BRAD’S STATUS (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Brad’s Status—
intellectual drama that examines one man’s life against those of seemingly more accomplished friends—serves up a depressing look at life at the mundane level. While the acting is very good, this film does not serve up a traditional entertainment piece.

Film, Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Middle-aged Brad Sloan (Ben Stiller) confronts crisis as he faces his life’s accomplishments against those of his peers.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Mike White for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Sarah Esberg, Carla Hacken, Mark Kamine, John Penotti, Brad Pitt, and Bruce Toll for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Troy Sloan (Austin Abrams), Melanie Sloan (Jenna Fischer), Craig Fisher (Michael Sheen), Billy Wearslter (Jemaine Clement), Jason Hatfield (Luke Wilson), Ananya (Shazi Raja), Maya (Luisa Lee), Nick Pascale (Mike White), Xavier (Xavier Grobet), Chris Kanew (Adam Capriolo), Cherie Parkinson (Felicia Shulman), Harvard Mother (Jane Wheeler), Admission Officer (Karl Graboshas), Admissions Receptionist (Jon Bernad), Busker (Jonah Carson), Female Professor (Susan Glover), Azalia’s Hostess (Meghan Gabruch), and Mark (Kenny Wong).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film seems created to provoke thought rather than entertain. It’s classified as a comedy-drama, but offers little hope for a life beyond the here and now for the main character while working more on the darker side of comedy rather than the lighter side of comedy. Not a traditional Ben Stiller flick.

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Ben Meyers

ROBOCOP 3 (Theatrical Release USA 1993)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì


Robocop 3—
the best in the Robocop series—operates at a type of cult movie level that is hard to escape. There are some interesting scenes where humans stand against injustice that remind one of Terminator or Equilibrium, but this film does not begin to even draw close to the quality of those two films. It has spunk, though, which makes it worth a watch.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

When Robocop receives his assignment to clean up Old Detroit, he finds conflict of interest and changes sides in his fight against crime.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Fred Dekker for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Patrick Crowley for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: RoboCop (Robert John Burke), Casey Wong (Mario Machado), Nikko (Remy Ryan), Nikko’s Mom (Jodi Long), Nikko’s Dad (John Posey), The CEO (Rip Torn), Kanemitsu (Mako), Paul McDaggett (John Castle), Bixby Snyder (S.D. Nemeth), Elderly Woman in Bathrobe (Edith Ivey), Rehab #1 (Curtis Taylor), Bertha (CCH Pounder), Seltz (Judson Vaughn), Rehab Patrol (Ken Strong), Zack (Stanley Anderson), Coontz (Stephen Root), Moreno (Daniel von Bargen), Security Monitor (Kenny Raskin), and Officer at Ordnance Depot (Blaise Corrigan).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. For Robocop fans, it requires a watch to finish the series.

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Ben Meyers

JUNGLE (Theatrical Release Australia 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

Jungle
—biographical film about a jungle adventure gone wrong—stars Daniel Radcliffe as Yossi Ghinsberg, a young Israeli adventurer in the Bolivian jungle. The film provides some back story of Yossi’s life and uses Daniel Radcliffe to tell its story. This is not a Harry Potter fantasy and it takes a while to get used to Radcliffe in this role. He seems to perform best in scenes where he is alone which leads to a conclusion that casting needs to balance the Radcliffe persona with a different supporting cast in order to tell the story at a higher level or to recast Radcliffe’s character with a lesser known actor to tell its story more effectively. It works as a B-grade entertainment piece.

Film Poster Courtesy of  Wikipedia

Storyline

Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) travels into the Bolivian Amazon jungle in search of adventure.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Greg McLean for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Yossi Ghinsberg, Lawrence Greenberg, Jeff Harrison, Mark Lazarus, Berry Meyerowitz, Randy Simon, and Ying Ye for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Karl (Thomas Kretschmann), Kevin (Alex Russell), Kina (Yasmin Kassim), Kevin (Alex Russell), Kina (Yasmin Kassim), Amie (Lily Sullivan), Uncle Nissim (John Bluthal), Marcus (Joel Jackson), Moni Ghinsberg (Jacek Koman), Casino Fantasy Girl (Natasha Pruchniewicz), Tico (Luis Jose Lopez), Stela (Angie Milliken), Bolivian (Paris Moletti), Black Jack (Joey Vieira), Don Jorge (Lucho Velasco), Smiling Restaurant Girl (Claire Jones), Nun (Ioulia Pakhomova), and Casino Fantasy Girl #2 (Kirra Gaskell).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is worth watching even though this is not Daniel Radcliffe’s best work.

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Ben Meyers

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (Theatrical Release USA 1999)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

The World Is Not Enough—
introduces a modernity that moves Bond into the computer age with welcome new technological gadgetry. Desmond Llewellyn, as Q, makes the statement that he is retiring from M16 which will leave room for the introduction of John Cleese as Q in the 2002 release of Die Another Day, which will be Pierce Brosnan’s last James Bond film. It will take four years to find a replacement for Brosnan. Eon Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer will find Daniel Craig for Casino Royale and the James Bond series will be back in business. This film serves the James Bond series in a predictable manner and is worth watching.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) protects Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of assassinated Sir Robert King (David Calder), who has plans of her own.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Michael Apted for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Renard (Robert Carlyle), Dr. Christmas Jones (Denise Richards), Valentin Zukovsky (Robbie Coltrane), M (Judi Dench), Q (Desmond Llewelyn), R (John Cleese), Cigar Girl (Maria Grazia Cucinotta), Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond), Bill Tanner (Michael Kitchen), Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon), Bullion (Goldie), Dr. Molly Warmflash (Serena Scott Thomas), Davidov (Ulrich Thomsen), Gabor (John Seru), Colonel Akakievich (Claude Oliver Rudolph), and Lachaise (Patrick Malahide).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film moves along well and is worth watching.

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Ben Meyers

I AM NUMBER FOUR (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

I Am Number Four—
great teen flick—combines all the perks of a sci-fi movie with romance and action. Timothy Olyphant plays well as the caretaker for Alex Pettyfer’s character Daniel. Good work for Director D.J. Caruso.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Young John Smith escapes his home planet, Lorien, with eight others to find a short-lived sanctuary on planet Earth.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director D.J. Caruso for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, and David Valdes making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John (Alex Pettyfer), Henri (Timothy Olyphant), Number 6 (Teresa Palmer), Sarah (Dianna Agron), Sam (Callan McAuliffe), Mogadorian Commander (Kevin Durand), Mark (Jake Abel), Sheriff James (Jeff Hochendoner), Kevin (Patrick Sebes), Number 3 (Greg Townley), Number 3’s Guardian (Reuben Langdon), Nicole (Emily Wickersham), Receptionist (Molly McGinnis), Frank (Brian Howe), Bret (Andy Owen), Girl on Street (Sophia Anne Caruso), Sam’s Stepdad (Charles Carroll), and Mr. Berhman (L. Derek Leonidoff).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie has potential for a sequel or a prequel. Director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye and xXx: Return of Xander Cage) shows skill in direction of this film.

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Ben Meyers

MOONSTRUCK (Theatrical Release USA 1987)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

Moonstruck
—works for its money—has character, charisma, and creativity packaged into a tightly spun story that spins itself precisely into a little nugget that could easily lose itself in the plethora of Hollywood-released films. Don’t miss this one. It’s a Bravo! production for Director Norman Jewison and will be as good a hundred years from now as it is today. The film serves a mature audience.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Widowed, middle-aged Loretta Castorini (Cher) falls in love with her fiancee’s brother, Ronny Cammareri (Nicolas Cage).

