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Michael Butts RSS Feed (Berkeley Springs, WV USA)
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Stoker
Stoker
DVD ~ Nicole Kidman
Price: $9.67
70 used & new from $1.47

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars STOKER - STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE, June 22, 2013
This review is from: Stoker (DVD)
A strange young woman goes down to an eerie basement to retrieve ice cream. She turns on the overhead light which sways menacingly back and forth. Horror fans will obviously flash back to the famous similar scene from Hitchcock's PSYCHO, one of several nods to the acclaimed Sir Alfred.
Korean auteur Park Chan Wook guides the viewer through an often visually impressive film but ultimately a hollow and pretentious film, emotionally void and disengaging. Actor Wentworth Miller's manipulative script plants an obvious twist evident early on that falls flat by the reveal.
Nicole Kidman virtually whispers her lines to the point of incoherence, giving her weakest performance since the disastrous INVASION. Matthew Goode as the disarming Charlie basically offers a one-note vision of the sociopath. Mia Wasilowski (sp) barely rises above the Amanda Seyfried/Kristin Stewart school of emotional vapidness.
STOKER failed to involve me, nice to look at but nothing to digest.


Prank
Prank
DVD ~ Nick Renaud
Offered by SourceMedia
Price: $14.45
44 used & new from $1.69

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE PRANK'S ON YOU, June 22, 2013
This review is from: Prank (DVD)
I am sooooo sick of these horror movies that are nothing more than unimaginative videographies that have no budget, friends passing themselves off as actors and absolutely no sense of cinematic knowledge. PRANK is one of the worst yet. I gave up after 30 minutes...it just doesn't merit my waste of valued time. PRANK stank!


Jack the Giant Slayer (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)
Jack the Giant Slayer (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Nicholas Hoult
Price: $8.96
124 used & new from $1.10

4.0 out of 5 stars FEE FI FO FUMM THIS JACK'S LOTSA FUN!, June 20, 2013
Director Bryan Singer's visionary flair and state of the art CGI helps establish JACK THE GIANT SLAYER as this year's classiest fairy tale reboot.
Unlike the souped up world of HANSEL AND GRETEL, JACK's landscape is vintage fairy tale with disgusting and frightening titans, nasty and traitorous humans and honorably noble heroes. While Nicholas Hoult and Eleanor Tomlinson are appropriately squeaky clean as Jack and Isabelle, they are also quite dull...not so much their acting, but the script gives the best roles to the secondary performers: Ewan McGregor doing a smart Deppish flair as heroic Elmont; Stanley Tucci's foppish turn as the diabolical Roderick; Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, John Kassir....all get scene stealing moments. JTGS is about 10 minutes too long but overall, it's a rousing and enjoyable adventure.


Expiration
Expiration
DVD ~ Brandon Auret
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $3.49
45 used & new from $0.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DEAD ON ARRIVAL, June 20, 2013
This review is from: Expiration (DVD)
There are no words to truly describe how awful EXPIRATION is. Nor is there any justification for its existence. Just avoid.


Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Collection
Price: $8.47
71 used & new from $0.78

4.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF POP'S MOST DISTINCTIVE VOICES, June 17, 2013
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
This nineteen track collection is cretainly a fine retrospective on the distinctive blue-eyed soul singers solo career and his days with the Doobie Brothers. I've always enjoyed McDonald's smoky deliveries and I have spent many happy hours with favorites like WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES, I KEEP FORGETTIN, IT KEEPS YOU RUNNIN and REAL LOVE. I tend to skip over some tracks like the urban remix of OPEN THE DOOR and the over-recorded AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH. One glaring omission is Mike's stunning pairing with David Pack and James Ingram on I JUST CAN'T LET GO---truly one of his best! The beautifu; I CAN LET GO NOW would have been a nice change of pace.
ULTIMATE is a must have for McDonald fans.


