Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lord of War


Just when I was beginning to think Nicholas Cage couldn't act anymore and then he pulls a fast on on all of us by giving a powerhouse performance as a Ukrainian arms dealer who gets in over his head with his family and the ATF. There is some striking and disturbing imagery here (like the finale of that awesome opening credit sequence), as well as a great script and direction by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca). This is one of the best films out of 2005 and it's now a personal favorite.

4.5 out of 5


*written 2/9/06

Flightplan

I never thought I'd ever say this, but Jodie Foster totally sucks in this flick. She overplays every scene to the point that her eyes look like they're going to bug out of her skull and that vein in her forehead almost bursts. After falling asleep on a brand new super plane, Jodie realizes her daughter has disappeared and thinks everyone on board kidnapped her for some reason or another. Was it the stereotypical Al Queda types? The somnambulist Captain? The spazoid passenger who likes to start fights? Who cares?! This flick may have a cool visual style, but it's boring as hell and predictable from start to finish. And no airplane has that many open crawlspaces for children to get lost in or flight attendants to fuck in.

0.5 out of 5


*written 2/9/06

The Cave


A group of explorers is sent down into a newly discovered cave system in Romania to uncover it's secrets. They find a lot of slimy creatures and natural lighting set-ups. I was expecting this to be a complete waste of time, but I found it to be a mildly enjoyable little horror/thriller with a great cast (Cole Hauser, Eddie Cibrian, Lena Headey, Morris Chestnut, Piper Perabo and Daniel Dae Kim), fantastic visuals and CGI and lots of cool action scenes. Too bad the movie is totally predictable, it's bloodless and the ending is so bad that you can't help but laugh at the cheesiness of it. Worth a rental.

2 out of 5

Dune: Extended Edition

I've seen bits and pieces of this extended cut of David Lynch's Dune on cable and I thought it was pretty bad. Now that I've seen the whole thing on this new DVD edition I can positively say that it does indeed suck ass. It sucks hard. I like the theatrical version; it's confusing, but it's paced just right and it's entertaining. This lengthened version stretches every needless plot point out ad nauseum with a dull narrator's voice pointing out every stupid little detail that does nothing to expand the story and makes the movie even more confusing than it already was. They couldn't even finish the effects of the newly added in footage (the blue eyes go back and forth between shots) and the new opening montage is told with lame looking storyboards and matte paintings which don't even sync up with the narration. Totally lame and worthless. I'll stick with the theatrical version, thank you.

0.5 out of 5 


*written 2/9/06

An American Haunting


Why oh why did someone give money to Courtney Solomon to make another movie? We all saw the cinematic atrocity that was Dungeons & Dragons (based on the grosses it looks like most of you didn't), but someone out there thought he was a decent enough filmmaker to finance another dud with him at the helm. This ultra boring piece-o-shite is the final result. While it has a fine cast in Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek and Rachel Hurd-Wood, they are given nothing to do but react to bad wire work in this lame retelling of The Exorcist, only set in the late 1800s. It's slow, meandering and all the other synonyms of boring. And what exactly was the point of the current day wraparound story? Oh yeah, Courtney Solomon thought up of that part. Figures. Worthless.

0 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

The Marine


What do you get when you try to remake Commando with a wrestler as your main star? The Marine, that's what. While it's not completely awful, it's full of so many stupid moments of cheese that I can't recommend it. Every time something explodes it's shown in super slo-mo with an actor superimposed on top of it either being thrown from the blast or walking away from it unharmed. John Cena for the most part walks away with only a couple of minor abrasions in the end after getting his ass pummeled for 90 minutes straight. He gets a fire extinguisher to the face at full speed and there's not one bruise to be found afterward. While it's dumb fun, it's just not that memorable or exciting. Some cool action, and Cena is a decent action star, but that's about it.
 

1.5 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

Strangers With Candy


Back when I saw the stinking turd of a film called Beowulf & Grendel, I said to my friend as we walked out of the theater that we'd have been better off seeing the Strangers With Candy movie that was playing in the auditorium next door. Oh, how wrong I was! This is crap. Unfunny crap. Painfully unfunny crap. It has no entertainment value whatsoever and I'm going to leave it at that. The show was decent but the film is garbage. Avoid it at all costs.

0 out of 5 


*written 12/9/06

The Butterfly Effect 2


The director of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation strikes all new cinematic lows with this dry rehash of the far superior original. The acting is amateurish (except for Smallville's Erica Durance), the direction is ham-fisted and it reeks of cheapness. Why when Eric Lively travels back in time does it sound like someone is crumpling a Twinkies wrapper off camera? Other than Durance's kinda nude scene it's a waste of time. I also found it funny that in order to get the film to hit the 90 minute mark this 75 minute movie has 15 minutes of ssslllooowww end credits to fill it out. At least MK2 had decent fight scenes you keep you entertained. Absolute garbage.

0.5 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift


We all saw those crappy ass trailers for this disaster waiting to happen over the summer of '06. It looked so bad that there was no way that I'd see it. So I thought. Boredom will make you do crazy things, and in the end this wasn't too shabby. It's better then the second film in the series, but still it has that cheese factor that I've come to expect. The storyline isn't original, but it's told in an entertaining way with plenty of creative cinematography and awe inspiring action/chase scenes paired up with catchy music. While hearing Lucas Black's ridiculously prominent Texan drawl amidst all the Japanese characters made me chuckle a few times, he's not a bad actor and neither are his co-stars. I like it a lot, but I've seen a lot better films lately. Still, it's worth the rent.

2.5 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

Accepted


What do you do when you have parents who are dead set on you attending college, but none will accept you? You try to dupe your stupid parents and create your own university! I know I did (narch)! It's funny, mainly due to Lewis Black, but it's the same tired formula recycled over again. It has it's moments, and while I did enjoy it for the most part, I can't say that I'd ever watch it again. Justin Long and Jonah Hill have some great lines and are pretty good in their roles, but it's all been done before. "Ask me about my weiner!!!!!"

2 out of 5 


*written 12/9/06

The Prestige


One of the better movies of the year, but it's very predictable. I had the big twist figured out halfway through the film, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it to the fullest. The story of 2 friends who are trying to become stage magicians who part ways after a terrible tragedy, they become each others greatest competition, and as they try to out-perform each other more and more they begin to risk their lives/morality in doing so. Great performances from the top notch cast (even Piper Perabo is good), great and nuanced direction from Christopher Batman Begins Nolan and magnificent cinematography and score combine into one very interesting, if not flawed, movie event. It's also kinda disturbing in spots as well (the final shot is creepy). I'm keeping this one short as to not spoil anything. Way better than the other magician movie floating around theaters right now, The Illusionist.

4 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil


This is creepy. It's plot mirrors the goings on in Korea right now and it's not ashamed to be making a statement about it. I admire the film in that regard, but everything else is crap. It tries too hard to be a serious drama like Thirteen Days and still have all the prerequisite action scenes too. What really bugged me about this flick is that it's made entirely in that uber fast MTV style that really gets on my nerves. The entire thing is shot with a high shutter speed (think Gladiator's action scenes), ultra fast editing and high contrast color correction. It's like a 90 minute music video. I couldn't even tell what was going on during half of the gun battles due to this. Skip it. The original, which was bad in a good way, is far superior.

1.5 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

The Omen (2006)


Why did this need to be remade? The original was perfect. What we get here is virtually a shot for shot remake with more gore (not only did the priest get impaled by the lightning rod, but he gets skewered by broken glass as well) and some more cheesy visual techniques added in (the camera shake when Liev Schreiber sees David Thewlis get decapitated was so damned silly). Julia Stiles is totally miscast here, while Schreiber sleepwalks through the whole flick. Only David Thewlis, Mia Farrow and Michael Gambon seem to give a crap about their performances. Even the kid sucks as Damien. Plus there's plenty of visual goof ups too, like the boom mic being completely visible in certain shots as well the gun debacle in the finale (Thorn gets shot by a cop with a handgun, then after a cutaway shot we see the cop lowering a massive smoking semi-automatic machine gun). A pointless remake.

1 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

The Departed


This is one of the absolute best movies of the year! The cast is phenomenal (yes, even Leo D kicks all forms of ass), as is the sheer amount of talent on display in the acting and directing departments. Martin Scorsese has outdone himself in terms of storytelling here, and even though there are multiple arcs involving multiple characters, it's never confusing and all the loose ends are tied up nice and neat by the time the end credits roll. The plot, while a remake of an inferior Chinese film (Infernal Affairs), feels fresh and thrilling from the opening frame due to some expert cinematography, catchy music and the dynamic performances (Mark Wahlberg in particular surprised the shit out of me; you hate his guts at the start of the film, but love him in the end). It's suspenseful, dramatic and hysterically funny at times even through all the twists, turns and double/triple crosses. A perfect example on how to make a crime film and keep it entertaining and serious at the same time. A new all time fave! The final shot is AWESOME!

