The Flixter's Movie Reviews
movie reviews, NJ, movie critics NJ, movies, New Jersey's own, The Flixter Movie Reviews

Archive #1

_______________________________________

CRYING FREEMAN
a la The Flixter

        Last week, my friend's dad gave me a thing announcing a screening for this movie. It said to call in ahead of time and RSVP (no clue what those letters stand for) to be admitted; so I did that for myself and a cousin. Wednesday night we were sitting in a packed theater, watching this cinematic horror and wondering why all the fuss was made.  The movie is from director Christophe (no R, so it sounds exotic) Gans, who was behind The Brotherhood of the Wolf (which I have never seen). It follows Mark Dacascos, as a Samurai-type assassin named Yo.  But on one assignment, he slips, when his killing of three guys is witnessed by Julie Condra's artist.  I guess its not a turn off, since she falls for the guy. Anyway, she is in love with the killer and he goes along. (Oh yeah, the whole thing with the wuss-boy assassin is that he cries after killing, so I guess chicks do dig a sensitive guy.
     There's a whole power struggle going on within the Yakuza (Japanese Mob), and the two get caught up in that mess.  What else happened? I don't really remember much. Just that there are quite a few fights. On the invitation, the movie's title was erroneously printed as Crying Freedom (that should have given me a clue). It turns out that the movie was actually made back in the late 1900s( 1995 actuallly) and the makers are re-releasing it to recoup some of their losses. I hope that they won't, because they don't deserve to. Absolutely horrible movie.  I think watching it made me cry. It didn't cost me anything but time is also a pretty precious commodity.  Anyway, it sucked. Hope the next RSVP I make will be worth it..

Rating:  ZERO STARS

_______________________________________

Taking Lives
a la The Flixter

        The movie starts off in 1983. Two guys hit it off, and decide to go on their cross country quest together. One is an aspiring musician and the other one is just a "nothing". They get a car and start driving down a lonesome highway, when they get a flat. While changing the tire, out of nowhere, the "nothing guy" kicks the musician in front of a passing car.  Then he grabs a big rock and finishes off what the crash didn't accomplish.  He takes the guy's things and continues on assuming his identity.  Flash forward twenty year.
       Special Agent Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) has been called to Quebec to help investigate some murders. It turns out that the guy from the beginning didn't stop after that first kill. He has been traveling around, killing people, and assuming their identities, but he seems to have slipped-up.  An artist, James (Ethan Hawke) came across the nut while the "nothing guy" was in the process of a "kill". So James draws a sketch of the guy he briefly saw and the hunt begins with the aid of some snooty Canadian cops (Olivier Martinez and Tcheky Karyo). Gena Rowlands also comes along briefly, as the mother who confesses to having a very dangerous son. Twists and turns happen as Illeana starts to become romantically entangled with her star witness.  Plus, Kiefer Sutherland emerges as a potential suspect who seems to have a grudge against James.
       The finale is pretty well set but may be a little hard to take because of the extensive brutality. Over all, though, the movie wasn't too bad; not great, either.  What disturbed me the most happened off screen.  After the movie, I went to the restroom.  It just happened that the stall I picked had a sticker taped to its wall that demanded an end to immigration and a return to a pure white America.  Of course it bothered me since I am more former than later.  But that's a whole different story.
      The movie, though, wasn't too bad.  Didn't really add anything to the serial killer genre. But it does have a pretty good soundtrack, beginning and ending with what is, in my opinion, one of the best songs of all time, Bad from U2.

Rating:  THREE STARS

_______________________________________

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
a la The Flixter

        So do you have any memories that you would like to be erased? I mean, completely gone. Never happened, never met that person, never did those things, no regrets, no remorse. Of course you do. If you don't, than I don't think I want such an inhuman audience. Sorry :-(  ....
       Well, this is the case with Joel (Jim Carrey). He seems to be doing well with his girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet). ( At least that is what he thinks.) That is until one day, when he shows up at her work. She appears to have no idea who he is.  Is she just pretending?  Further inquiry reveals that she is not. She really has no idea who he is. Impossible? Not in this situation. It turns out that she went to Lacuna Inc., an outfit specializing in eradicating unpleasant memories. You go there, the doctor (a great Tom Wilkinson) hooks you up to a machine, and erases any memories you don't want. So Joel does the most logical thing that comes to him. He will go and have Clementine erased from his memory. But it is not so simple, since part of him doesn't want to forget and that's what causes the complications.
       How can he just mentally dump his girlfriend of two years?  So the quest begins to not only hold on to his memories but also bring Clementine back.  The title of the movie comes from an Alexander Pope poem, so that should give you a clue about what you are in for. Its not a typical Jim Carrey goof-fest, even though there are a few memories delving into his childhood that bring out his goofy side. I guess a few people were unaware of the movie's nature, since they walked out half way through the movie; but I stayed.
       Carrey shows that he can be serious. I am one of the few who loved The Truman Show and Man on the Moon and I definitely think he should get an Oscar nod for his performance here. But he is not the only good one here;  Kate Winslet is great, as well as Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood, in some smaller supporting roles.  The big question on my mind was, what the heck is screenwriter Charlie Kaufman smoking? - because he sure has generated some strange screenplays. Remember Being John Malkovitch, which literallly took us inside the head of that great actor?  So would I like some memories erased? I don't think so, since my creed is that if it doesn't break you, it makes you.  Great movie. Even though I left the theater kind of depressed..

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

Secret Window
a la The Flixter

        Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is sitting in his car in the parking lot of a motel. He is trying to convince himself to leave but loses the battle. He barges into the motel manager's office, goes behind the desk, searches through the keys hanging against the wall, finds the one he wants and barges out with the manager chasing after him.  He gets back in his car and drives towards the room for which he got the key.  He storms into that room, sees what he had suspected, which is his wife and her lover in bed, and storms back out.  That is the opening and it is one hell of an execution thanks to Depp's great delivery.
       Six months later, Rainey is sitting in a lonesome cabin in the woods. He is a writer but all he has on his computer screen is a paragraph consisting of a few lines. The traumatic incident of the opening, has left him with some severe writer's block.  Plus he is going through some messy divorce proceedings. He just has that cabin to stay in and his car to drive since his house is now occupied by his wife (Maria Bello) and her lover (Timothy Hutton). There's a knock on the door; its a Mississippi farmer, John Shooter, played by John Turturro, in full hick mode and attire. This man accuses Rainey of plagiarizing a story that he supposedly wrote.  Angrily, Shooter gives him his copy of what he claims he wrote; Rainey slams the door shut, throws out that manuscript, and returns to his attempt at napping.  Later finds that manuscript on his desk. He starts to read and finds it to be the exact replica of his story, Secret Window. Shooter keeps coming back and his demand is for Rainey to fix the ending. Things start getting nasty when Rainey finds his dog with a screwdriver through its head.
       From here it just gets worse as Shooter demands amends and Rainey tries to prove that he did write the story first. Its based on a novella by Stephen King and its good to see King's material getting some decent handling since the last adaptation of his work,  Dreamcatcher, was awful. The man handling the affair is David Koepp, thank God.  The guy has written many great scripts and his directorial debut, The Trigger Effect, is a classic, in my opinion. Here he writes and directs, and boy,... is it good.  Very suspenseful and extremely satisfying, with an ending that is just as satisfying.
      Yes, it did get into my head like Identity did. Remember how I kept watching that one, over and over to see if everything fit in its place?  Well, this one may cause the same effect...

