Dave’s one-line movie reviews XV

February 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Posted in movie reviews, Numbskull observations, Reviews | Leave a comment
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As far as trips to the cinema, it’s been a light month, so to prevent my loyal followers (both of you) from having to go another month without hearing from me, I hit Netflix and Cable TV to find some fodder for my frivolous comments.  Then it occurred to me, do I really have to watch a movie to review it?  So, I’ve decided to use the branding “a brian williams review” to identify reviews of films I haven’t seen.

Paddington – a brian williams review.”  In this amazingly original concept, a talking stuffed animal lives with a family and gets into trouble.  Sort of a PG rated version of “Ted” where they say “darn” instead of “f*ck off.”

Making the rounds on cable television is “The Legend of Hercules,”  which must be the worst Hercules movie ever made.  Herc is played by a surfer dude on steroids, there are no monsters, bad stutter motion fighting effects, and no sex.  I mean, come on, Hercules is running around in a diaper and all the women are wrapped up like they were going to a church social.  At the end, Hercules gets an electric sword and good triumphs over evil.  Yeah, like that was really a spoiler.

The Other Woman” is a snorefest about a sleezy husband cheating on his mistress with a younger woman.  Besides a couple of shots of Kate Upton spilling out of her bikini, there is nothing worth watching.  Now that I think about it, it’s not worth watching the movie when you can find the Kate Upton bikini scene on YouTube.

Two Guns” benefits from the presence of Denzel Washington, but they won’t be putting this film in the American FIlm Institute Hall of Fame anytime soon.  Mark Wahlberg plays the same character as he did in “Ted” in this harmless shoot-em-up action film.  The credits say no chickens were harmed in the making of this movie, but it certainly looked real.

It seems I can’t get through a weekend without being coerced into watching a chick flick.  Last weekend it was “Begin Again.”  There’s these two people, they fall in love, then it cools down.  And I’m subjected to two hours of Keira Knightly singing folk music.  Where’s that bottle of Absolute?

The Miracle Worker” was on TCM Classics the same time as “Housewives of Beverly Hills.”  Luckily I DVR’d Miracle Worker so I didn’t have to miss either.  Although lacking in explosions, nudity, chase scenes, zombies or gun battles, Miracle Worker is a great drama that should be on everyone’s “must see” list.  Mrs. Robinson stars as a partially blind teacher come to help a deaf, blind mute who grows up into Catherine Margaret Rowan Lane.

Changing the channel after catching a rerun of the Wrath of Khan reboot,  Star Trek Into Darkness, who did I find but Captain Kirk/Chris Pine, this time staring in “Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit.”  There’s this Russian bad guy who wants to take down the American economy and Keira Knightly is back on my TV and there’s a bunch of shooting and explosions and car chases and Kevin Costner in his 83rd movie this the year as a benign but crusty this that or the other thing.

The Bag Man” is a straight to Netflix movie with John Cusack as a lovable psychotic killer and Amber Heard as a lovable prostitute with a heart of gold.  She walks around in a whore costume, he kills all the other actors, then Robert DeNiro shows up as a lovable murder-mentor and everybody kills everybody.  It’s the kind of movie you can put on pause while you go to CVS for some Advil and not feel like you’re missing out on the cinematic experience.

The Judge” with Robert Downy Jr and Robert Duvall is by far the gem of this bunch.  I’m not going to make any snide remarks for this review, and I’m going to violate my prime directive by suggesting if you haven’t seen it, you should.

I’m really excited about my next one-line movie reviews column, which I am actually starting to work on advance.  It will be a review of Reality television shows.  If you are looking for inane comments about inane entertainment, follow this blog so you will know the moment I click on the “Publish” button.  Until then, thank you for reading, and please feel free to share my column with your friends, followers and the other patients in your support group.

Other related posts:

Dave’s one-line movie reviews XIV

Dave’s one-line movie reviews XIII

Dave’s on-line movie reviews XII

Dave’s one-line movie reviews Number 1

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Dave’s one-line movie reviews IX

March 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts, movie reviews, Numbskull observations | Leave a comment
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Sorry I haven’t posted any reviews in the past month.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks, I’m working on a scuba diving blog and  a medical training video script (which I can’t share).  I haven’t been to the movie theater in over two months, so I’m going to have to review only “available on TV” movies.  There’s a few new ones and a few older ones, the choice in films being completely at the whims of my insomnia and drinking problems.

