FAST X (Released to Theaters USA 2023)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

Fast X has exceptionally good presentation. The movie holds its quality throughout the film without lapse. The storyline is just complex enough to keep mind involvement and does not focus on action alone for entertainment value. Part 10 of the series gives Vin Diesel a large part of its story. He still carries strong charisma that marks his presence in these stories as powerfully dominating. The next movie in the series, part 11, sets itself up in the mid-credit scenes. While Jason Momoa, initially, does not seem the best choice for this film, he quite soon establishes himself as the ultimate ‘bad guy’ and memorably plays  the antagonist. This movie returns to the format that made audiences fall in love with Fast and Furious movies. 

Film Poster Courtesy of  Google Images

Storyline

This action, driving film is about the son of a drug lord wants revenge for the death of his father.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Louis Leterrier for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Samantha Vincent, and Justin Lin for making the film possible. Cast includes Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Helen Mirren, Brie Larson, Rita Moreno, Jason Statham, Jason Momoa, and Charlize Theron. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a real ride, one of the better Fast and Furious movies, takes the action scenes to an even higher level with some terrific motorcycle and automotive stunts. The action scenes back themselves with a well-written story. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

CODE OF THE CACTUS (Released to Theaters in the USA 1939)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Code of the Cactus—short, simple, western film—does not have a large storyline but still manages to entertain. The writing, presentation, and portrayal run at the suitable to okay watch. The actors are largely unknown to modern audiences. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Rustlers use modern technology to rustle cattle. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Sam Newfield’s directing efforts. Thank you to Producer Sam Katzman for making the film possible. Cast includes Tim McCoy, Ben Corbett, Dorothy Short, Ted Adams, Stephen Chase, Dave O’Brien, Forrest Taylor, Bob Terry, Slim Whitaker, and Frank Wayne. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. A film that can run in the background for a party or to serve as a simple watch that does not require deep involvement or mind energy expenditure…a good, light afternoon watch. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI (Released to Theaters in the USA 1975)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì 

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi—excellent, short, animated story—serves the whole family. It educates and entertains. The film’s classic story is written well, above the average. Be aware that there are many versions of this story besides this 1975 version. This story in  The Archives.org library has atrocious audio. Dailymotion's audio is slightly better. This 1975 version of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is also available on Plex and Amazon Prime. The Amazon Prime version is for sale on VHS Tape for VCR. Those versions have not been reviewed by this reviewer for quality of audio. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi finds a human family he would like to adopt and be as welcome inside their home as on the outside. He finds a way to win and earn that coveted position. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Chuck Jones for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Chuck Jones for making the film possible. Cast includes Orson Welles, June Foray, Les Tremayne, Michael LeClair, Shepard Menken ,and Lennie Weinrib. 

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Despite the low-quality audio, this 1975 presentation of this classic story is excellent and a good share, short film that deserves its place in the family home video library. Good work for all involved in producing this animated movie. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers 

SAPPY BULL FIGHTERS (Released to Theaters USA 1959)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Sappy Bull Fighters—short filmfeatures Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Joe Besser as the Three Stooges. This movie works Mexico’s scenes of bull fight arenas into the film which are an interesting look into the popularity of this sport at certain times in history. This short movie does not provide spontaneous comedy as did previous Three Stooge movies.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

The stooges need a job and are given a job in the bull fighting arena. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jules White for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Jules White for making the film possible. Cast includes Joe Besser, Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Greta Thyssen, and George J. Lewis. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It is not as comical as other Three Stooge movies. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

HEART OF STONE (Released to Video on Demand USA 2023)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì 

Heart of Stone—convoluted and overly complex—has a difficult to follow storyline that uses the talents of Gal Godot to frontline the movie. Gal Gadot is a one-woman show as is Angelina Jolie. To surround Gadot with weaker personalities ruins this movie. Gadot self-contains an aura that requires more than this. If she could have been cast with stronger actors or by herself, the movie may have worked. As it is, it seems highly disorganized, boring, and not worth time viewing. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A force designed to dominate must be disabled for the sake of earth. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Tom Harper for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Gal Gadol, Jaron Varsano, Bonnie Curtis, and Julie Lynn for making the film possible. Cast includes Gal Gadot,  Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo, and Matthias Schweighofer. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. It is a waste of time and money. It has a distasteful introduction and even though those scenes are leveled to common ground, the disparity is too great to please. James Bond films keep the aspects of spectacular throughout the story and the audience forgives much in those stories. This story waivers from the overly rich to the common and becomes a common watch. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

SING A SONG OF SIX PANTS (Released to Theaters in the USA 1947)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Sing a Song of Six Pants—suitable short film—is made during the time when Shemp Howard and Moe Howard were still performing with their friend, Larry Fine, to make the Three Stooge films.  It has the magic that made the Three Stooges comical and worth watching. This is a much higher level of entertainment than The Sappy Bullfighters short film which is also a Three Stooges production.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

Storyline

The Three Stooges need money to pay creditors and a way is provided for that to happen.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jules White for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Jules White for making the film possible. Cast includes Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Shemp Howard, Vernon Dent, Harold Brauer, Phil Arnold, Virginia Hunter, and Cy Schindell.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. A suitable watch, features the original Three Stooge cast of Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine.                                                                                                                                                                      

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

COOKING WITH GAGS (Released to Theaters USA 1955)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Cooking with Gags—short, animated film—is a Popeye story that runs on a slightly different theme that emphasizes April Fool gags, how they can be comical until they are played on you. Bluto begins the series of gags. This story has been well-written and makes a good presentation despite its age. It’s a good toon share for the whole family and provides a small opportunity for after-viewing discussion on gags, pranks, and jokes played at another person’s expense. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl go on a picnic where  Bluto begins playing a series of gags. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Directors Izzy Sparber and Thomas Johnson for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Seymour Kneitel, Izzy Sparber, and Dave Tendlar for making the film possible. Cast includes Jackson Beck, Jack Mercer, and May Questel. 



Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a good film and still quite watchable for Popeye fans. It provides humor at the level of Tom and Jerry toons but has a difference in its reason for humor in this toon’s context. The gags are dangerous and inappropriate for children who may not understand what really happens when setting fire to gasoline.

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

THE BOSS DIDN’T SAY GOOD MORNING (Released to Theaters USA 1937)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

The Boss Didn’t Say Good Morning—message movie—delivers its package in a clean, clear, unmistakable, and professional manner.  This is a high-quality watch that everyone needs to see more than once as a reminder of how one, small thing can cause imagination to run wild. Fabulous work for all involved. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google 

Storyline 

A short film that shows how imaginations of employees can run wild if a boss is not careful to return a cheery greeting and how that single thing can affect a whole family.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jacques Tourneur for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Carey Wilson for making the film possible. Cast includes Carey Wilson, Donald Haines, Ernie Alexander, Granville Bates, Sheila Bromley, John Ince, Roger Moore, and Jack Mulhall. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a wonderful message film and unlike other message films that run their message to sour, this movie is palatable. This movie flows well. The orderly writing is much appreciated. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

IT AIN’T OVER (Released to Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, New York USA 2022)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì 

It Ain’t Over—great documentary—satisfies completely with the portrayal of a man who kept his marriage intact, lived to see multiple generations of children, built a wonderful career, supported and encouraged the ‘underdog,’ and forgave much that could have been considered unforgivable. Yogi Berra had a full life. Yogi lived well to the end. WOW! What a documentary! At the end of this movie, an audience feels sated and knows they've watched something wonderful. This is a feel-good film that has two quality marks—one  for portrayal and one for presentation. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

This documentary focuses on the ups and downs of Yogi Berra’s baseball career. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Sean Mullin for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Natalie  Metzger, Matt Miller, Michael Sobiloff, and Peter Sobiloff for making the film possible. Cast includes Yogi Berra. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Full film, impactful, belongs in the home video library…it’s a stand up and cheer movie  that makes strong statements for a life lived well. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

TO SIR, WITH LOVE (Released to Theaters USA 1967)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.3|5.0 Stars
ìììì

 To Sir, With Love—WOW! Sidney Poitier film—shows a method of dealing with failing schools and rebellious students. The adage that a student can only be as good as the teacher plays heavily in this movie.  This film serves as a high-quality watch that deserves its place in the home video library.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images

 Storyline

 An engineer who needs an engineering position teaches a troubled class while continuing to look for a position he has been trained for.

 Additional Thanks

 Thank you to Director James Clavell for directing effort. Thank you to Producers James Clavell for making the film possible. Cast includes Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall, The Mindbenders, and Lulu.

 


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

 Yes. Well-done story supports itself on terrific acting by the entire cast with Sidney Poitier blowing his part out of the park for believability and emotional involvement.

 Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

IT’S A GREAT LIFE (Released to Theaters USA 1943)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.1|5.0 Starsìììì 

It’s a Great Life—cute, loveable, fun, and simple—follows the typical storyline presented in the Sunday Comics. No surprises here. This film is an ‘easy energy’ watch that serves the whole family. Look for Arthur Lake  as Dagwood and Penny Singleton as Blondie. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Dagwood Bumstead goes through a series of mishaps before finding relief. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Frank Strayer for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Frank R. Strayer for making the film possible. Cast includes Penny Singleton, Arthur Lake, and Larry Simms. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Fun watch, simple story, and all-around good watch. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers 

ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THE TEMPLE OF SKULLS (Released to DVD USA 2008)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.2|5.0 Starsììì

Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls—bland 2008 Allan Quatermain movie—does not show as well as the two  original Quatermain movies that used Richard Chamberlain as lead actor.  It is not on par. The film is an average watch. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

Quatermain searches for lost gold and a young woman's missing brother. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Mark Atkins for directing effort. Thank you to Producers David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, and Paul Bales for making the film possible. Cast includes Sean Cameron Michael, Christopher Adamson, Sanaa Lathane, Daniel Bonjour, and Wittly Jourdan. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. This film is poorly done and does not recommend itself except with its background scenery. 

