lbenot

IMDb member since July 2014
    Lifetime Total
    50+
    IMDb Member
    5 years

Reviews

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
(2019)

An Entertaining Insight
Smooth, well-done narration supported by archival photos and film of one band members recollection of the beginning, middle, and end of the musical group The Band. Unfortunately, yet another story of the personal and interpersonal destructiveness of drug use and addiction.

Dark Waters
(2019)

An Important, Must See Film!
A very powerful and well-done account of a devastating and relatively recent example of egregiously long-term corporate arrogance, greed, and social irresponsibility; verses the sustained dedication of one farmer and one attorney.

With such well-documented, internally done, red-flag-raising studies which revealed the substantial long-term health consequences of the manufacture and use of such a widely used product, one has to wonder - where were the company whistle blowers?

Also, in light of all the years of legal maneuvering and stone-walling, one must also wonder what efforts Dupont damage control executives put into keeping this movie from being made, released, and seen by the public.

It's rare for a film to entertain and inform, and where the superheroes are real live people. A superb and important story-telling that everyone should, if not must, see!

Richard Jewell
(2019)

A Gem!
Casting, dialog, screenplay, and acting (bravo to Paul Hauser, Sam Rockwell, and Kathy Bates) combined to create a very entertaining, powerful, and nuanced story-telling, while at the same time recounting a sobering example of a self-serving, blatant abuse of power carelessly wielded by a handful of ego-driven governmental and media employees.

The sparing use of understated piano work on the musical sound track was perfectly executed and placed, a feature of other Eastwood (a jazz pianist) films.

Don't miss the two memorable lines toward the end of the movie which were spoken by Jewell's attorney just prior to them both entering a room for their final meeting with his FBI accusers.

What has become a rarity these days, this film from beginning to end is a well-told story well worth the price of admission.

The Irishman
(2019)

The Dire-ish Man
Slooooow, gloomy, melancholy, been-there-done-that, blandly and tediously played out, with all the requisite blood spatter, and by all the usual suspects. A director's cut release that begs a re-editing, Scorsese has met his waterloo. With Pacino mis-cast, and DiNiro's facial cgi and blue eyes a huge distraction, Pesci conjured up the most with what he was given. Thanks to Netflix we thankfully saved the price of theater admission, but whether seen at home or the theater, a dismal waste of 3 and a third entertainment hours.

P.S. #1 Where was the technical adviser on the glaringly obvious 'here, it's the timing chain' goof? P.S. #2 Enjoyed the period look of all the film's locales, but while the period background vehicles were mostly correct, their always shiny, showroom condition spotlessness were not.

Jojo Rabbit
(2019)

Oddly Interesting, But Unworthy Of A 10
A few powerfully dramatic moments, some gifted acting by most but not all, a bizarre subplot which featured anachronistically humorous dialog, all seasoned by an odd and equally anachronistic soundtrack that detracted far more than it added. All together noteworthy and quirky, but far from all the IMDb 10's that will encourage many to see it.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
(2019)

A Pure, Biographical Gem!
Well edited and powerfully assembled, this beautifully done narrative begins with the calm words and pure voice of the star herself recounting her parents and early life, followed by just the right amount of commentary from those who know and love her. The vintage video of her performances tells the rest.

As will be the case with anyone who sees this important biography, I now understand and appreciate her important professional accomplishments and unique talent far more, but more importantly, now have a heartfelt and deep respect for the beautiful person she was, and now is.

The Peanut Butter Falcon
(2019)

Just Dreadful! (And Heavily Shilled?)
Just dreadful, top to bottom, start to finish. No redeeming value what-so-ever. The absolute worse screenplay in history. The Down Syndrome actor deserved a better script than to be sent running around in his underwear for most of the movie. Dern, who looked like he just wandered in lost from the set of 'Once Upon A Time . . . ,' was, again, an embarrassment. The initial dialog between the ridiculous love interest couple sounded like it was written by a crackhead. Horrible on so many levels. P.S. It's a sorry note that some of those who give this movie those glowing 10 ratings have been imdb members for years, but have rated few if any other movies. For at least one member of 5 years, it's their very first movie review.!?!!

Honeyland
(2019)

Depressingland
This film, deceivingly titled "Honeyland," starts out visually beautiful and charming. Enjoy it while it lasts, for what follows is what this film is really about: An audio/visual assault chronicling the depressing squalor and destructive stupidity of the "nomadic family" that pulls their trailer up next door, bringing with them (for the viewing pleasure of the audience) all their nonstop argumentative and irrational interpersonal relationships. They invade her land, steal and eventually destroy her livelihood, while we watch her aged mother fade away and die.

But not to worry, having literally scorched the earth and left it barren, they eventually hitch up their trailer and move along in search of their next host, leaving our charismatic middle-aged protagonist pondering the hope that she and her dog can start from scratch.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
(2019)

Nope!
Devoid of any plot, any meaningful storyline, and any skilled acting, the only redeeming value of this installment of Tarantino Giddy-Teen-Mentality Narcissism is the 1969 LA backdrop, which just in case you didn't notice it, is shoved in your face via a vintage neon sign montage toward the end of this are-we-there-yet trip to nowhere.

