Movie NERD

MINI REVIEWS

Turistas (2006) 

Without making this review to long, I just want to say that Turistas starts off well, and then goes way downhill once the "horror" begins. The opening half of the movie is very well developed. It draws out it's characters well, sets up moments of suspense for the horrors that will come, and keeps the viewer interested due to it's beautiful cinematography. Once the terror and violence actually begin (which doesn't happen until the last third of the movie no less) it goes way downhill. For one, it was marketed as a torture movie, but there is barely any of it! Sure, there's a brutal killing here and there, but when it came to gore, this film was very tame. Second, the cinematography in during the night scenes was awful,with the chase scenes and violence barely viewable. You could not tell what was happening on screen, and all of the viewers of the film were lost with what was going on. Third, the last third was extremely predictable. You could tell who was going to die and when. The main villain (who ironically looks like the President of Iran) is not well drawn out, and the "climax" of the film is pitiful. There is however, fine acting jobs done by all involved, and a particular death scene that made me squirm in my seat due to its brutality and intensity. When the chase scenes and violence were actually viewable (of which it rarely was) it actually was pretty intense. However, the actual deaths were not (save one or two), and the dumb decisions made by all of the characters may be the stupidest yet to grace the screen this year. It's sad. Turistas had potential. It started off great, but just went in the wrong direction I guess. I have never seen a movie that fell so much on its ass. 

(4/10) 

MINI REVIEWS

"Scary Movie" (2000)

Defying the very notion of good taste, Scary Movie out-parodies the pop culture parodies with a no-holds barred assault on the most popular images and talked-about moments from recent films, television and commercials. The film boldly fires barbs at the classic scenes from "Scream," "The Sixth Sense," "The Matrix," "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "The Blair Witch Project," then goes on to mock a whole myriad of teen movie clichés, no matter the genre.  

A controversial Horror spoof that gained mainstream attention when released. If you liked and took seriously "Scream" then you should watch this movie with attention. It's almost the same concept. While "Scream" tried to be taken seriously , "Scary Movie" mocks about everything possible in the genre in a raw way.

Anna Faris and the Wayans brothers deliver a funny performance. Sure the cast is over the top but the movie asks for it. Having such a pretty girl like Faris behaving like that always shocks and this time, it entertains. The rest of the cast is pretty good. All in the "American Pie" style but with raunchy humor.Try it, you'll like it. 

(8/10)   

 

MINI REVIEWS

"Live and Let Die" (1973)

Several British agents are killed in America and in the Caribbean. Despite the difference in how the murders occur they seem linked together by drugs. Bond begins to investigate and finds links between the American drug dealer Mr Big and the mysterious owner of a Caribbean island Kananga. While investigating Bond falls foul of both despite gaining the affections of Kananga's beautiful mistress Solitaire.

Roger Moore's first Bond is one of his best. The film wisely steps away from those regular bad guys the Russians and gets a new feel by actually having non-white main characters. The plot is pretty good and doesn't have the usual `take over the world' feel to it. There is plenty of silly stuff of course but the stunts are quite good and Bond has a new line in `eyebrow raised' humour.

Moore will never be the best Bond but he did make the role his own – adding an element of self-deprecating humour to the role. Yaphet Kotto is a good actor and makes a good bad guy. Jane Seymour isn't convincing as the mystic property of Kananga – she really should have been played by a black actress and it shows a lack of bravery on the side of the producers that they went with a white face as the lead Bond girl. Julius Harris is good as Tee Hee and Clifton James adds some comedy value as J.W. Pepper.

Overall this is one of Moore's best Bond movies and certainly stands out from previous films with numerous Russian baddies. Also the theme music is a really fun song from Wings. 

(10/10) 

MINI REVIEWS

"National Lampoon's Van Wilder" (2002)

He's the biggest man on campus. He's the boss with the sauce. He's the guy all the girls want and all the guys want to be. 'Cause in the collegiate jungle, there can be only one king ... and at Coolidge College it's Van Wilder. In the grand tradition of comedy classics like "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "National Lampoon's Vacation," "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" will charm you, move you and gross you out. 

As a female who does not normally go for the 'gross-out' in your face humor of films like American Pie, Party liaison manages to hit the perfect element of college humor while still appealing to those whose college memories are quickly fading. Ryan Reynolds is magic. His facial expressions and comic timing make the movie as does his co-star 'Taj'. The only downside is the not quite spot on casting of Tara Reid as the intellectual journalist/love interest. (Much better cast as the lovable airhead in Josie and the Pussycats) I would recommend it to anyone who needs a pick me up after a long week at work. Grab a pizza and a beer. Recline and just enjoy some light hearted, seriously gross comedy at work. Not bad but not Reynolds best either. His "first". But seriously..It's no Animal House.

(6/10)   

MINI REVIEWS

"Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000)

A reformed car thief (Cage) is given three days to steal 50 pristine autos for a crime kingpin in exchange for his brother’s life. To do so, he rallies his own retired partners, including a heroin-chic hottie (Jolie) whose idea of a romantic drive starts with disabling The Club. Old school meets high tech when young auto rustlers join this illegal crusade being waged for the "right" reasons. A core value involves friends and family sticking out their necks for one another.

As the audience roots for Cage and Co. to outsmart police, elude rival boosters and take down the British baddie, they get tepid "don’t try this at home" moralizing that competes with lines like, "You have to work twice as hard when it’s honest." This film also includes nonstop profanity, alcohol use, bone-crunching fistfights, violent shootouts, a lesson in masturbation and other sexual situations. As if watching an erotic movie, Cage and Jolie are aroused while spying on a nearly naked couple in the throes of passion.

Let’s cut to the chase (which, in this film, is a hairy ride at 160 mph punctuated by lots of twisted metal). As summer action movies go, Gone in 60 Seconds is high-octane eye candy with a few redemptive moments, but far too many moral knocks and pings to give teenagers a smooth ride.  

(10/10)  

 

MINI REVIEWS

"The Omen" (2006)

A new age of evil threatens to arise when an American diplomat (Liev Schreiber) and his wife (Julia Stiles) learn that the child (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) they adopted may be the son of Satan. Mystical signs point to the Antichrist's coming battle for dominion over heaven and Earth.

I really liked the original Omen. It didn't need to be re-made. There is nothing that modern film-making has brought to this film to make it stand out against the original. It's not as scary, not as honest or raw. The original film is genuinely disturbing -- from the dogs, to the nanny, to Damien... this modern remake just isn't as convincing. It has it's moments, and isn't that terrible, but there's an annoying distance, or separation between the subject matter and the film. It's too clean, too polished... it just isn't evil enough.

The music is not as good, the deaths are not as disturbing. But should we judge this film on its own merits? No, because it's a carbon copy remake. There is very little new material worth mentioning.

(6.5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Keeping Up with the Joneses" (2016)

The Gaffneys' lives are interrupted by the arrival of new neighbors, whose stunning looks are matched only by the worldly sophistication of their lives. Tim Jones is an accomplished travel writer whose hobbies include blowing glass, and his wife, Natalie, is a social media consultant, cooking blogger and heroine to Sri Lankan orphans. The Gaffneys soon find themselves in the center of a storm of international espionage that gives them a breathtaking glimpse of life outside their cul-de-sac.

