Alex Hebert's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
½

As some of you know, I REALLY liked the first Transformers movie. Yes it was generally pretty stupid, but it was a fun stupid. Apparently, Michael Bay ASSUMED this meant "Well I can just throw in more of everything I did last time, and people will love it again!"

*rolls up newspaper and hits Bay in the head*

No! Bad Bay. Bad.

So let's just get something out there. This IS supposed to be a FAMILY movie isn't it? Yes I know it's PG-13 but with that in mind I think half the PG-13 movies that have been released in the last...I dunno...10 years...should have been PG. I mean, this thing was filled with overt sexual themes and fratboy potty humor. Those aspects are bad enough by themselves, since they usually are just in movies to sell tickets to the immature high schooler/middle school crowd and aren't really funny to anyone else. But let's not forget the fact that this is a movie based on a CHILDREN'S CARTOON, which is in fact based on A TOY LINE.

W...wh-what? Come on Bay, use your thoughts here.

But we'll omit the obvious complaints about the crude (and generally unfunny) jokes, the creepy panty shot, and Mudflap and Skids (why are we stuck with the LAME Autobots the whole time?!) since everyone has made those complaints. Let's focus on the fact that Megan Fox herself recently came out and said Bay spent too much time focusing on the effects and not the acting and story telling.

...The "TALENT" is coming out and accusing you of not trying. THAT'S BAD.

With all this in mind though, I can't deny that there were aspects of the movie I thorougly enjoyed. The aspects involving the Military/Autobots were neat, as was the increased portrayal of the Decipticons, specifically Starscream and Megatron (Starscream needs to be more back-stabby, but we can do that in another film). And I would be lying if I said that the fight scenes weren't cool as could be. It's just unfortunate that the story mostly focused on Sam and friends, and they weren't nearly as interesting this time around. It worked in the first film since Sam was discovering them for the first time. But this time around his little teenage hijinks weren't sufficient enough. Stick him in the freaking military unit and make him DO SOMETHING USEFUL.

But all in all, the movie was still fun. Definetly not AS fun, but it's worth going to see. Jetfire was really the highlight of the movie as far as I'm concerned, with Optimus placing a close second.

Letters from Iwo Jima

Ultimately, I think Letters from Iwo Jima definetly works better as a companion to Flags of Our Fathers. The movie is still an excellent piece of cinema on its own, but the two obviously compliment each other far better.

Like Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima has the same no nonsense delivery that Clint Eastwood's directing is known for. And this truly helps to tell the story of some geninuinely interesting and likeable characters.

I ended up liking Flags of Our Fathers more however, and this is because while the two had essentially the same story telling (from opposite sides of the line), I had a harder time following along with the story my first time through. That didn't mean the story was bad (very much the opposite) but I had to sit through the movie again just to better establish what was going on.

The other thing...and this is a personal thing of course...but as I enjoyed the movie in the back of my mind I couldn't help but remember "These WERE the guys shooting at my Grandpa and thousands of other Americans at the time."

That doesn't mean they were BAD people. In fact, as the movie showed, some of the Japanese soldiers were fond of or at least respected the American forces...something we certainly did not share with them. But you have to understand there were personal issues tied with the movie that I had to contend with.

It also didn't help that the movie did little for me in the ways of supporting the Japanese Military, considering how their citizens and soldiers were often treated (at least in this particular dipiction).

That having been said...it was a different time, and different circumstances. And my own personal feelings did not change the fact that this was still an excellent movie, with a moving message on the horrors and brotherhood that come from conflict. And the acting in particular was top notch.

Up
Up(2009)
½

So Colette and I went and saw this on our "date" Friday night. We litterally went and saw it at the same time (not in the time zone sense, but physically she saw it at 10:30 while I was watching it at 9:30 my time...so essentially the same time). Sadly, this movie just made me wish we were in the same physical vacinity, but we both had a great time all the same.

As my friend put it, "When the movie has you on the verge of tears in the first 10 minutes, it's doing something right."

And yes, Up DEFINETLY did many things right. To be perfectly honest I could have just walked in, seen the opening sequence with Carl and Ellie, and the movie could have ended there. It would have been a little bit of a downer, sure, but it was such a bittersweet sequence that showcased all the ups and downs of life that it and of itself was worth the full ticket price.

...But it did help that there was a lot more adventure to be had.

Anyway, so there were a lot of things that I liked about Up. First of all, it was nice to see an elderly protaganist. Yes that's right, an old guy. I'm so tired of all the heroes being "hot, young super stud(ettes)". And I'm tired of seeing all the older protaganists (on those rare occassions) being the "gruff, gritty, hardend kind". There's certainly a place for those, but it was nice just to see an old protaganist who wasn't some tough gritty jerk.

Secondly, they nailed Dug. Really, they nailed the dogs in general. As the happy owner of two dogs and having now been through four total, I gotta say that the dog's personalities are pefect.

"Hello Master, I was under the porch because I love you..."

D'AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Silly dogs. And their squirrels

And finally, no movie that I can think of recently has made me cry on and off more frequently then Up. It really is just a tear jerker. Grant you, many of those were happy tears, but there were sad tears too. But it worked well all in all because ultimately the characters were well developed enough that I was able to feel their hurt and joy...which for a movie that was just an hour and half long, that's awfully impressive.

The movie wasn't perfect though. Most of the characters were well developed, but the main villian seemed as more of an afterthought. Honestly it would have made about as much sense to be some random villian as opposed to Carl's childhood hero. Additionally, although the story was still developed enough that it didn't feel like anything was lacking...it DID kind of feel like it was still brisked along at a fairly quick pace. And ultimately as a result it felt like the message or jokes weren't quite delivered with the some punch as other Pixar movies, which felt like they had more time to deliver.

...Although I still think the first exchange between Carl and Kevin is one of my favorite sight gags in the movie.

All in all, this is still a FANTASTIC movie. It is not as good as Wall-E. But it is a very close call. If you haven't seen it by now, I highly recommend that you do.

Flags of Our Fathers
½

As someone in PR, and with the subject of "propaganda" always a hot button topic, it was good to see a no nonsense look at the entire ordeal from the eyes of the soldiers. Clint Eastwood did an amazing job, and the movie was very moving.

The movie was also, very VERY depressing. I suspect I probably won't see it again because of that.

But I recommend you at least see it once. Addmittingly, the story does jump around a bit, which can be difficult to follow, but all in all the movie is fantastic and a great tribute to some of the wonderful men who died for the US, and I highly recommend it.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

So I finally had a chance to see this. And I have to say it's easily one of my favorite movies ever.

Let's get beyond the obvious part. It's about video games. Specifically, it's about Donkey Kong. I love video games, especially Nintendo. So you can imagine that the premise of two men competing over a Nintendo game was in and of itself enough to ensnare me. And it did.

But the movie itself also surprised me. I was expecting this to be a comedy...and in a way, it still mostly was. But not in the "Ha ha he made a joke" or "Ha ha pie to the face" thing. This was mostly funny because "Ha ha Oh good Lord they're taking this so seriously...It's FREAKING DONKEY KONG."

But what really caught me off guard was the (as the creators put it) David and Goliath story that ultimately emerged from this. And it was really very moving. It went beyond the reach of "Well, this is just a bunch of forty year olds playing a 20 year old game" into "This is one guy trying to make himself a winner at something and a bunch of other guys who are going out of their way to see he doesn't."

And even though the topic in question will obviously appeal to the nerdy/gamer crowd more...the story in general is something that I imagine we can all relate to. And because it's such a universal story I highly recommend this movie to just about anyone.

...And hey, if you think it's a dumb movie, you can still laugh at all the nerds.

HA HAAAA...degregation.

The Spirit
The Spirit(2008)
½

I liked this movie, and I find it odd it's done so poorly when movies of similar nature and mindlessness do so much better. Now, is this movie on the same cinematic plain as say...Casablanca? Is it Citizen Kane? Is it even Spider-Man? No, no and no. Not even close.

But it is fun. The visual style is gorgeous, emulating but not completely emulating Sin City. Although I felt Miller put a little bit too much of his own "style" into the movie (with the over the top violence and what not) it still stayed farily true to the comic, in the sense of blending various motifs and genres, as well as being very tongue-in-cheek...and there was even a "gosh darn" and "golly" thrown in for good measure.

And there's something to be said about a super hero who runs around in a fine suit, wearing a fedora and tie and a mask.

A lot of people complained about the acting, saying it was either too dry or too over the top. The only over the top person was Mr. Samuel L. Jackson...which was perfect for a crazy, manical scientist bent on world domination and immorality. Everyone else seemed dry because that was intentionally going for that sort of "film noir" atmosphere. ...That isn't to say some were just that way because they were bad...but truthfully I enjoyed the acting for the most part.

That isn't to say I thought it was the greatest movie ever...the fact that it couldn't stay consistent with the era (1940s style and automobiles, but modern technology and weapons? WHAT?!).

Additionally, I still wish anyone but Mr. Miller could have taken care of this project. I admit I'm not really a fan of Miller's writing style. I enjoyed Sin City but that was about it. But the problem is everyone went into this expecting it to be Sin City or 300...and it's not! The Spirit was NEVER like that. And unfortunately while I felt the movie worked (for me at least), Miller's attempts to draw from the source while insert his own "interpretation" sort of result in a mish mashed approach.

But overall? It's fun. It's not the greatest movie to grace the silver screen...or even the greatest comic movie...but it's very good. I can see myself getting this on DVD...at least just to give it a second run through.

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow

It...wasn't as good as I had hoped for, but it was better than I had been lead to believe. The animation was fantastic and the overall premise was what originally sold me. But it seems like some of the character's personalities aren't really established or explained. Thor's daughter, Torren, is the most interesting character since she struggles with an issue of faith, as well as having a harder time fitting in (being Norse and all) and just the sturggles of being an adolecent girl.

But the movie was too full of one liners to really develop most of the characters beyond a dimension or two. This, coupled by the fact the plot seems to zip along (without a lot of explanation) really hinders the experience older audiences could have. And Pym annoyed the crap out of me. That didn't help either.

But the movie is still fun all in all. And I look at is as a great way to excite younger children into the Marvel universe. It isn't the strongest Marvel Animated offering available...but it's still a good one.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)
½

*Spoiler alerts! If you haven't seen the movie and want to, back out now!*

So before everyone gets their knickers in a twist for not giving this thing five stars, here me out.

This was not a BAD movie by any stretch of the imagination. It was, in fact, a really good movie. I just don't think it was a GREAT movie. Why?

Mostly, the beginning. Not the epic battle against Nero and the Romulans and the noble sacrafice of Captain Kirk Sr. No. That part actually gave me high hopes for the movie.

...It was everything that immediatly FOLLOWED that for the next 30 minutes or so that made me weep softly.

1. The car scene. This...I'm sorry. This was just mind blowingly stupid. In every possible way. Okay, I get we're trying to establish that James T. Kirk is a rebellious manly man (which I'd be a little more likely to believe if he stopped getting his butt kicked BY EVERYONE) but...seriously? WHY DID HE DRIVE A CAR OFF A CLIFF?! A really NICE CAR NO LESS! That's beyond retarted! Not to mention leaping from a car (in crappy slow-mo no less) at 80+ miles per hour would tear your hands to shreds! So not only would he NOT be able to save himself, even in Hollywood universe where he could stop from going over the cliff, he would no longer have hands!

2. The whole Vulcan bully thing. Again, I understand we're trying to establish Spock loves his mom. Great. Awesome. But they couldn't think of anything better than BULLIES?! How much sense does that even make?! They're VULCANS. They're more or less perged (or at least, in the process of purging) their emotions for knowledge and logic and enlightment. Prejudice and the like are EMOTIONAL RESPONSES. These bullies wouldn't have any real reason to bully Spock because they shouldn't have emotional reactions to his human heritatge in the first place! The worst thing they should have done was just scold him over and over as the four debated over cups of tea.

3. Star Trek University. Come on. Did I REALLY need them to take Starfleet and briefly portray it like a typical day of Van Wilder's?

4. Uhura and Spock. This wasn't BAD so much as confusing. In reflection, I guess Spock did explain Uhura wasn't initially assigned to Enterprise due to favoritism, and THAT'S supposed to imply there's a relationship. Okay. Well, while I applaud subtlty, I would have liked a little bit more of a head's up, considering I (niavely) assumed she was refering to perhaps maybe she was a teacher's pet? Or maybe she and he were just friends? Suddenly she's sucking his face and gropping his lobes in the elevator.

...WHAT?! WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?!

You spent all this time making me think Kirk and Uhura were going to hook up and suddenly she's with SPOCK?! What, she's got a thing for guys with pointy ears and emotional disfunctions?! Give me an explanation!

For that matter, what was the point of Uhura? I mean, I know she was always kinda useless in the original movies and TV show, but her role was also siginificantly smaller. They gave her a larger role in this one...for what? So she can suck face with Spock? Come on guys, you gave Sulu a freakin' Katana. Use your imagination.

But all that aside...once this movie stopped acting like the fall line-up for the CW and started acting like Star Trek, I was sucked in. It had some amazing action sequences, and, much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed the supporting cast more so than the main characters. Sulu was not only useful (as mentioned above) but generally pretty awesome. Chekov was just hysterical. Bones as always was a classic, and Scottie was just a loveable kind of goof (though it was hard for me to see him as "Scottie" and not "Shaun"). And the acting and casting overall was spot on. Everyone did a pretty good job. And Eric Bana was a surprisingly good Romulan. I don't think it was his strongest performance to date, but he did do a good job.

Plus, for all the stupid crap I pointed out, there was a lot of clever nods to the show(s). Some of which was just brilliant. Like the whole bit where Kirk and Future Spock first meet Scotty. Remember the line about "losing" Admiral Archer's prized pet beagle in a warp test? Yeah. As a fan of Enterprise that had me rolling.

...Though I will miss you, Porthos.

The movie had some good action, a...generally...well written story and some great laughs. It was certainly worth going to go see as a matinee, and probably would have been okay as a full price affair too. And I suppose if I didn't have a better understanding of the previous Star Trek lore, the small crap wouldn't bother me as much. But I do so it did.

So all in all...really good movie. Not...great...but really good.

Stranger Than Fiction
½

...

...

...

...Okay, I must have tripped and stumbbled into some sort of bizzaro universe on the walk home from work, because, Heaven help me, there is a Will Ferrell movie I LIKE.

But this isn't like any other movie he's been in...that I'm aware of anyway. Will Ferrell is, for once, a quiet, seemingly normal (perhaps TOO normal), genuinely likeable guy, and is the LEAST annyoing chracter in the movie for a change. For once, I actually get to see the man act and wow...he's actually GOOD. Where did that come from?

The movie, itself, is also fantastic. The plot is clever and charming, without ever really explaining itself, but not really having to either, since the characters and circumstances just sort of help you to accept it.

The story and it's characters are both very humorous (though more subtle than "I THREWS A PIE IN YER FACE!!!1!!") and help really keep you interested throughout the course of the movie, and the ultimate message is rather sweet. ...Perhaps played out and expected, but as Emma Thompson's character put it "I'm alright with an okay ending".

(You'll just have to see the movie).

This oddly enough, felt more indie film with a bigger budget. But if you took out the cliches, unnecessary CG and idiocy of Hollywood flicks and took out the political/social commentary and overall arrogant/snooty attitude of most indy films...this is sort of what you'd get.

Also, big props to Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, who, in addition to Will Ferrell, knocked this one outta the park.

So, overall, yes, Stranger Than Fiction IS a good movie. Go rent/buy it.

Transformers
Transformers(2007)

I wasn't too big into the Transformers growing up...I started off with the two Beast Wars cartoons (Beast Wars and Beast Machines), both of which I loved. But the others never appealed to me as much.

But the second I saw the trailer for this movie, I was sold. I went and saw it last night (07/02/07), and the movie was flat out AMAZING. It is the only movie the entire summer that hasn't dissapointed me in some way. That isn't the say the movie is PERFECT, but it's pretty close.

The effects were amazing, which is of little suprise, since it was done by Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. The acting was pretty good, with plenty of dramatic acting, well delivered punch lines, And despite the fact that the human characters (Sam and co.) are downplayed to the Autobots and Decipticons, they were still developed pretty well. Though admitingly, I only can remember a few of the character's names. (What can I say? I'm a TAD more interested in the 10 story robot). Also, some seem to have thought the movie was cheesey. I suppose it was (I didn't really pick up on it) but certainly much less cheese than your average Marvel comics flick.

Now, alot of people (Transformer fanboys) were skeptical because Michael Bay was directing, (and because Megatron was no longer a gun...something I felt wasn't only necessary, but a blessing) and opinions about Armageddon are scattered (I personally thought it wasn't that bad). Rest assured, Michael Bay not only did a great job maintaining the franchise, he did an amazing job corepgraphing camera shots and fights. It's really rather epic.

The story is very good. Something that I imagine even the most diehard Transformer's fan can enjoy (if for no other reason than references to the original show) but also something that someone new to the universe can enjoy.

Now, this all isn't to say that the movie doesn't have it's flaws, as I stated previously. Sadly, the Decipticons are HARDLY developed, and only four of them ever speak (Megatron, Starscream, Barricade and Frenzy, who speaks in some weird Decipticon gibberish...but we love anyway because he's a spazzy boombox robot). In addition, cool as the movie is, I'll also admit it is basically just one large commercial. Which of course makes sense, since it's based off a cartoon based off of a TOY LINE. Anyway, for example, Sam falls down in front of Michkea (played by the AMAZING looking Megan Fox) and hey, she's eating at a Burger King. Sam drops the All Spark, and suddenly a Mountain Dew soda machine and an XBox 360 spring to life as new Transformers. All of the Transformer's updates were popular vehicles (for example, Jazz is a Pontiac Solstice). If that all isn't blatant product placement than I dunno WHAT is. In addition, there was a political parody or two that I personally didn't care for, but nothing too terrible. However, they DID kill the Autobot Jazz, which was just an awful idea. Who kills Autobots?

Those complaints are very minor in the grand scheme of things however. The movie is overall hysterical, fun, and action packed, with a good story about the underdog rising up to save the world and get the girl...Oh, and something about robots fighting over humanity or something.

Go see it. Like...now.

Dead Space: Downfall
½

So I rented this on a whim. Dead Space is a game I've been very interested in for some time, and I figured, despite lackluster reviews (On here and Netflix) it would be worth looking into if for no other reason than to get a better understanding of the universe in which Dead Space takes place.

For a tie-in to a video game no less, especially based on the reviews I've seen, I was pretty impressed. It was almost and hour and a half, which is ALMOST as long as Kung-Fu Panda. I was somewhat impressed by that, considering I was expecting a half hour affair.

The story was pretty good. Some of the characters were only developed far enough so we can see them die. ...And they do. This kinda annoyed me. Understandably, knowing this takes place BEFORE the events of the game, I knew everyone was gonna die anyway. But even so, a little depth helps.

The movie is pretty violent, which, since its trailer totes it as "horror animation", I suppose makes sense. I winced more than once though, that's for certain. I suppose this is why I'm rarely a fan of horror movies, since the gore rarely comes off as more than just being gorey for the sake of being gorey, and that never sits well with me. Such was kinda the case here at times.

The big thing I realized that seemed to keep people from giving it four stars instead of three was the animation...and to be honest...I don't know why. I can see the argument it looks more like a saturday morning cartoon, but I don't think that that is a) entirely true and b) ultimately a factor in hindering the enjoyment. And I don't necessarily understand what some people mean by "more mature" animation. Unless you're going to go with a detailed style reminscent of the 90s X-Men cartoon. Or something bizzare and out there like The Maxx or Fritz the Cat. And...hey...I hate to break it to you...those aren't coming back. I will admit however that this probably would have been even better if it was CG (provided it was GOOD CG) like the game.

Overall though...it's actually pretty good. Does a decent job of setting up the story for the game, has a higher quality animation and story than I expected at least. And it was better than I thought.

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story

Ultimately better than MOST of these sort of movies. Ben Stiller does a good job especially. And hey, it had Chuck Norris.

Loved this back in high school. It's pretty stupid now, but at least its better than most of its competition.

Kung Fu Panda

Who knew a panda could do Kung Fu?

Better yet, who knew it would actually make a good movie?

I certainly didn't. I didn't think it would be terrible, but I imagine that...much like many of Dreamwork's 3D animated features, would have been somewhat, if not entirely mediocre and/or forgettable.

So I was pleasantly surprised, as you might imagine.

The cast did a great job bringing their critter counterparts to life. The effects were really well done (I especially enjoyed the opening dream sequence). And although this clearly had all the trappings of a kid's/family CG comedy...it also had all the trappings of a really good martial arts film.

Now I admit I'm not the biggest fan of Chinese martial arts cinema...they're usually hit or miss with me...emphasis on the miss. But Kung Fu Panda managed to pull it off, while being respectable to the culture it intends to eminante.

That isn't to say this is as good the next Pixar outing though. For starters, it's entirely too short. If you've seen the trailers or commercials you basically have the entire plot summed up for you right there...including the final battle. It's not terrible, but it was somewhat unsatisfying going into a movie with no surprises left in store, and it was only an hour and a half.

My other major complaint was the constant use of slow-mo. Yes. We get it. This particular move was devistating. This particular facial feature is funny. Yeah. Nice. STOP DOING THAT! Of course, I've been getting annoyed by that effect ever since 300. So...yeah.

The only other issue is The Furious Five seem...under developed as characters? But I suppose that was the point of the prequel movie released seperately.

These complaints however are fairly minor, and ultimately didn't hinder my enjoyment of the movie too greatly. It's a fun movie. It's a funny movie. And it's a good movie. Certainly one of Dreamworks Animation's greater outtings. I look forward to its sequel.

And remember...

There is no charge for awesomeness...or attractiveness!

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
½

...

...

...WHY DO PEOPLE THINK THIS IS FUNNY?!

So I sat down and watched it with my neighbor/friend, because he's obviously a big Will Ferrell fan. I'll be honest with you...I've yet to see ONE movie this guy was in that was remotely funny. I just never understood his popularity...I mean...SERIOUSLY.

It's the same formula everytime! "Oh, I'm a spastic four year old who happens to also be a (insert occupation and/or lifestyle choice) and I'm a general immature jerk. But I go through this series of Waaaaaaaaaaacky misadventures, something goes wrong, I meet a girl and get laid, and then I start to make my way back to the top and we all learn a lesson."

Seriously. That's like every role in every movie this guy has ever been in, except Zoolander and Austin Powers 2 where he's a villain, and Stranger than Fiction. That's it. That's all he ever does. Ever.

And he's STILL getting work?!

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?!

So anyway, this movie had SOME redeemable qualities...

...

...It had Amy Adams. And she was awfully cute. It also had a sadly underutalized Andy Richter. And I admit there was a one liner or sight gag or two that made me chuckle.

But overall this...this is the same immature, insulting, moronic garbage that will inevitably bring about the downfall of our society.

X-Men: The Last Stand
½

Believe it or not, I like this one the best.

...Obviously, that's not saying much. At least Kelsey Grammer was good. As well as Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, as always.

Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider(2007)

Alot of people gave this movie a good knocking too. And to a degree, their complaints weren't unfounded. But I think that this was purely eye candy, fun time comic based goodness.

The cast was generally pleasing, all giving a good preformance, and the effects were amazing. The movie had only one major downfall in my mind, which was that the villians were all dispatched a little too quickly, nothing like the dragged out eye candy brawls of Spider-Man or Hellboy.

Also, I wish they had shown Blackheart's ACTUAL form from the comics, instead of using the wussy looking pretty boy the whole time. But that wasn't too bad.

Ghost Rider may have not been the deepest, or even the best written comic movie to date...

...But it sure was fun. And it's story wasn't nearly as half baked as critics claimed. Critics just don't read comics.

Anyway, I loved it. Go see it.

Dog Soldiers
Dog Soldiers(2002)
½

My friends and I rented this once on a whim...and ya know what? We enjoyed it. No, honestly. REALLY.

In premise, it sounds awfully bad. A British Squad is sent into the Scottish Highlands and must survive against Werewolves? Yeah. I know.

Let's omit my obvious bias as I've always had a thing for Werewolves, a horror creature that often gets the short end of the stick. In actuality, this was pretty well done movie. Low budget yes, but the script was good, and the werewolf effects were also pretty well done too. Nice to see non-CG.

I won't deny that this is probably a stupid movie. But it was pretty fun, and pretty good. If you're curious and looking for something to watch one Halloween...you can certainly do worse.

Amazing Screw-On Head

I could go on and on about this...but for the sake of time I'll spare everyone.

The Amazing Screw-On Head is a 22 minute pilot for what SHOULD HAVE BEEN the greatest thing to happen to the Sci-Fi channel in a long time. ...That didn't happen, sadly. But it is available on DVD and that's something at least.

The...erm...movie...is based off a one shot comic done by Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy), which tells the story of a civil war era secret agent for President Lincoln, Screw-On Head, a robot head who can screw into various different bodies for various purposes. Accompanied by Mr. Groin, his manservant, and Mr. Dog...his somehow living taxadermy dog...Screw-On Head takes on Emperor Zombie (who is, yes, a zombie...voiced by David Hyde Pierce no less), and his local gathering of henchmen...two old crones (one a werewolf, the other just a mad scientist) Screw-On Head's former love turned vampire Patience, and Ritchie, a chimp who is constantly seen weilding fire arms.

If zombies, vampires, chimps and robots sounds odd to you...it is. And I think that's partially why I like it so much. It's just the sort of bizarre conglomeration of every random idea you can throw into a story. And somehow it just works. The humor through-out the cartoon is spot on, subtle and quick, almost like watching a Monty Python skit. From the absurdly calm and clevely whitty dialogue exchanges about armies of the undead, to the very idea of smoking someone in a giant hooka to gain their knowledge (yes, you read that right), this short is PACKED to the brim with charm and humor.

The animation, of course, will probably be the breaking point for some people. The style is almost an exact duplicate of Mignola's original artwork, which I think is fantastic. But it's very dark and there are often scenes without a lot of movement. I can see how both aspects might turn off some.

...But it shouldn't. Try to look past that, if you can, because this is easily one of the greatest short-lived cartoons since Clerks: The Animated Series.

Casino Royale

Well, as not much of a Bond fan, I didn't really go in with high expectations...in fact, I didn't want to see the movie at all. But a friend of mine continued to push the matter. Normally, this makes me even less likely of doing the task, but I caved and decided I would watch the movie.

And I was glad I did.

Honestly, the whole set up was good. Daniel Craig makes a great bond and Eva Green makes a classy (not to mention very hot) Bond girl. The "battle" being the actual game of Poker was really cool, and the film was well acted and there was some intense action.

Honestly, I was all fine with the film until its climax in Italy. Stuff just seemed to start happening, and maybe I'm just slow but it seemed to happen without any real explanation. I won't say anything to limit spoilers but I'm not even sure who the villians were at that point.

But overall the movie is very good...were it not for its somewhat convuluted plot twists I'd give it even higher.

Oh, and the theme song rocks.

"YOU KNOW MY NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!"

The Simpsons Movie

To my friend Mark Thomas and my other friends who might be concerned, don't worry. The movie rocked.

I was a bit skeptical when I agreed to go see this with my friends Jon, Cameron and Travis. The fact is that I haven't watched an episode of the Simpsons that I liked within the last six years or so. Possibly longer.

But this movie had me, my friends, and the whole theater rolling in the aisles from beginning to end. Maybe because they got some of the old writers back for the movie. Perhaps because the PG-13 rating and the big screen ability gave the writers more leeway. I don't know, and truthfully, don't care. It was the closest thing to a classic Simpsons episode I had seen in some time. And it was hysterical. And despite what people said, I thought that most of the stuff in the commercials was stupid (excluding the Spider-Pig bit) and was pleased to see that the rest of the movie did not reflect the commericals.

The animation was flawless. Very well done use of CG and traditional hand drawn animation. And it's nice to see something that ISN'T a Pixar movie or an anime for a change.

The plot is a great little piece of Simpson ridiculousness. I won't go into details, so as not to ruin anything. But it was good. And everything, from the intellegent wit jokes to the physical gags, were top notch and delivered with superb comedic timing. And even though I'm generally not big on political humor/commentary (especially from the left, which though more balanced then most, The Simpsons always was...just not to the point of super bias or show ruining...) the fact was this time the political bits had me in stitches because this time...well...they were true.

At any rate, the movie was great. And there was even stuff after the credits (and during) to keep people interested. It was just a great movie. Tied with Transformers (in my mind) to be the best movie of the summer. Do yourself a huge favor and go see it.

3:10 to Yuma
3:10 to Yuma(2007)

Fan-FREAKIN'-tastic. Simple as that. And it's a remake, so I'm even MORE impressed.

Ratatouille
Ratatouille(2007)
½

A lot of people like to pick on Cars, one of my favorite Pixar movies, as being the laziest or least worthwhile endevour the company has done.

Honestly? I liked it much more than this. Perhaps because Cars was more "fun" and appealed to my American seeking nostalgia.

...Also, I hate French cuisine.

That isn't to suggest the movie is BAD. It's still very enjoyable, but it wasn't as good as everyone had lead me to believe (further cementing my hesitancy in believing ANY OUTSTANDING REVIEW ANYONE EVER GIVES AGAIN).

Remmy's a rat. He's a rat who wants to be a great chef. It's the typical Pixar formula of anthromorphizing a character and putting it in a quirky situation. And the plot isn't something THAT unusual either.

These are not bad things per sey, as the story is still well executed and cute, and as always Pixar's animation is inspiring. But I have to say overall I wasn't terribly impressed. Bad? Not at all. Great? Eh. I'd recommend Incredibles or Monster's Inc.

The Adventures of Milo and Otis
½

By today's standards, the movie is fairly simple. There's not a lot of special effects...there's only one actor, and he's really just narrating the adventure...and overall the concept will probably seem outright simplistic or probably just bore most of today's modern movie goers, except perhaps children. And of course, if you're one of those guys that has to do something every 25 seconds to prove you're masculine...this movie will probably not sit well with you.

But I don't care. This movie will always hold a special place in my heart, and I'm proud I have it on my shelf. The movie is freaking adorable. It has some funny moments, and the narrative of two friends looking for each other, trying to get home, and generally experiencing life...is really very touching.

This is, as the box of my VHS describes, a perfect movie for those who are young and young at heart. It's sweet and adorable and really, guys, if nothing else, it's a really good date movie.

On a personal note, I didn't realize this movie was Japanese in origin, and I had NO IDEA it took 4 years to make. Wow. But I guess it would probably take 4 years to get all those animals to do exactly what you wanted.

28 Days Later

As much as I like zombies...well...ya know...the idea...well...

...Anyway, most zombie movies haven't been worth the money. There are only two that really come to mind. One is Shaun of the Dead. The other is this.

While the creator insists that they aren't zombies, they may as well be.

The plot and premise is pretty typical of a zombie movie. Post-Apoctalptic London is over-run by the living...er...living. But they're cannibals. Sorta.

...Anyway, all that aside, it may seem familiar, but the manner in which it's pulled off is very clever, as is the delivery of the plot. There's enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

So, it is the same as most of zombie movies. But it is different and interesting enough to make it a very worthwhile watch. I'd definetly recommend it.

Hancock
Hancock(2008)

This film was...good. To be honest I'm not entirely sure HOW I feel about this film. It has some really strong points and some good stuff but there are some ideas that are just sort of thrown in there with out any real value.

Honestly, the original trailer, which gave me the impression of a hobo, alcoholic super hero...THAT was a great idea. I would even have been okay with "Well, let's clean him up so we can make him a constructive member of society". THAT should have been the whole movie. That right there.

Then they're like "No, waitaminute...we're coming up a bit short. We need to drag it out. I KNOW! Let's throw Charlize Theron in there, and give her powers too! Oh and yeah, let's make them GODS or ANGELS or something that's a good idea but completely wrong for this movie and is never really fleshed out. That way, if the writers put themselves into a corner trying to come up with an explanation for something, they can just have them say 'Oh yeah, we're gods'. How much longer does that gives us?"

"...We can...uh...we can probably get another hour out of that."

"GREAT! Cut it, print it let's roll!"

Don't get me wrong, there was something incredibly hot about Charlize Theron being super strong but being willing to hide it to live a normal life. She was hot in this movie. No mistake. And again, the idea of her and Will Smith being some sort of super natrual entity...that's...a good idea...but it's not a good idea for this movie.

Honestly, it should have been an hour of drunk, angry, alcoholic, LONELY Will Smith, followed by an hour of rehabilitation and exeptance into society, followed by messing it up, and then leading into the climax and redeeming himself again.

BAM.

Sadly, that's not what happened. And as a result it comes off as having radical mood swings. I'm a comedy one second, but I'm a dark drama the next.

But this is still a good movie all the same. It has some great effects and some neat ideas, the soundtrack fit well and the overall concept was generally fresh, save for the cop-out at the end. But if you're looking for something fun it's a good rental at least.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
½

Well, there were things I really liked about this movie, and overall it's still a classic...but there were some liberties taken...and some of those I didn't much care for.

The battles were cool. The battles were VERY cool. The raid into the castle and the final aspects with Aslan/The River/The trees in the last battle never existed in the book...but they were well executed and pretty cool so I was willing to forgive that. Besides, Aslan himself is such a big marketing point...and he's barely in the book at all.

The special effects were great, and the story was generally enjoyable, since it didn't stray TOO far from the original story.

I didn't much care for the Caspian/Susan romance though. That was clearly forced. And wasn't Caspian a BOY originally? Like...10? I think if they were going to try that, a Lucy/Caspian romance would be much cuter. But that's just me rambling.

The other thing was the false extention of the movie...which lead to the climactic fight involving Aslan. It was cool mind you but entirely unnecessary.

Was this still a cool movie? Yes. Am I glad to own it? You bet. Am I dissapointed that Disney decided to drop the franchise. I'm FURIOUS. But I still personally liked The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe a little more.

Punisher: War Zone

So was this a great movie? Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell no. But it wasn't nearly as bad as the last two. They got the gratuitous violence down. Which...really...is all Punisher EVER HAD going for it. And the actor playing The Punisher (aka Frank Castle) really NAILED it. And the sub-plot about Frank's accidental friendly fire was very interesting.

The main plot wasn't so much. I'm glad they actually used a REAL VILLIAN as the main villian this time, but Jigsaw was almost too over the top. And his sense of humor...as well as that as the film's as a whole...seemed terribly out of place. It sort of interrupted the nitty gritty feel the film otherwise had going for it.

Also, some of the background music choices were a bit too upbeat. Again, ruining the gritty ambiance.

But overall, of my three options, this is the one I'd pick. Really not a bad movie.

Side note: Newman as the gun dealer? CLASSIC.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

This is only a good movie if you see it under the following circumstances...

1. You go and see it "live" and get to relish in the atmosphere of the entire thing.

2. You go and see it while under the influence of any variety of popular substances.

3. You seriously are into space transvestites and that sorta thing.

Otherwise, it's not really worth it.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
½

For all the flack that this movie seems to be getting...It wasn't really that bad. Turtuhfully I found it more enjoyable than the majority of the recent Star Wars endevours to make it to the big screen.

Now, there are a couple of things everyone seems to be missing in their commentary.

1. "This movie is geared at kids. Might not have been bad on TV though" Well...uh...yeah. Hate to break it to ya but the last three Star Wars weren't intended for "older" audiences. You think Lucas was doing that merchandising for adults? How many Star Wars shot glasses do YOU own?

Additionally, this movie is in essence a $9.00 premire episode for the new CG series coming to Cartoon Network, which is why it seems that way. It's in essence a spin-off of the original Clone Wars mini series which premired on CN a few years back.

2. "The animation sucked." Ever seen Hoodwinked? THAT'S shitty animation. This stuff won't win any awards, but it's certainly not the worst CG I've ever seen. If you're gonna nit pick about the fact that the hair didn't move or anythig, you clearly don't know that the style is meant to...again...be a CG representation of the original Clone Wars mini-series. I kinda liked the style, truthfully. Yes they looked like wooden puppets at points but I found it charming.

3. "None of the original actors returned." Eh...not entirely true. No, we didn't get Hayden Christensen, but honestly I see that as a GOOD thing (lil' turd couldn't act his way outta a box...) Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels came back, as did many of the voice actors from...again...the original Clone Wars series.

Turthfully, the only thing that bothered me about this movie was the sheer amount of one-liners. That is one complaint I definetly agree with.

Otherwise, the plot was interesting, the fights were great, and it was a good set-up for the series. All and all, I enjoyed it. Not the greatest movie of the summer, but probably my third favorite movie of the summer (that I've seen anyway).

Dinosaur
Dinosaur(2000)

Well, all things considering, this wasn't a BAD movie. It started out very promising in fact.

But aside from very good 3D animation, the movie just doesn't have a lot going for it. Most of the characters are developed by their one liners, a fact that makes liking them sort of difficult. Additionally, the whole premise seemed very similar to Land Before Time...and a lot less interesting. By the end of the movie I had stopped watching entirely.

Still, probably worth a rental.

Tarzan
Tarzan(1999)

You know, I don't think this movie gets the props it deserves. Maybe people don't like Phil Collins.

...I do like Phil Collins though.

Anyway, when the movie originally premired, I skipped it because I was in middle school and going to see Disney movies wasn't cool. But I caught it on TV a few times and decided that this is a classic Disney cartoon right up there with Aladdin and Lion King.

Tarzan had great animation, a well driven story and some top notch voice acting. In other words, it was what people expected from Disney back in the day in every way.

The biggest dissapointment was Clayton, who was poorly developed and just not that interesting as a villian.

Stardust
Stardust(2007)

Ya know what? This was a good movie. I should have known it would be, seeing as how Neil Gaiman wrote the original book...but I didn't really think it was going to be, and that's what made it even better. It sort of reminded me of Princess Bride, only with more risque humor. ...And Robert De Niro as a gay pirate, an idea I wasn't entirely sold on only because De Niro is so freakin' bad ass in every other movie I've ever seen him in.

Anyway, still a very good movie.

The Dark Knight

Great movie? Yes. Lived up to the hype? No. Best move this summer? It's a contender but I still think that honor goes to Wall-E.

Dark Knight was a great movie, don't misunderstand. It was better than both Iron Man AND Hellboy II this summer. Without question. But to be honest...I liked Batman Begins better.

...It's easy to say all the good stuff, so I'll start with the stuff I didn't like.

Heath Ledger WAS a good Joker. Make no mistake. Certainly a hell of a lot better than I thought he was going to be, considering the man's previous work. BUT even so, I think that Nolan's direction with The Joker was...dare I say it...TOO dark?

We all know The Joker is a crazy mo-fo...but they went the extra mile and decided to make him an "agent of chaos and anarchy"...Which I suppose he is, but I think they just went a little overboard with the idea. Additionally, you can say what you want about the acting, but he STILL didn't look like The Joker to me. Just a crazy terrorist in drag. For me it's still hard to top Jack Nichlson as The Joker...at least as far as looks go.

Additionally, the movie was...GAWD...this movie was LONG. According to Spill they never once glanced at their watch...I glanced at mine twice (which I realized subconciously was a futile effort, as my watch doesn't have a light). I know that they did a lot in that period of time but it got to the point where near the end I just wanted the movie to be done with. And when it was done, the climax felt so abrupt and unsatisfying that it did little for me at the end. And Jim Gordon's convuluded speech helped very little.

And perhaps its biggest flaw is its own hype...which is also where I'm most frustrated. I want to sit here and say I loved The Dark Knight, and that it's the definitive super hero movie because of it's dark, dramatic, twisting plot and complex themes. And while I did love all those things...it didn't live up to the expectations everyone else had decided it did. I was impressed, and I'll probably pick it up on DVD...but...again, I liked Batman Begins better.

NOW, that having all been said, the movie did a great number of good things. Complex themes involving human nature, the line between order and chaos, and the things that turn a villian into a hero are all present and make the movie fascinating. The movie contains a number of twists that even I didn't see coming. And, like Batman Begins, although it wasn't completely faithful to the source material, it wasn't done in a way that was bad or insulting.

The dark plot was also a nice change of pace (as it was with Batman Begins) because for me, a lot of super hero movies (even the good ones) suffer from too much super hero cheese...that and reliance on CGI effects. Fortunately, neither was the case here.

For me, more so than The Joker, I really really REALLY liked the portrayal of Harvey Dent and Two-Face, which was spot on to the comics and just absolutely brilliant to watch. Most people will tell you The Joker stole the show. Nuh-uh. For ME, it was Two-Face. He was just PERFECT.

...I also really liked the Bat Pod.

I think for me, Dark Knight's biggest flaw was just the perception I had before going into it. I went into Batman Begins thinking it would be awful, giving the stain that was Batman and Robin was what preceeded it...and I was absolutely wrong and pleasantly surprised. For Dark Knight, I went in with high expectations (both as a result of my friends and myself) and concluded that while the movie was good...great even...it didn't do anything that was AS spectacular as everyone else claimed.

So...in conclusion...go see it anyway. It's still an awesome movie.

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)

So, it's really sort of hard where to begin on how awesome this movie really is. No. Seriously. So I'll start with all of the stuff someone out there might find annoying.

Spill.com made a point to point out that the movie does have an environmental "green" message in there, and that it hammered it on there pretty hard. Personally, I don't think so, since I'll still throw out bottles in the thrash can out of laziness from time to time, but I suppose it is there.

Maxim made a point to point out that the movie has anti-capitalist suggestions, as the main corporation responsible for Earth's demise in the movie, BNL, is an obvious allusion to Wal-Mart. While I can't deny that, I think the suggestion of communist propaganda is a load and that the reviewer was just looking too deeply into the movie.

So my point is this. If you're looking for pro-green messages or an anti-capitalist message, then you'll find it no matter what I say. There's a whole bunch of things in there you can find if you want to look for it, including commentary on the decline of an intellectual society and a disturbingly increasing reliance on machines. But I wasn't looking for any of those things. And ya know what? I love the crap out of this movie.

Plus, the whole "Earth is polluted/otherwise destroyed by man so man takes to the stars" is a sci-fi staple that is almost as old as the genre. Which, since basically geeks are the only ones seeing this movie aside from kids and their parents, you'll probably do just fine.

So, now all the good stuff.

This movie is f**king ADORABLE. Part of me really hates to admit it because my masculine, testosterone driven psyche refuses to confess anything can be cute, but this movie is just way too damn cute. Each of the little robots that makes its way on screen is just full of so much personality. Wall-E is the shy, nerdy, collector kid (and kinda a stalker really), and Eve is the hot girl with a strong passion and will that clearly other robots dream about. The chemistry between the two of them is simply "Aww" inducing, as is the case with just about every character in the movie, robot or otherwise.

Now, personally, I think Eve is way cuter than Wall-E, but that's me.

The animation, as one might expect from Pixar, is top notch. This time the team went all out, using various forms of live action, traditional animation and CG at various points in the movie. It was superb in presentation. I particularly liked the animation sequence during the credits.

Wall-E has been a Pixar labor of love for about 8 years...and it shows in every way. I didn't much care for Ratitoulle, and most people I know didn't much care for Cars. But both clearly pale in comparison by the amount of effort displayed here in the movie.

The interesting thing about Wall-E is that it almost wasn't done at all. Disney certainly didn't want to do a movie about an apocalyptic future where the first 30 minutes or so feature almost no dialogue at all. And it's pretty understandable why they didn't. Despite the fact this movie is rated G, this will probably go over most childrens' heads. I know the little girl sitting in front of us (at the 10:00 showing?! Isn't that a bit late?!) was certainly more confused than anything.

So overall, Wall-E is, in my opinion, is Pixar's finest work to date. Better than The Incredibles and Monsters Inc. even. It is simply a marvelous movie and you can bet your ass that when it comes to DVD I'm getting it (something I have yet to do for any Pixar movie).

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2)

There were a lot of things that this movie did right, and honestly, I liked it more than Iron Man (which is not an insult to Iron Man by any means). I definetly liked it more than the first. Del Toro's art direction, the fight scenes and the special effects definetly made this a full price affair.

That having been said, I did have a few minor qualms. For one, the movie had this really goofy tone for the first half of the movie...and that didn't sit well with me. I mean, I know the movie series overall were more funny than the average comic movie, but it felt like they went overboard. Additionally, it felt like the movie's end was a tad abrupt, and some of the character's actions and motions seemed contradictory to their character...both for the movie series and their comic counterparts.

All in all though? This movie rocked. I'll get it on DVD no question.

Also, Johann stole the show. Easily my favorite character.

Batman
Batman(1989)
½

Truthfully, I won't say that this is as good as Batman Begins, but considering the rest of its bretheren, this is a damn good movie. Not as much (or as bad) of cheesey dialogue, decent effects...and hey...Heath Ledger can do all he wants...I'm still not convinced you're going to find a better Joker than Nicholoson. He was just AMAZING.

Batman Returns

I don't honestly see why so many people hail this movie as such a classic...I mean, it's NOT as bad as Batman and Robin (is anything?) but it wasn't anything special. It also had the beginnings of the same cheesey dialogue that ruined the later movies...though I suppose at least Burton managed to keep it darker in tone.

Batman Forever

I confess when I was younger I really liked this movie a lot. But as I watched it the other day I realized that, really, it's just pretty bad. Kilmer wasn't a bad Batman, and it was certainly less atrocious than Batman and Robin overall, but we start to see the overblown effects and poorly written dialogue that later killed the franchise until Batman Begins.

Carey as The Riddler was fine for the time, considering at the time Carey was only type-cast as a comedian...but Tommy Lee Jones' talents were underutilized. And Two-Face, one of the more fascinating, darker and more twisted characters in Batman's Rogue Gallery (perhaps more so than The Joker even) was far tamer and cheesey in this version.

Batman & Robin

Abysmal. Bad puns, terrible casting (Schwarzenegger as Freeze?), cheesey, porly written, ugly...oh, and it's got Clooney. That always goes bad by me.

Batman Gotham Knight
½

Now, it is important to note that people who will like this movie best are fans of both the anime animation style(s) as well as Batman himself...which is probably something of a small niche audience...that being said I happen to fall into it.

The movie is a tie in to the upcoming Dark Knight, featuring six "inter-connecting" stories about the famous caped crusader and his journey through Gotham, each being told via different writer and animation studio.

The animation in each story, in my honest opinion, is awesome. From the trippy, almost Jet Set Radio style of the first story "Have I Got a Story For You" to the more gritty, realistic style of "Deadshot" to the more traditonal anime style seen in "Field Test", each sequence is a feast for the eyes. Sadly, the stories aren't really inter-connecting, save for a few over-arching characters and plot elements in a few of them...but if you sat and watched them out of order it would make no difference.

This is all perfectly fine, as each one is enjoyable on their own as one shot episodes. My only gripes are with "In Darkness Dwells" which over all just seemed too abrupt, and "Working Through Pain", which simply seemed to end suddenly, and also came off as somewhat preachy. But they weren't bad, just not as enjoyable as say, "Deadshot".

Possibly one of my favorite aspects of the film is Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman from the 90s animated series, reprised his role. Say what you want about Christian Bale and whomever else, but Kevin Conroy IS Batman as far as I'm concerned.

If you do decide to pick it up, I'd recommend shelling out the extra dough and getting the two-disc version, seeing as how it comes with 4 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.

Robots
Robots(2005)

Ya know, I remember this movie not being that good, but when I went and saw it on Christmas Day (FX was doing an all day marathon on Christmas), it turns out it wasn't that bad...not the greatest thing ever...but not the worst. The humor is a little spottier, excluding Robin William's character (as one might expect) but the plot was clever enough and it had pretty good animation. All in all not bad.

Short Circuit
½

This movie was amazing. Before Wall-E was making audiences go "Awwww", Number 5 was doing it some good 22 years prior with his charm. He's also America's first robotic citizen, so TAKE THAT!

The Good Shepherd

Actually, this was a really cool movie. Well developed and full of intrigue. And Angelina Jolie actually seemed kinda hot for a change.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

HA HA HA HA HA!!

Poor Square...they tried SO hard...

Akira
Akira(1988)
½

Well, I can't deny it's a classic in anime, but I gotta say it's getting to the point where I'm sick of it. THERE'S OTHER THINGS OUT THERE PEOPLE!!

The Haunting
The Haunting(1999)

Catherine Zeta-Jones playing for the other TEAM?! BOOOOOO!

A History of Violence

Actually, the premise of the movie and even the movie itself wasn't too bad...although it did seem a little slapped together at the last minute. What really ruined this movie for me though was its GOD AWFUL soundtrack. It's like the same, grainy, IRRITATING song throughout the entire film. Just...just awful.

Cloverfield
Cloverfield(2008)
½

I hate to admit it...I really do...but this really lived up to the hype. A lot of people didn't like this because of the fliming style...and in some movies I can agree. I certainly hated it in the sequences it was used in 28 Weeks Later...of course...I hated that movie in general...

ANYWAY...this movie reminded me of the Blair Witch (another movie I liked), but with a giant lizard alien thing. And it kept me on the edge of my seat for some time. I just thought it was awesome.

Hulk
Hulk(2003)
½

A touching twist on the comic movie genre, Hulk is appealing to the eyes and the mind, perhaps why it didn't do as well in theaters. Most people probably just wanted to see "HULK SMASH!"

Hulk's only major downside (IMO) was the "final battle" which was a little confusing as to exactly what happened. I also accept that story telling tactics bored and confused a lot of people.

But the character development, "fight" scenes, and special effects were all amazing, and the story was very unique. Definetly one of my fav comic movies.

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

So basically, most of the big summer movies this year have me in an area of skepticism...Most of them look like they COULD be cool, but also look like they could be pretty bad too. The only exceptions are Prince Caspian, Hellboy 2, The Dark Knight and Wall * E, which all have me very excited.

So anyway, I saw Iron Man, afraid that it was going to have some anti-war/guns/violence undertones that would have not only been contradictory (given the nature of the character) and stupid.

BUT...I was pleasantly surprised. For starters, Mr. Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) has a realistic, honorable and dare I say patrotic character evolution that doesn't necessarily result in the belief that "guns are bad mmkay?" but rather give the insight that he needs to reconsider how he handles the arms industry.

Now I confess I'm not as big an Iron Man fan as say, Spider-Man, X-Men, Ghost Rider, Hulk or Captain America, but the movie did a great job of adapting and modernizing the story and it really was a great movie. It didn't go over board with the special effects, and even had NON-CG moments *GASP*. It was well acted, well scripted and generally pretty cool. Also, Gwenyth Paltrow, who's usually pretty hot anyway, was WICKED hot as Pepper Pots. Especially in that blue dress? MAAAAAAAAN...

Now, I dunno if I'd agree with it being the best super hero movie since Spider-Man (or Spider-Man 2, depending on who you're talking to), because it didn't quite click with me the same. And I think that was the tone. It seemed a little confused. On the one hand Iron Man was significantly less cheesey than almost every super hero movie before it, which isn't bad. But then there was the cheesey moments or comic relief moments, which, while not bad, almost felt out of place. And I think that made it hard for me to really click with the movie overall. Also, the final battle, while cool, seemed a little anti-climactic.

HOWEVER, this is definetly an awesome movie and certainly worth the price of admission. Certainly more than Speed Racer is or Hulk is going to be.

Oh yeah, all you comic fans, stay until after the credits. There's some goodies in there for ya.

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo(2003)

What the hell was so great about this friggin' movie?!

Monsters, Inc.
½

This is easily my favorite Pixar movie. Even more than The Incredibles.

Beavis and Butt-head Do America

It is important to note that while I love Mike Judge's work (King of the Hill and Office Space specifically), I always thought Beavis and Butt-Head the show was just plain retarted.

However, somehow, the movie manages to work in the same idiocy of the show but somehow manages to be really funny. I can't quite put my finger on WHY, but it is.

Capote
Capote(2005)
½

Overall, the movie was a good flick, but I had quite a few qualms wit it.

For one, Capote is a manipulative, self-absorbed, egotistical ASS. That's not really a critique at the movie but I found it hard to feel sympathy for Capote at any point since he mostly brought it on himself. Also, his lisp annoyed the crap out of me. Again, not the movie's fault. And I give props to Hoffman for portraying the author so well.

My other problem with the movie is the fact that it was black and white with an obnoxious green tint. No one else seems to be mentioning this so maybe it was just the player we saw it on. Or maybe I'm the only person it bothered. But I have to say that overall I found it particularly annoying and difficult to make out some events in some scenes.

Those complaints having been said, Capote was still well written and well acted, and was a very interesting story.

Shattered Glass

Actually...this was a really good film. And much to my surprise, Hayden Christensen was ACTUALLY pretty good. I still think they could have found better, but for all intensive purposes he did a good job and fit the role well. Obviously, this probably won't be a movie for everyone. There isn't a lot of intrigue or suspense I suppose but it's a well done movie that has a great message for journalists.

Bowling for Columbine

To call Michael Moore a Documentary Film Maker is like calling J.K. Rowling a Biography Author...Even so, of his crappy movies, I could stomach this one the most. Doesn't mean I LIKED it, and wouldn't have watched it if I didn't have to...but it was tolerable.

My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady(1964)

It uh...wasn't bad. But it's not quite my cup of tea.

To Kill A Mockingbird

This was a very well adaptation of this book. As typical, it wasn't quite as good as the book was, but it was awfully close.

Matchstick Men
½

This was a little weird...but it was also pretty good. It was a cute movie...though a little sad.

White Noise
White Noise(2005)
½

As bad as this movie was, it was made worse by all the screaming idiot middle school girls in our theater.

Starship Troopers
½

It's goofy, and not as good as the book, but it's pretty fun all the same.

One Hour Photo

This is a great film. Robin Williams is DEFINETLY creepy.

The Birds
The Birds(1963)

How can you NOT LIKE THIS MOVIE?! This is a classic of suspense and horror. Jeez...I mean Hitchcock INVENTED the genre.

But of course, people in my generation love Jackass.

*sigh*

Across the Universe

This movie was awful. Not only was it awful, it was insulting to anyone who's a Beatles fan.

Let's start with the fact you have an ensamble of characters from every spectrum of political correctness imaginable (Oh, I had a hard time deciding which I liked more, the lesbian asian or the obvious Hendrix-rip off) all of whom were generally spoiled, unlikeable brats with no real character development to speak of.

Then there's the portrayal of authority and "Evil American Values" like Thanksgiving (I don't care who the hell you are, you shut the f**k up about Thanksgiving. Not like the Native Americans weren't killing each other before the "white devil" showed up.) I understand it was the 60's and all and this was a critical and chaotic point in our society's development (not that you could tell from the oddly upbeat numbers toward the beginning, where the main female protaganist is dancing with BLACK students...which seemed odd given the contrasting and slightly more realistic (though over blown) war scene in a black urban neighborhood) and that, yes, there were some cops and others who were just dicks (as is the case today, and will ALWAYS be the case), and that in order to make critical steps toward equal rights rebellion against authority was necessary. But this movie takes those ideas to an extreme.

There were only two things this movie did right. And only one of them was actually well done.

The first of which was the covers of some of my favorite Beatles' songs. But the problem is is that most of them weren't nearly as good. Probably why they didn't appear in trailers. The only songs worth a damn were the ones in which the character Jude had any part in, because he actually had some talent.

The other thing this movie did well and actually did REALLY well in was the special effects. I will not argue that the effects were awesome. Uncle Sam and that entire sequence was pretty awesome, despite my political uneasiness with the view taken on the subject.

Oveall however, being visually stimulating with an occasional good song to string together a bland story with irritating characters is not enough to save this movie. It pretty much sucked. Fortunately, I only played $3, so it wasn't a huge travisty of justice.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding
½

I hate to admit it. I mean, I REALLY hate to admit it. But this was a pretty good movie. Even if it was a chick flick. Not being Greek myself (or knowing anyone who is, for that matter) I suppose I couldn't get all the little cultural bits, but the protaganist explained it well enough that I found it pretty funny anyway.

As far as the romantic part of this "romantic comedy", it's not particularly developed. But that's okay. The movie was still really funny.

Pay It Forward

Very touching. Difficult to watch at the end though.

The Bucket List

Well, aside from the fact that I just like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, this was a great movie. Both did great jobs, and provided an emotional performance in a story that I would have to say is nothing short of inspirational.

One Night With the King
½

It seemed to move along at a quick pace, but was none the less a wonderful movie with amazing acting and a moving rendition of the story of Esther and how she helped the Jewish community.

Lars and the Real Girl
½

I have to say I didn't know what to expect when I went and saw this movie for part of my internship at the local paper. As I've stated before, indie movies are GENERALLY the sort of movies I avoid like the plague.

But this movie was awfully cute. And what's more, it took what could have been an easy entrance to dirty jokes, but actually made a genuinely sweet and intellegent comedy. Definetly a go see.

300
300(2007)

A rendition of Frank Miller's graphic novel, depicting the epic Battle of Thermopole, the movie is a bloody, violent, stylized, and inaccurate portrayal of the events that transpired.

...And it's pretty friggin' cool.

The characters lack a lot of development, but there was enough to have me rooting from my seat. The action scenes were intense, and fun to watch. The only downside was there it seemed like there wasn't as many as the trailer let on. Nothing terrible though.

For some reason however, I didn't think this movie was as incredible as critics and movie goers initially thought. I don't know why, I can't explain it. It just...wasn't. Sin City was much better in my opinion.

My only real complaint with the movie was the unecessary sex scene near the beginning, which, never was in the book, and felt like a porn clip.

Otherwise, still a good movie. Not one for the family though, obviously.

Thank You for Smoking

It was positively hysterical. And given I'm going into PR myself, I found this to be...enlightening, I suppose. It also put an interesting spin on what people tend to believe that "Big Tobacco eats babies and pisses pure malevolence". While Big Tobacco isn't exactly put in a good light in this movie, they're not really villians either. They're just what they've always been...a corporation. I don't smoke myself, but I think that's something that people like the crazies at Truth need to get a grip on.

Anyway, awesome flick.

Lucky Number Slevin

I wasn't sure what to make of this movie, to be honest. I was told it was as clever as Snatch, but that's such a claim to make I was very skeptical myself. However, Slevin was indeed in that ballpark. There isn't as much humor as Snatch, but there's still a lot of cool and intrigue in the entire story, with an ending that may have some guessing up until it (I have this tendency to figure things out early. Not always but I do from time to time). It was a great flick overall, with great preformances and some really awesome dialogue.

Spanglish
Spanglish(2004)

Illegal Immigtation Propeganda at its finest folks.

I Am Legend
I Am Legend(2007)

All things considering, this movie isn't that bad. Will Smith does a great job as always, and the fact is is that it's a fairly decent adaptation of the original novel/comic, as well as a decent remake of all the original movies spawned from said literature (The Omega Man, The Last Man, etc). UNFORTUNATELY, the movie wasn't as good as the hype (kinda like 300), and truth be told, the book/comic had a lot of awesome details that were left out of the movie for reasons that I simply do not understand (no mention of them being VAMPIRES (not zombies people) for one thing, and for another a lot of the psychological stuff from the original books was left out for reasons that are beyond me, since it would have made the movie that much better). In addition, the vampires weren't NEARLY as terrifying as they were in the comic/book, not to mention weren't as smart. Plus, they dehumanized them so much, which I was personally bothered by. And the CG used for them was kinda second rate, to be honest.

Overall, not a BAD flick per sey, but I'd recommend a rental, honestly.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Much like the original, I didn't think this movie was going to be worth a lot. And just like the original, I was wrong. This is a great sequel, and a worthy follow up to the ONLY thing with Jerry Brachuamer's name on it that I actually like.

Super Mario Bros.

...God, this movie was just awful.

Poor, poor Mario. He deserved better. At least he got Bob Hoskins to fill his roll.

The Prince of Egypt
½

Great flick, whether you're a Christian or not. Definetly one of the finer examples of animation out there.

Mortal Kombat

Probably the only video game to movie adaptation that was worth watching. Not phenominal by any means, but better than anything else.

Analyze This
Analyze This(1999)
½

This one wasn't too bad...but the whole "mobster gets mixed up with normal person, hilarity ensues" idea was never really that great idea to begin with.

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
½

Of the Hollywood Suess adaptations, this was prbably my favorite. That doesn't mean it was GOOD though. Myers did a reasonably good job of playing the Cat in the Hat and making the character fun, but aside from that the movie was generally a crap fest.

The Whole Nine Yards
½

Unlike it's sequel, this was actually a pretty good movie. A tad twisted, to be sure, but at least it was funny.

Hitch
Hitch(2005)
½

Generally, I don't DO chick flicks. Just not my thing. You can only tell the same friggin' story about "Girl meets boy" so many times in so many ways before it just becomes idiotic.

Hitch was a pleasant surprise.

For one, Will Smith is still an awesome actor. Not that that should come as a shock. But the story itself is very touching without getting to the point of overdramatic or sappy. In addition, I think I also enjoyed it since it was a chick-flick for guys.

Think about it. Main character? Will Smith. He's a love doctor helping out? The guy from King of Queens. The majority of the story takes place from the guy's perspective, a much needed change in the "chick flick" genre.

But in addition to that, it also does a much better job at expoing the downfalls, trials, and desires from both genders in a relationship. Something that, again, many chick flicks seem to miss.

The story was great, the preformances were top notch, and this was truly something more than your average date movie.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Generally speaking, I just don't go for Disney much these days. I feel I'm a bit too old to go see most of their flicks that AREN'T Pixar.

But as long as they keep making the Chronicles of Narnia movies, I will have a ticket and a seat for all seven.

I loved the books growing up, and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was ALWAYS my favorite. So you can imagine my giddy surprise when it was being adapted for the big screen. And truthfully, it was done very well.

Most of the core, crucial aspects were kept true to their form, and the minor changes that were added weren't so drastic that it alienated fans of the original book. It was wonderful job of adaptation and updating that pleased all potential audiences. The special effects were also spectacular, as was the acting.

Sadly, the movie's biggest problem was it tried too hard to compete with the blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter series. And it showed. I suppose another downfall might be it's Christian undertones which were also present in C.S. Lewis' original books...but I am a Christian, so that didnt bother me. In fact, if anything, I would say they were downplayed in the movie.

But keeping that in mind, whether you're a fan of the book or not, a Christian or not, or a fantasy fan or not, there's a bit of something for everyone in this one.

The Insider
The Insider(1999)
½

I felt this was actually a great movie...especially since it deals with conflicts of interest, a subject I take very seriously. It surprises me that Russel Crowe didn't win best actorfor this, but did for Gladiator.

Anyway, great flick.

Gung Ho
Gung Ho(1986)
½

This is an absolutely hilatious comedy. And though I have yet to see Lost in Translation, is probably one of the best examples of culture shock between Japanese and American cultures.

Hellboy
Hellboy(2004)

An example that comic book movies CAN be done properly.

Hellboy has whit, character, and a great story. Though admittingly, the story seems to jump at times, which may confuse some (certainly confused me my first time through).

Some of the characters seem to lack screen time...and character development. Which can be a hinderance at times. In addition, the movie felt less dark than the comics and more...I dunno...quirky? It wasn't bad per sey but not as enjoyable. And some of the lines were awful. Namely what HB says to Liz at the end. How terribly dull and unromantic.

But for the most part, it's just a great, fun filled super hero movie romp. Definetly a good see.

Hellboy: Sword of Storms

Not as good as Blood & Iron. Voice acting is great, and it's a little closer to the comics than the movie is (despite the fact the movie used a direct plot from the comic). The plot is kinda dull, not to mention difficult to follow at times. But Hellboy kicking but is always great. As far as direct to DVD goes, it's pretty good. Blood & Iron is WAY better though.

Hellboy: Blood and Iron
½

As far as direct to DVD movies go, this one was pretty good. Blood & Iron is significantly more entertaining than it's predecessor, Sword of Storms. The plot is darker, creepier, and more true to the comics than the movie was, and was a generally awesome flick. I particularly liked the reference to the bloody baroness (whose name I always forget). The voice acting is top notch, with Perlman, Blair, Jones and the rest preforming top notch. And goodness, John Hurt is even in it. And for the comic fans, there is a brief trailer of the third movie featuring Lobster Johnson at the end. Overall, very very enjoyable.

The Last Sin Eater
½

I thought this was a touching movie about forgivness and God's love...and certainly one of the best Christian movies I've seen in a while. If you're not bothered by it's message, or are a Christian looking for a change of pace from the usual movie stuff, than I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommmend this movie.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)

Ummm...

I was pretty dissapointed by this one. I LOVED Shaun of the Dead, as you can see for yourself in my review. I felt it was possibly the pinnacle of British Comedy. So you can understand my enthusiasm to see Hot Fuzz, certainly when I was told by some friends it was better.

...Those friends are liars.

Hot Fuzz had a couple of things wrong with it. One, it moved along too fast and had little character development. I suppose this was probably done in order to keep up with the "action movie" theme they were trying to convey. But it made the movie, and most of the characters, difficult to follow and generally just made me apathetic to the situation as a whole.

NOW, the movie did do some things right. While it did move along at a fast pace, it did keep me in suspense. In addition, the final action sequence(s) were pretty cool. Also, the movie did make me chuckle a couple of times.

BUT in comparison to Shaun of the Dead, it wasn't nearly as funny. That's its biggest problem. If it had said it was simply an action movie, that would be one thing. But it claims to be an action/comedy...there was very little of the latter. Also, the over the top gore, while fitting and appropriate in Shaun of the Dead...was just gross in this.

Quite frankly, I'd tell you to skip this one and just go with Shaun of the Dead.

Pom Poko (Heisei tanuki gassen pompoko) (The Raccoon War)

It is in my personal opinion that this is my second favorite Ghibli Studio film to date. I could have lived without the sappy, preachy undertones regarding the enviornment...but even those weren't that bad.

What I particularly liked about Pom Poko was the way in which the "racoons" (i.e. Tanooki) lived. Besides being a great commentary on our own lives, it was also just adorable to watch the way that Tanooki lived. From chasing each other around in the spring to having parties at the drop of the hat, it was just cute.

In addition, there was plenty of Japanese culture, which can please all from the uninitiated to the Japanophiles. The historical context of the story added a great flavor of realism to the story. I also digged the fact that the "racoons" changed from realistic, to cartoonish, to a hybrid of the two.

And as I said, although I wasn't too fond of being preached at, it wasn't bad, and it certainly made valid points. The enviornment is important, after all.

Anyway, a great flick that I highly recommend to anime fans and brave non-anime fans (who I think could really enjoy it anyway).

Oh, P.S. the "Racoon Pouch", as it is called in the dub? Yeah. Those are testicles.

*sigh* Come on Disney...let's be mature here yes?

Last Action Hero

This movie seems to get trashed alot, but I think it was one of Schwarzenegger's best (excluding T2). It was funny, and it was one of the few movies I ever saw where an actor spends most of it poking fun at himself, not to mention the ridiculousness of the action movie genre in general. Four stars.

King Kong
King Kong(1933)

Peter Jackson's ain't got nothin' on the original baby.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The worst of the three. Not bad per sey, but it lacked punching of Nazis in the face. It just didn't seem as well written or conceived as Raiders or Last Crusade, even though, ironically, Temple of Doom got the biggest budget of the three.

It's worth seeing, but it's still not the best.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

BUTCHERED.

Everyone seems to think this is the definitive Sci-Fi movie, when in fact it is a gi-normous piece of crap. I have seen it a grand total of twice, and fell asleep BOTH times. And one of those times I was in a college classroom.

For the parts I WAS awake for, it was simply awful. The movie made a very poor attempt to connect itself to the amazing book with which it was based off of, "Do Androids Dream of Electic Sheep?". Very poor job. Rather than a desolete waste land described in the book, they live in Tokyo (It wasn't actualy Tokyo, I'm being sarcastic). Daryl Hannah looked like a Hooker, they completely altered all the important aspects from the creators, to Harrison Ford's love interest (he had an actual human wife in the book). It was just...ugh.

The movie had an awful soundtrack, it was slow, boring, and poorly delivered. The director and writers for this film should be ashamed for ruining what was an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor. Go read the book instead.

Breach
Breach(2007)
½

I recall seeing a trailer and thinking "Looks cool" and never gave it another thought. But as usual, I was wrong.

My father and I watched this from his MASSIVE DVD collection the other day, and needless to say, it was a great movie. The acting was top notch, and the movie was full of tense moments and twists and turns that just made it all the more amazing.

If I have only one thing bad to say, it is that the movie is somewhat dry at parts. It really didn't bother me, I was terribly interested. But I will admit it did make my eyes heavy (In the movie's defense, I had been going to bed at 11 PM the last few weeks, and it was late when we watched it). So, for others who want more explosions or have short attention spans, this may not be your movie.

For anyone who looks a good suspense or drama, this is definetly a great pick. And this one of the few movies where I would give extra points to the bonus features. They're really fascinating, especially the Dateline Special.

Howl's Moving Castle

I saw this with a friend. She brought over the DVD.

...This is one of those Miyazaki movies that everyone liked that I just thought was stupid. Hence, it is a psuedo-masterpiece.

That isn't to say it didn't have it's moments. Truthfully, the love story was very cute. The animation was great and most of the character designs were interesting. And it had Miyazaki's charm. But the problem was, I would say that there was too much of Miyazaki's charm.

For example, the fire demon was cute-ified. What the hell? He's a FIRE DEMON. He's supposed to be INTIMIDATING.

In general, the plot was very confusing. It went all over the place, and threw in some sort of war without any real rhyme or reason. And wasn't this supposed to take place in England? And then of course, you had the scarecrow who, HEY, turned out to be the missing prince at the end. CONVENIENT PLOT TWIST!

To top it all off, the movie was NOTHING like the book it was based off of. This isn't necessarily bad, but from what I read the original book was significantly more interesting and coherent.

Howl's is not the worst movie. It's not even the worst Miyazaki movie (that shame belongs to Nausicaa, which PALES in comparison to the manga it's based off of). ...But Howl's is really REALLY bad.

Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey
½

This was just on the other night. And it's still a cute movie. As with many Hollywood adaptations, it was heavily altered from the book it was based on, but in the end it didn't matter, because it made a great movie anyway. Michael J. Fox was hysterical, the animals were cute, and truthfully, the lines were very...animal like. I could see my dog and cat thinking the same way. Being an animal person (not to the level of those crazy P.E.T.A people, but I do like animals), it was hard to watch at certain points (when the family first leaves, when Sassy is in the river, etc). But it was a cute movie, and is still a Disney classic.

Garden State
Garden State(2004)

First Indy film I ever saw. ...Nothing special truthully. Not BAD...but nothing special. At least it had Natalie Portman.

Live Free or Die Hard
½

Live Free or Die Hard was not what you would call the greatest movie this summer. Nor was it the most intelligent. But in the grand scheme, it really didn't matter. I got to see Bruce Willis (possibly one the greatest men alive) kick butt and take names as John McClain. Which, really, is all anyone wanted to see.

The plot was hokey, to say the least. An ex-Government official sets up a "fire sale" in order to cripple the country, prove a point, and walk away with a bunch of cash. He's killing any potential hackers he can find who may try to undo his work. Enter Senior Dective John McClain, who has been asked by the F.B.I. directior to grab one of these hackers (alive) and bring him in for interrogation. And everything just goes down the crapper from there.

The plot seems reasonable enough, but it often gets bogged down by techno babble that wasn't exactly accurate (though it made for some fun conversations between McClain and the hacker kid) or simply didn't make sense. But that's really small in the grand scheme. Overall, the movie was funny, and the fight scenes were fun to watch. Certainly becauase McClain used every opportunity to drive cars into people.

"You're in a helicopter? Yeah? Then I'll just jump a car into you ya mo-fo."

"You're a tough hot asian hench-woman? Yeah? We'll I'll just drive an SUV into your ass."

"You're making an escape in another SUV? Yeah? We'll I'm gonna run your ass down in a semi."

Bruce Willis is the only man I can see punch through a wall, grab a bad guy, and then preceeding to beat him THROUGH the wall and say to myself "Yeah, ya know what? I can see him doing that."

You just don't mess with Bruce Willis.

Also, Kevin Smith makes a cameo, which was needless to say, awesome. In addition, the actress playing McClain's girl was a FOX.

Anyway, go ahead and give it a watch. It's not the most ingenious movie to date, but it's fun. If nothing else, it can be a good vataction for your brain.

End of the Spear
½

This was a great movie. A little difficult to watch at times, but it was a great flick. It has a great message about forgiveness, but in addition, it shows a bit about culture shock. It was really well done. If you're looking for a good Christian movie to watch, I'd highly recommend it.

Titan A.E.
Titan A.E.(2000)
½

You just can't top Don Bluth's animation. This may not be Star Wars, but this was a great cartoon back when American animation wasn't just psuedo-anime. The last of the really good ones.

What Dreams May Come
½

Deep, spiritual, and really thought provoking.

The Bourne Identity
½

This is still the best. I've sadly never read the books, but Matt Damon SURPRISINGLY did a great job in this movie. It had great action, and a whole lot of suspesne.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
½

I don't care what anybody says, Last Crusade was THE greatest of the three Indy movies. Though it's pretty close between this and Raiders.

Anyway, Last Crusade had some amazing special effects, another awesome story (that has Indy beating up those stupid Nazis, like he's supposed to *glares at Temple of Doom*), and had a nice blend of action and even a smidget or two of spirituality.

It was just a great movie.

The Village
The Village(2004)

Like one of my other friends, I had this movie figured out from early on. In fact, I had the movie figured out from the BEGINNING. I noticed a hat that was out of place in the context of the supposed time period. I had it figured out. There was little justification for watching the movie at that point.

In addition, the characters were bland, and the one cool aspect, the monster, turned out to be a costume (in the context of the movie I mean, not in reality). It was just generally an uninteresting movie.

Old School
Old School(2003)
½

I am obviously in the minority, but I do not understand what the hell was supposed to be funny about this movie? A couple of dumb jokes, some crude physical humor, and Will Ferrel being his usual obnoxious self. I can't even recall laughing once. It was just idiotic.

The Day After Tomorrow
½

The effects were cool. ...That was it. The movie was a ridiculous commentary on global warming that DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE. The plot was clearly thrown together by Al Gore over the course of a weekend.

Seven (Se7en)

Generally genius and generally creepy. I am glad a friend convinced me to watch it. Definetly a messed up movie though.

12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men)
½

I don't recall seeing the whole thing, but this movie was great. An interesting commentary on the judicial system and to a lesser degree racism and society. It was just a great film. They don't make many of them like this anymore...

Pan's Labyrinth
½

Honestly, I'm not sure WHAT to make of my opinion on this movie. It wasn't bad at all. In fact, it was unquestionably Guillermo del Toro's best work. ...And yet...I dunno. I was somewhat dissapointed. I can't really explain why either. Perhaps because the hype I heard didn't live up. Or maybe it was just because it wasn't entirely what I expected. But it was by no means a bad movie. As I said, it was very good. Good effects, a touching story, an interesting take on fairy tells mixed in with some WW II era events...It was a cool movie. But...it wasn't what I expected. I wish I could explain it better than that...but I can't.

Clerks
Clerks(2001)

Four words.

"CAR FULL OF MIDGETS!"

I rest my case.

Clerks
Clerks(1994)
½

Clerks is a juvinielle, potty mouthed romp through the "average" work day of a couple of Jersey geek losers stuck in dead in jobs...

And MAN is it funny.

Being Smith's first film (or certainly one of them) the movie is more indie than big budget. It's done entirely in black and white, with snippit transitions and barely more than a few angles at a time. But if I had to choose between Clerks and gay cowboys, Clerks wins hands down.

Clerks offers quite a few things. For one, it's funny. And it's funny on a number of levels. It's got your geek culture references, your physical comedy, and the occasional reference to sucking dicks (surely to please all the gay cowboy fans). On top of all that, the movie is certainly funny to people who've worked in crappy minimum wage jobs because we've all had to deal with people and problems described in the movie (though perhaps not to as great an extent).

In addition to its humor, Clerks has a message. It's sorta buried, but it is there. A message about concern for our fellow man, as well as how we define ourselves and the people around us in the ways we live and the actions we take. Not bad for Smith film eh?

Of course, it has its flaws. I suppose if you're really big into special effects, this movie won't please. In addition, this movie is generally about as mature and foul mouthed as your typical frat boy or high school student. So if those things bother you, there are still plenty of great movies out there that maybe you should consider instead.

With that being said and done, in my honest opinion, the movie is great, and definetly worth watching.

Fantastic Four
½

This is by no means my favorite of the Marvel movies...that would probably be Ghost Rider, Hulk, or Spidey 3. BUT...it wasn't as bad as people claimed. It had a decent enough story, though it did seem to movie at a fast pace. I don't care for Alba (the only actress I knew) but she did a good job, as did everyone else. It had its share of comic cheese, but that comes with the territory.

It was a little inaccurate on some details, but again, as a comic fan, I've come to accept that.

Overall, not phenominal, but a good, fun, solid comic movie.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
½

I just saw this movie the other day with my Dad. It was actually pretty good. I think it and the first were about the same as far as quality, and I had a couple of quoibles with the movie, but it wasn't too bad. Silver Surfer rocked, which I expected.

Go give it a try. Like the first, it's better than people give it credit for.

Dogma
Dogma(1999)

Is this as good as Clerks? No. Nothing is as good as Clerks. But it's still another awfully good production from Kevin Smith.

Dogma doesn't have any really phenominal special effects, and being a Christian myself, I don't agree with some of Kevin Smith's ideas or philisophies he projects in the movie (or with some of the jokes he makes at Christianity's expense) BUT even so, it was well done, pretty darn funny, and if nothing else, there's Jay and Silent Bob. A little bit of something for everyone...who's over 15.

Good Will Hunting
½

A Movie with Matt Damon in it without Kevin Smith that I like? WHA?!

...Well...Kevin Smith did help in the production...

Anyway, this was indeed a very inspiring movie. And having spent two years living back east, it has a special place in my heart...sort of.

Anyway, the cast was great, even Ben Affleck. It was generally a great movie. And it also happens to be a great date movie. SO, not too shabby.

The Iron Giant
½

I wish I had seen this when it had been in theaters (I tend to do that...). This is probably one of the greatest animated films known to man, and it never gets its due.

The movie takes place in the 50s, in the midst of the Red Scare and nuclear fear, a robot crashes down and befriends Hogarth, a lonely boy in a po-dunk town.

There's alot of reasons I like this movie. For one, it's clever. For another, it's nice. In addition, the CG effects were well done, the characters were memorable, and I was always a sucker for the "Boy and his Giant Robot" story.

SO...awesome cartoon. Go watch it.

Saw
Saw(2004)
½

Saw is one of those movies that's not very good, but it's not that bad either. The concept was creative, and certainly more creepy (if not genuinely messed up) than most horror movies released these days. If NOTHING else, it was better because of the little plot twist at the end.

However, the movie's acting was terrible. So bad in fact, that it really kinda bogged down the whole movie. I dunno whether I would describe it as over acting, or under acting. Probably both.

But either way, it was still enjoyable. And besides, the sequel fixed this problem.

Godzilla
Godzilla(1998)

*shrugs* I don't think it was bad. I'm one of two people, but I enjoyed Tristar's Godzilla. A hell of a lot more than Toho's original rubber fiend that I watched in my childhood.

The movie was pretty well written. It had its holes and problems. It wasn't PERFECT. But it was a good movie. The effects were cool, the plot was legitimate and well done, the acting was good (especially by French star Jean Reno)...And I don't care what you say, the US Godzilla (or Zilla as he is often known) is way cooler than the original. Sorry.

Behind Enemy Lines

Ahhh...you can SMELL the patriotism.

When I initially saw the movie, I didn't think much of it. But when I went back and saw it recently, I withdrew the opinion. It's actually pretty well crafted, and is one of the most accurate military portrayals in the movies in recent years. Oh, and hey, the U.S. Armed Forces aren't portrayed as evil, uncaring, or incompetent. IMAGINE THAT.

Overall, the movie was good. Definetly one of Wilson's better works, and another great job by Gene Hackman.

Big Daddy
Big Daddy(1999)
½

Surprisingly cute. one of the few Adam Sandler movies I liked.

Enemy of the State
½

Will Smith and Gene Hackman are phenominal. This movie is amazing. Government paranoia at its best.

Team America: World Police
½

A tad weird...and some of the scenes I could have lived without...but it made fun of celbrities...had some funny songs...and even had a valuable point buried under all it's weirdness.

Not Trey and Matt's best outing, but pretty good none the less.

The Da Vinci Code
½

Predictable, over-rated, and just Christian bashing. Nothing phenominal.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

It's South Park. But longer. And uncut. I think the title sums it up.

Chicken Run
Chicken Run(2000)

It's not quite as good as Wallace and Gromit, but it's from the same people, and the same whit and humor that made Wallace and Gromit so great is present throughout. The cast does a great job, certainly Mel Gibson.

It's a great family movie.

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump(1994)

There's something about Gump's innocent take on the world that made this movie more than just a good movie.

Tom Hanks, as usual, preforms phenominally. This movie has a good blend of everything. Political and social commentary, humor, drama...literally everything.

Gump is a great movie with a great story, and is definetly one of the most memorable I've seen in many ways.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Burton tried WAY too hard to capitilize on the success of Nightmare Before Christmas...and it shows.

Corpse Bride lacks the story, memorable songs or characters of Nightmare, and the only interesting thing it shares is the same animation.

I suppose if you like Johnny Depp, that's something. I don't though, so that did nothing for me (personally, David Hyde Pierce would have been a better choice in my mind...but Burton in Depp are practically sleeping with each other).

SO, let's review. Funny movie about Halloween trying to be Christmas. Cute, charming, original, funny. Corpse Bride? Necrophilia themed boredom.

Not my cup of tea.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
½

I don't do a whole lot of indie flicks. I'm not big on gay cowboys.

BUT...

This movie impressed me in a number of ways. The humor was a tad darker for my tastes, but it sure did have it's funny moments.

But more importantly, Eternal Sunshine offered an interesting look at love, relationships, and the human mind. All sorts of good stuff to dwell and contemplate on, which is usually what Indie movies set out to do.

I think my only complaint is that at first the movie is difficult to follow, but this sort of goes hand in hand with the plot, so that's really not a big deal.

Groundhog Day
½

Probably my second favorite Murray movie, with Scrooged nipping at its heels.

Groundhog Day is a cute, and even inspirational spin on the romantic comedy. I won't ruin all the details, but basically, Murray's character is trapped in the same day over and over again, until he realizes that the only way to get out of it is to change himself for the better.

There aren't alot of special effects or anything like that, but like any good Murray movie, it has its share of great one liners, hard knock humor, and laugh out loud moments. But it also gives us something to contemplate too, as we see Murray's character go through a drastic development.

So, this is a great movie, but is also probably a great date movie too.

Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

"Yes sir it's true, this man has no dick."

Ghost Busters is a hilarious take on the horror genre. And while it still makes its attempts (and at times, even succeeds) at being generally creepy, the movie is much better and being a comedy. And trust me, this is a good thing.

The cast, assembled from famous comedy legends like Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray, do a pheonminal job at delivering the laughs bit by bit, line by line. And for a movie from the 80s, the effects still aren't too shabby.

Ghostbusters is a fun romp. It's certainly nothing inspiring, or deep, but it is a great movie for people of all ages to enjoy.

So, who ya gonna call?

GHOSTBUSTERS!

Voices of a Distant Star

Simple, CG animation done mostly in Flash. But the cartoon is phenominal.

It is truly beautiful and saddening and inspiring in a way that very few animes are, especially in this day and age when they're a dime a dozen.

Voices of a Distant Star offers a lot to contemplate, including time, love, war, nature, technology, and life...all within a span of 30 minutes. Truly, it is a masterpiece.

Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 2

It's rather sad that works done by Lucas' fans are significantly better than anything the man did with his entire "prequel" trilogy.

Star Wars: Clone Wars was a cartoon series that briefly ran on Cartoon Network. On their own (as stand alone episodes) they weren't bad, but they were only five (for the first season) to fifteen minutes long. This of course made it difficult to follow the action.

Fortunatly, the entire series was collected on two volumes for simpler viewing pleasure.

Basically, Clone Wars was a filler between Episodes II and III, describing character transformations and introducing new villians, heroes and concepts to the main universe. Both seasons were amazing, with fluid (though simple) animation, wonderful story telling, and near spot on voice acting (though they did manage to snag Anthony Daniels to continue to do his role as C-3PO).

But what sets season two apart from season one is that the crew behind it had more time to tell the stories (15 minutes per episode) which made them generally better stories. In addition, General Grievous was introduced, and was a total bad ass, unlike his counter part in the actual Episode III movie.

If you enjoy Star Wars, and haven't seen the Clone Wars series, than I seriously suggest looking for the two DVDs. They're a great addition to the collection.

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)

Now, there's nothing wrong with Spidey 2. It is a great movie for many reasons. Good plot development, good story, good effects...definetly a good flick.

So WHY did I rate it lower than the other two?

Well, for one, Spidey's character was unchacteristically "emo" in this movie. And it really kinda ruined it. In addition, the comic cheese seemed to be layered a bit heavier this time, and although I know it comes with the territory (being an avid comic fan myself) that doesn't mean I had to stomach and enjoy it. And finally, the ending. I'm sorry, you can't drown the sun. That doesn't even make sense. It was clearly just something that the writer's wrote themselves into a corner, and figured "Ahhh...he's by the Hudson River. He'll just DROWN the small sun. THAT makes sense."

In addition, while I did enjoy the actor, I generally don't much like Doc Ock. But that's personal preference.

SO...overall, great addition to the Spidey Series, but not my favorite. I'd still recommend it anyway.

Spirited Away
½

I don't really know why I like Spirited Away so much. I was very hestiant in seeing it, especially since I was generally dissapointed by Miyazaki's previous work, Princess Mononoke.

But Spirited Away ditches the buddhist message (or at least diminishes it) and the psuedo war epic approach and returns to what Miyazaki has always done much better (or at least, done better on film). Cute, emotional plot driven adventures.

The animation was phenominal, and the characters were memorable, brimming with more of Miyazaki's trade mark charm. The plot, mixing in a nice amount of Japanese culture and religion, takes many myths and creatures and brings them to a modern setting running a hotel.

In truth, I would think that Spirited Away is Miyazaki at his finest...excluding his Lupin excursions.

But that isn't to say that the movie doesn't have his problems. Like another good Miyazaki Flick, Porco Rosso, the movie's plot is a little thin. It's a tad meatier than Porco Rosso's, but with all the characters and divergent ideas in Spirted Away, at times it is difficult to understand why certain events are happening, or what series of events lead up to them. Also, another pet peeve of mine, is that this movie once again, just ENDS. Miyazaki has a bad habit of doing this with most of his films, and it is nothing short of irritating. Is it that much to just ask for some closure?

Little nit picks aside, this is a fantastic movie, and one of the few animes you can find that generally everyone will enjoy. Definetly a must see.

Forever Young
½

"IT'S THE DEAD GUY!"

Before Mel Gibson was creating controuversy, he was just another actor. And before Elijah Wood was Sam's lover in Lord of the Rings, he was just a little boy.

Forever Young is a well written, emotional, and generally wonderful mix on the time travel idea. Similar to Captain America, Mel's character gets cyogenically frozen (after the death of his lover) and wakes up in the early 90s.

The acting, certainly be Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis, was very good. In addition, it was just a nice, funny movie that the whole family can enjoy.

Forever Young is probably one of those obscure titles now that no one has ever heard of. But it'll always be a favorite of mine.

Sin City
Sin City(2005)

For some reason, everyone insists on comparing this movie to 300. Sure, they bare alot of similarities. They're both based on graphic novels by Frank Miller. They both got stylized violence. And they both were big hits. That's about it though. And truthfully, the comparisons are unfair, since the two are completely different genres. Sin City is film noir, while 300 is an epic. It's like comparing Sparticus to Cowboy Bebop. It LACKS THE SENSE MAKING!

Anyway, for the sake of argument, I will appease the masses and continue the generally dumb trend.

Sin City is an awesome flick, staring one of my favorite actors (Bruce Willis), and tells the three stories of some of the many twisted souls who happen to inhabit the city. The movie does a fantastic job of translating Frank Miller's work to the screen, and keeps in with the same style the comic had.

One advantage Sin City has over 300 is the simple fact that it's characters are better developed. You care more for each of the heroes, regardless as to how twisted they may be. In addition, the action, while perhaps not as intense, was better displayed, since it didn't have all the frenzy or special effects of 300 to muck them up.

That being said however, 300 had significantly better acting. I enjoyed many of the roles, particuarly those portrayed by Jessica Alba (though I don't much care for her), Bruce Willis, and Mickey Rorque. There were in fact, a number of good performances, but there was also a bit of over acting that really just bogged the movie down.

However, it wasn't so bad (like, say, in the case of Saw) that it really detracted from the movie. Definetly a go see in my book.

Just...don't compare it to 300 anymore.

28 Weeks Later...
½

Whereas the first movie was a clever, well written twist on the classic zombie horror, 28 Weeks Later was a predictable, less frightening, poorly disguised criticism of the U.S. Occupation in Iraq. My personal political views aside, I generally don't go to the movies to get a dose of politics, regardless of if I disagree with them or not. The movie wasn't a total failure. The characters weren't deeply developed, but there was some emotional development for them. The action was rather intense. But the problem was most of the time, it was hard to follow, since the director insisted on using the "shakey camera" technique. Overall, not bad, but not worth the trip to the theater, and certainly not a movie I will see again any time soon.

Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie

Blue Collar Comedy at it's best. Ron White, Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry are classics. I personally prefer Ron and Bill myself, but the four of them have great chemistry, and the bits not shown on TV when they're around town is hysterical.

Good stuff. I don't care who ya are, now that's funny.

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta)

Probably one Miyazaki's more underrated works. Porco Rosso is a classic high flying adventure with a lot of heart.

The characters, music, setting...everything about it was amazing, and might even normally have made it my favorite Miyazaki movies if not for one thing.

...The plot.

...Or rather, a lack there of one.

The story is a bit hard to follow, and jumps around...almost incoherently, from one point to another. It's not terrible, but it is a bit annoying. In addition, the ending is a bit ambiguous, and while Miyazaki does this alot, that doesn't make it good. Especially in this movie. It just didn't leave me with a feeling of closure.

But this is about my only complaint. Otherwise it's a great movie.

The Incredibles
½

After Finding Nemo and A Bug's Life, I wasn't expecting too much from this Pixar outing. And in addition, the trailers didn't make it seem as appealing.

And then, my would be love interest convinced me to go see it with her.

...And I did. Cause I'm a guy.

But regardless, I loved it anyway. It was something of a departure from what was typical Pixar fare. It was a little deeper, a little darker, a lot less funny, and whole lot more action. It was nothing I expected, and better in everyway.

First off, the obvious. The animation was amazing. Pixar is getting better and better with each new movie. Ratitoulle will no doubt be amazing. But in the mean time, The Incredibles was a feast for the eyes.

In addition, the plot was certainly more unique than a lot of movies these days. Especially for a super hero movie.

And while the movie was not the funniest of the Pixar flicks, it certainly had more than it's fair share of good laughs. But it was the action that was most impressive.

Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (The Castle of Cagliostro) (Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro)

Before Miyazaki was doing masterpieces (or psuedo-master pieces in some cases) with Studio Ghibli, he was working on staff doing Lupin III. And before he had a big studio with a hard to pronounce name, he did a little Lupin III movie called Castle of Caliostro.

And quite frankly, besides Spirited Away, it is probably his finest work.

The animation, certainly for a film created back in 70's or so, is fantastic. It captures all of those little Lupin styles while manages to look and feel strictly like a piece of Miyazaki's work.

The plot is pretty typical Lupin. ...Which is good. The gang is in Europe...for reasons I forget...and Lupin is trying to steal something...which I forgot also...

...Hey, it's been a little bit alright?

Anyway, the story is good, and is full of many twists, turns, and is generally a fun, adventure filled romp.

The music is also good, both a result of it's material it's based off of and the good composers on the job.

Overall, a fine piece of work, and a must watch for anime fans.

The Girl Next Door

I have to admit, I was caught off guard by this one. I don't generally do chick flicks, and I usually can't STAND teen comedy's...but despite the usual raunchy humor and porn references (which were significiantly toned down) this turned out to, in fact be, a genuinely good movie.

It won't win any Emmy's any time soon, but goodness it was actually worth watching.

For one, it was genuinely funny, not the usual "Ha, he made a boob/fart/poo joke" that are usually associate with these kinds of movies...but actual humor. And truthfully, for a movie about porn stars, it was pretty high in class.

The movie was really...not what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised in many ways.

...It didn't hurt the main character was cute to boot. In addition, all the acting was rather well done. Something also surprising for a teen comedy.

My only complaint (and it is fairly minor, and a matter of opinion) was I felt the movie could have amounted to even more if cut out a little more of the potty humor. But otherwise, it was a great flick. A pleasant surprise, to be sure.

My Neighbor Totoro

This was one of Miyazaki's classic, and it excells at what he does best. Cute stories with a lot of heart.

The story tells of two girls who meet the Totoros, funny little rabbit/cat like creatures, that befriend the girls and help fill the void that their mother left after she was sent to the Hospital.

Sadly, the plot may be a little lacking or some, since there's not a lot of structure between one event to the next. Also, some anime/Miyazaki fans may be dissapointed, since there is no evil monster to face. In addition, the ending is somewhat open ended and vague, but that tends to happen in a lot of Miyazaki films.

But in a world full of monsters and bad guys to get destroyed, it's nice to take a break and watch something innocent for a change. No bad guys, no good guys, just life...with the Totoros, and the other mystical creatures of the forest.

Shrek 2
Shrek 2(2004)
½

I currently haven't seen the third one, so I can't vogue for that, but of the first two, this hands down the better. Shrek was itself a good movie, but it's odd that it's sequel did so much better.

Obviously the animation is better, but that's because of the technology advances. But the jokes seemed better, the plot a little more clever, and the addition of Puss in Boots worked far better for the formula than I would have thought.

Definetly worth a good sit down and watch.

Batman Begins
½

As far as DC Comics go, Batman is the only character I ever truly liked or followed (excluding the Vertigo character The Sandman). But the problem is, most of his movies, even under Tim Burton's direction, were kinda over the top cheesey.

Not so with Batman Begins. Christian Bale makes an amazing and realistic Bruce Wayne, and while probably not my first choice, Michale Caine made a surprisingly good Alfred.

The plot took some liberties with the origin, as is usually the case with comic based movies, but as with any good comic movie, it all worked out for the best.

In addition, it was sort of nice to see a movie that didn't completely depend on CG. Not saying I don't enjoy CG, but at the same time...it does get old at times.

Liam Neilson did a great job Razh as well. It was overall a great movie, but I didn't care for Katie Holmes, who, as with many female characters in these sorts of movies, ends up serving no purpose.

But that's a very minor complaint, because otherwise this movie is fantastic.

One Piece the Movie: Kaisokuou ni ore wa naru (One Piece Movie: The Great Gold Pirate)
½

HA! REAL PIRATES!

For the uninitiated, One Piece is a popular manga/anime that tells the story of one Luffy D. Monkey, who, after being saved by the pirate captain Shanks, aspires to become the greatest pirate himself. The series depicts his adventures and his quest to become the King of the Pirates, and assemble the greatest crew to do so.

The movie pictured here (One Piece the Movie #4: Dead End Adventure) is one of my particular favorites. The crew have stopped on and island from their journey along the Grand Line, when they discover they're a bit short on funds. It's then they discover that there is a great pirate race, and the winning ship wins a large amount of cash. The group signs on, only to realize there is much more to the race than it seems...

The animation is spectactular (though it was better in the sixth movie) and is colorful, bright, and enjoyable. The characters are a blast, even the tacked in movie specific characters (though they seem to be somewhat under developed). The CG animation is somewhat dissapointing, but there's very little, so it's nothing too bad. The fights, particularly the final fight, are great to watch.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this movie. But if you're not a One Piece fan...some things may not make sense. If you're interested in real pirates (Not like that wimp Sparrow), I'd suggest looking for the series online or the manga in stores.

Ocean's Eleven
½

Before they started bogging down with unecessary and generally bland sequels, Clooney and crew did an amazing job with their modern remake of Ocean's Eleven. The movie oozed cool, and was a genuinely intriguing idea that kept me interested and guessing from start to finish. Sadly, 12 was a joke, and 13 seems like it will follow suite. But hey, at least the first was worth the money. If you haven't seen it yet, it's certainly worth renting, or waiting for it to come on TV.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
½

"WHAT?! HE DIDN'T LIKE PIRATES?!"

Okay, before you all get your panties in a bunch, let's clear up some things. I didn't hate the first Pirates...at first. In fact, it had it's strong points.

I don't much care for Bloom or Depp, but both did a good job. In addition, Knightly, the only character I actually liked, also did a good job. The effects were good, the story was decent, and was certainly not the worst movie to get released that summer.

BUT I don't think it's worth all the hype it gets. I don't think this franchise is all that phenominal. And this is from a guy who likes pirates (See my One Piece review).

For one, the movie was good, but the plot was a bit iffy. Why couldn't have Turner just turned to the Navy? For that matter, where the heck WAS the Navy? The British had one of the strongest Navy's in the world at the time. If not the strongest. Surely, they could have contributed something. Though, it may have not been too successful, considering the undead-ness of their opponents.

Secondly, while I did enjoy Knightly's character, the near blatant "Girl Power" thing she had going on really annoyed me. I have nothing against strong women characters. But they really tried to push it and I got really sick of it.

I also just don't like Depp or Bloom (especially at the time, when all the little high school girls wouldn't shut up about them). Also, pirates don't dress in drag. Ditch the makeup Sparrow.

Overall, it wasn't the movie that killed the franchise for me. It was the hype. The movie wasn't bad, but it wasn't phenominal. The fans drove me to the brink of insanity, and I can no longer stand it. Sorry folks.

The Passion of the Christ
½

This is one of the few movies where I cried...no, wept...openly, in the theater. But of course, I had a very large spiritual and emotional banking in the character. I wasn't the only one though. There was barely a dry eye in the house.

Passion of the Christ is OBVIOUSLY not for everyone. It's directed towards a Christian audeince, and in addition to that, it's pretty violent. So you have a small audience right there (despite being one of the highest grossing movies of all time...)

The acting was very good, and keeping the dialogue in traditional hebrew created a certain ambiance for the movie that worked and flowed smoothly.

The problem with the movie was mostly it's small budget. This resulted in a couple of technical goofs (that everyone felt compelled to point out). They really didn't detract much from the movie for me. But I didn't notice. But it can present problems.

Overall however, if you're interested in Christ's love and sacrafice, and you can stomach the violence, I would highly recommend the movie.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
½

You can put in as many CG effects and make as many CG films as you like, but you can't top the magic that was Nightmare Before Christmas. Other movies have tried (even Burton's own Corpse Bride), but none have succeeded.

There movie is (much like The Point) short, simple, and sweet. It has a number of catchy songs, most of which I memorized.

The one complaint most fans probably have is it's length. It's not very long. But then again, consider the fact that with stop motion animation, it takes a lot longer to make a decent length movie. So we really couldn't expect to see a 2-hour long epic.

All that aside, it's a great flick. Truly one of Disney's masterpieces.

Spider-Man
Spider-Man(2002)
½

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a Spider can...

Yeah, yeah. You know the drill.

So, this is my second favorite of the three. It's got some of that comic cheese, but that comes with the territory. I generally expect that. I also didn't care for the Green Goblin's costume, but that's a personal preferance.

Besides that, the movie is definetly one of the best super hero movies, and certainly set the bar for the genre. It's effects were amazing, the actors did a fantastic job, the plot was good, with just enough fanservice to appease us Marvel geeks (while not alienating the rest of the world). It was a great flick. But of course, I don't need to convince too many people of THAT.

Phone Booth
Phone Booth(2003)

I don't even think I heard of this movie in theaters, which is a shame.

The movie feature a stand up preformances all around, and was set up in a very Hitchcock-ian manner. I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to make a good movie where the only scene is in a phone booth. But I would have been wrong.

The movie is very intense, and is definetly a psychological thriller, with a twisted moral at the end.

The movie was fantastic, and should be a must have for any suspense geek.

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

The one thing that this movie specifically has over the original is the animation. The animation in this movie is dazzling.

However, that being said, that was about it's only major advantage.

For one, the movie was HEAVILY altered from the original book. About the only three characters that are exactly the same as their in book incarnations are D, Leila, and Bengei.

The plot was also vastly different. In the movie, the love story plays a greater role, and there is an undelying message about prejudice. The opposite is true in the book, which was also much better.

And finally, the movie did not have as deep of chracter development as I would have liked. The first movie wasn't exactly deep either, but it did a slightly better job.

All that aside, the movie is not bad. It is still very enjoyable, with a good message. And in fact, it's one of the few animes my mother saw and enjoyed. That's saying something.

So, Bloodlust is surely an amazing movie, but I'd still recommend the first.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

I was somewhat skeptical about this movie at first, but once I saw it I was hooked. Nicholson, DiCaprio and Damon all do stand up jobs providing a deep look into the seedy underworld of Boston's Irish Mafia. And having lived in Massachusettes for two years, I felt a special bond with the movie. I'm not exactly a townie, but I do know the sites and sounds.

The movie was well written, and full of twists, turns, and suspense. A great drama thriller.

Vampire Hunter D
½

Some people may be confused as to why I rated this one higher than it's sequel, Bloodlust. Well, there's some reaons behind that.

1. I AM a guy. The love story in Bloodlust was nice, but I wanted me some genuine vampire slaying, and the first movie has that in spades.

2. Nostalgia. I saw this movie when I was around 9.

3. Plot. The plot may not be as complex as Bloodlust's, but it's generally more entertaining. In addition, this movie retained more from the original book than Bloodlust did, which was heavily altered.

My one complaint with Vampire Hunter D was the few alterations they did make. For one, Dorothy's character was turned into your typical anime damsel in distress. This wasn't terrible, but she was far more entertaining and cooler in the book. Secondly, the movie cut out a few scenes, and some of the characters were visually altered.

But that's me nitpicking.

All that aside, Vampire Hunter D is an anime treasure. But it's not for the faint of heart.

Over the Hedge

As great as all the Shreks, Ice Ages, and slew of Pixar movies are, none of them can add up to the fun and humor that is Over the Hedge.

Over the Hedge, besides just being another CG family friendly affair, is also a great satirical view of our society. But the social commentary isn't so obvious that it bogs down the overall enjoyment.

The story had memorable characters, each giving great preformances (Bruce Willis, William Shattner and Wanda Sykes among a few) and besides poking fun at us, also has a cute little message about family.

Of course, the real winner is Hammy, who steals the show each time he's on the screen.

Young Frankenstein

To be sure, Mel Brooks has made a number of comedy classics. But unquestionably, Young Frankenstein is the pinnacle of his works. The creme de la creme, as it were.

Everything is there, a solid, goofy story, solid goofy characters, running gags, bad puns, everything to make pure comedic gold. And in addition, Brooks managed to create a wonderful horror atmosphere as well, though he did so only to poke fun at it.

At any rate, Young Frankenstein is Brook's finest hour. If you get a chance, pick it up on DVD.

Shaun of the Dead

Flat out one of THE best movies I've ever seen. Best Zombie movie, best romantic comedy, best best best. Period.

I think the only thing some people were thrown off by were the serious moments, which seemed out of place...or made the comedy seem out of place. But I wasn't bothered by this, so it didn't bother me.

I would highly recommend this movie. It's just a great movie.

Kal Ho Naa Ho

It was my roommate in my Freshman year who introduced me to "Bollywood", and I had to say, I was somewhat skeptical. It seemed like a chick-flick, for one thing, and for another, there was the whole cultural/language barrier.

But he convinced me to sit down and watch it. And I was deeply impressed. It was a touching story about true love.

The songs were enjoyable, and pretty catchy. Always good for a musical. The story was fairly creative as well. A love triangle forms between the three main characters, but one of them (I apologize...I forgot all the names), loves the girl so much, and is so close to his friend (the other main character) that he is willing to sacrafice any chance with her so that the other two will find love with each other.

My only complaint with the movie is it's major plot twist. The sacraficial main character (the one in red, pictured on the cover) develops an unnamed and uncureable heart disease. Why? It just seemed unnecessary.

Otherwise, it was a great movie, and was certainly and intriguing experience.

The Point
The Point(1971)
½

A cute movie with an amazing soundtrack. It's short and simple, but in this case that was probably the best approach.

In the story, Oblio, a misfit for having a round head, is banished to the Pointless Forest for being round in his pointed society, and learns a valuable lesson in the point of his existence.

It's not as deep as I make it sound...and yet...it is.

The voice acting is generally enjoyable, especially the narration by Beatle Ringo Starr. The music, a collection of songs by Harry Nelsson, are cute, catchy, and alot of fun, and help setting the overall mood for the movie.

A great movie for the young and young at heart.

TMNT
TMNT(2007)

I really wanted to like this movie. No, really.

But I just couldn't.

There was a bit of the nostalgia from my childhood, and the animation was good, as was the voice acting...but it was the writing...It was just awful.

Obviously, the movie was directed towards a younger audience. But even the new TMNT cartoon by 4Kids, also directed at children, was enjoyable. This was just terrible. The plot felt rushed, and certain aspects made no sense. In addition, a number of the jokes were just terrible. The only truly enjoyable part of the movie was the epic clash between Leonardo and Raphael.

Sooo...I didn't enjoy it.

The Ring
The Ring(2002)

One word. Dissapointing.

The movie was generally not creepy, predictable, and slow. None of which make for a good horror movie. Perhaps the original Japanese movie was better, but indeed, the American remake was not worth the cash.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)
½

This movie has recieved a number of bad press, and I honestly don't understand why. This was my favorite of the three. I felt more intwined into the story than the previous two, and the acting, writing, and plot generally felt less cheesey than the first two. The only major downfalls I had was that three villians competing for screen time made it difficult to give any what they deserved, and the character Gwen Stacey was generally uneccesary. There were some other things I picked up, being a fan of the comic, but it wasn't enough to deter me from enjoying it overall. I would highly recommend this movie. It's easily the best of the three.