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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Diary of a teenage superhero
I wanted to write this while my thoughts were fresh from having watched "Spider-man: Homecoming" at a late showing on Tuesday.

It was a fun experience and I like how SONY-MARVEL wove Spider-man into the greater MCU and still retained his own story. It started with his appearance in "Captain America: Civil War" and continued from the end of that movie. We get to see the boy behind the mask and how the thrill of having teamed with the Avengers affects his feelings about his powers and his place in the world, all this while he's still trying to be a teenager with a teenager's attitude and issues. More than anything, I'd say it's a movie about growing-up and growing-into a superhero. Tony Stark adds a nice touch as Peter Parker/Spider-man's sometimes mentor as we watch the web-slinger make some rookie mistakes in his zeal to impress Tony. There's some great interplay between the two and with Tony's assistant, Happy Hogan. We also get introduced to Peter Parker's day-to-day life in high school and his interaction with best friend Ned and fellow classmates Liz, Michelle and Flash Thompson. I really like how they fleshed out these minor but important characters in Peter's formative world. Then there is Adrian Toomes - the Vulture - who is given depth as the villain. Michael Keaton does a fantastic job making Toomes a sympathetic, albeit dangerous baddie. The movie is well paced, entertaining and family friendly. You get to watch Peter mature as a person and see Spider-man mature as a hero. I look forward to more collaborative efforts between SONY and MARVEL. They got a home run at best and a triple play at the least. Go see it!

Air Force One

Die Hard on an airplane
I had never seen this until last weekend, when it was on an afternoon television marathon. It wasn't good. Whether you're a huge Harrison Ford fan or not, AF1 is contrived and silly. In typical Hollywood fashion, all the "bad guys" are white and Russian. Over the top acting by most of the cast and idiotic plot/subplots can't be salvaged by action sequences that make you wonder just how smart the bad guys could be since they can't seem to keep guns trained on hostages. Ford as the fictional U.S. President slinks around and growls the whole movie,looking like he's about to pass a kidney stone. The CGI of the plane crashing into the ocean at the end of the movie looks like you're watching a gaming screen. It so wants to be DIE HARD on an airplane but fails on every level to make you even care about the story or characters.

One Hour Photo

Robin Williams best performance
This was a highly unusual, serious dramatic role delivered by the late Robin Williams. I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to view ONE HOUR PHOTO but the unfolding story of Sy Parish mesmerized me. His tale is original, moving and emotional in a way you can't preconceive. There's also a twist at the end that you don't expect and that frames the main character in a less sinister, more sympathetic light. This movie is about photos and connections to other people and how the two tie together in time and place. You life in pictures versus your real life. To me, Robin Williams created a complex character out of a seemingly simple old man in Sy Parish. There is a fleeting beauty to this film, along with a happy sort of sadness. I would encourage anyone to see this movie. Truly it's William's best, non-comedic role.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

A blueprint for a better way to live
This documentary illustrates what happens when you take a step back and evaluate what you need versus what you have. It's sobering when you're made aware of how much material items you posses that you don't use. It's even more gratifying when you realize how much happier you are without the mound of material possessions.


Josh and Ryan, the authors of "Everything That Remains", take you on a journey across America to spread their message of a less cluttered, more substantial life. And it all starts with you, the individual.

I was inspired by this documentary. I had recently begun to un-clutter my own life before seeing this, so it reinforced my drive.

There are some points in the film that kept it from a higher rating (say an 8 or 9, instead of the 6 I gave it). There were two instances where the authors' message is hijacked by people with socio-political agendas, such as the Eco nut raving about consumption destroying the planet and the professor rattling on about the evils of child marketing. Neither of those issues is related to the message that Josh and Ryan seek to share, which is how to create change IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL WORLD. I even e-mailed the authors and advised them to watch out for socio-political movements trying to co-opt their platform.

Other than those two instances, the documentary film will make you consider your personal habits and reassess what makes you happy.

As Tyler Durden stated in another movie "The stuff you own, owns you."

