allstarrunner

IMDb member since November 2005
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Reviews

The Family
(2019)

Starts strong and fades fast
The first episode is by far the best, and each episode then goes downhill and quickly! The first episode sets the stage and gets you pretty excited for a good conspiracy theory story - the problem, however, is that after the first episode makes a lot of claims, you then expect the future episodes to show the PROOF of said claims, except to actual hard proof or evidence is ever shown.

It's basically just a docuseries about a guy who really doesn't like christianity/religion in politics - which is fair enough - the problem though is that he sets the tone of this docuseries as if there is some seriously evil stuff that these Christian politicans are doing behind closed doors in a sort of secret society...except they never really do anything super evil - it's just standard politicians being politicians (adultery, bribes, etc)- no matter what religious affiliation they have.

He presents a lot of assumptions as if they are fact, and that is the main reason for my low score, but also because each episode was more boring than the previous.

Doom Patrol
(2019)

Not what I expected but pleasantly surprised
This isn't your average superhero series; when I think of superheros I think of lots of fighting and action, but this series actually has hardly any of that - and that isn't a bad thing, it was just unexpected. What is maybe even more unexpected is that DC actually devotes an entire season to basically just character development. This show is much more drama than action, but I really loved it and was pleasantly surprised. It is very quirky and fun. I highly recommend it. So far I have been very impressed with DC's streaming service shows.

The Mossad: Imperfect Spies
(2018)

An inside look at intelligence services
Basically you get to watch old dudes who used to be in the Mossad intelligence service sit in a chair and reminisce on old jobs they partook in; personally, I find it highly entertaining because I love history and I love people telling personal stories.

I will also say it has a bit of a propaganda feel to it building up Mossad as an intelligence service. That doesn't really bother me but it could bother some other people I'm sure.

Overall, if you're a fan of history and spycraft then I highly recommend giving this a watch.

Treasure Island
(1990)

Good 90's movie fun
I had just finished reading the book and so I went out and found this movie to watch. Without question, the movie stays very faithful to the book, even using a lot of the dialog and the voice over narration from the main character. If you've read the book and want to see an almost 1:1 copy into the visual format than this is the movie for you. It is great fun and its cool seeing Bale as a young kid and Heston turns in a great performance as Long John Silver! I definitely recommend watching this movie if you're in the mood for some nostalgia and a pirate adventure on a Friday night.

Deadpool 2
(2018)

Great sophomore effort
If you liked the first one, then you'll certainly like this one - not much is different, in terms of the tone of the movie and the style of comedy, which is of course a good thing. I also liked this one even more than the first one, but they are both great in their own ways. I can't wait to see the future movies in this series.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
(2018)

Decent mindless fun
The movie starts off great, it really sucks you in right at the beginning and even manages to get the emotions flowing as you feel for the characters and the circumstances you find them in. The plot does really well until about half way through the movie and then it starts to muddle around and the pace slows down significantly and thus my emotional attachment to the characters. At the end of the day it is still a good film, just wish it was trimmed a bit and maybe remove about 15 minutes so it flows a bit better. The main love story is also about as cliche as it can possibly get, but I suppose that is somewhat expected with this genre.

Paterno
(2018)

Mediocre
It's HBO so you know the acting and production value will be great; that aside, the movie doesn't really seem to know where it wants to go and what message it is trying to get across. Without a doubt, the entire situation is terrible with no happy endings - but even from an entertainment standpoint the pace was quite slow and muddled.

Friends
(1994)

A Classic
Well what is there to say? It's a classic. Even though I lived through the original airing of this show I never really got around to watching it. Even so, I knew the show was huge - it was everywhere in the culture. I finally decided to watch through the series. It didn't disappoint. What I liked best about the show was the way they managed to weave in emotional high points contrasted with low points in the lives of the characters. That is something that seems to be missing in most of the sitcoms of today - never any true low points in the lives of the characters to connect with them and cheer them on when they achieve the high points. Clearly, it's a show worth watching!

