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Nacho Libre (2006)
It's OK
16 June 2006
I don't feel as if I have much time to write this review, so I will keep it short. "Nacho Libre" is a film about an orphan who dreams of being rich, and becoming a Luchador, which is a type of Mexican Wrestler. He enters a contest, and wins money, even when he loses. He befriends a thief-type person (A character similar to Aladdin. That's the best way I can describe it.) who becomes his tag-team partner in wrestling.

The film has a few puns here and there. Most are somewhat funny, perhaps able to exert a chuckle, but the farting jokes are downright annoying. Jack Black doesn't do such a good job playing a Spanish orphan, because his accent gets annoying.

The film is quite silly, but the storyline, and the bad accent of Jack Black, brings it down to somewhat embarrassing. The storyline never seems to make much sense. For a period of the time, Jack Black wrestles without a mask, which is (I think) required. There seems to be no tag-team, and rather two people fighting in the ring at once instead of switching off.

Overall, the whole film is cliché some of the time, and has not enough good puns to keep you entertained for the entire running time. To me, it seems pretty much forgettable.


Note: It's a kids' film, so what's with the corn poking out some person's eye?
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Calling it "Style-over-substance" would be a HUGE overstatement, for it's pretentious and horrid in many ways
15 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I hate this movie a lot. I have been going on about it for a while, so I think it's time to take my anger out by making a review. I think I may have offended some people, and I apologize.

So, here it goes: "Kill Bill" is a very bad movie. I assume that Quentin Tarintino immediately drew in fans with "Pulp Fiction," because of its wit and it was high on the "cool" factor. I saw some of it, and I will say that it was impressive. But, it looks like Tartintino became lazy by making this and co-directing the crappy "Sin City."

The storyline of "Kill Bill" is about its name. Bill attacked a woman who we know as "The Bride." Her name is censored when mentioned. Now, "The Bride" wants revenge on Bill, and members of a gang called "The Deadly Viper Assassin Squad." So, she goes out and finds them and attacks them. The story ends there and it does… well, sort of.

The story is something that was thought up in a few minutes. The Bride wants to kill people, and she does. As simple as that. "Kill Bill Volume One" really is just shallow characters killing each other. First, she battles some woman. I have no clue what her name is though. Then, we find some history of The Bride. After, we find that The Bride was somehow knocked out. I forgot why. When she wakes up, we experience more brutal torture of people. Then, she gets a sword and kills lots of other people. The End.

I find this very similar to "Sin City." It's a gory, shallow and pretentious action film that was made to show off a visual style and action scenes. The only real difference is that "Sin City" had something close to a storyline. This one didn't.

Supposedly, this is Tarintino's homage to martial-arts films. So, that makes it a masterpiece? That makes it get onto the Top 250 Movies? Is that why it's rated so highly? It has plenty of references to other martial-arts films. For example, Uma Thurman wears a suit that looks similar to the suit worn by Bruce Lee in one of his previous films.

Well, "The Ring" has loads of homages to horror films, including "Rosemary's Baby," "Silence of the Lambs," and "Poltergeist." Where's that on the Top 250 movies? Well, the homages seem as a cover-up for the story's' weakness. Why does a bodyguard fight in a skirt? I know people get attacked in a number of outfits, but since when does a bodyguard decide to fight in a schoolgirl outfit? The anime scene is near pointless, and doesn't even look like anime! It looks more like an attempt at drawing realistically, and ends up looking pretty ugly.

Maybe it's because of the action. Well, there are only about two or three fight scenes, and they are only a bit exciting. There are plenty of other movies, which have better action. For example, "Ultraviolet" (Another bad movie) had more action than "Kill Bill" and a number of good fight scenes with good camera angles that gave it some flair. If that had homages to other films, would that be on the Top 250? I must say, even the action in "The Karate Kid" seemed to have a certain wit to it.

All the action in "Kill Bill" is meaningless. It is meant to entertain. But, with loads of blood, what fun could it be? Its fun to watch The Bride slash her way through people, but after severed limbs appear, it loses it's fun. The violence in "Saving Private Ryan" and (I think) the violence in "The Wild Bunch" had purpose. But this, like "Sin City," is just sick, cruel violence.

With that, there are PLENTY of movies with good action such as "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Princess Monoke," "House of Flying Daggers" and "The Quick and the Dead." All of these had better storyline that "Kill Bill", even if "The Quick and the Dead" seemed a little weak in that department.

Backing up to horror films, I see that this film plays out like a mix of "Scream" and "Hellraiser: Bloodline." One person repeatedly tortures victims (like Pinhead) with a blade. (Like "Scream") Sadly, it's not as thrilling as "Scream." It's as thrilling as "Hellraiser: Bloodline." The characters are thin. I'm not talking about thin, as in skinny, but lacking detail. Sure, "The Bride" gives a bit of inside info on them (The "inside info" is showing the character killing somebody else.) but the characters usually die after that.

The action seems too unrealistic. Our main character kills plenty of people, but how? She jumps in the air and lands on her sword (It's stuck into the stairs.) but how does she do that? There are some movies with unrealistic action sequences ("House of Flying Daggers," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") but those take place in ancient China. This takes place in a modern day setting and doesn't feel like either one of those films.

