NetFlix DVD Reviews, Movie Tips & Secrets, Blog, and GETTING RIPPED OFF BY NetFlix

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They are not upfront with their throttling of high-paying accounts, that watch movies quickly and efficiently return them quickly.

To maintain a profitable account even from high volume renters, they limit ALL NEW RELEASES! See more on this page!


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Welcome to my DVD Reviews, Movie Tips & Secrets, Blog, and the insider secrets of NetFlix Page 1









I closed my account in Feb 2009 after repeated discussions with their customer service and e-mails to the company about them preventing my advertised "unlimited" movie rental agreement. Repeatedly, they LIED to me and said they didn't have enough movies to send me. BOGUS!

I closed my account and reopened a new 2-week trial account under a new name and used a different credit card. I added THE SAME MOVIES FROM MY OLD QUEUE to my new queue.

The "Very Long Wait" and "Long Wait" status on the NEW RELEASES suddenly ALL WERE AVAILABLE "Now" and I got them in 2 days!! When my 2-week trial period is over, I am cancelling my account.

I realize that Netflix was successfully sued in 2005 for doing this and that they have it hidden in their user agreement of this biased shipping scheme to maintain a steady profit. What irks me is that several Netflix employees claimed Netflix NEVER THROTTLES and that my research and studies were full of incorrect info about their company.

When Netflix trains their consumer service reps to lie and/or act clueless about NETFLIX THROTTLING, they are in essence trying to hide what is an UNFAIR and ABUSIVE practice. It is wrong to penalize high-volume renters who quickly return DVDs and reward lower echelon spenders and low volume/slow DVD returners with BETTER SERVICE!

Here's a portion of a letter I sent Netflix that gained NO REPLY:

I have been with Netflix long before it became so widely popular. I was there when the "secret throttling" algorithm was revealed and acknowledged with lawsuit and all that . . . (Netflix employee I spoke with today refused to acknowledge this ever happened or happens now, saying I had received incorrect info, LOL) . . .

Trouble now is that I have to wait 2 to 3.5 weeks before New Releases are ever shipped. When I was at 2-at-home account this was sorta true and now at 3-at-home account this is even more sadly true.

Finally, today I called Netflix and talked with two different reps and they both confirmed that Netflix is NOT based around providing New releases but about having a HUGE archive. They suggested that since my queue wasn't "full enough" with archival releases my service would of course suffer. They confirmed that Blockbuster is indeed very NEW RELEASE-BASED and able to provide better service in that arena. WHAT!?

Many other "excuses" and "whinings" were offered to me but essntially it boiled down to the fact Netflix CANNOT adequately anymore service the massive customer base that they have attracted. (One employee blamed it on the holidays even though it says Feb 2, 2009 on the calendar.) They said they simply have been "throttled" themselves by the industry which only provides them so many titles of NEW releases. They blamed it on the movie sources themselves! Is this bogus info or a reality?

So . . . -- I don't really care to see olde movies while Netflix piddles around sending new releases to everyone else. I am done with paying for "Netflux" aka "Very Long Wait" and will be hitting Blockbuster & RedBox moreso now . . .

I joined Netflix in October of 2005 and had been very satisfied with their selection, fees and overall service UNTIL JANUARY 2009 when the began DEEPLY throttling my account so that NEW RELEASES took up to a WHOLE MONTH to be sent to me!! I used to really love being able to catch-up on watching more foreign movies! Not anymore!

Being a music reveiwer and published sc-fi/ fantasy/horror writer, I am now into doing DVD movies reviews. I began writing movie reviews after joining Netflix but now that is over. I am a self-professing critic of audio and visual media. Yeah, I am a know-it-all and an opinonated talking head. So feel free to read my movie reviews here and rent or buy a movie via this site's ads.

