Posts filed under ‘Firebaton review’

View From The Top

MOVIE:  View From The Top

NUTSHELL:  Small town girl dreams of being a fabulous jet set flight attendant after watching a self-help book guru interviewed on tv. But then she falls in love in Cleveland. Will she choose career or the guy? Is it a cute guy? It’s Mark Ruffalo. Okay, forget I asked.

GOOD THINGS:  Well it’s got that Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen, and Gwyneth Paltrow but they’ve got questionable hair (okay, not Ruffalo). Also has Christina “Sidekick Hell Uber Alles” Applegate but she’s wasted and well… just weird. Conchetta “Lila Forever” Tomei and Troy “Bob Pepper Forever” Evans together again! (Not exactly but I can dream, right?)

BAD THINGS:  Possibly one of the worst scripts ever and a very large number of ‘dos that give high hair a bad name, odd stay-at-home-and-cook message and exceptionally flat characters doing ill-advised, unmotivated things. I guess that has to do with the really bad script, doesn’t it? Okay I could go on but let’s get to the cute little soaps.

FEATURES:  Cute little soaps, petty theft, trashy outfits, ill-advised musical numbers, t & a, houseboats, dorm rooms, ubiquitious eye jokes, suspiciously tan rich husbands, Chad Everett (oops, redundant redundant), George Kennedy, Mark Blucas, Stacey Dash, Stephen Tobolowsky, Mike Myers, old buddy Wayne Federman, Rob Lowe, Kelly Preston, Jessica Capshaw – whew that is a whole lot of WASTED people!

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Seriously, how many eye jokes can we stand? Seeing Gwyneth suckerpunched is rather less enjoyable than you’d think.

NOTABLE:  This is a new trend I think – bad movies that don’t get laughs until the blooper reel over the end credits and then everyone goes crazy with relief.


BEST LINE:  Welcome aboard.

CROWNS:  1 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

For Your Consideration

MOVIE:  For Your Consideration

NUTSHELL:  An unworthy, low budget film inexplicably gets Oscar buzz which wreaks havoc on all involved.

GOOD THINGS:  Paper Badge scene with John Krasinki and Paul Dooley, John Michael Higgins as a publicist, Parker Posey, Rachael Harris, Christopher Moynihan, a Pilgrim epic, hilarious depiction of abused writers

BAD THINGS:  Another one of those movies like The Terminal and Closer which are really too similar to real life to enjoy.

FEATURES:  Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard in a fauxhawk AND a deerstalker hat, Jane Lynch, hula balls, character named Mary Pat Hooligan, Purim Purim Purim and a spot-on Ed Begley Jr. as makeup artist Sandy Lane

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Christopher Guest’s weird portrayal of a director and Eugene Levy phoned-in agent role made me cringe.

NOTABLE:  I guess since it’s a more familiar subject to the creators than dog shows, folksingers or small town musicals, everything’s a little more bitter and pensive in this one. Definitely not a fun romp but still laugh out loud funny in parts.

BEST PART:  Ricky Gervais. Always Ricky Gervais. Ricky Gervais uber alles.

BEST LINE:  In every actor there lives a tiger, a pig, an ass, and a nightengale. You never know which one is going to show up.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Driving Lessons

MOVIE:  Driving Lessons

NUTSHELL:  A shy teen with an overbearing mother takes a part-time job with a dotty has-been actress. Coming of age ensues.

GOOD THINGS:  Rupert salsa dancing! Blotchy Rupert in the tub! Rupert creeping the girls out at the pool! Rupert Rupert Rupert! plus Julie Walters, great non-relating to parents scenes and cloche hats!

BAD THINGS:  Obtrusively tall model Tamsin Egerton as the girl next door, witnessing, adultery, unsane ending that went off the richter scale for discomfort

FEATURES:  Slutty Scottish girls, poetry readings, Rupert doing the choking scene from Othello, loaves and fishes, Michelle Duncan, NIcholas Farrell who is presh presh presh!

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Laura Linney as the approaching-Ordinary-People-level mean mom.

NOTABLE:  As a full-time Rupert Grint enthusiast I am clearly not the most impartial reviewer so… grain of salt, people.

BEST PART:  Something about Rupert riding a bike dressed as a eucalyptus tree just sends me.

BEST LINE:  I’m a poet; I understand the power of words.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Keeping Mum

MOVIE:  Keeping Mum

NUTSHELL:  A paroled murderess working as a housekeeper fixes the lives of a family by killing everyone who is annoying them.

GOOD THINGS:  Maggie Smith, countryside, um…

BAD THINGS:  Nosy neighbors, distractingly tall model Tamsin Egerton as the slutty daughter, dogicide, religious jokes and (last but definitely not least) Patrick Swayze in (1) his full creepy Darko mode, (2) a golf sweater and (3) a shiny thong

FEATURES:  Kristin Scott Thomas, Rowan Atkinson, Liz Smith as Gladys Kravitz, Toby Parkes, pond problems

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  The entire Swayze thing is just skin-crawlingly bizarre.

NOTABLE:  When the daughter is so tall and oddly beautiful that you have to write an explanation into the script, please reconsider your casting. Thanks.

BEST PART:  Uh scenes of quaint village life and that

BEST LINE:  Shall I put the kettle on?

CROWNS:  1 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

The History Boys

MOVIE:  The History Boys

NUTSHELL:  In 1983 Sheffield, a group of students at a grammar school spend their last term trying to pass the Oxbridge exams with the help of two very different professors.

GOOD THINGS:  A lot of good words, an impeccable cast, stuff to say about big things like education, love and “Now, Voyager”, cute teenagers, 80’s pop soundtrack, entire scene in French

BAD THINGS:  Deeply, deeply unpleasant subject matter, Clive Merrison as a wacky Thatchery Headmaster

FEATURES:  Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Stephen Campbell Moore, Georgia Taylor from “Blackpool”, Shaun of the Dead’s mum, sort of a lot of singing

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Here’s this great movie from a play which is possibly staged too similarly to a play but it didn’t bother me a bit. However, the unpleasant subject matter gets closer and closer to the central themes and story until you can’t really avoid it and all every

NOTABLE:  So is the intensely Christian P.E. teacher some sort of archetype in British culture because it does crop up a lot, doesn’t it?

BEST PART:  Oh I love me that little mod kid.

BEST LINE:  How do I define history? Well it’s just one fucking thing after another, isn’t it?

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Ghosts of the Abyss

MOVIE:  Ghosts of the Abyss

NUTSHELL:  James Cameron’s documentary which explores the modern day wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic with state of the art technology, historic and marine experts and cutting edge photography.

GOOD THINGS:  Interesting, not too long, lovely to look at and fascinating. But, hey, look who you’re asking – I’m a Titanic nerd.

BAD THINGS:  Sigh. No Leo.

FEATURES:  Bill Paxton acting like a pussy. I don’t believe it for a second, big guy.


NOTABLE:  Is in 3-D. And, unfortunately for me, you can’t watch without the glasses and just have to put up with things poking out at your for an hour.

BEST PART:  The recreations edited in with the film of the wreckage

BEST LINE:  Err… it’s mostly narration and windbaggish narration at that so I’ll pass on picking best line this time.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

MOVIE:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

NUTSHELL:  Same as the first movie except… nope same thing.

GOOD THINGS:  Cast, some of the ideas for sequences are nice, familiarity, cutie pie killer dawg, Mackenzie Crook is in this one more.

BAD THINGS:  Screenplay, slow pace, CGI madness and general soullessness

FEATURES:  More supernatural + less pirates = Boo

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I don’t understand the point of having Bill Nighy if he’s going to be covered entirely by CGI. I mean be reasonable, people.

NOTABLE:  Contains scenes that look like you’re on the ride which is a negative in my view but still sort of funny and takes you out of the screenplay bataan deathmarch for a few moments.

BEST PART:  Jack Davenport, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Mackenzie Crook in one movie. Not since Tristam Shandy has casting converged in a manner so pleasing to us.

BEST LINE:  It’s a mythological creature, I can calls it what I wants!

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Night at the Museum

MOVIE:  Night at the Museum

NUTSHELL:  Wacky CGI thing with Ben Stiller as a security guard trying to control the residents of the Natural History Museum when they come alive at night.

GOOD THINGS:  Features three of my favorite men doing their patented “things” – Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Owen Wilson plus Paul Rudd as a wired “bond trader”

BAD THINGS:  Story is a little blah, characters outisde museum wackies are a little blah, predictable action sequences, some atrocious ADR, Jake Cherry as the greasy kid stuff

FEATURES:  Kim Raver, blank-faced puppet creatures, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, mischevious monkeys, a veritable Noah’s Ark of animated creatures, Sakakawea

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Cavemen make me nervous and coin tricks/sleigh of hand gags make me itch.

NOTABLE:  Written by two of my favorite Reno 911 guys who do get around writing-wise

BEST PART:  Mickey Rooney’s weird name calling

BEST LINE:  Octavius, Mary!

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

Seafood (hai xian)

MOVIE:  Seafood (hai xian)

NUTSHELL:  Zhu Wen’s DV quirky tale of a suicidal Beijing prostitute who goes to the seaside resort of Beidaihe to end it all, only to find another hotel guest beats her to it and a local policeman is psychotic… and pretty darn frisky even for a nutjob.

GOOD THINGS:  Jin Zi as the depressed, congested and yet ghetto-fabulous pro.

BAD THINGS:  Cheng Taisheng as the psycho. Way too creepy for me! (Plus violence and rape)

FEATURES:  Prada, snow, train rides, sunglasses, a hell of a way to lose money, KFC hand blow dryers

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Salamanders served as food. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I was sure I was about to see something very unpleasant.

NOTABLE:  Notes say it’s in Mandarin but apparently a couple characters aren’t aware of that.

BEST PART:  The denouement I think. Maybe the funny stuff with the depressed long hair down the hall.

BEST LINE:  Life is wonderful. So much good seafood to eat.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

The Last Samurai

MOVIE:  The Last Samurai

NUTSHELL:  People will tell you this is a movie about a highly-functioning alcoholic, PTSD suffering, Indian and Civil war “hero” who goes to Japan to train armies for money and finds his place in a band of Samurai fighting the Imperial forces because…shit I forget the reason – but really this movie is basically another crappy piece of blah filmmaking that someone spent a boatload of money on even though it has a gerry-rigged, convoluted message at best, no characters or plot worth mentioning and a lot of really horrific, mind-numbing, gratuitious horse stunts.

GOOD THINGS:  Not since America’s Next Top Model or Crowned and Dangerous has a piece of entertainment revolved so much around hair. You know Tom Cruise is near death when his already terminal bedhead morphs into a huge bouffant and he hollers in anguish for help. You know he’s going to be okay when he finally wakes up looking like a circa Desperado Glenn Frey. Hair trauma I can relate to. Manufactured movies about bloody wars that never happened I just can’t get my brain around.

BAD THINGS:  Tigger, please! Look how long this review already is and I’m only up to Bad Things. I cannot even go there. I’ll just mention that when Tom Cruise returns to Tokyo there are all these Japanese guys in cappies which is supposed to mean all hell is breaking loose. Yet after setting up a villain for 140 minutes there’s no resolution at all for him. I guess the filmmakers think they are not being hackneyed by not punishing the villain. It is too late to worry about being hackneyed 2 minutes in when Tom Cruise is lecturing about Little Big Horn. Please even though you spent ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS on authentic weapons and other shit, this movie is no better than Karate Kid and every other “Wow Asian People are So Cool and Zen Thank Goodness We Westerners Are Here to Soak Up the Buddha-ness and Teach Them A Thing or Two About How to Live Life” shitty B Movie.

FEATURES:  Clear coding of characters by hair type for quick audience reference:

Mustaches with wax at the tips = villain 
Long flowing hair circa 1967 = good guy 
No hair = Ultimate good guy (he’s above the whole “hair” thing) 
Absence of facial hair = small child and/or wimpy guy who’s a big puss puss 
Mutton chops = laugh riot 
Japanese guy with Western-style hair parted in the middle = run for your lives

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I love Billy Connolly. Why is he in this movie? He’s Scottish for crying out loud. What the hell is that about? I am just thankful it wasn’t Eddie Izzard because then you really would have seen someone falling on their sword – ME!

NOTABLE:  Do not go to the movies if you have a hearing problem you refuse to acknowledge, are too vain to get a hearing aid, and will constantly ask your companion what each character just said. Do not go to the movies if you are too dumb to follow a movie that is

BEST PART:  When ninjas suddenly invade the village, like a Monty Python sketch was filiming next door, crashed through the scenic backdrop and just went with it.

BEST LINE:  “Who sent those men to kill you?”   “I’m working on a poem about a dream I had.”

CROWNS:  2 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

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