Reviews written by registered user
Lumbering_Jack

Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]
22 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
The Bad Seed is tops in foul deeds, 14 June 2003

I really loved this film. You can't beat a movie like this, with the dripping campy delivery by Rhoda. Great stuff. I watched this shortly after the AFI Heroes & Villains list came out, and was surprised to see that not only was Rhoda not in the top 50 Villains list, but she wasn't even on the nominating form. Too bad because this a film where you really end up hating the antagonist and are hoping that someone really clobbers her! That's what makes a great villain. (Incidentally, my wife and I watched this shortly after we found out she's pregnant. Wish us luck!)

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A little film that reaches great heights, 26 July 2000
8/10

You gotta love a film who's main character tells just about every person he meets that he's a hero and God has a plan for him. Simon isn't bragging when he does this, he's just telling people what he knows to be true.

It's that and its subtle humor makes "Simon Birch" such an enjoyable film. This is a simple story of a boy finding his long-unknown father, but it's wrapped in questions of God and how He works. And these questions are all brought up by a Forrest Gump-type of character who has a wisdom far beyond his ability.

Most of the film's charm is from Ian Michael Smith, who plays Simon, and the way he delivers his wisdom. Instead of a questioning tone, he acts like he's known for a long time and just felt like reminding you.

Smith is supported by his co-star, Joseph Mezzello, who helps keep the film from focusing too much on the cuteness of Smith as he spouts off about God and the human condition. Instead, Mezzello brings a youthfulness that offsets Simon's maturity.

The movie's atmosphere also adds to its success. "Simon Birch" drags you back in time to an America where life was about the baseball game, church, riding bikes, swimming and getting in trouble.

It's all this: Good actors, a time long gone and an enjoyable and thoughtful script that make "Simon" something special. So try him out, he fits any occasion. ... Oh yeah, it's also nice to see a movie set in Maine that doesn't involve Stephen King -- but I'm sure he would've liked have been the guy who wrote this great story.

7/26/00

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
If only these 'Kings' offed themselves!, 20 July 2000

"Suicide Kings" is really trying to be "The Usual Suspects." Really, really trying.

The problem is that it's really, really bad. It's God awful as a matter of fact.

Instead of being a clever, suspenseful movie full of interesting characters, it's a boring, uninteresting film with indistinguishable characters. It also tried to have a surprise twist ending, and I must say the filmmakers did deliver on that. Well, they kinda did. It was a surprise and a twist, but it certainly wasn't clever. It was just plain stupid.

The cast, which includes one-time stars Sean Patrick Flannery and Henry Thomas, stalled-stars Jay Mohr and Jeremy Sisto and I'll-make-any-film-for-money stars Christopher Walken and Denis Leary, are all wasted with terrible, uninspired dialogue.

"Suicide Kings'" younger stars, who could've brought a lot of neat depth to the film, only offer whiney characters that just don't go anywhere or give you anything to be sympathetic to.

I really wish the film were better. As a viewer, I kept giving the film more brains than it had. Some of my erroneous thoughts about what could have happened, but didn't ... They didn't really cut off Walken's finger, they drugged him and told him it was (they would've shown him a cadaver's finger)... At the end, Denis Leary tries to take over the mob by shooting Walken, so he can ascend in the ranks ... Ira somehow being involved, and just playing dumb ...

Ah! Enough of that, just take my word for it, this film isn't worth seeing. You have my word.

7/20/99

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A "word of mouth" winner, 15 July 2000

I had the fortune of seeing this opening night to an absolutely packed crowd back in 1998 and this movie had the audience roaring.

Lochlyn Munro, who plays the psychotic Cliff, provided the most laughs for me and everyone else. His whacko character will stick with you for a while after you see "Dead Man on Campus."

Now that it's 2 years after the film's initial release, I find that a lot of my friends haven't seen it, so I frequently have to loan it out or force them to watch it with me. Most are immediately sold on "Dead Man" by the clever opening credits and it only gets better after that!

The cast of "Dead Man" was a great surprise, too. Mark-Paul Gosselaar takes off the goody-two shoes of "Saved by the Bell's" Zack and tackles Cooper, a twisted version of his old role. Tom Everett Scott, who's quickly becoming a really fantastic actor, was equally amazing in his role as the "goofy-but-cute" roommate. Despite Gosselaar's great lines and even better delivery, Scott held his own.

Besides the two main leads, I have to mention Poppy Montgomery and Alyson Hannigan. Montgomery plays Scott's love interest and I can't wait to see her in more films. She has a great mature-ness about her that just plays really well. Hannigan is just so sweet in her role as the ditzy Lucy. She's a familiar face in teen movies that many viewers need to know about.