MINIMALISM forces you to confront the unnecessary stuff you own and see forward to a less cluttered, debt free and a meaningful existence.


Creative, unique sketch comedy
I started watching PORTLANDIA one night when I couldn't find anything else and thought "Why not see what this is all about?" I am so glad I did.

This is one of the most original sketch comedies since KIDS IN THE HALL from the 1980's. Armisen and Brownstein have created a zany collection of well-meaning oddballs, politically correct, former hippies and smug yuppies all occupying a quirky universe within the confines of Portland, Oregon.

This is intelligent, satirical comedy that requires the viewer to notice the eccentricities of each new character they encounter, from the city's Reggae-loving mayor to the two militant feminist that run the "Women and Women First" bookstore. Both observational and situation gags abound! I personally have enjoyed it and I'm finishing up Season 2. Can't wait to see what new characters are introduced in the next few seasons.

If you're a fan of sketch comedy or if you're just looking for something a little different, give it a shot. Great stuff!!

About Schmidt

A question we all must eventually ask
What was my life all about??

It's the theme of this thoughtful, introspective comedy about a man named Warren Schmidt (played by Jack Nicholson) who's story begins with his last day on the job at one of the nation's biggest insurance companies. He's added to an empire in the office he's occupied for 30 years but now that he's retiring, things don't necessarily seem rosy on the other side. If anything, Warren Schmidt is more confused about his place in the world than ever before, at odds with most everyone and wondering "why" he puts up with things he doesn't like. He also discovers that he has mixed emotions towards his wife and a disconnect with his daughter. Nicholson turns in a wonderful performance, as does Kathy Bates as Warren's future in-law. Her moments of shared time on the screen are some of the funniest moments. I found the movie to be humorous, contemplative and sincere. The end is one of the most simple yet warming conclusions to a film that I've viewed. My Dad and I watched this one together and he laughed all the way though most of it. I think he was able to relate to some of the movie's sentiments. This isn't a movie for younger people (ages 18-35). Most people past that age group will understand and appreciate it more.

Er ist wieder da

Entertaining, dark comedy with Hitler alive in the modern world
Not at all what I was expecting (not that I had a certain expectation), when I saw LOOK WHO'S BACK. This satirical German movie about Hitler waking up in 2014 Berlin and being "discovered" for a hip television show is actually very funny. The reason it's funny is because Hitler (a master at crowd manipulation in the 1930-40's) is able to use the new medium of the internet and popular culture to re-insert himself back into German society. No one initially recognizes that Hitler isn't an actor or street performer, but the genuine person of history. The reporter who first stumbled onto him eventually grasps this, however by then Hitler has successfully transitioned himself into the modern world and people find him entertaining, not threatening. The reporter's sudden warnings make the reporter look crazy, since there's no logical way Hitler could have time traveled from 1945 to 2014. In the end, Hitler is slowly rising in popularity again and the reporter is sent to an insane asylum. This movie deliciously shows how being "plugged in" to a world of information and yet being ignorant of history can allow evil a foothold, which is all it needs. The point of the movie is to laugh at Hitler, not with Hitler and yet, you find yourself being taken along for the ride, just like everyone else. It takes a manipulator but also a willing populace to be manipulated. This would be a great movie for sociology, psychology, mass media and philosophy students to watch. It has ramifications about the extent of our gullibility and culpability in the global information world. A very different kind of dark comedy for sure. This Hitler would be an internet star! Just think about it.


Makes you ask "Who am I, really?"
I had seen this in 2010 and recently purchased the DVD, re-watching it (twice) this past weekend. It is as powerful now as it was 6 years ago.

