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Man on Fire (2004)
7.2?? I'd rather get hit with a 7.2 earthquake than watch this again!
There is now proof that some shadowy organization is spiking the drinking water supply in this country with some mind-altering substance, because this movie is rated at 7.2. I'd rather get hit with a 7.2 earthquake than watch this again.
The directing and pacing are the biggest gripes about this average movie. It would be nice if the camera would just stop moving around for .3 seconds, but I guess the style of directing is meant for the MTV generation. One would think an action movie would move along quite well, but this one plods. And a plodding movie with an EXTREMELY AGGRAVATING style of direction means one thing: I'll be opening more beers just to get through it.
The acting is substandard at best. The little girl is so annoying that I was rooting for her kidnappers. Nothing about Denzel's past is mentioned to explain why he is so f-ed up, either. What a waste of 2.5 hours!
Mr. Personality (2003)
Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever. Worst. Show. Ever.
The Hours (2002)
Like having nails pounded into your head
According to this movie, it is the males in the women's lives that make them miserable. I'm sure women who watch this movie will empathize completely with the female characters, but will not see them for what they are: completely selfish and having no regard for the effects they have on other people's lives.
When Woolf tries to flee to London her poor husband has to remind her of all the sacrifices he's made just to keep her sane. This is what love is, but Woolf barely acknowledges this because she is apparently a lesbian who wishes she had never married this awful man anyway. Yes, Virginia Woolf did have mental issues so I guess she can be forgiven to an extent. But not the other women in this movie!
Moore's character seems to be miserable for no reason...except that she's also a lesbian who wishes she had never married her "awful" husband. She is so hopeless she can't even bake a cake correctly, and then shows her true colors by abandoning her children to live a consequence-free gay lifestyle in Canada...with absolutely no regard for the effect it will have on her children (and husband) left behind. Considering what eventually happens to her son Richard, this makes her a despicable human being.
Obviously Steep's character is supposed to be Mrs. Dalloway, but it is still baffling why she bursts into tears while trying to cook. Who knew cooking was such a strain? I guess it is because she is also a lesbian who has been caused so much grief by the vastly eccentric Richard.
Moral of the story: never mind your own personal shortcomings! If you are a woman and you're miserable, it's the fault of the men in your life.
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Just not funny
What a confused movie this is. Is it a comedy? A Pulp Fiction wannabe? A John Hughes Eighties High School movie? It tries to be all three, but in doing that it fails to be what it needs to be: a good movie.
It's very Pulp Fiction-ish in its use of "witty banter during extreme gunplay." The John Hughes element is obvious...Cusack could even be the same character from Better Off Dead ten years later. In fact, THAT would have been funny, but I digress.
If it's an action movie, I think Cusack and Aykroyd are miscast. Maybe not Cusack so much, but Aykroyd just sucks. As in most action movies, the characters use their guns like hoses and only reload after 50 shots have been fired from a pistol that holds 10 bullets.
The romance is not convincing. There's just no chemistry between Driver and Cusack, and not much time is spent on them. Nor is enough time spent with Cusack's old school friends and enemies, which could have been fodder for a better movie.
Particularly shocking is the violence in this supposed comedy. (SPOILERS) Cusack's encounter with the "ghoul" in the school ends disturbingly, in my opinion. And I have no problem with violence...Pulp Fiction was great, but of course it wasn't marketing itself as a comedy! And the gunning down of the two NSA agents at the end just makes no sense and didn't seem to even fit with where the movie was supposed to go.
The movie could have been FUNNY if Cusack's character was a bumbling hitman, not an expert assassin. But hey, that's just my opinion.
No wonder Indians hate America...
It's really no wonder because the portrayal of America and its culture is so one-sided in this movie. NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) who emigrated to the US many years ago are seen as being shallow and lacking morals, but their behavior is so exagerrated that it makes them hard to believe.
America is portayed as a drug-infested (only true if you live in the ghetto) land where strange men constantly approach women on the streets and try to get them to have sex with them, and which permits men to rape their fiancees before they marry. And of course the old movie cliche rears its ugly head here: if you are successful and ambitious you cannot be a moral person.
