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General Category => On the Streets => Topic started by: marklawrence on March 02, 2018, 04:55:28 PM

Title: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 02, 2018, 04:55:28 PM
I have movie pass and more than a little time on my hands, so I see most everything. It's odd to realize that seeing the movie in a theater is cheaper than renting it six months later. But the local theater people like me just fine.

Death Wish

Bruce Willis is out for revenge for his wife and daughter, and becomes a vigilante. The city, Chicago, mostly approves of his work. An excellent shoot-em-up.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 02, 2018, 04:57:27 PM
I went to see Annihilation.

As the movie ended, a guy in the front row stood up and said, "And we paid money to see this!" A guy next to me said "Worst movie I've ever seen." I replied, "That's a bold statement." His friend said, "Yah, what about American Psycho 2?" He then said, "Ok, it's the second worst movie I've ever seen."

I didn't hate it, but I've not seen an audience reaction like this before.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 02, 2018, 04:58:18 PM
Game Night.

Generally I'm not a big fan of comedies, but this one was fun. It started well, slowed a bit in the middle, and finished with several unexpected plot twists. I liked it.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: claymaker on March 13, 2018, 03:19:13 PM
Sort of irrelevant but kind of on topic and interesting fact of life, but last week on a local sports radio show one guy said he'd never seen Die Hard or Back To The Future. I could feel the awkward look of disbelief over the radio waves from his co-host.

By the way, I enjoy off topic stuff like this. thumbsup)
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 13, 2018, 07:32:22 PM
Hurricane Heist

Yet another shoot-em-up, not very plausible. A hurricane is heading in. Some bad guys determine this is the perfect cover to steal $600m from the Federal Reserve. The hurricane turns out to be like the worst ever, 'cause global warming change climate sea levels. No one is properly prepared, so the hurricane turns into a major plot element. Until they're done with it, then it's suddenly turned off like a light switch, blue skies, happy birdies. The best character in the movie is the hurricane chaser's humvee. $400m in 20 dollar bills gets scattered by the wind over several square miles of farm land, no one seems to notice this but definitely there will be some very happy farmers in the next few days, and John Deere is going to sell a lot of stuff next year. Feel free to see this one from Redbox for $1.50, or skip it entirely.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 13, 2018, 07:40:33 PM
A Wrinkle in Time

I read this book when I was perhaps 10. I read the book to my kids when they were young. I read the book again a couple times since, including last month. It's a nice little book, a bit thin on science, but kids love it. It also has christian undertones.

The movie has all the christian undertones stripped out. One of the major parts of the book is that Mrs Which, Who, and Whatsis are all formerly stars that gave up their lives in the fight against evil. Yah, that's missing, now we just get Oprah and friends with a bunch of weird powers and platitudes. The movie's main claim to fame seems to be that it's diverse - indeed, Charles Wallace is adopted so he can be a third (fourth?) race in the Wallace family, and the teenage twins are missing entirely, who could have been yet another two races adopted.

Kids seem to like the movie - it's done in bright primary colors and has a certain visual entertainment level. But the story is chopped up to almost nothing, the pacing is poor., the science has gone from thin to impossible (92 billion light years like that, as Cap'n Kirk snaps his fingers. The universe is 13.7 billion years old, there's no where 92 billion light years away. We're told they stay in our galaxy, and that's only about 200,000 light years across. Again, it helps to be nearly illiterate to watch many movies.)

If Disney's goal was to take a nice little book with christian themes and turn it into yet another advertisement for diversity, well, they've failed: it's getting poor reviews and not many people going out to see it.

Also we get previews of Disney's upcoming flicks which apparently are to get us used to high school students being gay. And trans. And such. Many movies are now far-left propaganda.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 13, 2018, 07:44:04 PM
Red Sparrow

I have come to really dislike Jennifer Lawrence (Ironic, that), because of her outspoken political views. This movie has gotten rather soft reviews - not nearly as bad as her last, Mother, but not the rotten tomatoes rating that would drive you to go see it. None the less I liked it. I was unimpressed with the action scenes, especially the rape and the torture scenes, but the book had a very interesting plot and the movie retained that. The ending is quite surprising, especially as you learn that all the clues were there to figure it out.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 17, 2018, 10:11:56 AM
I can only imagine

I didn't intend to see this movie - it's not on my list. But it got extremely high reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so I gave it a try. I was very impressed, this is a very moving movie. This would be a fantastic date night movie. If I dated.

It's the more or less true story of a young man who is abused by his father. He breaks his leg rather badly playing HS football, and finds himself unwillingly in glee club, where he discovers he has a quite good voice. He gets out of HS, kicks around the country for a while having only small success with his band, then returns home briefly where he finds his father has found God and is dying of cancer. He writes a song about his experience, "I can only imagine," the highest rated christian song ever. For the record I'm a Buddhist, so my recommendation has no Christian bias.

