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mcgill_j

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15 reviews in total 
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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
If they had cut out the KIDS..it may have been OK.., 13 August 2013
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

honestly this whole BIG thing about this movie is that Kristen Bell has a sex with a minor. The film itself tonally strives soooo hard to really hit the mark along the lines of something like "Garden State". Just even some of the music choices.. it just like like that was so bad what it wanted to be. Add to that the complexity of the relationship seems to be the huge draw of the film, but sadly its the greatest downfall of the film that is played up to the detriment of the rest of the film.

I mean.. did we have to have that element? In fact.. If you had taken that completely out and had the film been about a traumatized girl coming back and wreaking havoc on her friends' lives as they try to move on to the next stage. The biggest casualty in this I think was Martin Starr whom had great moments to shine, but very few and would have been nice to see him developed.

This holds true with the rest of the characters as well.. They get thrown into a tailspin.. Bell sleeps with the minor. Hells breaks loose and somehow at the end, everything gets kind of put back right.

That really is the disservice the film does. In focusing on that relationship which just feels like some device in the last act. It's almost like its just dropped and never really thought of again. Some "relationship". That was the largest problem I had with the film, unlike so many others filled with flashes and bangs that feel so hollow is that this film that could have had so much promise is similarly in the end just as hollow.

Sexy Evil Genius (2013) (V)
14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Didn't know quite what to expect.. BUT.., 9 April 2013
7/10

Just looking at the writer and director behind the camera both alumni of the USA series "The Dead Zone" (of which Anthony Micheal Hall was the star). I will admit, off the top, I was quite dismayed with how small Hall's part was.. but that is only a MINOR quibble and in no way detracts from the film, he's just an actor whom I'd like to see more of.

Writer Scott Lew may be known for the more off beat "Bickford Schmeckler's Cool Ideas".. I don't know what the reputation is among others, its one of those quirky little films you come to.. but considering they got a fantastic performance out of Matthew Lillard (which seems rare, until lately). I would give the movie and its casting good marks.

We come to this film. And the one thing I can say is to me it was overshadowed by the darker more grindhouse driven (but similar old friends meeting in a bar) film "Sushi Girl", if you haven't seen that film I would HIGHLY recommend it.. but to the task at hand.

Seth Green does NOT SUCK. Let's just get that out of the way.. He's quite good here, as is Michelle Trachtenberg and Harold Perrineau (from HBO's OZ). I wasn't bowled over by William Baldwin in the film, then we come to the icy "sexy evil genius" herself Katee Sackhoff best known for the "Battlestar Galactica" revamp.

The basic story.. 3 former lovers of the title character all meet in a bar after a message to meet her. What are her intentions? That's the gist, and what really propels the movie forward. While the BIG twist at the end wasn't all that big a shock, its a film that's interesting to see how it got to that end as the characters bounce off crazy stories, each one seeming to relate an almost entirely different person to the others before a singular version begins to kind of form together.. before it gets pulled out from under us again. The flick isn't high on the stylish look, but it serves the film well enough and the easy dialogue keeps the film moving pretty quickly.

I won't spoil the film, but I will say its definitely worth a watch.. but I would more recommend the similar (as I said) but harder edged "Sushi Girl".. or even the Ryan Reynolds thriller "Buried" films that take place in more or less a singular location through out the entire film. The film keeps your attention for the entire running time, and while not as polished or glossy as the average big budget film giving some bigger stars and a lil more tech this could easily be in the multiplexes. Don't let that stop you from enjoying the film.

Silent Night (2012/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
NOT really a remake but.., 4 December 2012
5/10

I give this film a 6. It's by far not among the worst horror films I've seen, like Leprechaun 4+ or Killjoy 1 and 2. Sadly its not even up to the whole sooooo incredibly awfully bad its actually quite entertaining that "Silent Night Deadly Night part 2" falls so easily in thanks to very bad and cheesy acting.. and just so horribly low budget you laugh, when you actually see the original footage (I'd say 3/4 of that film was clips from the first).

