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344 matching reviews. Last updated 2014-08-17

 Review Type  Name  Date  Review  Rating
Travel Fox Inn B&B, Penn Yan, NY 2011-03-04 - 2011-03-06 Very nice, 5 guest rooms all private facilities, nice public areas, foxinnbandb.com. Not much in Penn Yan, but two nice restaurants and near wineries and Finger Lakes attractions. -
Travel Las Vegas, NV 2006-09-02 - 2006-09-06 Flamingo was nice for lodging, preferred to play elsewhere. Forget your local casino, nothing beats Vegas, baby. -
Product Tangent Quattro internet radio with alarm clock 2012-08-14 See www.tangent-audio.com. The internet radio part is great. Thousands of stations are available and most begin streaming in a few seconds. The web site provides a minimal overview of each stations, and the radio can play some terrestrial stations that aren't listed on the web site, but you can create a personal web account and select favorite stations that the radio automatically displays. This is important because the six preset buttons are not enough. Sound quality is good, almost too powerful for a nightstand. Easier to use than the web to find stations, but not as easy to use as a regular radio. There is no remote control, which is unfortunate, because a remote control would allow usage in a real audio system. The knobs and display are hard to use in bed, and the power supply is clunky. The clock is hard to read and the alarm feature and alarm controls are useless. The alarm sound plays through the speaker, but the speaker is muted by the headphones, so if you want to listen without keeping your partner awake, you have to remember to pull the headphones out before you fall asleep. You'll have to use a separate alarm clock. The WiFi works well, although I use a wired connection. Every terrestrial radio station that I have tried to tune can be played by the Tangent via the network. I'll be darned if I can find a station (terrestrial, internet or otherwise) that plays Halloween songs year 'round. 8/10
TV
TV
Battlestar Galactica Seasons 1-4 (2004-2009)
Caprica Season 1 (2010-2011)
2004-01-01 - 2009-12-31
2013-07-01 - 2013-07-31
The premise is that artificially intelligent robots (Cylons) have evolved, left humans for a while and then returned to conquer humans. It's hard to imagine what humans have that robots need aside from natural resources, and you'd think natural resources are readily available to an interstellar robot. However, the first two seasons provide solid science fiction and dark drama within a dying human race. The series gradually degrades into unrealistic plot complications with surprise double agents and polytheism.
This prequel series to Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) explains the origins of the Cylons. However, we are led to believe critical elements of Cylon technology were invented by a teenage girl, and the only way to get the remaining elements is through organized crime, murder and theft. Most humans are polytheists except for a few monotheists who, in between visits to a sex-crazed virtual nightclub (mostly hidden from adults), decide the best way to honor their one god is to commit mass murder. The AI and robotic stuff is good sci-fi, but the human element is annoying. Brief audio segment in episode 5 of the 1970s B.G. series theme.
8/10
6/10
TV
TV
TV
The Big Bang Theory: Season 01 (2007)
The Big Bang Theory: Season 02 (2008)
The Big Bang Theory: Season 03 (2009)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
Yes, it's funny, but the formula is very simple, even simpler than Seinfeld if that's possible.
This is "ha ha" funny at times, but with a very simple formula. The writers have done their research on geek humor, but they apparently don't believe that's funny enough on its own, so the season 2 formula really is, "it's all about sex."
This is "ha ha" funny at times, but with a very simple formula. The writers have done their research on geek humor, but they apparently don't believe that's funny enough on its own, so the season 3 formula really is, "it's all about sex."
6/10
6/10
6/10
TV Emma (2009) 2011-12-04 I have not seen other Emma productions, and I understand that this one may not be as true to the book. However, it puts modern romance movies to shame. The only fault is that after part 1 of 4, I did not feel good about the story, but this improved in part 2. Parts 3-4 were emotionally and visually stunning. 9/10
TV
TV
Entourage: Season 07 (2010)
Entourage: Season 08 (2011)
2011-12-10
2012-08-19
The story line seems to be gettng old. Drama can't get a job, Turtle can't get a woman, E's girlfriend let's E hang out with hard drinking and oversexed friends, and Vince's accountant's warnings about money never seem to actually come true. But, something funny happens in every episode.
Oh what a schmaltzy series finale. It wasn't predictable only because it was so over-the-top schmaltzy.
7/10
7/10
TV Freaks and Geeks (1999) 2011-03-07 These episodes are such well-done reminders of pre-internet and pre-cell phone school days that you'll cringe at some of the ways kids treated each other (and still do, I suppose). But, each episode manages to pull out a silver lining. Regarding Michael C's review, I could not find any alternate endings to the series on DVD 6 from BB, and I watched the deleted scenes, the bloopers, the thanks, and the commentary. 1/10
TV
TV
Friday the 13th: The Series - Season 01 (1987)
Friday the 13th: The Series - Season 02 (1988)
2011-03-07
2012-07-20
I remember this series (back in the day) as being better than these season 1 episodes. There are recurring character elements, so it's nice to see how the early episodes set that stuff up. The use of Uncle Lewis in the final episodes of season 1 is a plus, but overall most of the stories have lots of stupid character actions and plot holes. I hear that season 2 and 3 are better.
Better than season 1. The stories all show promise, but how is it the main characters are always in the middle of serial murders and never get in trouble with the cops? Lots of plot holes in general.
5/10
6/10
TV Marry Me (2010) 2011-12-03 Men, watch this with your sweeties and pretend it's a hot Lucy Liu flick (this is NR, but it could be rated G). There really are some funny scenes and meaningful lines. The cliche premise of a not-so-young woman holding out for her fairy tale is dragged out for 3 hours, and some scenes were over the top (like the foster kid running off to Europe), and in the end there is no suspense about who Lucy will pick. But, the acting is decent with likable characters. 7/10
TV Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (2010) 2012-06-02 Not quite as ornate as Gosford Park, but I like the characters more at Downton Abbey. Nice presentation of how each person's role differs, whether servant or family. Accents differ according to social class, Americans must pay close attention. Through season 4, plot devices are a bit extreme. 9/10
TV My Own Worst Enemy (2008) 2011-03-07 I agree with other reviewers, this was surprisingly good. The actors do a good job of switching between the personalities of normal businesspeople and secret agents, and I actually care about the characters. However, by the end of disc 1, the twists are piling on top of each other, and I can imagine how this could crash and burn. Be warned that the series was canceled after episode 9 (disc 2) without wrapping up the story lines. 7/10
TV National Parks: America's Best Idea (2010) 2011-03-07 Beautiful stuff, great historical research, but about three disks too long. 7/10
TV The Pacific (2010) 2014-05-30 - 2014-05-31 Good effects, realistic production. Schmaltzy at times in that Spielberg way, and not as emotionally gripping as I had expected. Final episode was great. 8/10
TV Prohibition (2011) 2011-10-09 Like any pure history story, this is not a thrill-a-minute production. But, it's just about the right length (Burns' National Parks story was much too long) and an important US story. A few details are interesting, like the relationship between taxation and booze, but the Prohibition debate was pretty much only about booze, so there are no shockers to earn this a 10/10. 9/10
TV Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 01 (2010) 2011-11-12 Lots of sex and video-game violence, very little plot, cheap costumes and boring scenery. I only watched the first one-hour episode. 2/10
TV Tabloid (2010) 2011-12-17 This is a documentary about the crazy actions of a crazy woman and her Mormon boyfriend. As a documentary, it's well done, aside from not getting an interview with the boyfriend, and after interviewing a former Mormon there is no balancing interview with a current Mormon. Otherwise, no unanswered questions. You won't learn much, but it is an entertaining look at total irrationality. 7/10
TV The Gospel of Judas (2006) 2013-04-14 It drags a bit for over an hour before finally divulging the scholars' conclusions, but an objective treatment of a topic that probably irks many Christians. 8/10
TV The Royal Wedding of Will and Kate (2011) 2011-04-29 The family members looked great and the crowd behaved well. The Church of England let us down by not including a female priest. 8/10
TV The Walking Dead (2010) 2013-03-23 I watched season one and do not care to continue. There is no promise that the apocalypse can ever be truly resolved, only that these poor schlubs will trudge on from one zombie horde to the next, and from one useless survivor to the next. Battlestar Galactica is a better apocalypse series. 6/10
TV
TV
TV
TV
The Tudors: Season 01 (2007)
The Tudors: Season 02 (2008)
The Tudors: Season 03 (2009)
The Tudors: Season 04 (2010)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
Quite stylized with its ornate costumes and settings. In season 1, I didn't see much of peasant life outside the Court, and according to other reviews, there are historical inaccuracies. If you like soap opera melodramatics, you'll like this. Lots of fornication, but the language is not too bad. Season 1 ends as a cliffhanger with major issues unresolved.
Season 2 is darker and better than season 1. Costumes remain lavish. Watch for a hilarious brief encounter between the Pope and Michelangelo (a welcome break from the grim storylines). I remain disappointed that there are no depictions of peasants and others outside of court, and it's hard to understand how much time is passing (which must be months between each episode). The season is overall 7/10, but the season 2 finale is one of the greatest hours of TV that you will ever see.
I'm glad that season 3 has many scenes with commoners, and not just nobility. Season 3 is as good as previous seasons, except nothing can compare with the final episode of season 2.
Light on the history and political intrigue, heavy on the s-e-x.
6/10
7/10
8/10
7/10
TV UFO: Season 01 (1970) 2011-03-07 Episode 1 showed great promise. 2-6 are OK, but many sloppy plot devices. Like, Straker complaining about security, but all locks are easily picked with a paper clip. The writers want to show the advances in race relations of the '60s, but women are treated like dirt. Still, there are some cool glimpses of the future from the eyes of the '60s, and it's so much fun to watch sci-fi TV without the Sci-Fi networks's constant commercials. Final disk was disappointing. 7/10
TV Vicar of Dibley: The Immaculate Collection (1994-2007) 2011-05-15 Lots of funny moments in each episode, with quirky (sometimes unrealistic) characters. Lots of racy humor and 1990s British pop culture references. Active churchgoers will find good church humor, and an occasional jab at the politics of the Church of England. 7/10
Movie 2012 (2009) 2011-03-06 I loved the special effects. The acting was decent. First hour was well done, after that, the melodramatic script lines started piling up and it dragged on. I would have chosen to kill off different people (millions of people die, I'm not exactly giving anything away here). 7/10
Movie 3 Days to Kill (2014) 2014-03-08 Taken together, all the plot elements make for a decent pace. But individually, the retiring agent, the family problems, the albino bad guy and the femme fatale, they've all been done before. 7/10
Movie 88 Minutes (2008) 2011-03-06 This was so violently twisted that the characters had to be unbelievable, and even a guy like Pacino has to overact in a movie like this. An unrealistically large amount of stuff happens in what is supposedly 88 minutes. 6/10
Movie A Dirty Shame (2004) 2012-11-03 This didn't seem NC-17. This has some funny, over-the-top stuff, and Ullman is perfect for this. This would have been a 6/10, but it could have used more graphic sex and the ending was just stupid. 5/10
Movie A Serious Man (2009) 2012-12-21 The movie does a good job keeping you wondering what eventually will happen, but nothing really happens. For most of the movie, I didn't feel it was only for Jews, but then comes the ending only a Jew could love. 5/10
Movie A Simple Plan (1998) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK, but there were no standouts. There were a few spots that came off as unbelievable, and it moved slowly in that north country sort of way. But it was all interesting enough to make you wonder how it would turn out. 6/10
Movie A Single Man (2009) 2012-12-16 This is great if you like artsy fartsy snoozers about the trials and tribulations of aging gay guys. 5/10
Movie ABBA: The Movie (1977) 2011-03-07 Good selection of music not often heard in the USA, otherwise this movie is awful. The DJ looking for an interview is too stupid to deserve one. If ABBA was in fact satirizing the press, now that would be kind of cool. They were good musicians, but I don't think they were cool enough for that. This is a self-made ABBA love fest. 4/10
Movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) 2013-01-11 This is not great art, but maybe the most entertaining movie of the year. Definitely an R rating for blood. Just when you think it seems really goofy, you say, THAT'S ABE LINCOLN! The Confederacy is portrayed as a bunch of vampire collaborators, but I suspect the filmmakers think that's an innocent part of the fantasy. 8/10
Movie Affair in Trinidad (1952) 2011-03-07 You really have to put yourself into an early Cold War mindset to even begin to understand why any character does anything. So, we have rocket scientists leaving their blueprints lying around a Caribbean guest house for high-heeled sexpots to read. I understand why the Ford character falls for Hayworth - she's a bombshell. Not at all clear why Hayworth falls for Ford. Overall, I kind of liked Hayworth, and she's worth the 98 minutes, but the script is formula. 5/10
Movie Aladdin (1992) 2011-03-07 I love this movie as an adult, but I can't help thinking that Robin Williams is too over-the-top for young kids, and I don't want my own kids to be like that. Still, this movie is a blast. 9/10
Movie Alice in Wonderland (2010) 2011-03-07 This is a sequel to the original AIW story, taking place in old England. But I liked this story a lot. Wasikowska plays a smart young woman in a traditional society without being annoying. Every character is well developed and constantly "doing something", whether in the background or foreground. The story moves quickly, but there are no plot holes. The violence is fantasy-like, but there definitely is violence, otherwise very clean. Burton brings a fantastic vision to life along with a good story. 9/10
Movie All the King's Men (2006) 2011-03-07 There were a few confusing spots that we had to replay, and still couldn't figure out the lines. Men commit suicide over vague accusations (I guess that means the accusations were even worse than stated, but it was vague). But overall, a good portrayal of mid-20th century power politics in Lousiana. 7/10
Movie Amarcord (1974) 2011-03-07 Supposedly perceived as warmly nostalgic. It's a wonder anyone from this town grew up to be able to do anything smarter than to count to three before farting. However, the music is nice, and I agree with the description that Fellini did look back warmly on his childhood. But, a tedious two hours for a modern American audience. 6/10
Movie Amélie (2001) 2011-10-23 A bit too quirky to be a 10/10, and there are a few blunt spots that might not be good for a first date, but this is cute and romantic and funny and sentimental. 8/10
Movie American Hustle (2013) 2014-04-19 A well paced and interesting story. Although some parts are obviously based on actual events, it's hard to know which parts are not. 7/10
Movie American Pie Presents Band Camp (2005) 2013-02-16 The story and acting are lousy and offensive, 3/10, but extra points for the substantial use of legitimate background marchers. Nothing earth shattering, but real marchers doing sophisticated moves, and the music is decent. If you are a band geek, it's OK to watch this movie. 6/10
Movie Amish Grace (2010) 2011-08-14 Made for TV. Amish stoicism was overplayed in order to contrast with sudden rushes of emotion. The theology of forgiveness was well represented, aside from never mentioning the name of Jesus. "Shunning" was mentioned, but only briefly questioned by a character. The wife of the killer was well played. The ending was too happy. 7/10
Movie An American Carol (2008) 2011-03-07 The original Christmas Carol works because we believe that Dickens thought that Christmas is actually a good thing. I don't know what the makers of this movie actually think. So, it becomes a comedy vehicle, and there were a few good jokes. But overall, nothing great. 5/10
Movie Angels & Demons (2009) 2011-03-07 The action constantly had to stop while the characters explained what they were doing, because this Illuminati stuff is just so obscure. In the end, the apparent goal of the bad guy is unrealistic. The cops are stupid, as they must be in so many movies for anyone to get away with this stuff. I suppose if scientists can capture antimatter in this movie, they can predict the failure of a battery to the minute. The acting and settings are good, but not good enough to carry the story, and Hanks' "Oh my God" lines have little Ronnie Howard written all over them. 5/10
Movie Animal Crackers (1930) 2011-03-07 This movie introduces "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" (I must be going...), and any movie that can slip in that "shot an elephant in my pajamas" joke has to be good. For some reason, the movie insists on trying to tell a mediocre story, and some of the actors just aren't very good. But, classic, rapid fire Marx Brothers. 7/10
Movie Arn: The Knight Templar (2007) 2011-03-07 This is not a Hollywood movie. Hollywood mixes in occasional lighthearted moments between the tragic moments. This movie, while well done, has no lighthearted moments. It is tragic from start to end. It is not always clear why Swede #1 thinks his sheep are so much better than Swede #2's sheep that they much fight each other to the death. Also, the Crusades are presented but not explained. Some English, many subtitles. 7/10
Movie Australia (2008) 2011-03-07 This turns out to be like one of those goofy westerns where children end up driving the herd across deserts while fighting off bad guys. The Kidman character is overdone, and Jackman's main contribution is his physical attractiveness. Some plot elements were confusing, IMHO, while others were annoyingly predictable. Nicely filmed on location. 6/10
Movie Avatar (2009) 2011-03-07 What movie did the rest of you see? As screenplays go, this movie had great special effects. The script was awful. Awful sci-fi, just awful period. I can't explain too much without being a spoiler. Often in movies, a character is put into what seems like a bad position, but somehow the writers find an intelligent way out. Not this time. I don't mind the theme of imperialism versus innocents, and I don't mind that one side has to lose. But this was a nasty piece of work. 4/10
Movie Babel (2006) 2014-03-15 Good acting and sophisticated story, but each scene seemed long. The writers couldn't decide what to preach about, so they picked a whole bunch of issues - immigration, guns, discrimination, etc. 6/10
Movie Babette's Feast (1987) 2014-04-04 A bit slow to start, and subtitled with multiple spoken languages. But a glorious middle, and a cute if predictable ending. Sort of like Ratatouille, without the rats. 8/10
Movie Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) 2011-03-07 This movie is tough to watch. Just about everyone is scummy, and anyone good gets stomped on. But I felt that all the actors did a good job of acting scummy. 7/10
Movie Bad Teacher (2011) 2012-01-01 I think what happened was, a Hollywood writer was at the local cheerleader carwash, and thought it would be funny if it was erotic. Then he wrote a whole script around that and flattered actresses until he found 39-year-old Diaz, looking for her last hurrah. Only a non-parent could make this movie. The main characters are not likeable and the ending is unsatisfying. Look for three alumni of Freaks and Geeks and a Joan Jett track during the credits. 5/10
Movie Battleship (2012) 2012-09-10 Let me see if I have this right, the aliens are from a planet just like earth, but they're lizard people who can't tolerate sunlight? Hollywood insults the Navy by suggesting that it's the place to go for lowlife goofballs, and proves once again that all the good sci-fi writers are dead. Great special effects and you feel good when it's done, but it's not a good movie. 4/10
Movie Beach Party (1963) 2011-03-07 This movie invented the ultra-B beach/music movie formula (Where the Boys Are is different and better). Avalon figures out that he must totally ham it up, but Funicello was apparently held back by Disney, being barely past her Mouseketeer days (these movies immortalized her for a mediocre job). FA & AF's songs are forgettable, but the awesome Dick Dale plays a significant musical role. The comedy is hit or miss, although the characters don't give Deadhead credit for his great cough drop joke. Forgive me, but I love Lembeck's gang leader role. The wait for Big Daddy's "word" was a nice touch in a lackluster script. 6/10
Movie
Movie
Bedazzled (1968)
Bedazzled (2000)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
Some scenes were a bit drawn out, but some very funny ideas. With a young Dudley Moore and a young Raquel Welch, can't go wrong.
Fraser perfected his doofus-ness later as his career progressed, but in this movie he is bearable. We watched the 1968 version with Dudley Moore (when Dudley was still bearable) and then this 2000 version. I'll take Raquel Welch over Liz Hurley, but the 1968 version drags a bit, while the 2000 version keeps you awake and there are some pretty funny bits. I'd like to see someone remake this movie with a female selling her soul.
7/10
7/10
Movie Bedtime Stories (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie starts off with bathroom humor. It has a few funny bits, and Sandler has good chemistry with the kids. Not good chemistry with Keri Russell. Most of the humor is low-brow Sandler stuff. Not a total waste, but if you don't already love Sandler, you won't love him after this. 5/10
Movie Behind the Candelabra (2013) 2013-12-07 Michael Douglas was great, and yet, no matter how groundbreaking this may be, it was disturbing. Also, as schmaltzy as Liberace was, some of the movie's schmaltz was misplaced. 7/10
Movie Black Swan (2010) 2011-07-04 Most fan reviewers are missing the connection between the movie story and the Swan Lake story. This is not just a story about a stressed diva and her whackjob mother, it IS Swan Lake, with an adjusted ending. This is very graphic (sex and violence), but that's not gratuitous; it's integral to the story. Only fault is that Portman's character is a bit too innocent. 9/10
Movie Blazing Saddles (1974) 2011-03-07 This is mostly funny, but I'll bet that when it first came out, even some of Mel Brooks' fellow Jews thought some jokes were overdone. Now as I write this is 2010, the constant barrage of N word jokes is a bit too much. Still, the campfire scene is a classic and Gene Wilder is great. 8/10
Movie Body of Lies (2008) 2011-03-07 From a terrorism and anti-terrorism perspective, the violence and ideologies depicted were realistic. And fortunately, DiCaprio was able to hack a laptop password and upload gobs of data all in less than a minute. Yeah, right, they can't even keep the Middle East power grid running all day. I hate it when filmmakers use sloppy plot devices like that just to get through a scene. But it didn't ruin the movie. 8/10
Movie Bottle Shock (2008) 2013-06-22 A very cute and well-acted dramatization of the rise of Napa Valley wines in comparison to French wines, and even the realization in the 1970s that good wine can come from all around the world. I suspect the ultra-hot blonde intern and brunette bar owner were added to the true story. 8/10
Movie Bright Day (2012) 2013-02-10 This is funny as a satire of The Secret, but don't go out of your way to see this if you've got something better to do. 6/10
Movie Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) 2011-10-23 The premise is ingenious. C'mon, Elvis battling a mummy, you can't make this stuff up, but someone did. Some scenes are breathtakingly hilarious. 8/10
Movie Candleshoe (1977) 2011-03-07 Good family fare. Great acting. Storyline is as old as the hills, but a good rent if you're looking for a Disney you've never seen before. 7/10
Movie Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) 2012-03-10 The first 3/4 of the movie was slow and boring. The action picked up at the end, but even then it was barely mediocre. The character motivations were just silly and unbelievable. Reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, except, a bad imitation. 5/10
Movie Captain Phillips (2013) 2014-03-09 It is the Somalians whose motives are well explained, nasty as they may be. The Americans' motives are rather assumed. Just doing their jobs, and that's why this is so unnerving. 9/10
Movie Casino Jack (2010) 2011-09-17 I suspect that this was reasonably true to the facts. The problem with these high-roller true stories is that the characters say that they're broke, but still making multi-million dollar deals, and it's not always clear where all the money comes from. The filmmakers leave us wondering if Abramoff is genuinely religious or just nuts, and they lose a point for not picking a side. 7/10
Movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 2012-04-07 Lots of cliche scripting with the fatherly pride angle, romance angle and jokes, but I could see takeoffs on Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and other movies. Little kids won't get this, but OK for most of the family, and a few good laughs. 7/10
Movie Complete Thin Man Collection [7 Discs] (1934, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1945, 1947, 2005) 2011-03-07 I have a new fave actress and it's Myrna Loy. Love the series. Story lines not fantastic, but Powell / Loy have enough material for ther rapid fire lines and drinking and debauchery. "After" slightly toned down (except for a cute recurring bit with the dog). Great scene in "After" with Powell with the men after dinner. James Stewart in "After" but didn't stand out. "Another" introduces the baby, but the script ignores him when the adults need to solve crimes. Shemp Howard in "Another". I liked "Shadow", especially the wrestling match scene. "Goes Home" without the kid, not sure why a baby was ever introduced. I liked "Song", the dog was funny, the story was coherent, the boy was present but the parents were always traveling. "Alias" is not a movie - bio materials, TV and radio stuff. 7/10
Movie Contagion (2011) 2011-08-27 It is not lost on the makers of this movie that people don't watch Jaws before going to the beach. Likewise, don't watch this when you're coming down with a cold. This is dark, but could be even darker. Realistic technical writing. Wash your hands. 8/10
Movie Cowboys & Aliens (2011) 2011-08-27 The human characters were great. But somehow, a bunch of cave dwelling, flesh ripping, carnivorous monsters with no apparent language skills desired and developed the technology for interstellar travel. The one helpful alien just happened to take the form of a major hot babe. But the whole idea of it all is just so cool. 7/10
Movie Crazy Heart (2009) 2012-12-02 Great acting. The story line is depressing with a little brightness at the end. This is yet another movie where a likeable woman inexplicably falls for a scumbag guy. 8/10
Movie Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) 2011-03-07 Visually stunning, and in an Asian way that is different than Western films. The story developed gradually and it was good, but there were a couple of issues, especially with the emperor, where it was never made clear why characters acted the way they did. 8/10
Movie Date Night (2010) 2011-05-14 I'm not a big Carell fan, but he was OK and Fey was great. Great car chase, and I loved the scene where Carell and Fey return to the restaurant and argue with the hostess. 8/10
Movie Death Race 2000 (1975) 2011-04-02 A cult classic in which we learn the answer to the great question: Who would win a fight between Kwai Chang Caine and Rocky? 6/10
Movie District 9 (2009) 2011-03-07 Pretty gory, lots of profanity. This apparently sets up a sequel, but a sequel to what? Will another shipload of dumb scavengers visit earth? And if the next batch are not dumb, why were all the aliens in THIS movie so dumb? I liked the dark tone of all this, but it leaves many questions unanswered, or even unasked. 7/10
Movie Doubt (2008) 2011-03-07 It was interesting to look at priestly misbehavior through the nuns' eyes. Well acted. Not much scenery to speak of, but you're left to wonder what the priest is doing and what will happen. Some low customer ratings from viewers who require a definitive ending where the good guys win, but I liked the whole thing. 8/10
Movie Dressed to Kill (1980) 2011-03-07 I liked the kid (Gordon) in this, and Caine was OK, but Dickinson and Allen were both mediocre. Franz is very familiar as a detective. This is softcore porn that pushed the R rating to its limits in 1980, and Dickinson was showing her age but apparently out for one last hurrah. The final sequence is simply gratuitous. Worthwhile as a period piece, but put the kids to bed. 5/10
Movie Duplicity (2009) 2011-03-07 There were so many duplicities that I think the writers were just trying to annoy me. I loved the supporting roles - the CEOs and their corporate espionage personnel. Owen and Roberts (or at least the parts they were given) were the weak links. I understood the motivations for the supporting roles, but Owen and Roberts didn't convince me. 6/10
Movie Empire of the Sun (1987) 2011-03-07 All along, I thought, wow, I should be thinking that this is a great movie. But I just never felt that way. Great acting, well constructed, but there was just never a moment that left me feeling satisfied. Watch it for sure, but it won't be in your top ten of all time. 8/10
Movie Enemy at the Gates (2001) 2011-03-07 Even the Vassili character's first rifle shot is anticipated with great suspense. This is a great war flick from the eyes of individual, battlefield soldiers. It wasn't 100% clear how the young shoeshine boy was able to move freely between his Russian family and the German soldiers, and the ending was a little schmaltzy for all the darkness that preceded it, but overall a great film. 9/10
Movie Fahrenheit 451 (1966) 2011-03-07 I could live with the '60s special effects (check out the flying motorcycle cops) and the eerie, unhappy mood. But many times when a movie tries to get all eerie and artsy, it forgets to explain everything. Book burning is explained, but not the purpose of making women into beautiful robots (although that WAS sort of a 60s thing). Montag sometimes carries a briefcase to work (not sure what could be in it), and Montag's daily uncaptioned comic just seemed silly. Gotta love Julie Christie, and you get two doses of her in this movie. 7/10
Movie Flash of Genius (2008) 2011-03-07 The inventor spent 12 years fighting the corporations, and you'll think that the movie is about that long, too. It is well written and acted, assuming it's accurate, so I made it all the way through. For all the talk about cars, maybe they should have thrown in a car chase to liven it up. Just kidding, but still, it's a half hour too long. 6/10
Movie Flawless (2007) 2011-03-07 Pretty good, but it moved a bit slow. The movie touches on the role of diamond companies in Africa, and seems to hint at a resolution involving that role, but that resolution was anti-climactic, and the resolution for the Demi Moore character was also unfulfilling for me. 6/10
Movie Flickers (1981) 2011-03-07 Good acting and a good story line with an interesting look at the silent movie industry. This is not "ha ha" funny like American sitcoms, but it's a really good British comedy. (Note that de la Tour gains fame as Hagrid's tall sweetie in the Harry Potter series, and Hoskins has many credits, too.) I have watched all three DVDs (6 episodes). The final episode is shocking and rewarding. My wife enjoyed this, too. 8/10
Movie Flight (2012) 2013-08-04 A profound portrayal of substance abuser. SPOILER: The pilot was sleeping with and abusing substances with a hot stewardess. That was the extent of their relationship. In the end, a soliloquy was necessary to explain how this motivated him to come clean. I'm not convinced he loved her enough to quit boozing, and I wish some other motivation could have been devised. 8/10
Movie For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) 2011-03-07 The well known, individual stories of gays are very moving, and it's important to see the extreme hatred of some homophobes. However, you won't find a well balanced approach in this. The pro-acceptance people are thoughtful and intelligent, and the anti-acceptance people are violent and crude. Quite a bit of time is spent on debating the interpretation of Bilblical verses, and I kind of think no one can win those arguments, and this documentary does not settle those debates. 6/10
Movie Four Christmases (2008) 2011-03-07 There are funny spots, but when it gets slow, Vaughn says something insulting that is supposed to be taken as funny, or, someone gets beat up. There is a cute twist at the end, but Vaughn can't let it go at that and finds it necessary to act like an idiot. I have always liked Witherspoon and she does not disappoint. Vaughn needs to drop 20 pounds. 6/10
Movie Frozen (2013) 2014-03-22 Music is good, especially Let It Go. Some funny stuff, I loved the shop owner. The "curse" is never really explained, and other elements are too complicated for really young children. 8/10
Movie Gary Has No Pants (2010) 2014-04-06 Rapid fire, dry humor from "Gary", who we learn early is not actually Gary. Not un-funny, but nothing hilarious, and very low budget and it just got old after a while. 6/10
Movie Get Smart (2008) 2011-03-07 Steve Carell is 20% brilliant, and 80% dumb toilet humor. Some really funny stuff in this movie, but occasionally, some lousy attempts at humor. I know Carell was immitating Don Adams, but Adams was dry-but-funny, and Carell is dry-and-boring. I liked the two geeky CONTROL analysts. Hathaway was pretty good. James Caan was pretty good, too. 7/10
Movie Ghost Rider (2007) 2011-03-07 The movie wasn't a total loss, but the script was just miserable. The final lines from Nicolas Cage made no sense - I could not imagine why the character would go in that direction. 3/10
Movie Ghost Writer (2010) 2011-03-07 The whole premise of this movie is that it is leaked that a former British PM turned over a couple of terrorists to the CIA for (unconfirmed) torture. The whole world goes into convulsions, except the Americans who don't seem to care. The same British PM sent soldiers into wars, etc., but protesters froth at the mouth over this unconfirmed torture. There was nothing bad about this movie, but it was a bit slow, and no actor stood out. Brosnan remains the mediocre, but oh so pretty, actor. 6/10
Movie Godzilla (1954) 2014-07-01 - 2014-07-11 The original Japanese version, subtitled. Interesting use of traditional Japanese cultural relationships. Interesting use of the Japanese relationship to radioactivity. 8/10
Movie Godzilla (2014) 2014-05-18 A great monster movie, with modern effects and a classic story flow. The trailers cleverly hide the plot twists. Godzilla fans from the old days are held in suspense and are not disappointed. Not for little kids, OK for pre-teens. CONS: big name actors trying to say something profound, but you're never sure what it is. Technical issues with countdown timers and nuclear weapons, because the military apparently has never considered the problems of EMP during a nuclear exchange. IMAX 3D OK, but could be enjoyed in 2D. Wish there was one more Godzilla roar for those of use who watch the credits to the end, but no such luck. The guy next to me yawned out loud several times, but he's a jerk. See this movie. 8/10
Movie Good Night, and Good Luck (2006) 2011-03-07 Great acting and a well crafted movie, thankfully short because ER Murrow just wasn't a very exciting guy. I wonder if Murrow's off-air personality was copied from his on-air persona. The movie captured the loathing of McCarthy's tactics, but those tactics grew out of something (fear of Communism, etc.) that was not well captured. Maybe this film's makers want me to feel that the good and bad guys are as obvious as black and white - but that's never obvious in real life, and the B&W thing is lost on me. 7/10
Movie Gosford Park (2001) 2011-03-07 Fantastic depiction of upper class England. Sometimes so realistic that the story slows down. Not sure why the cop had to be so bungling. But overall, very good. 9/10
Movie Gran Torino (2008) 2011-03-07 A family like the Hmong family doesn't suffer through a war and become refugees, and then smile through the barrage of racist insults poured out by the Eastwood character. He's like Archie Bunker with a house full of guns. Most of the relationships between characters were exaggerated. It's good to watch people defending their homes, and it's good to try to portray a group like the Hmong as caring citizens. But some of the performances were stiff. The priest was either a terrible actor, or a great actor portraying a terrible priest. 6/10
Movie Gravity (2013) 2014-04-26 This film provides an amazing portrayal of early 21st century space travel and working in space. The choice of ultra-beautiful A-list actors does not detract from something so technical, and the focus is appropriately on the personal side. But, there are technical weaknesses, such as the premise that a single satellite explosion destroys all other satellite communications within an hour. 8/10
Movie Green Lantern (2011) 2011-12-23 This is lightweight science fiction. No matter how many billions of people the Guardians think they control, they have no clue how to beat the bad guy, and one lowly human is thrust into an impossible situation. His only hope of winning is to trick the much smarter bad guy into making impossibly stupid decisions. At least the chick is hot. 5/10
Movie Hancock (2008) 2011-03-07 For about 1/4 of the movie, at different times, I started to get to like the Hancock character. And then something would happen, not even necessarily something done by the character, and I would drop back into not caring about Hancock. The explanation about why he had his abilities never satisfied me. But overall, the acting was pretty good and the approach to superheroes was novel, just maybe a bit overdone. We go from a movie like Superman where the hero is just too good, to Hancock where the hero is just too drunk and too uncaring and too much of a jerk. 7/10
Movie Hannah (2011) 2012-05-13 The plot has holes (sometimes the girl is too strong and too smart, so only a 7/10), and very violent, but the cast pulls it off very well and I liked this a lot. Eric Bana is his usual brooding self, but Ronan (playing Hannah) and Blanchett are great. 7/10
Movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) 2013-07-27 The violence gets in the way of the humor, but worth watching. 7/10
Movie Happy Endings (2005) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK, but there are some heavy themes (abortion, underage promiscuity, illegal immigration) presented in debatably humorous ways. But the mix of seriousness and humor was jarring. I didn't love this. 5/10
Movie Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, Vol. 1 disk 1 (1920s) 2011-03-07 Not much could be done to improve these movies. I suppose they're not "profound", but Lloyd invented the concept of the funny "everyman". Split-second timing leads to amazing gags. Five feature length movies on disk 1. I wish one of them had used organ music instead of an orchestra. 9/10
Movie
Movie
Movie
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2011-07-29
The acting is very good. All the movies have attracted great performances for such quirky roles. The special effects are great, always something happening to the side or in the background. But ultimately, we like Harry because, well, because he's the good guy. Valdemort is the bad guy because, well, we wouldn't call him the "Dark Lord" if he wasn't bad, now, would we? It's not at an adult level, and Rowling is just a wannabe Tolkein, so I just can't give this a top rating.
I don't begrudge Rowling her billion dollars, but the series remains a story for adolescents. The use of magic is inconsistent; sometimes the wizards can do anything, other times they're helpless. One scene was great, the "not a witch" courtroom scene, a brilliant twist on actual human history. The acting and production quality is great, but watch for more legends of powerful forces that the wizards inexplicably forgot about earlier in the series. If your kid is too young to READ the books, then he or she is too young for this movie.
This movie is well done, and if you're an adolescent, it's the best you'll see this year. But when Harry is accused of childishness due to his trust of Dumbledore, Harry simply insists that he trusts D-dore anyway. That's because Rowling doesn't get any deeper than that.
7/10
7/10
7/10
Movie Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 2011-03-07 Cool special effects and an irreverent demon, nothing profound, but fun. Worth keeping for a bit longer to catch all the action. 7/10
Movie Holiday Inn (1942) 2011-03-07 The official review is pretty accurate. The plot is simple and sometimes implausible, and Crosby, while pleasant onscreen, is kind of bland. And you always wonder with these movies why plain looking goofs like Crosby and Astaire always have hot babes gushing after them. However, the simple plot flows very pleasantly, and after all, this is really about the music and dancing, and the music and dancing are great. Skip the sequel "White Christmas", this one is much better. 8/10
Movie Hollywood Homicide (2003) 2011-08-13 Many reviews of this movie are correct: if you don't expect much, it will be slightly better than expected. Slow at first, better at the end, big name actors do OK. 7/10
Movie Horrible Bosses (2011) 2011-11-19 There were some genuinely funny scenes and lines, with big name stars, but overall, this was vulgar and immature. I understand that it was supposed to be exaggerated, but it was mostly in bad taste. 5/10
Movie Houdini (1953) 2011-11-26 Tony Curtis provides a good performance, but as much as Hollywood tries to impose happiness and beauty on us, the obsession and darkness of Houdini's life are apparent. So, it's a fluffy 1950s presentation and just not a great film. 6/10
Movie How To Be (2008) 2011-03-07 You have to let yourself feel the aimless angst of a young adult in today's world. This is billed as a surreal comedy, and parts of are surreal, I suppose, but I didn't find much of it funny. Still, I think it portrays a sense of confusion we often see today. 6/10
Movie Hugo (2011) 2012-12-22 Ultimately a charming movie, but a bit melancholy at times. Great for adolescents. 7/10
Movie Human Trafficking (2005) 2011-03-07 Good coverage of an important topic of our times. The cop actors are a bit understated at times, I mean, they don't ham it up like NCSI goth investigators. Disturbing topic, but this is a not a porno film. However, after watching this for three hours, it's unclear to me what the typical citizen can do to spot trafficking or help law enforcement. 8/10
Movie I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA (2007) 2011-03-07 I was left wondering what the impact of PETA has been. I'm trying to rate the documentary and not Ingrid. Is there more recognition of cruelty now than 20 years ago? This was not one sided; the slaughterhouses are awful, and Ingrid is a whack job. But is she having an impact? She says she is, because some clothes designer no longer uses fur, but are we eating fewer turkeys at Thanksgiving? That wasn't made clear. 6/10
Movie I, Frankenstein (2014) 2014-07-12 Hollywood writers are not smart enough to invent mythologies that don't fall apart when depicted in a live-action film. Lousy story, lousy characters, lousy acting. 4/10
Movie I Served the King of England (2007) 2011-03-07 I'm not sure if Kaiser was trying to be Chaplin-esque, but he was, even to the point of ridiculing WWII-era Germans. Czech with English subtitles. Lots of stunning images of the over-indulgences of the rich, and this is definitely not for the kids. I am disappointed with the reviewers that found no theme - this is at least about how money doesn't buy everything. I would not call this an exciting movie, but it was a treat to watch. 8/10
Movie I've Loved You So Long... (2007) 2011-03-07 If you like long, emotional glances into the artsy fartsy distance, you'll love this movie. Zylberstein is great, KST is sad and silent most of the time and I can't say I loved her. There are many film-school techniques jammed into this. Overall a pretty heavy movie, but there is some lightness, so if you can stand the subtitles, it's worthwhile. 7/10
Movie In the Loop (2008) 2011-03-07 I liked this a lot, although the satire is so over-the-top that I ultimately didn't feel like real politicians could actually act like that. There is a LOT of profanity, don't get this for your kids. Ignore the reviews that complain about the British accents, but you really have to pay attention. And any movie that has a Bugsy Malone reference gets an extra star from me. 8/10
Movie Inception (2010) 2011-03-07 I liked DiCaprio (and I usually do not like him). People compare this to The Matrix, but I understood how people entered and left the The Matrix. The Matrix had rules. This movie Inception has no rules, except what the characters made up as they went along. 6/10
Movie Inglourious Basterds (2009) 2012-02-01 A bit fantastic, and not necessarily historically accurate. Intricate, yet not confusing. 8/10
Movie Inkheart (2009) 2011-03-07 The premise that certain people can cause certain parts of books to come alive by reading aloud is childish - it's a crutch for the screenplay writers who can use any book ever written to get out of any plot complication. And, Fraser's hairstyle is stupid like in every other movie he's in. However, the movie was quite enjoyable and generally well acted (even Fraser). 7/10
Movie
Movie
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
2011-03-07
2013-05-25
I must be getting old, but I always hope for a story when I see a movie. No such luck with this one. Decent acting, hot babes, lots of action, but forgettable.
Apparently, the only reason these supervillains exist is to fight the superheros. Decent acting, hot babes, lots of action, but just a vehicle for Tony Stark's ego.
4/10
6/10
Movie It Happened One Night (1934) 2011-03-07 Gable starts off snappy and never lets up. Colbert overacts annoyingly for the first hour, but eventually straightens out. There are some classic scenes - the donut dunking lesson, the trapeze song on the bus, the scene where Gable meets Colbert's father. This movie invented the notion of a woman lifting her skirt while hitchhiking. Audiences probably laughed at the celebrity worship - if only they coulda seen Anna Nicole's death. A few moments were too over the top (a lot of sneaky thieves in this movie). But, a very worthwhile rental. 8/10
Movie It's Complicated (2009) 2011-03-07 Funny scenes in this movie make it worthwhile, but it's also full of rich California people making fools of themselves. No twists, it's all predictable. Not much redeeming value, here. 6/10
Movie Jack Reacher (2012) 2013-06-29 The storyline develops a twist to a seemingly cut-and-dry case, but the details are rather convoluted. In the end, Cruise makes the movie, as he always does. 8/10
Movie Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) 2011-03-07 Brendan Fraser is a fluff actor, and this is a fluff movie. Nothing profound here, but it's fun, especially for a family, and Briem is a babe. 6/10
Movie Julie & Julia (2009) 2011-03-07 Great acting, great sets. If you're a foodie, you'll just gush. Julie and Julia are both somewhat drama queens, though. 8/10
Movie
Movie
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
2014-07-24
2014-07-25
Very violent, but a great, quirky flick that clearly would become a cult favorite. Some scenes are just interminable, and if you ever encounter an international assassin sword-wielding Samurai, um, just shoot her. Twice.
I was disappointed by the final explanation for the wedding party massacre, but the cemetery scene was great. The last two views of Uma, just before the credits and then the outtake, are great. Combine these two movies into a single two-hour flick and it's a 9/10.
8/10
8/10
Movie Kill Switch (2008) 2011-03-07 I was going to give this 2 out of 10, until the final inexplicable scene, so I dropped it to 1/10. Endless, senseless police brutality. Even the serial killers are unusually senseless. Every fight scene (and there are many) just happens to take place where there is lots of glass and fragile furniture, but the bad guys, no matter how badly beaten, just keep getting up. The acting is awful. 1/10
Movie Killer Elite (2011) 2013-02-15 I wish those British guys would learn to speak English. Leaps of logic keep the story moving from one fight to the next. 6/10
Movie Kiss Me, Stupid! (1964) 2011-03-07 There are a bunch of recognizable comedic actors in this, but it's not quite funny enough. In particular, Martin (who I normally love) doesn't shine without his usual movie companions (although the relatively unknown Farr does a good job). I wanted to feel good about this movie, but it takes a couple serious turns and I could hardly believe the characters do what they do. I disagree with one other reviewer - this is not "cutting edge", it's just unfunny. Finally, the song that the Dino character finally performs on national TV, after the story pushes the song so relentlessly, is just a lousy song. 5/10
Movie Knight and Day (2010) 2011-03-07 Funnier than expected, Lots of action, but the chemistry between Cruise and Diaz, and the humor, make this enjoyable. The action is overdone at times, and the timeline of scenes doesn't always make sense. Worth two hours of your life. 8/10
Movie Last Chance Harvey (2008) 2011-03-07 A bit of a chick flick and a bit predictable, but Hoffman and Thompson work well together. 7/10
Movie Last Vegas (2013) 2014-03-16 Old geezers get young hotties ... unoriginal and condescending. Final resolutions are implausible. Gee, I hope there's a sequel. 5/10
Movie Les Misérables (2012) 2013-04-06 Hugo's original story is very long, so when the movie stretches a single emotion into a five minute song, much is left out and character motivations aren't always unclear. The music and performances are great, this is a must-see for musical lovers. 8/10
Movie Letters to Juliet (2010) 2011-03-07 The first 80% of this movie was great. It's unfortunate that Seyfried's solid "Big Love" experience is now squandered on fluff roles such as in this move and Mamma Mia. Redgrave is great, and the search for Redgrave's long lost love is well done (with a very funny deleted scene). But in the end, the schmaltz factor takes over and the various resolutions are unsatisfying. 7/10
Movie Libeled Lady (1936) 2011-03-07 Myrna Loy and William Powell are the classy characters, but a hilarious Jean Harlow steals the scenes. 7/10
Movie Life With Father (1947) 2011-03-07 Muddy soundtrack, but intelligible. A bit of overacting by William Powell, but funny. A very pretty Elizabeth Taylor. 7/10
Movie Limitless (2011) 2013-02-23 Interesting story, but about undeserving characters getting too much. 7/10
Movie Lola Montès (1955) 2011-03-07 I suppose to get the most out of this you need to watch it at least twice (once with the commentary), but we only watched it once. However, we could follow it very well - good writing, acting, costumes and settings. 8/10
Movie Looking for Eric (2009) 2011-05-08 This movie starts off as mostly depressing, with a few goofy post office moments. Then, the crime boss gets involved, and it gets really nasty. Then, the beer swilling English football fans get involved, and it becomes a buddy comedy. But, it has a satisfying ending. Heavy English accents and F-bombers. 7/10
Movie Love Happens (2009) 2011-03-07 The problem with inventing a best selling self-help method is that the method has to be good enough to be believable, but the method invented for this movie, and Eckhart's presentations, were awful. Aniston and Martin Sheen were decent, and I usually don't like Aniston. Some good original background music, some bad. 5/10
Movie Lucky Lady (1975) 2011-10-16 Hackman and Benson are OK, Minelli and Reynolds are awful. Good use of Prohibition era slang. But overall, not worth your time. 4/10
Movie Mad Money (2008) 2011-03-07 Feel-good about massive scale grand larceny. Katie Holmes is cute as a button. Diane Keaton is the queen of middle aged characters, although I'm not sure that's a compliment. 5/10
Movie Mad Monster Party (1968) 2011-03-07 This is one of my favorites from childhood, but I own this as an adult and give it a watch once every couple years around Halloween. Wouldn't you like to be that guy Felix who inherits the leadership of all monsters? Great flick. 1/10
Movie Magic Mike (2012) 2013-03-03 This movie was fun to watch, McConaughey was suprisingly good. I decreased the rating when in the final scene the pothead con artist male stipper gets the girl because he says he's sorry. Yeah, the girl he whistled at like a dog. 6/10
Movie Maleficent (2014) 2014-07-05 Great job by Jolie, and great fairyland scenery, but the story was not well crafted. Characters seemed to exist because someone invented a cool character, even if they didn't help the story. The story was simply unpleasant. 6/10
Movie Mamma Mia! (2008) 2011-03-07 I love ABBA, but not all parts of this movie. The songs are musically complex, but most are not lyrically profound, so half the movie is really bad with hammy acting and a forced plot line to match some random song. However, "Slipping Through My Fingers" is one of the great songs ever written and Streep/Seyfried do a great job with that. "Does Your Mother Know" was fun, too. They pulled of a reasoanable ending given that much of the beginning was lousy. I always pictured ABBA as being an urban band, where love songs let you escape from the office grind, so the Greek Isle thing seemed wrong. This movie was produced by chicks for chicks, and even some chicks will think it's junk. 6/10
Movie Man in the Attic (1953) 2013-12-07 The setup for this movie is great, and we get to meet Frances Bavier as she creates her legendary Aunt Bea. But, after all is revealed near the end, the finale is unsatisfaying. 6/10
Movie Man of Steel (2013) 2013-11-30 The Kryptonians have mastered interstellar travel, and after Jor-El's body armor automatically puts itself on, Jor is killed by ... a knife. How many buildings can two super guys throw each other through? So many, it turns out, that it becomes boring. 6/10
Movie Margin Call (2011) 2012-10-21 Considering it took me months to close on a mortgage, it's amazing these brokers can trade mortgage based securities with just a phone call. Little technical background is provided for the impending financial disaster faced by the characters, so it's not always clear what to get excited about or who the bad guys are. In the end, no consequences are described. But, well acted. 7/10
Movie Marie Antoinette (2006) 2011-03-07 Ah Marie, doting wife, loving mother, gracious queen. I think that's supposed to be dripping with sarcasm, but Dunst does not do sarcasm. Fantastic costumes and sets. Schwartzman is a robot (that's a bad thing for this movie). 6/10
Movie Marvel's The Avengers (2012) 2012-05-26 Very entertaining, great story if you can suspend disbelief in an over-the-top comic book world catastrophe, well acted. Minor faults are that Iron Man becomes too altruistic, The Hulk becomes too manageable, and Nick Fury is inexplicably in charge. 9/10
Movie Megamind (2010) 2011-08-20 Lots of fun, cute stuff. I didn't love the Roxanne character, all that sass but no apparent goal. The "bad turns good" theme was telegraphed early on, but they did what they could to make it less predictable. 8/10
Movie Milk (2008) 2011-03-07 Many reviews complain that this was a one-sided glorification of Milk, and it was. The man-on-man kissing and the nude parade marchers are important because that was all part of the scene. This movie isn't a schoolboy's documentary. I am not an expert on Milk or the events depicted in this movie, but my guess is that the acting and writing are right on. 9/10
Movie Midnight in Paris (2011) 2012-09-16 This is an enjoyable fantasy, and I like how the fantastic stuff is kept simple and well explained so that the focus is on the story and characters. The city of Paris is portrayed beautifully. However, Wilson is not a guy who can carry a movie, and all the characters are over-acted. Woody Allen is apparently famous for giving his actors free reign, but maybe he should have kept a tighter leash. 7/10
Movie Mirror Mirror (2012) 2013-03-31 I didn't love any actor, and I never really love Roberts, but this is a great revisiting of the Snow White tale. I had this at 7/10 until the end, but the "first kiss" scene was classic. 8/10
Movie Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) 2011-08-04 I continue to like Tom Cruise. This story wasn't perfect, but suspenseful and with enough action that I didn't worry too much about why the bad guys actually wanted to blow up the world. 8/10
Movie Moneyball (2011) 2012-10-14 I wanted to like this movie more, but I just never fell in love with the characters. If you like baseball, this provides an interesting look at team building, trading strategies, the tension between the field guys and the office guys and the differences between ball clubs. Even the soda machine is in play. Maybe this movie is too technical for actors to dramatize in a likeable way. 7/10
Movie Monster (2003) 2011-03-07 Theron is great. The movie does an OK job of developing the relationship between Theron and Ricci, but sometimes Ricci overdoes the naivety of a woman who actually picks up other women in bars and then runs away with a street person. The movie is very rough edged. There is a love story in there, but it's tough to watch. 8/10
