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Rocky Balboa (2006)
Good but not great sequel
21 September 2007
I love the Rocky movies, and I was very happy to see another sequel, but the more I looked at it this movie really lacked, especially since Sylvester Stallone's son wouldn't reprise his role as his on-screen son, and Talia Shire wouldn't come back as Adrian, it might have been a little bit better. The movie is a unique little character piece, and shows a lot of America. I saw the original a few months before I saw this one and I liked how it portrayed the blue-collar neighborhood that the two-bit hood Rocky Balboa lived on.

That neighborhood, that America is far from the America, and the movie does an excellent job of showing how Rocky's old neighborhood had changed so much. The most unique thing about this movie is that it ties into the original, featuring a character that was in the first movie. The plot really doesn't matter. That's the problem with the movie, it's not a real fight, it's an exhibition fight that is the centerpiece of the movie.

I loved the old school vs. new school feel to the movie, but it wasn't a real fight. The plot of Rocky coming out of his shell, and showing a good side to himself is very nice, Burt Young is back as Paulie. I love Paulie, the guy is so cool. He is loud he is obnoxious, but he is who he is and he makes no apologies about it.

I liked the movie overall because I like the Rocky movies, but it isn't the original movies. Still this series is a testament to underdogs everywhere, whether or not they make it we will always root for them.
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Something was missing from this one
27 May 2007
I am sure this is a movie that was very funny in the swinging sixties in the sexual revolution, upper-middle-class to wealthy meant found themselves in a whole new sexual ballgame. After all pretty much all of the men in this movie were in real life wealthy middle-aged men who happened to be some of the biggest entertainment icons of the day. Somehow the magic that these individual entertainers had individually that translates even today didn't make it here.

The story, direction, and my god THE WOMEN!!! It was all very unique, and very sexist. I think this movie works as a period piece, seeing some of these legends acting and saying this kind of stuff, quite unheard of before from what I can gather. Walter Matthau gives a very inspired performance as the lead, a sexually unsatisfied man who has an unbelievably gorgeous wife he isn't interested in.

The movie gives a very unique even dark look into our deepest sexual desires, women so willing to sleep with married men, men that are so willing to cheat, on that level it really works, a look inside what both of us what. Sure a movie like this is very sexist, a lot of people may not agree with the lifestyle Robert Morse's character leads, but it definitely is a conversation piece. For some people I am sure it remains very funny, for me as much as I love your Jack Beny's Phil Silvers, Walter Matthaus and the rest of these legends it was too dated for me to be funny, but remains a unique look at the time and the attitudes of the day. But there were a few funny moments, so it was worth it.
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The series ran out of steam
27 May 2007
The first three police academies were very good silly comedy, they had some great moments were great underdog stories and made you laugh quite a bit, at least me, but by the previous one it just ran out of steam, there was nothing left in the whole Police Academy genre. This one finds a bunch more character combined with out old friends to go to Miami Beach for a convention. Was the worst of the original six. I would not recommend seeing it, although the next one wasn't all that bad.

Steve Guttenberg being out of the series definitely made a difference and a lot of the gimmicks that made the original work were not present in this one. Part of the problem is that it went from being raucous adult comedy to a silly kid's comedy. None of the dirty humor is there anymore and that is sad. Stick with the first three those are very funny.
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Couldn't they hire one decent writer?
17 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Deck the Halls is such an unbelievably badly written movie that tries to be a Christmas theater of the absurd, but manages not to either be a good Christmas movie or a good outlandish comedy. The writing here is horrible, how can anybody think that two men thinking their daughters are sexy be funny? Furthermore I highly doubt that anyone would allow this kind of exotic dancing to be in a New England Christmas pageant, and they are teenagers after all, don't the writers realize that? This movie is just too unbelievable, it might help if the movie was actually funny, but it seems like this has been done, from the sleigh going out of control and crashing into a frozen pond, to Christmas lights that usurp all of the power from the rest of the town (sounds like Home Improvement to me.) This is a Hollywood movie through and through, a movie with such a predictable formula a five year old could write it.

Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick, two established comedic actors lead this movie, and they are too good for this movie. If you want to establish a theater of the absurd kind of comedy you actually have to do something that 1) Is somewhat original, and 2) Is funny, this movie seems to accomplish neither. The ending is so MTV it kind of makes you think that N*Sync might have better been suited for it. Not only does an MTV anchor appear but they use cell phones to light up the area after the power goes out. The ending alone is right up there with It's a Wonderful Life, NOT! Stick with another Christmas movie like It's a Wonderful Life, or even Going My Way, well it's kind of a Christmas movie. This one should never have been made, I still can't believe that somebody spends 30 million on a movie or so and this is the best they can come up with, I'd throw another 5 million in if I could just get a decent script.
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The Omega Man (1971)
Now this is a Cool Movie
29 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Charlton Heston just has that presence, that arrogant demeanor where he screams at the world that doesn't understand what is going on. Some might think it becomes annoying but it actually works very well in this movie. The Omega Man is actually a unique little look at the world, which here is populated by one man, Charlton Heston. For a Science Fiction movie this movie is pretty deep. He is combating a group of zombies that seek to kill all humans.

The zombies think that the human beings and their machines have caused the world to go into disarray and that because of it the humans must be destroyed. While the zombie types are evil they make some sense, after all the reason they were zombies are on account of germ warfare. The movie is surprisingly effective for a movie with a 70s wack-a-dum soundtrack, and manages a lot of thrills the old-fashioned way: through no special effects.

Charlton Heston also manages to be an interesting character. He seems to be a man in a bit of a conflict, a military man who has no choice but to defend himself, but also a scientist, an imminently intelligent man who seems weary of all of the fighting. He goes through the streets of Los Angeles with all of the products in all of the stores available to him for free. After all who's left to charge him? He seems a little crazy, and he probably is, after all he has gone years without sex, that would drive a lot of men crazy. The action sequences in this movie are cool. There isn't any karate, no Matrix slow motion, just beating people up, and a cool motorcycle ride through Dodger Stadium, where Heston escapes execution, as does Reggie Jackson, haha. I digress.

