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Harrison Ford painfully goes out of his way to be clumsy and a non-action hero throughout all but the last 5 minutes of the movie. But then he's President Ford again, dropping bad guys and saving families! Wine girl does a good job in annoying the boy kidnappers and looking like the most unmatronly Mom in any Hollywood movie of late. Paul Bettany the "bad" guy mopes about and looks like an slightly updated Anthony Michael-Hall on steroids the whole time and gives the family a series of empty threats and vicious looks. Most miscast though is the young and aloof secretary, a "Tess Trueheart," who looks like someone peed in her cornflakes in almost every scene she's in. The bank is so insecure that the bad guys slip in and out unnoticed and PC anywhere appears to work without even an installation. I don't get why the bad guys need Ford other than to act frantic and have him rescue his family for the last 80 minutes of the movie. Go rent "Blade Runner" or "Master and Commander" or even "Sideways" for better films starring the three leads. Or get drunk on wine or beer and shut the TV off after "Firewall's" opening credits and you're in for a better night. Dare I say, the worst Ford movie ever made. An F. 1 star. 4 out of 10.
Hamburger Hill (1987)
True to it's title, Hamburger Hill delivers both the hill and the hamburger, though mostly just the hill - a full 45 minutes of the hill. On top of the hamburger is a big slice of cheese. Released in 1987 during the height of the "vietnam war was bad" mini-genre of films, this film doesn't cover any new ground that other, better films do. The first hour is a series of awkward vignette's. We never learn much about any of the soldiers or where the story is leading, all we see are short, random events. I guess you can argue that we aren't supposed to learn about them to put us in the thick of the batlle, but it definitely distances the viewer from really getting involved at all. "Platoon," "Apocalypse Now!," "Full Metal Jacket," are all much better films that both distance you as well as suck you in and involve you. Two big pluses from me though: 1. Any movie with a guy riding a water buffalo gets an extra letter grade from me. 2. A Vietnam soldier with an 80's hairdo and more makeup caked on in face that he looks like he's straight of out Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" music video gains an extra star. 7 out of 10. C-. "Sunday afternoon chores and a movie" movie.
Eh - not bad. I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the Iliad and the Aeneid when I was a strapping young teen of a more rebellious nature. This movie brought me back a bit and made me want to strap on a spear and some leather. Minor qualm: Brad Pitt mopes about like a Hollywood movie star who lost his crayons. Greek heroes don't mope - they kick ass - and Greek ass to boot! Then they listen to cheering and eat and have lots of sex. There is some ass-kicking and sex and cheering but Brad's Achilles is too brooding and moody. The FX are pretty good, I liked the launch of 1000 ships. Peter O'Toole looks like he was happy to be surrounded by so many young boys again like in Lawrence of Arabia - his scene was good. Orlando Bloom plays a good Paris. Best of all is Eric Bana as Hector, who would've been better in the Pitt role. I could've done without the stupid 'reaction' shots - 50000 men on a field and Helen and Priam can see Menaleus and Paris fighting through all of them? Dumb. All and all, "eh, not bad". Gotta check out Alexander next. B-. 8 out of 10.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson decides to redo a movie that was redone already and just 'OK' to begin with. It has everything you don't wish for in a holiday movie: slow and plodding with paper-cut-outs for characters. A little Jurassic Park and Lord of the Rings tossed in to keep it from being an all-out waste of time. Adrian flares his nostrils for us better than the ape. Niaomi Watts gives another Nicole Kidman-lite performance. Jack Black looks bored. Zombie pole-vaulters gave this an extra letter grade than it deserved. Go rent Donkey Kong for the Nintendo and have a Red Bull.
