STAR WARS: EPISODE IX-THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (Theatrical Release USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker has regained a bit of the George Lucas spirit in a few scenes that the previous two films lost. This is a good film to the credit of Director J. J. Abrams.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The Rebellion faces its deepest challenges in fighting evil. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director J. J. Abrams for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Kathleen Kennedy, J. J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan for making the film possible. Cast include: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, John Boyega, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiamond, Billy Dee Williams, and Richard Grant. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?
                                  

THE PRINCIPAL (Theatrical Release USA 1987)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Principal does not perform at the level of Morgan Freeman’s film, Lean on Me. However, The Principal has its own spunk and has performances by James Belushi at the helm with very good support by Louis Gossett Jr. The movie completely keeps audience attention and provides non-stop tension from its beginning to concluding scene. It’s rough, tough, and gritty. It tells a need-to-be-told story. It’s an unforgettable watch.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A teacher, with no place else to go within a school district, is assigned the position of principal at the most troubled school within the district. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Christopher Cain for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Thomas Brodek for making the film possible. Cast include: Jim Belushi, Louis Gossett Jr., Rae Chong, and Kelly Minter. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a demonstrative watch at how troubled public schools can become. It’s a tough watch but a good watch. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

A COWGIRL’S SONG (Internet Release USA 2022)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

A Cowgirl’s Song—trite storyline and perfect example of average entertainment—can be complimented on its clean storyline and presentation. There are no surprises here if one chooses it as a watch for their young teenager. For most audiences, the story will not hold interest.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images                                                           

Storyline 

Two young girls work to raise bail monies to free their father from jail.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Timothy Armstrong for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Carlos DeMattos and Marcos DeMattos for making the film possible. Cast includes:Bill Jenkins, Cheryl Ladd, Rachel Cannon, Savannah Lee May, Darci Lynne Farmer, Maggie McClure, Cate Jones, Shane Henry, Dodge Prince, and Marcus Mauldin.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. This is an exceptionally simple story that appeals to a limited audience. However, it surprisingly rates as higher entertainment value than Hannah Montana: The Movie. This movie would work for younger audiences as clean entertainment with no unwanted surprises. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

DRIFTING HOME * (Video Release USA 2022)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì 

Drifting Home starts well and soon becomes complicated in its storyline to the point of un-intelligibleness. This anime becomes, not only incomprehensible, but highly confusing even to a western audience who enjoys anime. The  movie leaves its audience hanging at its conclusion with no idea about its purpose and message. The voiceovers are not done well…the recording is poor…but the subtitles are good. The animation is great. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Two childhood friends attempt to survive a flood that sets their home adrift in a dangerous sea of water. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Hiroyasu Ishida for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Koji Yamamoto for making the film possible. Cast includes: Mutsumi Tamura, Kana Hanazawa, Daiki Yamashita, Inori Minase, Ayumu Murase, Asami Seto, Nana Mizuki, Bin Shimada, and Yumiko Kobayashi. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. Watch a Hayao Miyazaki directed film instead.

* Also Known As: Ame wo Tsugeru Hyôryû Danchi  

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers



THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Huntsman: Winter’s War—good, not great—has nice special effects reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings in creative and fresh imagery. The movie recasts Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Nick Frost, and Sam Claflin from Snow White and the Huntsman while adding new cast members Rob Brydon, Jessica Chastain, and Emily Blunt. This movie plays along darker lines than Snow White and the Huntsman but it is a good prequel/sequel film to Snow White and the Huntsman with a shocking link between the Snow White story and the Snow Queen story. The film, overall, is a good watch.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

The Huntsman tangles with the Snow Queen in his attempt to preserve the concept of love. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Joe Roth for making the film possible. Cast include: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Sam Claflin, Rob Brydon, Liam Neeson (Narrator), and Jessica Chastain. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Know that this movie’s story heavily ties with Snow White and the Huntsman (2012 USA/UK Live Action). Many references in this movie, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, to Ravenna, Snow White, the Huntsman, and the Snow Queen will make this film more understandable if one watches Snow White and the Huntsman before tackling this film. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

PHIL TIPPETT: MAD DREAMS AND MONSTERS (All Media Release USA 2021)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters—worth watching bio-pic documentary—educates its audience about the process of stop motion and go-motion animation by using the example of top-notch animator Phil Tippett. While this movie may be of high-level interest to film schools as an easy introduction to this type of animation and how it was used in high profile movies, like Star Wars, the film can also be highly appreciated by movie enthusiasts and film buffs. The documentary is well presented, has good interviews, and has high educational value. A viewer may wish for a little more in-depth review of Phil Tippet’s personal life, but know Mr. Tippet’s wife chose to completely support his professional work by working with him to build the business. It’s a very good watch to see what Phil Tippet created himself and collaborated with others to make. The movie emphasizes the dedication needful when one works within the entertainment industry. Overall, a terrific watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Phil Tippett’s lifelong and substantial contributions to the entertainment industry receive a thorough documentation. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Alexandre Poncet for making the film possible. Cast include: Joe Dante, Jon Davison, Chuck Duke, Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett, and Paul Verhoeven. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Enlightening, educational, and entertaining. Very well-done documentary. Great work for all involved in production. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE YIN-YANG MASTER: DREAM OF ETERNITY (Video Release USA 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity—fantasy film—has top-notch special effects. The story is complicated and requires a careful watch partially due to themes that one does not get deep insight into within western entertainment and that are uniquely part of eastern tradition and thought. The movie is entirely fresh and original. Absolutely no boredom here as heroes revolve in and out of deeply spiritual worlds to solve highly unusual difficulties in the real world.  High suspense dominates the film. The movie has great subtitles and English voiceovers. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

