TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.9|5.0 Starsìì

Terminator Salvation does not live up to its hype. The movie keeps trying to be a drama rather than a bone-crushing action flick. It stretches a small storyline into a rather long hour and fifty-five minutes.

Storyline

Skynet becomes activated and aware. It deduces that humans are enemies and initiates a nuclear holocaust to destroy them. Those who survive form a resistance movement.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director McG for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Jeanne Allgood, Peter D. Graves, Mario Kassar, Dan Lin, Joel B. Michaels, and Andrew G. Vajna for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John Connor (Christian Bale), Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood), Dr. Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter), Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), Star (Jadagrace), Kate Connor (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Barnes (Common).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Terminator has been presented in installments. This is the fourth installment of the series.

Ben Meyers

PLANET 51 (2009 SPAIN)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

Planet 51 is a solid 3.6 star movie. The graphics and computer animation are superb. It’s a really good movie for every audience—good enough to make this critic anxious to see more of Director Jorge Blanco and Co-Directors Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez’s works.

Storyline

NASA astronaut Captain Charles T. Baker (voice of Dwayne Johnson) steps off his spaceship, plants his USA flag into the soil, and steps on a rubber ducky.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jorge Blanco and Co-directors Javier Abad and Marcos Martinez for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Mercedes Gamero, Ricardo García Arrojo, Peter D. Graves, Albie Hecht, Stephen Margolis, Albert Martinez Martin, Patrick Meehan, Javier Pérez Dolset, Juan Antonio Pérez Ramírez, Mercedes Rey, José A. Rodríguez Díaz, Michael Ryan, and Michael Maker for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lem (voice of Justin Long), Skiff (voice of Seann William Scott), Neera (voice of Jessica Biel), General Grawl (voice of Gary Oldman), Professor Kipple (voice of John Cleese), and Eckle (voice of Freddie Benedict).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a solid animated entertainment piece.

Ben Meyers

GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING A MATERIAL WORLD (2014 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

George Harrison: Living In The Material World—a 3 hour and 30 minute gem of pure viewing pleasure—doesn’t walk around life as the Beatles’ lived it. With tremendous sensitivity to the importance of seeking truth on our terms, Director Martin Scorsese not only shows the impact of the Beatles within the musical field but explores their impact as they delved into Eastern religions. While this film primarily is the story of George Harrison, how he lived and how he died, the Beatles as a group are shown to be so deeply intertwined that it is difficult to separate or interpret George’s story outside of the group. This documentary is a monumental feat that Martin Scorsese accomplishes to perfection. BRAVO, BRAVO!!!

Storyline

The documentary explores the life of George Harrison as a part of the Beatles rock band from its earliest beginnings to his death.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Martin Scorsese for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Margaret Bodde, Scott Pascucci, and Emma Tillinger for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Himself (George Harrison), Himself (Paul McCartney), Himself ( John Lennon), Himself (Ringo Starr), Herself (Louise Harrison), Himself (Harold Harrison), Himself (Harry Harrison), Himself (Peter Harrison), and Herself (Olivia Harrison).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Whether a Beatles’ fan or not, this film provides 100% value. Despite the length, there is no loss of interest nor does any part of the film flag.

Ben Meyers

THE WAY BACK (2010 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

The Way Back—sensational story, don’t miss it—contains some of the best and most natural acting and outstanding scenery you’ll see on the big screen. Ed Harris and Colin Farrell make a terrific team. Watch for Gustaf Skarsgård, son of the famous Stellen Skarsgård in the film.

Storyline

Eight men plan to break free from a Soviet Gulag and walk home.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Peter Weir for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Tobin Armbrust, Ed Borgerding, Keith R. Clark, Guy East, Jake Eberts, Adam Leipzig, Simon Oakes, John Ptak, Scott Rudin, and Jonathan Schwartz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Zoran (Dragos Bucur), Valka (Colin Farrell), Mr. Smith (Ed Harris), Tomasz (Alexandru Potocean), Irena (Saoirse Ronan), Khabarov (Mark Strong), Voss (Gustaf Skarsgård), Janusz (Jim Sturgess), and Kazik (Sebastian Urzendowsky).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film is inspirational.

