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Old 08-27-2015, 08:20 PM  
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san andreas

Dwayne Johnson's San Andreas is basically a remake of The Day After Tomorrow, with an earthquake instead of a blizzard. Both movies have:
1. The two main characters are an estranged couple who reunite in the end.
2. Instead of tornadoes, huge plumes of smoke rise up from the collapsed city of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign is destroyed.
3. There are teenagers alone in a different city who need to be rescued by the parents.
4. The parents ride in a helicopter part of the way. There is also a plane crash.
5. The teens contact the main characters via a landline telephone.
6. A huge wave engulfs the city. Huge ships land sideways against the collapsed skyscrapers. One of the teens nearly drowns.
7. Another of the teens gets a dangerous cut on his leg.
8. In the final scene, a military helicopter rides over a tent city of the survivors.
As I've mentioned before, TDAT is one of my favorite movies. Although San Andreas is a much better film than last year's Into the Storm, I have to wonder why such a derivative story was filmed in the first place.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:36 AM  
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the gift

The Gift is a creepy little sleeper hit (creeper?) movie, about what happens to bullies and their victims long after high school. You can't feel sorry for anyone in this movie, because every one of the main characters is both likeable and semi-bad.
The main character is the wife, Robin, who becomes friends with one of her husband's former classmates, not realizing that her husband was the bully and the classmate was the bullied. The two men begin playing mind games with each other and it eventually turns physical. VERY physical.
Disturbing movie that will give you--errrr--the creeps.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:35 AM  
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a walk in the woods

A Walk in the Woods is very similar to Grumpy Old Men and The Bucket List, except that the scenery is spectacular. Two elderly men, played by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, decide to hike the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. Not much happens except for their everyday misadventures and their interactions with the eccentrics they meet on the trail.
The movie is funny at times, with Nolte getting most of the laughs because of his foul mouth and his attraction to every woman he meets.
The one detail that puzzled me was the age of the characters. Robert Redford is 79 and Emma Thompson, who plays his wife, is 56. At first I thought she was his daughter. Late in the movie Redford's character, Bill Bryson, said that he and his wife Catherine (Thompson) had been married 40 years, which would mean that Catherine had married him when she was 16. (I don't know what the age difference is between the real Bill Bryson and his wife.)
No one under the age of 50 will appreciate this movie. It's best seen in the theater because of the shots of the mountain ranges.
I really liked the movie and would recommend it. Except for the F word heard a number of times and a number of double entendres, all of which are done for laughs, it's a very mild movie.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:37 PM  
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everest

I'm not sure what to think of Everest. It was hard to have any sympathy for the main characters. Also, even though I've read Into Thin Air, saw the TV movie and the PBS documentary based on it, and saw the IMAX film made during the expedition, I still cannot keep everyone in the story straight. There were just too many people involved.
I mainly saw Everest because I like Jake Gyllenhaal, but he doesn't appear until a third of the way into the film. Also, I love the story Lost Horizon. The movie is stomach-dropping in places as the climbers go on their journey up the mountain.
Why didn't I have any sympathy for the climbers? The one aspect of the movie that got to me which the other aforementioned versions of the story never did is to show just how arrogant and selfish these people are. They spend thousands of dollars (and some of them don't have that much money to begin with) to go to Nepal, leave their families for months, and make a mess of what was, until the 1950s, one of the few places left untouched and pristine on Earth.
I'll make a correction here. I did have sympathy for some of the characters in the movie, just not the main ones. I felt sorry for the people at base camp who are in charge of keeping track of everyone and are responsible for contacting the families that their loved ones have died. I also felt sorry for the families that felt abandoned by the climbers.
Was Everest a well-made, entertaining movie? Yes. Did I like it? I don't think so.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:40 PM  
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war room

War Room is the worst of the Christian movies I have seen so far. The stilted acting that is a trademark of the evangelical fundamentalist films was even worse this time. But the preachiness in this one was extreme even for the genre. Most bizarrely, toward the end of the film there was a shift in plot that was taken straight out of, of all things, the movie Bring It On.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:11 AM  
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the walk

I came out of The Walk with a smile on my face and feeling just a little breathless. The glow the movie gave me stayed with me the rest of the evening. What an awesome movie!
The Walk is what Everest should have been, an exciting and breathtaking movie that blows you away. Like Apollo 13 (my all-time favorite movie) and Argo, The Walk is a retelling of a actual event that, even though you already know the ending, still leaves you holding your breath at times because of how nerve-wracking the situation is.
For those who don't remember, this is the story of the French man who strung a a high wire between the Twin Towers in 1974, just prior to the official opening of the World Trade Center. (There is no mention of 9/11, but it is hinted at at the end of the movie.) Actually, the film is fairly lighthearted, about a group of young people sneaking around the buildings trying to figure out how to access the roof of one of them without the workers or the authorities noticing. Once Philippe starts walking you start holding your breath, because you the viewer would never have the nerves or the balance to do such a thing!
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:29 PM  
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funny article about original movies

I laughed out loud not once but THREE times reading this article:
http://www.theonion.com/article/mpaa...not-base-51651
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:10 AM  
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90 minutes in heaven

Despite its slow-moving plot, I was touched by 90 Minutes in Heaven. It did not have the pitfalls of many of the other Christian-based films I've seen.
The story takes place in 1989, when a semi plows into a minister's car. The paramedics thought the minister was dead, but another passing clergyman who wanted to pray with the victim heard him singing. Thus began a year-long and very painful recovery for Don Piper.
The first thing I noticed about the movie was the absence of the stilted acting. What a relief! The second detail is that even though the man is a minister, his religion is not forced on us every other scene.
This movie was released at the same time as War Room and unfortunately proved not as popular as it was. That's a shame as 90 Minutes is a much better movie.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:45 AM  
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the intern

Mom and I both really enjoyed The Intern, the story of a retired man who goes to work at an online shopping business in Brooklyn. He is assigned to work with the company's founder, a young and harried woman. The second half is a little slower than the first but still enjoyable to watch. There are soft laughs throughout the movie. It's rated PG-13 only because the F word is used once.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:17 PM  
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crimson peak

It's been years since I've seen a Victorian horror movie. This genre just isn't made much any more, since audiences seem to prefer contemporary gory slasher movies and their umpteen sequels.
I saw Crimson Peak this morning. It takes place in the late 1800s in New York and northern England. Huge old house, ghosts, horses and carriages, weird relatives, they all were present. I enjoyed the movie. However, it is bloody in places. The only part I didn't like was how the one character survived a huge fall and was still able to get up and walk.
Since the movie is rated R, there is one use of the F word. Why it was in there, I don't know, not just because it was unnecessary but also because I don't know if the word had come into common usage in the late 19th century!
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