DESPERADO (Theatrical Release USA 1995)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Desperado—part two of a three film set—serves a WOW! story via the charismatic Antonio Banderas. It’s adult entertainment directed by Robert Rodriguez who captures the deadliness of being involved in drug running. Great storyline and script offer several unpredictable surprises. The movie is not for the faint of heart as it runs on reprisal and vengeance with gore, blood, and violence. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

A small border town’s deep involvement with the drug industry creates havoc in a young man’s life. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Robert Rodriguez for making the film possible. Thank you to Producers Robert Rodriguez and Bill Borden for making the film possible. Characters/Cast include: El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), Carolina (Salma Hayek), Buscemi (Steve Buscemi), Short Bartender (Cheech Marin), Pick-up Guy (Quentin Tarantino), Right Hand (Carlos Gomez), Tavo (Tito Larriva), Zamira (Angel Aviles), Navajas (Danny Trejo), Nino (Abraham Verduzco), Campa (Carlos Gallardo), Quino (Albert Michel Jr.), Buddy (David Alvarado), Tourist Girl (Angela Lanza), Moco (Peter Marquardi), and Domino (Consuelo Gomez). 


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. In its own right, despite over-the-top violence, this is a wonderful movie, partly due to its energy, pacing, and well-timed introduction of additional characters into its story. The sequel is: Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

 Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers


LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (Theatrical Release USA 2007)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Live Free or Die Hard teams Bruce Willis with Justin Long to create a very entertaining action flick. It does not match the high level of action that the prequel to this John McClane series does but nonetheless earns its watch as a seat binding movie. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

A police detective teams with a computer expert to clean up cybercrime. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Len Wiseman for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Michael Fottrell for making the film possible. Characters/Cast include: John McClane (Bruce Willis), Matt Farrel (Justin Long), Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), Lucy Gennero McClane (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Mai Linh (Maggie Q), Frederick Kaludis (Kevin Smith), Miguel Bowman (Cliff Curtis), Trey (Jonathan Sadowski), Emerson (Edoardo Costa), Rand (Cyril Raffaelli), Russo (Yorgo Constantine), Agent Molina (Zeljko Ivanek), and Taylor (Christina Chang). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. For the Bruce Willis action movie fan, the movie completely fulfills its purpose. The next film in this series is: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013).

 Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

MY LITTLE PONY: A NEW GENERATION (Theatrical Release Russia 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì 

My Little Pony: A New Generation has great animation with exceptionally nice background scenery. The concept goes in the right direction, but the writing is a bit weak and lacks the vibrancy and strength to carry its overall good message with continuity. The film seems to gear itself toward a young girl’s fascinations rather than a young boy’s interests. It would have been nice to have seen a better balance. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Peace between species through communication and close association becomes the focus of this animated movie. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Robert Cullen and Jose Ucha for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Cecil Kramer and Peter Lewis for making the film possible. Characters/Cast include: Sunny Starscout (Vanessa Hudgens), Izzy Moonbow (Kimiko Glenn), Hitch Trailblazer (James Marsden), Pipp Petals (Sofia Carson), Zephyrina (Liza Koshy), Phyllis Cloverleaf (Elizabeth Perkins), Queen Haven (Jane Krakowski), Sprout Cloverleaf (Ken Jeong), Alphabittle (Phil LaMarr), and Argyle Starshine (Michael McKean). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This feature can be difficult to follow at times and has a little way to go for qualification as a quality children’s film.


Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (Theatrical Release USA 1939)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Gulliver’s Travels—creatively and kindly written—has great character voicing and relies on a slower paced animated style that is refreshing and welcome. Comedy comes in unexpected form such as the messenger and the simplest disagreements that can aggravate the disruption of peace. Terrific additions to this movie were the love between the prince and princess as well as choosing two kings who could not agree to a solution to stop war in its tracks.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Gulliver travels to a land of small people and helps restore peace between two warring kingdoms.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Dave Fleischer for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Max Fleischer for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Gulliver (Sam Parker), Gabby (Pinto Colvid), King Little (Jack Mercer), King Bombo (Tedd Pierce), Princess Glory ((Jessica Dragonette (sings) and Livonia Warren (speaks)), Prince David ((Lanny Ross (sings) and Cal Howard (speaks)).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This animated movie is original, simple, and charming for both children and adults.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

THINGS TO COME (Theatrical Release USA 1936)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì 

