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Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Exorcism of Emily Rose


       This movie has the facade of a horror movie. When it is in fact part courtroom drama part horror movie. The court room drama part is the superior half and in fact encompasses a majority of the film. It is the opposing lawyers who are more horrific and scary in this movie than the demon possessed creature the titular character Emily Rose (Jenifer Carpenter) becomes. They are in fact the true antagonist and are much more frightening then any movie monster has ever been or will be.

The music in this movie is chilling. The acting is frightening (in a good way) and the overall plot and screenplay is scary as well. The movie as a whole however just simply horrific therefore can not measure high on the Richter scale of horror movies is concerned. Face it this film simply wasn’t earth shattering. 

          Laura Linnet is at the top of her game as usual in this creative piece of story telling. Never before have I seen such two contrasting genres thrown together and thrown together well. They seemed to meld from the start and come together with the greatest of ease. This movie is a top notch drama but a less than perfect frightening film. It won the Golden Trailer Award in the Horror movie trailer. They often call these trailers teaser trailer because they tease you with just a taste of what’s to come. (this was actually a full trailer) but never the less it was just a tease. 
   
    

Grade C+

What's Up Doc?


This movie is really messed up. That is the plot line however. The confusion unfolds from four identical looking read plaid duffle bags it ends in a courtroom and has a fantastic bicycle lead chase scene down the streets of San Francisco (the best city for chases) in between. 

The acting is top notch. The humor fantastic and Madeline Kahn steels the show as the hen pecking fiancé named Eunice Burns in her introductory role.  The cast also includes Austin Pendleton (The Muppet Movie) and Sorrell Booke. (The Dukes of Hazard) 

The Bugs Bunny style title is appropriate because this movie is almost cartoon like in it’s insanity. The side spitting humor will be something you’ll remember long into the future. I personally loved it the 2nd time around. The end I remembered from my first viewing and looked forward to the entire one hour and thirty-nine minute duration of this film. 

This rare G rated film is fun for the whole family and will leave you in stitches for days to come. I personally liked it a lot but can’t quite give it my highest grade. So therefore it gets a… 

                                                                                                                                                                                         Grade B+

The Bad News Bears (1976)


         This movie is really messed up. That is the plot line however. The confusion unfolds from four identical looking read plaid duffle bags it ends in a courtroom and has a fantastic bicycle lead chase scene down the streets of San Francisco (the best city for chases) in between. 

The acting is top notch. The humor fantastic and Madeline Kahn steels the show as the hen pecking fiancé named Eunice Burns in her introductory role.  The cast also includes Austin Pendleton (The Muppet Movie) and Sorrell Booke. (The Dukes of Hazard) 

The Bugs Bunny style title is appropriate because this movie is almost cartoon like in it’s insanity. The side spitting humor will be something you’ll remember long into the future. I personally loved it the 2nd time around. The end I remembered from my first viewing and looked forward to the entire one hour and thirty-nine minute duration of this film. 

This rare 'G' rated film is fun for the whole family and will leave you in stitches for days to come. I personally liked it a lot but can’t quite give it my highest grade. So therefore it gets a… 

                                                                                                                                                                                            Grade B+
  

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian



         A sequel is defined as a continuation of the previous movie or story. A true Hollywood style sequel is supposed to be bigger, badder and more fun than the original. This movie fills in the above requirements. It brings the city of Washington D.C. to life, how unbelievable is that. I guess that why it is called fiction.

         It is about museum exhibits that come to life in a museum after sunset. The characters both are old, new, as well as  funny and creative. The writers give them three dimensions. They make otherwise boring historical figures real and exciting. They also make the most evil minds in history enjoyable and human.

         The acting was as good for a comedy sequel. They is storyline was well drawn out and screenplay actually quite creative. Robin Williams deserves my spotlight shine of this review for his portal of our 26th President of the United States  Mr. Teddy Roosevelt. I enjoyed it a lot.


Grade A

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Piranha



From the opening scene this film looks like a carbon copy of Jaws. The scene is a fisherman whom looks a lot like Richard Dreyfuss and is dressed the way he was in that thus said film. Jaws was the first film billed as a Blockbuster. It was creative, suspenseful and had a great cast.

  This film is a T & A “R” rated movie. It has none of the magical splendor of the original. I saw this film on "free" Pay Per View as a result the nudity was blurred out. Elizabeth Shue is the most recognized and best star of this film. Richard Dreyfuss does a cameo in this film I am guessing it was pruly for the paycheck. Jerry O’ Connell also is seen in this picture. 

That being said this film is dull and lifeless. I was bored to death for the entire one-hour and twenty-eight time span of this movie. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Karate Kid III

       It is often true in a movie trilogy that the third and final film in the series is the worst film in the series. If you do not believe me see The Godfather III or Return of the Jedi. This is another example of that rule.

               The second film was inspiring; it took place on foreign soil so therefore giving it a creative backdrop. The love song that went along with this film was unique. It is sung to the karate master, aka one man to another and not to the female love interest.
        This film was forced! The script is a great idea if it were the 2nd film in the series. See the Halloween or original Superman film series. It had contained none of the magic of the first two films and was painful to watch. My old drama teacher had a saying.
     “You can slap an audience but you can’t kick them.”
            This film kicked, punched and bludgeoned the audience to death with a hammer. That hammer was dull and shapeless. So to quote a line from another film.
    “It is dull you twit it will hurt more!”
     This film hurt a lot. In the film the antagonist wanted titular’s character’s knuckles to bleed. After watching this film my eyes were bleeding.          
                                                                                                              Grade F

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Last Sin Eater

This is the heart wrenching story of distraught young child who at all of ten year old has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She believes herself to be responsible for the death of her younger sister and therefore seeks out the local outcast dubbed the ‘Sin Eater’ to take away or “eat” her sins.

       The story is supposed to be a awe inspiring faith fulfilling epic drama about a young girl and her journey to discover the Lord Jesus Christ. I got this movie for free from my church library after all and they only loan or rent movies that are Biblical in their meaning or origins. These movies are supposed to fill you with the Holy Spirit and so far after two movie and more to come I much like Ryan Howard am mostly fanning at the plate. I don’t believe any of the films I rent/ borrow for free from the Library at C.O.S. will ever muster anything up than a grade of ‘C+’ or ‘B-’ (See Facing the Giants). Alas, you never know I may occasionally hit a game winning Homer or two like the aforementioned Mr. Howard. I am guessing however after two movies and counting my batting average is going to be pretty low, Hint hint.

       My friends from EPIC (Bible study group) all tell me this is a superlative story. So far I have yet to match their sentiment. Oh well, perhaps I’m too old, bitter or perhaps just too critical. ( I do this almost daily after all.) I have yet to meet the reach the euphoric empathy many of my church going friends have for the obscure little whole in the wall library collection. The bright side is I ain’t paying for these flicks.

Grade B- 



The Eye

         The obscure trailers were an ominous sign not to mention a tell tale foreshadowing factor. I mean really they were all dark and horrifying and flat out creepy. I almost returned this movie with out watching it. I didn’t pay for it so I wouldn’t really be losing any money.

         The movie started out as expected. It was a poorly written storyline, with boring dialogue and really bad acting. Once the action got started however it got worse. The pace was overwhelming the characters obnoxious and annoying, not to mention cliche and moronic to boot. 

      Then it went from bad to worse. There was actually a plot! The writers dared showed some intrigue. Therein lies the problem. With all the aforementioned strikes against it the writers were actually gaudy enough to throw a dilemma into the so called script.

         Guess what however? In the end it wasn’t half bad. The movie was actually palatable. I was actually able to stomach this movie with out throwing up. I was never palliative nor should I have been. It was a DVD with Jessica Alba on the front. I mean really are want women going to rent it.

         In the end though it actually had some merit, not much mind you. It still deserved all the scorn it received. I am however to hold my head up and go about the day with out shame. I can actually tell people I saw this movie and wrote a review on it. (In fact I’m finishing up that review now.)