Ben Meyers

GET SANTA (2014 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Get Santa does not measure up to Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus or Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon’s: Christmas Vacation. It seems to lack a certain Christmas spirit that the latter two movies were able to capture. Despite that, it is a good Christmas story for everyone to watch. Director Christopher Smith does a good job portraying the script’s intent.

Storyline

Santa’s sleigh crashes and reindeer are loose in London.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Christopher Smith for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Andrew Boswell, Will Clarke, Carlo Dusi, Hugo Heppell, Andy Mayson, Norman Merry, Ridley Scott, Natascha Wharton, and Fredrik Zander for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent), Steve (Rafe Spell), Tom (Kit Connor), PC Finkerton (Ewen Bremner), Sally (Warwick Davis), Barber (Stephen Graham), Ruth (Joanna Scanlan), Alison (Jodie Whittaker), and Knuckles (Nonso Anozie).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. While the story seems a little bland, like we’ve seen this before, there never seems to be enough holiday movies to watch. This is not a bad watch; children will enjoy the concept of Santa in jail.

Ben Meyers

THE FORGOTTEN (2014 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

The Forgotten—spooky, but slow—has a very good script written by Oliver Frampton and James Hall. There is high potential showing in this horror film for additional films within this genre for Frampton and Hall.

Storyline

After his mother has a nervous breakdown, Tommy (Clemm Tibber) goes to live with his father, Mark (Shaun Dingwall). There are noises that come from behind locked doors.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Carlos Bolado for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Jennifer Handorf for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Carmen (Elarica Johnson), Police Officer (Lee Arnold), Doctor (Sam Ashurst), Carmen’s Mother (Isaura Barbe-Brown), Ian Wilson (James Capel), Martin (James Doherty), Police Operator (Oliver Gilbert), Sarah (Lyndsey Marshal), and Candy (Jennifer Matter).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. With a little tweaking, this film could be a fantastic horror film. As it is, it is still a good watch.

Ben Meyers

POCAHONTAS (1995 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Pocahontas definitely stamps itself with the Disney brand’s standard fare of outstanding animation, terrific original musical scores, and well-timed scenes that pull at the heart for emotional involvement. This film is a good introduction to a small piece of early American history without the pain of the usual history lesson. It’s a very good adult/child share film.

Storyline

Captain John Smith (voice of Mel Gibson) meets Pocahontas (voice of Irene Bedard) in the New World and they quickly form a friendship.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer James Pentecost for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lon (voice of Joe Baker), Thomas (voice Christian Bale), Ben (voice of Billy Connolly), Kocoum (voice of James Apaumut Fall), Grandmother Willow (voice of Linda Hunt), and Meeko (voice of John Kassir).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film is a class ‘A’ performance.

Ben Meyers

ANIMALS UNITED (2010 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.0|5.0 Starsììì

Animals United is slow and hard to get through. The animation is good, but the character development is not there with that strong assertiveness that pushes animated features like Zootopia into the excellent category. It lacks a strong understandable storyline.

Storyline

There is no water in the African Delta. The lion, Socrates (voice of Stephen Fry), and the meerkat, Billy (voice of James Corden), leave the delta to find out why.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Martin Moszkowicz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Charles (voice of Andy Serkis), Angie (voice of Dawn French), Winifred (voice of Vanessa Redgrave), Winston (voice of Jim Broadbent), Toby (voice of Jason Donovan), Bongo (voice of Omid Djalili), and The Rhinoceros (voice of Sean Schemmel).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. It’s fails to capture interest.

Ben Meyers

DISNEY NATURE: GHOST OF THE MOUNTAINS (2017 China)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

Ghost in the Mountains is an excellent Disney Nature documentary that covers activities of the Chinese Snow Leopard. It’s award winning in filming and interviews. It’s an hour and eighteen minutes of pure viewing pleasure that comes with a family friendly ‘G’ rating.

