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Wild Hogs (2007)
5/10
Not Unfunny albeit predictable - see it for Macy
21 March 2007
Overall, this movie is straight cookie-cutter "mid-life crisis/ road trip gone bad" - formulaic with the heavy use of absolutely predictable slap-stick, sight-gags and a not overly-original script. As far as the characters and a plot? You will predict with 100% accuracy every next turn.

Having said that, the performances were good - William H. Macy canNOT seem to put in a sub-par performance; his character was portrayed very nicely. Martin Lawrence, who I usually hate, was actually very good. Allen and Travolta were...not bad, although that spot on both their Oscar shelves shall remain empty.

If you're looking for an ORIGINAL comedy, one that will have you bust out laughing? You'll be sorely disappointed. But if you're the type of movie-goer who is grateful just to see a movie that's not god-awful crude, don't mind seeing/hearing the same jokes you've seen before performed fairly admirably, don't care about plot (because believe me, you'll predict EVERYTHING with pin-point accuracy - hell, I even predicted the CAMEO at the movie's resolution point) and like the safe/funny route, you'll be OK here.

What price is it worth to see this? Seriously, wait for the rental unless you absolutely adore the theaters experience.
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5/10
Had High Expectations but was Extremely Disappointed
22 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I'm the type of moviegoer who loves a full story, full of complexity and intertwining characters and events, with plenty of twists. I love De Niro and Coppola, films like "The Godfather, Parts I and II" or "Apocalypse Now" and "Casino", "Goodfellas" and the recent "The Departed" are my type of film. So imagine the anticipation I felt going into "The Good Shepherd." Two hours and forty minutes later, I left the theatre wondering, "Why?".

This film should be great, considering the players involved and the underlying material, the very formation and evolution of the CIA. Instead, this movie is a mishmash of conversations that go nowhere and plot-points that get developed only to fade away and never come to fruition. The climactic question, who within The Company gave intel to the Soviets re: Bay of Pigs, reaches a conclusion that should be earth shattering, but, like the rest of the film, falls flat. Several scenes, in fact, are wholly undeveloped and therefore unnecessary - one leaves asking, "And why was that part in the movie?" The cast is one of Oscar dreams - Damon, Jolie, De Niro himself, Alec Baldwin, Joe Pesci. But many of these names are only on the screen for a few minutes at best (e.g. Joe Pesci has one, brief scene). Damon's character, the focus of the film, is infamous for his stony silence and impenetrability - and on this he unfortunately delivers. He is emotionless and personality free - a protagonist such as this must be carefully done, and Damon doesn't do it in a way to be interesting.

As I said, I enjoy complexity - I don't need explosions and CGI to enjoy a film (in fact, those tend to come at the expense of true story and character development and therefore detract from a film). However, this movie had faux complexity at best - and in the end was merely an overly-long, boring exploration of a fascinating subject. The Emperor has no clothes.
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Saw III (2006)
3/10
More Of The Same - in a Bad way.
30 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I don't expect this review to change anyone's mind about seeing the film - if you like the "Saw" franchise you're going to see this movie as well - no review will stop you. But, as one who has seen every installment, I found this incredibly disappointing.

First and foremost, the very premise of the franchise, (damn thin to begin with), is made even more thin, while at the same time nothing new is introduced. Nothing. There is no new creative twist, just once again Jigsaw (through his protégé') getting all preachy to a new host of victims about how they had "every advantage" and didn't live up to (his) expectations, so now he's going to teach them something-or-other.

In this film in particular, Jigsaw rings rather preachy and even more so, absolutely hypocritical (for instance, Saw puts the main victim through the paces to teach said victim "how to forgive" - great lesson coming from a guy who blames the world for his terminal illness. Doctor, heal thyself!). Of course (not that this was different in Saw I or II) gore replaces horror, and there is absolutely no suspense. Given the story-line, I'd even call this one "dull" - even by comparisons to I and II. I was actually leaning my head on my hand, much of the way through - it is indeed a maddingly dull plot.

