PunkAlternative's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Amazing Spider-Man

Best Spider-man movie yet. Andrew Garfield plays a touching and tough Peter Parker. Only an actor with Garfield's talents could accomplish this with such "amazing" success.

The Incredible Hulk

Horrible movie. I saw it on a plane but I can't imagine that I would have liked the movie had I seen it in a theater. The whole movie & story & freaky transition into the Hulk was just stupid and seemed purposeless.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I saw this movie at the Motion Picture Association of America headquarters' theater in Washington, DC. It was part of MPAA's campaign to impress upon foreign judges how much money Hollywood puts into a production like this movie--to convince foreign judges to strongly enforce copyright & Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws & to be tough on counterfeiters & infringers.

I don't know if the judges were convinced by the IPR message--but they & I really liked the movie (and the food at the pre-movie dinner).

Clerks
Clerks(1994)

A classic. I can watch it once a year & still love it ever time. Clerks II was even better.

Sex and the City

It was a fun movie but I have no desire to see Sex & the City 2. The ending was very bizarre in Sex & the City 1. Maybe I'm an idealist but I would have preferred a different ending.

Fame
Fame(2009)
½

Super movie. I just watched it again. Movies like this remind me of my grade & high school years, when I was balancing my college-prep academic subjects with my study of music. So, the movie was very touching for me.

I thought the 2009 film was better than the 1980 one. However, I haven't seen the original Fame since 1980, so it might not be fair to make that comparison now.

Naturi Naughton, as one of the female leads, was absolutely sensational, especially given the variety & depth of her skills. Kay Panabaker, another female lead, was disappointing -- especially when compared to other work I've seen her do. Charles Dutton was awesome. And, newcomer to blockbuster films -- but no stranger to theater, music, recording, or rock/pop music videos -- Asher Book was pretty good. What's amazing about him is that he actually attended the New York School for the Performing Arts. That is the school portrayed in the film. He's also a native of Arlington & Fairfax, Virginia (suburbs of my current hometown of Washington, DC). When I was a pre-teen, I lived in that area of Virginia too.

The Blind Side

Very heart-touching movie. I do cry at movies. At this one, I cried a lot.
Very inspirational and a great example of how good & generous people can be. I'm a much, much bigger fan of Sandra Bullock after this movie. She was superb.

He's Just Not That Into You

Funny, funny movie. So true to life about how relationships go, and don't go, and then sometimes go again.

District 9
District 9(2009)
½

One of the most unusual sci-fi movies I've seen. Extremely engaging, action packed. Very well done. Ironic that the setting was in South Africa, given the way the blacks & whites worked together as if there was no color difference -- and yet they abused, mistreated, and offered virtually no civil liberties to the aliens.

Inglourious Basterds

I haven't seen a movie recently that so realistically portrays the evil of the Nazis, the justifiable anger & revenge of French & American Jews during WWII, the countless betrayals occurring among Nazis of human decency and universal truths, the risks so many -- including some German countrymen -- took to thwart Nazi goals, and the betrayal of friendships/ethics for personal advancement within the Third Reich.
I do believe that in life, as in Nazi Germany, wrongdoing eventually will lead to defeat (or at least bad karma coming back to haunt the evildoers and their sympathizers). That is the fairness of life that we don't always see immediately. We can look to the crushing of Nazi Germany as a symbol of how in the end good triumphs over evil -- or at least something less evil conquers over evil.
I highly recommend the film. It's long and all-engrossing. The time flies because of the magic and brilliance of Tarantino, who takes an unpleasant theme and makes it fascinating to watch.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
½

Michael Bay's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (a.k.a., Transformers 2) is an excellent follow-on to Bay's first Transformers movie. It's fantastic !! I liked the sequel even better than the first. Less love and schlock, more politics, internationalism & warfare.

There's great music in the movie too, leading to a separate rock music soundtrack album (in addition to the instrumental soundtrack album!). There wasn't a whole lot of rock music in the film, compared to some other movies, but what was in the movie was top-notch. Actually, half of the tracks on the rock soundtrack album were not played in the movie. The two best rock hits by far from the movie are "Great Divide" by Linkin Park and '21 Guns" from Green Day: "1, 21 Guns, lay down your arms, give up the fight. 1, 21 Guns, throw up your arms, into the sky, you and I."

The writers used extreme "poetic license," geographically speaking. They placed the Egyptian pyramids within walking distance from the ancient city of Petra, Jordan!! They said Petra was directly across the Red Sea from Egypt :) & never mentioned Israel. Of course, in real life, Israel is in between those two man-made wonders. No wonder today's young kids don't know their geography !!

Milk
Milk(2008)
½

The movie's an inspiration to gay activists everywhere (young & not-so-young). It's also inspiring for minorities in general, because Milk was a Jewish, gay man from New York, who in 1977 surprised many people when he broke precedent and won a seat on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors (City Council).

In these days of hate speech and hate acts (like the campaign to support California?s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage), it?s refreshing to see the charisma and enthusiasm of Harvey Milk. He knew what he was fighting against, but he was able to inspire thousands of others to support his causes and his election. He has become a gay icon of the highest order.

The film is superb in its presentation of this man and in capturing the time period and bigotry that existed when he won his battles. Sean Penn was brilliant in his portrayal of Milk. Penn has also been a strong advocate for equal rights for all, including the right of GLBTs to marry. A powerful film!

Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian

I haven't seen a comedy in a long time. This one was excellent. I think it was made for young kids in particular, but from my perspective it's a movie for all ages. I now want to see the first Night at the Museum. It's not necessary to have seen the first to understand the second but friends who liked both recommend that I see the first one. They tell me that some things will become clearer after seeing both movies. I recommend numbe 2 for those who like fantasy comedies about museum figures coming to life -- or movies like that.

Aliens in the Attic

Such a funny movie!! If you're young at heart & like funny comical aliens, go see this movie. The aliens are not scary at all, so I would recommend the movie for pre-teen kids too. Actually, the aliens are very comical because of their incompetency. The kids in the movie have to battle the aliens by themselves, to avoid risk to their parents & adults who can be controlled by the aliens. (The aliens' powers do not allow them to control kids.)

The acting is superb. Among the older teens, Austin Butler & Carter Jenkins shine. Whoever plays the very young girl is adorable, and a good little actress. Adult actor, Robert Hoffman, is disappointing but he had to play a jerk who was constantly controlled by the aliens (or the younger kids who disliked him). His girlfriend, Ashley Tisdale (whom I usually don't like as an actress), did a very good performance.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience. A pleasant diversion from the real world. Also, the movie editing makes the movie very tight and effective in its comedy and suspense.

The Dark Knight
½

Go see it. It's awesome. That's all I can say cause that says it all.

It was very sad to see Heath Ledger in his final role. He did a fantastic performance as the Joker.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Bad, Bad, Bad. Maybe kids would like it.

Twilight
Twilight(2008)
½

Twilight was a very good movie, which is particularly unusual for me because in the past I've seen practically no vampire movies or TV shows, not even one episode of Buffy.
I've avoided vampire movies because I thought they were generally not of much value. Maybe the story line in Twilight is very familiar for the regular vampire movie-goers. But, it was new, intriguing and "educational" to me. Now, I know the basics of vampire-ism! :) I don't think I'm a vampire, BTW. That's a relief!! :)
I had low expectations for this movie thinking it would be a mediocre tween flick; however, I was super impressed by it. The film was very suspenseful, with a good plot, good acting, & even beautiful scenery of Washington state.
Music-wise it was a hit for me too. Linkin Park and Paramore perform the last two songs (played while the movie's credits role). Linkin Park does the ballad, Leave Out All the Rest, from the CD Minutes to Midnight (great CD). Paramore performs a new song that's not on the band's CD's, yet. The song, Decode, was done especially for the movie. Both songs work very well together and fit in with the mood of the movie's ending.

Wuthering Heights
½

This is the only Wuthering Heights movie I've seen. There have been many out there over the years. This is the MTV version, so it presents a young person's perspective.
I think it captures teenage love & angst appropriately. The setting & theme are not as dark as I've heard other versions are. Great acting. Mike Vogel is terrific!!

W.
W.(2008)
½

I think that in real life W. is dumber & more evil than the character shown in the movie. Despite the movie's at times favorable glimpse at who G.W. Bush is, I liked the movie very much. It did clearly show how conniving, greedy, selfish, and egotistical Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were--same for Bush but maybe less so because he's not as bright as the other two.
Similarly, but less prominent in the movie in terms of time on the screen, the Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was shown as a man lacking the ethics necessary for his office. He was also shown as someone who sometimes acted as, and actually was, a man who did not have a complete grasp on reality. Colin Powell was portrayed as a man of true character and conviction for most of the movie, until in the end he gave in to the pressures of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld empire-builders. Part of the pressure on Powell came from the only other black person in these top-level meetings. Condi Rice followed the Bush/Cheney line completely and showed some distain, and definitely a lack of support, for Powell's dissenting positions.
I believe that Oliver Stone's depiction of the facts and underlying key-player motivations throughout the film are close to the truth. All that, combined with fine acting, well deserves the 4.5 stars. Maybe, I could even justify 5 stars!!
A few more comments: Dreyfuss was a perfect Cheney, except that he wasn't as fat as I pictured the Cheney of that time to have been; and Brolin gave a superlative performance as Bush. Go see the movie, especially if you are a Republican or were a Bush supporter. I hope you'll see what I saw. That is that the Bush presidency was our country's biggest disaster.

Dude, Where's My Car?

One of my favorite movies of all time. I never tire of the humor. I lost count of how many times I've seen this movie.

Guess Who
Guess Who(2005)

Fun movie. A bit contrived but it was great to see Kutcher & Bernie Mac interact.

A Lot Like Love
½

Funny & touching. A pleasant love story. Ashton Kutcher & Amanda Peet are two of my favorite stars. Seeing them together was a special treat.

Hancock
Hancock(2008)

Wow, this movie was powerful. Will Smith took on a role like no other I've seen him in. He put in a great performance. Highly unusual plot, but with the classic good vs. evil theme--Hancock style. You gotta see it to understand what I mean. Charlize Theron & Jason Bateman were also at their peaks.

Eagle Eye
Eagle Eye(2008)

One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Shia LaBeouf's performance is superb. The story is science fiction but is plausible, and seems realistic, given the world in which we live. I highly recommend this movie. Try to see it on a giant screen in a movie theater. It will move you!!

Body of Lies
Body of Lies(2008)
½

Exciting thriller about today's world of terrorism & espionage. Leonardo put in a fantastic performance. It seemed so real! And, the frightening part is that the movie depicts the realities of life today for those fighting in the wars with the terrorists.

2 Days in Paris
½

The film is a bit frenetic but what is reveals about relationships makes it worth seeing. It gets really funny when the character played by Adam Goldberg visits with his girlfriend's French parents. What a clash of cultures! The ex-boyfriend story line is also amusing. Great scenes of Paris and what I would call an authentic slice of life in Paris.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
½

Fantastic movie, despite some of the features that are clearly directed to please the child in us in this PG movie. I did not yet see the first installment of Disney's Naria series. It would have helped had I done so. Still, the Disney folks were brilliant in the action, excitement, and beauty they brought to this file. I want to see the first movie now. If you like films like Lord of the Rings, I highly recommend this Naria movie!

William Moseley was superb as the young Pevensie king of the Narians. He still looks like a boy, though he's 21 in real life. I was somewhat disappointed in the acting of Ben Barnes who played Prince Caspian. His strange Telmarine accent didn't seem right for this British actor. That's OK because his role was not really larger than King Peter's (Moseley's).

Remember the Titans

This is a movie from the year 2000 but I just saw it. It's based on a true story of a football team from a high school that's not too far from where I live. The time period is right after bussing began, so the white and black team members have to learn to get along if they want a winning football season.

The film captures the prejudices that existed at that time. It shows how some moved past the prejudices and began to lay the groundwork for integrated school systems and a more integreted American society. Great film! I recommend it highly.

A friend at work gave me a poster of the real life football team from this school. Maybe I'll frame it as a reminder of the work we all need to do to overcome the biases our society has engrained within many of us.

The Great Debaters

Powerful film about the struggle for racial equality and the success of a black debating team that took on Harvard and won. Denzel Washington was particularly good as the debate coach, who was also a life coach and role model for the debate team members. He was also surreptitiously involved in the civil rights movement, which was controversial and led to repercusions from the school where he taught. Great drama. Amazing acting. Expand your horizons and see this movie.

Lions for Lambs
½

This is really three movies in one; related vignettes having to do with the choices of a college poli sci major (newcomer Andrew Garfield), a TV News Channel reporter (Meryl Streep), and two other students who decide to enlist to fight in Afghanistan. Additional characters include the student's professor & mentor (Robert Redford) and the Senator (Tom Cruise) who planted a Republican "propaganda" news story with the reporter. The movie is very deep & serious. All the characters have key decisions to make that affect not only their own lives but issues facing the US--principally the war. Very good movie, although the end leaves you hanging without knowing how the poli sci student decides what path he will take. Hints help you decide. The movie is very topical and it brought out passions in me concerning the war and its impact on lives at all these levels of involvement. Thought provoking, serious, and meaningful. I recommend it.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
½

Very slow start. I began to wonder why this movie was so popular. However, half way through the movie it all started to click. The jokes became funnier and I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the film.
It's a great film for anyone who's had a hard time letting go of a past relationship. The women in this movie were far more attractive than the men. The best male "stud" was Paul Rudd who played a stoner surfer instructor. He was a highlight of the movie, putting in a super performance as a supporting actor.
Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis were beautiful and powerful in their roles. Jason Segel--not so much. Russell Brand was good for comic relief, playing a jerk of a rock star.
I would recommend the film, but be aware of the slow start.

Funny Games
Funny Games(2008)

The movie is a brilliant parody on the shock & violence of some American films. The director (who's Austrian) artfully portrays how two young men terrorize a family at its bucolic vacation home. The violence is not directly shown--only the results. At times, the lead villain-actor speaks directly to the movie audience, making us a part of the film & the decision processes.

The director uses clever techniques to make the villains likeable and to make me (at least) side surprisingly often with the villains. The shining performances are by Michael Pitt (villain) & Naomi Watts (victim). Another surprise is the spectacular cinematography, including very effective use of natural light & shadows. The beautiful shots of the serene vacation town sites & the passive lake are stark contrasts to the violence. The sail boat scene is very effective. It made me feel that I was reliving the exciting times that I??ve sailed. This is done with cleverly placed camera angles.

I highly recommend the film, except for those who are bothered by the appearance of the aftermath of violence, which includes blood & death.

Disturbia
Disturbia(2007)

I was on the edge of my seat (figurately) for a good part of this movie. Excellent plot, direction, and execution.

Shia LaBeouf gave a stellar performance. The girl next door was miscast, however. She looked much older than a high school student. Shia IS much older than a high school student but he still looks young enough to be in high school.

I highly recommend this movie if you like thrillers.

Minutemen
Minutemen(2008)

Minutemen is the best made-for-TV movie Disney has done, in my opinion. The Minutemen are three high school outcasts who shake their school's social structure by inventing a machine that allows them to go back in time and prevent other misfits from enduring humiliating situations. This comedic sci-fi/adventure premiered in Jan 08. It will be airing occasionally over several months (or years) on the Disney Channel.

I've been into time travel movies since I was a kid -- including the classic "Time Machine" and the "Back to the Future" triad starring Michael J. Fox. "Minutemen" follows that traditon.

Jason Dolley (from Disney Channel's hit series "Cory in the House") has the starring role. He's a super actor, who's gonna move up fast in Hollywood's pecking order. Although he seems older, he was born in 1991. In 2002, at the age of 11, he started an impressive movie & TV career, including winning key awards. He's also a good athlete & super smart, winning regional academic competitions. Watch out for this kid!

Flirting With Disaster

Funny. I love Ben Stiller's movies. This is one of the best!!

Keeping Up With The Steins

Hilarious, yet with warm subplots and lessons on the true meaning of family.

The Kite Runner

One of the best movies I've ever seen. The movie, like the book, depicts the author's view of what Afghanastan was like during the Taliban rule & at the end of the Soviet occupation.

A Mighty Heart
½

This is the movie about the disappearance and eventual death of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter. He was killed by a group of terrorists--in part because he was a "reporter" from the US & in part because he was Jewish. Sad facts of life. It's good to see the real world portrayed in this way, with all the human flaws and craziness staring you in the face.

Cloverfield
Cloverfield(2008)
½

Good special effects. Predictable plot, however, if you can call what happened on the screen a plot. Good performances by Michael Vogel and some others. It's worth seeing.

Hoot
Hoot(2006)

Cody Linley's biggest movie role to date. More movie roles coming to him shortly. The movie has an environmental theme--save the mole owls from an impending development.

Clockstoppers
½

Fun movie. Science fiction. It's about the ability to freeze time and be able to change real life. Jesse Bradford ("Swimfan") stars. He's a fantastic actor. Similar to Minutemen (2008, starring Jason Dolley), Timeline (2003, starring Paul Walker), Back to the Future (Michael J. Fox), and other "time machine" movies. I love those movies too.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
½

Despite the bloody & morbid themes, this movie was enjoyable--excellent acting & singing by Johnny Depp. I was surprised at how well he sang. Apparently he started his showbiz career as a singer.

Jump In!
Jump In!(2007)
½

Corbin Blue is very talented and he shined in this movie. A good actor, great dancer, terrific althlete, and a fairly good singer. Wow! Disney knows how to pick super-talented young people for its movies & TV shows.

Juno
Juno(2007)
½

I was very disappointed in this movie. The trailers and the hype about it made me expect a more superior movie. It was simply mediocre. Timely topic, though!

A Few Good Men
½

One of my absolute favorites of all time.

Knocked Up
Knocked Up(2007)

Being someone who in real life often finds comedy (and sometimes uncontrollable giggles) in the most serious of situations, I related very well to the comedy in Knocked Up. Truly it's a serious situation for a baby to be born to unwed parents who didn't want it. However, Seth Rogen, as the father, brilliantly manages to make the script into the funniest comedy I've seen in a long time.

The cast is terrific. The vast differences in the personalities and values of the mother & father add to the wackiness and intrigue of the movie. The same clash is seen in the marriage of the mother's older sister. Paul Rudd plays the sister's husband. He & Seth Rogen's characters bond & have fun. Rudd is at his best. He's gotten funnier as he's gotten older, while maintaining his good looks and great screen presence.

I highly recommend the film, except to those who are offended by the "locker room" language that pervades the entire movie. That, however, added to the fun and comedic elements for me.

Syriana
Syriana(2005)

Good movie! Clooney is terrific. Best to see this movie on DVD. Ya gotta kinda take in the movie slowly over time cause it's so deep. It really helped me to see it in small chunks over a period of three days.

I also recommend watching the DVD's bonus features FIRST before you see the movie. These include interviews with Clooney & others. That helps to put the movie into the right context.

I've visited a few oil-related Arab countries in the past few years, so this movie had a special significant to me. It seemed very true to life to me.

The Bourne Ultimatum

It's the ultimate Bourne movie in terms of action and the action is well done. I would have preferred seeing more of Matt Damon & Julia Stiles acting. Even Joan Allen, although with more non-action presence on the screen than Matt Damon, seems to appear fleetingly. What non-action acting there was was great.

I rated this less than I rated Supremacy (5*s) and Identity (4.5*'s) because I felt that I saw a movie with Matt Damon in it--but didn't see much of Matt Damon.

Will there be a Bourne No. 4. Time will tell. I hope so.

The Last Kiss

It's kinda like one of those angst-filled teenager movies, but starring a bunch of 30-year olds. That makes for a fascinating movie. The actors are superb, led by Zach Braff and supported by the likes of the brilliant Blythe Danner.

The film is based on an Italian movie of the same name (in Italian, of course). The endings in the two versions are very different.

A basic lesson learned from the American version is foregiveness. Talk to my recent ex and you'll find out that that's a subject I need to learn more about! The foregiveness in the film, though not uniform among the characters, is impressive to watch unfold.

Hairspray
Hairspray(2007)

FANTASTIC! I recommend this movie even for people who don't like musicals. I say: Go see it and then decide whether to see it (again). :)

I hope to see it again--and also I now want to see the first movie AND the play. I hadn't see either of them. I'm sold on the Hairspray phenomenon.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
½

This was the first Harry Potter movie I saw. It was a great way to start. If the other movies in the series are about as good, I've got some more Potter movies to see.

Daniel Radcliffe was impressive. I heard that he'll be playing his stage role in Equus in the upcoming movie version. That should be quite a change from the Potter series. That should help to break Radcliffe from the automatic association people now make with him and Harry Potter.

Radcliffe's just now turned 18 in 2007, so this is probably a good time for creation of a new image. A great start is the August '07 Details cover page and article about his sheltered teenage years to date.

I hope Radcliffe hasn't stopped growing in height, cause if he doesn't gain some inches that may somewhat reinforce the young Potter image. Of course, cameras and shooting angles can do wonders--look at the Tom Cruise movies where Cruise has played superheroes despite his short frame.

Lucky Number Slevin

I read the reviews of praise when this movie first came out in theaters, but I never got to see it until this week on DVD. Excellent drama with twists and turns that will keep your head spinning. You gotta pay attention, or you'll miss some important facts and nuances.

The cast is exceptional. Josh Harnett does the performance of his career. Add in Sir Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, and an ebullient Lucy Liu and you have a cast that directors dream of.

Transformers
Transformers(2007)
½

This is a movie for adults as well as kids.

Shia LaBeouf was the biggest surprise. He's grown up, cut off his curls, and is turning into a stud of the future, or so I predict. Given that I just found out that he's 21 and he's on the cover of the Aug 07 issue of Vanity Fair, I guess he qualifies as a stud who retains some of that boyish nerdiness that can sometimes be appealing. Not bad acting on his part either, although it was sometimes hard to tell because for a good part of the movie he was acting alien-struck. Why? Because he was being struck, chased, or overcome by aliens.

One little fact that added to my attraction to Shia LaBeouf's character was that he wore "The Strokes" t-shirt throughout the entire movie. I thought "what a cool guy--he digs The Strokes." I'm a fan of that UK "alternative rock" band. It made a super-hyped splash in the UK & US in the early 2000s. Was the t-shirt very effective "product placement" by RCA Records? I assume so, given that The Strokes released a long-awaited album in 2006. I wonder what RCA paid the movie producers to get them to advertise The Strokes in that way?

Another hot star in the movie is a car! The car's design is based on the 2009 !! Chevy Camaro concept car. The color is bright yellow and I want one. :)

Other good eye candy too. Josh Duhamel seems to be getting better looking over time. Maybe it was the soldier's uniform. He's certainly in good shape.

The movie is great entertainment, of the Hollywood big studio kind.

Ratatouille
Ratatouille(2007)

Cute and funny movie. Bravo to Pixar. I don't know how they do this type of animation. It's fascinating and it had me mesmerized. The characters, even the "little chef" seemed real.

The Lookout
The Lookout(2007)

See this movie. It didn't get a lot of hype. But it should have. Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows how he's matured as an actor--into a fine dramatic actor.

There's a surprise appearance by Matthew Goode who is far from the good agent he played in "Chasing Liberty." Great performance by him too, in particular because he is so out of the mold I put him into after Chasing Liberty.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Dukes was a pretty good movie. I'm a fan of the old Dukes TV re-runs. John Schneider as Bo Duke was a Southern hunk who was ideal for the part on TV. Seann William Scott is the movie's Bo. I liked Seann in the American Pie series, but he just could not come up to the TV show's standards. Same for Johnny Knoxville. He was not the Southern "good ol' boy" that actor Tom Wopat was on TV.

I gave the movie 3 stars cause of the story & the car tricks including in the big race. Also, I'm a big fan of Seann William Scott. Sorry, Seann, only 3 stars for this movie.

Babel
Babel(2006)

Super movie. Brad Pitt once again has proven to me that he's more than a pretty face. He and Cate Blanchett did magnificent performances. This had to be a difficult movie to make because of the location work involved.

The story was very powerful. I saw the movie on pay-per-view in a hotel room, so the screen and sound system were not ideal. Still, I was totallly engrossed in the film. I found it very moving and I felt the frustration and pain of the characters.

I recommend this movie highly. I would like to see it again.

Final Destination 3

I liked it. I'd highly recommend the movie if you're a fan of Ryan Merriman. I am. The basic plot of the movie follows the one started in the first Final Destination. Lots of guts & gore as people are killed one by one in the order they would have been killed had not someone (with a premonition) not prevented an accident from happening.

Legally Blonde 2 - Red, White & Blonde

Reese Witherspoon is brilliant, once again. As in Legally Blond 1, she's again convincing and realistic as the ever-stylish but smart blond legal wiz. The sequel is even better!

I went to law school with someone like Witherspoon's character. My friend was very smart--always with perfect clothes, make-up, nails, and hair. She was a brunette, though. She went on to be a successful lawyer in one of the country's most prestigious firms, similar to the success of Witherspoon's character. In Legally Blonde 2, Reese becomes a super-lawyer, always in style!!

Legally Blonde
½

Funny, funny, funny!! Reese Witherspoon is brilliant. She's so convincing and, believe-it-or-not realistic, as the ever-stylish but smart blond school wiz.

I actually went to law school with someone like her. My friend was in my study group and she was reallly smart--and always dressed in the most current fashion stuff and with perfect make-up, nails, and hair. She was a brunette, however. :) She also had a good-looking Coast Guard officer as her boyfriend. I wonder whatever happened to him??

In Legally Blonde 2, Witherspoon's character goes to law school and becomes what my friend was, always in style.

Elizabethtown
½

Delightful film. Congrats to Cameron Crowe who is a proven expert at bringing the true passion of new love to the screen--through his brilliant writing and directing.

This is the first time I saw Orlando Bloom play a regular guy in a movie. He had none of the macho dress & pretty hair he had in Troy, for example.

I found Bloom to be a likeable guy--as a regular guy, who even fails big time at business and is clumbsy with general interpersonal & female relationships. He acts very human--not like the big superstar I picture him to be.

It's a quietly moving story of a businessman's failure, followed by his father's death, intermixed with his meeting a flight attndent who's persistently following Bloom. (Why doesn't that latter part happen to me?)

The movie touched me at many levels. I associated with the sophisticated guy who had a hard time mingling with the people of the small town where he grew up, handling family responsibilities that fell under his unprepared control, and dealing with starting a relationship when all conventional wisdom would advise against it because of the convergence of catastrophies of the recent past.

I enjoyed Bloom's acting. The same for Kirsten Dunst and the humor added by an emotionally out-of-control Susan Saradon as the widow.

United 93
United 93(2006)

I felt obligated to watch this movie--in memory of the men & women who died on United 93. It's not a great movie, except for its historical significance.

It brought back some of the pain of 9/11 & the helplessness I feel now to do anything about it. I also felt frustration for the Bush Administration which has not succeeded in bringing the Al Qaida leaders to justice. And that led me to think about the apparent futility of the Iraq war, the small progress in Afghanastan, and the inability to get to the potential terrorists where they are reported to be training in the government-less portions of Pakistan.

So, the movie left me more frustrated than what I had hoped, which was to be uplifted by the bravery of the Flight 93 passengers. Tough topic.

Teaching Mrs. Tingle

I pulled out this DVD, cause I never watched the whole thing. It's a great movie if you like stories about seeking revenge & fairness from abusive authority figures (the teacher, in this movie).

Great stars & performances. The movie was made in 1999, when Barry Watson looked his cutest. Great acting too. Same for Katie Holmes. Helen Mirren plays the abusive teach very well.

Mollie Ringwald is in this movie somewhere. I missed her. If you remember at what part of the movie she appeared, let me know.

National Lampoon's Barely Legal (After School Special)
½

National Lampoon's "Barely Legal" is one example of a movie that is at times bizarre or borderline bizarre. It's still overall funny & clever. The movie has two nerdy guys and one studly (ex-nerdy) guy attempting to make a straight porn movie for virgin guys. They are the most amature film makers ever. More incompetent and nerdy than you can imagine.

I rated the movie one point higher than I would have because it stars Erik von Detten as the studly (ex-nerd) but inexperienced film maker. He's not the star of the porn movie they're making, though. They pick another nerd for that! Erik is one of my favorite 20-something actors.

Revenge of the Nerds

It's funny watching Anthony Edwards with a full head of hair. He was super cute in 1984 when the movie was made. I always like these movies where the underdogs have to fight to prove themselves (or not).

The movie is full of laughs without being too bizarre, as some movies like this are. It is a raunchy movie in parts, so you gotta be prepared for that. Just think of the worst of frat life, including house rivalry, and you'll find it in this movie.

It has its share of female nudity, which some of you will like and others will find crude and in poor taste--because the frat boys see the girls via surreptitiously planted cameras in the girls' rooms.

Jeepers Creepers
½

I rated this about one star higher because it stars Justin Long. This is the first time I was introduced to Long. He's a good actor, even playing a teenager in this 1991 horror film. It's amazing how well Long has done subsequently in comedies. And, he's terrific as the Mac in those Mac/PC commercials. Very versatile actor. Cute too.

In the low-budget, horror genre, this film was a winner for me. Despite the budget, the movie had the ability to really move me, not just with mystery & suspense, but with fear and dread as to what might happen to the lead characters (Long & Gina Philips).

Jeepers Creepers 2
½

Not as good as the first. The sequel was more frightening and gory, though. The acting was not as good. The producers were lucky to find Justin Long for the first movie. That becomes crystal clear after observing the performances in the sequel.

It's worth watching the sequel if you're a horrow film fan. It is a classic, I think.

Running Scared

Bravo for actor, Paul Walker. This was the best acting performance of his career. I never thought he had it in him. He sheds his "pretty boy" image and plays a guy who's up to his eyeballs with trouble. The mess is with mob-like characters who were involved in a gang slaying.

Walker's character let the gun involved in that killing get into the wrong hands. He spends the entire move "running scared" trying to get that gun back, so that the police don't link the gun to the shooting.

It's a complicated plot, as it turns out--once again unlike most movies Walker starred in. If you like a movie about cobs & robbers with the typical shooting & chasing, this movie is for you. If you're looking for a pretty Paul Walker, watch "Into the Blue." In this movie he's covered in the dirt & grime that go with the territory of crime and crime fighting.

Cellular
Cellular(2004)

The movie kept me glued to the screen! Even though I was watching the movie on DVD. :) Lots of action. Decent plot--but I found some gnawing questions about the plot that kept popping into my head.

Like, why didn't Ryan (played by Chris Evans) drive up to a police car, tell them the story, and hand them the cell phone? OK, you might say it's because he knew corrupt cops were involved. But, does the fear of the so-called "blue shield of silence" extend to every cop on the street? More gnawing was why he went to Santa Monica pier all by himself. If he couldn't trust the police, couldn't he get some of his hunky gym buddies to at least be witnesses to what was going down.

Well, those gnawing questions led to my rating of "4." Otherwise the movie would have been a "5."

Chris Evans (what a stud) did a great job with a difficult role. Consider that his principal co-star was a cell phone! That means that nearly single handedly Evans made this movie, from the acting perspective. The lead star, Kim Basinger, spent most of the movie whinning & crying, so it was hard to call that good acting.

William H. Macy was just so-so. His character should never have gone into that house alone. The excuse was that he was a cop who spent his career behind a desk--but isn't that all the more reason to enter a crime scene with some back-up?

Alfie
Alfie(2004)

Jude Law plays a kinda despicable character -- whom I started to like by the middle of the movie. Maybe there are some elements of me in the Alfie character. I used to be a playboy and now I'd like to find someone to settle down with--but I find that that's not easy to do--finding someone to have sex with is so much easier than finding someone I'd like as a partner. I empathized with Alfie's sense of isolation and even lonliness when he realizes that he's had enough of the partying.

Jude Law played a very good Alfie--much better looking than Michael Caine in the original version, in my opinion. In the past, I was mesmirized by Law in Gattaca, where he played Ethan Hawke's houseguest/roommate and also in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I wasn't too crazy about him, however, in movies I saw since--until Alfie. Now, I moved Law up higher on my actor rating scale.

Why only rate the movie a "3"? you might ask. Because--I have no desire to see the movie again and the movie experience was not spectacular in any way.

A Prairie Home Companion
½

I was surprised I like this one so much. I went with a group of friends. Meryl Streep was so fantastic!! among a group of fine actors & entertainers. I didn't know she could sing so well. And, I'm not even a fan of country music. The movie was completely engaging; I thought of nothing else throughout. To me, that's a sign of a really great movie.

I've been a fan of the radio show for a long time. Garrison Keillor is a genius at what he does.

Bully
Bully(2001)

Great performance by Brad Renfro. This movie really grabs you with emotion for the kids involved in the big event that is at the core of the film.

Just Friends
Just Friends(2005)

The first half of the movie is boring. My "2" star rating is based on the second half, which is much funnier & actually entertaining. Ryan Reynolds holds the movie together well.

Chris Klein as Ryan's rival in the movie was a nice surprise. I'm a real fan of Klein; his acting ability seems to be getting better. He was quite impressive in this movie.

Trembling Before G-d

For a documentary, this video is very intriguing and moving. This is a film about being a gay Orthodox Jew in America. Most of Jewish Orthodoxy in the US rejects homosexuality as being against the literal text of Leviticus (a portion of the Torah--the "Hebrew Bible"--which is part of what the Christians refer to as the Old Testament).

As this film shows, a number (probably a relatively small number) of American Orthodox rabbis recognize that being gay is a natural state that can't be denied. They tell their gay congregants to obey Leviticus, but these rabbis say that expressing same sex love is OK within those limits.

The film gets legal/halachic about it, showing that this Orthodox rejection of gay sexual practices is specifically rejection of "sodomy." Beyond that there isn't any technical problem with gay expressions of love, as some Orthodox rabbis have concluded. In the biblical sense, sodomy is defined in a very limited way--not like some people's interpretation which is that any gay sexual act is sodomy.

Personally, I think the broad interpretation of sodomy is incorrect. I think the more limited definition is the correct one. But, I believe sodomy even in that limited sense is not a violation of the subject prohibition in Leviticus, even if that prohibition is read literally. This is based on reasoning that is beyond the discussion in this review.

For some for whom sodomy is not an important element of sex, the Orthodox rule is easy to obey. There are more gay people (including men) who do not perform sodomy than most believe.

The views of some non-Orthodox Jewish rabbis in the US are much more tolerant than American Jewish Orthodoxy. A growing number of Jewish rabbis in the Reform & Reconstructionist movements, and in some synagogues of the Conservative movement, even conduct Jewish marriage ceremonies for gay couples. Looking beyond the US, the rabbis of Israel, generally, do not view homosexuality favorably. Despite this, if you look up non-rabinic Israeli attitudes towards homosexuality, you will find them to be the most liberal in the Middle East and one of the most liberal in the world (ahead of the US in fact). Check it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_rights_in_Israel

My commentary will now go beyond the film, as I discuss an example of the views towards gays of Jewish & non-Jewish clergy in Israel. I followed the news on the 2007 Gay Pride parade that was planned for Jerusalem. I believe that the clerics of the three principal "religious" faiths who spoke out against the parade made a big mistake. They don't seem to realize that gay people are persecuted and discriminated against not unlike Jewish people, not unlike Arabs & not unlike Catholics in certain countries. I would prefer these clergy to be accepting of those who are different, because that's what their followers ask of other people.

My Own Private Idaho

Seemed like a realistic portrayal of life as a male hooker. Not that I would know from any experience. :) Phoenix & Reeves had a great chemistry. It's easy to believe that they did have a friendship in real life--although the public may never know the true nature of that friendship. It could have been a relationship based on drug use, some speculate. Phoenix was a proven user--it cost him his life. The media reported that Reeves took the Phoenix death hard and he began to evaluate his own life after that.

Van Sant is to be commended for his direction. He did, however, seem to let Reeves get out of control when Reeves started into his Shakespearean acting orgy, or should I say over-acting. But, hey, I thought it was fun to watch Reeves so uninhibited as he jumped from table to table in the warehouse scene--reciting the barb's lines. Friends of mine, who were not as smitten with Keanu as I was, told me that his Shakespearean acting was mediocre at best.

The overall film was very moving and I'll remember the emotions it evoked for a long, long time. I still do, even though the last time I saw it was when it was first released in 1991. A powerful film ! ! ! Add this to my long list of favorites.

Alexander
Alexander(2004)

Movie of a grand scale--but it fails to convey a coherent and engaging story. I watched it three times. First time, I gave up half way. Second time, I fell asleep in the middle, Third time, I fell asleep toward the end. A movie with Jared Leto, Colin Farrell, and Anthony Hopkins should have kept me intrigued and excited. Conclusion: there's something drastically wrong with this movie. It's too slow, disjointed, and just plain boring. It gets two stars because of the talent in the stars of the movie. But, Oliver Stone wasted that talent by his direction. Or, so I think. I give Oliver Stone only one star for his direction.

Cheaper by the Dozen
½

Any film that co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Tom Welling has to be worth watching, even though their roles are relatively small. They have to be small because it's a big family--12 kids plus boyfriend Kutcher. I usually love Steve Martin in films and this one is no exception. If you don't mind loads of annoying kids, it's worth watching.

Transamerica
Transamerica(2006)
½

Excellent and sensitive portrayal of a short segment in the life of a pre-op transexual. She's very effective in looking and acting as a female in her steadfastly held presentation of herself as a women, even though she's at this point in her life a transgender "male." She's all prepared for the operation to become transexual. Before her transexual surgery she learns she has a son. She decides to deal with this, comes out to the son, and suffers the consequences--good and bad. Kevin Zegers does a good job playing her son. It's an excellent film and worthy of the Best Actress Acadamy Award nomination. Felicity Huffman, the nominee, as the trans-gendered man gives an brilliant performance.

She's the Man
½

Melodramatic it was, as one might expect from a screenplay based on Twelveth Night. The movie had the element of unbelieveablility as did the Twelveth Night gender exchanges being carried off seemingly without detection. But, somehow, it worked by the second half of the movie.
Neither Viola (Amanda Bynes) nor Duke (Channing Tatum) are very good at soccer. But that doesn't stop them from being fairly good in this movie as a whole. It's odd seeing Amanda switch from impersonating her brother (as a soccer player) to seducing her teammate, Channing, when Amanda's dressed as a girl. Lots of nastiness among the soccer players.
Amanda Bynes was an OK "dude." Channing Tatum was pretty clueless, however, about the true sexuality of his cross-dressing roommate and good friend. But, Duke (Channing) was hot and in love with the other lead female Olivia. Duke is forgiven for his cluelessness, given that he had to live with all that hidden agenda. And, he's so cute, we'll give him so leeway!
The twists & turns of Shakespeare's story at first seemed out of place in a modern comedy. Despite that, it all worked in the end and it eventually made sense.
The excitement of a sports event always adds to the thrill of a movie ending. So "Ruby"esque it was. I have to add that driving background hits by two of my favorite rock groups helped crescendo my excitement. The All-American Rejects and Angels & Airways were timed just right in Hollywood style to create the uplifting moods. I enjoyed that. The whole movie comes across as fair, with Channing rating a 9 out of 10 for simply being Channing.

John Tucker Must Die
½

It's a must-see for Jesse Metcalfe fans. Jesse plays a two-timing high school student. He burned three chicks really bad and they're out to get him--REVENGE. It's kinda like The "First Wifes Club" but for teenagers. The three girls enlist an innocent fellow student who also thinks Jesse is dreamy. He's captain of the football team and from a rich family. But they enlist her to get Jesse to fall in love with her. They have to teach her how to be sexy first. Of course, once she learns how to seduce Jesse, she has a hard time sticking within the boundaries the revengeful three set for her. Wouldn't you? It's worth watching just for seeing Jesse play this sweet but slimy character. It's also an enjoyable movie on its own. Jesse's brother in the movie is quite cute too, without all the ego and fanfare. He's the one I would want.

Alone in the Dark

I bought this DVD because I like actor, Stephen Dorff. The movie's from 2004 and is dark, like so many Dorff films. Unlike in many of his past more adolescent parts, he actually plays a grown-up man who is the commander of a paranormal investigative group!! His group is trying to control the outgrowth and wanderings of creatures (ugly as hell) that are linked to former orphanage friends of Christian Slater's character. Slater's character escaped this fate of direct linkage many years ago. But he gets tied in as an adult and tries to save the world from these creatures. Slater & Dorff have similar objectives but they clash constantly on what is the best way to accomplish them. I liked seeing Dorff in this authoritative role. He did a good job and was convincing. This kind of role was not natural for him when he was younger because he's short (of course, that didn't stop Tom Cruise). It's common to see Slater in such a role, but not Dorff. Both did well. If it weren't for Dorff being in this movie I never would have bought and I don't think I would have liked it. Without Dorff, I would rate the movie as a 1.5 or 2.

The Butterfly Effect 2

Eric Lively is no Ashton Kutcher. But, Eric did a good job in Butterfly 2. I'm surprised he's not in more movies. He's guite a handsome dude and a pretty good actor.

Butterfly 2 is not as good as the first movie, but it's not all that far behind.

The Bourne Supremacy

Supremacy is even better than The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon surprised me. I didn't think he could consistently play this type of role with such success. I'm now waiting with great excitement for the release of The Bourne Ultimatum. Let the sequels keep coming. Damon has solidified his career and his label as a Hollywood stud.

The Bourne Identity
½

Matt Damon surprised me. I didn't think he could play this type of role with the machismo it required. But he did. It's a super movie based on a great book (although I don't read books--I forgot how!!). Let the sequels keep coming. Damon has solidified his career. He is such a versitile actor--great from Dogma to the Bourne movies. Way to go Matt. The Bourne movies moved you up on my actor and "hot guy" ratings.

The Fast and the Furious
½

Super action movie. The only disadvantage of the drag racing is that it took away time from scenes showing Paul Walker outside his car.

Vin Diesel adds a lot to the film. It's sequel would probably not have flopped had Vin Diesel signed on to act in it. The word from the reporting media is that Paul Walker was not happy with Vin for holding out. Walker was justified in his bad feelings.

For Paul Walker fans, he is absolutely beautiful in F&F. He's a 10 and he puts in one of his best acting performances. That's very good for someone known for his "pretty boy" skills which so often outshine his acting skills. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Walker and of this film. It's one of his best.

American Wedding

My full enjoyment of seeing this movie was enhanced after I stayed at the hotel where it was filmed. Although in the movie, the hotel is supposed to be on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan (Right!), the real setting was the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay, California. A more beautiful setting you've got to look hard to find. Stifler (played by Seann William Scott again) detracks from enjoyment of the film because his stupid antics get carried away so much so that they are painful to watch. Other than that, it's a film of the high ludicrousness (and quality) of the other AP films. I liked this one and the others.

American Pie Presents: Band Camp

I've never seen an AP movie I didn't like. This one was the warmest and schmaltziest of them all. It's about Steve Stifler's brother and how he goes through his own growing up process.

Eugene Levy's in this one too. He's so funny. He plays the Band Camp counsleor, given his experiences with his own son (played by Jason Biggs in AP 1, AP2, and American Wedding, and his son's friend, Steve Stifler (played by Seann William Scott in those same three AP films. Levy's character certainly qualifies as a good counselor. He also brings back memories for us viewers about the prior three AP movies.

What I like about Band Camp is that it didn't go way over the top with debauchery. Not that I don't like a little debauchery now & then, but there had to be an AP, other than American Wedding, that had lots of tenderness and warmth--mostly at the end of this one, though.

American Pie 5: The Naked Mile

Bravo! I haven't seen an AP movie I didn't like yet. And, I've see them all. The Naked Mile may be the best yet, al least in terms of long-running debauchery.
John White plays "Eric" the virgin--a real cutie boy-next-door type, but he's a Stifler and that's a hard family name to live up to. Excuse the pun. He steals the show in my mind.
I guess I just always go for the innocent ones. He teaches his friends a thing or two about real love. What's this?!! An AP movie with a moral to the story. Yep. But lots of tits and ass and hard ons to balance out the sweet stuff. If you like AP movies, ya gotta see it.

The Big Lebowski

Crazy escapades of Lebowski who seems to find trouble wherever he goes. Enjoyable in it's wield way. Jeff Bridges was a fine Lebowski John Goodman was classic. His lines about observing Shabbatt were so funny, given how areligious the rest of his life was; but he wouldn't take a phone call on the Sabbath!! Overall: a good movie. A little too much gratuitous vilolence for my taste. It didn't match the laid-back nature of the film.

Sleepover
Sleepover(2004)
½

Cute and funny. Upper middle-class girls explore what life is like outside the 8th graders' slumber party. Great surprises. Good acting.
Too small a role for Sean Faris. He looks good but he doesn't do much. But this is the movie that started the hype about Sean Faris. Where is he now?? Larson Brie also stars but the big female star a newcomer who stole the show, in my book. See it for refreshing fun.

The Fog
The Fog(2005)
½

If you like Tom Welling see this. See it even if you don't cause it's a good movie.

Fantastic Four

Hollywood action movie at its best. Good plot. With Chris Evans and Jessica Alba it's pleasant to watch no matter the focus of your sexual attraction. Great special effects, especiially when Chris Evans gets sooo hot that he literally (special effects-wise) catches on fire.

Dogma
Dogma(1999)

Matt Damon & Ben Affeck make a great pair in this crazy movie about angels getting their wings. These two are the coolest, and badest, angels you can ever meet. Great acting with special appearances by Alanis Morrisette and George Carlin. I won't tell you who plays God. You'll have to be surprised. I recommend this movie, especially for those who don't take religion too seriously or for those who don't take it seriously at all. I speculate, and have heard, that it's probably funniest if you are a Christian who's fallen somewhat from the faith.

Paycheck
Paycheck(2003)

I saw this, in and out of sleep, on a long plane flight to Asia. I got the impression from what I saw that I would not have liked this movie even if I were fully engaged in it. That's true despite the fact that I'm a fan of Ben Affleck.

Chasing Amy
Chasing Amy(1997)
½

This is one of the first gay sub-plot movies that made it pretty big among the general public. I like that about it. It was an early success for indie films too, I believe.

Forces of Nature
½

Ben Affeck was especially hot looking in this movie.

Into the Blue

Anything with Paul Walker in it, gets at least four stars from me. Paul Walker in various stages of undress gives this movie FIVE stars. This is as simple (and shallow) a review as that. I would highly recommend this movie for those who like Walker or those who look like him.

Chicago
Chicago(2002)

I fast forwarded through nearly all of this entire movie on flight to the Middle East. Everytime I stopped the fast forwarding, I didn't like what I saw or heard--mainly what I saw. Maybe it's just too painful to see Richard Gere so grey. Regardless, I give the movie a low grade, with the qualification that I saw it only at fast-forward speed.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

I love all John Hughes films. And, most coming-of-age films. This was is a classic in both categories.

Final Destination
½

I scored this a star higher than I would have because I like Devon Sawa and other male cast members. Even, without their special energy, it still gets a 3.5 from me.

Step Up
Step Up(2006)

I bought this DVD because I think Channing Tatum is hot. I expected a mediocre DVD. WOW was I surprised!! I don't think that the hot flashes from seeing Channing in tights caused me to be absolutely raptured by the entire movie. Far from it. The total package (excuse the unintended pun) of the movie was a good blend of urban interpersonal relations, black/white interactions, great and exciting dance, and effective acting. Channing was no Shakespearean actor, but his role called for exactly how he played it. The five stars are well deserved, even for the entire movie.

Noel
Noel(2004)
½

I rated it higher because it stars Paul Walker.

Goal! The Dream Begins (Goal!: The Impossible Dream)
½

This movie has been out for a long, long time. I saw it in 2005 or 2006 on a plane trip across the Pacific. I thought it was fantastic. I don't remember seeing much publicity for it in the US. I did hear more recently some talk about an American release of the sequel "Living the Dream." I didn't see the sequel--only the original. Kuno Becker, who's Mexican in real life, is fantastic as the lead.