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13 reviews in total 
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Hog--WHAT?, 10 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hermione is coming along just fine, I daresay, yet the lads seem to have crossed the threshold to the awkward years. Now, objectively this is a failed film: narratively distracted, uneven, disjointed, careless, and very very vague. Like, what ever happened to that stiff in the woods? Oops! Lost that particular thread.

Yet, how many objective minds are there out there? Who has not been pulled under the spell of the books? Themselves, no great masterpieces, yet at this moment of time, unrivaled in the bestselling world. And so they are supplemental to the books. The movies that is. They do not stand on their own, or certainly at least this installment and the immediate last did not. This is for Potterheads alone and not for amateurs.

So, what did we like, anyway? Well, don't you just love it when someone raves how real it was? How real the dragon, was! Ha! And did like the introductory marches by the respective rivaling European schools of witchcraft and wizardry? Or is it wizardry and witchcraft? Humph.

And did like. . . oh what does it matter anymore... I'm hungry!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Wayne's World! Wayne's World! Party Time! Excellent!, 5 November 2005

Two "slackers" (read: stoners) embark on a road trip of self discovery. . . no, no, in fact, I recall nothing of a plot, yet snippets of Wayne's sardonic wit, Garth's paranoia and the duo's insatiable appetite for boundless wonder and munchies and you've just described this grunge-era classic of MTV and Saturday Night Live-style nostalgia complete with bargain-basement SNL wigs and ingratiating celebrity cameos. Mike Myers painted an indelible portrait of 90's youth or something like that. It is a wry, clearly drug-assisted experience disguised as mere cluelessness. Stoner subtext renders this otherwise unwatchable experience watchable. How did I ever enjoy this as a sober teenager? Love the DVD with digital cable-style interactive menu.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Must-Avert Eyes TV, 24 October 2005

With the reported steady deterioration of NBC's Must-See-TV Thursday night, I have now permanently defected to CBS's "Survivor." Occasionally, I'll stay on for a little "CSI," which brings us here today.


While the male lead, Mr. Petersen is realistically double-chinned, female lead, Ms. Helgenberger seems a bit too posh for her surroundings. The lab itself is impossibly immaculate and lit for mood, not practicality. Fluorescent lighting would be more accurate, yet far less flattering. And just how many dead bodies can a mid-sized burg like Vegas produce per annum?


You may have heard of the controversial "CSI" effect in our nation's criminal courtrooms. The liberal use of expensive, exotic technologies on television do not represent the real world of crime scene investigation. Yet, jurors' expectations have been heightened as a result of TV-watching. The People now demand ubiquitous DNA sampling. While such expectations might ultimately increase poor forensic standards, they are also highly unreasonable. In many instances, DNA and other high-tech clues are just not necessary. Not every murder requires such high tech sleuthing. In addition, CSI units are not exclusive crime-busters in the real world. CSI techniques have certainly not displaced tried and true procedural practices (see "NYPD Blue") with the focus on interrogation, not science. Perhaps television will produce a future hybrid in cop programming, inspired by the Law & Order split format: part scientific gobbledygook, part witness-badgering. My main concern with TV police portrayals is the idealization of the profession. While feature films are usually replete with crooked cops, the bad police apples on TV are far and few between. "The Shield" would be a notable exception. . .if my cable provider provided the F/X channel. TV cops are just so tireless, stalwart and noble. They're just such good guys. That's not reality, not in a police station and not in any professional setting. In truth, more people than not are simply jerks.


If CSI has had a harmful effect in courtrooms, it has certainly inspired the proliferation of violence on television. While we're at least spared the fetid SMELLS of rotting corpses, the visuals are bad enough. We'll never see Ms. Helgenberger's breasts bared nor will we hear Mr. Petersen utter the taboo F-Word, yet no self-restraint is exercised in the representation of peeled back scalps, exposed viscera and buckets of blood. The effects of the prudish double-standard never cease to amaze. While I do not espouse censorship, I find it distasteful that increased portrayals of violence seem required to compensate for more stringent regulation of sex and profanity. The problem is not the violence itself, but the lack of self-restraint. When it's displayed compulsively and indiscriminately it strikes a sensational chord that compromises the show's credibility. Even pay-cable shows like "The Sopranos" which are equally or more violent are at least more restrained in its use. Welcome to Exploitative TV.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Harold and Kumar, Where are You?, 24 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BEGIN SPOILER: Fitfully funny and memorable for Mr. Chong's literal roach-smoking scene: Chong coolly mashes a stray kitchen cockroach into his pipe's bowl, lights up, coughs and hacks violently for a seeming eternity,then with perfect aplomb and not skipping a beat, re-loads the bowl properly, re-lights, re-tokes. END SPOILER. Alas, I began to lose faith less than half-way through the proceedings. It occurred to me that the lackadaisical duo are way obnoxious and less than relatable. I have come to appreciate the relative sophistication of contemporary stoners, Harold and Kumar. I simply prefer brighter company. Yet, the movie is probably a perfect fit for baked frat bros or those viewers who are so feeble-minded as to be outwitted by a stoner when they-- the former are sober. Notable guest appearance by Paul Reubens spouting obscenities in pre-Pee-wee form.

"Nip/Tuck" (2003)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Poor Prognosis, 24 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The setting may be summed up as plastic surgery chic. The procedures are incredibly gory, yet the offices, the surgical suites are all implausibly polished, romantically lit and sleek. It is obsessively glamorous cosmetic medicine.

