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Real Time with Bill Maher (2003)
Smart, Funny, and Important.
I don't usually wright reviews so I'll be short: Real Time with Bill Maher is a 1 hour show on HBO based around a "roundtable" discussion and debate that addresses US politics, policies, foreign affairs and domestic issues with honesty, humor and a slightly liberal bias. Despite that bias, the show and it's host Bill Maher remain objective throughout but with a tendency to lean left in a humorous way.
Since I'm not tied to any political party I tend to really enjoy the whole essence of this show. Nothing Bill says will offend me, although he tends to offend a lot of people who are mostly conservatives. That said, he is also critical of liberals as well. He's not afraid to critique or question either side.
The show is filmed in front of a live audience which, in my opinion takes away from the show. The audience is almost 100% liberal and will applaud everything negative towards conservatives and they tend to gang up on Republican guests of the show. That to me is a drawback. Audience participation is the reason why I can't stand The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. While I respect Jon Stewart, his audience is very annoying and it takes away credibility from the show's claim to be news. It seems that The Daily Show is more-so entertainment and caters to a less mature demographic. Not to sound snobby, but I'm just saying. Real Time's audience doesn't go that far nor does the show stick so faithfully to entertaining it's audience. While the show does make you laugh, it remains a poignant piece of political news and satire without being too goofy.
Towards the end of the show Bill Maher does his "New Rules" segment which is basically just a taste of his stand up routine. The segment consists of about 5 or 6 "New Rules". The last "New Rule" however is not a joke, it is a heartfelt and passionate commentary on the state of American culture, politics and overall standing in the world. It is sometimes alarming, other times it's depressing but it's always important. It is with this finale that we see Maher's true passion for his country. He may be a pot smoking, snobby, liberal douche bag but he's still an American. And it's obvious that he truly cares about his country and where it's headed. It's important to see through the facade and understand the point he is trying to make, it maybe funny and satirical but it's something we all need to hear. Whether we agree with it or not, it's a step forward in attaining a greater understanding with which we could help ourselves and our country for the future.
Lame, but very entertaining.
I'm not a big Steven Baldwin fan, but I liked him here. This movie is almost a bad one. It's saving grace? It's subject. The skydiving scenes were pretty good (not the best) but good enough to keep me interested. Tom Berenger was hilarious (whether he meant to be or not remains to be scene), and Rodman was, well, himself, minus the rebounding prowess. The beginning of the movie features some kinda-interesting ATC chatter between pilots and controllers which prevented me from turning this movie off before it began. This movie is probably one you'll forget about after watching it but, it's still not too bad. I actually kinda liked it.
The Patriot (2000)
The acting is good, the shots are beautiful and the battles look great. Unfortunately, this movie is amazingly inaccurate. I can understand distorting some facts in the name of art, or "hollywood license" but this film just takes it to another level. Another part I did not like was the score, it literally put me into a rage every time I heard it. This movie is unbelievably melodramatic (even more melodramatic than an episode of Greys Anatomy, and that's saying something!).
Despite that, it's still quite good. Before I saw this, I expected there to be a lot of "go America" Flag waving, but to my surprise this was a lot more subtle than I expected. Although, it does exist (to the point where Mel Gibson is actually waving a flag). The acting is good, especially Mel Gibson. I watched this film because I absolutely love both Tom Wilkenson and Chris Cooper, and I wasn't too disappointed. Watch this film for it's battle scenes, they are great (they pale in comparison to the 1968 adaptation of War & Peace, but are great nonetheless), and there is also some humor in this film at times. My one concern is the negative portrayal of the British. They are our close allies and are a nation of tradition, history and class, they deserve better than that. I understand that the movie needs a "bad guy" but they didn't have to go as far as they did. I hope the Brits understand, that this is just a good, old fashion summer blockbuster, nothing more. Other than those things, the film was better than I expected, I did enjoy most of it. I hope you will too. Unless of course, you're British.
Last Call with Carson Daly (2002)
It doesn't suck that bad.
Maybe the best part of the show is the fact that it creeps up right after Conan O'Brien and Late Night's fans are all of a sudden unsuspectingly watching Carson's show. Carson Daly can't hold a candle to Leno, Letterman, O'Brien or any other late night talk show host, and Last Call seems to miss more than hit in this hit and miss genre. The shows only redeeming quality is that it's so short. But, I wouldn't call it crap. Carson Daly is sincere and doesn't hide the fact that his show isn't great(that honesty is actually helpful here), while some of Last Call's skits and material seem to be stolen, they still find the mark sometimes. Actually, some of Carson's montages have been quite entertaining, and the skits occasionally have their moments of decent comedy.
As an interviewer, Carson is okay, even with only one guest, not exactly late night material but still above the level attained by a high school AV team. However, he doesn't have the quick wit that makes Conan so hilarious. I do not like his musical guests, but that's more because I am not a fan of that kind of music so, I'm not holding it against him.
On to the house band. I don't know Joe Firstmans band and wouldn't compare them to the CBS Orchestra, the Tonite Show Band with Kevin Eubanks or the Max Weinberg 7. Even Cleeto and the Cleetones are better. But, Firstmans band mates do still the show in my opinion. Especially the Alto Sax player that sometimes shows up (he has long dark hair and sunglasses and is always playing in the upper register), if anything, watch the show for him, I do.
In summary, this show isn't even worth a full bag of kibble n' bits. But it does have an audience, and appeals more to the younger "mtv generation". If you don't have cable and are up at 1:37 am, there really isn't much more to choose from and, surprise surprise, there is worse out there in that time frame. So, if you're waiting for Poker After Dark to come on, 30 minutes of Last Call wont kill you during the wait.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
First, to really understand this movie, you must think of Star Trek and it's followers. Galaxy Quest does not make fun of them, instead it kinda shows them what everybody else sees.
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Tony Shalhoub all shine, but the one who shines the brightest is Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman. His role as "crewman #6 who was killed before the first commercial break of episode 81 in 1982" is wonderful. His timing is great and his one-liners are hilarious!
The special effects are great and the action is there but never too heavy, it allows room for the characters. Everyone plays their part well. Alan Rickman has great moments as the frustrated Shakespearian actor who lost his way in Sci-Fi television. Simply a wonderful movie in every way.
The Pacifier (2005)
A pleasant surprise...REALLY.
Wow, I thought this was going to be the stupidest movie since "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain" but it was not! Now granted, it is lame and predictable, but still, it ends up funny and charming. Vin Diesel isn't that bad at all, and the rest of the cast does fine as well. There are also, a lot of funny bit parts in it as well, mainly, the school's vice-principle. There are a lot of funny physical things in this movie to keep everybody amused. And for you ladies out there, Vin Diesel in tight T-shirts should be enough to keep it interesting. It may not be worth paying to see at the theaters, but catch it on cable sometime, you might be surprised. Also, the kids should enjoy it too, it is a fun film for them to enjoy.
Cast Away (2000)
That Volleyball Deserved a Freaking Oscar!!
We all know who Tom Hanks is, but what about the volleyball? Simply an amazing performance by a truly underrated performer. Really, what a performance!
Anyway, the movie is quite alright, I wont call it a masterpiece, because it isn't, and I wont call it a 2 1/2 hour FedEx commercial either. It is a wonderful film of the more "artsy" side of things. The silence used in the film really adds to the movie, in a way that it becomes such a part of the feel, that without it, the viewer does not get that same feeling. There is an awful lot of time to think in this movie, but that is the point, time is the only benefit being stranded alone on a desert island can offer. To some, the film may come off as being boring and too long, but the rest will understand and begin to understand the plight of the character played by Hanks. It has an all too realistic theme to it as well, really, a good movie.
See it for yourself
I know this movie may come off as some shallow and crappy action flick, and for the most part it is...kinda. It's really not crappy, although, the plot, acting, realism etc. may be up to debate, one thing is for sure: the visual effects KICK ASS. And they are what carry the film throughout it's duration. That is not to say the film is lacking substance, it isn't, but it may sometimes leave the viewer wondering what the hell is actually going on.
All in all, the film is an excellent action packed thrill-ride that isn't intended to leave any long term meaning or sentimental value. Like I said before, the visual effects really take the cake. It should be taken as nothing more than that. Also, a lot of imagination goes into this film which to me, brings an added bonus. The fact that the movie takes place in the future allows the writers to throw in a whole bunch of crazy little tidbits that add to the creativity of the film.
Of course, like most action flicks, this one has a pretty predictable and unrealistic ending that reminds me of the Chuck Norris movies where he goes back behind enemy lines alone to save his POW buddies, but who cares? In my opinion, it does not take away from the film too much. Like I said above, the imagination and creativity are what makes this movie worth the watch.
Read my comment.
Shaquille O'Neal delivers an Oscar worthy performance in what might be the most powerful performance of the 90's. All around, it is brilliant. This is a gripping and amazing tale about a genie and his friendship with a lonely child. Acting is purely amazing and the story is beautifully played out like poetry in motion. Honestly, this film goes down as one of the all time greats. Top to bottom, this film is perfectly mastered. Every actor in this film comes through and nails the role perfectly. 11/10
Now, imagine the exact opposite of that. Got it? Okay, the truth is...the movie isn't even *that* good. Shaq, what were you thinking?
A middle school AV team could have made a better movie.
Honestly. Do yourself a favor and don't watch this crap. It is not even good enough to be a lame kids movie. In fact, the makers of this film should be sentenced to a life term in prison for exposing the world to such garbage.
Seriously, there are a lot of cut corners here, and the story is worse than that of a cheap porn flick. Anyone who payed to see this movie in a theater was robbed. It still amazes me that this could have been printed, honestly, the movie is just one stupid gag after another, one's we have already seen and are tired of. On a scale of 1 to 10, I wouldn't give it a score at all, it is not good enough.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
A super fun movie.
Upon hearing of this film, I thought it was like the old versions, which were scary. Instead, I was treated to a fun musical made up of stunning visuals and catchy tunes. After seeing it, I realized one thing: Emmy Rossum is HOT!!!!! Despite that, the movie was good. Although, I felt it to be a bit overdone in the Drama department, it didn't matter. I love this movie. Whatever flaws it has are made up by Emmy Rossum's insane hotness. The background orchestral score sounds great, and the film is a wonderful take off of the stage version. Then again, the stage version doesn't have Emmy Rossum. In that case, I'd rather see the film.