GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (Theatrical Releease USA 1969)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Starsììì

Guns of the Magnificent Seven
teams with George Kennedy to play the part of this story’s main character, Chris. George Kennedy lends a rougher interpretation for the leading character which is welcomed as it adds more realism to this film, but the film seems more run-of-the-mill than its predecessor even though the action scenes show improvement. This movie serves the western fan and will be enjoyed within its genre.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A Mexican revolutionary travels to hire an American gunslinger to help the revolutionary cause.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Paul Wendkos for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Vincent M. Fennelly for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Chris (George Kennedy), Levi (James Whitmore), Keno (Monte Markham), Max (Reni Santoni), Cassie (Bernie Casey), P.J. (Scott Thomas), Slater (Joe Don Baker), Emil (Tony Davis), Colonel Diego (Michael Ansara), and Lobero (Frank Silvera).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. A bona fide western fan will want to watch the film as it is part of the series, but the first film, The Magnificent Seven tops all the sequels to date.

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Ben Meyers

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN (Video Release USA 1974)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman—
a message/propaganda movie—that is not based in fact. Miss Jane Pittman did, in fact, not exist. Be aware of that fact before going to see this film. Many questions arise while watching this film, most of them around the why of the film’s production and the timing of its releases.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

In this fictional story, an elderly black woman re-traces her story from the Civil War into her elderly years.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Korty for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Robert W. Christiansen, Rick Rosenberg, and Philip Barry Jr. for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Jane Pittman (Cicely Tyson), Jimmy (Eric Brown), Master Bryant (Richard Dysart), Unc Isom (Joel Fluellen), Elbert Cluveau (Will Hare), Lady at House (Katherine Helmond), Colonel Dye (David Hooks), Mary (Elinora B. Johnson), and Job (Warren Kenner).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The Miss Jane Pittman character comes from a book of fiction written by Ernest J. Gaines. It is presented both in the novel and in the film as non-fiction, but is, in fact, fiction. That takes away from the value of this movie and causes concerning questions about its release and the purpose of its release.

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Ben Meyers

BLOWN AWAY (Theatrical Release USA 1994)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Blown Away
sports the father/son team of Jeff and Lloyd Bridges along with Forest Whitaker and Tommy Lee Jones. The acting is really good, the story is well-done, and the explosive action is great—worth a watch.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

An Irish terrorist builds a new life in America and finds that life threatened by a colleague who has escaped an Irish prison.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Stephen Hopkins for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Lloyd Segan for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Dove (Jeff Bridges), Gaerity (Tommy Lee Jones), Kate (Suzy Amis), Max (Lloyd Bridges), Franklin (Forest Whitaker), Lizzy (Stephi Lineburg), Captain Roarke (John Finn), Rita (Caitlin Clarke), Cortez (Christofer de Oni), and Bama (Loyd Catlett).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Great storyline sports a movie wonder, with fabulous casting of Jeff Bridges,  Lloyd Bridges, Forest Whitaker, and Tommy Lee Jones.

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Ben Meyers

PAY IT FORWARD (Theatrical Release USA 2000)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

Pay It Forward
presents an interesting concept on how acts of kindness can optimally magnify their effectiveness. One of Hayley Joel Osment’s best performances, since The Sixth Sense (1999), supports itself on the teamwork of Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The film’s story wins due to its concept—a good watch that bases itself in tough life situations.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young boy, as an assigned school project, devises a plan to change the world through good deeds that are, once received, extended outwardly to others rather than reciprocated back to the original source.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Mimi Leder for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Mary McLaglen and Jonathan Treisman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey), Arlene McKinney (Helen Hunt), Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment), Chris Chandler (Jay Mohr), Jerry (Jim Caviezel), Ricky McKinney (Jon Bon Jovi), Grace (Angie Dickinson), Sidney Parker (David Ramsey), Mr. Thorsen (Gary Werntz), and Woman on Bridge (Colleen Flynn).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie is a small gem that would be easy to miss, but needs to be watched.


