Stan's Recent Reviews

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04/23/2011 - 9:17pm

Sometimes fate deals you a particularly cruel hand.  For instance, my father could create plans in his head and construct a building without blueprints.  He could pull the engine from a car, repair it, re-install it and have it running like new pretty much by himself.  This man who could plumb and wire a house with no formal training, the smartest, most capable man I have ever known, developed Alzheimer’s disease and, by the end of his life, couldn’t figure out how to operate a doorknob.  To me, that seems especially cruel.  The hero of this week’s

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04/17/2011 - 7:26pm

Back in my younger days, I used to build models of cars, airplanes and spaceships.  I was cursed with the unfortunate combination of not being a very good model builder and being something of a perfectionist.  As I examined my overly glued and poorly painted efforts, I would think that if I dabbed on a bit more color here or trimmed some excess glue there it would be perfect.  It never was and I was rarely satisfied with my results.  If I had just left my imperfections alone, the model probably would have looked just fine.  Leaving things well enough alone is a less

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04/09/2011 - 10:43pm

Is there a moment in your childhood that you believe had a big impact on your life?  I believe one occurred for me when I was in the third grade.  I was nominated to be on my school’s safety patrol which was both a big honor and a big responsibility.  It also meant going on the annual safety patrol trip to Washington DC during my sixth grade year.  In my mind, that trip was magical.  I’d never been anywhere like it before and I dreamed of seeing the Smithsonian Institute’s Air and Space Museum.  I was certain my parents would sign the required

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04/03/2011 - 12:39am

Two reviews for you this week.  First is a supernatural thriller I didn’t have much hope for when I first heard about it, followed by an action flick tinged with sci-fi.  One had a budget of less than $2-million, while the other was made for just over $30-million.  One has little-known actors while the other has A-list stars.  Oddly enough, they’re both equally good.

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03/27/2011 - 2:08am

Imagination is an escape for some people.  There are stories of prisoners of war who would envision building a lakeside cabin while they were being tortured by their captors to maintain their sanity.  Victims of abuse often create fantasy worlds to escape the pain.  This week’s movie, “Sucker Punch,” tells the story of a woman who not only fantasizes about a better life, but her fantasy self also fantasizes.  It’s layer upon layer of fantasy that could use a healthy dose of reality.

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03/19/2011 - 10:37pm

Many times we hear of people (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) who aren’t living up to their potential.  That usually is code for suspicions that the person in question is either lazy or immature; and usually, those suspicions are correct.  Occasionally, there are those few who are neither immature nor lazy, just unable to find the pathway to apply their knowledge and experience to the goal they wish to achieve.  In this week’s movie, “Limitless,” the hero is provided a shortcut to his goal; but that shortcut is loaded with booby traps that could bri

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03/13/2011 - 10:24pm

Have you ever questioned everything about your life and world?  Have you ever faced a situation that was completely beyond your lifetime of experiences?  Most of us haven’t.  I know I haven’t.  The closest I have gotten to that situation was when my wife and I moved 500 miles from home to a small town in the Florida Panhandle less than a year after we married.  To say the community we moved to was a different world from what we knew is just about right; however, we quickly found our way, made friends, joined a church and settled into a normal life. 

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03/06/2011 - 9:51pm

Normally in this spot, you'd see my efforts at connecting real life to something I'd seen in the movie I am reviewing.  Unfortunately, real life decided to take over and prevent me from seeing a film.  A death in the family and all the visiting, viewing and services that entails occupied all my time this weekend.  Perhaps I'll be able to see two movies this coming weekend.  The updated movie poll contains both last week's and this week's releases and the votes already cast remain.  If you already voted, please feel free to vote again.  Thank

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02/26/2011 - 9:46pm

Rare is the second chance and wouldn’t many of us do anything to have a few.  A second chance to sink the winning free throw missed in a championship basketball game, to introduce yourself to the one that got away, to look both ways one more time before pulling out in front of that car, to take that big test in college.  Many people would like a second chance living their entire life.  No one gets that chance, except in the movies.  This week, Nicolas Cage tries to make up for being an absent father by saving the life of his granddaughter in “Drive Angry.&rdq

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02/20/2011 - 8:42pm

With Stan’s Choice winning this week’s movie poll, I decided to take a little different approach with my review.  Normally when it’s my choice, I will pick something that I’m eager to see or believe a true movie fan should see.  With the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, February 27th, I decided to see the last two remaining Best Picture nominated films I had missed when they were in theatres:  “Winter’s Bone” and “The Kids Are All Right.”  Using my Netflix membership to full effect, I sat back in the comfort of my