Movie Reviews - A
About Schmidt: An old man realizes his life meant nothing. Jack Nicholson was entertaining as the lead, but I was never really convinced that he was an insurance executive - there was just too much "Jack" there (plus, I didn't really believe he could be that helpless without his wife). Still, like I said, it was an entertaining movie with some classic bits & characters - loved the son-in-law character.
Above the Law: I know I saw this movie, but I can't remember which one it was. I think it was the one where Steven Segal kills drug dealers... What's the difference? it's a three-word SS movie. Sure it sucked... it sucked 99 minutes of my life right down the tubes.
Absolute Power: Which one was this? the president is involved in a cover-up of some sort and there are conspiracies and such... "this goes right to the top!". What else?
The Accused: Jodie Foster gets gang-raped. This movie got really good reviews, but I didn't think that much of it. The way the story was presented reminded me of a made-for-TV movie. Sure, the subject matter was disturbing... but it didn't really change my opinion of gang rape - um... it's repulsive and wrong? Do I really need a movie to tell me that?
Ace Ventura: God I hated this movie. Jim Carey is such a freak that he couldn't possibly be real. Adaptation: This movie spirals in on itself so much that it's difficult to figure out just what your watching. See a movie unfold as it's created... but then, it's all just a script with actors, isn't it? Truly an original. The ending was perfectly woven into the movie too - as the writer runs out of ideas, he turns to his dorky brother and we get car chases & drugs & alligators eating people.
The Addams Family: This movie didn't need to be made. Who cares? I don't even know why I saw it, but I did... something about Uncle Fester getting swindled by a cutie? This movie was more about Hollywood trying to cash-in on a franchise. Let's go make some money folks... I mean let's go make a "movie", folks.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: One of Terry Gilliam's best films, and that's saying a lot. Pure whimsical fantasy executed with intelligence, creativity and beauty. This movie has style.
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane: The Dice Man makes a movie. It was a lot better than I expected, but it wasn't good. Whatever happened to "Dice"... er, sorry, "Andrew Clay" as he's now known....?
The Affair of the Necklace:Oh my. Some jewelry is better left in the box. In this case, even the box was painful to look at. What were they thinking?
Age of Innocence: Yet another movie about sex. Sex a couple hundred years ago anyway... apparently it hasn't changed much. Innocent? hardly.
A.I.: I thought this was done very cleverly. It tackles an unusual issue - what is it that makes us human? or, what is it that makes humans special? and can something we create ever be as special as we ourselves are? Could we ever create a soul that's as real as our own? If you're intrigued by this, go see the movie... if not, I feel sorry for you. I think if it was done by any other director, it would have been cheesy, if nothing else, this movie shows why Spielberg is simply great at what he does. (I think Kubrick would have done a fine job with it too - too bad he died)
Air Force One: This movie is a close runner-up to worst movie ever. There are so many ridiculous things in this movie that It's difficult to start listing them. Maybe if I had more energy, and a masochistic attitude, I'd devote more time to writing about how horrible it was.
Airheads: Almost forgot about this one. I love the scene where they try to describe their "sound". This movie says a lot more about "rock and roll" than "Almost Famous" (see below). This is how it really is. Ok, it wasn't grand cinema or anything, but it's always better to laugh with a movie than laugh at it.
Airplane: This came out of nowhere. I don't think that society was ready for Airplane! when it came out. It was like a revolution in comedy. This is an example of a movie where you'll honestly laugh at the stupidest jokes and find them sincerely funny. If an alien ever needed to understand earthly humor, they'd just have to rent this movie.
Akeelah and the Bee: I kind of wanted to dislike this - I mean it seemed so contrived... If you see Spellbound, you realize there's enough drama in the real thing. But, I liked it anyway. If you're feeling a bit down in the dumps, it'll pick you up.
Alien: The best of the Alien saga... Your typical horror / thriller set in outer space. The theme's been done before and since - aliens take over human bodies - but this one does it well.
Aliens: I liked the fact that this movie is quite different from the first one. It's less of a mystery and more of an action-adventure film. It was fun. Not great art or anything, but entertaining!
Alien III: OK, let's keep crankin' em out! I don't remember many specifics about this movie, but I do remember that it had a good "look"... and that was about the only thing good about it. Well, it also finally "ended" the alien series once and for all!
Alien Avengers: I don't know why I watched this. The plot? A family of Aliens, who look and act like they've just come from Iowa, rent a room in "the hood" and take pleasure in dis-membering bad guys. It has to be seen to be believed... maybe that's why I watched it. As for you? just believe it, don't see it.
Alien Resurrection: Say it isn't so! They're back!!! The only good thing about this movie was Sigourney Weaver... and she wasn't even that good. Oh... what the hell is Winona Ryder doing in this? Sure, she looks good (she usually does), but she just doesn't make any sense in the role. Hopefully this movie lost enough money so that we won't be burdened with Alien 5. (which I'd just HAVE to see as I'm dying to know what happens next!!!)
Aladdin (animated): Fits neatly in the middle of the pack of Disney movies. Not great... not bad. It'll keep the kids quiet for a couple hours at least. Robin Williams was pretty good as the Genie though.
All of Me: Steve Martin was winding down his "zany period", and made this movie. It's a decent movie, but it's a departure from his previous stuff. Actually, I commend him for making a movie like this - it was good without relying on "the same old formula".
Almost Famous: Pretentious drivel. Have you ever read the lyrics to a rock song? They have nothing to say! What is all this crap about rock stars being philisophical icons or some crazy shit? Sure, music can "stir the emotions", but it rarely has more than a passing impact. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but early 70's rock isn't it. I imagine the "real person" on which this movie is based uses this film as masturbation material. Which is sad, because he's probably a good writer... but do we really have to be beat over the head with it all?
Along Came a Spider: Ho hum... another thriller with a surprise ending that comes out of nowhere - what's the point of a surprise ending that nobody could possibly guess? Plus, a lot of the plot depends on really shotty policework, there are all kinds of really simple things they forget to do (i just can't remember what they were right now, as I saw this a few months ago...)
Altered States: What's with all the technological gizmos? Just drop some acid instead you idiot. It was a decent movie, but hardly a must-see.
Amadeus: When I was in 6th grade, our music teacher made us do a short report on Mozart. None of us had any clue who the guy was... and we didn't really care. She was notably frustrated with us. Too bad this movie wasn't out, we could have just watched it instead, we'd probably have gotten a lot more out of it. Sure, the movie isn't 100% historically accurate, but I think it captures the spirit of Mozart and his music very well. My favorite 10 seconds was the scene where Mozart is first introduced, he's messing around with his girl and his music starts playing without him. He immediately becomes serious - transported to another state of mind.
Amazon Women on the Moon: A silly attempt at making a "comedy bit" movie, a la Kentucky Fried Movie. A couple of the bits were funny, but not any funnier than standard TV fare. Did this really need to be a movie?
Amelie: Amelie decides to help all those around her by doing sneaky little tricks, etc. But, when she finds herself doing the same thing for herself, she doesn't know how to "close the deal". It's an incredibly cute little film, filled with a lot of quirkiness... which is always a good thing for a film to have. Who couldn't fall in love with Amelie? The world needs more people like Amelie... and more films like Amelie.
American Beauty: I just finished watching this about 15 minutes ago. It's always nice to write about a movie that's still fresh in my mind. I found this to be a very positive and optimistic movie. No, I'm not kidding. In the end, there was beauty in everything, you just have to look for it. Even things that are outwardly horrible or wrong or disgusting can be beautiful if seen in the right light. When you discover this, you achieve a real sense of inner peace. Anyway, that's what the movie meant to me.
American Pie: As long as there continue to be horny American teenagers, there will continue to be movies about them. This one is the latest in a long series of such movies that probably began quite innocently with Beach Blanket Bingo or something. The plot?: Teenage boys try to score. Need I say more?
American Psycho: A real interesting movie. By the end I wasn't sure if he was psycho because he did all these horrible things, or if he was psycho simply because he thought he did all these horrible things. That brings up an interesting question - who is less sane, the person who falsely believes he's insane or the person who falsely belives he's sane? Well, this movie does definitely have its moments. There's some unknown factor that keeps it from being an awesome movie, but it is worth a look. There seems to have been a lot of these "normal guy has a break with reality" movies lately.
American Splendor: What does this guy have to complain about? at least his life is interesting enough for people to pay money to learn about it. When are they going to do a movie about me? Who'd pay to see that one?... Scene1: Jonathan sits at his computer, writing movie reviews that may someday be read by 1 or 2 people...
American Werewolf in London: Ok.
American Werewolf in Paris: Skip it.
Amistad: The story was probably done about as well as it could have been done... it was probably more dramatic than the actual historic event. I loved "whatshisname" in the lead role - great job! It was really interesting, but almost suffers from taking itself too seriously. (yes, that means I liked it)
Angels and Insects: There should be a category of movie called "warped". It's one of my favorite movie categories, this one fits right in there. It's a really neat film - well filmed, well written and well acted. There was a lot of neat metaphor stuff going on too - and not "overdone" metaphor stuff either. The plot? an entomologist moves-in with a "high society" English family, and becomes a victim of the family secret.
Antonia's Line: Life story movies like this are difficult things to execute. This one was executed well. It was true without being predictable, and ordinary while being extraordinarly watchable.
Antz: An epic story which takes on such issues as slavery, class struggle, communism, genocide, and the importance of free will. The hero (who is so insignificant that his name is nothing more than the letter "z") rises from the masses of oppressed workers and seduces the entrenched monarchy with a sample of 'insectopia'. He is hunted down by a fascist dictator who tries to create a pure race by exterminating the weakest members of the society. Throughout the movie, there are ruthless battles, passionate romances, senseless deaths, and wretched souls who eat crap. In the end, the entire population rises from 'underground' and becomes enlightened.
Apocalypse Now: Heart of Darkness in Vietnam. Superbly filmed. Yet another movie telling us how war sucks. Apparently the making of this movie was a good movie in itself... I never saw it though. If you're depressed, drunk, and feeling hopeless see this movie - remember, things could be worse.
Apocalypto: I've been waiting for this movie for a long time. Not apocalypto in particular, but a big hollywood treatment of pre-columbian america... anywhere. There are lots of possible stories there, I think it's just hard to make a movie that audiences will connect with on a personal level. So, the next best thing is to give it the action thriller treatment. When Apocalypto is at its best, it's simply stunning, but when it's at its worst, it's camp (can we say leopard wrestling?).
Apollo 13: No surprises here. Spacemen come through. I guess NASA used to be the pinnacle of creative science. Now, they're just really good at spending money.
The Apostle: Some really good acting in this movie. One man's struggle to find meaning in his faith. He has the gift of "preacherhood", but is that enough to save him? This movie really makes you think about the divinity of religion - is he a good guy or a bad guy? What's the difference?
Armageddon: This movie really really sucked. I wish I could find a more colorful adjective, but this movie doesn't deserve one. It wasn't even really a movie either... more like a 2 hour Aerosmith video. (I think Aerosmith sucks too, so it's no small wonder that I didn't like this movie.) There was not one camera shot in this movie which lasted more than 5 seconds! Don't believe me? Try to find one. The editor of this movie must have been on crack, cocaine, crystal meth and coffee all at once! I just about got a headache watching it. On top of the frenzied editing, the story and the characters were just plain unbelievably dumb. I don't know how this movie did better than Deep Impact. Oh... wait... money, special effects, explosions, big names, hot chicks, hunky guys, stupid one-liner jokes, a zillion-dollar marketing blitz, and a thorough understanding of the stupidity and gullibility of the average American. The science of this movie didn't come close to passing my "suspension of disbelief" filter either, but I won't even get into that.
Army of Darkness: I just plain didn't get it. This movie is supposed to be a cult classic, but could someone tell me why? Usually cult classics have some unique aspect or endearing character. Nothing made this movie stand out. It was just boring crap. It's been done before by scores of other movies... and done better! Sorry to all you AOD fans out there, but I have to be honest!
As Good as it Gets: Not quite. Although it was pretty good. There's just something about the May-December romance that doesn't seem right though. Jack Nicholson's character is a creep - no matter how much money he has. Basically, this movie says that money can buy people. If Jack Nicholson was a regular nice guy (not even neurotic) and had no money, there's no way Helen Hunt's character would go for him... even if he was really charming and witty. Plus, we find that money can also buy health - what was that about? We never find out just what was wrong with the kid. Despite those flaws, I still liked the movie. It kept me entertained for a couple hours, and there was a lot of good acting from virtually every actor.
The Assassination of Jesse James: Can a movie that's more style than substance actually work? Yes, I think so... There is enough substance here to keep the balance, and although the style sometimes goes over the edge (things like selective/tilt focus and such), the movie was very watchable. The pace was a bit slow, but I didn't m ind. The main character - the guy doing the assassinating - was really bothersome at first, but he kind of grew on me. As for Brad Pitt? Something troubles me about him, but I'll have to say that I've liked most of the stuff he's done.
Aswang:You'd think that anyone would have enough common sense to NOT make a movie this dumb. I mean, even if you really wanted to make a cheesy Philippino-vampire flick, you'd at least include a plot that made sense, and characters who acted like people actually behave. Is it that hard? Is that too much to ask for? Didn't anyone raise their hand and say, "hey, this is really dumb, but if we just change a few simple things, it won't be quite as dumb...". I guess not.
Atanajurat (The Fast Runner): Part documentary, part mythology, all real! A movie about Inuits by Inuits... so you know it's at least their version of the truth (not some over-glamorized version told by some well-wishing out-lander). It's just amazing to see people exist & thrive in this environment. More than once, I thought to myself, "these people are nuts!"... and that was in reaction to their every day reality. It's reassuring to know that these people, who are about as far as possible from any motion picture industry, could pull-off such an amazing film.
Austin Powers: Ya Baby! Mike Myers is a genius... I had my doubts, but this came out of nowhere and was completely original and amazing. The opening scene is one of my all time favorites.
Austin Powers II: Do I make you horny? Not as good as the original, but worth a view. It didn't add a lot to the original, most of the ideas were just borrowed. But still, it was fun.
Austin Powers III: I lauged a lot at this movie. It didn't really take itself seriously, and that's why it worked. It was like a parody of itself while it was happening. I thought the Austin Powers character had run its course after the second movie, but this one shows it still has some life. I hope there isn't a #4 though... I think it's really done now.
Awakenings: Sometimes, when he doesn't completely overact, Robin Williams does a decent job. he did a decent job in this one. It was a really unique story - and a true one to boot. What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and it was 30 years later?... and you discover that you might not wake up tomorrow?