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Mulberry St

Rat Zombies? Really?
I couldn't tell if this movie was trying to be serious or was an intended spoof.

I hope it was an unfunny spoof. The Rat Zombies were ridiculous to look at sticking their teeth and funky claws around. Stooopid. If it was, then it was completely outdone by Poultrygeist, night of the chicken dead. Hey, if you have Rat-zombies, then how far is the leap to chicken-zombies? The equally disappointing fistfights at the end, first with the 'girlfriend' and then with the drag queen were nothing if not silly.

The one thing this movie had going for it was the decent acting. The actors did as well as they could with such inane material.

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes

Ruined by crummy creature effects
I saw this on the SciFi Network a few weeks ago, and was highly disappointed. As a big fan of the original Punkinhead, I was looking forward to a return to that story, but where Stan Winston's creature effects in the original were awesome (possibly the only creature effect that has ever scared me) the rubber suit and cgi in this one fell way flat. Hard to believe that a puppet can move more convincingly than an actor, but it's true. Whoever was wearing the crappy rubber suit in this one could have moonlighted as a bad Godzilla impersonator. Combined with an absolute waste of Doug Bradley in his role in this film, instead of the fun cameo one might expect from the man who gave life to pinhead, the result was a purely disappointing production. Save your time and just rent the original.

Children of Men

Best I've seen in a long time
Children of Men was not an uplifting story, although you do leave it with the return of a feeling of hope. Cuaron's brilliantly shot, thought provoking film is one of dull heartbreak, the way it really is, instead of the flash of agony so common in film these days.

His vision of a world without children, and, by proxy, a world without hope, is both terrifying and numbing, and his character-level shooting during much of the violence in the film really puts you there.

Clive Owen, who is quickly moving up my scale of favorite actors, is perfect as a man who, drowning in pain from his own lost child and a healthy dose of scotch whisky, finds his redemption by being able to care again when he comes back into contact with his ex-lover Julianne Moore, and then later by carrying the mantle of protecting Kee and her unborn child.

There was so much feeling in so many scenes, subtle feeling, not the usual over-acted kind that so many people expect and respond to. In real life, tenderness is exhibited by small actions, a look, a game with ping pong balls, the tenderness of a man saying goodbye to his disabled wife.

It is to Cuaron's credit also how he conveyed the sheer majesty of childbirth in a world where there are no babies, and the utter shock and reverence that would surround such an event.

This is easily one of the best films I've seen in the past two to three years, and as such I highly recommend it. Now I just need to catch Pan's Labyrinth.


Must be hot with the under 15 crowd and 30 year old geeks living with their mothers to have this score. The writing it this was so hackworthy that I couldn't stand more than about 15 minutes of it. The screenplay read like something written by a pimply 14 year old for drama class after binging on red bull and powdered donuts. This would be great B-movie fare if it had Bruce Campbell in it, but without him if falls flat on its face, a fall enhanced by its attempts to take itself seriously. Bad acting, worse writing, do not an 8.2 make, although the black chick was pretty hot. This thing makes me wonder how the ever-so cheesy Joss Whedon keeps getting work.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Rather Disappointing
For all the hullabaloo, this picture really didn't deliver. Pitt and Jolie, both excellent actors, played generally unlikable characters. Where there was noticeable physical chemistry between the two leads, the rest of the movie seemed forced. There was no real build up to any sort of romance between them that might have explained why they got married in the first place, you see them meet, have a single date, then get married, then their transition from wedded partners to vicious adversaries was instantaneous and with no gravity.

All in all, it was a sort of enjoyable big bang shoot em up popcorn movie with no plot. OK but not great.

Sin City

Will change the comic book genre
Sin city was an eye-popping film, and I think it will change the way movies are made, especially in the comic book genre. In much the same way that the Matrix wowed audiences with groundbreaking special effects, Sin City will do the same with the mixture of live action and comic style backgrounds. The visuals in this film were a new kind of art form.