Germ warfare was something far ahead of it's time. The black and white context of this Science Fiction movie also adds a great dimension to this film. The symbolism of the ending where Heston is essentially crucified saving mankind is appropriate, though some will find it silly. This isn't an Oscar winner but this is a fun little Science Fiction movie that will make you think.
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Stick With The Original
8 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Superman Returns, first of all just should have been another Superman. The movie has very little in common with the originals, and should just be like Superman starting over. I liked the original superman because the film actually featured good actors, and they actually had to act. Here the performances are not that good, and miscasting is everywhere. This movie didn't give me a good feel for Superman, it is too real. And yes I know that is the in thing now with Batman, but I really didn't like Batman begins either for the same reason: It is a comic book series and there shouldn't be anything too serious about it.

Some of the scenes in the movie are a bit morbid, like a dog eating another dog. Stuff like that first of all has no real point, why is that in the movie? It isn't funny and it's completely pointless. Kevin Spacey for all of the great actor he is is not a good Lex Luthor. Perhaps he wasn't right for the role or maybe Bryan Singer made him act in a way that just wasn't good. He doesn't possess the humorous narcissism that Gene Hackman did. His arrogance seems muted, and he seems like a minor nuisance more than the all-powerful Lex Luthor.

Parkey Posey as his friend/love interest/crony doesn't seem right in this role either. Kate Bosworth looks the part of Lois Lane but she doesn't act the part. Superman is about adults, and she doesn't seem like an adult. Same with Brandon Routh who plays Superman, he is a child who is playing a man. Everyone looks so young here, they look like their in a teen movie more than a comic book movie. Christopher Reeve, while looking the part of Superman actually was an excellent actor, who was a stage actor before doing this movie. Brandon Routh was a soap opera actor and we know how good of actors soap stars are. Routh isn't nearly as buff as Superman is, and those cute lines that Reeve made so nicely he looks so awkward saying them, his grin, his mannerisms, he seems to be doing an impression of Superman than acting like Superman.

Sam Hungington as Jimmy Olsen does a nice job, and Frank Langella as Perry White really captures the essence of the character. Aside from having Superman returning, which like said, might have seemed easier if it was just starting over, but the story has it's moments, but an interesting story and plot line is hampered by the dark tone and a lot of special effects shots. The original ones had no special effects, and they were excellent, this one had over a thousand special effects shots, and it was fair. This one isn't horrible, but it really isn't great either. I guess the best thing to say about this Superman is it is just there. This one dragged a little bit too, I think there should have been more action than there was. This just didn't seem to have the feel of a superhero movie, it just kind of wandered. Like I said at first stick with the original.
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The Break-Up (2006)
Not as Bad as I thought it was Gonna Be
17 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I thought The Break-Up was gonna be a really stupid movie. The previews made it out to be another silly date movie, it seemed to have all the ingredients: The beautiful too perfect girl, the witty but likable boyfriend the way too perfect apartment, the nutty friends, the list goes on. While this is not Casablanca by any stretch of the imagination this isn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be.

Vince Vaughn plays a tour bus driver, his girlfriend working for an art dealership. They get in a big fight, and they break up. The catch is that they both live in an apartment they both want to keep. In this day in age characters in movies tend to be very well off, and have no problems attaining whatever financial necessities they must meet (The Family Stone, Hitch, Failure to Launch, to name a few) This one is no different, and as it does in most movies the opulence of the characters takes away from the film, but this time not nearly as much.

I sat through the whole movie wandering when it was they were going to get back together, or how they were going to get back together, I sat through all of the different tricks they would pull on each other to make each other jealous, and the different ways they would try to annoy each other. The vast majority of it wasn't funny, but it wasn't repulsive either. Once I figured it wasn't funny I figured I just would find out how this couple got back together.

Well they didn't. I was completely surprised by the time I realized they weren't going to be getting back together. There were actually moderately intriguing dramatic scenes in the movie towards the end where the two actually talked about their problems. That was the highlight of the film. the opulence of these characters still turned me off. Jennifer Anniston decides she's just going on a trip around the world. I suppose she can afford it, but who in the real world can. Vince Vaughn buys a pool table, just decides to, and nobody watching the movie more than likely can afford to either, at least in the theater where I was at.

The one unopulent thing about these two characters was the only other truly interesting thing about the film: the one thing they could not afford was the apartment after they split up, which is kind of what drove them to realize they couldn't be together. The movie tries to be too many things a Hollywood movie like this can't: It tries to show you some sort of working class Chicago, but it just doesn't seem to mesh right, none of the characters seem real, Jennifer Anniston is as skinny as an ironing board, and all of the characters just don't seem real, it's one thing to say that all of these characters are wealthy, which they are, but to make such perfect looking or scripted people seem middle or working class it just doesn't mesh well.

I think the movie could have been better had the characters seemed a little more real, a little more down to Earth, and a little more acting. Ann-Margret is top-billed and she doesn't even say five lines of dialog. Jennifer Anniston can't act to save her life, and Vince Vaughn is a comedian. If I were to do this movie myself, and make it a little more down to Earth he is the one guy I would keep, I would try to have more comedy in it, instead of whatever they were trying to pass as jokes, and come up with a better script. Vince Vaughn has had some good movies, overall I would count this one as fair. I wasn't revolted like I have been at some of these other perfect and rich people movies I've been seeing lately.
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What is the Point?
7 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Lost in Translation is the kind of movie that isn't really bad, it isn't really good, but I know for a fact it is there, I did see it after all. But that is the problem with the movie, it is just there. When it was over I was wondering if there was going to be more, during the movie I was wondering when the point was going to come up. It never did. There is no real purpose to this movie. The plot is coherent, the dialog isn't horrible unlike a lot of movie the film is slow and pointless, not horrible just pointless.