I added movies weekly as I saw them afresh or as I decided to cover a flick from my past that warrants my say so. Yes, there are a zillion review sites out there, newspaper columns, and word-of-mouth too. So consider these reviews another voice in the mix. If you find my reviews jive with your experience & tastes then come-back and keep yourself posted on flicks I rent. I hope these reviews are a service to you. ~ John "a critic with uncommon sense"

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SOURCECODEX: Guided Relaxations through Soundwaves
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SOURCECODEX: Prophetic Ambient Awakenings
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SOURCECODEX: Royalty Free: Alien Ambience, Vol. 1
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SOURCECODEX: The Persistence of Ambience
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SOURCECODEX: Primordial Lands Arise
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And now the reviews:

My DVD movie rating system uses 1-5 stars
= Blecch! Best used as a coaster or rear-view mirror decor . . .
= Good for killing time
= Solid movie with minor problems
= I enjoyed this a great deal!
= WOW! What a flick! See it! Own it!

We are Google. Why worry about being fair?

Been LONG TIME since I added material here but here's a bunch!
Added Nov. 15th, 2006


"It's Milla time!" Yes, I confess, I watched this to see Milla "Violet" do her thing in this flick. I loved her, loved her, loved her in The Fifth Element and her Resident Evil work was okay too. Ultraviolet has a barely acceptable plot, somewhat engaging screen adaptation, very impressive CGI overall, top-notch cinematography taste & vision. Milla looks spectacular and action scenes were well-done. I enjoyed 90% of this bombastic sci-fi, heroine extravaganza. Nanotech'd weaponry and bullets "from outta nowhere" was a new twist for me but how they could be fashioned so incredibly fast is beyond the hard-science I understand -- unless the weapons and ammo pre-existed in some quasi-energy-matter state, superpacked in storage for rapid retrieval. The 10% of the movie that failed me was the CGI'd motorcycle chase looked a but comic-booky in spots and NOT realistic. Never mind what Violet pulled off was essentially impossible, it just looked a bit unfinished in the CGI arena, textures not added in spots, breaking glass looking too drawn versus really breaking, small stuff really but it is just that sort of special effects that makes special effects NOT special. If you can tell is is CGI-done then it is subpar work. You shouldn't see most special effects other than slo-mo, ramping and the stuff we all were wow'd by in The Matrix. One last beef -- how in the world does Violet dodge 25 or thirty gun experts shooting at her at close range from 360 degrees surrounding her? Sure. maybe the first couple guys are stupid enuff to die in crossfire but ALL of them doing that? Please So, overall decent flick.

The Unnamable II

If you read and enjoy HP Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith & other chthonian-bred writings then steer clear of this schlock wannabe horror, after-school kids special adveture. When will a truly WELL DONE movie based on the Cthulhu Mythos be released? Hello out there??!! Spielberg, Lucas, James Cameron, Ridley Scott -- please, let's honor the Lord of all things cosmically horrific! When!!???

Guardian of the Realm

Guys click hereWell, so many of these flicks degenerate into hot babes with accents in demonically bondage-tight, black clothes, big guns, cheesy make-up demon-undead extras, one handsome protagonist and one hugely strong demon to be killed hey, it's like a really badly written DOOM PC Game scenario -- skip this one folks -- low-cal food for your dvd player -- Will someone please save their money in Hollywood to make 2 great horror/sci-fi flicks instead spewing out 20 more lousy ones like this?

Night Watch

I was half-expecting low-budget theatrics, stilted acting & non-inventive plot but I just wanted to see what Russian horror/fantasy -- INSTEAD -- I found a well-done, well acted, supremely well-done special effects, tight acting, oodles of action, creepy-wild plot and now I ready for part 2 "Day Watch" of the Trilogy. This movie did so well in Russia and then globally that part 2 will be done with more moolah in the USA. I just hope, as happened with "The Highlander" series, that this trilogy doesn't go sour after its superb first movie. I heartily recommend this to sci-fi, horror, fantasy, adventure-action and even thriller drama fans. DVD is two-sided to allow Widescreen w/ English language to be seen or the original. Ciao!

Aeon Flux

Those of us who liked the graphic-based adventure will pretty much enjoy this cinematic offering. Those who discover Aeon Flux for the first time here will also dig the scene. Decent storyline, great action, solid special effects, engaging but stiff acting. Basic good stuff for sc-fi action adventure fans. Rent this. Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux just didn't do it for me though -- when so many other femmes of note out there could have pulled this role off much more convincingly with more grit, raunch and edge. Charlize Theron is too beach, volley ball, and sunny for the adamantine, dark, dangerous and angst-ridden Aeon Flux of yore.

