Reviews

80 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
8/10
Transition Film?
13 August 2012
I've noticed a lot of poor reviews for The Bourne Legacy and admittedly some of the criticisms are spot on. However much of the negativity is really based on a knit picky critiques. I agree that this movie isn't as good as any of the three films starring Matt Damon. But I think time might be kind to this movie after more of the story is told in future movies.

It seemed to me that The Bourne Legacy was a transition film. It dug deeper into what had been presented in the three previous movies of the franchise, added new characters, and set up future story lines. Hence the story took a little time to develop unlike the other three movies which put the peddle to the metal right from the start.

Renner was great as Aaron Cross. I liked that Cross had a little sense of humor and wasn't a carbon copy of the Jason Bourne character. Bourne barely talks, whereas Cross had dialogue and seemed to have a slightly different skill set to Bourne. He got into the program with and under performing IQ score and needs the meds the program provides as much for confidence as to the actual enhancements they provide.

Wietz was also great in her role. Her character provides a very interesting partner in crime to Renner's Cross.

I found the movie very engaging. The storyline may not be as fascinating as Jason Bourne's where he has to figure out who he is and what the program he is involved in is all about. We know all this from his storyline. The story of Aaron Cross is different, yet I found it a lot of fun because it parallels the timeline of Bourne's. Never in film have I seen a sequel/prequel (not really what this movie is but for lack of a better term) where the timeline runs alongside that of preceding films. If rumor is true that Damon will reprise his role in perhaps the next film to join Cross, then I think The Bourne Legacy has successfully continued the story.

I had high hopes for the film and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to give the franchise a longer leash than a lot of critics have and see what the next film is like and how Legacy fits into the broader scheme of the entire story. I say give this one a go. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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J. Edgar (2011)
5/10
Semi Interesting - Perhaps Clint's Worst Work
1 August 2012
I rented J Edgar hoping to learn more about this interesting historical figure. I really didn't learn much more than I already knew and I'm not expert on the guy. This is the worst Clint Eastwood directed film I've ever seen.

DiCaprio again shines, but the problem really was the direction. The movie was filmed mostly in dark scenes with little light. Perhaps that was to indicate Hoover's dislike of light and/or to reflect that the story took place in the past or that Hoover had secrets. Regardless, it was distracting. The music was also not very good. The single piano notes were actually quite annoying--Eastwood usually prides himself on great music since he is a musician.

Perhaps the subject was simply not worthy. The story jumped around in time way too much. I think a more linear time line of events would have been easier to follow and would have accomplished a better result for the story. If you're a biography or history buff, you may find interest in this. I didn't feel like my time watching this film was a total waste, but I would have rather watched something else in retrospect. Rating 5 of 10 stars.
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5/10
Disappointing Third Act
23 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of comic book hero movies but I've absolutely enjoyed the first two Batman films. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were propelled by an excellent vision: solid writing backed up by superb direction and acting. The story is what mattered most to those who crafted those films and it shows. Unfortunately this is not the case with The Dark Knight Rises.

I had high expectations going into this film, which is perhaps part of my letdown. The first two movies were so good that I expected the same with the third. Instead the story took forever to develop and when it finally did seem to get to where it was going it came up short.

Bale, Caine and Freeman weren't given much to do and basically dialed in their performances. Gordon-Levitt and Hathaway however were very good. I'm not a fan whatsoever of Ann Hathaway, but must admit she was excellent as the catwoman, a part that actually was written quite nicely.

Bruce Wayne/Batman struggles in this film to crawl out of a long depression. Once he does, he is not the hero he once was. He's sent to an underground cave of a prison by Bane and his escape is anti-climatic to say the least. Oh...did I mention Bane--extremely one dimensional and boring villain. I didn't presume we'd see anything as spectacular as Ledger's Joker, but Bane was to say the least (excuse my pun) a joke.

The Batman movies are best viewed on the big screen and I'm glad I went to the movies to see this film. However, I'm disappointed in the end result. A lot of one-liners that you'd expect from the previous Batman series of the 80s and 90s, some cute, but most made me want to throw up. In fact after the movie was over I went to the men's room and a man was throwing up profusely in one of the stalls--I couldn't help but think it was because of the poor writing for this movie.

