Movie Ratings

10 Ė Worth Full Price of Admission (a must see if you like movies)

9 Ė Worth Full Price of Admission (worth paying full price)

8 Ė See it as a Matinee (enjoyable but not worth full price)

7 Ė See it as a Matinee (worth the time to see at the movies, but not full price)

6 Ė Rent the movie (worth watching, but you can wait to see it)

5 Ė Rent the movie (you feel like watching a movie at your leisure)

4 Ė Watch it on cable (if itís on TV, go ahead and watch it)

3 Ė Watch it on cable (if you feel like watching a movie to pass the time)

2 Ė Not worth watching (not worth your time)

1 Ė Not worth watching (youíll wish you had that time back)

0 Ė Avoid like the plague (you will want to gouge you eyes out while watching)

Disclaimer Ė All movie ratings are subject to a rating of +/- 1.  Certain actors/directors/writers may influence my opinion, but hopefully I will take note of that in my reviews.  I donít know who is really reading this, but these are quick comments and not subject to being grammatically correct.

Of course, if you want to find out more information on all these movies, you should know what website to visit:   www.imdb.com   

 

The Mitchell Movie Awards

 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (seen on December 2, 2017)

Starring: Francis McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson

Rating Ė 4

Shame this movie wasnít better. I blame a poor script. The acting was really good, but the script was awful.  The movie is about one thing and that storyline really goes nowhere. There are allusions to several things in the past that never come up. Itís just confusing. There was no reason to make this movie, as thereís no middle or ending. It just feels like a real long beginning to a movie. Maybe itís my fault. I should have looked at who the writer was. To me, Martin McDonagh is known for poor movies that have no real story. I see a pattern here. Iíll avoid at all costs in the future. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Months after her daughter is married, Mildred (McDormand) decides to advertise on three billboards to call out the local authorities lack of results. The billboards cause a division across the local police and the whole town. Will the billboards get a result or just cause more trouble for Mildred?

 

BladeRunner 2049 (seen on November 14, 2017)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford

Rating Ė 8

I am going to start with the disclaimer...do not go see this movie unless you liked the first one. The whole feel is similar to the first one, not to mention I think you would be totally lost on the plot. I enjoyed it because it was more of a continuation of the story. The drawback is that I like how the first one left things a bit ambiguously and I question whether more of the story was needed to be developed. Answer: probably not, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the movie is an enjoyable one. The sound and cinematic landscapes are part of what makes the movie. It's nice how things are still kept as a future as seen from the original 1982 version. Where there are sponsors of companies that existed in the 80's but are no longer relevant or even exist. The hardcore fans will definitely love this; the new fans, not so much. That's my quick review; what's next?

Initially, Blade Runners were sent to "retire" rouge replicants, but nowadays the replicants have been perfected so only the older models are still being hunted. While on a mission, agent K unearths a burial box of bones that will revolutionize the way humans and replicants are seen together.

 

Thor Ragnarok (seen on November 7, 2017)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum

Rating Ė 7

The reviews are saying best Marvel movie ever; I can't agree. Sure, the movie is entertaining with a lot more laughs, but the plot is not a comprehensible one. A new threat to Asgaard, Thor must save the lives of Asgaard with a team. It's nothing new in the superhero movie genre. There's still an outrageous amount of CGI and some of the fight scenes is too much CGI and hard to follow. You just have to wait until the end to see the bodies on the ground. I guess after seventeen movies, I hope this is finally coming to some kind of story conclusion before I'm burned out. That's my quick review; what's next?

Thor (Hemsworth) returns to Asgaard to find that his father is no longer in charge and his brother Loki (Hiddleston) has been ruling in his place as Odin (Hopkins). Soon they hear of a new threat returning to destroy Asgaard, their sister Hela (Blanchett). Unfortunately, Thor cannot defeat his sister alone and needs to build a new team.

 

It (seen on October 4, 2017)

Starring: Bill Skarsgard

Rating Ė 8

It definitely surprised me. The plot isn't the most fully developed one, but I found the movie entertaining and fun. Evil creature wants to frighten children and eat them. That's basically the plot. Good vs. evil. Watching the movie with friends and people around you in the theater is entertaining to watch everyone jump and scream. Most of the movie is a scare factor so expect to jump, but you don't know how it will happen. Maybe it's nostalgia from watching original 27 years ago, but I was entertained at being frightened. I will be anxious to watch the conclusion in Chapter II. That's my quick review; what's next?

The town of Derry, Maine is a simple quiet life. No one seems to notice the spike in children disappearances every 27 years. A group of friends are becoming aware that there is a force in the town that is after them. Will they be able to stop It before he picks them off one by one?

 

The Big Sick (seen on July 22, 2017)

Starring: Kumail Nanijani, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano

Rating Ė 8

A romantic comedy based on a true story; I wonder how much was true. It's a different type of romantic comedy, but an enjoyable one. When a big portion of the movie involves a hospital, you might find it odd to be laughing, but there are some scattered throughout. Kumail relies heavily on making fun of his former culture and how it meshes with the US culture. A bit funny to see Ray Romano in a somewhat serious light, but he plays a good role as the father. That's my quick review; what's next?

Kumail is a Pakistani comedian in the city of Chicago where he meets an American woman that he begins to date. Of course, his family believes he should only marry a Pakistani woman. When his girl Emily gets sick, will he stay by her side or give in to his parentsí wishes.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming (seen on July 19, 2016)

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau

Rating Ė 6

The movie in general was alright, but it bothered me how it seemed to try to be too cute and steal other movie ideas. There's clearly a seen that's mimicking "Ferris Buehler" and in case you didn't pick up on the reference, there's a cut to a TV that shows the very seen from "Ferris Buehler" that they copied. There are also other John Hughes references to give it that 80's feel. Feels like that sentiment is stolen from Guardians of the Galaxy with their 70's reference. I know Spiderman makes jokes, but this seemed too reminiscent of "Deadpool". Just seemed like too many borrowed ideas trying to make it hidden with Easter eggs. The movie does well to show the connection from the Avengers to the present day and even how an average man can turn into a villain besides the use of some kind of radiation. Clearly, they have a plan to continue this money-making Marvel adventure. What did make me happy was the lack of intro to how Spiderman became Spiderman; just get on with the story. The audience should know that by now with five previous Spiderman movies in the past ~15 years. At the end, it is still a comic book movie so don't expect deep plots and story development, but it's an entertaining movie with laughs. That's my quick review; what's next?

Peter Parker (Holland) returns to New York after helping out Iron Man (Downey Jr.) and his battle versus Captain America, but life as a high school teenager is not enough for Peter. He's anxiously awaiting another mission at a chance to join the Avengers. While roaming the city looking for crooks to stop, he comes across a group of criminals that have more fire power than the average criminal. This leads to a larger group of weapon manufacturers and the Vulture (Keaton).

 

Baby Driver (seen July 7, 2017)

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx

Rating Ė 8

Don't go into this thinking it's going to be an Oscar winner, but if you go in thinking you just want to be entertained, then this is your movie. It's simple, it's action packed and it's just fun. For those of you that have seen Drive, you'll notice a parallel to them except this one just seems more upbeat. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A crime boss (Spacey) is a mastermind at planning bank heists. He uses a different crew every time except for his young specialist driver known as Baby (Elgort). When Baby meets a new girl, he tries to get out of the game, but the jobs get tougher and don't go according to plan.

 

Wonder Woman (seen on June 6, 2017)

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine

Rating Ė 5

The movie that was said to have saved the DC movie experience, but I cannot agree. I don't know what movie the early critics watched, but this movie was cheesy. It seems they basically tried to copy Captain America: The First Avenger except this felt too hokey. The beginning of the movie was a bit slow, then things felt rushed and then it just goes downhill in the final third. The CGI is too much and too quick you can't see what's happening. I would like to comment on the villain of the movie, but tough without giving away spoilers. Let's just say, predictable and lame. Another thing that bother was the gas the Germans were creating for WWI. Hello, you already have mustard gas. Why would you create a new gas to poison people? And not to mention, the writers clearly don't know much about chemistry. The new gas substitutes sulfur with hydrogen...really? So ridiculously inaccurate. At this point, any movie that has Zac Snyder's name tied to it in any way is probably going to be bad writing and filled with overexuberant CGI that it's hard to follow. That's my quick review; what's next?

Princess Diana (Gadot) has lived her whole life on a protected island training to someday battle Ares. When her protected world is breached by a lone pilot (Pine) being chased by Germans, Diana realizes that the world is at war and it is her duty to stop Ares and bring the world back to peace. She soon finds out that life in the real world is different than what she thought.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 2 (seen on May 16, 2017)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell

Rating Ė 7

Here comes volume two of the surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy and like much sequels, it follows the same pattern. Thatís both good and bad. You enjoyed the first one, but you felt like it was pretty much the same. Volume 2 didnít add too much to the storyline. It just introduced one of the most weirdest characters in the Marvel Universe, Ego the living planet. The movie was more about developing each character rather than pushing the overall story forward, but with the laughs, it was still enjoyable. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Guardians are out saving different cultures as part of their ďguardianĒ duties but of course for a fee. Out is space, the guardians meet a man named Ego, who claims to be Peter Quillís dad. Although he seems like a good guy, thereís something off about him and his homeland.

 

The Belko Experiment (seen on March 20, 2017)

Starring: John C. McGinley

Rating Ė 7

This movie isnít for everyone, but if youíre looking for a kill fest type movie, then I think youíll enjoy this one. The story is written somewhat simply with a decent, not thorough, explanation of what is going on, but thatís not what youíre in this movie to see. Youíre watching the movie to watch coworkers kill other coworkers with office equipment. That makes you a little demented. Whatís even worse, at the end of it all, you found yourself laughing at a couple of scenes and you enjoyed the movie for its simplistic originality. This is definitely not a movie that will put you to bed anytime soon after watching it. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

It seems like a normal day at work at Belko until an announcement over the PA system instructs the people in the building to kill two of their coworkers. The employees think it is all a hoax, until four of their coworkers are killed. And then more haunting instructions come. Who will survive?

 

Logan (seen on March 8, 2017)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart

Rating Ė 8

There was much hype around this movie. That yes, it involved superheroes, but this was supposed to be a departure from the rest. I think the movie succeeded in thatÖfor a comic book. There is a plot to this story; itís just not deeply developed plot. There are still are a lot of questions throughout the movie because how the mutant world got to this point is a bit hazy. I donít want to give anything away, but the future is not the X-Men had envisioned. Maybe I gave this a slightly higher rating as this is the last superhero roles for Jackman and Stewart, but I did find the movie entertaining throughout. The time seemed to fly and that ultimately is a sign of an enjoyable movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

In the future, Logan (Jackman) is working odd jobs in Mexico to keep a low profile while taking care of an ailing Professor X (Stewart), but a man with that anger cannot stay off the radar forever. Soon he finds a military squad after him as he helps a young mutant escape.

 

Hidden Figures (seen on February 11, 2017)

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner

Rating Ė 8

This movie was very well written. It touches on some very important societal issues with still creating a family friendly movie-watching experience. I didn't think it was worth award nomination, but then most movies this past year weren't.  The story is based on the engineers that helped the NASA space program, but the movie only represents that on a high-level and it focuses on more the separation of races. The love storyline is a bit weak and more of a filler. That's my quick review; what's next?

NASA may employ people of all races, but clearly not all classes are equal in the 1960s. In order to help get the Americans beat the Russians in the space race, racial barriers will need to be eliminated. The story tells of an African American team of women mathematicians that help NASA beat the Russians into space.

 

The Founder (seen on January 21, 2017)

Starring: Michael Keaton

Rating - 8

An entertaining story for those who don't know the history of how McDonalds came to be and the shrewd businessman who put them at the top of the Fast Food chain. The story is entertaining and flows well even though the subplots are a bit weak. Keaton delivers a solid performance as Ray Kroc, but not award winning. There's just not a lot of depth to the characters, which are based on real people. I must say, at the end of it I was thinking about buying a McDonald's burger and fries. That's my quick review; what's next?

Ray Kroc (Keaton) is a mildly successful salesman, but aspires for more. During one of his sales, he stumbles across a small burger joint in California called McDonald's. Upon meeting the owner brothers, he enters a business deal with them to franchise the restaurant across the US. Soon Kroc and the brothers don't see eye to eye on how the business should run.

 

Rogue One (seen on December 21, 2016)

Starring: Felicity Jones

Rating Ė 6

I like the idea of expanding the stars wars universe to tell what else happens besides the main nine episodes, but this movie is a little disappointing. For starters, it's a little slow and then the end seems almost all action. It feels like there's too many different worlds the movie jumps to because they are trying to set up the story, but it just doesn't seem to work. The idea to bring back old references to other movies works, but it's too much at times. The new droid in the movie adds the comic relief, but it was a little too often. Some characters in the story really different offer much value to drive the story forward. It might have been better to develop more characters of the smaller group especially if this is a standalone movie. If you're feeling Star Wars nostalgic, go see this movie, but don't expect a fully developed story to keep you enthralled. It felt like a long 2.25 hour movie. That's my quick review; what's next?

The premise of the movie is basically the opening credits to Star Wars: A New Hope. The rebel alliance learns of a new weapon that the Empire has built and must find the plans to destroy it.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (seen on November 30, 2016)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell

Rating Ė 6

JK Rowling extends the story line of her wizarding world. At first I liked the idea, but as I watch the movie, it doesnít seem as special. The first movies were unique and awed the audience with originality, but this almost seems like a money grab. Like sheís just extending the story, but itís not really needed. Maybe it gets better throughout the five movies and this one is only a setup much like her original books, but Iím evaluating it as a standalone movie. The story seems simple so far, but itís entertaining. If you like Harry Potter, I do think youíll enjoy this as it does bring the wizarding world to the US, but to me it has lost its charm a little as after seeing seven movies, thatís enough of that story. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Newt (Redmayne) visits New York where there is a rift between the wizarding world and the muggles. There is a destructive monster on the loose in the city. Newt is smuggling a case of fantastic beasts and is arrested by the local wizard authority because they believe his creatures are what is causing the destruction in New York, but there is another sinister force out there.

 

Doctor Strange (seen on November 26, 2016)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Rating Ė 7

And here comes a review of another comic book movie. Yes, it is a comic book movie and it is a bit tiresome seeing these as the only movies out, but at least this is different. The movie battles more on the supernatural realm. A bit of the ďMatrixĒ feel is felt throughout the movie, which isnít a good thing. Adding CGI everywhere makes it difficult to follow some scenes and more of a distraction from plot holes. Still, it does bring a different side of the comic books to the screens and thatís enjoyable. I wouldnít rush out to see it, but itís an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) is brilliant surgeon, but injures his hands in a car crash. In search of a solution to his injury he journeys to Asia where he meets the Ancient One (Swinton). She teaches him the world of the mystic arts and must fight the evils of the otherworld to protect Earth.

 

Hell or High Water (seen on August 21, 2016)

Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges

Rating Ė 7

A simple story, but the movie is worth a watch. Of course, maybe that's because there hasn't been anything remotely worth watching this year. The brothers and the bank robbery scenes are the entertaining to watch. He may have some of the best laughs, but Jeff Bridges character as the curmudgeon old-timer is a bit painful to watch as he has played that character in the past 4 movies or so. It's also a bit surprising, rather unrealistic, on how quickly Jeff Bridges pieces together what the brothers are doing, but I guess that's done to drive the plot to a climax. Great shots of "Texas" in a movie that allows some of the scenery to be a part of the story. A few plot lines you have to accept, but this is not a bad summer movie. That's my quick review; what's next?

Two brothers set out to rob banks in a race to reach a monetary goal before the end of the week. A Texas ranger nearing retirement and his partner are chasing the two brothers across rural Texas. Will the brothers escape or will the rangers catch them in time?

 

The Secret Life of Pets (seen on July 19, 2016)

Starring: Louis CK, Kevin Hart

Rating Ė 3

This was a disappointment. This is one of those typical movies where all the good parts are shown in the previews. When you actually get to the story of the movie, you realize there is no real story. The writers had a novel idea of showing what pets do when their owners are gone, but they couldn't write an entertaining story from that idea. It was only 1.5 hours, but it still felt long as really nothing happened. Frankly I'm not too impressed with the Illumination Animation projects. The graphics are fine, but their plots are pretty weak. That's my quick review; what's next?

Max loves his owner and has a great life until his owner brings home a new dog Duke. One day, Max and Duke have a fight and get lost in the city. They must find their way home on the streets of New York dodging animal control and wild packs of stray animals.

 

X-Men: Apocalypse (seen on May 29, 2016)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult

Rating Ė 7

I'll admit, I went into this movie with low expectations. I don't like sequels and the reviews on this were comparing it to X3, which was terrible. Despite what the critics say, there was plot to the movie; well, based on comic book movie standards. There was a lot of new characters and they are clearly trying to continue this franchise for a long time, but I still found this movie enjoyable. The character Apocalypse is an interesting one in the comics and he was a good villain in the movie. In general though, I am getting tired of these comic book movies. I know Hollywood has an additional 5 year plan, but they better speed that up as I don't expect audience will stay interested in these movies that much longer. Comic book movie plots are too simple to continue to hold audience attentions and CGI action gets tiresome rather quickly. I know Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar winner now, but her character really isn't that interesting in the movies. Why the writers feel compelled to give her so much screen time for a blah character is not helping the movie. That's my quick review; what's next?

The first mutant, Apocalypse, awakes from over a 2000 year slumber and is set on leveling the Earth to return himself to godlike status. The X-Men must reunite with the addition of new team members in order to stop him, if that's even possible.

 

The Nice Guys (seen on May 23, 2016)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling

Rating Ė 4

This was disappoint. I saw a buddy "cop" comedy trailer that looked like it had some laughs, but it only seemed funny in a short commercial. Shane Black known for "Lethal Weapon", "The Last Boy Scout" and the unappreciated "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" relied too much on character interaction and instead of developing a better storyline. This reminds me similar to "Ronin" where you never find out what's in the case; what was the point of the movie. It seemed like there was more of an underlying political message that they were trying to get through and it was a rather weak one at that. Not sure why Russell Crowe had to gain so much weight for this role. Ryan Gosling as the hapless, clumsy detective isn't funny. His acting seemed a bit hammy and over the top goof at times like it felt forced. Maybe watch it on a rainy day at home, but don't waste your money at the cinemas. That's my quick review; what's next?

March (Gosling) is a private investigator looking for an old lady's niece, Amelia. Healy (Crowe) has been paid by Amelia to stop March's investigation, but soon finds out there's more to this girl after his own place is trashed. The two pair up and find there is a lot more sinister plot going on in LA in the '70s. Everyone is looking for this girl and the two must find her before she's murdered.

 

Captain America: Civil War

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson

Rating Ė 6

Like most superhero movies, there's not much plot and just a lot of action. I like the characters, but it's starting to get a little crowded on the screen now with all the superheros in one movie. Yes, the Avengers movies crowd it up because that's supposed to be the team, but there were more superheros in this movie than in the Avengers movie. Frankly, the storyline of the Winter Soldier is boring to me. It was entertaining, but soon just entertainment from these comic stories won't be enough. More plot development is needed rather than just cramming in more superheros into one movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After a mission goes wrong in Wakanda killing innocent civilians, the UN is looking to police the Avengers. Half of the team signs the agreement and the other half does not. After the Winter Soldier is spotted during a terrorist threat, Captain America (Evans) hurries to rescue his friend, but that puts him at odds with his former teammates. Can Ironman (Downey) and his crew stop Captain America from completing his covert mission?

 

Everybody Wants Some (seen on April 15, 2016)

Starring: Blake Jenner

Rating Ė 4

Richard Linklater tries to bring back his magic of his Dazed and Confused days in an updated 80ís version, but I think it falls flat. Some laughs, but every time thereís a movie about the 80ís, it just seems over the top and thereís no difference with this one. A movie that goes over the top, usually is a movie that is covering for a weak plot. It had some laughs, some throwback looks, but what was I really watching? Iíd wait until itís on TV. Most of the movie was shot at Texas State University. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A college baseball team about to start the new semester tries to bond with new teammates as they talk philosophy of life in the 80ís and how to pick up women.

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (seen on March 25, 2016)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne

Rating Ė 4

I will start off saying that Ben Affleck is a better Batman than George Clooney, but no other Batman. (Batman ranking: Cartoon, Keaton, Bale, West, Lego, Kilmer, Affleck, Clooney). Zac Snyder directed movies are mostly misses and this one is no exception. Throughout the movie there are random dream sequences that donít make sense and clearly the editing of the movie went differently than originally had expected because a few scenes seemed swapped in timeline. Looks like the DC is just trying to film a filler to set up the Justice League, but after such a poor performance in this movie, why would anyone see another. The fight sequences with CGI seemed very slowly choreographed and the others were like the Batman video game or just too much CGI that you couldnít see what was going on. Eisenberg seemed just crazy as Lex Luther, but not really intimidating or showing a mastermind capabilities. Big cast, big graphics, and the movie falls flat. I think my next Batman fix will be the Lego one; wonít be Ben Affleck. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Apparently during Supermanís battle against General Zod, he was unaware of the destruction he was causing to the city including a building owned by Bruce Wayne (Affleck). Wayne and a few others do not like how Superman plays by his own rules and answers to no one. On the other hand, Superman doesnít appreciate how Batman doles out his own style of vigilante justice acting as judge, jury and executioner. Something has to give between these two.

 

Deadpool (seen on February 19, 2016)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds

Rating Ė 8

Definitely a role built for Ryan Reynolds. This is the reason why people like him; itís not his acting ability. Itís not as ground-breaking of a super-hero movie as they make it out to be, but I didnít have many expectations for it and I found it enjoyable. Heavy violence successfully balanced with humor made for an interesting movie. The movie was written well to show flashbacks throughout the story line to show the origin of the movie and tell the story. Still, overall it is the storyline of a comic book so itís not groundbreaking, but itís entertaining. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Deadpool is a former special forces operative turned mercenary for hirer with a foul mouth. When desperate for a cure for his cancer, he undertakes an experiment that leaves him disfigured, but the mutant powers of self-healing. Now he just seeks revenge for his mistreatment.

 

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (seen on December 20, 2015)

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford,

Rating Ė 8

Who is not going to watch Star Wars? I shall start to say that itís fortunate that George Lucas isnít writing the dialogue in these. Plus, they dropped the excessive amount of green screen and returned to live shots. I have always heard a story of how episodes 7 Ė 9 would go and so far this is following the story. You would not say this should win an Academy Award for best picture, but itís entertaining like the original ones. There are few questionable things in the movie that I sure the Star Wars nerds are upset about, but regardless of that, itís an entertaining movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Years after the Rebels defeat the Empire, a new threat surfaces. The First Order is set on destroying the Resistance.

 

Creed (seen on December 6, 2015)

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone

Rating Ė 7

Who doesnít want to see Rocky VII? I go into this movie expecting a retelling of the story and thatís what I got. I know I always complain about sequels and remakes, but Rocky gets a pass from (except for the fifth one). The story follows a very similar pattern to the first one, but itís just not as strong. The acting was well done especially by Michael B. Jordan, but I just didnít believe the reason why he had such a chip on his shoulder. He was Apollo Creedís kid. I donít buy that itís that tough growing up a millionaire and having to make a name for oneself. Still the story was good, just the motivation behind the character. Interesting to see Sly being the old wise trainer like Burgess Meredith was. If you like the Rocky franchise, go see it. If you donít, avoid it and just stick with the first one. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Adonis Johnson (Jordan) grew up in foster care until the age of 10 not knowing who his real father was until he is adopted by Apolloís widow and raised under her care. Adonis still has a chip on his shoulder from his foster care days and is determined to be a boxer, but unable to find a trainer as he is a ďspoiledĒ kid. He moves to Philly to find Rocky and hope that his ďuncleĒ will train him into a champion.

 

Spectre (seen on November 14, 2015)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz

Spectre is the last installment of the Daniel Craig Bond series and Iím ready for a change. This whole four series movies have been sequels and the one thing that has kept Bond watchable for 20+ movies is that the main character is similar, yet they are all independent. Itís a Bond movie so youíll end up watching it, but it didnít seem too James Bondesque. It felt like Craig was mailing the performance in. I guess I was a bit disappointed. I hope the series goes in a different direction. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

James Bond (Craig) is on a mission to find the mastermind behind the attacks on MI-6 while M (Fiennes) battles political pressure to shut down the whole MI-6 program.

 

The Martian (seen on October 2, 2015)

Rating Ė 9

Starring: Matt Damon, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastein, Sean Bean

I have not read the book, but I hear itís good and after watching the movie I more compelled to read it. Interesting to watch a movie based on science-fiction, but you get the feeling that it could actually happen. Most of the movie seems plausible and you tend to root for him as if you are watching a real person triumph over adversity. Damon excels as the central character, although it seems some of the supporting cast is mailing it in; luckily the movie is focused on Damon. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead and left on Mars by his crew. He must find a way to survive on the Martian surface with limited resources until the next mission to Mars, which as it is currently planned is four years away.

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (seen on September 18, 2015)

Starring: Dylan OíBrien

Rating Ė 7

I was hoping for more plot development in this installment, but still not really sure what is going on in the world. The story is slowly developing; perhaps weíre kept in the dark to be like the kids or maybe itís just weak writing? For the acting, the kid actors are performing well, but the adults seem to be stiff and almost mailing it in. The movie has a little bit of dialogue and then itís go, go, go. Itís not going to win any awards, but I was still entertained; Iíll go see the final next year. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After surviving the Maze, the group finds themselves in a compound where they think they are safe, but soon find out that it's another WCKD installment and they flee. Wandering the scorched earth, they find more difficulties along the road. Who can they trust?

 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E (seen on September 11, 2015)

Starring:  Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant

Rating Ė 7

This is a surprisingly entertaining movie. Full of playful banter and back-and-forth digs between the two character, but a little too much on the cut scene montage, which is typical of a Guy Ritchie movie. Iím sure they are aiming for a trilogy of movies, but I donít think Iíll be signing up for the sequel. The first one brought back a different take on the spy genre and it was a nice touch with a throwback to the cold war era espionage, just not sure how refreshing the next one will be. This one is worth a watch though. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Napoleon Solo (Cavill) is a spy for the US and must team up with his nemesis KGB agent Illya (Hammer) in order to stop a criminal organization from selling nuclear weapons on the black market. They recruit the help of an East German auto mechanic who has a family connection to the criminal organization. With all these different governments involved, the question is if there really is any partnership at all.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road (seen on May 18, 2015)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Rating Ė 7

If youíre looking for a movie with a highly developed plot, donít watch this. Itís basically a non-stop action movie. If you didnít like the original Mad Maxís, I doubt youíll like this one. The movie is definitely throwback to the epic long car chase with the creepy people and super jacked up cars. You might not really know what the point to make the movie is, but you donít care. You just enjoy the non-stop carnage from beginning to end. This movie will not put you to sleep. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Max (Hardy) is kidnapped by a nomadic tribe. When Furiosa (Theron) goes rogue from this tribe, the evil tribe leader sends everyone after her to prevent her from escaping with his wives. Max is brought along the road and quickly joins the fight.

 

Ex Machina (seen on May 10, 2015)

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Rating Ė 8

This movie isnít for everyone, but itís very well done. It almost has a Kubrick type feel to the movie with the wide shots, futuristic type-setting, a bit cold and almost minimalistic to the filmingÖit was great. I guess it shows that the director Alex Garland picked up a few tips from Danny Boyle too. The movie moves slow, but it seems very calculating and builds a slow tension through the end. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Caleb (Gleeson) is a programmer for Bluebook and he wins a drawing with his company to visit his genius boss, Nathan (Isaac), estate. Upon reaching the compound, it is revealed that Nathan has created an AI and Calebís job is to test the realism of the robot. But did Nathan create too real of a robot?

 

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (seen on May 3, 2015)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard

Rating Ė 6

This lost some of the magic the first one had. For starters, there was too much CGI fighting scenes. Not quite Transformers 3 level, but too much. I donít understand why the movie has so much cut scenes during the CGI fighting; thatís only needed for humans fighting so you get the right camera angles to fool the audience. I fear itís going the route of X-Men 3 where the final movie will be too many characters and all action. I guess I appreciated the plot in the first and the struggle as the teamís personalities collided. This story was weaker. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Avengers are out to stop Hydra and find Lokiís scepter. They eventually find it and Tony Stark uses the power of the scepter to create an artificial intelligent life-form, Ultron, to protect the world. But when Ultron awakes, his solution to protect humans from themselves is to eliminate them all and the Avengers must stop him.

 

Insurgent (seen on March 26, 2015)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslett

Rating Ė 6

Hereís part two of the Divergent series. It really hasnít been that great of a series, but itís an ok watch if you want to hang around the house. The movie is too bubble gum and simple. Feels like an obvious copy of the other teens against society movie. This movie felt more like filler between two movies. Although, I was left at the end not knowing how the trilogy will finish so thatís a plus. I just donít feel that compelled to finish the series; Iím not hooked on it. I think Woodley is wrongly casted as the lead; I  just donít see her as a badass. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Trice Prior (Woodley) continues her run from the rest of society. Janine (Winslett) will stop at nothing to capture Trice and the rest of the divergents.

 

Whiplash (seen January 23, 2015)

Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons

Rating Ė 7

The movie started off great. Original content, showing the sweat and dedication it takes to be a successful musician, but then you realize thereís not much else to the movie. The love interest lasts 3 minutes of the movie and the family time is about 10 minutes. The rest is spent in the classroom. Now Simmons does an excellent job of going from calm to insane with a flip of a switch, but you get a bit sick of it when that lasts for 90 minutes. At first it made me miss hearing live jazz; by the end of the movie, I was sick of it. Luckily the movie wasnít long at all so it was a refreshingly original, but I just think it lacked depth. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Andrew (Miles) is a student drummer aspiring to be one of the greatest of all time. He practices over and over until heís one day noticed by the head instructor Fletcher (Simmons). Fletcher invites him into his elite studio band, but Andrew quickly finds out that Fletcher is unrelenting and overbearing in his demands of his students and wonít allow anything short of perfection.

 

Big Eyes (seen on January 22, 2015)

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz

Rating Ė 6

The movie was a little disappointing. Much like other movies based on true stories, thereís not much of a plot. Peopleís real lives arenít as interesting as a story as there is no debt or subplots. Adams performance was great, but I must say I did get a little annoyed with her accent she used. Christoph Waltz is almost playing the same slimeball type character he is in every movie and itís getting played out. Watching the movie, you can tell itís a Tim Burton movie despite no Johnny Depp or Helena Bohnam Carter. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Margaret (Adams) takes her child and leaves her first husband and pursues her painting career. After meeting a fellow painter Walter Keane (Waltz) and a quick courtship, the two are married. When Margaretís paintings prove to be more successful, Walter is quick to take the credit claiming itís best for the family. Margaret goes along with the charade for a while but later a legal battle ensues between her and her husband on who in fact painted the Big Eyes series.

