Film Reviews - what have you seen lately, what did you think?

LoyalGatorFan

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I enjoyed Super Mario Bros....I also watched an interesting one called The Man Who Saved Pinball....it details the story of how LaGuardia banned pinball in New York and how in the 70s one man managed to convince NY legislature to legalize it....(the logic behind the ban was pinball was a game of chance and therefore was gambling)
 

gingerlover

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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - Transformers and G.I. Joe were my jam growing up with Turtles probably right behind them. My oldest (10) has always enjoyed this as well, but probably ranks below Turtles and maybe Mario in his pecking order. Had another free rental so we watched this one. The first 30 minutes are hard to get through. The two main humans in this are a black woman and Hispanic man who are both held down by white people. Once we get past that and into the story the movie picks up. Plot once again is confusing in the time line and contradicts everything that comes before (but the two guys who control it refuse to admit the new people making the movies in 80's/90's did a better job and refuse to call these last two reboots). Essentially we introduce Beast Wars characters and bring back in Unicron (monster planet that eats other planets) as the big bad. Unicron is after a key that will allow him jump through time and universes. He sends his minions onto the planet first to conquer and prepare it for his dinner, but the maximals are able to escape through time with the key right before he eats their planet. Fast forward to the 90's and the Autobots are still in hiding. A chance encounter with the humans shows the keys location and they have to rush and try to stop the minions from destroying earth.

After the first 30 minutes the movies pace and action make the time go by quickly. These movies are like Fast and the Furious. Your not watching for the plot or Oscar performances, but to see cool stuff happen on the screen. It does its job well. There are tons of continuity holes and if you know any of the history of the Transformers they continue to crap on it at times with character development and plots. The Maximals/Beasts were barely there and only two had any speaking parts. That's a shame because Beast Wars, despite now being dated early CGI, was an absolutely fantastic show despite being a cartoon. They just crammed them in because they could I guess and many recently got updated toys. If you like brainless action and seeing cool stuff this ones for you. 6.5/10.

Stay through the credit scene. There is just one shortly into them, but sets up where they hope to go with a cross over that I have little hope in considering who runs the IP.

The Out-Laws (Netflix) - Typical Netflix movie with Adam Devine, Pierce Brosnan and Elen Barkin. Devine is a bank manager who's fiance's parents come to town for the first time in years. They take him out for bonding and the next day they rob the bank he managers as they are really notorious bank thieves. It then becomes a story of them trying not to get caught, him not to get framed and the fiance/daughter not to get killed by the bad guy. It's not horrible, has a few good laughs and could be a good date night flick if nothing else on. 6/10

Asteroid City (Peacock) - Wes Anderson movie. Has his normal cast of people with Tom Hanks added. A group of people go to study an asteroid and an alien shows up and they get quarantined. I used to like his movies. I still think Rushmore was fantastic, but I find his stuff harder to watch as I get older. I couldn't even finish this one. NA
 

gingerlover

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The Flash & the Wanna Be Multi-verse of Madness (Max) - A lot to unpack here without giving up to much spoilers. The Flash still sad about his mom dying when he was a kid discovers he can go back in time. He then contemplates Batfleck's warning of the Butterfly Effect before going back to change one thing. Unfortunately he returns to a time line where no heroes exist, outside of a version of Keaton's Batman (just a Batman that looks like him, not the actual timeline he's from), that is about to be attacked by a Superman-less Earth by Zod (similar to Man of Steel) and most the history is different (Stoltz is McFly, Bacon is Maverick and Fox was in Footloose). Along the way he has to mentor a slightly younger version of himself from this timeline and try to save that time-line. Realizing his one change to save his mom may be what is causing the entire multi-verse to collapse and that somethings can't be undone he has to learn to make the tough choices that he hasn't made before.

So much wrong with this. First if you are going to steal the plot of the Flashpoint comic that reset the timeline, at least see it all the way through. I get DC is going straight into a new reboot, but even their animated universe did it right. Second the CGI is absolutely horrible, just can't believe it was approved bad at times. The opening scene was stolen from recent X-Men movies (fast guy doing stuff while everyone else is slow motion) and it pales in comparison with absolutely horrifying CGI. Third is the portrayal of the character. In Justice League he was one of the bright spots being the young member of the team unsure of himself. In this he acts like he's in the need for a fix constantly and still socially awkward to the point its disturbing.

