FLUSHED AWAY (Theatrical Release USA 2006)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Flushed Away—while other films like An American Tale or Teenage Mutant Turtles can get away with settings resting in the sewer, somehow this movie cannot manage that setting.  The animation is good, but the setting of the entire movie keeps getting in the way of the story itself. The characters cannot establish lovability or likeableness and that lack hampers the story’s appeal. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A pet rat gets a taste of living on the rougher side of town that includes not only rats but a toad with plans of its own. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Sam Fell and David Bowers for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Cecil Kramer, David Sproxton, and Peter Lord for making the film possible. Cast includes:   Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis, Shane Richie, and Ian McKellen. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The film lacks charm and basic appeal. 

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (Theatrical Release USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Avengers: Endgame—odd conclusion that seems disjointed from its story—runs as ‘not well thought out and complicates itself.’ It’s 2-hour build up leaves the audience flat at the end. The camera work, the animation, and the acting are good to great. It’s a good watch for superhero fans, but not for general audiences. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The Avengers unite to recover the infinity stones so that life in the universe can be restored. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Kevin Feige for making the film possible. Cast includes: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin, and Gwyneth Paltrow. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. If one wants to finish the series, this is it.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST: FINAL TRANSMUTATION* (Video on Demand (VOD) Release USA 2022)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

Fullmetal Alchemist: Final Transmutation presents itself as an action/drama film. The stoic facial features, shallow character development, and adding new characters to , and seemingly innumerable characters further complicate an already complicated storyline. This third and final film of this movie series is important to watch as everything has been building to the transformation. But the movie loses its entertainment value and the audience can be left with the question, ‘what was that all about?’ Fans of the animated television series may be completely satisfied with this movie and understand it better than the person who started this set of movies with movie one and two and then, jumped into the final watch. Be aware that this movie introduces many concepts not generally familiar to movie goers. It is good to do some research on homunculi, alchemy, philosopher’s stone, and sharing bodies with more than one entity to understand some of the concepts talked about in the movie. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images           

Storyline 

Alphonse and Edward fight evil while wrapping up loose ends in the series to a final conclusion. 

Additional Thank 

Thank you to Director Fumihiko Sori for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Ryuji Abe, Julie Fujishima, Kazuya Hamana, Yoshiro Hosono, Hiroyuki Ikeda, Atsuhiro Iwakami, Kei Morita, Shinji Nakano, Masama Takahashi, and Hajime Tsubouchi. Cast includes: Ryosuke Yamada, Tsubasa Honda, Dean Fujioka, Misako Renbutsu, Kanata Hongo, Yuina Kuroshima, Keisuke Watanabe, Kokoro Terada, Shinji Uchiyama, Monroe Ron, Atom Mizuishi, Motoki Fukami, and Masaki Kaji. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This movie may be incomprehensible for the average movie goer especially if the two prequels were not watched first and if the movie goer is not acquainted with the presentation format of this story. 

*Also Known as; Fullmetal Alchemist: The Final Alchemy 

or Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Kanketsu-hen - Saigo no Rensei

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

OLD YELLER (Theatrical Release USA 1957)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Old Yeller—cute, clean, simple, family watch—appeals to both the adult and child audience. While the movie runs on a slower story-telling mode, it has a certain classic feel that leaves a good after viewing emotion. It presents many good life lessons that are easy to understand to include how important each family member is in maintaining the integrity of family. This straight-forward movie, with no hidden agenda, works at the G-rated level for everyone. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A stray dog leaves his imprint on a rural pioneering family's hearts. 

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Robert Stevenson for directing effort. Thank you to Walt Disney for making the film possible. Cast includes: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Jeff York, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Beverly Washburn, and Chuck Connors. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie is cute, simple and leaves a feel-good after viewing emotion. It’s a good share movie for the whole family and still, despite its age, makes a good family home video library addition.

