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    Movies Films You've Watched Recently
    Minority Report (2002)

    I watched the trailer for this film nearly twenty years ago. It seemed like an interesting movie, but I never got around to watching it. This weekend I finally gave it a try. Not too bad.

    The movie is centered on the idea that in the future, certain humans could foresee crimes before they happened. Tom Cruise plays Chief John Anderton, the officer in charge of the system that arrests future criminals before they act and attempts to catch the crimes that happen without warning— crimes of passion and such.

    The movie is a little slow, and feels predictable at first, but towards the end, there were a few nice surprises and a clever twist. It isn't the greatest movie in the world, but it is a decent time-filler.

    Directed by Steven Spielberg. With Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow. In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.


    5/10


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    Walking Tall (1973)

    My dad loved this movie. I remember watching it with him almost every time there was a rerun on TBS or wherever, when I was a kid. So, last night I decided to watch it before bed.

    The story is of ex-marine and professional wrestler, Buford Pusser, who returning to his home town, finds that it has turned into a cesspool of iniquity that is protected by dirty cops. When they cheat his friend at the craps table, Pusser gets into a brawl with the staff and is ultimately beaten, stabbed, and left for dead. He, of course, goes on to wage war on them— I think you can see where this is going.

    It isn't a horrible movie. Are the fights so bad to almost be comical? Yes. Does the dialogue feel forced more often than not? Sure. Somehow, you still like Pusser and want to see him triumph. It is worth watching, in my opinion.

    Now to what I really want to talk about: this movie is yet another reminder of how racist that time period was. This is a movie with a built-in sideline about how a black man who got no respect from white people becomes a cop, loses the respect of his black friends, then gains it back by doing the right thing. Yet, some of the things than Pusser says to him caught me so off guard because of how racist he was being.

    When Pusser offers Obra the job as deputy, he literally says to him, "Now, I got eight dead niggers laying on the slab. You gonna help me or not?" WTF? WTF
    When we are introduced to Obra's character, Pusser's father goes on a mini-rant about how Obra is all "black power" and how he is for equality but not if it is "shoved down his throat." Double-WTF...Its sad that there was a time that talking about treating people equally was a point of that much contention (and this is in leftist Hollywood, imagine how bad it was in the real world!)

    These things did take something away from the movie for me, I will admit. Still, I am glad that I watch it. It really sank home the point that we are always just a few bad moves away from falling back into that ridiculous mindset.

    Walking Tall (1973)
    Directed by Phil Karlson. With Joe Don Baker, Elizabeth Hartman, Leif Garrett, Dawn Lyn. Based on the life of Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser whom almost single-handily cleaned up his small town of crime and corruption, but at a personal cost of his family life and nearly his own life.


    5/10


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    Kill the Irishman (2011)

    Set in the 1970's, this crime drama revolves around the life of Danny Greene, an Irishman working for the mafia in Cleveland in the seventies. For the most part, it is a pretty typical mob story, but there is enough here to make for an interesting film.

    If I have ever seen Ray Stevenson (Danny Greene) before, I don't remember when. Even as someone unknown to me, he was an excellent fit for the role. He has the perfect look for a killer. In one scene, an older Irish lady is giving her blessing to him and he exclaims, "There is no good left in me." It was such a dark, yet provocative scene and provided a hard look into the soul of Mr. Greene.

    Val Kilmer is in this movie, but he doesn't get a lot of screen time. He is very overweight in this movie, and was overweight in the last film I saw him in, so I am just assuming he isn't going back the to fit and trim Val that we knew and loved. He does a fine job acting, but like I said, he is maybe onscreen for five minutes the entire movie.

    Christopher Walken is an absolute prick in this movie. I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. His part (as always imo) was perfectly performed.

    The rest of the cast is filled with every secondary character in every mob movie ever made. You will recognize actors from The Sopranos, The Godfather, and many other Italian mob flicks littered all over the screen. Not a bad thing, just saying.

    I'll give this a good score because I was enthralled with it from beginning to end— and speaking of the ending, it was very well done and as this is based on a true story, I won't critique the actual story, itself. I would definitely recommend this film and maybe, just maybe, I might watch it again, someday.

    Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh. With Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer. The true story of Danny Greene, a tough Irish thug working for mobsters in Cleveland during the 1970's.


    7/10


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    Company Business (1991)

    Veteran actor, Gene Hackman, does a fine job in this spy film. While I had never seen Baryshnikov on film before, his work was done well and his charisma shines in this movie.

    Sam Boyd (Hackman) is an American spy set to make a trade. Spy for spy; one of theirs for one of ours. When things go wrong, Boyd and Grushenko (Baryshnikov) form an unlikely partnership to survive the onslaught of both the Soviet Union and US who had burned them.

    Taking place mostly in Berlin and Paris, the movie is filled with beautiful backdrops and gorgeous scenery. Although a dark spy film on the outset, there is a lightness to the movie that made it enjoyable to me. Critics (and even the director) call this movie out as anything but good, but to my uneducated palette, it was a good film and left me entertained and a fan of Baryshnikov.

    Directed by Nicholas Meyer. With Gene Hackman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kurtwood Smith, Terry O'Quinn. A retired CIA agent is recruited to participate in a prisoner exchange with the Russians.


    6/10


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    The Fan (1996)

    I didn't really know what to expect coming into this movie, but knowing Deniro's work, I felt fairly confident that he would play his part masterfully. I was not disappointed. What I wasn't prepared for was Wesley Snipes and the way he added such a personal element to his performance as all-star baseball player Bobby Rayburn.

    The film is set in a time where Major League Baseball was much more popular than it is today and begins with Rayburn's trade from the Atlanta Braves to The San Francisco Giants. His $40 million contract and status as a team-changing ballplayer sets up a lot of tension as he enters the season.

    Meanwhile Gil Renard (Deniro) is a knife salesman that is on his last leg and falling fast. His love for baseball trumps every other aspect of his life and has all but completely estranged him from his family and friends. Obsessed with The Giants, he looks for Rayburn to save the season and, along with star player Juan Primo (Benicio Del Toro), carry the team to a glorious season. When Rayburn receives less than stellar treatment from his new team and subsequently enters a slump, Gil spirals downward quickly and things go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye.

    Deniro is always buried so deeply into his role that in a matter of moments, you've forgotten that he was ever anyone besides Gil. His fanatic attitude and tunnel vision is done so well that doubt is never a consideration. I expect nothing less from this legend.

    Wesley Snipes, however, isn't an actor that I have the same level of confidence in. I have found his past work to be very self-serving and inconsistent (think Blade, especially the sequels.) This film seems very different. He really dives into his character and provides a strong introspective take on his character in this powerful performance.

    I would recommend this film for any fan of the dramatic and thrilling— not just baseball fans.

    The Fan (1996)
    Directed by Tony Scott. With Robert De Niro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin, John Leguizamo. An all star baseball player becomes the unhealthy focus of a down on his luck salesman.


    7.5/10


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    Basic (2003)

    In my thread, What has happened to John Travolta? I talked about how far back I had to go to find a good movie with him in it. Well, this is one of them.

    This film definitely has a category. This is one of those military intrigue movies where nothing is ever as it seems and everyone that you think is on the up-and-up is a crook. Well, almost. Obviously, I won't spoil the film, but it has enough twists and turns to leave you at, "Oh, damn, I didn't see that"— rather than "Oh yeah, of course they turned out to be crooked."

    With Travolta and Connie Nielsen taking up most of the screen time, this films centers around everyone else and I think, purposely places Hardy and Osborne on an island together while investigating crimes involving several elite military persons. When a training mission leaves Army Rangers dead, Col. Styles calls in Hardy to get some answers. What follows is ninety minutes of Hardy outsmarting everyone to get a glimpse of what really happened on that awful night.

    Sometimes, in movies where one person is on a higher level than the rest of the combatants, it is a stretch to make it seem natural, but this is Travolta in one his better performances, pulling it off without a hitch. Is it a life-changing thriller? No. Is it a good watch? Absolutely. Add in a little Samuel L. Jackson and some Giovanni Ribisi to the mix and you've got yourself a nice way to end a weekday night.