Movie Moon (2008) 2011-03-07 Not exactly a thriller, and it is somewhat predictable. But, it has some good sci-fi twists, and not too many techie mistakes. Acting is very good. 8/10
Movie Morning Glory (2010) 2011-09-10 Some weak points in the story, especially the romantic aspects, and McAdams is not nearly strong enough to carry it. Ford is great, but not the lead. Some really funny stuff in the second half. 6/10
Movie Mr. Brooks (2007) 2012-04-01 This is a writer's fantasy. How disturbed can we make this guy, and how much can we mess up others's lives? Brooks' ability to hack into electronic police files was also a bit much, but otherwise well done and well acted. 7/10
Movie Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith (2009) 2011-03-07 This appears to have been made for TV. All the acting is highly exaggerated, as if the movie is really for teens who relate to the Zoe character. The story is very simplistic. As soon as the professor is introduced, you know the whole plot. Don't bother, unless your young daughter will watch. 3/10
Movie Murder by Death (1976) 2011-09-25 This is, of course, a parody of murder mysteries. A better parody would have been a mystery that was actually solvable, unlike many serious mystery stories (as the parody notes, near the end). This is quite funny at times, but the humor is dated. 6/10
Movie Murder by Decree (1979) 2011-03-07 Started off in that slow but quaint British way, then ground to a halt. I watched the whole thing, but that second hour seemed interminable. If you love Holmes, it's OK, but not great by any means. 5/10
Movie My Favorite Spy (1951) 2011-08-19 A few cute jokes here, but many are just mediocre. Lamarr is gorgeous, but the action and comedy are sort of flat and predictable, and some sets looked cheap. Not terrible, but not Hope's greatest work. 5/10
Movie Mystery Train (1989) 2011-12-18 Intelligent and well acted views of different cultures, but ultimately an unsatisying, artsy drag. Unlike some reviewers, my disk did indeed have English subtitle for the Japanese story (but my disk was bad for most of the third stiory). 5/10
Movie New York, I Love You (2008) 2011-03-07 Only a couple of the short stories were compelling, maybe they were just too short to build the characters. I thought that the ending retrospective assumed that I actually enjoyed all the stories so much that I would want to see bits again, but I didn't like the stories that much. 5/10
Movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie is fun. Some moments of dull acting and implausible character actions, but moments of brilliance. Nothing profound, but only 90 minutes, so it won't blow your whole night, and you'll have a few laughs. 7/10
Movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) 2011-03-07 Goofy movie. I just don't care for Stiller or Gervais. Amy Adams was cute in this. Not much of a story, just special effects. 5/10
Movie Nights in Rodanthe (2008) 2011-03-07 Gere & Lane are nice together, and overall the acting is well controlled. That's a feat considering the awful script. This is a romance with nothing funny or heartwarming, not even the meaningless final beach scene. Christopher Meloni is a bad actor and it appears he was (thankfully) edited out of some scenes. 4/10
Movie Nine (2009) 2011-03-07 Whew, this was a snoozer. The choreography was good, but some of the music was just boring. The storyline was completely un-interesting. '60s Italian cinema wasn't all that interesting the first time around, and a 75-year-old Sophia Loren doesn't fix that. 5/10
Movie Noah (2014) 2014-08-17 This is a weird, fanciful description of how a guy could actually build the ark and get the animals aboard. I get the comparison to modern-day concerns about human activity causing environmental problems, but this was over the top. 5/10
Movie Now You See Me (2013) 2013-12-15 This has so much promise, and magic is always fun, but then the good guys commit actual crimes. As usual, Morgan Freeman is annoying. 7/10
Movie Oblivion (2013) 2013-09-22 I love Tom Cruise, and this was visually nice, but the ending was predictable. They could have ended this with an incestuous, polygamist bang, now that would have been cute. 7/10
Movie Olympus Has Fallen (2013) 2013-09-15 The intricate terrorist plan that took over the White House was sort of believable, but everything related to Cerberus was badly scripted and technically flawed. Better than White House Down. 7/10
Movie Once (2006) 2013-07-07 A realistic portrayal of modern, working class, urban relationships. Considering the music was important to the plot, they did a pretty good job of providing good songs. 7/10
Movie One Missed Call 2 (2005) 2011-03-07 There's about 10 minutes of action in this whole movie. There are suspenseful moments, but ridiculously stupid actions by the characters, and no particularly good acting jobs. 2/10
Movie Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) 2013-04-20 The big battle scene is fun. Storyline OK. Franco makes a good con man but does not pull off great and powerful. The music was particularly boring. I liked all the witches. Munchkins underutilized. 7/10
Movie Page Eight (2011) 2013-08-03 This is one of those movies that provides a long string of irritating mysteries, and enough characters to be confusing, but all wrapped up at the end. Lots of familiar actors. 7/10
Movie Pandora's Box (1929) 2011-03-07 I agree that this is a good piece of early cinema art, but there are a couple of scenes that are annoyingly implausable (the end of the courtroom scene, and the invitation to the stranger near the end). 7/10
Movie Paris (2008) 2011-03-07 My personal ratings usually come pretty close to the BB ratings, but this was not a 7/10. This was a snoozer. I had no trouble following with the subtitles. Nothing happens in these pitiful lives and then they die, and I don't care. BTW, Paris is not beautiful in this movie, it's just a city with a tower in the middle. 4/10
Movie Passion in the Desert (1997) 2011-03-07 This movie is pretty strange. The movie is not overly explicit, but it's not for kids as the soldier has an erotic relationship with a leapord. The writeup does not suggest how unforgettable the artist is and how much time the soldier spends with the leopard. 5/10
Movie Philomena (2013) 2014-06-08 Well acted, and Dench in particular was good and just a little different than her usual, typecast character. But, it just wasn't all that exciting. 7/10
Movie Pirate Radio (2009) 2011-03-07 The soundtrack contains all the great songs we remember, but as such, it's predictable and uninspired. The good guys were too cool to believe, and the bad guys were too evil to believe. I had some fun with this, especially the deleted scenes, but overall it was not great. 6/10
Movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) 2011-05-29 The characters are each great, but they don't meld together into a story. I liked the mermaid love story, hated the zombie shipmates, and hated the hero music for Jack Sparrow (who is not a heroic character). Some sections were boring and useless. Quite violent and lots of innuendo, not a kids' movie. 5/10
Movie Pitch Perfect (2012) 2013-07-14 The music is fun and well done, with some innovative moments. The plot is predictable, but good enough. There are some funny lines, but much of the humor is disappointing, at a college freshman level. Multiple scenes with profuse, projectile vomiting invite a low rating. 6/10
Movie Pizza (2005) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK. You'll really want something special to happen to the characters, but the overall grossness of it gets in the way. Yeah, maybe people really do live like the guys in the bachelor pad, but even they don't want to see it on film. The unpopular girl character is just so over-the-top annoying that you eventually don't even want something special to happen. 5/10
Movie Pompeii (I) (2014) 2014-07-12 The film does a great job of depicting an ancient city full of people being destroyed by a magnificent volcano, but the backstory is devoid of historical accuracy. 5/10
Movie Pontypool (2008) 2011-03-07 Most of the horror/suspense movies released each week show a low rating, usually 4/10 or worse. When something comes along that is even mediocre, it immediately gets 8s and 9s. Pontypool is worth a watch, although after all was said and done, not that much happened, and the movie's explanation for all the trouble was quite implausible. This is not a slasher flick (although there is a bit of bloody violence). 6/10
Movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) 2011-03-07 Alfred Molina is great. The story moved quite fast, at times hard to follow. This is one of those fantasies where a different legend pops up to explain every plot twist. I always find sassy females in traditional societies to be annoying, and no character was lovable. LOTS of people die in this movie. Action packed, not bad, but formulaic. 6/10
Movie Public Enemies (2009) 2011-03-07 Exciting movie and well acted, but there is not much of a story. Steal money, shoot people, hook up with some floozy, repeat until the cops get you, the end. 7/10
Movie Purple Violets (2007) 2011-03-07 One reviewer complained about the NR rating, This is not a racy movie, but there is bad language. The behavior of the characters is silly. They slept around in their college days, and now that they're mature adults, they want to turn those long dead, meaningless, youthful relationships into something meaningful. Real adults figure out that they were just silly kids at the time, but not these characters. This is not a terrible movie, and a few scenes are cute with popular actors and worth the watch, but you won't be a better person for it. 5/10
Movie Puss in Boots (2012) 2012-09-02 I just don't enjoy nursery rhyme characters turned into lascivious soliders of fortune. There is indeed a plot and Puss's life story is weaved in nicely, but this is more GI Joe than Mother Goose, and it's not a kids' movie. 6/10
Movie Rambo (2008) 2011-03-07 Amazingly, I think this movie was too short. I wish more time had been spent on convincing the reluctant Rambo to finally agree to help the missionaries. Beyond that, there are a lot of bad guys doing bad things and we root for Rambo to make it all better. Quite bloody, but not outrageous. 6/10
Movie Ratatouille (2007) 2011-03-07 It's tough to really love rats. However, the pay-off scene with the restaurant critic was a classic way to show his reaction to the food. 8/10
Movie Raw Faith (2010) 2013-06-29 The story this tells is great. But, we also realize, in between tears, Marilyn Sewell is just trying to sell a book. Her sermon excerpts are interesting and progressive, and I like the way she thinks about the divine, but her impact on her congregation beyond listening is not clear. 6/10
Movie RED (2010) 2011-04-10 When he's being serious, Willis can't act his way out of a paper bag, but when he's being funny, he's really funny. Morgan Freeman, ho hum. One extra star for Ernie Borgnine! The script was too fantastic to be a 9 or 10, and the ending leaves things unresolved, but great stunts and lots of fun. 8/10
Movie Righteous Kill (2008) 2011-03-07 Fun to see DeNiro and Pacino together. The story was intentionally contrived, just to annoy me (rather than to make me feel like I was solving the case), but still a good movie. 7/10
Movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) 2012-01-14 Good special-effect ape action, and a decent story. To be picky, intelligence only goes so far. Some things have to be taught, but the apes simply know too much that they could not possibly know. But, any movie with a Freaks and Geeks alumnus (Franco) gets extra points. 7/10
Movie Robin Hood (2010) 2011-03-07 I'm not a Crowe fan. He seems kind of monotonous to me. However, this is a new take on the old story, with some surprises, and it's generally pretty good. I did not like Marion's role and Robin's reactions at the end, a bit schmaltzy. 7/10
Movie Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) 2011-03-07 Many comedies make the mistake of having good guys who are normal, and bad guys who are exaggerated goofballs. But not RRHS, in this movie, everyone is a whack job, including the Ramones. The scene with the motorcycle with the sidecar is one of the great scenes in movie history, reminiscent of Eric Von Zipper in Beach Blanket Bingo. The 1970s consumer technology makes RRHS funnier in 2010 than in 1980. 8/10
Movie Rocky Balboa (2006) 2011-03-07 There was one good scene, when Rocky begins training and the trainer tells him what he has to do. Otherwise, little else was logical. Rambo was better. 5/10
Movie Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer (1989) 2011-03-07 A trailer park innocent marries a rich guy. The later half chronicles the break up and divorce. The problem with the movie is how the husband is portrayed; nothing he demands makes any sense, at least as far as the movie explains. Phillips does a decent job of portraying the girl who comes of age, but as sensational as the real life story is supposed to have been, it comes across as pretty common and slow. I caught this on a "free movies on demand" channel from my cable company. You probably don't want to waste a disk rental on this. 5/10
Movie Safe House (2012) 2012-08-26 Action packed with non-stop fight violence. The plot had twists and surprises, but in the end there wasn't really much to it. Washington plays his character like always, as if you should like him, but there wasn't much to like or dislike. 7/10
Movie Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) 2013-03-24 Very enjoyable, you feel for every character and want the best for them, until the very end. The filmmakers just couldn't resist the cutesie ending. 7/10
Movie Salt (2010) 2011-04-17 "RED" is good because it recognizes that all these secret agent stunts are a farce, and it had good characters. With Salt, I didn't care as much about the characters, and it took itself too seriously. And, who cares about the Russkies any more? 6/10
Movie Season of the Witch (2011) 2012-06-30 If you can suspend disbelief in all sorts of superstitions, and excuse Cage for his usual deadpan delivery, this really wasn't too bad. A formulaic story about demons taking over the world, possession, and exorcism. 7/10
Movie Secrets of the Dead: Blackbeard's Lost Ship (2009) 2011-03-07 You can't beat the technical and historical details, but there is no personal touch, and the narrator was kind of boring. It would have been nice to know who these people are that spend their careers cleaning barnacles off shipwreck salvage, and who funds all this. 6/10
Movie Serenity (2005) 2011-03-07 I have not seen Firefly. As for the movie, if you like watching cute pre-adolescent girls twirl around, well, you'll be all set. Some strange dialog: " 'Twixt my nethers." Yeesh. This is kind of like Star Wars mixed together with Soylent Green (and maybe some dialog from A Clockwork Orange), which of course means we've seen it all before. 5/10
Movie Setup (2011) 2013-03-31 The story is bad, even Bruce Willis does a bad job playing Bruce Willis. 4/10
Movie Seven (1995) 2011-03-07 I really liked this movie until the end. I didn't really get the "envy" part. After all those long, drawn out crimes, the final crime was a quickie. Morgan Freeman plays basically the same character in about 50 movies per year. 9/10
Movie Seven Years in Tibet (1997) 2011-03-07 Considering that the story took sooooo long to tell, it ended with me wishing that I knew more about a few characters (like wife and son back in Austria, and the Dalai Lama), but overall a good movie and story. 8/10
Movie Sex and the City 2 (2010) 2011-03-07 Liza was great, and the movie gets off to a good start. Parker, Nixon and Davis exaggerated their characters, but are bearable. Cattrall is unbearable and embarrassing. The "I Am Woman" scene reduced this movie by a star. 5/10
Movie Sharpe's Rifles (1993) 2011-03-07 My wife and I will watch more in this series ("Rifles" being the first of many). However, Bean is a made-for-TV pretty boy. The story wasn't too bad until the end when the true nature of the mission was revealed, and it was made-for-TV goofy. The music was cheesy. We'll see how the series continues, although they're all "long wait" and tough to get. 4/10
Movie She Done Him Wrong (1933) 2011-03-07 The story was so simple that it didn't work well, and I didn't like the ending. The presentation of the 1890s in this 1933 movie seemed very stereotypical, even though at the time there were people who actually remembered the 1890s. However, West is a blast, and the young Grant does a great job. The scene in which West pulls Grant forward and then opens the door in front of him is great. Lots of period music that you won't hear in any modern production. A few bad acting jobs. I liked the choice by writers of innuendo rather than direct raunch. 7/10
Movie
Movie
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
2011-03-07
2012-02-04
If you want a story about a superhero, then make one up - why use Sherlock Holmes? In this movie, Holmes is not only the most briliiant genius, but also the greatest bare-knuckles fighter of all time. The Holmes role overshadows all other roles (but I liked McAdams in this). Certainly a good flick, but over-the-top in some ways.