He also rides a 1974 Honda SL350, a beautiful old bike which is perhaps one of the worst motorcycles ever designed - hardened steel cams riding directly on a cast aluminum head with no bushings. Not so great for long term reliability, especially as 70s oil was not all that great. And if you take it off-road, which seems to be its mission in life, in short order you will bend the foot pegs rather badly and blow all the suspension seals. Don't ask how I know all this.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 27, 2018, 04:53:36 PM
Pacific Rim:

Plot, Dialog, Character Development, Suspense, Insight into the Human Condition, Cutting-Edge CGI: This movie has nothing. To call this movie an unmitigated piece of junk is to do a grave disservice to decent, honest unmitigated pieces of junk the world over.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 27, 2018, 05:04:05 PM
Entebbe:

It's an ok movie. It's not a knock-your-sock-off rendition. The movie tries to explore the politics behind the decision for the Israelis to fly 2500 miles into a neutral country and perform a raid in their soil. In the way of politics, it worked, so after the fact is was ok. Just win, baby. Meanwhile we're given just the tiniest glimpse into what the terrorists are thinking.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 27, 2018, 09:16:24 PM
Tomb Raider

I'm not a big fan of Angelina Jolie, but I have to admit it's true: she was born to play this role. Alicia Vikander, not so much. She seems a bit over-matched by the action and the role. It's an ok movie, but you'll be more entertained to pull out a DVD or Netflix of the original and go with that.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on March 29, 2018, 07:05:36 PM
Ready Player One

I'm not sure I'm the right audience for this movie. I've never been a computer game player. Except Advent, the very first game, aka adventure. Which figures into the ending of this film, but the version they play I find unrecognizable.

Steven Spielberg investigates a dystopian future where most everyone is destitute and lives in virtual reality playing a non-stop game "The Oasis." The guy who built the basic program died a trillionaire with no heirs. He left clues in the game, if you track down the clues you win the estate. There's a bad guy with a huge corporation who wants to win, he's ruthless and clueless. And there's our heroes who are the first to make progress, so they quickly pop up on the bad guy's radar. A deadly race for a trillion dollars and control of the world ensues.

CGI is, of course, top notch. Dialog, character development, pacing, you know, it's Steven, it's all excellent.

Will you like it? If you're over 50 and never played a video game, maybe not so much. If you're under 30, yah, of course.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 07, 2018, 07:30:30 PM
Chappaquiddick

I liked this movie. It went into detail about Kennedy's damage control after killing Mary Jo Kopechne.

The director says this movie was not for Republicans or Democrats, but for the truth. That seems right to me.

Unfortunately truth seems to be what the director could prove. Kennedy was careful to make sure Mary Jo never got an autopsy and her body was shipped to New Jersey ASAP. So we're left with some big unanswered questions: why did Teddy leave the party? Why did he take Mary Jo? Why did she come? Was she Teddy's mistress? Was she pregnant?

Anyway, this movie purports to give an inside look at the Kennedy machine in action, and I found that compelling.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 08, 2018, 06:56:42 PM
A Quiet Place

Critters appear on earth - big, mean, ugly, toothy critters. They're as fast as a cheetah, they're armored, and they think we're very tasty. Ever since "Alien," the mean aliens have all looked more or less alike. 'Cept these aliens are blind, they operate by sound and hearing and maybe some built-in bat-like radar. Our heroes are living on a farm somewhere - maybe colorado? I dunno. And they have to find a way to survive. Ask any Jew, all Jewish holidays basically celebrate "They came, they attacked, we survived, let's eat." When mom has a new baby surviving gets extra special tough. So does mom. A friend once told me, "When I first got married if I saw a spider, my husband had to come home from work. Then I had my kids, a grizzly bear could have walked into my kitchen and I would have beat it to death with a broom stick. Now my kids are grown and gone, and if I see a spider, my husband has to come home from work."

All our heroes got is a shot gun - not so great against armor. Our founding fathers meant for us to be ready to repel alien attackers, but Boulder just outlawed all high-capacity semi-auto guns. No AR-15s. No Ruger Ranches. No AK-47s. No 9mm hand guns (10 bullet limit). All I got to say is I'd like to see the bio-armor that stands up against 7.62 x 39 FMJ. But not in Boulder, they're all gonna get et right quick. . .

The movie is very effective, like most everyone else I liked it. I'm not generally a fan of horror films, but this was pretty good.

Spoiler alert, stop reading here if you haven't seen it. I spent half the movie thinking, "Laundry detergent and gasoline make a pretty good poor man's napalm. Let's see how their armor holds up against that jellied gasoline shit." They never try it. It sucks watching movies and knowing some science.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 13, 2018, 04:45:07 PM
Rampage

This movie is just silly.