This would all be innocent enough as entertainment were it not for the fact that most people living in India get their information about America through movies such as these, and condemn the US as being immoral without ever having visited there or even met an American. These movies give the appearance of fact, when all they are is a thinly-disguised judgement.
To be fair, most Indians don't understand American culture, and fear it even while it is embraced in cities like Bombay. To them, I'm sure it does appear to be a strange world indeed.
Oh, and the movie itself? Anything with Shahrukh Khan in it sucks, in my opinion. Amrish Puri is the only one who comes across as having any depth here.
Good acting, flawed execution
This movie had a lot of promise, only some of which is fulfilled. The acting, especially by Gibson and Phoenix, is believeable if somewhat understated. However the director, who appears in a cameo role, should have put someone else in his role who could really emote, as he completely lacks this basic human ability.
It almost seems as if M. Night wasn't sure about what kind of movie to make. Is it a PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER? Well it seems to be at first but the source of the crop circles is revealed far too soon. I would have preferred this to be kept a mystery until later in the movie. Once it is revealed, it pretty much limits the scope of what the movie could be about. Another problem is Gibson's son, who seems to be right about everything the aliens would try to do, which further erodes the plot's suspense.
After it is revealed that the aliens are making the circles and what their intentions are, you would think it would become an ACTION MOVIE. But no action is shown, and nothing at all is shown of what is going on in the rest of the world. I was not amused with the War Of The Worlds-like solution.
In short, I am tired of M. Night's manipulative movies. He puts obvious clues in his movies that apparently are not noticed by 90% of the movie-going public, which explains why this movie is undeservedly in the top 250 already. Come on, wasn't it OBVIOUS that the water would be part of the solution, or that the bat hanging on the wall would be too? It's the SAME as in Sixth Sense...or was I the only one who thought during the first ten minutes of that film, "Hey, maybe Bruce Willis is dead too."?
M. Night is rapidly painting himself into a corner.
Tea with Mussolini (1999)
More tea-sipping silliness
I would love to take all the copies of this movie and bundle them together with all the copies of "Howard's End" and all the other silly British manners movies and toss them into the Marianas Trench. But I have a feeling that the sea monsters who dwell in that dark part of the ocean (and will eat anything) will reject them too.
It's a typical British snob movie. The women putter around with their giant handbags, squawking and walking like penguins while lambasting the Italian men for not acting like "proper" British gentlemen. (How DARE they not speak English?!) Reminds me of the term "Pepperpot" that the Monty Pythons coined for these Brit women.
And all they gripe about is not having enough tea or scones or crumpets to stuff into their putrid gobs.
I wish Mussolini's Black Shirts had bayonetted all of them.
Temptation Island (2001)
Bigger, better, more...
This appalling show is just the latest escalation in the entertainment industry's attempts to keep you from living a meaningful life of your own. It all probably started with those terrible Fox "reality" shows like "When Animals Attack" and "When Teenagers Go Postal."
This is all just an extension of what Roman satirist Juvenal meant when he said "the people long eagerly for two things: bread and circuses." Sounds like popcorn and movies. People are distracted so they don't know what's really wrong in society. As long as people are content, all they want is entertainment. And watching the suffering of other people sure is entertaining, isn't it?
In the free market economy we have here in America there are a multitude of industries that survive by making people dependent on them and their products. By far the most menacing is the entertainment industry.
By claiming to portray "real life" like in this show, it implies two things: 1)you have to watch TV to see real life, and 2) we (the industry)know what real life is better than you do...so trust us and keep watching! And be sure to purchase the products advertised on this show! (Especially those violent video games and movies we market to your kids, because kids are sooooo vulnerable to advertising). The last thing the industry wants is for people to find other things to do, like reading a book or improving their education.
I remember after the "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" debacle that Fox announced it would no longer do shows like that due to the negative press. Then "Survivor" came along. Now Fox has announced that because of Survivor's success the rules have changed, and they have to put on crap like "Temptation Island" to compete.