 

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (seen on November 21, 2014)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci

Rating Ė 4

Maybe the whole third part of the trilogy is good, but showing just half the book was a fail. Hollywood had to go and get greedy. This movie was just so slow and dragged out. Iím a bit on the fence about finishing off the story. I fear part 2 may be drug out as well. The story didnít advance much from the last movie; wasnít worth my money. Lawrenceís performance was pretty bad. She may be an award winner, but she definitely didnít carry over her skills to this role. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story continues with Katniss (Lawrence) waking up in District 13 trying to cope with her new role as the symbol of the rebellion. President Snow (Sutherland) will stop at nothing to quash the rebels from uniting against the Capitol.

 

Birdman (seen on November 13, 2014)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis

Rating Ė 9

Apparently Iím a fan of a dark comedy because itís a drama with some laughs and there are a lot of things to like about this movie, but this is not for the average audience member expecting just a laugh. There are sporadic, awkward laughs throughout the movie. The least funny person is the comedian Zach Galifianakis, but then, Iím not really a fan of him. The direction and way the movie is shot is excellent. They are long single shot scenes that seem to flow non stop throughout the entire length of time of the movie (3 days). There are two ways to take the how the movie actually is and the ending somewhat leaves you guessing between the two. Itís good to see Michael Keaton return to the leading role and Ed Norton plays an excellent asshole (or maybe just acting like himself in real life). Anyways, thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Riggan (Keaton) is an aging actor known for his legendary role of Birdman some 20 years earlier. He is trying to revitalize his career by writing, directing, producing, and starring in his first Broadway play, but he has his own demons to fight along with his family and his fellow cast members.

 

St. Vincent (seen on November 7, 2014)

Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts

Rating Ė 6

The elusive Bill Murray returns to the screen as a cranky old man. Usually Murrayís performances fall short of the cranky old men played by Gene Hackman or Clint Eastwood where they are cranky, but you still kind of like them. This one is a bit different than his other cranky roles, but still not quite as good as the others. The movie is a drama with a few random chuckles throughout, but it is not Murrayís return to comedy. The subplots in the movie are a bit weak as they are not defined that well. Not sure why Terence Howard is in the movie. It was worth watching as a matinee I guess, but I wouldnít rush out to see it. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Vincent (Murray) is a cranky old man whose life is in the dumps. A single mom and her kid move in next door and soon Vincent becomes the babysitter after school. Vincent begins to mentor the boy and guide him through life much to the chagrin of his mother (McCarthy).

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (seen on August 3, 2014)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista

Rating Ė 8

I didnít know anything about the storyline going into the movie. I knew more about the villain than anyone else and heíll probably be showing up in the Avengers universe soon. The movie was well written to introduce the team to the audience without tying up the majority of the movie. There was good laughs and action, although at times the laughs did seem to be a little forced and would have been better if a little more sporadic. It tended to be more of a comedy with action, rather than an action with comedy. There is obviously more to the story that will come as they left several plot points open for future movies. Overall, it is an entertaining story and refreshing to see some less popular comic storylines. Unfortunately, the movie does leave you singing multiple Ď70ís songs stuck in your head courteously of movieís soundtrack. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Peter Quill (Pratt) is abducted from Earth and is raised as a thief in the far reaches of the galaxy. He unites with a rag-tag crew of other misfits in order to protect the galaxy from total destruction by Ronan.

 

Wish I Was Here (seen on July 31, 2014)

Starring: Zach Braff, Kate Hudson

Rating Ė 8

Unfortunately this movie didnít get the advertising it should have because itís one of the best written movies of the summer and no one will go see it because no one has heard of it. Braff obviously likes writing dramas about self reflections and family struggles and this was a well written movie. Very well executed acting along with well written dialogue creates a very effective drama that the audience can relate. Braff effectively uses quick laughs throughout the movie to relieve the tension through dramatic scenes. Itís also nice to see the small cameos of Braffís actor friends sprinkled throughout the movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Aidan Bloom is a struggling actor struggling to hold his family together. His fatherís cancer is back, he can no longer afford to send his kids to private school, his wife doesnít like her job, and his brother is distant from the family. He has to home-school his children and teaches them lessons about life while finding himself in the process.

 

Lucy (seen on July 27, 2014)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman

Rating Ė 2

The best thing about this movie was that it was under 90 minutes at least. This was just awful. There are a lot of random cut scenes to extend the movie because the plot is so weak. You donít really know what you are watching. Is it a drug movie? Didnít seem like the drug was so bad since all it seemed to do was increase brainpower and apparently that makes you super-human. Donít watch this; Iím not wasting any more time on this review. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Lucy (Johansson) was once a dimwitted innocent bystander until the wrong guy gets her involved with a Chinese drug dealer. She unwillingly takes a high dose of the drug only to find it increases brain function. As she tries to stop the dealers, she grows more and more powerful with additional brainpower.

 

Boyhood (seen on July 24, 2014)

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Rating Ė 7

I do agree with other critics that this is a ground breaking movie. To film the same actors over a twelve year period is a groundbreaking task. The movie follows a boys life every year over twelve years; and the idea is great, but itís not really entertaining. Thatís why movies are made and people donít just film their real lives. It has the typical Linklater dialogue and conversations as seen in several of his other movies and it gets a bit tiresome as it approaches a three hour movie. Iím not sure if the child actors took an actor class taught by Hayden Christianson and Kristin Stewart, but you could tell the difference between their lackluster performances and everyone else; that could be the direction though. Still it was cool to see a recap of the past twelve years especially since it was shot in Texas. I do remember when the Astros used to be good. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Boyhood follows Mason and his family as he literally grows up over twelve years.

 

Chef (seen on July 18, 2014)

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo

Rating Ė 7

Jon Favreau returning to what made him famous; the more indie style movie, but with more star cameos now.  At first you like the opening scenes of all the cutting and food prep, but as the movie progresses, you start to compare it to 80ís movies with the music montage that fills in movie space.  The movie was 2 hours; Iíd like to think they could have cut a couple of them out, but still an enjoyable movie. Iíd say itís a rather simple story and predictable, but sometimes you can give them a pass. Luckily Leguizamo brings comic relief to the movie in contrast to the hapless Favreau character (same one as in Swingers). Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Carl (Favreau) is a chef at a restaurant in LA when a big food critic comes to visit. Instead of preparing a special menu the way he wants, he bows down to the pressure from his boss and cooks the same old food and the critic trashes him for it. He soon quits his job and takes to the social media to rebuild his reputation as he travels across the US in a food truck. Joining in the truck is his souz chef/friend (Leguizamo) and his distant son.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (seen on June 8, 2014)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

Rating Ė 8

The movie might remind you a little bit of Groundhog Day with the concept of living the same day over and over. I liked the movie. It had a lot of action in it with all the battle scenes against the aliens, but there was a surprising amount of laughs sprinkled throughout. The ending was a little weak and there really isnít much of a subplot, but itís not a long movie so you can handle the simple plot. Sit back and try not to think too much. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Alien invaders are taking over the earth and the humans have finally won their first battle. Major Cage (Cruise) is forced to join the fight and dies on the battlefield, but finds himself stuck in a time-loop and having to relive the day over and over. Each day, his skills improve and he must find a way to defeat the aliens.

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (seen on May 26, 2014)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Barry, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page

Rating Ė 7

Hereís another Xmen installment bringing the total to seven movies if you count the wolverine saga. I canít say the movie was great, but I thought it was good. Interesting how they brought in the storyline of time travel from the comics. They must have all the actors on a long-term contract to appear in all these movies. The majority of the movie takes place in the past with the characters from Xmen: First Class I guess the drawback to it is that it still has a comic book, simplistic plot type feel to it. No real subplots to develop the story on many levels, but I still enjoyed it. Much like it was done in the comics, it allows a retelling/reboot of the story if they choose to go that direction or more towards the Apocalyptic story line. They brought in Bishop for this storyline; maybe someday weíll see Apocalypse and Cable too. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

In the not too distant future, a battle has raged between the Mutants and the human fearing public, The humans are winning with their new destructive force, The Sentinels, but these Sentinels are also targeting humans leaving only the evil behind. The only hope is to send Wolverine to the past to help stop the incident that causes the chain of events leading to the destruction of society.

 

Neighbors (seen on May 11, 2014)

Starring: Seth Rogan, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron

Rating Ė 7

Neighbors is a nice adult comedy from the mind of Seth Rogan. Some of the typical laughs you expect in his movies and some really drawn out awkward stuff like you would see in a Family Guy episodeÖnot funny. It has some decent laughs that are not necessarily shown in the previews. The attempt at having a developed plot in the movie falls short, but itís a comedy so you really only care about the laughs. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mac (Rogan) and Kelly (Byrne) are a young married couple with a baby living in the suburbs and having trouble adapting to being responsible adults. A fraternity moves in next door and they try to relate to the young college students at first, but after a while, they realize theyíve had enough and call the cops. Soon a battle begins between the two households.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (seen on May 3, 2014)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx

Rating Ė 4

This reboot bottomed out awfully fast. The first ten minutes of the movie is an elaborate attempt to set up a complex plot, but really it just felt dragged out and pointless. The rest of the movie is filled with awkward love story moments that is painful to watch and once again in a Spider-Man movie, the villains are weakly developed and the story is blatantly set up for a third movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Spider-Man (Garfield) struggles balancing his life as a superhero and his life as Peter Parker. He soon meets a disturbed villain known as Electro (Foxx), who is more powerful than him. He tries to help his old friend Harry Osborn when he returns to town, but Spider-Man soon finds out that there are a lot of sinister things happening at his old friendís company OsCorp.

 

Muppets Most Wanted (seen on April 17, 2014)

Starring: Kermit the Frog, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell

Rating Ė 6

Based on the rating, you can tell it was a bit of a disappointment.  I know the Muppets are aimed at kids, but Ty Burrell and Tina Fey were just ridiculous in the movie, not entertaining. Naturally, Ricky Gervais plays the bad guy because he has an English accent. He was his typical annoying self. Heís funny for a bit, but after a while you just realize his humor makes him a jerk. There are some good laughs, but not enough to carry the movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Constantine, the most dangerous frog on the planet, has escaped a Siberian prison and for the exception of a mole, heís a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog. The Muppets new manger (Gervais) suggest the Muppets take a World Tour, but it is soon reveled that he is connected to Constantine and they have a more sinister plan behind the scenes.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (seen on April 8, 2014)

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford

Rating Ė 8

How about that? A sequel came out better than the original. The writers chose a good storyline from the comics to show more depth of the character. The movie has a good combination of action and storyline. Not a whole lot else to say; itís just enjoyable. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Captain America (Evans) is now living in the 21st century and working for SHIELD. He soon finds out that there is a sinister side of SHIELD and a new threat shows up known as the Winter Soldier.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (seen on March 26, 2014)

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Jason Schwarzman, Owen Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton

Rating Ė 8

So itís obvious that the stars like working with Wes Anderson and why not; his films are quirky and fun. Not Andersonís best movie, but if youíre a fan of his movies, youíll like this one. Shot in the same typical style you come to expect, the movie is an enjoyable watch throughout. Thereís not a whole lot to the plot, but the number of cameos is good for a laugh. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Grand Budapest Hotel was once a vibrant hotel during its glory years, but now there are few inhabitants. The owner recants a story of how he came to own the mighty hotel while telling the story of a great concierge.

 

Her (seen on January 19, 2014)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

Rating Ė 7

Spike Jones bringing some originality to the big screen, but the problem with the movie is that it is only driven by dialogue and you can only see one person talking. You really donít want to know everything that someone is thinking because not all of it is interesting. The movie wasnít bad, but it just seemed to drag on a bit despite it only being 2 hours. The subplots were weak so there was no escape from the close-ups of Joaquin Phoenix having a conversation with his computer. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A socially awkward man struggles with his recent divorce, but soon falls in love with his operating system.

 

Dallas Buyers Club (seen on January 16, 2014)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn

Rating Ė 8

This is the role that McConaughey lost all the weight to play and I must say he looks pretty creepy. His career seems to be getting a revival with these smaller independent movies and I agree the he is getting the recognition he deserves. The movie is far from a comedy as the underlying story is the AIDS epidemic in the 1980ís. There are a few laughs to help lighten the tension of such a serious movie, but donít go to this movie expecting anything but a drama. The movie is shot well in the fear people have of HIV and the slow progression of the FDA to treat it. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Life in the 80ís in Dallas for electrician/cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) seems to always be a party, but his health starts failing and he learns he has AIDS. The medical community in the US is moving too slow for Ron to prolong his life so he takes it upon himself to seek treatment outside of the US. He soon sets up a club in order to distribute the drugs to others in need, but fights the FDA along the way.

 

Hunger Games: Catching Fire (seen on December 5, 2013)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci

Rating Ė 7

The movie is good, but the problem is that itís not a complete movie by itself. I wonít find out what happens for another two years. Itís like watching the ďTwo TowersĒ, not much of a beginning or an ending. Iíll still watch the final two movies to see what happens, but itís not a must see for me. Also, Lawrenceís character is getting a bit annoyingÖthe reluctant, whiney hero. I havenít read the book, but Iím assuming her character becomes stronger. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Katniss is back in her District 12, but now expected to play ball with the Capital and make her rounds to the other districts to help keep the peace. But the Capital has more sinister plans and creates another game of victorious tributes that forces Katniss to compete once again.

 

Thor: The Dark World (seen on November 14, 2013)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins

Rating Ė 6

I would say this is about on par as the first one. If you liked the first one, then youíll like this one; although, this one reminds me more of the ďGreen LanternĒ movie. Itís a superhero movie so itíll keep you entertained, but itís a little too much off world stuff making it feel more like a battle of Gods rather than a superhero saving humans. It is worth watching to see how the Avenger universe continues and to also play spot Stan Lee in the movie, but donít rush out to see it. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

An evil force has returned to take over and destroy the nine realms watched over by Odin (Hopkins) and this force seems unstoppable. Thor (Hemsworth) needs help from Jane Foster (Portman) to stop this force from destroying everything.

 

About Time (seen on November 1, 2013)

Starring: Domnhall Gleesen, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy

Rating Ė 6

Itís a good movie; I expected more of a romantic comedy, but the comedy is lacking. At least itís not a straight-up tear jerker chick-flick movie, but Iím sure the target audience is women. The originality of the story is refreshing, but the movie essentially sticks to the basics of love and family.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Upon Timís (Gleesen) 21st birthday, his father (Nighy) tells him that the men in his family can travel within their own lifetime. Tim decides that heíll spend his special finding love and he believes he finds that in Mary (McAdams).

 

Rush (seen on October 4, 2013)

Starring:  Chris Hemsworth

Rating Ė 8

I go into this movie vaguely knowing what happened in real life and I would say Ron Howard delivers another good movie. The story is a bit weak, but Howard is able to intertwine several subplots together to make the story flow enough. There are great shots of the racing circuits and the images are very accurate to the actual events. Itís a true story so itís no surprise what happens, but itís still a good watch. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is the true telling of the heated rivalry between Niki Lauder and James Hunt in F1 racing for the 1976 World Championship.

 

The Worldís End (seen on September 6, 2013)

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike

Rating Ė 6

Here comes the anticipated final movie of the Cornetto ice cream trilogy. Sadly, it is the weakest of the three. It feels like this movie was written to finish off the trilogy and give the group of friends a reason to drink beer while filming. It had some funny parts and had the ridiculous action expected from the other two, but the plot seemed weak and most of the ďlaughsĒ were weak. Itís worth watching to finish off the trilogy, but if youíre unaware of the Cornetto trilogy, itís not really worth watching. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Gary (Pegg) is getting his old high school friends back together after 20+ years to attempt to complete the golden mile, drinking 12 pints of beer at 12 different pubs in one night. Along the way, they run into resistance from the town people, who they soon find out arenít really people at all.

 

Pacific Rim (seen on August 14, 2013)

Starring: Idris Elba, Charlie Day

Rating Ė 7

Finally here comes a movie that brings together Top Gun, Independence Day, and Robot Jox. I know you watch the trailers and compare the movie to Shakespeareís works, but this movie is quite cheesy. Ok, seriously this movie is very cheesy and makes you questionÖwell pretty much everything but for some reason, I was entertained. The epic speeches, the inner team quarrelsÖall very cheesy and predictable. But I guess if you turn your brain off and just watch it, itís not bad to pass the time on a rainy evening. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Alien sea creatures are invading Earth and at first, the humans are able to defeat them. As time goes on, the creatures begin to adapt and the humans begin to start losing the war. With annihilation of the human race almost imminent, the resistance has one last plan in mind to stop the aliens once and for all.

 

The Wolverine (seen on July 27, 2013)

Starring: Hugh Jackman

Rating Ė 6

Another installment from the X-men franchise where this time it picks up Wolverineís tale after X-men: The Last Stand. I liked that they continued the wolverine storyline, I just felt it was a little too much sole searching; I wanted more rage from wolverine. I know, I complain about weak story-lines from most movies, but this is a comic book and it stars Hugh Jackman (not the greatest actor). It kept flashing back in small pieces to the past, which I didnít find effective in making the story flow. I thought the ending was a bit predictable, but then maybe I know how comic books tend to end. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story continues as Wolverine (Jackman) is living off the land in the Yukon. One day, he is greeted by a Japanese lady who reminds him of an old acquaintance he once saved and the old manís dying wish is to see Wolverine once again to thank him in person. Wolverine finally agrees to fly to Japan and meet the old man, but his journey forces him to face his own demons.

 

Monster University (seen on July 19, 2013)

Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman

Rating Ė 7

Here comes the prequel to ďMonsters Inc.Ē Itís not as original as the first one, but it has a few laughs. It brings in elements from ďRevenge of the NerdsĒ and ďAnimal HouseĒ that is, in terms of monsters. Of course the movie is geared towards kids, but adults should get a kick out of it too. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mikeís (Crystal) life-long dream is to be a scarer so he attends Monster University. There he runs into a rival monster with a strong family scarer pedigree, Sullivan (Goodman). Both are kicked out of the scaring college and they make a bet with the dean that if they win the Greek Games, they will get back into the program. The problem is they have to unite with the weakest fraternity on campus in order to compete.

 

Before Midnight (seen on June 28, 2013)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Rating Ė 4

Here comes the third installment of the series. I liked how they acknowledge the actual timeline that their story started 18 years ago, but this installment is the weakest. The first movie was an actual story while the second one continued that story (somewhat unnecessary) and this last one just shows them bitter. I know the actors helped write the script with Richard Linklater so to me this just seemed bitter. I donít think this added to the franchise at all. Sure it continued with the coupleís story, but they tell stories as if they havenít been together for nine.  I just hope they let it end here and not come out with the fourth installment in another nine years called Before Noon. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Nine years later, the story between Celine (Delpy) and Jesse (Hawke) continues. This time their journey is in Greece where their family is vacation for the summer.

 

Kings of Summer (seen on June 7, 2013)

Starring: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso

Rating Ė 8

This is a good movie to start the summer and remind you of your childhood. There is nothing too major about it; a pretty simple plotline, but still enjoyable to watch. Thatís probably why there are several musical montages reminiscent of 80ís movies. Nick Offerman is in the movie and delivers his dead-pan lines that heís known for so you may be sick of that, but the laughs are good in the movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Two friends who both are miserable living with their families unite with an oddball kid to build a house in the woods and run away for the summer to live off the land and be free.

 

Star Trek: Into Darkness (seen on May 16, 2013)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban

Rating Ė 6

I thought this series was supposed to be a ďrebootĒ, which the first movie was, but I cannot say it about this one. This was basically the ďWrath of KahnĒ with a slight twist. My friends may have not seen the original movies, but I have and there were too many similarities to be considered inside jokes or cleverness. There were good laughs and playfulness between the characters, but after a while it started to become forced, like the jokes from Indiana Jones 4. I think it had too much of the cheesiness of the original series and should have remained with the reboot formula of the first movie in this series. The attempt to make the movie emotional just fell flat on itself and felted forced. It started off cute when they seemed to be more imitating the original series, but after a while you got sick of it and just wanted it to stop as it seemed more of a weak parody. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Kirk (Pine), Spock (Quinto), and the rest of the Star Trek crew are back in action. This time they are hunting a terrorist of the Star Fleet Academy, but this advisory is cleverer than they have encountered before. Shortly they realized that perhaps their advisory isnít there advisory after all.

 

Ironman 3 (seen on May 2, 2013)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kinglsey

Rating Ė 5

The movie is ok, but itís just the same movie over and over except just like every comic book movie they add more CGI action at the end. The jokes are the same that youíve seen for past two movies. One of the major problems Ironman seems to have in every movie is fixing/adjusting to the his latest creation of the suit and sorry, the plotline is weak and redundant by now. After seeing the Avengers movie, I thought maybe there was hope for the sequels, but I think the Ironman series has been played out. Iím tired of Robert Downey Jr and his jerk-funny character of Tony Stark. Hopefully the only times I see Ironman again is in the Avengers sequels as Joss Whedon excelled at directing the mega superhero movies. As for this latest installment, I kept checking my watch hoping for an ending soon. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Tony Stark (Downey) yet again has to save the world from a threat. This time, it comes from a terrorist known as the Mandarin and he keeps setting off bombs in public places without a trace of evidence. Of course, Stark has his own demons to deal with throughout the movie similar to the past two movies.

 

Mud (seen on April 27, 2013)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon

Rating Ė 7

This movie is getting a lot of love, but I think itís a little too much. Itís a decent movie worth watching, but it seems this is the early indie flick for people to jump on. I agree itís one of McConaugheyís better acting roles, but what does that really mean? Heís more of a character than an actor. The movie shows the simple life of people living on the water and makes you feel like youíre watching a movie set in the past. McConaughey does create a likeable, sometimes enchanting character even after you find out heís wanted by the law. Witherspoon plays the girlfriend and although she is talked about throughout the movie, her actual screen time is limited. Itís a good movie to watch for a rainy day to kick back and relax. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Two boys are out exploring an island along the Mississippi river when they stumble upon a mysterious stranger who asks for their help. They find out that he is waiting to meet up with his girlfriend and heís hiding out on the island from some crooked bounty hunters.

 

John Dies at the End (seen on February 22, 2013)

Starring: Chase Williamson, Paul Giamatti

Rating Ė 7

SoÖcan you guess what happens at the end of the movie? If you want to see a different movie, this is one to watch. The movie jumps around a lot so it can be a bit confusing to follow. My suggestion is to just sit back and take it all in and enjoy the quirkiness of the movie and by the end of the movie, youíll get a sense of what just happened. I have to admit, itís an awesome title for a movie, but I think the majority of people will find this movie just way too weird to enjoy. So be in the mood for an indie flick when you watch this. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Thereís a new drug out on the streets called Soy Sauce and it allows some users to travel through time and different dimensions, but others turn into monsters. Two friends must save the world from an alien invasion from another dimension.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep (seen on February 16, 2013)

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis

Rating Ė 7

This movie is described as the best movie that no one ever saw. The movie is full of quirky humor, but itís definitely more of a cult following type movie. It seems like this movie was written for Bruce Campbell as it reminds me of the Evil Dead franchise kind of quirkiness.  Itís a relatively short movie as thereís not a whole lot of subplot to it, but I think itís worth a watch if you like the odd type movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Elvis Pressley and JFK are in a nursing home and have to protect their fellow residents from an ancient Egyptian mummy whoís trying to steal their souls.

 

Warm Bodies (seen on February 2, 2013)

Starring:  Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer

Rating Ė 8

I do not get the whole zombie craze that has been going on for the past five years or so, but itís nice to see a different take on zombies. Thereís a lot of good quirky humor throughout and I like how it explains more of zombie motivation. Not too long of a movie so you donít get sick of the simple plot line or the absorbed story. I found it to be an enjoyable movie; canít remember a scary moment in the movie so itís really more of a romantic-comedy, albeit, I disturbing one involving a zombie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

R is a zombie who is a bit different than his zombie friends. He is able to piece together a few thoughts, but not much brain function. One day, he and his friends are out scavenging for food (live humans) when R sees Julie and is just mesmerized by her. He saves her from the other zombies and kidnaps her back to his home where he slowly experiences more human responses. Problem is, thereís another breed of zombies that just wants to kill everyone and not to mention the humans believe all zombies are threats.

 

Silver Linings Playbook (seen on Dec. 24, 2012)

Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lawrence

Rating Ė 6

The movie was ok; I just didnít find the characters believable. Itís not so much the performances as it is the writing. There are two characters that are mentally unstable but they act too rational at times. The problem is that you donít feel like routing for anyone; both major characters are annoying in your face crazy. There was good dark humor sprinkled throughout to make the movie watchable, but nothing I had to see. I thought Jennifer Lawrence was too young for the role; her character was at least 25. Iím not sure why Robert DeNiro decided to play this small role either. Oh yeah, I donít care about the Philadelphia Eagles and too much of the movie involves the family pulling for the Eagles. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Pat (Cooper) is signed out of the mental institution by his mother to return to society and all he is concerned with is reuniting with his wife. One night he has dinner with some old friends and meets a strange girl Tiffany (Lawrence) who Pat believes isnít playing with a full deck either. Will two crazies make each other whole?

 

Skyfall (seen on November 21, 2012)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes

Rating Ė 7

The Bond franchise returns to the theaters after finding funding from several sponsors. I never seen so much blatant product placement in the movie, but I guess they had to do it to get the movie made. Daniel Craig brings the same performance, but Javier Bardem delivers another creepy villain. Hard to talk about problems I have with this movie without giving too much away. One thing, I do miss the more suave James Bond of old. This movie falls in line with the more ruthless Bond, but not necessarily a flawless one. Thereís a good flow to the movie, but I still prefer Casino Royale of this series. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A new villain emerges in the world and his goal is to bring down MI6. Bond must track down the man responsible for the attacks no matter what it takes to save MI6 and his country.

 

Argo (seen on November 9, 2012)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Rating Ė 9

Another effort by Ben Affleck in the directorís chair and I think itís another successful venture. The movie is based on actual events, but I think the ending is a little Hollywoodized. The movie is shot successfully to create suspense for the audience and a few one-liners to help ease the tension. The problem is that the movie is a historical telling of actual events so you know what happens, thereís no subplot; just here it is. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After Iranian citizens storm the US Embassy, six US citizens flee the compound and hide at the Canadian ambassadorís place. The Iranians are eager to find these missing six people while the CIA is hatching a scheme to extract them on the false pretense that they are a movie crew.

 

Wreck-It Ralph (seen on November 8, 2012)

Starring: John C. Reilley, Sarah Silverman

Rating Ė 7

After seeing all the previews of the old-school videogames, it made me feel all nostalgic and it created a desire to watch this movie.  The movie had a good story line, but ultimately this is a cartoon and it is directed more at kids. The kids might not recognize the old games, but none of that is relevant to the story. I was a bit disappointed. Thought Iíd see more old school videogame stuff, but all that stuff is shown in the trailers. Not too much humor in the movie as some cartoons had shown. Still, itís a nice original story to watch. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Wreck-It Ralph (Reilley) is the bad guy in a videogame. Other videogame characters fear him and heís getting tired of it. He wants to be recognized and accepted so he breaks out of his game in hopes of finding a medal and earning some respect. But life outside of his game doesnít go as smoothly as he thought it would.

 

Looper (seen on September 28, 2012)

Rating Ė 5

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels

I went into the movie with hopes that the script was something different, but there is always concern with movies that deal with time travel. Now there will be can be many comparisons to other time travel movies, the one that comes to most is The Terminator.  But the movie is disappointing. Hard to explain without giving away part of the story, but the story takes a long time to develop and you realize that the subplot, is actually the main point to the story. It was just rather weak. And the prosthetics that Gordon-Levitt wears to look like young Willis is not needed. Just the contacts and thatís it. It looks creepy. The audience can accept that they are different actors but supposed to be playing the same person at different times in their life. Times it felt like a weak action movie and then a weak artistic movie. Sometimes I got the feeling it was shot by a director who didnít exactly know what style of movie he was going for. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper, a man who kills mob enemies in the past and disposes of their bodies. The job comes with a hazard because the Looper never knows if the next victim will be himself from the future. And when that day happens, what do you do?

 

The Expendables 2 (seen on August 18, 2012)

Rating Ė 7

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Terry Crews, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis

Another Expendables movie has been released.  If you didnít like the first one, donít bother seeing this one. This one follows the same pattern as the first one: weak plot line, cheesy jokes, and high body count. Oh yeah, and this one has CHUCK NORRIS. Itís a little slow in the beginning and awkward at parts when they try to give the crew a moral reason again to kick ass, but you forget that as the laughs start coming late and the body count keeps growing. Itís a guy movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Expendables are sent on a mission to retrieve confidential data lost in a plane crash. During their mission, one of their comrades is killed and they want revenge. And of course, they do it the only way they know how, shoot first and ask questions later.

 

The Dark Knight Rises (seen on July 20, 2012)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman

The third installment of Christopher Nolanís Batmans is a bit of a letdown. The opening sequence was a little too unrealistic for me. The movie seemed to try too hard to mirror the pattern of The Dark Knight while trying to connect this movie to the previous too. At times, the movie seemed to videogame-like. Batman jumps in the middle of eight guys in broad daylight and while all of them are armed, everyone decides to swing their gun at him or throw a punch instead. Iím not sure why they had to go and add the Batwing and I have my complaints about that (I wonít disclose as may give some things away), but just adds to the videogame mentality. And the BatcycleÖat least it didnít drive up walls this time. Almost too many stars in this movie too. The movie may have been over two and a half hours, but it did go by smoothly. I still think Anne Hathaway was a bad choice for Catwoman. Tom Hardy was very good as Bane. His mannerisms and the way he carried himself worked, but at times I had trouble understanding him. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Eight years have passed since Batmanís disappearance and Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham Police have managed to clean up the city. Soon, a new villain arrives in Gotham to take power from City Hall and restore it to the people. Will Batman rise from the dark once again to save Gotham?

 

Drive (seen on July 7, 2012)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman

I know this movie has been out a year, but I had never seen it and I caught it as a midnight showing in the theater so I figure I have to do a review on it. The movie was ok. There are a lot of good actors in it, but not a whole lot to the movie. It reminded me a lot of the movie The Transporter and that movie had more action in it. The movie seems to have more of a cult following to it already because way to many talk about the jacket. Itís a decent watch, but not sure if it was worth staying up until 2 am watching it. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A stunt driver in Hollywood who moonlights as a professional driver for criminals gets caught up in a world of mob money when he tries to help his neighbor out of a jam.

 

Bernie (seen on July 5, 2012)

Rating Ė 7

Starring: Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine

Based on a true story, the film is shot as a movie with a slight documentary feel to it as Richard Linklater adds several colorful East Texas commentaries throughout the movie. I wonder if people outside of Texas find these folks as funny as I did. A good entertaining story although Jack Black movies drive me nuts because he has to sing in everyone of them, but despite that, it was a good movie. my quick review; whatís next?

Bernie (Black) is the assistant funeral director in Carthage, TX and is considered the nicest man in town. When he befriends the meanest, richest widow in town, he starts to feel overwhelmed by her demanding nature. Then one day he has had enough and shoots her, but continues the illusion that she is alive by helping out the townsfolk. The townís DA (McConaughey) is frustrated with the townsfolk as he tries to prosecute Bernie and the townsfolk want him to be set free.