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Norman Jewison for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Norman Jewison and Patrick J. Palmer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Cosmo Castorini (Vincent Gardenia), Rose Castorini (Olympia Dukakis), Mr. Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), Rita Cappomaggi (Julie Bovasso), Perry (John Mahoney), Raymond Cappomaggi (Louis Guss), Old Man (Feodor Chaliapin Jr.), Mona (Anita Gillette), Felix (Leonardo Cimino), Lucy (Paula Trueman), Chrissy (Nada Despotovich), Shy Waiter (Joe Grifasi), Old Crone (Gina DeAngeles), Barbara (Robin Bartlett), Lotte (Helen Hanft), Irv (David S. Howard), and Bobo (Robert Weil).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie just works partially due to its original storyline and partially due to the outstanding direction of Norman Jewison. For the romance-loving audience, it’s a Bravo! film and deserves its kudos.

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Ben Meyers

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
adds Shia LaBeouf as the son of Indiana Jones and reprises Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood (Raiders of the Lost Ark)—one of the best ideas made in the entertainment business for reprised roles. This film typifies the adventure of the series and continues with the large onscreen charisma of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The story is great. It is worth watching.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) battles Soviets to limit access to enormous psychic power.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Steve Spielberg for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), ‘Mac’ George Michale (Ray Winstone), Professor Oxley (John Hurt), Dean Charles Stanforth (Jim Broadbent), Dovchenko (Igor Jijikine), Russian Suit (Dimitri Diatchenko), Russian Suit (Ilia Volok), Russian Soldier (Emmanuel Todorov), Russian Soldier (Pasha D. Lynchnikoff), Russian Soldier (Andrew Divoff), Russian Soldier (Venya Manzyuk), General Ross (Alan Dale), Taylor (Joel Stoffer), Smith (Neil Flynn), Minister (V.J. Foster), and Student in Library (Chet Hanks).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This film finishes the last of the Indiana Jones series produced through the year 2018. While not as good as the rest of the series, it is worth watching and comparable to the other films in the series. And, Harrison Ford casts well with Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, and Cate Blanchett.


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Ben Meyers

WAR (Theatrical Release USA 2007)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

War—
great special effects and really good story concept—casts Jason Statham and Jet Li together to create a police action flick that is completely worth watching. The movie works for a mature audience.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

FBI Agent Crawford (Jason Statham) avenges his partner’s death.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Philip G. Atwell for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Peter Block, Mike Elliott, Michael Paseornek, and John Sacchi for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Rogue (Jet Li), Chang (John Lone), Kira (Devon Aoki), Benny (Luis Guzmán), Dr. Sherman (Saul Rubinek), Shiro (Ryo Ishibashi), Goi (Sung Kang), Wick (Mathew St. Patrick), Maria (Nadine Velazquez), Jenny Crawford (Andrea Roth), Wu Ti (Mark Cheng), Templ(Nicholas Elia)e Garden Warrior (Kane Kosugi), Ana (Kennedy Montano), Tom Lone (Terry Chen), Diane Lone (Steph Song), Amy Lone (Annika Foo), and Daniel Crawford (Nicholas Elia).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The acting team of Jason Statham and Jet Li pushes this movie over the top for a police action movie.

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Ben Meyers

DIE ANOTHER DAY (Theatrical Release USA 2002)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

Die Another Day
refreshes the 007 James Bond series with a new Q (John Cleese) and highly techy gadgetry while keeping Pierce Brosnan for his last and best James Bond role. Daniel Craig will follow in Brosnan’s place with the 2006 release of Casino Royale. There is nothing lacking in this 007 James Bond film. Pierce Brosnan’s suavity shines in every scene and carries the film well. Special kudos to great film direction by Lee Tamahori.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

North Korean soldiers capture James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), torture him, and finally release him in a trade deal with England. Bond looks for the mole who betrayed him.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Lee Tamahori for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Anthony Waye for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: James Bond (Pierce Brosnan), Jinx Johnson (Halle Berry), Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike), Zao (Rick Yune), M (Judi Dench), Q (John Cleese), Damian Falco (Michael Madsen), Colonel Moon (Will Yun Lee), General Moon (Kenneth Tsang), Raoul (Emilio Echevarría), Vlad (Michael Gor), Mr. Kil (Lawrence Makoare), Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon), Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond), Snooty Desk Clerk (Ben Wee), Hotel Manager (Ho Yi), Peaceful (Rachel Grant), and Creep (Ian Pirie).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is the best of the Pierce Brosnan’s Bond series to date. It has charisma, visually stimulating action and visibly shows the outstanding team effort to produce this very good spy film.

