C D E
F G H
I J K
L M N O
P Q R S
T U V W
X Y Z
SUBMIT YOUR OWN REVIEW
RETURN TO MOVIE
Is Spinal Tap (1984) ... Average: 5.0
(Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest,
Harry Shearer, Tony Hendra,
Anjelica Huston, Howard Hesseman, Billy Crystal, Paul Schaffer, Dana
They should have stopped making movies after this release.
Thomas Crown Affair (R, 1968) ... Average:
(Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke, Yaphet
Kotto, Todd Martin)
I remember that the ending on this one was something of a surprise to
me when I first saw it. I loved the mix of chemistry between the two
leading characters. And, if for no other reasons than the sexual
tension between them during the chess game, and the introduction of the
song, Windmills of Your Mind, I think it deserves nearly a five rating.
Come to think of it, I probably ought to order a DVD of this from
Amazon.com, before people forget about this original version and it goes
out of stock.
The Thomas Crown
Affair (R, 1999) ... Average: 3.5
(Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Dennis Leary)
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo are a great pair. The story line was exciting and so was seeing Pierce Brosnan's butt.
For the guys, there is a scene where Renee Russo is wearing a sheer black dress, which leaves little to the imagination. Although some people feel that this movie plot is similar to Entrapment, the acting is far superior.
Didn't I just watch this movie a week ago? A high profile thief
steals something, not for the money but purely for the rush; the two stars
involved in the thievery fall in love and in the end the audience is asked
to accept the fact that he is a thief, be very forgiving, want them to get
away with it and live happily ever after. Same as "Entrapment"! "Entrapment" had Sean Connery and
Katherine Zeta Jones. "Thomas Crown Affair" has Brosnan and Russo. Same basic
premise, same basic average movie. I gave "Entrapment"
2-1/2 stars. This was a nudge better - Russo and Brosnan made a
better couple than Connery and Jones, there was no relying on the Y2K bug
as there was in "Entrapment", and relative to
"Entrapment" the premise was much more realistic.
(PG-13, 1999) ... Average: 4.5
(Harvey Keitel, Don Duong, Tranh Manh Cuong, Zoe
Bui, Nguyen Ngoc Hiep)
HERE to go to Tony Porco's Movie Reviews Page)
A young peasant woman starts working at a lotus plantation in the
countryside, eventually becoming curious about the establishment's
enigmatic owner. A cynical and stoic Vietnam veteran spends day after day
at a downtown hotel, searching for his Amer-asian daughter. A young,
homeless boy is forced to sell trinkets on the street. A sensitive
rickshaw driver gives a ride to a beautiful but worldly young
prostitute--and, of course, falls in love with her. These characters'
various destinies do not intertwine in anything more than
a casual way,
but they still seem to belong together in young Vietnamese director Tony
Bui's ode to the street life of Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City).
Cheesiness and tritenesses abound--the ugly person with the beautiful
soul, the whore and the good man who loves her--but I didn't care about
any of that, because I was too busy caring about these wonderfully human
people. This was made possible mainly by believable acting; Harvey Keitel,
playing the Vietnam vet, actually makes one of the weaker impressions (the
script does not give him quite enough to do).
The squalor and occasional paradoxical beauty of Saigon is also
well-portrayed by Bui; in fact, the city sometimes seems like another
character in the movie, the way that New York is always a character in
Woody Allen movies. I hate calling a movie "magical," but this
one simply won't let me call it anything else.
Miles to Graceland (R,
2001) ... Average: 4.0
(Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, David Arquette,
Courtney Cox-Arquette, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Pollak, Ice-T, Howie Long)
I have walked past this movie at least a half dozen times at Hollywood
Video, each time thinking, "Yuck. An entire movie about fat,
greasy, mutton chop sideburned Elvis impersonators with no life other than
to leach off the songs of a dead man." I couldn't have been
more off base.
Miles to Graceland" does have Elvis-wannabes in it, but they are a
very minor part of the movie. Kevin Costner looks, acts and dresses
like The King, but he genuinely believes he is the illegitimate son of
Elvis. Kurt Russell looks and dresses like him, too, as do the other
three guys in a group (led by Costner) who are on their way to Vegas to
the annual Elvis Impersonating Contest. At least that's what we're
led to believe.
This should be the paragraph where I explain the plot of the movie, but I
won't. It has to be seen to be appreciated.
Costner is great as a bad-ass. No remorse, no conscience, no
regrets, and an unwavering "If I want it, I take it" attitude.
Kurt Russell is very good as the guy who knows what he's doing is not
right, but as long as nobody gets REALLY hurt, it's ok. And Courtney
Cox Arquette is a small town single mom who becomes involved -- and
entangled -- in both their lives.
"3000 Miles to Graceland" has some graphic violence, some very
funny moments, and enough plot twists and turns to keep the movie
suspenseful until the end. It was one of those movies that kept me
thinking that I knew what was going to happen next and then surprised me
when I wasn't even close. And the kid that plays Cox Arquette's son
is a gem!
