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Reviews (just scroll down to read)
Ultraviolet (2.5/10)
The Unborn (4/10)
Uncle Buck (8.5/10)
Undertow (8/10)
Underworld U.S.A. (6/10)
Unforgivable Blackness (8/10)
The Unforeseen (5/10)
The Uninvited (4/10)
Unknown (4/10)
Unleashed (8/10)
Untraceable (6/10)
Up (8/10)
Urban Legends: Final Cut (3/10)
Urgh: A Music War (8/10)

V for Vendetta (7.5/10)
V: The Original Miniseries (6/10)
Vacancy (4.5/10)
Valhalla Rising (9/10)
Valkyrie (6/10)
Van Wilder (8/10)
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (7/10)
Vantage Point (5.5/10)
Venom (3/10)
Venus (6.5/10)
The Verdict (8/10)
Veronica Guerin (5/10)
A Very Long Engagement (8.5/10)
The Visitor (6.5/10)
Visitor Q (6/10)

W. (6/10)
The Wackness (6.5/10)
Waiting... (6/10)
Waitress (4/10)
Walk Hard (6.5/10)
Walking Tall (7/10)
Walking the Line (5/10)
Wall-E (7/10)
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (6/10)
Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price (7.5/10)
The Wanderers (8.5/10)
War (6/10)
War, Inc. (7.5/10)
War of the Worlds (6.5/10)
The Warriors (10/10)
Wasp (8/10)
Wassup Rockers (6/10)
The Watcher (3/10)
Wattstax (5/10)
Wayne's World (8.5/10)
We Are Marshall (6.5/10)
We Don’t Live Here Anymore (7/10)  
We Own The Night (6.5/10)
The Weather Man (7/10)
Wedding Crashers (7/10)
Weird Science (9/10)
Welcome to Hard Times (6/10)
Wet Hot American Summer (7.5/10)
Wetback (7.5/10)
What We Do Is Secret (4/10)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (8.5/10)
When It Was A Game (7.5/10)
When It Was A Game 3 (7/10)
When the Levees Broke (8/10)
Where Have All the People Gone? (5/10)
Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? (5.5/10)
Where the Red Fern Grows (6/10)
Where the Wild Things Are (7/10)
Which Way Home (8/10)
White Light/Black Rain (7/10)
White Lightning (6/10)
The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (7.5/10)
Whiteout (5.5/10)
Who'll Stop the Rain (7/10)
Wicked (3/10)
The Wicker Man (4/10)
Wild Bill (4/10)
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (8/10)
Wild Things (4/10)
Wild Women of Wongo (2/10)
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (7/10)
Wimbledon (7/10)
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (4/10)
Wind Chill (8/10)
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (6/10)
Windy City Heat (6/10)
The Wisdom of Crocodiles (3/10)
Without a Paddle (6/10)
Without Limits (7/10)
Wolfen (7.5/10)
Wonderland (4/10)
The Woodsman (7/10)
Wordplay (7/10)
Word Wars (7/10)
The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (5/10)
The World’s Fastest Indian (7.5/10)
World's Greatest Dad (6.5/10)
The Wrestler (8/10)
W.W. And the Dixie Dancekings (6.5/10)
Wyatt Earp (7/10)

X-Men 3 (7/10)

Year of the Bulls (7/10)
Yor, the Hunter from the Future (3/10)
You Got Served (1/10)
You, Me and Dupree (4/10)
You're Gonna Miss Me (7.5/10)
You See Me Laughin’ (8/10)
Youngblood (7/10)

Zatoichi (4/10)
Zipperface (2/10)
Zodiac (8/10)
Zombie Nightmare (3/10)
Zoolander (7/10)


Ultraviolet (2006)
- 2.5 out of 10 -

Uh...this movie is retardedly stupid but at least Milla Jovavich looks pretty good. That's gotta count for some-
thing, right?For some reason all I could think of is it reminded me of a poor man's Aeon Flux,
which was
terrible in it's own right.


The Unborn (2009)
 - 4 out of 10 -

A very by-the-books horror film about a girl being haunted by her unborn twin.  It has all the makings of the
modern horror film - creepy kids, things jumping at you suddenly, a black person being one of the first to die...
you know, the usual.  Not awful, just...boring and typical.  The star of the film, Odette Yustman, looks like a less
slutty Megan Fox which isn't a bad thing and will keep you at least somewhat interested even if the story won't. 
Kinda surprising that they managed to get Gary Oldman and Idris Elba for such a mediocre flick, but some-
times you just gotta get paid I guess. 



Uncle Buck (1989)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

It’s not in the upper echelons of John Hughes best films, but Uncle Buck is still a damn enjoyable film that
has been criminally overlooked by too many folks.  Maybe they can’t jive with the family-friendly vibe, or maybe
they really hate Macaulay Culkin, but whatever the reason this is still a very entertaining and funny movie.  John
Candy is fabulous from start to finish, Amy Madigan does great in a supporting role, and goddammit no matter
how you may feel about his later work Macaulay is damn cute in this film (Gaby Hoffman also, for that matter). 
This is one of those movies that I’ve seen tons of times, and any time I’m flipping around and I see it on I always
stop and watch for a little while.



Undertow (2004)
- 8 out of 10 -

it’s well documented amongst my friends, or at least the ones that pay attention to me, that David Gordon
Green is by far my favorite new director of the last few years.  He was already working with a stacked deck by
filming his first two films in North Carolina, never mind the fact that both George Washington and All the Real
Girls were great stories as well.  With Undertow, Green shifted filming locations south to Georgia but the out-
come was still the same – a damn fine film.

My initial reaction was the same as that of his other films – very Terrence Malick-inspired direction full of
Gummo-like characters and sets.  But there was something else, and days later it finally hit me – this is very
much a modern version of Night of the Hunter, one of my very favorite movies.  And while Josh Lucas will never
touch the creepiness of Robert Mitchum, he still did a fine job.  It is films like these that manage to make me
both miss the south and be glad I left at the same time.


Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Pretty straight-forward noir thriller from legendary director Samuel Fuller.  It's actually more revenge flick
than noir, but it looks so noir it's hard not to classify it as that.  Basically, a kid sees some goons kill his dad,
and when he gets older he gets his revenge on the goons, who have since moved up the underworld ranks. 

Certainly worth seeing if you're a fan of this genre. 



Unforgivable Blackness (2004)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Ken Burns has done it again…took a topic I generally find about as interesting as tax code - boxing - and
kept me
riveted for four hours.  But this wasn’t just about the history of boxing like his Baseball epic, but
rather focused on one
of the greatest boxers of all time and the first black boxer to become the heavyweight
champ, Jack Johnson.


The great thing about this feature is that even if you don’t care much for the sport itself, this is still a truly
engaging
portrait of a man who was unwilling to give in despite all of the societal pressures of Jim Crow
(from both white and
black leaders) not to go against the race lines.  He was truly a civil rights pioneer first,
when you think about it –
competing with the white man in his sports, living in his neighborhoods, and dating
his women – at a time when not
only was this activity frowned upon, it could easily cost you your life.  At the
time, boxing was one of the most popular
sports in the land, dominated by corn-fed white boys who were the
heroes to one and all, the fact that this man beat
them all had every boxer and even the government itself doing
all it could to destroy him, but he maintained through it
all.  This film is a truly fascinating and moving portrait
that anyone should enjoy and I highly recommend.


The Unforeseen (2007)
 - 5 out of 10 -

A documentary about unchecked sprawl and a drastically reduced water table in Austin, Texas.  I suppose it
fosters a greater debate about personal liberties versus a need to protect natural resources, but mostly it just
seemed like the sort of movie that would be very entertaining to Austinites and less so to everyone else.  It
was filmed very nicely though, clearly the cinematographer and/or director are big fans of Terrence Mallick's
work.


The Uninvited (2009)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I'm not entirely sure what the fuck happened here, how much was the dreams of a mentally unstable girl and
how much was a torturous step mother, but either way it was a mostly boring film that happened to have a lot
of cute girls in it.  I was particularly taken by the star Emily Browning, who is ungodly cute; the girl playing her
sister, Arielle Kebbel, wasn't half bad either.  And then the always fetching Elizabeth Banks was the step
mom...well, let's just say I wouldn't have finished this film if not for the lovely distractions.


Unknown (2006)
 - 4 out of 10 -

A movie about five men waking up in complete amnesia, locked in a building, and trying to figure out what
was going on.  I don't even have amnesia and I wasn't sure what the hell was going on.  Who are the good
guys?  Who are the bad guys?  They all seemed to be jackasses, so who cares?



