Reviews

103 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
A solid sci-fi adventure, but not the greatest 7/10
27 March 2007
If I rated movies based only on visuals and technical achievements, Children of Men would be one of the greatest movies ever. The single take action sequences are flawless in execution and near-future Britain looks amazing. Everything from the cars to the bombed-out buildings, to the beautiful locales is great. Also, the concept of an infertile human race is intriguing and original.

However, i failed to make a connection with any of the characters, making it harder to really care what happens to them. I haven't put my finger on why i didn't care for the characters. I think it's because they didn't seem real enough to me. They seemed very written. Clive Owen did a fine job in the leading role and i actually did care a bit about him, and Michael Caine was kinda fun, but other than that, the characters seemed like they didn't even care that they found a key to to saving humanity.

Perhaps on a second viewing, which i am totally not against, i'll see something i missed and make a more emotional investment in the film. Until then, I'll watch V for Vendetta again. 7/10
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Casino Royale (2006)
8/10
A great rebirth of 007-------8/10
23 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"What? A blond guy playing James Bond? Time to riot!"

This was the sort of sentiment that was commonplace when Daniel Craig was announced as the next generation James Bond. At the time i didn't think he fit the mold for 007, either. I must say i stand corrected and glad about it. He did a great job because of one thing: I believed him as James Bond. Now they could have gotten any white, black haired actor with an English accent to play Bond and he may or may not have worked out. But Craig made you believe he was Bond. Thats really all i wanted. Now bring on the action!

The backbone of any great 007 movie is the action sequences. Even the action from the Connery days still hold up well (check out the underwater battle in Thunderball). Casino Royale is no exception. It's got an explosive chase at Miami Airport and great fight scenes in Monte Carlo and pretty much everywhere Bond goes. But the standout scene is a heart-stopping on-foot chase between Bond and a bomb maker played by free runner Sebastien Foucan, who puts on one of the most agile and athletic action performances since Ray Park in The Phantom Menace. He bounces off walls and jumps from huge cranes and always lands on his feet. This is one of the coolest action scenes ever. Period. And also watch for the most cringe-worthy torture scene i have ever seen. There's no gore or anything but you will feel this man's pain.

Another staple of Bond flicks are the beautiful women. This on has more than enough with Eva Green's excellent performance as Bond's match Vesper Lynd, and the stunning Caterina Murino as the obligatory bad guy's wife, Solange. And of course Bond gets to bed them both.

Now as much I enjoyed Casino Royale, it did have a few setbacks. The bad guy, Le Chiffre (played perfectly by Mads Mikkelsen), is a great villain but i thought his exit was sudden and unsatisfactory. And after that, the movie doesn't really have a climax. The whole third act actually suffers from not having a definitive bad guy and gets a bit predictable. However, a lot of people complained that the poker scenes take too much time. I found them to be exciting, fun, and very well done.

At any rate, i am glad to say that Casino Royale is a great rebirth of 007. He is the classic Bond, but a little rough around the edges, more ruthless, and more vulnerable, which i think will make for a great new series of 007 films. Welcome back, Mr. Bond. 8/10
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8/10
The best comedy in years. Smart and hilarious!---8/10
7 October 2006
While everyone is referring to Thank You For Smoking as "That tobacco industry movie", i think that is very misleading. It is more about a good guy who has a despicable job that he takes very seriously. He is a spokesmen for Big Tobacco, and it's his job to tell the truth, and make it as publicly acceptable as possible. That is were the movie shines. It is not pro-smoking or anti-smoking. It really isn't about smoking at all. It's about how people spin the truth to become more politically correct. Not only does Big Tobacco do it, newscasters do it, corporations do it, even the government does it (duh!).

The heart and soul of the movie is Aaron Eckhart's performance as said spin doctor, Nick Naylor. He has such a charming personality and friendly face that he could probably do the job very well in real life. He hits all the right notes in the comedy and dramatic departments. I think he should get an Oscar nod but probably won't. If you have read my other reviews you know how much i dislike the Oscars.

Among the supporters is a great little role from Rob Lowe as a cigarette-friendly movie agent, JK Simmons as head of Nick's company, and Adam Brody as Lowe's assistant. I haven't explained any of the funny parts because they can't be explained and they are very subtle. This not 40-Year Old Year Virgin or American Pie. It's funnier, but quieter.

Anyway, whether you smoke or not, this movie will neither offend nor defend you. It only uses Big Tobacco as a backdrop for it's real message: think for yourself! 8/10
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The Departed (2006)
8/10
Scorsese returns to the house he built--- 8/10
7 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A few years back i was worrying about the state of the gangster movie. There were tries. Some people did an okay job, some made laughable attempts to emulate classics like the Goodfellas and Scarface. I started to think that with the Sopranos knocking all mafia-esquire stories out of the park, the classic gangster movie may be dead.

Now, the man that helmed some of the greatest gangster movies of all time, Martin Scorsese, returns and adds a cop movie twist. The Departed is loosely based on the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, which was a decent thriller with great performances. The Departed however is a great thriller, with amazing performances, all directed by a master of the medium.

The Departed follows two moles; one a cop in the Irish mob, and the other an Irish mobster with cops. Both answer to Frank Costello and Oliver Queenan, the mob boss and the head state trooper, respectively. As each find out about each other, they enter a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as they race along the body littered streets to blow each others covers. Now, i know it sounded like the back cover of the latest Wesley Snipes movie, but The Departed is a gripping, exciting, and star-studded epic.

The most instantly appealing part of the film is the amazing ensemble cast that includes Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nichcolson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen. They all do an amazing job but never though i would say this; I officially forgive Dicaprio for his crimes against cinema. While Jack steals the show of course, Leo turns in an incredible performance, becoming the character you actually care about the most. His intentions are well, but the act of betrayal is wrong and has consequences no matter what, and thats what Leo brought to the table. Matt Damon handles his rare bad guy role really well, and Jack Nicholson rivals Joe Pesci in Goodfellas for being both hilarious and terrifying.

Martin Scorsese knows how to use his cast to tell the story in the best way possible. This story, at it's core a straight-forward thriller plot, could have been handled by any director and made a good movie that you would forget in a few hours. Scorsese, however, puts the characters first, haunts you with their mentalities and their ultimate fates, and creates an unforgettable film. Welcome back, Marty. 8/10
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8/10
Don't believe the Ratner haters! X3 might be the best mutant-fest yet!----8/10
31 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
While most people will have you believe that X3 is crap compared based on the fact the Brett Ratner isn't as universally praised as Bryan Singer (director of the first two X movies and The Usual Suspects), i can tell you the Ratner's kinetic and fast-paced style makes "The Last Stand" a little different but just as good as the other X-Men films. I had heard of all the reasons TLS was getting negative buzz. Let's go through a few of them and i'll tell you what i think (if you care):

-Too many mutants, not enough depth- I thought all the mutants was a good thing. Many appearances and they all got some action. The only real thing you need to know about the characters is who's side their on and what their power is. If everyone of them had a backstory, the film would clock in at about 5 and half hours.

-Bad acting, writing, and directing- This movie has the same actors who give the same great performances they always did, especially the great team of Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart. The writing is smart and funny like always. The action is done well, especially the huge final battle.You have a destroyed Golden Gate Bridge, flying and flaming cars, needle shooting grenade launchers, and a huge swinging blue furball. Some dramatic scenes hit all the emotional targets. There were some cheesy moments, but it's a comic book movie.

-Some characters die- So? That makes it exciting. You don't know who is gonna drop next.

-Lame ending- Are you serious? The ending with Magneto is the best ending of the year, signifying that all is not back to "normal". And stay tuned after the credits, for one of the best epilogues ever.

Sorry, i'm not seeing what people are complaining about. If Bryan Singer directed this movie the exact same way there would be no complaints. Brett Ratner knows how to make entertaining movies (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) and people need to get off his back. (By the way Brett, i'll pretend like After the Sunset never existed.)