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Ben Meyers

A VIEW TO A KILL (Theatrical Release USA 1985)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

A View to A Kill—
Roger Moore’s last James Bond Film before turning it over to Timothy Dalton’s 1987 The Living Daylights—has good action, all the perks of a great OO7 film and starts out well with over the top snow skiing scenes. The all-important villain’s role however, as played by Christopher Walken, fails. Because of that failure, the film fails to deliver that cutting edge feel an audience comes to expect from a 007 feature and lies on the edge of mediocre. The script dialogue contains too much ‘small talk’ that seems as if the writers were trying too hard for realism and normalcy. That effort back fired and created an artificial dialogue which moved the film even further down toward the common, average effort.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Agent 007 (Roger Moore) foils a plan to establish a monopoly over the microchip industry.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director John Glen for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: James Bond (Roger Moore), Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), Stacey Sutton (Tanya Roberts), May Day (Grace Jones), Sir Godfrey Tibbett (Patrick Macnee), Scarpine (Patrick Bauchau), Chuck Lee (David Yip), Pola Ivanova (Fiona Fullerton), Bob Conley (Manning Redwood), Jenny Flex (Alison Doody), Dr. Carl Mortner (Willoughby Gray), Q (Desmond Llewelyn), M (Robert Brown), Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell), General Gogol (Walter Gotell), Minister of Defence (Geoffrey Keen), Achille Aubergine (Jean Rougerie), Howe (Daniel Benzali), and Klotkoff (Bogdan Kominowski).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. If there is an interest to see Roger Moore’s last James Bond film or to see Christopher Walken in one of his earlier acting efforts, then this movie is it. But, for full 007 James Bond entertainment value, try GoldenEye or Die Another Day instead.

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Ben Meyers

ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE (Theatrical Release USA 2005)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Zathura: A Space Adventure—
the Jumanji movie all over again except its venue is outer space—does not measure up to the Jumanji story. The acting and portrayal are weak with no surprises in storyline. Dax Shepard does not play the astronaut character well. The film may serve the child audience, but it fails an adult audience.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Three siblings begin playing a board game and are teleported into outer space with the only means of returning home based on finishing and winning the game.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jon Favreau for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Louis D’Esposito and Ted Field for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Danny (Jonah Bobo), Walter (Josh Hutcherson), Astronaut (Dax Shepard), Lisa (Kristen Stewart), Dad (Tim Robbins), Robot (voice of Frank Oz), Robot (John Alexander), Lead Zorgon (Derek Mears), Zorgon (Douglas Tait), Zorgon (Joe Bucaro III), Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke), Himself (Stuart Scott), and Zorgon (Jeff Wolfe).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. A child may prefer a re-watch of Jumanji instead.

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Ben Meyers

SAINTS AND SOLDIERS: AIRBORNE CREED (Theatrical Release USA 2012)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed
—despite its realism—confuses its story with poorly transitioned flashback scenes and failure to create relatable characters. The overall storyline seems not as satisfying as its prequel, Saints and Soldiers. For the war movie fan, it will serve as a fair to middling war flick.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