         This flick is not as bad as people said it was. It wasn’t bound for the circular file with a Hefty lining. I will give it a grade an English professor would give a good rewrite.



Grade C+

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Just Go With It

           As a writer I have discovered one of the hardest things to do with an article or any piece of writing you create is coming up with an appropriate title. This movie is perfectly titled. It more or less sums up the entire 117-minute film in one felt swoop. It is not realistic, it is not creative and it never really holds any water. It is however a comedy and I must admit I really enjoyed laughing at it.

            That adage only holds up for the first one hour and thirty minutes however. During that time this film was hysterical. I never really cared how realistic it was it was a fictional movie so I went with it. That is supposed to be the point of a fictional film as long as you don’t give it too much thought it is fun, as was the beginning of this movie. I soon discovered that much to my demise that somewhere at the one hundred and thirty minute mark though it got awkward. The novelty wore off and it started to get romantic. I realize this is a romantic comedy I just didn’t want the insanity to end.

            When the film drastically changed gears is when it became lame and predictable. The refreshing, map cap humor of the first ninety minutes turned to staleness and the movie went down hill from there. If only this movie were a little bit shorter. If it ended at the 90-minute mark I would have given it an A. It however lasted until almost two hours long. (117 minutes to be exact) So my grade for this film drops a little. Since movies don’t usually make me laugh out load I’ll give it props.  I will not however give it my highest grade.



                                                                                                                                              Grade B-

Under Seige


The plot of this film is the same as any other Steven Seagal film.  Seagal’s character is in the wrong place at the right time. The odds are against him. The baddies all have guns and orders to kill, kill, kill and no one even the government so called intelligence has any clue what they are doing.

         This is beginning to sound like a metaphor for my life. Amway I relent. This film is sweet because of the cast of villains that are against him. Each is a recognizable face to Hollywood and two of the three are recognizable marquee names.

Gary Busy and Tommy Lee Jones are two of the greatest antagonist in movies today. Colm Meaney is the third villain and has come a long way from his days on Two Star Trek Series. Audiences may recognize the blonde, as Elliot’s love interest in E.T. Guys will like her because she is a hot blond who pops out of a cake for a group of lonely horny seamen.

         The plot is predictable, the action intense and the bad guys are all stupid and eventually picked off. One note of interest though Steven Seagal has a note in his contract that no charater ever dies in his movies so the creativity is stronger and may appeal to all audiences whom don’t like violence.

Grade A


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Moonstruck


         I watched this movie the night after the biggest full moon in a long time. It is birthday 38th birthday present for my sister who is an Italian American who lives in Brooklyn. So is Loretta Castorini (Cher) the main female protagonist. Not to mention the movie was originally released in December of ’87. (the 18th if you must know)  If this is now appropriate I don’t know what is.

            Let’s get to the heart of the issue or should I say the the dough of order. The flux of the flick if you will. There has never been a more perfect portrayal of the inner city ways of one (or two) Italian families. The cast is perfect. Olympia Dukakis shines as the mother figure as does Danny Aiello as the intended or fiancée. The main love interest is of course Nicolas Cage the brother of the aforementioned Danny Aiello character.

            This movie has a few classic scenes as well as some witty dialogue. The first time this odd couple express their love for each other is classic. The setting is ideal and the odd ball (at times unnamed) smaller characters are classic. My favorite was  Loretta’s paternal grandfather who is always walking about 6 small dogs. He has very few (if any) lines but he is the portrait of perfection nevertheless.

            This story is after all fun. I did enjoy it, I just wasn’t Moonstruck. Perhaps the tide is turning and I’m becoming a more curmudgeon with my critiques. I will after all be 35 in 11 days and I can’t give A’s to all my movies (Sorry Christina) this one gets a C+.


