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LISTLESS, LAME, SLOPPY; not worth your time.
24 October 2018
A surprisingly bad movie with poor photography, mumbled dialog, an empty script. Redford and Spacek begin with old-age make-up slopped-on by the ton. Yet later, after years had passed, they appear much younger with much less goo on their faces. Much of the dialog (such as it is) is drowned out (intentionally) by the background music. A few snickers here and there. Suspense is undercut over and over. We saw this on $5 Tuesday just not worth it. Remembering how downright s-xy Sissy looked just 45 years ago. Hmmm! Same here!
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Love Moods (1952)
A review of an obscure movie.
8 May 2017
Sexy or "dirty" movies were really rather clean in 1952 as was most of America. LOVE MOODS was the life's blood of the ornate old Leader Theatre in Washington, DC where it played for over a year. The daily advertising, Lili St Cyr takes a bath in Love Moods, gave no clue the movie was a scant 17 minutes. They were open all day and charged a stiff admission price to the few customers who crept into the show. Let me just add that Lili St Cyr later made a "regular" movie for Howard Hughes, Son of Sinbad, with Dale Robertson and a much more beautiful Sally Forrest. If you can find one of the rare VHS tapes it might set you back over $100.
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Brimstone (2016)
Utter Garbage from Absolute Morons
13 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is what you get: Two different women have their tongues cut out. Charming! One woman is gut-stabbed. Sweet! One woman is horse-whipped for objecting to her husband's plan to rape his/her daughter. Inspirational! After that, he has a blacksmith put an iron mask on her face, then hauls her into church where -- get this -- nobody says a word about the iron mask. Wow! Need I go on?
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Allied (2016)
Does Brad Betray his country in World War II?
3 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
(Spoilers). What does a man do when he finds out he's accidentally married to a Nazi spy? They don't want you to know that's what the movie is about. Hmmmm! Why not? ALLIED is an expensive but startlingly boring World War II drama, but money alone can't bring a film to light.

Good thing this lost $45 million of the $80 million production cost. It might teach them something.
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Hellfire (1949)
Wonderful "B" Western rates an "A"++++++
1 March 2017
After purchasing the DVD for $7.95 my expectation wasn't too high, but this western was just so enjoyable to watch, and hits you with intelligence you might not expect.

When card shark Bill Elliott makes a deathbed promise to a murdered preacher he takes an oath to build a church. Before long he meets tomboy outlaw Marie Windsor who's a real hellcat and looking oh so good in her tomboy get-up --- if only she wasn't pulling out her gun every 5 seconds.......................
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Definitely NOT an anti-war movie.
16 February 2017
How silly some people are to call this an anti-war movie, since the anti-war people in the movie are looked at as despicable.

This was the best movie of 2016 by far. The characters, story, acting and continuity are all tops. The contrast between these fine young men and what they encounter back home is heartbreaking and (too bad) right on target. The football halftime scene where the guys are used as backdrop for the talent-free trio Destiny's Child made my blood boil.

If you like this movie, please look up "The Outsider" which was about the Pima Indian "drunken Ira Hayes" who helped raise the flag at Iwo Jima and starred Tony Curtis in his best screen role. A lot like "Billy Lynn" I can't even think about "Outsider" without choking up.
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Tiger Bay (1959)
Tiger Bay makes Hayley Mills a Superstar.
22 January 2017
A terrific British movie that made HAYLEY MILLS into superstar status. We saw this at the MacArthur Theatre in Washington DC 60 years ago when there were theaters which specialized in British movies. One of the very best that takes you by surprise at how good it is. Besides acting ---- which she does brilliantly --- she radiated amazing sex appeal, or should I say magnetism. Both were true. The summary was not true though. The Polish man was NOT her boyfriend.

