Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let Me In

***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!

Let Me In - 1 out of 5

What can I say about this American remake of Let the Right One In? What can I say to sum up the film other than the fact it produced the same reaction I had after I saw the original? What single word can best sum up this film? I know: Boring.

I'm getting really tired of a lot of things in the movie industry and this film pretty much includes much of that. For one, it's a remake, that already hurts the film but it's a remake of a vampire film and the vampire genre has been drilled dry thanks to Twilight. (Not that the genre was that good to begin with.) But when you are beating a genre that has long ago been a dead horse--even if it's a remake--try to be original. This film doesn't even do that. It is, for the most part excluding a few small changes, it is a shot-for-shot remake of the original film including everything bad about it: Bland acting and a boring story about a young vampire girl who befriends a bullied little boy. This movie is geared to the point I actually started questioning if its intentions were to put me to sleep.

The film is dimly lit and the music used is a step BELOW a lullaby as it consists mostly of just a man who, it sounds like, is just using one finger to go up and down the keys on a piano. And when you add this to a story that barely has a pulse (vampire pun intended), I dare you not to fall into slumber land. I realize these two aspects were used to create atmosphere but they weren't working properly as, even in the middle of the day, I felt my eyelids getting heavy. In fact, the only reason you won't fall asleep is the few scenes where the film itself wakes up and delivers something that is suppose to resemble substance. But even this scenes are ruined thanks to shitty special effects--or maybe vampires are suppose to turn into cartoons when they are killing someone.

The only real upside to this film is that the acting is slightly better than the original. Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) and Richard Jenkins both deliver their part extremely well but they are too good to be in this movie. Even Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl from Kick-Ass) has proven to be too talented to be in this boring piece of crap. The little boy from The Road stars as the young boy that wins the heart of the vampire Abby (changed from Eli in the original) and, surprisingly, he is ACTUALLY BETTER than Kare Hedebrant, who portrayed the young boy in the original. Which isn't saying much because all Kare did in the original was barely deliver his lines as he stood with his mouth gaping open like a whale screening for krill.

In the end, like all remakes, this film isn't worth the time nor was it worth the money spent to make it.

Fringe Season 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!

Fringe Season 2 - 3 out of 5

The second season to J.J. Abrams' X-Files rip-off that tries to build and improve on the problems from the previous season but, seemingly, the show lies on a icy hill as every move it makes to go forward, it slides right back down to a mediocre, semi-entertaining show.

If you read my review of the first season, you know I had quite a few problems. Mainly, and I'm not the first person to criticize the show for this, is the fact it is a rip-off of the more entertaining program; The X-Files. But the problems didn't stop there. The show suffers from bad story progression and absolutely TERRIBLE character development. It was also plagued by the idea that, seemingly, J.J. Abrams was trying to make Joshua Jackson's character Peter Bishop into Sawyer from Lost version 2.o. And of course, my biggest complaint is the painfully bad acting of Anna Torv. Seriously, her inability to act is so bad that Sam Worthington and Shia LaBeouf are saying to themselves, "Shit, I mean we're bad but at least we're not Torv." However, with all the bad things this show had, it did have a single glimmer that kept me watching and hooked its claws into me so I would make it to this season. That glimmer can be summed up in one word: Walter. Walter Bishop (perfectly played by John Noble) is so damn addicting to watch and is the only character that the writers are trying with.

Now, with all the bad things that surrounded the last season, I must say the creators seemed to work on improving many of them. Sadly, not all were properly worked on and some of the problems still remain. Let's head down the list of my complaints, shall we?

Number 1) The show is a rip-off of The X-Files. Like I said before, I'm not the first person to have this opinion of the show and it seemed the writers were consciously trying to distance themselves from the far more entertaining program from Chris Carter starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. The show focuses more on the alternate dimension storyline which worked in distancing itself and providing a much more addicting and engaging story arc. However, there are still many episodes that are directly lifted from Chris Carter's show that helped put Fox on the map. The writers even made fun of this comparison as in the first episode they have some footage of The X-Files playing in the background. This would be amusing if the next episode wasn't two stories from Mulder and Scully's playbook mashed together in a sad attempt at trying to fool the television educated viewer.

Number 2) The show has bad story progression and terrible character development. Sadly, this wasn't improved. The story still progresses haphazardly--especially when it concerns the 2nd dimension. Rules are established early in the season about the other dimension and are seemingly forgotten about. Seriously, where were the double-decker cars and why does a dimension with such advance technology only use Zeppelins for aerial transportation? Secondly, the character development is sloppy at best as characters like Agent Dunham will have events in their past that are never mentioned until conveniently needed. This tactic was also seen in J.J. Abrams other poorly developed mediocre waste of time; Lost. Relationships between characters see the same weak treatment as characters will make great strides in their relationship in the final moments of an episode but these strides are ignored in following episodes like they never happened. However, this isn't surprising as no program J.J. Abrams has EVER put his name behind has EVER had decent character or story development.

Number 3) Joshua Jackson appears to be the new model of Sawyer from Lost. Surprisingly, this WAS fixed. In Season one, Jackson's character of Peter Bishop played out just like Sawyer. He always had a five o'clock shadow, was too cool for the room and spoke in a way that made me wonder if the slang discount store had a sale and he was trying to make the most of his purchase. The Peter of the previous season is no more and his character is more down to earth and realistic. This fact DEFINITELY made the season more bearable.

