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As he says "Major props to all my homies representin' Wisconsin and all the Norwegians," and "Don't get all salty jes cuz your dead azz movie so lame."
The Producers (2005)
Must See! Immediately!!
I saw "The Producers" in 1968 at age 14. Men who fought in WWII were only in their 40s, and more than just a few holocaust survivors were alive. The sheer temerity of the film and its humor was lost on me as were the gay references. It was only after multiple viewings and life experiences that the full impact of that film registered with me.
The 2005 incarnation contains all the same energy and the same "f- you and all your hang ups" attitude. Yet the musical numbers remind me of 1940 musicals. I thought I might see Fred Astaire dancing in this.
The only complaint I had was with my internal comparator, which finally shut off and quit remembering Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel in the original.
The music is wonderful, the lyrics audacious, the energy is high, and for the critics who pan this for the camera work, well, go get stuffed. Don't be so Prince Mishkin.
For the rest of you that want a rollicking good time at the movies, go see this film. Then have a bagel. Then screw someone's grandmother. Then cheat on your taxes. Then have another bagel.
Lord of War (2005)
Thank you, Mr. Cage
First I would like to say "Thank You!" to Nicolas Cage, not only for an outstanding performance, but for producing this movie. I have seen his character described as morally conflicted, but in reality Yuri is not morally conflicted, but the movie deftly puts the audience in the center of moral conflict. This is brave, intelligent, thoughtful and thought provoking story telling. Even more-so, it calls into question our own ethics and morality as the filmmakers see-saw us back and forth from elation to revulsion.
Posing tough moral questions, the movie provides no answers, or worse, the answers it provides are often and regrettably repugnant.
One cannot walk away from this movie without feeling its full impact.
Thanks again, Nicolas Cage for your brave movie making, from producer to performer.
It's Pat: The Movie (1994)
Oh man I cried.
My dog once wrapped his chain around a tree. I mean he got himself wound right to the trunk. He sat there for a little bit with this stupid dog look on his face. I thought I'd laugh till I cried.
My mom has bird feeders. There was a sparrow or a robin or a starling or something eating there when a blue jay flew in and the other bird fell off the feeder. The stupid bird almost hit the ground before it flapped its wings. I mean it almost hit the ground. Damn I laughed.
My dog (when he's not wrapped around a tree) runs to the window and barks at the squirrels in the yard. Now he runs to the TV when there are pictures of squirrels on and barks. I mean he thinks those squirrels are real! I laugh a lot when he does that.
But if you think that's funny, you should see the movie IT'S PAT! I laughed till I peed. I rarely watch the Nature Channel any more to make my dog bark. I mostly tie him out in the yard now. I just play IT'S PAT over and over. I pee a lot these days.
Everybody hates Monster
I gave this movie a 2 instead of a one because 1.) Wanda Sykes is great and has all the good lines and 2.) Jennifer Lopez' ass has great lines too.
Do NOT go see this movie. Doris Roberts on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND accomplishes more with a couple throw away lines than all the script does for Jane Fonda's character.
I could go on and on about what's bad about this huge waste of celluloid AND talent, but take the $22 you woulda spent on this for you and your date, go to the video store and rent Seinfeld, ELR, Fawlty Towers, and buy cheap candy instead of paying the inflated larcenous prices they charge in the theatre. Plus you can watch at home in the nude.
If you watch at home in the nude, you can have your girlfriend pour scalding or freezing water on you, which is more enjoyable than watching MONSTER-IN-LAW.
I liked it. I really liked it. Mostly. It suffers from comparison to a) The Radio Play, which it was originally, b) The Book, c) The Television Series, and d) The Game. I have spent far too much of my life immersed in any one of these, and although each prepared me for the changes (none were copies of the other), the movie suffered from over 20 years of images solidified in my brain by overexposure. Simon Jones will always be Arthur Dent to me, although I really liked the new Zaphod Beeblebrox. Mos Def was a great and creative choice for Ford and the new Trillian r0x0rs. But the movie was damned by its predecessors, and unless they had come up with some really nasty and acerbic observations about humanity that the previous incarnations hadn't, well, zark it all, I'll be belgiumed if I know what to do about it. Not stunning, but overall, enjoyable. Mostly.
PS Oops, don't stand up! Your Vogons are showing! Great Vogons.
The Ladykillers (2004)
Good for most movies, average for Coens
What I like most about the Coens is their ability to write fantastic dialogue. Even when their characters are terse and laconic, which makes lines like "Where's pancakes house?" memorable, their ability to fill the mouths of actors with some of the best words spoken in movies keeps their mavens returning to their features again and again.
I was amazed at their ability to fill Tom Hanks' mouth with flowery pedantries, Marlon Wayans' mouth with inner city Ebonics, and Irma Hall's mouth with sensible southern plain-speak. But the problem I had was that these all seemed to be exercises in writing. It reminded me of the disclaimer Mark Twain wrote at the beginning of Huckleberry Finn where he describes the dialects he attempted to capture in the book. He wanted to disabuse his reader of the notion that "all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding."
I could see the Coens exercising their writing chops, and feeling the muscle of their dialogue, skimped on some character development.
Don't get me wrong. I would rather watch a poorer Coen effort than watch a dozen pieces of drek offered as movies today. Most of this film delighted me whereas the parts I found wanting I would have gladly overlooked in any Michael Bay film.
So if I were to rate this against movies in general **** 1/2 out of five. Against other Coen works ** 1/2. If you're not a Coen fan, you'll be delighted (or appalled if the foul language gets to you), and if you are a Coen fan, you'll be mildly amused.
Modern Problems (1981)
Putrid, vapid, insipid and all the -id words. I almost stopped watching Chevy Chase movies entirely after this festering pile of parrot droppings. It's been over 20 years since I've seen this and I'm still angry at this movie for robbing me of 89 minutes I could have spent in the dentist chair.
In checking the credits, I see the director, Ken Shapiro, wrote, directed, and starred in THE GROOVE TUBE which was shocking and passibly funny, and which featured Chevy Chase. Was MODERN PROBLEMS the death knell, the swan song for Mr. Shapiro?
Rancid? Did I mention rancid?
Citizen Ruth (1996)
The Ultimate Cynic's Movie
This is a wonderful film with Laura Dern providing a fearless performance as an irredeemable whiffer. The movie does paint a few people with broad strokes, but the strokes are deft and very funny.
No one comes across very well in this movie, and there is something to offend everyone here.
What a wonderful way to skewer modern society!
Silent no more!
OK, let's first start by saying FARGO is one of the best movies of all time. If you don't get it, go back to watching the Ernest series.
Next, I'm tired of hearing the complaints that it's too bloody and violent. That's the point (and counterpoint to Margie and other fine Minnesotans). But it is this complaint that brings me to MY point.
The creepiest scene in the movie, regardless of bullets in the head or more graphic forms of violence, is where Jerry lies to his son about his mother's situation. Very few of us will experience the extreme violence of the criminals, but every parent should squirm during Jerry's betrayal of Scotty. This heinous activity is done by parents, for various reasons, every day.
If you haven't seen it, rent it. If you have seen it, buy it. Watch it again and again. Note especially the camera work where Jerry is talking on the phone to Reilly Diefenbach. Take extensive notes. Listen to the score. Note the lilting, whimsical theme that accompanies an aerial shot of a car driving in a parking lot. Laugh, enjoy, watch it again.
At the very least, FARGO is the movie that finally answers the question "Where's pancakes house?"