Jack Ryan
(2018)

From cliche to coincidence and back again
First I want to say that I have never read a Tom Clancy book. I see a lot of bad ratings because they don't like how the characters were changed from book to screen - while that may or may not be fair - my review isn't coming from that angle at all. Also, I did watch the entire season, even though I kind of wanted to stop after ep 3.

I simply like compelling/entertaining shows! The spy/action/thriller genre is one of my favorites, so suffice it to say that I am very familiar with the genre.

I like to make my reviews on the shorter side, so I will get straight to the point: the *major* flaw this series has is using unbelievable cliche moments mixed in with waaaaaaay too many coincidences - and not just any coincidences - but specifically coincidences that *need to happen* in order for the plot to move forward.

I'm not even a writer, and even I know that plot driven coincidences are something you're supposed to avoid because it isn't creative and is simply unbelievable - and that is the tragedy with this series. Because it was Jack Ryan I was really looking forward to a "smarter" type of thriller. Not only does this show not make itself even slightly unique among this genre, but it almost feels as if it actively tried to be the most below par, average show the genre has ever seen by simply taking cliche after cliche.

There are so many things I could, and kind of want to call out as specific examples but I won't because I like to keep my reviews spoiler free for those who are genuinely trying to decide if they should watch the show or not.

Here is the bottom line: If you want an extremely bland, cliche, coincidence filled plot - but at least with high production value - then this is your show. If you hate those things in series, then you won't like this season.

p.s. I had no problem with John K as Jack Ryan - it wasn't his fault that it was bad, it was the writers.

Ready Player One
(2018)

Great Fun
I never read the book so I my review isn't affected by what could have been/should have been. I really enjoyed the movie; everything about it was done very well. The pacing was great and it was simply a fun action movie. One of my favorite Spielberg films in a while. The visual effects were very well done and all the video game and movie references were fun to spot (even though I probably only picked up about 25% of them).

Highly recommend this film.

The Equalizer 2
(2018)

Good but not great
I definitely liked the first Equalizer....this one just didn't quite get it done as an entire body of work. The acting is great, and the action scenes are also very well done and quite slick, but I think one of the most disappointing things is that there isn't actually much action! Now, that is fine as long as the plot and the rest of the story is well done, but unfortunately it isn't. I never give away spoilers so I will simply say that the plot is nothing special, you pretty much see everything coming from a mile away and the bad guys have a real serious case of "plot stupidity" (they do really stupid things just to further the plot).

A movie that is very well done from a technical standpoint but fails the most on simply being fun/entertaining. It's not a terrible movie, probably worth a matinee showing, but I wouldn't spend full price to see it in a theater.

Moonrise Kingdom
(2012)

This is a hard pass for anyone not an Anderson fan.
I'll take an entertaining movie over an artsy movie any day. Calling this movie "artsy" is the only way I can possibly conceive of this moving having such a high rating. I mean, I get it, the directors name is Wes Anderson and because of his big following it is going to instantly get great reviews. I admit that Anderson is a talented man - but I just don't get it with this movie. The movie looks great like all his other movies, but aside from that everything else is just *bad*.

There is no chemistry between the main characters - I was not convinced at all that they were actually falling in love. The other characters simply aren't very interesting or even likable. This movie should definitely not be labelled as a 'comedy' as there aren't even any funny parts in it. It is a dreadfully boring drama that aside form the usual visuals is entirely uninteresting.

Then there is the infamous beach scene. I actually felt disgusted as I watched that scene. I have no idea what Anderson was aiming for his viewers to get out of that scene - in any case, I guess he succeeded if his objective was awkwardness and felling sick.

The only people who will like this movie are die-hard fans of anderson who believe his **** doesn't stink and people who can't find it in themselves to honestly critique artsy indie films.

Resident Evil
(2002)

Pretty Solid
I remembered seeing this movie back in the theater, and hadn't watched it since so I thought I would watch it again since I wanted to watch all the RE movies and hadn't seen the last few (or any after the second one). The movie holds up surprisingly well after all these years - I mean the overall tone of the movie is clearly dated - it *feels* like a late 90's movie - not that that is bad per se. The acting is mediocre, but I never really care too much about that anyway. I just rate stuff on if I am entertained or not and I can say that I was indeed with this movie. It also helps that it is about 90 minutes. I don't think this style of movie could go on for much more than that - the jarring soundtrack I think would get a little too over the top if I had to keep hearing it for another 30 minutes. Overall the movie still hold up and is entertaining all these years later. Still worth a watch.

