masterjk2

IMDb member since November 2004
    Lifetime Total
    100+
    IMDb Member
    16 years

Reviews

The Undoing
(2020)

INCREDIBLY STUPID
ALTHOUGH THE EARLIER EPISODES HAD SOME GOOD ACTING AND SOME INTERESTING PLOT TWISTS, THE FINAL MISHMASH GETS THE ALL TIME AWARD FOR MOST IDIOTIC. WHEN WE DISCOVER THAT OUR VILLAIN IS ACTUALLY WHOM WE HAVE SUSPECTED THE ENTIRE TIME HAS LEFT THE HAMMER IN THE FAMILY BEACH HOUSE , WE REALIZE THAT THIS IS A PLOT OF PUTZERY. THIS GUY IS SUPPOSED TO BE BRIGHT AND DAYS LATER HE "HIDES" THE MURDER WEAPON AT HIS FAMILY'S HOME, NEXT TO THE OCEAN AND HAD TO CROSS WHO KNOWS HOW MANY RIVERS AND ESTUARIES TO GET THERE? HE COULDN'T JUST TOSS IT IN? AND THEN THE ENDING, MELODRAMATIC MORASS OF MORONITY. I FEEL SORRY FOR THE ACTORS WHO WERE PUT THROUGH THIS PIECE OF NONSENSE. SURELY THEY WEREN'T SHOWN THE ENDING UNTIL 10 MINUTES BEFORE FILMING OR THEY WOULDN'T HAVE AGREED TO ACT IN IT... OR ARE THEY THAT DESPERATE FOR WORK?

Lovecraft Country
(2020)

Boring
I'm not into comic book series and this is or should be one. Fine acting, a good storyline and high production values are essential for me to rate something highly. The cgi special effects are good, not spectacular. The acting is fair and the storyline is pathetic, bouncing from one nonsense situation to another. I watched 2 episodes. Done. It is, as far as I am concerned unredeemable. I have to be involved in the characters and what happens to them. Couldn't care less. Secret societies, secret rings, secret monsters, secret powers...better they had kept the whole thing a big secret.

The Plot Against America
(2020)

A PROPOS
Roth's book could not have foreseen the disastrous results of the 2016 election but in a parallel universe, the two events, the election in 1940 and the manipulated election of 2016 both produce disastrous results. Just as the great leader, FDR, led us through the 2nd most difficult time in our nation's history to a successful conclusion, we are now faced with the complete ineptitude of our current "leader." By demonstrating what could have happened had we made such a poor choice as Lindbergh we see the comparisons of what has happened with in installation of a man such as Trump who has put us on a path to destruction. Thus, the book/series have tremendous relevance to current events and the production is top quality. The sets, locales and dialogue are meticulously produced and the feelings of angst are similar as they are to today by anyone with a modicum of intelligence. The acting is believable and the emotions presented are involving. Roth of course would have portrayed a "typical" Jewish family and in so doing shows the inequalities of the society through the lens of the downtrodden who always feel the societal inequities before the masses.

