Reviews written by registered user
MartinHafer

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Quite enjoyable....whether you are a Batmaniac or not., 22 November 2017
8/10

My daughter has read a lot of Batman comics and she loved the film...and much of it was because she saw all sorts of inside jokes that the rest of us might miss. Fortunately, you do NOT need to be a Batmaniac in order to enjoy the movie, as a dopey old man like myself still got a lot out of the film. As for me, I was thrilled to see a Batman Lego movie, as in "The Lego Movie" this character was my favorite. Here, he's back...as broody and aloof as ever.

The plot is pretty simple. The Joker is angry that Batman doesn't care about him nor does he see him as his personal nemesis. So, the Joker is out to hurt Batman by unleashing all sorts of wicked creatures on Gotham City. As for Batman, the self-centered jerk superhero learns to rely on others...starting with Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon and Alfred.

This is pretty much what you'd expect from the film...one that kids will no doubt enjoy and adults will enjoy or at least tolerate. To me, the best kids films are the ones with wide appeal....and it's hard to imagine anyone not liking this cute film.

Green Fire (1954)
Sure, I could easily imagine a woman that looks and dresses like Grace Kelly in the Colombian jungle!, 20 November 2017
5/10

1954 was a VERY busy year for Grace Kelly. She starred in five films...one of which (THE COUNTRY GIRL) earned her a Best Actress Oscar and two of which were Hitchcock pictures. But not all these projects were great...as she also starred, inexplicably, in "Green Fire"...a rather pedestrian film where the worst thing about it is Kelly.

The story mostly is about Rian Mitchell (Stewart Granger), a scheming treasure hunter who seems to always be on the verge of a bit find....but fails. As for Catherine (Grace Kelly), she mostly seems to be there as window dressing throughout the film...very weird window dressing. Why weird? It's set in the Colombian jungle and there the very American and white bread Kelly appears...in her designer costumes and perfectly coiffed hair. It is simply ridiculous...and never really seems believable or necessary. As for the rest of the film, some is kinda interest...kinda.

Overall, not a terrible film (after all, it has some nice location shots) but a movie that SHOULD have been a lot more interesting given its budget and cast.

Perhaps best for those who have seen the shows it's parodying., 20 November 2017
7/10

I might not be the best person to watch this series. This is because it's apparently a parody of other television shows...shows I have never watched. My daughter laughed and laughed as we watched and mentioned many tropes in the show that were being parodied...and I'll just have to take her word for it!

As for the show for those who aren't a reality crime show watcher, it's still worth seeing and is quite clever. But I also have a warning...like many high schoolers I've known (I taught high school), these kids are VERY crude and coarse. Drinking, sex, language AND there are many references to penises. So just be forewarned...it is funny but also a bit offensive.

Duma (2005)
Pretty much "Walkabout" set in South Africa...., 19 November 2017
6/10

A boy and his father rescue an orphaned Cheetah in South Africa. They raise Duma with the intention of one day returning him to the wild. Unfortunately, the father dies and the mother decides they cannot remain on their farm and need to move to the city. But what of Duma? The cheetah is supposed to be transported to a game reserve but escapes and the boy, Xan, decides (very impulsively) to take off across the South African wilderness to take Duma to a place where it can be free. The problem is that Xan is an idiot...and the country HUGE and forbidding. And, because it's a family movie you know that somehow despite Nile Crocs, lions, hippos, poisonous snakes, starvation, dehydration and much more that somehow it will all work out in the end...that's just the sort of uplifting film this is.

In so many ways, the movie reminds me of the Australian flick "Walkabout" but with a different locale. Both involve kids surviving in the wild as well as meeting up with folks who help them along their way. And, overall, I'd say the two films are about equal in appeal, though Xan was an incredibly impulsive and stupid boy. There also were a few parts that didn't make a lot of sense-- such as when he discovered food and civilization yet continued on his trek and the talky and preachy finale!

Sort of like "Mutiny on the Bounty"...or at least the novel., 18 November 2017
7/10

The movie "The Caine Mutiny" is an exceptionally good story. However, the book is perhaps better and presents a different sort of story. Instead of the crew taking control of the ship because the captain is incompetent and had been throughout much of the movie, the book is much more vague and you never are really sure if the crew was right to mutiny. In many ways, this episode of "Police Story" is like the novel...though by the very end things ARE quite clear.

The story begins with a clumsily filmed and executed SWAT team response to a deranged man threatening to kill people. I say clumsy because it came off as rather phony and silly after the team acted. Fortunately, the rest of the show is much better and shows a widening gulf between the new SWAT team leader (James Farentino) and his second in command (Jan-Michael Vincent). Much of the time it's not clear who is in the right...but ultimately it all worked itself out.