Storyline

Disney filming crews travel China’s high mountains to film the elusive Snow Leopard.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Ben Wallis for his directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Brian Leith for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Antoine Fuqua

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is thorough and accomplishes its assigned task with style and class.

Ben Meyers

HOT FUZZ (2007 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Hot Fuzz—a well-placed chuckle, here and there, make Hot Fuzz a good entertainment piece worth watching. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost cast well together. The film appears to flow toward a good conclusion with its own type of ease.

Storyline

Police Constable Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is transferred to a sleepy country village because his ambitious crime solving methods make other policemen look bad. This sleepy little village, though, isn’t as sleepy as it looks.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Edgar Wright for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Natascha Wharton for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Met Sergeant (Martin Freeman), Met Chief Inspector (Bill Nighy), ‘Not’ Janine (Robert Popper), Bob (Joe Cornish), Dave (Chris Waitt), Bernard Cooper (Eric Mason), and Joyce Cooper (Billie Whitelaw).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film contains plain, honest comedy. It’s worth time and money for the laughs.

Ben Meyers

THE GUARDIAN BROTHERS (2016 CHINA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.2|5.0 Starsììì

The Guardian Brothers becomes a low-grade-quality movie for children with its hard-to-follow script, thin storyline, and general lack of character depth. It needs back story to follow the story.

Storyline

Two guardian spirits Yu Lei (voice of Edward Norton) and Shen Tu (voice of Jim Gaffigan) help a restaurateur mother and daughter fight off an ambitious competitor.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Gary Wang for his directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Zhou Yu for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: The Health Inspector (voice of Mike Birbiglia), Rogman (voice of Mel Brooks), Shen Tu (voice of Xiaosong Gao), Luli (voice of Nicole Kidman), and The Mayor (Raymond J. Lee).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The cultural aspect is well-received.

Ben Meyers

THE DOUBLE (2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.9|5.0 Starsìììì

The Double stands as another great script written by Michael Brandt (Wanted, 2 Fast 2 Furious). He makes the story stand out with the casting choice of Richard Gere. Topher Grace (49 titles) has good screen presence and is, also, well placed in this film. The film is a riveting thriller and worth every dollar for a ticket.

Storyline

Retired CIA operative Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere) is called back into service for a murder investigation. He is paired with FBI agent Ben Geary (Topher Grace) who begins to suspect that Paul is a double agent.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Michael Brandt for directing the film, Thank you to Executive Producers for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Tom Highland (Martin Sheen), Bozloyski (Tamer Hassan),Brutus (Stephen Moyer), Oliver Chris Marquette), Natalie Geary (Odette Annable), Amber (Stana Katic), and Leo (Yuri Sardarov).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s nail-biting and intense.

Ben Meyers

SAHARA (2017 L’Alpe d’Huez Film Festival France)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Sahara, while not a great animated feature, still manages to hold its own in animation. The voicing is excellent and the storyline lends itself well to one of those times when children are just home from school and need a little fill-in time. The story is uniform and straightforward without any complication.

Storyline

Ajar (voice of Omar Sy) meets Eva (voice of Louane Emera) and the story is on as the two snakes travel across a desert and get to know each other through a series of adventures.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Pierre Coré for his directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Nicolas Trout for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Pitt (voice of Franck Gastambide), Gary (voice of Vincent Lacoste), Chef Chef (voice of Ramzy Bedia), Ver Luisant (voice of Clovis Cornillac), Georges (voice of Jean Dujardin), Omar (voice of Grand Corps Malade), and Alexandrie (voice of Reem Kherici).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is a great kids’ movie and worth a watch.