They do America before doing the wife
A relatively fun afternoon movie. I caught this one again on DVD recently, borrowing the copy from my brother who was a big B&B fan. I always liked the MTV show but wasn't a HUGE fan, I was more of a Simpsons buff. Some great scenes in here, though. For example, the opening credits with Issac Hayes singing the title song poking fun as 70's TV shows was great, and had to be what landed him his job on South Park a year later. Robert Stack adds his distinctive voice to Agent Flemming which is inspired, but also a bit wooden at times. Stack delivers his lines like he seems bored to be in a cartoon, which leaves the character a little flat during some of the wittier one-liners. Cloris Leachman seems to have fun as the old lady who keeps popping into B&B, playing the slots and passing out uppers. Other notable actors include Bruce Willis, Demi Moore (back in happier, pre-Ashton times), Eric Bogosian, David Letterman, and Greg Kinnear (who sounds like my comic buddy Winston Kidd for some reason). Judge does great voice work as B&B and some other characters, including Mr. Tom Anderson, an "early" Hank Hill who gets some of the best one-liners. A fun romp for 80 minutes, but also a little dragged out at times, catch it when you're lazing on a Sunday Afternoon, check your brain in at the door. Now when do the original DVDs come out? Beavis and Butthead making fun of Dire Straights, Van Halen, AC/DC, that was the best stuff. Plus I missed the military Drill Sargeant from the original 10-min shorts- "Kick me in the Jimmy! YES!". Overall a C+, B-. 7 out of 10. Some genuine good laughs and some inventive stuff.
Batman Begins (2005)
Great flick. I don't really see this one as something you could watch repeatedly and still enjoy it, but was a good origin story. Both villains were true to form and Bale was pretty decent. Katie Holmes didn't bother me as much as I thought she might, but I never realized she had a snaggletooth. Lt. Gordon was good too - Gary Oldman did a nice job. Michael Caine was my first choice on the first batch of Batman's - he made a pretty good Alfred, though not as dry as I'd hoped. Morgan Freeman was good in the expanded Lucius Fox role. Plus obscure villain Zsasz had a nice cameo. To top it off, I was actually surprised at one moment where something happened that I hadn't really been looking for (spoiler so I won't mention it). Funny how the least interesting parts were when Bale was dressed as Batman. Worth checking out. Looking forward to another one with the same crew. Overall, B+.
Horsey ride thru the desert
All kinds of fun with cowboy Aragorn on a Seabiscuit in Iraq.
Plus anything with Omar Sharif is worth an extra letter grade. Loved him in Top Secret!
I liked seeing the sand-whirl that was left out of Return of the Jedi.
There was a 'save the princess' section of the film that got a little off-track, but how much else can happen in a desert race?
Let's throw a Mario Brothers subplot into the mix!
The horse did a nice job too. I believed it when he was hurt.
Now I want to see a shark attack movie in the desert, that'd be fun.
8 out of 10. B-.
Not close enough
Wish I stayed further away.
It's full of all this b.s. about relationships and animalistic behaviors and mind games and violence and typical everyday crapola that we all deal with and one point or another all throughout life.
Then we either give up sex altogether or get married or neither or both or become the hooker with a golden heart or call Mike Nichols and say you're a dirty old man.
Yeah, we're all a bunch of used cars, I get it.
Now show me Queen Amidala on the ass-pole again.
6 out of 10. A D+.
Not that fruity
It didn't live up to the hype. Fun, but not so fun. Paul Giamatti is great though and Thomas Hayden Church isn't bad.
No idea why this got such BIG reviews.
I think rich snooty folks were happy that they got a dong shot for once in one of their wine movies.
Best scene I thought was when he blows the romantic moment. Awesome.
Makes it look cool to drink wine, I guess.
I still like beer. As they say, money doesn't buy class.
Go rent "American Splendor" and/or "Duets" for more Paul G.
All in all, 8 out of 10. A B-.
Garden State (2004)
"Garden State" is annoying, partly because I thought it was going to be mostly about New Jersey and hoping Tony Soprano would show up.
It's celluloid garbage about how rich white people on medication have it bad, but they know all about the world and we should love them away.
Padme plays an a-hole and some TV guy named Zach tries to look cute while they find the meaning of life in a junkyard.
Go ask Mommy and Daddy for a hug and get off the drugs, people.
Why this is in the top 250 movies is a sad reflection on how society is becoming a medicated wasteland. Oy vey!
5 out of 10. D-.