The film-makers definitely believe their audience is a rather stupid lot. The whole background is re-told more than once, with a liberal amount of repeat footage. Your average film-goer can make the connections in Saw III but apparently the directors thought we needed a Cliffnotes encapsulation.

So again, not like anyone looking forward to this movie is going to change their minds, but don't expect anything new, don't expect creativity, don't expect suspense or horror. Expect a few clever (apparently Jigsaw holds an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon or something) torture devices and the same, re-hashed storyline, driven into the ground as well as into the audiences' heads, the dullards we are.
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Silent Hill (2006)
3/10
Visually Awesome but Incomprehensible Garbage
23 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Well, after seeing this whiskey-tango-foxtrot of a movie I found out later it was based on a video game. Well, that explains a lot, since most of the film resembles a video game, with the lead character running through mazes/levels trying to find her daughter. But what is admittedly a very visually-satisfying film suffers from a lack of coherence and stupidity on a scale so massive, you don't know what you just saw and, frankly, you don't care! The film starts with the girl who suffers from sleep-walking and finds herself on the edge of a huge cliff (???). Her parents rescue her while the girl, in a sleep-state, shouts over and over "Silent Hill!" (in a not too convincing manner...the acting is, well, abysmal). This plot development takes literally 90 seconds of the film. Bingo-bango, her mom is taking her to, yep, Silent Hill! That'll cure her! This journey begins not two minutes into the movie. On the way, a motorcycle cop stops the mom. Mom pulls over. Cop approaches car. Mom immediately GUNS THE CAR AND TAKES OFF. Why? What human would do this for no apparent reason? I guess we're not to ponder this question. Mom is now (on a rainy, unfamiliar road, mind you) driving break-neck speed towards Silent Hill (a ghost-town in WV) and...get this...crashes full speed through a chain-locked barricade. Again...huh? WTF? Of course, she crashes the car and when waking up, daughter is gone and she finds herself right smack dab in the middle of ash-rain ghost-town alternate-universe what-the-you-know Silent Hill.

Now the movie is square into video-game mode. Our heroine (mom) sees a fleeting glimpse of a girl in a building. Mom enters (unfamiliar) building. Mom (with the aid of a single cigarette-lighter which never runs out of fuel or dies) proceeds to work her way through an unending maze which no sane person would ever find themselves able to back-track. Why? Heck, we've been asking ourselves this for the last (check the watch) 20 minutes! Mom encounters several scary looking creatures, surroundings, menacing-sounding civil-defense sirens, etc.

Oh yeah, the motorcycle cop arrives and hand-cuffs mom, after explaining that she dumped her bike a bit back (now we're starting to think, oh, I know, everyone is dead!)...both meet some mad, old woman who spouts out some pseudo-cryptic-occultish gibberish...more running through different buildings (you know, like levels of a video game)...they meet various "bosses"...run some more...get "keys" and other clue pieces...

..this goes on for two-and-a-half-friggin' hours. And then in the end there is some more psycho-babble about evil and witches and "not one of us" and the townspeople (???) try and burn the girl but the girl has a spirit double who IS evil and wreaks havoc on the townspeople (who are....dead? alternate universe? who cares!).

And in the end mom and daughter get back in the SUV, leave Silent Hill and get home...but is it home (I mean, dad has been home the whole time and he's alone and everything looks...real. Mom and daughter are in the home but...everything is kinda foggy and ethereal, like it's home but in an alternate universe? Dead?)...

Whatever! The three stars I give this are STRICTLY for the stunning visual graphics. Yet graphics a film do not make. Buy the game (sounds cool!) avoid the movie and and thank me later.
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The Departed (2006)
10/10
Best Picture Oscar Candidate
10 October 2006
This movie is, to be succinct, an excellent blend of story and character development, backed up by an all-star cast who collectively deliver the best acting you will see in a film, period. Of course, from Scorcese what would you expect but a masterpiece, and here he delivers in spades. The characters are intricate, the story well developed, the violence brutal and non-gratuitous. Above all this, there are many, many twists, more than most Scorcese pictures, that will keep the viewer guessing and at times, even jumping in their seats.

