randomaddress4u's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Urbania
Urbania(2000)
½

Good premise with impressive performance by Dan Futterman. The movie is based on a play, though it sounds like there were a lot of liberties taken in the translation. And, it works for the most part. You can't help but chuckle at some of the 'reality' of the gay life being depicted and cringe during the painful moments. A lot of reviewers had difficulty warming up to the main character. But, I liked the guy. Definitely attractive. Definitely a charmer. But, besides that, regardless of how uncool he might have behaved towards some of the other characters, when all was said and done, he was trying to get somewhere. And, in his uncool, somewhat jerky way, he was trying to get them to get somewhere too. I don't know that he succeeded in teaching his targets any lessons. But, I'd like to delude myself into thinking he did. Cuz, if you can't be deluded by charming, attractive guys, what the hell is this world coming to? ;-)

I enjoyed seeing a film with gay characters that wasn't one of the standard 'confused homo comes out' or 'painstaking yearning for love' or 'discovery of identity through excessive usage of partying, random sex, and bitchy interactions'.

The Great Buck Howard
½

Malkovitch in another great character role. Also nice to see Colin Hanks following in his Dad's footsteps. The 'star' cameos were a nice addition!

The Mad Miss Manton
½

Another fun visit to The Normal Theatre. Enjoyable little romp from the 30's!

District 9
District 9(2009)

Everyone else seems to LOVE this movie. Though, entertaining enough, I can't say it's a summer 'Must See' by any stretch. Good acting and effects but overall just wasn't entirely engaged through much of it.

Trouble the Water
½

Let me just say, if you tend towards motion sickness in the LEAST, this could be a rather difficult film to make it through. The hand held camera had me feeling woozy within the first 30 minutes...and it just got worse. Interesting film...but, not easy to sit through.

Cactus Flower

Wow...you could watch this with your eyes closed and SWEAR Ingrid Bergman was Isabella Rosellini. I get confused for her a lot too, dontcha know??

A Perfect World

I'm not ashamed to say, I cried like a little girl!! The little boy (now all grown up) was excellent. And Kevin Costner wasn't pudgy. It's the little things!!

Fantastic Four

Entertaining enough...and not just because Chris Evans takes his shirt off!!

Big Daddy
Big Daddy(1999)
½

Another guilty pleasure. I can't explain how the engine in my car works or why, at times, I find Adam Sandler totally adorable. Throw a cute kid in the picture and what the heck do you want from me??

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
½

Hey...I'm sorry...I laughed. A LOT!! Totally enjoyed the cast. Paul Rudd is worth the price of admission.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

I didn't love this nearly as much as everyone else did. I was generally annoyed by Gwyneth's character and strangely attracted to a bald Jeff Bridges!

Young@Heart
Young@Heart(2007)

I saw this documentary again last night for the THIRD time. Seems I have to keep going back to share it with new people. It's funny...it's touching...it's groovilicious!! When I'm 85, I hope I'm still singing Coldplay too...just as badly as I sing it at 40 of course!!

Across the Universe

I'm not much of a fan for musicals. With that said, I was a bit wary of this film. I didn't think it initially looked at all interesting. But, several recommendations later...I found myself quite glad I gave it a shot. Great work syncing Beatles songs to the story...excellent vocals...beautfiul cast...completely enjoyable trip. But, don't expect me to change my mind about musicals. ;-)

Lars and the Real Girl
½

Ryan Gosling does it again with great support from Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, etc. Not as big a comedy as people expected which is all the better. Sweet, touching, and engaging. Check it out!!

An American Haunting
½

What can I say...made me jump a few times. Though, I saw the 'truth' behind the haunting coming from pretty early on, I still enjoyed the telling of the tale.

Just one minor problem: Sissy Spacek's character would have to be in a freaking coma...not just a 'sound sleeper' to sleep through that kind of ruckus. 'Momma always was a sound sleeper' My Ass!!! Momma must have been hitting the hootch pretty darn hard right before bedtime in my opinion!!!

Blood Diamond

huge disappointment. Djimon Hounsou does his best but a story that could have been so much more powerful was bogged down with far too many 'action' sequences and even a stab at romance. Why the hell was that called for? Maybe this was better on the big screen. As a rental, my ending comment was 'well, that was ridiculous'.

La Vie en Rose (La Mome)

This is my first exposure to Marion Cotillard as an actress and, I'm impressed!! Her facial expressions are...well...pretty f'ing expressinve!! And she gets quite an opportunity to explore the full range here...from joy to sorrow to extreme despair. The movie jumps around a LOT...covering different periods in Edith's life. Though I believe all the pieces were significant to the story, the jumping around was a bit distracting. Overall though, well worth the price of admission!!

Into the Wild

I look forward to seeing more of Emile Hirsch's work. First The Mudge Boy...now this. The movie is long...there's no question...especially when you factor in the extra 20 minutes of commercial crap courtesy of the local cineplex. But, it's time worthy of laughter...tears...and introspection. Hal Holbrook and Catherine Keener really connect in this film. It's a touching, well told tribute.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
½

Saw it on a plane on the way back from CA. Glad it wasn't any additional bucks out of my pocket. It helped pass a few in flight hours. Beautiful cast with a somewhat lackluster story.

Chalk
Chalk(2007)

Very Funny!! I saw it during a film festival focused on 'educational' themed movies. The majority of the audience were educators or involved in the educational system. I'm grateful for them...cuz there's no way in hell I could do it.

Favorite Line - 'I'm feeling hot and vulnerable'

Once
Once(2007)

I missed this when it played locally so was quite glad to catch it recently while on vacation. Very simple film but very well done and excellent music. I snagged the soundtrack right away and look forward to exploring more of Glen Hansard's music.

Efter brylluppet (After the Wedding)

Another review mentioned the director's obsession with eyes. Ironic then, isn't it, that Mads Mikkelson stars in this and is none other than Mr. Weepy Eye in the last James Bond film.

What does that have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. But, so what! ;-)

A good tale. I saw it a few days before the Lives of Others...both nominated for the best foreign film. There's no question why Lives of Others won. But, I'm glad I got to see this one as well.

The Lives of Others

So I'm not the most politically aware individual...nor have I ever been. And a news hound, I'm hear to tell you, I'm not. So, I was a little nervous this movie might be beyond me. I'm VERY glad I got to finally see it. Phenomenal story. After recently seeing The Black Book, I hoped to see more films with Sebastian Koch so...a bonus on that front as well. Nix the obnoxiously loud popcorn chomper sitting behind me and it would have been a darn near perfect movie experience.

Gaudi Afternoon
½

I wouldn't exactly consider this a shining moment for Judy Davis. It's a great cast...with Marcia Gay Harden as a transgendered individual even. Bet you never thought you'd get the chance to see her peeing while standing, eh?

But, it's merely an 'ok' film. Nothing to rush out and grab but better than getting up off the couch and cleaning the bathroom if you happen upon it.

The Simpsons Movie

What the heck do people want? It's the SIMPSONS. It's just good fun. Sure, there are some subtle, and some SO NOT subtle messages in there. But, when people complain it's just a long episode of the TV show, I'm not quite sure what else it possibly could have been. There was a LOT of funny shit here. Sadly, there wasn't much time spent with all the peripheral characters we've grown to know and love over the years. But, they're in there for brief, shining moments.

I guess my one disappointment was the lack of 'star' cameos. Tom Hanks is pretty much all you get. Having not read much about the movie, I went in expecting there might have been more.

But, that didn't make it any less enjoyable. So, if you aren't expecting some phenomenal metamorphosis from television to the big screen, go! You'll laugh!

Rod & Todd - "Thank you, Lord, for this bountiful penis. "

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sequels generally, in my experience, don't improve with each iteration. The Harry Potter series has been an exception. So, I was anticipating enjoying this more than the last...and I quite enjoyed the last. This one though, just didn't live up to my hopes. I've read nothing but the first book so had no specific story expectations. I just didn't find the film, overall, very engaging. A few new characters are thrown into the mix sacrificing screen time for a few of the other standard characters. The climax of the entire film was somewhat anticlimactic.

Don't get me wrong. It was enjoyable enough. But, definitely not something I'll be raving about or giving much thought to by the end of the weekend.

Hermione to Ron - just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon!

On the Outs
On the Outs(2005)

Sometimes I get a little worried when, before I start watching a movie, I watch the previews on the DVD of other 'recommended films' and they all look TERRIBLE. I usually end up regretting the movie selection.

This film was an exception. The recommended films looked like crap. But, this film was well worth the watch. Some harsh realities depicted...granted, I've never walked even remotely close to the paths of the main characters in this movie...so what do I know about the 'reality' but, nothing depicted here seemed in the least bit implausible. Completely believable characters in tough situations making bad decisions and facing very painful consequences. Not exactly the feel good movie of the year. But, sadly, I suspect, these are some of the life choices many teenagers are actually facing. Drugs. sex. violence. survival. pain. loss. suffering. with just a glimpse of hope.

Novo
Novo(2005)
½

OK...time to vote! Ready?? Candidates for sexiest short term memory loss guy - Guy Pearce in Memento or Eduardo Noriega in Novo.

Hands down...I'm here to tell you...Eduardo Noriega. Now...if we're talking which movie is better...well, Memento by a long shot.

Novo had it's moments. You definately feel for the guy. And can't argue with his lack of shyness when it comes to all the nudity. But, some of the pieces of the puzzle just never come together. The relationship with the wife is just murky and confusing and lacking in any true emotion. The sexual antics are all fine and good but really too numerous for the storyline. So, if you haven't seen Memento, give it a whirl. Hell, if you haven't seen 50 First Dates, you could go for it as well...fun, short term memory girl instead...but, way enjoyable.

The Blue Butterfly
½

What we have here is one of those films aimed at leaving you with a sense of wonder, and magic, and questions about the mysteries in life and the power of dreams and love and all that good stuff. I'm not sure it hit the mark. Sure, I came away with the basic concept...and I'm curious about the mysterious disappearance of terminal cancer after a short time in the rain forest. But, the execution was just a little too choppy and all the 'messages' were laid on just too thick. Parts of the film feel like you're watching a special on the Discovery Channel on insect life. Which was cool by me because there was some neat shit. But, not enough neat shit to make it a 'must see'.

Black Book
Black Book(2007)

What would you expect from the guy who brought us such...um....classics(?) as Showgirls, Starship Troopers, and Basic Instinct??

Certainly not this. Totally absorbing, multi-dimensional characters, suspense, ok...sure...and a little sex. Some graphic violence...but, we're talking WWII here...not a trip to Disney. Great characters and gripping story. It's good seeing a WWII film that isn't focused on the Holocaust. Reveals, though the accuracy may be questionable, that there was a lot of other tragic losses during the war. And, despite that, there were even a few scenes where I laughed out loud. So, yeah...balance....balance is good. ;-)

Lead actors Carice van Houten and Sebastian Koch make a sexy, steamy, talented couple.

Undertaking Betty
½

Nice to see a romantic comedy that doesn't focus on young 20 somethings. Even nicer that the focus is Blenda Blythen and Alfred Molina. Nicest of all to see them do some physical humor and, do it well. Naomi Watts also tries a completely different role than she normally chooses and is perfect!

It's a bit wacky, a bit dark, but also a bit sweet.

The Ladykillers

Sadly, doesn't even come close to the original. You can do much better with other Coen Brother options.

Jackpot
Jackpot(2001)
½

Now that I've seen it, I can rank it as my least favorite Polish brothers film. Though, I have to say, there is some pretty good dialogue sprinkled throughout the film. And, I had to lauch at Mark Polish showing up towards the end singing 'Sad Eyes' in a karaoke bar.

Overall, a strange, slow, colorful little story about a couple of guys on the road who don't quite manage to escape reality in their pursuit of a misguided dream. It's what would happen if, regardless of the consequences, you actually acted on that hypothetical question people like to banter about 'If you could do anything you wanted with your life, what would it be?'

Adam & Steve
Adam & Steve(2005)

I don't remember the last time I laughed this loud. If you're too sophisticated for diarrhea humor...well, you might want to go for something a little more high brow. If, like me, you get great pleasure out of seeing Parker Posey as an obese goth chick....well...have a seat.

A few awkward, clunky moments throughout...but who cares? Some really classic lines and scenarios that had to be plucked right from someone's real life gay interactions. I wish I had the line where he describes meeting a guy from the phone sex line who, in person, was nothing like he described...20 years older...much heavier...short...a midget actually...with burns all over his face...and no ears. 'I thought it was totally wrong for him to misrepresent himself like that. And I told him so. Right after we had sex.'

"Oprah has made it impossible for me to have a close relationship with anyone besides Oprah."

Away From Her
½

I don't know what it was about the people around me in the theatre during this one...but they just did NOT get this movie. The man in front of me was explaining it to the woman. The woman behind me was explaining it to the man...who for some odd reason, had a hearing blockage anytime the word 'fuck' was used. 'What did she say?', he'd ask. 'Cluster Fuck' his female companion would reply. I think he just enjoyed hearing her say it!!

How complicated a story is it for fucks sake?!?!? Gorgeous woman has Altzheimers...tormented husband...heartbreaking relationship...sacrifice...love...hope..the end. I think people were out in the Midwest heat too long!

Wonderfully acted...casually paced...scary contemplation of what may be in store for any of us.

The Long Walk Home

What can I claim but ignorance? Sure...I knew a little about Rosa Parks. I read about the back of the bus and thought I was familiar with segregation. But, I really appreciate this film for telling a lot more of the story behind the Montgomery bus boycot in the 50's. I was captivated by the portrayal because it wasn't just about the impact of an event, or the consequences of embracing what is right. The movie also pulled back the curtain a little to show how a family could become segregated by beliefs...the impact on relationships with spouses, siblings, parents, neighbors, and communities. I think this film is an important testament to the fact that issues are rarely black and white. It would be nice if it inspired people to think more about how easy it has been for them to choose a side when it's 'us' and 'them'...and decide their choice, though safe, may not always be the right one. What do you believe in and why? And what lengths would you go to for that belief?

The Last King of Scotland

There's no question why Forest Whitaker won for this one. Captivating and disturbing. Great to see Gillian Anderson on the screen again!! And, James McAvoy and Kerry Washington have very promising futures!!

Poseidon
Poseidon(2006)
½

Sometimes you cave in to the desire to watch something that you suspect is going to be below 'mindless entertainment' standards. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised. But, more likely, you get pretty much what you expected.

I hope Richard Dreyfuss REALLY needed the money. Why even bother with the gay subtext? And who said...'Oh, I know...you're gay right....so let's have you wear a huge, obnoxious cubic zirconian earring'??

This is WAY below Josh Lucas. In the sense of 'if life gives you lemons...make lemon-ade', the actors in this film tried...but big ass yellow lemon from beginning to end. A rogue wave?!?!?!

If she could, Shelly Winters would roll in her grave!!

The United States of Leland

Kudos to whoever assembled this cast. Besides snagging so many well knowns for the major parts, they managed to score with all the supporting roles too...from Lena Olin to Ann Magnuson to Michelle Williams.

Ryan Gosling nails this role. You really ache for this kid and struggle throughout to come up with a valid reason for his actions. Jena Malone is quite convincing as a...well...f'd up would be putting it mildly...struggling teen.

Maybe ignorance really is bliss!!

Evening
Evening(2007)
½

This is a tough one to discuss because I WANT to say nothing but great things about it because so many talented people were involved with it. Sadly, though it is described as 'deeply emotional', it was fairly lackluster in that department. This movie SHOULD HAVE had me weepy multiple times...and, alas, dry...so very dry.

But, it was a $5.50 matinee. Money well spent to see Vanessa Redgrave's performance. She's phenomenal. Eerie how much her daughter Natasha sounds like her. Hugh Dancy reminded me of a young Joaquin Phoenix. Claire Danes was gorgeous as ever. And, though Patrick Wilson is surely a fine looking man, what the hell was the allure of his character. That was one of the biggest failings. If you couldn't buy into that, nothing else quite comes together.

Definitely not a must rush out to see film.

Imagine Me & You

The female Brokeback Mountain? Um...maybe not. After all, no horses. And...nobody dies. And, no heavy duty action in a tent. But, still...still...hmmm...yes...let's go with the letter S. Still, you've got Sweet...sappy...sexy...sensual...smart...um...Sapho? OK..enough with the S's already.

Do you believe in love at first sight? This romantic comedy sure makes you want to. If it's this easy, sign me up!! I'll take the jilted husband...thanks!!

Little Children

There's a lot to like about this movie. The narrative style threw me off a little...but I quickly started to like it. There's quite a bit of humor here...but, it's not likely you'd find it funny if you were in the characters shoes.

Overall, I felt the characters were very REAL. I could easily identify someone in my life who has behaved or would behave in exactly the same way. Which, I think, is why I wasn't quite on board with the ending. The resolution was just a little too neat and idyllic.

Very strong performances though. Lots of gratuitous Patrick Wilson body shots...can't argue with that. Jackie Earle Haley was a perfect choice for the 'pervert' role. The first date scene in particular literally makes you so uncomfortable you almost can't believe it. 'You seem like a really nice guy", she meekly says. And he shows her just how wonderful he is. Definitely not a Love Connection. ;-)

Casa de los Babys
½

Quite an ensemble cast...including Rita Moreno. Perfect casting.

There's a lot to absorb here beyond the main storyline of Americans adopting babies in foreign countries. There's some hard core reality to some of the scenes...the struggle of the young homeless boys to earn money...which eventually is used to purchase paint to huff, the baring of souls about the desire to be a mother, the sense of loss of a mother who gave her child up, the struggle through multiple pregnancies where the babies didn't survive, tumultous relationships, and out and out depictions of diverse human nature.

If you like nice neat endings...where all the story lines come to a close, you're NOT going to like the way this movie ends. SO much is put out on the table for you to think about...but, little is actually resolved for you.

Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda(2004)
½

Death by machete. Because of a label? Truly a disturbing look at events in Rwanda in the 90's. The movie could not have made it any clearer...how much more valuable is a human life if the skin is the 'right' color?

One man truly made a difference...at least in the lives of over 1,200 refugees. Don Cheadle's performance is phenomenal. It's almost impossible to comprehend that level of hate and violence. And yet, it's irresponsible not to acknowlege it exists. Probably a lot closer to home than we care to think.

Mean Creek
Mean Creek(2004)

eh...could have passed on this one and wouldn't have felt too cheated. A cast of young actors who certainly pull their weight. And, yes, a grim reminder of the dynamics of families, friendships, & social circles faced by kids. But, ultimately, it just sort of meandered from beginning to end for me without too significant an impact. Maybe if I had watched it right before Hotel Rwanda instead of right after, I might have felt a little more engaged.

God Grew Tired Of Us
½

Think your life sucks because you don't have a date on Friday night? Or you can't afford the tickets to see the latest popular band? Or, you got in a fight with your best friend over something silly and insignificant?

Maybe you need to see this film. It doesn't take long to put everything into perspective. Could you walk a thousand miles across barren land with no food or water or shoes, caring for young children, & burying others while fighting off attacks by wild animals? Could you have done it when you were 13?

This is an educational, inspirational, touching film. Now go call your family and tell them how much you love them!!!

Bend It like Beckham
½

Of course, by now, we all know Keira Knightley and the energy she brings to the big screen but WOW...Parminder Nagra....the two together are dynamite. Beauty...talent...humor.

Juliet Stevenson was great fun. And, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was great eye candy. So, not going to change the world..but definitely an enjoyable romp.

You should also check out Wondrous Oblivion.

Duane Hopwood

I could write a lengthy review about this movie. But, I'm so completely exhausted after 80 minutes of tedium I'll sum it up in 2 words...Bloody AWFUL!!

Sherrybaby
Sherrybaby(2006)

Maggie Gyllenhaal is very proud of this film. And she should be. She captures this character so completely that I can't help but wonder whether she's basing it on someone she knows personally.

The story is sad, disturbing, and painful. Yet, I really felt for her character. I wanted her to make good choices...I wanted her to succeed...I wanted her to discover there actually was someone she could truly rely on. The young actress who plays her daughter was phenomenal for a child so young.

If you find yourself in the video store...and you've had one of those REALLY crappy days...and you're general outlook is 'People SUCK"....um...well...put this one aside for a brighter day. ;-)

Inside Man
Inside Man(2006)

You got the cast...you got the caper...now, all you need is the desire to stick with it for more than 2 hours. Honestly, I thought it was a very long build up with minimal reward. Nothing outstanding here for any of the lead actors...they've done it all before. I'm glad I waited on this one & rented.

Ocean's Thirteen

If you didn't care for the predecessors, then you should probably skip it. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself. I confess to missing Julia Roberts a bit...but, she's just the icing...you've got plenty of cake here. Indulge!!

The guys are all right on target. George more than makes his presence known with, it seems, very little effort. Ellen Barkin is a nice addition to the cast and, can you ever go wrong with Al Pacino?

Silverado
Silverado(1985)

I didn't remember having seen this previously...though parts were definitely familiar...so...chalk one up for memory loss.

Anyway...kudos to whoever did casting on this film...Jeff Goldblum and John Cleese in a Western? Who would have pictured THAT??

It's a movie that has definitely stood the test of time (so far...and, I suspect will continue to). If your memory sucks too, maybe it's time for you to catch this one again.

The Black Dahlia
½

Quite stylish despite the somewhat drawn out and muddled story lines. I had a curiousity based on having read the book...hell...could it have been 20 years ago? You'll forgive me then for not remembering any of the book so, besides the grisly details of the murder, the movie was all pretty new to me.

Hilary Swank got some memorable moments and lines. Mia Kirshner, in my opinion, was the real star though. Her portrayal of the desperate, tragic, wannabe actress elicits considerable empathy.

Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart make pretty good 'cop partners' and heat up the screen a bit with their shirtless boxing sequence. Josh and Scarlett however, I just wasn't seeing much electricity....despite the 'sweep the good china off the dining room table and mount' scene (like we haven't seen THAT one before!!!) Both beautiful to look at...but, no real spark.

KD Lang as a torch singer at a lesbian bar was a nice touch/surprise.

Special features on the disc delve a little deeper into the actual Black Dahlia case...but, there aren't any real answers to be found. So much for following your dreams, eh??

Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee(2006)

I have an older brother who, as a child, could very well have been mistaken for one of the kids in this movie...a scary mix between the scientific genius child and the persuasive, manipulative, stubborn ringleader. He was ALWAYS up to something mischievous and frequently, that took the form of torturing baby-sitters. It was not uncommon for a sitter to never return after their first exposure to me and my siblings. So, I got a lot of enjoyment out of watching this film.

Besides the story, you've got a great cast with a commendable make-up artist, set designer, costume designer, animal trainer, etc. It's just an all around FUN film. If, as they say, children should be seen and not heard, then, this is a great way to do it. A great group of talented young actors for an entertaining retelling of stories that date back even before MY time. Really!! ;-)

Caché
Caché(2005)

As much as it pains me to say, this one is probably too deep for me (or, at least too deep for me on a Thursday night after a long day at work with the thought of a microwave dinner and hopefully, an interesting foreign film in mind). I was fairly intrigued from the beginning...lost some of my interest somewhere along the way...was completely shocked by a few of the scenes...and, by the end, wasn't really sure WHAT the hell to think. So, I'll just think about it some more. But, overall, I wouldn't recommend this one to just anyone. I may have to do some historical reading now on top of it all. Thinking AND Reading!!?!?!? Damn those movie selections!! ;-)

The Big White

Pull together a kick ass cast...a somewhat quirky, off-the-wall tale, a less than traditional location, and you've got guaranteed success, right? Um...well...success might not be the right word. The cast is what you'd expect...Holly Hunter gets another charmingly bizarre character (and, is it my imagination or is the woman aging in reverse?)...Robin Williams doesn't have a lot to work with here considering what he's capable of...Giovanni and Woody pull their weight. But, overall, the movie just doesn't all come together...or, if it does, it doesn't stay together the entire film. There are some definite chuckles...but, this isn't Fargo...or Raising Arizona...or even close to the same league. Entertaining enough...but, don't lose any sleep if it's only showing on some obscure cable channel late into the night.

The Da Vinci Code
½

I haven't read the book so can't make any comparison. There were a number of scenes in the film that were borderline nonsensical...but, that balanced against a pretty creative melding of fictional suppositions. I enjoyed Audrey Tautou and Ian McKellen. Ian really gets to steal a few scenes ('If you insist on stopping us, you'll just have to shoot us. Start with him!!') Tom Hanks wasn't outstanding and I'm not sure the casting of Jean Reno in such a boring role was a very good decision. Paul Bettany on the other hand....CREEEEPY!!!

For such a long film, it held my interest. Not going to earn a spot on my top 10 list or anything...but, I enjoyed it well enough.

On a Clear Day
½

You can't go wrong with Brenda Blethyn. Many other reviewers seem to have watched it primarily for Billy Boyd. I confess to not even knowing who he was prior to this film. Regardless, this film certainly covered all the emotional bases. I went from laughing out loud, to crying, to laughing out loud while I was crying.

A lot of issues all wrapped up in one film...not all of them explored in depth (which is good...being too ambitious in conquering multiple 'issues' can bog a film down). It definitely gave me cause to think about my relationship with my Dad and other people in my life. Some comments compare this to a made for TV film but, honestly, I give it a lot more merit than that. After all, Valerie Bertinelli didn't even make a brief guest appearance!!!

Malena
Malena(2000)
½

For the first 30-45 minutes, I thought this film was nothing more than a sweet tale of a teenage boy with an overactive imagination focused on a rather beautiful Italian woman. And, when I say rather beautiful...we're talking STUNNING here. I give credit to the casting agent, costumer, as well as the director for capturing Monica Bellucci's sheer grace and beauty. You don't for a second wonder why she is desired by every man in the village...and despised by every jealous woman.

As I said, I thought this was merely a coming of age tale...sweet and fun...but not overly deep. That definitely changes. It's heartbreaking to see the downfall of a woman who has everything taken away from her except for the one thing she's either desired or despised for. What becomes of a person who has everything to offer...but will only be accepted at face value? A moving look at the power of gossip, envy, and ignorance. Beautifully shot with strong performances by Monica Bellucci and the young Giuseppe Sulfaro who made me think of a young Colin Farrel. Why? I'm not quite sure...could have been the soulful eyes. Regardless, I hope he has a successful career ahead of him!!!

The Crime of Padre Amaro

A modernized version of a book written in the late 1800's that would have been a lot more shocking in a different time and climate than we now live in.

Hypocricy in the church? Nothing shocking there. A priest who feels he was forced to take a vow of celibacy but truly believes priests should be given a choice who subsequently breaks that vow of celibacy. Nothing shocking there.

I'm surprised at the number of reviewers that believeve this film is about a priest who 'falls in love' with a beautiful young parishioner. I must have a different idea of love because, to me, it didn't appear to be more than a priest thinking with his anatomy. Where's the love? Flowery words? Kind gestures? Gentle caresses? Heck, that's all covered in Seduction 101!! Every guy who wants to get laid knows those. He was more concerned about finding them a place to have sex than he was about her emotional or physical well being. If that's love, thanks, I'll pass.

This is another film that it's obvious a lot of people loved (there's that word again!!). And yet, it inspired little in me. I was ready for it to be over long before it was. Definitely not an addition to my 'YAY for foreign films list'.

