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movie viewing opinons by ken@imovies.com


 

Dog Years

This movie is rated #1 by an IMDb user for the ten best B-movies ever. There are some humorous elements of this film. It was created about 2 years before "Blair Camera All Over The Place" so it's a good film to study regarding some basics in steady watchable film making, angles, dialog, plot, sound effects. In the film Wally's dog is abducted by "gangsters" that believe that Wally robbed them. Wally does what it takes to track down and find his dog. There are some quirky twists and elements of surprise. There's no computer graphics so the plot relies on good story telling and imagery. It's a pretty rough quality and certainly dated and amaeturish by today's standards but it's worth a look.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

The best part is learning how to train a dog to not get the bait in a trap. It should be compared to how people train their kids, or don't train them. The documentary looks at a remote area of inhabitants that mostly live off the land in Northern Russia Siberia along the River Yenisel. Dogs are a huge part of this film presented in a most natural habitat.

Slums of Beverly Hills  

This film has some interesting things going for it but it's also rather boring and frustrating especially in that it brings us a little too close to yucky sexual exploration. I had to shut it off about mid way when we are taken into the bathroom with the teen girl with her vibrator and her "first time". In film making the way this was done effectively brings us in there with her so there are those who in watching this will find it facinating. It doesn't of course show anything too risque, so to speak, but it does show her face up close and her expressions. The camera doesn't Blair Witch us thankfully as this was made one year before that, in 1998, and because of that we intensely focus on her face. In contrast one might want to use the BW effect a little to take away some of that intensity so keep this in mind when creating a film project. The film is set in 1974. The very fact that in those days there was no such thing as a cell phone and was a time that many of us can relate to makes this film worth a try as it takes you to both those days of fabulous Beverly Hills and those days of typical substandard American living. What I mean is that as you watch the interactions of all the players, we see how no one is distracted, people all in a room pay attention to each other, look at each other, talk to each other, and fully interact with each other UNLIKE TODAY where ever you go people have their faced imbedded in a piece of glass thanks to Steve Jobs. 

Margin Call  

Rather boring but interesting if that makes any sense. There were so many parts of this movie where I was wondering "Ok is that guy going to jump to make it exciting, dramatic?" and "Ok now are they going to find out that the building is on fire" or SOMETHING that would make watching this film more exciting than watching tea steep. It was just interesting though. The plot was nice and clean as far as it having a nice mellow smooth flow. There was one thing about the dog that made it good. The ending had a unique technique of rolling credits while the sound was still playing in the film, I liked the use of this in particular with the subject matter at the end. This is a technique that should catch on, unlike SHAKY CAMERA WORK that is nauseating that caught on after Blair Witch like a bad rash. That movie should be destroyed for that even though it was the most profitable film ever made and is a study in moviemaking. There is also one more really great and notable scene in "Margin Call" where one of the characters talks about bridge building and is not to be missed. The ending technique was superb and should be referenced in all film making classes. Those two elements alone make this film one worth watching as long as you can handle NO EXCITEMENT.

Ted

I got a few minutes into it and had to shut it off. It's so stupid. The beginning shows a boy and his teddy bear, and then at some point the teddy bear comes to life. What the F+? The sudden transition to a living thing was not done right. The sound coming from the bear's mouth is one of Seth McFarland's worst character voices, I didn't like it when it was used for that replacement dog when "Brian was killed" in "Family Guy" either.The computer image of the bear added to the real life seen looks awful, doesn't even begin to appear real by any means. Have to be on drugs to think he's real. It's like watching "the funnies" section of a newspaper that has been thrown out in the trash trying to convince you that it's not a printed page and like a hedge fund manager in 2008 it, thinking it's a living thing, continues to keep pitching you on how watching him could be more entertaining for you than playing with your kids or going to church. I had seen enough of the raunch element in the previews of both Ted and Ted 2 that this movie had never appealed to me though it did seem cute in a way, but one day a friend put it on and I thought maybe I could watch it and like OK, it might be fun but OMG I found it to be simply unwatchable. How on earth could there be a "Ted 2" that made over $81 million. I feel sorry for all those $$ losing their home.

John Wick 2

This is a great action film. It takes you along for a wild ride. It takes the best feelings of an action packed shooting gallery video game and brings it to life but first leads you into a labrynth of adventure and makes you feel like you are playing the best pinball game you ever have played. This is "Chapter 2" of what is surely to become a "book". It builds on John Wick the first chapter excellent. Just go see or rent it. Just be forewarned, lots of CGI fake blood and gore everywhere. Thing is with this series it's so fun to watch you don't take it seriously. It's even funny, like when Wick get's hit by a car a couple of times and like never dies or anything, just keeps getting up like he's a video game character. I love this style. This style of film making should have a name.

Pi

Not to be confused with 3.14.... Pi is just awful, just awful. It's done in black and white, but it's like a solid black, solid white, not the pleasing flow of grays, it's not the black & white you enjoy like watching "Leave It To Beaver" or "Bewitched". It's very hard to watch just for that reason as it's too harsh on the eye and mind. It gets into some scenes early on and these repeat where the guy (brainiac mathematician) has epileptic episodes or something, and ends up in the bathroom on the floor, having to inject some drug, and take some pills, and the way it is done makes it out like a horror film, I mean worse! I couldn't watch any more of it and I like a number of horror films because you can enjoy the thrill while still feeling safe/detached. In this film it somehow brings you right there into something you want no part of. I guess that may have been the intention of the film maker, but I think this could have been done much differently for my taste anyway. Have to be in the mood to watch a brain bender type movie to see this one. It gets very analytical and math intensive. It's kinda like being in the room with "Sheldon" while playing Monopoly on your 12th hour with him and friends while also watching your friend work on the Rubix cube while he explains every detail of the moves and why the cube means in the scheme of life and hearing "Sheldon" add his 3.14 cents. It's all wayyyyy toooooo much. IMDB describes the film as "A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature" and viewers (surprisingly to me) gave it this rating

10 Cloverfield Lane

Highly recommend. Avoid all spoilers and just go watch this film. Movie making excellence.

