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Hey Watch This (2010) (V)
12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
For die hard fans only, 27 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only give it five stars because this was made specifically for the die hard fans. Oddly the "synopsis" on the page here says "documentary" but it's just concert footage of their tour (in San Antonio).

I was a fan of Cheech and Chong when I was a kid because they were goofy and had lots of quotable lines (you'd recite at school with your friends). But not being a pot smoker and an adult now, it's not my cup of tea. It appears this was essentially just mostly old bits from their original act and movies with a few new bits that weren't really funny (and include some old stock jokes, like "spell your name backward" to which he turns around and spells his name - a joke we did in elementary school). I couldn't watch the whole thing - it was literally unwatchable - that is unless you're really into pot and dick jokes.

The worst part of all wasn't even Cheech and Chong, but Chong's wife - who opens the show with some "stand up" and I use that phrase lightly. Some of her "jokes" were "do you like pot?" "Isn't pot great?" "Pot's great, isn't it?" "Doesn't pot make everything better? Like sex?" "Can you believe they arrested Tommy for selling bongs?" Nary a punchline or even set up for that matter. Just a bunch of statements about pot. And in one set up scene, Cheech and Chong comment on how "she's killing." She wasn't killing. She was just getting cheers for saying pot in every sentence. There was no actual talent involved in what she was doing.

I couldn't watch the whole thing. Again, this wasn't geared for folks like me and I know it. So if you're a regular, non-pot smoking, average Joe who likes movies like "The Squid and the Whale," you're not going to want to waste your time on this. If you like pot, like making faces and hand signals to a camera thrust in your face and think old dick jokes are the funniest thing ever - watch this.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Not bad - could have been better, 26 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's your typical straight-to-DVD movie - it's not bad at all. There were a few plot holes (how in the world does the one cop's bartender daughter get out of the hotel when all the entrances are sealed and if it's a hotel, why can't people just leave out the windows of the rooms on the first floor?) but you essentially get what you pay for. Nothing original here at all and some bad CGI explosions - but the worst thing was the "woman" playing the female FBI agent. I swear when I first saw her I thought it was a tranny. Hard to look at with a stupid "little girl" voice - this woman cannot act her way out of a paper bag. How in the world did she get this part - or any part for that matter? It gets to the point where you can't watch when she's on screen. With all the competent, easier to look at actresses in the world why put this person in this role? The love scene was the funniest. Overall, competent lead and villain and at least watchable and with so much crap coming out on DVD these days, I guess that's a good thing.

"Elvis" (2005)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
There have been worse - but not by much, 8 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was not good. There were some angles when he was on stage where he briefly really looked like Elvis but that was the extent of the good parts of his portrayal. His voice is nothing like Elvis's which doesn't help when the singing voice doesn't match. At no point do you believe that singing is coming from that guy on stage, especially when he's quite possibly the worst lip syncer in the history of lip syncing and they have him singing in his own voice here and there as well didn't help. And he's lip syncing to the real Elvis, and in some cases Elvis says a word or two in the song which of course, sounds nothing like this actor. He doesn't move like Elvis at all, it comes across like a bad Elvis Impersonator which is the inevitable comparison someone playing Elvis wants to avoid. His accent seeps through sometimes in the dialog (especially in his very first scene and first couple lines of dialog - it's mind boggling this made the cut). He curls his lip here and there as if in the middle of the scene he's thinking "oh yeah, Elvis curls his lip." Having the real pictures of Elvis in the army didn't help either. The fact the lead is not doing a good job makes the whole thing come off worse than it probably was - everyone else seemed to be doing an okay job. The bad soap opera music didn't help and the fact the Kurt Russell Elvis is still far and away the one that every other performance is compared to, makes this look worse.

The last number he does where he turns into Joe Cocker lip syncing to the song is incredibly awful. Were the producers watching that scene going "yes, this is good!"

You don't have to have someone who looks exactly like Elvis but if he's lip syncing to the real one, he better talk like him and move like him. Someday they'll probably do a TV movie on Elvis that will best the Russell/Carpenter version but it hasn't happened yet.

On the plus side, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is better than some of the other TV Elvises like Don Johnson, David Keith and a few others. Now those guys were really bad.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
20 minutes of movie stretched out over 2 hours, 8 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS: Apparently the director has never heard of the word "pacing."

