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My Movie Reviews
I stopped reviewing movies round March or April of 2008. I'll still watch and review one if you suggest it, but I'm too lazy to keep this comprehensive list up to date.
16 Blocks (2006): Not bad. Not your typical Bruce Willis movie. The secondary character had a voice much like Mike Tyson, and the action was more "Copland" style than anything else, but it was good. Not sure who I would suggest it to, but someone else out there has to enjoy movies like this too. On a scale of 1-10, I give it a B.
28 Weeks Later (2007): I vaguely remember watching the film that this one is based on. I guess some would call this a sequel... What I remember most about he first one was the sped up filming, the wild-eyed infected and the ever present concept that a good scare was just one screen flash away... This film delivers it just as I remember the first... I'd say that it deserves three out of five stars except I think the subject matter which they had to work with makes them deserve more... Pretty cool stuff folks. Not family friendly as even some adults will sleep bad after watching this one, but a fun little flick. Can everyone repeat after me: "Ebola Reston." Thanks.
3:10 to Yuma (2007): Lots of predicable stuff, lots of unpredictable stuff. Some great scenery. Some great action. Not a terribly complex film visually, but still pretty good. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 blazing saddles.
300 (2007): This is one of those movies that didn't quite live up to my expectations. I expected the action and got it. I expected the adrenaline and testosterone filled scenes and got them. The story line itself was interesting in parts and bloated in others but held my attention for the entire film. I'm a bit offended, as usual, that sex seems to have been thrown in simply as a seasoning to attract the masses. It wasn't needed and wasn't an integral part of the story line but the makers decided that a little T&A would spice it up and get some viewers... Shame shame shame (on them) * 100. I'd give it a 210 out of a possible 300 score if I felt that anyone would actually avoid this film based on my rating. However, it has a following of those who enjoy films like this that could read a horrible review and still rent it.
40 Year-Old Virgin (2005): There is some debate as to whether this movie is called "40 Year-Old Virgin" or "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" so I'll put both names here so that the search engines can find it... Funny movie. Too dirty to really be suggested for anyone as I've got some morals, but it was very funny.... I enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it. I'm ashamed to say I rented it, but what the heck... Now I can give you this review. <grin>
9 1/2 Weeks (1986): Someone told my wife this was the kind of movie you watch when you want to be more intimate with your spouse. All I can say is that is totally true if you are a masochist, swinger/adulterer, S&M fan, or mentally ill. Not a movie I would recommend to anyone at all. Skip it.
Across the Universe (2007): Not quite what I expected. VERY creative film. Very creative use of the characters and their names and the songs, etc. Excellent from that standpoint. A bit over the top when it comes to special effects and all... But I enjoyed it for the most part. Three and a half out of five psychedelic U2 album covers.
Aeon Flux (2005): A decent, but not great movie. Makes you a believer in the chaos theory from the Jurassic Park movies. <grin> Okay... Chaos theory is a lot older than the J.P. movies... In fact I studied it a bit in the early 1980's. But, that's a whole different web site.
Akeelah and the Bee (2006): One of the better movies I've seen lately. Especially since it affected my son - a 10 year old student who is an excellent speller. Five Stars!
Alien vs. Hunter (2007): Quite possibly the worst movie I watched so far this year... But it's only January 28th... Low budget, creative work. Worth viewing if you an ultra-hardcore sci-fi fan. Otherwise, worthless. Two out of five stars but only because I'm scared of the director coming after me. Otherwise it would have been less.
All the King's Men (2006): 1.5 out of 1.5 thumbs down. Not really sure why, but this movie simply could not hold my attention and rubbed me the wrong way... Even though I was cheering for the underdog for the first half or so... Hicks. Maybe it was the hicks... Or maybe it was the bad southern accents.
Amazing Grace (2006): One of those movies that I should not have waited so long to see. Emotional. Heart breaking. Spiritual. Inspirational. Very, very good. Four plus stars out of a possible five. I'll never sing the sing with the same mental attitude again.
American Dreamz (2006): The only movie in two years that I turned off before actually finishing it. Possibly because I've been up for 20 hours straight and am dead tired... Or possibly because it was really bad. I'll know more about my true feelings on this movie in the morning.
American Gangster (2007): I really enjoyed this movie. Knowing that it was a Hollywood-ized version of a true story made it more appealing even though Hollywood seems to always make things sensational when they are mundane, etc. A great performance by all players here and the type of film that opens your eyes a bit to what really goes on behind the scenes there corruption reigns. Four out of five stars.
An American Haunting (2006): I guess I'm getting old. Horror movies just don't excite me any more. This movie seemed interesting at one point or another, but ended with a soft flop. Two stars out of a possible five.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006): I won't state my political convictions here, but I will say that it took me a long time to get the "guts" to see this film. It is not filmed in a traditional sense, but is put together more as a documentary than a movie. Having read some books that totally debunk the global warming / resources are disappearing "theories" I found this film to be both inspirational and educational. I'm still on the fence with a lot of the facts, but don't see the harms that many predict if we go ahead and make changes suggested by the film. I'll suggest that everyone see this film and make their own decisions. It is a good one in my opinion.
Annapolis (2006): Good movie. Both my wife and I enjoyed it. The running theme throughout the film (boxing) was a bit tiring, but I don't think they had a better choice so I'll give them a break on that one. It was weird to see Donnie Wahlberg every few minutes as all I could think of was that Marky-Mark sure did look different. LOL. Anyhow... This film is worth a view in my opinion.
Apocalypto (2006): Quite an interesting movie. Not really sure how Mel Gibson went from one extreme of culture to another so easily, but kudos to him. I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5. Worthy view if you like the "never give up" style movie.
Are We Done Yet? (2007): Where is Tom Hanks? This funny, somewhat modernized version of "The Money Pit" (even though they might argue it is nothing like it) was amusing. Not great, but amusing anyhow. I like Ice Cube and I'm glad he is doing cleaner movies these days. Great to see a movie that for the most part, was free of all the junk that Hollywood seems to throw into movies these days simply to sell them. One great thing about this movie... My kids wanted a pet raccoon... Now that they have watched this movie, they don't. Thank you Steve Carr and everyone else involved in demonizing the raccoon as a pest! LOL... Too bad they made the chipmunk cute... Anyhow... I'd give this movie three out of a possible five smashed thumbs.
Awake (2007): Not as "tight" as I would have expected it to be, but overall, a very good film. A bit slow at times. It had some moments that had me uncomfortable, which is hard to accomplish with thriller-type moments. Hayden seemed a bit sleep throughout the entire film and maybe that is his style of acting, but it didn't seem to fit perfectly. Almost perfectly, but not totally perfect. Jessica Alba did a decent job, but certainly they didn't *need* to tease everyone with her body shots. It is always a cheap method of drawing in the crowds when they have to strip a good looking woman down to nothing or almost nothing to sell tickets. Terrence Howard did a fine job. Some of the back-up characters made the film feel like a "B" movie, but overall, enjoyable. Three and a half scalpels out of five.
Babel (2006): This movie reminded me of "Crash" with Sandra Bullock. So much so that I checked to see if they were directed by the same person. Neither were very enjoyable for me although I can see their appeal to many as they keep you thinking as well as stimulated with their jumps from scenario to scenario. I'm not quite sure what the importance was of the Asian girl rather than focusing on her father... But I think I get part of it. Send me a message if you "get it" so I can actually discuss it with someone without having to give a spoiler alert! Overall, I'd shy awy from suggesting this movie to anyone, but for no reasons I can clearly define.
Bandidas (2005): Relatively entertaining. A little bit too much cleavage-TV for us "family movie" folks, but otherwise a decent movie. I'd give it 2.5 to 3 cowboy boots out of 5.
Basic Instinct (1992): Well, another movie that simply was too close to porn to be of any use as far as entertainment. Would have been a great mystery movie, but simply had too much smut to be enjoyable for me. Oh well. Some day I'll either give up on Hollywood or they will hear the pleas of those of us that want nice, clean, entertainment-oriented flicks.
Basic Instinct 2 (2006): Well, basically a total bloody waste of film - except for the twist at the end. Probably did well only because it was basically porn. Don't waste your time with this one...
Because of Winn-Dixie (2005): Great movie to watch with my 4 year old daughter. Once. Will NEVER watch it again. Cute, but really kind of... well.... Immature.
Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (2006): Intriguing movie. I purposely avoid the news in most cases (unless it is the weather for motorcycle riding!) so I have no clue whether this was accurate historically or not. The editing was jumpy and "fast forward" a lot - which was interesting, but a bit amateurish. Not a great movie, but not a horrible one either.
Benchwarmers (2006): If they hadn't added all the references to gay sex and relationships, it would have received a much higher rating from me in public forums... Those scenes make it almost impossible for me to recommend this film to anyone planning to watch it with kids. If those scenes hadn't ruined it, I'd give it one of my highest ratings... Whatever that means.
Beowulf (2007): About a year ago, I listened to an audio recording about Beowulf. I should have paid more attention because it wasn't until at least 3/4 of the way through the film that I figured out there were similarities... Maybe it was the golden Angelina Jolie that had me distracted... Oh well... The CGI nudity was a bit blunt and forward in every way, but I understand it was part of the theme. They did a good job of masking pure nudity with CGI effects while still using a fake body to lure the testosterone-laden men to the film. I gave this film a three out of five stars because I enjoyed it. I do think, however, that it is inappropriate for kids of just about any age and that it could have been made without the blatant nudity of sorts...
Biography: Satan - Prince of Darkness (????): Please excuse my insensitivity to your feelings, etc., but what a bunch of BS. This has got to be one of the worst made, inaccurate stories I've ever heard. They take historical data and extrapolate what they believe to be fact - and then present it as fact rather than sharing things by saying, "people think that..." If someone really wants to learn about Satan and his origins or other attributes, this is NOT the media to turn to. Full of speculation, inaccuracies and stupidity in this writers opinion. Seeing as I've presently got over 20 years of experience in different ministries, I think my opinion should at least count for something if you are thinking about this worthless piece of dog snot as a rental.
Big Momma's House 2 (2006): As usual, Martin Lawrence does a great job of making people laugh. Some of the humor is a bit trashy and bathroomesque, but overall, a pretty good movie. Probably not a good idea for real small kids, but otherwise clean for the most part. The PG13 rating is probably accurate. As usual, use of sexual content (there is a scene with supposedly naked Victoria Secret super models) for no apparent reason is just thrown in by our friends in Hollywood. Why they think it is needed in every single movie baffles me.
Big Trouble (2002): I liked it. My wife liked
it. It was decently clean and decently funny. The Spanish house cleaner looks
like Denise Richards... And the poor goats.
Black Sheep (2006): I had to laugh all the way through this movie! It was so quirky that it was enjoyable at times. It had some dark twists, but they fit right in... I'll simply rate it two and a half rocky mountain oysters out of five.
Black Snake Moan (2007): Somewhat what I expected while also being quite surprising. Way too much slutty or smutty, useless sex content to make the point they were trying to make... But other than that, they did a great job of accomplishing what they were trying to accomplish. Samuel L. Jackson does a great job even though he looks like he is falling apart at points (visually, not as an actor). Christina Ricci is not one of my favorite actresses, but she does a good job in this film even after being handed a role that would make Madonna blush. Justin Timberlake took a risk making this film because of the character he plays in my opinion. He does a great job of convincing me that he is really his character - which means he either has some serious problems or is a decent actor himself. Three out of five large steel chains. Why? Because it had somewhat of a good message that seemed to be wrapped in rotten, moldy porno magazines...
Black Stallion (1979): My daughter is a horse addict. So I rented one of my childhood favorite movies. Good movie. In fact, GREAT movie. It's not wonderful from a modern standpoint, but it is really a sit down and enjoy-type movie.
Black Stallion Returns (1983): Must see the Black Stallion (1979) to really understand and enjoy this movie. It's got more of a sequel feel to it than I wish it had, but it was good.
Bloodrayne (2006): Entertaining. Almost as bloody as Kill Bill and about as porno-like as 9 1/2 Weeks... Not suggested for those who are offended by PG13 and R rated flicks...
Blood Diamond (2006): So many causes where truth needs to be told and action needs to happen... And so little time to do it all! Movies like this inspire me to go out and make a difference in the life of someone I can influence for the better. I don't think I could ever work in an atmosphere like the movie showed. For one, it was hyped a bit for the film I'm sure, but I'm also sure that it can be and probably is that bad in some places. God help those people and their lands! The movie was great. You have to like this type of movie to appreciate it, but the acting was spot on and probably the best job Ole Leo has ever done in my opinion. Djimon Hounsou did an awesome job and deserves any and all awards they can give to him! If you see this film, keep in mind that it is a good representation of what actually goes on in some places but is a work of fiction otherwise... But note that the diamond "folks" in power do indeed control the flow of diamonds to artificially raise the prices due to demand... As do the gold and silver "folks" of our world.
Bobby Z (2006): Seeing as this movie had Paul Walker and Laurence Fishburne in it, I figured it couldn't be all that bad. And it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't a very impressive movie either. It was one of those movies that made you wonder where it could have gone with more funding and some seriously insane creativity. Not a bad flick, but not a blockbuster either. Surprise bonus was seeing Chuck Liddell of UFC fame. I think I also noticed Tim Silvia, but I can't be sure. Three out of five is my rating.
Boondock Saints (2006): This was suggested to me by a few folks who I get along very well with. I now understand them so much better. <grin> A decent movie. Great creativity on some stuff and bit too much on others. Overall, a good movie. Warning to *all* though that there are plenty of F-Bombs thrown around in this film. Not exactly something I could morally suggest to anyone at all... But I enjoyed it... Somehow. Three out of four accidental kitty-cat incidents is my official ballistic rating.
Borat (2006): This has got to be one of the more clear examples of where current youth culture has gone lately. Awesome humor wrapped in amazing amounts of immoral behavior. Loved the humor, the spontaneity and the creativity. Hated the obvious grabs for attention and fame by way of rudeness and other questionable actions. Overall, I give it two and a half out of five... Maybe just a bit less.
Bratz (2007): Sometimes called "Bratz: The Movie". What can I say. My daughter wanted to see this so we put it on the list. I'm embarrassed to say that I think all four of us enjoyed it. It was silly. It was downright annoying. It was somewhat Sesame Street meets the 1980's pop bands... But we liked it! Three Point Five out of Five frizz-haired dogs - hold the mustard and elephant dung.
