, either way, the real Sean would still be dead. Still, that's pretty dark. Despite that, I still truly dig composer, Chris Bacon's music for this film. He put a very Hitchcockism sound & feel of suspense to this flick. Mad props to him for that. Overall: 'Source Code' is one movie worth getting aboard with. It's a fun watch, even if it's goes off the rails, a bit. Highly recommended.

The Pianist
(2002)

The Pianist plays the right keys. It's more A Minor than a B Flat. It's a cinematic masterpiece.
The Holocaust is a dark and touchy subject for many. Those whom lived through it, are forever scarred by its horrors. Even today, few can muster the courage to bring themselves to discuss the subject. However, one person did, and his name was Wladyslaw Szpilman. Based off his memoirs of the same name, 'The Pianist' tells the story of how he was able to survive the war, while living in fear, under Nazi Control, Warsaw, Poland. Without spoiling this 2002 film, too much, I have to say director, Roman Polanski and screenwriter, Ronald Harwood tried to keep the motion picture as historically accurate as possible. Why? It's because Polanski's inspiration for the film, came from the fact that he himself, had been a prisoner of a polish ghetto during the war. He wanted to make sure, common folks see the harsh heart breaking realistic truths about the events similar to what Steven Spielberg did with his 1993 masterpiece's 'Schindler's List'; rather than viewing something that is semi-safe, sugar coated & crowd-pleasing like the fictional movies, 1997's 'Life is Beautiful' & 1999's film 'Jacob the Liar'. Plus, he wanted to make sure, that there was no stone left unturned for Holocaust deniers to say that the events, feature in the film, did not happen. While, the movie does have some scenes inserted just to express the horror of the Holocaust, they far from legends. They come from Polanski's own accounts. Nevertheless, there was a few minor inaccuracy, I found, that didn't happen at all. One such thing was the relationship between Wladyslaw (Adrian Brody) and Dorota (Emilia Fox). Not only, was Dorota appears to be a made up character for the movie, but there was no apparent love connection between Wladyslaw and any woman, during the war. While, I do understand, that this character was probably created, in order to give a look at Szpilman's life before the occupation and to evoke audience sympathy for all that he lost during the war, but it wasn't really needed. The chocolate dinner scene with his family was really strong. If that wasn't enough, just rewatch the part where the titular character walk, through the empty ghetto. You see the pain, through Adrian Brody's eyes & body language. No able of dialogue, can vivid depict, how haunting & powerful, the actor's facial reactions are, throughout this movie. It reach me on a deeper level. Much in the same way, how the actor lost weight, in order to look more exhausted & weary & Brody learning how to really play the piano, very well. It's no wonder, why Adrien Brody became the youngest person to date to win an Academy Award for Best Actor at the age of 29. He did a good job, here. He deserve winning that prize in 2003. Honestly, to tell you, the truth, Polanski & his crew has cast this movie nearly perfectly. However, due to the huge amount of supporting performers and the lack of screen time focus on them. They don't really stand out, much as I wish, even though, their acting was great. Despite that, nearly every performer look and felt authentic with the little amount of time, they had. However, some of the literary references calls outs like the works of William Shakespeare & Fyodor Dostoevsky from Wladyslaw's brother, Henryk (Ed Stoppard) felt a little bit jarring. I doubt, he quotes those works in real-life. Despite that, I did like how the film shows that there is good & bad people, within both sides of the fence through the actions of German Captain Wilm Hosenfeld (Thomas Kretschmann) & Szalas (Andrew Tiernan). Nice to see national groups so complex, than lopsided 100% demonic & angelic. The only real nitpick, I had on the historical value of them, were the fact that some of the army uniforms of the German soldiers, were a bit off. Nevertheless, the rest of wardrobe seem fitting with what people wore during that era. Another inaccuracy that, I notice in the film, was the idea that there was running water in abandoned bomb out buildings. In truth, water within the city, run out, way before the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. As for action, the film focused on the terrible treatment and unjust punishment that the Jewish & Polish people really had to go through. The violence are really graphic and somewhat hard to watch, at times. According to the bonus features of the DVD, many such acts of cruelty in the film were recreated from actual photographs and archival film footage shot by the Nazis. Nevertheless, the way, the movie was shot, was also amazing. A good example is the opening sequence, where we see a statue with its arm pointing to the left, and people & the city in the background. Every so often throughout the movie, we see the same figure, only this time, the background is more & more ruin by war, until nothing is left, but rubble. That is highly great use of props and scenery. Despite, the loss of his wife and her friends at the hands of Manson's family, and his infamous involvement with an 13 year old girl which forced him to flee the United States. Polanski in the midst of this controversies, has always been a great director, which to be reckoned with. Through the help of real-life locations in Europe, cinematic CGI effects and camera techniques, Polanski & his crew was able to immerse the audience in the determination and will for survival that was displayed by Szpilman. It's no wonder, why he won Best Director at the Academy Award. It's one of his best works. This motion picture is able to offer a voice to the millions of Jews who lost their lives to the Holocaust. Overall: It's a film that needs to be seen, both a history lesson and morality tale. A must watch for sure.

WrestleMania
(2018)

WrestleMania 34 didn't quite make the good times roll! It was a mixed bag of gumbo for me.
Let's start with the preshow. In the fifth annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, while the right man won the match, the contest was somewhat forgettable. Still, it was nice to see a decent new tag team, come from it. Anyways, this brings us to the tournament final for the vacant Cruiserweight Championship between Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali. The match was disappointing, as it was highly rushed. Plus, it was probably not a good idea to copy the finish to Ric Flair Versus Shawn Michaels from 2008's 'WrestleMania 24'. It was really jarring. Anyways, the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal was next & thank goodness, they change the name. Moolah was indeed, not a good person with her sex trafficking. However, they should had thought of another old timey female wrestler to give tribute. Regardless, the choice of participants for this match was still bizarre has WWE didn't have enough main show female talents. So they fill it up with the misused big names and NXT extras. Still, the contest was a lot more entertaining match than the Men's. Nevertheless, the men's fought back, as the actual show opened with The Miz having to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Seth Rollins and Finn Balor in a triple threat match. Without spoiling it, there was great wrestling from all of them. Good contest. The next match between Champion Charlotte Flair & challenger, Asuka was also amazing. Both women work their ass off. To top it off, the entrance nod to Charlotte's appearance in 2014's 'WrestleMania 30' was epic. The climax to the match was also shocking. I get why they did it. That gimmick would had become very tiresome and highly predictable as the months goes on. Better to strike, when the iron is hot, I say. The only nitpick, I had, about the match, was the aftermath. They didn't give the women, enough time to thank the crowd, before WWE move onto the next sequence. It was horribly done. Anyways, that brings us to the fatal four-way match for the United States between champion, Randy Orton & challengers, Bobby Roode, Jinder Mahal, and Rusev. It was highly generic as nobody put that much effect into the feud. Not memorable at all. Next up, was the mixed tag team match between Triple H & Stephanie McMahon versus Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey. The build up to the contest was awkward, as the foundations for it, was over 3 years ago. This match should had happen at 2016, however, both Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson and Rousey had scheduling problems, so it was push back way back, until tonight. Nevertheless, Johnson still couldn't make it, so he was replaced by the very old & limited Angle, 3 months prior. In the end, the match was still entertaining as Rousey show the world, that she indeed could wrestle. Just wish, she didn't adjust her outfit so much. Seeing Hunter calling out, 'spots', really loud to Angle was quite annoying as well. Anyways, the next fight, saw the Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) having to defend their SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day's (Big E and Kofi Kingston) and The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) in a quick & brutal, forgettable triple threat tag team match. It was not good. I also didn't like the impromptu bout that follow this, between Cena and Undertaker. Taker is really past his prime & can't barely move, while Cena can't take that much bumps as he has one foot, out to Hollywood. It was embarrassing to watch. Both could had done, so much better. Thank goodness, the next tag match live up to the hype. Seeing Daniel Bryan being able to wrestle with Shane McMahon, after being force to retired due to multiple concussions, was out of this world amazing! It was also nice to see Shane being able to wrestle, coming out of a recent life-threating stomach injury. Unlike, other critics, I love the feud, they had with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. The ring work from all four of them was also very impressive, despite how it was slowly told. It's still one of my favorite matches of the night. The Raw Women's Championship match between challenger, Nia Jax & champion, Alexa Bliss was next. Once again, I have to disagree with majority of critics, as I didn't like the buildup storyline to this meh contest. I thought the body shaming angle has been overdone. As for the hype for the WWE Championship fight between champion, AJ Styles & challenger, Shinsuke Nakamura, I love the teases. As for the bout. It was not as good as any of their previous NJPW matches, but regardless, this contest was outstanding enough to tune in. However, it's what happen, after the match; that was the highlight. Tag team match for the Raw Tag Team Championship was next. While, Braun Strowman choosing a child as his tag partner to face the champions, the Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) made the titles seem like a joke. That jump the shark sequence was entertaining. I can't hate it, too much. At least, it wasn't awful like the main event between Roman Reigns challenging Universal Championship titleholder, Brock Lesnar. It was an exhausting match that nobody asked for it. Even so, it had no in-ring story, as both wrestlers didn't bother working it out. It was all over the top. So ill-fitting. As for the ending, money & politics got in the way. No wonder, why Brock tossed the title at Vince McMahon. His match was a crap staid, on otherwise, decent show. In the end, you might have to drown yourself with a bottle of Bourbon, when you choose to watch this 7 hours PPV. Parts of the event at the Superdome in New Orleans were very, very annoying. Others sequences, were decent enough to watch. However, overall, it's not the grandest stage of them, all. Not in the long shot. It could had been better.

