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The Winning Season (2009)
An Indie Gem And One Of The Reasons I Love Films
This is a great little movie with a lot of heart that should have gotten more notice. Sam Rockwell is great and continues to prove he's one of the best actors of his generation. Basically, it's about a guy coaching a high school girl's basketball team. A movie doesn't need to have a bunch of effects or explosions or twists to be great. This is an example of a solid, realistic script and wonderful actors coming together to make something that deserves to be seen. If a movie can make me laugh, cry and think, it's one I want to see again and again. You owe it to yourself to give this film a try. There aren't many movies about women's basketball, and I'm glad they took a realistic approach instead of the typical teenage fare.
Maybe The Worst "Documentary" I've Ever Seen
After watching this travesty of journalism and investigation, I felt obligated to write a warning to people wanting to waste 6 hours of their lives watching this documentary series. First, let me say that I am a huge documentary watcher and watch several Investigation Discovery shows (and like some of them quite a bit). Second, I've seen the fantastic documentary "OJ: Made In America" and the great series "American Crime Story: The People VS OJ Simpson". Both were high quality, informative and highly entertaining. This series, however, was a textbook example of cashing in on a big name and popular topic for ratings and money. It's exploitative journalism at its worst.
They have absolutely no physical evidence that anyone except OJ Simpson committed the brutal murders of Ron Goldman & Nicole Brown Simpson. If you look at any case long enough, you can come up with inconsistencies and anomalies that make anyone look like a suspect. All of their "detective" work amounts to sensationalism used to trick people into having doubt in their minds. They spend 6 hours (and lots of commercials in between) talking about things that could have fit into one hour long episode. It probably would have fit into a 30 minute episode. Investigation Discovery should be ashamed of airing this junk. Anyone with any reasonable intelligence will be insulted by the theories they provide. In the end, the only thing that even slightly redeems this series is that the investigators come to the logical conclusion that OJ committed the murders. They should have done that in one episode and not milked it for ratings.
The bottom line: Don't watch "Is OJ Innocent?" unless you want to waste a lot of time and get no new information about the case.
I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
Hits Home On A Familial Level
A great film with wonderful performances from Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman that displays the relationship between father and son and the difficulties of aging, growing up and moving on. This film echoed several personal things in my own relationship with my father, and the moments in the film felt real to me. Any person who has had to deal with complicated relationships with their parents owes it to themselves to watch this film. I'm only sorry it took me so long to watch it, but given that my parents are entering their twilight years it really connected with me. I can't recommend this film enough for it's acting and truthful screenplay. My only complaint would be the music which seemed dated and obtrusive in places.
Give Up Tomorrow (2011)
I implore you to help!
I saw this film two years ago as a secret screening at the True/False Film Festival. It was easily my favorite documentary that year, and one which will leave you disturbed long after the credits have rolled. The film outlines the arrest and conviction of Paco Larranaga and several other young men in the murder of two young girls. As the director peels the layers back on the story, more and more you see how the entire situation is a complete miscarriage of justice. This film will leave you feeling not unlike the Paradise Lost documentaries about the West Memphis Three. As someone who is poor and has little to no power, I implore anyone reading this to watch the film, get involved and help free a young man who had absolutely nothing to do with these crimes. I urge you to do your own research if you are skeptical, as some might think because the director is related to the convicted man. I watch documentaries with an avid passion, but few have left me so emotional as Give Up Tomorrow. A must see!
Simply the best puppet Christmas movie EVER!
This film has a special place in my heart. Long ago, when I was a little boy and in love with the Muppets, I saw this movie on HBO and was enchanted. Considered a trial run for Jim Henson in order to see if making a feature length Muppets was possible, it has become much more than that to the many fans of this wonderful holiday film. Wonderful songs and equally great puppetry meet up with a sugary sweet story that will warm your heart on the most important holiday of the year. Songs like "Our World" and "Barbecue" will ring in your head long after you've seen this. Message of love and giving are sure to have people of all ages happy during Christmas time. I cannot recommend this movie enough!
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
This film has a unique storyline and structure, strong acting and surprises all the way around. I think it's the best thing Shane Black ever did and I'm happy that this was his directorial debut. You can tell from the gag reel that this movie was an absolute blast to be working on as it paired two talents who have been through the ringer with different public and private tribulations.
The female lead is super hot and there is enough humor and interesting twists to make you watch a second time.
My favorite parts were when Downey kicked the girl out of bed for sleeping with his best friend in high school and the different banter that Downey and Kilmer shared with each other.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to enjoy a well-paced adventure/comedy/action film.
Fear of Clowns (2004)
This movie was bad enough to be pretty funny, but terrible acting, empty dialogue, slow pacing & a bad ending ruined most of it. I was surprised by how some of it was shot, which was somewhat impressive for a director with a small budget, but the director definitely needs a script supervisor because some of the choices the characters made were just plain dumb. This film, like many before it, takes itself way too seriously at times and that detracts from the hilarity of everything that occurs.
