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    4 years, 8 months


World's Greatest Dad

Cracking up one moment, in tears the next.
So, I thought this was doing to be a goofy comedy similar to American Pie stuff--nonsense in other words. Well, it had American Pie content with the masturbation. But then it got more serious, and the son killing himself accidentally while masturbating in a faux hanging style . It is funny like that show with all those crazy ways people died, but it quickly becomes serious and sad. And so the whole film you are laughing one moment and in tears the next. At first I said 7/10 movie about a fourth of the way in. But then as it went on, it had a lot of depth.

Kyle was a troubled young man who was very insecure, and so tried to cope with it by insulting and acting like a douchebag. You could see he was suffering. The actor did a really good job with the character. The part where Robin Williams' character first catches him masturbating in his strange way is well played out by the actor. Kyle's expression and words are so real. He plays it so realistic to a son being found by his dad masturbating, and Robin Williams likewise. And Kyle is played well until his death.

Then Kyle dies, and Robin Williams holding his body in his arms quickly turns anything funny about the scene not funny. Tears come. And it is like this the whole movie. The depth comes in how, when they read "Kyle's" "suicide note" andjournal, they all suddenly like Kyle. It's not a, "Hey, we were jerks", but they act like Kyle was their friend. It shows how shallow people can be.

Robin Williams plays the grieving father part so well. And they story and characters are very intelligent, too. The Kyle character is very real. What is called a douchebag, a guy who acts as if he is some sort of cool guy and everyone else is a loser because he is some insecure. And his friend with the drunk mother who represents the son that Kyle's father wished he had.

Well, laughs and tears. Great movie.

Young and Beautiful

Thought provoking, but not a GREAT movie. Good by not great
I liked it. I love French film, and it was on Netflix. I have a special pity for women forced into prostitution by whatever circumstance. It really makes you think about the reality of the life of a call girl, whom one calls for pleasure. If you treat her well, respecting her, like the old man did, fine. But think about how many men treat her like crap. And that's what this film does.

The actress is naturally beautiful. The relationship with her brother adds a good element to it that might otherwise cause it to be stagnant.

The problem is not that this movie lacks a bunch of dialogue or action. That's if you want Hollywood nonsense. This is a well made film. I just don't find it GREAT. But I might watch it again. But I am not dying to.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Funny, but not as funny
This was fun to watch, but nowhere near as fun as the original. Chevy Chase played his part perfectly as always. And the other characters were funny too. The nasty father in law, the crazy, senile aunt, the cigar smoking uncle with the wig, the hillbilly relative Eddie, etc. The touching moments necessary for a good comedy (like comic relief in a tragedy) are well woven in. I almost cried when Clark was stuck in the attic and looking at old movies of when he was a child with his mother there. Of course that whole scene was funny with the boards that we plopping up, hitting him in the head. And the yuppie neighbours were hilarious. Nice touch.

However, I just cannot get into this as much as the old one. It is not something I wold watch again I don't think. I might...but not like I would watch the original. The story line did not flow as well. I think it did in the old one because they had somewhere they were going. Here they did not have that, and they did not have any sense of counting down until Christmas Day. Well, funny, but not as funny, and not as well written out.

Son of God

Doctrinally sound, not a hippy Jesus, but departs from the Gospel in terms of how things happened, when, etc.
I liked it. It did have my issues. For example, he calls Peter by that name right off, rather than Simon. Big issue. The name was changed so that Peter could be called "rock" to signify his deep faith as the Fathers teach us.

Also the trial thing before Pilate is way off. And Pilate, who is a saint in the Orthodox tradition (he converted)is depicted too harshly. True, he was harsh before he converted, but in the case of Christ's Passion, he was mild, trying to avoid punishing him so far as possible. They depicted his wife, Claudia (St. Claudia) rather well, though not as clearly as they could have. Pilate seemed a mix of cruel and more kind. Gibson did a good job of balancing it out. Likely because he researched the oral traditions about Pilate and Claudia, who converted. There are a few accounts, generally positive, of this. The main point is that the whole trial is way off. It does not give the full account, and he was tried in private in this movie. Pilate asked the whole "what is truth" in some inner place in his palace. Totally off. How did the Gospel writers know this happened then? They wrote based on what they saw, which is why their are small discrepancies in the Gospel accounts, though yes they were guided by the Holy Spirit, etc.

Then there is the Nicodemus thing. It's inaccurate how they depict his going to Jesus. He came a NIGHT according to St John, not day like in the film.

Anyway, the good points. A thing many may not notice, but Mary is depicted in blue according the Catholic tradition--look at Marian art and notice this. Blue signifies her purity. Also, the bread and wine clearly are represented as literal body and blood.

Some have said this is hippy love dovey. I do not think so. Maybe because they do not know the understanding of Christ according to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic tradition, but a fundamentalist one. They might do well to read the compassionate Desert Fathers, who though they lived strict lives, taught gentleness and love. There are many doctrinal accuracies in this movie first of all that the non-Christian watcher may not notice. Or the Protestant perhaps, that is someone who has no understanding of the Fathers of the Church. I do not see how Jesus was some hippy in this movie. I just do not see it. I think he is depicted accurately. I was very happy to see that this movie was not full of vile heresy. Hollywood's Jesus is often, well....

Anyway, aside from the errors of Scripture on a superficial level, the substance of the Gospel and doctrine are followed. It is clearly a very Roman Catholic leaning film. Maybe that is why some Christians do not like it.