Game of Thrones: The Long Night
(2019)
Episode 3, Season 8

WITH BAITED BREATH
WE WATCHED G O T BATTLE SCENE TONIGHT, FINALLY. WE'VE FOUND THE OTHER TWO EPISODES DISAPPOINTING. BY FAR THE MOST INTERESTING ASPECT OF THIS SHOW FOR US HAS BEEN THE DIALOGUE WHICH AT ITS BEST HAS BEEN SHAKESPEAREAN, NOT TO MENTION THE FINE ACTORS. THE FIRST TWO EPISODES THIS SEASON WERE PEDESTRIAN.... THE OLD "HI HOW ARE YOU AND IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME" GENRE. BUT THIS ONE WAS PRETTY SPECTACULAR. I'M NOT PARTICULARLY INTO BATTLE SCENES, NOR DO I PLAY VIDEO GAMES. BUT THIS WAS STAGED WELL AND DRAMATICALLY TENSE (THE ADVANTAGE THAT CURRENT DRAMA HAS IT THAT YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS GOING TO DIE. WHEN I WAS YOUNG, WHEN WESTEROS WAS YOUNG, THE HERO AND HEROINE IN MOVIES AND TV ALWAYS SURVIVED. THOSE CLOSE TO THEM COULD BE SLAUGHTERED BUT NOT H&H. NOW... WHO KNOWS... WHICH KEEPS THINGS TENSE. SO PEOPLE DIED. THEY DO. BUT MOST OF OUR FAVORITES LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY, WHICH THEY WILL. PEOPLE TALK OF IT "BEING TOO DARK." I SUPPOSE IF YOU'RE TRYING TO WATCH ON YOUR IPHONE OR IPAD, MAYBE IT IS. ON OUR 60" LED SET, IT WAS FINE. OF COURSE THERE WAS A LOT OF CONFUSION, BUT IN WHAT BATTLE SCENE IS THERE NOT? FINALLY, THE MUSIC. IT WAS SUBDUED FOR THE MOST PART. THE BATTLE WAS THE THING AN ITS SOUNDS OF DEATH. THEN, IN THE LAST 15 MINUTES OR SO, CAME RAMIN DJAWADI'S FINE SCORE... A HAUNTING TUNE WHICH UNDERSCORED THE LOSS, NOT THE VICTORY FOR SURELY ALL MUST HAVE BEEN RELIEVED TO BE ALIVE WHILE STRICKEN WITH GRIEF FOR THE LOSS OF SO MANY.

Lykke-Per
(2018)

Disappointing
Although it starts out being an enjoyable, rather predictable movie with good performances, it turns into a sad little tale about a man so engrossed in his predestined life of poverty that I ended up hating it. He is, from the beginning, an egocentric genius but he doesn't develop. He merely becomes more shriveled, dooming himself to a life of poverty and frustration that was exhibited by his father. There is nothing wrong in showing this lack of development. It's not pleasing to me. We know he is very flawed when he steals a suit and apparently never pays for it. And his hubris towards the functionary dooms him. He has no idea how to get along with people. It's a type of 19th century Cinéma vérité in plot structure (not the sets which are magnificent) which gives us an in depth look at a man doomed to fail. I enjoy characters who grow in stature rather than laughing at their failures through Schadenfreude.

The X Files: My Struggle IV
(2018)
Episode 10, Season 11

Need to hire a writer
Although a few of the episodes had the flair of the old show, this one was a complete dud. A show that couldn't have lasted more than about 40 minutes had about 25 of Mulley and Skulley running around buildings along with Mulley muddling from one car chase to another. This they call writing? Or was it a Mustang commercial? Really if they are going to return any time soon they will have to do a lot better than this. I fast forwarded the chase scenes for otherwise I might have fallen asleep.

Our Souls at Night
(2017)

L'AMARA dolce VITA
It's the performance of these two fine actors which make this a most worthwhile watch. The plot meanders slowly and somewhat predictably, but enjoyably. But the pastels of performances paint a picture of end of life sumptuousness if not lugubriousness in the end. Fortunatley we are left with hope, perhaps only fleeting.

Medici
(2016)

Au contraire
I read one review which more or less implied he watched 8 episodes because paint was drying elsewhere and he had nothing else to do. The music is beautiful. The acting is fine, not great. The cast is handsome. The plot is sometimes twisted but believable. The scenery is wonderful and the cinematography is very fine. The costumes are made with great care it would seem.Frankly if you don't like historical dramas, don't watch them. There are no car chases. There are no gun battles. There is history though. If you like that you will like this series. I watch many historical dramas and would rate this one a solid 8.

The Judge
(2014)

Deadly Dull
Although it's true that Duvall's performance is quite fine, you have to pull teeth to get the plot to move along. If someone suggests you see it, tell them you'd rather go to the dentist... less painful. It's 2 1/2 hours of misery. Every sentimental, sanctimonious cliché is paraded for your viewing and they drip with saccharine homilies and superiority. The slick lawyer who leaves the big city to defend his demented father who is a judge and who hates his son because he's very successful, albeit defending criminals... isn't that what lawyers do? They don't all defend people whose dogs poop in a petunia bed. I genuinely hated this movie. I turned it off once to watch something else. I went back to it and finally fast forwarded the "love story" which was boring and hackneyed, along with the dear "cute" little daughter scenes. Can't say enough bad about this clunker.