The cast is outstanding; Nicholson (with perhaps his best performance in decades), Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon (I'm Matt Damon!!), Leonardo DiCaprio...among an excellent collection of more minor characters - all superb. If I had to make one critical comment, it would be that one character (I won't say who) does not pay off at the end, which could have cut maybe 20-30 minutes from the film. But who cares - even among the GREAT movies this stands out - among the Deck served up 99% of the time nowadays, this is the Apex of Film-making.

You will NOT want to miss viewing this on the big screen!
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8/10
A Remake Better Than Most - May Contain Spoilers
15 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'm one of those moviegoers who has the opinion that, 1) the book is always better than the movie and, 2) the original is better than the remake. Having said that, of ANY remake I've seen, this was is best at recapturing the suspense and pure violence of the original, and maybe in some ways better (given the improved budget).

First I will say what is good about this movie. The suspense and violence is unrelentless. The original did a great job of not only using gore/violence, but pure suspense (a lone trailer in the middle of a pitch-black desert surrounded by an enemy that is unknown and unseen). The remake re-captures that well, unlike many that just up the gore factor with no heed to suspense. Second, the violence, when it does occur (and oh, it does!) is chilling. This movie makes the remake of "TCM" look like a romantic comedy. Additionally and perhaps paradoxically, the movie also takes time to "mourn" the victims, showing the emotional impact of their demise on their family. So there is a real human element there, which makes one care...somewhat. Last, this movie uses it's increased budget and special-effects abilities smartly, creating a very plausible landscape and setting for the violence. The portrayal of a insane and mutated "family" living in an old prop-town (used as a prop for testing the effects of nuclear explosions) is very haunting.

Having said all that, this movie does suffer a bit. First off, since most of these movies seem to cater to the younger crowd, we have your uber-annoying pair of teenage jerkholes (the son and daughter). The teenage boy is ESPECIALLY annoying and I prayed every minute for his death. His death SHOULD have come very quickly, due to his stupidity and to the situation he got himself into early on which, given the entire premise of the film, should have guaranteed his corpse status. Again, it seems horror films do a poorer-than-most job at creating characters you WANT to see live. Also, there are the usual incredible holes in the story. How a cell-phone salesman who looks like he's never seen a bike or weight-set in his life ends up single-handedly killing nearly the entire clan - including besting a 300 lb. insanely violent giant of a mutant in hand-to-hand combat - is impossible to imagine. How the boy and girl, who are the most inept, incompetent and weakest characters in the entire film, turn into a pair of virtual McGuyvers and best their foes, is equally incredible.

But oh well. Take it for what it's worth and if you're a horror fan, even of the original, you won't be too disappointed. As horror films go, the best in quite a while.
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Bubble (I) (2005)
5/10
Maybe It's Because I Didn't Enroll In Film School, but....
30 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I found the film to be very lifeless and dull. I was intrigued by the multi-channel distribution and, of course, the name attached to this film (even though I was not a fan of "Traffic" either). But what is so groundbreaking about filming what many of us have witnessed ourselves? I went through my college summers being a "short-timer" at various factory or other low-paying, fairly mindless jobs. I know just as you do probably, the people we saw here - the numbing drudgery of their lives, the monotony, the colorless conversations. That these "non-actors" could play these roles (which probably mirrored their own real-life existences) is just evidence to me that acting isn't really a hard thing to do. The story? Very uncomplicated - how is that ground-breaking? There was no murder mystery - just...a murder. Done by someone who never tried to cover their tracks and was promptly charged by the physical evidence she left behind.

