THE PEZ OUTLAW (South by Southwest Film Festival Austin Texas USA 2022)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Pez Outlaw—unusual documentary—tells a good, well-put-together story of Steve Glew, the USA Pez collector and seller. The movie is slightly reminiscent of  two other unusual documentaries, Burt’s Buzz and  the Bio-Pic American Splendor. Read a plotline before going to increase background story understanding before watching. The interviews are great and the movie earns its watch as a nice change of pace. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This biographical documentary film is about: Steve Glew’s involvement with the Pez company merchandise and product lines. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Amy Bandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jonathan Ignatius Green, Nate Larson, Theo Love, and Chris Smith for making the film possible. Cast includes: Steve Glew, Kathy Glew, Josh Glew, Mike Mitros, David Welch, Bud Damberg, P.J. Lechleitner, Julia Hilario, John Devlin, Jim Blaine, Tina Gunsauls, Johann Patek, Richie Belyski, Moriah Newman, Gunther Leitner, Peter Jennings, and  Scott McWhinnie. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This film especially appeals to the entrepreneurial audience. It’s interesting to see how Steve Glew becomes a collector and a seller for Pez collectible products in the USA. Good story and great work for all involved in production. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

ROBOTS (Theatrical Release USA 2005)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Robots—original and fun—is a super terrific film to watch to catch its many, many references to famous movies, television ads, and dialogue lines one of which is James Bond’s line, “Shaken, Not Stirred.” The animation is terrific and the movie uses recognizable voicing that also increases its likability factor. The movie does get a little sleepy as it winds down to its conclusion but it maintains its watch-ability status. Listen for Robin Williams’ voice as the character, Fender. Wow! What a treat. This movie is great for the Child/Adult share. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The son of a robot family matures into a robot who wants to be an inventor.   

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Chris Wedge for directing effort. Thank you to Jerry Davis, John C. Donkin, and William Joyce for making the film possible. Cast includes: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, and Drew Carey. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The wind down (conclusion) is not unwatchable but is not up to par and needs improvement. Overall, the  movie is a wonderful film and serves as a great child/adult share movie. It’s fresh, creative, and got great presentation. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

RED RIVER (Theatrical Release USA 1948)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Red River can be a little campy, archaic, and weak in presentation at times. But there is an art in the movie that cannot be denied…almost like a Picasso painting where everything does not fit together perfectly but overall is likable in its uniqueness. John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, and Walter Brennan capture a certain spirit of the age that refreshingly does not apologize for its goals and how it gets those goals accomplished. Directors Howard Hawks and Arthur Rosson establish the movement of the movie. The movie could be almost called a cult classic. The film has a good, light conclusion. It is worth an afternoon watch…maybe a couple of afternoons because it is over a 2-hour entertainment piece. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A man starts up a new Texas cattle ranch and moves the marketable cattle along the Chisholm Trail. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Howard Hawks for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Howard Hawks for making the film possible. Cast includes: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan, and Joanne Dru. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The movie shows its age both in scripting and presentation. It’s an interesting study in vintage film-ology and is a good picture to use if studying Walter Brennan, the Chisholm Trail, or John Wayne films. 

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Ben Meyers

PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (Theatrical Release USA 2018)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.8|5.0 Starsììì 

Pacific Rim: Uprising works like a movie that has no story and someone tries to piece something together to give reason for the lights on the screen. It’s okay and provides some interest until the last 20 minutes or so of the movie. Then it goes left field, falls irretrievably to the bottom of its barrel, and dies. At that point the film is almost hard to get through. This film ends the movie series. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The United States has shut down the production of Jaegers, but Jaeger enthusiasts look for parts on the black market to build the Jaegers. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Steven S. DeKnight for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Guillermo del Toro, John Boyega, Femi Oguns, Thomas Tull, and Jon Jashni. Cast includes:  John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikiuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, Max Zhang, and Charlie Day. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. The movie does not present a story on screen.

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

TENDER MERCIES (Theatrical Release USA 1983)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Tender Mercies is an okay film that is not meant to entertain or really touch the heart. The movie works very much in the cold truth of the realities of life, losing, re-evaluating, and starting up again. Robert Duvall perfectly catches the tone of the story and gives an exceptional performance as an alcoholic who works to find a place in the world he finds himself in. If the audience is looking for ‘feel good, escape,’ this film does not give that. It does show how to stabilize life at a level where other options can be explored if one desires or becomes well enough to examine other options. It’s not joyful, hopeful, or happy. It is the tough and gritty reality of life in stasis and in the process of healing.  

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This drama film is about a washed-up country music star who begins a new life in a small town. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Bruce Beresford for directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Philip S. Hobel for making the film possible. Cast includes: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper. Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley, and Ellen Barkin. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It is interesting and can be an educational watch to view stabilization after deep emotional hurt. But, it can be a ‘downer’ watch because from one perspective the main character seems to fail in almost everything he does in life and wallows in it. On the other hand, he does find a life and establishes order from chaos as he maintains that life. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

THE FABELMANS (Theatrical Release USA 2022)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.5|5.0 Starsìììì 

T     The Fabelmans—WOW!—watch is like the feeling of going to Disneyland for the first time. Everything is a wonder due to the way the story has been compiled. The movie bases itself on the events of Steven Spielberg’s early years but uses the moniker of Sam Fabelman and family to tell its story. This movie is a winner for movie enthusiasts, aspiring directors, critics, and more. Don’t miss it. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This drama film is about: a young man, who from a very early age, wants to be involved in the film-making industry. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Steven Spielberg for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, and Tony Kushner for making the film possible. Cast includes Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel LaBelle, and Judd Hirsch. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes, and YES! This movie could be easy to miss if a person relies on plotline alone to determine attendance. Don’t miss it and after watching think more deeply about the story than a superficial judgement. This again proves the outstanding value of doing what you are meant to do. It’s another work of art directed by Steven Spielberg. The story stands the test of time and will stand as a classic watch for many years to come. Fabulous work for all involved. 

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Ben Meyers

RAMBO (Theatrical Release USA 2008)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.4|5.0 Starsìììì 

Rambo—part 4 of five films with a 6th film possibly in the works—raises in quality from the last three films. While this Rambo movie runs to blood and gore that is almost cringe-worthy over the last three films, it is not over-the-top, graphic violence such as The Suicide Squad movie shows. The acting comes in as much improved and the presentation is much better. The movie bypasses ‘campy’ and delivers a realistic package due to great film technics. Sylvester Stallone is great and surrounds himself with an effective and believable supporting cast. The movie shows the brutalness of Burmese pirate/guerillas when on village raids. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Missionaries are taken prisoner by pirates and Rambo is asked to lead mercenary soldiers to rescue them. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Sylvester Stallone for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton, and John Thompson for making the film possible. Cast includes: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake La Botz, Maung Maung Khin, and Ken Howard.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a great watch for the Rambo fan. This Rambo movie moves the realism up a few notches and the storyline also has more richness and depth than previous Rambo movies. Great work for Director Silvester Stallone. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers

PACIFIC RIM (Theatrical Release USA 2013)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Pacific Rim—better than most monster films—has some difficulty making sense at certain junctures of its story, but displays well on screen. Everything moves quickly in the movie. It’s good to see Charlie Hunnam, Edris Elba and Ron Perlman, and Rinko Kikuchi cast together in this movie. The movie works for the monster-movie fan. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

America is attacked by huge monsters from under the ocean. America responds by building machines called Jaegers to defend the coastline. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Guillermo del Toro for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Guillermo del Toro, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, and Mary Parent for making the film possible. Cast includes: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. The film is one of the better monster movies on the market. Even though the special effects may not always be well defined, the basic story contains all the expected elements in a monster movie and becomes a good watch for that audience. The movie has a sequel:  Pacific Rim: Uprising. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

JERRY AND MARGE GO LARGE (Internet Release USA 2022)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Jerry and Marge Go Large—based on a true story—can sometimes dip in quality when some story elements are repetitively shown. This creates a bit of a standstill but the movie still holds interest throughout the film. It’s a sweet movie that plays high on the human factor. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A couple discovers a way to win  the lottery repeatedly. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director David Frankel for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Amy Baer and Gil Netter for making the film possible. Cast includes: Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This down-to-earth movie is an interesting film starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening. It’s a good family share movie that focuses on real life challenges in a small-town setting with strong family relationships and good, build-the-community values. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 


Ben Meyers 

ENCANTO (Theatrical Release USA 2021)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Encanto—read a plotline—can be a complicated watch if the audience attempts an analysis of the storyline based on what is seen alone.  This animated musical has new and exceptionally creative effects in place that will captivate and enchant children and adults. It dramatically illustrates the concept of living a magical life and can be considered an intellectual watch when looking at the deeper context rather than the shallow context. This film can be considered exclusive and seclusive in its message. Overall? The movie deserves its watch.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

During wartime a woman and her three children find refuge in a magical place protected by peace. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jared Bush and Byron Howard for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer for making the film possible. Cast includes: Stephanie Beatriz, Maria Cecilia Botero, John Leguizamo, Mauro Castillo, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda, Diane Guerrero, Wilmer Valderrama, and Carolina Gaitan. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This film needs a good plotline read before buying a ticket or it may become a complicated, unrelatable movie. It’s a good, animated child/adult share. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

TAKEN (Theatrical Release Canada 2008)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Taken—rough movie—has a need to be told story with a good cautionary message for parents with independent teens. The film has an excellent presentation that is backed with an outstanding performance of Liam Neeson at his best. Don’t miss this watch. It completely involves its audience. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

An ex-CIA’s daughter is abducted and sold into the sex industry. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Pierre Morel for directing effort. Thank you to ProducerLuc Besson for making the film possible. Cast includes: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Katie Cassidy, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Holly Valance, and Xander Berkeley. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This movie runs on an exceptionally good storyline and is a good, instructive watch to share with older children. Liam Neeson heads the acting profession in his portrayal of an ex-CIA man seeking the whereabouts of a beloved daughter. Terrific writing. The timing of each scene is well done and follows good sequencing. The movie could easily be missed. Do not miss it. It is well worth its watch on many levels and for many reasons.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

JASON BOURNE (Theatrical Release USA 2016)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Jason Bourne—fifth in the Bourne series—does not let Bourne movie fans down. It serves at the same high level of quality of previous Borne films and continues to reprise Matt Damon as its lead actor.  Everything is in place…acting, presentation, action, timing, portrayal, storyline, dialogue, and great conclusion. The same concept runs in this film as in the previous Bourne films, but it still manages to feel freshly done. Great work for all involved. Watch for Tommy Lee Jones’ performance. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Storyline 

This action film is about: Jason Bourne recovers from his amnesia but a friend tells him he is still tied to the Treadstone project. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Paul Greengrass for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Frank Marshall, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Ben Smith, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, and Gregory Goodman. Cast includes Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, and Riz Ahmend. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Great to see Matt Damon in the Bourne role again. This movie holds to the same high standards of earlier Bourne movies and does not fail to both please and entertain. Good action watch.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (Theatrical Release USA 2011)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon—improved special effects—effectually reprises roles with the same actors/actresses present in  previous films in the series. Shia LeBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley work well together in this film. There are some suggestive elements, but besides that, it is a good general audience watch with likability that grows as the story progresses. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

Another intervention is attempted to end the war between the Decepticons and the Autobots. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Michael Bay for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy, and Ian Bryce for making the film possible. Cast includes: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julia White, John Malkovich, and Frances McDormand.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This third movie in the Transformers series turns into a very good watch.  The next film in the series is: Transformers: Age of Extinction. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

VOLCANO (Theatrical Release USA 1997)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Volcano—believable, realistic—works with good special effects and a casting mix that seems comfortable and at ease in their assigned roles and with each other. Tommy Lee Jones and Don Cheadle drive the story. This movie is a very good example of a lower grade, good to fair script that the cast takes and makes the end product better than it had the potential to be. That is called movie making and it has been done well here. The cast made a substantial presentation that is not only worth watching but deserves its place in the home video library when one is desiring a good disaster movie. This movie works its theme well.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

A volcano erupts in Los Angeles and creates mayhem and destruction. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Mick Jackson for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Neal Moritz and Andrew Davis for making the film possible. Cast includes: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Gaby Hoffmann, Don Cheadle, and Keith David. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This disaster movie stands above its genre and becomes a terrific, worth-watching film. It would make a good movie to add to the home video library. It is so well presented that it somehow works almost all the way around.

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (Theatrical Release USA 1954)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, for its age, has some surprisingly good sea and island photography and good sets built for the depiction of the submarine, both inside and out. The acting works at the good to fair level with James Mason playing the perfect villain and Kirk Douglas as the brash, younger man. It’s great to see Peter Lorre in this movie as well as Paul Lukas. This is a simple adventure film that is adventurous. It shows some remarkable creativity in its depiction of the submarine and the scuba suits. The story has a good conclusion. The film could easily be watched a second time. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

This action film is about: A professor and his assistant who go to sea to seek a monster. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Richard Fleischer for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Walt Disney for making the film possible. Cast includes: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, and Peter Lorre. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. While the film is somewhat dated, it still offers good entertainment value. It is intriguing to see a fictional film that plays within technologies that we now take for granted when at the time were more novel ideas for general audiences.  The movie serves as a good, easy-on-the-mind, afternoon watch that can be shared by the whole family. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

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