5 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan


Ever see a movie that was so anti-PC and ballsy that you couldn't help but enjoy how crass and wrong it is? That pretty much sums up Borat! There really is no plot, just an excuse for the lead character, played to the hilt by Sacha Baron Cohen, to travel around America pissing off as many people as he can with his racist rantings and idiotic observations. And what's funnier is that he actually points out how bigoted and stupid most Americans really are! Regardless, I had a blast watching this flick! It's hysterically funny from start to finish, and even when it does slow down to let us breathe it manages to entertain immensely. It's also filled with tons of quotable lines like "What's up Vanilla Face?" or "My wife's vagina hangs low like wizard's sleeve". Some unneeded stuff added for shock value, namely the chase scene where Borat and his sidekick Azamat run through a hotel stark naked for five minutes, really brought the film down a little bit. Still, it's a hoot!

4 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

Feast


This is the last of the Project Greeenlight films, and I have to say that after two lame ass coming-of-age flicks produced by the makers of that reality show they went out with a bang! The story of a group of random people who are trapped inside a bar because bloodthirsty creatures outside want to kill and eat them, and not in that order, is a total hoot! Firstly, this flick is hilarious! It's filled with off-the-wall humor that I really got a kick out of, and the director added some creativity in the mix by having each character, during their first moment on screen, get introduced by a biography that tells you their name (no one has a proper name, it's their "title" like "Hero" or "Drunken Loser"), their occupation and their life expectancy within the movie. Jason Mewes, who has a cameo as one of the patrons, plays himself with a bad perm and dies a particularly gruesome death (his life expectancy reads "He's already surpassed our expectations"). And those horny little baby creatures had me in stitches as they tried to hump anything with a hole. The gore is abundant, as is the profanity and such, but it's a fast and fun horror movie. Only the fact that certain sub-plots aren't brought to their full conclusion brings it down a notch. Check it out!

4 out of 5


*written 12/9/06

The Wicker Man (2006)


I know of the original movie from the 70s, but I've never seen it. So when this Neil LaBute remake came out starring Nicolas Cage I decided that this would be as good a time as any. Boy was I ever wrong. This flick stinks to high heaven (even though it starts off with a bang!). Not only is it so damned boring that I had a hard time staying awake throughout it's entire run time, but when the supposedly shocking conclusion came about (of which I already knew about beforehand from reading about the original film) I was actually glad that it was over so I can go home and take a nap. The pacing is as slow as a snail, the acting is over the top (especially in Cage's case), the dialogue is absolute shit (and coming from a great playwright like LaBute this is totally criminal) and there's some parts that are so flippin' ridiculous looking that I'm surprised that they weren't cut out so the audience wouldn't laugh unintentionally (the part where Cage goes around kung-fuing all those ladies in the bar). It's an insult to the viewer's intelligence and should be avoided at all costs.

0 out of 5


*written 9/7/06

Crank


The trailers for this flick were pretty weak. It was just a bunch of random shots strung together in rapid fire succession with a voice over by the coolest mofo alive... Jason Statham. I like Statham as an actor. He's never really disappointed me with his movies, either as a leading man or a supporting player, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and check it out. I'm sure glad I did!!!! This flick is fucking awesome! It's fast, funny and ridiculously directed like a living comic book. Statham plays a hitman named Chev Chelios who has been injected with a drug that will kill him if his adrenaline drops below a certain level, so he has to keep doing crazy things to keep his heart rate up and stay alive long enough so he can find his killer and dish out some payback. There is some truly riotous shite in this movie, namely the public sex scene and the part in the hospital (just the thought of Statham running out of that elevator like the Flash while screaming like a crazed coyote makes me giggle). It's a movie experience that I don't think will be topped by any other flick this year in terms of creativity and entertainment value. Check it out!!!

4.5 out of 5


*written 9/7/06

Beerfest


I'm not a fan of beer or the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, but put the two together and you get a pretty damned funny comedy. Two brothers travel to Germany to fulfill the dying wish of their grandfather, which is to take his ashes to a beer drinking competition run by his evil brother, and from then on the laughs start and never really stop. The Broken Lizard guys seem to all be on the ball with this one (I couldn't stand any of their other flicks) and end up giving some gut busting performances. Namely director Jay Chandrasekhar and his "Wow! This shit is great! I wish I could freeze it, and make ice blocks out of it, and then skate on it! Then, in the spring, melt it down and drink it!" speech and Kevin Heffernan's "Real funny, Deutschebag." line. If you like your comedies stupid and raunchy this is the one for you, but see Clerks II first.

3 out of 5


*written 9/7/06

Snakes on a Plane


This was the movie event of the summer for me. After months of hype this finally showed up in theaters and I could witness it in all it's cheesy glory and the wait was definitely worth it! From the title you KNOW exactly what this flick is about, and that's exactly what you get with a shitload of comedy thrown in for good measure. The only problem is that you have to sit through 20 minutes of poorly directed, poorly written and poorly acted crap before the festivities begin. Once the snakes are released on the plane and all hell breaks loose the fun starts and never stops. And all the re-shoot footage, which is blatantly obvious, adds to the hokey glee of it all (seeing a chick get her nipple sucked on by a rattler was the shizzy), and there are a TON of totally quotable lines from all the cast of this brilliantly goofy thriller that no fan of movies should miss! And Sam Jackson is the fucking man!!!! "I've had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!" Pure genius! 

4.5 out of 5


*written 9/7/06

Friday, September 28, 2012

Street Trash


I last saw this flick about a decade ago while managing that crappy video store, and the only thing I really remember was that it was super gory and has a scene where some derelicts played a comical game of football with some poor bum's severed penis. It was just released on DVD in a remastered 2-disc special edition, so I picked it up for shits and giggles. It has no plot to speak of and basically follows a small group of homeless winos who live in a large junkyard and harass people and such. Also a local liquor store owner discovers a box of 20 year old booze in his basement and decides to sell it to the bums, but he doesn't know that it melts you from the inside out if you drink it. There's plenty of cool gross out moments, nothing too gory since whenever some poor schlub bites it they bleed every color other than red. Two really nasty bits involve a fat dude exploding violently and one guy taking a burst nitrous tank to the face. It does feature some subversive humor, social commentary and off-the-wall humor (the aforementioned cockball scene), but most of the time it's pretty uneventful and slow moving. Good to watch if you're drunk. LOL!

Oh ya... Bryan Singer worked as a grip on this flick.

2.5 out of 5


*written 10/4/06

The Proposition


I'm not going to go into specifics here, but I'll tell you flat out, some exceptions aside, that I HATE WESTERNS! I had heard that this Aussie take on the genre was excellent, and featured some great performances from Guy Pierce and Noah Taylor, and so I decided to give it a rent. BIG MISTAKE! It's slow, boring and overly melodramatic. It also took me 4 days to watch it since after every 20 minutes I'd fall asleep. NOT A GOOD SIGN! If you're into this type of movie, check it out. If you want a fast paced western, watch Tombstone instead. I know I will.

0.5 out of 5 


*written 10/4/06

Lucky Number Slevin


I wasn't digging this goofy crime movie with a stupid title for the first 45 minutes. It was confusing, characters did stupid things for no reason whatsoever and it's overly clever sense of humor seemed a bit forced. Then the revelations began to turn up and I slowly began to get into the story and in the end I was pleasantly surprised by the way the events unfolded. The story of mistaken identity taken to the breaking point with a great cast featuring Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley and Bruce Willis features twist upon twist upon twist (that I won't give away here) and it's a great little thrill ride that generates laughs on top of gasps. Surprisingly entertaining!

3.5 out of 5


*written 10/4/06

Hard Candy


Ellen Page had better get nominated for an Oscar for her outstanding performance in this creepy and disturbing flick. She plays Hayley, a 14-year old girl who opts to meet the 31-year old Jeff (Patrick Wilson) at a coffee shop after hooking up in an internet chat room. He comes off as a nice guy, but she suspects him of being a sexual predator, and once he takes her to his home she drops her innocent act and proceeds to drug, tie-up and torture her prey. It's a little freaky seeing this young girl do all these horrific things to this obviously sick man, but we end up feeling sorry for him as we slowly come to realize that Hayley isn't playing around... she means business. It's acted extremely well (even Wilson who sucked ass in Phantom of the Opera), and the direction is light years beyond what you would expect for what essentially is a "two people in a room" stage play sort of story. Although it gets a little ridiculous in the end (this 80 pound girl is able to hoist a 180 pound dude 5 feet off the ground by a rope? No, ain't happening) it's still a remarkable piece of filmmaking.