In the 2009 movie, McAdams was almost up to the task of costarring with Downey. But with this movie's early departure of McAdams, Downey runs wild with no one to slow him down. There is practically no plot, just lots of annoying, stop-action fight scenes with convoluted explanations and unshaven men.
7/10
5/10
Movie Shutter Island (2010) 2011-03-07 Can't beat the cast, but I get annoyed by movies that explain what is happening, then you find out it's something else, and then you find out it's something else, etc., etc., etc. And it's all justified because it takes place in an insane asylum. 7/10
Movie Skyfall (2012) 2012-12-08 I love Daniel Craig as Bond and the action and locales are great, and there is some brief but very cute comic relief. M and Q are portrayed as totally inept, but are allowed to try to fix their mistakes. Only Bond can save them with a very high body count. 7/10
Movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 2011-03-07 About the only fault I can find with this movie is that the theme is old and familiar - young love lost and found and lost and found (etc.). But, it is pretty well done and the movie got a great set of performances in an R rated setting from young children. (I've heard that the young actors have not benefitted from the success of the movie.) So, reduced by 1/10. 9/10
Movie Smash His Camera (2009) 2011-07-02 Very well made documentary about an important celebrity photographer. This loses 1/10 because young viewers in 2011 won't know who the celebs are, and out of his millions of photos, only his couple dozen favorites have lasting artistic value. Lose another 1/10 because the guy is so personally schlocky that he plants artificial flowers in his outdoor garden. 8/10
Movie Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) 2012-10-27 My personal reviews are usually right on with the Blockbuster customer average, but I give this one an extra notch. I liked Stewart in the role of Snow, I liked the bits of Christian references and imagery, and I liked the darkness of the tale without losing too much of the traditional fantasy. 8/10
Movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 2011-03-07 Heigh ho! The best of the best. The classic which all others fail to match. As the long description states, it's so cool that each dwarf is different. Not just two or three, but seven identifiable guys. The music is great. The old fairy tale is told in a fantastic way. And there are even some scenes in which we can find double-entendre. 1/10
Movie Spinning Into Butter (2007) 2011-03-07 Not sure if this was an honest exploration of racism, or just a ruse to write a script with a bunch of racist epithets. Parker actually does a nice job, good to see her in something so different than SATC. But all the characters are overblown caricatures, in which smart people say stupid things so that the filmmaker can make some sort of point, which is not clear to me. 5/10
Movie Stand Up Guys (2012) 2014-03-01 Fun to watch, although generally not beautiful. Mobsters do not live beautiful lives, but the situations were all somewhat extreme in a stereotypical way. 7/10
Movie Stardust (2007) 2011-04-15 Some really novel fantasy elements in this movie make it entertaining and worth your time. The romance is not novel, just cute. The relationship between the princes is funny, and yet achieved in a way that makes this rather inappropriate for kids. 7/10
Movie
Movie
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
2011-03-07
2013-06-08
On its own, it's a great movie, a 9/10. But why call it Star Trek if you're going to pull the old "black hole time warp" thing out of the bag and change the past? Good special effects, except every scene seemed to have someone about to fall from a great height. Good characters and good actors.
Lots of fun, a lot like an original TV series episode, and only a couple major plot holes. Good special effects, except every scene seemed to have someone about to fall from a great height.
7/10
8/10
Movie Startup.com (2001) 2012-07-28 I liked this, but it focuses more on personal relationships than business or technical details. The business story is about the struggle to get venture capital, so it's not clear how they grew to over 200 employees in months. It's not a lesson on how to grow a business, it's a lesson on how you'll feel about your HS buddy after the business you start together falls apart. 6/10
Movie Steve + Sky (2004) 2014-07-19 It's hard to rate these indie, European flicks. All the characters are just so gritty and flawed, almost like real people,l but as with real people, they are born and they die, and in the middle nothing notable happens. 6/10
Movie Strangers on a Train (1951) 2011-03-07 I agree with others that there are so many obvious prop devices that we can't rate this among Hitchcock's best. The Bruno character is a bit too nuts to believe. Even in 1951, if a total stranger approaches you to commit a double murder, you go to the police. Still, some nice Hitchcock touches and quirky characters. And who was that guy with the big string bass? 7/10
Movie Summer Stock (1950) 2011-03-07 On the down side, the storyline is lackluster, and I just didn't find Judy very attractive. But this is a fun movie. Gene Kelly is great, and his "squeaky floor" solo number is a classic. Phil Silvers is hilarious. Judy does a great job on "Get Happy". 7/10
Movie Super 8 (2011) 2011-12-24 This movie has some serious violence, but there is a lot of cute fun interspersed, and the young characters are very tolerable to older viewers. I don't love the ultraviolent monstrosity of an alien who, for some reason, travels alone through space. 8/10
Movie Suspicion (1941) 2013-12-29 I am a Hitchcock fan and a Cary Grant fan, but this is a slow moving bore with unattractive British characters. In the end, nothing happens, and it's unclear why any character in the movie cared about anything. 6/10
Movie Swing Vote (2008) 2011-03-07 You have to get past the simplistic treatment of the US voting system that allows the election to come down to one vote. And the movie is billed as "feel good", all based on drunken, felony voting fraud. But the kid is cute, and a lot of big name actors bring good humor. 6/10
Movie Synecdoche, New York (2008) 2011-03-07 Two hours of well-acted, artsy fartsy misery. The story is very intricate and very carefully constructed. From the artsy fartsy perspective it's really good, but it's practically unwatchable.Add Taken to QueueAdd Taken to top of Queue 5/10
Movie Taken (2008) 2011-03-07 The beginning and end were much too melodramatic. The action in the middle was great. I would not say that the movie was unrealistic, but the criminals were not seedy enough considering the crime being committed. 6/10
Movie
Movie
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
2013-02-02
2014-06-14
Maybe if this was the first Spiderman movie, it would have been OK, but we've seen all this melodrama before. Emma Stone is hot, but she was 24 in 2012 and sure doesn't act like a HS teenager.
Emma Stone is still hot, but really, still as a HS kid? However, good chemistry with Garfield. The plot was as comic-book-ish as any comic-book movie we have seen.
