Category Archives: Movie Reviews

‘Star Wars Umpteen: “The Farce Awakens”‘ (2015)

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Liquidator-ready Star Wars merchandise!

Yowsah, yowsah! The Star of Bethlehem–why, it was a spaceship! Ooga-booga!

Those spoilsports who said science fiction would rot your mind… Maybe they weren’t so far wrong, after all. Like for instance:

https://leeduigon.com/2015/10/19/star-wars-umpteen-the-farce-awakens/

Hey! Has there been yet another Star Wars movie since I wrote this? I’ve lost count. Now that I’m no longer a liquidator, I’ve lost any reason I had for keeping track of Star Wars movies.


‘Godzilla vs. Megalon’ (Hooray!)

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Yo! Next time you go on a picnic, be sure to take along a hand-held rocket launcher. It just might come in handy.

Here at Chez Leester, the cinematic classic, Godzilla vs. Megalon, is a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition, going back almost 40 years. What other movie can offer such a wealth of totally inexplicable situations? Like, the two guys in the garbage truck beat up and throw off a cliff the bad guy who was going to pay them for a job–and then go ahead and do the job anyway. What other movie screenplay can confidently state that the statues on Easter Island are 3 million years old?

But I don’t want to spoil it for you, just in case you decide to watch it, too.

Pure, unadulterated, totally cool silliness–try and beat that, Serious Mainstream Art Films!


Bonus Video: Frankenstein Bloopers

We love Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; and like most people, we never noticed these bloopers. Too busy laughing!


‘A Tale of Two Hobbits’ (2014)

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The Invincible Female Warrior who’s not in the freakin’ book… and Tolkien never said his Elves have Mr. Spock ears.

Whenever I think about maybe someday, somebody making a Bell Mountain movie, a report like this makes me cringe and shiver.

https://leeduigon.com/2014/12/22/a-tale-of-two-hobbits/

I do understand the unavoidable necessity of making some changes when moving a story from the printed page to the big screen. But the changes made in these “Hobbit” movies, had J.R.R. Tolkien lived to see them, would have killed him dead.

Their very existence proves there’s no such thing as a vengeful ghost.


‘Feminists Fricasee Cinderella’ (2015)

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Ah, yes–feminism! What would we ever do without it?

Rejoice, I think.

Here we have feminists, three years ago, going to town on a Cinderella movie.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/03/18/feminists-fricassee-cinderella/

Little girls must be protected from fairy tales. They must be carted off to the Drag Queen Story Hour instead.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.


For a Pleasant Little Scare: ‘A Warning to the Curious’

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M. R. James wrote the best ghost stories ever, and one of those gems is A Warning to the Curious. This was made into a short film (50 minutes long) some years ago and currently available on Youtube.

How good an idea is it to dig up an ancient artifact supposedly protected by a supernatural guardian? Even outside of an M.R. James story, probably not. A Warning to the Curious is about what happens to an amateur archaeologist who ignores the warning.

The thing that makes this little movie go is its spectacular photography and ominous-looking locations. If you were looking for ghosts anywhere, these places would be where you’d find them. Flat fens where it’s hard to tell where the beach ends and the water begins, stone buildings that look like they grew out of the landscape a thousand years ago, a train station smack in the middle of nowhere–sit and look. You won’t see places like those every day.

We watched in this afternoon, to take our minds off stressful things, and it does do that. It does it very well.


Movie Review, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

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We rented Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this weekend, and it was everything we wanted from it. We weren’t looking for Shakespearean soliloquies.

So what we got were dinosaurs, and plenty of ’em, including some nice ones that haven’t been seen in the earlier Jurassic Park movies: a very nice Carnotaurus, and of course a new genetically-engineered man-made not-natural dinosaur that looks like New Jersey’s own Dryptosaurus. Three cheers! Plus the Mosasaur as big as your average township: surfers beware.

As usual, there are bad guys trying to exploit the dinosaurs, good guys trying to stop them, and the dinosaurs get loose and everything goes all pear-shaped, fanabla… I really don’t want to hit you with any spoilers, so suffice it to say that Fallen Kingdom offers a lot of the original Jurassic Park motifs, plus a couple of brand-new ones, at least one of which is just spectacular and you wonder why no one ever did it before. This is a dinosaur chase scene like none you’ve ever seen. Patty wound up dreaming she was being chased by an alligator, and I got kicked a dozen times before I could wake her up.

