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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2043224
by Sum1
Rated: E · Book · Community · #2043224
Movies I've seen, good or bad. I will be as honest as I can in my assessment of them.
This will revolve around movies I've seen, either on TV or the 'Big Screen'. I promise I will not give away plots (I hate it when someone tells me every thing about a movie, ruining the whole thing for me). I will provide information on it, how I felt watching it, and if I'd recommend seeing it or not. Without further ado, Lights! Camera! Action!
Previous ... -1- 2 ... Next
February 26, 2019 at 7:33pm
February 26, 2019 at 7:33pm
#953227
Title: Green Book


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6966692/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Vigo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini


Director: Peter Farrelly


Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama


My Rating: *ThumbsUpL* *ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  It's New York City, 1962, and Tony Lip (Vigo Mortensen) is out of work at the Copacabana while it's renovated. He reluctantly agrees to become the driver for an African-American classical pianist (Dr. Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali) on a concert tour of the deep south.



My Thoughts on it:  It's pretty easy to see why this movie won three Academy Awards this year (Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay). Vigo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali both play superb roles as the driver and pianist. The title comes from the Green Book that African-Americans carried with them when they traveled back then. It contains a listing of hotels and restaurants that welcomed African Americans in the segregated south of 1962.


         This is a different sort of movie to see, it has no special effects that seem to dominate today's movies. To me, it's just plain ol' good plot, well written, well played and directed. It is based on a true story that is brought home at the end when you find out that Tony Lip and Dr. Shirley were life long friends after this tour. I cried at the end, my eyes moistened at a couple of scenes in the movie, but I found myself really enjoying this as it played.


         In closing, I have a couple of small tidbits of information for you about this movie. Tony Lip went on to become the Maitre'd at the Copacabana, then on to acting later on. He starred in 'The Sopranos' as Carmine Lupertazzi, and in 'Goodfellas' as Frankie The Wop. Tony Lip and Dr. Shirley became lifelong friends after this tour, and died three months apart in 2013. When the movie ended, I clapped a bit quietly (no one else did), and was left with a feeling of 'Wow!'. See this movie, you won't be disappointed.


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Jim Dorrell
December 26, 2018 at 6:37pm
December 26, 2018 at 6:37pm
#948258
Title: Bird Box


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2737304/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich


Director: Susanne Bier


Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi


My Rating: *ThumbsUpL* *ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  A mysterious presence has appeared on Earth. Anyone who sees it commits suicide. It appears suddenly in one part of the world, and quickly spreads worldwide. Five years after its appearance, a mother (Sandra Bullock) desperately tries to reach safety with her children.



My Thoughts on it:  I have to confess that I never heard of this movie when it came out this year! While the movie does make me wonder how they still had electricity, running water, and cars still operating (in a few scenes), I pushed those thoughts aside and enjoyed the movie. I have to say, this was one of the most suspenseful movies I've seen in quite a few years. You never see this unseen presence, and that's a good thing. Early on in the movie, several survivors are huddled in a house, windows covered, barely surviving. The house has closed circuit cameras all around it, so one man decides he should be tied in front of a monitor and see what this presence is. For some reason, they leave him alone, and the end result.... well it's pretty obvious, huh.


         The pacing of this was excellent. The story is told in a series of flashbacks. Sandra Bullock is trying to 'escape' to a safe haven with her two children, a place she's heard of. In flashbacks, we see how this all started, and how it spread so fast. We meet the people who are huddled in the house (previously mentioned), and what happens to the group as they struggle to survive. For me, this was a very enjoyable movie. Not because everyone was dying, not because I like seeing death and such. But what this movie lacked, is those 'over-the-top' Special Effects that all of Hollywood seems to be in love with. This movie had a nice plot, excellent pacing, a bit of horror, and enough suspense in it to keep you on the edge of your seat. I only wish I could have seen it in the theaters with a crowd of people around. *Smile*

         In closing, I have to say that the movie leaves you with a lot of questions. If I told you mine (other than the comments above about water, electricity, and cars still running), it would spoil some of the movie, so I won't tell you my questions. Watch the movie, and decide for yourself.