Ancient Relic

Plot idea was a great one with decent twists. Wished they'd had more of the actual "time travel" footage alluded to in beginning of flick that forced you to wait 3 hours to see 20-30 seconds of! I liked this flick overall as it held you watching even when rigor mortis of viewer brain was setting in One thing that was so lame, I have to slam it. They must have had too little money for more of the Catholic Church Mafia aka Order of the "undying ones". You could wreck these guys in overturned trucks, smash their face in with a heavy-duty wrench, and with a limp, a bruise and a steri-strip or two and they were back in action. The hero of the story kept tickin after many a good lickin as well -- lame director logic there. As others have said this movie was too long. Awkward chit-chat, boy meets girl stuff, jealous boyfriend were fast-forwarded through as they were forced, weak and boring. English dubbing was fair but distracting. So, if you are a time-travel junkie like I am, add this to your queue but watch it with 2 bags of popcorn, a liter soda and plan for 2-3 pee breaks. Enjoy!


I was happy to have experienced this movie aside from the tragedy it portrayed, it pulled you in and kept you there. Well done, well filmed, well acted and it worked. But not a flick to watch to feel good about the world. An important documentary with action and pathos galore.

The Great Raid

This movie covers an embarassing era of WWII when the US gov't turned its back on their own for years as the suffered in Japanese terror and death camps & marches. Japanese didn't view their prisoners as humans but as disease to be destroyed once info and/or labor was gained. After the fact a brave but combat-virgin set of American troops go to kick Jap butt and save the remains of their comrades. A hard movie to watch as men die 'forgotten' but a real boost to see the heroism in the rescue. Hats off to the local resistance that helped the US! See this for an eye-opening look at WWII war crimes and heroism across the Pacific Ocean.

Wolf Creek

Deceptive advertising blurbage creates impression strange-UFO? lights follow kids in car across outback -- NOT in this flick. Instead, you get a long, drawn-out, shocker-serial killer slasher flick where nearly everyone gets sliced, diced, crucified, shot, tortured, dumped, sexually assaulted and robbed by an ex-hunter guide type of psycho. You like blood-n-guts and raw in-your-solar plexus violence -- then this one's for you. Slowwww angst-sufferingly slow pace like blood clotting. Cinematography of horror in the Outback is outstanding however like Hitchcock's bleakly deserted road and airplane scene.

The Fallen Ones

The idea of the Watchers from the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim in Genesis 6 is rife with possibilities for an excellent movie that would make a superb flick that would kick Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Mummy's dusty butts. However great the intention, Kevin VanHook's story, he wrote, produced and directed was -- well, a near-miss. I realize, that budget constraints were in effect here but when the Bible referred to the damned progeny of fallen angels and human women being giants -- the idea that they were 50 feet tall grabbing helicopters is ludicrous. This movie had so much great material to work with but VanHook's valiant efforts just fell face-first into a C- movie with poor acting as well. Even the jokes like Indy Jones would make seemed really forced like Saturday Morning cartoon adventure script. Oh well nice try.

16 Blocks

Bruce does a great job of portraying a burn-out NY cop with the chance to redeem himself by putting his own life on the line. Against all odds he defends the defenseless and chatterbox walkie-talkie felon from bad-cop conspiracy. There's plenty of chase, guns, action, surprises and edge-of-your seat action. My teenage daughter watched this with me, (she's a Willis fan ever since Die Hard series and The Fifth Element), and she really like this too. It was a smart flick that proves people can make the right decision and decide to take the straight & narrow thru the jaws of Death into the hard cold Truth and thus find forgiveness and peace for themselves instead of wallowing in self pity, guilt and bitterness. Two-thumbs up!

Demon Hunter

How bad can horror and acting within the genre be? This is the pits! Watch this and regret wasting your Queue space. Truly, absolutely, 100% lame, 70s soft-porn, made for cable, slop!