4.5 out of 5


*written 10/4/06

Tom Yum Goong


This is the original, uncut version of Tony Jaa's The Protector straight from Thailand. I found this on Ebay and purchased it right after reading about all the cuts made to the film to make it faster paced for U.S. audiences. All I have to say is "What were the Weinstein's thinking when they cut this to shreds?" Now there is a clear cut motivation for Tony's character doing all that crazy shit, the cop character is fleshed out and now there's a reason for him hanging around Tony instead of just becoming his friend for no reason whatsoever, the villain's motivations are explained in more detail, and all those seemingly random encounters with prostitutes and such are explored most of the time. Sure it's still confusing trying to figure out who all these different women are that pop up now and then, but it's still entertaining regardless. This version of the movie is the way to go!

4 out of 5

 P.S. To read the review of the American release, click here.



*written 10/4/06

The Protector


Ong-Bak is one of my favorite martial arts movies not only because it introduced me to Muay Thai, but because it introduced the world to the next big star in martial arts flicks... the awesome Tony Jaa! This is his big follow up movie, and while it features some of the best fights I've ever seen put to film (that 5 minute long brawl up that long flight of stairs with not a single cut or edit was fookin' great) the movie's plot and character development was sliced out by it's American distributor, the ever evil Weinstein Company. Are we such a stupid audience that we can't handle a little back story mixed in with the action? Sure the plot is a little silly (basically Tony is on the hunt for the men/women who killed his father and kidnapped his pet elephant) and the dialogue is goofy, but I want to know what's going on story wise instead of just fight after fight after fight. As it is this is a great time for fight fans, but if you're looking to make sense of anything look for the original Thai version Tom Yum Goong.

1 out of 5

 P.S. To read the review of the uncut Thai version, click here.


*written 10/4/06

District B13


This French action film, which was written by Luc "The Man" Besson, showcases a relatively new form of martial arts called Parkour, the art of free running. While it might not sound like much it's actually pretty friggin' sweet to see in action! The plot is kind of like Escape from New York; a cop must infiltrate a bordered city called District B13 in order to get some nuclear bombs away from a crazed drug dealer. It's simple and pretty cliched, but the action scenes are what it's all about and they're damned cool for the most part. I just with there were more fights in it (the Parkour stuff is the main focus), but what's there is decent.

3 out of 5


*written 7/4/06

Fearless


First we get Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, then Hero, then House of Flying Daggers and now Fearless. I love these epic martial arts dramas! They end up having a great story to tell with interesting characters as well as top-notch martial arts mayhem. This, however, is the best of the bunch in my opinion. No crazy wire-fu stunts add to the coolness of the awesomely choreographed fights (by The Matrix Trilogy's Yuen Wo-Ping), and it features a great story about a real life martial artist who founded a still popular school for Wushu martial arts back in the early 1900s. Jet Li gives the performance of his career, and while this is his last film of this type, I can't wait to see what he has in store for his fans in the future. My favorite film of the year so far!

5 out of 5


*written 10/4/06

Jackass Number Two

While I wasn't really interested in this stuff when it first aired on MTV I ended up DLing a couple of the episodes after hearing how side-splittingly funny they were. And they WERE! So the movie was a no-brainer for me, and I loved every sick minute of it. This sequel ups the ante on the crazy stuff this troupe of nutjobs are willing to do to get a laugh, and while some of them aren't very funny most of them hit the mark. My fave stunts were the Firehose Rodeo, the Four-Way See-Saw, Blinfdolded Johnny vs. the Bull, the Butt Beer Bong and the final Terrorist Taxi prank. The guys seem, when not doing something totally stupid, to be a cool bunch that you'd really enjoy hanging out with at a bar. They managed to get a few celebs to participate too like Luke Wilson, Jay Chandrasekhar, Tony Hawk, John Waters and Willie Garson. One thing I will admit is that I didn't need to see Chris Pontius drink horse semen. Although his follow-up line of "I feel so ashamed" was hysterical, there's just some things you can't unsee.

4 out of 5


*written 10/4/06

Dumplings


This feature length Dumplings was cut down from 90 minutes to 40 minutes to fit into Three... Extremes, and while it does expand on the theme of the short it also expands the characters and the plot. We now see more of the main character's cheating husband and why she's so desperate to become youthful again. We also get more backstory on Bai Ling's character and find out how old she really is. It's much better in this form, but the ending is completely different from the short version which was re-shot to fit into the anthology. I must say that I appreciate the short version's finale a bit more since it's more shocking and it fits into the theme of the story more appropriately. It's creepy and atmospheric, but I think it still needed to be longer.