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Ben Meyers

THE PEACEMAKER (Theatrical Release USA 1997)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Peacemaker
—great action with an outstanding conclusion—relies on the acting skill of George Clooney and Nicole Kidman to pull the bulk of its story along. Worth a watch.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

When Russia promises to deactivate 10 of its nuclear missiles, 9 of them go missing.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Mimi Leder for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Grillo and Laurie MacDonald for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Devoe (George Clooney), Dr. Julia Kelly (Nicole Kidman), Dusan Gavrich (Marcel Iures), General Aleksandr Kodoroff (Aleksandr Baluey), Vlado Mirich (Rene Medvesek), Terry Hamilton (Gary Werntz), Ken (Randall Batinkoff), General Garnett (Jim Haynie), Dietrich Schuhmacher (Alexander Strobele), and Mark Appleton (Holt McCallany).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Lots of explosive action here (no pun intended). A great terrorist movie outlined with enough ‘Whodunit’ to satisfy most action movie fans.

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Ben Meyers

THE GREEN MILE (Theatrical Release USA 1999)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.9|5.0 Starsìììì

The Green Mile—
a rare gem of highest diamond quality—deserves a standing ovation. One of Tom Hanks’ best performances with a terrific supporting cast of Michael Clark Duncan, Barry Pepper, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Michael Jeter, Graham Green, Sam Rockwell, Patricia Clarkson, William Sadler, and Gary Sinise. Include it in the home library video collection. It is a ‘Do NOT miss film’.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A black man enters a penitentiary under charges of murdering two young girls and demonstrates a different persona than that of a murderer.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Frank Darabont for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Frank Darabont and David Valdes for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks), Brutus Howell (David Morse), Jan Edgecomb (Bonnie Hunt), John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), Warden Hal Moores (James Cromwell), Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter), Arlen Bitterbuck (Graham Greene), Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchinson), Wild Bill Wharton (Sam Rockwell), and Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is a WONDERFUL watch. Do not miss this movie.

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Ben Meyers

JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 (Theatrical Release USA 2003)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Jeepers Creepers 2
does the job it set out to do—establishes emotions of horror and fear. It appeals more to a teen audience, but adults will also find it interesting. It’s well-acted and has a voyeuristic appeal that uniquely marks this set of horror films. Director Victor Salva uses unknown actors and actresses except for Justin Long who appears to warn the other characters to be wary of the Creeper.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

The Creeper begins its 22nd day of feeding by disabling a school bus and targeting the bus riders it has chosen to reap.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Victor Salva for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Willi Bär, Francis Ford Coppola, Eberhard Kayser, Mario Ohoven, and Linda Reisman for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Trish (Gina Philips), Darry (Justin Long), The Creeper (Jonathan Breck), Jezelle Gay Hartman (Patrcia Belcher), Sergeant Davis Tubbs (Brandon Smith), The Cat Lady (Eileen Brennan), Waitress Beverly (Peggy Sheffield), Manager (Jeffrey William Evans), Binky (Patrick Cherry), and Trooper Gideon (Jon Beshara).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This movie evokes enough emotional horror to earn its investment of time and money. 

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Ben Meyers


WONDER (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

Wonder
defines Wow! Encore! and Bravo! entertainment. This movie marries ‘Let me entertain you’ with ‘Let me show you how to be an actively caring, compassionate person.’ Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts are perfectly cast for their parts. Jake Tremblay performs at an above average level.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia                                                                                                                                                                                            Storyline

A young boy with facial deformities enrolls in school, finds a way to establish friends, and accomplishes academically.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Stephen Chbosky for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Beugg, Robert Kessel, Qiuyun Long, R.J. Palacio, Jeff Skoll, and Alexander Young for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Auggie (Jacob Tremblay), Nate (Owen Wilson), Via (Izabela Vidovic), Isabel (Julia Roberts), Teenage Doctor (Mark Dozlaw), Nurse (Rukiya Bernard), Neonatologist (Jennifer March), Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin), and Jack Will (Noah Jupe).

 
Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This movie is some of the best of 2017. It’s a ‘wonder’ to watch, perfectly developed for excellent family discussion after watching, and has as much quality as the movie Wonderstruck.