Unleashed (2005)
 - 8 out of 10 -

When I saw this flick advertised in the theatres, I didn’t really give it a second thought – it appeared to be a
pretty cookie-cutter action/kung fu flick with not a lot going for it; decent bubble-gum fare if you were bored
I guess, or maybe some background noise while you were doing more important things.  Well, I couldn’t have
been more wrong, and I’m more than happy to admit that…this is one of the smartest dramatic action films
I’ve seen in quite some time.  The filmmakers did this flick a huge disservice by not marketing it better –
I think tons of folks would have loved this movie but aren’t the sort to be drawn in by a fighting film.  Don’t get
me wrong – the fight scenes are absolutely fabulous and a crucial part of the story, but unlike most films of
this nature there is an actual interesting plot to go along with the fisticuff.   And fantastic acting to boot – Bob
Hoskins has always been a favorite of mine and doesn’t disappoint here, and Morgan Freeman plays the
“wise old man” role he often gets saddled with, but it’s not as if there is anyone better at such a role.  Truly a
great, surprising film that everyone should give a chance. 


Untraceable (2008)
 - 6 out of 10 -

When you think FBI super agents hunting down a serial killer, the first names to pop in your head are Colin
Hanks and Diane Lane.  No?  Well I guess you weren't one of the producers of this film then, because I'm
pretty sure they are the only people in the history of, well...forever to have that idea.  Somehow, I still kinda
enjoyed the flick though.  I think I'm just a sucker for any serial killer movie no matter how bad it is. 


Up (2009)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Another Pixar gem, and by far the greatest animated film to feature a miscarriage as part of the opening few
minutes.  The animation is beyond terrific, which is par for the course but no less delightful.  It's a good story
that is kinda full of holes, but you don't care because it's such a piece of art to look at.  Talking dogs, weird
birds, grumpy old men, funny Asian fat kids, and dirigibles all make for fascinating viewing.  Like everything
else Pixar has made, highly recommended. 



Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
 - 3 out of 10 -

A crappy horror movie about a group of college kids making crappy horror movies.  It looks like the dog is
eating his own tail.  And when Joey Lawrence is your biggest name, hoo boy...quality film making is not on the
horizon. 



Urgh: A Music War (1981)
out of 10

A great document of an era, even if some of the music is laughable. The film quality is very, very good, and
the sound is excellent. Despite a lot of rediculous bands, it does have it's fair share of stand-outs: Devo, XTC,
Joan Jett, The Go-Gos, Magazine, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Dead Kennedys, The Au Pairs, Pere Ubu, and
Gang of Four.



V for Vendetta (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you’ve never read the graphic novel of this story this film may not
convey well to you.  Cause that’s the only reason I can think of that it wasn’t more successful, because it was a
pretty great flick and plenty faithful to the original story both in content and spirit.  The way they conveyed the
fascism of the current regime was outstanding, perfectly scripted from the original story and helped along by
the always fantastic John Hurt.  Natalie Portman was fine as well, both physically and in her acting ability. 
Visually the movie was top-notch from start to finish and reason enough to watch the flick even if it sucked –
luckily, it was great all around.



V: The Original Miniseries (1983)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I have fond memories of watching this two-parter growing up, and just going ga-ga over it at the time.  
Janky spaceships, worse special effects, and terrible acting, what's not to love?  My favorite part, even as
a kid, was that the aliens looked just like humans except they talked funny and wore awful sunglasses all
of the time (which reminds me of a much better film from the 80's by John Carpenter that revolved around
a sunglasses/alien combo called They Live, starring one of the best wrestlers of all-time, Rowdy Roddy
Piper, but I'll get into that at another time).  I mean, seriously, they couldn't do any better than that?  But still,
I enjoyed it nonetheless as it was a great bit of escapism especially for my young mind.

Recently, my nostalgia got the best of me and I decided to revisit this gem.  Time certainly hasn't done it any
favors.  The camp factor is at a level so high that it goes from bad to good back to bad again.  And I know it
was the early eighties, but shit, whoever was the brain trust behind casting The Beastmaster himself, Marc
Singer as the lead was laughing their ass to the bank.  As long as you go into it knowing that it's about twice
as long as it needs to be, four times as campy, and horribly acted, then you'll probably enjoy yourself.  Just
try and channel that inner kid that went nuts when you saw the aliens eating those guinea pigs for the first time.


Vacancy (2007)
- 4.5 out of 10 -

Frank Whaley is a pretty creepy dude in pretty much anything he appears, so pairing him with a cheeseball
horror flick has needed to happen for, well, as long as he has been in show business. Unfortunately, despite a
decent cast (Ethan Embry, Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson), it's just a crappy movie...very typical Hollywood
horror film: too boring and serious to be a campy good time, but too poor of a movie to actually be taken
serious. The motel they filmed in though was awesome.


Valhalla Rising (2009)
 - 9 out of 10 -

I'm at a loss on how to review this mesmerizing film..."brutal" is by far the best descriptor for what happens
from start to finish.  This is the movie equivalent to a black metal record.  There isn't a lot of story - it's the dark
ages, a man is held prisoner, escapes and kills all of his captors but a young boy, then sets off to be part of the
crusades.  But you don't watch this for the story - you watch this for the visuals, which are stunning.  Bleak. 
Dismal.  Brutal.  Awesome. 



Valkyrie (2008)
 - 6 out of 10 -

Yes, as most everyone has already noted, Tom Cruise's accent was beyond bizarre...why would an American
playing a German speak with a British accent?  It wasn't even a terrible British accent or anything, just a really
bizarre choice.  As for the film itself, it was a little long and overly talky but the general premise of the flick -
about a plot within the German army to off Hitler before he could cause any more trouble - was fairly inter-
esting.  A nice supporting cast helped as well, with the likes of Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson and Kenneth
Branagh and other old British dudes.  Not a great film, but probably a little better than the grief that it got after
coming out.



Van Wilder (2002)
– 8 out of 10 -

This is easily the best thing National Lampoon has been behind since the Christmas Vacation flick, and that
was a long damn time ago.  This movie is like most of their films – vapid, extremely sexual, and full of imbeciles –
but for some reason it just all *clicks* this time, or at least for me.  Part of it is probably the star Ryan Reynolds -
there is a bit of classic 80’s Chevy Chase in Ryan, and a little bit goes a long way.  If you take this serious at all
you’re probably going to hate it…so just settle onto your couch with some junk food and feast your eyes on the
visual equivalent.


Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)
- 7 out of 10 -

No, it's not as good as the original (which is probably impossible), but it doesn't try to be either. Smartly they
move the party to a new school in England, and center the action around Van Wilder's understudy, Taj. From
there on out it plays out in a typical and likable fashion...actually, it plays out just like “Revenge of the Nerds”,
with a campus-wide competition where the nerd fraternity is competing against the uppity rich kids and jocks.
But the rip-off story doesn't really matter...there are a number of comical scenes, some boobs, the usual...
if you went in expecting Shakespeare youse an idjit anyways.


Vantage Point (2008)
 - 5.5 out of 10 -

A film about the assassination attempt on the president in Spain, told and re-told from numerous different,
well "vantage points".  What that means is fifteen minutes of plot stretched out to a feature length movie. 
It's decent enough for what it is, but gets repetitive pretty quickly. 



Venom (2005)
- 3 out of 10 -

This is bad even for shitty horror movies, and I went in expecting it to be pretty damn shitty. Very little set-up
or explanation for why the monster became who he is, and then he tromps around pretty much unstoppable
for most of the film only to be knocked off in a fairly pedestrian matter...only, of course, the bastard ain't really
dead. Sequel time! Though I'd be hard-pressed to imagine why anyone would actually choose to watch a
sequel of this.


Venus (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I got out of this film exactly what I expected - a magnificent Peter O'Toole performance surrounded by a rather
inconsequential film. Everything else here, the actors, the story, whatever, is just window dressing for O'Toole
to show he still has the chops even in his advanced age. Obviously, I'm not the only person who feels this way,
as his Oscar nomination for the role shows. He is a man of prodigious talent, one of the all-time greats certainly,
and this film will hopefully prove this to a new generation of movie fans.


The Verdict (1982)
 - 8 out of 10 -

On it's surface, this is a simple film about a washed-up lawyer giving it one more shot at doing the right thing
and making his life mean something.  there have been a bazillion movies made with roughly this same plot,
but there have been none made starring Paul Newman and featuring such a riveting performance.  Truly it is
one of his greatest performances.  It also doesn't hurt that David Mamet wrote the screenplay, giving Master
Newman a fantastic base from which to work. 