This movie was horrible until Keaton showed up as the voice of reason and wisdom to guide this film along. He is the brightest spot in the film, even if not the same exact Batman from before. The only other thing it had going for it was cameo's and tricks of showing other versions of characters as they view all of the different universes, including one that is legendary for not getting made. They even managed to get a Jay Garrick in. The very end is a fun little twist showing once again the weight of his actions of what one small thing can do and setting up the ability for future film makers to tinker with the new time-line(s) however they like with a lot of possibilities. It would be a pretty big spoiler to say more about it. I am still shocked at how much DC can't get their act togethor. Next up is Aquaman 2 and then its a straight reboot which is a shame as some of the characters are perfect, but thanks to the explanation that if you have 10 universes, five may all look the same. Overall 4/10. If you just showed Keaton and cameos/recreations of dead people 8/10.

Hypnotic (Free Rental) - Stars Ben Affleck and some people you have seen before. He plays a cop with amnesia after his daughter was kidnapped. He is trailing a criminal that is able to hypnotize people and bend reality. He enlists the help of a palm reader to assist him and starts to unravel a whole government conspiracy, with a twist ending and Aflleck giving you his smug grin at the end. Not horrible, but not great. Should have slow played the reveal a little longer. 5/10
 

jdh5484

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Just watched The Big Short (2015) netflix. Documentary style filming but with actors and pretty funny spin. About those figuring out the mortgage security bonds were garbage before the 2008 collapse.
Lots of star power.
2 thumbs up.
 

Detroitgator

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Just watched The Big Short (2015) netflix. Documentary style filming but with actors and pretty funny spin. About those figuring out the mortgage security bonds were garbage before the 2008 collapse.
Lots of star power.
2 thumbs up.
Try Margin Call as a great follow up
 

TLB

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A-Team (2010)

IMDB: A group of Iraq War veterans look to clear their name with the U.S. Military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

TLB: Thought I'd already reviewed this...seems not. Got the itch to watch some guys flying a plane, so yeah, pulled this one up once more. It's a reboot/homage to the original tv series with Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper as Face, Quinten Jackson (MMA guy) as BA, and Sharleto Copley (WHO?) as Murdock. Throw in Jessica Beal :naughty: (but NEVER any skin) and Patrick Wilson (some CIA guy dumb as a post) as support/antagonist roles and we might have something going on.

I watched the extended version which gives scenes of the team coming together, but you are fine with the regular cut that starts off with them getting court martialled. Extra scenes were nice for this rendition, but not required. Story is they meet by accident, form a team, do special ops for the milit.....wait, you probably know all that part. So, for the film, they break out of prison and go to work to clear their names - some funny parts, a well played cameo, some absurd action scenes you'd expect/want from the 80's show. A bit more depth on BA's personality in this one, and Murdock remains a nut job but it works very well in this film. This isn't the tv show you remember, but it does an acceptable (cheesy) remake. Likely shouldn't be seeing a sequel, but that's ok.

Final verdict: 7.5/10
 

TLB

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Limitless (2011) <Netflix>

IMDB:A mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities transforms a struggling writer into a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with many dangers.

TLB: Again, one I felt like rewatching - perhaps one of my favorites of all time. And, again, thought I'd already reviewed it here but it appears not. Starring Bradley Cooper (haven't found him in a role where I don't like him) as a broke writer just surviving and living as a dreg of society. Stumbles upon a designer drug that gets yhou access to the untapped 80% of your brain and he starts taking off. There is the addiction issue, limited supply, and over time there are the others who are after the same drug. We have Abbie Cornish as a love interest (attractive, no skin) and Robert De Niro as a mentor who becomes an adversary as Cooper climbs the ranks of the powerful.

I think perhaps why this is so appealing is the 'what if' factor, and what he does with it. Plot isn't super deep, various sub-plots aren't deep but all somewhat tie into the main story. Overall enjoyable.

Final (biased) verdict: 9/10
 

gingerlover

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Old Henry (Roku Channel) - I know this was reviewed a while back, but I finally found a service carrying it. This movie was really good for an independent film. Set in the early 1900's a farmer (Henry) in the middle of nowhere and his son come across an injured man. Against his better judgement he take him in, but soon others come looking for him claiming to be the Sheriff and asking way to many question's. He has to decide who to trust and to keep his son alive. It's not to long and if you know history you will see where the slight revelation is going once a few names are dropped, but it turns out that Henry is far more than just a simple farmer. 8/10.
 

Detroitgator

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A-Team (2010)

IMDB: A group of Iraq War veterans look to clear their name with the U.S. Military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.

TLB: Thought I'd already reviewed this...seems not. Got the itch to watch some guys flying a plane, so yeah, pulled this one up once more. It's a reboot/homage to the original tv series with Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper as Face, Quinten Jackson (MMA guy) as BA, and Sharleto Copley (WHO?) as Murdock. Throw in Jessica Beal :naughty: (but NEVER any skin) and Patrick Wilson (some CIA guy dumb as a post) as support/antagonist roles and we might have something going on.