Black Narcissus
(1947)

What a bore
If you haven't seen this movie, don't bother. Although it may have had some significance in 1947, now it merely seems quaint and very dated. I don't even know why I bothered to watch the whole thing. I thought something was going to happen besides the mad nun going mad. Movies of this period quite often featured a "native" like "Sabu" the magnificent. They were considered oddities by movie goers then, exotic. Certainly his costumes were. But of course they also needed Whites, dressed up to look "Indian" to play major roles, hence Simmons in what is probably her strangest role. But I have to wonder if it is not the fault of the screenplay, not the author which makes this such an uninteresting tale. It seems to be inspired more by Fort Apache (including ominous drum beats) than anything really Indian. She lived in India most of her life and seems to have written well of it. The story of a bunch of nuns (already a dubious subject for me) is ludicrous, offering "help" to the locals and the bringing the heathens to a real religion (as opposed to Hinduism -a sort of religion/ social structure over 5,000 years older than Christianity). It's preposterous, but plausible to Brits and Americans who understand nothing of the world, particularity in 1947. And of course it did happen, to no avail. The most gratifying part of the movie is the failure of the nuns as they ride off on their Shetland ponies.

But as for entertainment, better to meditate for two hours for intellectual stimulation. The cinematography was good for the time. The costumes and setting were lavish. Amusing that not one part of it was filmed in India, mostly Pinewood studios. And to offset the ringing of the bell by Kerr they presented what was surely Tibetan monks blowing dungchen, not to be found anywhere near Darjeeling, even though it is in the farthest Northern reaches of India. Usually Rank movies are quite good. This was quite a disappointment.

The Counselor
(2013)

Ridiculous Ridley
Someplace here there was a tale to tell. McCarthy must of been high on dope when he wrote this existential screenplay. It starts with an engrossing :-) love scene between two stars under a sheet. The rest of the plot is about as obfuscated. Scott is usually a better storyteller than this. People come from nowhere and shoot 'em up. There are long diatribes about the meaning of life which are meaningless. Who knew cartellers read Kant and Schopenhauer? No one survives but the the evil cat woman. How this "Counselor" got himself into such a mess is never made clear. Why Bardem's character ever trusted his mistress is even more opaque. Why anyone thought this could pass for good film-making is ludicrous.

The best acting is accomplished by the Cheetahs. Their grace in killing is far more natural than anything else in this dumbfoundingly stupid movie.

No stars for anything but the cinematography.

The Hunter
(2011)

Nice scenery
I gave it a 5 for scenery and Defoe's performance. But the plot is muddled and the ending not really pleasing. Also, the picture of the rat faced "tiger" in the movie doesn't even seem to be accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine The one shown above doesn't look anything like the movie's depiction. But the scenery which actually shows many parts of Tasmania as a truly wonderful looking place. Too bad they didn't have better screenwriters and better publicists. Who ever heard of it? It went almost directly to video, obviously but with Defoe and Neill it should have surfaced. But as it was it just wasn't cohesive enough to entertain a large scale audience.

Dark Skies
(2013)

For the birds
No wonder all the birds crashed into the house. They were trying to stop production on this turkey. It starts well and builds tension well with several scary moments. And then it happens... what so often does... what happens next? Nobody knows. The screenplay devolves into chaos.

After they meet the old man with the hat and newspaper clippings, the plot wanders and finally degenerates into flashing lights, lights from under the doors, big booms and swelling of doors. We've seen it all before and so much better done. It could have been good but wasn't. Acting by both parents was good and the older boy. The child mumbles his lines so badly nobody cared what he said. As for the "greys", fade to black. This was obviously low budget special effects.

