Unbreakable - A movie by M. Night Shyamalan. One of my favorite directors. Bruce Willis plays his usual sour bitter character, but overall the casting was excellent. The story plays out like the comic book it pays tribute to. An excellent movie. It gets a 6 out of 7.
They Live - A ridiculous sci-fi movie. Starring Roddy Piper (of Wrestling fame), and Keith David, another 'b' actor. This movie has very little going for it in terms of plot. Piper's character stumbles upon a sinister intergalactic alien conspiracy, and some special sunglasses. At one point there's this fantastic fight scene in an alley where Roddy Piper tryies to get Keith David to put on a pair of the sunglasses. 15 minutes later, they're both bloody, bruised, and covered in filth. One of my favorites, this one gets a 5 out of 7.
Brotherhood of the Wolf / Le pacte des loups - Spectacular. A fantastic foreign flick. This French film is unforgettable. A visually stunning artistic film with compelling characters, a great cast, spectaculer costumes, and a superb setting. The story ties it all together. Part mystery, part love story, part action thriller. This one gets a 7 out of 7 on my list.
Better luck tomorrow -
A dark spiraling movie. Spiraling downward that is. The movie was
well directed. The acting was worthwhile, considering the junior status
all the actors involved. A dark twisted tale of high-school gangsters
turned murderers who try to maintain the life of a normal kid, while
their lives spiral uncontrollably out of control. If the movie hadn't
been so dark, and dealt with such harsh issues, I might have given
it a higher rating. This one gets a 4 out of 7.
The quiet American -
Great acting (except from Brendan Fraser). Michael Caine and Do Thi
Hai Yen tell a complicated love story in war torn Vietnam. At the twilight
of the French reign. The costumes, sets and scenery only made the movie
more believable. Excellent drama. This one gets a 6 out of 7.
Swimming - A coming
of age movie about Frankie. She's swimming through her life trying
to find out what feels right. A story about a girl who wants her own
A great story. Not vulgar or flashy, very truthful. Lauren Ambrose
(the Lead) did some fantastic acting. She's gonna be somebody, you
just wait and see. This one gets a 5 out of 7.
Kalifornia: A pretty
good movie.Two journalists set out on a journey across the country. Little
do they know that one of their passengers is the subject of their study.
Bradd Pitt does a fantastic job as a serial killer with a mean streak.
The acting is pretty good, the plot is mediocre, the casting was o.k.
This movie gets a 3 out of 7.
Another inane hollywood mistake. This movie just didn't move me. An aging
cop and his young partner. A plot that's been done a million times. Supposedly
a comedy... It's no wonder Harrison Ford isn't cast in many comedies.
The plot is piss poor, the acting stiff and luke warm. The only redeeming
feature was the music. This one gets a 3 out of 7. The fact that Harrison
Ford's character was trying to sell real-estate no matter what else was
happening was an interesting diversion from the slow moving wreak that
was the rest of the plot.
Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Perl - Your typical hollywood block-buster. Pablum
for the masses. A flat story, mediocre acting, and ho-hum action. I really
despised this movie. It felt like a one track roller coaster. No detours,
no getting off, a few loop-de-loops, and then it was over. If it wasn't
for the If you don't feel like thinking much, rent this movie. I give
it a 3 out
of 7. The only redeeming feature was Geoffrey Rush's performance as
Barbossa (The bad pirate).
Along came a spider :
(From our collection/Not NetFlix) A marvelous little criminal mystery thriller.
This movie moves along nicely, with some fair acting (Morgan Freeman is the
lead). The best performance came from Mika Boorem (as Megan Rose) as the
young spoiled kidnap victim. Thankfully the plot twists kept me guessing.
Even after watching this movie for the third time, I was surprised at a couple
of turns. 5 out of 7.
With a friend like Harry:
(French film: Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien) With english subtitles.
This movie was on my "watch" list,
and it didn't disappoint. A dark, disturbing little psycho-drama. The acting
was good. The setting/sets, and costume were all unpretentious and believable.
The story was well done and well directed. The movie starts out innocently
enough, but it doesn't stay that way. By the end of the movie there are 4
dead bodies, and no one's crying... This one rates 5 out of 7 as well.
The experiment: (A German
film, Das experiment) with english subtitles. Another movie from the "watch" list.
This movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted
in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab and volunteers are
divided into two groups. Prisoners and Guards. They are given a very simple
set of instructions. Act according to your roles, but there is to be no violence.
Well, things get out of hand. Way out of hand. A tense psycho drama with
some excellent acting. The lead (prisoner 77) is played by Moritz Bleibtreu.
He starred in Run Lola Run as
well. Another one of my favorites. This one gets a 7. Rent it and own it.
I had no idea it was this good.
The last supper: Yet
another movie from my "watch" list. Thank you NetFlix.