That said, sometimes the stories were simplistic and shallow, but isn't that what one expects from this genre? The acting was superior, from Mickey Rourke's career rebuilding turn as Marv to Clive Owen's fan-making appearance. This is a definitive film that will surely go down as a new classic.

Darkness Falls

I wish they'd stop making crap like this.
Why, oh why did I waste almost two hours watching this thing. The acting was lousy and every premise was stupid. Like the lawyer guy saying the lead girl had never gotten over the lead guy, and they were like 12 years old when they met, never really had a date or anything, and this was 12 years later. Not believable at all. Secondly, they broke some of the most important ghost-rules, and then violated their own rule setup (if you see her when she comes for your tooth, she will kill you...except if you happen to be a cop walking through the police station 20 rooms from where the cursed person was being held) The mask looked dumb, the grabbing of the soon to be dead out of seconds of darkness was silly (and in most of these scenes, I couldn't see the ghost as an observer, so the idea that the doomed extras actually saw her was questionable). Finish this off with the stupid gen-x 'tell-off' scene at the climax of 'I see you b**cH!(god I am sooooo sick of those), and you have a greasy turd of a movie, for which everyone involved should have all of their teeth pulled.


The Grudge

Stupid plot, creepy noises
Okay, I saw the Grudge this weekend and I have to say I was rather disappointed. Apparently, these Japanese horror films don't translate well to English, because the entire plot of this one was just stupid. For starters, the whole concept is that 'if a person dies in a fit of great rage, then a curse is born', but the ghosts weren't in rage when they died. The guy who killed them was. Secondly, there was no reason for the great rage. The husband finds out that his wife has the hots for this professor... so what? Happens every day, and 'grudges' aren't born from them. You keep waiting for some kind of payoff, but it never comes. There were some good creepy scenes, like the creaking noise that kept coming from the mother, and the reflection on the bus, but all in all, it was just a disappointing movie and a lame ghost story (coming from a guy who LOVES ghost stories!)..


Big Fish

When I saw this movie, my wife was pregnant with our first child, which may indicate why it affected me so much. It is a beautiful, wonderful fable that makes you feel young again just watching it. Ed Bloom is a fantastic character, just the kind of guy you'd love to invite over for dinner. He's such a personality, played masterfully by both Ewan and Albert Finney. Jessica Lange is still SO beautiful, and great drop-ins by Danny DeVito and Steve Buschemi just add to a terrific film. I'm not giving any spoilers here: but I challenge anyone to come out of this movie with dry eyes. See this one. I just loved it.


The Big Lebowski

Here's the money, Liebowski!
Terrific, terrific, terrific. Don't ya just love the Coen brothers. Story built with the unique and over-the-top characters these guys are famous for, from 'the Dude - Jeffery Liebowski, to Walter, to Donny, even Jesus (that's right, nobody f(Ks with the Jesus!). A mistaken identity becomes one of the most unique and hilarious comedies in years it doesn't matter what you believe in ... even if it's nothing! (We believe in NOTHING, LIEBOWSKI!)

Anyway, this movie is fun, fun, fun. It's one of those where you'll be dropping quotes with your friends and annoying everyone else...but isn't that what a fun movie is all about!



Another crappy indie
Some indie movies are great. This one isn't one of those. Sometimes it seems like the indie studios will green light anything that comes along, and you wonder how quickly anyone in a real studio would get canned for approving this two hour pretentiousness-fest, with completely unlikable and unrealistic characters. You can tell it's bad when you're disappointed that the boyfriend didn't kill the lead character when he smashes her into the table... The artsy-wannabe camera shots when she makes her tea (and, for that matter, all through the rest of the movie), only serve to make it obvious that they're trying too hard. Awful.

Iron Jawed Angels

Good acting, bad directing
While both the screenplay and acting were decent in this movie, several directoral choices were confusing. From the mixture of hip-hop to new age music (including some 50's cool jazz), the only consistent thing about the soundtrack was that NONE of it went along with the period. GOOD: Decent screenplay, good acting by swank and o'connor, and an interesting storyline. BAD: Horribly inappropriate soundtrack, lack on clear direction on the message of the movie, confused directoral style.



Very Underrated
Made for a very interesting movie that captured much of the complexity of the book. David Lynch's use of voice over to capture the thoughts of the characters is unique, and, frankly, adds much to the characters that were so complex in Frank Herbert's original work. Much darker and deeper than the appalling sci-fi channel version that left too much out of the story.

Highly recommended, 9 out of 10.

Cry Funny Happy

I like indie movies, but this one was another of the kind that damages crossover appeal for this type of film. 2 hours of a party filled with people you wouldn't want to hang out with for ten minutes.

Skip this one.

Bruce Almighty

Amusing movie but terrible editing
This movie was amusing and cute, with several clever details coming in after Bruce was given his powers. In the beginning, Jim was a little over the top when one considered that this character was supposed to be a fairly normal person (as opposed to the mask or ace ventura), but somehow he makes it work. B-E-A-Utiful was stupid. Note to Jim Carrey and agent: he doesn't ALWAYS need a catchy line (All righty then, sssmookin) to pull off a movie. My only real complaint about the film, however, was some of the worst editing I have ever seen in a movie. I counted painfully obvious boom mikes appearing at the top of the screen at least six times, including set cutouts for the ceiling of his and J.Aniston's apartment. Also, during the scene where he meets god on top of Mt. Everest, there are taped 'X's on the backdrop in several scenes. Terrible. Overall, a 6/10.

The Man Who Wasn't There

Interesting character study
This was an interesting movie, mostly in the study of a man who was more or less constantly on the pay no mind list of everyone, including his wife, who starts in motion a chain of events that eventually change the lives of everyone involved. Well acted and written, this was truly a unique film.

Ghosts of Mars

Okay start, lousy ending
Started out okay, although I rented Resident Evil the same night and the premise was almost identical, down to the train scenes (which, I might add, were there in the original Resident Evil video game). I like the gorgeous natasha henstridge and Ice Cube is always fun, but the tactically stupid move of trying to blow the reactor when they just barely made it to the train started the movie downhill, and it ended at the bottom with one of the most contrived endings I've seen in awhile. 3/10.

The Fast and the Furious

A turd with wheels
I am amazed that this movie has managed to pull a 6.2 on the IMDB average! What a piece of garbage. Horrible acting, stupid gen-x extreme sports nonsense, and a bunch of fast but hideous cars make this a real stinker. If you want a car movie, at least have one where the cars look halfway decent, as opposed to a bunch of tacky colors and splash graphics. It was about like watching the demo at the front of a poor racing video game.

Pearl Harbor

Pretty Bad
What can I say, this was your average Michael Bay/ Bruckheimer film. Awful, awful awful. Sappy scenes used to their best advantage to manipulate the audience into feeling a certain way with no nuance whatsoever. An overwhelmingly simplistic plot with no characters that the viewer could care anything about. The only reason I didn't give it a 1 is because the actual beginning of the attack scene was pretty interesting, although the moment that Affleck and Hartnett went up in their planes during the attack the thing turned stupid again. If you want a great Pearl Harbor movie, watch TORA TORA TORA. I wish Bay would give directing.

Rose Red

SPOILERS -- Last night I watched the final piece of this movie, and was disappointed to see that it suffered from the same problem as many of king's movie adaptations -- No real climax, no suitable ending. I am a fan of King's novels, Bag of Bones is my recent favorite and a great take on the classical ghost story. (I love most of the old ones, too). So many of these novels are so good but the movie adaptations are awful: IT (EGAD!), the shining(both TV and movie version, although the Kubrick movie was interesting as what it was, it still did a horrible job conveying the story in the book), etc. There have been a few good ones, and I was hoping this might be one, unfortunately, like many of his miniseries it started out good and just got worse and worse. Firstly, although I know she was doing her best that the writing allowed, the girl playing Annie the telekenetic did not behave anything like a true autistic. She was responsive but more or less just seemed like she was ignoring the rest of the characters (although who could blame her). She would have been well served to watch RAIN MAN before trying to do the part. The most interesting characters by far were Emery and Nick, and even they seemed to do things that were not based in any supporting activity in the movie, like when, in the third piece, Emery's mother comes out of the Wine cellar and he nonchalantly ties her up and leaves her for the ghosts to eat, all the while making wise cracks. Prior to this scene, Nick was the voice of reason and kind of an everyman, so why the change? His demise, also, was pretty thin for one of the major characters. Another big issue had to do with how everyone reacted to the professor, Nancy Travis. When she had obviously flipped her lid, the group was still listening to her obvious lunacy and complying with it (with the exception of Emery, who was made out to be kind of the bad guy but actually was about the only character with any sense!). Then comes the ending which was so clumsy and stuck together that at the end you still kind of look at the screen and go '"so where's the rest?" There was some kind of thing that happened when the daughter of the main ghost/vampire/thing jumps down behind the christian lady in the attic, and the great grandson steve knocks her old rotten body down and she suddenly spits up blue stuff and disappears ??!! (By the way, I know what I just wrote was confusing but it matches what happened in the movie!) Then he says something about them all being still alive in the house, and then everything starts coming apart and when they are leaving the old lady comes down and she has vampire teeth and flies at them and -- SO WHAT IS THIS, A GHOST STORY OR A VAMPIRE STORY?? WHO KNOWS? WHY IS ANYONE DOING ANYTHING THEY ARE DOING? WHO KNOWS? Who cares. Better to watch the first and half of the second installment, then make up your own ending. It'll be better than how this turned out.


The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Liv Tyler didn't ruin it!
This movie was phenomenal. Upon going to see it, I was somewhat skeptical about how hollywood would wind up finally treating the LOTR. Having been a huge fan of these stories for years, I subsequently had very high expectations and was not disappointed. Upon seeing the trailers I was distressed at the casting of the very questionably talented Liv Tyler, but even she managed to avoid coming off as a moron and I found I could forget the awful cracker scene in armageddon (temporarily, anyway). The rest of the cast was flawless. Elijah Wood could not be cast better, as an unlikely hero who really would rather be somewhere else but accepted his responsibility. He had real screen chemistry with both Ian McKellan (they seemed to be old friends!) and the excellent Sean Astin as Sam Gamgee. I remember seeing the Goonies long ago and am so happy to see Sean getting a good role and knocking it out as well as he did! The scenery is simply breathtaking. Wow!! doesn't even begin to describe it. The color, the sets, the detail, the fantastic fact that they don't rely on crappy CGI to do everything, but instead use real people in ORC suits for the bad guys and fantastic settings for what is a really fleshed out middle earth. Most of the movie was almost exactly as I had imagined it reading the books. WOW wow wow. I wondered how any movie came out and catapulted to the top of the IMDB list, but this movie really is like nothing you've ever seen before. A++++ 10/10.

Angel Eyes

Unfortunately, the only good thing about this movie was getting to look at Jennifer for two hours, but I still wound up checking my watch for when it would get over. Jim Caviziel was more or less absent from his character for the first hour or so (although he warmed up later) and moped around like a zombie. Jennifer did a pretty good job, although the two of them had absolutely no screen chemistry. The plot was undeveloped and you wound up not really caring what happened to either of the main characters. J-Lo needs a new agent to start helping her pick better scripts.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Best movie I saw in 2000.
See this movie. Best film of 2000. Beautiful cinematography, soundtrack, writing, acting, you name it. The audience was actually cheering out loud and clapping at one point. Wow. Unfortunately overlooked at oscars, but do yourself a favor and see it today!

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