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Jim Dorrell
December 8, 2018 at 3:50pm
December 8, 2018 at 3:50pm
#947101
Title: Downsizing


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1389072/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Matt Damon, Christopher Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig


Director: Alexander Payne


Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi


My Rating: *ThumbsUpL* *ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Scientists have discovered a way to shrink humans so they are about Five inches in size. Paul Safronek (Matt Damon) and his wife decide that this is the life for them! Except his wife (Kristen Wiig) chickens out in the middle of it all, leaving Paul at five inches tall while she's still normal sized. This movie is a social satire, and pulls things off pretty well. It revolves around Paul and his upstairs neighbor Dusan Mirkovic (Christoph Waltz), and Paul becoming involved in helping people in the short people community.



My Thoughts on it:  I have to confess that I never heard of this movie when it came out last year! It's a shame, it's a good movie, available now for streaming on Hulu (where I found it), or possibly Netflix or Amazon. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was captivated by the Vietnamese woman, Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau). In some ways, she stole the spotlight! In the movie, the short people (as they were referred to) lived in separate communities, somewhat isolated from the normal environment. But they had to be. Can you see a mosquito wanting to bite one of them? Not to mention dogs or cats, or any other animal found on our green Earth. The end leaves you thinking about what we're doing to our planet, and the future of humankind.


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Jim Dorrell
October 27, 2018 at 8:46pm
October 27, 2018 at 8:46pm
#944305
Title: The House With A Clock In Its Walls


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2119543/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Jeremy Vaccaro, Kyle MacMachlan


Director: Eli Roth


Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL* *ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*


Brief Synopsis:  Lewis Barnavelt is an orphan, his parents killed in an accident. He goes to live with his Uncle Jonathan, and discovers Jonathan is a Warlock and enters a world of magic and sorcery. Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. Izard died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it finishes its countdown and ends the world.



My Thoughts on it:  While this was a movie oriented towards children, I was entertained throughout. I enjoyed Lewis and his bumbling attempts at making friends in school, the house full of inanimate objects that are animated, and of course, Jonathan (Jack Black), and Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett). There is a twist near the end that I didn't see coming, but it only added to the story. If you have young children who aren't scared easily, this is a movie for them! Think Goosebumps, and you have an idea of the entertainment value of this movie.


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Jim Dorrell
June 16, 2018 at 6:00pm
June 16, 2018 at 6:00pm
#936435
Title: Ocean's 8


IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5164214/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter


Director: Gary Ross


Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime



My Rating: Two Thumbs Up... but one leans a little bit to the side...


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*


Drama/Mystery: *Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Deborah Ocean (Sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney)) has spent several years incarcerated after being set up by her boyfriend. She earns parole for good behavior, and immediately contacts an old accomplice about a job she wants to complete. She's been planning this the entire time in the slammer. They enlist the help of five other women to get this done. This job is the 'mother' of all jobs though, as she plans on stealing jewels from the Met during their annual Met Gala. There's a twist at the end that may surprised you a little.



My Thoughts on it:  I found the set up of the heist to be a bit boring to be honest. Don't get me wrong, it's worth sitting through that part to see it come to pass, but the first half hour or so was a bit of a yawner. The way she sets this up, who they pick for their team, and each of the team members special abilities is pretty amazing. I loved the twist at the end, it was excellent.


         For you action folks, be prepared for none of that. If you enjoy a movie that keeps you mentally engrossed, you'll love this one. I've said all along I won't say much about the plot of movies I see. I just don't want to spoil this for anyone who wants to see it! But I do recommend this movie, it's a good one.... at times. *Laugh*


** Image ID #2153021 Unavailable **


Jim Dorrell{/l}
January 31, 2018 at 6:47pm
January 31, 2018 at 6:47pm
#928131
Title: The Maze Runner 3 - Death Cure


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4500922/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Dylan O'Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster


Director: Wes Ball


Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller



My Rating: Two Thumbs Up, Most Definitely!


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Drama/Mystery: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  This is the third movie of the Maze Runner Trilogy, and I have to say, the best of the three. It's also one of the better Trilogies I've had the pleasure of watching. I will confess that when I saw the first one, I wasn't too sure about it. That movie by itself left me with a lot of questions. But the second movie (Scorch Trials) answered some of them, but left me with what seemed even more questions. This movie tied things together nicely. While I still have some questions about things, I'm quite happy with the overall story.



