CLASH OF THE TITANS (Theatrical Release USA 1981)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Clash of the Titans
uses stop motion mixed with live action to create this movie’s special effects. Surprisingly, this 1981 version of the Titans performs at a similar level to the 2010 remake even though this film plagues itself with weak acting and lack of realism. On paper the story appears to work. On screen it fails despite a great concept.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Zeus, Perseus, the Kraken, and a host of other Greek mythological characters interact.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Desmond Davis for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Ray Harryhausen and Charles H. Schneer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Zeus (Laurence Olivier), Hera (Claire Bloom), Thetis (Maggie Smith), Aphrodite (Ursula Andress), Poseidon (Jack Gwillim), Athena (Susan Fleetwood), Hephaetus (Pat Roach), Perseus (Harry Hamlin), and Andromeda (Judi Bowker).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The animation effects for 1981 are great; but for now, not so great. However, this film is similar in quality to the 2010 remake.

Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers

LOGAN’S RUN (Theatrical Release UK 1976)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Logan’s Run—
sci fi without action—works as a drama, intent on telling the audience its story with nothing to back up its perfectly in place, imaginatively constructed world. There’s no character depth and that reflects the thin storyline.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

In this future prediction, everyone lives inside a pristine environment and dies at a pristine age—30.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Logan for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Saul David for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Logan (Michael York), Francis (Richard Jordan), Jessica (Jenny Agutter), Box (Roscoe Lee Browne), Holly (Farrah Fawcett), Doc (Michael Anderson Jr.) Old Man (Peter Ustinov), 2nd Sanctuary Man (Randolph Roberts), The Woman Runner (Lara Lindsay), and Billy (Gary Morgan).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It works as a ‘droopy’ movie...lags in pace.

Video Critique Available at:



Ben Meyers

THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP (Television Release USA 2010)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

The
Special Relationship—overview of Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and President Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) as work partners and as collaborators to achieve common worldview aims. Great work for Dennis Quaid and Michael Sheen for their impersonations. This film is Michael Sheen’s third impersonation of Tony Blair. Dennis Quaid does a good job of vocal impersonation of Bill Clinton.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair and United States President Bill Clinton’s relationship from 1994 through 1998.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Richard Loncraine for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Andy Harries, Kathleen Kennedy, Christine Langan, Frank Marshall, and Peter Morgan for making the film possible. Additionale;/cast include: Tony blair (Michael Sheen), Strategist (Demetri Goritsas), Jonathan Powell (Adam Godley), Jacques Chirac (Marc Rioufol), Alastair Campbell (Mark Bazeley), Cherie Blair (Helen McCrory), Protocol Officer (Nancy Crane), Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid), and Reporter (John Schwab).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a worthy watch. Deepens respect for difficulties of leadership and necessity for good communication between leaders to move important agendas forward.


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Ben Meyers

SILVERHAWK * (DVD Release Hong Kong 2004)

Ben Meyers’ rating:3.2|5.0 Starsììì

Silverhawk
fails to establish international appeal, uses amateurish special effects, has weak acting, and uses repetitive action scenes that offer nothing new. The film may work inside Chinese culture, but fails on the international entertainment market.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A female motorcycle rider uses her fighting skills in one action scene after another.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jingle Ma for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Thomas Chung and Michelle Yeoh for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Silver Hawk/Lulu (Michelle Yeoh), Rich Man (Richie Jen), Panda Poacher (Max Ruddock), Alexander Wolfe (Luke Goss), Panda Poacher (Brandon Rhea), Panda Poacher (Moreno), Panda Poacher (Lu Ming Zhe), Panda Poacher (Yang Da Shan), Little Lou (Wu Sai Kit), and Young Rich Man (Lui Wei).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. Try House of Flying Daggers or the Curse of the Golden Flower, instead.

* Also known as Fei Ying

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Ben Meyers

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (Theatrical Release USA 1975)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one of the best films ever made, amply accesses the talents of Jack Nicolson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Scatman Crothers, Brad Douriff, and Vincent Schiavelli to create a masterpiece that an audience will not soon forget. Outstanding entertainment piece.



Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A positive thinking, free spirited, life loving, rule breaking mental patient determines that life in a mental home can be so much better and sets out to make those changes.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Milos Forman for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), Ellis (Michael Berryman), Miller (Alonzo Brown), Colonel Matterson (Peter Brocco), Turkle (Scatman Crothers), Dr. Spivey (Dean R. Brooks), Warren (Mwako Cumbuka), and Martini (Danny DeVito).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Exceptional attention to detail makes this film work on every level. Award winning storyline for the adult audience.

Video Critique available Here:



Ben Meyers

YENTL (Theatrical Release USA 1983)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

Yentl—
classic Bravo! entertainment from its beginning to its end—works for its dollar. The storyline supports itself with Barbra Streisand as the lead actress and Mandy Patinkin lead actor. Barbra Streisand directs against outstanding scenery and stage setting. It’s a story of courage, hope, and striving to realize one’s dream despite terrific obstacles that oppose that dream.

Film Poster Courtesy Wikipedia

Storyline

A young girl, forbidden entrance into religious studies, determines a plan to bypass the rules and finds herself embroiled in challenges she had not anticipated.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Barbra Streisand for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Larry DeWaay for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Yentl (Barbra Streisand), Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin), Hadass (Amy Irving), Reb Mendel (Nehemiah Persoff), Reb Alter Vishkower (Steven Hill), Shimmele (Allan Corduner), Esther Rachel (Ruth Goring), Rabbi Zalman (David de Keyser), Tailor (Bernard Spear), and Mrs. Shaemen (Doreen Mantle).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This jewel doesn’t need any polishing to stand out. Don’t miss it. It’s fashioned for the young teen/adult.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

THE FRISCO KID (Theatrical Release USA 1979)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

The Frisco Kid—
classic Jewish comedy—performs as fresh and creative entertainment while putting Gene Wilder at the top of his game.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A Polish Rabbi makes his way cross country to San Francisco and finds himself besieged by one trial after another.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Robert Aldrich for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Hawk Koch for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Avram (Gene Wilder), Tommy (Harrison Ford), Mr. Jones (Ramon Bieri), Chief Gray Cloud (Val Bisoglio), Darryl Diggs (George DiCenzo), Chief Rabbi (Leo Fuchs), Rosalie (Penny Peyser), Matt Diggs (William Smith), Samuel Bender (Jack Somack), and Sarah Mindl (Beege Barkette).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It seems crafted for the more narrow audience who will understand its depth and range. Read a plotline before going to get optimum value for the expenditure of time and money.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

BULLITT (Theatrical Release USA 1968)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Bullitt—
tense Steve McQueen action drama—works as good entertainment fifty years after its original release. Nothing lost here in storyline or action except a need to outline the Johnny Ross character in greater detail.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Protective custody of a organized crime trial witness goes badly awry.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Peter Yates for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Robert E. Relyea for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bullitt (Steve McQueen), Chalmers (Robert Vaughn), Cathy (Jacqueline Bisset), Delgetti (Don Gordon), Weissberg (Robert Duvall), Captain Bennet (Simon Oakland), Baker (Norman Fell), Dr. Willard (Georg Stanford Brown), Eddy (Justin Tarr), and Stanton (Carl Reindel).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. This is a guy’s show with all the bells and whistles in place.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY (Theatrical Release UK 1979)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Great Train Robbery—
simple, somewhat entertaining—features the duo of Sean Connery with Donald Sutherland. It’s a one time watch, performs a little above average, and shows the directing skills of Director Michael Crichton.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

A member of Britain’s high society plans robbery of a gold shipment purposed for British military wages.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Crichton for directing effort. Thank you to Executive ProducerDino De Laurentiis for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Pierce (Sean Connery), Agar (Donald Sutherland), Miriam (Lesley-Anne Down), Trent (Alan Webb), Fowler (Malcolm Terris), Sharp (Robert Lang), Burgess (Michael Elphick), Clean Willy (Wayne Sleep), Emily Trent (Pamela Salem), and Elizabeth Trent (Gabrielle Lloyd).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a good study on Sean Connery outside of the James Bond character. The odd casting choice of pairing him with Donald Sutherland, surprisingly, works in this movie.

