APOCALYPTO (Theatrical Release USA 2006)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì 

Apocalypto—classic Mel Gibson-directed film—tells its hardcore Mayan story without a flinch. The movie realistically depicts the Mayan culture and the moral decay it had sunk to before its final collapse. This film terrifically allows Gibson to show his talent both as a storyteller and director. BRAVO! for the realism in portrayal of storyline, casting choices, costuming and makeup, and the ability to maintain riveted audience involvement up to its last scene. WOW! This is a ‘do not miss’ movie that adequately covers the final reality of Mayan culture. 

Storyline 

Mayan raiders, looking for sacrificial victims, destroy a small village and carry off its survivors. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Mel Gibson for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Vicki Christianson and Ned Dowd for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), Seven (Dalia Hernández), Blunted (Jonathan Brewer), Flint Sky (Morris Birdyellowhead), Turtles Run (Carlos Emilio Báez), Curl Nose (Amilcar Ramírez), Smoke Frog (Israel Contreras), Cocoa Leaf (Israel Ríos), Mother in Law (Isabel Díaz), Old Story Teller (Espiridion Acosta Cache), Young Woman (Mayra Serbulo), and Sky Flower (Iazua Larios). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. It could easily be said that only Mel Gibson could have pulled this story into the main arena with the power, finesse, and humanity that he did. The horror peaks in this film with well-sequenced flashes between life/death and the struggle of one family’s will to survive despite insurmountable odds. Outstanding adult watch.

 

Ben Meyers

SEVENTH SON (Theatrical Release Canada 2014)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì 

Seventh Son starts with interesting potential to expand into a good movie. By the time Jeff Bridges gets his next apprentice, it seems there is a small shift as if everything became digitized including the main characters. This small detraction troubles the rest of the movie with Jeff Bridges eventually stranded on the island of ‘out of place’ on the sea of ‘weak character development’ that sits on a flat earth and does not realize its ability to achieve 3-dimensional volume and wholeness. 

Storyline 

A queen witch escapes prison and a professional tracker goes looking for her.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Sergei Bodrov for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Alysia Cotter, John Jashni, Peikang La, and Brent O’Conner for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), Alice (Alicia Vikander), Bony Lizzie (Antje Traue), Mam Ward (Olivia Williams), Tusk (John DeSantis), Mr. Bradley (Kit Harington), Radu (Djimon Hounsou), Inquisitor (Gerard Plunkett), Uraq (Jason Scott Lee), Sarikin (Kandyse McClure), Strix (Luc Roderique),  Virahadra (Zahf Paroo), and Malcolm Ward (Timothy Webber). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. There are better stories that incorporate witches like The Wizard of Oz or Beastly. 

Ben Meyers

PUSS IN BOOTS (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Puss in Boots—delightfully offers something new throughout its 90 minutes—completely earns its right as a permanent addition to the family home video library. The animation is very good. The story sustains itself throughout with deeply developed characters who are not only likable, but fun to watch. The adventure undertaken surprises because it is unusual and perks interest. The voice casting department did an outstanding job with the picks of Antonio Banderas as Puss, Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws, and Zach Galifianakis as Humpy Alexander Dumpty. This movie is completely re-watchable with high ability to entertain. 

Storyline 

An outlaw cat seeks to restore his reputation by finding the Golden Goose’s golden eggs. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Chris Miller for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Andrew Adamson, Guillermo del Toro, and Michelle Raimo for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Puss in Boots (Voice of Antonio Banderas), Kitty Softpaws (Voice of Salma Hayek), Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), Jack (Voice of Billy Bob Thornton), Jill (Voice of Amy Sedaris), Imelda (Voice of Constance Marie), Moustache Man/Comandante (Voice of Guillermo del Toro), Andy Beanstalk (Voice of Mike Mitchell), Bounty Hunter (Voice of Rich Dietl), Luis (Voice of Ryan Crego), Bartender/Mean Boy/Wagon Driver/Hotel Owner/Rodrigo (Voice of Tom Wheeler), Raoul/Soldier (Voice of Conrad Vernon), Bar Thief (Voice of Tom McGrath), Giuseppe (Voice of Bob Joles), and Crazy Woman/Mean Girl/Milk Lady/Little Boy (Voice of Latifa Ouaou). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Good entertainment for the whole family. There are some sexual innuendos, but these would be caught by an adult and they do not detract from the enjoyment of the movie. 