But in 2012 we must remake everything. Sadly, I really would not even call this a REMAKE, or a reboot or anything else. This is a (I will admit) loving homage to 80s slasher films with Santa Claus. That's really it. The film plays out as a killer is running around town and the Deputy and Sheriff are running trying to find out who it is. Is it the drug dealer? The crazy Santa who likes telling kids that their mommy and daddy is going to sell their toys on E-bay? So for most of the film we are following Jamie King who has the kind of cliché dead husband and is going through Christmas alone and her boss. And I don't know, Malcolm McDowell is so far out of left field its actually funny to watch.

There's some boobies.. some blood.. a couple of good death scene fx shots, the highlight was a guy taking an AXE to the head. But most felt like either they were behind the gun (it was shot in 17 days) and just didn't really go for the real hard core GORE. In fact at times I began to wonder if I got an edited version as there really to me wasn't anything super gory until about an HOUR into the film.

There are nods to the original film.. but don't go in expecting something that interesting. It's a fairly standard slasher, that is I will admit, filmed exceptionally well.. But the story is just so paper thin it really is just a rental.

Do NOT look at this as an ACTION film.., 13 November 2012
7/10

I must have first seen this when I was around 15. Used to have the poster on my wall actually. I used to get them from a mom and pop video store.. and I saw the dude from Airplane AND Robocop in one movie, but I always figured this would never see disc format. Like so many other movies of the 80s done under smaller budgets. I figured this one was long forgotten.

I am so glad I was WRONG. I have been looking on and off but under 50/50, not spelled out. When I ran across it today on Amazon for 6 bucks it was a NO BRAINER much like the film.

I wouldn't call it really a parody. More like Lethal Weapon for laughs.. maybe more of a farce. So glad to find the film, I remember the strongest bit was the chemistry between the two leads who play and riff off each other brilliantly. The whole they hate each other, they like each other.. then they are heroes together.

Going in I suggest, this is NOT Skyfall or The Rock. This was pre CG. So all of the fx are PRACTICAL. I can't wait to see this one again. It's just a fun one off buddy comedy, that has some action adventure. While its not as stylish or big budget this I'd put more along the lines of something like The Rundown.

6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Ummm.. was this the SAME character?, 28 September 2010
5/10

I REALLY wanted to like this movie. honestly.. I LOVED the Snow character in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and his weird brand of insanity.. really plugged into the movie. Unfortunately what worked in that film.. can't really sustain for a TWO hour film.

Jonah Hill returns. as a new character.. And.. I don't dislike Hill as some do. But he really didn't' add anything to the proceedings.. and as the film moves along. it feels more like MOMENTS that work well enough on their own.. but as en entire film, it never really ties together.

And as you clip along into the third act.. Snow finds his "rock and roll life" empty.. And what was with putting Rose Byrne in the movie? She had some funny lines.. but yet again, didn't add too much to the film over all. If anything.. the relationship between Aldous and his "son" is what should have been explored.. sadly the same with his father (while some funny moments... nothing really felt resolved, as you'd think.

But. that's the REAL problem here. with Aldous being the CRAZY and loopy rock star.. part of what worked in his earlier role.. is that everyone around him was kind of normal. and you even identified with SOME of the characters. You don't here really.. and the movie jumps from being "guy being smacked in the face/head" to this.. kind of slightly serious third act.

Sean Combs? I have nothing against him or his music (not my taste). But it seemed like they thought the foul mouthed Tom Cruise character from "Tropic Thunder" was a good idea.. but let's let P. Diddy drop the bombs. he really has no impact as a character.. and he has no real presence in the film as a whole either.

The movie had.. at the first minute a confusing opening.. but then again.. it makes sense giving the "music video" in Marshall.. But..