I'm not sure whether it's because I've been renting such horribly baaaad
movies lately or because this really is a good movie, but I recommend
renting "3000 Miles to Graceland." It's an entertaining
movie that requires just enough thought to keep it interesting until the
(R, 2000) ... Average: 3.75
(Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro,
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Benjamin Bratt, Salma Hayek, Amy Irving)
Traffic is a movie about the War on Drugs as a whole, and a long
series of inter-related stories about various individuals and how their
lives, jobs - or both - are influenced by this war that seemingly cannot
be won. The War on Drugs is huge and complex, and so is this movie
in every possible way. The creators of this movie were faced with a
daunting tasks of tying every facet together and making it flow.
There are a lot of things about this movie that make it brilliant, from
the fashion in which it was presented, to the way in which it was filmed,
to its plan to create a story-line around an issue that is completely
real. The entire movie is shown in a succession of snippets - the
cinematography making them all feel as if you just became a fly on the
wall of the next event in the movie. The extremely diverse set of
views - from the a pair of Tijuana cops, to the undercover DEA agents, to
a wealthy drug baron, to the U.S. President's U.S. Drug Czar, to his
teen-aged daughter - is eventually all tied together one by one in what is
really a masterful and creative piece of work. We see where the dope
begins, we see where it ends up and everyone in between is implicated.
There is no attempt to sugar-coat for the sake of a Hollywood story,
preserving the feeling that you are looking out your window in the
"real world." Likewise, although the movie concludes with
no answers on the solution to the end of the war - and it shouldn't -
nothing is lost in the underlying story. Despite the complexities of
the movie, the preservation of an intelligent story helped avoid the
feeling that you were watching a documentary. Every scene, no matter
how different from the previous, is electrifying.
HERE to go to Tony Porco's Movie Reviews Page)
A stoic Mexican cop (Benecio del Toro) and his partner (Jacob Vargas)
try to stay loyal to each other and their consciences as they work the
streets of Tijuana. A wisecracking DEA agent (Luis Guzman) and his
partner (Don Cheadle, who previously teamed with Guzman in Boogie
Nights) pursue similar activities, and similar characters, on the San
Diego side of the border. A naive suburban princess (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
learns that her husband has been busted, and that their stately home and
furnishings didn't come from wise investment decisions. A respected
Cincinnati judge (Michael Douglas) is appointed to be federal drug czar,
ignorant of the drug problem lurking within his own house (his teenage
daughter, played one-dimensionally by Erika Christensen).
Of course, a certain powdered, illegal substance is the only thing holding
these diverse lives together, and Steven Soderbergh's direction almost
succeeds in making their travails into some kind of coherent whole. Some
notable implausibilities don't help; the new czar complains about talking
only to people "who have never left the Beltway" (never mind
that almost anyone with power in DC actually comes from somewhere else).
More annoyingly, how in the world did Zeta-Jones' character enjoy all that
wealth without an inkling of where it came from?
All that said, I was still impressed with Soderbergh's ability to make a
movie that, like Dead Man Walking, took a definite stand on an
issue without gross oversimplification or cheap-shooting, something
Hollywood has not always been able to do in the past. I found that I was
able to enjoy this movie (especially the camaraderie of the two sets of
police partners) without agreeing with all of the filmmakers' opinions.
(As it happens, I do agree with at least some of them, but that's another
subject for another day. I should mention that the film has a rather
interesting cinematic contrivance--all the scenes set in Mexico are filmed
in grainy black-and-white, and all the north-of-the-border sequences are
filmed in full color. This is quite clever when you first see it,
especially when a character crosses the border and gains or loses color! I
thought it got old after a while, however, and it seems to emphasize the
alien-ness of our neighbor to the south, which is at odds with the theses
of the film. Furthermore, my wife and I have been to Mexican border towns
in our travels, and among the most stimulating things about them are their
bright colors, which this film fails to capture.)
Day (R, 2001) ... Average: 3.0
(Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Tom Berenger, Dr
Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Raymond J. Barry)
If you like being tense for two hours, then this is your movie.
It wasn't always necessarily an edge-of-your-seat
what's-going-to-happen-next tense, but just a general prolonged
Washington plays a crooked unpleasant veteran LAPD cop on a narcotics unit
who escorts an eager rookie played by Hawke through his first day.
The movie is played largely from the perspective of Hawke, or at least,
that is where I tended to feel I was in the movie. And, from that
vantage point, I couldn't help but feel as though I was squirming in my
seat, hoping that everything would some how turn out right in the
end. It doesn't. This isn't a feel good movie, that for
sure. If you're looking for a happy ending, look elsewhere.
As Sue noted below, it was almost a relief when the movie was over.
Not because the movie was bad, it was just unnerving and about as cynical
as you can get. In a way, that vibe was similar to the feeling I got
As far as stories go, there really wasn't anything terribly special about
Training Day, but it wasn't bad. The story is carried by the acting
of Washington and Hawke. Washington received Academy Awards for his
efforts, but Bev and I both thought Hawke was equally if not more
In hindsight, what I found amusing was that after so many movies where
Denzel has played the "good guy" - in stark contrast, his
previous movie was "Remember the Titans" - I spent this entire
movie searching desperately for when the plot was going to reveal that the
actions of his character were going to turn out to be good. I found
I really didn't want to believe he was 100% sinister just because of his
previous roles. In fact, I wasn't alone because my in-laws actually
left the theater in the middle of the movie because they absolutely hated
thinking of Denzel as a "bad guy."
