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The Elephant in the Living Room

Documentary about those who keep exotic animals as pets.
My low rating for this film is just because of this one very specific scene: Where we have to watch and hear a male lion slowly get electrocuted to death. People are screaming as no one knows what happened or is still going on, the female lion won't let him into the little hut since there was no room there either, so we watch this poor lion trying to get away from whatever it is that is causing him so much pain until the poor thing finally dies. Take out this scene and make some little blurb for the audience so that we just learn about his unfortunate death and you have a very decent documentary (rating of a 9) about people who like to keep exotic animals and the reasons why we should not.

Colin & Brad: Two Man Group

An hour of improv (for the most part) comedy
I have seen the original show of which these 2 came from, so I wonder if those who voted had actually seen that show (Drew Carey's) or this Two Man Show; basing their votes from the original show. The original was sort of lame and really went nowhere a lot of the time, though there were some funny moments, but this particular show, with just Colin and Brad is so funny I think I hurt myself laughing so hard. At the very least I got about an hour aerobic workout. I also learned quickly that one cannot eat or drink anything while watching these 2. The premise is simple: Audience members (shills???) are brought to the stage to help out with some routines, and for the most part these are very funny, but where these 2 guys really shine is when they just work off of one another. The last routine was so funny I had to stop a few times to either catch my breath or because I was laughing so hard that I could not hear what they were saying.

Love Stinks

Guy meets girl, but nothing good can come of it.
Being a middle-aged woman, I am not this movie's target audience, and I had my doubts about how bad, or good, this movie was going to be. I was just checking out streaming movies from Netflix and this showed up and I thought, "How bad could it be?" I mean, if it's that's bad then I just stop watching. But this movie had me in stitches and I often had to stop the movie as I would miss some line because I was laughing that hard. Yes, it's from a man's point of view, and yes it shows how some women can become raving lunatics to at least get to say, I was married. The plot is your basic boy-meets-girl story, though in this case we have a guy who is afraid of committing to any relationship, especially one he soon realizes is with a crazy person. But we also somewhat get to see the woman's point of view (there is a line she says early on in the movie that supports this view). The supporting cast worked well together and with the stars, and my only complaint is that they tried to make French Stewart look younger than he actually is. Overall, this movie has some of the funniest lines and scenes. Well worth the time, regardless of your age or gender.

In the Mouth of Madness

An insurance fraud investigator is sent to look for a famous author.
Though this movie came out almost 2 decades ago, it is so good that it will always stand the test of time. Being a fan of H. P. Lovecraft, as well as any and all books and movies where you spend a lot of time afterward wondering what just happened but totally enjoying that time trying to figure it out, all I can say is that Carpenter managed to stay on track. It may not seem so as the movie develops and I can see where a lot of people would be going, HUH? a lot, even after the movie ends. Especially as the viewer wonders, just as Trent wonders, if this is truly real or not. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THIS MOVIE. Here is my take on it: Trent is actually Cane. It is the real author (Trent/Cane) who has gone insane and is living out his own works of fiction. Everything we see we see through his eyes as scenes from his previous books are revealed to be incorporated into this final story of his (the title of his book and of this movie). Therefore, nothing is real to anyone else, but it is all real to Trent/Cane.

Morning Glory

An ambitious producer makes her mark on the world.
Now, I totally get the theme that some of us are married to our jobs and that the people at work are our family (sometimes because we have nothing and no one else), but in my opinion this movie did not do a good job of really portraying just what it means to put your job first. We got some inklings of it, but nothing solid. The movie starts out okay, but soon runs out of steam. I attribute this to a mostly lackluster script. The talent was there, for the most part, but underutilized. And the movie tried to be too many things. For example, a rom-com and/or a dramedy. And like so many movies lately it was just another in a long list of mediocrity. Want to make this movie work? Keep it as a serious drama and get rid of that non-plausible ending where she decided to stay at some low-level position over working for a major network with a highly rated show. She just proved that she was not ambitious.


Just who runs our country?
I wish I could rate the entire movie here, but the jerky camera work was making me so nauseated that I had to stop watching. Even looking away was not helping. But what I did see I liked, and I actually liked it a lot. Sure, the acting pretty much was dismal, and some of the effects were obviously awful, but the premise of the movie's storyline was what grabbed me. I could see where this could be going and the idea of cute little robots attacking and killing people at whim is something I really wanted to see. Maybe it was that I was seeing some poorer version of the movie through Netflix, and if so I wish someone would let me know, since this is a movie I would go out and make an effort to find, if I could watch it without a major dose of Dramamine.