World War Z
(2013)

Brad to the rescue
Brad Pitt has become more than just a pretty boy. He can involve you so you care what happens to him. That's what saved this movie from being just another Zombie Walking flick. The writing was pretty mediocre from so many standpoints. The opening scenes are good except it certainly takes Brad and family long to run. If everyone is running away from something, is that not a good time to start running also as opposed to dawdling around waiting to interview someone? But it was scary. The scene in Jerusalem was very well done, even if obviously CGIed. Who knew Zombies could swarm and plan like bees? The plane scene is good also. The bicycles to the military plane seem stupid. And the chase down the WHO hallways seems, ludicrous. They sent Murielle to Nova Scotia... Oh No. Not Nova Scotia. That seemed lame. It's worth the watch, but no classic. But the film has its moments.

The Great Gatsby
(2013)

Soulless
So much time was spent on the staging of the elaborate parties, which was well done, that there was little for the core of the plot... the three affairs, one with Nick and Jordan, totally ignored. Of course the movie can't cover everything and it did hit the high spots accurately, but there is no passion, only ersatz parties, which anachronistic music including "rap" at one point is played. It's just poorly written. Fitzgerald's book had soul and vision of a society corrupted by greed. This movie seems to extol the value of greed, proving that "all that glitters is not gold" as far as movie making goes. DiCaprio was good as was Maquire, but the women seem more like mannequins... perhaps echoing performances of silent screen stars of the 20s.

Blue Jasmine
(2013)

Blue Meteor
I believe I have watched every Woody Allen movie ever made. This was probably the darkest and most cynical. As he gets older he is extremely pessimistic, often. Blanchette's acting could reasonably earn her an award. But the movie could get one only if there were one, "Most depressing." As for the listing of it being a "comedy," yes, I think I did chuckle, twice. The rest of the time I watched as these people caught in their worlds of woe clamor to reach the surface of the slime pool they have created for themselves. The only two who seem to survive are the grocery store clerk and the mechanic who may have found love in a world of simplicity.

It is an indictment of people who are willing to climb to the top over the bodies of all those with whom they come into contact. That's appropriate. But the drug addled protagonist is difficult to empathize with and thus the movie fails, terribly. At times it borders on boredom for the plot is extremely predictable. As she sits on a bench, mumbling to herself in some fantasy world, we are confused... should we pity her... should we despise her... should we see in her our own failings? Since it was clearly the last scene, I hoped that a pigeon would fly by and crap on her head. PLEASE... some comic relief.

Oblivion
(2013)

Were we so lucky
I gave it a "4" since it had a beginning and end (2 points) a middle (1 point) and some lovely blue skies (5 points) I deducted 2 points for stupid plot and another 2 points for poor video game. This movie has little to offer unless you have never seen a movie before, or a video game. Most of the action was a video game which is fine if you're 12. I'm about 5 times that. The acting was stone face or "awk" surprised. In it's favor it wasn't 4 hours long. But is was over 2 hours long and that's about 110 minutes too long for this movie. The screenwriter obviously thought he had come up with some brilliant ideas. A mish mash of many others ideas is what we have. If you haven't figured out the entire plot in about 20 minutes... sorry you're a bit slow. "Oblivion"... that's where this turkey should rest. I noted that in this country, it bombed. But worldwide, it was a hit. Of course, many of these countries are just now getting their first movie projector. it's a whole new world. Can hardly wait for "Oblivion", the book.

After Earth
(2013)

Crash landed all right
I saw the bad reviews except for some schmuck who now writes for Ebert (he must be shivering in his grave) which gave this no chance. But it was directed by Shyamalan... he who is usually quite brilliant... at writing. For this one he had help... story by Will Smith, undoubtedly some bedtime story he told his son. It just stinks. There's nothing else to say about it. I kept thinking, it must get better. it didn't. I had no empathy for any of the characters, except for the eagle. Will Smith was wooden to the point he seemed best animated when he passed out. The kid has no talent. Obviously if the whole thing hadn't been bankrolled by the Smith family, it never would have been made. I think Shyamalan had better be careful. Too many of these turkeys (I did watch it Tday night) and he'll be out of business. Nice scenery. Maybe it can be clipped for a travelogue for Costa Rica.

