Reviews written by registered user
lgran81

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
11 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

Way too much hype surrounding this flick, 1 December 2005
6/10

Even after all the hype of the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie affair, if you still haven't seen Mr. & Mrs. Smith, it is now available on DVD.

After meeting in a moment of chaos, John (Brad Pitt) and Jane (Angelina Jolie) rescue each other from certain death by pretending to be together. Shortly afterwards and without the support of their colleagues/friends, they decide to get married.

They both believe the other has a normal, boring job, but little do they know they are assassins working for competing organizations.

After being assigned the same hit, Benjamin Danz (Adam Brody), the target shifts and becomes each other.

There are both positives and negatives to this movie. First of all, it is a flick both men and women could enjoy. There is a lot of action with violent shoot outs, but it also has a hidden love story in between.

Second the acting is great. Jolie and Pitt played these parts very well. There is definite chemistry between the two in this movie (gee… I wonder why.) Unfortunately, they alone could not pull this film together.

Finally the last bit of entertainment is found in two words, Vince Vaughn. Eddie (Vaughn), John Smith's partner was a riot without even trying. He definitely adds to the likability of this movie and should have been given more air time.

What was not so great about this film is the long running time of 120 minutes. There could have been a lot more editing to not make this movie drag on like it does.

In addition, towards the end, there is just too much that is unbelievable. Really, is no one going to notice a swat team and bombs going off at their local home store? Overall, this movie would normally receive two out of four stars, but since it could be entertaining for both men and women and Vince Vaughn's character; it receives two and a half out of four stars.

If you haven't already seen the completely over-hyped Mr. & Mrs. Smith, pick it up on DVD and ask a date to join you for some Saturday night movie action.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Potter always great, but its just not Azkaban, 16 November 2005
8/10

Well, the wait is over. The fourth release in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, directed by Mike Newell arrived at the big screen November 18.

This year Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) are now 14 years old and find themselves not only exploring magic, but dating as well.

As the movie begins, Harry is having nightmares about devious meetings that are causing his scar to bother him more than ever before. He attempts to brush off these premonitions as they begin their fourth year at Hogwarts.

Upon returning to their beloved school, the head master announces the Triwizard Tournament and introduces the additional schools that will be participating.

However, due to the life-threatening and grueling tasks to be performed during the tournament, only those 17 years and older are allowed to be considered – technically this excludes Potter.

The tournament turns out to be more than the school and its participants bargained for with ancient beasts, underwater demons and magical mazes. Of course, like all Harry Potters before, nothing is as it seems.

Along with the Triwizard Tournament Hogwarts is hosting, also comes a Triwizard ball. This proves a difficult task for all three as they struggle with whom to bring as dates.

First of all, when it comes to rating this movie, it's Harry Potter so it just can't be bad. However, this particular one just did not measure up to its predecessors.

The very first two hours of the movie was great with all of the magic and conflicts you can expect from the series, but the end fell sort of flat.

A few major issues that have been lingering since the Sorcerer's Stone, as well as new prominent issues, did not get the recognition they deserved. I would like to explain myself a little better, but I don't want to give away major plot points in the movie. I only hope these issues are addressed further in the 2007 release of Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix.

Overall the movie was pretty good and deserves eight out of ten stars. It's not as good as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or the Sorcerer's Stone, but the kids, families and Harry Potter fanatics alike will enjoy this present day classic. It's definitely one to add to the DVD collection – like all the rest.

237 out of 322 people found the following review useful:
Joaquin Phoenix is brutally hot as Johnny Cash!!, 10 November 2005
9/10

Forget North Country, Walk the Line directed by James Mangold (Girl Interrupted) and written by Mangold and Gill Dennis is the better 2005 Oscar contender.

This romantic tragedy, which is based on the autobiographies of Johnny Cash The Man in Black and Cash: the Autobiography was actually written and perfected alongside the famous duo Cash and June Carter Cash before their deaths in 2003.