Ben Meyers

ACT OF VALOR (Theatrical Release USA 2012)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

 Act of Valor—average war film—needs more development of the relationship between the Seal brothers so that the audience becomes invested in what happens with them. There needs to be more connectedness between the relationships of the supporting cast. The supporting cast gets a treatment that does not allow easy recognition from scene to scene. Their connectedness for the audience goes something like this: I am somehow connected to the main characters; you figure it out. This kind of development makes the audience work while the film moves on.

 Storyline

 Navy Seals attempt to recover a CIA agent.

 Additional Thanks

 Thank you to Directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Tucker Tooley, Jason Clark, Jason Colodne, Bert Ellis, Ryan Kavanaugh, Roman Kindrachuk, Max Leitman, Michael J. Mallis, Jay Pollak, Lance Sloane, and Benjamin Statler for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lieutenant Rorke (Rorke Denver), Chief Dave (Dave), SO1 Sonny (Sonny), SO1 Weimy (Weimy), SO1 Ray (Ray), SO1 Ajay (Ajay), SO1 Mikey (Mikey), Senior Chief Otto (Derrick Van Orden), Lieutenant Lyons (Katelyn), SWCC Boat Senior Chief (Billy), Admiral Callaghan (Callaghan), Captain Duncan Smith (Duncan Smith), Abu Shabal (Jason Cottle), Christo (Alex Veadov), and Lisa Morales (Roselyn Sanchez).


 Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Maybe. It somewhat works as an action film but is not well thought out and seems meaningless.

 Ben Meyers

ALIEN WARFARE (Internet Release USA 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.4|5.0 Starsìì

Alien Warfare tries to meld action and comedy with a few serious scenes thrown in to balance itself, but, the movie short circuits from the beginning and falls flat.  Main challenges in this movie are: less than professional acting, poor script portrayal, and lack of connectivity. The concept is interesting, but it ends like a balloon that immediately deflates and delivers little satisfaction or fun entertainment. Scenes, like the two blender sketches, are pointless, not funny, and take away value from the movie.

 Storyline

 Navy seals battle aliens.

 Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jeremiah Jones for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Caitlin Brimer, James T. Bruce IV, Milan Friedrich, Micah Haley, Maxime Normandin, and R. Bryan Wright for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Mike (Clayton Snyder), Chris (David B. Meadows), Jonesy (Daniel Washington), Thorpe (Scott C. Roe), Isabella (Larissa Andrade), Alien Leader (Scott Hoffman), Stealth Alien (Kaitlyn Hiller), Tech Alien (Taylor Vale), Bruiser Alien (Adam Weppler), Meredith (Mary Paolino), Movladi (Evan Leone), Juri (Jeffrey Alan Solomon), Avery (Sal Rendino), Maddox (Jose Guns Alves), and Reed (Michael Bakkensen). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. The story’s potential is not realized. 

Ben Meyers

LATTE AND THE MAGIC WATERSTONE (Theatrical Release France 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Starsìì 

Latte and the Magic Waterstone seems to be a good concept and it has fair to good animation, but the story is not original and plays on clichés. Unfortunately, a child’s roller coaster at a theme park provides more interest than this movie. The blandness makes it pointless. When making a movie, one should be shooting for that classic that will become a heart treasure for generations to come…that means no message movies. A movie needs to be eventful, meaningful, and well-acted. Many Disney movies were actually B-grade but became family favorites that moved through generations to completely entertain and be treasured over and over again by both children and adults. They never lost timeliness because they were timeless. Children may like this film; adults will likely pass on it. 

Storyline 

A hedgehog goes on an adventure to stop a serious drought. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Regina Welker and Nina Wels for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Jan Goossen, Lilian Klages, Jesper Møller, and Thomas G. Müller for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Latte (Ashley Bornancin), Bantur (Danny Fehsenfeld), Lupo (Daniel Amerman), Johnson (Julian Grant), Greta (Leslie L. Miller), Bear Guard (Byron Marc Newsome), Boar’s Mother (Carla Renata), Aken/Rabbit Dad (Eric Saleh),  Rabbit Mother/Ber Mama (Sophie Simpson), Amaroo (Gunnar Sizemore), and Bunny (Paulette Victor-Lifton). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. There are better stories out there. It will be interesting to see more of these directors' future work and how they can improve as a team. But, this movie can be passed over.

 

Ben Meyers

DARK MATTER (Video Release USA 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Dark Matter—documentary short film about two men who perform death-defying  snowboarding stunts—could have been so much more if the audience had been let in to their private lives. Character development in this 20-minute wonder is basically zero…it becomes more of an advertisement for their skill and the camera person’s top-of-the-line skill set. The snowboarding? MORE than impressive. Music scores? Perfect. Just wanted to see a little more development beyond the snowboarding alone. Three to four days with the same repeat, day after day, caught on film seems redundant. 

Storyline 

Two famous snowboarders perform amazing physical stunts on snowboards.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Curt Morgan for directing effort.  Additional characters/cast include: Himself (Elias Elhardt), Himself (Travis Rice), and Narrator (Graham Tracey). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. if one is or is not a snowboarding fan, the snowboarding scenes are completely amazing. But, beside that, the movie has not been created as an entertainment piece as it has no storyline to drive it.

Ben Meyers

RUSTLER’S RHAPSODY (Theatrical Release USA 1985)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Rustler’s Rhapsody—adult themed—orients its unusual humor around some sexual references and plays itself out by capturing the triteness that define the western movie except this movie’s protagonist isn’t present to lead the war against evil but merely finds himself in the middle of a story and runs along with the story as it presents itself. Tom Berenger and G.W. Bailey are exceptionally well cast for this story. However, the choice of Andy Griffith as the antagonist is a difficult pill the casting department asks the audience to swallow. The supporting cast for the main antagonist have been chosen well.

 Storyline

 A laidback cowboy takes life as it comes, scene by scene.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Hugh Wilson for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer José Antonio Sáinz de Vicuñas for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Rex O’Herlihan (Tom Berenger), Peter (G.W. Bailey), Miss Tracy (Marilu Henner), Colonel Ticonderoga (Andy Griffith), Railroad Colonel (Fernando Rey), Colonel’s Daughter (Sela Ward), Jim (Brant von Hoffman), Jud (Christopher Malcolm), Blackie (Jim Carter), Sheepherder 1 and 2 (Paul Maxwell and Manuel Pereiro), Sheepherder’s Wife (Margarita Calahorra), Town Doctor (Billy J. Mitchell), Town Sheriff (John Orchard), and Sheepherder in Saloon (Emilio Linder). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. Trendy romp for adults, filled with innuendos. 

Ben Meyers

NE ZHA (Theatrical Release China 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.0|5.0 Starsììì 

Ne Zha can be followed until the middle of the story; then, due to its complicated story structure begins to fall apart. The movie does not cross international borders well as it relies on a series of metaphorical references and a cultural backdrop that cannot properly be understood unless one is part of the culture’s folklore. A child may be vexed and eventually bored with the movie due to the many scenes that stack one on top of the other without providing clear understanding of the movie. This Chinese movie breaks apart the Ying/Yang symbol to leave its audience gasping for air to understand.  International audiences may find themselves wondering why the story has significance. 

