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All Quentin Tarantino films
The Blues Brothers
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Beast of War
The Cannonball Run films
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Way of the Gun
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
All Marx Brothers films
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
All Coen brothers films
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
AVP haters don't know what they're talking about
Well after about 13 years of waiting I finally saw AVP on opening night. I was very pleased with the outcome. Leading up to the opening of the film, the net (IMDB included) was full of fanboys talking all kinds of trash. W.S. Anderson sucks, this movie will suck, blah, blah, blah. Well they are wrong! I don't know what the Comic Book Store guys of the world were expecting, but the movie kicks ass and don't let anyone tell you different. AVP haters are the same kind of people that worship the ground George Lucas walks on while at the same time ripping the new movies for "not being like the originals." Whatever. I've said my piece now on to the movie.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD The first 30 minutes or so is a bit slow, as they need to lay down the story and introduce you to the future dead humans. Wisely, the movie doesn't concentrate on the humans too much as Anderson knows who are the real stars of this show. The Predators make their entrance into the movie with a look onboard their ship as it approaches Earth. Their computer displays are all projected in 3-D, probably so they can see them with their infrared vision. The infrared vision by the way is a bit changed from the first two movies. It's more refined and not as blurry as the original movie's vision. More computerized is the best way I can describe it. The Predator's weapons are the same as in the first two films with the exception of this throwing star with retractable blades that is at least as badass as their plasma cannons, which by the way you won't be seeing as much. The Alien/Predator fights are really spectacular although in a few sequences you can barely see what's happening as everything is moving too fast and the camera is really zoomed in. It reminded me of a Godzilla movie at those moments. Still, the power of these two heavyweights is awesome to behold and both the Aliens and the Predators give and take in this battle. There are casualties on both sides, just about all the humans die,(of course) and despite the PG-13 rating, there is plenty of violence and blood. At least of the glowing green and acid kind. The Predators didn't make much use of their cloaking devices in this one. It didn't help them too much anyway. You come to see this movie for the stars, not for the acting,(sucks) or the storyline(minimal). By the way that the votes are going so far I would say that you are either going to love this movie or hate it. Oh, I almost forgot. They set it up for a sequel. I won't tell you how but it looks pretty cool. This is the best movie to come out since Dawn of the Dead. F***** awesome!!!!!!!!
Training Day (2001)
A great cop thriller
Training Day kicks ass. Denzel Washington turns in one of the greatest performances of his career and this movie never lags for a second. Some cop films make the mistake of getting too deep in the plot and leaving things like acting and action by the wayside. Training Day achieves the perfect balance.
Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke play well off each other and you end up liking each character. The supporting cast does well but it's Washington and Hawke that you are watching. Scott Glenn is good as a drug dealer that's a friend of Washington. The film takes place over the course of one day and what a day that is. From shooting it out with gang members to finding out just how dirty a cop Denzel is, Ethan Hawke finds that his first day on Denzel's beat is a very dangerous one.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend this movie. If you haven't seen it yet you're missing out. A first class cop drama/thriller.
Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Interesting look at America's relationship with guns
Michael Moore really hit the nail on the head with this movie. Instead of taking a side, Moore shows both sides of the gun lobby. Instead of putting blame on any one camp, Moore simply asks questions. Why does America have so many gun deaths when Canada, who has a large amount of guns, has hardly any? Questions like these really make the viewer think. Whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun you will like this film although this movie gives ammo (pun not intended) to both groups. Columbine is of course looked at and Moore does interviews with kids who went to Columbine as well as with people who live in the area. It's not a film that you watch to entertain yourself but educate yourself.
Bottom Line: A great documentary and one that doesn't make your brain into oatmeal. Asks some hard questions about American society and the American people and most importantly about the culture of fear that the media and the American government perpetuate.
An unoriginal but well acted teen drama
My girlfriend rented this because she wanted to watch a girl movie. I figured that I would have to endure this teen movie hell until I could watch my choices. I was not expecting that this movie would be any good but I was wrong. The acting is what carries this movie since the story is not original and the dialogue is corny. Nikki Reed co-wrote the story along with the director and is supposedly loosely based on events in her life. Whatever. Reed threw in just about every problem that a teen can be faced with. The only thing that was missing was that someone didn't get shot. Suddenly Melrose Avenue and the Venice boardwalk are the coolest places in the world to hang out. Reed obviously hasn't spent much time in LA. Either that or she's stupid. Neither would surprise me. We follow the main character Tracy as she suddenly turns from a thoughtful A student to a thieving, drug-taking slut in the space of a week or two. All because she gains entrance to the in crowd through teen vampire Evie. The story is more than a little stupid but the acting keeps you watching. Holly Hunter and Evan Rachel Wood are the people to watch here and their performances are great. Especially considering the material they are working with.