The movie begins with a young, music obsessed "J.R." Cash growing up in a poor cotton farming family in Arkansas. Shortly afterwards, a family tragedy changes his life forever.

Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) leaves for the air force, where he is stationed in Germany, buys an old guitar and proceeds to write one of the most recorded songs in history along with many others.

Upon returning, Cash's obsession leads him to a recording studio and into the spotlight with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) as well as Elvis Presley (Tyler Hilton) and the comical Jerry Lee Lewis (Waylon Payne.) The next emotional hour and 45 minutes is filled with great music, drug dependency, infidelity, and most of all love.

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who sang every song themselves, completely shined in this movie. There are no better actors that could have filled the shoes of the Carter-Cash duo. Phoenix and Witherspoon had such great chemistry, by the end of the movie you actually think they might really be in love.

However, if you tend to get restless in longer movies, the running time of 136 minutes can start to seem a little long towards the end, but it's well worth it.

Overall Walk the Line receives nine out of ten stars. The movie did an excellent job portraying the life of the "man in black," his soul mate and their rocky path on the way to love. If Phoenix and Witherspoon are not nominated for their amazing voices and chilling performances, it will be a great disappointment.

Saw II (2005)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Better than the Original!, 1 November 2005
9/10

Following the line of gruesome death scenes, surprising plot twists and creepy clowns, Saw II directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by Bousman and Leigh Whannel (he played Adam in Saw) will definitely make you jump out of your seat.

The Jigsaw Killer is at it again. The movie begins with an unknowing victim trapped in a room and subject to self mutilation in order to save his life. This crime scene draws the attention of Detective Eric Matthews, played by New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg.

In the events that follow, a group of seven extremely unlucky individuals find themselves playing one of Jigsaw's twisted games while trying to find an anecdote for the lethal poison seeping through their veins and a way out of the booby trapped house.

Saw II immediately grabs your attention and keeps it for the entire 90 minutes of blood, gore and death.

Everything in this movie fits perfectly - from the camera shots, to the actors, and all the plots. Saw II is creatively mastered from every angle.

The sequel also takes time to make a connection back to the original movie to clarify the relationship between Jigsaw and his first set of victims. Jigsaw's motives and philosophy of his work is also revealed in Saw II.

At first it's hard to decide which movie is better Saw or Saw II, but in the end I would have to vote for the sequel – shocking isn't it! In the original, Dr. Lawrence, played by Cary Elwes was not a good actor and somewhat took away from the movie. In addition, the single room scene became somewhat stagnant.

On the other hand, in the sequel, all the characters were well cast and the continuous motion only added to the suspense.

Overall, Saw II receives three and a half out of four stars. Scary movies just don't get any better than this. I truly hope they make this set into a trilogy.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wax provides short, cheap thrills, 27 October 2005
6/10

If you haven't had enough blood, guts and gore from Halloween, I suggest you pick up a copy of House of Wax on DVD directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Charles Belden and Chad Hayes.

Six people, including Paige played by Paris Hilton herself, are on their way to a football game in Baton Rouge, La. On the way, the group decides to camp for the night in a remote grassy area off of the bumpy short cut they have taken.

After drinking, spoofing the infamous Hilton sex tapes and an awkward encounter with a truck, the group awakes to find the fan belt on one of their vehicles broken. Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) and her boyfriend Wade (Jared Padalecki) are driven into a small, somewhat normal appearing town in search of help while their friends head off to the game. A little snooping around later, the murder begins.

What is good about this movie is the head turning, gruesome death scenes. There are definitely parts of this movie that are creatively done and will make you jump.

However, the bad part of this movie is that it takes too long to get to these scenes. The first hour of the movie is the group taking about the trip, driving, and camping. By the time all the gore comes the boredom and sleepy eyes have set in. Most of this should have been cut back to make room for more gore.

