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57 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Good Comedy if You Were a Teen in the '80s, 12 October 2006

Which was me! I would have given the film 8 stars, but the story has way too many plot holes in the last five minutes so it lost a star.

I won't go into the main plot. Anyone who knows about this film, probably knows the plot anyway.

It was very refreshing to see a comedy that doesn't rely on potty-mouth humor.

There are a lot of references to '80s music (perhaps too many to Pat Benetar), but the references made me laugh. The fashion and character interactions of the teens in the '80s is spot on. I remember some of those outfits and experiences in junior high.

If you remember what life was like before dating and the wonder and confusion of the opposite sex, this film will probably make you smile. Garner definitely captures the gullible nature of a teen.

The film also has one of the funniest stripping scenes (without showing anything) to Ice Ice Baby that I've every scene.

This is a good film if you are in the mood for mindless, light humor. Some of the jokes fall flat, but most of them get a chuckle and some get a belly laugh.

14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Pure, Asinine Genius., 15 July 2005

I'm giving this movie a 10, not because it's a classic, but because for the B-movie genre, it's one of the best I've ever seen. The cheesy computer effects are hilarious. It's one of those films where you wonder "How much weirder is this going to get?" If you can get into the mind of a sentimental dreamer, this won't disappoint. How can you resist Julia dressed as Humphrey Bogart? Pure, asinine genius. If you go into this with a sense of humor. It's a lot of fun. Even with it's obvious continuity flaws it manages to entertain. If you like anteaters, be forewarned. There's a lot of anteater bashing. The plot is like a low-budget "Total Recall." Heat the popcorn and get ready to laugh.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A 1950s Scifi/Horror Movie with a Better Budget, 26 March 2006

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I expected it to be much worse from the reviews, but was pleasantly surprised. The acting wasn't cheesy and the monsters were interesting. My main complaint were things that I could excuse like poor CG and green screen. With all the budget problems, it's totally understandable.

The plot holes were terrible, that's my main complaint. If you tend to over-analyze movies or apply practical science to the film, it will just p*** you off. Don't expect top of the line cinema here. Just some good laughs. It's not very scary, but I hate being scared. It's on par with a 1950s sci-fi, horror movie.

Away We Go (2009)
43 out of 63 people found the following review useful:
A Charming Journey/Roadtrip, 21 June 2009

The style of Away We Go very much reminded me of a late 1960s/early 1970s film. I kept thinking of Harold and Maude or The Graduate, where the lead characters learn about themselves as their relationships grow and change. There were some characters that were so despicable that they'll make you laugh and cringe at the same time. The disappointments were done in a comedic way so the movie never drags. There were introspective scenes along the journey where I thought a Cat Stevens song would start playing.

The main couple travel to various cities to find the perfect place to raise their daughter and they meet an insane cast of characters along the way. These people remind me of people I've actually met in real life. A lot are parents with the best of intentions but what they are doing is just plain wrong.

Maya Rudolph should be in more serious roles. She's an amazing actress. She gives a very genuine performance, no overacting at all. As for John Krasinski, he was very good too as the loving, supportive boyfriend. There's a scene where he kept trying to say the right thing, but it keeps coming out all wrong. I think any couple will be able to relate to it when they see the film.

What makes this movie charming and deeper than a lot of romantic comedies is that you already have an established couple that's very much in love. This is usually where a romantic comedies ends, but Away We Go probes the deeper question of what happens after you meet the person of your dreams. Away We Go completely avoids the cliché of boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again.

I thought the music was okay, not the best, but the two men I was with very much enjoyed it.

I don't want to give away too much, but if you like a quieter film with a tone like the other movies I mentioned, you will enjoy this. If you're a looking for just a mindless roadtrip, this is not the film for you.

***I just read an article that the screenwriters were influenced by early 1970s movies, especially Hal Ashby who directed such classics as Being There and Harold and Maude. That explains why I kept thinking of Cat Stevens. If you go to the FilmInFocus website there's a 6 page interview with the screenwriters.***

Also, there's a comment that the film glorifies animal cruelty. The dog races were chosen because it's the saddest place the screenwriters could imagine to do the scene in Arizona. The context in the movie was to show the misery of a place like that, not glorify it at all.