 

Ted (seen on June 29, 2012)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlaneís first live action project wasnít bad. Iím giving this movie a 6, but could be a 7 too. Itís a funny movie and itís a decent story for a comedy, itís just thereís a fair amount of ďThe Family GuyĒ humor (not surprisingly) and Iím not a fan of that show.  Not to mention that Iíve never seen so many different trailers for a movie like I had this one so I felt like I had seen half the movie before going into the theater. Still it had a few laughs and a few surprises. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

John (Wahlberg) as a boy was an unpopular kid so he makes a wish that his teddy bear could talk and it comes true. 27 years later, they have both grown up and their relationship is putting a strain on Johnís relationship with Lori (Kunis) as she is hoping for him to grow up after four years of dating.

 

Moonrise Kingdom (seen on June 24, 2012)

Rating Ė 9

Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman

Wes Anderson delivers an entertaining, quirky story about the love between a young boy and girl. The movie is shot in the same way as other Anderson movies, which made me happy, but the characters are more enjoyable as in Royal Tenenbaums as opposed to Life Aquatic. It seems like the roles were written specifically for these actors because the characters they play are oneís you typically see them as. Good laughs throughout the movie and a good story in general make this a movie to watch. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A young khaki scout leaves his troop to unite with his girlfriend and run away together. Antics ensue on the small island as the parents, police, and the scout troop try to find them and separate them from each other. But the two youths in love will not go down without a fight.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed (seen on June 18, 2012)

Rating Ė 7

Starring: Aubrey Plaza

This movie is not worth going around telling everyone to go see it, but it was a good indie flick to watch as a matinee.  The subplots were a little weak, but the main story was entertaining. There were a few laughs, but not many. At least it was an original movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A magazine reporter from Seattle finds an article in the newspaper with a person requesting a fellow time traveler.  Along with two interns in tow, they travel to the find the man who posted the article and to see if heís crazy or joking or what. One of the interns goes undercover to get the story.

 

Prometheus (seen on June 8, 2012)

Rating Ė 5

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael, Fassbender, Guy Pearce

Ok, so Iím a bit confused about this movie. They say it is not a prequel to Alien, but I donít know how it isnít. The story starts out ok as trying to figure out the beginning of Earthís existence and the storyline is just abandoned. The second half of the movie just has no storyline. Itís just chaos and no point to the movie so youíre left wondering what you really watched. Shame because the movie had a lot of potential and looked promising from the trailers, but itís a let down. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Two scientists discover pictures across the world from several different ancient civilizations leading them to believe that they are signs from the creators of life on Earth. The ship Prometheus and its crew are sent across the universe to the planet indicated by the pictures in hopes of finding the meaning of life, but what they find there is not what they expected.

 

Dark Shadows (seen on June 6, 2012)

Rating Ė 5

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jonny Lee Miller, Jackie Earle Haley

I was a bit disappointed in this movie. I thought it was supposed to be a dark comedy, but there werenít any laughs except for the few in the trailers so the movie ended up being a really weak drama. I had never seen or heard of the original series so this review is based solely on the movie. The movie just seemed a bit cheesy and Johnny Deppís character acting is becoming redundant. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Barnabus Collins (Depp) has been cursed by a witch (Green) and is buried for nearly 200 years until one day he is accidentally freed. He returns to his manor to move in with his distant relatives and help restore the family name, but the witch has taken control of the town and is trying to stop him.

 

The Dictator (seen on May 16, 2012)

Rating Ė 4

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Anna Faris

I believe most of the funny parts were shown in the previews. Or maybe all of Cohenís humor is becoming the same. If you like his humor and are not tired of it, you probably will find this funny, but for me, after watching this movie, Iím about as tired of Cohen as I am Tom Green. Iíll pass on his next project. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The dictator of Wadiya heads to New York to speak to the UN where he is betrayed by his right hand man. He must reclaim his power back before his country is converted into a democracy.

 

The Avengers (seen on May 4, 2012)

Rating Ė 8

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard

I was surprised how well this movie was. I was afraid with all these superhero characters in one movie, that it would be all action and a weak story. The action is there, but the story shows how/why the superheroes unite. It probably is beneficial to have seen the individual movies prior to this one. The big shock to the movie was the amount of laughs in it. It was just a fun movie to watch. It was worth my money to go see it and I will be going to see the sequel too (watch the credits). Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Loki has united with an alien race and has returned to Earth to take his revenge. Nick Fury (Jackson) realizes that his troops are underprepared and decides the only way to save Earth is to create the Avengers program. The problem is the so-called ďsuperheroesĒ have their own personalities and flaws and donít seem to work well with others.

 

The Pirates: Band of Misfits (seen on May 1, 2012)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven

I figured the latest feature from Aardman Animation would be a good one, but it was just an ok movie. It didnít seem to have as many laughs as the previous works of Aardman. It just amazes me that people still do clay animation. With the limited adult humor and being clay animation, I think this film is more suited for kids. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Pirate Captain (Grant) wants to finally win the Pirate of the Year Award, but his booty is just nowhere near the amount of his competition. Soon his vow to win Pirate of the Year takes him and his crew to London, where pirates arenít treated too kindly.

 

The Hunger Games (seen on April 20, 2012)

Rating Ė 7

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks

I have not read the books so I went into the movie just watching it as a movie. The movie was fine, but I am not anxiously waiting to see the next one; I will end up seeing it, but I don't see this as the next Harry Potter following. The novels are written towards teens and so is the movie so you have to bear with some of those scenes in the movie too. I guess Iíll see next year where the story goes. I'm hoping that the future movies explain more what is going on in the society because the first movie only sets up the fight itself and not why the society is the way it is. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Set in a post apocalyptic war torn society broken into twelve districts where every year each district must send one boy and one girl between the age of 12 and 18 to compete to the death. After her younger sister is selected to compete in the Hunger Games, Katniss (Lawrence) volunteers to fight to spare her sister.

 

Salmon Fishing in Yemen (seen on April 15, 2012)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas

These movies that are based on true stories always make me wonder exactly how true it is. The movie is a feel good movie, but seems a bit simple. The romance subplot seems a forced so the only story line to focus on is the setup of the fishing. Itís an ok story, but not necessarily a must see movie. If you want a feel-good movie, then perhaps this is the one. I thought McGregor did a good job at playing a reluctant scientist trying to pull off the impossible. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A sheik from Yemen wants to bring salmon fishing to his country. A fisheries expert is hired by a consultant to bring the sheikís vision to a reality despite the seemingly impossible task.

 

Haywire (seen on February 16, 2012)

Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum

Rating Ė 6

Apparently Steven Soderbergh was inspired to make a movie with Gina Carano who is a trained fighter, but not an actress. The story does not contain much dialogue, probably to limit the amount of acting that Carano has to do because sheís obviously not an actress. But probably similar to Soderberghís reason for making the movie, I wanted to see the movie for some realistic fight scenes and the movie did deliver that. There are too many chase scenes or prep scenes that have zero dialogue and tend to draw the movie out. You have to put up with a slow moving plot in between the fight scenes. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mallory (Carano) works for a private firm that is hired to extract a hostage in Barcelona. She tries to retire, but her boss (McGregor) offers her one last mission. On this mission she is framed and seeks revenge on the people that set her up.

 

Hugo (seen on February 12, 2012)

Starring: Ben Kinglsey, Sasha Baron Cohen

Rating Ė 7

I still do not get the whole 3D appeal. I do not want to wear glasses throughout a movie, but Scorsese made Hugo his first dabble into 3D films. The movie is an entertaining story, but I donít really agree with all the Oscar nominations. I have a few theories on it, but I canít say without revealing the mystery of the movie. Itís a nice fantasy movie, but itís only in 3D and itís not worth the extra money to see in the theater. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Hugo is a young boy who operates the clocks at a Paris train station. He lost his father to a fire and constantly works to repair an automaton that he and his father worked on together. Hugo is caught stealing parts from an old toy maker who puts him to work in his store. He befriends the toy makerís granddaughter and both try to figure out the mystery of the automaton.

 

Mission: Impossible Ė Ghost Protocol (seen on January 19, 2012)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg

Rating Ė 6

Here is another installment of the Mission Impossible series. This wasnít a bad movie, but I only went to see it because it was a free ticket.  It was decent action movie, but Iím tired of the Mission Impossible series. If you enjoy the series, youíll enjoy this one because I do believe it is one of the better MI movies. But itís probably best to wait until itís on TV. Itís full of unbelievable stunts and explosions.  I donít have much to say about this movie. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

When the IMF team is framed for the destruction of the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team must clear the organization and trying to stop a madman from launching a nuclear warhead.

 

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (seen on January 13, 2012)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Tom Hardy

Rating Ė 4

I can sum this movie up in a wordÖboring. I thought maybe it would be a cool spy movie on who done it, but it was a very slow paced movie that constantly flash back to random scenes. There didnít seem to be any mystery as to who the spy was. No history to show his evil ways. The last five minutes of the movie wrapped it up to show how it was one character was the spy. That last five minutes could have been written three different ways and the spy could have been any of the three different characters because the first two hours were pointless. Gary Oldman is getting praise for his role. There didnít seem to be that much dialogue from him so it was all in his expressions; he played the role well. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Control (Hurt) has speculated for years that the Russians have a mole inside the highest organization of the British Intelligence. When one of the missions to Budapest goes horribly wrong, the Minister brings Smiley (Oldman) out of retirement to find the mole.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (seen on December 22, 2011)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard

Rating Ė 5

I have not seen the original Swedish movies, but I have read this book. I thought the book was good, but not so much this movie. The movie doesnít match the book exactly; several things are changed. But Iím watching the movie and it seems too hard to follow. It jumps so fast from scene to scene that itís a bit confusing to what the central plot of the movie was. I thought that was also a problem in the book too how in the middle of a chapter the story would jump from paragraph to paragraph to different storylines. Well, I was disappointed in the movie, but it does make me want to watch the original Swedish versions as I hear good things about them. Itís funny how it only took two years for Hollywood to remake this one, but itís either that or sequels. Something I found annoying is why some actors were trying to do a Swedish accent and yet they were speaking English.  They are not Swedish people speaking English; they are supposed to be Swedes speaking Swedish, but they are speaking English for the Hollywood audience. Just use your normal accent like Daniel Craig did. The others were awful and annoying. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) is a journalist who is hired by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to find out who murdered his niece more than 40 years ago. Blomkvistís investigation dives into the past of a rather colorful family history that leads to multiple suspects. With the help of an exceptional, unorthodox investigator (Mara), the two discover that perhaps there is even more to the story than just Vangerís missing niece.

 

The Muppets (seen on November 28, 2011)

Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper

Rating Ė 8

The Muppets are back in form and it's good to see the gang was staying in shape while on their 12 year hiatus. Some of the scenes were a bit cheesy. Mostly the scenes with Segel and Adams in Smalltown, USA. I don't remember the Muppets ever being so cheesy and 50's style like their scenes were. I frankly could have done with less singing or at least not such cheesy show-tunes type songs. But the humor was good throughout the movie. Several throwback references to the original show and several of the movies and they brought back a lot of characters. It was a bit short; just over an hour and a half. I would have preferred a few more scenes that brought laughs but still a good movie. And true to the other movies, cameos of famous actors/actresses could be found throughout. I thought Cooper did a nice job of being the evil oil barren. That's my quick review; what's next?

Gary (Segel) and his girl Mary (Adams) are off on a trip to Los Angeles for their ten year anniversary along with Gary's brother Walter. Walter has idolized the Muppets since he was a kid and cannot wait to get to LA to take the tour of the Muppets Studio. The trio find the studio is in disarray and that there is an evil oil barren planning to buy the property to drill for oil. The only way to stop him is for the Muppets to reunite after all these years to put on a show to raise $10 million to save their studio.  Can Kermit get the gang back together in time to save their studio?

 

Johnny English Reborn (seen on October 21, 2011)

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike

Rating Ė 6

Rowan Atkinson returns to reprise his role of Johnny English. Itís hard to pass up on a comedy-spoof of James Bond movies. The first one was surprisingly funny so I thought I would give the sequel a try. Itís much of the same style of humor that Rowan Atkinson uses in his performance so if you are not a fan of him, do not see this movie. There were good laughs, most of them just silly stuff and similar things to expect after watching the original. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Johnny English had once been MI7 best spy until an incident happened in Mozambique where he was head of security. Years have passed and he is reinstated and soon investigating into an assassination plot to kill the Chinese Premier. Will Johnny English find the assassin before itís too late?

 

50/50 (seen on October 13, 2011)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston

Rating Ė 8

A story about a young man diagnosed with cancer and how he, his friends, and family cope with it. Sounds like a depressing film and not worth watching, but I liked it. Yes, they deal with the seriousness of cancer and parts of the movie are sad, but it's broken up with the comic relief of Seth Rogen. Still, the movie deals with cancer so make sure you're in the mood for a sad movie before you buy a ticket for the movie. I found the movie to be a good mix of comedy and sadness with such a serious plotline. The young actors are outshined by the more experienced actors, who play lesser roles in the movie, but the storyline does drive this movie. That's my quick review; what's next?

Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is a 27 year old writer for NPR and is diagnosed with cancer. The story follows his progression through the stages of cancer and how he and his friends and family cope with his diagnosis. Adam attends counseling from a young internist, who desperately needs to work on her bedside manner.

 

Moneyball (seen on October 7, 2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Rating Ė 5

Normally, when I see a movie that I have read the book, I am disappointed with the movie. Having not really cared for this book, I had hope that the movie had improved on the book based on a recommendation from some friends. However, this is not true. The movie was a disappointment just like the book. None of the plot lines felt fully developed. A little bit of story about the numbers of baseball, a little bit of story about Billy Beane's past, a little bit of story about his family life, etc. The producers felt if they crammed that all together with Brad Pitt as the lead, it would be roughly a two-hour movie and that's good enough to show on the screen. Still, I had a problem with the book and the movie was that it focused on hitting and yes, I can see how the theory worked well. At the time of this "moneyball" idea, the A's had three dominate pitchers on their staff in Mulder, Zito, and Hudson. When those guys left and the A's were still playing "moneyball", the A's were no longer a contender. But I don't want to get into a sports debate here. This is about the movie. The movie gives you a different look at the baseball numbers, but I suggest if you want the full analysis, just go read the book because I think the movie is a bit bland. That's my quick review; what's next?

Billy Beane (Pitt) is the general manger for the Oakland A's. A team who is trying to compete with all the other ball clubs out there, but they can only afford 25% of what the Yankees and Red Sox spend. Beane is inspired by a man named Bill James and his evaluation of certain player statistics that other ball clubs overlook. He with the help of a new Yale economics student (Hill) believe there is an affordable team of undervalued players that can replace Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen and still be a championship caliber team. But there are baseball purists and "experts" believe that he is nuts and just running the team into the ground.

 

The Guard (seen on September 9, 2011)

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong

Rating Ė 7

The good thing about indie flicks is that they are original stories, yet they sometimes seem rather simplistic. The movie had good laughs and the story was decent, but definitely the story was driven by the interactions between the quirky guard and the straight-laced FBI agent. Gleesonís likeable, but often not politically correct character creates laughs throughout with his interactions with the more levelheaded people. The movie is only about an hour and a half so the movie is effective in telling the story with some laughs without dragging. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Sgt. Boyle (Gleeson) is a guard in a small Irish town. He is rather unorthodox, but he seems to get the job done. When one day a murder happens in his small town, he begins to realize that it may have bigger implications. Soon an FBI agent (Cheadle) arrives in Ireland to inform the guards of four dangerous drug runners somewhere in the country, and Boyle recognizes one as being his murder victim.

 

The Devilís Double (seen on August 14, 2011)

Starring: Dominic Cooper

Rating Ė 7

The movie is based on a true story of Latif Yahia. It is disturbing to watch just how twisted Uday Hussein really was. Cooper plays both roles and does an excellent job of playing two opposite characters. This is an indie flick so itís probably not getting too much coverage, but I thought it was worth the watch. Not a movie to cheer you up though because it is based on a true story. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A creepy inside view of the life of Latif Yahia, the body double for the psychotic Uday Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein. Latif is forced to be Udayís double or his family will be torture. Latif must abide by Udayís request, but just how long can he stand this life.

 

Captain America (seen on August 11, 2011)

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones

Rating Ė

A period piece movie as it was set during World War II. This movie was better than I expected because the concept of Captain America as a super-hero just seems dated and the character wouldnít stand up against the test of time. But since they set the whole thing during WWII it seemed to fit. Whether or not he works in the future with his other Avengers will be seen next summer. Director Joe Johnston seems to excel at period piece movies and is probably why I found this movie better than expected. Basically, I realized that I am going to see the Avengers movie next year and I need to see all the movies feeding into it so I went out and saw this one; you might as well too. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Steve Rogers (Evans) is a scrawny kid who is anxious to fight for his country, but he canít pass the physical until he meets a scientist with a serum that can alter oneís DNA. The DNA makes you stronger, but also amplifies your personality so only a person pure of heart is the ideal candidate and Rogers soon becomes Captain America. A splinter group of the Nazi party is looking to dominate the world led by a man known as Red Skull (Weaving). Can Captain America stop Red Skull before he destroys the good-ole US of A?

 

Midnight in Paris (seen on July 31, 2011)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates

Rating Ė 8

I think Woody Allen found a great choice to play his typical role with Owen Wilson. He fits the neurotic type character that you expect from Woody Allen movies and it works in this film. Wilson does not come off as annoyingly painful to watch type character as he tends to question his lot in life and lament on what-ifs. A great movie that is sprinkled with laughs and has a good storyline that flows nicely throughout.  Usually Allenís films are just the middle of a story and never show an ending, but Iíd say this was a complete story. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Gil (Wilson) is working on his first novel on vacation in Paris with his wife (McAdams) and her family. He romanticizes about living life in Paris, especially during the 1920ís when many of his heroes lived and roamed the streets of Paris. One night while walking drunk through the streets, heís picked up by a car of party-goers and taken to a completely different era. He finds himself escaping every night at midnight to live in his fantasy world.

 

Cowboys and Aliens (seen on July 29, 2011)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde

Rating Ė 6

Here we have a nice idea to combine a Western with a Sci-Fi movie, but the movie was just okay to watch. Similar to most westerns, it lacks character development and real storyline substance and just goes for a good vs. evil battle. Even the reason why the aliens are here kidnapping people is kept relatively simple. Iíd hope the sci-fi part would bring more explanation to a western, but it leans more western with the bad guys being aliens as opposed to Indians or guys in black hats. Not a bad movie. Daniel Craig does an ok job as the stranger in town and Harrison Ford does not create a memorable character as some of his roles have been. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jake (Craig) awakens in the desert without his memories and a strange metal bracelet attached to his wrist. As he stumbles upon the nearby town, he finds the town is controlled by a cattle rancher (Ford). One evening, spaceships fly into town and snatch half of the townsfolk, a posse is formed to track down the aliens and rescue their people.

 

Bridesmaids (seen on July 27, 2011)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolf

Rating Ė 7

Here comes another Judd Apatow produced movie this time written by Kristen Wiig. It is one of the better comedies Iíve seen this year, but part of Wiigís humor that she brings from SNL gets on my nerves more than it is funny. There are not many comedies that are dominated by an all female cast and this is a refreshing change of pace, although there is some rather crass humor that can be found in a typical Apatow movie. If you were looking for a comedy, Iíd recommend this one. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Annie (Wiig) and Lillian (Rudolf) are childhood best friends and Lillian soon becomes engaged. Annie is struggling in her personal life, but couldnít be happier to be Lillianís maid of honor at her ceremony. She meets the other bridesmaids and develops a bit of jealously toward one woman in particular as Annie feels she is losing control of her life and her best friend.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (seen on July 17, 2011)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Rating Ė 7

The movie starts right in the middle of a story; even more so than The Lord of the Rings Part 2 & 3. The movie just continues as if you just finished watching Part 1 and I found it rather annoying. I have just read the books only 6 months ago and I couldnít remember exactly what happened in Part 1 of the movie a year ago. As a stand-alone movie, the movie feels incomplete, as itís just the climax and wrap-up of the entire series. That being said, if the movies are fresh on your brain, then youíll think the movie is a great climatic scene to the other seven movies. The movie does give you an ending to the series, but there are some details in the book that explains a lot more of the storyline that the movie tends to wave its hand over. Ultimately, I think the movie would have been better if it was just The Deathly Hallows and been one 3.5 hour movie instead of two 2.5 hour movies. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Harry and his friends are still hunting down Horcruxes in hopes to stop Voldemort. Soon the war will be taken to Hogwarts where Harry and his friends will make their last stand.

 

Horrible Bosses (seen on July 15, 2011)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx

Rating Ė 5

 I agree that the three actors were horrible bosses, but I didnít think this was that good of a comedy. The funny scenes were either in the previews or delivered by Charlie Day in the same style as ďSunny in PhiladelphiaĒ so it felt like I had seen all the laughs before. And Iím still having trouble as to Charlieís problem with his boss and why he wants her killed and just in general, none of these mild-mannered people seem believable of wanting to murder their bosses, but itís a movie. Basically, I thought the laughs were rather light. Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Three friends have had enough of each of their bosses, and with the poor economy, they see no other option, but to kill their bosses. With the advice of a shady character, they decide to kill each otherís boss so the crime cannot be traced back to them, but they find out that thinking about the idea is easier than actually murdering someone.

 

X-Men: First Class (seen on June 30, 2011)

Rating Ė 7

Starring: James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon

I was reluctant to see this movie after watching the X-men series go from good to awful in just three movies, but this was a telling of the roots of the X-men so I took a chance. If you know the X-men universe, you'll recognize that the movie storylines don't coincide with the comic book storylines, but I still enjoyed the movie. It's tough because you want to see the mutants powers, but the more powers used in the movie usually means a weaker storyline (see X-men 3). Luckily, the training sequence (similar to an 80's movie montage) was able to show off the mutants powers in a five minute span. Not a bad movie to watch. Again nothing I'd say you need to run out and see, but if you enjoy the X-men series, I recommend watching this one. Some unexpected cameos show up too, which were a pleasant surprise. That's my quick review; what's next?

Charles Xavier (McAvoy) is a young PhD grad who is recruited by the US government to fight these new brand of terrorist that possess abnormal powers. Xavier soon begins to recruit young mutants to join his cause to stop another group of mutants from starting World War III and the destruction of the human race. But internal struggle exists amongst Xavier's team whether it's worth saving the humans or not as the humans do not seem to fully trust the mutants.

 

Green Lantern (seen on June 29, 2011)

Rating Ė 6

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard

I wouldn't say this is a must see movie, but it's not bad. Like most superhero movies, the movie is broken down into thirds. The first third introduces us to the hero and how he obtains his powers. The next third is the struggle the superhero has coping with the powers through the development of a plot and the final third is the big fight scene between good and evil. Reynolds has been lucky enough to play his third superhero character. He's more of a character than an actor as he is the same role in every movie. Lucky for him, people tend to like the character of "Van Wilder" for his roles. I doubt there will be another Green Lantern as the movie wasn't as profitable as the studios hoped it would be, but I enjoyed this standalone version. That's my quick review; what's next?

A test pilot, Hal Jordan, is chosen by a group of immortals to protect part of the universe with a ring that harnesses the power of will. There is an opposing force in the universe that harnesses the power of fear and is on a destruction path towards Earth. Hal (Reynolds) must find the courage in himself to stand up and fight for Earth's survival and the universe.

 

Super 8 (seen on June 16, 2011)

Rating Ė 2

Starring - Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning

I didn't find this movie enjoyable at all. I think about twenty minutes into the movie, I asked my friend how long the movie was to find out how much longer I had to suffer. Maybe it's more for kids since there are kid actors in it, but so was E.T. and that was entertaining.  I'm starting to think J.J. Abrams is a very over hyped writer/director. I think I prefer M. Night Shyamalan movies and I don't watch his movies either. At least there's a point to his movies. J.J. Abrams seems to write bad movies and say very little about them to build suspense and rely on his huge "Lost" fan base to over hype it and unleash the bad movie on the masses to make money. The movie was a cross between E.T. and Cloverfield. I'm tired of wasting my time talking about a bad movie. I know there will be people who disagree with me on this one (especially the superfans of J.J. Abrams), but I wouldn't bother watching this if it came on TV. Go watch the grass grow instead. That's my quick review; what's next?

A group of friends witness a military train wreck in the middle of the night. The following days, strange occurrences pop up all over town and people start to disappear. The military moves in quickly, but is keeping the local townsfolk in the dark of the situation. The kids take it upon themselves to investigate what is happening in the quiet, peaceful town.

 

Paul (seen on April 1, 2011)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen

I was a bit disappointed in this latest movie from the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost combo.  Most of the funny parts were shown during commercials, but the movie still has redeeming qualities I just think it fell short as a comedy.  Frankly, I loved the number of reference to other movies, whether it was location of a scene or direct quotes from famous movies (Iíd say around ten lines).  I was kept interested by trying to spot the movie references, but not so much by the storyline itself.  Letís hope the next Pegg/Frost movie will be a step up.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are sci-fi nerds making their first trip to the U.S. and plan to travel along the major sightings of UFOs.  On their roadtrip, they encounter an alien named Paul (Rogen) just outside of Area 51.  Paul asks for help in escaping his captors and joins them in their Winnebago roadtrip.

 

The Adjustment Bureau (seen on March 21, 2011)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terrence Stamp

Hereís another movie based on a Philip K. Dick novel so the story is interesting, but not extensively developed.  The movie is kept simple by explaining the science fiction parameters with succinct answers.  I know some might find it too easy with the explanations are more a wave of the hand, but Iím willing to accept it as an answer and at least the audience isnít left guessing why or how.  The heart of the movie is a love story between Damon and Blunt and how strong fate plays a role in oneís life.  The characters are enjoyable to watch and the movie moves rather quickly with a lack of subplots, but I still found it enjoyable.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

David Norris (Damon) is a young politician on his way up and has a chance encounter with a ballerina named Elise (Blunt).  But when Norris stumbles upon a group of men manipulating his life, he begins to struggle with the concept of free will when he is told to stay away from Elise.  Repeatedly his path continues to cross paths with hers on chance encounters and he decides he must risk it all to be with her no matter what the cost.

 

The Kingís Speech (seen on February 26, 2011)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce

So this movie has gone on to win the big awards at the Oscars.  I can agree with Colin Firth pulling in the Best Acting role.  He did a great job holding the stutter throughout his performance.  And the movie wins best picture and it probably is the best picture in comparison to most of the crap Hollywood puts out nowadays.  I donít want to downplay that this is a really good movie, itís just there have been years in the past where there were 3 nominees for best picture better than this film and only one ended up winning.  Still, this movie is well shot and has an excellent cast with Geoffrey Rush putting in another superb performance.  Itís an entertaining drama with a few light-hearted laughs and great performances from the actors.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story follows the man who becomes King George VI (Firth).  He suffers from a terrible stammer and does not exude confidence in the publicís eye.  He seeks help from several doctors over the years and eventually tries a new speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Rush) who proceeds to speak to the Prince not as a royal, but as an equal.   With Logueís help, the King is able to deliver his infamous speech heard around the world as England declares war on Germany and establish himself as the voice of England in the troubling times ahead.

 

True Grit (seen on February 24, 2011)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon

Watching this movie makes me realize that Iím not the biggest fan of Westerns.  Thereís just not much of a story to them.  The acting was better than the original, but it is still a remake and Iím not really sure if it was worth my time in the theaters.  I guess Iíd still prefer to see John Wayne with the reigns in his mouth and a gun in each hand charging four armed men than Jeff Bridges.  It is interesting to see the story line being the same, yet the Coen brothers are successful at turning the characters more into their type of characters.  If you like Westerns, then youíll like this.  If not, Iíd say wait till itís on Netflix.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mattie Ross is a stubborn little girl who demands justice for her fatherís murder and seeks out the toughest US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Bridges).  Along the trail, they are joined by a Texas Ranger (Damon), who seeks the same man for a murder in Texas.

 

The Way Back (seen on January 21, 2011)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell

Allegedly this is based on a true story, but has been questioned over the years.  I wouldnít say this is a must see because the plot is very simple, escape the Gulag and walk to freedom.  Thereís not really much of a subplot in the movie.  Yet the one plot is driven well with excellent actors under a director who has shown great achievements in the past.  I wouldnít have minded a little more substance to the story, but still despite the simple concept of walking from Siberia to India, I didnít get bored with the movie and feel the need to check my watch.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Janusz (Sturgess) is a Polish soldier who is convicted of a crime he didnít commit and sentenced to the Gulag in 1940.  After being there for a while, he realizes that if he hopes to live he needs to escape.  He and 6 other inmates escape the Gulag and attempt to walk India to freedom while fighting the elements, hunger, and themselves.

 

Blue Valentine (seen on January 20, 2011)

Rating Ė 3

Starring:  Michele Williams, Ryan Gosling

I know this is one of the big indie flicks for some award talks, but really I didnít like this movie when it was called Revolutionary Road.   Itís not identical, but very similar and both of them are bad.  I know some people will love both and go on and on about the good performance, but frankly I didnít enjoy watching the movie.  Itís a sad story; I get it, but the whole movie is drawn on like that.  Thereís no break for the audience to relax and see that they did have fun at one point.  Thereís one scene in the movie and itís only about a minute and half of happiness.  Everything else is depressing.  Sorry, there are better ways to tell a somber story without making your audience experience two hours of agony.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story starts with Cindy (Williams) and Dean (Gosling) as a couple who have been married for a while and their marriage has lost its spark.  The story follows the quick deterioration of the marriage if a short time span splashed with flash backs of how they initials got together.   Overall it appears to be a quick courtship and a quick end.

 

Hubble 3D (seen on December 30, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio

Itís not really starring Leo, but he is narrating.  I went in seeing this hoping the whole thing would be full of Hubble images.  The documentary is only 45 minutes long.  About 25 minutes are about Hubble and itís images.  The remaining 20 minutes is the history of it and the latest repair.  I guess it was ok seeing the astronauts move through space in 3D images, but come on, I want those crazy pictures of the stars.  And some of them are mesmerizing images of space.  Not really a movie review, but I saw it in the theaters and felt it needed a review.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

 

Tron:  Legacy (seen on December 28, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde

Iím not really sure why Disney brought back Tron, oh waitÖHollywood is out of ideas.  But still, most people didnít realize there was a Tron part one so itís not like they are bringing out a sequel that would guarantee money for them.  So the first one was a cult classic and going into this movie I didnít expect much.  Basically this movie was enjoyable.  I like it because I had seen the original.  Iím thinking if you didnít see the first one or hated the first one, then you should not bother with watching this movie.  The movie extends the plot further to allow the audience one more trip into The Grid in a world of light-cycles and disc showdowns.  Not that great of a plot, nice graphics and imageryÖsounds like the first oneÖwell compared to 1982 standards.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Kevin Flynn (Bridges) has built a virtual world and he is on the verge of expanding it to the next level, but suddenly disappears without a trace.  But after missing for two decades, his son Sam returns to his fatherís old arcade where he is zapped into The Grid.  Soon he finds himself involved in a dangerous cyber world and no way out.