I get perplexed when everyday-life, genuine, simple things are put on the screen and the reaction is amazement. The dialogue here was mind-numbingly dull - and, to be fair, quite accurate of these types of people in these situations. I've been in those lunch rooms. Listening to a conversation of, "So...how you doing?"...(pause)..."OK I guess" is not ground-breaking, no matter how 'genuine' the portrayal is. I've known all these characters; they are very commonplace. The overly-helpful person who gives out nurturing and perhaps dearly wishes some of it would be returned, the teenage dropout with no motivation, seeing their life unfolding as decades of mind-numbingly dull work and a personal life devoid of anything but beer and pot. The "player" who comes in and disrupts the status quo. OK, accurately portrayed to be sure, but....so? All I'm saying is that evidence abounds in films like this one and other examples ("Clerks", "Napolean Dynamite", "Blair Witch") that acting need not be hard and making a film is not altogether complicated. What is needed is the desire to work through the project, dedication (which is needed in any big undertaking, whether it be producing a film or finishing a dissertation or building a house) and hard work. And I'm not saying either anybody or everybody could do this. What I am saying is that I'm perplexed how a mundane, dialogue-free, event-free cut-and-dry simple film like this, with very little in the way of story or script, can garner such praise. Maybe the next "ground-breaking" film will be two-hours of uncut and unedited footage from a convenience store security camera. Brilliant!!
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9/10
Awesome Movie, Christmas or Otherwise
3 January 2006
Especially for anyone who read the CON series as a kid (as I did) this was an excellent adaption of the main book (there are seven total). Of course, as a fantasy series the visuals are a big component and this movie does a fantastic job of translating what one might visualize in their young minds to the screen. I've always thought that one problem translating fantasy or horror books onto screen has always been the iffy aspect of taking words, for which your mind conjures up it's own unique imaging, and translating them to a stark image based on the director's own imagination. Many times this simply doesn't work. Also, I have to say I am NOT a fan (typically) of CGI effects. Having said that, I've not seen a finer example of CGI and general fantasy imagery than this movie. The animals (who, of course, talk) are astoundingly rendered. The story is faithful to the book. The dialogue is very, very good. The acting could be better, especially (IMHO) the character of Susan. All the talk of religion and symbolism aside (C.S. Lewis was a devout Christian who rejected his faith and came back to it), anyone non-religious will find this movie a delight as well as those who choose to be fascinated by the Christ analogy. I'd rate it a "10" were it not for sometimes spotty acting. If you can see it on an IMAX screen, by all means do.
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Masters of Horror (2005–2007)
MoH has been hit and miss (mostly "miss")
20 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
What a great idea for a short series; have the "best" horror-film directors do their own shorties - unencumbered by "corporate/studio" strings, and watch the creative juices flow. What has been the actual case, however, is that most episodes have been ho-hum, with no new themes, and embarrassingly un-scary. In fact, the opening montage/music on too many of these episodes has been the scariest part of the show! Putting aside "scary" however, there have been some entertaining episodes as well. Here's my personal opinions on every episode so far: Incident on and off a Mountain Road - the series opener. Nice scenery but very un-scary and dreadfully unrealistic. A woman trained by her survivalist husband uses Rambo-like skills to escape a near-supernatural lunatic. Her traps/devices would take an engineer a hour to work out, and she is doing this in seconds while on the run. Yeah, right. Also...in a true horror film, aren't the BAD GUYS supposed to win? Dreams in the Witch House - anyone who loves horror adores the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and I have to give this episode props for the story. Unfortunately (and this is one of the BIGGEST drawbacks of any horror film) sometimes things that are very scary on paper, where the mind is free to endless imagining, become very SILLY when they are translated into visuals on the screen. Case in point: one evil rat with a human face. Silly. "Guy Bonus" on this episode with the very striking female lead giving us her "visual all." This was a good story, though and while not scary was at least entertaining.

Dance of the Dead - should have been called "Portrait of the Annoying". I never got the point of this - some airborne acid-rain kills most of the population and leaves only extremely annoying hoodlums to roam. Morbid entertainment includes corpses brought to "life" to dance for a hugely annoying audience.