Bill Murray plays a famous American actor who is doing a commercial in Japan. During his stay he meets a newlywed who is being neglected by her new husband. They become friends in the Tokyo backdrop. They go on relatively mundane adventures through the fantastic city, and what's the point of it? There just really isn't anything else to this movie. They meet, they do stuff, that's it. the performances by the leads aren't horrible, you just kind of wander why they're in it. Bill Murray seems uncharacteristically stiff, I just didn't see what the point of this movie was. It wasn't funny it wasn't sad, it was just there. I guess with a movie like this there isn't a whole lot more to say.
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How is this any different from the second?
7 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Yet again there is another woman in peril, who Cruise must save, some action sequences borrowing directly from the Matrix, with all of the jumping and slow motion, and Tom Cruise has yet to show me he can act. He seems to have the opposite of the Midas touch, everything he touches turns bad, but the problem here is that Cruise produced it, this was pretty much his baby yet again, and he made the plots so hokey, and clichéd (how many time has someone been on a motorcycle looking like he's mad at the world with sunglasses?) And Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall?! When he said that I was like 'Are you kidding?!' I can't believe he actually said that. I don't know if Tom Cruise really thought he was cool, by now he and his team who pretty much look like GQ cover models have not proved they can act, they look good, but they can't act.

Tom Cruise is the one who takes the cake. Here he is one of the richest men in Hollywood, got that way pretty much on his appeal as a sex symbol, used to be clean cut, and now he is trying to reinvent himself as some goteed rebel, but it just doesn't work. He never was a rebel before, just some pretty boy who couldn't act, and he never could. The story is not about any kind of spying it is about Tom Cruise being cool. Everything seems to work out perfectly for him, no matter how bad things get every time some car is barreling for him it manages to stop just in time. I wouldn't be so upset with it except he seems to expect the audience to take it seriously.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laurence Fishburne, two fine actors have no business appearing in this movie. They are very good actors and they need to stick to good movies. I guess they both felt they needed the exposure or the money. No one in this movie is required to act, and that is the most sad for those two. Cruise's acting really is his make up, which make him look hurt, or tired, but he can't do it himself.

The ultimate problem with this movie is that there is very little resemblance to the original TV show. It didn't have this kind of action, or slow motion beat downs, it had some but most of that show was with your mind, and they figured everything out without beating people up. If they want to make a movie like this fine but don't call it Mission Impossible, this has nothing to do with the original classic series anymore. By now pretty much all of the action runs together, it looks the same, feels the same and pretty much has the same consequence, and this movie has the same formula so many other movies do: A lesser bad guy and then the main bad guy. Both of them find their unusual ways to die, which happen to be so cool, but still so clichéd.

I guess that is the ultimate problem with this movie: clichés. This pretty much was no different from any other action movie, and with a 150 million dollar budget I guess I expected too much. And I guess I shouldn't have expected it any better, the only reason I saw it was on account of the movie I wanted to see started too early. StillI am hearing Cruise is gonna star in a remake of 3:10 to Yuma. I plead to you Mr. Cruise: You have ruined a classic TV series, please don't ruin a classic movie too.
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Se7en (1995)
A Very Nicely Done Thriller
9 April 2006
Before I review this movie I should say that Morgan Freeman almost always does an excellent job in any movie he is in. This movie is not different. Brad Pitt is the other lead and does a fair job but the reason to watch this movie is because of Freeman and his typically sterling performance. Here they play two detectives on the trail of a gruesome murderer. This is one of those rare movies that was hyped and it lived up to the hype. The publicity surrounding this movie with it's two leads and the theme of the film was immense and the movie was as good as hyped. The mystery kept you guessing, the, thrills kept you a little tense throughout, and the ending was a shocker.

The key to this movie was that the script told an intense and somewhat complicated story in a simple manner. The cinematography, the score, and the overall atmosphere of this movie provided an excellent atmosphere to such a dark and gritty movie. The plot is fairly old, two detectives on the trail of a murderer, but the actors and the direction manage to make this variation on the formula very enjoyable, and seem original, when it really isn't.

But as I said before the key to this movie was Morgan Freeman and his performance. Everybody in this movie feeds off of his demeanor and his presence. He does so good he even makes Brad Pitt seem like a god actor. There is a nice supporting cast in this movie, R. Lee Ermey, Richard Roundtree, and even, well, okay, Gwyneth Paltrow, who really can't act. But the most surprising supporting cast member is Kevin Spcaey just a few months before he became famous.

But the movie also asks a number of moral questions, in examining American society and our many vices, it examines our drive, our motivations, and ultimately our failings, and how our vices can be maximized to hurt ourselves. When I got out of this movie I was very shocked, this was quite a surprising movie, I did't expect anything like it and I was surprised at it. This is a rarity because in modern day a movie like this would be dissected by the studio, and wouldn't be allowed to have the same kind of theme and intensity it does now, it would be way to fluffy, by Hollywood standards anyway. With that said watch this movie if you want a to a nice gory little gem.
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Ruined Star Wars George Lucas Has
19 March 2006
The original three Star Wars were fun, they were symbolic, they were fast, they were adventurous, they were just all around great movies. There was fighting, there was adventure, there was tragedy, there were real puppets. These next three movies were just God awful, and the legacy of three of the most fun movie of all time has been absolutely destroyed. Where is the innovation in these next three? Where are the cool characters, the catchphrases, where is the fun of the original three? There is nothing fun about this movie, and I think that is the problem: George Lucas didn't intend for these three to be fun, he wanted us to take it seriously, he even said these were going to be serious movies, which should have turned me away from them, because Star Wars supposedly is above all fun, and that's why the originals were so appealing, and these next three were not.