 

The Social Network (seen on November 24, 2010)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake

This movie was ok.  This is not an Oscar worthy movie like some of the hype around it, but maybe it has a chance because movies in general this year have been down.  Jesse Eisenberg doesnít play his typical pathetic hero in this movie, which is refreshing, but his character is still annoying.  I thought the story jumped around too much from storyline to storyline and all the constant jumping back in forth from telling the story to the courtroom.  I just didnít like how the movie flowed.  Maybe I should add that Iím not on Facebook.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story allegedly follows the life of Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, from his days at Harvard to building his 500 million people strong social network.  It shows where the idea of Facebook originated and the enemies Mark made along the way.

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (seen on November 21, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

I still have not read this book since this is based solely on the movie.  The movie started off well and ended well, but there were scenes in the middle that just seemed long and drug out.  The movie felt slow to me and I didnít learn anything new besides what the Deathly Hallows is.  Apparently, if you had read the book you thought it was great.  I just expected more with the ending of the series in sight.  Iím guessing Part 2 will be intense, but weíll see in the summer.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

There is fear among the wizard community on whom you can trust and who is part of the Voldemortís army.  Harry, Hermione, and Ron are by themselves and isolated from everyone.  The three realize they need to find the remaining Horcruxes if they are to defeat Voldemort, but how do they find them and how do they destroy them.  And now they find that Voldemort is in search of the three most powerful objects in the wizarding world know as the Deathly Hallows.

 

Megamind (seen on November 12, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, David Cross

So itís amazing, I found out that not only do I not like Will Ferrell as an actor, but I donít like him as a voice actor either.  The way animation is done nowadays, the characters are animated to imitate the movements of the actors so yes, it is Will Ferrell.  The movie was enjoyable, but compared to ďaction-heroĒ cartoon movies, I prefer The Incredibles and Monsters vs. Aliens.  I did like how the movie focused on the bad guy and why he is the way that he is.  The movie had a good storyline and a few laughs so I think itís worth a watch.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Megamind grew up alongside Metro Man and was seen as the bad guy because he was different so he decided why not be the best bad guy possible.  And then the rivalry continued to blossom into their adult lives.  But one day Megamind defeats Metro Man and now the city is his.  Soon he realizes thereís no excitement in his life without Metro Man so Megamind so devises a way to create a new rival.

 

Jackass 3D (seen on October 20, 2010)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Johnny Knoxville

The guys from Jackass have returned in 3D format.  I usually enjoy seeing them hurt themselves in their stupid stunts so why not see it in 3D.  The guys are getting a bit older and maybe theyíve made too many of these movies, but I still laughed at some of the stunts.  Not much too really say about this movie besides that.  3D added a little bit as you were able to have a better visually image of the stunts.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

 

The Town (seen on October 18, 2010)

Starring:  Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm

Rating Ė 8

Ben Affleck returns to directing this time starring himself instead of his brother in another crime thriller movie.  Heís fine as a director, but I still get tired of him on screen as a lead actor.  This may be his best performance as the leading actor, but you still get tired of him on screen all the time.  Now donít let that discourage you from seeing this movie solely based on that.  The movie is rather interesting and reminds me a lot of the movie Heat.  Jeremy Renner plays his typical soldier/gunman role the same he does in every movie except now he has an annoying accent and cheesy moustache.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Charlestown is a suburb of Boston known for producing criminals and junkies.  Affleck and his crew rob banks and armored cars.  They had been successful so far until they take a hostage from one bank robbery that might be able to ID them.  Affleck runs into the hostage later while tailing her to find out if thereís any concern, but soon starts to like her.  Now Affleck is trying to hide her from his crew, plan the next robbery with the main mob boss pressuring him, and all this is happening as the feds are getting closer to catching them.

 

The Expendables (seen on August 13, 2010)

Starring:  Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crewes, Mickey Rourke

Rating Ė 8

Ok, so I know this movie stars a bunch of aging actors and thereís no real plot to this, but this movie is awesome.  The body count was high, the jokes were cheesy, and the good guys winÖwhat more do you want in an action movie?  It looked like these guys had a lot of fun making this movie and it was fun to watch the banter between each other.  This isnít the best-written movie Iíve seen all year, but it is one of the more enjoyable ones.  This movie brings back the feel of the 80ís action movie and I think it works.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Ross (Stallone) and his band of mercenaries live by the rule if the money is right, then the job is right.  He and his group get hired to take out an evil general who has taken control of his South American island.  When Ross and Christmas (Statham) scout the island, they meet a young rebel named Sandra and find out what is really happening on the island.  Now Ross must decide between aborting the mission to save his life or attempt a suicidal mission to bring some meaning to his life.

 

Inception (seen on July 21, 2010)

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine

Rating Ė 9

DiCaprio delivers another good performance in a movie and this time, the movie is a good one to match.  The movie can be a little difficult to follow with the jumping between dream sequences.  Basically, the only reason Ellen Pageís character is in the movie is to help explain to the audience how the process works.  The movie could have benefited with a little more explaining to make it complete, but probably would have made the movie too long and not worth the trouble.  I really enjoyed the movie, but I left the theaters with my mind racing of what I just watched.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Cobb (DiCaprio) and his crew enter the minds of powerful people to steal their secrets while they sleep as they control the whole dream.  Cobb is hired to instead of steal a secret, but to rather plant an idea into a very powerful executive on the verge of inheriting his fatherís company.  Once inside the dream, things donít run as smoothly as planned.

 

Predators (seen on July 18, 2010)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Adrien Brody, Topher Grace

I went into this movie expecting a bad storyline, but at least so nice action in the movie.  I got that bad storyline I expected, but the action wasnít there either.  Plus, I know itís not a realistic movie, but some of the things the characters did or reacted just didnít make sense.  I wouldnít bother with watching this movie.  Just watch the original one again.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A group of random mercenaries from Earth are dropped off on an alien planet and they soon find out that theyíre being hunted like big game animals by an elite alien race.  The group decides to stick together to find a way to survive and hopefully to escape the planet before theyíre all slaughtered.

 

How to Train Your Dragon (seen on April 23, 2010)

Starring:  Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson

Rating Ė 7

I donít think there were Scottish Vikings, but there werenít dragons either so oh well.  I enjoyed the movie and the 3D was a nice touch.  It didnít have as much adult humor as some cartoons do, but it was still there.  I do like watching these cartoons because theyíre usually not sequels and they are original stories.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Hiccup is a young Viking who is the screw-up of his village.  He lives in his fatherís shadow who is the great leader of the village.  One day when the dragons attack his village, Hiccup successfully wounds one of the feared dragons, but when he eventually tracks it down, he doesnít have the heart to finish him off.  Instead he slowly nurses the dragon back to health and eventually befriends it.  The other villagers are unaware of this so Hiccup begins to show off in dragon-killing school his hidden knowledge of the dragon and soon some become suspicious.

 

Greenberg (seen on April 3, 2010)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Ben Stiller

I guess this is Ben Stillerís attempt to go back and play a serious role. I donít mind his past performances, but this role just seems wrong.    This role doesnít seem like a step away from his previous roles just the normal anxiety type character he normally plays except the movie is a drama and not a comedy.  The movie feels too awkward and difficult to watch with his neurotic antics and his lady quirks.  I thought it felt too uncomfortable to watch. You donít wait for the ending to hope everything works out, but more of just hoping for an ending to get out of the uneasiness of the movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Roger Greenberg has returned to LA to get away and stay at his brotherís house while heís on vacation.  Heís recently left a mental institution and is just trying to get away from everything to find where he is in his life.  Greenberg finds himself living in the past as he reconnects with his old friends and former girlfriend.  The only thing holding him to the present is his brotherís quirky assistant and their odd relationship with each other.

 

Shutter Island (seen on February 23, 2010)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kinglsey, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams

I know the movie is filmed in the film noir type, but it just seemed too clichť to me.  I think movies have advanced since the days of the 40ís and 50ís when film noir was popular and thatís good.  I think DiCaprio did a good job in playing his role and fitting it into the genre of the film, but the film overall just felt like a poor screenplay of borrowed ideas from the past.  I expect Scorsese and DiCaprioís next project together will be a better one and Iím sure there will be another joint project from these two.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A prisoner has gone missing on Shutter Island and two US Marshals are called in to assist in locating her.  Marshall Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner (Ruffalo) are introduced to the guards and doctors at the prison for the criminally insane.  As they try to find the missing prisoner, the nurses and guards responses seem a little rehearsed.  Daniels is suspicious that there is something more sinister going on at that prison, but he doesnít know who to trust.

 

Crazyheart (seen on February 12, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell

This might not be the best movie to see for someone who canít stand country music because it is littered throughout the movie.  Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell do their own singing in this movie and really itís not good singing, but I guess it is somewhat passable for a wailing country singer.  I find it funny that half of the movie is set in Houston, TX yet there are only two shots actually in Houston and it does not involve any actors.  It a simple story about a washed-up country singer who travels the local circuits just trying to make a buck.  It reminds me a bit of last yearís The Wrestler in that aspect, but there is a little more hope for this character as you can be an old and successful country singer.  Overall, it was an ok movie to watch, but not something you need to rush out to see in the theaters.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Bad Blake (Bridges) is an old country singer who has not had a hit in some times and he is touring bowling alleys and small bars just to make a living still.  He meets a young reporter, Jean (Gyllenhaal), who is interested in writing a story on him, but Blake is interested in more than just a story.  Blakeís manager gets him a gig opening for his successful former protťgť Tommy Sweet (Farrell), but there is some bad blood between them.  His health is failing, his personal life is a wreck, and his professional career is fading into the twilight, Bad is just trying to hold it together before he hits rock bottom.

 

The Book of Eli (seen on February 5, 2010)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis

I go into this movie expecting a somewhat Mad Max type movie with a little religious undertone.  Instead I got more of a religious movie, not much action and more talk.  I do like the camera shots that the movie had to make the earth look desolate (and there were several of them to fill time in the movie), but that is about the extent of my enjoyment of the movie.  I didn't like how at times Denzel seemed to have a superhuman quality to him.  I believe Mila Kunis was not right for this role and I think the good actors, Washington and Oldman, in the movie were not used to their potential.  I would wait for cable on this one.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Eli (Washington) is traveling to a place out west after a post-apocalyptic war decimated the Earth's population and reduced most people's living to primitive means.  He encounters a town where he hopes to stock up supplies for his continuing journey.  The town is controlled by Carnegie (Oldman), who is after a specific book that contains powerful words to inspire/control the masses.  He hears from an ignorant Solara (Kunis) that Eli may have this book and Carnegie will do whatever it takes to get this book, but Eli has sworn to protect it.

 

Avatar (seen on February 4, 2010)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

I was debating whether or not to go see this movie for some time.  The movie is supposed to be long, visually stunning, politically charge, ground-breaking, etc.  Things both good and bad and I decided that eventually in life I would see it and I think it would be best to watch on the big screen in 3D.  I am glad I did because this is the only way to watch this movie for enjoyment; otherwise, it's not worth watching.  The animation and 3D effects are just amazing.  You get this feeling that you are in the environment of the story, but that sums up the good parts of the movie.  I did feel that the movie is long.  There were too many long sequences displaying the animation as they run through the jungle and I kept thinking get on with the story.  And yes, I believe this movie is politically charged.  Yes, the native people are like the Native Americans in how they value nature and family and are being pushed off their sacred land, but the military is like the US army in Iraq, or at least with Hollywood's spin.  When the army talks about going in hard and fast and one of the characters uses the phrase "shock and awe", I'm sorry, but there is no denying that there is a political message.  There are more links than just that, but I am not going into it.  If you want to make a political movie that's fine, but do not insult the public by saying it is not one.  No wonder it is doing so well overseas compared to the US.  Basically it boils down to if you have an interest in seeing it, then you must see it in the theaters in 3D; otherwise, I think you will be disappointed in any other format because the story is nothing new.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Jake's (Worthington) twin brother, the scientist, dies unexpected and Jake is offered his brother's spot on a mission to Pandora.  On Pandora there is a precious natural resource the government wants to mine, but the problem is the indigenous people live right above the reservoir and do not want to move as it is their sacred land.  Grace (Weaver) is on the scientist team that is there to study the planet's life.  To blend in with the natives, the scientists use a virtual reality type machine to enter into an alien-looking avatar to interact with the native people.    Jake is on the team since his brother's avatar was already created and their DNA are a close enough match.  Being a former marine, Jake is more on the protection side than the science side and is quickly recruited by the sinister Colonel Quaritch to spy on the natives and find their weak points.  Jake soon gets into trouble in his avatar out on the planet, but is saved by a native, Neytiri (Saldana), who soon teaches him the ways of her people.

 

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (seen on January 18, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell

The last film by Heath Ledger is a good film, but his performance is not as great as his Joker in The Dark Knight.  The movie definitely has a Terry Gilliam feel to it as it is odd, confusing and trippy.  The movie is filmed like a mix between the "Fisher King" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"; what I mean by this is that there is a storyline, but it goes into weird abstract subplots.  It's the scenes in the Imaginarium that are confusing and those are the scenes that do not star Heath Ledger.  I wonder what was changed in the story after Ledger's death; it might have just been the subtle change of Ledger's character appearance change once inside the Imaginarium.  There's a bit of silliness inside the Imaginarium, but the interactions between Dr. Parnassus (Plummer) and Mr. Nick (Waits) were very interesting as the story unfolds.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Dr. Parnassus (Plummer) has a traveling show where people enter the wonderful Imaginarium where the individual chooses between Dr. Parnassus' option of joy and happiness or Mr. Nick's (Waits) dark and gloom.  Outside the Imaginarium, Dr. Parnassus is running out of time to pay Mr. Nick his winnings from a wager a long time ago.  Dr. Parnassus is hopeful that a random run-in with an amnesiac (Ledger) was no random run-in at all, but instead a sign that there's hope in a new wager with the eager Mr. Nick before he must pay his costly debt.  (I'm intentionally keeping it vague so not to give too much of the plot away.)

 

Up In the Air (seen on January 13, 2010)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman

Jason Reitman is turning out to be a good director as he creates yet another enjoyable movie.  This movie is worth a watch, although I slightly disagree with the award nominations it's getting.  George Clooney pulls off his usual good performance by getting the feeling like the role was written for him.  The characters were people you could relate to and the topic of layoffs really hits the current times, which is possibly why it is getting attention from the awards committees.  I enjoyed how you could watch the characters realistically grow throughout the story with the people they interact with and their working environment.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Ryan (Clooney) is a hired consultant who travels 330 days a year to other companies to fire employees.  He meets a fellow constant traveler (Farmiga) and is able to connect with her.  But soon trouble in the home office leads to a change in his career/lifestyle at the hands of a fresh young grad (Kendrick).  She joins him on the road to see how the old ways are and soon broadens her horizons of the real world while Ryan gains experience in forming relationships with people.

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox  (seen on December 16, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe

Wes Anderson brings back the stop-motion reminiscent of the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer show.  It was interesting to watch how it still felt like a Wes Anderson movie despite being based on a Roald Dahl book.  Just the way it was shot and the dialogue just screamed Wes Anderson production.  The story is entertaining and a bit child-like; after all, it is based on a children's book, but the stop-motion is a nice change and there are laughs sprinkled throughout the movie.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Mr. Fox (Clooney) enjoys the wildness of his life as he steals chickens from farmhouses; however, with a baby on the way, Mrs. Fox (Streep) insists that he retires from that profession and find a safer job.  A couple of years go bye and Mr. Fox gets that itching urge to start up his old life as he finds no excitement in being a father and newspaper columnist.  He soon returns to his former life, but the farmers are angry and want revenge for his attacks and the farmers' revenge endangers the whole animal community.

 

Boondock Saints II:  All Saints Day (seen on November 20, 2009)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly

Why do I even bother with sequels?  Ten years after the first release into the cinemas and later became a huge DVD sensation, the writher/director decides to use the same formula.  I mean they have a good number of the same actors reprising their roles from the first one with the story being told the exact same way and even the scenes are shot in the same way.  This may have been a good movie if it was the first one, but it's basically just a search for more money from the fans of the first one.  Also, maybe someone should tell some people in Hollywood that a wrinkle on your face looks better than when you talk and your face doesn't move at all because it's so stretched from the face-lift.  Despite the many flashbacks and reference to the first one, it is essential that one has seen the first one to follow this movie.  I think there is a good chance they will make a third if this one makes money; they left it open for one.  By watching this one, it just made me want to leave the cinemas and rewatch the first one.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The MacManus brothers, known to the media as The Saints, are being called out by themob for the terror they cause them.  A hit is made on a Catholic priest in Boston in the same manner as the brothers executed their prey.  This causes the brothers to come out of hiding and search out the mastermind of who is calling them out and why.  They elicit the help of a new sidekick in tracking down these wanted men.  On the inside, detectives Duffy, Dolly, and Greenly are eager to help, but they are more worried about themselves when a new FBI agent is in town to investigate the case and track down the MacManus brothers.

 

The Informant! (seen on October 9, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Matt Damon, Scott Bakula

This movie was a bit of a let down I thought.  I had heard good things about it, but I thought the movie fell short.  I didn't like how the movie had this 1970's type feel to it despite the fact that most of the movie took place in the mid 1990's.  The problem with this movie was the fact that you just couldn't get behind the protagonist character.  Damon played him well to deliver subtle comedy throughout the movie, but the character seemed to spineless and dumb to pull for or want to follow.  The movie is based on a true story, but I really wonder how much of it is true, especially with the opening statement of the movie.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Mark Whitacre (Damon) works in Decatur, IL at a lysine development company known as ADP.  When the government decides to go after his company for price fixing, Mark turns informant to aid the FBI in their case.  The problem is that Mark enjoys his "secret agent" status a little too much and cause trouble for the FBI as he doesn't use much common sense.

 

Zombieland (seen on October 8, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg

So I know the movie is essentially an American version of "Shaun of the Dead", but it doesn't make it a remake.  They just share similarities on the zombie-comedy genre.  And like "Shaun of the Dead", I enjoyed this one (maybe not as much, but still worth the watch).  Although the movie did have it's drawbacks like this Jesse Eisenberg is too much of a weenie in this movie and reminds me too much of Michael Cera.  Maybe it was good that the movie was a bit on the short side preventing me from finding him just annoying as opposed to intolerable.  I thought Woody Harrelson was entertaining as the zombie-hating redneck as opposed to his real self of the vegan-hippie.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Most of the population has been mutilated or changed into zombies.  Names are not important because that causes people to get attached to one another and most people will not be around long enough.  Columbus (Eisenberg) is on his way to Ohio where he soon crosses paths with Tallahassee who is also heading north.  Along their journey they encounter zombies and must eliminate them, but it's Tallahassee's craving for Twinkies that leads them to a grocery store where they meet two con artist sisters, Wichita and Little Rock.  After a rocky start, the four travel west to a California amusement believed to be zombie-free.

 

9 (seen on October 2, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Elijah Wood, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly

The animation to this movie was excellent; the story wasn't bad, it was just too underdeveloped.  The movie was less than 80 minutes long and I think they easily could have developed/completed the story with just an additional 20 minutes and it still would have been a "short" movie, but a complete movie.  Most of the time was spent on the animation instead of the writing.  The movie is fast paced with one of the characters always in harm's way, but the questions of why and how things are the way they are just are not answered satisfactory.  Even the main struggle does not make much sense on why there is a struggle at all, but I guess it's better to accept it and just enjoy the animation.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The story starts off with a post-apocalyptic war where we're introduced to 9 (Wood) who is alone and unaware of his surroundings.  9 soon meets others like him and learns the perils they have endured during their existence.  There is a sinister machine from wartime that is programmed to create other deadly machines to eradicate life.  9 and the others are the only representation of life left and must decide between fighting the machine or to live out their existence in hiding.

 

Extract (seen on October 1, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis

The movie was entertaining to watch, but I didn't find it that funny.  The story was ok, but overall the movie just lacked the laughs that a comedy should have.  Frankly, I'm tired of Jason Bateman already.  He plans the same blah, ho-hum character in everything he does.  I can't tell if that's a result of type-casting or that's just how he is in real life.  When you watch a comedy, it's mostly about the laughs and not the storyline, but unlike Mike Judge's "Office Space", this didn't have the laughs.  It's not worth watching at the cinema, but don't avoid it if it comes on TV.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Joel (Bateman) is the owner of a factory that makes extract.  He is at that point in his life where he's unhappy with his job and unhappy with his marriage and thinking about getting out of both.  One day an accident happens at the factory and injures an employee.  When Cindy (Kunis), a petty crook, reads about the accident in the paper, she gets to know the injured employee in order to convince him to sue the company for millions to steal it for herself.  So Joel is now concerned about the lawsuit and troubles with the wife, he turns to Dean (Affleck) for help and is giving poor advice on the whole situation.

 

The Boat That Rocked (aka Pirate Radio in US) (seen on September 12, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans

One advantage to working outside the US is that you get to see some movies earlier than the release in the States.  Allegedly this movie is coming out in November in the US under the title Pirate Radio.  Other rumors I read is that theyíre going to remove some scenes of the movie before releasing in the States, which is a good thing.  The movie does feel very long; I know I kept checking my watch throughout the film.  It could be because all the subplots throughout the movie that start up and then finish and yet the movie continues on.  The main plot of the movie is a bit weak and musical montages are shown throughout similar to comedies in the 80's.  I felt this movie was more for Richard Curtis (writer/director) to express his love of music cause the movie is music with subplots sprinkled throughout.  Maybe if I grew up in that time period I would have liked the movie more, but thatís only cause I would have enjoyed the music.  The movie is based on some actual truth, but the boat and the people on it are fictional and just for entertainment.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Back in 1966, BBC radio in the UK only played 45 minutes of rock Ďn roll on the radio so pirate radio stations were set up in the North Sea to broadcast rock Ďn roll 24 hours a day.  Quentin (Nighy) is the owner of the pirate radio station known as Radio Rock and is joined by his godson and the DJís on board in a fight for survival against the British government who wants to shut their broadcast down and itís ďpollutionĒ of the airwaves.

 

Gamer (seen on September 8, 2009)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Gerard Butler

I go into this movie expecting a mind-numbing shoot-em-up game type movie.  Thatís what I got.  The real disappointment was how much story they tried to develop from it.  You felt like you were watching a game during the war scenes so I guess they got the effect they wanted for those shots, but who likes to watch people play videogames?  Well, apparently me cause I went to the movie, but I would have prefer it to stick with more violence and less of the slow, underdeveloped storyline.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next? 

Kable (Butler) is a convicted killer and has opted to play in a reality game known as ďSlayersĒ where a user controls your every action.  Heís been fortunate enough to survive 27 matches so far and once he makes it to 30, he gets a full pardon, which has never been done before.  Kableís only hope is surviving the 30 deadly matches to be reunited with his family, but the creator of ďSlayersĒ does not want this reality star to escape and reveal his sinister plot.

 

District 9 (seen on September 7, 2009)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Sharlto Copley

I think more could have been done with this movie.  There was a story there that wasnít fully developed and that may have been related to how the film was shot as a documentary to reveal the missing storylines, but there just wasnít enough of it.  I just thought too much of the story was covered with a quick wave of the hand to get to the action.  Thereís something about the ending that really bothered me that didnít fit well with the beginning of the movie, but I donít want to give that a way.  Basically, it felt like the whole movie was just the middle of a story, no developed beginning and no wrapped up finish.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A refugee alien ship arrives over Johannesburg, South Africa and the aliens are taken in by the humans and put in camps (District 9).  Over the years, the aliens clash with the humans and it has been decided that the MNU (Multi-National United) led by Wikus (Copley) will displace the aliens to District 10 where there will be less interaction with the humans.  But when Wikus is accidentally sprayed with an alien fluid he starts to change into one of the aliens and soon must side with the aliens to save his own life from his former colleagues.

 

Funny People (seen on August 24, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana

Letís start off with stating that this is a drama that has comedy in it and not the other way around.  Unlike most, people donít like Adam Sandler when he does serious roles; I donít have a problem with that.  The one who couldnít pull it off was Seth Rogen; it was just difficult to watch him play the serious role.  There is comedy cause theyíre doing standup throughout the movie and other stuff, but since the main character is dying of a disease, itís not all laughs.  I just felt the movie was too much ups and downs and the movie just didnít seem to flow that well as a whole.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

George Simmons (Sandler) is an experienced actor/comedian who finds out that he has a rare disease that will kill him.  Ira (Rogen) is a struggling comedian who is hired by Simmons to be his assistant and write jokes for him.  Simmons returns to the stand-up scene while battling his disease with experimental drugs.  The disease soon makes Simmons reflect upon his life and wonder about the choices heís made in life and at the persuasion of Ira, makes contacts with old friends and family to reconnect with them before time is too light.

 

The Ugly Truth (seen on August 2, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler

So I went and saw a romantic comedy today.  I would have to say Iíve seen better, but I would think that this is directed more towards women only, which is starting to become a pattern for Katherine Heigl.  Thereís something about here that I donít like; I know sheís trying to be the next Meg Ryan, but I donít think she has it.  Gerard Butler was ok, but after a while his character just seemed too much over the top and for that matter, so did Heiglís.  Thatís probably the point where it just stopped working for me.  Just some scenes seemed too ridiculous to believe.  The two of them together just didnít seem to have believable chemistry together.  And adding in some cuss words and a little more profane humor does not make the movie an adult comedy.  They should have stuck with cheesy romantic humor.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Abby (Heigl) is a producer in Sacramento who has no luck with romance.  Mike (Butler) is an outrageous, tell you straight how man and women work type of guy.  When the ratings start to fall on Abbyís show, Mike is hired to mix things up and create ratings.  Abby soon meets a surgeon next door and Mike is trying to get her with the guy to earn her respect and acceptance.

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (seen on July 26, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

I know everyone is complaining that the Harry Potter kids are so much older than they should be, but that doesn't bother me.  How old are they supposed to be cause they drink butter beer and wine in the movie?  What bothered me is this is book six and the story is getting closer to ending and yet the movie is full of teenage love.  There was only one big thing, and it was big, that advanced the story; the rest was just about the kids and their feelings toward one another.  And it was painful to watch those long drawn out awkward scenes.  Remember, this point of view is strictly based on the movie, as I've never read a Harry Potter book.  So far in the ranking of the six movies, I think this was probably fourth with one being the highest.  It's worth seeing if you're following the overall storyline, but this movie as an individual was a bit weak compared to the rest.  One more thing about the movie is enough with the Quidditch matches already.  They usually offer very little to the plot (except maybe this movie) and you could keep the movie shy of three hours.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Harry is starting his sixth year at Hogwarts although there is a buzz around him on how he could be the "Chosen One".  There is a fear that Voldemort is gaining strength and anxious to exact his revenge on his foes.  The students are aware of the looming danger and Dumbledore seems occupied with preparing Harry for battle and finding a way to defeat Voldemort.  Harry and his friends are now teenagers and battle their awkwardness of having a crush on one another.  An old professor is persuaded by Dumbledore to return to Hogwarts to continue teaching to the students, but secretly Dumbledore has an ulterior motive for having his old friend and colleague return.

 

Public Enemies (seen on July 19, 2009)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard

I think Johnny Deppís acting ability had gone unnoticed for most of his career, and nowadays blown out of proportion, because of lack luster movies.  Watching this movie compared to other movies is like reading an encyclopedia and comparing it to a novel.  Sure, the facts are there and it tells you something, but there was no real development of the characters.  Who were you supposed to support in the movie:  the gangster whoís not portrayed as violent as he was, but still killed and robbed people or the weasel FBI man who couldnít get the job done and made bad decisions?  Both performances by Bale and Depp just seemed weak and two-dimensional.  The failed sub plot of the love story between Dillinger and his girl Billie was underdeveloped and forced to quickly on the audience to give a likeable quality to Dillinger.  Unlike other outlaw movies like Jesse James, Michael Mann was unsuccessful in portraying Dillinger as a likeable guy; maybe he should have gone ďHollywoodĒ and make up the whole thing and just keep the names the same.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

John Dillinger (Depp) is a bank robber in the 1930ís in the Chicago area.  J. Edgar Hoover (Crudup) has vowed to stop crime in the Chicago area and has appointed FBI man Melvin Purvis (Bale) to lead the taskforce in Chicago.  While Dillinger is out celebrating his ďearningsĒ, he runs across Billie (Cotillard) out one night and they hit it off.  Purvis is getting desperate to capture Dillinger so he soon pulls out all the stops and Dillinger just canít walk away from the whole situation.

 

Year One (seen on June 21, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Jack Black, Michael Cera

The movie seems to start off cave man times, but it follows more along the story line of the Bible.  I went into this movie not expecting much as Jack Black can be over-bearing nowadays and Michael Cera is a character and not an actor.  I was tired of his ďactingĒ ability when I saw ten minutes of him in anything other than Arrested Development.  But I was surprised to find several laughs throughout the movie but that may have been helped by Harold Ramis successful line of comedy experience.  The plot is very weak, but I simply enjoyed the movie for a stupid laugh.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Two ďcave-menĒ, Zed and Oh, are evicted from their village for going against their peopleís ways.  Zed (Black) believes he possesses a knowledge that there is a better life beyond his village while Oh (Cera) is his less than masculine side-kick.  They encounter several new wonders as they meet people, but they ultimately run across their former villagers and the women they once wooed have been sold into slavery.  They try to devise a half-ass plan to free their former friends, but nothing will come easy for these idiots.

 

The Brothers Bloom (seen on June 17, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo

The characters are very interesting and the actors portray them perfectly, but the big finish to the movie is just not there for me.  Itís not how it ended, but how it got to the ending that is too improbable to me.  I donít want to give it away in the review, but it seemed that the writer had an ending he wanted to get to from the middle, but couldnít connect it so pulled the first idea to get it to work.  I think it could have connected a lot simpler, but thatís beside the point.  With con man movies, thereís usually something the writer knows that the audience doesnít and it is revealed all at the end.  I just felt there was too many things unexplained that the writer didnít let the audience in on to give that feeling he conned us.  Interesting characters, a clever idea, but the movie falls short of being able to wrap the story in a nice little bow.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The brothers Bloom grow up bouncing around their childhood getting into mischievous trouble.  As they grow up, the become known as the greatest con man duo in the world, but the younger Bloom has had enough of being characters in his older brotherís clever cons.  So finally Stephen creates the last con for he and his brother to con a wealthy heiress with nothing else to do in life but to waste money and nothing would please the brothers more than to help her with her problem.

 

The Hangover (seen on June 12, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Bradley Cooper

It may be nice to see a new comedy that doesn't consist of Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, or Seth Rogen, but I still feel like this movie fell short on laughs.  The movie is ultimately the same type of story as "Dude, Where's My Car" except switch lost car with groom.  Both were drunken friends who lost something and try to find out what happened the night before by talking to some outlandish and bazaar people (Mike Tyson included).  The laughs and the characters are better, but there's not a great storyline to it and a bit hard to believe every scenario that happened over the course of a night.  And like most comedies, most of the funny scenes could be seen during the previews.  Also, who has a bachelor's party only 2 days before a wedding?  That doesn't happen anymore.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Four guys head to Vegas for a bachelor's party two days before the wedding.  They wake up the next morning not remembering a thing except that the night started off with a toast and now the groom is missing.  The other three guys retrace their steps from the night before to figure out what happened and to get their friend back to town for the wedding.  The previous night slowly unfolds as they encounter people they met from their crazy night.