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

Starksy & Hutch
a la The Flixter

        Its the 1970s and cocaine is the drug of choice. Family man and entreprenuer, Reese Feldman (Vince Vaughn) has perfected the drug. The new coke (ha, ha) has no scent and can be passed by the drug sniffing hounds. But what he was not counting on was the two detectives of the title, coming after him. Detective Starsky (Ben Stiller) is a straight-arrow cop, who is dedicated to his job, even though he still lives in the shadow of his mother, who was also a highly decorated officer. He still drives her car and looks after it like his mommy would ...... Of course, he gets paired with Owen Wilson's Hutchinson (Hutch for short), who happens to be his direct opposite. As tightly wound as Starsky is, Hutch is a lazy, laid-back type who even dips into corpse's pockets for some extra cash. Heck, when the two come across a
dead body floating by the beach,
Hutch just wants to push it back out to sea.   But the two are paired together by the Chief and they must learn to get along.
       Like I was saying before, their big score is to get Feldman, who is not only rich but also has a lot of big shots on his side. Their unlikely ally, (unbelievably good), is rapper Snoop Dogg's pimp/informer Huggy Bear. There are also plenty of small cameos including Chris Penn, as a competing cop, and Carmen Electra, as a cheerleader. Even the original Starsky and Hutch, from the TV series, show up. I have never seen the show but have heard that the fan-base is not too happy with seeing their two earnest heroes being turned into comic foils. But I think its one of the best attempts from Hollywood at turning to old material instead of something original.  There are plenty of laughs including a small appearance from Will Ferrell as an imprisoned con, who will give out some information, if the cops can meet his demands for fulfilling some strange fetishes. Juliette Lewis also comes along as Feldman's ditzy mistress. The highlight, though, has to be when the two infiltrate the Bat Mitsvah of Feldman's daughter as two mimes.  Very funny..... I really had a great time....

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

Twisted
a la The Flixter

        Detective Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) is a highly, decorated police officer, but the question is, are homicidal tendencies genetic? Her father, who was also a cop, went nuts and ended up killing her mom. Could Jessica have inherited some of those traits? That's what she starts to suspect --- and for good reason. She is also kind of a drunk; after work she hits the bar scene where she proceeds to get drunk. She then hooks up with some guy. They leave and a one night stand thing happens, but the guys ultimately turn up dead. Its while investigating these murders that she has flashbacks to the night before.  A comatose guy happens to be the same guy she hooked up with and had a fling with. So what exactly is going on? Samuel Jackson is the father figure who raised her after her parents passed away. He sees a promising young talent, even though, she just sees herself as a drunk who ends up causing anyone close to die. 
      Twists happen and I sat there thinking about some issues that the movie raised. Why does Samuel Jackson do a dozen crappy flicks for every good one that he is part of? Are the film makers actually paying attention or did they give up on this movie like I should?  Why the hell am I still sitting there watching this piece of crap? How come the theater is so packed (I am not kidding. There were quitie a few people there)? Is the Phillip Kaufman who directed this the same one who used to make classy flicks like The Unbearable Lightness of Being?
      Anyway, the movie totally sucked. I shouldn't even be writing a review for it since I have pretty much forgotten most of it.

Rating:  ZERO STARS

_______________________________________

The Passion Of The Christ
a la The Flixter

        The movie immerses us into the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth....... and does it immerse us!!!  Jim Caviezel gives an astounding performance as Jesus during those final hours. The movie goes from his betrayal by Judas to his crucifixion.  Maia Morgenstern is excellent as Jesus' mother, Mary, who must watch her son go through this gauntlet. Jesus is beaten and maimed before he is nailed to the cross; the movie is absolutely brutal as we witness these beatings. Whipping is not enough. The whips that are used, tear away the flesh off of his back. Crowds cheer on as the brutality goes on and the camera doesn't flinch, even though, my likes cringed.
     There isn't really much to write about. The movie packs an emotional wallop that has not been seen in my brief memory. I mean, you are there and the only thing you can do is watch. When Jesus is carrying the cross, the Roman guards make sure that they have something to do, which in this case is to keep brutally beating away at the bearer of the cross. As Mary watches, Jesus falls to the ground under the weight of the cross. She tries to run over and help her son up, but the guards hold her back. She flashes back to the time when a young Jesus fell and the mother ran over to aid him and that was the point where I couldn't hold it in any longer. I actually cried at that point and I am pretty sure I was not the only one. Think what you want; I usually try to go to the movies to have a fun time. This wasn't one of those times. But powerful it was meant to be and powerful it was. I am not a Christian. I am hardly anything, but this movie is above religion. It is about mankind at its worst against a fellow man, so you don't have to be a Christian to watch this. I actually believe that parents should take their kids to see this. With all the gratuitous violence that kids are exposed to, maybe this will hammer in the horror of violence.
     I am still very perturbed by what I saw last night.  Is it anti-Semitic? If that is what some believe then they just as well say that it is anti-human.  Because the creed does not take precedence over the sheer brutality that is inflicted by the humans. I really am out of words when it comes to describing this movie. Unbelievably and undeniably powerful. I think director Mel Gibson has accomplished what he was trying to accomplish. To him, its about his own faith and trying to illustrate what is a central belief. To me, it was just an unbelievably forceful account of what we are capable of doing..

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

The Last Samurai
a la The Flixter

        Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is a war hero, but in his head its a whole different story.  The year is 1876 and he has just been sent back from his efforts in suppressing the Native Americans. Being unable to shake off the horrors that he has committed against those people he has turned to booze as an escape. So he is pretty much a drunk, forced to promote the Winchester rifle as an alternate. That's when he is approached by some Japanese bureaucrats who need his assistance in Japan; bargaining occurs and he is off to Japan. There he is supposed to train troops in stopping the Samurai rebels from hindering the Emperor's plans of a new railroad, that is going to go through the Samurai turf. He does what he can but, in the battlefield, gets captured by the opponents. They let him live because they wish to learn about their enemy. Their leader, Kasumoto (Ken Watanabe) puts the injured and battered Algren in the care of a local widow (Kayuki) whose husband Algren killed. Reluctant at first, Algren sees that the Samurai are just like the Native Americans he helped slaughter. So he becomes their trainer and unlikely supporter.
       Tom Cruise gives one heck of a performance, but its Watanabe who rules the screen whenever he's on it. Billy Connolly is great, but is around very briefly; and the battle scenes are just absolutely amazing. The final battle, when five hundred Samurai have to go against the huge land armada is unbelievably masterful.  The only thing is that Cruise, who is also a producer, is a mainstream guy who wants to please his mainstream fans.  As a result, there is that happy ending.  I don't think a happy ending is necessary for a movie about events that are drenched in tragic circumstance to begin with, but, like I said before, the movie is pretty damn amazing.  When the final battle starts to unfold, all that could go through my head was, "Oh my God!!" Definitely watch it on the big screen.

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

Bad Santa
a la The Flixter

        Willie T. Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) and his dwarf friend Marcus (Tony Cox) have a nice little business going. They work once a year; he becomes a department store Santa and the latter is an elf. They entertain kids during the business hours. Once that is done and the store closes, Marcus, who manages to stay inside the store thanks to his compact dimensions, lets Willie back in and the real business begins. Willie is a safe cracker and the two proceed to help themselves to the cash and whatever else pleases them. There's one big problem though; Willie is a drunk which results in not only some verbal abuse towards the kids, but also a lot of drunken tardiness.  A bigger complication arises when a kid (when his real name is revealed, a load of hilarity will surely ensue) attaches himself to what he believes is the real Santa. The kid, known simply as Kid, is living a pretty unsupervised existence. His dad is in jail and its grandma's job to take care of him. But the old lady (Cloris Leachman) is very senile, so she is not that dependable. Willie ends up moving in with the kid when he sees a huge house which is unoccupied; also, Willie manages to find a romantic interest in bartender Sue (Lauren Graham) who has a fetish for guys in Santa suits. Plus the store manager (the late John Ritter), starts getting suspicious and the security head (Bernie Mac) wants a cut of the action.
      That about does it.  This is not a traditional holiday movie. Willie, as Santa or not, has a pretty bad mouth on him. The dialogue is not only profane but also pretty raunchy.  But the movie manages to have a big heart, thanks largely to the great chemistry between Willie and the Kid (Brett Kelly). The movie is unbelievably hilarious but ultimately poignant. Director Terry Zwigoff, the man behind Crumb and Ghost World, does an amazing job. Billy Bob Thornton is great but its the Kid who steals the movie.  Like I have said before, this is not family fare (it barely escaped an NC-17 rating). But it is still a great movie. One of the year's best, in my opinion.

Rating:  FIVE STARS

_______________________________________

Master and Commander - The Far Side Of The World
a la The Flixter

        The year is 1808 (or somewhere around there); the setting is the Napoleonic Wars. Capt. Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) is piloting the HMS Surprise for Britain. He has been nick-named, Lucky Jack, by his crew, since he has bailed them out of many close calls. He is in pursuit of the French Acheron, a super-ship of sorts. The chase is on; just when you may start feeling sea-sick there is a stop-over at the Galapagos Islands. The cinematograph, especially in those parts, is extremely gorgeous.  But that layover raises some tension between the captain and the doctor on board, who is also a close friend. The doctor wants to explore the nature on the island while the captain wants to continue on his quest. 
        Now let me digress a little. Before going to the movie, I had been raving about how I would go up to the ticket counter and ask, with a heavy accent, for "two tickets to The Adventures of Captain and Commando: Part One."  My friend was very disappointed, when I chickened out at the last minute.  Then there's the three major issues that were my concern during the movie: 1) Cell Phone: The guy behind started yapping on his cell-phone during the movie. He was quite after I turned to my friend and said in a pretty loud voice: "Is that &*%$#@ talking on a *&%$# phone?"  2) Hip Hop: whenever the movie got quiet, you would hear sounds from the next theater filtering into our theater. They were showing Tupac: Resurrection next door. You'd think that with charging nine bucks a pop, the theater would have a better sound system!!!  3) Pizza: the folks across the aisle had snuck a pizza in. Turns out that the movie theater actually sells pizza, which I was very tempted to go and get. But this being a multi-plex, it would probably cost around fifty-something bucks, so I stuck to my popcorn.
        Now back to the movie. It is pretty amazing. The battle scenes are awesome. The movie is pretty slow at first but the final half hour or so is absolutely spectacular. Russell Crowe gives another amazing performance. But the setting is so appropriately dreary and soaking that you may find yourself feeling sea-sick.  Did I like it? Yes, definitely. But did I love it? Not really. But you should definitely try to catch this one on the big-screen. (I am sorry if this review is more confusing than enforcing.)

Rating:  THREE and a HALF STARS

_______________________________________

Gangs of New York
a la The Flixter

         Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson) is the leader of the Dead Rabbits, a New York City gang made up largely of Irish immigrants. Their rivals are the Nativists, headed by Daniel Day Lewis' William Cutting, nicknamed Bill the Butcher. The Nativists are American born as compared to the immigrant Dead Rabbits.  In an opening confrontation, Bill kills Vallon while his young son watches.
        Flash forward sixteen years. The young son returns in the form of Leonardo DiCaprio, now going by the name Amsterdam. He is able to gain the Butcher's trust and get close to him, all the while plotting his revenge. The only one who knows who knows his real identity is his best friend from his childhood, played by Henry Thomas; enter Cameron Diaz, the girl who will test the bond between the two friends.  Another slight problem is the Civil War approaching and an impending draft that brings out some racial tensions between the City's different races. The movie is slow at first as Amsterdam tries to gain The Butcher's trust. But the final quarter of the movie is literally explosive as the Dead Rabbits resurrect under Amsterdam and the war draft brings the City to its boiling point.
        Liam Neeson, a great actor, is only in the movie for a few minutes during the opening. The rest of the movie is up to Day Lewis and DiCaprio. DiCaprio is good, but it's Day Lewis who owns the movie and will surely be up for an Oscar.
       Excellent movie. Another great one from director Martin Scorcese (I am not sure but I think he pops up in a few scenes).   

Rating: FIVE STARS.

_____________________________________________

The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
a la The Flixter

         The year was 1991 and a thirteen year old Flixter had just arrived in the US.  I started school and was put in ESL (English as a Second Language); I don't know what the heck I did, but I was put in Honors English two days later. To top it off, we were given two books to read over the summer.  The first one I read was Chaim Potok's snooze-fest The Chosen. The second one, thank God, was more entertaining --it was J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit, a sort of prologue to his Lord of the Rings trilogy.  When I went back to school after the summer, I found out what a naive immigrant I had been for getting my summer reading done. No one had read anything. Anyway, that was my introduction to Tolkein's world. That book was interesting but not enough to suck me into the power struggles of "Middle Earth", which finally brings me to the movie at hand.
        The Two Towers picks up where The Fellowship of the Ring left off last year. Frodo the hobbit (Elijah Wood) and his trusty companion Sam (Sean Astin) are in possession of the ring and on a quest to destroy it. On their way they encounter Gollum, a computer generated thing that was the original founder of the ring that Frodo now has. As devious as Gollum is, you can't feel sorry for the pathetic little thing who, in my opinion, is also battling schizophrenia.  One side of him wants to serve Frodo, while the other wants to stab him in the back and take the ring.  Meanwhile, in a different time zone of Middle Earth, human Aragon (Viggo Mortensen) and his elf companion, along with a dwarf, are trying to help the king of Rohan against the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee). (If this is not making sense, then this is not for you.) The final battle at Helms Deep is unbelievably awesome. It is pretty much a special effects extravaganza under the direction of New Zealander Peter Jackson.  Like I said, pretty awesome to look at but mostly for loyal fans, many of whom came dressed as characters. Which makes me think, should I wear a tuxedo when I go see the next Bond movie? I don't think so.  Amazing to look at but a little too long at a running time of three hours......  

Rating: TWO and a half STARS.

_____________________________________________

 

The Adventures of Pluto Nash
a la The Flixter

         I went to see this opening night.  Once inside the theater, the question was, where the hell do I sit? -- No, it wasn't packed.....  It was empty.  Not a single person in sight.  By the time the movie started, four or five other lost souls ventured in.  And then began the movie....
        The year is 2087.  Eddie Murphy's Pluto Nash, a former smuggler, is running a very successful club on the moon........then the mob comes in to buy his place.  They want to open a casino but Nash doesn't sell, so the mob blows his place up.   Nash goes on the run with his trusty android bodyguard, Bruno (Randy Quaid).  Also accompanying him is Rosario Dawson's Dina Lake who had come to him for a job.  Many chases and sci-fi actiony stuff happens.  There are a few amusing bits ---- like Hillary Clinton's face on the money.  And poor John Cleese (I am a huge Monty Python fan) is wasted as the virtual chauffer of a car Murphy steals.  But the movie is not half as funny as it ought to be.  A few chuckles here and there.  That's about it.
       Now I know why the theater was empty.
 

Rating: ONE STAR.

_____________________________________________

XXX
a la The Flixter

         Xander Cage is an extreme sports guy.  Pulling off outrageous stunts that gain him an underground fame and a loyal audience, he gets on the law's bad side. In steps a government agent (Samuel Jackson) who gives him a chance at redemption; he can use his talents to help his country or he can go to jail. (He chooses the former.)  Vin Diesel is perfectly cast as Xander, the shaved head and tattooed hulk with three X's tattooed on the back of his neck.      
        His first assignment is to infiltrate an Eastern European group that is planning some biological warfare against the world. And infiltrate he does. He gains the friendship of their leader and creates some sparks with the leader's girl-friend (Asia Argento, daughter of horror master Dario). What the previews promise, the movie delivers. There is a LOT of action......
chases in cars and down snowy mountainsides.  All accompanied by a blaring soundtrack and plenty of
hot babes.  Pretty much, a newer, hipper James Bond for a younger generation. Jackson is X's M and there's even a young Q to hook up our secret agent with some cool weaponry and transportation.  I guess they are trying to overthrow Mr. Bond.....but I am a loyal Bond fan.  And hope to see both of these secret agents do their deeds in their own respective manner.
      A loud and action packed ride..
 

Rating: THREE STARS.

_____________________________________________

Signs
a la The Flixter

         Implication is a lost art.  Pretty much due to the fact that film-makers now rely on special effects to show what needed to be implied a while back.  But for Signs, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, resurrects that lost art.  Mel Gibson is Graham Hess, a former Presbyterian minister who has lost his faith since the death of his wife. He is now a full-time father raising his two young kids on his farm along with his brother, Joaquin Phoenix.  And
then a crop circle appears in his corn field; crop circles are large geometric patterns that have been popping up in large fields since the 1600s.  Back then, people blamed the
devil. Later on they became signs from alien life-forms. And then Hess' dog starts to get violent, barks all night, and attacks his young daughter.  Soon reports start coming on TV of crop circles appearing all around the world. Are the end times here?  Are the aliens coming or are these just hoaxes?  There are little things that don't make sense but get tied up in the end.  There is a reason for whatever is happening. 
        The movie delivers in the "scares department." There are quite a few moments that made me jump. But the bad thing is that audiences these days don't seem to take a hint; they want to see the whole thing.  And the ending compromises the entire film, as compared to Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, where the ending redeemed the whole film.  But it was good. A tense, scary, creepy ride.......
 

Rating: FOUR STARS.

P.S. The driver who falls asleep at the wheel and kills Gibson's wife is played by the director himself.

_____________________________________________

Goldmember
a la The Flixter

         Even before the opening credits, I along with the rest of the theater, was laughing my ass off. I can't go into details about that because it might ruin it for you --- just that it had a lot to do with some BIG names in Hollywood making cameos to show their support for the grooviest secret agent around.
       
Mike Myers returns as Austin Powers, the "shagadelic" hero of the series.  (This one may be the best of the series.)  Both Austin and his nemesis Dr. Evil (also Myers) race back to 1975 and return with an additional member;  Austin comes back with Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyonce Knowles of the group Destiny's Child).  That trip, by the way, yields a hilarious cameo from
Nathan LaneDr. Evil returns with Goldmember, a Swede obsessed with gold who, due to a smelting accident, has a "gold member", if you catch my drift.  Goldmember is also played by Myers. Myers' fourth character is Fat Bastard, the disgustingly fat Scotsman, who is now a star Sumo wrestler in Japan.  And Michael Caine is also there as Nigel Powers, Austin's neglectful dad.  Both Austin and Dr. Evil learn that they have more in common than they
realized.
        The movie delivers more than a fair share of laughs, thanks mostly to
Mike Myers. Like I said, the best yet in a series that I hope will go on......
 

Rating: FIVE STARS.

_____________________________________________

Mr.Deeds
a la The Flixter

         The director of Little Nicky remaking a Frank Capra classic ??  Yes, this movie is a remake of Capra's classic, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.  And reprising the role originated by Gary Cooper is Adam Sandler......no, it doesn't sound too good.  But give it a shot; I did.
        Adam Sandler is Longfellow Deeds, a pizzeria owner (very good at heart) in a small New England town who finds out that he has inherited 40 Billion dollars from an uncle he never knew.  He flies to NYC to take over his late-uncle's media empire.......Of course once he's there, he has to put up with his uncle's conniving business partners who don't want to see this good-hearted simpleton from a small town, take over the vast media empire that they had their eyes set upon...... And to further complicate things, Winona Ryder comes along as a tabloid TV reporter who sees a big story brewing.  She deceives Sandler into thinking that she is also a small-town girl trying to make ends meet in the city.  John Turturro is also there, and pretty funny, as the butler of that late uncle.  Some pretty funny stuff happens, some of it involving cameos from tennis great John MacEnroe and the Rev. Al Sharpton.  But the movie is Sandler's and just as good-hearted as his protagonist.  Don't think that Deed's new found riches will turn him into a Billy Madison (a previous Sandler as rich boy movie). Like I have said before, I enjoy romantic comedies --- and this one works,  thanks largely to the realistic chemistry between Sandler's nice guy and Ryder's reporter (who gets more involved in the story than she intended to).

Rating: THREE STARS.

_____________________________________________

Minority Report
a la The Flixter

         Good science fiction can be fun, but great science fiction can be fun and still make one think.  For example, Starship Troopers was pretty cool.....true, it strayed quite far from its source's boot-camp allegory. But those action set-pieces with gigantic alien bugs were pretty awesome.  At the other end of the sci-fi spectrum is stuff like Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 with its scenario of book burning as censorship gone to an extreme.  Or more recently Gattaca, with its vision of a future where genetic make-up dictates what one does, as compared to what one desires.  It showed that a creative narrative, with an involving what-if scenario, which seems futuristic yet highly probable, says so much more than any movie that depends on FX as a distraction. (By the way, Gattaca gets my vote for being probably one of the best sci-fi movies, ever.)  And this brings us to the future world of Minority Report.
         The year is 2054 and Tom Cruise is heading the Pre-Crimes bureau.  That happens to be a squad that uses three freaky looking psychics, suspended in what appears to be a tub of jello, to foresee murders that have yet to take place.  (The program is in DC and about to go national.)  Colin Ferrel (very good) is sent in to check up on things for any human errors.  What could be wrong with an apparently perfect system which can eliminate crime?   But then Cruise gets marked for a murder he will commit in the very near future.  Cruise, doing drugs since the disappearance of his young son, runs off and tries to prove the system wrong for labeling him the future-murderer of a man he doesn't even know.  The great Peter Stormaire pops in for a while as Cruise's drug-dealer who also happens to be a doctor that Cruise turns to for retinal transplants (so he won't be detected by the many retinal scanners).  Some very exciting chases happen, both vertically and horizontaly.  Max von Sydow is the father-figure who is Cruise's superior.  And then there are several twists and counter-twists towards the end as Cruise gets closer to the truth and the time when he is supposed to commit murder.

        
EXCELLENT MOVIE.  Loved it.  A futuristic murder-mystery, which balances an intriguing what-if scenario with great special effects.  Very likely to make one think once the theatre has been vacated since the movie raises quite a few issues regarding free-will and destiny, just as great science fiction should.  Good job Mr. Spielberg. 

Rating: FIVE STARS.

_____________________________________________

The Bourne Identity
a la The Flixter

         A while ago, there was a TV mini-series adaptation of Robert Ludlum's best-seller. I was about five at the time so I didn't see it (heck, I wasn't even in this country back then). But I grew older.....became a Ludlum fan.....read the book and saw it. It was pretty good; the book was better, though. (By the way Richard Chamberlain played Jason Bourne in that one). Now Bourne comes to the big screen for the first time directed by Doug Liman.  It's a change of pace for him since his last two movies were not in the same vein: Swingers and Go.

         In this one,
Matt Damon is the guy who gets pulled out of the ocean by a fishing boat. Apparently, somebody tried to kill him and dumped his body  --- that would explain the two bullets in his back. Plus, he has a bank account number implanted in his hip...... oh, and he is suffering from amnesia (doesn't know who he is or why he has ended up where he is...)
Then he is off to
Zurich to check up on that bank account. In the safety deposit box, he finds several passports with different names, some cash, and a gun. He also finds out that he knows martial arts (especially when he opens a can of whoop-ass on two questioning cops).  He pays a German woman, Franka Potente (rent Run Lola Run), $10,000 to drive him to Paris. We find out that Bourne was an assassin for the CIA and his bosses (the great Chris Cooper is one of them) wanted him dead.  And once they find out he's still alive, they get after him once again.

        There is a very awesome car chase through some very tight French streets and alleys and there is a good chance that this will become a new movie franchise. (In print,
Identity had two sequels: The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum). Pretty good. Though another Ludlum adaptation from a couple of decades ago was slightly better. I am talking about Sam Peckinpah's take on The Ostermann Weekend.
Let's see how the sequels will turn out.     

Rating: THREE STARS.

_____________________________________________

Windtalkers
a la The Flixter

         John Woo may be the best action director around. He has shown his ability in Hollywood through the excellent Face/Off and more recently, Mission Impossible 2 (though I am not that crazy about the later). But his Hollywood debut, Hard Target (a modern day variation, one of many, on the classic short story Most Dangerous Game) with Van Damme, was not too popular.  True, the acting and script were not too great, but the action kicked ass. Anyway, Woo was damn good in Hong Kong, regardless of limited resources and budget constraints.  Just watch Hard Boiled, probably the most awesome actioner under the sun, or The Killer, a very violent movie with a heart.  To get to the point, now he is directing two stars he has previously worked with: Nicolas Cage (Face/Off) and Christian Slater (Broken Arrow).  And the result is Windtalkers, another war movie.
         The movie centers towards the end of WWII. The US has developed a new code based in the Navajo language. Cage's partially deaf Enders has to be a bodyguard to Adam Beach's Navajo Yahzee. His mission is to protect the code at all costs. Slater is along for a while as a sergeant in Cage's platoon. Yahzee, a father back home, and Enders bond as do most characters in Woo films. There is, of course, that one guy along who has to stir up racial tensions.  The action is constant; the movie made me jump in my seat quite a few times since Woo punctuates the violence with moments of quiet during which we get to see inside our characters' fears and thoughts --- and then BOOM!!!! --- back to the war at hand. There is an inkling of romance as Cage receives (and tries to ignore) letters from a nurse, Frances O'Connor, that cared for him back home.
        This movie doesn't have the Woo staple of shooting with two guns, one in each hand; but it does have the other Woo thing: two characters simultaneously drawing and pointing guns at each other. An extremely bloody movie --- good thing there wasn't some lady behind me exclaiming at the gore (re: We Were Soldiers).
       Very good. But like I have said before, I am not a war buff.     

Rating: THREE STARS.

_____________________________________________

Bad Company
a la The Flixter

         A long time ago, the Simpson/Bruckheimer team were putting movies out that were basically nothing but an attractive cast with loud action, blaring soundtracks, and flashy direction (perfect example: Top Gun) all wrapped up in one.  But they were "escapist" movies and made loads of money.  Since Don Simpson's death, Jerry Bruckheimer has been going solo; I enjoyed Con Air, The Rock, etc... Now his latest is Bad Company, with the odd couple pairing of Oscar - Winner Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock.
        Chris Rock starts off seriously as a CIA agent who gets killed while on the trail of,... and negotiating with,.... some would-be nuclear terrorists.  His partner turns to an unknowing twin brother of Rock to finish the deal which killed the original Rock character.  This new Rock, gets dragged away from his job as a grifter, and gets a crash course in impersonating his deceased brother.
       There are some comic moments, and a "little action" towards the end of the movie; if you have seen the preview, you have seen them.  The movie is just a recycled version of numerous buddy / terrorist movies and Rock's jokes are just an encore of his stand-up routines.  Not good.     
P.S. The very cool Peter Stormaire is wasted in a small role.          

Rating: ONE STAR.

_____________________________________________

The Sum Of All Fears
a la The Flixter

         Poor Jack Ryan can't find an actor that will stick to playing him. Alec Baldwin played him in John McTiernan's "The Hunt for Red October".  Then Harrison Ford took over for the next two movies: Patriot Games (my favorite) and Clear and Present Danger --- both of which, by the way, were directed by the awesome Aussie Phillip Noyce (rent Dead Calm or Blind Fury).  And now, Ben Affleck is stepping in to play the Tom Clancy hero. This one is directed by Phill Alden Robinson.  He may be best known for the Kevin Costner baseball fantasy Field of Dreams, but to me he is the director of the Robert Redford movie Sneakers (rent it). Anyway, that's enough of a prologue.
         The movie starts off slow. Ryan is a young hot shot CIA agent trying to prove his abilities under the wing of a senior agent, Morgan Freeman. Then things start to pick up around the middle when a nuclear bomb gets detonated in Baltimore. The President and his cabinet figure it's the Russians as Ryan tries desperately to prove that it wasn't the Russians, but neo-Nazis trying to ignite WWIII. Ryan's girl-friend thinks he's a historian, which results
in some comic moments in the beginning, however once we get past the nuclear wasteland bit, things start to get sluggish again.  Oh yeah,
Liev Schreiber is another CIA agent --- his John Clark gets all the action scenes. (I am not sure but I think in the books, John Clark is John Kelly, who is at the center of another Clancy novel, Without Remorse.) Guess you can go only so far with Jack Ryan.
        Anyway, the movie was kind of boring. You'd think that a movie with all kinds of explosions going on would have something else to captivate the viewer.  
       

Rating: TWO STARS.

_____________________________________________

Insomnia
a la The Flixter

         Insomnia is when you can't go to sleep --- it's not when you can't remember stuff --- that's called amnesia.  With that cleared up, let's talk about this new movie with three Oscar Winners in the lead.  Al Pacino is an LA detective sent to Alaska to help in the investigation of a seventeen year old murder victim. There he gets paired with another Oscar Winner, Hillary Swank. But he has a really tough time getting used to the "Land of the Midnight Sun"; poor guy can't sleep (thus the title). The killer is another Oscar winner, Robin Williams, in another dramatic and villainous turn.  (Well he was villainous in Death to Smoochy, but still comic.)
       Al is dead tired and Williams just taunts him along.  Pacino ends up accidentally shooting and killing his partner, Martin Donovan, which leads to further complications since he tries to cover that up.....good 'suspenser'.  ( Although at times I felt as fatigued as Pacino's sleep deprived protagonist. )  Director Christopher Nolan (Memento) does a good job, but the movie is tired and slow at times.  A friend was saying that with three Oscar winners in the lead, the movie still could misfire.  He was almost right.  
       

Rating: TWO and a half STARS.

          P.S. By the way its a remake of a Norweigan film.

_____________________________________________

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones
a la The Flixter

         The year was 1985.  A seven year old Flixter was in London; it was a defining moment for my taste in movies.  I saw Roger Moore's last turn as James Bond in A View to a Kill --- and I saw Return of the Jedi.  Like the great Robert Frost put it, "I took the road less traveled", at least cinematically.  I became a fan of hot babes and cool action (James Bond) instead of sci-fi escapades. (But I did buy a pair of jammies with Ewoks on them --- once I found out that you couldn't buy light sabers).  And now I am writing about the latest Star Wars, which takes place after Episode I, but before the first three movies.  Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker (the future Darth Vader) and Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to protect Natalie Portman's Senator Amidala. She is threatened by the enemies of the Republic ( it's mostly Anakin with the Senator ), so a romance starts to develop. But he ends up taking a side trip to visit his mom. It turns out that the dream he had was correct --- his mother has been abducted and dies once she has seen her long gone son --- and this is what turns the once honorable Jedi towards the dark side (it's either that or having everybody call him Anna that does it).
 
          I am not a big Star Wars fan because they are just a big pile-up of special effects. This one especially, because Christopher Lee's Dooku has built an entire army of clones (thus the title). Its kind of hard to pick out the humans in the midst of all the special effects. But there is a human story in the middle of all this; the budding romance between the two leads and the tragic events that lead a good man astray.
        It was OK. I am sure Star Wars fans will love it.  I am not one of them so
I give it...

Rating: TWO STARS.

          P.S. Oh, yeah, Yoda gets violent in this one.

_____________________________________________

Unfaithful
a la The Flixter

         Here's another analogy: George Lucas is to sci-fi extravaganzas as director Adrian Lyne is to marital dysfunction. He was involved with Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal. And now his latest ode to adulterous turmoil is Unfaithful.
        Diane Lane and Richard Gere are a seemingly happily married suburban couple.....  and one extremely windy day Lane literally bangs into French dude, Olivier Martinez. He invites her in to get cleaned up and thus begins an obsessive love affair between the two....  Gere's unknowing husband character starts to suspect something, while Lane starts to develop a guilty conscience. Some surprising developments towards the end caught me off-guard, but what caught me off-guard the most was how good this movie was; Diane
Lane
delivered another great performance.  And both Gere and Martinez are pretty good.  I didn't want to go see this but I had to and I am glad that I did.       

Rating: FOUR STARS.

_____________________________________________

Spider-Man
a la The Flixter

         Comic books can make great movies.  Sure, they can also make bad ones (anybody remember Judge Dredd??), but in the right hands, they can be the ultimate escape. Think of Tim Burton's first Batman or Christopher Reeve in the first (or even second) Superman. Thank God, the guy chosen to finally bring Spider-Man to the big-screen was Sam Raimi (awesome, awesome director). I've been a fan of his since the first Evil Dead......and he has shown diversity by making such films as the excellent, A Simple Plan.   This is not his first time in Super-Hero turf (watch the awesome Darkman with Liam Neeson); there could not have been a better person chosen to bring the Marvel superhero to the big screen.
       I hope you know what it's about -- nerdy Peter Parker gets bitten my a mutant spider and develops super powers; consequently, he becomes Spider-Man and fights crime. Tobey Maguire is excellent in the lead...... he has to fight the usual criminals and also protect against a super-villain, the Green Goblin, who happens to be his friend's father's alter-ego (played by a mischievous looking Willem Dafoe).   And all the while he has to balance his love for the girl next door, Kirsten Dunst, and help out his adoptive parents. 
Absolute fun!!  Thank God, the escapist summer movie season has been kicked off.

Rating: FIVE STARS.

PS:  Of course, no Raimi flick can be complete without at least a cameo
from his old-time regular
Bruce Campbell.  And of course, the ending is very
open-ended, so sequels will follow. (Something to look forward to in this
case.)

_____________________________________________

Murder By Numbers
a la The Flixter

         The movie starts off promisingly --- two rich kids, also high school outcasts, get together to pull off the perfect crime.  They will commit murder and get away with it. And they do kill someone and leave just enough clues so the police can come after them.... But do it so they won't get caught for it.
          The crime is being investigated by Sandra Bullock's homicide detective.  She gets paired with Ben Chaplin to find the killer.  Why she is so bitter and hard-assed, gets explained much later in the movie.  It is intriguing to watch the two kids do their deed and deliberately leave a trail for the cops to follow. They are a modern-day Leopold and Loeb (watch Hitchcock's classic Rope).  But in the end there is something missing....  And of course, in the end, things happen too fast as the film-makers try to tie up all the loose ends. 
          Director Barbet Schroeder directed Jeremy Irons towards an Oscar, with Reversal of Fortune. Since then he's had an iffy resume. He did do the awesome Nicolas Cage(bad guy)/David Caruso(good guy) film Kiss of Death.... But he also did the not-so-good Michael Keaton(nut case)/ Andy Garcia(cop) flick Desperate Measures. Unfortunately, this one is closer to the later in quality than the former.T.

Rating: TWO STARS.

_____________________________________________

Changing Lanes
a la The Flixter

         These two guys are having a bad day. Samuel Jackson is on his way to a child custody hearing; Ben Affleck's ambitious attorney is on his way to turn in evidence on a big case that his firm (his father-in-law's) has handed him. They get into an accident on the highway; Affleck is in a rush to get to where he has to be....so he leaves poor Jackson in a rush and without transportation.  Jackson is late for the hearing and loses in court.  But Ben drops a very important folder which Jackson finds.  .....And thus begins what is probably going to be one of the best movies of the yearAffleck wants that important piece of evidence back while Jackson just wants his time back ---- the time which cost him his kids. The movie takes place over the course of that day and had me glued to my seat.
EXCELLENT.

Rating: FOUR STARS.

P.S. I also gave Ice Age four stars. But that was for a fun time. The
four stars here are for over-all excellence. Great script. Great acting.
Great everything..

_____________________________________________

Frailty
a la The Flixter

          Bill Paxton has done a lot of stuff in front of the camera. He has chased
twisters (
Twister), explored sunken ships (Titanic), attempted to seduce the unknowing wife of a spy (True Lies), and on and on.....  But now he is behind the camera, as well as front, for his directorial debut.
         Matthew McConaghey walks into an FBI office and proceeds to tell about how his father killed a whole bunch of people.  We go back a few decades and see the dad (Bill Paxton), a widower, raising his two young sons in Texas.  And then he sees an angel that tells him that there are demons roaming around, as humans, and he must destroy them. So he, along with the two young boys, goes around and kills people that the angel tells him to....  The older boy sees something wrong with what his dad is doing but can't do much. An hour and fifteen minutes into the movie I left to answer the call of nature.... And I never went back because the movie I had been watching had been AWFUL. The last time I walked out of a movie was during the Demi Moore stinkfest, The Scarlet Letter..... and that was a while ago.   But this one was awful.  Watching Paxton talk so earnestly about destroying demons was laugh enducing until I realized I had paid to come see this.   As for the ending, I left before it happened.  All I know is that one heck of an ending was needed to redeem this stinker....
Thank God, Changing Lanes was so good..

Rating: ZERO STARS.

_____________________________________________

High Crimes
a la The Flixter

         Ashley Judd and Jim Caviezel are a happily married couple planning on having a baby and expanding their family. Then one night there's a SWAT raid and Jim gets taken in......turns out that he is charged with killing civilians in El Salvador, while in the Marines, a decade or so ago. Thus begins this courtroom-ish thriller-type movie....oh yeah, Judd is a lawyer by day. But in this case, she gets aided by the great Morgan Freeman's recovering-alcoholic lawyer. I might not have used great to describe Mr. Freeman if he hadn't done great stuff (Glory, Nurse Betty, etc.) --- because this movie is not great stuff; it's not even good stuff. Its long, over-drawn, predictable, and boring. And then there's the obligatory twist towards the ending. Sucks!!! ....
         And to know that this was directed by Carl Franklin, whom I regarded as a good director. Well, he did direct the excellent One False Move. And then the very good Denzel Washington vehicle, Devil in a Blue Dress. But now this... . .

Rating: ONE STAR.

_____________________________________________

Death To Smoochy
a la The Flixter

         Danny Devito is awesome. God knows how many times I have rented Throw Momma From the Train ---love that movie. (Sure it would have been sensible to just buy a copy but then I don't make that much sense anyway.)  He is a great director as well as producer; his production company, Jersey Films, brought out a certain talent known as Quentin Tarantino with a little film called Pulp Fiction. But this review is for his latest directorial effort.
         Robin Williams is Rainbow Randolph, a fallen kid's show host, who finds that KidNet execs, Catherine Keener and Jon Stewart have replaced him with a purple Barney-esque rhino named Smoochy. Smoochy is the labor of love of Edward Norton (another great performance). Smoochy is a true hero --- and has a lot more integrity than Rainbow Randolph --- who was busted for taking bribes from parents to get their kids front and center on his show. Smoochy becomes a huge hit and a constant reminder to Randolph about what he used to be........he wants Smoochy annihilated, thus the title.
         This movie was a riot. Poor Smoochy ends up in trouble with the Irish mob and neo-Nazis. So much happens that I would be up all night if I tried to cover everything. But it was hilarious. I loved it. .

Rating: FOUR STARS.

_____________________________________________

The Panic Room
a la The Flixter

         Who knew that some guy directing George Michael music videos would become one of the best young movie directors around. But that is the case with David Fincher.He has been racking up an impressive resume--Seven, The Game, The Fight Club......and now to top them off, The Panic Room.
        Jodie Foster and her daughter move into their new penthouse in the city. (Of course they wouldn't have been able to afford it if her ex-husband had not been so loaded.) The place is huge and just when they are trying to get settled, Foster wakes up in the middle of the night to see intruders on the security cam....grabs her daughter and they are both in "the panic room." What is that? Well its pretty much like a bank vault, except that its even tougher to break into. Once they are in, one of the tensest movie experiences kicks off......Because the problem is that the intruders (Forrest Whittaker, Jared Leto, and Dwight Yoakam) want something that is inside the panic room. Phone lines are cut so they have no possible contact with the outside.    And...just go watch this movie. It was GREAT.

Rating: FOUR STARS.

_____________________________________________

Blade 2
a la The Flixter

          Watching this movie reminded me of taking the SATAt least the analogy part on the verbal SAT.  Because blood is to this movie as water was to TitanicDamn!!  Blood and guts everywhere.  Disgusting!!!
          The first Blade was not too bad.  It was entertaining.  Wesley Snipes reprises his role as the part human and part vampire Blade.  Good thing for the humans that he is on their side.  Kris Kristoferson also returns as his ally who hooks him up with all the weaponry to fight the hordes of vampires. That said, this movie was awful.  Awful, awful, awful.  Couldn't believe all the parents there with their young ones.  Worst part is that it was directed by Guillermo del Torro.  Who del who??  He was a good director in my opinion.  Directed the awesome Cronos.  Rent it.  Try to get the subtitled Spanish language original, though.  Then he made the not-too-bad Mimic. But this was awful.  And not even a decent soundtrack to redeem it. 
         Not a good thing to say about this one. But I don't think it deserves a one star rating.  
I give it... .

Rating: ZERO STARS.

PS:  I think that the movie theatre should have given out more than a bag of corn chips after this stinker.
PSS:  I can't believe that I have to explain my dislike for that piece of crap, Blade 2. But I will. It's my fault -- I made it sound like the gore was the turn-off. If I don't like that kind of stuff then why would I go see something of the sort? No, gore doesn't bother me. I am a big fan of gore-masters Tobe Hooper, George Romero, Dario Argento, and on and on. But I hated Blade 2 because it was just an endless exercise in how to kill vampires. You see a million ways to do it. But where the hell is the entertainment? There is none. Unless you count watching vampires getting blown up and maimed in every way imaginable as entertaining.  Vampire mood?? Rent John Carpenter's Vampires or Bram Stoker's Dracula. Or even better rent the awesome Fright Night from '87 or its inferior sequel (which is still a lot better than Blade 2) . Watch the first Blade.
Hell, go watch Blade 2 and then tell me I was wrong!!!

_____________________________________________

Ice Age
a la The Flixter

          Guess what is the most frequently watched channel on my TV?? No!!!!  Why do you have to think dirty stuff?  Besides, I don't get those channels.  Anyway, the correct answer is The Cartoon Network. I love cartoons. Even though, lately they have become extended infomercials for toys.

          Oh yeah, Ice Age. Awesome movie. Loved it. Twenty thousand years ago,  everybody is fleeing from the ice.  Sid, a sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo), is trying to catch up to a group of these fleeing humans so he can give them the infant they forgot behind. He is accompanied by Manny, a woolly mammoth (voice of Ray Romano). Of course they are not getting along ..... but it's still a buddy movie.  You know they will get along soon. Their unlikely ally is Diego, a saber tooth tiger (voiced by the Great Dennis Leary).  They have all kinds of perils on their way. But the laughs are consistent ..... a great time. Take the kids. I don't have any so I took my cousins.

Rating: FOUR STARS.

PS: I also think that the best picture of last year was Shrek. Think what
you want. I really don't care.

_____________________________________________

Showtime
a la The Flixter

         I guess Robert de Niro has had enough of those tough-guy dramatic roles. He went the comic way with Analyze This.   Did the same with Meet the Parents. And now he is paired with Eddie Murphy for this movie ---- don't get me wrong -- he still plays a tough guy here......very serious and rarely smiling.

          De Niro is a detective who gets into some hot water when he shoots the
camera on some annoying camera-man following him on his job.  The only way out is a proposition from TV producer
Rene Russo. To have her crew tape him at work for a TV show.  Of course he doesn't want to do it but his bosses make him.  He gets paired with patrolman / wanna-be actor, Eddie Murphy and Showtme is born.  There is some cool action towards the end as the two get closer to the bad guy putting some awesomely big guns on the streets -- and some pretty funny scenes as the two cops become celebs. But it was not as funny as I was expecting it to be.

Analyze This was hilarious. Meet the Parents was OK. This one falls in the
middle.

Rating: TWO STARS.

PS: William Shatner is very funny playing himself and inviting some cracks
at his cop-show
T.J. Hooker.

New Jersey movie reviews by the NJ's own " Flixter"..............

email:The Flixter@metrojersey.com

New Jersey movie reviews by the NJ's own " Flixter"..............

Back

Home   - Submit Your Site to metrojersey.com  -  Contact Us   - NJ Forum  - Privacy Policy
Copyright@ 1998-2003, metrojersey.com
metrojersey.com is owned and operated by
Monarch Optimizing LLP, Kenilworth, NJ, Woodcliff Lake, NJ, Hawthorne, NJ.
buy propecia online