6/10
7/10
Movie The A-Team (2010) 2011-06-11 Lots of action and some very funny bits. Serious violence in this movie, inexplicable ability of escaped convicts to travel internationally using fake passports, and lots of traitorous US government and defense personnel. 7/10
Movie The Artist (2011) 2012-09-22 This is a good movie with a good story, with great acting. The story is too time worn and predictable to be worthy of a best picture Oscar, but it's about Hollywood and they honor their own. 8/10
Movie The Beaver (2011) 2011-06-11 Well acted, but depressing throughout with no comic relief, even with a hand puppet. In the end, a schmaltzy scene as the camera pulls away. 6/10
Movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) 2014-04-05 This will bore anyone under 50 years old, but for oldsters, this has an unpleasant start but comes to an enjoyable conclusion. The slight weakness in the cast is Dench playing the exact same character she always plays in everything else she's in. Maggie Smith, in particular, enjoyably twists her Downton Abbey persona. 8/10
Movie The Big Wedding (2013) 2014-05-31 The star-studded cast cannot save this collection of annoying and unbelievable characters and situations. 5/10
Movie The Black Rose (1950) 2011-03-07 Welles was great, and as the description says, the cinematography was good. Power and Aubrey had no chemistry, she came across as barely a teenager, there was no reason for their characters to fall in love, and their acting was awful. The story itself was not well written. 5/10
Movie The Blind Side (2009) 2011-03-07 Too schmaltzy and dramatized to be a 9 or 10, but well acted and constructed, and enjoyable. 8/10
Movie The Bourne Legacy (2012) 2013-07-07 I liked the action and the acting, but the previous movies set up a complicated background, and this sequel does not fully stand alone. 7/10
Movie The Bucket List (2007) 2011-03-07 Well acted, and as good as can be expected from a script that was very predictable and not particularly profound. 6/10
Movie The Cabin in the Woods (2011) 2013-05-11 This is worth the time to watch it, if you can stand the blood. Creative and ironic twists, but after all that, the very end was a letdown. The cameo appearance of a big name actress invited even more ironies, but the filmmakers missed that. 7/10
Movie The Children's Hour (1961) 2011-03-07 This movie is quite intense. You have to put yourself back into 1961 to imagine what the big deal is. But it's over the top to think that a rotten little brat can tell a lie that so destroys lives and that doesn't get exposed even in court. Ultimately, I had to knock off a couple of stars. 6/10
Movie The Contract (2007) 2011-03-07 Is Freeman in every movie being made today? However, his monotone is well suited for the role. Overall, not too bad, with occasional lousy writing and the occasional mysterious character whose motivation isn't clear. 6/10
Movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 2011-03-07 Good acting and screenplay structure keep you watching for over 2 1/2 hours. Very moving, emotionally. The concept (man grows younger) is intriguing, but ultimately unrealistic, and it really was pretty long. Not sure what the point was of placing this at the start of hurricane Katrina. So, only 4/5 stars, but all actors were good with lots of varied scenes and characters. 8/10
Movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) 2011-03-07 I watched the extras on the DVD and they had a bunch of alternate artist renderings of GORT. They were cool. The GORT they finally chose was boring. The first half was pretty suspenseful, but the second half just did a lousy job of justifying the actions that the alien(s) did and did not take. Acting was OK, nothing special. 6/10
Movie The Dead (1987) 2011-03-07 You really have to watch for the portrayal of a realistic, wide range of emotions among a group of family members and friends. In a sense, not much happens, but really, it's packed with emotion. 7/10
Movie The Descendants (2011) 2012-10-13 The acting is outstanding across the board, but the story introduces a number of melodramatic situations that are resolved very slowly, in anti-climactic ways. I suppose that's true to life and the story is sad because we know real people who experience similar events. But, my true life isn't very exciting and neither is this movie. 6/10
Movie The Double (2011) 2013-03-16 Grace is OK, but I must admit, I always like Gere and I like him here. This reminds me of a Russian spy incident that occurred in real life around the time this movie came out, although this movie stretches the idea to the max. Good pace, fun to watch. 7/10
Movie The Expendables (2010) 2011-04-22 Extremely violent, action packed, and almost plot-less. The acting wasn't bad, it's just that no acting skill is necessary when there is no story. 5/10
Movie The Ghost Writer (2010) 2011-03-07 The whole premise of this movie is that it is leaked that a former British PM turned over a couple of terrorists to the CIA for (unconfirmed) torture. The whole world goes into convulsions, except the Americans who don't seem to care. The same British PM sent soldiers into wars, etc., but protesters froth at the mouth over this unconfirmed torture. There was nothing bad about this movie, but it was a bit slow, and no actor stood out. Brosnan remains the mediocre, but oh so pretty, actor. 6/10
Movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) 2012-07-14 Good story, although a few loose ends. Daniel Craig is great, Rooney Mara also very good for a character that is too smart for her age. Mumbly dialog in the beginning, and very violent in unusual ways. But, the story kept me interested throughout. 7/10
Movie The God Who Wasn't There (2005) 2013-02-22 It's just not that big a deal to make a documentary about how the existence of God cannot be proven. I agree there are problems with the ways Christianity has been practiced over the centuries, but this one-sided film does not give credit to "progressive" practices and to the good that Christianity does. 6/10
Movie The Golden Compass (2007) 2011-03-07 Better than Narnia, nice in BluRay, but confusing at times, and it's always annoying when the fate of the world is in the hands of withces and snot nosed little kids with British accents. Other renters whine about the storyline being about killing God, but it seems more like it's about killing the authority of the church (that's different). BTW, Nicole Kidman rules. 7/10
Movie The Great Gatsby (2013) 2013-10-20 I like DiCaprio, but I don't love him, and I don't know why any female characters love his characters. Every character in this movie has one trait, played to the extreme. I liked the music and visuals. 7/10
Movie The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 2011-06-19 All movie fans should watch this to understand the history of big budget entertainment. The story is not profound, it's just a New York producer and his pretty girls. Some of the musical production bogs down, after 3 hours. But also some ingenious choreography, and a great Ray Bolger dance scene. As nasty as he seems now, Eddie Cantor in blackface was a big star. Lots of familiar stars from the 1930s and earlier. 7/10
Movie The Guardian (2006) 2011-03-07 I thought the movie was over after 90 minutes and the teacher had sent the student on to the big world. But nooooo, the student's drama lived on, and the teacher's drama lived on, blah blah blah. Not bad, but I was waiting for Kutcher to say, "I GOT NO PLACE ELSE TO GO!" 6/10
Movie The Hunger Games (2012) 2013-01-13 As for the actors, Lawrence is amazing, Tucci is great as always, Harrelson is good when limited to this supporting role. I understand novelist Collins is trying to make a statement about our American culture of violence, trashy reality TV and government deception, but I felt dirty after watching this child-on-child violence and Collins should be ashamed to market this to teens. 6/10
Movie The King's Speech (2010) 2011-06-26 As Firth's character says in the movie, if he were a normal person, no one would care. Everyone suffers through some adversity. A movie was made about THIS guy because he was born into the right family. So, the premise isn't very exciting, but the acting and visuals are great. 8/10
Movie The Ides of March (2011) 2013-01-05 We learn from this movie that the work of a political consultant is pretty boring, aside from the occasional fling with a nymphomaniac intern. Big name actors do a good job, and it's a relevant commentary on 2012 American politics, but it's not a thriller. 7/10
Movie The Illusionist (2010) 2011-06-05 Colorfully animated, this is a good story about an everyman. A happier ending would have earned another star from me. 7/10
Movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) 2011-03-07 One of those movies for which the trailer explains nothing. The dreams of Terry Gilliam overtake the story. Too bad they aren't related. 6/10
Movie The Incredible Hulk (2008) 2011-03-07 Overall, a pretty good movie for a comic book story, if a bit predictable. Norton is very good, Tyler just doesn't excite me and I think she's a weak spot. Why is it that Hollywood thinks that science lab security can be thwarted with a free pizza? And who has live security guards any more, in the first place? 7/10
Movie The Informant (2009) 2011-03-07 The only reason this movie makes any sense is that it is based on a true story, Otherwise, the storyline is just crazy. But this is not a bad flick. 6/10
Movie The International (2009) 2011-03-07 On the plus side are interesting locations and a suspenseful puzzle. But, a key event requires a greedy scumbag to suddenly get a conscience. The Watts character is useless to the story, and Watts herself is awful. Owen is monotonous and I didn't care about his character. Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't see bank CEOs spending their days deciding who to whack. 6/10
Movie The Kennel Murder Case (1933) 2011-04-22 This is a top-notch detective film, even accounting for its age. The logic is complex, but it all makes sense, and I loved the quirky characters and even the cardboard models of the houses used to prove the case. 9/10
Movie The Legend of Hercules (2014) 2014-05-26 I didn't hate this movie. It was sneaky to put this in Redbox just before the Dwayne Johnson version. If you like "300", you'll like this Hercules. Kellan Lutz looks like the witless Rocky in Rocky Horror PS. After all the mysterious predictions of Herc's divine destiny, the movie ended with no suprises, so I dinged it a rating point. 5/10
Movie The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) 2012-05-06 Many customer reviewers seem to miss the wicked satire of showing the old generals complaining about being pushed into the lowly Home Guard while sleeping their days away in the Turkish Baths, as the war and youth rage around them. Also, consider that this was made while England was being bombed and before the outcome of WWII was known. Only the British can mock the British this well. Great stuff. 8/10
Movie The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) 2011-07-16 Good story, mostly good acting. I'm not sure what the big deal about the Lincoln is supposed to be, it is apparently just a product placement. Also a little preachy about innocence and guilt and justice blah blah blah. 7/10
Movie The Lone Ranger (2013) 2014-02-01 This movie is about an hour too long, but the funny bits are pretty funny. This film does a good job of presenting Tonto without insulting native Americans too badly. 7/10
Movie
Movie
Movie
Movie
Movie
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
2013-06-23
2013-12-28
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
Regardless of how true the movie is to the book, the look of the movie captures Middle Earth as Tolkein wrote it. For three hours, a few elements are unexplained, even though everyone knows all the explanations.
This second installment of the Hobbit trilogy does not stand alone, and simply fills in some details between the first and last. That wouldn't be so bad, but the cliffhanger ending will not be resolved for a year. These Tolkein movies are well acted and produced, but Smaug desolated nothing in this movie except a few dollars from my pocket.
1/10
1/10
1/10
9/10
6/10
Movie The Lovely Bones (2009) 2011-03-07 I rather liked this. I don't quite agree with the heaven presented in this movie, and I have no clue how Tucci got the safe into his car, but the acting was good and moving. 7/10
Movie The Maldonado Miracle (2002) 2011-03-07 The ending twist was telegraphed quite early in the movie. The miracle is hammered home by an annoyingly stereotypical Mexican religious woman. Fonda is good at times, but often slips into a monotonous tone as if he just wants to get his check and go home, and his assistant is a goofball. HOWEVER, it's a feel-good movie with some interesting sub-plots, OK to fold the laundry by. 6/10
Movie The Man (2005) 2011-03-07 Entertaining, and my wife just guffawed at certain parts, but I thought it was just OK. 6/10
Movie The Merchant of Venice (2004) 2011-03-07 Pacino and Collins were great. They made Shakespeare seem almost like regular conversation. Many of the actors just seemed like they were reading the script for the first time. Great scenery and costumes. Even for Shakespeare, a couple scenes and plot developments were unclear, and the treatment of Jews is brutal. If you want to introduce yourself to old Will, this one is pretty good. 8/10
Movie The Muppets (2011) 2012-07-07 Good family fare, but failed to meet expectations. The premise is that Kermit and the Muppets have not wanted to perform for a long time, but it isn't clear why, or who should care, or why the Walter character is not an obsessed whack job (the DVD extras contain a deleted scene with Walter that explains part of the movie). Segal is as unlikeable as he was on Freaks and Geeks. Adams is cute but doesn't have much to work with. The choice of a celebrity host is mediocre and his contribution is restrained. A few good chuckles, but that's about it. 6/10
Movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) 2011-03-07 The music is good, the acting is mediocre, and the story is bad. They tried to base some of this on actual Chinese mythology, but Fraser is just such a doofus and Bello has the worst British accent of all time, and then the Yeti field goal was absolutely uncalled for. 4/10
Movie The Nanny Diaries (2007) 2014-07-19 This is a formulaic Hollywood flick that exaggerates the good parts of the characters we are supposed to like, and the bad parts of the characters we are supposed to dislike. But, in between, it was enjoyable and there are some feel-good moments. 7/10
Movie The Natural (1984) 2011-03-07 This plays on our traditional adoration for the National Pastime very well. When the kid brings the hand-engraved bat, wow, that's so cool. Watch it over and over just to feel good. 1/10
Movie The Nugget (2002) 2011-03-07 Saw it on cable, would not have been worth renting. A number of scenes were fantasy-ish (see the sunlight in the trailer), and the ending was particularly unrealistic. This is not all about greed, which is a plus, but rent "Danny Deck Chair" instead. 6/10
Movie The Opposite of Sex (1998) 2011-03-07 The customer reviews for this are all over the place. I felt that the script was OK. I didn't like Kudrow in this, Donovan was nothing special. Ricci was good and this was a good part for her. This movie's take on homosexuality is a bit dated as I write this in 2010, so you have to take Galecki's part with that perspective. You won't miss much if you skip this, but I watched the whole thing. 5/10
Movie The Oxford Murders (2008) 2011-07-15 The screenplay presents a bunch of bogus mathematical statements and pretends that they're somehow related to a series of murders, but none of it makes much sense. I was disappointed in Wood; he plays his math genius character like a simpleminded Hobbit, and he cannot save the illogical plot, and I predict he will never shine again. Leonor Watling shows up with her great rack, and viewers will not be disappointed. There are suspenseful moments and interesting scenery, and it almost comes together, but, not quite. 6/10
Movie
Movie
The Pink Panther (2006)
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
2011-03-07
2011-03-07
The problem with a remake is that it must be compared to the original. Martin is like a bumbling comedian who thinks that he's great (kind of like Clouseau). There were a couple of very funny scenes in an hour and a half, but no standout performances.
Like the first one, mostly mediocre with a few great laughs (the opening wine-bottle scene is a classic). Martin is still that wild and crazy guy, but that gag is pretty old (as are the 3 Stooges takeoffs). Cleese is restrained, probably because he would have stolen the movie. Reno is a good straight man. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan of Bollywood fame is not a comedian. Most of the movie is comprised of scenes about Clouseau's love life, apparently because Martin and the writers couldn't think up enough detective gags.
