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Rating History

Little Accidents
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In a small mining town, an accident has killed several workers, leaving a lone survivor, Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook). The townspeople are furious and blame the mines owner, the towns wealthiest resident, a cold, heartless man, who many suspect caused the accident with his shortcuts and cheap business practices. The town is out for blood, but only one of them, literally, as soon after the accident, the mine owners teenage son turns up dead. Little Accidents is yet another example of these dark modern noir type films, that have become so popular the past decade, and normally I am a huge fan of them. This film however, may have had the modern noir feeling, but actually had the old noir story line AKA slow, strange, and confusing. I chose this film because one of it's stars is Jacob Lofland, who at just 21 years old, has only been acting for 5 years, but he is a natural in every sense of the word. Every performance he has given has been better than the one before it. His talent has lead him to leading roles in the Maze Runner series, as well as the AMC show, The Son. Being as fond of his style as I am, I decide to go back and watch his filmography from the beginning, and that's where I found Little Accidents. While Lofland's part was minor, you are still able to see some of the skills that brought him to where he is today. Paired with Elizabeth Banks and Josh Lucas, this was one fantastic cast, featured in a terrific setting, and I was sure this film was a can't miss, but the story had other ideas. Little Accidents was all over the place, some of things that happened have nothing to do with the story, and make little sense. The Bottom Line, don't let a terrific cast fool you, this film is slow and all over the place. The mystery, isn't much of one and the story will leave you scratching your head.

The Call Up
The Call Up (2016)
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

One day the best gamers in the world receive an invitation to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. When they all arrive, they find themselves alone in an office building, given instructions by a computer, which tells them to put on these state of the art suits, and once they do they are literally in the game. The game is like nothing they've ever seen before, a real life Call of Duty, but when they engage the terrorists, they learn that the consequences are all too real, and the only way to get out is to win. The Call Up isn't a new idea, however after the failure of films like Gamebox 1.0 and Stay Alive, it's been a decade since anyone has attempted to make a film like this. Since then, the technology has come a long way, allowing the filmmakers to finally get it right. The CGI and computerized effects are impressive for any film, not to mention a B-movie. The original idea and tech are so innovate, that it takes your mind off the fact that the acting in this film wasn't all that great. Additionally, the development of the characters and their backstories was fairly strong, strong enough, that each viewer should have their own favorite to win, meaning the audience is invested in the game as well. Watching this film is an adventure, in that one feels a part of the game, the strategy, and even has an investment in what happens to the individual gamers. A better cast would have added a lot to this film, but as I said it's a B-movie and I'm guessing all those special effects didn't come cheaply. Viewership without any performer of recognition may have been a factor, but once people click that watch button, they will be quickly drawn into a film the likes of which hasn't been seen before. The Call Up receives big points for originality, special effects, character development, and certainly stands out for being a film that is truly one of a kind.

Who Took Johnny
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In 1982, missing children reports were so rare, that often times the local authorities didn't take them seriously. Most of these kids were considered runaways, as authorities at the time couldn't even fathom the depths of depravity that some people are capable of sinking to. In the case of Johnny Gosch, not only wasn't he a runaway, the compelling documentary, Who Took Johnny?, and the subsequent books by his mother, Noreen, have shown that not only may Johnny still be alive 35 years later, but he may have suffered more torture than anyone in the history of this planet. On September 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch, a local paperboy was abducted from Des Moines, Iowa. Despite eyewitness statements, the local police, considered him to be a runaway. Over the years evidence and even a witness go to the FBI to say that Johnny was used for human trafficking. Pictures have turned up and even his mother claims, Johnny stopped by the house for a brief time, 15 years after he'd disappeared. The documentary shows how the local authorities, didn't care and mishandled the case right from the very beginning, and how the FBI kept the family completely in the dark. To this day, despite the fact that her son could be god-knows-where, Noreen Gosch has become an outspoken defender for missing children and the rights of their parents. There is no doubt that this documentary is anything but unbiased and impartial, and while I'm not sure I believe everything Mrs. Gosch says, when taken as a whole, one can't ignore everything that happened in this case. The other side of this gave blanket statements or declined to be interviewed, which tells me, she's right about more than a few things, and even if a third of this is true, it's appalling. When catastrophe strikes, we rely on those in power to take care of us and make things right, but what happens if they just don't want to? This documentary is truly eye-opening and provides plenty of ammunition to victims rights advocates.

London Has Fallen
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Action movies didn't really take off until the 1980s, when the technology caught up with the big ideas. Out of those films some big stars emerged, many of which are still hanging in there making movies today. However, in recent years a new crop of action star has emerged, one that is more charismatic and more of an actor than just simply a big guy. One of the most exciting of the pack is the star of London Has Fallen, Gerard Butler. After surviving a kidnapping attempt in the thrilling, Olympus Has Fallen, President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) won't go anywhere without Mike Banning (Butler) by his side. Despite a lot of chatter, the pair travel to London for a world summit, where terrorists plan on doing a lot more than talking. They plan to distract the high police and military presence by attacking the city, thereby leaving President Asher vulnerable to assassination. So if I'm understanding this correctly, blowing up half of London will distract the U.S. Secret Service enough to leave the U.S. President vulnerable? This is why nobody watches action films for the story lines. We watch these movies to see the incredible moves, the gratuitous violence, the unbelievable special effects, and of course that catch phrase we all know is coming. Gerard Butler stars and he just gets better with every film he is in, as his technique and style remind me so much of a young Bruce Willis. Let's just hope that M. Night Shyamalan doesn't make him shave his head and turn him into a zombie as well. Assisted by a cast of veteran award winners the likes of Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Angela Bassit, this film doesn't just have the moves, but it has the star power to back it up. The story here is absolutely ridiculous, but when it comes to a great action film, who really cares? London Has Fallen has everything you could ever ask for from an action movie and it's star is only continuing to rise.

Dying of the Light
2 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Evan Lake (Nicholas Cage) was a legend at the C.I.A., but after years in the game, and a particularly horrible experience at the hands of the Taliban, he was diagnosed with dementia, and forced into retirement. Lake is moving on with his life when new information comes to light, that his old nemesis, a terrorist leader long believed dead, is back. Knowing their best chance to catch him is Lake, they turn to him for help, but can he keep it together long enough to complete his mission? This unbelievably was a b-movie, yet a remarkably strong performance for Nicholas Cage, who randomly had to go between C.I.A. legend and confused old man. His performance is aided by the late Anton Yelchin, playing an analyst who admires Lake so much, that he goes against orders to help him with his mission. The whole dynamic between the man at the end of his career on his last mission, and the boy at the start of his career on his first mission, really added something different, that you don't typically see in espionage films. Dying of The Light really does have a lot to like about it, but one must remember, it is an espionage film and a direct-to-video one at that. The writing isn't spectacular and parts of it are more than somewhat confusing. They also throw in a lot of Evan's flashbacks and delusions at the completely wrong times, which really did start to bother me as the film got more intense. Overall, I did enjoy this film, I thought the acting was terrific, and I loved the dynamic and chemistry between the two leading men, despite the obvious age difference. Dying of The Light certainly isn't a perfect movie, but it's still an entertaining one.