Catch the movie in theaters, forget what you heard, and enjoy for yourself. 8/10
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Saw (2004)
8/10
One of the best horror/thrillers since The Shining, and possibly the best ending ever-----8/10
9 May 2006
Saw crept up on us like Jigsaw creeps on his victim. Completely out of nowhere but not easily forgotten. The movie starts of in a large bathroom where two men are chained up and a dead man is lying between them. They don't who each other is or how they got there. The script by Leigh Whannell (who also plays one of the captives) is ingeniously clever and very twisted especially when showing different victims in various booby traps and deadly. My favorite is the guy that is locked in a room with numbers all over the wall. A taped message tells him there is poison in his veins and that the antidote is locked in a safe in the room. The combo to the safe is hidden in the numbers on the wall. However, the room is dark and he has to use a candle, but his body is smeared with a flammable goop. Oh and there is broken glass shards on the floor. Now only a truly sick individual can come up with something like that. The movie really isn't as gory as many people believe, but it wouldn't make a difference in a movie that actually relies on mystery rather than horror. The whole movie is really solid, but the part that makes the movie a highly rewatchable classic is the brilliant ending. I promise you will be shocked at the ending. Even after the third viewing it had my heart pounding through my chest. This movie also kicked off an interest in me for independent films. They seem to be made with more TLC than most Hollywood stuff, but of course since this movie made big bucks at the box office it is turning into a franchise with two sequels in two years. Neither will be as entertaining as the original and not too many movies have the ability to make you watch it over and over. Bravo! 8/10
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Munich (2005)
6/10
Bold and worth watching, but significant flaws keep it from masterpiece status---6/10
8 May 2006
Munich takes a bold look at the MidEast conflict by examining the 1972 Munich massacre and it's aftermath. Steven Spielberg, widely revered in both Hollywood and the Jewish community, puts his neck out by (finally) criticizing Israel and it's politics, if just a little. Israel would make you think it's an anti-semitic film, but in actuality it is a fair look at the pros and cons of both political views. Eric Bana and Daniel Craig lead a Israeli assassin squad ordered to hunt down and kill all those responsible for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes. While the movie has some really exciting scenes and tries to be fair, it is way too long and sometimes seems lost, like it doesn't know which direction it wants to go next. Spielberg could have easily trimmed a half hour of fat off the film. There were some really good scenes in the movie, but they were few and far between. I commend Spielberg for taking risks and giving Palestinians a few moments in the movie to speak; i just wish he packed up all the good stuff in a tighter package. 6/10
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9/10
V is an A+!-------8/10
7 May 2006
V for Vendetta is the first film in 2006 that i will fondly remember by 2007. It is a thought-provoking and action packed vision of a totalitarian future Britain, but it could easily be any other country. The story is different and exciting, the action is violent and not watered down like most action flicks of late, and the performances by the excellent cast is great. Hugo Weaving takes the cake, even though he is behind a mask the whole time, with his cool voice and ass-kickery, and Natalie Portman is amazing. She is one of the best actresses in the world today, and she proves it by being tough and beautiful (even after having her head shaved) and hitting all the right emotional notes right on target. The last 30 minutes of the film is one of the most exhilarating scenes i've ever seen in a movie theater. At the movie's climax i was nearly standing. The visuals and sound are top notch and boost the overall experience. If you can, see this movie in theaters for one of the best rides in a long time! 8/10
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7/10
A solid action picture to start the summer season-------7/10
6 May 2006
The 2006 summer season kicks off to a pretty good start with the release of Mission Impossible III, the last(?) installment of the billion dollar grossing franchise. Tom Cruise, who's name is becoming synonymous withe the word "blockbuster", reprises his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, this time tracking down an arms dealer played well by recent Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. The action and thrills are non-stop, even though some are hit or miss. The beginning and ending action sequences are somewhat blah, while the middle is chock full of fun and exciting scenes, especially the infiltration of the Vatican. My biggest gripe is that the start and end are not up to par with the rest of the film. They seem more like a TV episode, with the set up of the bad guy and the spic and span ending. Still, this is a great flick to catch in theaters since this summers slate isn't that great besides X3 and Pirates 2. This mission will self-destruct in 5 seconds. (Sorry i always wanted to say that.) 7/10
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Syriana (2005)
8/10
A powerful and intelligent eye opener. One of the year's best.---8/10
28 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In the congestion of big budget blockbusters, formulaic horror flicks, and unnecessary remakes that 2005 was choked with, Syriana is a breath of fresh air. Centering on the oil industry's impact across the globe, Syriana doesn't really tell us anything new, but still tells an exciting and fascinating story. Intertwining stories include a Persian prince's bid to beat out his brother in taking the throne, a CIA agent uncovering the truth about his career and his agency, a lawyer trying to negotiate a merger between two oil powerhouses, an energy analyst trying to overcome a tragedy, and a young Pakistani man who is let go of his job at an oil plant and gets involved with an extremist group. Most critics think the stories are too confusing and too numerous, but each is important to the big picture and if you pay attention, the movie isn't that hard to follow. And once you understand it, you will be rewarded with one of the best told stories in a long time.

The cast is top notch with George Clooney giving the performance of his career. Gone are his suave looks and witty lines, replaced by a scraggly beard, beer belly, and an unsure-of-himself demeanor. Scene stealer Alexander Siddig portrays the headstrong and sincere prince with a quiet explosiveness, and Matt Damon is better than i thought he would be as the energy analyst. Chris Cooper, Jeffery Wright, Christopher Plummer, and Tim Blake Nelson are just a fraction of the excellent supporting cast. Writer/director Stephen Gaghan makes an outstanding debut (i am not counting Abandon only because i haven't seen it) with one of the best movies of the 2005, and one of the most important films in years. 8/10
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The Island (2005)
7/10
An entertaining sci-fi actioner, but could have been really great---7/10
30 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I don't care what people think of Micheal Bay. When it comes to action movies, he has made some of the very best including the Rock and Bad Boys. Sure Pearl Harbor was weak (except for the actual Pearl Harbor scene, which takes only 30% of the movie), but nobody's perfect. With the Island, i was expecting something along the lines of Minority Report meets the Rock. A movie that would blow me away with jaw-dropping action, amazing special effects and a cool story. Well, it didn't turn out just like that. Don't get me wrong, i enjoyed the movie, but not as much as i would have liked.

For one, the story didn't do much for me. It seems like the story was merely an excuse for special effects and action, instead of being part of the movie. Now, i love action, and the high speed chase in the movie was pretty damn good. But for me to really get into the action, i have to be drawn in by a good story. Also, the quick camera cuts weren't very pretty, and i am actually getting sick of every movie using them. Whatever happened to still camera?

Now that i got the cons out of the way, i can tell you what i liked about the movie. The underground facility at the beginning was cool, and a great intro for the movie. The whole lottery spin idea was also cool, but would have been more exciting if commercials hadn't ruined the outcome for us. Damn marketers! The performances by Ewan McGregor (quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. Go Obi!) and Scarlett Johansson (mmm...Scarlett Johansson) were very good, throwing in some class and humanity in a sort of movie where there is usually neither. And did i mention the chase scene? One of the better action scenes of the year, very intense and imaginative.

While this is no Matrix, the Island is a pretty entertaining summer blockbuster that has enough action, pretty faces, and eye-candy to fill your sci-fi needs until they make Equilibrium 2.---7/10
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Fantastic Four (I) (2005)
7/10
A light and entertaining comic book flick--- 7/10
24 July 2005
Fantastic Four is a perfect example of a what a PG-13 comic book movie based on a story that was meant to be fun and light-hearted should be. I caught this in theaters and i swear i had a great time. It's funny, has a great action sequence on the bridge, and a pretty decent villain. This is not a masterpiece, nor did it intend to be. It's good old fashioned fun at the movies. Remember those days?

Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) steals the show with his clever one-liners and fire "everywhere". Especially funny when cracking on my other favorite Ben Grimm (Micheal Chiklis). Kudos to Chiklis for fighting to make the Thing in costume and make up instead of CGI. It paid off because the costume looks great and computer graphics would have crapified the whole flick. Just like they did with Mr. Fantastic's stretching ability which looks pretty damn horrible. Jessica Alba, on the other hand, is still smokin' hot. She was okay in the movie too.

