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Feng huo fang fei (2017)
The best Chinese war movie in some time
Compared to the other recent Chinese war movies this is much better written. The setting is pretty and authentic in a picturesque village. The story is exciting scary plausible and touching. No excessive explosions or slow motion deaths. Emile Hirsch is the Hollywood contribution and Crystal Liu is the widow who helps hide the pilot from the Japanese. If you wondered what happened to the Doolittle Pilots this is interesting.
The Boy Next Door (2008)
Dina Meyer make this worth watching
Dina Meyers makes this mystery watchable. A writer moves to a small town and rents a house. Next door a younger man not that much younger as the title would suggest becomes an object of interest for the writer. The guy is murdered and she becomes a suspect. The cops seem to think it was her. It's fairly diverting to see how she finds out who the real killer is. Dina is beautiful and a convincing actress.
Separated at Birth (2018)
Too many twists
There are too many twists and turns for its own good. At first I was quite relieved the woman who gets back her kidnapped baby girl years later isn't getting an imposter - too many of those from Lifetime. Then there are twists galore as someone is sabotaging the girl who is a teacher. Is it the jealous sister or is it the mothers rival politician? About 2/3 through got bored. You kind of know who it is from the beginning but then they throw a couple of red herrings.
Not one of the better ones.
Berlin, I Love You (2019)
Some segments are better than others
Some segments are better than others. The Jim Sturgess segment about the car is interesting and funny. The Helen Mirren one with a refugee kid is touching. Mickey Rourke segment is oddly fascinating. The laundromat segment about female empowerment is original. Jenna Dewan shows a little of her dance skills.
The city doesn't look great in this movie showing mostly the grim modern side. Too many characters a bit hard to follow. Some won't like this but I still found it an okay watch.
A Husband's Confession (2015)
More complex than the usuals Lifetime thriller
Almost every other Lifetime movie has been a little straightforward "Wrong" or "Perfect" whatever so this is a slightly different formula. A radio preacher about to become national discovers he has an illegitimate son. He also has an orphaned niece living with him who gets in trouble. Allie Gonino acts well as the niece. She gets involved with a boy but a girl who likes the boy is a psycho. The two intertwined stories are quite involving.
GONE: My Daughter (2018)
Involving reunite with kid movie
A woman who gave up her baby girl for adoption is contacted by her and goes to meet her. But the girl and her friend are kept locked up by some one just before the meeting. The unknowing baby daddy is a cop in the town. It's fairly involving.
Rather irritatingly she tries to find her herself at first. For this kind of movie if it gets your attention then it's not bad and you want to see how things get solved.
Worth a watch.
Too violent and too dimly lit
At first it's interesting to see the story behind Guy Fawkes night and learn a bit about the history of the turbulent times. One queen was Catholic then one king was Protestant. The conspiracy and down fall are shown but it's too dark sometimes and hard to tell people apart.
Kit Harington looks fine in the period getup and actually plays his ancestor. Liv Tyler has matured and is actually quite a good actress. She looks fine in the part.
The executions are very graphic for TV like Braveheart many times over. That's how they dealt with terrorists of the day. Plus religious intolerance of the day.
The Ghost Beyond (2018)
Nothing new here
This cheap feeling awkwardly directed horror is generic and not even scary or stylish.
A couple with a young boy move into a big house that is cheaper cause it has a past. Sound familiar?
Soon Husband starts obsession with his writing sticking by his typewriter and gets all unkempt and unloving to his kid. Sound familiar?
Trevor Donovan tries to do a Jack Nicholson here.
Big mistake copying famous horror movies and combining them.
2 Bedroom 1 Bath (2014)
Don't bother - it's tedious
After moving into an apartment with a past, a couple having a tough time getting pregnant start experiencing a mix of strange things. Visions nightmares violent behaviour. It all seems like a mish mash of other horror movies. Except for Andrew Walker familiar from Hallmark movies the cast isn't familiar.
The Story of Us (2019)
Save the bookshop or farm or bakery or ranch. Do the writers just do the same story with a different business to save?
Sam Page is the guy trying to close the deal. He looks a little detached and too mature to be acting cutesy and matchmaking. Maggie Lawson he store owner and him look like they are just going through the motions.
Not worth the DVR space.
Mischa makes this better than the usual
Mischa Barton looks good here and she is a good actress often better than needed form the movies she is in. Her fear looks real.
This fast paced Lifetime thriller is more exciting than average. It starts quite scary as her parents are killed. Then she hides for years and has a new identity but now he is back. It's quite exciting as the detective starts looking at all possible suspects.
Wish Lifetime would use her for more movies.
Under the Autumn Moon (2018)
Same story with a nice cast
So many Hallmark movies have the same story - a romance between the owner of a struggling business and the person who works for the person who wants to buy it. Instead of a bookshop it's a dude ranch. The difference here is the scenery is nice, the cast is attractive and authentic enough looking with Wes Brown as the ranch owner and Lindy Booth as the deal maker.
Christmas at Graceland (2018)
Charming Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler has charm to boot. She's like Dolly Parton being herself makes the character authentic. Look forward to seeing more of her in Hallmark movies.
The closeup look at Graceland and the Lodge adds a nice travelogue element to make this more interesting than the average Hallmark Christmas movie.
Wes Brown plays a music promoter who persuades her to sing and looks quite right with her. The only thing is she sings rather simplistic Christmas songs.
First Man (2018)
Could have been better
This well meaning but flawed movie is still interesting. The screenplay is hard to follow at times. This movie is for people who know a bit about the characters and events already. If you want a clear and thorough depiction of the moon landing watch the series From the Earth to the Moon. The camera work is shaky when it doesn't need to be.