The Bourne Legacy
(2012)

Ultimately Drivel
I gave it a 5 only because the lead actors were so good and the plot was reasonably good until it devolved into another silly car/motorcycle/foot chase. Hey, you can do this once. Not every damn movie. It's boring. The rest of the plot was plodding, but at least it had some structure, albeit trite. Then bring in the big names Albert Finney (unknown for anyone under 40, probably)- Scott Glenn, Joan Allen for their 2 minutes a piece to pretend it's a continuing saga. Then they sail off into the sunset? Mon Dieu, Bond did that a hell of lot better. Everything was set up to keep the Senate from hearing about the super secret program yet we only get 3 minutes of testimony and that's it? The Gilroys kept the screenplay for themselves and what a colossal mistake that was. It stinks.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
(2012)

Abe-bismal
What a stinker. I guess the ones who wrote rave reviews took time out from reading Marvel comics and playing videos games to see the real life of Abe. I don't think I've seen a dumber movie in some time. Not only is the basic history completely wrong, the plot is about as believable as Alice in Wonderland. Now there was a drama! Alternate realities are OK if that have some sense of sensibility. Abe the magic axe wielder is not. I watch In True blood and the whole Dawn series and enjoy them. But when you try to mix a real persona with a fantasy, you had better do a lot better than this. And of course they had to have a "chase scene." They chose horses. Very dramatic. :-( Love the part where the vampire throws a horse on top of Abe and he just keeps coming. Any idea how much a horse weighs? If one falls on you, you won't be getting up.

As for the phony train sequence, seen that done that before. I guess if your 10 years old, this passes for drama. Too bad they couldn't squeeze in Big Bird as a vampire gobbler.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
(2011)

Dreadful
So I've seen all of them... not sure why but I did enjoy the first one. From there it was mostly downhill, except the last was OK too. #2 and #3 we OK, but lacked the verve the first one had... the imagination. After that it's just a cat and dog fight amongst the adversaries. Rosenberg has written the screenplay for all of them and except for the first has shown little true talent. The plots are pedestrian and hackneyed for the most part--- passing for fair daytime soaps, barely. But I like the cast; several have good acting skills. But Dawn One reminded me of the old Star Trek series when the actors all get together on the enterprise and sit around staring at each other wondering when the plot is going to start. But she's got millions of suckers, who fall for this stuff. Most of the movies have grossed about $300M on budgets of $100M or less. Imagine what they could have done with a talented writer!

Da Vinci's Demons
(2013)

Fantastic Film Flam
The sets are good. The acting pretty good although the lead is pretty amateurish. The drama is good. The facts are fallacious. There is virtually nothing factual about it at all. So it's listing as "fantasy" is quite accurate. Leonardo was primarily known as a great painter, in his time. And although he did imagine many ingenious constructions for war (where this series is headed) very few were actually made and not in the way it's presented. The lineage is correct. The fact that he was a vegetarian is correct. But his infatuation with women is probably incorrect, certainly the way it's presented. He was after all charged with sodomy about the time of this production and was only acquitted because one of the others was a Medici. Really, if Mr Goyer want to write something called Domenici's Demons about a fictional character who lived in the 15th century as a total fantasy, fine. If it could stand on that basis, great. But to steal the name of one of the most gifted men who ever lived and create a fantasy about his life to make a few bucks is too manipulative for me. I shall watch no more. It's one thing to enhance. It's another to prevaricate. The Da Vinci code was enough of that nonsense.

