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3000 Miles to Graceland

very entertaining but not good at all
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) This is a tricky film to rate and review. Do I rate it based off of how entertaining it was or do I rate it based on how terrible it is. I guess I'll meet them somewhere in the middle.

To start with the positives, 3000 Miles to Graceland is very entertaining and keeps you watching. It has a lot of cool effects and great action sequences, and a relatively decent storyline, though ridiculous in many ways. One other thing I have good to say about it is that it has some pretty good cinematography, not always, but often. With an all star cast like they have (personally I love Costner's character) its hard not give it a chance and I think it deserves people watching it, at least fans of action films.

On the other hand, the film is actually pretty terrible. Very bad acting by most of the cast, and a lot of generic and stupid dialog. As I mentioned, it does have a good root idea for the storyline. However, trying to be cool, and more action packed weakened the plot and made the film get worse as it progresses. Top all this off with an obvious and yet unfitting ending and you have 3000 Miles to Graceland.

I think a lot of people will like this film if they are going into it looking for a hardcore action film and not looking for an overall good film. It will keep you entertained but I think whether you like it or not you will probably agree that the action is the only thing holding the film together and making it watchable.



Scorsese, Deniro, and Pesci score again.
Casino (1995) Though Casino is not my favorite Martin Scorsese film, it is still one of his best films and of the best films ever made. Casino is intriguing, entertaining, and brutal.

Casino is a somewhat long film but very easy to watch. It stays interesting the entire time and never really slows. It's a bit different than your average gangster film, concentrating somewhat more on the characters themselves than their business.

To pick a favorite part of the film is kind of hard. Martin Scorsese's directing, and both Robert Deniro and Joe Peschi's roles are all fantastic. Scorsese does great with this film, and even though he has done many similar movies, this one is still fresh and new. Deniro seemingly plays the same role he usually does but it's a much deeper role than most, one of his best performances ever. Peschi on the other hand is definitely at his best, he is so intense he almost steals the film.

Casino is a brutal and intense look at organized crime and Las Vegas, sometimes even hard to watch due to the violence in some scenes. It is one of the greatest films ever. Although some people know it best as the film that uses the "F" word more than any other, it should definitely be remembered for directing, acting, writing, etc, more than anything else. It is truly a masterpiece.

The film will most likely be loved by anyone who watches it, as long as they don't have a short attention span. Any fan of Scorsese, DeNiro, Pesci, or Stone must watch this film. A modern classic that isn't going anywhere.



great cast, great film
Collateral (2004)

Collateral has a great and captivating story line along with some of the best work by the cast and crew. A hit-man kidnaps a cab driver and makes him drive him around town to make his hits. It seems like a relatively easy plot but somehow it's quite original.

The thing that makes this film work so well is the cast and crew. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx are both at their best. Jamie Foxx was nominated for plenty of awards for his role and I think he really deserved that. His performance is only rivaled by his performance in Ray. Tom Cruise didn't get that much praise for his role but it is personally my favorite performance of his, very intense and real.

Besides the acting you also get, in my opinion, Michael Mann's best directing as well. It might not be his best film but I think the directing stands out more than any other. But what I liked even more than the directing and the acting is the cinematography. It's very dark very similar to The Godfather but even darker, almost like the whole film was done in the shadows, its fantastic.

The film is two hours long and I think that was perfect, it never really draws out or anything, it stays tense and interesting the whole time. My only complaint about the film is the ending. I like the actual ending but the minutes leading up to the final scene seems a little to ridiculous to a point. It doesn't ruin the film, if anything it just makes you say "yeah right"


Tom Cruise is chasing Jamie Foxx and Jada Pinkett Smith through a building, though he's quite a ways behind them and can't see where they go he guesses which way they go and what train they go on. He thinks about which way to go at every turn but is still confident he made the right choice every time and stays ready. I guess it is possible but I don't think it would happen. again it doesn't ruin the film, its just a small complaint.

****End Spoilers*****

I think most people will enjoy this film, especially fans of Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx and Michael Mann, or just action films in general.


Horton Hears a Who!

top notch cartoon
Horton Hears a Who! (2008)

Horton Hears a Who is one of my favorite animated films, it's truly hilarious and a lot of fun.

Steve Carell and Jim Carey lead in the film and both do fantastic. Jim Carrey is probably at one of his bests, he gives a Horton a personality that I don't think anyone else could come close to. All the supporting cat does great as well, Carol Burnett, Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler, Isla Fisher and so on. My personal favorite character is Vlad played by Will Arnett, doesn't have the biggest role but its important and all of his scenes are hilarious.

