FILM REVIEWS

Presented below are selected film reviews. Reviews are based on a four-(4) point system:

1 = Lousy vs. 4 = Excellent

For full film reviews, click any "movie slate" graphic below.
Reviews are provided as a sampling and not as a complete listing of all films reviewed.
Unless stated otherwise, all films are reviewed theatrically, on-site in a theater
operated by a member of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).

2017

Beginning in 2014 I stopped writing full or expanded reviews (identified by the film "slate" graphic below) of all films I screen, because the overwhelming majority of "Hollywood" films are mediocre, predictable, and repetitive and do not merit such analysis. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful!

2017 FILMS ABRIDGED REVIEW STARS
Wonder Woman

Don't see this.


2017

Poorly written script with very sluggish direction limit what should have been an exciting film. In this "origin" story, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is literally "dumb" to her origin until very late in the film. Acting is over-the-top and predictable. Gadot's performance was much better last year with the launch of her Wonder Woman character in "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice." There's way too much story development foreplay and not enough action in this film, and film unnecessarily deviates from the comic book origin. Plus, the plot spends way too much time on Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) than on Wonder Woman (Gadot). Film should have been cut from 141 minutes to 90 minutes. A better investment of your money and time is to purchase and watch the 2009 DC Animation film, "Wonder Woman."

See this.

2009



2 STAR 1/2  
Alien: Covenant

This is a terrible entry into the "Alien" film franchise. It deviates from the history established in the original Alien film from 1979, and terribly deviates from the history established in the now classic "AVP: Alien vs. Predator" from 2004. Director Ridley Scott and writer Dan O'Bannon who teamed on the original "Alien" film and on the unsuccessful 2012 film "Prometheus," tried stupidly to combine these storylines together. The story? Simply put, a Noah's ark spaceship of humans lands on planet Eden where the "Alien" monsters were born. Don't see this film.

-1      
Snatched

The best thing about this film is seeing Goldie Hawn acting again. As always, she's a talented actress, and a pleasure to watch. This film? Frankly, the trailers, especially the "R" rated trailers with the sexual and racial content, were better than the actual movie, but these scenes were sadly deleted from the "final cut" of the film. Oh, and Amy Schumer is in the movie too, doing her same ole fast talking, sarcastic, self-deprecating comedic shtick (yada, yada, yada). The camaraderie between Hawn and Schumer is very good, but film would have been much better, and more believable, if Hawn's real life daughter, Kate Hudson, had been cast as her daughter in the film. If a sequel is in the works, hopefully, Hudson (38) will be cast as Schumer's (36) older sister.

2 STAR 1 STAR
Baywatch

How bad is the movie? Very bad. First, it's supposed to be a comedy, but there very little of it. The Rock "Dwayne Johnson" is too old for his part as the head lifeguard. Second, the "T and A" with the usual and customary blondes is, as expected, very predictable, and the most enjoyable thing about the film. Third, the cameo of a shirtless, tanned, wrinkled-skin David Hasselhoff was anti-climatic. Finally, the cameo of Pamela Anderson, although fully clothed, moving in slow motion was the best thing in the movie because it immediately preceded the end of the film.

-1      
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

This is a terrible sequel to the first film, which was very enjoyable, because it was faithful to the comic book origin, including great visual images, and exciting action sequences. This sequel is a forgetable piece of crap. The story? Peter Quill (Starlord) discovers his father (Kurt Russell) is actually a planet with a goal to conquer the universe. Yawn. The sequel should have focused on Drax the Destroyer, Thanos, Mantis, and the introduction of Adam Warlock - because that's the source of the real drama and action for the Guardians of the Galaxy!

-1      

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Here's a tip to Hollywood: To avoid making another poor performing period film about the legendary King Arthur and his sword - like this one, just for once, please rent or purchase any of the dozen or so previous films and/or television series about this subject matter. Look before you leap; conduct "due diligence," and actually learn from the success and failure of others.

-1      

Fast and the Furious: The Fate of the Furious

In 2015's "The Fast & Furious 7" a high performance, $3.4 million Lykan HyperSport sportscar (with a top speed of 245 MPH) flew from one skyscrapper to another in Abu Dhabi, which was not remotely believable. For "Furious 8" the stunts are even dumber. This blatantly asinine film has extremely expensive, high performance sportcars SPEEDING on artic ice while being chased by TANKS that lack heat seeking, motion detection, or other "current technology" to accurately zero-in and destroy them. Oh, some people foolishly believe this film is about Vin Diesel (as Dom) being manipulated into turning into a bad guy to save his baby son's life, but even this storyline is poorly scripted, plotted, and filmed. There are much better "car-based" action films, such as "Grand Prix" from 1966, and "Le Mans" from 1971; or "Gone in 60 Seconds" from 1974, or the 2000 remake with Nicolas Cage, "Gone in 60 Seconds." Even Elvis Presley's "Speedway" from 1968 and "Spin Out" from 1966 are far more entertaining "car-based" action films to watch than "Furious 8." Recommendation: Save your money and wait to buy the entire eight-film box set at Walmart two years from now in the cut-out bin for only $5.00.