Veronica Guerin (6/10)
 - 5 out of 10 -

Based on a true story, this film features Cate Blanchett as Veronica Guerin, an Irish journalist trying desperately
to
fight her way out of obscurity and back-page articles and into fame and headline news.  She goes after the
illegal
drug trade in Dublin, which was apparently pretty bad in the early 90’s when this film is set.  Along the way
she
breaks a few stories, pisses off the wrong people, and is sadly killed by the people she is trying to dig up dirt
on
(just in case you aren’t familiar with this story, this ain’t a spoiler, it’s how the film starts out).  The bright side to
her
death, if you can refer to it as that, is that the country became outraged with what was happening and in con-
junction
with a police crackdown, a number of laws were enacted to help prosecute drug dealers and freeze their
assets. 
It seems to have worked mostly, because all accounts are that Dublin is in much better shape these days,
booming
even.

And the film portrayed this information well enough; but it tended to come across as something you would read in
a
textbook rather than anything cinematic – it was like a bad history lesson with actors, too dry.  Blanchett, who is
gen
erally fantastic in everything she does and the one you would hope to be a shining star, just seems to go along
with
things here much like everyone else.  Ultimately, despite the story you are presented with, I found it tough to
feel any
sort of sadness or empathy with her death or what happens to anyone involved.  Not something I would
recommend
highly, but if you find these sort of tales interesting there might be something here for you.  Just don’t
be expecting
cinematic brilliance.


A Very Long Engagement (2004)
 - 8.5 out of 10 -

This pairing of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou, this is a match up I can really get behind…not
since Stockton and Malone has a pair of entertainers been so successful (I’m pretty sure Stockton and
Malone would win a basketball competition, just sayin’).  If you’ve watched any of Jeunet’s films, then by
now you know what to expect out of him – impeccable set design, quirky dialogue, non-linear story tell-
ing…it’s basically the very best aspects of both Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarentino, only he’s probably
been doing it longer than both.

This time out his film is set in post-WW I France, and deal with a young woman coming to terms with the
death of her fiancé only to find out he may not be dead.  The bulk of the film is then spent in the hunt for
any clues that would help Tautou locate her long lost love.  Sometimes funny, often times sad, but always
highly engaging, it is one of those films you could watch five times in a row and still see new things. 
Highly recommended.


The Visitor (2007)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

It's a bad sign when you have to look up what a movie was about when you only watched it a couple of
weeks ago, but at the time I remember moderately enjoying this slightly preachy tale of immigration in
modern America.  In the first five minutes you knew things weren't going to be wrapped up with a tidy
happy ending, just from the tone of the film.  Good acting jobs though by everyone, even if the idea of
Richard Jenkins sitting around playing a giant African drum never stopped being funny to me. 



Visitor Q (2001)
- 6 out of 10 -

This movie is nearly unwatchable, yet utterly fascinating and hard to take your eyes off of.  Yet another
Takeshi Miike work, this one seeks to "break down taboos" or some such shit by including any number of
jaw dropping scenes in the film - sex with corpses, incest, a son beating the crap out of his mother, random
acts of violence, drug use, and much more - all under the guise of creating a reality television show.  The
story is hard to follow, but I'm not sure there's really much there to begin with other than a hair-thin plot to
string together these shocking scenes.  Easily one of the most original things I've ever scene, and that says
something...but watch at your own risk.


W. (2008)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I put this off when it first came out because it was too soon to relive that awful presidency...but good god-
damn did Josh Brolin do a great job impersonating Dubyah.  In fact, that was the best part of the film as a
whole was seeing the actor's versions of Bush's circle of friends and ne'er-do-wells.  Richard Dreyfuss as
Dick Cheney was quite good, Jeffrey Wright always does a great job even if he didn't look that much like
Colin Powell, but the real treat was Rob Corddry as Ari Fleischer.  The story was nothing special - you
already know what happened with the former prez for the most part - but it was still decently enjoyable de-
spite it reminding of some really bad times in this country. 



The Wackness (2008)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Given the bad title and my low expectations, this was a surprisingly good and quite sweet coming-of-age
film.  Set in NYC in the mid-nineties, it's a fairly straight-forward plot - disaffected, hip-hop infatuated drug
dealer finds love, and more importantly, himself, the summer after high school graduation.  It's a nice film,
made slightly better by Ben Kingsley's completely insane role as the kid's therapist-slash-drug-customer-
slash-best-friend.



Waiting... (2005)
 - 6 out of 10 -

The film of what could have been, if only the writing had been better.  Making fun of the food service industry
should be a no brainer given how many of us in the viewing public wither work or have worked at a job in a
kitchen or waiting tables or in some way dealing with rude, irritating customers.  There was a decent en-
semble cast with Ryan Reynolds, Luis Guzman and David Koechner headlining it, but they just were not
given much to work with.  There wasn't any real story to speak of, which doesn't bother me if the movie is
otherwise full of funny pranks and jokes; but sadly there were only a couple of scenes that actually elicited
laughter.  One day we will hopefully get a really funny spoofing of the food service industry, but I guess this
will have to do for now.


Waitress (2007)
- 4 out of 10 -

Color me dumbfounded that this film was ever nominated and/or given awards. At best, it's a glorified
Lifetime movie of the week for chrissakes!!! Even my wife, who has a soft spot for this sort of emotional
claptrap and Keri Russell thought it was a poor outing by all involved. My only guess is the award non-
sense was some sort nod in the direction of Adrienne Shelly who was killed soon after the movie was
finished. Still, that's no reason to praise a bad movie.


Walk Hard (2007)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

A stupid film from start to finish, but not one without a fair amount of laughs. While John C. Reilly does a
great job in the lead (an odd place to see him), like most of these big budget spoof/satire outings, the
cameos and small roles are probably the most interesting parts of the film. You got about 400 current and
former SNL cast members represented, a bunch of Hollywood big timers playing the Beatles, Jack White
doing his best Elvis impression, and many, many more. If you're in a goofy mood, you'll probably laugh your
ass off; otherwise it'll probably just come off as stupid.



Waking Life (2001)
- 8 out of 10 -

Richard Linklater, when he wants to, can make some of the best movies in the business.  For a big
name director, only Tim Burton comes close to his ability to bring far-fetched concepts to the big screen. 
He’s also become the best director to use a lot of over-analyzation, heavy talking style since Woody
Allen.  Depending on the phase of the moon and whether or not I got up on the correct side of the bed
in the morning, this can either be my favorite thing about a film or grate on me like nothing else. Essen-
tially, if I’m in a pissy mood a movie like this, or at least the subject matter therein, will piss me off.

So far I’ve watched this film twice, once in each mood.  But regardless of how the subject matter effects
me, the animation is just absolutely incredible and mesmerizing.  The use of many different artists and
styles was an especially pleasing touch, and really adds to the depth of the film.  This is one example
where I hope and pray someone tries to mock his style, because more animation of this type would be
more than welcome and a pleasant alternative to live action.



Walking Tall (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Let’s cut right to the point – this is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.  It is a loose remake
of the
original Walking Tall, which was itself loosely based on a true story.  The original is a classic but was
terribly hokey –
of course saying a film that stars Joe Don Baker is hokey is a redundant statement; this
attempt is no better a rep
resentation of great filmmaking, and actually may be worse.  The story is somewhat
similar to the original – man
returns home after being away, town has gone to hell, he decides to become
sheriff and clean things up – interest
ingly, the original had Joe Don as a former pro wrestler coming home;
this film, starring a former pro wrestler, has
him as a former soldier boy…ok, maybe that was only interesting
to me.


So this isn’t a “good” film…but it’s a short, action packed, fun movie.  Sure, you know what the outcome will
be before
you’ve even seen 5 minutes of it, but that’s not the point.  This is just one of those action films that
serves to help you
suspend reality for a short while, and it did a great job at that for me.  Johnny Knoxville takes
on the doofus sidekick
role, and plays it well – in many ways his character is just the guy you know from Jackass
with a few extra lines.  In my
opinion, the Rock could be a great action star – he’s a much better actor than most
of the action doofuses we’ve
endured over the year (I’m looking specifically at you, Arnold), he has great delivery
(especially in comedic scenes),
and most importantly, he looks the part.  You don’t rise to the top of the Pro
Wrestling circuit without great charisma,
and it shows off in his films in spades.  I can smell what the rock is
cooking, and it’s good, fun action films…and I
love’em.


