IMDb member since June 2005
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    15 years


Blue Ruin

Clan conflict revenge sucks in an unlikely killer of killers.

Artful and effective. Well defined original, not stock, characters in some intensely genuine scenes, plus all the murderous mayhem required.

Loved the Evil Sisters!

Madea's Big Happy Family

I've missed a lot of "Madea"s, this is only the 4th I've seen and by far the most serious, with Auntie Madea (Tyler Perry) dishing up heaping helpings of tough love for every family member. all overclouded by the imminent death of niece Shirley (Loretta Devine). I know Tyler Perry's made other social dramedies, this is like one overseen by Madea, so when the drama becomes intense, you know there's always broad comic relief just round the corner.

A bit somber and moralistic, but count on Madea's Big Happy Family for a little levity and a lotta Love.

I Feel Pretty

In a largely successful blending. A satire on the unrealistic and arbitrary beauty expectations of women, with Amy Schumer as the ultimate female beauty ideal! Mostly clever, falls down at climax when lead character Renee Bennett (Schumer) issues an Everywoman's Beauty Manifesto, delivered to an audience of stick-figure fashionistas, not exactly a target demographic, save for a couple of her pre-beauty gal pals as plants.

Women like Ms Schumer were simply born bout 100 yrs too late--Until the new-found athleticism of flappers, the skinny ideal of the Modern 20th Century Woman, buxom was beautiful. Rubenesque has come to be used too often as a kind euphemism for fat, but Ms Schumer is as close to a truly rubenesque beauty ideal as you're ever likely to see. And so comically gifted!

Southside with You

Very effective, pithy condensation of the origin of the Obamas' relationship, following them throughout their first day spent together.. Intelligent script where every word counts, 2 young adult lifetimes' worth of details, with the 2 principals admirably delivering all the verbosity without letting it negatively effect the growing romance

A must for students of recent American History

War Dogs

NOT to be confused or compared to Chris Walken's Great DOGS OF WAR
Opposite ends of the spectrum

Yet another retread of behind the scenes arms dealing, this one a dramedy (minus comedy), based on a boring, I mean True, Boring story

The proper formula of cliche's is key to general audience reception, and here all the cliche's practically fall like an endless row of dominoes on an infinite moebus strip, with barely enough time between each to recover your breath, awestruck at the level of mediocrity.


Even the great comedic actor Jonah Hill can't get water out of his millstonr of a rude, crude, no bs Non-observant Jewish stereotype. Actually Jonah does get some slime off the rock and do this boring stereotype with an actor's professional level journeyman's effort to assure his burnished, unblemished place as one of The Great Actors on Film

Hi-point? Jonah screaming across the rooftops of Bagdhad, like a muezzin calling all the faithful to prayer: "I'm in a muslim country and can't get a b---j!"

That's it, Folks, and all downhill from there

Blood Father

Saga of Father-Daughter on the lam. sometimes annoyingly pedestrian and corny, but good enough overall to be worth a fun watch. Even achieves occasional father-daughter moments that ring true, rare in such an action cliche' relationship in such ridiculously over the top situations. Humor is hit and miss, but the hits made me lol


Decent way-out "science" fiction, distinguished from the pack by it's classical European setting. I hate cgi, so big problem for me. but not most, I'm sure. For cgi it's pretty good, even for me. Actors really put it across, all good

Dead Water

Terrific Love Triangle thriller, with a hired hitman added to the trio, all stranded at sea. Think "Dead Calm" but, while Billy Cruddup played just an admitted Very, Very sick kid (Kudos, Billy). Husband (Griff Furst)'s rival (Casper Van Dien) is an obsessed super-wacko his contemporary, accompanied by his hired assassin. Ups the Testosterone meter off the dial, sexual and all other ways. And consider they're all parrying around this delectable delicacy of a girl-next-door (Brianne Davis), with enough estrogen to come out on top with the man she's deeply in love, and he likewise devoted.

Character interaction absolutely crackles at every turn and just enough gimmicks and reversals to raise the energy level to the stratosphere.