What bothers me is that 18 million people watched the first episode. That's about 1 in 15 people at your office who were probably standing around the water cooler the next day talking about the show. Everything in the entertainment industry is about one-upmanship. I heard "Friends" was going to introduce a lesbian love interest for one of the characters just to lure viewers back to that show!
As much as I hate to say it, this show is just the tip of a gigantic iceberg. Unfortunately there are enough shallow, stupid people in this country to make sure these kind of shows succeed. Sooner or later we are going to get things that are raunchier than this. Some day the networks will want to drop all the restrictions against language and nudity, because they can only go so far with the current format. After all, they can't do a show called "Who Wants to Get Raped Anally for $2 Million"...can they?
The Lone Gunmen (2001)
Our education system is a mess. How else could an entire network fail to grasp that the phrase "lone gunMEN" is incorrect. I believe "lone" usually describes one person...
Anyway, I thought the X-Files sucked for several years. Now they're giving three mediocre characters their own show. This is akin to Boomhauer from "King of the Hill" getting his own show.
And as much as I like the band Rush, I don't care to see Geddy Lee's blonde "twin" brother on screen!
Not your typical Bollywood film where two brothers are separated at birth, with one becoming a cop and another a criminal. In fact, it's quite realistic. I haven't seen that many Indian crime films, but from what I've seen this one is the best. Sure, it's depressing and violent. Sure, the characters are ruthless and without any real honor, but that's how the world of crime is.
The Indian mob seems to be going through the same phase as the American Mafia did in the 1950s and 60s, with everyone struggling for more power. Until the law enforcement there becomes immune to things like bribery and corruption, however, this will continue. This movie shows it from both sides quite well.
It also features some of the strongest language I've ever heard in an Indian flick. The title of my comment should give some indication...
A Perfect World (1993)
Jesus Christ Almighty!!
Watching this movie made me realize that I would be happier in the Fifth Circle of Hell. Not only is this movie slow-paced, shallow, PC, and about 30 minutes too long, it also had to have some of the worst acting I have ever witnessed...well, with the possible exception of "Jade."
Eastwood and his posse spend the entire movie chasing after a criminal in a trailer and glugging coffee. And of course the sniper from the government just HAS to be a jerk. Costner is an average actor who gets by on his looks, and would never play a real bad guy. The "bad guy" he plays here is about as dangerous and offensive as my last bowel movement, which isn't saying much.
And Laura Dern...this woman not only looks like a collie, but she seems to have to let out a shrill collie-like scream in every movie she's in, like Jurassic Pork. If she does that in another movie, I'll be reaching for my shotgun.
And why would she scream when Costner gets shot? She's a criminologist who should be glad that he's been blasted. I think it's because Costner is playing the bad guy and therefore all women must have the hots for him.
Eastwood sleepwalks through this one, too. He has a look on his face like someone just told him Sondra Locke is suing him again. I hate to pick on kids, but I'm surprised a 7-year-old Jehova's Witness would care about the size of his "unit."
Where the Heart Is (2000)
Jesus Christ Almighty!
This movie must have come straight from the fiery bowels of Hell itself just to torture me. This is the kind of stupid feelgood movie that makes grown women who still refer to their fathers as "Daddy" living out in banjo country (to which Wal-Mart is a cultural Mecca) feel just swell about their crummy existences. Hey, no need to try and improve yourself as a person, just be like the silly women in this film.
Howards End (1992)
This is a right boring mess. While we have some wonderful actors in this movie, the end result is pure drivel. This is a typical English manners film, which means that you will get to see Emma Thompson offering tea to every bloomin' idiot who walks into her house, and then suggest that they "retire" to another room for coffee. Does every upper-class person in England have a seperate room for coffee, or something? You will also get to hear her blather on about every silly little thing under the sun, all the while making sure that her manners are perfect. Yawn.
And her younger brother does absolutely nothing other than stuff his gob with scones and crumpets during the entire movie. He may have been that way in the book, but it certainly doesn't make for an interesting movie character.
And there's the typical rich polo-playing snot Charles Wilcox, who like so many of his ilk think it is entirely in their right to pull out a sword and whack some lower-class scoundrel with the flat end of it like he does to Mr. Bast, who promptly snuffs it, which seems to effect no one...especially Emma's sister, who got him into all this bloody mess by pulling that poor sod's trousers off.
Does the w****r actually go to prison for Bast's death? I have no bloody idea, because the movie jumps around so much that the next thing I knew it was five years later and Emma's annoying sister STILL hasn't moved her fat a**e out of the house. This was a complete waste of time...if you want a good English manners movie, then Remains Of The Day is much better.
Only movie with a chicken-choking scene
There are several hilarious issues with this mind-numbingly simplistic war/revenge movie. In addition to the fact that the script could have been written by an illiterate third-grader with hooks for hands, check out these fun items:
1. Opelica is listed as a Corporal at the beginning of the movie, but when Yin threatens to blow his brains out years later he is referred to as Sergeant. Gee, I didn't know the North Vietnamese were so kind to promote POWs while in captivity.
2. If these guys have been prisoners in the same location for several years, would the Evil Camp Commandant Yin really have to announce who he is to the entire group of prisoners every morning? And would he also have to remind them of all the nasty traps awaiting them in the jungle and that none of them have ever escaped? Perhaps Braddock and his men suffer from Alzheimer's.
3. If you were said Evil Camp Commandant, and you had an Impassable Bridge (to deter the POWs from escaping) made out of wonderfully flammable materials like wood and rope, would you defend it with a flamethrower? Methinks the ECC would be better served if he just set up a machinegun nest at the other end of the bridge. Extensive use of a flamethrower would eventually turn the Impassable Bridge into a Charred Ex-Bridge. I'm sure the ECC paid good money for that Impassable Bridge and would want to keep it in good condition. Otherwise, why even have a bridge at all? If this keeps up, the ECC will eventually have to start threatening the POWs with his Impassable Canyon instead.
4. If a Bad Guy is shooting at you with a carefully-aimed pistol, all you have to do is run around in zany Benny Hill-esque patterns and he will miss you with every shot.
5. While not a goof, the scene where the Evil Camp Commandant kills Mazili's pet chicken is hilarious. When I first saw that, I leaped out of my chair and yelled "OMIGOD. He just CHOKED HIS CHICKEN!!!" But then the study hall teacher told me sit back down and shut up. Freud would have had a blast interpreting that scene, especially the horrified look on Mazili's face afterward. Definitely a B-movie classic.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
The chief just called the deputy chief...
...the deputy chief just called the assistant deputy chief, the assistant deputy chief just called the precinct boss, the precinct boss just called the mayor, the mayor just called the head janitor, the head janitor just called my wife, my wife just called me AND CHEWED MY A$$ OUT! YOU CAN SEE I AIN'T GOT A BIT OF IT LEFT, DON'TCHA!!???
That's about the only line I remember from this movie, which was actually kinda funny until the ending shoot-em-up. Originally this movie was supposed to star Sylvester Stallone, and it would have been just another one of his stinkers like Cobra or Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot...yeesh, I start feeling ill just thinking about those two.
I was sixteen when this came out and saw it five times in the theater. I laughed out loud every time Mikey Tandino got popped in the back of the head with a .38...maybe that explains why people were glaring at me on the way out of the movie.
Who can forget that scene when Tandino gets shot and goes pop-ptoo-pop? A piece of spit actually shoots out of his mouth after the first bullet. Hilarious.
History? Who cares!
Once again, Disney has taken a historical event and turned it into "entertainment." I'm not saying Disney needs to be faithful to reality, but if they want to make another politically correct fable why not just make up their own names and stories instead of using novels and events from the past that were clearly not made to entertain children? I mean, "Hunchback of Notre Dame" by Victor Hugo did not remotely resemble the Disney version...Quasimodo is NOT a happy-go-lucky guy with a hump and a great singing voice.
This movie is no different. The real Pocahontas was only thirteen when "John Smith" started molesting her, which her father allowed to keep the peace. Soon, Disney will run out of historical chapters and novels to base their movies on.
What will we get from them in 2015? "A Disney Holocaust" with singing gas chamber shower heads and animated wolves in SS uniforms goose-stepping in sync to Wagner's music? Jewish mice tortured by Nazi cats before they're rescued by heroic dogs in American GI uniforms? I'm sure "A Disney Exxon Valdez Spill" and "A Disney Y2K Plague" will follow shortly.
Disney used to make up their own characters and made some wonderful movies. Now they just turn things that have already happened into mindless entertainment. An interesting aside: a person I know thinks Disney is partially to blame for people getting mauled by semi-wild animals in zoos and circuses, because they've always portrayed animals as CUTE. I don't totally agree, but if it's true then our kids are believing the pseudo-history that Disney is producing these days.
Maybe hiding in a bell-tower and throwing things down upon the masses isn't such a bad idea after all...
Touched by an Angel (1994)
Hellish and inane
Are people so screwed up these days that they need a show like this to "remind them of what's important?" That's like someone asking for credit for feeding, clothing, and taking care of their own kids. You're SUPPOSED to!
What's worse is that people seem to need to believe in angels to make their lives seem less empty and worthless. Whenever I inform fans of this show (usually women)of that, their eyes turn blood red and they attempt to claw away at my vital organs. It's amazing to what lengths people will go to deceive themselves. These people react as if they were touched by an arch-demon!
Hey, I believe in God. I just don't think there are angels watching over "good" people, because all people are equally good and bad. I'm sure some people thought Mohandas Ghandi was a jerk, just as I'm positive that Hitler actually had a mother who cared for him. It's a scary thought, but it's true. Human beings are the only ones who are responsible for their actions, and evil exists because humans have created it, not some guy in a Halloween costume with horns and a tail. That was invented to scare people into believing they weren't responsible for their bad actions.
And hey, do ya really think this show would be on if the network didn't think they'd profit from it? Most of those Hollywood producers are fruitcake Scientologists, anyway...just like the soulless "stars" they put on their empty shows. TV in Hell is probably better!
Copycat? It's a dog
The only thing good about this one is the concept. The execution, however, is poorly done. While others in this column liked the acting, I was completely turned off by it. Weaver's character is convincing but annoying. Holly Hunter simply is not convincing as a police officer no matter how hard she tries. She would be better off in Piano II or Raising Arizona II. Someone tougher needed to be in that role.
And who the heck is this guy playing the serial killer? Not only do I not know who he is, but his acting is dreadful and hammy. He must be the dumbest serial killer on the planet, because his actions show that he obviously wants to be caught. Who else would kill people in the EXACT SAME ORDER that the methods were presented by Weaver's character in a lecture? And leaving a videotape for Hunter's "cop" character showing your face quite plainly is just ludicrous. Using that great Police song "Murder By Numbers" to outline your plan is about as sane as voting for Perot.
Among this movie's many cliches, lets' not forget that this movie has the Laughing Victim Cliche. Here's how it works: the killer has the victim cornered, the victim knows that he/she will die and starts laughing, causing the killer to stop and say "What are you laughing at, b*tch?" which gives the "cop" character the necessary time to crawl up two flights of stairs to the roof and shoot the killer as his knife is plunging towards the victim's vital parts. And who would assume that a pursued victim would run up to the roof? I think most sane people would run screaming into the streets...I would, and on the way I'd stop by the video store and demand my money back for this movie.
Obviously, everything in this movie is driven by the script, no matter how ludicrous the character's actions may seem. This is just a generic "genius serial killer" movie that doesn't hold a torch to Silence of the Lambs. You can't base a plot around a song written in 1983 by Sting and his cohorts. Well, I guess you can since it's a free country, but it sure makes me feel like bumping off the people behind this stinker.
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
Demi Moore ruins another movie
This movie is definitive proof that Demi Moore can destroy any movie that she is cast in. Her admittedly very good looks and Hollywood connections will always get her roles in the industry, unfortunately. She's basically Sharon Stone, albeit with a wig.
But she's not the only thing wrong with this lame movie. "Freely adapted from?" What the heck is that? Why don't I "freely adapt" something this weekend, since I have nothing better to do?