Done in the style of a play. This little gem deserves watching. Five liberal
housemates decide to murder people with extreme right wing views. They're
making the world a better place. The pacing was well done, the cast was a
good pick, and the story was interesting. This one gets 3 out of 7.
The life of David Gale :
The states (Texas) leading anti-death-penalty activist is framed for a murder,
and ends up on death row. This movie is an excellent drama. The writting/script
is powerful, the acting compelling, the ending left me reeling. This one
gets a 6 out of 7.
Bowling for Columbine: This
is a very well done documentary. Unfortunately, the point of view is skewed
in one specific direction. I think Michael Moore wines too much. I'm pro
gun-control, but this movie contained so much wining that I wish I could
have shot Michael Moore half way through the movie. I wasn't real happy with
the genre bending rules used in this documentary. Stick to the facts, and
let me come to my own conclusions. The directing and production were way
above par. This one gets 4 out of 7.
Indecent Proposal: (From
our collection/Not NetFlix) The chemistry between Woody Harrelson and Demi
Moore nearly made my VHS player overheat. Unfortunately, that's about all
this movie had going for it. The acting was o.k. The story is so thin that
the entire movie is summed up in ne line of dialog. Despite its shortcomings,
it gave my tear glands a work out. I give it a 4 out of 7.
Mean Streets: A Martin Scorsese
film. Starring Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. I almost didn't recognize
De Niro. He's so young in this film. Excellent directing, with some nice
camera work. Good acting from two greats. The only flaw of this movie is
the lack of a plot. None. None whatsoever. The entire movie is based on the
life of a small time mob collector. Interpersonal character drama drives
this flick. I give it a 4 out of 7.
Metropolis: It's an old
black & white silent movie, but it's magnificent. A sci-fi throwback
from 1927. This movie illustrates a dystopian future where a strict social
caste forms the basis of revolution and romance. The directing, music and
scope are fantastic. The only drawback is the over-dramatic acting. This
one gets 6 out of 7.
Frank Herbert's - Children of
Dune: (From our collection/Not NetFlix) I love the Dune series. The
books are the best thing I've ever read. This movie captures a small piece
of the rich tapestry woven by the books. Riddled with corruption, intrigue,
and deception, two twins strive to hold together themselves and their fathers
legacy. An excellent story. I rate this one a 6 out of 7.
La Strada: (An Italian film)
With english subtitles: It's an old movie, dating from 1954, but it's timeless.
A movie directed by the Italian master Federico Fellini. The characters in
this movie are haunting and memorable. A tragic story about a wandering strongman
and the woman who can't help but love him. It's tragic and moving a movie
packed full of emotion. I felt like I had been drawn into their personal
lives, a participant, a victim and touched by the power of this movie. This
one gets a 7.
Soylent Green: This
movie came out in 1973, and it stars Charlton Heston. He does a good job
of acting, but its not the greatest movie. The movie is set in the distant
future; 2022! The world is overpopulated, and the overpopulation is the root
of all evil in this movie. The premise is chilling, but the movie lags at
times. It was narrow in scope, and I kept thinking about the tag-line. This
one gets a 4 for its vision and directing.
Cuckoo, The: (Russian film:
Kukushka) With english subtitles. A pleasant little movie. The setting is
the Finnish border with Russia near the end of WWII. Two unlikely foes become
the guests of a Lapp woman. This drama had some really good acting, and an
excellent story. This one gets a 5 out of 7.
The man on the train: (French
film: Homme du train, L' ) With english subtitles. A compelling piece of
cinema. An aging bank robber travels to a small French town to knock off
the local bank. With plans to make and no place to stay he finds himself
a guest in an aging teachers home. This movie was well directed, and the
acting was o.k. The problem with this movie; it was very slow. I almost fell
asleep seven or eight times. It gets a 3 out of 7.
Matrix - Revolutions - The
end of the trilogy. Everything has a beginning and an end. This movie was
about death and endings. Excellent acting. Hugo Weaving steals the show as
Agent Smith. Once again the movie feels rushed. The 2nd and 3rd movies feel
rushed when compared to the first movie. This movie feels much more like
the 2nd movie than the first. The action was spectacular, but it was too
much. Too much action, too much dialog. I liked the dialog. It explained
a lot about the relationships between man and the machine. The Oracle, the
Architect, the Frenchman, the Trainmaster, etc. The only flaw in this movie;
the pacing. Excellent all around. This one gets a 6 out of 7.
Hulk, the - Another Marvel
comic book movie. Not a bad flick. A bit juvenile, but a good movie cinematically.
The plot was very straight forward. Origin of super hero plus romance interest.
There really wasn't any villain in this movie. The acting was lackluster,
but the music was excellent. The best part of the movie was the camera work/split
screen effects. The movie tried to capture the windowing style of a comic
book. with multiple screens and screens which start as stills and then transition
to motion. Not overdone, the overall effect highly enhanced the movie. This
one gets a 4 out of 7.