Bio-engineers are trying to make, um, well we never get clear on that. What they do make is a spray that turns anything huge, fast aggressive. Then one of their rats destroys their space station (yah, they're doing their experiments in space so it's "safe"). The genetic stuff crashed to earth in reentry-proof containers ("safe") and infects a gorilla, a wolf and a croc. So a little later we got godzilla v. king kong with a giant wolf thrown in, all fighting and destroying chicago while they're at it. And Duane Johnson is running around 'cause he was friends with the gorilla back when it weighed 500 pounds. The science is bogus on too many levels, the CGI is below average, but there is enough comic relief so that you keep watching the movie. Rent it at redbox in six months for $1.50.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ricky on April 13, 2018, 05:59:42 PM
I went to see Annihilation.

As the movie ended, a guy in the front row stood up and said, "And we paid money to see this!" A guy next to me said "Worst movie I've ever seen." I replied, "That's a bold statement." His friend said, "Yah, what about American Psycho 2?" He then said, "Ok, it's the second worst movie I've ever seen."

I didn't hate it, but I've not seen an audience reaction like this before.

Just saw it. Fascinating, if a bit slow at times. And the female characters were rather bland, which is a surprise since Garland's "Ex Machina" had a couple really interesting "female" protaganists. Alternately scary, eerie and, yes, at time boring, and definitely challenging, worth the time to see. But only if you think that "2001" or "Arrival" are really good movies. What did take me out of the movie is why they would pick women who had almost no combat experience to enter a place of apparent great danger. I'll probably see it again after reading up on it online. This movie is definitely not for everyone.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ricky on April 13, 2018, 06:02:03 PM
Rampage

This movie is just silly.

Bio-engineers are trying to make, um, well we never get clear on that. What they do make is a spray that turns anything huge, fast aggressive. Then one of their rats destroys their space station (yah, they're doing their experiments in space so it's "safe"). The genetic stuff crashed to earth in reentry-proof containers ("safe") and infects a gorilla, a wolf and a croc. So a little later we got godzilla v. king kong with a giant wolf thrown in, all fighting and destroying chicago while they're at it. And Duane Johnson is running around 'cause he was friends with the gorilla back when it weighed 500 pounds. The science is bogus on too many levels, the CGI is below average, but there is enough comic relief so that you keep watching the movie. Rent it at redbox in six months for $1.50.

Destroy Chicago? I'll see it just for the sheer enjoyment factor. Hopefully that pathetic UFO stadium will be their first targer. Hopefully during a Bears practice.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 15, 2018, 04:09:43 AM
Beirut

Rosamond Pike has been in three movies that just came out: hostiles, for which I think she deserves an academy award; entebbe, where she had a forgettable part in a forgettable movie; and Beirut.

Some career diplomat stationed in Beirut has more or less adopted a young man. Then it turns out the young kids brother is a major terrorist. The house gets raided, the young kid grabbed by the terrorist brother, and the diplomats wife gets dead.

Ten years later the diplomat, now an alcoholic, gets called back to Beirut to negotiate the release of a captured CIA agent. Now the story gets complicated, a bit confusing, and like all diplomacy fillled with people lying to each other.

It was ok. Rosamond was ok. I'd give it about a C-.

Around here entebbe only lasted about four days in the theaters. This one may last an entire week.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 15, 2018, 04:22:03 AM
. But only if you think that "2001" or "Arrival" are really good movies. .

Arrival was a great short story, especially if you happen to know some graduate level physics. The interesting physics was all ripped out of the movie, which I thought made the movie a bit hard to follow. The short story was about quantum philosophy and time and free will. I liked the movie but I'm still not clear on what it's about.

But then I'm also still not clear on what 2001 was about.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: claymaker on April 15, 2018, 05:37:36 AM
. But only if you think that "2001" or "Arrival" are really good movies. .

Arrival was a great short story, especially if you happen to know some graduate level physics. The interesting physics was all ripped out of the movie, which I thought made the movie a bit hard to follow. The short story was about quantum philosophy and time and free will. I liked the movie but I'm still not clear on what it's about.

I thought it was the evolution of language. Since the alien language was the key to gaining new a perspective on time. Sort of like the things you think, say and do affect your life in a multitude of ways. In that way it reminded me of the I Ching. It was as if each symbol being used was a reciprocal image to represent your entire life if you had done so and so. It also struck me near the end that the idea of reality being made up of language can be a very true statement and we don't yet know what is possible and impossible. The aliens were uninspiring, aesthetic wise, but I liked Arrival a lot.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 23, 2018, 08:12:33 PM
I thought it was the evolution of language.