 

Up (seen May 29, 2009)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer

A little added bonus by watching this movie as I caught it in 3D, which was nice for a while, but at some point it starts to hurt your eyes and make them tired and you canít take them off or the screen will be blurry.  But Iím writing this to evaluate the movie and not the optional effects.  The movie starts off a bit slow to tell the back-story of the old man, which I think they could have drastically reduced.  So after ~15 minutes the story gets moving forward and the movie is delight from there.  I think some of the other Pixar cartoons have had a few more laughs for the adults than this one, but still a movie for all ages to watch.

Carl (Asner) grows up wanting to be a great explorer like his hero Charles Muntz and soon meets Ellie who shares the same passion.  As Carl and Ellie live their life thereís always a reason why they donít go exploring.  After Ellieís passing and Carlís accidental run-in with the law, he decides heís going to float his house to the place heís always wanted to go, Paradise Falls in South America, but he unknowingly takes a wilderness scout along who was on his porch during takeoff.

 

Star Trek (seen on May 23, 2009)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana

The writers have been able to reestablish the Star Trek franchise and as they say ďrebootĒ the storyline.  The movie is filled with action, the expected clichťs, and a good storyline, but the question I guess I still wonder is why did they bring the characters back?  Why not just start with a new set of characters and tell the Star Trek story from there.  Not like the Trekkies wonít go see a new set of characters and the non-Trekkies donít care who the characters are.

The movie follows the original characters of the Star Trek series, but shows how they are destined to meet.  A Romulan force travels back in time to the early days of the Federation to wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting worlds.  The new cadets of the Enterprise must learn quickly to combat this formidable foe.

 

Watchmen (seen on April 12, 2009)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Billy Crudup

I would imagine the book explains a lot more of the story than the movie did.  I think the movie was done well visually, but just seems there was too much of the story omitted to cram it even into a movie that 2:45 long.  I thought there were too many gratuitous scenes that tried to explain things with a wave of hand.  Iíd say it was entertaining enough to rent, but really not worth the trip to the cinema.  They only explain how one of the guys is a superhero.  Personally, I think you explain one or none at all.  What was the point in knowing the history of Dr. Manhattan?  Billy Crudupís agent may have insisted on it so that they could show his Crudupís face without all the blue make-up or computer graphics.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A group of superheros known as the Watchmen have been keeping Americans safe for over 50 years, but after a series of incidents involving the Watchmen, they were all forced to retire when they were banned to roam the streets.  But a new evil returns to the streets and is hunting down these former Watchmen.  Who is this new sinister evil-doer and what is his ultimate plot.

 

I Love You, Man (seen on April 3, 2009)

Rating Ė 3

Starring:  Paul Rudd, Jason Segel

As you can see from the rating, I did not like this movie.  I canít figure out if itís Paul Rudd or only his character that is a tool.  The movie is just painful to watch how uneasy he is around guys cause he has no male friends.  He tries to bond with people and I canít imagine anyone being this spastic in life and the real problem is that it doesnít let up.  There has to be some kind of release or tension break for the audience, but every scene with Rudd in it, itís just painful to watch as you expect him to do or say something stupid that you wouldnít imagine anyone in real life doing or saying.  I thought the story was bad and the sporadically humor in the movie is not enough to make me recommend this movie to anyone.  And if youíve seen the previews, youíve seen all the funny parts and I mean the full sequence of all the funny parts so donít bother.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Peter (Rudd) just proposed to his girlfriend, but after one night of listening to her and her friends discuss wedding plans, the question is raised who will be Peterís best man.  Apparently throughout Peterís life heís never had any guy friends and so heís desperate to meet a guy for a friend.  After trying several unsuccessful ďman-datesĒ, he meets Sydney (Segel) at an open house heís showing and begins to hang out with him.  Soon the friendship causes strain on his wedding plans and it appears that Sydney might have some problems as well.

 

Gran Turino (seen on March 15, 2009)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood has never been the greatest actor, but more of a great character like John Wayne.  He brings back the same type grumpy old man from Million Dollar Baby that is disgusted with people, but warms up to the persistent people.  Thatís fine; I enjoyed the movie and his character, but he did not expand his acting prowess for this role.  His grumpiness was a good relief of the tension throughout the movie with the seriousness of the subplot.  Overall a good story well directed raising the audience to tense moments and allowing comic releases intertwined to alleviate the tension.  One thing that bothered me was when his grandkids were in the movie; they just seemed a bit over the top and not really believable as characters, but I could be wrong, as I donít have grandkids.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Walt (Eastwood) is a recently widowed retiree in Michigan.  He lives in a neighborhood where he is mostly surrounded by Vietnamese people and it just annoys the hell out of him.  Heís a cranky old man who enjoys the simple life of minding your own business and respecting others.  Soon there is an altercation at the neighbors house with the neighbors son and a local gang.  Walt rushes outside with M1 rifle in hand and chases the gang off.  After this act, Walt still tries to remain isolated from his neighbors and the local gangs, but soon finds himself in the midst of the mentoring the neighbor son and trouble with the local gangs.

 

Slumdog Millionaire (seen on February 12, 2009)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Dev Patel

Iím having trouble deciding if this is the sleeper hit that Hollywood will back in the Oscars or The Wrestler.  Both excellent movies.  This movie is just a story, but some parts of the story reflect how life in the slums of Mumbai actually can be.  The movie is shot well by Danny Boyle by telling the graphic story of Jamal as he grows up while interlaced with the present story of Jamal on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to give the audience a break from some tense scenes.  So donít go into this movie expecting it a light-hearted easy going movie with a kid from the slums winning millions of dollars and everything going well, but expect another great directorial performance from Danny Boyle.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jamal is a poor kid from the slums of Mumbai and heís now one correct answer away from winning a million dollars on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?  The story follows Jamal and his brother Salim from the streets of the slums and how they grow up on their own alongside a fellow orphan Latika.  No one can see how a boy from the slums could possibly when a million dollars, but then no one knows the life that Jamal has endured up to that point.

 

The Wrestler (seen on February 6, 2009)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood

Rourke does an excellent job of portraying an old wrestler whoís just getting by after his glory days are well behind him.  You believe that this is how a broken down wrestler could be and makes you wonder about those old wrestlers you watched as a kid and where are they now.  There are a lot of wrestling scenes, but itís nice to see the pre-match talks and after-match scenes to see how these wrestlers take a beating over and over.  I like the character of The Ram where he knows heís made mistakes in life and he does what he has to do to get by.  I thought the side story between Tomeiís character and Rourkeís was awkward and almost forced into the storyline to create a love interest in the movie.  The father-daughter estranged relationship had more substance with fewer scenes than the wrestler-stripper relationship.  I still like the film, but itís not an upbeat movie to watch a fallen hero in the twilight of his life.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Randy ďThe RamĒ (Rourke) is an aging wrestler who was the face of wrestling during the 80ís, but now he lives in a trailer park and wrestles in civic centers to small crowds.  After suffering a heart attack after a match, heís advised by the doctors that his wrestling days are over.  He must adjust to life without wrestling by trying to connect romantically with a stripper (Tomei) and to reconnect to his estranged daughter (Wood).

 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (seen on January 23, 2009)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett,

Brad Pitt uses his same acting abilities from Meet Joe Black in this Forrest Gump feel of a movie, but I still enjoyed it.  Some say that the movie is a romance between Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt in the movie, which is true, but the movie is more about life and death and missed opportunities.  Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, itís nice to see a movie thatís not a remake or sequel.  The movie is about 2 hours 45 minutes long so be prepared to sit for a while, but I find it an enjoyable watch and a warning goes to those who prefer light, simple movies as opposed to more deep-thought, calculating films.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Benjamin Button (Pitt) was born with an unusual disease where he ages backwards through life.  His father abandons him on a doorstep of a retirement home where he is raised by the homekeeper.  The residents accept him as one of them as he looks old already as a small child, but they donít realize that his whole life is ahead of him and he learns the mistakes/missed opportunities of the old before his life has really begun.  Ben soon meets the granddaughter, Daisy (Blanchett), of one of the other residents and is just smitten with her.  The story follows Benís life as he gets ďolderĒ and explores what life has to offer.

 

Quantum of Solace (seen on November 29, 2008)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Judi Dench

Well it's a shame that Bond decided to go the route of so many other Hollywood movies by making a sequel to a Bond movie instead of a separate individual story.  Shame.  I liked how the first movie with Daniel Craig went to a more ruthless side of James Bond and shows how he is evolving as a spy, but this movie offered no growth to the character.  There's still a lack of gadgets for Bond, no charm, and just brute force.  After a while, this movie doesn't differentiate from movies like Rambo or Commando where the lead character is just out for revenge.  Yawn.  I have to say that it's time for Bond to be reinvented again as this Bond is now just like all the other brute-force action heroes.  Good start with Casino Royale, but the character needed to evolve from there and step closer to the suave 007 that separates these action movies from the Schwarzenegger and Stallone movies.  I doubt these writers are from the US because I know these movies always have the British being so much smarter than the slow, dim-witted Americans, but this one seemed a little too much.  And I didn't appreciate how the movie has jumped on the bandwagon of going green and all that crap.  Just write a good movie and leave your personal message out of it.  I'd rather see them remake one of the Ian Fleming movies instead of writing sequels.  I fear there is potential to make a third movie in this series if they choose to develop it.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Bond (Craig) picks up right where the last movie ended.  007 and M soon find that there is a underground syndicate around the world that has lots of money and power, but no one knows anything about.  In a nutshell, the movie boils down to Bond wanting revenge for the death of his girl in Casino Royale and how to go about avenging her death.  

 

RocknRolla (seen on November 7, 2008)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton

Guy Ritchie's return to his gangster movies brought excitement to me after such entertaining movies as Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, but this does not live up to expectations.  Perhaps he didn't stop telling these movies to change genres but because he was out of good ideas.  The movie was entertaining, but almost pointless. Too many plots interwoven into each other and none really developed enough.  Plus the characters in these movies just didn't seem that believable of being such a ruthless and feared person and his other two gangster movies.  I just was a slow start to getting back into filmmaking, but we'll see when his next flick comes out.  That's my quick review; what's next?

In the real estate business of London, there is lots of money that exchanges hands to developing property.  Some choose to go through the formal way of paperwork and the rest of the bureaucracy, but others would rather pay people with influential friends to get things secured faster.  With this money and under table bribes bring in some tough criminals who all want a piece of the action and some times it can all hinge upon a doped up rock 'n roll star that was presumed dead.

 

The Dark Knight Ė (seen on July 18, 2008)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal

The Batman saga continues with Christian Bale and one of Heath Ledger's final roles.  Let's start with Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker.  I thought he did an excellent job as the Joker, creepy-good, but to give him an Academy Award nomination for his performance may be a little stretch, but I guess it depends on the movies the rest of the year and how the supporting actors perform.  Still his performance as the Joker will be all that people talk about when it comes to the movie and not the rest of the characters.  Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart put in excellent performances.  The more I watch Christian Bale as Batman, the more I realize I liked Michael Keaton the best as Batman.  I was a bit annoyed by the ridiculous amount of previews before the movie came out that I thought gave away a key point of the movie.  The action in the movie seemed a bit too unrealistic in parts and the cool thing about Batman was that he was just a man with high-tech gadgets and not superior like Superman.  Some scenes in the movie reminded me too much of the silly action in the Joel Schumacher Batman films, which was disappointing.  Overall, I still think the movie is worth watching at the cinemas because it is a good movie as a whole, but a bit over-hyped and a little on the long side.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The Caped Crusader is at in again.  The story continues with Batman (Bale) fighting the crime bosses and trying to force them out of Gotham, but a new force in Gotham arrives...the Joker (Ledger).  The Joker is not motivated by money or power, but only by death, destruction, chaos, and the downfall of society.  But there is also a new face for the good guys in the form of the district attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart).  The Joker soon proves to be a formidable force and Batman and Lt. Gordon (Oldman) must use different tactics to bring down this psychotic clown before he destroys the whole city.

 

Get Smart Ė (seen on June 23,3008)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, Dwayne Johnson

I usually don't loo
k forward to remakes of old TV shows into movies, but I was looking forward to Get Smart; although, the movie is much more modern than original TV shows.  There are references to the old gadgets that were used in the TV show, but now they have newer gadgets.  Steve Carell used the famous lines that Don Adams used in the original, but they were used sparingly.  I think Carell did a good job as Max and Alan Arkin did a great job as the Chief, but it didn't seem the same as the TV show.  I always remembered the TV show as silly/goofy, while the movie was just funny, but maybe that's do to the different gadgets they used in the old days just seemed absurd.  Still, I think this movie was quite funny and worth a watch.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Max (Steve Carell) wants to become a field agent, but had been unable to successfully pass the exam until just recently.  After Chaos breaks into Control and identifies all of the field agents, Max (Agent 86) and Agent 99 are the only one's that can safely go after Chaos as their identities have not been compromised.  The two agents have never met before so they must learn to trust each other as they fight against Chaos and try to find what the terrorist Siegfried is planning to do with an arsenal of nuclear weapons and then stop him.

 

Son of Rambow (seen on May 26, 2008)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Bill Milner, Will Poulter

The movie centers around 2 young boys so the movie may seem only for kids, but I wouldn't say that.  Of course it's not a serious drama, but it is refreshingly not a remake or sequel (amazing how much higher a movie can rank just by being an original idea).  I thought the two young kids did an excellent job of acting at such a young age.  The movie may seem a bit silly at times because it focuses on two boys and their imaginations, but if you go into the movie expecting that, you will be pleased with the movie.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The story is about a young boy, Will, who is part of a strict religious group.  One day he meets another boy, Lee, who is the trouble-maker of the school and goes home with this boy where he watches a bootleg copy of First Blood.  And that's it, the boy is hooked and dreams of a story line telling the story of the Son of Rambow.  Lee wants to enter the future filmmakers on BBC for filmmakers under 17 and he likes Will's ideas for the Son of Rambow script and they soon agree to make the movie together.  Problem is that word gets around the school about their movie and more school children want to be involved causing a rift between the two boys.

 

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (seen on May 23, 2008)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Shia LeBeouf, John Hurt, Karen Allen

Itís a shame to give Indiana Jones this type of rating, but Iím going to stick with it.  I think they should have just stopped with three movies instead of making this last one.  The movie seems a bit cartoon-like in parts, certain ďcleverĒ scenes that Indy always experience seemed forced, and a 65-year-old man cannot do the things he does in the movie.  The movie acknowledges that he is older when he reflects on his left, but they ignore that fact when heís running around fighting people or jumping onto cars.  Of course, we all know that everyone of you is going to see this movie; you have to, itís still Indiana Jones.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The timeline of Indiana Jonesí (Ford) life has finally moved forward as it is now 1957 and Jones is now mixed up with the Russians.  Indy finds himself suspended from teaching over the threat that he is working with these Russians.  He soon meets a kid named Mutt (LeBeouf) who tells him these same Russians have kidnapped an old colleague of Jonesí who knows the secret of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Iron Man (seen on May 14, 2008)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard

I still think they could have done with a better actor than Robert Downey Jr. for this role, but he is acceptable.   The CGI is this movie is great on how they show Iron Man move.  I liked how they described how he got the name ďIronĒ Man even though heís not made of iron.  This is a typical super-hero movie where most of the movie describes how Tony Stark becomes Iron Man and the fight scene at the end is short (similar to the Fantastic Four).  And there is another scene at the end of the credits so you might want to stay till the end.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Tony Stark is a wealthy billionaire who makes military weapons for the US government.  On a trip overseas to demonstrate his latest weapon, he is kidnapped by some terrorist to build a weapon for them.  To escape, he builds an early version of Iron Man and upon return wants to shut down his weapon making section of his company after he realizes that his company has been selling his weapons to the wrong side.  But he decides that something must be done to fix the problems that he has caused in the world so he builds his Iron Man suit.

 

Flashbacks of a Fool (seen on April 19, 2008)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Daniel Craig

I hope this doesnít ruin anything, and I donít see how it would, but itís really not ďflashbacksĒ; itís just one flashback.  Still, that doesnít affect my review of the movie; I just found that funny.  The director is famous for shooting music videos, which is somewhat noticeable in the way some of the scenes are shot, but itís a nice touch.  The plot isnít that great and there are no surprise twists to the movie, but I just found it rather enjoyable.  They say people tend to like timepiece movies, but I doubt they meant the oneís set during the 70ís.  All in all, Iíd say the movie is a melancholy drama so make sure youíre in the mood to see something like that or you will be disappointed.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Joe (Craig) is a washed-up actor who has made bad decisions in his life.  Realizing that his life is in disarray, he reflects on his past and some decisions he made while young.  All this comes about after hearing the news that his childhood friend has suddenly died and he flies home to see the life he left behind.

 

There Will Be Blood (seen on February 27, 2008)

Rating Ė 8  

Starring:  Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano

I must start off by saying there is no question why Daniel Day-Lewis received the academy award for best actor this year.  Just an amazing performance by him, which is a good thing cause the whole movie revolves around his actions.  Iíve never read the book, Oil!, that the movie is based on, but I donít think thatís important.  The movie can be a bit slow and calculating in parts, but it effective gives off the feeling of desolation in the early 1920ís.  I thought they could have developed a little more of a storyline between the Day-Lewis and his clashes with the church community, but they may have extended the movie too long and the other scenes were required.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Day-Lewis is an oilman who loves the excitement of finding oil before anyone else.  He travels around with his son to new land developments trying to strike a contract up with the local landowners to get their oil out of the ground.  One day heís tipped off about an oil deposit that has yet to be tapped.  Soon he manipulates everyone in the town to let him pump the oil out of the land by promising to give back to the community.  Problem is, Day-Lewis only cares about himself and the chase to get to every amount of oil first before any other company can.  He clashes with the local church community as he does not keep his promises to the community, but just focuses on producing oil.

 

Jumper (seen on February 17, 2008)

Rating Ė 4  

Starring:  Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane

The main problem with this movie is not casting Hayden Christensen in a movie (that by itself is a problem), but the major lack of plot development.  The movie is only an hour and a half long.  Why would you not develop the story line more when the movie is considered short for movies nowadays?  Saving too much for the trilogy, but if the first movie isnít any good, why bother making the second two.  And when you look at the villain of Samuel L. Jackson, you almost sympathize with his quest.   If heís the villain, shouldnít you despise him?  In a nutshell, the movie is badly acted, underdeveloped and over-hyped.  Why did I still give it a 4 ratingÖbecause the concept of the movie is intriguing, it just lacks talent to develop it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Christensen discovers when he is young that heís able to teleport to anywhere heís been.  After running away from home, he decides to use his powers to live the high-life in Manhatten.  He travels around the world at a whim, but still misses the girl from his past that heís always had a crush on.  Soon he realizes that he must contact her and woo her.  The problem is that there is an underground agency that are chasing Jumpers and exterminating them.  Jackson is hot on his tail and Christensen soon meets another Jumper to battle Jackson.

 

Juno (seen on February 13, 2008)

Rating Ė 6  

Starring:  Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

Overall an enjoyable movie, but I donít think itís one of the top five movies of the year.  And I think Ellen Page did an excellent job acting like a sassy pregnant 16-year-old, but after a while, itís a bit annoying to hear 16-year-old girls have their slang conversations.  Also, most of the best parts were in the previews, but still, refreshing to see an original movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Juno (Page) soon discovers that she is pregnant with her friendís baby and decides that she wants to give it up for adoption.  She picks a couple (Garner and Bateman) as the future parents of her baby.  The story follows along her pregnancy as she responds to her friends, her parents, and the future parents of her baby.

 

I Am Legend (seen on December 25, 2007)

Rating Ė 6  

Starring:  Will Smith

I'm a bit confused by most of the criticsí reaction to this movie.  Just because Will Smith did an excellent job of acting, and he did, doesn't mean it's a good movie.  The movie is too slow, the flashbacks to explain the world's situation take forever to develop when the audience already knows what has happen, and when the story does actually pick up, it's not that good.  When you see the last flashback, you almost sigh in relief that finally the movie has told you what you had already suspected for the past hour; that's not really building suspense, but rather a longing for an end.  But with a weak story, you realize how good a performance Will Smith has when the movie receives this much attention.  All in all, you've seen this similar plot out of Hollywood several times before; some good movies, some bad.  It's a good movie to see Will Smith act dramatically, but in the end, you'll be looking at you watch and wondering how much longer does the movie have left.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The movie starts off telling you that bio-engineers have created a virus that cures cancer and like other movies, the virus has side effects that sweep across the world before anyone can stop it.  With over 5.5 billion people dead in the world, Robert Neville (Smith) remains where it all started in New York City in hopes of finding a cure for the one's who survived the virus, but have mutated into light-fearing, rage induced super-human killers.  His only companion in his stay in New York is his dog Sam who accompanies him on his hunts or scavenges for food while trying to stay alive amongst the mutated humans who prowl around the city at night looking for food.  But one day he meets a woman who is on her way to Vermont to meet up with a survivor colony and Neville needs to decide whether he stays and works on a cure in New York or to believe this woman that there actually is a survivor community in Vermont.

 

No Country for Old Men (seen on November 18, 2007)

Rating Ė 9  

Starring:  Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson

It's a different feeling to see a good drama nowadays, especially when it's not a remake.  I must start off by complementing the acting.  They just made you feel like they were those characters, well, maybe all except for Woody Harrelson.  I just canít see him as a tough guy.  Also it doesn't hurt that the movie is set in the great state of Texas.  That's always pleasing to see.  The movie is rather violent and slow moving in parts, but that all helps to show how the characters act and react.  They tend to be more methodical in their actions instead of just gut reactions that miraculously work out.  And Bardem is just amazing how sinister he is in the movie.  You really don't like this guy and do not want him around.  Let me throw in some catch words for the commercials:  ďTense, suspenceful, heart-pounding.Ē  Not your typical Coen brothersí movie for several reasons (not a comedy, didnít write original story, donít have list of typical actors), but the movie does follow their type of directorial shots.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Llewelyn (Brolin) is out hunting in West Texas when he runs across a pile of bodies from big shootout between some Mexican drug smugglers.  He takes the $2 million dollars that he finds, but soon realizes that this $2 million comes with a burden of being hunted by a group of Mexicans and a ruthless psychotic killer, Chigurh (Bardem).  Ed Bell (Jones) is the old sheriff in the county that realizes that Llewelyn is in a lot of trouble and tries to catch up to him before the killers find him.   Llewelyn is just trying to get away from Chigurh with his life and the money.  With all these senseless killings over drugs and money, Sheriff Bell questions whether it's worth being a sheriff anymore; the world is changing all around him and he can't keep up.

 

Lars and the Real Girl (seen on October 30, 2007)

Rating Ė 8  

Starring:  Ryan Gosling

I wonder if I gave this a higher rating simply because it's not a sequel or a remake, at least not that I'm aware of.  The movie is a comedy to start off with as you laugh at his delusional antics with the doll, but later the movie takes a more serious turn as he battles with his actual mental health.  That's probably the main reason why critics seemed to like it; the underlying struggle that he has.  Personally I liked watching it for the comedy part myself and not the scenes where it just shows him as delusional.  I thought Ryan Gosling did an excellent job at his role of the reclusive character that shows delusional tendencies.  It is a comedy, but I would suggest this movie to people who tend to enjoy the 'indie' movies instead of someone just looking for a comedy.  A good watch if you like more independent flicks.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Lars (Gosling) lives in the garage apartment of his brother's house.  He lives a very meager existence that consists of church, work, and home and rarely interacting with anyone despite the best efforts of his sister-in-law.  Then one day, Lars announces to his family that he has a girlfriend that he met on the internet.  Imagine the shock to his family and the rest of the town when they realize this "girlfriend" is none other than a "love doll".  With the advice from the town's doctor, the family and the rest of the town are asked to play along with Lars' delusion that she is a real girl.

 

The Bourne Ultimatum (seen on August 11, 2007)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, Scott Glen, Albert Finney

You knew someday Hollywood was going to complete the trilogy of this storyline.  Now Iíve only read the first book in the series because I was told the next two were not nearly as good and if this is true, the movies have that in common as well.  You get a bunch of action, but no addition to the storyline that ends any more depth.  So Bourne still cannot remember who he is and thereís someone in the CIA whoís scared what he might know, but you knew that after the first movie.  Basically it boils down to more action than substance.  Hollywood is just stretching out the existing storyline as long as it sells tickets.  Note the rating so I recommend waiting till itís on cable unless you have nothing better to do and have the need to get out and eat popcorn.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jason Bourne (Damon) is still out in hiding and the CIA is still looking for him.  A British newspaper reporter finds a source that discloses information about Bourne and where it all began.  Bourne tries to track down the reporter and his source to find out where it all started, but the men in charge of the covert operation in the CIA are looking to take Bourne out.  Will Bourne ever find out his past or will the CIA get to him before he can find out the truth?

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (seen on July 29, 2007)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

That's the fifth Harry potter film.  Yet no one seems to mind.  I guess cause it's not actually a sequel, but just a continuation of the story similar to Lord of the Rings.  I guess the main difference in those films is that there is somewhat of an ending to the Harry Potter films.  I still haven't read the books so I understand that people who've read the books are a bit disappointed in the stuff that is left out of this movie, but as a movie itself, I thought it was one of the better one's.  I like seeing the students growing up and rebelling against the system.  I like seeing more wizard duels than just the feud between Malfoy and Potter.  I like the fact that there was no Quidditch game in this movie.  What a time waster watching those scenes.  It was good in the first movie, but pointless in subsequent movies.  After watching this movie and seeing the storyline picking up pace, I'm eager to find out what happens next.  And since the next one won't be out till November of 2008 with the finale in Summer of 2010 (my own personal predictions), I almost feel compelled to read the books to know the rest of the story.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Harry returns to his fifth year at Hogwarts to learn the Ministry of Magic has claimed Harry and Dumbledore as liars in regards to the return of Lord Voldemort.  The Minister of Magic fears that it is just a ruse for Dumbledore to succeed him has Minister of Magic and delegates a loyal member of the Ministry of Magic to be employed at Hogwarts where she refuses to teach defense against the black arts.  Harry learns of the Order of Phoenix, a group of wizards and witches who united to fight Lord Voldemort and his army, and decides that he and the fellow students must train and be ready for a fight with Lord Voldemort as well.  While the Ministry of Magic turns a deaf ear to the warnings of Lord Voldemort return, Lord Voldemort starts to rebuild his army.

 

Transformers (seen on July 28, 2007)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight

Donít go into this movie expecting the greatest acting in the world because the acting is done as if they actors know this was a cartoon.  But thatís not why youíre going to see this movie, you going to see this movie for the action.  The CGI in this movie is excellent and you watch the movies and you believe that these robots actually are destroying the bases, towns, and each other.  The movie does a recap of the storyline so even if you didnít watch the cartoons, you still will be able to follow the movie.  Just remember that the movie is a sci-fi so donít expect realism and you will enjoy the movie.  One little added bonus for the cartoons lover is that it is the same voice for Optimus Prime in the movie that was in the cartoons.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After the great Cibertronian War, the Allspark, a cube of ultimate power, is lost somewhere in the universe and both the Autobots and Decepticons are in search of it.  The cube has landed on Earth and the Autobots are on their way to the to destroy it, but unfortunately the Decepticons are aware of its presence on Earth so the battle between the two robot factions continue on Earth with the humans helping the Autobots in their fight.

 

The Simpsons Movie (seen on July 27, 2007)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  The Simpsons

Iím giving this a 7 because maybe I expected too much from the movie and rating it a bit harsh.  Itís an hour and a half long and it just feels like a longer episode.  It didnít seem to offer anything new, well, except there were a few edgier scenes that wouldnít go over so well on TV.  The movie had some very clever jokes in it that makes you laugh and of course, Homer does some random stupid things, which are always a crowd pleaser.  I just wonder how much does it really offer more.  Why couldnít they just have a done a three part TV show to tell the same story, but then they wouldnít make all this extra money.  I think basically it boils down to if youíre a Simpsons fan, you need to go see it because it an extended episode so youíll be pleased with that.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Springfield Lake is over polluted and when Homer decides to dump one more thing in the lake, which was forbidden by the city at the time, it triggers a response from a rather sinister EPA agent who decides to enclose the entire city with a glass dome.  Well, the city wants vengeance against Homer, but the Simpsons somehow manage to escape the dome.  But soon the Simpsons find out that their hometown of Springfield is under peril and must return to save the town and thereís only one bald, fat, stupid man whoís able to do it.

 

Live Free or Die Hard (seen on July 24, 2007)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant

The movie may have gotten a 7 rating had it not been labeled Die Hard.  The movie didnít have ďrealĒ action as the others had been and it was just too much to imagine why an NYPD cop is caught up in all this high-tech terrorism.  There are too many scenes where bones should have been broken, but instead just a minor flesh wound.  Maybe I just wasnít too into the idea of Die Hard 4.  Maybe if it was just a Bruce Willis action movie called something else I would have given it a 7, but this just escapes the reality of the other three, or at least the first two (I never liked the scene in the third one where heís ďsurfingĒ on the dump truck or where they slide down the cable from the bridge to the ship below and fall and still live).  Perhaps I mainly didnít like the pairing of this NYPD cop with some computer hacker.  It just wasnít a great pairing having a whiney kid with a tough cop.  Also, the quick introduction of McClaneís daughter and their estranged relationship was a bit lame just to have her in the movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

We find out that John McClane (Willis) is still an NYPD cop and has an estranged relationship with his family.  The FBI has been hacked and they require the assistance of local law enforcements to round up the likely computer hackers who have the skill to hack the system.  So McClane is asked to pickup one the hackers Matt (Long) and bring him back to D.C.  Of course, Matt is targeted for assassination by the real hackers who are systematically shutting down the government systems for their own agenda.  McClane teams up with Matt to find out who the terrorists are and take them out before the whole country collapses from the cyber-terrorism attack.

 

Fantastic Four Ė Rise of the Silver Surfer (seen on June 24, 2007)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd

It was an ok movie.  The only new story lines out of Hollywood are comic books nowadays, but I was intrigued to see the Silver Surfer is what mainly drew me to this.  I thought the movie was a bit cheesy in many scenes relative to how Spiderman acted as the ďBlack SpideyĒ, but not as bad.  Not much action, but more along the lines of storyline development and problem solving of the movie than just action.  I found it a bit refreshing that the writers actually develop a story instead of just senseless action, which I suspect a Fantastic Four will have similar to X-men 3 or Spiderman 3.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The Fantastic Four have stepped into their role as superheroes and protectors of society.  The only problem is that trouble occurs every time Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman try to get married and they start to struggle with wanting to still be superheroes or having a ďnormalĒ life.  Now there is a new threat of the end of the world with a new visitor known as the Silver Surfer.  The Fantastic Four must unite with the enemy Dr. Doom to defeat the Silver Surfer and save the planet, but the ultimate question is who is the real threat to Earth.

