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Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)
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Ghost Ship (Sous-titres franais) (Bilingual)
Ghost Ship (Sous-titres franais) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Gabriel Byrne
Price: CDN$ 9.93

4.0 out of 5 stars A decent straight ahead ghost story, Oct. 21 2013
Ghost Ship(released Oct/02)stars,among others,Gabriel Byrne,Julianna Margulies,Ron Eldard,Desmond Harrington,Isaiah Washington and Keith Urban.This is a straight ahead,no frills ghost story that can be quite gripping at times ad keep you on the edge of your seat.
The story opens with a flash back to a luxury ocean liner in the early 60s.There is a grand ball being held on deck when someone flips a switch and a guy wire tears into everyone's bodies,killing them all.The only survivor is a young girl.
Fast forward to present day and a crack crew of salvagers get a tip from an airman who has spotted a large ship adrift in the Bering Strait.They investigate its last known location and find it;in fact they literally bump into it.They go aboard and start a sweep of the interior.Part way along one crewman goes through the floor and is pulled back up by another,who briefly sees a little girl standing on the floor below.Shrugging it off they all continue to investigate.Along the way they discover a hug cache of gold and decide to forget salvaging the ship.When they try to leave,their salvage ship blows up,killing a crewman.From here on,things get desperate for the crew.They decide to float the ship to the nearest port but spirits within the ship start showing themselves.The young girl seen briefly earlier now makes herself known to one of the crew.The captain of the salvage team enters the cabin of the ships captain,and he appears to him.He shows him a bit of the back story to what lead to the crews deaths.It seems they picked up one survivor from a sinking liner,along with the gold.The survivor looks alot like the airman who put them onto this ships location and is aboard with them now.
The little girl further enlightens them as to what happened,as the man they picked up encouraged the original crew to mutiny so they could claim the gold for themselves.It is this entity that has kept the crew and passengers souls there since the incident that killed them and he is after this salvage crew now.One by one the salvage crew falls by the way side until there is only one survivor,who has to confront the evil entity.We learned that this thing works for Satan and uses the ship to collect souls for his masters.The last survivor,after a struggle,manages to sink the ship and free the souls from bondage.Adrift in the ocean the survivor is eventually rescued.Sitting in an ambulance near the dock side,she spots some of her old friends loading boxes(presumably the gold boxes)onto the ship,followed by the self same entity she thought went down with the ship.
I thought the ending was a bit of a question mark,not making alot of sense,but other than that the story,on the whole,was pretty credible.All do a fine job in the acting department and it was well directed and edited.After having lots of exposure from Xena:Warrior Princess as Caesar,Keith Urban did this movie just after Xena ended,and just before he co-starred in the epic trilogy Lord of the Rings.Urban is now a rising star in such films as Judge Dredd and Star Trek.It is good to see Keith is doing so well.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras abound here,and they include:three featurettes,a ships tour,a music vid,a the trailer and enhanced features for your PC.
In conclusion Ghost Ship is a perfect movie to get the popcorn out for,if you're looking for a good scare.It is not perfect but it generally satisfies over all.3 1/2-4 stars.

End of Days (Widescreen)
End of Days (Widescreen)
DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
Price: CDN$ 9.88
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars End run around reality, Oct. 20 2013
This review is from: End of Days (Widescreen) (DVD)
End of days(released Nov/99) stars,among others,Arnold Schwarzenegger as Jericho Cane,Robin Tunney as Christine York,Gabriel Byrne as Satan/The Nameless Banker and Kevin Pollak as Bobby Chicago.This is yet another end of civilization movie that has been done far,far better than this ponderous flicker.This thing has more twists,turns and detours than New York City on a good day.
The story finds us in 1979 and the Vatican/Pope is heralding the birth,somewhere in the world,of a baby that,when grownup,Satan will mate with and produce an offspring that will enable his reign over the Earth.Fast forward 20 years and the end of the millennium is approaching.Ahhnold and Pollack are two high profile security guards.Satan is roaming the Earth and chooses to inhabit Byrne's body.Out of coincidence Byrnes is a high profile banker who Ahhnold and Pollack's security firm is guarding.When Byrnes steps out of his car a shot rings out and Ahhnold takes the hit(with the help of his Kevlar vest).Byrnes is saved but Ahhnold and Pollock run down the shooter and capture him.Seems he is a renegade priest who knows of what Satan has in store and who Byrnes really is.Byrnes of course finds the priest and wastes him,carving a name in the priests chest.That clue leads Pollack and Ahhnold to Christine York,who is the now grown up baby of 20 years ago.The men save her from other renegade priests from the Vatican who want the girl dead.Later that night as Ahhnold is talking to Christine in her apartment,his pal Pollock gets wasted by Satan/Brynes outside.Ahhnold and Christine flee to a church where a father,played by Rod Steiger,welcomes them.Steiger tells them of the prophecy to come and Christine and Byrnes apparent roles.Ahhnold returns to his apartment where he confronts Satan.He tries to tempt Ahhnold but he is having none of it.