Grade C+

Prom Night (2008)


         Brittany Snow is perfectly cast in this movie. She's blonde, beautiful, she can't act her way out of a paper bag but she does however have great facial expressions. Richard Fenton is well chosen as the creepy stalker/ killer. He to can't act, doesn't have many lines of dialogue anyway and has great facial expressions. The rest of the cast is just there to look pretty. They are pointless, clique, unoriginal, totally contrived characters who have all been seen a million times before.

         This movie does however work. It's not realistic, it's not believable and it's not creative. It's not supposed to be it’s a teenage slasher movie. They are a dime a dozen, devoid of thought, and manically far fetched. That's what the audience expects. That's what we pay to see. Relax, get over it, it's a horror movie not a documentary or even an academy award caliber film it's not supposed to be plausible.

        
         I'm not sure if this is a remake or a film with the same name as the 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis film I saw and reviewed yesterday. I assuming it is the later. Either way I'm presuming the college rewritten paper rule. That rule is the best grade a re-written paper can get is a C. So therefore I'm giving it a C+.


                                                                  Grade C+

The Hunt for Red October

           This movie is a bout a Russian submarine that can allegedly go stealth. Its captain is headed towards American waters. Is his intention to start a war or something else? I saw this movie before. I know the answer. You’ll have to see it to find out.

         Now, as per my review. The aforementioned submarine captain is played by none other then the legendry Sean Connery. Alec Baldwin plays Jack Ryan C.I.A. agent who seems to be the only one who  knows his true intent. They play a game of cat and mouse in this epic thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.

         I woke up early on this Friday morning ready to watch this 2 hour and 15 minutes adventure. I had seen it before in theaters so I knew how it turned out; nevertheless I was glued to the screen for the duration of this film. The nail biting tension picked up as the movie went along and the seemingly slow middle seemed more like tension building than just a slow pace.

         The ending however cannot move fast enough. It is wonderful and tense and will stick with you for a while. This movie is based on a Tom Clancy novel. It has a great supporting cast too. That cast includes, Tim Curry, James Earl Jones and Courtney B. Vance. These are all great names and combine to make a great movie.

         This movie may not yet be considered a classic but it will some day. It is only 20 years old but is timeless. I could watch this movie again and pick something else up I did not get this time. Alas, I will settle for reading the book and seeing it if it compares.

Grade A




The Lego Batman Movie


     This movie (like anything) has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s start off with the positive. This film was VERY CREATIVE. The characters (despite being “borrowed”) were all imaginative and well written. The script was well paced and the dialogue original.

I watched this movie with my older sister and seven-year-old nephew and we all enjoyed this movie thoroughly. The animation was well done and the script made all three of laugh-out loud a few times.    
 
 At 1 hour and 44 minutes this full-length cartoon ran too long and I was close to dozing off in my chair a few times. The other major flaw was that if you were not a fan of the 60’s TV series (like my sister and I were) you might not have understood a lot of the humor.

By the time the film ended I was more than ready to get out of the theater and see the light of day. (A.K.A get out of the movie theater.) I am at home now and writing my review. I am home now with a cat rubbing against my legs and ready to annoy my wonderful neighbors.


Grade C

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jack Reacher


         This film comes from another line of books turned into movies.  Much like the Tom Clancy novels and of course that Ian Fleming creation.  Jack Reacher the creation of a British author writing under the pen name of Lee Child. It is ironic because this film is not suitable for children.
         The book series in this case is fairly young. Jack Reacher first made his appearance on bookshelves in of March of 1997. The book series is highly successful at 17 books and counting and Hollywood is once again hoping to bank in on its success. This film comes from the ninth book in the series.

         It was the correct choice to start cinematic giant. This film was tense from the start and for perhaps the first time in any Tom Cruse film I have seen or reviewed.
         There is good reason for that. There is nothing for his character to smile about. Much like a certain lonely man walker who had fits of Hulk like anger back in the 70’s this charter is a drifter. He has no job, no permanent place of resident and comes and goes at his own disposal.