Poor DiCaprio, struggling to pull it all off, to most notably include his cutting-room-floor-worthy scene of trailer rage; Pitt, just happy just to beefcake his way through yet another movie on his way to the bank; and most regrettably, poor Pacino and Dern . . .

A ridiculously long 2-3/4 hours of one disjointed, clumsy, cringe-worthy scene after another. It certainly isn't art, and other than watching that white, windows-down '66 Coupe De Ville wheel around town, it isn't entertainment.

Wild Rose
(2018)

Hold Your Nose!
Although we were able to understand less than ten spoken words by anyone in the entire movie, the action clearly depicted a totally unsympathetic, self-centered, alcohol-guzzling looser who had long been the hard to watch wrecking ball in the lives of her long suffering mother, the true staring role of the story, and her long suffering children; while, totally unprepared for life, she escapes it by dreaming delusional of becoming a famous country singer in Nashville.

Sound entertaining? It ain't! It's depressing. But it's worse than that. Most characters were nothing more than clunky, mechanical insertions; and for a movie about an aspiring singer, the music was scarce, and what there was poor to awful.

Ruben Brandt, Collector
(2018)

Snob Bait!
Simplistic, stupid, and un-entertaining story line (unless you're stoned) acted out by Inventive animated characters with extra eyes, faces, mouths, and an endless variety of Picasso-ish/cubism-ish head configurations, most notable in the brief crowd scene. The cars, machinery and backgrounds were creatively well done, and offered the only redeeming entertaining value (1 star worth) to an otherwise total waste of admission price and time. The whole nonsensical mess, including the reoccurring appearance of the snail and butterfly, will most certainly provide grist for those very special few who can also hear a secret coded message when playing a Beatle record backwards.

Wishing Box
(2017)

Honorable Mention??? Really???
Just saw the 2019 Oscar nominated animations. Have enjoyed seeing these nominated animations for years and the 2019 is worst bunch ever. One was pretty good, the other three were uninspiring and two downright depressing. Nominating committee must have been pseudo intellectual artistic snobs looking to reward works of art with 'deep' meaning. This well-done, humorous, and clever animation was shown as an "Honorable Mention." The most entertaining of the bunch and should have been a nomination.

Stan & Ollie
(2018)

Bravo!
A very entertaining movie that has it ALL: engaging story line, terrific editing, rich vintage backdrops, an intelligent script and direction which included humor as well as pathos, and most importantly, absolutely splendid lead and supporting acting! The physical likeness of the actors real life counterparts is amazing, as is their subtle kinetic and vocal mastery of Stan and Laurel's comedic mannerisms. A biographical gem that pays tribute while it respectfully humanizes.

A Dog's Way Home
(2019)

A Dog!
Saw and enjoyed "A Dog's Purpose" so was hopeful about enjoying some clever, creative, and charming story-telling. HUGE disappointment! A few charming moments aside, nothing clever nor creative . . . nor entertaining. There's more than a few annoying and implausible plot twist and turns that were too poorly conceived and/or executed to be over come by the predictably happy ending. A mediocre child's TV movie at best. Interesting to note Hollywood's new, not-so-subtle "Mary Queen Of Scots" Trend of manipulating the screenplay and casting for politically-correct inclusion.

The Mule
(2018)

The Minuscule!
Clint! Why?!? You're an icon! This action-less, disjointed, diminutive plot is too far too small for your iconic stature and charisma. You deserve better, and so do we.

The meandering story telling was weak and forced: flower hobbyist, broken family life, bikini clad drug lord parties, Nothing flowed. There was no entertainment value to be found anywhere. There were a few brief out of character moments, brief glimmers.

As one of your countless huge fans, I'm hopeful you have at least one more well-chosen performance to showcase and memorialize what you instinctively do best.

Mary Queen of Scots
(2018)

Merry, Keen - Ah, NOT!
The content and telling of some historical events and lives make for good movie entertainment, but this ain't one of them. Great costuming, hairstyling, and locations, but the joyless story line plodded along drearily and uninterestingly toward it's chauvinistic concluding doom. If you must see this dreary downer, take an antidepressant first.

Isle of Dogs
(2018)

Meh . . .
Visually unique, I really wanted to like this movie. But in the end, the overpowering synergy of the very slow pacing, the boring story line, the ridiculous plot, and the constant monotone of the droll dialog made sitting through it very disappointing.

The visual novelty wore off, it dragged on, and it seemed far longer than it was. I was relieved when it finally ended. Edited down it would have been far better as a 15-20 minute short animation.

Unfortunately, another one not worth the price of admission.

Phantom Thread
(2017)

Bland, Dumb Dread!
An aggravating and tediously slow storytelling that is about nothing, and goes nowhere, unless happy endings built on sadomasochistic relationships are your thing.