This is an underrated movie that is lots of fun to watch, so if you don't feel like getting confused, depressed, or bored, this is a fine alternative.--- 7/10
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8/10
A great thrill-ride from start to about 20 minutes before the finish---8/10
1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is a classic alien invasion flick. Not too much time is wasted before the aliens invade and start zapping humans into dust and flipping cars over. Tom Cruise plays Ray, a regular guy with regular family problems who is trying to get his son and daughter the hell out of dodge. Now that we got the story out of the way, let's get to the goods. The alien tripods are huge and terrifying, with superlasers and tubes that suck blood, a far cry from E.T.'s bicycle and Reeces Pieces. Spielberg's cinematography is amazing once again, from wide shots of the aliens destroying cities to a river of corpses. This is his most gorgeous film since Minority Report (while A.I. was also pretty to look at, it was painfully boring and confusing). The non-stop thrills includes an alien attack on a boat of refugees, the family hiding in a basement from a huge alien eyeball, and Cruise actually being swallowed by one of the tripods. The pace is lightning quick, Cruise is as good as ever, Fanning is proving to be better than most adult actresses, and the action is non-stop. A really great movie...

And then comes the ending. The standard Hollywood cop-out, spic and span ending. Not only does the film include one of the weakest and anti-climactic ways to defeat an invading alien force (Can't the aliens just destroy us for once) but all the main characters live, even after making you think one of them is dead in an emotionally powerful scene. This almost ruins the movie, but the rest of it is so good, i can forgive. Maybe.

However, this is still a blockbuster alien invasion epic with amazing special effects (ILM strikes again) and great performances. This is a must-see in theaters. The price is worth it for enhanced picture and sound. Enjoy the ride.---8/10
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8/10
A funny and action-packed good time----8/10
27 June 2005
Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a refreshing alternative to to the kiddie CG flicks and stale comedies that have filled the multiplexes recently (and the only other movie i wanted to see this summer besides Star Wars). It's a classic action-comedy that pits two big stars against each other and about a thousand baddies, bickering all the while. Though usually action-comedy means cops, Smith adds a twist and makes it a pair of married assassins, played by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The chemistry between the two stars is why Smith is so entertaining. Not only do they look good, but they seem to know the married life well, and deliver their sharp lines with hilarious punch. If you don't acknowledge the existence of idiotic tabloids, you will enjoy this chemistry a lot more.

The actions scenes are good for being PG-13, (though an R rating would have given us some gratuitous Jolie skin shots) and with this kind of movie you don't really need blood, though it wouldn't hurt. The fight in the Smith house is my favorite scene because it is funny and has them beating the crap out of each other. Same with the freeway chase.

While the movie is a lot of fun, the plot is paper thin and predictable (mostly because of the film's trailer) and ends kind of abruptly. Still, this is what an action comedy should be like; plenty of bullets, great chemistry between the stars, and hilarious dialogue. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of the best movies of the year.---8/10
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9/10
Definitely the best of the prequels, and one of the best in years----9/10
20 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The greatest saga in history comes full circle with Revenge of the Sith, the third prequel to Star Wars. After the breakout of the Clone Wars in Episode II, Anakin and Obi-Wan are defending the Republic from the Seperatists, Padme is pregnant with Anakin's children, and Senator Palpatine is hatching a plan to become ruler of the galaxy. Oh, and did i mention Vader is born?

Revenge of the Sith is the darkest Star Wars movie, beating Empire Strikes Back by a mile. It is violent, disturbing, and depressing, and that makes it one of the best Star Wars stories, period. Anakin's transformation into Vader is amazing and tragic, with Hayden Christensen turning in an excellent performance, especially towards the end, after being corrupted by Palpatine. The silly moments from the first two prequels are gone and Jar Jar thankfully doesn't say a word.

Ian McDiarmid is perfect once again as the most evil man in the universe, Emperor Palpatine. He delivers his cool lines ("Join me and you will achieve a power greater than any Jedi.") like he was born in the Star Wars universe. Ewan McGregor is also great as Obi-Wan, really showing off his acting and athletic chops, with countless lightsaber fights and action scenes, and an emotional finale with Anakin.