Jar Jar Binks is a character who is so god awful that his major role in the first film was reduced to a less than ten minute role in the next movie, and a walk on role in this final film. How could George Lucas allow this? Jar Jar Binks was a god awful character, and he shouldn't have been in any of the films period. I don't understand how Lucas could create such magnificent characters in the first films, like Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Jabba the Hut, Bobba Fett, and other characters, many if not all of which have become pop culture icons and household names around the world, and then create pointless, or one dimensional, or unappealing characters like Jar Jar Binks? And how did R2D2 get to the point where he could fly and fight? He never could do that in the first movies, and this movie took place twenty years before this movie did, obviously as R2D2 got older he couldn't do as much. With the bad characters, and dark, serious tone, you can draw the conclusion that this the movie is badly written. The problem with the movie is the dialogue is simplistic. The legendary opening credits sport the phrase 'Evil is everywhere.' Wow, what profound words, that is fine for somebody that has never done this before, but for George Lucas, I would expect something a little better.

The bad writing seems to compliment the unexciting storyline, which shows us the slow, and boring transition of Anakin to the evil Darth Vader. You would think that there would be something grandiose to it. but there really isn't, it's more than anything just there, which is just the opposite in the first ones. Lucas in the first movies made us feel a connection to the characters, that we don't feel here, I don't care about Anakin Skywalker, I don't fear him, the original Star Wars were so good at making us feel like we were in a galaxy far far away, here we feel like we are just in a theater, watching this boring galaxy far far away.

Perhaps part of the reason why this movie failed so badly is the computer effects. The movie is basically almost completely computer animated, all of the sets, a lot of the characters, it's mostly not real. That was part of the beauty of the original movies, everything was there, it was tangible, all of the aliens, their costumes, Yoda, they were real, here none of it is real. Lucas would probably say the sets needed to be computer enhanced, but why? With so much non-computer technology these days, they didn't have at the time of the first movies I'm sure you could come up with something, I guess Lucas has just lost his imagination and drive that he had in the first movies.

The problem I had with the first movie was that it seemed insignificant, the second movie might have been better if it were a little less computer animated, but this one lost me completely, very few if any redeemable qualities in this movie, I couldn't get out of this movie fast enough. This movie is completely lost , the first clue that it is so bad is I don't think people will be talking about Mace Windu, Quagon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks, and Queen Amidala as pop culture phenomenons, and household names the way people talk about Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and the rest of the original characters. The reason is because the characters, the writing, the effects, none of it is nearly as cool as the original, this whole series completely lost the novelty and the magic of the original, and maybe another reason is Yoda isn't a puppet anymore, he is digitally animated, just like a screen-saver, and so his magic and his character are non-existent. I could go on but I won't. This next set of movies was a big disappointment, keep Lucas away from Star Wars if you want to do another Star Wars film.
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Another typical predictable romantic comedy
19 March 2006
Failure to launch is a typical romantic comedy formula movie as old as the ages, but there is a twist: The male protagonist lives with his parents, when he is a fully grown adult, and the female protagonist is hired by his parents to get him out. There are so many thing to not like about this movie, and the most glaring is the obvious wealth of the characters. Matthew McConaughey's character, as are most characters in this movie are so unbelievably well off, the characters in general have a very hard time passing off that they are just regular people. McConaughey has an unbelievably nice car, yet he lives with his parents.

And as is the case often, other than McConaughey's parents, every characters looks perfect, and it gets so annoying, because perfect looking people tend to not be funny, and they are not here. The jokes are old, and cutesy, and the plot is just so old, it's the typical my friends tell me about what to do kind of romantic comedy and it is just not very good. Five minutes into the movie you know how it's going to end, but I won't spoil it here. The only redeeming quality in the movie are the performances of the parents, Kathy Bates, who is an Oscar winning actress, and surprisingly Terry Bradshaw, you would never expect a football player to be even decent, and he turns in a solid performance.

Sarah Jessica Parker plays basically the same nasally whining character she does in Sex and the City, and doesn't really contribute anything to this movie either. The movie lacks any substance, any cinematic value, and while I really didn't like it, it wasn't at the God awful level, it was at the not bad but definitely not worth my money level. This is basically the same movie done over and over again, the same romantic comedy with a slightly different twist, you would think with all of that money Hollywood would produce something slightly different, but they didn't. The best part of the movie came with the performance of Rob Cordory as a gun salesman, the only thing really worth laughing at in the entire movie.
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A Diamond Heist Where Everybody Knows Your Name
18 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie about a week after I watched Be Cool. The two movies have a part that is very similar: a scene in both movies take place in the Staples Center, with the Lakers playing one of their modern day rivals, and the Kiss Cam, popular in NBA arenas were a part of the plot. Hollywood pays a lot of money to these writers, can't they come up with something remotely original. yet alone using almost the exact same bit in two movies? How many of these movies involve some sort of diamond heist, and the whole heist getting too complicated for their own god? Well this movie in some ways is almost a carbon copy: a lot of beautiful women, heavy technology, beautiful locations, some humor, nice suits, and a lot of action.

That is the problem with this movie: there is absolutely nothing new. There is nothing in this movie you can't get in Entrapment or a James Bond movie. I was not even interested in this movie at the beginning, the middle had some interesting parts, and the end bored me to death. Why won't Hollywood come up with something new? Diamond heists are done all the time. Pierce Brosnan in almost every movie is a suave handsome clever Brit always on top of everyone he is around, whether it is James Bond or something else. Harrelson does okay, going a little against type, but he really doesn't have anything to offer this either. And Selma Hayek, while beautiful doesn't offer much in terms of acting, but that is a lot of actresses these days.