In a nutshell the writers tried being too nostalgic weaving small aspects of the past two films into this one. They tried putting the city of Gotham into a similar major dilemma we say in the second film. They included characters from the first film that seemed out of place in this film (Scarecrow & Liam Neeson's character). They tried introducing Robin and left the door open for a ridiculous 4th installment. Perhaps the worst insult was showing aerial views of New York City as a depiction of Gotham. Though I always assumed Gotham City was a caricature of NYC, I never expected an explicit connection visually and found it to be in poor taste considering the real life terrorist attacks that happened in NYC. Very poor choice by the director Nolan.

My ratings is 5 of 10 stars and I think I'm being kind. Don't take my word for it if you've enjoyed the other two films. Go see this movie and decide for yourself. Just keep your expectations low.
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127 Hours (2010)
7/10
What Would You Do?
5 March 2012
The story of Aron Ralston is documented in this intense drama. It's the true story of Ralston who found himself stuck in a cave in Utah with his arm pinned under a bolder. I knew much of the story before I watched this film and honestly was a bit queezy as to what might be shown. I'm the sort who does not do well seeing blood and guts and watching this movie was a true test for me. If you are the type of person who gets queezy over stuff like this, I must say view with caution. If you can stomach watching this film, however, you will witness an incredible true story that you will never forget.

James Franco is really good in this film. Ralston himself has said the film is very true to what actually happened. It is quite a predicament that he is in and all the thoughts that go through his mind are ones that most would contemplate. What Ralston does to survive this ordeal is unbelievable and something that many if not most people could not force themselves to do. Rating 7 of 10 starts.
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Stone (2010)
5/10
Stone Not Nearly As Good As The Score
1 March 2012
I absolutely loved The Score starring DiNero and Norton; the heist film set in Montreal where Norton was at his best as an actor. Norton is still a fine actor, but his film choices have been lacking over the past few years. I had never heard of Stone before, but because I saw Dinero and Norton in the lineup, I'd thought I'd give it a try. I wish I had passed.

There is nothing interesting whatsoever going on in Score. DiNero and Norton both act very well, but the script is pretty much rubbish. The only thing this film has going for it is that Milla Jovovich is completely sexy in it. If seeing her in this capacity turns you on and you want to waste 2 hours watching a lame movie just to see her do her stuff, then go for it. Otherwise, find something else to watch. Rating 5 of 10 stars.
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Wanderlust (2012)
10/10
Let's Join A Commune!
27 February 2012
Oh man, was this a fun movie. I didn't have high expectations when I decided to check out Wanderlust. I didn't know all that much about the movie. It turned out to be the type of comedy I really enjoy--one that is a new, fresh idea.

Rudd and Aniston are New Yorkers who must leave the city to pursue less expensive living arrangements. The move to Atlanta to live with Rudd's obnoxious brother, but on the way, get side tracked at a commune.

The commune seems like a fun change for Rudd, but Aniston is unsure. As it turns out, Aniston likes the commune more than Rudd.

There is so much crazy humor in this movie that I don't know where to begin. There is a scene where Rudd is talking to himself in a mirror that brought my girlfriend and I to tears. The entire theater was rolling in laughter...and to me THAT is always a lot of fun.

If you like comedies and don't mind crude humor, do yourself a favor and go see this movie in the theaters. This comedy is a must see at the theater. I think because of the nature of the humor, it is best viewed when you can laugh along with a big crowd.