I met Hayley Mills by accident in Calais, France in 1964. Dressed in teen grunge she stood about 5 feet tall and was pretty enough to break your heart. Later I received a short letter from her when she appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center.
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If you love STAR WARS you ought to hate this travesty.
19 January 2017
Unlike the first 3 films, there is nothing original, nothing clever, nothing interesting here. Rather, they serve up a random re-hash of junk from the better movies. There is no all-for-one spirit, no real romance (and this isn't the fault of Felicity Jones or the young man, as they have virtually no dialog). Herein the dread Darth Vader does not hiss or look menacing, but simply waves to the crowd. The tall killing machines that look like camels don't enter the story until Empire Strikes Back. No matter. Here they are in the PRE-quil! The entire movie is just murdering white drones and spacecraft; pointlessly and without continuity. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION: If Star Wars fans not only accept this kind of garbage but literally praise it, more really bad Star Wars films will follow.
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Nine Lives (I) (2016)
Here's the good ---- and the Not So Good.
4 December 2016
(1) As others noticed, there's a picture of President George Bush on Spacey's desk early in the picture. What others didn't say is that the photo gets smacked with fetal matter --- and five minutes later another smack of nasty stuff at the photo. So (say the liberals to the non-liberals watching) Tate that! We Don't like you. Is that pathetic or what? (2) the CGI was such a cheat, as it always is. Dumb, stupid! (3) the filmmakers employed almost everyone in the USA in this movie, and ran up a bill of $30 million. So they lost big time! Maybe not enough Republicans bought tickets. (4) On the plus side, this was the first movie our cat ever truly watched. Great cat soundtrack.
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Moonlight (I) (2016)
A Complete Fraud of a Movie
28 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Everything you read about this one is a lie. It's not a masterpiece, will not "open your eyes". What we have is a man-on-man love story about a boy called Little who suspects he's "different" and is told so (in no easy terms) by his classmates. When he slams one of these guys in the head with a chair his life of crime begins, as he evolves into a successful but lonely drug dealer (Sweet!). When he reconnects with the guy who seduced him it becomes a happily-ever-after affair. As a Street Drama the movie is lame. The makers of this film, and the reviewers, are spineless deceivers. If they had the courage of their convictions they'd be up-front concerning what the movie is about.
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Garbage in the Absolute - Strictly for Troubled Minds
19 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
We love westerns, but lately the low-budget filmmakers have substituted brutality, cruelty and depravity for the previous heroism and brotherhood we've enjoyed for decades. May I tell you about this one>? (Spoilers!) While robbing a small bank, the robbers unknowingly murdered a teenage girl. After hightailing it out of town they meet an elderly couple they previously know. They shoot the man in the head, then as the woman runs away, they shoot her in the back, twice. (Sweet!) This was so they wouldn't "talk" although if they'd have talked they had no information to give the sheriff anyway.

From there they invade the home of a very poor preacher and his family. Make no mistake, the filmmakers really "get off" on the humiliation of these people, which anyone liking this film will appreciate. Here you'll see feminism 2016 western style: the rape of a 15 year old as her parents hopelessly watch. (Charming!) From there we have a teenage girl shooting her kid sister in the head. (delightful!) The promised unusual sex scenes include man-on-man rape as well as finger-rape (possibly a screen breakthrough worthy of an Oscar!).

At about this point, we left the depravity to others.

I noted that the movie had 14 Executive Producers (seriously). They must have emptied the nuthouse. I kept wishing Marshal Dillon would come along and shoot the whole bunch; along with those who rated this movie with high marks.
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Whiplash (2014)
The Greatest Abuse of IMDb for 2014. Do Not Be Fooled!
24 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Filmmakers have paid for positive reviews for decades before IMDb, and I can't think of a way for IMDb to protect against false or paid input.

Consider with WHIPLASH, this film proved nothing but limp at the box office, not to be found anywhere in the top 100 for 2014, yet there are 176,500 votes for it on IMDb and most are for 10, 9, or 8.

Then consider this is unoriginal, badly acted, boring film.

The hero wants to be the World's #1 musician. Fine! So he gets J V Simmons to scream obscene language in his face and plays his drums until his hands bleed (Ridiculous!) Let me tell you about course language. Any idiot can excel at it. King size fools like the J V Simmons character have nothing else to offer; else-wise they could communicate without it.

The boy still goes to the movies with his Dad. Sweet! At the movies they distinguish themselves by adding Milk Duds to the large tub of popcorn and blabbing through the show, making other people move away.

Later, he masters the courage to date the pop corn girl and takes her for pizza. Wow! This adds substance to the later scene when he dumps her because he needs the time for his music.

There is just nothing original or interesting going on here.

Whiplash is one of the very worst films of 2014. IMDb would be so much better if it was kept honest and clean. I hope the producers enjoyed the $1.60 we paid to rent the DVD, but next time I'll think twice before choosing anything from Sundance.
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Bad news for movie watchers.
5 February 2015
Despite the other reviews, this movie is a drab and worthless waste of time.