And now moving on to my biggest complaint...Anna Torv is a terrible actress. This was not improved and there is no way it will be. The woman is incapable of delivering a realistic emotion as she only has three faces: Complete Neutrality, Little Girl on Christmas Morning Style Joy and Complete Nausea. The biggest problem is she doesn't know when it is appropriate to use any of these faces. At times when she should be scared or mad, she looks happy. Then at times when she should be happy, she looks like she's going to throw up. There is really no way to fix this problem without replacing the actor and, in my opinion, Torv's acting is so bad, it wouldn't hurt the show to do so. Especially when you consider the fact that Fringe has moved to the dreaded Friday timeslot and is on the verge of cancellation. You need to pull out all stops and Torv is one of the biggest things that is working against you, Fringe.

But through all this crap, Walter Bishop is still FUCKING AWESOME!!! He once again proves to be the only reason to watch this show--WAIT, scratch that, there was a 2nd reason this season: The special guest/reoccurring appearance of Spock himself; Leonard Nimoy. Now, I'm not a Trekkie, I'm a Star Wars guy, buy Nimoy is a badass and he shows it as Dr. William Bell. (Sadly, his stellar performance also showcases how bad Anna Torv is as he acts circles around the woman very early in the season)

With some improvement, I really wanted to give this season a 4 out of 5 but a very VERY disappointing season finale with a EXTREMELY predictable ending caused me to once again land this show in the middle of my scoring spectrum. However, as mildly entertaining as this show is, John Noble once again provides me reason to continue on to season 3 just to see what Walter Bishop does next.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spaced: The Complete Series

***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!

Spaced: The Complete Series - 4 out of 5

A cult hit British television phenomenon that tossed the likes of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright into the spotlight. And we must pay this show thanks because due to this show, we were able to get Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz!

The show is about two young friends who pose as a married couple (played by show's creators and writers; Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes) in order to have a place to live. What follows is two seasons of mostly self-contained stories on each episode, a whole lot of movie and geek material references and a whole lot of laughs.

The characters the show is filled with are great and each are able to hold their own when it's time to make with the funny. I wasn't the biggest fan of Hynes' character, Daisy but it really has nothing to do with her, more so that I just didn't dig her character. The writing is also very well done as each story is pushed along a track that is smooth and a very enjoyable ride (for some reason, I decided to turn my comment about the show's writing into something that sounds like an advert for a new sports car). I do have to say that I enjoyed the second season more than the first but I think that's more because they finally hit their stride as season one came to a close.

The only real downside to this show is jokes are often repeated. And when I say repeated, I don't mean you'll see a similar joke in the next episode but more like you will see similar gags when it pertains to editing and music done in THE SAME EPISODE! Another low light for the show is that during the first season, it seemed that Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes relied too heavily on geeky references rather than write actual jokes. As a geek myself, I don't mind a calling reference to Evil Dead, Star Wars or other great movies, comic books and video games but just saying a line from the source material without it being part of a joke, doesn't really create a laugh. However, this complaint is rendered null as the writing went leaps and bounds above into the skies in the second season.

All in all, Spaced was a fantastically funny show and, if you've never seen it and really enjoy the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I highly suggest you check it out. You won't regret it. And if you do regret...LOOK OVER THERE--is what I'll yell before I go running away.

Zapped!

***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!

Zapped! - 3 out of 5

The very definition of 80's cheese as Scott Baio stars as a high school nerd who, accidentally, gains the powers of telekinesis. What follows is exactly what you think would follow if a high school nerd gains the ability to move things with his mind: A whole lot of ladies' tops get ripped off.

Yep, that about sums up this movie. There's no real story or plot going on here--just an excuse to load up on a whole bunch of gratuitous nudity. You also get a huge dose of bad special effects and terrible gags. But there in lies the charm of this horrendous movie. It is such a steaming pile of crap that it actually loops around on itself and stops being awful and actually becomes mildly entertaining as you sit and watch the lame spectacle unfold.

And even if you can't enjoy the inane stupidity of it all, you can still enjoy all the pointless boobs the movie throws at you!

The League 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!

The League Season 1 - 5 out of 5

I am NOT a sports guy. Never was and never will be. I don't watch the games, I don't go to the games and I don't participate in Fantasy Football. The fantasy-style game I choose is Dungeons & Dragons. So, then, why does a show about a group a dudes with their own Fantasy Football league appeal to me?

For two reasons: It's on FX, the best network for TV shows right now and it's FUCKING HILARIOUS!

Even though I would rather sit down and play some Gears of Wars than watch a single football game, this show is one of the funniest shows that has been put on cable TV in quite some time. In fact, one of the best things about this show is the fact that the emphasis isn't really about the Fantasy Football league but rather the characters themselves and the ridiculous high-jinks they find themselves into thanks to the league. That's the most amazing part of the show! Somehow events take place that have absolutely NOTHING to do with football and it all comes back to the league. That screams volumes about the show's writing.

Honestly, with a hilarious group of characters played by very funny actors this show is highly addictive and extremely fun to watch. And that's coming from a guy who was beaten up by guys who play Fantasy Football.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Kids Are All Right

***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 Kids Are All Right - 3 out of 5

I don't often agree with The Academy--especially when it comes to the category of Best Picture. Often I find the movies they pick to be overrated and are movies that, if they can be enjoyed, are only enjoyable to watch once and never revisit. This is the case with The Kids Are All Right.

The acting is great but that shouldn't come as a surprise when you have Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in it (I'm still not happy he replaced Ed Norton as The Hulk in The Avengers). But the story is kinda weak and feels stretched thin as it lacks the depth needed to make it to a featured length film. The story centers around a lesbian couple (played by Bening and Moore) who have two children from a sperm donor. When the children seek out the sperm donor (played by Ruffalo) he turns their world upside down as he starts to have an affair with Moore's character. There is it, that's the story and I felt there just wasn't enough going on to stretch this film out to a 106 minutes and I certainly don't believe it deserves a Best Picture nomination as the story isn't stellar enough or the acting great enough to give this that coveted title. The only thing this movie really has going for it is that Julianne Moore continues her streak of being the ugliest crier in motion picture history.

I know I sound scathing in my review but all in all, The Kids Are All Right is decent. That's all there is. The film isn't terrible and it won't wow you. Chances are, if you're like me, you'll watch it once and say, "That was okay," and never watch or think about it again because there's just nothing memorable about the film. It's like facts going into Bill O'Reilly's ear, it goes in and comes out the other end, leaving nothing behind to think about. However, unlike Bill O'Reilly, this movie doesn't make me slap my palm to my face or make me want to put a foot through my television.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter's Bone

***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!

Winter's Bone - 3 out of 5

The critics love it (it got a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes), the Academy nominated for Best Picture but I think it was...meh.

I liken this film about a young girl trying to raise her brother and sister while trying to locate her father (or father's body) in the Ozarks to a saltine cracker. There's some flavor to it and it's not bad to eat but I want something with a little more flavor and a lot more meat (or, in my case since I'm a vegan, more soy or roughage). The movie is in no way bad, in fact the acting is tremendous, the camera work and lighting is fantastic and the story is interesting but I just couldn't get into it. I know that sounds confusing because you read what I just said and say, "You said you like the story, so why couldn't you get into it?" Good question. One of the things that caused me having to have difficulty maintaining interest would be the monotone voice of the film's lead actress, the heroine of the story, Jennifer Lawrence. Her performance was really great but her voice was so dry and flat, it reminded me of--well--a cracker. But this is rendered moot as this film delivers one of John Hawkes best performances I've ever seen. Then there were also two occasions where some odd usage of VERY INTENSE music in non-intense scenes made me raise an eyebrow and wonder what just happened that warranted the unnecessary grandeur (but that's a small complaint). And even though I said the story is great, it tends to move slowly or, on occasions, wildly throw you into a sequence that will make you wonder what exactly this has to do with the film.

These couple complaints aside, Winter's Bone is an interesting film. While I didn't enjoy it the way the critics or the Academy did, I did find it enjoyable--even if I only found myself in the middle of the road on the highway of entertainment. (Dammit, I really wanted to end on another cracker metaphor but couldn't come up with one so I went with a highway one instead.)

Waiting for "Superman"

***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!

Waiting for "Superman" - 4 out of 5

Director Davis Guggenheim's second documentary about the education system where he follows several students and their parents as they try to get into schools that would best serve the younglings' need for the future all the while exposing how bad this country really has it with education.

It's no secret our country is royally screwed in the education department. If you don't know this or accept this, you are probably one of the millions uneducated or in deep denial. Whatever the case, I have some ocean front property in Arizona I would love to sell you. That aside, this doc is simply wonderful. It's put together and presented smoothly as it hits with with the numbers and first hand accounts of the troubles our education system has along side some of the most beautifully shot B-role I've ever seen.

Like all documentaries, the problem is focused on by showcasing through facts and figures (all put on screen with those eye grabbing animations documentaries have become known for) but also the most powerful form of persuasion, the first hand account. Guggenheim follows several students and successfully puts a human face to what both the inner-city and suburban schools face. Not surprisingly, this has a very strong and definitive emotional impact on the viewer. I'll be honest, there were several key scenes that caused me to fight back the tears as we see these parents fighting the establishment and red tape in order to give their kids a future.

Because of our low ranking status in all the developed countries of the world when it concerns education, this is one of those documentaries that everyone should see--that is if some people can be pulled away from Jersey Shore. Beautifully shot and talking about an issue that has an effect on our entire society whether you have children or not, Waiting for "Superman" is a fantastic and emotional plea to our leaders and rule makers that change will not come from some superhero but rather we, the people. Hell, it won't even come from watching this doc...but it'll help open some eyes, so that helps.

Monday, February 14, 2011

House IV: The Repossession

***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 IV: The Repossession - 1 out of 5

The final film in the House franchise that sees the return of The Greatest American Hero; William Katt, to the series. However, this man's return does not bring with it a return to the entertainment value that we saw in the first two films.

Technically, this is actually the third movie in the series but thanks to a little film called The Horror Show (you can see my review here on my blog for that particular film) deciding to label itself as House III in foreign markets, forced the producers of this snore-fest to called itself the fourth in the series to avoid confusion. Maybe if the filmmakers spent less time worrying about confusing the audience on the title and more time on the story, this film might have worked.

The story follows William Katt's character from the first film but other than sharing a name, it has no connection with the first film as Roger Cobb suddenly has a new family and no mention is made about the haunted house he inherited from his aunt. In fact, this film sees him inheriting ANOTHER haunted house that his stepbrother wants for himself. The film ends up becoming 94 minutes of failed scares and even bigger failed attempts at being funny (a comedic presence was something the first two--especially the second one--succeed at). The movie just feels like a sloppy mess as it can't quite balance the lackluster horror and comedy together. And did I mention it was boring?

I don't often like to end my reviews with bad puns (I usually like to mix my puns in around the review and then make fun of how bad the pun was to begin with because I'm classy dammit!) but House IV: The Repossession is a film that never should have begun construction or, at the very least, went into foreclosure before it was unleashed on the public.

Super Mario Bros.

***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!

Super Mario Bros. - 1 out of 5

You know there is something wrong with your video game adaptation when Nintendo, the purveyor of this media defining game, disowns it. It only gets worse when your star states it was the "worst film he ever filmed." Could the level of suck from this movie get deeper? Sure it does when you find out it took four directors to make this movie. In fact, Super Mario Bros. is a lesson in how NOT to make a movie, let alone a cherished video game property.

Let's face it, most (if not all) video game properties turned into films suck. They never stay true to the source material and they always seem like they are actually out to ruin whatever it is they are making. It sure felt that way in this case as they took the plumper brothers and put them in what a Hollywood exec would think is a Cyber Punk world and decides to make one of the Italian bros a Colombian. In fact, the filmmakers screwed this film up so badly that, as a viewer, you have to wonder if they ever popped the cartridge into the NES and even played through Level 1-1 on the video game because it sure seems like they didn't.

Everything about this movie is weak. The only thing worse than the story is the incredibly bad acting but the bad acting shouldn't be surprising because you have some decent actors (and some not so) only doing this movie for a paycheck. John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins play the mighty turtle squashing brothers and each man has, at least once in the past, proven they can act but they just decided that they wouldn't in this film. Things get even sadder as Dennis Hopper (rest in peace) portrays the antagonist--the Mighty King Koopa...who apparently has evolved like a Pokemon. He's no longer a giant turtle/dragon monster but a regular dude with a terrible haircut. (That's right Creationists, evolution plays a part in the storyline. Thank me, I just gave you a reason to hate this movie without you watching it.)

And who's backing up the mega Koopa, you ask? Because a true bad guy never does his own dirty work. Why you have Fisher Stevens in all his generic bad acting glory and Richard Edison. Yes, nearly every scene these two are in their generic bumbling antics is enough to make you want to stick a fork in your ear. But I can't stop bitchin' about the acting because it keeps getting worse as Lance Henriksen--Bishop himself--has a cameo and is in the movie for exactly 6 seconds. And finally, you have poor Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) who portrayed the film's narrator and the filmmakers didn't even have the decency to spell his name correctly in the credits.

Yes, Super Mario Bros. is a black eye not only in the world of video game adaptations but in all of the world of film. The movie only has a single redeeming factor and that is the fact it is so cosmically bad that it becomes one of the funniest films you'll ever see. I mean, this is the first time I've seen it since it was released on VHS over a decade ago and I thought it was bad then but now, my love for bad cinema has found me putting this piece of garbage better left forgotten into my heart as it will now give me years of enjoyment with my friends as we'll park our backsides onto a couch and laugh the night away at this attempt at a movie. And to make the night even better, maybe add some mind-altering substances to make it even more enjoyable.

Transylvania 6-5000

***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!

Transylvania 6-5000- 3 out of 5

Two reporters played by Ed Begley Jr. and Jeff Goldblum are sent to Transylvania to do a story on Frankenstien's monster. What follows is a a comedy that throws in nearly every Universal monster you can think of: Dracula, the Wolfman, a mummy, etc.

The movie isn't the funniest thing I've watched but it isn't terrible either. Much of the movie isn't laugh out loud funny and most scenes provide merely a chuckle here and there but that's still a lot better than some of the comedies that are released into the world. Sure the jokes don't make my sides split but it's not like watching a Dane Cook show where the silence is something that can put a baby to sleep. No, this movie is pretty entertaining and fun to watch.

Ed Begley Jr. and Jeff Goldblum work well together and there are some other great actors doing some work here as well. Carol Kane and John Byner have some decent moments together and Michael Richards has some very funny moments. The bane of Ferris Bueller's life is here (Jeffrey Jones) and he's amusing because his Transylvanian accent comes and goes. There's also some eye candy in the form of Geena Davis as one of the hottest vampires I've ever seen.

All in all, this movie isn't the funniest thing I've seen but it's not terrible either. The film has some genuinely funny moments and offers up some decent entertainment that can be easily enjoyed on a rainy day or if there's nothing on TV.

You Don't Know Jack: The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian

***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!

You Don't Know Jack: The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian - 5 out of 5

WOW! How does HBO do it? Every show and movie they make is always excellent and this biopic about the man the religious right loving referred to as Dr. Death is only another win for the epic cable network.

Everything about this movie was great. The direction, camera work and the acting all came together to tell the story of Jack Kevorkian from his perspective, not the media's. I'll be honest, I don't remember much from the days when Kevorkian was in the headlines but I'll never forget how everyone was saying that he was a murderer and he was this horrible person who should be put on death himself. And with Al Pacino hitting it out of the park with his portrayal as the victimized doctor only helps the film and helps the viewer get an idea of what Kevorkian was REALLY trying to do.

In typical HBO fashion, Al Pacino is backed up with some great actors like John Goodman, Danny Huston and Susan Sarandon. In fact, this movie should win an award for making the incredibly beautiful Sarandon look homely and ugly. That fact alone is nothing short of a miracle! But in all seriousness, the film is amazing. The only real downfall of the film is it is incredibly one-sided as the movie is definitely in favor of Kevorkian's work. However, I won't hold this against the film as I, for one, am in favor of doctor assisted suicide. Critics of this film have stated that Kevorkian's detractors are depicted as crazy religious types but wasn't that the case when the events actually happened? I don't fully remember but it seems like that WAS the case when the events took place.

Filled with nearly perfect technical work and acting, the films offers a vantage point of a man who will go down in history as a person who may never truly be understood, be labeled as a villain or as a hero. Time will only tell but until then, I've got this amazing gem to enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cyrus

***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!

Cyrus - 3 out of 5

Here's the movie in a nutshell without a nutshell: John C. Reilly gets divorced and meets a great girl played by Marisa Tomei. However, he must deal with her crazy son played by Jonah Hill who doesn't want them to get together. What follows is a mediocre comedy/drama that never really delivers much--even entertainment.

The story has potential and the talent involved is good--Reilly is great, and Catherine Keener is in the film also and she's a delight. Sure Hill is starting to run his course for me but I gave him a chance. However, the film is kinda boring and I found myself unable to concentrate on the movie as the story dragged and there wasn't much in the laughs department (even though the film is called a comedy). A large part of me wanted to get into this movie because the relationship between Hill's character and Tomei's reminded me of a mother and son I know who are, let's say, a little too close. But with a story that could barely keep my attention, I feel I am being generous giving this movie a 3 rather than something lower.

The Ten

***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 Ten - 5 out of 5

What happens when you have Ken Marino and David Wain write a movie that has a fantastic ensemble cast and tells 10 individual stories that pokes fun at the ten commandments? You have yourself one GOD DAMN FUNNY MOVIE!!!

After watching this film, I was shocked to learn the critics gave the movie mostly bad reviews because I found it to be extremely hilarious and it only gets funnier each time you watch it because there are tons of small jokes that either recall previous jokes or act as a prologue to future jokes. And it only gets better when you add in the fact it has one of the best ensemble cast of comedic (and non-comedic) actors every shoved into one movie. Nearly every member of The State makes an appearance, Paul Rudd, Liev Schreiber, Oliver Platt, Janeane Garofalo, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, Famke Janssen, Jon Hamm--the list goes on and on.

The Ten is just ridiculously funny and it quickly becomes one of those movies you quote with friends. Oh, and if you're one of those crazy religious types who like to push your religion on others and hate gays and anyone who isn't white--you know, a Fred Phelps or Pat Robertson type--don't worry, this film isn't making fun of Christianity, it's taking the ten commandments and incorporating them into humorous stories. But then again, if you're a Phelps or a Robertson type, you don't really watch movie, do you? Because you hate happiness.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Prison Break: The Final Break

***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!

Prison Break: The Final Break - 3 out of 5

The final two unaired episodes of the engaging and addicting Fox series combined to create Captain Planet--I mean, a direct to DVD movie and the definitive end to Prison Break. However, a thin premise and closure to loose ends that didn't really needed to be tied up replaces an already better ending seen in season 4 and leaves me with a taste of mediocrity that can only be comparable to a stand up comic doing jokes about airline food.

These two episodes should have remained unseen as it only hurt the integrity of the show as they open with a paper-thin premise that puts Sara Tancredi into jail for the murder of Mama Scofield. So now, the show has to officially beat the dead horse and give credence to all the critics as they have to, once again, break someone out of prison. These two episodes or movie also ties up the loose ends by fully explaining the fate of Michael Scofield and what exactly happened to Jodi Lyn O'Keefe's character; Gretchen. But there in lies the problem: I don't care about what happened to Gretchen and Michael's fate was far more interesting as a minor mystery.

Despite the weak writing (which is surprising considering how great the show was) the movie still has the incredible acting from all the principle characters. There are even some new characters brought in but ultimately provide nothing. Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) is here and seems to have some beef with former Special Agent Alex Mahone but nothing comes from it as Coates character disappears after his whole 5 minutes on screen. And then, to make matters worse, Tank Girl herself is in the film playing your generic, run-of-the-mill badass prison girl who runs the joint and is there to make Tancredi's life a living hell. That's right, Lori Petty is in this movie...gross.

All in all, Prison Break: The Final Break is a completely unnecessary replacement ending to an ending that was far superior. Ultimately, these two unaired episodes should have remained unaired.

Prison Break Season 4

***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!

Prison Break Season 4 - 4 out of 5

The final season of the great Fox series that follows Michael Scofield and his loyal gang of felons as they try to uncover The Company and finally clear their names. On the surface, it seems silly the show lasted four seasons. The first season was just plain amazing! And, in all likelihood, it should have been wrapped up during season 2 but, like all broadcast television, the ratings were stellar so it continued to a third season. Now, the third season saw the guys RETURN to prison. This seems really ridiculous on paper but the season had some fantastic stories going on and really made it possibly for it to come to this final season with style.

Like each previous season, the writing is just fantastic and it keeps you glued to the screen with its twists and turns. Then, when you add some great characters delivered by great actors, you have yourself a show that's as addicting as crack--or anything on FX. Wentworth Miller is great as Michael Scofield and Dominic Purcell delivers better here than he does in other work he's done but special mention has to go to Robert Knepper who plays the SHIT out of T-Bag and, one of my favorite character actors, William Fichtner who plays fallen Special Agent Alex Mahone. Another great addition to this season was another actor I enjoy; Michael Rapaport. The arc that his character goes through really made this season. And for the icing on the cake, this season delivers a absolutely amazing antagonist played by Leon Russom (you might remember him as the Malibu Police Chief from The Big Lebowski only instead of tossing a coffee mug at The Dude, he's making Scofield's life a living hell).

All the elements really come together to finish off (almost finish off, I should say) this great series. If I have any complaints, it would be the writing tended to get a little repetitive with some of its twists and Mahone seemed to be getting arrested a lot this season and that took away a little bit. However, the return of two familiar faces to the series instantly made this problem forgettable. I won't spoil it but if you love the show, you'll be quite happy!

All in all, Prison Break is a tremendously entertaining show. While this season doesn't have the magic of the first one, it is still addicting enough to watch and enjoy yourself with.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Parks and Recreation Season 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!

Parks and Recreation Season 2 - 4 out of 5

A definite step up from the first season as this show takes what works and shoves it into the spotlight. What works? Mainly Ron Fucking Swanson! And I'm not saying that because I have the same name. Nick Offerman's character is, without a doubt, the funniest and most entertaining part about this documentary-style show that follows the local government (mainly the Parks and Recreation Department. Imagine that?) in Pawnee, Indiana.

This show is still far from being truly brilliant as, at its heart, it still feels like The Office set in a local government setting (but that shouldn't be surprising considering it was developed by the geniuses behind that show). However, the comparisons to The Office become only more apparent as Amy Poehler's character seems to try to be the female Michael Scott and the other characters all seem to be trying to be Dwight--with the exception of Ron Swanson, the only original character in the show.

Something that also made this show step up from its lackluster first season is the special guest appearances. The highlights include Poehler's own husband, the incredibly talented and funny Will Arnett and one of the best stand up comics working today, Louis C.K. Oh, and Megan Mullally made an appearance as Ron's ex-wife but let's face it, Megan is someone that men can't stand and all women seem to love. So, needless to say, I didn't care for her guest appearance.

All in all, as long as my fictional counterpart with the same name; Ron Swanson, remains in the show, I will continue watching it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Serbian Film

***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!

A Serbian Film - 2 out of 5

This is, without a doubt, the most difficult film I've ever had to review.

The film is about a out of work porn star who is recruited by a mysterious man offering up a large sum of cash for him to do a "art" film. The amount of money is enough to set the man and his family up for life so, reluctantly, he agrees. Not long after the project starts, the man becomes disgusted with what is being filmed as the mysterious filmmaker wishes to incorporate underage girls and violence into the sex. But getting out won't be easy for this former pornstar as he is forced to complete his work--with or without his knowledge. The last half hour of the film is our main character frantically trying to figure out what happen to him as three days disappear out from under him. What follows is some of the most disgusting stuff I've ever seen and will not repeat in this review.

The subject matter in this film is offensive and very disturbing. However, unlike many films that are disgusting and objectionable for perversity sake, this film doesn't seem to be out to offend just for the sake of offending. Despite the horrible subject matter, this film is offering up social commentary about not only questionable sexual behavior but on the state of censorship on films in Europe. And to make my job of reviewing this film even harder, the film was really well made. Unlike in the states where offensive movies are easy to review because their quality sucks, this movie has some fantastic acting, a story that actually progresses and has a plot (unlike most American offensive movies that have a story that only acts as a chain to hold the scenes of sex and gore together), some tight editing, amazing music and unbelievable camera work and lighting that really creates an unsettling atmosphere. The technical aspect of this film is the only thing that kept me from giving this film a one out of five. Any negative feelings I have for this film and its unbelievably unsettling story all comes from my own personal taste. I like dark and disturbing films as much as the next guy but this film was just too dark and way too fucking disturbing.

All in all, this movie is difficult to watch. I'm hard press to figure out who would enjoy it as it is too offensive for horror film fans to like or hardcore movie buffs like myself to get into. But this film, from a technical standpoint, is extremely well made and does exactly what it is intended to do: To creep the shit out of people. So, in the end, I'm sticking with giving this a movie a 2 out of 5 because it's well made but the horribly frightening and harsh story and subject matter means I will never EVER watch this movie again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

***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!

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior - 3 out of 5

Tony Jaa stars in this epic Muay Thai film--wait, did I call it epic when I only gave it a three for being okay?

Alright, this review may piss some people off because those who love martial arts movie love this film to the point they would be willing to please it sexually. Now, let me start off by saying I didn't hate this movie. I just find it okay because, when you boil it down, this movie is all flash and no substance...and the flash isn't delivered too well either. I will agree with those who love this movie that the action sequences are really cool and the stunts are even better but the film is really low budget. Music that doesn't fit the scene is prevalent throughout the entire movie and the acting comes off as laughably bad (seriously, I've seen more constrained facial expressions in a silent film). And then there is the story--if it can be called that. Let's face it, the story in this movie only exists in order to string together the action and stunt sequences. The demographic for this movie, however, doesn't care about story or plot. They just want kicking and lots of it. And you get the kicking in spades in this movie. But there is a problem with the action and stunts--yes, they're cool but the epic flavor of these events begins to get watered down as nearly every stunt is repeated 2 or 3 times. "Hey that was cool--oh, wait, they're showing it from another angle...and another and this time it's slowed down." This gets annoying really quickly and easily could have been solved with some decent editing and not sloppily put on screen as a shitty replay.

Now, I know I sound harsh on this movie but I'm not trying to be. The fact remains, this movie is pretty entertaining but centering a movie around action sequences and stunts (that are repeated over and over again, mind you) without backing it up with a solid story, well developed characters and all around decent filmmaking, what you have is just fluff that's okay to watch once but not filling enough to warrant a second viewing.

C.H.U.D.

***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!

C.H.U.D. - 3 out of 5

No, C.H.U.D. isn't an acronym for some strange new sex act or fetish. Rather C.H.U.D. is a 1984 horror film that stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller and, once you know this, you pretty much know exactly where the story is going.

Not many surprises or breakthroughs in this movie (unless you count seeing a young John Goodman in it). The story and plot offer nothing we really haven't seen in monster-based horror films and even the acting is only passable (surprising because it has one half of the Wet Bandits and Kevin Arnold's internal monologue; Daniel Stern). But this movie is one of those unintentionally funny 80's movies. The special effects are lame, the underground dwelling monsters really aren't that scary and their puppet faces don't work very well. Even more amusing is the complete lack of closure the film offers.

C.H.U.D. is in no way a good movie but it's not bad either. There's a certain, undefinable charm this movie has that makes it entertaining to watch. The movie will make you laugh with the cheesiness of it all but it's never so bad that it is unwatchable. It's entertaining and it's a great movie to watch with some good buds.

Red vs. Blue: Recreation Season 7

***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!

Red vs. Blue: Recreation Season 7 - 5 out of 5

Rooster Teeth Productions are back for another season of the internet smash-hit machinima series about the epic battle of the Reds and the Blues and it's just as FANTASTIC as the previous seasons!

The teams are no longer in Blood Gulch and are now in a new valley with brand new bases (this DVD even offers the prologue to the season; Red vs. Blue: Relocation) however, there's only one problem: Red Team consists of our favorite group of slackers and morons; Simmons, Sarge and Grif but Blue Team has been whittled down to only the mega-idiot but completely lovable; Caboose. The shenanigans that follows brings the two rivals to work together against a common foe and a mystery that needs to be unraveled. Now I know that sounds like stuff we've all heard before in stories but the fact that this cartoon has some of the funniest writing to hit the internet and it's a freakin' machinima cartoon using the Halo engine already makes it more unique than other stories using the old "two enemies forced to work together" story.

If you already know about Red vs. Blue, chances are good you've already watched this and if you don't play video games or even know what Halo is, you've probably never heard of it. However, you don't need to be a gamer to enjoy this show because even though in the past they've thrown in gaming references, an average individual lacking geek tendencies (you're forgiven by the way for not being a geek) will still understand this show and the humor involved. So geeks and jocks can join on the couch and have a laugh with Red vs. Blue...that is until the DVD is done the jock starts beating up on the geek. Luckily I've taken up running and will make the brah work for the beating he wants to deliver unto me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Machete

***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!

Machete - 2 out of 5

This film promises boobs, blood and action but delivers a surprisingly boring film. But is that really a surprise when it was made by Robert Rodriguez? Let's face it, the guy is not a good filmmaker and this movie only serves as further proof that he is incapable of making an entertaining film without Quentin Tarantino there to hold his hand and show him how to make a proper movie.

This film, from beginning to end, is just plain sloppy. The editing is some of the worst I've ever seen (this would be forgivable if it was Grindhouse but it's not, show some effort) and the acting is just downright painful. How painful? Two words: Lindsay Lohan. Need more proof the cast and acting stinks? Well, Robert calls on Michelle Rodriguez to play the same character she plays in every movie she's in. Oh and the acting gets even worse as Rodriguez pulls out-of-work actors Don Johnson and Steven Seagal and gives them one single direction: "Ham it up, boys." Even the extras are unconvincing in this film. Mr. Rodriguez, if you're making a movie, it's best not to use your friends, family and people you owe favors to for the extras who have lines. It only ends up hurting your film even more. And the final spit in your face that Rodriguez delivers is the film's complete lack of plot. Instead, we just get a bunch of scenes haphazardly put together (I mentioned the bad editing, right?) with no real direction and it barely moves the story along.

In the end, this film offers very little and barely deserves the score of two I gave it. Danny Trejo is cool but he was cooler before soccer moms knew who he was. Robert De Niro is great in his role but he's pretty much always good, so there's no surprise there and Jeff Fahey is pretty entertaining in his role. It's even nice to see a small part played by Tom Savini but these few aspects (and some decent music) is not enough to make a good film. The reality is this: Machete was far more charming as a phony trailer than it was as a feature length film.

Paranormal Activity 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!

Paranormal Activity 2 - 1 out of 5

Check your brain at the door because that's the only way you can enjoy this sequel to the mysteriously popular snore-fest that was Paranormal Activity. I say check your brain at the door because if you take even a single second to think about why anyone is doing anything in this movie, you will realize how poorly written and terrible this movie is.

I realize they are suppose to be capturing "real events" but every single action taken place by the characters is exactly what would NOT happen in real life, it's easy to get tossed out of the movie and laugh at the silliness of it all. Laugh only if you haven't fallen asleep from the boring static shots where nothing takes places for long periods of time. The film tries, and fails, to explain why this family is constantly filming every single second of their lives but it just comes off as another reason to laugh. Oh and then there's the scares. Just like the first one, this film offers very little in the scare department. Wait, did I say very little? I meant it offers no scares whatsoever.

The film also tries to connect the two films but in doing so, if creates some plot holes that, unless you checked your brain at the door, will have you irritated trying to figure out. Even more irritating is the family itself. The movies offers me no reason, other than the fact they have a newborn in the house, for me to feel anything towards them. Of course, the first movie also failed at this because it was just two irritating characters that I could care less for. In fact, the characters are so lifeless, boring and dull that the only character I cared about was the pool's vacuum cleaner (see the movie and you'll understand this reference).

The saddest aspect about this movie is the fact there will be more and more, every year until it stops making money. (The fact these two movies made any money without delivering anything is still the greatest mystery to ever exist to me.) Honestly, Paranormal Activity 2 is good at two things: Putting me to sleep and making laugh because this movie is very easy to make fun of.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Worst Horror Film Ever Made: The Re-Make

***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 Worst Horror Film Ever Made: The Re-Make - 1 out of 5

It's a fact that you can have a great movie and remake it into a piece of shit. We see it every year but is it possible to have an already shitty movie (a movie that could possibly be the worst thing ever committed to film and those involved should be either imprisoned or jettisoned into the sun for making it) and then remake it into something EVEN WORSE? Well, it turns out that is completely possible as a no talent director returns to remake his aptly titled The Worst Horror Film Ever Made.

Now, I'm not one to judge a book by its cover and I'll never judge a film by its title (even though once a man who calls himself a writer told me that most important part of a movie or story is its title) but this film delivers what the title claims--actually, the film should have been originally called The Worst Film Ever Made. Period. This movie is so bad, there is the real threat that this film could give you a terminal disease or, at the very least, brain damage. There isn't a person in the world that could handle the amount of illegal, mind-altering substances that can make one actually find some enjoyment from this film.

The acting is so bad, I don't have the time to fill this review with the adjectives needed to describe it. The story and plot are completely non-existence and the sheer fact this film exists is almost enough for a person to give up on society all together. This film is so bad, the filmmaker actually offers up a warning at the beginning of the film claiming that all the errors in this movie were intentional (yeah, like I believe it) and, even worse, the warning defends the use of offensive humor used in the movie. What's more offensive is calling it humor to begin with because none of the jokes were funny. In fact, when you boil it down, this movie is just two hours (YEAH, it's two hours long!) of small dick jokes, gay jokes and Muslim jokes. That's it. I have no problem with offensive humor--AS LONG AS IT'S ACTUALLY HUMOR! What is thrown up on this DVD isn't a joke. I was more offended by the fact that they claimed that the film had jokes in it. Where was your warning label for that?

Without a doubt, this film never should have been made. In fact, the original never should have been made. Actually, all those involved never should have been conceived and allowed to come to term because this film isn't only a crime and an insult to filmmakers everywhere (even to those I hate), but a slap to the face to our collective intelligence, to society as a whole and to technology itself (the computers used to edit this film and the cameras used to film it should feel raped for being forced into this). This film is so bad, I would rather spend the rest of my life watching only James Cameron's Avatar than to ever have to revisit a single second of this movie.

Marooned

***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!

Marooned - 2 out of 5

Imagine that you were stranded in space with no way home. Your oxygen is running out and all hope is fleeting. That's what Marooned offered but never really delivered the tension that could have come from such a story.

I wanted really badly to like this film because it is really well made and the acting is fantastic (how can it not be when you have the likes of Richard Crenna, Gregory Peck and Gene Hackman in it?). However, the film spends more time spouting out tech-babble and having scenes move too slowly for any real suspense to build on the predicament the astronauts find themselves in. Static camera angles and lack of a soundtrack also hurt in creating tension as I felt more like a passive viewer than someone who is knee deep in the danger. Even the scene where the wayward space-travelers are giving what could be their final goodbyes to their wives comes off stale and boring.

As I stated, I really wanted to enjoy this film because it is really well made and the story is great but a lack of thrills and the film's inability to make me feel sympathy for the lost astronauts keeps this film at a 2 out of 5.

The Little Gril Who Lives Down the Lane

***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 Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane - 2 out of 5

When you have a story about a little girl who is left alone after her father dies and she must fend for herself in this terrible world you have a load of potential. When that little girl is smarter than your average bear--I mean girl--and was prepped, trained and prepared nearly to the extent that a young man who's parents were shot in front of him and was about to start a life of vigilantism as a crime fighter, the potential only grows and the possibilities are endless. However, one of the possibilities is that the film doesn't deliver.

That was the outcome of this 1976 film starring Jodie Foster.

The potential to have a very dark and disturbing film is lurking behind every scene but the filmmakers fail in bringing it out. The movie co-stars Martin Sheen as a pervert young man out to rape this young woman left on her own but due to awkward interaction and dialogue, any scene these two share together destroy any possibility of tension. In fact, this film is so dialogue heavy, it destroys all tension in every scene and I found myself not really caring if people discover the truth about Foster's character. The destruction of the tension only becomes permanent as the score to the film sounds like it was stolen from a porno from that era. It's hard to take film seriously and keep suspense going when a synthesizer and bass-heavy song is playing in the background.

While the film does offer a interesting story, the movie itself feels more like a short film stretched out to an hour and a half. Scenes drag out and sometimes feel out of place to the point I question if entire scenes were even necessary. Things get even more complicated as Foster's character comes off as self-righteous, arrogant and just all-around annoying. This makes it VERY difficult for me to feel anything for her, whether that be to keep her secret safe or to have the entire town find out she is actually living alone.

Overall, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane is littered with possibility and promise that never truly delivers. Decent acting by Martin Sheen isn't enough to overcome a dragging narrative, annoying central character and lack of suspense.