Back at the Church Ahhnold returns only to have the renegades from the Vatican show up wanting to kill Christine.However Satan/Byrnes interrupts and kills the renegades.Ahhnold and Christine flee only to be separated once more.One of Satan's servants captures Christine while Ahhnold is set upon and placed on a cross and left there.Next day priest Steiger comes out to take Ahhnold down.Ahhnold rearms himself and finds Satan's hideout.He rescues Christine and flees through a subway tunnel.In the ensuing chase Byrnes body is irreparably damaged and Satan looks for another host.
Ahhnold and Christine flee to another church and there the final confrontation takes place.Satan inhabits Ahhnolds body and tries to force Ahhnold to mate with Christine.However Ahhnold resists enough to impale himself on a religious statue.As the millennium rings out Satan is forced out of Ahhnold's body and is sent back to Hell,unable to have carried out his plan.The film ends as the police services arrive at the church and an unwary public are in Times Square celebrating the new year.
This is one long and twisted plot that just goes on and on and at about two hours,gets one clock watching for sure(NEVER a good sign).If the film had have been a little more straight forward it would have been alot better.I love the clues that Satan leaves on the chests of his victims in the beginning of the film.Why would Satan be so overt,would he not want to be secretive about what he had in mind,instead of drawing a road map?Whatever the case,the clues always lead our heroes straight to the next victim or person to be saved.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include a featurette,commentary,a look at special effects,the trailer,a look at the Book of Revelations and some DVD-ROM features.
All in all a disappointing Ahhnold entry.Too long and too twisty a plot make this,after the first 1/2 hour,a big yawn fest.2 1/2-3 stars.

Romantic Jazz
Romantic Jazz
Price: CDN$ 17.11
6 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackie does it again!, Oct. 13 2013
This review is from: Romantic Jazz (Audio CD)
If there's one thing Gleason knew it was two things:1)What the people wanted and 2)how to create a musical mood.He wasn't called the "Great One" for nothing.Gleason accomplishes both tasks in this superb CD of easy listening favourites from the original /55 album.Along with those tracks are two previously unreleased tracks.
This is an album of favourites old and new that have the edge taken off them,as only Gleason and company could,and can easily be danced to in the living room or listened to alone or with company.That is what is was designed for almost 60 years ago,and it still stands that way today.Gleason's music is really timeless stuff,and this is just one more to add to that vast array of wonderful music,Gleason style.
God bless,Jackie.

Great American Broadcast, The
Great American Broadcast, The
DVD ~ Alice Faye
Offered by Warehouse105
Price: CDN$ 14.99
6 used & new from CDN$ 11.81

3.0 out of 5 stars A great cast in an average Fox entry, Oct. 13 2013
The Great American Broadcast(released May/41)stars,among others,Alice Faye as Vicki Adams,John Payne as Rix Martin,Jack Oakie as Chuck Hadley and Cesar Romero as Bruce Chadwick.It's a great cast,with the three principal stars having been grouped together last in the successful Tin Pan Alley the year before.Fox wanted to capitalize on that success but came up far short with this offering.It's a mix up of a script and the music credited to Warren and Gordon falls flat on its keester.They certainly wrote better,such as that for Orchestra Wives.
The story finds us in a Hollywood-ized version of the start of the popularity of the medium of radio.Jack Oakie is a lineman whose hobby is working with a radio set at home,sending out local broadcasts,and talking to other radio operators from afar.Payne is a broke flyer who meets Oakie,and he comes up with an idea to expand Oakie's hobby into a wider working income for all.Payne gets to also meet Oakie's girlfriend Faye.The two don't exactly make a good first impression but,as these movies usually go,you know that love will rear its head between the two eventually.Payne gets a $2,500.00 loan from Romero,whom he already owes a substantial amount to.Payne in turn invests into Oakies new and more powerful radio set.Their scheme works but they hit a plateau until Payne,the ideas man,hits on another scheme to broadcast the Dempsey/Willard fight free,to entice new customers and business.It works,and not only does it improve Payne and Faye's careers(they also get married),Oakie and Romero prosper as well.