The Whole Wide World

Novalyn Price must have thought her relationship with Robert E. Howard (the man who brought us the character Conan the Barbarian) was interesting enough to write her memoirs over 40 years after his death. And, someone must have thought it was interesting enough to make a film about. And, someone must have done a fine job of selling what an interesting story it was to get Renee Zellwegger and Vincent D'Onofrio on board.

Sadly, something MUST have gotten lost in the translation somewhere along the way because, I found very little of interest in the film. I contemplated turning it off after an hour. It doesn't rank high enough to go on my 'Movies so Bad it HURTS' list...but, it's a hell of a long way from something I'd recommend either.

Dot the I
Dot the I(2003)

Clever story...attractive cast...definitely held my interest from beginning to end. Besides the entertainment factor, there are also some things for the viewer to take away and mull over. With the craze for 'reality' based entertainment, and recording capabilities in the hands of every person with a cell phone, is there an impact on our relationships when there's no such thing as a 'private' moment anymore?

I also enjoyed some of the parallels to famous films (The Graduate) and the discussion about whether life really is or is not like a movie. Nothing new in the debate over following your heart or following your head...but disturbing to see extreme manipulation for no other reason than personal whim.

Overall, a good Friday night rental. And though no major acting stretch for Gael Garcia Bernal, he does bring passion and spark and a bit of skin for his fans to enjoy.

Owning Mahowny

"Some people believe we all have a public life, a private life, and a secret life."

Based on true events, the secret life of Dan Mahowny was a doozy!!! The slippery slope of addiction is pretty damn clear when you look at a man, who didn't have a salary over $25,000 sitting at a card table with $9 million only to end up with nothing left several hours later. And, STILL not able to recognize that, yes, indeed, he had a gambling problem.

It's a good cast...and, though I think the situation is interesting enough, the telling of the story makes for a rather slow movie. You see the man's life unraveling and marvel at his ability to keep it all together. The character Minnie Driver plays is saintly in her support of the man she loves. Though, some might mistake saintly with a lack of sanity for sticking with him.

I liked the ending conversation...the therapist asking him to rate on a scale from 1-100 the thrill he got sitting at the table gambling. 100 he proclaims. And, the highest level he'd experienced with any other activity outside gambling. 20. And, how he felt about living the rest of his life at 20. 20's not bad, he says. He can live with 20.

I'm not much of a gambler, but, I bet it's pretty safe to say he still craves that 100 on occasion!!

Children of Men
½

I didn't know this was based on a PD James novel until the ending credits. I've read a lot of her works...but nothing quite like this.

If this is a vision of what the future has in store for us in 20 years, I am definitely going to stop saving for retirement!! It looks damn bleak!!! Especially considering there's not NEARLY enough Julianne Moore!!!

Great cast. Interesting story. A scene that actually gave me chills towards the end. The blood on the camera lens during one of the scenes, though some reviewers found 'brilliant', actually annoyed me a bit. I'm one of those anal retentives who likes my camea lens clear I guess. ;-)

When my time comes, I hope I'm as eloquent as the character 'Jasper'. "Pull my finger!!"

Thank You for Smoking

"The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!"

I could learn a thing or two from Nick Naylor, the lead character in this film. It's not necessary to win the debate by arguing facts...it's just necessary to put the right 'spin' on things.

"That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong."

Sad to envision how much truth there is in this film under the guise of satire. This is one of those films that presents a handful of deplorable characters...who... on some level, are actually likable. Witty writing, good performances, and some food for thought. How easily are we manipulated on a daily basis? Are you buying the truth? Or the spin? Do you really think I liked this movie? Or, was my brother one of the minor characters who gets a cut of the royalties of the DVD sales & rentals? Hmmmmm?

Shrek
Shrek(2001)
½

"Now really, it's rude enough being alive when no one wants you, but showing up uninvited to a wedding?"

Great fun!! I popped it in the other day as 'background' while I tried to focus on some menial task. Only, the menial task soon became background and Shrek was elevated to primary focus status. How could I not be drawn to the humor, the talented cast (Mike Myers always makes me laugh!), the visual feast, hell, even the music? And, of course...how could I not relate to Princess Fiona? Some day my prince will come too...and, most likely, be green with moldy teeth!! ;-) I'm looking forward to #3.

Separate Lies
½

From the writer of Gosford Park...but, alas, this is no Gosford Park. I love the cast. This is a rare instance when I actually don't care for the character Tom Wilkinson plays. Come to think of it Rupert Everett's character isn't all that likable either (and, sad to say, he's reached a point where he looks SO much better from afar...no thanks Mr. Demille...no closeups for me please!!!). And, Emily Watson's...well...what do you know...no great fondness for her character either. So, what it all boils down to is a messy little group of not so likable people. The 2 characters I felt the most compassion and sympathy for (the maid and the secretary) of course, don't come out very well at all.

Some enjoyment is to be found in Emily Watson's dialogue which definitely has more bite to it than the other characters. And, she looked pretty damn good too...good wardrobe choices for her.

For a film that doesn't hit the 90 minute mark, it felt a lot longer. The performances are commendable. The story OK. But, if you have a choice between this and something else a little more 'gripping'...go with the gripping. This would make a fine 'back-up' plan.

This is based on a book...so, possibly, it would be a better read.

Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing
½

I'd never really listened to the music of the Dixie Chicks. Country really isn't my genre. But, after seeing this documentary, I'd consider purchasing their latest album.

The 'event' that resulted in their exile from country music was such a non-event that it appears people really need a certain level of drama in their lives and, if it's not there, by god, they'll just have to find a cause...any cause...regardless of how insignificant. Natalie from the Dixie Chicks wasn't the first to make a comment about George Bush and CERTAINLY won't be the last. If we exiled every entertainer who spoke out against the president and his actions, we'd have very little entertainment in our lives.

On the other hand, should we really care what our entertainers think about politics? I guess only if we're not capable of making decisions for ourselves. But, I certainly don't have a problem with personal expressions...especially ones that aren't hateful, violent, or mean spirited. Isn't that basically what singers are putting in their lyrics in the first place? I've heard worse things said at family gatherings than what came out of Natalie's mouth.

In regards to the movie, it was a little jumpy...taking us back and forth between 2003 and the present instead of taking a more linear approach. It worked alright...but was a bit distracting. They say this 'event' ended up being a good thing in their lives despite the turmoil, pain, and struggle that ensued. And, I'd have to say, from my perspective, it certainly has had an impact on their music. Their music is much more appealing to my tastes now. So, I guess, it's all good. If country music doesn't want them, I'll certainly take them!!

The War Within

What brings a man to strap explosives to his body and head to Grand Central Station? Definitely a movie that could generate some lively discussion and debate. Passion and conviction depicted without over the top theatrics...beautiful shots of NYC...moral and philisophical questions for contemplation.

I really liked the late night conversation between Hassan and his best friends son where he tries to, in basic terms, explain what is happening overseas to his 'brothers and sisters'. "What would you do if your neighbors decided they wanted to take your house and force you to move to the backyard? And, they had the police on their side. And then, what would happen if they found there was oil under the backyard and they wanted that too so you had to leave and they had the mayor on their side? What would you do?" Eventually, the little boy says, 'Fight'.