So what's wrong with "Dead Man"? Not much really. It has a little trouble with the seriousness of its premise, especially when someone does actually try to kill himself. Those scenes were tough to sit through, because you've been laughing for an hour about Cooper and Josh trying to kill of someone. When it actually happens, you're smacked with how wrong their idea was.

The other thing is that Cliff's sequence probably should've been rewritten to be at the end of the film. It would've built up to a better climax.

Despite those problems, I was really surprised this film didn't reach "There's Something About Mary" status. It had all the right things working for it, none of which I'll spoil for you. Maybe if it had "From the directors of 'Dumb & Dumber'" tagline, it would've done better.

The neat thing is that if you look at the "Box Office & Business" link on the side of this review, you'll see that it actually got more and more business week after week. That means it got a lot of "word of mouth" traffic.

Maybe you should take the advice. Rent "Dead Man on Campus".

7/15/00

8 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Gently sexist film with ramifications today, 8 July 2000

This film was a pleasant diversion one afternoon that I only watched cuz it had Ronald Reagan in it. Hey, he was president after all!

The film was actually pretty boring with no real laughs in it, but it did get me thinking.

First off, I it was kind of sexist, cuz it's about a photographer who has to put together the "perfect girl" with the photographed body parts of several other girls. Apparently photo manipulation was really, really easy before computers, because this "girl" became an immediate pin-up hit. I guess people of the 40s can overlook the varying skin-tones or the Frankenstein-like super-imposing lines that would've appeared between the "sexy" body parts. But hey, it's a comedy, anything goes!

Anyway, as "the girl" becomes more of a hit, Ronnie and his cohort have to dodge the constant barrage of attention from the original 12 models because they want to be just like "the girl." That's what makes the movie so sexist, these girls try to be something they can't be -- perfect.

It's not a terribly good message, although as a comedy it works well enough and doesn't have the sinister aspects it could have.

It would be interesting to see a remake. It's just as relevant today, thanks to the Internet/computer photo manipulation aspect. And we could even see a little screwball comedy, which the original didn't have, as all the models try to latch on to the photographer who becomes "hot" thanks to photo manipulations that they helped to create.

Or the remake could be a horror film. Now that would be really sinister.

7/9/00

The film's so bad, I don't have a funny headline for it, 24 June 2000

"Gone in Sixty Seconds" has Nicolas Cage in it, but it doesn't have Nicolas Cage ACTING in it.

Instead, he just sits in cars. Makes out with Angelina Jolie. Eats a few times. Waves his hands. Talks a little bit. ...that's about it.

Besides that, it has a really laughable, unsurprising plot with about as many twists as an unbaked piece of spaghetti pasta. Where are the surprises? Where are the troublesome sticking-points? Okay, the thieves did run into some minor trouble, but even I could've figured out what to do!

But seriously, the thing that most bothered me about the film is how much peril "Gone in Sixty Seconds" puts the police in. During the ending chase scene, there were four or five crashes that just left me wincing. Nicolas Cage's character was in a heart-stopping chase where he was pursued by a half-dozen cop cars. Cage kept causing the cops to get into these horrendous wrecks and I just couldn't stand it. So why did it leave me so unsettled? Because it's tough to hate cops who aren't portrayed as racist jerk-offs. The cops in "Gone" weren't that at all, they were just like normal people and I don't like normal people getting in devastating car wrecks caused by a "hero." It's just despicable.

6/24/00

It's so dumb, I can't come up with a clever headline, 24 June 2000

"Gone in Sixty Seconds" has Nicolas Cage in it, but it doesn't have Nicolas Cage ACTING in it.

Instead, he just sits in cars. Makes out with Angelina Jolie. Eats a few times. Waves his hands. Talks a little bit. ...that's about it.

Besides that, it has a really laughable, unsurprising plot with about as many twists as an unbaked piece of spaghetti pasta. Where are the surprises? Where are the troublesome sticking-points. Okay, the thieves did run into some minor trouble, but even I, a fat, slow-thinking baboon clone, could've solved problems like he encountered!

But seriously, the thing that most bothered me about the film is how much peril "Gone in Sixty Seconds" puts the police in. During the ending chase scene, there were four or five crashes that just left me wincing. Nicolas Cage's character was in a heart-stopping chase where he was pursued by a half-dozen cop cars. Cage kept causing the cops to get into these horrendous wrecks and I just couldn't stand it. So why did it leave me so unsettled? Because it's tough to hate cops who aren't portrayed as racist jerk-offs. The cops in "Gone" weren't that at all, they were just like normal people and I don't like normal people getting in devastating car wrecks caused by a "hero." It's just despicable.

