Unassuming Local Guy

IMDb member since September 2000
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    20 years

Reviews

The Barber
(2002)

Not what I expected...
The cover photo of this DVD does just about everything to convince you that it's another entry into the slasher genre (ie: Scream, Urban Legend, The Dentist, et al.), but the first few minutes of the movie quickly dispel this notion. Unlike most of these types of movies, we're introduced almost instantly to the murderer and his cover. Through the wonders of voice-over narration, we get some quick insight into this guy's feelings on life and society. But not too much...

While it's really no big deal, the man's history and motivation for the killings is never revealed. The movie starts out looking like a psychological thriller, but quickly becomes a by-the-numbers serial killer flick as the local cops and Feds are put through their paces, performing autopsies, arrests, and the inevitable territorial disputes. But, thank God, the killer doesn't spout off one-liners. In fact, the murders themselves are not witnessed.

The fact that everyone in this film's small town is stupid, deceitful, or just plain trash should make citizens of Alaska very happy. Some excuse is made as to how the six month periods of darkness dull the senses or something, but we know that's not the case. No, somebody involved in this movie has a serious problem with Alaskans.

Anyway, the movie stays pretty low key until the end, when things finally reach a boiling point. The ending should be most unexpected. And while the last monologue offers up plenty of ham and cheese, I have to say I was really hoping Dex would be caught. That's a lot more than I've ever felt for Hannibal Lecter.

Twister
(1996)

Mindless summer action flick. Good stuff!
If you could take out the actors and dialogue, this movie would be phenomenal. The special effects in this movie put any other Hollywood blockbusters of its time (except Jurassic Park) to shame. The full length of this movie will have you staring in slack-jawed wonder as massive tornadoes wreak havoc on rural landscapes.

Until the characters and plot come into the picture, anyway. Twister seems to be indecisive about whether it wants to tell a love story or an action tale. I'm serious, nearly 75% of the conversation is spent building up to an extremely predictable romance. The friendly banter and witty repartee seems forced and quickly becomes tiresome and irritating. A lot of the supposed dramatic "surprises" in the story manage to evoke only a chuckle and a shake of the head.

The dialogue itself is pretty awful. Writers Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin apparently think their audience consists of utter fools. How else can you justify technicians explaining simple readouts to each other? "That green blob is a tornado. The smaller ones suggest it's splitting up." Really? You mean they didn't teach that to them in college?

All complaining aside, the amazing and numerous action sequences are well worth slogging through the boring storyline. Definitely worth checking out.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash
(2002)

I was pleasantly surprised for ONE reason...
After hearing all of the negative buzz about this flick, I rented it myself because I just HAD to see how bad this was. And, while I admit that it's a definite bomb, I found myself enjoying it. Why is that? It's not 2001: A Space Travesty.

That Leslie Nielsen vehicle is not only by far the worst sci-fi comedy ever conceived, but in the running for the most godawful movie ever created. If that movie were put into a time capsule for future generations to find, it would suggest a race of total jackasses. Pluto Nash, however, only suggests childish filmmakers, which is quite welcome after all of the heavy, serious fare we've seen lately.

So to all of you knocking this movie because it's not funny, it's not interesting, or whatever, why not rent a copy of 2001: A Space Travesty? I guarantee you that Pluto Nash will feel like Gladiator after the unrelenting 90 minutes of hell that lie in wait for you. In this respect, I feel Pluto Nash has been unfairly criticized.

Banged Out
(2002)

Definitely a labor of love...
This is quite possibly the lowest-budget movie I've ever seen. 90% of the shots seem to have been done with a camcorder, dialogue sounds like it's being spoken through a pillow, and the violence looks so fake as to seem comical. But I see this as a positive element. It lends a gritty, realistic feel uncommon in other films of this genre.

Yeah, Banged Out is realistic. A bit TOO realistic. Why? It's boring and indecipherable. Let's face it, real life is unexciting. Why director Richie Mac feels we need to be shown various random aspects of these characters' lives is beyond me. There is absolutely nothing here you haven't seen before, whether on screen or in real life.

I guess my main complaint with this flick is that, while the plot is simple enough, it's almost impossible to keep up with what's going on. People get pissed for no apparent reason. Some characters wear the same clothing throughout the entire movie. And one guy (I'm not joking, I swear) dies and shows up later on driving around his neighborhood with no explanation. This would be slightly helped (but not much) if the dialogue was audible.

Beers required before viewing: 10-12

Universal Soldier: The Return
(1999)

I prayed for the sweet release of death, or at least unconsciousness...
Man, I thought I'd experienced the worst that Hollywood had to offer when I saw 102 Dalmatians. Yeah, and I'll admit Blair Witch 2 made me want to burn down every forest I could find in my country. But neither of these films, nor any other that I've seen, have even come close to the sheer abomination that is this movie.

What exactly goes on in this film? Well, you have Van Damme running around a fortress and spouting off lines of nonsensical monosyllabic dialogue while occasionally running into Bill Goldberg and incapacitating him in some form or other. A computer goes haywire for no clear reason and murders a team of scientists. A general and a small platoon stand outside and do nothing. All scenes that involve speaking are simply filler until the next fight. I've heard the script was taken from a trashcan containing kindergarteners' failed literary endeavors.

Basically, if there's a soldier or police officer in the room, he'll be killed. If somebody's standing in front of Van Damme, they'll get a boot to the head. If people are fighting, every conceivable stick of furniture will be reduced to splinters. And if more than five minutes pass without a Goldberg sighting, it means the movie's over.

I could go on about the pain and suffering this film caused me, but I've already talked too much of it. Incidentally, I'm writing this review from prison; I took my girlfriend, and she filed charges.

If there's anything positive about this film, it's that Van Damme's film career has been utterly and irrefutably flushed.

All About the Benjamins
(2002)

Simple and fun action/comedy...
I was pretty surprised by this flick. It's an action film with a few shots of comedy that actually delivers where it counts. Ice Cube plays it pretty straight here (like all of his other movies, but that's why we love him), and Mike Epps seems to be channeling Chris Tucker. They play off of one another very nicely, though. The mostly formulaic storyline manages to throw them into some very interesting situations.

Of particular note are the "first black President" joke and the torture sequence. And of course, the Cube has his usual cheerful facial expressions glowing throughout the film. Truly, don't miss it.

Wolf Girl
(2001)

more a drama than a horror film...
The back of the box at the video store made this movie look like a typical werewolf horror film, but that's definitely not what it is. That would have been much better. Instead, the movie primarily focuses on some girl in a traveling freak show with some bizarre disorder that causes hair to sprout in every imaginable spot of the body. Some similarly freakish kid happens to have a mother (played by Leslie Ann Warren) who developed a hair-removal serum. You can pretty much guess what happens from here.

As the wolf girl loses her hair, she starts to act more like an animal. You would think some of the violence would start that the DVD's box had promised. Unfortunately, it sticks to the road of drama, which works for the first hour or so. The final act of the movie, however, quickly becomes cliched and ridiculous. I was laughing, although whether or not humor was the intention of the filmmakers, I couldn't tell you.

And why is it that every movie Tim Curry appears in needs to feature multiple penis shots? Is it some sort of clause in his SAG contract? I can definitely tell you that Home Alone 2 would have been much better without those male nude scenes.

Anyway, I found this movie to be rather interesting up until the last half hour or so. I wouldn't recommend it unless you happen to catch it on TV. I rented this under the title "Blood Moon", so beware of that also.

U Turn
(1997)

This is why I love Stone...
This is one hell of a movie. Even months after seeing it on cable I can still recall almost everything. U Turn's thankfully much more watchable and less abstract than Natural Born Killers, but it has a bit of the same atmosphere. If you like Oliver Stone's films in the slightest, and you haven't seen this one, pick it up sometime soon. It's thought-provoking, humorous, and trashy all at once.

Like any Stone film, all of the characters are completely insane except for the main character, who's slightly less crazy than the rest. Definitely make sure you've got a few hours to kill, because you won't be turning this off after you start it.

The Crow: City of Angels
(1996)

Have I seen this before??
Why the hell was this movie made?? It's exactly the same as The Crow. Why bother rehashing it with a different character?? This almost angers me. I loved the first film, but this changes The Crow characters from dark antiheroes to merchandising prostitutes. What a waste.

This is basically The Crow set in a new location, with some generic guy named Ash instead of Eric Draven. In place of Michael Wincott's badass, nameless villain, there's some guy named Judas, who hangs out with a prophet of some sort. Naturally, the psychic waits to show Judas how to kill Ash until after all of his henchman are dead. Oh yeah, and Iggy Pop shows up as some thug that serves only as fodder for Ash's campaign of contrived vengeance.

This movie actually wasn't all that bad, if you can forget the beginning and the conclusion. But then again, it wasn't any good, either. I saw this movie because Thomas Jane is in it. Imagine my joy when his big scene features him dressing up as a woman, masturbating, then being subsequently butchered by Ash. Sadly, this may have been the most remarkable moment of the film.

Baby Boy
(2001)

Singleton does not disappoint...
Despite (or maybe because of) the negative things I'd heard from friends and acquaintances, I decided to check BB out for myself. I was very glad I did.

It's basically a scaled-down version of Boyz in the Hood, with fewer characters allowing for more development. While it's not quite on the same level as Boyz, it's a very emotional drama that's thought provoking, sad, hilariously funny, and at times subtly disturbing.

After this, Boyz, and Shaft, I am anxiously awaiting John Singleton's next work.

Barbie in the Nutcracker
(2001)

A 20-year-old male's opinion...
As I sat through this movie with my girlfriend and her nieces, I became gradually aware of how this film succeeds: it's invincible. Completely critic-proof. What can I say against this movie, exactly? Whine about how I don't like Barbie?

It's basically a modernized (and nauseatingly politically correct) take on The Nutcracker, throwing Barbie into one of the lead roles for pretty much no reason (unless you count bankability). Of course, it's a kids' flick, and relies on sparse, simple dialogue and spare editing to convey the action. It definitely works well; the girls ate it up and came back for seconds.

This is a rather interesting computer-animated movie. While it's noticeably lower-budget than Toy Story and Shrek, the visuals have a sort of subtle charm. The vast landscapes are quietly serene and beautiful without becoming overwhelming. Sometimes the motion-captured characters are placed against a flat 2D background, giving one severe flashbacks to the early days of the Playstation.

Bottom line: If you're a girl age four to ten, you'll likely enjoy every minute. Barbie's voice actress and Tim Curry as the Rat King are worth noting.

Avalanche Alley
(2001)

As generic as the title suggests...
The description of this flick sounded promising, but all we really get are a few faceless B-movie actors along with a strangely doughy looking Nick Mancuso attempting to rescue a few kids trapped in an avalanche. You'd think that, being direct to video, they'd just flash a few cheesy visual effects and call it a day. But no, they have to attempt dramatic moments, and that's really where this movie falls and breaks its neck. It's so slow that it makes retirement home bingo seem fast-paced and exciting in comparison.

They tried to give parts of AA a stylish, music-video look, but it doesn't work with the obviously limited budget. (The tinny garage band music isn't a plus.) The end of this movie is also very abrupt and unexpected. There's no closure given at all. Do the snowboarders die or not? One of the guys that gets trapped simply vanishes for the rest of the film. Did he quit during production? Given the result of this fiasco, I would completely sympathize.

Wild Wild West
(1999)

1999's biggest flop
It's really too bad that Will Smith, given the chance to head a respectable cast in a comedy, does nothing more than prove he's unable to hold up a movie by himself. But I'll give him credit: the script is awful, the storyline is vague and only partially explained, and the characters have no distinction whatsoever. He's definitely the high point in this otherwise dead-in-the-water summer spectacle. He's not given much to work with, though, and his song in the film just makes me cringe. I actually feel embarrassed at how badly this guy has sold out.

The Good: Salma Hayek looks yummy and bares her bum. There's also a scene with magnetic collars of some sort that was mildly amusing.

The Bad: The dialogue, the "action", just about everything else...

The Ugly: Count the green screen shots...

2001: A Space Travesty
(2000)

Why? Oh, why??
When my nephew picked this out from the video store, I sighed but felt carefully optimistic. After we sat through an hour and a half of this unrelenting hell, I told him to leave and never return.

Let me give you an idea of just how bad this movie is. The end credits are literally the best part of the film. There are enough joke names and bits strewn about to make you crack a smile. The only problem is that to get there you have to slog through ninety minutes of the most unfunny slapstick I've ever had the displeasure of witnessing.

I'm serious: my thirteen-year-old nephew thought this movie was stupid. And it's rated R. What exactly is going on here? There's a zero gravity scene that's so painfully ridiculous that it sucked the humor not just from our living room, but adjoining apartments as well.

Believe me when I say I have done humanity a favor by viewing this film and warning the public to stay away. As bad as Rollerball is reputed to be, it can't be worse than this. All John McTiernan has to say is, "At least I didn't make 2001: A Space Travesty" and people will have to admit that he has a point. Had Albert Pyun directed this, people would have expected an apology.

Once more: I cannot stress how horrendous this movie is. Quit wasting time reading about this and go do something worthwhile, like churning butter or feeding the homeless. I consider this film one of the worst moments of my life thus far.

Get Over It
(2001)

Give Miramax a generic catchphrase and they'll manage to turn it into a movie.
Usually, I don't mind these types of comedies. I liked Bring It On, She's All That, etc. I went to see Get Over It with extremely low expectations. Unfortunately, I was still shocked at how incredibly bland and irritating this flick was.

Here's an example of humor from this movie: a guy in a wheelchair turns to somebody and says, "Break a leg." I wish I was kidding. The main character (I don't know the actor's name, nor do I care in the least) gets dumped by his girlfriend, makes plans to get her back, then stares at his Cheerios for like half an hour. They should have been original and inserted a CGI rabbit or something in his place.

I could go on about the awful performances, particularly by the annoying Martin Short, or about the play at the end that drags on FOREVER AND EVER, but I won't, because this piece of crap makes me feel reassured. I could make a better movie by putting a camera in a toilet at the local Taco Bell. Based on some of the other reviewers' comments here, it would be a big success.

Remember the Titans
(2000)

Disney meets football?? A surprisingly effective movie.
Perhaps one of the most unlikely combinations I've ever seen, Remember the Titans proves you don't need the requisite violence and trash talk to make a football movie enjoyable or even realistic. The entire cast play their roles to perfection; not one performance was unconvincing. Denzel as always is top-notch. Will Patton and the young guys on the football team deserve praise as well.

Titans isn't without its flaws, though. You'll never guess this, but the climactic scene involves the state championship game where the fate of the universe seems to hang in the balance. I found myself honestly hoping they would pull it off, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for The Replacements.

A theme prevalent throughout the film is racism. You'd never know it from the trailer, but the main obstacle in front of the Titans football team is the fact that they're the only school in the state to have been desegregated. This is dealt with incredibly well throughout the movie, conveying the feeling of pointless hate and prejudice without ever using the vaunted "N word". This is a movie you can bring Grandma Nugget to without fear of her collapsing at your feet due to strong content.

Yeah, it looks like Jerry Bruckheimer isn't just an action film man anymore. I think I speak for most folks when I say I hope he returns to his roots, but if he keeps making flicks like this one, nobody's gonna mind in the least.

9 out of 10

The Lion King
(1994)

Easily comparable to Billy Corgan in greatness
As I'm listening to the new bootleg Billy Corgan I am reminded of the greatness of The Lion King. That movie sparked something deep and emotional in me. This may sound corny, (and believe me it is,) but within the first 10 minutes of that movie I had tears. It was very emotional and dramatic because all the wildlife was there and they were there to witness the newborn baby. Somehow I had tears at this display of Disney beauty. This movie remains my favorite of all time Disney flicks because there is deep meaning. The deep meaning lies within the plot of Simba searching for meaning to his own life. This incredible soul-searching journey that Simba embarks on reflects our own journeys within our lifetimes. We all have times in our lives where we must figure things out and Disney really sends a message for future generations that problems can be solved through determination and heart. Not to mention his sidekicks, Timon and Pumba, who are straight up hilarious. Also who could forget Whoopie Goldberg. A movie isn't a movie without Whoopie, (pun intended.) However, the movie is one of my favorites, it even surpassed The Little Mermaid. The flick is great for children with laughs and pop music, performed by Elton John. The Lion King is also great for adults who seek a little humor to get away from the daily grind. Anyway you dig it the movie is fun and fabulous. Great movie, great friends, great fun.

Marked for Death
(1990)

dumb and bloody, but fun
Steven Seagal stars in this tale of a cynical cop looking to bust a Jamaican drug lord. Although I loved the fights, this movie seriously leaves something to be desired. There was basically zero plot (which was what I expected), but let's face it, Seagal can't act. The guy is almost painful to watch, especially when there's a "serious" moment between him and any family members. And look out for a hopelessly bizarre plot twist near the end that makes absolutely no sense at all...

Hard to Kill
(1990)

forget this one...
This has to be one of the worst action movies I've seen this year. It might as well have been called "Everybody Loves Seagal". He plays, you guessed it , a cop. This time he's out for revenge against the corrupt cops and criminals that killed his wife and put him in a coma. What I hate most about this movie is that Seagal is so VAIN. The scene where the nurse looks under the sheet and exclaims over the apparent size of his penis had me laughing out loud. It gets a little better near the end, but not by much. And what's the deal with William Sadler? One of my favorite actors, and the guy gets less than five minutes of screen time. Not that he could have saved this movie...

Above the Law
(1988)

not Seagal's best, but still worth it
Steven Seagal makes his movie debut in this ho-hum crime drama as a cop breaking every rule in the book to expose corruption. He spends a good deal of his time shooting, yelling, and breaking necks while some comically bad eighties music plays almost constantly. The fight scenes were very well done, though, and the plot actually moves along nicely, unlike most films of this genre. Overall, it's not bad, and definitely worth a night's rent.

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