An ancient and powerful demon must be kept in check.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Guo Jingming for directing effort. Cast includes: Deng Lun, Mark Chao, Olivia Wang, and Wang Duo.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is put together very well, has fabulous animation and special effects. Good work overall.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

BRIGHT (Video Release World-Wide 2017)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Bright, a fantasy action film, pairs Will Smith with Joel Edgerton to produce an interesting action film that is well-acted, entertaining, and watchable.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Aliens and humans work together to keep law and order.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director David Ayer for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Eric Newman, David Ayer, Bryan Unkeless, and Ted Sarandos for making the film possible. Cast includes:  Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Edgar Ramirez, and Ike Barinholtz.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is quite well done and worth watching for action fans. Be aware there is some nudity that precludes it from the children’s audience.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU (Theatrical Release USA 1968)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Inspector Clouseau—one of the films of the Pink Panther series of films reboots that Peter Sellers is not in—features Alan Arkin, who provides a good rendition of the original spirit of this film series. Peter Sellers continued to dominate the Pink Panther market, after this film, through the 1970s despite Arkin’s sharper image and precise style of presentation. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Inspector Clouseau once again bumbles his way through solving a case. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Bud Yorkin for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Lewis J. Rachmil for making the film possible. Cast include: Alan Arkin, Frank Finlay, Barry Foster, Patrick Cargill, Beryl Reid, and Clive Francis. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Despite the usual suggestive themes within the story, the film, for the most part, induces a fair amount of chuckles from its audience. It’s worth its watch even though it is over 50 years old as of 2022.



Ben Meyers

HALF PAST DEAD (Theatrical Release USA 2002)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Half Past Dead—good B-Grade action film—supplies just the right amount of action to satisfy action fans. Steven Segal performs with his usual steadiness and meets fan expectations well. The audience can leave with a smile because entertainment expectations are met in this simple, yet straight-forward story. It’s a good watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

This action film is about a thief incarcerated in the new Alcatraz prison who gains high profile attention from a terrorist team, the FBI, and undercover agents, on the day of his execution, because of the $200,000,000 he stole and never revealed the location of.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Don Michael Paul for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Elie Samaha, Steven Segal, and Andrew Stevens for making the film possible. Cast includes: Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut, Ja Rule, Nia Peeples, Tony Plana, and Kurupt.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Simple, entertaining action film that accesses the talents of Steven Segal and will satisfy Segal fans well.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

SOURCE CODE (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì

Source Code—psychological drama at its very best—completely outdoes itself in almost every category a movie can be critiqued in. Jake Gyllenhaal keeps his audience guessing from the beginning to the very end of this movie with his great interpretations of every scene. The flashbacks are some of the best in the business with no lag-time and no ‘what was that all about?’  questions. The movie is well-sequenced, a true ‘sit-down-and-watch’ film. This is a perfect movie to watch in streaming because it is so packed with entertainment value that one does not want to take that sometimes needful break to attend to a phone call or other matter. Streaming allows the audience to not miss a single scene in this action thriller. Watch for Jeffrey Wright, a perfect pick for the research doctor. The movie is the perfect addition to the home video library that no guest will mind watching more than once. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A soldier’s last 8 minutes of life is used repeatedly to solve the mystery of who is responsible for blowing up a passenger train. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Duncan Jones for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Mark Gordon, Jordan Wynn, and Philippe Rousselet for directing effort. Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Michael Arden, Russell Peters, Scott Bakula, Frederick De Grandpre, and Cas Anvar. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Completely fresh. Well-written. Perfect timing. Completely involves its audience. Presents a perfect twist at its conclusion. It’s a ‘do not miss’ action, sci-fi movie that more than earns its time investment and dollars. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

ZERO TO HERO (Video Release USA 2021)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Zero to Hero
—Hong Kong bio-pic—tells its wonderful love story and dowses, drenches it with heart. Completely encapsulates the fact that  every life has value. Perfect example of turning impossible to possible with gold medals attached. A story that causes audiences to cheer as Wa Wai conquers obstacle after obstacle while maximizing all opportunities and making the best out of what is given him. It does sit in the B-Grade film list, but completely earns its watch, its time investment, and its dollar investment.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A mother and her son struggle to build a life for him.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jimmy Wan for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Sandra Ng for making the film possible. Cast includes: Louis Cheung, Siu-ho Chin, Chung-hang Leung, Hoi-pang Lo, and Sandra Ng.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. This is highly inspirational and backs itself with a great story. Completely involves the audience. It’s a “I can feel it film.”