Things to Come—revolutionary 1936 film—becomes an interesting watch because it contains a series of prophecies about the future. It is a good concept and is told well, but it could improve on the presentation and can be boring at times. The acting is antiquated. Interesting anticipation of future events.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Predictions detailing future earth and space events told chronologically. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director William Cameron Menzies for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Alexander Korda for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: John Cabal (Raymond Massey), Pippa and Raymond Passworthy (Raymond Massey), Rudolf (Ralph Richardson), Roxana Black and Rowena Cabal (Margaretta Scott),Theotocopulos (Cedric Hardwicke), Dr. Edward Harding (Maurice Braddell), Mrs. Cabal (Sophie Stewart), Richard Gordon (Derrick De Marney), Mary Gordon (Ann Todd), Catherine Cabal (Pearl Argyle), Maurice Passworthy (Kenneth Villiers), Morden Mitani (Ivan Brandt), Child (Anne McLaren), Janet Gordoniard (Patricia Hilliard), Great Grandfather (Charles Carson), and World Transport Official (Patrick Barr). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The presentation matches its time of production, but it is an interesting movie to follow the predictions and to check off which were true and which may not have been true. The original story was written by H.G. Wells.


 Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

SPACE WALKERS * (All Media Release Russia 2017)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Space Walkers—one of the best Russian films on the market—WOW! entertainment. Above par acting works within a tense/taut storyline. A virtual treat. Excellent introduction to some of Russia's best actors. The portrayal of these events is 'no shab'. English dubbing makes this Russian movie an easy watch. Refreshing to see the other side of the narrative and realize the courage it took to put men in space. Very well done with superb direction. A young teen and adult watch that makes a good addition to the home video library. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

The drama of Russia’s attempt to put the first men in space and to bring them safely home is detailed in  this movie. 

Additional Thanks  Thank you to Director Dmitriy Kiselev for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Timur Bekmambetov and Evgeniy Mironov for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Alexey Leonov (Evgeniy Mironov), Pavel Belyaev (Konstantin Khabenskiy), Sergey Korolev (Vladimir Ilin), Nikolay Kamanin (Anatoliy Kotenyov), Svetlana Leonova (Aleksandra Ursulyak), Tatyana Belyaeva (Elena Panova), Evgeny Khrunov (Aleksandr Novin), Konstantin Feoktistov (Gennadiy Smirnov)  Boris Rauschenbakh (Yuriy Nifontov), Boris Chertok (Yuriy Itskov), Leonid Brezhnev (Valeriy Grishko), Vladimir Markelov (Aleksandr Ilin), Radio Amateur (Aleksandr Karpilovskiy), Radio Amateur's Wife (Ekaterina Semina) 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is very well received by Ben Meyers international Movie Critics. Great job for all involved. 

* Also Known As: The First Ones and The Age of Pioneers and Spacewalk and The Spacewalker and Vremya pervykh.


Video Critique Available Here:


 


Ben Meyers

WILLOW (Theatrical Release USA 1988)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Willow—a well-written story—accesses the considerable acting talents of Warwick Davis to create a marvelous fantasy adventure that more than fulfills entertainment needs for both children and adults. George Lucas, once again, shows his remarkable ability to write highly imaginative and creative content that beguiles and enchants its audience. Val Kilmer, as a casting choice, completely compliments the heroic efforts of Warwick Davis to complete his assigned mission.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

A wicked female magician endeavors to stop the inevitable destiny of a female infant. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ron Howard for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Nigel Wooll for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), Elora Danan (Kate and Ruth Greenfield and Rebecca Bearman), Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes), and High Aldwin (Billy Barty). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. A wonderful, complicated adventure fantasy that completely fills the audience need for good entertainment. Eye candy in every scene.


Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (Theatrical Release USA 1995)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Die Hard with a Vengeance—WOW! What a treat for the action fan audience!—presents another Bruce Willis movie using character John McClane and somehow boosts the story to another level of action, suspense, and comedy. This movie is best so far in the series. It bases itself on a well written story and is fabulous for portrayal and acting. Bruce Willis pairs with Samuel L. Jackson to form a dynamically charismatic duo. Good adult watch that does not disappoint.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

John McClane hits the streets of New York City to take out a terrorist/bank robber. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director John McTierman for directing effort. Thank you to Producers John McTierman and Michael Tadross for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: John McClane(Bruce Willis), Simon Peter Gruber (Jeremy Irons), Zeus Carver (Samuel Jackson), Detective Joe Lambert (Graham Greene), Detective Connie Kowalski (Colleen Camp), Inspector Walter Cobb (Larry Bryggman), Detective Ricky Walsh (Anthony Peck), Mathias Targo (Nick Wyman), Katya (Sam Phillips), Dr. Fred Schiller (Stephen Pearlman), Bomb Squad Officer (Kevin Chamberlin), FBI Chief (Richard Ramos), FBI Agent (Charles Dumas), and CIA Agent (Michael Cristofer). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a ‘no shab’ movie that is just fun to watch. Great work for Director John McTiernan. 