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Ben Meyers

1984 * (Theatrical Release USA 1984)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì

1984—
remake of a 1956 film of the same name—features John Hurt, Suzanna Hamilton, and Richard Burton. The storyline examines possible ramifications if a government has the power to control citizen thought processes. This is not a ‘play it in the background’ film as it requires mental involvement for story interpretation and understanding.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

In Oceania thoughts can be monitored by the government and be ‘rehabilitated’.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Radford for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Marvin J. Rosenblum for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Winston Smith (John Hurt), O’Brien (Richard Burton), Julia (Suzanna Hamilton), Charringon (Cyril Cusack), Parsons (Gregor Fisher), Syme (James Walker), Tillotson (Andrew Wilde), Tillotson’s Friend (David Trevena), Martin (David Cann), and Jones (Anthony Benson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This movie deserves serious reflection and serves as a good springboard for discussion of government monitoring private citizens’ lives as well as the way thought affects choices and actions.

* Also Known As: Nineteen Eighty-Four

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 Ben Meyers

IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (Theatrical Release USA 1963)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World—
classic film that deserves a place in the home video library—maintains a consistent comedic element throughout its 210 minutes. It features some of the best comedians/comediennes and actors/actresses of the 1960 era and provides an excellent piece of entertainment for the whole family.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

After a serious car accident, a thief reveals the location of a stolen treasure to a circle of witnesses to his accident and sets off a competitive chase to see who can get to the treasure first.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Stanley Kramer for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Stanley Kramer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Captain T.G. Culpepper (Spencer Tracy), J. Russell Finch (Milton Berle), Melville Crump (Sid Caesar), Benjy Benjamin (Buddy Hackett), Mrs. Marcus (Ethel Merman), Ding Bell (Mickey Rooney), Sylvester Marcus (Dick Shawn), Otto Meyer (Phil Silvers), J. Algernon Hawthorne (Terry-Thomas), and Lennie Pike (Jonathan Winters).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film, despite its age, still delivers full entertainment value. It works at the Laurel and Hardy slapstick type of comedy.

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Ben Meyers

IT TAKES TWO (Theatrical Release USA 1995)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsìììì

It Takes Two—
improbable fairytale story—needs some creative imagination and a higher budget for presentation. The acting is average with the Olsen twins in some of their earlier works. This film features Kirstie Alley with Steve Guttenberg as the adult factor. The movie is an updated version of The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills sans the twins and parents who were ‘married before divorcing’ characters. It performs as a ‘ho-hum I’ve seen a better version of this that is nearly 60 years old’ movie.                                                                                                                                                             Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Two young girls attempt to fashion a home for themselves by matching one girl’s desired adoptive mother with the other girl’s father.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Andy Tennant for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Mel Efros and Keith Samples for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Diane Barrows (Kirstie Alley), Roger Callaway (Steve Guttenberg), Amanda Lemmon/Alyssa Callaway (Mary-Kate Olsen), Alyssa Callaway/Amanda Lemmon (Ashley Olsen), Vincenzo (Philip Bosco), Clarice Kensington (Jane Sibbett), Carmen (Michelle Grisom), Frankie (Desmond Robertson), Tiny (Tiny Mills), and Patty (Shanelle Henry).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?


Yes. A better watch is the 1961 movie The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills.

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Ben Meyers 

DADDY’S HOME 2 (Theatrical Release USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Daddy’s Home 2
suffers from casting choices. The combination of Mel Gibson with John Lithgow works awkwardly; the addition of John Cena doesn’t work at all. Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg try to make the film happen, as the prequel did, but fail to pull off the same magic that made the first film a very good piece of entertainment. The story plays too much on the “the broken family” idea and deteriorates into a rather sloppy mess by the end of the movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Two Co-dads brace themselves for a Christmas that includes the two Granddads.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Sean Anders for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Molly Allen, Sean Anders, Stephen Levinson, and Mark Wahlberg for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Brad (Will Ferrell), Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), Kurt (Mel Gibson), Don (John Lithgow), Sara (Linda Cardellini), Karen (Alessandra Ambrosio), Dylan (Owen Vaccaro), Megan (Scarlett Estevez), and Adrianna (Didi Costine).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The three things that make this movie a 'yes' are: It's a Christmas story; it has a star-studded cast; it runs on a comedic theme.