3.5 out of 5


*written 3/11/06

Three... Extremes II


Another entry in the Asian horror anthology series, but this time it's more akin to Creepshow 2 than anything else... meaning it's lame. Memories (from Korea's Ji-woon Kim) is a boring tale about a ghostly lady who is trying to put together the pieces of her life which she's forgotten. The Wheel (from Thailand's Nonzee Nimibutr) is about cursed puppets that want to possess a child. It's a bad rip off of Puppet Master. And finally, Going Home (from Hong Kong's Peter Ho-Sun Chan) nearly puts us to sleep with his slow and drawn out tale of a crazed man who keeps his dead wife in his apartment hoping that she will one day "wake up". Even typing up the descriptions of these stories are making me drowzy. If you are allergic to Lunestra try this out.

1 out of 5


*written 7/4/06

Three... Extremes


This Asian horror anthology flick features three non-connected stories from some of the genre's greatest directors: Fruit Chan (China), Park Chan-Wook (Korea) and Takashi Miike (Japan). It’s like an Asian Creepshow. The first story, Dumplings, is about an aging actress who seeks to regain her youth by eating "special" dumplings made from *$#%@ (I won't ruin it for you) is extremely disturbing and freaky. Plus it co-stars Bai Ling (who I met in person at Celebration III) who is smokin' hot, so I enjoyed this one even though it seems like it should have been longer. Next is Cut, which is about a horror film director who is taken hostage by a crazed extra from his films. This one meanders a bit too much and isn't all that scary or interesting. Actually it's pretty damned boring. Finally is Box, about a traumatized woman whose past comes back to haunt her in the most horrific way possible. This one is a bust as well. It's slow and not all that entertaining. 1 for 3 isn't all that great when it comes to this type of movie, so I'd have to say skip it.


2 out of 5

P.S. There is a feature length version of Dumplings available. Read the review here.


*written 3/11/06

Firewall


Has Harrison Ford finally given in to the fact that he's getting old and the plum roles just aren't coming his way anymore? Because that's how it looks from my end. This stinking potboiler wannabe is so cliche ridden and dull that it's like Ford just gave up and said "Hey, I just want to work". Paul Bettany as the heavy is the only reason to watch this crap, and he isn't even that good! Virginia Madsen threw away all hopes of a big comeback after her acclaimed turn in Sideways with this tripe and she's probably going to start doing DTV softcore porn in the near future. Absolutely worthless and insulting.

0 out of 5


*written 7/4/06

Hollow Man 2


The original Hollow Man was trashy entertainment. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I wished it was something more than just a flick about a serial killer who was invisible. I had hoped that this DTV sequel was going to be something a little different, but unfortunately not. Christian Slater plays a soldier who is made invisible by the same serum that made Kevin Bacon go nuts, and he goes on a rampage through Calgary (I think it was supposed to be Philadelphia) killing anyone who knows anything about his current state. So Peter Facinelli (dude can't act for shit) is a cop who is brought in to track him down. The big twist is that he becomes invisible too so he and Slater can have a CGI filled fist fight for the finale. It's boring, incredibly stupid (does making yourself invisible allow you to see others who are invisible? Nope? Then what was the point of that twist at the end?) and it's incredibly cheap looking. Avoid it like the plague.

0.5 out of 5


*written 7/4/06

Nacho Libre


Being a fan of director Jared Hess' last comedy, Napoleon Dynamite, I was really excited to see his follow up. Especially due to the fact that he was able to net one of the biggest stars of comedy as his leading man, Jack Black. The end result was a smashing success. While it's not consistently funny it's entire running time, when it's funny it's pretty goddamn funny. We're talking side splittingly funny. The wrestling match with the demonic midgets was worth the ticket price alone! There's ton of quotable lines ("He is a douche!") and it's pure harmless fun with heart. If only the comedy was spread out more it would have been perfect. And even though I'm not a big Jack Black fan (but I loves me some Tenacious D) I gotta say that he was on the money this time (that accent of his was hysterical)!

4 out of 5


*written 7/4/06

Munich


One of the best films of 2005. Steven Spielberg's second film of the year is based on the true story of a group of Israeli hitmen hired to assassinate the people responsible for killing their countrymen at the 1972 Olympics and it's quite a tour de force. Everything about this movie is pitch perfect, and it's extremely violent and filled with interesting details. It's a little long, but it's barely noticeable since the movie is totally engrossing. Eric Bana finally got a role that shows off what he can do as an actor, and the rest of the cast is fantastic (it co-stars the new James Bond, Daniel Craig!) as well. Check it out!

4.5 out of 5


*written 1/5/06