Reviews written by registered user

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2106 reviews in total 
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5 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
ZZZzzzzz, 1 February 2006

In "The Closer", Sedgwick is Brenda Johnson, a Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief who goes out among 'em and solves crimes in the kinda-sorta mean streets of L.A. more or less single handedly while her cadre of male detectives look on with chagrin. A sort of lame knock-off of Colombo, Brenda is a perpetually addlepated, klutzy, and can't follow a road map but somehow manages to turn into Sherlock Holmes when it counts. The first few episodes of season one appear to be dedicated to fleshing out the very southern Brenda character - who is way below Sedgwick's abilities - while leaving plenty of hooks for future story lines should the series survive...which I doubt it will. An okay watch for sofa spuds who don't mind some corny light drama in their cop shows. Thankew. Thankew very much. (C)

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
What's not to like?, 27 January 2006

Sarah (Lane), the film's centerpiece, is fortyish, recently divorced, and, of course, cringing at the prospect of getting back into the dating game. The body of the film is all about Sarah, surrounded by assorted kith and kin, struggling to cope with the difficult process of finding Mr. Right. A light hearted romp which is just a new take on an old but tried and true premise, "Must Love Dogs" avoids the extremes of edginess, quirkiness, schmaltz, and corn and concentrates on just being a pleasant up-beat ride to a foregone conclusion. Hard not to like but not likely to be memorable, this little bit of fluff got respectable though nominal marks from's voters including an average score from that hardest of all demographics to please, the 30-44 age of disillusionment group. "Must Love Dogs" should play well with females and their significant others, Lane and Cusak fans, and anyone in the mood for a low cal romcom DVD watch. (B)

Red Eye (2005)
41 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
A little breath of fresh air, 16 January 2006

"Red Eye" is all about Lisa (McAdams) who is simply trying to get home during a bad weather snarl at the airport and finds herself stuck on a red-eye and flying headlong into a suspense drama. A busy, fun little no brainer, "Red Eye" begins like a romcom, morphs into a suspense/action flick, and takes you on a simple-minded but entertaining girl power ride as Lisa races with the clock to save the day. Probably worth the price of a DVD rental, "Red Eye" will play best with fans of rising star McAdams and those who no brain it to avoid it's many nagging plot holes. Keep expectations real for maximum enjoyment. (B-)

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Dinner with the beast, 15 January 2006

"Secuestro Express" translates roughly as "quick turn-around kidnapping" and, according to the makers of this film, is becoming an increasingly common crime in Latin American. The film is a gritty, grainy, low budget flick about three thugs who kidnap a beautiful woman with and her boyfriend to get some fast cash via the secuestro express methodology. Although the film is full of meaningless thug talk and inconsequential filler, when it does finally get down to business - about an hour into the run - it grabs and holds on thanks to a powerful performance by Maestro who busts some serious acting chops demonstrating she's much more than just another pretty face. As a cap, this little flick drives home an important social message which may be food for thought for those who care to think beyond the film. Okay but nothing to get excited about and fraught with the usual subtitles, obvious budget constraints, etc., Secuestro Express makes for a worthy watch for those who like their crime flicks straight up with a twist and a message from south of the border. (B)

5 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
LAPD Blues, 8 January 2006

"The Shield" is a gritty street crime series about an LAPD detective and his three bad boy buddies who comprise an anti-crime task force they call the "Strike Team". The honcho, Vic Mackey (Chiklis), breaks laws as a short cut to justice in the interest of cleaning up crime in his Farmington district, which, we're led to believe, is the greater good even though we're given no evidence it's working. Unfortunately, as this series wears on, Mackey and crew seem more like rats in a maze creating more problems than they solve. To add to the deficits of this weak premise, Mackey kills a cop in cold blood but has problems doing the same to the bad guys. Go figure. One example of the stupid writing behind this series involves the murder of a john by a crack whore. Mackey spirits the whore away because he likes/pities her and she has a kid. When it comes time for the hooker to detox, Mackey brings the kid home for his wife to baby sit (yeah, right) because social services might take the child away from the crack whore mother which, duh, is what social services does to protect children. The series just gets dumber and dumber as it slogs through the first season, something I watched out of desperation having seen every other cop/crime TV drama on DVD. Missing from the series are such things as humanity, psychology, character depth, and the usual police support including IAD, ADAs, CSIs, MEs, etc. "The Shield" is, at least in season one, just a lot of grit for the sake of grit, contrived drama, and stories which have more holes that a cheese grater. Passable fodder for TV street crime junkies. Just be sure to turn off brain while viewing or you may lose a few IQ points. (C+)

3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Tedious, 28 October 2005

"Murder One" is a soap opera which swirls around a smooth, urbane, successful L.A. defense attorney Ted Hoffman (Daniel Benzali) and his firm. The first season spends too much time pouring at a pathetically slow pace over the details of a murder involving a celebrity while individual episodes toss in a bonus case/trial where the firm's lesser lawyers can show their chops with easy wins. A huge step down for Bochco, "Murder One" has little to do with murder, everything to do with lawyering, and none of the intelligence, moral messages, and contemporary issues of NYPD Blue. Deficits include staginess, clichés, superficiality, mediocre writing, and a cast of uncharacteristic and too glib characters who are all obviously waiting for cues. Assets include a strong centerpiece in the amorphous leading man Benzali, lots of beautiful women and handsome men, and a sort of dark but elegant ambiance. How "Murder One" garnered so many Emmys with so little going for it may be the show's biggest mystery. Recommended as a last watch for those into lawyer flicks. (C+)

Downfall (2004)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Bravo, 4 August 2005

"Downfall" takes you into Hitler's bunker during the fall of the third Reich and the last ten days of the battle for Berlin. This historical docudrama spends its time examining one of history's most enigmatic and inscrutable dictators as he descend into paranoia to the bewilderment of his inner circle and, in particular, one young woman stenographer who, in real life, survived the war and published her memoirs providing one of the few historical records of that time and place. The film is well done as a stand alone dramatic presentation. However, it excels as an historical drama by providing insights into Hitler's last days; something never dealt with in such detail before in film. An engrossing 2.5 hour watch with a splendid performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler. Who better to make such a film than the Germans? Bravo. (B+)

Alexander (2004)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
What a waste, 4 August 2005

Stone's "Alexander" tries to tell the story of one of the great military leaders and conquerors of all time who is to this day, some 2300 years later, is still studied in military war colleges. Unfortunately the film tries too hard to do too much resulting in three hours of jumping around in time trying desperately to show us the man and his human story while carrying on great expeditionary campaigns at the same time. With insufficient didactics, overzealous theatrics, and the esoterics of the time, the film becomes nothing less than a numbing mess. Listening to Stone's director's cut one gets the impression he had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish with his well researched historical epic. One also gets the impression he made the movie for himself. Lacking in coherence, muddled and messy, "Alexander" is a classic example of what happens when one ventures too deep into that creative territory where less is more resulting in a spectacular flop. (C+)

The Job (2003/I)
8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Lame, 2 August 2005

"The Job" is all about Hannah as a beautiful contract killer with a really bad attitude. This lame flick builds its story around her reluctance to make a final "hit" for reasons we're never really given to understand. We're led to believe she's killed often before but now, for whatever vague reason, she just doesn't want to "off" Renfro and his slutty girlfriend (Swain) to recover some drugs. And, if she doesn't fulfill her obligation and do the deed, her boss (Rocco), who looks too old to be able to pose a threat to anyone, will do something bad to her. And, if all that wasn't enough, she also has to contend with a young man (Mabius) who is falling in love with her in spite of her bad attitude, constant rejections, and a little problem with incipient motherhood. This far fetched bad idea conjures some decent performances and is adequately lensed and scored but can't escape its preposterous plot. It's asking us to care about a killer for no good reason and to believe she can't escape her over-the-hill boss even though she could simply point one of her many guns at him and pull the trigger instead of doing away with Renfro. Hey, what the hell, she could just kill them all but then we wouldn't have all the angst and misery we're supposed to be experiencing as we ponder this turkey. A slightly above average B flick, "The Job" is cinematic couch potato junk food currently on broadcast. (C+)

11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
A misunderstood movie about a misunderstood disease, 1 August 2005

"Prozac Nation" is a case study of clinical depression with Ricci as a Harvard frosh trying to cope with her own identity crisis, poor self esteem, and uncontrollable mood swings; the expectations of an over-compensating divorced mother; the absenteeism of a shallow father; and the sincerity of a love she can't believe is real. The film does a good job of accurately representing the destructive influences of the disease of depression in spite murky flashbacks, a hazy narration by Ricci, and a melodramatic and contrived feel. A showcase for Ricci, who meets the demands of her role, this film's lukewarm reception may have more to do with the lack of understanding of the Jekyll-Hyde nature of the depressed person than a poor presentation of the character. (B)

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