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The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States)

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Begin Again [DVD] [2014]
Begin Again [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Keira Knightley
Price: £10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars ROCK STARS CAN'T MAKE A WOMAN HAPPY, 23 Oct 2014
This review is from: Begin Again [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a record producer who just got fired from the label he founded. He is separated from his wife (Catherine Keener) and his part time daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) is the typical hurt movie teen needing a father figure. While trying to get drunk he hears Gretta (Keira Knightley) give a really rotten night club performance, although Dan hears something great.

Gretta has just broken up with her rock star boyfriend (Adam Levine). She agrees to do an album with Dan recording outdoors in different parts of the city with Dan cashing in favors to get background musicians.

The film was not a good life drama. It was not a comedy and the music was fair. It has indie appeal to aspiring writers/singers as well as indie lovers who don't know a bad movie when they see one. Knightly gave us her typical role and looks, seemingly phoning this one in. Dan was hardly likeable. And in two minutes time Gretta can solve all of the teen's problems.

I have trouble understanding the praise for a so cliche filled movie. Is this what society has come to? Mulligan seriously? Mommy make it stop. It hurts. Soft 3 stars.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.

Elite Force [DVD]
Elite Force [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luke Goss
Price: £10.25

2.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN'T KILL EVERYONE I DO BUSINESS WITH., 22 Oct 2014
This review is from: Elite Force [DVD] (DVD)
Also known as "April Rain."

A group of Homeland security types has people undercover wanting to stop the bad guys from "raining" down on LA. The plot is super simple. The music and sneers let you know who the bad guys are. The sound editor didn't know what to do with gun fire during the slow motion shoot outs...heck just put it anywhere. The only real conflict in the film is supplied by women who are either wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, or bosses. This is a film where Luke Goss emerges as the best actor, something I would not have expected. Near the end Luke suddenly pulls out a Bible and hands it to a fellow agent proclaiming, "There are no atheists in foxholes." Where did that come from?

This feels like a pilot for a TV program as the ending doesn't give you closure.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, butt nudity.

Occupants [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Occupants [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Cristin Milioti
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £5.73

4.0 out of 5 stars I CAN FIX THIS, 22 Oct 2014
Lucy (Cristin Milioti) has a wonderful life with Wade (Michael Rady) an idea husband and they also have a child. Lucy works for Glen (James Urbaniak) counseling abused women. She was once a patient of Glen's and their doctor/patient relationship got too personal.

Lucy and Wade both see ghosts in their house. It is an abused family and Lucy believes she can fix it. Lucy employs a "Jesus Freak" babysitter who talks about demonic possession. Meanwhile there is a man, who is not a ghost sneaking around outside the house taking photos. Lucy also has a sister who stays distant from her.

The ghosts become more formidable as things go on. If you haven't figure things out in the first hour with the over abundance of clues, they will tell you most of it at that point.

The twist was not unexpected and has been used in a number of films which I won't name. Things come together rather neatly at the end. A well done thriller, perhaps done too often.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, brief sex, no nudity.

The Judge [DVD] [2014]
The Judge [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Robert Downey Jr.
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars THAT'S NOT MY TESTIMONY,, 22 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Judge [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a cocky self-assured attorney who defends rich criminals and he is good at it, i.e. the Tony Stark character shines through. His father is a hard nosed judge in a small Indiana town. He hasn't been home in 20 years because of him. When his mother dies, Hank goes home and must face his father (Robert Duvall) and two brothers (Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong). Family friction heats up, but when his father needs an attorney, Hank stays.

At this point the past begins to unfold in ways neither we nor Hank expected. The film climaxes when his dad takes the witness stand in his own defense against the wishes of Hank. It is a story about family coming together.

This was a remarkable drama, that is constantly developing. It has Oscar worthy performances by Duvall and Downey jr. Fans of "August Osage County" should enjoy this feature.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.

Giver [Blu-ray] [2014] [US Import]
Giver [Blu-ray] [2014] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Jeff Bridges

4.0 out of 5 stars BRAVE NEW DIVERGENT WORLD, 22 Oct 2014
Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in an isolated futuristic utopian society complete with genetic engineering, void of emotion, and people control through daily chemical injections. It is an artificial society that appears to be black and white. When the students graduate (Hint at target audience) they are assigned professions based on their observed talents. Jonas was special and is to receive special training from "The Giver" (Jeff Bridges who never says "man" or "dude"). Jonas is to learn pain, emotion, and be given memories of the past world and life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Following the formula, Jonas believes this clean utopian society is worse than the world we lived in and sets out to change things.

This is another teen saves the world film. Fans of Divergent, Hunger Games, etc. should find interest in this picture. The film spent a lot of time in the beginning setting up the world and getting Jonas into training. The end felt hurried and I suspect dragged out longer in the book. With fifteen minutes left, I was thinking it should have another thirty to forty minutes to go.

Yes this is another deep profound utopian society film that asks the same questions as all the other deep profound utopian society films.

I felt it was overrated at PG-13. No swearing, sex, or nudity. Infant is given an injection to kill it. Boy punched in face. Flashes of war scenes.