That's why I hate the film. I can go on and on, but why should I have to? I suppose I hate it for all these reasons. Maybe the hype killed it. Or, it could be because Dan Grant's review influenced me to hate it. Either way, I don't like it.

Yet, there are some good points to this movie. The action can be fun for some. I don't think torture is necessary though. The music was excellent. I liked the "Bang Bang" and "Twisted Nerve" song. I suppose it does seem interesting at parts, like when it turns into anime (even if the scene seemed pointless) or black-and-white. (But, this was already used in MANY other movies.)

But, it still stinks. To me, this is about as bad as "Ultraviolet"; it's shallow and uses style to cover up its crappiness.

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Walk the Line (2005)
Perhaps not totally emotional, but well-driven by great performances
12 March 2006
Perhaps similar to "Ray," "Walk the Line" is a documentary on Johnny Cash, a country singer played by Joaquin Phoenix.

After a brief clip of Johnny's childhood, the main story starts off when he comes out with his record "Cry, Cry, Cry." So, he goes on tour with June Carter, (Reese Witherspoon) trying to make himself a country singer. He meets his partner, June and they become friends. But, Johnny wants to become more than just that. He does have a wife, but they aren't too close. "Walk the Line" is a story about character development and heart.

I believe the title "Walk the Line" either stands for one of Johnny's songs or walking the DUI line. (A test to make sure you aren't drunk.) If it's the second one, then it probably because Johnny gets drunk at one point. You see, Johnny had a rough life. His brother died, and his dad blamed it on Johnny. From there on, Johnny takes anger pills for those rough times. He also makes plenty of mistakes when trying to get June Carter to fall in love with him.

"Walk the Line" has a lot of country music. Reese Witherspoon is probably the best singer out of all of them, because of the neat tricks she can do with her voice. It also features plenty of Johnny Cash songs including "Rock n' Roll Groupie" and "Ring of Fire." Joaquin sings them with a deep voice and all his songs sound good. My favorite songs would have to be "Get Rhythm (When you get the Blues)" and "Time's a Wastin'". Of course, if you dislike country music, you probably shouldn't see it.

I found "Walk the Line" to be a little short in the storyline department. It has plenty of music, but the music takes up time for a story. It's simple. There are no major twists or turns. But, "Walk the Line" is about character development; not story.

That's where the drama comes from. It's about how characters change and feel. If the emotion came from the dialogue, it would probably fail emotionally. I thought more heart could have been put into the dialogue. But, with pretty deep characters and great performances, (Reese won an Oscar for giving enough sass to June, and for excellent vocals.) "Walk the Line" succeeds, even if there are few scenes of powerful emotion. I wouldn't call it amazing, as so many have, but it's powerful at various points in the movie.

Overall, "Walk the Line" may be a little short, but it's entertaining and occasionally powerful.


Good: Music and acting

Bad: A bit lacking in substance and dialogue

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Ultraviolet (2006)
I don't understand Violet's world
12 March 2006
"I was born into a world you may not understand." –Violet

That was probably what made the most sense in the movie.

"Ultraviolet" is about a woman named Violet who is turned into a vampire-like creature called a hemophage during and era called "The Blood Wars." These creatures were created due to an accident in the laboratories. Now, the humans and hemophages are at war. Violet steals a weapon, which turns out to be a child. The child has some stuff in his blood that can be used to kill all humans or all hemophages. So, she is constantly attacked in attempts to reach the "weapon." And there, the story ends.

It's all a collection of scenes where Violet kills people. Yes, it's entertaining, and it's brought flair by the camera, but it shows that Kurt Wimmer is lacking creativity when the story line constantly repeats itself. It seems great and absorbing at first, but after we are treated to the same type of scene over and over, it gets a bit irritating.

But, if "Ultraviolet" succeeds in anything, it provides good fun for its target audience, which is probably teenage boys. The whole world that we don't understand looks pretty good. Everything- the fight scenes, the set and especially the characters all look really good! The action is stunning and entertaining, even though there is a lot of it. The best scene was when she was getting chased by a helicopter. So, it has hot girls, plenty of action scenes, and loads of special effects. Add some music and weapons, and you have "Ultraviolet." Now, can you see why teenage boys would like it?

But, the movie is obvious style-over-substance. Every scene is short, and the next one has the characters in a different setting with a different subject on their mind. There are at least 3 or 4 of these scenes, and that shows a lack of creativity. Take this: Violet is about to battle 700 men, and then she ends up in a park with the "weapon child." Weird? I don't understand Violet's world.

What happened to fighting 700 men? How did a child get hidden in a case? How can she fight more people than her? How come she constantly changes color and clothes? How come she uses the gravity device in only one scene? How can she pass off as being human in the beginning scene? Why do the two hemopahges attack her? Why does one of the characters have something in his nose? What kind of weapon does she have that can transform? How come everybody shoots at everything?

To add to that, the story is thin. It's highly lacking of and depth. The only part that had enough detail (besides the background) was Violet. Every other character hardly has a personality, besides the ones that we would expect.