I don't hate the film totally.. there were a few laughs.. Carla Gallo shows up as a stripped named Destiny.. is a real stand out BIT for the film.. in the whole over the top level as they go. but.. it never felt they were poking FUN at the rock star life, as you'd hope.. and they never really make much of a notice of how miserable, really, that it makes Aldous to have to live it..

This is by far to me the WEAKEST Apatow entry.. It scores just below "Funny Peope" (can't comment on "Drillbit Taylor".. so I won't). Unlike "Funny People" which may not have been GREAT.. it did tie together quite well.

This is a real disappointment on ALL levels.. from the director, Stoeller who did a great job with Marshall just felt FLAT and confined here.. the casting was OK.. but the characters were so transparently THIN and really unlikable or unrelatable (Adam Green and his girlfriend being the two worst in this area).

There are some THEMES that.. it would have been GREAT to explore.. the whole idea of Aldous finding his LOVE of performing again.. deciding the rock star life wasn't for him.. or the fact that record managers are A lot of the problem telling people what they WANT to hear.. rather than what they NEED to hear.. all great things that MIGHT have given.. something to this film..

but, as I said.. there are IDEAS thrown out there.. and I did like the BRIEF callback to Sarah Marshall.. it tied the worlds together. But over all.. its not a film that's either fall out funny.. and not a film you can identify with the characters (I couldn't anyway). So it fell as a rather sharp disappointment. I was quite looking forward to it. The character had such great potential, and the idea of a film pointing out the flaws and foibles behind the music industry could have been GREAT fodder for the film. As it stands the episode of South Park about illegal downloads really does have more depth than this film. unfortunate.

Amanda (2009)
6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
The trailer makes it sound BOLD and Daring... not so much.. COP OUT!!!, 6 July 2010
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off.. I gave this film a "6".. because.. it actually from the TRAILER you'd suspect.. takes the idea of the rom-com and marks some new.. and I was actually think.. this would be a FIRST..

Unlike say "The Crying Game" which the big twist is that she was a He.. was it seemed to be what if a straight guy found out the hot chick he was dating.. was also, once, a he. So.. there'd be a BIT more weight than the traditional fluff of the rom-com. And we get that.. for a little bit.. until the last 15 minutes of the movie just COMPLETELY cops out and turns the entire film that was into just so much more fluff.

Now.. I'm STRAIGHT.. so I don't care about the big twist.. but it just seemed like the twist for the sake of the twist, and to pad the running time a few minutes longer. What could have been something of a film more on the level akin to Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy".. turns into a movie Sandra Bullock threw to the bottom of the pile (not that you could blame her really).

Now.. the performances were, sadly, very strictly amateur theater steakhouse.. what MIGHT have saved the movie from a dollar rental (or more likely a SHAMED 3 AM viewing on some cool hipster wanna be touting this as "independent" film)... It's just not. What NERVE and courage the film mustered up in the first bit is completely deflated by the end.

The writing is kind of weak.. and I can forgive that all.. if you have something to say.. in fact, I could have forgiven this film if it had STUCK to its guns.. but at the end of the day, it wasn't that movie.. it was just some fluffy rom-com masquerading as something important.. using issues that.. I think may be even more prevalent in society as medical technology develops.. this actually seemed a GOOD time to throw in stories about acceptance.. and love.. (but like I said.. the last bit of the movie just takes a giant SPIT all over it).

It's really unfortunate too.. Like I said.. I'd give the movie a rent in the dollar rental section, and recommend it.. but the point when they FINALLY reconcile? just TURN IT OFF.. imagine THAT as the ending.. and it would have been a fine enough movie. But.. keep watching and you will definitely understand my point of view on the film.