He Who Dares: The Downing St Siege [DVD]
He Who Dares: The Downing St Siege [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simon Phillips
Price: £10.25

On Christmas Eve, the prime ministers daughter (Christina Bellavia) is kidnapped, along with some of her friends. They are taken to an underground parking/office complex which is made secured. A team of SAS go into the facility to confront the bad guys, who are every bit as proficient as them. Tom Benedict Knight leads the SAS group. However the reason to watch the film is the dark comedy of sociopath Simon Phillips who holds people hostage, gives them hope, then a bullet.

There are grindhouse moments in the film with few slow scenes. The downfall of the film is the reason for the whole operation and the generic class warfare speeches spewed by Phillips toward the end.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity. 3 1/2 stars on the strength of Phillips' performance.

The Anomaly [Blu-ray]
The Anomaly [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Ian Somerhalder
Price: £12.50

4.0 out of 5 stars I WANT MY LIFE BACK, 20 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Anomaly [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ryan (Noel Clarke) suffers from PTSD. He has severe memory lapses where he is someone else. He has 10 minute intervals to "reboot." During those 10 minute intervals he tries to save a young boy (Art Parkinson) a prostitute (Alexis Knapp) and the world while keeping time with an Omega watch and trying to figure things out.

This was an interesting sci-fi film as well as an action film as Ryan physically battles his employers and their enemies too. The computer graphics and special effects were excellent for an indie. There is an air of mystery as Ryan and the audience try to figure out what is happening. A must for indie sci-fi fans.

Parental Guidance F-bomb, sex, nudity.

Wrong Turn 6 [DVD]
Wrong Turn 6 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sadie Katz
Price: £8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE PRICE OF PURITY, 19 Oct 2014
This review is from: Wrong Turn 6 [DVD] (DVD)
Danny (Anthony Ilott) unexpectedly inherits the Hobbs Springs Hotel and is eager to meet family he has never know. He takes along with him a group of victims, er ah friends. Seems Danny has been brought back to take over the hotel for the fine young cannibals and to preserve the purity of the blood line to the dismay of his girl friend (Aqueela Zoll).

What's to say? I liked #4 the best especially the opening classical music scene which they have failed to top. This is 80's style slasher, naked girls, kill them in different ways, and eat the body parts. "Fun is the kind of therapy we all need."

The town has a board full of missing people and a puppy. This film sets up for what could be a great sequel if they got some writers.

F-bomb, sex, nudity (Aqueela Zoll, Sadie Katz, Roxanne Pallett, Talitha Luke-Eardley)

Poker House [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Poker House [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Bokeem Woodbine

4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S ALWAYS BAD, 19 Oct 2014
Based on a true story that takes place in Iowa. Agnes (Jennifer Lawrence) is a 14 year old girl advanced for her age. She plays basketball, does calculus, holds down a local job, keeps the household together and gives dry boring narration about her life and dogs biting. Her mother (Selma Blair) owns the Poker House" which is known for poker, gambling, drinking, prostitution, and apparently drugs, although the nightly antics are basically limited to one night, so the audience never got the real feeling of despair.

Bee (Sophi Bairley) is 12 years old and delivers papers. She stays at the neighbors whenever possible. Cammie (ChloŽ Grace Moretz) is the youngest and in spite of all the praise for J-Law, I couldn't wait for her character to come on screen as she rattled off at the mouth.

The story is slow. It spends time to fully develop the sisters' characters. Agnes, is coming of age and has a touch of Jungle Fever, which becomes both her demise and finally salvation. It is an interesting tale, but it felt incomplete. Personally I thought Lawrence's acting in "Winterbone" smoked this one.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, rape, nudity (Selma Blair) 3 1/2 stars

The film leads you to believe this was the bio for Lori Petty but her IMDB bio reads: "She spent her childhood traveling the US with her father, a Pentecostal minister. Her keen talents first lent themselves toward being a graphic artist in Omaha, Nebraska, but an impulsive desire to act quickly took precedence and soon she was off to New York"

"She was the first female editor of the North High School newspaper and graduated in 1982.
Attended North High School, Sioux City, Iowa, where she was involved in Yearbook and speech/debate."

The film suggests she left for NYC at 14. Seems to be some missing story.

See No Evil 2 [DVD]
See No Evil 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Glenn Jacobs
Price: £8.00

2.0 out of 5 stars DO WE REALLY WANT TO SAVE THIS GUY?, 19 Oct 2014
This review is from: See No Evil 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I didn't think the first one was that good to warrant a sequel. Jacob (Glenn Jacobs) because "Jason" might bring a lawsuit is our killer who died at the end of the first film, but didn't. Like Jason, he comes back to life, wears a mask, is huge and kills kids who are sinners.

The setting is the city morgue as Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) and Amy (Danielle Harris) work the graveyard shift on her birthday. Bodies are brought to the morgue from the end of the first feature, including the killer. Amy is given a surprise birthday party, because killing just a few people and a guy in a wheel chair has been done before and better. Oh where are the chainsaws when you need one.

This is another me-too slasher attempting to remake another Friday the 13th series.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs or nudity. Sex scene and all that bloody stuff.

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