But, the fight scenes are entertaining. It's easier to rent the movie and skip the fight scenes, and stare at the special effects and main character, because this movie packs nothing that can be labeled as substance, unless you count an incoherent storyline. I don't understand Violet's world.

Don't forget. It has one of the worst lines in cinema. "Are you mental?"

Good: Action, good camera angles, special effects, hot girls

Bad: Shallow, bad dialogue, repeated and incoherent storyline,

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Weak on the story, but it's safe to say that "The Quick and the Dead" is always quick, and never dead
11 March 2006
Sam Raimi, the director of the "Spider-man" and "Evil Dead" series has created a fun, if flawed, modern western.

"The Quick and the Dead" is about a woman ("The Lady") who visits and old town, and enters a gun-fighting contest. Many people do that for the money, but she has more personal reasons. She wants to get back at John Henrod, the man who killed her father.

The main flaw in "The Quick and the Dead" is the storyline. It's a simple and predictable revenge story. You can predict the ending in a couple of minutes. The characters bear similarities to characters in other Westerns. For example, "The Lady" is the main character, but she is never "The Good Guy" because she insults the bartender and little girl that takes care of her room.

(After winning quick-draw Battle) Girl: "You did great out there!"

The Lady: "Grow up."

Don't forget about "The Kid." He bears similarities to the kid in "Unforgiven": self-centered, rude, young, restless, energetic, etc.

But, it's safe to say that "The Quick and the Dead" is always quick, and never dead. The quick-draw scenes are fun and exciting, and the film is brought to life by several music scores, including "Mars" from "The Planets." The camera zooms in and out during the quick-draw scenes, but it's annoying how it switches back and forth between two people when they're talking before a quick-draw battle.

One of the things I found interesting about "The Quick and the Dead" was how they cast Hackman as the villain. This was odd because he also starred in other westerns such as "Unforgiven," and "Bite the Bullet." So, maybe "The Quick and the Dead" doesn't succeed in storyline, but it does pack some good quick-draw scenes and entertainment. I wouldn't call it "extraordinary" or "a masterpiece," but its fun to watch.

Good: Quick action, good camera, good music, entertaining

Bad: Simple story

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A bit unrealistic, but succeeds in story, action and cinematography
10 March 2006
"House of Flying Daggers" is the dramatic martial-arts movie starring Jin and Leo. (Two men who look way too similar)

A new dancer named Mei (Ziyi Zhang, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") is introduced to a work place. Jin is informed that Mei works for a dangerous group called "The House of Flying Daggers." So after she dances, Jin nearly rapes her (because he's drunk) and he is arrested. Mei is nearly arrested for being improperly dressed after the rape. But, she, and other dancers, claims she couldn't defend herself because she is blind. So, to test her, the government has her play "The Echo Game." I won't go into detail about that.

After the game, Mei attempts to kill one of the government members, but she fails, and gets arrested. Before she gets into the cell, the government tells her that she has to bring them to "The House of Flying Daggers" or she will be tortured. They lock Mei up, and allow her to think it over. Then, Jin bails Mei out in an attempt to escape. They escape, but only because it's a trap, and an attempt for the government to reach the "House of Flying Daggers."


This is where the film starts off. In the beginning, we are treated to a really long adventure film. There are possibly way too many sword fights. Jin and Mei constantly fight their way through hundreds of foes, and when they can't win; daggers come out of nowhere to slay the baddies. I admit, this part is way too long, and seems plotted only for action scenes. But, I'll also admit, the bamboo forest scene was amazing.

The second part of the movie was when they finally reach "The House of Flying Daggers." There are a few twists in the story. After that, it becomes a soap opera kind of movie. Mei doesn't love Jin, but she loves Leo. That's how it's a soap opera-or at least a romance.

The ending is the final tragic battle between Jin and Leo, because they both wish to win Mei's heart. Jin nearly kills Mei, and that upsets Leo. This part was weird. Jin and Leo keep fighting until the weather somehow changes, and it starts snowing. Then, Mei comes back to life… somehow. I don't know how any of this happens, but it's semi-absorbing. It's great to watch, but it's unrealistic.


The greatest thing about "Flying Daggers" is the beautiful cinematography. Well, the sets and special effects and visuals are stunning. Everything makes it look good, the costumes, the landscape, the stunts- it looks so good! I might go so far as to saying that the cinematography is better than that of "Sin City" and "Lord of the Rings." (Many will disagree.) The story is pretty good, but the first part seems way too long, the second is too short and the third is the shortest of all. Despite this, the story is actually pretty good. The ending is probably the most remarkable because it's "the final fight scene" and way more dramatic than other fight scenes in movies.

The flaw in the movie, (which was probably a flaw in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") was the fight scenes. We all enjoy a good fight scene once in a while, but not if it overdoes itself when it occurs too often and runs on too long. But, I won't pick on that. Instead, I will say that they are simply too unrealistic. I mean, come on! People dodge many, many attacks almost perfectly and flying several feet in the air. But, if you are a fan of the martial-arts genre, you should expect that.