Bottom Line: Watch this movie for the acting and prepare to be annoyed by Nikki Reed's character. Or you could rent/watch something better. The choice is yours but just for your info Holly get nekkid. If you look at Holly that way. Ok I'll stop typing now.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Corny 80's gold
There are a lot of people who are going on about how much Teen Wolf sucks. I disagree because Teen Wolf has a special kind of suck going for it. Not so bad it's good but corny as hell and better for it. I've been watching this movie since it came out and I love it. How can you not love Teen Wolf? Michael J. Fox turns into a werewolf and becomes a popular star of his high school basketball team. There is even a dance at his prom that is wolf related. The whole school turns wolf crazy but Fox learns the right lesson in the end. How can you not love this corny crap. I'll be the first to admit that this isn't a good movie and is incredibly stupid, but honest to goodness crapfests don't have Stiles or a breakdancing wolf. Take that American Werewolf in London. Recently Teen Wolf has been blessed with DVD release along with it's sequel, Teen Wolf Too, on one disc. 80's fans rejoice!
Bottom Line: It isn't worthy of even trying to call itself good, but it's a classic, doesn't take itself seriously, and occupies a honored place on my shelf.
They Live (1988)
One of Carpenter's better efforts
Movies like They Live aren't made much anymore. Cheap and corny though it may be, They Live represents a dying breed. Good B-movie sci-fi. Back when John Carpenter was making good movies instead of slowly digging his own grave, They Live showed the viewer a filmmaker that always had a clear vision of what he was doing. They Live isn't meant to be taken too seriously on the surface. The biting social commentary that reveals itself when our heroes put on their special sunglasses is the real scary part of the movie, the alien masks don't shock unless you put yourself in Roddy Piper's shoes.
By far the best and most famous part of the film (besides the line "I am here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum.") is the seemingly endless fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David. Long, brutal, and started for the stupidest reason, this scene is the blueprint for the cripple fight between Jimmy and Timmy in South Park.
Bottom Line: They Live isn't the greatest movie ever or anything but it's worth checking out if you like John Carpenter or sci-fi. Rent before you buy.
Great movie but given more credit than it deserves
Scarface has got to be one of the most overrated movies ever. It's a great movie don't get me wrong and Al Pacino turns in one of his best performances ever. The movie has been elevated to a level that it doesn't deserve however. The rap community in particular have made this movie almost a blueprint of how to make it in this country. That isn't the lesson of the movie but there you go.
Al Pacino is really putting on a show here and his performance should have won an Oscar. The rest of the cast also turns in fine performances but Al carries the film. Scarface never seems to lag or threaten to turn boring. Riding with Tony Montana is a thrill ride that doesn't slow down until the film ends. The best part of the movie remains the closing when we get to say 'ello to Al's little friend. The whole film is good though and it's a classic. It isn't the greatest movie in history like some people say but it's pretty good.
Bottom Line: Scarface is a kick ass movie but it isn't the Citizen Kane of gangster films like some people say it is. Make your own decision
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Smokey IS the bandit!
Being a huge fan of the Cannonball Run films, Hal Needham, and Burt Reynolds, I was expecting big things from this movie. Hooper and Stroker Ace had let me down. I was counting on Smokey to be at least somewhat the equal of Cannonball Run. It was entertaining in parts but it wasn't what I was hoping it would be. The driving/stunts are ok and the presence of Jackie Gleason provides a little comic relief. The movie is slow moving though and the back and forth between Burt and Sally Field is just annoying. I was really disappointed. Again. Bottom Line: See this movie if you must, I'd advise you go ahead and pass up this "sumbitch".
Entertaining film but not Burt's best
So there I was walking through Target when I spied Hooper on DVD for 6 bucks. I had read an article in Maxim magazine about a stunt in the movie where a car races under a collapsing smokestack and I was eager to see that plus I'm a fan of Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham. So I bought it. Good thing it was cheap.
Hooper is just a movie about stuntmen so there isn't much in the way of plot or acting. The stunts are good but they should be in a movie about stuntmen. Burt is himself like in most of his movies. There was one thing about this movie that really disappointed me. The smokestack scene that I wanted to see, the scene that I bought the movie for, the scene that Maxim explained at length, was faked! Looking at the sequence frame by frame you can see that the car is inserted into the shot. I was a little mad to say the least.
Bottom Line: Other than the searing pain that accompanied the realization that I had been cheated, it wasn't such a bad movie. Maybe not something I would by again, but ok overall.
Disorganized Crime (1989)
Cable worthy star studded 80's comedy
I first saw this movie on cable as I'm sure most of you did. This movie isn't terribly funny but it is entertaining. The greatest advantage that this movie has is it's large and talented cast. Let's go over that cast for a minute.
Fred Gwynne, Corbin Bernsen, Ruben Blades, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Ed O' Neill all put in great performances and don't take their characters too seriously. Although none of these actors is particularly hot at the moment, all are accomplished actors. It's also too bad that Fred Gwynne has passed away. This kind of light hearted heist film can die a quick death if it takes itself too seriously. Fortunately the movie keeps it real and doesn't try to be too serious.
Bottom Line: I have this on VHS because I kept seeing it on TV and I finally broke down and bought it. Now if you like movies that you can watch, enjoy and then forget about, then this is the movie for you.