Glass
(2019)

It's time to look through the magnifying glass. Is this movie worth watching? Somewhat.
This 2019 motion picture written & directed by M Night Shyamalan doesn't quite manages to pull together the two worlds of the previous 'Eastrail 177' films (2000's 'Unbreakable' & 2016's 'Split'), into one cohesive film. It felt somewhat unsatisfying, scattered, and uneven at parts. It likes to subvert your expectations a little too much as well. All the 'red herrings' parts will indeed rub people, the wrong way. The tone is also awful. The movie was light-hearted, cartoony & felt like a farce than anything else. It does not match well with how convincing intense & scary, the previous movies were. Don't get me wrong, it had a good premise with mental patients with Übermensch delusions, having to fight back against the harsh oppressive of the hospital trying to say otherwise; however, the film doesn't dig deep enough in the physiological thriller concept. It doesn't challenge or explore much of the characters' dark potential mental breakdowns. Nor does it show, how the cruel lockdown of the asylum, is making it worst for them, leading to tragic, yet chaotic results. While the movie is rated PG-13, it still need to be bit more unsettling & shocking. It plays the concept way too safe. The film was really tamed in suspense & thrills. Hopefully, 2019's oncoming similar movie 'The New Mutant' could do better than 'Glass', and delivered twist & turns from our deepest, darkest fears. Hopefully, it will scare us! This movie did not. Another thing, this film needs to do better, is make more sense. Without spoiling too much, the film was unrealistic convenience. It felt a bit too structure in places. Examples like, the love ones, all arriving at the one location at the same time during the climax & the fact that all three main characters are somewhat related by past events. Even if it's foreshadow in the first movie, the third act revelation was by far, the worst. Seeing that there is a secret society out to eliminate people with special abilities just doesn't add up! Wouldn't it, make more sense for this secret group to exploit these powers for their own purposes rather than this unrealistic 'beware of superman' belief that Shyamalan has poorly written it as? I believe so! After all, if it wasn't that, what was the point of waiting, nearly 19 years to lobotomize or kill, the extreme comic fanatic, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) & give the other two, Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy) & David Dunn (Bruce Willis) 3 days to change their mind? From the looks of things, they hardly stop anybody from working & training for those skills and being inspired by the few talented people within their own circles. It seems like they're doing a crappy job. Not only, has they allow the family & friends of the patients to live, and furthermore influence people, but they also alright about comic books being released to the public telling stories of super humans strengths & powers. None of this, makes sense. Honestly, the movie would had been better, if there was no secret society. The idea that the patients might be crazy, is a good enough, dilemma. Regardless, I doubt the ending will make much impact. A viral video of people fighting each other in a courtyard will not raise much eyebrow in the public. There is thousands of those in the internet, far more controversial and entertaining. Most of the audience will probably think of the viral video, as a hoax or special effects commercial stunt. Others will think of it, as boring. After all, this is a world where the average person, attention span is 20 minutes. They will quickly move on to something more eye-opening. According to Samuel L. Jackson, the film originally had a very different ending that needed to be changed due to real life events. Whether or not this ending will ever be made available is unknown. Maybe, one day, we see, what was amended in the direction's cut. After all, the original cut of this film was 3 hours long. A whole 50 minutes longer than the finished version. At least, it's not as a slow moving as 'Unbreakable', in its pacing. Regardless, this movie did a good job, intermixing unused footage from the previous films as flashbacks. I just wish the flick has a lot of fluid camera movements. Several camera angles should had been chosen to simulate the comic book device of a frame around each scene. The same with the use of mirrors and reflective surfaces as shots. You should really get the sense of glass, being a theme, here, but you don't. The same with the color palette. The only great use of that, was the pink room scene. As for the acting. I felt like the main cast were either wasted like Jackson, too cartoony like McAvoy or lackluster like Willis. The only one that kinda shines was Sarah Paulson as the head doctor, Dr. Ellie Staple, even if some of her lines sound really silly. Regardless, it was nice to see some of the supporting cast from the previous movies, reprisal their roles like Spencer Treat Clark, as well, as the creator cameo. However, they kinda wasted Anya & Charlayne Woodard. They're not given much to do, but act like Stockholm syndrome victim & mother unwilling to bare the true that her child is a monster. Both of them, felt counterintuitive and their actions baffling. Why are they alright, spreading the news of killers? That's probably, the most disturbing thing in the film, in a flick, lacking those. Despite, having no scares, the movie was somewhat entertaining, both in action and humor, however, 'Glass' could had been a lot better. In the end, like the trilogy titles represent a spectrum of stability within people. It's by far, the weakest of all the films. This 2019 motion picture is brittle.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
(2018)

This sequel to 2012's 'Wreck it Ralph' broke my heart. It was not good.
While this 57th animation motion picture from Walt Disney Animation Studios was not as socially annoying like Sony Picture Animation's 2017's similar premise flick, 'the Emoji Movie' was. There was still many flaws. Let's start with the poorly written story. From all the three different scripts, the filmmakers, Rich Moore, Phil Johnston & their crew can pick from. They chose the wrong one. Much of this movie's plot is very similar to the first flick, in which, a main character is sick of their game, only to leave, cause chaotic damage to their surroundings, find themselves, & then step up to undo their mistakes. The only different is that, instead of going into other video game realms; it's now, on the over commercialism & toxic internet. It sucks. Don't get me wrong, if the whole focus of the film was about Wreck it Ralph (Voiced by John C. Reilly) & Vanellope von Schweetz (Voiced by Sarah Silverman) having to leave the nostalgia of arcade games to the current landscape of online gaming, in order to make enough money to buy parts for Sugar Rush. Maybe, I wouldn't be so hard on the film, but however, the movie doesn't do that. It abandoned the video game aspect that made the first movie, so endearing & instead, focus on stupid viral video meme culture & the blatant and shameless filler product placement of the Disney brand. All the inclusion of Star Wars, Disney Princesses and Marvel Characters don't really add much to the main plot. Nor does all these connections really related to the gaming world. It's no 'Kingdom Hearts', that's for sure. To add on that, I found the parts of the film involves Ralph making viral internet videos, highly annoying and not that accurate. Getting likes & views on any video sharing platform is not as profitable as it once was. There was reasons for that, such as copyright laws & companies not wanting to put their ads on anything that can hurt their image. Even if Ralph get enough hearts, most likely, the profit for those videos would go to the developer of the game rather than the titular character, himself. Also, if it did happen, how does that even work; is it a "paper man in a paper house" situation? To us, both the video game characters and people are CGI; however, in universe, are people seeing Ralph's viral videos as a computer character or a person dressed as Ralph? It's really jarring & confusing. Continuing on that, the money made from ad revenue is not easy to access within a common days. Normally, it goes to your direct deposit or written in check within a few weeks. It's never made out to anybody who doesn't have a bank account at all. However, the shameless prostituting to leech off of dumb internet meme culture is far from the worst thing, Ralph does in this film. Toward the end, he does something really awful, that seems out of character that is not redeemable at all. His endangerment with Vanellope really took me, out of the movie. I wouldn't root for this guy, anymore! Not only that, but in-story, Ralph probably doom himself, as well; now since, his image is known as a very dangerous computer virus. I doubt anybody will play his game, any longer. Despite that, even if, he didn't do anything cringe-worthy. I found his final decision, to allow Vanellope to continue on with her dangerous and destructive path. Not a great message at all. Look, I get that we should allow love ones, room for themselves; but honestly, would you allow them to join a dangerous gang, because that is what they wants!? I doubt that. Nevertheless, that's not the only problem, I have with this subplot. It's the fact that Vanellope abandoned the quest to save her game, midway through the film. This action from her, is very disturbing. I get that, she doesn't really like, anybody from Sugar Rush, as they were former tormentors, but she has to take responsibility for her actions. After all, she was the one that overrides the player control, resulting in her cabinet's steering wheel being broken. Not only that, but she is the ruler of that place. She can't abandoned her kingdom on the doorstep of staying unplug. Having her quit and go hang out at another game, because it's new & fun, is just not a good message for a children. Even if Ralph get enough money for the part. Her absent might still doom the game. Unlike her lame excuse, I believe the gamers would probably notice her missing. After all, she's the one with the really cool super teleportation move. Not only that, her face is all over the game's cabinet. Nevertheless, I also hate seeing that none of the characters care to abide to any of the in-universal rules. Everybody seem cool about anybody going 'Turbo', nowadays, even if it could end, with all their games being shut down. It kinda contradict the moral message of the first movie. I wish the sequel would focus more, on something else. A better message. Nevertheless, the movie does have redeeming qualities. The animation is nice to look at. It has decent voice acting; including the returning cast & the new inductees. Even the cameos were well done. However, I hate that some supporting cast were demoted to extra. As for the humor. The Meta Disney Jokes were funny. The expense on the internet not as much. Look, I know that this PG movie can't go to the crazy and insane jokes that the internet has, but many of film's meme jokes will lose their relevance & will feel dated in the next couple of years. Despite that, overall: While, this flick is not a total wreck. This sequel just did not live up to the expectation that I felt a good movie like this, deserved. It kinda bytes. It could had been better.