6/24/00

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Town That Dreaded Sundown -- THE MUSICAL!, 8 June 2000

My wife and I rented this one after she remembered how much her father loved it. She said it used to scare the Ba-Jesus out of him when he was a young man.

So, we watched it. "Town" wasn't what I expected. It's kind of a docudrama that really doesn't have much drama in it. However, it does have lots of police cars in it and they're dramatic -- aren't they?

Anyway, the story, which is supposedly true, unfolded with all the tension of a pancake. The director just trudged along ... "And then they did this... and then they did this." He didn't approach "Town" with a thought of how he could build up the suspense. It just languished in a feeling of promised panic it failed to deliver.

As a slasher flick, there was the trombone death. Odd. Very odd. By far though, the best was Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells' death. That was the only really great scene in the whole movie.

Beyond the occasional killing and in between the baritone newscast narration, was another oddity. There was this deputy sheriff who was supposedly in "Town" for comic relief. He would smash his car into things and just act goofy. This just left me with a furrowed brow, as I thought to myself, "Why is this Jerry Lewis-wannabe in this film?" Other reviewers stated the same thing too. He was just completely out of place and completely unfunny.

It was this deputy's antics that got me really thinking. This movie doesn't work as a horror film. It doesn't work as a drama, but what if it were ... A MUSICAL! Just think ... chorus lines, big production numbers involving trombone-induced murders, a snappy rhythm and a goofy deputy! It works, man! It works!

6/8/00

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
D&D cartoon is back on the air!, 3 June 2000

First off, for all you fanatics out there, the D&D cartoon is on the air, at least for the summer of 2000. It's on every Saturday on Fox at 11 a.m.! By the way, this is a national thing, not just some syndicated local station.

Why is it back on the air? I'd bet it's cuz of the Harry Potter mania going around and Fox (Who has a toon deal with Saban, who in turn owns the D&D cartoon, G.I. Joe and Transformers). Check out foxkids.com for more details.

Regarding my Harry Potter theory, all the advertisements feature Presto, the magician of the group, so that's why I'm betting it's their way to cash in on the hero of the English kids books.

Anyway, they've run two episodes as far as I can tell and they were "The Illusionist" and "The Day of the Dungeon Master." Both surprised me at how fast-paced the stories were, giving little time for establishing shots or explanatory information.

"The Illusionist" was the worst of the two, a story about Presto rescuing a girl from Venger's clutches. "The Day of the Dungeon Master" centered around Eric and how he inherited the Dungeon Master's powers for a day. "Day" was very entertaining, mostly because it was so character driven.

Regarding animation, it isn't as good as I remember it, but still passable when you look at "Pokemon" and "NASCAR racers." I would say it's just one step below "G.I. Joe" quality.

Don Most, the actor from "Happy Days", is by far the best voice actor and really carries the rest of the cast. But Willie Ames, Peter Cullen and whoever does the Dungeon Master are right on the mark.

Remembering my love for the series, I must say it's cool to see it again, because I so rarely saw it during it's original run. Why? Cuz they always preempted it for sports or decade-old repeats of "Land of the Lost."

But you know what disappoints me most? With nearly 15 years of better technology and computer generated effects at their disposal, they couldn't kill that damn unicorn!

Frequency (2000)
"My dishwasher is messing up the time-space continuum!", 25 May 2000

While I liked the premise of this flick (Man talks to father in the past), I thought it was kind of silly on how it it was executed. A ham radio as a time machine? Even the oh so brief "We must be talkin' off one killer sunspot" explaination didn't satisfy me. I can see the sequel "My washer-dryer is messing up the time-space continuum!"

Besides the silly premise, I wasn't totally taken by the whole serial killer scenario. I pretty much guessed that the "Nightengale" would go after the mother. Other "twists" were pretty obvious too (Quaid getting implicated in the murders).

I was especially irked by Quaid's really annoying accent. I don't think it was very accurate, and kind of intrusive. I'm glad his son didn't have much of one.

This movie tried to be sappy too, and it sure was. What's with that "Family Channel" ending? That who montage was supposed to make us cry, cuz we know "Everything's all right now," but man that song was just schlocky!

After briefly scanning the other reviews, I was surprised, cuz I thought more people would say it was only a so-so film, but everyone loved it. I certainly didn't. 5/24/00


Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]