Jenifer - this was a good episode...not really scary but creepy and wow, face aside the Jenifer actress was H-O-T (she did play, after all, a seductress) and once again gave us her "visual all." Nice.

Chocolate - guy starts to live life through a woman's eyes, becomes obsessed, culminating in a oh-so-predictable ending. Once again, the nudity (another hottie playing an artist's model) outshined the plot. Eh.

Deer Woman - this episode is downright FUNNY. I actually really liked this one as I'm a Brian Ben-Ben fan. He was hilarious as was the supporting actor. Again playing on the ever popular "female-seductress-witch-thing-kills-men" theme (which this time showcased the ample assets of the female protagonist, i.e. Deer Woman). The actors made this highly entertaining but again, NOT scary.

Cigarette Burns - now THIS is what a Masters of Horror should be! This was a dark, dark episode with lots of raw and very graphic violence all supporting the theme of "the thing that should not be seen/heard/touched/owned" (which is a classic premise). Stealing amply from "The Ring" (another "thing that should not be seen" premise) this was maybe not original but was very, very good. Genuinely creepy, good performances. Kudos to John Carpenter (who made the under-achieving but VERY good film "Prince of Darkness"). This one was T-E-N-S-E and very good.

So I'll watch the rest - even though only we've only had one truly scary episode (Cigarette) we've had, IMHO, 4 "good" episodes (Witch House, Jenifer, Deer Woman, Cigarette). Two episodes were abysmally poor (Dance, Chocolate) and one was....eh (Incident). Happily, the MoH lot has been free-flowing and unabashed with the nudity (leading to the predicable "Masters of Whore" label) for those of us liberal enough to admit to enjoying seeing the fine, female form. Looking forward to McNaughton's episode as "Henry" was a very good film.
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6/10
Has it's Moments but Precious Few - CONTAINS SPOILERS!
11 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
My wife hated this movie coming out of the theatre, but I rather liked it. However, hours later I was convinced that I, too, rather disliked this film. The premise of the movie is simple - a small-town diner employee (Tom Stall) thwarts a robbery/rape attempt by two armed bandits. His ability to disarm and kill both bandits is rather "too good to be" for someone not specifically trained in the art of killing. Of course, the news coverage reaches some dangerous characters from the Philly syndicate who call him "Joey" and insist he was a high-level syndicate member, brother of crime-boss Ritchie (played by John Hurt). The mob guys keep visiting, insisting that he is "Joey" (which he vehemently denies) and menacing the family until a final confrontation in his front yard where he again disarms and kills said mob members. Now his own wife is somehow convinced (seeing him in action) that he IS "Joey" which he readily (and mysteriously) confesses, all of a sudden. Now she feels she lived a lie, hates him for it, etc. All of a sudden, ANOTHER set of mob dudes (his brother, Ritchie's, crew) says he needs to come to Philly to see his bro. Well, the two bros aren't exactly "brotherly" and in fact Ritchie means to kill the person we now know was, in fact, Joey. Another confrontation ensues and let's just say Joey is VERY good at killing people. He returns home from Philly to a very shocked but still-together family. And here the movie ends.

Well...what to say? This movie is supposed to be big on character development/study (read: SLOW). Slow it is, with plenty-o-sappy moments establishing the stereotypical small town and Tom/Joey's small-town family life. However, said "development" is very, as I said, stereotypical - no deeper or more real than any other of the movies that attempt such a feat. In fact, everything about this movie is pretty run of the mill - the mob guys come, menace the family in the same way mob guys have done in many other films (e.g. showing up at the mall where mom/daughter are shopping...daughter goes out of sight, mom panics and finds her with mob guy...he's being all nice but still gives the old "veiled threat" speech). The character of the family is hard to develop due to seriously bad acting by BOTH the children (teenage boy and kindergarten-age girl). The wife begins to actually believe Tom IS "Joey" based on...nothing, really - the word of a mobster menacing your family?! Then there's Tom/Joey's "confession" to his wife that indeed he did have a secret past. Why confess??? There are so many other ways he could have gone to explain his deftness at warfare (he was in the military, for example...other "stories" at which someone hiding their identity would have well developed). Then, finally, the scenes where he is forced to dispatch his attackers are virtually undeveloped, short, and non-suspenseful.