Video Critique Available Here: 





Ben Meyers

WITHOUT REMORSE (Released to Video on Demand World-Wide 2021)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì 

Without Remorse—special ops movie with Michael B. Jordan—shows well. The acting is above par, presentation very good. The movie is a complete, unexpected surprise. The movie is a terrific watch, a quality action film. This is an Amazon Studio- made film. Don’t miss it. It connects with its audience from the first opening scenes and creates an audience-shared response to care about what happens to the character Jordan plays. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline 

After experiencing a family tragedy, a man requests an assignment that will allow him to bring another man to justice. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Stefano Sollima for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Akiva Goldsman, Josh Apprelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Michael B. Jordan for making the film possible. Cast includes Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kes, Guy Pearce, and Lauren London. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a great action flick. It has an excellent story with enough twists and turns to completely satisfy any audience. This movie is based on a Tom Clancy novel. 

Video Critique Available Here:

 




Ben Meyers

LUNANA: A YAK IN THE CLASSROOM (Released to Theaters Japan 2020)

 Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì 

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom—good storyline—shows well on screen and tells a solid story. The movie almost seems like a documentary because of the type of camera used to record classroom events and the daily lives of people living in this small village located in one of the most remote locations in the world. The scenery is quite spectacular. The movie has got a sentimental feel that will satisfy and emphasizes the human spirit and the cooperation needed to ensure educational goals. The conclusion is a little unexpected but is realistic. Made in Bhutan, the film has terrific English subtitles

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 

Storyline                                                                                      

teacher takes an assignment to teach in a remote school located in Bhutan. 

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Pawo Shoyning Dorji for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Pawo Choyning Dorji, Jia Honglin, Stephanie Lai, and Steven Xiang for making the film possible. Cast includes Sherab Dorji, Ugyen Norbu Lhendup, Kelden Lhamo Gurung, and Kunzang Wangdi 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. This is a good watch for families and adults alike. It works the human element well with its wonderful storyline. This foreign film has excellent English subtitles. 

Video Critique Available Here: 

 


Ben Meyers

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 (Released to Theaters USA 2017)

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

 John Wick: Chapter 2—good storyline—seems to have lowered the fight scenes and the rest of the film to a slower frames per second presentation, not enough to present those scenes in slow motion for effect, but slightly. That contributes to a feeling of sterility/not well portrayed for the film in general. That, in turn, makes the film a bit unrealistic and contributes to a general feeling that presentation lacks something.  The first  John Wick ‘feels’ like a good action flick but John Wick: Chapter 2 does not consistently give that same feeling. The writing is good and the dialogue well-written. The movie is still worth watching and earns that coveted recommendation to ‘do not’ pass over it. It’s a good watch.

 Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

 Storyline

 A crime boss sends John Wick to kill a woman.

 Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Chad Stahelski for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for making the film possible. Cast includes Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Riccardo Scamarcio, Common, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan, John Leguizamo, Peter Stormare, Franco Nero, and Ian McShane.


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe?                                      

Yes. This is a good film, but the feel of the portrayal is sterile and not as realistic as desired. 

Video Critique Available Here:



Ben Meyers

BROKEN ARROW (Released to Theaters USA 1996)


Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì 

Broken Arrow—okay film—accesses the talents of John Travolta and Christian Slater. It’s difficult to establish John Travolta as an antagonist. The acting, presentation, and storyline run from suitable to weak. This film has little character development.  

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images 

Storyline 

A soldier turned bad and the USA government try to take control of two undetonated nuclear warheads that were lost in transit.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director John Woo for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Mark Gordon, Bill Badalato, and Terence Chang for making the film possible. Cast includes John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Frank Whaley, Bob Gunton, Howie Long, and Delroy Lindo. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Maybe. Don’t expect a terrific movie. The film runs on an action theme that is a suitable watch. 

Video Critique Available Here: 



Ben Meyers

THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (Released to Theaters France 2019)

 

Ben Meyers’ Rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

 The Pilgrim’s Progress—sterile and weak—begs for an explanation. It is a message film but without a clear message. The story needs expansion and a definition for the scenes which are undefined. Even a Wikipedia plotline read does not sufficiently supply quality of storyline to really make one want to watch it as a high priority, It has a lot of explaining to do.  It  lacks coherency and explanation for random characters that appear throughout the story. The theme seems to run on a death theme rather than a life theme. It supports  annulling of promises made for the marital state, gives permission to abandon wife and children, and encourages walking toward death rather than toward life. In 2019 there were much better animation techniques available than this film uses. 

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images                                                                                                                                                       

Storyline 

A man leaves his wife and sons to take a journey that he knows has no return.                                                             

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Robert Fernandez for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Steve Cleary, Robert Fernandez, Chris Jung, and Larry Zielke for making the film possible. Cast includes David Thorpe, John Rhys-Davies, and Kristyn Getty. 


Buy a ticket
? Yes? No? Maybe? 

No. This film does not support good moral values. 

Video Critique Available Here:



 Ben Meyers

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