Video Critique Available Here: 

Ben Meyers

EMPIRE OF THE SUN (Theatrical Release USA 1987)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Empire of the Sun—incredibly good watch—shows exceptional acting skill in one of Christian Bale’s early acting works. His supporting cast of John Malkovich and Joe Pantoliano become the perfect choices  to balance the story’s well-written and well-timed script. The haunting musical score works at the unforgettable level and features Christian Bale performing a WOW! musical piece that literally sets the tone for the entire movie. GREAT work for Director Steven Spielberg. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A young boy becomes separated from his parents during wartime and must find a way to survive.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Steven Spielberg for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall for making the film possible. Cast includes: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, and Nigel Havers.

 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This finely crafted story becomes an outstanding example of the talents of Christian Bale and Steven Spielberg’s abilities to WOW! their audiences. The movie deeply touches the human spirit and involves its audience on a profound emotional level.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

X2: X-MEN UNITED (Theatrical Release USA 2003)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 


X2: X-Men United
—elaborates on the X-Men story—reprises the roles of Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellan. It adds Brian Cox and Alan Cumming. The  presentation needs more crafting but the movie is an enjoyable watch and quite entertaining…a good afternoon watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This superhero film is about a machine that is developed to wipe out all Earth’s mutants. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Bryan Singer for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter for making the film possible. Cast includes: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, and Anna Paquin. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This movie is not as good as the first movie in the series, but it still earns a recommendation as watchable and entertaining.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

GEOSTORM (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Geostorm—good concept—needs some improvement in presentation, but is entertaining, has good weather disaster scenes, and an okay storyline. It relies on the acting talents of Gerard Butler, who makes movies better due to his highly likable onscreen presence. It is worth watching as an easy afternoon watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This science fiction film is about satellites that were developed to control weather are now being used as weapons.. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Dean Devlin for directing effort. Thank you to Producers David Ellison, Dean Devlin, and Dana Goldberg for making the film possible. Cast includes: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Daniel Wu, and Eugenio Derbez.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. It deserves a one-time watch because once this concept is absorbed it does not need another introduction. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE (Theatrical Release USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì 

Paw Patrol: The Movie—okay watch that becomes strictly a child’s watch—has a predictable, simple storyline with an average presentation. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The Paw Patrol fights injustice, rescues humans in trouble, and fights political injustice. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Cal Brunker for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Jennifer Dodge for making the film possible. Cast includes: Iain Armitage, Marsai Martin, Ron Pardo, Yara Shahidi, Kim Kardashian, Randall Park, Dax Shepard, Tyler Perry, Jimmy Kimmel, and Will Brisbin.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This movie is suitable for children but does not achieve enough range to suit an adult audience. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

INTO THE WOODS (Theatrical Release USA 2014)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì 

Into the Woods—okay watch with a long way to go to achieve quality—has great singing voices but the lyrics are weak, the power of presentation missing, and entertainment value darkly themed without appeal.  The star-studded cast—James Corden, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp—along with new actors like Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huddlestone cannot pull any power out of the overall storyline. The movie lacks intelligence and human spirit. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This fantasy film is a backstory and an imaginary correlation between five Brothers Grimm fairy tales. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Rob Marshall for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, Callum McDougall for making the film possible. Cast includes: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, and Chris Pine. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. It has its own storyline which is a rewritten form of five Grimm fairy tales with maybe a fresher look at the overdone screening of these stories. But, for the most part, it is not well presented or written. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers 

FROST/NIXON (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì 

Frost/Nixon—fabulous, tense watch—balances itself with excellent dialogue and a cast that works seamlessly together to tell the story. Watch for Kevin Bacon’s outstanding performance. Pitting Michael Sheen against Frank Langella completely works. This movie is more than worth its watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

David Frost gets an interview with President Nixon after his resignation from the presidency.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ron Howard for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Brian Grazer. Ron Howard, Tim Bevan, and Eric Feliner for making the film possible. Cast includes: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a wonderful, taut watch and worth watching. 



