Movie Reviews

These reviews are of older movies, since Netflix blocked the feed for new reviews.

  • The Company Men
    Sad, long, painful to watch, and depressing. Unemployment is a depressing... no kidding. But this movie is about as much fun as watching beach erosion. Shot in segmented stories like Crash and Babel, it is disjointed. Adequate acting by all parties, but sleazy story lines of adultery, money, and power gone awry... surprise! Capped with an unconvincing and su […]
  • A Pyromaniac's Love Story
    A Pyromaniac's Love Story is a humorous, silly tale of young love gone haywire, with a storyline spiced with a hundred unexpected twists and turns. The dramatic tension is kept taut as each naive, but well intentioned, action by the main character Sergio (John Leguizamo) produces a flood of unintended consequences. Desperate to earn the love of his chil […]
  • Princess Kaiulani
    An interesting movie from an historical point of view - we did not know how US monied interests used political fiction to force annexation and subjugation of the Hawaiian people. Q'Orianka Kilcher is good as Princess Ka'iulani, with a very expressive face and requisite poise as a regal child. The problem with the movie is that it majors in a minor […]
  • Leap Year
    Amy Adams is always good and believable as the vulnerable girl next door. Her facial expressions are convincing. She displays the inner thoughts of her heart on the canvas of her face and she seems so genuine and unpretentious. She is a good actress. But of course, this is a simple romantic comedy... a story told hundreds of times before, and therefore compl […]
  • It's Kind of a Funny Story
    It's kinda funny and well acted with a serious vein that cuts across the wrists, not down them. The basic theme of the movie is that a smarter-than-average young person (Craig played by Keir Gilchrist) is having trouble dealing with all the pressures to excel at school and at life and in love. He suffers from doubt, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Hi […]
  • Inception
    Interesting concept, but a little too long. A labyrinthine descent into a world of dreams, dreaming about the world of dreams. The plot is an attempt to insert an idea into a subject through subliminal invasion of the targets dream state. It reminded me of What Dreams May Come in concept and execution. A bit on the moribund side. A lot of tense action, but u […]
  • How to Train Your Dragon
    My wife says it was a "cute" movie. Typical therapeutic worldview where all those who are bad (dragons) aren't really bad, just misunderstood, and how war is not the way to fix your problems. The hero (Hiccup) is the weakling son of a warrior chief (who looks down upon his disappointing son). Hiccup can't quite get into the whole manly-ma […]
  • Warm Springs
    This movie provides the backstory on Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Kenneth Branagh) as he succumbs to polio and tries to deal with its aftermath. It is a period in his life that we did not know about, nor did we know how complete his paralysis was. You begin to gain a perspective on how the disabled were treated in those days: with fear and suspicion. Polio eff […]
  • Luther
    I was pleasantly surprised by this historical drama about the pivotal figure in the Reformation. The story itself is compressed, and probably deserves a longer treatment, but the essentials are there: Martin Luther's attempt to reform bad practices within the Roman Church, only to be surprised at being called an enemy and a heretic for doing so; his pre […]
  • Temple Grandin
    My wife is a special educator who teaches autistic children. She found herself laughing and crying in sympathy with the realism of Claire Danes portrayal of Temple Grandin. At a time when autism was misunderstood and the parents treated with suspicion of abuse, Temple became an avenue of understanding and enlightenment for the rest of the world. This true an […]
  • The Spy Next Door
    Typical Jackie Chan kung-fu antics with humor, warring against Russian spies with horribly fake Russian accents. It was a fun watch with a few good one liners, but I think Ive seen this plot line 3 times before: Jackie is a spy hiding out as as the nerd next door, dating the single mom with three kids who think Jackie is a loser. Dont expect deep thoughts fr […]
  • A Woman Called Golda
    Ingrid Bergman died of cancer the year this movie was made, four years after Golda Meir died of cancer. As Ingrids swan song, it was a worthy tribute to a woman called The Mother of Israel. This biopic is a two part mini-series on a single disk. It provides a wealth of history and context without sugarcoating the woman. Golda sacrificed family and comfort to […]
  • Get Low