Speaking of lightsaber fights, there are about a dozen in the movie with Yoda kicking major ass throughout, and a cool new villain General Grievous wielding four lightsabers. The battle scenes weren't as good as Hoth or Geonosis, but the clone troopers looked cool, (gotta love that camouflage) and it was cool seeing the Wookiees again if only briefly.

With this being the last Star Wars film, it was bittersweet walking out of the theater. The movie was awesome but it sucks to realize there are no more coming. I saw a midnight show, but there were no yawns. Applause erupted very often, and seeing Vader on the big screen again was amazing. This was the best theater experience in my life. Thanks George Lucas for making Star Wars.---9/10
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9/10
An amazing war movie---9/10
7 May 2005
South Korea puts Saving Private Ryan to shame with this amazing war movie. Taegukgi (or Brotherhood of War) is probably the best traditional war movie i have ever seen. The battle scenes are intense and brutal, even more so then Spielberg's classic film (which is a movie i really like, too.) They also kick in at unexpected places. They are sitting around eating and suddenly bombs are exploding and limbs are flying. The acting is incredible and emotional even though i watched it in subtitles (dubbed English voices are horrible). The facial expressions said it all. The story is a heartbreaking tale of two brothers who are drafted into the Korean conflict in 1950. By the end, i came this close to tearing up. And i am a tough guy. Or so i think.

Now i know a lot of people in America tend to overlook foreign movies because their afraid of reading, or can't read, but i am finding more and more that foreign flicks are a lot better than recent Hollywood movies. Hollywood needs to take a lesson and make more creative stories.

This is truly a masterpiece of modern cinema, a milestone in war movies, and one of the best films i have seen in a long time. Incredible.---9/10
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2/10
Well-made, but painfully unfunny---2/10
5 May 2005
Team America: World Police tries to be a clever political parody, and once or twice it succeeds, but otherwise it just sucks. The puppets look great and the action scenes are even well-made for being puppets, but when they open their mouths, only crap comes out. It didn't offend me or anything, but it just wasn't funny. I can't stand when people think that just because a cartoon or a doll swears or talks about sex, i am supposed to laugh. Ha-ha he said "balls". Who cares? The sex scene is kinda funny, and the Kim Jong Il doll is funny-looking, but otherwise i didn't even smirk. I might as well have been watching Hotel Rwanda. If you want to see a politically incorrect movie that is actually funny, see Bulworth. If your an idiot, see this.---2/10
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Super Size Me (2004)
8/10
A fascinating and funny documentary---8/10
24 April 2005
Super Size Me is another in a streak of original and important documentaries to come out in the last few years. From Bowling for Columbine to Control Room, documentaries have become a fresh alternative to the stale Hollywood flicks of late. Super Size Me follows director Morgan Spurlock, a funny and bright guy who has a vegan girlfriend, as he embarks on a thirty day McDonald's binge to see what it does to his body and his mind. Along the way, he opens our eyes to the fact that we have become the fattest country on Earth, exposing horrible school lunches, incredibly large portions, and how advertisers buy out the most TV time for their unhealthy goods. Spurlock, meanwhile, suffers extreme liver damage from his Mac Attack, gains weight, and even suffers a bout of depression. This movie definitely changed the way i look at the food i shovel into my body, and hopefully will have a lasting effects on others.---8/10

P.S.- If you have the DVD, their is a disgusting but fascinating feature called the Smoking Fry, in which Spurlock buts a variety of burgers and fries from Mickey D's and a neighborhood restaurant and watches them decompose over 10 weeks. The nastiest part: the McDonald'd fries do not mold at all. Yech.
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Sin City (2005)
8/10
Badass heroes and stunning visuals make Sin City a blast!----8/10
6 April 2005
A film i have been anticipating for over a year, Sin City is a Pulp Fiction- like story featuring three different plots, derived from the graphic novels by Frank Miller, who served as co-director. All the stories take place in Basin City, a town of hookers and criminals and even more criminal police and politicians. I had never even heard of the novels before i had heard of the movie. But after reading about it, it is definitely my kind of comic. And even more so, my kind of movie. The dialouge is smart and hilarious (although occasionally cheesy), the violence is gratuitous but in a good way, and the look of the movie is phenomenal. It is also one of the most exciting movies in years, establishing the characters quickly, and putting them in peril every other minute. You really have no idea of what could happen next. Something that adds to the thrills is that sometimes the characters live and sometimes they die, including the major ones.