I've got a thing for spy comedies, I've seen most of the recent ones and many of the older ones. It's a genre so based on plot twists that most of them can be seen a mile away, especially if you've already seen some. This one is no different. No real plot twist is really surprising, including the final joke. And still, I had loads of fun watching it, because most of the jokes are actually character driven, and the characters are very well written, and well performed by most. That is, Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm, are practically super. Gal Gadot got the warrior woman with the menacing looks nailed to the teeth, but is a bit less convincing when she has to be sensitive or subtle. It doesn't happen often during the movie, so it's not a big issue, but there are a few moments in which she's off character. But everybody else around does such a good job, the jokes work, and the pace is fast enough for us not to care it's not so very surprising. Thumbs up.

(7.5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Caddyshack" (1980)

Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to raise money for his college education. In an attempt to gain votes for a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan volunteers to caddy for a prominent and influential club member (Ted Knight). Meanwhile, Danny struggles to prepare for the high pressure Caddy Day golf tournament while absorbing New Age advice from wealthy golf guru Ty Webb (Chevy Chase).

Yes, this one does hold up, perhaps because the action centers on the almost surreal (for a comedy) subject of golf, a topic that had not perhaps been so successfully spoofed since Eddie Cantor starred in "Kid Boots" (am I getting that one right?).

In the comedy contest between Murray, Chase, and Dangerfield, let me just say that Chase does not win. Dangerfield is at his best, delivering his classic lines ("this meat's so tough you can see where the jockey was riding it") with ultimate panache and actually playing his crazy character (reminiscent of Peter Sellars in "The Party") to the hilt. Murray is really the show-stopper, though, muttering his lines to give them emphasis (?) and racing around the course with what appears to be real mania.

A lot of the jokes fall flat, but when this movie is on, it's so on, that you can't help but call it a classic.

(8.5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Dude , Where's My Car?" (2000)

Jesse and Chester, two bumbling stoners, wake up one morning from a night of partying and cannot remember where they parked their car, which prompts them on a journey to find it. Along the way, they encounter a variety of people who include their angry girlfriends Wilma and Wanda whose house they trashed, an angry street gang, and a transsexual stripper hounding them for a suitcase full of stolen money.

What were Kutcher and Scott thinking? Both are really funny guys. This movie is just stupid..Very poor judgement on the part of these actors. It is not even funny. A huge thumbs down . Don't waste your time or money.

(1/10)


 

MINI REVIEWS

"The Kingdom" (2007)

Charged with the most important assignment of his career, federal agent Ron Fleury (Jamie Foxx) has one week to assemble a team, infiltrate and destroy a terrorist cell based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Culture shock and opposition from local law enforcement combine to hinder his progress and that of his elite team (Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman), but a sympathetic Saudi police captain becomes an unexpected comrade-in-arms.

Basically, this is a well executed action film with some nice political twists. The overviews presented about politics in Washington D.C. and Saudi Arabia are brief, almost terse, but seem valid. The pacing seems realistic, too, up to the point where the action has to kick in or why is there a movie? Our heroes dodge bullets with the best of them, but their shots at the bad guys often miss, too. The ending properly ties in the political message. The movie would have been better if a bit more complex (a love story, perhaps) but this simple action movie is elevated to a pleasantly high level by the director, cast, and writer. Go see it if you like action films.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Killer Klowns From Outer Space" (1988)

When teenagers Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) see a comet crash outside their sleepy small town, they investigate and discover a pack of murderous aliens who look very much like circus clowns. They try to warn the local authorities, but everyone assumes their story is a prank. Meanwhile, the clowns set about harvesting and eating as many people as they can. It's not until they kidnap Debbie that Mike decides it's up to him to stop the clowns' bloody rampage.

"Killer Klowns from Outer Space"  by Stephen Chiodo is a horror movie so ridiculous that it's hard to dislike it.What makes it work so well is that it successfully toys with our expectations.Some people just hate clowns,and this movie exaggerates everything that makes them scary.The plot involves some really creepy aliens who look like clowns.They have come to our planet to turn people into food.The clowns capture their victims in cocoons made of cotton candy,their guns look like colorful toy pistols,their pies are acidic,their popcorns turn into snake-like creatures and their ship is a circus tent.Anyway,this crazy film is extremely entertaining.The make-up is beyond grotesque and the clowns look very creepy.The film received a cult status many years ago and it's easy to see why.So if you are a fan of twisted and bizarre horror films give this one a chance.

(8/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

"Gone Girl" (2014)

Gone Girl marks Fincher's tenth feature film and his most mature work since Fight Club. Centering on Nick Dunne, a husband desperately trying to find his wife all while having police and media accuse him of murder. The story sounds straight out of the Scott Peterson case and the film looks unlike any film I've seen in recent years. Lead by an all star cast featuring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris, Gone Girl rises above the pack with smart storytelling, phenomenal pacing and perfect performances. What Gone Girl does so brilliantly is taps into the audience's psyche regarding marriage and the ideology behind a sanctioned union that is corrupt. It is really heavy stuff when the story really gets to the meat and bones of it all. With plenty of twists and turns, Gone Girl keeps you, not only second guessing the whole idea of marriage, but the intentions of every character in the film. It is truly one of the most twisted films adapted from an even sicker and twisted book that's out there right now. Gillian Flynn does wonders with her adaption from her own novel. The dialog is crisp, the characters are multi-layered, it truly is a pitch perfect script that doesn't have one false moment in it. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are EXCELLENT in this film. This is a different Affleck, a very human and realized Affleck. Nick Dunne is a wonderful role for him and captivates just how good he can be with a terrific director. Harris and Perry give well rounded performances as well but are nothing compared to Affleck and Pike. David Fincher and his long time collaborator and cinematographer, Jeff Cronenweth create a dreary, horrific tone for Gone Girl that makes every twist and turn that much more gut wrenching. Every shot is meticulously planned, showing each shot as if it were a still frame that spoke a thousand words. It is truly gorgeous filmmaking. And now for the score...Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch deliver a perfect score, besting their Social Network and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo score. Overall, this is a mesmerizing film that demands multiple viewings to truly get the full experience. It is impeccably made, beautifully acted and an all around near perfect film.

(9/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

"Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (2013)

Fifteen years after Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) defeated the wicked witch who planned to have them for her dinner, the siblings have come of age as skilled bounty hunters. Hell-bent on retribution, they have dedicated their lives to hunting down and destroying every witch still lurking in the dark forests of their homeland. As the notorious blood moon approaches, the siblings face a great evil -- one that could hold the secret to their terrifying past.