The animation is great, its very cartoonish but very detailed. I haven't read the book so I'm not sure how it compares but I can't imagine it letting fans of the book down. It does seem to have an undertone of religion and other things like that but I don't think its meant to be preachy like some might say, just watch it for what it is, don't read into it.

My only complaint about the film is when they all start singing at the end. It might be because I don't like the song but I think it was to pressured, like they were trying to hard to end it fun and light hearted so they had them sing. It in no way ruined the movie I just wish they had done it a little different.

I suggest this film to anyone, both young and old. It didn't seem to be that popular but I think it should have been and I think most people who watch it will really enjoy it.


Robin Hood

great film, but might not be for everyone
Robin Hood (1973) A classic cartoon made from a classic story.

Robin Hood is a little slower than cartoons now days but it's still very entertaining. It's, in my opinion, one of the most memorable Disney films of all time.

It's a little different than most versions of Robin Hood but I think it had to be since it's Disney. The main story is still there and it's great, although I think the main reason its child friendly and liked is because all the characters are animals. Unlike Oliver and Company where the story of Oliver Twist is changed to be about cats, Robin Hood is played by animals and could have been people, which I think makes it less appealing in some aspects.

The fox Robin Hood was one of my favorite characters growing up. I also still think that Prince John and Sir Hiss are hilarious. One of my other favorite parts of the film is the narrating and soundtrack of Roger Miller. It is definitely a cartoon you watch for the story more than the comedy, like Snow White or Cinderella.

The film however does move a little slow at times. I think most cartoons now are much more active and funny than they used to so I feel some kids now days won't be as into it as kids were in the 70s and 80s. This Robin Hood is still a great version; I just feel it might be appreciated more by a slightly older audience than most cartoons.


Along Came Polly

not fantastic but still funny
Along Came Polly (2004)

Along Came Polly is not Ben Stiller's best film nor his best performance but I really enjoyed it. It's not that original but it is still somehow fresh. It is pretty well written and there are plenty of memorable and distinct moments that make it more recognizable and original than the storyline itself would make it seem like it would. The bathroom scene, the ferret and the basketball scene are a few of these moments.

As far as acting goes, Ben Stiller does what he usually does. He makes you laugh and believe his character but doesn't actually act wonderfully, which doesn't seem to make sense. His performance is similar to that in There's Something About Mary. Jennifer Aniston also gives the same performance as almost everything she's done, which isn't good but it works out fine all together. The best character and performance in the film is Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He has a very strange role in comparison to most of his other work, and he does it great. He was very hilarious and did really good, he kept the film more watchable, though he had a small role. Hank Azaria also had a very funny yet even smaller role that added more character to the otherwise average film.

Any fan of Ben Stiller or Jennifer Aniston will most likely enjoy Along Came Polly. It's nothing extremely special and it's not the funniest movie, but it has a good story and has many good laughs. Definitely worth watching if it's on TV or something, but not really something you need to run out and rent, unless, like I said, you are a big fan of Stiller or Aniston.



one of the greatest comedies ever made
Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! Is easily one of the funniest and most influential comedies ever made. Not the first parody film but it did take them in a new direction. It was done with more genius than almost every comedy made before and after, and it will remain a classic forever. It is jam packed with gags and one liners that would make Groucho Marx proud

There really isn't anything bad to say about this film. Immature? Yeah, sure, but still funny to almost everyone regardless of taste. Its easily the best comedy of the 80s if not the best comedy ever made. It doesn't get annoying like many other films in its style, it stays hilarious the whole time, and it will be hilarious for years and years to come.

I don't think Leslie Nielson would be remembered the way he will be without this film. He plays one of the greatest comedy roles ever, and with the help of Robert Hays, Lloyd Bridges, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, this film becomes legendary. There is truly too many great lines to even begin picking favorites.

Now, is Airplane my favorite comedy? No. I'm not going to sit here and say I love it to death. Don't get me wrong, I do love it and I do think it is one of the greatest comedies ever made, but at the same time, as far as comedies go, I wont call it one of my favorites unless I can watch over and over again. It does stay funny even after multiple viewings but they need to be pretty separated viewings, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just the only thing that keeps me from loving it a little more. Still genius.

If you haven't yet seen Airplane! You have made a mistake. It is a must see by everyone. Make sure you are in the mood for a comedy though. It is one of the few full blown comedies that are both loved by almost everyone and seen as a classic.


The Apartment

one of films best.
The Apartment (1960)

Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder team up again for brilliance. I don't like The Apartment quite as much as I do Some Like it Hot but it still is one of the greatest films of all time.

It is very clever, sweet and funny, and has fantastic performances by both Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. The supporting cast all does good as well. Along with the great acting, The Apartment has outstanding writing and directing by legend Billy Wilder. As I said it isn't my favorite Billy Wilder film but it is one of the best, which automatically means its one of the best films ever made. Billy Wilder is a genius.