Payne and Faye move to Chicago but their new radio station doesn't do as well as Oakie's and Romero's in New York.Romero secretly meets with Faye who asks Romero to invest in her and her hubbies station.Romero has originally wanted to buy them out! Romero relents and gives over the cash,but it is understood Payne would never find out.At a restaurant celebrating,Payne and Faye run into Romero and Oakie.Romero approaches the table and things lead to things,and the secret comes out.Payne is furious and walks out.At home Faye tries to console Payne but there is no use.Unfortunately,love giveth and love taketh away,and Payne and Faye split.Payne goes to South America while his bride stays home and on as singer over the airwaves for Oakie and Romero.
There are now multiple stations around the U.S. and comes the day when Romero and Faye are going to get married.Oakie knows Faye still loves Payne,so he concocts a phony ruse to get Payne home,which works.He finagles the two together during the movie titled finale and all live happily ever after.
This is just a boring plot with alot of sub par music.It is not that the stars were bad,they weren't.They just did the best they could with what little they had.The bright spots are the Wiere Brothers,the fabulous,original Ink Spots and as always the phenomenal dancing Nicholas Brothers.
Technically speaking the movie has been remastered well and is clear and crisp.There is a featurette on the film,the trailer,a photo gallery and a restoration comparison.
All in all a fair to middling movie.A great cast with a wasted script and a totally forgettable soundtrack.But for the Ink Spots,Nicholas and Wiere Brothers,the film wouldn't qualify for three stars.

We'Re No Angels (Bilingual)
We'Re No Angels (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Humphrey Bogart
Price: CDN$ 9.93

3.0 out of 5 stars Good cast,but nothing special, Oct. 6 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: We'Re No Angels (Bilingual) (DVD)
We're No Angels(released July/55)stars,among others,Humphrey Bogart as Joseph,Aldo Ray as Albert,Peter Ustinov as Jules,Joan Bennett as Amelie Ducotel,Basil Rathbone as Andre Trochard and
Leo G. Carroll as Felix Ducotel.It is a wonderful cast thrown together with a promising script,but the understated acting undermines the entire picture and it generates little to no energy.
The story opens on Christmas Eve,1895,on infamous Devil's Island.There is a pronounced fork in a dirt road;from one direction comes a cart and its driver,and from the other,three men in a hurry from the direction of the prison.Bogie,Ray and Ustinov are three convicts who want to get off Devil's Island via a ship that has just anchored off shore.The three come upon a shop run by Carroll and his wife Bennett.Carroll isn't the best businessman and the three start by rifling through his shop goods even before he arrives at the front to greet them.Conversation reveals that the roof leaks and Bogie volunteers the group to go up and fix the roof.The three's real intention is to steal him blind,kill the family and leave the island.However as time goes by and they are introduced to each family member,the three become attached to them and ultimately befriend them and help them.The three pilfer many things around the island to make the family a memorable Christmas Eve meal,and Carroll even pays them for their trouble.They're very touched and cannot go through with their original plans.
Into the mix comes Carroll's boss/cousin,Rathbone and his nephew.Rathbone is in a foul mood and has nothing but contempt for the three outsiders.He wants to work Christmas Day with Carroll,taking inventory.The three now have their new victim.To top this Rathbone's nephew,who some time before promised to marry Carroll's daughter,has reneged.As the three stand around wondering what to do next,Rathbone comes in and takes a little wooden cage Ray always carries with him.In it is a deadly viper snake,but Rathbone confiscates it thinking it is property they stole,and takes it back into his room.When they finally settle on just who should tell him what is in the box,the snake has already done its work and Rathbone is dead.Bogie plants a phony will inside Rathbone's suitcase leaving his fortune to Carroll and his family.However the nephew finds it and burns it.When the nephew goes back in to rifle through his uncle's pockets,the viper bites him and he is soon gone also.