Per un pugno di dollari
(1964)

A classic
It's always interesting to watch a movie decades after it came out and then to write a review about it! This movie does an awful lot extremely well - the acting, the soundtrack, the cinematography - I can understand why it did so well it it's day and while it has held up till today - 50 years later. There are definitely a few times where you watch it and you can tell it feels a bit dated by some of the stuff that goes on and the plot is a little weak in some areas - but these are all forgivable things when you consider it came out 50 years ago and I think in some ways we have improved upon things in cinema over those 50 years; but there is no question that this film helped pave the way for many films to come. Definitely worth a watch if you still haven't seen it.

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
(2018)

Worth a watch - from a straight, white, male
Before you auto approve or disapprove my review simply because you see I am a straight, white, male at least read the whole review - and then you can vote on my review.

I came across this because a friend of mine posted about it on Facebook and I felt I should give it a watch, whether I found it funny or not, just so I could give an honest opinion about it if it comes up in conversation within my friend group or church group.

I will start off by saying if you're only interested in this as something to entertain you from a comedy perspective, then depending on what you are (lesbian, straight white male, etc) will highly determine if you get comedic entertainment out of it. I, as a SWM, was clearly not the target demographic (or in some ways I WAS the TARGET demographic!).

She tells her story with thoughtfulness and emotion and I think she raises many great points and many things that can and should be discussed - whether you agree with her overall conclusions or not.

It is definitely not an easy going, just sit back, pop some popcorn and enjoy sort of viewing for Friday night. I love Dave Chappelle primarily because he has very thought provoking sets that really cause us to think and challenge our perspectives, and that is personally my favorite type of comedy and Hannah definitely accomplishes that here as well - but it isn't always easy or fun to watch (from a pure comedy perspective).

Overall, I would say it is a great set simply because of all the discussions it can and will raise. I don't agree with all her conclusions and certain other things she says or insinuates but I don't really want to critique it too much either because the fact is I haven't walked 2 miles in her shoes.

The bottom line is if you are wanting pure fun for the night, then this isn't the one, but if you're in a thought provoking mood, then give it a shot.

M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder
(1931)

Stands the test of time
I just watched this movie for the first time about 90 years after it first came out! It is still a great movie! The tension it builds throughout and the use of music to set the tone and even move the plot along are brilliant! I can understand why this movie was used as a recipe for future movies. I think what I like best about the movie is the moral questions that are raised at the end and the decision of the director to leave it up to us to decide. So good! Trust me, you need to watch this film - even if you're one of those people who don't like to watch old films or international films (which I used to be) - there is amazing cinema out there to enjoy if you will expand your horizons. This is one of them you need to watch (I also recommend "The General" as a great silent film movie).

Mad Max: Fury Road
(2015)

A great film
One of the things that stands out about this film is how Miller manager to develop the character of Max without even using words or dialog - a truly great example in storytelling of " show, don't tell". The pacing of the movie is great - it is slower paced, but yet you're never bored and it never *feels* slow. Miller does a superb job of bringing to life the world he has created.

Another great thing I love about this film is that Miller doesn't go crazy with CGI - in a day and age when it seems nearly every movie uses way too much of it - this movie feels very organic and it looks amazing because of it. This movie will hold up for a very long time. I can't wait for a sequel to come out! (hopefully one does!)

Jurassic World
(2015)

Eh
I heard they were doing a reboot with Chris Pratt and I was all in - but unfortunately for me, in my mind, I had imagined that they were going to go back to a darker and grittier, more tense feel of the original Jurassic Park - clearly that was my own mistake. This was basically Jurassic Park inside the Marvel world; it felt like a marvel movie not a tense thriller like Spielberg delivered. So, I suppose, if you really like all the Marvel movies (which I do too) then you know what you're getting; however, if like me, you were hoping for a more tense thriller without comedy quips to break any tension that is ever brought up then will will also be disappointed with this film. Not to mention, the plot is very predicable. It is an entertaining enough movie, but it doesn't do anything to truly make it great.