Breach (2007): Interesting movie. Not quite excellent, but not quite "not so good" either. Not really sure how to describe it other than the fact that I will probably have dreams of being a spy tonight. I've worked in high-level offices at large companies such as AT&T (Chairman's Office) and Arthur Andersen (Ya know, I never heard the name Enron until it broke in the news and lost my job anyhow... Thanks Chertoff...) Having worked with corporate secrets, I feel for those that work with bigger secrets... It is NOT easy although it can sometimes be fun. Kudos to those involved in this film and shame, shame, shame on the spies.
Breaking and Entering (2006): This movie had lots of junk thrown in that it didn't need to be good. It progressed a bit slow. It had a strong "UK" feel to it. It also ended with a pop rather than a bang. Other than all of that, it was somewhat enjoying. Sorta... Two.Five out of a possible Five robberies. One awesome positive was the fact that they showcased the needs of a human being more important than some other definable important stuff. ...If that makes any sense.
Brick (2004): This
movie sort of reminded me of Coyote Ugly, but I'm not really sure why. I enjoyed
the fact that it kept you guessing and even enjoyed the fact that it wasn't
some highly polished Hollywood-type film. Not sure if it ever made it big. Kind
of doubt it. However, there are a select few that I know would absolutely love
this movie so I'll tell them how good it is and tell the rest of you that it
is simply, astonishingly mediocre.
Bridge to Terabithia (2007): A great movie for smaller kids or even goodhearted adults who enjoy a positive message movie. Relatively clean and teaches some positive things. I enjoyed it. It's no match for "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but it was good.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007): Very moving. Very enlightening. Very good. Not family friendly for young kids, but a must see for everyone else in my opinion. Excellent acting. Excellent overall. The kind of movie that makes me want to repent of the sins of my country against the Native Americans. Having just visited the South Dakota area, the Crazy Horse monument (in progress) and the area generally covered by this movie, it took on a whole new perspective for me. Had I seen this movie prior to my trip, I would have spent a lot more time out there exploring. Four or maybe even four and a half out of five.
Butterfly Effect 2 (2006): The sequel is almost never as good as the original. This one is a perfect example of that. The original movie wasn't all that great, but the sequel was just a tad "less great" if that makes any sense. It was good to see Erica Durance in the film, and she is beautiful, but Hollywood simply doesn't get it yet. Apparently, sex sells movies. However, it detracts from the plot when it isn't an integral part of it! Keep the movies clean. I couldn't show this one to my son even though he would thoroughly enjoy it simply because of a few scenes that didn't need to happen at all.
Call of the Wild (1972): My son and I read the book a while back so we figured we had to see this. It was good. Not great... But it was interesting to watch after actually reading the book. I'd say it is not really worth the view if you haven't read the book though.
Cars (2006): Awesome movie for the kids. Also a great movie for anyone who likes cars of all types, etc. I thought I was going to hate it, but I actually found it quite enjoyable.
Casino Royale (2006): My wife and I felt like this was the never ending movie. Not in a bad way, but it just kept twisting and turning and morphing into something else. I enjoyed it and I think my wife enjoyed it too... It had more brain candy than action scenes compared to some past 007 movies... But heck... It was good and worth the time spent in our opinion. 3.5 to 4 large prototype airplanes out of a possible five.
Cast Away (2000): Now that Survivorman and "Man vs Wild" are well known TV shows and Survivor is a reality show experience and probably a ride at some theme park, this movie seems ahead of its time. Tom Hanks is a top notch actor and one of my favorites. I wish he would do some new movies - especially ones that were not so religiously-charged as the Da Vinci Code (which was one of the worst movies I've even seen). Helen Hunt does a great job too although her role is secondary to Hank's by quite a margin. 3.5 out of 5 Wilson volleyballs.
Catch and Release (2007): A pretty decent movie. Starts out a bit slow... Actually, it stays a bit slow. But they tackle some of life's more complicated issues in an entertaining way. Enjoyable. A bit loose on the morals, but enjoyable. Not for kids.
Cheaper By the Dozen 2 (2005): Funny. Mostly clean and interesting. However, watch out for the mysteriously disappearing Tom Welling who seems to just simply vanish and reappear during the movie. Great to see Steve Martin is still good at what he does.
Children of Men (2006): Quite a surprise. As I told a friend, it is a movie that has you convinced it is really happening in the scenes it tries to portray... Except for the vehicles. Considering they had very little budget to work with compared to any of the new mega-flicks, this film was great. Everything made me believe it was really happening in a futuristic, war-centered society. Buck Rogers could have done a better job on the cars though - but if you know who Buck is, you're old like me or focusing on stuff your parents called cool as kids.
Click (2006): Would have been one of my top rated movies ever if it didn't have all the extra sexual and "potty-mouth" crap that Hollywood seems to think is necessary to make a successful film. A worthy view - Especially if you live life in the corporate fast lane. I know the writer(s) and director didn't have this in mind, but this movie brought me to very deep emotional places and put some much needed perspective back in my life.
Cloverfield (2008): I was ill when I went to see this film. Half of my illness was from literally being sick and the other half was from the amazing amount of crap they stuffed into a film that some called brilliant. My sorta-artist friend said it was a really creative movie and I think he was correct. However, I think it was really creative worthless content. Some will love this movie. Some will hate it. Most will forget it ever existed unless they come out with a sequel. If you are wondering, I will go see the sequel. My rating is a 1.5 out of 5.
Come Early Morning (2006): One of the more "true to life" movies I've seen in a while. I wouldn't call it good or bad... Just sort of exists. ...I guess that makes it bad. Some great lessons to be learned if you watch this movie and it also gives you a sneak peak at the American Bible Belt culture <evil grin>. Kudos for the folks who made and acted (especially Ashley Judd) in this film as it was a risky move. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't see it again unless by force.
Crank (2006): Horribly rude and overly crude at times. Only mildly entertaining. I was hoping for more.
Death Sentence (2007): Violent and extremely disturbing for my wife, but really a great movie for me. NOT a chick flick. It's more of a man-thing with lots of action and testosterone mixed in. Thankfully, almost no use of sex to sell tickets - but they made up for it with the violence - which was sorta justified by the plot. NOT family friendly at all. Great acting by Kevin Bacon and Garrett Hedlund. Great message in my opinion although it is buried pretty darn deep in the mess that makes this movie such a great film. Four out of five .357 rounds. is my rating. One final comment - John Goodman, did a decent job in this film, but looked to be in really bad shape. I'm no model to follow for health, but it really looked as if he had gone off the deep end with his health. I hope it was mostly his character and makeup.
Deck the Halls (2006): Great to see Matthew Broderick
in a film again. I must either be missing all his films or he isn't all that
active these days... Time to check the Blockbuster (like Netflix) queue... Anyhow,
ever since the hacker classic from 1983 "WarGames", I've been a fan
of his. This was a good movie and reminded me of some folks I know from my teenage
years that "did the Christmas light thing" big time. Good film. Could
have been better had they avoided all the sexual content like the hot teen twins,
etc. Three out of five little Christmas bulbs.
Deja Vu (2006): A decent movie with some sci-fi effects and thinking processes that will leave some people very happy with the innards of this film. However, it seemed to lack something. I'm not sure what, but something... The lead actress was a dead ringer for a younger Halle Berry according to my wife, and I tend to agree. Regardless, I enjoyed it, but not as much as I expected I would. Three transported paper notes out of a possible five.
Delta Farce (2007): I'm glad I expected a silly, not-too-serious comedy because that is what I got. Pretty funny at times but lacking lots of anything that makes a good movie. Reminded me of a "Police Academy" sequel... Without the infamous Bobcat Goldthwait who we all miss so much. Three out of five is a generous rating for this movie. If you DO rent it, make sure to watch the behind the scenes stuff on the guy that plays Carlos Santana... I want to meet him some day... (Danny Trejo) Danny, if you read this, e-mail me!
Derailed (2005): Well, I must say it is an interesting movie. Not one for the kids to watch with you, that's for sure. It had the typical twists and surprises but felt almost like a high "B" or low "A" level movie rather than an all-out Hollywood production. I thought it was really good and enjoyed it. It was in the arena of "Primal Fear" or "The Game" but lacked the final punch necessary to make it an "A" list movie. Worth seeing if you have the time.
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005): What the heck did we put this on our list of "must see movies" for... Argh. A total waste of time. Only good thing about it was that I got to show my wife Amsterdam without actually having to go there.
Disturbia (2007): "Every killer lives next door to someone." That is what is on the front of the DVD case that the movie was inside of... I can tell you that this is 100% true. If you doubt that there are dangerous people around you, then check out www.familywatchdog.us and see just how many convicted, "forced to register" offenders live near you. There are 126 within the range of the LOCAL search I performed on my home address... This movie, although fictional and having nothing to do with the subject matter of the offenders search site, is a wake up call. Keep your eyes open and be careful. Do all the good you can to as many people as you can as often as you can but be wise to know when you are in danger... Anyhow... I am supposed to review the movie, right? This was a decent movie. The lead actor is the same guy as in Transformers I believe and he does a good job. However, the overall movie quality was mediocre. It starts off with one of the most disturbing car crash scenes I've ever seen on film and just simply goes limp from there on many fronts... Kudos on creativity and the choice of some of the actors and actresses but that's about all. Three out of a total of five serial killers is my vote.
DOA: Dead or Alive (2007): Fight scenes were great. Overall quality of the plot was mediocre and the use of sex as a selling point was WAY to prevalent. 2.5 out of 5 UFC-like fights.
Domino (2005): Violence. Sex. Drugs. Cursing.
Money. Organized crime. Multiracial tension. Jerry Springer. Didn't like. Enough?
Donnie Brasco (1997): I remember seeing this a long time ago, but had forgotten how good it was. Enjoyable - especially since they at least make you believe it is based on a true story.
Down in the Alley (2005): Quite an interesting, albeit slow moving movie. As usual, Edward Norton did an outstanding job making me feel as if he truly were the character he played. Not a true classic, but worthy of a view if you like this type of movie - and of course you don't know what type of movie this is until you see it. I give it three out of five stars.
Eastern Promises (2007): Starts off with a bang... My wife almost walked out and didn't come back. However, it turns into quite a decent, albeit slow moving film. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Spaciba to the makers!!! Viggo Mortensen does a great job and it was a pleasure to see Armin Mueller-Stahl in a film as I'm a big fan. Four out of five stars... And that's a movie-themed rating as you'll find out when you see the film.
Eight Below (2006): Good movie. Not what I expected at all. Quite entertaining and heart warming. I'm not a huge fan of the main character (human) but I thought he and the others did a great job of bringing this story to life. However, after saying that, let me point out that it is undeniable to anyone that the real heroes are the dogs. A worthy view.
El Cantante (2006): I wanted to watch this because my wife is from Puerto Rico and is somewhat into her culture. I also wanted to watch this because it was a true story. Other than the fact that it showed how drugs and a wild lifestyle can kill you, ruin family ties and hurt others, it was somewhat of a useless film for me. I'd give it 2.5 out of 5 screaming Latin singing artists.
Elizabethtown (2005): Not what I expected. Kind of cool in some ways, but more of a chick flick than anything else. It inspired my wife to finally take me up on my road trip idea (don't you worry. She'll back out by tomorrow) and made me wonder whether Orlando Bloom is of Spanish (Latin) decent or not... But overall, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a B minus.
Employee of the Month (2006): Not quite a disappointment and yet not really good either. Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson did a good job. Dax Shepard probably did a good job too, but I was so bothered by his character that I didn't really notice... So I guess he DID do a good job. Anyhow... My wife and I enjoyed it. Word to Jessica - Return to your roots! Don't settle for success when you can have destiny. He has called you.
End of the Spear (2005): A VERY good movie. Not something that everyone would love, but something that I will watch again with my children and recommend to others for sure. Go rent it or buy it and enjoy!
Enter the Dragon (1973): I was surprised to see Bolo Yeung (also known as Yang Sze or a combination of both names here and there) in the film. I was even more surprised to find out he was born in 1938! Anyhow... Decent movie. I was never a Bruce Lee fan, but one has to admit he had incredible muscle tone and response rates as well as ability. Very impressive stuff. I give this movie a rating of three and a half stars out of five. Maybe four.
Epic Movie (2007): Ouch. It was painful to watch. Creative, but painful. I laughed here and there and was constantly trying to figure out if it was really Carmen Electra, but other than that, it was downright horrible. Above all that, it was rated PG-13 but should have been R. Full frontal female nudity, many female topless scenes and then there was the language. Has the MPAA really become so loose with their morals that this was rated PG-13? I've disliked the MPAA ever since their DeCSS actions a few years ago when they prosecuted people for simply providing public information on their web sites... Big Brother style... But this may even be worse. Now it seems they rate movies somewhat kid safe that certainly are not! Oh well. I'd skip this movie unless you are forced to watch it for some reason.
Eragon (2006): Pretty good movie. Not great, but pretty good. Clean enough for the younger kids except for the occasional violence and magic-oriented stuff... I enjoyed it quite a bit. There has got to be a sequel in the works because there were so many loose ends not covered yet... Like where his brother went!
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982): Finally received this DVD from Blockbuster... Kids loved it! Might have to buy it for them. I forgot about the childish cursing, but other than that, a very good flick.
Facing the Giants (2006): Full of Christianese, fluff and candy-coated churchy stuff with a scattering of mediocre acting, this movie will never be a big hit in any major city outside the Bible belt. Many people know me as a believer. I try to be someone who does not compromise his faith and I try to tell it like it is - regardless of who I upset along the way. I try to bring peace, but if my words and actions bring something else, I try to make sure it is justified in God's eyes... Now, I'm adding all this "stuff" to my review for a reason. Normally, I dislike... No... Totally abhor movies that are outwardly Christian in nature because I believe Christians should make good movies, not good movies for Christians or even good Christian themed movies. A Christian movie generally only changes other Christians. I believe a true believer is called to try and make a difference in nonbeliever's lives. At least, that's my calling and that's my perspective on things so Christian movies usually just piss me off. Mostly because of what I just said, but sometimes simply because the acting is corny and substandard. Now that I've said all of that, let me say that this movie has the most powerful lessons, the most moving illustrations, and the most incredible message of any Christian movie that I've seen to date. It is not nearly as "big budget" as Chronicles of Narnia yet made me cry more. It is not even close to the "Left Behind" series when it comes to the outwardly Christian theme yet it inspired me to know my gift better and put it to use the way I am called to do so. It can't compare to the big blockbuster movies where millions are spent on pay checks and millions more on production, yet I can't think of another movie I'd suggest more right at this moment. No movie has changed my outlook on life more than this movie except for Pay it Forward... Give this movie a shot. Don't write it off when you hear the non-Hollywood accents and see the low to medium budget actors. Certainly stick with it even if you are not a football fan. I would wager (oops) that if your "feeler" isn't broken beyond repair, that you will like this film. Four footballs out of a possible five only because I'm from metro NY and this movie simply won't cut it on the field where I play my championship games.
Failure to Launch (2006): An excellent movie to watch on "date night" in my opinion. Not bad, but certainly not a guy's action flick. Had some real funny moments. However, seeing Terry Bradshaw's ass wasn't exactly a highlight of the movie for me... Misery if ya know what I mean. <grin>
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007): I was never a fan of the comic strip (was there even one?) of the Fantastic Four... But I do enjoy Ben Grimm and The Thing more than any other character in this film series. They didn't have as much of his "its clobbering time" stuff in this edition of the series, but it was enjoyable anyhow. Other than Hollywood's fascination with all things sexual that influenced this film plenty, it was a good, positive movie with a great message. Nobody can deny that Jessica Alba is pleasing to the eye, but why use her body to sell the film... Just let her be her character without the flaunting of body parts and almost nude scenes... Because of that, I'm giving this otherwise wonderfully crisp and entertaining movie a 3.5 out of 5 possible death cloud things.
Fatal Contact (2006): I expected this film to be in spoken Cantonese or English (menu choice?) because the description says, "Language:Cantonese/Eng" But... It was subtitled English. That's fine because it was worth the view. The action is pretty good and even the "special effects" were well within what I would call the reasonable realm of justified use. The acting was mediocre at times and very good at other times which seems to be the norm for many of the Asian films I've seen. Regardless, I enjoyed it. My 11 year old son enjoyed it. My 6 year old daughter enjoyed it (she said she was learning stuff to beat me up with later.) My wife walked out of our living room and didn't return so I guess she did not enjoy it. Other than one scene of visual sexual content (no nudity) the overall use of sex as part of the story line was warranted and justified in my opinion. Even the one visual was justified, just not appropriate for my kids to see. Good film but not for the average viewer. Not nearly as MMA/UFC/NHB oriented as I expected when I read the description, but still a decent movie. I'm giving this one three out of five stars.
Fearless (2006): I really enjoyed this movie! It is also known as "Huo Yuan Jia (2006)" and I think that is the version I actually was handed to watch. Anyway... Quite a good film. Had lots of really good lessons built into it. If you can deal with either subtitled or dubbed over movies, this is a must see... Assuming you can also enjoy a martial arts film.
Feast of Love (2007): The movie as a whole was a good idea. The fact that the team putting it together chose so much nudity to illustrate the relationship links was unfortunate and even overwhelming the plot at times. Great acting by some. Great choice of actors across the board for the parts they played, but poor choice of visual tools I would say. Three out of five is my vote.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986): I forgot just how funny this movie is! Awesome piece of work IMHO. Unfortunately, I hyped it for 4-5 hours on a short road trip with the kids, and then let them sit and watch it with me - not thinking that it could actually contain stuff they shouldn't see... I guess I was blind to it back in 1986 or 1987 when I first saw it as a teen... They'll survive, but I wish it had been a "cleaner" movie.
Final Destination 3 (2006): This was a decent movie. Worth viewing if you are mature enough to deal with the stupid sexual humor they added and unnecessary nudity. Simply said, they didn't need to add that stuff to make it a good movie. Personally, I enjoy the (presumed) real looking death scenes... But then again, I'm not normal. If you watched the first two and enjoyed them, this one will probably not disappoint you.
Firewall (2006): Good movie. I enjoyed this one a lot. Probably not Harrison Ford's best movie ever, and probably not his most successful, but I personally thought it was very good. It is sort of a remake of a bunch of good movies that I've seen over the years, but all-in-all, worth a view.
Flags of our Fathers (2006): This is one of those movies that I have to give two different ratings to. One is a rating based on the movie's quality and the other is on it's ability to move me. The quality was great, but the overall content was a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars for me. However... Having two grandparents who served in the military during the war (one as an enlisted soldier and the other as a contractor of sorts) this movie really moved me quite a bit. I wish I had the maturity to desire details and ask them about their experiences when I was younger. I don't know if either saw combat - and I doubt it - but their world was a totally different place than I am living in. This movie did an excellent job of pointing that out to me. I personally "salute" anyone who has served in any war at any time. Kudos to all of you!
Flight 93 (2006): I'm sure that nobody cares what my opinions are on the quality of the acting, filming, or even the attention to detail that the film makers put into this story, so I won't make any comments on those. The bottom line is that every last person I can think of needs to see this film.
Flyboys (2006): Quite enjoyable. Longer than I expected it to be, but I found it to be one of those movies I really didn't want to miss a minute of. Highly recommended to anyone who has the stomach for a movie based on biplane warfare and drama stuff. The only real negatives I can think of are the scenes that were obviously shot in miniature that looked just like they were shot in miniature. 4 out of 5 possible gunners.
Four Brothers (2005): LOL! Was one of those movies I expected to be different. It was okay at best... I was hoping to walk away with this feeling of "I really love my friends and family enough to kill or die for them" but rather just walked away with a "I wonder if I'd act that stupidly on their behalf" feeling.
Fracture (2007): Kudos to everyone involved. A bit easier to figure out than I originally thought, but quite good. Good acting. Good suspense. Good everything... In fact, except for a few curse words here and there and a love scene that was fully covered and not acted out, it was even somewhat "clean" by Hollywood's standards. I'd give this one a solid four out of five stars.
Freedom Writers (2007): All I can say is wow. I know for a fact that this will not be everyone's favorite movie, but it was the type of movie that really moved me. One of the top ten movies I've ever seen. If you like this movie, see "Pay it Forward" and "Gridiron Gang" for sure... Kudos to the actors and writers!!! Excellent film. Ran over to Amazon.com and bought both the "Freedom Writers" and "Diary of Ann Frank" book immediately after this movie just so my wife and I could read them together.
Friends with Money (2006): Strangely, it seemed like this movie was actually longer than it was. In other words, skip it. Fir the first time ever, I can honestly say that the sexual scenes actually added to the plot - although the drug use scenes did not. A horrible film. Jennifer can do so much better! ...Oh sorry.
Fun With Dick and Jane (2005): Well, as a former Arthur Andersen employee, this was mildly amusing to me. The bottom line is that lots of people from Andersen and Enron considered unethical means of finding new jobs or making money after their jobs disappeared. Thank God many chose the good path. Anyhow... About the movie. It's worth a view if you were part of Enron, Andersen, or any of the other big stories of the past 5-8 years.
Georgia Rule (2007): This is one of those movies that I thought was really good, but not particularly well made or even a blockbuster. Just one of those that made you think a lot or something. Creative at some points, it failed to make high marks overall though because they over used the sex appeal of Lindsay Lohan to try and make her character seem realistic considering what she had been through in life. Some characters were really weak and others were quite strong. I guess I enjoyed it because it made me think of some of the teens I work with who live similar lives... Except not in California.... Except not in Idaho... Except not quote the same situation... So then maybe I'm not quite sure why I liked it... Oh well. It still gets three and a half stars out of a possible five from me.
Ghost Rider (2007): Basically a cartoon with human characters. Not quite as good as the X-Men attempts but better than the 2006 Superman movie. I'm a bit sad that they chose to basically use Eva Mendez as a draw for men wanting to stare at girl's boobs... Her acting was decent and the flesh show was totally unnecessary in my opinion... But that's Hollywood!
Gone Baby Gone (2007): Interesting and moving at times. Affleck does a great job of directing and his brother does a decent job of acting... But Casey simply isn't the "face" for the part he played in my opinion. Not sure who is, but I had a hard time seeing him as the man he was playing. Quite an interesting story line and more surprising than I expected but nothing to write a blog about....er... Never mind. Three out of five stars.
Good Luck Chuck (2007): This could have been a good or even great movie but unfortunately, they chose to graphically illustrate what could have been inferred. What started out and ended as a decent story would up being so porno-like that I hesitated to even review it because I didn't want to admit to seeing it... However, you need to know. F- on family friendliness. Shame on them for trying to lure men into seeing this film by capitalizing on Jessica Alba's crowd with additional flesh content... It would have received 3.5 or 4 stars, but I'm only giving it half a star out of a possible five because it was so totally corrupted by the smut.
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005): I'm generally not into historical films from the era this covered. However, this one caught my attention. It is worth a view if you remember or were brought up just after the 40's-50's. Or... If you had a family member who talked about it a lot. ...Or if you want to know what CBS really stands for.
Gospel (2005): Otherwise called "The Gospel" by some sources. Another film with a great message. It looks like it was made on a low budget, but overall, a great movie. I will let my kids watch it. I will show it to the youth group I work with, I will suggest it for others. Simply a great message wrapped inside a decent movie.
Gracie (2007): One of the more inspirational movies I've seen lately - if not a bit predictable... Awesome film considering it is based on a true story or true life events. Even better that the towns that this all took place in are within five miles of where I am sitting right now. If you have a child over the age of five or maybe six that can sit and pay attention to a medium-action film, this is a good one for them to watch in my opinion. Kudos to the Shue family and everyone else involved in the making of this film. Four out of five soccer balls is my rating. 95% family friendly too with just a few teenage "make out" scenes and some light violence. Maybe a little rough language too, but I'm not sure as I'm not overly sensitive to that.
Grappler's Quest: Beast of the East 2004: Brian Cimins puts on a great event. I don't know what he is up to these days, but when he first started the events, he was taking a lot of heat from the martial arts community because he was so progressive with his tactics and possibly because he was so new at promoting events. I failed at my attempts to create a successful event so take everything I say with that in mind, but this tape at least was not all that great. I'm sure the live event was awesome, but watching it on tape was... How shall I put it... A semi-sleeper due to being triangled by the lack of production "bangs", limited material to work with, and the fact that the format simply does not lend itself to being some super-exciting video event. 2.5 out of 5... The live event I went to was a 4.5 out of 5 so keep that in mind.
Gridiron Gang (2006): This movie is not for everyone. You may be thrown off by the fact that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars in it, or that the acting is mediocre at times. You may even be thrown off by the fact that it is about urban lifestyles or even gang lifestyles in some cases... But for me, it was a very good movie. I've worked with teens who come from the inner-city background for years. More so in years past, but I feel for their unique pressures, etc. For me, this movie was very good. It showed hope and a future where one was not necessarily present. It showed that someone with the guts to try and make a difference might actually do so in difficult situations. A very good movie that you might just love or hate depending on your own personality and opinion base.
Harry and the Hendersons (1987): Finally! Yes, yes, yes! It finally came out on DVD and I was able to show it to my kids aged almost 11 and almost 6. I started looking for this movie on DVD a few years ago, but it just recently came out. I was amazed to see the cursing/foul language that went on in a PG rated movie from the late 80's, but overall, a great film. If you can get past the cursing and/or prepare your kids for it and/or they are mature enough to deal with it, this is one funny, family oriented movie. Love it! Four giant footprints out of a possible five. Now... If "Penn and Teller Get Killed" would just become available on DVD...
Highlander: The Source (2006): This was one I was looking forward to for a VERY long time. Adrian Paul and the original Highlander crew really were enjoyable to watch. This one was good, but not in the memorable, classic Highlander manner. They twisted the character of Duncan MacLeod into something that we never expected him to become and added some cheesy special effects to the film. Some of the acting by the "Guardian" was childish... Although I enjoyed the movie, I think that it almost offended me as a classic Highlander fan. Worth a view if you are BIG into Highlander, but otherwise, questionable. I grudgingly gave it three out of five stars. This one is sometimes called "Highlander 5: The Source" by the way... As a side note, they throw in a boob flash for no reason during one scene. Another typical use of sex to sell a film. This one could use all the help it can get, but honestly, that didn't help much.
History of Violence (2005): One of the more interesting movies I've seen lately. I can see why it wasn't a blockbuster, but I found it interesting. One of those movies that was worth seeing, but not seeing twice. Strange thing about the DVD - if you pop it in and press play, you get to see deleted scenes, but if you just let it go, you get the previews and menu.
Hitman (2007): This was a movie that could have been really, really good, but for some reason rubbed me the wrong way. The main actor's performance was great. Personally, I think Timothy Olyphant is pretty good in this film, however I thought that his portrayal of this particular character didn't fit his personal acting style. He came off like a guy trying to act like a really tough killer rather than like a tough killer. Then again, real life killers are usually the geek type or street gang / gangster types so all this is a moot point, eh? Anyhow... Three out of five is my rating even though I was tempted to rate it lower simply because they used sex WAY too much to try and sell this film to us.
Hitcher (2007): Save your money... It's a decent movie at best. Relatively clean except for the brief nudity, relatively extreme violence and gore and some cursing. I'd give it three out of five whatever you want to rate it with things... Nothing special.
Hollow Man 2 (2006): Not nearly as good as the first one... Well, maybe it was. I don't remember the first one being all that good to begin with. However, if you were a fan of HM1, you might enjoy HM2.
Hollywoodland (2006): Zzzzzzz. I slept through most of it. So basically, I can't rightfully review it. But the fact that I slept through it is review in and of itself.
Hoot (2006): Well, aside from being a cute little too "cute" for me, it was a great movie to watch with my two kids who are animal lovers. If you have kids, and won't be offended by people who love animals and nature, you will probably enjoy this one. It also has some issues to work through regarding truancy, violence in school, and a bit of disrespect for the law... But still a family friendly rating of 4 out of 5. Oh wait... That's someone else's line.
Hostel (2005): Okay... Could have been a great horror flick if it were not so porno-like. I think there is a rated "R" version rather than the "NR" version I watched... And I would highly suggest getting that one if you can. The "NR" version was simply distracting from the story line.
Huo Yuan Jia (2006): I really enjoyed this movie! It is also known as "Fearless (2006)" and I think that is the version I actually was handed to watch. Anyway... Quite a good film. Had lots of really good lessons built into it. If you can deal with either subtitled or dubbed over movies, this is a must see... Assuming you can also enjoy a martial arts film.
I Am Legend (2007): I really wanted to enjoy this film, but I had a battle going on between my kids and wife and dog and others... It was VERY distracting so I really didn't get into the film at any time. Except for this little problem, I enjoyed it. I wish they had developed one of the characters a bit more (the plexi-head-smash guy) but other than that, very cool. Four out of five stars.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007): Annoying at times. Repulsive at times. Funny at times. Great music at times. Some great actors and actresses. However, given the subject matter, sexual humor, nudity, crude humor, etc. I simply can not give this film a good rating. Two and a half annoying little whatevers out of five - but only grudgingly. NOT child or family friendly in any shape or form.
