Movie Reviews - B
Babe: Wonderful movie. I loved how the different animals were completely unique & true to what we would think their personalities would be (based on their species type). With most movies of this ilk, the animals are all somewhat the same type of character. The filming was fantastic too... how'd they do that? It's easy to forget you're watching animals all the time, not actors.
Babe, Pig in the City: Expansion of the original. Good for all the same reasons. I think I liked the original better, but this one is pretty good too.
Babel: This movie tried a little too hard to pull at our emotions... and because of that I thought it was like cheating, and it lost its heart. There are some well-crafted scenes (liked the grittiness of the mexican wedding), but on the whole, I just felt like I was being fed a lie.
Bachelor Party: I dunno what to say about this one. It definitely had it's moments, but it's hard to say that it was a great movie. It was more a series of funny gags & stand-up comedy. It was fun, but I don't know that I'd like to view it again.
Back to the Future: Just plain escapist fun. Answers all those "what if" questions, and is pieced together seamlessly. It was a blast.
Back to the Future II: Hey, they HAD to make a sequel... and why not two while they're at it (II and III were filmed at the same time). This movie was a bunch of fun, about as good as the sequel could have been.
Back to the Future III: Well, I'm glad they didn't make a fourth sequel. This was just about enough. It was more fun, but I was ready for the "saga" to be over with by the end.
Bad Boys: Just like the title says... some bad boys. This showcases a young Ally Sheedy and Sean Penn. I saw it almost by accident - on TV some random Saturday. It was too long, and some of the characters just didn't make sense... where was their motivation? But, some scenes were cool.
La Bamba: Is there any 50's rock n roller who hasn't had a movie made about them? They're all about the same story actually.
Bambi: Let's set the record straight, Bambi is a BOY! Why the hell do I always see bimbos named Bambi? It's a guy's name dammit! I've had more than one argument with people who insist that Bambi was a girl, then realize... hey, you're right, he was a buck. What the hell is going on out there??? Wake up!!!
The Bank Job:Usually you see a movie like this, and have to roll your eyes because you know it could never be real. This one is real. Well, mostly... (sure, they embellished a lot). Be sure to watch the extras - just fascinating. One thing though - I wish they could have let at least one of the characters get away with the money. I mean, since they're embellishing, why not?
Barton Fink: I don't remember much about this movie's actual plot... something about a writer, and John Goodman is the devil or something. I do remember that I liked it though. It had some really neat stuff in it. I just wish I could remember what it was actually about. Maybe I'll see it again someday.
Baseketball: Splendidly stupid. You've probably heard the story... a couple of losers invent a game that combines basketball with baseball and it becomes a phenomenon. This movie was a little better than I thought it'd be. The plot wasn't too great, and some of the scenes were stupid, but there was enough silliness to make up for that. Plus, the two main characters (who created 'South Park' in real life) had a lot of good chemistry. It was interesting comparing this movie to Mafia!. Abrams and Zucker made a series of silly movies (Airplane, Top Secret, etc). Abrams did Mafia and it sucked. Zucker did baseketball and it was decent. I think the best thing about this movie was how it never took itself seriously... just when it would start to get "serious", the whole sub-plot would turn out to be another setup for a big joke (like the child labor subplot). I like movies that poke fun at seriousness... what else can I say?
Basketball Diaries: About the drug-underworld of high school basketball. I've actually heard from some people that this does exist. After all, the movie is based on a book - a true-life story. It was well-done, but essentially, it had "been done" before - how far does an addict need to go to hit rock bottom? Pretty darn far.
Batman: I didn't really like this movie. It was way over-hyped. I especially didn't like the scene with the prince songs in the museum. The whole movie seemed a bit "crammed together". They really didn't spend the time developing the villain's character (a problem with all the Batman movies). I don't think people realize that comic book characters can be really complex - that's what's appealing about them. They're not appealing if they're just presented to us with no real background other than "this is a good guy" or "this is a bad guy". the other Batman movies had this same problem - especially Batman III. Yes, they did make an effort to develop the characters in all these movies, but I don't know, it just seemed like it wasn't enough.
