City of Gold, is Food for the Gods

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With all the food shows on TV these days what makes the movie City of Gold unique? The documentary has one main character, it involves on camera making of food, and the critic eats and gives his opinion about the dishes and the restaurant. What stands out the most however, comes from a novel idea and the reputation food critic Jonathan Gold has built. One where the show is never staged and the restaurant he drops into never knows when he will show up or if at all.  Read more

Hello, My Name is Doris, a Butterfly has Exited the Cocoon

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After a long absence from the leading role, Sally Field returns to the big screen and it’s her film from opening line one to the logical ending. And what a performance by Field. Never losing her sweet cool, she shines in Hello, My Name is Doris, a romantic comedy with a little drama thrown in for good measure. It may get a little superficial, maudlin and bizarre, but that’s what makes the film the perfect couple’s night out. Ladies, it’s only a one tissue movie, but bring another for back-up. Read more

The North Star, Escape to Freedom

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Although the true story of The North Star has wide reaching meaning and intentions behind it, the acting, direction and cinematic expertise fails miserably. Because of the very pedestrian production, instead of a compelling drama we get a historical vignette that has been used in films way beyond the scope of the script that gets presented here. That said, for an after school special directed at older teens, The North Star gets an average grade. Informational, yes, but captivating, marginal. Read more

Frankenstein, Modernizing the Monster

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As if Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” needs another adapted storyline, then the release of the movie Frankenstein pops up. This past year even saw Victor Frankenstein with a story that shows the monster from the point of view of Igor. But, I guess it’s never to late to modernize the creature that has had a good run at the box office for many years. Well in this new edition we are treated to a present day view. Now on Blu-ray/DVD the film shows promise throughout the first two acts, but unfortunately has a lackluster ending. Read more

Touched With Fire, Coping with the Flames

“Bipolar Disorder: any of several psychological disorders of mood characterized usually by alternating episodes of depression and mania —called also manic depression, manic-depressive illness” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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It’s an odd way to start out a film review with a dictionary definition, but apropos with the movie Touched With Fire, a drama dealing with the psychological problem that alters the life of two poets.  Written and director by Paul Dalio and taken from true experiences, gives this production a keener perspective of the lives he portrays on the screen.  Heartfelt and heartbreaking the movie provides the audience with the realism of the troubles that go with bipolar disorder.
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Criminal Activities, a Twisted Tale of High Stakes

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A twisty twisted tale of crime and punishment Criminal Activities will keep you guessing till the final turn of events. The film has a very good up-and-coming cast with a balance of A-list actors Jackie Early Haley and John Travolta. If you like your entertainment gutsy and gritty, then this film has the right elements for you. The movie enters the DVD/Blu-ray market today. Read more

The Club, a Serious Look at Immoral Practices

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Presenting a look at the negative aspect of Catholic Church leaders and their wrongdoings, The Club delves into a fictional story of a sanctuary where Catholic priests are commanded to stay in isolation from public contact. The film exemplifies and denigrates the men who were found at fault involving sexual issues in their parishes. The Club paints a negative picture of the priests and also shows the severity for what they are responsible. Read more

Burnt, a Scrumptious Film for the Ladies

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Food, romance, comedy, drama and a pinch of pepper the film Burnt has arrived on Blu-ray/DVD and ladies, find a copy and pop it into your player. A lot of good acting makes the story more palatable than it should have been since its pure Hollywood. Not of love story for the ages, the film’s more of a quest for an ultimate ego rush that works its way into the story early on. That said, there’s a lot of eye candy and food prep for the women along with enough matinee side stories that fulfil a couple of entertaining hours. Read more

Howl, a Train Ride to Hell

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As horror films go, Howl does an above average job of scarring the pants off of its audience. Gross, ghastly and eerie, the film has moments when even the most hardened thriller fan will jump. The Blu-ray has excellent quality so even the night scenes where most of the film takes place are nicely visible, easy to identify and delightfully sinister. Topping it off, the make-up and costume creators are on their mark with some very ghoulish characters. Read more

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Where Hell Found an Open Door

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After seeing the film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi my feelings for the incident could be summed up as unnerving, unthinkable, unnecessary and horrifying. The reenactment presentation of the true story material becomes so real that it mystifies watching our embassy and military outpost get helplessly attacked. Not for the faint of heart, this movie makes you want to scream “why?’ and “what were we doing there?” in, what the movie declares, is the number one world hot spot in the world?

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Painkillers, Fighting a Lost Cause

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The film Painkillers now on DVD changes direction throughout while setting up a far-out science fiction thriller that’s kind of just average. The opening and midway through get very intriguing, but beyond that its more of a run of the mill story that never really makes a whole lot of sense. The cinematography and special effects are good, the wardrobe department shines and there’s some twists in the film that are fun when revealed. Read more

The Revenant, an Extraordinary Story of Survival and Redemption

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Attack, survival, revenge and retribution, The Revenant, involves a true story of one man’s fight in the wilderness and the brutal battles he faces. Selected in my top five films of the 2015, this action thriller has the four qualifiers of an excellent production; fine direction, compelling storyline, excellent acting and amazing cinematography that’s second to none. From the opening minute to its gut wrenching finish, the fast paced two and a half hour film flies by with a spellbinding attraction that won’t let go way after you leave the theater. Read more

Wrecker, Kill or be Roadkill

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The film Wrecker, now on DVD, may be quite familiar as it’s just a newer model of a long list of road kill films. Nicely made however the cinematography makes for entertaining viewing and the production value is a step up from other films in the genre. The acting by the main cast typify the characters and a tip of hat to director Micheal Bafaro for getting realistic performances. If you are a fan of the devil on wheels chasing innocent travelers in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, then this is your cup of tea. Read more

The Hateful Eight, a Twisted and Decadent Action Thriller

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The much anticipated release of another Quentin Tarantino movie opens this weekend. Called The Hateful Eight the movie features all the title suggests and more. Packed with twists and turns the movie builds to a rip roaring finale. The cast will blow your mind with stellar performances by Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh to single out a few. And the story, it’s so decadent, action lovers will be going back to see it again. A western it’s not, just a rip snorting drama taking place in a past when horseback and stagecoaches were the only transportation. Trust me here, if you like Hitchcock thrillers and screen violence doesn’t make you ill, you’ll walk away talking about the film for months or at least until you see the movie Revenant.
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