In the short story a key observation was that the aliens wrote everything simultaneously. We write linearly, one word at a time, and sometimes change our direction mid-sentence. The aliens seem to know where the entire paragraph starts and ends and everything in between before they start writing. So their written language, by it's very form, seems to imply they have a different view of time than we do.

It's an interesting question if their language drove their view of time, or if their view of time drove their language. This is never addressed in the movie or the story. The aliens aren't very forthcoming with answers.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ricky on April 23, 2018, 08:39:47 PM
Just saw it. Fascinating, if a bit slow at times. And the female characters were rather bland, which is a surprise since Garland's "Ex Machina" had a couple really interesting "female" protaganists. Alternately scary, eerie and, yes, at time boring, and definitely challenging, worth the time to see. But only if you think that "2001" or "Arrival" are really good movies. What did take me out of the movie is why they would pick women who had almost no combat experience to enter a place of apparent great danger. I'll probably see it again after reading up on it online. This movie is definitely not for everyone.

Watched it again Sunday. Even more interesting, since I knew the plot twists better. Being able to understand the motives of the chief protaganist made the experience even richer for me. That and some small plot points- subtle wordplay, the idea we are a self destructive species, with several examples. Even the seemingly random scene of the two mutant deer made more sense, though this was with the help of watching some Youtube analysis. That, and the suggested idea that the theory of panspermia is not something that is relegated to the past, but could still be occurring now- interesting ideas, indeed. Two people walked out on the movie (not for everybody), and some parents thought it would be a good idea to bring their children. Some "shushing" and mean looks kept them quiet enough to experience the movie without major distractions. In a somewhat related subject, "2001: a Space Odyssey" is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I saw it the first time in Cinerama, and was awed, but not sure what I'd seen. Relatively dismissed at the time, it's stature has increased. If you google "2001 film analysis", you get over 29.5 million suggestions. "Annihilation" has a paltry 1.7 million, though how many it'll have in 49 more years is anyone's guess.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 26, 2018, 10:31:58 PM
Avengers Infinity War.

OK, I'm a total comic book movie addict, so I'll just say it, this was a great movie.

Thanos, the "bad guy," was on an overpopulated planet many millions of year ago. He pointed out they were killing their planet and half their people should be killed. He was labeled a quack and ignored. A little later they did indeed poison the planet and most everyone died.

Thanos is now out to capture the six infinity stones so that he can just snap a finger and kill half the sentients in the universe. He sees this as a great mission to improve the universe, if not one he will be thanked for. Personally, I think our planet is wildly overpopulated and we're killing it. I'm not a big fan of wholesale murder, but if I could snap my fingers and 2/3 of everyone was sterile, I would not hesitate. Except the Hollywood pedophiles, they can definitely die. Oh, heck, all the other pedophiles can die too. BTW, I count 40-something muslims who are "married" to pre-teen girls as pedophiles.

Our heroes are, of course, dedicated to stopping Thanos.

This movie is the first of a two parter, so of course our heroes lose in the end of this one. Turns out they lose rather staggeringly badly - everyone left the theater stunned and very quiet.

There's one extra scene at the very end of the credits. After the names of all 12,000 people who worked on the movie. 6,000 of which should, apparently, be dead now.

Of course this review is a waste of time: if you're going to see this movie, you decided that over a year ago, and if you don't watch comic book movies nothing here even made sense to you.

Spoilers: Middle of the movie, Dr.Strange suddenly goes all out of focus and epileptic. After a bit he settles down and announces he's used the time stone to check out possible futures. Stark: "How many?" Strange: "14,000,697." Stark: In how many did we win?" Strange: "1"  (roughly lotto odds. Not a good thing.) End of the movie, Strange: "Sorry, Tony, but this was the only way."
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: claymaker on April 28, 2018, 07:55:39 PM
Yep. For arguably the biggest and baddest villain in the Marvel Universe they captured the comic book version of Thanos pretty well. Believe they chose the right voice actor too.

I was glad to see they were more focused on the drama surrounding Thanos than the superheroes. Also focused on the drama in general. It wasn't just a bunch of filler scenes with weak or comedic dialogue leading to the next fight scene. Finally, a superhero movie that isn't completely predictable and leaves you wanting more.

It will make for an interesting sequel, but I think this will be the better movie by a fair margin.

I do wonder who their endgame villain will be. Dormammu or Galactus? I suspect we are nearing the end of this Marvel reign. Galactus would mean the Fantastic Four or at least Silver Surfer would likely come into the fold. With there only being so much room for more superheroes in a single movie I have to think Dormammu is the logical choice. Although, they did kill half of them off, soooo there is room on the roster for some new faces. I think it will be one or the other, Galactus or Dormammu. I also don't think they will be the ones to kill Thanos. 
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 28, 2018, 09:45:17 PM
Kings

With Daniel Craig and Halle Berry you might expect a really good movie. Yo may as well expect hundred dollar bills to fall from the sky.