This movie doesn't glamourize things. It shows the physical trauma during training and landing.
Ryan plays it strong and silent. A bit too expressionless. Claire Foy looks worried as his wife though she is written very assertive for that time. Also her hair style is so severe. Jason Clark as Ed White who was killed is miscast. Looks too evil.
The landing is well recreated and the best part of the movie.
A Shoe Addict's Christmas (2018)
Dickens formula works
A Christmas Carol formula usually works so that helps this movie rise above the average Christmas Hallmark movie.
Candace Cameron Bure plays a department store HR girl with a knack for photography. She looks nice with her lighter hair although her speech patterns are still very her. Jean Smart is always nice to see and plays a Guardian angel. Luke MacFarlane plays a fireman quite convincingly but something they did to his eyebrows makes him look unnecessarily faded. The story is predictable. She's given a chance to improve her relationships and the romance over planning a Christmas gala. She transports back and forth via shoes.
Ok for one watch.
Summer in the City (2016)
Small town girls goes to New York
Small town girl (Julianna Guill) moves to NYC to manage a high end boutique. She faces a capricious an demanding boss (Vivica A Fox) and meets a nice young realtor (Marc Bendavid). She reminds a bit of Alicia Silverstone and they make a cute couple. Like the cameo by Natasha Henstridge - she's pretty.
She applies her business style - be honest with the customer. Couple of problems with the plot. She comes across as not a very nice girlfriend. Just dumping him and running off because of work issues. Also encouraging him to defy his family give up a good job and open a food truck business seems a bit immature. At least she doesn't have to give up her NYC dreams. Although there are these aerial shots of NYC it looks like they just blended it with shooting in Canada.
Blue Night (2018)
A continental style SJP movie in NYC
I'll watch anything SJP does in NYC and this meandering Continental style movie has interesting details if you give it a chance.
A jazz singer musician gets a diagnosis of brain tumor and goes around the city. Along the way she sings in a club has her younger lover, sees her daughter who lives with her ex meets a strange Lyft driver and lots more.
Different from her usual comedy drama roles she does stretch her usual type of performance.
Ok for one watch.
The Last Witness (2018)
This movie isn't from the point of view of the Polish victims of Stalin's massacre. It's about the coverup by the Soviets and surprisingly suppression of the truth by the British government for appeasement reasons and finally the revelation of the massacre by a by a journalist.
Alex Pettyfer is a bit dour looking here in a costume that looks more 20s than 40s and not too expressive but he shouldn't overshadow the story anyway.
Don't expect an action packed war movie. It's about revelation of the massacre.
A Puppy for Christmas (2016)
Dump the b****
Cindy Busby plays a woman who puts having a puppy over her boyfriend. So he dumps her. Serves her right. She brings the puppy to work. Who does that? I like watching her in these movies but what a pain the character is.
Don't Sleep (2017)
Waste of a good cast
Too little story too late. Dominic Sherwood plays a man who starts having tormented visions. He has them as a boy and they were erased but return. Finally there is this totally out of place historical demonic explanation. The title hasn't much to do with the story. Frustratingly a lot of dark scenes.
Waste of a good supporting cast including Jill Hennessy and Drea DiMatteo.
Back Roads (2018)
Too much bad stuff for one family
There is just too much awfulness heaped on these white trash characters. Murder incest abuse you name it this family has had it. What a melodrama. Almost an insult to white trash.
Alex Pettyfer plays an older brother looking after his 3 sisters after his mom goes to prison for shooting his abusive dad. He has to do a lot of crying. Nicola Peltz plays the wild sister.
The ending makes no sense. If the girl is a homicidal maniac she should be sent to an institution instead of her mother and brother covering for her.
Da hong zha (2018)
A step backwards for Chinese cinema
I watched this movie about Chongqing during WW2. It's dubbed in English.
It's easier to start with the good points. Nice aerial shots of Chongqing. The plane landing with one wheel was quite exciting.
The screenplay is just so bad it's funny. So many ridiculous and illogical things happen it's impossible to list. Too many explosions and bodies flying slowly. Overkill bombing. The characters and dialog are alternately hilarious and then cringe worthy. The dog fights have too many planes in one shot. The suffocation in the shelter followed by so much empty space during the rescue is illogical.
Bruce Willis has to deliver the most laughable dialog and he looks tired - yet he recovers from bullet wounds instantaneously. Slapping the pilot was laughable. Cameos by Adrien Brody and Fan Bing Bing.
Has to be seen to be believed.
Good for what it is
This WW2 horror monster movie set in France is quite good fun if you take it for what it is. The story is pretty lucid and not outrageous for the subject matter Nazi experiments gone awry. It's a but gruesome at times be warned.
The cast including Wyatt Russell is watchable. If you liked Inglorious this is in that genre but not comical.
Death Wish (2018)
Familiar story but ok for one watch
A familiar and likeable cast helps save this Chicago set vigilante story from being too routine. Bruce Willis does more than a cameo as he has done in movies recently and he is a bit old but he's still watchable. Elizabeth Shue makes a welcome return as his wife.
The story is typical revenge for home invasion of family. A bit of monotony in the middle.
Not great but okay for one watch.
Doesn't cover enough of her life
Keira is beautiful and looks the part. Dominic West is effective as the older bastard Husband. What is shown of her start in writing and initial success of Claudine is interesting. Beautifully filmed with the costumes and sets just right.
Bad points: The story stops short of her individual success which is a shame. Too much on the lesbian love affairs and open marriage. Should have moved faster and covered more ground.
Still worth a watch.