Decent plot, smart crooks, holds your attention, microchip'd pooch saves the day along with Ford's tech savvy, low on action, medium on suspense, okay acting, but predictable all-too quick "Texas Ranger" type of ending with dead bad guys and calvary arrive after dust is settling form daddy-hero Ford's business suit. Not a keeper but passes the time fairly.

The Tunnel

What would you do if your loved ones were stuck on the wrong side of the now-fallen Berlin Wall? These people dug one of the best and most successful tunnels UNDER the Wall. Great story, great filming, strong acting, suspenseful, better than the History Channel by a lonnnnggg shot. Point, click, add to your Queue now.

Natural City

click for hi-res picGood special effects futuristic Asian flick of man, enhanced cyborgs, brain-to-machine transfer, falling in love with Replicant-type-reaching end of lifespan robo-babe and trying to save the rest of humanity. Could have been developed a bit more but perhaps -- the "left-out" bits appeal to Korean sense of reality/culture matrix and not needed for "completeness". Grab a drink and popcorn and steal a virtual seat in a distant Korean theatre from the comfort of your own bungalo.

Caved In

Oh so lame, so poorly done, dumb looking bugs, high-school level acting, bad writing, stupid bad guys, predicatble, boring storyline, anyone for DVD Frisbee??

The Number One Girl

Oh my g- this was a fast forward, eject and send it back quick!!!!! Imagine 90210 sicky sweet charm and lame fight scenes with idiot girls with robotic behavior reading their lines off-camera showing some pg-13 skin while bad guys shoot guns -- why, why, why does hollywood or wherever spit out crap like this? I hate I was so deceived into renting this! My bad.

Added Nov 21, 2005


Mud, Mud, Mud and Blood, rain, rain, dismal, slow-burn, slow-death, alternate world war-microcosm of a psuedo-Purgatory aka pre-judgment mudbath with paranormal gore. That which doesn't kill you makes you scared as hell and you either freak out and murder folks or dry up and die inside. With all that said, this mid-budget morality play set in the parallel world mirroring the trenches of WWI -- has ?dead? ?NDE? soldiers face the horrors of what war does to the thin cord of humanity we like to think we all have within. What we see is death and hatred and evil that propels us from within also destroys us from without (especially via an otherworldly Agent of Wrath and Merciful Judgment) and how do we face the unexplained, the unexpected, the nightmares become real, as happens in this flick. I felt I was watching a Weird War comic book tale come alive like a Night Gallery episode but with more the gore and virulent visuals (rats need food too ;^) -- so though this flick dragged in spots and made me cry out inside, "Get on with it! Let's find out what's going on here!" -- I was not surprised when everything slid slickly and muddily into an "Aha . . ." revelation without a bang but a whimper -- and then it began all over like a bad dream reprise -- credits rolled. Not a great viewing but offbeat enough to keep you guessing and perplexed as to what was going on and how it would turn out. WEIRD STUFF!

Added Nov 20, 2005


Our main character, time traveling, inventor-loner, and young awkward scientist is none other than "Sam" from Lord of the Rings flick fame. Other actors are not so well-known. The use of slo-mo, fast ramping, whirling cam angles and jerky rewind are used as the effects to indicate time travel and assorted anomalies. Obviously budget but okay. Plot was minimal, easy to see coming but worked. What kept my interest up was that in time travel flicks, (only into the past in this movie), infinite storyline twists are possible. This was a thin yet light-hearted romp 80% of the time w/ chuckles amidst the forced mayhem. So TV-MA level violence, deadly explosives and heavy gun-play added what edge this movie could muster for the other 20% of the time. A mixture of heavy Aussie-Brit and bland US inflections and accents made the viewer wonder just where this story was happening -- giving it a overtly generic locale feel. This was not a great flick nor really awful but followed that "almost well-done" Sci-Fi Channel production quality, made for TV gestalt. The ending was sugar-coated and feel good written as the time-travelers (good, stupid, and the ugly), all gained "wisdom" from surviving various destinies avoided by jumping back to do it "right" for the next time. Please no sequel!