 

Knocked Up (seen on June 6, 2007)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd

This movie has the same type of humor that was in the 40 Year Old Virgin, but this includes stoner humor.  As far as I know, this isn't a remake so that's a good start.  For starters, you have to accept the first encounter of the couple as possible because you would question why a TV "reporter" would be talking to a burnout in a bar, especially if she is totally sober.  Not really what you would call high-brow humor, but it's nice to laugh at stupidity sometimes.  The plot itself is pretty predictable so don't expect any real shockers, but if you want a simple low-brow comedy, this one is worth a watch.  Most of the humor is either pot smoking humor or couple humor.  I really enjoyed the random movie quotes they had sprinkled throughout the film.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Alison (Heigl) has just been promoted to an anchor for the E! network and decides to go out with her sister to celebrate.  At this same bar, Ben (Rogen) is out getting wasted with his pot-head cronies.  After that night, based on the name of the movie, you can imagine what happened and what went wrong.  Alison finds out she is pregnant and after both freak out for a while, they decide to give the relationship a chance.  Alison soon finds out that Ben has no job and that he just sits around all day long and gets wasted.  After watching her sister's marriage hit the rocks, she fears that Ben will never grow up and support her and the baby and decides to end the relationship.

 

Spiderman 3 (seen on May 22, 2007)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, James Franco

I wouldn't be surprised if I noticed that all my reviews on sequels are starting to be the same.  In fact, I believe this one will be in parallel to the review of X-Men 3.  I must say that this was a disappointment and I hope it's the end of the Spiderman movies for at least a generation.  These producers made a lot of money purely on hype this time around because the movie itself couldn't have been would kept people going to the cinemas.  Again you have the problem of adding too many superheroes and villains and not actually developing the storyline of these characters, but just adding more fight scenes, which the CGI moves so fast that you can't even follow the scene some times.  Most people complain about the black Spidey dance sequence in the movie as he now has the attitude and I would have to agree that that scene was just too much.  The acting was sub par.  I understand that they want to make it comic book like in the dialogue, but this movie just seemed too cheesy including the one-liner from Spiderman creator Stan Lee.  The shining light in the movie was Bruce Campbell's bit part in the movie.  Good thing he's friends with the director Sam Raimi because he's had a funny bit part in all three Spidermans.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Peter Parker (Maguire) had embraced his role as Spiderman and the rest of the city adores Spiderman.  While Parker thinks everything is great in his life, his girlfriend Mary Jane's (Dunst) career is heading downhill and puts a strain on their relationship.  Then you have his friend Harry (Franco) aka the Hobgoblin who wants to kill Peter for having killed his father, the Green Goblin.  Parker is consumed later by a black alien species that makes Spiderman stronger, but gives him an evil edge that he eventually must rid himself of the simbiote.  This black alien species attaches to a photographer rival and becomes the villain known as Venom (Grace) who teams up with the a new villain, the Sandman (Church).  How will Spiderman fight all these battles and repair his estranged relationship with Mary Jane in just one movie?  (See how much they try to cram into this one movie.  The movie does not effectively relate a storyline, but more fast forwards over the whole comic book storyline just to get some new villains in the story for a fight scene at the end.  That's a shame.)

 

Hot Fuzz (seen on March 31, 2007)

Rating - 8

Starring:  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost

The guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead are back for more in Hot Fuzz and it doesnít disappoint if you enjoyed the first movie.  I must say itís a British movie so if you canít stand that sort of humour (yes, I spelt it the British way) then perhaps you shouldnít watch it, but I think it crosses the ocean well as a comedy.  It makes references to bad cop movies as if to poke fun at itself, but I wonder how many people in the audience picked up on the references.  Overall, itís a good comedy throughout the movie until the final showdown where it gets a bit goofy with the excessive action, but thatís part of the fun of the movie.  A bit hard to vision Simon Pegg as a ďsuper-copĒ, but Nick Frost plays the bumbling partner to perfection as expected.  Quick trivia, see if you can guess whom the famous actress is who plays his ex-girlfriend, Jeanine, in the beginning of the movie and she is uncredited so donít bother to watch during the end credits to find out.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Sgt. Angel (Pegg) is the ideal police officer.  He epitomizes what the law should stand for, but his fellow officers in London hate him because they make him look bad.  So they ship him off to a small town, Sanford, where they will not be bothered with him.  Angel finds the small town life a bit difficult as he loves to fight crime and there is very little in the town.  And what crime he does discover, the townspeople and chief of police tend to just brush it off as if itís no big deal.  Heís partner with a clumsy wannabe cop (Frost), who helps teach Angel to relax, but when foul play is afoot, perhaps itís time to get more serious and find out whatís going on behind the scenes of this small town.

 

Mr. Bean's Holiday (seen March 30, 2007)

Rating - 5

Starring:  Rowan Atkinson, Willem Dafoe

Itís your typical Bean type show, but it lasts for an hour and a half.  The short skits may be funny, but even when you watch a few of those in series you get a bit tired of it.  Imagine the same skit for an hour and a half and thatís what the movie is like.  Of course, I missed out on some of the jokes as I watched in Norway and the parts that were in French were subtitle in Norwegian so a few of the funny parts went over my head.  Other people in the theater laughed, but I watched the movie from Beanís perspective not knowing what he agreed to half the time.   But I was able to follow the movie, which is pretty much Atkinson making faces and dancing around like a fool.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Mr. Bean has won a raffle that sends him on a trip to Cannes.  Of course, he wouldn't be Bean if he got there easily.  Trouble starts when Bean is partnered with a boy who is separated from his father at a train station, which is indirectly caused by Bean.  Luckily, the boy's father is going to Cannes so the boy and Bean travel together, but have trouble along the way.  Will Bean be able to reunite the boy with his father and will Bean reach his goal of getting to the beach?

 

The Good Shepherd (seen on March 2, 2007)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Matt Damon, William Hurt, Angelina Jolie, John Turtorro, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro

I have to start off by giving you a warning that this is one of those stereotypical political thrillers, which basically means itís slow, calculating, and long.  But if youíre in the mood for a movie like that, this is a good one to see.  The characters are roughly based on real-life people and I found it interesting to watch the growth of the CIA and the tension versus the rival Russians.  The movie is quite long and you wish you werenít sitting there for over two and half hours, but it was important to watch the growth of Damonís character.  The movie focuses more on story development than action, but the story itself keeps you interested.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story follows Edward Wilson (Damon) from his college days to his days in Europe during World War II to the start of the CIA to the Bay of Pigs.  Wilson is recruited straight from college to work in intelligence during World War II and must leave his pregnant wife (Jolie) back in the US.  Wilson meets his Russian counterpart at the end of the WWII and will cross paths with him in their careers of counter-intelligence.  Upon returning home to his family from being gone six years, Wilson finds he has distanced himself from his wife and child to focus on his career.  The CIA is soon formed to protect the US and the story follows Wilson through the debacle of the Bay of Pigs, which reveals there is a mole in Wilsonís department.

 

Breaking and Entering (seen on February 22, 2007)

Rating Ė 3

Starring:  Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn

I sure that there are some people out there that will love this movie and call me crazy.  I didnít care for Closer either.  And here we have Jude Law playing yet again another adulterer who doesnít know how well he has what he already has.  Jude Law feels distant from Robin Wright Penn in the movie, but the audience feels distant from her as well.  Probably why you donít feel too sorry for her when Jude Law cheats on her or maybe because it is Jude Law and all of his characters are becoming the same.  The whole movie has this depressed/searching for oneself mentality, but somehow the characters end up happy without solving anything.  I donít really buy it how everything is suddenly ok and wrapped in a neat little package.  But obviously based on my rating, I would like my time back.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A young thief breaks into Willís (Law) work and steals his personal computer.  One day, Will watches over his building and catches the kid in the act and follows him home.  He notices the boyís mother and grows a fascination with her and focuses on her more than turning the boy into the police.  At home, Will finds himself distancing from his long-time girlfriend (Penn) and her ďspecialĒ daughter especially as he may have found love from the thiefís mother.

 

Rocky Balboa (seen on February 20, 2007)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Sylvester Stallone

As I sit there in the theater waiting for the previewsÖor commercials to start, it suddenly occurs to me with a bit of a chuckle, Iím about to watch Rocky VI.  Are you kidding me?!?  Then suddenly that famous trumpet intro kicks in of ďGonna Fly NowĒ and Iím locked in and ready to watch Rocky fight till the bitter end.  Now, besides all that, it would have been a better movie had it not been the sixth one in the chain of movies and make several references to the previous, well, the first four at least.  You just get that feeling of been there, done that, offer me something more.  But then to counteract that argument I just say, sweet itís Rocky, the man with a million to one shot.  Itís funny to see everyone in the crowd as the fight scene goes on, how everyone is leaning forward on the edge of their seat still pulling for Rocky after all these years.  Finally, you get that sense that this is ďRockyísĒ swan song and that there will not be a seventh, hopefully.  Not more I should say as I would guess as soon as you heard there was another Rocky movie, you decided then and there whether or not you would watch it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Rocky lives his life as a restaurant owner now that heís retired.  His wife Adrian has passed away a couple of years ago and his son is reluctant to be around him.  Rocky continues with his life until he sees a computer generated fight between him in his prime and the current champion.  He decides that maybe he could simply have a few local fights just for fun, but soon the champion comes calling for an exhibition and Rocky finds another shot at the title.

 

Smokiní Aces (seen on February 15, 2007)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta

I go in to watch this movie to just expect a blood-filled, shoot Ďem movie, guysí movie.  I didnít expect to get such a romantic plot in the movie.  Just kidding.  Actually, I got neither of those.  With a tagline ďMay the best hitman winĒ, I expected more blood and carnage throughout the movie.  Most of it was just background story line vaguely telling you about all the characters and a lot of build-up to where you hope all the hitman are in one huge gun fight, but I canít recall a single hitman even shooting at another hitman.  Itís pretty weak if you ask me.  There is blood and a decent body count, but with a weak plot-line and weak characters, despite all the efforts they try to make these hitman sinister, you just donít believe it.  The movie is just too cheesy and it doesnít appear thatís the way the movie was trying to go.  So the movie just fails to deliver what it sets out to achieve.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Buddy ďAcesĒ Israel is a Las Vegas entertainer who falls into the mob crowd and eventually running part of the business.  Primo Sparazzo is a dying mob boss of the other syndicate and wants Buddy heart and is willing to pay $1,000,000 for it.  While Buddy is held up in a penthouse suite in Tahoe, seven deadly assassin are sent in to kill Buddy for the money, but heís not the only one who wants him.  The FBI wants him to turn statesí evidence and a group of bails bondsmen is hired to bring Buddy back after skipping bail.  Who will get there first?

 

Starter for 10 (seen on December 13, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  James McAvoy, Dominic Cooper

For starters, I must explain what ďStarter for 10Ē means to my non-British friends.  Thereís a game show in the UK called ďUniversity ChallengeĒ where two teams of four from different universities compete in knowledge and the opening of each set of questions is ďstarter for 10Ē meaning first question of the set is ten points with three bonus questions worth five.  Ok, now that the background is covered, letís get on to the movie itself.  A funny movie, but I was a bit upset with how hung up the kid was over the girl after just hanging out with twice.  It doesnít matter too much as you can tell the romantic side of the character is going to end up and is nothing that shocking.  However, what makes this an interesting movie is his struggle in college and the ďUniversity ChallengeĒ, which both are impacted by his love life.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Brian is an average student who strives to gain as much knowledge as possible.  He used to watch ďUniversity ChallengeĒ with his father as a child and his father always encouraged him to learn.  Brian is all grown up now and off to college leaving his friends and his mother behind.  In college, life starts out well for Brian as he meets a girl and finds himself on the University Challenge team, but both turn sour eventually and Brian must learn to cope and persevere or quit and go home to momma.  

 

Flushed Away (seen on December 1, 2006)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslett, Ian McKellan, Bill Nighy, Jean Reno

I bet this movie probably doesnít get that much of a draw since Happy Feet is coming out as the same time, but this is a very funny movie.  Of course itís a cartoon, but done by a joint venture of Aardman and Dreamworks.  I know when we were in the movie there were kids there, but I can guarantee that laughed more than the kids.  There were bits of humor scattered throughout the movie.  The plot isnít that intricate as it is a cartoon, but just watching it as an entertaining movie, itís worth a watch.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Roddy (Jackman) is a pet mouse living in a posh house in Kensington.  After an uninvited visitor, Sid, from the sewer rubs Roddy the wrong way, he tries to convince Sid to jump in the toilet for his bath.  But Sid is cleverer and pushes Roddy in and flushes him into the sewers.  Roddy soon runs into a mouse town and tries to find his way back to the surfaces.  He employs the services of a rogue boat captain, Rita (Winslett), to take him back, but runs into resistance from the Toad (McKellan).  Roddy soon learns that surface life isnít what itís all cracked up to be since he has no family or friends on the surface and must return to the sewers to save the day.

 

Panís Labyrinth (seen on November 29, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Sergi Lopez, Ivanna Baquero

Movies by Guillermo del Toro have not lived up to what I had expected.  As I go into this, I heard critics praising this movie as the award winner this year.  Now itís a very enjoyable movie, but you feel that he could have done so much more with it and it was a bit of a let down that success was there for the taking, but the film underachieved.  With the two stories of wartime in Spain in the 1940ís and the girlís imagination of escaping into her fantasy world, it would have been fantastic if the movie had intertwined the two stories more together.  The wartime scenes were much more developed and the Captain was a great character; just so evil in how he went about his day that you just loathed him, an excellent character.  Now the little girlís imagination let her escape from her rough life, but the tasks that she undertook were very quick and did not compare to the length of the rest of the movie and they didnít relate to her daily life much.  They were more like dreams that no one else ever knew about.  One more thing, if subtitles bother you, donít watch this as the whole movie is in Spanish.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After her mother marries an evil captain, Ofelia is moved out to the countryside where a war is taking place among the Spanish army and a group of rebels.  She finds escape in her imagination that she is actually from a fantasy realm of the Earth.  The Captain has concern for fighting off the rebels and to ensure the birth of his son, Ofeliaís future brother.

 

Casino Royale (seen on November 22, 2006)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Judi Dench

Can you really say that James Bond is back, when this is actually the first book?  Anyways, an excellent movie, but when you watch this you must accept that Bond is not yet refined into the Bond most know.  He is still going through the learning process of being 007 and shows that he is more ruthless and irrational.  Craig portrays the role great as the rough Bond, but I will be quite interested in seeing in the next Bond if he tries to play the more refined James Bond or still the edgy character.  One complaint and I know the movie is called Casino Royale, but it felt as if way too much of the movie was about the poker scene and itís very interesting how theyíve jumped on the popularity of Texas Hold ĎEm too, but it didnít hurt the movie so no complaints about it, just an observation.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Bond recently receiving his license to kill foils a terrorist plot to blow up a plane.  He soon follows an evil banker responsible for the attempted terror act to Montenegro where he is invited to play in a high stake game of Texas Hold ĎEm.  Bond tries to beat him with his talent that he has already learned over the years, but soon learns that he has several more lessons to learn as an international spy.

 

Tim Burtons:  Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (seen on November 21, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Jack the Pumpkin King

Iím not going to do an extravagant review for this movie as it was originally released in 1993 and some have probably have already seen this.  I felt compelled to go watch it as it is a great ďChristmasĒ movie, but I wanted to see what all this talk about cartoons now being shown in 3D.  Now this isnít the 3D with the red and blue glasses, but with the two polarized lenses.  This movie is the same as the original, but now when you watch it, you can see depth to the backgrounds and to the characters.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

In case you havenít seen it yetÖJack the Pumpkin King is in Halloween Town and every year the residents are in charge of making Halloween the scariest time of year.  One day, Jack wonders through the woods and stumbles upon a door that leads to Christmas Town.  Jack likes the idea of becoming ďSanty ClawsĒ, but more in his style of Halloween Town.

 

The Prestige (seen on November 11, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johanssen, Michael Caine

Shocking to see another magician movie so closely released from Hollywood together, but I still thought this had a chance to be a good movie.  The movie wasnít bad, but there were two main flaws with the movie.  One is that both Jackman and Baleís characters are evil.  They are cruel to each other and both play the role of the protagonist.  Thereís no real character to route for throughout the movie as when the two are in the room, they just try to out duel each other no matter the cost.  But the other flaw of this movie is when you write a movie, it can be fantasy or real, but it must remain constant throughout the movie.  The movie canít claim that itís not magic, but just tricks and later reveals it actually is magic.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jackman and Bale are young magicians working together, but when a ďmistakeĒ by Bale causes the death of Jackmanís wife, a bitter feud is started between them.  Every time it seems that the other is succeeding the other will do whatever to ruin them and suddenly their careers take off and the cycle repeats.  Johanssenís role is rather limited to the assistant and love of Jackman who is sent to spy on Bale, but in turn falls for him.

 

Borat:  Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (seen on November 3, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Sacha Baron Cohen

What a tough review to write.  This is not really a movie, but something more like Jackass.  I thought the movie was hilarious, but the whole movie exposes a lot of peopleís ignorance, but some parts just takes advantage of peopleís politeness.  These people on film believe that Cohen is from Kazakhstan and does not know any better and look foolish, but then again, you know youíre on camera.  Donít be an idiot.  I sure everyone signed a waiver and was paid something so it is partially there own fault.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Borat (Cohen) leaves Kazakhstan to learn about America to improve his own country.  He interviews most people playing an ignorant foreigner as he travels across the country.  He eventually sees an episode of Baywatch and decides that he must travel to California to marry Pamela Anderson.  With a camera, his producer, and a limited budget, Borat continues his ďlearningsĒ traveling out to California.

 

The History Boys (seen on October 21, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Frances de la Tour, Dominic Cooper, Stephen Campbell Moore, Richard Griffiths

How about a nice English comedy?  A very enjoyable movie originally based on a play, but I must admit that the premise deals with tests for college and how students get into Cambridge or Oxford, which to me just went right over my head.  So I try to enjoy the movie without that knowledge and it is possible to enjoy the movie to watch the students grow more mature and struggle to separate themselves from the average applicant.  I apologize if some of the movie has went over my head, but despite living in London, Iím not familiar with the school systems, but I donít think itís that important.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next? 

The history boys are a group of teens trying to be accepted into Cambridge or Oxford.  There professors have been pushing them for years, but the principal has decided to bring in a new professor with fresh ideas to expand the boys thinking.  The old professor has tried to teach the boys more about life and how to enjoy every minute.  The boys prefer this professor having known him for years, but he is not without his faults.

 

The Departed (seen on October 17, 2006)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin

Of course the names on the bill just jump right out at you and you would expect a good.  This movie does not let you down, but donít let them fool you, this is also a remake.  I believe DiCaprio does an excellent job as the undercover policeman whoís afraid heís in too deep.  Nicholson is his excellent self while I thought Damon took a bit of a step back from some of his other roles.  With Scorsese films, youíre usually guaranteed violence and foul language (perhaps why he has not won an Oscar) and this movie is no exception, but you get that sense of the characters fears for their lives in their jobs.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Costigan (DiCaprio) joins the police academy and is selected as the type of person for undercover work.  Sullivan (Damon) as a child is taken under the wing of a crime lord, Costello (Nicholson), and Sullivan enters the police force to help tip off Nicholson of trouble.  Costigan is soon recruited into Costelloís syndicate and is able to provide feedback to his bosses of Costelloís dealings.  Sullivan and Costigan are aware that there is a mole on the opposite side and both are trying to flush each other out before itís too late.

 

Black Dahlia (seen on October 10, 2006)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansen, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank

This movie may be based on an actual murder, but the story in the movie is entirely fictional.  The movie tries to convey the same feel of L.A. Confidential, but this movie is far weaker in comparison.  Despite the movie being called the Black Dahlia, the movie deals more with the detectivesí lives instead of the murder.  Too many subplots are written into the script and then upon the end of the movie, the writer suddenly realizes the name of the script and creates a jumbled ending to it leaving the viewer unsatisfied.  The acting was adequate as they try to bring back the 50ís style crime drama, but itís not able to salvage the movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Hartnett and Eckhart are two cops who used to be semi-professional boxers.  In order to raise money for the police department, they box each other in a charity event.  Not only does the boxing event raise money for the department and propel their careers, it brings them together as friends along with Echartís girl, Johansen.  They now only work high profile cases to keep a name for themselves and when the Black Dahlia murder comes about, they jump on board.  The two struggle to figure out who murdered this girl and why, but as time goes by, the case slowly consumes them.

 

The Last Kiss (seen on September 15, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Zach Braff, Casey Affleck

In case youíre wondering, this is a remake, but a remake of an Italian movie so most have probably never heard of the original.  Braff seems to want to play the same type characters in movies; maybe heís trying to break his mold of comedy from his television show Scrubs.  This movie is probably suited more for couples as me being a single guy, I could not relate too much to the stress of being bogged down in relationships.  There are a few chuckles here and there to lighten the mood, but the majority of the movie is spent watching the four friends struggle with their relationships as they approach thirty.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Michael (Braff) finds that his longtime girlfriend is pregnant and starts to feel that thereís no more surprises left in his life and maybe heís not ready to grow up.  As he struggles with this idea, he watches as his three longtime friends battle with married life, divorce, and single life and he must decide if itís time to grow up or to run.

 

The Illusionist (seen on September 14, 2006)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell

Itís nice watching a timepiece type movie as this is set in the late 1800ís of Vienna.  During the Eisenheim performances, you have that feeling as if youíre watching the illusions yourself as opposed to just watching a movie.  When the movie diverges from simply just illusions, it tends to slow down as it tries to build the rest of the plot.  Norton, who normally excels at his parts, had an average performance in this movie, but I believe the more impressive role was Giamatti and his portrayal of the police captain.  Quick note, for those of you opposed to movies with narration, I would avoid this as the movie is retold through the eyes of Giamattiís character.  I would say this is definitely worth a watch if you like dramas (I just hope my standards have not been watered down by the rest of the crap Hollywood has been putting out).  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Set in the late 1800ís in Austria, Eisenheim the Illusionist (Norton) has returned to Vienna after years of traveling to perform his illusions.  His show mystifies audiences, including the local police captain (Giamatti), to the extent where the crown prince (Sewell) comes to watch the show.  Eisenheim recognizes the crown princeís fiancťe, Sophie (Biel), is his lost love from when they were children and tries to rekindle the romance.  The crown prince disapproves and shuts down Eisenheimís shows, but trouble arises in Vienna when Sophie is found murdered.  Soon Eisenheim reveals his most amazing illusion, the ability to raise the spirits of the dead.

 

Idiocracy (seen on September 4, 2006)

Rating Ė 2

Starring:  Luke Wilson

There was not much advertising on this movie, but there wasnít a whole lot for Office Space either.  This movie was written and directed by Mike Judge and included several of the same actors that appeared in Office Space.  However, I predict that this movie will not be as popular in DVD sales as Office Space.  The movie has some valid points about it as it pokes fun at the trends of society, but the movie isnít enjoyable.  Itís supposed to be a comedy, but I didnít laugh once or even hint at smiling throughout the whole movie.  Luckily I knew that it was a short movie because it would have been unbearable to watch much more.  I know the actors were supposed to play the characters as morons, but the most of the actors in this movie need to be relegated to bit parts in all movies (if not totally removed from all) and not third listing in the credits.  Who knows, this movie is so bad that it might become one of the cult classics that is just hideously bad, but my guess is that it will probably fade away as Eddie Murphyís Adventures of Pluto Nash.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Joe (Wilson) has been working for the military for years at a very remedial job when he is selected for a top secret experiment based on that he is the most ďaverageĒ person in the military.  The experiment does not go as planned and Joe wakes up 500 years in the future instead of 1 year to find that stupid people have been breading so much that they are the only oneís left.  Joe finds himself to be the smartest person in the whole world and is put in charge to help solve the problems of the country despite its simplicity.

 

Crank (seen on September 1, 2006)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Jason Statham, Amy Smart

I know, most of you are wondering why I went and saw this movie.  I was curious to see how amped Jason Statham was during the movie.  The story may be weak, but they got the title of the movie right.  He is on edge the whole movie and youíre on the edge of your seat gripping with him too.  Itís not as if you are rooting for his character, itís just the way the movie is shot at such a high pace, fast soundtrack, and scenes changing so fast that you donít realize that your heart is racing right alongside the movie and for a little while afterwards.  The movie is all action all the time and never gives you a break from the pace.  My guess that was the point to the way it was filmed, but itís overall not that great of a movie.  If you feel lethargic, perhaps this is a good movie for you to watch to get moving.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Chelios (Statham) is an assassin for a mob syndicate and has murdered a high-ranking person in another outfit.  Upon waking up, Chelios finds a message that he has been injected with a poison that slows down his adrenaline to the point he falls into a coma and dies.  He is only supposed to have one hour to live, but he soon learns that if he keeps his adrenaline pumping all the time he can prolong his life long enough to get revenge on his enemies and find a cure.

 

Clerks II  (seen on August 8, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Brian OíHalloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith

If you liked the first one and you want to see the same movie except newer material based on the past 12 years since the last movie, come check this out.  The main reason I saw this movie was to find out why Joel Seigel walked out of it; apparently the first time in 30 years.  This scene he walked out on wasnít that bad; it just insinuated things, but showed nothing.  If youíre not a fan of Kevin Smith movies, this is not the one that will get you on board with him.  Basically, the movie is funny and makes you laugh, but I give it a low rating because it reminds me of the first one too much.  Despite having a bigger budget for this film, you think they could have gotten some better acting, but instead they added another bad actor.  It would have been nice if they filmed the movie in black and white like the original was.  That would have been a redeeming quality that should have continued with the sequel, but atlas no.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After Dante (OíHalloran) and Randal (Anderson) find their corner store where they work burning down, they find new employment at Mooby Burgers.  Dante is entering his last day of employment and planning to move to Florida with his fiancťe.  Of course, Dante has trouble leaving his best friend Randal behind and the girl he had a fling with, his boss (Dawson).  What will Dante do in the end?  And always looming in the background is the burnout twosome of Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith).

 

Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Manís Chest (seen on July 15, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Stellan Skarsgard

Hereís a shocker; Hollywood has made a sequel.  Honestly, this is supposed to be a part two of a trilogy, but the second and third one are just one movie that is over five hours long because there is no ending to this movie.  Sorry to give it away, but Iím sure youíve heard that by now.  I donít like sequels that to tie into the original and try to make it seem like the writers intended there to be more story in the first one, but there wasnít.  Itís the same great characters that were in the first one, but thatís the problem they are the same and itís been done now.  Leave it alone.  Deppís portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow was brilliant in the first and he hasnít changed in the second, but there appears to be nothing newly added and just a recycle.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie starts off with Turner (Bloom) and Swann (Knightley) about to be married when the new commodore arrests them.  Turner has been sent out by the commodore to retrieve a compass from Captain Jack (Depp) to free himself and his bride.  But Captain Jack has other use for this special compass as it helps find the Dead Manís Chest.  This chest seems to help Captain Jack with the deal that he made with the devil of the sea, Davy Jones (Nighy).

 

The Proposition (seen on July 6, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson

Ok, if you right a movie and you find out it is not long enough to be considered a movie, donít just add scenes of actors staring into the desert or sky.  Originally, the story line did sound intriguing to me, but I found out that it is rather weak.  I enjoyed it more than Three Burials and I compare those two because both have that real slow pace to it.  The movie starts off with the proposition and you think maybe there is more background to it or maybe thereís another side to the sheriff.  But no, it just runs through the agonizing slow pace of what Guy Pearce will do.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Set in the late 1800ís of Australia, the movie starts off with the proposition so there is no confusion.  Charlie (Pearce) and his younger brother are captured by the sheriff (Winstone).  The sheriff tells Charlie that he can go free, but heís going to keep his younger brother in prison.  Charlie can either hunt down his older bother, leader of a malicious gang, and kill him or his younger brother will be hung on Christmas Day nine days away. 

 

Thank You for Smoking (seen on July 3, 2006)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Aaron Eckhardt, William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Rob Lowe, Sam Elliot, Robert Duvall, Katie Holmes

Donít worry, this movie is not a propaganda movie about smoking; although, it does spit out facts about the smoking industry.  There are several absurd situations that Eckhardt goes through and itís funny to see how he can put a positive spin on everything while still being a role model to his kid.  I thought Eckhardt did an amazing job at playing the role of a ďbullshitĒ artist.  Despite the fact that he represents the tobacco industry, you enjoy watching his character and root for the guy against the ďevilĒ Senator.  You will tend to laugh at just trying to see things the way a tobacco representative perceives them.  Most have probably not heard about this movie before since itís an ďindieĒ flick, but if itís still out in the theaters near you, I recommend it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

A delightfully clever movie that is not here to tell you whether you should smoke or not.  Eckhardt is the spokesman (lobbyist) for the big tobacco corporations.  His job is to put spin on every negative report about smoking and somehow to indirectly promote more smoking.  This job is not easy when Macy, a Senator, is constantly trying to bring down Eckhardt and the big tobacco industry.  As Eckhardt tries to control the situation with the government, a nosy reporter (Holmes) is looking to find out more about the ďspin doctorĒ.  Eckhardt only finds solace with his son and his two friends, spokespeople for alcohol and firearms.

 

Superman Returns (seen on July 1, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Brandon Roth, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey, Parker Posey, Frank Langella

I know thereís a lot of hype about this being the rebirth of Superman as Batman Begins brought back the Batman series, but I cannot agree.  Itís nothing against the actorsí performance, but just the script in general.  The movie did not keep me interested for the whole two hours and forty minutes as I kept checking my watch.  The movie does not add anything to the storyline of Superman, but states that he was missing for a while, heís ďsuperĒ, oh and Lex LutherÖstill evil.  If DC comics is trying to compete with Marvel comics when it comes to movies, I say stick with the Batman series and leave Superman alone.  He just does not have interesting story lines to me, but Iím sure Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin Smith enjoyed it.  I wish Brian Singer had stuck with the X-Men 3 movie to make that movie a success instead of making Superman Returns an average movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story picks up after Superman II (General Zod and his two cronies) where Superman returns after being gone for five years.  Clark Kent returns to Metropolis after his five-year voyage to find Lois Lane has moved on with her life.  Lex Luther has been released from prison, still wants money and power, and still hates Superman.

 

Over the Hedge (seen on June 13, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Thomas Haden Church, Nick Nolte, Eugene Levy, Catherine OíHara

An enjoyable movie, but I must compare this movie to other cartoon movies.  I know these movies are for kids, but several have added more humor for the adults and I believe this is where it fell short.  The movie is an entertaining story that shows the perspective of cute little furry animals amidst suburbia life.  I thought the ending was very clever on how the animals were able to escape their predicament.  I would say worth the watch as a matinee if you were looking for a movie to pass eighty minutes of your time.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

RJ the raccoon is out scurrying for food, but tangles with a bear who orders him to replace all the food he tried to steal within a week.  RJ crosses path with a woodland family of animals who stores food all summer long for the long winter.  He decides to mesmerize them with tastes of human food that exist over the hedge and persuades, unbeknownst to them, to help him fill the bearís list.  Trouble ensues as the humans hire an exterminator and RJ has trouble coping with lying to his new friends.

