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Eh... nah.

RocknRolla is the next film in a string of forgettable Guy Ritchie movies. I saw Lock Stock... and I saw Snatch, I don't remember what they were about and I guarantee that when the next Guy Ritchie movie comes out (The Real RockNRolla?) I won't remember what RockNRolla was about.

It all starts out seemingly complicated. I probably just didn't understand what was going on because British witty banter is almost always unintelligible to an American listener. By the time I finished my British to American Rosetta Stone audio tapes, the movie had reduced down to a quirky action comedy with no real point. Something about a "lucky painting" and double jeopardy robberies and then there's the RockNRolla. I'm not really sure why he was in the movie.

The stories all tie together at the end and while I was watching it it all felt important, but the truth is, as entertaining as it was, I feel like it was a waste of time.

Made of Honor

Obviously, no.

Made of Honor was released in theatres on 5/2/08 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 9/16/08.

But here's the thing... I'm not really sure why it was shit on so hard by critics... yes, it's the same cotton candy crap again, but it was fine for what it was. Did I like it? Nooo. Was it poorly made? Also no.

Don't see it, but if you like that kind of fluff it's not the worst movie out there.

Sex and the City


Sex and the City was released in theatres on 5/30/08 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 9/23/08.

It took me 4 sittings and after all that, nothing. I never watched the show except for a few minutes here and there on the CW late at night. The characters are made to seem deep with superficial tendencies, but they really are just superficial. There is nothing special or interesting about any of them. It's not that I don't know them either. I didn't need to have seen any of the episodes to "get" the characters... there really is nothing about the characters' character that needed to be developed.

The movie went nowhere. I felt like it should have ended halfway through... which is probably one of the points that I stopped watching. I guess there was nothing technically wrong with the movie and I know I'm not exactly it's target audience, but there really is no reason to watch the Sex and the City movie.

88 Minutes


88 Minutes was released in theatres on 4/18/08 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 9/16/08.

Terrible. 88 Minutes is the worst acted, written and most poorly directed and edited movie of the year. I honestly don't even know where to start.

They've got Al Pacino running around, diving out of the way of motorcycles and firetrucks. People get shot, hanged and gutted, a building caught on fire and a car explodes and Pacino's student's reaction is an exasperated "ugh, what next?!?" Actually... watch it to see how bad it is. It's hysterically shitty.

Pride & Glory


This time I wasn't just being lazy. Usually, when my page has a movie listed that simply states "Review coming soon", it's because I saw the movie already and was just being lazy when it came to writing the review. This time was different though... this time, I couldn't decide whether you should see it or not.

The performances were strong, the direction was fine, and as far as gritty cop dramas go... this was as gritty as they get. Unfortunately, the material just wasn't there. This was a rehash of nothing... we've seen it all before and there was nothing there the first time. It's your basic corrupt cop movie during which nothing out of the ordinary happens. We all know how it's going to end from the beginning and yet the filmmakers feel the need to drag it out for 2 and a half hours.

The movie was about how the family bond can corrupt you... IE. his brother can commit a crime and then even a law enforcement officer would struggle with whether or not to commit another crime to cover for him. You'll do anything for family. Yet they didn't really show how the final decisions affected their family. Once the plot of the movie played out... the movie ended. If they wanted us to care about these people we needed some kind of a wrap up. How did the mother and sister handle it... the kids that were directly affected... there was too much character development for them not to give us some kind of payoff as far as the characters were concerned. A simple montage at the end or a news report would have sufficed.

If not for the cursing and the brutal violence this could have been a decent story arc for a television series... hell but it on HBO and you can leave the cursing and the violence in... but make a 2 hour movie about it? There isn't enough time to develop the plot and the characters and wrap everything up nicely. Don't bother with Pride and Glory.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster*


Bigger, Stronger, Faster was released in theatres on 5/30/08 and on DVD on 9/30/08.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster examines the steroid use of the director and his two brothers who all grew up idolizing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, and Sylvester Stallone.

Beyond the basic issue of anabolic steroid use, Bigger, Stronger, Faster* examines the lack of consistency in how America views drugs, cheating, and the lengths people go to achieve success. This includes looking beyond the steroid issue to such topics as laser eye correction, use of anxiety reducing drugs, and cortisone shots; a legal steroid.

The issue of steroid use in sports is one that has absolutely no effect on me. I don't participate in any sports nor do I bet on them. I couldn't care less about the health ramifications of steroid use because steroids are not in any way a part of my life. Yet, for some reason, I was totally enthralled with this movie. Maybe it's the principal of the matter. The lack of evidence that steroids is harmful was interesting to me as was the plethora of legal performance enhancing techniques that students, musicians, and athletes use to win win win (Beta Blockers, Adderol, Cortisone).

The movie takes a long hard look at the American way of life and how everyone needs to be Bigger, Stronger, Faster, Better, and Smarter. The director, while admitting that all drugs are dangerous (including alcohol and tobacco), examines the hypocrisy of singling out anabolic steroids as a performance enhancing drug when there are other perfectly legal ways of un-leveling the playing field in your favor other than developing your natural talent. It is a well made, personal examination of how the American way of life affects us all.

Boy A


Boy A was released in theatres on 7/28/08 and on DVD on 10/7/08.

You know how after you've been living paycheck to paycheck for a while and you finally decide it's time to start saving for your future, but then you're car breaks down and you have to spend all of the money you've saved to get it fixed? Or let's say you're really overweight and you get stranded on a deserted island with nothing to do but walk around and eat healthy food but then, mysteriously, a crate filled with candy bars, potato chips and ranch dressing falls from the sky. That's what Boy A is on a much grander scale.

Who deserves an opportunity to try again? Who gets to decide? If you have legally fulfilled your obligation to society as sentenced by the court, what gives anyone else the right to judge you? Who really is the bad guy in this movie? There are a lot of questions there and the filmmakers behind Boy A don't presume to know the answers, they simply tell a story about a two kids who make a horrifying decision that changes their lives forever.

All aspects of the film's production are exceptional from the story and the direction to the acting and the cinematography. The more you get to know these characters the more you dread finding out how and why it all started as well as how and why it all ends. Boy A is an absolutely stunning piece of work that everyone should make a point of seeing.



Forget for a moment about how I feel about George W. Bush. This was just a bad movie in a string of bad Oliver Stone movies. World Trade Center wasn't terrible, but Nicholas Cage was in it. Alexander, Any Given Sunday, and U Turn? What happened to him? This is the same guy that made JFK, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers. It's like he forgot how to make good movies.

I can't tell from W. whether Oliver Stone likes or dislikes still-President Bush. It would seem as if he doesn't from the movies content, but he also leads us to believe that the president is misunderstood; hat he's a likable frat guy; a "joe six pack". The fact of the matter is, if the movie is accurate, the still-president is pretty pathetic... and that's frightening.

It seems as if, his whole life, George Jr. had never accomplished anything without daddy's help. Well when H.W. disapproved of him running for president, Georgie saw that as an opportunity to prove that he could do it on his own. Unfortunately for us, he could. Throughout the movie an unqualified man makes decisions for an entire nation as per the advise of his unqualified advisers. The fact that this is art imitating life, and not just art, is sad. These clowns led us into two wars and the worst economic crisis of our generation. He made bad decisions followed by horrible leadership and he's supposed to be the protagonist. I knew it would be a difficult sell, but I really hoped Stone would be able to pull it off. He couldn't.



The image on the poster is the end of the movie. They showed this scene in the the trailer and I thought, "they couldn't possibly be showing the final shot of the movie..." but when I hadn't seen the lead being dragged away, and everyone else was dead, it became clear that their entire advertising plan was devised around giving away the end of the movie. Since they didn't care, neither do I. Everyone dies. The events of the movie are pointless because it all leads to nothing.

The movie begins with what felt like 4 hours of unnecessary setup. The reporter who is shadowing the fire department for a show called "The Late Shift", misses a call and then spends all night paling around with the fire fighters. We didn't need all of that setup, if she had gotten on the truck for the call that she missed, we all would have gotten it. The movie would have been 20 minutes shorter... which would have been a good thing.

The movie then sets up rules only to contradict them. The infected victims become zombies very quickly, but the little girl who owned the dog that brought the disease into the building has been living with it right up until they realize that her dog spread the disease... at which point she attacks her mother and scurries off into the darkness.

The movie really isn't worth discussing so I'll end this by begging everyone to avoid this movie at all costs.

The Express

There really isn't anything that makes The Express stand out from the crowd of inspirational sports movies. So I'm go ahead and say no...

Note: If you are unfamiliar with the story of Ernie Davis, there are spoilers in this review... it is based on a true story though so I really didn't bother censoring myself as far as the plot is concerned.

... That being said, with the exception of a few flaws, The Express is a very good movie. If you feel like paying $10 plus snacks and gas to go see Remember the Titans 2, then there is little I can say to convince you not to. The only issue I have with the movie... that I didn't even think of until someone else mentioned it to me... is the fact that they show Davis' college football career through his sophomore year and then they flash to 2 years later when he wins the Heisman Trophy. They didn't show what he did in those two years to warrant the award.

It was also a little too long. I actually forgot that it was a biopic until after the Cotton Bowl, when I thought the movie was going to end... and it didn't. It went on for like 20-30 more minutes and the movie ended quite anticlimactically.

It was well made for the most part. For some reason Dennis Quaid does his best Jack Nicholson impersonation for his first couple of scenes. After that he is pretty good as it the rest of the cast throughout. If you're going the the movies anyway then you might as well see The Express, but don't go out of your way.

Body of Lies

Another rental... yes, you should see it, but no, not in theatres.

I got the same feeling from this as I got from The Kingdom. Actually they were both released at the beginning of October about a year apart... it's probably a coincidence. Body of Lies was better written with more believable acting and much more believable casting.

I really like the idea of setting up a fake terrorist organization so that the leaders of a real terrorist organization will attempt to contact the fake one... thus revealing themselves. I think it's a clever plot for a movie. I'm not 100% sure it would work in real life. Who knows? Maybe they've already tried it.

I'm starting to respect Leonardo DiCaprio. I didn't think I'd ever be able to after Titanic, but between Body of Lies, Blood Diamond, and mostly The Departed, I'm closer to calling myself a fan than I ever imagined I would be. I still don't like Russell Crowe. I feel like everything that he does is an attempt for another Oscar.

I enjoyed Body of Lies except for the gratuitous torture scenes. I feel like Ridley Scott kept the camera on the crushed and severed digits for too long just to add shock value. He just kept showing them. Other than that, it was a little bit The Kingdom with a touch of Syriana. If you're interested in "war on terror" movies, then see it. Everyone else can wait until it's on DVD.



Redbelt was released in theatres on 5/9/08 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 8/26/08.

"Redbelt" is the story of Mike Terry (Chewitel Ejiofor), a Jiu-jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing to instead pursue an honorable life by operating a self defense studio with a samaurai's code.

Terry and his wife Sondra (Alice Braga) struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night at the Academy between an off duty officer (Max Martini) and a distraught lawyer (Emily Mortimer) puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry's life dramatically introducing him to a world of promoters (Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna) and movie stars (Tim Allen). Faced with this, in order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.

I really enjoyed Redbelt. When I saw the trailer for it my reaction was, "What was that?" It seemed to have little or no plot. It was just a bunch of supporting actors speaking softly to each other. Having seen the movie, I can now imagine what the trailer should have been and it's unfortunate that they weren't more creative with it. Something that I remember specifically about The Sopranos was that there was always a lot more action and suspense in the "scenes from next weeks episode" than there actually was in next weeks episode. Redbelt is the opposite. There isn't an overwhelming amount of action, in fact there is very little, but the trailer didn't even imply that Redbelt had a plot. The plot, as it happens, is a tremendous amount of set up, but it all pays off at the end... to an extent.

After that stirring recommendation, i still feel the need to add that my one complaint about the movie is that the end could have been more clear if they had added two or three more lines of dialogue in the middle of the movie... or maybe they were there and I just missed them.

You should rent Redbelt, it's an enjoyable film that had an unfortunate trailer and a ridiculous release date.



Religulous is a documentary in which Bill Maher goes around the world asking questions about religion to religious and political leaders as well as religious shop owners, theme park performers and members from several congregations from all different faiths and backgrounds.

Do I think the film is a fair representation of religious people? No. Do I believe they specifically targeted the "crazies"? Yes, but here's a question: If a religious man filmed a documentary where he went to atheists, agnostics, scientists, homosexuals, and abortion doctors and asked them questions about what they believe, he wouldn't be able to fill a 90 minute movie. They would simply be saying facts; truths that are parts of every day life, it would probably be rather boring. Plus, he would probably have a hard time finding people who are crazy about not being religious.

People very rarely preach "doubt" aggressively, and that's what it seems like Maher is doing in this documentary, but in every interview he does, if someone gets angry it's simply the result of Maher asking a question that "they don't like" (which translates to "they don't know the answer to"). I have all the respect in the world for people who have faith, but I will never understand people who rely on religion. The leaps of faith that most religions are based on are, literally, unbelievable. In the real world, in modern times, what people claim to be miracles are coincidences and anyone who claims to be speaking to God, is "hearing voices". Anything else is just magic and the same religious extremists who accept that Jesus Christ turned water into wine, walked on water and could cure the sick, then turn around and try to ban other books that tell stories of people using magic for good (Harry Potter, for example).

I thought about this a few years ago and I still believe: After we're all dead and gone, when aliens come to earth, if the first book they found was Lord of the Rings they will probably worship Gandalf the White for bringing King Aragorn back to the throne bringing about the third age of man. They'll tell the gospel according to Tolkein in which the brave Frodo Baggins tosses the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Doom saving all life from the clutches of the evil Lord Sauron. See how silly that sounds?

The whole film leads up to religions' take on the "end times". Religious zealots believe that "the end is near" While that may be true, it's not going to be because God is raining fire down from the skies. It will be because we rained fire down from the skies, onto some other religion, strictly because of their beliefs.

Religulous isn't a particularly well made documentary. It's poorly edited and a little bit 'all over the place'. There are some obvious liberties taken to shock the audience. During what seems to be a live stage show of "The Passion of the Christ" the audience is shown cheering as Jesus is being stabbed. I can't imagine... well, maybe it did happen, who knows with these people. Those of you who agree with Maher should see it for the entertainment value. Those that don't see eye to eye with him? You should watch it, too... maybe you'll see how silly it seems and start to ask the same questions Maher does.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist


As much as I enjoyed it, I can't suggest that you go spend $10 on Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It's a funny, sweet movie and if you're between the ages of 16 and 20 or want to revisit that age, or if you're big into the New York indie rock scene, it might actually be worth the money. If you don't fit into any of those categories my suggestion is that you wait until it's on DVD.

Even at 89 minutes it feels like it could have been cut down. The leads are perfectly cast, except for one extremely awkward scene where Michael Cera needed to be confident and Kat Dennings needed to be vulnerable. The actors didn't pull off the emotions and the scene was unnecessary anyway. If they had cut that scene out entirely the movie would have worked better as a whole.

The music left a lot to be desired, too. I just didn't feel like the songs, with the exception of one, symbolized what was happening in the movie... which is a concept implied by the movie's title. I almost expected it to be a musical without the singing and dancing; meaning that the songs would represent exactly what was happening in the movie and that the music would be at the forefront not just a constant "music-bed" underneath the actions of the characters.

What could have been an excellent movie turned into a better than average romantic comedy for a younger crowd. Since it succeeds at that, I can recommend Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist as a rental, but not as a trip to the theatre.



I really don't like westerns, but that's not why I won't recommend Appaloosa. There are genres of film that I don't like so I try to make a point of reviewing the quality of the movie as well as giving my level of enjoyment. I liked 3:10 to Yuma and I've grown to appreciate Unforgiven, but Appaloosa was not a well made western.

I think part of the problem was the cast. An important ability for even the most famous of actor is to be able to convince the audience that they belong in the time period or region that the movie takes place in. At no point did I forget that the characters were being played by Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, Viggo Mortensen, and Renee Zellweger. In fact, I couldn't even tell you their characters names if you asked me to. None of them convinced me that they were these characters and so throughout the movie I just saw those four celebrities wearing silly costumes a whole month before Halloween.

My other issue was the fact that there really was no climax. This movie was essentially 3:10 to Yuma if that story actually took place in Yuma. They didn't need to get the prisoner to the train, they simply needed to wait for the train to get to them. There's very little story there, so once the criminal was on the train, the train is ambushed and the criminal gets away. From that point on, Appaloosa is a love story only.

As a side note, I was watching this movie in a theatre with about 30 other people. Most people were there in groups of 2 or 3 and I assume the groups didn't know each other. Everyone in the theatre was giggling at things that were happening in the movie that weren't funny for 1882 (the year the movie takes place.) It seemed like the audience thought the costumes, the language, the accents, the dirt roads, the architecture, and the fact that the people of that time didn't drive cars was silly and preposterous. That might have taken away from my experience also, but it just really wasn't a good movie.

The Foot Fist Way

I'm gonna say yes, but only because it's already out on DVD.

The Foot Fist Way was released in theatres on 5/30/08 and on DVD on 9/23/08.

Just to clarify, this movie is currently available on DVD and is no longer showing in theatres.

Imagine if Michael Scott from The Office taught Tae Kwon Do in a small town. Fred Simmons believes he is as good as, if not better than, B-movie Martial Arts film star Chuck "the truck" Wallace and feels the need to prove it to people who just don't care.

The movie isn't overly funny, but if you're bored, it'll do.