Added Nov 16, 2005

The Kingdom: Series 1

Filmed in artsy sepia, incandescent light bulb color depressed mood with odd angles, snippets of spooky music to create tension where essentially nothing is really on screen that is neither interesting nor otherworldly most of the time -- this Series 1, episodes 1 & 2 set was a perplexing soap opera-esque General Hospital meets poor man's X-files echoing Blair Witch stylings Horror-Occultism-Cursed Land beneath it all intersecting modern-day twisted psyches with brief paranormal effects. Whew! Lots words -- yes and this flick covers a too-wide range of subjects all colliding together into a morass of subplots. I suffered thru episode 1, asking myself, "What the--?" and then fast forwarded thru episode 2, pausing here and there to see if anything more creatively/storyline-based was happening but no. This Danish language-only w/English subtitles is a difficult watch, plodding, attempting to evoke pathos and creepiness but it fell short of doing such. I ejected the DVD and ran into the adjacent room to cancel DVD Series 2 of The Kingdom out of my Netflix Queue as enough is enough. This could have all been done in only 2 episodes versus the behemoth padding of non-essentials spread out over 4 episodes. I guess it was a "for TV thing" happening that helped sponsors sell cheese but made for just too much "storyline" that added nothing to drive the creepiness. Perhaps, one day I may rent the 2nd Series to see if it ever got better in a "grand finale" but I doubt it. Rent something else unless you enjoy lithium in your soda.

Added Nov 15, 2005

Jason and the Argonauts (2000)

I essentially Queued this one up to see how the year 2000 would compare to classic 1963 special effects. I liked the impact and ahead-of-its-day 1963 effects better. The year 2000 Harpies were excellent though! For 2 hrs and 59 minutes worth this TV-styled flick seemed to drag in places as if a commercial was needed to pace things. The action was decent, story line (a bit off compared to the "original"), the costumes were really great and the women were extremely beautiful and alluring as much as one could hope for for a mythology-driven tale. Acting was acceptable for most characters but Dennis Hopper was not well at his craft in this flick. I dunno, I feel the movie waned to a real post-climax predictable plodding after the Golden Fleece was found. I actually fast forwarded to look for more effects and interesting pivotal moments but even seeing evil king Dennis Hopper get his was like a bad-guy-death-swoon from an old Gunsmoke episode. I can tell a great deal of work, planning, costuming and on-site filming went into this flick to enhance it but it just wasn't near as enchanting as the 1963 version. I would love to see the Harpies make a return in time-travel/alternate worlds tale as they were as good or better than the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park. I thought the combative & fickle "gods" in the clouds causing grief & aid to mortals was weakly executed and nigh unto cheese in their shallowness. Again the 1963 version was better.

Added Nov 14, 2005

Tomorrow Man

I am an avid time travel fan, read it (fiction and non-fiction studies), watch it, write it and review it so as a completist I rented this flick. Oooh, this one was bad. Anyone who dug this hasn't seen nor read enuff decent time travel-based material. This flick flat-out sucked to the point of near-laughable. Bad acting, lame effects, overtly predictable plot, too-cocky & sassy, smart-aleck, time-cop chick in too-tight clothing and too-stooopid bad guys. Even the, (usually do-able), fight-scenes & "action" material looked like something a bunch of teenagers with no allowance created with Dad's camcorder. Blecch. The main characters were shallowly written so the drama was like cardboard stand-up actors or screen-play puppets. Oooh, did I say this was a bad flick. DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS ONE unless you are a completist with the ability to laugh at yourself for wasting Netflix Queue slots on filler DVDs.

Added Nov 7, 2005

Batman Begins

This is easy, either a tie or even better than the first Batman movie. The sequels to Batman really went downhill fast. This prequel is well-thought out, is paced well, great action, FANTASTIC Batmobile and cleanly executed special effects. Watching Batman evolve his techniques and assemble hi-tech gear as well as develop the BatCave a bit was interesting. The main character for Batman handles his role well. The only thing I found logically awkward was the existence and modus operandi of a shadowgroup of embittered & ruthless warriors who helped "evil" cities destroy themselves via the shadowgroup's "setting up" environments for self-destruction. Thus these "good guys" actually are addled automatons of "righteous" indignation. Oh please . . . So, Batman, once trained by them, rejects their logic and thus fights mafioso-types, petty criminals and low-life types as well as the elusive, all-wise shadowgroup. Granted, this is comic-book logic, so if you accept comic-book worldviews then Batman Begins was a perfect movie. Recommended!