I rate this 9 of 10 stars. Absolutely hilarious!
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Hall Pass (2011)
4/10
Good Idea, Poor Execution
12 December 2011
As with most comedies, my expectations for Hall Pass wasn't high. Don't get me wrong, comedies are one of my favorite genres, but let's face it these movies are escapism at the very best. All a comedy needs to do is have an interesting premise and then make you laugh. If it does more than that, then that's great. Hall Pass succeeded in that the idea was fresh--a couple 40-something buddies get Hall Passes from their wives, allowing them to do anything they want, without question, for one week. Great idea. However, the jokes were not all that good, the performances were dialed in, and the story didn't really progress fast enough or hit upon the jokes that really could have made it a classic comedy. Since it is a comedy, I'd like someone from Hollywood to take another crack at the subject matter. If you can watch the movie on cable for free, go ahead and see what you think. If you're looking for something to rent, it may be a waste of your time and your $5 bucks. Rating 4 of 10 stars.
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2/10
Perhaps Cruise's Worst Movie
12 December 2011
Certainly a lot of controversy surrounds Tom Cruise. Some like him, some respect him as an actor, but many voice their hatred of him. I've always considered Cruise to be a good actor with great screen presence. While he is in some really great films such as Rain Man and A Few Good Men, he often is in films that may not be great, but at least are quite good such as Valkyrie, Mission Impossible, and Jerry Maguire. Knight and Day simply stunk. The writing was horrible. Why Cruise would want to take on this project after reading the screenplay to this disaster is beyond me. Even an actress like Cameron Diaz, (who I see as a star who is not much of an actress), surprises me as to why she would want to be involved in such a poor film. This movie had nothing going for it whatsoever. Paul Dano, who is a good young actor was basically picking up a paycheck. His talents were wasted in this film. The story was bland at best, the acting was dialed in, and the direction basically just got done; there wasn't much the director could do but to get the movie completed. I honestly do not know who this movie would appeal to. If it was supposed to be a comedy, it wasn't funny. If it was supposed to be an action movie, there were no sequences that really wowed you or that have not been done before. There wasn't any reason to really care about any of the characters in this film. Rating 2 of 10 stars and I'm not really sure why I am rating it this high. Skip this one.
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The Change-Up (2011)
4/10
Atypical "Switch" Movie With Typical Results
12 August 2011
Have you ever seen a really really good "switch" movie? You know the type; mother and daughter or father and son wish out loud that they wish they could be the other and then some lightning bolts flash and it miraculously happens. Vice-versa, Freaky Friday, and Like Father Like Son are a few examples. The difference with the Change Up is that instead of a father/son or mother/daughter switch we get two buddies to switch things up. One happens to be a single playboy type who doesn't hold a job and the other is a corporate lawyer with a wife and three kids. The similarities to the other switcharoo movies is that like the other once mentioned, this is a rather mediocre to poor film as well. Perhaps the best of this genre is the Rob Schneider film, The Hot Chick, where he a low-life crook who switches with a prom queen. I got to go to The Change Up for free, so it was no harm, no foul. My recommendation would be for you to wait until this movie comes out on DVD to see it rather than waste your money at the movies. Rating 4 of 10 stars and that is being kind because I'm a Jason Bateman fan.
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Is This The Optimal Way To Date?
29 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've decided to take a different spin on Friends With Benefits than most of the other reviews I've seen. Essentially Timberlake and Kunis' characters decide they are sick of the typical path that occurs when couples date. So they decide to be friends who simply have sex with no strings attached. This dating style allows the two to be completely honest with each other in what each likes and dislikes both sexually and personally. As it turns out, they become the perfect fit for each other. Unfortunately neither sees this and they consider dating other people because both feel what they are doing cannot last. I think for many people this is the best way to date! If you go into a relationship with the idea it will just be fun, you end up being yourself. You immediately get comfortably sexually, which can be intimidating if you gradually dated trying to get to know each other first.

As for the movie, the storyline was fresh and Timberlake and Kunis had great chemistry which is what you want out of a romantic comedy. A lot of the comedy poked fun at the stereotypical romantic comedy and then th movie when ahead and used those stereotypes to move the storyline ahead toward the end of the film...pretty genius actually. A great movie to watch with your significant other. Rating 7 of 10 stars.
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7/10
Fresh Spin On This Comedy
15 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When I heard about Horrible Bosses, I couldn't help but think that this was a fresh spin of another successful comedy of the early 80s, 9 to 5 starring three women, Dolly Parton, Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

Instead of three women who have one evil boss, we have three men who each have a horrible boss. Ultimately they decide their lives would be better if their bosses were dead. Unfortunately these three guys have no clue as to kill their bosses and this is where the comedy ensues. Watching these buffoons go from hiring a hit man to attempting re-con in order to do the deed themselves is hilarious. I particularly enjoyed the above camera shot in the parking lot where these fools couldn't even figure out which car had the right of way.