Sleep
(1964)

I'm sorry, but I fell asleep, when watching this documentary from Andy Warhol. It's so boring.
As a pop culture commercial artist, Andy Warhol has work, in a variety of media outlets. Ranging from painting, music, photography, drawing, filmmaking and sculpture; he has mass produce anything that can be deem as artwork, through a factory-like assembly line. However, not everything from him was well made. Some of these so-called works, are unimpressive and laziness slap together. Don't get me wrong, I love his works with Marilyn Monroe's portrait & his Campbell soup cans; nevertheless, anybody with some eyes can see, that they pretty much, just stenciling copies of previous works from other artists, with minor adjustments, such as different text, color, & shades. Because of that, I think, he's a bit overrated. I don't think, he is the greatest artist that ever live. He's mediocre, at best and he knew it. Warhol's business philosophy for art, was never, about making anything new, complex and grand new to gain sentiment. Instead, it was finding simple, cheap familiar images, and nixing those works, just enough for pretentious art buyers to see value in it, once more. Warhol was only there to play the system & make money. In truth, many critics find Warhol's work as parodies of the growing commercialism around the 20th century. He really did like trolling his audience; into thinking that there is more value in a piece, than it honestly has. One such example is his 1963's documentary 'Sleep'. Influenced by a dance performance by choreographer Yvonne Rainer in which one of the dances in the solo section called 'Terrain' had a small portion of somebody sleeping. 'Sleep' consisting of long take footage of John Giorno, his lover at the time, sleeping for five hours and 20 minutes. The film was one of Warhol's first experiments with filmmaking & no surprised to everybody, it had a troublesome production, even with the simple premise. First off, much of the original footage had to be reshoot, a month later, due to the limitations of his 16mm Bolex camera forcing the film to jump every 20 seconds as Andy rewind it. Secondly, Warhol didn't know, what to do with the short amount of footage, so he just looped together a few shots, in order to give the illusion of a continuous sleeping experience. Sadly, it made for a highly repetitive watch, as badly edited cuts are very noticeable. Thirdly, of 500 people who attended the premiere in Los Angeles, only 50 people stayed, until the end. Most of them, became restless and asked for their money, back. One person try to start a lynch mob, when the theater refused! Even the projectionist fell asleep at certain points of the evening. While, it might sound like Warhol's film was not successful. Deep inside of Andy's crazy mind, he was having the time of his life. This was probably the goal, the whole time. He wanted to see the funny reactions! It was the funny punchline of a very unfunny joke. Warhol would later use this technique with his magnum opus 1965's eight-hour-long motion picture 'Empire'. Talk about really trolling the audience. That movie is hard to watch. Anyways, Warhol's uniquely counterintuitive approach to film, and his willingness to provoke negative and confused reactions from audiences is something that future artists like Andy Kaufman would do, later in their own careers. Regardless of that, the movie does have some value for those, interested in watching it. One such example is the film has been used in sleep studies with those, involved with Polysomnography (PSG). It has been used for decades to diagnose and evaluate the severity of sleep-disorders like apnea, excessive snoring, problems staying awake and narcolepsy. Another cool thing about this film is seeing the rapid eye movement or REM at work. You can see all five stages here. Techniques of neurosurgery, chemical injection, electroencephalography, positron emission tomography, and reports of dreamers upon waking, have all been used to study this phase of sleep. Other than that, the movie is not much to look at. John Giorno is not quite sleeping beauty. His attractive levels is pretty damn low, so I doubt anybody with a sleeping fetish would get their kicks. Maybe if the film had its original performer, sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot to star in this. It might had been a little more successful, but I really doubt it. Even extreme perverts would probably get sick of this movie after an hour, watching it. In the end, "Sleep' is one film, not worth waking up to go see. I wouldn't mind, it staying in deep hibernation. Let this Andy Warhol's film stay dormant.

Deep Impact
(1998)

I don't know about everybody else, but this disaster movie left a deep impact in me. I kinda like this film.
In 1998, two disaster movie involving celestial object collision were released, during the same summer. One of them, was director Michael Bay's fast, over the top, explosive action blockbuster 'Armageddon', while the other is a lot slowly, but emotional driven, science accurate motion picture directed by Mimi Leder called 'Deep Impact'. While, it's true that Bay's flick fared better at the box office, as it was a lot more fun to watch than this movie. One thing that this Paramount Pictures film has over its rival, Touchstone Pictures flick, is that, its story is better written. This movie is a drama, first and foremost. Unlike Bay's version, these people are not one-dimensional cartoony figures, but complex, human beings. This movie really does lets you connect emotionally with the characters for nearly a full year, before the comet's impending arrival. That's plenty of time to flesh out their stories within 121 minute runtime. Screenwriters, Bruce Joel Rubin and Michael Tolkin did a hell of a job, with that, working within the deadline pace. It made for, some quite emotional somber scenes, like journalist Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni) having to learn to deal with her loving mother, Robin (Vanessa Redgrave)'s decision to end her life & her estranged father, Jason (Maximilian Schell) wiliness to connect with her, before the impact. Another key moment is when teenaged amateur astronomer Leo Biederman (Eljiah Wood) has to tries to save his high school girlfriend, Sarah Hotchner (Leelee Sobieski)'s family, only to find out, that he might not be able too. Then, there is the story of the astronauts sent out to stop the comet including Captain Spurgeon "Fish" Tanner (Robert Duvall) having to question to risk it all in order to save as much people, as possible. All of these are complex dilemmas that the movie challenge us with; by inviting the audience to experience it from a real-world perspective without sugar coating too much. It's a lot heavier, film & every performer did a hell of a job, showing that. Still, I can understand, why some people might not like this movie. It's not the escapism brainless popcorn flick that they wish, it can be. However, I found this approach to cinema, more engaging than playing it safe by dumbing the stakes for fast action. I like that this movie took some risk. While, it's true that some of the characters are not as interesting as others & they do not make the best rational decisions when face under high stress situations. The people here, are lightyears more tolerable above the characters that 'Armageddon' gives us. Another thing that the movie does, that 'Armageddon' doesn't do, is give us a brief glimpse into the kinds of chaos, pandemonium and breakdown in social order that would arise during a potential world ending catastrophe. However, I wish, they would focus a little more heavily on it. We told that rioting and looting is taking place in major cities in the months before the comet's arrival & the president, Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) declared martial law. Yet, there are people calmly going about their business in downtown cities like New York City, even though the President has warned that the Eastern seaboard is about to be destroyed by a tidal wave. Shouldn't that metropolis, be a ghost town? They nearly had half of year to prepare for this, yet, it's only, when the comet is coming down, that people start to evacuate and panic. It come across as very jarring! At least, the movie should had done, a better job, establishing that there was a nationwide travel ban in effect. After all, Beck's character is pretty much, just that, an exposition dumping ground, both in on world storytelling and scientific jargon. While, most of the science that Beck talks about in the film is somewhat accurate. There were some things that he said that was really hard to believe. To start with, blowing the comet up with nukes might be a very bad thing to do. Even if you destroy the large object into smaller pieces, all of that energy is still going to directly effect, Earth, across the entire facing side of the atmosphere rather than one punching through into the ground. At a bare minimum, the atmospheric heating from that much material would burned North America & South America to a crisp & blinded anybody who looks at the object's descent if you can even had time to see it. Regardless of what would happen, the film in real-life, would not have a happy ending. Not even, a bittersweet climax with this choice. Instead it would probably be better to push the comet with a ground-based laser system, but that technology is not yet, ready, even today, nor in 1990s standards. Regardless, in real-life, years long deflection efforts like the one such in this movie is nearly impossible, because unlike asteroids, which are much easier to detect and track. Comets spend the vast majority of their lives out in the dark depths of the outer solar system, giving astronomers far fewer chances to spot them before they may come through our neighborhood. Nevertheless of the few science errors, the film was good enough for scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson to overlook them for entertaining value. As for the visual and special CGI effects, it was fine for the time. Parts of them, hasn't aged well, but it still look realistic enough to pass by. As for the melodramatic soundtrack from composer, James Horner. It was beautifully done. It's easy listening. It just sad, that parts of it, sounds like it was reused in the 1997's film, 'Titanic' OST in tone and timbre. Regardless, in the end, 'Deep Impact' is a motion picture worth checking out. Like a comet heading toward Earth, it will be a massive hit with you. Trust me, it's worth the watch.

Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da
(2010)

This devilish South Korean horror movie scared the hell of me! It's really, really disturbing.
Written & directed by Kim Jee-woon with some help from screenwriter, Park Hoon-jung. This psychologic thriller movie follows the story of NIS agent Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), whom vow to track down and seek vengeance on fame serial killer, Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik), by physically and mentally tormenting him, when his fiancée, Jang Joo-yun (Oh San-ha) was brutally murdered. Without spoiling the movie, too much; you really need a strong stomach to sit through this motion picture. It's really, really gory & unpleasant to look at. It's has a lot of glorification of violence, notably brutal cruelty against women. Because of that, the film had to be recut, several times, in order to have theatres be able to show it. A total runtime of eighty and ninety seconds of material was removed; including some explicit references to cannibalism & human bodies getting mutilated. Nevertheless, in international releases of this film, all of these bloody imageries were added back in, making this version of the demented cat & mouse game, a little more nauseating. I have to agree with some people, that it does borderline overwhelming exaggerated torture porn, a little too much. Certain scenes made me want to vomit. Nevertheless, with all these add ups, you would think the International version would be longer, however, surprisingly, it's still the Korean version. Why, because the international version did away a lot of sequences that the director deemed unnecessary like long establishing shots, some talking scenes and close up views of the protagonist and antagonist's emotional faces. However, I don't think, all these cuts for Western viewers, work within the film's favor. It kinda subdue the emotional weight & suspense, a little bit. Parts of the western version felt a little bit, emotionless & dry at times. Not only that, but scenes that supposed to be taken serious, are made to look silly, such as the moment, where the cops drop his fiancée's loose head, in front of him. While, the Korean version hold on the scenes, a lot more. Thus, allowing the depth of the crime, coming across, more naturally & tragic. Regardless, it's still, the International version that has the more powerful ending. While, the Korean cut focus more on the film's ending score, the international version shows the emotional heartbreak that the hero had to go through, as sounds of him, laughing, and crying is interlock with the music. You can tell by this version that the agent went too far with his game with the killer, that it broke him. Revenge cannot heal the inflicted pain. Regardless, both are viscerally engaging & beautifully filmed. The gore special effects and make up work were amazing. The murderous brutal actions look very realistic. It had that eerily voyeurism effect. Everything looks and feels painful. The action scenes were also top-notch. It was nice to see the NIS agent kick the living hell out of these evil beings! It was the only thing exhilarating in what is a downright dark & gritty depressing movie. Nevertheless, I just wish, the motion picture would had lightened up, a bit. Not everything in this world needed to be seem dangerous, sleazy, dysfunction, upsetting and downright bleak. Honestly, for good example, what was the purpose for the taxi ride from hell, scene? That battle with the thugs, felt like, really out of place & unrelated filler. Seeing a bunch of criminals, just so happen to pick up the killer seem a bit out there, too coincidence and somewhat unrealistic. Not only that, but one of the most hard to believe set ups in the movie, had to be the medical center scene with the nurse. The idea that the murderer can have one on one time with her, without any assistant, no other patients, no other doctors, bothering them, seem bewildering, not possible. To add on that, I doubt any rape victim would be willing to help heal her rapist & allow him to escape, just because the cop said so. Parts of the plot makes no sense! Not only that, but seeing the agent caught the killer again & again, just to let him go, got repetitive & tiresome quickly. Regardless of that, the acting in the film is pretty damn good, even if some of them, like Choi Moo-sung as Tae-joo does come across, as a bit over the top & corny. As for the two main stars; they really do seem to fit, their roles. Highly believable that one was special trained secret agent, while the other is a vile murderer, despite some moments of illogicality & inconsistency decision making. In the end, while, the movie is not that enjoyable. It did stand out, a little bit from all the clichés common slasher films; by introducing a game of one-upmanship. However, it could had been a little better. It's no 2003's psychologic film like 'Oldboy' that's for sure. Despite that, it's still worth seeing for some deranged artistic level. No wonder, why this South Korea movie was remade in Bollywood in 2014 as 'Ek Villain' and soon enough in America with the same name. It's one film, worth enduring for. It will surely freak you out.

Fahrenheit 11/9
(2018)