Like having a GOP member card fall from Ebenezer Scrooge's pocket as he shuffles around London cursing carolers in "An Al Gore Christmas Carol?" (Hey, it's obvious where H-wood's political sympathies lie, why not just have them admit it?) Of course, Tiny Tim would be long dead because he had to wait so long for his universal health care to kick in...
And while I'm at it, maybe I'll "freely adapt" Moby Dick and have Ahab carve "GOP" onto his wooden leg and let Greenpeace save the whale at the end. I'd even add a cute dolphin sidekick to ol' Moby to move some merchandise. Looks like I've got a busy weekend ahead...
Shallow yuppie comedy
TV does influence society...just look at the surge in popularity of cappucino shops after this shallow little piece of work debuted. Besides, real people who look as good as these people do don't have any problems.
Besides, does anyone really believe that these people can afford to live in a nice Manhattan loft considering what they do for a living? NBC just loves to insult the viewer's intelligence, even if they're just around Gump's level. I know a person who makes $100,000 a year as a web designer and lives in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan that costs $2200 a month in rent.
I'd like to see a show called Phriends, where it's six ugly nobodies in dead-end jobs, living in a crummy neighborhood where sirens constantly wail and someone gets mugged every week...and then the landlord jacks up the rent. Now THAT I would watch.
That '70s Show (1998)
Pot-smoking hippies are role models!
I just think it's dandy that an illegal substance like marijuana is now used for laughs on a show featuring great-looking teens so that kids can look up to them and emulate them. Actually, the core audience for this show are probably 38-50 year old losers who wasted their teenage years wearing out their 8-track players and buying dime bags, and look back on it wistfully because their lives stink now.
What will we get in 2008? That '80s Show? Where the pot is replaced with coke and the kids hilariously rifle through Mom's purse each Friday to get the money for a score? Where Donna passes out from drinking Mad Dog 20/20 and gets date-raped while at a frat party with Guns n' Roses blaring? Hey, as long as they include those preppy sweaters and Members Only jackets, I'll be one of the losers watching it.
City of Angels (1998)
Let me get this straight: an angel willingly sheds his immortality because he is so overwhelmed by Meg Ryan's cutesy smile and empty head that he just can't help himself. Well, what happens in fifteen years after she starts to look old and her smile doesn't help much any more? I'd wager our friend Seth does the typical Hollywood thing and dumps her for someone younger.
I know, this film is supposed to be about TRUE LOVE. Whatever. Be realistic: if you were a brain surgeon and met Meg Ryan working at the local Cholesterol Death (aka McDonalds), would you be rushing out to buy her a ring? Or for you ladies, what if you ran into Brad Pitt trying to jack your car so he can sell it for drugs? Not a great comparison, I admit, but it's my comment!
The Sixth Sense (1999)
While I thought this movie was well made and featured strong acting, I can't exactly agree with what most other people are saying about the ending. Frankly, I saw it coming a mile away, and there were just too many clues leading up to it, although I won't reveal any specifics for those of you who haven't seen this film yet. It's a 7/10 movie, but it would rate higher if I didn't know what was going to happen.
Very shallow indeed
This has to be one of the shallowest TV shows ever produced. The protagonists are all politically-correct, tree-hugging do-gooders without flaws, and are always good looking. All the American Indians on the show were very proud, Lawful Good and could Commune With Nature, in addition to being able to Understand Animals. All white businessmen like railroad tycoons were always bad, despite the fact that they helped build this country.
The bad guys were so one-dimensional that Jean-Claude Van Damme looks like a Shakesperean-trained thespian in comparison.
I for one don't believe in these shows that are supposed to be "family entertainment." For one, no men that I know of can stand this show, at least not while sober. And getting plastered in front of Junior isn't exactly what I'd call a good idea. If boys are forced to watch this show, they'll start pulling their sister's hair...again, not condusive to family stability. Besides, I wouldn't recommend a show that shows an obviously biased view of history...too many times kids watch this kind of crap and accept it as fact.
Spring Break (1983)
"I'm gonna kick your @ss, bug-face!!"
That was the only line I remember from this silly get-laid movie. This is great if you are fourteen years old and see sex as the be-all, end-all of life. Otherwise, this tape is only useful if you're planning on taping over it.