The bright spots in the movie are the Don Cheadle performance, and the occasional reference to the problems facing a lot of Caribbean islands, but those are few and far between, a few humorous spots, and Don Cheadle's character dies, so the only good actor gets the boot, sadly, There was absolutely nothing good to offer in this movie in terms of originality, I don't even think this movie even tried to be good, just make money, and it lost 30 million dollars in America anyways. This isn't at God awful level but it certainly isn't even as good level either.
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A Fine Movie with Excellent Performances by the two leads.
19 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney play a couple who are on the verge of divorce. Neither characters is a particularly good person, Laura Linney because she was adulterous, and Jeff Daniels because he is unbelievably pompous and opinionated, looking down on anybody who is not educated or having the same values as him, he talks down to everybody he meets, and is a horribly unappealing person.

The movie is about divorce. I was much younger than these two when my parents divorced but the problems that resulted from the divorce linger today, it isn't fun, and this movie captures that, but that wasn't what stuck out in my mind at this movie. The one thing that stuck out was Jeff Daniels. In this movie he is along way from Dumb and Dumber. He does something that few people do: he plays a true unappealing prick. Okay there are the occasionally Gwyneth Paltrow or Sandra Bullock primadonnas who play unlikable characters, but they are nothing compared to Jeff Daniels.

The difference between him and every other character who is a prick is that he is never made to be a sympathetic character. Bythe end of this movie some might realize the man personally doesn't have an admirable trait about him. Kudos to Jeff Daniels as well for pulling this off, he does this part effortlessly. His performance alone left me up, it was startling to me, I stayed up late that night, I couldn't believe how much of a prick he was. The young kids do a nice job as well, giving sincere and disturbing performances.

This is a movie that is all acting, no special effects whatsoever. Movies like this focus on characterizations over special effects, and the movie works almost for that reason alone. As far as characters are concerned the movie is concise to almost every detail in terms of characterizing. The movie is set in 1986, and occasionally some of the hairstyles, some of the fashions, and a few other things stick out, and make you realize it's modern time, but by and large not many.

To see the differing parenting styles is interesting as well. The problems of the two parents are obvious. Even though the two are not appealing they do love their kids, and they try their best to show their love even though they both have their own personal problems. The movie covers the turbulent four way relationship of four flawed people all of whom may or may not like or love each other. The movie is particularly god in small doses covering the details of the parents and their own argumentative relationship, and their bickering and their disagreements.

This movie might get Oscar consideration, but if Jeff Daniels doesn't at least get an Oscar Nomination I will be disappointed, this is by far his best performance. The rest of the movie has a lot of characters who are fun to watch, and a lot to offer a movie goer. the one weakness with the movie were a few forced scenes and an indecisive ending where some will probably think they figured out what's going on but the writer (who happens to be the director) doesn't make it clear enough, I wish he would have, other than that this movie comes highly recommended.
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The Terminal (2004)
A Cauldron of Advertisement.
28 December 2005
Steven Spielberg invented in film advertisement, and to this day he integrates it so effortlessly into his films, as he did in Minority Report, in an even more blatant manner than here. Every time the Tom Hanks character walks there is some gargantuan advertisement for a Fortune 500 Company. And to me this does conflict with the kind of movie this is supposed to be.

The Tom Hanks character helps a foreigner get medicine to his sick father, convincing customs that the medicine is for his dog, and in the background, shop at Target! The two seem at conflict. A commercial, and a piece of entertainment are two separate things, not one in the same the way Spielberg has made them. So the movie really gets under my skin in that sense. but other than that this is an interesting but not great little movie, far below what Hanks should be doing, and well, considering some of Spielberg's latest work, pretty typical of Spielberg.

This is a solid little movie consisting of a number of familiar faces in nice character roles filling out the staff at the airport where the Tom Hanks character is forced to live, because of a problem with his home country while he is overseas. The situations are humorous and in typical Spielberg fashion over the top, but still manages to be a little more than marginally entertaining. The way that Tom Hanks' life intertwines with those around him is very entertaining and fun to watch. A love story with Catherine Zeta-Jones is interesting, but doesn't add or take away anything from the movie, except discussing her relationship with a man who really doesn't like her but she can't get away from him, at least that's the way I interpreted her relationship.

I think the bottom line with this movie is it tried to capture the Spielberg magic of Indiana Jones or another of his legendary movies but it's set in an airport terminal, not exactly much magical about that. And the bottom line is all of these corporate logos really doesn't create magic, but it does create magic in the form of money for the movie, which I guess is a form of magic to some anyway.
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Crash (I) (2004)
Took me completely by surprise.
28 October 2005
When I saw Sandra bullock was in a movie I figured it would be something pretty light weight like Hope Floats. But Sandra Bullock has a relatively small part in this interwoven and complex character study, Crash. The movie, which has a number of very big stars and familiar character actors come together brilliantly to give us a showcase of the American identity, in race, and in our acceptance of others. So many stories come together to create a brilliantly subtle and awesome movie about who we are.

The plot is too complicated to go into in a forum like this, but there are a number of different small stories, such as the cop who is a bigot, and who is trying to get decent health care for his ailing pops. then there is the black TV producer who sees bigotry in more ways than one even in his wealthy lifestyle. So many other small stories but those are some of the plot lines of note.

The characters are quite incredible, and are generally much more real and substantive than a lot of characters in Hollywood films, but here the characters seem so real, they seem so multi-dimensional, the good guys turn out sometimes to be bad guys, and the bad guys turn out to be good guys. A lot of times in this movies characters no matter if they are good or bad turn out to be completely unexpected.

There have been so many movies that have examined their perspective times and mores many years ago, some movies were so good at showing who we were as a society, and examining ourselves. there really hasn't been a movie in recent years that has examined our generation in such a way. As we speak society is becoming more isolated and distant, even from our own neighbor. In this culture of distance and isolation Crash comes up and examines the culture, and is set in a city that might be the epitome of modern day isolation, distance, and decadence: Los Angeles.