Do you have to be a super hero to be a "super" hero?
First off I want to say that this movie is aimed more for adults, since I doubt too many people under a certain age will get the jokes related to the original Superman movies, Marlon Brando doing his Godfather voice, and how the music linked in perfectly with what was going on. When "Bad To the Bone" started to play I about fell on the floor I was laughing so hard. This is what made the movie an absolute hoot and very enjoyable: not only the script but the excellent use of music throughout the movie. Even the slower, more This Is Who I Am scenes worked because the music made it work even better. I loved the rivalry between Megamind and Metro Man, and the "friction" between Megamind and Roxanne (he's had a crush on her from Day One), as it somehow made me think of some scenes from coming-of-age films, most notably some scenes from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This is not to say that kids will not enjoy the movie, but a lot of the jokes will go right over their little heads. All of the adults in the theater were laughing their heads off, and I saw a few kids looking around at us, probably wondering what was so darn funny.


A huge man-eating croc starts chomping on the local citizens.
This movie is not as bad as one would think it would be, what with reading the other comments. Sure, some of the dialogue was lame and a lot of the acting was not that great. And yes the storyline has been done a million times, and much better too, but for some reason I found this movie entertaining. Then there's the stunning scenery, which makes it all worth the time. That, and the really decent live footage of real crocs, even if was "stock footage from The Discovery Channel." And though some of the scenes used fake crocs, especially as said croc was opening wide for a big bite to eat, to me it did not look that fake. And the movie kept with real croc behavior, which I also liked. And I also like the greedy business people who got what they deserved. And others just trying to save the animals, etc. I also liked that the movie was not afraid to show kids being attacked and killed. So many movies avoid this, when it's known that a lot of the victims of real croc attacks are children as they play/swim in the water. Overall, this movie was not a waste of time, even if it's not the greatest Creature Feature out there.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

A year-in-the life of Joan Rivers
This had to be one of the most interesting "famous person" documentaries I have watched in quite some time, and it was also one of the saddest, of any movie really, I have watched in a long time. I have seen Joan Rivers live, back in the 80s, and her shows, just like the woman herself, are outrageous, honest, and to the point, hiding what is obviously a very insecure, unhappy woman. And this movie shows us just how insecure and unhappy Joan Rivers truly is. Was she always this way? In this movie she makes it a point, and numerous times, to state as much, as does her daughter, Melissa. Her work ethic is phenomenal, but you have to wonder if it was the work ethic that made her the way she is, or she wants to work so much to keep so busy she does not have time to think about how sad she is. Though maybe I have the psychology wrong here. Regardless, the movie held my interest the entire time, but like a lot of others, I would have liked more of her background and more detail of just how she got started, other than that she always thought of herself as an actress portraying a comedian. Well worth the time to watch this one, even if you do not like Rivers.

Veronika Decides to Die

Another I Really Am Worthy flick for the thinking masses
First off, I have read quite a bit of Paulo Coelho. His books are intense, personal, and also spiritual, though not as we would think, meaning religious. So when I heard that a movie had been made from one of his books I was a bit leery. How do you convey all of that inward retrospection and Being As One in a movie? Well, you really cannot. But this is not to say that Gellar (surprise, surprise) did not come across as the intense young woman from Coelho's story. But there are certain authors who come to mind and "Hollywood" gets their mitts on their work, and well, disaster is usually the result, and PC is one of them. In this story a young woman, obviously very depressed and who does not have such a good relationship with her parents, nor herself really, decides to kill herself, but fails. She awakens in an institution only to find out that her attempt at killing herself has in fact given her a death sentence, but now it will be prolonged. What to do? We find inner peace and meaning. Read the book instead.

John Pinette: I'm Starvin'!

Stand-up comedy routine of John Pinette
Since we had never seen or heard any of John Pinette's routines before, we found this to be a very funny DVD. Sadly, for those who have seen John's stand-up act before this is all just a repeat of what he has been saying for quite a long time. In fact, if you head to youtube you can find mostly the same and exact stories, though they have been polished a bit for this DVD, from when he fist started out on the comedy circuit. Yes, the man is funny, with what material he has fine-tuned, but once you have heard it, then what? We wish he would get new material and have something new and different for us to laugh at. More adventures to joke about. More travel stories.


A poor fisherman catches what he thinks is a mythical creature in his net.
I have to give this movie a 5. Not because the premise of the story was dull or even the acting mediocre, of which neither was, but because, like so many others who have commented on this one aspect of the film, I could not understand most of the dialogue. And what a waste not to have English subtitles for what looked to be a fairly decent and interesting movie. I was thinking, "Finally, something a little different." Beautiful scenery. A child's wish for a miracle (dad too). Real life is not a fantasy as this movie showed us, but if the viewer cannot understand most of what is being said, then why bother? I know people from Scotland and Ireland, and even they were having some problems understanding what was being said, since there was a lot of mumbling going on as well, other than what was being said by Annie or Ondine. Maybe subtitles will be added, and then we all can try again. Either that or learn Spanish.

The Spy Next Door

A "retired" spy somehow gets back into the business
There was so much that could have gone right with this movie, and so much that could have gone wrong. Too bad it was the latter. At first I thought this was going to be a somewhat remake of The Pacifier, which was pretty bad, but this movie makes The Pacifer look like a major Oscar contender. The beginning sequence, with the Secret Agent music playing, was sappy at best. Sorry Jackie Chan. Love your work, for the most part, and we all know that you are too old to do your own stunts anymore, but with all the new technology available, it's an insult to the audience to have to witness such slop. The acting was wooden, and that's the good point; there was no chemistry between the love interests; the bad guys made me feel like I was watching a Rockie and Bullwinkle cartoon (and a bad one at that); and the kids were annoying to the point of giving me a headache. And I will not even go there about the logistics for a lot of what happened on screen.

Clash of the Titans

A remake of the classic
And yet we have another, in a long line of barely mediocre movies, that is nothing but ear-splitting, headache-inducing drivel. There are millions of people starving all over the world. Quit wasting money on stuff like this movie. Now, I did watch the original, and it was OK (OK, no one and nothing can beat the "heart and soul" of Ray Harryhausen), but this remake is a mishmash of mythology and the ever-lasting battle between not only man and gods, but the gods themselves. What is so sad is the resume of most of the actors is stellar, but somehow each and every one of them got lost in a crappy script, overdone action scenes, characters that were not necessary to the plot, and well, the list goes on. When the short scene with the mechanical owl showed up I thought we'd finally get something interesting. But alas, the owl was tossed aside, just as the decision to not go ahead with this movie was. What a waste.

Our Family Wedding

A biracial couple head back home to let the folks know that they are getting married.
For once I wish that I had at least glanced at some reviews of this movie, thus saving me money and an excruciating amount of time sitting through this drivel. Every insipid stereotype, stupid cliché, and corny joke was tried, and each failed completely. I am not even going to go there about the goat and the bottle of Viagra. For the most part, the talent was there, but I got the sense that each one had been given a large dose of some drug just to make it through the motions. For the entire movie, it felt like even the actors did not want to be there, and I cannot say that I blame them one bit. By the way, the goat had the best lines (ahem: none).

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

A "take" on the Disney Fantasia Short Classic
First off, those of us of a "certain" age LOVE Nicolas Cage with that "bedhead" look. Sort of gruff and messy and sexy, but it works on him, even at his age. Anyway, the story is a 1300+ year-old search for Merlin's Next In Line and we get a good back story to let us know what's what. After that it was basically a lot of F/X and CGI, which were OK, since that's about what to expect nowadays, but otherwise just some mediocre acting. Yes, it was all about a young man finding out his true meaning of life, but we all wanted more of Cage and Molina (not enough time devoted to this great actor) and their conflict (though that may happen since we're given a little clue after the credits). What actually ruined this film was, what felt like eons, having to listen to Jay Baruchal's annoying and headache-inducing voice. Though he did play the part of the dork/geek/nerd just fine it was hard to really pay attention to any scene where he was talking. And, once again, we have yet another in a long line of basically not that interesting flicks where the main attraction is CGI and F/X. You can play a computer game for that. Not worth the price of a ticket.

A Serious Man

An ordinary man experiencing a lot of misfortunes.
One, you do not need to totally understand Judaism to get this film. Yes, the beginning of the film lays the groundwork that tells the viewer that any descendants of the Jewish couple who "killed" the Dybbuk is doomed to experience letdowns, but then again, maybe not. It is just a basic folktale, one from any religion or culture. Second, you do not need to understand physics either. Other than the passing of time seems to not pass at all while watching this film. After almost 40 minutes I had had it. Yes, a lot of %$&^ is dumped on this guy, and you wonder why he would deserve to be dumped on so much, but then you do not care. None of the characters were worth the time or effort. Maybe past the 40-minute mark it gets better, but alas I could not justify wasting my time to see what happened, and why. The acting was OK, but not worth the time to sit through this film, which might be better titled, A Pathetic Man.

The Burrowers

Something is out there!
Sub-par CGI aside, this movie is actually not that bad. We have a pretty good and plausible plot, decent acting, some ancient folklore, reality in that when firing on someone you take down the horse first (nothing graphic though), nasty/bad guys (but not over the top), decent people, and some monsters out on the prairie eating up people, and only so because certain people did away with their major food source. The movie managed to address certain sociological and political issues without being preachy, and it worked well with what was going on. All of the characters were believable. Where it fell down was, as mentioned above, and by a few others, the bad F/X. SPOILER ALERT! What would have made this movie even better, and more suspenseful than it already was, was to not really ever have the audience see The Burrowers, other than a face flashing by. It was tense without ever seeing them. Also, when the Burrowers went for the bait have the bait only in the moonlight, and we'd only see an occasional claw/hand or face, but mostly just see the beasts in shadow. Can movies be fixed/updated? If so, fix the little problems here and I'm buying this one.

Tooth Fairy

An older hockey player with a negative attitude gets a life-changing opportunity.
I figured that this movie was either going to be really cute or really dumb, and somehow it managed to be both. This is both good and bad. There are some cute and clever scenes, and even some decent lines, and there are other scenes that are quite contrived and predictable, and sometimes painful to watch (and listen to). But going in I knew this was a "kiddie" movie, so my expectations were not that high. And that's how you should watch this movie. Dwayne Johnson, as usual is nice to watch and his voice, unlike some other actors somewhat like him, does not get on one's nerves. I like him being silly and funny (Be Cool comes to mind) and anticipate some meatier roles as he matures (AKA getting older). And, for me, anything Ashley Judd is in I am going to watch. Julie Andrews was a nice touch, but Billy Crystal reminded me of his character in The Princess Bride (whereas that worked and this time it really did not). The kids were just fine, given what they had to work with, and though the story has been told a zillion times, this one had a little twist. I thought for sure it was going to be a somewhat remake of Kirstie Alley's Toothless, and thankfully it was not even close (well, other than our "bad guy" had to do time as a tooth fairy). A definite rental with the kiddies for Family Night.

The Box

What happens when a lot of money is offered to you in exchange for someone else's death?
Though I read some of the reviews for this movie (none with spoilers so I would not know anything that would ruin it for me), I'm glad that I gave this movie a chance. Other than some lopsided acting now and then, some small gaps as the story moved along, and for the most part it moved slowly (as our lives usually do), I found the story intriguing, especially once I figured out that this was not what I thought it would be (a suspense/thriller). I grew up on the original Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, so this movie was right up my alley. I understood what was going on and why since it was clearly stated a few times about midway through. I also liked the conflict of right versus wrong, as each person perceives it, and then how we can "right" that wrong, but must sacrifice something else we hold dear. Diaz was OK, for the most part, but sometimes her "southern" accent would come and go a bit. Langella was superb, as usual. No one main character really outshone the other, so it was pretty well-balanced. So if you're a fan of movies where you have to pay attention and think, or grew up loving The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, then you should like this movie.

It's Complicated

What happens when ex-spouses do not have closure.
I really like the work of the 3 main stars, but for some reason each one mostly bugged the hooey out of me, especially Streep with all that insipid giggling and behaving like some 13-year-old with her first crush on a boy. For awhile there I thought we were watching Diane Keaton (sorry!). What was all that silliness about? The part where she gets stoned (after a single hit) would make sense as to why she would behave as she did, but otherwise it was just annoying. I did like the overall premise of the plot: Ex-spouses still have a thing for one another, and their clandestine affair, and then they come to their senses and get closure, but so much could have been done with this movie, especially considering the cast, so I felt cheated.

The Back-up Plan

One more mediocre rom-com for the books
In theory this movie should have worked. Woman's biological clock is ticking, and though she has not met Mr. Right, she wants a child. So far, so good, even if it's been done to death. Then we have the Love At First Sight scenario. That works, even though it was really quick and intense. Too quick really. Then we have Mr. Right is just fine with the idea that Ms. Right is pregnant by artificial means. That works, sort of, since he's so in love with her. (What would have been a nice twist would have been if he had been the sperm donor and it ended up being his child.) So what happened then that made this movie so awful? Other than the script was horrid, the acting was not much better (and we like Lopez!), and there was no chemistry whatsoever between the 2 stars. And what was not needed was all the "icky" stuff and the proverbial Man Passes Out Because Men Cannot Handle Women's Personal Icky Stuff. Yes, this is an extreme Chick Flick, but some of us chicks thought this movie was one of the worst we have ever seen. Just slapped together scenes that really went nowhere and a very formulaic and predictable plot. Save this one for the $1 rental night.


In the future humans need never leave their homes but are able to "live" vicariously through robotics.
Surrogates is not a bad movie, but it is not that good of a movie either. Just another ho-hum movie, in a growing number of mediocre movies, and with a very predictable storyline, characters, and action. Like reading off of a flowchart. Premise: Humans have developed robots to take their place in every day life while they stay at home, linked to their surrogate, lounging in some comfy chair or bed (wouldn't they get fat and their muscles atrophy?), and experience life through the robot. All aspects of one's life are lived through a robot, and we get this, and even before the movie really begins. Almost immediately we felt like we were watching a cross between I, Robot (and not just because Cromwell was in it) and the feel of The Island. There was nothing new here. MAJOR SPOILER COMING: We did have a question nagging us the entire time throughout the movie: If all humans lived through their surrogates why was the young man who died when his surrogate was killed off at college? Wouldn't he just attend college through his surrogate? Too many holes in this one, and the F/X really was not that spectacular.

I Sell the Dead

Before being executed a man agrees to tell a priest his "story."
I'm sure if I could have understood a lot of the dialogue this movie might have been rated higher, but alas, what with the "Cockney" accents and mumbling, and sometimes the background noise/music was too loud, well, I missed probably a lot of the jokes and why a scene could have been good. I did read of others needing to turn on the subtitles, if available, and also how some "Brits" said bad things about us "Yanks" because we cannot understanding them; but rest assured that a lot of us cannot understand more and more American-made movies, starring American actors, much either. There is too much mumbling, talking too fast, or the dialogue is drowned out. That being said, from what I could get out of this movie, I found it a little different, but also wondered just what this movie was supposed to be. Another movie, in a growing list I'm afraid, of misled genres, so to speak. This movie is a comedy-horror, but other than a few scenes, and the one on the beach with the ghouls, I did not find a lot of this movie funny. Clever yes, funny no. But you can be clever only so long. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!! And I figured that our "hero" was going to be saved one way or another at the end. That was very obvious, made more so after the island scene with the undead. I think younger audiences will like this movie much more than us Old Folks, so if you're an AARP member, stick with Streep.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

A separated couple witness a murder and are placed in the Witness Protection Program
What we have is your basic story concept of a fish-out-of-water and all that, with the added touch of a couple on the brink of divorce, but then are forced to spend some quality, and quantity, time together, and the result is this movie. Hugh Grant was trying for his light-hearted, and I must say enjoyable, performance in Music and Lyrics, but the chemistry and timing was off, and some of the jokes/lines did not work in this movie at all. But some did, and some were quite funny. Sam Elliot I can listen to forever, and I found some of his lines and scenes funny as well. Sarah Jessica Parker, well, I have not seen that much of her in anything, and what I have seen she's okay (outside of Sex and the City), but I think the main reason this movie did not work that well was that SJP just did not work in this movie at all. There just was nothing there that fit or seemed right, not only between her and Grant, but with anyone or anything. The script was not that bad, even if some of the delivery (most of it from SJP, or scenes with her and HG) was off, and the premise worked. Try this movie again, but this time just kind of fuzz out and block out SJP and see how it goes. Once I did that the movie became much better. Still not the greatest around, but better nonetheless.

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