Eye, the - A foreign flick
with English subtitles. This Chinese movie (Produced in Hong Kong) is a spin
on Sixth Sense. A fairly good plot where a blind woman regains her sight,
but now sees dead people. She strives to understand why she sees these lost
souls, and ultimately goes on a journey to Thailand, where she learns the
truth about her cornea donors life. Nowhere near as scary as I had hoped
for, and the acting was sub par. If it hadn't been for the music, the poor
special effects work would've ruined this movie. This one doesn't make the
cut. It gets a 3 out of 7.
Italian job, the - Lackluster.
Not much to say about this movie. A bunch of lovable thieves get taken by
one of their own. The plot is very simple. Steal it, it's stolen, steal it
back. Lots of eye candy actors. Obviously chosen for looks over talent. The
only redeeming part of this movie is the car chase. It gets a 3 out of 7
for that. It was a really good car chase!
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers -
This is the second time I've seen this movie. This time around it was a little
bit different. 44 minutes different! A friend of mine (Thanks Jason) brought
over this directors cut, and I have to say. The additional footage was fantastic.
It really added to the story. The cast, costumes, story, special effects,
sound, music, sets, scenery, everything was done right. Captivating, Thrilling,
Epic. This movie gets a 7 out of 7.
Shaghai Knights - Nowhere
nearly as fresh as Shanghai Noon. Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan back on the
screen in another comedic adventure. The chemistry between these two is still
there. Unfortunately the story wasn't as good as the first movie. A little
bit too much cheese. This one rated 4 out of 7.
Before Night Falls - A sundance
award winner. The life story of a homosexual cuban writer. This guys life
was a real downer. Living in Cuba must really blow. I'm glad I live in the
good ol' U.S. of A! The directing was excellent, the acting was genuine,
a good movie. It gets a 4 out of 7.
Bruce Almighty - This is
the second time I've seen this movie, but it definitely won't be the last.
I liked it so much I bought a copy. Outstanding! I laughed my head off. The
DVD extra features are also worthwhile. When Jim Carrey gets free reign with
any scene you know it's gonna turn out right. This director knows what he's
doing. This movie is divine. It gets a 7.
Owning Mahoney - Definitely
better than I anticipated. Starring one of those B actors. You know the kind
you recognize, but you can't quite place the face. Based on a true story.
The real story here is the acting. Starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Minnie
Driver. Hoffman plays a bank manager with a rather large gambling problem.
Minnie Driver plays his pinning girlfriend. Hoffman is fantastic. At no point
during the movie did I ever suspect he was acting. Thoroughly convincing.
Driver on the other hand... Flat, listless, and pedantic. The plot is fairly
straight forward. You know it's bound to end badly for Hoffman's character.
This movie gets a 5 out of 7, based almost entirely on Hoffman's acting.
Gangs of New York - Yes,
the epic, quasi-historical, romantic drama. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (good
guy), Daniel Day-Lewis (bad guy), and Cameron Diaz (romantic interest). DiCaprio's
performance was luke warm, Day-Lewis did a fantastic job as the 'Butcher'.
Diaz was miscast as the love interest. Would have made a good musical. It
was directed like a musical. The directing was good, and I enjoyed the occasional
historical interludes. The movie tried to be too many things. I would have
enjoyed it more as a documentary or a musical or a romantic drama. Overall,
I give it a 4. Holds its head above the water with acting and directing.
Day-Lewis as 'the Butcher', some of the other supporting actors (Brendon
Gleeson) and some excellent directing by Scorsese.
Master & Commander:
The far side of the world - This movie was on my 'watch
list'. It's a terrific movie. Victorian naval warfare, and high seas
adventure. Starring Russell Crowe, and directed by Peter Weir. This movie
is well worth the money. Outstanding acting, powerful directing, a gripping
musical score, and edge of your seat action. This movie gets a 6 out
of 7, and earns a spot on my 'must buy'
28 Days Later - A modern
day zombie flick. An excellent thriller with a bit of drama thrown in. The
unknown cast was an added plus. I liked it. I'll probably buy a copy. I give
it a 6 out of 7. In a post holocaust world, what could be more dangerous
than Zombies? You'd be surprised...
Matrix Reloaded - The long
awaited sequel. As usual, it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately,
it's taking a lot of heat in the media for not being as awesome as the first
movie. I tend to agree that there were some flaws with the movie. However,
it was a kickin' ass movie. The special effects were awesome, the story line
flowed well, and I wasn't constantly predicting the next scene. The casting
was superb, the costumes were excellent, and the acting was... One of the
few criticisms I have for this film; well, let's just say the acting seemed
somewhat practiced, rehearsed, stutterish, it just didn't seem natural. I
rate it 6 out of 7.
What about Bob? - A comedy
with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. Bill Murray at his understated best.