The sister's icy gaze and mannerisms are worthy of the Nurse Ratched Award, and kudos to the background collective of seamstresses who gave the film it's only glint of humanity.

For those who willing to endure the over two hours of self-indulgent posturing and loathsome, dis-functional bickering, the truly sick abhorrence of the ending may make you holding back your vomit.

A feel-bad movie where the award should go to - if you were hoping for any inspiration, beauty and form - the car.

The Shape of Water
(2017)

The Sad Shape of Moviemaking
While the basic premise of this King Kong-ish plot, the lead acting (with the exception of the stereotypical and WAY overplayed villain), and the recreation of the 60's time period are all somewhat worthy (three stars worth), there are many oddly-forced and clunky scenes all of which impede the storytelling flow and represent a serious distraction: Gratuitous gore (rotting fingers, headless kitty), homosexual innuendo, masturbation, a bathroom that will hold 7 feet of water by simply closing the door and putting a towel under it, inter-species love at first sight sexual attraction and off-screen consummation, and a Saturday-Night-Live-like song and dance skit (?), among several others.

Even with the love-conquers-all 'happy ending' and a beautifully depicted submerged in water embrace final scene,' overall it doesn't digest well.

P.S. The shill-like adoration of just the titles alone (!) of most of the 10/10 user ratings for this film are absurdly hilarious, their effusively giddy text even more so.

California Typewriter
(2016)

Behold, The Lowly Typewriter
Unlikely, but well-done documentary which examines the history and current status of the lowly typewriter via commentary from people having diverse perspectives: the long-established but struggling repair shop operators; the antiquity collectors of the earliest models; the people, some famous, who still use and romantically embrace their antiquated machines; a small group who performs percussive 'music' with typewriters; and a super creative artist who turns unusable typewriters and their parts into incredible pieces of art.

Filming, Editing, and musical soundtrack were superb.

Intelligent and entertaining, a historical, sociological, and philosophical all-in-one study well worth the price of admission.

The Hitman's Bodyguard
(2017)

It's A Hit, Man!
A formulaic, unrealistic, and stereotypical plot with stereotypical bad- guys, but not to worry. It's Samuel L. Jackson to the rescue, schpeeling his patented MF-ing bad-ass self against a backdrop of spectacular car chases, mayhem, and a gratuitously high and blood-spattered body count.

Enjoyed the eclectic musical soundtrack, which really fit; unlike the MF-ing-obsessed dialog out of the mouth of the beautiful Selma Hayek, which really didn't.

The chemistry between Samuel L's charm and Ryan Reynolds' deadpan works, and the comedic content and delivery of their repartee is the real entertainment here.

Wind River
(2017)

Bravo!
A well-written and acted crime drama that told the all to common story of man's evil inhumanity to man, all set against the beauty of Wyoming's (Utah's) late winter back country.

While plot centers around the Jeremy Renner role's unlikely involvement in unraveling and tracking of the crime, one of the subtle underlying themes this movie touches on is the long term effects of the historic mistreatment of the American reservation Indian, to include the current law enforcement 'jurisdictional nightmare' the was alluded to in the film and further explained in the IMDb 'Trivia" comments (be sure to read it).

There can be no happy ending where the rape and murder of innocents is involved, but the conclusion did skillfully offer up a satisfying justice, and bit of redemptive hope for at least some of the survivors.

A quality story-telling by a superb cast.

Baby Driver
(2017)

Worthy But Flawed
Interesting plot premise, entertaining action scenes, appealing boy meets girl romance sub plot, and a plausible but weakly truncated ending, all weighted down by suddenly poor script-writing/story-development toward the middle of it all.

Ensemble was well cast and, surprisingly, was able to see past Jon Hamm's 'Mad Men' typecasting in his portrayal of a convincing bad guy. Unfortunately, the Jamie Fox role was written with a little too much anger and didn't allow us to see at least a little bit of what he's best at.

True Grit
(2010)

True Entertainment!
A difficult task it is, to take a near iconic movie and improve upon it, but the Coen Bros. and cast most certainly did it here. The poetically earthy cadence and content of the richly written dialog was masterful, as was the ease in delivery by all in the cast who spoke it.

Bridges completely owned and clearly reveled in his wonderfully nuanced performance, and the young actress who played Mattie filled the tall order of making real and believable the unusual precociousness of her character. The entire cast delivered, not the least of which was the traveling doctor or Bear Man, whose all too brief appearance was a delightful Coen Bros. confection.

This is one of the all too few films that measures up to the difficult task of intelligently entertaining the eye, mind, and spirit; something the Coen Bros. have been able to achieve with uncanny consistently.

Bravo!

Atomic Blonde
(2017)

Yea, Baby!
The screenplay, action, dialog, acting, soundtrack, and editing all skillfully converged to result in entertainment well worth the admission price (for a change).

Theron was a very convincing bad-ass and easy on the eye, always a welcome combination. Buckets of blood, but spy genre escapism at it's best.

Looking forward to watching her next assignment.

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