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006): Would have received 4.5 out of 5 starts from me if it didn't have all the adult humor they stuck in there. Very inappropriate for my kids to see in my opinion. So although I'd love to give this one a shining report, it disappointed me with the junk that I was forced to watch in order to enjoy the rest of the flick.
Idiocracy (2006): The reviews for Alien VS Predator
once said, "20 minutes of 'awesome' wrapped in an hour and a half of 'suck.'"
This particular movie was an hour and 23 minutes of "suck" wrapped
in an hour and 24 minutes of time travel meets garbage heap. Even the "Monty
Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail" crowd might think this movie is
In Her Shoes (2005): Every time I trust my wife to rent a movie, I wind up sorry... Well, this one made me sorry twice... Once when I realized that Shirley MacLaine was in the movie (belch, burp, etc.) and once when I realized just how darn long a movie it is! I was dead tired before we even started it and barely made it through awake. But... Not because it was a terribly horrible movie, but more so because I was half catatonic to begin with. A movie about women, relationships, back stabbing and woman's shoes... Just what I wanted to see on a Friday night. <grin>
Inside Man (2006): Excellent movie. Plenty of food for the brain. I'd suggest it to anyone who could handle a little bit of violence and some cursing... I specifically liked that they kept it relatively clean as far as I'm concerned. Everything they did and showed, except for some very minor issues, was justified by the plot. Something that is very rare these days.
Invincible (2006): There are some things that are true forever... NY Giants and Philly Eagle fans won't get along is one of 'em. This movie didn't really scare me away like most football movies do, but instead, made me want to run up and down a flight of stairs to make sure I wasn't the typical football fan they showcased in the film. A good movie overall. A bit 70's oriented, but I guess it was supposed to be, right? I'd suggest it to anyone who is a fan of the Eagles of knows anything of the man the movie is about. Three and a half footballs out of five total.
Jack Frost (1998): No, not the horror movie... also not the best showing for Mr. Keaton... But a good movie. Wish they didn't have all the "adult" humor about his .... gonads... per say that is. But otherwise, a good movie. Not suitable for kids under 13 in my very honest opinion. Probably not suitable for any kid who can't watch a movie with some adult humor without implementing it into their life would be more accurate.
Jackass: The Movie (2002): 100% NOT family friendly viewing, but it also 100% has some moments of severe comedy. Personally, I find some of the stuff offensive. But truth be told, I was entertained quite well by it - possibly because I could easily have been one of those guys had my life not changed direction a while back. Now... Has anyone actually tried snorting wasabi other than Steve-O? Nutcase for certain...
Jackass: Number 2 (2006): Again I would have to say 100% NOT family friendly viewing, but it also 100% has some moments of severe comedy. This one went a bit too far over the edge as far as rudeness to be considered good for me... And for some reason felt more like watching an episode on MTV than a movie... Those guys are still nutcases... I REALLY want to try some of their lake stunts though. Those rocket propelled "things" are impressive.
John Tucker Must Die (2006): This has got to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It had very little entertainment value except for a few attempts at humor - which failed horribly. Avoid this flick.
Just Friends (2005): Wow. What a disappointment this movie was for me. It was like watching an inexperienced Will Farrel and Gigli mixed together... But it did bring back memories. I had feelings for a girl in high school and experiences almost identical to this poor guy in the movie. However, I found my true love later in life. My wife of 11 years takes the cake. May L.B. find hers too!
Just Like Heaven (2005): This was a unique movie. I must be getting older because I "tear up" during chick flicks like this often enough to actually worry me these days. Anyhow.. I digress. Good movie to watch on a date - especially a date with someone who acts half dead most of the time.
Jumanji (1995): Absolutely one of the best movies ever made, if it were not for some mediocre acting by second level characters. A classic Robin Williams film. Lots of action. Lots of humor. Lots of "stuff" for the kid in you as well as the part of you that really needs a laugh. Very creative. Strongly recommended for anyone who can deal with a little bit of scary stuff.
Killing Words (2003): Lots of cool twists. Very simple plot but complicated enough to keep me busy for a while. If you speak Spanish or don't mind subtitles, this is a great horror/suspense/low energy thriller/mystery-type movie. A bit rough for those of you with weak stomachs and 100% NOT for kids... But a good movie IMHO. Also known as Palabras Encadenadas.
King of the Cage: Ultimate Combat Collection [Disc 3]: Three out of five possible stars for this one. Mostly unknown names (to me anyway) and only a few good technical fights. Quite interesting. Maybe I'm demented or sick in the head (and all my Christian friends agree here, I'm sure), but the best part of this DVD was the highlights at the end where some guy is getting his butt whipped badly on the ground, he turns his head and notices the camera man... So what does he do? He ignores the beating he is taking and flashes "the bird" for a good few seconds while eating punches, etc. Now that's entertainment... Really bad, rude, stupid entertainment, but I found it hilarious for some reason... Anyhow... Worthy view if you are a die hard fan of the sport, but only so you know who the fighters are and because you get to see one of the best arm bar transitions I've ever witnessed in a MMA fight.
Knocked Up (2007): Well... This is one of those movies that makes you wonder whether you can or should even review it lest others know you actually watched it. In some ways, it was enjoyable and even had a good message. But for 95% of the movie, it was simply a bad influence in every sense of the word. Nudity in porn-like volumes, constant drug use footage and references and some of the most unique dirty humor I've ever heard. Not that I actually took offense to seeing less nudity, but what the heck is the deal with the girl wearing the bra during all of her love scenes? That was bizarre. I guess it should have been no surprise to me at all since we somehow wound up with the unrated version... Anyhow... One star out of five is my generous vote with an "extremely NOT family friendly" warning. One real positive thing... I learned where pink eye comes from. <grin>
Lady in the Water (2006): As usual, not what I expected. Quite unique... The director (M. Night Shyamalan) does his usual good job of making a thriller with very little trilling action - yet somehow pulls it off. Considering it is a bedtime story, it was quite good. Not something I would personally suggest everyone watch, but interesting anyhow. Two and a half grass monkey monsters out of a possible five.
Last Holiday (2006): Not really my first choice of movies to watch, but it had a good message. Summed up so that you don't have to go watch it - but also not giving away the punch line, "Do all the good to as many people as you can as often as you can and live life to the fullest for God." ...Or at least that's my version.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004): Darker than I thought it would be. Almost reminded me of Beetlejuice or something similar. Not quite uplifting (but they warned me in the beginning of the film this was the case). I'd say it ranked up there in the creative atmosphere but not in the quality atmosphere... Or maybe it's the opposite. Not quite sure. Typical Jim Carrey acting where his skills steal the show. Emily Browning did an incredible job I thought. Kudos to her. I'd still only give this film 2.5 out of 5 very dark stars...
License to Wed (2007): Interesting in some ways, predictable in others. As is the case with most Jim Carrey films, this Robin Williams-filled work was dominated by his character for the most part. Mandy Moore came in a close second and impressed me a bit more than I thought she would. Poor John Krasinski was swallowed up in the film and never really got to shine in my opinion. Not really a family friendly film regardless of its' PG13 rating simply because of the sarcasm and occasional adult humor. Three out of five televangelist-like stars.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006): All I can say is that this movie, rated on a scale of 1-5 is about a 2... But is still, somehow, very enjoyable. NOT for the kids...
Live Free or Die Hard (2007): Other than a totally unrealistic perspective on hackers actual power to cause problems, I found this movie to be extremely enjoyable. Yes, malicious hackers can do damage and non-malicious hackers can do lots of good... But the fact is that no single hacker can conceivably do what happened in this movie. No team of hackers has ever been organized enough to pull off even a good portion of what they show in the movie. As a non-malicious hacker, I must say that even if 2600 and Blacklisted411 rallied all the troops they could and the staff of MicroSnot got together, they would be too unorganized to pull it off as shown in the film. All that put aside... Great movie. Great movie.... One of the best social engineering scenes I've ever seen in a film (even if unrealistic again...) Wish they would make more films like this. I got "in the zone" simply watching this film and would watch it again. Four and a half crazy flying DC squad cars out of a possible five. Way to go! ...Or should I say "Yippe-kai-a!"?
Lonely Hearts (2006): Considering it is "based on a true story", I found it interesting. Otherwise, I wouldn't have enjoyed it very much. It has some big name actors and actresses in it, but didn't impress me with it's content very much. Overall, a quick review at 2.5 out of a possible 5 tricycles..
Lucky Number Slevin (2006): In my humble and personal opinion, this is a good movie! As usual, unnecessary nudity and sexual crudeness is thrown in to attract the masses, but other than that, a very cool, "twisty" movie. Worthy of a view.
Lucky You (2007): First things first, this is the best Drew Barrymore has ever looked in my opinion. She's still not at the top of my list, but wow did she improve over past visual impressions... Now... Three out of five aces for this film which had some decent potential, but was really slow at times. I can see how a fan of Texas Hold 'Em or Poker would enjoy it, but otherwise, it was a middle of the road type film. Too bad the end result is so different than what real life would prove is the norm, because the film had potential to teach a valuable lesson... But I won't go too deeply into that because I don't want to spoil it for you. I don't know who Eric Bana is, but he did a decent job, that's for sure.
Man of the Year (2006): Best Robin Williams film I've seen in quite a while. I think it was a bit edgy to carry a PG13 rating... But I suppose the crude humor wasn't enough to make the MPAA uncomfortable. It takes T&A for that to happen... Or lots of cursing. Anyhow, it's funny. It's got a decent message (do what's right no matter what, in case you miss it) and it's got some decent acting. I'd give it 3.5 out of a possible 5 presidential limousines.
March of the Penguins (2005): Well, another one that caught me by surprise. It was pretty good, however, it had both my 9 year old son and my 4 year old daughter crying like little babies towards the end...
Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005): Quite an interesting movie. Had some characters in it I didn't expect. Although it's a bit like Crash where you have to keep a close eye on what is going on to follow it (and thus, not generally appealing to my wife), it was somewhat of a romantic story. Excellent stuff in my opinion.
Martian Child (2007): Amazing that this was somewhat based on a true story. I enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it. It wasn't a huge blockbuster-type film, but had a good feel to it. Very enjoyable. Excellent acting by Bobby Coleman. That kid has a serious future ahead of him in my opinion. 3.5 out of five Martian sunsets is my rating.
Mercy (1995): I wouldn't quite say this is a horrible movie as it does have some redeeming qualities to it... But as a low budget, unknown movie, it was mediocre. Not horrible. Not great. Kudos to the cast for trying... Now... What's the deal with the clowns?
Miami Vice (2006): Quite an unexpected movie. Better than I thought it was going to be. I expected the unnecessary sex scenes simply because it's Miami and Miami Vice... But other than that, a good movie in this humble man's opinion.
Michael Clayton (2007): This was a decent movie. One of George's better films. I enjoyed the way they handled the historical back-up material to the opening scenes and enjoyed the context of the film. Four out of five stars
Mind Hunters (2005): This somehow passed right by my radar screen when it came out. Just recently "found" it. Since I'm a huge fan of profiling (are you profiling ME now?) this was a guaranteed enjoyable flick for me. It had a few good twists and some good content. Special effects could have been better as some scenes were literally "dark" to hide the effects "fakeness" but overall, a worthy view.
Miss Potter (2006): A true story worth viewing... Well, at least mostly worth viewing. I think I was mostly interested in seeing it because I'm a fan of Ewan McGregor after watching the documentary he and a friend made called "Long Way Round." It was interesting. It was a chick flick. It was a true story made into a movie. It was worthy of 3.5 Vegemite rabbits... er... Velveeta rabbits... er... Whatever.
Mission Impossible 3 (2006): Quite entertaining. I started this way past my normal movie viewing time frame - i.e. I should be tired and in bed. Rather than feeling tired and complaining about my oncoming headache, I feel like typing extra fast, multitasking extra well, and performing superhuman feats of whateverness... In other words, I liked the movie and it stuck with me.
Monster House (2006): A not-so-cute kiddie horror movie. It's not terrible, but I'd think twice before letting my kids see this film.
Mr. Brooks (2007): This has got to be the best Kevin Costner movies I've ever seen. The fact that Demi Moore was in the movie originally turned me off a bit since for some reason, I'm not a huge fan of hers... Another positive was knowing William Hurt (Altered States!!!) was in the film. Anyhow... I'm not sure if this film is for everyone, but I certainly found it quite enjoyable... Even mentally focusing. Kudos to all involved. They could have done without the nudity and still had a strong storyline and there is one deleted scene that really should have been kept in where some forensic evidence is revealed explaining a comment made by a certain investigator... But other than that, excellent. Four out of five thumb fingerprints...
Mr. Woodcock (2007): I laughed a little and watched this from start to finish because I hate to walk away from a movie in the middle not having given it a chance to improve along the way... But this film fell short of my expectations. With names like Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott and Susan Sarandon involved, I expected a bigger budget feel and maybe something else. I don't know exactly what, but something... Although mostly non-visual, the sexual humor was once again used to try and draw more viewers. It works. It's cheap and degrading, but it works. I give this film 2.5 out of five even with an excellent performance by Billy Bob Thornton - I truly believe he is one mean gym teacher now.
Multiplicity (1996): Went back and watched this again with the kids. Except for some suggestive love scenes and some light cursing, it was a clean, fun-filled movie that made us all laugh a lot. I like pizza - yeah baby! Anyhow. Four out of five stars and mostly family friendly.
Music and Lyrics (2007): Well... I can[t believe the number of songs Hugh Grant actually sang in this film. Its funny that Drew Barrymore now has two movies where the leading man writes a song for her (Wedding Singer, right?)... Anyhow, it was decent. My wife liked it so maybe it's a good "chick flick" or something. Three out of five custom made, black pianos is my rating. Grand of course.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002): Interesting.... All this time I thought I was Sicilian. Apparently, I'm not. The movie was a documentary about my family... And quite enjoyable except for the spitting.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006): Could have been a GREAT movie if it didn't have so much adult humor. My wife and I enjoyed it, but I can't let my two younger kids see it because 50% of the real funny stuff surrounds sex... The rating of PG13 is good, but a rating of PG16 might be better. ...Oh well. I can't expect Hollywood to know that even the adults don't always want sex-oriented humor in their films. I do have to say that it was quite unique.... In a humorous sorta way... Enjoyable, yes. Clean humor, no. Memorable, yes. ...And just how many Wilson brothers who act are there?!?
Nacho Libre (2006): I almost didn't put this on
my "to see" list because of the subject matter - I HATE professional
wrestling. I'm not sure I'd suggest this movie to anyone in particular although
it was mostly clean humor with just a hint of ... hmm ... I'm not sure. 2.5
out of 5 stars from this conquistador.
Nanny McPhee (2005): This is supposed to be good enough to replace Mary Poppins. I didn't like Mary Poppins. I liked this even less. In fact, I slept through about 40% of the film.
Nanook of the North (1922): This is a silent film...
Well, it was until 1998 when they restored the film and added quite a soundtrack.
I found the film quite enjoyable. I'm now on a quest to find myself some Deerskin
clothing like they wear in the film. Anyhow, a worthy, totally family safe (except
for some Eskimo family nudity) film.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004): Hmm.... Let's just leave it like this... I'm a youth leader and have been working with teens since the late 1980's... And I just don't get why today's teens LOVE this movie! It was entertaining torture for me. But... It was entertaining.
Next (2007): Quite interesting. I didn't know what to expect from this movie except that I had heard it was mediocre. I had high expectations because I like this kind of stuff... Mr. Cage did a great job looking and acting like a Las Vegas burnt out performer... Jessica came across as being genuine and really did a good job acting in my opinion. I was glad to see that it was relatively clean and that except for some very suggestive scenes, the violence and a bit of cursing, Hollywood did a decent job of keeping it tame while preserving the plot. Kudos! I'd give this three and a half out of five.
Night at the Museum (2006): Quite a good movie. Mostly clean humor and quite good. We live close to the "real" museum and the lines are currently out the door and just about around the block to get in. Lots of people seeing this movie and enjoying it. Just watch out for rogue monkey pick pocket thieves. A great film for you and the kids for the most part. I've now watched it twice with mine, ages 5 and 10.
No Country for Old Men (2007): This was a slow, but slightly entertaining movie. It had brilliant action moments wrapped in not-so-brilliant snorefests. Typical Woody Harrelson acting where he looks like a shmuck on weed playing some character way above his level... But that's just my biased opinion of him speaking. The most enjoyable part of the entire film was the desert scenery. I give this one three out of five stars... But only because the stars at night are big and bright... Deep in the heart of Texas.
No Reservations (2007): I found this to be a better movie than I thought it would be. Maybe because I expected to see a "Hell's Kitchen" TV show remake but instead found a decent film. I'm certainly no fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones after the way she took care of herself while pregnant, but her acting skills are pretty darn good. Abigail Breslin did an amazing job. Watch out for this kid as she is going places! 3.5 out of 5 large butcher knives is my official kitchen-related rating.
Norbit (2007): Eddie Murphy tries once again to make a hit out of him playing a number of characters. That and the fact that there were a number of well known stars other than Eddie Murphy made this a movie that a lot of people saw or wanted to see or will see... However, it's not all that good. In fact, it's not even Eddie Murphy funny. The crude humor was not really as bad as I thought it would be, but it 100% did have that "dirty Eddie" feeling that most of his movies these days tend to show off... So... What do I rate this masterpiece? 1.5 out of a possible 5 invisible bikini bottoms.
Number 23 (2007): Jim Carrey has always had a hard time breaking out of the role of the funny man. He does a great job in this film that unfortunately was only mediocre in it's story line content. Overall, a good film but not quite "hot" enough for the horror film scene in my opinion. My rating? 17 out of a possible 23 stars.
Ocean's Thirteen (2007): As a non-malicious, mostly-moral hacker and social engineer, I found this movie to be quite enjoyable. Having just pulled a very small scale job on a good friend, I was really enjoying the film until my wife caught the parallels... And gave me the "evil eye of the marriage partner" treatment. From that point on, it was a matter of enjoying the film as carefully as I could if you know what I mean. Anyhow. A decent film with some big names. Kudos to all the folks that made this one for the most part. Four out of five Mexican pesos... Which is worth significantly less than $36,000 but should get you a new pair of dice.
Offerings to the God of Speed (????): This is the original documentary about Burt Munro, the guy the movie, "The World's Fastest Indian" is about. Good documentary, albeit old. Worth a view if you are a fan of the newer movie.
Open Season (2006): Quite an entertaining movie. Had some very funny spots. I was a bit disappointed, as usual with the adult themed humor they throw into an otherwise nice, clean kid's movie... A worthy view.
Over the Hedge (2006): Funny. Not great, but funny. My kids liked it. I think the very fact that they put some adult humor into a kids movie ruined it for me though.
Pacific Heights (1990): Well... Another one of those movies that's just okay. It's nice to see Michael Keaton play a bad guy but this one hit WAY too close to home with us since I'm currently evicting tenants for weapons, extra people, non-approved pets, indoor smoking, non-approved parking of extra cars, breaking and entering to another tenant's apartment and more... Including drug use and an attempted suicide within my home. So. Basically, this one really was interesting to watch but only a "B" level movie otherwise.
Palabras Encadenadas (2003): Lots of cool twists. Very simple plot but complicated enough to keep me busy for a while. If you speak Spanish or don't mind subtitles, this is a great horror/suspense/low energy thriller/mystery-type movie. A bit rough for those of you with weak stomachs and 100% NOT for kids... But a good movie IMHO. Also known as Killing Words.
Peaceful Warrior (2005): Slow moving, but interesting. Deep but simple. Not a typical Nick Nolte movie, but yet an interesting part for him to play. I found it interesting and entertaining while my wife found it slow. Someone else called it "Rocky for the soul" and I kind of agree. 3.5 out of a possible 5 gym mats is my rating.
Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989?): I forgot how much I love this movie. If anyone figures out where I can get it on DVD, please tell me! It certainly isn't the type of movie that anyone would make these days, but now I know where I learned to may the highway toll booth from the passenger side of the car. :)
Perfect Man (2005): Not the best or the worst I've ever seen. A good rainy day movie. Nothing more.
Perfect Stranger (2007): Wow. Kudos to Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, James Foley, and the rest of the cast and crew... What a surprise this was. Most folks only rated this a 3 out of 5 stars, but I found it to be quite a good movie. Yes... A bit slow at times. Yes... It had WAY too much smut. However, the overall quality once it was all said and done was pretty... well... Surprising. I'll have to give this one 4 stars out of 5 only because it was indeed a bit slow at times and the nudity simply wasn't needed in many scenes...
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006): Are you kidding? I guess I would have hated toe book too... This is probably the first movie I've ever seen that needed the nudity to make the plot solid... And it still failed to capture my attention. Er... I think you know what I mean. I suppose it was wildly artistic or extremely coherent with the book it was made from, but it didn't do anything for me. I'd give it a 1.5 out of 5 for an official rating. NOT family friendly. In fact, not friendly for just about anyone I know.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007): Great special effects. Mediocre story line. Some great acting and some really bad acting. Overall, enjoyable, but not excellent. I think they focused WAY too much on Johnny Depp trying for some crowd enticement via his stardom and celebrity appeal. Three and a half swashbuckling whatevers out of a possible five.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006): Wow. Expected a much better movie. It is not nearly as good as the first one.
Poseidon (2006): Not quite the best remake I've ever seen. In fact, nowhere close. Somewhat enjoyable since we have been on a Poseidon kick lately, but otherwise, not really worthy of my recommendation. I was stunned to see Richard Dreyfuss in the movie to begin with, and then (regardless of his "orientation") stunned to see just how bad he played his character. Same basic comment for Kevin Dillon, who I thought was Matt until I looked the movie up on the net. Skip this one folks.
Poseidon Adventure (1972): Interesting to go back and watch this older film after seeing so many new blockbusters. I still enjoyed it even after all these years. One bonus is that the actor, Red Buttons passed away this past week and I had never known him by face or name - but he turned out to be one of the major characters. Thoroughly enjoyable classic.
Pride (2007): This could have been an awesome movie... But it was missing something. I'm not sure what. Maybe the facts of the true story it was based on made it hard to make it a blockbuster hit or something... The acting was fine. The atmosphere was attractive to me as a volunteer that works with kids in NY metro. The message was good and the overall quality was clean and decent. However, I just can't give it more than 3.5 out of 5 stars for some reason.
Primer (2003): Quite an engaging movie. Not really "action packed" as much as great mental exercises. For the thinker, it's a decent movie. It's a "B" level production movie with a low, low budget, but overall, I thought it was very, very cool. I'd guess that only one person out of ten would agree though since it is so unique.
Primeval (2007): I enjoyed this movie although I suspect it had some political message that I didn't understand or catch. The graphics they shoved into the film were decent but unrealistic. The croc is a real live animal on our planet (same name in real life as in the film) and I've watched video of him. Quite interesting. Still only gets three out of a possible five snappy bites from me...
Proud (2004): The kind of movie that you watch
when you are looking for something that is more than entertainment. Something
that packs a bit of a lesson with it. It certainly didn't have the best "fit
and finish" of any movie I'd seen or even the best acting, but I found
it interesting to see real life people that the story was made for film about
acting in the film as well as the creative way they used the same actors to
play grand parents and grand kids at the same time. Three and a half giant ocean
waves out of a possible five - but only because it carried with it historical
value and a good lesson.
Pursuit of Happyness (2006): This is one of those movies you watch when you feel like life has you down and there is no winning. It makes you realize that some people have it worse and that anyone can catch a break at the right time in the right place. A worthy view.
Rare Exports Inc. (2003): Quite an original short film. The first time I saw this, I realized that there were some people as sick as me in the world AND they had skills... Kudos to the creators... Kudos to the actors. Except for the "takedown" scene and the little bit of male nudity, a greast film. I let my 6 and 11 year old see it with some severe censoring of the adult-themed scenes... Apparently it's on YouTube too... Maybe HERE. Four and three quarter stars out of five.
Red Eye (2005): Not bad. Not bad at all. A surprise to me. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. Not quite a top tier movie, but worth your time if you like action, a little bit of strategy and some "typical" high energy action flick antics.
Redline (2007): Semi-covered T&A and a lot of street and track racing in really expensive cars... If that is what you want to see, then this is a good movie for you. Other than that, it was mediocre at best. 2.5 out of 5 slightly dimmed stars.
Reign Over Me (2007): Adam Sandler's best work to date - by far! Powerful and moving even if the overall "feel" of the film could have been polished up a bit. I was impressed that the director was able to have some sexual themes in the film without resorting to selling flesh scenes... I know I harp on this often, but when a film can get the idea of a sexual situation across to its' viewers without showing T&A or more, then they did a great job. Kudos to all involved. Don Cheadle does a great job as always and even the soundtrack was cool. Donald Sutherland, although playing only a secondary role, also impressed me greatly although I think he either has some strange genes or a bad plastic surgeon. Liv Tyler did a wonderful job but looked a bit tired throughout the film... Regardless, four out of five stars from me on this one.
Relative Strangers (2006): With some good characters, I expected more. Not the worst film I've ever seen, but certainly not the best either. I'm really at a loss for words with this one. I think I might have enjoyed it more had I been... Well... I don't really think there was a scenario that would have made me like it more now that I think of it.
Rendition (2007): I was caught off guard a bit by the way the movie was structured and how it played out. I expected more action and more excitement, but was not necessarily disappointed, just surprised by the lack of it. I think all of the players in this film did an excellent job. The message was a bit muddied by the current state of affairs in our world, but I think that was the intention. I'm giving this one three out of five.
Ring of Fire (2004): Low budget film. As usual, too much nudity to be justified as it simply didn't make the plot any stronger. Not really worth a view in my opinion unless you are a Don "The Dragon" Wilson fan... Or like bad porno. Skip it.
River King (2004): Well... One I probably should have skipped. Interesting, but the surprise ending was more of a let down than a surprise.
Rocky Balboa (2006): This is probably a must see movie for any hard core rocky fan. Otherwise, it is a decent to mediocre film at best. Stallone does a good job of playing the old Rocky character with his slurred Philly-fighter speech and even does a decent job of getting into "old man" shape, but the movie lingered too long on some restaurant scenes and the fight was predictable in typical rocky fashion... I'd suggest this movie only if you are a fan of the series of films prior to this one. One redeeming factor was that it was relatively clean. Kudos to Stallone for the absence of nudity and harsh language.
Rumor Has It (2005): Best acting by Jennifer Aniston I've seen to date. Not a horrible movie, but certainly not a great one either. I like Mark Ruffalo's acting (no, I'm not gay) and normally, I'm not an Jennifer Aniston fan... But this one actually kept my attention over the yelps of a new puppy, my 4.8 yr. old daughter playing with said puppy and my wife, who is traumatized by the fact we may have to return said puppy.
Rush Hour 3 (2007): I thought I would enjoy this a lot more than I did. It had some really funny stuff in it, but it also had some annoying use of sexual imagery that wasn't necessary to the plot. Plus, Chris Tucker may be funny, but he is downright bothersome! I'd give it a 3 out of 5 with a non-family friendly rating for the most part...
RV (2006): Very cool movie. I liked it. My wife liked it. My 5 year old daughter liked it. My 10 year old son liked it. Everyone here liked it. It's not a Hollywood blockbuster-type movie, but well worth your time in my opinion - especially if you have ever thought about being transparent to people and/or traveling the open road.
Saw (2004): Excellent. A bit too much gore for most I'd say, but a really good surprise at the end. The special effects are not mind blowingly complex but more of a real-life gore thing.
Saw II (2005): Interesting. Even more gore than SAW. Still surprised me at the end, but I had a feeling of what would happen so it wasn't quite as intriguing. Worth the view if you like gore, blood, and violence. Rated higher than SAW by others, but I'd have to disagree.
Saw III (2006): This installment certainly turns up the gore notch just a wee bit. I felt like I was at the dentist having my jawbone cut in two at one point - with needles being stuck in my eyes while I was having my fingernails extracted by the dentist... The twists and turns are back with the typical surprises along the way that make you wonder whether the writers are indeed psychopaths themselves... NOT family friendly. NOT for the squeamish. Probably not good for the soul. Afterthought - Saw IV is coming out soon so I can't say this is the bloodiest installment ever.
Scary Movie 4 (2006): This was a much needed "laugh movie" for us, but not as good as I expected it to be. However, above and beyond all else, it proves without a doubt that the "I Like Big Butts" song is in more movies than any other song in the history of film making.
Sentinel (2006): Excellent movie. One of the best I have seen all year. I'd suggest this to anyone.