THE VILLAGE (2004 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

The Village—good concept, fair to good script—is a failure for M. Night Shyamalan. It fails at the filming level so that it moves from a good horror film to a low grade drama/thriller. It would have been better to have turned the direction of this particular script over to a second party to interpret and portray while leaving Shymalan in the producing end of the film. On the brighter side, there’s no fault found in the casting. The film features Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrian Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, and Brendan Gleeson

Storyline

A village fashioned on late 19th century living standards remains ignorant of the century they live in.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director M. Night Shyamalan for his directing efforts. Thank you to ProducerSam Mercer, Scott Rudin, and M. Night Shyamalan for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard), Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), Noah Percy (Adrien Brody), Edward Walker (William Hurt), Alice Hunt (Sigourney Weaver), August Nicholson (Brendan Gleeson), Mrs. Clack (Cherry Jones), and Vivian Percy (Celia Weston).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. It’s a waste of time and money. There are much better thrillers out there like Hide and Seek or Grand Piano.

Ben Meyers

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.9|5.0 Starsìììì

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy—based on the book and the BBC TV series of the same name—is a complete mind twister. The story is worth a fortune. And, audiences evidently thought so, too, as it made $4 to $1 on box office sales versus budget expenses. This film is well done to a ‘t’ for a ‘whodunnit’ storyline. The movie relies on an all-star British cast chosen by the unusually talented Jina Jay (Munich, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Director Tomas Alfredson shows tremendous direction ability in this movie.

Storyline

George Smiley (Gary Oldman), British Intelligence, is forced into retirement due to mishandling of the welfare and safekeeping of a defecting Hungarian General. He finds there is a mole within the agency and works to unmask its identity.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Tomas Alfredson for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Liza Chasin, Olivier Courson, Ron Halpern, Debra Hayward, John le Carré, Peter Morgan, and Douglas Urbanski for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong), Control (John Hurt), Magyar (Zoltán Mucsi), Hungarian Waiter (Péter Kálloy Molnár), Woman in Window (Ilona Kassai), KGB Agent (Imre Csuja), and Percy Alleline (Toby Jones).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film stays engaged with its audience. This is not a ‘get-up-and-get-popcorn-and-catch-the-rest-of-the-show-when-you-get-back’ type of movie.

Ben Meyers

DOLPHIN TALE (2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Dolphin Tale—very watchable, a small gem for the young audience—shows how dolphins can be rehabilitated when they’ve lost important limbs like a tail. Good work by Director Charles Martin Smith in directing Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble (Mist, Dark Knight, and Marley & Me), Cozi Zueldorff (her first theatrical), Austin Stowell (his second theatrical), Kris Kristofferson, and Morgan Freeman (120 films and counting). Austin Stowell has good screen presence. It will be a pleasure to see how well he does in future films.

Storyline

Eleven-year-old Sawyer Nelson follows the progress of a rescue dolphin, Winter, who needs tail amputation. After the amputation, Winter is still able to swim; but the dolphin needs a prosthetic device to enable proper movement.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Charles Martin Smith for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Robert Engelman and Steven P. Wegner for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick, Jr.), Lorraine Nelson (Ashley Judd), Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble), Reed Haskett (Kris Kristofferson), Hazel Haskett (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), Kyle Connellan (Austin Stowell), Gloria Forrest (Frances Sternhagen), and Phoebe (Austin Highsmith).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s an interesting movie for anyone who loves dolphins; the movie is comparable to Flipper.

Ben Meyers

DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR (2003 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Starsìì

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is a depressing attempt to rationalize the ‘after-life’ of child stars. Dirty talk and inappropriate language move this movie out of the family category. The biggest error the film makes is the pre-supposition that the only ‘later life’ a child star can aspire to is a life in the movies.

Storyline

Dickie Roberts (David Spade), former child star, endeavors to get back into the business again.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Sam Weisman for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Fred Wolf for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Grace Finney (Mary McCormack), George Finney (Craig Bierko), Sam Finney (Scott Terra), Sally Finney (Jenna Boyd), Referee (John Farley), Commentator (Bobby Slayton), and Michael Buffer (Michael Buffer).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This movie does have a happy ending and gives audiences a bonus with the conclusion that features 60s and 70s television child stars performing a current song/dance routine that demonstrates talent is a life-long gift and the early hard work to develop that talent follows one through life.