This movie has no detectable plot. It's the story of a single mom and her 8 foster kids (the source of her livelihood) surviving the LA riots after the King trial. I should have looked it up before I went. Lotsa bad cops, 'cause, um, well, 'cause. The movie has been out for 2 days and there were 5 people in the audience. Seriously. Five. I predict this will be bumped off the local screens by Wednesday.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on April 29, 2018, 09:23:25 PM
When I first joined moviepass, it was $9.95/month, one movie a day, so basically 30 movies a month for $10. In the extreme case, $0.33 / movie. Not really, there aren't that many movies you can stomach. I've been averaging just a bit under 10 movies a month, that is two or three a week, $1 per movie more or less.

A couple months later they had a deal, 12 months for $90. I switched to that deal, so then I was $7.50/month for 30 movies. My year expires in about December, maybe January, I'm not certain.

Two weeks ago they changed their deal, $10/month for four movies and unlimited iHeartRadio, whatever that is. Billed in three month increments of $30. Not nearly as good. I imagine iHeartRadio lets you hear songs on your phone that you don't really want to hear, while draining your phone battery at a somewhat alarming rate.

One week ago the announced that "some" users would be required to send in photos of their ticket stubs "occasionally to prevent fraud." I'm one of the "some," and "occasionally" means every time.

A couple days ago they changed their plan, you can't see the same movie more than one time. I had been seeing the super hero movies two or thee times. I'm happy to say I got in two viewings of the new Avengers movie before they cut me off. But next month I'll see Han Solo and Deadpool, apparently one time only. I'm not very happy about this deal being changed in the middle, I think that's cheating. I know they're losing a ton of money, but that was predictable, predicted, and not my problem.

To date I've paid them about $130, I've seen 76 movies, and I'm paid up for the rest of the year, during which time I expect to see another ~40 movies. That number would be more like 60 if I were still allowed to see movies more than once (ok, I should attend movies anonymous, don't judge me.) So I'm seeing movies for about $1.15, up from about $1. If you sign up now and managed to see four movies every month, you'll be paying $2.50 / movie. Still a good deal, but not quite as breathtaking. And the deal keeps getting worse, who knows what's next. At some point, obviously, either bankruptcy or shutdown or the deal goes to like two movies a month, I suppose. I used to be very enthusiastic about movie pass and refer people in the theater lines constantly. I'm no longer doing that. I'm a little put off by all these changes. Perhaps when my year is up I'll quit. Perhaps I'll join twice, $20/month for 8 movies, the second account in one of my kids names or something. Or perhaps before then there will be a Yellowstone super volcano or a nuclear war or a pandemic and we'll all be dead. So it goes.

Anyway, if you're interested it's moviepass.com.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ricky on April 30, 2018, 06:14:37 AM
We take advantage of our local budget cinema. This is the old first run cinema house, made "obsolete" when the "state of the art" 16 screen movie mecca opened. The seats are comfy, the audiences small, the price about $2.50/ticket. Usually less. When we do go to recent releases, it's always in weekday afternoons. Smaller, more mature audiences who stay quiet during the film and stay off their phones. And you're right Mark, they are cheating on the rules by restricting access and forcing you to prove it was you who went. But then again, they have the power and you have the right to complain, and be ignored. Welcome to the new reality.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ThatGuy284 on April 30, 2018, 07:09:38 AM
I'm also one of the "some" that is required to send a photo of my ticket stub.   I'm also required to allow them access to my cellphone camera in the process.  $9.95 was a good deal and of course there was always going to be some trade-off in privacy, but don't think I'm comfortable with those changes.   May soon be going back to just waiting it out and seeing movies from the Redbox again.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 05, 2018, 04:30:55 AM
Bad Samaritan

Two twenty something punks are running a scam. They work as valets at an upscale restaurant in Portland. If you have a nice car, they go to your home and Rob it. One of the kids takes a masarati, is robing the house, and finds a girl chained up and beaten.

What follows is a cat and mouse chase between the kid and the perp, with the police and FBI as incompetent and uninterested bystanders.