Sam Rockwell plays the role of Sam Bell, the lone human occupant of a mining base on the Moon, his only companion being a robot helper named GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Sam's job is to retrieve Helium 3 from the mining machines roving around on the Moon's surface and send it back to Earth, to be used for clean energy. He's nearing the end of a three year contract and is anxious to return home to his wife and young daughter, only glimpsed through video messages sent to the base. With just two weeks left, he begins having strange visions of a young woman. Sam sees her twice, once inside the base and later outside when he's driving towards one of the mining machines. This second encounter distracts him and causes him to crash. He later wakes up in the base infirmary, being watched over and questioned by GERTY. From there the movie goes in a very unexpected direction. MOON is a different kind of Sci-Fi movie, one that examines the probing question of just "who" we really are and the purpose of our existence. Are we a singular person, unique in the universe or are we a collection of memories, both physical and mental? Rockwell does a masterful job at displaying the anger, tension and uncertainty of a man housed in his own prison far from all he knows or thinks he knows. MOON is much more than your typical astronaut movie. There is a crystallizing scene that makes my eyes well with tears (both a pivotal moment in the movie and nobly touching), where GERTY reveals to Sam that his lingering fears are for real. You will watch this one in silence and then watch it again. It's a movie you share with others, a definite 10!

Cold Mountain

A very good time period movie
Most Civil War movies have a tendency to overly dramatize the war scenes and ignore the day-to-day struggle of the common people caught in the middle. Not so with Cold Mountain, a movie that explores the individual lives of a preacher's daughter, her farm hand and her lover as their world spins out of control.

Renee Zellweger delivers a tremendous performance, while Nicole Kidman and Jude Law are strong in their roles as well. This is a movie about memory and destiny. The conclusion will leave you with conflicting emotions but there's satisfaction from a story well told.

I hope that producers learn from COLD MOUNTAIN and start making more era dramas that give you a connection with the characters and their times, as opposed to overly glorifying battlefield scenes. The lone battle scene in COLD MOUNTAIN was the battle of "The Crater" during the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia. It is done with attention to the facts and illustrates the battle in all it's goriness. You felt like you were right there in the thick of the smoke, dirt and blood.

The rest of the movie explores how the people of the 1860's coped with the savagery of their existence, how some remained in tune with their humanity and others devolved to murderous animals.

Just an excellent movie all the way around. I've seen it twice and will watch it again!

Star Trek

Action packed movie with absurd, cartoonish characters
Let me get this out of the way first - J.J. Abrams is not a good director. Period. I don't care that younger viewers enjoy watching his movies; he produces flashy bilge an nothing this guy has done since CLOVERFIELD is original, nor good.

Now let's get to J.J. Abrams's "reimagined" STAR TREK, which is full of unfunny homages (there's a hot, green lady on the bed) to characters who act completely out of character (see Spock with emotion impulse control issues, Uhura the pompous slut and Kirk the hotdogger who bumbles his way from one crisis to another and escapes by sheer luck).

The plot. Okay, "Nero" seems like a rather Earthy name but let's just run with it. Using the plot from the Next Generations movie NEMESIS, Nero has a supersized ship that all but wiped out an entire Federation fleet so he can get to Vulcan and destroy it using a big drill on a cord from his ship (why not just nuke the planet from space?) and then dropping a small black hole into the center of the planet. Check that off, Spock's home world destroyed and now ON TO EARTH, because we always have to include Earth in every damn Trek movie these days.

Nero's beef with Vulcan, Earth and the Federation? His world was destroyed when Spock from the original time line we knew in the original films (see great Trek movies like ST 2, 3 and 4) went back in time (more borrowing from earlier Trek movies) to save Nero's race (Romulus, which was also the planet of the bad guy from NEMESIS) from being annihilated by a Super Nova. Spock gets there too late to save Romulus and Nero's wife and children die in the planet ending explosion. Now since Spock had a time machine on a ship, couldn't he have just gone back again and gotten to Romulus earlier, before the explosion? The way the old Spock explains it to the newer, idiot Kirk never really makes sense. Anyhow, Nero gets a hold of time travel, goes back to wipe out EVERYONE since he can't have his family and race.

