Friday, December 31, 2010

It's Garry Shandling's Show Season 3

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

It's Garry Shandling's Show Season 3 - 5 out of 5

The third, and second to the last, season of the insanely funny show that surrounds the neurotic comedian Garry Shandling. All the qualities that make the show hilarious is still here--mainly the breaking of the fourth wall.

There's really not much else I can say about this show as it is just as funny as the previous seasons and I can't wait to start up the fourth, and final, season.

Dogville

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Dogville - 4 out of 5

Interesting. Unique. One-of-a-kind. Well acted. Amazing cast. These are just a few of the good things I can say about Dogville. In the past, I've only seen bits and pieces of this movie and have never actually been able to see Lars von Trier's interesting creation about a young woman (played by Nicole Kidman) on the run from the mob, who then finds herself in the town named Dogville. What follows is an interesting (and disturbing) view into the human psyche when it comes to helping others.

Right off the bat, the film is unlike anything else you've ever seen as it refuses to use sets and has the movie take place entirely on a minimalist, theater-like stage that has homes and buildings set up only in the form of chalk outlines. This ends up forcing the viewer to focus entirely on the actors and the story--both of which are great! This film has some of the best actors in the business. I already said that the incredibly beautiful Nicole Kidman plays the lead but she is surrounded by the likes of the amazingly talented Paul Bettany, James Caan, Philip Baker Hall, (one of my favorite character actors) Zeljko Ivanek, Chloe Sevigny, Stellan Skarsgard and the whole movie is narrated by the immensely talented John Hurt.

While the film is long, the characters and story are interesting enough to keep you captivated. Dogville is one of those rare films that breaks the mold of modern filmmaking and delivers something you haven't seen before. If you get the opportunity, check this one out.

Harry Brown

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Harry Brown - 3 out of 5

Sure revenge stories are kinda cliche in the movie world but who doesn't love a good story about a man taking justice into his own hands.

This time around, one of the coolest men to ever exist, Michael Caine, is the man out for vengeance. Caine plays Harry who lives in a violent neighborhood and when he loses both his wife and his best friend, he is no longer content to sit back and let his town go to hell. Unlike most revenge flicks, Caine isn't playing a seemingly invincible ass-kicker who comes running in with guns blazin' however, he is still able to show some bad-assery. While this movie isn't filled with action, the story is strong enough that when the few action sequences take place, they feel like icing on the cake.

While not the best action film to come out, Michael Caine's performance and some decent bloody kills is enough to warrant a viewing Harry Brown.

The Unforseen

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Unforseen - 3 out of 5

Land development and pollution in Austin, Texas are the targets in this documentary produced by Robert Redford.

I love documentaries and, being an environmentalist myself, I love documentaries that focus on the planet or protecting the environment so I naturally added this to my Netflix queue. The subject material is interesting and the doc does a great job at showing the argument from both the environmentalists' perspective and the men who put development over nature. However, the film does move at a slow pace and it's very narrow premise (I would have preferred a larger scope when it comes to this debate and not just a focus on one city) ends up hurting the rating I gave the film.

While not the best environmental documentary I've seen, it's still interesting enough to give it a shot if you like docs.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift - 2 out of 5

A completely pointless sequel to a movie that never should have spawned a franchise.

I enjoyed the first film. Fast cars, decent action and hot women came together to make a decent popcorn movie but the first film wasn't good enough to produce a sequel and REALLY not good enough to spawn a third (and then a fourth and now a fifth coming out. Honestly, did these movies really make enough money to spawn a franchise?). This third film is like the black sheep of the family...it's there but even fans of the franchise seem to ignore its existence.

The premise is just like all the other films: Troubled youths involved in crime and use racing to get out of it. Yes it's silly but remember Over the Top? At least there's no arm wrestling in these movies. But unlike the other films, this movie deals with the short lived fascination that is drifting. Remember drifting? For about a year or so, it was the hip thing as even G4 made an entire TV show on it. But, like the Dell Guy, our country's love affair with drifting disappeared but, unlike the Dell Guy, drifting can be kinda cool and entertaining to watch.

While this movie does offer some cool races, decent action, cool stunts and some great camera work done during the races, it offers little else as the story barely exists to only string together the racing. The story gets very silly indeed as well as they attempt to create some deep, zen like meaning to drifting and there's a Yoda-like instructor teaching the main protagonist how to properly drift. And did I mention the protagonist (Lucas Black) is suppose to be a high school student but looks like he's in his mid-thirties?

Overall, this movie is basically something that offers little in the form of entertainment. It isn't fun enough to watch to be a popcorn movie and it is so void of story that unless you are a big fan of the franchise, you can not watch this movie and your life would be just fine. In fact, even watching it will do nothing. Watch it or not, you'll come out just the same--unchanged.

Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus - 2 out of 5

Who would have thought the hype machine that was fueled by the internet called Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus would produce a sequel?

The first film was just terrible. The acting, the special effects, the story--all of it was enough to cause cancer in some people but the movie was sooooo bad it was hilarious. And that formula for crap is revisited in this film. And to coup with missing both Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas, this film gives us Urkel. That's right, Jaleel White tries to act and fool us that he would somehow be a believable military scientist. Let me put it this way, he wasn't entertaining as Urkel and he was about as equally entertaining in this one.

Like the first film, the only redeeming quality this movie has is laughing at how bad it is and, as long as you don't think about how the money used to make this steaming pile could have gone to make society better, you will have a good time watching this. Good time on an ironic level, of course.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Futurama Vol. 5

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Futurama Vol. 5 - 5 out of 5

I am a HUGE fan of Futurama. Ever since the show came out, I said that Matt Groening had created something entirely better than The Simpsons and, even now, I still think that. Maybe it's the fact it's geared more towards geeks like me or maybe because the writing is better or the animation is far more superior--I don't know--but Futurama will always be the best creation that Groening has made.

After Fox f'ed over the show years ago, I was incredibly sad but comforted by the fact I owned the entire series on DVD. Then, when Fox resurrected it on four direct to DVD videos, I was filled with hope as it brought with it not only fresh stories but a return to television. All the things that made the series great came back with it like it never left the air. The writing is still some of the best ever seen as episodes are filled with solid stories that have a perfect balance of jokes, character development and emotion. The animation is just as good as ever as the show continues to be the only animated program that can seamlessly integrate both 2D and 3D animation and all the fantastically talented voice actors who brought life to the characters we all love returned. Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche and David Herman--I could go on and on about these voice actors who I love and respect so much--that's right, I love them and would say that to their faces if I met them.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how great Futurama is but I won't waste your time. All I can say is that this volume continues to show the quality the show has always had and proves their transition back to television was, as if, they had never left in the first place!

Family Guy: It's a Trap

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Family Guy: It's a Trap - 5 out of 5

The third, and seemingly finale, of the Family Guy Star Wars parodies centers around Return of the Jedi. Characters from The Cleveland Show and American Dad make appearances as the cast of characters from Family Guy seem to be running out (something that is even pointed out in the movie as a joke). While this isn't as funny as the previous two, it is still good enough to warrant a 5 out of 5 and still funny enough to be an excellent addition to the trilogy. Now, I just shall sit silently and hope that Seth McFarland decides to parody the prequels.

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - 1 out of 5

If you ever wanted to see an example of a horror film that does everything wrong, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is the movie to watch. There isn't a number low enough in existence to show how bad this film is. Usually, when I watch a movie, I try to locate something good in it so my review isn't just an utter thrashing but CSPWDT has no redeeming qualities. NONE WHATSOEVER. The film making is bad enough for a resurrected Ed Wood to say, "God Damn, that sucks," the acting is so bad it makes Sam Worthington look like a Oscar candidate and the story (if you can call it that) is so lame and weak, it's embarrassing for the viewer...almost like watching a Sarah Palin speech. The only real joy that comes from this movie is the entertainment one gets from watching the sorry spectacle this movie is.

CSPWDT centers around a group of eccentric theater actors (that description is a bit redundant, I know) who go away to a island cabin for a weekend and decide to attempt to resurrect the dead. What follows in this movie is absolutely atrocious acting (however, the acting is slightly amusing because I've known many theater majors in my life and their performances mirror what is seen in this movie because, for some reason, many actors actually believe that what a person sees in this movie is real acting) centered around one of the weak, flimsiest stories to ever exist. No real motivation is ever given as to why these actors are so desperate to raise the dead and, even more mysterious, is why the characters are laughing like idiots over every stupid comment the other actors make. Seriously, nothing said in this movie is funny but each character acts like they just sat through a Mitch Hedberg set. To make this movie even worse (honestly, it was like the filmmakers were intentionally TRYING to make a shitty movie) the characters completely lack consistency as, in one scene, a character will be all-in for the bringing back the dead and making a deal with the devil but another aspect of this sinister plan will somehow assault their morals and want nothing to do with it. For example, one character is all for making a deal with Satan and opening up a grave but pulling the corpse from the grave is too much. That made do one of the WTF's the kids are so found of.

Honestly, if you are a complete idiot, this movie might scare you but you have to be really dumb because the true meat of the story (the resurrecting the dead) doesn't even get accomplished until there was 20 minutes left of the movie. REALLY?!? You do a movie about zombies and the zombies don't show up till the credits are warming up?!? But if you like really bad movies to laugh at, check this out because it is a steaming pile of dog shit.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait - 1 out of 5

BORING!

I love documentaries and I love seeing how movies are made so, you think, when you combine the two, it would be something I would instantly get into and consider having an unnatural relationship with (I am human and it, after all, is inanimate). However, this behind the scenes look at the insanely popular cult phenomenon know as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre offers no real insight to the film that you could otherwise learn by reading the trivia section at IMDb. It would also eat up less of your time.

The film consists of some footage of the film clumsily edited together with long winded (and did I say boring?) stories from three of the actors involved in the movie and a couple of film experts. The film doesn't explore the impact the movie had on both film-making and society nor does it give much insight to the viewers' experience.

The reality is, this behind-the-scenes glance at the horror film that changed the definition of what it means to be a scary movie is lackluster at best. In the end, it felt more like a crudely put together home video, than an expansion to the cannibalistic family that both frightened and endeared so much of American when they were first unleashed.

The Baader Meinhof Complex

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Baader Meinhof Complex - 2 out of 5

Historical story and well made are two of the good things I can say about this movie that showcases the real life story of the German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction. However, personally, I wasn't able to get into the film as the heavy amount of dialogue forced me to spend more time reading (it's in German and in subtitles) than watching the film. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against watching foreign films--I'm not one of those angry rednecks who yells out, "If you can't learn the language, get the fuck out." The problem I had was that the film was sooooo dialogue heavy, I couldn't enjoy the camera work, editing and all the technical stuff I love about movies because I had to spend so much time reading. Add that to the fact I felt the story moved too slowly at times and I found myself completely unable to get into the film.

While the film doesn't do anything particularly wrong, I just couldn't get into it.

The Car

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Car - 2 out of 5

If you've paid attention to my blog, you know I love bad horror films and the horror genre is NEVER low on bad films to enjoy. No other genre has pumped out more terrible films--not even romantic comedies.

The Car is a simple premise--one often seen in the 70's--a demonic car is running down citizens of a small town. There ya go, nothing too deep and, when you throw in ruggedly handsome James Brolin (I'm secure in my heterosexuality to call the man handsome), you have yourself a movie.

Now don't think for a second this movie is scary because it ain't. However, the cheesy story, bad dialogue and mediocre acting is enough to warrant watching this because it makes it entertaining. Honestly, there is nothing else I can say about this movie except that it is silly to the point it is fun to watch...oh, and the ending is epic in its silliness.

The Office Overtime: The Digital Shorts Collection

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Office Overtime: The Digital Shorts Collection - 3 out of 5

If you ever need physical proof that The Office has jumped the shark, this DVD is the collection for you. While this DVD offers some laughs as it hoists all the webisodes the series has offered, it also showcases how bad the show will get once Steve Carell leaves--which is soon.

The collection starts funny enough as it takes the formula that makes the show work so well and just expands it to other characters. However, the little joy this collection gives quickly starts to disappear as each webisode becomes more increasingly out-there until it comes to the point a music video is made. Really? A music video?

If you're a HUGE fan of The Office, you'll enjoy this but if you're like me and feel the show is past it's expiration date, you might want to avoid this one because the laughs are too few and far between to warrant a viewing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Not the Messiah

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Not the Messiah - 4 out of 5

Few skit comedy troupes are able to carry on the way Monty Python has over the years. It's truly a credit to their talent (any of them) that they have been able to remain fresh in our minds. Whether it's watching reruns of their show or seeing them individually doing something else, these guys have proven time and time again that they are the coolest collection of guys in the world. Whether it be John Cleese stealing a movie in one of his epic roles or Terry Gilliam delivering his one-of-a-kind vision to the movies he directs--these guys have cemented themselves into the annals of time and will live on in infamy long after they have passed on.

Never in my life did I ever think that one day The Life of Brian would become an oratorio but, as Eric Idle has proven with Spamalot, there is nothing he can't do. This DVD is a hour and a half live performance of the show Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) that involved the show performing at the Royal Albert Hall and it saw the (near) reunion of all the Pythons. Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin (the only Palin I care about and, in my opinion, should be allowed on TV) are all here. Mysteriously, John Cleese is not around but still seeing these guys together on stage in this one of a kind show was magical. It got even better as they did a rendition of "I'm a Lumberjack" at the end.

Monty Python unlike you've ever seen, Not the Messiah is definitely something that every Python fan should watch.

Important Things with Dimitri Martin Season 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Important Things with Demetri Martin Season 1 - 4 out of 5

Demetri Martin is one of those creative comics you knew was going to get his own show on Comedy Central and, as it turns out, was not a bad thing at all.

All the things that makes Martin a unique comic are here and the show is genuinely funny. However, like many shows nowadays, the overuse of laughtracks begin to hurt the show--especially early in the season. As the show progresses, the tracks are taken out with the exception of pre-taped segments. I think we can thank CBS for this new trend as they learned that if you can't make your show funny, at least make people THINK it's funny by inserting a laughtrack. Thanks CBS, keep lowering the bar.

But unlike Two and a Half Men or How I Met Your Mother, Important Things with Demetri Martin is actually very funny and really entertaining.

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering - 1 out of 5

If you've read my other reviews of the Children of the Corn franchise, you know I think the movies are pieces of crap. The stories are silly, the acting is terrible and the scares are completely non-existent and to lump them in the category called Horror is a crime against the movie industry. A bigger crime than allowing Sam Worthington to be the lead actor in ANY movie.

Sticking with the tradition of the other films, there are no scares in sight and the acting is just terrible. Naomi Watts takes the lead in this steamer and this was before she was scared over a evil VHS tape that killed you in 7 days, nearly had sex with a large ape and realized she could actually get some recognition by having a lesbian scene with Laura Herring (however, since these acts, she has pretty much faded away). She's just about as convincing in this movie as she is in every other film she does...which of course, doesn't say much.

Something very amusing about this movie is the fact they decided to add a token black character (one sequel too late, I might add. Children of the Corn in da Hood was the last film.) This character does what most one dimensional black characters do in the horror film genre: She says "Ah, hell no" and "I'm getta the fuck out" and, of course, dies. Very subtle, movie.

Unlike the other films, however, this movie looked at its predecessors and decided to up the ante in the dragging story department. Honestly, it's like the filmmakers said, "Okay, the other movies sucked but I think we can make it worse by making the story really boring."

Clearly I'm a glutton for punishment as I watch these terrible films and plan on finishing the franchise. Yep, there are three more sequels to get through and a made for TV remake of the first one. Four more movies. Let's just hope I don't die of boredom from it all.

Tom Waits: Big Time

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Tom Waits: Big Time - 5 out of 5

One part live concert, one part theater and all parts Tom Waits.

After finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I decided to sit down and watch this great film by the rock icon that, sadly, is nearly impossible to find (that excludes torrents but you can watch it instantly on Netflix. It would be nice to see a DVD release of this show, however.). If you're a Tom Waits fan and have never seen this, check it out. If you're not a fan of Tom Waits, I don't have to tell you to NOT see it because you already haven't. If you're not sure who Tom Waits is, check out his stuff. Chances are you've already heard his stuff anyway.

This show is just spectacular and a great example of the creative genius that is Tom Waits. But then again, I'm a HUGE Waits fan, so I'm bias. But at least I admit it. I'm not Fox News.

Despicable Me

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Despicable Me - 5 out of 5

We are living in a golden age of animated movies. An age where both adult and child can watch an animated movie and neither feels cheated as the jokes and story are able to cater to both parties. There was a time when Dreamworks and Pixar were the only names in the game but as this age extends, more companies are releasing animated films and some are proving to be contenders with the big dogs. Sony was the first to join this elite class when they released Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (if you haven't seen it, you must! It is that good.) but now Universal has joined in with Despicable Me.

An absolutely hilarious story that revolves around a super villain named Gru who decides to use some orphans to help him achieve his goal of reclaiming the title of Best Villain by taking the moon. What follows is just pure fun. The animation is fantastic and very detailed and the voice acting is top notch. Universal go-to guys are here like Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) and Steve Carell voices Gru. But what was really impressive was the host of actors who were able to disguise their voices so well, you had no idea it was them while watching the movie. Often when watching an animated film, you can spend time picking out the actors who are doing the voices but the actors involved in this movie covered up their natural voices so well, this little game was almost impossible to play: Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down) and the usually irritating Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek). Honestly, my hat goes off to them for doing such a stellar job!

The story is heartwarming and fun, the acting is great and the animation is jaw dropping. Plus, the minions are the coolest characters ever! Another win in this era of great animated movies.

The Other Guys

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Other Guys - 4 out of 5

WOW! This film was a lot funnier than I had anticipated.

After the last several Will Ferrell movies have been very disappointing, I went into this movie thinking it was going to be the same thing I've seen in his last half a dozen films. Scenes going on too long and jokes dragged out and beating beyond the point where they create Hulk-transforming anger inducing moments and more irritating and annoying than funny--kinda like watching Dane Cook's stand up. However, this was more of a call back to what put him on the map and was a very solid comedy. Even Mark Wahlberg, who I think is one of the worst actors to ever grace the silver screen, made me laugh--genuinely laugh--2 or 3 times. However, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this movie was not the over the top action that made fun of the action film genre (that was enjoyable too) but rather seeing Michael Keaton return to his comedic roots. I can't remember the last time I saw the best Batman take a comedic role. Yes, I was quite surprised how funny and entertaining this movie was.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Jeff Dunham Show

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Jeff Dunham Show - 1 out of 5

While I have a great deal of respect for Jeff Dunham (he's a hard working comedian and a VERY talented ventriloquist) this show was not funny in the least. It showcases the worst parts of his stand up and mixes it with tired, played out jokes and recycled skits that are used nearly every episode.

It's no secret Jeff Dunham's puppets are EXTREMELY racist and only Peanut is the one who's been able to make me laugh (I get it, Walter is old, Bubba J is a redneck, Jose Jalapeno is a lazy Mexican and so forth, it's old) and when you combine these racist cardboard cut outs and mix it with tired jokes (like Nascar and Viagra) and poorly constructed premises for skits, Comedy Central made a mediocre show that was only marketable to Jeff Dunham's already established fan base. The market was so narrow for this show, there was absolutely no hope it could branch off into other demographics. The show tries to make fun of this fact but, like every other second of the show, it fails in being funny.

The only thing funny about this show is the fact that Dunham comes off as those pathetic aging men who try to recapture their youth by dressing like a frat boy douche bag in his early twenties.

Lewis Black's The Root of all Evil Uncensored Season 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Lewis Black's The Root of all Evil Uncensored Season 1 - 4 out of 5

An extremely funny show with a great premise filled and superior comedic talent that only had one real flaw.

Angry funnyman, Lewis Black is the judge where aspects of our culture are put on trial and two comedians make the argument which aspect chosen for this week's show is the "root of all evil." With extremely funny comics like Greg Giraldo (rest in peace), Andrew Daly, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Kindler and Kathleen Madigan, this show offers a lot of laughs but the one thing that hurts the show is the use of a laugh track on many segments. This and the fact Lewis doesn't rant as much as I would like to see him rant, is the only real problem with the show. Other than that, it's hilarious to watch.

David Cross: Let America Laugh

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

David Cross: Let America Laugh - 4 out of 5

Not really a stand up special, but rather a behind-the-scenes documentary-style view of a professional comic on his tour. While not as funny as watching an ACTUAL David Cross stand up routine, this film offers a look at what really goes into a comedy tour: the promoters, the fans, the off the wall events that can't be made up--oh and did I mention the fans? As a stand up comic myself, I enjoyed watching this except for a single woman who was being interviewed by the cameraman. This woman told the cameraman that smaller, independent venues are better than comedy clubs or corporate events because the audience comes out to support the talent. In a sense, this women is correct. Smaller venues gives a comic the freedom to be creative and raw but the corporate events pay better. However, the problem I had with her statement was that she was only half right. At this venue she was at, David Cross was performing and Mr. Cross (who I have a HUGE respect for) is already established and has a fan base so, naturally, his fans would come out to his show. The support for the artist that this woman speaks of doesn't happen with unknown comics. The editors were even kind enough to put a clip of a man saying that he doesn't go out to see bands or comics he doesn't know (a nice counter-point to the bullshit this woman puked out of her mouth). I myself have had many MANY troubles getting the apathetic masses who can't be bothered with live entertainment to come out to my shows. So, all-in-all, this movie is great and entertaining, it's just this woman's smug comments and complete ignorance to how performing for a living really is when you are not a world famous stand up comedian really is completely pissed me off.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Oxford Murders

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Oxford Murders - 2 out of 5

A mystery/thriller about a professor and a grad student out to solve a killer who might have a connection to mathematical symbols that holds the potential to be a major theme park style rollercoaster but ultimately ends up being a touring carnival type ride--poorly put together and painful to sit through. And I don't fully trust the man operating it either.

This film could have easily been entertaining to sit through as the premise is interesting but a script that seems to be unable to hold its focus and bad acting plague this movie and quickly took me out of the film. Overall, the technical aspects of camera work and editing are well done and John Hurt is the film's only actor that proves to be convincing and entertaining to watch. However, Elijah Wood (normally very good) comes off like he wasn't trying in the least and it actually gets laughable as he reads his lines like Mark Walhberg in The Happening. Wood is suppose to play the obsessed character who will stop at nothing to solve the problem (a cliche in the mystery/thriller genre) but there's a complete lack of consistency with his character as one scene will see him going mad trying to figure out the answer but the next will see him act as if he was uninterested in the problem to begin with.

The film so completely lacks focus that it has to take the viewer by the hand and walk it through the mess of a mystery it made by explaining EVERYTHING at the end. The film culminates in a Scooby-Doo like ending that made me fear that the antagonist was going to utter the words, "I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you lousy kids." If the film hired more convincing actors and kept the script more focus on the mystery itself and NOT trying to lure the viewer away from the conclusion (this can be done without the mess this film creates...I cite The Usual Suspects who accomplished the amazing feat of having a compelling mystery that kept the viewer offtrack the entire film without trying to shove another film into the mix--which is what this movie seems to do) if it had done this, this movie could have ended up being mildly entertaining. But it doesn't and that's why it only scores a 10% on the Tomato-meter on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Burn Notice Seaon 3

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Burn Notice Season 3 - 5 out of 5

This season continues the quality of entertainment that we've seen in the past seasons as we follow blacklisted super spy Michael Weston (played perfectly by Jeffrey Donovan) as he tries to get the burn notice on him lifted and get back to his job. Everything you expect returns...Weston still kicks ass and is smarter than MacGyver, cooler than James Bond and loves his yogurt, Fiona is still hot and makes me wonder if Miami is actually really cold (that's a nipple reference people) and Bruce Campbell is still funny as hell as Sam.

This show is pure wit and funny as hell (one highlight is Sam doing his best impression of Horatio from CSI). Perfectly acted, great action, sexy as hell--I could go on and on about this show but I'll just leave it at this...it's awesome!

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest - 1 out of 5

Five years before the Leprechaun franchise decided to put the feisty four-clover killing machine in the ghetto, the Children of the Corn franchise did it first...and did it terribly.

Like the previous films, this third film continues the horrible quality of bad acting and lame story. My hat goes off to them to be able to keep up this level of shit...it couldn't have been easy. It's amusing to give the subtitle of Urban Harvest when nothing in this film really feels "urban." Sure there's basketball, some rap music and the kids in the high school don't want to learn--which is all you would expect from a movie written by a white guy who thinks he knows how black youths live.

The movie gets even more enjoyable to watch as the film culminates in a battle against a giant monster who uses vines to rape a young Charlize Theron (her very first role). And this battle against the monster has some of the worst special effects you've ever seen. The filmmakers actually use toys to recreate human beings that their puppet monster must eat. If I was on the set of this film, I probably would have started asking myself, "If this is the quality we're going to deliver in the final reel of the film, maybe we should just write-out the monster."

All in all, this film is an utter piece of trash and didn't even deserve its direct to video status...however, it is so bad, that's it's unintentionally hilarious and THAT, is the film's only redeeming quality.

Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter - 4 out of 5

The final chapter in the Shrek franchise...until Dreamworks decides to do another. Let's face it, in Hollywood nothing truly ends.

While not the best in the series, this final Shrek film is still very entertaining and very funny for both child and adult. It could have been worse...we could have dealt with Justin Timberlake like we did in the last one. Once again, Dreamworks does away with the shallow and superficial morals that Disney over-saturated the world in and delivers a moral that actually has substance--just like they did with the other films. And just like the previous films, top notch voice acting is seen in spades.

The original cast returns: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese and Cameron Diaz (who is only bearable as Fiona, every other role irritates the hell out of me). And, like any sequel, new characters are introduced and filled with more quality actors. The very funny Craig Robinson (The Office) and Jane Lynch (Glee) and one of television's most handsome men and an advertising badass; Jon Hamm (Mad Men), join the cast. But the real breakout star had to have been Walt Dohrn (a writer on SpongeBob SquarePants and also provided additional voices on Shrek the Third and worked in the art department of Shrek 2) as Rumpelstiltskin. He was very funny as the little troublemaker and provided some of the movie's best moments.

Like I stated before, this final Shrek isn't the best in the series but it is still really fun to watch. There's a lot of great, humorous moments and it's one of those animated movies that the whole family can sit down and enjoy. Also, I don't know if this makes me strange but Fiona is much hotter with her hair down...I'm just saying.

Disneynature: Oceans

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Disneynature: Oceans - 3 out of 5

I'm a big fan of nature documentaries. Especially documentaries about life under the waves--which is funny because I'm not a fan of swimming in the ocean--however, Disney didn't really accomplish much with this trip into our deep seas.

The visuals are nice to look at but the film won't teach you much as the narration provides little in the form of facts about the wildlife. In fact, the narration alone is enough to harm this movie due to the fact whoever wrote the crummy lines that Pierce Brosnan reads (and not even convincingly I might add. It's almost as if Brosnan doesn't buy the crap he's paid to read) sounds more like bad poetry written by one of those struggling writers who thinks they're more talented than all other writers and tells this "fact" to everyone who will listen while they are making coffee at the local Starbucks. I have nothing against Brosnan for being the narrator (I actually felt bad for him having to read the garbage they gave him) but only one man should be allowed to write and narrate a nature doc...the man, the legend...Sir David Attenborough.

Even worse than the shitty narration is the fact that Disney (who almost seems like they TRY to crap up their films sometimes) pulls out one of their cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill pop stars that litters their terrible shows on their horrible network and let's them sing some cliche song in their cliche voices about how we need to protect nature. I'm all for living green but having one of the Jonas brothers tell me to protect the world only sounds fake, forced and pandering in order to keep up appearances.

But my hat goes off to Disney as they continue their tradition of phoning in everything they do. Disneynature: Oceans lacks any real focus as we, the viewer, are tossed from one end of the planet to the other with no real direction or educational value. Despite great underwater photography, silly narration and a pandering song by two very untalented Disney clones make this a movie not worth sitting through unless you are a fan of the nature documentaries.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inception

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Inception - 5 out of 5

I had to fight the hardest fight I have ever had to battle with my movie reviews to NOT give this film a 10 out of 5 because it is that fucking epic. That's right, this movie is so good, I had to drop an F-bomb in order to fully describe how great it is. Everything about this movie is pure perfection. There is not a single solitary aspect of this picture that I didn't enjoy. This movie has solidified my stance that Christopher Nolen is this generation's Stanley Kubrick. While I haven't enjoyed all his movies (I'm not the biggest fan of Memento) he has still showed a talent for both writing and directing and filling the cinemas with quality, unique films in an otherwise cliche, worn-out environment filled with remakes, sequels and all-out stolen storylines.

Everything from the music, extremely tight editing, acting, camera work, cast, action, emotion, humor and a one-of-a-kind story are all perfect as raw ingredients but the magician Nolen takes them all, blends them together to create something magical as he makes this movie flow amazingly without ever losing its pace--not once dragging in order to tell the story. The two and a half hours fly by without you noticing as you are completely sucked into the film.

And then there is the cast...I keep using the word but the cast was perfect. Each actor played their part exceptionally well and ALL come off believable in their parts. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlewaite and Michael Caine! I had to list them all because unlike most films, each and every one of them brought something to the table. I wasn't even a fan of Leo until I saw this movie. He was that good!

Some critics say a movie is a "must see" but Inception is a "must own." I'm not kidding, this is a film is something that should go in everyone's collection. It is so rare that I am blown away by a movie the way Inception blew me away and that's why there is no other word to describe this film. Inception is perfect.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Omen III: The Final Conflict

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Omen III: The Final Conflict - 1 out of 5

Slightly better than the previous sequel due to the decent performance of Sam Neill (taking over the reigns of a older Damien) but a boring story only hurts whatever progress Neill gives this franchise.

Unlike the first film, this movie brings us neck deep into supernatural territory and does away with the ambiguity that Richard Donner crafted in the first film. The man was such a genius in the original film by making all the events happening around the young, evil child appear to be either an act of demonic powers or pure coincidence. That was the beauty of The Omen. However, this creativity is disregarded for a more over the top story that stops short of Damien shooting fire from his fingertips...however, if the film was another ten minutes longer, this probably would have happened.

More unsettling than the boring story (that revolves around Damien killing all children he believes to be the rebirth of Christ) has to be the relationship Damien has with the son of his love interest--yes, the son of Satan has a love interest. The creepy exchanges between this child and Damien (thankfully are few and far between) are something that only NAMBLA or a Catholic priest could enjoy. For the rest of us, our reaction comes in the form of our thumbs hovering over the stop button on our DVD remotes. Seriously, the filmmakers could have created this relationship about a young boy ready to serve his new dark lord without it looking like they are courting each other for a romp in the hay.

Like many horror film sequels, this doesn't live up to the first one--in fact, this one (and the previous one, the remake and the one that comes after this one) should have been film abortions because the original movie is so good, it should have been left by itself and remain untainted in the echelons of film.

Damien: Omen II

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Damien: Omen II - 1 out of 5

Despite the first movie being absolutely fantastic, the Omen's franchise is quite possibly the worst in horror film history as the sequels take it into the fastest nosedive to ever be seen. The instant the second film starts, you are in for extreme mediocrity. The body count increases but the deaths are so silly, you find yourself laughing rather than cowering in fear. However, the biggest crime this sequel creates, and spoils the integrity of the origina,l is the terrible casting of the demon spawn child; Damien. In this movie, he is played by Jonathon Scott Taylor and he possesses one of the most annoying voices I have ever heard. In fact, his voice and portrayal makes the devil's son--a being of incredibly power and evil--come off as limp-wristed nancy-boy. Being an atheist, this sequel only confirms my belief there is no higher power (or lower power for that matter) because if the Damien portrayed in this movie could in fact be the Damien in real life (though it could never happen, can't have a spawn of Satan when Satan doesn't exist) I have nothing to worry about when it comes to evil entering the realm of Earth.

House II: The Second Story

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

House II: The Second Story - 3 out of 5

The cheesy pun alone is enough to automatically give this movie a 3 out of 5 but the fact that this movie is actually pretty fun to watch only works to solidify this rating.

A follow up to the dark comedy starring William Katt that makes no reference to the original and acts on its own storyline about a new owner of a strange home (Arye Gross) finds a reanimated corpse of his great uncle and a mysterious crystal skull (that Indiana is NOT after) that has mysterious powers. The house acts as a focal point for dimensions as a slew of characters are out to get their hands on this powerful skull.

The movie isn't something to write home about but as long as you understand going into it that it is meant to be a fun, dark comedy and not a serious horror film, you will have a good time with it. Especially the section of the movie where John Ratzenberger shows up!

The acting is decent and the story is fun which makes this movie a decent film to sit down with and just have a good time for an hour and a half.

Spaceballs: The Totally Warped Animated Adventures

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Spaceballs: The Totally Warped Animated Adventures - 1 out of 5

If I didn't limit myself to the 1-5 scale, I would have given this terrible animated series based on the fantastic movie a zero out of five...it is that flippin' bad.

This DVD isn't the entire run of this (thankfully) short lived series but rather only 4 episodes...and even those 4 episodes are too much to deal with as they are filled with shitty animation that looks like a late 90's flash-style web-cartoon, barely passable voice acting, weak fart humor and recycled jokes from the movie. Every second of every episode found me rolling my eyes with just embarrassment as this show strives to be funny but fails at every turn. This is even harder to deal with when we already know that Mel Brooks is an absolutely hilarious man.

So, I have to ask: What happened with this show?

Honestly, this show is so bad that if you have a friend who recommends this to you, stop being their friend. The last girl I dated told me this show was funny, so I put it on my Netflix queue and we broke up before I finally watched it. However, if we were still dating, I would have broke up with her for flat out lying to me that this show was even remotely watchable...this show is that bad.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Naked World

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Naked World - 4 out of 5

HBO's second documentary about photographer Spencer Tunick. However, instead of getting nudies on all fifty states, he's out to take pics of naked people on all seven continents...all in one year. Filmed in the same fashion as the last doc (which isn't surprising since it was made by the same people) this film takes a step back and watches Spencer (and the models) struggle with the language and cultural barriers as the photographer attempts to create his new dream. Many critics of these two films cite that Tunick is pretentious and annoying in these films but, as a creative man myself, I understand the frustrations that come when trying to create something that is being blocked at every turn, so, I guess, I really didn't find Spencer irritating in either film. Also, unlike the previous documentary, we see more criticism from others on Spencer's work that wasn't really focused on as much in Naked States (this included a man running out and protesting a large photo shoot in England.)

In my opinion, this was the superior of the two documentaries due to the global outlook it takes as Spencer travels the globe. We already know that America is uptight with nudity in public but this doc shows that views towards nudity change from country to country and created new problems for the unique photographer. If you checked out Naked States, I really recommend watching this one as well.

Naked States

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Naked States - 4 out of 5

HBO's first of two documentaries following photographer Spencer Tunick as he travels the country, taking nude photos of individuals from state to state. The doc is well made as it showcases this country's discomfort with the naked human body (oh yeah, by the way, there is a lot of nudity in this doc, that might be a selling point to some who care little for content). I, for one, find Spencer's work to be quite beautiful and would gladly hang any of his work in my home...except, being that he's a famous artist, I could never afford one of his pics.

All in all, Naked States isn't a flashy documentary or one with a point to make--although there is some social commentary going on, there isn't an agenda like many other documentaries. Instead, it's a return to the old way of documentary filmmaking--point the camera, talk to the people involved and watch as the madness unfold before you. Spencer's journey--even the journey of the people who agree to model--is interesting to watch as you see the struggle to create the pics and to overcome the shame that religion and the popular media has taught us about viewing our bodies, especially when sans clothing. If you're a fan of documentaries, check this one out.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice - 1 out of 5

Boy, if you thought the first film was a piece of crap, you need to see this one because it outdoes it on the crappy movie scale.

Like the first one, the acting, story and the lack of scares are all here but cranked up to eleven. Also, despite looking like a direct to video film, it actually made it to the theaters. How is a mystery on the same level of why hot dogs come in packages of ten and hot dog buns come in packages of eight. Even more amusing is the fact it is called the final sacrifice but as the years pass, we are tormented with even more sequels to, quite possibly, the worst horror film franchise to ever exist...and that says a lot because, let's face it, 95% of horror films are just terrible pieces of work filled with shitty storylines, bad acting and regurgitated scenes that we've seen over and over again.

So, you're probably asking yourself why did I watch this...well, I wanted to laugh.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Original Series Season 5

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Original Series Season 5 - 3 out of 5

If I wasn't a HUGE fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I would have given this show a lower rating but because this original series is what delivered the turtles to my door, I can't completely hate it.

Like most cartoons from my childhood, this show does not stand up to adult scrutiny. I try to keep in mind that the original TMNT series was made during a time when animation was not taken seriously and children's entertainment wasn't something considered in the terms that it could also possibly entertain adults or had to have quality behind it. The sad reality is the original turtles series was filled with awkward animation that had many MANY continuity errors (a problem that plagued a lot of children's cartoons back in the day), over the top voice acting and mediocre storylines filled with bad jokes. Eventually, this problem was realized and cartoons have never been the same as they are taken seriously as a form of entertainment on both a technical level and enjoyment level for both child and adult.

Watching this series as an adult, the first thing you notice is the constant mistakes that occur in every episode such as characters will suddenly change clothes from scene to scene. Even bigger mistakes occur in the voice acting department as the voices of characters like the Shredder and Splinter will change from episode to episode, depending on which voice actor was available that day. There are even scenes where one turtle will be talking but the wrong voice will be behind be coming out the mouth. As a child, I may not have noticed this but now I do.

Despite the low quality that is seen on the technical side, including the redundant breaking the fourth wall jokes that stink up every episode, it's hard for me to hate on this show because, without it, I never would have discovered the comics and realized how badass the turtles really are.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

John Adams

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

John Adams - 5 out of 5

Okay, seriously...How does HBO keep churning out great programming? Everything they pump out is always the best and this mini-series about one of our country's founding fathers is no exception.

Everything in this series is done to perfection. From the cast to the actual execution of every episode, each part of this series is delivered in ways you don't usually see on television. The attention to detail in the technical aspects like the costumes is second to none and even the fact that John Adams' teeth start to get bad as he ages is just great as minor things like that are often overlooked in period pieces. Think about it, how many times have you seen bleached white teeth in a movie that takes place in a time where there were no bleaching services?

Paul Giamatti knocks it out of the park as John Adams and to make this pot even sweeter, he is surrounded by some great talent. Laura Linney as Abagail Adams, Danny Huston as Samuel Adams, Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin and, one of the best casting decisions next to having Paul Giamatti play the title role, David Morse as George Washington. And to make the pot even SWEETER, one of my favorite character actors graces us on two episodes, the amazingly talented and versatile Zeljiko Ivanek. Seriously, there isn't a single actor in this series who can't deliver their part and watching them all in action is a thing of beauty.

History has always been a subject I've enjoyed and the building of a nation--any nation--with all the work, treachery (it's something that seems to be a necessary evil when it comes to building a nation and the U.S.A. is not free of this sin) and dedication it takes to do so has ALWAYS been fascinating to me and getting to see it committed to film and done in a way that it feels like you are watching it happen is nearly magical. If you haven't seen this mini-series, I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - 4 out of 5

I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. The trailer sold me and I expected a fun popcorn movie but when I sat down to watch it, I was very surprised at how much I was digging the film. This movie is just pure fun!

Loosely based on the Fantasia short featuring Mickey Mouse, one of Merlin's apprentices; Balthazar, recruits a nerdy young man to help him stop his arch-nemesis; Maxim Horvath, who is trying to resurrect the evil and powerful Morgana. What follows is, and I shall apologize for the pun now, MAGIC! Great sorcerer battles ensue and fantastic humor is what follows thanks to director Jon Turteltaub (director of the National Treasure movies--another Nicolas Cage/Disney property I am a fan of).

Nicolas Cage plays Balthazar and does so very well. Cage gets a bad rap from a lot of people because he does some bad movies (Bangkok Dangerous) and does some TERRIBLE movies (Wicker Man). But he's done A LOT of movies I really enjoy him in. For example, I already said I was a fan of the National Treasure movies but Cage has also been in Adaptation, Kick-Ass and Lord of War--just to name a few. He does great movies and, I don't care what the haters say, I am a fan of Nicolas Cage. And to those who say he's a bad actor, let me ask you this...Do you think Sam Worthington is a good actor? At least Cage doesn't try to growl his lines or poorly cover up an Australian accent when acting. Plus, Cage has been in good movies--Worthington has yet to obtain that achievement.

Jay Baruchel plays the young nerd Balthazar recruits and, like Cage's performance, does so very well. If only he played the lead in She's Out of My League the way he plays the character of Dave in this movie, that lame romantic comedy could have deserved a score in my book higher than 2. Occasionally, he does get annoying as he is constantly yelling "NO" and the such during action scenes and the really great car chase but his character is charming enough that it's not enough to take me out of the movie. In fact, Baruchel plays the role so well that when the big reveal occurs that he is "the one" (something you know from the get go but it really wasn't suppose to be a surprise), I actually got goosebumps--silly, I know.

Playing the role of the evil sorcerer out to resurrect the terrible Morgana is Alfred Molina and, let's face it, the man is great in every role he plays and it was no surprise that he delivered quite well as the elegantly arrogant summoner, Maxim Horvath.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a summer popcorn movie. It delivers well on the fun and entertainment scales. It's a great movie to just sit back and have a good time with. The action is great, the humor isn't dumb and the story is terrific. And how can you not love the mop scene from the original Fantasia short being incorporated?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Modern Family Season 1

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Modern Family Season 1 - 5 out of 5

This show, is quite possibly, one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. Every episode is FILLED with sidesplitting laughter delivered by great characters. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd (Great Scott, not THAT Christopher Lloyd) should be knighted for creating this show because it is one of those rare gems that isn't often seen on television. With the boob tube being filled with sitcom after sitcom filled with laugh tracks that are trying to make the viewer believe that the inane dialogue they just heard was actually a joke (CBS, I'm looking at you and all your sitcom comedies), it's refreshing to see a show that is genuinely funny and actually makes you laugh out loud...and laugh REALLY HARD.

Honestly, there is NOTHING that doesn't work on this show. It is, for the lack of a better word, perfect. The cast is filled with nothing but talented actors who all play well off each other. Combine that with all around great writing and great stories and you have a highly addicting show that made me burn through disc after disc on this first season and, like some kind of drug, nearly put me through withdraw when the season ended--I was craving more. In fact, I was digging the show so much, I watched all the extra features on the DVDs (a rare thing for me because most special features on TV show DVDs aren't that good but I can highly recommend watching the gag reel. Unlike most gag reels which feature actors having giggle fits and laughing at inside jokes, these outtakes will REALLY make you laugh). Even the child actors are incredibly talented and more than pull their own weight against the adults. And that is amazing when you see the quality of humor and timing coming from the likes of Ed O'Neill and Ty Burrell. Honestly, Ty's character of Phil has become my new hero. That man is comedy GOLD!

There is no end to the good things I can say about this show because it is just that damn good. I can't wait for Season 2 to finish up and come out on DVD.

Nosferatu the Vampyre

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Nosferatu the Vampyre - 4 out of 5

Remaking Bram Stoker's Dracula, Werner Herzog shows this classic story in a whole new light and refused to showcase the horror and fear that Dracula delivers but rather shows the despair and sadness a creature like the Count suffers from.

Everything you expect from the unique filmmaker (and one of my personal favorites) is here. Dreary landscapes and deep shadows inhabit this film as he takes you on a journey in the depression that culminates in being a servant of the undead. This isn't your old vampire story with a heavy emphasis on romance or horror and this was made LONG before vampires became creepy stalking and staring high school kids who sparkle in the sun. Even watching this movie during a time when the vampire genre has become an "eternal romance" cliche, this film is refreshing take on the Dracula story--and this movie was made in 1979. That fact alone is a testament to the one-of-a-kind filmmaking that Herzog made his career on.

Playing the role of infamous Count was the equally infamous Herzog go-to guy, Klaus Kinski. This amazing actor really shows his range as he takes this role to a whole other level that was made famous by Max Shreck nearly 60 years earlier in Nosferatu. Klaus' performance and Herzog's amazing work as a director and writer really made this a great movie to watch. This is, in my humble opinion, one of Herzog's best works.

The Game

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Game - 4 out of 5

It's been awhile since I've seen The Game. In fact, I thought about the film when I first saw the trailer to the sequel to another Michael Douglas movie, Wall Street. In the trailer, Douglas tells the stuttering buffoon named Shia Labeouf about how money is the name of the game and I commented, in my best Michael Douglas impression as I riffed the trailer, that The Game was a far superior movie than what this would turn out. It was at that point I realized I hadn't seen The Game in some time. So I took a trip to my local library and picked it up.

It's just as good as the first time I saw it.

A griping thriller from one of Hollywood's greatest directors; David Fincher, that showcases Michael Douglas in one of his best roles. On the surface, Douglas looks to be playing the same character he portrays in many of his movies: a successful businessman. However, as the story and terror of what the game is, Douglas really lets his acting flag fly as you are sucked into the movie as you watch his paranoia grows and you, the viewer, begin to question whether what is happening to him is real or not.

While the story has an ending that wasn't very surprising, the film is entertaining enough that the ending doesn't ruin the entire experience. The only real down point was a pointless romantic subplot that is tagged on at the very end. This is just awkward but doesn't hurt the film as it is tagged on in the last 2 minutes. Granted there is some build up between Douglas and Deborah Kara Unger (the love interest and a key character who is involved in the game) but with all the suspense the film builds up, this feels like a complete waste and is nearly pointless in the film.

This one complaint isn't enough to hurt the entertainment the film delivers nor is the few moments where the story drags slightly. The Game is just an all around great thriller that, despite a predictable ending, really keeps the viewer on edge as they watch the madness unfold before them.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - 5 out of 5

When I saw this movie in the theater, my experience wasn't the best. I took a seat in the theater thinking I was going to be surrounded by my fellow geeks--the target audience for the film. Instead, my eyes were assaulted by a mass group of hipsters all wearing the stupid vintage fedoras. Sitting in a crowd of cultural vampires like hipsters kept me from fully enjoying the epicness that was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Sitting back and popping this baby into my PS3 (that's right, watched it on Blu-Ray, baby!) and I was able to fully enjoy this movie...plus, the theater I saw it in sucked noodles and had terrible sound and picture, so watching it on Blu-Ray was preferable on all levels.

Based on the fantastic graphic novel series and following pretty close to the story, Scott Pilgrim is just two hours of pure fun that anyone who loves comics or video games will love (if you love the comic, we already know you loved the movie). The editing, visuals and sound are just a non-stop bombardment of awesome striking you directly in the brain to the point this movie is like a drug. Add the sweet visuals with a killer cast and you know you're in for a thrill.

Michael Cera (who is pretty viciously typed cast, even in this movie) is great as Scott Pilgrim. Although it's nothing we haven't seen Cera do before, he still does it well and he's just so damn entertaining as Pilgrim. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays the girl of Pilgrim's dreams and not only is she terrific, she is so damn hot in this movie! Other highlights include Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) playing a couple of evil exes out for Pilgrim's blood. Add in great acting by Kieran Culkin and some great cameos by Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins Jr. and this movie just keeps on rolling down awesome lane with no hint of stopping.

The only real low point that comes in this movie comes in the form of the typecast actors. Occasionally, like in Cera's case, it isn't a bad thing and it fits well but sometimes, it's just annoying. Granted it's not annoying enough to take you out of the movie but seeing Jason Schwartzman playing the same character in this movie that he's played in EVERY movie he's been in and seeing Aubrey Plaza playing the angst-filled angry youngster she's been playing since she burst on the scene can be a let down for this otherwise perfect movie.

But even this one complaint isn't enough to make this movie lose anything in the ratings department. The fact this movie is so funny and fun to watch keeps this film at a 5 out of 5.

On the Waterfront

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

On the Waterfront - 3 out of 5

This movie is a classic that I sadly have never seen until now. The story is great and the acting is terrific but because I am not a fan of stories of the mob, I really couldn't enjoy this movie very much. I like The Sopranos and movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas but stories about organized crime have never been my favorite. They're, to me, good to watch once but rare to revisit. That was how I felt about On the Waterfront. While the film is well put together, I can't see myself ever coming back and watching it again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Eaten Alive (Mangiati Vivi!)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Eaten Alive (Mangiati Vivi!) - 1 out of 5

If you've ever seen a movie about cannibals, you know that story is not the main focus. Instead, they are more concerned with the gore involved. If you've ever watched several cannibal movies, you know that they tend to blur together and it's hard to tell one from the other. And if you've ever seen an Italian cannibal movie, you know they suck. (Hopefully you know this...if you don't and like them, I apologize)

Italian filmmakers love making gory movies and zombies and cannibals are often the subject matter they used to get these items across the silver screen...oh, and sex--they love to put sex in their movies too. In fact, Eaten Alive (a movie that seemingly has gone by at least a dozen other titles throughout the world) seems to follow the Italian horror film formula as it has a poorly crafted story that only works to string together the scenes of nudity, rape, violence and gore. But surprisingly, this is one of the LEAST gory cannibal films to come from filmmaker Umberto Lenzi.

Honestly, this movie is terrible and offers little in the form of entertainment (even on an ironic level like making fun of the terrible acting and filmmaking). The actors are humorous to watch, especially the porn star Robert Kerman who takes the lead and, for some reason, spends a lot of the movie hitting women (and most of the time, it's completely random. Like, in one scene, he pointless shoves a woman to the ground). The story is also barely there as it focuses around a woman who goes to New Guinea to find her lost sister. There some business about a cult in the jungles who have a turf war with a group of cannibals but really, these elements are only there to give an excuse to showcase sex, rape and death scenes.

There is no redeeming qualities to this movie as even the gore is laughably bad and completely unrealistic. Riffing fans will have a hard time making fun of the movie as it's level of awkwardness is too high to even laugh at and horror fans will be equally put off with the lack of story and silly looking gore.

Best Worst Movie

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Best Worst Movie - 5 out of 5

Do you like really bad movies like I do? Ever see the movie Troll 2? If you answered yes to the first question but no to the second, see Troll 2--you won't regret it. If you answered yes to both questions, see Best Worst Movie. This movie is a documentary that focuses on the cult sensation the terrible film Troll 2 became.

This doc was filmed by none other than the star of "the worst film of all time;" Michael Stephenson. In the film, he reunites the cast and crew and goes to viewing parties all over the country, mingling with fans of this terrible horror film that has become a beloved icon by literally millions of people. The documentary mainly focuses on George Hardy, a dentist who took his first acting job on Troll 2 and played Stephenson's father. Honestly, Hardy alone is enough reason to watch the movie because he is such a charismatic and loveable guy that, by the time the movie was done, I wanted to hang out with him.

The documentary does a great job at showcasing the level of devotion fans have for this piece of work--everything from making costumes of the trolls in the movie to a man getting a tattoo of the original box art on the VHS release. We also get to see the director's impressions of the movie he made that went on to earn the title of "worst film ever made" by IMDb.com. His outlook of his work becomes an item of tension as fans and crew share their stories and thoughts on the film, definitely one of the highlights of the movie.

Seriously, if you love Troll 2, bad movies or really fun documentaries, this movie is the movie to check out.

She's Out of My League

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

She's Out of My League - 2 out of 5

Here's a movie cliche I'm getting tired of...Socially awkward geek gets the incredible hot, but seemingly down to earth, girl, teaching guys like me that there is still hope in this world. Sadly, this cliche has been so overdone and dudes like me ALL know that all hope is lost for us to have a story like this one. This movie is a by-the-books cliche where absolutely nothing in it is something we haven't already seen in spades.

But Ron, is there a scene where the couple are completely in love and we are treated to a montage of their dates set to terrible pop/rock?

Of course there is, text dialogue meant to be a person asking a question despite the fact I am alone in my place typing this out while I rock out to old school Aerosmith. There is even the scene where the guy can't deal with the fact he is dating a girl this hot and breaks things off with her and is miserable but his pals do something wild to get them back together. Yep, nothing about this movie is fresh and original and, for the most part, it was completely boring and devoid of any humor whatsoever. But I kinda expected that when one of the jokes put in the trailer was Lindsay Sloane's character asking a guy if he was a plane doctor. Really, writers? That was the best joke you could come up with?

The only redeeming quality of this film that stopped me from giving it a 1 out of 5 was T.J. Miller (Hud from Cloverfield). Every scene he had was genuinely funny and helped keep me from turning off this piece of crap and putting in something better. But as far as the cast goes, he was the only good thing. Lindsay Sloane was your typical attitude-filled best friend to the hot chick. Had this movie been made 10 years ago, Sarah Silverman would have played this one-dimensional, pointless character because those are the only characters Silverman plays.

Then there's the hot chick played by Alice Eve. It would have been nice to have a woman who was convincing in her role to play this part but I guess one can't be hot and talented at the same time. Even more unbearable than Eve's acting was giving the lead role to Jay Baruchel (who, mysteriously, kept saying he was out of shape but the man was rail thin. I wish I was THAT KIND of out of shape). Baruchel is not a bad actor--in fact, he can be quite good in supporting roles (or doing the main voice in How To Train Your Dragon) but this movie showed that he is not a leading man in a live action role. It was a mystery to me why the director allowed Baruchel to play the part the way he did because rather than come off like a awkward nice guy, he actually came off as an asshole in most of his scenes, leaving me, the viewer, to not want to see him and the hot chick end up together. His character was often rude to the hot chick when she seemed to genuinely try to be nice to him and even show interest.

So, overall, She's Out of My League will give you a few chuckles with T.J. Miller but, for the most part, it just annoyed and bored me.

The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies Vol. 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies Vol. 2 - 3 out of 5

I enjoyed the short lived Greg the Bunny series on Fox but these film parodies on the Independent Film Channel don't deliver the laughs in the way the series did. Sure the puppets get to swear and get away with more but it still doesn't change the fact that the material they are working with isn't that funny.

Okay, some of the film parodies are smart, witty and made me laugh but too many of them would boil down to scenes of Greg and the camera crew arguing (A HUGE problem that plagued the first collection). Seriously, this happened in nearly every parody. Sadly, most of the satire delivered on the films is completely forgettable even though the shorts would have a nice guest appearance by some great names (for example, Jon Favreau and Seth Green). The only parody that really stood out and was memorable was the one about Dogville.

While not great parodies, there are some laughs to this collection. Basically, it's worth a once over and the chances of you picking it up again are slim to none. If you like the character of Warren the Ape, Count Blah and Greg the Bunny, rent this one from Blockbuster or Netflix. The lack of replay value makes this collection a rental, not a buy. If you want to own some Greg the Bunny, get the complete series that aired on Fox.