-1      
     

 

2016

Beginning in 2014 I stopped writing full or expanded reviews (identified by the film "slate" graphic below) of all films I screen, because the overwhelming majority of "Hollywood" films are mediocre, predictable, and repetitive and do not merit such analysis. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful!

2016 FILMS ABRIDGED REVIEW STARS
Hell or High Water

Although a slowly paced crime drama, this is a very smart film; it's also politically and socially relevant in many dimensions. Excellent performances by Jeff Bridges (Texas Ranger), Chris Pine (rancher/bank robber mastermind), Ben Foster (brother of Chris, former felon and bank robber), and Gil Birmingham (deputy ranger/Native American).

3/4
Ben-Hur

Simply put, both the 1925 and 1959 films are better in script, cinematography, special effects, and acting. This remake, much like "Exodus: Gods and Kings" from 2014 lacks religious reverence, offers absolutely nothing new, and is therefore completely unnecessary.

     
Suicide Squad
Predictable script and to-be-expected special "special" effects make film mediocre; however, the performances by all actors, especially Will Smith (Deadshot), Jared Leto (Joker), and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) make film a compelling watch.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Jason Bourne

If you've seen any of the previous films in this franchise, then you've already seen this film. Sadly, the script is repetitive, and the action sequences are redundant.

2 STAR 1 STAR    
Captain America:
Civil War

One of the best superhero/science fiction films ever made, and a perfect pseudo-prequel to the upcoming "Avengers 3." Film is mostly faithful to the comic book, and to all characterizations.

2 STAR 1 STAR 1 STAR 1/2
Batman vs. Superman

Film partially and successfully functions as an abridged derivative of Frank Miller's graphic novel, "The Dark Knight," while also blending into the re-imaging of the Superman franchise.

2 STAR 1 STAR 1 STAR 1/2
X-Men:
Apocalypse

The comic book graphic novel is better. Film failed to showcase the intelligence and ultimate scope of superpowers possessed by the X-Men. Script has us waiting (too long) and wondering for the other shoe to drop until the ending became anticlimatic.

2 STAR 1 STAR    
Deadpool

A wickedly funny, extremely profane, and exciting film. Unlike any other superhero film.

2 STAR 1 STAR 1 STAR 1/2
Independence Day:
Resurgence

Avoid this film. Instead, see the 1996 original, "Independence Day."

     
Star Trek:
Beyond

Avoid this film. Period. Film offers absolutely nothing, and the continued characterizations of legendary actors from Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) remain appalling. This film is not even worthy as a made-for-TV-movie. Instead, watch better made Star Trek fan films like, "Star Trek: Axanar."

1/2      
 
The Huntsman:
Winter's War

Avoid this film. Yet another poorly scripted, predictable fantasy film with pseudo-epic special effects and paint-by-numbers acting.

     
     

2015

Beginning in 2014 I stopped writing full or expanded reviews (identified by the film "slate" graphic below) of all films I screen, because the overwhelming majority of "Hollywood" films are mediocre, predictable, and repetitive and do not merit such analysis. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful!


2015 FILMS ABRIDGED REVIEW STARS
Terminator: Genisys

Solid re-entry of Arnold back into the franchise, but script needed to push the creative envelope more.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Jurassic World
Same island, same story hooks, same outcome. Film is not scripted to be watched by intelligent people; so abandon all critical thinking when you watch this film. Sit there and snack on your popcorn and Coke.

2 STAR I STAR    
Spy
Melissa McCarthy delivers. Film is funny, stupid, and comedically predictable - which is okay.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Survivor
Tight direction, sharply shot and edited, nicely paced thriller. Solid performances by Robert Forster, Milla Jovovich, and especially Pierce Brosnan.

2 STAR I STAR I STAR 1/2
San Andreas
Typical disaster film with typical script, typical special effects, and typical pseudo-dramatic human interaction - this time with Dwayne Johnson.

2 STAR I STAR    
Absolution
Yes, it's a predictable, nicely paced, sharply edited, action film with Steven Seagal versus the stereotypically evil Vinnie Jones. Enjoy your popcorn and soda.

2 STAR I STAR    
Last Knights
Yet another sword-and-sandal epic with a script anchored in mediocrity, but the action sequences, editing, art and set design, and cinematography are nicely produced. Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman make the film watchable.