Along they way there are the intros to Scotty, Bones and other characters but you're still scratching your head trying to figure out WTF they are doing in this film. It feels like they threw a bunch of stuff together for a last-minute homework assignment, put some flashy space battles in along with groan inducing one-liners and said "RUN WITH IT, THE PROLES WILL LAP IT UP!"

And people DID lap it up, calling it "very cool" and "fun" and "action packed" but nobody except longtime Trek fans and most semi-coherent adults saw what it was, overblown cinematic garbage.

The pinnacle of the absurdity of this movie is when Spock, as acting commander of the Enterprise, jettisons Kirk in a giant bubble down onto an ice world (hope he doesn't freeze, oh and that there is air to breathe down there) because he was a treat aboard the ship. Why not just lock him in a holding cell? I think they had those on the old Enterprise from the 1960's series. Ever heard of them? This moment gets more absurd because Kirk just happens to land on the one planet in the entire Universe (not Galaxy but Universe - see mathematical impossibility) where old Spock happens to be stranded.

Illogical, Confusing, Stupid.

This is not a new, exciting remake (unless you want all action, useless characters and no plot), this is shake in some old Trek movie ideas, get new actors/actresses with terrible lines and throw in a lot of lasers and explosions. The only reason it gets a 3 is because of the action. That's all about this movie can offer for the $9 you paid for it.

30 Days of Night

The vampires were cool but everything else was silly
30 DAYS OF NIGHT had gruesome and violent vampires only interested in feeding to their fill on the townspeople of Barrow, Alaska.

That's the best part of the movie. The rest is, shall we say, very silly! First off, Barrow, Alaska looks like some old Western town with storefronts like Saloons or General Stores, only missing hitching posts outside. If you've ever seen actual photos of Barrow, you would notice that most every dwelling is a dome shaped abode or mobile home. Very few houses look like the ones in the movie. Nearly everyone in the Barrow of the movie is Caucasian, another inconsistency with a town that is not only real but primarily populated by Inuit peoples (Eskimos for the layman). The main hero and heroine are both typical, overly attractive people that look totally out of place in an area as rough as Barrow. They look like they just walked out of Macy's in Denver. Both are mostly uninteresting characters who you aren't empathetic with in the least. I was watching and rooting for the vampires to obliterate the town and all it's phony Alaskans, then sail away into the night on their big ship. For me, that would have been a happy ending to this lame movie. Guess you can tell I didn't like it that much, huh? It's a 4 out of 10 and ONLY because the vampires were cool.


A fascinating look at the wide range of lifeforms on Earth
I love the BBC's nature documentaries. They are some of the best in terms of photography and detail. LIFE is a favorites among them and David Attenborough again does a stellar job of narrating, providing hitherto unknown facts about life in all it's various niches. The chapters on Plants and Insects were best ones. I never knew how extensive and diverse these life forms are and all the environments they occupy. Simply amazing! This is a good educational series for children as well as adults. There is so much to learn about how nature works. The more we know, the more appreciative we become of our unique blue dot in space.

The Martian

Basically it's "Cast Away" set on another planet
I saw this movie with friends and enjoyed it, although I found it to be strangely reminiscent of CAST AWAY, staring Tom Hanks.

The best parts are when the stranded Astronaut uses his scientific knowledge growing potatoes to stretch his food supply and his calculations in seeking out and finding/reactivating the Pathfinder lander. Those scenes illustrate the kind of psychology one would need to survive while being stranded on Mars with limited resources. Damon does a fine job in these moments. The rest of the movie is kind of melodramatic, even thought Jeff Daniels made a convincing NASA Administrator. The ending is a bit silly, as tearing his spacesuit would have killed him rather quickly, not propelled him far enough to reach the ship commander. A lot of that was just the melodrama to make it more exciting. I understand the book ending was much different.

Overall a decent movie and an excellent one for planetary colonization enthusiasts to watch. There is a good bit of science fact mixed with the fiction part. It's basically CAST AWAY, except on Mars.

For movies of this genre, I prefer the setting of MOON as a more possible scenario with the mining operation. Just my personal take.