I liked it, I thought it was surprising and effective. And had some good dialogue, including one really great line near the end.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 05, 2018, 04:34:27 AM
Apparently a lot of people thought the same thing we did about moviepass's new deal. The old deal $10 for 30 movies is back. So I'm back to recommending it. Still no repeat viewings.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 05, 2018, 05:40:59 PM
Tully

This is a movie about, um, it's about. . .  uh, ok, I'm not sure what it was about. Tully doesn't exactly have a plot. It's about how it feels to be a mother with a new infant and two other young kids. one of whom is difficult. And to be overwhelmed. At least that's what I think it's about. I'm better with physics and engineering than this feeling stuff. Anyway, if you have kids I imagine your wife will like it and you will survive it. If you don't have kids I can't imagine how you would relate. It's highly rated at rotten tomatoes, but that has to be nearly all women voting.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 13, 2018, 09:07:18 PM
New movies this week are Breaking In, a suspense flick which looked implausible and so-so in the previews and is getting poor rotten tomatoes rankings. I'm not seeing it. And Life of the Party, an implausible comedy. I'm not big on comedies, I'm really, really, really not big on melissa mccarthy, and it's getting low rotten tomatoes rankings. I'm not seeing it. Not even for "free."
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 14, 2018, 08:47:15 PM
Overboard

this is a remake of the 1987 movie starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. In the original, Goldie is a rich b**ch living on a yacht; Kurt is a working man who comes aboard to fix some things and gets treated like dirt. Shortly afterwards Goldie falls off the yacht and washes ashore with amnesia. Kurt finds her, brings her home and turns her into a house keeper for him and his kids. Over the course of a month Goldie learns to cook, clean, be a mom, and everyone falls in love. Then she regains her memory, but. . .

Here we are, 30 years later, and the world has changed. This time it's the guy who's the rich boorish waste of time, and Anna Ferrell who's the poor struggling single mom. Guy falls off boat, amnesia, Anna turns him into a housekeeper and leaves him alone with her three daughters. Well, at least he's not a muslim refugee.. . Of course, as per the standard female dream, her love turns him into the perfect mate.

The original works because Kurt and Goldie were genuinely gorgeous people who also happened to be way in love in real life.

The new one, not so much.

Rent it and fall asleep while your wife watches it. Learn to hold her hand even while you're asleep. Don't have a wife? These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along. . .
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 19, 2018, 07:07:04 AM
Deadpool 2

A fun romp of profanity and gratuitous sex and violence. Lots of references to a lot of other movies. A thin plot that's the delivery truck for the one liners. Not quit as good as the original.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 19, 2018, 07:09:29 AM
Moviepass has changed again. I now get an e-ticket, a number which I show the clerk, and I no longer have to photograph anything. My moviepass card stays in my wallet, it seems I no longer need it. I still can't see a movie more than once.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on May 26, 2018, 01:21:02 PM
Solo: A Star Wars Story

ok, I was gonna see this one even if the reviews said half the audience died of boredom.

This movie was a disappointment for me. It hits all the right notes - Millennium Falcon, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, where Han got his name. We get the back story to everything. But it's two hours of more or less non-stop action. We never get a chance to get to know these characters, to empathize with them, to identify with them. The dialog is ok, but not really catchy. There isn't a lot of what you would call acting - everyone is too busy running from storm troopers or star fighters or black holes to exhibit any emotion. Of course the CGI and action are top notch. And, bonus points: no Jar-Jar. There's a couple "stunning" reveals, but the characters are too two dimensional for us to actually be shocked.

See this one for $1.50 from Redbox or Netflix.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 01, 2018, 05:42:32 AM
Adrift

Another movie about being lost at Sea. I'm not a sailor, but even I can see the stupid beginner mistake these people make. The first rule of sailing is, if you can't make good knots, make a lot of them. The second rule is you're either inside the boat or you're tied to it. If you fall off a boat in deep water, you're dead.

Our heroes, a 33yo guy and his 24yo girlfriend, are sailing a boat from tahati to San Diego when they run into a hurricane. Which they handle badly. The boat gets nearly wrecked. The Pacific is a big place and there's not much there. They're in serious trouble. Low on food, water, and they don't even have a rain trap with them. Or know how to make one. (Hang some tarp, wait for rain to fill it up.)

Sorry, I suppose im to focus on the emotions of being nearly ship wrecked and not on the idiot decisions that got you there.

The theater was packed shoulder to shoulder with seven people. Perhaps there was a slightly bigger crowd for black panther.

Not worth $10.

If you want to know something about actual sailing, read the account my friend Paul lupus wrote about his around the world sail. Free. https://arachnoid.com/sailbook/index.html . That movie with Robert Redford a few years back was loosely based on my friend's book, except Paul was ready and there was neither drama nor loss of boat.