Touching the Void

Being a non-technical, (gear-free), mtn climber myself, I found this DVD to be a rush of course. The scenery was beyond spectacular and nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat moments aplenty. This is a real-life adventure retold visually and via commentary soundbites. It boils down to exploring the edge of vertical doom-lands of snow and ice, getting terribly hurt, being left for dead and a man's ultimate survival instincts. How the one dude still believed being an atheist was cool after his life was so clearly in the hands of God's mercy I find unfathomable but hey -- fools fall off mtns just as regularly as wise guys. So it rains on the just and the unjust. The movie is not one to be entertained by as much as vicarious adventure on the edge of assured doom yet sensing the unmistakable intervention of the grace of God for these guys in their both walking & crawling out of the gelid tentacles of Death in the frozen wastes of Peru. Whew!

Added Nov 4, 2005

Schindler's List

I found this movie extremely moving and gripping in its taking us inside the TRUE story of just one man who tried to stem the dark tide of the Nazi ethnic-"cleansing" death machine by having mercy on the helpless ones he came in contact with in his manufacturing business. Give a person a job in the Nazi war-effort factories and they were spared near-certain death. It's a hard movie to say one "Loved-It" as it concerns one of humanity's darkest hours but film-making-wise -- it is a solid 5-star movie right up there with "Saving Private Ryan" (I cry at the end of that flick every time I watch it.) Enuff said, hope this viewpoint is a help.

Open Water

I really tried to get into this but it was one of the first DVDs I ever fast forwarded to get to the end. What a waste of time, budget camcorder homemade movie filming, soap opera acting, shallow characters, deep water with hungry sharks, wish they had eaten these people sooner . . . zzzz boring, boring, boring. Thankfully I grabbed this off the vid store's 99cent rental rack. I don't care if this was based on ?factual? story -- it was lame on the level of a high-school drama project that earned a C- urrggghhhh

The City of Lost Children

Reviews like this are so easy. I watched this -- loved its offbeat charm, thrilled to the fantastic cinematography, visuals such eye-candy, costumes, effects, storyline, acting all good . . . imagine that Wizard of Oz charm meets Moulin Rouge flair meets Dark City weird science meets Brazil over-the-top camp. Best of all I went and bought it cheap at eBay, brand new, after checking it out here during my free trial period! Enjoy this delightfully whacked tale!

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

This was overall -- a fair movie. Don't expect wowie-zowie, special effects or extreme head-spinning & projectile vomitus. Best word for this flik is slow-burn-subdued. Our fearless & faithless hero priest suffers guilt and "iconoclastic, wish-I-was-dead" complex. Immersing himself in archaeology for the church he finds ancient taboo nasties. Not a new concept. Bad things happen, natives get restless, weak psyches get bent and priest-on-hiatus must regain faith to save the day, sort of. The same faith lost, faith regained due to extreme loss and otherworldly angst is done much better with Mel Gibson's character in "Signs" hit movie. When your main character is introspective, non-conversational, and aloof it makes for a very difficult movie to get into unless supporting actors are more dynamic or action is more well developed or storyline more uniquely engaging. Set design, costuming were strong, special effects low-budget, and acting tolerable. Not an essential rental but it passes the time w/o one's falling asleep. One facet of the movie I found interesting was demonic healing & physical well-being which opens up a whole theological can of worms! If a person is cursed by evil's effects then the same can be reversed by evil or by good-- true or not?

The Pianist

Being an amatuer researcher into the Nazis and the Holocuast I found this movie to be just one more reason I ever got into wanting to really understand what happened to the world of Europe under Hitler. This is a "hard on the heart" but needful movie to watch as it fairly moves one's psyche into empathizing with the plight of an oppressed humanity under the lash of a brutal Reich like Hitler envisioned. For a truly mind-blowing insider look at the horror of Auschwitz and its concentration camp victims that indeed revolted, Try "The Grey Zone" -- not as polished as this movie but much more gut-wrenching and an in-depth revealing of the horrors most of us have never seen nor dreamt of . . . powerful stuff but not for the weak stomach'd.