The movie is called "House of the Devil" yet we don't even get to said house until 45 minutes into the movie. We have to see every thing the girl does up to that point. She walks down the hall to her room. She walks away from the room. She walks down a sidewalk. We see the babysitter notice. For a full 60 seconds. The camera slowly closes in on the notice just in case you didn't get it was the first 45 seconds. We see her walk away. This goes on and on and on.

Can't it just be implied she walked up to the board to get the note? Can it be implied she walked to her dorm room? Do we need to see her entire route? Is the opening scene with Dee Wallace necessary? The entire first 45 minutes could be covered in two minutes of dialog, literally. But then this guy would have no script.

Yeah, this is boring. But it gets worse. When she finally gets to the house, she's bored. We see her looking at stuff. She walks around. She dances. She's totally bored. And we have to watch it. Now if she's bored, WHY WOULD WE BE ENTERTAINED WATCHING IT?

It's not until the third act that anything happens and by this time why do we care? If you were able to watch this snoozefest without fast forwarding you're a far better person than I. The girl has her run ins with the bad people. And she's able to overcome them quite easily. In fact, in one scene, she's able to slice the neck of her aggressor while lying on the ground and he stands over her with gun in hand. Impressive. Even for Bruce Lee that would be impressive. Despite the fact these folks have the devil on their side, this tiny girl is able to fight them off without too much hassle. More poor writing.

In the end, she blows her brains out. Yet somehow it doesn't kill her. Now I'm pretty sure your brains spewing out the other side of your head is going to result in death. Unless you're in a really boring movie. Then it prolongs the agony. The agony of the viewer that is.

15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Just plain awful, 5 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reality TV has gotten so bad it's come to this.

Now we're supposed to believe Steven Seagal has been a reserve sheriff for 20 years. I know not a full time sheriff but even as a reserve, you'd think you would have heard ONE story, just one, of him involved in some big drug bust or pulling someone over or something during the previous 20 years or even in one interview with him he would have mentioned it (having played cops in every movie he's in). I don't buy this for one second. I think this was all set up for this awful show and if someone hasn't come forward yet, someone will and spill the beans.

This show is really bad. Poorly edited and totally set up - we see people in front of their house - they need the cops, then Seagal's car pulls up. We see stuff in the street, then a shot of Seagal looking at them and then some "special lighting fx" like Seagal is "zeroing in" on the perps. It's insulting.

What makes it even worse is how every other sentence Seagal babbles on about studying martial arts for many years. He's constantly claiming "as a martial artist, I'm trained to see notice this and that and the other thing." He rambles on about zen control and yet he can't seem to use any zen control at the buffet table. In fact every sheriff on this show is overweight, a couple of them obesesly overweight.

Seagal is constantly talking (in this ridiculous bad accent he's started doing recently) and I get the impression the other real sheriffs would like it if he just shut up. I know I would.

I only watched the first episode. I couldn't watch any more. This show is terrible and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

40 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
Who is this impostor posing as George Romero?, 29 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Romero's first three Dead movies are classics - the standard by which all zombie movies should be compared.

I kept hearing his ideas for the next Dead movie for years and he did Land of the Dead which was really weak.

But Diary of the Dead was plain awful. Just dreadful on numerous levels. So I was hoping with this film he might have found his way back to what made the original three movies so good.

What a pathetic pipe dream that was.

This movie was terrible. Not quite as bad as Diary, but close. At NO point do you feel any dread because the dead walk the earth. If the characters in the movie aren't scared, WHY WOULD THE AUDIENCE BE??? Zombies in this movie are more of a minor nuisance.

And with all the possible stories you can do with a zombie outbreak, why would this be the one Romero does? A Hatfields versus the McCoys stupid story with non-Americans? 99% of the audience cannot relate to this terrible idea. The audience wants to see a story that they feel could be them. What would they do if this really happened? Watching two Scots fighting it out over some theory with zombies as a background story doesn't do it. It's mind boggling.

And there isn't one character who is remotely likable. Not one. The cocky, annoying kid, the military guys, the feuding country-folk - all unlikable. Why would we care if any of these people are killed by zombies (not that that's a real worry since they aren't really afraid). The audience has no one to root for.

