Posts filed under ‘Guest Review’

The Matrix Reloaded (guest)

MOVIE:  The Matrix Reloaded

GUEST:  Nathan Arizona


GOOD THINGS:  A little more of a sense of fun than the original, Woo-Ping Yeun’s fight choreography, learning more about how the Matrix works and why Neo is who he is

BAD THINGS:  They should have spent more time on developing some of the characters and less time on the underground church service/rave party. There’s a very deus ex machina scene towards the end that wasn’t even necessary. This movie attracted a lot of weirdos to the theatre. And no Joey Pants!

FEATURES:  Kung Fu, freeway fu, clone fu, lots of Zen, plot holes

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Keanu’s butt (Dammit now I have to go see it. – Ed.)

NOTABLE:  Bullet time may have become a cliché in the last four years, but the Wachowskis and Woo-Ping Yuen can still put a good action sequence together.

BEST PART:  Smith becomes an army of one.

BEST LINE:  It’s like wiping your ass with silk.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:08 am Leave a comment

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (guest)

MOVIE:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

GUEST:  Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL:  The free people of Middle Earth brace themselves for the next assault by Sauron’s forces of Mordor, as Frodo draws closer to his destiny. (WTF? – Ed.)

GOOD THINGS:  Ian McKellen, Liv “Most Beautiful Woman EVER” Tyler, Hugo “Agent Smith” Weaving, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies

BAD THINGS:  Too much dénouement.

FEATURES:  Medieval mortal combat, Sam gets to kick a little Orc ass. Crazy dads who try to burn their sons alive. Dragons, Eagles, Dirt

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Creepy spider, although for some reason, I couldn’t help but think about Tobey Maguire during that scene.

NOTABLE:  Elephants weren’t a good idea for Hannibal, and olyphants really weren’t such a hot idea for Sauron’s army, either. You’ll see what I mean.

BEST PART:  Legolas kicks some serious ass on the olyphant.

BEST LINE:  That still only counts as one!

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

X2 (guest)


GUEST:  Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL:  Bigotry is bad, and teenagers are impetuous.

GOOD THINGS:  Less back-story this time around, more superhero stuff

BAD THINGS:  Sorry, still no Gambit.

FEATURES:  Rebecca Romaine Lettuce, Capt. Picard — I mean — Parick Stewart, gratuitious Anna Paquin cleavage (I’m going to hell). One of the main characters dies, at least until the sequel.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Bathroom stall sex. (Ewwww. – Ed.)

NOTABLE:  Rebecca Romijn-Stamos gets to appear in this film as herself, instead of covered in scaly blue makeup.

BEST PART:  Wolverine goes on an ass-kicking tear at the prep school.

BEST LINE:  “What are you a proffesor of?”  “Art.”

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Sunset Blvd. (guest)

MOVIE:  Sunset Blvd.

GUEST:  Sues 57

NUTSHELL:  Out of work Hollywood writer, Joe Gillis, trying to save his car from the repo guys, stumbles on a seemingly deserted mansion on Sunset Blvd. Only it’s not deserted, but occupied by the former darling of the silent era: Nora Desmond. She’s lonely, he’s broke, the fun starts.

GOOD THINGS:  Preceded Altman’s The Player as the ultimate movie “insider” flick, Norma Desmond’s now-famous campy craziness, Erich Von Stronheim as her long suffering butler, Jack Webb (a.k.a. Sgt. Joe Friday) as a menschy Jewish Asst. Director, William Holden’s noirish narration, cameos by Cecil B. DeMille and Buster Keaton, and on and on…

BAD THINGS:  New Years Eve party were everyone is supposed to be young and super hip, the fifties jokes sound pretty dated. Nora pulling Joe (Holden) into the sack (creepy, but fascinating in a nasty way.) William Holden NEVER looked “young.”

FEATURES:  Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Jack Webb

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Holden and Nancy Olsen’s “cute” conversations – really bad for such a good movie

NOTABLE:  Has had a successful run as a musical

BEST PART:  Norma coming down the stairs, of course, any scene with Max, the butler

BEST LINE:  Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close up.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Fargo (guest)

MOVIE:  Fargo

GUEST:  The Lovely Venus Infers

NUTSHELL:  Joel and Ethan Coen’s magnum opus about a loser car salesman (or am I being redundant?) who hires two even bigger losers to kidnap his wife so her father will pony up the dough for the ransom, the lion’s share of which Loser # 1 plans to keep WITHOUT his father-in-law OR the two thugs knowing! Needless to say, things go bad, bad wrong and people start dying at an alarming rate. Savvy/chirpy/pregnant police chief takes on the case, has drinks with an old high school chum and eats half of Minnesota and North Dakota.

GOOD THINGS:  Carter Burwell’s haunting soundtrack, Mr. Mohra!, quite possibly the funniest hookers in the country, Norm Gunderson the duck painter, best use of “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?” ever, Mike Yanagita!, such inspired acting and directing that you discern things about characters who don’t even appear in the movie (Watch how Jean Lundegaard handles her father at the dinner table and you immediately understand her mother.), the best kid actor ever (Tony Denman as Scotty Lundegaard), The “Accordian” King poster!

BAD THINGS:  It sure looks COLD.

FEATURES:  Frances McDormand, my favorite actress in the world, William H. Macy, Harve Presnell, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrud, cameo appearance by Bruce Campbell (hint: watch the TV in the cabin), John Carroll Lynch, Steve Park, Jose Feliciano, miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles, and it’s not even Texas!

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Okay, I felt a little weird laughing at Mike Yanagita’s North Dakota accent, because I KNOW there have to be SOME Japanese Americans in North Dakota, and they must talk like everybody else, right? But the cognitive dissonance makes me laugh, and I’m sure

NOTABLE:  Shep Proudfoot beating the crap out of an entire apartment block of people, pancakes house, Steve Buscemi’s Carl Showalter who likes the woman astride position a LOT, Mr. Mohra!, poor Lou – the dumbest cop in cinematic history, nightcrawlers in a sack!, a

BEST PART:  I know this will sound demented, but Marge waking Norm up just to tell him she’s turning in absolutely slays me every time I see it.

BEST LINE:  “Hon? Prowler needs a jump!” –   “Oh, for Pete’s sake, he’s fleein’ the interview! He’s fleein’ the interview!”   – “You see anything down there, Margie?” “Nooo, I just think I’m gonna barf.”  – “So! You were havin’ sex with the little guy!”  – “Well, Ecklund and Swedlin’s, that’s closer to Moose Lake, so I just made that assumption.”  – “Aw, Norm, ya got Arby’s all over me!

CROWNS:  5 out of 5 and a big helping of lefse!

May 11, 2011 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Driving Lessons (guest)

MOVIE:  Driving Lessons

GUEST:  ScotWest

NUTSHELL:  Rupert Grint is a repressed young man with the soul of a poet and the head of Carrot Top. Under the tutelage of a has-been soap star with a mania for drunken camping (Julie Walters), Rupert escapes his uptight, adulterous, pajama-fancying evangelical Christian mother, discovers a love of booze and tents and oversexed, helium-voiced Scottish women, drives around on a lot of two-lane roads, looks extremely pissed and pucker-mouthed while wearing a eucalyptus tree costume, tells a teen supermodel to “fuck off,” writes some crappy poetry, and looks pensive as he handles the ignition key of a Volvo moments after it was evacuated from the bowels of a septuagenarian.

GOOD THINGS:  The music, Julie Walters, Rupert’s ability to use his fish-like lips to express various forms of angst, the rustic scenery, the shots of Edinburgh, British people being amusingly repressed

BAD THINGS:  A little too much repression, Julie Walters with puke in her hair, the elderly, non-verbal transvestite, the whole scene where Julie arouses religious ecstasy in a church full of women by “talking” the lyrics of various popular songs like William Shatner on the “Transformed Man” album.

FEATURES:  Birdcalls, kilts, sheep, pajamas, camping equipment, gardening, bicycles, tree costumes, bible pageants, repression, attempted assassination by car, vaguely implied adultery, strongly implied deflowering, and lots and lots of close-ups of Rupert’s orange, puckered head

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Mom (Laura Linney) and her frequent habit of hanging around her son’s room in her pajamas, the old man eating squash, a couple of moments that look like they’re going to veer uncomfortably close to “Harold and Maude” territory before backing off.

NOTABLE:  Rupert actually manages to carry his half of the movie. But he’s got a face made to look stupefied, morose, or pissed-off, so he’s either going to have to pick his projects very carefully, or learn three or four new facial expressions.

BEST PART:  Sadly, I can’t think of any. I did laugh at a number of lines that nobody else in the theater seemed to think was funny, but I think it was less the lines and more the repressed way they were said.

BEST LINE:  The poem Rupert insists on reading to the evangelical teen supermodel, because it’s not often that you hear a tender love sonnet dedicated to a freakishly tall girl climax with the poet talking about his “meat.” Also, it’s the least repressed moment in the film that didn’t involve puking, vicars lustily reproducing birdsong, or running someone over with a car.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 10:54 am Leave a comment

Daredevil (guest)

MOVIE:  Daredevil

GUEST:  Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL:  After an accident blinds Hell’s Kitchen street urchin Matt Murdock while endowing him with super powers, he sets out to fight for the downtrodden, whether as a lawyer representing down-on-their luck clients, or as maroon leather jumpsuit-wearing martial arts ass-kicker Daredevil. Oh yeah, and some bad guys killed his dad, but that goes without saying.

GOOD THINGS:  Jennifer Garner and leather halter tops, Kevin Smith cameo, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan as “The Kingpin,” the Kingpin’s wardrobe

BAD THINGS:  Casting Joe Pantoliano as the reporter was kind of a waste. Couldn’t they have found something more interesting for him to do? If you’re going to use wires so your actors can jump from rooftop to rooftop without having to use stunt people or CGI, that’s great, but try and be more realistic — instead of flying Jennifer Garner in for a soft landing, have her thud loudly into the roof. Her character can’t fly like Superman, you know.

FEATURES:  Jon Favreau, David Keith, Joey Pants, Stan Lee cameo, Oh yeah, and Ben Affleck

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Bullseye’s plane ride

NOTABLE:  A lot of Marvel Comics in-jokes. I didn’t realize I was that much of a comics nerd.

BEST PART:  Matt Murdock pulls the ol’ switcharoo on his law partner before going to hit on Jennifer Garner

BEST LINE:  TIE: “I’m looking for some honey.” and “I want a bloody costume!”

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 10:52 am 1 comment

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