It was well-acted and beautiful looking, but WAY too unrealistic. But, the visuals are enough to get it 4 out of 5, and everything else: the characters, the story, the action, the drama; just adds to that. I wouldn't call it amazing, or a masterpiece, but perhaps: somewhere close to that.

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Great for any fans of the Dixie Chicks
8 March 2006
"An Evening with the Dixie Chicks" is footage from one of the Dixie Chick's concerts. They play many songs, mostly ones from "Fly" and "Home." Some of them include "Sin Wagon,""Top of the World,""Lil' Jack Slade,""Long Time Gone," and "Wide Open Spaces." One thing that I found to be very odd was the lead singer, Natalie. She has a very good voice when singing, but sings better than talks. Sometimes she seems nervous and speaks too softly and quietly. She also raises her arms a lot whenever she sings. I have no clue at all why she does.

One thing that I also disliked was when she sang "Sin Wagon." I like the version on "Fly," but this sounded too weird. The song seemed too random-sounding too actually work as well as it did on the CD.

But, it's nice to report that "Top of the World" was done with as much neat perfection as it was in "Home." By the way, I think "Top of the World" is their best song.

On the DVD, you can choose from about 15 songs, and find out how many songs are one each CD, along with some history of the Dixie Chicks. Anyways, this is a great way for any fan to spend some extra time. I think that the CD's sound better, but that's just my opinion.

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I don't know why it's rated so highly, but it's probably because of the similarities to "Singin' in the Rain." It's a funny, heart-warming musical.
23 February 2006
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was based on Road Dahl's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". It's about a young boy named Charlie who gets a Golden Ticket. This ticket allows him and a parent to enter the Chocolate Factory owned by Willy Wonka. There, we get something similar to a horror film-children are picked of one by one. Why? Because they are bad children.

I enjoyed this film, but I can't see why so many people like it. I thought the music was fantastic (ecspecially the "I got a Golden Ticket" song.) I thought it also had some good jokes, but I forgot what they were.

My only guess is that this-and the fact that it may be heart-warming to some is why people like it. For me, it was too weird and kind of overdid it. "Being John Malcovich" had a style of inventiveness, but this just seemed like many other films being called original; It's an adventure film with weird things that often appear.

I enjoyed it, but I never found it heart-warming.

Fans of this will like "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) and possibly "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." (2005)

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Potter is back- but now with more thrills and seriousness than the first
23 February 2006
"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is the sequel to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." This time is his second year at Hogwarts, and something odd has been happening.

I don't remember the story exactly, except that Harry is constantly warned by Dobby that something bad is going to happen. Harry finds Dobby to be a nuisance but something is definitely going on. Weird things happen after that.

"Chamber of Secrets" is the most thrilling Harry Potter so far.(There's only been one before this.) I found it to be on the same level as "Prisoner of Azkaban" even if it's inferior to "Goblet of Fire." I don't think this has as much story as "Azkaban," but it has enough action and thrills to match "Goblet of Fire." It also works as a decent horror film, even if it won't scare too many, it's entertaining. The sense of mystery is there, as always.

With each new "Harry Potter," I suspect that the series will become darker and more mysterious. I just hope they don't ever get repeated.


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Things aren't always what they appear
20 February 2006
Daniel and his family have just moved to America. When he goes to school, he is constantly bullied by a black-belt karate student. Then, "The Old One" a.k.a. Myagi, who says he can train Daniel. However, his lessons are very unusual. For example, Daniel is reduced to painting fences and waxing cars. These lessons are not what they appear to be, but instead, they teach young Daniel how to defend himself.

This movie is also not what it appears to be. To quote Roger Ebert: "I took one look at the title and figured it was either (a) a sequel to Toenails of Vengeance, or (b) an adventure pitting Ricky Schroder against the Megaloth Man. I was completely wrong. THE KARATE KID was one of the nice surprises of 1984 -- an exciting, sweet-tempered, heart-warming story with one of the most interesting friendships in a long time."

Like Roger Ebert said, "The Karate Kid" is not an average kung-fu movie. No. It's a drama that starts out like another clichéd high school movie, but adopts a message and drama. After Daniel finds the meaning behind his training, the movie starts to head into a drama.

After Daniel learns the meaning of his lessons, the film gets dramatic. He learns that things aren't what they seem to be, and that karate is for self-defense; not fighting.

I remember having to watch this film for "P.A.C.E.," which was a program to help me remember and do better in school and crap like that. They had a lot of weird lessons and only made me watch "The Karate Kid" to teach me that things aren't always what they seem.

The main flaws in "Karate kid" are that the bathroom scene was too unrealistic and that there was a lot of swearing that might offend the younger ones. But, it was a good movie with enough heart, along with a moral.

It appears as a crappy, clichéd kung-fu movie, but ends up looking like a great drama.

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A few good jokes don't save "Wedding Crashers" from turning into a wannabe sex comedy disaster
20 February 2006
The storyline of "Wedding Crashers" involves to men invading weddings to meet girls. Eventually, they are invited to stay at a family's house, where both of them try to get their dream girls. It fails for a couple of reasons. Let me explain.