I watched the extended version which gives scenes of the team coming together, but you are fine with the regular cut that starts off with them getting court martialled. Extra scenes were nice for this rendition, but not required. Story is they meet by accident, form a team, do special ops for the milit.....wait, you probably know all that part. So, for the film, they break out of prison and go to work to clear their names - some funny parts, a well played cameo, some absurd action scenes you'd expect/want from the 80's show. A bit more depth on BA's personality in this one, and Murdock remains a nut job but it works very well in this film. This isn't the tv show you remember, but it does an acceptable (cheesy) remake. Likely shouldn't be seeing a sequel, but that's ok.

Final verdict: 7.5/10
It was actually MUCH better than I thought it was going to be... I too enjoyed it.
 

Detroitgator

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Limitless (2011) <Netflix>

IMDB:A mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100% of his brain's abilities transforms a struggling writer into a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with many dangers.

TLB: Again, one I felt like rewatching - perhaps one of my favorites of all time. And, again, thought I'd already reviewed it here but it appears not. Starring Bradley Cooper (haven't found him in a role where I don't like him) as a broke writer just surviving and living as a dreg of society. Stumbles upon a designer drug that gets yhou access to the untapped 80% of your brain and he starts taking off. There is the addiction issue, limited supply, and over time there are the others who are after the same drug. We have Abbie Cornish as a love interest (attractive, no skin) and Robert De Niro as a mentor who becomes an adversary as Cooper climbs the ranks of the powerful.

I think perhaps why this is so appealing is the 'what if' factor, and what he does with it. Plot isn't super deep, various sub-plots aren't deep but all somewhat tie into the main story. Overall enjoyable.

Final (biased) verdict: 9/10
I liked this one too... but it would appear that you have a man crush on Bradley Cooper goin' on, might want to analyze THAT! :lol:
 

TLB

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Fist of Legend (1994)

IMDB: In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.

TLB: Refreshing to see a fairly young Jet Li, though the story is one I thought was fairly old and/or remade. Apparently, I watched a sequel Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen (2010) starring Donnie Yen in the lead role. Would have made a bit more sense to watch them in order but whatevs. We have Japanese having invaded and controlling parts of China, treating Chinese like dirt. Jet Li as Chen Zhen is a chinese citizen studying in Japanese university after having left his clan awhile ago. He finds his headmaster was killed in a fight, and investigates to uncover foul play (poisoned master) is why he lost and was killed, then seeks revenge on the Japanese who did this. Some good martial arts fights, but a solid dose of history on the friction between nations and how it affected citizens at the time. He has a Japanese girlfriend and struggles to resolve having her in his life when all his Chinese friends hate her; meanwhile the leader who took over the clan used to be very close with Chen and is struggling with presenting his own girlfriend because she works at a whore house. Weave in that Chen's Japanese girlfriend is the daughter of someone big and important in Tokyo, and her uncle is a grand fighter for Japan....we get a bit of social interplay, and wisdom sharing on the martial arts between them. I like Kung Fu theater, but I'd place this a notch above give the effort to history and cultural interplay, despite the fairly cheesey 'lesson' applied by Chen from his gf's uncle.

Final Verdict: 6.5/10. No skin, decent fights, good casting.
 

TLB

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49th Parallel (1941)

IMDB: A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral U.S.

TLB: First pill to swallow - this was filmed in 1941...deal with the quality of the film/scenery/acting, try to get enjoyment from the cast (Leslie Howard, a young Laurence Olivier, Raymod Massey, etc). Accept that our stranded Germans, and all the Candiens they meet along the way (sans French Canadian L. Oliver) all speak with no accents other than American/English. Getting past the limitations of the era in film making and acting, let's go for the ride of u-boat crew seeking survival in Canada as they meet a remote hunting base, then a commune with some Germans, later a Vancouver town event celebrating natives, and lastly another hunting camp run by an eccentric fellow of fine taste. ALong the way the team slowly falls apart, sometimes by situations and those around them, sometimes at one another's back. The lead German, Lieutenant Ernst Hirth (Eric Portman) maintains a strong sense of purpose and rightousness throughout while his team is affected in various ways by those they cross paths with.

I had forgotten Canada entered the war first, and had not considered German attacks off the Atlantic coast that might lead to such a situation. Accepting the possibililty, this is actually an illuminating trek, one that shows good acting and characters throughout. Despite it's age and technical short comings, it was entertaining and worth the watch.

