If Rocky and The Wrestler had a big gay baby, this would be that movie. Joking aside, this is a very well written, shot and acted film, with Nolte turning an excellent performance as the now sober shitheel father. While the ending is extremely improbable, the fight scenes are well done and don't become played out.
At Streaming on NetFlix
This sequel to the first excellent Ip Man movie was a little disappointing but definitely not terrible. The wire-fu was a little out of place in a "historical" telling of Master Ip's story, but it was well done by martial arts movie legend Sammo Hung. If you saw the first one, see this one as well.
With The Rum Squad at Galaxy 12, Monroe, WA
Nothing I say below has any intention of disparaging our men and women in uniform, their families or in any way wishes to demean their sacrifices or patriotism. If you can accept that, then understand that I feel that this movie is mediocre at best, and jingoistic at worst. The fact that I saw this with the D-Max seats made this movie's action scenes immensely entertaining, the wooden dialog, long segues and lack of any character development ruined any emotional involvement with the characters. I realize we are intended to have a "intrinsic" connection to these characters, played by actual Nave SEALs, but aside from "the letter" I was left feeling completely detached. Worth a see, but not an epic motion picture, though we should always honor the sacrifice of our fallen brave...and damn few.
D-Max is awesome, I wish it was on more movies and in my house.
Leading up to his tragic death in 1994 at Imola, Ayrton Senna was quite possibly the most brilliant and competitive driver in the history of Formula One. This documentary, taken entirely from archival footage and largely in Senna's own words through interviews and off-the-record tapings, shows an extremely humble human being. Being a national hero in Brazil and a favorite among F1 fans, this film tracks Senna's rise on the world stage and his unique blend of utter ruthlessness on the track and a man devoted to god and country. A must watch, even if you aren't a race fan.
While not the hugest fan of musicals, the black humor in this movie overwhelms my natural inclination to give this film a pass. Bonham and Depp give excellent performances against the usual meticulously detailed Burton backdrops.
Excellent cinematography and pacing really show as a example that successive movies have followed. While the plot twist is hardly a suprise, the reveal is done artfully and with impact. DeNiro puts down an excellent cameo as Mr. Cyphere.
Bad pacing, horrible tactics and deus ex machina abounds in this branch out from Kevin Smith. John Goodman's monologues are excellent, but this movie could stand a better executive producer and about 10 times the storyboarding. Good on Mr. Smith for branching out, but he might want to stick to more familiar territory like New Jersey and comic books.
A fun movie that shows three student filmmakers on the tail of a bear poacher. Things take a turn for the bizarre out in the woods and the kids are swept up in an overreaching government conspiracy to conceal Norway's lesser known inhabitants.
With George and Lawrence at George's House
I really wanted to like this movie, given it was done by Pegg and Frost who wrote and starred in the iconic "Shaun of the Dead". Bad news, is that this is a pretty terrible movie. If you enjoy running nerd references, predictable dialog and an ending you can see a mile away, this is your flick.
An engaging documentary story about an Australian business-man who was morbidly obese and on his last legs of life. He decided to make a radical change in the way he ate and this is his story. A bit cheesy and over the top at first, but you can't walk away not feeling good about what he accomplished.
A very well done origin story for the X-Men that is mish-mashes a lot of the story lines from the comic books into a very decent flick. The villians in this movie are essentially who should have been in the third X-Men movie until the studio comletely killed it. Kevin Bacon utterly nails his part as the Black King.
With Sean, Matt at Sean's
A hilarious grindhouse style flick with over the top dialog, cheap and excessive gore and a story line completely garnered from an experimental 3 minute movie trailer (go look it up on youtube).
Higher rating due to the grindhouse style yelling at the screen we did during the watching.
I didn't go into this movie expecting much, but was decently suprised. The way the movie was shot was very well done and the CG was completely appropriate and added hugely to the fun of the movie instead of taking away.