A good looking medical officer arrives at the house(having heard about a death there)and the three play cupid for Carroll's daughter.They finally decide maybe prison wasn't such a bad place after all,and nattily dressed,depart for their former prison digs,halo's appearing over them all,including the snake.
Director Curtiz's direction was really tepid on this one,as I found everything about the film understated.This resulted in a staid and monotone-like dynamic that failed to generate any excitement or apathy for the hijinks on the screen.Rathbone made a good part of his acting career playing wonderful snobs,and he is the bright light amongst the dull here.
Technically this is a crisp and clear print of the film in a w/s a/r of 1:85:1.There are no extras at all.
All in all a film with a great cast and a good director that goes no where.I give it three stars,but only because of the boffo cast,but nothing else.

The Big Parade
The Big Parade
DVD ~ King Vidor
Price: CDN$ 9.97
21 used & new from CDN$ 8.67

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the "silent" era's big ones,comes to DVD!, Oct. 5 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Big Parade (DVD)
The Big Parade(released Nov/25)finally makes its way onto DVD and it's a pip.The film stars,among others,John Gilbert as Jim Apperson,Renée Adorée as Melisande,Karl Dane as Slim and Tom O'Brien as Bull.While not a perfect film,this is one of King Vidor's better known works that still stands the test of time.
The story introduces us to three different characters:one a construction worker(Dane),a bartender(O'Brien)and a spoiled rich kid(Gilbert).WW1 comes to America and everyone seems to be in the spirit to fight or do something to help the war effort,that is except Gilbert.Out the first day of the announcement,he runs into a recruiting parade.A few friends drive by in the parade and persuade Gilbert to enlist...and off he goes.The next day at home his father has a heart to heart with his recalcitrant son,telling him in no uncertain terms its either help or get out.It is then Gilbert's girlfriend comes running in saying how great it is about Gilbert enlisting.Gilbert has been trying to figure out how to tell them....ooops! With that he has an instantly proud father and brother,but a broken hearted mother.
Gilbert soon ships out and first day at camp finds him united with who are to become his two best buddies,Dane and O'Brien.They are three totally different people coming together for one glorious adventure/cause.In France the regiment they are in is billeted in a farmhouse in Champillon.Alot of funny moments ensue as the three get used to life,as they await their turn to go to the front.Amongst it all Gilbert falls in love with farm girl Adoree'.When the call finally comes to go"up front",Gilbert has just received a letter from his sweetheart back home.Adoree' has found out about it and Gilbert is torn.The two have parted sourly,but with Gilbert now shipping out neither can deny their feelings of love for each other.As the last truck pulls out Adoree' is on her knees clutching a single shoe Gilbert has tossed to her.
War up to now has been a cake walk,but now comes reality.The regiment finds itself clearing out a forest of German guns,and many men go down around the three,all at the front of the pack.When they reach the edge of the forest,a large wasteland appears before them.Gilbert asks"They aren't going to send us out there,are they?".They do and off the boys go to engage the enemy in WW1 style trench warfare.At one point at night,the three are pinned down in a foxhole awaiting orders for the regiment to move out.Suddenly an order comes down for a volunteer out of the three to take out an enemy mortar.Dane challenges the others to a spitting contest to see who gets to go and wins.Off he goes,silencing the two man German mortar crew.On the way back a sky flare gives the German machine gun nest a target and Dane is mortally wounded.During his cries of agony Gilbert loses it and goes out after him,with O'Brien reluctantly following.By the time he reaches Dane,Dane is dead.In a total rage Gilbert storms the machine nest and kills all the soldiers there.In the battle he is wounded in the knee and ends up in a foxhole with a German who he cannot bring himself to kill,but who dies anyways.At that moment irony takes a hand and his regiment is send"over the top",as a big push is ordered against the enemy.Gilbert is rescued and sent back to a rear hospital for treatment.In the hospital Gilbert wakes up and immediately asks how far Champillon is.His left leg is in a cast and somehow he manages to leave the hospital and hitch a ride with an ambulance to the town.However the town has been abandoned and his love is no where to be seen.Gilbert collapses and is taken back by allied soldiers.
The war has ended now,and Gilbert is coming home.It is a teary reuniting with his family,especially his mother who is shocked at the loss of her son's left leg.Gilbert explains to his mother about Adoree',the girl he left behind,and his mother tells him that they will help him find the thing that really matters the most to him now.We next find Adoree' and her mother plowing a field when they spot a man coming towards them in the distance.Adoree' has a funny feeling about this figure approaching them.When she cannot stay put any longer she runs towards the man.It is indeed Gilbert who is now walking as fast as he can with a cane and a prosthetic limb.The two are finally and lovingly reunited.Fade to black.