Prometheus
(2012)

dumb just dumb
Surely it takes more than just a lot of very good special effects to make a movie. At least I think it does. This had probably the worst plot of any Sci Fi movie I've ever seen considering the amount of money wasted in making it. There wasn't one original. idea in it and they stole concepts from about every Sf movie made in the last 30 years. It starts with explorers finding a cave in Scotland in 2089, yet they look like they just stepped out of an LL Bean catalogue circa 2000. OK, move on. They have discovered wonderful hieroglyphics which point at the sky. They match others who point at the sky. From this pointing they deduce how to find the planet the aliens came from. Amazing. So a rich man funds the project and off they go. he sends a hologram in which he says he wants to help mankind and will soon be dead. Only the brain dead cannot see the plot coming... aliens found...alien secrets of life found... rich man gets eternal life. Hovering in the distance in is cold hearted daughter. They land and discover a large mound that's hollow and seem mysterious. Mysteriously, they leave their weapons at home and head out in a large craft that could hold 100 but only has 5 and trailed by two golf carts that hold four... this way they will be threatened more when the big storm comes. Hello...Ever seen Red Planet? A dead steal from that movie. They discover wonderful things and of course since everything in the world is just beautiful, don't worry about monsters or evil. Bowling pins start oozing goo, little things slither through the muck and become spitting cobras which kill and they find monster #1. Meantime they have to scurry back to the ship because a big storm is coming. One woman gets pregnant with an instant alien (think Alien movie), rips it out of herself, stitches herself up and goes back to battle. The movie title should have been Artemis. Meanwhile, David, (think HAL-2001 with a body) goes goofy. Mad wealthy man appears ON THE SHIP... big surprise. How many movies have had a wealthy man dash off into space to live forever? They all head back to Magic Mountain to find the one true alien. Like a sleeping Prince, they kiss him awake and he goes bananas... tossing them all aside and going to his giant console, like Quasimodo, playing a giant organ, bringing the ship to life. The unlucky scientists flee, trying to get off the ship. Our fierce captain tries to ram his ship into the other ship (think Independence day) and does. It goes down with all hands aboard, except the undaunted female scientist who escapes, finds another alien ship that she navigates with David, who is now bodiless, except for a head. She heads out to find the other Aliens and see if she can persuade them into helping mankind...HAHAHAHA. Of course, on board is another alien, think Alien. The sequel will feature Segorney Weaver. Mein Gott! alien, think Alien. The sequel will feature Segorney Weaver. Mein Gott!

Battleship
(2012)

Rub a dub dub
Boy, what a loser. Did it ever occur to anyone that a believable plot would have been good. Instead of this hackneyed, trite silly one. It tried to play on every heart string it could but failed. The bumbling boy who is so stupid he breaks into a 7-11 to get her a chicken burrito? Could anyone be so stupid? Well our hero could be. And his fair damsel thinks it's cute, instead of incredibly dumb. Then, the war. I realize that Hasbro makes a lot of games for children, which made its segue into this movie easy. But I haven't been 16 or younger in many years. So I found it boring and incredibly anachronistic. The evil aliens fly billions of miles so that their one communication ship can crash into a satellite. How clumsy. And their most advanced weapon is some sort of WWII pipe bomb that is launched by some whirring device? It's amazing they could make it to Earth with no roadside stops for a Dairy Queen. And their force field that rejected all aircraft suddenly stops working for the rest of the movie? And their spacemen only come with hands that turn into Swiss Army knives to kill? Better they should have stayed home, along with me. Whatever made them think that Peter Berg who has done little of importance and nothing on this scale could handle such a project? Not that he could have saved it, but someone like Emmerich would have made it a least a little more believable.

99 River Street
(1953)

Dead End
The only reason I watched this clunker was it was on Turner Movies and has touted so highly by the guest that night. Yes, the settings are truly good film noir. And the plot had its high moments ... and low ones. The twist in the theatre was imaginative, if not believable. But the idea that this actress (where did they find her??? Was she really sleeping with the producer of THIS movie)would give up her so sought after part to follow the boxer around like puppy dog was ludicrous. As was her "acting." it's no wonder this movie is "unknown." Better it had stayed that way! The lead actor is quite good and the supporting cast is also, for the most part. I wasn't in NYC in the 50's, but I'll bet this is the way it was as for atmosphere.

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