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Better be good with chocolate in the title
17 July 2005
I loved this film from beginning to end. It was better than the original in almost every way. I love the new Oompa Loompas and Johnny Depp is terrific. Nothing against Gene Wilder but I always thought his Willy Wonka portrayal was cold and creepy. Johnny Depp plays the character so much more sympathetically. Plus, it was an improvement to get the background on his character.

The one thing I did miss from the older version is the Oompa Loompas song. The new versions of the songs are definitely rockin'. But I couldn't understand what was being said half the time. especially with the TV kid.

This movie was better than I expected. Great job.
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29 May 2005
From the reviews, I didn't have high hopes for this movie. But since I'm a sucker for romantic comedies and see everyone that comes out because there are not many that do come out, I couldn't resist this one.

It looked like a silly "slapstick" type of movie that relied on stupid "pie in the face" jokes for humor. But it wasn't like that. It did have those moments, but these were mostly fantasy sequences. Because I didn't have much hope for the movie, I was pleasantly surprised. It did have heart and although you know how it ends (don't you know how all romantic comedies end?), it's not as predictable as one might think. I thought the ending was clever.

Michael Varton is a cutie. (I now have to start checking out Alias.) I've never seen what the big deal was with Jane Fonda. She looks very old in this movie. But Jennifer Lopez is good. I like her in these sweet roles.
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House of D (2004)
Terrible to the point of offensive
17 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is now the second worse film I have ever seen in my life, (The worst was a movie called Extreme Ops.) The second half of the film is especially bad. It's disjointed and all over the place.

First off the characterizations make no sense. Why does the mother, who is a nurse, never flush the toilet after she pees? (Realistically, she would flush and wash her hands. It becomes habit in nursing.) And how can someone who is so incredibly depressed and mentally unstable even function as a nurse? She is shown in uniform, so she is clearly working. David Duchovny clearing understands nothing about nursing. If he's going to use the profession, respect it and research it. I think he is negligent on this point.

Tommy, the main character is also portrayed inconsistently. In one scene, he's devastated. In the next, he's coping well. Oh, now he's devastated. And now he's happy and fine. It wouldn't be so obvious except that the scenes in which he's devastated are extremely dramatic.

Robin Williams is underused. He's funny in his few scenes. But the film evolves around Tommy. And everyone else are 13-year-olds trapped in adult bodies. A French teacher is made to look like an idiot. (Of course, she's a beautiful woman.) Tommy's boss, who is a butcher is made to look like a slut. (Of course, she's a beautiful woman.) His mentor, a female prisoner is made to look like a saint. (Of course, she's a beautiful woman.) In David Duchovny's mind, all women are sluts or emotional wrecks?

But the absolute worst thing about the movie is a stupid scene in which Tommy puts a big ball down his pants and does impersonations of Nixon with a hard-on in front of his mother. Are there really any mothers out there that would think this was laugh out loud funny coming from their son? Isn't this a bit creepy? This movie makes no sense. In another scenes, the mother rages on about pornography after she finds a harmless flip book in Tommy's pants. I don't know what David Duchovny was trying to go for with this weird, possessive behavior of the mother. But it did nothing but creep me out.

I highly recommend that every copy of this film be burned.
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Millions (2004)
Entertaining and funny
20 March 2005
Whimsical and funny, this film stars one of the cutest kids I've ever seen in a movie. The movie doesn't have much plot. A bag full of cash lands on a child's home-made playhouse. The story is then a series of convenient plot turns which lead up to the conclusion you know is bound to happen.

I think the moral of the story is that their are more important things than money. But of course this would be an easy message to convey if it is told from the eyes of a child. Children don't have to pay bills or taxes.(Although the ones in this film know more about financial planning than most adults seem to.) I enjoyed the film but I don't know if I would recommend it.
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Sweet but nothing substantial
13 March 2005
I don't recommend this movie. I'ts not a horrible movie by any means, but there's nothing about it that stands out enough to warrant paying for a theater ticket. The tone and pace of the movie reminded me a lot of The Englishman who Went up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. The problem with this film is that it doesn't have anything as charming as Hugh Grant.