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Ben Meyers

GROUNDHOG DAY (Theatrical Release USA 1993)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Groundhog Day
—terrific Bill Murray comedy—has a unique storyline that provides a sweet message that works enough under the radar that it does not interfere with the entertainment value of its story. Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot work very well as supporting cast for Bill Murray.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A weatherman gets entrapped in a 24-hour time loop that does not allow him to escape the same day, place, and time when he awakes every morning.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Harold Ramis for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer C.O. Erickson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include:) Phil (Bill Murray), Rita (Andie MacDowell), Larry (Chris Elliott), Ned (Stephen Tobolowsky), Buster (Brian Doyle-Murray), Nancy (Marita Geraghty), Mrs. Lancaster (Angela Paton), Gus (Rick Ducommun), Ralph (Rick Overton), and Doris the Waitress (Robin Duke).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film works on an adult level with just the right amount of comedic edge to set the tone for an enjoyable watch.

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Ben Meyers

JULIE & JULIA (Theatrical Release USA 2009)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

Julie & Julia—
a terrific small story—tells the Julia Child story in a most charming way. Classic fare, that relies on the skills of Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Amy Adams, and Chris Messina, becomes a small work of art, an ode, if you will, to the life of Julia Child. It is likeable from its opening scene to its closing scene. Great work for Director Nora Ephron. Good timing and superb transitioning between the two women’s stories give this movie its hallmark.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A young woman decides to make every recipe found in Julia Child’s cook book.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Nora Ephron for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Donald J. Lee Jr., Scott Rudin, and Dana Stevens for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Julia Child (Meryl Streep), Julie Powell (Amy Adams), Paul Child (Stanley Tucci), Eric Powell (Chris Messina), Simone Beck (Linda Emond), Simone Beck (Linda Emond), Louisette Bertholle (Helen Carey), Sarah (Mary Lynn Rajskub), Dorothy McWilliams (Jane Lynch), and Madame Brassart (Joan Juliet Buck).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This film is so calm, peaceful, and joy filled that it is almost worth a second watch. It’s a pleasure to see two good marriages and passions for one’s work in action.

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Ben Meyers

ATLAS SHRUGGED: PART I (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Atlas Shrugged: Part I—
a movie for the intellectual and academic audience—has a script that plays to the employer and the importance of good leadership rather than to the employed. It is an important film, but because most persons are of the latter class, the masses may be unprepared for its point of view and miss the import of its well written and unusual script.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Big business leaders and innovators join forces and walk out on their corporations leaving them to struggle without knowledgeable leadership and direction with terrifying consequences.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Paul Johansson for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Howard Baldwin, Karen Elise Baldwin, Mike Marvin, and Ed Snider for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling), Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler), James Taggart (Matthew Marsden), Eddie Willers (Edi Gathegi), Francisco D’Anconia (Jsu Garcia), Ellis Wyatt (Graham Beckel), Orren Boyle (Jon Polito), Paul Larkin (Patrick Fischler), Lillian Rearden (Rebecca Wisocky), and Wesley Mouch (Michael Lerner).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie tailors itself to an elite audience who can appreciate its high appeal to let large business be free to run as it will without government interference. This movie and its two sequels lost money at box office, but the informational script runs as an important, need to know fact sheet on what can happen in a dystopian society or in any society, for that matter, when government regulates large businesses too closely.

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Ben Meyers

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (Theatrical Release New Zealand 2014)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

What We Do in the Shadows—
vampire humor—has a script crafted for the adult audience. It works like a found footage film. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Familiars and other ancient creatures of the night intermingle

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Emanuel Michael, Taika Waititi, and Chelsea Winstanley for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonny Brugh), Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), Stu (Stu Rutherford), Petyr (Ben Fransham), Jackie (Jackie van Beek), Pauline (Elena Stejko), Policewoman (Karen O’Leary), and Julian (Jason Hoyte).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The movie is creative, but not the best night creature story out there.

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Ben Meyers