There are critics who want to put the whole Jurassic Park franchise out to pasture, they’re tired of these dinosaurs, the story line’s always the same, blah-blah. Bunch of spoil-sports. Sure, there are downright silly moments in any Jurassic Park movie–especially JP No. 2, The Lost World, which boasts a virtual dictionary of silly moments–but we don’t watch these movies in search of whatever it is that some of these critics are searching for. We watch ’em for dinosaurs, we get dinosaurs, the bad guys get what’s coming to them, the story line suggests yet another sequel, and we come away satisfied. What’s not to like?


Moon Landing Movie: Stealing History

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Actors are such drips. But they only parrot what they hear from others. In fact, that’s their job–speaking lines written by others.

The First Man, Universal Pictures’ dramatization of the 1969 moon landing (slated for release October 12)… leaves out the historical fact–and arguably the centerpiece of the drama–of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the American flag on the surface of the moon (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/08/31/first-man-leaves-out-american-flag-in-moon-landing-scene-ryan-gosling-defends-decision.html).

Why?

Because, says the Canadian actor who plays Armstrong in the movie, the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.” He said this at the Venice Film Festival, where the movie was trotted out for a foreign audience.

Goldarn countries and borders! When are we gonna get rid of them and have a nice, cozy, global government?

So who put the first man on the moon? Italy? Saudi Arabia? Peru?

The answer is “the United States of America,” with American technology and know-how, paid for by the American people with their taxes. It was not a “We Are the World” moment. It was an American moment. We did it. That the rest of the world benefited by it, and might have even rejoiced in it, is beside the point. We did it, world: not you. And to this day no other country has matched this achievement.

We didn’t claim the moon as U.S. territory; but Congress declared “this was a United States project.” As if that even needed to be said in 1969.

But it does need to be said now, in 2018, as the international community seeks to hijack one of America’s signature achievements.

I saw our flag planted on the moon, on live TV. So did millions of other people. And we remember, in spite of the Open Borders crowd trying to infect us with amnesia.

And they can take their unhistorical movie and stick it.


‘The Lost Tomb’ Should Stay Lost

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The Lost Tomb of Jesus was 2007’s entry in the media’s annual Easter-time festival of Christianity-bashing. I reviewed the film for Chalcedon.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/lost-tomb-of-jesus-the-agenda

It’s a long review, but it took time to refute so many errors–not honest mistakes, but an agenda-driven attack on the divinity of Jesus Christ by a Zionist film-maker, a Hollywood big shot, and a so-called “theologian” who’s a heretic. Other than that, it was swell.

I didn’t watch whatever Christian-bash they resorted to this year. I was too busy celebrating Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.


Movie Review: ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’

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We watched this on Amazon Prime yesterday, where you can rent it: Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018). It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Beautifully filmed and acted, this tells the story of Paul’s life, in flashbacks, against the grim background of Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome. James Faulker, who played Herod Agrippa in I, Claudius, plays Paul–in a Roman prison, awaiting execution. Jim Caviezel is Luke, writing the Book of Acts under Paul’s guidance. Joanne Whalley and John Lynch are Priscilla and Aquila, trying to hold together the city’s Christian community.

There are in the world today places where Christians are brutally persecuted, as they were in Nero’s Rome. And yet those are the places where faith in Christ is growing.

I’m not going to write a long review here, Paul is well worth seeing for yourselves. I just want to note that, as someone who has lived his whole life in a place where, by the providence of God, neither war nor civil strife has touched for centuries, such scenes are strange and terrifying to me. I have never seen anyone beaten on the streets, publicly hanged, herded off to a gulag. I know these things have happened many times in history. I know they happen now.

But on an emotional level, I don’t want to believe that persecution, of the kind that Paul and Luke knew, can be a fact of life. I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want the world to be like that, even though I know it is. God help us peace-loving American Christians, if we ever have to confront anything worse than snarky comments and hate-contorted faces.

For thy sake, Lord, we are slaughtered like sheep…

And yet by you we are more than conquerors.

That’s what Paul said (Romans 8:36-37).

And he taught himself, and us, that only love, filled by God’s grace and the love of Jesus Christ, can survive a fallen world.


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