Murray plays a therapy patient who just can't cope. He ends up following
Dreyfus (his psychiatrist) and his family on a family vacation. Eventually,
Dreyfus ends up needing 'help'. This movie gets a 6 out of 7.
Bruce Almighty - This is
the second time I've seen this movie, but it definitely won't be the last.
I liked it so much I bought a copy. Outstanding! I laughed my head off. The
DVD extra features are also worthwhile. When Jim Carrey gets free reign with
any scene you know it's gonna turn out right. This director knows what he's
doing. This movie is divine. It gets a 7.
Dreamcatcher - Based on a novel by Stephen King, this was
one strange movie. Capitalizing on a recent string of successful Sci-Fi, horror,
and paranormal movies, this movies got it all. Morgan Freeman controlling
a viral outbreak; sound familiar? Aliens gestating inside of, and then bursting
out of human victims; sound familiar? Idiot Savant with paranormal psychic
powers; sound familiar? Protagonists stranded in a frozen enviornment with
an alien shape shifter; sound familiar? Characters getting mowed down after
stepping out into speeding traffic; sound familiar? The list goes on. I don't
think there was one original thought in the entire movie. It was a mish-mash
of many common themes. Thankfully, the themes were held together by excellent
writing and good directing. This one gets a 4 out of 7. It was worth watching,
but lacked original content.
The Good Thief - With Nick Nolte. This was a really good
movie. It's been a while since I've seen a good heist movie. The casting in
this movie was fantastic. The music created a feel and mood that meshed marvelously
with the setting. The direction was a cut above the usual crime flick, and
the plot was workable. A thoroughly enjoyable movie. I give it a 6 out of
About Schmidt - With Jack Nicholson. The movie should have been named 'About shit'. That's what it was; Just about shit. As in crap, the movie was a load of crap. I can't believe Jack Nicholson wasted his time on this movie. The acting was excellent, the sets and costumes were outstanding, the plot was crap. Lets say for instance that you were to write down everything that happened to you over the next two months. That was the plot of the movie. Basically, it was about Schmidt. Just an ordinary guy. Mr Schmidt retires, his wife dies, he learns that she had an affair, then his only daughter gets married. The movie sucked. My life is just as entertaining as this Schmidt fellows. Perhaps I could sell that to some hollywood studio. This movie gets a 2. The only reason it doesn't get a zero is because the producers somehow convinced a bunch of fine actors to participate in this great heaping pile of shit. I was also highly impressed by the costumes and sets. But come to think of it, that might have been due to a complete lack of any work on sets and wardrobe. The best thing about this movie; it was a bonus rental from blockbuster. I paid nothing to watch it.
Gods & Generals - Based on a novel
by Jeff Shaara. Starring: Stephan Lang, Jeff Daniels, Robert Duvall, Mira
Sorvino, and a bunch of other cast members. Not to mention the entire Union
and Confederate armies! The movie was a big production number. A big budget
bloated melodrama about the civil war. I just read an excellent book (Rise
to Rebellion) by Jeff Shaara, the author of Gods & Generals (the book),
and I have to say; this did not feel like his work. Not at all. The screen
writer (Ronald F. Maxwell) must have re-written the entire book in order
to come up with this melodramatic drivel. Unfortunately, this disaster
may ruin any chance of Shaara's latest novels (about the American Revolution)
making their way to film.
Was this supposed to be a play? It certainly seemed better
suited to that form of presentation. I hope I never hear another general
reciting poetry on the battle field. A glorification of the south and General
'Stonewall' Jackson. This movie depicted slavery as something distasteful,
but acceptable. Even the slaves seemed to enjoy being slaves. All the slaves
depicted in the movie lived lives of privilege, better off than any of the
soldiers in the movie. <rhetorical question>Why
would any slave want to be free? They had safe homes, plenty of food, fine
silk clothing, education, whole families, and the love of their masters.</rhetorical
question> All the women in the movie were subservient southern belles,
eager to please their men, doing whatever was required of them. The men
were all icons of patronly sainthood, honor, and high moral values. Let
us all say a prayer with our 'slave who I hired as my personal chef' companions.
Perhaps the movie should have been titled: "The War of Northern Aggression".
This movie was historically accurate (although slanted), and I give it credit
for that. The acting wasn't done in a 're-imagining' hip-hop style, and
the battle re-enactments were very well done, without succumbing to a total
cgi gore-fest. The scenes were well directed, but the acting was over the
top. It seemed as if all the dialogue was a rambling pious soliloquy. The
screen writing left me disgusted. Disgusted with the candy-coated southern
slant. Were the writers trying to bore me or make me retch? Was I supposed
to shed tears for Stonewall Jackson when he died? What about the millions
of slaves suffering under the confederate whip of domination? Oh yeah, the
music was excellent, but it seemed to hold/set the same tone throughout
the entire movie. I felt like I was witnessing the end of civilization for
O.k. I've said enough. After all this moaning and groaning,
I can't help but give this movie a 2. Sub-par. Not worth the price of admission.