Video Critique Available Here




Ben Meyers 

MOWGLI: LEGEND OF THE JUNGLE (Released to Video USA 2018)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
gives this old story a small rewrite, a little different animation mixed with live action technique, and delivers a fair entertainment piece. Audiences can compare the animation between Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Jungle Book and easily vote Jungle Book animation as superior. Due to the short time period between the two stories' distribution, audiences may feel that the movie industry has exhausted this storyline and needs to move on.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A jungle wolf pack raises a human boy.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Andy Serkis for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Nikki Penny for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bagheera (voice of Christian Bale), Kaa (voice of Cate Blanchett), Shere Khan (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch), Nisha (voice of Naomie Harris), Baloo (voice of Andy Serkis), Akela (voice of Peter Mullan), Brother Wolf (voice of Jack Reynor), Vihaan (voice of Eddie Marsan), and Tabaqui (voice of Tom Hollander).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The question arises, why is this particular story appearing so soon after Jungle Book’s release? It does puts Director Andy Serkis' directing talents out there. This film has better writing than Jungle Book but the story is not good enough to make so many remakes and rewrites, so that it seems Hollywood needs to move on to new ideas. The 2016 Jungle Book has better animation, but Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle has a more 'true to life' feeling than the original 'for fun' storyline

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

THE GETAWAY (Theatrical Release USA 1972)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

The Getaway
reminds audiences of why Actor Steve McQueen was such a popular actor. The tension, the action, the purposefulness of the film stand in place. The supporting cast—Ben Johnson, Al Silvestri, Slim Pickens, and Jack Dodson—once again remind audiences of the terrific directing skills of Sam Peckinpah in this very well told story. It performs as a book that cannot easily be laid aside without finishing it.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A bank heist gone wrong forces a man/wife team to flee for the Mexican border.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Sam Peckinpah for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Mitchell Brower and David Foster for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen), Carol McCoy (Ali MacGraw), Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson), Fran Clinton (Sally Struthers), Rudy Butler (Al Lettieri), Cowboy (Slim Pickens), The Thief (Richard Bright), Harold Clinton (Jack Dodson), and Laughlin (Dub Taylor).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. Well-crafted and artfully constructed, it’s a great watch.

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

WESTWORLD (Theatrical Release USA 1973)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 


Westworld—
enticing futuristic concept—completes itself with Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Richard Benjamin, and Dick Van Patten. This movie, by rights, should have been a B-grade or less story and somehow pulled itself into classic status with its realistic portrayal of storyline. Worth watching, it still competes well with similarly themed 2018 sci fi films despite its 45-year earlier debut. Don’t miss it. Nothing lacking here.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

An adult themed amusement park’s robots run amok
.
Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Crichton for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Paul N. Lazarus III for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Gunslinger (Yul Brynner), Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin), John Blane (James Brolin), Medieval Knight (Norman Bartold), Chief Supervisor (Alan Oppenheimer), Medieval Queen (Victoria Shaw), Chief Supervisor (Alan Oppenheimer),Medieval Queen (Victoria Shaw), Banker (Dick Van Patten), Arlette (Linda Gaye Scott), Technician (Steve Franken), and Black Knight (Michael T. Mikler).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Great storyline and outstanding direction by Director Michael Crichton make it a good watch, worth both time and money.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

MARGIN CALL (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

Margin Call—
master of its class—performs as a Bravo! WOW! entertainment piece. Intense film that will be maximally appreciated if one reads the plotline before viewing features Zackary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Penn Badgley, and Demi Moore. It sets the pace for its portrayal of 24-hours behind the scenes of a financial collapse and sets the stage for Director J.C. Chandor to do nearly anything he wants to do in film direction.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia



Storyline

An investment bank handles toxic assets with a one-day fire sale.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director J.C. Chandor for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Joshua Blum, Michael Corso, Kirk D’Amico, Cassian Elwes, Rose Ganguzza, Anthony Gudas, Laura Rister, and Randy Manis for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey), Will Emerson (Paul Bettany), John Tuld (Jeremy Irons), Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto), Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley), Jared Cohen (Simon Baker), Mary Rogers (Mary McDonnell), Sarah Robertson (Demi Moore), Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), and Ramesh Shah (Aasif Mandvi).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Great work for all involved.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

ANGELA’S CHRISTMAS (Released in Los Angeles, California USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Angela’s Christmas—
cute short film with great animation—needs expounding and lengthening to deepen Angela’s general personality throughout the year and possibly throughout a lifetime with a tie-in to her original compassionate act. The original idea has potential for a classic Christmas story, but that potential needs to be realized and could easily become a live action film. The heart and the simple emotion present can easily fertilize into a very good movie that could earn 4 stars or higher under right treatment.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

An empathetic child takes Baby Jesus from the church nativity scene in order to warm it and keep it in more comfortable surroundings.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Damien O’Connor for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Vince Commisso, Cathal Gaffney, Candy Kugel, Ellen McCourt, Darragh O’Connell, and Natalie Osborne for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Narrator (voice of Malachy McCourt), Mother (voice of Ruth Negga), Tom (voice of Vivian Drew), Aggie (voice of Anya O’Connor), Pat (voice of Brendan Mullins), Angela (voice of Lucy O’Connell), Mrs. Blake/Midwife (voice of Janet Moran), Guard (voice of Brian Gleeson), Father Creagh/Mr. King (voice of Pat Kinevane), and Shopkeeper/Reveler Three (voice of Des Nealon).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It’s short, sweet, and easy to watch. There’s room for expansion on this general theme of a small child desiring to keep dolls warm and comfortable.

Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers

CROOKED HOUSE (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Crooked House
performs as an average in-house mystery with a see-through ending and serves the crowd who is looking for an easy-on-the-mind, can do something else while watching and still get the gist of the film. The small twist at the end of the story is not a 'WOW! I didn’t see that coming' and contributes to the film’s generally average presentation.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young woman hires a private investigator to investigate her grandfather’s death.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Andrew Boswell, Anders Erden, Jay Firestone, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, James Swarbrick, and Lisa Wolofsky for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Charles Hayward (Max Irons), Sophia de Haviland (Stefanie Martini), Lady Edith de Haviland (Glenn Close), Josephine Leonides (Honor Kneafsey), Brenda Leonides (Christina Hendricks), Chief Inspector Taverner (Terence Stamp), Philip Leonides (Julian Sands), Magda Leonides (Gillian Anderson), Roger Leonides (Christian McKay), and Clemency Leonides (Amanda Abbington).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a fair watch for a light whodunit.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

FREE STATE OF JONES (Video Release USA 2016)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Free State of Jones
—spectacular effects and scenery help make a film, but they do not make a movie. Matthew McConaughey cannot pull enough force to enable the character Newton Knight to make that critical impact necessary to completely captivate the audience. Nevertheless, the story comes based in many real historical facts and real people that may be little known to the larger audience. Be aware that there are some plot holes in the story. One will derive greater enjoyment if a plotline is read before buying that ticket.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A Confederate soldier deserts the Confederate army and maintains his own private rebellion that supports Northern values.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Gary Ross for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Oren Aviv, Michael Bassick, Robin Bissell, Leonard Feder, Adam Fogelson, Stuart Ford, Leonard Hartman,T.G. Herrington, Matt Jackson, Russell Levine, Christopher Lytton, Bruce Nachbar, Robert Simonds, Donald Tang, Zhongjun Wang, Zhonglei Wang, Lee Jae Woo, Christopher Woodrow, and Jerry Ye for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), Moses (Mahershala Ali), Serena (Keri Russell), Jasper Collins (Christopher Berry), Will Sumrall (Sean Bridgers), Daniel (Jacob Lofland), Elias Hood (Thomas Francis Murphy), Lieutenant Barbour (Bill Tangradi), and Davis Knight (Brian Lee Franklin).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Visually spectacular experience without a clear storyline.

Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

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