Storyline 

Humans, spirits, and demons interact.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Yu Yang for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Wenzhang Liu and Yunyun Wei for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Ertong Nezha (Voice of Yanting Lu), Shaonian Nezha (Voice of Joseph), Aobing (Voice of Mo Han), Lijing (Voice of Hao Chen), Yinfuren (Voice of Qi Lü), Taiyi zhenren (Voice of Jiaming Zhang),  Shengongbao (Voice of Wei Yang), Ne Zha (Voice of Jordan Cole), and Ya Ya-newborn (Lexie Foley). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The movie’s story is difficult to follow. Read a plotline before you go.

Ben Meyers

 

ANIMAL CRACKERS (Television Release USA 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì 

Animal Crackers takes a long time to get off the ground. This hinders the quality of the movie. It is not until the latter half of the film that it establishes its good storyline and takes the heart and mind on quite an interesting journey that is very innovative and freshly done. Children will most likely enjoy this movie as a multiple watch; adults will be satisfied with a single watch. The movie has good animation and employs good, recognizable voice talent to include John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Patrick Warburton, Ian McKellen, Raven Symone, Gilbert Gottfried, and Wallace Shawn. The characters are likable due to fairly strong character development and voices that have been tied to well-known, established personalities. 

Storyline 

A family needs to save a circus. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Tony Bancroft and Scott Christian Sava for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Ty Accornero, Sam Chi, Michael Favelle, Taylor Huang, Peikang La, Leighton Lloyd, Harry Mok, Chad Oliver, Danny Stepper, Mu Yedong, and Sasha Yelaun for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Zoe (Voice of Emily Blunt), Chesterfield (Voice of Danny DeVito), Owen (Voice of John Krasinski), Horatio P. Huntington (Voice of Ian McKellen), Binkley (Voice of Raven-Symoné), Bullet-Man (Voice of Sylvester Stallone), Brock (Voice of Patrick Warburton), Talia (Voice of Tara Strong), Buffalo Bob (Voice of James Arnold Taylor), Mackenzie (Voice of Lydia Rose Taylor), Mr. Woodley (Voice of Wallace Shawn), Esmerelda (Voice of Harvey Fierstein), Samson the Strongman (Voice of Kevin Grevioux), Stabby (Voice of Tony Bancroft), and Mario Zucchini (Voice of Gilbert Gottfried). 



Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is simple, uncomplicated, and fun to watch. 

Ben Meyers

DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACER (Video Release USA 2014)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Dragons: Dawn of the Dragon Racer—short film—has no conclusion which basically ruins the story. Otherwise, it has a good story for the younger audience with good portrayal and good voicing effects.

Storyline 

A behind the scenes look at how dragon racing began. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Elaine Bogan and John Sanford for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Art Edler Brown and Douglas Sloan for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Hiccup (Voice of Jay Baruchel), Astrid (Voice of America Ferrera), Fishlegs (Voice of Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Tuffnut (Voice of T.J. Miller), Mulch (Voice of Tim Conway), Gobber (Voice of Chris Edgerly), Silent Sven (Voice of Tom Kenny), Stoick (Voice of Nolan North), Snotout (Voice of Zack Pearlman), and Ruffnut (Voice of Andree Vermeulen). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This short film needs more run time to work and the beginning transition flashback scene is so subtle that it could be easily missed. If one misses that beginning transition, the concluding scenes cause confusion. 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

SHERLOCK HOLMES (Theatrical Release USA 2009)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Sherlock Holmes—great concept and retelling of a classic story—wisely chose Robert Downy Jr. for the part of Sherlock Holmes and offset him with Jude Law for the part of Doctor John Watson. This casting serves this British-themed film very well and throws the story into a higher entertainment class than most Sherlock Holmes films. The story is well done and very well directed by Director Guy Richie. It deserves its place in the home video library and has re-watchable status.