My Thoughts on it:  I will have to read the book this is based on! *Smile* Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his friends have been separated (at the end of The Scorch Trials) by W.C.K.D. Some were taken by W.C.K.D., while Thomas and a few others managed to escape. This movie opens with a bang, keeps you on the edge of your seat for the most part, and never lets you go. I promised I'd never divulge the plot or story line of a movie, and won't here. But I really liked how this one flowed. Yes, there were moments when you scratched your head and asked yourself, "How exactly did they get there?" Or, "How did they manage to coordinate that to be done at that point?" (Thinking of a scene towards the end where Brenda is rescued). Overall though, the action, plot, and flow of the movie all worked to keep me engaged. So much so that I found myself clenching my hands at times due to being involved in the flow of the story.


         This has enough action to keep most people happy. The special effects aren't overdone as they are in so many movies today, and don't need to be either. The movie is good enough to carry itself. If you like Sci-Fi movies, Action movies, or just good ol' Thrillers, this is a movie you should see!



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Jim Dorrell{/l}
January 28, 2018 at 4:21pm
January 28, 2018 at 4:21pm
#927940
Title: In Time


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/?ref_=nv_sr_2


Lead Actors: Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde


Director: Andrew Niccol


Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller



My Rating: One thumb half way up, I just couldn't connect with this movie


Overall: *Star*


Drama/Mystery: *Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star*



Brief Synopsis:  This is written by Twentieth Century Fox, copied from the IMDB link above. Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: you're genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich "earn" decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage. Living minute to minute, the duo's love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system.



My Thoughts on it:  I couldn't relate, and couldn't press the 'I Believe' button on it. The actions of the general population in the city didn't seem realistic, the acting was borderline horrible, and the story just didn't make sense to me.


         I don't recall seeing this in the theaters, and I'm glad I didn't waste my money going to see it. If I can't enjoy it one bit, can't relate to it, I don't need to be watching it. So why did I watch it? It was midnight, I was awake, and this came on. The synopsis sounded interesting, but I could never relate to a single character, nor feel any empathy for them. That's why I used the 20th Century Fox synopsis, I couldn't think of a good one on my own. I don't recommend this, unless you're awake at night, and desperate for something to watch.



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Jim Dorrell{/l}
December 30, 2017 at 9:28pm
December 30, 2017 at 9:28pm
#925991
Title: Murder On The Orient Express


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3402236/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley,


Director: Kenneth Branagh


Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery



My Rating: One and a half thumbs up, mainly because it's a remake of a remake, or a.... You get the idea. Agatha Christie, the master of mystery novels wrote this long ago.


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Drama/Mystery: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  The Orient Express is going from Istanbul to Paris (I think), and while traveling through the Swiss Alps, an avalanche hits the train, derailing the locomotive. Before all that happens, one of the passengers (played by Johnny Depp) is brutally murdered, stabbed 12 times in the chest. As it happens, the master detective, Hercule Poirot is one of the passengers on the train, and is tasked with discovering who the murderer is.



My Thoughts on it:  I've never read an Agatha Christie novel <gasp!>, nor seen a previous release of this movie, but I had the solution figured out about half way through. Still, it's a good movie, one to see if you don't know the storyline at all. She is the master when it comes to twists and turns in a good story, and this one doesn't disappoint. The storyline flows well, slowly unraveling the twists and turns as we find out what went on. The entire cast is excellent, filled with big names. Not mentioned above, but still a big part of the movie, were Michelle Pfeiffer, Dame Judi Dench, and Willem Dafoe.


         If you enjoy mysteries, crime drama's, or the like, this is a good movie to see. I particularly liked the characters, and how each actor brought theirs to life. I do think younger viewers would enjoy this, especially if they've never read a Christie novel, nor seen any movies based on her books. It might be an eye-opener for them.



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Jim Dorrell{/l}
June 11, 2017 at 8:46pm
June 11, 2017 at 8:46pm
#913061
Title: Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol 2


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3896198/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista


Director: James Gunn


Genre: Action, Adventure



My Rating: I think this one is a half thumbs up at best. Unless you've read the comic books extensively and are a fan of this series.


Overall: *Star**Star**Star*


Humor: *Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  In the first movie, the Guardians saved Xander and are now considered heroes. While collecting their reward, Rocket steals some batteries from them, and everything goes you know where after that. There are several story lines in this movie that finally tie together in the last half hour or so. Even so, I couldn't find myself emotionally involved until the very end, when Peter takes his new Zune and listens to 'Father And Son', a song from the 70's by Cat Stevens. It's a song I loved back then, and has an emotional appeal for me.