    Basic (2003)
    Directed by John McTiernan. With John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen, Tim Daly. A D.E.A. Agent investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army Ranger Drill Sergeant and several of his cadets during a training exercise gone severely awry.


    6.5/10


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    I just revisited "Blow Up" (1981) starring JT and the reason I wanted to see it again was the trivia I read at IMDb. Quentin Tarantino stated in an interview that this film is his favorite Brian De Palma movie. In fact, Tarantino cast John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994) because he liked his performance in this movie so much.

    Blow Up (1981)

    Blow Out (1981)
    Directed by Brian De Palma. With John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz. A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.
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    well before you know it halloween will be upon us and here in paradise like most places it is all but canceled.  my wife brought home a bag of candy and before she put the groceries away (she works at  a supermarket) i tore open the bag and unwrapped an almond joy and promptly devoured it causing her to shout: "what are you doing??!!" and i replied that i was having some candy and so she proceeded to yak about how it's for the kids.  i advised her halloween was canceled "really?" she asked.  i said yes the little beggars have been decreed super-spreaders by government bureaucrats.  i then told her how they should have canceled it last year when all we got was unappreciative greedy teenagers that were to f'n lazy to even come up with decent costumes.  "oh E" she sighed "you're such a grump" and indeed i am.  i know there will be some rogue super-spreaders out trying to game my chocolate (even though it's the measly kid size crap) but i will prevail in my effort to shut down their attempts by turning off my porch lights and yelling "get off my lawn!" from my hidden location behind some bushes.  since that's off my chest on to the movie(s).  horror was never a genre i embraced as a cinephile however i have evolved to appreciate many of the italian masters like argento, bava and fulci.  i also love the american classics like "frankenstein" and the one i recently watched "dracula". lugosi is just beautiful to watch and the sets create an unmatched atmosphere.  today we are fortunate to view these in a way that wasn't available when they were released so many years ago so if you haven't already done so download the high-def rip of your choice but for me bela still lives at least in the dark recesses of my mind.  tod browning's (1931) bela lugosi classic "dracula".

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    Legends of the Fall (1994)

    How many times have I watched this film? I forget. It must be at least a dozen times, and yet, I watch it each time with the same wet-eyed earnest as the first viewing. This the story of a pioneer family; of three brothers; of one woman who came to mean something special and different to all of them.

    Colonel William Ludlow (Sir Anthony Hopkins) settled his family in Montana after his wars were fought. With his wife gone back to England, he and his sons could have never expected how life would change when the youngest son, Samuel brings Susannah home to meet them. This beautiful young woman brightens up their cold, hard world, but when World War I begins, and the three brothers leave to join the fight, their lives are changed forever.

    Tristan (Brad Pitt) is without a doubt the driving force of this film. There is no doubt that Julia Ormond's portrayal of Susannah is masterfully done, and Hopkins brings a fierce, yet heart-warming element to the film with his Ludlow. However, without Pitt's wild and capable character, the movie would have fallen flat and been forgotten. Full of tragedy, full of hope; full of love: this film is a stark look at life on the frontier and a great way to spend an afternoon.

    Directed by Edward Zwick. With Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond. In the early 1900s, three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana are affected by betrayal, history, love, nature, and war.


    9/10


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    Hubie Halloween (2020)

    I saw this and when I read the reviews I immediately thought hard pass.  Then I recalled all the haters on other flicks I enjoyed and so I pulled the trigger and watched it due to Halloween rapidly approaching and I'd hate to miss out.  If you like Adam Sandler you will most likely appreciate this film.  If you don't, then I would move along.  It's definitely a Halloween movie and I found it to be funny and kinda different.  One of the things I like about Sandler is he as many directors have done assembled a group of friends over the years and often casts them in his movies.  John Ford and Martin Scorsese have done the same and I like the loyalty.  Julia Bowen, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Ben Stiller all star in this movie and a host of many familiar faces some I hadn't seen in years.  The production was well crafted and it's streaming on Netflix or download it from your favorite torrent site (thepiratebay.org).[Image: 92dRlku.jpg]

    Directed by Steven Brill. With Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta. Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something is going bump in the night, and it's up to Hubie to save Halloween.

    "be here now" ~ baba ram dass
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