Overall House of Wax isn't horrible, but it only deserves two out of fours stars. It's fun for a rainy day/night and some cheap thrills, but it's not something I would add to my DVD collection.

4 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Erin Brockovich or North Country?, 19 October 2005
8/10

In the tradition of women empowering movies, North Country is this year's Erin Brockovich.

North Country, which is loosely based on a true story, documents one women's struggle to end sexual harassment in the workplace, more specifically in the steel mines of Northern Minnesota.

A victim of domestic violence, Josie (Charlize Theron) takes her two children and moves back in with her parents (Richard Jenkins and Sissy Spacek) in Minnesota. Struggling to make it on her own Josie goes to work at the mines after reuniting with her friend, the already employed Glory (Frances McDormand).

The small population of women workers in the predominately male environment are not at all welcomed and subjected to humiliation and harassment.

Although the movie definitely has its moments, the entire package was not as impressive as Erin Brockovich. The very end of the film, which closes with words rather than action, leaves the viewer slightly empty.

However, the combination of the main plot with an attention-grabbing subplot is highly invigorating.

North Country has a very strong cast with Theron leading the pack as well as Woody Harrelson as Bill White, the New York City Lawyer and Michelle Monaghan as the 19-year-old laborer.

Overall, North Country receives three out of four stars. It is almost a guarantee that this movie will be an Oscar contender, but honestly it could have been better.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The Corpse Bride definitely Rises to the Occasion, 12 October 2005
8/10

Halloween is almost here and there is no better way to get in the spirit than by watching Tim Burton's Corpse Bride written by John August and Pamela Pettler and directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson.

Financial trouble in the family has forced two somewhat dull and unhappy people to be wed. Victor Van Dort using the voice of Johnny Depp and Victoria Everglot with the voice of Emily Watson are meeting for the first time only days before their wedding. Both have suspicions of one another which are demonstrated by Victor's inability to say his vows during their wedding rehearsal. This uncertainty causes Victor to stumble into the woods and change his fate forever.

While perfecting his vows, Victor unknowingly slips a ring upon another's finger resulting in a marriage between himself and the corpse bride played by Helena Bonham Carter. From here the plot thickens and the magic continues to unravel.

The animation in this movie is spectacular - it could almost be described as life-like if most of the characters were not dead. It is apparent through both the Corpse Bride and Tim Burton's last spooky computer animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas that skeletons hold a special place in his fantasy world.

The skeletons in Corpse Bride are very realistic and eerie. The recent dead appear a pale blue, those that have been deceased for a longer period of time have begun rotting away showing their skeletal interiors and those that have been dead for a while are nothing but bones.

This movie is PG for some creepy scenes and frightening scenarios which might scare younger children and those faint at heart. However, this is a great film for everyone - not just children, families and Burton fanatics.

Overall the Corpse Bride deserves three out of four stars. Tim Burton's wild imagination has proved magical once again. The Corpse Bride is not as mesmerizing as The Nightmare Before Christmas, but definitely worth adding to your DVD collection.

44 out of 64 people found the following review useful:
"Chick-Flicks" just don't get any better than In Her Shoes, 12 October 2005
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay Ladies – it is time to gather up all the important women in your life, leave the boys at home and head to the movie theater for In Her Shoes staring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacClaine.

This comedy/drama begins with Rose (Collette) having to pick up her drunk and passed out sister, Maggie (Diaz) from her 10-year high school reunion.

When Rose tries to take Maggie back home where she stills lives with her parents, Maggie is kicked out by her wicked stepmother, Sydelle. Rose has no choice but to take her sister back home with her.

From here the tension and conflict grows as Rose and Maggie are polar opposites. In fact, the only similarity they share is their size eight-and-a-half shoes. Maggie's irresponsible and promiscuous ways eventually drive the two apart after a very awkward and dramatic fallout.

After the fight, Maggie finds herself in Florida and Rose finds herself searching for a change. Although angry and apart, the two can't help but miss the other desperately.