I dunno, I feel like the message here is bad things happen to good people, but the message I got was life threatening things happen to unprepared people who stupidly go into dangerous situations thinking it will be fun.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: ricky on June 01, 2018, 06:28:04 AM
If anyone wants to see a movie where something bad happens that is not the fault of the protaganist, but the main character acts with skill, resolution and determination, check out "All Is Lost". The ending is ambiguous, and there is virtually no dialogue, since this is literally a one man (Robert Redford) against bad luck and the sea movie. Or, for something with more action, see "Dead Calm", starring a then unknown Nicole Kidman.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 03, 2018, 09:15:28 PM
Upgrade

This is death wish meets RoboCop. Greg lives in the near future. He and his wife are riding in his self driving car when it pulls a Tesla, gets all weird and crashes. Then they get mugged, wife gets dead, Greg gets a severed spine and he's a quad. Young genius puts a chip in him and he can walk, leaving him free to hunt down his wife's killers. There's a couple great plot twists, it actually turns out to be an engaging and imaginative story. a whole new take on Frankensteins monster. I liked it.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 07, 2018, 08:14:14 PM
Ocean's 8

In 1960 Sinatra and friends put out a movie Oceans 11 about a gang that does an improbable heist. In 2001 George Clooney did a remake. This proved so popular it was followed by Ocean's 12 and Ocean's 13. Now, a decade later, Danny Ocean (Clooney) is dead, but his sister Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) organizes a jewel heist at the Met. $300m worth of jewels.

If you liked Ocean's 11, you'll like this. It was well constructed, good acting and dialog, and no more improbable than the previous films. To my eyes, the only major plot fail is that there's a group of highly intelligent criminals in NYC who want to steal hundreds of millions of dollars, and they're not working for a hedge fund.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 09, 2018, 05:56:33 AM
Hereditary

A horror film. I didn't really understand what happened, and that sentiment was echoed by several others in the audience. Toni Colette gives a great performance, at least as good as in the sixth sense. Other than that it's a bunch of poorly adapted people running into strange inexplicable supernatural events and reacting badly. Usually movies like this include a priest, but in this movie there's no good guys, only demons. It got a 98 at rotten tomato's, but I have no idea how. I shouldn't go to horror flicks, they really don't work for me.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 15, 2018, 07:40:14 PM
Tag:

Based on a real story. Several guys play a game of tag every May for 30+ years. A surprisingly engaging and entertaining film. Jeremy Renner apparently broke both arms filming this, which, when you see it, you can believe.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 16, 2018, 08:17:25 PM
Incredibles 2:

The best superhero movie of the year. Better than Avengers 3. Lotsa action, humor the kids will get, humor the adults will get. Everybody in the theater loved it. Just go see it.

The plot barely matters. It's almost immediately after the Incredibles. Super heros are illegal and are in hiding. Then a rich guy comes along and says he's going to get the law reversed. A super villain conveniently appears and the fight is on. Mr.Incredible and Elastic Girl are married and have three kids: a sullen teenage girl with powers, a pre-teen out of control boy with powers, and an infant with a *lot* of powers. The infant steals every scene he's in.

ok, now that I've slept on it, perhaps Thor was better. Perhaps.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: Cheesemaker on June 20, 2018, 12:46:43 PM
Agreed with your initial take on Incredibles 2.  IMHO, it wasn't as good as the first, but the first was one of my all-time favorites, impossible to match.  With that said, this was excellent and a worthy sequel.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 21, 2018, 09:09:35 PM
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

A classic horror flick formula: scientists fail to obey the laws of God and man, things get out of control. There's about a scream for every spoken word. But there's dinosaurs.

Dinosaur island is blowing up, and our heroes are recruited to save a selection of the dinosaurs. By, as it turns out, bad guys with a secret agenda. Things go downhill fast and continue downhill to a rather predictable ending. This is #5 in what's obviously intended to be a series of at least 6 films, more if we keep buying tickets. The first film was groundbreaking and superb; the rest have all been derivative.

It's ok. Consider taking your grandchildren, kids under 12 or so will enjoy it. For yourself, watch it in six months on DVD.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 23, 2018, 10:32:57 PM
American Animals

A movie? true story? documentary? about four twenty-something punks who decide to steal some rare books from the Transylvania University rare book collection. Yah, there really is a Transylvania University, it's in Kentucky and it has a bunch of famous alumni that I've never heard of. The movie bounces back and forth between the actors and interviews with the actual guys who really did it. The theater was packed with eight people at the 7pm showing saturday night, so if you wanna see it better move quick. It was really rather outstandingly dreadful, the only "good" parts were where like when our heroes gave out their real phone numbers, not burner phone numbers, when trying to get the books assessed. 'Cause the fences want assessments from NYC auction houses. Seriously, I dunno how these guys got into any college, but it wasn't on the basis of their SATs. Anyway, I'm pretty much sorry I went, it was two hours of my life I'll ever get back.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on June 25, 2018, 09:41:05 PM
Professor Marston and the wonder women

This is a true story. Marston was a Harvard PhD in the brand new field of psychology. He taught at Radcliff, the Harvard college for women, back in the 1930s. He was married; his wife Elizabeth was a grad student at Radcliff. At Radcliff they met Olive and everyone fell in love. In the 1930s. They all got thrown out of Radcliff and both Marston's careers were over. Then Olive got pregnant.