The movie also examines the increasing multi-cultural society that is becoming America and how everybody, rich, poor, powerful, working-class, fits into it. Kudos to all of these actors who make this really good script come to life in such a way. I am sad that there are so few movies like this. There was a time movies like this could not have been made, with this kind of intensity, with this kind of social commentary, there should be a lot more movies like this. A lot of movies, even independent movies do talk about social situations like this, but the characters sometimes seem fake, and the story lines contrived. But this movie has rich people, poor people, every kind of person from every kind of background you can think of, nobody in vogue, not too many people that are extremely popular, the movie is just real, one of the most real I have seen in recent memory, this movie is a must see, and hopefully an Oscar Contender.
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Hitch (I) (2005)
Unoriginal date movie, some funny moments but it's been done before
8 October 2005
In every movie Will Smith is in he plays the same silly over the top character whose vibrant fast talking and silly personality always are the largest presence in most of his movies. Hitch exemplifies the personality unfortunately his presence is the only thing of any value in the movie, an unoriginal idea, and a script that is unfunny keeps him from really being himself. Will Smith plays a man who sets up men with the women of their dreams, for a sizable fee. He is very wealthy, very well-to-do and all around very appealing. He himself falls for a woman, and he is not nearly as confident and appealing as he makes his client out to be.

Part of the reason I couldn't get into this movie was not just the unoriginal and uninspired acting, script and direction, but all of these characters are very wealthy, don't struggle for a living like most people, and generally speaking people tat are well off do not make for great entertainment. The movie just drags on and on, I was wondering if there would be any funny lines in the movie, there really wasn't, I was wondering if there was going to be anything in the movie to remember, there really wasn't. This is a movie that was just there, not really good, not really bad. Kevin James provides decent support, but that is about it. Writing about mediocre movies is hard there's nothing good or bad to talk about so you basically summarize the movie. This isn't a horrible movie but it isn't anything to jump for joy about either.
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Night Court (1984–1992)
One of the best of the Eighties.
22 September 2005
I first watched this show again, after not watching this show straight through for close to ten years. This show in the eighties was completely absurd, sleazy, and a classic. Unfortunately today all of the craziness and the sleaziness doesn't seem nearly as sleazy or outdated, I guess it is nothing compared to the raunchiness today, that isn't nearly as funny or appealing, still this show remains one of the funniest I watched. Magician Harry Anderson played the presiding judge over a crazy Night Court circuit of loonies and crazies. He was perfect in the role, as was pretty much everyone in the show.

The glue to this show was the sleazy district attorney Dan Fielding, a womanizer and a scum with almost no heart, who wanted to sleep with every cute woman he saw. The second best character on this show was Bull, the towering not to bright bailiff who had some of the best lines. Later in the show after the characters moved around another excellent character was Roz, the second bailiff that was very imposing herself and worked well with Bull. I wish there were more sitcoms like this one: shows that were funny. The show unlike modern crap like Will and Grace, and Friends actually tries to be funny, the jokes in this show are funny, cute and sometimes will have you rolling on the floor.

Occasionally the show has it's dramatic side, as we saw Harry befriend an orphan, Dan go through a personal crisis or two, and a few other things like that. The show is even more dated in part when you look at the crazy wardrobe of everyone, it is so eighties, and it looked cool then, but obviously it isn't so anymore. Still this is a fine show to watch. The show brings back a lot of memories my dad used to watch this show all the time and I was too young to understand it. Then I grew up and started really liking it myself. I would watch all of the shows and die laughing at it when I was a teenager. I finally understood why he liked it so much, it was so off the wall and very funny, it was a perfect sitcom in a way.

When the show premiered it was a victim of NBC's constant show moving, it found a perfect spot after Cheers on the vaunted NBC Thursday night that also has Cheers, Family Ties and the Cosby Show. But the network moved it around for some reason too many times and lost a lot of it's initial audience. The show suffered a lot in quality in it's last few years, but still remained very funny. I will watch this show for along time to come, it is a classic and always will be.
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One of the Finest Films Ever.
10 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
World War 2 was a conflict that tested the resolved of the American nation, and it's spirit. The film changed the country permanently, in many ways, the world was a different place. So few films captured how the world was changing, as did this film. Frederick March, Dana Andrews, and Harold Russell play veterans on their way back to their hometown. They strike up a friendship on the way home and as they have to deal with the various aspects of their homecoming they talk and comfort each other, and try to help each other to adjust to going back home. Myrna Loy plays the love interest to Frederick March, a very nice woman who appreciates all that Frederick March is going through, but he is married to another woman that does not, and is more concerned about appearances than she is of the welfare of her husband.

Even though movies were not allowed to delve into the issues that movies can today this movie talked about so many things that even movies today won't even touch, like the horrible state of job availability, how sometimes veterans are not appreciated for all that they do, even when they are physically altered as a result, and how they are set aside and hurt by American business who sometimes don't appreciate anything they do. This movie made quite a statement for the day, and I haven't seen too many movies do it since. This is a movie that more than other movies talks about a specific time, talks about certain standards and thoughts of the time. Much of the America talked about at the time doesn't exist today, or if it does it is not nearly as prominent as it is today.

And that is why this movie is so good in a way: It is a time capsule, a movie so in tuned to this very important time in history, and it tells the story not through a documentary on the time, but through a very human story, with actual people that have very serious problems, and have to face the world as it was, with all of it's good and bad. The strength of this movie is in the characterizations, the writing and the acting portray a number of characters, and their interests, sometime good, sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent, and they come together so flawlessly to put such a great movie together.