The Rover

Set in the Austrailian outback after 10 years of financial collapse a man loses his one prize posession, his car, to gang members and does what it takes to get it back. This movie is cinematic excellence and is way underrated. If you find it hard to watch, push on through, you must watch it to the end. That's all I will say other than be sure not to read any spoilers. It's a movie that leaves an impression bringing the entire experience to a climax. Enjoy.

LA Fifty Shades Darker

Save your time, money, and intrigue for something else. This movie is the sequal to 50 Shades of Gray which was an intriguing film. The sequal starts right into (spoiler alerts) Christian making every attempt to get back together with Anastasia who finds that spot within of submission once again. The prior movie ended with her taking control and not accepting abuse. That ending was awful but this sequal plays on that making the entire story even worse. Is this a soap opera one has to wonder when it starts off. Then there's not really anything that dark. Oh there's another submission scene or two, short and sweet (note sweet really shouldn't be a part of a "darker" movie) and really more on the "this is too much blatant sex" side of things as if we never saw that before in a movie.....so it's just so bad, don't bother. Watch a Disney film for more darker shades of movies. This one is just awful.

Our Brand Is Crisis

I couldn't even finish watching it, got so boring and unbelievable, and it's a script that should be believable. (spoiler alert) In the film one of the final scenes that killed it for me was when Bullock becomes crazed and forces a bus driver to pass another bus (political rival was in that bus) on a South American windy mountain road with cliff, very dangerous, and it's all about getting close enough for her to "moon" him. That is where it finally lost me. I really don't want to see anyone's ass out a bus window and especially Sandra Bullock's ass. Then there was the scene where the lama supposedly couldn't take being there with the film crew (play on how filming can be such a pain) that it wandered off set, out the big garage door, and immediately getting hit/killed by a vehicle. This was not funny but it was supposed to be. It was just stupid. Couldn't finish the film, shipped it back. What a waste of time.

99 Homes

This is a must see. During the "housing crisis" of 2008 and beyond a young guy with a family becomes unemployed, his house is being foreclosed on and of all people he ends up getting work with, (SA) it's the shark who represents the bank taking back the homes. The plot thickens with some very interesting perspectives of "well what would I do" and who places what values on what and why. Very gut wrenching. The theme of the housing crisis hits home so to speak in a new way. I don't think any film has ever presented such a thing. Watch it soon, before the next housing crisis hits!

The Intern

This is a feel good movie. It has many moments of intrigue in the concept of this retired guy who becomes an intern (SA) and then becomes the boss of the girl who was his boss. Problem is though there became so many slow family at the kitchen island scenes that were boring, I couldn't finish the movie. Many would like it though. I don't always know what others will like. Anne Hathaway as usual gives a stunning performance and the character played by Robert DeNiro is pretty cool.

LA LA Land

It started with a scene on the freeway overpass where people are stuck in traffic and get out of their cars and start dancing. Seemed odd and like "Where is this going..." and "I am supposed to believe this??". I think this was a missed opportunity to use a lens filter to change the way it looked. It was too real yet the scene was total fantasy. The entire movie was a fantasy and with so many fantasy scenes in it, why have this part in traffic where everyone gets out of their car and dances and no filters? It looked like a flash mob on drugs. This scene is so impossible that in real life such an event would happen that what happens is it makes it look like the film was made by amateurs made in the street even though it had millions in it's budget. You don't want your movies to look that way.


snapshot from TheDailyBeast.com article

I think it took away from the film. Of course you wouldn't know that by watching a review by CinemaSins with it's "sin counter" which gives a review talking too fast to even understand and the parts you do understand are horrible critiques, like the part where he is making fun of the main character having a parka in Los Angeles, not realizing that there are mountains with snow 1 hour drive away, like duh, yes people in Los Angeles have parkas and it does get cold at night in winter especially in the mountains right above Los Angeles and yes people have them in their cars. That was a great part of the film, not a mistake at all. It's even a subliminal statement on how COLD people can be in those auditions and how COLD the entire process is. These kinds of subliminal "clues" are what helps a film be great.



I felt the movie was an interesting journey and collage of movie making techniques. At times we are in the real world with the characters and at other times we are in places we have no clue where we are, it's like being in Snow White & Alice In Wonderland meeting Yellow Brick Roads and at the same time feeling like we are spinning around on the cover of a 45 record playing "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" while driving to work.

I had to force myself through parts of it, especially the beginning, but as it went on I was intrigued. It had a good ending, no, absolutely stellar ending, and afterwards I really couldn't say whether or not I liked it. It was that good. To me that is a sign of a very good film as it suspended my ability to judge it. I had to sleep on it and the next day realized I did like it. I give this film a 98% rating only because it didn't use filters in the odd and totally unbelievable freeway overpass dance routine at the onset. I also have to give CinemaSins a 45% rating for rating/trying but doing so so poorly.

the DVD for La La Land is $9.99


Florence Foster Jenkins

That was a good film. I rate that at a 67 + 23.

Yellowbrickroad

I laughed at the horror scenes they were so unbelievable. It was like watching the Road Runner and The Coyote cartoons that were trying to be real. This movie actually got an award for best film by the New York City Horror Film Festival. I don't see how, it was horrible. One review stated it was "lazy film making". I gave it a rating of 1 out of 100 for the fact that they actually produced a film, other than that it's a waste of time.

 

 



 
 






 

 

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