My Thoughts on it:  This movie just didn't hit me well. While the plot didn't lose me, the flow of it was hard to keep up with. Sylvester Stallone has a small early part, and the same at the end. Trying to follow the Guardians as they are chased by the Sovereigns, or follow Yondu in his adventures, and then the entry of Kurt Russell just made for an experience that leaves one wondering. Maybe I'm getting too old for movies like this.


         I think this movie is for the younger crowd, especially fans of the Guardians comic books. The movie's been out for a while, and the crowd was almost non-existent in the theater.


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Jim Dorrell
May 17, 2017 at 12:55pm
May 17, 2017 at 12:55pm
#911273
Title: Snatched!


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2334871/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes, Joan Cusack


Director: Jonathan Levine


Genre: Action, Comedy



My Rating: I can't give it thumbs down, nor can I give it thumbs up. *PointRight*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star*


Humor: *Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Emily's (Amy Schumer) boyfriend dumps her right before the two of them are to go on a vacation to Ecuador. None of her friends will go with her because she owes them money, or have had problems in the past. She ends up inviting (forcing) her mother (Goldie Hawn) to accompany her. While there, they are kidnapped, escape, kidnapped again, escape... You get the picture.



My Thoughts on it:  I found this movie to be very average. Yes, it did make me laugh in a couple of places, but instead of a smooth flow that caused spontaneous laughter from me (and the rest of the audience), it was forced. You could tell when something funny was going to happen, and were prepared.


         The whole issue for me with this movie, is that it just didn't do anything. I think Melissa McCarthy may have been better as the mother (or daughter even), and a director who had an idea of true comedy would have helped. I didn't walk out feeling refreshed, didn't feel I'd really enjoyed myself, and frankly thought I'd wasted my time seeing it. Goldie looks her age, and is acting it. Amy, I don't know, I don't know enough about her, have not seen her enough to say if her performance was good or bad. I know I wasn't overwhelmed by this movie.



         Maybe this type of movie is for the younger crowd. I know when I was in my 20's and 30's, I'd see movies like this and think they were pretty good. Age has changed me, I know that. But in trying to look at it as a young person, I still can't find much that makes me think it's a very good movie. To me, average, nothing more. Here's a thought for you. It was opening weekend for this movie, and there were less than 20 people in the theater....



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Jim Dorrell
January 30, 2017 at 8:26pm
January 30, 2017 at 8:26pm
#903566
Title: Hidden Figures


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst


Director: Theodore Melfi


Genre: Biography, Drama, History



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  This is based on a true story. A story about the African-American women who were instrumental at NASA in the early days of the space program. Taking place in 1961, it brings home the inequalities of race at that time.



My Thoughts on it:  This is an outstanding movie, one that most everyone should see. Why do I say that? One, it's extraordinary, very accurately portraying the racism common in America then. Each of the three female leads were perfect for different reasons. Taraji P. Henson is Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematical genius, amazing at how she could compute numbers. Octavia Spencer is Dorothy Vaughn, the mature woman who supervised the 'colored computers' (people who could do mathematical formulas that fast were called computers back then. Go figure.). This team of women checked calculations used by NASA to launch the early rockets, from the Freedom and Atlas rockets, to many more during the space program. Janelle Monae (she is a recording artist, model, and actress) portrayed the snappy and sometimes irreverant Mary Jackson. Somehow, the director took this 'feel good' story, and bumped it up a notch to engage me in every aspect of the movie.


         While Mary Jackson was saucy and outright fun to watch, Katherine Johnson was the shy, reserved young widow who worked long hours to earn enough to raise her three girls. Dorothy Vaughn was the one who tied everything together and made this crew run smoothly for NASA. Katherine Johnson was transferred to the unit working on calculating John Glenn's trajectory, how and when to fire the retro rockets, etc. She was the one who correctly calculated his splashdown location, as well as when to fire the retro rockets, etc. But you have to understand, the 'colored computers' worked in the west wing. That was the only building on Langley AFB that had colored people working in it, hence the only building with colored restrooms. When she got transferred, she had to run (she always ran in those high heels, never walked) with an armload of paperwork to review, to the colored woman's restroom. It was a half mile one way! One day she had to 'go', and ran through a downpour to get to the restroom, reviewed calculations while sitting there, and ran back. Arriving back at her unit, Kevin Costner confronts her, wondering why she was gone 2-3 times during the day for a half hour. Of course, she explodes at that, and explains the restroom situation, as well as the coffee pot she has to use, and other activities that segregated her and her kind from the white people. Kevin Costner must have been blind to all this, but he wasn't after her justified tirade. That afternoon, he removed the sign over the colored women's restroom and said, "There's no color here at Langley. We all pee the same color." It's things like this that sets this film apart from the everyday, hum-drum stuff Hollywood throws at us.