Henry Poole Is Here

A great movie that most people have never heard about
I still can't believe Hollywood made a movie like this one. It's story is one that the average person can relate too and even find deeper meaning. It's about Henry Poole (Luke Wilson), a man who is living what remains of his life in a pessimistic, waiting state. He stays inside, ignores his neighbors and isn't very friendly. When a stain on his wall begins to change the fates of the lives around him, he doesn't want to believe or hope, but sometimes faith finds us when we have none. I won't tell anymore, except that this movie is on my "must watch" list for anyone who asks. Truly an amazing film with good co-stars and a simple, yet powerful ending.

The Mist

One of the better Stephen King story adaptations
THE MIST is based on the short story of the same name from Stephen King's book "Skeleton Crew" in the 1980's. This television movie adaptation certainly captures the fear, sense of conferment and hopelessness that's evident in the story. Townspeople trapped in a grocery store witness a swirling white mist descend on the town. Within this mist are terrifying giant insects, spiders and other grotesque creatures not of this Earth. The trapped people in the store start speculations as to what is happening. Everything from a military project gone wrong to an Armageddon-type religious ending are considered. Lines are drawn between groups in the store and distrust mounts. Eventually the main characters flee in a van and try to outrun the mist. The ending is one of the most shocking and unexpected you will ever see. I won't give it away but it's not at all what you imagine will happen.


A massively stupid, youthful rip-off of X-Files
So here's the plot of this show that so many young people say is "toooo cool" and of which I've seen most of the first season. Friends tell me the latter seasons go way off the track and angels and demons become everyday people and Heaven gets put into an office complex. Thank God I did not see those seasons! Two brothers who's names don't really matter, gallivant around the country, committing credit card fraud and identity theft in order to track down and do battle with mythical monsters and spiritual beings of folklore. While viewing this mind-numbingly awful series with a teenager, I had to hear repeatedly how she thought one of the brothers was "so cute" and I soon found this was her go-to excuse when I commented on just how bad the show was. Seems having "cute" stars makes up for incoherent stories and cardboard characters. This show attempts (and fails) to be a younger version of X-Files, a show that is far superior in all aspects and created a phenomenon of other, similarly themed shows that brought us to the dead end that is Supernatural. My advice? Don't watch it. Do something better with you time, like give yourself a paper cut or eat a bug.


Continuity issues and a garbage story that can't be rescued by CGI
Where do I start with this piece of crud?

Disney made a beautiful film in 1982 entitled TRON, about a computer genius named Flynn who is zapped into the digital world and battles a tyrannical program called the MCP (Master Control Program). Everything about this original movie was wonderful. Computers had only started becoming household and office items in the 80's as the world experienced a computer revolution. In that culture, Disney created a imagined world were programs designed by man looked, talked and even thought like man. They also believed they were created by "the Users" and looked to their Users for the direction of their life. In TRON LEGACY, much of that world seemed discarded by the writers. Users were spoken of in disdain by programs in the new movie and apparently new age thinking was introduced by throwing in evolution (the ISOs.. really?!?), reinventing Flynn, who apparently no longer had Godlike powers over a silly program he created (CLU) and giving us Oliva Wilde with nothing to do other than walk around in a skintight, glowing bodysuit. The plot was confusing and muddled and the ending of the movie made ZERO sense. It's like the script writers looked a few panels of the original TRON without actually watching it. They drop a few homages to the original, like Dillenger's son being back at ENCOM and the whole "Now that's a big door!" joke that felt pushed into the new movie. I felt embarrassed for my date who paid to take me to this movie, especially after she had sat with me as I played the original for her on DVD. She got cheated, I got cheated and so did everyone else who paid to watch this piece of crud. The rotten cherry on top of this was an ending where Oliva Wilde's character (a program with no previous flesh or blood form in our physical world) ends up in our physical world, riding a motorcycle with Flynn's son. She's a FREAKING PROGRAM (ones and zeros in a line of code),not at all like Flynn, who was a human who went into the digital world! I should have known this would be a bomb when all anyone talked about what the Light Cycles fight. Even that part of the movie wasn't as good as the original TRON Light Cycle fight. This movie gets a 2 from me and only because of the CGI. Beyond that part, it's irredeemable.

