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Plot holes you can drive a truck through.
Lost count of how many actions the main characters could have taken to avoid the mayhem.

How about an explanation from dad for why a man is chained up? A note on the shelves in the dungeon room even? How about showing a picture of Morgan to mom instead of asking her is she recognises a name? How about putting more police onto the job of finding any records? How about using your DA skills to know if someone is lying? Took me out of the movie. Sorry, can't give more than four stars.

The Titan

Worst movie I've watched in years
Considering the production value and actors, this was garbage.

The first 15 minutes set up an interesting premise about genetically engineering people to live on Titan.

From there, it's terrible science, punctuated with deaths of one dimensional extras meant to try to make it dramatic.

The climax is ridiculous and makes no sense from character motivation point of view.

The final scene begs more question about physical space travel.

Usually these films can be saved with some fantastic special effects. Even those are fairly tame. So no thrills there.

Scores a three for decent production value, scenery and earnest acting. Loses tonnes of marks for terrible scrips, dialogue, plot and scientific believability.

The Accidental Husband

I cannot remember the last time that I watched any comedy, including a chick flick romantic comedy and didn't laugh at least once. This was such a movie. In fact, I'm not even sure I even smiled at any point.

The best thing about this movie is Uma Thurman who always plays a likable character in her comedic roles, though they all are very similar (then again, so are Cameron Diaz's, Julia Roberts', etc...).

The male lead, Morgan, isn't well tailored to movies I think. He should stick to bit parts on TV. Never warmed to his character. The guy usually plays the laughable buffoon...but he couldn't' pull that off.

Supporting roles were boring.

Cop Out

Best buddy cop action/comedy since Lethal Weapon
I knew this movie hadn't rocked the box office, but I love Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Seann William Scott and Kevin Smith, so I had to watch it.

Of course the plot is pretty weak, but action is sufficiently high energy for most males and the Willis/Morgan chemistry is great and they are excellent straight/funny men. Scott added into the mix doing some really annoying, but funny, ad libbing meant that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I must have had a good out-loud laugh every couple of minutes.

If you liked Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, or watch 30 Rock, this is worth your time.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

A remarkably mature comedy
I was very impressed with this movie. Both leads have a history of toilet humour comedy. But this movie managed to treat the subject of homosexuality with a sensitive blend of humour and social equality. I was very surprised that Sandler and James were up to this.

This will let you laugh out loud but also open your eyes to the love of other lifestyles.

Great supporting acting from Biel, Rhames, and Akroyd. Dan Akroyd is great in anything I've seen. Also some funny cameos from Saturday Night Live Alumnus.

A must watch.

16 Blocks

Toned down Bruce Willis action
I like Willis, Morse and Mos Def normally but they play off each other great in this one. I was pleasantly surprised after hearing some negative press about it.

It doesn't take long for slacker detective Willis to find out that some bad dudes are after his prisoner. With only 16 blocks to go there are enough twists to keep you guessing whether he's going to make it. Is Mos Def the good hearted simpleton he tries to convince us he is? Truthfully, because it's set in the gridlocked streets of an urban US city, the action pace is sometimes not as quick as I might have liked. It reminded me a bit of Cellular (Chris Evans and Kim Basinger) played at half speed. I loved Cellular, so I only liked the slower 16 Blocks.

Worth a watch to see Willis kicking butt without the Die Hard persona.

National Treasure

Poor man's Indiana Jones turned out to be a great treat
I felt compelled to write a comment after the smattering of so so reviews this movie got when originally released.

Yes, Nic Cage is no Harrison Ford, and the locales are too familiar to be exotic, but that's what made this movie fun for me.

I really did believe that Cage was a treasure fan boy. And I was giggling to myself that I'd been to many of the movie locations.

The supporting cast of good guys was excellent. The love interest scholar is skeptical, but oh so curious. The disappointed dad (Jon Voigt is it?) just oozes contempt for the treasure hunt. The comical sidekick was hilarious.

Even the bad guys were great. They weren't evil megalomaniacs. They were just greedy guys who wanted to make some cash. They weren't over the top cruel. In fact, they too were hilarious in some scenes. Sean Bean plays a bad guy at his best. He's even a bit lovable in this film.

Perhaps the only actor under-utilized in this movie is Harvey Keitel. To be honest, there wasn't much role to be had. They shouldn't have cast him. A no name would have been sufficient.

You will be pleasantly surprised if you pick this one up as a rental. I don't often think I want to watch a movie twice, but this may deserve a second viewing.

No Escape

Respectable B movie better than some blockbusters
Simple plot involves Ray Liotta's soldier character being sentenced to a prison island for the assassination of his commanding officer. Once there, he battles the typical out of control crazies trying to find his own personal redemption. He is taken under the wing of a band of soul-searching convicts led by Lance Henrickson and his right-hand man Ernie Hudson.

The baddie is played decently by Stuart Wilson who I barely recognize from lackluster parts in other bigger flicks. While acting sinister enough, I thought that his highly polished teeth, and neatly trimmed beard produced a very tame look for what you'd expect to be a Mad-max type villain. Oh well, perhaps the well-coiffed Shakespearean types are more dangerous than we first assume.

There are some clichéd and B-movie lines in this film but the actors seem to treat it seriously. It helps that I like all the major actors in this flick.

Lots of good action on the part of Liotta, Hudson and dozens of extras. While set in the future, don't expect too many sci-fi CGI effects. Most of the action is aided by mechanical special effects done the old fashion way. In fact, I forgot by the end of the flick that the setting was in the future.

The not overly complicated plot works just fine in telling this mostly action story. But is does lead me to....

SORT OF SPOILER A major plot point is that Liotta's character is encouraged to leave the island to tell the world about this savage island operated illegally by a certain prison. I have two issues with this.

1) some cons appear too incredibly tame to warrant expulsion to the island. It's not made clear whether some, all, or who exactly gets chosen to be moved from the prison to the island

2) Assuming all the criminals are likely to be reassigned to other prisons once the truth about the island comes out, why would the good guys, who've actually constructed quite a nice island compound, want to give up their freedom in this manner?

Lawrence of Arabia

Finally a classic worth watching
I should probably throw on a pair of asbestos overalls if I plan to insult the classics. It just needs to be said that the old movies are dull.

I tried liking the Manchurian Candidate, but it didn't get my heart racing. Citizen Kane almost put me to sleep. Even some of the newer "must-sees" like Marathon Man were less than appealing.

But finally, I can give an solid 8 out of 10 to a classic movie. While Lawrence's running time has put a dent in my free time, I can honestly say that the adventurous story was well worth watching. There were grand scenes and great fights. While melodramatic in some parts, most of the acting was good.

Lawrence of Arabia is the best classic I've watched so far. I recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the epic adventure movies.

Club Dread

Thoroughly disappointing followup to Super Troopers
Super Troopers was hilarious. I expected something at least on par. What I got was a very un-funny and un-scary movie.

I give this movie 4/10 solely on the basis of the scenery, high production value, and attractive women. There's none of the wittiness or irony that we saw in Super Troopers. Club Dread's characters are all totally fake, where the cops in Super Troopers felt like they could be real.

I cannot believe that after reading their script, the Broken Lizard team couldn't tell they'd put together a major disappointment. I will pretend that this movie was never made. I just hope their next foray will be funnier.

Dracula 2000

Another in a long line of vampire movies, but watchable
An interesting take on Dracula--You might get a kick out of the end when you find out Dracula's true origin.

It struck me as two movies in one. There was a very passionate vampire story going on, covered up by a high-tech monster movie (think Bram Stoker's Dracula coated with a layer of Underworld or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

Considering the double tone of this film, I'm not surprised to see Christopher Plummer co-starring along some very fresh-faced young actors. Any fellow Canadians will notice a few Canucks besides Plummer in this one.

Because of the inconsistent flow of the movie, some silliness, and the disappointing death of one of the main characters, I gave this film a 6/10.

Train 48

Something different. Kind of neat.
Nothing too memorable come award time, but something that's different enough to pique my interest.

How many times have you sat on the train at night on the way home wondering what other people were talking about.

I'm also a big fan of the Canadian shows that manage to find actors to play their parts so real. I understand part of it is improv even? No melodrama.


Handled just TOO seriously
The recent success of comic movies comes from their serious treatment by studios and directors.

In this case, Ang Lee does a marvellous job of showing us the inside of Bruce Banner's mind, and why he becomes a HULKing rage after a lab accident.

However, as serious as comic treatments need to be, Ang Lee goes totally overboard and forgets that comic movies need to be action movies. The first third of the movie that we spend waiting to see the Hulk really detracts from the rest of the movie.

I will say that when the Hulk is on screen, when compared to the comic books (of which I have hundreds) he is almost 100% dead on. Fans were worried that Lee's interpretation would ruin the Hulk. I don't think this is the case. Lee's only flaw was dragging on the non-Hulk scenes for far too long.

If I only had to grade the scenes with the Hulk, I'd give this 10/10. Unfortunately, factoring in the rest of the movie, I have to say 7/10.

The Master of Disguise

Is there a rewind on me buying this movie?
I really, really wanted to like this movie. I love Dana Carvey (from SNL) and Brent Spiner (from Star Trek: TNG).

Unfortunately, there are literally NO laugh out loud moments in this movie. The only chuckles even, were generated when Brent Spiner's character laughed maniacally and then got cut off by his uncontrollable gas. Otherwise, the few smiles just didn't cut it.

I bought this, but do yourself a favour and don't even rent it. Get Wayne's World, or Moving, or some other comedy where Dana Carvey is actually funny.


Agent of Influence

Some Canadiana in the midst of the Iraq War coverage
Watched this film in mid April on CTV. What an interesting, yet disturbing story of the CIA railroading of a Canadian Ambassador to USSR.

Christopher Plummer is awesome as the Canadian diplomat who's chosen to take a fall and possibly implicate Prime Minister Pearson by the CIA during the middle of the cold war.

Alhtough hammed up for TV, it's incredibly unsettling to know that this kind of McCarthyism was very real. Makes one wonder how much truth is being reported today?

A great made for TV movie. Even a nice twist at the end. Based on a the book by Ian Adams which in turn is based on a true story. I give it an 8/10

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Watch the last third!
Another subpar effort when compared to the original trilogy. Overused and unnecessary CGI left a bad taste in my mouth. The acting?? Save for Ewan McGregor...well, I won't embarrass our new Anakin on the internet. If not for the last third of the movie, I wouldn't have rated this film over a 5/10.

Of course much comparison is to Spider-Man which broke most box office records last week. The CGI, story, dialogue....all deserving of "Summer's best movie". Crapisode II...well, I can definitely say is one of "summer's movies"...but nothing more.

See Spider-Man....again, rent Attack of the Clones when it comes to DVD.

Pearl Harbor

1/2 Sappy Love Story, 1/2 Eye Candy
I gave this movie a 6 out of 10 because I felt that a really great war movie was hampered by a sappy and contrived love story. I realize that's probably what the makers of this flick wanted to appeal to a female audience (something Saving Private Ryan probably lacked), but it certainly didn't appeal to me. In addition, the American propaganda is unending. I can appreciate the obviousness of having a pro-American sentiment to this movie, but again, it's not something that sits well with a Canadian boy like myself.

Aside from having to follow the contrived love story, the actors do a good job of acting (except Affleck and Baldwin...ugggh). Camera work and special effects are amazing.

This is a good movie that I would recommend you see, but it probably won't be making my list of must-buy DVD's.

Red Planet

More of a documentary than an action movie
I found that with the exception of a few really amazing action sequences, Red Planet played out more like a documentary than a sci-fi action movie. The pacing was generally slow, and a lot of time was spent flaunting the Martian scenery or providing techno-history, some of it real, some not. That's not to say I didn't like this movie, I think I may have been in the mood for this kind of documentary-style exploration flick.

Compared to Mission to Mars, this movie is at least twice as good. For whatever reason, the normally A-class actors in Mission gave the lousiest performances ever. Along with an absurdly fantastical premise, that movie had all the ingredients of a flop. The Red Planet cast on the other hand, all played their parts believably, even if the movie wasn't too demanding of their skills.

You won't regret seeing this movie on a cheap night, but you might not want to spend 10 bucks on it. I give it 7/10.

Captain America

Salinger treats it seriously
Unfortunately, this is not the Marvel movie that will endear you to comic book movie adaptations. However, I think Salinger gives an honest performance as the title character, even if he spends more time out of costume than in. For whatever reason, the Red Skull is made Italian, rather than German, but it didn't bother me as much as it did some other viewers. For being a B-movie, Captain America is tolerable. Watch it first, before you make any judgements. You might be able to suspend your disbelief long enough to enjoy it.

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