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I am addicted to cable television, most notably E! so I have seen E! 101 MOST SHOCKING MOMENTS IN ENTERTAINMENT HISTORY probably about five times now and although it is not as good as some of the other E! countdowns, it still manages to be entertaining and informative as well. Half of the shocking moments listed in this special were ones I didn't even know about so it was nice to learn some new info from watching this. The list of shocking moments seems some what out of order (Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinksy scandal more shocking than the death of Phil Hartman?) and one can help but think he is ripping off VH1 at times, but overall it's decently made and very interesting. Recommended.
Writing a comment for 10 Things I Hate About You could be a very simple task. All it would require was a list of 10 things that are wrong with the movie. However, that would be a far too obvious way to do it. Obviousness, though, would be at the top of that list. 10 Things I Hate About You is as contrived, predictable, and unoriginal that it seems the writers just taped flashcards of clichés on a dart board, threw darts at it, and then decided to write the screenplay with what they hit. The admirers of the film stated that it was a clever update of Shakespeare, but a good 60% of what is written today is by writers who were inspired by and/or trying to channel Shakespeare anyway. Director Gil Junger directs like a high school play: flat and uninspiring. However, he must be good with actors since every single cast member gives a better-than-average performance, especially Julia Stiles in the role that got her noticed. She has since moved on to the better material that she deserves. This is a rental at best. 3/10
The 2000s have not been a good to horror fans. While some people love
torture porn such as the Saw and Hostel films, I find them to be
utterly repulsive and pointless and this is coming from a guy who loves
gore (when used correctly). The alternative to these snuff films is not
much better. The political climate over the years has drifted to such a
PC state that almost all other horror flicks have been neutered down to
a PG-13 rating, cutting out all the elements fans want to see in the
process. It was with that in mind that I went to see 1408, based on the
Stephen King short story I'd read when it first came out though had
mostly forgotten about by the time the feature went into production. My
one reason for going was the fact the adaptation was co-written by
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, the duo responsible for writing
such smart and underrated classics like Man on the Moon and People vs.
Larry Flynt. It was my hope that despite the PG-13 rating, there would
still be a great story. As always, Alexander and Karaszewski (along
with Matt Greenberg) came through. This is the first straightforward
horror picture in years to have a story and characters worth giving a
hoot about. The best part of 1408 is the set-up, taking up about half
an hour in the beginning to establish the lead character well played by
John Cusack. Director Mikael Håfström is able to build suspense and
tension with these scenes long before the frights even begin. That
takes talent. Håfström makes the rest of the film visually impressive.
More importantly, he is able to do so with little to no CG work.
Cinematographer Benoît Delhomme has done amazing job here. Although I
doubt he'll be nominated, he definitely deserves an Oscar nomination
for what he has accomplished. With a near perfect look and a solid
story, 1408 is recommended watching for horror fans even if the PG-13
rating is a bit of a letdown. 8/10
Director's Cut note: The extended director's cut contained on the two-disc DVD is a superior version with more depth and a much better ending. I give that version a 9 out of 10.
When it comes to directors, Richard Donner is among the best. The man has dabbled in just about every genre: horror, comedy, drama, fantasy, and of coarse, action. Few directors know action like Donner. His Lethal Weapon series has continuously helped reinvent modern cinema. However, after his adaptation of Timeline failed, he went through a dry spell. With the announcement of 16 Blocks, I was hoping that Donner would come back better than ever. While that didn't happen, 16 Blocks is a rarity in the 2000s: an action thriller that is exactly suspenseful and actually well directed. The key to enjoying 16 Blocks is realizing that there are dozens of clichés in the script. One must get back the lack of originality and the Mos Def using an annoying voice for the whole running time. If those two major pitfalls can be ignored then it's very easy to revel in Donner's top-notch direction. The opening scenes set up the pace for the film, which is fast, furious, and tight throughout. I'd love see Donner team with Willis again, preferably on a Die Hard flick. 7/10
In this delightful fantasy comedy, George Burns plays a 81-year-old bachelor who smokes a lot of cigars. After an involving his grandson, David [Charlie Schlatter] his soul ends up in Charlie's body and Charlie's soul ends up in his body. That is when things start to get a little weird which is one of the many problems I had with this movie. Though a lot a things about this movie annoy and bother, it is pretty funny. George Burns provides loads of laughs in some really fun scenes and Charlie Schlatter makes this movie extremely entertaining. Pauly Shore has a little, but great part as one David's friends. The supporting cast is excellent, the music is fantastic, the movie was shot beautifully, and out of all the other body-switching comedies, this one is by far the best. Compare this to the Corey Haim and Corey Feldman body-switching comedy, DREAM A LITTLE DREAM and 18 AGAIN! looks like a masterpeace. This is actually one of the funniest comedies of the 1980's. I'm surprised that it isn't very popular. It's probably because it is hard to find. I had to go to four different video stores before I could find this, but it was well worth it!!!
