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Captive State (2019)
Tyrannical creatures known as the 'Legislators' are relentlessly surveilling, tracking, and suppressing the population in this highly relevant and provocatively detailed story about rebellion.
For those who look and listen closely, there is a feast of subtle details here that will undoubtedly upset the technocrats and delight those of us who are paying attention to trends here in the west. This script might feel disjointed to some, and threatening to others, but for the intended audience, every word in the script is an quiet nod of affirmation from across the room.
Finally, a sci-fi movie made for the people, not for the critic class. I'm honestly surprised this movie got made. We are starving for more stories like this.
The Kennedys (2011)
missing some key elements
As a fictional, dramatic show, I suppose it was passable. I'd give it 4 stars, except I'm absolutely starving for someone to make a Kennedy biopic with real facts and a fearless examination of major events, like JFK's challenge to Israel.
Documents were recently released detailing meetings where JFK demanded Israel allow inspections of their nuclear program. Of course, those inspection demands were quickly forgotten after he was assassinated.
I've got a 10 star review waiting for the bold filmmakers who are wiling to present that extremely interesting part of the JFK story. We are still feeling the affects of a US president's murder today. It would be a worthy topic for a brave filmmaker, to tell the bigger story, the whole story. Until then I guess we'll keep being fed shows like this, where a 'lone gunman' or 'the mafia' killed our president.
Kinnear was great though. You could tell this was an important role for him.
Surprised by how much I liked it
I hadn't heard anything about this show when I hit play on the first episode. I wasn't really paying full attention at the start, but gradually, through solid dialogue and weirdness, I got pulled into the mystery. I had no issues with the pacing...its a mystery, so you have to wait until the end for the reveal. There were lots of strange events and interesting questions. The 'world' built by the script was very detailed and realistic and I thought more than once that this was pulled from someone's personal experiences. I watch a lot of terrible tv shows and it's pretty great when a show I've never heard of turns out to be really good.
If you haven't seen the entire thing, don't read the next paragraph.
I will say, I bet the makers of this show cringed a little when they saw the movie hereditary. I'm sure they were in the middle of fine tuning this script or actually on set making this show when that movie came out. Personally, I enjoyed both.
The Silence (2019)
You've already seen this movie.
Formulaic and poorly timed, since we just had two very similar movies. Also, the anti-Christian stuff from hollywood is starting to call attention to itself. Almost like the movie is a just a half-developed delivery system for anti-Christian propaganda.
An anarchistic breathe of fresh air.
I never give 10 stars, since I'm personally dubious of all 10 star reviews.
But lately, American 'comedies' are so full of social justice and religious/political engineering, I almost forgot what it was like to laugh. Finding this show (just started season 2)--it's an anarchistic breathe of fresh air, compared to the group-think slop being shoveled into our troughs here in the US.
It's been so long since I watched something designed to make me laugh, instead of control the way I think, I'm gonna give it the full 10 stars. Very excited to watch the rest of season 2!
Vox Lux (2018)
8 stars for the first 80 minutes. 2 stars for last 40 minutes.
Was remarking to myself how innovative and compelling the cinematography was early in the movie. The long shot of the teacher before the violence was striking and extremely memorable. Middle of the movie was very engaging story about the rise of a pop star.
Then jump to 2017. If I squint my eyes, maybe I can pretend that making a bad movie for the last hour is some kind of representation of the decline of man or maybe abandoning your own story is a social commentary? Maybe destroying your own film is akin to terrorism?
And then you show a 20 minute pop concert, at the end of which, your narrator implies a pact with the devil?
I just started laughing when I realized this was how the movie was going to end.
Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018)
Like a book I read, but sillier.
Overall movie was pretty silly and forgettable. It's like they wanted to say something about fracking, but felt self-conscious about it, so stuffed it into a ridiculous gore-fest comedy.
Fracking parts were almost exactly like 'Making Monsters' (A novel by Joe Turk where Fracking creates sinkholes and disturbs an subterranean ecosystem of creatures that emerge and wreak havoc.) The scene where they see 'something moving down there' is almost identical to that book's first chapter. According to amazon, the book came out in 2014. so maybe they read the read the book, changed a few things, and called it their own?
Obliged to say here that the book was better.
The Front Runner (2018)
Well made film-but Gary Hart isn't that interesting
This is well made film with good acting and a neutral 'voice'...which is refreshing. But there just wasn't much happening, outside of the one 'big' thing. This might have been interesting if made in 2000, but in 2018, when EVERYONE has lost their privacy and the new politicians are extreme? Even Hart's politics were fairly bland. He was straightforward...unless asked about things he didn't want to talk about....how is that interesting or different?
Watched this hoping there would be more to the Gary Hart's story, but if you were alive when this was happening, there's just not much more here to see. I'd watch another film by this production team, but this one is pretty forgettable.
Escape at Dannemora (2018)
Great acting...extremely slow pace.