Focusing on the failed suicide of a beautiful young woman who lost her first child, the story focuses, more or less, on the two parents moving on from grief's damage.

The first thing they do is to rip off a restaurant by running away, stiffing the waiter, and falling into a laugh-out-loud necking spree.

From there we get 2 hours and 5 minutes of mumbling trite dialog and stumbling around ill-lighted often blurred sets; with no intelligent plan, drab dialog, other wastes of time.

The woman was named after Eleanor Rigby in the Beatles song: all the lonely people; and they blab quite a bit of babble about it. But this doesn't stand the test of reality, since Jessica Chastain even in her grunge clothes will never fail to gain attention. Sure, many beautiful people are lonely, but herein she's loaded with friends, family, more than one worthy lover.

Viola Davis playing a teacher is one of the great over-rated actresses of our time.

This film guarantees two hours plus of mumbles and stumbles.
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Sea Spoilers (1936)
Seeking "The Sea Spiolers"
6 January 2015
This was a good, but not great, action film made by Universal in 1936, about fighting the seal pirates off the coast of Alaska.

As with other films by the #1 star of all time, it obviously has commercial value even today.

The movie was re-issued to theaters in 1949.

Oddly, virtually all Universal pictures from this era were reissued to theaters either by Realart Pictures or by Universal. "The Spoilers" is one example: reissued over-and-over to theaters, then by VHS, DVD, etc. But not "Sea Spiolers."

"Sea Spoilers" was offered a few times in bootleg on eBay; not lately.

Incidentally, Humphrey Bogart is being pushed right now as the #1 star of all time. Love Bogart, but #1 he is not.
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Truly a Legendary Movie
25 December 2014
I first heard about this movie 60 years ago when I was 14 years old. Last night I found it by channel hop on TV. The movie is 4 hours and I saw just part of it, but I'd like to add Review #2 to IMDb. This played "roadshow" just like "Mom and Dad." With Mom and Dad (reputed to be the only movie to have an actual sex scene, which it DID NOT in fact have) the film is interrupted while they hawk sexual hygiene books to the audience. With "Lawton Story" they did the same think, selling Bibles. My understanding is that each film played only one theater in the US at any given time; along with the book selling scheme.

"Lawton Story" is a beautiful film to watch. The Cinecolor looks way better than you'd expect. The first thing you notice is the acting. You might say it's amateur-like; but that's because 100% of the cast are amateurs, people living in Lawton, Oklahoma; where the film was made. In a few minutes, a person can get used to this. The good point is that the dialog is NOT Hollywood style, but entirely taken verbatim from the New Testament.

After 65 years, this is still a remarkable and unique film. Particularly in light of such dreadful and stupid 2014 flops --- Son of God, Noah, Exodus --- three Bible films which have nothing much to do with the Bible.
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Adolf Hitler would love this piece of propaganda.
20 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It doesn't matter to me about Clark Gable's dance routine or Norma Shearer's horrible over-acting; it's the "message" of the movie that matters. This well-titled film could easily pave the way to Hitler's march across Europe --- which was just beginning in 1939.

It makes me wonder about Robert E. Sherwood (author), the Pultizer committee at Columbia University, as well as Clark Gable and MGM (which lost thousands on this travesty.

Most Anti-War propaganda pieces are empty headed, but not all. "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930) warned German youth about the false promises of war mongers; and if Germany had listened they would not have wrecked Europe and killed millions, only to have their country reduced to rubble. (Berlin was still mostly rubble when I was there in 1965, ten years after the war.)

The clear message of the film is the doctrine of moral equivalence; that is to say that Nazi Germany was morally and intellectually equal to the countries they attacked; those who fought back. (Gag me, please)
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Arizona (1931)
Definitely NOT just for die-hard John Wayne fans.
15 May 2014
A very solid good picture from 1931 is finally seeing the light of day via the new TV channel, GET/TV. We watched it last night.

First of all you need to know the picture and sound of this 83 year old film is much better than might be expected. Perhaps withheld because of long term friction between Columbia Pictures and John Wayne.

Set in West Point and later in Arizona, Wayne plays a football hero who finds it necessary to break up with a girl he realizes he doesn't love. He soon finds out she's the b...h from hell, and her reaction will impact on several other people.

