Monthly Archives: November 2008

Tropic Thunder (2008)


I have just seen “Tropic Thunder.” I was sorely disappointed with this movie. It’s not because of the apparent “offensiveness” of the language or Robert Downey, Jr is in blackface. The movie is just not funny.

The jokes were dead in the water. The opening sequence was the only highlight of this movie.

I checked out when the actors were dropped off in the jungle and the director is blown up. Ben Stiller’s character picked up his head and licks it and all the innards come out.

Don’t bother with this movie.

Away From Her (2007)


I wanted to see this movie when Julie Christie received all the praise for her portrayal of Fiona Andersson, a woman that is struggling with her battle with Alzheimer’s.

Christie is transcendent in this movie. So heartbreaking. So affecting. My heart broke for her husband, Grant (Gordon Pinsent) who is watching the woman that he loves for 44 years slip away. My heart ached for him.

See this movie now.

Shelter (2008)


I heard about this movie on a couple of blogs that I read on a regular basis. People were literally creaming in their pants over this film. It has hot surfers boys. That’s all they wanted.

I watched “Shelter” and it was an okay movie. It’s not the best movie I have ever seen. It wasn’t boring.

The movie is about Zach (Trevor Wright), a young artist living in San Pedro with his selfish sister, Jeanne (Tina Holmes) and nephew, Cody (Jackson Wurth). He begins to have a close relationship with his best friend’s older brother, Sean (Brad Rowe).

Nothing special about this movie from writer/director Jonah Markowitz. I was disappointed. The hype far outweighs the product.

Stranded: I’ve Come from a Plane That Crashed On The Mountains (2008)


This is a documentary that chronicles the 72-day ordeal for the Uruguayan rugby team. I know that whole bunch of people have seen “Alive!” and people associated the film with cannibalism.

This film is so poignant, so harrowing that I was on the verge of tears. Wow!

This is the ultimate survivor story. This is a must see.

Ten Inch Hero (2007)


To cleanse the bad taste of “Lars and the Real Girl” out of my mouth, I watched “Ten Inch Hero.” I have no idea why I wanted to see this movie. Just the title alone is hilarious and the movie is not what I thought it was about.

“Ten Inch Hero” is about a young art college student, Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) arrives in Santa Cruz to find the daughter that she gave up for adoption when she was sixteen. She was told that her daughter was adopted to family whose father name is Noah and the daughter named Julia. She takes with her a clipping for a local paper about a young girl that has great artistic ability named Julia.

She takes a job at a wacky sandwich shop, Beach City Grill that is owned by trucker (John Doe). She becomes friends with the other characters there; Jen (Clea DuVall) that is corresponding with a internet love interest, Tish (Danneel Harris) that is looking for the big “O”, and Priestly (Jensen Ackles) that is lovestruck by Tish.

Piper inadvertnetly bumps into Noah (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Julia (Adair Tishler). She becomes a fixture in their lives. Piper becomes Julia’s tutor.

It was a good movie.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)


I heard that people were very split with Nancy Oliver’s writing effort, “Lars and the Real Girl.” I could understand why.

The movie is about this socially awkward young man, Lars (Ryan Gosling) living in his brother’s garage. Gus (Paul Schneider) and Karin (Emily Mortimer) try to incorporate him into their growing family. The Lindstroms are preparing for the birth of their first child.

One day, Lars overhears a fellow co-workers talk about a website that provides people with “real dolls.” He orders one and he introduces the “real doll” as “Bianca”, his new “girlfriend.”

Gus and Karin are concerned about this and take him to the psychiatrist, Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson). Lars is disgnosed having a delusion disorder. They have to act like “Bianca” is a real person as well as the entire town until he has no use for the doll.

I did not feel any sympathy for Lars and why he imagines this relationship with this doll. There is a new girl in town, Margo (Kelli Garner) that is hopelessly in love with Lars. Lars is so wrapped up with “Bianca” that he wants to pursue this “relationship” with “Bianca”.

This movie was like Chinese water torture to me. I wanted to pluck out my eyeballs out. I think that they should show this movie to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. They will sing like a canary.

The Savages (2007)


From the mind of writer/director Tamara Jenkins come “The Savages”. A story about Wendy (Laura Linney), a struggling playwright moonlighting as a temp and her brother, Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a professor of philosophy have to take care of their father, Lenny (Philip Bosco), who has a bout of dementia. They commit him to nursing home, Valley View, to is run by an all Caribbean staff somehow.

I know people that dismissed this film. Some people said that this movie was depressing. I don’t think that it is. When your estranged father is sick, you have to drop your life to help them out. I know what it’s like.

I think that this is good, solid film. The Laura Linney Oscar nomination was something out of left field for me.

Philip Bosco was fantastic in this film.

Zack and Miri Make A Porno (2008)


I saw the latest film from writer/director Kevin Smith last night, “Zack and Miri Make A Porno”. This film has gotten some unwarranted press because of the original poster above and also the stick figure poster that Kevin Smith did himself. Censors were saying that it was appealing to kids and all that. Bullshit.

Also, this film has a NC-17 rating. What? Just because you saw Jason Mewes as Lester in all his glory. Please! Sidebar– Jason is looking quite toned in the movie.

So, the movie is about a pair of twenty-somethings Zack and Miri (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) are struggling to pay their bills when one after another is turned off. They go to their 10 year high school reunion where they discover that one of their classmates Brandon and Bobby Long(Justin Long and Brandon Routh) are gay porn stars from L.A.

Finally, when their electrity is cut off, they are in dire straits. Zack has the notion to make a porno. Genius! They recruit a couple of people. Delaney (Craig Robinson) to be the producer, Lester as one of the co-stars, Bubbles (Traci Lords), Stacey (Katie Morgan) and Barry (Ricky Mabe).

The making of the porno was hilarious. Justin Long with his gruff voice made me double over. See this film. There is also the love story between Zack and Miri that is sweet in a Kevin Smith kind of way.

See it.

Jakob the Liar (1999)


After another sleepless night, I watched “Jakob the Liar” this morning. I really liked this movie. Robin Williams was nominated from Worst Actor at the Razzies for this role and “Bicentennial Man.” I agree with “Bicentennial Man”, but not this movie. He was good.

“Jakob the Liar” is about a group of Jews that live in the Warsaw ghetto at the tail end of WWII. The movie centers around Jakob Heinz (Robin Williams), a man that one time is out past the crew placed by the gestapo. He is summoned to the office of a SS soldier and he overhears a news story about the Russian advancing.

He tells this story to a former boxer, Mischa (Liev Schreiber), and he blabs the news to everyone. People were so uplifted by the news that they don’t commit suicide with were rampant at the time. Afterwards, people think that he has a radio, which was illegal to possess and is punishable by death.

He had to make up lies about what was on the radio that doesn’t exist until the German forces catch wind of man with the radio. There is a sad and happy ending to the movie.

See it.

Don’t Tempt Me (2001)


I caught “Don’t Tempt Me” on FLIX over the weekend and I was sucked in on the word go.

This movie is about Manny, a hotheaded prizefighter with a life-threatening brain injury that is caught between the forces of Heaven and Hell about who will have possession of his soul. Marina D’Angelo and Jack Davenport are the leaders of their perspectives areas. They send their best agents to Earth to retrieve his soul. Lola is from Heaven and Carmen is from Hell.

This movie is all about what you are doing in your life. Good deeds or bad deeds. About metaphysical manifestations in this universe.

This movie is in Spanish. Go see this.

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