'Your government takes actions of which its people are unaware. But ignorance is not innocence.'

Lantana
Lantana(2002)
½

This movie was recommended in dsoul's profile. I hadn't previously read anything about it. Hell, I didn't even know Anthony LaPaglia did anything besides 'Standard Italian Character #67'.

But, that's the nice thing about Flixster. Exposure...Exposure...Exposure. So, what have I got to say about this one? Well, let me just say, for the most part, it made me REALLY glad not to be in a relationship...at least not in many of the ones depicted here.

The viewer had a challenge if they wanted to solve all the mysteries before the end of the film. The plot takes a few good turns and convinces you that you know what the hell happened...only to find out...yeah, you're a dumbarse...it didn't happen that way at all. I don't like being a dumbarse...but, I like being surprised by a plot that isn't entirely predictable.

Though I liked the film, I didn't develop real fondness for any of the characters. So, I wasn't as emotionally impacted by some of the scenes as I might have been. If you already find yourself in the position to make bold generalizations like 'ALL Men are Pigs', this movie isn't going to improve your outlook. Basically, they cheat, they lie, they don't pick you up when you're stranded, they do dumb things like throwing shoes in the bushes, and they say mean things like 'This isn't an affair...It's a one night stand that happened twice'. But, if you can cut men some slack and accept them even with all their faults, you might want to rent this and see some of their vulnerabilities too.

But, it still makes me glad I'm single. ;-)

Venus
Venus(2006)

Some very witty writing...some laugh out loud moments...some truly sensational depictions of intimacy between Peter O'Toole and multiple characters...and some honest questions about facing death and love and coming to terms with the presence of both regardless of age. For 2 actors from such diverse generations to have this much chemistry together is phenomenal.

Little Boy Blue

Naked Ryan Phillippe arse...a family life that is so messed up you hope there really aren't people living lives like this...and some twisting plot lines result in a watchable film. But, the dialogue in spots was almost laughably awkward...the performances were just adequate...and there weren't enough scenes with Ryan Phillipe's naked arse. ;-)

Breakfast on Pluto

Some men are never going to make attractive women. There's not enough make-up in the world. That is NOT the case for Cillian Murphy. His depiction of Kitten is incredibly sensitive and realistic. The story meanders a bit and possibly attempts to cover too many incidents in Kitten's journey. But, you can't wish for fewer incidents because you'd miss out on Stephen Rea,Brendan Gleeson, and Gavin Friday. As heartbreaking as it is to watch scenes of brutality and hate aimed at those outside the 'norm', it's equally sweet to see depictions of compassion and acceptance. A great role for Liam Neeson. An incredible combination of costume design and music that clicked so well with the story. A creative, sometimes whimsical, always engaging film. I wish I'd seen it on the big screen.

"Not many people can take the tale of Patrick Braden, aka St. Kitten, who strutted the catwalks, face lit by a halo of flashbulbs as "oh!" she shrieks, "I told you, from my best side darlings."

Criminal
Criminal(2004)
½

This is based on the film Nine Queens which I haven't seen yet. But, if it beats this, as other reviews say, I suspect I'll enjoy it. It was good to see Diego Luna. Maggie Gyllenhaal is always a treat. And, John C. Reilly is strong as ever.

I like 'scam' movies. I'd want nothing to do with real scam artists...but, I wouldn't want anything to do with Terminators either and I still like watching them. ;-) This one had me guessing all the way through...how was the big screw over going to occur? Can't say I was disappointed by the ending at all!!

Good exchange:
'I have an older brother. He lives in AZ.'
What's he do?
'He's gay.'
That's an occupation?

Map of the Human Heart

I wanted to feel more connected to the characters in this film than I actually was. The childhood scenes were the sweetest and most poignant. The adult characters and the struggle to maintain the relationship just didn't interest me as much. Overall, a rather visually appealing film though. Don't expect much from John Cusack in this film. His screen time is almost non-existant.

Volver
Volver(2006)

I found this film a little more accessible than some other Almodovar films so it may appeal to a broader audience. If you haven't 'gotten into' some of his other films, give this one a chance. And, of course, Penelope Cruz brings a lot to the table. Even without her, you've got a great story with strong female characters. I literally laughed out loud at several points. If you were afraid of monsters under your bed as a child, will it be any more restful as an adult to wonder whether your Mother is under there?

9 Dead Gay Guys

So much for my run on 'based on true events' movies. Though, I did start watching the commentary and the writer indicated some of the story is based on stories of the gay London underground told to him by a friend.

If you're uber Politically Correct, this is NOT a movie for you. There's not a heck of a lot of substance here...but, who cares? It pokes and prods a bit at stereotypes...makes fun of anatomy and body functions...questions the act of sex for anything other than money...does a pretty good job of depicting the way we sometimes 'nickname' people we don't know based solely on things we see or hear...and, basically takes the Butch and Sundance 'buddy' concept to a whole different level. Just some mindless fun. And, something new for me...I thought the desperate dwarf was kinda hot. ;-)

Glory Road
Glory Road(2006)
½

Continuing right along with my recent run of 'based on true events' it's a sports film. What??? Me? Sports?!? Never!!! A Disney Sports film no less. But, ok...I didn't even realize it was Disney...and I can manage the occasional voyage into sports...and so, I actually found an inspirational story about SO much more than basketball. Few could know what these men experienced in the mid 60's in the South...a true 'you had to be there' situation. And, though the story seems a little sanitized (surely, the dialogue thrown about during these tension filled, highly emotional games wasn't as vanilla as it is portrayed), and some of the scenes are a little too dramatically forced, overall, it's easy to get absorbed in the journey. Did this coach and these individual players set out to impact the world of basketball like they did? Not likely. Goes to show what passion and perseverence will do. Now it appears I've transitioned to writing those cheesy inspirational nature posters the majority of corporate managers have hanging on their walls....*sigh*

Two Men Went to War
½

I seem to be on a 'based on true events' roll here. I must have come across this on as a preview on some other rental disc. Can't imagine where else I'd have found it.

Regardless, you've got 2 quite likable characters...and what characters they are...who bumble their way to successfully completing their self-assigned mission. You've got to wonder about fate...or just blind luck. They're fortunate they didn't kill themselves or each other.

I found the movie to be quite humorous...and just all around entertaining. Some beautiful scenery surely didn't hurt either. No major budget, no high profile sex symbol stars, no extreme violence or nudity. Just your general well told tale.

I have a dentist's appointment in a few weeks. I'll be looking at him in a completely different way now.

'It's all rather hush hush like almost everything else that's common knowledge around here."

"An Army That Can't Bite, Can't Fight"

The Night Listener

I'd read the book several years ago but don't have a huge recollection. I was surprised when the movie came out though because the previews made it appear as though it were a majorly suspenseful thriller. And, honestly, I didn't remember the book even remotely being that way. And, it seems that's one of the big criticisms...people didn't find it suspenseful enough...it didn't hold their interest.

It did hold my interest. I think it's particularly relevant to the world we live in today where so much of our interactions occur electronically. We either believe people are who they say they are, we completely doubt anyone is telling the truth, or, we strike some kind of happy medium and get good at weeding out the bullshit from the truth. But, even the best bullshit weeders surely find themselves in situations where they truly WANT or NEED to believe.

Under everything, this is just a story about the lengths people will go to have their needs met.

I enjoyed the special feature on the DVD with some interaction with Armistead Maupin the writer. His books were so entertaining and educational for me at a time when I really benefited from seeing the humor and challenges in relationships. And, he looks great!!

Cast wise, it's always a pleasure to see Sandra Oh...even if a small part. And, I'm always pleased with Toni Collette and Robin Williams. No exception here.

Saturday Night Fever

A young John Travolta in gold chains and black bikini underwear...he's come a long way. ;-) I was (thankfully) too young to get wrapped up in the disco craze...though I remember much of the music. You can't help but love some of the clothes...the big ass collars and stacked heel shoes. Sure the film is completely dated in regards to all that...but, there is still a universal message there...a desire to be more...to want more...to transcend the 'pecking order' of racism, classism, sexism, etc. But, it's still all about those moves. Which, of course, is why this film has been remade in some fashion or another every decade with the current popular dance craze. This will be a nice slice of history for many parents to share with their children...especially the ones conceived in the back seats of cars on Saturday Nights...another universal activity. ;-)

Born on the Fourth of July
½

Being too young to have experienced the climate of the nation at that time, I can only watch something like this and ponder how knowledgable we are about the things we believe in and are willing to fight for. How passionate we embrace causes when, we don't know the entire story. Should our propensity for violence frighten us? And I'm not referring just to the brutality depicted in the scenes in Vietnam. I was also struck by the portrayal of the violence between protesters and police...average joe citizen and outspoken veterans...even one veteran in a wheelchair stranded in the Mexican desert against another veteran in a wheelchair stranded in the Mexican desert. And, the lack of compassion exhibited throughout the film wasn't exactly cause for hope either. Overall, I could get really farking depressed if I thought much about it. But, when all is said and done, there is a glimmer of forgiveness...of change... enlightenment... and some internal peace. Sounds like I'm writing a damn Hallmark card!!

I miss this Tom Cruise...just a strong performance without any of the extra shenanigans.

Laws of Attraction
½

Julianne Moore doing a romantic comedy. I was skeptical...to say the least. BUT, I generally love her work, and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this as well. She pulled it off with the help of Pierce Brosnan. They actually are a very attractive couple and had great screen presence together. Throw in a dash of Parker Posey who brings energy to everything she does, a bit of Ireland, and an enjoyable Nora Dunn and you've got a nice, easy-going 90 minutes.

The Mudge Boy

The things you learn when you watch movies!! Who knew you could calm a chicken by putting its entire head in your mouth? Fortunately, I've yet to have cause to calm a chicken. But, now I'm in the KNOW!! How much would you, as a teenage actor, really want to get a part? I give Emile Hirsch credit. Quite a lot to tackle for this part!!

I can't envision this being everyone's cup of tea. For one thing, it would just be way too slow for a lot of people's tastes. But, I found it well written and acted. There are some rather painful and emotionally charged moments along with the standard portrayal of how awkward it can be to be a teenage boy who just doesn't belong. A great reminder of why I'd never want to relive those damn teen years. ;-) What price do you pay to let go of the past? And what do you gain by it?

The Importance of Being Earnest

'What a charming boy. I like his hair SO much' says Reese Witherspoon as Cecily in reference to Rupert Everett. And, have truer words been written than 'My dear fellow, all women become like their mothers, that's their tragedy. No man does, and that's his.'

Many adaptations of this play have been made but I'll gladly take this cast. Oscar Wilde's writing is wonderfully humorous...sometimes subtle...sometimes blatant. It's a pleasure to see it executed with such flair.

Beautiful Boxer

How fortunate are most of us? As much as we struggle with our identities...with becoming the people we feel we want to be...are destined to be...are the people our parents would be proud of having raised, we were at least born to a body which matches the gender of who we feel we are inside. What bravery would it take to make a public stand for yourself...a public stand that is judged in the confines of a national sport...a stand that some perceive as a disgrace to your entire culture? The film portrayed the struggles against what the beautiful boxer represented to a lot of people...but, equally, the power of acceptance in her life. There is definitely some inspiration to be discovered here!!

GoodFellas
GoodFellas(1990)
½

I can't believe I'd never seen this film. What? Was I living in a freaking cave?!?! Now I get to go back to work on Monday and wonder which of my coworkers might be in the Witness Protection Program. And, subsequently, which of them might whack me for being late to one of their meetings. What a life! Great performances...particularly Lorraine Bracco. And, nobody does crazy quite like Joe Pesci. Scary Mutha!!! According to the Flixster stats, over 14,000 members aren't interested in this film. They don't know what they're missing. And, up until now, neither did I.

Brick
Brick(2006)
½

I recognize the value of the dialogue in the film and appreciate the break from standard fare...but, some of it honestly seemed too forced. I appreciated the regular shifts in character focus...from one cold, unfeeling example of humanity to the next. I was waiting for the ultimate 'F - you' towards the end when it all came down to being masterminded by The Brain. But, alas, I was wrong. Good to see Lukas Haas and I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's got some great, edgy characters under his belt.

Punch-Drunk Love
½

OK Joshygoo...I saw...I conquered. Add it to my list of recent rentals. I'd have to say I initially thought WHAT the HELL?!?! And then, I thought 'Jesus...I thought I had some awkward interactions'...and then I thought 'Hmmm....interesting'. Overall, I'd still choose Magnolia and Boogie Nights over this but, that could be my attraction to a larger cast with multiple storylines. I enjoyed Adam Sandler a lot...and will NEVER call a 1-900 number again!!! Well, not after tonight...Ok?

Shade
Shade(2003)

I confess, it was the cast, and the $3 price tag of course, that led me to grab this one. How big of a gamble was that after all? And, I can safely give one star for every dollar spent. It wasn't great...it wasn't bad. It had a fair amount of guess work figuring out who was screwing who over and how. Thandie Newton gets to become a role model for every one who has ever wanted to teach a lesson to a pushy bastard in a bar. And, Melanie Griffith gets to do little more than look good in a few scenes. That's probably the real scam...that she may have made a sizable paycheck for this effort.

The Other Sister
½

I confess, I can be a movie snob. If I see a preview and question the quality of the acting or the execution of the story, I'll probably opt for something that appears more interesting. After all, aren't there a TON of movies to choose from out there. But, someone recommended this...so, I gave it a whirl...even bought it cheaply because it was practically guaranteed to please. Unfortunately, this is a case where I should have stuck with my instincts. In my opinion, Giovanni outperformed Juliette Lewis hands down. But, performances aside, the story didn't at all hit the mark. I didn't find it even remotely touching. It's billed as a romantic comedy...and I could see the attempt at romantic...not so much for the comedy. Sure, a few smiles here and there throughout...but, overall, not worth the 2 hours. The soundtrack was the best part.