Final Verdict 7.5/10
 

Detroitgator

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Fist of Legend (1994)

IMDB: In 1937, a Chinese martial artist returns to Shanghai to find his teacher dead and his school harassed by the Japanese.

TLB: Refreshing to see a fairly young Jet Li, though the story is one I thought was fairly old and/or remade. Apparently, I watched a sequel Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen (2010) starring Donnie Yen in the lead role. Would have made a bit more sense to watch them in order but whatevs. We have Japanese having invaded and controlling parts of China, treating Chinese like dirt. Jet Li as Chen Zhen is a chinese citizen studying in Japanese university after having left his clan awhile ago. He finds his headmaster was killed in a fight, and investigates to uncover foul play (poisoned master) is why he lost and was killed, then seeks revenge on the Japanese who did this. Some good martial arts fights, but a solid dose of history on the friction between nations and how it affected citizens at the time. He has a Japanese girlfriend and struggles to resolve having her in his life when all his Chinese friends hate her; meanwhile the leader who took over the clan used to be very close with Chen and is struggling with presenting his own girlfriend because she works at a whore house. Weave in that Chen's Japanese girlfriend is the daughter of someone big and important in Tokyo, and her uncle is a grand fighter for Japan....we get a bit of social interplay, and wisdom sharing on the martial arts between them. I like Kung Fu theater, but I'd place this a notch above give the effort to history and cultural interplay, despite the fairly cheesey 'lesson' applied by Chen from his gf's uncle.

Final Verdict: 6.5/10. No skin, decent fights, good casting.
Speaking of old movies with young Asians in it, Cannonball Run was on last week. Was a scene with that whacky Asian Subaru team… I was like, “Ho Lee Fuk! That’s young Jackie Chan!”

One more rando comment: The Foreigner with Jackie Chan is pretty good.

This completes my high jacking.
 

TLB

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Code 46 (2003)

IMDB: A futuristic Brief Encounter (1945), this is a love story in which the romance is doomed by genetic incompatibility.

TLB: The 1945 reference above is absurd as this appears to be modern times, or near future, post apocolyptic earth. Major cities have melded cultures (phrases from a handful of languages ahve become common tongue everywhere), and people within the cities are somewhat restricted based on having 'papels' to access other cities or areas. Tim Robbins, as our inspector/detective Wiliam Geld, is sent to Shanghai to determine who is forging papels. This leads him to Samantha Morton, as Maria Gonzalez a papel inspector who is one among many checking for forgeries. ...ok, just edited a bunch of detail out and will drive to the point.

There is a small amount of entertainment value in the alternate reality of things (language, use of viruses, social structure) but that is pretty small. Overall the story moves slowly, Robbins irritates given his affair with Morton while having a wife/kid at home. The meaning of Code 46 is genetic conflicts which he gets into with Morton (can't have mating between people with too much of a DNA match), but things go sideways with memory cleansing and at the end we're left not with a feel good, not with a morale contemplation, not with anything more than a WTF. Not even a good one, just a really dull meh kinda WTF.

Final Verdict: 2/10 avoid at all costs.
 

Detroitgator

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Code 46 (2003)

IMDB: A futuristic Brief Encounter (1945), this is a love story in which the romance is doomed by genetic incompatibility.

TLB: The 1945 reference above is absurd as this appears to be modern times, or near future, post apocolyptic earth. Major cities have melded cultures (phrases from a handful of languages ahve become common tongue everywhere), and people within the cities are somewhat restricted based on having 'papels' to access other cities or areas. Tim Robbins, as our inspector/detective Wiliam Geld, is sent to Shanghai to determine who is forging papels. This leads him to Samantha Morton, as Maria Gonzalez a papel inspector who is one among many checking for forgeries. ...ok, just edited a bunch of detail out and will drive to the point.

There is a small amount of entertainment value in the alternate reality of things (language, use of viruses, social structure) but that is pretty small. Overall the story moves slowly, Robbins irritates given his affair with Morton while having a wife/kid at home. The meaning of Code 46 is genetic conflicts which he gets into with Morton (can't have mating between people with too much of a DNA match), but things go sideways with memory cleansing and at the end we're left not with a feel good, not with a morale contemplation, not with anything more than a WTF. Not even a good one, just a really dull meh kinda WTF.

Final Verdict: 2/10 avoid at all costs.
I saw this in Afghanistan on a bootleg Pakistani CD right after it came out. Honestly, I get your 2/10 rating, but as a dystopian future/star crossed lovers movie, and probably because of where I was, this is quietly one of my favorite movies. Couldn’t really even tell you why, it just is. Loved most of the music in it too.
 

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