Oz the Great and Powerful (DVD + Digital Copy)
Oz the Great and Powerful (DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ James Franco
Price: $12.96
112 used & new from $4.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DELIGHTFUL FORM OF OZ-MOSIS, June 14, 2013
It's really unfair to compare this movie to THE WIZARD OF OZ, a classic that is incomparable. While obviously a prequel, Sam Raimi has fashioned what's really a tribute to the original. On its own, OZ is a engagingly enjoyable fantasy, visually impressive with delightful humor and a great set of characters. James Franco avoids the Depp/Downey approach and offers a less ostentatious Oz that I found refreshing. Michelle Williams is a glowing Glenda, a sharp contrast to the wicked pair of Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis, who are delightfully evil. No one will ever outshine Margaret Hamilton but Kunis holds her own.
OZ is big, blustery and overblown but I had a grand time!


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
DVD ~ Jeremy Renner
Price: $9.84
20 used & new from $3.80

4.0 out of 5 stars GRIMM FAIRY TALE IS JUST THAT, June 12, 2013
Fairy tale mutations are becoming standard fodder for moviemakers these days. This high budget revision of Hansel and Gretel is a chaotic, gory, often anachronistic story of what happens after the titular heroes take care of their initial witch.
H&GWH suffers from inadequate lighting, many scenes virtually indeiscernible. One has to question the duo's success when they get their butts kicked quite often.
Most of the CGI effects are done well and the character of Edward the troll is a fun touch. Acting is secondary element to movies like this but Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are effective heroes.
H&GWH is a fun popcorn movie or maybe cotton candy?


Baby Blues
Baby Blues
DVD ~ Ridge Canipe
15 used & new from $6.95

4.0 out of 5 stars MOMMIE NOT SO DEAREST, June 11, 2013
This review is from: Baby Blues (DVD)
BABY BLUES is a horror movie that is more frightening because the monster is all too real---post partum depression. As Andrea Yates and Susan Smith have painfully reminded us, this depression is devastating and can turn an ordinary woman into a heartless killing machine.
Colleen Porch is absolutely chilling as the young mother of four children whose truck driver husband wants to go for five, not cognizant of the fact his wife is crumbling before his eyes. What transpires in BABY BLUES is disturbing and hard to watch. Ridge Canipe is heartbreakingly stunning as Jimmy, the oldest son facing the woman who once was his mother.
BABY BLUES is a brave movie but the film loses focus of the real issue and devolves into a crazy mommy stalker movie with a really disappointing ending. However, one can't deny the visceral impact of BABY BLUES nor ignore the importance of recognizing PPD.


Crush
Crush
DVD ~ Crystal Reed
Offered by Selection 1985
Price: $9.99
69 used & new from $0.48

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I GOTTA CRUSH ON YOU....OUCH!!!, June 9, 2013
This review is from: Crush (DVD)
CRUSH explores the oft-used theme of a predatory female terrorizing the popular high school jock. Methodically paced and apparently predictable, CRUSH pulls a whopper of a 180 and pulls the biggest I GOTCHA in modern horror cinema.
The moment before this deception occurred, I told my wife "I wonder..." and kaboom, I was right. That twist did demonstrate the writer's cleverness in working his audience and makes CRUSH a tidy little thriller. Lucas Till brings a sense of honor to a usually cliché role; Crystal Reed has a disturbing edginess as mousy Bess and Sarah Bol;ger displays both sexiness and naivete in her role of Till's true love.
CRUSH manipulates the viewer quite shamelessly and sets a new standard for cinema stalkers.


Side Effects
Side Effects
DVD ~ Jude Law
Price: $9.96
109 used & new from $1.26

3.0 out of 5 stars READ THAT LABEL CAREFULLY, June 9, 2013
This review is from: Side Effects (DVD)
In the beginning, Steven Soderbergh's alleged swan song SIDE EFFECTS is an expose of medical ethics and pharmaceutical abuse. However, it mutates into a quirky murder mystery that employs lots of twists and deceptions. Further plot nuances would involve spoilers that other reviews have already done so, so I'll just discuss my feelings on the film's impact.
I enjoyed the movie overall---it held my interest and the acting is competent if unremarkable. I'm not a huge fan of Jude Law but he comes across convincingly. Rooney Mara who came on so strong in GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO seems like an upper scale Katie Holmes. Catherine Zeta Jones who always looks good is somewhat miscast as Mara's first shrink and Channing Tatum has little to do as the hapless murder victim.
Soderbergh's penchant for sharp characterization is diminished by tepid pacing and unexpected predictability. SIDE EFFECTS is an okay but unmemorable experience.


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