         If you want to see a little history, learn a lot about life fifty years ago, see this. You won't be disappointed. I found the title of this movie to be very apt, but must admit that I looked at it wrong initially. It really has two meanings, I only thought of one. Hidden Figures - the black women who helped NASA achieve their goals in the 60's. Hidden Figures - the numbers they worked so hard to find to allow John Glenn to fire his rockets at the right time, allowing him to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and not burn up.



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Jim Dorrell
January 1, 2017 at 9:07pm
January 1, 2017 at 9:07pm
#900819
Title: Star Wars: Rogue One


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3748528/?ref_=nv_sr_2


Lead Actors: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk


Director: Gareth Edwards


Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  This movie takes place just before the very first Star Wars movie. It details how the Rebel Alliance came into possession of the plans for the Death Star. Felicity Jones is Jyn Erso, the daughter of Galen Erso. You might ask who he is? Well, he's the one who designed the Death Star. At the beginning of the movie, the Empire locates the Erso family and takes Galen back to complete the work on it. The movie does jump around quite a bit at first, but it builds the plot nicely.



My Thoughts on it:  

         I think this is one of the better Star Wars movies I've seen. George Lucas has done an excellent job of maintaining continuity of the Star Wars Saga. Of course we have new characters in very interesting roles. While the beginning seemed to be a little slow and confusing, it was only setting the stage for the whole story. Don't see this tired or distracted, you'll miss a lot of buildup that sets the stage for the entire Star Wars series. My favorite characters were K2, a reprogrammed Empire Robot played very well by Alan Tudyk. The other character I really liked was Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe. Blind he might be, but he was an awesome fighter. Of course, there was that brief cameo at the end, where Princess Leia receives the stolen plans for the Death Star, and when asked what the device contained, why it was so important, she replied, "A new hope." The makeup artists did an outstanding job of getting Carrie Fisher (RIP) to look exactly like she did in 1977, at nineteen years of age.

         I know some of you weren't around for the opening of the original Star Wars series. I came home from a FBM patrol in 1977, and heard about a new movie that had everyone talking. I went to downtown Honolulu and stood in line for over two hours to see it. It remains the only movie I can recall seeing where the audience gave the movie a standing ovation. I mean the entire audience, not just a few here and there. I know Star Wars is one of the most famous series out, but there's also a few poor individuals who have never seen a single movie. Here is the list of the movies, in the order they were released.

         Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

         Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

         Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi

         Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

         Star Wars: Episode II - The Clone Wars

         Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge Of The Sith

         Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (There really isn't an Episode number for this one, if there were one, it would be Episode VII)

         Star Wars: Rogue One (Again, there is no Episode number for this one, if there were, it would be Episode III.5, or 3.5)


Recommendation: This is an excellent movie if you enjoy a fun, action packed movie. If you're looking for outstanding acting and the like that accompanies a five star movie, you might not want to see this. Don't get me wrong, I love excellent movies. But I also love the Star Wars series. Go see this, you won't be disappointed.



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Jim Dorrell
December 26, 2016 at 6:33pm
December 26, 2016 at 6:33pm
#900304
Title: Collateral Beauty


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4682786/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslett, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren


Director: David Frankel


Genre: Drama



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Will Smith is an advertising executive who suffers a great loss, the death of his daughter. He writes letters to the abstract concepts of Death, Love, and Time. When each of them appear to talk to him about the letters, the plot takes off, and things get a little strange.



My Thoughts on it:  

         I know some say Hollywood can't face serious personal issues in a movie head-on. I'm not one of them, I really enjoyed this movie. Will Smith is so lost in grief that he has lost the ability to run the advertising company he founded with Whit (Ed Norton). The company is apparently foundering quite a bit, so Whit, Claire (Kate Winslett), and Simon (Micheal Pena) meet to develop a plan to gently wrest Smith's controlling shares of the company from him by proving he's incapable of doing what's needed. They hire three actors to portray each of the 'abstract concepts' he wrote, Mirren as Death, Kiera Knightley as Love, and Jacob Lattimore as Time. I cold feel Smith's anger and pain at life in general, and loved the way Love, Death, and Time spoke with him. This is a pretty emotional movie, if you can lose yourself in the story. For me, it worked very well.