Watch Gettysburg instead. It's a much better movie!
- A movie that was on my watch
list. Visually, it was a combination of Matrix and Blade. The surprise
was the love story aspect. Billed as a gothic Romeo & Juliet, where
the characters are supernatural creatures, it was too short to develop
any sort of serious romance angle. The movie ended with some obvious
sequel naration dialog. A war between Vampires and Werewolves, that's
for over a thousand years. The movie moved very quickly, and the plot
tightly wound. Groovy special effects, and fiersome fight sequences didn't
detract from the character based drama. This movie would have been better
if the pacing had been slowed down some, with a little more attention
to character development/interaction. This movie gets a 5 out of 7.
The Frighteners - Light hearted spooky film. Reminded me of Ghost Busters. Fast paced, to complement Michael J. Fox's acting style? I liked the movie, but I guess I'm not the demographic. I give it a 4 out of 7.
American History X - A very difficult movie to watch. I was a little heistant when selecting this movie. The theme deals heavily with hate and racism. I was afraid it was going to glamorize the extremeist point of view. It didn't. The acting was top notch Edward Norton did a magnificent job in his role. The casting was tops, and the story, while dark, dealt out a series of important messages.
Matrix Reloaded - The second time around. I bought the
DVD, and this is the second time I've watched the movie. The long awaited
sequel. As usual, it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately,
taking a lot
in the media for not being as awesome as the first movie. I tend to agree
that there were some flaws with the movie. However, it was a kickin' ass
movie. The special effects were awesome,
the story line flowed well, and I wasn't constantly predicting the next
scene. The casting was superb, the costumes were excellent, and the acting
was... One of the few criticisms I have for this film; well, let's just
say the acting seemed somewhat practiced, rehearsed, stutterish, it just
didn't seem natural. I rate it 6 out of 7.
Saw a bunch of movies lately. Here's the list and some short reviews.
A man apart - With Vin Diesel. Definitely better than XXX. That was a piece of crap. I've seen this movie before. Why do they make this movie over and over? DEA cop busts big drug lord. From prison, drug lord puts hit on cops wife. Wife is killed. Cop seeks vengence. New drug lord puts hit on family of former drug lord. Cop takes down new drug lord. Former drug lord escapes from prison, regains position as drug lord. So what were the writers (Christian Gudegast & Paul Scheuring) trying to say. Fighting drugs is futile? We should just give up and legalize all drugs? Yeah I guess that would make everything better. Not! What a stupid film. The only acting worth noting was Vin Diesel. Too bad he had to appear in 'XXX' and this movie. 'Pitch Black' and 'The fast and the furious' really showcased his talent. This movie gets a 3 because it was well directed, and Vin Diesel's acting was desparately holding the movie together. Loses major points for the sound work.
The Cowboy Way - Light hearted comedy. Nothing spectacular. Barely worth watching. I give it a 3 out of 7.
Spider-Man - Pretty good movie, not much to the plot, the writting and story were weak, and the special effects could have been better. I wasn't thrilled with the casting. The best performances (IMHO), were J.K. Simmons as the Newspaper editor, and Willem Dafoe as the Green Golbin. The scene where he confronts his alter ego was excellent. Tobey Maguire's performance as Spider-Man was lackluster and deadpan. Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson was also a let down. The two just didn't seem into their roles. Sam Raimi direction was good (not his best), and let's not forget the music. This movie sports a less than enthusiastic score by Danny Elfman. It didn't detract, but it didn't enhance the movie. What happened here? I expect more out of Elfman. This is the third time I've seen Spider-Man. It's not getting any better. I give it a 5 out of 7.
Identity - A serial killer thriller. Two parts to the movie. Psychiatric evaluation of a deranged murderer which alternates with a group of people isolated at a roadside motel during an intense storm. At the motel, people start dying, and no one can figure out who's doing it. The twist on this story is quite imaginative and surprising, but the final ending twist was somewhat predictable. This movie felt a little like a combination between Final Destination and Evil Dead. I liked the way that the naration was done, the way the viewers perception was influenced. The movie had a good cast as well, I enjoyed Ray Liotta's performance, but John Cusack's was a little lackluster. It gets a 4 for a well conceived story concept.
DareDevil - Another Marvel production. The blind superhero is brought to the screen. I have to say that the acting was a little less hokey than Spider Man, and the casting was pretty good. Colin Farrell did a fantastic job as Bullseye. Scott Terra as the young Matt Murdock. The costumes and sets were also excellent. The story was a bit plain, lacking in conviction and scope. This one gets a 4. Worth watching, but I won't be buying one.