So while I was kind of enjoying the movie, the payoff never came. The acting was sub-par by many of the characters (excluding Vigo M. and John Hurt), the characters themselves acted unrealistically (which is not good for a movie whose main claim to fame is character development) and the whole secret-identity/mob menacing aspect was nothing new. Thus, I too was disappointed by the film, while my wife simply hated it.
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7/10
Film Critics and Students of Film will Rave - but the average viewer?
7 September 2005
What I give this film high marks for is the story and character development. This is a very smart film, the type that critics and students of film croon over. However, its characterization via marketing will no doubt alienate many casual film-goers. This film is not a "thriller" so much as it is a love-story/mystery. It is not one bit "suspenseful" but is rather an entanglement of political and economic forces that is very...slowly...disentangled by our protagonist. Most of all, it is a love story and a morality play about trust and appearances, which ends depressingly. It is very moving at times, maybe too moving given the events of recent weeks. Prepare to be depressed - if you are not ready for that, do not expect to enjoy the film.

To give viewers a "warning" if you will, here is what you can expect. Expect cinematography that is of the documentary/8mm-esque type, reminiscent of "28 Days Later" - you know, that "low-budget" digital video that is all the rage. Expect very thick British accents - you will expend great cognitive effort just to understand the dialogue. Expect a very non-linear and slow-moving story, one that takes you in one direction and yanks you 180 to the next. This is even more a study of relationships and how well you know someone, than it is a murder mystery.

Again, very deep character development and a smart film...but enjoyable? Perhaps not so much.
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8/10
Believe the Hype - Funniest writing in Years
29 August 2005
For us adults - both guys and ladies - this movie is for us. While having some of the same premises as your basic teen-sex romp (dweeb dude trying to get laid) it is done very smartly, and while raunchy certainly, is never mean-spirited towards women or men. Steve Carrell plays, of course, the 40-year-old virgin and while having those virgin/dweeb characteristics, is oddly MUCH deeper than the stereotype of the "guy who can't get laid." In addition, the surrounding cast is hilarious - his co-worker buddies, his boss, the women/situations that pop into his life - all done in a very adult, raunchy but SMART way. Hell, your wives will even like this, guys! Mine scolds me for MY tongue, but she was laughing throughout the film. Go see it in the theater for that camaraderie experience - this is one of the rare films in recent years that will NOT leave you thinking you wasted $9 and two hours of your life.

For the younger viewers (17 and under) I'm not saying it's too raunchy - heck, GTA is 100x worse and you get more misogyny out of most music. I'm just saying that you won't get a lot of it - you think you will, but you won't. You have to have reached adulthood and lived (yourself or vicariously) through some of this (because a lot of the film is NOT necessarily about the main character) to understand.
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Collateral (2004)
2/10
I know it's way too late to comment but...
12 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just in case anyone is tempted to rent the DVD and spend 2 hours watching this inexplicably highly-acclaimed movie? Do yourself a favor and rent "Heat" again! I like Michael Mann movies...I heard a lot of good buzz about this one. None of the buzz is warranted. I think critics get all agog whenever a comedian does a serious role or something, or maybe Foxx is just riding a wave, but in any case everything about this movie is disappointing. Disappointing, boring, implausible - these are deserving terms for this movie. It's not "junk", it's just...everything I just said.

First, the acting is NOT that great. The single scene where Foxx has to re-retrieve the memory chip is notably good. Besides that there's no material here for an actor to display his/her chops. The very PREMISE falls so many times - the cabbie not simply running off from the start, the ending that is SO GIVEN AWAY by Foxx's first fare, the cops not arresting/detaining the two upon being stopped after the first hit, the fact that Cruise's character doesn't simply kill Foxx off once the latter destroys his entire briefcase. All insanely unbelievable.

