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Kicking & Screaming (2005)
A Tornado of Fun
If you are looking for a fun experience at the movie theater with the family, friends, or just yourself, Kicking and Screaming will provide it. If you are looking for Old School or Anchorman, wait and see something else. Kicking and Screaming is more of a family movie with lessons to be learned (by people of all ages!), but fans of Will Ferrell will not be disappointed. Those who appreciate the utter wackiness and comic brilliance of Ferrell will come out of Kicking and Screaming satisfied. The Ferrell of Kicking and Screaming is different than the actor's previous films. He plays the role of father and son, and plays it beautifully. You will be amazed at some of the things that come out of his mouth and the things that he does. Without spoiling the movie or giving away any of the priceless lines, walkaway from this review knowing that you will get good comedy and a fun experience for everyone. Highlights are Will Ferrell (a given) and Robert Duvall as Ferrell's father. Kudos to Mike Ditka as well. 7/10
Open Range (2003)
Open Range of Freedom...Costner is Back
*COULD BE SOME SPOILERS*
Open Range offers a beautifully shot film and a chance to ponder about what is ultimately important in life. Kevin Costner also returns to form like his days on Dances With Wolves. The film is shot against breathtaking on location backdrops which add a richness to the film. You feel like you are on the range with the cowboys. Robert Duvall turns in an Oscar worthy performance as Costner's partner. To come into this movie expecting gunfights and saloon highjinks is completely absurd. The movie is about freedom and what it costs to get it and in the end, is the price you have to pay worth it? I must comment on the current user review that says the end gunfight saves the movie: Sure it is an action packed scene, but it is not meant as a glorious sequence. It shows a town torn apart because two men felt they had to kill the people responsible for killing their friends. How many people had to suffer at their hands? Costner shows this brilliantly in a slow-mo shot with only music playing. This film shows the lawlessness that plagued the West in the late 1800s. Costner turns in a great performance in front of and behind the camera. Expect great things to come of Open Range.
The 51st State (2001)
Dog's Bollocks...That Means It's Good!
I must say when I first came across this movie in the video store I hesitated. I didn't think that it was going to be too good. The next trip to the store I had to get it though. Something told me it was going to be a diamond in the rough...and I was right! This movie excells simply because it takes place in England. If it didn't, the movie would not have been a success. Robert Carlysle is great as Felix. His sharp tongue makes him a likeable character. If you liked him in The Full Monty, you'll enjoy his performance here. Look for the driver of Felix's Jag and see if you recognize him... The characters themselves is also a big reason why the film succeeds. There are many outrageous characters in the film such as The Lizard oddly, but effectively played by one MeatLoaf...the Bat out of Hell. The story is wild and it's fun to take the journey with Samuel L. Jackson and Carlysle. If you are a football (soccer) fan then you will also get a kick out of a few scenes.
I was truly surprised by how well the movie was shot, acted, and in the end Formula 51 was a winner. Check it out and the worst that could happen is that you'll laugh!
À bout de souffle (1960)
The French New Wave at its Best
The French New Wave which started in the 50s with young directors looking to make fresh, personal pictures allowed Jean-Luc Godard to write and direct this masterpiece. The movie is stimulating in all aspects. It makes you think, feel, and wonder. What makes us love? How are we sure we are, in fact, in love? The scenes between Belmondo and Seberg are beautifully and intimately done. Seberg radiates on the screen and Belmondo as a Bogart fanatic is a brilliant touch as well. To disregard the French as filmmakers is a huge mistake, thanks in part to directors like Godard. A fantastic movie for all fans of cinema.
See Signs a whole lot more
M. Night Shyamalan has done it again. Although this movie is quite different from his last two, his storytelling and method of terrifying an audience are still priceless. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix give great performances, as do the two children. Shyamalan is able to depict terror not by showing you a grotesque creature, but simply the expressions on the actors' faces. Their reactions, with help from a haunting score, send shivers down your spine. The storytelling is gripping and leaves you savoring for the next scene. This movie is great, in all aspects. Shyamalan is no fluke, for those that still doubt him. See Signs and you'll see a whole lot more!
You will be tempted...
This movie was brilliantly put together. Every scene is smart and ambiguous. Gere and Lane are perfectly cast and give excellent performances. This movie is a very exciting cinematic experience that is thrilling. Without giving anything away, this movie will make you think twice whenever temptation is in front of you...
Spider-Man has nothing on Batman
I was one of the first people to catch Spider-Man fever. I have always been a fan of Spider-Man since an early age and when I found out the the movie was actually going to happen I was psyched. Seeing the previews I was blown away. The costume looked great and you can't beat the Green Goblin as a villain. Going into the theater last Friday was great. There was a huge buzz and everyone was geared up. Everything was going as I had expected...then the movie began. At first I fought off the obvious on screen actions because the story of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man had to be told, but it got old really quickly. The corny one liners were too much to take. The Green Goblin's costume looked like a really good Halloween costume. The way Spider-Man and the Goblin interacted was painful. It was like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I really think the 5 year old behind me had a better time than I did. He was laughing at the funny parts...what does that tell you? I really think this could have been a marketing ploy for Marvel. I see it has pleased long time Spider-Man fans due to the 186 ranking it already has on this web site, but I am not one of those. The sequel better be a big improvement. Going into the theater I was expecting Michael Keaton's Batman, but in the end I got Adam West's. My advice: Wait for the rental.
Garcia Defines Cool
Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead...a title that will not be forgotten, just like the movie. The title alone makes you pick up the box just to see what this movie is about, and once you see the cast list you will find yourself at the register. Names like Garcia, Walken, and Buschemi, along with Lloyd and Williams...you can't go wrong. The cast lives up to their reputation also. The movie is dark and sinister, but comes off as a fast paced thriller. The writing is impressive and you'll find yourself trying to use the new dialect you picked up from conversations between Garcia and his partners..."give it a name" and "buckwheats". But in reviewing this movie the fact of the matter is the performance of Andy Garcia was phenomenal. Garcia defines cool as Jimmy the Saint...smooth talking and sharp looking. To not like Andy Garcia in this movie is to not be a fan of good movies. Check this one out, the last few seconds of the movie alone is worth it!
In the Bedroom (2001)
Not for all, but should be seen by all
This movie may not be one for everyone, but should be seen by everyone. It is a chilling, frustrating, and touching film about a family dealing with tragedy. The performance of Tom Wilkinson was nothing short of Oscar worthy, followed in suit by Sissy Spacek and Marisa Tomei. A very heart wrenching piece of cinema that you watch with sympathy and fear. The movie itself is made brilliantly. Use of fade outs throughout the middle portion is very powerful in driving home emotional points. This movie is haunting and gets expressed through a chilling soundtrack. A very powerful film that needs more recognition. (William Mapother, look for more from this great actor.)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
A Tribute to Real Heroes
There are no words to describe this movie except "moving." The film is a tribute to those the fell at LZ X-Ray in the Valley of Death in Southern Vietnam. Mel Gibson leads his "boys" into sudden death and does it without any flaws. The film and all of it's actors are believable and right on the mark. The directing of Randall Wallace does what it should: puts you in the battle. Wallace also penned the script which is sensitive and to the point. This film shows how the soldiers fought for each other, rather than some cause. Walking out of the theater you are lost for words and proud to be an American.