There's the wife who doesn't like what her husband is doing, the department store manager who gives Frederick March a low paying job, and doesn't appreciate at all that he fought for his country, the bank president who is reluctant to give loans to military families who need and deserve money so much, the axis sympathizer, and so many more, the diversity of the people here is amazing, and while there is so much going on the movie seems so focused, so singular, and the results is a spectacular movie.

The leads do an excellent job, Frederick March as the disillusioned and troubled veteran, Dana Andrews as the wealthy veteran who is trying his best to help all of those around him, and upset by what he finds, Harold Russell, who actually lost his arm in World War 2, plays a man who did so, and he works perfectly for the movie. musician Hoagy Carmichael has a small but nice part as well, and Myrna Loy turns in a great performance too. This movie almost flawlessly captures the time, the essence of the era, as few movies can.

There is really not a weakness in this movie, it is fun to watch, sad, funny, everything a movie should be, and the greatest thing about this movie, as few movies did, the movie does not have a truly happy ending, you don't know where their lives are going to go, some good things happen and some bad things happen, it just ends, and it's a very open ending, so it kinda shows you that so much is happening in the world, and this movie can't resolve it. This is one of the best movies ever made, William Wyler did a masterful job directing this movie, kudos to him and everyone that was involved in this movie.
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A Fascinating Alien Movie Intertwained With Stupid Cliché's and a Happy Ending
31 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This comment contains a spoiler first, there are just too many gaping plot holes to not comment on, first when the jet crashes on the home Tom Cruise and his family are in it just happens not to strike his car. I mean come on we're not that stupid. That is forgivable, but the compact ending is not at all. Out of nowhere the son appears and is unharmed after he went off foolishly by himself to see the alien's attack. Also the house he went to and everyone in it was unharmed, grandparents and all, what a perfect ending, half of the world is destroyed, and that one neighborhood in Boston went unscathed. This movie should not have ended so perfectly. And then after Cruise defeats the aliens the next thing you see is he and his daughter going to Boston, I mean come on, what happened in between there? Let's try to be a little realistic here.

Morgan Freeman's narration added a nice little element of intensity to it, and the idea of organisms in the human body destroying the aliens that was interesting. Tom Cruise for once did a decent acting job, and was a decent leading man. The strength of this movie is it's characterizations, and the visual images, Tim Robbins as the man taken in by the whole invasion, having lost his family, and obviously crazy, a train going by set on fire, but not able to stop, flowing bodies down a river, the countryside north of New York City drenched in blood, all of these images are quite incredible, and do contribute to the all around effect of the movie. The other strength of this movie is seeing the image from a non-corporate standpoint. There are very few superhighways in the movie, no McDonalds, no WalMarts, the movie is told largely in small towns and city neighborhoods, far away from the reaches of suburban America.

The most recent alien invasion movie I can think of was Independence Day. That movies was just the opposite of this one. That movie had the president in it, and had a bunch f different stories put together to make that movie. This movie had one story, the family trying to get together, and revolved around one character, Tom Cruise and his two children. There is no scenes of the American military plotting it's counterattack, the story is simple and it works overall, despite the glaring follies in the plot. I didn't want to see this movie because I thought Cruise would be awful, he was decent, the problem was in the movie itself. Spielberg and the writers took a perfectly good movie and added some silly stuff to it especially at the end, where everything was wrapped up too nicely and made it all so perfect. I hate that the movie ended so pathetically, other than that it was very good. Spielberg has made a movie well worth seeing but it is not of the caliber of his earlier stuff, this is fun to watch though, and is probably best enjoyed by Science Fiction fans.
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Corny no doubt but still awesome.
20 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is as typical of a teen eighties movie as you can get, in fact the eighties might have been the decade that those teen movies were invented, if not then this is when they definitely got popular. The formula is generally the same, there is a self assured kinda rebellious young man who sometimes gets in trouble, has a nice girlfriend, and gets into all kinds of trouble. He listens to cool music, says "ayyyyyyy" a lot, and most of the time has some sort of mullet. Some of the teen movies are good, some of them awful, but this one is a cut above the rest, Back to the Future is one of the best movies of the 1980's, and 80's superstud Michael J. Fox leads off this excellent movie. He plays Marty McFly, a high school kid who hangs out with the crazy scientist Dr. Brown, a wacky spaced out inventor played to perfection by Christopher Lloyd. The performances of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and their chemistry really are what make this movie they are perfect for their parts and really make this the movie that it is.

The plot is very nice too. We see Marty McFly's neighborhood before anything was there, and it was just open land. We see the small town he lives in when it was much smaller in size, and there wasn't so much expansion. We see a lot of cool stuff in this movie. This is a movie that holds your interest through the entire thing. I have to admit I am a science fiction fan, and I have always been fascinated wit the concept of time travel, and while this movie is a complete fantasy (they travel back in time in a Delorean) It is also interesting to see the makeup jobs in this movie, we see characters 30 years in the past, and we see 40 year old people playing people who are twenty years old and vice versa. The highlight of the movie remains Christopher Lloyd, who plays what might be his best part ever, he is just too funny for words, and is so over-the-top he gives this movie the perfect tone, and compliments everyone around him with his great performance.