Storyline

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson once again fight against evil.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Guy Ritchie for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Berman, Michael Tadross, and Dana Goldberg for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.), Dr. John Watson (Jude Law), Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), Lord Henry Blackwood (Mark Strong), Lord Henry Blackwood (Mark Strong), Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), Dredger (Robert Maillet), Mrs. Hudson (Geraldine James), Mary Morstan (Kelly Reilly), Constable Clark (William Houston), Lord Coward (Hans Matheson), Sir Thomas Rotheram (James Fox), Ambassador Standish (William Hope), Captain Tanner (Clive Russell), Reordan (Oran Gurel), and McMurdo (David Garrick).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This movie sits among the best renditions of the Sherlock Holmes’ movies. It is a more sophisticated version due to the small nuances that Robert Downey Jr. so naturally throws into his work.

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

 

RISEN (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

Risen—opening scenes do not give a good hint whether the movie will rise to the top or fall flat—leaves it audience with the feeling that they were not entertained because of its less than impactful delivery. The strongest actors are Joseph Fiennes and Cliff Curtis. Curtis, who plays Jesus, does not have a large part in the movie but has been well-chosen by the casting department as he comes across as non-ostentatious. That humble, simple delivery allows an authenticity to his interpretation of his character that serves the movie well. 

Storyline 

A Roman leader is given an order to find the missing body of Jesus. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Kevin Reynolds for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Scott Holroyd and Robert Huberman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), Lucius (Tom Felton), Pilate (Peter Firth), Yeshua (Cliff Curtis), Mary Magdalene (Maria Botto), Joses (Luis Callejo), Joseph of Arimathea (Antonio Gil), Polybius (Richard Atwill), Peter (Stewart Scudamore), Quintus (Andy Gathergood), Bartholomew (Stephen Hagan), John (Mish Boyko), Thomas/Dydimus (Jan Cornet), Simon the Canaanite (Joe Manjón), and Thaddeus (Pepe Lorente). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The concept is interesting as it explores the Roman side of the story of the aftereffects of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But, other than an examination of the possibilities of that concept, this film can be skipped. 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

3 NINJAS (Theatrical Release USA 1992)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

3 Ninjas—run-of-the-mill preteen flick—serves easy-on-the-mind entertainment fare that works when nothing else is happening. It’s something to run in the background while accomplishing other tasks and does not take a great deal of involvement to follow its storyline. 

Storyline 

A grandfather teaches three brothers how to fight Ninjutsu style. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jon Turteltaub for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Shunji Hirano for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Grandpa (Victor Wong), Rocky (Michael Treanor), Colt (Max Elliott Slade), Tum Tum (Chad Power),Snyder (Rand Kingsley), Sam Douglas (Alan McRae), Jessica Douglas (Margarita Franco), Emily (Kate Sargeant), Brown (Joel Swetow), Rushmore (Professor Toru Tanaka), Fester (Patrick Labyorteaux), Marcus (Race Nelson), Hammer (D.J. Harder), Bully (Baha Jackson and Scott Caudill). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie sets itself as simple martial arts entertainment. It does not task the mind and is worth one watch. 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (Theatrical Release USA 2004)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events—original, fresh, and entertaining—accesses a WOW performance by Jim Carrey as the movie's villain. The casting department performs outstandingly for this magical story in choosing Liam Aiken, Shelby Hoffman, Emily Browning, Kara Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Timothy Spall. Along with superlative stage sets, the movie beguiles from its beginning. Director Brad Silberling caught the story’s magical sequencing with great understanding. Beautifully done film that deserves its place in the family home video library. It has strong re-watchable status.