72 out of 94 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Futuristic Details Stitched into a Poor Story, 7 September 2008

Wow. I didn't have high expectation, but thought I'd at least enjoy Babylon AD. I like just about anything science fiction and most B movies. Babylon AD seriously got the Homer Simpson treatment which I explain later in my review.

The setting is the world in ruins after nuclear war. Vin Diesel comes in as the anti-hero, terrorist hired to deliver a "package" to the US. Enter Michelle Yeoh as the protector and chaperone to the package. She's excellent in her role as a nun in a seemingly peaceful cult spouting lines such as, "just because we are peaceful, doesn't mean we are weak." There are some nifty special effects and enough mystery at the beginning to make me believe the film is going to get 7 stars.

Except for some futuristic technology, that's about it for the good parts of the film.

As for the bad parts, have you ever seen The Simpsons episode with Mel Gibson? The last half hour of Babylon AD is treated like Homer Simpson's version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I'm not kidding. It was shockingly bad and truly follows Homer's vision.

I'm still not quite sure what point the movie was trying to make. The story becomes so muddled and the acting is so bad at times that I had no idea what was going on. About 3/4 through the movie, one of the most awkward sexual tension scenes is thrown in for the hell of it. There's no build to it and it makes absolutely no sense, which unfortunately becomes the recurring theme until the end.

Blindness (2008)
55 out of 103 people found the following review useful:
Interesting Idea, but a Let Down, 4 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you like shocker drama, you'll probably enjoy Blindness.

Blindness begins as very promising. The editing and art direction cleverly shows peoples' mental states as they panic from not being able to see. Random people are struck blind and forced to live in a quarantined areas with limited resources and no links to the outside world. Julianne Moore pretends to be blind so she can stay with her husband. There's wonderful character development in the beginning, but the middle spirals downhill. For an hour in the middle logic is thrown out the window allowing for extremely graphic violence and sex.

Main characters allow idiotic things happen which can easily be stopped. I sat cringing through not 1, but 2 very long, brutal, rape/orgy scenes which could have been prevented. In the first scene, one of the women is beaten to death and continually raped. These scenes are very traumatic. Even if you cover your eyes, you can hear a man's graphic, verbal description of how he's raping a women. If I had been warned about them, I would not have chosen to watch this film. Julianne Moore has a weapon, can see, but goes along with being raped, stands by her husband after he has sex with another women in the cafeteria and just wonders around powerless for 2/3 of the film as bullies horde the food. It's completely ridiculous. There's no discussion about the affair so Moore's forgiveness to her husband makes no sense. In fact she just hugs the other woman after watching them have sex.

There's also a lot of feces, trash and naked people scattered around (some having graphic sex). I get the message that things are bad, but the film just lingers in this state for an hour, so I found myself getting very bored. I don't need to stare at close ups of dogs devouring people for several minutes or people's pets starving or dead in their arms.

The ending is treated like a fairy tale (complete with Moore's blind husband coming in like the knight in shining armor. He somehow finds Moore in a mob and rescues her). People get their sight back and Julianne Moore has sex with her husband again like nothing bad just happened. Everyone's happy. There's a scene with 3 women showering that seems thrown in to show more nudity.

Blindness focuses little on the process of how society outside the quarantine area collapses and rebuilds itself. That's what I was hoping to see, but it didn't happen.

The film left me feeling empty. The acting was fine, but I didn't learn anything new. Watching Blindness is a journey that I would not want take again. You also never learn what actually caused the blindness.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Pleasant Surprise, 31 March 2005

I have very low expectations for the sequel that rides on the success of the first movie, but I was pleasantly surprised by this film. My boyfriend's mother rented it for Easter. I really didn't care for the first film. It was a lot of complaining and my selective memory has erased most of it, so this was the last sequel that I wanted to see.

I enjoyed this film much more than the first one. Boy, was I surprised. There's some good stuff here. It reminds me of an old 1950s movie. There's a fantastic slapstick fight between two of the characters. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil it, but the physical comedy in this is excellent. It's on par with an old Jerry Lewis film.