The closing scene always gets me and I can imagine there wasn't a dry eye in the house back in 1925 either.This film has been criticized for its over dramatical moments such as when Gilbert loses it in the fox hole.I won't deny the film does have such scenes,and I said it wasn't perfect.However they are few and far between,and looking at the overall picture,it is a total gem,no doubt about it.Gilbert's persona really carries the day,with many scenes that would just be ordinary from someone else.Vidor did a magnificent job,and if his direction wasn't as subtle as The Crowd,it is because he was using a far bigger canvas.Vidor had a huge job in not only bringing together these three amigos and a love story,but throwing it altogether in amongst a war time dynamic.And that war,when it is on,becomes very real,very fast.One can also see an anti war message in amongst the battles.The very thing,Gilbert's rant in the fox hole,that critics complain about,is the very moment Vidor makes a statement about war's futility and the unnecessary loss of lives.
Technically speaking the film is clear and crisp.Overall the picture quality is excellent and they did a great remastering job on the film.Extras include the film's trailer,a featurette on the MGM lot in 1925(a must see)and commentary by Jeffrey Vance and King Vidor himself.
One thing I must mention is a little FYI for all my readers.On the outside plastic wrap of this DVD I received,there are two stickers,one is a Warner Brothers identifying logo,and the other says this:"64 page book of photos and film facts-written by acclaimed film historian Kevin Brownlow".I received NO such book with this DVD.There is also no mention of any book being included on any Amazon web page,but it is definitely on the cover.What gives? I phoned Amazon and basically it all comes down to this,no one has a clue as to what the sticker is referring to,and no one seems to be in an awful hurry to find out.Disappointing.So if you get your copy with no book,and see that self same sticker,be aware that you will get nowhere.
All in all a wonderful film from 1925 and King Vidor,restored wonderfully with music by Carl Davis.The picture is fabulous and some scenes seem to have been shot yesterday.This is a highly recommended piece of film history that is a must have/see for all film buffs.4 1/2 stars.

World War Z (Bilingual)
World War Z (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Brad Pitt
Price: CDN$ 4.47
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to World War Zzzzzzzz, Sept. 21 2013
This review is from: World War Z (Bilingual) (DVD)
World War Z(released June/13)stars,among others,Brad Pitt,Mireille Enos,James Badge Dale and Matthew Fox.This is a film that seemed to have alot of potential, but it was saddled with a been-there,done-that script and a star who virtually snoozes his way through everything.Pitt has no more charisma or the feeling of a leading man than any of his costars do.He is totally vanilla.
The story introduces us to Pitt,his wife and two children.They are stuck in traffic in Philadelphia,when their vehicle mirror gets ripped off.As he steps out to investigate an explosion in the distant goes off.Then a traffic cop on a bike comes by telling Pitt to get in his car.Just then a garbage truck runs the cop over.Pitt follows the truck and is eventually fleeing towards Newark,away from.....? There Pitt contacts the Secretary of the U.N.who will send a helicopter to rescue him and his family.The family is eventually spirited away to a ship off the New York coast.It seems Pitt was a former forces member who the Navy wants to redeploy to help them with this sudden outbreak of a deadly virus on the human population.
Pitt takes a team to Korea,with a virologist in tow.The virologist is killed and there is no credible lead there as to the nature of the viral outbreak anyway.What is left of the group flies next to Jerusalem.The city is under siege and has erected a wall to keep the zombies out.They got tipped off by some intelligence just before the outbreak.While there Pitt witnesses a Muslim group,brought into the city,celebrate over loudspeakers.The loud noise attracts the zombies outside the wall who try enmass to enter.(the scene in the trailers showing this human wave trying to climb over each other up a wall,is that moment).The zombies enter the city and it is a mad dash to leave by plane.Pitt and an Israeli soldier make it onto an airliner.The airliner flies them to Wales and to a World Health Organization outpost.During the flight a zombie has got aboard somehow and it has infected just about the entire plane.It crash lands in the Wales countryside.Pitt and the soldier make it to the WHO compound.The compound itself is under siege by some of its own former staff.The ones left figure out that the zombies don't touch those that are lame or sick.Pitt manages to make it to a section of the labs that has some pathogens stored there.Pitt injects himself with some and he is able to walk right by them untouched.This leads to a viral serum being developed which gives the armed forces a big advantage in containing the threat and Pitt is reunited with his family in Nova Scotia.