Walking the Line (2005)
- 5 out of 10 -

Everyone kept telling me I had to watch this, but I knew going in that my hatred of Joaquin Phoenix would far
outweigh my love of Johnny Cash, and I’d never get past it.  And I was right.  The story, direction and all that
jazz were fine; Reese Witherspoon did a lovely job as I expected she would; but I just couldn’t buy that hack
as the man in black.  He can’t act his way out of a paper bag normally, and then to try and pretend to be one
of the greatest musicians of all time…just awful on all fronts.  I expected bad out of him, and I got it
unfortunately.


Wall-E (2008)
 - 7 out of 10 -

My love of post-apocalyptic movies even extends to cartoons.  The first half of this movie, with Wall-E scouring
a desolate wasteland in lonely isolation, is probably the greatest animated work I've ever scene.  In an ideal
world the entire film would have kept on this path, but instead they tacked on a storyline involving a space ship,
fat people in floating chairs, and the re-population of Earth.  All of which was enjoyable enough, just a huge step
down from the first half of the flick. 



Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
- 6 out of 10 -

Not a bad film – I would have surely loved it as a kid, and it’s definitely something an adult could watch with their
kids over and over without wanting to kill themselves.  But it’s not nearly as good as the original shorts this pair
came to be created in.  My gut feeling is this sort of medium and comedy works best in short bursts rather than
a feature length film, or maybe that is just me.  It’s a fun romp though, no disappointment on my end.  Creature
Comforts is still the best thing Aardman has created though, just for the record.



Wal-Mart: The High Cost Of Low Price (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

You probably don’t need a documentary at this point to explain to you all the numerous ways Wal-Mart is
screwing the average American, but it is still somehow nice to have it spelled out in a way that even the most
staunch defenders will have reason to pause.  Unless you are a shareholder, you need to wake up and
realize this company is not the pro-America outfit their advertising would have you believe…in fact, they may
be the most anti-democratic and anti-American company that has ever existed.  But you already know that,
don’t you?



The Wanderers (1979)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

It seems unfathomable that this gem of a film seems to often get lost when folks talk about the great teen-
ager/greaser/gangster films set in the 50’s
and early 60’s. The gang fights, the music, the hot girls…what’s
not to
like here? More than anything, it make me question why Ken Wahl was never a bigger star – between
his excellent job here, his work in “Fort Apache The
Bronx” and the “Wiseguy” series, seems like he would
have been a can’t-miss
in terms of Hollywood action star, but it just never happened.


War (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

If you go into this hoping for an actual movie, with a worthwhile plot and quality acting, you'll leave fairly
disappointed. But if you treat it like one long well-choreographed action scene, the flick is a pretty enter-
taining ride worth seeking out if you are in the mood for such things. And good god, does Jason Statham
ever film anything that isn't like this? IT sure doesn't seem like it...Crank, The Transporter (1 and 2), The
Italian Job...dude likes to be choreographed apparently. Maybe he was a dancer in a former life.


War, Inc. (2008)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I was a little surprised at the low reviews and negative reaction to this very enjoyable film.  Apparently
folks don't like comedy-action movies made that poke fun of the fact that corporations, not governments,
run the world these days.  John Cusack basically reprises his neurotic hit man role from "Gross Pointe
Blank", only instead of a fancy suburb of Detroit he's in some made up Stan in central Asia, assassin-
ating big wigs, wooing ladies and trying to keep a petulant pop star happy.  I found it to a smart, engag-
ing piece though apparently I'm in the minority.  I also though Hillary Duff as a slutty pop star was pretty
hot, so whatever. 



War of the Worlds (2005)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

I'm certain I'm not the first to think ro say this, but given the recent hubbub about Tom Cruise and his
alien-loving religion, it's kinda funny his most recent blockbuster is about fighting aliens.  

As a film, this remake of WotW is pretty sub-par - not much of a plot to speak of, the acting is bland,
and the whole thing feels kinda stilted.  This is probably because of how much of the film is actually
made up of special effects - which were excellent, and the real reason you would want to see this flick.  
And luckily, 90% of the film is all about the attack - I was quite surprised to see Spielberg take such a
direct approach.

It's not a particularly good film, but it is fairly exciting and nice to look at, and sometimes that's all you
want.



The Warriors (1979)
 - 10 out of 10 -

This movie gets a 10 just for the above phrase, and the ability for me to drive my girlfriend crazy by
repeating it over and over.  It is one of my favorite hobbies.

Other than that, you have the best cult gang film ever made.  The quality and imagination of the gangs
alone make it remarkable – Turnbull ACs, The Baseball Furies, The Boppers, The Punks, The Lizzies,
The Orphans, and on and on and on.  If the whole movie was nothing but fight scenes between our pro-
tagonists and The Warriors it would be worth a watch, but there is actually a decent story in this as well. 
Somehow the movie combines a decent script, acting and pacing with “cult cool” to produce one of the
greatest films of the 70’s.

Oh yeah, and you got James Remar in this…James Remar from this era is nearly untouchable in his
badassness, and this is no exception.



Wasp (2003)
- 8 out of 10 –

This movie is so bleak it makes Mike Leigh look like he is writing fairy tales.  Winner of the Academy
Award for best live-action short in 2004, this film was that perfect blend of engrossing and gut-
wrenching that all great drama should strive for but so rarely achieve.  Set in some “council estates”
in England, the film revolves around the exploits of a mother and her children, the mom trying but not
seemingly understanding what it takes to be a parent although clearly adept at producing offspring…
still a child herself, she tries to balance a social life at the expense of the home life and neither works
out too well.  This one may be hard to get a hold of, but it is well worth the effort.



Wassup Rockers (2005)
- 6 out of 10 -

Larry Clark, he means well, but his execuation is just never what you would wish it would be.  This film
represents a great idea – following a group of misfit latino youths as they go through the trials and trib-
ulations of being “different”.  The casting was fantastic as well, which has always been a strong suit of
Clark – opting for authentic kids who fit the description as opposed to actors.  Sure, the acting job isn’t
as good but it somehow feels more real.  Ultimately though, this film suffered from a few too many flour-
ishes in the story line in the final third of the flick – the art party, the deranged director, the smuggling out
of the rich neighborhood…it went from believable to laughable pretty quickly.  But I liked the movie
anyways, for the most part, and hope to see more from the kids in the film.


The Watcher (2000)
 - 3 out of 10 -

A conversation between two idiots...
Dumbass #1: "Hey, I've got this idea for a by-the-books serial killer vs. cop thriller...but with a twist!"
Dumbass #2: "What's the twist?"
Dumbass #1: "Instead of having a credible actor, or even a creepy unknown play the serial killer, we're
going to use Keanu Reeves!"

Dumbass #2: "Capital idea, just capital.  We'll make a bazillion dollars!"


Wattstax (1973)
 - 5 out of 10 -

This is the documentary of a concert held at the L.A. coliseum in 1972, a "black woodstock" if you will. 
The bulk of the film are performances by the musical artists, highlighted by groups such as the Staple
Singers, the Bar-Kays, and Isaac Hayes.  The film also includes interview footage of the folks from Watts
(as well as Richard Prior) commented on life since the Watts riots that had occured a few years before
this concert.  A great window into the past of funk and soul music, not to mention the outrageous fashions.



Wayne's World (1992)
- 8.5 out of 10 -

I recently rewatched this, one of the finest Saturday Night Live film spin-offs ever, and realized that while it
doesn't seem as impressive as it did in high school, it's still a damn funny film.  I watched this so many
times in tenth grade that while it probably doesn't deserve such a high score I just can't bring myself to rate
it any lower.  The "Bohemian Rhapsody" sing-along that kicks off the movie was repeated more times than
I care to remember back then, and as far as I or any of my friends were concerned, Tia Carrere was the
end-all be-all of womanhood (even with the recent rewatching and the terrible clothes she was wearing, this
still seems like a justifiable conclusion to have come to at the time).

Both the story and the acting were silly at best, but any film featuring Alice Cooper extolling the virtues of
Milwaukee can't be wrong.


We Are Marshall (2006)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Take an interesting sports story, run it through the Hollywood plot warping machine, and you get a de-
cent flick that will entertain and then fade into the background. In the positive column, Matthew
McConaughey does a nice job as the coach (and keeps his shirt on most of the time, a record for him
both in films and real life), the action and pace move along fairly well, and they mostly stuck to the true
story. Honestly, I can't think of anything bad to say on the flick even if I wasn't overwhlmingly hyped on it.


We Don’t Live Here Anymore (2004)
- 7 out of 10 -

Two couples that are best friends, doing the humdrum boring life things, and then it all gets shaken up
when one husband sleeps with the other wife…although honestly, if I was married to Laura Dern I’d be
trying to sleep with Naomi Watts too.  But then again Dern gives me the heeby-jeebies even if her father
does rule, and Watts is intimidatingly hot.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, this movie – well, it’s pretty good,
kind of a soap opera really but a well acted, enjoyable one, and plus did I mention that Naomi Watts is
in it and how hot she is?  So you’ve got that going for you even if you think the movie sucks.  Which it
doesn’t.  But Naomi Watts, seriously…so hot.



We Own The Night (2007)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

Despite my strong hatred of anything involving Joaquin Phoenix, I went against my better nature and
watched this film. And to be perfectly honest, he wasn't that bad in this. He's still a terrible actor, but he
was a little less terrible here. He was helped with a decent story about the Russian mob and the police
trying to stop them, and the collection of actors around him were pretty good (Mark Wahlberg, Robert
Duvall, Danny Hoch, Eva Mendes), but I must give credit where credit is due: the man was not retardedly
awful here like he usually is.



The Weather Man (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

At it's base this flick is about a local weather man who's down and out in life and love and trying to fight
his
way back to the top.  He's split from his wife, his kids are indifferent towards him, strangers throw things
at
him, he can never please his father, etc.  You want to feel sorry for the man, until you realize how much he
brought this upon himself - but at least he has realized he is a fuck-up and is trying to rememdy the situation,
even if he isn't all that successful.  It's a pretty charming movie with interesting characters and an ending
that's
neither good or bad but rather a compromise, much like real life generally turns out to be.


Wedding Crashers (2005)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Yes, another retarded comedy movie starring two of the ringleaders from the current reigning kings of
retarded comedy movies.  Not that it is bad, far from it - I laughed quite a bit.  But this formula is going
to jump the shark very soon, and few of these guys are going to make it at the next level.

But like I said, there’s no shortage of laughs here.  Both Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson do great jobs
as two lifelong bachelors crashing weddings for free food, entertainment, and loose women.  Doesn’t
sound like a bad idea actually, but they made it seem like a lot of work in the film…but I digress.  This
film has “frat boy classic” written all over it, and definitely has repeat watchability in its favor.  As per
usual Will Ferrell steals the show with a cameo - his schtick will no doubt get old but it never fails to
make me laugh right now.



Weird Science (1985)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Even 20 years and a lot of bad fashion removed, Kelly LeBrock is still ungoldly hot in this movie, and
plenty of reason by itself to watch.  But it's also a very fun, entertaining frolic starring the king of great
80's movies Anthony Michael Hall.  I used to get bugged out when my friends would say I looked like
him, but now I take it in stride.  Although I've never worn a bra on my head like he did in this flick.  

Honestly, what else to say...it's a very silly, unbelievable film, but one I can watch over and over again. 



Welcome to Hard Times (1967)
- 6 out of 10 -

A rogue outlaw terrorizes a ramshackle town. Henry Fonda, as what appears to be the town leader
(mayor maybe, though I don't think he is ever called that), refuses to do anything about it. The outlaw lays
the town to waste, leaves, and the town rebuilds. What will happen when that outlaw returns and tries to
terrorize them again? I think you can guess how it ends.


It's a decent film, if unremarkable. It's the enjoyable cast that keeps you watching, from Fonda to Denver
Pyle (best known as Uncle Jesse from "The Dukes of Hazzard") to a young Warren Oates, and some
attractive, trampy women playing saloon whores to pretty up the screen.



Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

This film is an obvious parody and/or tribute to all of the great camp movies of the 70’s and 80’s,
classics such as
Meatballs, Little Darlings, and Sleepaway Camp.  Ok, maybe it’s not much like Sleep-
away Camp but I love that
movie so shut up and get off my ass.  The movie is full of the camp film staples:
lots of oversexed adults-as-teenagers,
stupid kids, and hijinx galore.  It’s the last day of summer camp,
and everyone is packing in as much fun as they can
before they have to return to normal life, with comical
results.  The cast is like a “who’s who” of quality comedians,
and I’m not going to list them all here.  Just
click on the movie link above.  This movie will never win any film awards,
but it’s still a great romp and only
gets better with repeated viewings.  But as a warning, I do know a number of folks
who didn't like this at all
and thought it was stupid, but I'm pretty sure they all have brain aneurisms.  Just an FYI and
all that.


Wetback (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

Fascinating (if not a touch long-winded) documentary about the multiple sides of the argument over illegal
immigration.  The movie follows multiple illegals trying to cross the border from their home countries and the
conditions causing them to make such a journey; it shows the border patrol performing their job, trying to
stop any illegal crossings; it shows the overzealous “minutemen” and their efforts to stem the flow of undoc-
umented workers crossing into the US; and it even profiles multiple “safe houses” that help the illegals on
their journey.  The documentary is obviously leaning in a pro-illegal direction, so it would probably piss off
the xenophobes that might see it… but I thought it did an excellent job of showing the plight of these workers
and just how difficult it is for them to get into the country.



What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
- 8.5 out of 10 –

Folks seem to like to talk this film up for Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, and don’t get me wrong, he does
retarded pretty well…but for me, what made this film so grand is that it did a great job of approximating the lone-
liness felt when trapped in a small town.  Pile on top of that having an extremely overweight mother and mentally
disabled younger brother to take care of and you really start to feel for Johnny Depp’s character, played perfectly
by him.  Add in the beautiful-but-depressing scenery the Midwest has to offer, and it makes for a pretty fascinating
story.  In some ways it always felt like an updated version of The Last Picture Show, although not quite as good
and without a naked Cybil Shepherd.



When It Was A Game (1991)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

8mm and 16mm footage, mostly color, from the golden age of baseball. The documentary weaves in commentary
from the players of the day and narration by stars of the days such as Jason Robards, Roy Schneider and the like.
Obviously, this is a real treat for any baseball fan, to see the game as it was played when the legends like Hank
Greenberg and Lou Gherig and such were on top of the world. Possibly the most interesting part of it all was
seeing these athletes perform in those baggy wool outfits they wore back in the day, a feat unto itself...just being
outside on a hot day would be challenge enough, never mind playing a high level of baseball in them.



When It Was A Game 3 (2000)
- 7 out of 10 -

See the review of “When It Was A Game”, only this version was about baseball of the sixties. Quite entertaining.


When the Levees Broke (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

What can you say?  Spike Lee has done it again, created yet another moving film – in this case a docu-
mentary that does an excellent job of attaching people and their stories to the tragedy without it coming
across like some hokey nightly-news piece.  Lee hits a wide spectrum of locals, from the celebrities who
call that land home to the middle class trying to rebuild what they lost to the poor “refugees” living in tent
cities around the south.  Although some might find it a little long-winded at four hours in length, after watch-
ing this doc I can’t imagine what he would possibly cut to make it shorter.  Those with a short attention
span may want to watch it in chunks, but watch it either way.


Where Have All the People Gone? (1974)
 - 5 out of 10 -

A made for TV movie about life after some solar flares wipe out the majority of the Earth's population. 
Things go pretty much as plan – lots of scavenging through deserted towns, occasional encounters with
other survivors, and no shortage of “woe is me” talk from the remaining few humans.  Peter Graves really
hams it up from start to finish, chewing up the scenery like a billy goat on a mountainside. 


Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? (2008)
 - 5.5 out of 10 -

Morgan Spurlock goes looking for Osama Bin Laden.  And by looking for him, he talks to some Arabic folks
about their feelings on the U.S., Osama, terrorism and war.  Some scenes are interesting, others forced and
boring, but props to Spurlock for trying to tackle a tough subject with a little bit of levity...even if it isn't all that
great.    I do like Spurlock though as a presenter/documentary lead, or at least I like his mustache a lot. 



Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)
 - 6 out of 10 -

I loved this movie as a kid.  I grew up around coon hunters, my cousin and his family specifically, and he
would watch this constantly (along with Krull and Halloween III, just in case you were wondering).  I’ve always
been a huge fan of hound dogs so I have a built in bias automatically.

But despite childhood fondness, upon recent viewing it must be told that this isn’t a very good film.  The dogs
are great, and the attack by the fake cougar is one of the best unintentionally funny things I’ve ever seen, but
that’s about it.  It’s a pretty hokey story and the acting is awful.  But still, if I had kids I’d probably show it to them.


Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
 - 7 out of 10 -

More visually stunning than a good movie, but since it's based on a kid's book that is almost entirely photos
I don't think anyone should be surprised by that.  But those visuals are absolutely spectacular - Spike Jonze
has always had an eye for the spectacular, but with this one he really pushed it to another level.  The creatures,
the "Wild Things", are amazing - you want to hang out with them, romp in the woods with them, build forts with
them.  This is helped massively by them being *real* creations and not CGI, you can actually imagine spending
time with these crazy things.  The kid playing Max, Max Records, does a wonderfully believable job of inhabiting
this fantastical world, and I'm not sure this would have been possible if it was just him in front of a green screen. 


Which Way Home (2009)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Incredibly sad and moving documentary about Central American children leaving home and trying to enter the
US illegally to help support their families.  And when I say children, I quite literally mean that - the older ones are
around 13 or 14, with some as young as 8 or 9.  And these aren't kids traveling with their parents in search of a
better life, these are kids that have left bad homes for a variety of situations and are traveling by themselves,
thousands of miles, much of it on the top of an incredibly dangerous train.  This doesn't feel like watching adults
trying to cross to earn money for their families, watching this really hurts.  You hurt for the children, to be so young
and to have led such a rough life...no child deserves that.  This is a documentary that everyone should watch.



White Light/Black Rain (2007)
- 7 out of 10 -

A documentary about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during WWII, told from the perspective of the
folks at ground zero who survived and lots of high-quality archival footage. As they say, “it is what it is” - stories
of loss and stories of triumph from a group of folks who have seen more death than anyone should have to live
with. Some of the tales of what they saw in the hours and days and months after the explosions would make
even the most grizzled person shudder.


White Lightning (1973)
- 6 out of 10 -

Burt Reynolds is an non-mustached ex-con running moonshine. Ned Beatty is a corrupt sheriff out for blood.
The story is light, the action is heavy, and do you really need a review for a movie like this? It's stupid and fun
and just what the doctor ordered, depending on your frame of mind.


The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

I like the White Stripes pretty well, but I was not expecting to like this music documentary/concert film about
them as much as I did.  The band decided to play a show in every province of "America's Hat", known as
Canada to some folks, and they documented the entire tour.  They would play short random sets during the
day in a variety of locations - bars, bowling alleys, an old folks home - with very little notice.  And then that
night they would play a regular White Stripes show.  Maybe it's cause I come from a small podunk town,
but I appreciated that they took the time to go and play in all those small Canadian towns, even if it  was for
the novelty of saying they did it. 



Whiteout (2009)
 - 5.5 out of 10 -

A fairly by-the-books cop thriller only set in the unusual location of Anartica...so, a cop thriller with frostbite
and parkas.  Kate Beckinsale stars here and looks hot as always, with the film kicking off with her stripping
down to her underwear for a completely pointless shower scene.  My only guess is they included this bone
since the rest of the film everyone would be covered up in three layers of winter clothes.  She really needs
to film a remake of something like "Beach Blanket Bingo".



Who’ll Stop the Rain? (1978)
 - 7 out of 10 -

If you like Nick Nolte, this is the film to see – this is his calling card, and will be his lasting contribution to
the arts over all of his other work.  Yes, even better than his work in 48 Hours.  Nolte plays a Vietnam Vet
who decides to help a friend pull off a drug deal for some extra cash, only to have that deal go sour and
Nolte on the lam with his friend’s wife in tow (played by Tuesday Weld who also does a great job).  The
battle scene at the end of the film is worth the price of admission alone.  The whole thing drags on too long,
but that’s pretty much a complaint I always have.  The word on the street is the book this film is based on,
“Dog Soldiers”, is a great read as well, but the film might actually trump it.


Wicked (1998)
- 3 out of 10 -

This is a stupid and pointless movie. The only reason it is worth mentioning at all is Julia Stiles looks
about as hot as she ever has here, and considering I've felt she was one of the most attractive ladies in
Hollywood for sometime that is high praise. Why can't she look this good in a worthwhile flick?



The Wicker Man (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

To put it in as simple as terms as possible – just as stupid as the original, but nowhere near as creepy.
The plot/story behind “The Wicker Man” was never much to speak of, but I still vividly remember how
sketched out the original version made me feel, which I suppose was the very point. Lots of strange
people, uneasy situations, and if I remember correctly, a whole lot of yelling. This new version is all shiny
looking, with pretty people and severely lacking in the creep factor. Add in a piss-poor job of acting by
Nicholas Cage (what the hell has happened to this guy? He used to actually do decent work), and you've
really got nothing going for you in this flick. Well, I guess the scenery is nice, makes me want to visit
British Columbia, but that ain't no reason to watch a movie unless it's a travelogue. And the fact that
Neil LaBute directed this...well, it makes me sad for a director that once showed such great promise
not that long ago.



Wild Bill (1995)
 - 4 out of 10 -

I dunno if I ever would have really enjoyed this movie, but by seeing it after the HBO original series
Deadwood, it had no chance at all to impress.  "The Dude" makes a servicable Wild Bill but nothing
special, just like everything else about this one...plus the story and pacing is slow and pointless for the
most part.  It's all very blah.  Just watch the first season of Deadwood, you'll be much happier.



The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)
 - 9 out of 10 -

Wow is the most accurate modifier for this movie.  I don’t mean to get all pansified about things,
but I found this film to be incredibly moving and I even teared up a little in a number of places. 
The basic idea behind the film is that of a homeless musician finding his calling in life, and that
calling is tending a flock of wild parrots here in San Francisco.  I’ve never been a bird person,
but after watching this I can understand how someone might be…the film does a fantastic job
of displaying the different personalities that the birds can have, it was pretty eye opening.  The
documentary was shot very beautifully, lots of vibrant colors from the birds and obviously the fact
that it was set here in my home city gave it a certain appeal that most films don’t have.  Honestly,
I can’t recommend this movie enough, it may go down as the best movie I see all year.



Wild Things (1998)
- 4 out of 10 -

Good god was this a trite, goofy soap-opera film.  The entire time I was watching it the one thing I
couldn’t stop paying attention to was how badly it was filmed, it threw everything off for me.  All you
heard about when this film came out was Denise Richards and Neve Campbell making out; I put off
seeing the movie myself, but it turns out that particular hype was for good reason - it’s the only thing
worthwhile in the film.  I was particularly disappointed in Matt Dillon, who generally does much better
work.  I’m thinking he lost a bet.


The Wild Women of Wongo (1958)
- 2 out of 10 -

As much as I like to make fun of the crap movies coming out these days and wistful for the quality of the
past...there was just as much if not more awful shit coming out back then too. Take this film for example...
unwatchable. Even with the MST3000 treatment, I was fairly bored. And I'm not sure which was worst –
the story, the acting, or the weird colorization, where it almost looked like they had gone over the neg-
atives with color pencils. Actually, that might have been the most interesting part of the flick.


The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Equal parts hilarious, depressing and revealing, this follow-up to the legendary documentary "Dancin'
Outlaw" branches out from covering only mountain dancer Jesco White and really fills in the story on
the entire White clan.  It's pretty easy to laugh at their exploits and fuck-ups, until you remember that
this is documenting real life, real people, the real world.  Some of the characters ring a little close to
folks I grew up with and some distant relatives, so the overwhelming white trashiness of it all certainly
wasn't lost on me.  Would have been nice if they had talked a little bit about Norma Jean, Jesco's
wife who died a year or two ago, but she was never mentioned that I remember.  Obviously, if she's
dead she's no longer cooking those sloppy, slimy eggs.  Too soon?



Wimbledon (2004)
 - 7
out of 10 -

Maybe it's my love of tennis or how cute Kirsten Dunst was in this film, but this was a surprisingly good
entry into the "romantic comedy" genre.  And I don't have any good justification for enjoying this really...
my best guess is the British-ness makes it seem smarter than it actually is, coupled with some very low
expectations going into the viewing.  It is also probably worth noting that any review of this flick is colored
by the fact that I saw it on the plane with some truly awful films, making this one seem especially decent. 
Anyways, if you are looking for a cute date flick you could do a lot worse.  



Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (2004)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Jesus, sometimes I’m a glutton for punishment…and I don’t even have the excuse that there hot girls dis-
tracting me the whole film, cause that wasn’t the case here.  Basically, you got the following – boy likes
girl but doesn’t act on it; cue interloper to take girl away; boy grows balls, finally talks to the girl, and after
some hemming and hawing she goes with them and happily ever after or something like that.  I think I’ve
seen this exact movie 2,452,890 times at this point, and this one didn’t stand out from any of the rest. 
The only worthwhile thing to point out here is that they use a Piggly Wiggly grocery store as part of the set,
a real chain in south that obviously has the best name ever for a grocery store.


Wind Chill (2007)
- 6 out of 10 -

I randomly decided to watch this horror/suspense film out of boredom, and found it fairly entertaining.
It's basically an old-fashioned ghost story, two college-aged kids (one boy and one girl of course, to
make for some sexual tension) get trapped on a snowy road that is well known for folks mysteriously
dying on it. Some people live, some people die, yadda yadda yadda. But in the end, all I could really
remember about the movie is that they were supposedly driving across Pennsylvania but some big ass
mountains were the backdrop of the drive. Turns out they filmed it in the mountains of British Columbia,
not exactly an area that looks like Pennsylvania. Couldn't they have just claimed the story was hap-
pening in Colorado or something?



The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
- 6 out of 10 -

It's a retelling of the classic tale, the Irish battle for independence between occupying British forces, upstart
Irish guerrilla forces, and Cillian Murphy's dreamy eyes. Directed by Ken Loach, it very much fits in with his
typical style of films – visually stunning, well acted, and fairly boring. This telling of the true events definitely
paints the English in a terrible light, but from the little I know of the situation it doesn't really seem that far
off base.


Windy City Heat (2003)
- 6 out of 10 -

While I may not be sure if this is a documentary or a mockumentary, one thing is for certain – it is equal
parts hilarious and irritating, never settling long on either characteristic.  It basically revolves around this
elaborate ruse to set up this one guy named Perry into thinking he is a good actor and has landed a
starring role in a future blockbuster.  I want to believe that the Perry character is really like the person he
portrays in the flick, but I just have a hard time believing anyone could possibly be that dumb.  But it is
mostly entertaining, some of the crap they put Perry through; and while there are a number of slow parts
there is enough comedy to push you through it.


The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998)
 - 3 out of 10 -

Against my better judgment, a judgment based on generally avoiding any film starring Jude Law, I
watched this goofy "thriller" that did not thrill at all.  Really, it was Timothy Spall that convinced me to give
it a go since he is generally fantastic, but he is used too little and isn't enough to counter-act Law's scenery-
chewing and general douchebagginess.  Perhaps if I had realized Law was playing a "modern vampire"
I would have been tipped off to avoid this meandering mess.



Without a Paddle (2004)
 - 6 out of 10 -

This is not something I would normally watch, but being trapped on a plane for long periods of time makes
you do crazy things.  But all in all, this was a fairly enjoyable but highly predictable movie.  It was even
almost funny a couple of times, and Burt Reynolds was in it!  Only for a second, but still that’s got to count
for something.  Basically it is about a group of childhood friends getting back together as adults after one
of them dies.  They decide to go on an adventure to look for treasure that they had dreamed of searching
for as children, a as a tribute to their fallen comrade.  Guess what happens next?  That’s right, hijinks ensue. 
Hijinks!  The film had a Goonies/Stand By Me vibe without being as good as either, but it passed the time
on the plane and I don’t regret watching it.  This would make decent Sunday afternoon “my brain is on
autopilot” fare for most folks.


Without Limits (1998)
- 7 out of 10 -  

I love that they made two movies about Steve Prefontaine within a year of each other, a subject most everyone
knows nothing about.  It would have probably been great to be a fly on the wall in the meetings when they de-
cided to make this second one "Without Limits"; I'd love to hear the reasons they came up with on why and how
the new film would be "different".  With all that said, even though this version might seem like a superfluous
waste of film stock, bear this in mind: this is the one that actually had the blessing of the folks portrayed in the
film.  That fact, combined with the obvious conclusion that Billy Crudup is a much better choice to play the lead
than Jared Leto, is undeniable proof that this is the better of the two biopics.  Feel free to question my
assertions, but you will be proven wrong and smote by the fist of the angry gods that you ever thought to
challenge such conclusions.  Or something like that.



Wolfen (1981)
 - 7.5 out of 10 -

If you had told me there was a movie out there where Albert Finney teams with Gregory Hines in an attempt to
stop a pack of super-intelligent wolves tormenting the slums of New York City, I'd never have believed you. 
But here it is.  And honestly, other than the shitty special effects (most notable the use of reversed or polarized
film to represent what it is like to see through the eyes of the wolves), this flick is pretty awesome.  I'm sure a
big part of the reason I love this is the dilapidated setting, all the burned out and half torn down buildings in the
Bronx make for perfect backdrops in this modern horror picture.  Albert Finney is great as always, even if I do
always associate him with snobby British period pieces.  Definitely recommended. 



Wonderland (2003)
 - 4 out of 10 -

Maybe it was my own fault.  I’m not sure what I was expecting here – I knew it was about a crime story
involving John Holmes and not his life in porn, but something still seemed off.  The acting was fine, Val
Kilmer especially, but there was just nothing there…no life, no passion, no oomph.  Maybe the story was
just a snoozer, who knows.  Someday I need to watch that documentary Wadd, if I can ever easily find it.


The Woodsman (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

I never thought I would ever use the words "beautiful" and "pedophilia" in the same sentence, but it fits
here - The Woodsman is in deed a beautiful film about a man (Kevin Bacon) battling with his pedophile
tendencies after getting out of jail.  In the process of trying to get his life in order, he comes across a
child being potentially molested, and becomes entangled in what to do about the situation, especially
in light of his own feelings on the matter.  The performance by Bacon is stunning, most likely the best
work he's ever done.


Wordplay (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

They managed to make a full-length documentary about crosswords, and make it quite entertaining to
boot. The lion's share of the film revolved around Will Shortz, acclaimed editor of the crosswords in the
New York Times, and his life with puzzles. Lots of interviews with famous folks like Bill Clinton and Jon
Stewart and Andy Petitte who talk about their own crossword addictions and the role the puzzles play in
their lives. The rest of the time is spent following the very small band of competitive crossword players and
their annual tournament. As you might expect, this is a varied and eccentric lot and in many ways just as
entertaining as the trained entertainers who are also featured here.


Word Wars (2004)
 - 7 out of 10 -

First, I can’t think of another documentary that was based on a book, but this one is.  Second, this film
works great as both a an advertisement and a warning about Scrabble – it made me want to play it right

away (happens fairly often in my household anyways, especially with my old lady, she plays on the com-
puter
all the time), but makes you never want to take it very seriously.  Third, everyone in the film is a
nutbag, and
that’s what makes it so interesting.  Fourth, it’s a pretty short film, just a little over an hour –
maybe too short? 
They may be the first time I’ve ever said.  Fifth and finally, just thinking about this movie
and Scrabble makes
me wish I was playing right now.  Here’s to hoping a documentary on Monopoly is
in the works.


The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (1959)
- 5 out of 10 -

God knows how I love any movie vaguely post-apocalyptic, and “vaguely post-apocalyptic” drama is
probably the best description of this meandering picture. It might be a film about the last three people
on Earth trying to get by in New York City, but it feels more like a stage production than anything set in
one of the largest cities in the world. The acting was good but the action was little, and my mind often
drifted while trying to follow the plot (which wasn't exactly complicated). The flick looks fantastic though,
in the classic black and white, the picture so crystal clear...it makes me wish I liked the movie more than
I actually did.



The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

Color me surprised, but it turns out that Anthony Hopkins is really friggin’ terrific in this movie…which
given his track record of ruining films, that’s got to count for something no?  In all Seriousness, this true
story about a quirky New Zealander whose goal in life is to go to the Salt Flats of the USA and break
land speed records on motorcycles is one of the few feel-good-for-the-underdog films that is actually
quite a respectable film outside of the heart-string tugging.  It had a few moments where it dragged on,
but overall I was quite surprised at what an interesting (and true) story this turned out to be.


World's Greatest Dad (2009)
 - 6.5 out of 10 -

Really, REALLY dark comedy about a mediocre writer (Robin Williams) with a thoroughly shitty life who
uses his son's suicide to get published.  And while that sounds like a deplorable thing to do, you'd have
to see the film to witness how awful his kid was and how necessary his actions were in light of the pre-
viously mentioned shitty life.  Williams does a nice job in the lead, managing to pull off loser, sad sack
redeemable character all at the same time.  These sort of quirky not-quite-comedy but not-quite-drama
roles really seem to be his current go-to roles.



The Wrestler (2008)
 - 8 out of 10 -

I really loved this movie, but I've thought and thought and I can't think of anything worthehile to say about
it (not that that has stopped me in the past).  If you grew up loving wrestling and currently love great
filmmaking, I  can't imagine a scenario where you wouldn't be extremely happy with this product. 
Mickey Rourke really does an amazing job in his critical comeback, truly inhabiting the body and mind
of a washed up pro wrestler struggling with getting old and giving up the dream. 



W.W. And the Dixie Dancekings (1975)
- 6.5 out of 10 -

It's really strange seeing Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds star in a film together and it NOT be about boot-
legging Coors beer from Texas to Georgia. Instead, it's about a country band who finds themselves with
a rogue manager (Reynolds) who likes to rob gas stations and is attempting to help the band make it in
Nashville. It's a fun, silly movie with a nice cast and some good music, and sometimes that is enough.



Wyatt Earp (1994)
 - 7 out of 10 -

It's the story of Wyatt Earp, adequately and entertainingly done.  I've never done any scientific analysis on the
matter, but I think that any movie that has Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, and plenty of funny moustaches and
hats is an automatic winner any way you measure it.  The biggest gripe most folks (and myself) have with this
flick is it so goddamn long-winded, which I giess isn't a surprise since Kevin Costner is involved but still...cut
the editor loose and let him do his job!



X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2005)
- 7 out of 10 -

Even if this was the worst of the X-Men trilogy, and it was, it was still a damn fun film to watch.  Having grown up
reading the X-Men comics, seeing them brought to live action is a dream come true…shoddy direction and
poor story development and not enough Nightcrawler be damned.  Story-wise the film is pretty typical for an
action flick, the good guys win and all that; but you’re not watching this movie to be challenged, you’re watching
it to see a bunch of bad-ass special powers on display.  And as an added bonus in this one, you get to see the
mutants beat the crap out of San Francisco, which is fun to see from a personal perspective.



Year of the Bull (2003)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Hoop Dreams is not just one of my very favorite documentaries, but one of my favorite movies period. 
Year of the Bull is molded much in that same fashion, only with an emphasis on a single high school football
star rather than two high school basketball stars.  And while it wasn’t nearly as good as Hoop Dreams, it
was still a pretty interesting look at the competitive nature that it takes to play at this level, the recruiting
battles, and especially how much emphasis the high schools put on these kids winning championships and
being good, school work be damned.  Probably one of the biggest flaws is that the star of the feature,
Taurean Charles, is just not terribly likeable or easy to root for, which is a key ingredient on making this film
go from just “good” to “damn good”.  Apparently, a year or so back he got into disciplinary troubles with the
college team he was on and got booted off of it.  This is certainly a good watch for sports fans, but might not
interest everyone…but if you liked Hoop Dreams, and have any interest in football at all, you should certainly
check this out.


Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983)
 - 3 out of 10 -

Sometimes, I might fantasize about what life might have been like in the days of cavemen.  Lucky for me, we
have screen gems such as Yor to help understand the day-to-day of your average cave dwelling hominid. 
You forage for food, fight for your women with rival clans, and glide around on the wings of extremely fake-
looking pterydactyl bird-things.  Then, of course, the aliens land, and you befriend a Matthew Modine look-
alike who's running from a fake Darth Vader and somehow you end up on a space ship that, for no good
reason, has a hall of mirrors in it like at the carnival funhouses.  Because what spaceship is complete without
numerous mirrors to create a maze-like effect?

I remember liking this as a kid, but I can tell you one thing for sure after having rewatched it - it ain't no Krull.



You Got Served (2004)
 - 1 out of 10 -

Holy fuckin’ atrocious, what an abomination of a film.  I lasted all of 20 minutes and I feel dumber for having
even spent that long watching it.  I blame it all on Jennifer Freeman, who is hot but not hot enough to make
me watch any longer than I did.  For fuck’s sake, can someone burn the original negatives of this please?


You, Me and Dupree (2006)
- 4 out of 10 -

I knew this would be incredibly stupid but I was hoping for a few cheap laughs along the way…and there
were a few, but not nearly enough to make watching this worthwhile.  I won’t even get into the asinine skate-
boarding scene that they get all wrong (would it be that hard to get an advisor on the set for a day?), but the
gist of the film seemed to be that women are always killjoys with no exception.  Now sure, this is mostly true,
but I can definitely recall a handful of times when this was not the case.  Additionally, the “Butterscotch Stallion”
Owen Wilson - who should have been the highlight of the film - came across as a loser most of the time and
not the “loveable” loser that they were aiming for.  Mostly, the movie was just boring and without merit.


You're Gonna Miss Me (2005)
- 7.5 out of 10 -

When you make a documentary about a legendary musician, it is sometimes difficult to not let the high
quality of the music taint the review of the film on it's own merits. Luckily, with a subject like Roky Erickson
it would be next to impossible to actual make a bad flick with him as the lead subject. As you might expect,
the movie follows his life, from childhood to near-hits with Thirteenth Floor Elevators to a stay in the insane
asylum and up to present day (as of 2005), where the man is barely functioning but appears to be on the
upswing of life (note: as of 2008 he is back out on the road playing music again, having finally learned to
control his schizophrenia). If you're even a moderate fan you're going to love this film, and non-fans might
even find it interesting as well...you don't come across characters like Roky Erickson every day.



You See Me Laughin’ (2002)
 - 8 out of 10 -

Fat Possum is probably best known as one of the few labels out there who still give a damn about authentic
delta blues music.  This film focuses on a few of their artists, most notable RL Burnside and T-Model Ford. 
First, the music is fantastic, and there are a number of musical interludes, but that is not the primary purpose
of this documentary.  Mostly, it is a vehicle with which to tell the history and legends that made these guys who
they are, and your guess is as good as mine as to what is truth and what isn’t, which only adds to the flavor. 
There are also a number of conversations in the film with the guys who run the label, and how they do what
they do to keep their aging yet important musicians happy in a world that doesn’t seem to pay much attention
to authentic blues music anymore.  I found this flick highly interesting and would recommend as a must see
to anyone who enjoys this type of music; but even as a character study for folks who don’t particularly enjoy
the blues, you’ll probably find the film a good watch.



Youngblood (1986)
 - 7 out of 10 -

Don't get me wrong - this is not a good movie in the classic sense.  But there are so many hilarious, ridic-
ulous scenes that it is impossible not to enjoy it.  First and foremost, even though it is a minor role Keanu
Reeve's attempt at a French-Canadian accent is one of the most insane things these ears have ever
heard.  Add to that the many scenes of Ron Lowe as a hockey player, and you've got some top-notch
entertainment.



Zatoichi (2003)
 - 4 out of 10 -


Given all the high praise this movie received, I was highly disappointed with the results.  The story sort of
drug along, and then there would be a fight, and then back to the story, and another fight, etc etc the end.  
The fight scenes were decent, but the director's decision to animate the blood in such an unrealistic
manner was such a distraction for me that it kinda ruined the whole thing.  As this is a classic tale, there's
no doubt better version of this story out there.


Zipperface (1992)
- 2 out of 10 -

The transfer of this movie looks worse than a Youtube video, not that it makes a difference. Everything
about this is bad, across the board - acting, story, directing, camera work, film quality...they couldn't
even get decent looking cop uniforms. That this was apparently made in 1992 is amazing to me, as
clearly they filmed it on VHS camcorders manufactured in the early eighties, possibly on used tapes.



Zodiac (2006)
- 8 out of 10 -

This film was a “tour de force”...isn't that what the critics are always saying in the movie previews about the
good ones? Given the subject matter and the Bay Area setting, I'm probably a little biased, but this is one
fantastic film in every possibly way it could be. If you were going to lodge a complaint it might be over the
length, but at nearly three hours it doesn't feel that long. As amazing as the cast is, the biggest star of this
flick in my eyes is how authentically seventies they got everything to look...the clothes, the cars, the homes,
everything is perfect. This attention to detail is what really takes this from a good thriller about one of the
most famous unsolved serial killer cases to an outstanding one.


Zombie Nightmare (1986)
 - 3 out of 10 -

Let's do the typical review here - "The nightmare is the film itself!  Terrible acting, directing, everything!" 
I know it was named "Zomie Nightmare" to get viewers, but this is not a zombie flick - it's a revenge/
voodoo film with a heavy metal soundtrack.  Pretty good soundtrack if you dig hair metal, for the record. 



Zoolander (2001)
 - 7 out of 10 -

You’ve got to give Ben Stiller credit – no matter how annoying he might be most of the time, the idea of
making a comical movie about male runway models was brilliant.   The gasoline fight set to a Wham
song, “Blue Steel”, and every moment of Will Ferrell’s character Mugatu make this movie extremely fun
to watch, and offset the retarded story that supposedly holds things together.  The whole thing plays like
one of those hundreds of Saturday Night Live movies where a short, funny skit gets stretched too thin,
but luckily for everyone involved the movie is funny enough most of the time that you don’t much care.