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Reviews
(just scroll down to read)
Lackawanna Blues (7/10)
Lacombe, Lucien (6.5/10)
Ladder 49 (4/10)
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (7/10)
Lady in the Water (5/10)
Lady Vengeance (7.5/10)
Lake Dead (3/10)
LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton (8/10)
Land of the Dead (6/10)
The Land That Time Forgot (5/10)
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (5/10)
Lars and the Real Girl (6/10)
Laserblast (4/10)
The Last American Hero (7/10)
The Last Hangman (6.5/10)
Last House on the Left (5/10)
The Last Just Man (10/10)
The Last Picture Show (10/10)
The Last Samurai (7/10)
The Last Waltz (9/10)
The Last Winter (5/10)
Laura (5/10)
Law Abiding Citizen (6/10)
Le Cercle Rouge (7/10)
Le Doulos (7/10)
A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (6.5/10)
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (5/10)
Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (7/10)
Lethal Weapon (8/10)
Let’s Go To Prison (5.5/10)
Letters from Iwo Jima (7.5/10)
Levelland (6.5/10)
Liam (7.5/10)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (8/10)
Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling (4/10)
Little Children (8/10)
Little Miss Sunshine (6.5/10)
A Little Trip To Heaven (6/10)
Live Free or Die Hard (7/10)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (8.5/10)
Lock Up (6.5/10)
The Long Green Line (6/10)
Long Weekend (5/10)
The Longest Yard (8/10)
Longford (4/10)
The Lookout (7.5/10)
Lord of War (7/10)
Lords of Dogtown (7/10)
the Losers (6/10)
The Lost City (6.5/10)
Lost Souls (4/10)
Love the Hard Way (7/10)
The Lovely Bones (6/10)

Machine Gun Kelly (5.5/10)
The Machinist (7/10)
The Mack (6/10)
Mad Dog Morgan (6/10)
Made in Britain (8/10)
Madman (4/10)
Mad Max (8/10)
Major League (10/10)
Major League 2 (5/10)
Major League 3: Back to the Minors (3/10)
The Malibu Bikini Shop (3/10)
Malibu Shark Attack (2/10)
Mallrats (8/10)
Malone (4/10)
A Man Apart (5/10)
Man on Fire (7/10)
Man on the Moon (6/10)
Man on Wire (7/10)
March of the Penguins (8/10)
Marie Antoinette (4/10)
The Marine (5/10)
The Mark of Cain (7/10)
Mark of the Devil (3/10)
Master and Commander (7/10)
The Matador (8/10)
Matchpoint (7/10)
Max (6.5/10)
Max Payne (6/10)
Maxed Out (6.5/10)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (7/10)
Mean Girls (8/10)
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (3/10)
Melinda and Melinda (6/10)
Memories of Murder (8/10)
The Messengers (6/10)
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (7.5/10)
Meteor (2/10)
Metro (4/10)
Miami Vice (5/10)
Midnight Meat Train (7/10)
The Mighty Celt (7/10)
Miller’s Crossing (9/10)
Million Dollar Baby (9/10)
Millions (7.5/10)
Mindhunters (5/10)
Miracle (6/10)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (7/10)
Mr. Baseball (6.5/10)
Mr. Deeds (4/10)
Mister Lonely (5/10)
Mr. Majestyk (7/10)
Mr. 3000 (6/10)
Mr. Untouchable (6/10)
Mr. Woodcock (5/10)
Mistrial (5.5/10)
Mona Lisa (7/10)
Mongol (8/10)
Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback (8/10)
Monsters vs Aliens (7/10)
The Motel (7/10)
Motel Hell (5/10)
The Mummy (6/10)
The Mummy Returns (5.5/10)
Mutant Chronicles (7/10)
My Life Without Me (7/10)
My Name Is Bruce (4/10)
Mysterious Skin (7/10)

The Nanny Diaries (2/10)
Napoleon Dynamite (8/10)
National Treasure (6.5/10)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (5/10)
The Natural (10/10)
Ned Kelly (6.5/10)
Neil Hamburger: The Show Must Go Off! (7/10)
Neo Ned (6/10)
New Jersey Drive (5/10)
The New World (7/10)
New York Doll (7/10)
Next (3.5/10)
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (7.5/10)
Nico Icon (3/10)
Night and the City (6/10)
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (4/10)
Night of the Comet (6/10)
95 Miles To Go (7/10)
No Good Deed (6.5/10)
Nobody Knows (8.5/10)
Noi Albinoi (6/10)
North Country (6.5/10)



Lackawanna Blues (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Seemingly based on a true story, this simple movie is the tale of one woman in upstate New York who tries
to make the world a better place by helping out the people around her, one at a time.  This character “Nanny”
played by S. Epatha Merkerson (of Law & Order fame) runs a boarding house full of a cast of characters that
all play some small part in the film, and are played by a myriad of popular folks like Jimmy Smits, Macy Gray,
Delroy Lindo, and many more.  The film is toldfrom the point-of-view of a young boy raised by Nanny and
growing up in these rich environs.  In a lot of ways the whole production feels like a play, a style I usually don’t
go for but works well in this case.  There’s no great story or lesson here other than folks should look after one
another maybe, but the film is successful nonetheless…it is very enjoyable to watch, engaging, well acted, and
certainly worth checking out.


Lacombe, Lucien (1974)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Good, not great Louis Malle film about an easily influenced goon-like teenager joining with the Nazis and
ratting out the French resistance and generally being an asshole.  Obviously, he picked the wrong side.  It's
interesting seeing the transformation of this unsure kid into a pompous jackass forcing himself on people and
not realizing how hated he is.  It's a well made movie, and I've never had a problem with anti-heroes, but the
lead is so unlikeable that it makes it tough at times not to just wish for his death and hope the film over. 



Ladder 49 (2004)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I hate both John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix (still pissed he’s playing Johnny Cash, even if he does kinda
look like him - he can’t act his way out of a wet paper bag), so I wasn’t really surprised when this turned out to
be a tepid pile of crap.  But since I was stuck on a plane, I finished the whole thing – I would have surely turned
it off if I was watching this at home.  I will give them credit for one thing, they managed to really spread around
the crappy writing, acting, and directing throughout the whole movie.  I usually like firefighter movies, and the
actual firefighting scenes in this film were the only redeemable quality; unfortunately, they were few and far
between.  The rest of the film was one tired cliché piled on another, and just when you think they couldn’t
possibly make it any more by-the-books they somehow find a way.


Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1982)
 - 7 out of 10 -

The movie might only be a 4 or a 5, but Diane Lane is a 10, hence the score.  It's a fake documentary
(though I wouldn't call it a "mockumentary" as that title makes you think it might be funny, and it ain't) about a
group of girls playing some sort of folk/punk/glam hybrid music that become overnight sensations.  The story
was fine enough, the music was decent, and the backline of the Clash were in one of the bands, but none of
that really matters...all that really matters is how ungodly hot Diane Lane was in this film.  I'm talking a strong
contender for "hottest woman of all time" territory. 



Lady in the Water (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

I get that this was supposed to be fantasy, a fairy tale for adults if you will...but that doesn't explain why they
had to make Bryce Dallas Howard so creepy that I could barely stand to look at the TV screen anytime she
was on it. The story, while interesting in a very basic sense, was way too convoluted with unnecessary
details for a film of this length – they presented a mini-series story line in a two-hour film. It's not a terrible
film, just a little over-ambitious for it's own good.


Lady Vengeance (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

The third film in Chan-wook Park's “vengeance” trilogy, and just as strong as the other two. This cat really
understands how to spin a yarn, and easily one of the best filmmakers working today. Though the flick
certainly contains violence, this is by far the most “poetic” of the three movies...both the script and the
cinematography work at a slightly higher level than the other two films, even if I might have liked those
other stories slightly more. The star of the film, Yeong-ae Lee, is excellent throughout...this is the most
recent feature she has been in, hopefully she gets a lot more work in the near future as she has a bright
future.


Lake Dead (2007)
 - 3 out of 10 -

Hot, trampy girls; murderous, inbred hicks; completely unbelievable murder scenes...sound familiar?  It's
probably because if you are like me, you've seen this same film a thousand times.  I actually fell asleep at
some point, woke up, and hadn't really missed anything (except maybe some boobie scenes, though I was
watching it on scifi channel so they would have been removed anyways). 



LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton (2001)
- 8 out of 10 -

This is a very powerful documentary illuminating how little things have changed for impoverished African-
Americans living in the deep south since the days of sharecropping. The details of how the cotton industry
has single-handedly ruined generations of lives could fill hundreds of pages and certainly more than one 90
minute documentary, but this film does a fantastic job of setting the table for understanding how we could
have so many folks living in third world conditions within our very own border. Everyone should make an
effort to see this oscar-nominated feature...and perhaps as we understand more about what causes these
problems, we can maybe actually do something to make things better.



Land of the Dead (2005)
 - 6 out of 10 -

In George Romero's fourth installment, we find a world where living with the zombies has become a part of
life - there is a walled and guarded city where the healthy live, with two distinct classes of people living within
those walls  - the rich, who live in a skyscraper full of all the luxuries of life; and the poor, who dwell in the
streets, scraping and fighting for their own little piece of the world.  Romero was no doubt trying to create
some fictionalized version of the world as we know it, trying to make a statement about the injustices of life...
which is all fine and good, but I'm guessing most folks just wanted to see some zombie ass-kicking.  And
there was some of that, with the opening scene and subsequent zombie assault on the walled city, but there
was way too much non-zombie time, and that's why it gets the low score.  Cause all the zombie times are
great, but there just ain't enough of them. 


The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
- 5 out of 10 -

It's a tale of two movies - you couldn't possibly rate this higher than a zero when it comes to the acting and
directing, but it gets a full ten in the crappy animatronic dinosaur category, a category most films sadly tend
to ignore.


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Angelina Jolie doing a fake British accent and Daniel Craig doing a fake American accent...I'll let you guess
which one manages to sound reasonable.  The plot of this movie is beyond stupid and barely comprehensible,
but there is some decent action and Jolie in tight outfits and I'm pretty sure that is all that mattered to the pro-
ducers. 



Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

A movie about a socially awkward man who falls in love with a “real doll”, that somehow pulls off creepy and
sweet at the same time. Though, a lot more of the creepy than the sweet really. Ryan Gosling does a great
job as the introverted Lars, and the highly underrated Paul Schneider does good work playing his brother.
Still, with all that said, it wasn't a film that held my interest as well as I was expecting from the plot outline.
Not a bad film by any measure, just a little wide of the bullseye, and in ways I can't really put into words. It
just seemed a hair off.