57 out of 68 people found the following review useful:
Well. a BETTER send off than ShowTime fgave it.., 5 February 2009
6/10

I thought Dead Like Me was one of the... funniest.. saddest.. smartest.. and just quirkiest shows ever on the air. This film takes place, picking up 5 years later, where everyone left off.. mostly. Now the biggest complain has been the absence of Rube (Mandy Patinkin) as the boss.. a tragic loss to be sure. and the recasting of Sarah Wynter in the role of Daisy Adair, formerly filled by Laura Harris. I will only say.. not to give too much away.. but they got MOST of the cast back.. and a pretty decent.. I won't say it is a definitive conclusion, as it could be left open to more DTV films. But at least it felt there was a punctuation at the end of the sentence which had been hanging for almost half a decade.

I will be the first to admit the movie has its MAJOR problems.. but over all, rough edges and everything.. it is a pretty decent representation of what the best of the show offered, although not quite as adeptly written, or acted.. its much harder to fill in a 90 minute film with so many characters as opposed to a dozen hour episodes yearly. This does seem more done for the "fans" who've missed the show. and its still a welcome return, if not at its best.

"Chuck" (2007)
52 out of 155 people found the following review useful:
"Chuck" IS worth watching.., 6 October 2008
8/10

** SLIGHT UPDATE 10-21-08**

While I LOVE the show.. its still not quite hit the stride as last year.. I still notice a lot of HATE for the show, and I wonder.. what the hell do these people WATCH that's so great? It's a COMEDY.. with light action.. but then the common denominator.. and let's just beat this dead horse seems to be Exec. Producer McG (yeah.. its a douchy name.. and he's made some real CRAP movies.. well the two I actually watched anyway) and Josh Schwartz who made some "tween" show on the CW, that I don't watch either.. This seems to be the MAJOR attacking point for most people that these two have the temerity to be involved on TV. OH MY GOD.. get a rope.. I don't really care WHO made it.. is it good? is it entertaining? Is it worth an hour of my time a week.. well forty minutes. Those are the IMPORTANT questions to me.. and I will say yes, on all counts. Chuck is still well above any other show I've gotten into in the past few years.. the sadly declining Scrubs that.. still does pack the whallop.. Heroes.. which has fallen.. gotten back up slightly.. now seems to be falling again, HARDER in its third season.. Prison Break which went off the rails 2.5 YEARS ago. It's NOT an action series.. its not a romance series.. its not a comedy sitcom.. maybe they NEED someone to tell them WHEN to laugh? is that it? If so.. there's plenty of other shows for people to watch. and why the feel the need to come here and tell other people how worthless it is.. they'd scream blasphemy if someone berated their beloved shows. I can admit.. the premise is SILLY.. and out there.. and yeah.. its paper thin.. but the characters are NOT! We get to scratch beneath the surface.. ever so slightly.. getting hints at things.. and that's part of the fun of the show. the mystery.. you don't HAVE to know.. but.. at least in my case.. I LIKE the characters enough to want to know... anyway.. that's all I have to say about that.

------

The show walks quite the fine line.. while serving up some light geek humor.. while also delivering not exactly 24 level type of ACTION.. but is a nice blend of a romantic tension (yeah.. it'll be going on FOREVER.. does no one here remember Moonlighting? the minute they hooked up.. the show was OVER!). I don't think Chuck can quite run as long on this premise as Moonlighting (t years) but the show is quite fun in doling out little bits you don't quite understand.. for example I thought the episode "Chuck vs. the Alma Mater" was a special highlight... it somehow works in crazy comedy.. a romance.. and friendship and they still find time for the occasional spy stuff too.. If you're looking for a romance show? this ain't it.. a high octane guns blazing show? nope.. not it.. something that has more of a quirky sense of humor.. a dash of romance.. and just some great cameos, John Laroqueete in the second episode of season 2 springs immediately to mind.. then yes.. you will enjoy this show.. otherwise, its probably not for you.. then again not all shows are made for EVERYONE, I just happen to think that as of now in its second season Chuck is quite fun still and has yet to have the devastating crash of FOX's Prison Break.. while I enjoyed the first 2 years.. the third was kinda meh.. and the fourth.. well I've just given up on it entirely.. there are VERY few network shows I watch and this is one of the few exceptions I make.. and considering I rarely watch new shows.. I consider that, for me and the folks involved, quite the mean feat...