Shattered (2007): This movie was difficult to find on www.blockbuster.com's internet service and as of right now (Jan. 4, 2007) isn't listed on www.imdb.com at all. Yet, I found it to be a decent movie. Not really family friendly because of some of the content, but everything they do is basically justified by the plot - which is rare these days! Kudos. Although I thought the ending was weak, the overall message of the film as well as the overall quality were good. Note that the year of release is questionable and can not be confirmed by my normal standards at this time. Also note that this may be a Blockbuster exclusive and/or straight to video release. I'm giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
She's the Man (2006): Not exactly the best movie I've ever seen. My wife seemed to enjoy it, but she's got that teenager's heart still inside her. For me, it was mostly a waste of time - which I bet surprises anyone who knows us.
Shrek The Third (2007): In my opinion, just about a total waste of time except for the exceptional soundtrack and creative use thereof... Two little donkey-dragon thingies out of a possible five.
Shooter (2007): This is the newest sniper-based movie to hit the screens. I've always been a fan of these types of movies. Maybe because I was a decent shot with my air rifle and pistol as a younger guy... Maybe because I like the idea of combat that requires a lot of lying around... Who knows... Anyhow, this movie gets two further comments. The leading lady of the film could be a Simpson and the movie gets four out of five golden bullets from this watcher. Very enjoyable.
Silent Hill (2006): If this is what horror movies have become, then I'm no longer interested. I fought my way through boredom and sleepiness to watch this - only to be mildly surprised by anything they threw at me. One word. Blech. ...and that's not even a real word.
Slow Burn (2007): Good. Not great, but good. Probably the best acting I've seen by both Ray Liotta and LL Cool J. I also think Jolene Blalock did a great job even though she was placed in a part that I think was almost impossible for her to properly play. I don't know her background but I kept wondering why they used the twist they did to make a good story line Anyhow... Decent. Too much nudity as always - it wasn't needed for the story folks! I'll give it three out of a possible five whatevers...
Smokin' Aces (2007): More violence than anything I've seen since Kill Bill 1 & 2 or maybe Pulp Fiction... But most of it with a purpose. Decent story line, but not great. Lots of big actors, but no real blockbuster acting. I enjoyed it, but it was just a bit ... Well... I don't know. Crude maybe? I give it three out of a possible five 50 caliber female sniper bullets.
Snakes on a Plane (2006): Not nearly as good as I expected it to be. I think I would have enjoyed it much more if the sex and drug scene were left out. Not to mention that my DVD player was malfunctioning for the last half of the movie and drove me nuts... Oh well. As a snake lover, it is nice to see the snakes I can identify, but bad to know that the "Jaws syndrome" will continue for snakes. Three fangs out of five.
Spider-Man 3 (2007): I'd have to say that there were both expected and unexpected surprised (does that make sense?) in this movie. Enjoyable... Entertaining. High energy at times and pretty creative. I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 super spiders only because I didn't like a few of the twists the plot took... Would have received four spider-ranking things otherwise. Mostly family friendly except for the large amount of cartoon-like violence and the occasional curse and/or adult theme romance scene.
Stardust (2007): I didn't have a clue what to expect... It surprised me at times and disappointed me at others... Not a terrible movie, and not a great movie. I must say that it is the worst I have ever seen Michelle Pfeiffer look... But I think that was the point. Creative film. Decently clean film. A bit heavy on the sorcery for impressionable kids, but otherwise family friendly. Three out of five falling stars would be my rating on this day, on this side of the wall.
Step Up (2006): Surprise, surprise... This was actually very good. It touched my life in a few ways in that my wife is nagging me about dance lessons (no way!) and that I really feel for the urban community and their challenges... Very, very impressive work considering what they had to work with... And I don't mean the actor/actress pool, I mean the subject matter. I'd give this movie 4 out of 5 if pressed to use common terms.
Stomp the Yard (2007): I thoroughly enjoyed this movie even though I don't have an ounce of rhythm in me. It's certainly not for someone who doesn't understand or at least appreciate the history associated with the subject matter, but it was creatively done and relatively clean. Four out of five stars. One quick question though... What is the difference between the loyalty a frat or sorority pledge or member shows to their "family" and the loyalty a gang member shows to their set? How about the "Mafia?" How about a close knit traditional family? Oh well. Just a kick I'm on today I guess.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006): Being a Will Ferrel movie, I imagined this to be a comedy along the lines of his previous works. However, seeing him act a bit more serious was refreshing. It was a good movie. A bit slow at times, but entertaining. I had a few laughs and it was worth the time spent to see it. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 tooth brushings.
Supergirl (1984): Being a huge fan of the Smallville TV series and most of the Superman movies, I thought this would be worth watching just for the "background info" I might gleam from it... But seeing the bulldozer destroy what looked like an Opel Manta ruined it for me. Actually, seeing the Opel was the highlight of the film. Want to ruin my day? Tell me it was a Vega...
Superman Returns (2006): Not as good as I hoped it would be. Worth a view from any fan of Superman, and certainly not a flop. But it was more like the original Superman movie than the new X-Men movies, etc. Enjoyable, but not a Blockbuster IMHO. For those of you who are fans of Smallville, the TV series, you will find this Superman different from Tom Welling. They seemed to make this movie in the same style as the original movie starring Christopher Reeve. Still worth a view if you are a big fan. I'd guess they will not have another with this particular style or stars though. But I'd bet that they might have a movie or two starring Welling and the TV crew eventually.
Surviving the Game (1994): I remembered this movie from a few years ago (apparently 14 years ago!) and didn't really remember all the details. I rented it again so I could give it a proper view and a proper review... Aside from the violence and cursing (R Rated, duh!) it is a pretty creative and interesting movie. Let me put it out there right now that I wish someone would remake this movie with some modern actors and effects, etc. It had tremendous potential back then and even more now. I enjoyed it quite a bit. For me, it was a four out of five star movie.
Sydney White (2007): Not terribly entertaining, but not terribly rude either. Reminded me of the old "Revenge of the Nerds" movies... Except geared towards a girl audience. Not much to say except three out of five stars.
Take the Lead (2006): Good movie. Not typically the type of movie I would choose to rent, although I find the "urban outreach" aspect of it hits close to home. Only negative thing I can think of about this movie is that now my wife wants me to dance. 11 years of marriage and we've only danced once - and that was at our wedding... Now I might be forced to move from my seat at parties. Bummer...
The Ant Bully (2006): Cute little movie. Great for young kids age whatever to around 10 or 11. We enjoyed it.
The Borne Ultimatum (2007): Not the best movie in the series, but not the worst... Lots of good action and some really accurate governmental "Carnivore" kind of stuff. Decently cool but way over the top as far as how fast they (government folks) can react. Anyhow... Now that they are watching me, I have a message: "say hello to Smitty for me." There. I'm safe now. So, back to the film... Decent job. I think Julia Stiles adds something to the movie that others probably could not. I like her a lot. She acts well. She isn't some sex-bomb they throw in just to draw teenage males and undersexed older guys. Although she is fine in all the right ways, they simply don't do the "naked chick for tickets" thing or play the "hottie barely dressed for ratings" game which I think is great. Kudos for that. Other than the violence, it was almost family friendly. Safe for my older son but not for my younger daughter... I'll give this one four out of five recorded telephone calls that will be reviewed by agent "x" after the keywords set off the proper alarms...
The Brave One (2007): My wife and I are not sure why this movie didn't make it big in the theaters... Or at least make it bigger than it did... We enjoyed it. I personally thought that the warnings of profanity, violence, and sexual situations was right on for this "R" rated film, but they did miss the nudity warning that I would have added. It was just a little bit too much to be justified, but not nearly as raunchy as some of the other blockbusters we have seen recently. Now that I think about it, that might be the reason for lower ratings. The deprived minds of people want to see flesh more than they want to see a good film... But I'm digressing and/or standing on my soapbox again. I'd give this excellent film a four out of five with a warning that it is not family friendly.
The Break-Up (2006): Absolutely, positively the best work Jennifer Aniston has ever done. Vince Vaughn wasn't so shabby himself, but the character he plays tended to drive me away a bit so I'm sure my opinion would be better otherwise. Most realistic relationship movie I've ever seen. The first twenty minutes was like watching my own marriage on the TV screen. Oh wait... I mean... er... Hmm... Sorry. Gotta go and buy some lemons and flowers now.
The Bucket List (2007): A bucket list is something I've thought about for years... Sort of... Maybe the top 100 goals I want to accomplish in life before I pass away, etc. Anyhow... I thought the movie was good, but not great. I thought it had good acting, but a poor "feel" to it. Both main characters do a great job in a movie atmosphere that really didn't fit either of them in my opinion... But I've been known to be wrong. It's sad to see that both are playing older characters about to die because... Well... If they are getting old, I'm getting old. Three and a half out of five wild cat turds...
The Chinese Connection (1972): My son had never watched a Bruce Lee movie so we dug this one out and watched it tonight. Except for the half-naked Japanese female dancer and all the violence (it is a Bruce Lee movie... duh) it was totally family friendly... Sort of. <grin> Enjoyed it. Three out of five flying kicks.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005): Amazing movie. Great. Actually thought of sending my wife out to purchase the DVD the moment the film ended. However, we will wait until tomorrow... If you have kids, and they can take light to moderate violence with a powerful message, this is one film you should see and buy!
The Code Conspiracy (2001): A low-budget film. Not very good quality, but considering just about every Christian movie ever made has been piss-poor, it wasn't bad. As my friend would say, "I wish there were more good Christian directors rather than directors making Christian movies." ...And I couldn't agree with him more! Worth a view for someone with some time to spare, but not worth much else. Plus the main character kept reminding me of Joey from Friends. Oh well. The actors have promise and probably could have done much better with more of a budget and a better plot. In fact, the acting was pretty good considering what they had to work with. It really is too bad that people are spending millions to create the Da Vinci Code which is total crap and mere cents creating movies like this. This could have been a great movie had it been given the budget of the Da Stinky Code. One of the best Christian movies I've ever seen, but unfortunately, not nearly as effective as turning people's hearts towards ultimate good as movies such as Pay it Forward, etc.
The Condemned (2007): Surprisingly decent compared to what I expected. I think it was the movie, "the Most Dangerous Game" that really excited me in the past... The one with Ice-T being hunted, etc. Anyhow... This wasn't quite as interesting, but at the same time, appealed to the adrenaline side of me and the part of me that wants to see the right thing done at all costs... Violent, raw, and somewhat rough around the edges, this film gets a 3.5 out of 5 stars from me. Side note: Steve needs to work on his flexibility or he will be a cripple by the time he is 60 - IMHO of course.
The Contract (2006): Quite a surprise. Didn't know this movie existed until I ran into it on the shelves. Both John Cusack and Moragn Freeman deliver great performances in a film that simply didn't seem to appeal the masses. I enjoyed it because I like films with a story line like this and because I like the outdoor survival theme thing... The punch line at the end was a bit weak and the other actors in the film seemed a bit diluted, but I'd still give it a 3.5 out of 5.
The Contractor (2007): Eh... Three out of five is my rating. Interesting. Not Blade. Not overly exciting. Not terrible, but not great.
The Da Vinci Code (2006): Horrible. Offensive. Slow. Fell asleep twice even though it was thoroughly bothersome to me. Loved seeing Hanks and "Gandolf" McKellen in a film together along with teh girl who looks like C. Z. Jones... (Audrey Tautou). Wish I could say something good about this waste of film other than that.
The Dark Crystal (1982): Excellent kids movie. A bit 80's like - seeing as it was made in the 80's - but excellent. Possibly a bit too mystical for those of you with no tolerance for such things.
The Departed (2006): Surprisingly good! Definitely a bit too violent and "potty-mouthed" for the kids, and even for some adults... Most adults... But the twists and turns during this movie made it one of the most enjoyable films I've watched in a while.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006): One of those movies that my wife rented... But that I enjoyed. Decent. Funny thing is it reminded me of some former bosses I've had, some friends I've had, and some situations I've been in. I'm almost 100% sure this isn't the source of inspiration, but this movie sure does remind me of a woman named Mia de Kuijper... If you know her, tell her I said "hello" and that I'm sorry.
The Eliminator (2004): Unless you are a Bas Rutten fan, don't bother. It's a good "B" movie, but nothing more. I enjoyed it, but I've met Bas and like the guy as a fighter. Worthy view for me or any Bas fan, but other than that, skip it. Even Marco Ruas' part is very small.
The Ex (2006): This movie was both disturbing and funny! Having been the guy who somehow finds trouble wherever he goes, I related to the main character... The movie was mostly clean except for a few dark spots here and there so overall, I'd say it was enjoyable. It's not bag balm though... It's udder balm. <grin> Anyhow... The movie itself was decent but it did have a semi-low budget feel to it for some reason. I'd have to say that three out of five rapidly swallowed hamburgers is my rating.
The Family Stone (2005): This is one of those movies that you watch all the way through because someone told you it was really good, or really funny. However, I must simply say this one was a bit funny, a bit good, and a bit disturbing.
The Fast and the Furious (1954): Yes. 1954... Not nearly as good as the modern version which is yet to be reviewed here, but it sure was nice to watch it. Quote interesting to see all the old cars and lack of special effects except for the occasional fast forward effect. License plate 1X25610 on the Jag.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006): Decent but not great. Not as good as the first two. If you are a fan of drifting, it is pretty good. Otherwise, it may not appeal to you very much.
The Fog (2005): Well, better than the original in some ways, but still pretty much a really boring movie. I kept waiting for Tom Welling to use his heat vision.
The Game (1997): Had to watch this movie again. Simply the second best movie of all time. Except for the fact that the filming is a bit dark physically, it is simply a masterpiece. Highly suggested film. Not for the young kids. In case you were wondering what the best movie of all time is, that's simple... Pay It Forward.
The Game Plan (2007): Pretty decent film. I really didn't find all that much to be offended by, which is pretty good since I'm easily offended by Hollywood. Roselyn Sanchez reminds me of a very good looking version of Cher and Sandra Bullock mixed together and had my wife and I wondering about her a little bit. My son fell in love with her and he's only 11. Anyhow... The story has some really good messages and makes some really good points while working its way through the details necessary for a feature film. I enjoyed it enough to give it four out of five bedazzled MVP footballs.
The Gold Rush (1925): This is one that I read about somewhere. Can't remember where, but I figured I'd rent it and check it out. Pretty cool stuff considering it is so old. Might make a good remake if modernized actually... Four out of five giant hidden bears.
The Good Shepherd (2006): This movie was interesting on a few levels and boring on others. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it much more had I been prepared for the subject matter or at least the era it is set in, but I wasn't. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't call it great. Personally, I'd give it three out of a possible five Russian spies. If it helps you decide whether to see it or not, my wife didn't like it at all.