Storyline

Three orphaned children make the rounds through a variety of relatives looking for a loving, sane home.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Brad Silberling for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Albie Hecht, Julia Pistor, Scott Rudin, and Barry Sonnenfeld for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Count Olaf (Jim Carrey), Klaus (Liam Aiken), Violet (Emily Browning), Sunny (Kara Hoffman), Sunny (Shelby Hoffman), Lemony Snicket (Voice of Jude Law), Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall), Justice Strauss (Catherine O’Hara), Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly) Aunt Josephine (Meryl Streep), Bald Man (Luis Guzmán), Hook-Handed Man (Jamie Harris), Person of Indeterminate Gender (Craig Ferguson), and White Faced Woman (Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Adams).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie is very well put together and becomes a great child/adult share and provides ample material for good discussion afterwards. Quality movie for parents who look for quality entertainment for their family. No time or money investment wasted in watching this movie.

Ben Meyers


NATIONAL SECURITY (Theatrical Release USA 2003)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

National Security—fun watch—plays Steve Zahn and Martin Lawrence as lead characters in a very good comedy. WOW! The movie easily earns its rating among some of the better action comedies on the market with its fast-paced storyline and excellent casting.

Storyline

A smuggling operation is taken on by two men interested in enforcing law.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Dennis Dugan for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Moritz Borman, Guy East, Martin Lawrence, and Nigel Sinclair for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Earl Montgomery (Martin Lawrence), Hank Rafferty (Steve Zahn), Detective Frank McDuff (Colm Feore), Lieutenant Washington (Bill Duke), Nash (Eric Roberts), Charlie Reed (Timothy Busfield), Denise (Robinne Lee), Robert Barton (Matt McCoy), Heston (Brett Cullen), Woman in Car (Cleo King), Booking Clerk (Gerry Del Sol), Hank’s Lawyer (Ken Lerner), Lola (Mari Morrow), Billy Narthax (Stephen Tobolowsky), and Owen Fergus (Joe Flaherty).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. A worth watching comedy that easily earns re-watch status in future years.

Ben Meyers

NEVERENDING STORY II: THE NEXT CHAPTER (Theatrical Release Japan 1990)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter—imaginative—seems to come off flat and a little amateurish which is difficult to resolve because of the high level directing skill of George Miller. The props need an update and the story needs to make an audience feel the realism of this imagination. 

Storyline 

An old book leads a boy into a world of make-believe. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director George Miller for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Tim Hampton for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bastian (Jonathan Brandis), Atreyu (Kenny Morrison), Xayide (Clarissa Burt), Barney (John Wesley Shipp), Nimbly (Martin Umbach), Childlike Empress (Alexandra Johnes), Coreander (Thomas Hill), Bastian’s Mother (Helena Michell), Tri Face (Christopher Burton), Instrument Spinster (Patricia Fugger), Windbride (Birge Schade), Lavaman (Claudio Maniscalco), Mudwart (Andreas Borcherding), Mudwart (Ralf Weikinger), and Rockbiter Junior (Colin Glider). 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The first film tells a better story. 

Ben Meyers

BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (Theatrical Release USA 1993)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm—animated film—actually does a very good job of catching the flavor and essential character of Batman. This movie is very well done and worth its watch.

Storyline

Batman, accused of murder, must clear his name.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Frank Paur, Dan Riba, Eric Radomski, and Bruce Timm for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Tom Ruegger for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Batman (Voice of Kevin Conroy), Andrea Beaumont (Voice of Dana Delany), Arthur Reeves (Voice of Hart Bochner), Phantasm/Carl Beaumont (Voice of Stacy Keach), Salvatore Valestra (Voice of Abe Vigoda), Chuckie Sol (Voice of Dick Miller), Buzz Bronski (Voice of John P. Ryan), Alfred (Voice of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), Commissioner Gordon (Voice of Bob Hastings), Detective Bullock (Voice of Robert Costanzo), The Joker (Voice of Mark Hamill), and Jane Downs (Additional Voices).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. A great animated movie that can make Batman fans shout Hurrah! for such an authentic capture of the DC Comic’s Batman character.

