Review (DVD): Cold July

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Michael Hall, Sam Shepard

5.0 out of 5 stars Starts slow, builds to a riveting climax, October 5, 2014

This was my FIRST CHOICE on a nine hour flight, and absolutely proved to be a top-notch mystery action film. In my view, this is more than a B movie, I found everything about it to be first rate from the plot to the acting to the direction and filming. Of the four movies I watched this came out tied with The Calling followed by Blended (2014) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

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Oct 5

Review (DVD): The Calling

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Sarah Sarondon, Gil Bellows

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, a real mystery, very ably presented, October 5, 2014

This is an engrossing movie that I am commenting on, having watched it on Virgin Atlantic yesterday, largely to add it to my list of now 139 recommended DVDs for smart people, find that list with links at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, look at the bottom of the right-hand column for Reviews (DVD Only) (139).

The film is engrossing and blends multiple themes I will not spoil. Absolutely worth watching if you have the time and want to be engaged in a mystery. All of the acting is top-notch, there are no negatives, although I think rating it “R” is a mistake, this is more a PG-17, never mind a few dead people.

The other three films I watched, in rank order, were:
Cold in July
Blended (2014)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

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Oct 5

Review (DVD): Blended

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Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Comedy, A Formula That Works, October 5, 2014

As much as I obsess about non-fiction and “the naked truth” I have a soft spot in my heart from romantic comedies and new-found happiness emerging from adversity. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are as good as it gets, and I am very happy to see them building on their earlier success in 50 First Dates.

This review is primarily a service to those who follow my Amazon reviews and want to tap into my reviews of 139 reviews of DVDs for smart people, easily found, all with links to their Amazon home page, at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, at the bottom of the right-hand column see Reviews (DVD Only) (139)

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Oct 5

Review (DVD): Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit

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Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Colm Feore

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 for stars, 4 for plot, 3 for authenticity, October 5, 2014

As a former Marine Corps infantry officer and also a former CIA clandestine operations officer, one of the first to chase terrorists full time (in the 1980’s), I found the movie engaging but annoying. The producers obviously did not think enough of the USMC or the CIA to actually have a consultant able to catch the many small and some large mistakes in procedure (weapons on a helicopter are supposed to be muzzle down, always) and tradecraft.

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Oct 5

Review (DVD): Noah with Russell Crowe

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Russell Crowe

4.0 out of 5 stars Weak Odd Beginning, Ends Well — a Solid Four, July 31, 2014

This is an art video, not a science video. It is an artistic interpretation the Bible Belt has gone nuts over, to no useful end. I find that on balance, while the movie has almost no connection to reality or theology, it does have enough philosophy and cinematic value to be a solid four.

The team producing this movie over-reached badly on the beginning and the sci-fi aspects they portray at the beginning. That costs them one star. The rest of the movie is a compelling mix of extaordinary cinematography, a subtle script in which Cain keeps resurfacing including in Noah’s own son, and a very happy tear-jerking ending in which man is resurrected from the dead.

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Jul 31

Review (DVD): THRIVE

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Foster and Kimberly Gamble

5.0 out of 5 stars Free Online and Worth Buying to Support the Endeavor, March 14, 2014

This is a riveting movie with phenomenal visuals. I’d rather it had been an hour long instead of two, but in the spirit of slow food and slow Internet, certainly worth two hours of your time as an inspiration to change how you live for the rest of your life.

The movie is a personal contribution of Foster Gamble of the Proctor & Gamble family, but he grew a soul starting in elementary school and by the time he finished at Princeton, he was on his way to being a full-blown radical thinker with libertarian tendencies.

The first third of the movie is focused on free energy and all the pioneers from Telsa to Trombly to Bedeini to Hutchinson to Mallove who created proven sources of free energy only to suffer raids from the FBI (we do not make this stuff up) and other abuses including in some cases the torching of their labs and murder. I am hugely impressed by this portion of the movie, which includes short interviews, and I strongly recommend the movie for this part alone if you lack patience for what follows.

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Mar 14

Review (DVD): Killers with Katherine Heigl

Categories: Reviews (DVD Only)
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Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Robert Luketic

5.0 out of 5 stars Could Become a Cult Classic — Jams Every Cliche Into One Package, November 29, 2013

This could become a cult classic, at least among those of us that have been spies or love spy movies. This was my Thanksgiving break in Afghanisgan, and so good I have put it on background a couple more times as I work on curating Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.

Heigl is not quite as great as in The Ugly Truth, but this movie has crammed into it every single cliche from across a range of spy movies down to all your neighbors being sleepers and a grand shoot-out in the end, so I for one am very tolerant of the little hic-ups across the movie. It’s a low budget hoot and they got to visit Monaco.

On the strength of this movie and being reminded how great she was in The Ugly Truth I have ordered One For The Money and expect to enjoy that. Remember, this is the woman whose orgasm scene in the restaurant rivals Meg Ryan’s original in When Harry Met Sally.

Also, the prices on these are extraordinary — under 2-4 dollars! I use my computers for more important stuff, so it’s nice to have the hard DVD to put the TV on the side to work.

Other great DVDs along these lines:

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Full Screen Edition)
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Harry Brown
Twisted
Human Target: The Complete First Season
From Paris With Love
Traitor

I recommend a total of 133 DVDs at the bottom of the second column of Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog. All my reviews are there, and all lead back to their respective Amazon page.

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
YouTube: Gnomedex 2007

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Nov 29