“Admission” with Tina Fey and Justin Bateman.  Er, Paul Rudd.  Sorry, I always get them confused.  A few plot twists as some off-beat student tries to get into Harvard.  Er, Princeton.  That memory problem again.  Lily Tomlin steals the show as Tina Fey’s redneck mother.   I enjoyed the movie, and would much prefer it to a visit to the dentist.

“Arbitrage.”  With a name like that, I thought this was going to be a Wolf of Wall Street kind of film, but it was more of a sneaky husband cheating on his wife movie.  Richard Gere is always enjoyable to watch, but I prefer Susan Sarandon when she sings ” touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me.”

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.”  I’m trying to review movies that begin with the letter “A” this time.   This film covers the time period between the battle at Gettysburg and Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.  You see, a Zombie infection has fallen upon a Confederate fort and Honest Abe leads a battalion of tuxedo dressed secret service agents to decapitate the walking dead in this gore fest.  Hmm, don’t remember any of that from History 101.  Lots of violence, and a very Hamlet-esque scene where John Wilkes Booth tries to assassinate Lincoln.   Emancipate this!

Enough with the “A” list.

“Dallas Buyers Club” –  Great movie.  By now, you’ve probably heard about the plot and the star.  If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor: go to your living room couch, dig out the change behind the pillows, and rent this movie.  The cast is great.  As usual, the government and big pharma are the bad guys.

“W” – The George Bush story staring Josh Brolin.  The movie needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  Obviously the director, Oliver Stone, isn’t  president of the local branch of the  GWBush Fan Club.  The story is a biography of a bull locked in a China shop.  Enjoy the fun as he breaks everything.    Elizabeth Banks is stunning as usual.

“Sea Beast” – Invisible amphibious monsters slaughter and kill the locals in this low budget made for DVD film.  Think “Predator” vs. “Humanoids from the Deep.”  (go look that one up.)  CG effects are about sophmore college level.  An armed posse is slaughtered by the mosters, but teenagers with knifes defeat them.  Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler,  you knew how it was going to end.

Dave’s one-line movie reviews VIII

February 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts | Leave a comment
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The bad weather we’ve been having in the northeast has forced me to stay indoors and watch lots of old movies.  So thanks to my distaste for driving in snow, I bring you the latest collection of one-line movie reviews.

“Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust —   The Bridge to Russia.”  Wow!  I’ve already used up half my review space just typing that long title.  OK, first of all: not a concert movie.  If it’s Billy Joel performances you’re looking for, try YouTube.  Actually, it’s a pretty straight forward documentary about putting together a large commercial rock concert and bringing it on the road to a place where, at the time, large commercial rock concerts weren’t available. A very enjoyable film, even if you have to sit through Christie Brinkley’s pontifications on International relations.  She must be smart, she’s a model, right?

“Bad Santa.”  Strange movie to air during February, but this is the Christmas classic for the Charles Manson family.  Bad Santa brought to 2003 what Animal House brought to 1978.  The word is that they are in development of a Bad Santa 2, the only hold up is they haven’t got the script down right.  Or maybe they’re trying to get it wrong.  I can’t imagine.

The Thomas Crown Affair,” with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo, answers the burning question, “What would James Bond be like if he was a bad guy?”   Not a burning question for you?  Me neither.  Anyhow, it’s a fun 2 hours of entertainment, especially when the only real option is going outside to shovel snow out of the driveway.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  For you youngsters, there’s nothing wrong with your television, this movie was filmed in black & white.  It’s artistic.  A sequel to Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” Virgina Woolf follows the break-up and break-down of Petruchio and Katherine, 25 years and thousands of bottles of booze later.   This is a tough movie to watch, you’ll probably walk away numb; but you’re supposed to.  Personally, I loved this one, even though it gave me strong cravings for red bull and vodka.

“After Earth.”   If a title like that doesn’t elicit a bunch of snide comments…  How about: After Earth I’ll stop watching Will Smith movies?  I think this might be Men in Black 4, only MIB has failed, the earth has been destroyed, and there are no scriptwriters left to pen movies.  We’ll just let the CG people do it.

“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”   I’m not sure if the number “2” is supposed to be shorthand for the word “to” or if this is a sequel to one of the half dozen adaptations of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island.  The plot is simple:  Michael Caine, exuding way too much personality, takes his grandson, a hot chick and her father and The Rock to an island sinking into the ocean that features a volcano belching gold.  They ride giant bees to find Jules Verne’s fictional submarine, jump start it with an electric eel and live happily ever after. Good for kids or anyone else who doesn’t want to think too much about what they’re watching.

Goodfellas.”  As a Martin Scorsese fan, I’d have to say this is my favorite of all his films.  Every actor who has ever played an Italian gangster in the movies or on TV is in this movie.  The violence and language is classic Scorsese, and Joe Pesci is really funny.

Dave’s one-line movie reviews VII

February 2, 2014 at 12:02 am | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts, movie reviews | Leave a comment
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It’s been a busy week, trying to catch up on some of the Academy Award nominees that I’ve missed, plus some viewings of late night insomniac theater.   In no particular order than my fuzzy old memory can muster, here’s what I’ve been watching since my last post:

In the Name of the Father.”  An old Daniel Day Lewis movie I never saw.  If any of you readers haven’t seen it, my advice is to invest two hours of your time in something besides Big Bang repeats and watch D.D. and Pete Postlethwaite at their best.  For all you USA pats, obviously we’re not the only country where those in power can sometimes be motivated by other things besides truth.

Captain Phillips” is an engrossing, exciting nail biter of a movie well worth the viewing.  I don’t think it’s Tom Hanks at his best, the pirates definitely steal the show.  How come if every miscreant in every city in the USA has a gun, a ship in the middle of “pirate territory” can’t have some kind of defensive weapon besides hoses?  Interesting how they touched on the idea that these “pirates” had no other options to survive.  If the story was built from their point of view, it could have been completely different.

Seed of Chucky.”  Wow.  That’s all I can say.  To even include this, er… work, in a column with Tom Hanks and Daniel Day Lewis seems irreverent.  I think a one line synopsis can say more than a one line review so here it is:  A homicidal doll, brought back from the dead, masterbates into a turkey baster and his homicidal doll girlfriend injects it into unconscious Jennifer Tilly so she can give birth to a homicidal baby doll.  Or homicidal  watchamacallit.    Jennifer Tilly portrays herself.  I think.  I’m confused.  Does Toys R Us sell dolls that have sperm?

Bram Stokers Dracula” is really misnamed; it should be Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.  One of the few Dracula movies I’ve ever seen where Dracula actually has some lines.  Tom Waits as nutcase Renfield is so enjoyable to watch.  And Anthony Hopkins as an eccentric Scottish Van Helsing is thoroughly entertaining.  Keanu Reeves plays the same role as he has in every other movie I’ve ever seen him in, the guy with no emotion or facial expression.  He wears a grey wig so you know he’s not supposed to be young.  Cheerio old chap!

Godfather II,” heralded by some as the best of the Godfather films, is a 3 hour movie that AMC can stretch to over 4-1/2 hours with their Progressive Insurance advertisements.  Even on its 25th viewing, I still love the flashback scenes to 1920’s New York City; Robert Deniro is simply captivating and the production is faultless.

It’s funny that I should have a chance to see “The Aviator” a week after Wolf of Wall Street.   This Martin  Scorsese movie also stars Leonardo DiCaprio.  These two are a great team, anything involving the pair is well worth the viewing.  Scorsese and DiCaprio – they’re the wave of the future.

Drive Angry.”  I’ve got to confess – I haven’t the slightest idea why I like Nicholas Cage movies.  He doesn’t look like an action star.  I guess he’s kind of ordinary looking, so all of us ordinary folks can sort of put ourselves into his place.  Drive Angry is an action filled chase movie that you figure out the ending of at least half an hour early, but like a train wreck, you can’t take your eyes off of it.  Lots of tongue in cheek humor with a ton of explosions makes for a fun 90 minute diversion from filling out your tax forms.

“Blue Jasmine” Woody Allen’s remake of “A Streetcar Named Desire. ” Alec Baldwin has a minor role as Bernie Madoff. Woody Allen, Andrew Dice Clay and not one funny joke.  Hickory Dickory Dock….