The Dig

Measured, affecting recreation of an ancient archaeological excavation on the brink of WW II and how it affected the many lives focused in such a miracle moment when we almost see The Mind of God, particularly those lives of The Old Man Excavator played by ol' man Ralph Fiennes; and Excavator and Patroness, a worldly woman, on death's door, played by Carrie Mulligan. But all cast are superior. Also Beautifully shot and edited, like a wave passing through.

Quality Entertainment

Wake Up

WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pretty good homicidal amnesiac story. I figured out who killer was their first appearance on the screen, but still interested to see what happened to everybody else meantime, especially the luscious and intelligent Francesca Eastwood, who I hope I'll be seeing more of. Denouement lost me entirely, with all flash-backs to explain what everybody should have figured out by then

Bad Day for the Cut

Mostly good suspense thriller bout the seamy aspects of Northern Irish society--sex trafficking, IRA terrorists, clan grudges--with the annoying inclusion of a clueless Polish character whose whiny stupidity makes for an unfortunate reinforcement of the stereotype. I was hoping he'd get killed off as excess baggage early on, but no such luck, with us to the very end

All the talk bout "Mad Orgies" w/Eastern European prostitutes is just a tease, ultimately even admitted in the script itself. Still the cast's interaction in multiple interrelationships that change by the moment are generally well-paced, good rhythm of fast to slow action

Fun Fact: apparently Northern Ireland is quite behind the times, as represented here, last place on earth still playing muzak in elevators in 2017, unless it was included as an unrealistic gimmick, one of mercifully few the filmmakers couldn't resist that break the general mood of seriousness But overall good

The Mechanic

Near perfect movie of type. Vincent is the one weak link. Type cast as the Blond, bland, world-weary before his time teenager, unfortunately some of his lines are too smart for him to deliver as well as they should be, and some are delivered even blonder and blander than he is, which is A Lot! Ironically, his best performance, imho--obviously Not a fan. But w/his box office at the time, the part was definitely his for the taking if he wanted, and did.

But in the end everyone knows, any Charlie Bronson character works best Alone!

The Next Three Days

Impossibly hyperbolic fable of the herculean tasks some people will take on to reverse Justice denied. Impossible, but fun in a "What if they really could..." kind of way, and even has a certain "truth" in such a realm of possible within the impossible, with the inevitably happy ending in such an impossible world of unfettered possibility.

Quick cut, fast, colorful, violent , unique situations in fast succession, alternate with scenes of family life, in which heartstrings are stretched past snapping, and quiet, near silent, intense sequences of Russell Crowe's focus of intention while time feels like it slows just so that he can accomplish the task. then back to the fray.

Fun ride, as long as you can suspend belief infinitely.

Sea Fever

Xlnt underwater sci-fi, with a lot better science than most. Xlnt cast of diverse distinct characters, all very well-played. Hermione Corfield holds it all together as the cool-headed, emotionally distant scientist among well-worn, seasoned seafarers who've never experienced anything like this before. Nobody has. And the constant excruciating sense of foreboding in the murk. More demanding and rewarding than your average Deep

Cut Throat City

Set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this is a full-out ghetto boy makes it Big Time rags to riches story, with unique characterizations of stock characters in stock interrelations, sensitively and deftly played by all. And Adult Boss figures (Terence Howard, Rob Morgan, Wesley Snipes), each wonderfully One-of-a Kind Freaks, all played with polish and panache.

Another Day in Paradise

Masterful but disturbing treatment of Immature adult crooks taking advantage of lost youths to play Bank Robbers. Great Performances expertly shot with a real depth of feeling for the characters' interrelationships and interactions: Adult to Adult, immature as they are, and youth to youth as degraded as they are, each adult to each youth, particularly Male Youth (Vincent Kartheiser) and Adult Male (James Wood), then Male Youth and Adult Female (Melanie Griffith) and finally Melanie's with Female Youth (Natasha Wagner)

They proudly call themselves "Desperados"--Real desperation, in a good way


Typical "Face-Off" between Chinese mafia and yakuza in San Francisco with "Tthe Rogue" (Jet Li) on and off both sides, with allegiance to no one but himself, with Carson (Jason Statham) in hot pursuit. It becomes obvious that these guys are ridiculously invinceable, and no matter how many started, they'd be the only ones left standing.