Recommendation: Like I said, I really liked this movie, and would see it again if the opportunity arose. It's a heart warming movie lifts you at the end. I don't go to movies and try to figure out the plots, I go to enjoy them just for the story. Nonetheless, I had this one figured out pretty much to a 'T' before it was half way over. That didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it though.



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Jim Dorrell
December 23, 2016 at 12:15am
December 23, 2016 at 12:15am
#900086
Title: Passengers


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1355644/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen


Director: Morten Tyldum


Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  The Avalon is a spaceship on a 120 year trip to a distant planet (Homestead II) with 5,000 passengers on board to colonize the planet. Everyone, including the entire crew, is in hibernation for the trip. That is, until a malfunction causes one sleeping pod to open eighty years prematurely. Chris Pratt is the one whose sleeping pod malfunctioned, and he finds himself the only occupant awake on the starship.


My Thoughts on it:  

         The tech guy in me had to swallow a few times to keep from telling people "That could never happen in space." As frequently happens in movies involving space travel, weightlessness is forgotten. There's a moment where Chris Pratt exits the spacecraft on an 'outing', he dons a spacesuit and floats away from the ship. He has no propulsion, yet he floats away as if he's falling. I know, I know. Don't be so picky! I did manage to remain quiet though, which is a good thing.


         Jennifer Lawrence joins him when she wakes, and of course the two hit it off and become romantically involved. But things aren't all roses on the craft; slowly but surely things start to fail. It all links to the reason Christ Pratt's sleeping pod failed in the first place. Of course he and Lawrence save the day, and the ship. I will say that for being a 'simple mechanic' who would work on farms on Homestead II, he sure knew a lot about the Avalon, how it worked, and how to repair a malfunction of the fusion reactor.

         For me, the hit of the movie was Micheal Sheen as the robotic bartender. He carried the role well with his conversation and banter.


Recommendation: This is a good movie; it does start a little slow, but once it gets going, it will grab you and hold your attention. Just don't look at it with a technical mind, and expect things to be 'true'.



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November 5, 2016 at 12:26am
November 5, 2016 at 12:26am
#896584
Title: The Accountant


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2140479/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow


Director: Gavin O'Connor


Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  First things first. Go see this! This is Ben Affleck as I've never seen him before. Math Savant/Accountant, fighting skills of an assassin, comparable to Jason Bourne.

         Christian Wolff (Affleck) is an accountant with almost superhuman skills at numbers. His clients are mainly people of the underworld that we hear about in the news (Think Mafia, Drug Cartels, etc). He is hired to review a new clients books/records, and things begin to heat up.


My Thoughts on it:  

         This movie is rife with excellent flashbacks that help explain things, but they don't tie together until the end. There's a couple of outstanding plot twists, little hints dropped here and there that keep you wondering throughout the movie. This is one I really enjoyed, and would go see it again tomorrow if the chance presented itself.


Recommendation: Watch this. Yes, I said it already, but I can't emphasize it enough. If you're a Jason Bourne fan, you'll love this movie. The special effects are minimal, so you don't see scenes of vehicles flipping over repeatedly or blowing up. No fantastical fight scenes with the combatants doing unbelievable leaps or moves. Just excellent action cinematography, a plot that keeps you guessing, and flashbacks that seem innocuous at first glance, but really build the overall story at the end. Ben Affleck is excellent, but then so is Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. John Lithgow is almost loathsome in his character, but the character I enjoyed most (besides Affleck), was Jeffrey Tambor's. Go see this!