         There is sex appeal, espionage and even a little bit of humor mixed into this screenplay. I liked the film because it centers on a brilliant, beautiful, blonde in Pittsburg. (Hi Maria)

         The blonde in question is the District Attorney’s daughter. She is portrayed perfectly by Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day). Her character is a no holds barred beauty that much like the friend she reminds me of is also sweet and has a soft heart and genuine charm about her.

         Jack Reacher does not however; he is tough as nails and will stop at nothing including breaking a few laws, cars, and policeman’s heads to get to the truth. Reacher at one point enlists the help of a tired old varmint to rescue the damsel in distress. Robert Duval portrays the above-described varmint with wonderfully aged perfection. That role a lone may be worth the price of admission.


Grade A

Shrek the Third

       This is one of those movies that will make you laugh out loud. It is a cute and friendly trek into the land of far far away. Shrek the third id by far not the best of the series. Nevertheless it is the most entertaining family movie in a long time.

         Shrek is  fun and funny. You will laugh throughout. You will be pleased by all the familiar characters from the fairy tails and family movies you grew up with your entire life. Donkey is back for a few more chuckles. This without a doubt is the most fun you’ll have at the theaters all summer.
        
        Shrek is a must see on the big screen. See it with a crowd and see it today. You will surely enjoy it. This movie should most definitly be nominated for best animated movie of the year. It is definitly worth the price of admisssion and without a doubt entertaining for the whole family.

                                                                   Grade  B

           



Wet Hot American Summer

           This 2001 film was fun. It harnessed the best of three preceding decades and twenty years of the old time camp movies like Meatballs (’79), Friday the 13th (‘80) and even American Pie (’99).  It was about a group of young, horny teens whose camp life is dedicated on trying to score.

This film starred, Janeane Garofalo, (West Wing) David Hyde Pierce (Frazier), and Molly Shannon (SNL). They are all known better for their small screen roles than for their work on this silver screen. This film proves their big screen worth.

Well this film deserves a silver medal, for it’s cliché but enjoyable characters, it also boasts some fantastic and trite scenarios as well, such as teen girls (almost) skinny dipping, the tried but true person trying to be someone their not to get the attention of the recipient of their obvious physical attraction or mad crush. I love the  boyfriend scene.


 I admire the writers /editors of this film for not showing any gratuitous nudity.  I am going to church all day tomorrow so I’d better keep this review clean. Nevertheless a small flashing wouldn’t of hurt this move a bit or would have lowered my grade. (It might even have raised it a bit.)

Grade F


Pleasantville

         This movie is heartwarming and original. This is a film that is different. This is a film that you will take your friends to see often.
    
You will enjoy Pleasantville once you see the whole picture. It is a movie that will change the way you look at life. You will take a new understanding about the world you live in.  The typical moviegoer will not take always see what the intelligent moviegoer will.  You being intelligent will walk away from this movie with a new world of understanding.

     This movie is acted with beauty and grace.  This is a film that is well put together. It is a film with a pleasant soundtrack. This is a movie you will want to see often. The direction is excellent. Pleasantville is one of those rare movies you will want to see repeatedly.  Go rent this film today (or even buy it) you well enjoy it every time and want to see it.                                                                                                                                                                         

 Grade A+

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dumbo

           Let's call a spade a spade. The truth is I didn't like this movie. It had a wonderful ending and a real cutie for a title character but the rest of the movie was so emotionally negative. I don't mind one person (or Elephant) overcoming insurmountable odds but at least give me something to enjoy while I get to that point. This movie had nothing!

           The gossiping girls of the big top (the other female elephants) were mean spirited and full of ridicule. They were emotionally draining.  There was no antagonist.  There were many antagonist characters however. I like the smaller characters to cheer for like in Bambi, Jungle Book or The Little Mermaid. I enjoy having one character and one alone to scorn. It's what makes him or her unique. When all the characters have derogatory characteristics they bring the viewer down. 

         I admit I just wasn't in the mood for such a heavy tale or tail. I was looking for something light hearted.  I chose poorly! At 62 minutes Dumbo is Disney's shortest animated feature. Perhaps that was the problem it was too short to write in any good  supporting characters like Flower and Sebastian.

 I have so many more movies to review and so many more flaws to find. The day is young and so am I. Onward and upwards, as my grandfather used to say. As for this movie all I can give it is a D,for disappointing!


                                                Grade D

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Counselor

       This mind-numbing film was horrible from the start. The plot was never clear, the point of the film if any is never well portrayed, and the acting is pathetic.

         One would think that with such notable actors like Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardam, and Brad Pitt the acting would be better. Alas, this film is nothing more than 100 minutes of mind numbing boredom with the last ten minutes of mild excitement.

         In this PG -13 film the female co-stars include Selma Perez. They had dressed only in towels (in one scene) in order to get any audience appeal or attention.
         This scene should be offensive ALL women and is definitely being maligned by this male critic! The entire film seems to be poorly put together, horrible written and insulting at best.

         If you still desire (after reading this review) to see this film I’d suggest playing in traffic. This movie will bring you the same amount of pain. This movie is mediocre at best. Spending Thanksgiving with the in-laws may be more tolerable than watching this movie.   
Grade F


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Final Destination 5


  My biggest complaint about this film series was the lack of depth and creativity in the characters.  Now I realize (as I did then) that the characters are not really important. You must stick with fairly two-dimensional characters in order to focus on what is important and that is the death scenes.
         The very idea of this series from the beginning is to bring something new to the horror movie genre. Horror films are the oldest, most popular and most profitable genre in history. Well I am not sure if that past statistic is completely truthful, it is a scary point for many reasons.
         There is one thing I am sure of however.  I sure did enjoy this movie. It was truly frightening from start to finish. I finally calmed down however and focused on the movie. As I said before it is the creativity of the death scenes and how tense I felt while waiting for these inevitable shouts of terror and mini blood baths that really gets my juices flowing. There is a reason that horror movies have been so profitable through out history. It is a great escape from the horrors of real life.
Everybody knows that outside of winning contests, lotteries, or inheriting money from a rich relative. The best way to get rich quick in America is too bring something new to the table.  You don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel to make lots of money. You must simply make the wheel move faster or better. This franchise did just that. It brought a new twist to what many patrons believe the most talked about genre in the cinematic history. (Horror)
         This is the first horror film series to not have a boogey man like character. The biggest complaint I hear about horror movies is how stupid the characters are. It is also this heartless killer that is consistent.
So am I going to far out on a limb to say that his series is the first series to bring a heart to the horror franchise? Am I stretching my self to thin to make a new oxymoron? The last film after all was called “The Final Destination”.

Grade A-

A note from an editor!

Hi Matthew,


Thank you for the time and effort you put into this piece, especially on a Saturday morning. I can tell you definitely took good notes of everything that was going on during the event!


We still have some work to do before this piece is ready to print. Your piece has a lot of information, but it doesn’t sound like a news article. What was the point of his speech/presentation? Why was he addressing this audience? What is Vanguard? What does the company do – who does it serve? You spend a lot of time narrating (for example, how he was injured), but did not report on the purpose of the event. You can maybe mention his appearance/joking about it in a sentence or two, but do not take several paragraphs to do so. Also, I like how you mentioned where the name “Vanguard” comes from.


There are a lot of spelling errors in this piece – make sure you proof read each sentence carefully.


I know I am getting back to you a little later I hoped, and I’m sorry about that! But if you have time tonight, please go through my suggestions and try to rework your piece. You can send me what you have tonight/tomorrow morning. Please bring a copy of it to the meeting tomorrow and we will discuss it further from there.


Once again, thanks for your hard work and promptness! Remember this is a learning process, and we are all part of the Waltonian team!


Talk to you soon!


Ten Most pathetic movie stars that still have careers.

(In A - B -C Order)


1. Hayden Christensen


2. Tom Crusie


3. Kevin Costner


4. Keeanu Reeves


5. Denise Richards


6. Adam Sandler


7. Arnold Schwarzenegger


8. William Shatner


9. Sylvester Stalloan


10. John Claude Van dahm