5/10
5/10
Movie The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) 2012-11-25 This is funny, the animation is good and we liked the characters. This is pretty family friendly, but there are a few racy lines and images. 7/10
Movie The Princess Bride (1987) 2011-03-07 I love this movie. An absolute blast. 1/10
Movie The Raven (2012) 2013-03-10 A little slow to start, but a good story in the end. I didn't care for most of the acting, I think they were trying to provide some sort of period effect, but I didn't love it. 6/10
Movie The Rhinemann Exchange (1977) 2011-03-07 It really wasn't terrible. It's unfair to compare this to Bourne. This TV miniseries was half WWII suspense (because viewers in the 70s still cared about WWII), and half about pretty boy Stephen Collins. It was fun to see all those actors from the 70s, and the Roddy McDowell character was really good. But some of the acting and scripting is pretty mediocre. 5/10
Movie The Road (2009) 2011-04-21 A very dark look at a presumed nuclear winter. Well acted and it seems realistic, with some attempt to suggest that there will be bright spots. 8/10
Movie The Runaways (2010) 2011-03-07 Some of the acting was very good. None were terrible. Considering the groundbreaking accomplishments of The Runaways, the script was not profound, it was just sort of straightforward. The soundtrack was fantastic. Stewart was great, Shannon was hit-or-miss. Fanning tried to mix the scared naive girl and the naughty singer girl, but she mostly came off naive, which was surprising since the real Currie worked with Fanning. Unfortunate that Lita Ford and Sandy West were not given a bio at the end, and Jackie Fox wasn't even named but replaced by a fictional "Robin". 7/10
Movie The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000) 2011-03-07 G-rated and family friendly, but it's hard to imagine that it took two people to write the novel on which this is based. The story is bland and predictable and as un-exciting as a Keillor radio show, except not as funny. Tom Irwin is OK, but the rest of the acting is mediocre, and Glenne Headly is just awful. Zima was a cute kid in 2000, and it's unfortunate that she had such poor adult examples to learn from. 5/10
Movie The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012) 2012-05-19 The plot was confusing and the acting was not stellar, with a cast of ... dozens. This sequel does not use the original cast, and in this movie, they went for campy rather than action and suspense. I watched the whole thing, and was rewarded with one laugh, when the guy who looks like Ogre from Nerds steals the guard's uniform. The violence and romance are pretty mild, safe for pre-teens who might get more laughs. Don't rent this, but if you do, it's not a total waste. 5/10
Movie The Social Network (2010) 2011-03-20 Very well done, but moves so fast that it's hard to follow every detail. As a s/w developer, sure I'm jealous of the guys who invented social networking. Still, Facebook is a lowest common denominator, so simple that anyone can use it. So, a movie about Facebook is not that profound, and neither is Zuckerberg. 8/10
Movie The Soloist (2008) 2011-03-07 Very well written and very well performed. However, the story really isn't that deep, and it drags a bit. 8/10
Movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) 2011-03-18 Considering the fluffy fantasy premise, the writing was pretty good, with some cute lines all around. I'm not a Cage fan, but he wasn't terrible. The score was forgettable. Baruchel and Palmer worked well together in a Disney sort of way. 7/10
Movie The Sound of Music (1965) 2011-03-07 This movie is just so cute and happy that you just gotta love it. Throw in some Nazis for suspense, and you can't go wrong. 1/10
Movie The Sting (1973) 2011-03-07 So engrossing while it's running that you just aren't trying to figure out what will happen in the end. One of the greatest movies. 1/10
Movie The Three Musketeers (2011) 2011-10-29 I didn't mind that this movie is nothing like the novel. Great action and costumes. But, a boring plot, lousy acting, and not enough sex to make it interesting. 6/10
Movie The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) 2011-03-07 Good acting, but time travel movies always introduce some sort of rule. Either they CAN change the past and everything goes wrong, or they CAN'T change the past for some unknown reason. Or they can sometimes change the past, whenever the writers get stuck. 6/10
Movie The Town (2010) 2011-10-02 I liked this a lot. Some dialogue in a few scenes was difficult to understand, and the technical aspects of the robberies were just too complex, too well executed, and too brutal. I have just never heard of a real life robbery like these. But the action and acting were great. 8/10
Movie The Ugly Truth (2009) 2011-03-07 No nudity, but the point of this movie is to be raunchy throughout. Sometimes, a comedy hammers on a theme that isn't funny at first, but eventually becomes funny after 90 minutes. This movie almost made it a couple of times, but in the end I didn't see why the Heigl and Butler characters would be attracted to each other. 6/10
Movie The Wackness (2008) 2011-03-07 Aren't the dreams and aspirations of stoners exciting? And didn't we all know high school hotties who have "done it" like, a hundred times, and want to teach lovemaking to drug dealers? Well, no and no. The music is pretty cool even if you don't care for rap. 5/10
Movie The Wolfman (2010) 2011-03-07 Early in the movie, Del Toro's character insists that he won't get involved. In the next scene, he's on his way to get involved. The writing was consistently illogical. Blunt has nothing to work with and is forgettable, although she studies some mysterious books about lycanthropy that turn out to be useless. Props are ominously introduced, but aren't used in any interesting way. Hopkins plays a deranged character, go figure. Visually, the movie is a great update from the B horror movies of the past. 6/10
Movie The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) 2014-04-19 Extremely graphic with drugs and sex. It's hard to imagine that more than a handful of people can work and play this hard without crashing and burning almost immediately. 8/10
Movie The Woman in Black (2012) 2012-12-30 I don't love Radcliffe, he just doesn't have enough personality. The story was mostly predictable, although I didn't quite guess the ending. Still, if you don't watch many thrillers, this one is watchable and not very gory. 6/10
Movie This Means War (2012) 2012-06-30 I always love Witherspoon. 7/10
Movie Thor (2011) 2012-01-21 I liked the action and heroic storyline, but Portman sucked, and there was no reason to believe the godlike Thor would fall in love with her character. 7/10
Movie Timeline (2003) 2011-03-07 The historical scenery and equipment seemed well done. The story is about a pretty-boy slacker who is inexplicably in love with a billiant pretty-girl scientist, who cries and screams because, well, because she's a woman and that's what women do. Time travel is involved, which is always a bad plot device (although they explain it with a worm hole, which is sort of smart in a sci-fi sort of way). 6/10
Movie Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011) 2012-11-18 The story is OK, but it's not clear why a 2011 remake would still take place in boring old 1973. The characters on the screen literally move and speak slowly and the story drags in many places. Ultimately watchable, but not a thriller. 6/10
Movie Tower Heist (2011) 2012-09-08 Some funny moments. I've never been a big fan of Stiller, and if the big artistic actor is Alda, well, he's no George C. Scott. I'm trying to convince myself that this movie isn't intended to be realistic, but I just can't get past how the goofballs tricked the FBI into bringing a criminal to court on Thanksgiving Day. 6/10
Movie Toy Story 3 (2010) 2011-03-13 This is a great franchise, but a franchise it is. It's been done before. I can only take so much of toys that can read their own instruction manuals, as if the manuals can even be found. And yet, some funny stuff here. 8/10
Movie
Movie
True Grit (1969)
True Grit (2010)
2011-03-07
2011-08-07
Great cinematography, and the Duke is great. Some of the dialog and acting is annoyingly stereotypical. Regardless of the title and the number of people who get killed, this movie is not especially gritty, and I didn't care for Glen Campbell. But, the two-gun attack with reins in teeth is a great scene.
I was hoping for something different than the 1969 version with The Duke. 1969 had a quirky appeal that 2010 doesn't have. Many scenes were duplicated. The acting in 2010 is great, practically all roles better than 1969, and I liked the 2010 ending better. Still a good story.
8/10
8/10
Movie Twilight (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie is for half-witted teenage girls who just like to look at Pattinson. This is not for adults. Nothing much happens. 5/10
Movie Undercover Blues (1993) 2011-09-11 Not a terrible flick, but not funny enough. Also, not good enough to be a serious action movie, not "bad" enough to be a parody of action movies, and not smart enough to be a remake of the Thin Man franchise. Kathleen Turner looked good back in the day. 5/10
Movie Unicorn City (2012) 2014-01-16 Ok, so it's a movie about geeks only a geek could love. Amazingly, it is not insulting to geeks. All in all, it was fun. 7/10
Movie Unstoppable (2010) 2011-07-31 The story is a bit contrived in order to set up all the suspense and heroics, but Pine and Washington work well together. Very entertaining, with a peak at the railroad industry. 8/10
Movie Up (2009) 2011-03-07 There's a lot of real-life sadness in this movie, but life goes on and there is a lot of happiness, too. I guess I don't feel that "Up" is fantastic enough to deserve a second bonus DVD, and we hurried through that in about a half hour. 8/10
Movie Up in the Air (2009) 2011-03-07 Interesting and well acted, but I felt like I had to suspend some disbelief. 7/10
Movie Valkyrie (2008) 2011-03-07 The story of getting the internal Berlin guard to block off the SS was kind of a neat twist, but all was said and done, not that much happened. It was never clear why Cruise's character became the ringleader of all those generals, or why he kept getting invited to Hitler's strategy meetings. Still, a pretty good movie with a pretty good cast. 7/10
Movie Vanity Fair (aka Indecent) (1932) 2013-07-06 Poorly written and cheaply produced, but the actors did their best, and I just can't rate anything badly when it stars Myrna Loy. Myrna plays the golddigger in this version of the novel. All bad girls get what's coming to them. Not so much the bad boys. 6/10
Movie WALL-E (2008) 2011-03-07 I can come up with minor issues, like wondering why robots would giggle like humans, but this is sooooo cute that it's a blast. 9/10
Movie
Movie
Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
2011-05-27
2011-05-28
Very realistic. Looking back from 2011, it seems they were showing off the cool technology of 1987, which now seems so quaint. Oh, for the days when a crooked night office cleaner could find secrets on real paper in a filing cabinet.
Shia LaBeouf could ruin Citizen Kane. Michael Douglas' haircut looked silly in the '80s when people actually wore their hair like that, and it looks no better now. All the subplots were about revenge, as if these multibillionaires get emotional about this stuff. Gekko's daughter was invented in this movie as a romantic interest for LaBeouf and emotional interest for Douglas, but both roles were poorly developed.
8/10
5/10
Movie Wanted (2008) 2011-03-07 Great special effects, and Angelina is a babe, but the whole "father" thing has been done before. 6/10
Movie War, Inc. (2008) 2011-03-07 I thought this was funny and well acted. The writing was not perfect, but it was madcap. 7/10
Movie We Bought a Zoo (2011) 2012-12-16 The drama with the son was a bit drawn out and I'm not sure I was left with the true difficulty of owning a zoo, but it was a fun flick. 7/10
Movie What Just Happened (2008) 2011-03-07 A few moments of humor and other interesting stuff, and well acted, but that's hard to tell because I just didn't care about any of the characters. The only people who could like this are people who are in the movie industry. 5/10
Movie When in Rome (2010) 2011-03-07 This is a profound love story, if you're 12 years old. Duhamel is OK. Bell is cute but otherwise has no charisma. Even the bloopers weren't funny. 5/10
Movie Where the Boys Are (1960) 2011-03-07 This is a well done precursor to the Avalon & Funicello formula. Characters are developed, dramatic stuff happens. Gorshin, Hutton, Prentiss, Francis all do fine jobs, and no one is bad. Go see the Elbo Room, it's a real place. 8/10
Movie Where the Wild Things Are (2009) 2011-03-07 Parts of this movie were a bit slow, but for a reason. This was not supposed to be a high-tech special-effects showcase. Characters learn important lessons, not the least of which is that a mother's love outlasts the sun. This was not all cuteness, but nothing that a child Max's age could not handle, especially with discussion afterwards. I liked it. 7/10
Movie Whip It (2009) 2012-08-30 The first half hour is great. Page is great as the debutante tuned alt roller derby skater. Later in the movie, the personal relationships get heavy and just aren't as fun to watch. Barrymore's self-deprecating humor is great. 7/10
Movie White House Down (2013) 2013-11-17 Lots of action, but schmaltzy character relationships and too many insider double crossers to be believed. Not as good as Olympus Has Fallen. 6/10
Movie Widow's Peak (1994) 2011-03-07 If you like the British shows on PBS and if you like "Murder She Wrote", you'll like this movie (although this is not exactly a murder mystery). This is a chick flick, but it's not about the romance, so men can watch this without cringing. There were some unusual lines and acting as the twists unfold, and I was not totally satisfied with the ending. Richardson is gorgeous and her real-life fatal skiing accident is so unfortunate. 7/10
Movie Wise Blood (1979) 2011-03-07 The trailer implies that this is a comedy, but it's not. Everyone in Macon, GA must cringe when they see that the credits mention Macon. Only a big name like Huston gets away with this artsy stuff. The acting and technical work are good, but the story is thoroughly un-enjoyable and formulaic. Hazel Motes is born unhappy, Everyone around him is in costume, pretending to be something else. Everything Hazel does causes more unhappiness and pain for him and everyone else. You the viewer won't care. The End. 3/10
Movie World's Greatest Dad (2009) 2012-05-26 The first half of this movie is practically unwatchable, very offensive with unlikeable characters. But, this sets up a funny second half and a satisfying ending. Overall, an annoying treatment of a sensitive topic. 5/10
Movie World War Z (2013) 2014-07-26 I just didn't care about any character in this movie. Zombie movies fail when they try to explain zombies. 4/10
Movie Wreck-It Ralph (2012) 2013-07-21 I liked the Glitch character and the twist with Turbo, but this isn't the "10" that everyone else seems to think. Kind of a ripoff of the plot of Toy Story. 8/10
Movie Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) 2011-03-07 How does the doofus get such pretty girls? A decent indy film with some nice quirky-ness. A bit predictable at the end. 8/10
Movie
Movie
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men: First Class (2011)
2011-03-07
2012-01-07
There were times when this was not action packed, and just when you think Wolverine is going to pound someone, he gets all sulky and walks away. Some scenes were a bit telegraphed, but all is not what it seems. The action was good, and the acting was decent within the bounds of a acting out a physically impossible reality. Nice blu-ray scenes, although no special features on the disk I watched.
Mutants are kind of like vampires. If they really were as powerful as they seem, they'd wipe out mortals in a minute. The plot needs holes and unrealistic characters in order to keep that from happening. Good action and effects.
7/10
7/10
Movie Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 2013-04-05 The historical aspects are unverifiable. The CIA women waffle back and forth between ruthless torturers and giggling girlies. It's a story of tedious intelligence gathering, so don't look for much action even when bin Laden's house is raided. 7/10