Punch drunk love - Splendid movie. Not your typical Adam Sandler movie, and that was something of a relief, given the more recent releases (Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Anger management). This love story takes a somewhat unstable character, taunted and tormented by his sisters, and offers him a little love. Something he desparately wants, but can't force himself to accept. The quirky characters make this film a joy to watch. No big explosions, just a straightforward love story about two 'normal'? people. I'm so tired of perfect people movies. I was pleased to see Luis Guzman in the movie.The movie has a lot of loose ends and strange inclusions, but you end up ignoring all of it. Adam Sandlers portrayal of Barry Egan. This one gets a 5. I'm glad I watched it.
Chicago - An excellent movie. Not as good as 'Moulin Rouge', but another spectacular musical dance number. I wish I had caught on earlier that the movie was more about the murders, the girls lives than the girls musical careers, the stage. I really liked the puppet segment. The acting was spectacular. The story segments transitioned like well polished cogs in a steam powered engine. The movie was hot and hopping, a non-stop jugernaut of song dance and drama. It's only flaw? Too fast paced. I was left breathless watching it. I give it a 5.
Tears of the Sun - This movie made me cry. Bruce Willis (typcast again!) plays a seasoned Special Forces (Navy Seals? I don't think so!) commander, who's team is sent into a Nigerian Civil war to extract some Americans. Bruce decides he's going to try and extract all the civilians at this hospital in the middle of the jungle. Yeah, that seems plausible. Not! The character he plays, or rather his acting, is stiff and lifeless. Carboard has more flavor, a cockroach exhibits more emotion. Lot's of explosions, unfortunately the movie wasn't one of them. Avoid this movie. 3 out of 7.
Just Married - Just don't. Don't bother renting it that is. Another Hollywood looser. Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy play the newlyweds who marry on a whim. Two spoiled yuppies with no comittment to anything but themselves. We're supposed to believe theat they're actually comitted to each other by the end of the movie. While there were a few ha-ha's. I can honestly say, I don't remember laughing once during this 'Comedy'. Another 3 out of 7 disappointment.
Rabbit Proof Fence - Here's the winner. This one made up for the previous two fiascos. An Australian movie about racism and Aboriginal people. This movie, a true storie. Tells a moving tale about three sisters who're forcibly separated from their mother, and their journey back home across the outback. An honest and moving tale. The acting was wholly unpretentious and believable. I found myself rivetted to my seat, wondering and hoping that the girls would make it home, full well believing they'd be recapptured at any moment. This one gets a 6 out of 7.
The Minus Man - I have seen this before. I can't remember whether I rate, or what, I rated it before. An early role for Owen Wilson, who I like. The best part of this movie was it's casting. Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo, Brian Cox, Mercedes Ruehl, Dwight Yoakam, Dennis Haysbert, and Sheryl Crow. The movie moves rather slowly. Owen Wilson plays a serial killer drifting across the country, and wandering through his life. I liked it. It gets a 5 out of 7.
Final Destination 2 - A sequel to an excellent movie. I think I should change the category (See my Movies listing), to Thriller. There isn't as much suspense as there was in the first movie, and I don't have a Slasher category. The opening scene gets the movie its rating. The special effects are fantastic, but the plot and acting just don't compare to the first movie. This plot has had its day. Time to put it to bed. This one gets a 5 for special/visual effects.
The City of Lost Children - A french movie. I watched it with English subtitles. Starring Ron Perlman and a bunch of unknowns. A lot of child actors. The dark and dreary plot is fanciful and silly. The acting is lackluster, and this movie gets all it's ooomph from the sets, costumes, and atmosphere. A very twisted fairy tale. I give it a 4 out of 7.
'Thirteen Days'; a very taught drama about the Cuban missile crisis. Some
excellent acting, and a very well paced story. Even though you know the outcome,
this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. The DVD is packed with additional
features, that I've yet to explore. I give the movie a 7 out of 7.
'The Little shop of Horrors'. It's a black and white campy horror
classic. The main character (Seymour) is a social misfit who raises a meat
eating intelligent plant. The plant is the key to the characters continued
employment, and it demands 'Food!'. Seymour is forced to feed it blood and
bodies, eventually commiting murder in order to satisfy the plant. It was
hilarious. Eventually remade into a play and movie in 1986, this movie, shot
days, for next to nothing ($30,000), is better than some of the blockbusters
I've seen hollywood churn out. A 60's B-Movie. The acting wasn't that good,
but the directing by Roger Corman was very good. Solid, and fast paced, this
humorous black comedy was definitely worth the $5.00 I spent (for DVD). I
give it a 4 out of 7. Oh yeah, this is Jack Nicholson's second film credit.
a masochistic dental patient in a walk-on role. Wow he's young in this movie.
Ghost's of Mars - This movie sucked! Thank god I didn't pay anything to see it. HBO must stand for horrible box office! So far I haven't seen a single good movie on that channel. This one get's a 2 out of 7.