Not only is Pitt so utterly vanilla in this picture,the film has quite amateurish S/FX.Any scene,such as the zombies climbing over each other to scale tall walls,like the Jerusalem scene,are terribly fake looking.On top of this,the film just cannot strike a moment where it can generate any level of excitement or tension for any length of time.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1.There are no specials.
All in all this movie is the Pitts,and that's where alot of the blame lies for its feel.He holds any modicum of emotion in check and thus exudes no enthusiasm from the viewers perspective.The film itself has a second rate script(seen it all before)and it fails in its own job to create any excitement.Go watch any Resident Evil film and get some proper zombie kicks,not this RE wanna be.Zzzzzzz.2 1/2-3 stars.

The Colony (Bilingual)
The Colony (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Laurence Fishburne
Offered by 1000Deals
Price: CDN$ 7.25
14 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of film footage, Sept. 21 2013
This review is from: The Colony (Bilingual) (DVD)
The Colony(released April/13)stars,among others,Laurence Fishburne as Briggs,Kevin Zegers as Sam,Bill Paxton as Mason and Charlotte Sullivan as Kai.This film is yet another Armageddon film,trying to throw the guilts at each and every viewer for its subject matter and totally failing at its attempt to create any kind of excitement.
The story opens with two people getting attacked by an unseen force,down the end of a long corridor filled with huge pipes.Next we are introduced to the movies home base,Colony 7.This is the not too distant future and man's clumsy attempts at altering climate have fouled it completely.It is now a world of endless winters and everyone who survives,lives underground.Briggs is the one in charge of this colony and he has trouble with Mason,who was put in charge of taking care of the sick.Past protocol was to put people who came down with a simple cold,into quarantine then test them after.If they passed they were allowed back amongst the colony.If not they were given the option of "walking"(walking outside and away) or being shot.It seems Mason is shooting first and asking questions well afterwards.
Amidst this turmoil comes a distress call from Colony 5.Three leave to investigate,which includes Sam,Briggs and a young man who volunteers.They arrive the next day to find blood everywhere.We realize the opening of the film took place here.Inside they find one survivor who doesn't want to leave.They glean some important intel however on another colony elsewhere that has managed to turn on some old weather control equipment and has melted the snow and has sunshine.They also stumble upon a large group of colonist still alive who are now living off human flesh,and filing their teeth with bones so they are small and pointed.What follows is a struggle to get out in one piece.Briggs and Sam make it but their young companion doesn't.They flee as fast as they can but are followed.During an attempt to blow up a section of a long bridge,Briggs ends up sacrificing himself to save Sam and the Colony.
Sam barely makes it back alive and is handcuffed by Mason who doesn't believe his story.Soon the group from Colony 5 arrives and starts its bid to take over Colony 7.When all is said and done just a mere handful make it out of the Colony through its vents,and leave to search for the colony with sun.Fade to black.
This is a movie on how not to make one.The superfluous shots and editing are amateurish.For example there is a scene where Briggs and Sam are in a helicopter for the night while fleeing the horde from Colony 5.They say what they have to,they're all set to head out tomorrow and what should have been a cut to next day,turns into yet another shot from outside the helicopter THEN them going to the next day.We know they're in the helicopter,so there was no need to reinforce it with a fading shot.This was as superfluous as it comes.Another example is Sam who battles the Colony 5 leader.Up to now the leader has killed everyone he has come in contact with,yet now Sam somehow manages to defeat him.Anyways,after he does there is a shot of Sam walking towards a fiery background to leave.We cut to the small group of those who managed to escape above,thinking Sam is about to emerge also.No.We then cut to yet another shot of Sam walking towards flames,THEN he soon after emerges from the vent shaft like the others.
Besides excess shots and poor editing,the story is a terribly slow sucker;sucker being the operative word as it sucks any enthusiasm for this film right out of you.Its pace is as slow and relentless as the weather the characters have to endure.The ending totally catches you off guard as you're expecting to follow the colonists to the new one with the sunshine.Truth be told,it wouldn't/couldn't have helped this movie in any way.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and s clear and crisp.There is one featurette....if you care.
All in all a complete waste of a good cast with a sub par script,editor and director.If you're going to try and give us all,yet again,the guilts for how we're supposedly destroying ourselves,you are going to have to do better than this turkey.Total pass on this one.1 1/2- 2 stars.

Now You See Me / Insaisissable (Bilingual)
Now You See Me / Insaisissable (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jesse Eisenberg
Price: CDN$ 11.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 3.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look closely and tell me what you see?, Sept. 15 2013
Now you see me(released May/13)stars,among others,Jesse Eisenberg,Mark Ruffalo,Woody Harrelson,Mélanie Laurent,Isla Fisher,Dave Franco Common,Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.This is a dazzling puzzler of a film with a plethora of plot twists and sleight of hand,designed to not only fool the characters on screen but we the audience also.The film reunites stars Eisenberg and Harrelson,since their first collaboration in Zombieland.
The story finds four single act magicians,one who specializes in lock picking,bending spoons,etc,the other a mentalist,the other a card trick master and lastly an escape artiste.They one day all get a special card telling them to meet at an apartment.Inside they are given instructions by remote,and a year later they are all in Vegas doing a joint act;now known as the Four Horsemen.In Vegas they "pick" out a visiting Frenchman from the vast audience and have him "rob" his personal bank in Paris,through "teleportation".After the show the bank in Paris has indeed been robbed and the four are arrested by the FBI.Without just cause and total lack of connection,the foursome are let go.We are introduced to a debunker who has been following the four and wants to expose them and will follow them to the end.
The next big trick is in New Orleans.This time they have their benefactor/backer on stage with them.As they have each member of the audience check their bank accounts,the audience finds theirs going up while the funds are coming out of their benefactors account,much to his chagrin.After the show their mentor,who is now seeing red,finds the debunker and puts him on the payroll to expose them.
The groups last big trick is in New York where there is a safe loaded with multi millions of dollars.Through their usual means,the group manages to spirit the safe away right from under the FBI noses.After all is said and done the FBI investigator who has been so far behind this group arrests the debunker.The debunker never saw it coming,neither did we,that the lead FBI man was somehow behind it all.
Meanwhile the four have appeared in Central Park at a tree containing a card left behind by a long dead magician called Shrike.The four put their original cards together,which activates the card in the tree,which in turn starts a nearby carousel moving.In front of the carousel is the FBI agent,who welcomes them to the "eye" .They all board the carousel and "disappear".Time passes and a French Interpol agent who was working with the FBI agent on the case from the start,is sitting on a bench on a bridge in Paris,when the agent appears.It is learned he is the son of the long dead magician.Along with revenge on the debunker who humiliated his father,he got revenge on the company that produced the sub par steel in the safe his father drowned in,and the bank and the benefactor of the Horsemen who originally refused to pay on the insurance claim.Fade out.
The film itself resembles a magic act before your eyes,as deception after deception is played out by multiple characters and we,like the audience in the film,are often fooled and amazed.Some of the tricks are explained and others are not(hey there are some secrets that are sacred after all).When it all comes down to the end of the film,like Harrelson's charcater says"I didn't see that coming".All the actors do a tremendous job together and obviously had some fun doing this film.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include a featurette and commentary.
All in all a nicely done who done it,wrapped in the guise of a huge magic act,with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right to the end.A solid four stars,and maybe a little more.

Olympus Has Fallen (Bilingual)
Olympus Has Fallen (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Gerard Butler
Price: CDN$ 6.88
12 used & new from CDN$ 3.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Absoloutely mind-less film!, Sept. 14 2013
Olympus has Fallen(released April/13)stars,among others,Gerard Butler as Mike Banning,Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher,Morgan Freeman as Speaker Allan Trumbull,Angela Bassett as Lynne Jacobs,Rick Yune as Kang Yeonsak,and Dylan McDermott as Dave Forbes.This film has so many plot holes and inconsistencies that you could fly an Apache helicopter through it and still have room for the 7th fleet trailing behind it!
The story involves Butler as a member of the secret service assigned to protect the president.On the way to a function around Xmas time out of Camp David,during a violent snow storm,the lead vehicle in the presidents motorcade gets hit by a branch.The resulting swerving on the icy roads of all vehicles sends one over a bridge and into the river.The presidents own car perches precariously on the bridges edge,ready to follow suit.Butler races to the car and manages to pull the president out,leaving the first lady trapped in her seat belt,as the car plunges into the river below.