Forrest Gump.”  Okay, I reviewed it a few months ago.  It was on again last week.  Momma says, You have to let go of the past before you can move forward.  Forrest Gump is on television more than the President.

Dave’s one-line movie reviews VI

January 20, 2014 at 9:48 am | Posted in movie reviews, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Psycho’s vs. dog-nappers.  I promised back in May of 2013 that when “Seven Psychopaths” gets to cable I would watch it to make up for falling asleep after throwing my dime into the pay per view pool.  Well this was the weekend I achieved total conciousness. Sam Rockwell steals the show from accomplished show-stealers Christopher Walken, Tom Waits and Woody Harrelson.  My newest opinion is that if Colin Farrell is willing to take the gig, the script has got to be worth watching.  

Live of Pi.”  I suppose I’m one of the few people left in the free world who haven’t seen Ang Lee’s followup to Brokeback Mountain.  Now that we’ve got a 3D TV, HBO has thoughtfully given us some some 3D material to watch.  C’mon Netflix, what are you waiting for?  Oh yeah, the plot:  kid trapped on life raft with man eating tiger.  Think Bollywood version of Castaway without Wilson.   But one heck of a beautiful movie, with a really well done 3D opening credits sequence.

“Absence of Malice.”  Wilford Brimley handing out sa-pee-nees to Seinfeld’s President of NBC  while Butch Cassidy tries to look angry at the flying nun and organized crime figures stand by laughing.  “What are ya gonna do?”  The movie’s every bit as good as it was when I saw it back in 1981, and the cast is killer.  This should be on every high school and college student’s syllabus.

I found this on a new channel I noticed on our cable system:  “Movies!”  They broadcast in 16 x 9 letterbox, which I guess is their idea of being modern, but not in high definition.  On Verizon FIOS, movies are shrunk to smaller than screen size (at least on my 1080 screen).  Their website has instructions on how to rescan your TV so their movies run full-screen.  Maybe it’s me, but I’m not going to unplug and re-setup my TV to watch a movie.  Still, Movies! has lots of great old films worth watching.  They edit for content, but their language standards are very 1970’s.  I’m not a fan of the “G-d damn” phrase, but I know what they’re saying and it’s censorship, not community standards, when you cut it out.  Okay, comrades?

“Cockney’s vs. Zombies”.  How could you not watch a movie with a title like that?  Easily, if you have some taste.  I always thought cockney was a dialect,now it turns out it’s a country?  Some creative zombie gore, but there’s got to be more to a movie than that.  One redeeming feature was Pussy Galore playing a 70 year old nursing home resident fighting zombies.  Wait a second, Pussy Galore is 70 years old?  I must be dreaming.

Dawn Rider.”  Don’t let the Christian Slater photo with the crazy eyebrows on the movie poster fool you.  This is not “Heathers” in the old west.  Pretty standard cowboy revenge fare, except the story doesn’t start until 30 minutes into the film.  I guess that makes the first half hour “character development.”  Donald Sutherland sports the most beautifully manicured beard in cowboy movie history.  The one unanswered question is, does his character work as a mall Santa in between bounty hunter gigs?

Superman II.”  With so many movie channels competing for your attention, it’s getting difficult for HBO to find new entertainment, so we’ll just have to settle for watching some old ones.   These days, Hollywood makes movies out of cartoons.  In Superman II, they made a cartoon out of a movie.  Actually, this is my favorite of the Christopher Reeve superman movies.  That’s sort of like saying chicken pox was my favorite childhood disease.   Am I the only one in the audience who didn’t realize Superman and Clark Kent were the same person until he took his eyeglasses off?  Now, kneel before Zod!

“The Lego Movie.”  To be totally fair, this movie hasn’t been released yet, so I haven’t seen it.  I don’t plan to see it either.  My kids are grown up and I’m not in the target demographic.  All I can say is “Really?”  A lego movie?  First it was comic books, then it was videogames, now we have a movie based on building blocks?  Rumor has it that adult entertainment is already working on a parody called “Erector set,” and one of the networks has a “Lincoln Logs” project in development.  What’s next – a series based on interstate highway signs?  Route 80, coming to a theater near you.

Thank’s for reading my one-line movie reviews, and please feel free to share them with your friends

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