Java_Joe

IMDb member since November 2008
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Reviews

Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End
(2013)

Movie trying to cover too many bases.
Yeah I get it, this movie wan't made for me. But it's enjoyable enough in a B-movie kind of way if you can look past the religious bits. Or if you're here for the religious bits then you'll probably have a grand old time.

Here's the thing, I like David A.R. White. He's a decent actor with some surprising comic chops and with some not too bad editing makes for a decent action hero. I get that he might not be for everybody but if you like cheese, then he's where it's at.

David plays a travelling salesman who's on the road when the Rapture hits. It's now Mad Max with David, in effect, playing the Road Warrior. And as I said with some decent editing he makes it work. But he's got some kind of secret past where he's some badass mercenary / assassin and this training pops up whenever he needs to kick some ass. Story is pretty basic beyond that. His wife is religious, he's not. She's raptured, he's not. And he now needs to hit the road in an attempt to... do stuff.

Along the way he runs into a group of evil bikers. You know standard end of the world type stuff that you've seen better examples of. The characters felt rather one note but these movies aren't made with characters in mind so much as delivering a message. If you agree with it you'll give it top marks. If you don't, well check out the 1 star ratings for it.

Personally, while it's not something I'd normally watch, I'm willing to give it a 5. It's got a lot of problems. The third act feels rather tacked on. And it's not an apocalypse movie that I'd recommend but it's got it's good points.

Not bad, but not great either.

V luchakh solntsa
(2015)

Behind the scenes of propaganda.
We all know that North Korea is a secretive kind of place. It's run by a dictator who's revered as a living god and his father and grandfather are worshiped even after death.

A Russian film crew were invited to film a documentary of a young North Korean girl and her joining of the North Korean Communist Youth league commonly known as the "Young Pioneers". They intended this to be a propaganda piece, as all North Korean works are, to show the youth of of the DPRK the proper kind of mindset to have. What they didn't intend was for all the behind the scenes footage to be filmed as well.

Basic story is nobody told the filmmakers to stop filming when they stopped a scene or the director would walk on and give direction to the actors so we see a lot that they didn't want to show. Of course North Korea wasn't happy with this, blamed the film crew of sabotaging their movie and promptly kicked them out of the country. But they didn't confiscate their film and this documentary is what we get.

While it's not necessarily a scathing expose of what goes on behind the curtains, it is bad enough that it shows some of the corruption, rot and revisionism that North Korea is famous for trying to hide.

The Drone
(2019)

It's a spoof of sorts.
This is a movie that is rather self-aware. Basically take the idea behind "Child's Play" with the killer doll Chuckie and you have this movie. It's ridiculous, it's silly and if you're willing to turn your brain off and just go with it then you might have a good time.

Sure there's a lot of problems with it but what movie doesn't have plot holes? In short it's a not quite original horror story that doesn't take itself very seriously so neither should you.

Cats
(2019)

It's horrifying.
I get what they were trying to do for this movie but the execution was frankly horrifying. The look of the cat costumes kept drawing me out of the movie and full into the uncanny valley. Say what you want about the music and the songs, the costumes and how everything was scaled to the actors being cat sized just didn't work.

The stage show was much better. See that if you can. Avoid this at all costs.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
(1966)

The original and still the best.
There are certain Christmas traditions that stick with you over the years. And for me, it's not quite Christmas until I've seen "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Like a lot of kids, I grew up on Dr. Seuss. Had all the books, saw all the specials. And while some of them were better than others there is no denying the impact that Theodor Geisel had on our collective childhood. The use of language, the imaginative creatures and drawings and the fact that he wrote some of the most memorable children's stories of all time.

Everything about this special is memorable from Boris Karloff's narration and voice as the Grinch, to Chuck Jones' animation to the songs and even the central message. To this day I can still remember all the words to "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch" sung by Thurl Ravenscroft better known as Tony the Tiger.

Nothing more really needs to be said. It's such a part of the cultural zeitgeist that even though some might not have seen it, we all know the story. Sure there are some that prefer the Jim Carrey version as it might have been their first exposure to the character and the story but as far as I'm concerned, there's only one Grinch. And this is it.

Lost in Space
(2018)

An interesting story marred by stupid writing.
The original "Lost in Space" was a goofy show that didn't really take itself seriously. But it was fun and we got the great Johnathan Harris as Dr. Smith in the process. Then in the 90's came the gritty reboot in the form of a movie which had promise but was, in itself, rather silly in places. And like a lot of things we now have a "Lost in Space" for the 21st century and honestly I wish we hadn't.

Here's the thing, I don't hate this show. But I don't particularly like it either. The sets are decent, the look is stylish, the actors are capable of doing their job so what's the problem? Well, it's the writing which makes these supposedly incredibly smart people into some of the dumbest people around. Well that and errors all throughout the series and have you question why the need to add in all these moments of manufactured drama.

An error, like literally within the first minute of the first episode. They're falling towards the surface of a planet and the computer is reading their altitude in feet when the display is clearly in meters. And I don't mean doing a conversion. No, it says they're at 3000 feet and the display has just shown them at 3000 meters. This happens quite often in which a display will show things in meters or kilometers only to have them just change the unit to feet or miles. And these are supposed to be scientists. Or how the mother says they're trillions of light years off course. Had she said kilometers or even miles it wouldn't have been much of a problem. But light years is another matter. The entire observable universe is only 93 billion light years across meaning they would have had to, somehow, travel further than the edge of the observable universe in an impossibly short period of time while still being partway between Earth and this colony they were heading to.

The rest of it isn't all that much better. People make stupid mistakes, often times aided by some incredibly shoddy science all for the sake of drama. Like Penny getting stuck in the ice. If water froze that quickly, they would have frozen solid the moment they took off their helmets.

Sorry, but this is just childishly written which is a shame. It could have been so much better had they gotten better writers.

Tron
(2010)

Better than I hoped but not as good as I wished.
I was just a kid when I saw Tron for the first time and it was somewhat instrumental with kickstarting my love of computers. So when I heard they were, finally, coming up with a sequel with Jell Bridges replaying his role I was there. I saw it in IMAX 3D and I learned something else that day. Just like when I saw "Avatar", another visually impressive movie, IMAX 3D gives me a migraine so never again.

The story focuses however not on Jeff Bridges character of Kevin Flynn, but his son Sam. It's been 20 years that Kevin Flynn disappeared and his tech savvy son has been looking for him. But he gets a message from his father and goes to his old arcade only to discover a secret entrance and gets zapped into the digital world his father created known as "the Grid". Now Kevin needs to fight to stay one step ahead of the evil Clu that taken control of the Grid and find his father or be trapped there forever.

Whereas the original Tron had a lot of cool visuals, fights and some state of the art, for the time, CGI it's not a deep movie. It's a fun movie and while it hasn't aged all that well, it's still worth a watch. This new movie is a lot deeper delving into some of the lore of the Grid as well as what it actually means to be human. Visually this movie is beautiful and it shows the advancements that CGI has made in the more than 30 years since the original. But it does get bogged down a few times.

And it's also a case where it shows de-aging technology is not that good yet. Jeff Bridges plays Kevin Flynn but he also plays Clu. Clu of course looks like Kevin did those 20 years ago after all programs don't age. And for the most part it works at showing a younger Jeff Bridges interacting with his older self. But then, occasionally, the Uncanny Valley kicks in. And just for a moment his face is... unnatural and it destroys the illusion. But a moment later it's fine again although that momentary revulsion still remains.

It's a good attempt at a sequel that is marred by some scenes that go on too long and the not quite there de-aging technology.

The Irishman
(2019)

Not Scorsese's best but damn good anyway.
This is a movie that shows the talents of both the person behind the camera and those in front of it. Martin Scorsese is, in my opinion at least, one of the greatest directors in Hollywood today. He's never failed to entertain and even though he's had some financial flops he has managed to garner a lot of critical acclaim not to mention a lot of fans of is work. Add to that some powerhouse performances by Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino and you have yourself a great movie.

Robert DeNiro plays the titular Irishman. He's a working stiff that drives trucks for a living. A chance encounter with Joe Pesci and a chance to make some money lands him a position in the mob and a friendship with legendary Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa. The movie follows his life, his dealings with the mob and the aftermath of what he did.

This is a powerful movie. It's also really long clocking in at three hours. And while the last third of the movie does drag a bit in places it's still worth the watch.

The best part of it however is the de-aging they did on the main cast. It is seamless and a wonder to behold. We see them as old men, as middle aged men and everything in between. And while I'm aware they're all in their 70's at no point did it show and you could believe they were playing younger men. While in some movies, like Tron Legacy, the uncanny valley did make some appearances in the de-aged Jeff Bridges it was nowhere to be found here. Truly one of the best examples of this technology I've seen to date.

Downsizing
(2017)

Only half as good as I would have hoped.
I wanted to like this movie, I really did but I felt it really wasted it's potential.

How's this for an idea? A brilliant scientist discovers a way to miniaturize people and envisions this as a way to reduce our consumption and depletion of our natural resources. Smaller people use less so it makes sense. This is, as far as I know, an original idea and Hollywood rarely comes out with something truly original.

But once that happens, it becomes just a regular, boring story with some cool effects. It's like once these people are "downsized" it's your standard Hollywood fare. Whole swaths of the movie could have taken place in the normal sized world and it wouldn't have made a difference. I felt there really needed to be a comparison as to this wonderful life the downsized had compared to their big people. Things like Matt Damon enjoying his new downsized life, living it up, occasionally interacting with really big things and getting some humor out of it. But no, it's just they're small and nothing has really changed.

I'm glad I didn't see this in the theaters because it just feels kinda flat.

The Monkees
(1966)

Adventures of the "Pre-fab" Four.
While not great television it's still entertaining television. With the success of the Beatles, the creators of this show wanted something similar. Namely a band of four young men who could sing and act in a weekly television series. In the end what they got was a singer who also happened to be British, two folk musicians and a former child star. They became known as "The Monkees" because, as the theme song says, they liked to "monkey" around.

The show itself is a rather fictionalized aspect of their lives in which they romp and play, get into strange situations and play a couple musical numbers which may or may not include hijinks. Of course they all play their parts. Davey was the cute one. Mike was the serious one. Mickey was the goofy one. And Peter was the stupid one. A lot like that other group of four musicians from Liverpool.

And while the boys were talented in what they did, they weren't allowed to actually play their own instruments or write their own songs at least at first. It took some time, some convincing and a lot of hard work on their end to finally get the green light to do so. After all, they went on tour and came out with albums so they needed to be at least competent at what they did.

But they never got the recognition that they deserved because they were never seen as a "real" band hence the pejorative "Pre-fab" Four. After all they were created as a response to the Beatles, known as the Fab Four, but they didn't come together organically hence the idea they were constructed. And honestly that's pretty unfair all things considered that today all we have are manufactured pop stars that, in some cases, don't even sing their own works.

This show is just fun and if you happen to like their music, as I do, it's even better.

Rollerball
(2002)

Terrible remake lacking in charm.
While the original Rollerball isn't considered a classic or required viewing in the whole Sci-fi genre, it at least had a plot. The story there was the world was now controlled by corporations and in order to keep the populace appeased they created a violent deathsport known as "Rollerball". The reasons for this were two fold. The first, and most obvious one, was that it was like the old gladiator fights of Ancient Rome. So long as the people had food and entertainment they were appeased. But the second, and most insidious reason, was that it showed individuality wasn't something to strive for. They created a brutal game in which the only way to succeed was teamwork but they didn't count on one man becoming a legend and possibly ruining their plans in the process by showing people that one man could make a difference.

This movie seems to have ignored all that in favor of action. The basic plot is the same but it's now more about the actual sport which is now about blood and the more of it the higher the ratings. Gone is the social commentary and it's replaced with lots of fast cuts and really nifty stunts. It's like only half the movie the original was.

The dialogue is pretty bad, the actors look way too pretty for the dangerous sport they're playing and most of the time the actors don't feel like they're giving it their all. Jean Reno feels like he's sleepwalking through the role and maybe he is. He's done great work in the past but this is not one of those movies.

Watch the original and give this one a pass.

Gigli
(2003)

Fatally flawed in just about every way.
Back in the early 2000's Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were a thing. A really big thing. So big that they started that bit of combining two people's names into one becoming known as "Bennifer" to the general public. They were everywhere together from music videos to movies. And from all that we got one of the worst movies of 2003.

I've said many times that I don't feel Ben is a good actor and he did nothing in this movie to change my mind. Whereas Jennifer has been able to hold her own in some movies. But the two of them together in this? Sorry. It just didn't work. There was no real chemistry between them although part of that might have to do with the plot.

He plays a young man in the mob who one day is charged with kidnapping and holding the nephew of a judge or governor or some important person as leverage in a court case. Jennifer is then sent to keep an eye on Ben because he's a bit of a screw up. She's also a lesbian so she's got no interest in him. But as time goes by she falls for his charms and they wind up together.

If there's one good thing I can say about this movie it's the presence of Christopher Walken. He plays a higher up in the mob and while the movie is crap, his scenes are always a breath of fresh air. He's so bizarre and entertaining in his scenes that he at least makes those scenes interesting. Seriously they're the only good parts of this trainwreck.

Pledge This!
(2006)

Is it asking too much for a comedy to be funny?
This movie is three things. The first is it's very forgettable. Nothing happens that is really worth remembering. Secondly it's not funny. I don't remember cracking a smile or laughing once. And thirdly it seems to have been made to capitalize on Paris Hilton and possibly give her a movie career.

To those that don't know who Paris Hilton is, she's a spoiled rich kid that is heir to the Hilton family who own all those hotels. She's worth a lot of money. And she's tried her hand at lots of things like acting, singing and being a DJ. She's also failed at all of those because her movies, singing and spinning are all terrible.

From what I can remember this is a story of a group of girls pledging to a sorority. They're a bunch of misfits and the sorority is full of rich, snooty girls. They're humiliated, made to be the butt of all sorts of jokes and nasty pranks and something something they manage to overcome these obstacles and become better people in the end.

And yes, it would have been just as bad if Paris had not been in it. The fact she is really didn't add or take away from anything.

It's not enjoyably bad. It's just bad.

House of the Dead
(2003)

It's Uwe Boll, what did you expect?
Uwe Boll is known for two things. Making terrible adaptations of video games and challenging his critics to a boxing match and beating them up. He's also really successful at both of those of those things meaning he's continued to make these movies and threatening to beat up his critics whenever they give him a bad review.

The story is a group of friends go to an island for a rave but when they get there the place is deserted. They happen upon a creepy old house, there's zombies, they fight and most of them die in the process. That's pretty much it.

The acting is bad. The overall look of the movie is bad. The entire process is just flawed from start to finish. And if you've ever played the game it's based on you will ask yourself "WTF was that?" because it's nothing like the game.

And the worst part of it is there's a "funny" version of this movie. Most of it was made up with outtakes or giving the actors free reign to act "funny". And then when that didn't work, they just added fart noises whenever you saw somebody's butt. Are you laughing yet? Uwe Boll seems to think that's funny.

Honestly, there's nothing worth watching here.

Saving Christmas
(2014)

There's no reason for this movie to exist.
Kirk Cameron had some success as a child actor. As he grew up however, and found religion, he moved away from the normal Hollywood fare and started making "Christian" movies. Now I don't care about any of that. If a movie has a Christian message it's fine so long as the movie is good. But this movie is far from good and just shows the utter drek that "Christian" movies tend to provide.

The movie is supposed to provide a "new" understanding of Christmas and what it means. When you get down to it, it's a pagan holiday with all it's trappings that was co-opted by the early church. The people didn't care because they still got to party like they did before but instead of it being a celebration of the end of the year and a feast in honor of Saturn, it was now about Jesus. What we get instead is something that looks like a home movie and Kirk Cameron and the director sitting in a car for most of the run time and talking. Well it's more like Kirk lecturing to the other guy about the meaning of Christmas and injecting new information which the other guy just accepts as being true without questioning. Kirk even admits at some point that these stories are just that, they're just stories. But new stories in an attempt to change the way the holiday is seen. In a sense he's trying to rewrite history in order to match his personal views.

Along the way there's some bad attempts at comedy here and there and, I kid you now, a 10 minute dance scene at the end that just feels like it was there to pad out the running time. And even then the movie is barely 80 minutes long.

Rightfully this was savaged by the critics and the audience who saw it for what it was. And the most ironic thing is that Kirk actually asked Christians to go and rig the vote on "Rotten Tomatoes" to bump up the score whether they had seen the movie or not. That's right. Kirk was asking people to lie which, as far as I remember, is not something that his God looks too favorably upon. That was met with the Streisand Effect and if anything it drove the score even lower.

This is a misguided movie in every sense of the word.

Manos: The Hands of Fate
(1966)

One of the worst movies ever made.
In the pantheon of bad movies there have always been two that have been vying for the title of the "Worst Movie Ever Made". Those two are "Troll 2" and "Manos: The Hands of Fate". Well I'm here to tell you that whole "Troll 2" is bad in every sense of the word it is at least enjoyably bad. The same thing can't be said for this travesty. Sure you can get together with a group of friends and riff the hell out of it, but you can't really say that you enjoyed watching it.

This movie was the brainchild of a fertilizer salesman who made the film on a bet. He used a wind up camera that could only record 32 seconds of film at a time meaning that no scene lasts longer than that. There were also no microphones meaning that everything had to be recorded in post. Add to that nobody involved in the entire process knew anything about acting or film production. The result was a hot mess of a movie that honestly doesn't make any sense.

A family is driving in the desert on vacation and wind up at a compound where the father decides this is the hotel they've booked at. Why? It's the only thing around for miles so it must be the place. There, to greet them, is Torgo. He's a strange little man with huge knees who seems to have trouble walking. Torgo takes a liking to the mother. Stuff happens which is mostly forgettable and we find out the owner of the place is this weird dude with a harem of mind controlled women and he wants the mother and her young daughter to join his harem. There's some badly choreographed fights, one of the women in the harem dies from a light slap and like in the song "Hotel California", the family never leaves.

The only actor to get anything out of it was the young girl that played the daughter. She got a bicycle out of it. The rest were supposed to get a share of the profits. But since it was shown in only one theater and people hated it, nobody got anything. The actor playing Torgo died before the movie came out from a drug overdose. Some say that it was partially due to the leg prothetics he wore. he was supposed to be a satyr but either the devices they designed for him didn't work or he wore them wrong and they caused him extreme pain.

This really only should be watched out of sheer curiosity or masochism because there is no way to enjoy it. Even if you say you like bad movies, this is honestly too bad even for that.

From Justin to Kelly
(2003)

Yes, it really is that bad.
I never really understood the popularity of the whole "American Idol" juggernaut. And the longer it went on, the less sense it really made. How many actual winners can you name and are still recording? And in at least one case, it was a runner up that actually managed to gain stardom not the person that actually won. But I can say the series was massively popular so what did the producers decide to do? Rush out a movie using the winner and runner up of the first season into a terrible movie.

The story is pretty basic. Young man meets young woman, both of them sing, they dance badly, other people sing and dance badly, there's a plot shoehorned in there and in the end the two wind up together. You've seen this whole plot before. Honestly there is absolutely nothing new here. But what separates a good version of this story from a bad version is the plot. Well, that and the musical numbers of course. And as somebody who has seen their fair share of musicals I can tell you that this has "marketing machine" pasted all over it. This was made to sell a product, namely the whole American Idol thing.

Certain things can be forgiven. Justin and Kelly can't act. Neither could Elvis for that matter but he at least had charisma and there's none of that on screen. There's no real chemistry between the leads. Their whole getting together in the end just doesn't feel organic and the rest of the movie feels lazy and rushed.

Thankfully this movie didn't do well with the critics or the audience or we'd be getting a slew of these things after each season.

Hazbin Hotel
(2019)

Lively and enjoyable
It's one thing for a big studio to come out with a new product. It's something else for an independent studio to do the same thing. Animation is hard. It takes a lot of time, passion and commitment to pull off. And boy did this indie studio pull this off. While not perfect, the care and attention to detail more than makes up for any shortcomings.

The story is the princess of Hell is tired of the occasional purges that take place to reduce the population of demons. She finds it wasteful and decides that a better way to take care of this is to rehabilitate the demons instead. Enter the hotel. Problem is nobody in hell is up on the idea and she's ridiculed for it. Even the one resident of the hotel is only using it as a free place to stay and they have no real intention of improving themselves. And so an entity, with nefarious reasons, joins them for his own purpose and we're off.

The animation is lovely. It's fluid, it's very stylistic but well executed and the voice acting is well done. This is something done by amateurs that can rival that done by big studios. But since it is a small operation this is going to take time. From what I understand this 30 minute pilot took three years to make.

This is something that I am looking forward to seeing more of.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
(2015)

Dull.
I'll be the first to admit that I never read the books for this series nor did I really know much about it. But I was bored and they were streaming so I'd figure I'd watch them to see what all the fuss was about.

The first one, while not a great movie, was decent enough that made me want to see the second. And while I didn't feel it was as good as the first, sheer bloody mindedness made me finish it and honestly I was bored silly throughout Mockingjay. That's both parts one and two.

I had hoped that there would be more action, a big finish, something to really bring this series home but all I got was the heroine moping about, walking, obvious people dying and a really obvious ending.

The first is the best of the bunch and it just goes downhill from there,

The Dark Tower
(2017)

What was that?
This movie just goes to show that you can't condense 7 books into a two hour movie without losing a LOT in the process. I get it though, it's an adaptation and adaptations tend to use ideas from the source material but not necessarily follow the story itself. But what we got was NOT the Dark Tower in any way, shape or form. To put this into more recent terms, imagine something like the Harry Potter books but taking all that story and condensing it into a two hour movie. And instead of Harry Potter taking on Valdemort in a wizard's duel in the final chapter, instead Valdemort wants to steal Harry's power and some dude just shoots him in the end. That's what this movie is. It's the Dark Tower in name only.

Now they got some parts right. Some. Not a lot. Some of the characters show up. Some of the plot points are covered. Some of the ideas from the series are brought up. And that's about it. What we're left with is the bare bones of the novels stitched together in an attempt to make a movie.

What we're left with is some cluttered and, honestly, not very interesting story. I'm actually glad I waited and saw it on Netflix instead of paying to see it in the theater.

If you want to know what happens, read the books. Stephen King might not be able to write a decent ending, but the main story more than makes up for it.

The Starlost
(1973)

Creepy, cheesy and really low budget.
The Starlost was a series that really could have been much more than it was. The main writer, at least at the start, was sci-fi legend Harlan Ellison and it starred Keir Dullea who is best known as Dave Bowman from the classic "2001: A Space Odyssey". And numerous well known character actors as guest stars, specially from Star Trek. So what went wrong? Well... everything.

Originally the series was to employ a new kind of blue screen technology in which the characters could interact in front of a blue screen which would then track their movements. Unfortunately this didn't work out and any blue screen effects had to be static. Secondly the show was on a shoestring budget meaning that the effects they did have were cheap and looked it. The show, originally supposed to be filmed in London England, was then transferred to Toronto Canada. The budget was slashed and finally there was a falling out with head writer Harlan Ellison and, from what I understand, a writer's strike during that time. This mean that some of the episodes were actually penned by nearby high school students. Add this all up and you're looking at a disaster.

The show itself had an interesting premise. The Earth had been destroyed and the survivors were put on board a giant ark with biodomes all along the length. An accident early on killed the crew, the biodomes were sealed and the people living in those domes forgot they were on a spaceship. Unfortunately without a crew to pilot the massive ship, it's now off course and heading towards a star which will eventually kill everybody. So it's up to our heroes to get to the command deck and somehow figure out how to save everybody.

While there were some good episodes, most of them are rather forgettable and, let's be honest, it really hasn't aged very well. The special effects are pretty sub par and the episodes written by the high schoolers are pretty bad.

A Little Late with Lilly Singh
(2019)

Boring
I get it. Late night TV is littered by middle aged straight white men. It makes sense that at some point a bisexual woman of color would eventually show up as well. But is it asking too much for her show to be interesting?

I'll be honest here. I never really liked Lilly Singh and her "Superwoman" channel on Youtube. But I'm always willing to give somebody a chance and after 20 minutes of this show I turned it off. It was lame and it was boring.

Her monologue was just cringeworthy. Yeah I get it, you're a bisexual woman of color. No need to continually bring that up. And then the guests didn't do it for me, nor did her interview style.

And in all honesty, this reminds me of another late night Canadian talk show, "Open Mike with Mike Bullard". A guy that, from what I understand, was genuinely funny in his standup days but once he got a late night show that funny was replaced with lame. Everything is there. The lame, unfunny monologue, the bad interview style and the boring guests.

I'm all for inclusion. But is it asking too much for the people to be actually talented?

Disneyland: Child of Glass
(1978)
Episode 16, Season 24

Some things just stay stuck in your head.
"Sleeping lies the murdered lass. Vainly cries the child of glass. When the two are made as one, the spirit's journey will be done."

All these years later and I can still remember and quote that line. I didn't quite get the riddle back in the day but that doesn't mean I can't repeat it.

The story is of a young boy who's parents have bought an old antebellum home and are fixing it up. He feels alone and frustrated that so much work needs to be done on the home. But one night he meets the ghost of a young Creole girl that was murdered on the site. He has until Halloween to solve the riddle or else be cursed to be haunted for the rest of his life.

It's a decent story with varying degrees of skill from the child actors. but enjoyable enough in a slightly hokey way. This is far from the Disney TV series best work but it's worth a watch.

Siu Lam juk kau
(2001)

Pure insanity.
There are no real words to describe this movie other than it's pure insanity. You have a group of Shaolin monks that want to bring the ideals of Shaolin to the people and decide to do it through the best medium possible: Soccer.

There's actually a little more to it than that but this is not a move that takes itself seriously. Most of it is played for laughs and if you've seen Stephen Chow's other forays into Kung-Fu comedy you pretty much can expect ridiculous situations, some cool wire work and some pretty amazing scenes.

Stephen Chow plays Sing, a master of Shaolin Kung-fu, who wants to promote the spiritual and physical benefits of kung fu to modern day China. But every thing he's tried has failed in one way or another. That is until he encounters a legendary soccer player that was permanently injured by a teammate who is now a ruthless and powerful businessman.

They decide to join forces and have Sing learn soccer and enlist his Shaolin brothers to join him. What follows is an almost non-stop ride of these Shaolin monks using their fantastic abilities to play soccer which culminates in a match against a team of supermen created by the same businessman.

And as I said, this movie is insane but in a good way. The success of this movie is what led Stephen Chow to make Kung-Fu Hustle which had a much higher budget and better special effects.

Swordfish
(2001)

Cool and stylish but far from perfect.
Swordfish has, in my opinion, one of the greatest opening scenes of any movie I've seen. And then from there it just kinda meanders along. Not to say it's bad or anything, but it just feels a little lacking.

It starts with John Travolta giving a lovely little speech on the state of movies today and how Hollywood pumps out a product that is a word that IMDB won't let me use but you can figure out. This is followed up by a great action scene even if it is marred by some rather lackluster attempt at pulling off "bullet time". The Matrix had come out a little while before and suddenly everybody was using it so that can be forgiven. From there the movie takes a couple steps back and shows us the events that led up to this.

John Travolta plays a... government agent of sorts but one working entirely in the shadows. Him and his team are the ones called on to do the stuff that the government simply can't acknowledge any part of. But in order to continue they need money. Money that is hidden in a series of bank accounts that very few people actually know of. In order to get their hands on this, they require the services of a cracker that can break the security around any system and this is where Hugh Jackman shows up. What follows is a high speed, action packed movie where nothing is necessarily as it seems.

It's an enjoyable movie for you to just sit back, munch on some popcorn and see some cool scenes. Just don't expect anything award winning.

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