Ben Meyers

LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile—okay, not great—sports terrific animation of the crocodile but lacks in almost every other category. The movie advertises itself as a musical, but even the music seems displaced and not up to par.  The casting is ‘kind of generic’ with a ho-him feel. It’s lack of pizzaz positions this film as more of a child’s watch and not a high-quality child’s watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Hutch Parker, Will Speck, and Josh Gordon for making the film possible. Cast includes: Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Winslow Fegley, Scoot McNairy, Brett Gelman, Ego Nwodim, and Shawn Mendes. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. It has nothing new to add except the crocodile.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

CAPTAIN MARVEL (Theatrical Release USA 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Captain Marvel manages to make a splash in entertainment value even though the story, the presentation, and acting are a bit less than the entertainment value. There is something about this movie that makes its call for a re-watch because it manages to entertain even without the factors that usually determine rewatchable-ness. The movie is just enjoyable from the ‘get-go’. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images   

Storyline 

A Starforce member has recurring nightmares about a person and is led to the place where she interacted in real life with this person. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Kevin Feige for making the film possible. Cast includes: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Jude Law, and Clark Gregg. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie is very well done and more than worth watching. It’s great to see Samuel L. Jackson’s facial features digitalized to make him look younger. Don’t leave before watching the credits roll as there is a bit of entertainment tucked there that is entertaining.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

INTERSTELLAR (Theatrical Release USA 2014)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Interstellar—fabulously written—has an exceptionally creative and interesting storyline. The movie accesses the talents of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Michael Cain, Timothée Chalamet, Matt Damon, Makenzie Foy, Casey Affleck, and Jessica Chastain. Watch for short cameos of David Oyelowo, William Devane, and Ellen Berstyne. Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and The Prestige) works magic with a story that, under different direction, would have been lost in the realm of unintelligible. Instead, he worked the very good writing and good cast into a highly watchable movie that provides a welcomed stretch to the imagination. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A little girl encounters a ghost in the family library and finally discovers who it is.

 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Christopher Nolan for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, and Lynda Obst for making the film possible. Cast includes: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, and Matt Damon. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a wonderfully written story and supports itself on great acting. 

Home Video Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

THOR: THE DARK WORLD (All-Media World-Wide USA 2013)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Thor: The Dark World manages to bring a large story to the big screen on higher-than-average levels. The storyline is okay to good and presents itself well. The acting is good, the film is entertaining, and worth watching. It gets the job done for the superhero audience and is worth the time and money spent for that audience. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Thor and Loki compete head-to-head for control and dominance. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Alan Taylor for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Kevin Feige for making the film possible. Cast includes: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje, and Kat Dennings.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes.  This is worth watching. The graphics special effects are a bit overpowering, but befitting for the realm in which Thor lives. The concluding scenes offer a nice twist that makes a sweet conclusion for the audience. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 

Spider-Man: Homecoming—a type of reboot of the 2002 classic film—does not take the audience through the spider bite and getting superpowers. The movie begins with Spider-Man as the lone vigilante and goes into his recognition by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as a possible recruit into the Avengers. It’s easy to accept Tom Holland in the role of Spider-Man. The film does not play like the usual super hero movie but it serves as a good watch for the superhero fan and sets itself up for sequels due to the invitation for Spider-Man to become part of the Avengers. Watch for Abraham Attah, from the movie Beast of No Nation, in this movie. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This superhero film is about Spiderman becoming part of the Avengers’ team and the fighting against the use of super-advanced weapons in the hands of criminals. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jon Watts for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal for making the film possible. Cast includes: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., and Laura Harrier. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a good watch and has a nice twist in its concluding scenes seconds before the ending credits roll. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

X-MEN (Theatrical Release USA 2000)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 

X-Men—great concept—entertains and has great casting: Patrick Stewart, James Marsden, Ian McKellan, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Tyler Mane, and Ray Park (Darth Maul character in Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace and Toad in the X-Men).  Watch for Hugh Jackman in his first role as Wolverine. The movie is not the high quality one would expect, but it is suitable and particularly serves the superhero fan.  

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This superhero film is about a time when it becomes increasingly apparent that not all humans are the same…some are mutants with superhuman abilities…the government intervenes…mutants divide in opinion of how to integrate with humans so they can occupy the same environmental space safely. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Bryan Singer for directing efforts. Thank you to Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter for making the film possible. Cast includes: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romin, Ray Park, and Anna Paquin. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is the first live-action X-Men film. It is watchable and will suit superhero fans well.

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers