Monday, November 30, 2009

Nature is about balance. All the world comes in pairs. Yin and Yang. Right and Wrong. Men and Women. What's pleasure without pain.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Now Im pretty ashamed to admit it but I actually kinda liked the first Tomb Raider movie. Yes it had its major flaws, a disregard for any consistancies with the game series, and it was mostly just eye candy but it was exciting and fun to watch. When I heard they were making a sequel I was worried. The first movie was okay but not worth making a sequel for. Lo and behold The Cradle Of Life came out and whaddya know...its better than the original. Maybe its because it has a more coherant plot, or maybe its the better action, or maybe its the fact Gerard Butler is in it and really makes the movie GOOD. Either way this one outshines the original by a mile and was quite fun to watch.

The story of Cradle of Life follows Lara Croft (Jolie) as she is hired by MI6 to find Pandora's Box. The key is hidden in the Cradle of Life, a mysterious orb that holds a map. When its stolen by Chen Lo, Lara finds Terry Sheridan (Butler), a mercenary who is great at tracking people. Over the course of the movie and in between countless action scenes they try and hunt down Chen Lo and find Pandora's Box.

The acting and directing is much better in this film. Jolie is still good but Gerard Butler blows Daniel Craig's wooden performance right out of the water. Jan de Bont, renowned Dutch filmmaker whose claim to fame here is Speed 1 and 2 and Twister, directs this film making it feel much tighter and faster paced than the original. The action is good and while the writing is subpar, it gets the job done.

While no award winner it is leaps and bounds better than the original and provides a decent Indiana Jane like film that does SOME (not much but some) justice to the original game series. At least worth a watch in my opinion.


Right, so... Pretty much touch anything, and you get your head chopped off.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Well as we have seen already, video games based on movies suck and movies based on video games suck even more. But sadly we cant just blame it all on Uwe Boll, as much as I would like to. No, plenty of directors have tackled this and pretty much all of them have failed. In fact most "good" movies based on video games are treated like special kids. Its like, oh its good...for a video game movie.

One of the "good" series was that of the Tomb Raider series. If you dont know the story of Tomb Raider its pretty simple. Lara Croft (played by Angelina Jolie in both movies) is an Indiana Jane of sorts, a brilliant professer turned treasure hunter who looks for fictional or thought to be urban legends only to find out that they arent and other hunters are after it. Its the same story in every game and so its no surprise that that is exactly is the plot of this movie.

The one really good thing about this movie (besides Angelina Jolie..and not her acting) is the action. Its something Jolie does well. All of her action movies are jam packed with guns blazing action, excitement, style and big explosions. Tomb Raider is no different.

The acting is honestly pretty laughable. The only two good acting performances are from Jolie and Daniel Craig. Everyone else seems either too melodramatic, over the top or just cheesy beyond belief. Its really too easy to make fun of honestly. But Jolie makes up for it and Craig...well he does good but I dont know...there is only so much suave I can take from Mister Bond. There is only so much of that steely blue eyed anger I can take. But he does good enough.

If you like Angelina Jolie or action movies with a Indiana Jane esque twist than this is probably the movie for you. Honestly though I reccomend the sequel with Gerard Butler.


I have no thought at all about my own reward, I really didn't come here on my own accord. Just don't say I'm damned for all time

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will.

I was a little worried the first time I saw this movie. I grew up in a Christian household and still hold pretty strong Christian values. So when I heard that musical great Andrew Lloyd Webber created a musical on Jesus' last week essentially and more importantly the story of Judas Iscariot I was even more worried. When I heard it was called Jesus Christ Superstar I wrote it off as blashphemous crap. But eventually my inner theatre geek came out and I sat down to watch this rock opera of biblical proportions. After watching the film I realized a few things. One Carl Anderson is probably one of the greatest singers of all time. Two that Judas really WAS never explained all that well in the bible. And three this is one of the best musical films I have ever seen in my life.