This documentary made me hot under the collar. It was very lukewarm. So disappointing.
Based on the trailers, you would think this motion picture, would be more focus on the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump. However, this documentary directed by filmmaker Michael Moore was all over the place. It was more focus on other things that has little to do with Trump like the Flint Water Crisis, the West Virginia Teacher Strike, and Stoneman Douglas High School shooting than anything that Donald Trump had his hands on. It felt like three different documentaries sloppy merged into one banner that to put all the blame on the president, when in truth, its cause by other people like Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, West Virginia governor, Jim Justice and nineteen year old former Stoneman student Nikolas Cruz. I'm sorry, that's a bit far reaching. First off, the Flint water crisis first started in 2014, long before Donald even got ideas of becoming president. Second off, Trump was not endorsed by governor, Rick Snyder at all. In truth, both men don't really like each other or have much of a connection, personal or business. There is no better example of that, than Snyder pardoned several immigrants, the Trump administration deemed dangerous and try to deport. Third off, Trump had little to gain for allowing Flint to go under. In truth, the Environmental Protection Agency was awarded $100 million to Flint, Michigan, at the behest of President Trump. That's doesn't sound like he want the city to suffer. As for the West Virginia Teacher Strike, while it's true, President Trump lash out on the thousands of teachers on strike in West Virginia & Jim Justice has connects with the President. What isn't accuracy is the idea that the governor was alright with plans to cut health and education spending, which in reality, he opposed of doing. As for the Stoneman Shooting; I believe, yes, the NRA is just as much to blame as the shooter that did it. However, Cruz had behavioral issues that weren't address in the film. Mental Illness is one of the biggest issues, dealt within the United States. To blame it all on the NRA is a bit one sided approach by Moore. While, they might be connection, with Trump's way of speaking of his immigration policy, sparking Cruz's extreme anti-immigrants views. In truth, it's Cruz's fault for acting out on it. Regardless, I am all for the gun control debate. Based on these counterpoints, you might think, I'm a huge MAGA fan, but in truth. I'm not. While, I might have some conservative views. I dislike the administration, just like any other liberal. That's why I felt so let down with this documentary. Honestly, if the best jab at the President is his weird incest like relationship with his daughter, Ivana. Then, you have a problem! Moore should had focus on, the controversies calls from the president, such as the controversial executive order denying entry into the U.S. to citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, the firing of FBI Director James Comey over an existing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, his shutdown of the American government over border control, the notable departures of people from his administration, his trade wars with multiply countries & etc. It would had made for a more compelling movie, than we got. Instead, the movie's contexts felt like it doesn't related much with the titular subject matter. Despite that, the movie does go to some new unique interesting areas that Moore hasn't, yet much explored. One of them, is Moore slamming Democratic as well as the Republicans. It's weird to see Moore slam some criticize to his own side, by pointing out, some of the failures of President Obama & the Clintons. It shows that he might not be, as one-sided as he once was. While, I agreed that the two parties picks for president in the 2016 election may not be great choices. I kinda disagree with comparing either candidate to the biggest mass-murderer in history, Adolf Hitler. Don't get me wrong, Trump is a horrible human being that probably deserves some hatred. However, using Hitler as a way to evoke a sense of emotional deterrence without much validity is nothing more than short of a stretch. It doesn't hold much weight. Trump is own type of a monster. Regardless, the documentary is very well shot & does a great job, using stock news footage. I just wish, it was well edited. I was extremely let down by how much, footage, the director had to cut, due to sexual abuse allegations production issues with the Weinstein Company. I was really looking forward to seeing Moore making a clandestine visit to the Florida resort Mar-a-Lago owned by President Trump before being escorted out by security. It would had made the ending, a little more powerful. Sadly, that scene was not in the final version of the movie. Moore kinda lied to us, when showing off, previews of his film. Very manipulative. Overall: I hate that Moore didn't serve Trump's head on a silver platter. The film should had been very powerful, but instead, there wasn't much food for though. It was no feast for our eyes. Such a letdown.

Little Giants
(1994)

It's time to wake up, the sleeping giant. I think, this long forgotten kid's movie from the 1990s is still worth tacking. It's rewatchable.
Inspired by an early 1990s McDonald's ad about Pee-Wee Football that ran during the Super Bowl & 1992's sport movie "Mighty Ducks' with a similar premise. This 1994 family sport comedy about an underdog ragtag peewee football team challenging another more advance team is still somewhat amusing to me, even after all these years. Yes. While, I do know, this film might not be a huge touchdown as it once was. Nevertheless, it's still a guilty pleasure of mine. Directed by Duwayne Dunham for the most part & written by James Ferguson and Robert Shallcross. The film does overused the 1976's film 'Bad News Bears' sport formula a little bit, too much. It does have some really, dated one dimensional shallow stereotypical children characters like the fat kid that eats & fart all the time, the geeky weak looking nerd with oversize glasses, and overdramatic tomboy girl. Some of the slapstick scenes, including them, could be tiresome and annoying to watch, especially during the bumbling practice antics & the big game showdown. Still, there is no need for unnecessary roughness. "Little Giants' ragtag bunch of misfits are very likeable. All the child actors portraying them, are decent enough to care about, even if some of the conflict involving them, seem forced, like Becky O'Shea (Shawna Waldron) getting mad at her father, Danny (Rick Moranis) for not treating her to the social norms of the day, despite the fact, that forming a rival football team was originally her idea. As for the adult actors. I found Moranis as the team's coach, alright to watch. However, his off and on love relationship with Patty Floyd (Susanna Thompson) was a bit forced & not needed. The whole thing is a little bit more awkward to watch, as his daughter has a crush on Patty's son, Junior (Devon Sawa) as well. If Danny marries Patty; yikes, talk about highly cringe-worthy. It will seem a bit incest like. Not good. Better, just to scrap Danny's crush, out of the picture. Despite that, Moranis gave a lot of heart to this otherwise, highly cartoony movie. However, the best actor in this film has to go with Ed O'Neill as Danny's older brother, over the top smarty football fanatic, Kevin O'Shea. He was amazing in this role. He had some of the best one-liners & insults. It's like if Al Bundy really did get to live up to his football fantasies, past scoring four touchdown in one game in high school. The jokes involving him, were mostly funny. However, some of them haven't aged well. Jokes like him, being arrested for peeping at children are cringe-wringing. Despite the detours into immature humor, the movie does upholds some positive messages, namely that all type of people can play football if they want, regardless of their talent level, gender, age or race. However, maybe the film should had portray the underdog team having more respect of game, by not, making them, cheated. After all, that's the villain's job, yet they barely do, that, besides Spike Hammersmith (Sam Horrigan). Instead, it's the protagonists that do all the dastardly things. Like how can it, be fair friendly-competition, if many of hold and facemask penalties made by the Giants, were uncalled for throughout the game? Better yet, how was the acid indigestion pills part, not an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty? Are the refs that blinded!? I guess so. They didn't notice that one of the team has a player trying to use an illegal sticky tar type substance. The game should had been throw out, just for that! Regardless, I didn't mind the notorious "The Annexation of Puerto Rico" fumblerooski climax of the film, as there were several variations of the play that were legal at the time. Since then, peewee football has made the move outlawed. Regardless, overall: This movie still score points with me. It was entertaining from start to end. I even dig the cameos from multiply NFL players; including John Madden, but it was a bit jarring to see Emmitt Smith help the Giants, despite playing for the Dallas Cowboy, most of his career. In the end, while the movie might not be a masterpiece. The film is decent enough to watch & have some fun. So, go see it. Don't drop the ball. You will thank me, tomorrow.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
(2018)

'Ant-Man and the Wasp' proves without a doubt, that good things do come in small packages. It was a fun superhero movie!
Its takes two to make a thing go right. That's for sure. This twentieth film installment of the MCU & sequel to 2015's 'Ant-Man' was an awesome watch. Based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name, the film once again follows Scott Lang AKA 'Ant-Man' (Paul Rudd) on his adventures into the microverse. This time, trying to rescue Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas)'s wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the mini quantum realm. But first, with some help from Pym's daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) AKA 'the Wasp', he must stop, a black market tech dealer, Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) and ruthless intangible government assassin codenamed "The Ghost" (Hannah John-Kamen), from getting their hands on their technology. Without spoiling the film too much; it's would probably be wise to watch 2016's film 'Captain America: Civil War', before seeing this movie from director, Peyton Reed. Why? It's because, much of Lang's storyline in this, is entangled with what happen in Germany. Regardless, the film does a decent job of summing all the events, leading up to current day. However, some people might hate all the exposition dump. After all, some of the information can be a bit overwhelming to take. For example, all the pseudoscience mumbo jumbo does gets a bit ridiculous to the point that the movie had to make a joke about it. Nevertheless, there is one thing that the motion picture didn't do good job, explaining and that's antagonist's origins. I really find it hard to believe, that 'The Ghost' was a stealth operative for S.H.I.E.L.D for a very long time, yet she was not use in the Avengers Initiative nor the organization split up in 2014 at all. You would think, she would had some sort interaction with any previous Marvel hero, before, this film. Yet, this is the first time, we are hearing about her. Another thing, the movie doesn't do a good job, explaining, is delving into if her father, Elihas Starr (Michael Cerveris) was a disgraced spy for HYDRA or not. It's really disappointing, because her father had a bigger role in the comics. Here, he is just a toss away character. Despite that, I do like, most of the updates, the writers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Rudd, and Adam McKay did with her. They made a character that originally, a one-dimensional bitter old man, into a new compelling sympathetic force of nature. Hannah's performance was great. Her frustrations, rage, and determination are evident in every scene she is in. However, her character does a lot of stupid things, for somebody who supposed to be a highly trained assassin. I guess, showing trouble with her powers to the point, that it is slowly killing her body is a great way to explain, how frantic & clumsy, this person can be, when trying to gain the tech. Regardless, you still really do buy into that, she might go through about any means necessary, just to survive. I just wish, the movie had the balls to allow her to go there. Nevertheless, I felt the Deux ex Machina ending with her was a bit of a cop-out. As for the other villains. I hate that Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) was downplay to the point, that he doesn't pose much of a threat. For somebody, once known as 'Goliath', he's pretty much a minor character. Sucks that there wasn't no two giants fighting it out battle. That would had been cool. As for Sonny Burch. He could had been a decent antagonist. Unfortunately, the movie treat him as a common comic relief. Don't get me wrong, Goggins is hilariously in this typical sleazy role, but a little more overtly dramatic performance could had made him, seem a little more fun to watch than a semi annoying bugger. Talking about villains, whatever happen to the rogue agent that got hold of Pym particles in the end of the last movie? It has never been addressed. As for the heroes. Lilly was phenomenal as the Wasp. She totally kick butt. Glad, they didn't turn her into a villain, just yet. Honestly, I hope, they don't take the Red Queen route. As for Douglas. He was great. Still, I would love to see his character's several split personalities issues come up, one day. As for Rudd; he is great, as the everyday man who happens to be a superhero. Yet, the whole mind possession gimmick acting with Janet was a bit too odd for my taste. Regardless, the most frustrating thing about Rudd's character, was very misguided, weak ass mistake, Lang does with the ex-con buddies that sets up the third act. I found his actions to be, illogical and out of place, for somebody who is a seasonal criminal. It was a bit annoying. I blame that on the writers. The ex-con buddies' part, felt once again, not needed. Nevertheless, most of the characters are likeable. The humor does shine here; much at Scott's expense after his malfunctioning regulator leaves him temporarily stuck at different sizes. However, it does beg the question, how he can quickly recovered in a few minutes, being over 80 feet tall, yet in 'Civil War', he need to three days for 65 feet. Regardless, the hot potato action scenes with the lab were very fun to watch, especially the car chase and the fight in the kitchen. Please, do yourself a favor and see this movie in IMAX 3D & don't forgot to watch to post-credits scene here, it's massively important to the plot of 2019's film, 'Avengers Endgame'. You deserve to see all the awesomeness with the added dimensions these formats bring, including the wonderful Stan Lee cameo. Overall: Despite having no answers for 2018's "Avengers: Infinity War' fans. In the big picture, it was a lighthearted palate cleanser film that was really needed to be seen. It's entertaining to watch. So check it out! It's a small wonder.