Watch this film while drinking or on several various intoxicants, but expect to interact with the film and get several wtf's and gut laughs along the way.
V for Vendetta (2005)
Inspirational Magical Majestical
This was definitely one of the best films I have ever seen! I have been an avid film-watcher for 20 years now and rarely have I ever been so inspired and filled with life after watching a film. Everything about this movie worked for me, which is incredible given what they accomplished in a little over two hours.
Most of my favorite films have several important themes mixed with an interesting plot and genuinely funny, dramatic and poignant moments. It's so refreshing to see a film not afraid to take chances and deal with issues that are so relevant to the world today. This film should be a screaming alarm to everyone who has become complacent in ANY government that cares nothing of the majority of their citizens.
Sadly, however, many may need more than what happened to V to finally realize what atrocities can occur when you do not stand up for love and justice. In any case, V for Vendetta is and will always be an unequivocal classic in my eyes, one I will show to my kids someday.
Oh, and the music V uses hasn't seen this great a day since Bill Murray blew up the golf course in Caddyshack. GO SEE THIS TWICE!
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Definitely Better than Original
Wes Craven is perhaps the most overrated horror director of all time next to George Romero. My girlfriend and I watched the original version about six months ago and here is what sucked about it: the acting, the script, the gore, the music, the cinematography and did I mention the acting. Aja, who has followed up his excellent horror film High Tension (albeit with a debatable bad ending) and improved upon the lifeless original in about every way possible. This film combines great elements of funny cheese, good acting, great makeup effects and jumpy scares with added back-story on these desert freaks to make the most rewarding experience I've seen in horror since, uh, well, High Tension.
Because Aja doesn't waste time here wallowing in the emotions of the characters, we really just have to react at a very ordinary family being terrorized by these mutants. No shot is wasted, and from the script to the music everything about this film is better than the original. I hope this starts a trend of directors improving upon all of Craven's crap films. Craven may have had some good ideas, but every one of his movies can be done and done better, and it's just been resoundingly proved.
Broken Flowers (2005)
Biggest disappointment of 2005
This movie gets a 3 mostly for the soundtrack and score, which is by far the best part of this pretentious, boring film about a has-been player that goes reluctantly in search of his son. Nothing much happens, and nothing gets resolved. I'm not sure if it was Bill Murray in this movie or an animatronic Bill Murray like they have at Disneyland. Imagine Bill's character in Lost in Translation but with even less of a personality. I respect Jim Jarmusch a great deal and some of his films I cherish, but this film proved to be a three-toed sloth of a crapfest. I can't imagine anyone but vegetables and people who want to look cool saying how much they love all of Bill Murray's work or hipsters who always love the "underground" rumblings and trends. Bottom Line - Piece of Crap.
Last Days (2005)
I apologize to the movie gods for having watched this.
Without a doubt the most pretentious film I've seen of 2005 and recent memory. I sure hope none of Cobain's family watches this, it just might make them sick with boredom and disgust. I used to love Gus Van Sant, but ever since Good Will Hunting he has been inching ever closer to a complete hack. Best Scene In The Movie: "Cobain" falls over in a room, camera pans up to a TV playing "on bended knee" by boyz 2 men (maybe the worst boyz 2 men song...and that's saying something). This is a fine example of the pathetically pointless action, pitifully written and mediocre acting this film provides. Bottom line - This movie is crap.
Everybody's All-American (1988)
Even though I do not watch sports anymore, I used to watch them quite a lot and will still watch this movie whenever it's on TV. Definitely one of the best sports films of all time, realistic and superbly acted, this film follows a quarterback hero and his "trophy" wife from college to well beyond retirement. Topics of love, friendship, fidelity, aging and loyalty are all dealt with in profound ways. Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange give probably their best performances ever and the supporting cast does not disappoint. It is melodramatic, but it comes from a place of integrity instilled in the writing and direction of the film. If you're a guy and in the mood to watch something both you and your girl can enjoy, I would highly recommend renting this. It's too bad that so many below average sports movies get more praise than they deserve and lesser known films like this one fall by the wayside. 9/10
Why the F*** is wicker man scary? This movie is bad in the 'it's so bad it's not even funny' so bad. Worst movie I've seen in a few years next to the bush presidency. Watch Leprachaun 4: In Space if you want some serious laughs and "horror". I couldn't figure out what they were really trying to do here, but when they finally revealed the Wendigo, it looked like they ran out of money and had to piece together some popsicle sticks to make a scary movie. And what's what's her name doing in this picture, didn't she do some movies with Clint Eastwood & S***. For some reason, when I discuss monumentally bad movies, this one always comes to mind first. I guess I haven't seen or sat through any really bad movies in awhile, except maybe The Karate Kid. 1/10