I did like the two main characters who are brothers, long separated. But the rest of the case wasn't charming enough to hold my interest. Plus, this movie had two vomiting scenes, one of which involved false teeth and was really gross.
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Very sweet
6 February 2005
Critics shritics. I loved the movie. To me, this is a great romantic comedy. It has a sweet heroine and a gorgeous man who literally is the perfect guy for her. Like critics say, it was predictable. But the movie ended exactly like I wanted it to so I wasn't disappointed at all. I left my boyfriend in front of the TV drinking beer and watching the superbowl with his buddies. Hey, if men can have a fantasy world to escape in to, so can I.

Sometimes it's great to just go to the movies and escape into a romantic fantasy. I wish that every guy would see this movie because they could learn something about what women want from the leading man. It's really not that hard guys. I think this movie was the perfect escape for women who don't want to watch football.
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The Woodsman (2004)
Relevant and thoughtful
22 January 2005
The first thing I want to say is that this movie is interesting and entertaining. The subject matter is obviously core to the movie's substance. But even with out it, the movie is still well made and captivating because of its character driven approach.

The handling of the subject matter is what made this movie effective for me. If the main character's crimes had been any more graphic or severe, this would have turned into a "been there done that" movie. Instead, this is a unique view of a subject we hear little about at this level of honesty.

As for the acting. Maybe this is bad for Kyra Sedwidge, but she is so convincing in this role that I can't now picture her now as anything but a gritty, sleazy good person.
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Not that great
27 November 2004
I was hoping this movie would be similar to the gorgeous animated short film, The Snowman, but no such luck. That film has beautiful, haunting music that would have fit wonderfully into this movie. But instead, there were too many lingering, silent moments that made my mind wander and didn't set a mood.

The movie was beautiful to look at, but like other cutting edge technology films, it feels forced. It's as if a story was built around technology. I felt as if the movie was animated by people who thought they were playing a video game.

Plus, every voice sounded like Tom Hanks. (I wonder why.) Tom Hanks doesn't have the comedic talents to pull off voice-overs in my opinion. And the "know-it-all" boy had a voice that sounded like fingernails on a blackboard.

220 million dollars? That could have fed a lot of homeless people here at the holidays. It's a shame really.
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Sideways (2004)
Not as good as the critics say
20 November 2004
I did like the movie, but not as much as I liked Election or About Schimidt also directed by Alexander Payne. This movie wasn't nearly as funny. I disagree that the acting was superb. It was okay but the characters were mainly blah and predictable. There just wasn't anything that drove this film past mundane and I didn't relate to either of the main male characters.

This film did nothing to fill me in on why men feel the need to "sow oats" or how they can live with themselves after the jerk things they do.

However. The one character I really related to was Sandra Oh's. As shown in the previews she kicks the holy crap out Thomas Haden Church in one of the film's best scenes. For this, the film was almost worth it.
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Loved it
14 November 2004
This film was very different than the first one. But I think this worked to the movie's advantage. It had all the charm and humor of the first one and focused more on Bridget Jones and her relationships rather than her friends and family. For once, it's wonderful to see a Hollywood story about a woman who isn't the stereotypical beauty still charm and win over the man of her dreams.

The movie is more of a fable than a realistic study of relationships. But Bridget Jones shows us that a positive attitude is key and that going for it isn't all that terrible, even if you embarrass yourself. Plus, any movie with Hugh Grant in a role that is basically a snake is worth it.
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Very sweet and cute
24 October 2004
The movie got terrible reviews, but I like Ben Affleck so I went to see it and was glad I did. The movie was so much better than I thought it would be. There were a few awkward moments, mainly around the son of the family that is "rented" by Ben's character. But other than that, the movie was funny and moved with a quick jolly pace. Plus, it's a Christmas movie, so it had cheery cinematography and and a score with nice classical Christmas music.

Ben Affleck's comedy timing and character reminded me a lot of Jersey Girl. I loved the chemistry between him and Christina Applegate. If you're a Ben Affleck fan, I think you'll like the movie. But if you're not, you may not like the unnecessary raunchiness and it may be worth only the price of a rental.
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