SOUND CITY (Theatrical Release USA 2013)

 

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì 

Sound City
—documentary—from its outset, competes as a WOW! production. The documentary contains some of the best interviews backed with exceptionally thorough historical facts and the importance this recording studio played, from its opening in 1969, and plays, currently,  in the lives of upscale performers within the recording industry. Do a little research to see where the studio stands currently to add interest to viewing. Worth its watch to increase knowledge of entertainment industry.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

Documentary that follows the historical development of Sound City.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Dave Grohl for directing effort. Thank you to Producers DavVinny Appice, Joe Barresi, Brian Bell, Frank Black, James Brown, Lindsey Buckingham, Mike Campbell, Tim Commerford, Kevin Cronin, Rivers Cuomo, Warren Demartini, Mick Fleetwood, John Fogerty, Neil Giraldo, and Christopher Goss.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Educates, informs, and develops history in a great documentary.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

12 ANGRY MEN (Television Release USA 1997)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì

12 Angry Men—half the value of the original 1957 movie of the same name—serves as busywork that does not improve on the existing model. This movie is just another movie remake that can appear in someone’s dossier/portfolio. There is an awkwardness in the remake that casts a seasoned citizen, Jack Lemon, into what was originally a young, energetic person’s role played by a youthful Henry Fonda. Director William Friedkin is well known in Hollywood and television entertainment. The television set-of-mind may have contributed to this movie’s lack of fire. This movie fails to inform and educate the audience about possible dangers of wrongful conviction when jurors are motivated by a variety of emotional conflicts and desires. The clichéd direction of this film seems to encourage the actors to repeat what was already done and therefore lacks the intensity of the original movie. Without that fire it does not inspire nor make one think deeply. The movie does cast some of our better actors, like William Peterson from CSI: Las Vegas.

Storyline

A close look at the fears and decision drivers of 12 men on a jury.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director William Friedkin for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Terence A. Donnelly for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Foreman (Courtney B. Vance), Juror #2 (Ossie Davis), Juror #3 (George C. Scott), Juror #4 (Armin Mueller Stahl), Juror #5 (Dorian Harewood), Juror #6 (James Gandolfini), Juror #7 Tony Danza), Juror #8 (Jack Lemmon), Juror #9(Hume Cronyn), Juror #10 (Mykelti Williamson), Juror #11 (Edward James Olmos), Juror #12 (William Petersen), Judge (Mary McDonnell), Guard (Tyrees Allen), and The Accused (Douglas Spain).

 


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Maybe. Cookie cutter film that did not need to be produced. For value, watch the original 12 Angry Men rather than this one.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

COUNTDOWN TO ZERO (Theatrical Release USA 2010)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Countdown to Zero—informative, cohesive development—presents a no-argument view of the atomic bomb and its potential for massive destruction of earth’s population as well as the need to destroy/eliminate it so that future generations can live without this threat. Unfortunately, the documentary does not address the challenge that future generations may resurrect this scientific discovery and may not choose, so wisely, to be peaceful cohabitors of this planet. The documentary delves into what currently has been done to limit the use of this weapon.
Film Poster Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video                                                                                              

Storyline

An exploration of terrorism’s direct impact on using and proliferating nuclear weapons.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Lucy Walker for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Blair, Matt Brown, Jeff Skoll, and Diane Weyermann for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Graham Allison, James Baker III, Bruce Blair, Tony Blair, Zbigniew Brzezkinski, Matthew Bunn, Richard Bunn, Jimmy Carter, Mike Chinoy, Joseph Cirincione, Richard Clzik, Thomas D’Agostino, F.W. de Klerk, Pascal Flas, and Alexander Glaser.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The documentary serves as an easy-to-digest, quick, informational piece that explains the atomic bomb and other types of bombs. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers


HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (Theatrical Release USA 1952)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Hans Christian Andersen—well-written, well-acted—serves a generous portion of beautiful ballet scenes while following the fictional development of Hans Christian Andersen, played by Danny Kaye, into an award-winning children’s author. Hans’ charge, Peter, played by Joseph Walsh, casts well with Danny Kaye. The movie liberally sprinkles itself with adorable children who enhance the value of the film. The movie is a worthwhile watch developed at a slower children's pace.


Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


 Storyline

A fictionalized account of the life of Hans Christian Andersen…a cobbler re-born as a beloved children’s author.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Charles Vidor for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Samuel Goldwyn for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Hans Christian Andersen (Danny Kaye), Niels (Farley Granger), Doro (Zizi Jeanmaire), Peter (Joseph Walsh), Otto (Philip Tonge), The Hussar (Erik Bruhn), The Prince (Roland Petit), Schoolmaster (John Brown), Burgomaster (John Qualen), Celine (Jeanne Lafayette), Stage Doorman (RobertMalcolm), Farmer (George Chandler), First Gendarme (Fred Kelsey), Second Gendarme (Gil Perkins), and Lars (Peter J.Votrian). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Innocent, clean, good family watch. An easy-on-the-mind, lazy, peaceful afternoon movie that allows an uncomplicated look at famous, Danish children’s author, Hans Christian Andersen. May easily be watched over several days in segments as a good bedtime story for sweet dreams. Good work for Director Charles Vidor.


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Ben Meyers

BATS (Theatrical Release USA 1999)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Bats
—reminiscent of the movie Tremors—may make it to the cult movie list, but not much more than that. There is always going to be that low budget film that will just rock the boat…like Terminator or Juno, but this isn’t one of them. This movie acts like it does not know what emotion it wants to produce in its audience. It isn’t focused like Hitchcock’s Birds to deliberately evoke the horror of being attacked by birds or, in this case, bats. With a more focused direction this movie could move into a higher watch rating.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

Genetically modified bats must be eradicated after they show a desire for human flesh as a primary food.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Louis Morneau for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Brent Baum, John Logan, Dale Pollock, and Steven Stabler for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sheriff Emmett Kimsey (Lou Diamond Phillips), Dr. Sheila Casper (Dina Meyer), Dr. Alexander McCabe (Bob Gunton), Jimmy Sands (Leon), Dr. Tobe Hodge (Carlos Jacott), Wesley Munn (David McConnell), Mayor Amanda Branson (Marcia Dangerfield),Dr. Swanbeck (Oscar Rowland), Quint (Tim Whitaker), and Emma (Juliana Johnson).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It doesn’t have the zing that good entertainment fare usually displays. 


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

TAD THE LOST EXPLORER (Theatrical Release USA 2012)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì


Tad the Lost Explorergood voices chosen for the animation—shows likable characters who perform in a cute movie that is almost adult watchable, but not quite. Given a format/storyline that is a tad bit more creative, fresh, and imaginative, and the main character in this film could pass into a small series.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline

A wannabe archaeologist meets a girl and, more villains than he desires.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Enrique Gato for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Victoria Borras, Javier Ugarte, Julio riza, and Gabriel Arias Salgado for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Tadeo Jones (Voice of Óscar Barerán), Sara Lavroi (Voice of Michelle Jenner), Freddy (Voice of José Mota), Freddy (Voice of José Corbacho), Max Mordon (Voice of Pep Anton Muñoz), Momia (Voice of Luis Posada), Tadeo niño (Voice of Meritxell Ané), Kopponen (Voice of Miguel Angel Jenner), Professor Miguel Humbert (Voice of Carles Canut), Profesor Lavroi (Voice of Félix Benito), Additional Voices (Voices of Aleix Estadella, Jose Antonio Jimenez, and Abuela Tadeo (Voice of Marta Martorell).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This seems like an animated version of Indiana Jones. It’s a higher quality animated story that can almost work as a child/adult share film, but not quite.


Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER (Theatrical Release USA 2015)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

The Last Witch Hunter—great action scenes—works the acting skills of Vin Diesel to good advantage. The movie competes with the movie Constantine for quality of work. It performs as a WOW! flick for any supernatural film fan. Not shabby work. Two odd additions to the cast include Michael Caine and Elijah Woods…but they fit very well into the lineup and show their usual professionalism. Toward the end of the film the Queen witch fails to carry through on her quality of acting which hurts this movie. Granted some of the challenges here may be the camera work. On the whole…this movie is very well done and definitely earns its watch. This is one of Vin Diesel’s better performances and equates with his Fast and Furious movies.


Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

One witch hunter versus many witches becomes the focus of the story.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Breck Eisner for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Adam Goldworm, Ric Kidney, Samantha Vincent, and Qiuyun Long for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Kaulder (Vin Diesel), Chloe (Rose Leslie), Dolan (Elijah Wood), Belial (Olafur Darri Olafsson), Glaeser (Rena Owen), The Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht), Another Dolan (Michael Caine), Ellic (Joseph Gilgun), Max Schlesinger (Isaach De Bankole), and Grosette (Michael Halsey).



Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Very good entertainment that earns more than one watch.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

BEYOND SHERWOOD FOREST (DVD Release USA 2010)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.1|5.0 Starsìì


Beyond Sherwood Forest
—wants to be worthy; but is not—introduces a spiritual component that just does not work. The traditional story now has a dragon and a portal thrown in as well as some spiritual beings. The mix takes away from the traditional story and the audience may find itself thinking ‘Why is any of this necessary?’ The movie relies on actors and actresses that are not well known in America or are just now starting on careers. It lacks the charisma that marked earlier film making attempts to tell the Robin Hood story. This movie is difficult to care about because there is no relatability between the characters and the audience they serve.


Film Poster Courtesy of Amazon


Storyline

The tale of King Richard, Prince John, Maid Marian, and Robin Hood gets told again except this story has a portal and a dragon.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Peter DeLuise for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Harvey Kahn, Amy Krell, Chris Rudolph, and Meyer Shwarzstein for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Robin Hood (Robin Dunne), Maid Marian (Erica Durance), Malcolm (Julian Sands), Alina (Katharine Isabelle), Little John (Mark Gibbon), Gareth (Cainan Wiebe), Will Scarlet (Richard de Klerk), Friar Tuck (Bill Dow), and Guy of Gisborne (Brent Stait).

 


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

 No. Not well done and fails to interest.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

 

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (Theatrical Release USA 1998)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì


What Dreams May Come
—wonderful, wonderful story—shows high imagination, tremendous compassion, and completely involves both intellect and emotion. Robin Williams has total control of his character and is so believable that one feels everything shown is real rather than imagination at its peak. Special background effects are stunning. Cast works together like the best of the best. Total WOW! factor. Great story with a presentation that supersedes all expectations.


Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


Storyline

A man goes to hell to rescue his wife.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Vincent Ward for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Ronald Bass, Ted Field, Erica Huggins, and Scott Kroopf for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams), Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Annie Nielsen (Annabella Sciorra), The Tracker (Max von Sydow), Marie Nielsen (Jessica Brooks Grant), Ian Nielsen (Josh Paddock),Leona (Rosalind Chao), Mrs. Jacobs (Lucinda Jenney), Stacey Jacobs (Maggie McCarthy), Angie (Wilma Bonet), Reverend Hanley (Matt Salinger), Cindy (Carin Sprague), Car Accident Woman (June Carryl), Paramedic (Paul P.Card IV), and Face (Werner Herzog).



Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie has lots of heart built into it. Winning film.


Video Critique Available Here:



 Ben Meyers

THE TILLMAN STORY (Theatrical Release USA 2010)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì

The Tillman Story—documentary—takes the documentary format to such a different level that it makes it difficult to critique. The story has been written in such a way that one can only say…facts well put together.


Film Courtesy of Google Images

 

Storyline

True life story of a soldier killed by friendly fire.


Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Amir Bar Lev for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Davies, Roert DeBitetto, Andrew Ruhermann, Rob Sharenow, and Molly Thompson for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Josh Brolin, Pat Tillman, Mary Tillman, Russell Baer, Patrick Tillman Sr., Philip Kensinger, Stan Goff, Jason Parsons, Bryan O’Neal, Marie Tillman, Richard Tillman, and Kevin Tillman. 



Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The documentary serves as a particularly good watch for the intellectual audience.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

MEMORIAL DAY (Newport Beach Film Festival Newport Beach California USA 2012)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Memorial Day
—good concept—plays like a cookie-cutter movie. It’s an ‘I’ve seen this before’ entertainment  piece. It does not seem appropriate for a grandfather to use a grandson as a nose tissue to cry into...however, the healthful need to release certain memories is understood and sometimes it takes a certain set of circumstances to allow that release. This film illustrates that.


Film Poster Courtesy of Amazon


Storyline

A young boy finds his grandfather’s footlocker.

Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Samuel Fischer for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Samuel Fischer , Kyle O’Malley, and Jeff Traxler for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Staff Sergeant Kyle Vogel (Jonathan Bennett), Bud Vogel (James Cromwell), Lieutenant Bud Vogel (John Cromwell), Young Kyle Vogel (Jackson Bond), Betty Vogel (Mary Kay Fortier Spalding), Lieutenant Kelly Tripp (Emily Fradenburgh),Captain Tom Marshall (Charles Hubbell), Derek Lodermeier (Corby Kelly), Spc. Josh Berg (Chris LeFevere), Brandt (Steven Luke), Young German Soldier (Jasper Morgan), Ed Gorski (Reed Sigmund), Pfc. Nick Sullivan (Thomas Sellwood), Sarah Vogel (Erin Traxler), and Moises Aguilar (Armin Zadeh).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Not much new in this drama.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

DUEL AT DIABLO (Theatrical Release USA 1966)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Duel at Diablo starts fairly well and finishes fairly well. The casting department chose the interesting mix of James Garner, Sidney Portier, and Dennis Weaver to portray the story. Dennis Weaver’s acting needed some tweaking for more believability. The movie did not really catch its western genre well perhaps due to the heavy involvement of its storyline with a strong female element.

Film Poster Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

Storyline

Three stories intertwine to make this western about Apaches, the United States Army, scouts, and Indian wives come to life onscreen.


Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Ralph Nelson for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Fred Engel, Ralph Nelson, and James Garner for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: idney Poitier), Ellen Grange (Bibi Andersson), Willard Grange (Dennis Weaver), Lieutenant Scotty McAllister (Bill Travers), Sergeant Ferguson (William Redfield), Major Novac (John Hubbard), Colonel Foster (Ralph Nelson), Cpl. Harrington (Bill Hart), Chata (John Hoyt), Alchise (Eddie Little Sky), and Clay Dean (John Crawford).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film is easy entertainment that requires little mind expenditure to watch.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

ROMMEL (DVD Release USA 2012)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì

Rommel—generic—makes an audience wonder why this story has importance. Partially this challenge comes due to the writing and the thinly defined character development. The movie should move into the higher caliber ranges of war films but missed its mark.


Film Poster Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video


Storyline

The final days of Erwin Rommel, German Field Marshal.


Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Niki Stein for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Michael Schmidl, Manfred Hattendorf, Nico Hofmann, Ariane Krampe, Jurgen Schuster, Sascha Schwingel, and Christine Strobl for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Erwin Rommel (Ulrich Tukur), Oberstleeutnant Hofacker (Tim Bergmann), Adolf Hitler (Johannes Silberschneider), General Speidel (Benjamin Sadler), and Oberst Finckh (Rolf Kanies).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The value of the movie is the insight one gets into how Erwin Rommell and General Spiedel worked in the scheme of WWII. If one does not know much about this piece of history, it may be good to read a quick Wikipedia article that will explain the events that led to Rommel's final days.


Video Critique Available Here:



 Ben Meyers

THE CHEAP DETECTIVE (Theatrical Release USA 1978)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

The Cheap Detective
—well written comedy—has WOW! factor all over it due to its mixing of 1940s-style detective story elements with exaggerated emphasis on the usual drama in detective stories. Add Peter Falk as the detective and out pops a movie presentation that more than pleases. It is, as a whole,  watchable for the adult R-Rated audience but this is by no means an R-Rated film.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline

 A detective works to solve a mystery despite many misleading clues.

