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RETURN TO MOVIE
(1987) ... Average: 2.5
(Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Daryl
Although you certainly could never describe life on Wall Street to be
quiet and mundane, I'm not sure that it totally translated into a
movie. The story was about a relatively novice broker (Charlie
Sheen) on Wall Street who worms his way into the life of a unscrupulous
multi-millionaire (Michael Douglas) who leads him down the wrong path of
Insider Trading. (What's next? A movie about crooked
accountants? Crooked Insurance Salesmen?) I just didn't find
it very gripping. I can't think of anything specific that made the
movie uninteresting, but I wasn't "on the edge of my seat" for
any part of this movie. A very average flick.
Perhaps, as is my pattern, I'm not a huge fan of movies where you dislike
ALL of the characters - this was one of those movies. Maybe I'm a
big cheeseball, but it's difficult to warm quickly to stories where even the
main character is a "bad guy".
It has a star-studded cast, and so the acting was quite well done.
Even Bev, who reminded me multiple times how much she hates Charlie Sheen,
conceded that he played his role quite well.
By the way, Bev thinks Daryl Hannah looks like a man. Hmmm, does
this make me gay, 'cuz I'm just not seeing it.
Walk the Line
(PG-13, 2005) ... Average:
(Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer
Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Ginnifer Goodwin)
Walk the line certainly show-cases two of the best performances of the
year on the screen at the same time. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese
Witherspoon deserve all of the accolades they are getting for this one.
Phoenix plays the original man-in-black, Johnny Cash, and Reese his
long-time wife, June Carter.
The film is based on Cash's two autobiographies. It shines a light on
the truth behind his life - and follows the story of how he met, wooed,
disappointed and ultimately married June Carter, despite the typical
rock-star hurdles and a drug overdose and addiction.
Unlike Ray - the story of Ray Charles where I
was left feeling emotionally unattached to a man who basically continued to
ruin himself until the day he died - here I felt a connection and left the
theater feeling generally uplifted.
It's a good story. Certainly one worth seeing, especially for the
2000) ... Average: 2.5
(Keanu Reeves, James Spader, Marisa Tomei, Robert
Cicchini, Chris Ellis)
Serial killers movies are generally fun, but this one is mediocre.
James Spader plays an X-police detective who, after years of chasing
serial killers in L.A., has started to have all kinds of nervous
disorders. In an effort to escape his past, he moves to Chicago
and begins seeing a psychiatrist (played by Marisa Tomei).
Meanwhile, the serial killer (Keanu Reeves) in a case he hadn't cracked
enjoyed the cat-and-mouse games that he played with Spader so much that he
follows him to Chicago.
Unfortunately, that's pretty much the entire movie. Not a lot of
plot twists, not a whole lot that's unexpected, and a lot of time early in
the movie where the plot didn't seem to be going anywhere at all.
Once it gets rolling there is a bit of genuine suspense, but the ending is
easy to see coming and results in a cliché fight between protagonist
Reeves doesn't play a good serial killer. He just wasn't all that
scary - he seemed to have trouble acting menacing. I found him
uninteresting in this role. Plus, you don't ever really get to know him or
understand anything about why he is so twisted or how he became that way.
Tomei's character as psychiatrist is also underdeveloped and serves no
real purpose except to become the final victim.
As my dad pointed out, Spader is so very calculated in all of his moves
throughout the movie, and then during the film's climax, I don't think
there could have been one person watching this movie that didn't say,
"That was stupid...what did he do THAT for?" Aside from
that part where you didn't expect Spader's character to be so dumb, the
rest of the movie is very predictable. (e.g. The serial killer mails
Spader a picture of the next girl that he's going to kill 24 hours in
advance. Spader finds the girls exactly 24 hours and 1 minute each
time - c'mon, be a little more creative, please.)
All of the write-ups on this movie compared it to the movie
"Seven" which is one of my all-time favorite movies.
There's no comparison - don't rent this movie. If you want a scary
serial killer movie, rent "Seven."
Were Soldiers (R, 2002) ... Average: 2.0
(Mel Gibson, Barry Pepper, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliot,
Chris Klein, Denis Leary, Madeleine Stowe)
We Were Soldiers is "Rated R for sustained
sequences of graphic war violence." That's kind of funny
because that is also what this movie is in a nutshell. Just a two
hour "sustained sequence of graphic war violence." They
could've saved on ink on the back of the DVD box by just saying "For
movie description, just see the rating below." It's a shame
really because the story is actually a good one. It's based on the
true story of the colonel who led his troops into the first bloody battle
of Vietnam. Unfortunately when it was all over, I can't say I knew
much more about the real true story other than the fact that it was a
"sustained sequence of graphic war violence."