The Last Samurai

I held off watching this after Cruise made such an arse of himself recently but the movie was a solid 5 stars. Cinematography, dialogue, storyline, fight scenes, martial arts, ending were all very well done. Trust me on this one, rent this now! Sadly, this movie demonstrates the ages-old truth of one culture being technologically superior will eventually erase a more simple culture or at best push it into very limited existence and "tolerance". HiYaah! Blam Blam! PS: THIS IS ONE LONNNGGG MOOOOVIIIEEEEEE . . . . . .


First half had plenty of storyline/plot set-up, flashback, faux-emotional vignettes which were somewhat awkward, at time boringly stilted with character dialogue/interaction more suited to Cartoon Network fans and Anime-addicts. "Mothra is coming to save us!" -- you catch my drift. Yeah, you see parallels to Matrix, Terminator, Independence Day and other well-known Box Office Blockbusters of the ilk but that didn't detract from enjoying this flick. Once the action levels, chase scenes, stunts, fights, shoot-outs and "save the alien -- save the future" intensity kicked in, Returner was fun to watch, (less dialogue helped). My fav part was the surprising time-travel twist and epilogue to Returner. It was foreshadowed but I never expected it once all the action died down. Worth the rental folks. But watching it w/English dubbed caused some laughably weak dialogue. Hopefully the original language flow was less stilted and less high school play level. "Hi-yahh, Blam Blam!" Transformers anyone??

National Treasure

This is a no-think, get on the fun-ride car, hug yer girl, swig yer fav libation, stuff yer face with snax and kick back action and ooh-ahh yikes look-out kinda flick harkening back to those Saturday Morning TV Tarzan and the Lost City of Opar dazeszzzzzz -- easily digested, time killer, and quickly forgotten . . . now what actually happened in the end? Hmm, I fergit it now. Want a REAL joy-ride you won't forget full of great scenes, actors, story, special FX, chuckles and a memorable time? I suggest you RUN don't walk and rent/buy/burn/borrow a copy of The Fifth Element. Off to another review . . .

Lost in Translation

I watched this with my wife and one of my daughters and we all looked at each other at the end and frowned. A waste of time -- I have seen 1,000's of fliks myself and this one is just dead in the water. All I found interesting was seeing downtown Tokyo backdrops and scenery as such. Story: Mid-life crisis angst, language problems in non-English business work, old American guy, boredom, cute white girl, Asian cool cats, desire unfulfilled, mismatched age-groups, the young still have it -- old guys are -- well just old. So deal with it. Don't bother with this one folks -- snoozer.

Immortel Ad Vitam

If you want a totally different chic gestalt of Heavy Metal-era, graphic novel, come celluloid alive that breathes the skewed weirdness of a Iain M. Banksian sci-fi tome yet retains that down-to-earth Blade Runner meets Fifth Element tawdry, bleak future visual and smug attitude then this flick RULES. If you are looking for smooth storyline and sub-plots all falling into place neatly with intense and engaging and skilled acting then forget it. Remember this is art 2-D rising up to a 3-D computerized virtual life for the eye to worship and the brain to be teased. Granted, I love H. R. Giger darkworldviews in his art but they also make one uncomfortable. "Immortal" was full of uncomfortably mesmerizing artsy effects blending virtual PC-rendered and "real" actors and would also switch to 100% fake folk for some scenarios. I was put off a tad by this at first but then after a time you accepted this quasi-realism. I want to see this movie re-released and re-rendered 10 years from now when it will be impossible to tell render from real. Recommended viewing for sci-fi fans, (except for the several forced sex scenes which were disturbing in that perversely voyeuristic way.) Yes, I realize it was a vital part of the story but its graphic nature reminded me of all that flashy-cool sex art of the 1970s-80s Heavy Metal zines which helped sales -- a necessary evil . . . hmm, not.