First of all, it stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. I don't disrespect these actors, but they have starred in many stupid/silly comedies that haven't succeeded too much. I liked "Dodgeball" but disliked "Anchorman" and it almost seems like that their next movie is going to be a failure because of what their past looks like. I'm not saying it's bad that they are put in comedies, but it seems kind of clichéd, like putting Clint Eastwood in Westerns. The only real difference is that many actors famous for comedies (such as Adam Sandler) have had a history of bad movies, (Such as "Billy Madison") while most of Clint Eastwood's Westerns have succeeded. (Such as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.") If you've seen Vince and Owens's past movies, you may not have high expectations for this one. (I hated "The Big Bounce.")

Second of all, the film tries to be a sex comedy, and it fails at that. I saw the unrated version, which meant more vulgarity and more non amusing jokes. For example, take the mom (an old lady) who wants Owen to feel her chest.

Is that a bad joke? Yes it is.

There are a few good laughs, but they are too simple or cliché to work. They often include simple jokes such as repeating the same word over and over. The rest of the movie is just pure boredom.

Owen and Vince are both well-loved comedians, but it seems like they don't contribute too much to their parts. "School of Rock" succeeded as a comedy mostly because of Jack Black. But, it seemed like "Wedding Crashers" would have done just as well with average actors in their places.

"Wedding Crashers" was obviously made because the writers could include women getting topless in many scenes. The two writers of this film (Steve Faber and Bob Fisher) have little experience with movies and don't do comedy so well.

There is little to get excited about, because "Wedding Crashers" is yet another one of the many comedy disasters out there.


Good: A few funny jokes, some people may like the exposure of women in the unrated version.

Bad: Clichés, boredom, bad jokes and predictable. The exposition may be a problem to some.

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Good for a relaxed evening
20 February 2006
"Young Frankenstein" is Mel Brook's continuation of the popular horror story. Of course, it's not an official sequel, but it's a comedy with all the characters of "Frankenstein." The story consists of Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein (or "Fronkensteen," as he likes it) who tries to bring dead corpses to life...or something like that.

I forgot the story, but the movie was filmed in black-and-white. I don't know how much color was available in 1974, so they may have put it in black-and-white to save money or something like that. But, I think it was to mimic the original "Frankenstein."

The film is by Mel Brooks, so it's obviously a comedy. It has a few funny jokes, such as the one with the horses. But, the jokes come by few. In the last 20 minutes or so, the movie backs away from comedy and heads towards material in the original "Frankestein."

In the ending, Dr. Frankenstein begins to teach the monster compassion. I guess there is character development here... for the monster. Anyways, this part may be heart-warming, but it certainly isn't funny.

"Young Frankenstein" is funny, but only creates laughs here and there. Your stomach won't hurt from laughter, but it's good fun for a relaxed evening.

Good: Light-hearted, funny at times, heart-warming (perhaps), homages to "Frankenstein" and a nice continuation

Bad: Ending is too long, jokes are forgettable, remains "good," but never "great"

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Very confusing, but it's a good thriller with a good plot
17 February 2006
"Wait Until Dark" was recommended by a friend of mine because I complained that "Psycho" was good, but not thrilling enough. "Wait Until Dark" is a great thriller that works mostly because of it's story line and performances.

Audrey Hepburn plays a blind woman named Susie, whose husband is out. She doesn't know it, but she posses a doll full of heroin, and three men are working together to get it. Like some Hithcock thrillers such as "Rope" and "Rear Window," "Wait Until Dark" takes place in an apartment. Another similarity is that strange events happen that turn out to be very shocking!

The film is interesting because Susy alone figures out the trio's plan to take the doll. She works with he friend, Gloria, to unravel the plan. Twists and turns come and go throughout the film. The scariest, or most shocking one involves a telephone. I won't tell you what it is, but it made me gasp. The twists get a bit confusing at times, but they provide good shocks for the audience.

Audrey Hepburn does a good job of playing a blind woman, and knows exactly how to act.

Men come and go throughout her apartment, and it's up to the audience (and her) to figure out the plan.

Fans of this will also like: "Rear Window,"(1954) "Memento," (2000) and "Vertigo." (1958)

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Corpse Bride (2005)
A pleasure to the eyes and ears, but about as lively as a corpse
17 February 2006
"Corpse Bride" is a film by Tim Burton, who made most of his fans by impressing them with "Nightmare before Christmas." So, to put some extra cash in his pocket, he came out with "The Corpse Bride." Like most Burton films, "Corpse Bride" stars Johnny Depp. This time, he plays Victor, a soon-to-be husband of Victoria. Of course, he comes from a rich family, and the parents are making him marry for money. However, he can't quite master the wedding ritual. Instead of simply saying "I do" the ritual is long and quite difficult to remember. Anyways, while Victor is practicing the ritual in the woods, he slips the ring onto what he thinks is a stick, but it's actually…the corpse bride! So, they get married, and Victor tries to find a way out of it.

This film was a lot like Burton's previous work "Nightmare before Christmas." Here are some similarities:

  • The main character is male and regrets something. Jack ("Nightmare") is tired of celebrating Halloween over and over, while Victor is ashamed he can't do the wedding properly.