Here's the movie: Pre-war build up of how everyone feels about the
possibility of going to war and not coming home. Then, lots of
soldiers getting shot and shooting the Vietnamese intermixed with a guy
yelling into a phone in the middle of battle. Then, flash over to
the U.S. where wives are getting telegrams about their hubbies dying in
the line of duty. Then back to lots of guys shooting, lots of guys
getting killed. Then back to more telegrams. Then back to more
guys shooting, more sustained sequences of graphic war violence. The
American troops are overwhelmed, but ultimately they win this first battle
as the few remaining enemy run away. Movie ends. Thank me for
saving you the $3.95 rental.
To prove my point, half way through the movie we accidentally hit one of
the buttons on the remote. We didn't realize right away that the
button we hit somehow put the DVD backwards about an hour until I said,
"Hey, I think we already saw all of this."
Did anyone else find the info that preceded each scene to be
pointless? Such as "8:45 am, The Knoll," or "1:00
p.m., the Creek Bed." Seriously, they explained NOTHING in this
movie. They just kept going from one place in Vietnam to another
showing lots of guys getting blown away.
(Incidentally, it seemed to me that being the guy on the phone was the
most dangerous job in the war because the phone guys seemed to get shot
just about every time. I guess the North Vietnamese saw the phone as
the most dangerous weapon we had. No wonder we won that battle.)
If you like watching guys get shot over and over and over and over again,
this is your movie. Otherwise, avoid.
Wedding Planner (PG-13,
2001) ... Average: 0.5
(Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette
Wilson, Judy Greer, Justin Chambers, Kevin Pollak)
Maybe it was just a bad night. My husband and I went to see
"Baby Boy" -- a movie so bad it doesn't even merit a review, let
alone a mention in this review. Be that as it may, after leaving the
theater in disbelief that we paid $15.00 for a nap, we decided to rent a
movie so the night wouldn't be a total waste.
"The Wedding Planner" is soooooo bad, it's almost laughable.
It's one of those movies that always seems to be leading up to something,
but it never materializes. Not the laughs, not the emotion, not the
Matthew McConaughey can hold his own as an actor -- "A Time to
Kill" was one of his better films. Jennifer Lopez is beautiful,
which can sometimes help you overlook the fact that she's not really
Academy-award winning talent.
The movie is predictable, lame, monotonous, sophomoric, moronic and above
all, not funny. The supporting cast -- especially the bride-to-be's
mother, a drunken has-been -- are all annoying. Jennifer Lopez'
assistant acts as if she should up the dosage on her Ritalin. And
Matthew and Jennifer sleepwalk through their lines as if thinking,
"Man is this a stupid movie -- I need to call my agent."
Because I'm feeling charitable, I gave this movie .5 stars because J-Lo is
stunning in some scenes. Was it worth $3.00 to see that?
Hindsight being 20/20, NO!
Lies Beneath (PG-13, 2000) ... Average: 2.83
(Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amber Valletta, James Remar, Katharine
WOW, very scary. This was an intense blood-curdling
hard to describe EXACTLY what the movie was about without totally giving away
the ending, but let's just say that you will be surprised. Well,
maybe not, because my dear friend Binky (see below) says that people
described the movie as "predictable", and she goes on to say
that the ending was horrible. I totally disagree. Maybe I'm
just a big dumb-head. Yes, it was filled with a few of those
creepy-movie moments where you go, "OK, why is she going in the
bathroom? I would totally be running as fast and as far away from
there as I could." However, those moments were appropriate and
used to set-up other plot details, in my opinion, designed masterfully.
Anyway, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer play a middle-aged couple who
has moved into an old home in Vermont. Their only daughter moves off
to college just as the movie begins leaving the home empty except for
Pfeiffer while Ford, a work-a-holic highly-acclaimed genetics scientist
and professor, spends most of his time working.
In the mean-time Pfeiffer's character is torn between believing she is
suffering from "empty nest syndrome" and coming to terms with
the meaning of the strange things happening around the house and seemingly
tormenting hauntings of a ghost in their home that appears to look exactly
like Pfeiffer. Pfeifer must put all the pieces together. The
brilliance of this is that the real terror turns out to be the truth
itself more than the ghost.
What makes this a great movie is the fact that you are sitting on the
edge of your seat and ready to jump out of it from nearly the beginning
all the way to its chilling conclusion. This movie offers a
magnificent blend of true horror and psychological mystery, and if you
dare to be scared, by all means, don't wait!
(Oh, and Michele Pfeiffer is pretty easy on the eyes, too. Wouldn't
kick her out of bed for eating crackers.)
When people ask me if I found the movie scary, my answer is not a simple yes or no. My answer is, "I screamed out loud like a little girl - twice. It got to the point where I had to keep my hands over my mouth so I wouldn't scream
anymore." When I walked out of the theatre, I could barely walk in my sandals because even my feet were sweating from the suspense.
Given all of that information, I must say that the ending was horrible (have you seen the movie
"Wolves"?) and some have called the movie predictable, but I enjoyed it.
Oh, and Harrison Ford is pretty easy on the eyes, too. Wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers.
Please! Chris and Binky -- what are you thinking?
Obviously, the scariest thing in your lives has been removing the "Do
not remove under penalty of law" tag from a pillow. Jeez.
This movie was contrived, painfully deliberate and a waste of a good
Hollywood Video free movie coupon. I wasn't scared, I wasn't
interested, and I only kept it in the VCR because I was hoping that either
Harrison Ford (who I really love) or Michelle Pfeiffer (who I equally
admire) would buy the farm so the movie would end.
Pfeiffer is a little too Fruit-Loopy in this movie -- too scared to find
out the truth and too scared not to find out the truth. Get a grip
... make a decision ... live by your actions. Ford is almost robotic
in his lines -- unfeeling to the point of being annoyed. I was
waiting for him to say, "I know you're going loony, but -- damn it --
there are genes to be spliced!"
Corny special effects, sub-par dialogue, and no character who really
evoked any emotion. The only REALLY scary thing about this movie is
that three people on Chris' site have seen it.
The only thing worse than this movie was "Dr.
T and the Women."
2003) ... Average:
(Crispin Glover, Jackie Burroughs, Laura Elena
Harring, Kim McKamy, R.Lee Ermey, and lots of rats)
I had mixed emotions about renting this movie -- never saw the
original, loved the song "Ben" by Michael Jackson, not fond of rodents, and
have been intrigued by the sheer creepiness of Crispin Glover for years.
"Willard" is the main (human) character in the movie. Willard Stiles is the
milquetoast son of a deceased father who owned a manufacturing company but
was bullied into selling his shares to a corrupt partner, and a mother who
is physically and mentally gone. Willard is a loner who is socially and
emotionally retarded but is doing his best to maintain a job in the business
his father owned and take care of his ailing mother. To add to the misery,
his boss takes every opportunity to belittle him in front of co-workers and
let him know just how useless he thinks he is.
As if the fun at his job and fun at the home he and his mother share isn't
enough, Willard finds that his basement is being overcome with rats. What's
a freak to do? Hey! How about make friends with the rats and then teach
them to destroy and kill!
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens from there -- it just
takes a strong stomach to watch it. The gore factor is kept to a minimum,
but the creepy factor is off the charts. Between the bazillion rats and
close-ups of Crispin Glover as a man going insane, it's enough to make you
sleep with the light on for weeks.
Glover is his usual weird self -- he's had the same quirky oddness and
facial tics since "The River's Edge." His voice, his face, and his all
around strangeness make him believable in a role that isn't all that
All things being equal, this is just a stupid movie about an icky subject,
but for Crispin Glover fans, it's a treat to see him back in a role he was
born to play.
Wolves - IMAX
... Average: 0.5
(Wolves, some Native Americans and a few buffalo)
seeing this IMAX flick, make sure you take your motion sickness
medication. The first few scenes of a puddle jumper flying through the air
is enough to make you want to you know what. The movie was 48 minutes in
length with 27 minutes spent on native American facts, 13 minutes spent on
buffalos, 6 minutes flying on a plane, and 2 minutes on wolves. Did I miss
something? I think not. The intention of this movie was to save the
wolves, it did nothing to pull at anyone's heart strings to save anything
but your 9 clams to go see something else. I had to give it half a star
for the beautiful landscapes.