Freaked
(1993)

Don't freak out! Unlike some critics, I honestly like this movie. This freak of nature comedy was surprisingly, very entertaining.
The movie directed by Tom Stern about guests being turn into mutants & caged for the freak show, was originally conceived as a low-budget horror film featuring the experimental rock band, 'Butthole Surfers' in the titular roles. Then, after a year in production, the bizarre motion picture was completely rewritten into a comedy by Stern, Alex Winter and Tim Burn after their short-lived MTV sketch show, 'The Idiot Box' ended in 1991. Pitched to 20th Century Fox & dropping the aspect of the Butthole Surfers entirely in 1992, the film now feature an absurdist & surrealistic parody feel, full of expensive Claymation special effects, prosthetic, robotics costumes, puppetry & make up work. Heavily inspired by the drawings of ultra-gross out works from Robert Crumb, MAD Magazine & the Garbage Pail Kids, Winter & Stern had three different companies: Tony Gardner's Alterian, Inc., Steve Johnson's XFX, Inc., and Screaming Mad George's Studio work on the designs. While, for the most part, the effects were amazing, often giving homage to visual creators like Ray Harryhausen & Art Clokey. Some of the movie magic can be a bit visually overwhelming. The opening clay motion credits sequences with punk music playing in the background is one such example. It can potentially trigger seizure for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised. Then, there is effects that hasn't aged well. You can tell, with some of the creature features. One such example was Cowboy (Voiced by John Hawkes). His skin look more like rubber than cowhide. Plus, his mouth can barely moves. It looks really cheap. While, the dodgy effects didn't pull me out of the narrative, seeing how the comedy had a Meta value to it, where they point, in story, how crappy, some of the effects were, like with Sockhead (Voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait). I do wish, they could had done a better job with some of them. Regardless, for the most part, the visual jokes that came with the sights did work with me. I found myself, laughing my head off, at certain parts like the hammer, once being a wretch & the airplane crashing gag. Nevertheless, I do understand if some people might find this movie, unfunny. Some of the jokes like the Bob Vila parody would, indeed go over the people's heads, because how dated, they were. Then, I can comprehend, those who would get appall and repulse by this movie's gross out humor. Some of the exaggerated juvenile, cheesy, flatulence and gross out body humor can be a bit much to take. For example, I really didn't find the Eternal Flame (Lee Arenberg)'s gag, that funny. Farts are a bit one dimension. That character really could had been cut; along with a few others, that rarely affect the story. One such person was Ernie (Michael Stoyanov). That character was a bit obnoxious. I don't really understand, why he was there in the first place. You can have the same story with main hero, Ricky Coogan (Alex Winter) getting fuse with love-interest, Julie (Megan Ward), and still get the same results. Nevertheless, there is one character that really attached the story, all together & I'm not talking about the protagonist. Winter was fine in the movie, but it's the villain, Elijah C. Skruggs (Randy Quaid) that really shines. He was probably the best thing in the film. Much of the best laughs, come from his great way of deliverance. There is no better example of that, then the mistaken foot tease between him and the secondary villain, Dick Brian (William Sandler). That part, got me, laughing my head off! Even the supporting cast had some good hilarious moments. I kinda dig Keanu Reeves as the dog boy and Derek McGarth as the Human Worm. However, Mr. T as the bearded lady was kinda disappointing. Its sucks that the actor got stressed out, and left the production before filming was finished. They really could had used him, a little bit more. Regardless of that, as for the other cameos; Morgan Fairchild & Brooke Shields were fine within their short roles. One minor character actor that really need deserve credit & praise is Deep Roy, who played multiply roles within the film. He really went all out for this movie, donning costumes, make up and doing stunts work. He nearly died when a stunt involving being throw into glass went all wrong. Thank goodness, he was able to recover from those injuries. The stunt crew for this movie really did pull out a great show. Most of the slapstick kinda works for a PG-13 rating. Sadly, after several poor test screenings with rowdy clueless teenagers and complains from conservative parents, the movie was pulled from a worldwide distribution and only played on a handful of screens in the United States. They also cut its advertising budget, leaving no money for commercials or newspaper ads. It's sucks because Fox had such high expectations for the film that they released a number of products based on it, including action figures, a novelization and, most notably, a comic book. They really hope, that the film would be their version of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', or at least, their own form of 'the Toxic Crusaders'. Instead, 'Freaked' barely made it on the VCR & DVD markets, resulting in rarity. Even the soundtrack got hit hard, as many of the film's songs had to cut; including a demo from Iggy Pop. Regardless, most of the music that stayed, were alright for the time, however, the punk rock feel does feel a bit dated since then. Everything about the soundtrack, screams, trying too hard to seem 'extreme'. Regardless of the music, overall: this obscure gem deserves better than being commonly mistaken from a remake of 1932's Tod Browning film 'Freaks', when its clearly not. It's more than that. It's wildly imaginative, energetic and often very funny. If you want a definition of what makes a cult movie then this is as good start. Check it out!

Swing Time
(1936)