Many months later Butler is sitting behind a desk doing other assigned duties at the agency.Into this scenario comes a radical North Korean group who are posing as employees of a delegation from South Korea visiting the president.As they meet a Hercules transport plane is inbound to the White House.It is intercepted over Washington by two Air Force jets,but they are easily taken down.Before any other response from the Air Force can be mustered the plane is circling the White House and tearing everyone and everything to pieces.Simultaneously,in the White House bunker far below the surface,the North Koreans in the delegation have killed their cohorts and have now taken the president and his team hostages.Also an outside and unseen group of Koreans has started attacking the White House from the outside and eventually make their way inside to take over the White House.
Butler has seen the commotion from afar and has raced to the White House in time to join in the fire fight but not save many of his former colleagues.He gets inside and inadvertently becomes the eyes and ears of the officials in the Pentagon.Besides taking out as many hostiles as he can,his first major piece of business,once he has contacted the Pentagon,is to retrieve the presidents son,in hiding,and spirit him out of the White House into the safety of the military outside.From here it is a piecemeal battle all the way to get to the president himself.The man who leads these terrorists has a goal to obtain the Cerberus codes.These are codes which when inserted into the national defense computer,can arm or disarm the U.S.'s ICBM missiles.In this case,when he finally extracts the codes by force,he activates the missiles IN their silos and intends to blow them up where they stand.In addition he has gotten the Pentagon to OK the removal of U.S.troops from the DMZ between North and South Korea,and removal of the 7th Fleet in the region.He also creates a diversion aimed at fooling the Pentagon and outside world that the president has perished in a helicopter crash.
Butler sees the crash but doesn't believe it true.He goes into the belly of the White House and finds that the terrorist leader is still alive and has the president.In the scuffle the president is shot but Butler finally kills the terrorist.The film ends as the president,now well,gives a heart warming speech about the U.S.,its belief system and the usual God bless America stuff;with a happy Butler now back serving the president as before.
As my title says,this is a mind-less film.Mind less,not only in plot holes,but in the all important believability factor.If one cannot suspend disbelief long enough to buy what is going on on the screen,then the film will ultimately fail.And this falls into that category.It had plenty of potential but it just couldn't follow through.I will list some of the more obvious mistakes.The first faux paux is the plunge the presidents wife takes in the car into the river,played by Ashley Judd.After it goes over everyone is just sitting there in stunned disbelief.No cries of "Get down there" or"Send for divers",or no one going down and into the river to even try to save the first lady.The secret service will give their lives to protect the president and his family.Not here.The second faux paux is the Hercules transport plane the Koreans commandeer and fly over Washington.There is no way that plane would have been able to get close enough to landfall let alone over the city before it was intercepted.This thing was well over the city before jets showed up.Once the first two planes were shot down by the transport,the second pair showed up in a flash.Funny that.The third item is how long it took the military to respond to the crisis.The Koreans said they took the White House in 13 minutes and the military showed up in 15.Now you are going to have me believe that in a situation like this the military would move like a snail and get there in an EXTREMELY tardy 15 long minutes? C'mon.The fourth item is the secret service agents and others defending the White House during the battle on the front lawn.In very unorthodox fashion,they are all standing there on the front steps like bowling pins,in a big group,like lambs to the slaughter.Not how the secret service or any military like group are trained.
I could go on but I think you get the point.The only thing this film has going for it,fortunately,is Butler.I like Butler,and he again is "in the zone",for he and he alone makes you get behind his character.When he is roaming the interior of the White house looking for targets,you are with him and rooting for him,and the resultant action is good stuff to watch.This is the film's most appealing point.Otherwise,as I said,the situations all leading up to putting Butler where he ultimately gets to, are too far fetched for the thinking person to buy.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.There are no extras.This is a definite trend,as I'm sure many of you are seeing.The more the powers that be want you to switch over to Blu Ray,the less extras they put on DVDs.I for one,am resisting switching.I mean how clear does ones picture have to get for gosh sakes? DVD is just fine for me thank you very much.
All in all a disappointing film with a great cast.Butler does his best to save the day,and once we are over the totally unbelievable circumstances that get him to the meat of the film,he turns it into a decent action film...for a time.But it is the lack of suspension of disbelief for the first and most important part of this film,that drags it down.

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