  • Both main characters have a pet dog that happens to be dead.

-Both are in love with/going to be married to a disobedient daughter who often escapes out of her room.

-The song with the spider and the worm sounded very similar to one of the "Nightmare before Christmas" songs.

-Both have dead people, clay animation and music.

The visual and sound is stunning. The stop-motion animation was excellently used, and one of the best parts of the movie. The living and dead are almost vice-versa, because the living world is boring and the dead world is colorful. The sound is excellent. The songs are reduced to about three, but they sound pretty good.

But, that's the flaw. The main reason I enjoyed "Nightmare" was the music. I remember singing some of the songs by the time the film was over. This one had about three songs, and was lacking any background music when needed. Remember that this was supposed to appeal to "Nightmare before Christmas" fans? Well, I don't know why people would like it as much if it had no music.

Music is what brought the dead to life, and what made the film fun. "Corpse Bride" looks slow and short, and tries to fill in the little story it has into 80 minutes. It started in the boring living world and never seemed to get away from it.

Good: Visuals, some good songs (even if there are only a few), funny at times

Bad: Only a few good songs, seemed boring, similar to "Nightmare before Christmas"

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A superb story that loses it's flair and entertainment when it runs on too long
17 February 2006
"The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" is the final movie of "The Dollars Trilogy," nd had "For a Few Dollars More" and "A Fistful of Dollars" coming before it.

This one starts off very good. After the stylish credits and the famous music, we are introduced to every one of the characters. "The Ugly" (Tuco) gets his introduction with no dialog, and just action.

"The Bad" (Angel Eyes) really shows how "bad" he is, with one of the most "bad-ass" lines in Westerns. "When I'm paid, I always follow my job through." When you hear that line, wait for a couple seconds, and then you will know why he is called "The Bad."

"The Good" (Man with no Name)gets introduced when he triumphs over "The Ugly." Of course, he's not really "good," but most Western heroes simply aren't. Take William Munny in "Unforgiven" or The Lady in "The Quick and the Dead."

To quickly sum up the story, "The Good" finds out the location of a treasure from a man's dying breath. (No, his last words weren't "Rosebud.") They meet up with "The Bad" who also wants to get his hands on the treasure.

The ending takes a lot of twists, and the quick-draw scene was very good. But, the film seemed to slow at parts that could have been easily cut down. For example, in the graveyard scene, Tuco runs around for at least three minutes, which means three minutes of boredom instead of story, dialog or action.

Another flaw was the English dubs. Well, I'm not sure if they're dubs or not, but the voices don't match the mouth at times.

Oh well. The ending was really good. Well, to be more precise, the last couple of minutes. Note: For all you Tarintino fans, this is his favorite movie.

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King Kong (1933)
Interesting movie
17 February 2006
"King Kong" is one of the many adventure/thriller classics that may not effect as much people today, as it did "back then." But, "King Kong" is still good.

The special effects were probably remarkable in 1933, and today, some of the dinosaurs look pretty decent. Like other titles such as "Jaws" and "Psycho" it may not be dated, but it still has some decent thrill value and entertains just as well.

"King Kong" uses some interesting elements. For example, I thought the Natives were a pretty good element to the story.

I don't know if it could provide as many shocks now, but it's one of the only classics with a popular re-make. It was also Hitler's favorite movie.

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Tin Toy (1988)
Not bad for a start
14 February 2006
"Tin Toy" is one of Pixar's earliest films that has something to do with one of their first movie "Toy Story." The story is this: A toy soldier (well, it's more of a one-man band, wind-up toy) meets a baby who tries to eat him.

The computer animation is pretty good. The baby looks pretty bad, but the light and shadows look realistic. The toys look good too.

The film isn't too funny however. It's a nice start for Pixar, but I would recommend "Luxo Jr." and "For the Birds" over it.


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The history of a great and cheery musical
12 February 2006
"What a Glorious Feeling: The Making of Singin' in the Rain" documents what happened to make "Singin' in the Rain." It talks about the history, and who was originally cast. It also includes the history of the music, and talks about two that were left out. It talks about some important people that helped make the songs and why they chose "Singing in the Rain" for their theme.

It even tells how the final number ("The Broadway Ballet," I think it was called) had an actual story.

The documentary is about 30 minutes long, and pretty cool if you want to learn the history of "Singin' in the Rain." However, it didn't give too much insight on the story or anything- mostly the music. I would recommend it to fans of the movie, if they want to know how it was made. "Making Of's" are always great.

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"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" is a feast for the eyes, with some other good qualities, but falls short of amazing
11 February 2006
"Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" is the final installment of the famous trilogy. It picks up where the second left off, wherever that may be- and where it is is the group approaching Mount Doom. Gandalf, Legolas, and all those other guys wander and find themselves in a war against Sauron. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle with the Ring guided by the creature Gollum.

The film is quite similar to the original. It's still style-over-substance. Frodo and Sam still are close friends. Merry and Pippin are the same way too. The ring still has to be returned to the mountain. Gollum still looks like a non-muscular version of Tarzan with that tiny little cloth he has on his waist. Yet, the story seems a bit different. Instead of another adventure film, Return of the King has a war in it, and has Sam and Frodo testing their bonds of friendship more than ever.

