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Reviews
(just scroll down to read)
Sahara (5.5/10)
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (6.5/10)
Salo (1/10)
Salvador (8/10)
Saw (7/10)
Saw 2 (4/10)
A Scanner Darkly (6.5/10)
Scarecrow (6/10)
Scarface (7.5/10)
School for Scoundrels (7/10)
The Science of Sleep (8/10)
Scoop (6.5/10)
Scream 3 (1/10)
Scum (7.5/10)
Seabiscuit (7/10)
The Sea Inside (7/10)
Sea of Love (6/10)
The Secret War of Harry Frigg (7/10)
See No Evil: the Moors Murders (5/10)
See You In Hell, Blind Boy (6.5/10)
Semi-Tough (6/10)
The Sentinel (5.5/10)
Serenity (4/10)
A Serious Man (6.5/10)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (6/10)
Session 9 (8/10)
Seven (8.5/10)
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (2/10)
The Seven Women from Hell (4/10)
Sex and the City (8/10)
Shadows of the Dead (1/10)
Shaft (3/10)
The Shape of Things (6.5/10)
Shark! (2/10)
Shaun of the Dead (7/10)
She Hate Me (7/10)
Sherlock Holmes (7/10)
Sherrybaby (6/10)
Shivers (6/10)
Shop Girl (8/10)
Shortbus (4/10)
Shot in the Heart (6/10)
Shotgun Stories (7/10)
Shredder (2/10)
Sideways (7.5/10)
The Signal (4/10)
Silent Hill (6/10)
Silent Running (5/10)
Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (6.5/10)
The Simpsons Movie (7.5/10)
Sin City (10/10)
Sister Helen (7/10)
Six Pack (6/10)
16 Blocks (7/10)
Sixteen Candles (10/10)
16 Years of Alcohol (8/10)
61* (8/10)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (8/10)
The Slammin' Salmon (6/10)
Slap Shot (9/10)
Sleepaway Camp 2 (6/10)
Sleeper (7/10)
Sleeping with the Enemy (4/10)
Slither (6.5/10)
Smart People (4.5/10)
Smokin' Aces (3/10)
Snake Eater (5/10)
Snakes on a Plane (6.5/10)
Snatch (8/10)
The Snow Walker (8/10)
Sometimes A Great Notion (6/10)
Sometimes in April (7.5/10)
Sons and Lovers (4/10)
Soul Vengeance (3/10)
South of Heaven, West of Hell (4/10)
Southern Comfort (6/10)
Spanglish (7/10)
Species (5/10)
Species II (4/10)
Speedo (7/10)
Spiderman 2 (7/10)
The Spirit of the Beehive (4/10)
The Squid and the Whale (7/10)
SSSSSSS (4/10)
Star Trek (7/10)
Star Wars Episode III (5/10)
Starsky & Hutch (5/10)
State of Grace (8.5/10)
State of Play (5/10)
The Statement (6.5/10)
Stealth (2/10)
Stick It (3/10)
Still Waiting... (4/10)
Stomp the Yard (3/10)
Stop-Loss (5/10)
Straight, No Chaser (7/10)
Straight to Hell (5/10)
Strange Wilderness (5/10)
The Strangers (6/10)
Strangers with Candy (7/10)
The Street Fighter (7/10)
Street Kings (5/10)
Streets of Blood (6/10)
Stroker Ace (7/10)
Sucker Free City (8/10)
Sugar (9/10)
Suicide Club (5.5/10)
Summer in the Cage (5/10)
Summer School (7/10)
Sunshine Cleaning (7/10)
Superbad (8.5/10)
Supercross: The Movie (3/10)
Super High Me (7/10)
Superman Returns (7/10)
Support Your Local Gunfighter (7/10)
Swamp Diamonds (3/10)
Sweet Sixteen (8.5/10)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (7/10)
Sympathy for the Underdog (7.5/10)
Synecdoche, New York (5/10)
Syriana (7.5/10)

Taken (7/10)
The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three (7.5/10)
Talk Radio (7/10)
Talledega Nights (8/10)
Taps (5.5/10)
Tarnation (5/10)
Teachers (7/10)
Team America: World Police (6.5/10)
Teeth (6/10)
Tentacles (2/10)
Terror Train (5.5/10)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (5/10)
Texasville (6/10)
Thank You For Smoking (8/10)
There Will Be Blood (8.5/10)
They Live (6.5/10)
Thieves Highway (7.5/10)
Thieves Like Us (7/10)
Thinner (4/10)
Thirst (4/10)
13 Going on 30 (6.5/10)
30 Days of Night (7.5/10)
This Filthy Life (8/10)
This Is England (7/10)
The Thomas Crown Affair (6/10)
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (8.5/10)
Through the Fire (6.5/10)
Tideland (5/10)
Tightrope (6/10)
Titicut Follies (7/10)
To Live and Die in L.A. (6/10)
Tormented (3/10)
Traffic – US Miniseries (8.5/10)
Trainspotting (10/10)
Transformers (7.5/10)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (5/10)
Transmorphers (0/10)
The Transporter 2 (6.5/10)
Trekkies 2 (6/10)
Tremors II: Aftershocks (5/10)
Tristan & Isolde (6/10)
Triumph of the Spirit (7/10)
Troop Beverly Hills (5/10)
Tropic Thunder (9/10)
The True Meaning of Pictures (9/10)
The Tunnel (8/10)
Turistas (5/10)
12 Monkeys (7/10)
28 Weeks Later (8/10)
Twin Town (4/10)
Twister (4/10)
2 Fast 2 Furious (5/10)
Two for the Money (5.5/10)
2001 Maniacs (2/10)
Jeff Tweedy: Sunken Treasure (9/10)
Twelve Rounds (5/10)
Tyson (7/10)


Sahara (2005)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

This film is beyond ridiculous – every inch of this story requires bucketloads of disbelief if you even hope
to make it through the flick. That isn't to say it isn't a fun movie, thanks mostly to the stars...Matthew
McConaughey, Steve Zahn, and Rainn Wilson keep things funny and interesting enough, and there is
plenty of action that keeps the preposterous story from getting too stale. As funny and interesting as
McConaughey is, I can't think of the last time he was in an actual decent flick...



St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Nothing groundbreaking or must-see here, but an intersting gangster flick chronicling the feud between
mob bosses Bugs Moran and Al Capone that lead up to the Chicagoland massacre of seven men.  
Jason Robards plays Al Capone and does a fine job, as he usually does...really gets under the skin
and makes him into a truly detestable creature.  There's also a Bruce Dern sighting and the whole mess
is directed by tit-film afficianado Roger Corman.  It's all very straight-forward, but fairly entertaining look
into a period that really brought the "gangster" into the American conciousness.


Salo (1975)
 - 1 out of 10 -

Martin Scorcese says this is a work of art, and certainly Scorcese would know better than most people - but
it's still unwatchable to me, no matter who likes it.  Never has there been such a collection of beautiful naked
women that was such a turn off.  Basically, a bunch of rich Italian fascists kidnap some teenage boys and
girls and then torture the ever-loving shit out of them.  That's it, that's the whole movie - some kids getting
tortured.  Of course it all means something, something deeper than what you see on the surface, but the end
result is an unwatchable movie. 



Salvador (1986)
 -  8 out of 10 -

James Woods is one hell of an actor, and Salvador might be his finest achievement (never mind that it's
probably the only example that James Belushi actually is an actor).  This Oliver Stone classic often gets
overlooked when talking of his best films, but seeing this again was just as moving as the first time I saw
it some 15 years ago.  I've always been a sucker for stories about photo journalists anyways, but to have
it done so deftly is a real treat. 



Saw (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Two words - surprisingly good!  I had a couple of friends see this in theatre and not have much good
to say about it, so maybe low expectations helped...but decent acting, entertaining gore, a few plot twists
and great sets kept me tuned in.  It actually reminded me of the golden age of horror films from my child-
hood in the 80's - the early outings of Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween - decent film
making paired with gory goodness.  They got a sequel coming out too, of course, can't have a horror
movie without a sequel or two or ten.


Saw 2 (2005)
- 4 out of 10 -

Take the originality of the first film and divide it by half, add in a terrible plot and worse acting and you've got
the sequel to the very entertaining Saw. As with the first film i was very impressed with the killing methods, but
everything else about this is so terrible it is only marginally worth sitting through.



A Scanner Darkly (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I’m not afraid to admit I’m probably too stupid to understand exactly what was going on in this movie, or maybe
they just did a poor job of portraying
the Phillip K. Dick story. It did make it a little hard to follow…lots of exis-
tential chatter loosely revolving around an undercover attempt to bust
drug dealers was the general idea of the
film (I think). But regardless of
all that, like Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life”, it was fantastic to look at if nothing
else. The animation-over-live-action style he seems to have
pioneered (or at least popularized) is really the sort
of thing I could use
more of in my life outside of Charles Schwab commercials. I have a feeling the if I watched
this a couple of more times and really got my head around
what was going on the score would go up, but for now
it is mostly just
pretty wallpaper in my brain.


Scarecrow (1973)
- 6 out of 10 -

This film really reminded me a lot of “Midnight Cowboy”, a buddy flick where two losers try to get on top of the world
but never quite make it. The
story isn’t as great and visually it’s not as pleasing, but Gene Hackman and Al Pacino
do fine jobs as the leads and hold the film together well enough
to make it somewhat enjoyable. It’s a bleak film set
in the early
seventies, and the landscape of that strange decade acts as a third cast member, and probably the most
fascinating part of the flick as is often the
case for me with films set in this time period.


Scarface (1983)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Given the ending of this flick, I'm always surprised that this is the film of choice that gangsters everywhere
identify with (and by gangsters I obviously don't mean real gangsters, but rather the club kids in the oversized
South Pole outfits and XXXL white t-shirts).  But regardless of how much some goofy people like this movie,
it remains an important piece of cinema for the performance that Al Pacino turns out as Tony Montana.  You
truly feel he is this man, paranoid, on a constant coke binge, capable of killing anyone at any time.  He trans-
forms himself perfectly, as well as anyone has at any point in the history of cinema.  Big words, sure, but true. 
The film itself is obviously dated and the story is nothing to get terribly worked up about, but with the per-
formance Pacino puts on it doesn't really matter.


School for Scoundrels (2006)
 - 7 out of 10 -

There is really no better word for it...this is a goofy film.  There is a goofy cast led by John Heder and featuring a
plethora of stand-up comics; an even goofier story about spineless wonders being transformed into strong men
by a the always-motivational Billy Bob Thornton;  and to top it all off, you have the goofiest man of them all, Ben
Stiller, talking in a funny accent and sporting a mullet.  Billy Bob is stellar as always, excelling in the role of the
shit-talking asshole that you still somehow like (see also Bad Santa, The Bad News Bears remake).  Everyone
else I could give or take, but they played well with Thornton and made the film an enjoyable ride, though it often
teetered on the verge of being insufferably stupid. 



The Science of Sleep (2006)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I know I may be alone in this proclamation, but for my money “The Science of Sleep” was leaps and bounds
better than “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.  I think it boils down to two big reasons: 


Firstly, the fantasy world created in “Sleep” was far superior and more fantastical and splendiferous than that of
“Sunshine”, which was full of neuroses and made me feel anxious and clammy-skinned.  Where “Sunshine” was
a little more marred in reality it seems, “Sleep” just flew right off the map into a Salvador Dali painting dressed
up as Public Access TV for schizophrenics.  Maybe what I’m trying to say is “Sleep” just looked way more
awesomer.  Yes, awesomer, it’s a word befitting this film entirely. 

Secondly, I enjoyed this cast much more.  Nothing against Jim Carrey or Kate Winslet who were both fine in their
roles, but a combination of Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg is nearly a dream come true for me,
and both do a fantastic job as these characters. It is as if the two of them were custom designed to star in Michel
Gondry films, and hopefully both will make many return appearances.


Scoop (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Yeah, Woody Allen has fallen off a bit in his later years...not a big surprise to anyone there. It's been
eight years since his last film that was really good (Sweet and Lowdown), and nearly twenty years since
his last masterpiece (Crimes and Misdemeanors). But even Woody's “off” films are pretty damn enter-
taining, and that's about the best word to describe this one...nothing special, but I laughed a couple of
times, Scarlet Johansson looked hot, and even though Ian McShane wasn't in the movie nearly enough,
he was awesome when he made an appearance. And while I'm sure it has happened before in the last
few years and just escaped me, this flick was notable in the change of Woody placing himself in the film
not as the romantic lead but the father figure he should have been playing for at least the last ten years.


Scream 3 (2000)
- 1 out of 10 -

No. Dear god no. I'd rather take a punch to the cock than to watch even five minutes of this again.


Scum (1979)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

The UK seemed like a real depressing place in the late 70’s and early 80’s  - poor economy, Margaret
Thatcher, the height of soccer hooliganism and all that – the upside of course being all the great films from that
time trying to bring this depressed state of the people to light.  This particular flick is the story of a home for
trouble boys, shitkicker hooligans in trouble with the law but too young for prison.  It’s a rough flick, intended to
show the scene of such schools in the day – fights, suicide, rape and the lot were all common place, and in some
instances encouraged by the staff.  The acting is somewhat poor but the subject matter is so engaging that you
don’t much mind.  The whole thing is bleak bleak bleak, with no upside in sight…at the end of the flick you almost
feel as if you have been placed in the home yourself.  Well worth seeing, but be aware of how depressing it might
be.



Seabiscuit (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

For a movie about horses that's about an hour too long, this is still a surprisingly good movie.  Chris Cooper is
fantastic throughout as Seabiscuit's trainer, and even though it's hard to imagine,Jeff Bridges does a fantastic
job in a very non-Dude role.  I don't have much to say on this really, it's a tale that's built for cinema and it's sur-
prising it took this long for a film of this caliber to be made about the subject.

But the film never answered my one question I've alwats had about the sport of horse racing - why are all of the
horses given such stupid names?  My theory is they do it to embarass the horses and make them run faster,
but I may be wrong.  



The Sea Inside (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This is a fairly simple movie, about the struggle of a man to choose to end his life and the legal battles that
came from it.  And it is a pretty good movie, maybe a touch slow at times, but that’s not the reason
to watch
this – you watch this to see the performance of Bardem, how he inhabits his character and you
truly believe it
is him and not just a character he is playing.  He was great in Before Night Falls, really
brilliant actually, but he
brings things to a whole new level here.   Quite simply, he's one of the best actors
alive today.

On top of all of that, it is a beautiful film to look at as well – filmed in the Galicia area of Northwest Spain, it
made me not only pine for my recent travels there but wish for a quick return as well.  A beautiful country
all
around, and let’s not even get into how hot the women are…yowza.


Sea of Love (1989)
- 6 out of 10 -

Not Al Pacino's best work, and it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a romance or a cop movie, but not a bad
viewing either. It was fairly creepy, the ending wasn't totally obvious, and everyone's favorite fat man John
Goodman plays a meaty role. Also, the song “Sea of Love” plays in the film approximately 4000 times; I
love the song but good god did they overdo it.



The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968)
- 7 out of 10 -

There was a time in the late sixties and early seventies where Hollywood made a number of “light hearted”
films and shows about WWII. I'm too young to know much about it, but my gut tells me there
was probably a
certain amount of fatigue over that awful war, so why not turn things on their ear and
make them humorous?
Shows like “Hogan's Heroes” and movies such as “Kelly's Heroes”, big chunks
of “The Great Escape” and this
film manage to make POW camps not seem that bad, paints Italian
and/or German captors as total buffoons,
and there are always some local girls hot to trot with the for
eigners. These items are the very definition of a
“romp,” only the setting is war and not playboy's pent-
house apartment. I'm not sure where I'm going with all
of this chatter, but I do know that “The Secret War
of Harry Frigg” is a fun movie that I'd happily recommend to
anyone who likes their “greatest war” with a
dash of silliness.


See No Evil: the Moors Murders (2006)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I'll watch nearly any film about serial killers, even if they are slow-as-hell British productions.  I don't mean to
sell it as a bad movie - it's certainly well acted, well put together, and plenty creepy, but at least a good hour
too long.  Heavy on drawn out scenes of unnecessary conversations, light on the actual serial killing. 



See You In Hell, Blind Boy (1999)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

This might be a little bit too fluffy to really be classified as a documentary, but an interesting look nonetheless
at a small group of blues musicians from the Mississippi delta region. The man behind the film is a well known
graphic novel/comic book creator, and the film is documenting him as he meets authentic bluesmen as re-
search for an upcoming comic he is working on. Possibly the best part of this whole affair are the portraits he
draws of the men he is studying – to say he is a masterful artist is an understatement, though sadly his skills
as a filmmaker are far less polished.



Semi-Tough (1977)
- 6 out of 10 -

I'm pretty sure this film would qualify as a romantic comedy, but it is such a rambling mess it's hard to really say.
If you could somehow gather up all the drugs that the writers, producers, director and cast probably went through
while producing this train wreck you could most likely start your own drug kingpin empire. Despite all of this, it's
still a pretty damn entertaining flick, due mostly to how believable and entertaining Burt Reynolds and Kris
Kristofferson are as the leads. The late 70's produced a number of these coke-fueled rambler films, an era that
will never be reproduced (which is somehow both a good and a bad thing at the same time).


The Sentinel (2006)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

You combine a fancy cast and a boring, by-the-numbers story and you get...a whole lot of nothing. Seriously,
a film about the secret service, where the main character is an old dude who took a bullet for the president...
did they never watch Clint Eastwood's “In The Line OF Fire”? Cause it was pretty much the same thing, old
fogey makes good on a presidential assassination plot, with a couple of minor twists and turns. I guess there
was a reason this film didn't do to well.



Serenity (2005)
- 4 out of 10 -

Everyone kept telling me to watch this, "oh it's so awesome" they would say, "you should really watch the
show too" they would go on and on saying, and I never understood the appeal.  But I rented it anyways, out of
boredom and curiosity and peer pressure, and I still just don't get it.  The sets look like low-budget TV stuff,
none of the characters are very likeable (but the women are fairly hot so that's something), and the dialogue is
just attrocious.  Bottom line - it was real fuckin' cheesy.  There were some entertaining battles, and the cute
girls that were already mentioned, and...well, that might be it really.  I'm still impressed I watched the whole
thing, but I couldn't motivate to get off the couch.  So maybe if you are exceptionally bored and lazy it's not bad,
but otherwise...skip it.


A Serious Man (2009)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

I liked it, but it didn't really feel very "Coen-y" did it?  It was so awkward and uncomfortable that it was almost
like some re-imagining of a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode.  Of course, this mean that Richard Kind felt
right at home in the otherwise little known cast.  Still, well worth watching as even a slightly sub-par Coen film
is better than most folks' best efforts.



The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
 - 6 out of 10 -

My memories on the greatness of this film were somewhat diminished with a recent viewing...what
seemed creepy as a kid feels cheesy now, and creepy was the bulk of this movie's power.  This is one
of Wes Craven's few ventures outside of normal horror films - in this instance, a foray into Haiti and the
culture of voodoo.  In my opinion, not enough films been made about voodoo.  This one even weaves in
a bit of zombie action, but not enough to make it anything more than an average viewing. 


Session 9 (2001)
- 8 out of 10 -

I told myself I'd never watch a film starring David Caruso again, and then I went and watched this...
and I'll be damned if it wasn't pretty good! Caruso wasn't even terrible, surprisingly enough. The
story is nothing amazing – about a man going crazy while working on an old building. No, what
really keeps you enthralled here is the building itself – Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts,
an actual closed down, decaying mental hospital built well over a hundred years ago. If there has
been a more perfect, fascinating location for a horror film I'm yet to see it. It had me physically
itching to hit the road and go explore the place myself (sadly, since the filming of this movie some
rich developers turned the place into condos and tore down the majority of the property outside of
the main building).



Seven (1995)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

The film that put Kevin Spacey and David Fincher on the map, and showed that Brad Pitt might be an OK
actor. I've seen this countless times, and it never grows old. But it's not the story or the acting or the directing
that keeps me coming back for second helpings...it's the ambiance. Fincher was beyond masterful at creat-
ing a world of sadness and despair, without hope, a place where you can almost understand how Spacey
came to be the killer that he was.


The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)
 - 2 out of 10 -

Good sweet lord above, why on earth would you make such a boring movie?  It should be al to harder than
this to fuck up a Sherlock Holmes tale, but here you have it.  And casting Robert Duvall as Watson and hav-
ing him attempt a British accent?  C’mon now, let’s not be daft.  This nearly put me to sleep, and the only
reason it didn’t succeed is because I turned it off.


The Seven Women from Hell (1961)
- 4 out of 10 -

I didn't even know it was possible to combine a women-in-prison film with a WWII prison camp film and
make it this goddamn boring. Everything about this, from the title to the write-up, really had me geared up
for some cinematic glory, only to be given what basically amounts to a glorified sleeping pill.



Sex and the City (2008)
- 8 out of 10 -

I was pleasantly surprised that the much-anticipated Sex and the City film was actually made. After the pay
disputes and hold ups, I figured it would be called off for good. Not so! The gals got together again to ask
probing questions about the meaning of life and love, and, of course, be generally NYC fabulous. The story
picks up with Carrie happily dating Big, Samantha living in LA with Smith, Charlotte doting on her adopted
daughter and Miranda raising Brady with Steve in Brooklyn. The characters seem like good friends, though
it's been several years since HBO aired the finale; it feels like the girls never left. Jennifer Hudson takes a
weak turn as Carrie's personal assistant; her performance was a little too "sassy wide-eyed midwesterner
moves to NYC" for my tastes. The story holds more than a few twists and the fearsome foursome examine
their relationships and choices in new ways. Well, except charming Charlotte - since she married Harry her
damn life's been a chair full of bowlies. Seriously, give that girl a better storyline! Admittedly, she is the focus
of one of the funniest scenes in the film. Sex and the City is a fun and sometimes frustrating romp through
the lives of now forty something women.; most fans of the show will love the movie. (Chelsea Junget)


Shadows of the Dead (2004)
 - 1
out of 10 -

I suppose congradulations are in order to the creators of this movie - you've managed to make the
worst zombie movie of all time.  Look, involving zombies in any movie should make it automatically
awesome, but this is quite possibly the slowest and most sleep-enducing film I've ever witnessed.  I fell
asleep about half way through the thing, woke up towards the end...and nothing had happened.  
Seriously, nothing.  Hopefully this flick gets adopted by those sleep study institutes as a measure for
putting insomniacs to sleep. 


Shaft (2000)
 - 3 out of 10 -

This remake really gave the "shaft" to the original.  HAHAHAHAHA.


The Shape of Things (2003)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I’ll admit upfront, this film totally got me – I had no idea what was going to happen in the final act, and for
this I give a nod of my head and a fanciful bow to Neil LaBute.  Without giving too much away, let’s just say
that if you’ve seen how he attacks people in his previous films you won’t be surprised what goes on here,
even if it is quite distasteful…but that’s his whole thing, right?

My main problem isn’t the story – it’s just that the film as a whole feels very “bad art school production”. 
After the work he did with In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors (both fantastic films
that somewhat explore the same realm as this film), I guess I was just expecting more…somehow he has
regressed since those films into a bad film version of a drama club play.


Shark! (1972)
- 2 out of 10 -

With Samuel Fuller directing and Burt Reynolds starring, you'd think this flick would at least be watchable...
but
you'd be very, very wrong. Apparently they cut and dissected Fuller's original vision something awful, but
even
if he had re-cut it I'm not sure it would have mattered. Most importantly, they story is terribly boring; add
to that
poor sound and film quality and really terrible, choppy editing, and it all adds up to an awful mess. Silvia
Pinal
is looking pretty hot in though, but not hot enough to bother watching this pile.


Shaun of the Dead (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

The story for the film is simple – Shaun works a crappy job, has no ambition, is dumped by his girlfriend,
and his best friend is a loser who sleeps on his couch.  Then once the dead start walking the earth, it’s up
to Shaun to save his ex-girlfriend, his friends, and mom from the marauders.

This silly British movie parodies the many zombie flicks that have appeared over the ages, and does it well. 
The first half of the film is brilliant; it comically assaults all of the preconceived notions of how a zombie
should behave and how one might react to it.  The throwing of household appliances and records in an
attempt to kill them especially had me laughing.  The only part of the film that suffers is when it gets a bit to
serious for the last 30 minutes or so, as the film seems to actually transform itself into a real non-comical
zombie movie.  But a zombie movie is always great, so this is a minor squabble.  This film never overstays
its welcome and is always entertaining…recommended for sure.


She Hate Me (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

First, it must be noted that the view of lesbianism in this film is obviously from a pretty "straight dude"
perspective, ie despite what they say all women want to get with a hot, well hung man.  

Now, assuming you can ignore or get past this silly business, this is a pretty damn good flick.  It's vintage
Spike Lee to be sure - the way it's filmed and put together, the writing and how it's used as another char-
acter, and the choice of actors all point towards a style we're all well aware of by now.  And it's a style I've
always loved, so maybe I'm a little biased when it comes to reviewing any of his movies.  But whatever - I
really liked this, more than I even expected, so do with that what you will.  If you like Spike Lee movies, be
sure to check this one out. 


Sherlock Holmes (2009)
 - 7 out of 10 -

This film seemed to get a lot of grief when it came out, I suspect because it wasn't particularly faithful to the
original Sherlock Holmes stories/mythology...and they were right in that regard.  But it's still a pretty damn
exciting and enjoyable popcorn flick in a steampunk wrapper.  I grew up watching the old Sherlock Holmes
shows on PBS, but doing that didn't cause a stick to be magically inserted into my butt over the matter. 
I have a feeling if it was just a movie about English detectives in the late 1800s that didn't have the Holmes
name attached to it, it would have been received much better.  Robert Downey Jr was obviously fantastic,
and even Jude Law didn't make me want to punch him in the face, a nice step up from his typical roles.



Sherrybaby (2006)
- 6 out of 10 -

Though I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, props to Maggie Gyllenhaal for pulling off white trash with a real
flair of gusto. If I didn't know any better, I'd think she was a girl I grew up with and not a movie star. As a
bonus, she bones Danny Trejo as well, a move that should happen more often in films as far as
I'm con-
cerned. Well, I don't care if he is getting fake sex from movie stars really, I just want Danny Trejo
in more
movies.


Shivers (1975)
- 6 out of 10 -

First, this movie isn't nearly as awesome as the band Shivvers, just in case anyone was wondering.
Second, I thought I'd watched all of David Cronenberg's films but I guess I was wrong. In typical
Cronenberg fashion, the plot is strange and the actors stranger – here, you got a strain of parasites
that infect the residents of a high-rise condo complex and turn them into sex-crazed, murderous loons.
It turns out like most of his movies – poorly...with an added bonus of a bunch of hot seventies chicks
who are occasionally naked.



Shopgirl (2005)
- 8 out of 10 -

It’s funny, I read this book when it came out and I definitely pictured Steve Martin in the role of Ray Porter, so
it was no surprise and a perfect match that he took on this role in the film.  Additionally, I pictured Clair Forlani
in the role of Mirabelle but luckily for us viewers it was Clair Danes instead, since Forlani can’t act her way out
of a wet paper bag and Danes gave one of the best performances of her career and reinvigorated my crush
I’ve had on her for ages.

Anyways, the film is fantastic and sticks fairly close to the book, which is basically about relationships and
loneliness and the intersection of the two in current-day LA.  The only major detour is the development of the
Jeremy character and his life on tour with the band, which isn’t really covered in the book but actually works
well in the film as it helps you identify and root for the character that would become important again at the end
of the film.  And maybe the best part was the large role for Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon front man Mark
Kozalek - who not only had a number of lines, but played some Sun Kil Moon songs as well (even if the band
had a different name, and something very dumb that escapes me presently).  One of my favorite movies of
the year.


Shortbus (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

Porn. I got nothing against porn, but let's call it what it is – this is porn. Porn with tolerable acting and at
least a little bit of a plot – but still, porn. I keep waiting for John Cameron Mitchell to come out with a film
close to as good as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but no such luck yet.


Shot in the Heart (2001)
- 6 out of 10 -

It's not often I can say this, but I watched this film solely because of a punk rock song. The Adverts wrote a
fantastic track called "Gary Gilmore's Eyes", which led me to look up Gary Gilmore - turns out he was a
murderer sentenced to death in the late seventies just after the death penalty was reinstated. Not only was
he the first person executed after the reinstatement, he insisted it be done via firing squad.


This movie is based on the book of the same name written by Gilmore's brother, and isn't so much about
the crimes themselves as it is about the make-up of Gilmore and his relationship with his family. The movie
is a tad slow, even if the material is interesting, and the whole production feels a little too much like a play
for my tastes. But it's still a decent flick about a strange time in the history of this nation, and not without it's
merits.


Shotgun Stories (2007)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I recorded this on a whim - given the title and the synopsis of it being about feuding groups of half-brothers, it
sounded like it could be a gory, goofy good time.  Instead it was a slightly depressing but very entertaining
tale between two groups of boys that grew up being taught to hate each other even though they shared a
father.  The run-down small town setting is almost as big a star as the actors, letting you know that no matter
who comes out on top in the feud, they all lose if they are stuck in that town.



Shredder (2003)
 - 2 out of 10 -

Holy crap, this movie was so bad it was almost awesome again but then went right over the hill and got bad
again.  It's a horror movie that isn't scary, and it tries to be funny and fails terribly.  The "hot bimbo" characters
aren't hot at all, the acting is some of the worst I've ever seen, and the special effects look like they were
dreamt up by a half-brained eight year old.  

The basic gist of the flick is that some drunk snowboarders caused some skier kid to get killed, and then all of
the sudden snowboarders are getting killed.  The mountain shuts down, but then a few years later this pack of
snowboarding retards breaks in and the killing starts again.  Yeah, you can pretty much write in crayon what
happens from there...sex, running from the bad guy, all but a couple get killed off, and then they take out the
baddie and live happily ever after.  

This movie is absolutely terrible in every way.  I highly recommend it.



Sideways (2004)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I think this might be a result of living in the Bay Area and having to hear/deal with it all the time, but pretty
much anything involving wine is an incredibly huge turn-off.  It is solely based on this fact that I was skeptical
about this film, despite the lofty praise it had been receiving – I knew the subject matter was going to get under
my skin so much that it would turn me off the whole movie.  Luckily I watched it anyways and was entirely wrong. 
Sure, the subject matter is like fingernails on a chalkboard, but it’s just window dressing to the well written
buddy film that lies beneath.

Paul Giamatti, well you knew he was going to be excellent in this because he is good in just about everything
he appears in.  But the brilliance of casting a man best known as playing dimwitted mechanic on the awful show
Wings is one of the best moves taken in Hollywood in ages.  Thomas Haden Church plays the role of his life
here, perfectly encapsulating both the benefits and pitfalls of friendship in one concise package.  To say that I
merely identified with Giamatti’s character is to understate the situation, as it seemed like my very life was on
film to some extent.  And I’m certain I wasn’t alone in these feelings, given the response this film has gotten. 
The film as a whole is plenty good, but it is really the interplay between these two main characters that makes
it the film that is.  And amongst wine nonsense, no less.


The Signal (2008)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I was surprised to find out this movie was made in Atlanta, because it felt so Canadian.  I have no idea what
that really means, but something about this flick really had me thinking it was from the land of moose and
Molson.  I suppose none of that really matters, and I should say here that while I give this film an A for effort in
trying to be a different and original horror/zombie film, that doesn't make up for the fact that it just wasn't very
enjoyable. 



Silent Hill (2006)
- 6 out of 10 -

For a movie based on a video game, this isn't all that bad – at the same time, that ain't exactly high praise.
The story is pretty vapid at best and the acting plenty forgettable, but the special effects are spectacular.
This flick is really fucking creepy, genuine goose-flesh material...I've never played the game before, but I'm
guessing the decrepit town setting and bad guys such as Pyramid Head are fairly true to the original game
story and no doubt equally unnerving with a controller in your hand.



Silent Running (1972)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Bruce Dern!  I love Bruce Dern, more than any man really should.  He makes such an excellent smartass
in television and film, you can’t help but be drawn to him.  But here’s the problem with Silent Running –
Dern does not play his usual smartass self, but rather some sort of horticultural hippy. And what’s worse,
after the first few minutes there’s no one for Dern to be a smartass to if his character all of the sudden
started being one, other than robots.  and take it from me, robots don’t make for very good smartass-
edness partners.  Other than that, despite a somewhat neat premise, saving the vegetation of the earth
and all that, the film is just too damn slow and boring. 


Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Sarah Silverman is definitely not for everyone – if you don't like your humor intentionally crude and insulting
but coming from the mouth of a really hot lady, then this probably isn't for you. I could really do without the
musical interludes and constant off-shoot moments she does from her stand-up routine, but I suppose that
is part of what makes her different from other comics (and is why the fast -forward button was invented).
But pretty much all of the stand-up itself I enjoyed, where she manages to insult pretty much every type of
person known to man. Plus, did I mention how hot she is? Seriously, she could stand on the stage and
babble like a mongoloid and I'd probably still watch it.


The Simpsons Movie (2007)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

It was a movie version of “The Simpsons”...truly, that's all there was to it. Maybe the animation was a touch
better from time to time, but mostly it was like getting to see three episodes pushed together and
released
in the theatres. Mind you, I ain't complaining, cause I've loved the show forever. But I guess part
of me was
looking for something different with a theatrical release (other than getting to see Bart's
cartoon wiener).


Sin City (2005)
 - 10 out of 10 -


You would have to have a serious case of gravy leg to not like this movie.  This movie is hotter than a Rockwell
painting of Conway Twitty tickling Ronnie Milsap’s taint.
(Jake Rash)



Sister Helen (2002)
- 7 out of 10 -

Sister Helen is a mostly entertaining, often sad, and completely compelling look into the life of a woman who
overcame personal tragedy through helping others.  After the loss of her two sons and husband, Helen became
a nun late in life and devoted herself to helping male drug addicts in a run down section of the Bronx.  Her com-
passion paired with a huge helping of tough love on the serial derelicts living in her house makes not only for
good therapy, but good television as well.  Her constant proclamation of “hello!” in response to dumb excuses,
love of Frank Sinatra, and cursing seemed very un-sister-like, but completely effective given her clientele.  This
is a documentary well worth viewing.


Six Pack (1982)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I find it more than a little confusing how much I generally enjoy movies about auto racing, given the fact that
I'd rather watch grass grow than watch the real thing.  Even cheesy family fare like this flick is a decent viewing
in my warped world.  It's not that I could actually recommend it per se, as there is nothing special about it
really, but it's enjoyable enough for a brain vacation I suppose.  One highlight worth noting is that this is one
of Diane Lane's first movies, and boy howdy is she hot like the inside of an old person's house.  Anthony
Michael Hall also plays a supporting role in an early film for him as well, but I found myself staring at Lane
so much I hardly noticed. 



16 Blocks (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Some drama, some suspense, corrupt cops, Mos Def…all told a pretty damn good film honestly, certainly
much better than I was expecting.  I figured Mos Def would be good and the rest would suck, but that
wasn’t the case at all; I wouldn’t go so far as to say the story fooled me in any way, but it was well done. 
And a big kudos to David Morse, who was fantastic in the film.  Mos Def was great as always – the only
sad thing about him getting so much acting work, is it cuts back on his music output.  The man is truly
blessed with talents all around.



Sixteen Candles (1984)
- 10 out of 10 –

Oh, Molly Ringwald, so hot…John Hughes will forever have my undying affection for bringing her to the
forefront of teem cinema in the 80s.  I dunno what to say on this one that everyone else doesn’t already
know, but more than 20 years later this film still stands up well; after all, fashions may have changed but
teenagers are still pretty much the same.  And more than anyone, John Hughes managed to get it right,
the high school world that so many have sought both before and since.



16 Years of Alcohol (2003)
- 8 out of 10 -

I sorta watched this on a whim – anything Scottish and set in the seventies is generally worth the effort
in my book.  Turns out, this is one hell of a beautiful picture, a poem about the effects of alcoholism and
a poor family life on a young man named Frankie (played by Kevin McKidd ,best known for his role of
Tommy in Trainspotting).  It has three main sections: Frankie’s childhood, where he witnesses his father
cheating on his mother after time spent in a bar, which leads our protagonist to begin drinking at a very
young age.  It then moves on to the early adulthood of Frankie, where he roams the street with a pack of
hoodlums in a very Clockwork Orange-like way, beating up randoms and staying drunk.  Finally, we have
the redemption, where Frankie attempts to turn his life around and outrun his past.  Much like real life,
things don’t always turn out as planned.  Well worth checking out.


61* (2001)
 - 8 out of 10 -

This film doesn't change my hatred of the Yankees, not one bit, but it is a very interesting tale of Roger Maris'
chase for the home run record in 1961.  All I knew going into this flick was he and Mantle were both hitting a lot
of homers that year and overall Maris was only a slightly better than mediocre player.  What I didn't know about
were the death threats over him breaking the record set by the might Babe Ruth, being booed by his own fans
as the record drew close, and even a lack of support from the Yankees management and the MLB, as nobody
wanted this sub par player to hold such an important milestone.  Given this was an HBO-produced film, you know
the quality is high and Billy Crystal does a fine job in what is easily his finest directorial debut.



Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

From what I understand, this film represented a movie-making first – it was shot entirely in front of a blue
screen on a sound stage, with the actors being the only part of the film that was “real”.  That in and of itself
is impressive from a technological standpoint alone…but the fact that they made it look so incredible, so
lifelike on the first try is astonishing.  Sure they’ve been using blue screens for a while, but I can’t even imagine
going in knowing that the entire film would be that way.

The story of the film is pretty simple and fairy-tale at best, and mostly only serves as a vehicle for the explor-
ation of the imaginary world the filmmaker has come up with.  The combination of post-WWII imagery with
robots and technology is nothing new, but this is probably the best example of it I’ve ever seen.  This film is
an amazing escape, one I plan on re-visiting again in the future.


The Slammin' Salmon (2009)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Broken Lizard keeps looking for success since "Super Troopers", and it keeps eluding them.  Not that this
flick is bad, it's definitely got some laughs and is an enjoyable enough movie to watch, but it just doesn't
have that magic that "Super Troopers" had.  And that's okay - most groups or filmmakers don't ever make
a comedy gem that will be popular for years, so even if the rest of their output is at this same level of "funny
enough but not great" status, they can still hold their heads high.



Slap Shot (1977)
- 9 out of 10 -

The greatest hockey movie ever made (yes, even better than Youngblood with Rob Lowe and Patrick
Swayze), and friggin’ hilarious to boot.  Everyone already knows and loves this so there’s no reason to get
all wordy on the matter, but I just recently rewatched it for umpteenth time and it is just as great as it was the
first time I saw it.  Despite many great roles over the years, this will always be how I choose to remember
Paul Newman.



Sleepaway Camp 2 (1988)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I have always been a big fan of the first Sleepaway Camp – it scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid,
something that didn’t actually happen to often.  For that fact alone I have always held it in high esteem when
it comes to this genre of movies.  But all of that creepiness was replaced in the sequel with pure un-
adulterated camp in the follow up film.  And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact, it’s what you usually
look for in a film like this (along with gratuitous T&A, of which you are rewarded plenty in this movie).  I
suppose I just expected more considering how much I liked the original.

But there are some truly great slasher scenes in this one, death by outhouse being my personal favorite. 
And everyone does a decent enough job acting, or at least as well as you have to in a film like this.  And
did I mention the boobs?  There are a lot of breasts bouncing around on this celluloid.  So if you like killing
and tits, I say go for it.


