benjmart's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews


Well-animated guinea pigs just do not a movie make. They might have spent more than 5 minutes on the script. I can't help but wonder if sometimes they were trying for irony but failing badly, or just really thought that kids needed a perfect introduction to action movies composed entirely of cliches. This IS a good introduction to action movies composed entirely of cliches, though Lethal Weapon (pick one) might be a better... These are the kinds of movies that will turn kids' brains to mush... Go watch Bolt and skip the guinea pigs.


A fun science fiction/monster movie from the '50s. Not as bad as we've come to expect from such movies; okay script and generally passable acting. It manages to be fairly atmospheric. The live-action tarantula usually looks pretty good. (Not to be confused with Earth vs. the Spider from 1958.)


The characters in this film are cliche, but they still feel real and interesting enough to carry interest. The film is sometimes funny and sometimes atmospheric. Ironically, action is the weakpoint here Some of the action scenes, especially nearer the beginning are okay, but the ones near the end are lacking; they can be dull and confusing. And they don't really advance the characters at all - which may be part of why they feel almost out of place.

On the whole, this is a pretty good comic book movie. It almost rises above the genre, though in the end it doesn't quite make it.

WarGames (War Games)

WarGames is a generally solid movie, but the main reasons I think it's a good movie are: (1) It actually captures the spirit of computers as they actually functioned in that era (or at least how I think they did - I was still a little young back then...). Okay, we're not going to see a sentient computer anytime soon, and speech synthesis doesn't really work that way, and no one would ever leave a back door that wide open (even in the early '80s), but here we also see "boring" old text interfaces, slow modems, real security problems. Also, we get to see reasonable representations of "hackers" in their native environment (I think I've met those guys... "Mr. Potato Head!" indeed). (2) If we were to ever get a sentient AI, Joshua is I think a reasonable representation of how it might function. (3) It's a pretty good dig at nuclear armament (even if you don't agree with it). Joshua's last line is classic.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Pretty bad, on the whole. I suppose it's worth first addressing an obvious feature: it's a remake - a remake of a movie (that despite some admitted moments of cheeziness) is a classic. Which already puts the pressure one. And, to not keep you in suspense, I for one don't think it even came close to living up to the standards of the original. Which really wouldn't have been that hard - the production values in the original were a little weak. While this movie had better special effects, and the acting was at least as good as the original (again, not especially difficult to achieve), the script here was a lot worse off.

Not surprisingly, they attempt here to make the movie more relevant to contemporary issues; instead of nuclear technology, the concern here is with the environment. But the original concept was actually more apropros than some might think; while nuclear weapons were the immediate concern, the real issue is with force and violence. And surely that is as relevant (or more) than it was in the 1950s. Furthermore, with the change in theme, the story is complicated in new ways, as the motivation of the aliens changes. While the aliens in the original were (and I believe were intended to be) somewhat morally ambiguous, here there is almost no ambiguity, and the humans end up nearly unequivocally as the "good guys" as they find themselves in a struggle for existence. All while we're supposed to be worried about the environment. Strange and mixed-up.

Thematic trouble is just the start. This is a more action-oriented story than the original, but, as is often the case with such changes, the action, and hence the movie, also make much less sense. There's a lot of pointless and confused running around, mostly. And, as in a bad '80s action movie, the last five minutes make little sense and don't even follow the established rules or any detectable logic.

I think that's enough of that. It's disappointing. An okay budget, plenty of okay to great actors, and in the end you get a movie that's not just worse than a '50s science fiction movie, but considerably so. Perhaps that's symbolic of cinema in our era.

The Soloist
The Soloist(2009)

The most distinctive aspect of this film is the true story it is based on. It's a great story, and that alone makes the film probably worh seeing. Besides the main story of friendship and its transformative power, there is much here also about homelessness, mental health, and the complexities of trying to do anything about it all. The compelling story is in some ways a weakness for the film though: I found at moments that I wished I could just hear the real people involved tell the story.

The acting is excellent. There's no original score, just music - most of it Beethoven, which is never a bad thing. There's some trippy moments, like the synaesthesia segment, and some creative use of surround sound to depict Ayers' condition. And there are some thoroughly random details (like what's with the raccoons?). But on the whole this is just a straightforward telling of a great story.

Monsters vs. Aliens

Quirky, but a little uneven, and cliche in parts. A lot of the animation was pretty good, so some of the character design was iffy. A lot of references to other movies (especially Spielberg - this is Dreamworks after all...), some of which work pretty well, and some of which don't. Saw it in 3-D, which made it totally worth it in the end.

Dark City
Dark City(1998)

Do our memories make us who we are, or

Van Helsing
Van Helsing(2004)

Like many action movies, the plot and dialogue are inane. The characterization is maybe slightly better. Like Spider Man, much of the animation is very poorly done. Worth remarking on though are the clever references to old horror movies. The opening, with it's deceptively accurate reproduction of Frankenstein, is a great and entertaining example of this. If only the rest of the movie had lived up to this.


This is a movie about theology dressed in the guise of a science fiction film. Like certain other Shyamalan movies, the movie is an intricately constructed puzzle which is revealed at the end - though unlike in the Sixth Sense, here the twist is not just for suspense but also serves to further the main theme. The directing is good too, and the scene where the family is locked in the basement and can hear the aliens is a truly classic cinematic moment (which was great to see in the theater).

The War of the Worlds

The special effects are excellent for a movie produced in 1953. And the production design still stands up quite well. Personally, I find that the script is an improvement on the Spielberg version and Wells' original: Less disturbing, more interesting. The change from the atheistic perspective of Wells to a more theological ending (which was still taken from the book, but from the perspective of a certain character) is an interesting if predictable twist.

War of the Worlds

In some ways this movie is a more faithful retelling of the novel than the 1953 version. Very disturbing though - both in the graphic portrayal of the aliens' treatment of humans (the literally blood soaked ground and the alien vines which grow using blood are sights that are really too much, I think) and the portrayal of the main character's calculating approach to violence. I would go so far as to say too disturbing. And part of the ending, you'll know which part I mean if you've seen it, is so over-the-top hokey that Spielberg out to be chastised (and it's rather ironic given how dark the rest of the movie is). The directing and special effects are alright though.

You've Got Mail

I know as a male I'm not supposed to like romantic comedies, but this one is quite good. Very literate too; there's a lot more going on in this movie than romance. Though the romantic parts of the plot are good too. (Though the way Fox (Hanks) keeps her in suspense at the end does seem a little cruel in retrospect...) Based on Little Shop Around the Corner which is also a good movie, though very different in many ways.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Hilarious. And the acting is good too. One of those plays that translated well to film (with the help of some solid directing). "Charge!"

The Philadelphia Story

Very funny, brilliantly acted. Well directed and well written. No misses. The scene where Jimmy Stewart's character is drunk is classic.

The Quiet Man

Beautifully filmed movie, and, dare I say, pretty romantic (yikes!) and very entertaining. Oh, and there's a really funny fight scene. So green.... almost makes me want to visit Ireland.

Mr. Nice Guy (Yat goh hiu yan)

Superb stunts, of course. The rest of the movie doesn't really even make sense. And one of the main characters disappears with like 15 minutes left. Where'd she go? But, you know, if you can just tune out everything that happens in between Jackie Chan beating people up, it's a great movie.

Double Indemnity

Classic noir film with an incredible climax.

Paths of Glory

During World War I, a French unit breaks during a charge; the generals want to punish this perceived cowardice, so it is decided that three soldiers will be executed as examples. Douglas is their commanding officer and defends them at their court martial. This premise lends interest and drama, and opens up personal and philosophical questions. Of course, as this is a Kubrick film, the camera work is amazing. The shot at the beginning of the movie where the camera continuously follows Douglas through the trenches is amazing.

The Shining
The Shining(1980)

There's a lot of random junk in this movie, but when it's good, it's good. The scene where Wendy looks at Jack's manuscript is one of the best scenes in a movie ever. Otherwise, a little bit of a disappointment for a Kubrick film, but pretty good for a horror movie.

Once Upon a Time in the West

The primary strength of this film is the direction and cinematography. It has a very visual and visceral way of telling the story. I love the long dialogue-less opening, for example. Another, unique strength is the pacing, which is so methodical it is almost excessively slow - but it stays just this side of that line; fans of Kubrick will probably appreciate it.

While I appreciate a very literate film as much as (actually more than) anyone, Leone is well aware here that he is making a movie, not putting on a play, and fully exploits this fact to make an excellent movie. While I think there are some definite weaknesses to this film, it stands as a masterpiece of a distinct style of film making that I wish more directors appreciated. It is hard to imagine a movie like this being made today, unfortunately.

Gran Torino
Gran Torino(2009)

This film is one of those that centers around a handful of ethical decisions by its characters (most notably the climactic one). I always appreciate that in a film, though some may not care as much. I think too that the central characters' interaction was interesting and engaging. Unfortunately, many of the characters were pretty flat. And even the main characters could be fairly limited at moments. Another critical weak spot is the dialog; it was often not very believable. Not even hardcore racists talk like some of the characters in this movie (I heard someone compare the writing in this movie - appropriately - to Crash, which had a similar problem). Otherwise, production values were high, and the movie was interesting.

On the whole, I think this movie managed to make it too just above average. There are some things very good about it, but the central problems with character and dialog really brought it down. But I do think it's worth seeing for people who like intelligent movies.

Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds(2008)

Seven Pounds is a very well made movie. There were almost no false steps (save one minor plot hole), and there were a few genuinely clever moments. Having said that, it is also a very disturbing movie. I think it was thoroughly interesting, and it is probably worth seeing for people who like these kinds of films. It is very intense though, and the fundamental question of its story is VERY disturbing. Be advised.


Bolt was, fortunately, not a typical Disney animated movie. It was quirky and funny - much funnier than the average kids' movie.. And it had some moving moments (at least for sappy dog-lovers like me). Visually, the directors made some interesting decisions by employing some "artistic" filters for some scenes, giving them a look like a painting. I'm not sure it added anything to the movie, but I don't think it detracted anything either, so maybe we should give them points for that too. But really, its strength is its humor, and on that ground.... go see it! You won't regret it.


This movie had a great premise, but didn't live up to it. Its creators couldn't seem to decide whether it should be funny or serious, and it succeeded at neither. The funny parts could be funny though, when they weren't offensive, but there were too few (or too many, depending on how you look at it). And the back story made no sense, which was annoying given they didn't even need a back story.

The acting was alright, though Jason Bateman seemed like he had just walked off the set from Arrested Development. I kept expecting someone to address him as "Michael." Which isn't a complaint, just an oddity.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

While the action in this movie is the only reason doe its existence (except maybe for occasional amusing quips from Jackson or Davis), the action rarely makes any sense. Not that there aren't moments where the action rises above the base line dull and illogical, but they are overwhelmed by all the other scenes which exist only to provide a necessary amount of heroic violence.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

In Narnia (at least in this movie's version of it) violence always seems to be the answer. I'm not sure why. I do tend to find that disturbing, though. The rest of the movie was entertaining enough for the most part, I suppose.

I would like to know why Prince Caspian never got to say "I am Caspian. You killed my father. Prepare to die." I mean, I could see he wanted to say that, but it didn't quite come out right.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Mostly competent but also mostly uninspiring. And the script was somewhat over the top; some of the stunts were ridiculous - even by Indiana Jones standards - and some of the humor missed wildly. Having said that, it was still, in at least some ways, Indiana Jones, and there were some funny moments. Nor was it as bad a follow-up relative to the first three movies as the Star Wars prequels were to the original three. And, it has given us a new phrase to replace "jump the shark."

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

Better than average comic book movie (i.e. it was largely competent and entertaining). Not exactly Hitchcock, and not necessarily groundbreaking, but it was entertaining enough.


Although I have difficulty convincing other people this movie is any good (possibly with good reason), I can't help but like it. And I don't mean in an ironic so-bad-it's-good way. It comes across as overly earnest, which works in context. It also has some funny moments which help. Mothra, a classic monster hero, is rather interesting. Not to mention Mothra's catchy theme song...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Not a thoroughly unenjoyable movie, but largely forgettable, and thus commits a mortal sin of cinema. What is still yet more disappointing is that with $50 million and a good cast, this movie could not live up to either the book or the radio show. As Adams himself was supposedly responsible for a significant portion of the script, I suppose this just goes to show that even the best can't get it right every time.


The actual fights are very entertaining, and the premise allows the display of a very wide variety of fighting styles, which adds some novelty. All other aspects of the movie are pretty much a joke though - they could have cut everything that happened other than fights and they would have had a much better movie.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The battle scenes were fairly impressive. It was middle-of-the-road otherwise. (The books were a lot better.)

Conspiracy Theory

Surprisingly entertaining thriller with a clever enough script to make the insane sound almost plausible.

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

Well enough done, but not really very interesting: It's too nihilistic in a contrived way, courtesy mostly of plot twists that are too inconvenient to be believable. Not all of the acting was convincing either, which is a little disappointing given the caliber of the actors and director involved (Nicholson especially seemed to be in the wrong movie). Much of the dialog was lacking as well.

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines

One good action scene, and good effects, but the rest is flashy Hollywood nonsense.

Mulholland Drive

Stylish but pointless. I don't think there is any coherent interpretation for this film - it's all just David Lynch pulling our collective leg.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

From "the master of suspense" as the cliche goes, this is the one of his most suspenseful. Although the whole movie is beautiful visually and structurally, the highlight is probably the depiction of the fateful concert, a wonderful dialogue-less scene. The Man Who Knew Too Much probably doesn't tell us anything deep or insightful about the human condition, I admit, but what it does tell us - a darn good story - it tell brilliantly. (The 1934 version is also worth seeing - if only to see how the same director would tell the same story twice, resulting in one great movie and one good movie, both very different from each other.)

The French Connection

This movie is best when it sticks to the real stories and characters on which it is based - at those moments it works as a slightly stylized depiction of outlandish but real events. The suspenseful moments are suspenseful, and the mundane moments are elegant in their mundaneness. And, in part precisely because the story is real, we want to see not just what happens, but HOW it happens - a glimpse at the kind of events that we don't usually get to see. Unfortunately, some of the more outrageous parts, especially the over-the-top (and quite fictional) ending which seems almost incongruous with the rest of the movie, weigh it down.

Dumb and Dumber

Most over-rated comedy ever?

National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1

Having just seen Hot Fuzz a few days ago, I couldn't help but make sure I reviewed Loaded Weapon 1. Silly but funny. The parodies (which obviously starts with the title) are always spot on, and almost always hilarious. Because this movie consists almost entirely of satire and cheap gags, I can't claim it's a great (or even good...) movie on its own merits, but if you've seen your fair share of 80s and 90s action movies, you'll probably find this worth watching.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)

This movie is somewhat hard to describe, unless you've seen Shaun of the Dead, to which it shares definite stylistic similarities (not to mention the main cast). This movie plays more as parody (of cop movies, obviously) than Shaun - or maybe that's just because I've seen more cop movies. Basically, this is a send-up of cop movies, so expect lots of references to just about every movie you can think of. Even if you miss some of the references though, the movie could probably stand on its own as a comedy, just in the sheer amount of ridiculousness in it.

Training Day
Training Day(2001)

I could imagine a version of this movie being made 60 years ago as film noir with essentially the same story and most of the same characters. In fact, Lonzo, who is almost impossible to figure out even after we understand his motivation, seems like he could easily have come out of The Maltese Falcon or some such. One could probably also make comparisons to some old Westerns, as well (at least the kind full of corrupt citizens and sociopathic villains). On this level, as a well-filmed, clever story it works well, (though there are a few stretches in the plot that make the suspension of disbelief a little difficult). It seems to have some ambitions as a morality tale (and it does pose some interesting ethical questions) but this aspect of the movie is ultimately overwhelmed by the intensity (and helpful coincidences) of the main plot.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

A little known classic that is a great light action movie. Great stunts.

Reservoir Dogs

This movie is a perfect representation of what Tarantino is about. A stylish movie about interesting characters in interesting situations that descends into nihilistic horror-movie level gore and terror and loses coherence and believability. We really could have done without the torture scene - such things don't belong in movies without good reason, and Tarantino had no good reason here. I see why people like this movie, but ultimately, ugh!

I, Robot
I, Robot(2004)

While this movie had some interesting ideas, it was on the whole largely insipid (which was a double crime, since its supposed source material was brilliant). And it wasn't really entertaining either. A missed opportunity to make a good movie.

Jurassic Park

The special effects are good, but the rest of the movie is largely a disaster. The cardboard cutout characters are neither believable nor interesting. Much of the graphic violence (or at least the graphic RESULT of violence) was unnecessary.


An unusually intelligent science fiction movie. The story and characters could have used a little help, as could the design. Had the potential to be a much more compelling film.


Lowest cost-to-quality ratio for a film - ever. Not only is the movie ridiculous, it's not even entertaining.


Fairly competent; no complaints about the production, other than that it failed to live up to the standards set by its predecessor, Alien, and that the double false endings were cliched when James Cameron used them the first time in Terminator, let alone here. It does have a much more interesting script, on some levels. Another sci-fi action movie with something resembling some soul. (Skip the sequels, by the way. Terrible, terrible.)


I have to give this movie credit for being elegant and stylish. Very high production values. I do have one serious complaint, though, which is that it is essentially just a monster movie in space. Good as far as it goes, but I would have liked to have seen more depth than that. Not perhaps an entirely fair complaint, but there you have it.

The Blues Brothers

Good music, funny script, the most ridiculous car chase ever, and Chicago. One of the funniest movies ever made.


The top example of the horror action genre. But more importantly, this almost (and arguably succeeds at doing so) shows up the Matrix. The stunts and special effects are entertaining (with two notable exceptions - one of which even brought the wrath of Mythbusters), and though there are some weak spots in the script, it is at least a somewhat interesting premise. And the character of Selene makes a great action hero. It lacks some substance, though, it's true (the slavery metaphor is a little hokey, sorry). Although it doesn't reflect directly on this film, the sequel also turned out to be execrable.

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)

I can't help but read this movie as a metaphor for our role in the world - how we can all be "superheroes" in a sense, by trying to do good things, and the challenges we face along the way. With that admittedly somewhat idiomatic reading, this is actually a moderately deep film. The special effects are also much improved over the first movie, so all told, this is a good showin.

Starship Troopers

A frequently misunderstood film, Starship Troopers is essentially a brutal parody of '40s and '50s war movies (and the underlying ideology that informed them). Although the screenwriter, Ed Neumeier (who also worked on RoboCop, which is in a very similar vein), claims that he likes the original novel, I find that somewhat hard to believe. But whatever. This movie had a good idea, but it really needed to be tightened up. It's too silly for it's own good, even given that it is a satire. Also, it failed to convey its status as satire to most viewers. Oops. I'd rather watch RoboCop, but I still like Starship Troopers' style, and I think it's worth watching at least once.


This is my pick for the best movie ever made (not that there needs to be ONE since there are so many great films). Hitchcock was on the top of his game with this film, especially in the area of cinematography. The underlying story also provides much of the power to this film, so points for all the writers involved as well. (By the way, if you like this movie, see 12 Monkeys as well.)

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

My one complaint about this film is that Lucas' tendency towards silliness and excess show themselves much more prominently here than in the previous two films. Otherwise, this is still the same old Star Wars, and a good movie.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

This movie is great for all the reasons the first one was. It's missing a climactic epic battle but it makes up for it by adding a somber tone missing from Star Wars, and thus holds our attention. Otherwise, this could have been the second half of a four hour Star Wars movie.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

George Lucas combines primal epic mythology, American revolutionary ideology, the cinematic traditions of westerns and other action movies, an excellent visual style, the greatest (for its time) special effects ever put in a movie (with the possible exception of 2001), and the greatest film score ever. The end result, of course, could not fail to be a master piece. I think most of us are still trying to figure out how Lucas and masterpiece could ever go together, but there you have it.

2001: A Space Odyssey

This is one of the greatest movies ever made. And it remains so even though the end of the movie makes no sense at all - which should tell you something about my opinion of the rest of the movie. As anyone will tell you, visually this this is a great movie. But, despite what some say, the timing in this movie is excellent. The slow minimalism of this film is much of its greatness. Yes, it's easy to be slow and boring, but I would argue that it can also be exciting, and that 2001 achieves this. Of course, Arthur C. Clarke's story is also excellent (though to do it justice, sadly, you would have to read the novel - why, Stanley Kubrick?). Clarke manages to fuse the real and plausible (space travel) and the rather implausible (aliens traveling around causing the evolution of intelligent lifeforms) into an intriguing whole. And, there's HAL. Enough said.

Minority Report

This is my favorite science fiction movie of any recent ones. The story and script, and hence the ethical and philosophical questions raised therein, are the strongest points for this film. Questions about fate and free will, etc. are the obvious issues raised here, but there are others as well (how about ubiquitous, inescapable personal advertisements - ugh!). Since this is a Spielberg movie, you can also count on it looking good and being "exciting" as well as having at least one painfully cheesy scene, and it does indeed deliver on all those fronts.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

Both stylish and substantial. The style is self-evident - this is a visually beautiful movie. The substance has to do with the wrestling with ethics and the significance and meaning of life. Differs significantly by the end from the book (which is titled "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"), and really addresses mostly different topics. The first cinematic adaptation of a Philip Dick novel or story, Blade Runner started the tradition of making an interesting movie out of an interesting book by being interesting in completely different ways.


I can't claim Robocop is a great movie, but I love it nonetheless. The satire, especially of corporatism and commercialism, can seem a little dated (because it probably is, I suspect). And of course, we have the classic problem of condemning violence by depicting it in an entertaining way, something Paul Verhoeven (and screenwriter Ed Neumeier who also worked on Starship Troopers) seems to specialize in. But it's still good, on the whole. I might be missing the point on this one, but I also like the character and story of RoboCop - at least as read as in a straightforward, non-ironic way.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

This is a good action movie, but I think this movie is more significant for trying to be an action movie with a soul. James Cameron is clearly interested in exploring a few potentially profound ideas here (several of which show up in Aliens, as well) most of them to do with family and gender, well, and obviously humanity and apocalypticism (got to get the big ones in there as well). I wish Cameron had tightened this movie up a little bit, though - more evidence that a bigger budget rarely makes a better movie. I liked the directing in the first movie much better.

By the way, this movie gets better with repeated viewings.

The Terminator

I love this movie. So, first, what's right with it: It's one of the best action movies ever, and it's certainly the best sci-fi action movie ever. Except for the overdone ending, this movie should be the textbook example for directing action, largely because of the pacing - the tension builds relentlessly. It's veritably poetic. Oh, and the premise is interesting, even if it is slightly ridiculous.

The downside is that this movie is not really a deep thesis on anything (which for an action movie, is hardly surprising). Interestingly, several of James Cameron's other action films are much deeper thematically - including the sequel to this film. Other downsides: The ending is, as I said, overdone, and the premise is, as I said, a little silly - at least the time travel part.

Lilo & Stitch

I'm not a fan of Disney's non-Pixar animated output, but this one is definitely from a different mold. It's novel and entertaining from the first - aliens, in a Disney movie - and it gets better from there (it has one of the funniest lines of dialogue, involving chainsaws, in a movie ever). And the animation is for the most part superb - better than anything in years. But what really sets it apart is (don't laugh) it's message. On the down side, some of it is a little ridiculous - which admittedly comes with the territory. It's too bad Disney dismantled their main 2d units after this movie. It's also too bad Chris Sanders has gotten the boot from Disney. I would have loved to see more from him.

Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys)

Entertaining, stylish, poetic, and profound (even if only at the Philosophy 101 level). And possibly the only time-travel movie that ever made any sense. While the ending goes a long way toward making this movie what it is, there's also plenty of things along the way to make it worth watching.


I was pretty moody, and feeling very pacifistic when I went to see this. I found the amount of killing in this movie disturbing, perhaps because it was so personal. And, of course, this movie will get no points for rewriting Roman history (the restoration of the Republic? did I miss something?) IT was mostly competent on the whole.

Bruce Almighty

Not the most theologically sophisticated movie ever made, but still in at least the 80% percentile. And it was pretty funny. ("Give me a sign!")

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Entertaining, and the first "real" "pirate" movie I can think of in the last since the late '50's. But, let's face it, a little vapid.

Shrek 2
Shrek 2(2004)

Not an especially deep movie, but very funny in an in-jokey sort of way. ("I hate Mondays!")

School of Rock

Points for getting a Led Zeppelin song into a movie (and for some good-old fashioned rock and roll), but otherwise, why?

The Matrix
The Matrix(1999)

The epitomical example of style over substance. Fortunately it was very stylish since it had almost no substance. Thinking about all the illogicalities of the premise makes my head hurt. And what was with the vapid pop-philosophy (though to be fair, I wasn't entirely sure whether they were being serious or just filling in soundless segments until the second movie, but then it was very clear.) It was more-than-competently made other than the script though, and it had a brilliant marketing campaign.


Yet another pointless superhero adaptation. And the animation in the low-budget cartoons was better, incidentally. (On the other hand, the sequel was a good movie - presumably showing what a good script can do.)

Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo(2003)

Heart-warming tail of - blah, blah, blah. But still a good movie.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

I've only seen part of this movie, but it's really not my thing.

The Ring
The Ring(2002)

I'm not a fan of the horror genre, and this movie gave me exactly what I expected, which was not much. It was competent though.

Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman(1990)

A pointless movie with so many lingering ethical questions I don't want to think about it.


A textbook example of how to take a truly moving story involving the life and death of hundreds of people - and turn it into a badly written romance. And that's before we get to the cardboard villain. I was afraid I was going to die when I saw this in the theater (yes, I saw it in the theater), as I almost laughed when Leonardo DiCaprio fell into the water (I mean, shoot, at least he managed to get out of this movie - he deserves better, after all. If only he had taken Kate Winslet with him.) James Cameron, where did you go? What happened to that guy who made Terminator? On the other hand, the special effects were passable - if only we cared.