not only do you have to be laughing.. enjoying the quirky humor.. but wanting things to work out.. when you know they never really will and then seeing how it all falls apart is part of the fin.. Chuck is the average Joe thrown headfirst into the spy world.. and somehow.. he seems to always come out on top.. he's the guy you root for when.. in any movie this would be the clumsy spy who has his head blown off in the first scene.. but Levi's quirky sense of humor.. and just.. plain likability is really what makes you stay with the show at first.. then you get to enjoy the other characters.. like the love life of "Awesome" and Ellie.. the dysfunctional romance of Morgan and Anna (who is a riot.. both are actually).. and the on again.. off again..might just happen relationship with Chuck and Sarah.. all in all.. its not going to change the world.. but maybe it will give you something to enjoy for the week.. I LOVE 24, even though its going down.. but.. can't say I laugh and LOVE the characters.. I enjoy the stories.. the themes.. and some of the ideas they play with.. whereas Chuck has no real deep themes.. or political machinations.. its just a quirky character comedy.. that happens to involve spies.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
What was the BIG deal about?, 25 August 2008
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I give this film a 5.. which is MEDIUM.. and that is ONLY for the reveal.. although the exact whys and all are not answered. But for the first.. god knows how long.. I was actually BORED with this film, that I'd actually been following as it was touted as being a resurrection of the slasher genre.. some comparing it to Sleepaway Camp.. which the tone.. I can kind of see that.. but, there was a sick humor to Sleepaway Camp that is NOT present in this film.

Honestly.. at LEAST in Sleepaway Camp.. you could like some of the characters.. of dislike others.. this one really you're kind of just.. I don't really care at all.. they could be the killer.. killed... or thrown off a cliff, or hit with an Acme rocket (at least that would have spiced up the proceedings). What really we are missing is "backstory", which in Sleepaway Camp is very BRIEF.. but the opening of the film establishes it.. and you get the twist, at the end.. this one.. you kind of fill in your own answers to.. but do you really care to? Therein lies the PROBLEM.

All the guys love Mandy Lane? Yeah.. I can admit it.. guys are selfish and conceited.. and hey, we're shallow (not like you're innocent here ladies). The entire.. I'd say almost 5-10 MINUTES of the film is devoted more or less to the fact, if not more, that all these guys are powerless to struggle against her beauty.. of which.. there is no question of.. but.. is she THAT hot? or perfect? Not really.. and the other characters? I mean.. just.. stupid.. showcasing the worst in what kids can be.. its almost cartoonish! Which does make it kind of funny.. but as much as this film had been lauded on genre site "Bloody Disgusting" that I enjoy reading.. it felt like a very big let down.

It's a film that is very much in the cookie cutter tradition an homage to the 80s low budget slashers, not the Freddts and Jasons.. but as I said earlier, it did as someone pointed out most remind me of the original Sleepaway Camp, especially with the very last frame it almost SCREAMED it.. although this is a.. common film trick.. but its something I associate with that particular film.

I don't want to get into spoiler territory here.. but the whole premise of the film.. about guys bringing out a bunch of girls.. one of whom has always been kind of.. stand offish in a bid for all of the guys, it seems, to take her virtue and be the guy to score Mandy Lane.. but for a film really honoring the whole 80s tradition of BAD acting (and there is A lot.. just deal with it) there's really very little in the way of over the top gore and nudity, which were staples of the genre.