Speaking of the characters, the enormous cast of A-list stars bring them convincingly to life. Mickey Rourke (who kicks a metric ton of ass as Marv), Bruce Willis and Clive Owen are excellent, and the film bursts at the scenes with hotties showing their acting chops among other assets (wink-wink) including Jessica Alba, Carla Gugino, Brittany Murphy, Jaime King, Rosario Dawson, and Alexis Bledel. This is the absolute best cast since Goodfellas. While some of them overact (Brittany Murphy) and some underact (Micheal Madsen), it doesn't take much away from the movie, especially since this is one of the best looking movies ever. The stark black and white and frequent splashes of vivid color make for some serious eye-candy, almost equaling that of Gugino's and King's gorgeous birthday suits. Plus, Jessica Alba dances on a pole. I mean come on.

Sin City is the first movie i have seen this year, because basically everything else looks like crap. But it is a refreshing reminder that there are filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez out there who make original and unpredictable movies that come out of nowhere to smack us in the face. Fantastic job guys.---8/10
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The Final Cut (2004)
5/10
A good concept but a mediocre flick----5/10
13 March 2005
I have always been a Robin Williams fan. From watching him goof around in Mrs. Doubtfire when i was a kid to seeing him actually creep me out in One Hour Photo, probably his best movie to date. So i am willing to see anything he has to offer. I got a chance to see The Final Cut for free, so i took it. The plot seemed real interesting and it was a first. Later into the movie though, the plot was getting cut more than people's memories. Williams romance with Mira Sorvino (which was gag-worthy to begin with) doesn't have any closure, and the "cutting" procedure and the whole "chip in the brain" thing didn't seem too thought out. Robin Williams is good as always and he tries his best to keep you interested, and the opening of the movie was promising. I even think with a little work that director Omar Naim can make some really quality flicks. This one, however, seems like it was cut together from a better movie. Which is a shame because it was a really cool idea. 5/10
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4/10
A few funny moments, but mostly just stupid---4/10
5 March 2005
Will Ferrell is called by many as the funniest man on the planet. No. That title can go to either Chris Tucker or Jim Carrey. He can work a few chuckles out of me here and there, but for the most part he is nothing special. I know that is a sin to a lot of people, but it's just my opinion. Anchorman is an example of how funny and unfunny he can be. The funniest parts were honestly the bloopers during the end credits, where i laughed a lot more than the entire movie.

The movie itself is a series of either mildly funny or just stupid scenes. The cologne scene is funny, but the fight between all the news crews were stupid. The two lead anchors exchanging insults during the credits of their news program is funny, but the ending at the zoo was really stupid. I guess humor is in the eye of the beholder. 4/10
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7/10
Good family flick----7/10
5 March 2005
While i usually steer clear of family movies, this one had a certain appeal. Not enough for me to pay to see it, but enough that i could watch it for free. And i had a good time. The Incredibles follows a family of superheroes who come out of retirement to save the world. Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, and Samuel L. Jackson provide great voice work, and and some of the flick's funnier moments. I was also pleasantly surprised that the action scenes were entertaining, including a battle with a robot that was much better than the crappy idiotic fights from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The film has some amazing visuals, some of which i thought might have been real. The team behind it, Pixar, also made one of the only family movies i really love, Toy Story.