Kevin Spacey was brilliant as Jason Bateman's evil boss. Jennifer Aniston was absolutely hot as a sexy dentist boss who enjoys overstepping boundaries. Colin Ferrel rounded out the boss cast.

There really are not many movies like this one, so this film was something new and fresh. I certainly would recommend this film. Rating 7 of 10 stars.
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The Package (1989)
6/10
Good Beginning, Predictable Ending
27 May 2011
For about the first half of this movie, the story was very gripping. Tommy Lee Jones and Gene Hackman are both on top of their game. However, once Hackman and Cassidy's characters get to Chicago the film starts to drag and the ending gets predictable. Cassidy's character who started out interesting and intellingent doesn't get anything interesting to do toward the end of the film. The concept, an 80s version of the Kennedy Assisination with a twist is solid, but the movie just runs out of steam. If you like spy thrillers or the Kennedy conspiracies, you may find this movie somewhat entertaining. If you pass on watching this, you aren't really missing much either. Rating 6 of 10 stars.
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6/10
Unfortunately Predictable Relying On Same Gags
27 May 2011
What made The Hangover fun and entertaining unfortunately leads to predicatability in The Hangover II. The only reason I got any enjoyment out of this movie at all was because I liked the characters in the first movie. I wish they had tried to do something fresh with the story and the characters, but it was the same old gags.

When I first saw the original Hangover, I thought the movie might become a classic comedy. But honestly after watching it a few times, it seems less funny where as many comedies you pick up on small things on multiple viewings that make the movie even funnier. With the Hangover, the element of surprise is lost the next time around and the story loses its appeal.

So taking what I just said into account, if you've watched the first movie multiple times and then have expectations that the second movie will be a fun adventure with fun surprises around the corner, you will be somewhat disappointed. The writers even wrote in another animal with the Monkey (Tiger first film) and baby with the old Monk (baby first film). The gags just didn't seem quite as funny the second time around.

There was a lot of hype leading to the release of this movie. In fact, right after the first film was released rumors that a second was on the way already surfaced. Really a disappointing film of what might have become a pretty fun movie franchise. Rating 6 of 10 and this is being nice because like I said, I got some enjoyment out of the film simply because seeing some of the same characters from the first movie was nostalgic.
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Mantle (2005 TV Movie)
8/10
Nice Mantle Biography
13 September 2010
This is one of the better biographies I've seen on Mickey Mantle. Mantle is one of the most interesting baseball stars to watch a biography of. He was such a great hero to so many baby boomers, but also had his demons. There are a great group of guest analysts including the great Bob Costas. I'm not sure why Skip Bayless was on this program though, since he is a hater and in particular a Yankee hater. This show is worth a look for any Yankee fan or baseball fan. If you like biographies, this might even appeal to non sports fans. The controversy over Mantle's wait of a liver transplant was especially interesting. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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The Glades (2010–2013)
8/10
Draws Similarities To Dexter, But It's A Different Show
7 August 2010
Watching the previews to The Glades, I wasn't the only person I know that saw the similarities between this show and the hit series on Showtime, Dexter. The show is filmed in South Florida, revolves around homicide investigations, and the lead, Matt Passmore, even looks like Michael C. Hall of Dexter. However, unlike Dexter, Jim Longworth is a great cop who is NOT a serial killer. He's a just a decent guy with a good sense of humor who is a damn good investigator.

In fact, Passmore makes the show very enjoyable. Co-stars Carlos Gomez and Jordan Wall are great supporting Passmore and I do hope Michelle Hurd continues to take on a larger role in the show. The characters are good and are being developed nicely.

