null's blog null's blog en-us Fri, 05 Mar 2021 05:27:33 PST Fri, 05 Mar 2021 05:27:33 PST Defiance Daniel Craig stars as Tuvia Bielski, one of four Jewish brothers who escape from Poland into the forests of Belarus during World War II to lead a band of resistance fighters and create a safe haven for Jewish refugees. The real-life sanctuary established by the Bielski brothers saved more than 1,000 Jews from persecution and death. Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell and George MacKay also star in this moving historical drama based on actual events. I remember seeing Daniel Craig promoting this movie on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” In this interview Daniel Craig confessed he was nervous about being on the show and around Jon Stewart. A very happy Jon Stewart responded “oh my God, I make James Bond nervous. That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me!” Daniel Craig was very proud of this movie. I am giving this one 4 stars. The movie itself is 3.6 but with the extras on the DVD I am giving it 4 stars. The extra on the Bielski brothers’ families were very moving and inspiring. The Bielski brothers were real people and this movie is based on actual events. I do question some things like how the brothers keep finding each other after they get separated. I also question some of the discussions at the camp. I have read other reviews of this movie. Either people really liked it or they really disliked it. There does not seem to be any middle. I am in the “really liked it” camp. The Bielski brothers had different ideas on how to handle a situation and each one of them was right. There are no easy answers in life. That is what I am taking from this movie. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-08-21 11:52:47 The Town Career bank robber Doug (Ben Affleck) and his volatile partner, Jim (Jeremy Renner), hit a roadblock when Doug falls for bank manager Claire (Rebecca Hall), whom he kidnapped during their last heist. Worse, an FBI agent (Jon Hamm) is now trailing the thieves around their Charlestown, Mass., territory. Affleck directs and co-writes this smart, intricate actioner that co-stars Blake Lively as Krista, Jim's sister and Doug's troubled former flame. The only problem with this movie is the title. I am a fan of "Entourage" and when I think of "The Town" I can’t help but think of Johnny "Drama" Chase television show "Five Towns" where he plays the Irish older brother. The character of Johnny Drama is trying to make a big comeback just like Ben Affleck. I can’t help but laugh at the similarity. Having said what I just said I loved this movie. This movie is what “Heat” starring Al Pacino and Robert Deniro should have been. The one scene with Ben Affleck and John Hamm had together reminded me a lot of this and they both did a much better job. Kudos you guys! I am willing to buy all of you a pitcher of Guinness. I know society is still mad at Ben Afflect for the whole “Bennifer” thing but after seeing this movie I say let’s forgive him. I loved how this movie played out. I understood all the characters’ motivations and this movie worked on so many levels. The only reason I can’t give this movie a solid 4.0 stars is I think escaping a police road chase to be impossible. There are helicopters and cameras everywhere. I have to give this one 3.8 stars. It is a really good movie and I recommend it. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-06-05 18:06:06 The Expendables Barney (Sylvester Stallone) leads a ragtag band of hired guns charged with overthrowing a South American despot, a job no official military unit is willing to touch. But once on the ground, the team learns there's more to the mission than they were told. Their next move determines whether they survive -- or are, indeed, expendable. Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li round out a stellar cast. This movie is a throwback to classic 1980’s action movies. This movie is about fists, kicks, explosions and one-liners. That's it! There is nothing more to it. Do not expect any character development. I liked this film as it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li are just horrible in delivering their lines. Please note I am not complaining as it was fun to watch. My favorite scene is in the beginning with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis in the Church going over the mission. The only two people missing here are Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. I am actually glad of this because I never thought they had much of a sense of humor. Sylvester Stallone definitely has one as he did star in “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.” I say suspend belief in this and enjoy the film. I am giving it 3.5 stars as I have seen a lot of different action movies over the years and it was fun to watch them work together. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-06-01 17:12:07 The Kids Are All Right Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), the children of same-sex parents Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), become curious about the identity of their sperm-donor dad (Mark Ruffalo) and set out to make him part of their family unit, often with hilarious results. But his arrival complicates the household dynamics, and nobody is sure how he fits in -- if at all -- in this Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning comedy. This movie is about strained relationships. I did like it but wouldn’t consider this a “feel good comedy.” About halfway into this movie Julianne Moore’s character has an affair with the sperm donor dad. The last half of this movie deals with the fallout. Annette Bening does a fantastic and convincing job as a person who has been betrayed. I admit I would not be friends with her bossy character in real life but I did feel sorry for her and was mad at the other two characters for causing this kind of pain. There is nothing cool about betraying another person’s trust. I have mentioned before I do have a little crush on Julianne Moore. She was Amber Waves in Boogie Nights and she does have some steamy love scenes here. She is good in the drama department but feel she is lacking in the comedy. I still like her but she is no Zach Galifianakis. I found this film to be thought provoking. One scene has Annette Bening putting down Mark Ruffalo’s character as he is into organic gardening and leads an alternate health lifestyle. Mark Ruffalo’s character on the other hand makes fun of the Mexican gardener. It always seems we have to put someone down to make us look better in front of others. It is something I have noticed in human nature and something I really don't care for. I guess people do this when they are insecure. I am giving this movie 3.2 stars. It is not the best movie ever but it goes by quick. In the end is really is about the kids being alright. They are tougher than they look and deal with things like everyone else, one day at a time. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk Film Critic Extraordinaire Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-05-31 15:47:25 Repo Men In the world of this sci-fi thriller set in the not-too-distant future, artificial organs are readily available to anybody with a credit card. But what happens if a buyer falls delinquent on his payments? Jude Law stars as an organ repo man who's now fleeing his ex-partner after failing to keep up the payments on his own recently installed ticker. Miguel Sapochnik directs; Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber co-star. I wish I had my two hours back. There are only two things I liked about this movie. I liked the actors and the soundtrack. The soundtrack included songs like "Cry Me a River", "Feeling Good" performed by Nina Simone and "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" performed The Mamas & The Papas. I would not mind owning a copy of the soundtrack for this movie. This film started strong. I liked the potential and immediately thought it could be true sci-fi dark classic like RoboCop and “Starship Troopers.” I did not buy the transformation of Jude Law’s character. He starts off being completely unsympathetic and even makes fun of his victims. Then when his character gets a new heart he gets a new heart (pun intended). The story did remind me a bit of 1976’s classic “Logan’s Run” where the character development was handled better. This story does have a twist at the end which I felt was horrible. I do know others who have seen this movie are agreeing. I am giving this movie 2.3 stars. It had potential of being a good satire but instead seemed focused on showing tremendous amounts of blood and violence. I did not like this movie. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-05-30 09:32:11 Love and Other Drugs Pharmaceutical representative Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes a player in the big game of male-performance-enhancement-drug sales and, along the way, finds unexpected romance with a woman (Anne Hathaway) suffering from Parkinson's disease. Based on the real-life Jamie Reidy's memoir, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, this satirical look inside the culture of Big Pharm is directed by Edward Zwick. I thought this movie was well written and acted. This film is a comedy complete with boner jokes. It also has drama, romance and social commentary. Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway were outstanding and very believable as a couple. The buzz of this film was Anne Hathaway’s nude scenes. They were very necessary to advance the story. To see a young, beautiful and vibrant woman with a debilitating disease is tragic. I know I am going to take flak for this but I was moved by this movie. Jake Gyllenhaal wants to take care of Anne Hathaway but she loves him so much she doesn’t want him wasting his life on her. You can understand where both characters are coming from. They have great onscreen chemistry here and did the comedy and drama well. I am giving this one 4 stars. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk Film Critic Extraordinaire Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-24 15:44:13 Kiss of the Spider Woman Jailed for immoral behavior in Brazil, flamboyant homosexual Luis Molina (William Hurt, who netted a Best Actor Oscar) passes the time by detailing scenes of his favorite romantic movie to fellow inmate Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), a hard-edged political activist. Slowly, the two forge a bond based on mutual understanding and respect and their relationship evolves. Director Hector Babenco's character study earned an Oscar nod for Best Picture. Netflix recommended this movie to me as I liked both “Body Heat” (starring William Hurt) and Cidade de Deus (City of God). I rated them both 5 stars and do recommend them. Cidade de Deus only had English subtitles for me (a true foreign film for me) but still is a great movie. William Hurt received Best Actor for his performance. I think he overplayed “flamboyant.” I was reminded a lot of the Jack McFarland character from the show “Will and Grace.” I know when this movie was made stereotyping was more acceptable. I think in today’s culture women and gays might be more offended by this as they were implied as being weak and helpless. Raul Julia was terrific here. I liked his performance over William Hurt’s. I wish we had more time with this character. I would classify this movie as avant-garde. It is an interesting character study and we do see decent character development. Two men with different backgrounds killing time as the William Hurt character recounts scenes from a really bad movie. We do get to the see the movie acted out visually. I thought the movie within the movie was clever as it does some foreshadowing. It felt that both William Hurt and Raul Julia were putting on a clinic for acting. I am giving this one 3.4 stars. I am glad to have seen this movie once. I doubt very much if I will see it again. I thought the movie was good but not great. It was a little over 2 hours and prison movies tend to depress me. I should warn that same sex relationships are discussed which may make some viewers uncomfortable. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk Film Critic Extraordinaire Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-20 18:11:28 Chloe Suspecting her husband, David (Liam Neeson), of infidelity, doctor Catherine (Julianne Moore) hires sexy escort Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to seduce him and test his faithfulness. But as Catherine checks in on Chloe's encounters with David, Chloe's reports become increasingly lurid. Soon, the relationships between all three intensify in unexpected ways. Renowned filmmaker Atom Egoyan directs this psychological drama. I am going to start with the fun stuff first. Julianne Moore does have two topless scenes in this movie and they do look especially perky. I loved her in the shower. Her woman on woman loves scenes were hot and I did need to take a cold shower afterwards. People who have a crush on Ms. Moore may enjoy this movie with the sound off and listening to something else. I have to say as a man who does have a little crush on Julianne Moore the movie industry needs to do a better job in telling us when her character dies early. Shame on you “Children of Men” as her character dies 20 minutes into it. I had to get that out. Her character is still alive in the beginning and ending of this film (sorry for the spoilers). That was fun to get out and I will now post my serious movie critic comments. This is a woman’s film. Julianne Moore’s character gets excited hearing about details of her husband’s infidelity. I find this difficult to comprehend. I have had a couple girlfriends in my life and I always found it difficult to look at old pictures of them with someone else. It is difficult. This is just me. I did not like this film. I did not understand Chloe’s motivation. The Chloe character started off well but soon it fizzled. The ending was way too convenient. I am giving this dud two stars. As far as psychological dramas go, I think “Play Misty for Me” and “Fatal Attraction” are much better films. I do not think actress Amanda Seyfried will be in the same company as Jessica Walter and Glenn Close at Awards shows. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-10 10:46:36 New GlobalNPN Banners and Capt I promote a few affiliate programs which I consider to be really good. NPN is one of them. One of my requirements is that is has to be global. Below is a message from Geoff, founder of the company. I have found him to be accessible. Things are really starting to develop around our new website. If you haven’t looked at it, there are some new videos I have put up, including some great member testimonials that I’ve already gotten great comments about.. This site is designed to sell and all of my testing has resulted in very good conversion rates – even without any sort of ‘pre-sell’. I’d recommend that you start firing some qualified traffic at it to see for yourself. I have added a new capture page to your selection of capture pages in the same style as the website, which tested well also. This is connected to the ‘free report’ that has been responsible for thousands of NPN signups since it was first introduced. You will find your affiliate URL to this new page under ‘capture pages’ in the left menu in your backoffice. There will be more capture pages created as we go along.. Also.. There are brand new plug-n-play banners for promoting your GlobalNPN business in your backoffice (finally, I know:)! There are the standard size banners, plus some ‘blog ready’ sized banners for you to use right away. Also on the banners page there are some really cool looking ‘membership cards’ that you can use as banners as well. As always, I’d recommend sending your banner traffic to a capture page first – preferrably the new one! Below are two of the new banners. There is a couple more. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-09 07:36:07 O.C. and Stiggs Two teens try to destroy a suburban family in director Robert Altman's risqué comedy, which follows misfits O.C. Ogilvie (Daniel Jenkins) and Mark Stiggs (Neill Barry), who see red when an insurance salesman cancels the policy of O.C.'s grampa (Ray Walston). Bent on revenge, the youngsters carry out a vendetta against the loutish salesman (Paul Dooley). The high-powered cast includes Jane Curtin, Martin Mull, Dennis Hopper and Louis Nye. I was first introduced to O.C. and Stiggs in the early 1980’s reading my brother’s National Lampoon Magazines. I admit I thought they were cool as they never worried about consequences. Although they had no redeeming social qualities, I did think they were pretty funny. My favorite was when they played Huck Finn tubing down a river. Click here for a brief history of them (caution the background music is loud so you may want to turn down your speakers). Robert Altman was a famous director. He is probably best known for 1970’s MASH starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt. His technique is having multiple things happening at once. This worked well in MASH, not so much for any other film he has directed. I have no idea why a studio would combine these two together. This movie is horrible. It makes Mad Magazine's "Up the Academy" look like “The Godfather II." I almost turned it off as it was that dreadful (I wished I followed my gut instinct). It tries to be offensive but it just wasn’t funny. It did not capture the feel of the original characters that was introduced in National Lampoon Magazine. There are only two things I liked (I’m being kind). One was seeing a young Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City) in this. I always liked her. The second was seeing Jane Curtain’s character constantly sneaking in booze (my favorite is the head of lettuce). Robert Altman in an extra on the DVD admitted this was not a good movie and that no one was happy with the final product. He further said the best part was actually Cynthia Nixon. I am agreeing with his sentiments. This movie is so horrendous I did not bother searching for a clip. I am giving this bomb 0.0678 stars. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue (I do not recommend this one). This movie again is awful, horrible, dreadful, vile and horrendous. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-05 18:23:19 To Live and Die in L.A. After ace counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe) murders the partner of Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen), the gumshoe will stop at nothing to even the score. Big problem, though: Masters is, well, a master at the game and outfoxes Chance at every turn. Can Chance outwit him? William Friedkin directs this suspenseful, violent thriller with the City of Angels (a misnomer in this case) as the alluring backdrop. I believe it is the Los Angeles backdrop that makes this movie work. It was a hoot to relive 1985 again with the music, cars and white pants. Hey where are my white pants and can I still fit in them? This movie is about revenge and how far the lead character will go to get even. This plot is in many movies however it plays out very differently here. I found the last ten minutes very shocking. To Live and Die in LA does have a 1980’s Miami Vice feel to it and in reading the trivia found out there was actually a lawsuit against this movie for it. It was tossed out of court and I agree with that decision. Unlike Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice (two guys too cool for school) things do not work out so smoothly for our heroes. I think actor Willem Dafoe is really good at playing a bad guy. Rick Masters is one of the better villains I have seen in movies. I am giving this one 3.4 stars. It isn’t the best movie ever but worth seeing every 20 years. I did see back in the 80’s and as I said back in the beginning it was fun reliving 1985. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-04-03 08:24:02 The Warriors A prominent New York City gang leader named Cyrus (Roger Hill) wants to wage an all-out battle against the police, and as part of his strategy he calls upon Gotham's gangs to set aside their turf wars and come together at a summit. At the meeting, a rival leader kills Cyrus, but a Coney Island gang called the Warriors is wrongly blamed for Cyrus' death. Before you know it, the cops and every gangbanger in town is hot on the Warriors' trail. This is loosely based on "Anabasis" by Xenophon. The plot is simple, nine members of “The Warriors” gang are trying to get back home safe from within enemy territory. They are following a New York Subway map and with each stop they encounter a different gang and engage in battle. There is no character development but I liked this movie. It had “A Clockwork Orange” feel to it. If you can remember 1979 and when the band “Kiss” was really huge you may enjoy this one. The hairstyles, clothes and dialogue will take you back. I loved the battle music and the different gangs they encountered. My favorite gang had to be the “The Baseball Furies.” This movie is violent but it had a cartoonish feel to it. This was validated when I saw the extras and the director even said this wasn’t supposed to be taken too seriously. This film was apparently controversial at the time. There is one serious thing I take from this. I am a person who “observes and reports” and it has always irritated me when one person has to ruin everything for everyone. There is always one bad person in every crowd. This is demonstrated very early in the movie. I am giving this one 3.4 stars. It is a quick ride which never stops. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-03-30 15:51:48 The Social Network Director David Fincher's biographical drama chronicles the meteoric rise of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) from Harvard sophomore to Internet superstar, examining his relationships with co-founder Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) and Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake). Winning Golden Globes for Best Picture and Best Director, the film also racked up Oscar nods in the same categories and for lead actor Eisenberg. When I was in College at SCSU I remember a professor saying if you want to see a really good business model then see the movie “The Godfather.” I agree with that statement. I want to add “The Social Network” to that list. I have been online and active on the web since 1992. All these guys did was take ideas that were already out there and made them better. The subject matter fascinates me. I think this is a phenomenal movie. In the end they say 15% truth 85% exaggeration. The story on the rise of Facebook is incredible. You cannot dispute this which makes the story work. Besides the social media aspects of this movie, I love the relationships that were examined here. Relationships are complicated, whether is just a best friend or someone we are intimate with. I have had both in my life and it is so easy to be diluted (from the movie) and not see someone outside interfere with all that. It happens way too much in this life. This film is 2 hours long. I watched the first 50 minutes Saturday (went to bed thinking I was only giving it 3 stars) and then watched the last 70 minutes Sunday resulting in me giving it 5 stars. I didn’t care for the first 50 minutes with the Winklevoss Brothers story but when Justin Timberlake’s character is introduced the movie becomes really compelling. I am giving this one 5 stars. On a personal note I never betrayed a friend or ever cheated on anyone I was serious with. I still have had people from the outside come in to plants seeds of doubt (Alan is not a good friend/not a good boyfriend). This reminded me how delicate and fragile relationships are. We all need to be wiser on what is going on. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-03-20 12:00:54 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice Paul Mazursky's 1969 classic puts two couples and their relationships under the unforgiving lens of society's microscope in this unflinching examination of marriage. After one liberal group therapy session, Bob (Robert Culp) and his wife, Carol (Natalie Wood), are convinced they're open-minded enough to embrace a no-guilt approach to fidelity. But can they convince their best friends, Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon), to do the same? I respect the fact that this is an intelligent movie that was controversial at the time to make. It deserves to be a classic and I did laugh twice. I further respect the adult subject matter here. Having said these things let me come out and say I really didn’t care for this film. The characters were just a little too full of themselves which rubbed me the wrong way. The term “hipster doofus” comes to mind. I did like the very end of this movie when the four of them walked out of their Las Vegas hotel and they played “What the World Needs Now is Love" sung by Jackie DeShannon. I never realized what a beautiful women the late Natalie Wood was. I found a really nice tribute video with this song to Natalie Wood. Here is the link to that video - I am only giving this one 2.7 stars. I just didn’t like the characters. They were too believable and I know they would never be friends with a person like me. I am not hip and I own up to it. Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue. All the best, Alan Alan Zibluk The Film Movie Critic Cell: (203) 500-3834 E-mail: 2011-03-07 04:20:30 Black Dynamite Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) is the only one strong enough and brave enough to take