Despite hating MTV, I always try to check out the Movie Awards depending on the host since when done right, the event can be pretty hilarious. That hasn't been the case for the past few years with hosts like Lindsay Lohan in 2004, Jimmy Fallon in 2005, and Jessica Alba in 2006 being DOA with their deliveries. With rating declining, the producers decided to bring in someone who has actually had a great deal of experience in front a live audience: Sarah Silverman. Love her or hate her (I personally like her), Silverman is undoubtedly fearless. She's controversial, she's brave, and depending on who you ask, she knows how to tell a dirty joke. That said, it comes as no surprise that Silverman's opening monologue served as the highlight of the show with the host taking jabs at 300, Spider-Man 3 (as well as its star, Tobey Maguire), and Paris Hilton. The Hilton jokes, in my not-so-important opinion, were perfect. Mean in spirit, but perfect in delivery. It was a fantastic opening. The only problem is it was the only memorable part of the whole presentation. The rest of the overly long ceremony was, well, embarrassing to watch. Presenters came on stage and read from a teleprompter like it was their first time ever seeing one. The acceptance speeches were underwhelming, save for Gerard Butler after winning for Best Fight. Worst of all, with everything that was going on, a large chunk was downright boring. Skip it in reruns. 3/10
I caught this on VH1 tonight and while I try to avoid all reality television at any cost, I just couldn't bring myself to change the channel from this special. Hulk Hogan hosts this clip show of outrageous and shocking moments from VH1's 'celebreality' shows including "The Surreal Life", "Flavor of Love", "Hogan Knows Best", "Celebrity Fit Club", and "My Fair Brady". "The Surreal Life" is the only one of the shows previewed here that I have ever seen a full episode of so almost all the footage was new to me. Most of the footage was quite amusing from Daniel Baldwin's breakdown on "Celebrity Fit Club" to Christopher Knight's alcohol-induced comments on "My Fair Brady". I didn't care for some of the celebrities foolishly trying to defend their actions in new interview segments for the special, but other than that, 20 Greatest Celebreality Moments is a fun hour-long watch. It's probably best when viewed with a friend or family member near by to crack jokes with. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When "24" ended in 2010, the possibility of it ever coming back as a
television series seemed highly unlikely. The show had run for eight
long seasons, had lower ratings than Fox probably wanted, and the
chatter of a "24" movie seemed like the franchise would continue on the
big screen. But, because it's hard to kill off a cult favorite, it
wasn't surprising when "24: Live Another Day" was announced. The idea
of the franchise coming back on television was slightly disappointing,
if only because if there has ever been a television property that
deserves to live on as an action-packed movie series, it's "24."
Luckily, the first few episodes of "24: Live Another Day" are just
about as entertaining as any film version of the show could have
possibly been. In fact, the new series is as entertaining as "24" has
The creative team behind the new series has a concrete understanding of what fans want to see: Jack Bauer beating people up, Jack Bauer screaming, and a story that manages to find ways to include lots of ridiculous action. While the show is definitely a drama, there's the clear realization on behalf of the writers and director Jon Cassar that there is also fun to be had along the way. The fun aspect is ultimately what distinguishes "24: Live Another Day" from most other current dramas. While Jack Bauer may seem superhuman as he will get out every single dangerous, violent situation relatively unharmed, there is still a strong sense of excitement that's hard to find anywhere else on television. Although there are some grim "24" staples such as torture, the series is never completely unpleasant or depressing to watch and seems downright tame compared to some of the shows that have been on the air in the last few years.
Of course, the main reason that the series works as well as it does is Kiefer Sutherland. Always an actor who is mesmerizing to watch, Sutherland brings the same intensity and charisma to Jack Bauer as he did years ago. Lesser actors could make the character seem so over the top that the character and the show would become nothing short of a cartoon, but Sutherland manages to keep the character just restrained enough for the tone not to go overboard. The supporting cast is solid, though there haven't been enough episodes to understand what the characters eventually will become. This being a "24" series, there will surely be dozens of plot twists involving the core characters.
"24: Live Another Day" is probably not going to win Emmy Awards. The series is unlikely to restart the franchise in a major way that will lead to the movie that both Sutherland and the fans so desperately want. However, the show accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do: be exciting and enjoyable. This is great escapist TV for those who can suspend disbelief. 8/10
I saw 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY on UPN one day and the only thing good I can
say about it is that James Spader, Charlize Theron, Jeff Daniels, and
Teri Hatcher give pretty decent performance considering how bad this
material is. Now I normally like crime films as well as dark comedies,
but this just too lame and silly to even be considered either. The cast
is wasted in what could have been a good movie if it wasn't so long and
Note: I have since seen the film unedited and although it is indeed better in its uncensored and uncut form, it's still comes as a disappointment since I'm a John Herzfeld fan. 5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Now I don't know if if 3000 MILES TO GRACELAND was suppose to be a comedy, but it sure was funny. Not in a good way though. It was only funny because it was so stupid, so badly acted, so badly written, and so badly directed. It's about a bunch of guys who go into a Las Vegas casino [dressed in Elvis costumes] and rob it. Somehow even though there are what seems like thousands of guards, the men manage to shoot them all. Only one of the men is shot during the robbery and dies while the men are getting away in a helicopter. The body count rises as Kevin Costner shoots and kills all of the men except Kurt Russel [he's shot, but he does not die]. Now it's down to Kurt Russel and Kevin Costner and only one will get the money. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out who gets the money in the end so I won't spoil it for you. The movie has so many plot twists and is so violent that after a while it just get really old. Only recommended if you want to see how amazing it is that so many good actors are in such a bad movie.
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