 

The Da Vinci Code (seen on June 10, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Alfred Molina, Audrey Tautou

I watched this movie without reading the book so I cannot say if that was a good thing or bad, but according to others, it would not have mattered.  I believe that a movie is good or bad independent of the book and in fact, thereís a better chance of one enjoying the movie without reading the book because your do not get upset when the movie omits a scene in the book.  Overall, the movie did not keep me interested in wanting to watch it.  I would preferred if the movie is going to be two and a half hours long that itís worth my trouble for sitting through it.  It was a type of ďtreasure huntingĒ movie, but the treasure hunting parts were rather weak.  Also, I felt the actors, despite the talented cast, did not embrace their characters.  The ending itself was as if they were tired of telling the story as if they were building up to a climax and instead of hitting the peak and winding down, the story just plateaued.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next? 

After a murder at the Louvre, a Harvard college professor and a detective are linked together by the victim.  They try to unravel the clues left by the victim to find who the murderer was.  The clues lead them to a Leonardo DaVinci painting, The Last Supper, which opens up a whole new quest to find the Holy Grail.  Of course, opposition follows closely behind by separatists and followers of the Catholic Church.

 

X-Men 3 Ė The Last Stand (seen on May 26, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Kelsey Grammer

The movie was enjoyable, but I think it just did not live up to my expectations.  The filmmakers tried to cram too much of the X-Men story into this last movie.  Too many extra mutants were thrown in who are significant characters in the comics, but not in the movie.  The movie seemed to fast paced for the amount of information they were throwing at you in only an hour and forty minute movie.  I wonder if I would have enjoyed the movie more had Brian Singer directed this as well as I had enjoyed the first two X-Men.  All in all, I think the storyline of comics was too condensed in the final movie to finish off the trilogy.  Why does everything have to be trilogies nowadays?  I guess it beats Rocky considering there will soon be a sixth Rocky movie, but I digress.  Itís nice seeing new mutants, but the stories are not explained and instead it just has everyone fighting.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The X-Men saga continues as a laboratory has announced a ďcureĒ for mutants.  The search for Magneto continues as he tries to unite mutants against the human threat of a cure in the ďBrotherhood of MutantsĒ.  The X-Men stand to fight against Magneto as both sides recruit new members and some older ones return.  Who will win in the Last Stand?

 

Three Burials (seen on April 1st, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper

As Iím watching this movie, I get annoyed with how the movie jumps in different timelines and I feel that it is a trick to mask a simple plot with editing.  Iím then told by my friend that it is the same writer as 21 Grams and it makes perfect sense to me.  That was the same feeling I had about that movie.  So apparently if you liked 21 Grams, youíll probably like this.  I did not care for either movie despite good acting in both.  I thought Tommy Lee Jonesí performance was excellent as the tired old ranch hand friend.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jones works on a ranch in Texas where he befriends an illegal Mexican immigrant.  Pepper is a border patrol officer who mistakenly shoots the illegal Mexican immigrant and tries to cover up the incident.  Jones kidnaps Pepper and takes off with his dead friend to bury him in Mexico in his home town cause he made a promise to his friend that he would.

 

Inside Man (seen on March 29, 2006)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer

Here we have another collaboration between Denzel Washington and Spike Lee.  Washington delivers his usually performance and Lee does a good job directing.  It was an enjoyable movie with intense acting about a heist.  Something about heist movies are always entertaining to me.  Itís not an exceptional movie and thereís no huge plot twist to try to trick the audience, itís just a heist movie where youíre trying to figure out how will they get away.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Owen starts off telling you that he plans on robbing a bank.  Washington is the police negotiator trying to get Owen to release the hostages and give himself up.  Foster is a tough ďlawyerĒ who has been hired by Plummer, the bankís owner, to retrieve some of his personal documents from the bank while Owen is still inside.

 

The Matador (seen on March 9, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis

Hereís the movie where Pierce Brosnan tries to break his type-cast of being the smooth, suave criminal or super-spy.  It is a different roll for him, but the movie overall just seems cheesy.  Usually itís never good to have Greg Kinnear in you movies.  The characters just seem to over the top.  The loving couple of Davis and Kinnear just seems corny and fake, not a believable couple.  Brosnan is not bad as the broken-down deadly assassin, but itís just one of those movies where you see all the good parts in the previews and thereís not much else to the movie.  Itís one of the movies where a middle class, normal family accepts a murderer into their lives; you know typical.  J  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Brosnan is as he calls himself a ďfacilitator of fatalitiesĒ or an assassin.  Brosnan lives his life traveling from job to job to city to city and realizes on his birthday, that he knows no one.  He has no friends and is alone.  At this point in Mexico City, he crosses paths with a businessman, Kinnear, whoís been down on his luck with his career lately.  There friendship starts off shaky, but Brosnan feels comfort with Kinnear and confides in him his occupation.  Later on as Brosnan starts to crack at the pressures of his job and life, he seeks refuge with the only ďfriendĒ and ďfamilyĒ heís ever known, Kinnear and his wife Davis.

 

Lucky Number Slevin (seen on March 2, 2006)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis

You know, with an all-star cast like this does not mean that the movie will be good.  Hollywood has disappointed me once again and Iím sure will continue its trend for a while.  The movie starts out with the feeling that maybe the movie is something different and not the same stories you hear and almost wonder which way is it going.  And then at some point you realize itís not a different story, but rather just another attempt to try to masquerade a simple idea of a movie.  You get that feeling in the movie just hurry up and finish the movie so I can get out of here.  Thereís no big climax to shock the audience and the story is predictable and a waste of these actors time and my money.  Especially at these London prices out here.  I will say there were a few cheesy laughs from Josh Hartnettís character that gave some hope to the movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman are two crime bosses who hate each who were once partners of the same crime family.  Bruce Willis is the worldís greatest assassin and has been called to town by both crime families to take the other out.  Josh Hartnett is visiting his friend who has disappeared when he arrives.  Hartnett learns quickly that his friend Nick has a big gambling problem with both crime families and that Hartnett appears to be the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

A Cock and Bull Story (seen on February 19, 2006)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Steve Coogan, Rob Bryden

This is a funny movie, but no real plot to it.  Apparently it is quite similar to most Steve Coogan comedy.  Thereís a very erratic timeline to the movie as it jumps from ďmovieĒ to ďrealĒ and then back.  The question I had throughout the movie was weather or not thereís was an actually novel called Tristam Shandy.  Being an outsider seeing this very ďEnglishĒ type movie makes me wonder if I had missed any thing that locals may have caught, but I was still able to enjoy it.  The movie has a slight similarity to Adaptation where ďCharlie KaufmanĒ has trouble writing a movie about a book of flowers.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie is about Steve Coogan trying to film a movie about a book thatís supposedly impossible to film.  Part of the movie has Steve Coogan playing his role in the Tristam Shandy ďmovieĒ, but the rest has the crew and actors struggling on how to film the movie of this unfilmable novel.  Donít try to think about it much because it is quite a confusing ďplotĒ, but itís a comedy and it makes you laugh, which is all that is important to enjoying the movie.

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (seen on December 10, 2005)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe

The fourth movie of the Harry Potter series is out.  Now, Iíve never read the books so my review is based solely on the movie.  The movie may have introduced some new characters into the mix, but the movie seemed more to drag on the series of Harry Potterís schooling instead of moving forward with the story.  Now that the kids are growing older, the movie starts to add teenage drama and sways towards being just a teen movie in parts.  The movie does reveal a few more things about the series, but I felt overall that the whole movie was just there to stretch the storyline of the Harry Potter series than to help the story grow.  Maybe thereís more to the story in the book, but just from my movie watching perspective, thatís how I feel.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Harry Potter and his friends are at the World Cup of Quidditch when Lord Voldemortís henchmen crash the event.  Back at Hogwarts, the school is to play host of the Tri-Wizard tournament.  When Harry finds his name mysteriously entered into the Goblet of Fire as a contestant, he finds himself amidst of a dangerous competition.  The students are starting to get older and they start to realize that there are evils in the world that are out to hurt and kill them.

 

Aeon Flux (seen on December 6, 2005)

Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Charlize Theron, Jonny Lee Miller, Frances McDormand

For those of you who do not know, this is based on an animation show on MTV in the 90ís called Aeon Flux.  The cartoon only lasted two seasons and it never explained anything about what was going on.  Despite seeing the trailers and judging that the movie was not going to be any good, I still had to go see it.  I had to find out what the hell the cartoon was about.  All you ever got from the cartoon was that Aeon was an assassin in a futuristic war where most of the people were plagued with a virus and that Trevor was a former boyfriend of hers.  I know I sound like Iím reviewing the cartoon more than the actually movie is because the movie is not that good.  It didnít seem as off the wall sci-fi as the cartoon had implied the future to be.  Maybe if you hadnít seen the cartoon you might not be disappointed because you are not comparing it with the cartoon.  On second thought, you can compare it to any movie and realize that this movie is a disappointment.  One thing I did get out of going to the movie was I found out what was wrong with the future of this story and what Aeon Flux was trying to do.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Ninety-nine percent of the population is eliminated with a virus.  The people are saved by a scientist, Trevor Goodchild, who finds a cure for humanity.  However, there is a price to pay for the population is forced to live inside a walled city to protect them from the outside as nature has retaken the world.  The Goodchild dynasty has ruled supremely for 400 years, but there is group that resists under the shadows, the Monicans.  Aeon Flux is one of the top assassins and is sent in to bring down the Goodchild dynasty, but not everything seems right as Aeon sees visions of her past.

 

Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang (seen on November 17, 2005)

Rating - 7

Starring:  Robert Downy Jr., Val Kilmer

Let's just start off with the title...I think they could have chosen a better title to entice the audience to come watch it.  This movie is a rather cheesy murder mystery, but I think that's the point of the movie.  Still, the movie is worth watching with the humor that is spread sporadically throughout the flick.  The movie starts off with narration to help set up the movie, but as the movie goes on, the narration just drops from the movie.  Even when there is narration, the filmmakers try to get cute with the well they tell the story, but it's more annoying than clever.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Harry (Downy Jr.) finds himself out in L.A. auditioning for a movie after being accidentally discovered by a talent agent in New York.  Perry (Kilmer) is a private detective who helps actors prepare for detective roles by letting them ride-along.  When Harry and Perry are on their stakeout together, instead of just a simple job of photographing an adulterer, they find themselves involved in a murder.  As the story unfolds, Harry finds a link between this murder and the death of his childhood friend's sister.

 

Lord of War (seen on November 4, 2005)

Rating - 4

Starring:  Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke, Ian Holm

I did not realize how much of political movie this was going to be.  I must say watching this movie in a borderline third-world country where many people carry around machetes, it rattles you a little.  Also, can Jared Leto play a role where he does not use drugs?  I think he's being typecast, but he's still earning a paycheck.  I thought the movie was a little long and too much voiceover, but that's just my opinion.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Yuri Orlov (Cage) is and his family are immigrants from the Ukraine.  Yuri decides that he wants to have a better life.  One way to improve your life is to provide a service that will always be needed...guns.  Yuri and his brother (Leto) enter the firearms business by selling guns to warring countries around the world.  Of course, selling firearms to these countries is dangerous business especially when Interpol agent (Hawke) is always following, but Yuri is one of the bests in the business. 

 

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were Rabbit (seen on October 31, 2005)

Rating - 7

Starring:  Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bohnam Carter

I guess this is my Halloween movie for this year.  Actually, it's not that scary.  I only had to close my eyes four times during the movie.  Back to the review.  I'm assuming that most people have heard of Wallace & Gromit before, but you know what they say about assuming.  I thought this movie was very clever.  Of course, there are a lot of kids watching the movie giggling at the silly things, but there were times when I was the one laughing.  The clay animation was excellent and it was a nice little story.  That's my quick review; what's next?

It appears that Wallace & Gromit are in charge of keeping those pesky rabbits out of the towns gardens.  The townspeople are pleased with their results as the gardens are free of these vermins and with the Giant Vegetable Festival in a week, these rabbits are a nuisance.  Until one day, a giant Were-Rabbit appears and starts to destroy the vegetables.  It is up to Wallace & Gromit to catch the Were-Rabbit humanely before the sinister Victor shoots it.

 

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (seen on October 18, 2005)

Rating - 5

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Helena Bohnam Carter, Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee, Tracey Ullman

It seems that Tim Burton has returned to clay animation (yes, I know that statement could entitle me the role of Captain Obvious, but just in case there are some who never saw the previews).  The movie has that certain Tim Burton type feeling and I believe if you liked the Nightmare Before Christmas, then you'll like this movie.  It is amazing what they are able to do with these clay animation.  The stories not too bad, but it loses its luster quickly and you seem only entertained by simply the movement of the clay figures.  It's probably a good thing this movie wasn't much longer, but it wasn't a bad watch if you have 75 minutes free.  That's my quick review; what's next?

Victor's parents have arranged his marriage with Watson's parents.  Neither Victor (Depp) nor Victoria (Watson) have met each other before.  Well, Victor is a little nervous about getting married and he cannot remember his vows so he is sent to the woods by the preacher to practice his vows.  While he is practicing his vows, he places his ring on what he thought was a twig, ends up being a corpse.  And of course, the corpse accepts his proposal, but Victor at this point wants to marry Victoria.

 

Serenity (seen on October 14, 2005)

Rating - 7

Starring:  Nathan Fillion

For starters, in case you did not know, the movie is based on a TV series, Firefly, that only lasted two seasons.  But you don't have to have watched the series to follow what's going on.  I do suggest that you should be a science fiction fan or you probably shouldn't see this movie.  An interesting cast of "no-names" is quite refreshing from the blockbuster movies that usually make the list.  The movie want win any awards, but it was a good watch.  That's my quick review; what's next?

After people have abandoned the Earth because of over-population, they settle in a new solar system.  The core planets form a "Utopian" society that the rebels disagree with because it encourages conformity and not individualism.  The rag-tag crew of the ship Serenity are a band of rebels that are harboring a sister of one of the crew.  This mysterious girl is wanted by the society because she is a psychic and was present amongst some of the head members of the society and may have discovered some of their secrets.  The society is trying to kill the crew of the Serenity to save their secrets while Serenity is trying to find out why they want the girl so badly.

 

40 Year Old Virgin (seen on September 29, 2005)

Rating - 6

Starring:  Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd

It was not a bad movie, but after a while it seemed like the jokes just became the same throughout the movie.  I found it funny, but after a while, I got that feeling of get the movie over with.  I don't have much to say on this.  That's my quick review; what's next?

The title of the movie should give you a big hint on what this movie is about.  Needless to say that when his coworkers find out that he's still a virgin, they try to help him out.  Eventually, he finds a girl on his own that he likes, but he has trouble telling her that he is a virgin.

 

Broken Flowers (seen on August 21, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Bill Murray

Despite being a different writer and director, I must start off by comparing the movie to Lost in Translation.  Itís not just simply because Bill Murray is the star in both movies, but he acts the same character in both, the apathetic type character, which he seems to play in most of his movies.  This movie has some slow parts in it mixed with humor so it matches the format of Lost in Translation; therefore, I must give the same recommendation that this movie is not for everyone.  Better ask me individually if you should see this comment (this is mainly directed at Walker).  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

After Donís (Murray) girlfriend leaves him, he receives a letter from an unknown ex-girlfriend who claims she had a son with him whose currently seeking him.  With the advice of his neighbor whoís a wannabe detective, he visits his ex-girlfriends in hope of finding the woman who sent this letter and perhaps his son.  Don questions which woman wrote the letter or even if the letter is real.

 

Wedding Crashers (seen on July 24, 2005)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken

I thought this was a funny movie, but the problem was that some of these comedies are getting tiresome.  I know itís not the same story as Old School, Zoolander, or Starsky and Hutch, but these comedies with weak plots seem to be lacking.  It made me laugh, but after a while, I start to look at my watch and think, hurry up and get the plot line over with and let me out of here.  But thatís just my opinion.  As my rating says, it wouldnít be bad as a matinee.  Also, itís a relaxing movie that you donít have to think about, but rather just sit back and laugh.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) are two friends who love wedding season.  Itís not for the uniting of two people in love, but to sleep with desperate single women at these weddings.  Until one day John starts to fall for one of the women at a high profile wedding.  He is able to extend his chance to get to know this woman since his friend Jeremy has caught the eye of her sister at the wedding.  Of course, trouble ensues when Johnís interestís boyfriend shows up in the picture.  Iím sure at this point one can predict the rest of the story so Iíll stop here.

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (seen on July 21, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Freddie Highmore

Unfortunately this is another remake; however, this isnít a true remake of the original movie.  This movie is actually based on the book (or so Iíve been told because Iíve never read it).  One can tell from the beginning that this is a Tim Burton movie with its dark scenery and its camera shots.  I thought it was an excellent movie, but it wasnít for Deppís role in the movie.  In fact, he bothered me somewhat in the movie; seemed he was almost overacting the role of weird, creepy Willy Wonka.  Highmore (aka Charlie) did an excellent job as the truthful, starry-eyed kid who just loves his family, well and of course chocolate.  I just have to say, if you go to watch this movie, donít go expecting the original ďWilly Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryĒ because the movie is not a remake of the movie, but of the book.  If you go to watch the movie without comparing to the original, I believe you will like it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Everyone knows the story of Willy Wonka and his rise to make the greatest candy the world had ever tasted.  But as time went on and his secrets were stolen, he shut his factory to the public.  Until one day the factory started producing candy again, but the townsfolk did not know who was working the factory and what was going on behind those closed doors.  Charlie was from a poor family, whom was filled with great love.  One Willy Wonka announced that five children around the world would be invited to his factory if they were to find the golden ticket in his Wonka bars.  After Charlie finds a ticket, he and his Grandpa Joe enter the factory to the wonderful world of Willy Wonka and the secrets of the factory.

 

Fantastic Four (seen on July 17, 2005)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis

Yet another comic book movie, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.  I supposed the Fantastic Four series was not as popular as Spiderman so more character development was needed for this movie.  The only problem is that the majority of the movie is focuses on developing the characters.  The scenes where they actually use their superpowers are limited to basically one fight scene with Dr. Doom.  Perhaps the sequel will have more fight scenes because thatís all that Hollywood can make nowadays, sequels.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

When five astronauts are exposed to a radiation cloud in space, they develop superpowers.  Four of them unite to find a cure for their powers, while Dr. Doom uses his to eliminate his enemies.  The newly united Fantastic Four must work together to stop Dr. Doom as they battle amongst themselves adopting to their new superhuman abilities.

 

Batman Begins (seen on June 24, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson

This is a huge improvement from Joel Schumacherís debacle of Batman 3 and 4.  Personally, I still believe the first one is the best and Iím not talking about the Batman with Adam West, Iím talking about Michael Keaton.  The film returned to a more bleak and corrupt city of Gotham.  The movie did an excellent job of telling how and why Bruce Wayne, billionaire playboy, became Batman.  I was curious as to which villain was going to be in the movie and was pleasantly surprised with the way they went.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Bruce Wayne starts off in East Asia in a prison.  He has been missing from the spotlight for seven years.  He is released from prison and trained in the arts of stealth ninja fighting style by the leader Raís Al-Ghul.  Wayne returns to Gotham to clean up the corrupt city, but returns as Batman to hide his identity to protect the people he cares for.  I donít want to reveal to much, but youíll have to see the movie to find out who is the puppet master that is pulling all the strings of Gothamís crime syndicate.

 

Layer Cake (seen on June 5, 2005)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Daniel Craig, Colm Meany

Now despite the fact that I gave this movie a high rating does not mean this is an everybody-should-go-see-movie.  This movie has drugs and murder in it so not everyoneís type of movie.  The plot, which Iíll try to divulge below, is not easy to describe.  Some might criticize that there is almost too many subplots and characters to keep track of, but itís not necessarily that important if you just sit back and enjoy the movie.  You might miss something but you still can just kick back and enjoy this different story telling British film.  The charactersí backgrounds do not develop in detail, but thatís part of the mystique of the movie.  The movie is from the producer of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch (Matthew Vaughn) so it has the upbeat tempo to the movie, but itís not Guy Ritchie so there are differences.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The importance of having a plan and sticking to it is Daniel Craigís whole philosophy.  Craig is a drug dealer and once he gets his money to retire, he wants out and itís just on the horizon, or at least he thought it was.  His boss requests his services in finding a friendís daughter and funneling a shipment of ecstasy from a two-bit dealer who has stirred trouble in Amsterdam.  Now the ecstasy and the trouble is linked to him and his crew and his bossí friend is telling Craig that he is a smart man, but surrounded by non-trustworthy people.  Craig feels pressure from all parties surrounding him as his plan to retire and fade away is fading away without him.

 

Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith (seen on May 24, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

The prequel trilogy is finally over.  Most people probably know what happens in this one.  George Lucas did an excellent job of wrapping up the loose ends.  The only problem was was that there was no real surprise to the movie.  You were just there to watch the movie and confirm what you had speculated/pieced together from the other movies.  I must say that there may have been too many light saber scenes.  I remember in the original three episodes, the light sabers were rarely revealed except for the ďclimaticĒ battle between Vader and Luke.  But I guess before the Empire was formed, everyone used light savers.  Still being the last Star Wars movie, I had to give it a high rating because these movies are better to watch in the theaters.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story begins with Obi-Wan and Anakin trying to save Senator Palpatine.  The Clone Wars have continued and the Senator believes the end of the war is near.  The Jedi suspects that there is a Sith Lord yet to reveal himself and his evil plans.  Anakin returns home to his secretly married wife Padme to find she is pregnant.  Thatís all I want to reveal in case for some reason you donít know what happens.

 

Unleashed (seen on May 22, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, Bob Hoskins

If you like movies with martial arts, go see this movie.  If you like movies with good fight scenes that arenít all ďMatrix-edĒ out, go see this movie.  If you want to see Jet Li stake his claim for the Best Actor Award at the Academy Awards, donít go see this movie.  There are great fight scenes throughout the movie, but itís painfully obvious that Jet Li is not an actor.  But thatís ok because he doesnít have to act too much.  Heís usually beating the crap out of people and I mean just absolutely pounding people into submission.  Bob Hoskins did an excellent job as the ďbad guyĒ, but I really donít know why Morgan Freeman was in the movie.  Anyone could have played his role; still Freeman did a good job.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Bart (Hoskins) is an underground boss who lends money to people and when they donít pay, he sends his ďdogĒ after them by removing his collar.  Danny (Li) is treated as a dog and only reacts when his collar is removed.  However, after being separated from Bart, he finds hope from Sam (Freeman) and his daughter who take in the scared ďpuppyĒ.  By the use of music, Danny begins to open up and remember that he is human.  But as he starts his new life, his sinister past comes back to haunt him.

 

Crash (seen on May 20, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris, Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillippe

In case you donít know, this is not a light-hearted movie.  The movie deals with racism and people of different social classes.  Itís an interesting story on how these different characters cross each otherís paths in just two days in LA.  Itís almost too coincidental how much these characters cross paths even taking into account that it is a movie.  To paraphrase Don Cheadleís character in the opening scene when he states that people walk past one another without any contact or feeling and sometimes the only way to feel human is to ďcrashĒ into one another.

The movie follows several individual stories that cross paths within two days in LA.  From a racist cop and his disgusted partner, to a black TV director and his wife, to a philosophical car thief and his partner, to a district attorney and his spoiled wife, to a Hispanic locksmith and daughter, to a Persian shop keeper, to a black cop and his drugged out mother.

 

Mindhunters (seen on May 15, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Jonny Lee Miller, LL Cool J, Kathryn Morris

There may be several of you who have never heard of this movie and that wouldnít surprise after its low turn out at the box office its opening weekend.  I believe it was definitely worth the watch.  Of course, watching anyone of these ďsuspense, killer, who-done-itĒ type movies, your constantly trying to predict what the director is going to happen next.  And in a movie where there is only a short list of suspects, which dwindles with every murder itís hard to keep the audience guessing on who is the killer.  But the movie does a pretty good job of throwing you off course.  My suggestion is to just kick back and watch the movie and try to keep it with the fast pace of the movie as characters are killed throughout.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is based on a group of 8 FBI trainees who wish to become a psychological profiler.  Their professor, Harris (Val Kilmer), drops them on a remote naval base island where they will have their final exam that will simulate a serial killer loose in the town.  However, things go wrong at the first crime scene when one of the agents is actually killed and they become to discover that there is a real killer among the group of FBI trainees and thereís no one to trust.

 

Sin City (seen on April 8, 2005)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and a whole bunch more actors

I must say, that Iím not a big fan of green screens, but since this movie was trying to have that comic book feel to it, I think it was quite successful.  The movie is three different stories that overlap one another, but donít actually connect.  Iíve never read the Sin City comics so I donít know how true the movie is to the comics.  This movie is loaded with actors in each of the stories.  I found this movie very entertaining.  Just remember if youíre going to see the movie, it is based on graphic novels (comic books).  Itís probably the only movie that effectively shows the movie as a true comic.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Basin City is a trouble city overrun with crooked politicians and mobsters.  The movie follows three different storylines.  The story follows Hartiganís (Willis) attempt to save a kidnapped little girl, Marvís (Rourke) fight to avenge his ladyís murder, and Dwightís (Owen) struggle to rid the streets of a dirty cop. 

 

Million Dollar Baby (seen on March 4, 2005)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman

I know this movie has been out for a while, but I finally got around to seeing it.  This is an excellent movie.  Iím not surprised that it won 4 Academy Awards because it has everything that the Academy looks for.  Hilary Swank did an outstanding job in her performance and of course, Eastwood and Freeman always excel at their roles.  One problem is the movie is narrated by Freeman and gives that same feeling as Shawshank Redemption, but thatís not much of a problem as it just makes you seem a little similarities between Freemanís character in this movie compared to some of his other roles.  I had thought it was a serious drama, but the movie had some chuckles in it to lighten the mood now and then.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) is a boxing trainer who owns his own gym with his maintenance man friend Scrap (Freeman).  Maggie (Swank) joins Frankieís gym in hopes that he will trainer her to be a boxer, but Frankie repeatedly states that he does not train women.  Maggieís stubbornness and determination eventually wear down Frankie and he agrees to train her.  A father-daughter relationship grows between them as she begins her boxing career with her having lost her father and he having a daughter who will not speak to him.  They argue with each other out of respect as Maggie moves up the rankings towards a title fight.

 

Spike and Mike Sick and Twisted Animation Festival 2005  (seen on January 29, 2005)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Itís a cartoon.  No stars.

Itís another year of me driving to Austin to watch a bunch of cartoons.  I enjoyed it, but there was one thing about it.  Iím not disappointed, but I must say the first time I saw the show, it was the best because everything was new.  Of course, the cartoons they bring back are the classics and I can watch those repeatedly.  There were plenty of new oneís that were entertaining.  The only thing was was that it is called the ďSick and TwistedĒ animation festival.  Now granted, the ďtwistedĒ cartoons were there, but what about the ďsickĒ cartoons.  The oneís you wonder about why was the cartoon made.  Thereís no point to this cartoon; itís just sick!  Well anyways, thatís seven straight years of the animation festival for me.  Iíll be there for number eight too.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

 

Sideways (seen on January 7, 2005)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen

This movie seems to have drawn attention from the awards people despite being a lower budget film.  I enjoyed the film, but just because it is up for awards does not necessarily mean you have to see it.  Paul Giamatti plays the same type character he does in almost every movie heís in.  I give the movie credit for using a different setting for the loveable pathetic loser character finding himself again in life.  Parts of the movie almost seem to be a commercial for wine and most of the characters tend to have that pompous type attitude because they know everything about their wine.  One thing that I have to point out that doesnít need to be pointed out if you saw the movie was that the boom mic was in almost every shot.  I thought Paul Giamatti was going to get hit a couple of times with it.  The movie has some good laughs, but it kind of boils down to a bunch of middle-aged people who are constantly drinking.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jack (Church) is getting married in a week and his best friend Miles (Giamatti) has planned a week-long trip of drinking in wine country with just he and his buddy.  Jack decides that he is going to live his last week of bachelorhood to the fullest, but worries that Miles will ruin his plans for the trip.  It appears that Miles has found an interest in Maya (Madsen) and it is Jack who ends up ruining Miles plans.  As Miles personal life takes a roller coaster ride, his professional life as a writer seems to be in question too.

 

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (seen on December 29, 2004)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum

Well, it was tough giving this rating out to a Wes Anderson film, but I felt like thatís what the movie deserved.  The typical Wes Anderson flicks are rather corny, but this seems a little over the top.  I enjoyed watching it, but I almost question why was this movie told besides to keep the corny humor of Wes Anderson out there.  Maybe itís just the underlying story that I did not like.  I like the Wes Anderson flicks that have a story with corny stuff going on around it instead of the story itself being corny.  Well, maybe that does not make a lot of sense, but maybe neither did this movie.  Anyways, if you have a question about the movie, email me.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Steve Zissou (Murray) is a famous ďoceanographerĒ whoís on his way down by lack of funds and low interest in his exploration movies.  Zissou must have another voyage in search of a ďJaguar SharkĒ that ate his partner and friend on his latest voyage.  Along with his normal crew of explorers are Zissouís ďsonĒ (Wilson) and a reporter (Blanchett).  Of course as Zissouís journey sets off, trouble arises from his the son heís never known, a nosy reporter, his wife (Huston), and his fellow underwater explorer competition (Goldblum).

 

Ocean's Twelve (seen on December 28, 2004)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Catherine Zeta-Jones

There was disappointment with this movie.  I must say going into this movie, it did have one thing going against it; the fact that it was a sequel to a remake just goes to show that Hollywood is running out of good ideas.  I thought the remake was done quite nicely.  I do not want to give anything away, but most of the jobs they pull do not necessarily involve all eleven or twelve in this movie.  The first movie had the whole crew working smoothly in separate important tasks to complete one big score.  This movie brought back the whole cast of characters just to sell the names to the public in hopes of drawing a big audience for a big pay day.  You can go see it if you like, but Iíd wait until a rainy day and itís on cable to watch it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie starts off with Benedict (Garcia) location all eleven members that robbed his casino three years prior to this movie.  He demands that all his money be repaid plus interest within two weeks.  The crew decides that they must travel to Europe to pull a large heist over there to repay Benedict, but they encounter two troubles:  a government agent (Zeta-Jones) trying to catch them and another great burglar who wants to beat them to the job.

 

The Incredibles (seen on December 2, 2004)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee

Iíd like to start off saying that thereís nothing wrong with me seeing a cartoon at my age.  Actually, this is a good movie.  The movie has the same excellent effects that one has come to expect from a PIXAR cartoon.  Itís a good little storyline and a good family movie.  Nothing to shocking about the plot; somewhat predictable, but thatís what tends to happen with most superhero/good vs. evil movies.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Well, Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl, have started a family and they must keep there super powers under control.  After living a normal for several years, Mr. Incredible is looking for that spark in his life again.  He wants to be a superhero again, but he gets in trouble, his family is out to rescue him from a new villain.