I enjoyed this movie a lot, although it had its flaws. It's exactly what you would expect it to be from the trailer. If you're not looking for something in the same category as "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (or perhaps the first Kill Bill movie) then you probably won't like this movie. In fact, Hansel & Gretel has exactly the vibe that I expected from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Van Helsing (and which those movies failed to deliver). It's ridiculous, absurd, over the top, and really fun to watch. The biggest flaw was the poor set design in some scenes, as other reviewers have pointed out. I found it to be particularly noticeable in the climactic fight scene, where for a bit it looked like something out of an awful TV show. I'm not sure what they were thinking for that scene (you'll know it when you see it). The script also has some distracting rough spots, but I thought that the actors did an excellent job with it. Overall, if you like the trailer, you'll probably love the movie -- as long as you don't go in expecting Citizen Kane.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"M.F.A." (2017)

This was a good to very good thriller. Francesca Eastwood painted a wonderful portrait of a victim turning to vengeance. The director obviously knew the subject matter well as the plot of the movie came across a entirely possible with the original premise being all to factual, The action keeps moving, It will hold your attention without being to gory or intellectual. Plenty of violence

The rape culture, the crime of rape and societies reaction to the victims and the rapists are a stain on America. This movie draws some needed attention to the priorities of our judicial and higher educational systems with regard to rape, victims of rape and it's perpetrators, I thank the all people who worked on this film for their efforts to bring attention to this very uncomfortable subject. A special vote of appreciation to Natalia Leite who directed this both from the heart and from personal experience.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Carrie" (1976)

It is a classic offbeat horror-melodrama merging harmoniously the family Gothic extravaganza, supernatural power, and a woman's movie of a peculiar kind… It remains the cinema's best adaptation of a Stephen King novel…

The film initiated De Palma's inclination for surprise diverts between playful imagination and reality, as in the opening, which swifts from a soft-core porn fantasia of girls taking a shower in the locker room to the fact of Carrie's menstruation for the first time—the first sign of "otherness" that will reserve her as an horrifying monster from her small-minded colleagues…

All the oppression that Carrie undergoes both at home (with a bible beating maniacal mother played by scary Piper Laurie who develops twisted bizarre ideas) and at school to suppress tension which takes the shape of super telekinetic power, the ability to move objects with the strength of her mind… We observe with ambivalence as Carrie's insatiable revenge jumps the line into uncontrolled mass murders ever filmed…

Sissy Spacek is amazing as the mocked, helpless girl pushed over the edge… Her face and body twist like a living special effect to unleash her pent up rage, as well as her character's alarming progress from painfully shy high-school teenager to Angel of Vengeance…

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Saturday Night Fever" (1977)

1977's "Saturday Night Fever" is a movie that strongly resonates with a particular generation - mine. Five minutes of the movie brings it all back -- the disco era, the incredible Bee Gees music, and the charm, charisma and dance moves that was young John Travolta. If you were around then, you'll remember the cultural explosion this film caused. It simply defined the era, the way "Flashdance," an inferior film, did in a smaller way with the off one shoulder sweatshirt and music.

It's the era of platform shoes, polyester shirts, and big blow-dried hair, and in the midst of it is a young Brooklyn man (Travolta) who has a gifted natural ability for dance is surrounded by friends heading nowhere and Italian-American parents who are afraid that he's just like his crowd. He finally realizes, thanks to his relationship with his pretty, uptown girl dance partner Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney), partly because of a tragedy, and partly because of his talent that he needs to stretch himself and move beyond his friends and neighborhood. As Stephanie says to him, "You live with your parents, you hang with your buddies and on Saturday nights you burn it all off at 2001 Odyssey. You're a cliché. You're nowhere, going' no place." As Tony Manero, John Travolta is a sexy number with his swiveling hips and white suit, and he has a neighborhood girl (Donna Pescow) in love with him, as well as one of his friends, Bobby (Barry Miller) who's gay and doesn't know it, but always shows off for Tony and cries when Tony doesn't call him.

I love what Roger Ebert says about the effect of this film, which was his review partner Gene Siskel's favorite: "We all have a powerful memory of the person we were at that moment when we formed a vision for our lives. Tony Manero stands poised precisely at that moment. He makes mistakes, he fumbles, he says the wrong things, but when he does what he loves he feels a special grace." Directed with both realism and romance by John Badham, "Saturday Night Fever," especially for those of us who were young during the disco era, holds a very special place.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Weekend at Bernie's" (1989)

Oh come on! You can't help but like this movie. I remember loving this movie as a kid but watching it recently made me recognize it's merit. "Weekend At Bernie's" established a new way of making comedy. Mixing black humor with solo performances and a cheesy premise are the winning elements of the movie.

This isn't by any means one of the greatest comedies ever made, but still it's a fun, mindless, entertaining flick that deserves to be watched with a bowl of pop corns and soda! This is what I call a perfect manner of entertainment for a Saturday morning. Seriously, this movie is hilarious and you can't help but love Bernie even that he's dead for most of the movie. The performances of Kiser, Mc Carthy, and Silverman are great. The three make a hilarious on-screen team that would do great at the MTV Movie Awards.

Watch this movie that somehow has generated a cult of fans in order to witness how a mindless plot can actually get all of your attention and take many laughs out from you.

Most of the situations are very cheesy but somehow are creative and you can't help but laugh.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983)

"Vacation", what a hysterical laugh out loud till you hurt movie! I was watching the wonderful "I love the 80's" on VH1, and they showed this movie. I remember watching it when I was younger, but I didn't get much of it obviously. So, I watched it again, because it looked more appealing than it did when I was a kid.

God, I never laughed so hard in my life. Chevy Chase, Clark Griswald decides that he is not spending enough time with the kids, so he has planned a cross road trip with the family to see their favorite cartoon character theme park "Marty Moose!" and "Wally World!". Back on the old holiday road, it's not going to be easy. Visiting their hick cousin, Eddie and his scary hillbilly family and putting their grumpy old aunt on the trip with the Griswalds. Clark has a mysterious but extremely sexy girl, Christie Brinkly, following him around in a red hot Ferrari. Their car is constantly getting into accidents and dents on the way to California. Finally, after to the point of madness, Clark will kill every person if he has to to get to Wally World.

If you loved "Vacation", I highly recommend "Christmas Vacation" as well. I think the reason why we all love this movie is because we can relate in some way. How many of us go on vacation and nothing goes perfect? I loved the ending of this movie so much! I won't give it away, but trust me that it is that good. If you've seen it, I'm sure you will agree that this is a must see comedy.A timeless classic.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEW

"Cocktail" (1988)

Tom Cruise what a performance , I think he touched all four bases with this one,, however Bryan Brown steals the show for me,, add in Gina Gershon and Elisabeth Shue, what's not to like,, a college student trying to make money has trouble finding a job,, so he finds a bar to work at part-time while he goes to school,, their he meets an older gentleman who gives him a chance to be the bartender, he learns all the tricks of the trade and things seem to be looking up for our main character, he plans on marrying his sweetheart but he has trouble managing his relationship,, the bar, and going to school,, things start going a little south for our mentor as well, when he get's involved with a woman that he really shouldn't, this movie is well packed with some action,, some lighthearted moments, a lot of serious moments,, and tons of laughter,, this is one of Tom Cruise's better earlier efforts I felt,, what an enjoyable movie to watch.

(9/10)

 

 

MINI REVIEWS

"10" (1979)

Lessons are learned in the morals of love and companionship when lust and fear of death enter the picture. 42, the year of most midlife crisis' for womanizing successful men. George Weber, played very funny by Dudley Moore is seeking a return to youth by pursuing a fantasy woman. What do many men in their midlife want? To feel attractive and desired by beautiful young girls.

The predicaments George Weber gets himself in during his pursuit are hilarious. When he continuously slips down the hill outside his LA hills home with a swollen dental issue it's difficult not to bust. The film touches on the Free Wheeling Hedonist ways of many Californians and finds solace in a more structure relationship. Bo Derek says: " I don't know what your problem is but I don't think you are going to solve it by trying to solve mine and I don't think I have problem" To which Dudley Moore replies: "That's your problem." It's a pivotal moment of recognizing reality verses fantasy.

The film recognizes that Men are weak and give into lust one too many times.

It is a growing experience. Men are afraid to grow up. When does the fun stop.

"10" is funny, witty, and sexy. Bo Derek is captivating and casting her in the title role was perfect. When Bo Derek, on her way to her wedding, turns her head to look at Dudley Moore, a tremendous feeling overcomes the senses. She is extraordinary! Then, when we see Bo Derek enter a Hotel Cabana Bar sporting those beaded braids and wearing that white dress...the effect is powerful as she projects the image of a perfect 10. Then, to a Mexico Beach where her presence is very rewarding. When she opens her eyes in that close up it is a tribute to beauty and desire. Dudley Moore is obsessed. Julie Andrews is sexy on the other end of the pole. The gay undertones are well touched upon. Surprisingly fun. Possibly Moore's best performance on film. "10" is a 10 in my book!

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Private Resort" (1985)

Take a typical 80's B-comedy, and give the two male leads to two actors who would go on to awards and world fame.

Believe me or not, Depp and Morrow take two stock characters and make the material seem that much better; suddenly Jack and Ben hold the film together, rather than just reacting to everything within a narrow character description. Okay, so it's not art, but it's interesting from a film education perspective, if nothing else.

The script and direction aren't bad either, for a 1980's sex romp. Would have liked to see the director go on to better material. Ah, well. Then there is the beautiful shot of Depp's behind, truly magnificant and in this reviewers opinion a "10". For a good time visit "Private Resort."

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Hardbodies" (1984)

Hunter, Rounder and Ashby are middle aged businessmen friends, who decide that they have focused on work for most of their adult lives, and now need to reward themselves by renting a nice beach house in Southern California where they plan to pick-up the nubile young women half their ages that populate the beach. They find that although they have the money, they don't have all else that goes along with impressing the girls. They meet Scotty Palmer, a young man around who the girls seems to flock. Scotty implies that they too can have all those young women if they just know how to go about it. As such, the men propose that he teach them, in return for a $600 fee and he staying with them in their nice house. What they are unaware of is that Scotty needs them as much as they need him, he who has just been evicted from his rundown pigsty of an apartment for being three months behind in rent. Scotty is able to parlay this work into managing a girl band, which the promoter wants to partner with the whole "hardbody" movement, the nickname given to the perfectly sculpted bodies on the beach. But in the process, Scotty brings out the inner monster of some of his students which threatens not only his job with them, but his relationship with his girlfriend Kristi. I am non-plussed. A real T&A movie. Plotless. Don't waste your time.

(3/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Heathers" (1988)

Veronica (Winona Ryder) is part of the most popular clique at her high school, but she disapproves of the other girls' cruel behavior. When Veronica and her new boyfriend, J.D. (Christian Slater), confront clique leader Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) and accidentally poison her, they make it appear a suicide. Soon Veronica realizes that J.D. is intentionally killing students he does not like. She races to stop J.D. while also clashing with the clique's new leader, Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty).A masterpiece without any doubt. How popular those 80's teen flicks were, and for good reason, a new genre explored and through the likes of John Hughes, delivered masterfully, Heathers changed all that. It is in this context that the film must be viewed, see the likes of The Breakfast Club, Some Kind Of Wonderful, St. Elmos Fire, and you may start to realise the huge impact this film had (and still does!)

Here the genre is torn apart and reshaped entirely the wrong way up. Where before, this type of film was a real feelgood factor genre, Heathers flips this into a dark (yet comical still?) shocker. Winona Ryder and Cristian Slater are perfectly cast and allows the film to evolve beyond the simple teen flick.

If you havn't seen it, do so. If you have, then get and watch some of those other 80's classics and admire further it's genius.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS "Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"

 "Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003)

This is a fantastic movie full action, adventure, humor and a hell of a lot more! The film is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, but that time flies by as you are transported into an awesome world of swashbuckling and sword fights.

Johnny Depp's performance is one of his best ever as the slightly camp Captain Jack Sparrow. Even under his tangle of hair and blackened eyes, he will make you swoon and laugh both at the same time with his tonnes of witty lines and mannerisms. Orlando Bloom plays the love struck son of a pirate, Will Turner and play him he does! This roll highlights the diversity and skill shown by some of the greats. We will definitely see big things from him in years to come. In her second roll in big time flick, Kira Knightley plays kidnapped Govener's daughter, Elizabeth Swan. She is also another young, up and coming star with a bright future ahead of her.

The film may not be the most historically accurate pirate film of all times but all that is forgotten as you enjoy the brilliance of this marvelous movie. Did I also catch a subtle omage to the 1953 swashbuckler 'The Crimson Pirate' when Will and Jack walk underwater in an upturned rowing boat? Sneaky!

The only negative thing I have to say, and believe me I don't want to say it, is that fact we are never told the reason why the curse of the black pearl could only be broken by the blood of William Turner (Senior) and in turn by his son. Despite this plot flaw however, Pirates of the Caribbean is a magical journey that will drop the jaws of parents, children and grandparents alike. What a great film. One of this reviewers all time favorites. A must see.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Up The Creek" (1984)

In order to graduate from college, four students must give in to their blackmailing dean's demand that they enter a raft race. Bob McGraw (Tim Matheson), Max (Dan Monahan), Gonzer (Stephen Furst) and Irwin (Sandy Helberg) must compete against a team from Ivy University as well as a hardened team from a nearby military school. Sparks fly between Bob and a new teammate, while the captain of the military team plots revenge against the foursome, and the Ivy team schemes its way to the top.This movie is silly and campy and total '80s, but it's very entertaining and the soundtrack is completely amazing, featuring artists like Cheap Trick, Beach Boys and Ian Hunter among others. Like most campy '80s movies, this plot is predictable and the outcome is typical, but it's fun to watch the adventures of Bob McGraw and the gang. Tim Matheson plays a similar role to his Eric Straton character from Animal House. Ironically (and completely on purpose) the movie Van Wilder, featuring Ryan Reynolds, casts Tim Matheson as Van's uptight father. The irony is that Van Wilder is very similar to Bob McGraw from 20 years earlier. In Van Wilder, however, Matheson plays the exact opposite character.

(7/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Going In Style" (2017)

Going in Style isn't one of those typical "let's make fun of old people" films. Yes, it has a few gags about old age, but the majority of the film is just about three men, who happen to have white hair. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Alan Arkin are three friends barely making ends meet. Morgan can't afford to visit his family, Michael's in danger of losing his home, and Alan clips coupons along with many other retirees whose Social Security doesn't cover all expenses. After Michael is present during a bank robbery, he comes up with the idea of robbing a bank himself, with a little help from his friends.

Michael and Morgan are given the most acting to do, since Alan is mainly the comic relief, and they are wonderful. They could have easily written the film off as a silly comedy and thrown their lines away, but both of them put their whole hearts behind their performances. Joining the supporting cast is Ann-Margaret, who inexplicably has a crush on Alan Arkin instead of the dreamy Michael Caine. She's basically the same as she was in Grumpy Old Men, but it's nice to see her still in circulation. Matt Dillon, who hasn't aged a day since Crash, Josh Pais, Christopher Lloyd, and Richie Moriarty also have small but memorable parts. What fun! Very enjoyable. Like comfort food- Mac-n-Cheese. Go rent it.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"The Cannonball Run" (1981)

The Cannonball Run has been vilified by many critics over the years but I love this movie and have been watching it ever since I was little. This movie is what happens when a bunch of movie stars who just happen to be close friends in real life decide to make a movie just for fun. The plot is simple enough, race from one end of the country to the other for a million dollars and avoid the law on the way. The cast is jammed with big names and just about everyone in the movie that has a speaking part is a star of some stature. This movie is simply great fun and has a lot in common with the rest of director Hal Needham's films,i.e. Smokey and the Bandit. I can't really say that this film is full of great acting because the entire cast horses around through the whole movie. Jackie Chan makes his first appearance in a American movie with this film and both Hal Needham and writer Brock Yates have cameos. Don't expect a lot in the way of plot or acting or effects or anything like that and just enjoy the ride. The outtakes at the end of this and Cannonball Run II are hilarious and it makes it more fun for me anyway to know that this movie was just like a big meeting of old friends. Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. are great as Blake and Fenderbaum respectively. Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise anchor this film (they're the main characters)and the give and take between these two make them one of the best comedy teams I have ever seen. Bottom Line: Buy this flick, drag it out every once in a while, and have fun watching it with family or friends. A truly fun movie to watch.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

"Valley Girl" (1983)

Lovely teen Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is steeped in the excessive, pink-clad culture of the San Fernando Valley, complete with her narcissistic boyfriend, Tommy (Michael Bowen). At a party, however, Julie falls for an edgy Hollywood punk named Randy (Nicolas Cage), and the two begin an unlikely romance. Torn between fitting in with her superficial friends and embracing a more non-conformist lifestyle, Julie ultimately has to decide to stay with Tommy or take a risk with Randy.Fine performances by Cage, Foreman, Frederick Forrest and Colleen Camp (as Julie's hippie parents), sensitive directing by Martha Coolidge, and totally tubular soundtrack by Modern English, The Plimsouls, and Men at Work (to name a few) makes this fun sleeper one of the best 80's teen comedies (fer shure).

(7.5/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

"Nancy Drew" (2007)

Nancy accompanies her father, Carson Drew, to Los Angeles on one of his business trips and stumbles across evidence about a long-unsolved crime involving the mysterious death of a beautiful movie star. Nancy's resourcefulness and personal responsibility are put to the test when she finds herself in the middle of the fast-living, self-indulgent world of Hollywood. Emma Roberts is bubbly and charming as Nancy Drew, the junior detective. But despite her best efforts, Nancy Drew still lacks excitement, surprise, and compelling secondary characters.

(6/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Porky's" (1981)

I am proud to say this is one of my favorite comedies, and I normally don't even like the "American Pie" type of sex comedy. The humor is raunchy, but in a good-natured way, and all the actors look like they're having a blast. The odd thing is that there doesn't seem to be any real reason why it's taking place in the 50's, except maybe to get across the message that teenagers have always been, and always will be, horny. Also, to the people who say this is "dated"... you guys do realize it's taking place 30 years before it was made, right?

It's not the funniest movie you'll ever see, except for a few truly hysterical scenes, but you have to love the way it captures the fun irresponsibility of high school. I think a lot of people can relate to this no matter what generation they're from, making it a definite classic. My advice is to steer clear of the upcoming remake, which will undoubtedly be raunchier and ruder, but probably have ten times less heart. A "Right of Passage".

(7/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Striptease" (1996)

When her ex-husband gets custody of their daughter, former FBI office assistant Erin Grant (Demi Moore) needs money to fight the legal case to get her child back. As a result, she takes a job dancing at the Eager Beaver strip club in Miami, where she befriends an imposing bouncer named Shad (Ving Rhames). Unfortunately, she also becomes an object of obsession for politician David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds), who gets what he wants through charm and violence -- and what he wants is Erin.

This is a very misunderstood film. It's not some sleaze erotic thriller but a comedy drama. It can be off putting when you go from joke to a serious part of the story, and there might be a little too much stripping but it's not that bad. The story has murder mystery and and full belly laughs and a few terrific one liners. If it was made by the Coens everyone would call it a masterpiece. You shouldn't watch this film expecting something serious, just go with it and see how much fun you have. Burt Reynolds gives the performance of his career, Ving Rhames as good as ever, and there's Robert Patrick playing a loser so with out morals he steals wheelchairs for a living. Films like this, that are neither one thing or the other, are always uneven. But the director/writer manages to pull it off. It could be better but it could have been a whole lot worse.

(7/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Beverly Hills Cop 3" (1994)

When his boss is killed, Detroit cop Alex Foley (Eddie Murphy) finds evidence that the murderer had ties to a California amusement park called Wonder World. Returning to Beverly Hills once more, Foley reunites with Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) to solve the case. Along with Billy's new partner, Jon Flint (Héctor Elizondo), they discover that the security force of Wonder World is actually part of a counterfeit money operation headed by park manager Orrin Sanderson (John Saxon).This film generally gets a bad rap, being accused of being the worst in the series. Even director John Landis has distanced himself, saying that Murphy was going through a rough time in his life and was not giving it everything he had. These may be fair comments, but the film is still better than given credit for.

Maybe not as funny as the first two, and maybe Murphy is more toned down, but there is still plenty of fun here from Bronson Pichot and others... not to mention an overall decent script. Even just trying to identify the director cameos is a fun game. I enjoyed this film.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Peter Rabbit" (2018)

Peter Rabbit and his three sisters -- Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail -- enjoy spending their days in Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden. When one of McGregor's relatives suddenly moves in, he's less than thrilled to discover a family of rabbits in his new home. A battle of wills soon breaks out as the new owner hatches scheme after scheme to get rid of Peter -- a resourceful rabbit who proves to be a worthy and wily opponent. I was non-plussed with this film. Dare I say bored? It's all fluff. Go see Paddington 2.

(5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "The Man with One Red Shoe" (1985)

As government official Cooper  plays a nasty game of one-upsmanship with his rival in hopes of landing a promotion, he is deceived into believing that unassuming violinist Richard  is involved in international espionage. Cooper sends his top operative, the gorgeous Maddy , to charm Richard into giving himself away. The naive musician, however, is completely clueless about political intrigue and, sadly, believes he has met the woman of his dreams.Tom Hanks is teamed with Dabney Coleman, Lori Singer, and Jim Belushi in this spoof of a spy movie that is enjoyable. Coleman plays the typical 80s villian chasing after Hanks whom has been intentionally fingered as the spy that can bring him down. The twist is that Hanks has been picked at random. Usual pratfalls ensue but not bad on a slow night. "Comfort food". Early Hanks.

(8/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review Neil Simon's "California Suite" (1978)

 

Neil Simon's hit Broadway comedy -- a sequel of sorts to his Plaza Suite -- enlists the same format of four distinctive sketches, this time set in the sun-soaked Beverly Hills Hotel. But Simon is texturing his stories with a darker veneer than the older sketches from Plaza Suite, with self-conscious and variable results. The first episode concerns Bill and Hannah (Alan Alda and Jane Fonda), a divorced couple who meet at a suite at the hotel to figure out who will get the custody of their child. Sidney Cochran (Michael Caine) and Diana Barrie (Maggie Smith) are a couple of pretentious movie stars who rent a suite while waiting the Oscar ceremony. Willis Panama (Bill Cosby) and Chauncey Gump (Richard Pryor), two black doctors, rent another suite at the hotel for a family vacation, all goes wrong, and they end up fighting with each other. In the final episode, Marvin (Walter Matthau) has to explain to his wife (Elaine May) why he's been found in the sack with a hooker. A true classic.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Semi-Pro" (2008)

In 1976, singer Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) uses the profits from his only hit single to fulfill a longtime dream of owning a basketball team. His team, the Flint Michigan Tropics, is the worst team in the league, and what's more, the franchise may fold when the ABA and NBA announce plans to merge. It's up to Jackie and the Tropics to turn their game around and slam-dunk their chance for survival.

I pretty much laughed at this whole movie. It was made as a comedy, which it excels at being, but it is also a really good period piece on the 70's (love the fro's). The story was also really good, a bit predictable but well done - I found myself caring about the characters and the out come of the story.

I was entertained throughout this entire movie, and I would add this movie amongst other American comedy classics such as Family Vacation, Uncle Buck or even Planes, Trains and Automobiles... all very different movies, but ones that made me laugh and kept me smiling.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "San Andreas" (2015)

San Andreas is a spectacular disaster film that blends breathtaking special effects with heart rending personal stories of incredible power. An overwhelming saga of a state devastated by monstrous earthquakes, resulting in stunning vistas of unprecedented destruction so vast that they are difficult to emotionally process. Technically, there is no doubt this is a brilliantly made and directed movie. However, it is the human element that creates the tension and suspense as characters for whom we care struggle for survival against a panorama of immense ruin. Carla Gugino shines as the wife of Dwayne Johnson, giving a moving performance of tremendous power as a woman desperate to save her family. Gugino lights up every scene in which she appears and the camera loves her. Johnson does well in his part as a helicopter pilot and first responder who faces the greatest challenge of his professional and personal life. A film that serves as a quite profound cautionary tale as well as a story of high adventure, San Andreas is a superb film that succeeds as a drama as well as the finest disaster movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time. A real adrenaline rush.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Easter Mini Review "Hop" (2011)

Beneath Easter Island, in a giant factory that manufactures the world's Easter candy, the popular rabbit is preparing to pass the mantle to his son, E.B. (Russell Brand). But E.B. has no interest in the job and would rather be a drummer. He runs away to Los Angeles, where an unemployed slacker named Fred O'Hare (James Marsden) accidentally runs into him. Feigning injury, E.B. tricks Fred into giving him shelter, but an oversized chick is planning a coup back on Easter Island. Adorable. catch it!

(9.5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Mommie Dearest" (1980)

A camp, cult and crazy classic of epic proportions. Faye Dunaway devours each piece of scenery for sport in this depiction of the well documented and tumultuous relationship between Hollywood legend Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter Christina. Spawning an eternity of memorable quotes and one particular scene that will change your opinion on wire hangers forever, Mommie Dearest is undeniably rough around the edges but the sheer outlandish nature of the performances make it a delicious and zany watch.

(7/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "American Beauty" (1999)

American Beauty is an exploration of midlife crisis and the illusion of a 'normal' family. Lester Burnham (Spacey), his highly strung wife Carolyn (Bening) and resentful daughter Jane (Birch) each struggle to find a sense of purpose to their lives as the facade of their happy home deteriorates. The story follows Lester on a journey to turn his life around after meeting his daughter's provocative friend Angela (Suvari). His lust for the teenage girl inspires a new lust for youth which he captures by discarding all of adult life's responsibilities in an attempt to re-live his youth. As he quits his respectable job, takes on a position flipping burgers in a fast food joint, and starts smoking pot he finally gets the object of his desire – but was it really what he was looking for? Kevin Spacey's performance as the world-weary and rebellious Burnham is magnificent. The honesty which Lester gives off while everything around him radiates artificiality is astonishingly powerful - aided in no small way by Sam Mendes' use of lighting and colour which is remarkable. Visually, every shot is a work of art, a portrait of discomfort. You can really feel the unease as the camera takes you on a journey through the Burnham household, furbished in blue-greys and white – not so much as a fork out of place - mixed with the stark contrast of red roses. In short, an absolutely breath-taking film, American Beauty is shocking yet humbling, sad yet tranquil and ultimately beautiful. What an extraordinary film that earned all 5 Oscars that it won. I am still haunted by this film 18 years later.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "All the Money in the World" (2017)

 

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

The true story this film recreates could and should have made a crackling movie, but instead Ridley Scott delivers a serviceable film that hits all of its marks but feels rather bloodless on screen.

As pretty much everyone knows, Christopher Plummer was pulled in at the last minute to play J. Paul Getty, reshooting all of the scenes previously featuring Kevin Spacey in a performance we will now never see thanks to the sexual harassment scandal that emerged about him. Getty refuses to pay the ransom when his grandson is kidnapped, much to the anger and frustration of his ex-daughter-in-law, played by Michelle Williams in a performance that struggles to rise above the middle-brow film making. Mark Wahlberg is Getty's chief security man who's tasked with handling the situation and who eventually sours on Getty as he realizes what a cold-blooded monster he is. All of the performances are fine, but nothing about this movie really ever comes fully to life. Everything we're supposed to feel is telegraphed every step of the way, including the rather obvious moral that a life driven by the acquisition of money and stuff is bound to be an empty one. And the finale, which should be a nail biter, instead is clunky and awkward. Scott's direction in the rest of the film is uninspired but competent; his direction of the film's climax is just bad.

(6/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Retro-Mini Review "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)

In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) are hired by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) as sheep herders in Wyoming. One night on Brokeback Mountain, Jack makes a drunken pass at Ennis that is eventually reciprocated. Though Ennis marries his longtime sweetheart, Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack marries a fellow rodeo rider (Anne Hathaway), the two men keep up their tortured and sporadic affair over the course of 20 years.

This was a divine movie! It was just perfect, it was great! Ang Lee deals really skilfully with the fragile theme of homosexuality giving us one of the most moving pictures ever... The marvelous, heart-breaking Annie Proulx story is so tastefully adapted to the screen that it totally enchants you... Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were performing in such a spectacular way that really surprised me, with Gyllenhaal giving the best performance for the year 2005 combining love, tenderness and lust, and Ledger giving the best performance of his career creating one of the most tragic figures of cinema... This movie was nothing more than an hymn to pure love, a haunting movie that breaks your heart with its unaffectedly moving ending... and of course one of the biggest Oscar fiascoes ever...

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "27 Dresses" (2008)

Let me start out by saying the feminist in me is weeping for the Heigl character "Jane". Maybe my own experiences are at play here. Shall we take a closer look at this film? 27 Dresses is you basic wedding romantic comedy with the eternal bridesmaid who while incredibly beautiful can't find her man because she's waiting and enthralled by her prince charming. That's the boring part that Hollywood loves to throw at us.

The interesting part is that not one but two third parties come to mess things up. Then it gets interesting. The middle part is hilarious, which give the movie most of its appeal. Near the end, it gets a bit dramatic, it gets more points there. However, it ends well, which is not such a bad thing, but I would have ripped the last scene out to make it much better. Hollywood likes to tie all the loose ends too much for its artistic good. It's not a bad film. Just sadly predictable.

(6/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "One Crazy Summer" (1986)

Lonely cartoonist Hoops McCann (John Cusack) graduates from high school. His friend George invites him to spend the summer in Nantucket with George's weird little sister. He rescues Cassandra Eldridge (Demi Moore) from a motorcycle gang. They stay with George's grandma where uncle Frank is desperately waiting for a radio contest. They meet up with the idiot Stork twins (Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom Villard) and Ack Ack Raymond (Curtis Armstrong), the son of marine General Raymond (Joe Flaherty). The ragtag group helps Cassandra save her dead grandfather's house from the greedy Beckersteds for their development. She has one week to pay the mortgage.

Cusack is in the throws of his boyish charms. Demi Moore is beautiful and bold girl next door. It's got Bobcat going Goldthwait insanity. Director/writer Savage Steve Holland has his wacky sense of humor similar to his first movie 'Better Off Dead...' It's fun but a bit uneven. The craziness never stops and it's very memorable. Watching it some 30 years later, the most crazy stuff like the Bobcat Godzilla is still unforgettable.

(7.5/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Megan Leavey" (2017)

The true life story of Megan Leavey, a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with a military combat dog saved many lives during her deployment in Iraq. Assigned to clean up the K-9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey starts to identify with Rex, a particularly aggressive dog that she trains. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex complete more than 100 missions until an improvised explosive device injures both, putting their fates in jeopardy.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Grease" (1978)

Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing and dancing world of "Grease," the most successful movie musical of all time. A wholesome exchange student (Olivia Newton-John) and a leather-clad Danny (John Travolta) have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines?

A true classic. Possibly the performance of John Travolta's life. A real feel good movie.Boy, sure don't make them like they use to.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review.."The Graduate"

Ben has recently graduated college, with his parents now expecting great things from him. At his “Homecoming” party, Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s business partner, has Ben drive her home, which leads to an affair between the two. The affair eventually ends, but comes back to haunt him when he finds himself falling for Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. Classic...Dustin Hoffman is a star, Anne Bancroft is a force to be reckoned with.

9.8/10

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Mallrats" (1995)

Mallrats tells the story of two friends who are dumped by their girlfriends on the same day. They seek solace at the local mall where they hang out all day doing nothing but talk about their girlfriends and comic books. They get into a series of situations that eventually leads to the two enlisting the help of slackers Jay and Silent Bob to get their girlfriends back. This is the second film in the "New Jersey" series by Kevin Smith. This entry is miles better than its predecessor Clerks.

I loved how Kevin Smith did this movie. Kevin Smith is a comic book geek, so I'm glad he made a movie to portray that taste. Comic book lovers will truly enjoy all the references and parodies within the film. I know I did. That's what made the movie even more enjoyable to me. The appearance of Stan Lee was the cherry on the ice cream for me. Aside from that, this movie is just paced and styled better than Clerks was. This was non stop laughs whereas Clerks was more of a satirical black comedy. Also, a lot happened throughout the film even though it only takes place within a day and within the same mall, rather than Clerks which was slow moving and downright boring in some parts.

I enjoyed the acting in this movie. Jason Lee is hilarious as comic book fanatic Brodie Bruce. Jay and Silent Bob have a lot more to do in this film than in Clerks, and they make some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Overall, Kevin Smith had his practice with Clerks, so he had the resources to make a better film, and he certainly did. If you liked Clerks, or even if you didn't, you'll love Mallrats.

(8/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Sugar & Spice" (2001)

When Jack (James Marsden) and Diane (Marley Shelton) find themselves in an unexpected adult situation, the A-Squad comes to their rescue. In order to help their friend Diane, the A-Squad goes where no cheerleader has gone before: taking on a little after-school project known as bank robbery. But the A-Squad does things their way -- with sugar and spice -- forever changing their friendship, their future and the nation's notion of teen spirit.

This movie could have been excellent, but unfortunately it wasn't. The plot was creative and parts of the dialogue were funny, but overall it was just a big yawn. The ending was anti-climatic, and not at all what I was expecting (not in a good way). Maybe someday someone will remake it and hit the mark, but for now it remains a near miss.

(4/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Scream" (1996)

A teenage girl is slashed to pieces after receiving a phone call in which her killer taunts her with references to other slasher movies. Her peers have a party in which they discuss survival tactics a la horror convention, and get picked off one by one.

Now this might all sound a tad familiar: a teenage girl home alone; a telephone call that moves from sexy banter to psychotically violent threat; a Steadicam that never seems to stop peering edgily around corners; and a disembowelled boyfriend oozing offal onto the patio.

I Love this flick. Right from the opener. Wes Craven will ALWAYS be "The Master of Horror"..and he is missed.

(9/10)

Mini Reviews

Mini Review "The Young Victoria" (2009) Netflix

I went into this expecting not to like it; I figured it would be terribly worthy and earnest, and rather plodding and dull.

It's actually far better than that, and I found myself really enjoying it. I don't know too much about Queen Victoria beyond what most know - married to Albert, who died young, and she mourned him ever after. Seeing the circumstances she grew up under was fascinating; in fact I found myself wishing I'd seen more of the story, and I imagine we may see a sequel at some point.

Visually the film is stunning. The sets and costumes are incredibly lavish without being too gaudy and over the top. The acting is top notch from everybody involved.

In a word, it was great!

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "The Last Days of Disco" (1998)

Any film that plays the Andrea True Connection disco classic song "More, More, More" ... twice ... can't be all bad. The film's impressive, mostly disco soundtrack is by far the best element of this film.

The story is razor thin. Several attractive, twenty-something, upwardly mobile preppies shuttle back and forth between work experience and nightclub. They are employed variously in advertising, book publishing, and law, and are preoccupied with the usual concerns: friendships, sex, romance, philosophy, and job prospects. The script's dialogue is voluminous, and most of it rather vacuous, which matches the characters.

But story, plot, and characters aren't really what this film is about. "The Last Days Of Disco" is dedicated to that era in American history sandwiched between the turbulent 60s and the materialistic 80s. Most of the plot takes place at a Manhattan disco, a cavernous, rather opulent, room where an eclectic mix of people dance disco, surrounded by strobe lights and confetti. Here, the ensemble cast order their favorite drinks and chitchat about this and that, their web of social connections a tad confusing at times.

Enjoyable to watch once for the music.

(6/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Jigsaw" 2017

Jigsaw doesn't have over the top traps, where you chop off your arm (Saw VI). OR impossible traps where you put your hand in a jar of acid to retrieve a key just to get your chest ripped open (Saw III). History repeats itself and Jigsaw goes back to their old roots being simple, with basic traps and a mind blowing ending. Unfortunately there's one trap I disliked, it involves lasers. It relies on CGI too much, the stakes are high but the practical traps are way more fun and creative. With wires, tricks, chains, a puppet and the classic pig head, this film will leave you a with a smile on your face.

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Review "The Wild Life" (1984)

Eighties teen romp involving Bill and his new apartment, Jim and his rebellious antics, Tom and his crazy self, and Anita with her older man David. Fast Times it ain't. But check this movie out, it has a heart. Pour yourself a drink and enjoy. It's loaded with a slew of just-beginning stars. Sherilyn Fenn has her first on-screen credited cameo. Chris Penn, Lea Thompson, Eric Stotz, Jenny Wright, Rick Moranis, etc.--they all look so young. Oh and if you look closely the cop's wife is Nancy Wilson from the rock band Heart.

(7/10)

 

MINI REVIEWS

Review "Sixteen Candles" (1984)

 

With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with typical adolescent dread. Samantha pines for studly older boy Jake (Michael Schoeffling), but worries that her chastity will be a turnoff for the popular senior. Meanwhile, Samantha must constantly rebuff the affections of nerdy Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), the only boy in the school, unfortunately, who seems to take an interest in her. One of my favorite "Brat Pack" flicks.

 

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Review "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" (2009)

 

When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks he has the answer to the town's crisis. He builds a machine that converts water into food, and becomes a local hero when tasty treats fall from the sky like rain. But when the machine spins out of control and threatens to bury the whole world under giant mounds of food, Flint finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Quite charming. 
A feast for the eyes with some very creative food animation, and a metaphorical meaning can be found regarding the First World’s nature of over consumption and its problems.

 

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Review "The Accountant" (2016)

 

Ben Affleck is a math savant (autistic? OCD?) accountant that works freelance for some of the more dangerous cartels in world. He can unravel the most complex financial dealings. The FBI has become aware of his existance and is closing in. His current contract is for an apparent legitimate corporation that does not know what they have hired. Anna Kendrick is an employee for the corporation and is just cute as hell in the movie.

 

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Review "Waiting" (2005)

 

Staffers at the restaurant Shenaniganz engage in various pranks and games -- both on and off the clock. However, in the course of one day, waiter Dean (Justin Long) must choose to either accept a promotion to manager or go off in search of greener pastures. Meanwhile, his co-worker and roommate, Monty (Ryan Reynolds), fights temptation in the form of an underage colleague, while showing a new employee (John Francis Daley) the ins and outs, providing him the worst first day of his life.

One of the funniest movies I've seen. Comforting. Feels great to laugh. One of Reynolds first films. I forget he's a comedian at heart. Rent it if you can.

 

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Throwback Mini Review
Pretty In Pink (1986)

Directed by John Hughes. Starring Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer A classic coming of age tale filled to the brim with eighties pop culture. Eighteen year old Andie faces a complicated love triangle between an old devoted friend and a newly interested and very wealthy school heartthrob. Molly Ringwald in the lead role reaffirms her status as queen of the eighties teen movie, with Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and For Keeps also under her belt. Like all great high school films, a climactic prom scene and contemporary soundtrack make this an absolute winner.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Review "Garden State" (2004)

 

One of my favorite films EVER!

Garden State: concerning a young man who has been heavily medicated virtually forever which accounts for his missed childhood and adolescence, and thankfully is forced to face reality by a throng of strange events, people, and his own taste of happiness. The viewer is pleased to watch the seamless development of a beautiful character. A perfect soundtrack accompanies the direction of a superb cast. Even method man somehow fits. Eye candy via well-thought cinematography abounds.

This is a clever, hysterically humorous and sad film that could have gone wrong frequently, but, miraculously never does. Zach Braff might be a prodigy.

No movie is perfect but I can't imagine how this could have been better.

Garden State will get under your skin long after it's gone.

 

(9.5/10)

Retro Mini Review
Die Hard (1988)

New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon McClane realizes that there's no one to save the hostages -- but him. This film made me miss Alan Rickman.who stars as bad guy in-chief Hans Gruber. and yes it IS a Christmas Movie!!

(9/10)

Throw back Thursday Mini Review "Animal House"

When they arrive at college, socially inept freshmen Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) attempt to pledge the snooty Omega Theta Pi House, but are summarily rejected. Lowering their standards, they try at the notoriously rowdy Delta Tau Chi House, and get in. The trouble is, the college dean (John Vernon) has it in for the Deltas. He has put them on "Double Secret Probation" and secretly assigned Omega's president (James Daughton) the task of having their charter revoked. Directed by John Landis. A true classic that launched many a actors careers into super-stardom. Belushi, Matheson, Furst and the list goes on.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Bedazzled" (2000)

 

The 1967 original, starring Dudley Moor and Peter Cook and directed by Stanley Donen was a droll dark comedy that bombed when it was first released to theatres but has developed a very strong cult following over the years. This 2000 version, directed by Harold Ramis is not so much a remake as a latter-day re-imagining of the story. Aside from the basic premise, the two films share little else in common. This new version is a wacky, fast-paced farce that makes up in some giddily amusing moments what it lacks in true wickedness.

Brendan Fraser is perfectly cast as the hapless computer tech who makes a deal with Satan; granted seven wishes in exchange for eventual possession of his soul, we witness each wish he makes as his life becomes a series of colorful and very funny misadventures. Some first-rate make-up and special effects transform Fraser and his world every time he changes wishes. Elizabeth Hurley is extremely fetching and quite likable as the embodiment of Satan, although I wish she'd showed a bit more evilness than glee in her characterization.

All in all not a bad film who's ending could of easily allowed for a sequel which never was.

 

(8/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Retro Review "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982)

Just like "American Graffiti", you not only will see a timeless classic, but you will also see the breeding ground for many of today's greatest actors. Sean Penn, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Forrest Whitaker all appeared in this film in the early stages of their careers. Even Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (appearing under his real surname of Copolla) was in this film, though in a very small role. This film was a glimpse into the future at some of the actors who would become major stars in film and television.

As for the film itself, it pretty much was a look at how high school really was in the eighties with all the pressures from sex, the cliques and, of course, drugs. The film also manages to blend comedy with drama as it shows how high school was and still pretty much is. This film is definitely a classic.

(10/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Cloverfield" (SPOILERS) 2008

The movie has the potential to be good, but it was just done horribly. The whole camera thing was awful. You couldn't even see anything half the time because it was so shaky. I kept wishing the guy holding the camera would get killed and they would switch to regular filming so I could enjoy the movie -- but no such luck. Then the worst part of all was when the kids filming the movie all get killed and the movie just goes to a black screen and we see the credits. We don't know where the monsters came from, what happened to them, what happened to Manhattan, what happened to the rest of the world, what they wanted, why they came...etc. It's like they wrote half the movie and then stopped. After the movie ended you could hear people in the theater saying things to the effect of "wow, that was a bad movie" and "worst movie ever".I'm writing this review in anticipation of JJ Abrams films Cloverfield 3 and 4.and I am praying they are better. This film is a real stinker.

(2/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Dreamgirls" (2006)

Deena (Beyoncé Knowles),Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) form a music trio called the Dreamettes. When ambitious manager Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx) spots the act at a talent show, he offers the chance of a lifetime, to be backup singers for a national star (Eddie Murphy). Taylor takes creative control of the group and eventually pushes the singers into the spotlight. However, one becomes the star, forcing another out, which teaches them about the high cost of fame.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "Gnomeo and Juliet"

In Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague feud over whose garden is the better. Garden gnomes that decorate each neighbor's flower beds continue the rivalry when the humans aren't looking, and gnomes from the Red Gardens don't get along with those of the Blue Gardens. Then Gnomeo (James McAvoy), a Blue, and Juliet (Emily Blunt), a Red, fall in love, leaving many obstacles to overcome.

A good time. Cool soundtrack and Graphics.

(9/10)

MINI REVIEWS

Mini Review "A Ghost Story" (2017)

A Ghost Story is the story of a husband who is killed in a car accident and then returns to his house as an invisible ghost. The slow pace and lengthy silences make it an eerily haunting film. Was hoping for a little bit more from the narrative however. . Starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

(7/10)