It's time to swing on over and go see this movie. Is it worth dancing to? Somewhat. It's a semi fine romance.
One of the most enduring complementary stars of Hollywood's Golden Age era, were the graceful, energetic duo of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers. They dance their way to our hearts, with films like 1934's 'The Gay Divorcee', 1936's 'Follow the Fleet' & 1937's 'Shall We Dance'. Nonetheless, many of critics & fans have said, that 1936's motion picture, directed by George Stevens, 'Swing Time' is their favorite, because it has the most advanced foot moves from all the Astaire & Rogers musicals. Is this movie really their greatest work? Dancing. Maybe yes. Story. For me, I don't think so. The story of a gambler, John 'Lucky' Garnett (Fred Astaire) taking a bet to earn enough money for a wedding, in the big city, was all over the place. Originally written by Erwin Gelsey and revised by screenwriters, Howard Lindsay and Allen Scott, the story didn't really seem to have much focus. It tend to have a lot of filler between dance sequences that really doesn't advance the story, much, mostly with a tiresome running gag involving pants. Scenes like Lucky trying to get a tuxedo off a drunk man to wear to an audition should had been cut. After all, he still able to gain, another audition, regardless of what he wears. As for the scenes where Lucky stays & picket out of front of a love interest, Penelope 'Penny' Carol (Ginger Rogers)'s hotel until she gives in and forgives him. It wasn't really cute nor funny. It's rather disturbing to see. How can I put this into perspective, Lucky had malicious intent to ruin Carol's reputation, by publicly saying, she's mistreated him, when in truth, it's him that cause the duo to miss out on a key opportunity. It's false accusations, and we, the audience is supposed to take his childish stalking resentful intimacy-seeking behavior as harmless. I'm sorry, but that's not normal. Not even for 1930s. Who in their right mind, would find this guy, attracted? I really couldn't buy into the idea that the duo were in love; despite Rogers & Astaire's well chorography dancing chemistry says they were. The film already has way too many weak breakup & unrealistic makeup scenarios with mediocre acting, up to this point. Each one of them, including the stolen quarter sequence was pretty awkward, lame & tacky. Not only that, but the conflicts were implausible resolves, just a little bit too neatly. One such example is the awful ending with the multiply weddings. None of them, honestly, makes no sense, if you think, deep about it. Quite, honestly, why was Penny willing to marry a scumbag, she doesn't like, such as Ricardo Romero (Georges Metaxa), just because she found out that Lucky was trying to marry another woman? What happen to her feminist leanings? It's weird to see this conventional and dependent side of her, come out. It seems like single career life was doing her, quite well. It's illogical. Films like this, really have some dated values. Believe it or not, settling down is not the raison d'être for all women. It's annoying highly clichés. It is one thing, the film could had also scraped. What the film really did needed, was some depth. It could had explore the dangers of gambling addiction in show business. Instead, the troupe dancing doesn't intermixed well with the card games. Despite that, the music & the bopping in this film were fine. For example, the choreography for the 'Never Gonna Dance' musical sequence was surreal dreamlike. I like the body language of the dancers in this piece, it express the character's sense of lost & despair, very well. Way, better than the first dance, 'Waltz in Swing Time', that suggest no movements of physical passion. Not only that, but there is really good camera work, during this sequence. Most of the dance is done without halting, cutting away, or splicing another take into the sequence. We saw the dance exactly as it was performed on the set, even if it 29 takes in total to get it right, which cause Roger's feet to bled. It's so poetic. Another brilliant sequence is the class room scene. I love the rhythmed, the two performers had with each other, while dancing to the song, 'Pick Yourself Up' by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Dorothy Fields. Nonetheless, it's a bit jarring to hear this song, outside of the more infamous, but popular prison scene from AMC 'Breaking Bad' TV show. However, not all the dancing in this movie has aged well. The blackface number, "Bojangles of Harlem" is very squirmy to watch, today. Don't get me wrong, I know the minstrel-like show sequence invented by dance choreographer, Hermes Pan with the three background silhouettes dancing with the main character was an obvious tribute to the great tap dancer, Bill Robinson. However, in a story, standard, the scene with the amazing special effects didn't need to be there, even if it was well filmed & performed. Much in the same way, the lost cut footage of the "It's not in the cards" sequence didn't need to be there. As for the singing sequences like 'A Fine Romance' and 'The Way You Look Tonight'. They were great to hear. No wonder, why the latter won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. As for the humor. It was a hit and miss. I will give the movie some credit. They indeed took some risk with the mouthing cursing joke. That was kinda cool to see in a 1930s movie. However, in the end, the dance numbers were a lot more entertaining than anything else in the film. As a whole, "Swing Time' is just alright enough to watch. Check it out, if you want to. Just note, it's not 1935's 'Top Hat'. That's for sure. Now that's a movie, worth tapping into.

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13
(2019)

New Japan Pro Wrestling gave its fans the keys to the kingdom & for the most part, it was a quite good PPV for them to watch.
However, 'Wrestle Kingdom 13' was not quite as lucky as the previous events, as there were a lot of things that stop the show from the Tokyo Dome, on being a total masterpiece. One of them was the fact, that the majority of wrestling fans knew that some of NJPW roster was indeed, jumping ship, and leaving for well establish American companies like WWE or starts up like All Elite Wrestling, due to them, spoiling it, on social network pages, a few days before the big event. Because of this, the show result were a little bit predictable like the main event between IWGP Heavyweight champion, Kenny Omega and challenger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, IWGP United States Championship match, champion, Cody Rhodes versus competition, Juice Robinson, and last, but not least, the three-way tag team match for the Tag Team Championship, between champions, 'Guerrillas of Destiny' (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) & challengers, 'The Young Bucks' (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) & 'Los Ingobernables de Japon' (Sanada and Evil). Still, without spoiling too much of the show, the contests were honestly, very entertaining to watch. The first match of the night, the Gauntlet match to determine the number one contenders to the NEVER Openweight 6 Men Tag Team Championship, involving the 'Most Violent Players' (Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi and Toru Yano), 'Chaos' (Hirooki Goto, Beretta and Chuckie T.) 'Suzuki-Gun' (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) 'the Elite' (Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi and Marty Scurll) and Yuji Nagata, Jeff Cobb and David Finlay shows that. While, not as goofy or fun as the New Japan Rumble, in which, it replaced. This contest did give an idea of what New Japan is thinking with tag feuds with the future. Nevertheless, the next match in the evening was the one worth watching. The Never Openweight Championship Match between champion, Kota Ibushi & challenger, Will Ospreay was acrobatic & strong style stiff as hell. This is a truly spectacular contest. Sucks that Ibushi got a concussion, because of this match. They really need to be, more careful. This brings us to Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match, between champions, 'Suzuki-gun' (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado), and challengers, 'Roppongi 3K' (Sho & Yoh) & 'Los Ingobernables de Japon' (Shingo Takagi & Bushi). For the most part, this contest was highly forgettable. All I can remember is that Bushi having wardrobe malfunction during his entrance with his hood covering, most of his face, causing him to blindly stumble out. The next fight on the card was for the Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship between title holder, Tomohiro Ishii and competitor, Zack Sabre Jr. While, personally, I hate cross-promotion matches, because I came here to see New Japan talents fight for New Japan promotion titles. I did like the technical, both were able to tell. The ending with the submission was a true highlight. The fifth match on the card was more of a joke. Like I said previous, it was pretty clear, who was going to win. 'The Young Bucks' didn't look like they had the will to win & 'Guerrillas of Destiny' was very silly with their over the top baby face turn. It was not a good contest. At least, it's more memorable than the next contest. The only thing, I remember about that match was the fact that Cody Rhodes was wearing the football colors of the Jacksonville Jaguars on his wrestling trucks, hinting on, his new adventure with Tony Khan, son of Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan. Like their previous match at 2017's 'Wrestle Kingdom 11', this was also highly mediocre. While the next contest had plenty of display of agility and acrobatics, it was equally as disappointing as the Cody Rhodes match. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match between Kushida VS Taiji Ishimori look more like a struggle. Personally, I dig the weird Kushida entrance. I just didn't like Ishimori having turning the jobber, Bone Soldier mantle into a winner idea. Ishimori deserves better. As for the Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada match. I kinda like the build up to this grudge fight. It was surprisingly a straight forward affair. Good contest with shocking results. It's clear by the end of the match, NJPW is trying to build new stars with Western audiences. IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match between champion, Chris Jericho & challenger, Tetsuya Naito was also fine. However, Jericho is looking utterly, not good. Aged is really catching up with him. He seem plastered, and bloated. Very unhealthy looking. Hope, nothing is wrong with him. Then, there is the IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match between Omega and Tanahashi. By far, my second favorite match of the night. I like the build up to this, with the Ace having to prove that, he isn't past his prime, yet. The really long match was stellar. Just wish Tanahashi focus more on building an in ring story with him working on Omega's injury leg. That's my only nitpick, besides the predictable value. Overall: I have to say, as a whole, 'Wrestle Kingdom 13' is worth watching, even with its weak middle card. I can still recommended checking it out, even if you don't follow NJPW that well. The show was pretty easy to get through. So, treat yourself like a king, and check this out. You deserve a decent watch.