Batman II: I think this was the one with Val Kilmer and cat-woman & the penguin. I don't know, they all kind of blend together.
Batman III: I think this was the one with Robin and Batgirl. They were really stretching for ideas here. Even Ahnold couldn't save this movie.
Batman IV?: I don't think there was a Batman 4... or was there? Maybe I blended two of the previous movies together? Who cares anyway. I've written so many of these damn review things that they all kind of blend together actually. I don't know how I keep all these movies apart.
Batman Begins: Wait, didn't Batman begin with just "Batman"? Yes, it was stylish, had some neat effects, etc... but I thought this movie took itself way too seriously - like it was so over-grandiose I was rolling my eyes. Something was odd about the Batman character as well - like I didn't really believe he wanted to do good. Maybe that was intentional - to show the dark side of Bruce Wayne - but it left me kind of luke-warm trying to sympathize with him.
Battlefield Earth: You know, this wasn't so bad... if you can just ignore a few things, like cavemen flying 1000 year-old fighter jets, the fort knox thing, a planet that explodes with the slightest exposure to radiation, etc... You end up with a movie that's better than a lot of the crap out there. I thought it was way better than Independence Day anyway (that's not hard though). It kind of reminded me of "Beastmaster" for some reason.
The Beach: This movie was pretty full of itself. It was rather predictable too - of course paradise is going to fall apart. Some things just didn't make sense either - why in the world wouldn't they try to save the shark victim's life? couldn't they boat him to civilization and just say that he got bit by a shark? come on, people "cool" enough to live in a secret island commune would be cool enough to save some guy's life.
Bean: Bean works a lot better in a shorter - non-movie - format. I feel sorry for the people who's only exposure to Mr. Bean was this movie. The shorter, previous mini-films were just hilarious. The Mr. Bean movie just didn't do it for me. It seemed kind of americanized, and that doesn't really work well with Brit-humor. I hope Rowan Atkinson invents another character soon and just retires Bean. When does the Black Adder movie come out?
Beastmaster: I think this movie has the record for "most broadcasts on USA / TNT / Fox / etc." For a while there it was on all the time. It was on so much that the movie attracted fans and spun-off a TV series. Anyway, the movie itself was really cheese-ball entertainment. The scenes were all pretty brief, and the plot kept moving along - so if you didn't like one scene, you could just try-out the next one. I actually liked this movie - I admit it! It came out when I was like 10 years old - perfect timing.
Beastmaster 2: The only redeeming quality of this movie was the comedic element. It didn't take itself seriously at all. The producers knew they were just cashing-in, and weren't ashamed to admit it. Best scene? where they're riding down some street in Hollywood and "Beastmaster" is playing at the theater. A good movie for that Sunday morning hangover - it doesn't require your full attention, and you might just laugh a few times.
A Beautiful Mind: A beautiful film. For much of the first half, I wasn't sure if I liked it... but by the end, I did. It made me wonder if I was sane... perhaps every waking moment of my life is a delusion, perhaps these aren't really words I'm typing. Perhaps the commies have brainwashed me into thinking the cold war has ended and are simply using me as a puppet to transmit secret messages diguised as movie reviews to an armada of robotic aliens hiding behind the moon. Perhaps I'm not really living in an underwater tube city populated with glimmering gelatinous super-jellies. Perhaps if I just ignore reality, it will all just go away.
Beavis and Butt-head Do America: This suffers from the same problem as many TV-to-movie things. It borrows too heavily from the TV show, and is just way too much. Beavis and Butthead work much better in shorter bits. Sure, the movie was broken-up to make it like a bunch of TV-shows spliced together, but by the second time Beavis did "cornholio", I was rolling my eyes.
Becoming Jane:Did you ever wish you could go back in time and just smack someone in the face? Just shake everyone to get them to snap out of their stupid societal constraints? I wonder if people from the future will feel the same about us? Anyway, as for this movie... it was entertaining, well structured, and left me feeling good about life in general... so that's good I suppose.
Beetlejuice: I liked it, but I only liked it once. The second time around, this movie was really annoying..
Before the Rain:So, we start about halfway into the plot. All the characters are someone you don't like, and the ending is utterly unsatisfying. Please, someone tell me something to like about this movie.
Being Human: A kind of strange movie - Robin Williams as the "same guy" in 4 different time periods. It wasn't that great of a movie, but at least it was an interesting idea.
Being There: I stayed up way too late watching this movie, and it just went on and on and on. It was totally unbelievable, but for some reason I just couldn't turn it off. At the time, I didn't know anything about the movie, but was interested to read more about the making of it afterwards.
Being John Malkovich: An amazing movie. I thought I was in for some arty thriller that would be full of itself. It wasn't like that at all. It was just completely hilarious and original. The puppet work was really cool too. Everything about this movie was just great.
Belle Epoque: I just can't get past the beautiful girls and the sexual fantasies... what was this movie about again? I wasn't paying attention to all that "plot stuff"... something about the spanish inquisition... er, revolution?
Beneath the Planet of the Apes: Probably the weakest of the series. I'm pretty sure this is the one with the mutant humans who worship the bomb. They could have just skipped this sequel entirely and moved to the next one.
Benny and Joon: I kind of liked Johnny Depp's little "antics" in this movie, but the rest of it didn't really mean much to me. Can two different types of weirdoes find love simply due to the fact that they're both unusual? I don't know maybe it could work with these two. It seemed that "Johnny" was the only person that Joon wouldn't "co crazy" on, and Joon was the only person that accepted "Johnny" as a real person.
Beowulf: I am Beowulf... and you're not. I hate to admit it, but I actually liked the plotline of this movie better than the original. It made sense from front to back. Sure, the action and dialog and 3D nuttiness was completely over the top, but that's what made it so fun. I didn't get to see it in 3D though - bummer... someday!
Beverly Hills Cop: You know, I can't even remember what the hell this was about. Something with a banana in a tailpipe is about all that comes to mind.
Beverly Hills Cop II: If I couldn't remember what #1 was about, how am I supposed to remember #2?
Big: Sure, it was a cute movie, but it wasn't that great. I think the idea of this movie would have worked better if it wasn't a comedy/drama. It would have been a great black comedy or sad drama. Careful what you wish for!
Big Fish: You may think that seeing all these movies is just like buttering pancakes, but it isn't always like that. It was really crowded at the video store on a Friday night, and the new DVDs were flying fast and furious from the walls. From across the room, I spotted a lone copy of "Big Fish" on the shelf, just waiting for that last lucky customer. As I began to walk toward my prize, I caught the eye of the meanest looking man who ever graced the stiffly carpeted floor of the video store. I could tell by the line of his sight he was headed for the very same rack I was. My walk turned into a trot, and then quickly into a run. He didn't look like the type who would like "Big Fish"... maybe he'd just noticed there was only one copy left. Maybe that made him think it was worth seein', or maybe he was just out to ruin my day. In any case, he sure looked determined to grab it first. And you know, there aren't really any laws governing the video store, it's every man for himself, finder's keeper's, you got it, you own it... So, we reached the video at exactly the same time, and grabbed the video at exactly the same time, and lifted it off the shelf together. "It's mine", he said forcefully to me. Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the video store clerk put another movie onto the shelf behind the man. "Oh my!", I exclaimed, " 'From Justin to Kelly' is back in stock - there's only one copy!". Naturally, he turned his head, and in an attempt to ruin my day further, dropped "Big Fish" in favor of the other film. Now, I haven't seen "From Justin to Kelly", and for all I know, it is a fine piece of cinema. But that night I did see a real big fish, and he fell hook line and sinker for the oldest trick in the book.
The Big Lebowski: Nice indeed to think that the dude is out there, takin' 'er easy for the rest of us. I see in the dude, any of us... most particularly me, or at least what could be me, with a little more or less effort. I have to say that based on my own experience, there is a lot of prejudice out there regarding the "unemployed". Lately, people have asked me, "what do you do?" although I really think they're asking "who are you?". When I respond "nothing.", I invariably answer the wrong question. They assume that I am indeed nothing. Anyway, sorry for delving there, I just mean that I identified with the dude on a higher level. Although I don't personally see the attraction of bowling, I see how the dude could. Every man has his nirvana.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure: I remember seeing this movie for the first time, saying "Ya!" and laughing my ass off. It's still quite funny, but now I've seen it like a zillion times and it's become a parody of itself.
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey: This was a bogus attempt to cash in on the original. What made the original so good was that it was so original. This movie didn't have that. So, we're just left with the characters. Ok, Bill and Ted? There's just not enough there to carry two movies. The whole "station" thing seemed to me nothing more than "we've run out of ideas", and that's about when I ran out of patience for this movie.
Billy Elliot: I never thought I would dig a movie about a poor English kid who likes to dance. But dig it I did.
Billy Madison: At the time I saw this, it was about the only bit of Adam Sandler that I could palette (sp?). It was an incredibly stupid and just plain brain dead movie, but I was able to sit through it. I couldn't recommend it to anyone though - I saw this so you didn't have to, so don't.
Biodome: Really really dumb. But did anyone expect it to be good? I mean look at the plot: MTV flunkie Pauly Shore gets stuck in an artificial biodome with a bunch of scientists? Come on! I don't even remember the circumstances under which I saw this (well, I didn't actually see all of it, and I remember even less, but I think I saw enough to write a review). Anyway, you're prejudice is correct in this case - it sucked.
The Birds: I was about 14 years old and this movie was playing on WGN - channel 9 in Chicago. I thought "cool", I had never seen this movie, and it was supposed to be a classic Alfred Hitchcock film. I was all geared. My mom asked me what I was doing and I casually mentioned that "the birds" was on, and I was going to watch it. I could not possibly have prepared for her reaction. "No.". No? what the hell? I just laughed at first and sat down in front of the TV. Then she started to persist. She was actually serious. I couldn't believe it. I'd already seen "everything there was to see" on the screen (trust me), and my Mom wasn't going to let me see "the birds"? and it was edited for television no less. I eventually saw the movie. It was nothing. In fact, I thought it was a bit silly. Perhaps it was scary in 1950, but by today's standards? It was like watching Disney.
Bittersweet Motel: Yup, the Phish "rockumentary". I saw this at 7pm on a Tuesday night and the place was packed, that surprised me a bit. A director followed the band around for a year or so and edited-together a movie. I think the movie did capture the whimsical attitude of the band, but there's a lot more to Phish than this movie shows. For one, the portrayal of the fans was pretty weak (they're not all superficial drugged-out jerks). If you want to know what Phish means to some people, check out the "what is Phish" section on phish.net. The song selection was odd - a lot of standards were left out, and some mellow rarities were spotlighted and the sound wasn't as good as it could have been. Plus, there was a lot of Trey (Phish's guitarist). Trey can be pretty darn funny, entertaining and insightful, but he's not all there is in the world of Phish. Then again, maybe the editing was just a reflection of what the director really saw... maybe Trey just dominated all the conversations. Generally, it was a decent film... I have no idea how it would play with non fans though.
Blackula: I saw a preview for this movie when I went to see a crummy vampire movie in San Jose. I can't even remember the name of the movie I saw that night (oh, it was Nadja), but I did remember the preview for Blackula. For a while I wondered if it was just some kind of joke... then I found out, it's a real movie. It was on TV late night some night. It was one of the the most hilarious movies I've ever seen. You may be wondering... what would a movie called "Blackula" be about? Well, you're right. It's a totally cheesy 70's movie where Dracula is a brother. "blacker than night", and he was. I guess there was a time when someone thought there needed to be a "black version" of every movie standard - "black-xplotation" they call it. I just call it silly. Now, we have "Blade" instead... see below!
Blade: A vampire movie. As vampire movies go, this was one of the better ones... er, more fun ones anyway. There were a lot of well done action scenes (almost overdone, but not quite). Ummm, I don't really know what else to say..? If you want to see a movie where a suave superhuman goes around slicing up vampires, then this is your movie. (I wish the ending was a little different though - like if the "bad guy" wasn't able to control the evil that he created, and it somehow killed him, etc. I thought he died a little too easily)
Blade Runner: I finally just saw this 1 week ago (January 2000). I don't know how I missed it all these years. It was very stylish and had a decent story (although finding the replicants was a little too easy). It was only average until the very end though. The replicant turns out to be more humane than the humans. It made the movie more than just another sci-fi thriller.
Blades of Glory: Am not. Are too! Am not. Are too! Am not. Are too!...
The Blair Witch Project: I saw this toward the end of my PCT hike in '99. I was told that Bob said it, "rocked his world". Sorry all you teenaged-open-mined-the-world-is-so-untamed kids out there. This was a dumb movie. I was a little impressed with the filming of the movie.,, but "lost in maryland?" get real.. there's a frickin' road every few miles in Maryland. Just follow the stream downhill for a while and bam! civilization... or maybe a civil war battlefield anyway.
Blame it on the Bellboy: ya! and it's all his fault too. Damn Bellboy. Just getting drugs and hookers for all the rich and famous. Your world is fake. Oh, the movie? It was fun to watch. It was a "comedy of misunderstandings", kind of like a long episode of 3's company.
Blast from the Past: The concept was OK, but the execution (script/story) was just stupid. The same characters could have been portrayed in a much better movie.Blood Diamond: Brilliant from start to finish... While there were a few plot points that tried a little too hard, the excellent acting, direction and pacing made you overlook that. The charaters were all quite deep, and still fully developed in a short running time. However, you might feel about Leo DiCaprio, he earns his creds with stuff like this.
Bloodsport: Who cares? we have bloodsport for real now... no need to go sneaking around hong kong, you can rent an ultimate fighting championship video at blockbuster... and we all know that the "grapplers" win. JCVD would have gotten his ass kicked!
The Blues Brothers: When I was growing up, my schoolmate Dave Kelly had this movie on tape. VCRs had just come out and movies were scarce. He must have watched it like 50 times or something - knew every line. Heck, an actual movie in Chicago? Wow! That's what was so cool about the thing. This movie is a classic regardless of the city used though - every scene and every line is priceless.
Bonnie and Clyde: I barely remember much about the movie, but I do remember it was cool!
Boogie Nights: Few movies are able to portray stupid people intelligently. This movie does it though. I don't know if it was the acting, directing or writing, but it was brilliant. My favorite scene? Where "Dirk" has it out with his mom - classic. Remember, "stupid screwed up people" does not mean "stupid screwed up movie". It even has a happy ending... why not?
Born Into Brothels: Don’t you sometimes just wish that people could look at their situation, say “I’m better than this”, and change their lives? Why can’t they? Why don’t they? I’m not saying that everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, most of them simply can’t. But, I can see why some people have that attitude. Even with a well done documentary like this, it’s impossible to really put yourself in the shoes of people who’s lives are so different from your own. Anyway, this movie poses another dilemma – if you do a well-received documentary about kids, when do you just call it “done”, and stop following-up with them? Should you?
Born on the Fourth of July: I really liked this movie for all the reasons "everybody" did. It was a really well done character development. It showed how people can really change their heart and soul on a deep level.
Bourne Identity: Guns, chicks, fights, conspiricies, spies, car chases, etc... and a happy ending!
Bowling for Columbine: Duh! A decent movie, but do we really need a movie to tell us that americans are a bunch of uninformed, deluded, paranoid gun-loving morons? Hello! take a look around!
Boys: Here's one really darn dumb movie. I kept waiting for it to make some kind of sense, but it never did. And in the end? She didn't do anything wrong, so what's the big deal? Why in the world did Winona Ryder agree to do this script? Almost every character is completely irrational and illogical, there's no explanation given for almost anything, I had no idea why anyone was doing anything.
Boys Don't Cry: She just wanted to be one of the boys... a real tragic movie for all obvious reasons. I will say that I didn't feel much for Tina until near the very end. Afterall, she was lying to everybody... and she wasn't much a better person than the people who ended up killing her. But at the very end, she lets the real person come out a little & we discover there's a decent person down under those artificial layers. Anyway, I liked the movie. If I have any complaint, it was the scene where "John" shows his compassionate / feeling side to Brandon. I think this ruined his character development. We only have an hour or so to get to know these people, it was hard to understand just how he could be so crazy and violent after seeing that scene. Yes, I know - he had a 'dark side', but I think it would've been better they developed him as a testosterone-crazed redneck, rather than a pseudo-sensitive crazy guy. Then again, this was based on a true story, so maybe the real John was like that... I'll probably never know.
Boys Of Baraka: A decent and honest documentary. I sometimes wonder though, subjects like this are so easy to shape into a compelling drama – I mean poor kids from Baltimore whisked away to a school in Africa? It almost smells of reality TV – where do you draw the line? I wish the documentary had more about previous classes of the Baraka school, and the history of it. Also, if the school was “closed” after 1 year due to non-financial reasons, why couldn’t they use that money & talent to move it to another location?
Brady Bunch: the movie: Just frickin' hilarious. It would have been so easy to do this poorly. They understood the cheeseball appeal of the TV show and exploited it to the extreme.
Brain Candy (Kids in the Hall): KITH did some of the funniest skits ever done, but this was just dumb. they'd already run out of steam a year before this was made. The funny thing is that they knew it, and weren't ashamed to admit it. So why did they do this movie? Money? Probably. I don't really care, if they made any money from this, they deserved it.
Brainstorm: Really cool. This is one of the few techno-gadget movies that has stood the test of time. It's still fresh and the ending is great (even though I don't believe that would actually happen)
Braveheart: I'd been waiting for this movie my entire life - loads of realistic blood and gore on the screen. None of that pansy "lets sword-fight for 5 minutes and then I'll punch you out" stuff. Hack, slash, UGH!!! I can die happy now.
Brazil: One of my favorite movies of all time. There are so many reasons why that I can't even begin to list them all. Everything in this movie was done perfectly.
Bread & Tulips: Imagine a world where love is more important than beauty... more important than most anything.
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Innocence has lost its innocence.
Breakfast Club: Hey! rich kids have problems too! they even smoke pot! This movie really "spoke to me" when I was 14 years old... now it's just silly.
Breaking Away: One of the best coming-of-age movies ever made. This is a totally believable story. the only thing that didn't make sense to me was Dave's facial expression near the end of the movie - just before he's taped to the bike. He looks defeated and pissed off, like he's given up. They needed to have a "close-up-get-a-second-wind" scene.
Brewster's Millions: I was never really a Richard Pryor fan... sure I feel bad that he has some terrible disease now, but that's too bad. By the end of the movie, I was hoping that he didn't get the zillions of dollars... sucker!!!
Brother Bear: Yer typical Disney product - all the elements are there... well, except the platonic love interest. Unless of course we are to assume there was "something going on" between the two bears... or the two moose... wait a second, maybe there was more than meets the eye on this one. Well, it's about time Disney came out of the closet!
Brotherhood of the Wolf: I didn't know what to make of this. It seemed to want to be "every movie", and thereby defy any convention. It was a mystery, a horror flick, a romance, a supernatural thriller, then the leads die, then they don't die, then nothing's supernatural, then it's a political statement... I was dizzy by the end... which reminded me of the beginning of Tarzan for some reason.
Bruce Almighty: Jim Carrey does battle with his own massive ego... and loses.
Buckaroo Banzai: Every once in a while, a movie comes along that sets a new standard. No words or descriptions or praise or repeated viewings can really do justice to this. Who hasn't wanted to be Buckaroo Banzai?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The pure embodiment of adolescent male fantasy... what could be wrong with that?
A Bug's Life: See review for Antz. (except this one was disney-fied)
Bulworth: I liked a lot about this movie... I just wish it knew when to quit - the rapping got totally excessive, and the Halle Berry romance thing was a bit much. Some of the PC political message annoyed me too, but I liked the idea and I liked the ending. Some scenes were really well done.