For this show to be successful, I do believe it will need to take on more interesting dark themes or it runs the risk of becoming a run-of-the-mill forensics series like Law and Order or Kojack...no knock on these shows, they were great for their time, but most audiences are looking for something fresh like Dexter and Breaking Bad. Let's hope The Glades remains fresh. I have watched the first 5 episodes and the back stories do seem to be building. If the show continues on this pace, it could be yet another hit for A&E. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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5/10
Starts Good, Ends Bad
3 April 2010
This movie had been in my Netflix Queue for sometime and I decided to give it a watch after meeting Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio in person (very gracious lady). Anyway, I'd seen the film before, but it had been many years. After viewing it again this time around, I came to the same conclusion. The first half of the story is very engaging and interesting. Kevin Spacey is brilliant in one of his early roles. Mastrontonio and Kline are also very appealing. You like the characters and you care about them. However, the second half of the film, the "thriller" portion, is so lame and unrealistic that I completely lost interest. It's as if the writers simply gave up on how to finish this film off. They created very interesting characters, set up a nice story, but the story didn't have anyplace interesting to go. I'd love for someone to try a rewrite of this thing. Anyway, not much going on here with this film. The only relevance it has is if you are a Spacey, Kline, or Mastrontonio fan. Rating 5 of 10 stars and that is being somewhat kind.
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8/10
A Story About Art, Investigation, and Social Class
2 April 2010
This documentary is one of the most interesting ones I have ever seen. It's about an elderly woman who happens to drive a 16-wheeler truck for a living and who lives in a trailer park who buys what she believes is a Jackson Pollock painting from a thrift shop for $5. When she takes the painting to renowned art dealers, she is met with snobbery and disbelief that the painting is authentic. It's as much a tale about the clashing of the ultra rich high class society versus the the low class and least cultured society. There is a nice scene where a country musician sings to the woman and a group of her friends as they munch on chicken wings, smoke cigarettes and drink beer. On the flip side, the art experts all talk in pompous-accents. The most intriguing element of the story, however, is the forensic investigator who the woman hires to see if there is any evidence that can link Pollock to the painting. This documentary is a must see. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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Dear Genevieve (2009– )
8/10
Designing For The Average Household
27 November 2009
Home and Garden Television has created another gem with Dear Genevieve. This program is aimed at the every-man or every-woman, the average homeowner, who doesn't have a lot of money for design improvements nor much experience in design. The host, Genevieve, comes up with designs that fit the homeowners' budget while creating a nice new fresh look. Unlike some other design shows, the homeowners are tasked to do much of the work along with Genevieve and her crew. Oftentimes the homeowners cannot imagine Genevieve's vision for their new design, and are often resistant to her ideas. This adds some interesting tension to the show that probably many of us would feel in this particular situation. There is always a certain apprehensiveness you feel when you are leaving the direction of something close and special to you (such as your home) to somebody else. A nice show, with a good host in Genevieve. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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Wasted Spaces (2006– )
7/10
Ways You Can Utilize Wasted Space In Your Home
22 November 2009
The host, Karl, shows you how you can turn wasted space into usable space in your home. To top it all off, he has a fun personality which makes the show more enjoyable. Too many times have I seen shows like this where I lose interest because the host is boring.

The program typically helps middle-class Americans improve their living space. Whether it is a small kitchen with little storage to building closets to store clutter, Wasted Spaces gives you a lot of good ideas to improve living conditions while adding value to your property. I wish this show returned for more episodes, but it appears there is only one season. It is available to watch on hulu.com. Great show for the do-it-yourselfer. Rating 7 of 10 stars.
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Hidden Potential (2006–2009)
7/10
Cool Computer Design Technology
21 November 2009
Hidden Potentials makes use of computer design technology to help people decide which of three houses would best suit their needs for a home. I found the technology to be really cool. The designer explains how changes can be made to the house and shows these changes on a computer. Amazingly, these computerized images are very realistic. The designer also estimates the cost of the modifications. It is then up to the buyers to determine which house best meets their needs in terms of cost, location, and style.