Good secondaries, well-played. Well-shot, with standard ott fast-cut fights and one particularly unique chase through a yardful of concrete storm drainpipes in a surreal yellow light. Good use of SF Chinatown settings

Good commercial product


NOT yet another S.W.A.T....
Superior all-star actioner with well-written, well-played diverse characters in their well-devised interrelationships that set it apart from the usual S.W.A.T crowd

The Private Life of a Modern Woman

Frustrating series of unrelated vignettes, each a piece of a featurette wrapped in a featurette. Sienna Miller's character goes back and forth between being tongue-tied and brilliantly articulate for no reason. Total mess

Hour of Lead

As in, after the incredibly complex and involving build-up in this "Virginia Woolf" rework, the makers dare you to accept a pop-psychological explanation courtesy of Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Didn't buy it, p'ed me off


Fairly credible actioner bout Jason vs a townfull of methmakers and his fatherly efforts to provide a peaceful homelife for his motherless daughter in the midst of it all. Good Bad characters among the family of feuders

Gone Girl

Call me crazy, but why would he want to bring up Rosemary's, I mean Rosamund's, I mean Amazing Amy's baby, clearly the Spawn Of Satan?


Sisters of Death

Looking for the de Palma classic, I stumbled across "Sisters of Death" and decided to give a look-see. Just one look, as the song says, and that's all it took top see this was a cheap, boring flick of absolutely no distinction, other than that Playmate Of All Time Claudia Jennings is in it, and she's done better. Acting and production values with all the allure of family home movies shot in Bakersfield, in this case actually Paso Robles, but same allure, or lack thereof. Nothing new brought to the same old sorority reunion plot where you wait and watch as the girls get picked off one by one. Lotsa legs, clad in micro-minis, hotpants and daisy dukes (before Daisy, when they were just called super-short cut-off jeans), fashions of '72, but beyond that, even all a peeping tom can see is an oblique partial shot of a single Claudia Jennings breast, through louvered blinds. This dirty old man is keeping the girls hostage as he blames one of them for his own beloved daughter's death, and there are at least 2 scenes of him (I checked out after the second), slowly, deliberately fashioning individual bullets by hand. During the second he heaves a great, sorrowful sigh, and I'm wondering, is it grief over his lost daughter, or is he just as bored making bullets as we are watching him? !!!


"Man of the Land" Braven (Jason Momoa) in standard plot of upstanding local fighting to protect home and family from drug-running in his neck of the woods.

So how'd Jason do, walking tall in the footsteps of so many extraordinary hometown heroes? Pretty well, I think. He makes the effort to distinguish himself, particularly, shedding his Aquaman physique, owning his heft, as most true Canadian woodsmen do, almost stumbling while walking and galloping instead of running, punctuated with gasps and grunts associated with the reality of moving such body bulk. one feels the sheer physical power corporally and viscerally. He manages the old dad-son chestnut well, constantly switching good cop to bad and back, with heartfelt pain and admiration for his father and former custodian now become his custodial charge. His interaction with the daughter is warm and easy,, and his very brief interactions with the wife, were exceptionally natural and matter-of-fact, all the while conveying the joy of true lovemates for life, .

He'll Be Back!

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

And yet still, what a sad life.

I saw the original 1983 NY production of this from a good orchestra seat in one of the smaller Broadway theatres. But never did it achieve the sense of intimacy being there, in, person, that it did, from all the close-ups and circling camera cutting, here, viewed thru a smaller-than-life lap-top screen! That's an achievement!

Stellar achievement by all involved. So great to see Viola Davis back in a role worthy of her talents, not just the sure-fire money-making trash that makes her one of the richest women in Hollywood, guaranteeing her availability for prestige projects like this. But an assembly of talent like this (August Wilson, Geo. C Wolfe, et al) is a sure hit that delivers all around. Ultimate showcase for the dynamic talent that was Chadwick Boseman. He certainly went out on top with this.

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