The story progresses nicely, the last half hour is priceless, as we see Michael J. Fox play Johnny Be Good to a crowd who has never heard rock and roll as we know it. Then he goes back to the future and he almost misses it. The movie has the Quantum Leap aspect of it as we see what opens when you alter the past which affects the present in ways we never would have thought of. This movie is both a nice timepiece for the fifties and the eighties, showing at least the way that people in both time would like to have thought they were, in an idealistic world, so the movie is interesting like that, and has a nice touch of comedy, and science fiction here. The two genre's mesh well here, and sometimes Science Fiction and comedy don't always go well together. (see Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) It is also kind of funny to see the time period conflict with each other, we see things that are done in the eighties, and not in the fifties and vice versa. While there are no belly laughs in the movie there are enough jokes and enough interesting moments that will definitely make you think, this is not a socially conscious movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it is something that is very interesting. This movie is probably the centerpiece of Michael J. Fox's film career, he rarely had a films this successful other than the two sequels, and this was a monster hit for the day. While it is one of the best eighties movies it is also one of the best about time travel, corny it might be but Back to the Future remains one of the best of it's kind, it's kinda hard to classify, but of whatever genre it is, it is one of the best.
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Should Have Stopped at Three
20 July 2005
Police Academy 1 through 3 showcased it's raunchy to to comedic perfection. While being hysterical the first three (especially the first) also showed a lot of social commentary, talking about sexism, and racism. But there was really nothing left after three. they still kept it going, why I don't know but they did. This time around there is a crimewave, and half of the cast is still gone, and for good reason. Michael Winslow and Bubba Smith just aren't enough, and the obnoxious Captain Harris can't save the movie either, and neither can new addition Kenneth Mars. Stick with the first three, they will crack you up, but this while a marginal improvement over 5 isn't enough to save it. I guess the series ran out of jokes.
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Night Stand (1995–1999)
Television has rarely been funnier.
19 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In today's climate of politically correct and inoffensive characters, and shows where they are 'advertised' as cutting edge or controversial one show dared to defy all of that, and make fun of society and television. Night Stand with Dick Dietrich was one of the funniest shows of the mid nineties, I loved this show. Timothy Stack, who played Dick Dietrich played the role to the hilt. He was the reason this show was so good, his silly demeanor, off the cuff comments and all around knack for putting the sleaziest of guests into exploitive situations had me rolling on the floor routinely in this show.

This show was brilliant, the plot was simple, a satire of talk shows most notably the king of white trash Jerry Springer, who Dietrich always proclaimed as his rival. This show is the cream of the crop as comedies go, when you thought the show couldn't get any funnier it would. The show went all over the place, talking about all kinds of crazy events and nutty people on the show, it was one of the truly unpredictable shows of it's time. Part of the charm of the show were all of the occasional guest stars, like hypnotist the Astounding Andy, plastic surgeon Dr. Hamilton George, but the best guest of all was warped psychiatrist Dr. Lonnie Lanier, whose quiet demeanor and naive grin were just too much to handle sometime.

I wish there were more shows like this today, unfortunately with all of the networks owned by the same group of corporations it's kind of hard for a show that so easily makes fun of itself. And that's exactly what this show did, it made fun of modern day TV in all of it's glory, or lack thereof. This show made fun of the Friends demographic, the young rich age group that television has increasingly been catering to. (Dick Dietrich once told a guest who said there was no white entertainment television "Oh really? I thought that was NBC) And the show talked about serious issues but of course made nothing but fun of them too. There were episodes about racism, homosexuality, faulty corporations, you name it they had it.

In the second season the show became more of having a girl in a tight dress come out in the first minute, but then again so did television, and it was always a different girl with a different problem, and would generally turn out to be a nut job. Overall this show is a forgotten treasure that could still be on today. I am sad that TV has so little ability to make fun of itself as this show did. In an era when entertainment takes itself so seriously it is rare television makes fun of itself like this, and although the show as only on for two season they were two priceless seasons, I loved this show, I wish it was still on, and maybe sometime in the near future there will be a show like it, but I doubt it.
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Kilborn wastes his talent.
13 July 2005
On the Daily Show he started out so funny, and then became routine and stupid. He left the Daily Show for this show. The show was silly, it paraded the same bunch of stupid models, and hot tennis players (Anna Kournikova, especially) the humor was silly, and I couldn't watch it for five minutes. It's sad he used to be so funny why did he turn out to be so stupid? Tom Snyder, who was on the show before him was much better, although different, and Cragi Ferguson, who was his replacement is much funnier. And this guy was on for 5 years? I will admit some of his stuff was funny, he was a sports reporter, so he did know sports and his sports jokes were pretty funny (especially the way he mocked the fatalist Red Sox fans. Which still annoys me because he can be so funny why did he keep doing the dumb jokes? Well we won't have to answer that and any other questions about him any more, he went off the air, and is doing whatever, I think he said he wanted to be a producer.
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The Toy (1982)
Good Effort But Could Have Been Better.
13 July 2005
This movie features two of the funniest comedians ever, Richard Pryor, and Jackie Gleason. the movie, which starts off as a very funny social satire slowly gets away from the comedy and more or less becomes a decent kids movie, with somewhat of a message. Richard Pryor is an unemployed newspaper writer who is desperate to find a job. Jackie Gleason plays a millionaire who has a spoiled brat for a sun. The three meet in a toy store unexpectedly, the sun likes Richard Pryor and 'wants' him, like he would want a toy. Richard Pryor, desperate for money agrees for some money to be the kid's toy.

The movie is formulaic, but still funny. Both of these legendary comedians have two different styles, Richard Pryor a fast sarcastic kind of comedy, or Jackie Gleason's bigger than life boisterous style, but the movie caters only a little to Pryor, and almost none to Gleason's style, he doesn't seem to be a typical character he would play. The movie is kind of socially conscious, it is a typical silly eighties kids comedy in a way, but the two leads make this movie much better than another silly comedy. The two really add something to make what really would have been a mediocre movie a good movie.

The only problem I have is that you only get these two in a movie once. This movie is well worth watching, but with Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor this should have been an awesome movie. You put so much talent in this movie and it should have been something close to a masterpiece. With that said the movie is still very good and it is fun to watch Pryor, Gleason, and Ned Beatty in a nice supporting role intermingle together. The movie goes on to discuss millionaires, their omnipotence, racism, and many other issues in a non-comic style, the movie does have some very interesting points. While not great this is a solid movie well worth the time to watch.
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