More reviews to be added ??/i>

UPDATEs/Netflix News: (Nov 11th, 2005)
So ya joined Netflix awhile back and those movies don't get processed fast enough for the next DVD to arrive when you expected it to -- (like during your amazing trial period when you were treated like royalty or like a big investor) -- happened to me recently (week of 11-7-05) -- I mail DVD back on 11-4-2005 and my next DVD does not arrive until 11-14-2005!! That's a 10-day processing period with no DVD for me! What the? -- I got pissed, made some calls, sent some e-mails.

First lady that I spoke with was defensive of Netflix versus answering my questions. She soon began a sing-song, monotone litany, rehearsed or read? -- I stopped her and asked if she was reading something to me -- she paused, lost a moment then says "No!" -- I say it really sounded like she was, as her voice became non-expressive and automaton-speak. She dropped that line of corporate-speak and suggested I mail DVDs back from another location other than my mailbox . I explained I received and mailed DVDs from my P.O. Box at the USPS main station in town. She then blamed that Netflix is dependent on the USPS (duhhhh!!) and they have no control of them. Lame excuse I said as they were getting movies processed in-and-out on same day so my turn-around time was 3 days max, (get DVD, watch it, mail it next day, get next DVD on following day, a 3-day cycle), and now Netflix was not even coming close to that. She was a joke to try and reason with and fortunately my cell phone suffered a drop-out disconnect. Next call, another Netflix info-lady, she had her act together, very nice, explained my Queue had a 2-DVD series to be shipped and since no DVD #1 was available, they went down the list to my next DVD in Queue but my local Netflix distrib-hub didn't stock it so they sent one from New Mexico instead of North Carolina (2-hours away from me) -- ergo -- everthing got futzed up royally. Netflix doesn't tell you this can go down unless you dig for the info like I did.

They also don't explain to you upfront that Netflix customers are NOT treated equally, (see e-mail from them below), as the "heavy user" (those that rent and return fast and those that pay more to have more DVDs at home) will be prioritized lower on DVD in-and-out processing speed and will also see more DVDs deeper down in their Queue get sent out before those higher in their Queue! Why you ask? They say that this insures that "low density users" will get the benefits of "equalized" service and quality and have the same access to popular movies on a quick ship basis. What is up with this I ask myself? You pay higher fees per month for more DVDs at home at a time and send them back quickly to see more movies within a shorter period of time to get the most bang for your buck -- but Netflix policy via their "secret-science software" smooths or throttles everyone into a "normative" amount of DVDs watched per month. Something is screwy with this methinks. Read the letter from Netflix . . .

I quote e-mail from Netflix,

"Here is how we process and ship our DVDs:

We receive rental returns Monday through Friday, except holidays. We process nearly 100% of returns the same day we receive them. When we check-in a return, an email is automatically and promptly sent to you to let you know that we have received your DVD. At present our goal is to ship you the DVDs listed highest in your Queue. Also, we currently try to ship you DVDs from the distribution center closest to you so that you get movies quickly.

Often, on the same day that we receive a DVD from you, we will ship the next available DVD from your Queue. In certain instances, your next available DVD will not ship until at least one business day following our receipt of your returned movie. This can occur, for example, when your top choices are not available to you from your closest distribution center or the number of shipments to be processed by the distribution center on that day has been exceeded. When this happens, your DVD will likely ship on the next business day and may come from an alternate distribution center.

In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those members who receive the most movies may experience that (i) the shipment of their next available DVDs occurs at least one business day following return of their previously viewed movie, (ii) delivery takes longer, as the shipments may not be processed from their local distribution center and (iii) they receive movies lower in their Queue more often than our other members. By prioritizing in this way, we help assure a balanced experience for all our members. Those that rent a lot of movies get a great value and those with lighter viewing habits are able to count on our service to meet their limited needs.

When we ship you another DVD we automatically and promptly send you an email letting you know that it's on the way and telling you the estimated arrival date.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Netflix Customer Service"

So there it is -- you decide whether you want to stay with Netflix. My recommendation is join RedBox or Blockbuster.

A suggestion: Get your friends, neighbors, roommates, office, etc that use Netflix and trade movies among each other and do a pooling of DVDs in various Queues and beat Netflix at their own "throttling" software game.

More Netflix info to come . . .


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