The Guardian (2006): Excellent movie. It was great to see Costner in a water-related movie that was done so well. He did an excellent job. Kutcher did a pretty decent job, and the overall feeling of the movie was quite excellent. I loved the way they showed rough-and-ready training methods. I have to say one thing though... Lower altitude equals less injury. Enough said!
The Heartbreak Kid (2007): A mixture of great comedy and soft-core pornography in my opinion. As usual, it didn't *need* all that raunchy stuff to be funny or even good. I laughed really hard at times and was disappointed at other times by their use of sex as a selling tool... But the thing that bothers me most is the blatant attack on marital commitment regardless of the circumstances... I'll be generous and give it 2.5 out of 5 stars...
The Holiday (2006): Most definitely a "chick flick" by most people's definitions, but a good one! It went a bit slow at times, but turned out pretty good in the end. Besides the fact that there seemed to be no end to the sexual encounters between two of the characters, the movie was decently clean and entertaining throughout.
The Illusionist (2006): Wow. Quite a surprise. Not nearly as "edge of your seat" or fast moving as some other blockbuster, but quite a good movie. Ed Norton does a superb job and the film is relatively clean and family safe except for one or two scenes of sexuality. No nudity and barely any language to complain about from those that are bothered by such things. The funny thing is this is the second Paul Giamatti enhanced movie I've seen in as many nights. Guy is a behind the scenes big time star now I guess. Good job as usual by him too! For those of you who thought "The Game" was an awesome movie, I suggest this as a follow-up. Not bad. Not "Primal Fear" good, but not bad.
The Invisible (2007): This was one strange movie. I had high expectations but was let down by the lack of action, lack of interesting "stuff" that makes a good plot, and lack of a logical explanation for lots of the things that they made happen along the way... Especially the ending... I simply don't get it... Oh well... Two out of Five at best.
The Kingdom (2007): This is one of those movies that starts off feeling like a made-for-film documentary about a real-life event and then turns into an action flick. Personally, I thought it was good. I don't know how accurate ti is to real life, but I really enjoyed seeing the struggle that both sides face in dealing with each other. Kudos to Peter Berg for his work as the director and to the actors in the film for their work. I wasn't really disappointed by anyone's work in this film other than possibly some of the extras... Three and a half out of five is my rating.
The Lake House (2006): In the unforgettable words of Mr. T, "I pity the fool" who saw this in the theaters... Not totally horrible, but not totally worthwhile either. Maybe a star and a half out of five.
The Last Legion (2007): Entertaining. Not what I expected. I didn't see the trailer prior to seeing the film so I didn't know what to expect. It was an interesting film but unfortunately was missing "something" that made it a high rated mediocre movie. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Because I didn't see the trailer, I didn't expect the ending... Pretty cool.
The Last Sin Eater (2007): One of those "not quite "A" level movies that simply caught my attention and never let it go. What a wonderful story, even if it was wrapped in a slow moving, hard to relate to scenario. Kudos to everyone involved. Four and a half sin cakes out of five!
The Last time (2007): This movie started out really bad and then got worse... And then all of a sudden, it got good. I don't know what to say. Other than the overuse of nudity and constant cursing, it was enjoyable and really turned out to be decent for me. One negative though was the bang at the end... It was pretty darn good and then just fizzled and faded out... I still give it a 3.5 out of 5. Not family friendly at all but may appeal to those who like "The Game" with Michael Douglas (Which is Michael Keaton's real name by the way...) or even "Primal Fear" fans.
The Long Way Round (2004): More of a documentary than a movie, this is an absolute must see for anyone who would tour on a motorcycle and/or even in a car, etc. It is NOT for kids, however as the language is typical uncensored British at times. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars simply because I would LOVE to make a trip like that.
The Marine (2006): One of those movies you come away from wondering if the energizer bunny is really all that impressive after seeing the main character... Plus, how did he get the knife back after the "meeting in the woods with the Deliverance guys" anyhow? 3.5 out of 5 stars, but grudgingly.
The Nativity Story (2006): Excellent. Not quite as moving as The Passion of the Christ, but then again, the subject matter at hand was much lighter too. Same basic "feel," but a different message. Not good for young kids as it is simply too boring for them.
The Net 2.0 (2006): I can clearly see why this movie never made it to the box office - or at least never made it big. It was enjoyable, but certainly not something that would have done well on the big screen. It had a high "B" or low "A" feel to it... But is worth the watch for all you paranoid, easily fooled by technobabble folk.
The New World (2005): Interesting movie. Didn't really tickle my fancy as far as action went, but it was good in a "Dances With Wolves" kinda way. Really enjoyed it although it ran a bit slow at times...
The Night Listener (2006): This film caught my wife and I by surprise. We didn't know it had a heavy homosexual theme to it until we started watching it because the DVD box says nothing about it from what I can tell and we didn't bother to look closely online for a description. No matter... I only mention that because there are some who would choose to either view or not view it based on this alone. Now, for the review: It felt a little low budget for a Robin Williams film with a "this was shot on as few locations as possible" taste... The content was decent as it had it's own twists and turns in the storyline. I think they tried to pull off an ending like "Primal Fear" or "The Illusionist" that shook the viewer... And failed. Not a terribly horrible movie but certainly not on my list of recommended flicks either. This is one of the few movies out there that used nudity to enhance the plot rather than to draw viewers - not that it made the film any better in the long run... 1.5 out of a possible 5 if you're keeping score.
The Official Rare Exports Inc. Safety Instructions 2005 (2005): This is the sequel to "Rare Exports Inc." which was made in 2003. It's darker. It's longer. It's just like any other sequel I've seen for the most part in that it isn't quite as original and thus not quite as good. However, it is worth a view if you watched the original and enjoyed it. Again, kudos to the makers and all involved. Three out of five stars with an even stronger adult theme warning than its' predecessor. YouTube apparently has it HERE.
The Passion of The Christ (2004): One of the most moving films ever made in my opinion. I can see how a Christian believer would be strongly changed or moved by this film whereas a nonbeliever or someone who didn't have a "relationship with Christ" as it's often called would simply see it as a gory depiction of an event... All I can say is this: "No greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends."
The Pink Panther (2006): I didn't have high expectations for this movie at all. However, I found it mildly enjoyable and relatively funny. The one downside was the unnecessary sex references and jokes.
The Poseidon Adventure (2005): The only movie I've ever watched that ends with a "to be continued" message.... And no second part is available that I can find! Argh!!!
The Prestige (2006): Excellent movie. On par with The Game with Michael Douglass and Primal Fear with Edward Norton. Loved the scenes with Tesla stuff as some of it is true to life technology. The more I think about it, the more I like this movie. Kudos to everyone involved. Relatively clean. Relatively family safe except for a random scene of nastiness related to the story line.
The Protector (2006): If you are a fan of Muai (Muay) Thai fighting, this could be a good view for you. It has very strong Thai influence to it and from that perspective is quite good. The overall quality of the film is good although it does feel like a foreign film in many ways. I'd say it is a mix of action flick, drama and a touch of fictitious documentary. One thing I did notice is that it certainly had more broken bone action sequences than any other movie I've ever seen. I'd also give it 4 out of 5 if pushed to rate it. Now... I'm off to Caldwell, NJ's famous Bangkok Kitchen for dinner!
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006): About as interesting as I expected. However, a bit more creative than I expected. The kids liked it. I sorta liked it and my wife liked it a little I think. Not awesome, but not horrible. A good job by Martin Short and Tim Allen as well as a decent showing by Elizabeth Mitchell. Three out of five frozen stars.
The Second Chance (2006): An excellent movie, but not for the average viewer. If you have ever worked with inner-city people or attend a large suburban church, you simply need to see this movie. Very surprising to see Michael W. Smith do such a movie, but I'm darn glad he did! Excellent movie. Overall, not too bad. It could have used some professional polishing, but for the most part, the best "christian" movie I've ever seen. Oh... And Smitty sure is looking more... er... Mature these days.
The Sentinel (2006): Excellent movie. One of the best I have seen all year. I'd suggest this to anyone.
The Shaggy Dog (2006): Loved this movie. Perfect movie for the whole family. Funny as can be and well made. I do have to say that it was a pleasant surprise. Now... Where can I get a snake like that?
The Spanish Prisoner (1997): Not one of Steve Martin's best... But certainly a worthy view! It took some twists and turns I didn't expect and treated me to a wonderful evening of mental rehabilitation after a long day... It is in the same vein as "The Game", "The Departed" and "Primal Fear" as far as the surprises go... But not quite in the same league. Still quite good albeit a bit slow at times. If you can stomach a movie from the late 90's that feels like it might have been filmed in the late 80's, then you should love this movie.
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007): Strong European feel to this film... But entertaining. My 6 and 11 year old kids loved it and I found it quite amusing. It had some very strong aspects and a bunch of times when they could have done it better from my American entertainment view point... But overall, decent. 3.5 out of 5.
The Ultimate Gift (2007): Pretty cool movie. Clean throughout and a worthy view for the entire family. It's not a blockbuster hit, but it certainly shows that a movie doesn't have to contain lots of T&A to be entertaining or emotionally moving. Kudos to all involved! 3.5 out of 5 possible stars.
The Weather Man (2005): One of the more interesting, while at the same time slow-moving movies I have ever seen. Worth seeing if you are a Cage fan as N.C. does a good job of acting like someone else. However, the character isn't a very appealing one so it turned off most of the others in the room with me at the time. On a scale of 1-10, I'll give it a C+.
The World's Fastest Indian (2005): Great movie. Relatively clean viewing for the entire family too. It has its moments where stuff that didn't need to be shown or added were, but otherwise, a great movie. Anthony Hopkins does his usual topnotch job.
TMNT (2007): What can I tell you... We rented this as a family movie and enjoyed it. It was not as exciting as I expected it to be because it was 100% animation - which I didn't expect for some reason. However, I enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it. My 11 and 6 year old kids enjoyed it. It has a positive message and reminded me a little it of the "Superfriends" TV show from the 1980's... I'd give it 3.5 out of a possible 5 giant stone monsters from the seventy-fifth dimension.
Track Down (2000): I know the hacker / 2600 community is mostly against this film, but I found it to be amusing, entertaining and somewhat interesting. It actually allowed me to share the Kevin Mitnick story with my wife since I can't get her to watch the official "Freedom Downtime" film which is available here. Aside from the semi-low budget quality, the inaccuracies and all that stuff, I thought it was a decent film. Too bad it's close to impossible to make a Hollywood blockbuster with the real facts shared in detail because that would get a huge kudos from me. I give this four out of five stars but strongly suggest that anyone seeing this also see the "Freedom Downtime" film available at http://www.2600.com/film.html or a number of other online sources. Free Kevin! ...er... Too late.
Transformers (2007): The interstellar battle between the Autobots and Decepticons rains destruction down on planet Earth and we all get to watch it happen without being subjected to a cartoon! The special effects were amazing, if not just a bit too heavy in this movie. They did a great job of keeping the story line alive from the cartoon series "way back in the day." Some big names and some not-so-big names headline in this film and overall it is quite interesting. I enjoyed it but wouldn't say I loved it. Three out of four Autobots agree that it was well made, but a bit too far out for many viewers to appreciate.
Transporter 2 (2005): Interesting. Quite entertaining. Somewhat unreal, but definitely a cool movie. Somehow, I made the commute to work 15 minutes faster than normal the day after seeing this flick.
Tristan and Isolde (2005) : I liked it. My wife liked it. It was generally a very good movie. It is unfortunate that it supports something I consider wrong, but given the context, I'll deal with it like a grown up. I'll post about it on my review site and let everyone know just how I feel. Stay faithful - even if it feels wrong.
Trust the Man (2006): Funny! I didn't expect this to be as good - or maybe I should say as funny - as it was. Enjoyable and a good view for me and my wife on a slow Sunday afternoon. Not really family safe, but at least it didn't have lots of nudity like so many other Hollywood films seem to migrate towards simply to attract viewers. Starts off with some "potty mouth humor" but goes surprisingly well afterwards. I just hope my son doesn't try to learn the tricks the little boys tried in the film!
Turistas (2006): Quite an interesting flick. We opted for the "NR" version over the "R" version for some reason. Maybe because there is always the feeling that you are going to miss something that will make a movie better when it is not bound by the ratings of the corrupt and evil empire of the MPAA. Anyhow... It was decent. Not great. Not family friendly at all. Had a low budget feel to it while being kind of physically dark. A bit gory like the Saw series of movies while having a bit of a close-up gruesomeness (is that a real word?) to it like Hostel. I'd suggest it only if you are into gore movies and/or can stomach what looks like real life blood and "stuff" in a movie with a mediocre plot line. Three our of a total of five body parts is my rating.
Two For the Money (2005): This movie has some loaded messages. Overall, it wasn't the best movie ever made... But at the end, it sends a message that most people wouldn't think twice about. For me, however, it was a hard-hitting, night domineering message. I don't share any of the problems that are shown in the movie, but I do long to be the kind of person that can share a lesson so effective that it changes lives. And the movie has one of those nontraditional messages as it's punch line. Would I recommend this movie to anyone? No. Probably not. But for me, it was a great movie - even inspiring in some ways.
Ultimate Fight (????): This is some Taiwanese movie that Blockbuster shipped me. I was looking for a movie by the same exact title with Kimo in it, but this was a movie completely in another language with subtitles in another Asian language I suppose... It was decent, but not very entertaining since the only words I understood were "bye bye" and "Let's get it on!" The name "Tai Seng Entertainment" are on the DVD, but it is certainly NOT the correct DVD for the mailer Blockbuster used. I don't know if the language spoken is Mandarin or Cantonese, but I guess I should learn it before trying to see this movie and actually rating it fairly. <grin>
Ultraviolet (2006): Just a bit too edgy for me. Mediocre acting by the main character and not enough of a plot for me to understand. Is there a comic book series that I should have memorized first?
Underworld: Evolution (2006): Better than the first one. A bit dark (the filming dummy) but overall, pretty good. Not the kind of movie you want to see if you don't like violence though. Too much nudity. Detracted from the actual plot and had no real meaning for being there other than to please those who need to see flesh to enjoy a movie. They could have established the points of romance without it just fine and without detracting from the real reason the movie was made. And... I can't wait to see where they take III.
V for Vendetta (2006): Although I enjoyed this movie, I wasn't overly impressed with it. Maybe it was because you could never see the actor's face, or maybe it was because it kept reminding me of Phantom of the Opera... I'm not sure. A decent movie, but not on the top of my "would suggest" list. (Funny coincidence - I spent the entire afternoon with two former Broadway stars who are not incredibly close to us, but people I would consider friends of our family.. Both played major parts in Phantom until recently - She played Christine and he playrf Raoul on Broadway and the Phantom in their traveling show. Seeing this movie after that was... well... ironic to me.)