Phone Booth - An excellent drama, a taught psycho thriller. The whole movie takes place within sight of the phone booth. The acting wasn't bad either. This one gets a 4 out of 7.
Basic - An action flick with a convoluted plot. This one was so twisted, that even I had no idea what was going on. By the end of the movie, I had no idea who screwed who, who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, or who anyone was. The acting was good, the casting was good, and the directing was very good. The audio/sound was abysmal. I had to turn my tv's sound way up to hear the dialog, and then it was still drowned out by the background sounds. Eventually I had to turn the close captioning on. It was that bad. Oh how I hate that. I give it a 3 out of 7.
National Security - A hilarious comedy. Typical campy fare. Nothing special about the plot. It made me laugh. I give it a 4 out of 7.
28 Days Later - A modern day zombie flick. An excellent thriller with a bit of drama thrown in. The unknown cast was an added plus. I liked it. I'll probably buy a copy. I give it a 6 out of 7.
Old School - A good movie. The first 'Saturday Night' spawn to really be worthwhile in some time. Made me laugh. I give it a 4 out of 7.
T3: Rise of the Machines - Not as good as I had hoped. The plot was rather limited, and there wasn't a lot of character development. The special effects were good. I might buy a copy just to have the complete 'Arnold' trilogy. I gave it a 4 out of 7.
Evolution - The second time I've watched this movie. I wish there had been something better to watch on cable, but that's the problem with cable these days; hundreds of channels, but nothing to watch. Save your money/time for something better. I give this lump of asteroid crap a 2 out of 7.
Matrix Reloaded - The long awaited sequel. As usual, it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately, it's taking a lot of heat in the media for not being as awesome as the first movie. I tend to agree that there were some flaws with the movie. However, it was a kickin' ass movie. I will definitely own a copy. The special effects were awesome, the story line flowed well, and I wasn't constantly predicting the next scene. The casting was superb, the costumes were excellent, and the acting was... One of the few criticisms I have for this film; well, let's just say the acting seemed somewhat practiced, rehearsed, stutterish, it just didn't seem natural. I rate it 6 out of 7.
Catch me if you can - Yes, its a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Many would say that it's a chick flick. I disagree. Leonardo DiCaprio seems to be setting himself up for typecasting.. Its not a romantic drama. Its an amazing story about a kid who runs away from home and becomes everything he's ever dreamed of. Unfortunately, he breaks several laws doing so. The best part about this story, and I didn't even know it until the end of the movie.. It's a True Story! I rated it a 6 out of 7, and I bought a copy.
Stricken - A drama turned horror story. What a mess! This low budget production reminds me of the early Evil Dead movies. The acting was a bit pretentious, but the plot premise was pretty good. A little friendly hazing goes awry. It gets a 4 out of 7.
The Truth about Charlie - Yuck! For a big name production, this movie was rather disappointing. Featuring Mark Wahlberg, I thought it would be a better movie. Something of a spy thriller/drama, this movie was pretentious and preposterous. The pacing was slow, the action just didn't flow very well. The acting wasn't the best, and I found myself predicting some of the plot points. Was this a remake? 3 out of 7.
Happiness of the Katakuris - What the! This was the bizarre one in the bunch. Sort of like a 'Sound of Music' meets 'Night of the living dead'. A Japanese movie (subtitled), this drama/horror flick follows the life of the Katakuri family as they try to make a living operating an inn off the beaten path. There's only one problem. All their guests end up dying on them. The best part of this movie was the bizarre clay-mation sequences, and song and dance numbers. Near the end of the movie is a scene where numerous zombies rise from their graves to join in a raucous song and dance number. Unfortunately, the acting was bad. I give it a 3 out of 7. This movie would be an excellent candidate for MST3K.
Donnie Darko - Wow! Talk about a mind bender. Here's a twisted horror, drama, sci-fi flick. The hero is a sleep walking teenager, who's visited by a giant evil bunny from some other dimension. Is it just a dream? Perhaps it's all in his head? Perhaps, perhaps it's a movie about time travel? The acting was pretty good. I had no idea what was going to happen next, and the casting was well done. The only flaw? Too dark. I gave it a 5 out of 7, and placed it on my 'buy' list.
Antwone Fisher - A really good movie, based on a true story, with Denzel Washington and Derek Luke. It was Denzel Washington's directorial debut, and it was really good. A drama based on the true-life story of a US Navy seaman, and his struggle to grow beyond his violent past. I give it a 5 out of 7.
Adaptation - A movie about flowers? It had Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper in it. A very disjointed movie about a screen writer and his struggle to adapt a book about flowers into a movie about something meaningful. Most of the acting was horrible. I am once again reminded of why I can't stand Nicolas Cage. Thankfully, Chris Cooper's performance was outstanding. I gave it a 4 out of 7.