Laserblast (1978)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Definitely a "so bad it's good" sort of film.  It could be the awful special effects, it could be that I watched it
via MST3K, but my gut tells me the main reason this movie is so appealing is that super geek Eddie
Deezen is not only in the film, but he plays a bully.  A BULLY!!!


The Last American Hero (1973)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Somewhat true story on the birth of Junior Johnson as a legendary NASCAR driver, starting with his days
running moonshine, to small town racing and then the big show.  Junior is played a by a young and able
Jeff Bridges, who really owns the part of a good ol' boy who wants to go fast.  Also features a young Gary
Busey before he went insane and a less young Ned Beatty just on the heels of his being told to squel like
a pig. 



The Last Hangman (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Tomothy Spall has never gotten his due as being a fantastic actor. I'm guessing this is mostly due to
him being British and not very attractive, but neither of those facts make a difference...the man is able
to consistently and brilliantly transform himself to nearly any role. In this case, that role is of the “last”
hangman in the UK before they abolished the death penalty (or at the very least, hanging as the primary
method of getting it done). Honestly, the plot/story here is fairly dry and mediocre, but Spall is so great
it's worth a viewing should you happen to catch it on somewhere.


Last House on the Left (2008)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I still remember seeing Wes Craven's original version of this film and being genuinely creeped out.  But
this...this is more "revenge porn" than anything else.  Don't get me wrong, that one dude from "Deadwood"
and that other dude from "Breaking Bad" make a nice pair of film villains, but they aren't scary at all - just
mean.  Thumbs up to Sara Paxton, the main victim of the film - extremely cute girl and a mediocre actress,
which means she will probably get far in Hollywood.



The Last Just Man (2002)
 - 10 out of 10 -

There is no possible way for words to do justice this documentary…powerful doesn’t quite cut it.  It tells
the story of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 from the point-of-view of the Canadian general who oversaw
the UN “peace keeping” mission, with interviews from locals who lived through the atrocities.  The stuff
they say will stick with you for a long time; 800,000 people slain in 100 days, mostly by machetes; the
condemned were paying their murderers to make their death quick; tales of rape, of women being “split
open”…I’m a pretty detached person, but even I was upset after seeing and hearing about it.  Almost as
upsetting was the UN’s response, which was very much responsible for many of those deaths due to an
inability and wariness for action after the Somalian war that happened not long before.  This is an in-
credibly important film that everyone should see, and a primary example as to why I love the documentary
genre so much.



The Last Picture Show (1971)
- 10 out of 10 -

After having just finished reading the book, I can say that without a doubt this is not only one of the best
adaptations of all time, but one of the best films period (certainly in my top 5).  Peter Bogdanovich’s
ability to appropriately capture the feelings of despair and loss in a small Texas town is nothing short of
miraculous, and breaks me up a little bit every time I watch it (and that’s been a lot of times over the years).

The cast is tremendous, with Ben Johnson and Ellen Burstyn performing the roles of their lives.  Jeff
Bridges and the Bottoms boys ain’t too shabby either, and that’s not to even mention Cybill Shepherd, who
is as cold and calculating as she is stunningly beautiful.  I can’t recommend this film highly enough, and
good luck finding anything that is much better.



The Last Samurai (2003)
- 7 out of 10 -

I’m pretty sure it was mostly due to low expectations, because I honestly thought this film would suck, but it
was surprisingly decent.  Even Tom “Mr. Scientology” Cruise’s best efforts to screw things up couldn’t change
the fact that the film had a good story and beautiful cinematography to overshadow all the ham acting he
could throw at it.  I’m being a little overly rough, as Cruise wasn’t that bad here, but compared to the rest of
the cast he was definitely sub-par.  Ken Watanabe was quite deserving of his Oscar nod, and not nearly
enough attention was paid to Billy Connoly’s per-formance - he always makes any film he’s in better.  The
movie also had some fantastic battle scenes, and the Japanese armor was just devastating to look at…
makes me wanna go stab someone with a sword in a field of bamboo.



The Last Waltz (1978)
- 9 out of 10 -

Is this the end-all be-all of concert films?  It’s hard to imagine this will ever be topped…a top flight
director in Scorsese, an amazing band in The Band playing their final gig of their career, and more A-list
guest stars than you can even remember without a cheat sheet (Neil Diamond being, of course, the best
of them all).  It’s difficult to imagine anyone ever pulling something off to this magnitude again.  But most
importantly, this is a concert video – and the music, the performance, and the quality of the recording are
all fantastic.


The Last Winter (2006)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This is reminiscent of "The Thing" only a lot less interesting or cohesive...basically, you got a crew of oil
explorers in the arctic slowly going crazy and killing themselves (and each other) due to some manner of un-
explained phenomenon.  Great cast though - Ron Perlman, Kevin Corrigan, James LeGros, and Connie
Britton and Zach Gilford (of "Friday Night Lights") all try their best to keep the turd out of the punchbowl, with
middling results. 


Laura (1944)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I know this film is a classic and I had high hopes, but honestly it was kinda boring.  Sorta noir-ish though
there was way too much talking and not nearly enough lurking around for my tastes.  It might as well have
been a filmed stage play so little happened.  Gene Tierney, who played the title character, was very hot
though...so at least there's that. 


Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
 - 6 out of 10 -

A good old-fashioned revenge movie.  Man loses his wife and child to thugs, thugs don't pay as heavy a
price as the man would like, and he takes things in his own hands.  As with all these movies the man is
some sort of super spy/secret agent/super soldier who cannot be stopped.  In addition to getting even
with the thugs, the revenge seeker also takes out almost everyone affiliated with the thugs getting such a
light sentence.  There ain't nothing special about the acting or story or directing of this flick, but the actual
killings are pretty interesting. 


Le Cercle Rouge (1970)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A french cop-and-robber movie from the seventies, which is gritty and great like many of the US cop-and-
robber movies of the same time, only I had to do a lot more reading.  I don't have anything particularly in-
sightful to say about it, but it's directed by Jean-Pierre Melville which should clearly tell you to watch this
film if you haven't already seen it. 



Le Doulos (1962)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A french noir crime thriller starring Jean-Paul Belmondo...how could this not be fantastic?  The plot is rather
typical of the noir-type thrillers of the age – no clear definition of good guys or bad guys, lots of double
crossing, and cigarettes getting smoked like chimneys.  What makes this flick especially awesome are the
intangible qualities, a “cool” look and feel that almost makes the viewer feel just as rad by transference. 
You may not want to be these characters, but you definitely wish you could look and act as cool as they are. 



A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2004)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Given that the topic is the history of professional bowling, it should come as no surprise that this doc-
umentary comes off a little dry.  I love to bowl myself but I can’t say as it’s a “sport” whose history I dwell on
like with basketball or baseball.  Still, they managed to make this thing fairly entertaining, mostly due to
their focus on some modern legends in the sport and their interaction with the PBA’s new image since it
was recently purchased by new owners trying to revitalize how bowling is perceived.  Ultimately, this flick
was interesting enough to make me want to actually go out and bowl, and I’m guessing the subjects in the
film would be more than happy if this was the end result from all of the viewers.


Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
- 5 out of 10 -

As far as sequels go, this isn't too bad...a little hokey and a lot of bad acting, but I'm guessing that was
to be expected. Really, the main reason to watch this flick is to see Viggo Mortensen play a killer in a
slasher flick before he became a big star. Apparently this version is vastly watered down from the original
intentions of the director, as the studio decided to take most of the gore out of the movie for god knows
what reason. I'm not sure having more grisly deaths would have made this a better film, but it would have
definitely made it more entertaining.



Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth (1998)
 - 7 out of 10 -

If you pair this with Dustin Hoffman’s performance in Lenny, you get what I believe to be a pretty damn
accurate view of what Lenny Bruce must have been like.  Obviously, I’m too young to know too much
about the man without doing a lot of work (which I’m certainly not going to do), but all arrows point to
these portrayals as being fairly accurate.  Not to even get into why Lenny Bruce was great or his story,
which could take forever, let me just say this – whether you are already a fan or have never heard of the
man before, this is a pretty engaging documentary.  If nothing else it gives you a great view into what life
was like at the time, the puritanical values that ruled the land; some folks in power are trying to move us
backwards toward that again nowadays, which makes this film all the more interesting in light of recent
FCC scandals.certainly fans of Lenny Bruce shouldn’t miss this (and probably haven’t), but docu fans in
general should check it.



Lethal Weapon (1987)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Take one veteran cop hoping to coast through to retirement, add in a suicidal rogue cop with a
cute dog, stir with an international drug cartel, and you get the best buddy cop movie of the eighties
probably. See!  A young and hunky Mel Gibson before he turned into a religious nut job.  See!
Danny Glover utter the phrase “I’m too old for this shit” just like he’s done in nearly every movie he’s
been in.  See! Crazy ass Gary Busey being, well, crazy ass Gary Busey.

Seriously though, this film is packed full of great acting and smart writing combined with some
intense and imaginative action scenes; it’s no surprise that it became as famous as it did and
spawned so many sequels (all of which are watchable, but not great).  Along with Die Hard, these
two institutions of Hollywood action films set the standard that tons of films to this day still rip off,
usually poorly, and it’s easy to see why.

Did I mention that crazy ass Gary Busey is in it?  OH man, that’s good stuff there.


Let’s Go To Prison (2006)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

Given that this was directed by Bob Odenkirk, stars Will Arnett and it's about one of my favorite topics (prison),
I may have set my expectations too high on this one. It's not a terrible film or anything, but given the players in-
volved I certainly expected more laughs. Chi McBride has a small role and helps along with the bulk of the laughs
that are in the flick with his Barry-White-in-prison routine, but there aren't too many highlights outside of that.


Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I found this feature to be far superior to the first half of Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima diptych “Flags of Our
Fathers”. The idea of a well known war story being told from the point-of-view of the enemy is an interesting
and criminally under-utilized idea that was done quite well here. It's always great to see things from the other
side, and the way Eastwood portrayed everyone from grunt to general was refreshing. Of course it doesn't
hurt having Ken Watanabe in the lead role, an actor of incredible range. Visually, Letters is probably second
only to “Saving Private Ryan” in how stunning the cinematography comes across.


Levelland (2003)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I’m of two minds here – I think it would be far-fetched to call this a “good” movie, but I did enjoy it some-
what.  This most likely has to do with the fact that it revolves around a group of skateboarders and is
infinitely less shitty than The Skateboard Kid or even Grind.  The acting wasn’t very good and the story
seemed a little too akin to Dawson’s Creek in the wrong way, but the whole endeavor seemed sincere
and there was some decent skating and I never really wanted to throw anything at the TV the whole time,
so those are all plusses.  It would be tough to go so far as recommend this to anyone, but I’m glad I
watched it.



Liam (2000)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I’ve probably said this a thousand times, but any film or TV show set in a prison or during the depression is
like gold to me.  This flick is the tale of a poor family hitting hard times in England prior to WWII, and how these
poor conditions affect each of the family members.  While everyone’s stories and problems are intertwined,
Liam is the centerpiece as he comes to terms with being poor, having a speech impediment, and dealing with
his guilt brought on from too much exposure to church.  Stephen Frears did a fantastic job of really capturing
that depressed, dark feel on camera – everything and everyone sooty in the face from the factory-clogged air;
his view on the rise of fascism/nationalism in England during that time was spot on as well.  I’m actually a little
surprised it took me so long to see this film, but late is better than never.



The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Wes Anderson seems to draw a number of different responses from both his fans and enemies, and I
don’t expect things to change after viewing this film.  He is very much one of those directors you either
like or you don’t.  So let me say this: if you loved his previous movies, you’re probably going to like this;
and if you hated everything he’s done so far, this isn’t going to change your mind.

The biggest difference between this and other releases of his is that instead of writing it with long time
collaborator and pal Owen Wilson, he instead worked with Noah Baumbach (who I know for his film
Kicking & Screaming, which is decent but nothing amazing).  The most notable part of this switch is that
the dialogue doesn’t seem as snappy…but other than that it is business as usual.  The details in the sets
are amazing – the cutaway of Zissou’s ship is one of my favorite things I’ve seen in some time.  Bill
Murray is great as always, projecting a great sadness over the entire production with his lonely looks. 
Willem Defoe is also brilliant as Murray’s sidekick, and quite funny; plenty of other folks in the film
that you expect to see in an Anderson production, the usuals if you will. 

As for the story, it is plenty interesting, but it felt a bit muddled and chaotic for the first part of the film; but
then once it gets on track, the second half is probably Anderson’s strongest work to date.  I highly rec-
ommend this, but then again I highly recommend everything the man does.


Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling (2004)
 - 4 out of 10 -
 
I'm still boondoggled as to how you make a documentary on women's wrestling as boring as they made this one…
it is womens wrestling for chrissakes!  Women!  Wrestling!  I'm going to be perfectly honest here, about half way
through the film on what felt like the 10th hour of that old windbag The Great Mullah droning on about how awesome
she was, I tuned out.  If they'd only spent more time on G.L.O.W. (that's the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) and the
Macho Man's ring girl Miss Elizabeth, all would have been right in the world.  But instead, they made the doc-
umentary version of sleeping pills.


Little Children (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

Let's be honest here – sure, I'd heard this was a good movie, but I pretty much rented it just so I could look at
Kate Winslet get naked. The small pleasures in life, ya know? But it turns out this was a great movie, a real
fascinating examination of suburbia and married life and children, and how everything is rarely as perfect as
it outwardly appears. Probably the biggest surprise of the film though was the reemergence of the legendary
child actor Jackie Earle Haley, fittingly playing a child molester. He was fantastic in his role and it was a real
joy to have Kelly Leak back on screen, even if he looks very different.



Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

After all the talk about this film and finally seeing it, I can’t help but feel a touch disappointed.  Don’t get
me wrong – it’s an enjoyable, cute film, and there were a few comical moments scattered throughout…
but mostly I just spent the entire film wondering what it was that made this film such a fan favorite?  Quirky
family/goofy kid movies aren’t exactly a rare bird, and while this might be on the better end of that spectrum
it certainly wasn’t the end-all be-all.  I do have to give props to Alan Arkin for being fantastic as he always
is, one of the most underrated actors out there in my opinion.  And the little girl was plenty cute and quirky,
though I’m not sure what she did that was special enough to warrant award attention – she mostly just acted
like a goofy kid, probably not that different from her real life.  Anyways, it was as pretty good film that I would
recommend to most folks, but for a flick with all the Oscar-buzz around it, it was a little too cute and typical
to be put on that pedestal.


A Little Trip To Heaven (2005)
- 6 out of 10 -

It's not often you see a film that's supposed to be set in Minnesota that was filmed in Iceland. And for me
the setting was the main star of the film - I have such a love for Iceland that I didn't even hold it against them
that it looked nothing like Minnesota (note to the producers: Minnesota has a lot of trees and lakes, not so
much barren plains and sand dunes). Well, maybe the location was the second star - one of the true loves
of my life, Julia Stiles, plays one of the leads and isn't half bad either. Even as a road worn white-trash
scam artist, she is still about as hot as is humanly possible.



Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

They kill a helicopter by hitting it with a car. In the air. I know this was in all of the previews, but it is important
to note this scene before bothering to write a review on a film of this nature. Where the first “Die Hard” might
have been a somewhat believable action thriller, that all went flying out the window at lightning speed with
each successive sequel; to the point that this fourth outing is basically a warner bros. cartoon in the disguise
of an action movie. And really, that's fine – sometimes a fluffy, completely unbelievable action movie full of
cliché quotes is all you need to entertain you for the night.



Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

Guy Ritchie’s first full length picture still remains his best work, and based on his recent output and the fact
that he is married to that hack Madonna, I think it might be safe to assume that it will go down as his all-time
best.  It was also the spark that re-ignited the public’s love of the 70’s-style crime caper, intertwining stories
of interesting characters where you generally root for the bad guys to pull off their heist.  Of course, this flick
had the extra layer of them being kooky “British” characters, something that for whatever reason delights me
to no end in film (not so much in real life).  The whole affair is very quick with the camera and the wit, moves
along at a delicious pace, and combines ass-kickings, capers and comedy nearly perfectly.



Lock Up (1994)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Fairly entertaining documentary about the ins and outs of Riker's Island.  Lots of interesting inmates are
interviewed and all that sort of shit, but I think the best part is probably just checking out the fashions the
prisoners are rockin' in this thing, lots of comedy.  If you've always found shows like this about prison to be
entertaining you won't be disappointed - produced by HBO, you know it was put together well.


The Long Green Line (2008)
 - 6 out of 10 -

A documentary about a high school cross-country team is considerably more interesting than actually watching
a high school cross country team.  Basically, you got a crotchety old coach who has been producing champion
runners for the better part of a thousand years.  Honestly, I would have preferred a lot more coach time and a
lot less focus on the kids, who are just cogs in the machine and don't really matter in the grand scheme of
things.


Long Weekend (1978)
 - 5 out of 10 -

It's like a film version of those shows "When Animals Attack".  A yuppie Australian couple decides to spend
a weekend camping in the sticks, and the sticks give them what for.  Only you don't really mind because the
girl is an uptight bitch and the dude is an incredible asshole so you tend to root for nature.  Sad part is all of
that happens in the last couple of minutes - 95% of the film is just the couple fighting with one another and
long shots from the trees set to ominous music. 



The Longest Yard (2005)
- 8 out of 10 -

Firstly, it must be stated that there is absolutely no reason to ever remake this film.  But given that, this is a
damn hilarious, enjoyable remake and I can't think of a better person to pull it off than Adam Sandler.  If
you've never seen the original (and if you haven't you're a moron cause it's starring Burt Reynolds in the 70's
and everyone with any sense should have seen every Burt Reynolds film from the 70's), the gist of it is: football
star gets sent to prison, warden wants him to form a team to play his guards and throw the game, but of course
in Hollywood fashion the underdogs succeed.  It's pretty cookie-cutter stuff, but what makes this work is the
casting - pro-wrestlers Kevin Nash, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Bill Goldberg have prominent parts, as do
Nelly, pro-footballers Bill Romanowski and Michael Irvin, and Tracy Morgan playing a lady boy.  Plus more Burt
Reynolds!  Which you can't really get enough of, you know.  Anyways, it was a typical sports movie in the way it
was filmed and the story arc, but genuinely funny in a very dumb way.  Which was exactly what I was looking for
when I watched it, and probably why it gets such a high score.


Longford (2006)
 - 4 out of 10 -

This movie is so goddamn dry it makes the Gobi Desert look like a rain forest.  Sure, well acted and all that I
guess, but not very watchable.  Or at least it wasn’t in the mood I was in when I gave it a go.  Plus no matter
how good technically Samantha Morton might be on the silver screen, she has always creeped me out and I
don’t see this changing anytime soon.


The Lookout (2007)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I've probably mentioned it before, but I am continually amazed at the actor that the little kid from “3rd Rock
from the Sun”, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has turned into. This film is yet another fantastic offering from him,
playing a brain-damaged ex-hockey star who gets swept up in a criminal plot to rob the bank he cleans each
night. This movie was greatly overlooked by not just all the awards shows, but most of the general public as
well...Scott Frank does a fantastic job directing this taut thriller (that he also wrote), the cast is wonderful (it
also features Jeff Daniels and Isla Fisher as well as a number of other quality, lesser known actors), and I
really couldn't recommend it more highly.



Lord of War (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A surprisingly good film…for some reason the previews for this made it look funny, rather than an unflinching
account of gun running in the modern (or at least recently modern) world.  It almost works as a documentary
in the way it informs you about its subject, with Nicholas Cage often directly speaking to the camera.  And it
is remarkably unbiased, much more so than I ever would have imagined – you neither feel love nor hate for
the Cage’s character or the situations that he involves himself in; he is exploiting both the good and the bad,
never inserting himself into the battles he is supplying arms for, focused only on the money to be made.  An
especially great supporting job in the film by Eamonn Walker, who always does an amazing job in every film
or show I see him in, and deserves to be a much bigger star. 



Lords of Dogtown (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

I enjoyed this film, but I went into it expecting it to suck in many different ways, which it did, so I wasn’t let down –
this may be my new way to approach all films.

The acting wasn’t very good, but the kids playing the main characters were still likeable.  Especially notable was
Heath Ledger doing a drunken Val Kilmer impression for the whole film.  The characters were all pretty one-
dimensional and thinly written, but for some reason this was probably the best way to show them.  And most
importantly, the skateboarding was completely unbelievable, but it was still a blast to watch so who cares right?


The Losers (2010)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Very typical Hollywood action film that hits all the cliches but somehow I still kinda enjoyed it.  You had gratuitous
explosions, sexual tension with an ass-kicking girl, comical one liners just before shoot outs, heroes rescuing
random children, double-crossing good guys, and not flinching when explosions happen right beside you.  It was
fun though, so fuck it.



The Lost City (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

A fairly interesting film, and certainly a good first full-length effort by Andy Garcia, about the Cuban revolution
and
how it tears apart a family. The film features a very nice cast and high quality cinematography, though
Garcia
seemed to fall in love with stringing out the pretty shots much longer than were necessary...a little tight-
ening up in
the department would have knocked thirty to forty-five minutes of the length (this especially goes
for the extended dance/musical numbers, though I realize while these bore me to tears they were probably a
highlight for others). Mostly though, it just made me really want to visit Cuba, hopefully something I'll accomplish
in the near future.


Lost Souls (2006)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I'm not even sure what to say about this film, other than it sucks.  I love looking at Winona Ryder, but good
god who thought it would be a good idea to star in a film where she is responsible for stopping the devil
from coming back to earth?  I'm not sure she could even stop a duvet. 



Love the Hard Way (2001)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I watched this on a whim, not expecting much, but it turned out to be a decent flick - Adrien Brody makes
a good rogue hero of sorts, a petty thief that you pull for.  He's a womanizer who finally meets a girl that he
wants to see more than once...there's a lot of drama as you might expect, and is the general crux of the film,
but not the reason I liked it.  It just had a nice feel, a nice tone to it - good colors, decent acting, and Charlotte
Ayanna, the lead love interest, ain't bad to look at either. 


The Lovely Bones (2009)
 - 6 out of 10 -

As far as movies about kids getting raped and killed go, this one ain't bad.  Certainly Stanley Tucci makes
a very convincing child rapist and murderer, though I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing for him. 
But all the weird flashback/dream sequences with the murdered girl...I could have done without all of that
nonsense.  It added nothing to the story, served mostly as a distraction really.  Mark Wahlberg seems to
be good at playing distraught, flustered men.  Sometimes it results in him being a bad ass, sometimes it
makes him insane, but still, very distraught. 



Machine Gun Kelly (1958)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

I love Charles Bronson, and even if this movie isn't all that great, and Bronson isn't really best suited to play
this sort of smarmy sass-mouthed character, it's still hard not to like any movie where he is featured prom-
inently. I'm guessing most folks are like me and love the silent-but-deadly version of Bronson that generally
show up in his pictures, but I guess it's nice to know he can play a lady-whipped prohibition-era gangster if
he wants to.


The Machinist (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

Even if you think this is an awful film (which it isn't), you have to hand it to Christian Bale for completely
changing his body - from a healthy weight for his height (6'2" I believe) down to at the most 130 pounds. 
You spend the first few minutes of the movie just staring at him and not really paying attention to the story,
it's so jolting.

But it's actually a pretty good movie, and one where I truly did not know what was going to happen until
the very end.  What you basically have is a man going mad because he hasn't slept in over a year, and
the film examines why he's going mad.  Slowly, like an onion, the layers shed away revealing how he
came to be this way, and the conclusion he must come to to fix it.  It's all pretty gripping and interesting
and well worth checking out.  And Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a hooker like she does in lots of movies
so you've got that, too.



The Mack (1973)
- 6 out of 10 -

I’m obligate by law to give this at least a better than average score based solely on the fact that it was
filmed here in Oakland, but truth be told I found myself spacing out through much of the film.  It’s just not
that engaging, despite the fact that a movie about a pimp plus appearances from Richard Pryor should
make this thing gold.  It’s not a bad flick by any means, just slow by modern standards with very average
acting on a low budget – typical blaxploitation, but not nearly enough absurdity.  Or maybe I’ve just
watched too much Rudy Ray Moore and everything else pales in comparison.


Mad Dog Morgan (1976)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Dennis Hopper doing some sort of hybrid Aussie/stereotypical pirate accent raising hell all across the
Australian countryside.  This story is based on a true story, but given they didn't even really get his name
right (he was never called "Mad Dog" apparently) I'm guessing historical accuracy wasn't a big point of
emphasis with the filmmakers.  What is accurate is Hopper appears to be high off his ass for the entire
film, and combined with his pirate talk it's actually a fairly entertaining flick.



Made in Britain (1982)
- 8 out of 10 -

Although I’ve only recently seen this fantastic British film, it should have been pretty clear to everyone who
saw this film when it originally aired that Tim Roth was going to be a special actor.  In his first role he pulls
off a performance well-heeled actors with scores of experience would give a testicle (or ovary maybe) to
pull off.  Roth plays a very smart, very angry hoodlum caught up in the doldrums of Thatcher’s England; and
for a lack of better things to keep him occupied and an obvious lack of parental guidance, he spends his
days wreaking havoc, getting in trouble for it, and mouthing off to those trying to help him…over and over
and over again.  The film doesn’t try to beat you over the head with any sort of moral message, nor does it
wrap everything up in a pretty package…it’s definitely one of those flicks where you daydream as to what
might have happened to this fictional character in his life after the movie ends.   The entire film revolves
around Roth’s performance, and he pulls it off magnificently.


Madman (1982)
- 4 out of 10 -

Crazed killer + summer camp = you fill in the rest.
Way too much inane conversation and not enough boobs for this to be a good slasher flick, but it did star an
actor named “Tony Fish” so that has to count for something.



Mad Max (1979)
- 8 out of 10 -

I hadn't watched this in a while, and had forgotten about how un-post-apocalyptic this film was in comparison
to the two that followed, The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome.  Life is almost normal here, but degrades
fast as the movie carries on and civility is lost.  There seems to be some debate as to whether or not this film
followed the oil wars or was leading to them, but either way you can see that society is about to tip over into the
chaos that is the Road Warrior, and Mad Max is walking a delicate line between sanity and that chaos.  Even-
tually, that scale tips right over when bad things happen and Max has to straighten out the thugs torturing the
countryside.

An in-depth review of this film is probably pointless as most everyone already knows this film well, and it helps
you reminisce back to the days of yore when you could enjoy a Mel Gibson film because you aren't thinking about
what a creepy religious dude he has become.  And anyways, it fits close enough into my "all post-apocalyptic
films are awesome" mantra and for that it automatically gets a high grade even if it sucked, which it obviously
doesn't.  The only reason it doesn't rate higher is I know how great it's sequel, the Road Warrior is, and that one
is one of my very favorite movies.  Now if I could only figure out a way to get an Australian-only 73 Ford Falcon
GT shipped over here to the states so I can have my own Interceptor...



Major League (1989)
 - 10 out of 10 -

If you knew how many times I've watched this film you'd probably want to have me checked out by a
head doctor, but it was one of the four films I had on tape as a kid, and with no cable, those four films
got watched a lot.  But honestly, after Bull Durham, can you think of a funnier film about baseball?  And
like baseball itself, aren't baseball movies awesome?  Therefore, this movie rules.  QED.  



Major League II (1994)
 - 5 out of 10 -

God, I must have watched the original Major League a zillion times as a kid...it was one of only a few
movies I had on tape as a kid, and since I had no cable I would watch those films over and over and
it never got old.

But this is about the sequel, which was kinda fun even if the world would have probably been better off
without it having been made.  The story arc is what you would expect, success has gone ot the heads of
the players, and the team starts sucking; in predictable fashion, they conquer these demons and come
from behind yet again to win big.  

Everyone but Wesley Snipes returns for the cast, but retardedly enough they try to pass of Omar Epps
as him.  Wouldn't it have just been easier to "trade" Snipes' character and bring in Epps as a new guy?  
Whatever, I've already thought about this movie too much already.  If you loved the original like I did, this
is a fun romp as long as you don't turn your brain on for any reason.


Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)
- 3 out of 10 -

Oh Scott Bakula, how did you get roped into this? My only guess as to why you would ever be in-
volved with such a travesty is maybe you had mob gambling debts to pay off and the “Quantum Leap”
residual checks have been slowing down. From a baseball point of view, there is much rediculous
nonsense here I could write 25 pages and only scratch the surface. And on top of that, it's just a bad,
bad movie.


The Malibu Bikini Shop (1986)
 - 3 out of 10 -

What they lack in plot they make up for in boobs and girls with crazy teased hair wearing high-waisted
bikinis.  Seriously, those bikini bottoms start just under their armpits, it's not a good look on even the hottest
of girls. Also, the film ended with a "romp", because what bikini-based film wouldn't end with a romp?



Malibu Shark Attack (2009)
 - 2 out of 10 -

Really, really crappy made-for-tv "Syfy" flick about prehistoric, man-eating sharks attacking Malibu after a
tsunami hits.  You can guess how it goes from there - bimbos and idiot dudes get eaten while trying to
band together to defeat the sharks.   No one wins, most notably the viewer.



Mallrats (1995)

 - 8 out of 10 -

I’m not going to be able to justify this choice to the satisfaction of most, but I think that Mallrats is easily the
best thing Kevin Smith has put out (cue the jokes about how he’s never put out anything good, har har
har, even though you know you loved Clerks when you first saw it).  The bottom line is this – it was the first
role of one of my all-time heroes of skateboarding, Jason Lee – and he is funny as hell in it.  Sure, he plays
that same character in pretty much everything he does, but this was the first time it appeared and whoo-boy
did I laugh.  The movie as a whole is plenty stupid and lots of fun and Shannon Dougherty is hot in it but
there’s a good chance you’ll hate it anyways.  But for me, pure awesomeness.


Malone (1987)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Imagine taking an A-Team storyline, only replace that group with Burt Reynolds and have people actually
getting
killed for a change.   IT should be a lot more awesome than it is, but  without the comic relief  the
television show
provided all you're left with is a goofy vigilante movie featuring an old-yet-still-pretty-hot
Lauren Hutton and a story
arc that is about as predictable as a Tom & Jerry cartoon. 


A Man Apart (2003)
 - 5 out of 10 -

An entertaining enough action flick I guess - typical in every way imagineable: good cop loses loved one,
gets out of control trying to get the bad guy, is kicked off the force, and decides to take justice "into his own
hands".  Vin Diesel is a good choice for lead and it's good to see Larenz Tate in something watchable again;
if you have a couple of spare hours, enjoy some decent action scenes and don't require any originality at all
in your plots, this film will suffice.



Man on Fire (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

I put off watching this for a while, but I don’t know exactly why – I usually enjoy Denzel Washington movies
even when they are schmaltzy pap.  And this film fit that descriptor somewhat, but it had a number of
different things happening that set it apart from the typical kidnapping drama I was expecting this to be.

The most impressive feat was the filming/cinematography/etc – Mexico City in any film is going to be in-
teresting to look at, and this is no exception.  More importantly was the use of colors – the whole film looks
like it was cross processed, giving it a really unique look.  It should also be noted that the thing was cut like
a music video – which served some scenes well, and was nearly headache-inducing other times, in the
same way that the little girl in the film, Dakota Fanning, makes you want to pop a half-dozen aspirin.

One final note – the subtitles in this film were used brilliantly.  Personally, I don’t mind reading them the old
fashioned way, I watch a fair amount of foreign stuff so it’s old hat to me at this point.  But they were used in
such a dynamic way here, moving them to different spots on the screen, increasing the text size as the per-
formers increased the volume of their voice, and more examples that escape my mind…no doubt this tech-
nique even managed to get those who hate subtitles to read, as they acted as if they were a character in the
movie.  Good stuff, and a technique I think could really help foreign movies go over a little better in the U.S.
market.


Man on the Moon (1999)
- 6 out of 10 -

I felt about this movie pretty much how I felt about most of Andy Kaufman's “comedy” - relatively disinterested.
Jim Carrey is great as Andy, real convincing, but if you don't care much for the source material it's tough to
care much for the biopic about it (outside of the wrestling scenes, of course, which rule the school and was
the best thing Kaufman ever did).



Man on Wire (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A documentary about a French tightrope walker who decided it would be a good idea to walk on a wire be-
tween the trade center towers in New York in the seventies.  As you might expect, the man behind this stunt,
Phillipe Petit, is a complete nutbag...but a pretty damn entertaining one.  The film documents how he got into
tightrope walking, some of his stunts that led up to trade towers, and the intensive preparation it took to pull
off a feat of this magnitude. 



March of the Penguins (2005)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Firstly and foremostly, this movie is about as cute as they come, and that’s ultimately the reason to watch it…
that, and maybe learn a thing or two.  I learned lots and lots of things that I didn’t already know
about nature’s
biggest formal wear supporters, but what sticks out the most are the hardships these
animals face, and how they
are able to rise above and continue carry on their species.  Honestly, with
out Morgan Freeman’s voice there to
guide them, I wonder if they ever would have survived?  Seriously
though, this film does an admirable job of
showing the ups and downs of how nature works in this part
of the world, a part that few of us will ever see.  It
really does make it easy to marvel at all of the wonders
of the world; and as amazing as this tale of the penguin
is – you could make a similar type movie for
nearly every animal and done correctly it would be just as fascinating. 
This wouldn’t bother me one bit. 


Marie Antoinette (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

The buzz going into this film, at least what I heard, was it was a period piece featuring modern music. Well,
that's pretty much exactly what you got...cheers to the folks in charge for picking some damn good classic songs
by the likes of Joy Division and The Cure. Sadly, the novelty of modern music didn't help this poorly acted, boring
flick full of poofy outfits and snooty behavior. Kirstin Dunst looked pretty cute in those fancy outfits, but that ain't
reason enough to actually watch it.



The Marine (2006)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Don't get me wrong by the rating - this is a terrible movie by pretty much any measure you can throw at it...other
than entertainment.  And it's still not exceptionally entertainning, but there are lots of explosions, chase scenes,
and fights, and they were at least smart enough to realize no one was watching this for the plot or the dialogue
so they kept both to a minimum.  You've gotta at least give them a little credit for knowing the kind of movie they
wanted to make and sticking to their guns, no matter how stupid it was going to turn out. 


The Mark of Cain (2000)
 - 7 out of 10 -

As a documentary film, this is a very rudimentary and basic endeavor.  But the topic - Russian prisons, the
prisoners and their tattoos - couldn't be made boring even by the worst filmmaker in the world.  The iconography
and mythology surrounding the Russian criminal caste and their identifying tattoos is as fascinating a subject as
exists on this marble, and I suggest anyone read up more on it. 



Mark of the Devil (1970)
- 3 out of 10 -

This was supposed to be a terrifying take on the Spanish Inquisition, but all I saw was a campy flick full of boring
dialogue and the occasionally attractive girl with her bust pushed up to her chin. I didn't even reach the halfway
point before I gave up.



Master and Commander (2003)

 - 7 out of 10 -

When I was a kid, I would often daydream as to what happens on that pirate ship after it breaks out at the end
of Goonies…were there ghost pirates sailing it?  Did a group of ne’er-do-well teens find the ship and start off
on a series of misadventures?  Oh, how my mind could race with the possibilities.  The bottom line is they don’t
make enough pirate movies.  Sure, Pirates of the Caribbean was great and all but it’s not enough.  So I’m not
going to lie when I tell you that for good portions of Master and Commander, my mind drifted and I started thinking
this was a pirate movie.  And I think it works better that way anyways – pirates are obviously much more interesting
than the Englishfighting the French back in the frilly lacy cravat years.  Who cares about that crap other than old
historic fogeys?  Harrumph.

But it’s a pretty good movie – the action sequences are fantastic. There’s probably a bit more handwrenching and
drama from Russell Crowe and the rest of the cast than I would have liked, and none of the characters are partic-
ularly likeable.  And as a side note, I’d swear the relationship between Crowe and the ship’s doctor was lifted from
Glory, but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.  But if you just pretend there are parrots and eye patches involved,
it’s all good.


The Matador (2005)
- 8 out of 10 -

This movie might single-handedly make me reconsider my hatred of Pierce Brosnan.  He totally won me over in
this film, playing a professional hitman going through a midlife crisis – equal parts desperate, smarmy, funny and
endearing.  During the film he befriends the very normal, boring Greg Kinnear, who is playing a salesman des-
perate to get back on his feet after the death of his son.  They somehow strike up a quirky friendship that transcends
either of their positions in life, both searching and finding that cure to the loneliness they’ve felt due to their jobs or
familial death.  It all plays out in a very fetching way with a great ending – good writing, great acting and nice
cinematography makes for an excellent flick.



Match Point (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

My enjoyment of this film is all about the ending, and its unpredictability.  For a good portion of the film I was
on the verge of turning it off, those pompous moneyed Brits and their snooty accents and Scarlet Johannson
never got nude once, not that I actually thought she would or anything but it would have been nice.  For the
most part it’s like an inferior version of one of Woody’s best films “Crimes and Misedemeanors”, until you
get to the big twist that I shall not give away, but it actually saying “holy shit!” out loud and startling my cat.  I
generally hate surprises, but for once in my life I was glad that I didn’t know the outcome of this one.  A cryptic
review I suppose, but just know going in that despite the slow and tedious start it gets much, much better. 
Also, Spud from Trainspotting has a bit of work in the film so you got that going for ya too.



Max (2003)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

This film was just okay, not great, but I gotta give a nod in the direction of the folks who decided to make
it – takes some balls in this day and age to make flick where you show a young Adolf Hitler as a com-
passionate, tortured, almost likeable character.  Honestly, nothing really stands out when I think back to
this, other than that Noah Taylor did an outstanding job portraying what I would imagine a young, insecure
Hitler might behave like.  The controversy that surrounded this film was totally unneeded, this was obvious
from the very beginning of the film – this was not a movie to praise Hitler, just one that would show him in
a different light from what you normally see, a portrait of someone making the transition from man to monster.


Max Payne (2008)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This film is no great shakes, but really fantastic to look at like "Sin City" and those other comic book
movies.  Though I think this one is a video game movie? Nonetheless, I enjoyed the flick, certainly more
than I was expecting to.  Having the always hot Mila Kunis never hurts either, and she was particularly dark
and sexy and fetching here.  Marky Mark plays the lead, surprisingly named Max Payne, and does a re-
spectable job as a bad ass cop trying to find the people responsible for his wife's death.  If you're looking
for a bublegum action film that is pleasing to the eyes, give this one a shot.



Maxed Out (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Equal parts informative and maddening, what this documentary lacks in excitement it makes up for with
knowledge. Sadly, I'd guess the people who really need to see this, the ones in credit trouble or
heading in
that direction, will never come across it.



Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This film could have alternately been titled "Awkward People Awkwardly Going Through an Awkward
Life Together".  The cast of characters include a divorced show salesmen, a child who collects appliances,
a video performance artist, a pervert who tapes notes in his windows for underage girls to see, and online
chats about pooping.  Essentially, it's like a Todd Solondz film only less fucked up and with a bit of a
happy ending.  There's no real story here, rather you just follow these oddballs as they make their way
through their weird little worlds.  It's pretty enjoyable really, and oddly uplifting, which I wasn't expecting.  



Mean Girls (2004)
  - 8 out of 10  -
I am insulted by the teen movie fare churned out nowadays.  Though I was too young and too culturally
isolated to ever see films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club in the same decade they pre-
miered, I still love and cherish them today.  They were smart, hip and not patronizing.  Teen films in the
past few years have been sad, sad attempts at capturing the zeitgeist of their generation.  However,
Mean Girls restored my faith in what was once a noble genre.  Penned by Tina Fey, writer/comedienne
at SNL and loosely based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes, it perfectly captures the utter misery
of the high school social universe.   Lindsey Lohan is surprisingly charming as the "previously home-
schooled in Africa" Cady who is thrust into the wild animal park of public high school.  She is initially be-
friended by two social outcasts, a goth and a gay.  When the Plastics, the hottest, most sadistic clique of
girls in school show interest in Cady, she decides to infiltrate their lives and report back to her friends with
all their juicy gossip.  Soon, Cady finds herself sucked into the vortex of the Plastics eventually becoming
the defacto leader of the group.  This movie is sharp, funny and relevant all at the same time.  It perfectly
captures the very real cattiness between teenage girls. So, hooray for Mean Girls and down with The
Princess Diaries!!
(Chelsea Junget)


Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)
 - 3 out of 10 -

This starred Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas and had a scene of a shark jumping from the ocean
and biting a flying jetliner in half...it's pretty obvious the quality of film we are dealing with.  Thing is, I
would have given this a higher rating if there was more of the absure, awful special effects, because that
was the only interesting part of the film.  Unfortunately, most of the flick involved the cast sitting around
discussing what they should do, and very little doing.



Melinda and Melinda (2004)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I think I’ve seen every film Woody Allen has made, so I feel quite sure when I say that this is one of his
poorer outings.  Sure, even a bad Woody film is better than a lot out there, but I was hoping for more. 
The story was muddled and maudlin, and I disliked most of the characters, but not in that “love to hate
them” way that you often get with Woody.  No, the only thing I really liked in the movie was when Will
Ferrell was doing his best Woody Allen impersonation…it didn’t always work, but when he hit I was
definitely laughing.  Sadly, those moments were few and far between and most of the time was spent
watching uninteresting characters that I was supposed to care about…but truthfully, if these people were
in my life I’d move to a different town and change my name.


Memories of Murder (2002)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Based on a true story, this South Korean film set in the mid-80’s follows a group of detectives as
they attempt to solve a series of murders perpetrated by a serial killer.  Sure, there have been many
films on this subject, but this is one of the better ones made in my opinion – the pacing and direction
of the film was perfect, fantastic acting from everyone involved, beautiful cinematography all around,
and all told, a very non-traditional story and ending.  I caught this on cable and have no idea how hard
or easy it will be to find, but it’s well worth searching out – one of the better films I’ve seen this year (it’s
just now making it’s way to the US market).


The Messengers (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

Not bad for a horror movie...decently acted, nice location/scenery, and a “not awful” story. Where most
horror films are obviously written for scares first and a story is secondary, this flick seems like it really
wanted a quality movie that was also scary...and they mostly got it right. Like all other modern horror
flicks they resorted to the creepy stop-motion bad guy/spook, paired with the haunting innocent little kid
that turns on the protagonist...it's almost as if you can't even get a film made in this genre without these
plot points contained in it.



Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Like most guys my age, I was a huge Metallica fan growing up; and like many of those same guys, I was
really turned off by their output after “And Justice for All”.  It was a given I would watch this film, and unless
it was a total hack job I knew I would enjoy it as well.  And that I did.

This doc is part historical outlook on the band, part current look at the band, and part further evidence to
just how much of a jackass Lars Ulrich is.  Dear god I wanted to punch him in the face multiple times from
the outset of this film, and I haven’t punched anyone since high school.  He is the very definition of “self-
righteous prick” (I was incredibly envious of his art collection though…wow).  Honestly, that is the thing I
remember most from this film, along with the number of takes they spent on every song of their album…the
money they burned through in the studio must have nearly been incalculable.

I’m totally off-topic, so review in brief: historical information well done and quite interesting; all of the band
“therapy” sessions were high comedy; you really have to feel bad for Dave Mustaine after watching this;
pretty much everyone in this film is a tool, but that is what makes it so interesting...anyone who has ever
been into this band will really get a kick out of this.  Shit, even my girlfriend liked it and she could give balls-all
about Metallica.


Meteor (1979)
 - 2 out of 10 -
 
This is just beyond terrible.  Obviously trying to cash in on the "disaster film" trend that was huge in the
70s, they assembled a terrific cast including Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith,
Martin Landau, and Henry Fonda, but for some reason they forgot to bring a remotely usable script along
with them.  Honestly, this makes that Bruce Willis crap-fest Armageddon look like Shakespeare.  Sadly,
it's not even laughably bad because it's so slooooow...although if someone made a highlight reel of the
comical special effects and terrible dialogue that would be well worth checking out. 


Metro (1997)
- 4 out of 10 -

Newsflash: Eddie Murphy likes buddy cop movies. But they are not all created equal...for every “Beverly Hills
Cop”, you get a “Metro.” Since it was filmed in San Francisco it held a slight bit more interest than if it took
place elsewhere, but that was pretty much all it had going for it. Oh, another plus was Michael Rappaport, a
mediocre actor that I've always loved for reasons I cannot explain. The story is bunk through and through
though, so unless you want to play spot the SF landmark you'll most likely be bored out of your skull.



Miami Vice (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

You can accuse Michael Mann of a lot of things – in this case, terrible oversight over a mediocre-at-best
script/plot – but one thing he always excels at is making a movie look “cool”.  His vision has never been
better than it is in Miami Vice; unfortunately, that’s about all it has going for it.  Possibly even worse than the
story was the casting – Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are just all wrong for the lead roles, and Ferrell
couldn’t look any greasier if you deep-fried him.  Given the idea of a Miami Vice movie, I expected a lot
better than this.


Midnight Meat Train (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A surprisingly good slasher/serial killer/horror flick that takes an absolutely crazy supernatural turn at the
end that I can't imagine ANYONE expected.  Really, an underground chud/humanoid population that
feeds off of humans via a butcher that never dies?  Sign me up for a sequel that solely revolves around
those weird creatures!



The Mighty Celt (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

The "Citizen Cane" of Irish dog-racing movies...maybe?  I have no idea, but this is a pretty decent movie;
nothing ground-breaking plot-wise, but a good set of characters and it's not every day you get a film who's
setting is greyhound racing in Northern Ireland.  Robert Carlyle is great as always, and I was particularly
suprised to see what a fine job Gillian Anderson did with the Irish accent - I was so caught off-guard I had to
look her up on IMDB to make sure she wasn't actually Irish and playing an American in her other roles (she's
not).  A decent film all around, you could certainly do worse.



Miller’s Crossing (1990)
 - 9 out of 10 -

With some movies, it takes multiple viewings to really see what is there.  I saw Miller’s Crossing not long after
it came out – enjoyable, but nothing special I thought.  I then rewatched it in college and had only a slightly better
reaction than the first time.  So maybe it’s third times a charm and all that, but this film really floored me this go
around.  The real winner here is the set design – every inch of detail is perfect, easily transporting you to a time
of speakeasys and gangsters talking as fast as a tommy gun (with Steve Buscemi doing the best job with the
dialogue in a small role).  The acting was all well above board – Gabriel Byrne gives the performance of his career;
and Jon Polito and Albert Finney playing warring crime bosses do great work as well.  For lack of a more subtle
way of putting it – this film is a masterpiece worthy of any and all accolades lauded upon it.



Million Dollar Baby (2004)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Before I even saw this, the ending was spoiled for me.  sure, I shouldn’t have been reading about it, but
shit I never liked surprises anyways.  And it generally doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s the execution of
things that really gives them importance – and this film is executed nearly flawlessly.  I was engrossed from
the beginning scene, and despite the political overtones this is an amazing film that anyone should be able
to enjoy.

I might not go so far as to say Clint got robbed of the best actor Oscar, because Jamie Foxx was good in
Ray, but he certainly deserved it just as much.  His portrayal of a timid boxing trainer had me hooked from
the very beginning.  The ones who did win, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman, were certainly deserving
as well, but no one as good as Eastwood here both in the acting and the directing of this masterpiece. 
Freeman pretty  much plays the same character he plays in a lot of films lately, but it’s a damn good char-
acter and needed to be recognized eventually.  He’s one of those guys that makes any film better just by
appearing in it.  I already want to see this again, to soak in even more of it, and that rarely happens.



Millions (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Cute yarn about a couple of brothers who stumble across a bag of stolen money, money that will soon be
obsolete due to a currency conversion from the pound to the euro.  Of course, the thieves want their money
back and hijinks ensue from there.  Good jobs all around in the acting, a nicely written story, and of course
superbly directed by Danny Boyle - who continues to put out fantastic movies despite them receiving little
press here in the U.S.  The two child actors were especially impressive, as child actors usually want me to
stab my eyes out because of their "precociousness"...but these kids, were real and quite believeable as
regular children.  Well, maybe a little less annoying than regular children, but still.  Cute film, well worth
watching.



Mindhunters (2004)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I'm of two minds here - sure, it's a shitty movie, but Renny Harlin directed it so a sreaming pile of dump
is to be expected.  But as far as his work goes, it was fairly enjoyable I guess - grading on a curve and all
that.  The Flick is pretty much a combo of an episode of CSI and a cheesy horror film, and the title "mind-
hunters" is fitting because there is nothing resembling a brain in the entire story.  But to give credit where
credit is due - there were some pretty interesting & inventive methods of murder used in the film, even if
the special effects were pretty piss poor.  But whatever, if you are looking for mindless entertainment and
you're board enough, why not watch a crappy flick like this?  I guess it beats poking yourself in the eye with
a sharp stick.



Miracle (2004)
 - 6 out of 10 -

You know, this was nothing like Slapshot.  Which was kinda a bummer, there was no funny at all.  Not
that I was expecting it to be a laugh riot of a film, but you’d think they would at least work the Hansen
brothers in there somewhere.

In all seriousness, this is a tolerable movie but overall kinda boring.  Everything about it is “adequate” –
the story, the acting, whatever – but it never really approaches being good.  I have to assume it’s a fairly
faithful retelling of the story though (some dramatic flourishing obviously), and the story should have made
for a better movie.  I was particularly surprised at how little of the film the actual Olympics made up.



Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Although there was a level of smugness throughout this entire film that bugged me, over all this was a
fun and enjoyable action romp.  No really, it was a total romp - bits of funny dialogue, sexual tension
between the leads Brad Pitt and Anglelina Jolie, plenty of action-packed sequences and the smugness
mentioned before combined into a surprisingly entertaining flick.  Jolie was of course hot and that
doesn't hurt matters, and the general consensus seems to be that Pitt was attractive as well (even
though I think there is something vaguely space alien-like about him).  It was certainly one of the better
airline films I've seen in some time, but then again I still have the taste of Miss Congeniality 2 in my mouth
from the last time I flew so about anything was going to be better.


Mr. Baseball (1992)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Tom Selleck and baseball, it's like the gods read my brainwaves and custom made a movie for me. The
end result is...well, nothing special, entertaining I guess if you like baseball movies. It follows the arc of many
sports films: big star hits hard times, finds redemption, and rejuvenates his career, with a love story buried in
there somewhere. Ken Takakura and Dennis Haysburt offer some decent acting in supporting roles, but of
course the star of the film is Selleck's mustache, and what a fine job it does expressing a whole range of
emotions.


Mr. Deeds (2002)
- 4 out of 10 -

A pretty crappy remake of a not-that-great “classic” film. It used to be Sandler would make one bad movie,
then one good one, back and forth. But the least few years, it's been just bad after bad after bad. As per
usual with all of Sandler's comedies, the bit parts steal the show – Steve Buscemi and John Turturro shine
as one-dimensional freaks inserted for easy laughs. But sometimes the easy laughs are all you got.


Mister Lonely (2007)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Harmone Korine is typically known for his treatment of "shocking" subjects, but there wasn't really anything
shocking about this film outside of Diego Luna's strange version of a Michael Jackson impersonation.  The
film is almost sweet for the most part, about a group of celebrity-impersonating outsiders forming their own
community and family.  Problem is, it's just not very interesting or entertaining to watch.  But it does look
kinda cool as parts of it were filmed in Panama, so there's that I guess. Interestingly, I've often thought of
Korine as having a bit of Werner Herzog in his filmmaking, and Herzog has a small role in the film.  Clearly
there some manner of magic or telepathy going on here.



Mr. Majestyk (1974)
- 7 out of 10 -

Combine a story about a rogue melon farmer with the star power of Charles Bronson, and you know you
have a winner on your hands. This is one of the finest of all of Bronson's “bad ass” roles, and not only are
his butt-kicking skills running high but the flick has plenty of eye candy with hot ladies like Linda Cristal
and Lee Purcell involved. It helps that the story is written by Elmore Leonard, so he keeps things plenty
grizzled, the action quick and plentiful, and the dialogue sharp. Definitely one of Bronson's best flicks of
all time.



Mr. 3000 (2004)
- 6 out of 10 -

Bernie Mac is a funny man – I’ve been a big fan for ages.  And, I love baseball with all my heart.  So if
you combine these two things together, it’s a no-brainer I’ll watch it, no matter how stupid it looks.  And it
was pretty stupid, and the story progressed and ended exactly as you would have expected, as if a com-
puter had written it.  Still, I found it a fairly enjoyable flick about an egotistical has-been star figuring out
how much he truly loves the game that he once thought he was bigger than.  It’s a fun and dumb “dramady”,
a nice afternoon diversion and not much more.


Mr. Untouchable (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

The true life story of drug kingpin Nicky Barnes, made famous in many films (with “New Jack City” being
the one that pops the most in my mind). It plays out in a very typical but fairly informative way, telling the rise
and fall of the man responsible for absolutely decimating Harlem with wave after wave of cheap heroin
trafficked straight from his South American sources. After getting sentenced to life without possibility of
parole, Barnes flipped and became a government informant and is now in witness protection somewhere.



Mr. Woodcock (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

Newsflash: Billy Bob Thornton plays a good comical asshole in movies. The only difference between this
and say, “Bad Santa”, is that this movie isn't nearly as funny. Also, no little people sidekicks or weird little
fat kids. Thornton has a few funny scenes though, so maybe if you find yourself bored and this just happens
to be on, you could probably do worse.



Mistrial (1996)
 - 5.5
out of 10 -

By no means a great movie, but not bad for one "made for TV".  This flick tackles the story of a good
cop getting railroaded by an overpriced attorney getting the evidence he had collected on a killer thrown
out of court.  The killer ends up getting off, and the cop (played by Bill Pullman) flips out and decides to
hold the court hostage.  The whole thing essentially plays out like a fancier version of a Law & Order
episode, with the added bonus of Robert Loggia hamming it up onscreen a few times.  Nothing worth
seeking out, but if you happen to catch this minor film on late night TV you could do worse.



Mona Lisa (1986)
 - 7 out of 10 -
 
Everyone has those actors that can do no wrong in their eyes...one of mine is Bob Hoskins.  Fittingly,
Hoskins was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a man just released from prison trying to bal-
ance his life between being a decent person and getting paid the only way he knows how.  The movie
as a whole was just
a shade better than average, but what Hoskins did with his role is a sight to behold,
a real piece of acting
genius.  Paul Newman ended up actually winning in 1986 for "The Color of Money",
which was truly more of a
lifetime achievement award than recognition for that particular film.  Hoskins
or Dexter Gordon from "Round
Midnight" would have been much better choices, but I love Paul Newman
too much to get too worked up over it.


Mongol (2007)
 - 8 out of 10 -

A film about the early years of Genghis Khan - completely epic in scale.  Filmed on location in the
steppes of  Mongolia and surrounding regions, using mostly local actors with a few established folks,
they spin a yarn that is completely fascinating from start to finish.  I have no idea as the veracity of the
facts presented as Khan's early life, nor do I care...when the package is this nice, I'm not worried about
where it was purchased.  Apparently this is the first part of a trilogy, which really makes me excited
knowing there will be more where this came from. 



Monks - The Transatlantic Feedback (2006)
 - 8 out of 10 -

The joy I feel in my soul anytime I hear a Monks song cannot be described; so the idea of a docu-
mentary on the band really winds me up.  It plays out like you'd expect a documentary of the sort to go -
what the members were doing before the band, how they got together, the life of the band, the break-up,
the aftermath.  It is told through archival footage, interviews with the band members and important folks
in the band's life (though the manager refused to take part, claiming his job is to always remain the
background).  The Monks have a great story that isn't like any other band out there, and the documentary
is fascinating.  If nothing else, watch it for the live footage and know if I ever got my hands on a time
machine going back and seeing a Monks show in their heyday would be one of the first trips I made. 


Monsters vs Aliens (2009)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This might have been intended mostly for kids but my adult ass loved it.  Not even for the actual monsters
versus aliens storyline, cause you knew how that would turn out.  I just loved the monsters.  Their look, their
personalities...they were delightful.  All of the voices are great - Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie and Will Arnett
had me cracking up, and that's not even to mention the giant bug that didn't talk but looked eternally stoned. 
The art was great as well, not overly "computery" as is often the case these days.



Motel Hell (1980)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I like a good farmer-turns-humans-into-sausages movie as much as the next guy, but this one was pretty
subpar.  Way too much talking and dicking around, not nearly enough killing and sausage making.  Though
they do try to redeem themselves with the final scene that involves a chainsaw battle while the farmer wears
a pig head for a mask, it's a little bit too late to save the film. 



The Motel (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Pretty cute flick about a young boy growing up in a seedy motel run by his family in rural New Jersey. I sup-
pose it might be noteworthy that the lead characters are all Asian, as that is still a fairly unique sight in
American cinema, but the story itself could really work with any family trying to better themselves, be they
immigrant or not. The plot mostly boils down to Ernest (the main kid) searching for both his identity and a
father figure as he grows into a man, and finding both in unusual places. There is nothing groundbreaking
here, but it is pretty sweet and earnest and certainly an enjoyable film.


The Mummy (1999)
- 6 out of 10 -

A big-time adventurous summer blockbuster-type film that was actually rather enjoyable. Not good mind you,
but fun. There was a brief point in time when it looked like Brendan Fraser might work his way into leading
man material, this being his best argument for such a nomination, but obviously things didn't quite pan out that
way. Well, there is always Encino Man 2.



The Mummy Returns (2001)
 - 5.5 out of 10 -

Yes, the mummy returned, bringing his cheesy CGI with him.  Much like the first one it's a fairly fun romp,
though completely unbelievable.  Sure, when you're dealing with bug armies and people returning from the
dead believability isn't a concern...though somehow they make things seem extra ridiculous even on top of the
fantastical plot line.  Rachel Weisz, as always, is super hot though.  I mean crazy stupid hot.  The kind of hot
that convinces you to watch silly mummy movies. 



Mutant Chronicles (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

An actual decent, maybe even good original film by the SciFi channel...I think I can see hell freezing over
from here.  Sure, the story and the acting were pretty average but the look...the look of it was out of this world. 
Very "Sin City" or "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow", lots of stark contrasts and bold colors, like a
well drawn comic book.  It even had a couple of decent actors in it - Thomas Jane, John Malkovich, Ron
Perlman...and of course Pras from the Fugees.  I'm not claiming the movie will change the world or anything,
but damn is it fun to look at. 



My Life Without Me (2003)
- 7 out of 10 -

I put off watching this movie for a long time, despite it being recommended by a few friends with worthwhile
opinions.  It initially looked both uninteresting and depressing, but turns out that is only half right – it’s plenty
interesting.  There have been plenty of other films that examine what it’s like to be dying and trying to pre-
pare yourself for it, but I thought this film employed a certain level humanity that often seems missing from
this fare, focused more on the small things in life rather than trying to pull off some massive stunt that will
somehow make your short existence seen worthwhile.  Sarah Polley does a great job as the stoic, dying
mother and Mark Ruffalo \is back to playing the timid characters he excels at.  Recommended viewing
unless you are depressed, as this certainly won’t help things.


My Name Is Bruce (2007)
 - 4 out of 10 -

It's sorta hard to give a bad review about an intentionally bad movie about, starring and directed by Bruce
Campbell, but it's just so...bad.  And not "so bad it's good", which I'm pretty sure was the intention, but just
bad wrapped up in bad with a side of bad.  Campbell is likable and campy as always, but the story and
other actors were just beyond atrocious.  I guess he gets points for trying to make fun of himself, I just
wish it was a more entertaining joke.



Mysterious Skin (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

I've never been a fan of Gregg Araki's movies...Nowhere was terrible in all regards; The Doom Generation
had a naked Rose McGowan going for it and that was it; and Totally Fucked Up was way too over the top
with the "woe is me" business. I can appreciate that the man is trying to do something different, but up until
now what I've seen hasn't been watchable...a pile of crap with a bow on it is still a pile of crap.

Finally he's made a film I enjoyed, which probably means to his hardcore fans he's "sold out" or "gone soft"
or whatever. I have no problem with that. The basic gist of the movie is about child molestation and the adults
the victims grow into, be they gay hustlers or UFO fanatics or whatever. The plot/story are all fine and good
but the real reason to watch this film is to see amazing performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt - yes, the goofy
little kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun, well he's all grown up now and does a fantastic job here. Yo really be-
lieve he is the gay hustler character he portrays, very convincing, and one of the better acting jobs I've seen
recently. The soundtrack also kills - plenty of fantastic 80's music, and the score sounds just like M83 even
though it isn't. Hopefully this is a sign for the future of Araki, and if so, I like it.


The Nanny Diaries (2007)
- 2 out of 10 -

Sweet jesus is this ever an awful movie. Avoid at all costs. The only reason it even gets a rating of two is be-
cause of Scarlett Johansen's er...two particularly nice assets.



Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I know it will probably be discovered a few years from now that the whole purpose of this film was to brain-
wash more folks into joining the Mormon cult, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t laugh my ass of watching this. 
Sure, it takes moronic to whole new levels, and I could punch people that keep impersonating it ad nauseum
(that includes me, I tried punching myself one time and it hurt), but the bottom line is it is just a funny, quirky
movie that delights me to no end right now.  There’s no real reason to go into the story, as there isn’t really
much of one, and everyone has seen this already anyways; but let me just point out the Uncle Rico, played by
Jon Gries, was Lazlo in Real Genius, Val Kilmer’s second best movie and a favorite of mine (you know his
best film was Top Secret! And don’t act like you didn’t).   Also, tater tots rule.


National Treasure (2004)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

This is not a very good movie - even if you forgive the total implausability of it all, you still have to deal with
the fact that the story is dumb, acting subpar, and the whole thing feels like a bad made-for-tv movie.  So
why such the high score?  See, I suffer from a disease called "I watched Goonies too many times as a kid
and and hidden treasure movie fascinates me" syndrome.  I may need professional help.


National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

A bubblegum-treasure-hunter-adventure story, not unlike the first one, only much less interesting. Nicolas
Cage plays himself, as usual; but his hair plugs put in a very convincing performance. But the rest of it...hunt
for a lost city of gold, shenanigans ensue, sneaking into and out of tight situations, and of course the happy
ending where the prize is discovered.



The Natural (1984)
- 10 out of 10 -

How do you write a review of what is probably the greatest baseball movie of all time? I'll tell you how, you
don't. If you haven't seen this, and you love baseball, see it immediately. Hell, even if you don't love baseball
and just appreciate a great story with top-notch acting, you can't go wrong here.



Ned Kelly (2003)
 - 6.5
out of 10 -

Maybe it is just me, but based on the cast alone I can't believe I had never even heard of this film until just
recently.  Heath Ledger plays the lead of Ned Kelly, a "robin hood" sort  of rogue running amok in the Australian
Outback back in the 1800s.  With supporting roles from Orlando Bloom, Rachel Griffiths, Naomi Watts,  and
Geoffrey Rush (aka the Aussie Acting AllStars), even with a somewhat weak script and direction, the film still
holds its own.  It drags quite a bit in the middle but the great shoot-out at the end somewhat makes up for that. 
A decent modern western if nothing else.



Neil Hamburger: The Show Must Go Off! (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I actually find Neil Hamburger funny, but even I can only take the man in small doses.  His act is funny in that
it isn’t funny, or something like that; he intentionally skewers bad comedy by trying his best to replicate it in a
very “over the top” fashion, and he does a great job.  Having seen him live a few years back and having no
idea what I was getting myself into, let me state that this DVD is a pretty damn accurate replication of that
experience.  So if you’ve seen the guy and you dug it, this is for you.  As a bonus, it has additional audio tracks
that include fake applause and laughter as well as Japanese and Spanish over dubbing that may or may not
have anything to do with what Hamburger is actually saying.


Neo Ned (2005)
 - 6 out of 10 -

A white skinhead and a black woman pretending to be Adolf Hitler fall in love in a mental hospital.   I know
this seems like the beginning of a joke, but it's actually a decent little love story between two broken people. 
It's not the greatest film in the world, but it has strong, likable characters that keep you watching until the end. 
It also helps that even when she is disheveled, as she is for much of the film, Gabrielle Union is still crazy hot.



New Jersey Drive (1994)
- 5 out of 10 -

After seeing this a couple of times when it came out, it's great to look back and see how dated all of the hip
hop soundtrack and clothes used in the film are - the kids in the movie are dressed in some truly comical
shit here. The soundtrack is actually still decent, or maybe that is nostalgia talking, but the production is
awful. As for the movie itself – it attempts to glamorize a life where stealing cars to joyride is no big whoop,
but it's ok they do it cause the cop that is trying to catch them is an asshole. Whatever, at least Heavy D
has a role in it!



The New World (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

There is no one else like Terrence Malick, his original vision for filmmaking is second only to Jim Jarmusch
in my book of favorite directors.  As is often the case with someone who has a unique style, you can’t help
but compare their new films to those they’ve made in the past.  So let me say upfront that I enjoyed The New
World, especially when compared to all movies. But when I look at it in comparison to his other three master-
pieces, it’s hard not to be disappointed.

One thing that is certain – this film is just as beautiful as anything he has ever produced, it’s just a shame that
I found the story boring.  His cinematography is poetry on celluloid – I know that sounds hokey, but there’s really
no other way to put it.  The acting was adequate – newcomer Q’Orianka Kilcher was quite good, and I expect
she’ll pop up in a few more films in the near future.  She is beautiful beyond her years, and makes me feel like
a dirty old man for looking at her.  I think the films biggest issue is that it was paced a little too slow even for a
Mallick film, and you’re expecting his work to be pretty slow already. Still, if you want to be visually stunned you
shouldn’t hesitate to check this out. 



New York Doll (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

The story of Arthur “Killer” Kane, bassist for the New York Dolls, makes for a fairly fascinating documentary. 
It even held the attention of my girlfriend, someone who not only spaces out watching movies at home but
doesn’t give two shits about the New York Dolls either, and that is saying something.  How many debauch-
erous musicians from the seventies convert to Mormonism and work quietly in a library to round out their
final days?  I’m guessing not very many outside of the protagonist of this story.  Anyways, the film revolves
around the effort to get the New York Dolls back together so that they can play a festival Morrissey is putting
together in England (the New York Dolls being his all-time favorite band).  It is quite interesting to watch Kane
interact with his old band mates and relearn how to be a rock star after so many years of being a nondescript
librarian (or whatever the hell it was he did, but something similar).  Given the sad nature of his death soon
after this reunion took place, it was almost as if the events of the film served as if Kane had enrolled in some
sort of “make-a-wish” foundation and he finally got to rock out again before it all came to an end.  


Next (2007)
- 3.5 out of 10 -

Despite being a stupid action movie that offers very little in entertainment value, the biggest issue here is
that they made Jessica Biel a love interest of Nicolas Cage. Seriously? Did they think anyone would buy
one of the hottest girls in Hollywood falling for Mr. Hair Plug himself? Seriously? And on top of that, some-
how Julianne Moore got sucked into this atrocity which is truly astounding.



Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

Yeah, it's a cutesy teeny bopper movie for the hipster set, a visual candy bar full of good music and
attractive kids, but I'll be goddamned if I didn't really enjoy it. At this point, it seems as if that Canadian
bastard Michael Cera can do no wrong, because basically everything he appears in is critical gold, and
sometimes commercial gold as well. Add into that mix an incredibly cute love interest (Kat Dennings) and
two really funny co-stars (Aaron Yoo & Rafi Gavron), and it all adds up to a very enjoyable movie.



Nico Icon (1995)

 - 3 out of 10 -

I’m not sure of what I was expecting when I rented this…something remotely interesting and engaging,
probably.  I would imagine most folks know of Nico – model, Andy Warhol cohort, member of the Velvet
Underground and solo artist, etc.  There’s plenty of stories, that if focused on correctly, should be able to
hold even the shortest of attention spans.  But alas, I couldn’t even finish the film.  The first thirty minutes
seemed to talk mostly about her last few drug-induced years, which couldn’t have been any less memor-
able, while touching barely on her childhood in Germany.  Maybe it got better after that, but I can’t imagine
it did.  Her story is one that could be made into an extremely interesting documentary or biopic, but this
ain’t it.



Night and the City (1950)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I wasn’t as wowed by this film as I expected to be, considering all the praise I had read on it.  It is def-
initely well-footed in the noir genre, a style of film I’m particularly fond of, but there is really nothing here
setting it apart from all the rest.  Perhaps I’ve been jaded over the years by films that borrowed from this
one, I’m not sure…and I’m much too lazy to do the research to find out.  The acting, the story…they’re
fine, but not exceptional.  I do give credit to the inclusion of wrestling as part of the plot - this alone was
good for at least an extra point in my review.  They even used hall-of-fame wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko
as the lead in this part, which is pretty rad.


That aside, the film is amazing to watch from a cinematography point-of-view, and this Criterion release
of it looks fan-fucking-tabulous.  From a mood perspective, you’d be hard pressed to do much better
than Night and the City. 



Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (1985)
 - 4 out of 10 -

They made a lot of these sequels, and a lot of bad ones, but this one might possibly be the worst.  Not
over-the-top enough to be campy fun and nowhere near scary, it stands to offer nothing to the viewer.  
Not only that, but it goes so far from the original story line in the way that Freddy does his killing, and for
no good reason that I could see.  Unless you're looking for some fine examples of 80's hair, no reason
to watch this.  




Night of the Comet (1984)
 - 6 out of 10 -

My cousin, who was also my neighbor, loved this movie…I dunno how many times I saw this as a kid, but
it was a lot.  Surprisingly, I didn’t remember much about it other than that the comet turned everyone to dust. 
Now that I’ve watched it again, I realized that I probably don’t remember much because there’s nothing
particularly noteworthy about the film outside of the clothes and music.  Sure, any zombie movie automatically
gets the nod, but the zombies are so few and far between!  More zombies, I say…c’mon people, this ain’t
rocket surgery.

Then again, any film that manages to combine post-apocalyptic survival stories, zombies and new wave, you
gotta give it a little credit.


95 Miles To Go (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

This light-hearted documentary follows comedian Ray Romano on a brief tour through the south. I can't say
that I've ever been a particularly big fan of his humor, but this film does a great job of showing the ups and
downs of life on the road, even for big stars like him. And more importantly, the man is really damn funny. Not
the stand-up that he performs necessarily, which is fine and unremarkable; the real gems here are those
moments on the road, delirious from driving, when Ray and his fellow travelers really bust out their “A”
material. It's the sort of comedy that is difficult to relate to others, but was certainly the highlight of the film
(along with Romano's child-like mesmerization to televisions in hotels). If you happen to see this on TV,
you'll probably like it.



No Good Deed (2003)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Maybe my expectations were too high – but when you combine a Dashiell Hammett story with the acting of
Samuel L. Jackson and Stellan Skarsgard it’s understandable that you might be expecting more.  And it
wasn’t a terrible film, it entertained me well enough; Jackson was great playing a role somewhat different than
his usual, and Skarsgard always does a fine job.  But it was the little things…although Milla is hot, she can’t
act, and the same could be said for the rest of the cast (other than the hotness).  The story was great but the
director bumbled multiple scenes, making it a campy mock-noir instead of going full-hog for a really creepy
crime caper flick, as it should have been.  Bottom line is it was just a half-assed attempt; despite the story and
the two lead cast members being more than able to do the heavy lifting, it seems they were never asked to.


Nobody Knows (2004)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

Absolutely amazing and heartbreakingly sad Japanese film about four kids left to fend for themselves by
their completely irresponsible mother.  It's main focus is on the 12 year old head of the family, Akira, and his
struggles to keep them housed, clothed and fed.  The young actor playing this role, Yuya Yagira, gave one of
the best performances I have seen in quite some time.  I know most folks tend to cut kids some slack and
praise them for otherwise mundane performances, but at least for this film Yuya is the real deal, even winning
the best actor award at Cannes in 2004.  After I watched the film I read a number of reviews complaining
about how slow it was, but it never felt that way to me...use results may vary.



Noi Albinoi (2003)
- 6 out of 10 -

A decent but rather slow film, Noi Albionoi is about a bored Icelandic teenager who is too smart for his own
good and never seems to make the right decisions.  Like the country itself, it feels like a small film, concerning
itself with the small troubles of this young man and muttering along for nearly the whole movie.  Then there’s a
huge unexpected flash-bang-pop of a story twist and that’s pretty much it.  Worth watching I suppose – not too
many films out there exploring the bored youth of Iceland.  Also worth noting is the all-too-brief appearances of
the actree/fine artist Elin Hansdottir, who is just amazingly attractive.  Too bad the film couldn’t have been about
her.



North Country (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I honestly had no idea what this film was about going in – all I knew was Charlize Theron was playing an ugly
chick again, and hard labor was involved, and fighting for “rights” though I wasn’t sure what rights these were. 
Turns out the movie was about the first case of sexual harassment brought to the courts, which has sub-
sequently changed so much of how the business world operates.  It is dumbfounding that this only happened
20 years ago, considering that protection from sexual harassment seems like such a commonplace part of the
working environment now.  I mention this because more people out there should know this story – I consider
myself a fairly smart person and I had no idea, and I’m certain I’m not alone.

Which brings us to the film itself, and how effective it is in educating folks on this topic – from what I’ve learned
since viewing North Country, while it is admirable that they tried to tackle this landmark case, it could have
been done much better.  Now I personally enjoyed the movie well enough, but was fully uneducated on what
should be going on here; I imagine to anyone with any knowledge on the subject, it’s going to leave a lot to be
desired.  I suppose if letter grades were to be given this flick would get an “A” for effort and a “C” for execution. 
Commendable, but slightly amiss.