Apart from the badly executed initial SWAT team response, the show was pretty good...though CLEARLY a reworking of the famous Herman Wouk novel. It's especially clear this is the case when one of the men declares "We have ourselves a real Captain Queeg here..."....and Queeg was the Captain in "The Caine Mutiny".

Touching and inspiring....though a bit rushed., 18 November 2017
8/10

"Captain Hook" is a very well made installment of "Police Story", though I do wish this one episode had been longer than the usual one-hour time slot, as it did come off as a bit rushed. But, even a rushed episode though it was, it's still well worth seeing.

Officer Joe Waldron (David Birney) goes from being a happy cop to a very depressed one. His dumb partner is responsible for getting Waldon's hand as well as his own blown off on the line of duty. The show follows him as he transitions through the various stages of grief to becoming a model cop...one who is NOT content doing desk work but who wants to be a beat cop just like an able-bodied one.

This story is well worth watching...and it makes you wonder if such a case could happen today considering the Officer might have a really good legal case against the department if they didn't allow him to work in the field when he proves his competence. Interesting but the story took place over what must have been a year or more...and yet it was all crammed into an hour.

Hot Rod (2007)
Familiar but not particularly inspiring., 18 November 2017
5/10

"Hot Rod" is a very familiar story, as it's both a reworking of "Dirty Work" and is very similar to many of the recent loser does good films. However, it's told in a rather pedestrian manner and lacks the fun of other similar films, such as "Talladega Nights" and "Waterboy".

The story is a goofy tale about a total loser who manages to somehow achieve a tiny level of success by the end of the film. Andy Samberg is Rod Kimble...a guy who has no job, lives in his parents house and has an obsession with doing stunts....nearly all of which he completely misses achieving. He decides to up his game and do some PAYING stunts in order to afford to give his verbally and physically abusive step- dad a new heart.

There are several problems with the film. The first is that it just isn't written all that well. Despite being a lot like "Dirty Work" and the films I mentioned above, it replicates a VERY familiar pattern but in a completely unimpressive and not particularly funny way. I think the reason I was so unimpressed as well is because I thoroughly LOVED Samberg's "Pop Star" and know that he's capable of much more given a well written script. Overall, it's a time-passer and nothing more...mostly due to there being little in the characters to like as well as a dearth of humor.

The Hidden (1987)
Despite a bazillion explosions and bullets, quite good., 15 November 2017
8/10

I am NOT a major fan of action films, so the fact that I liked "The Hidden" is unusual. The movie is jam-packed full of explosions, gun fire, deaths and mayhem. But it also works as an inventive sci-fi movie...one that pretty much went under the radar back in 1987 when it debuted.

The film has an incredibly simple plot...when the film begins, a maniac is running amok in LA...killing and stealing as if there's no tomorrow. Soon, however, you realize this killer is NOT a typical killer...he's practically indestructible. And, when he's about to die, a disgusting alien pops out of his mouth and inhabits the next person...and begins the murder spree all over again!! However, an oddball who claims to be an FBI agent (Kyle McLaughlen) arrives to assist the lead detective on the case (Michael Nouri) and they are the Earth's best bet to stop this menace.

Despite relying heavily on action and wholesale slaughter, the film is intelligently written and original. It's also an interesting time capsule of the late 1980s...in all its awfulness and excess. Well worth your time.

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
I almost wish this was not called 'Star Trek'., 15 November 2017
7/10

To compare this Star Trek series to any previous one is extremely difficult because this new show is very little like any of the previous shows. Now, instead of a one hour story that occasionally lasted several episodes, the show is essentially one long story...much like a soap opera or movie serial. Because of that, it's a tough show to watch here and there and it demands your attention each episode...something some viewers would no doubt not like. Additionally, the show is much darker and after the first half of season one, there is NOTHING that even remotely looks like comedy or even light drama. No, it's oppressive, dark and dim. On the positive side, it IS great looking...with effects that look as good as movies. But, Star Trek purists will no doubt be offended because this series is supposed to take place a decade before the first series from 1966-1969....yet the effects and technology seem hundreds of years ahead! Overall, it's a real mixed bag and I still honestly don't know what I think about it. Hard to rate and perhaps I'll come back to this review after I see more of how the story unfolds.

"The Tick" (2017)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
I am possibly not the best person to review this one., 10 November 2017
9/10

I never watched the old cartoon nor the first live action versions of "The Tick". Because of this, I might not be the very best judge of the quality of this show relative to the other incarnations. Still, I do enjoy this made for Amazon show very much.

This show is a nice anti-super hero show. What I mean is that although the Tick is a hero, he often seems incredibly stupid and inept. Likewise, his unwilling sidekick, Arthur, is anything but heroic. But together they inexplicably manage to fight crime!

The writing, especially the dialog, is what I really enjoy about the show. It's silly, clever and makes you laugh...mostly because the most horrible things keep happening to poor Arthur and it's a serious case of Schadenfreud watching and laughing at the guy!


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