 Additional Thanks

Thank You to Director Robert Moore for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Ray Stark for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lou Peckinpaugh (Peter Falk), Jezebel Dezire (Ann Margret), Betty DeBoop (Eileen Brennan), Ezra Dezire (Sid Caesar), Bess (Stockard Channing), and Marcel (James Coco). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. It’s a fun romp that takes involvement to track its story. Very cleverly done.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE CUTTER (Video Release USA 2005)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Cutter—a little different take on Biblical excavation stories—makes good use of Chuck Norris’ acting talent. The action scenes are notable and the story has been told well.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

 Storyline

 A diamond cutter gets help from a detective.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director William Tannen for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Avi Lerner, Aaron Norris, Chuck Norris, Trevor Short, and Les Weldon for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John Shepherd (Chuck Norris), Elizabeth Teller (Joanna Pacula), Dirk (Daniel Bernhardt), Isaac Teller (Bernie Kopell), and Parks (Todd Jensen).  


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie does not perform as a Chuck Norris’ best, but has that distinct Chuck Norris flavor that marks his movies.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THE OCTAGON (Theatrical Release USA 1980)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì


The Octagon
—classic Chuck Norris—can easily become a cult classic for multiple watches just for the WOW! factor that places it in a category of its own for action scenes. It’s a fun watch for the adult audience. Some sexual references.


Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images


Storyline

Ninja terrorists develop an international system of training camps which the best Ninja of all (Chuck Norris) must dismantle.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Eric Karson for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Michael Leone and Alan Belkin for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Scott James (Chuck Norris), Justine (Karen Carlson), McCarn (Lee Van Cleef), AJ (Art Hindle), Aura (Carol Bagdasarian), Selkura (Tadashi Yamashita), Nancy (Kim Lankford), Tibor (Larry D. Mann), Doggo (Kurt Grayson), Kyo (Richard Norton), Katsumo (Yuki Shimoda), Duffy (Redmond Gleeson), Pierre (Alan Chappuis), Deadwyler (Brian Libby), Ken Gibbel).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Classic Chuck Norris movie that even a non-Chuck Norris fan will enjoy. Thank you to everyone involved in its production. 


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

WINDUP (YouTube Release USA 2019)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

WindUp
—short film—makes an audience think about how important a child’s memory can be to life. The short film has excellent animation and sweet storyline.


Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images


Storyline

A small girl fights to live.


Additional Thanks

 Thank you to Pixar Director Yibing Jiang for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Junbo Zhang for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include:


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a wonderful short film and could be expanded.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

UMBRELLA (YouTube Release Brazil 2020)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.8|5.0 Starsìììì

Umbrella—short film— worth a watch the story is heartfelt and is great to see this film in full great work for all involved Bravo! Bravo! This is the award winning.


Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

 

Storyline

 An orphan wishes for a yellow umbrella


Additional Thanks

Thank You to Directors Helena Hilario and Mario Pece for directing effort. Thank you to StudioStratostorm for producing the short film. Thank you to CGI artists Alan Prado, Dhiego Guimaraes, and Felipe Pardini


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Heartfelt film, good for families.


Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

A FOLDED WISH (Siggraph Asia Release Brisbane Australia 2019)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

A Folded Wish
—short film—is interesting because it teaches a cultural tradition and enlarges understanding between cultures. Animation is very good.


Film Poster courtesy of Google Images


Storyline

Twin sisters fold paper cranes in hopes of one sister becoming healthy.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to  Siggraph Asia 2020 Digital Animation and Illustration courses in The One Academy of Communication Design. Thank you to Artmoeba Productions. Thank you to the 19 graduate students who made this short film possible as an assignment for Finishing Graduate work.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Bittersweet short film that illustrates the Japanese tradition of folding paper 1000 times when there is a wish needing granted.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers