steveth's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Wind Rises
½

Not the best I have seen come out of Studio Ghibli, but not disappointing either. Very good story, characters, and animation. Good family film - especially if you have daughters who love anime.

Showgirls
Showgirls(1995)

Was this supposed to be a dark comedy? The codeine and the Carolla\Robert Davi commentary from Groove music made it bearable. 20 years on, history is not kind to this abomination.

The Foot Fist Way
½

They couldn't call this movie "Tae Kwon Do" due to legal threats so they had to use the literal English translation. Needless to say this is almost a documentary of life in the Carolinas - especially the Carolina Tae Kwon Do culture. Rusty in parts as most low-budget independent movies can be - but well crafted.

There's Something About Mary

Still holds up well after 15+ years!

The Silence of the Lambs

And it still holds up well - 25 years later.

Network
Network(1976)

This is the movie that predicted the modern news cycle. We're still "mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more!" If you watch this movie - remember that it was originally written by Paddy Chayefsky about what was possibly to come. How eery.

Dead Poets Society
½

Oh Captain, my Captain!

Road Hard
Road Hard(2015)
½

I wanted to like this movie - I am a big fan of Carolla. I hear his documentaries are good - maybe he should just stick to that. I think part of the problem with Adam Carolla is that his writing partner Kevin Hench is a better sportswriter and not a film writer. he belongs on the E:60 table putting together sports inspiration pron instead of doing this. I think Adam has great potential as an actor and a director. he needs to find better writing. Actually possibly find a better director than himself. Especially if he is funding the movie himself. True he is running a pirate ship and is outside the establishment - but it is not a total conspiracy - it is simply the flaws in his movie. If I were not already a Carolla fan, It would probably be even around 2-2/12 stars.

American Hustle
½

David Russell has an ensemble cast that gels very well together - to the point that I might have to see some other films. I might need to see this again so i can try to get past the confusing double-double and triple-double crosses. He should stay away from going a little Tarantino on the sequence cut-ups. Of course, it could be part of the style he is formulating.

Inside Out
Inside Out(2015)

If you have daughters - even sons - but especially daughters - you HAVE to see this movie. Pixar never ceases to amaze me with regards to how they can constantly step up the research and writing game. The reason their movies are so damned good and that all ages can appreciate them is simply - the multi-dimensional writing. This movie broke down the complexities of emotional development - especially around adolescence. For me, this could not have come at a more perfect time given the ages of my daughters. if you have young daughters, it will prepare you - if you have older daughters, it will help explain some things.

A Christmas Carol

In my opinion, the best traditional adaptation of the novel. I am well aware this was a made-for-TV version. Still.

The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument

This was very good at the beginning discussing the narrative on the origins of the magazine. My only minor critique is that it does turn into an intellectual wankfast towards the end and it is a little lost in some places. Not sure of the chronology. A slight point of view is taken (as expected with most documentaries these days.) Worth seeing, if nothing more than all of the famous clips including Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer going at it on the old Dick Cavett Show.

Megamind
Megamind(2010)
½

You watch a lot of these movies when your kids are on holiday vacation.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

ATTN: NO SPOILERS HERE: So due to several factors (particularly that of many responsibilities that befall a grown man) I waited until nearly two weeks after release to see this movie. It was great - nearly perfect for the genre, the series, and the fans in my opinion. It felt to me like it combined elements of Episode 1 and Episode 4 interpolated with twists alongside a great introduction to new characters. I am concerned about the criticism of supposed "plot holes" in this movie. What? Is this because a lot of this does not comply with all of the fan-based expanded universe? Remember we did not learn the entire back story of Luke, Leia, and Darth Vadar/Anakin Skywalker until "Return of the Jedi." The creatures, the fighting, the droids, the ships, the homage to original trilogy effects - so much good in this film. I'm in my 40's - I will always have bias due to the fantastic impressions the original trilogy had on my youth - but this was better than most of them. Unlike most, I admit holding the first three movies (IV,V, and VI) up to holy status. So for me, it will never have the special status Episode IV had or the incredible story line of Episode V - but it is a strong candidate for the 3rd best for me right now.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

This movie was 20 minutes too long! A nice combination of action with British charm - yet it had two serious defects: 1.) Bad editing and 2.) I love Samuel L. Jackson and as much as I hate to crap on his acting range - I cannot buy him as an eccentric nerdy Billionaire with a bad fake lisp. Sam Jackson is supposed to play bad muthaf*kahs! END OF STORY!

The Cable Guy
½

I do not care about the Rotten Tomatoes rating aggregate or how much Roger Ebert hated this film, this is one of Jim Carrey's most underrated and under-received film. The Basketball scene and the Medieval Times fight scene are two of the most funniest scenes of Jim Carrey's I've ever seen. I just watched it with my son and it holds up well.

The Expendables 2

Why did they make this movie? Because they could. You knew it would happen - especially with names like "Lee Christmas," "Hale Caesar" and "Toll Road." These aren't supposed to be code names. We are supposed to believe these people have these as their given names. And we do.

Mr. Holmes
Mr. Holmes(2015)

For some reason, I thought this might be a light comedy. I was incorrect. If you ever seen a movie about Dementia, one technique of film-making is to try to tell the story through the point of view of the protagonist suffering from the condition. This is very hard to pull off without being very confusing the first time you watch it. In this case the confusion is so well-placed and with intent that it really lets you explore what it is like to actually suffer from the condition. I had no idea the housekeeper was Laura Linney - I had figured she was some Irish actress previously unknown to the American audiences - that is how deep into the role she delved. Definitely worth renting!

Spy
Spy(2015)

Melissa McCartney delivers as usual in this spy spoof however, I would argue that what truly makes this movie is the deadpan comical performances by Jason Staham and Miranda Hart. Statham lampoons basically every character he has ever played. Unlike a lot of spoof films, this one takes great pains to create accurate action and tech gadgets. Worth the rental if you are looking for a good laugh. WARNING: the unrated versions contains more male nudity than female nudity.

Ant-Man
Ant-Man(2015)

To be honest, the story was quite far fetched - but I pretty much stopped caring once the first set of special effects kicked in. FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!!! I don't care that the premises are too far-fetched - even for science fiction - the action is THAT good. Go watch "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" after this and laugh your butt off at the rudimentary unbelievable special effects.

Ted 2
Ted 2(2015)

This movie had quite a bit of funny gags - but I am afraid Seth McFarland reverted to the path of least resistance. The story was very weak and the format seemed to be a live-action version of "The Family Guy" even with the smash cuts of the non-sequitur type. The first one was better because the story was solid and unique - the jokes were secondary - but not in this case. I would suggest you take a few extra months to solidify the script and not simply meet a studio deadline next time, Seth.

Birdman
Birdman(2014)

Michael Keaton - brilliant. Always has been. Supporting cast - very good. Storyline - very modern and entertaining. This movie contains a lot of "the inside" of 21st century show business. But it is not completely perfect. Believe it or not - there are some contrived elements - mostly because it seems that the end game is to please the film festivals - which means every film must rank a certain level on the Wes Anderson "quirky and weird" scale or the Cuaron scale. Still, the movie is worth seeing once - however, without Keaton, it may have fallen flat.

Jackass 3
Jackass 3(2010)
½

Should I be worried that my daughters want to do these stunts when they get older? I think so. How do they get clearance to do these movies? I mean the insurance must be ridiculous!

Blazing Saddles

There is no way in hell this movie could get made today.

Deliverance
Deliverance(1972)

Every time I watch this movie, I pick up new clues and I am further compelled to look up more back story on all of the communities, rapids, and rivers that are all now underwater relics in the valleys of Tennessee and Georgia that were lost to Rural Electrification. Many communities along the Georgia-South Carolina line were at a stand still from the depression all the way to the late 60's and early 1970's. It was almost like they were waiting for the dams and newly formed lakes to wash them away. Oh - and one more thing.Now is the time to watch the movie with your Millennial-aged children who have never seen the movie and do not understand where the joke "Squeal like a Pig" originates. Make sure they are at least teenagers, however.

Funny People
Funny People(2009)

There is a saying: "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Every now and then, Adam Sandler makes a great movie. This movie is pretty good but it goes back and forth between sadness and extreme hilarity. This movie could have been perfect had it been edited properly. This is where Judd Apatow takes the anomaly of the "Knocked Up" 2 1/2 hour comedy too far. He would continue this I am sad to say. I do wonder to myself - Does Adam Sandler know that the stupid movies parodied in this movie are a direct reflection of his own stupid movies? Regardless - once again - we know that if Adam Sandler is starring in a movie that was NOT produced by Happy Madison - it will probably be good.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Dear Seth: Please do not drop down to Adam Sandler's level and start making vanity movies with you and all your friends (and ridiculously too-hot-for-you leading ladies.) I do like the modern comedic perspective to the Old West as a premise - so you will be given a pass for this movie - but it only counts once! You also get a pass for having Neil Patrick Harris as the love foil!

Full Metal Jacket

This is a great film for Fathers and sons to watch together - especially when the boy hits about 16 or 17. I know that may seem twisted to some - but the comedy and drama are perfect for Fathers and sons.

Get Hard
Get Hard(2015)

I would have to agree more with the Fans score on Rotten Tomatoes rather than the critic's score. The laughs were hysterical but the movie's story arc was rushed at the beginning and the end - The beginning was done on purpose - but the ending looked like the product of editing for time and a bunch of interference from network executives and focus groups. The director likely had to make a choice in cutting story rather than laughs. The real underlying reveal of movies like this and "The Other Guys" is that - even a bad Will Ferrell movie is a comedy worthy of spending the money to see it in the theaters.

Old School
Old School(2003)
½

YOU'RE MY BOY BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Semi-Pro
Semi-Pro(2008)

OK - this is not a movie designed to be showcased at Cannes or win an Academy Award. It is a sports comedy - that simple. You should always ask yourself when reviewing a movie designated to a specific audience if it did its job of doing so. If your intended audience is 70's nostalgic, Will Ferrell fans who are old enough to remember the ABA and love basketball - then YES! The movie does a great job of ripping on small market/minor sports media. Certainly not Will Ferrell's best movie - but definitely not his worst.

Field of Dreams
½

I feel extremely old watching this movie more than 25 years after the fact. It is a little dated now - and the story line makes much more sense to me now that I have dived into the history of the Black Sox scandal and how it plagued a team for decades and sent the culprits into relative obscurity. This always played out as a subplot - where I always felt it should have been more promoted. It is monumental in that it was the birth of the "Sports Fantasy" or "Sports Science Fiction" genre - which unfortunately has not really caught on. Too bad the ethereal message of "if you build it, they will come" is now used to justify strange fantasies and magical thinking. I always wonder how'd the Chicago White Sox fans viewed this film before 2005 and after?

Guardians of the Galaxy
½

Although I am getting kind of sick of the re-purposing-of-comic-book-movies, I found this one to be pretty entertaining.

Rise of the Guardians

Surprisingly good family film that is available on demand. A nice twist on all of the common folklore fairy tales. Kind of an "Avengers" for young kids. Good animation as well.

Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story

I would say this is definitely above average as far as documentaries go although it still does not help me understand Armstrong's motives. In its defense, it does attempt to go out of its way to be as reasonably balanced as possible. I never realized the major tipping point was the testimony involving what he said right before he was about to have brain surgery. True - when you are about to go under the knife for serious surgery, you do not lie . . . you do not withhold information . . . from your anesthesiologist.

The Man Who Knew Too Little
½

Continuing my re-visitation of Bill Murray: This movie does exactly what it was supposed to do. A perfect inverted send-up of a well-known classic. Bill Murray plays the perfect fool/foil in this picture. As farcical as the premise was, the execution was very believable which I am not sure was intended. Great supporting cast including a very underrated performance by Alfred Molina.

Lost In Translation

As I love all travel/road movies - or I will at least watch them, I recently re-watched this again. Not as great as everyone made it out to be but it was a good movie. I think the real story here is the redemption of Sophia Coppola who finally redeemed herself as a writer after nearly ruining Godfather III (which was good apart from her) as an actress. I could take Scarlett Johansson or leave her regarding this performance. I, however, was a really big fan of Bill Murray's performance as well as Giovanni Ribisi's performance as an aloof photographer. I could do without the "ending that keeps you guessing" motif (the inaudible whsiper.) It is so tiresome.

The LEGO Movie

Great Movie - even if it wreaks havoc on my existential mind where I wonder if the whole God thing might actually be plausible. Could we all be a "Lego" universe created by a meticulous Will Ferrell? Well I, for one, welcome my Will Ferrell overlord. He would at least be an entertaining God - though my concern would be - would I get Will Ferrell the *person* as God? Or Will Ferrell the actor who may behave differently every day depending on the specific role he was playing? Wait . . . wha? WOW! That explains this f*cked-up universe.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)
½

Adam Carolla may think women aren't funny - I guess he never saw this movie. This movie proves that groups of women can be just as funny (and raunchier) than groups of men. I've known this for years growing up with three older sisters in the house. All of the characters were designed to play a specific part with a specific direction on humor. The actresses were tasked with risky roles and they nailed it.

The Princess Bride
½

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my Father. Prepare to Die.

Ted
Ted(2012)

Well what do you know! A Seth McFarland comedy with an actual Plot Arc. And again, what do you know? Marky Mark can actually succeed in a leading comedic role! For such a bizarre premise, it carries well realistically.

The Social Network
½

You will enjoy this movie as long as you are aware that the drama is probably not reflective of the actual events. Nerds lives are really more like the HBO show "Silicon Valley" than they are "The Social Network." Still - this movie entertains - and only Aaron Sorkin can bring a software journal manifest to life as a scene on the screen. This movie will do like a lot of SV-based movies do and portray the nerdy kid as this super-secret slick backstabber - when they can't just accept the fact that the guy is simply just the smartest guy in the room - on ALL levels including shrewd business. I've seen it done with gates as well.

Tangled
Tangled(2010)

This is a cute animated movie that would serve as both a date movie or a great movie to take daughters. be careful, you may find the lantern scene so powerful that you might find yourself lighting gigantic lanterns that travel so high - while staying lit - that they might alert the FAA due to invading the air spaces of major international airports. Yes, they do sell paper lanterns that you can ignite into floating flames.

Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country
½

In my opinion the second best one of all. Stephon from SNL should be giving this review! This movie's got everything! Battles, Enemy Boardings, Floating Klingon blood, Exile, Wrongful Conviction, Redemption, Kirk fling with a chick - who's NOT A CHICK!!!! Spock saying "Go to Hell!" Finally: Christopher Plummer as a Shakespeare-quoting Klingon!

Star Trek V - The Final Frontier

We get the Star Trek version of Creation and God. This was supposed to be the final one but Shatner did such a horrible job that another one had to be made. Small highlights include an attempt at a sexy female Klingon lieutenant played by Spice Williams-Crosby.

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home

The Even-numbered Start Trek films are always said to be the best. I would have to agree - although this one was probably the worst of the even-numbered first-generation films - yet it was a cool presence. I feared it would potentially be one of those cheesy time-travel episodes from the original series designed to showcase a young Joan Collins-like up-and-comer as Kirk's love interest. No. This was better! WHALES! and a . . . subtle love interest. This movie also had the WORST theatrical poster done by an artist who drew Captain Kirk as if he looked like Christopher Noth and Spock looked like a transgender-ed Roy Schieder! Have you seen that god awful poster? Go to Wikipedia - i think they have it there. Leonard Nimoy says this was the most well-received of the films - hmmmm - maybe the most well-received of the ones he directed.

Star Trek III - The Search for Spock
½

How do you respond to millions of angry trekkies embittered at you killing off the quintessential character? Come up with an elaborate scheme to "resurrect him." Supposedly this was planned, but I have always suspected that Nimoy wanted to switch completely to directing and that this rewrite treatment was last-minute before shooting. Makes sense since the franchise was at risk due to the previously stated nerd rage. And trust me, you do not want to be on the business end of nerd rage. I'd rather be dropped into a furry costume Katy Perry show dressed as a shark doing the robot. Cast includes Jim from Taxi who makes for a horrible Klingon (i.e the opposite of Plummer!) A Saavik replacement who WAS NOT HOT 1982 KIRSTIE ALLEY WITH SEXY VULCAN EARS! Kirk's son - the doppleganger of the Greatest American Hero bought it! And we finally learn that Dame Judith Anderson can transform minds from one body to another. Yeah, this movie has a lot of Vulcan woo-woo for a planetary race of species built on reason and logic.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Greatest Star Trek theatrical release of the first generation films! Here are the reasons why:

1.) Now when you watch it, you know that David gets killed in the next one so you are happier!
2.) KKHHAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3.) Space bugs crawling out of brains!
4.) Suicide by phaser!
5.) Hot Kirstie Alley with Vulcan Ears!
6.) Mr. Roark makes an awesome villain!
7.) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one."
8.) Shatner's best acting ever.
9.) McKoy didn't say "He's dead Jim" when Spock died.
10.) Director's cut edition has scenes that explain why Scotty was so upset at the red shirt guy's death. [Relative]

BTW: These Star Trek movies have been out for 30 years plus! Why are people bitching about my spoilers! I shouldn't have to put up spoiler alerts for movies from the 80's.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
½

if you can find this movie in its original cut and not the over extended three hour version with commercials) it may be worth checking out. Aside from the horrible makeup, the very weird and dated uniforms (only seen in this movie) and William Shatner's Tom Jones wig, this movie holds up very well. When I first saw this as a youngster, Persis Khambatta as Lt. Ilia was odd being bald. She was the first bald woman I had seen on screen. Watching decades later, she looks out of this world beautiful!

The Expendables 3

How does a film series franchise known for simply action get even better - Wesley Snipes - yes! - But what has gone seriously wrong with this franchise is the exact same thing that went wrong with the X-Men series. I call it the "Jumped the Frasier Franchise Shark Syndrome." The moment your are so desperate for new ideas you have to employ Kelsey Grammar, your franchise is finished as far as quality. I have nothing against Kelsey Grammar in his element - but that is NOT an action movie.

The Expendables

Nothing like being sick over a weekend and needing a good action movie to make you feel good and pump up that 80's adrenaline! That's exactly what this movie does. Gives you 21st century special effects for a 20th century action plot line! The only one missing is Brian Bosworth in my opinion - but I realize I am alone in respecting his credibility as a one-dimensional action star. I'm with Ebert - this movie deserves respect for meeting its goals.

Dallas Buyers Club

I liked the accuracy of the area, the oil worker's life and the 80's Rodeo circuit. I think they did a good job mimicking the 1980's DFW area. I wonder about the timeline - I am sure it was changed as some events did not seem to line up with the actual events. The ostracism was harsh - but it was true. It is a great story of redemption and how a man beat the odds. It does sadden me the fact that if he lived until 1992, how much longer would he have lived if he actually stopped the Meth, Alcohol, and Cocaine. The Oscar winners deserved every award they got.

Me, Myself & Irene

Strange movie - not my favorite Farrelly brothers movie. After a few years of re-watching, I cannot say much more. Jim Carrey's split personality really consist of Liar-Liar Jim Carrey vs. "Cable Guy" Jim Carrey.

Bobby Fischer Against The World

This is a great documentary regarding Bobby Fischer although I must admit, I do not understand the obsession with this guy. Could it be that I am not a major Chess fanatic? This film leaves you wondering why would somebody so eccentric and so-unbalanced as this chess player - with many diagnosed and diagnosed (yet untreated tics/idiosyncrasies) turn Anti-Semitic and paranoid? Well - the same reason the average nutcase who doesn't happened to be a world champion chess player does - because . . . they are CRAZY.

Given the history of grand master chess players - the better you get at chess - the closer you get to paranoid schizo - at least that's what I learned from this film.

Along Came Polly
½

Watched this again a few weeks back. Holds up better than the critics give it in my opinion. Outside of Dodgeball, Zoolander, and other comedies, Ben Stiller basically seems to play himself which is what was disappointing - but the movie is good because you do get some education on actuaries and how they work - plus Phillip Seymour Hoffman (which is why I watched it again) literally steals the movie with his supporting role.

Hero
Hero(1992)
½

If I could surgically extract Geena Davis out of this movie and replace it with a clone of Joan Cusak (who is also in this movie) it would be five stars. Story is great. Plane crashes, bums, con artists, and media hype - all rolled into one. However, the best part of the film is at the end when the character played by Dustin Hoffman gives the son some of the most simple, brash, yet insightful and practical advice you could ever give a child about what exactly LIFE is. I actually used it with my son and it took hold quickly.

The Dictator
The Dictator(2012)

If you have seen a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy before than you have no excuse to complain. If you saw Borat and you needed to take a rape shower after seeing the hotel "chase" scene, then you will be just as affected with certain scenes in this movie. Let's just say one scenes actually takes place inside a . . . well . . . nevermind. I actually took a date to this movie - because that's how I roll.

Monsters University

Great "Prequel" and I loved the college angle and the detail that you would not notice unless you see this movie two or three times - and look at the backgrounds. This and the original have been the only Billy Crystal performances I could stomach since Father's Day back in 1997. I was hesitant about a sequel because the original had such a great ending but it turns out this was a prequel. Now if we could only get sequels to Finding Nemo!

Glengarry Glen Ross

You have to see this movie. It is the dramatic version of Office Space. It is cutthroat and office-political. If you never saw this movie, you will recognize the fact that their have been many cultural references to this film (my favorite being the Simpson's "Gil" character being based on the Jack Lemmon character. It has one of the best monologues by Alec Baldwin who is BARELY in this movie but his performance was THAT good. To the other extreme, it has the most simple, yet brilliantly chilling one-liner in movie history - delivered by Kevin Spacey at the end.

Spanglish
Spanglish(2004)

Just as even a broken clock is right twice a day, Adam Sandler occasionally, by accident, can actually make a good movie. This is a great movie about a martyred man and a martyred Mother temporarily coming together. I think Adam Sandler's problem is he is a far better dramatic actor than he wants to be . . . and certainly better than his comedic writing and his mediocre comedy. I still do not understand the tagline in relationship to the movie plot.

The Birdcage
The Birdcage(1996)
½

Totally underrated Robin Williams performance. I forgot how big a petulant d*ck Val (the son) was in this . . . or maybe I had more in common with Val when the movie first came out.

Good Will Hunting

I love watching movies and reading books where as the years pass, I change the way I relate - to specific characters, storylines, etc. Continuing the project of introducing Robin Williams in dramatic roles to the next generation (my son) - as paying tribute as well - I'm reminded of my opinion that this was the most intense I've seen Robin Williams in a serious role where he was allowed some comedic element (not like those roles playing Oliver Sacks and the guy from the Fisher King.) It holds up well and the millennial generation seems to take to it as well. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon look so young but deliver great Bostonian performances.

Kicking & Screaming
½

Great premise. Great Cast. Bad Script. Bad execution. It's a shame because you can tell the movie was punched up by committee with many good parts peering out at times. My guess is the actors read the original and signed up. Then a bunch of executives got a hold of it and test marketed it with a bunch of soccer Moms creating the abortion of a script the actors were forced to make the best of.

Out to Sea
Out to Sea(1997)
½

A funny movie - but a little corny. of course, when I am in my 60's and I'm looking to mack on a rich elderly lady, I might appreciate this movie more. Jack and Walter are funny although this is an obvious capitalization off the "Grumpy Old Man" franchise - yet - we don't care because we love them. Added bonuses Donald O'Connor, Hal Linden, and that actress named Rue who played the vixen on the Golden Girls. I'm too drunk to remember how to spell her name. There's this awesome scene where this 70+ year-old Elaine Stritch blows the sh*t off the dance floor in some tap shoes.

Batman Begins

If you go back and watch this movie after 2012 - after several reboots of franchises - after the glut of comic book action movies - and this absolutely has to be the greatest superhero movie ever made in terms of story, cinematography, action, writing, and acting. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer, Linus Roache (before Law and Order), and probably Christian Bale's finest performance. You see the beginnings of Liam Neesom's resurgence of an action star playing the villain. The best of course is Gary Oldman. Like just about every movie he has ever been in, it take about 15-30 minutes into his character before you realize it is Gary Oldman playing the part. That is how good he is at disappearing into his role.

Remember how great and "dark" everybody thought the 1989 Batman movie was with Nicholson and Prince. Try watching it after this one and try not to be disgusted with yourself at how good you thought that version was.

Gladiator
Gladiator(2000)

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!?!?

The Others
The Others(2001)
½

If you saw the Sixth Sense before seeing this movie, you'll be pissed. Except this twist makes an even larger stretch of the truth and requires even more suspension of disbelief. The supporting characters of ghosts are the only redeeming qualities. I do not understand why so many people liked it. The Sixth Sense meets Downton Abbey! And yes, sorry for the spoiler, but they are all dead!

West Side Story
½

Natalie Wood gets more lame with each viewing. The overdubs get more and more noticeable with each viewing. Rita Moreno gets hotter and hotter with each viewing. She's a real spicy number!

The Iron Lady
½

Streep *IS* Thatcher. Pure and Simple. Two great stories in one. A biography interpolated with a story of loss. Giving up the ghost of one's love lost. Jim Broadbent gives a great performance. My guess is politics governed reviewers opinions of the movie because it did give an education in her Conservative politics. I did not think it as preachy in doing so - but to understand Thatcher, you also have to understand her politics.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
½

I was not as disappointed in this movie as others but I did not like it as much as the first. I felt the theatrical version (which I saw first was along the lines of the outtake movie version of the first (Wake Up, Ron Burgundy) ) was not good overall although the premise was funny. I hate to spoil things but basically Ron is credited for created all that is wrong with Cable News today. Also, the cameos are great especially the "rumble scene." You knew they were going to take it up a few notches. I watched the recut that came through the BluRay release and the jokes were waaaay better bumping the movie up a notch. The recut is not as long as the first and the stuff that didn't work joke-wise was removed. They also left in more musical numbers in the recut in place of the garbage they cut.

The Wolf of Wall Street

I'm a huge Scorsese fan and I was a little worried about seeing another collaboration especially since I heard it would be a dark comedy like GoodFellas. I've watched this movie twice now and it is an awesome Scorsese flick. I was not disappointed. I did not want to be impressed with Leo. While the Aviator was good, his performance in it was over-praised in my opinion. OK, I'll admit it. I hated the fact I loved Leo's performance. He was incredible. While I would not put this movie ahead of Goodfellas, I would put Leo's performance as way better than Liotta's. Up there with De Niro as Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver." It is much more comedic than any other Scorsese film, but some real drama where necessary and unlike the typical Scorsese violence, Martin replaces it with a lot of sexuality. This is shocking at first but considering the context, it would have to be necessary. As I said before, like the South Park creators had with Ben Affleck and Argo, I had with having to come to grips with the fact that Leo did an Oscar-worthy performance.

Clear History
½

This movie could have been a 5 star movie had it not had Larry David in the starring role but another actor good at playing an obsessive egomaniacal failure. Otherwise, this just came across as a gigantic episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Supporting cast made up for a lot including Jon Hamm and Danny McBride. Michael Keaton had a nice role as well and a great cameo by Liev Schrieber.

Top Gun
Top Gun(1986)
½

This movie really does not hold up well because of three things. Well, let me rephrase that - it does not hold up in the way the creators and actors in this movie would hope. 1.) Tom Cruise - not buying it. This is more and more coming across as a Tom Cruise vanity flick with each screening. 2.) Very dated soundtrack. Replace it with more Hans Zimmer scoring and it would help. 3.) At the very least - please cut out the homo-erotic volleyball scene. Especially with the song "Playin' with the Boys" going on underneath it. I actually went to high school with a guy who was so obsessed with Tom Cruise and this movie that he actually would wear the matching flight jacket along with having his hair shaped the same way. he even went so far as to have "MAV 90" on his license plate. I wonder if he would admit to that today.

Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie
½

SO what happens when you have extremely funny writers and great actors who do a lot of improvising with the script? You get plenty of tangents and potentially a lot of left-out jokes. THis movie had a bunch of story arcs completely missing from the first film that were super imposed with differently improvised scenes from the original cut. NOW - this direct-to-DVD bonus movie is also a film school lesson for Judd Apatow who - unlike McKay, cannot reasonably edit his movies down to a consumable format. Take notes, Judd - your last couple of movies were great for the first 90 minutes. The second 90 minutes ruined the first.

Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

I appreciate this movie more and more over the years - especially when you re-watch after seeing all of the Internet Memes and clips you've seen over and over - as well as the sheer talent that gels perfectly in this film. It is Will Ferrell at his best - playing the pompous blowhard - more of a witless Disco-era Don Draper to the point you love the character. Champ Kind is a TRUE composite of every local sports guy I saw as a child - COMPLETE with costume. I truly believe this was a career-reviver for Christina Applegate (who had just come off beating breast cancer) who demonstrated great range. The cameos are great in the "rumble scene." Finally - what can I say about the movie that brought us "Sex Panther."

Frost/Nixon
Frost/Nixon(2008)
½

Great adaptation of a popular play. Not a lot of action here - it is more of a period drama that focuses on character study. You also finally find out where Oliver Platt went. Is it me or did it seem like he was in every movie in the late 1990's? I was very skeptical about Langella as Nixon. I was pleasantly surprised. Worth seeing for sure! More obscure English actors can now be connected to Kevin Bacon as well!

50/50
50/50(2011)

It's like "Terms of Endearment" - except it's for dudes! And it ends better. Yikes, that's probably a spoiler. Anyway, a true comedy-drama that sheds some light on cancer and cancer treatment. Bryce Dallas Howard's continues her theme of despicable characters - carrying over "The Help." Seth Rogen delivers an above-average performance again as himself (but I still love it!) Angelica Houston has a great role as the martyr.

American Beauty

This movie is still good 15 years later!

Falling Down
Falling Down(1993)
½

Who knew this would be the darkest of dark comedies? I'm talking Pet Semetary level twisted. An eclectic mix of characters led by the protagonist who is a baby boomer who has lost everything and has reached the end of his rope. He then goes on what many would view as a revenge fantasy.

This Is the End

Great Comedy. The Hollywood 21st century "Frat Pack" play themselves. Here's something you won't expect: It's a moral tale (yes - Religious Comedy) on the book of Revelations - as only these guys would do it, I guess. The cameos are wild - and hilarious.

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson's best to date in my opinion. It pushes the "Wes Anderson Quirkiness" into the background and focuses the story on an unlikely pairing of two star-crossed lovers. If Wes Anderson were to have directed Romeo and Juliet and changed the ending, the outcome would be this movie. I will not risk spoiling things any more. The period and geographical setting is accurate as well!

Now You See Me
½

So this movie was released about the same time "Burt Wonderstone" was released. While Burt Wonderstone was more character-driven and was purposely satirical and exaggerated, this movie was supposed to be a thriller from practical points of view regarding magic. You had Morgan Freeman playing the James Randi angle while each of the "Four Horseman" we supposedly loosely based off composite magician personalities. Not to spoil the movie, but it goes down the supernatural path in spite of the first 2/3 of the movie being rooted in the true craft of contemporary magic. Still, it was way better than "Burt Wonderstone." However, the "woo-woo" can spoil it for you. Penn Jilette would probably walk out cursing after this ending.

The Monuments Men

Although it got panned as a sappy feel-good war movie - a George Clooney vanity project - it *is* based on a true story. PLUS, it's got Lord Grantham in it! It does lose a star due to some of the casting. Otherwise, I liked the story and if you did not need another reason to hate Nazi Germany even more, here's another one. I think historical movies regarding Nazi Germany are very timely in this day and age of Godwin's law when we compare everything we hate to Hitler; we need to be reminded of how bad he was. Also, if you are like me and work for a multi-national company and the next time one of your German colleagues gets smug and demeans America, remind him or her that their country almost wiped out all of the known Art of the Western world simply for spite.

Swingers
Swingers(1996)

This movie is SOOOO money!

Black Swan
Black Swan(2010)
½

Great movie! Very accurate portrayal of the art of ballet with a point of view from the inside. As far as the overall story and theme - just think of it as Fight Club for chicks. LOL

Terms of Endearment
½

This movie is what makes me respect Jack Nicholson. A little sappy for my taste, it is more geared for complicated mother-daughter relationships. It gets ridiculously sad at the end.

Slacker
Slacker(1991)
½

It's hard to find this movie. I watched on VHS several years ago. Not the best movie - even by Indie standards - but worth watching for three scenes. 1) The one with the JFK conspiracy nut will make you laugh out loud to the point of pain. 2) The one where the girl finally tells her overly-academic-psuedo-intellectual friend where to get off made me write down her exact words so i could reuse them to several people I knew at the time.
3) and finally the one where I will not give it away but will say two words - "Madonna Papsmear."

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

If you are an amateur historical film buff, you will be pleasantly surprised at the weavings of history. The trailer leads you to believe this is supernatural. This movie is based on a true story - one of an incredible visionary. One who used technology of the time to stretch the limits of artistry.

Bernie
Bernie(2012)

This movie proves that Jack Black is cut out for serious acting. With that being said, this is actually more of a dark comedy. If you grew up in the South, you probably knew a character that skewed towards the protagonist in this film. Catch this on Netflix or Amazon. You will enjoy it - especially if you are from East Texas. McConaughey delivers a great supporting performance.

Hysteria
Hysteria(2012)
½

Look up the history behind this film on Wikipedia - especially the old pictures showing how they treated hysteria back in the day (LARGE WATER HOSE) You will spit out food if you are eating. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Classic Odyssey adaptation. High School students should see this film. Period accurate. Elements of history (Rural Electrification) mixed with great character studies. Hilarious when it needs to be. Incredible ensemble cast. AWESOME soundtrack! Enjoy it EVERY time I see it. I also spot new elements with each viewing. SO many memorable lines!

Hotel Transylvania

Considering it is an Adam Sandler flick - very good. For a recent Adam Sandler comedy and compared to his last animated outing, it is almost miraculous. Good family film.

Great Expectations

I had Great Expectations about this movie - well . . . Moderate Adaptation. Soundtrack - BEST PART OF MOVIE!!! Anne Bancroft - GREAT as Ms. "Havisham" (Why change the names?) The stilted death of the benefactor coupled with key back stories being eliminated as a result of adaptation, it leads me to wonder if the screenplay was over edited - too many gaps. Not the best adaptation. Performances by Bancroft, Cooper, and Azaria make it worthwhile watching on Netflix. De Niro phoned his part in at the end.

The Notebook
The Notebook(2004)

So I finally watched this movie . . . The Garner-Rowlands half of the film was very well done. As a period piece, it is totally ruined by Ryan Gossling. Watching him juxtaposed into decades past reminded me of the juxtaposition of Suzie Quattro appearing on Happy Days doing her disco-pop thing looking painfully out of place in the supposed 1950's. Gossling should pair up with the Walton girls and their feathered 70's hair - very much ahead of its time during the Great Depression.

All Is Lost
All Is Lost(2013)

Robert Redford has participated in some of my most favorite movies ("All the President's Men", "Sneakers", "Jeremiah Johnson", "The Natural") and some of my most least favorite (his chick films such as "The Horse Whisperer" (vomit) "Up Close and Personal" (double vomit) and "Legal Eagles" (*wrenching vomit*)
This movie falls into the first category. One of the best films I have seen on a plane in a long time. Very little dialog - a lot of it shot in real time. This movie is about the solitary struggle to stay alive all alone out in the middle of the ocean. This movie is up there with "Castaway" in that I am now looking for a third movie to complete the "Everyman Survival Trilogy." Why? Because these plots are realistic. This *CAN* happen. Those post-apocalyptic lone fantasies (I am Legend, etc.) don't work on the levels that stories like these do. The ambiguous ending is designed to spark debate as to who and how he was "rescued."

Trouble with the Curve

If you like baseball, you will like this movie. So many things hit home for me here. Traveling through the mountains of NC - looking for talent for the Atlanta Braves. This brings back so many childhood memories. The premise of this movie revolves around an old-school scout trying to thrive in the era of computers and sabre-metrics. Eastwood's character tries to emphasize his relevance and the importance of the "X" factor while at the same time, trying to repair his relationship with his daughter. It's a great baseball movie and a great father-daughter movie. As it seems to be lately, Justin Timberlake appears and does very well. He is becoming the the 201X version of the 199X Oliver Platt. One final note: I actually thought they got some redneck local to play the part of the hotshot prospect from the mountains of North Carolina. When I found out that part was being played by none other than Eastwood's son Patrick, I was completely shocked. Totally believable! A truly breakout role under the radar.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game(2013)
½

I thought this was a great movie. I have not read the books but I can tell that the adaptation summed up much of the exposition well. The story is set over 100 years into the future and I can understand why the author waited so many years for a film adaptation. He wanted to wait until technology was believable. Let me say this, forget the XboxOne and PS4 - I want to play THOSE games using THOSE Game controls! The movie did not do as well as it should because there was too much controversy attached to the religious views and politics of the author. Since I don't research the personal politics of every person involved with everything I see, view, or hear (I have a life) I did not fall prey to the desired boycott. For those who may not know, there are no religious or anti-gay messages in this movie. Unlike CS Lewis and the Narnia series - none of the author's religious influences were played out in the story. I find the notion of giving this movie a review or boycotting it (in some cases - trying to squash the making of it) simply because you don't like the religion of the book's author terribly disturbing and un-American. I say this as an Atheist who completely disagrees with Card's personal viewpoints. Regardless of his viewpoints, it is a great story. Just like Wagner wrote great music and Mel Gibson made good movies - are we supposed to pretend these great works of art do not exist? That is akin to the Taliban blowing up the stone Buddha's simply because it is different from their religion.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

By far the best of the prequel trilogy - making this the 4th best Star Wars film so far. However, there is no way that a little punk Jedi-wanna-be could kick Sam Jackson's tail in ANY universe. Extra added bonus - WOOKIES!!!!!! YAAAAY! One more thing - is it me or does Captain Colton sound like the voice of Boba Fett from the early trilogy?

Punch-Drunk Love
½

If you are fearing that this is another Adam Sandler slapstick comedy, I would advise you to suspend disbelief and see this movie. In the hands of a great director you will be floored with his range. They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day and that applies to his performance. This movie also has two very interesting elements: a subplot based on a real life airline frequent flyer miles promotion where a loophole is exploited and one of the most eerie antagonist portrayals by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Religulous
Religulous(2008)

Unlike Michael Moore, Bill Maher makes it clear that this "documentary" has a premise based on his own opinion. I take issue with those that say this is anti-Christian - this movie is more anti-religion and dogma. As a comedian is at the center of this film, expect comedy above education - although he does make some valid points. While the Mormons and Catholics resisted him the most, I found it a little difficult and cringe-worthy to find him going after some "low-hanging fruit" especially when they were willing to embrace him and defend their faith. I would have preferred him to take a stronger stand and employ Moore-like tactics against those institutions that have excessive money and power as opposed to a bunch of ex-con truckers who are simply trying to get their lives back on track.

Planes
Planes(2013)
½

This was a test for Disney. The first Pixar-style animation released totally under the Disney label. They failed. The animation rocked. The voice acting was great. What DIsney still doesn't get - is how important the strength and uniqueness of the story is to the movie experience. The animation advancements Pixar brought to the game were groundbreaking but what has always made Pixar movies so great (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Tory Story 3) for all ages has always been the power of the stories - even with the shorts. THIS MOVIE WAS COMPLETELY UNORIGINAL! IT WAS CARS 3 - or CARS 2 Pt.2: This time the race is with PLANES!!!

Elf
Elf(2003)

This movie not only holds well over time but improves. Safe for children and entertaining for adults. Is it me or does Zoey Deschanel look more like her sister as a younger blond.

Zoolander
Zoolander(2001)

Watching this again and again over the years - this movie gets better.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Not the best of Will Ferrell but still good entertainment. Premise is a little ridiculous but NASCAR business culture is accurate.

Rushmore
Rushmore(1998)

A little disappointing as I expected a solid five out of five. One of the better Wes Anderson "quirky films" and Bill Murray as an eccentric millionaire was believable. I felt a younger James Franco would have been better suited in the role as Max. In addition, I have worked at a prestigious private school and while the portrayal of the politics that go on there are accurate portrayed here.

Joyful Noise
Joyful Noise(2012)

To the producers of this movie: Tyler Perry called, he wants his formulaic plotline back. Dolly Parton gives this movie at least a star. But this is an extremely contrived movie. Imagine "Glee" with auto-tuning. Bleh.

Bruno
Bruno(2009)

Cringe-worthy material that puts a bow on the "Da Ali G Character trilogy." Funny in many cases but too much low-hanging fruit on this one. I am surprised they protagonists got out of the octagon alive.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
½

I have not read the book, but if I did, I am sure I would be asking myself why they left so much out? The acting could have been better - yet the special effects were good. I think this was a major miss as long-book adaptions to two hour movies go - but I do acknowledge they are difficult. They wanted to focus so much on another round of Hunger Games at the expense of the entire revolution back-story.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
½

The "Godfather" of all Spaghetti Westerns! And the first film that introduced me to "Ennio Morricone" who is one of the composers that led me to believe one might have a future in composing where they might not starve - yet maintain their street creds. Ironically, not the best of the Dollars trilogy.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

The best example a juxtaposition college of flash-backs and flash-forwards. Zed's dead, baby. Too many quotes to list here. SO many - just by Samuel L. Jackson alone. Ezekiel 25:17 Muthaf*kah!

The Shawshank Redemption

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

Identity Thief
½

Funny but plot line has turns that are completely unbelievable - This is almost like a felon's fantasy film.

The Campaign
The Campaign(2012)

Given that I am from North Carolina, I mist admit there are some moments in this movie that make me laugh and cringe at the same time. I did not know that was possible. If you ever knew the hair-dresser-turned-state representative Joe Boylan and US Senator John Edwards, you know this movie has some basis in fact. "I want Lee Greenwood playing 24/7!"

Apocalypse Now

Watch the redux print. Longer but soars to the top of anyone's list. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"

The Godfather, Part II

Best mob movie of all time. Two movies in one. Only movie that completes a trilogy with only two movies. Should have stopped here. It is rare that a sequel beats out its predecessor - especially this movies' predecessor.

The Godfather

The second best mob movie of all time. A story about the complications that come with a simple family business. Many memorable lines.

Napoleon Dynamite

Movie still holds up for me. I know others have lost love for it over the years. After moving to Texas I can imagine growing up here which gives me an even greater appreciation of the movie. What's funny about it is - what year did this take place? Can you tell? That's just it about rural America - some times you can't.

GoodFellas
GoodFellas(1990)

3rd best mob movie of all time. Best Scorsese flick! Now go home and get your f**king shinebox!

Casino
Casino(1995)

4th best mob movie of all time. 2nd best Scorsese film! Only movie you'll ever see that has Pesci, De Niro, Sharon Stone, DON F**KING RICKLES, and Alan King!

Intolerable Cruelty

2nd favorite Clooney movie. A little bit exaggerated but it does shed light on modern divorce. The Geoffrey Rush character's experience is probably the most true-to-life sad to say. A worthwhile movie that has a couple of really good twists.

Team America: World Police
½

Dated Material, Action Movie Clichee's, Toilet Humor, Marionettes - what more could you want?

Lincoln
Lincoln(2012)
½

DDL is awesome but there were also awesome performances by Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce McGill, and Sally Field. Loved the accuracy of how technology was used. Sally Field's representation of Mary Todd reminds me of marriage *sigh*.

Con Air
Con Air(1997)

Really a one out of five - but such a guilty pleasure and a basic cable classic - so much is quotable - unintended bad dialog. (The Anchorman of action drama.) Name your clichee'. VIng Rhames, Nick Cage w/extensions, Steve Buscemi, John Malkovich, Chapelle - a bunch of big name actors. It's like a trainwreck. Every time it comes on, I feel compelled to watch it.

Sling Blade
Sling Blade(1996)

I like mustard with mah bizkits - ummmm hmmm . . .

L.A. Confidential

If you were disappointed in Gangster Squad, then go back and see this movie - modern film noir at its finest.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

OK, I know I am being friendly with the review - and to tell you the truth, I would have never watched this movie had it not been shown on a plane - but Jim Carry doing the Criss Angel satire is worth seeing this movie for. Worst performance - Jim Gandolfini - kind of sad this was his last role.

The Hunger Games

Great representation and imagination of the future may be. Of course, if fashion is heading in that direction I have some concerns. So where do you film a post apocalyptic depressed rural area suffering from starvation? Why North Carolina of course. I recognized some of the places. I'm still wondering if they killed the guy with the awesome artsy crafty beard? I never read the books. Thinking about experimenting like that with my facial hair.

My Best Friend's Wedding

It took me 15 years to even admit I saw the movie. Part of a compromise when I was trying to accommodate a then soon-to be-ending marriage. TMI? Anyway, I could tell so much of what was on the screen was contrived was to artificially and intentionally "Create classic moments" which nobody probably remembers. Leave movies like this to the British.

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story
½

I think I might actually belong to Globogym . . .

Revolution O.S.

Decent documentary. Cool insight. Very biased, however, and let's just say there's a reason Linus Torvalds is Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman is Richard Stallman. He's what Howard Wolowitz was destined to become had he not married Bernadette.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Here's an ironic review: I hated this move. I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Girls were cute though - with that 60's go-go dance thing going. Hence two stars. Here's another tip. Watch it with the volume turned down while listening to NPR. Let's see if you get the first reference.

The Internship
½

It's very hard to rate this movie without being viewed as biased. I feel I am being generous, although I did like VV's performance so it was worthy of some stars. This movie was predictable and formulaic. It really was a two-hour commercial for Google. However, even if it is fiction, the methods of how Google works internally make me less scared of them as far as future competition goes. As they continue to get larger, they will suffer the same problems as the others before them.

Hyde Park on Hudson

You may have to suspend disbelief as to the historical accuracy of this film but Bill Murray's performance makes this worth seeing. Bill Murray got a Golden Globe nomination as FDR although i have to wonder if it is a creation influenced by Groucho Marx when I look at the newsreels of the real FDR - other than this criticism, I do not understand why it got so much flack from the critics unless they are hung up on the fact that the historical premise is based on speculation, innuendo, and rumor. If so, again I say, suspend disbelief.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
½

It was good but was REALLY slow to start and I had to watch the first part again. Acting was great but exposition transcended from the book could have been clearer. Any movie with Gary Oldman is worth seeing. Oh yeah, the title could use some commas - i.e. "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Spy."

Gravity
Gravity(2013)

F*ck if I'm going to Space!!!

JFK
JFK(1991)

Weird seeing this 20 years later. Kevin Costner's accent is bad but the performance is relatively one of his bests. interesting to see all of the cameos and the bit parts played by actors/actresses who later went on to more fame.

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

Judd Apatow serious needs an editor. This movie was 30 minutes too long.

Glickman
Glickman(2013)

Saw this on HBO. Great Documentary. I had never known about the 1936 Olympic controversy. Who knows what would have happened had we let them run? We could have added further humiliation to Hitler.

Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no tani no Naushika)

This movie is much better reading subtitles than the horrible voice acting.

Behind the Candelabra

I'm not sure this movie is legal to show in Texas . . .

Swordfish
Swordfish(2001)

OK, of all of the "Hi-Tech" Computer-hacking themed movies full of extremely badly-coached tech dialog, horrible inaccurate "computer screenshots" and over-dramatized software operations, this *BY FAR* MY FAVORITE. Watch for one of the hidden gems in this movie - the "human-log-rolling" chase scene.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Remind me never to piss this girl off!

A Mighty Wind

I still listen to the soundtrack!

Best in Show
Best in Show(2000)
½

Another great Christopher Guest Mockumentary. This was brought us Jane Lynch. It is my second favorite of the series. I loved the Catherine O'Hara/Gene Levy couple!

Waiting for Guffman

Not counting "Spinal Tap" which Rob Reiner directed, this is the first of the very hilarious series of Christopher Guest "mockumentaries." This one focused on the low stakes/high drama of local community theater. Surprising Cameo from Mr. Bently of Jefferson's fame. Fred Willard kills in this one.

Couples Retreat

Did not hate it like I expected. I would have watched this sooner had I known that. Jean Reno is surprisingly good in a comedic role. Couple story lines are obviously contrived and from the usual one-sided perspective. Jon Favreau has gone downhill. He should stick to directing.

Un Chien Andalou

I first saw this movie Summer of 1989. 1) I cannot believe he got away with this in 1929. 2) I cannot believe they let us see this (as teenagers at Governor's School.) Oh, and here's a spoiler. What you think is real are just serious pioneerings into special effects. Buy the new DVD print from Amazon. Lots of good parallel docs on it included.

Memento
Memento(2000)

Don't believe Teddy's lies. Now . . . where was I?

The Shining
The Shining(1980)

This movie works because it employs the element of the "slow burn." A true thriller gets your heartbeat racing once the action finally comes. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about here. The buildup to Jack going all whacko all over Olive Oyl is such a steady consistent crescendo that it has become of the gold standards of sorts for this type of movie.

Horrible Bosses

Only reason it is a 3 is because of the cast.

Quartet
Quartet(2013)
½

If I make it to 75, you can trust me I will be acting like the Billy Connolly character in this movie - so you have all been warned. First of all, I did not they even had specialized retirement homes for musicians. I highly doubt this is the case here in the US. Great story, great acting. If you are, have ever been, ever consider becoming, or ever loved a musician, you will appreciate this movie. There are also some nice cameos from the industries in this film as well.

Tower Heist
Tower Heist(2011)
½

I was pleasantly surprised. Very entertaining. Great Cast! Good to see Eddie Murphy acting again instead of dressing in a fatsuit.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

According to my lady - who I watched this with - who happens to be from that part of the world - this movie is extremely accurate with regards to bayou living. This little girl's performance is impossible to believe - it is that good and she was totally worthy of her Oscar nomination. I never figured out if the cook was her Momma though - whoops! I guess I shouldn't have given out the spoiler.

Gangs of New York
½

Great Movie. Very accurate. Daniel Day Lewis delivers as usual yet you pull against him in this one.

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages(2012)

I had to take a rape shower after watching this movie. The retrofitting of rock songs into the dialog of a musical may have worked once for Moulon Rouge, but this failed miserably. There were times when i thought this was a comedy, but it turns out this is nothing but a montage of expensive stars performing really cheesy horrible 80's music videos. The REO Speedwagon "I can't fight this feeling any longer" scene between Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin would have worked as a SNL sketch. Oh, and this will go down in history as Tom Cruise's "Showgirls."

Office Space
Office Space(1999)
½

Watched this with my 15-year-old son tonight. Amazing what elements of technology are now outdated. My son will never understand the hell of "PC LOAD LETTER." The laughs are not outdated though. BONUS: John McGinley! Also - tell the truth - How many of you knew it was Stephen Root playing Milton at first!

Red State
Red State(2011)

W.T.F. Um . . . Wow. take the Branch Davidians and the Westboro Baptist Church and imagine them a combined entity - mixed in with a little Andy Griffith Show and West Hollywood. Yeah, it's that twisted. I'm going to take a rape shower now.

Silver Linings Playbook

OMG! I *LOVE* Movies about crazy people! Especially ones that are not afraid to explore the accurate cringe-worthy aspects. If a movie that tackles these issues does not make you cringe at least once, it has not done its job of portraying the realities of mental illness. Not to take anything away from Jennifer Lawrence - her performance was awesome and Oscar worthy but *EVERYBODY's* performance was good. You know a movie is good when Robert Di Niro is totally on his game yet is only the fifth or sixth best performance of the cast. Bradley Cooper deserved an Oscar for his role for sure, but there are surprising breakouts of a dramatic nature including Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Eli from "Boardwalk Empire," the psychiatrist, Julia Stiles, etc.

Mallrats
Mallrats(1995)
½

Entertaining but this is a sophomore slump, in my opinion. There were elements that were unique but the movie went the route of a typical 80's cliche' ending. It's fun to go back and watch Ben Affleck and Jason Lee at the start of their careers just as it is fun for die-hard Kevin Smith fans to go back and watch an early work of his - but the movie disappoints. The Stan Lee cameo was good, but surprisingly, the best performance came from Priscilla Barnes in spite of the fact her entire appearance seemed to be a mere gag. So much more could have been done with the actress and her character.

Freakonomics
Freakonomics(2010)
½

I was always curious how they would manage to make this book into a documentary. It is rather an anthology of sorts - individual movies that do not always have clear continuity as a whole. It leaves you with a lot to think about. Truth is - many of the revelations we all seem to know to a point, but did not know how to connect the dots from a rational logical sense. You will learn how social mores and prejudices have a profound effect on our economy.

42
42(2013)
½

Great Movie although the actor was not well cast as Jackie Robinson was physically and personally not at all like the actor who portrayed him. Harrison Ford did an excellent job as the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In spite of the bad writing in spots, the subject matter made it worth watching - as well as some of the supporting cast - especially Leo played by Christopher Meloni!

W.
W.(2008)
½

Totally did not expect to like this movie. Performances by the ensemble cast were excellent! Politics aside, this movie actually made you sympathetic for W in the greater Bush family dynamic. He was definitely the less uptight of the entire clan. The subplots involving the father-son dynamic and the very fact that he would have totally crashed and burned as a person if not for Laura Bush make this film worthy of watching. if Oliver Stone intended to make a film engrossing the family dynamic, he succeeded. if Oliver Stone intended to make a film lampooning W and furthering a political agenda, he failed.

The Sessions
The Sessions(2012)

Great movie but not for the faint of heart as it has some intense content. Excellent performances all-around especially Bill Macy and Jon Hawkes. (yes, even Helen Hunt was bearable - except for the in-and-out fake Boston accent.) It also hints at life inside alternative cultures and households.

Platoon
Platoon(1986)

Great cast! A lot of young stars i.e. Forest Whitaker, John C. McGinley, Johnny Depp, Dale Dye. Watch it again and you'll not realize how many "pre-stars" were in this one. The use of the Barber Adagio during the Evacuation scene (with Dafoe running for his life) has always been the reason I bought the soundtrack on cassette years ago.

Reversal of Fortune

1st movie that 1) introduced me to Jeremy Irons (becoming a fan for life) and 2) Finally broke the "Rhoda side-kick" stereotype of Ron Silver. Silver nailed Dershowitz cold!

Born on the Fourth of July

It was done well - that is - if you like movies from Oliver Stone's perspective. I was much more impressed with the supporting cast than I was with Cruise's performance. It follows the book fairly well.

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away

While it is not meant to be a film in some senses, it gives you views of a CdS show that you could not possibly get live (Camera Angles/Selections/etc) so yes - it is more than a filmed stage show. This is great marketing in that it makes you want to catch the next flight to Las Vegas to catch a show.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Jim Carrey does great work when he shuts off his "over-the-top" routines. An intense dark comedy/psychological drama that has all of the excitement of a mental thriller without all of the M. Night Shamalaalala.... (Come on Manoj! Just use your real name for a change!) Oh yeah - soundtrack's got Beck - always a good sign!

The American President
½

An overt chick-flick a guy can actually sit through as it incorporates some political drama. Rob Reiner was actually able to pull it off. I'm afraid it does not hold too well for the two leading actors over the years - however - Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox's supporting roles were underrated.

Ransom
Ransom(1996)

Guilty pleasure of a revenge fantasy. What is really weird is going back and watching his rage in this movie after hearing all of the voice mail recordings. We know know how he channeled his acting - by tapping into his own racial and anti-Semitic rage. LOL!!

The Black Dahlia
½

I have to say there was some good directing and some good performances, although it was extremely disappointing. For me, it set "LA Confidential" style expectations but the over salting of fictional elements for dramatic purposes made this movie into a bunch of cliche's towards the end. It is a shame. The underlying true story was interesting enough, Good, raw, scenes would also get ruined by the "I-have-one-aw-shucks-expression" Josh Hartnett (remember, he was still very popular and had not run his course when this movie was made.) I mean - it's not as bad as the Hayden Christianson "Whats-that-smell-is-my-only-facial-expression" movie cancer, but it can still ruin a movie.

Election
Election(1999)

Obsession: Seems to get more self-destructive when the stakes are low.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

A lot of critics did not like this movie. I guess they did not appreciate the small-town accuracy of this type of film. Best supporting characters are the father-son team from the hardware store - "CLOSE UP SHOP!!!! CLOSE UP SHOP!!!!

The Princess and the Frog
½

Not the best Disney film as far as plot goes but good classic-style animation and good VO performances. If you watch this with someone born in Louisiana, they will gladly let you in on all of the inside jokes.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Excellent look inside the MPAA rating system whose standards are neither published or made available with regards to what constitutes specific ratings other than the basic descriptions. The movie discusses the arbitrary nature of how some films get certain ratings while others of the same content style get different ratings. this combined with the secrecy - especially the cloak and dagger nature of the board itself lends credibility to the arguments of corruption and cronyism.

Once Upon a Time in America
½

Leone's last film is often overshadowed by Coppola and Scorsese when it comes to 20th century organized crime movies. I was expecting De Niro to replay his Corleone role but he displayed much versatility. I was slightly confused by the strange and improbable plot twists but they were VERY minor. Each time I watch it, I wonder about my last interpretation of the final scene.

Up in the Air

I am not sure why I loved this movie so much. Possibly because it is starting to mirror my work life. Great supporting cast and a lot of inside jokes for the professional traveler. See which airports you can recognize!!! Great supporting cast including JK Simmons.

The Usual Suspects
½

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

I should re-watch this again now that I really know how to make soap!

The Dark Knight

Once again, the coloring of performance completed by the acting of Gary Oldman. I was watching him for years before I figured out he was British. He does not disappoint. I would have liked to have seen Two-Face develop in another movie. It was, however, great to see the evolution in action - even if it were rushed for time. Finally - Heath Ledger completed the ultimate challenge of making the Joker his own - does not negate Nicholson's performance - just a totally different approach.

Twister
Twister(1996)
½

Really? I do not know where to begin! Surviving an F5 tornado by tying yourself to a pole?!?!?! Jamie Gertz willing letting you go to be back with your first love (Helen Hunt) when it is clear she waaay more together and hotter!?!?!? The good storm chasers vs. the bad storm chasers?!?!? Two women fighting over Bill Paxton?!?!?!?

Dreamscape
Dreamscape(1984)
½

I liked "Inception" the first time I saw it. Over 25 years ago when it was called "Dreamscape!"

Jaws 2
Jaws 2(1978)

Good Sequel! Last of the good Jaws films!

Hot Tub Time Machine
½

Ugggggh! At least "The Hangover" had a believable premise!

The Men Who Stare at Goats

"Congratulations on your wedding! Sorry it doesn't work out!"

Maxed Out
Maxed Out(2006)

There are great lessons in this film about the perils of credit - but - like one who is hustled on the streets for not being street smart - if you believe that renting money does not have a cost - and you buy stuff you cannot afford - you will drown in debt in other words, you will get hustled.
I am a little distraught that this movie focused on only one side of the issue and not on the other side - the lack of personal responsibility. Nobody forced these people to get credit cards. If these vultures continue to exist, then we must educate our children not to become easy prey . . . especially when they hit college.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

Who new the third one would hold up and be as good! I think the aging of the boy with the sequel led to an interesting plot.

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

Not the best Pixar movie. But still better than Cars 2. Comedy was good. Plot line was a little on the level of ridiculous! and one more thing - What's Nucky Thompson's woman doing in Scotland?

Cars 2
Cars 2(2011)
½

3-1/2 stars out of five is pretty bad for Pixar. Pixar fell into the sequel trap with this one. Very thin and ridiculous plot. Worth taking kids because they will love it and there are cool international cars-with-actors pairings but worst Pixar film I have seen to date - but that is still much better then the average animation movie.

Howl's Moving Castle
½

Big fan of Miyazaki-san!

Snatch
Snatch(2001)

Brad Pitt's best supporting actor performance ever.

Inglourious Basterds
½

EACH OF YOU OWES ME 100 NAZI SCALPS!!

Pan's Labyrinth
½

Main theme has a penetrating motif that coincides with some very dramatic at the end. You can hum it to yourself and it will rehash that whole scene. Brings you chills especially if you have a young daughter.

How to Train Your Dragon
½

Good movie. DreamWorks is getting closer and closer to being on parity with Pixar. I have a cat that actually looks and acts like Toothless!

The Help
The Help(2011)

Very surprised at how much I liked this movie. Was expecting a self-serving chick flick and got a very historically accurate multi-dimensional film with an excellent series of subplots. Good performances for all of the female principals. Male performances were kind of weak.

Oz the Great and Powerful

Stunning 3-D. Great adaptation. Good cast. Very entertaining evening and the movie is even safe for kids. Also works well for couples too. The wicked witch has cleavage this time too!

Cowboys & Aliens

How's that for a Friday Night? Western meets Sci-fi! Saw it in the theater and it had both James Bond *AND* Han Solo!

Larry Crowne
Larry Crowne(2011)

I am NO fan of Julia Roberts and I did not want to like this movie as much as I did - but I have to admit - it was a good movie - especially for the times.

Law Abiding Citizen
½

Great Entertainment. not a good date movie though - it is quite the revenge fantasy.

For Your Consideration
½

Not the best CG mockumentary, but worth watching!

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Underrated. Mockumentary is the genre - and it achieves very well on that level. It is not "A Mighty Wind" but then again - that is the gold standard.

I Love You, Man

Paul Rudd was well cast but not his best work. Jason Segel did a great job. Did you know that Rashida Jones is the daughter of Quincy Jones? Also had good cameos!

Seven (Se7en)
½

WHAT'S IN THE BAAAHHXXXXX?!?!?!?

So I Married an Axe Murderer
½

We have a piper doon! I repeat, we have a piper doon!

Red Tails
Red Tails(2012)

Good Movie. Good performances. Technically puts you in the cockpit. But it really could have been written better.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair(2004)

The female "Barry Lyndon!"

Django Unchained

I love Christoph Waltz! Look for the Franco Nero cameo!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Best movie I've seen in five years.

Mansome
Mansome(2012)

+1 Documentary - Watch it on Netflix for free.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
½

For a second sequel, not bad. Good family movie. My kids liked it. Not as good as the second but better than the first. This is one of the few series where the sequels are actually better. but then again, this one had Bryan Cranston - and anything he touches turns to gold.

Katy Perry: Part of Me
½

I was held hostage on a plane that blasted this movie without our choice. I needed therapy after being forced to endure this movie. The only saving grace was Russell Brand.

Robot & Frank

I wouldn't call this sci-fi. I would call it a buddy comedy - a dark one though.

Arbitrage
Arbitrage(2012)

Saw it on an airplane. Maybe that's why it sucked!