To support both his growing family and to promote his feminist ideas, which were, even by today's standards a bit out there, Marston invented a comic, wonder women. They had many difficulties including fitting into their community, sending their kids to public schools, and a growing movement to censor comics including Wonder woman, which, IMHO, needed censoring. Marston was a bit of a wack job.

This was a surprisingly good movie, however if you have strong Christian beliefs you may well find it a bit offensive. The Marston's had rather unusual sexual habits which are explored in the movie, because they were also strongly represented in the early Wonder woman comics. Marston believed true love required submission; early ww comics had a rather stunning amount of bondage, dominance and submission.

You have to watch it on DVD and even that is not so easy. I bought one on eBay for seven bucks, violating my rule not to buy movies over five bucks.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on July 01, 2018, 05:33:04 PM
Sicario 2

Bombing in Kansas City. Government has to look like they're doing something. So they decide since Mexican gangs are snuggling bad guys they'll start a cartel war. Then it turns out the terrorists were all from New Jersey and the situation goes all Charlie foxtrot.

Not as good as the first, but ok.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on July 07, 2018, 07:19:12 PM
Ant Man and the Wasp.

Probably should have been named Wasp and the Ant Man. Evangeline Lilly was retired from acting, a new mom taking care of her baby, and Peter Jackson talked her back into movies - "I get to play a wood elf?!?! Like Legolas?!?!?" Now she's a hot property.

Wasp's mom, Janet Pym, was lost into "the quantum realm" thirty years ago, but now we think maybe she's alive. And sane. And healthy. Sorry, I know I gotta suspend disbelief, but when you're smaller than a quark, waddaya breath? eat? I dunno what the concept of temperature means in these areas, but how do you stay warm? The universe, of course, is at -470 degrees, which is kinda cold.

Meanwhile there's some bad guys who want to steal their quantum tech, and a super villain who wants to steal it for reasons that seem obscure at first, and the FBI wants to put everyone in jail for violating the Sokovia accords. And just as they're finishing up the technology to visit the quantum realm, thirty years after Janet's disappearance, it's also announced they have two hours and then she'll be lost for another century. Right. So it's a bit like Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad world - a demolition race for all the marbles.

Ok, I don't sound very positive. It was a good movie, I enjoyed it, but it never grabbed me like Thor or Incredibles 2. If you wait for the DVD you won't be missing much.

Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: Hands on July 09, 2018, 07:44:28 AM
Ocean's 8

In 1960 Sinatra and friends put out a movie Oceans 11 about a gang that does an improbable heist. In 2001 George Clooney did a remake. This proved so popular it was followed by Ocean's 12 and Ocean's 13. Now, a decade later, Danny Ocean (Clooney) is dead, but his sister Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) organizes a jewel heist at the Met. $300m worth of jewels.

If you liked Ocean's 11, you'll like this. It was well constructed, good acting and dialog, and no more improbable than the previous films. To my eyes, the only major plot fail is that there's a group of highly intelligent criminals in NYC who want to steal hundreds of millions of dollars, and they're not working for a hedge fund.

Just saw Ocean's 8 w/ my wife and laughed out loud a couple of times, but not neccessarily at the appropriate times. We enjoyed it and hope she gets that simpler life.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on July 13, 2018, 08:05:41 PM
The Purge

I was not going to see this, but a friend told me it was good.

Nah. It's race-baiting liberal crap. A psychologist announces that if there were a 12 hour period when all laws were suspended, then people would get their anger out and behave better the rest of the year. A group, the "NWWA" finances an experiment where it will be tried on Staten Island. Turns out Staten Island is populated by blacks with a few token latinos, zero whites. The NWWA just wants blacks to kill each other. When that mostly doesn't happen, they're ready with a bunch of imported KKK (pointy hats and all) and blond haired blue eyed aryan mercs, who then go in killing everything that moves. You know, for the first 60 years of my life I only heard of the KKK in history books, but now suddenly it seems there's one behind every bush.

Don't see it. This appeals to the very worst sentiments in this country and should not be rewarded with your money.
Title: Re: Mark's Movie Reviews
Post by: marklawrence on July 14, 2018, 04:41:52 PM
Skyscraper

Kinda sorta a remake of die hard. Die hard had the better villian - Hans Gruber aka Prof Snape. Both wife's were good. Dwayne Johnson is as good as Bruce. And skyscraper had better heart stopping effects.

Everyone in the theater loved it and so did I.

See it.

btw, at one point a cop gets shot and Dwayne picks up his motorcycle and rides off. The cop bike is the same thing I ride. Same color and everything. 'Cept I don't have the blue and red lights in front.