So.. in the end.. while the reveal is interesting.. you have a rather just.. I won't say bloodless.. but gore lite, badly acted, lousy characters (and writing), while at times interestingly shot film.. that just falls flat until the last.. 15 or so minutes..which are interesting but by that point is much too far gone to save the film. I know it sounds that I HATE the film.. but I don't.. I just.. meh.. its an OK film.. but we've seen better, even when they were making these films (20+ years ago). And while it may be a fun diversion.. that's all it'll be.. maybe a bit better thought out than just a plain old.. crazy guy with no explanation hacking away.. it it a bit more.. intelligent, at least like I said.. as I assumed what the motive was (you really don't have a motive which is odd in itself, you are left to infer it). Which is another problem.. trying to paint what is a very much B grade slasher as an art picture? Which.. it clearly is NOT by any leap.. It's an interesting watch.. but to see something more recent, and actually interesting in this genre I actually recommend "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon", its a weird.. and unwieldy title.. and I had not given it a shot.. but is actually an interesting take on the "slasher" genre, giving it a new twist.. not more of the same old..

Jumper (2008)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Well.. it's no Bourne Identity... or even Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 10 June 2008
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd say... as far as movies go today.. I'd say.. a 6 or 7 is as high as I'd give it.. sadly Jumper falls flat in a lot of areas.. yeah its diverting.. Rachel Bilson is GORGEOUS.. and say what you will. but Hayden Christnsen isn't all that bad of an actor.. then again.. what kind of "chops" do you really need for a movie like this anyway? While.. I found the action "fun".. unlike Lyman's previous "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" which.. I thought.. wow.. there's a hell of an idea.. but.. its like at the end of the movie.. Lyman just gor BORED with it.. and said.. let's just END this thing.. "Jumper" sadly.. goes the other way at a very BRISK running time of 88 minutes.. there's the almost super hero origin which takes up a good 5 or 10 minutes.. but, like the rest of the film it is very TIGHT and effectively told.. the problem is, as others have pointed out.. what are we being told? There are soooo many plot lines.. and as others have also said.. this one just feels like you're at the MIDPOINT of the movie when it fades to black. Sadly I don't see sequels blinking into existence.. although if they do, I'd definitely check them out to see where the story goes.. maybe the idea of "jumping", the Paladins that have tracked down the Jumpers through thousands of years.. the character of the mother.. and even see if Rooker returns.. but it was to me.. kind of like Unbreakable which to me was a very very very slow to go film.. which just ends at its HIGH POINT.. "nooooooooooo.. that's the story I want to see!!".

Jumper has a lot of set up.. but.. we never get to see that story, although there are a series of books (although the movie series is just based on the "concept" and not the characters in the film). I kind of wish it had had more time to really.. flesh characters out.. Diane Lane was in the movie.. maybe all of 3 minutes.. PERIOS.. I was actually kind of interested to see her in the film when I read her name on the box.. ditto with Rooker who is rather one dimensional for most of his time, but acquits himself nicely I thought.. and again its like other people said.. the end.. it felt a lot like.. the end of "The Bourne Supremacy" 'he's out there'.. and he's running from the bad guys.. I can't really disagree with any of the reviews in terms of content.. although.. when I watched the film.. it oddly.. felt ALL there.. and very complete for its very brief running time, 88 minutes.

Still this is nowhere near the return to form for Lyman as with Bourne.. or Go, a vastly underrated and so far under-sequelized film (I think they could have at LEAST milked those characters for another movie, even jokingly hinted at in its closing credits).

as.. for an eye candy film.. you really can't do much better.. big fx.. big stunts and action.. the acting isn't Oscar quality.. and.. like I said.. the whole film just felt like a mad rush to get wrapped up.. and in only frustrating that it feels more like it was meant to be a back door for a sequel, that will more than likely never materialize..

still for just a silly no-brainer action.. sci-fi film. you could do a lot worse.. but, you could also do a lot better too.. still its a fun lil ride.. I know its really hard to say if I RECOMMEND this film.. and I really can't. It's just OK.. and if you want a lil mindless action that's sadly paper thin.. something you'll see.. and go hey.. that stunt was cool.. Jumper would be for you.. but for most people, I'd have to say pass.. unless they fill out a more complete "series" that makes the film feel a bit more "whole" which it doesn't in its first foray onto the screen..


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