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All reviews - Movies (78) - DVDs (11) - Books (4)

2008's must see indie film

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 15 January 2009 02:25 (A review of Slumdog Millionaire (2008))

Every year it seems that a small independent or foreign film rises to the top and grabs our attention. It cries for you to see it and share it with your friends. Slumdog Millionaire is this film for 2008/9. Danny Boyle has directed a film that you won't soon forget and will be talking about around the water cooler for the next few days at work.

If you want to get a lot of specifics about the movie, read Alexander's review. This movie is really a love story about two people that seemed destined to be together. The story starts with Jamal being taken off the show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and taken to be interrogated for cheating on the show.

As the interrogation unfolds, we learn how Jamal knows the answer to the questions and why he is there in the first place. You get to see things that I'm sure the Indian tourist bureau would rather not share with us during this film. Jamal isn't really a genious, but we find out that he knows the answers because of events that have happened to him while living in the slums. A lot of these flashbacks are disturbing and some are funny.

After you get into the movie and see what Jamal has been through, you can't help but root for him. This is one of the best "Rocky" films that I have seen in a long time. You can't help but cheer for the underdog and hope that he wins. As the story nears it ending, it seems like all of Indian has joined us. You see people in bars, at home, in front of television stores all waiting to see if Jamal wins and gets out of the slums. Don't forget we also get to see if he wins the girl.

If you want to find out what happens, go and check this one out. You will laugh, cheer, get mad, but hopefully have a great evening out at the movies.


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This one makes you think

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 13 January 2009 07:54 (A review of In the Valley of Elah (2007))

As I was watching this movie, I thought they couldn't have picked a better person for the lead with Tommy Lee Jones. He plays the tough SOB really well and makes you really not want to be on his bad side. His character leads us through the story and Jones carries the movie all the way.

On the surface this movie is a murder mystery with the backdrop of soldiers returning from Iraq to give it a lot of spice. The military side of the story shows the red tape and politics that goes on with the military not wanting to lose face. It also gives you a brief glimpse at some of the horrible things that take place in a war zone such as Iraq. Anyone that has been in the military can empathize here.

When you look at this movie on a deeper level you see a father finding out things about a child that he probably was never meant to see or hear about. I kept thinking about some of the things I did when I was in the Marine Corps and let me tell you I hope my parents never find about them. The more Jones digs into finding out about what happened to his son, he sees a side of him that he never would dream could have taken place.

The emotions run very high in this movie. It is very powerful and shocking at times. This movie is on cable in my area right now but is worth the price of a rental. Be prepared to ride an emotional roller coaster when watching this one.


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Not for surf fans

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 8 January 2009 09:48 (A review of Surfer, Dude)

If your looking for a movie that captures the essence of the surf scene, don't buy or watch this movie. I was hoping that I might get to watch some good surf footage with a funny storyline as a backdrop. Wrong, this is not another Blue Crush. I think Surfs Up captures the feel of surfing better than this movie.

Now if you like to watch dudes getting stoned all day and night, than this might be your kind of movie. It also has more than one cute young lady in skimpy bikinis sometimes without the tops. I would say this is not a movie geared towards the female audience.

Most of the movie we get to watch Matthew's charater mope around being depressed (and stoned) because there isn't any waves to be found. (Hence my comment about no surf footage!) He also has a reality TV program wanting him to live in their house with others surfing so that we can vicariously live the life of a surfer. (This is where we get to see the skimpy bikinis without tops.) Between waiting for waves, getting stoned, and trying not to sell out to the man (reality TV), not much else happens in the movie. There are a few funny scenes, but overall I don't think this movie delivered what I was expecting.


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Springer wannabe

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 8 January 2009 09:20 (A review of Little Black Book)

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, oops wrong review, sorry!!! When I bought this DVD I thought it would be another Brittany Murphy romantic comedy. Well it is but with a twist. The twist is what I didn't like about the movie.

Brittany and Holly Hunter worked very well with each other. They had a very good on screen chemistry and had some funny scenes together. The twist that I didn't like about the movie was "reality live talk show" back drop of the movie. I don't watch and don't like what these shows do to people. Now I will admit if you volunteer to go onto one of these talk shows, you have to pay the piper. But in this movie, the players don't have this option and that rubs me the wrong way.

If you like talk shows and seeing people get humiliated, then you will probably like this movie. It has a few very funny scenes that you will enjoy. If you are like me and don't care for people being put into these situations, you may want to pass on this one.


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Well packaged Blu-ray

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 8 January 2009 08:54 (A review of I Am Legend )

I am kind of new to the world of Blu-ray DVDs, but I really loved this one. The crystal clear imaging of Blu-rays are wonderful to watch on HD TVs. I was lucky and got this one pretty cheap used. What I loved about it was that this DVD was loaded with the extras that you hear being touted that can be put onto the Blu-ray format.

There is a short documentary about viruses that was really informative and interesting to watch. I made my kids watch it and they even were engrossed in the segment. I love to see how movies are made. I really get amazed at all that goes into putting together what we see on the big screen. This DVD had about 12 featurettes on how different parts of the movie were put together. For curious minds this was like discovering a gold mine.

The DVD also has two versions of the movie. The theatrical version of course is available. We watched the alternate ending and I liked it better than the one seen in theaters. When we were watching it a couple of scenes that were in the theatrical version made more sense in the alternate version. One scene was when he captures the female and the male stands in the doorway and howls at Smith. The alternate version gives a new appreciation of that scene. (You'll have to watch it to find out why.)

If your into the world of Blu-ray, I would say that this is one to buy. The DVD is loaded with enough to keep you busy for a few hours. Enjoy.


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Watch your funny bone

Posted : 9 years, 5 months ago on 8 January 2009 08:36 (A review of Blind Date)

This movie was made when Bruce Willis was still doing his slap stick comedy. I got this DVD for my daughter who is too young to have seen him when he was doing comedy on TV. My kids don't always trust me when I tell them these older movies are really good. I told them they would bust a gut when they watched this one. I could tell that they were kind of humoring me when we started to watch the movie.

The movie starts out slowly and I think they thought my humor meter had left the building, but as soon as Kim Basinger starts to drink her first cup of champagne they changed their minds. This is where the movie takes off and the humor really begins. Kim can't handle her liquor very well and this leads to very funny consequences. Needless to say, Bruce can't be outdone by her and gets his payback.

As the pace of the movie picked up, the laughter of my kids did also. There was a continuous stream of laughter from our sofa as the movie progressed. The timing and delivery of the comedy scenes between Bruce and Kim are classic. I got this DVD in a two pack very cheap. It was well worth the money spent to listen to my kids laugh and have a great time.


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Wonderful love story

Posted : 9 years, 6 months ago on 14 December 2008 06:28 (A review of P.S. I Love You)

This is a movie for fans of movies. I went to Rotten Tomatoes and only 21% of the critics gave this movie a positive rating. I wish these guys would quit rating movies critically and rate them according to their entertainment value. I've talked with a few people about this movie and have heard nothing but positive glowing comments. Is it perfect, no, but it is a great movie to watch with someone special.

This love story is told in a unique way. You get to see the story after the husband dies. Through a series of letters, you get to see the couples love for one another through flashbacks by Swank's character. Sometimes you will laugh and other times you will need a tissue. The supporting cast does a great job as Swank goes through this emotional roller coaster ride. (The footage of Ireland is worth looking at by itself.)

Rent the DVD or watch this one on cable. Be prepared to get teary eyed, but enjoy a wonderful love story.


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Blonde ambition

Posted : 9 years, 6 months ago on 13 December 2008 07:24 (A review of The House Bunny (2008))

If you are expecting to see an intelligent movie, you've come to the wrong place on this one. It was so stupid it was funny. This was a female version of The Revenge of the Nerds.

The sorority house was full of misfits that you wouldn't want to be caught dead talking to in public. In comes Anna Farris to the rescue in her skimpy outfits and bubbly personality. The problem is that she isn't the brightest bulb in the box either. Of course you have the evil sorority house trying to run them out of town. The tutoring of Farris leads to scenes that are so silly that they are funny as they try to recruit pledges and save their house.

If you are in the mood for a no brainer funny movie, this one might be the ticket. It won't win a awards, but it will probably give you more than one opportunity to laugh.


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A twist without a twist

Posted : 9 years, 7 months ago on 17 November 2008 03:22 (A review of Righteous Kill (2008))

I think everyone loves a good twist and turn in a plot as long as it is done well. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and looking forward to the end of the movie. This movie tries to do this also. There is a serial killer on the loose and our two veteran cops (Deniro and Pacino) are right on his or her heels. The plot moves forward and hints that one of our key players is the killer.

This plot line is designed to keep us guessing and waiting with anticipation to the end. Well it kept me guessing for about five minutes until I said this is way to easy to figure out. I guessed the killer early in the movie, but I still watched until the end. I liked the cast and thought they did a more than decent job carrying the movie. There is enough action and suspense to keep the average movie fan entertained. If you are critical of your movie watching and story lines, you may not get into this movie. If you are a fan of the cast like I am, you should be very well entertained. This movie is well worth a DVD rental or a cable TV viewing.


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Good family film

Posted : 9 years, 7 months ago on 9 November 2008 09:17 (A review of City of Ember (2008))

The City of Ember is taken from the book by the same name. I have read the book and was really looking forward to seeing this movie. Even when I read the book I thought about how cool this book would be as a movie if someone could recreate this world and pull it off. I think the world that was created was very close to what I read in the book. If anything, it may be a little scarier and too much for small children under school age.

The idea of this story starts with the idea about what we as humans could do to survive a major nuclear attack. The city of Ember was built to help save mankind in such a situation. The selected individuals were taken to the city and were to stay there for 200 hundred years. Well, it was supposed to be 200 years but something went wrong and they have passed this time. Now the city is starting to break down and fall apart. The main generator that powers this underground city is failing and people are starting to worry and panic.

It is up to a couple of smart kids to try to save the people in the city. They have a lot of adventures along the way that are exciting to watch. Your kids should really get into the story and the world that was created for this movie. I really enjoyed the movie and my son gave it an A-. He said that they changed a couple of things from the book that he didn't like. They were really minor changes in my opinion, but he did notice them. If you missed this one in the theater, I would reccomend this one for your DVD collection.


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