Finding Neverland
½

If I used adjectives like 'enchanting' and 'magical', would I sound like a typical reviewer aiming for the one word quote for the DVD cover? Probably. So, I won't. I will say that it was a very touching, entertaining, and, ultimately enjoyable film. Though, I confess, I'm getting a bit too used to seeing the ole death by TB thing. Anymore, a character starts hacking, and I'm writing their ass off. But, it played quite well in this story...based on true events after all. Which, always makes me a little suspicious...but, that's my nature. ;-) Johnny Depp impressed, as always.

The Heart of Me

Let me begin by saying, I KNOW this movie isn't for everyone. I KNOW many people would be bored to tears and say 'What the FARK? I want that 90 minutes back'. OK, with that said, I can go on to say, thankfully, I'm not everyone. ;-) I don't know when or why I added this to my online rental queue but I'm glad I did. I suspect I added it because Paul Bettany is in it. What can I say? He never disappoints. I watched this movie tonight and rode a seesaw of emotions for the individual characters...teetering back and forth from liking them to somewhat despising them. And, again, not everyone would care, but, I thought the costume design was excellent...particularly Olivia Williams. I also liked the pacing of the story and the fact that I was surprised by the characters just when I thought I knew what they were all about. So there. ;-)

Easy Rider
Easy Rider(1969)

I can't comment on whether this is an accurate depiction of the times and the slice of culture portrayed because, well, I was only 1 when it was released. ;-) But, after watching it for the first time, I can comment on the good music...how enjoyable it is to see Jack Nicholson as a young man and know he was scoring strong performances even then...on the beauty captured in the settings along their route. And, ultimately, I was left thinking about how times have changed since this movie was made. But, I question how little people have changed. There's a definite depiction of the intolerance of anyone 'different' and the personal searches people embark on. Seems like, almost 40 years later, those are still pretty pertinent themes a lot of people today could relate to.

The Ballad of Jack and Rose

I think I had higher expectations. I certainly can't fault the actors...a nice job by all. The story was just a bit too drawn out. Nice to see Daniel Day Lewis on screen again even if he was giving Christian Bale a run for his Machinist days money for who could get the most creepy thin. By the way, Christian wins!! And that's not a GOOD thing. ;-)

Keeping Mum
Keeping Mum(2006)
½

Great Fun!! Dark and comical but accessible. Maggie Smith is a treat as usual!!

Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor(2001)

Not even having Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck to look at could get me through this film. I turned it off after a tedious 45 minutes.

Bunny Lake Is Missing
½

Thanks to the independent theatre in town for giving me the opportunity to see B&W films like this on the big screen. I had heard this movie was being remade but, unfortunately, Reese Witherspoon had backed out of the project. I suspect, if true to the original, it will appeal to the masses. The story had me guessing the direction...wrongly I might add, from the beginning.

Bon Voyage
Bon Voyage(2004)

I read a review after adding this film to my online rental queue that basically proclaimed it was a complete waste of time. Thankfully, I have time to waste because I found it had suspense, intrigue, humor, romance, and a rather attractive cast to boot. I don't know who Grégori Derangère is, but, I'd sure like to see more of his work!!

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)
½

Though I read the book a while ago, I have no real recollection of any of it. So, the movie was totally fresh for me. So many people seem to be raving about this and, though I enjoyed it, I won't be ranking it in my top 10 or anything. I did REALLY like some of the filming...the moody outdoor winter scenes surrounding the visit to Tesla were particularly appealing. And, of course, Hugh Jackman AND Christian Bale together in a film is nothing to argue against.

Crank
Crank(2006)

Not to be taken seriously for a second but cause for some good laughs...some insane action sequences...and Jason Statham in a hospital gown. What's not to like about that??

The Number 23

Half way into the movie I'd totally lost interest. Who killed who? Who was crazy? Who was the author of the book? WHO THE HELL CARES? I love a good suspenseful tale...but, sadly, this wasn't it. The story tried lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing...but, ultimately, I was just trying to guess how much time was left so I could go home! I went to a bargain theatre and caught it for $6....which was about 5 (add the digits in 23 together) too much.

About Schmidt

I didn't know very much about this film when I grabbed it out of the $5 budget bin at Circuit City. But, I figured I couldn't go wrong with Jack, Hope Davis, Kathy Bates, and Dermot Mulroney. All in all...the film gave me a few things to think about...a few laughs...and some solid performances.

84 Charing Cross Road
½

Simple story executed beautifully thanks to Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. If you're a book lover, you'll surely discover something of yourself in this film.

Failure to Launch
½

OK...let's just start by saying, I wasn't expecting Hamlet when I rented this. AND, I didn't GET Hamlet. So...there. ;-) It was fun. It was cute. I could have done without Terry Bradshaw in the buff...but, more power to him. Good ensemble cast and probably qualifies as a good date movie...even if I did watch it alone. ;-)

For Your Consideration
½

Didn't get as many laughs out of me as 'Best in Show' and, though Parker Posey is well cast, Catherine O'Hara steals the show!! As is standard for Christopher Guest, another great ensemble effort!!

The Transporter

So what if it's a little...ok..a LOT unbelievable. Jason Statham is a hell of a good time!!

Casino Royale

I saw it as a free showing...so, definitely well worth the price. ;-) Daniel Craig definitely has the body you'd appreciate in an actor portraying James Bond..and he has a smoothness about him. But, overall, I thought the movie focused too heavily on action and not enough on the story. And, the villian wasn't very...well..villainous. Eva Green did well...and Judi Dench, as always, was a treat.

Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (Monsieur Ibrahim)

A recent rental...quite enjoyable. Definitely a testimony to the concept that you can find friendship, tenderness, and comfort in some less than traditional places...especially in the absence of finding it at home with your family. The 2 primary actors deserve praise for this piece.

Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)
½

A recent rental...not overly sentimentalized or dramatized but definitely disturbing story based on real events though the characters and story are supposedly fictionalized. It's a long film but worth watching especially if you ever contemplate how many children don't get the opportunity to be children.

Hitch
Hitch(2005)

How can you not fall in love with Will Smith? Tall, Dark, Handsome, and Humorous!! I missed this at the theatre and think it's easily a 'rental' anyway. Well worth the $5 from the sale bin at Circuit City!!

Everything is Illuminated
½

This was a random rental and what a great surprise. Laughed. Cried. Got totally absorbed.

Casanova
Casanova(2005)

A rental...and suitable for that purpose. Definitely a movie to make you want to visit Venice. The city is the real star of this film. Though, good supporting performances by the entire cast. Nothing particularly challenging but good fun.

Rumor Has It
Rumor Has It(2005)
½

It was a rental...and good for that. Not much of a stretch for any of the cast. But, fine for an otherwise slow night. Great scenery around the SF Bay area and Jennifer Aniston in formal gown make for some good visual distractions.