I first heard of the film while watching the films from the American Film Institute's 100 greatest films of all time. Since then I have suggested it to many people and watched it a few more times. It's a great way to get into classic films and a great way to stay into classic films.

It's a great and original story, a great mix of comedy and drama. Sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious, but always amazing. I suggest this film to everyone. I think if you give it a chance there is almost no way you wont like it. The Apartment is one more film that proves Billy Wilder is one of the best directors in history.


The Amityville Horror

one of the more decent horror films made recently
Amityville Horror (2005)

Amityville Horror is definitely not the greatest horror film but I think its relatively easy to like. A lot of horror films are either really loved or really hated but I think this one is right around in the pretty good mark.

The story was changed a little from the original legend, but It stayed together still pretty well. I think some things were a little too much (talk about it later) but as far as the main story goes I think it was good.

Filmmaking wise, I think they did well. Good directing for a modern horror remake, and the cinematography gave it a really cool and creepy feeling. Most of the acting was good too, and a surprisingly great performance by Ryan Reynolds, which I wouldn't expect out of him knowing his earlier work. The film is almost more creepy or eerie than scary but it gets the job done.

More of an old school style of horror film. More similar to The Shinning than many other horror films made in recent times. The bad guy is a house, not a random killer, it makes the film scarier and more ominous than a lot of others.


My main problem with the film was the stuff about the Indian burial ground in the basement. I understand they were trying to make everything make more sense and wrap it up better but I think it was too much. It actually made it less believable and more ridiculous. I think leaving out a better explanation makes it scarier and would have left you guessing and talking more. But not all films are the way you want them to be.

****end spoilers****

I don't know how the film compares to the original because I haven't seen it, but if you're in the mood for an intense horror film I think this could be the right choice. Amityville Horror is not going to be liked by everyone but I think some will enjoy it. As I said it's not great.


Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Not Brooks' best but still hilarious
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights is far from Mel Brooks' best film, but it definitely is hilarious. As far as his films that parody other film franchises go, its no Young Frankenstein but it is better than Dracula: Dead and Loving it.

Not the greatest acting but few comedies ever do. There may not be any great performances but they are funny performances. I don't think I would have thought that Cary Elwes was the right choice to play the lead in this film, but they made the right choice by picking him. He gave a very Princess Bride like performance that worked out well. Dave Chappell gave a good debut performance, though he definitely wasn't as funny as he would become later on. Mark Blankfield as Blinkin I think is probably the most remembered character in the film and its for good reason, he is hilarious.

The film is full of great Mel Brooks style jokes and gags that would make The Marx Brothers proud. Some jokes are misses and are slightly painful due to how unfunny they are but those come rare, its usually consistently funny. It's probably my favorite Mel Brooks movie after Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. Though it is a little less liked and a little dumber, I think fans of those two films will still like this one.

Before you watch Robin Hood Men in Tights I would suggest you see at least one other version of Robin Hood, to understand the story they are making fun of. Im sure the film would still be funny who didn't know the story but I think some knowledge of the legend would make it better.

Anyone who likes Mel Brooks, anyone who likes Robin Hood and anyone who likes comedies should give it a try. Some people might find it a little annoying and dumb at times but I think most people will at least get enough laughs to like it.


American Outlaws

fun but far from great
American Outlaws (2001)

American Outlaws is not historically accurate really at all except for a few small things, but that doesn't bother me at all, it is still a very fun movie.

The film has a good blend of action, drama and comedy which makes it easy to watch. Its not as good as the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, as far as newer westerns go, but I still think it was well put together. Good western gun fights, and a good western storyline, blended with some funny one liners.

The acting was decent as well. American Outlaws was the first film I saw Colin Farrell in and instantly became a fan, though now this is far from his best work. He does a good accent that would make you never guess he was Irish. The rest of the cast is a little hit and miss in my opinion. No one did terrible but even Kathy Bates didn't do that great. Timothy Dolton probably gave the best performance of the supporting cast. However, other supporting cast members like Scott Caan and Ali Larter didn't really give much of a performance at all

I think the film is pretty fairly rated by most, because it's not great. The acting is OK, the story isn't that original, and it's not accurate, but it is fun and I still enjoy it. So overall, I can't guarantee anyone will like it. If you like westerns or you like Colin Farrell, I think you should at least give this film a try. Just remember it isn't a history lesson.



really good, but had potential to be better.
Choke (2008)

Being a huge fan of fight club, I was very excited to see Choke. They are both based on books by Chuck Palahnuik and I think they are both good, but very different. Fight Club is much better but I think it would have been interesting to see what Choke could have been with a bigger director or lead actor, and a bigger budget. (I think it might have been given a smaller budget because of it's slightly risqué topics, which I think is unfair.)