The movie, based on the novel by Jennifer Weiner, was brilliantly re-written for the big screen by Susannah Grant and directed by Curtis Hanson.

All of the actors did an award winning performance although the Oscar should definitely go to Collette who simply shined.

I believe that Cameron Diaz had a little too much of the spotlight in the trailers and promotional poster, but fortunately was not all the focus in the actual movie.

Overall In Her Shoes gets four out of four stars. This is definitely a movie that will make you realize exactly how important all the women in your life truly are. It's just not possible for a chick-flick to get any better than this!

10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Ryan Reynold's bod sure saved this flick, 12 October 2005
5/10

Don't have high expectations for the 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror directed by Andrew Douglas and you just might enjoy it. If you have already seen the 1979 classic, it may already be too late for you.

The nightmare begins when the Lutz family decides to purchase a gorgeous new home with a price that is too good to be true. They are informed by the Realtor of tragedy that occurred in the home, but decide to go through with purchase anyway – big mistake.

Soon after moving in, strange occurrences begin to take place. Chelsea Lutz (Chloe Moretz) befriends the ghost of Jodie Defeo (Isabel Conner) while her step dad George Lutz, played by the very sexy Ryan Reynolds, begins to go a little nutty. All the while the family slowly begins to unravel and fall apart as the spirits of the previous tenants haunt and possess the current occupants.

Throughout the movie there are a few scary scenes and creepy moments, but for the most part the remake of the 1979 classic is just silly. The most ridiculous scene would have to be with the scantily-clad babysitter, Lisa (Rachel Nichols). Lisa who appears to be 17 or 18 years old asks Billy Lutz (Jesse James) who appears to be no older than 12-years-old "if he's ever Frenched before… you know like French kissed" during a bedroom scene. I mean come on – was this part really even necessary? However, the one great aspect of the movie – listen up ladies – is the numerous scenes with Ryan Reynolds half naked. In fact, according to the Internet Movie Database Web site, females gave The Amityville Horror a higher rating then men – gee, I wonder why.

Despite the ridiculousness of the movie, it is still worth watching – especially so close to Halloween.

Overall The Amityville Horror receives two and one half out of four stars. I would have given it only two stars, but Ryan Reynolds really does have a great body.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Just Like Heaven will steal your heart and make you smile, 20 September 2005
9/10

Destiny – it's a beautiful thing. One minute you are all alone – completely miserable and with the small adjustment of some cosmic force, you are part of a fairy tale that always has a happy ending. Just like Heaven (2005) written by Peter Tolan and Leslie Dixon, directed by Mark Waters, and starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo is a perfect example of this.

Elizabeth, played by Witherspoon, a work-a-holic emergency room doctor is suddenly thrust into a world of uncertainty after a tragic accident takes away everything she thought to be important. David, played by Ruffalo, a loner lacking the motivation to do much of anything besides drink, finds himself moving into a new apartment previously rented by Elizabeth. From here, the plot thickens and the humor flourishes.

Despite the somewhat predictable and sappy plot this movie is based around, it is definitely one of the best I have seen all year. Just Like Heaven falls inline with the great comedies of 2005 such as Wedding Crashers and 40-year-old Virgin.

However, the screenplay is kept alive and very entertaining with outstanding performances by Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo (13 going on 30), and John Heder (Napoleon Dynamite). That's right - Heder is back to play a very comical clairvoyant that works in a bookstore where David finds himself looking for advice on how to deal with his new found friend, Elizabeth.

This movie is best for females of all ages, however I believe the clever punches, quick wit and John Heder's cameo make this a movie that even men will enjoy.

Overall, Just Like Heaven deserves three-and-a-half out of four stars – losing one half of a star for the slightly unnecessary plot twist at the end as well as some of the questions left unanswered. Regardless, this movie is definitely worth seeing – matinée or not - when it opens in theatres this Friday September 16.


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]