Vacancy (2007): So-so is about the best description I can give to this movie at this time. It was a pleasure to see one of my favorite actors (Luke Wilson) in a film... But the film itself wasn't all that good in my opinion. My wife was scared to death by it, but I found it to be a bit weak in every way. As usual, Hollywood throws in some female nudity to try and sell more tickets and copies of the DVD... Shame on them. Anyhow... 2.5 out of 5 disabled BMW's is my rating.
Walk the Line (2005): Pretty good movie. I'm not a huge J. Cash fan, but it was entertaining. If Mr. Phoenix and Ms. Witherspoon did all the singing, then they are amazing. One disappointment... No "I've been everywhere man" song. :(
War (2007): This is a pretty good movie. It has some decent action, a decent plot, and some decent surprises... Nothing really great, but certainly not shabby either. If you enjoy the Asian karate-type flick or are simply looking for a good movie to see on a boring night, this one may fit the bill. It has some sexual content that it didn't really *need* to have, but it was somewhat tame compared to some of the smut out there. The level of violence is pretty high though so because of these two factors, I'll give it an unfriendly rating for family views... But I will give it a solid 3.5 stars out of 5 as my overall rating.
War of the Worlds (1953): Quite interesting to see this once you've seen the Tom Cruise remake. I think my 5 and 10 year old children enjoyed the 1953 version more too.
Warpath (2000): Typical "B" movie. Quite an interesting plot. I enjoyed it, but not much more than that.
We are Marshall (2006): If this were not a true story, the movie would be a total waste of time. However, given as it is indeed a true story, I must say that they must have taken a long, hard look at the facts pertaining to the real life events because it was detail oriented where it didn't need to be and overly-hollywood where it also did not need to be. Together, these apparently make for a very accurate telling of a real-life event. I enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it. It isn't the type of movie that I'd take a date to see or even have my kids watch to teach them something unless they were old enough... But it certainly had a message that could be used to teach the preteen and teenage crowd if the leader were creative enough... Three out of five stars.
We Own The Night (2007): Interesting film. Seeing as I watched this only a day or so after American Gangster, I found it more interesting than it probably was... But it was good. It shows the dangers that the non-corrupt sector of the law enforcement community faces every day. Kudos to all. 3.5 out of 5 stars here.
What About Bob? (1991): An excellent comedy albeit a bit too edgy for my young kids with the language they used to illustrate Tourette's Syndrome, etc... One of my favorites. Some good belly laughs in this one. It would be cool if someone could redo this movie with some modern "whatevers" so that it wasn't so dated... I'd see it in a heartbeat even though it might be destined to the remake graveyard... Four out of five stars...
White Fang (1991): Excellent film to sit down and watch with the kids as long as they can mentally handle the type of violence that happens in the wilderness. A very good, family friendly movie in my opinion.
White Fang 2 (1994): An interesting movie. A little too much romance and supernatural to be a good "Alaska" movie, but good. My kids liked it although the sporadic romantic portions were a bit much for my four year old girl. Nothing PG13 rated, but not G either.
Wild Hogs (2007): Quite entertaining! Had the typical Hollywood sex appeal added when it wasn't necessary for the plot, but other than that, a four and a half star movie out of five. I wish they had put in a scene that taught car and SUV drivers to watch out for motorcycle enthusiasts, but unfortunately, they didn't That would have been a perfect vehicle to spread that safety tip.
World Trade Center (2006): Not what I expected it to be as far as the plot goes, but an excellent movie. Really gives you an idea of how and why the authorities act the way they do in emergency situations too. Thank you to everyone who serves or served to protect us. God bless you to all those who are family of such a person, etc.
X-3: X-Men - The Last Stand (2006): Great movie. A fitting end to the series. Hopefully they rethink ending the series with only three movies and do the unthinkable and come out with more.
You Kill Me (2007): One of the more unexpected performances I've ever seen. And I don't mean that in a good or bad way, just really surprising from Ben Kingsley... Not your typical movie and I don't know how to explain it. I half expected to see Oleg Taktarov at any moment... Three out of five stars.
You, Me and Dupree (2006): Not what I expected. Quite entertaining. As usual, the folks who made this movie thought that stupid sex jokes and trashy humor would sell more tickets and/or DVDs... But I found the movie quite funny and interesting. ...Plus he mentions the mother ship! How can you hate a movie that mentions the mother ship? Kate is awesome. It's nice to see Owen as always as he is a talented, albeit strange fellow and that poor Matt guy doesn't seem to get any serious parts anymore. But put all three together in this film and you have a winner.
Yours, Mine & Ours (2005): Well... What can I say. I'll sum it up like this. I would rather have the pig move in with my family than watch that movie again. However, I'm sure it would be one very fun movie for the kids to see.
Zathura (2005): Not quite what I expected... But a really good movie. It had some items I think they could have done without - such as when the younger brother calls the older brother a not-so-good word. It doesn't bother me personally, but because I was watching a "PG" rated "family" movie with my four and nine year old kids, it bothered me... They could have done without that. Oh well. Three out of a possible five stars. Pun fully intended.
Zodiac (2007): Not a bad film considering what they had to work with and their desire to try to stick to the real life facts. If they wanted to make a fictional account of the events into a horror story, they could have gone a lot farther but that was not their goal I presume. A decent movie for anyone who is interested in crime solving from a real life perspective. Six and a half thumbs up out of a possible ten.
Got a movie suggestion for me? Send it to me at ANYTHING at YUNX dot COM... Literally or figuratively. It all comes to me. Spammers beware. I get revenge.
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"BANG!" went the firecracker. Then the teacher dropped a tennis ball onto the floor where the explosion had happened. The teacher then asked the class, "Do you think I could ever convince you that the tennis ball was hidden within that firecracker? All the students said "No way."
"BANG!" went the next firecracker. Then the teacher dropped a large beach ball onto the floor where the explosion had happened. The teacher then asked the class, "Do you think I could ever convince you that the beach ball was hidden within that firecracker? All the students said "No way."
The teacher then said that the students would have to use their imagination a bit... told them to close their eyes and picture what was mentioned after the explosions to come...
"BANG!" went the next firecracker. Then the teacher said that a large ball the size of a house had appeared where the explosion had happened. The teacher then asked the class, "Do you think I could ever convince you that the large, house sized ball was hidden within that firecracker? All the students said "No way."
"BANG!" went the next firecracker. Then the teacher said a huge ball half the size of the moon had appeared where the explosion had happened. The teacher then asked the class, "Do you think I could ever convince you that the huge ball was hidden within that firecracker? All the students said "No way."
"BANG!" went the firecracker. Then the teacher said a huge ball the size of the Earth appeared where the explosion had happened. Not only that, but the ball was covered in water mostly and had a little dirt showing. On the dirt were small plants and in the water were fish. On the dirt also existed little tiny animals that were really smart in their own estimation. Beyond all of that, the ball was floating in a totally sterile vacuum. The teacher then asked the class, "Do you think I could ever convince you that the Earth we live on was hidden within a really big firecracker and showed up all by itself without anyone influencing it's design at all, if indeed there was a bang? All the students said "Of course! We went to school as kids and learned about the Big Bang Theory there. The teachers there are apparently smarter than you and wouldn't let us even discuss the possibility of there being some influence other than randomness on the creation of the Earth."
Then the first teacher said, Today's lesson is not spiritual in nature at all... I'm not allowed to teach that stuff here. However, you can simply write the title down as, "Sometimes the smart people are really illogical."
"While Walking Down The Path"
One day, you are walking down a path in the woods. You are enjoying yourself and the smells, views and overall atmosphere of the area you are in. The smell of the leaves are pungent because it is early fall and just enough of them are rotting on the ground to create that familiar autumn smell. The trees are vibrant in color and beautiful - especially so as the sun trickles down through them from above highlighting every leaf's brilliant coloration. You see the rough bark on one oak tree, cracking and splitting this way and that. The very next tree is smooth and only marked here and there with small markings that identify it as a birch. You notice small and large trees alike, all growing in harmony among one another, making a wonderful scene for your senses to take in. You scan the area for deer or fox or even a hawk or eagle as they are common in the area. You hear an occasional jet overhead and realize that you are never too far from civilization, but this little area you are walking through is like heaven to you right now... or maybe just an earthly paradise.
Suddenly, you find yourself flat on your face. Apparently, you tripped over a rock that was sticking just a little bit above the dirt and it took you down.
You lie there on the ground a second taking a physical inventory of yourself and find that you are unharmed except for a little bit of dirt here and there. You make your way to your knees and then get up and brush yourself off, thankful for the leaves that fell on the dirt path overnight as they protected you from the dark, rich and fertile dirt of the woods. Your light colored jacket is also thankful for such protection... You take one last look at the rock that tried to kill you.... and then you continue on your walk.
As you walk, you begin to calm down a bit. You relax. You begin to forget about the fall and the dirt and the thud you made when you hit the soft earth that is now properly placed beneath your hiking shoes again. You begin to think about the leaves again and the awesome smells and colors surrounding you. You think about the path and how it was just a game trail a few years ago. You think about how the hunters and the local kids made it into a semi-groomed path for walking, mountain biking or even strolling with the toddlers for their first look at a deer or squirrel. You start to notice the beauty of your surroundings again and fall back into that relaxed trance that this path always seems to bring you to. There it is... Ahhh... Wonderful. That feeling you crave every so often is back. You feel at peace with everything and everyone.
As you walk on, you think about that rock that was sticking up just enough to catch the tip of your left boot. You think about how it has been there for thousands or maybe millions of years. You think about all the cool things that the rock may have seen. Maybe it has witnessed the growth of the now mature forest or the thousands of animals that may have walked past it. You wonder how many spring rains it has endured or how many falling leaves have brushed against its' face. You imagine the rock sitting alone in that area as the Native Americans walked by it on their hunts or during their daily activities... You can just see that rock sitting there as a mental picture similar to time lapse photography goes on in your mind... Small trees become larger trees. Larger trees become the giants that now surround you. Many seasons pass and you imagine the wonderful experiences that rock has had while it watched hundreds or thousands of spring, summer, fall and winter seasons pass by showering it with raindrops or covering it with deep snow falls. You begin to think about how the weather affects the rock and how its surface was probably much different a long time ago...
Ahh! You are now flat on your face again. This time, when you take physical inventory you find that you have a little bit of an injury to your right palm as you tried to catch yourself on the way down. Nothing major, just a bruise or small scrape. Nothing to worry about. You look back and see that you tripped over a small exposed tree root worn smooth from other hikers and mountain bikers who have passed this way before you. Your hand seems to have landed on a piece of something very unique and different from your surroundings. You sit for a second looking at the "something" and decide it is a piece of metal. You brush away a little bit of dirt and then more vigorously start a little excavation activity... You finally unearth an ancient railroad spike. There are, and never have been any railroads within miles of here so you wonder how this metal spike got there. You figure someone carried it along and dropped it there years and years ago... Maybe at the turn of the last century as it is old, corroded and has obviously been sitting there for a very long time.
You get up, take the spike with you and head home with it as a little memory from your walk. You are not sure if you will save it for some unknown reason or simply toss it out and call your actions a small woods trail cleanup effort. As you walk, you imagine some young kid playing around some of the very first railroad tracks ever to be laid down. The kid picks up a spare spike and runs off with it... When he gets bored with it, he tosses it into the woods never to be seen again until your fateful fall today. It has probably witnessed more of natures wonders than you will ever see. You wonder how its' history compares to that ancient rock from a bit earlier in your walk.
Suddenly it hits you... You did it. You made the leap. You crossed the bridge you swore you would never cross. You had thoughts that you never would have accepted as valid and you wholeheartedly accepted them without questioning them even a little bit! They were natural and flowed from your innermost mind and heart. You made the logical transition from believing that things just showed up here in nature all by themselves to realizing that someone had to have put them here at some point... You never once questioned that the spike you found was placed there by someone.
How did you come to this conclusion? You instinctively used all your knowledge and all your learning. You came to the conclusion that the railroad spike was just a little bit too complex to have just shown up all by itself in the woods. The wind and the sunlight and the rain and maybe a bolt of lightning had nothing to do with it becoming a spike. It was clear. It was unquestionable. Someone made that spike. Someone put it there. It has a purpose on this planet and it was created for that purpose.
...Then you think for a second and decide that it must be a freaky spike-looking meteorite or something. Totally illogical but you choose to believe it over the pure and crystal clear logic you had just a moment ago. Your stubborn side takes over and you realize that there is no way you will allow yourself to adopt an intelligent design philosophy for that spike! No. It won't happen. Especially for a simple railroad spike. The idea that it might apply to the railroad spike... er... meteorite means that it might apply to human beings and that is unacceptable. You have chosen to believe differently and have told everyone. You can't change your mind now. For one thing, change is hard and you don't like to do it. You put the "other" thoughts you had a bit earlier into the dark closet at the back of your mind. The closet where stuff disappears over time. You revert to your pre-walk thought patterns that have ruled your mind ever since you adopted them in high school years earlier.
You walk into your house, having lost the spark that you were fanning into a flame just minutes earlier. A simple railroad spike in the woods almost brought you out of the funk you live in and into a place where logic and reason reign. It threatened everything you believe and stand for and it almost won! But... The pressures of society upon you, and the idea that some people will call you an idiot for believing such things push you back into the same position you were in before the walk down that path. You are now back to believing that the impossible happened and that everything randomly happened on this planet you live on. The spike fell from the sky... Yes.. That's it. It fell
You are happy with life again. You are at peace. After all, you make good money, you live in a nice house and have a nice car, you have a good family and most everything is acceptable around you - especially that steady and reliable friend of yours in the garage. Your motorcycle. Your best friend. That bike helps you to forget all of the stuff that does stress you out when you saddle up. It brings you to a place of refuge in your mind and spirit where peace reigns. You wonder if taking a quick ride will help you remember the beautiful walk you just had... Or will it remind you of the lesson you almost learned from the spike.. er... meteorite thing.
As you sit in your kitchen and toss the spike into the garbage can, someone looks down from above and hopes that you will take more walks in the woods soon. He has a purpose for you beyond your nice comfortable life... He almost had you today, but you put him into the dark closet again... Unknown to you, he starts planning your next walk down the path to life and because he placed the rocks and roots and spikes there already, he knows just where he will send you next time. The question is, will you ignore the truth again as you walk in the sonlight?