Ben Meyers

ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS (1995 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Starsìì

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. So, we’ve got a movie with lots of animals and Jim Carrey. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is no better and no worse than Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. It is, in the sense of raunchiness, a bit worse than its predecessor.

Storyline

Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) goes to Africa with Fulton Greenwall (Ian McNeice) to help establish peace between the Wachati and the Wachootoo tribes.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Steve Oedekerk for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Gary Barber for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Fulton Greenwall (Ian McNeice), Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey), Vincent Cadby (Simon Callow), Ouda (Maynard Eziashi), Burton Quinn (Bob Gunton), The Wachati Princess (Sophie Okonedo), The Tiny Warrior (Tommy Davidson), Hitu (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and Wachootoo Witch Doctor (Danny Daniels).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Director Steve Oedekerk lets Jim Carrey explore the full range of 'craziness' in this film, with Jim Carrey vying for the title of being a wilder and crazier guy than the standard Steve Martin.

Ben Meyers

DEFIANCE (2008 Independent Film USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Defiance is one of the best World War II movies that I have seen in a long time. The actors, Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber, are at the top of their game with excellent portrayal of character. In this Jewish fight for freedom story, Director Edward Zwick places himself in the line of best directors for 2009. This is a must see film for war movie fans everywhere.

Storyline

Four Jewish brothers, Tuvia Bielski (Daniel Craig), Zus Bielski (Liev Schreiber), Asael Bielski (Jamie Bell), and Aron Bielski (George MacKay), escape German task forces into the Naliboki Forest. Gradually a whole community gathers around them.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Edward Zwick for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Marshall Herskovitz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lilka Ticktin (Alexa Davalos), Shimon Haretz (Allan Corduner), Isaac Malbin (Mark Feuerstein), Ben Zion Gulkowitz (Tomas Arana), Tamara Skidelsky (Jodhi May), and Riva Reich (Kate Fahy).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie is excellent from beginning to end.

Ben Meyers

DREAMCATCHER (2003 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì

Dreamcatcher suffers from lack of camera direction, script writing, and mediocre acting even though it features Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore, Donnie Wahlberg, Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl), Timothy Olyphant (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Damian Lewis, and Morgan Freeman.

Storyline

Four friends on a Maine hunting trip encounter aliens.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Lawrence Kasdan for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Bruce Berman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Colonel Abraham Curtis (Morgan Freeman), Henry (Thomas Jane), Beaver (Jason Lee), Jonesy (Damian Lewis), Pete (Timothy Olyphant), Owen (Tom Sizemore), Duddits (Donnie Wahlberg), Young Henry (Mikey Holekamp), and Young Beaver (Reece Thompson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It tries to be a thriller, but has low grade ability to achieve that status.

Ben Meyers

MONKEY UP (2016 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.0|5.0 Starsììì

Monkey Up: is an amateurish effort based on a good concept that quickly assigns itself to the young teen audience. Computer animation relies on antiquated methods of movement. Particularly, the monkey’s mouth and arms are poorly done. It’s one of those ‘Let’s make a movie as cheaply as possible to pay the rent and get out of the business as quickly as possible’ films.

Storyline

A Hollywood-hopeful monkey befriends two children with busy parents.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Robert Vince’s directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producer Robert Vince for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Heroine (Larke Miller), Henchman (Michael Teigen), Monty (voice of Skylar Astin), Desmond (David Milchard), Stan (Chris Coppola), Sophie Andrews (Kayden Magnuson), Clare Andrews (Erin Allin O’Reilly), and Ethan Andrews (Caleb Burgess).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. Choose Air Bud instead

Ben Meyers

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (2011 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey features terrific interviews to gain multiple insightful viewpoints into the life and talent of Kevin Clash, the mind and man behind the famous puppet, Elmo. It’s fun for the entire family to examine the mechanisms behind making Elmo work. The documentary is exceptionally well done and should not be missed.