The little drama that is has is good. No, it probably won't make you cry (though it did for some people) but it is, well…touching. Remember the ending for the original Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring? (SPOILER!!!) I thought it was "sweet" when Frodo was leaving in the boat and Sam jumps into the water and says "Of course you are; and I'm coming with you!" (END OF SPOILERS!!!)

The film's high point is the special effects. Of course, Peter Jackson had a BIG budget for this movie, and it was made up because it was the second highest-grossing movie so far. (Next to Titanic) The audience is given spectacular eye-candy with the armies of orcs, and goblins and other various fantasy creatures. We are also treated to breath-taking detail of mostly everything, from the beautiful costumes to the engraved writing on the swords. We are also treated to some very awesome scenes where the camera positions itself high up to see the detailed landscape below- which is full of trees, grass, armies, animals and much more detail.

Like the previous films, "Return of the King" is very long. It's over 200 minutes, and even more for the extended version. The ending seems to be the longest part of them all; because it feels five minutes longer then we really wanted. It really annoyed me when I first saw it, because it just wouldn't end! The beginning seemed a bit slow too. It took a long time before we even got to out main characters.

If you remember the previous films, the group split up for some reason I can't remember. It's good that the characters vary a lot from how they look, what weapons they carry and what kind of creature they are. It would be hard to remember them if they weren't varied.

The action is pretty good. With lots of sword-fighting and some other cool stuff, like Legolas killing a giant elephant-like creature. Of course, it's nothing like Jackie Chan's flips and karate moves. But, we are treated to a couple sword fights, although I think the action in the first was much better.

The story takes no major twists or turns, and can be watched if you haven't seen the first two. As I said earlier, "Return of the King" is special effects; 100% breath-taking, proportioned, amazing, spectacular special effects… and costumes. However, special effects, costumes and CGI only go so far. It displays the effects through camera work and for a long period of time. I suppose this movie must have been a spectacular treat in theaters, but it won't quite blow you away if you are seeing it for the first time on television. You will enjoy; I did. You will say "wow" at the special effects, but you will realize that there ARE better movies out there that don't rely so heavily on a budget.


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It's pretty bad, but not unwatchable. You can be doing something better with 106 minutes of your life,
11 February 2006
Take three girls who are pretty, strong smart, and all-around perfect, and put them in a situation where they fight off millions of baddies or any other impossible situation, with added stunts and slow-motion scenes.

This is the basic formula for "Charlie's Angel's: Full Throttle," the sequel to "Charlie's Angels." Three spies called "Charlie's Angels" (Hence the name of the movie.) begin their movie by saving a male hostage who drops his "wedding ring" while being saved. When the spies return to Charlie's office, a predictable moment sets in; the ring was for a more important purpose then a wedding. It was a dangerous HALO ring which is dangerous if not recovered.

I found this part to be very predictable, because the line where the man explains about his wedding ring seemed to stick out from the crowd of dialogue. I knew this concept in Kindergarten, and kind of made up a story for the formula:

A group of people are walking on a path. They find a machine that they don't think works. The, the machine does something useful at the end. It's the one-twist kind of story line, which makes a twist out of something seemingly unnoticeable.

My story seems a bit like this part. The group of people are the angels. The machine is the ring. The ending of my story is the only one that differs, because the machine starts a story in "Charlie's Angels," instead of ending it.

The story continues when the three women travel to retrieve the HALO rings. One of the main flaws (and there are many) is that the story line seems to have been made just to include action scenes. I'm not sure what the word is called: episodic, lazy, shallow? Well, it's bad and only made worse due to the fact that the action scenes are really, really bad.

In the beginning bike scene, the part where the man turns backwards in mid-air and attempts to shoot the angels looks really goofy. The slow-motion scenes look un-realistic and way too stupid to work. It almost reminded me of "Belly of the Beast," when the guy shoots the arrow with a gun in slow-motion. How ridiculous. I think it's also ridiculous how the women fight off numerous baddies, and other un-realistic stunts, such as jumping onto a helicopter.

The music and the way the characters act sometimes give the movie a different feeling to it. For example, at times, the movie more closely resembles a flick for young girls than a spy movie. There are just some scenes that don't seem to fit.

Another flaw is that "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" tries to be a goofy comedy, but ends up looking more goofy and ridiculous than an actual comedy. After the opening sequence, the audience is treated to some silly comedy that tones down the level of seriousness.

(SOME SPOILERS)Don't forget that the part with "The Creepy Thin Man" seemed almost pointless, because he is introduced, but he doesn't do too much. No character development takes place. (END OF SPOILERS)

There's actually not much more to it. The script is just a bunch of action sequences and some predictable moments. Then, it's filmed and acted and sent to theatres. I doubt the actresses enjoy their parts, or anything else in this incoherent mess of a movie.

"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" isn't so bad that it's unwatchable, but it's 106 minutes long, and with that much time, you can be doing something else with your life, such as homework, chores, or reading. The whole thing is just too ridiculous to actually work. Unless you were a fan of the first one or interested in the dance scene in the middle of the film, there's no real reason to watch this.