Video Critique Available Here:




Ben Meyers

MAN BEAST (Theatrical Release USA 1956)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì 

Man Beast—almost a cult classic with its small storyline—works shallowly, predictably, linearly, no character development, and appeals to an infantile, most simple of mindsets. It is a low budget, low grade offering that ends bluntly. One gets an introduction to low budget film-ology from the 1950 decade.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

A hiking team has a rendezvous with Yeti. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jerry Warren for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Jerry Warren for making the film possible. Characters/cast include:Steve Cameron (Tom Maruzzi), Connie Hayward (Virginia Maynor), Varga (George Skaff), Dr. Erikson (George Wells), Trevor Hudson (Lloyd Nelson), Yeti (Brianne Murphy), Wong Sing, and Jack Haffner. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. It’s a comical anti-thriller even though that is not its intention. It is a simple watch.


Video Critique Available Here: 


Ben Meyers



SHAUN THE SHEEP: THE FARMER'S LLAMAS (All Media Release USA 2015)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Shaun The Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas—short film—provides comedy via stop motion animation and the skills of  The Farmer and Blitzer. Good entertainment for both children and adults.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Llamas prove to be a handful on the farm. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jay Grace for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Peter Lord, Nick Park, and Kristen Smith for making the film possible. Character/Cast include: Justin Fletcher (Voice of Shaun), John Sparkes (Voice of Farmer/Blitzer), Sean Connelly (Voice of Hector), Chris Grimes (Voice of Fernando/Raul), and Kate Harbour (Additional Voices).


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Well worth its watch. 

Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

WELCOME TO THE SPACE SHOW (Theatrical release Japan 2010)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Welcome to the Space Show—very good voice dubbing for the English-speaking audience—needs a plotline read before going to completely understand its story, especially for its concluding scenes with Amane. This animated picture has some comedy incorporated into its storyline. At times the movie incorporates an almost cinematic effect within its scenery.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Children attempt to help an alien return home.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Koji Masunari for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Tomonori Ochikosh for making the film possible. Character/cast include: Natsuki Koyama, Amane Suzuki, Kiyoshi Satō, Noriko Nishimura, Kōji Harada, and Pochi Rickman.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This animated Japanese film is worth a watch.

 Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

 


ARLO: THE ALLIGATOR BOY (Worldwide Release USA 2021)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì                                                       

Arlo The Alligator Boy has presented itself as an animated film for children age 7 and up. It seems it would appeal to a higher age group as there is a weird/creepiness that has crept into the movie itself that is hard to define. This ‘creepiness’ reminds a viewer of the same quality that laced the animated film, Doogle. The odd, basic setup of the movie does not easily lend itself to understanding where the film is going. The best part of the film is the music. The singers are notable.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Arlo travels to New York City to find his biological father. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Ryan Crego for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Netflix Animation and Titmouse, Inc. for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Arlo Beauregard (Michael Woodard), Bertie (Mary Lambert), Alia (Haley Tju), Furlecia (Jonathan Van Ness), Marcellus (Brett Gelman), Teeny Tiny Tony (Tony Hale), Edmee (Annie Potts), Ruff (Flea), Stucky (Jennifer Coolidge), nsel Beauregard (Vincent Rodriguez), and Beast (Fred Tatasciore). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The musical renditions are most likely the best part of the movie. At times, the movie seems convoluted and un-necessarily complicates its storyline with its built-in digressions.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

STAR WARS: EPISODE VI-RETURN OF THE JEDI (Theatrical Release USA 1983)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì

Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi—WOW! What a ride!—makes one fully appreciate the story teller and writer who can bring this type of tale into manifestation. Very welcome entertainment. Quality watch with a consistent message that builds through the series. Huge thank you to George Lucas for ensuring that these stories were produced.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Yoda confirms the identity of Luke Skywalker’s father. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Richard Marquand for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Howard Kazanijian for making the film possible. Characters/cast include:  Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), The Emperor (Ian McDiarmid), Darth Vader (David Prowse), Obi Wan Knobi (Alec Guinness), and Yoda (Voice of Frank Oz). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The Star Wars series strikes a deep chord that borders on the surreal and also touches the most elemental of human truths. This is such a rare phenomenon that it becomes easy to make the absolute demand that every succeeding story meet the same high-performance standards as preceding movies. Star Wars movies engrave themselves with their own peculiar mark of excellence that pushes them far above the epic and classic status.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