Storyline

The documentary covers Kevin Clash’s early ventures into puppeteering to meeting with Sesame Street’s Jim Henson to his creation of the lovable Elmo character.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Constance Marks for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Corinne LaPook, Constance Marks, and James J. Miller for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Himself (Bill Barretta), Herself (Fran Brill), Guy Eating Cake #2 (Carson Carr), Herself (Gladys Clash), Himself (Kevin Clash), Herself (Joan Ganz Cooney), Himself (Arsenio Hall), Herself (Cheryl Henson), and Himself (Jim Henson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This documentary is well worth the ticket. It’s art serving real human needs and inspires individual pursuit of dreams, especially in the world of artistic, creative endeavor.

Ben Meyers

PIGLET’S BIG MOVIE (2003 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Piglet’s Big Movie, true to Disney Toons standards, needs no supervisory care or explanation time between the adult and young child. It’s a great movie for the developing child as it nicely serves the very young child’s entertainment needs. This simple and innocent 75-minute story completely relaxes.

Storyline

Piglet (voice of John Fiedler) finds a way to get honey for his friends. When they do not appreciate his efforts, he disappears and his concerned friends go looking for him.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Francis Glebas for directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Michelle Pappalardo-Robinson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Winnie the Pooh/Tigger (voice of Jim Cummings), Owl (voice of Andre Stojka), Kanga (voice of Kath Soucie), Roo (voice of Nikita Hopkins), Eeyore (voice of Peter Cullen), Rabbit (voice of Ken Sansom), and Christopher Robin (voice of Tom Wheatley).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. For small children, it’s a sweet choice for entertainment just before/after dinner, after outside play time, or before naptime.

Ben Meyers

THE LAST SHAMAN (2016 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

The Last Shaman film’s primary value seems to be that Shamans follow a similar pattern as traditional Western medicine: 1) if this medicine doesn’t work, perhaps this new medicine will help and 2) if one doctor isn’t healing, then perhaps a change of doctors, errr, Shamans will help. Additionally, it affords first hand viewing of third world healing methods, one of which is: allowing complete strangers to bury you up to your nose in jungle dirt and then abandoning you for hours to whatever may be lurking in the jungle before returning to unearth you. That’s a lot of trust to bestow on humans outside of your known ethics standards. The film is a bit of a disappointment because James still does not seem reconciled in his parental relationship while his parents seem more stressed than ever over their only child’s health and welfare. But, the film does do service to Raz Dagan’s directing effort and camera recordings as he covers in detail each Shaman’s healing attempt from the drug-induced stupors to vomiting copious amounts of quite foreign looking materials.

Storyline

James suffers from deep depression and seeks help from Peruvian Shamans.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Raz Dagan for directing efforts. Additional characters/cast include: James Freeman.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is educational and can be viewed, feasibly, while involved in another activity.

Ben Meyers

FREE WILLY (1993 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Free Willy—simple, straight forward story—entertains the young teen/adult audience. It’s like watching Flipper except the main drama revolves around a killer whale rather than a dolphin and a foster home boy rather than a boy with a loving relative.

Storyline

Jesse (Jason James Richter) bonds with a killer whale with an attitude, uncovers a plot to kill the whale, and finds a way to set it free.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Simon Wincer for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Richard Donner and Arnon Milchan for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jesse (Jason James Richter), Rae Lindley (Lori Petty), Annie Greenwood (Jayne Atkinson), Randolph Johnson (August Schellenberg), Glen Greenwood (Michael Madsen), Dial (Michael Ironside), Wade (Richard Riehle), Dwight Mercer (Mykelti Williamson), and Perry (Michael Bacall).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a ‘feel good’ movie that works if there is nothing else to view.

Ben Meyers