Posts filed under ‘Guest Review’

Road to Perdition (guest)

MOVIE: Road to Perdition

GUEST: Bjorn Jorno

NUTSHELL: Tom Hanks plays a Gangster in a remake of Gladiator set in 40’s Chicago.

GOOD THINGS: You almost forget that your watching Tom Hanks play a gangster. Paul Newman. They make Jude Law look really ugly.

BAD THINGS: You still have to watch a movie with Jude Law.

FEATURES: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Stanley Tucci, some kid, and some really cool old cars.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: When Hanks dresses in drag to infiltrate a secret mob hangout.

NOTABLE: No Owen Wilson, but a Golden Retriever who bears a striking resemblance. (HEY! – Ed.)

BEST PART: The annoying guy sitting next to me choking on a piece of popcorn lodged in his throat.

BEST LINE: None of use will see heaven.

CROWNS: 4 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

Red Dragon (guest)

MOVIE: Red Dragon

GUEST: Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL: Silence of the Lambs: Episode I: The Phantom Cannibal.” No, not really. Based on Thomas Harris’ FIRST novel featuring Hannibal Lecter, this movie is made in the style of “Silence of the Lambs,” creating a much moodier film than 1986’s “Manhunter,” which was more like “Hannibal Lecter meets Miami Vice.

GOOD THINGS: Anthony Hopkins and his gourmet flair, Ed Norton, Anthony Heald reprising his weasely portrayal of Dr. Frederick Chilton, and Ralph Fiennes as Number One Whack Job Francis Dolarhyde.

BAD THINGS: I hate to list it as a bad thing, because his performance was first-rate, but I just don’t buy Harvey Keitel as straight-up G-man Jack Crawford. Maybe I’ve seen him too often in films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Bad Lieutenant.”

FEATURES: The same sets as “Silence,” the same screenwriter as “Silence,” some of the same actors in secondary and even tertiary roles (Chilton and Barney) as in “Silence,” and that’s the first time I have EVER used the word “tertiary” in conversation.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Um, just about everything dealing with Francis Dolarhyde’s crimes. Compared to him, Hannibal Lecter can only be considered a tad odd.

NOTABLE: Seriously, Dolarhyde is the most messed-up character Thomas Harris has ever created. Removing people’s organs and serving them up at a dinner party for art patrons is an absolute giggle compared to what this guy does to his victims.

BEST PART: Hannibal Lecter’s dinner party. Yum!

BEST LINE: To be honest, I was too creeped out to remember any. Pretty much all of Hopkins’ lines were the best. Hannibal Lecter is just a quote-generating machine.

CROWNS: 5 out of 5 fava beans and a nice Chianti!

January 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Pay It Forward (guest)

MOVIE:  Pay it Forward

GUEST:  Christopher Watkins

NUTSHELL:  A older stupid kid in a younger stupid kid’s body thinks he can save the world by helping out others in hopes they will help others in return.

GOOD THINGS:  It ended… eventually.

BAD THINGS:  Mind-numbingly manipulative emotional drivel. Bad chemistry between Hunt and Spacey. HJOsment going in out out of character inexplicably. Ridiculously hopeful plot. Gut wrenchingly stupid and predictable third act… the worst final scene in any movie in quite a while.

FEATURES:  Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, the guy from Frequency… James Caziavielsomething-or-other.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  God awful interaction between Hunt and Spacey when he recounts the events that led to his facial disfigurement. Uncomfortable for the horrific dialogue, not the less than unexpected methods of his scarring.

NOTABLE:  Mimi Leder managed to make a worse film than Deep Impact.

BEST PART:  Jon Bon Jovi being such a bad actor that he cannot possibly ever be cast again.

BEST LINE:  Spacey to Hunt… you complete me… no wait…

CROWNS:  0 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

The One (guest)

MOVIE: The One

GUEST: Dan Conderman

NUTSHELL: A dude in 1 universe kills himself in all the other universes – 123 to be exact. Each time he does, he gets stronger. But the last one of him is strong too. So it’s a battle to see who will be “The One”… Oh GOD, this sounds bad already, doesnt it?

GOOD THINGS: Matrix-like special effects are pretty cool. Watching people get beaten with motorcycles is pretty cool too.