This adaptation of Conan was extremely true to the Dark Horse comic reboots. The style and narrative was spot on. I didn't think I'd enjoy a reboot without Arnold, but while the story meanders a little the action more than makes up for it. A popcorn flick of the highest caliber.
This movie didn't really break any barriers in story telling, but it was a fairly decent flick (like a darker Goonies) up until the completely horrible ending. The second the 2 ton killing machine alien opened its eyes the movie ends and it's an ET love-in until the credits. Blegh.
While Spacey drop-kicked his part out of the park, the rest of this movie is a complete bore. While Aniston's rack is a sight to behold, it can't save this terrible movie that I can't recall a single line from (besides the aforementioned Spacey).
A fairly stark "in his own words" timeline of Mike Tyson from his rough upbringing in Brooklyn to the hights of being the world champion and the fall that went with it. Some unintentionally hilarious word mix-ups, but all in all, Mike Tyson is extremely well spoken and self-reflective and I've definitely gained new respect for him as a human being.
A funny send up of Appalachian hillybilly horror where innocent college kids go into the woods and find themselves terrorized by the inbred locals. Funny in some bits with some pretty good horror-movie kills. Worth a watch for horror fans.
While not being Carpenter's best work, the geniune use of puppetry and makeup special effects over CG is excellent. The psychological horror aspects of this movie are pretty dated by this point, but it's worth a watch for horror fans.
With Hong at Regal Northgate
A comedic re-take on the old TV show. There's a few little nods to the old series, but other than the names and basic framework, it doesn't have much to do with the original series. A fun popcorn flick with a couple decent laughs, but nothing to get worked up about.
A fairly good look at the causes behind the bursting of the 2007 securities bubble that caused the recent global enconomic meltdown. Fairly squarely points the finger of blame and just reminds us that we don't own our lives and those that do are virtually untouchable.
Continuing the case of the Robin Hood Hill murders, the filmmakers have revisited the case 6 years later with damning proof of overlooked evidence, incompetence in prosecution and the still lingering effects of this horrible event. It is almost 20 years later, and the case is still undergoing appeal while three probable innocents are still in prison.
An HBO documentary featuring the probable railroading, if not incompetence of judge, jury, prosecution and defense of three teenagers accused of the grisly and disturbing murders of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. A probable theme is that tribalism is still quite alive in American culture and in some areas you better not be different than the majority, because justice is definitely not blind, nor fair.
With me at home
Go take a look at YouTube for the Winnebago Man. Some nutjob amatuer film maker decided to hunt this guy down and see if he really is the angry, insane man from this first "viral video", circa 1989. What ends up is a pretty awesome story about how you wish you'll be when you're 80.
With me at streaming on NetFlix
A startling look into the American public education system that unsuprisingly lays the blame squarely at the feet of unions and their pursuit of profit and mediocrity. The system is corrupt enough that, unless serious reforms are made, we will not be able to remain a world leader in technology and innovation as we have for the last 70 years.
An excellent human look into the selective application of law engaged in by the US Government to make example of a celebrity (who, if this documentary is factual, is an extremely decent human being) engaged in what's is probably the most harmless "crime" on the books in the name of political ambition and furthering the a morally bankrupt drug war, a campaign of terror waged against its own people and support of a prison-industrial complex controlled by private companies and responsible for billions of dollars in revenue a year at the expense of its citizens who partake in a form of inebriation that doesn't happen to agree with the laws on the books.
I've never watched a Uwe Boll movie, although there are certainly expectations around a movie's quality when that name is listed as the director. Coming in with next to no expectations, I will attempt a little objectivity. Some of the points raised are valid, but are completely undershadowed by the development of the main character. The end result of this movie is the wet-dream fantasy of every alienated person who was picked on as a child and now can deliver some payback without consequences to the society who wronged them. The plot is fairly paper-thin and predictable, but it's saved from a completely negative rating by the good cinematogrophy and a couple really subtle laughs. Uwe would do extremely well as a second unit director on a major picture, just as long as he's not writing the dialog or trying to box his critics.