But...assuming that you can "suspend disbelief" for all of this, just to wait for the payoff ending? Nothing! Cruise's character is this remarkably efficient assassin throughout - deadly accuracy, ability to focus on his target in chaos (the club scene near the end) - all that goes down the tubes as he guns for the last victim (Foxx's initial fare). I mean, one chick in an otherwise empty building ELUDES him?!?! WTF! And then in the very end, Cruise gets a heart, or loses heart, or..something! And he spouts that cheesy line from the beginning of the film and....expires. Doesn't even die, just expires.

And the viewer looks at his watch and realizes two hours have passed with nothing to show for it. Not even worth water-cooler talk.
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Super Size Me (2004)
8/10
It's McFunny 'cuz it's McTrue!
4 April 2005
This movie is a documentary for those who hate documentaries. Funny, relatively fast-moving, and a cautionary tale without being preachy. Spurlock is a funny guy and treats his subject with good humour, making us laugh and shake our collective heads over our own poor decision-making. There is no "Ronald is Satan" message here, and no "look how bad Americans are." It is simply a down-to-earth, well paced, insightful and humorous look at how insidiously entrenched The United Corporation of America has become in our institutions and minds, and the consequences therein.

One of my favorite scenes was a peek into a school where the now-famous (and irritating) Jared Fogel (you know...fat guy becomes skinny guy !thanx! to Subway) does a "get fit" speech. Spurlock interviews a mom and her significantly overweight daughter, and the daughter actually laments that of course SHE cannot lose weight like Jared because...and this is priceless...SHE cannot afford to buy/eat two Subway sandwiches a day! So this girl walked away actually believing that the ONLY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT would be to follow Jared's example, VERY SPECIFICALLY, and eat two Subway brand sandwiches each day. So for her, even the SOLUTION to her problem had a corporate logo! Amazingly, she could not even envision the general message of "eat right/exercise more."
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The Ring Two (2005)
3/10
Retain what you love about The Ring by NOT seeing Ring 2!
4 April 2005
After seeing this movie, my wife and I recalled a "movie poll" we had seen as part of the pre-movie feature at another film we attended. This poll categorized the opinions of "Ring 2" viewers into "Loved It", "Neutral" and "Hated It" with an astounding (we thought it was astounding at the time) 42% of people "Hating It." Well, add two more viewers to the "Hated It" category. And without giving away any of the plot, I/we can tell you why. "The Ring" delivered a lot of what I/we love about horror movies. It was very dark and creepy, without resorting to meaningless "slasheresque" violence. A story was developed about a character (Sumara) who you never saw and in not seeing was made all the more frightening. You had what it about the ultimate in endings - surprising, innovative, very spooky and visually very appealing. And in the end of the story, things were not neatly wrapped up but rather more disentangled than ever, with evil winning the day (as it should in all good horror movies).

"Ring 2" offers none of the above. All of the mystery was dealt with in the first installment; while a few things are dealt with here (a bit on Sumara's birth and adoption) they are meaningless non-answers. There is not one new horror vehicle introduced in this entire sequel! Absolutely nothing - no twists, no new horrors...nothing. And when the movie is in its final reel, and you're waiting for "the catch" - that essential "thing" that says (satisfyingly) that things are not right? Nothing. Nope, everything is neatly tied together and wrapped in a pretty box, good wins the day and everything is so damn Ned Flanders cozy that the viewer wonders how they can get their 2 hours back, let alone their admission fee. As my wife commented, "That whole movie could have been the last 20 minutes of the first film." And she's correct (The Ring 2 is S-L-O-W!) except that had this been tacked on the end of "The Ring", that movie would have been only half as scary as it was.

Save what you loved about "The Ring" by NOT viewing this trashbin sequel.
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