2 STAR I STAR    
Furious 7
If you've seen any of the previous films in this franchise, then you've already seen this film. Sadly, the stunts make this series more of a fantasy than a true action drama. It is what is is. "Furious 8" is already in the pipeline for release in 2017.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Insurgent
In the wake of "The Twilight Saga" film franchise, and "The Hunger Games" film franchise, here again is yet another pseudo-epic science fiction specifically targeted to pre-teen and teenage audiences. Accordingly, you can abandon all critical thinking when you watch this film. Even better, don't waste your time or money on this film.

2 STAR 1/2    
Run All Night
In this crime drama mobster and hit-man Liam Neeson is fighting for his life against mob boss Ed Harris. The script is intriguing but flawed; but the performances of Neeson and Harris make this film enjoyable.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Chappie
How the hell and why did Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver agree lend the significant "box office stature" to star in this piece of crap? Don't waste your time with this film. Instead, rent or buy the 1986 film, "Short Circuit."

1/2      
Focus
Unbelieveable story about veteran con man Will Smith being manipulated by a younger, attractive former apprentice.

2 STAR I STAR    
Seventh Son
Yet another sword-and-sorcery epic with a script anchored in predictable mediocrity of the master witch hunter (Jeff Bridges) and his apprentice (Benjamin Barnes) in struggle against an evil witch (Julianne Moore); plus traditional pseudo-epic special effects, art and set design, etc.

2 STAR I STAR 1/2  
Point Break
This remake or "re-imaging" lacks the energy and excitement of the 1991 original, "Point Break," but most importantly, film lacks the on-screen charisma and electricity of Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, and Gary Busey.

2 STAR I STAR    

 

2014

Beginning in 2014 I stopped writing full or expanded reviews (identified by the film "slate" graphic below) of all films I screen, because the overwhelming majority of "Hollywood" films are mediocre, predictable, and repetitive and do not merit such analysis. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful!

GET ON UP
GUARDIANS-GALAXY

2014 FILMS ABRIDGED REVIEW STARS
Sabotage

Arnold Schwarzenegger, leading a team of DEA agents, is back in the saddle of a standard action film, which includes a twisted ending.

   
Ride Along

Avoid this film. This is a standard Kevin "loud mouth" Hart buddy film. Yawn.

     
Robocop
Predictable re-make and reboot of the "Robocop" film franchise. Film has a newer look, but offers nothing significantly new or different. The original "Robocop" from 1987 is much better, as is Peter Weller in the featured role.

2 STAR      
Enemies Closer

A forestry agent (Tom Everett Scott) is preventing a drug lord (excellently played by Jean-Claude Van Damme) from retrieving his drugs. Strong performances by Orlando Jones and Linzey Cocker also help to make this film enjoyable.

2 STAR 1 STAR 2 STAR  
In the Blood

While on her their Caribbean vacation, a woman (Gina Carano) is unable to find her husband; so she goes after those responsible. Unlike Carano's starring role in "Haywire," from 2011, this film is slowly paced and poorly scripted. Film should have been a better showcase for former MMA star and action film star Carano.

2 STAR 1 STAR    


2004 - 2013  


2003

2002

2001

2000

1999  

1990  

1982 - 1999  

The following reviews only represent numerical summaries of films screened theatrically
(not on DVD) within the year represented. A narrative review is not provided.

The following reviews are based on a four-(4) point system: 1 = Lousy versus 4 = Excellent

1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985
1984
1983
1982

 

National Association of Theatre Owners
The National Association of Theatre Owners (
NATO) is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world. According to their figures, the top 4 chains represent almost half of the theater screens in North America. NATO states that the number of U.S. movie screens as of July 1, 2013 are 39,056 indoor screens in 5,317 sites and 606 Drive-In screens in 366 sites.

Rank
Circuit
Headquarters
Screens
Sites
1
Regal Entertainment Group
Knoxville, TN
7,318
574
2
AMC Entertainment Inc
Kansas City, MO
4,988
344
3
Cinemark Theatres
Plano, TX
4,434
332
4
Carmike Cinemas, Inc
Columbus, GA
2,476
249
5
Cineplex Entertainment
Toronto, ON
1,672
136
6
Marcus Theatres
Milwaukee, WI
687
55
7
Harkins Theatres
Phoenix, AZ
440
31
8
National Amusements
Dedham, MA
423
32
9
Bow Tie Cinemas
Ridgefield, CT
388
63
10
Georgia Theatre Company
St. Simon's Island, GA
326
32


Film Information Resources:

allmovie
imdb
HIGHEST-GROSSING
MOVIES
WIKIPEDIA


THE NUMBERS



 

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