Addicting but...
Well, by Season 3 and the whole, "I get it done...." sassy Olivia Pope thing....gee,it's ridiculous. I mean does anyone actually act like that? She's such a shallow, rather immoral person. David Rosen is the only really honest, decent character on the whole show.I am sorry, Olivia Pope is not this white hat with the stuff she does. Sure, she's not Cyrus, sorry. The acting and scripting is mediocre at best. I think it says something about the American mind....and mine...because I watch it every week. It's so bad it's good.

Also too much sex. Not even talking morally here. Just too much sex to make up for lack of substance. And the three vice presidents now? Come on! And the attempted coup was not very realistic. And Cyrus and his gay thing. This new guy thing and the wedding. It's just really too much. It's really like the vice president thing. A bit far fetched. And Olivia is so fickle in her thing for the president. Sigh....but I am addicted.


Perfectly Acted To Make Up For Bad Scripting
Peter Falk excellently portrays his character. I am sure that Vincent D'Onofrio got his character's behavior on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent". In fact many of these stories are rather like Law and Order in their substance and manner, including some rather bad scripting. However Falk makes up for that in all his skill. Where the stories have that bad writing, both in script and substance, Falk makes up loads for. I do not want to knock the show. It is a classic, and perhaps these detective shows require it, like court drams require a little imperfect, dramatic scripting to satisfy an audience. But for the good! Falk is just amazing. He pulls off the bumbling guy in the trench coat just perfectly. I know I am knocking the stories and writing, but really what makes this show is Falk, Falk, Falk! That's what it is a classic. I am sure it could have done rather well without Falk, but it could never have become the classic it was without him. So I can only take away one point for what is lacking in the writing because of Mr. Falk.

The Dark Knight

Mediocre acting....shallow, flat Batman with greatly played Joker...badly moving storyline but nice to see in light of the TV series Gotham.
First, Heath Ledger, rest in peace, was hilarious as the Joker. I can't be the only one who laughs at the Joker. However, I was not a fan of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Alfred was played well, and Morgan Freeman made an enjoyable Lucius Fox. On the whole though, the acting was okay. And though I knew the move was three hours when I began, I sort of forgot and when I got to the seeming end with the Joker being captured, I was like, "Alright, this was lame." But the second half made it worth watching, though the mediocre acting and other negatives made is OKAY on the whole. Entertaining, but lacking in something. I think Batman's tools were too modern and made from outside. I think they should be a mix between the classic and modern technology. Batman is a genius. I understand Fox finances, but it's like he is the brains while Batman is the playboy muscle. Also that. Batman can be a lady's man without being a flat, intelligent, but not so morally deep character. The depth of Batman's foundations are not shown here, and he is more muscle and penis than anything. The positives, other than the Joker and pleasant Morgan Freeman are lacking IMO. I really did enjoy this movie though, mostly because I have been watching Gotham and have wanted to watch Batman. The movie also has a bit of a badly moving storyline. I know this review sounds contradicting, but it just lacked in too many areas to give is an 8, and so its a 7 for me. Not a flop, but Bale makes a shallow, dumbed down, muscle man that requires Fox to hold his moral fiber together, as shown in the triangulating scene where Fox is outraged at the immorality of tapping phones.

Independence Day

Mediocre but Classic
This film is on the whole not very good film. It has its moments, but is mostly mediocre action, but it is entertaining. It's just far too melodramatic IMO. I like the top secret program that even the president is ignorant of, a concept in a story I wrote, but the sci fi is just far too Hollywood to be good. Enough time is not devoted to that. The acting has its good qualities with some of the actors, and some of the characters have a likable quality, while others have this sort of, again, overly dramatic caricature. The father who sacrifices himself to save the world is not overly dramatic in itself, but even a nice touch. One of the better ones even. But the way he does it, with all the "come to mama" and "I'm back, boys!' is just hokey. It really makes you cringe like you do at a person who tries to hard to be funny. But when I cringed at this, the moving moment made up for it. I hate to be using the same words, but it was a bit too feel good an dramatic. All of a sudden the world was just all friendly and kumba-ya? Pfft. But it's a fun movie. I'll watch it many times, just because it has that classic 90s thing to it. Will Smith is his usual self, an actor I do not tend to like, though he has his talent. But he's likable, though I am not sure he is the great actor he is made out to be. Some people are like that. You can hate their acting, but like them. On the acting the acting is not great actually, but it may be the horrible script. Watch it over and over, but far better stuff out there.

Secrets and Lies

Well acted by three actors and enjoyable storyline.
This show is pretty good. The good actors hold it up, including Ryan Phillippe as the falsely accused, who plays his part in a real believable manner, and then Juliette Lewis plays Detective Cornell in a very captivating way where you like her character but says she's freaky and a..well you know the word. Also, perhaps forgotten, the gorgeous Indiana Evans shows great talent. She plays the snarky daughter with skill. She knows how to take advantage of her full lips to give this pouting look that defines her character. Also she pulls of the American accent fairly well as an Australian. What I really like is how Phillippe though does not try to hard and come off as a caricature of the falsely accused. He had it just right. Some things may be a bit overdone on the show as a whole, but that's the nature of TV dramas. Sort of like the Olivia Pope thing. Good show. I think this one will last till the end and not be cancelled.

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