The script and acting is just fine.
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Ludwig (1973)
History Re-write for the Tabloid Trade
22 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Based only on the first half of this film (divided into 2 DVD's) I'd rate the film 9 out of 10. The film brings into focus how Ludwig falls forever in love with Sissi, the Queen of Austria; a girl clearly out of his reach but who ties him into knots with her beauty and personality. Romy Schneider returns from the 3 Sissi movies agreeing to play the part only if she could play it with honesty, including all her disillusion with her marriage as well as being queen.

Ludwig realizes Sissi has caught on to his flaws, that he's a very insecure man who clings to better people to create an aura of stature. His ill-fated solution is to propose marriage to Sissi's sister, Sophie; if you can't get the one you love then grab up her sister. Truly heartbreaking, even for royalty and all their power.

All this is destroyed in Part Two wherein Visconti fabricates a homosexual theme, putting it into graphic terms. In 1972, this was supposed to be daring and brave filmmaking. This theme negates the unrequited love theme we've just spend two hours on. The important thing is that history does not show any hard evidence of Ludwig being homosexual. Because he was lonely from the loss of his true love, and backed away from marrying the sister, he's given a bum rap; here sensationalized by a cinema hack.
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The Rape of Nanking --- Cleaned-up Version
14 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Flowers of War is a gritty and well-made film with a story set in a "protected area" of Nanking during the worst atrocity to occur anywhere in the Pacific war.

With sensitivity to a squeamish audience used to the fake horror of B movies, you'll see the slaughter of many unarmed civilians and the very brutal rape of the schoolgirls hiding in the Safety Zone but broken into anyway by Japanese soldiers. You'll see gang rapes followed by the immediate and pointless murder of the victims. You will see a supposedly "nice" Japanese officer who loves music et cetera but will later enslave all 13 schoolgirls for gang rape at a Japanese celebration.

What you will NOT see is the true depiction of the horrors inflicted on the civilians of Nanking by the Japanese. No depiction of pregnant girls being raped then cut open and having the fetus stabbed, no rapes of little children, cut open if that was necessary to effect the rape. No, it's all cleaned up, or nobody would watch it. (Will this account even survive the IMDb review?)

Witnesses to the Rape of Nanking are/were numerous and diverse. Lots of foreign nationals witnessed the crimes. There is even actual movies taken of the crimes -- at the time they were happening.

Personally, I'm not anti-Japanese. World War II was a long time ago and the leadership of Douglas NacArthur following the war changed the Japanese forever. I've visited Japan as a tourist and purchased five Japanese cars. But history is history. The Flowers of War is well worth your time; but keep in mind this is the cleaned-up version of true and prolonged horror.
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Drab, depressing, and false. A bore!
25 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Given the credits of talented filmmakers involved in this project, how could they have come together to create such a dismal, depressing and downbeat mess; based on one of the happiest stories in the Bible.

OK, so Ruth's story was happy. Why not add a heavy dose of human sacrifice, training little girls to be butchered on the alter of the Moab's silly looking tin god. Then make Ruth a trainee involved in this perversion. (All this nonsense was invented for the movie.) Elena Eden was introduced in this role, and that's where her career ended. Not entirely to blame, nobody could have saved this awful movie.

I thought it was interesting that the Moab's (whose "god" was a stupid-faced metal statue, incapable of doing anything, and often in need of repairs) would question "the invisible God" of the Judeans. How little has changed in 3000 years.
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The Grey (2011)
CGI Wolves can't hurt you!
12 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The undemanding, love anything audience of 2011/2012 cheats itself by putting up with too much Bad Movie-making. For one thing, the F word is used between 500 and 1000 times. Lazy writing, but accepted.

CGI wolves can't kill you, can't bite you, can't scratch you, can't scare an intelligent audience. There have been wolves in movies for over 75 years, scary as hell, but only since CGI do they look plastic and silly. Yet many empty-headed moviegoers go mostly for the CGI.

Even CGI wolves would choke on the menagerie of born losers portrayed in this movie. Shallow people, devoid of personality, saying MF-this and MF-that; so easy to write, so easy to portray.

I rated the movie 7 because I was expecting a halfway decent "freezre your butt off trekking through Alaska wilderness" movie. Got just that.
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Prometheus (I) (2012)
In Space No One Can Hear You Laugh -- or Snooze!
10 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Settled into Washington DC's fine AVALON Theatre, with curved screen and excellent stereo, we were anxious for veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott's latest effort.