The 1944 Allied invasion of German-occupied France features the adventures of three paratroopers as they try to make it through German ground troops to Les Arcs, their original intended landing zone.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Ryan Little for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Charles Chan and Sunny Chen for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Corporal Nathan ‘Deacon’ Greer (Corbin Allred), Medic Steven Gould (Alexander Polinsky), Flight Sergeant Oberon Winley (Kirby Heyborne), Private Shirley ‘Shirl’ Kendrick (Larry Bagby), Staff Sergeant Gordon Gunderson (Peter Holden),
Rudolph ‘Rudi’ Gertz (Ethan Vincent), Catherine Theary (Melinda Renee), Sophie Theary (Ruby Chase), Radio Announcer (Jeff Birk), Private McKinley (Benjamin Gourley), Injured One-Armed Soldier (Tane Williams), German Officer #1 (Randy Beard), German Soldier #1 (Curt Doussett), German Soldier #2 (Michael Buster), Weeping Soldier (M. Casey Reeves), American Soldier #1 (Chris Clark), Conversing German #1 (Christian Lee), Conversing German #2 (Christian Malzl), and Conversing German #3 (Philip Malzl).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The film fails to provide enough backstory to know what is going on. Better war flicks are: We Were Soldiers, Saving Private Ryan, or Windtalkers.


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Ben Meyers

THE REPLACEMENTS (Theatrical Release Canada 2000)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Replacements
sports an all-star cast and presents a good football sports movie. Watch for John Madden, well-known former Oakland Raiders coach and football commentator, playing himself in the movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A football team goes on strike during playing season and the team’s owner, Edward O’Neil (Jack Warden), makes the decision to replace them.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Howard Deutch for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jeffrey Chernov, Steven Reuther, and Erwin Stoff for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman), Annabelle Farrell (Brooke Langton)on Favreau), Wilkinson (Michael Jace), , Clifford Franklin (Orlando Jones), Jamal (Faizon Love), Andre (Michael Taliferro), Fumiko (Ace Yonamine), Walter Cochran (Troy Winbush), Brian Murphy (David Denman), Bateman (Jon Favreau), Wilkinson (Michael Jace), Nigel Gruff (Rhys Ifans), Pilachowski (Gailard Sartain), Banes (Art LaFleur), Eddie Martel (Brett Cullen), Wilson Carr (Archie L. Harris Jr.), Malcolm La Mont (Evan Parke), Himself (John Madden), and Himself (Pat Summerall).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It serves the teen/adult sports movie fan well.

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Ben Meyers

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button—
based on a 1922 F. Scott Fitzgerald story—presents its unusual story tastefully and well via the talents of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The storyline is difficult to ignore due to its uniqueness. While not a movie that attains classic status, it’s worth watching.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) comes into the world as an old man and leaves the world as a young infant.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director David Fincher for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Ceán Chaffin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, and Tommy Turtle for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Daisy (Cate Blanchett), Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), Caroline (Julia Ormond), Dorothy Baker (Faune Chambers Watkins), Monsieur Gateau (Elias Koteas), Blanche Devereux (Donna Duplantier), Martin Gateau (Jacob Tolano), Man at Train Station (Earl Maddox), Teddy Roosevelt (Ed Metzger), Thomas Button (Jason Flemyng), Priest Giving Last Rites (Danny Vinson), Doctor at Benjamin’s Birth (David Jensen), Caroline Button (Johanna Roxanne), Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), Tizzy (Mahershala Ali), Mrs. Hollister (Fiona Hale), Dr. Rose (Patrick Thomas O’Brien), Mrs. Horton (Marion Zinser), and Benjamin 1928-31 (Peter Donald Badalamenti II).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Its concept makes the movie worth a watch.

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Ben Meyers

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST (Theatrical Release USA 2006)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
—second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series—uses the talents of Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, Bill Nighy, Stellan Skarsgård, Johnathan Pryce, and Martin Klebba to make a re-watchable piece of entertainment. The special effects and presentation are well done. It’s a ‘best work for all involved’ film.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A search for the Dead Man’s Chest begins with stopping a wedding and an assignment to find Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) magic compass.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Gore Verbinski for directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Hendricks, Eric McLeod, Chad Oman, and Mike Stenson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Norrington (Jack Davenport), Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce), Pintel (Lee Arenberg), Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook), Gibbs (Kevin McNally), Cotton (David Bailie), Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård), Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), Mercer (David Schofield), Captain Bellamy (Alex Norton), Scarlett (Lauren Maher), Short Sailor (Nej Adamson), and Large Sailor (Jimmy Roussounis).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No Maybe?                                                                                   

Yes. The CGI, bluescreen, and motion capture effects deserve special kudos for the realistic and startling presentation of characters working this story to its final conclusion. The novel special effects drive the story into a worth watching film.

