Review (DVD): Cold July

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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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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Review (DVD): The Calling

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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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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Review (DVD): Blended

5 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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Amazon Page

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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Review (DVD): Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit

4 Star, Reviews (DVD Only)
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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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Review (DVD): Noah with Russell Crowe

Reviews (DVD Only)
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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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