It seemed, for about 40 minutes, that the movie might be breaking new ground in originality; but disappointment set in Big Time at about the point when the two space nerds get strangled by the snakes. Can anybody say "boring." It came to pass that we would get very little plot, no character development, and no suspense; just CGI nonsense and lots of noise. Nothing scary. Not the snake scene. Not the alien abortion. Nothing! Why? No reason to care about the cardboard characters.

"Alien" was loaded with suspense. Even "Alien Resurrection" (wynona Ryder and the monks) was suspenseful. Both had character development and actual plots. In 2012, movies are aimed at the empty-heads and a swirl of CGI colors along with lots of noise is all they require to score a movie a "10". Think about the role models for the young audience: Be a dumb-bell in school and you might land a job in space exploration.

Not to be too negative, it was enjoyable as a Bad Movie. Shame on you, Ridley. You did a good job on CBS's "The Good Wife" but not here.
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Nothing like the 1978 movie; really quite good!
10 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The 1978 film gave us a smug-face Warren Beatty, a dead sports star, hopping around like a rabbit and talking about eating his "curds and whey" but unlike Little Miss Muffet a spider does NOT come along and eat Beatty, thus saving the audience.

The 1943 film is a very fine comedy, filmed in stunning 3 strip Technicolor, overloaded with clever lines and fine performances.

Don Ameche is dead and having his life reviewed by the Devil, for possible admission to Hell; but that doesn't work out.

Ameche is a rich playboy, but when he takes one look at Gene Tierney it's love at first sight and marriage ASAP. Similarly, when I first saw Miss Tierney (in "Return of Frank James") I was stunned by her undeniable beauty. Too bad I was 10 years old and she was then 30.

Heaven Can Wait certainly sells the idea of taking maybe 10 minutes to decide on a lifetime commitment. Older and wiser now, I can see that marriage with Gene would not have worked out. After a while, I can't long stand her screen personality, and I like a slimmer build in the upper measurement. I'd try to end it, "Gene, dear, you're much older, but..." BUT... I'd look at her beautiful face and be sunk all over again!
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First Rate Civil War Drama directed by Raoul Walsh
4 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
19 years after "Gone with the Wind" Clark Gable returns as a very-much-like Rhett Butler role of Hamish Bond; no doubt for the pleasure of us moviegoers it's one of his best roles.

A very rich ex-slaver takes an interest in a white girl suddenly being sold as a slave based upon the revelation that her mother was black. The story covers about six years and it is beautifully filmed; a picture worth seeing every few years.

The Yankees do not look good in this movie; because the film was well researched and scores about 90% for historical accuracy. Union General Butler was much worse and more corrupt as portrayed here. It is also worth noting that MOST slave traders were in fact from New England, Massachusetts being the first slave state where slavery was used widely to do the Yankee's dirty work. America's #1 slave trader -- not a nice man like Clark Gable's portrayal, but one of the most rotten men in American history -- was Brown of Rhode Island, the founder of Brown University, built with slave-trade money. Mass-Conn-RI were loaded with slaves, about 40% of their population; very quiet about it these days.

Today's empty-headed Hollywood is very confused about slavery. Devoted to "political correctness" but clueless to its meaning, most classic movies containing so much as one slave (or no slaves, as in Walt Disney's "Song of the South") are quietly not available except thru bootlegs. "Band of Angels" somehow escaped the PC Squad; readily available on DVD. 9 out of 10.
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The Last Ride (2011)
This you ought to know...........
28 May 2012
I am an absolute fan of Hank Williams Sr and have been ever since 1954. But something just does not smell right about this movie....

About 15 years ago there was a made-for-Canadian-TV movie "Hank Williams, The Show He Never Gave" which was a filmed version of a live show, originating in London. The creator of that show/DVD was an inspired Hank Williams fan who knew and understood Hank's great power and he created a movie that still ranks as a gut-level emotional powerhouse. I've seen it 6 times so far.

"Your Cheatin' Heart" was a planned movie at MGM for 10 years before finally being filmed. It did not do Hank justice. Now comes this new one which looks like a cash-in on Hank's memory, and an imitation of an A+ movie already available. Proceed with caution, because a rip-off movie about Hank will surely make you angry.
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