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Ben Meyers

THE FLINTSTONES (Theatrical Release USA 1994)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

The Flintstones
—live action interpretation of the animated television series that ran from 1960 to 1966—turns into a great, worth-watching show. While John Goodman didn’t quite master the ‘Yabba Dabba Do’ or the ‘easy jump into the air to click the heels’ Fred Flintstone trademarks, he still managed a worthy and enjoyable interpretation of the original animated character. Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell, and Elizabeth Perkins played off John Goodman’s character with finesse. Watch for Elizabeth Taylor as Wilma’s mother, Pearl Slaghoople. Great casting creates a live action version of the Flintstone story that almost puts it into the re-watchable class.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Friends helping friends turns into a disastrous affair that affects the livelihood of the Flintstones and the Rubbles and puts a strain on their friendship.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Brian Levant for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Joseph Barbera, William Hanna, David Kirschner, Gerald R. Molen, Kathleen Kennedy, and Steven Spielberg for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Fred Flintstone (John Goodman), Wilma Flintstone (Elizabeth Perkins), Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis), Betty Rubble (Rosie O’Donnell), Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), Miss Stone (Halle Berry), Pearl Slaghoople (Elizabeth Taylor), Mr. Slate (Dann Florek), Hoagie (Richard Moll), Joe Rockhead (Irwin Keyes), Grizzled Man (Jonathan Winters), Dictabird (voice of Harvey Korman), Pebbles(Elaine Silver), Pebbles (Melanie Silver), Bamm-Bamm (Hlynur Sigurdsson), Bamm-Bamm (Marinó Sigurdsson), Mrs. Pyrite (Sheryl Lee Ralph), Mrs. Feldspar (Jean Vander Pyl), and Stewardess (Janice Kent).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film, a joint venture of Amblin Films and Hanna-Barbera, produces 91 minutes of pure, clean family entertainment.

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Ben Meyers

IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

In This Corner of the World
—reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki animated films due to its sweet, simple, and gentle storyline—uses Japanese dialogue but provides both English dialogue as well as English subtitle options. The first part of the story can be a little difficult to follow due to lack of smooth transitioning between the time frame where each scene occurs and the chronological change that moves the story along, but the last thirty to forty minutes of the film flows smoothly and transitions well. The voicing is good, character development creates good audience involvement, and the universality of the message is easily digestible without feeling a message is delivered. The story is told matter-of-factly without preaching or placing blame for a horrific event that is part of world history, but happened specifically to the Japanese population. This animation film comes highly recommended as a family watch for the PG-13 crowd. It provides good opportunity for family conversation after watching and stays at the intellectual rather than emotional level for viewing entertainment.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Suzu (voice of Laura Post) marries and lives her life through the events pre-World War II, the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, and post-war Japan.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Sunao Katabuchi for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Tarô Maki and Masao Maruyama for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Keiko (voice of Kira Buckland), Sumi (voice of Christine Marie Cabanos), San (voice of Barbara Goodson), Shusaku (voice of Todd Haberkorn), Sumi (voice of Megumi Han), Shusaku (voice of Yoshimasa Hosoya), Harumi (voice of Natsuki Inaba), Rin (voice of Nanase Iwai), Michiko (voice of Minori Omi), Akira (voice of Daisuke Ono), Tetsu (voice of Jason Palmer), Suzu (voice of Laura Post), San (voice of Mayumi Shintani), Entarou (voice of Kirk Thornton), and Entaro (voice of Shigeru Ushiyama).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This movie serves its purpose well. Its fine delivery places it into upper class PG-13 family entertainment.

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Ben Meyers

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