BAD THINGS: Dialogue – what there is of it – is dumb and overly dramatic. You can pretty much write the whole thing on a good-sized cocktail napkin.

FEATURES: Jet Li, Jet Li, that girl from “Son in Law” and a bunch of other schmucks

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: When i figured out the plot before they told it. And then they give it to you like you didn’t already figure it out.

NOTABLE: Obviosly written about 10 seconds after “The Matrix” came out. And probably took about 10 seconds to write.

BEST PART: Well, the whole thing was filled with some pretty tight fight scenes.

BEST LINE: Hmmm… not enough lines to pick from.

CROWNS: 2.5 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm Leave a comment

The Odd Couple (guest)

MOVIE: The Odd Couple

GUEST: Christopher Watkins

NUTSHELL: A successful slob and a neat-freak on a losing streak, already close friends, move in together.

GOOD THINGS: Matthau and Lemmon’s schtick has genuine feelings under all the comedy, setting it apart from the other films of the famous duo. There is a real emphasis on the characters first, and the comedy second.

BAD THINGS: When it wasn’t just Lemmon/Matthau, the movie bogs down a bit. The spots with their poker friends came off a little forced and over-rehearsed. Suicide humor is fine for me, but may bother some.

FEATURES: Lemmon, Matthau, and other actors who I’m sure are fine, but I don’t know their names. Two hilariously stupid giggler English chicks.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Lemmon pouring his heart out to the above-mentioned girls. Matthau’s character pulling no punches in outwardly sexually harrassing a waitress.

NOTABLE: Too bad that comedies with real feeling backing the story have been replaced by teenagers who cannot act playing around with human and animal bodily fluids. Matthau desperately wanted to play the role of Felix, but Neil Simon wouldn’t have it.

BEST PART: Dinner with the pidgeon sisters. A 5 or so minute scene with no dialogue where Oscar and Felix silently piss each other off, playing off what each knows angers the other.

BEST LINE: Felix to Oscar – “You didn’t even know that this was a ladle!” and “It took me 30 minutes to figure out that F.U. stood for Felix Unger!”

CROWNS: 4 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (guest)

MOVIE: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

GUEST: Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL: Ethnic girl shocks family by falling in love with a WASP with bad hair.

GOOD THINGS: Parthenon jokes, ouzo jokes, SCTV’s Andrea Martin… if only they could have found a role for Joe Flaherty, but this was a movie about a Greek family, not an Irish one.

BAD THINGS: Stuffy WASPs. We’re not all THAT bad, honest! (Oh you are SO! – Ed.)

FEATURES: Greek pride in being the inventors of civilization. A bunch of people I mostly have never heard of… reviewers who end sentences with prepositions.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Female facial hair jokes. LOOK, I’M JUST UNCOMFORTABLE WITH IT, OKAY?

NOTABLE: Other themes that work: My Big Fat Italian Wedding, My Big Fat Irish Wedding, My Big Fat Caribbean Wedding, My Big Fat Cajun Wedding. Curiously enough, My Big Fat Canadian Wedding just doesn’t sound as interesting.

BEST PART: Lead character’s family gets in-laws-to-be drunk on ouzo. Been there, and it ain’t pretty.

BEST LINE: “Nice boobs” (subtitled)

CROWNS: 5 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Monster’s Ball (guest)

MOVIE: Monster’s Ball

GUEST: Mike H.

NUTSHELL: A death row prison guard with an ultra-racist father and a troubled son falls for the widow of a prisoner he’s just executed.

GOOD THINGS: Halle Berry. Halle Berry. Halle Berry. Did I mention Halle Berry? Billy Bob Thornton. Lean, insightful script. An informed parable for the current state of race relations in the South. A sex scene that brilliantly informs the relationship of these two lonely, troubled people.

BAD THINGS: What bad things?

FEATURES: A subtle performance by Billy Bob Thornton worthy of Academy consideration (Will Smith in Ali? Pulleeeze). An Academy Award-winning performance by Halle Berry. Say what you will about her speech, this girl earned her award.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Racist Buck’s (Peter Boyle’s) one and only encounter with Leticia (Halle Berry). The writer and director WANTED us to be uncomfortable, and they succeeded beautifully.

NOTABLE: Halle Berry’s climactic scene, alone in Billy Bob’s house while he’s off buying ice cream. This movie belongs on your shelf at home next to American Beauty, the Sweet Hereafter, the Ice Storm, Dancer in the Dark, and Requiem for a Dream.

BEST PART: Buck’s come-uppance.

BEST LINE: Black nurse: “You must love your father.” Billy Bob: “No, I don’t.”

CROWNS: 5 out of 5

January 13, 2010 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

Mister Roberts (guest)

MOVIE: Mister Roberts

GUEST: Lisa from Zuma

NUTSHELL: Honest and truthful WW II story without a single shot fired nor single drop of blood spilled. Yarn about not the dangers of war, but the indignities. A young Navy lieutenant battles a petty captain for the hearts and minds of the supply ship USS Reluctant.

GOOD THINGS: John Ford at the helm, so to speak. Henry Fonda in his finest hour and a half. Jack Lemmon at his best. Comraderie in spades. Laundry room explosions. WACs! (Hell, who doesn’t like a good WAC once in a while.) Fonda vs. Cagney for the Pacific Theater middleweight championship. “Order of the Palm” ceremony. I want one! Ahem… Anyway, back in the day when your television had but seven channels, “Mister Roberts” playing on Movies Till Dawn was better than sex. (I was 11 years old. Duh.) Jimmy Cagney as an a-hole. How rare. Busty broads in ill-fitting Navy uniforms.

BAD THINGS: None, unless you count Doug Roberts buying the farm.

FEATURES: Last film role for William Powell, playing the now-legendary “Doc,” a sage for the ages. Jack Lemmon, as the irrepressible Ensign Pulver, who would dock a sequel bearing his name, rank, and federal tax identification number.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: James Cagney, microphone and captive audience in hand, emasculating his crew.

NOTABLE: John Ford fell ill, and Mervyn LeRoy cajoled “Mister Roberts” into history. Henry Fonda once said he considered playing Doug Roberts on Broadway (Tony-winner) and playing him again on screen was his life’s greatest honor. With “Gardens of Stone,” one of the few great films about war never to feature a weapon stronger than cheap whiskey or panty hose. Look close: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman are featured extras. Talk about a dreamboat? Oy. Fonda’s daughter years later was also near battle.

BEST PART: Henry Godamned Fonda climbing the bridge of that ship and pitching that captain’s prized palm tree into the drink. I’m not worthy.

BEST LINE: My name is Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your bloody palm tree overboard. Now what’s all this crap about no movie tonight?

CROWNS: 5 out of 5 palms

January 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

Midnight Cowboy (guest)

MOVIE: Midnight Cowboy

GUEST: Lisa from Zuma

NUTSHELL: Texas “cowboy” gigolo and sleazy, sickly New York City con man form an inexplicable bond in this potent look at the American Dream gone sour.

GOOD THINGS: Jon Voight as “Joe Buck,” Dustin Hoffman as “Ratzo Rizzo,” and the famous final scene.

BAD THINGS: The famous final scene.

FEATURES: Brenda Vaccaro, Sylvia Miles, gaudy Manhattan pot parties, sex, leather fringe, go-go boots.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: The famous final scene.

NOTABLE: Singer-Songwriter Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” took pop radio by storm in 1969, and has been a pop staple ever since.

BEST PART: The bus ride to Miami.

BEST LINE: I’m walkin’ here!

CROWNS: 5 out of 5 Stetsons

January 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm Leave a comment

The Mexican (guest)

MOVIE: The Mexican

GUEST: Firestone Girl

NUTSHELL: Beautiful girl, beautiful guy, beautiful gun, hilarity ensues.

GOOD THINGS: Well, I like square jaws. And skinny dogs. So, yeah. Square jaws and skinny dogs.

BAD THINGS: It was the beginning of Spring Break, and there were lots of teenagers hooting at inappropriate times. “Heh heh. He said stool.” Oh, is this supposed to be about the movie? No chemistry between the beautiful people, etc. etc.

FEATURES: James Gandolfini as a gay man?

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: See above.

NOTABLE: J. Ro wore a cutesy cursive name necklace in the beginning. I’d really like one of those.

BEST PART: See above.

BEST LINE: I had the flu, so was easily distracted from all the dialogue with the flashing big teeth. Oh, and the cursive name necklace. Where can I find one of those?

CROWNS: 3, and only because of the square jaw.

January 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

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