Bridget accepts herself better. She's OK with her body and insecurities. Bridget is like the cat who falls out the window, but still lands on her feet. She's shaken up, but turns out OK. Things actually happen in this movie. It's not just diary writing. For a light, romantic comedy, this very much satisfies. Don't expect any reality here. If you'd like to see some, go rent Breakdown Palace to learn about Thai jails.

The main problem with the film is the editing. I got the feeling that plot information didn't make it into the final cut. If your looking for light entertainment, this is perfect. It shows the insecurities and misunderstandings that can happen at the beginning of a relationship, but weaves a cute story around it. Rene looks great with the extra pounds too. When will Hollywood learn that the anorexic look is out?

It's nice to see a romance that's not tear-jerkingly painful or cloyingly sweet. It's just a cute story that's easy on the brain and touches on what it's like to date in your 30s. If you see it with those expectations, you'll enjoy it.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Lot's of death with a sprinkling of comic relief, 8 January 2007

To say the film paints a dark portrait of the future is an understatement. Suicide kits and anti-depressants are handed out like candy in a world where people can't even take care of themselves, but crave children and pregnancy.

Life is disposable, but the potential for life is revered.

Children of Men is more like a war or chase flick than a sci-fi story. The only similarity I see to Blade Runner is that it takes place in the future. Comparing Blade Runner to Children of Men is like comparing filet mignon to chicken mcnuggets.

If you like action movies, you'll probably love this. It's not a character driven film. There's a lot of bombing, explosions and violence, with a few comedic scenes with Michael Caine to break up the tension. There's also some over-the-top angelic music whenever there's a sign of hope.

So if you like seeing very sad films about a future being overtaken by disease, despair, death and destruction, go see Children of Men. It's perfect for the pessimist.

I have to agree with the other reviewers who said that it's more like sci-fi fast food with editing like The Prisoner. It felt like I was watching war footage from Iraq spliced into a rescue story.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Unwatchable, 15 July 2005

My boyfriend is a huge MST3K fan. I usually watch the movies and laugh along, but this was the worst one ever. Even with the jokes of Joel, Crow and the others, nothing could make this turkey fly. The female lead is the woman who starred in Mannequin and she's the best actress in there. The wardrobe people even managed to make her butt ugly and look like a man. There's no eye candy for anyone in here. Sometimes that can be a saving grace in these films. The shots are so dark, you have to squint to see what's going on. All I can think is that the lights were turned low to hide the terrible sets and wardrobe. All I can say about the plot is that it's abysmal. The only reason I'm even giving it 1 star is for the kitch value of seeing James Earl Jones in his worst role ever. About half way through, I noticed my boyfriend (who had been looking forward to seeing this all week) was fast asleep. There was no way that I going to endure this crap alone. If you want to see a better B movie set in the future, may I suggest MST3K's "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank." It's an early Raoul Julia movie. He escapes his Orwellian society by watching the banned, controversial film "Casablanca." It's pure B-movie, futuristic genius. Don't waste your time with "City Limits." Even "Angel's Revenge" is better.

1 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Blade with Demons Instead of Vampires, 19 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My title pretty much sums it up.

Plot summary: Demons are trying to dominate the earth and a chosen one must stop them. (Replace Demons with Vampires, Nazis, Aliens, Spiders, Egg Beaters or whatever your whim and that will cover about 75% of these kinds of horror movies).

Here are the highlights and lowlights:

-The Devil was a great, sleazy, personification of a swindling, lounge lizard. One of the best devil depictions in film that I've seen.

-Decent special effects

-Predictable storyline

-Fine for a matinée, but I wouldn't pay full price

-I've seen worse

-Major plot inconsistency: If Angela could tune out the ghosts as a child, couldn't she do that again as an adult?

-Some super-fancy gadgets

-One of the characters is a black-market, religious weapons dealer who collects those moo-cow toys. He's interesting and the priest that hears the damned is interesting, but more time should have been taken with character development

If you're looking for a scary, Satan-taking-over-the-earth film, I suggest The Omen, Damien Omen II or The Prophecy.

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