Back to Dog in a Sweater

Review Archives:
A - C     D - G     L - N     O - R     S - T     U - Z


Reviews
(just scroll down to read)
Half Nelson (8.5/10)
Halloween (8/10)
Halloween II (7/10)
Hamlet 2 (6.5/10)
The Hammer (8/10)
Hancock (7/10)
The Hangover (9/10)
The Happening (5/10)
Happenstance (6.5/10)
Happy Feet (4/10)
Happy-Go-Lucky (7/10)
Hard As Nails (5/10)
Hard Candy (3/10)
Hard Times (7/10)
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (8/10)
Harry and Tonto (8/10)
Hatchet (4/10)
Hated: The GG Allin Story (6/10)
The Haunting (4/10)
The Haunting in Connecticut (6.5/10)
Havoc (5/10)
The Heartbreak Kid (4/10)
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (8/10)
Heavyweights (7/10)
He Got Game (8/10)
Hell Ride (7/10)
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (4/10)
Hellboy (8.5/10)
Hellfighters (6/10)
Hellraiser (5/10)
Hero (9/10)
He's Just Not That Into You (4/10)
Hidalgo (7/10)
Hide and Seek (3/10)
High Lonesome Sound (8/10)
The Hills Have Eyes (6.5/10)
The Hills Have Eyes (6/10)
History of Violence (8/10)
Hitch (5/10)
The Hitcher (4.5/10)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (7/10)
Hitman (7/10)
Hollywoodland (5/10)
The Honkers (6/10)
Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius Hook Mitchell (7/10)
Hooper (6/10)
Hoosiers (10/10)
Hostage (7/10)
Hostel (7/10)
Hostel: Part II (5/10)
Hot Dog... The Movie (6/10)
Hotel Rwanda (8/10)
Hot Fuzz (8/10)
The Hot Rock (6/10)
Hot Rod (7/10)
The House Bunny (3/10)
House of 1000 Corpses (6.5/10)
House of Sand and Fog (7/10)
House of Wax (4/10)
The House on Haunted Hill (3/10)
How to Deal (3/10)
How to Draw a Bunny (5/10)
Howl's Moving Castle (7.5/10)
Hulk (6/10)
The Hunted (5/10)
Hunt for Red October (8/10)
Hustle & Flow (8.5/10)

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (7/10)
I Am Legend (7/10)
I Heart Huckabees (7.5/10)
I Like Killing Flies (7.5/10)
I Love You, Man (8/10)
I Stand Alone (7/10)
I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With (7/10)
Ice Age: The Meltdown (6/10)
The Ice Harvest (5.5/10)
Idiocracy (6.5/10)
Idlewild (6.5/10)
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (7/10)
The Illusionist (6.5/10)
I’m Not Scared (8.5/10)
I'm Not There. (7/10)
I'm Reed Fish (5/10)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (6/10)
In Good Company (7.5/10)
In The Cut (3/10)
Inception (6.5/10)
Incident at Loch Ness (4/10)
The Incredibles (8.5/10)
Independence Day (6/10)
The Indian Runner (7.5/10)
Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull (1/10)
Inside Man (8/10)
Inside Moves (6.5/10)
Intermission (7/10)
Into the Wild (8.5/10)
Invincible (2001) (6/10)
Invincible (2006) (7/10)
The Invisible (5/10)
Irma la Douce (7/10)
Iron Giant (7/10)
The Island (7/10)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (7/10)
Island of the Dead (3/10)
It! The Terror From Beyond Space (3/10)
The Italian Job (7.5/10)

Jackass Number Two (8.5/10)
Jackass 2.5 (5/10)
The Jacket (5/10)
Jackie Brown (6.5/10)
Jack the Bear (6/10)
Jarhead (7.5/10)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (7.5/10)
Jerry Maguire (5/10)
Jersey Girl (5/10)
Johnny Dangerously (8/10)
Jonah Hex (6/10)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (4/10)
Joysticks (4/10)
Julie & Julia (6/10)
Jumper (6.5/10)
Junebug (7.5/10)
Junior Bonner (6/10)
Jurassic Park III (4/10)
Just Like Heaven (1/10)

Kansas City Bomber (5/10)
The Karate Kid (9/10)
Kick-Ass (8/10)
Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (7/10)
Kill Your Idols (6/10)
Killers from Space (1/10)
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (6/10)
King Arthur (6.5/10)
King Corn (7.5/10)
King of Blue Grass (5/10)
The King of Kong (9/10)
The King of Marvin Gardens (6/10)
King of New York (7/10)
King of Ping Pong (4/10)
King of the Hill (7.5/10)
The Kingdom (6.5/10)
Kingdom of Heaven (6.5/10)
Kingdom of the Spiders (4/10)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (7/10)
Kitchen Stories (7/10)
Kontroll (7/10)


Half Nelson (2006)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

The movie reviewers always like to refer to people or things as a “tour-de-force”, but I'll be goddamned if
Ryan Gosling doesn't fit that bill in this fantastic but depressing film. Not to mention young Shareeka Epps,
who is brilliant herself and hopefully gets cast in many, many more films. I can say, without a shadow of a
doubt, this is the best movie about a public school teacher hooked on crack who befriends a middle
schooler. I've heard from more than a few sources complaints about this flick because “nothing happens”,
but I think that is precisely what makes it so great...it shows the real world as it is, not some hollywood
version of it.


Halloween (1978)
- 8 out of 10 -

A real, actual scary/creepy horror film that still manages to be a slasher flick as well? These dis-
parate ideas rarely coincide with one another, but with the masterful John Carpenter behind the helm
all things are possible. Even multiple viewings later, the scenes with Michael lurking in the shadows,
sometimes with just a hint of that creepy mask showing...it give me the heeby-jeebys just writing about
it. I've always loved the other popular fare of this ilk like “Friday the 13th" and “Nightmare on Elm
Street”, but those flicks are pretty much just funny slasher films – just as enjoyable, but not horror films.
Real horror films are few and far between and the original “Halloween” is one of the best.


Halloween II (2009)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Rob Zombie proves yet again that he is the best old school gory horror movie director working today. 
Who would have thought that would be the cast back when he was pumping out mediocre butt rock for
the masses?  This is really nothing like the original Halloween sequel, but that doesn't make it any less
entertaining or well made.  Zombie really understands that while a good horror movie needs some gore,
it doesn't have to be ridiculous and over the top as is the current trend in the genre.  Plus, he picks the
best soundtracks for his films...nothing like a horror film that includes a little Pure Prairie League!



Hamlet 2 (2008)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I'll be honest, a psudo-musical comedy about high school drama geeks is not a description that gets my
blood boiling, but this turned out to be much better than expected. Mostly because the lead, Steve Coogan,
is one of the funniest human beings I've recently come across. I know he has been famous in his home
country for eons, and it's good to finally see him get some starring roles here in the U.S.



The Hammer (2008)
- 8 out of 10 -

As a big fan of Adam Carolla, it was pretty much a no-brainer I would like this film. He has a unique
sense of humor, and certainly there are folks that won't vibe with his style; in that event, you probably
won't like this film, because it is a whole lot of Adam talking and talking and talking, as he is known
to do. All of this talking is wrapped up in the package of a “rom-com” for dudes, about a washed-up
boxer trying to make a go if it again, and falling in love in the process. The characters are likable,
especially Ozzie (also a frequent guest on Adam's radio show) and a brief cameo by Jane Lynch.
Unless you already have built-in dislike of Carolla, this is a film well worth checking out.


Hancock (2008)
- 7 out of 10 -

It was only a matter of time until Will smith tried to tackle a superhero movie...though I would have pegged
him to tackle a more traditional role, based in the comics, rather than one written for the screen. I enjoyed it
though, especially the whole “antihero” aspect and Jason Bateman's inclusion as an “image consultant”, which
was good for a number of laughs as he basically played the same character he played in “Arrested Develop-
ment”. And was Charlize Theron even featured in the previews for this film? I was caught completely off guard
when she showed up part way through the flick.


The Hangover (2009)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Certainly not the first of it's kind, but this film is one of the finest examples that a weak plot is not necessarily
a detriment to a good comedy.  With top-notch writing, some very memorable characters and a setting as
completely ridiculous as Las Vegas, the possibilities are endless.  I've been a huge Zach Galifianakis fan
for years, and him getting a vehicle for his goofy personality is well past due. 



The Happening (2008)
 - 5 out of 10 -

For a film called The Happening, it would have been nice if more happened. 


Happenstance (2000)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

You know that phenomenon called “the butterfly effect”?  Well, this is that, in film form.  A series of events
cause one thing to happen which causes another to happen and on and on until it fills up an entire film. 
Given the subject matter and that it stars the always lovely Audrey Tatou, it’s an easy assumption to think
of this as a Jeunet-lite movie, and that’s pretty much what it is.  Cute characters, interesting story, paced
and shot in a very similar manner…but the big difference is that it doesn’t have near the imagination of the
stuff Jeunet produces.  It’s a fairly enjoyable and cute film, and a decent way to wile away a rainy Sunday
afternoon.


Happy Feet (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

This has got to be the strangest kids movie I've ever seen...maybe I'm out of touch, but it didn't strike me as a
fun movie for the youngsters at all. It was WAY too much singing and dancing, like a cartoon version of a bad
musical; not nearly enough hijinks and comedy to keep me interested, and I have a much longer attention
span than most tots. But then again, maybe it is just me...I know the child version of myself would have hated
this movie, and the adult version feels pretty much the same way, as well as the two other adults I saw it with.
Not that I had high expectations, but this film was truly disappointing.


Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
- 7 out of 10 -

I have a soft spot in my heart for Mike Leigh's bleak British films...I can't put my finger on it, but pretty much
everything he has ever put out I have enjoyed thoroughly. And my reaction was the same here - a damn fine
film - though I was struck by how...upbeat the whole affair was. Upbeat is not a word that comes to mind
when Leigh is involved, but he does it quite well here. The whole thing is carried by the lead, Sally Hawkins,
a newcomer to me but someone worth keeping an eye out for.



Hard As Nails (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

There are religious freaks, and then there is this guy. To his credit, Justin Fatica seems like a man who hon-
estly believes in his religious fanaticism, and isn't just a chizzler looking for a quick buck. You almost want to
get behind the guy, until you listen to the completely inane crap spewing out of his mouth, and then you just
want him to go away. As a documentary, this was fairly interesting but about a half-hour too long; but a big
part of me is so disappointed that people like this exist, I can't possibly give the film a good score.


Hard Candy (2005)
- 3 out of 10 -

This movie pissed me off. This was most likely the intention of the flick to begin with, and I suppose they
deserve a little bit of credit for creating something that actually gets a rise out of people rather than just
being eye candy; but at the end of the day, I think back on the flick and only have bad thoughts for it. It's
one of those vague films where you have to infer your own details, only the nature of the story line is one
where you really want to understand how certain characters came to be the way they were. I suppose
the acting jobs by everyone involved are commendable, as you really believed they were their characters.
But I hated those characters, so it's hard ot give this any sort of passing grade.