Good: Plot twists, some OK humor, male audiences may be delighted by the dance scene in the middle

Bad: Ridiculous action scenes, perfectionist main characters, pointless introduction, seems too silly to be a spy movie at times, predictable moments, story seems to have been made only to include action sequences

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May be a treat for young girls and older women, but others may find it too predictable
11 February 2006
"The Lizzie McGuire Movie" is taken from the popular Disney Channel series "Lizzie McGuire," which are the adventures of Lizzie; a girl going through all of the teenage stereotype problems, including: popular snobby girls, guys that everybody admires and parents who embarrass you.

This time, Lizzie and her group of friends travel to Paris, or some other place (I forgot what it was.) and Lizzie just happens to bear a striking resemblance to a famous singer. So, another famous singer (that just happens to be a guy that Lizzie admires) wants Lizzie to pose as the singer she resembles. Then, near the end, the movie takes a twist, we finally get to the problem.

This is a major flaw in the movie. the audience waits a long time until we finally get to the problem. The rest of the movie shows Lizzie preparing for the concert. I'm not so sure, but if she did well during the concert may have been the main conflict.

Anyways, by the time we finally get to the dilemma, the movie becomes somewhat predictable. I remember my mother guessing the ending perhaps ten minutes before the ending. She guessed right.

Fans of this may enjoy the show "Lizzie McGuire," along with other movies, such as: "Sleepover," "Raise Your Voice," "What a Girl Wants," "Miss Congeniality," "Legally Blonde" and "A Cinderella Story." Older women will enjoy "Stepmom" and "Joy Luck Club." Anybody else (I'm not sure who) may enjoy "Memento," "Toy Story," "The Terminal," "Million Dollar Baby" and "Dark City."

Good: Non-labored, will appeal to some women

Bad: Predictable, clichéd, takes a long time to get to the dilemma, looks average

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Luxo Jr. (1986)
Has the heart, warmth and (almost) humor of Pixar (Short Film)
8 February 2006
"Luxo Jr." is Pixar's first short film, and shows why a lamp is used for Pixar's logo.

Like all the Pixar short films, "Luxo Jr." has no dialog, but music and funny sounds instead. The story is about a lamp named Luxo who is playing with a ball. Then, Luxo Jr. comes by and joins him.

Like many of the Pixar shorts, it is merely a cute experiment with animation, music, sounds and humor. This one succeeds in those departments.

I'm not sure if it's stop-motion animation or computer-animation, but the animation in "Luxo Jr." looks fairly impressive. The moments are also what gives the characters life and personalities.

The sounds are impressive as well. Each time the lamps do so much as turn, you hear a sound. You can also hear the "ding-a-ling-a-ling" sound that Luxo makes before every Pixar film.

The humor isn't quite hilarious, but I managed to chuckle twice during the film. The ending was funny.

Not so bad for a start.

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Soarin' (2001)
An amazing 3-D ride at Disney's Califoria Adventure, that is not only fun, but a pleasure to the senses (Movie-ride)
8 February 2006
My family bought special passes so we don't have to wait in long lines for short rides. Even if it was a short wait, the ride was still worth it.

"Soarin' Over California" is one of the best simulations I have ever experienced. You are strapped down to seats that lift several feet in the air. The ride has a huge screen (obviously) and uses it to create the breath-taking feeling of flying in mid-air. But, that's not all.

"Soarin' Over California" is also equipped with various things that make the ride such a pleasure to the senses. When you pass over the orange fields, you can smell the oranges. When you fly fast, you can feel the breeze.

If there is anything to do at Disney's California Adventure, this is it. Period.

Good: Big screen, amazing sights, good smells, can feel the breeze, moving seats that life over 40 feet in the air

Bad: There may be a long line.

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Into the Deep (1994)
Under the Sea (Imax Film)
8 February 2006
"Into the Deep" is an Imax film documenting the life about fish and other sea creatures.

It's an Imax film, so it's shown on a really big screen. This helps the viewer feel like they are right there, when the camera gives us a view of the water level.

Then it focuses on the life of fish and other sea creatures. For example, did you know that Lobsters and other crustaceans have to break out of their shells and get new ones. Of course you knew that Hermit Crabs do it, but did you ever expect lobsters? Don't forget how weird and cool the Starcastic Fringeheads are.

I'm not sure how much the admission is to get into the Imax theater, but this may be worth it. It's a whole lot better then the other Imax film: "T-Rex: Back to the Creustaceous."

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I remember riding this at Six Flags (or was it the second one?) (Movie-ride)
8 February 2006
This was a great 3-D ride. After the strange introduction, we proceed onto the ride with moving seats.

The story of the film is pretty bad, but it's a ride. What do you expect? The moving seats and 3-D visuals make you feel as if you are actually on Dino Island.

When you exit from the ride you will probably feel disappointed because the ride could have been so much longer.

Note: I may be talking about the sequel. I'm not so sure though.

Good: Lots of fun with moving seats and 3-D effects

Bad: Average story and way too short

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