• Avatar: The Way of Water

    Avatar: The Way of Water

    ★★★½

    SPOILER-FREE -- Had my doubts about the runtime on this one and, sure enough, the first hour was largely unnecessary and, dare I say, boring in spots ... but then comes the water and OMG, the WATER! The water scenes were incredible, particularly the underwater stuff. James Cameron might be the best director ever with underwater filming, and he's still got the chops with action scenes.

    The last third of the movie, no spoilers, was one long action scene that…

  • Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

    Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

    ★★½

    What you might expect from Weird Al's comedic mind is best described as a parody biopic. Is that a new genre? Not really, as Forrest Gump mixed a fictional story with real events, here Weird Al mixes a bunch of 80s music icons and creative luminaries with fictional parties, meetings and absurd relationships.

    Many of the actors playing these people do a really good job including Daniel Radcliffe as Yankovich. The story is somewhat funny in parts, but feels a…

  • 12 Days of Giving

    12 Days of Giving

    ★½

    If you want to watch a bunch of TV Christmas movies, Peacock has us covered in 2022 holiday season, anyway. In this one, a guy lucks upon a choice of $50,000 or a Corvette and chooses the cash, then chooses to become a Secret Santa. His many acts of secret gift giving lead him to a widow and her young hockey playing son. Pepper in his fiancee being angry that he is playing Secret Santa and he must rethink his…

  • 9/11

    9/11

    ★★

    These 9/11 movies really get to me. This one is entirely fictional (I think) without doing any other research and seeing a bunch of really low ratings, probably due to Charlie Sheen's nonsense, but the movie itself is not a complete mess. It kept me interested, about as much as a "trapped in the elevator" movie can. I think that's part of the problem for movies set like these: that it's kind of boring visually.

    As far as problems go,…

  • A Rose for Christmas

    A Rose for Christmas

    ★★

    My wife loves Christmas movies. These made-for-TV movies are often riddled with cliches, usually barely offering much in the way of a fresh plot and almost always ending predictably. This one mostly follows the formula and yet by the time it's over you can't help feeling the Christmas spirit.

    Andi is a float builder and trying to build this amazing float for the New Year's parade. Her dad got the contract but he's sick so she is taking over the…

  • The Independent

    The Independent

    ★★½

    John Cena in a clean-cut, non-physical, dramatic role? No way. That's what I thought but here he is. This one is surprisingly meaty plot-wise. Cena is an independent Presidential candidate that is moving up in popularity challenging the two main political parties, but that's just the substory, the real one is the tenacious reporter who is digging into a scandal involving political pact dollars and fraud. The reporter is the main character, and she is going all Watergate on this…

  • Lionheart

    Lionheart

    ★★★

    After rewatching this, I have a fonder view of this Van Damme film. Bloodsport is one of my most favorite of his, but there are a few others he made back toward the beginning of his career that are good watches. Like this one, yeah.

    What makes this one somewhat unique is he actually has acting parts, dialogue and drama and he is fighting for money to take care of his dead brother's family.

    The ending goes a slightly unexpected…

  • Pieces

    Pieces

    ★★★½

    If you're looking for something disturbing to watch near Halloween, this gives all new meaning to horrific jigsaw puzzles. Really, from the shocking opening scene where a kid getting yelled at by his mom takes his feelings out with an axe and then hides in the closet all the way to the ending, which is among the more shocking ends of any horror film.

    I somehow missed watching this horror gem in the 80s, thinking wrongly it was just another…

  • Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

    Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

    ★★½

    The undead Nazi zombies are back. This one takes place right after the original movie and has actual English dialogue, unlike the first. This one is full of zombie comedy and isn't nearly as scary as the first. I get that the first was meant as a horror-comedy too, and maybe it was the fact ti wasn't in English and the whole plot which was Nazi zombies chasing after their treasure and killing anybody in the way, but that one…

  • For Love of the Game

    For Love of the Game

    ★★½

    Some movies just play to your likes and dislikes. I don't like long movies for the sake of being long, rather if they need to be long by the story than that's just fine. This one has too long written all over it, ironically like a baseball game that runs too long and isn't all that exciting. The baseball game in this one is quite the opposite: it is very interesting. In fact, without spoiling it too much, it is…

  • The Way of the Dragon

    The Way of the Dragon

    ★★★½

    Let's face it, the reason to watch this movie is to see Bruce Lee fighting, especially to watch his legendary battle versus Chuck Norris. I'd mark this as a spoiler but everybody knows they fight in this movie and it's only how do they get there as reason to watch.

    The rest of this movie when Bruce Lee is not fighting is hot garbage. The plot is paper thin, the dubbed voices are terrible, the acting is painful, it's really…

  • The Eiger Sanction

    The Eiger Sanction

    ★★★

    Playboy magazine labeled this 70s sorta-spy film "a Bond reject" and that somewhat fits the story, but yet it's oddly compelling, and not just because Clint Eastwood starred and directed. Yes, the latter, the directing and film shots, plus the realistic, sometimes harrowing mountain climbing stunts (by Eastwood performing this dangerous work against professonal advice) and stunning cinematography of the scenery) are what really makes this shine.

    (Aside: Eiger means "ogre" in German -- thanks Wikipedia)

    Like most Bond movies,…