With that aside I'd like to say I still think that Choke is underrated. It's a great story with a lot of good twists and turns and it best of all, its hilarious. I think it had a lot of potential to be more main stream but something went wrong with that. Clark Gregg isn't as big as a director as David Fincher (director of Fight Club) so I think it might have lost some momentum there. And with that, Sam Rockwell isn't a huge name either. Though neither are big names I still think they did a pretty good job and the rest of the cast did as well, mainly Angelica Huston.

From what I've heard, if you read the book you are not going to like the film. I haven't read it so I don't know if that's true. However, if you haven't read the book I think you could really enjoy it. Its very funny, interesting and original. Don't watch it when you are in the mood for a full blown comedy, it is really funny but more drama driven.



one of the most ridiculous movies ever made... but it works
Crank (2006)

Crank is a strange movie to review. Its really a strange movie all together. It seems like the writer and director said "lets make a movie with truly non-stop action," and in the end that's what they had.

I can't really say I think it's a good movie, because I don't. However I do enjoy it. Crank is the only movie I've seen that really is non-stop action. Right from the beginning the action starts and its tense right to the last second. With the camera angles and movement of the camera even the parts where people are just talking seems tense and almost action like.

I don't think the film is all that well done in the long run though. It definitely works but it isn't really good. The story is probably the most ridiculous story ever and the cinematography often times looks pretty armature. The acting is decent from Jason Statham considering what he was doing, but the rest of the cast were pretty lame and didn't seem to try that hard.

So its hard to give a rating to this film. Do I go with how much I like it or how much it deserves? If you are in the mood for a real hardcore action movie Crank is your best choice, it makes action films like XXX look tame. On the other hand, if you are looking for an action movie that I feel is more of an actual good movie this isn't the way to go. Bad storyline, acting, writing, dialog, directing, and so on… but somehow… it's a lot of fun. Even though I bashed the film a bit, it's still a very original and fun film, and can be enjoyed when you are just looking for a straight up, true action film.



great film. don't be scared away by the religious parts.
Ben-Hur (1959)

Often cited as one of the greatest films ever made, and truly it is. Although its not one of my top favorites I do really enjoy it and agree with it being one of the best.

It's a film that I think couldn't be as big now days, or at least not as good. They would ruin it with CGI and it wouldn't look as cool. Hollywood wouldn't allow so many extras these days in my opinion. Along with this the a lot of the stunts would be faked.

Besides all of the big scenes, like the chariot race, the film is still great. Though the action scenes are probably the most remembered, the drama is what keeps the film together and makes it a classic. Perfectly directed and performed, it will continue to be viewed for years.

Not being a religious person at all, I was worried that the biblical aspects of the film were gonna ruin the film, make it too cheesy and what not. However that doesn't happen. The bible, in my opinion, has great stories (if you just take them as stories not truth) so all the parts with Jesus are actually pretty cool, because it gives him that superhero like feel. Ben-Hur is called a story of Christ, which is weird, because it is about Jesus but at the same time it's not about him at all. More of a look at someone who was affected by him. Very interesting.

On of Charlton Heston's best performances, and one of William Wyler's best films, it really deserved the Oscar sweep that it did. Winning best picture, actor, supporting actor, cinematography, costume design, art direction, effects, editing, directing, music, sound and of course best picture. I cant see any of these wins going to any other film. Though I personally like Some Like it Hot and Anatomy of a Murder more than Ben- Hur, I feel Ben Hur still deserved the wins.

This film should be watched by everyone. I'm assuming a lot of the younger crowds might get bored by it, but anyone that's able to sit through a 3 hour film, mostly dialog driven, then please do yourself a favor and watch it. It's a classic epic for a reason, and will be on the top of most movie lists for a long time.


The Bone Collector

starts off good, ends badly
The Bone Collector (1999)

5 word summary

Quadriplegic detective helps track killer

The Bone Collector starts off as a great new kind of police thriller. It takes a lot of clichéd ideas but turns them into something original and fresh.

A quadriplegic detective helps a cop track down a killer who is leaving clues to the next victim, victims who have been put in situations that will kill them by a certain time.

A lot of the murders reminded me a little of Saw, a pipe that will blow steam, cuts all over in rat infested areas. The only difference is the police need to save you before you die instead of you saving yourself. it's creative and disturbing and very entertaining. A lot of very tense moments as people are about to die horrible deaths and the police are close to saving them. It keeps the movie very exciting.

However, the film loses a lot of my respect when the ending comes. It's a very clichéd, obvious, boring ending and even more so, a disappointing ending. though who the killer is was a bit of a surprise, why he is doing it and what follows after he admits what he's done is a cop out and frankly, a little stupid. It definitely changed my rating but overall did not ruin the film, just made it not as good as it could have been.

The acting is good by Denzel Washington but not better than usual for him, just an average performance (which isn't a bad thing.) Angelina Jolie's performance was better than usual but overall nothing special. The rest of the cast was mediocre at best, no one really stands out.

I would suggest the Bone Collector to anyone who enjoys crime thrillers. For the most part it is great, it was just slightly ruined by the ending. A must for Denzel and Angelina fans.


Blue Streak

funny but not great
Blue Streak (1999)

5 word summary

Dimond thief poses as detective

As with most Martin Lawrence films, I enjoyed Blue Streak more when I was younger, however, I'm not saying I don't enjoy it.

Blue Streak is probably one of my favorite Martin Lawrence films, along with What's The Worst That Could Happen, Life, and Wild Hogs. It's completely unrealistic and not all that well performed or even casted, but it does make me laugh.

If you get past the part of it being ridiculous (as far as realistic goes) the scenes are decently set up. If a criminal was able to do what Lawrence's character does then these are some of the funny things that could happen and the reaction he would have had to them. At the same time, not all the parts are like this and some scenes are just kind of stupid.

Lawrence does alright for himself. He never has really been a great actor but he is sometimes pretty funny and that's what happened here. Tolerable performance, funny lines. Sometimes he does good and has actually funny and well done lines like in Life, other times he is not funny and just annoying, like in Black Knight.

Dave Chappelle was definitely the highlight of the film. He is hilarious in almost every one of his scenes, making me wish he was in it more. Peter Greene gave basically the exact same performance as he did in The Mask, Training Day, Pulp Fiction and I'm assuming a lot of his other roles. He plays a good bad guy but nothing special. Luke Wilson was OK at best, same with the rest of the cast.

The film is only held together by the comedy. It's an action comedy but the action is pretty clichéd. Your average gunfights and same old car chases, with some funny stuff here in there. Acting is OK, directing OK, story is pretty dumb and so on. Nothing special.

If you enjoy Martin Lawrence then you will enjoy this film. If you don't like him don't even attempt to watch it. I like the movie but I'll say it's nothing worth going out of your way to see. If it's on TV or something and you are in the mood to have some laughs then go for it. Perhaps you will really like it.


Blood Diamond

one of the most powerful films in years
Blood Diamond (2006)

2006 was quite a year for movies. The Departed, Pans Labyrinth, Letters From Iwo Jima, Babel, Children of Men, Last King of Scotland, The Prestige, Etc. Even with all these great films Blood Diamond still stands out as one of the year's best.

Blood Diamond has so many things working in its favor. Fantastic performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, and Jennifer Connelly, great directing by Edward Zwick, amazing cinematography by Eduardo Serra, and an exciting and touching story by Charles Leavitt. It's so close to being a perfect film, it just barely missed the bar in my opinion.

The main thing working against it was the length. I have no problem with long movies, however I feel that a little too much time was spent with Jennifer Connelly's character. She did have an important role, I guess, but not as important as they made it, which stretched the film a little longer than I think it need to be.

With that aside it was great. DiCaprio and Hounsou's performances are probably both of their bests. The story kind of makes you not want to by diamonds. Which isn't really the message at all, it's just telling you not to by them from conflict areas. The story is so powerful, you feel for all the characters and want to do something about it. It's a outstanding mix of thriller, drama, and action films.

I would recommend this film to anyone. DiCaprio fans, action movie fans, drama movie fans, as I said, anyone. Blood Diamond is a great film and you won't be disappointed. it's one of the most powerful films in years.



coolest vampire film?
Blade (1998)

5 word summary

Half Vampire battles evil vampires

10 years before the vampire craze took over teens and young adults across the country Vampire films were actually cool.

Blade is packed full of action. It has some of the coolest fight scenes and is one of the coolest vampire films made. It's not full of drawn out dialog or lame love stories like most vampire films. It does have a bit of a love story in it but it's barely noticeable.

As I said the fight scenes are great. The sword fights are well choreographed and when you add in disintegrating vampires with every sword swing and every silver bullet shot it looks even cooler. The effects are usually really good. When the vampires disintegrate and things like that look good but toward the end when a hand is formed from blood and some one explodes it looks terrible, which is a shame. As for the acting Wesley Snipes did great and Stephen Dorff did even better. The supporting cast did fairly well too.

Blade does have some problems, besides the occasional bade graphic. Some really cheesy dialog and painful attempts at catch phrases, but it worked out decent in the long run so I guess that's really what matters.

I don't think the plot is the most original vampire story, but it is a pretty original way of telling it. Anyone looking for a good action film should check this one out. Anyone who doesn't like the 2008 style of vampire films might also enjoy it just to see some vampires get killed. Overall a very cool film that I think most will like and many will love.


Big Daddy

not Sandler's best but funny.
Big Daddy (1999)

When this film first came out I loved it. However, I was 12. Now when I watch it I still find it funny at times but not as great as I use to, much like other Adam Sandler films from the late 90s and early 00s.

A man named Sonny Koufax tries impressing his girl friend by becoming a foster father to a kid whose father is Sonny's roommate Kevin. The Kid, Julian, arrives while Kevin is in China for business and Sonny decides he's going to raise him his way. Soon he falls in love with Kevin's fiancé's sister Layla and trouble with Julian comes around as well

Big Daddy is clearly implausible but it is a comedy so that's usually expectable. It does have a decent story and drama and the comedy is usually pretty decent but it seems to be a little scattered. It was kind of like a big montage. It just kept showing random parts of Sonny and Julian hanging out. The parts with Layla seem to go normally but the parts with Julian seem kind of armature-ish. It doesn't seem like good writing, it seems like someone just brain stormed funny things to happen with a kid and put them together.

Adam Sandlers performance is basically the same as in Mr Deeds, Wedding Singer, Anger Management, and so on. nothing special but it works for his comedies.. The Sprouse twins did a great job playing Julian, and all the rest of the cast did pretty decent. Rob Schneider did his normal funny supporting role as usual in Sandler's films, and he, along with a cameo by Steve Buscemi, has some of the funniest parts in the film.

Anyone who is a fan of Adam Sandler should like this film, especially fans of his films around 2000 (Wedding Singer, Water Boy, Little Nicky, etc.) It is Definitely not Sandlers funniest film but it's pretty high on the list. Most likely liked by the younger crowd but some adults should still find it good or at least tolerable.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

no Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but still very good
Charlie and the Factory (2005)

As a fan of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp, was excited to see this film. Though many people I talked to didn't like it, I personally loved it. It's not as good or as magical as the 1971 musical version but its still a lot of fun. It's a little strange because it's very colorful but at the same time its dark.

The story is much different than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It follows a little closer to the book for the main details but adds some extras as well. It is also very child friendly, which you have to remember when seeing it. It's not like Sweeny Todd or Sleepy Hollow, so don't go in expecting it to be that style of Tim Burton film, it's like his Alice in Wonderland.

To the performances I must say that the role of Willy Wonka is not Johnny Depp's best acting but its certainly enjoyable. Very quirky and strange and a lot of fun to watch. All the children did great as well, Freddie Highmore, and AnnaSophia Robb especially.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has very interesting CGI. It's not necessarily very realistic but it's also not very noticeable because even the people seem kind of fake due to the make up.

One complaint I have, and I think others do too, is the Oompa Lumpas. Not so much because it's the same person playing all of them, (I didn't mind that too much, just a little at first) my main issue is with the songs. I liked the idea of them singing and all of that, they just weren't very good and got a little annoying, unlike the classics in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Overall Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is very fun, light hearted, and a great film. Once you start watching it's hard to look away. Fans of Depp and Burton should enjoy it as long as they realize that it is rated PG so it is more directed towards kids, but is still easily loved by adults.


The Butterfly Effect

original way of telling a used story
The Butterfly Effect (2004)

It seems like a story that everyone has thought of and wanted to do. Travel back in time and mess with it and it changes the future. Easy and obvious to think of and do, but the Butterfly Effect figures out a way to do it in a different way.

Though it takes a little more brain work or imagination than your average time travel film that just uses a time machine, it's still a pretty easily followed movie. Creative and intriguing. It's actually more of a fantasy film than a sci-fi film because the main character travels in time using his brain rather than a machine.

The Butterfly Effect has a couple surprisingly good performances. Ashton Kutcher in a non comedic performance seems like it will be awkward, like Jim Carrey's early serious roles, but he does great and you would never guess that that's not his normal style. The supporting cast also does pretty decent for the most part, but nothing spectacular. To be honest most of the younger cast does better than the grown up cast.

The writing and directing are both pretty good. They did a good job keeping everything new and original and kept things in order pretty well, for the most part, which kept the film very easy to follow. I also enjoyed the cinematography.

If you are watching this on DVD you will probably have the option of theatrical cut or directors cut. I have seen both and they both have their positives. The theatrical cut ending makes more sense and is easier to believe (not that the film is believable to begin with.) The director's cut on the other hand is cooler and I think has a more interesting and thought provoking ending. If you have a choice, I'd recommend the director's cut.

Butterfly Effect is a new and cooler twist on a simple idea, and it's quite a thrill ride. It seems more liked by the younger crowed but I think just about anyone will like it. Anyone into psychological thrillers, or dark fantasies should try out this film. It's a fun film that most will enjoy.


Full Metal Jacket

Kubrick's best, and one of film's best
Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Full Metal Jacket seems like 2 great short films rolled into one. The first half is a film about boot camp the second follows a correspondent into urban combat in Vietnam.

The first half is incredible; the boot camp is tense and realistic. But it's a good thing that it doesn't last the whole film. I don't think that it could have been as extreme, they would have had to stretch it out and it would have lost its fast paced action. R Lee Ermey pretty much steals the show in the first half. His performance is impressive and one of the most memorable performances in any war film. Many other characters had good performances as well, mostly Vincent D'Onofrio. His performance starts out seemingly poor. The further his character (Gomer Pyle) gets pushed and the more he starts to look crazy the better performance he gives. Seems like hes better at playing a crazy person than a mentally slow person.

****first part spoiler****

We finish part one with one of the most tense scenes in all of film, with all three main characters giving their best performances. Knowing Kubrick's perfectionism this scene must have been just as tense to shoot as the final outcome. Pyle snaps, kills Hartman, kills himself and no matter how many times I see it, my jaw still drops. The look on D'Onofrio's face is incredible, such pain and insanity. It helps make the scene as memorable as it is, one of the greatest facial performances (is that a term?) ever.

****end spoilers****

Just as it seems like the film is over the second half jumps in. moving from tension at his highest straight into Vietnam and a hooker walking to the beat of "These Boots are Made for Walking" A very strange transition that actually works out great.

The second half is still a great movie but not as much as the first half. It's a lot like your average war movie in a lot of ways but still very distinct. We see much different kinds of characters than the average Vietnam movie. Usually it's a bunch of hard asses and one guy who doesn't like what they are doing, while we do see both of those types, we see many others as well. Due to the styles of fighting it's actually more like a World War 2 film rather than Vietnam because its urban warfare rather than in the jungle.

I don't have as much to say about the second half. It's fantastic but nothing that stands out from other great war movies. Great soundtrack, directing, writing, acting, fighting, all of that, just not as memorable as the first half.


My favorite thing about the second half is that, though they complete little missions, nothing really gets accomplished. It could have ended with the killing of the sniper but that would have made it seem like that was the mission and that finished it. By adding the last scene of the soldiers walking singing the Mickey Mouse song it showed that the war wasn't over and nothing really has changed for them, or the war. I'm guessing this is probably how a lot of people felt during the war, and even after it.

Kubrick didn't mean for this to be an anti war film, but by showing the war the way it was, it can't really be seen as anything but that, in my opinion.

****end spoilers****

Any fan of Kubrick's work should definitely watch this film. Anyone that's a fan of war films or really fans of movies in general should not miss this one either. One of cinema's best.


Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

thin line between insanity and genius
Kung Pow (2002)

5 word summary

Chosen one battles against evil

Kung Pow is truly one of the dumbest and most ridiculous film ever made, it also is one of my personal favorite comedies ever made.

After watching the previews back in 02 I thought this movie looked stupid, I had no interest in seeing it. The main focus of the trailer is the battle against the cow and that looked stupid. Most of my friends at the time thought it looked hilarious. One day, while home sick, I decided to watch it against my better judgment. And what happened? I laughed my ass off.

The comedy in it is really, really stupid and yet genius at the same time. one of those things that prove there's a thin line between genius and insanity. Right when you figure out the humor they toss in something you didn't expect that is just so random and hilarious that takes the film to another level. For instance, the opening scene. We see a baby fighting a man. He flips all over, pees on him, and soon the man gets frustrated and burns down the house. The baby flies out the window and falls down a hill. At this point you think you know the humor. Alright its immature dumb humor but it seems like it will be OK. Then we see what the film really is like. The baby lands on a path going through the hill. A woman picks him up and holds him swaying and mentioning how cute he is. She turns and walks to the hill and throws him off saying "bye bye" and the baby continues to fall. So random and yet it's a remarkably genius addition to the scene. A scene that most films would have stopped 2 minutes earlier. It's the first clue that this will not be your average comedy.

Kung Pow has so many great lines. Along with Anchorman and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it is one of my favorite movies to quote.

My main problem with the film is the same reason I didn't originally want to see it. The fight with the cow. I do and always have skipped that scene, it goes on to long, it doesn't look good, and it's just not funny. But for some reason that's what the film is remembered for, and that's a shame.

Other than that I haven't much else to say. The film is definitely not for everyone and I don't get mad when someone I talk to didn't like it or the not so high ratings it gets. I understand it's a dumb film but I do truly believe it is fantastic. If you're willing and open to it maybe you will see it for the genius it is.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

one of the best westerns and movies of all time
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is and always will be known as one of the greatest Westerns, and really greatest movies of all time. though I personally prefer The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and both versions of 3:10 to Yuma, I think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a much more fun movie.

This film seems like an easier Western to get into. A lot of people have the image in their heads of Westerns as cowboys versus Indians and duels at noon (even though most good Westerns don't really fall into that.) I think anyone that imagines Westerns to be this way should watch a film like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Its not your average western but at the same time a near perfect one.

The main thing that keeps this film fun and exciting is the team of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. They play off of each other so well, and though it's not really a Western Comedy it often times feels like one. It's a different genre yet it has similar style to The Sting made 4 years later, obviously mainly due to the team up of Paul Newman and Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill.

Great dialog, great directing, great acting, great cinematography, and classic shootouts and chases. It's no wonder why this movie is so popular. Some people, including me, aren't a big fan of the bicycle scene with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." I don't really think it fits well in the film but it doesn't ruin it. That is my only criticism of the whole film. It's a very original and clever film that deserves all the attention it has got, yet still deserves more.

Recommended to anyone, especially fans of Newman, Redford and westerns, and anyone that "doesn't like westerns" but is willing to give it a chance, you won't be let down.


The Last Exorcism

3 steps to ruining your horror movie
The Last Exorcism (2010)

5 word summary

Camera crew follows skeptical exorcist

How do you take a creepy story and a filmmaking style that adds creepy realism and turn it into an hour and a half of boring? That's easy, bad writing, bad acting and bad music.

As with most horror films the build up seems to take to long. The film starts talking to a preacher (Cotton) and his family about how he use to be a exorcist and thinks its all fake and is going to make a documentary to show that it's a scam. In the style of Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project, The Last Exorcist is a fake documentary and therefore had a realistic and creepy feel to it, or at least it should have. Not sure why they went with a camera that takes 2 minutes to get into focus.)

The acting and writing right away ruins the movie. As the story continues and we follow Cotton into deep Louisiana to find his client, I already started to not care what happens. As I watched it I couldn't help but think, "Who talks like this?" it wasn't normal bad horror movie conversation, it was below average. It was two of the worst things that can happen together (bad acting and bad writing) because if it was a good actor saying bad lines sometimes they can pull it off, or if its good dialog and bad actors sometimes you can not notice. However, when you team these up it gets painful.

My third problem with the film is the music. If you decide to make a movie as a documentary, trying to make it realistic, KEEP THE MUSIC OUT OF IT! The lack of music is usually way more creepy than overdone "spooky" music that has been used by every ghost TV show and every horror movie ever. When you finally get to the "scary" parts that the trailers show you get excited, "alright the movie has been bad, but maybe it will be scary and save itself." Nope. Doesn't happen. Though they had scenes that should have been awesome and made you wide eyed and ready to freak, that music comes in to ruin it. What you're left with is a one cheap jump and no nightmares.

I will say with all the bad stuff aside, the film did have some things I liked, though few. They did a good job making some creepy scenes, though they were ruined. When we first see her sitting in the motel room, when we see her bending weird, that quick smile as the door closes and her sitting on top of the furniture in her room. All of these scenes were well crafted and would have stayed in my thoughts, but ruined due to acting, writing, and music.

I cant help but notice the trailers resemblance to Exorcism of Emily Rose. Both showed the "scary" scenes and made you think the movie was about a possessed girl, (like the exorcist) however both times the trailers showed all the time the girl was acting weird. They leave out the other hour and twenty minutes that had nothing. Well, good for them, they tricked me and got my money

Now, to that ending.


I've heard that many people are upset with the abrupt ending, but that's the least of the ending problems. Honestly, at this point I cant wait for the ending. First off, as I'm sure many people noticed, the Rosemary's Baby ending. I don't really have a problem if during a movie you reference or pay homage to classic horror films, but you don't take that movies twist ending and use it for your ending, especially not twice. Taking the Rosemary's Baby ending and strapping it to The Blair Witch Project ending made that abrupt ending a godsend. I felt like yelling at the film to stop when I saw the baby being born and all the townsfolk being a cult. Then what do I see? The camera man running through the woods. I kept waiting for him to stop and look into the camera and say, "I'm so scared." (also, If your getting attacked by a cult would you really run away with the camera? Especially with the camera on your shoulder? I don't think so.) Then the brother shows up, cuts the cameraman's head off, the end. (Fart noise)

****End Spoilers****

I really wish this story would have gotten into somebody else's hands, because it had potential

Wouldn't recommend this film to anyone. Obviously some people like it but don't take that chance. Because most likely you will leave disappointed.


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