Note to Disney: when you create a world with specific laws (i.e. - Users are all powerful), you can't just discard it when you make a sequel, even if it's two decades later. Continuity matters!!!

The Dark Knight Rises

A nice wrap-up to Nolan's Batman trilogy
I much enjoyed the THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. While not being on the same level as it's predecessor (hardly any movie is), it's nonetheless a satisfying movie in it's own right. Too many people that criticize, simply do so because it's NOT the TDK. I don't view that as legitimate criticism. Anyway, TDKR is action-packed, exciting and has strong character portrayals all around. Tom Hardy is Bane, one of the few villains in Batman lore to have actually defeated Batman in combat. Hardy brings a subtle but menacing presence to the character who hold Gotham hostage. Anne Hathaway is good at Selina Kyle/Catwoman, however they could have done a little more with her character. Bale again does a fine job reprising the role of Batman, Gotham's defender. Other solid performers are again Gary Oldman as an aging Commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth. There's also a brief appearance of Cilian Murphy in his role as Doctor Crane/Scarecrow from the previous two movies. All in all, a good final chapter to the trilogy, although I would have liked to see Batman not give up his caped persona at the end. I just don't buy Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake as Batman's replacement. This part of the ending doesn't ruin the movie for me, I just didn't care for it. Overall, I give it an 8 out of 10.

The Dark Knight

Simply the best!
This is the BEST comic book movie I've ever seen, hands down! Chris Nolan assembled a stellar cast for his second Batman installment and it shows in the convincing portrayals of the characters. Everyone from Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal... all embrace their roles and the late Heath Ledger delivers a performance for the ages! The pacing is excellent, with Nolan turning up the intensity as the movie progresses. The tension between Bale's Batman and Ledger's Joker is exploited beautifully, as the former copes with his personal ethics and the latter constantly tests him. Aaron Eckhart's Two Face is a tragic figure who emerges as a consequence of this battle of wits and wills between the two main antagonists. This movie tends to be dark and asks the viewer to accept moral dilemmas; is it right to do what is considered wrong for the better good? A mesmerizing film of this genre and a must see for any fans or even non-fans. A masterpiece!


A minor character with a major movie success
I had a great time watching ANT-MAN! Going in, I knew a little about the character from comic books, yet was skeptical they could make a truly good movie around him. Marvel Studios confirmed my faith once again! They presented ANT-MAN seamlessly into the greater Marvel Universe and gave viewers fun, memorable characters. The plot is simple but well played out. Paul Rudd is GREAT in this role and Michael Pena provides wonderfully funny moments as the sidekick. Michael Douglas does a good Hank Pym and Corey Stoll has just the right amount of villainy as Yellow Jacket. Evangeline Lilly is OK in her role as Hope Van Dyne. She does a lot of open-mouthed gaping, so don't paint me as someone impressed with her acting ability. It could have been how her character was written but I think it's telling that she's not reprising the role in the anticipated sequel. The best moments in the movie are from Ant-Man's training and from the final battle with Yellow Jacket on a kids train set. Those scenes are great entertainment! This is a good one for adults and kids alike.


A moving Sci-Fi drama
I really liked this movie, much more since I had not read much about it nor heard from anyone who previously saw it. The story makes you feel connected with others in a "universal spirit" kind of way. It also makes you question the basic knowledge of WHO you are and what your greater purpose is here and beyond. Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges have great on screen back-and-forth as the supposed alien traveler (Schizophrenic patient) "Prot" from the planet K-Pax and Doctor Mark Powell, his human psychiatrist. The doctor hopes to discover who Prot really is, all while taking queues from his patient in examining his own life and inner demons. This is a very moving, introspective experience, with Prot pointing out the many oddities in logic versus behavior of his human hosts. Prot further puts doubt in the minds of all who meet him, making even the doctor wonder if there's a chance he might be who he claims. The movie has flow and tells a different kind of alien visitor story. I think it's a diamond in the rough and would encourage anyone to watch it. 8 out of 10 from this reviewer.