 

The Motorcycle Diaries (seen on October 31, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna

For starters, the movie is subtitled, so if you donít like that, I donít recommend seeing the movie.  This is a well-told story based on the journals of Ernesto and Alberto as they travel through South America.  The movie says it quite well when it states, ďtwo lives running parallel for a while.Ē  The movie is effective at showing how the characters view their surroundings as they notice the struggle and strife of their fellow South Americans.  The movie starts as two guys looking to explore and have fun, to experience what their neighboring countries have to offer.  But along their travels soon find out that life is not all fun and games and there is a time to make difficult decisions and choose your path in life.  (In case you didnít recognize the name Che Guevara, you might want to look him up on the internet and see what kind of impact he had on the world.)  Thatís my quick review; whatís next? 

This is the story of Ernesto ďCheĒ Guevara and Alberto Granado traveling the countryside of South America.  They start off in Argentina as young, aspiring college students looking to travel just for fun and adventure.  Along their journey, they realize that they most grow up and make important decisions regarding the future.

 

I Heart Huckabees (seen on October 29, 2004)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Mark Wahlberg, Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Naomi Watts

This movie tended to jump around from one scene to another in hopes that it all wraps up in the end.  I might miss the point of the movie, especially since Iím not a philosophy major, but I believe that the structure of the movie and how it did jump around and yet come together at the end was the point of the movie.  That everything is connected in one way or another and weíre all part of the same chaotic universe.  It wasnít a bad movie, but it felt somewhat choppy and rather dodgy when trying to convey the movieís message.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Jason Schwartzman is an environmentalist who teams up with Jude Law, VP of Huckabees, to save a marshland.  Schwartzman seeks help from existential detectives, Tomlin and Hoffman, as to the meaning of his life.  After Law and his girlfriend, Watts, become members, Schwartzman teams with another disillusioned client, Wahlberg, and seek advice from another more chaotic existential detective.

 

Riding Giants (seen on September 5, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Jeff Clark, Greg Noll, Laird Hamilton

This movie was quite good for being a documentary.  The documentary is set up quite well as it focuses on three sets of surfing pioneers.  From Greg Noll and his crew in the 50ís discovering and surfing the waves off of Hawaii to Jeff Clarkís discovery of the Mavericks off of Northern California to Laird Hamilton utilizing a jet ski to take him to the waves that are 50 to 60 feet high.  Mixed in with footage of these surfers experiences are interviews of these surfers.  What a charismatic group.  Most just donít seem to care about anything but catching that great wave.  Of course, it makes me ask the questionÖDad if youíre reading this, why couldnít you have moved the family to Hawaii when I was younger so I could just be a beach bum and surf all the time?  I enjoyed it, but I would not necessarily recommend this movie to just anyone because after all, it is a documentary.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie documents the birth of surfing from over 1000 years ago in Hawaii to the present day.  The movie follows the American surf culture for the past 100 years in search of the great wave.  The documentary tells the beginnings of the pioneers of surfing in Hawaii to the discovery of Mavericks off Northern California to being able to tow a surfer by jet ski to the unreachable waves beyond the coast.

 

Before Sunset (seen on September 5, 2004)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

For starters, if you have not seen the prequel to this movie Before Sunrise, do not go see this movie.  You will be lost.  Iím not big on sequels, but for some reason I wanted to find out what happened next in the story.  In case youíre wondering, the first moving left you guessing at the end on what happened next.  Unfortunately, I would have preferred that they story had ended there, but I still paid my money to find out what happened.  The movie is similar to the first one with regards to the way the movie is shot and the types of conversations that they have, but I liked the fact that the first movie ended with you guessing whether they got back together in six months or not.  A few interesting things about the movie is that it takes place nine years after the last movie was made or after they last met.  Also, the movie is an hour and a half long, which is the same amount of time that the movie takes place in.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie is continues the story of Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) where they had promised to meet at the train platform after their first encounter in Vienna, but they didnít meet.  Jesse is on a book tour through Europe when he runs into Celine in Paris and they strike up the conversations once again.  Celine comes to find that Jesse is now married with a kid, but neither can shake the memories of the one night they spent together in Vienna nine years ago. 

 

Hero (Ying xiong) (seen on August 29, 2004)

Rating Ė 9

Starring:  Jet Li

For starters, if you canít handle sub-titles donít go see this movie.  I would prefer the movie in sub-titles as opposed to dub movies.  This was a really good movie.  It wasnít necessarily the story line that made it a good movie; however, it did have an interesting story to it.  What fascinated me with this movie were the cinematography and the use of the colors of scenes throughout the movie to help tell the story.  Donít think that those colors were selected at random throughout the movie.  There was a story telling to it.  And in case that does not enrapture you, the fight scenes are well-scripted duels of great warriors battling one another for what they believe in.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is the telling of warring territories in pre-unified China trying to be united by a king.  One nameless warrior has eliminated three great assassins who are the greatest threat to the kingís unification of China.  The king insists on the nameless warrior re-telling his accounts of his victory over these great assassins.  Of course, not everything is revealed at once.

 

Garden State (seen on August 17, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Zach Braff, Natalie Portman

This was a good movie.  Itís not exactly a happy movie if thatís what youíre looking for, but itís not depressing.  It was nice to find the off-beat humor scattered throughout the movie so that it wouldnít seem so depressing.  The whole concept of a character who struggles with his past to find where heís at in the present is not original, but it was an original telling.  I enjoyed the use of different camera shots to give the viewer the sense of how the world was speeding around the main character while he just didnít seem to care.  Iím going to cut this short and just end it here.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Andrew Largeman (Braff) lives in California and returns home to New Jersey for his motherís funeral.  His whole character is apathetic to his surroundings and is lost with everything in his life.  He runs into some old friends from high school.  While on his stay in Jersey, he meets Sam (Portman), who shows him that there may be some hope and happiness to his life.

 

The Bourne Supremacy (seen on August 13, 2004)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Matt Damon, Brian Cox

This movie wasnít a bad movie to see at the theatres, but I just didnít think it was that good compared to the first one.  There wasnít a reason to make this movie.  Itís not like it revealed a whole lot more of the story or the character.  I never read the second book and perhaps that is how it is written as well, but Iím getting tired of Hollywood making sequels all the time.  Why canít they come up with an original story?  The movie doesnít feel like itís continuing to tell the saga of the first one, but instead shows you a bunch of fast action as Bourne struggles through the same dilemma he had in the first movie, unable to remember who he is and what he has done.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story line of Jason Bourne continues two years later.  He finds out that the agency will not just let him fade away and as long as he lives, it seems they will be after him for what he has done in his past.  After he is framed for a CIA operation that has gone wrong, Bourne must take action on his former employment as he tries to unravel the mystery of his past life.

 

Super Size Me (seen on July 23, 2004)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Morgan Spurlock

This movie is a documentary so I have differing opinions on how to judge this movie.  I enjoyed the movie.  Morgan is an entertaining person and seems to be a good storyteller.  The movie has a few slow parts, but there is a reason for it.  He is quite good at explaining other facts about the health of Americans in general and not just telling a story about McDonaldís.  I wouldnít say this movie is for everybody because it is a documentary, but it is entertaining to see what happens to him and there are some funny parts.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The premise of the movie is that Morgan Spurlock has taken it upon himself to find out the effects of eating McDonaldís food three times a day for 30 days.  He hires a staff of doctors to watch over his ďprogressĒ and health.  The results are astonishing to find out what happens in only 30 days.  Throughout the movie he analyzes American culture in general in respect to their overall health.  I donít want to give the results away, so if you want to find out what happens to an average person who eats only McDonaldís for 30 days, youíll have to watch the movie.  

 

Spiderman 2 (seen on July 5, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

I enjoyed this movie and really the only problem is that it is a sequel.  I believe the effects with Dr. Octopus were excellent and they continued the storyline of Spiderman quite well.  I could see how some might view the movie as a little slow, but I believe itís stays true to the character of Spiderman and how he struggles between being Peter Parker, young college student trying to make a career as a photographer for a newspaper, and Spiderman, protector of the city.  The movie does an excellent job of setting up characters that take a while to develop in comic books, but the movie is able to accomplish this sufficiently enough in only a few minutes.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie picks up relatively to where the first one left off.  Harry Osborn is upset at Peter for not helping him find Spiderman because Harry wants revenge for his fatherís death.  Mary Jane is living her life and trying to move on without Peter since he keeps pushing her away.  The new villain is Dr. Octopus, who is an eccentric scientist who believes who can harness the power of the fusion.  

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (seen on July 3, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

Letís start off with Iíve never read any of these books so if you have and you were disappointed in the movie because they omitted something, tough, this is based on my review of only the movie itself.  I have seen the first one, but I have not been able to see the second one yet.  I enjoyed this movie.  I think itís a nice kids movie that adults can enjoy, I mean hell I enjoyed it and Iím almost an adult.  Thatís really all I have to say.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story continues of the ďgreatĒ wizard Harry Potter as he attends another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  He teams up with his friends Hermione and Ron.  The fear is a prisoner from Azkaban has escaped and is rumored to be out to kill Harry Potter.  Harry struggles in the new year as well as trying to unravel the mystery of why this man is trying to kill him.  

 

Dodgeball (seen on June 19, 2004)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn

It had some really funny parts, even parts that were not shown in the trailer; however, these Ben Stiller movies are becoming all the same.  They all seem too silly.  I gave it a 6 so it might be worth a matinee price if you need to see a movie, but donít feel compelled to go see this in the theaters.  Better off waiting until you can rent it.  Thereís not a whole lot to say about this movie.  Itís a simple plot that is predictable.  There is a nice cameo in the end though.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Vince Vaughn is the loveable slacker who owns a run-down gym.  Ben Stiller is the owner of the multi-million dollar gym across the street.  When Vaughn slacks off on his payments, the bank sends an agent, Christine Taylor, to foreclose on the gym at the request of Ben Stiller.  Vaughn and his cronies decide to play in a dodgeball league to raise the money that they owe to the bank in order to save their beloved run-down gym.  

 

The Chronicles of Riddick (seen on June 13, 2004)

Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Vin Diesel, Judi Dench

I liked this movie simply for the fact that I had an assumption on what I expected from the movie and I got exactly that.  In fact, that is why I bumped this rating up another level was because it nailed my expectations.  This is a ďguy movieĒ.  Iím sure chicks will like it because itís got Vin Diesel and itís a good movie.  But itís one of those movies where thereís just a bunch of fighting and carnage.  I do encourage people to see Pitch Black before you see this movie because that is where the Riddick character has thus started from.  You donít have to see it to follow this movie, but there are several connections linked to that movie which would clarify a few things.  There is one scene in the movie that drove me absolutely nuts, but I donít want to discuss it unless you have seen the movie.  So if you want to know what I mean by that, just get back to me.  One thing, to enjoy this movie, you need to be able to accept the fact that this is a Sci-Fi movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

I guess I can tell the connections to this movie.  Riddick is an escape convict who had his eyes ďpolishedĒ so that he could see in pitch black.  He is sent for to help fight a race of people, the Necromongers, that are wiping out the universe one planet at a time.  The leader of the Necromongers is a half-dead man whoís intent is to convert races to his way or to kill anyone who refuses.  Riddick is sent for at the request of an old friend because he is believed to be the answer to their prayers.  

 

Shrek 2 (seen on June 6, 2004)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, Julie Andrews

This movie wasnít too bad.  If I hadnít seen the first one, I probably would have liked it more.  The reason I say that is because the whole concept of sequels for Hollywood is the search for more money.  It was a good movie, but it seemed to pull some of the same gags, just the whole continuation of the fairy-tales mixed alongside the story.  The first one you didnít know what to expect, but this one, although different links to fairy-tales, pulled some of the same type tricks.  You just have to see it and youíll understand.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story line is that Princess Fiona and Shrek are married.  At which point, they are invited by Fionaís parents to the land of ďFar Far AwayĒ and of course their ďtrustee steedĒ Donkey is along for the trip.  Fionaís parents did not know about her turning into an ogre and therefore do not approve of Shrek.  Apparently, the parents put Fiona in the tower in order for Prince Charming to find her.  This will all set up by an ďevil mastermindĒ, but I donít want to give anymore away.  

 

The Day After Tomorrow  (seen on May 31, 2004)

Rating Ė 2

Starring:  Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm

Yeah, this movie was bad.  The whole concept of the movie is hard to accept that the world is going to freeze over in a week.  And thatís not the end of it.  There is just too many unbelievable things in this movie that the movie seems utterly ridiculous.  I canít believe I wasted 2 hours of my life on this movie.  Yes the effects are great, but that doesnít make a movie (i.e. Matrix Reloaded).  It is nice to see LA and New York getting destroyed, but thatís it.  See if you can get the ďhiddenĒ message of the movie (they pretty much slap you in the face with it throughout the movie).  This movie is just bad and I donít want to waste any more time typing about it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is that the polar ice caps are melting because of global warming.  The concept is that since the world is heating up, that storms help to balance climate.  So therefore, since the ice-caps are melting and the world is heating up, that a deadly ice storm is covering the northern hemisphere until the world is stable again.  Dennis Quaid is some kind of climate scientist who warns the world of the danger to come.  His son (Gyllenhaal) is trapped in the ice storm in New York trying to survive until the storm ends.  Thatís all I have to say.  Donít waste your time or money.  

 

Troy (seen on May 16, 2004)

Rating Ė 4

Starring:  Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox

Some of yaíll have probably read The Iliad by Homer.  Donít go into this movie expecting it to be like the book because the movie is not based on the book, but ďinspired byĒ the book so that allows them to change it.  I wonít tell all the difference, but the main difference that I have to point out is the book was a ten-year war, while the movie was about two weeks.  Thatís just a bit of a difference.  It was just hard to believe Brad Pitt as the greatest warrior ever, Achilles.  I do believe Brian Cox did an excellent job as the pompous Agamemnon and Eric Bana wasnít too bad either.  The movie just reminds me of Braveheart a little too much.  Maybe itís because half the cast was in the movie Braveheart as well as Troy.  It wasnít a movie that you should never see, but I would wait till at least video so you donít have to watch it in one sitting.  The movie seems a little long when youíre watching it; I noticed myself checking the time several times in the movie.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

In case you donít know the premise of the movie, it tells the story of the great Trojan War; however, no gods or goddesses appear in this movie unlike The Iliad where they played prevalent roles in the war.  The story mainly follows Achilles, the greatest warrior for the Greeks, and Hector, the greatest warrior for the Trojans.  In case you donít know, the reason the war was started was because one of the princes of Troy, Paris, stole Helen, the most beautiful women in the world, from the king of Greece, Menelaus.  At which point, Menelaus unites with his brother Agamemnon, the king of Sparta, to wage war on Troy, who is world renown for never being conquers as a result of the wall.  Thatís sets up the story line enough, but Iíd be surprised if most of yaíll donít know a good bit of the story line already.  

 

Van Helsing (seen on May 7, 2004)

Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale

Well, the main problem with this movie is that there is simply no plot or character development.  It has some good action of monsters getting slain, but thereís not much of a story.  It was enjoyable to watch, but not worth full price.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is Van Helsing is employed by a secret society inside the church.  He is sent on missions to bring back creatures who have violated some code of the church (never explains why he is hunting the monsters), but he is seen as a murderer in the eyes of most of Europe.  He is sent on his hardest mission yet, which is to capture Dracula or to have him killed.  Dracula, of course being Dracula, has a sinister plot in mind.  Kate Beckinsale is part of a family line that has sworn to eliminate Dracula and has been fighting him for centuries.  I donít want to tell more because there simply isnít much plot and any more will give the rest, what little is remaining, away.  

 

Hellboy (seen on April 9, 2004)

Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Ron Perlman

Well, this is a movie about a different type super-hero.  I compare it a lot to the movie Spawn.  Itís one of those dark type of super-hero who gets the job done, but itís not necessarily pretty.  I must say it was an excellent choice to cast Ron Perlman as Hellboy, the laid back, never afraid type hero.  No real big plot twists in this movie.  It just tells a simple super-hero type story; of course, you must accept the super-natural underline to the story.  There wasnít a whole lot of character development or background to the agency Hellboy works for, but I guess you get enough.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Hellboy is a demon who works for the government fighting paranormal activities.  A scientist who originally discovered Hellboy controls this division.  The scientist is training an assistant to take over his duties of watching after Hellboy during his adventures.  Hellboy runs into trouble when he is faced with his past.  

 

Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind (seen on April 4, 2004 and May 30, 2004)

Rating Ė 10

Starring:  Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood

This is an excellent movie.  I donít like Jim Carey and I donít really care for Kate Winslet that much, but this was a great movie.  Charlie Kaufman wrote this movie and Iím starting to really like his movies.  The movie is definitely an original story line, which is nice to hear coming from Hollywood.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

I donít want to tell too much about this movie because I donít want to give the movie away.  The movie involves a process where one can have memories deleted from their mind.  I donít want to be responsible for giving away anything so Iím just going to stop there.  

 

Hidalgo (seen on March 5, 2004)

Rating Ė 6       

Starring:  Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif

The movie was an interesting story that Iíve never heard before about this race across the dessert of Arabia.  It wasnít too bad, but I just donít know about Viggo Mortensen anymore.  He gives the same deadpan delivery in this movie like he does in every other movie.  Not a whole lot to say about this.  See it if you want to rent a movie, but it would probably be better to watch it on cable.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

This movie is based on a true story of Frank Hopkins who was a Pony Express rider and was regarded as one of the best long distance horse riders along with his horse, Hidalgo.  Hopkins has been challenged to a race across the dessert in Arabia in the century old 3,000 mile race, Ocean of Fire.  Hidalgo is regarded as a weak horse because it is a mustang and the Arabs believe their horses are superior.  The elements and the other riders challenge Hopkins and Hidalgo along the entire ride.  Will Hopkins and Hidalgo survive the race across the sands? 

 

The Cooler  (seen on February 28, 2004)

Overall Rating Ė 8

Starring:  William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Maria Bello

I enjoyed this movie.  I tend to agree with this movie that there are just certain people who are lucky or in Macyís case unlucky.  Itís a different type story, which is rather refreshing coming from Hollywood.  It almost appears that Macy is becoming a type-cast character or at least when you try to think of pathetic loser, Macy is one of the first actors that comes to my mind.  But hey, he does an excellent job at playing the loveable loser.  Baldwin does an excellent job of playing the friend to Macy and the evil ďold-schoolĒ Vegas boss of the casino.  I wouldnít say itís Oscar Awarding winning, but itís nice to see the intensity in him turn on like you would imagine a Pit boss to have when things are working his way.  As for Bello, well, not an extraordinary effort on her part.  The movie seemed to try to give some background in her character, but I think all you need to know that she is ďLady LuckĒ.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Bernie (Macy) is simply a loser.  His whole aura that he gives off is bad luck.  He is known as a ďCoolerĒ.  Shelly (Baldwin) runs a casino and when the gamblers start to win too much money from the casinos, he sends Bernie on over.  Bernie simply has to sit down at a table, touch a playerís shoulder, or stand behind some and the house just rakes it all in, until Bernie meets a girl, Natalie.  Natalie, to Bernie, appears to be ďLady LuckĒ and Shelly cannot allow that to happen.  If Bernie is happy, then his ďcoolingĒ ability is not working and the casino is losing money.  Shelly must solve this problem fast while keeping his superiors from taking over his casino.  

 

21 Grams  (seen on February 16, 2004)

Overall Rating Ė 5

Starring:  Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts

I gave this an average review.  I know itís up for a handful of rewards, but I just cannot agree with the critics.  I felt that the plot was rather simple, but the director tries to fool the audience by showing snapshots of the movie in random order.  There is really no big twist at the end that you were waiting for so itís not like Memento where the story unfolded like the main character saw it.  Basically the movie was filmed and then sliced up and pieced back together in random order.  Maybe I missed something, but the movie was only two hours and 20 minutes long and I would have guessed four hours.  I just found myself checking my watch repeatedly.  The movie jumped around more than Sesame Street does.  There was no flow to the movie and itís not like the end made you understand why it was filmed in piecewise fashion.  So I suggest renting it so in case you need a break during the movie you can pause it or stop it.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The movie is a story about the cycle of life and death.  How one personís life/death can cause a chain reaction that affects the most random individuals.  Sean Penn is a mathematician who needs a heart-transplant.  Naomi Watts is a former drug user who is now married with two children.  Benicio Del Toro is a repeated ex-con who has found Jesus and is trying to put his life back together with his family by his side.  How are they all connected, well maybe I shouldnít give that away, but a few turn of events leads these three strangers finding there paths cross one anotherís.

 

Spike and Mike Sick and Twisted Animation Festival 2004 (seen on February 13, 2004)

Overall Rating Ė 8

Starring:  It's an animation festival.  What stars do you expect?

What can I say about this?  This was my fifth year to see it.  I still believe the first year was the best because all the cartoons were ďnewĒ to me.  Ever since then, there have been several recycle of the same cartoons, but itís still worth going to.  Iím not going to break down every cartoon, but I do recommend the ďHere Comes Dr. TranĒ cartoon.  That was quite enjoyable, especially since part of it was in 3D.  Not much of a review for this because it was a spur of the moment decision to write a review on it.  Letís just say I plan on being at next yearís showing as well.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

 

Miracle (seen on February 9, 2004)

Overall Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Kurt Russell

Itís obvious that this movie is a Disney flick.  It just has that whole Disney feel to it.  It is quite an enjoyable movie.  Of course, you know how it all ends even if you didnít watch it live or was alive when it happened.  Itís the great story of David beating Goliath.  The movie shows how the events of the world leading up to the Olympics was just not going well for America and gives you that feel as to how important this game was.  Itís an entertaining movie worth watching, but donít expect it to win any awards.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The story is that Herb Brooks (Russell) leads a team of young, scrappy American amateur hockey players into the 1980 Olympics.  He teaches them that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on their backs and he will work them to death until they understand that.  Then, of course the team unites and does the impossible by beating the indestructible Russian team and continuing on to beat Finland in the finals for gold.  Itís a very inspiring movie that captures the mood of the country during tough times.

 

Big Fish  (seen on December 28, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 10

Starring:  Ewan McGregor, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Albert Finney, Steve Buschemi

My guess is that this will probably be the last 10 rating of the year, but thatís not the reason why this movie received a 10.  Itís just an entertaining story celebrating a fatherís life.  The story is filled with romanticized tales of Finney/McGregorís travels and experiences as he becomes a man and meets the love of his life.  You leave this movie in a good mood accepting that Finney/McGregorís character loved his life and lived to the fullest.  Each story told is outrageously silly, but they are enjoyable and you become to see life the way Finney/MacGregor did.  After the movie, you have that feeling to call your own father and just to tell him thanks.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Finney tells such elaborate stories to make his normal life seem extravagant at times.  His son, Billy Crudup, is upset that he doesnít know what truly happened in his fatherís life, but only mere glimpses of it mixed with tall-tales.  Crudup hopes to find out more about his father as his Finneyís health slowly dwindles away.

 

Paycheck  (seen on December 25, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 6

Starring:  Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman

This movie has John Woo directing it so you would figure it would be loaded with action.  It does have a lot of action, but itís tame compared to typical John Wooís flicks.  Of course, he was handicapped by having Ben Affleck as a lead star.  I did enjoy this movie despite having Affleck in the movie.  The critics ripped the movie because they were disappointed; however, I didnít have high expectations and I therefore enjoyed the movie.  The movie tends to get predictable when you start to realize what Affleckís 19 clues can be used for.  One thing is relieving, was that there was no huge leap of a plot twist in this movie.  If you have some cash and you want to see a movie thatís entertaining, nothing award winning, check this one out.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

Affleckís character is some ďgeniusĒ engineer (as if this Sci-Fi thriller is not a stretch on itís on based on the plot, you have to accept Affleck as a ďgeniusĒ engineer) who is payed to find out how advanced computer systems work and build them better for other companies.  After he figures out how to accomplish this technology, his mind is erased for the whole time period he was working on the project.  Well, basically, he gets set up by his rich friend to build some new technology (I wonít give it away, but youíll figure it out in about 20 minutes into the movie if you donít know before going into the theatre).  After completing his three-year task, his mind is erased and he awakens to find that the FBI is after him and his friend wants him dead.  He has sent himself 19 clues on how to solve what has been erased from his memory.

 

Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King  (seen on December 22, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 8

Starring:  Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Ian McKellen

I finally have completed the trilogy.  For those of yíall who have read the books might not agree with me on this review because I have not read the books.  I did enjoy the final chapter of this trilogy.  I believe the first movie was the best, but I was not displeased with this movie.  It is 3:30 hours long so donít drink too much before you watch it or you might have to run to the bathroom a handful of times.  If you havenít seen the first two, I donít recommend seeing this one.  That would be pretty stupid.  Thereís not a whole lot to say.  Iím just glad the trilogy is over.  All movies were captivating with the story line and the imagery.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

This movie, despite have the title ďReturn of the KingĒ focuses more on Frodo and his buddy Sam.  The two are trying to return the ring of Sauron to the volcano.  Aragon is uniting man into a stand against the forces of Sauron in hopes to give Frodo enough time to deliver the ring to the volcano and vanquish the evil eye of Sauron.  More plot lies underneath, but itís complex and thatís good enough for a ďnutshellĒ description of the plot.

 

Bad Santa  (seen on December 6, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 7

Starring:  Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, John Ritter

Well, I must say I went into this movie reluctantly.  Thereís just something about Billy Bob Thornton and this movie that didnít draw my attention.  Not to mention that holiday movies can be big let downs.  Nevertheless, as you saw but my rating I enjoyed the movie.  I was quite surprised to find out that it was a funny movie other than just the scenes they showed during the previews.  Itís a very vulgar movie so if that bothers you, you shouldnít see it.  It has some really funny parts in it that just arenít in common with most comedies nowadays.  Itís hard to describe.  The movie doesnít make you laugh by just slapstick comedy or telling jokes, but I almost want to say some situational comedy.  Itís not an Oscar winner but if youíre interested in seeing a movie where you can laugh at the misfortunes at how someone elseís life sucks, then give this a watch.  Thatís my quick review; whatís next?

The title says the whole story.  Billy Bob is a drunk, loser Santa and along with his partner, they rob the department stores that they work at during the holiday season.  Billy Bob is exceptional at playing a pathetic loser in the movie and makes you feel grateful that you donít know anyone this pathetic.  Itís a struggle for his partner to just keep Billy Bob under control for the holidays until the end of the holiday season so they can get ďpaidĒ.  Of course it isnít going to be easy with the nosy store manager, John Ritter, and the security officer, Bernie Mac, watching over them.  Thereís more story for Billy Bobís character, but I donít want to tell to much about this one because I think itís better that you donít know where it is going.  If I were to give more details, you could probably predict the rest of the story, but hey, itís refreshing to watch a movie without eighty plot twists in it.

 

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (seen on October 26, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 2

Starring:  Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine

I must say that Quentin Tarantino is one of the most overrated people in Hollywood.  I will say that this movie is better than Jackie Brown.  You might think Iím exaggerating, but 8 people out of about 25 in the theater left in the middle of the movie.  I know itís a spoof of the old ďSamuraiĒ movies, but get some better dialog.  Could it be any more cheesy?  The violence doesnít bother me; actually, that was the only saving part of the movie was the ridiculous fight scenes.  What really bothers me is that there is going to be another movie in the series and Iím going to have to watch it to see what happens because Iíve already started the series.  Thatís what Tarantino is banking on.  You know what, this movie is probably not worth the hour and a half to watch the next one and itís definitely not worth paying money for at the theaters or the video store.  I could rant about this movie for much longer, but I suggest you just ask me about it.  Thatís my quick review; what's next?

The concept of this movie can be summed up in one word:  REVENGE.  Uma Thurman is left for dead by a group of 4 assassins and their leader, Bill.  She is pissed and wants to finish them off after a 4 year recovery.  She hunts them down one by one allowing no one to get in her way.  You have to wait for the second movie to see how this saga ends.  Will she get her revenge?

 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (seen on October 20, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 6

Starring: Jessica Biel, R. Lee Emrey

These films are what I hate about Hollywood.  Lack of ideas so lets remake a classic with new actors.  At least it was better than the Psycho remake.  Nothing that you really need to see at the theaters, but if youíve already seen everything, this might not be a bad choice.  Otherwise, Iíd wait till you can rent it or better yet, check out the original.  It was a nice touch to at least keep the same Narrator for both movies.  Not many comments on this movieÖnot excessive amount of gore compared to most horror movies nowadays.  Thatís my quick review; what's next?

 Well, if you donít know the plot or havenít seen the original, perhaps you should just re-read the title of this movie.  A group of college-aged kids are driving through rural Texas where they encounter a hitchhiker.  They find a farmhouse where a family of backwards people live and a psycho with a chainsaw of course.

   

The Rundown (seen on October 17, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 7

Starring:  The Rock, Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken, Rosario Dawson

Not exactly an Academy Award winning film, but an enjoyable one.  Good action mixed in with humor.  Of course with most action movies, it was predictable what was going to happen, but I got my moneys worth for a Matinee price.  Thatís my quick review; what's next?

The plot is The Rock is sent to the Amazon to bring back Seann William Scott back to his father.  Scott has stumbled upon an ancient idol of value, which Walken wants to claim and wonít let Scott or The Rock leave until he has it.  Walken is a gold slave driver and the locals want the idol to buy their freedom.

  

Lost in Translation (seen on October 14, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 10

Starring:  Bill Murray

You might be surprised at the 10 rating on this movie.  It is possible to get a 10 rating.  This movie was very enjoyable.  Now, I admit that I am partial to Bill Murray, but this was an excellent movie.  This movie is not for everyone because it is an ďartsyĒ type movie, but if you like those types of movies, check this one out.  Some parts you could find it slow, but I believe it actually helps to develop the characters at seeing their futility of the characters situation.  Will Bill Murray receive an Oscar nomination for this movie?  Thatís my quick review; what's next?

The movie is about an over-the-hill movie star who is doing commercial for a scotch in Tokyo.  He crosses paths with a newlywed whose husband is there on a photo shoot, but is too busy to be with her.  He struggles with the realization of his life as it has become and the girl struggles with the realization that she is married and feeling alienated from everything.  Misery loves company as these two find solace and some hope for their lives as they hang out with each other unable to sleep in Tokyo. 

   

Intolerable Cruelty (seen on October 12, 2003)

Overall Rating Ė 8

Starring:  George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy-Bob Thorton, Geoffrey Rush

Yet another movie that I am partial too.  This is a Cohen brothersí movie, which I am a big fan of their work.  I paid full price for this movie and thought it was worth it but I just canít give it that 9 rating.  No real characters that you can just relate to so itís hard to get sucked into the story, but the characters are funny and the story is entertaining in a goofy way (typical Cohen brothersí movie).  Thatís my quick review; what's next?

The plot consists of Clooney who is a great divorce attorney who becomes enchanted (ďfascinatedĒ as Clooneyís character puts it) with Zeta-Jones.  Of course, Zeta-Jonesí character is trying to marry a rich man and divorce him and take his money to gain her independence.  Clooney struggles with being the firmís best divorce attorney, but his life has become meaningless, if not just boring.  Will he find what heís missing?  Will she be happy with her independence?