The characters and plot may be summed up as false. As national media have reported, Nip/Tuck is one of many current series penned by gay men. In the interest of promoting tolerance, it's commendable to flesh out positive and/or non-stereotypical gay television leads. However, it is disingenuous to inform ostensibly heterosexual characters with distinctly gay voices. A common thread regarding Sex and the City was that the the female quartet were simply stand-ins for four fabulous gay males of Gotham. Nip/Tuck suffers the same predicament. Surgeons Troy and McNamara are not credibly heterosexual.

In addition, sensational plot lines belie an exceedingly schmaltzy undercurrent. The syrupy outcomes are as stomach-churning as the gratuitous depictions of surgery. BEGIN SPOILERS: Consider the pat attribution of Dr. Troy's lasciviousness to childhood sexual abuse (1st season). Consider Dr. Troy's inexplicable adoption of a child born to a mother he disdains and fathered by another man(2nd season). Consider Dr. Troy implausibly submitting his own face to the scalpel of Dr. McNamara in order to cure the latter's psychosomatic jitters (2nd season). END SPOILERS. When it comes to Nip/Tuck, I suggest that you seek a second opinion.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
If only White Castle burgers looked appetizing, 21 October 2005

Distinct from erstwhile duos, Cheech & Chong, Scooby & Shaggy, our contemporary stoners are ethnically diverse, intelligent and boast college educations. The ground beef quarry is not my favorite munchy, but I appreciate the heroes' single-minded determination in its acquisition. What is life without a goal? Whether deliberate or not, the cheesy special f/x add significant charm and one hopes the pending sequel will retain that style. Preparatory inhalation will abet one's tolerance of fanciful departures from reality. Noteworthy are clever uses of wildlife and Neil Patrick Harris. Sequel to be set in Amsterdam with likely addition of hookers and mayo-dipped fries. In short: a good romp.

Son in Law (1993)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Swim Away from Shore, 18 October 2005

On his recent maligned reality-show, Mr. Shore conceded his filmic oeuvre is best enjoyed stoned. No, he must have said "best watched." While a healthy toke might see you through the end credits, there is little pleasure to be found, save some sporadic chuckling at the picture, not with it. Titular hyphenate absence is the least grievance. Other hyphenate, wholesome Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (I dare you to rub out that "Saved by the Bell" patina of purity) is miscast as a rural vamp; she's too round of face for treachery. Mr. Shore, himself occasionally displays the odd talent for mimicry (I thought I recognized a Jimmy Stewart in there), however it is never aptly used. The trite fish-out-of-water formula has yet to be rendered with less grace. Our hero, Crawl has precious little wit to account for expeditiously charming his agrarian antagonists. Ultimately, I had to announce it's been ascertained: THE WORST MOVIE EVER. P.S. As another fish, Adam Sandler fared better with "Mr. Deeds." It may take a Shore to appreciate a Sandler.

Crash (2004/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Good Set of Brakes, Please, 18 October 2005

Mainstream film is certainly awash in remakes and formulae and Crash is an earnest attempt at topical gravitas. "Crash's" ambition merits some recognition. Its over-ambition leads it astray. One can attempt to defend impossible irony and coincidence by presenting it all as fantastical allegory. Yet, "Crash's" downfall is that is seems to initially aspire to verisimilitude and it never transcends into obvious metaphor. The unlikely occurrences on screen then ring falsely. And I'll take my Sandra Bullock "perky," thank-you-very-much. Just kidding, Sandy, kudos to you and the "Crash" crew. Please note: if you have failed to find Ms. Bullock anywhere on screen, please check you have not in error Net-Flixed David Cronenberg's "Crash," the ultimate car- and flesh-melding metaphor from James Ballard's pornographic novel, which they assigned me in Contemporary British Literature class.

Alfie (2004)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Old Nuns' Habits are Hard to Remove, 18 October 2005

Indifferent, superfluous re-make in the "Law Year 2004," Jude's ubiquitous winter. Anyway, this is the gay New York of Madison Avenue where the peeps are pretty and the duds are just right. In short, bland fluff. R-rating notwithstanding, it's a didactic, compromised version of the original Caine film. Sure, sometimes it's fine to acknowledge you learned something that day, but where's the South Park irony? Good pop soundtrack by Mick Jagger along with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics. The ditty "Old Habits Die Hard" was shut out by the American Academy, but deservedly took home a Golden Globe, which I hear is a very sought-after paper weight.

Scooby-Doo (2002)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Subtly Subversive Scooby Doobie Doo, 17 October 2005

Upon second stoned viewing my endearment is renewed. The marijuana references will fly above the wee ones' little noggins. For the rest of us, it's a quintessential high home entertainment experience. Whereas the vulnerable compromised mind might panic from genuine chills and thrills, the mild scares herein enhanced by intoxication fit just right. The golden twosome, Fred and Daphne are himbo and bimbo incarnate, while Velma predictably suffers from mortal cartoon myopia and a body of knowledge limited only by plot requirements. Stoner stars, Shaggy and Scooby are happily single-minded in their pursuit of munchies, while remaining lovably selfish and craven. Ultimately, the crew rises to the occasion even if it requires slight departure from caricature. With suitable scatologies, Scooby's infectious cackle, and single-minded snack fixation, it's a "runderful" romp, not to be enjoyed sober. P.S. Cartoonish CGI complements the mood, so don't have a cow about it, okay?

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