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October 31, 2016 at 9:12pm
October 31, 2016 at 9:12pm
#896133
Title: Before The Flood


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5929776/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Elon Musk, Pope Francis, Ban Ki-Moon, Leonardo Di Caprio


Director: Fisher Stevens


Genre: Documentary, News



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*


Brief Synopsis:  This is an excellent documentary about the problems we face with Global Warming. Yes, Global Warming is here, and it's real. I know there's a lot of debunkers out there, claiming that this is not true, that humans are not the reason for it. I've read quite a bit about this problem in the past, and knew that a lot of 'scientists' had come forward claiming it's all a hoax. What this documentary points out, is that all those scientists are funded by 'Big Oil'. To me, it's a difference of opinion, I'm not educated enough on this issue to know who's right or wrong. To me, there is no right or wrong. You can't deny that the Earth is undergoing changes, can't deny the changes in weather patterns. If you disagree with my view, that's fine, we're all allowed to have opinions. *Smile*

         Okay, I know this movie is a bit controversial. Everyone in it has a much larger Carbon Footprint than any of us will ever have. But the way to make change is to bring attention to something. Look at what Colin Kapernick has done with his protest. Change starts at the bottom with the people, not at the top.


My Thoughts on it:  

         This is a documentary everyone should watch, even those who doubt Global Warming is here. The movie is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio with scientific facts and very touching pictures of what it is happening around the world. He interviews many scientist, activists, and finally politicians around the world. The documentary shows how life of many people has already been already affected by Global Warming. There are numerous scenes, beautiful and sad, of earth and how Global Warming is changing them, from the arctic's melting ice to the ecosystems being ruined in seas and jungles. In one scene, Leonardo interviews the astronaut Piers Sellers and he shows the map of earth and how our temperature is changing.

         I fear for our young, the people who will live here after I'm gone. The more I look around, the more I see a world that will resemble the world of Mad Max, Soylent Green, or maybe even Waterworld. I lean towards the desert type world, not Waterworld.


Recommendation: Watch this. You might not agree with everything they discuss or show in it, but it won't end with you feeling the same way you do now. And yes, Leo has a large Carbon footprint (something he really needs to change to be considered serious about his stance on this), but he is a committed environmentalist. But he remains the U.N. Messenger on Peace, with Special Emphasis on Climate Change.



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Jim Dorrell
October 19, 2016 at 5:59pm
October 19, 2016 at 5:59pm
#894933
Title: The Illusionist


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443543/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Edward Norton, J. Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel


Director: Neil Burger


Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*


Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*


Drama: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Edward Norton is a renowned 19th Century Magician in Vienna. He meets the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. They both immediately realize that as teens they were involved in a relationship doomed from the start due to class differences. The Duchess is soon to be wed to Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power: overthrowing his father, the Emperor Leopold, as well as overtaking the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits his needs or purposes. The two of them quickly realize they love each other,and know that if she were to leave the Crown Prince, it would be both their lives. The drama and mystery deepen quickly when she is found murdered....


My Thoughts on it:  

         I have to admit that I first saw this ten years ago when it was first released. The draw for me was Jessica Biel, though I do love the roles that both Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton have played. I saw the end of this movie this afternoon when I returned to my room, and was immediately mesmerized, caught up in the story.

         This is a romantic mystery full of drama. A movie that grabs you, draws you into the plot, makes you a part of the movie. I really liked this one, and now have a copy of it on DVD, as well as on my laptop hard drive.


Recommendation: This is an excellent movie, one that can be watched multiple times. It's a great movie to sit back and watch with one you love. Wine nearby, favorite snacks as well, and if at all possible, a fire roaring in a nearby fireplace. *Smile*



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Jim Dorrell
September 11, 2016 at 6:32am
September 11, 2016 at 6:32am
#891972
Title: Sully


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263904/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney


Director: Clint Eastwood


Genre: Biography, Drama



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Drama: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  On January 15th, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia, heading for Charlotte. About one hundred seconds into the flight, at an altitude of a little over 2000 feet, the plane hit a flock of birds, losing both engines. Captain Sullenberger landed the plane intact on the frigid Hudson River; no passengers or crew were lost in this amazing landing.



My Thoughts on it:  

         If I were to describe this movie with one word, it would be emotional.

         This movie grabs you from the opening scenes, and never lets you go. I found that my eyes welled up frequently throughout the movie, especially in the scenes involving the short flight and water landing. This is one movie where the director (Clint Eastwood) didn't go overboard with excessive special effects. He didn't need to, the drama of it all was enough. The action scenes looked pretty realistic, and that's what kept me glued to my seat. Sully's ability to remain calm in such a dire situation is admirable. His actions to save the aircraft weren't all that amazing at first glance. But when you take into account that IF he hadn't acted as he had, there would have been many deaths; they become amazing. His desire to ensure everyone was off the plane revealed a side of him that is rarely seen in today's world. Caring, love of his job, and those entrusted to his care as he flew the plane. The NTSB investigation board, their questions and methods to find out what happened were very good. It helped me understand things a lot better.