Ben Meyers 

MALIBU RESCUE: THE NEXT WAVE (Video Release USA 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

 Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave—simple, preteen film—serves a large portion of 'shallow' with average acting and portrayal. But, the effort is notable and this movie has potential to boost these young actors and actresses into higher quality films in the future. It’s good, clean formula fare to fill in some pre-teen and teen time.

 Storyline 

It’s time to judge the best lifeguard teams again on Malibu Beach, California.

 Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Savage Steve Holland for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jed Elinoff, Savage Steve Holland, and Scott McAboy for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Kezza (Kirrilee Berger), Dylan (Jackie Jacobson), Mr. Rathbone (Curtis Armstrong), Tyler (Ricardo Hurtado), Gina (Breanna Yde), Lizzie (Abby Donnelly), Vooch (Jeremy Howard), Miss Eldred (Carly Hughes), Sasha (Ella Gross), Eric (Alkoya Brunson), Wayno (Carlos Sanson), Brody (JT Neal), Truck Driver (Henry Kingi), Izzy (Paulina Alvarez), and Carli (Katherine Klosterman).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. If one decides to follow the series, this film is the next in the series. Higher entertainment value stands in the High School Musical series. 

Ben Meyers


 

CON-AIR (Theatrical Release USA 1997)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Con-Air—good, classy story that delivers—shows the skill of Director Simon West in directing an all-star cast in a constant stream of tension from its opening scenes to its concluding scenes. The casting is perfect and exceptionally reality driven. This film never lets up. It’s a terrific movie for persons desiring the emotions of horror, dread, and tension. 

Storyline 

Prisoners commandeer a prison transport plane. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Simon West for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Peter Bogart, Jonathan Hensleigh, Jim Kouf, Lynn Kouf, and Chad Oman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Duncan Malloy (Colm Meaney), Baby-O (Mykelti Williamson), Billy Bedlam (Nick Chinlund), Sally Can’t Dance (Renoly Santiago), Cyrus the Virus (John Malkovich), Diamond Dog (Ving Rhames), Pinball (Dave Chappelle), Guard Sally Bishop (Rachel Ticotin), Guard Falzon (Steve Eastin), Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi), Johnny 23 (Danny Trejo), Swamp Thing (MC Gainey), Casey Poe (Landry Allbright), Vince Larkin (John Cusack), and Tricia Poe (Monica Potter). 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie may be a B-grade film, but it’s difficult to beat for tense, nail-biting action. 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

THE ITALIAN JOB (Theatrical Release UK 1969)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

The Italian Job—not quite as good as the 2003 remake because the 1969 movie is a bit more complicated—has the same basic story premise of a planned heist, but a different supporting story. This movie works for Michael Caine fans. The story is well-portrayed.

Storyline 

A gold shipment is stolen. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Peter Collinson for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers  for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Charlie Croker (Michael Caine), Mr. Bridger (Noël Coward), Professor Simon Peach (Benny Hill), Altabani (Raf Vallone), Freddie (Tony Beckley), Beckerman (Rossano Brazzi), Lorna (Margaret Blye), Miss Peach (Irene Handl), Governor (John Le Mesurier), Birkinshaw (Fred Emney), Garage Manager (John Clive), and Keats (Graham Payn). 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. It’s worth at least one watch, but the 2003 remake’s story is easier to understand and the 2003 film’s casting is far superior to this 1969 movie despite the presence of legendary Michael Caine. 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers

THE LITTLE BIRD AND THE SQUIRREL * (Berlin International Film Festival Berlin Germany 2015)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

The Little Bird and the Squirrel—short film— needs more storyline development and a rounded presentation. The plot doesn’t fully fill the time allotted to the movie. 

Storyline 

A squirrel steals a bird’s watering can and the chase is on. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Lena von Döhren for directing effort. 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. For children’s short films it seems better choices would be Piper or The Karnival Kid. 

Also known as: Der kleine Vogel und das Eichhörnchen 

Video Critique available at:





Ben Meyers