And what's really sad is, when the Dawn of the Dead remake came out, Romero publicly stated "zombies CAN'T run!" Well you know what else zombies can't do, George? Zombies CAN'T RIDE HORSES. My God, what was he thinking? Did someone kill the girl and she got back up on her horse and started riding. The whole "mindless, uncoordinated, monsters who just want to eat human flesh" thing has went out the door. Here Romero, or whoever has taken over his body, tries to reinvent the rules and it doesn't work one bit. Now not only can zombies drive cars and ride horses, take aim and shoot guns, and walk around a kitchen chained up, see a human person and not get riled up and try to eat them, but they crave the flesh of other species. In other words, they'll eat animals. The taking the bite of the horse thing was the nail in the Romero coffin.

It's a sad, sad day when other people are way, way better at making zombie movies than George Romero. People will always remember OJ Simpson as a murderer, instead of a great football player. Hopefully Romero will retire while people are still praising his original three Dead movies. Any more of these awful movies and that's what he'll be remembered for which would be a shame.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
They must have really had fun making this, 22 February 2010

I do not know why White is not a bigger star. He was great in this and co-wrote the script as well. It's essentially a long skit and some scenes drag out a bit but overall this film works. The low lighting and music is so dead on, I really hand it to them. They were doing a spoof of 70s black exploitation films and they hit the mark. It looks like they were really having fun making this (unlike many of the "spoofs" today where you can tell they thought the lines they were delivering were as unfunny as they came across).

My only negative is the poor casting of the Nixon, they could have got someone better, but other than that, great job. Some of the stuff here is laugh out loud funny. Now THIS movie should get a sequel.

And hopefully White starts getting his due credit.

10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Superb, 4 February 2010

How anyone could say anything negative about this documentary is beyond me. It's one of the best edited documentaries I've ever seen. It's great and it's best feature is there is no narration. The events do all the narrating itself. It simply plays it out in order with a flew black cards giving us dates and times and nothing else. The editing is crisp and the highlight of the film. The music works well too, not glaring but not silent - kind of eerie. There was another similar type documentary a few years back that was just CBS news as it happened, not a compilation of various news clips from network and local shows like this. This is better.

One person wrote this should be curriculum in schools. I highly agree. I can think of no better way to teach people about the events of this period than simply showing them this - it's as suspenseful and entertaining and informative as any movie.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Williams best performance, 2 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, let me say, Robin Williams was totally miscast here. He's 25 years too old for the part - in fact, he's literally 25 years older than his girlfriend in this movie (it's even pointed out when they joke about the difference in their ages). Of course, the movie probably never would have been made without Williams attached and with that said, he was outstanding in this - his best performance ever in my opinion.

A great script and excellent direction by Bobcat - it's surprising and pleasing. I was pretty shocked at how much I enjoyed this film and it's a great premise - William's son is the biggest jerk ever - another "I hate you dad" kid you see in every movie nowadays. He accidentally kills himself and Williams ends up making him a martyr.

I don't know if I would have ended it the way Bobcat does, it seems the way things were going only worked out well for everyone including Williams but I guess his conscious got the best of him. But really, a great premise and a superb job by Bobcat - I think this will open a lot of doors for him.

My ONLY reservation about this was the numerous "music video" sequences that only cheapen an otherwise great production - making it seem like a generic teen movie, which it is absolutely not. Great job Bobcat

The Keeper (2009/I)
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Crypt Keeper, 29 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was duped. I said I wouldn't watch any more Seagal movies because he does these awful straight-to-DVD movies that are thrown together, and poorly made - then I read comments here and on Amazon where people said it was good and he was back to form (the one buffoon with the "review" on the main page here should be banned).

This is as bad as any of his other straight-to-DVD movies. He mumbles his way through more bad dialog, the "fight scenes" are all shot really close up so all you see is Seagal slapping something with quick cuts of the person he's "fighting" ending up on the floor and you have no idea how a couple slaps disabled the guy. The person "directing" this has absolutely no business directing a high school play let alone a movie. It's baffling how these people get jobs when there are so many people who would do a good job who can't get a break.

Worst of all was the terrible casting. There's a guy who's supposed to be a great boxer who I who looks like he should be bagging groceries. There are bad actors throughout this thing which makes it worse when the director has no idea what he's doing. The cinematography is bad and even the sound guy should never get work again - it's hard to believe there was a budget, yet there are car chases and stuff that costs money.

Again, I couldn't finish this. I watched about an hour - which was about 55 minutes longer than I should have wasted on this. And Seagal has not aged well. He's overweight and doesn't look like he could beat up an old man, let alone muscular bad guys. Maybe he can in real life and if that's the case, make us believe it. But again, when you've got a bad script and bad direction, everything looks worse. AVOID.

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