At streaming NetFlix
Honestly, I don't know why I watched this, and furthermore, why I'm admitting to watching it. I loved the wras'lin' back in the '80's when I was a kid, but haven't watched it since. This was a fairly human perspective on the career aspect of the athletes featured and offered some insight into the savagery of the business. All in all it kept me fairly entertained, but if you didn't watch this shit growing up, don't bother.
With Kara at Lincoln Square Theatre
The movie I walked into was a chick flick and I was mentally prepared for 2 hours of melodramatic boredom. What I walked out of was a fairly decent psychological thriller that to describe here would spoil a good portion of the story. That said, the shakey-cam in the beginning was near vomit inducing.
A fairly decent horror flick that marks the return of George Romero to making semi-decent films. I enjoyed this one since it relies more on makeup fake blood than the horrible CGI that's been the trend lately in Hollywood horror films. Recommended for fans of the genre but there's nothing groundbreaking here.
With me at Netflix
Don't go into this movie expecting a creepy zombie epic. The special effects and makeup are top-notch without taking center stage. This movie is a bit schizo in what it's trying to be, but the result is quite satisfying and fun to watch.
The icy roads of hell lay just outside my door.
With The Ghost of Hitchcock at Boringtown
This is probably the worst semi-high budget film I've seen in a long time. Effects that were old by the time the second Matrix movie came out, makeup and costumes replaced with plastic CGI and ridiculous greenscreening taking the place of any actual stunts. I think Paul W.S. Anderson has surpassed even Uwe Boll and Ed Wood in the realm of terrible moviemaking. With $60M they could have at least hired a decent writer.
With me at home
This movie had a good build-up for a cheesy horror flick and was completely undermined by the lackluster ending. I can't see recommending anyone watch this. The stop-motion sequences were pretty well done though. A well shot movie ruined by writing.
With me at Streaming @ work
The real documentary of how the 503rd went into one of the most disputed valleys in Afghanistan and basically walked into ambush after ambush.
I'll have to rewatch this one when I'm not distracted by work.
With entire BPD IT BU team at Crossroads Cinema in 3D
An interesting visual sequel to the classic 1982 movie, but the script left a lot to be desired. The visuals were well done but that's not enough to carry a movie.
Someone kept farting and stinking up the theatre.
At home on NetFlix
A fairly standard cult-horror plot that's saved by the excellent use of makeup and special effects. There are definitely some gruesome scenes in the movie, but they aren't really that disturbing unless you are 8 years old.
Jetlagged as hell
With Me at Netflix Streaming
I saw this movie when I was a young child and couldn't grasp the meaning or historical context. It was one of the first movies I saw that had an ending that I wholly didn't expect. Depicting the horrible tactical choices that happened in World War 1, this war drama with very little war is enough to spark an interest in the history of trench warfare and the absolute folly of those in charge not knowing what is actually happening on the front lines.
With DanJew, MarkJew at MarkJew's House, Portland
An interesting little FOX Searchlight flick that does well for a budget horror with crap CGI. The story is pretty standard 80's style horror schlock with updated slang. The story is predictable but entertaining for the the gore along the way. I wouldn't revisit it but it's not a waste of time either. Good popcorn flick.
Dan is a ginger.
With The Jerk Squad at Grand Illusion Cinema
Unlike Barbarian, Destroyer has not held up through childhood nostalgia. This movie is a writing trainwreck from start to finish, got a toned down rating and level of violence and the plot is just retarded. Add in dumb attempts at humor and this one just just doesn't stand up to the legacy.
Double feature. After Barbarian was done everyone just kind of gave up. This one dragged on way too long.
With The Whole Gang of Jerks at Grand Illusion Cinema
A definite favorite from growing up. It's not a masterpiece of acting or story writing by any means, but the score, sets and nostalgia factor make this one of my favorite movies.
An excellent time with hilarious commentary from the peanut gallery.
With Fucking no one at In fucking space
I can't say much, other than the near prophetic speculations and finely honed observations have endeared this person named Bill Hicks to be one of my greatest inspirations and heroes. That I am now the age he is when he died leaves me to seriously consider what impact I intend to have with my life in the pursuit of truth and fact.
With me at home
This should have been named "Robin Hood: Origins" since it's quite obviously setting up a sequel. This is pretty much a prequel to the story that we are all familiar with. The battles don't have the same Ridley Scottness that Gladiator did, probably due to the PG-13 rating. I'll certainly watch the sequel when it comes out, but there's no need to revisit this film.
This is a movie where Legolas' father is an evil fairy mage and tries to get a book of Satan together so he can unmake the world or something because his uncle diddled him back in 1342. Dumb movie, reasonably well shot, wouldn't watch again.
The film had a good premise to merge Western and creature horror, but doesn't really do either one well. Not enough focus on the creatures. The story meanders along with no purpose for half the movie and then just ends.
Excelletn grindhouse theatre action from start to end. The camera work is decidedly old-school and the story is about a fairly serious subject, albiet taken to ridiculous extremes. Quite enjoyable and the Trejo is his usual self from beginning to end.
I didn't go into this movie expecting much but the action was well done and the characters one dimensional enough to be parodies of themselves. Entertaining for a watch through but no need to revisit this one once you've seen it.
When is Bruce Willis not a cop and when is he in a movie without 20 pounds of bloody face makeup. This was a novel concept but falls a little short of selling the audience on the main plot point with the adoption of the story's main technology.
With Me at Home
It's pretty rare to laugh out loud when watching a movie by yourself. This one had enough original gags that I had to bump it up to 7. Entertaining and crude with a preictable story, but good writing made up for a lot of it. Sean Combs is excellent in this.
I didn't really go in expecting much and that's pretty much what this movie delivered. I've never really liked Iron Man as a character to begin with, and this is more of the same. Downy's performance of Stark saves a bit of the horrible writing, but all it all this was a pretty boring movie.
At Lincoln Theatre
Ridiculously over the top to the point where the movie becomes a parody of itself. An excellent send-up of all the 80's and 90's action flicks, it still does it with some style. You won't learn anything from this movie, but it's fun to watch.
A movie that's about as weird as the town it was flimed in. Set in Trona, CA, a once bustling company town, it has since fallen into disrepair and is virtually a modern ghost town. The movie follows Ray, a non-too-bright but well meaning local who finally gets fed up with his life and the way his town has almost slid off the map due to drug dealers and thugs taking over. Danny DeVito puts in an excellent performance.
While not in the comedic vein of previous presentations by Dave Gorman, this is perhaps one of the most ambitious. Driving from Pacific to Atlantic coasts without giving any money to "The Man", we vicariously experience an essential part of American culture that we are on the brink of losing forever.
An entertaining, well done movie that doesn't really do anything to stand out from the pack of Iraqi War conflict movies to come out lately. Most of the story has already been speculated on and has dissolved into the background of the American consciousness as "Yea? So?"
Garage door guy was drilling and it was loud as hell.
Based on the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, this film portrays a bleak future in which all people are made to be equal, regardless of natural born abilities. An exceptional man frees himself and attempts to let the truth be known, that all of society are slaves and not free.
I went in expecting some horrible coming of age nerd movie. And that's what it was. What I didn't expect was the outstanding direction, dialog and action straight out of an old-school Shaw Brother's movie, albiet performed by some lanky pale nerd and a 12 year old girl.
At Das Crib
Give up expectations of superhero movies. Well written and acted, gritty and funny almost to the end when it gets laid on pretty thick. Extra star for being a good indie flick with a crappy budget.
Average rating: 6.4