That's how I reacted when "Training Day" was over. That
pretty much sums up the movie -- "whew -- how intense;"
"whew -- that was amazing;" and, "whew -- Thank God the
movie is over."
"Training Day" is the story about a renegade undercover
narcotics cop (Washington) and his first-day trainee (Hawke). The
entire movie spans the rookie's first day on the job, and what a day it
Once again, Denzel Washington portrays his character so convincingly that
it's hard to remember that he really isn't a psychotic a**hole. But
his character is. Washington's character is a ruthless, shameless,
greedy, hard-edged bastard. I didn't want to hate him during the
movie and kept looking for any redeeming qualities to keep me hanging on.
He had none.
Ethan Hawke's character is a fresh-faced, protect-and-serve Dudley
Do-Right rookie that just wants to make a good impression and do a good
job. As the movie progresses, he is constantly faced with good vs.
evil and right vs. wrong. He makes questionable choices and gets
into some intense situations, all the while looking for direction,
approval -- anything -- from his "mentor." He gets quite a
"Training Day" goes from interesting to intense. It is not
a happy movie with a happy ending. It's actually very depressing
down to its fundamental "who CAN you trust?" message.
I gave "Training Day" 2 1/2 stars because Washington's and
Hawke's performances are solid. The movie itself is relatively
run-of-the-mill, with a few twists and turns but nothing that you couldn't
predict about half way through the movie. The language is rough and
the violence is rougher, which makes it a rental for Mommy and Daddy after
the kiddies are all tucked in. Plus, we need to let our kids keep
thinking that policemen are the good guys. After watching
"Training Day," I wish I still believed it.
Can Play That Game (R,
2001) ... Average: 4.5
(Vivica A. Fox, Morris Chestnut, Anthony Anderson,
Tamala Jones, Gabrielle Union, Bobby Brown)
Julian (a.k.a. Stevie Bill)
Nice fun movie about the funniness in a new girlfriend/boyfriend
relationship, hot chicks, lots of laughs, and, as Wayne Beaver refers to
it, the unexplainable theory of the "super d*c*" syndrome.
Great movie to watch with a beer and some good friends. Of course
what doesn't go good with beer besides police cars or no bathrooms around?
Two for the
2005) ... Average:
(Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Armand
Assante, Jeremy Piven)
Wow, incredibly bad. If it wasn't for the scene where Matthew
McConaughey gets held down and then peed on, I would've only given this
a single stinkin' star. (I like to see people getting peed on.)
Seriously, Al Pacino, for the love of all that is good in this
world...Does no one read a script before making a commitment anymore?
"You gambled on...me!" Ugh, lame. Exactly what was the point
of this movie? It was lost on me, and I suspect that by halfway
through script, it appeared to have been lost on the filmmakers as well.
Even the sports parts were pretty lame...What football team at any level
would throw a Hail Mary pass at the end of a game they are winning on
the last play of the game? (Which then causes them to beat the
point spread of course.) C'mon.
You should've seen the looks I got when I stood up and applauded loudly
immediately after the lights came on. That made it at least a
little worth while.
Much more interesting than this movie is Kirsten Cheskey's purse.
It's shaped like a purse, but acts more like a waste receptacle.
She even keeps a tiny jar of peanut butter in there. You really
have to see it - the purse, not this movie. I give it 4-1/2 stars.
A Space Odyssey (1968) ... Average: 5.0
(Keir Dullea, William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood,
Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter)
HERE to go to Tony Porco's Movie Reviews Page)
This Stanley Kubrick masterpiece has, of course, long been one of my
favorite movies; in fact, it is one of my favorite works of art in any
medium. Exactly why I like it is difficult to articulate, but David
Lichtenstein recently challenged me to try, so I thought I would give it a
One fascinating quality of the film (and something I have never heard
anyone else bring up) is the division into four sections, which seem to me
very much like four different movies. While all four are linked by a
common theme and build on each other, all four have very different tones
The first, "The Dawn of Man," shows the birth of invention among
the first human-like hominids of millions of years ago. The untitled
middle section (the best-known, because of its famous Kubrick
cinematography of ships moving in space, which is still quite enthralling
to watch) builds on "The Dawn of Man" quite directly, in spite
of being set millions of years later. The best, however, is the
third or "Jupiter Mission" section, which can be enjoyed as a
good, old-fashioned science-fiction thriller, done more artfully than
most. There is real suspense and chilling horror here, enough to
keep me on the edge of my seat--and more than enough to make me wonder why
people describe this movie as "boring."
The other criticism I hear frequently--that it is "hard to
understand"--is usually directed at the last of the four sections,
about which I can say almost nothing more. All I can suggest to
these people is this proposition: Is "hard to understand"
synonymous with "lousy?" I would submit that this movie
proves that it is not.