Sleeper (1973)
- 9 out of 10 -

One of the best Woody Allen movies of all time, certainly one of his silliest. One might even call this film
“madcap”
or “zany”, especially if the person saying these things was a film reviewer from the 1940s. Like a
lot of Allen's
work from this period, it begins with a preposterous storyline and then follows with lots of sped-
up chase scenes
that work as a real homage to the early masters of comedy from the first half of the century.
I'd probably rank this
just under “Take the Money and Run” and “Zelig” and on par with “Bananas” when
judging Woody's best
comedies.


Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)
- 4 out of 10 -

Sure Julia Roberts, cut your hair and move a few hours away, now your crazy-ass husband will never find
you.  That is totally believable, cause no one would ever notice you still have that enormous trout mouth,
your most defining trait.  Nope - that hair cut makes you look like a different person, just like when Clark
Kent takes off the glasses and becomes Superman.


Slither (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I started out thinking this was one of the stupidest films I've ever seen, but it got so goofy as it went on that
actually became pretty damn enjoyable. And funny too - much funnier than you'd ever expect out of an alien-
infection-causes-zombie-attack horror flick. Full of B-movie actors (with the one exception of a small role
taken by Jenna Fisher, star of “The Office”) and a story probably written on a napkin, this thing plays out
like a big budget version of a film Troma would have made.


Smart People (2008)
- 4.5 out of 10 -

Another film about educated folks in a college town who are completely miserable. The movie really isn't
even worth mentioning outside of Thomas Hayden Church, who plays a similar fuck-up to the one he did in
“Sideways”, and he tried his damnedest to make this a watchable flick. He pops on to the screen just often
enough to keep you from turning it off, but not often enough to make you actually enjoy yourself.



Smokin' Aces (2006)
- 3 out of 10 -

If they would have spent even half the time working on a worthwhile and/or sensible plot as they did on
creating quirky characters, this might have been something. But they didn't, and it isn't.


Snake Eater (1989)
 - 5 out of 10 -

The gold standard for Lorenzo Lamas action movies.  Absolutely ridiculous from start to finish, but some-
how enjoyable.  As much of a punchline that Lamas is these days, it's a really a surprise he didn't become
a bigger star...swarthy good looks, decent sense of humor and a knack to pull off the snarky action star
role.  I suppose there were a lot of action stars  and near-stars in the eighties, but it seems like if he came
out with this character today (and was still this young) he'd be pushed as the next big thing. 



Snakes on a Plane (2007)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

For a film seemingly based around a goofy internet idea, with poor acting and terrible writing, I found this
surprisingly enjoyable. You had hot chicks, boobs, grisly death scenes, poorly animated fake snakes...if
those snakes had only been animatronic, this flick would have been a goddamn masterpiece. Honestly,
what more can you say about a movie that wholly revolves round snakes...on a plane.



Snatch (2000)
 - 8 out of 10 -

My first though when viewing this film, and no doubt a thought many others had, is that Guy Ritchie has
essentially remade his first film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  Sure, the story is slightly diff-
erent, but when you see Snatch for the first time it feels automatically familiar like you’ve been there
before even when you know you haven’t.

Quite simply, it’s a totally silly but engrossing story involving a diamond caper, crime bosses with com-
edic monologues, witless thugs in one caper after another, and Brad Pitt as a trailer-dwelling gypsy in
the best role of his career.  The characters in this film are as strong as any in any film outside of Wes
Anderson, and the reason I keep going back to watch it again and again.  To be quite honest, I’ve seen
this flick a number of times and might have to think hard as to what actually happens in the story, but I’ll
remember the characters in it forever.



The Snow Walker (2003)
 - 8 out of 10 -

It’s really a shame this film never received much buzz, because it is quite exceptional. Set in the 1950s,
it is basically the story of bonding between a bush pilot and an Inuit girl who is slowly dying of tuberculosis. 
The scenery is just amazing, the acting is even better – Barry Pepper does a great job as usual, and new-
comer Annabella Piugattuk not only did an excellent job acting but I would be surprised if every hetero-
sexual male wasn’t totally in love with her by the end of the film.  One can only hope she pursues acting
as a career (though on IMDB she has nothing listed other than this film) – no doubt she would be suc-
cessful.  For a film that I was just watching out of boredom, I can’t believe how amazing this was.


Sometimes A Great Notion (1971)
- 6 out of 10 -

By all accounts, the Ken Kesey novel this film is based upon is so complicated that a faithful film rec-
reation of it would be so long and convoluted that you'd have no idea what is going on; given that, Paul
Newman apparently did about as good a job as possible given the material provided. Now I haven't read
the book myself, so I'm just going on what I've read about the film; what I do know that this was a pretty
enjoyable flick. I've always been a big fan of Paul Newman, and my love of Pacific Northwest logging
films is well established. This outing marries both quite well, and with a strong streak of anti-
establishmentarianism running through it. And yes, I just made that word up.


Sometimes in April (2005)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I feel bad for enjoying movies and docs about the Rwandan genocide so much, but it's an absolutely fas-
cinating topic.  This a very well made, well acted film on the subject (made for HBO, who always do a
great job) starring the always impressive Idris Elba as a father trying to find out how and why his daughter
died to the murderous Hutu mob.  On top of that, his own brother was one of the main instigators of the
genocide, and he has to come to terms with their relationship given that brother was bascially responsible
for the daughter's death, no matter how unintended. 



Sons and Lovers (1960)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I dunno, the line up there pretty much says it all – beautiful cinematography wrapped around a snoozer of
a tale.  If caught in the right mood I might have enjoyed it a bit more, but then again you might be able to
say that about a lot of things.  The whole film is mostly about the interconnected and confounding inter-
personal workings of a number of folks in a small mining town in England, set in the early part of the 20th
century.  Marriage issues, class divides, the idea of “bettering oneself” all come into play, snoozingly so. 
But seriously, at least the film looks fantastic, so it’s got that going for it.


Soul Vengeance (1975)
- 3 out of 10 -

I will happily go on record that this is my favorite “using a supersized penis to strangle folks” film of all time.
But no amount flesh firehose choking could make this flick actually enjoyable, or really even watchable. A
student film featuring an almost entirely amateur cast, you'll never confuse this for real filmmaking.


South of Heaven, West of Hell (2000)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Starring and directed by Dwight Yoakam, I wanted to like this gritty western but the story is just all over
the goddamn map.  I know I've often said that nice cinematography and a decent cast will take a movie
far, but apparently having some semblance of a story is a nice thing to have too.  I want to award bonus
points to Dwight for putting Bud Cort, Michael Jeter and Pee Wee Herman in the flick. 



Southern Comfort (1981)
- 6 out of 10 -

A Walter Hill classic about asshole reserve soldiers on maneuvers in the swamps of Louisiana, and their
clash with the locals. And by clash, I mean boat stealing and killing and that manner of carry-on. It's one of
those films where it doesn't really bother you if either or both sides of the battle get killed off, because no
one is likable here. Perhaps the best part of the flick is Powers Boothe playing a grizzled soldier only a
couple of years before he played a grizzled soldier in one of the greatest bad films of all time, “Red Dawn”.


Spanglish (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

After watching this, the only word I could think of to describe it was "sweet".  Oh, and that Paz Vega is so
hot it makes my teeth hurt.  It's basically a film of culture clashes, an illegal immegrant woman and her
daughter living and working and growing up with an eccentric, wealthy family.  Vega's character battles
between teaching her daughter the traditional ways of her culture and letting her be assimilated into the
American borg, while trying to come to terms with the patriarch of the family (Adam Sandler) falling in love
with her.  And who can blame him really, I fell in love with her just watching the damn film.  A simple, engag-
ing film with good characters and a laugh here and there.  Like I said, "sweet".



Species (1995)
- 5 out of 10 -

Entertaining but thoroughly ridiculous horror/sci-fi flick about an alien/human hybrid, created in a lab by
Captain Piccard of the Starship Enterprise, that turns out not only to be a killing machine, but drop dead
gorgeous. Obviously, that means there will be scene where she fucks someone to death. Everything about
the plot is nonsensical, even by goofy sci-fi movie terms, but it was enjoyable enough, what with naked
Natasha Henstridge moments and all.



Species II (1998)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Like "Species", but "Speciesier"!  Actually, the plot is slightly similar to the plot of "Terminator 2" in that the
bad guy from the first film helps the good guys beat the bad guy from the second film.  Only considerably less
entertaining.  Natasha Henstridge is still crazy hot though. 



Speedo (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Like most documentaries, the concept of Speedo is simple – it is basically about a man, named Speedo,
and his
burning desire to compete and win in demolition derbies.  There are two things to take from this
film…first, there
are white trash/rednecks/whatever all across this land, not just in the south.  I realized this
when I took a road trip to
New England and found that driving through Vermont, New Hampshire, and
western Massachusetts was very similar
to mountain home in western North Carolina.  Secondly, and more
importantly, this guy Speedo, he is very much an
every-man – and that is exactly why this film should appeal
to most who watch it.  He has done what so many of us
year and search for, and that is found the thing that
he loves to do more than anything else…and he is willing to sac
rifice whatever it takes for even the small-
est glory to go along with it.  Moreover, the guy is a character and is plenty
entertaining, making for a very
watchable documentary.


Spiderman 2 (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

What’s up with these comic adaptations and their inability to make a good first movie?  Not unlike X2, the
sequel to Spiderman far outperforms its predecessor, which I found to be pretty boring actually.  Is this
supposed to give us hope that a Hulk sequel will do the same?  Perhaps if they don’t get a director best
known for stuffy period dramas, it’s possible – but that’s neither here nor there.

At least X2’s problems were based on it being mostly a “set up” movie, and it was still pretty good just
nowhere near the second one; the first Spiderman was just crappy all around, so my expectations were
low going into this.  Perhaps that was part of the reason this was more enjoyable, but I think it mostly had
to do with the storyline just being much more interesting; Doc Ock has always been a much better
Spiderman foe, and I think it showed in this movie.  I dunno what else to say – pretty enjoyable, especially
compared to the first film…’nuff said.  OH, one more thing – every time James Franco was on the screen,
I would get a little teared up wishing there were more Freaks & Geeks episodes to watch…sigh.


The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I'm pretty sure I missed the point here...some kids in Spain see "Frankenstein" and then try to find him I
think?  Honestly it didn't hold my attention in any way, shape, or form...and I usually love Spanish movies. 



The Squid and the Whale (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Holy fucked-up kids batman!  This film, set in the 80's, is basically the character study of one middle-class
family in New York City going through a divorce.  A simple concept, deftly portrayed by all of the actors in-
volved, but kudos especially go to Jeff Daniels for his portrayal of the washed-up former-author of a father.  
While his career arc is on the downturn, the mothers is swinging upward which serves as a major catalyst
for the problems the family faces; the other major issue is the mother's issues with intimacy and monogamy.  
Through it all, the kids turn out wacked out of their heads and the film focuses on their problems, which are
often funny but always disturbing.  It's actually a tough film to really sum or suggest to a friend; the oddity
portrayed will definitely turn off many viewers, while delighting others.  Even if you can't identify with the
peripheral issues all of the characters exude, the core familial difficulties should ring true with most everyone.  


SSSSSSS (1973)
- 4 out of 10 -

Basically, you got a flick about a crazy scentist who turns Faceman from the A-Team into a snake. To save
humanity or some such shit. Yeah, the plot is retarded, the acting ham-fisted, but I've seen worse. If the MST3K
crew never did their comedy thing with this one, they really missed out.



Star Trek (2009)
 - 7 out of 10  -

A remake of a movie that was itself a movie version of a TV show, only outside of the characters involved the
story is completely different so it's not really a remake at all.  Got it?  Good.  Honestly, the entire film is more a
of a set up for the impending series than a cohesive film itself, but you don't really mind because it's so damn
good.  Simon Pegg as Scotty was an especially brilliant casting choice, and reason enough alone to watch.



Star Wars Episode III (2005)
 - 5 out of 10 -

The more I think about this, the more I think that a "5" is being terribly generous.  Remove the Jar-Jar Binks
disaster from Episode One, and this is by far the worst of the six Star Wars films.  Great ideas, very imag-
inative all around, but poor execution.  I'm not sure how, but the special effects actually look worse here than
in the previous two films, and there is way too much of it.  The acting is atrocious, but I've come to expect that
and want to give them a pass considering most of the time the actors are in front of a blue screen for the
majority of their roles.  Doesn't make it any more watchable.  All told, I guess I'm glad I watched it for the
escapism at least, but I was disappointed - and my expectations were pretty low to begin with.


Starsky & Hutch (2004)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This movie is worth watching for one thing and one thing only - Will Ferrell's "dragon" scene at the prison
interview.  It would be pointless to try and explain it, but if you've seen it you know where I'm coming from;
if not, after this scene you can turn the film off if you want.  Some dumb expendable laughs here and there,
but nothing special about the rest of the film. 



State of Grace (1990)
- 8.5 out of 10 –

Considering the popularity of the topic of gangs, it’s surprising that there haven’t been more films made
about the Irish mobs…it’s not just Italians running the underground of this country after all, but they get the
most press.

This film is a fine example of how any mob movie should be made, regardless of which ethnic background
they are claiming – great characters, interesting story lines, and a huge finale that will have you on the edge
of your seat.  But more than anything, this movie is run on the backs of some of the finest actors in the
business – Ed Harris, Sean Penn, and most importantly, Gary Oldman, who will forever be one of the great-
est actors at portraying insane criminal killers (see also True Romance, The Professional, Romeo Is Bleeding,
etc.).  The final shoot out is one of the greatest gun battles ever put on film as far as I’m concerned.


State of Play (2009)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This is one of those well-acted, well-made political thrillers where you completely forget what it was
about right after you watch it.  Someone dies, there's a cover-up, a twist in the plot makes you think the
wrong person committed the crime, whatever.  The cast list reads like a who's who of Hollywood bangers,
but none of that made this movie memorable. 


The Statement (2003)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

It’s pretty surprising that a film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Michael Caine could have flown
as far under the radar as this one has…I consider myself fairly well informed, and didn’t even know this
existed until a few weeks ago.  This is the tale of a Nazi-collaborating French soldier, on the run since the
war for killing 7 Jews, in modern day France.  This character is played superbly by Caine, completely be-
lievable as a man with duel personalities constantly at battle within him – on one side the murderous rogue,
the other side a deeply religious man upset with the turn the Catholic church has taken.

The whole thing played like a fictionalized true account and I believe this to be the case, but can’t verify. 
The movie has a number of slow points, but they interject Caine and action in just enough to make it a fairly
enjoyable flick.



Stealth (2005)
- 2 out of 10 -

I think I fell asleep with my eyes open watching this…cause the only things I can remember about this pile
was Jamie Foxx acting really pompous (so that obviously means he dies), Jessica Biel looking pretty
damn hot, and a bunch of crappy flying effects.  If those sound like the building blocks of a movie you’d
actually want to watch, have at it.


Stick It (2006)
- 3 out of 10 -

“The Dude” made a teenage gymnastics movie. Donny is rolling over in his grave right now. Or rather
his ashes are, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and up to Pismo. At least the star, Missy Peregrym is kinda
cute...she looks like a female version of Hilary Swank. So that's something, I guess.


Still Waiting... (2009)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable "Waiting" was - not good mind you, but enjoyable.  This
sequel...not so much.  Yeah, there's a couple of funny scenes and the fake Hooters (plus the tramps in
it) were somewhat entertaining, but it's pretty much a bad movie.  There is a fake "how to pick up chicks"
video starring Adam Carolla shown in a few scenes that was definitely the highlight of the flick.



Stomp the Yard (2007)
- 3 out of 10 -

I don't want to spoil the film for you, but there is a lot of dancing in this one. Stomping, battling, pretty
much everything but a solo dance through a barn ala Footloose. Also, and I know this will be shocking...
the good guy(s) win in the end, over coming adversity, and getting the girl in the end. In this case that
girl is Meagan Good, who is smoking hot (and to be perfectly honest, the only reason I kept watching
this pile after about 20 minutes).


Stop-Loss (2008)
- 5 out of 10 -

MTV-ized version of one soldier's struggle with being called back to Iraq after he thought he was getting
out of the service...”stop-lossed”, as I guess it is known to be called. It was fairly entertaining, and the
acting held it's own (with Joseph Gordon Levitt being the stand out, no big surprise there), but the story
was straight out of an armed forces recruiting video. A good subject with a decent cast, but they weren't
given much to work with.



Straight, No Chaser (1989)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Don’t get me wrong – watching Thelonious Monk play music is akin to watching a living piece of art, the
man was truly in a category all his own – but it would have been nice if this documentary was more doc-
umentary-like.  As it is, it feel much more like a collection of live performances with a very bare bones
framework around it, not unlike Jim Jarmusch’s film on Neil Young, Year of the Horse.  I guess I could just
read a book on the man to supplement my current meager amount of knowledge, but I want it in movie
form dammit!

But seriously, just rent this, watch one of the greatest geniuses in the history of music play, and be sure
no flies buzz into your mouth while your jaw hangs open.


Straight to Hell (1987)
 - 5 out of 10 -

In straight movie terms, this is a terrible film – poor acting, bad script, nothing really going for it.  But the
star power is undeniable, and the only reason to watch it…Joe Strummer and Jim Jarmusch as characters
makes it instantly worth checking out at least once.  You can also see Courtney Love as a trainwreck pre-
Kurt Cobain, which is always a good time.  And there is a song about ketchup and salsa as well but I kinda
spaced out and don’t remember the context of that one.  This movie is probably a good candidate for
getting together with your friends and watching, possibly with alcohol or narcotics involved.  Or at least
those things might make the story make more sense.


Strange Wilderness (2007)
- 5 out of 10 -

There are movies that are so stupid they are funny, and others that are so stupid they are...well, stupid. It's
a fine line, and if I had a formula on what makes one work and the other not I'd be a very rich man. “Strange
Wilderness” falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum; an undoubtedly stupid film through and through,
with enough laughs to keep you watching but not so many you didn't think about shutting it off a few times.
The film is basically about a crew of misfits trying to keep alive their “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom”
style show by trying to find bigfoot. The highlights aren't their search for a mythical creature, but rather the
snippets of the wildlife show that are interspersed throughout the flick. That, and the fact Joe Don Baker
has small part.



The Strangers (2008)
- 6 out of 10 -

That dude from “Felicity” and Steven Tyler's daughter get tortured by strangers for no good reason. I would
say that statement is spoiling the movie, except you know what is going to happen in the opening scenes
of the flick. So really it's just about the torture itself, sorta like a fake snuff film set to creepy music. And on
that level, I suppose it is fairly successful and mostly entertaining, but not a very good film.



Strangers with Candy (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

What you got here is a movie version of one of the funniest shows to ever exist.  The problem is that the
very nature of this story line is that it is best suited for a sitcom...when you try to stretch out one plot line
over the span of an hour and a half, it sadly doesn't work as well.  It was still pretty damn funny and certainly
worth seeing, but like most of these sorts of films (see most of the SNL movies in particular), some of the
jokes wear old over the long term.  On top of that, they strangely chose to change some of the actors in
some of the lead roles - I can't imagine why, it's hard to believe her original dad or brother weren't available.  
I know this sounds negative but I don't mean it to be - it was still pretty damn funny and better than most of
the crap that comes out.  And Amy Sedaris is brilliant as usual; here is to hoping she gets more roles...my
dream is that some day her and Will Ferrell star opposite of each other in a super dumb movie which will
undoubtedly be the funniest thing ever made and the world might implode. 


The Street Fighter (1974)
- 7 out of 10 -

I've always had a love of Sonny Chiba's style of karate, and it really gets shown off in this classic.  There is a
story about a billionaire's daughter being protected and kidnap attempts and a bunch of other hogwash, but
we all know why you watch a film like this – to see some serious ass-kicking, and this flick has it in spades.
Really, what more could you ask for in a kung-fu film?


Street Kings (2008)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Apparently since "Training Day" was so successful, why not make another film about a team of crooked Los
Angeles cops and the one member who stands up to the corruption?  The stories are different (and apparently
James Elroy had a hand in writing this one) but all of the base elements are identical.  Well, one big base
element is different - this one has the greatest actor of our generation, Keanu Reeves.  He's not altogether
terrible here, but it's just hard to take him serious as a rogue cop breaking all the rules to get the bad guys. 



Streets of Blood (2009)
 - 1 out of 10 -

Completely unwatchable from the opening minutes.  You'd think the combination of a bloated Val Kilmer, and
over-the-hill Sharon Stone and mumbling rapper 50 Cent would make for riveting cinema, but sadly it goes
down as one of the worst made and acted movies I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. 



Stroker Ace (1983)
- 7 out of 10 -

I must have watched this movie dozens of times as a kid – my next door neighbors were huge Nascar fans
and
anything Nascar-related got run into the ground there. I loved the movie but it had been ages since I saw
it last –
would it hold up to my memories? Well, in fact, it did. The fact of the matter is that during this period
of time Burt
Reynolds couldn't do anything wrong, and dressing him in a chicken costume while he drives a
race car is about
as far from wrong as you can possibly get. Throw in some Jim Nabors and some Bubba
Smith and you've got
a winner in my book.


Sucker Free City (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

The backstory: this 2-hour film, directed by Spike Lee, was meant as the pilot of a series that was going to
air on Cinemax or Showtime, I forget which, but it didn’t get picked up.  Their reasoning was that no one
would watch it unless Spike Lee directed more of the series other than the pilot, but he was unable to commit
because of other filmmaking he was planning.  So now they are just showing the pilot as a movie, and
noticeably, it leaves you hanging at the end.  I haven’t been this pissed off about a show getting fucked over
since Freaks & Geeks went off the air.

As for the pilot itself, it is set and filmed in San Francisco, which could partially explain my fondness.  The
film follows three main characters – a reluctant gang banger from Hunter’s Point, a white kid stuck in HP
because of his hippy parents, and a low-rung Chinese mafia man trying to make the best of his life.  One of
the biggest reasons this film was so successful was the believeability of the charactersm due mostly to the
fact that it was written by a native San Franciscan who obviously knows his stuff.  He did a fantastic job of
giving each of the main characters that quality of being likeable while still doing heinous things.  Each of these
characters is walking a tight rope between good and bad, and the struggle that would have been presented in
future episodes would have been very entertaining.  It is my deepest hope that someone comes to their senses
and decides to make this series happen after all, or at least make a follow up film to close some of the story
lines.  But I’m not holding my breath.


Sugar (2008)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Absolutely fantastic movie about the struggles of a Dominican kid trying to make his way in pro-
fessional American baseball.  I'm no expert on the matter, but it seems to perfectly capture the third
world view of Baseball (or any sport really) as their only way out of a life of poverty.  The pressure lumped
on them by friends and family is enormous, not to mention the agents and coaches who have a piece of
the action if they do well.  What started out as a bit of fun for the kid turns into an anchor of a community
weighing the person down.  It's all fine and good if they make it, but that's like winning the lottery...most
likely they end up right back where they started, just as poor with a broken body and no education. 


Morals and soapboxing aside, the film is just fantastic from start to finish.  Superbly acted (many of the
actors being complete amateurs), beautiful cinematography, and fantastically directed...I couldn't get
enough of it and was sad when it ended.  One of the best movies I've seen in years.



Suicide Club (2002)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

I'm going to go with the most obvious statement known to man – the Japanese really know how to make
some seriously fucked up and weird movies. The entire film is about school kids around Japan committing
suicide because of what seems to be some sort of subliminal messages in the music of an all-girl pop
group. The only problem is, as near as I could tell, they never really give you any reason as to the “why”
and/or “how” these things happened. Despite some terrible special effects, the suicides featured in the
flick were pretty effective at creeping me out and I don't consider myself very squeamish. Worth watching
for the shock value I guess, but if you're looking for a cohesive story you might want to go elsewhere.


A Summer in the Cage (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

What was sold to me as a documentary on street ball in New York City quickly devolved into the study
of one player and his struggle with bipolar disorder. Not unlike the player that was suffering, the film had
a tendency to ramble on without real strong direction. Perhaps if I hadn't gotten myself excited for a
basketball documentary I might have enjoyed this more.



Summer School (1987)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Everything about this is classic 80's awesomeness - the "losers do good" story, the fashion, giving Mark
Harmon paying acting gigs, Kirstie Alley in non-plus-sized clothing...good times all around.  This was Carl
Reiner's last great film, the man who brought us The Jerk, and it's a perfect feel-good film full of quirky char-
acters where everyone wins in the end - except that dastardly dean, of course, who gets his come-uppance. 
Not a lot to analyze here really - silly movie, cute girls, funny clothes, everybody wins.


Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A single mom takes up crime scene cleaning as a way to make ends meet, and Alan Arkin-style hijinks
ensue.  As this film was made by the same producer as "Little Miss Sunshine". those Alan Arkin-style hijinks
probably should have been expected.  It actually has a very similar feel to LMS - a mix of lightheartedness
and generally depressing, downtrodden characters that somehow add together into a decent movie...full
of Alan Arkin-style hijinks.



Superbad (2007)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

I laughed so much watching this that I nearly shit my pants. There is no doubting that Judd Apatow and his
crew of henchmen have the midas touch, and this is yet another gold brick in their wall of success. And in
fact, this might be the crowning achievement of all of their films and shows, a stunningly accurate look at
teenage life as good if not better than Apatow's “Freaks and Geeks”. This achievement was probably
helped by the fact that Seth Rogan wrote this film when he actually was a teenager, and only made some
slight modifications in bringing it to the big screen today.

As important as the screenplay was, this film wouldn't have been nearly as successful if it wasn't for some
A+ casting...Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are near perfect as the leads. Hope-
fully all three of these young actors see many, many more roles come their way.



Supercross: The Movie (2005)
- 3 out of 10 -

It should probably called “Supercross: The Almost-Movie”, as the actual story part of this glorified motor-
cross video is thin to non-existent.  Honestly, that’s probably for the best, though I wouldn’t have minded
a little extra screen time for hottie co-star Cameron Richardson, who looks like she could be Daryll
Hannah’s little sister (or possibly daughter at this point).  Actually, now that I think about it she’s really the
only reason to watch this, or maybe to laugh at Aaron Carter trying to be tough in his 5 minutes of screen
time.  Anyways, stupid movie but you already knew that; maybe if you like dramatic motorcross races this
is for you, otherwise, just watch a real race on TV and you’ll probably enjoy it more.


Super High Me (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

The premise is simple – based on the documentary “Super Size Me”, comedian Doug Benson decided
on a variation of this idea, only with pot. He started by not smoking pot for 30 days, and then followed that
up by smoking pot from the moment he awoke until he went to bed for 30 days. As you might imagine,
many hijinks ensue, lots of pot jokes are made, and much merriment is had. Now, I find Doug Benson hi-
larious, so it was a no-brainer I'd love this; perhaps if you feel differently about the man, look elsewhere for
entertainment. Also, have your head examined cause you don't know funny.



Superman Returns (2006)
 - 7
out of 10 -

Despite the best efforts of the writing and most of the cast, the combination of Kevin Spacey, Parker
Posey, and some bitchin' special effects actually made this a watchable, decent movie.  Brandon Routh
as Superman is just as wooden as Christopher Reeve in the role; Kate Bosworth is downright terrible as
Lois Lane, and the no-names playing her family might have even been worse; and most of all, it was at
least 45 minutes too long for no reason I could discern.  Spacey made a fabulous Lex Luthor, so much
so that if you were like me you were rooting for him to win, even if you knew it would never happen.  No
doubt they are going to make a bunch of these...here's to hoping they can straighten out some of the kinks
from this one, and by "straighten out" I mostly mean ship Kate Bosworth to Siberia or something. 


Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
- 7 out of 10 -

I vaguely remembered watching this a few years back when I was watching my way through the western
section of the video store I was working at, but it had nowhere near the effect it had on me this time around.
This is a damn funny movie, really more a comedy than a western anyways, and James Garner is pitch-
perfect in the role of a fast talking city man trying to sweet talk women out of their money but without the
good sense not to gamble it all away. He pairs up with western screen legend Jack Elam and from there
on...well, the term “hijinks ensue” comes to mind. With side stories of rival gold mines, dynamite explosions,
and impersonated gunslingers, there is no shortage of scenarios that lead to a flustered Garner and
eventually laughs.



Swamp Diamonds (1955)
 - 3 out of 10 -

(Watched via Mystery Science Theatre 3000)
Roger Corman is obviously known for his high quality films, and in Swamp Diamonds, his directorial
debut, he sets the bar quite high.  Seriously, I'd be surprised to learn that anything more than 500 bucks
was spent on this thing.  Bad acting, cheap stock footage and a goofy story, this flick actually makes
some of his later work look quite professional by comparison.  But I would like to point out that this movie
contained one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes I've ever seen - during one point someone was
"drowning" in the swamp, but when they cut to a close up of the struggling swimmer the dark murky water
is all of the sudden crystal clear and you quickly realize the scene was shot in a lap pool...you can even
see the lines on the bottom of the pool through the water!  Hilarious, as is the MST3K commentary, but
the film itself is dreadful.  



Sweet Sixteen (2002)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

Ken Loach sure knows how to make a bleak film, and this is probably his best yet.  It follows a group of lower-class
kids from the Glasgow projects, specifically focusing on the character of Liam, and his attempt to lift himself above
his current caste by any means necessary.  As you might expect if you’ve ever seen a Loach film, things do not go
as planned and end poorly for nearly all involved.  What makes this film so impressive is the acting – Martin
Compston does a brilliant job as Liam, as does everyone; you don’t fee like you are watching a movie, you feel
like you are watching a documentary and this is all real.  The cinematography is brilliant, managing to make the
glamorous ugly and the run-down beautiful, showing Scotland in a light not usually seen.  And the accents…my god,
good luck understanding a word anyone says, and I’m usually good with these sorts of things.  Luckily the film is
subtitled, and you actually do start picking up on it as the film goes on.  Highly recommended.


Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
 - 7 out of 10 -
 
There was something very Shakespearian and tragic to this whole affair, where everyone generally gets
someone and then gets gotten.  Director Chan-
Wook Park pulled the best elements of horror, revenge
and drama films together into one flick where if you think something bad might possibly happen, then it
probably will.  The story is easy to understand but too convoluted to play out here, but needless to say
good intentions
turn into bad ideas with even worse execution, and cue the violence.  This movie seems
to get compared a lot to Oldboy since they are both Korean and center around revenge, but in my mind
that's where the comparisons stop.  In Oldboy there is a series of ups and downs, and you grow to care
for the main character; in this film, it seems more as if you are a passive viewer, seeing everyone's faults
and weaknesses, and while few of the victims are truly bad people, most brought their downfall upon them-
selves.  It leaves you with an entirely different feeling at the end of the movie, and I can't say that I like one
over the other, but certainly both stories are worth checking out. 



Sympathy for the Underdog (7.5/10)
  - 7.5 out of 10 -

Great, old-school style gangster story, but from a Japanese perspective.  An old gang gets dissipated, their
leader goes to the clink; fast forward a few years and the old gang wants to take their territory back from the
new kids now doing the shakedowns.  Shootings and robberies and general tomfoolery ensues, all while
wearing great 1970's suits.  If I looked that awesome in those suits I'd wear them all the time, but since I
don't I'll leave it up to the yakuza. 


Synecdoche, New York (2008)
- 5 out of 10 -

I don't have the slightest fucking idea what was going on in this movie, but it was engrossing to look at. I
can already picture the “complicated, sad bastard” box set that Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be releasing
one day.



Syriana (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I’m still not sure about what happened here, but I know it was enjoyable.  It looked great, good performances
all around, George Clooney had a nice beard…all of the staples of quality film-making.  Arms, oil and under-
handedness could have been the title of this flick, and honestly I should go back and re-watch it instead of
trying to pull off a half-assed review, but whatever.  Even in my state of confusion I’m certain it’s a film worth
watching.


Taken (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Although I enjoyed this film, which is basically action/chase "porn" with very little actual plot or story, it's really
hard to buy Liam Neeson as a super spy government agent badass or whatever the hell it is he is supposed
to be.  One thing is for sure, don't mess with his daughter, even if she is the hot Shannon from "Lost". 



The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three (1974)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

Walter motherfuckin’ Matthau!  Man I love that guy and pretty much every film he touches is golden.  He is
one member in the ensemble of stars - also featuring Jerry Stiller!; you know, to make a good film in the 70s
you had to have an “ensemble”, not just one big name leading the way….dunno why.  Anyway, this is an often-
overlooked classic 70’s crime caper flick about a group of criminals hijacking a New York City subway car in
demand for a ransom.  This film was one of the big influences on Quentin Tarrentino’s Reservoir Dogs - look
no further than the characters’ names in the pic: Mr. Blue, Mr. Gray, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Green.

In typical 70’s action film fashion, the use of tension and superior acting takes the place of CGI explosions
that we know of today.  It wasn’t that long ago when talented actors like Matthau and Gene Hackman and
Paul Newman starred in action films - they were entertaining for everyone, not just the lowest common de-
nominator.  Where is the motherfuckin’ Matthau for my generation?  Goddammit!



Talk Radio (1988)
 - 7 out of 10 -
 
One of Oliver Stone's more forgotten films, for some reason this (and to a lesser extent the much
sillier
but similarly themed Pump Up the Volume) factored very strongly into my high school years, when I
watched it a number of times.  Which is especially curious considering how little I listen to talk radio as an
adult, I would have figured it would have had a much stronger impact at this point, but I'm getting off on a
tangent here...

 
Anyways, the basic idea here is that of a shock jock with a late night call in show slowly going off the deep
end as he tries to balance love, life, having his show go national, and dealing with the crazy callers on a
regular basis.  This is all made worse by his extremely antagonistic attitude towards his listeners and the
world in general, and it all boils over into disaster in the end.  Eric Bogosian does a fantastic job as the lead,
and the whole shebang is based on a play he wrote inspired by the murder of Denver radio host Alan Berg. 
I know it's not a hard film to find, but it does often seem to go unjustly unnoticed, which is a shame.



Talledega Nights (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

Yes, another classic Will Ferrell as-dumb-as-rocks comedy.  This is right in his wheelhouse, the kind of
flick that only gets better with repeated viewings, the sort of movie you annoy your friends with by quoting
it constantly.  I shit you not, during the first 15 minutes of this film I was crying from laughing so hard –
actual tears rolling down my face.  This hasn’t happened often to me.  Sure, the story is rote, most of the
characters are one-dimensional, and it gets a little too serious in the middle as these sorts of films tend
to do, but it is still one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year and I’ll be owning this DVD just for the
outtakes.  John C. Reilly deserves special mention in his turn as Ferrell’s sidekick, easily the funniest
co-starring role in years and further evidence that Reilly is one of the most underrated actors of all time…
his ideas on Jesus and porno career confession might be the best parts of the entire film.


Taps (1981)
 - 5.5 out of 10 -

A bunch of military school brats literally fight to save their school from closure.  What the cadets lack in
common sense they make up for in moxie, until some little kids get killed and Tom Cruise goes batshit
insane shooting willy-nilly in a makeshift machine gun nest.  As was typical of the time (and often still is),
Sean Penn was the highlight of the film, an anti-hero of sorts that you want to pull for even if he isn't
completely on the right side of things. 



Tarnation (2004)
 - 5 out of 10 -

While I didn't find the end result of this film all that entertaining, I loved the concept behind it and have to
give credit to a pretty damn original idea.   And the fact that this cat Jonathan Caouette managed to store
this much information in his life - video, photos, recordings, answering machine messages, etc - well, that's
a great measure of will power and forward-thinking that I wish I had.  It's also probably a dign of insanity, but
I digress.  Mostly, it just has a few too many moments that are overly-arty for no real reason, and I think the
story was interesting enough that it didn't need all that.


Teachers (1984)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A lost classic in my mind - the story of a renegade teacher (played fantastically by Nick Nolte) fighting the
system, a run-down school, and a bunch of kids who don't care, trying to knock a little sense and educa-
tion into them.  Obviously he succeeds, or it would be a really depressing film.  they really liked to make
flicks in the eighties about teachers bucking the system.  the cast for this one reads like a who's who of
eighties stars - Jobeth Williams, Laura Dern, Ralph Macchio, Richard Mulligan, Judd Hirsch, Crispin
Glover, and the still-very-popular-unlike-the-rest-of-these-has-beens Morgan Freeman.



Team America: World Police (2004)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

I’m not typically a hhuuuuge (TM Donald Trump) fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creative forces
behind South Park and Team America: World Police. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the odd episode
of South Park I’ve caught but largely felt like the humor wasn’t meant for me. But, I am a fan of satire,
especially in this ridiculously heated political climate. Thus, I was excited for Team America. The film,
“acted” by marionettes, follows a team of all-American crime fighters as they battle terrorists and defend
freedom. Kim Jong Il is trying to blow up the world, Matt Damon, Tim Robbins and other celebs are mer-
cilessly skewered and a couple of puppets make sweet, sweet puppet love. The best bits were the musical
numbers; Kim Jong Il singing about loneliness and the Team America anthem: “America: Fuck Yeah” are
highlights. Unfortunately, the digs at politically outspoken celebs, the genre of action films and middle 
America felt almost soft and gentle. I expected edgier stuff from the South Park crew. I found myself checking
my watch and thinking about the shoes I saw earlier in Macy's. Overall, it’s moderately entertaining but not a
gut buster. 
(Chelsea Junget)


Teeth (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

When you are told this is a “lite” horror film about a shy girl with teeth in her vagina, your mind might run a
little wild. But it plays out exactly as you would expect – cute shy girl, fucked up living situation, always
having dudes push up on her in unwarranted fashions, and the end result is a pecker that gets bitten off by
her lady bits. It don't wander too far off the path you expect of it, be that good or bad.



Tentacles (1977)
 - 2 out of 10 -

I just sorta randomly happened upon this film, and what started out as a mild curiosity ended with me watch-
ing the entirety of this schlock-fest.  Oh the horrors that this film was!  Basically, this is an Italian-made flick
about a killer octopus that was obviously trying to cash in on the Jaws craze of the 70's.  I can't imagine their
cashing-in attempt was very successful though.  The entire cast is obviously dubbed, but like all good dubbed
Italian movies it also has bit parts for a couple of American legends, in this case John Huston and Henry
Fonda.  Honestly, the only good thing I can think to say about this film is that it had an exremely high beard
ratio, maybe 4:1 or so...that's a lot of beards.


Terror Train (1980)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

It's a train, and there is a terror on it, so it's hard to argue with the title. And no, the terror isn't the magic
of a young David Copperfield, which is featured prominently throughout the flick; it's not Ben Johnson
either, being as grizzled as ever; no, the terror is a crazed killer! Yes, it's a slasher flick featuring a crazed
killer, surely a unique plot twist if I ever saw one. This is one of the many fine films that make up the Jamie
Lee Curtis' "Scream Queen" era, and while it may not be up to the level of "Halloween" or "Prom Night",
it's a pretty good typical campy horror flick.



Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

First off: I've gotta give major props for having R. Lee Ermey's character getting so much screen time in
this sequel/prequel/whatever the fuck it is – he makes any film he is in at least watchable, no matter how
terrible the source material is. And with this flick, unless you are talking about the “physical assets” of the
leading ladies, the source material here is very weak. But it is what it is – a slasher film loosely following
the legend of Leatherface. You got your gore, you got your bad jokes, you got your awful acting...really, it's
got everything you might expect.



Texasville (1990)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Not altogether terrible, but certainly an unnecessary sequel to one of the greatest american movies ever
made, The Last Picture Show.  Not only is the story subpar, it's also pretty much pointless.  The whole
thing plays out like a long episode of Northern Exposure - slightly quirky, overly dramatic and occasionally
funny.  This works in an hour-long TV show, but has no real place attached to a story with a history of the
magnitude this flick has.  



Thank You For Smoking (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

Hilarious, this film is satire at it's finest.  What better way to lampoon the silly and destructive vice that is
smoking than make a pro-smoking film full of maroons?  Aaron Eckhart is outstanding in the lead role as
a lobbyist/PR man for the tobacco industry - so convincing that I almost changed my mind about smoking,
until I remembered that I can't breathe around the stuff.  The film also features a couple of the best char-
acter actors working today in JK Simmons and David Koechner; pretty much anytime I see Koechner on
the screen I start giggling, and I blame his performance of Champ Kind in the Anchorman for this.  Katie
Holmes is even good in this flick in her limited role, which I'm assuming is pre-scientology brainwashing. 
One thing that was interesting is the few times that her breasts were referenced, and before that point I
don't know that I'd ever taken note of them (her cute face would seem to be the draw as far as I can tell). 
Anyways, I'm sure this won't do well in the theatres as satires rarely do, but anyone who wants a good
laugh
should most definitely check this one out.


There Will Be Blood (2007)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

What can you say here...this movie is rad, this movie is depressing, this movie is moving, this movie is
lots of things. As always, Daniel Day Lewis is brilliant, and almost equally impressive is the demented
downer of a score that keeps things moving. Plus, a huge chunk of the film is about milkshakes, and I
love milkshakes!!!


They Live (1988)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Easily my favorite film of all time about a magic pair of sunglasses, starring a professional wrestler.
Space aliens! Subliminal messages! Over a third of the movie spent having Rowdy Roddy Piper get in
a fist fight with Keith David Keith David Keith (the black one)! Despite the completely goofy plot line, I
actually like this movie – no one does B horror/sci-fi films like John Carpenter, and this one keeps it
short, sweet, and to the point.



Thieves Highway (1949)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

A noir film set in San Francisco about long-haul trucking?  Sign me up!  This disc is put out by Criterion so
you know the print is just amazing, and honestly the best part of the film…it is a visual feast for your eyes. 
Another great sight is seeing San Francisco in the late forties, a time I’d give a nut to travel back to.  Like
most noir films the acting isn’t great but the story is, and as mentioned before the look and feel of the film
is beyond reproach and at a much higher level than you’d expect.  Criterion really do the best work of any-
one when it comes to reissuing classic films, to the point now that anything put out by them I’ll at least give
a chance, cause even if the film is boring it will probably be interesting visually.


Thieves Like Us (1974)
- 7 out of 10 -

How did Robert Altman make a good prohibition-era bank robber movie set in the deep south, and it
escape me up until now? In typical Altman fashion, it includes Shelley Duvall being her usual creepy self
(though maybe a hair less creepy than usual), it includes one of the Carradines, and it's a real joy to watch.
Bonus points to it being filmed on location in Mississippi, which despite being 50 years removed from
when the film is set, looks as timely as ever. And I'm guessing they didn't have to do much set building to
make this happen.



Thinner (1996)
- 4 out of 10 -

Based on the Stephen King story, this made-for-TV movie about a fat lawyer getting cursed by a gypsy to
thinness after running down his daughter plays out to be just as goofy as it sounds. The movie can't decide
if it wants to be funny or scary, going for both but ending up neither. Additionally, the fat suits used in the film
set special effects and costume design back 50 years in their shoddiness.



Thirst (2009)
 - 4 out of 10 -

A Korean vampire movie.  Honestly, it was pretty boring and I was kinda zoned out for most of it.  It involved
some vampire priest and the woman he was in love with.  Some uninteresting shit happened.  The end. 



13 Going on 30 (2004)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

For all the hype and press surrounding Jennifer Garner, I have not seen her in a role beyond Noel's mousy
girlfriend in Felicity.   I felt the hype was deserved as she managed to carry the weight of this ho-hum teen
flick squarely on her shoulders.   Garner plays Jenna Rink, a slightly dorky preteen whose 13th birthday party
goes horribly wrong when the cool crowd locks her in the closet. Jenna's birthday wish, to be grown up and
glamorous, comes true and she's catapulted into the future.   She's a successful magazine editor, dates a
professional hockey player but she's not a very nice person.  The delicious Mark Ruffalo is her estranged
childhood friend who has lost faith in Jenna over the years.

This movie was fun, silly and only a little bit painful.  I could have done without the scene when Jenna livens
up a party by leading the crowd in the "Thriller" dance.  All in all good, fluffy fun. (Chelsea Junget)


30 Days of Night (2007)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

There are a ton of things wrong with this movie, very basic items that would completely change the complex
of this film otherwise – the size of the town, the length of the darkness, the closing of the air
port (or, in par-
ticular, the town is a ton bigger than it is presented, the airport never closes, and it is
never dark for 24 hours
a day, though it gets close). But despite these glaring inaccuracies, I enjoyed
this film a lot. A desolate town in
the middle of nowhere, being ravaged by a strange breed of vampires...
it is a damn creepy good time. If only
they had used a fake town instead of the actual town of Barrow,
many of the goofs that nag at you would have
never come up.


This Filthy World (2005)
- 8 out of 10 -

A film of the legendary John Waters doing a comical monologue in front of an audience. Really, that's about
all you can say...if you like John Waters, like I do, you'll probably really dig this; if you don't like the man, I can't
imagine you'd ever watch this in the first place. He talks about his history in films, in pretty much chronological
order, and a lot of the battles he's gotten into trying to get his art on the big screen.


As an interesting tidbit, the flick was directed by Jeff Garlin, best known from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Larry's
agent and good friend. I never knew he directed films or even knew John Waters, but there you go.



This Is England (2006)
- 7 out of 10 -

Know this – I am drawn to a movie or book about English hooliganism in the eighties like a moth to a flame.
Something about that era I find incredibly fascinating, and this film really did a good job of feeding my desires.
The story line is simple – a young boy with a poor home life latches on to some older kids who happen to be
skin
heads, and ends up getting in way over his head. This flick is a semi-autobiographical account of director
Shane
Meadows' childhood, Meadows being the man behind other great British fare like “Twentyfourseven”
and “Dead
Man's Shoes”, the cat is sort of a new generation version Mike Leigh, and I mean that as the
highest of comp
liments. The kid who plays the lead character Shaun, Thomas Turgoose, is really fantastic
and will hopefully see
more work soon before he hits the awkward teen years that seems to decimate most
young talent.



The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
- 6 out of 10 -

I can't honestly say I enjoyed this film that much from a “story” standpoint, but sometimes the story doesn't
much matter. Here you have Steve McQueen at the height of his powers, Fays Dunaway at her hottest, a
young Yaphet Kotto, and styles for miles...seriously, every aspect of this flick from the clothes to the furniture
to the cars to the homes was drool-worthy. For the most part, I didn't care what was going on, so long as it
continued to by eye candy from start to finish – and it did.


The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

Somehow, despite the star power involved this film completely escaped me when it first came out.  But I
noticed it on the cable western channel, had some free time on my hands, so what the hell,
decided to give
it a shot. The was a smart move on my part – this is one of the best “modern” westerns
I've seen in a long
time, probably the best since “Lone Star” over ten years ago. It's also one of the most
honest looks at illegal
immigration ever produced, even if it isn't the primary storyline. This film lives and
breathes and sucks you in,
not only the well-written screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga (also known as the
writer behind Babel, Amores
Perros, and 21 Grams) but the cast as well – Tommy Lee Jones not only
stars in this film but directed it as
well, and he is helped by a cast of greats such as Dwight Yoakam,
Levon Helm, Julio Cedillo, Melissa Leo
and Barry Pepper. I can't recommend this film highly enough.



Through the Fire (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I love documentaries and I love basketball, so it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that I might enjoy this film.
And it was pretty good, certainly entertaining; but I just can't bring myself to give it a very high score based
on the simple fact that I just didn't much care for the star of the flick, Sebastian Telfair. I'm not sure what it
was about the kid – the swagger, the know-it-all attitude, or maybe just the fact that I know he hasn't been
worth a shit since he made the NBA, but whatever the reason I almost found myself pulling against him,
even though the slant of the doc was obviously very pro-Telfair. He's still a young kid, and might make
something of himself as a pro player eventually, but between a number of off-court incidents and this
document to his pompousness, he'll most likely never repair the damage done to his image.



Tideland (2005)
- 5 out of 10 -

I saw this on the Netflix and wondered how it was possible that a Terry Gilliam film managed to get released
without me knowing about it. And then I watched the movie, and it made sense...it's not very good. Told from
the point-of-view of a small orphaned child, the film shows a lot of imagination with the visuals but the story
makes about as much sense as a lead weight taking swimming lessons. I suppose that was point, as it was
supposed to be fractured like the thoughts of a very young little girl, but that doesn't mean it makes for good
viewing material. Kudos to Gilliam to sticking with the premise he set out with, but hopefully he has a much
more palatable idea for his next film.



Tightrope (1982)
  - 6 out of 10 -

Clint Eastwood – in a cop movie?  Unpossible!  This one has a slightly different twist to it though - instead of
a gun totin’ bad ass with no regard for anyone’s personal safety, here he plays a single father with a vulnerable
side.  The film revolves around his hunt for a serial killer and rapist who seems to be specifically targeting
females that Eastwood has had some manner of relationship with.  As you can imagine, the good guy wins in
the end but it’s a rather disturbing film in the process…the very image of Eastwood as a worn-out cop who
frequents hookers just doesn’t get the blood running like High Plains Drifter or Dirty Harry.  Like most of his
movies though it’s a decent viewing, but I think it made me depressed more than anything.


Titicut Follies (1967)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A classic of cinéma verité, this documentary shows the comings and goings of patients in a Massachusetts
mental hospital.  It's an absolutely cruel film in how the patients are treated, but an important view into how
the mentally disabled were treated only a few decades ago.  The film was apparently banned up until the
nineties, and is still tough to come by (as are all of Frederick Wiseman's documentaries).  You won't feel
good after watching this, but you'll definitely be glad you never ended up in a nut house back in the sixties. 



To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
- 6 out of 10 -

This movie is so “eighties” I felt like frosting the tips of my hair, throwing on a T& C Surf Design T-Shirt, and
going prowling for chicks in my Mustang with louvered windows. At the time, I'm sure they though they were
making a modern, cutting-edge cop drama; but by including so many flash-in-the-pan cultural touch-stones,
it aged the film quickly. It's almost like watching a museum exhibit.


As for the film itself – decent-but-not-great cop film about counterfeiters, crooked police and scads of double
crossing. It's almost film-noir, if the soundtrack and fashion wasn't so distracting. A pretty great cast, including
Willem Dafoe and John Turturro early in their careers.



Tormented (1960)
- 3 out of 10 -

I'm almost certain this film was made as an attempt to create the most boring movie possible. I watched it
via Mystery Science Theatre, and while they made it funny and watchable, without them I doubt I would
have
lasted twenty minutes.



Traffic (2004)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

Damn, who would have thought the USA network would have produced such a worthwhile film?  I was highly,
highly impressed with this – good acting jobs all around (especially from Elias Koteas) and the writing
was fantastic.  Moreover, while keeping the same general idea of the impervious nature of the drug war, the
story is completely different from not only the original UK version but the US theatrical version as well.  If they
play their cards right, and keep this same crew of writers, they could turn this into one hell of a series.

The key players in the film this time around are: the DEA operating to shut down the drug trade in Afghanistan;
the smuggling of illegal immigrants and possible weapons of mass destruction through harbors in the Pacific
Northwest; the Asian mafia and its influence on business; and small time drug addiction caused by neglectful
parents.  Also, more than in any of the other incarnations, the story lines really interweave themselves with
each other so that every little twist and turn cause a ripple effect for all of the stories.



Trainspotting (1996)
 - 10 out 10 -

Man, there was nothing I wanted more than to go out and get a pair of tight jeans and a Scottish accent
and start shooting heroin.  Well, not the heroin, but that other stuff.  I honestly can’t think of another movie
that affected me in such a profound way, made me want to change everything about myself to be more like
them.  For a brief period, this film was my New Kids on the Block, my N’Sync, my New Edition.  It was the
epitome of cool.

And I think it is also one of the best anti-drug campaigns you could ever hope for.  Because as cool as it
seems to be on drugs in the beginning of the film, the downside of the overdoses, both the baby and Tommy’s
death, and the way it fucks up everyone involved other than Renton (who managed to kick his habit) makes
it obvious that the good definitely does not outweigh the bad.  That damn scene with the baby crawling on the
ceiling is enough to have me never touch the stuff. Show this film to some of the DARE kids at an early age,
see how many do anything more than smoke a little grass.

And I haven’t even brought up Diane, known in real life as Kelly Macdonald, known amongst my friends at the
time as “The Trainspotting Girl”.  She was the beginning and end of what constituted “HOT” amongst my friends
and me for years.  The movie would probably get a 10 from me just because she is in it.  I still remember fondly,
on my 21st birthday, me and a group of friends went to the token gay dance club to get lively on their straight
80’s/goth night, and two of my heterosexual male friends danced with each other all night solely to try and move
closer and closer to this girl at the club that looked just like Kelly Macdonald.  I have no idea what they were
trying to achieve, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  We still talk about that girl fondly.


Transformers (2007)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I don't make it to the theatre all that often, instead doing most of my film watching at home via netflix. But this is
one example where I wished I'd gotten off my ass and watched the awesome special effects in this goofball flick
on the big screen. Let it be known up front that the story is retarded and pointless, but if you are around my age
and grew up playing with Transformers you can't help but be fascinated with the robots in the movie. There were
a few changes that infuriated my inner nerd, like changing the type of car Bumblebee was and not having
Megatron be a gun, but goddammit the battles were awesome and these were the Transformers! On my screen
kicking ass!! So while this film might be a 5/10 for general movieness (plot, acting, etc), it gets a 10/10 for
making my inner eight-year-old-self as happy as a traveling salesman in a brothel.


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
 - 5 out of 10 -

THERE IS NO MOVIE HERE.  It's just a collection of special effects and shots of Megan Fox looking like
a porn star with her clothes on.  Granted, the special effects are really really good, but the film is two and
a half hours long and somewhere around the midway point you just go numb to the computer generated
madness.



Transmorphers (2007)
- 0 out of 10 -

I've seen better acting in a porno. MUCH better acting. And special effects for that matter.


The Transporter 2 (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

This movie was made entirely to film and display a bunch of improbably chase scenes.  Any plot or decent
acting that may have happened along the way was just peripheral claptrap against the main goal of the film. 
In that sense, this film succeeded at what it set out to do, and that’s really all you can judge it on.  This
wasn’t meant to be a “film”, it was meant to be a thrill ride.  And it was.



Trekkies 2 (2004)
 - 6 out of 10 -

You know how they say you can get too much of a good thing?  Well, that’s what you have here.  The first Trekkies
was pretty amusing, a look into the dysfunctional lives of people who spend their whole lives obsessed with a
poorly written sci-fi television show.  But even towards the end of that film it started feeling a little old.  Trekkies 2
feels like a B-sides compilation to the first film, discarded footage that never made the first round.  Now I don’t
actually think that is the case, but it certainly was not as interesting as the earlier footage; about half of the film was
spent seeing how Star Trek fans around the world celebrate the show, another quarter was spent checking up with
characters from the first film, and the remainder is spent on new geeks.  Maybe, if you absolutely loved the first film
you should search this out, but otherwise I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch.


Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)
 - 5 out of 10 -

I can't imagine anyone, including myself, had particularly high hopes when deciding to watch the first sequel to
"Tremors".  The first film wasn't exactly high cinema, and god knows the budget of a straight-to-video follow-up
couldn't be any higher than a few hundred dollars to buy some beer for Fred Ward (true story: Fred Ward will
perform in any movie for the low payment of only a couple of cases of quality pilsner).  Anyways, it's a fairly fun
movie I guess, what with the explosions and smart-ass comments about the big worms they are fighting; but the
special effects are dreadful, even worse than I would expected.  Everything about the story was pointless, like
adding a plot to a porno - you're just there to see them wrestle with the big worms...which, I suppose, is like a
porno.



Tristan & Isolde (2006)
 - 6
out of 10 -

Movies set in prisons or medievil times, two things that I love regardless of how good or bad the films
might actually be.  And this isn't a very good movie...but still, fun enough to watch.  Sword fights and
women in tight buxom tops and there's always that one dance scene where they do that squirrelly "ren
faire"-style dancing.  Oh, and there's always someone wearing puffy pants...usually an evil prince or
something.  Honestly, I don't even remember the actually story to this - some sort of unrequited love
thing I think - but it's a fun enough film, plenty of action and romance and all that shit to tide most folks
over.


Triumph of the Spirit (1989)
- 7 out of 10 -

There have been about a million tales of WWII, and almost as many that focus on the plight of the jewish
in concentration camps. They all are basically the same movie, and generally a very good one, but the
same nonetheless with slight changes to the window dressing. “Triumph of the Spirit” very much fits this
description, the plot twist here revolving around boxing. Willem Dafoe plays a former boxing champ who
fights to keep himself and his loved ones alive and away from the worst jobs in the camp, with mixed
results. It's a good picture, definitely highlighted by the performance of Dafoe and supporting actor
Costas Mandylor. This might not get the hype “Schindler's List” or that ilk, but it is nearly as good a film
that is well worth checking out.


Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
- 5 out of 10 -

In theory, this movie doesn't even deserve this many points, but I have a soft spot in my heart from
watching it too many times as a kid. And I'm not even sure why I watched it so many times – a story
about a girl scout troop in Beverly Hills shouldn't appeal to a rough and tumble lad. But somehow, some
way, I kept watching, and when I saw it on cable the other day I couldn't help but soak it in again. The film
is also notable for having a large role by indie rock pop princess Jenny Lewis in it, for those interested.
And by notable, I mean its kinda sorta maybe interesting...maybe.


Tropic Thunder (2008)
- 9 out of 10 -

Ben Stiller gets a bad rap, and often I'm the first in line throwing the insults. He makes a lot of crappy
films, and there isn't much defense for that. But just as you want to write him off and never see another
thing he stars in, he comes out with a role that makes you realize he might not be that bad after all...just
seems to lack any sort of filter on what work to take on.


This is definitely the greatest of any of those “redemption” films he has ever done, and not only is he the
star here but wrote and directed it as well. It helps that he is basically playing a parody of himself, and
that the rest of his cast is impeccable. And speaking of redemption, Tom Cruise's portrayal of a douche-
bag Hollywood agent may go down as the single greatest thing that man has been involved with since
that shirtless volleyball scene in “Top Gun”.



The True Meaning of Pictures (2002)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Since I’m a crappy photographer and actually from near where this was filmed, it was a no-brainer for
me – this documentary appealed to me on many, many levels.  The movie had two purposes – to
explore the work and subjects of Shelby Lee Adams, and to question the very nature of objective
photography.

The subject matter at hand is extremely fascinating to me – set in the Appalachian hollers in eastern
Kentucky, it’s not all that dissimilar from some areas where I grew up in western North Carolina.  It is
an area of extreme poverty, and also of great ingenuity – some of the materials and methods they use
for everyday items, building houses, and eeking out a living are quite impressive.  Adams has become
friends with his subjects over the years, returning time and time again to the same families and docu-
menting their lives, hardships and all.  And for this he has received his share of criticism, in perpetuating
the “hillbilly” stereotype that pervades that part of the country.

And that is where part of the debate comes from – is this exploitation, or documentation and art? 
Adams, who grew up near most of his subjects and has intimate knowledge of the land and people,
obviously feels there is no exploitation here, but plenty of other disagree.  Personally, I would have to
agree with Adams – you document subjects, be it good or bad.  The fact is that poverty still exists at
great levels in this country, and ignoring the problem won’t help anything.  Adams gets a sign-off from
all of his subjects before anything is published, and from the participants in the movie, they all seem to
like the photos very much…they know their life is hard and have no problem with it being documented. 
Some naysayers have commented that the participants are not capable of understanding what they are
getting themselves into, but it’s this kind of reasoning that is keeping these folks back just as much as
anything else.

This may not have the same affect on everyone else, but it was a powerful film to me, and should be enjoyable to
most anyone who views it.


The Tunnel (2001)
- 8 out of 10 -

This was a really damn good movie, based on a true story about a group of men and women digging a hole
from West Germany to East Germany in an effort to smuggle loved ones over into freedom. It was executed
beautifully all around, great acting, good pacing and action, and despite the film approaching 3 hours in length
it never dragged (a feat unto itself in my ADD-oriented world). But most of all, I think this film had the biggest
impact on me in that it introduced me to someone who is surely on her way to future stardom – Alexandra
Maria Lara. Not only is she one of the most attractive women to ever cross my eyes, at least based on this

film she is a damn fine actress to boot. Given her IMDB page I'm not alone in these feelings, as she has a ton
of projects in the works with big name actors and directors over the next couple of years.


Turistas (2006)
- 5 out of 10 -

I know this was supposed to be a horror movie, but it mostly just made me want to visit the jungles and remote
beaches of Brazil, organ harvesting assholes be damned. It's one of those classic horror flicks where the pro-
tagonists are such amazingly huge douchebags that you actively pull for the bad guys.


12 Monkeys (1995)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Honestly, I have a hard time NOT liking any picture that features that dark "the world is immensely fucked up
in the future" vibe...I mean, I liked The Postman for chrissakes.  And although the base story of this film is
probably mediocre at best, Terry Gilliam has such a knack for creating visually stunning films that I keep
watching again and again.  Despite the fact that it cannot approach the genius of his masterpiece Brazil, it
does offer a great bit of escapism as well as the best and most interesting role Brad Pitt has ever played.  


I'm not going to go into all of the details of the story, but let me say the following things:
-Bruce Willis makes a great action lead.
-The love story was totally unnecessary.
-The sets in the beginning of the film are amazingly detailed and interesting.
-Additionally, the nut house scenes are the second best part of the film; the use of the tele-
vision to medicate the patients may be a bit trite but it's done convincingly well
.

This film is certainly worth seeing, and while you're at it, watch all of Gilliam's films.  They're all friggin' great.


28 Weeks Later (2007)
- 8 out of 10 -

Sequels of horror movies are so rarely good, that no doubt my grade is a touch inflated just because I was so
surprised to see a film of this quality. Add to that a change in director and we're damn lucky we didn't get a
steaming pile of shit here honestly. I think a big part of what makes this sequel work so well is that while the
stories of the two films are obviously related, 28 Weeks Later can work just as well by itself in the event you
have never seen 28 Days Later (though if you haven't seen 28 Days Later, what are you waiting for?). They also
don't scrimp on the story or cast here as often happens with sequels - Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Renner and Harold
Perrineau all do great acting jobs in particular. On top of all this, it's a damn creepy flick, and that isn't something
I can often say - the use of hand held shaky cameras combined with people constantly running either for their life
or to take one and a soundtrack by the always-evocative Godspeed! You Black Emperor kept me pretty tense
from beginning to end.



21 Jump Street (1987)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This series, along with Cry-Baby, is what really jump-started the Johnny Depp career that we know and love
today.  Sadly, although an enjoyable show, this is really the best thing that can be said about 21 Jump Street. 
I actually have really enjoyed re-watching these shows, but they are incredibly dated and quite hokey…but
maybe that’s part of the appeal?  I remember only getting to see this program a handful of times when it
originally aired, as I didn’t get Fox, but I always thought it seemed like it was plenty entertaining.  Anyways,
certainly worth checking out to see Depp’s roots, but nothing to write home about unless you like hokey cops-
posing-as-high-schoolers dramas.



Twin Town (1997)
- 4 out of 10 -

This flick got a lot of flack when it came out for being a “Trainspotting” knock-off, but that was totally unjust –
nothing similar about the story, the characters, or really any part of the construction of the film.  Truly the only
parallels that could be drawn is it came from the British isles and was “quirky”.  The main theme here is a
pair of fuck-up twin brothers who wreak havoc on their small Welsh town and bathe together…it’s much
goofier and ultimately less interesting than Trainspotting.  My big realization was halfway through the picture,
I just didn’t give two shits about any of the characters.  It looked kinda neat, and the accents were nice, but
for thos most part this whole film was background noise.


Twister (1996)
- 4 out of 10 -

I managed to miss this monstrosity for years, but boredom got the best of me and I got around to finally seeing
it...too bad it didn't actually do anything for that boredom. Even for a summer blockbuster this pile is so far from
believable it's tough to watch it without crinkling up your nose at all the ridiculous scenarios. I suppose there
were some neat special effects, but that does not a good film make.



2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Look, there's no need for a review here - it's a stupid action flick and everyone knows it.  You like car chases
and bad dialogue and worse acting?  This is your ticket.  Good escapism, cute girls, it fit the role it was
supposed to when I watched it.


Two for the Money (2005)
- 5.5 out of 10 -

Two big stars, one mediocre movie. Putting the combination of Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey in
anything will make a film instantly watchable, but it doesn't make it good. And this is not particularly good.
I'm not even totally sure why really...perhaps it's a lack of interest in sports betting in my part, and their
attempt to dramatize the highs and lows behind it fell flat. Jeremy Piven has a small role playing a “
Type-A”
asshole ala Ari Gold in “Entourage”, so that was one small bright spot.


2001 Maniacs (2005)
-2 out of 10 -

I've gotten past the fact that every good horror movie is going to be remade eventually, and Herschell Gordon
Lewis' classic “Two Thousand Maniacs!” definitely qualifies. But for god's sake people, at least put a little effort
into it. Apparently the folks behind this thought that if you threw together a bunch of attractive terrible actors and
small role for Robert Englund, everything would turn out fine. Well, not so much. The only thing they got right here
was the gore and the occasional set of boobs that got flashed.


Jeff Tweedy: Sunken Treasure Live - In the Pacific Northwest (2006)
- 9 out of 10 -

A concert film of Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) performing solo at a number of locations on the west coast. If you like the
songs of Wilco, and want to hear them performed acoustically, you'll be in hog heaven with this flick. Otherwise,
move along. Personally, I thought this was super great – not just because of the quality of the recordings, but the
song selections...it was nice that a lot of the older tracks were featured instead of just focusing on the new songs.


Twelve Rounds (2008)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This movie is completely bullshit and terrible, but as it's sole purpose is just a series of action scenes barely
held together with the weakest of plots, it's hard to be too tough on it.  Wrestler John Cena actually makes a
pretty good action star, outside of not being able to act...not that that's stopped a lot of other action stars in the
past.  Hell, he's better than Schwarzenegger, and you can actually understand what he's saying. 



Tyson (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

A documentary about the man, the myth and the legend of Mike Tyson.  a combination of archival inter-
views, footage, boxing tape and modern interview footage makes for a nice, interesting film.  No doubt he's
been a man of many high highs and low lows, and this flick does a great job of showing his life story...and
while it doesn't excuse his transgressions, it does somewhat explain how he ended up where he did.