My favorite comic book character brought to life
2002's SPIDER-MAN is a marvelous telling of my favorite comic book character. When I first heard that Spidey was getting his own movie back in the early 2000's, I was skeptical that the feat could be pulled off. Thanks to the wonders of CGI, strong character casting and good directing from Sam Rami (a guy familiar with the source material), SPIDER-MAN was everything I dreamed it could be! Tobey MaGuire and William Dafoe feel perfect in their roles of Spider-man and his arch-enemy, Green Goblin. JK Simmons as J.J. Jameson is one of the more entertaining characters from comic book movies this past decade. He captures the cigar-chomping, sarcastic Daily Bugle editor in grand fashion! Other supporting casts are good as well, with James Franco as Harry Osborne, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson and Cliff Roberson as Uncle Ben. You feel like you're swinging between buildings and dodging pumpkin bombs lobbed at you from Goblin's glider in the action sequences. The story line is easy to follow, has heart and is just plain fun! This one is in my DVD collection. It's not perfect but certainly close; a definite 9 out of 10 stars!

Breaking Bad

You just have to see if for yourselves!
This is the best show I've ever seen and not at all on a subject I thought I'd have a remote interest in. The characters are perfectly flawed, the story telling is smart, the pacing excellent and the wrap-up in the final season is everything you could want. You find that you're breathing heavily as a major story arch is achieved, another wrinkle added to the layers of deception and more intrigue building between various characters (some related, some not) than you thought was possible. The show is such a spectacle, it ends up carrying itself easily and bringing you along for the ride. Better hang on, it's a roller-coaster! Bryan Cranston IS Walter White, aka-Heisenberg. SAY HIS NAME!!!

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

The best Star Trek movie EVER
I'll admit I'm no fan of JJ Abrams and his lazy, re-interpretations of the Star Trek franchise. Silly characters, bad acting and too much reliance on CGI action doesn't make up for poor script writing.

For me, Star Treks II, III and IV comprise one of the best movie story-arcs in Sci-Fi. And Star Trek II: WRATH OF KHAN is the BEST chapter and best ST movie ever made. All the crew favorites were there - Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and even Checkov - along with the best ST villain in Khan Noonien Singh, played with gusto by the late Ricardo Mantalban. The story is classic Star Trek, the pacing excellent and the space battles are epic. I have seen this movie many, many times since it was first made in the early 80's and it holds up with time. No CGI but the effects are good all the same. They made this movie back when blockbusters took time, effort and skill, not just lots of blinding CGI and "winging it" attitudes in acting. I encourage anyone who has never seen a Trek movie to pick ST II as your first venture into the Starfleet Universe. This is the quintessential Star Trek movie of all time. Still the best and still great to watch!

Doctor Strange

Another fun, entertaining story from Marvel Studios
I saw DS at the 7:15pm showing on Thursday. This movie is another fun one from Marvel and Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent in the role of Sorcerer Supreme! The origin part is pretty straight forward, from his car accident to him seeking ways to heal himself and meeting the Ancient One, head of a society protecting Earth from other-dimensional threats. Mads Mikkelsen is a good introductory villain and plays his role convincingly for the time he's on the screen. His argument to Strange is not without merit, so his motivation makes sense in his battle against the Ancient One, also played well by Tilda Swinton. Benedict Wong added a humorous role as the society librarian and head of the Hong Kong order. Pacing is one of Marvel's strengths and they move the movie along, not dwelling too long on one point. Some viewers might argue this is a weakness of Marvel films but I disagree. They don't get bogged down in minor questions and leave some of the bigger questions open to address in sequels. This is a family friendly movie and can be viewed by kids as well as adults. It's like watching a comic book on the big screen, something else that Marvel does really well! I give it an 8 out of 10.

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