Solid performances by some of my favorite actors. Music stays out of the way most of the time. Cinematography is appropriately bleak. But the pacing is just super, super slow. Thought the first episode was 2 hours long, then checked and it had a 59 minute run time. Stuck with it, but it's juts the same super slow pace. Not helped by the fact that each episode starts with a giant hint at what's coming, then we plod along for the rest of that chapter toward the conclusion we already know is coming.
Mars: The Shake Up (2018)
Living in a frackquake zone...
First time I've seen fracking quakes talked about on mainstream TV. As someone who lives in an area where we went from 3 quakes a year to over 800 in a couple years later, coinciding with the fracking boom in 2011....I can't say thank you enough to the makers of this episode. Nobody around here is allowed to talk about it.
I personally think humanity is probably doomed by greed and lust for power, but I'm enjoy this shows more optimistic view that maybe, through luck, the right people will end up in power and we can be saved.
Also, get ready for big oil and their clickfarms to neg bomb this show and do their best to bury it so nobody can watch it.
The Clovehitch Killer (2018)
Decent thriller but Christian villains are becoming a cliche.
I don't normally write reviews for 'okay' films, and this wasn't a bad movie. Not great, not terrible.
I'm writing this review because I'm getting worn out by the new Hollywood trend where every villain needs a huge sign over his head that says "This bad guy is a Christian! See! Christians are evil!"
It's to the point, where if any character identifies himself/herself as a Christian at the start of a movie, it is guaranteed that character will be evil.
It used to be Muslims were always the bad guys, now it's Christians are always the bad guys. Enough with the religious propaganda. We get it. You don't like Muslims and Christians.
Now can you get back to telling an entertaining story? Or is that not important any more?
Very relevant with today's political climate
I asked my girlfriend the other day, does Hollywood want us to go to war with Russia? What's with all these anti-Russia movies? I've lost count of how many American movies, in the last 5-8 years, that portray Russians as 'the bad guys'. Nevermind the daily news articles in the US trying to convince our popultion that Russia is evil. (Though I admit, it's a nice break from constantly being bombarded with stories about 'the evils of middle eastern countries.)
So, I like the premise and I"m willing to believe there could be a 'consortium' out there, trying to get two powerful countries, like Russia and the US, to fight a war, or at least, start another cold war.
As a movie, it's average, at best. The characters are two-dimensional and the non-linear story-telling is often unnecessarily confusing.
But hey, I'm a fan of 'idea' movies and this is a strong idea with a lot of merit, and relevance for today. So, I'm adding an extra star or two.
I hope people will watch it and consider the possibility that there might be people out there, working to get you to hate an entire country full of people you've never met, because it profits them in some way.
Think for yourselves friends!
Telling both sides of the story upsets 'anonymous reviewers'
Living in the US, it's rare to see a movie present both sides of a conflict, especially regarding the Israel and Palestine conflict.
Right from the start, this movie takes a position as the neutral observer...are these 'Freedom Fighters' or 'Terrorists'?
(probably depends on where you live)
I came her fully expecting to see 1 star reviews upvoted to the top of the page by fake accounts. And that's what I found, unfortunately.
If hearing/watching both sides of a story bothers you, then you are, in fact, a propagandist. You're trying to control the narrative and you don't care about what actually happened, or why it happened.
Please, take a break from your flag waving. It's okay to listen to both sides. It's okay for other people to hear both sides. It's okay to acknowledge mistakes made by both sides. This is how we learn.
All that said, it was a bit slow lol. But I applaud the neutral viewpoint and hope to see many more movies like this.
Black Mountain Side (2014)
Worth a watch if you like weird horror...and don't mind an slightly indie flavor
Movie starts out with beautiful cinematography, believable dialogue, believable characters, and the kind of pacing I prefer in a 'psychological horror' film. I watch enough movies to recognize a smaller budget film, so I usually prepare for the worst when I see the markers for an indie flick, but early on, the unfamiliar actors and lack of orchestral soundtrack did not bother me. In fact, I liked the absence of music. Helped set a cold, uninviting mood.
Then about halfway through, when the big events start unfolding, the acting doesn't keep pace with the drama and frankly, distracts from a few of the scenes. Also, I'll be careful not to spoil anything, but on the big reveal, I really hoped for something different. Thought the choice they made there really hurt the mood they'd built so effectively. Went from 8 stars to 7 stars because I just couldn't take that part seriously.
To summarize, I liked the premise, (though this isn't the first time I've seen it...it's one of my favorite premises for a horror film), and I liked the general dialogue, the action, and resolution. I have a feeling they didn't have a huge budget, but they made a very solid, often bizarre, and at times creepy, horror film. Would really like to see what the writer/director/cinematographer could do with a bigger budget and more experienced cast.
Also, bravo to the filmmakers for not writing a bunch of fake reviews here. Seems a common trick lately, so thank you for letting the film stand on its own!