Snakes on a Plane

I cannot recall ever seeing such a stupid movie executed so smartly. I'm serious: the people responsible for this movie actually took their high-concept idea (movie code phrase for "tiny plot") and made the best movie they could. Not once does it seem like they ever deluded themselves into thinking they were generating high art.

Strangers With Candy

I chewed and chewed on coming up with an opinion about this movie. It all boils down to this: it's not my cup of tea. Most of the humor is derived from both the struggle Jerri has being 46 and trying to fit into high school as well as her ex-con persona showing through her feeble attempts to behave like a high school student.

Over the Hedge

Good cartoons have always been hard to come by, and I never know what I'm going to get with Dreamworks Animation. Every time I watch one of their movies, I'm hoping for Shrek, but I'm fearing I'll get Madagascar. The good news is Over the Hedge is somewhere in between. RJ the Racoon (Bruce Willis) royally pisses off Vincent, a hibernating bear (Nick Nolte), by stealing his cache of food...

Stay Alive Unrated Director's Cut

How does Stay Awake Alive aggravate me? Let me count the ways: Like many horror movies the characters are just plain stupid but these folks are beyond the pale. I'm not just talking about splitting up when the danger is at its worst, but when they put 2 and 2 together, none of them try to destroy the freaking game! Smash the DVD, erase the hard drive, hell take a big magnet to it or a sledge hammer!

Stick it

I'm sure a true gymnast who does spend most of her waking hours training every day would scoff and point out what the movie got wrong, but for us laypeople, the movie has verisimilitude. It manages to capture some the sheer effort and pain these athletes go through to compete, and it highlights the strength and agility they need in order to perform their gravity-defying routines.

Beavis and Butthead Do America: Special Collector's Edition

After Beavis and Butthead became a huge hit for MTV in the early 90's many viewers would get drunk and would run around with their tee-shirts pulled over their heads like cowls and yell "I need TP for my bunghole!" and thus was born a pair of cultural icons. MTV and Creator Mike Judge took his two pathetic idiots to the big screen in 1996 in Beavis and Butthead Do America. I never thought I would feel nostalgic about the 90's, but watching this movie again made me wistfully recall when crude animation combined with crude humor was more innocent.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Upon receiving The Greatest Game Ever Played to review, I rolled my eyes in despair and muttered "Oh crap, a freakin' golf movie!" I don't have anything against golf as a game, I just don't want to watch it, and I certainly wouldn't normally want to watch a movie about this sport. I figured Caddyshack is the only movie about golf we will ever need. I was wrong.

The Family Stone

Every year Hollywood likes to make at least one movie about family during the Holidays and the I can usually rank the movie on the same scale somewhere between warm fuzzies and tedious nightmares. 2005's entry into the Holiday family genre is The Family Stone. How does it rank? How about a tedious fuzzy?

An Unfinished Life

The tragic and boring romance of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck proved once and for all that there is such thing as bad publicity. I bring that sorry mess up because it colors anything those two have touched in recent years, and there is question as to how it affected the release of An Unfinished Life which was filmed in 2003 but shelved until late 2005.

Everything is Illuminated

Everything is Illuminated starts out as your basic gentle comedy about the disconnection people feel when encountering another culture. Jonathan acts confused and unsure as he deals with the eccentricities of Alex and Alex, while both of them try to puzzle out this young jewish kid who won't eat meat and likes to collect odd things, like potatoes, grasshoppers, and bottles of hand lotion.

Stay

Up until I volunteered to review the DVD release of Stay, I had never heard of the movie. I didn't know a thing about it until I popped it in and hit play. So now I'm going to tell you two things: One, it is worth watching. Two, do as I did and watch it without any spoilage. I'll do my best not to spoil the plot for you, but you'd be better off to quit reading now and just go buy/rent the movie.

Good Night, and Good Luck.

Does the name Senator Joseph McCarthy mean anything to you? How much do you really know about McCarthyism? Have you spent any time trying to understand what was happening in the United States during the Cold War? Do you even know what the Cold War was about? Good Night, and Good Luck. attempts to dramatize a small but important point during that part of U.S. history - the moment when television news called Shenanigans on Senator McCarthy's hunt for communists.

Pride  & Prejudice

I subjected myself once to one of the many versions of Wuthering Heights and came away with a hardcore loathing of the characters and writer Emily Bronte. I think I unconciously lumped Ms. Austen in with Ms. Bronte and avoided anything attached to their names, however, I've bitten the bullet and watched this new version of Ms. Austen's popular story and I have to admit, my prejudices were unwarranted.

Pulse

Scary movies have been coming out of Japan lately, and keeping in its tradition of never coming up with an original idea, Hollywood has been remaking them at a rapid clip. The good side of this venture is that some of the actual Japanese versions are hitting the theaters stateside. Pulse was released in theaters last fall and now it is making its debut on DVD well before its American counterpart will be released.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Tim Burton, every once in a while, likes to do nifty little stop-motion animated movies (which is becoming a lost art) like The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, like Nightmare, has an amusingly morbid feel to it and is most definitely set in Tim Burton Land.

Class of 1984 Special Edition

Class of 1984 was released in 1982 (coincendentally the year I graduated high school). I remember hearing about this movie at the time – it had a reputation for being hyper-violent and prophetic: schools are going to hell in a hand basket and it’s because bad kids are getting out of control and good kids are getting lost in the rage. In post-Columbine America I can’t argue with the sentiment, but I can argue about the presentation.

Transporter 2

No, this movie isn’t as good as the original. It is still quite entertaining but unfortunately like many of its forbearers much of the entertainment derives from laughing at the action. The first Transporter has outlandish stunts, too, but I don't recall losing my suspension of disbelief as quickly or as thoroughly. In movie terms, I’ll buy into almost anything, so if I yell “Oh, bull(bleep)” during a scene (as I did here – it won’t be hard to guess which one) you know the director went a wee bit too far.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

French film critic turned director Francois Truffaut once wrote that directors should be auteurs (authors), or more broadly, a director’s films should all be stamped with his or her unique style. When thinking about directors with their own style who make movies these days, I can think of a small handful off the top of my head: Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, and Ridley Scott come to mind. Some directors, however, live in their own universe and invite us in occasionally to check it out. This sentiment especially applies to Texas native Wes Anderson.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Baudelaire orphans are Violet (Emily Browning), known for an inventive streak that would make MacGuyver feel inadequate; Klaus (Liam Aiken), known for never forgetting anything he reads; and Sunny (Kara and Shelby Hoffman), known for being a fantastic biter. At the start of the movie they are not orphans yet, but their parents soon perish in a mysterious fire.

Spaceballs (Collector's Edition)

Spaceballs was originally released in 1987 and received mediocre business but decent video and rental sales. With thousands of silly quotes and its skewering of the George Lucas merchandising juggernaut known as Star Wars, it has remained a cult favorite especially among Science Fiction fans.

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