The Emperor's Club - Starring Kevin Kline. While it was an excellent story, and the lessons taught are commendable, I really didn't find the film all that entertaining. It was somewhat smug in its lesson, and I don't really need a morals lesson. I gave it a 4 out of 7 as well.
Sum of all fears - To Sum it up, I fear movies like this one - Not worth the effort. 3 out of 7. Although the special effects were good, the pacing was way to fast, the acting was marginal, the casting was uninspired, and the story was very predictable. I read the book, and it was much better than this movie.
Shallow Hal - The worst. How shallow was this movie? Rife with institutional hypocrisy, kind of creepy depressing, and lacking in hilarity we expect from the Farrelly borthers (Something about Mary, Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin) Luckily it was a free rental. The property office where Kim and I currently live (until the end of June) live, provides free VHS & DVD's for the residents to watch. I like Jack Black, but he didn't do so well in this movie. I don't think his heart was really in it. I was avoiding this movie, and now I know why. I should have trusted my instincts. Quite a let down from the Farrelly brothers. I hate to admit this, but I stopped watching the movie after about 90 minutes.
Waking life - While I was enthralled with the subject, it just didn't work too well as a movie. The animation was nice, but the subject made for poor entertainment. The movie was all about Lucid dreaming, the conscious vs unconscious, trance like states, reality vs fantasy. Excellent philosophical fodder, just not very good subject matter for a movie. I rate it 4 out of 7.
Anger Management - Yes the newest Adam Sandler movie. Kim and I went to see this at the theater. It was good, but not as good as I had hoped. I rate it 5 out of 7. In comparison to other Adam Sandler movies: Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, Waterboy, Billy Madison, then Anger Management. Adam Sandlers character gets dumped on throughout the whole movie, and he doesn't get any revenge. He never really strikes back. The plot premise is somewhat ridiculous as well.
Auto Focus - The story of Robert Crane, Star of Hogan's Heroes. This man's life was one big orgy, he fucks up his career, two marriages, and in the end he ends up dead on the bed with a bullet through his head. The end. Totally unsatisfying. Left me wondering where the last two hours had gone. I rate it 2 out of 7.
Run Lola run - Oh yes! The gem in the rough. I had no idea how good this movie was. The pacing was frenetic but paced, thoughtful and meaningful. The music was stunning. The acting by star Franka Potente (co-star in Bourne Identity) was excellent. I didn't doubt her sincerity for one moment. This isn't one movie, it's three. The movies basis fits nicely in my 'No such thing as time' theory. The movie examines actions, reactions and consequences. Creating a 'probability tree' along the way. It's a german film (watch it subtitled not dubbed) but reading the subtitles is a small price to pay for a movie like this. A 7 out of 7. I will own a copy.
Trainspotting - A story about some fucked up heroin addicts. Remind me again why I would want to watch movies like this? Glorification of the drug culture. While the acting and directing were excellent, the effort was wasted on something I considered a waste of storytelling. No socially redeeming content, a downer of a movie. I'll give it a 5 out of 7 based on everything other than the story. The costumes, casting and music were also top notch. Too bad the story was such a ill pill to swallow. Perhaps I should watch some other movies by this director.
Bloody Sunday - A documentary about an incident in Northern Ireland where 13 civilians were killed during a march for civil rights. While the acting was good, and the film was well shot, I didn't care much for the movie. It didn't have much impact, and the pacing was rather slow. I wish I had spent my money on something else. I gave it a 3 out of 7.
Darkness Falls - Supposedly this film was supposed to be scarrier than 'The Ring'. Not so by any stretch of the imagination. The acting was marginal, the story was very thin, the characters were one dimensional, and I knew how the movie would end about half way through. The only bright spot was the camera work. I gave it a 4 out of 7.
Barbershop - A somewhat humorous social drama about urban life, and one man's struggle to make something for himself in the inner city. It's about racism, segregation, doing the right thing, blah, blah, blah. Remind me never to rent something I know is out to make a social/political statement. That's two sour pills this month. This movie, and that 'Bloody Sunday' movie. I gave barbershop a 3 out of 7. The acting was o.k.
S1M0NE - A surprisingly well done film (directing and production). The plot, while fresh, was very easy to predict/follow. I had no problems predicting major plot points well before they happened. Aside from the shallow premise/plot, the acting was somewhat lackluster. Everyone in the movie was acting. It almost seemed as if they were acting as if they were acting. I gave it a 4 out of 7 for technical production work. Camera positioning, sound, sets, etc.
Bourne Identity- Starring Mat Damon. It rocked. That movie was awesome.
K-Pax. I had read the book back in April of this year. The book was o.k. I
have to admit that the movie itself was very good. It really brought the book
to life. It was very true to the book. In more than one way. An excellent film.
While I didn't consider the book worthy of my 'Favorite Books'
list, I would like to own a copy of the movie.