    Robert Duvall has to be one of the premier character actors of our day. The depth and subtlety of his character makes you believe he is the person he is portraying. Duvall plays a 1930's backwoodsman, Felix Bush, with a hidden heart of shame and guilt. Like his work in The Apostle, Duvall picks a character who is neither fully good nor evil, but combine […]
  • Fool's Gold
    2.5 stars. I didn't dislike it, but this plot was loosely put together. The script was not quite campy but not tight enough to be a comedic thriller. Compared to the stars in this genre, Romancing the Stone or Jewel of the Nile, it fell far short of the snap, verve, and humor of those two classics. The story is about a financial miscreant, Ben Finnegan […]
  • True Grit
    Well what a surprise! This version of True Grit is better than the original. The performances of Jeff Bridges and John Wayne are unique to each movie, so you forget the comparisons while you are watching it. What is far better are the other actors: Hailee Steinfield, as Mattie Ross, is not a whiner. She is forthright and believable. Matt Damon puts in a funn […]
  • The Thing About My Folks
    Gilmore Girls for guys? Yackety-yack. Who knew guys could talk so much about their "feelings?" Plus the movie had a profusion of swearing that added nothing to the story. The acting wasn't bad, but the plot was trite. An old time marriage is suddenly rocked by the elderly wife leaving for 'greener pastures.' Along the way, the abando […]
  • Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
    Another Shoah type documentary movie, using interviews of Jewish survivors of the Nazi holocaust, still images, and recreated movie scenes. The difference in this movie is that all the survivors were children in WWII. The Kindertransport tells the story of 10,000 Jewish children who were sent away by their parents to live in England after the infamous Krista […]
  • John Rabe
    The brutality of genocidal war is revealed in all its gory detail, as the merciless Japanese butchered a civilian populace and executed prisoners of war in an ethnic cleansing of Nanking, China in 1937. 300,000 were slaughtered, but John Rabe, using his Nazi party membership and the German alliance with Japan, helped save 200,000 Chinese people in a safety z […]
  • Stone of Destiny
    A sleeper that surprises with delight. It is amazing how the most underrated movies actually please us more than many of the well-advertized and promoted Hollywood clones. This true story of the rise of Scottish Nationalism in the 1940s is capped with the theft of the Stone of Scone (Destiny) used as a seat upon which to crown Scottish Kings since the 800s. […]
  • The Lost and Found Family
    The beginning of this movie is very choppy, with the background on the financial circumstances hinted at, but unexplained. The acting is a bit wooden except for the main character, Ester (Ellen Bry) and little Crystal (Raegan Lamb), while the teens' acting (Lucas Till, Jessica Luza) improves as the film progresses. They are not convincing as completely […]
  • The Note
    Made for TV quality with a twisted, but predictable, ending. A little too neat and tidy venture into self-revelation, as a soft-hearted columnist, Peyton MacGruder, fails to deal with her own emotional losses, but tries to comfort others in theirs. The Note, a last act of love written to an unknown recipient by a doomed airline passenger, provides the opport […]
  • Megamind
    A newspaper critic recently wrote that animated films has entered a "Golden Age of mediocrity." I would concur. The characterizations were good, but the story line was very predictable. My wife and I were bored by the middle of the movie. We're not sure why. Compared to "The Incredibles," to which it bears some similarity, it lacked […]
  • The Legend of 1900
    The Legend of 1900 is a surreal venture into an implausible world of a boy, born and abandoned and raised on a ship. Born on the first day of the year in 1900, he is so named. The boy, as he grows, is a child prodigy: a piano virtuoso and composer ¿ without receiving any training whatsoever. And so, his life, like a shooting star, flames across the sky and t […]
  • My Mother's Castle
    Well, it is French. A very slow moving stroll through Provence with beautiful scenery and a mildly entertaining story about a young boy growing up in turn of the 19th Century France. It would have been helpful at the beginning to know this is autobiographical, but the slow pace and loose ends leave a lot to be desired. Since we are not from France, some of t […]
  • Cosi
    Quite a few outbursts of crude behavior and f** swear words mar this venture in a madhouse in Australia. A few funny lines, but the annoying intensity of some of the characters makes it less than a lovable movie. For better movies in this genre, The King of Hearts and The Dream Team are funnier movies which can be watched repeatedly. The story of Cosi has a […]
  • Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
    This movie is one of those sleeper gems that you stumble across by accident. A true story, based upon the author's own life, shows the improbable path of an underprivileged kid of a single mom in the racist 1960's, who, against all odds, overcomes bad eyesight and an uncontrollable temper, to earn scholarships and a degree in medicine. What happens […]
  • The Visitor
    With all the tempo and speed of "A Trip to Bountiful," The Visitor is a canvas of understated emotions hung on the backdrop of a post-911 world. First of all, the acting is very good on all parts. The characters are believable, emotive, and genuine even in all their subtlety of hidden sorrows and fears. Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), as a widower w […]
  • Escape from Sobibor
    What makes this movie worth watching is that it is the true story of the Jewish uprising and escape at a death camp, Sobibor. My wife and I had never heard of this death camp, so we were surprised to find out that it is a true story, and, like Band of Brothers, has historical footnotes about the people who survived the camp and escaped. Sobibor was the pilot […]
  • Despicable Me
    A likable movie with cute kids and Nerf-like creatures. A decent storyline, with Gru (Steve Carell) as a Dr. of Evil, with a heart that melts in spite of himself. Being shut out of the top criminal spot, Gru seeks a way to get back on top, but all his plans go horribly wrong. Some funny lines and characterizations, and good animations. Safe for kids 6 and up […]
  • The Pacific
    A terrible disappointment after watching Band of Brothers. The Pacific follows three different marines from three different companies, and that separation may contribute to the disorganized feel and lack of attachment to any of the main characters. Band of Brothers by contrast follows one company and their continued friendships and sacrifices throughout thei […]
  • The Pillars of the Earth
    A compelling drama marred by excessive, unnecessary nudity and sexual scenes. Some foul language and lots of blood. The Pillars of the Earth is an unusual drama stranded together by a hundred year theme of building a Gothic Cathedral. The characters come and go, live and die, but the building of the Cathedral goes on. Based upon historical events of the 12th […]
  • Red
    RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous): critics didnt like it, but we did. Pleasantly surprised after hearing bad reviews. A lot of laughs as well as a passable plot. Campy, but that made it fun rather than a serious spy movie. John Malkovich steals the show as the retired spy who was given LSD for 11 years by the CIA without his knowledge. His expressions, his […]
  • The Expendables
    Action and mayhem in search of a plot. Like eating a bowl of cake icing, it tastes good at first, but by the end you are sick to your stomach, thinking "I probably should not have eaten the whole thing..." All sugar and no substance, and you realize it too late. I am getting tired of action scenes that are continuously so fast that you can't t […]
  • Centurion
    Blood, Guts, Gore, Vengeance, and a love interest thrown in at the end to give the main character an extra dimension other than being a fighter. The most convincing character is the speechless Olga Kurylenko, as Pictish-Roman scout Etain. Desaturated colors made the movie feel like much of the scenery was computer generated. Seemed to revel in close ups of b […]
  • The Young Victoria
    I did not know much about Victoria and her ascension to the throne, and while the script takes some liberties with history for dramatic effect, the general tenor and tone match my subsequent research into her early years. That said, Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend do a marvelous and eminently believable job young royals trying to navigate the treacherous and m […]
  • Moon
    A bit of a brain twister, with shades of 2001, A Space Odyssey, thrown in, including an ultra calm robot that runs the Lunar mining compound, well voiced by Kevin Spacey. Sam Rockwell does a convincing job as solo astronaut miner, who appears to be losing his mind. The movie deserves more recognition that it has received, and has a dark side that I cannot ta […]
  • The Last Days
    Shoah. I signed up for this movie thinking it was a drama and not a documentary. When it started and I realized it was a documentary, I thought it would probably be boring, but I was riveted from the beginning. Steven Spielberg's handling of story, intertwined with interviews, was masterful. What people went through and how they experienced the unbeliev […]
  • Chariots of the Gods
    The only book I ever threw away in the middle of it for being so stupid I couldn't stand it. The logic of this argument goes something like this: Archeologists found what appears to be a battery from ancient Egypt, therefore there must have been aliens seeding technology to humans! Oh, and they were able to build pyramids using straight lines!!!! Ah-ha, […]
  • We're No Angels
    Nuns on the Run, an English comedy, and Sister Act, with Whoopie Goldberg, are much funnier movies with similar plot devices. I wouldn't call this movie a comedy. Sean Penn does a credible job as a schlub with a heart of gold but bad instincts. Demi Moore probably carries the soul of the drama as a single mom of a deaf child fighting to survive the Depr […]
  • Surrogates
    Billed as a sci-fi thriller is set in a futuristic world in which humans hibernate at home while living their lives vicariously through robot surrogates, it is so much more. It is a well done murder mystery with a futuristic twist. Not as a criticism, but as a compliment, this film has some of the feel and themes of The Matrix and I Robot. It makes you think […]
  • Seven Pounds
    Tense, taught drama, well played by Will Smith as a character with unresolved grief over causing the death of many people in a car accident, including his beloved wife or fiancé. He seeks to make amends for his wrong, by seeking out worthy and deserving people in deep trouble and rescuing them in his own unique way. I must say that Will's face reflects […]
  • Interstate 60
    A very creative, unpredictable and unusual movie, marred by excessive and unnecessary swearing. The film category of mind-bending is appropriate for it, with many subtle digs at contemporary culture and values, including lies and the legal profession, sexuality, drug dependency, and security vs. risk in the pursuit of dreams. However, with plenty of F* this […]
  • Everyman's War
    A true story, done on a low budget, held my attention but not my wifes. Acting, outside of the main character and his love interest, seems forced. The action scenes are believable and well done. The sound at times has the unprocessed background noise you often hear when you watch the deleted scenes of high budget movies, like they needed to run it through a […]
  • Aeon Flux
    Visually stunning, crisp and realistic special effects, convincing acting. Charlize Theron is as acrobatic as a Ninja, and if you like Sci-Fi, there is plenty of hi-tech weaponry and gadgetry to provide a feast for your eyes. The tempo is swift, so you wont be bored. A combination of 1984 meets The Island. The plot involves a small percentage of the human ra […]
  • Amelia
    Hilary Swank does an excellent job of portraying the person of Amelia, who, as a product of the roaring 20's, was the "liberated woman" of her day. Boundary breaker and adventuress, she died as she lived, taking risks. In spite of Hilary's excellent character sketch and the beautiful flying scenery, it was not very interesting. The drama […]
  • St. John in Exile
    This is not a movie. It is a one many play filmed before a live audience. Dean Jones, of prior Disney fame, does a very good job as a dramatic actor. His performance is convincing and very present. However, this movie was not at all what we expected. It is not clear enough from the short description that it is a play and also not about John in Exile; it is a […]
  • No Ordinary Family: Season 1
    The pilot was well done, but after the end of the episode, I was disappointed. It turns out the whole story is a retread of the Fantastic Four, Heroes, Flash, and X-Men. The father (Michael Chiklis) reprises his role as Ben, the Rock without the ugly skin, his wife plays the role of the Flash, the daughter has the mind reading gifts of Professor Charles Xavi […]
  • Enchanted
    I don't normally watch either Disney or fantasy involving traditional witchcraft, except for spoofs on the Disney theme: "wishing upon a star makes it so." That is why I enjoyed Shrek 1 so much. This movie is a laugh-out-loud amalgam of spoof and magic, with some of the same situational ironies that make your jaw drop in humorous disbelief. Th […]
  • Mystery Men
    Okay, as a spoof, Mystery Men was pretty good, with a dozen laugh-out-loud one-liners. One especially funny scene is the "try-outs" for super hero wannabes. I won't spoil it for you, but it was worth the movie. My sense of humor is lame, I know, but I'm easily amused. I enjoyed the spoof hero TV show called "The Tick," which did […]
  • Run, Fatboy, Run
    We don't remember who recommended this movie to us or why, but this one is a dud. A predictable, trite, and overused story line: a guy afraid of commitment, loses his girl, but realizes he wants her back and is in love, but she's moved on and has a new beau. He struggles to win her back. Standard fare for a romantic comedy, but it isn't a come […]
  • Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce
    Compared to what else passes for "comedy" these days, this video was outstandingly funny. The First Thou Shalt Laugh may have been a touch better, but the only reason is that Taylor Mason (the puppet guy) did a few bits that were similar to his first showing. However, I thought Victoria Jackson (former SNL) was the funniest of them all. Her blonde […]
  • Cold Comfort Farm
    It is hard to know what to make of this movie. It wasn't bad. We didn't stop watching it, but it was so over-the-top kooky that we thought we must be missing something... like subtle references to British comedy shows or Jane Austin and Charles Dickens. It has some of that rags-to-riches spoofing qualities, so it reminded us of that whole genre, bu […]
  • Thou Shalt Laugh
    Wow, totally funny. We just watched The Apostles of Comedy and it got a 4 star and was a little uneven. This was equal to and superior to anything I've seen on Comedy Central. The weakest player was the female stand up, Teresa Roberts Logan, but she was not bad. Jeff Allen was better than he was in The Apostles. Gilbert Esquivel deals with race differen […]
  • My Life in Ruins
    A passable movie if you can get through the first half hour of stereotyped characters: the ugly Americans, the snotty British, the loose divorcés, the bubbly Aussies. A typical romance about the woman, (Nina Vardalos) who, through insecurities and an over-compensating intellect, drives men and romance away, but finds the man of her dreams right under her nos […]
  • Apostles of Comedy
    Anthony Griffith is a riot. Ron Pearson is good. Jeff Allen has some funny moments, but Brad Stine is hard to watch. Yelling at the beginning of his set, he is more like an angry Glenn Beck than a comedian. He gets better towards the end, but not much. We want to see more of Anthony. His deadpan style and his edgy subject matter is excellent, and all of them […]
  • The Hudsucker Proxy
    Billed as a screwball comedy it wasnt. Didnt laugh once. Creating over the top, life-sized cartoon versions of 1950s film characters, dialog has all the speed of Kate Heburns delivery in Holiday or The Philadelphia Story, but none of the humor. Computer graphic scenery was good. It reminded me of Citizen Kanes use of oversized scenery. Acting fit the caricat […]
  • Cromwell
    Oh my, this is one of my favorite genres: historical and military drama. We wanted to like it, but this movie was a disaster. Richard Harris' performance as Oliver Cromwell has to be among his worst: a one dimensional character with one emotion, anger, and no expression except a dour face. Totally unbearable, a caricature of motivations, the movie felt […]
  • Red Cliff: Theatrical Version
    Great cinematography and beautiful scenery, but way too long and, in the end, boring. I never thought fight scenes could be tiresome, but after watching what seemed like 10 hours of staged martial art, superhuman feats of derring-do against superior numbers by the same 8 guys, I thought... this isn't anything to do with history. I'm sure ancient ge […]
  • Robin Hood
    I was more bothered by this movie after watching it the longer I thought about it. The most annoying part of the movie was creating a modern, sword wielding warrior goddess out of Maid Marion, who is not a maid, by the way, but a widow. This remaking of Marion was so anachronistic and so blatantly politically correct that it was laughable. Ridley Scott total […]
  • John Pinette: I Say Nay Nay
    We Love John Pinette, BUT THIS WAS A WASTE OF A RENTAL, because we had just seen his "I'm Starving" Instantly online. It is the same routine, exactly. Exactly! If we'd not seen Im Starving first, this might be a 5 star. However, I believe the delivery in I'm Starving and the crowd interaction seems fresher. This one has better video […]
  • Monsieur Vincent
    French subtitled, made in 1947 in B&W, I added this film to my list because it was recommended. We watched it over two nights. Living in an area where there are a lot of St. Vincent DePaul charities, we were curious about this man. We are not Catholic, but we found this piece of history to be well made, enlightening and funny at times. The funniest parts […]
  • Idiocracy
    My wife is a teacher, and the first 15 minutes of this movie were scary because they were too close to reality. She deals with quite a few children whose goal in life is to grow up and have as many children as possible so they can get bigger welfare (ADC) checks, foodstamps, and live off that just like their parents. When the movie started I about blew milk […]
  • Arranged
    This movie was a sleeper that surprised us with joy. It deals with the prejudice against other culture's practice of 'arranged' marriages, while exposing some of the emptiness of our supposed freedom in free choice, which turns out to be slavery to impulse posing as love. The acting in this movie was outstanding. Every character was believable […]
  • Flywheel
    Every Wall Street executive, every banker, every head of a corporation, every salesman, used car or otherwise, should see this movie and take a lesson. It starts with the gruesome picture of a salesman who will do anything to make a buck. Made for about $20,000, this movie's quality far surpasses its budget. The acting is a little uneven, but for an ind […]
  • The Final Inquiry
    Absolutely terrible. It is as if a high-school student wrote the screenplay. Disjointed and unconvincing, it is the fictional story of the Emperor Tiberius' inquiry into the resurrection of Jesus Christ due to a world-wide earthquake upon his death on the Cross. Problems abound, including General Tauro's time-traveling return from Germania to Capri […]
  • The Golden Boys
    If you enjoyed "A Trip to Bountiful" or "Driving Miss Daisy," then you will enjoy this character sketch of three old, bachelor sailors, who decide one of them has to get a wife in order to keep their house clean. The premise is a riot and the interaction is clean and lovable. Mariel Hemingway plays a convincing widow, forced by circumstan […]
  • Pan's Labyrinth
    Childhood psychosis in grand style. A child reacts to the brutality and injustice of war in Franco's Spain by flipping into an alternate reality. Not as redeeming as "The Boy in Striped Pajamas" and much of it made no sense. Elaborate computerized graphics with a fantasy world full of threats, challenges, and betrayals. My final impression is […]
  • Strictly Ballroom
    This movie was recommended because we liked Billy Elliot. However, I would describe this movie more like a cross between Billy Elliot and Best in Show. It was fun, but not great. This one is extremely hard to categorize. After the first 15 minutes I thought it was a dud, but it got better. Storyline is very familiar: the hero is inspired to break the mold of […]
  • Faith Like Potatoes
    If you like "End of the Spear," you will enjoy this movie. Not just "based on a true story," this movie is the story. Watching the interview with Angus Buchan in the special features, you will find that the story in the movie is a replay of the actual history. I thought the movie was fiction, seeing answered prayers and miracles. It was j […]
  • An American Carol
    I wanted to like this movie a lot. There were some extremely funny moments in the first half hour. Quick and subtle satire, but the movie degenerated into a sophomoric storyline that failed to maintain the promise of its first 15 minutes.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a very enjoyable film providing an interesting backstory on Wolverine's origins and a plausible explanation for his lost memory in the first movie of the X-Men series. The acting is perfect for the characters. Spoiler Alert: What really impressed me about the movie was the backstory on William Stryker, the government agent tu […]
  • Taking Chance
    Duty, Honor, Country, Sacrifice. Too often we hear the statistics of how many (or how few) were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, but they are just numbers without faces, unless we know them personally. Unlike other wars, many of us have not been directly touched by the loss of life because the casualties have been so few. Yet, the loss of one diminishes us all […]
  • The Emperor's New Clothes
    I picked this movie because it was billed as a Romantic Comedy. It is not a comedy, at least not in the modern sense of the word. It was nevertheless a worthy movie. Ive loved Ian Holm ever since Henry V (the original Band of Brothers), and he does an admirable job as Napoleon and as Napoleons double. This is a story about repentance and redemption for Franc […]
  • Mostly Martha
    "No Reservations" with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Abigail Breslin is the English version of this German Comedy. After we realized we already knew the plot line, it was hard to watch the rest of the movie. No Reservations is an almost exact copy of the 2001 German version, only the latter is not as funny because the characters are much more somber and […]
  • A Perfect Getaway
    Killers stalking newlyweds in the wilderness parks of Hawaii. What can I say? I figured out the "who" in "who done it" way too early for the movie to be very suspenseful. Excellent Acting by the 4 main characters, nice scenery, but the plotline of psychosis and the transition from normal to sociopathic was just too abrupt to be believeabl […]
  • Songcatcher
    The only good thing about this movie is the music and the glimpse of history you get into Appalachia mountain history. The acting is just okay, with the best performances by supporting actors. A young Emmy Rossum shows her singing skill, but the story line is just atrocious: lesbian love affairs and the prejudice of the backwards, backwoods people, who thems […]
  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
    This is a documentary about the new orthodoxy of science, which more resembles the Medieval Catholic Inquisitions than the free and open spirit of inquiry we expect in academia. Ben Stein exposes the awful consequences for scientists who dare to question the orthodoxy of Darwinian causation for macro-evolutionary developments. Rather than deal with scientifi […]
  • W.
    I'm torn between a 2 and 3 star on this movie. It was perhaps a fair piece on the motivations of W. on the war in Iraq, if a bit too shallow a performance by Josh Brolin, perhaps because of Oliver Stone's belief that Reagan and Bush are "stupid". It was not as much a left-wing slam on him as might be expected from Oliver Stone, but it was […]
  • The Boys and Girl from County Clare
    Story line: B Acting: A Language: F Sexuality: D Overall: D We typically enjoy films that are recommended from the British Isles, but I when F* ing this and F* ing that becomes the most common word in the dialog, you know that the writers have lost the command of the English language and have failed to use art in the employment of drama. Swearing is a poor s […]
  • Terminator: Salvation
    Unfortunately, this movie has a "made for TV story line" with large screen special effects. After watching T1 for the first time this week, the progress made in special effects are amazing, but the movie disappoints. My wife and I were big fans of the Sarah Connor Chronicles, which we thought was one of the best written and tightest dramas on TV, w […]
  • Defiance
    Well acted, convincing, based upon the true story, but a little long. I was so interested in the history of this story that I watched the documentary special features, one of which is an interview with the children of the Bielskis. I love historical war dramas. This one did not disappoint. The story centers around the Jewish resistance in Belarus during WWII […]
  • Slumdog Millionaire
    My mother cried when she went to Bombay because of the immense poverty and suffering... Our reaction to this movie was similar. It was a very good movie, as the Oscars have testified, but is was painful to watch and not something we'd like to watch again. The acting all around was convincing and the story of rescue and redemption through "true love […]
  • Last Chance Harvey
    The acting was very good. Dustin Hoffman was painful to watch as a "Willy Loman" character (Death of a Salesman)... and his redemption was touching. Emma Thompson as always was convincing. The problem is the story line is trite.
  • Star Trek
    Being a Trekkie from my early childhood days, and watching all the incarnations of the show on television and the movies down through the Generations, it was hard to believe that anyone could breath new life into the series. I was wrong. This movie is the best pure entertainment I've seen so far this year, and tops the old Star Wars franchise prequels b […]
  • Fireproof
    Archibald MacLeish wrote, "A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit..." What is not said is often what makes good art. While Fireproof has many good qualities, subtlety is not one of them. Good music makes you tap your feet and sing along before you realize what the words are saying... it infects from within. The message of this movie, […]
  • Gran Torino
    One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Clint Eastwood is marvelous as a bitter, old Korean Vet who finds redemption through his relationships with his Hmong neighbors. His politically incorrect epithets become increasingly humorous, and I don't want to say any more without giving too much away. My wife and I were howling with laughter in […]
  • The Duchess
    In terms of the acting, the costuming, and the authenticity of the story, this movie should probably get a 4 star rating, but the story line is so tragic, it was hard to watch and enjoy. The main character is married off to become merely a piece of property to produce an heir, like cattle, which is how things were done in aristocratic England. Reminds you of […]
  • Miracle at St. Anna
    My wife and I enjoyed this movie, and I debated between 2 and 3 stars. The good: Good acting, convincing performances, good story line, realistic action. The bad: too long, choppy, unneeded and gratuitous displays of a woman's breasts coupled with unconvincing motivations for adultery. I'm not sure if the director just wanted to be a voyeur, but it […]
  • Swing Vote
    Aside from the swearing, which fit the characters, and the slightly leftward tilt to the political meter (and what in Hollywood isn't left of center these days?), this movie was very enjoyable. But what made it well worth watching was the acting by the primary cast. Not listed in the cast here, unbelievably, is Madeline Carroll, the main character, the […]
  • The Last of the Blonde Bombshells
    My wife likes the subtle English comedies/period pieces. Full of gentle humor, sadness for a life lived to fulfill social expectations, and a touch of risky behavior. The flashbacks are full of great 40s music during WWII. The questionable morality of the main male character provides an underlying theme of sleaziness, which is integral to the story line. So, […]
  • Hamburger Hill
    I was really disappointed in this movie. I think it is the characterization. The characters were not very sympathetic and I got the feeling I was watching a script written by a high schooler. War is bad. VietNam was terrible. The antiwar feelings back home made the troops feel they were on a suicide mission for no reason. Okay, we get that. Many of us lived […]
  • Juno
    We enjoyed this film more than our daughter thought we would. I don't know if the underlying theme of premarital sex would shock us, but a lack of any standards of any sort is pretty much par for the course these days, and so it is an accurate reflection of the internal and external conflicts young people face today when trying to develop a moral world […]
  • Beck '08: Unelectable
    A kinder, gentler (and funnier) Rush Limbaugh 🙂 Seriously, I thought this would be a stand up routine, which in part it is, but it also has a serious side that cuts like a knife. In the end, you get a good picture of a genuine human being who really cares about the best things about our country, and shares his fears over its potential demise do to the shor […]
  • Hancock
    Superhero with a twist. I thought this movie was going to be a comedy from the previews. The premise is unusual... an alcoholic superhero. The movie was not at all what I expected, with several unexpected and original plot lines that throw you in directions you don't expect. Charlize Theron's character is quite moody and unpredictable, and the moti […]
  • Nim's Island
    Nice Characters and characterizations. Jodie Foster plays an agoraphobic writer, whose novels feature a fearless adventurer as her alter-ego. Jodie's character is forced to face her fears to try and reach and rescue Nim, whose father has been lost at sea. Abigail Breslin does a superb job as usual, playing both the innocence self-reliance of a young gir […]
  • A Good Woman
    This movie is a real twister, and not at all what you expect. It starts out with Helen Hunt as a kept woman by a sequence of powerful men in society. Let's just say her reputation proceeds her. She is forced off to Italy to escape the stain of her nature and inserts herself into the life of a newly wed couple on holiday in pre-war Italy. My wife and I w […]
  • One Night with the King
    Why take a perfectly good story, with intrinsic drama, and undermine it with creative fiction that is subpar? We had just finished studying the Book of Esther, and were impressed by its dramatic tension and character development, amazing for such a small book (only a few pages). My wife and I were really expecting and hoping to like this movie. The good: ver […]
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
    I thought this would be a chick flick, but the acting was surprisingly good. Amy Adams puts in a premier performance as a gold digger with a golden but misguided heart, and Frances McDormand shines as a spinster governess, whose upbringing as a parson's daughter causes her to equate makeup with loose living. She comes out of her shell without losing her […]
  • Sun Dogs
    Boring. Perhaps my fault, but I thought this was a Disney type version of Jamaican Bobsled Team for Dogsled racing. It is a long, long documentary. Some interesting reflections on Jamaica's socio-economic problems, but this could have been cut to 20 minutes. I ended up fast-forwarding through most of the "movie."
  • Rashomon
    By all historical accounts, this movie was groundbreaking for its time, as Citizen Kane was in the West. I watched it both in Japanese with subtitles in English and dubbed. While the story line was interesting, the Japanese style of acting reminded me of the over acting of "Master Thespian" from Saturday Night Live, or the facial expressions of the […]
  • Passion Fish
    Excellent character portrayals, Alfre Woodard shined a bit more than Mary McDonnell, or perhaps her character was just a bit more likable. However the story went on forever with two love-interest subplots that lengthened the movie unnecessarily. Both involved married men and you disrespected their characters even more by the time it got into it. An hour befo […]
  • There Will Be Blood
    Daniel Day Lewis is an excellent actor and portrays his part with extreme believability. The problem is that the man he portrays is so hardened, bitter, and mean spirited that there is nothing redeemable in his character or enjoyable in the movie.
  • The Break-Up
    Like watching and listening to fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. Painful to watch. Self-centered people not figuring out they're self-centered, but without any Seinfeld comic relief.
  • Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion
    Interesting in terms of history, but is badly in need of an editor. The move is over 3 hours long with a spy subplot that turns out to be fabricated or irrelevant. It has a good commentary on the stupidity of the tactics and leadership of WWI, but is inappropriately tied to modern politics not so subtly, touching on everything from the idea of war to a woman […]
  • Because I Said So
    Funny meter: B- Story line: D Overall: C- Although rated PG-13, the advice to an unmarried daughter by her mother (Diane Keaton) is basically to sleep with as many men as you can till you find one you like, while all your sisters cheer you on. Not so reluctantly, the mother decides to pick a mate for her daughter as mom gets distressed that her daughter is p […]