STAR WARS: EPISODE V-THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (Theatrical Release USA 1980)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back—WOW!—doesn’t miss a beat in presentation while following through with a captivating storyline that leaves the audience begging for more. Exceptional animatronics. It’s a treat to see Yoda back in action and the entire cast carrying through in this episode. The movie becomes difficult to criticize due to its high-level ability to draw its audience into its storyline. Excellent entertainment value.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Luke Skywalker travels to Yoda to train as a Jedi. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Irvin Kerschner for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Gary Kurtz for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and Yoda (Voice of Frank Oz). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Fabulous watch that satisfies audiences ranging from sci-fi to action to family-share entertainment needs. Excellent presentation marks the movie as another ‘must add’ to the family home video collection.


Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers

PLANET OF THE APES (Theatrical Release USA 2001)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Planet of the Apes—different format from the 1968 movie—does not have the impact of the 1968 film. Some actors over-dramatize their characters to the point of comedy while others do not come across with the needed strength for their scenes. The movie seems an odd fit for Director Tim Burton. Watch for Charlton Heston cast as one of the apes.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

A human crash lands on a planet where apes are the dominant culture. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Tim Burton for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Richard Zanuck for making the film possible. Character/cast include: Captain Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg), General Thade (Tim Roth), Ari (Helena Bonham Carter), Colonel Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan), Daena (Estella Warren), Karubi (Kris Kristofferson), General Krull (Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Limbo (Paul Giamatti). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. This remake falls short of the original The Planet of the Apes (1968) movie. The reboot to this movie is Rise of the Planet of the Apes.


Video Critique Available Here:





Ben Meyers

STAR WARS: EPISODE IV-A NEW HOPE (Theatrical Release USA 1977)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì 

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope—WOW! Bravo!—completely fulfills expectations for movie entertainment as it expands on the Luke Skywalker story, his involvement with Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Character development has been exceptionally well done and intertwines with a very welcome portrayal of story. A nice spin-off to this story is the Ron Howard movie Solo: A Star Wars Story that explores the relationship between Han Solo and Chewbacca for audiences who just cannot get enough of the Star War mystique.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Luke Skywalker meets Ben Kenobi. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director George Lucas for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Gary Kurtz for making the film possible. Character/cast: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and Darth Vader (David Prowse). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Superbly creative, well-written, plenty of surprises in all the right places. This series has so much depth of material that it may be watched and re-watched. Complete entertainment value for multiple expenditures of time and money.


Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

STAR WARS: EPISODE III-REVENGE OF THE SITH (Theatrical Release USA 2005)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.6|5.0 Starsìììì 

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith—terrific costuming, animation, and props—completes the 3-film prequel to the rest of the series. Actors reprised roles so that the 3-part prequel becomes one seamless story that is easy to follow. This film ends the prequels about Anakin Skywalker and the choices he made that led to the rest of the Star Wars story so that the story of Luke and Leia Skywalker can begin. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

Anakin’s belief in the goodness of Jedi knights becomes challenged. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director George Lucas for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Rick McCallum for making the film possible. Characters/cast include: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), PadmeAmidala (Natalie Portman), Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Palpatine (Ian McDiamid), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and Yoda (Voice of Frank Oz). 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The entire series shows skillful writing, presentation, and good timing for presentation of sequel and prequel material. Excellent viewing for science fiction, supernatural, and action audiences. Superb choice for addition to the home video library; can easily be re-watched due to depth of storyline.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

YOUNG MEN AND FIRE * (Camden International Film Festival Camden town, Rockport town, and Rockland City Maine USA 2018)

 Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Young Men and Fire documents training of wildland fire fighters. It’s a small, focused look at changing lives through work training and the courage necessary to face this type of work. The camera work is very good; the interviews well done with a well-documented story that relies on actual work hours in a variety of stages of firefighting.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline 

Young men attempt to make better lives for themselves through training that enables them to fight wildland fire. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Alex Jablonski for directing effort. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie does not glamorize the occupation. It shows equally the dangerous work time and the tedious work time. There is also a nice realization toward the end of the film about job satisfaction in working for the safety and protection of the larger community. 

Also Known As: Wildland

 Video Critique Available Here:


Ben Meyers