Recommendation: If I could rate this higher than five stars, I would. Would I see it again? YES, IF I had tissues ready. Like I said, if I used one word to describe this, it would be emotional. Go see it. Believe it or not, once again, something has made me believe in humanity, and our ability to care for each other.



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Jim Dorrell
August 21, 2016 at 11:01pm
August 21, 2016 at 11:01pm
#890539
Title: Jason Bourne


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4196776/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander,


Genre: Action, Thriller



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**ThumbsUpL*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star*

Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*

Action Scenes: *Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*


Brief Synopsis:  Jason Bourne is contacted by Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), she's found out how and why his father was killed (not by terrorists as he had been told all along). But in digging up this data, the encrypyted USB drive she uses is implanted with Mal-Ware so the CIA will be 'notified' when it is used again. Jason comes in possession of it, and of course they track him. What follows is an almost typical Bourne movie.



My Thoughts on it:  

         If you love movies like "The Fast & Furious" (Sorry, I'm not a fan), then you may love this movie. Don't get me wrong, I really liked it. But there were a couple of things in it that I just couldn't go with. The first couple of Bourne movies were excellent. Espionage, thriller, action, excellent fight scenes. This one had all that, but up close and personal. Paul Greengrass (Director) must be a fan of close ups, because almost all the fight scenes are shot this way. It makes it very hard to see what's going on, and how the fight proceeds. Also, he must be a fan, or work along the lines of, big car explosions and chase scenes make up for an overall lack excellence. I know some of you might wonder why I only gave action scenes 3.5 stars. Simple, it was the excessive use of closeups in all fight scenes, and the big blow up train of though. Sure it was very good, but it was way overboard too, and I've grown to not like that kind of scene very much.


         This is a very good movie overall. I have seen every Bourne movie released; this one fits in well. The storyline is good, but I wondered why Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) wanted CIA Director Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) eliminated. She told Bourne she has her own reasons for wanting him out, but it was never brought up again.


Recommendation: This movie is one I'd see again if I had someone to go with. If I were to buy it on DVD, it would only be because I want to have the complete Bourne collection. Go see this if you're an action movie fan, you won't be disappointed.



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Jim Dorrell
July 24, 2016 at 9:53pm
July 24, 2016 at 9:53pm
#888393
Title: Ghostbusters


IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/?ref_=nv_sr_1


Lead Actors: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey


Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi



My Rating: *ThumbsUpL**Thumbsupl*


Overall: *Star**Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*

Storyline/Plot: *Star**Star**Star**Star*


Brief Synopsis:  Ghost sightings are on the rise in Manhattan, and no one knows why. Erin (Kristen Wiig), and Abby (Melissa McCarthy) co-authored a book while in college about ghosts. Erin has moved on and is seeking tenure at Columbia University. When she's approached by a stranger asking for help with ghosts, she realizes her book is available on Amazon. She confronts Abby about it, but before they can resolve things, they find themselves confronting a ghost in a vintage NYC home. The rest of the movie is much like the original classic, but with enough differences to make it stand on its own.



My Thoughts on it:  

         If you saw the first Ghostbusters, then you won't be too surprised by this movie's plot. But where I didn't care for the sequel to Independence Day, I really liked this second take on the original story.


         While this movie has received mixed reviews and comments, I really liked it. It is as good as the original, with enough differences to keep your attention. What I really enjoyed, is that every major member from the original movie has a small part in this one. Yes, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts all appeared briefly. There was even a very short shot of a bust of Harold Ramis in one of the early scenes. Another nice touch was having Daniel Ramis (Harold's son) play a small part towards the end, as well as short appearances by Andy Garcia, Ozzy Osbourne, and a cameo by Al Roker. You'll laugh, groan, smile, and enjoy yourself during the movie. Don't go to it expecting it to be the same as the original. Expect a little more; expect each main character to mimic one of the original characters, and know that you'll have a good time watching it.


Recommendation: This movie is very good, it's one I'd see again if I had someone to go with. I don't think I'd buy it on DVD, it's not one that I'd like to have more than anything else. It is worth your money and time.


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