Chuck
(2007)

My favorite tv show ever!
Let me explain: I know it isn't the BEST tv show ever made, and I know it never won tons of awards, but this TV show has all the things that makes for GREAT entertainment! Literally every one of my friends that I have got into the show have all thanked me for introducing them to it! It somehow managed to be a show that flew under the radar while it was on (and even still since it has ended!).

This show is the perfect dramedy - a perfect balance of drama and comedy. One of the things I love about it is the ability it has to really touch the emotional strings inside of us - all while not taking itself seriously at all - so that is probably the most important thing when coming into the show, just know that it doesn't take itself seriously, and you shouldn't take it seriously either.

But if you want some great and lovable characters, then this is the show you need to watch! Give it a shot!

Coco
(2017)

Fun family film
Saw this on a long plane ride and I have to say it certainly kept me entertained for the hour and half that I was jammed in my tiny space on the plane! The animation is great, the music is great, it is a very well done movie!

The 15:17 to Paris
(2018)

Entirely Average
Nothing about this movie really stands out except for the fact that it isn't outstanding in any way. The acting isn't terrible - but it certainly isn't good either. Having the real guys play themselves doesn't really bring much to the film. But to be honest, that wasn't what mad the movie sub-par; it was mainly the plot and the fact that they tried to make a full movie out of an event that takes place in maybe 2 minutes in real time. The movie really is about the the lives of the protagonists as they grow up, and quite frankly, it just isn't very interesting! They did an awesome thing at one point in their lives, but the rest of their lives are pretty ho-hum just like everyone else! Doesn't really make for a good movie!

Wonder
(2017)

Hits all the right notes
This is a great family film (or any film for that matter!) - it manages to be serious, but also has the right amount of humor so it isn't too dark, all while dealing with a serious issue. I dare you to watch this movie and not cry - if you do manage to avoid crying then you might be a sociopath and I'd advise you to seek therapy.

But seriously, if you want a movie that has heart and is also entertaining all while being pretty serious, then this is the movie to watch!

Curb Your Enthusiasm
(2000)

Larry David is a genius
Honestly, I never really got into Seinfield. I have no idea why, I admit I need to give it yet another shot and force myself to watch the entire first season to see if I get into it. I've heard it said that you're either of lover of Seinfeld or Curb but not generally both - I have no idea how true that is, but it does seem to be true for me. I love how LD takes current cultural trends and then pokes fun at them. Personally, I think the later seasons are even better than the first! (but they are all good to me!)

Hung fan kui
(1995)

Classic Chan
I realized I had never seen this Jackie Chan movie yet, which felt like a travesty since I really like Jackie films. I have to say that the firm, overall, doesn't hold up to well 20 years on. The acting is pretttty bad - which I noticed is because most of the actors were stunt men and after the film the actors continue to be stunt men and not actors - which is pretty obvious why. But the thing is, they really didn't need to have most of the actors be stuntmen, they really could have just used normal actors which would have helped tremendously.

The plot was a bit muddled - not great. But who am I kidding if you're watching this movie it is because you want to see Jackie Chan do what Jackie does. In that regard the movie pays off, and it is for that reason alone I gave the film a 7/10.

Warrior
(2011)

Lots of heart
First and foremost let me say this: this is not an MMA movie. This isn't really even a sports movie, per se. It is really a drama about a family and the relationships inside that family and the sport of mma just happens to be the backdrop that carries the story forward.

I know a lot of people that didn't watch it because they don't like mma or even sports movies and I tell them exactly what I wrote above.

I rated this a 10; and I only give movies a rating of 10 if they manage to move me emotionally - they have to move beyond just mere entertainment. This movie will make you cry and it will force you to reevaluate your own relationships with those around you.

This is an an amazing movie, and amazing drama and it's disappointing how many people haven't and won't ever see it simply because they think it's a "mma movie."

Seriously, watch this movie.

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