A Christmas Story Live!
(2017)

I have woven a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan, because of this crummy live special. It was not a great watch
Life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us. 2017's 'A Christmas Story Live', a live musical television performance that aired on FOX is one such example. It was so frustrating to watch, as it was made by people that clearly don't understand the source material. Based on the short stories of humorist author, Jean Shepherd. This musical remake of the 1983 film of the same name, focus on the 1940s story about a child named Ralphie Parker (Andy Walken) on his quest to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, when everybody else, thinks, he shouldn't. To its credit, for most of the special, there wasn't a lot of botches and miscues when it come with the camera work, audio, lighting and musical timing dancing sequences. However, the pacing for this, was not good. There a lot of unrelated loose ends subplots that weren't needed like the girl learning to type. Plus, the musical numbers were a little too frequently, crammed in, without much breaks between them. Not only that, but the dance numbers last a little way too long for my taste as well. Some of them could had been cut, like the out of place modern day opening song from singer, Bebe Rexha; that look like something out of the TV show 'Glee' & the preview performance from the cast of 2017's film, 'the Greatest Showman'. Both had nothing to do with the film. Then, there was song sequences that had little to do with the main plot like the old man (Chris Diamantopoulos) doing crossword puzzles & mother (Maya Rudolph) singing about her domestic housewife life. I really don't get why the parents have fantasy daydreaming sequence now. It's jarring, because the story is told through Adult Ralph (Matthew Broderick)'s memory of his childhood. Then, again, song like 'He Won a Major Award' fit into the mold of the original movie, however, it still come across, as filler. Plus, it's way over the top to a point that it seem unconnected. Then, there is the musical numbers that could had been cut as they were already similar songs with the same premise. A good example of this, was 'Ralph's Nightmare' & '"You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" about the fears of Ralph of not getting his wish. To add on that, the catchy 'Ralphie to the Rescue' & 'Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun' western dance sequences could had been combined as well, so that the live event didn't have the 3 hour run time. There were already enough patting in the original film with all the subplot. This musical didn't need to add more to it, like a song about Hanukkah. That sequence felt does really oddly place, since its showcase during a live special entitled 'A Christmas Story', with the goyish main character. Plus, putting Hanukkah into this, is really opening a can of worms. What's next, Kwanzaa, Dongzhi, Shabe Yalda & Newton-mas spotlight, whenever they do any type future Christmas special! That's really too SJW for my taste. It's going seem more of a mess. Not only is it, not going to appeal to progressives; it's going to upset the majority of traditionalists, big time. It's really not worth it. Just do a one off Hanukkah special, instead. Let's Christmas specials, be about Christmas. Simple as that. Anyhow, the music written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul was mostly alright, however, the acting & singing throughout this special, were not that impressive. A good example of this, was Rudolph & Walken; they can't sing a tune nor capture the magic of the original performers from the 1983 movie. The only person that came close was Diamantopoulos, who was surprisingly, very entertaining to watch throughout this special. Regardless, most of the performances seem kinda hasty & rushed rather than normal & leisurely. Most of the recycled off tiresome repetitive color jokes told by them, including the sexual innuendos, under aged swearing and slapstick humor need the right amount of timing to work. Without it, most of the punchlines will fall flat than carry laughs. That's what happen here. It was butcher. Plus, it seem tamer. One such example was the narrator played by Matthew Broderick. He seems like he was awkwardly silently speed reading without much emotional depth, rather than taking his time, speaking loud and clearly. Don't get me wrong, Broderick can be a good actor, especially in musicals at times. However, this was not his best. He didn't conjure much of a mood, create a sense of place, evoke laughter, and bring the whole thing to life to the piece. It's such a letdown, because he does have somewhat of a soothing voice. Too bad, FOX couldn't just use the same old recording of Jean Shepherd narrating, again. It would had made this special better. Instead, we got cheesy angelic sound effect that follow Broderick, whenever he speaks. That was really tacky. Regardless, the musical was shot pretty well and the use of old timing locations really made it seem like it takes place in the early 1940s. However like many spin offs, prequels & sequels that follow the 1983 film. It ultimately falls short. It was a fudge to get through. Can't recommended seeing. Watch the original, instead.

Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House
(2002)

I would rather, take a painful paint can hit to the face, then to watch this movie, again! It's god awful!
After the mediocrity, yet short success of 1997's spin off movie, 'Home Alone 3', which has little to do with the original two films written & produce by John Hughes, 1990's 'Home Alone' & 1992's sequel, 'Home Alone: Lost in New York'; Disney & ABC (American Broadcast Company) bought the television rights of the film franchise from 20th Century Fox, in order to make a third movie with the original characters called 'Home Alone: Taking Back the House' where Kevin McCallister, now played by Mike Weinberg, having to defend his parent's house from his old nemesis, once again; this time to prevent a royal kidnapping. Made with a fairly low budget, the third, technically 4th movie truly did brought back, some of the individuals from the first two films. However, most of the famous actors who played those characters, were not able to come back & reprise their roles, due to budget cuts. In the end, they were all recast, with performers who clearly, haven't saw the original films. They look nothing like the original characters. A good example is French Stewart, who plays Marv, but ironically looks more like Harry from the first two films, played by Joe Pesci. Regardless, he acts like neither. As for Harry, he is nowhere to be seen. He was replaced by a new character, Vera (Missi Pyle), who best describe as Harley Quinn without the make-up nor the criminal talent. Her Northeastern accent is highly annoying. Talking about obnoxious characters. Michael Weinberg plays Kevin as an insufferable, over-blissful, in your face goofy, dumb adolescent, rather than the cool, well-back cleverly smart kid who comedic timing and precocious remarks act older than his age. Weinberg's performance is way too different from the original. He doesn't have the charm, nor chops to carry this film. It's like day to night compare to the first movie. Then, there is the MaCallister Clan. Not only, does the family look & act nothing like the original characters, but the film ruins it more, by having Kevin's parents, split up, and divorced for no good reason. Plus, there isn't much payoff. It's not like the film addresses themes of divorce, separation, and the effect they have on a child that much. It's rarely covered throughout the film. So, why do it!? Even the forced get together, toward the end was pretty lame. It's not like rich girlfriend Natalie (Joanna Going) deserve the abuse. For most of the movie, she treat Kevin with a great deal of respect. The movie is also very painful to watch, because in the first two films, you were rooting for Kevin to learn, the important of having family. Yet, in this movie, not only did the screenwriters, Debra Frank & Steve L. Hayes act like he hasn't learn his lesson. They had him, lose members of his family & not care, one bit. After all, it's seem like his siblings Linnie & Jeff has drop off the face of the planet without anybody noticing. The screenwriters also ruin the timeline. Kevin is now younger than he was in 2nd movie & his remaining siblings, Buzz (Gideon Jacobs) & Megan (Chelsea Russo) went from high school students to elementary children. It's so odd. I'm assuming that the movie is ignoring, as a whole the events of the 2nd film, but they also hint that Kevin & Marv have a long history past. It's very confusing. Supposedly, the history was changed, because the producers decided they wanted the film to set up a television series. Since, the movie failed to perform up to expectations. The series never went ahead. Even if it was successful. How does a Home Alone television series, even work? Will Kevin be abandoned, every week & reunited in different locations & scenarios, stopping out the same villains? If so, talk about, really bad parenting! Look, I'm not saying, the series would had turn out bad, but it's clear from this movie that concept of a child being home alone is already, getting a bit tiresome. Also, the show wouldn't have the budget to pull the jokes, needed every week. The slapstick jokes already falling flat. This movie is a good example. It didn't have that violent, cartoony, Tom & Jerry style punch. Everything was unrealistic sci fi technology base; none of the traps were gritty cleverly thought up. Compare to the other movies. The booty traps, here were pretty tame & way too child-friendly. It clearly made for children television. Plus, they make no sense. Why would a shower, have a large firehose button? Why would a moveable book shelf, have centrifuge over 9G top speed? Everything about this film, felt more like a sequel to 1994's flick 'Richie Rich' than 'Home Alone'. Even the butler, Mr. Prescott (Erick Avari) could easily be replaced by Cadbury from that movie. At least, Cadbury wouldn't be dumb enough, not to call the police & prevent Kevin from giving out audio evidence to his parents! Regardless, this movie kill director Rod Daniel's career for sure. The movie was shot horribly. The camera was either station, way too far, or way too close with the POV. The movie also had really dubbing. The ADR was crap. People sound like Tiny Tim high on helium. In the end, like Daniel Stern, who played Marv in the first two films, said "this movie is an insult. Total garbage." I have to agree. I give it, the count of 10 to get this ugly yellow no-good keister of a film, off my TV screen before I pump its guts full of lead! I'm not rewatching this movie, any time soon. This is one film, you don't want to be home alone with.

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