Hard Times (1975)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This movie is a lot like Cinderella Man, only Charles Bronson is about a thousand times more awesome
than Russell Crowe will ever be.  Set during the Depression, as all good movies should be, this film follows
the story of a boxer, played by Bronson, who is down on his luck and looking to make a little money the only
way he knows how - fighting.  He gets in with a gambler played by James Coburn (who is fuckin' great in
this), and together they make quite a bit of change in backroom bareknuckle fights.  There are a few typical
twists and turns, and of course the good guys win, but the whole thing is carried out and acted remarkably
well and certainly worth a viewing. Although does anyone ever really need convincing when it comes to
watching a Bronson film?



Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I dunno if I would have even thought about it much at first, but since everyone else brings it up I might as well
mention it to – yes, it is pretty cool that Hollywood actually made a dumb comedy like this one starring an
Indian guy and an Asian guy.  But more important than that they made it, is that it is really funny.  Not unlike
the director's previous film Dude Where’s My Car?, the film is totally absurd and makes no real attempt to
follow a linear story line or even physics, but if you are laughing out loud as much as I was you don’t really
care.  Not only does this film tackle stereotypes by it’s very existence, that is also a big part of the story as
well…all of it really, other than the constant hawking of White Castle (which apparently worked, because my
girlfriend was really craving it after the film…and she’s never even eaten there before).  So far Danny Leiner
is 2 for 2 in making hilarious movies, let’s hope he can keep it up.


Hatchet (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

A low-budget slasher film called Hatchet...I'm not sure a review is even needed. People get killed, titties get
flashed. Only thing of note is that it stars Bud from "The Cosby Show".



Hated: The GG Allin Story (1994)
 - 6 out of 10 -
 
I found it a bit tough to assign a specific number for a rating on this film, because there are two sides tugging
at me...while the film is not all that enjoyable, it does accurately represent what a nutjob GG Allin was.  The man
was so screwed up and did so many insanely outrageous (and disgusting) things to himself and others that the
whole mess comes off like a car accident.  And I’ll admit it was a certain level of curiosity that led me to finally
watch this after years of putting it off, but I don’t feel I actually gained anything from the experience, if that makes
any sense. 


The Haunting (1999)
- 4 out of 10 -

The setting was a neat old British castle, and Owen Wilson gets decapitated by a giant lion head, but other
than that I can't really think of a damn thing worthwhile in this heap. Oh, I suppose it's also worth mentioning
that Catherine Zeta Jones looks crazy hot in the film but that pretty much goes without saying, no? That sound
you hear is Vincent Price rolling over in his grave at how they bastardized one of his original creepy flicks.


The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

A decent horror film but nothing great.  Basically the screenwriter decided combining "The Exorcist" and
"Amityville Horror" into film would be a good idea, and the results were very middle-of-the-road.  The house
was the real star of the show, managing to be creep and fascinating at the same time.  The sort of house
you'd live to find abandoned and explore, something I loved doing as s kid. 



Havoc (2005)
- 5 out of 10 -

Yet another entry in the “kids are bored, here is a movie about them doing shocking shit” genre.  They
rarely get these films right, and this one is real wrong…the rich white “wiggers” are so incredibly over the
top they play out like a parody more than anything, like a more serious “Malibu’s Most Wanted”.  And
picking Freddy Rodriguez from “Six Feet Under” to play a latino gangster was about as believable as my
cat learning to ballroom dance.  The only thing really right in this movie is Anne Hathaway, who is not only
the best actor involved, but super-duper-crazy hot; honestly, if she didn’t look so good there is a high
probability I wouldn’t have even finished this movie.


The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
- 4 out of 10 -

Ben Stiller just needs to stop making movies for a little while. Or at the very least, stop starring in crap like
this – stick to small roles in actually funny movies as opposed to starring gigs in shit fests. I'm guessing the
paychecks are too nice to turn down. I can't really think of anything more to say about this pile than “don't
bother.”



The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (1972)
- 8 out of 10 -

This movie is just as sad as the title implies; nearly cry-worthy at the end, really. Alan Arkin delivers the per-
formance of his life as a deaf/mute man who spends all his time helping others with their problems, but
because of his limitations he is never able to get any help with his own ailments. How he didn't win the Oscar
for this film just blows my mind (I'm personally going to pretend the supporting actor nod from "Little Miss
Sunshine" may be somewhat of a “make-up” call). Based on a Carson McCullers novel, it actually quite hard
to think of anything bad to say about this flick other than the extremely sad feeling it leaves you with in the end.


Heavy Weights (1995)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Yeah, I hear you laughing at me, but this is actually a pretty funny movie.  Not only was it written by the man
behind Freaks and Geeks, Judd Apatow, but it also features one of the greatest performances by Ben
Stiller ever put to film.  And besides all that, it's a predictable, cute film full of fat kids and fat jokes and
everyone loves a good fat joke.  



He Got Game (1998)
 - 8 out of 10 -

This might be getting a little higher rating than it deserves because it's a basketball movie, and I have
a real soft spot for those types of films.  Ray Allen, best known as a professional basketball player,
does a much better acting job than I ever though possible in the lead role of Jesus Shuttlesworth, and
Denzel Washington is great as usual as his father.  The one thing I think this film has over all others of
this genre is what a fantastic job it does at portraying the pressures that young sports talents face every
day, from greedy relatives to friends with ulterior motives to sports agents and unscrupuous cads of all
stripes.  Plus, as is typical for all Spike Lee films, the cinematography and music are brilliant.  I've
watched this a number of times now, and it's always an enjoyable piece of cinema.


Hell Ride (2008)
- 7 out of 10 -

A homage/throw back to the biker exploitation flicks of the late sixties and early seventies. You got tough,
grizzled dudes, you got hot, vapid chicks, and you got an endless array of sex and violence. It's pretty
everything you want in a film like this - c-list actors and actresses mugging for the camera, flashing their
genitals and bleeding all over the place like stuck pigs. And some really awesome motorcycles.


Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
 - 4 out of 10 -

What I said about Hellraiser, only this time the plot is possibly even cheesier and you lose the effect of
seeing the Cenobites for the first time. 



Hellboy (2004)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

Ye gods, this is one of best comic book adaptations that's ever been filmed as far as I'm concerned.  
They could not have made Hellboy (played by Ron Perlman) any more perfect. both as an ass-kicker
and a smart-ass.  And since I first saw this film and really searched out as many comics on the guy as
I could find, the job they did on this flick only became more and more impressive.  Even more exciting,
is the possibilities of what may come with the sequel - so many stories, so many possibilities. 


Hellfighters (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

ESPN-made documentary about a Harlem-based high school football team, struggling to field a squad
against loads of adversity...no home field to play or even practice on, tons of academic issues with the
players, and an egomaniac coach that tends to make things worse more often than better. It's a pretty
interesting story, if not a little long-winded, and you can't help but pull for the kids to succeed and make
better lives for themselves, in spite of their coach who seems to do everything in his power to screw
things up, mostly because he refuses to cede any power and accept help from others.


Hellraiser (1987)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I remember thinking this film was creepy as shit as a kid, one of the few horror films that gave me the
chills...but time has not been kind.  Pinhead and the rest of the Cenobites are still pretty scary, but the
special effects and acting are beyond atrocious.  Though since a small child I've never trusted puzzle
boxes and that hasn't changed.  Also, skinless talking corpses that smoke - definitely not trustworthy. 



Hero (2002)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Like most boys around my age, I spent a large part of my childhood watching kung-fu movies, reading
karate
magazines, and dreaming of being a ninja.  Bruce Lee and Sho Kosugi were my heroes, I owned
and lost
more throwing stars bought at the flea market than I can even recount...shit, I even loved Gymkata. 
I grew out
of all of that for the most part, but still enjoy a good karate flick from time to time…I expected
Hero to be a
pretty good film, nominated for an Academy Award and all (they don’t always get it right, but
most of their pics
are generally good), but I had no idea it would be this amazing.  It’s a real shame that it
didn’t receive the hype
that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did, because this film blows that one out of the
water.


Told in flashback style, our hero known only as Nameless - played by Jet Li in a wonderful, understated
perfor
mance - chronicles how he defeated three assassins to get into favor with the king in ancient China. 
Each of
these tales could be a film in and of themselves – the characters are incredible interesting, the
filming is fantastic,
and most importantly, the fight scenes manage to take that fantastical Hong Kong-style
of movie fighting and
make it seem almost believable.  Without giving anything away, the film presents
differing versions of different
flashbacks as it whittles down what really happened, before reaching the
dramatic conclusion.


But even if the story was bad, the acting was terrible, the direction hackneyed, the most important part
of this film
was the location.  Mostly filmed in desolate portions of western China, it was an otherworld like
I’ve never seen and
nearly had me on my computer booking flights there immediately.  Obviously, the
beauty of it all is brought out by
having a fantastic director, cinematographer, and film crew, but without
that natural landscape to work with, the film
would have been considerably less appealing.  I think it’s
time to get a second job and start saving for a trip to
central/west China…


He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Let me state this up front - I only watched this because Ginnifer Goodwin was in it and the old lady insisted
on our watching it.  Goodwin was as adorable as always and the only thing that kept me from leaving the
room to be honest.  It's mostly an inane romcom, not really awful but definitely not good, but it loses major
points for lasting over two hours!  Seriously, a run-of-the-mill hack film like this should be 90 minutes max,
no matter how cute the star of the film is.



Hidalgo (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

Despite it's overwhelmingly pro-horse stance, this was surprisingly decent.  I rented this thinking it was
something else entirely - particularly that it was about some ancient wars or something ( I think Alexander
and Hannibal and all those flicks got me confused on the matter).  Turns out it was based on the true life
story of Frank Hopkins, some wild west-type dude who ran and won lots of long distance horse races.  I
personally know nothing on the subject and therefore cannot verify the claims of the film, but it made for
interesting cinema nonetheless and that's all you can really ask for.  Viggo Mortensen makes for good
film cowboy material, and there is also a brief appearance by everyones favorite prison nazi, JK
Simmons.  Pretty amazing scenery as well, a very well shot film.



Hide and Seek (2005)
 - 3 out of 10 -

Why does DeNiro sign on for crap like this?  It boggles the mind.  This movie was so boring I think I
fell asleep with my eyes open.  Elizabeth Shue still looks good, as does Famke Jansen, but neither
are in the film very much.  There was a decent mood to the film, and DeNiro seemed ot do the best
he could, but the story was just attrocious and nothing can overcome that.  



High Lonesome Sound (1963)
 - 8 out of 10 -

This DVD was actually a compilation of three shorts documenting the sound of the Appalacian
mountains, all from the the late 50's/early 60's time frame.  The title film, which covered Kentucky
resident Roscoe Holcomb, his music and his life.  An interesting and intimate portrait, this was a
man still living a very meager lifestyle despite having some amount of acclaim in the musical world.  
The scenery and music are fantastic and well worth checking out.

The best of the three was the second feature, "The End of an Old Song".  This short followed Dillard
Chandler, a western North Carolina man who was keeping the old mountain songs and style of sing-
ing alive despite the general lack of interest in it from most folks.  In one scene he is singing a beautiful,
unaccompanied ballad in a restaurant, and a patron puts on a country song on the jukebox, showing
no respect for this amazing artist.  You get a much better picture of Dillard as a complex man and not
just a musician, and it is great.

The final film is on the Carter Family, entitled "Sara and Maybelle", and although the songs they
perform are great, it's not a terribly engaging flick.  Worth checking out for the songs though.  



The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

A family en route to California get sidetracked and brak down in the middle of nowhere…a middle of nowhere
that just happens to be infested with an inbred clan of cannibalistic hillbillies that decides to treat these interlopers
like a buffet at the Sizzler.  Heroic german shepards plus Dee Wallace Stone and crazy looking cave dwellers
have all the makings of a classic cult film.

And that it is – but despite this movies legendary status as a gory horror film, it hasn’t really held up with time. 
Nowadays, I can’t say that it’s really either gory or scary…but despite that I still found it quite enjoyable.  The first
time I saw this was when I was a kid, and I hadn’t seen it since then; I don’t even remember being particularly
scared by the movie back then, but I certainly found (and still find) Pluto a.k.a. Michael Berryman quite freaky,
probably because he is (apparently he suffers from some rare medical condition where he has no sweat glands,
hair, teeth, or fingernails).  But it is exactly his character, and the cannibal family in general, that makes this film so
interesting even still – they looked the part of creepy backwater killers in such an authentic way that you never see
anymore.  Is it wrong to pull for the bad guys?  Because I certainly was with this film, despite knowing the outcome.


The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
- 6 out of 10 -

I'm of two minds here – for a remake, they didn't do a bad job with this one. But still, it is a totally unnecessary
remake of a classic film that still stands up quite well to this day. Certainly, the 70's grittiness of the original lent
it a level of creepiness that few modern films can touch. Instead, they tried to counter this by making it gorier
and flashier, with mixed results. I will say the nuclear test town and many of it's lesser inhabitants were well
thought out and executed, and the sets as a whole were great – the filming locations in Morocco that they chose
were completely otherworldly and made for great eye candy.



History of Violence (2005)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Based on a graphic novel by the same name (that from what I’ve read, it doesn’t follow very closely),
History of Violence was such an enjoyable thriller that even including Maria Bello in it didn’t make it
unwatchable.  This is basically the story of a man trying to escape his past which has caught back up
to him.  In many ways it’s an extremely predictable film, but David Cronenberg does such a fantastic
job of crafting this film that you don’t care.  Yes, the same guy who brought is Scanners and Videodrone
has really honed his skills and between this and his previous release Spider has really started showing
an eye for making really great movies.  Sure, his early stuff was fun and enjoyable but I don’t think anyone
would claim they are well crafted films.  Anyways, good acting on the parts of Viggo Mortensen, Ed
Harris and William Hurt (wish there had been more of him), no superfluous junk in the plot making the
film barely over 90 minutes, and like I said, I really like the direction Cronenberg is going in. 


The Hitcher (2007)
- 4.5 out of 10 -

Yet another remake of a film that never needed to be remade, as is so common in the horror genre. I mean
sure, this thing was made well, the “horror” scenes are indeed horrific, but the story is pointless and most of
the acting just awful. The only bright spot was Sean Bean as the killer...you're definitely rooting for the bad
guy in this one.



Hitch (2005)
 - 5
out of 10 -

Hey, it's a typical romantic comedy!  Honestly, what to say...I've seen worse I guess.  Kevin James has some
funny moments and Eva Mendes is crazy hot as usual.  Nothing really stood out and nothing really sucked,
nothing really to recommend, nothing really to avoid.  Nothing else really to say on the matter either.



The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I know it makes me a rarity amongst my generation, but I’ve never read Hitchhiker; and the previews looked
terribly dumb, so I wasn’t expecting a lot here.  Perhaps it was those low expectations that made me enjoy it
as much as I did…well Zooey Deschanel is probably the main factor that I found it engrossing, but even had
she not been in it I’m sure I would have enjoyed the flick. 


The opening song sung by the dolphins, “Thanks for All the Fish”, really sets the tone for the silliness that is
about to transpire.  I’m still not totally sure what happened in the movie other than Earth got exploded, which
resulted in Tim from “The Office” and Mos Def tooling around the universe getting into all sorts of adven-
turous trouble.  It was all quite goofy but quite endearing and likeable at the same time.  Something about it
made me think of Terry Gilliam’s “Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, though I don’t recall the floating head
of Robin Williams ever being featured in Hitchhiker.  Anyways, a fun film that brought a smile to my face many
times. 


Hitman (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

A movie of a video game, as is so popular these days...and like the video game, it's all mindless violence
and little plot – eye candy for men basically. Watching it on blu-ray made it all that more impressive, and is
truly the best way to see a film like this where your eyes are doing all of the storytelling. And speaking of eye
candy, this film has one of the finest forms of it in Olga Kurylenko, who very rarely is dressed in clothes that
aren't see-through. You could of course nitpick the flick over how shoddy and full of holes the plot is and the
wooden acting, but I'm not sure it was intended to be anything more than a real-life video game simulator,
and in that arena it did a fantastic job.



Hollywoodland (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

I guess one positive from this enormously mediocre film is that I learned there was actually some contro-
versy in the death of George Reeves – best known as being the first Superman. So I've got that going for
me. Otherwise, I was pretty much just bored out of my mind. The flick looked good I guess, they did a fine
job making it look authentically fifties. So while I was being bored, at least my eyes were enjoying them-
selves.


The Honkers (1972)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Seems like this was a popular topic of filmmaking in the seventies...the life of the lonely rodeo rider. 
It always revolves around touring on the rodeo, a dysfunctional family life, lots of drunken bar scenes with
the occasional fight, and often a trip to the drunk tank or some sort of minor run-in with the local constab-
ulary.  I feel like I've seen a half-dozen films just like this one, but it's still enjoyable.  It helps when you
have the likes of James Coburn and Slim Pickens starring in the show. 



Hooked: The Legend of Demetrius Hook Mitchell (2003)
- 7 out of 10 -

This is a fantastic documentary about the Oakland streetball legend Hook. Before I even ever saw this
I would hear about Hook from some of the older guys I played ball with in Oakland, never really sure what
was truth and what was fiction. After seeing this film, and some of the grainy tapes of dunk contests years
ago, turns out it was all true – this guy was as good a player as I've ever seen. Since this cat isn't a house-
hold name, you can probably guess what happened to the guy...got caught up in drugs and with sketchy
characters, ends up in prison, never able to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA (which surely would
have happened had he kept his head on straight when he was younger). Whether you are a basketball fan
or not, this is a fascinating story, one told too many times unfortunately, but totally engrossing nonetheless.


Hooper (1978)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Hey, this is from an era where CB radios, long-distance trucking and disco music were top dog - why not  
film glorifying stuntmen?  There ain't much of a story here, but rather a bunch of stunts strung together inter-
spersed with Burt Reynolds and that awesome laugh of his.  Plenty of talent in the cast - Jan-Michael Vincent,
Sally Field, Brian Keith, Terry Bradshaw and a bunch of other football players; lots of goofy action and laughs,
and zero brain cells used by the end of the film.  A good late night romp if nothing else.



Hoosiers (1986)
 - 10 out of 10 -

After all these years, what is there to say about Hoosiers?  Simply put, it's the greatest film ever made
about basketball.  Yes, even better than Space Jam or Above the Rim.  Hoop Dreams might be better,
but since it's a documentary I'm not sure you can compare the two.  One thing is for certain, my life is
better for having seen both of these films, and no doubt played some part in making basketball as im-
portant to me today as it is.  



Hostage (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

Bruce Willis really likes action movies.  You've seen some of his work right?  Die Hard, Die Hard 2,
ummm...Die Hard 3, whatever.  Well, this has a kidnapping twist to the plot, but other than that it's just
another Bruce Willis action movie.  Maybe a few less catch phrases as was in Die Hard and a few
less Wayans as was in Last Action Hero, but still pretty much the same.  But it's a pretty entertaining
romp, popcorn fare that will help you pass the time.  Everything turns out as you expect it to, no surprises
here, but then it wouldn't be a Bruce Willis action movie if there was a complicated plot now would it?



Hostel (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Ah, a good old-fashion slasher flick like I grew up on…goofy plot, hot topless chicks, smart-ass char-
acters, gore galore, and the lone survivor.  Honestly, you could chunk these points into a machine and
come out with an equally as workable screenplay, but Eli Roth does a fine job of putting all of these
pieces together and making it enjoyable.  I really loved the set for the “slaughter house” more than
anything else in the film, it was just dripping with creepiness.


Hostel: Part II (2007)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I had no idea this movie even existed until I came across it on one of the movie channels...and for the
most part it might as well have not existed, pretty much just another boring entry into the gore porn
genre.  But the final scene, where a feral group of kids play soccer with the head of one of the bait
girls, made this very much worth watching.



Hot Dog... The Movie (1984)
- 6 out of 10 -

Boobies! Skiing humor! Terrible in every regard, yet somehow totally awesome! Really, that is all you
need to know here.



Hotel Rwanda (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I would like to highly recommend that anyone who can, should watch the documentary The Last Just
Man before taking this film on – it isn’t necessary, but getting the actual historical facts to go along
with the film, and seeing the real people involved, makes everything portrayed in this movie that much
more real.  I think without knowing the back story, it might be easy to assume that the filmmakers are
overstating the genocide for the purpose of making a moving picture, but this is simply not the case. 
As horrific as the events are portrayed in Hotel Rwanda, the real thing was a thousand times worse.

I really enjoyed this movie thoroughly, well made and well acted on all fronts.  Don Cheadle is the obvious
standout and he deserves any and all praise he got for his work on this movie.  The results of this genocide
were absolutely horrific, and the film does its best to show this but it is simply impossible to portray the
slaughter of 800,000 people over the course of three months in a movie.  Bring your hanky, cause there’s
a good chance you’ll cry during this film, even you tough guys.


Hot Fuzz (2007)
- 8 out of 10 -

The idea of the madcap crew behind “Shaun of the Dead” taking on the buddy-cop genre is pretty close to
brilliant both in theory and execution. They manage to make a film that is plenty original while at the same
time cribbing nearly every bad action film cliché and rolling it into their story. Again, like in “Shaun”, Simon
Pegg and Nick Frost play off of each other like they were custom built to star in comedies together, a modern
Laurel & Hardy if you will. With any luck they will continue to pair for films, because god knows we're all better
off for the work they produce.



The Hot Rock (1972)
- 6 out of 10 -

Light-hearted 70's crime capers were a lot like Meg Ryan romantic comedies of the 90's – that is to say, as
plentiful as meth cooks in a rural jail. This flick ain't nothing groundbreaking, but it's fairly entertaining; one of
the classic you're-pulling-for-the-thieves crime romps, with Robert Redford as the lead crook and nice
supporting roles by George Segal and Moses Gunn. Of course, everything goes as planned and the bad
“good” guys end up on top, but it's not a bad ride getting there.


Hot Rod (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

If you ever said to yourself “I wish someone would make a Napoleon Dynamite-like flick but with a bunch
of Saturday Night Live cast members”, well then do I have the movie for you! This film is extremely stupid
in every possible regard, but I guess I was in a good mood when I watched it cause I laughed a lot. Plus,
Isla Fischer is a mountain of hotness and I never tire of looking at her. And they kept the movie short,
sweet and to the (retarded) point. This is the “Citizen Kane” of “stupidly funny stunt man comedies feat-
uring Bill Hader”.


The House Bunny (2008)
 - 3 out of 10 -

You're pretty much only going to want to watch this pile to see Anna Faris acting stupid in skimpy outfits,
who does the ditzy blond role about as well as anybody.  Other than that it's your typical "make the nerds
popular" flick set in sorority.  Of course, there is the "bad" sorority trying ot foil their plans, but you can
guess how that turns out. 



House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

This is one of those textbook examples of where the sequel (The Devil’s Rejects) is better than the original. 
In this case, it actually has little to do with the story, as both are goofy horror plots that could be written by a
moderately-trained chimp, but I’m guessing it has everything to do with the budget and the fact that Rob
Zombie had gotten a better feel as a director by the time the second feature was finished.

But thats not to say this flick isn’t any good - rather, it’s quite fun and ridiculous just as you would hope.  I like
that Rob Zombie is trying his damndest to resurrect the trashy 70’s horror genre, and doing a decent job at
it so far.  Plus, having Sid Haig in any film of this nature is a sure-fire bet for success.



House of Sand and Fog (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Dear god man, that was one damn debbie downer of a movie.   I dunno what to say about it without
spoiling the story, but just about every single time when you think things are going to pick up for those
involved it just gets worse.  In some ways I could and maybe should have given it a higher score, but it
was such morose fare that the thought of ever watching it again makes it hard to really score high.  But
the acting jobs – they were terrific all around.  Everyone already knows how great Ben Kingsley and
Jennifer Connelly are, but the person I was most impressed with was Shohreh Aghdashloo, who could
make most grown men cry with her performance.

The whole thing was shot very beautifully too, but then you have to try hard to make something shot here
in the Bay Area ugly.  Highly recommended if you like massive boner-killer depressing movies.  Do not
watch this if you’re feeling the least bit down, it might drive you over the edge.


House of Wax (2005)
- 4 out of 10 -

There is something to be said for watching a mediocre horror movie just to see Paris Hilton get killed, and
it is nearly the only reason to actually watch this (the other reason – the melting house at the end of the film is
pretty damn cool).  There’s no real story to speak of and nearly all of the acting is horrible, but the villains are
very creepy and there are enough gory scenes that it kept me watching from start to finish.  This film might be
one of the few exceptions where it would have been a plus to watch it in a theatre with a bunch of people who
try to be funny by yelling at the screen.


The House on Haunted Hill (1999)
- 3 out of 10 -

Not having seen the original, I can't really say how this holds up to the Vincent Price classic. My gut instinct
tells me it doesn't hold up very well at all, given it certainly doesn't hold up well in the “movies worth spend-
ing any time watching” category. The only real item of interest in the schlock-fest is the set...they do at least
manage to pull off a nice creepy building in which to film an awful movie. I can't possibly think of what
scenario led to Geoffrey Rush having anything to do with this cheese factory, but my gut instinct tells me it
was a dare...or possibly at gunpoint.



How to Deal (2003)
 - 3 out of 10 -

I don’t really have much to say on this, except that it was so boring I only watched the first 30 minutes or so. 
Maybe it got better?  I dunno.  the only reason I was watching it in the first place anyways was to stare at
Mandy Moore, but her haircut in this film is pretty questionable and was not able to hold my attention.  But
she’s still hot, so at least the film has that going for it.  I think I’d rather watch that terrible movie where she
is the president’s daughter again instead of finishing this.



How to Draw a Bunny (2002)
- 5 out of 10 -

Is it art?  That seems to be the overwhelming theme that runs through this documentary on the scenester/
artist Ray Johnson.  He seems to be an artists’ artist, as all of his friends spoke highly of his work while they
were the ones actually succeeding; many of his contemporaries are interviewed and speak highly of the
man, but the work they show in the film leaves a lot to be desired.  For someone who ran in the same
circles as Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Cristo and all those sorts he certainly never achieved even a mod-
icum of the fame they did, but by all accounts he enjoyed life and really, what more could you ask for?  I’m
not particularly knowledgeable on art, but Johnson’s work certainly seemed lacking, as was this document-
ary on him.


Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I'm not always down with the Japanese animation, even when it isn't technically "anime", but this is a
damn good film.  The story is basically a love story, nothing new there, but what sets this apart is the
imagination in the details.  To break it down as simply as possible, the film is steampunk meets
witches-n-wizards meets war.  Plus there is a scarecrow that is alive but not really and hops all over
by bouncing up and down on his stake...I'm not sure what genre that falls under.   



Hulk (2004)
- 6 out of 10 -

I can't place my finger on why, but thid is another one of those movies where a number of the parts are
great, but the whole package is boring and ineffective.  This is especially surprising in this case, with
Ang Lee behind the camera and Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly doing a good job in front of it.  The
special effects were also great, and particularly of interest towards the end when the Hulk was trashing
San Francisco.  I think the biggest problem might have actually been Lee, who is great for dramas but
probably not the best choice for an action flick - he inserts too much unnecessary dramatic tension, and
not enough "wrecking shit".  It's watchable, but not something you need to go out of your way for.



The Hunted (2003)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This movie was really stupid, but it looked good.  I really expected more from both Benecio del Toro and
Tommy Lee Jones…with six names between them, you’d think they’d be more discriminating about what
films they choose to do.  I’m not even going to get into it, but try and imagine a really dumbed down, point-
less version of First Blood and that’s the general idea.  Filming this in the Pacific Northwest was the smart-
est thing they did in the entire film, and the main reason I kept watching…man it’s really beautiful up there,
I could totally imagine moving to Portland if I thought I could put up with the rain.


The Hunt for Red October (1990)
 - 8 out of 10 -

What’s the deal with submarine movies?  Why do they rock so much?  Why does Sean Connery’s Russian
accent sound Scottish?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but I do know that this is a great movie.  Well acted on
all fronts, lots of tense drama (without the requisite baby’s mama), and plenty of hot sub-on-sub action. 
Now, we all know Das Boot is the best sub movie ever and there’s really no need to argue, but could this
be the second best?  Quite possibly.  And it is certainly a great representation of Cold War conflicts,
maybe even better than the cinematic masterpiece Red Dawn.  Wolverines!


Hustle & Flow (2005)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

First and foremost, this is a fantastic film, a tale of redemption that could be applied ot anyone, anywhere,
but they chose the vehicle of dirty, southern hip-hop and hustlin' pimp to deliver the message. The message
being - if you want something bad enough, you're going to have ot make it happen yourself.  But honestly, to
me, all that was secondary to Terrance Howard and his portrayal of the main character of DJay...seriously, I
haven't seen a more stunning piece of acting in a long, long time.  He breathes so much life into the character,
so much emotion and energy that if he never comes close to this level of a performance again, he'll still go
down in my book as one of the greats (but for the record, he is almost as good in "Crash", although in a much
smaller role).  Hip-hop fan or not, watch this film, watch Terrance Howard, and watch the very essence of what
makes movies so great.  


I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
- 7 out of 10 -

Sure, it may be a little dated but this film actually helped change the perception of the chain gang to a negative
one, which eventually led to their demise as a form of punishment.  Based on a true story, Paul Muni is fantastic
as the lead character James Allen, a drifter who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up getting
sentenced to hard time on a chain gang.  He eventually escapes and ends up making a great life for himself
under a different name, but when his gold-digging wife rats him out he finally has to face the music of his past. 
How much of this story is actually true and how much is fictionalized for the camera is not known to me, but
either way it is powerful stuff and obviously led to good things in our society, not something many films can
claim.


I Am Legend (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

MY love of post-apocalyptic films, be they good or bad, is well stated; and no matter what cause the collapse
of modern man, it generally makes for very fertile movie-making soil. This outing is pretty much a fancier, up-
date version of the campy classic “The Omega Man” - both are based on the same source material. This one
is much more serious and tense, but that isn't tough when you are comparing it to an original that starred
Charlton Heston. Like all of these flicks, it has it's problems – here, the main issue is that the special effects/
CGI of the “infected” is a little hokey and not very realistic. But taken as a whole, it's a damn enjoyable flick,
and worth watching if for no other reason than seeing the shots of New York City completely desolate.



I Heart Huckabees (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

All of the previews were calling this an “existential comedy” – a phrase that would normally keep me away
from the theatre like a fat man from Jenny Craig.  But David O. Russell has had a long line of good films,
and the characters looked so quirky and likeable, it seemed only fair to give it a shot.

It’s kinda tough to wrap up the plot in just a couple of lines, because it has so many plots and subplots
intermingled within one another.  Basically, Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) approaches a couple
of
existential detectives (Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman) to investigate some unusual happenings in his
life. 
Hijinks ensue, mostly revolving around Markovski’s job and a power struggle with Brad Stand (Jude
Law), who
also happens to be a suit with the Huckabee’s Corporation (seemingly a very Target-like de-
partment store). 
Markovski is then paired up with Tommy Corn (Mark Wahlberg), a firefighter obsessed
with petroleum con-
sumption, and together they continue to make things into a huge mess, and a very
funny one at that.  There’s
plenty of other crap going on, but that’s the gist of it mostly.

To be honest – a lot of the philosophy stuff seemed a bit trite and pointless.  There was a whole lot more
arm
chair psychology than I would have liked, but some folks will surely find it witty and thought provoking. 
But more
importantly, it was a fucking hilarious film.  Equal parts witty dialog, absurd scenes, and slap-
stick schtick;
despite my reservations to certain plot points, for every nonsense philosophy lite conver-
sation, there was a
half-dozen good laughs to be had.  Some viewers may not be able to get past the
more irritating parts, but for me
if a film makes me laugh, I like the film - it’s a simple concept.  I highly
recommend this film to anyone that likes
blatant silliness and has a strong stomach for inane self-
examination.


I Like Killing Flies (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Really interesting, quirky documentary about a stubborn fry cook, his family and the diner they own in
NYC.  Rambling theories, insane food concoctions, arbitrary rules for all customers, and more surliness
than any one group of people ought to have.  But somehow that package makes for a damn entertaining
movie.  They're the sort of folks you enjoy on screen but wouldn't want ot spend much time with in person. 



I Love You, Man (2009)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I'm not a gay man, but I definitely have a mancrush on Paul Rudd.  I'm sure I'm not alone - at least on
film and in interviews, he is incredibly funny and personable in a way that you wish your jackass friends
would be.  Basically this entire movie is about Paul Rudd trying to make male friends, not only with the
characters in the movie but it is as if he is attempting to make friends with the audience as well.  And
it works...god knows I'd like to hang out with him.


(Also, I just noticed the director of this fine film was John Hamburg, also responsible for the criminally-
underrated "Safe Men".)



I Stand Alone (1998)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Say what you will about Gaspar Noe's films, but if nothing else they are original and memorable.  There are no
taboo subjects in his work, no topics too far out there not to merit a little investigation.  This film involves a man,
who despite the long odds has fought the good fight and stayed on the right side of the tracks.  Despite this, he
still ends up losing and decides if he can't get ahead, he's going to get out, and get out with a bang.  The film
follows our lead over the course of a couple of days, spliced with all the information on how he got to where he
did, and daydreams about what he wants to do - be that molesting his daughter, killing former clients, suicide,
or whatever else seems to ring his bell.  Throughout all of this, the film is awash in the constant insane ramblings
of our man, and they get crazier and crazier the worse things get for him.  Anyways, it is certainly an interesting
film, and while I'm unsure if it's ultimately good or bad, it's certainly it's own movie like none other. 


I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With (2006)
- 7 out of 10 -

Basically, this is a light-hearted “almost” romantic comedy made by and with a whole shitload of Second City
comedians in Chicago. Jeff Garlin from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” stars and directs this flick about a fat hapless
actor trying to find both work and love in the windy city. Although technically a comedy, I don't recall really laugh-
ing...but I still enjoyed the film quite a bit. A lot of entertaining folks like Sarah Silverman, Dan Castellaneta,
Richard Kind and even Amy Sedaris make appearances.



Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
- 6 out of 10 -

Fairly enjoyable for a kids movie, but nearly as good as the first “Ice Age”. Luckily I don't have kids, but if
I did this film would certainly be far less likely to induce homicide than most kid's fare I see floating on the
airwaves. Yeah, the story is by-the-numbers, but there are a few funny jokes and the ongoing squirrel versus
nut storyline from the first flick keeps things entertaining. I'm not sure my life needed a film where there is a
love story between two woolly mammoths, one of which thinks it is an opossum, but here you go.


The Ice Harvest (2005)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

The last 30 minutes of this film really saved it from being terrible – some neat twists and turns and funny
quips and mindless violence, just like the doctor ordered.  But the first hour was slow, and no the good kind
of “smoldering with anticipation” slow but rather the “this could have been a film short but let’s make it last
long enough to be a full length” slow.  This flick got a “black comedy” billing by the press but in reality it was
a noir through and through.  Sure, Billy Bob Thornton had a couple of funny moments but it’s impossible for
me not to laugh at that goof.  This would be a decent late-night cable catch but nothing worth seeking out.


Idiocracy (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I've never been the sort to believe in the occult, if but if I did I'm pretty sure this film is about as accurate a
picture of how we will all end up as anything else I've ever seen (though some version of Starship Troopers
might also be highly possible). The film itself is more goofy than anything else, but the underlying point of the
dumb out-breeding the smart is probably not that far off base. As an added bonus, having the future president
of the USA all beefcaked out like a wrestler, cursing and flipping the bird to everyone...pure genius.


Idlewild (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I have a notorious hatred of musicals, but it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that when the songs in the film
are actually enjoyable and performed by a decent group that you may lighten up on your opinions a bit.
I wasn't expecting much as far the story and acting went, but the lads in Outkast actually did a decent job
with the film. It doesn't hurt that I've always had a soft spot for prohibition-era flicks and that they put the
always-great Terrence Howard as one of the main characters either. It especially doesn't hurt that I was
introduced to the gorgeous Paula Patton in this film, a star in the making if there ever was one. This ain't
no “Citizen Cane” mind you, but you'd be a fool to ever go in thinking it might be – no, it's a light film with
decent music that more than entertains.



The Illusionist (2006)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

On story alone I'd probably feel a bit more "meh" about this - only the brain dead wouldn't realize what
was going on early in the film.  But two things save this flick and actualy make it enjoyable - the acting
jobs by Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, and even more impressive, it looked fantastic.  Set design,
costumes, cinematography,  and filming locale are all stellar; and the special effects behind the magic
tricks were especially mesmerizing.  This is top notch eye candy - go in expecting anything more and
you might leave disappointed.



I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003)
- 7 out of 10 –

This film is a real slow-burner, very British just as I expected.  Clive Owen is fantastic in the lead role of
Will, apparently a hit man who has left the business and disappeared into the woods but comes back to
the surface when a close friend (or brother, I wasn’t really able to discern…) mysteriously dies.  Will is
one of those “quiet killer” types and lets his actions do the talking, a role Owen was born for.  Malcolm
McDowell plays the bad guy as he often does, and does so quite well – why mess with a good thing?

In reading some other random reviews of the film, a number of complaints have been lodged about how
the film drags, but to me that was one of it’s strengths…given the nature of the Will character, it seemed
to fit him perfectly to have the film progress as it did.  My only real complaint was the ending, which was
a touch vague as far as I was concerned – which was possibly the point, to make it as mysterious as the
main character, but it did leave me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth after having enjoyed the rest of
the film so immensely.  A better ending and this would have surely garnered at least an 8.5 out of me.



I’m Not Scared (2003)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

the overwhelming feeling I get when thinking back on this movie is how stunningly beautiful the cinema-
tography and scenery were in it…imagine Terrence Mallick’s “Days of Heaven” but with much less
Richard Gere.  The stories are completely different, but both films evoke a feeling in me that overstates
any story they are trying to tell.  The basic story here is basically that of a young boy doing the right thing,
all wrapped up in a crime/suspense plot.  The acting is pretty great across the board, especially from the
lead Michele; it’s also worth noting that the actress playing is mom is uber-hot…hot Italian actresses, oh
my.  In some ways it almost feels like a smart children’s film, but I suppose the subject matter might be a
bit above their heads.  Nonetheless, a highly enjoyable piece of art that every one should check out.


I'm Not There. (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

Director Todd Haynes has always had a flare for the visual, and this flick is no exception – they took the
life and times of Bob Dylan and got a number of different actors to play the man at different stages in
his life. Lots of fantastic acting here, with Cate Blanchett's turn being the highlight (earning her an Oscar
nomination, and probably should have earned her the win). While a lot of the Dylan actors aren't playing
literal interpretations of the man, Blanchett does such a spot-on job you'd think she were really him. The
film is a little spacey and jumps around from story to story for no discernible reason, but it's still quite
enjoyable.


But I still don't know what the hell the Richard Gere storyline meant.


I'm Reed Fish (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

Your typical indie film, all about small town problems co-mingled with big city aspirations. Lots of inter-
twined relationships, hurt feelings, and of course, DJ Qualls. It's all very sensitive, kind of romantic
comedy without actually being funny. There are a lot of hot chicks though, so I'll give them points for that.


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
 - 6 out of 10 -

The fact that this is Heath Ledger's last movie has seemed to overshadow the movie itself.  You never
really heard anything about the content of the film, just that Ledger died filming it and some of his friends
(Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Ferrell) stepped in to help complete the filming.  And as interesting as
those facts are, the more important point is this is a Terry Gilliam film.  And like nearly all Terry Gilliam films,
it's completely fantastical and over-the-top and doesn't always make sense, but is amazing to look at. 
Honestly, at this point I don't even remember what the movie is really about, but I can remember some of
the spectacular scenes created by Gilliam. 



In Good Company (2004)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

Maybe it was a matter of coming into it with low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good
this film was – well written, no cheesy ending, and a decent approximation of the current culture of mergers
& layoffs that pervade the white collar world.  Both Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace do fine jobs as the two
leading characters, and Scarlett Johansson is very cute and likeable as usual; the one weird thing is seeing
Marg Helgenberger in something other than CSI.  I half expected her to come across a corpse and start
investigating it at some point in the film, but such is the world of TV stereotyping.


In The Cut (2003)
 - 3 out of 10 -

I dunno, Meg Ryan was supposed to get naked in this but I never got that far.  Ruffalo playing some creeper
cop, boring characters, and a plodding story don’t make for good viewing.  I did like Ruffalo’s moustache
though, more movie moustaches please.


Inception (2010)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

I honestly don't know what the fuck was going in this movie.  Dreams upon dreams upon dreams where snow-
mobile GI Joe was fighting in a crumbling city inside of an elevator while a van drove off of a bridge and good
god damn my head hurts.  It looked awesome though, had a nice cast, and mostly kept me entertained at
least visually. 



Incident at Loch Ness (2004)
- 4 out of 10 -

A mockumentary about Werner Herzog filming a documentary on the monster in Loch Ness. I wish it had
been even slightly as good as it sounds, but mostly I just found it boring and pointless.


The Incredibles (2004)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

I love cartoons when done well; I also love superhero movies when done well; so it was no-brainer that The
Incredibles impressed me like it did.  The art, as we’ve come to expect, was magnificent – it recalled the
classic comic book styles from the 40’s and 50’s with its simple, clean lines and colors.  It’s understandable
that they would get better at their craft with each successive film, but it seemed they made a huge leap with
this one.  Of particular note in the style category was the Incredible’s family home – it was the most perfectly
stylized vision of 50’s and 60’s design…I’m still thinking about how much I want my house to look like that. 
The only possible complaint is that the film might be bit long or slow in places, but I’ll accept that for all the
good that’s featured here.

The story is fantastic as well; one superhero marries another, they have superhero kids, comedy and action
ensue.  Even better than the main characters, though, were the supporting cast – especially Edna “E” Mode
(voiced by the director, Brad Bird) as the supersuit fashion designer, and Frozone (voiced by Samuel L.
Jackson) as Mr. Incredible’s main superhero friend.  These two had me laughing an enormous amount of the
time they were briefly featured in the film.  This is a great movie for kids of all ages, not just the ones under 18.


Independence Day (1996)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This movie is beyond stupid, overly patriotic, full of cliched characters, and the acting is pretty much awful
across the board.  But it's a fun, mindless romp with good special effects and sometimes that is all that
matters.


The Indian Runner (1991)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

This film felt like a feature-length version of Bruce Springsteen's "Highway Patrolman". The plot of the
movie and the lyrics of the song are only slightly related, but the ambiance of both are cut from same cloth...
eerie, foreboding, a blurring of the line between "good" and "bad". A good story made much better by fan-
tastic acting, especially on the part of Viggo Mortensen who just destroys every scene he is in. Between this
and his work in "Eastern Promises", he's really doing a lot to up the cache of the prison tattoo industry.



Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- 1 out of 10 -

Aliens?!? FUCKING SPACE ALIENS?!?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me?!?


Inside Man (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

Spike Lee has made a classic heist flick, and he has made it well.  This is a film that could have been
made 40 years ago and would still be interesting today, outside of the lead being a black detective; it
most definitely has that classic feel to it, and I feel certain proclaiming it will stand the test of time quite
well.  I’ve been a huge supporter of Spike Lee for years despite his Knicks fandom, but this is the first
flick he’s put out since Clockers that has gotten me genuinely excited…not that it’s all been bad between
then and now – the pilot to Sucker Free City showed a lot of promise; Summer of Sam and He Got Game
had some great moments; and 4 Little Girls was moving and educational but too heartbreaking to watch
more than once.  Still, I hope this is a sign of the return of the classic Spike Lee, where strong stories
accompany his always-great direction instead of mediocre screen writing being strained to accomplish
more than it can.


Inside Moves (1980)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

A bunch of crippled barflies and an injured basketball player inhabit a run down bar in Oakland.  It might
have come out in 1980 but this feels like a classic seventies character study film, where the folks involved
are much more important than any action or plot of the flick.  It also helped in my enjoyment that there are a
number of scenes involving the Golden State Warriors from that era which is pretty cool as a Warriors fan. 
This was the first film for David Morse and he does an excellent job, as does Diana Scarwid (who earned
an Oscar nomination for her work here). 



Intermission (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

My girlfriend refused to watch this, hates Colin Farrell she says.  I’m pretty indifferent to the man, but it
still shocks me that a straight woman wouldn’t like him – anyone can tell he’s a handsome lad.  But I can’t
imagine anyone leaving this film with a crush on the man, because his portrayal of a chav is a little too
perfect, you might actually think it’s his natural state…and he’s but one of the grim characters you’ll come
to either love or hate in Intermission.

Set in the slums of Dublin, the film is one of those where a million different story lines become all inter-
woven with one another until it all becomes one big story at the end (see Snatch, Pulp Fiction, etc…you
know, the Tarantino affect).  There are love stories, crime stories, and just general fucking off; nothing
especially original with any of the plot lines, but enjoyable nonetheless.  The editing, pacing, and interesting
characters keep things from ever getting boring.  This film won’t win any awards or break any sales records,
but it’s certainly worth checking out.



Into the Wild (2007)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

Where to even start with this absolute stunner of a film...quite simply, one of the most beautiful films I have
seen in years, possibly since “A Thin Red Line”. The story is a simple one – a young man, Christopher
McCandless, travels the country looking for the purpose in his life while attempting to escape his controlling
parents and the path society has dictated he should follow. But the movie itself is poetry on celluloid, some of
the most beautiful cinematography you can imagine set to the words of McCandless and his family as they all
seek understanding in the path and tragic ending he chose. The entire cast is spectacular, but Emile Hirsch
as the lead...I never in a million years would have guessed this kid had this kind of performance in him. This
is easily one of the two best films of the year along with “No Country for Old Men” and no one else is even
close.



Invincible (2001)
- 6 out of 10 -

Set in Nazi Germany, this is the true story of Zishe Breitbart, a Jewish blacksmith's son from Poland who
came to claim some fame as a strongman in the entertainment industry.  Of course, when he started his
identity as a Jew was masked and the Nazis just loved him as a signal of the awesomeness of the Aryan
race.  This is all helped by Tim Roth in the role of an unscrupulous promoter who turns out to be Jewish him-
self.  Honestly, despite the interesting story going on the film as a whole is rather boring, but not terrible by
any means.  The best part of the movie for me was Anna Gourari, who played Tim Roth’s wife in the film –
apparently this is the only flick she’s ever had a role in, which saddens me, because she is one of the most
beautiful women I have ever seen in my life.



Invincible (2006)
- 7 out of 10 -

I love movies about football infinitely more than I actually like football.  In fact, I don’t really like football at all,
but I’ll watch “Necessary Roughness” pretty much anytime I see it on.  Shit, I even mostly enjoyed “The Re-
placements”.  Now I have no idea why I actually like these obviously cheesy films so much, but I just wanted
to throw it out there as some sort of justification for giving this such a high score.

All that clarification aside, given that this is a true story it’s a pretty remarkable one…not only did some
schmoe walk off the street and make the team, but he actually saw the field a number of times.  That would
never, ever happen today with the players the size they are, but it’s still impressive nonetheless.  Also note-
worthy was the attention to the costume and set details – the film took place in the mid-70s, and they did a
fine job of really getting that seventies free wheelin’, bell-bottom feel down ala “Summer of Sam” or “Dazed
and Confused”.  Of course the film has been Hollywood-ized in how the story is gussied up and told, but it
is pretty enjoyable flick.


The Invisible (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

A ghost story movie, only the ghost is of a kid that ain't quite dead and is trying to save his own life. I couldn't
shake that this felt like a Korean film remake for some reason...no reason why though. Maybe it was all the
lurking around and the rainy atmosphere. Anyways, a goofy story, subpar acting, good for wasting time but
that is about it.


Irma la Douce (1963)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A classic Billy Wilder romp, with Jack Lemmon hamming it up in nearly every scene, Shirley MacClaine
falling somewhere between sexy and sassy, and a story that is incredibly silly from start to finish.  Like many
Wilder films it's the supporting cast that are the real stars, and this film is no different - as fine a collection of
fake ruffians and put on whores as you'll ever see.  Hell, even Floyd the barber from the Andy Griffith show
has a small role!  Lou Jacobi also adds a ton of color to the flick.  A great romp well worth viewing.



Iron Giant (1999)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I put this off for a long time, despite rave reviews from critics and friends alike, because I found the animation
off-putting.  Something about the style that didn't sit well with me, but 10 years and a bored evening later,
I went ahead and watched it anyways.  I still wasn't crazy about the animation, but it was a great story that
seemed like it would be just as entertaining for adults as it probably is for kids.  Seemed like the writers did a
great job of conveying the cold war past of this country and intermingling it with a classic sc-fi feel that made
the film come across like it might have been made in the sixties.



The Island (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Given that this was Michael Bay making a high-budget sci-fi action thriller, I was expecting much, much
worse.  The concept behind the film – rich folks cloning themselves so that they could later harvest those
parts to help them live longer – was a pretty good one, and well executed.  The previews of this movie led
me to believe it was a Logan’s Run rip-off, and it even felt that way for the first few minutes of the flick until
you figure out what was really going on.  Of course, give that this was intended as a summer blockbuster-
type film, the storyline is incredibly predictable, but the action sequences and Scarlett Johansson’s boobs
made it all seem ok.  Ewan McGregor did a fine job as the lead, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands a
few more of these mindless action films in the future.  This film is like candy – it rots your teeth but it tastes
pretty damn good.


The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
- 7 out of 10 -

This gloriously unapologetic seventies version of the classic H.G. Wells story is in a word: awesome. You've
got bad actors in terrible costumes actually fighting with real live animals – tigers, lion, jackals, bears, you
name it. You've got Michael York and Burt Lancaster giving some of the cheesiest performances of their
careers. And maybe most importantly, you have Barbara Carrera looking ultra-mega-crazy hot. Really, you'd
be a fool not to watch this goofy-ass movie.


Island of the Dead (2000)
 - 3 out of 10 -

When you decide to make a movie about a swarm of killer flies, the end result is a bunch of people standing
around swatting at their face while you hear a buzzing sound.  Brilliant idea, guys.  Can't believe Mos Def
agreed to be in this film, though sadly I CAN believe Malcolm McDowell did...



It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)
- 3 out of 10 -

The closing line from this movie is “Another name for Mars is 'Death'.” Sadly, another name for this movie is
“Boring”. It's almost commendable that they managed to make a movie about a monster from Mars slowly
killing off the staff of a space ship this incredibly slow and uninteresting.



The Italian Job (1969)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Let it be noted that (a) I liked the remake of this film even though (b) the two of them were almost nothing
alike.  That said, this movie blows that one out of the water.  Which should come as no surprise, as this is
almost always the case with remakes, but it has to be stated anyways.  But it’s kinda silly to even note though,
because as I said, they are truly two totally different films.

This whole thing is kinda like a comedic version of James Bond to me.  Tons of style, it just oozes out…the
cars, the girls, the dress, this was an obvious touchstone for the Austin Powers movies.  Did I mention the girls? 
So hot!  The story is about a caper, as they always are, thieves stealing money but are somehow portrayed as
the good guys because they are taking the money from even worse people than them.  The whole film zips
along quickly and before you even know it, it’s over.  Also, it has Benny Hill in it, which makes it automatically
awesome.  Also, in case I forgot to mention it…hot girls in this film as well.



Jackass Number Two (2006)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

I’m not entirely sure how you review a film full of pranks with absolutely no unifying theme to it other than
causing others pain…you either like it or you don’t.  if you like this sort of revelry, the Jackass crew really
steps things up for the sequel – it’s grosser, more painful and a lot funnier than it’s predecessor.  Part of
this is probably due to more money in the coffers from which to make more elaborate pranks, and this
also allows them to film more material and really carve it down to just the best stuff (in fact, on the DVD
there is nearly an entire films worth of additional footage that is pretty damn good as well and worth
seeking out).  Anyways, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shield your balls at all times after enjoying this
compilation of tomfoolery.


Jackass 2.5 (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

Instead of including this odds-n-sods collection of failed stunts and b-roll material on the DVD for their
last Jackass film, they decided to release it as “Jackass 2.5” instead. This might have been a sound
business decision, bringing in a little more scratch, bit there really isn't anything outstanding enough
here to warrant a separate release. Sure, there were some funny skits and the commentary was enter-
taining but for my dollar I'd rather just buy a deluxe version of one of the other films and include this
footage there.



The Jacket (2005)
- 5 out of 10 -

I don't know why watching this film made me think of "Jacob's Ladder" - maybe it was because I would
have rather been watching it. They both have that same kind of institutionalized suspense feel to them,
and the whole war vet thing, but that's where the similarities stop. The whole idea of being locked in a
morgue drawer and going into the future and changing what happens in the past - it's not just convoluted
and assinine, it's boring. But at least Keira Knightley is in it looking hot and distracting you from that
goofy plot, so there's something. A score of 5 is generous here, but I actually finished the whole damn
thing so I guess that's got to count for something.


Jackie Brown (1996)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Not a bad movie by any means, and probably worth watching for the comical sex scene between Robert
DeNiro and Bridget Fonda and/or Samuel L. Jackson’s hair alone.  But it’s missing that extra bit of style
or flair that has made all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies (both before and after) so much more fun to watch. 
It’s a decent story and well acted, but just not a particularly exciting movie.  However, I’m pretty certain that
QT was going for that 70’s crime caper feel, and pulled it off well, but he forgot to put his stamp on the
genre, and that’s the biggest problem.


Jack the Bear (1993)
- 6 out of 10 -

I watched this because it is set in Oakland, hoping to recognize some locations, but outside of a mention
of the A's winning the World Series (this was set during their mid-70s dynasty), there was nothing really
Oakland-specific about the film. As for the movie itself, it's quite depressing really – mom dies; dad is a
drunk taking care of the kids alone; there is a kidnapping; a dog gets killed; really, the laughs are endless.
Not one you feel good about at the end, but not terrible either.



Jarhead (2005)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

This book and film got a lot of flack from right-wing nutjobs for portraying the Marines and U.S. in a bad
light, which never really made sense to me.  The whole thing was presented from the beginning as one
man’s memoirs of a fucked up time in his life – obviously things are going to be colored in his favor, it’s
not a history book, partiality is to be expected.  But this review isn’t about those people; it’s about a movie,
and a damn entertaining one at that.  Going in, I had read and loved the book so my hopes were pretty
high, and this pretty well lived up to the hype my mind had created.  The film followed the book quite well,
which is always a concern in these situations.  The only real WTF moment came near the end when in
celebration the soldiers all began firing their weapons in the air as if it were the wild west…highly unlikely. 
Everyone did a great job, especially Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhal, and even if you thought the film was
crap it was great to look at. 


Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I put off watching this goofy flick for years because I always heard it was terrible. I suppose in a lot of
ways it is – the story is absurd, the acting piss poor, and I'm not positive Kevin Smith did any directing
at all. But to quote Jay – fuck all that shit, this film is the bomb. Sometimes this kind of retardation is
just what the doctor ordered. I laughed, a lot, and goddammit that is good enough for me.



Jerry Maguire (1996)
 - 5 out of 10 -

You had me at "cheeseball love story disguised as a sports movie."  

I put off watching this for years - 9, by my count - and now that I finally got around to seeing this, all I can
say is "meh".  Tom Cruise is always irritating, and doesn't let me down here; Renee Zellweger is always
creepy, and doesn't let me down here; there is the prototypical "cute kid" with a sassy mouth that makes
the heartlan moms go "aww"; and this film further confirms that Cameron Crowe is one of the most over-
rated directors working today - not that his work is bad, but it certainly isn't worthy of the high praise it
generally gets.  All that said, Cuba Gooding Jr. was quite good here, and pretty much the only thing that
kept me watching this heap.  

What's more dumbfounding than the movie itself is that it continually pops up lists of "greatest sports
movies" for reasons I can't ascertain.  THIS ISN'T A SPORTS MOVIE.  There may be sports in it, but it
isn't the defining factor of the film, that would be the goofball love story.  



Jersey Girl (2004)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This movie started out so badly that for me to even give it a 5 is saying a lot about the last 2/3rds of the
film.  Man meets woman, they get married and pregnant and when the kid comes the mom dies, leaving
the man to raise his daughter alone.  The mother is played by Jennfer Lopez, and it might be the only time
I rooted for a mother to die in child birth.  

There are a few comedic moments in the film, mostly because of Stephen Root's brief appearances, but
mostly it was a "sweet" film, or at least that was his intention.  The little girl who plays his daughter was
pretty good outside of the fact that she was in 1st grade and talked like an adult - it was like the early stages
of "Dawson's Creek Syndrome".  But she was extremely cute and helped offset Ben Affleck's ham-fisted
acting.  What happened to this guy?  It seems more and more obvious that his performances in Dazed &
Confused and Good Will Hunting were the flukes in his otherwise terrible career.

Now that i think about it, 5 is probably too high, as there really wasn't enough Stephen Root to justify that.  
So consider it a very weak rating of 5.


Johnny Dangerously (1984)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I'm not entirely sure how I missed seeing this flick for so long - directed by Amy Heckerling and starring
Michael Keaton when he was on top of the world, it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be at least okay.  Turns
out it's damn funny - full of sight gags and slap stick, it feels like a live-action cartoon much of the time. 
And certainly Marilu Henner looking pretty goddamn hot doesn't hurt things.  Dom Deluise, Danny Devito
and even Dick Butkus all have small cameos...even Alan Hale aka "The Skipper" from "Gilligan's Island"
makes a brief appearance.  No "lil' buddy" though. 


Jonah Hex (2010)
 - 6 out of 10 -

The film was universally panned by critics, and maybe it was my low expectations...but I mostly liked it.  It's
not a good movie, but I found it to be a fairly interesting and exciting movie, and it's so short you don't get a
chance to get tired of it.  I mean, he shoots pistol crossbows with dynamite as ammo!  And double gatlin
guns attached to a horse!  these are things relative to my interests.  Josh Brolin makes a great grizzled
cowboy/bounty hunter, Megan Fox is pretty much there for pointless hotness (really the only reason to keep
her around), and John Malkovich is unparalleled as a demented villain, as always.  I'm not saying give it any
awards, but it's a fun, enjoyable movie. 



Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Think of every possible contrived cliche that you've ever seen in a summer blockbuster-type film...and pile
them all into one cheeseball, action-packed two hours of stupidity and ridiculousness.  Of course, any film
like this has to star Brendan Fraser, as per Hollywood Bad Movie Code PR129504.34006.



Joysticks (1983)
- 4 out of 10 -

It is almost admirable that the filmmakers behind this film managed to make it so boring, given that it en-
tirely revolved around early 80's video games, boobs, and Joe Don Baker. Sounds like a recipe for a hit
right? But no, outside of the gratuitous boob and beaver shots, there ain't a lot going on here. Maybe if they
would have had more “Frogger” footage...the boobs were nice though, I ain't going to lie.  There just need-
ed to be either more boobs or an actual story....


Julie & Julia (2009)
 - 6 out of 10 -

The tale of two movies - the story of Julia Childs' beginnings coupled with the tale of a loser girl blogging
about working her way through Julia's cook book.  The Childs portion was pretty entertaining and well
acted, but it didn't take long to get bored of the more modern story about a girl trying to get a life through
blogging and cooking. 


Jumper (2008)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

I'm probably rating this film much higher than it should be just because teleportation has always been my
top choice in the "what superpower would you pick" hypothetical game.  I'm not sure if my love of Night-
crawler from the X-Men created this love, or my love of the power made me gravitate towards Nightcrawler,
but either way, what a rad super power.  This movie is pretty much just a bunch of teleportation fantasy with
a wee bit of plot scattered throughout.  that plot is basically teleportation kids versus teleportation hunters,
which is presented as some battle that goes back to the beginning of time.  No one cares, just keep zapping
around.  More importantly, Rachel Bilson is in the movie looking hot as ever. 



Junebug (2005)
 - 7.5 out of 10  -

Any film shot in North Carolina, that is actually about North Carolinians is certain to draw my attention; so
often these films saddle every character with the prototypical southern stereotype nonsense, and
give them
all that Texas cowboy hick drawl – cause you know, all of the south sounds the same.  Most
people don’t
realize that not only are there many dialect differences throughout the south, but in NC
alone you can come
across three major distinct styles of speech (and countless minor ones).  Now,
this sort of thing is always
inconsequential to anyone not from the area film is about – for example, I
couldn’t tell you what an authentic
Creole accent sounds like.  But as I was born, raised and attended
school all across North Carolina my
ears automatically prick up at the prospect of some filmmaker
giving his take on what we sound like.  And
I am pleased to report that Phil Morrison has done the
state proud.  I can’t say that I know who the guy is
myself, but given that he directed a documentary
on Superchunk it would lead me to believe he may be
from our fair state himself, given him a little
inside track on how to sound “North Carolinian”. 

But all that aside, the real question is – is the movie worth a shit?  My answer is – yes, quite.  The gist of
this flick is a native son returns home from his new home in Chicago with his big city girlfriend, and
she
gets to experience the unique charms and eccentricities that his family provide.  A fish out of water
thing,
which obviously turns out a-ok in the end, but it’s a nice ride along the way.  Former Hooters
employee Amy
Adams was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as the pregnant
sister of the prod-
igal son, and she is fabulous in the role…she embodies half of the women I grew up
around fantastically, it
was a little frightening actually.  All told a good, sweet film that most folks will like
and won’t embarrass us
North Carolinians.


Junior Bonner (1972)
- 6 out of 10 -

For a Sam Peckinpah film starring Steve McQueen that is supposed to be about the lonely life of the
rodeo rider, this movie came off feeling a bit...silly. Not that it wasn't enjoyable – given the subject matter
and the actors involved, it would have been impossible to make a wholly terrible flick – but I suppose for
some reason I went into the film expecting something with a little more gravitas.


Jurassic Park III (2001)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I'm sure Sam Neill and William H. Macy enjoyed spending the money they earned from this pile, but good
lord they can't feel good about it.  The first Jurassic Park sequel was barely tolerable, but this is just out and
out awful.  It's amazing how dated the special effects already look on these films, but bad special effects
coupled with an awful story isn't to anyone's benefit. 



Just Like Heaven (2005)
 - 1 out of 10 -

This really deserves a zero, but I guess Reese Witherspoon's cuteness is just enough to bump this up one
notch.  It took about 15 minutes to realize this movie was assinine beyond all reasonable thresholds.  It really
begs the question why Reese and Mark Ruffalo would stoop to such levels, but I guess everyone needs a
paycheck and maybe there were no other good offers on the table.


Kansas City Bomber (1972)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Far and away the greatest roller derby movie ever made starring Raquel Welch, and good lord is she ever
hot in it.  Honestly, now that I think about it, it's really the only important part of the film.  Yeah, typical plot
about a woman trying to make it in the world, being treated differently (and taken advantage of) because of
her looks, she triumphs over evil in the end.  Seriously though, Raquel is just crazy hot in the movie, you'll be
transfixed to her and not be able to stop watching.  Also: look for a young Jodie Foster playing Raquel's
daughter.  That damn woman has been acting since she was a fetus.



The Karate Kid (1984)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Do I seriously need to justify the awesomeness of this movie?  Wax on, wax off…the crane kick…”sweep
the leg Johnny”…Pat fuckin’ Morita?  I, too, let my feelings wane on this one...once upon a time it was a very
favorite of mine,  and not unlike most kids I spent some time emulating it in my childhood.  But a recent re-
watching told me something – yes, it’s just as awesome as ever.  And god! That Elizabeth Shue, how she
filled my dreams for years and years.  Between this and Adventures in Babysitting I see no reason why she
hasn’t gotten a star on the walk of fame yet and a lifetime achievement award from the academy.


Kick-Ass (2010)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I'm going to be the first person to ever say this - "Kick-Ass" really...kicked ass.  The story, the cast, the special
effects, Nic Cage's hairline...this comic-book-nerd-meets-action-film really fires on all cylinders.  Chloe Moretz
looks like a surefire star, at least until she becomes a weird looking adult like most child actors.  And I'm sure
Cage is excited to have at least one movie on his resume over the last ten years that isn't considered an
abomination. 



Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996)
- 7 out of 10 -

If for nothing else, this film deserves a high rating for the “I'm Gay!” song Scott Thompson sings even if the rest
of it was rubbish. As you might expect, when clip show folks try to stretch their ideas into feature-length films, the
outcome can often end up feeling a little stretched thin; but luckily, given the talent involved with the Kids in the
Hall crew these moments are short lived and before you know it one of the members is dressed as a lady and
you're laughing again.


Kill Your Idols (2002)
- 6 out of 10 -

A documentary on New York City underground music, focusing heavily on the no-wave scene of the late 70s/
early 80s and the modern version of that same scene, with the requisite footage of the old schoolers putting
down the new kids on the block. Even though they were often right, it came off as crabby old men for the most
part. They could have just let the music speak for itself, because all of the old no-wave footage was light years
ahead of what is being put out now (mostly).



Killers from Space (1954)
- 1 out of 10 -

Ah, the halcyon days when you could make a space alien movie and absolutely nothing happens at any point in
the film. There is a reason this got the MST3K treatment, but it was so damn boring they almost didn't have any-
thing to work with.


The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This is a movie about...killing a Chinese bookie, obviously.  No, as a John Cassavetes film it's much more
about the characters than the plot devices, and this movie is 100% about Cosmo Vitelli, a strip club owner
who tries to be a good guy but can't ignore the allure of gambling.  Just as he gets on his feet, he steps in
grease and lands on his ass again.  Cosmo is played superbly by Ben Gazzera in one of the finest perform-
ances of his career.  It also doesn't hurt that there are a lot of hot naked 1970s ladies sprinkled throughout
the flick. 



King Arthur (2004)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -
 
Not the best telling of the King Arthur tale - which would obviously be a tie between Monty Python's The Holy
Grail and the animated Disney feature The Sword in the Stone - but entertaining enough I suppose.  It gives a
bit more historical background than the typical version of this story, the action scenes are great, and there's a
great doom-
n-gloom look to the whole affair that makes it enjoyable to watch.  Yeah, I wasn't buying Keira
Knightley
as a sure shot archer and warrior either, but she's so damn cute I'll try and look past it.  Clive Owen
played the same stone-faced, stoic character he almost always plays but he's damn good at it so why mess
around?  A little slow at times, but an entertaining film for sure.


King Corn (2007)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Surprisingly interesting & effective documentary about the state corn production (and farming as a whole)
in America.  Joe Schmo generally thinks “grow corn, harvest corn, sell corn” but it infinitely more compli-
cated than that.  Subsidies, ethanol production, the high fructose corn syrup lobby, and countless other
issues pop up when crops are grown in the States.  It's pretty eye-opening actually - not just of the struggle
of the farmer, but the immense amount of bureaucracy involved with something as simple as growing
some food. 



King of Blue Grass (2003)
- 5 out of 10 -

This is the story of Jimmy Martin, a bluegrass artist who has been playing gigs since the 40’s or 50’s or
one of those decades that happened a long time ago.  According to interviews on this, he was a real
innovator with his guitar playing style and in teaming with the legendary Bill Monroe they introduced a
style of bluegrass that was really able to cross over into the mainstream country world and draw in
thousands of new listeners.  Despite all of this, Martin has still never been invited on the Grand Ole Opry
as a regular, which is essentially considered to be the “hall of fame” for these type of musicians.  Like
his music or not, it’s pretty obvious he belongs there amongst his peers and this is a major oversight on
the part of the committee behind the selection process.

All that said, this is a pretty ho-hum documentary for the most part – the music is good, and Martin is a
fairly interesting character, but something about it was too dry, too boring, and ultimately not very enjoyable. 
I’m not sure what really could have fixed it, perhaps making it shorter, a different style of direction…whatever
the case, it could have been much better.


The King of Kong (2007)
- 9 out of 10 -

A classic villain/hero story set in the slow-moving world of competitive video gaming. Steve Wiebe, a mild-
mannered father of two decides to try to break the world Donkey Kong record set in the early 80's. Problem
is, the current title holder is a real douche who clings to his youthful glory and works hard to thwart Wiebe's
efforts. You have to love a film where a place called “The Funspot" in Lake Winnapausaukee, NH, plays a
pivotal role. You also have to love the villain; his hair and ego are epic. This is a fun, well made doc that
explores a geekily bizarre video gaming subculture. (Chelsea Junget)


The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This was a weird fuckin' movie, about as "seventies" as you could possibly imagine.  There's a DJ with a
grifter brother and they go to Atlantic City with some trampy women and a lot of shenanigans go on but god
knows what any of it really was.  But it's worth watching because both Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern turn
in great performances, Ellen Burstyn is great as always (and kinda hot back in those days), and there is
something mesmerizing about the living decay that was Atlantic City in those days.  Not that it is all that
much better now, but there is something about the NY/NJ area in the seventies and early eighties that
sucks me in like few other locations. 



King of New York (1990)
- 7 out of 10 -

Despite David Caruso being a feature player in this film, the awesomeness of casting Christopher
Walken as a mob boss was a brilliant move and one that should have hopefully earned some casting
director not only accolades but a fat bonus check at the end of the year.  He made what would have
otherwise been a poor-to-average gangsta flick into something worth noticing.  He’s helped along with
nice turns by Steve Buscemi and Laurence Fishburne as his co-conspirators and Wesley Snipes as one
of the cops out to get him (and Snipes almost overacts more than Walken…almost).  Director Abel
Ferrara has always had a special talent with the camera, and the cinematography here is no exception –
good stuff all around, especially in the last 20 minutes when everything goes nuts.  This is highly recom-
mended for Walken alone, but worth seeing overall just for being a decent film.


King of Ping Pong (2007)
- 4 out of 10 -

I'm not sure I “got” this...an unpopular fat kid in a desolate part of Sweden is fascinated with ping pong. But
he's not really any good at it, no one likes him, his mom is weird, and, well, that was it really.



King of the Hill (1993)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I loved loved LOVED this book when I read it in high school (or was it 8th grade? somewhere around
there), and I remember how excited I was when they made it into a movie.  How rarely do they get adap-
tations right?  Not very...but luckily, Steven Soderbergh was spot on in this case.  The book/film deals
with one of my very favorite subjects, the Great Depression, but through the unique lens of a child dealing
with it all on his own - his mother is sick and residing in a santorium, his father is a salesman who is
constantly on the road, and he is living in a run-down hotel room in a sketchy part of St. Louis. I recently
got the chance to rewatch this lovely piece of cinema, and it stands up just as well as it did the first time I
saw it.  In a lot of ways it reminds me of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun", in how it explores a well
known subject through the eyes of a minor, giving very different insight than what most are used to seeing.  
I highly recommend both this film and the book...as a matter of fact, I might need to read the book again
myself it was so enjoyable. 


The Kingdom (2007)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

An American housing facility in Saudi Arabia is bombed and a team of Americans investigate it. Not
terrible really, but it felt like a big budget movie-length version of a prime time detective show and not
much like cinema.



Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
 - 6.5 out of 10 - 


As a general rule, I love a good gang flick - and what makes for a better setting than religion?  For all
intents and purposes, they're not really that much different from gangs...intimidation, promises of pro-
tections if you pay them, murder, thievery...etc.  Tihis particular film deals with one of christianity's
greatest attrocities, the crusades.  

To the film's benefit, they do a good job of making both the Muslims and the Christians look generally
like morons, so that's something.  Orlando Bloom does a decent job as the "hero", as unbelievable of
a character as it is.  And the film is really great to look at, as you expect out of most Tony Scott films.  
But the most impressive reason to watch this is for the battle scenes, even if they do get a little over-
zealous with the CGI blood.  

I liked this well enough...but mostly I just remembered how much I dislike religion. 



Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)
 - 4 out of 10 -

When William Shatner is the best actor in the cast, you've got problems.  Even better, his character's name
was "Rack Hansen".  Basically, this is a bad B movie about some killer spiders taking over a town.  This
needs the MST3K treatment as badly as any film has ever needed it.  To their credit, they didn't give us the
"happy" ending where there are a handful of resourceful survivors winning out over the deadly arachnids...
no, everyone either gets killed or it's clear they ain't lasting long. 



Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -
 
I’m trying to think, and off the top of my head I can’t recall a “comedy noir” as effective as “Kiss Kiss Bang
Bang”.  Combine a murder mystery, an off-kilter narration, some nice boobs, a few decent action scenes,
and a lot of witty one-liners and it might come out something like this flick.  It’s one of those weird movies
where the lead in the film (Robert Downey Jr) addresses the camera like he is talking to the audience
and it doesn’t seem off.  Val Kilmer does a nice job playing a character called “Gay Perry” and there is
even a Corbin Bernsen sighting!  I can’t say that I really had any expectations one way or another when I
decided to watch this, other than maybe be entertained for a couple of hours, but this was exceedingly
more entertaining than I ever would have hoped.  


Kitchen Stories (2003)
- 7 out of 10 -

This film is the very definition of cute and quirky – set in the 1950s, a group of Swedish researchers set
about studying the kitchen usage patterns of single Norwegian males. The story is so absurd that it must be
based on a true story, cause I have no idea how you would come up with a film idea like this out of the blue.
Anyways, there ain't really a lot to say on it...interesting characters, capable story, nice scenery – an all
around good movie.



Kontroll (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This Hungarian film follows the exploits of a group of ticket inspectors and the daily problems they
encounter, all set to an upbeat electronic soundtrack as only the Europeans could pull off and not
make me want to gag.  Surly passengers, fare skippers, loopy subway drivers, and even serial killers
are all on the menu for our "heroes" to tackle, so to speak.  And by tackle, I of course mean fail mis-
erably at doing their jobs - that is except Bulcsu, the leader of this rogue band.  The whole film very
much had a modern day wild west feel to it, a posse of "lawmen" trying to keep the peace in a town
where no law exists.  It's not that special of a film, and I'm honestly having trouble recalling much detail
at this point, but I definitely enjoyed the film when I watched it.