As much fun as the movie is, it gets a little slow at some points if your not under 12 years old, and the story is almost non-existent. Still, it is a great movie to watch on a big-screen or with the little kiddies, but nothing to replace a nice R-rated gangster/action/porno/comedy/documentary. 7/10
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The Shining (1980)
8/10
One of the scariest movies ever---8/10
28 February 2005
I was never a big fan of horror movies. They usually try cheap tricks to scare their audiences like loud noises and creepy children. They usually lack originality and contain overacting galore. The only horror movie i like was Stir of Echoes with Kevin Bacon. It was well-acted, and had a great story. But it has been joined and maybe even surpassed by Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, quite possibly the scariest movie ever.

The movie follows a writer (Jack Nicholson) and his family who agree to watch over a hotel while it is closed for the winter. There were rumors of the place being haunted and the last resident went crazy and murdered his family. But Jack is convinced it will be OK and he can use the quiet to overcome his writer's block. After months of solitude and silence however, Jack becomes a grumpy and later violent. Is it cabin fever or is there something in the hotel that is driving him mad?

One of the creepiest parts about the movie is the feeling of isolation that Kubrick makes. The hotel is very silent, and the rooms are huge, yet always empty. It is also eerily calm when Jack's son is riding his bike through the barren hallways. Jack Nicholson's performance is also one of his very best, scaring the hell out of me and making me sure to get out once in awhile. My favorite scene is when he is talking to a ghost from inside a walk-in refrigerator.

The Shining is tops for horror movies in my opinion, beating the snot out of crap like the Ring and The Blair Witch Project. It may be a oldie, but is definitely a goodie. 8/10
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Conspiracy (2001 TV Movie)
9/10
One of the best WWII movies ever (and there is not a single gunshot!)--9/10
23 February 2005
Conspiracy debuted on HBO in 2001 and centers on the infamous Wannsee conference, where fifteen high-ranking officials of Nazi Germany government and military devised the final solution of the Jewish problem in Europe. The meeting took place in a beautiful house in rural Germany, where food and wine were served, and ideas were born.

This film is the best World War II era film i have ever seen, and one of the best movies i have seen, period. The cast is mostly unknown, but out-act any all-star cast Hollywood has ever produced. Kenneth Branaugh delivers an excellent performance as Heydrich, the head of the table at the meeting. He threatens people with a smile on his face, and barely bats an eye while speaking of killing thousands of people. Stanley Tucci is also great as the party-planner Eichmann, who set up the entire meeting, from the venue to the food to the topics. The way he counts the number of Jews that can be exterminated in a a given period of time is downright creepy. The cast also includes great turns by Colin Firth, a lawyer and professor who thinks the systematic slaughter of the Jews is bad for Germany's future, and Ian McNiece, who plays a hateful and witty official.

The dialogue is smart, funny, and chilling, and contains some jabs at all sides of the biggest war in Earth's history. This is a great movie to show in a history class, before watching a bunch of war movies, or if you just have an interest in the war. It teaches a lot more about the time than Saving Private Ryan (great movie too, but really one-sided), and features the best acting this side of the Godfather.---9/10
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Bulworth (1998)
8/10
A daring and hilarious comedy!---- 8/10
17 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Bulworth follows a U.S. senator from California who is sick and tired of life and politics, and puts a contract out on himself. Now that he has nothing to lose, he takes the opportunity to tell everyone what he really thinks, and in doing so chooses to live and reinvents himself as a rapping man of the people. He now must stop his own murder while defending the little guy and offending a whole lot of other people.

In one of the best comedic performances ever, Warren Beatty is hysterical as Senator Jay Bulworth. His self-written raps far surpasses anything Eminem or 50 cent could come up with, and his facial expressions had my side hurting. The rest of the cast is great too, especially Oliver Platt, who plays Bulworth's frustrated assistant who can't understand his boss's new strategy. Aside from being hilarious, the movie is full of ballsy truths about America, something i barely ever see in movies. Sure some movies touch on or symbolize politics, but these movie puts it right in your face. Where else could you find a white senator rapping "the Arabs got the oil/we buy everything they sell/ but if the brothers raise the price, we blow them all to hell". Brilliant.

This is one of the funniest comedies i have ever seen. While people today are yukking it up at idiotic movies like Dodgeball and Anchorman, they could laugh and learn a thing or two by watching Bulworth. 8/10
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