The host is a lot of fun and this show takes place in the greater NYC area so a lot of the guests have some cool personalities. The episode with the first-time home buyers is especially fun. If you like interior design, give this show a try. Rating 7 of 10 stars.
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Deserving Design (2007– )
9/10
Interior Design With Heart
20 November 2009
Recently I found this program online and became instantly hooked. Vern Yip is an amazing decorator with a big big heart. He finds deserving people--whether it is a first time homeowner who bought a money pit, a family ravaged by hurricane Katrina, or a man who cooks for the poor--and designs rooms for them at the show's expense. Vern has an amazing eye for design and I've learned a lot by watching the show. I only hope I could emulate some of the techniques he uses. If you don't shed a tear when the people see their homes after Vern has finished his work, then you are not human. Excellent show worth a look. Anybody who likes happy endings and interior design will love this show. Rating 9 of 10 stars.
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5/10
Had Potential, But Missed The Mark
19 September 2009
I've been a big fan of the Clive Cussler novels over the years, so was excited to check Raise The Titanic out. However, besides fulfilling my desire to see Dirk Pitt on the big screen, the film is an absolute bust. It seems like 75% of the movie are scenes showing submersables underwater searching for the Titanic as the main characters on the ship above monitor them with varying expressions. The movie is just rather flat. There is no substance to it.

To make matters worse, Richard Jordan was not a good choice as Dirk Pitt. His portrayal of Pitt makes the character pretty unlikable; perhaps he was attempting to play Clive Cussler himself rather than Pitt (Cussler, a rotten curmodgeon of a man, admittedly has based Pitt on himself or who he wishes he could be--Cussler is not nearly as cool as Pitt). Robards was excellent as Sandecker, but even his strong performance couldn't add much to a pretty lame script. Anne Archer and M. Emmitt Walsh also are in the film, but don't do anything exciting.

If you are a fan of the Dirk Pitt novels, go ahead and give this movie a look. If not, avoid it at all costs. I rate this 5 0f 10 stars simply because I'm a fan of the novels. If I were not a fan, I'd rate it a 2 of 10. Sahara starring Matthew McCaugnehey is a better film, but Cussler killed the chance for a sequel with that cast--too bad.
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9/10
One Of The Best TIme Travel Movies Ever
15 August 2009
This hidden gem of a movie is a real treat. I'd say this is a must see. I'm sure Hollywood will eventually get its hooks into this film and do a remake because it is that good.

There is not a lot one can comment on about this film because it would give away what happens. The beauty of this film is letting the odd circumstances develop. Needless to say, the film is about an hour and a half long, but you become so engrossed in it that it seems like it takes 30 minutes to watch.

The basic idea is a man gets lured into a time travel machine which leads to chaos, humor, and a thrilling chase. Most audiences will enjoy this film. Rating 9 of 10 stars.
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The Proposal (I) (2009)
7/10
Fun Romantic Comedy
20 June 2009
The Proposal is a fun little romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Both actors were believable in their roles and played realistic characters. Much of the fun revolved around some of the minor characters; one being Ramone and the other character played by a true American treasure, Betty White. Betty was very funny in this film and kudos goes to the casting director for getting her in this picture. It was also great to see Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson.

For you guys who want to bring your lady to a decent romantic comedy...one that you can sit and watch without having to puke, this one is worth a try. Your girl will be happy you went to this film with her and you should be able to have a few laughs as well.

The basic premise is that Bullock, who is Reynolds' boss, will be deported back to Canada unless she marries an American. So she orders Reynolds to marry her and they embark on a trip to Alaska to visit his family. The romance and the comedy then unfolds. A fun little film acted very well. Rating 7 of 10 stars.
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The Last Time (2006)
8/10
Pleasant Surprise
29 March 2009
After browsing through some titles online on Netflix, I watched The Last Time on a whim. Lately I've been enjoying romances and I also work in sales, so I thought this might be an interesting film for me personally. I wasn't expecting too much since the ratings are rather mediocre and I had never heard of this movie, but I am glad I gave it a look.

Michael Keaton is absolutely brilliant in this movie. He is the top salesman for a company and is driven by an inner rage that makes him successful. He is forced to take the bumbling Brendan Fraser under his wing and the fun begins. Keaton is great fun as this confident jerk who tells it like it is. His relationship with Fraser and Fraser's fiancé, however, pulls on Keaton's inner demons and he begins to change. I think the description of this film is best left at that.

The Last Time is a nice little psychological thriller with a touch of romance added to the equation. It is definitely worth a look. Rating 8 of 10 stars.
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