Video Critique Available Here:



 Ben Meyers

ELIZABETH AND MARGARET: LOVE AND LOYALTY (Television Release World-Wide 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì

Elizabeth and Margaret: Love and Loyalty—terrific documentary—thoroughly examines familial relationships, duty, and loyalty at the national leadership level by plumbing the depths of the relationship of two sisters and the difficult decisions that must be made to serve duty over person. Interesting, entertaining, and educational, it’s a keen presentation that has carefully thought through the difficulties of harmonizing royal life.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

The relationship between two royal sisters gets thorough investigation in this documentary. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Lucy Swingler and Stephanie Wessell for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Emily Dalton for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II-Self(Queen Elizabeth II), Self-Princess Margaret Countess of Snowdon-Self (Princess Margaret),Princess Margaret's Authorized Biographer-Self (Christopher Warwick), Royal Historian-Self (Kate Williams), Royal Historian-Self (Hugo Vickers), Editor of Majesty Magazine and Royal Biographer-Self (Ingrid Seward), Royal Historian-Self (Ed Owens), Historian-Self (Onyeka Nubia), and Former Appeals Director NSPCC-Self (Giles Pegram). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This exceptionally professional presentation serves WOW! in both education and entertainment departments. Deepens appreciation for lifestyles and values of leading families. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

UNCOMMON VALOR (Theatrical Release USA 1983)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Uncommon Valor—outstanding action—tells an unusual story of how one man’s vision forms a team from disparate backgrounds into one cohesive unit fighting with common purpose and direction. The tension, action, and realism of this movie are irreproachable. It uses the talents of Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, and Fred Ward to tell an incredible story of courage. The film stands at 39 years of age as of 2022 and is completely viable as an over-the-top WOW! war movie that completely captivates audience attention with its edge of the seat presentation. No lack here in entertainment value.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

A man builds a team to rescue his son who is presumed to be a prisoner of war and alive.

 Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ted Kotcheff for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Buzz Feitshans and John Milius for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Col. Jason Rhodes (Gene Hackman), Kevin Scott (Patrick Swayze), Harry MacGregor (Robert Stack), Wilkes (Fred Ward), Blaster (Reb Brown), Sailor (Randall 'Tex' Cobb), Johnson (Harold Sylvester), Charts (Tim Thomserson). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie performs as an over-the-top action thriller and presents an exceptionally realistic story. Watch for Jane Kaczmarek (from the 2000 to 2006 television show Malcolm in the Middle). 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THIRTEEN LIVES (Theatrical Release USA 2022)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Thirteen Lives increases its watchability as it moves from its introduction to the body and then into its concluding scenes. There is no lack in capitalizing on the movie’s natural dramatic appeal and it appeals on the international level due to its heart, courage, and desire to keep moving forward despite nearly impossible odds. This British film uses American Director Ron Howard and relies on British and Thai actors to tell its amazing story. Watch for Joel Edgerton. The movie earns its watch.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

Twelve school boys and their coach get caught in a flooding cave. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ron Howard for making the film possible. Thank you to Producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Karen Lunder, William Connor, PJ van Sandwijk, and Gabrielle Tana for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, and Tom Bateman. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie has good acting. It makes the most of its storyline, is not boring, and uses actors’ talents well. It is worth watching. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

ROOTING FOR ROONA (Video Release World-Wide 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Rooting For Roona—short film documentary—has been well-organized in both storyline and presentation. The interviews have been well-chosen. The film uses interviews that rely on narration so that viewers can understand its storyline with wonderful subtitles. The film shows heart, dedication, and loyalty to the cause of preserving life.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

Documentary about a baby with an enlarged head due to hydrocephalus and the intervention surgeons took to help the child live and heal. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Pavitra Chalam and Akshay Shankar for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Curley Street for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Mr. Begum, Mrs. Begum, and Roona Begum. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The film shows intervention procedures available for this health challenge as well as possible outcomes. Overall, it is an interesting movie.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

DAVID AND THE ELVES (Video Release World-Wide 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì 

David and the Elves lacks force and drive. Some weakness in the movie could have been corrected by the director by drawing the natural abilities of the actors to the forefront especially Elf Albert. This Polish and United States film has a good, basic concept but fails to cross over to the international audience in heart and entertainment value. The movie uses voice overs that serve the basic purpose but fail to match mouth movement well. 

Storyline 

An elf runs away to help a young boy. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Michal Rogalski for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Netflix for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Cyprian Grabowski, Jakub Zajac, Cezary Zak, Monika Krzywkowska, Anna Smolowik, and Michal Czernecki. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. Better holiday stories are: A Christmas Story or The Santa Clause. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers