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Films - Watched & Thoughts 2008


Ryan FB
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This thread is for general film impressions and discussion.

 

Feel free to keep your first post in this thread as a running list of what you've watched (like in the completed games thread), but I'd also like to encourage making a full reply if you have some thoughts or impressions you'd like to share about something you've watched (kind of like the music thread). I was guilty of not doing this much in the last thread, I think I'll try to do it more this year to generate some activity.

 

Ryan FB's Films Watched in 2008

  1. Starship Troopers (1997)
  2. I Am Legend (2007)
  3. Oldboy (2003)
  4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
  5. Call Northside 777 (1948)
  6. 16 Blocks (2006)
  7. Boksuneun naui geot/Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
  8. Sunrise (1927)
  9. Babylon (1980)
  10. Dread Beat an' Blood (1979)
  11. The Goonies (1985)
  12. WarGames (1983)
  13. No Country for Old Men (2007)
  14. Avere vent'anni/To Be Twenty (1978)
  15. I Padroni della citt?/Rulers of the City (1976)
  16. Milano calibro 9 (1972)
  17. The Eagle has Landed (1976)
  18. The Cable Guy (1996)
  19. The Fog of War (2003)
  20. Snatch (2000)
  21. L'Avventura (1960)
  22. Some Like it Hot (1959)
  23. Week End (1967)
  24. ? bout de souffle/Breathless (1960)
  25. Southland Tales (2006)
  26. Don't Look Now (1973)
  27. The Bank Dick (1940)
  28. Renegade (1987)
  29. La Mala ordina/Manhunt (1972)
  30. Il Boss (1973)
  31. American Gangster (2007)
  32. Iron Man (2008)
  33. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971)
  34. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  35. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
  36. Jules et Jim (1962)
  37. L'Ann?e derni?re ? Marienbad (1961)
  38. Brazil (1985)

 

Previous Years

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All movies rated out of *****

Red indicates HD-DVD

Blue indicates Blu-ray

Orange indicates Theater

Green indicates DVD

Purple indicates XBox 360 download/HD Cable

 

Previous Years:

2007 Initial Viewings (120)

2007 Return Engagements (93)

 

 

Initial Viewings (71)

 

1/1 Breach (2007) ****1/2 -- Strong acting across the board highlights this "ripped from the headlines" spy thriller. It's rare when a film based on a true story impresses me enough to make me not care about the actual true story.

 

1/13 Joshua (2007) *** -- Joshua is the most evil child ever put into a movie. The acting performances are strong and the movie works well, but I just didn't care for the subject matter. I guess the concept of an evil child that is not supernatural in origin is "too real" for me.

 

1/16 The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007) ****1/2 -- One of the best family films I've seen in years. It reminded me a lot of E.T.; it doesn't talk down to the audience and it has just enough scary elements to keep the film exciting without scaring kids for life.

 

1/16 The Hand (1981) ***1/2 -- This is a bizarre (and pretty effective) little horror movie written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Caine. Caine is a comic strip artist who loses his drawing hand in a freak accident and then the severed hand goes on a killing spree.

 

1/19 Cloverfield (2008) ***1/2 -- It's Blair Witch crossed with Godzilla, but the problem I have with the movie is that it is more interested in being a boring drama with the typical boring characters instead of being a monster movie. That said, it has some thrilling moments and overall it isn't a bad movie.

 

1/22 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) *** -- The acting is wooden, the script is predictable but the stop-motion effects from Ray Harryhausen are impressive.

 

1/22 Shoot 'Em Up (2007) **** -- You know everything you are going to get from this movie by reading the title. Paul Giamatti and Clive Owen really have a ball in this and I had an absolute blast watching it. It has no redeeming value of any kind and I respect that.

 

1/27 Death Sentence (2007) *** -- Death Sentence doesn't deviate a whole lot from the standard revenge movie outline, but I was impressed with the way the film introduces us to the doomed family subtly through a few scenes with some very good acting and dialogue. There are a lot of Taxi Driver references to be counted as well.

 

1/28 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) ****1/2 -- Absolutely classic John Ford western.

 

1/31 The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (2007) **** -- Okay, these people take videogames a little TOO seriously. This documentary tells the story of the likeable Steve Weibe and his attempt to beat the evil, mustache-twirling villain Billy Mitchell at Donkey Kong. Fun stuff.

 

2/4 The Day of the Jackal (1973) ****1/2 -- I was impressed at how quickly this two and a half hour film flew by. The film's plot has been re-made, re-used or stolen many times since its release, but this is a classic political thriller.

 

2/6 Patton (1970) ****1/2 -- Fantastic biopic about a very interesting character in history. George C. Scott owns this movie.

 

2/7 Stardust (2007) ***1/2 -- A charming little fantasy tale with all the trappings of the genre. A lot of fun.

 

2/7 Rambo (2008) *** -- If a movie throws enough graphic violence at me and doesn't insult my intelligence too much I'm usually happy. Such is the the case with Rambo. It's an 80's action film trapped in 2008 with a level of violence that would make Private Ryan squirm.

 

3/5 D-War (2007) * -- Truly terrible. The special effects aren't bad, but the story and acting are about as good as the average episode of Power Rangers.

 

3/5 The Simpsons Movie (2007) ***1/2 -- It's basically an episode of the show that's an hour and a half long, and since I enjoy the show I enjoyed the movie. There are enough "big screen" touches that make it worthwhile and just about everything looks better in Scope. The Simpsons Movie was a pleasant surprise.

 

3/9 Eastern Promises (2007) **** -- This isn't the home run that A History of Violence was, but it's still Cronenberg in top form. In a time when just about everything has been done to death (both figuratively and literally) in gangster films, it's nice to find something that at least bends the mold a little if not breaking it.

 

3/11 Sunshine (2007) ***1/2 -- Note to any future commanders of humanity-saving missions to the sun: do not deviate from the mission in any way. No good can come from it. Sunshine is a very good science fiction film for the first hour or so. Then it takes an unneeded turn down slasher-movie lane. On the whole it's still an enjoyable experience.

 

3/14 Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) *** -- The original Elizabeth film played pretty loose with history but was still an engrossing political drama. Its sequel alters history even more and not for interesting reasons. It seems more interested in trumped up romance than the politics of the kingdom and is a lesser movie because of it.

 

3/15 Ocean's Thirteen (2007) *** -- The Ocean's movies are like junkfood: fun while they last and then forgotten a hour later. I'm okay with that.

 

3/18 The Seventh Seal (1957) **** -- This was my first exposure to Ingmar Bergman. I enjoyed it, even though The Seventh Seal isn't exactly the kind of movie I would seek out if it wasn't held in such high regard. A very interesting film that I will revisit in the future.

 

3/18 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) ***1/2 -- It's odd that Order of the Phoenix isn't my favorite of the Harry Potter books, yet it contains some of my favorite moments of the series: Dumbledore's duel with Voldemort, Harry teaching the other students defense and the Weasley twins giving themselves a proper Hogwarts send off. And it's nice to see those moments realized on screen.

 

3/22 Gojira (1954) **** -- Hard to believe it's taken me all this time to finally sit down and watch the original Godzilla. A far cry from the joke the series would become, Gojira is a serious movie that has more on its mind than a man in a rubber suit destroying Tokyo.

 

4/5 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) ***1/2 -- Disney's adaptation of Jules Verne's classic novel still holds up pretty well today. The special effects are well done, the acting is fine, and the story doesn't stray too far from the original source. Judging by the DVD though, the film appears to need a full-on restoration.

 

4/7 McQ (1974) **1/2 -- Pretty standard cop thriller with John Wayne playing the Dirty Harry type. It's an okay movie that really falls apart towards the end.

 

4/11 Croupier (1998) ****1/2 -- Fantastic crime/gambling thriller starring Clive Owen. This is one of those movies that I've been meaning to see for a long time, but only now did I get around to it. I recommend it highly even if the DVD I got from Netflix is terrible (non-anamorphic and everything).

 

4/12 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) ** -- Walk Hard tried very?well?HARD to be funny but mostly fails. In fact, if it wasn't for the presence of the lovely Jenna Fischer I doubt I would have even finished watching this one.

 

4/21 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) ****1/2 -- This movie contains the single most dysfunctional family ever committed to film. It's both a family drama and a crime picture. It features some really good performances from some really good actors. It features Marisa Tomei naked several times in the first thirty minutes. And since it is also one of those films that a viewer should walk into cold, I will not say anything else about the plot other than it is worth experiencing.

 

4/23 Gone Baby Gone (2007) ****1/2 -- I like this one a lot. Gone Baby Gone is the most thought-provoking movie I have watched in a while.

 

4/24 American Gangster (2007) ***1/2 -- A well-crafted drama that really didn't do a whole lot for me. There's only so much a filmmaker can do to break up the gangster movie formula, I guess.

 

4/25 Session 9 (2001) **** -- Very good psychological thriller that doesn't rely on supernatural horror but instead presents the horror lurking inside every human being. And a really creepy old insane asylum. I was impressed by the restraint shown by the film to not try and over-explain the "why" of what was happening on screen.

 

5/3 There Will Be Blood (2007) ****1/2 -- PT Anderson is back with a bang. This movie was nothing like what I was expecting (other than a virtuoso performance from Daniel Day-Lewis), but still blew me away. This is a definite buy when it hits Blu-ray.

 

5/4 The Golden Compass (2007) **1/2 -- A thoroughly ordinary fantasy film that only has armored war-bears and Sam Elliott going for it, and not enough of either to satisfy this viewer.

 

5/4 Iron Man (2008) ****1/2 -- Everything I hoped for in a big fun summer movie. It's fun without being silly, the story is good without being deep and the cast is exceptional. Until Iron Man I would have said that the chances of me liking Gwyneth Paltrow in a movie was as likely as Brussel sprouts suddenly becoming "delicious." Great fun all around.

 

5/7 Charlie Wilson's War (2007) **** -- Very good movie that dramatizes the most expensive covert operation in U.S. history. A great cast (Phillip Seymour Hoffman steals the show) complements Aaron Sorkin's witty dialogue. I swear that Julia Roberts gets uglier with each passing minute, however.

 

5/10 The Orphanage (2007) **** -- Great spooky movie. The Orphanage is a nice companion piece to Pan's Labyrinth; they are both dark, scary tales that aren't afraid to take children to places not usually seen in American movies.

 

5/22 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) **** -- Nostalgia definitely drove my enjoyment of this one; maybe I'm just happy that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I had a very good time despite the film's issues.

 

5/28 Teeth (2007) ***1/2 -- A teenage horror-satire in the vein of Carrie without the telekinesis or De Palma style. I found myself laughing and being disgusted at the same time.

 

5/31 Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem (2007) 1/2* -- Why is it so fucking hard to make a good Aliens vs. Predator movie? You take some Predators; you take some Aliens; you add some Colonial Marines and you set it in the future on another planet. How do you make a bad Aliens vs. Predator movie? You set it on present-day motherfucking earth; completely fuck with established Alien continuity; throw in a bunch of uninteresting characters; write a plot that makes next to no sense; and then you have the gall to re-stage 80% of the scenes from Aliens shot for motherfucking shot but somehow manage to epically fail to recapture any of the original scenes' magic. I didn't think it was possible that Fox could actually make AvP2 worse than the PG-13 original, but I really have to stop underestimating the depth of their incompetence. This movie makes baby Jesus cry.

 

6/8 In the Valley of Elah (2007) **** -- Tommy Lee Jones had a pretty good 2007 between No Country For Old Men and In the Valley of Elah. Elah has another impressive performance from Jones and it is nice to see Charlize Theron in a strong role again. Paul Haggis' story and direction still have something that put me off slightly, but this movie didn't annoy me like Crash did. Jones carries the film for me.

 

6/9 30 Days of Night (2007) **1/2 -- 30 Days of Night has all the elements of a good movie but somehow cannot put them together to get the job done. The setup is impressive: why wouldn't vampires attack a town that was stuck in nightfall for a month? Unfortunately the vamps are extremely annoying. At one moment they seem to be of the conversational, Interview-type vampires and the next they are of the animalistic, window-shattering, screaming variety. None of the human characters are particularly interesting and the filmmakers rely WAY too much on shaky-cam to try and sell the violence.

 

6/12 The Invasion (2007) ** -- The Invasion isn't so much a bad movie as it is an unnecessary one. Was the world really clamoring for another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? I understand that each incarnation of the film has had some sort of political message, and this latest version tries to equate the pod people to the war in Iraq and the current administration. Unfortunately the movie ultimately handles these themes like Gallagher handles the Sledge-o-matic. At least Nicole Kidman is always nice to look at...

 

6/14 Sex and the City (2008) **1/2 ? Another unnecessary sequel. I was a casual viewer of the television series, mostly because my wife watched it. The series ended just about as well as it could have, and this movie feels more like a money grab than anything else. The writing isn?t as funny as it thinks it is and the main conflict in the story is so manufactured that only women accustomed to soap operas will accept it. And yes, the rumors are true: for some ungodly explanation this film is TWO AND A HALF HOURS LONG. This is the equivalent of half a season for the show. Ridiculous.

 

6/18 Kung Fu Panda (2008) ***1/2 ? This is the first Dreamworks animated movie I have enjoyed since the original Shrek. Kung Fu Panda lifts its basic story from a hundred previous chop-socky movies, with a chosen warrior to fight the ultimate evil and a sacred scroll of power. The fights are well-staged; I especially enjoyed the sequence where the big evil bad guy escapes from the ?unescapable? prison. Jack Black?s voice managed to not annoy me for the entire flick and the rest of the voice actors are fine. I kind of wish the entire movie was animated in the style glimpsed in the opening dream sequence?

 

6/23 Diary of the Dead (2007) **1/2 ? I?m still trying to digest this one (no pun intended, really). Romero once again uses a zombie movie to layer on the socio-political satire, but because of the lousy acting, poor script and preachy tone it really is a chore to sit through. The characters go from ?WTF is happening? mode to ?I like to shoot zombies in the head? mode in about ten minutes and while that manages to cut out a lot of the crap we would see in similar movies, it doesn?t make the story any more believable. Thankfully, the POV perspective is not an issue. Romero uses multiple cameras and ?security footage? to cut down on the shaky-cam syndrome. I think I?m going to have to chalk this movie up as a well-intentioned arrow that just misses the mark.

 

6/27 Wall-E (2008) ***** ? Wall-E may be the best character Pixar has ever created and considering some of the characters they've created over the years, that's saying something. I absolutely loved this movie and from what I could tell the rest of the audience (most of them young children) did as well. Towards the very end of the story, there is a pivotal scene that plays out very quietly and despite the probably hundreds of (usually noisy) kids in the audience you could have heard a pin drop in the theater. Wall-E is going to be HUGE.

 

6/28 The Incredible Hulk (2008) **1/2 ? I guess we?ll make it one-in-a-row for the new Marvel Films. I don?t know why they felt the need to completely re-boot the Hulk story after one movie, but that?s why I watch movies and don?t make them, I guess. Ang Lee?s Hulk movie wasn?t entirely successful, but it was better than THIS. All of the acting changes are downgrades in my opinion. Jennifer Connelly is replaced by Liv Tyler, who looks more like a man every day (but let?s face it, no one could replace Jennifer Connelly). Sam ?The Man? Elliot is replaced by William Hurt who thinks he?s in a better movie than he is. I didn?t hate Edward Norton, but why replace Eric Bana if you don?t have to? Tim Roth is given nothing to do but chew scenery. The movie isn?t a disaster by any means, but if they had balanced the action with less camp I would have been much happier.

 

7/6 Juno (2007) **** ? Juno is a tad bit overrated, but it is a fun, quirky comedy. It wins points for taking the pregnancy concept and going in different directions with it, and the characters are well-acted and likeable. It's not as funny as I expected, but it still managed to make me laugh a few times.

 

7/9 Hitman (2007) ** ? Standard action movie with generic action and barcodes on the back of shaved heads.

 

7/9 Lake of Fire (2006) ****1/2 ? An exhaustive documentary that looks at both sides of the abortion issue. It doesn?t promote an agenda, but like all great documentaries it will make you think.

 

7/12 Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) **** ? I enjoyed Hellboy II a lot. The visuals are lush, with fantastic locations and inventive monster designs. But more importantly, the characters are fun and likeable. The moment the movie clicked for me came when Hellboy and Abe are sharing a six-pack and singing "Can't Smile Without You." That's the scene where these characters really came alive and I was ready to go wherever the film would take me. I enjoyed this film more than its predecessor.

 

7/18 The Dark Knight (2008) ***** ? My first reaction after the credits rolled on The Dark Knight was that it was the best film of the last ten years. We?ll see if that opinion holds up over subsequent viewings, but I have a feeling it will. When I got up out of my seat after the show my legs were as wobbly as they were when I walked out of a packed house for Saving Private Ryan on opening night back in 1998. The Dark Knight is as much a crime drama (with numerous references to Heat) as it is a superhero movie, but somehow it excells at being both. The IMAX presentation is fantastic, with the screen opening up for some incredible cityscape shots. Honestly, I cannot think of single thing to complain about with this movie. Somehow attaching "stars" or a number rating to this film does it a disservice. The Dark Knight is great cinema, pure and simple.

 

7/25 Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) **** ? Longest title ever. A beautifully shot, lyrical movie about one of the most notorious outlaws in American history.

 

7/26 Southland Tales (2006) * ? I tried to digest this film, I really really did. I really enjoy Donnie Darko, but this film seems to be trying to hit 300 different targets with one bullet. It's a complete mess.

 

7/27 I Am Legend (2007) ** ? Here are just three of the alternate titles I came up with for this film while watching it: "I Am a Poor Imitation of Richard Matheson's Fantastic Novel", "I Am Some of the Worst CGI in Quite a While", and "I Am a Terrible Ending".

 

7/29 Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee (2007) **1/2 ? One of those comedies that elicits more warm smiles than hearty guffaws. It follows a fictitious search for an actor to replace Bruce Lee after his untimely death while filming Game of Death.

 

7/31 Beowulf (2007) **** ? This is the second incarnation of Beowulf I have watched (the first was Beowulf & Grendel) and I enjoyed this one much more than the first. The fantastic elements of the story (of which there are many) work well in the quasi-animated form that is presented here. I even enjoyed the changes that screenwriters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary brought to the classic story.

 

8/1 Doomsday (2008) ** ? Take three parts Escape From New York, two parts Mad Max and one part Renaissance Fair and you come close to describing just what in the hell Doomsday is. It's delightfully violent and gory, but unfortunately the film runs completely off the rails storytelling-wise about half way through to the point where I wasn't sure what was going on at all. With a little more focus on the story (and I mean just a LITTLE), this could have been some sort of B-movie classic.

 

8/12 The Ruins (2008) *** ? I have to give The Ruins props for at least one thing: the protagonists aren't the typical dumb bimbos waiting around to be knocked off. It is truly a HORROR movie, and I actually felt bad watching the events that befall the main characters. But a

killer plant

? Really? That was the best they could come up with?

 

8/20 Shinobi (2005) ***1/2 ? I?m going to have to agree with the plot description on the Netflix sleeve: this movie is a cross between X-Men and Romeo & Juliet set in 17-century Japan. And it?s pretty cool as well: two warring clans, ten warriors with unique weird abilities and some cool fight scenes wrapped up in a love story with some political intrigue thrown in for good measure. Shinobi is a fine way to kill an hour and a half.

 

8/23 The Inglorious Bastards (1978) *** ? Surprisingly entertaining B-movie knockoff of The Dirty Dozen that has its tongue firmly implanted in its cheek. The DVD presentation of this film is better than a lot of modern day movies.

 

9/3 The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) ***1/2 ? Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the few books that I was forced to read in my education that I actually enjoyed. I love the darkness and the pure meanness of the story. The Curse of Frankenstein has little to do with the story of the original book, but it makes up for it with style and character. You can't go wrong with Peter Cushing and Christoper Lee for acting talent either. This was my first experience with Hammer Horror, and I am certainly going to continue my exploration of the series.

 

9/5 Rogue (2007) *** ? Rogue is a killer croc movie that takes the Jaws tactic of showing only fleeting glimpses of the aforementioned croc until the inevitable climax when it is shown in all it's crappy CGI glory. I was surprised by how effective of a thriller Rogue turned out to be. The acting and characters are pretty good, and as is essential in a movie like this, they build a rapport with the audience before they start getting knocked off. Rogue is good enough that it deserved more than a direct-to-DVD release in America.

 

9/20 Horror of Dracula (1958) *** ? Grand Moff Tarkin, Count Dooku and Alfred the butler all in one movie? And it's a Dracula movie? Nice?

 

11/6 The Bank Job (2008) *** ? Acceptable bank robbery movie ?based on a true story.? The movie has trouble finding a consistent tone; one minute it wants to be a light heist film and the next it?s a violent crime thriller.

 

11/8 Redbelt (2008) **1/2 ? I don?t consider myself a huge fan of David Mamet, but I?ve liked a lot of his films. Redbelt is not one of them. The dialogue is sharp, the acting is good, but the story didn?t work for me and the concept of a legitimate MMA show allowing fighters to be ?handicapped? is a hurdle that my mind can?t accept.

 

11/15 Tron (1982) *** ? Somehow this escaped my days of renting movies in the 80?s.* It?s a pretty decent flick with some FX that don?t hold up as well as I had hoped.

 

11/17 Sweeney Todd (2008) **** ? My mom took me to see a stage performance of Sweeney Todd when I was in high school.* I don?t think she knew what she was getting into.* Tim Burton?s screen version is remarkably unchanged from the stage version but is infused with Burton?s trademark weirdness.* I enjoyed this quite a bit.

 

11/18 The Happening (2008) ** ? Mark Wahlberg gives one of the worst performances I have ever seen in this movie.* And what the hell happened to M. Night Shaymalan?* The Happening has some creepy moments, but I couldn?t stop laughing at Mark Wahlberg long enough to care.

 

11/23 Quantum of Solace (2008) ***1/2 ? Quantum of Solace does not stand on its own as a film, but then again it doesn?t really have to for me to like it.* It is literally the second half of Casino Royale, with Bond going on a killing spree to get some measure of satisfaction after being betrayed in the first movie.**My major complaint about the film is the shitty theme song, so I guess I liked it better than I initially thought.**I?m very interested to see what they try with the next film.

 

12/16 Fire and Ice (1983) **1/2 ? Typical sword and sorcery story told in Ralph Bakshi's rotoscoped animation style.

 

 

 

 

Return Engagements (56)

 

1/2 Spider-Man (2002) *** -- I cannot express in words how much I hate the Jet Jaguar Green Goblin.

 

1/3 Spider-Man 2 (2004) ****1/2 -- One of the greatest superhero films ever. I love this version of Doc Ock and Alfred Molina does a terrific job with it.

 

1/4 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) ***** -- Not one of my favorite Spielberg movies, but still a great, great film. The Blu-ray presentation is fantastic, especially the sound. The LFE shook my windows whenever a spaceship passed by on screen.

 

1/5 The Departed (2006) ****1/2 -- My favorite Scorsese movie since Casino. If only every remake was this good...

 

1/6 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) ****1/2 -- While I am not a fan of the way Spielberg and company turned Sallah and Marcus into bumbling idiots, I cannot deny that The Last Crusade is a hell of a lot of fun. I especially like the prelude with River Phoenix playing young Indy. The other two Indy movies are a little darker and a lot less "jokey" but this is a solid outing in the series as well. Hopefully the upcoming film can live up to the pedigree.

 

1/7 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) ***** -- E.T. is one of the movies that I have a vivid recollection of seeing in the theater, probably because it corresponds to the day that I got my first G.I. Joe figure. Yesterday I got to share this movie with my 5-year-old daughter for the first time. She has just recently become interested in movies that are not animated and E.T. seemed to play very well for her. The film always plays well for me, but this time it was a little more special.

 

1/8 Spider-Man 3 (2007) *** -- The scene where Sandman is "born" is quite possibly the best scene in all of the Spidey movies, but this flick derails badly once emo Spidey takes over. On the whole, it's about as good as the first movie in the series.

 

1/10 Total Recall (1990) ****1/2 -- Possibly the goriest movie Schwarzenegger ever made, but that's what you get when you combine the Austrian Oak with the Mad Dutchman Paul Verhoeven. Ronny Cox and Michael Ironside were born to play bad guys and do a fantastic job as the foils. And let's not forget Sharon Stone as Arnie's evil wife. Total Recall's a great action movie.

 

1/12 Hollow Man (2000) *1/2 -- A colossal failure on nearly every level except special effects. It's just as bad as I remember it being.

 

1/15 Darkman (1990) ***1/2 -- Sam Raimi's comic book revenge romp inspired by The Shadow is a fun little B-movie.

 

1/16 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) **** -- A very good start to the franchise, but like most fans I lament the omissions from the book.

 

1/17 Zodiac (2007) ***** -- There is next to no difference between the theatrical cut and the director's cut. This will probably be the last HD DVD I buy.

 

1/23 Tremors (1990) **** -- One of the best horror/comedies ever made.

 

1/26 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) *** -- The weakest of the Potter movies so far.

 

1/27 Lake Placid (1999) ***1/2 -- Sometimes you just feel like watching a giant croc movie, and I can safely say that Lake Placid is the best giant croc movie ever made.

 

2/5 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) ****1/2 -- The best Harry Potter movie so far.

 

2/7 Frailty (2001) ****1/2 -- One of my favorite movies of 2001, Frailty is a scary movie no matter how you look at it. Bill Paxton's character is an insane killer or God is hiring assassins. I don't really like either option.

 

2/12 Cars (2006) ****1/2 -- "Peet stop!"

 

2/13 Jaws (1975) ***** -- Fairwell and adieu, Chief Brody.

 

2/28 The Terminator (1984) ***** -- A true gem of a genre movie.

 

3/12 No Country For Old Men (2007) ***** -- 2007 was a great year for movies if it produced two films like Zodiac and No Country For Old Men. NCFOM is easily the best Coen movie since Fargo and may be the best they have ever made.

 

3/12 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) ***1/2 -- I have resigned myself to the fact that the Harry Potter books and movies are two very different animals. Goblet of Fire is one of my favorites of the books but not one of my favorites among the movies.

 

3/13 3:10 to Yuma (2007) ****1/2 -- A great, no bullshit western.

 

3/14 Death Proof (2007) ***** -- I loves me some Death Proof.

 

3/25 The Rock (1996) **** -- The Rock is goofy as hell and very hard to take seriously, but somehow it works quite well as an action movie. Probably my favorite Michael Bay movie.

 

3/29 The Mist (2007) ****1/2 -- I watched the B&W version on the DVD and it was a great viewing experience. The lack of color helps to mask the sometimes henky CGI effects.

 

4/3 TMNT (2007) ***1/2 -- TMNT strikes a nice balance between the ?kiddyness? of the old cartoon and the more-adult comic.

 

4/5 Unbreakable (2000) ***** -- I LOVE Unbreakable. I love the camera angles, the darkness, the "superhero in the real world" story. The best parts of the movie involve David Dunn and his son. Like all kids, David's son believes his father is a superhero, and the scene towards the end of the film where he realizes that his dad REALLY IS A HERO brings tears to my eyes every time. This is M. Night Shyamalan's best film.

 

4/22 Predator (1987) ***** -- Watching Predator for what must be the fiftieth time or so, I was struck by a few things. First, I can recite damn-near every line of dialogue from the film verbatim. Second, Predator is pretty smart for an 80's action movie featuring a giant rubber alien. Granted it isn't too smart for a hostage-rescue team to blow up an entire enemy village before knowing where the hostages are located, but that's a minor annoyance. Besides, that's just a cover story to drop the team into the meat-grinder of being hunted by an alien that collects human skulls. The way the team figures out what is happening to them and the way they try to combat it is very intelligent for "just an action movie." Third, I realized that this is the movie that started my childhood man-crush on the man that would one day become governor of California. So why is Predator such a good movie? It's the perfect combination of blood-letting, a pulse-pounding score, buff action heroes with the appropriate macho dialogue, the aforementioned smarts, an incredible Stan Winston-designed creature (and the carefully planned slow-build to the reveal of said creature), and a muscular directing job from an unspoiled John McTiernan.

 

5/22 Lake Placid (1999) ***1/2 -- You really can't have too many giant croc movies.

 

5/26 The Proposition (2005) **** -- I have tried twice now to love this movie. It is beautifully shot, contains strong performances and in general is well put-together. For some reason I just don't connect with it the way I think I should. I do think that the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road is in good hands with director Jonathan Hillcoat behind it, though.

 

6/6 The Iron Giant (1999) ***** -- Possibly the best family movie of the last ten years, Iron Giant captures perfectly what it is like to be a kid. Specifically it captures what it is like to be a kid with a giant robot for a best friend. It features a great story, nice animation, a strong message and yet it doesn't talk down to its audience the way that many movies aimed at kids tend to.

 

6/21 Star Wars (1977) ***** ? This is the first time I have viewed a ?fan-edit.? Since Star Wars has been fucked with so much by its creator over the last 20 years, there?s no reason why a fan with the tools can?t have a little fun. This particular fan edit is ?Star Wars Revisted,? where one intrepid fan with a lot of time on his hands attempted to correct all the continuity errors, re-colortime every shot and add some spiced up FX here and there. The result is pretty successful: the Death Star Assault now feels more like a battle and Luke?s lightsaber is now blue again.

 

6/25 Flyboys (2006) *** ? A perfectly competent World War I flying movie with terrific dogfight scenes.

 

7/10 Rambo (2008) *** ? A simple story told with a whole hell of a lot of violence.

 

7/12 Pan's Labyrinth (2006) ****1/2 ? I guess I was on a Del Toro kick last night. Vidal is one of the meanest bastards I've seen in recent film, a sadistic man of power who has daddy issues. Great film.

 

7/13 Batman Begins (2005) ****1/2 ? Had to watch it again to prepare for The Dark Knight. I'm pumped to be seeing it Friday night at the IMAX.

 

7/13 Commando (1985) **** ? An hour and a half of 80's badass.

 

7/27 The Dark Knight (2008) ***** ? I think I was more excited to see it the second time than I was the first. The Dark Knight is the best film of this year and several others.

 

8/3 300 (2007) ****1/2 ? 300 is the most unabashedly macho movie to come out in years. And I love every minute of it.

 

8/3 Signs (2002) ****1/2 ? I love Signs more every time I watch it. It is such a well-constructed thriller that I can forgive all of its logic and story flaws.

 

8/22 Cloverfield (2008) ***1/2 ? This is a hell of a home audio demo and I have to say that the characters did not annoy me as much on this viewing as they did in the theater. Great ride.

 

9/1 Predator 2 (1990) ***1/2 ? Predator 2 is another of those movies from my childhood that I will love until my dying day regardless of actual quality. No one will ever accuse Predator 2 of being a good film, but having Danny Glover, Bill Paxton and Gary Busey in a a film has to be worth something. Here's an interesting idea I came up with today after finishing up another viewing of the latest season of The Shield: how exactly Vic Mackey would have dealt with a skull-collecting alien that started knocking of drug dealers in Farmington? The mind boggles...

 

9/10 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) ****1/2 ? I?m beginning to think that ?The Whole Bloody Affair? version of Kill Bill is nothing but a pipedream. That?s okay, I guess, as the two parts that currently exist are pretty good on their own. Great picture and sound on this one.

 

9/13 Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) ****1/2 ? The Kill Bill epic is Quentin Tarantino at his most self-indulgent and I love both parts equally. Part 1 contains most of the action and Part 2 contains most of the character and story. It's certainly an acquired taste and I'm thankful that I've already acquired it.

 

9/27 The Godfather (1972) ***** ? One of the finest films ever made arrives on Blu-ray in style. The picture is stunning for a movie this old and the experience is just as good as it has always been.

 

10/03 Iron Man (2008) ****1/2 ? Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect Tony Stark, and Iron Man on Blu-ray is close to the perfect home video presentation.

 

10/04 The Godfather: Part II (1974) ***** ? Although I prefer the original there is no denying that Godfather II is a superb film as well.

 

10/07 Sleeping Beauty (1959) ***** ? Maleficent-as-dragon scared the bejeezus out of me when I was pretty little. It is one of my favorite Disney creations to this day. Naturally, Sleeping Beauty looks gorgeous on Blu-ray.

 

10/16 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) **** -- Still happy that this wasn't as bad as it could have been. I love the moment between Mutt and Indy on the motorcycle after Marcus' statue loses its head. It's a very nice callback to a similar scene in Last Crusade.

 

10/31 The Invisible Man (1933) ***** -- My favorite of the old Universal Horror films. The special effects still charm today and I love the batshit crazy performance of Claude Rains.

 

11/18 Wall-E (2008) ***** -- The second best film of 2008.

 

11/20 Casino Royale (2006) ****1/2 -- Gotta gear up for Quantum of Solace.

 

12/12 The Dark Knight (2008) ***** -- Fantastic fucking film.

 

12/18 Death Proof (2007) ***** -- The more I watch Death Proof the more I love it.

 

12/24 Die Hard (1988) ***** -- The Christmas Eve tradition continues...

Edited by Eric M
The Dark Knight (54), Fire and Ice (71), Death Proof (55), Die Hard (56)
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Ratings are out of *****.

 

Indications are as follows: HD-DVD, Blu-ray, Theatrical release, DVD, HD

Cable, Netflix streaming, [Netflix rental], first time viewings will be underlined.

 

JANUARY (8 films watched)

1) Premonition (2007) ***

2) The Invisible (2007) **1/2

3) The Hitcher (2007) *1/2

4) The Terminator ****

5) Halloween (2007) [Netflix] 1/2*

6) Cloverfield (2008) ****1/2

7) No Country For Old Men (2007) ****1/2

8) Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) **1/2

 

FEBRUARY (6 films watched)

9) The Bucket List (2007) ***

10) Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) [Netflix] ****

11) Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) ***

12) Mr. Woodcock (2007) [Netflix] *

13) Sunshine (2007) [Netflix] **

14) Shoot Em Up (2007) [Netflix] *

 

MARCH (8 films watched)

15) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) **

16) 30 Days Of Night (2007) [Netflix] ***

17) The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford (2007) [Netflix] ****

18) The Simpsons Movie (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

19) We Own The Night (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

20) I Am Legend (2007) ****1/2

21) The King Of Kong (2007) [Netflix] ****

22) Horton Hears A Who (2008) **

 

APRIL (9 films watched)

23) Enchanted (2007) [Netflix] ***

24) Death At A Funeral (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

25) The Ruins (2008) ***

26) Field Of Dreams (1989) *****

27) Dan In Real Life (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

28) Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) ****

29) Street Kings (2008) ****

30) P2 (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

31) Evan Almighty (2007) **

 

MAY (19 films watched)

32) Cloverfield (2008) [Netflix] ****1/2

33) Iron Man (2008) ****1/2 (2x)

34) One Missed Call (2008) [Netflix] **

35) Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003) ***1/2

36) P.S. I Love You (2007) [Netflix] **

37) Hot Fuzz (2007) ***

38) Redbelt (2008) **1/2

39) Pan's Labyrinth (2006) **1/2

40) Superbad (2007) [Netflix] ***1/2

41) Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) [Netflix] ***

42) First Blood (1982) ****

43) Speed Racer (2008) *

44) Back To The Future (1984) *****

45) Primeval (2007) **

46) Black Snake Moan (2006) ***

46) The Orphanage (2007) [Netflix] ***1/2

47) Short Circuit (1986) [Netflix] *1/2

48) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) **

49) Kataude mashin g?ru (The Machine Girl) (2008) *1/2

 

JUNE (10 films watched)

50) Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

51) The Incredible Hulk (2008) **** (2x)

52) The Cutting Edge (1992) **1/2

53) Rambo (2008) ***1/2

54) Untraceable (2008) [Netflix] ***

55) Get Smart (2008) ****

56) Michael Clayton (2007) [Netflix] **

57) 28 Weeks Later (2007) ***

58) The Girl Next Door (1999) [Netflix] ***

59) Wanted (2008) ***1/2

 

JULY (13 films watched)

60) Wall-E (2008) ****

61) Hancock (2008) ****

62) Juno (2007) [Netflix] ***1/2

63) Jumper (2008) [Netflix] **

64) The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) [Netflix] **1/2

65) Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991) ***1/2

66) Kung Fu Panda (2008) ****

67) 27 Dresses (2008) [Netflix] ***

68) The Number 23 (2007) *

69) Batman Begins (2005) ****1/2

70) The Dark Knight (2008) ***** (2x)

71) The Eye (2008) [Netflix] **1/2

72) The X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008) ***

 

AUGUST (7 films watched)

73) Shutter (2008) [Netflix] ***

74) The Signal (2007) [Netflix] **1/2

75) Tropic Thunder (2008) ****1/2

76) Ocean's Eleven (2001) ***1/2

77) Appleseed (2004) [Netflix] ***

78) Dragonheart (1996) ***

79) I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry (2007) ***1/2

 

SEPTEMBER (4 films viewed)

80) Shrek (2001) ****

81) Tremors (1990) **

82) La Bamba (1987) ***

83) Independence Day (1996) ****

 

OCTOBER (13 films viewed)

84) The Thing (1982) ****

85) Iron Man (2008) ****1/2

86) Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) **1/2

87) The Wolf Man (1941) *

88) An American Werewolf In London (1981) ***

89) Wolf Creek (2005) **

90) Hostel: Part II (2007) **1/2

91) Fright Night (1985) [Netflix] ****

92) Rest Stop (2006) [Netflix] **1/2

93) The Happening (2008) [Netflix] ***

94) Prom Night (2008) [Netflix] **1/2

95) The Incredible Hulk (2008) ****

96) The Monster Squad (1987) **

 

OCTOBER (1 film viewed)

97) Saw V (2008) ***1/2

 

NOVEMBER (3 films viewed)

98) Wall-E (2008) ****

99) Get Smart (2008) ****

100) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) **

 

DECEMBER (2 films viewed)

101) The Dark Knight (2008) *****

102) Disney's Bolt (2008) ***1/2

 

Also have watched the following this year...

1) Roswell S1

2) Lost S3 [Netflix]

3) Roswell S2

4) Roswell S3

5) House S1

6) House S2

7) Ultimate Fighter S1 [Netflix]

8) Legacy Of Stone Cold Steve Austin

9) House S3 [Netflix]

10) Ultimate Fighter S2 [Netflix]

11) Five Days [Netflix]

12) Ultimate Fighter S3 [Netflix]

13) House S4 [Netflix]

14) 30 Rock S1 Netflix streaming

Edited by Angel P
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Let's try it again this year. Ill steal Eric's system:D Streamlining it, as I don't remember all the dates

 

All movies rated out of *****

Red indicates HD-DVD

Blue indicates Blu-ray

Orange indicates Theater

Green indicates DVD

Purple indicates XBox 360 download/HD Cable

 

Initial Viewings

1/1 Futurama Benders Big Score (2007) ****

1/18 Cloverfield *****

1/26 Resident Evil 3 *

1/26 The Game Plan *** 1/2

1/27 Superbad ****

1/28 Vacancy ***

2/16 We Own the Night *** 1/2

3/18I am Legend- ***

Iron Man *****

American Gangster *****

Stargate Ark of Truth *** 1/2

The Marine **

Appleseed Ex Machina ***

Beowulf *** 1/2

3:10 to Yuma *****

Sunshine ****

Return Viewings

1/3-4 Lord of the Rings FOTR DC *****

1/5 Lord of the Rings Two Towers DC *****

1/6 Lord of the Rings Return of the King DC*****

1/8 The Rock ****

1/27 Bad Boys ****

1/28 Back to the Future *****

3/4 Crimson Tide *** 1/2

Man on Fire *****

The Prestiege ****

Twister *** 1/2

Coyote Ugly *** 1/2

Irobot ****

Gattaca ****

Con Air *** 1/2

Cloverfield ****

Transformers ****

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I'll join in the fun this year. I'll also steal Eric's rating system:

 

All movies rated out of *****

Red indicates HD-DVD

Blue indicates Blu-ray

Orange indicates Theater

Green indicates DVD

Purple indicates XBox 360/PS3 download/HD Cable

 

First Viewing

I Am Legend*** - I finally got a chance to see I am Legend and I found it to be quite decent. It's out of the ballpark great as the second half lets the really strong first half down for me. Will Smith, however, is fantastic as Neville. One of his best performances IMHO. I'd say the film would have been stronger and a good deal more interesting if they would have stuck with the storyline (and irony) of the book but the movie was pretty solid nonetheless.

 

3:10 to Yuma***** - Absolutely fantastic film that left me completely suprised. I am not a fan of westerns. I appreciate the films of old that took center stage depicting this time period but it's neve been a huge source of enjoyment for me. Then along comes 3:10 to Yuma and blows me away. Russell Crowe is brilliant as Ben Wade. I can't say enough good things about him and keep in mind that these words are being written by someone that hasn't been impressed with a Crowe performance since "The Insider". It's not even worth mentioning Bale because he continues to prove what absolute actor he is. Put the two together and you have cinematic western gold. The script is excellent, the pacing superb, and two main characters have enormous amounts of depth and humanity to them - JUST SEE IT NOW! Special mention to Marco Beltrami's soundtrack which is easily the best music he has ever committed to a film IMHO.

 

Halloween (2007) Unrated -No Stars - I watched the Unrated DVD release of the Halloween remake a few nights ago and I just want to say it's one the worst fucking movies I've sat through in the last year and a half. As a Halloween fan, it's not even 1/300th as good as the film it's based on and frankly my opinion of Zombie as a filmmaker completely plummeted after the credits rolled (and yes I'm a Devil's Rejects fan). I'm not opposed to remakes. The Dawn of the Dead remake sits equally with its predecessor for me. Even the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was enjoyable in its own right compared to this nonsene. It's pure fucking drivel in every way.

 

Lets take a simply story of evil residing in all of us and set loose upon a small town and add a stripper mother (since Rob can't control the impulse to show his wife off) and a redneck trailer park trash backstory that attempts to humanize Michael Myers (all the while completely destroying the mysticism and ferocity of the character in the process). Let's not forget the rush to spend the last 40 minutes of the film adding every "fanfare" moment from the first film note for note with three god awful annoying leads that are nothing but the personification of drugged out oversexed "hollywood" versions of what a teenage girl is like and have them slaughtered in the most routine and snore inducing fashion imagineable. I won't even bother to touch on the "performance" by Malcom Mcdowell who was utterly laughable from the minute he got onscreen. I hated this movie. Absolute and unequivocably. I almost gave it a star based on the fact they actually used the original score but even then that's giving it too much credit.

 

It says something when Sherri Moon Zombie provides the only worthwhile performance in the movie...

 

Sunshine - ***1/2 (will update shortly)

 

The Mist - **** - I loved it.

 

The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - *****

 

Gone Baby Gone - ***1/2

 

No Country for Old Men - ****

 

Michael Clayton - ***1/2

 

Appleseed Ex Machina - **1/2

 

Beowulf - ***

 

Repeat Viewing

Alien Vs. Predator*1/2 - I picked this up during one of the BD BOGO sales and finally got a chance to spin it this evening. The quality of the disc is nice enough. It's got a solid transfer and the lossy 1.5mb DTS soundtrack is quite good. As for the movie, it's not at all a film I can take seriously but there is some goofy brainless entertainment to be had. Paul W. S. Anderson isn't someone you can actually expect a good movie from but there's some nice action scenes here and the final battle with the Queen is neat. It's not a good film but I don't find it to be an atrocity against mankind as many people do. I hear the sequel is far worst which really says something...;)

 

Coming to America - ***1/2

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Theatre viewings:

 

1. Jan 05 - Juno - The dialogue borders on being "too hip", but doesn't quite cross the line, so it remains enjoyable.

 

2. Jan 06 - Sweeney Todd - Fun movie with some truly funny moments, although the music was only "ok", in my opinion.

 

3. Jan 20 - Cloverfield - great movie, hard to watch on the big screen. I look forward to a home viewing.

 

4. Jan 26 - There Will Be Blood - fantastic character study. Daniel Day-Lewis has me convinced.

 

5. Feb 03 - Rambo 4 - faithful Rambo sequel. And brutal. Quite enjoyable. I like that they kept the story very simple. One question though, why is it that Rambo can hand-craft his own propeller blades, but when he makes a knife, it looks like, "I sharpened the edge of this metal bar." ?

 

6. Feb 19 - Deep Sea 3D (IMAX) - pretty cool, although 3D things aren't optimal for me, with my lazy eye...

 

7. Mar 01 - Jumper - a cool idea made into a mediocre movie. I have yet to see any evidence that Hayden Christensen can act.

 

8. Mar 15 - The Bank Job - fun heist flick.

 

9. Mar 18 - Doomsday - It's 28 Weeks Later + Mad Max + Medieval Times restaurant + every movie ever where they send an elite team of commandos behind enemy lines for some reason. It's like they just decided to throw everything they could think of at the screen, to see if any of it would stick... very little actually does. I've learned by now that any movie with Malcom McDowell in it is probably B-level crap.

 

10. Apr 04 - 21

 

11. Apr 13 - Run, Fat Boy, Run

 

12. Apr 13 - Street Kings

 

13. Apr 19 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall

 

14. Apr 20 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall - yes, again.

 

15. May 03 - Iron Man - best comic book movie yet.

 

16. May 24 - Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

 

17. May 30 - Iron Man - still excellent.

 

18. June 06 - Kung Fu Panda - fun

 

19. June 14 - The Incredible Hulk - Hulk Smash! I'd rate it below Iron Man, but above Hulk.

 

20. June 27 - Wall-E - Incredible.

 

21. June 28 - Wanted - fun.

 

22. July 01 - Get Smart

 

23. July 04 - Hancock

 

24. July 12 - Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

 

25. July 18 - The Dark Knight

 

26. July 19 - The Dark Knight

 

27. July 27 - Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer - an independent, Canadian, old-school, horror-comedy that was filmed right here in Ottawa - neat. A fun little movie, which the makers admit was heavily influenced by the Evil Dead series. Sounds good to me! A couple of scenes are direct references to the Evil Deads, which is fun to spot.

 

28. July 29 - The Dark Knight IMAX

 

29. August 10 - Pineapple Express

 

30. August 23 - Tropic Thunder - hilarious!

 

31. August 24 - Death Race - mindless fun.

 

32. August 30 - Traitor

 

33. September 07 - Tropic Thunder

 

34. September 21 - Burn After Reading

 

35. September 28 - Eagle Eye

 

36. October 11 - Blindness

 

 

Home Viewings:

 

1. Jan 01 - The Simpsons: The Movie - Spider Pig! Spider Pig! Does whatever a Spider-Pig does!

 

2. Jan 05 - MST3K: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank - oh Raul Julia, what were you doing in this movie?

 

3. Jan 06 - The Bourne Ultimatum - How often do you get a trilogy where all three movies are awesome? And where the third one might be the best of them all?

 

4. Jan 06 - Night of the Living Dead (1968) - stands out as a movie from a different era. Everyone chain-smoking, and women are useless things to be dragged & smacked around...

 

5. Jan 06 - Night of the Living Dead (1990) - did you know this was Tom Savini's directorial debut? Neat.

 

6. Jan 07 - 28 Weeks Later - I love the sense of panic that is maintained throughout.

 

7. Jan 08 - Stir of Echoes - Underrated movie that was overshadowed by The Sixth Sense.

 

8. Jan 08 - Aliens - I'm a fan of all the Alien movies (even 3 & 4), but goddamn this one kicks ass. Game over, man! Game over!

 

9. Jan 09 - Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane - it's Zombies... on a plane! And hilarity ensues.

 

10. Jan 09 - Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane - rewatched with the audio-commentary from the editors of IGN... pretty funny.

 

11. Jan 09 - Constantine - Did this movie make any money? I'd go see a sequel...

 

12. Jan 16 - The Proposition - Nicely done western-style movie set in Colonial Australia.

 

13. Jan 16 - Zombie Town - Ridiculously low-grade "film".

 

14. Jan 17 - Raiders of the Lost Ark - So good.

 

15. Jan 20 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - less good.

 

16. Jan 22 - Next - Why is it that superhuman abilities always come with horrible consequences and/or responsibilities? Can't you just enjoy having an awesome power?

 

17. Jan 22 - Starship Troopers - My god this movie is pure brilliance. Doooo you get me?!

 

18. Jan 24 - The Reaping - Pretty good, but I was disappointed by the ending.

I'm always disappointed when the mysterious happenings that seem supernatural turn out to actually be supernatural...

 

 

19. Jan 26 - MST3K: Space Mutiny - Hilarious. Big McLargeHuge!

 

20. Jan 30 - Letters from Iwo Jima - Excellent movie. Better than its companion piece, Flags of Our Fathers.

 

21. Jan 30 - Dawn of the Dead (original) - While not as frightening a movie as the remake, it feels like a richer story, with more detailed characters. Probably Romero's best one.

 

22. Jan 31 - Undead

 

23. Jan 31 - Day of the Dead

 

24. Feb 1 - Twister - it's so funny how they tried to wrap a storyline around these cool tornado special effects... and the "bad guy", lol... "He's in it for the money, not the science!"

 

25. Feb 1 - Hostel - Amsterdam = yes, Eastern Europe = hell no.

 

26. Feb 1 - Raiders of the Damned - ok, your first mistake was casting Richard Grieco. Your second mistake... you know what? None of the others matter.

 

27. Feb 12 - Primeval - Pretty decent flick, actually. And Gustave is real!

 

28. Feb 13 - Deep Blue Sea - ok, the premise is kind of silly... but it's actually pretty well-paced. The best part is when the shark turns on the oven! :lol

 

28. Feb 14 - Cube

 

29. Feb 24 - The Number 23

 

30. Feb 25 - Rise: Blood Hunter

 

31. Feb 25 - Carrie (remake)

 

32. Feb 28 - The Hills Have Eyes 2 (remake) - about as good as the remake of the first one.

 

33. Mar 01 - Cube Zero - Decent prequel to Cube. Better than Cube 2, easily.

 

34. Mar 04 - Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis - when you're lifting No Fear slogans for your dialogue, you're setting the bar pretty low.

 

35. Mar 04 - Night at the Museum

 

36. Mar 08 - Aliens of the Deep

 

37. Mar 09 - Hackers

 

38. Mar 09 - The Condemned - I actually thought it was pretty entertaining, if predictable.

 

39. Mar 20 - Wrong Turn 2 - .... blood, guts, disgusting! What more do you want from this kind of movie? And Henry Rollins! Rock!

 

40. Mar 21 - Gymkata - awesome.

 

41. Mar 21 - The Mist - lol, what a bummer of an ending.

 

42. Mar 24 - Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

 

43. Mar 30 - Sunshine - It was alright.

 

44. Mar 31 - Full Tilt Boogie

 

45. Mar 31 - From Dusk 'Til Dawn - lol.... "Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them. I don't give a fuck how crazy they are."

 

46. Apr 03 - The Iron Giant

 

47. Apr 05 - Crazy as Hell

 

48. Apr 06 - The Stand

 

49. Apr 08 - Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury

 

50. Apr 08 - Transformers - hmm, maybe I should have rented Transmorphers instead.

 

51. May 11 - 300 - Still kicks ass.

 

52. June 10 - Idiocracy - civilization is doomed.

 

53. July 09 - Finding Nemo

 

54. July 10 - Alien Ressurection

 

55. July 12 - Hellboy

 

56. July 12 - DOA: Dead or Alive

 

57. July 13 - The Skeleton Key

 

58. July 13 - Demolition Man

 

59. July 15 - The Incredibles

 

60. July 15 - Serenity

 

61. July 17 - Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 1

 

62. July 19 - Superbad

 

63. July 20 - Star Wars: Clone Wars - Volume 2

 

64. July 22 - Return to House on Haunted Hill - meh.

 

65. July 24 - Hostel: Part 2 - dude, that's pretty messed up.

 

66. July 27 - Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

 

67. July 28 - Catch and Release - bland.

 

68. July 28 - The Golden Compass

 

69. August 04 - Diary of the Dead

 

70. August 05 - Shoot Em Up

 

71. August 06 - Planet Terror

 

72. August 07 - Reefer Madness w/ commentary by Mike Nelson

 

73. August 08 - Hitman

 

74. August 10 - No Country For Old Men

 

75. August 17 - Salem's Lot

 

76. August 21 - Pet Sematary

 

77. September 07 - No Country For Old Men

 

78. September 20 - I Am Legend (bonus version - alternate ending)

 

79. September 21 - The Corporation

 

80. September 24 - Cloverfield

 

81. September 24 - [Rec]

 

82. September 25 - There Will Be Blood

 

83. September 26 - Teeth

 

84. September 26 - Postal

 

85. September 28 - Lars and the Real Girl

 

86. October 02 - Hot Rod

 

87. October 10 - Evan Almighty

 

88. October 13 - The Last Winter

 

89. October 20 - Drillbit Taylor

 

90. October 21 - Shoot 'em Up

 

91. October 21 - The Orphanage

 

92. October 22 - You Don't Mess With the Zohan

 

93. October 25 - You Don't Mess With the Zohan

 

94. October 27 - Live Free or Die Hard (Unrated)

Edited by Ron
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  • 2 weeks later...

Updated. I was home sick from Mon-Wed, so I watched a handful of dvds.

 

Re: Alien Vs. Predator: if you enjoyed the first one as goofy brainless entertainment, you will probably enjoy the second one for the same reason. :)

I'd say the two are roughly equivalent in quality.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Updated after seeing There Will Be Blood this past weekend.

Wow, what a movie! 3 hours that just zipped by for me.

 

Based on the trailers, I expected the whole him vs. the faith healer kid to be the focus of the story... so it surprised me that it was only a smaller part of a rich tapestry of events instigated by this oil man as he tears apart everyone else's lives in pursuit of his goals.

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Recently:

 

King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters - It's released on DVD Today. I watched it a few days ago and LOVE it. I really like documentaries like this where they follow people around, and you're never sure what's going to happen, and the people making the movie are never sure what's going to happen, and this one is about video games, so that makes it even better. I watched the movie in full twice, watched all the special features, and even listened to both commentary tracks (the one with the IGN editor isn't that great BTW) and I still want to watch it again. It also really made me want to play Donkey Kong.

 

Eagle Vs Shark - Put Napoleon Dynamite in New Zealand, make him an asshole, and show the story from the point of view of a girl who's in love with him for no particular reason other then they're both unattractive. Now remove any ounce of humour that movie had and you've got Eagle Vs Shark. Terrible Terrible Terrible.

 

Sunshine - From the Legendary Groundbreaking director Danny Boyle.... I loved the trailer for this movie. You can put the theme from Requiem For A Dream over anything and it will feel epic and amazing, and if it's the Two Towers remix, then even better. But the movie is actually pretty good, although it seems like a love it or hate it kind of thing. I thought it was a pretty good attempt at fairly serious Sci-Fi and didn't degrade into the Supernatural nearly as much as I was expecting and that's probably why I liked it more than others. My friend thought there was a very serious "Tone Shift" at one part in the movie and it never escaped from that, but I was expecting it. I was a little confused at the end, but listened to Danny Boyle's commentary (which is quite good) and thankfully it straightened things out.

 

Cloverfeild - I liked it a lot. I was glad the monster wasn't something completely supernatural like Black Smoke, or the hand of God or something, and I was a little worried that it would just be Godzilla for a bit. The movie is tense, funny, and quite a bit different then what we normally get from monster movies. There really isn't that much to talk about though.

 

Good Luck Chuck - Jessica Alba is hot, but she's not funny.... and neither is Dane Cook. This movie is just plain painful. Although I did laugh a bit more than Eagle Vs Shark. I don't know why I subject myself to these movies, but I do, and I'm sure I'll continue to do so..... Don't watch Employee of the Month either.

 

There Will Be Blood - When this movie was over, my friend turned to me and said "Good god, Paul Thomas Anderson can make a movie... he's one talented son of a bitch" and that he his. This movie is pretty incredible, and Daniel Day Lewis must win every award he gets nominated because there isn't a better performance I've seen in a long long time, and that includes everything in "No Country for Old Men" (which I LOVE). Like Ron, I thought Daniel vs Eli would be a bit more of the focus and was surprised and somewhat pleased that it wasn't.... in the end though..... Jesus.

 

Juno - I liked it, but I'm not sure why it's getting the accolades and buzz that it has. The dialog, especially at the beginning, is trying painfully hard to be clever and hip and it's just not. When Juno calls her friend to tell her she's pregnant at the start.... I really don't know what the hell they're saying. Why is she calling everyone "Dude" and calling things "Wizard"? Is "Wizard" back in? I'm pretty sure it isn't. Also the relationship with Juno and Michael Cera isn't fleshed out as much as it should be, and you can tell from the first moment that Jason Bateman is on the screen that he doesn't want a kid and is unhappy. He is pretty awesome though.

 

In The Shadow of the Moon - A documentary on the Apollo program and in particular the Astronauts who traveled there. There's some great stuff in here, and it's nice to see something that focuses on the men instead of the technology and the space race.

 

Bee Movie - Bee movie is alright. It's extremely similar to just about every other animated movie that Dreamworks has done and doesn't seem to really benefit from the involvement of Jerry Seinfeld. It's as if Jerry was watching A Shark's Tale and thought "Hey, I can this this exactly, but with..... bees, ya it'll be about bees." Either that, or Dreamworks made the movie fit their particular mold. Either way, the movie never approaches anything close to what Pixar does in terms of story, humour or animation and it does include a lot of Jerry yelling which when you realize most that he isn't a very good actor, just as he says. Also, god bless Patrick Warburton, and I know Seinfeld gave him is big break, but he's in EVERY animated movie lately.

 

I Am Legend - I Am Legend is alright. I really do like these these types of movies where the world is coming to an end, big cities are deserted or crumbling or whatever, and I like Will Smith and the life he's set up for himself. This one unfortunately doesn't quite work, and it's not because of the ending, it's because the ending comes too quickly. I really wish there was another 30 minutes or so to flesh things out a bit better. Give me a bit more back story on how he managed to survive, why he's immune (unless I missed something, they didn't explain that), and since you've given these "Zombies" at least some intelligence, you might want to flesh that out a bit better too. I've heard the extended cut with the alternate ending does that, but the copy I rented didn't have it.

 

Finally, the CGI in this movie was so bad, and it took me out of the movie from the first few frames. The shots of him driving through an empty, overgrown NY looked like a video game and everything had the CGI sheen of 8 years ago.

 

The Mist - I'm really not sure how I feel about this one. If I had to say right now, I'd lean towards not liking it. I was expecting something a bit more suspenseful, and maybe a bit more about the people in the store and how humans react in a situation like that and instead got much more of a monster movie (complete with poor CGI again) then I wanted. It does have some good moments, but it wraps up in a completely predictable and contrived manner.

 

Dan In Real Life - For the most part I really liked this movie. I think what I liked best is that it's about a large family, getting together for a gathering and they get along. It's not perfect as Dan is having troubles with his kids, and the odd other conflict, but for the most part everyone seems to be enjoying each others company. It's refreshing as too many movies seem to be about dysfunctional families, and being forced to visit the parents you don't get along with, or something of that ilk.

 

It's light, it's funny, it's good to see people that are fairly happy, but it's not great. I think this solidified my dislike of Dane Cook even more, Carell seemingly turns into Michael Scott in a few scenes, and while it makes for a nice Hollywood ending, I'm tired of the "Love at first sight with a complication, remove complication and get married" formula. In Real Life that doesn't seem to happen.

 

Lars And The Real Girl - The more I think about this one, the more I think I liked it. I wasn't sure at the end, but I think that's because I was expecting a bit more of a comedy than it was. It had a few chuckles in it here and there, but it's definitely more of a drama. Overall it's an entertaining movie about a guy overcoming his social hangups, as well as some of the events in his life through an imaginary person. The best thing in the movie is how the entire town buys into helping him sell is delusion, including giving her a makeover, taking her out to town events (without Lars), and helping out with things like reading to a class of kids. Another Hollywood cliche of the oblivious and or socially inept guy with the not so secret admirer who gets ignored until the end rears it's ugly head.

 

Interestingly enough, and despite the fact that it was written by Nancy Oliver, this seems to be a guys movie. Most girls that I've talked to didn't particularly enjoy this movie. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with Lars' imaginary lover being a "love doll". Even though the movie goes out of it's way to assure us that Lars is not having sex with the doll (She's an extremely religious missionary that grew up with nuns and is sleeping in a different house than Lars is) I don't think they can get that idea out of their minds. Or maybe they just found it boring.

 

Talk To Me - I was really kind of excited to see this movie when it was first in theaters, but the reviews weren't all that strong and my most trusted friend saw it without me and only kind of liked it. I finally watched it on video, and I really liked it. Maybe it's because my expectations weren't that high, or maybe just because it's a good movie. Either way Don Cheadle is great as always, as is Chiwetel Ejiofor. There's nothing terrible exceptional about the movie or even the story that I can point out, but it is enjoyable.

 

 

Into The Wild - Another one I've delayed in watching, and in many ways the exact opposite of Dan In Real Life in that it features a VERY dysfunctional family. I think in the end it surprised me a bit how much I liked it. I was kind of expecting a movie about a kid that decides to pickup and live in the wilds of Alaska, and while it is, it's also very much about his travels around America and the people he meets and lives that he affects and vice versa. I really liked that.

 

Also, being a huge Pearl Jam fan, and already being somewhat familiar with Eddie Vedder's soundtrack for the movie helped quite a bit.

 

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - I'm a big fan of Judd Apatow and the Judd Apatow players. I love Freeks and Geeks (Please come back and do something good again Paul Feig) and Undeclared and I love that Apatow has kept giving the guys in those shows (and others like Paul Rudd) chances to shine, and that they keep appearing in his movies. My friends and I love playing "Spot Paul Rudd, Carla Gallo and Martin Starr". With that said, Jason Segal is one of my favorite Apatow players. He's not a great actor, but he is a big lovable goof with quite a bit of charm, so I was interested to see what he could do with a script also.

 

It's not great, but it's good enough. It's got some laughs, but not on the same level as Superbad or Knocked Up. There were moments in Superbad when I was in tears with laughter and Sarah Marshall doesn't come close... plus it felt like it was recycling some stuff from Superbad with things like "P in V". Maybe this is common vernacular in Judd Apatow land, but I don't think it is for the rest of the world. One thing it certainly does have going for it though is Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. Mila in particular has grown up into quite a stunning women... when she's not caked in makeup. One thing against it though is it trying to convince me that Crime Scene was a popular show and that Aldous Snow is a superstar singer. The show was way too cheesy for it to be anything more syndicated cult shlock (and yes I realize it's supposed to be a parody of CSI, in particular Miami, but then just play it off as a cheesy CSI knock off with a hot star) and the songs that Aldus sings, along with his gyrations.... are just dumb.

 

I hate it when movies do stuff like that also.

 

Iron Man - What else can I say really? It was very good, very well done, very well cast and extremely entertaining. Downey is awesome as always. I really kinda love the guy. Gweneth is really good and looks amazing with the reddish hair. The only knocks I have against is the bigger badder suit that Obadiah gets built is kind of lame and convenient, and I had to role my eyes any time Stark was rattling off instructions to Pepper on what she needs to do and she can go do them without question.

 

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets - I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. You have to turn your brain off an really suspend your belief if you want to get into one of these movies. The problem I have is that it's obviously trying to be a new, modern Indiana Jones, and those movies are kind of the same and I don't have nearly as much trouble. Maybe it's because I saw those movies as a kid, maybe it's because it's set in the 30s (and now 50s), or maybe it's just that the Indy movies are written much better and are just more fun that it's not as hard.

 

Whatever the case, there are a few eye rolling moments and watching Cage try to figure out the clues (and solve them extremely easily) reminded me of the Jeff Goldblum parody on South Park. Also I'm not sure why it's called Book of Secrets as the book plays a rather small role in the film (and sets up a possible 3rd) but it's not what they're seeking. It seems like the only reason to call it Book of Secrets would be to appeal to the conspiracy nuts, and the conspiracy curious out there, something that "City of Gold" wouldn't do.

 

Overall though, it's alright, it's kinda fun, has some decent humour (not the "ARGH! My hand is caught in this trap!" joke shown in all the trailers and ads) and a good car chase. Just don't try to think too hard.

 

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Eh. I don't want to say too much as you're all going to see it and have your own opinions, and discussion of this movie has it's own thread. There was stuff that worked. Some of the humour I thought was good, the motorcycle chase was classic Indy stuff, but there was way too much stuff that didn't and I can't go into details without spoiling it and most of you know what scenes I'd talk about anyway.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - I've recently bought most of the Harry Potter movies on HD-DVD clearance lately and have been on a bit of a Harry Potter kick lately. I'm not really a fan of the series, haven't read any of the books and had only watched the first and third movies properly. Something about them just didn't quite click. There was a lot of exposition, yet nothing was explained quite clearly enough, and I could never really figure out why Harry was supposed to be such a great Wizard (or potentially so). Nor could I figure out why even a Wizard and Witchcraft school would let it's students face mortal danger year after year. But whatever, I've kind of gotten into it now and have filled in some of the gaps with Wikipedia.

 

Chamber is probably my least favorite of the series as it seems to tread much the same ground as the first, but without the wonder of watching these character discovering everything for the first time (as is the viewer). The trio of students try and solve a mystery, get themselves in danger, break a bunch of school rules and then figure it all out in the end. I also wasn't quite sure what the hell had just happened at the end. I love Kenneth Branagh and his character in it though. Too bad he's not around still.

 

Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire - Again I'm not sure why the kids are allowed to face potential death, even if they are 17+, why a 17 (or 18) year old Bulgarian who's the world's best Seeker is dating a 14 year old (and why nobody seems to find that odd), how after what appears to be a short while Hermaine is his most prized "possession" or how Voldemort got into that tiny little Shriveled up puppet, but again, whatever. I heard this one wasn't very good, but it seems about on the same level as the others. I liked the opening for it with the World Cup, I liked seeing the kids' relationships start to change and evolve, and I really liked the stuff with Voldemort at the end and thought that Ralph Fiennes was great in that role. The emotion at the end was quite good.

 

Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix - You can tell right from the opening scene that this one is going to be just a bit different. Different tone, different look. I really really liked this installment a lot and I think it's easily my favorite so far. It's rather incredible seeing these kids quite grown up, being much more adult and I quite like the training of Dumbledore's Army and the stuff with the Order. What struck me the most if this film (and even more so after watching the first again) is how they've managed to keep the film continuity almost completely intact. They've had mostly the same actors playing the same characters in each of the movies, some of whom only had bit parts, and Hogwarts and the costumes look pretty much the same as it always did. This is most evident with the supporting cast of kids who are really just there most of the time and may only get a line or two. I really wished they hadn't changed the look of the Dementors though.

 

Overall though I think this was the most emotional movie, and that's what got me. I'm a bit of a sap sometimes, but I was kind of tearing up near the end and it kind of took me by surprise.

 

I really hope Sirius is back in the next films. I was really upset with he died. I love Gary Oldman.

 

 

Rewatches

 

Indiana Jones Trilogy - Getting ready for new one. I've watched Raiders in bits and pieces quite a bit in the last couple of years, but I hadn't sat down and watched any of them in a LONG time. Where I work we have movies playing in the background, and while Raiders and Last Crusade are entertaining as background noise, all I really notice with Temple of Doom is that Kate Capshaw is constantly screaming. Everyone knows and loves Raiders, so what can I say except that it holds up exceptionally well (It's teaser trailer on the other hand...). Last Crusade is pretty much how I remember it too. Temple of Doom.... although being just about everyone's least favorite.... is actually pretty fun. It's still an Indy movie, and doesn't stray all that far from the formula. I did find myself rolling my eyes a bit more with the "Ya right" moments, like when they fall from the plane in the inflatable boat, and make the jump with the mine cart, but whatever... I'll go with it. Short Round is awesome, I wish that kid had been in more stuff.

 

Batman Begins - I haven't seen Iron Man yet, but I'm pretty confident that this will remain my favorite superhero movie until at least July. I've seen this movie SO many times and still love it. I'm not a comic book fan at all, but Batman is easily my favorite of the major superheroes, and I was thinking today that my love for Batman should have started with the Tim Burton movies, but it didn't. I would have been like 11 when the first one came out, which is perfect mind molding time. While I did get caught in the hype a bit, it can't have made that much of an impression because I didn't even see Batman Returns in the theater, and didn't rush out and buy Batman merchandise. It was the animated series that did it. To me, that was how you do Batman. That's how you do the Joker, and Scarecrow and everyone else... and it kept that absolute best part of the Tim Burton movies (Elfman's theme).

 

Batman Begins, for whatever reason, feels like that show come to life. It's very different of course, but I get that "This is how Batman is supposed to be" vibe from them both.

 

I love Batman Begins. It's a great origin story, a superbly crafted film with obvious love and effort put behind it, and it just gets so many things right that the few negatives are hardly even noticeable. Bring on The Dark Knight!

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - It was a bit of a novelty going back and rewatching this one after watching Goblet and Order. Everyone's so small, cute and wide eyed. The movie is still good, and having a bit more knowledge of the Harry Potter world really helps. I still think Quidditch is silly though.

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Cloverfield 01/21/08

I love the idea of what they were trying to do with this movie (Godzilla from a 1st person perspective) but I believe it also limited the storytelling aspect. I felt myself wanting to know what was happening around these characters and it was never fully realized or fleshed out before the end credits came.

 

I mean, there's a time and a place for movies without a payoff that leave something to the imagination but I felt that this film just took it TOO FAR. There's no payoff whatsoever and this is why the film is going to fail in repeat viewings, imho.

 

Juno 01/27/08 (Second Viewing)

I love Juno, but I do not believe it deserved a Best Picture nod.

 

It's a fun movie but there are certainly flaws that irked me. The dialog seems more interested in sounding cool and making quick and witty retorts than actually helping the story get along and I just kept wishing that the relationship between between Juno and Bleeker had been fleshed out as much as the relationship between Mark and Juno.

 

To me the film wouldn't have worked without the music. Kimya Dawson's music especially.

 

I mean, if you want to nominate every cute and funny movie about accidental pregnancy, Knocked Up did a lot more for me than this picture. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
I saw Jumper With My G/f last night.. It was an OK movie nothing special.. Samuel L Jackson gave the movie personality but otherwise it was dull..

Just My Opinion:)

 

Yeah, it was a neat idea though....

 

And at least it shows that Christensen can turn in a piss-poor performance in more than just a Star Wars movie. :D .... actually, I don't believe I've seen him in anything else, maybe that's as good as it gets...

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  • 2 weeks later...

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