The story of Superstar is pretty simple in explanation: Judas Iscariot is worried that he's letting the whole Messiah thing go to his head and that people are too worried about the heaven/messiah thing than actually helping out people and doing miracles like before. Meanwhile Mary Magdeline struggles with the idea that she may be in love with Jesus and doesnt know if he is the Messiah or not. Eventually Judas, after being coaxed a little by the Pharasees who wanted Jesus dead big time, betrays Jesus and Jesus is arrested after going up to the mountains and saying that he is getting pretty tired of all the drama. After he is arrested Pilate doesn't want anything to do with him and really doesn't think he's much harm. So he sends him to Herod who sends him back to Pilate and after the crowd demands it, he crucifies Jesus. Jesus rises from the dead three days later. Its basically the Gospel story but with a bit of a twist.

The music in Superstar is amazing and is only augmented by the people they get to play their respective characters. Carl Anderson as Judas is amazing and powerful. Instead of telling you I will show you.

And here is Ted Neely as the Big Man Himself

and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdaline

The story, the music, the production values, everything is great and this has always been one of my favorite musicals of all time. Is it blasphemous? It all depends on your outlook of this movie. To me it gives a good other perspective that the Bible didnt really adress all that much. In fact I think it helps people get interested in the Bible. I have actually SEEN that happen so I think this a very effective film. Always have been and always will be one of my favorites.


Come. We must return. Those two fools who run my theater will be missing you

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Have you ever walked into a film not knowing who the actors are, or who is directing, or any of that, have not read the reviews, haven't seen a trailer or anything like that, and walk in for the SHEER reason you LOVE the source material? I know I have and that is how I felt with Phantom of the Opera.

Phantom has always been one of my favorite musicals of all time. Mixing opera music with intense ballads and a gripping story of forbidden love, disfigurement and violence. It has been and always will be a HUGE broadway staple and continues to be done all around the world. It remains one of the most recognizable names in broadway and the mask alone has become synomonous with musicals.

So imagine my weird mix of anger and curiosity when they said they were going to make it into a movie. And a movie with trained singers yes but actors by trade. No famous broadway people? Blasphemy! Who the hell is Gerard Butler and Patrick Wilson and Emmy Russem?! How dare they play these parts?! But in 2004, before these actors became almost household names, they were practically unknowns and starring in a musical that had die hard fans like myself.

Well I went in and sat down and watched this movie. After it was over I gave it a standing ovation and bought tickets to the next two shows. Phantom the film still holds the record for the most times I have ever seen a film IN theatres (Shaun of the Dead has the highest total with 51 views and counting).

So you know I think it was a good movie but WHAT was it about? Well the story of Phantom takes place mostly in a flashback of Raul, a noble man who is in love with a theatre backround dancer turned star opera singer Christine. While Christine and Raul DO love each other, Christine has always had this deep crush on the man who taught her how to sing in her dreams, the phantom of the opera house. The angel of music. But when the phantom appears and takes her away, she realizes she must be with Raul and that she cant be with him. Enraged he goes on a personal vendetta against the opera house. All the while we learn the truth BEHIND the mask.

Its a gripping, heart wrenching and passionate story. The music and lyrics are beautiful and powerful and all the actors and singers are great. Andrew Lloyd Webber (the creator) did oversee this film.

Its always going to be one of my favorite films and if you havent you MUST see this movie. I now leave you with a few of the songs from the movie.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

"You ladies ready to play a little Ultimate Frisbee?" "I think so Mr. Testosterone!"

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I really feel my tagline is pretty true today. Old Dogs, the new kids comedy from Disney, has been pretty much panned by every single critic out there almost getting worse reviews than All About Steve and critics have even gone so far as to say to NOT see this movie at any cost. Me, I'm an optimist and honestly I went into this movie with bad expectations. If Roger Ebert, the guy who gave 2012 a good review, says that this movie sucks the big one, you are probably going to have some pretty low expectations. So with my head hanging low I walked into what I thought was going to be a giant dog turd and lo and behold it was not a turd...but a small diamond hidden in a lot of turd.

Old Dogs follows the story of two best friends Dan and Charlie (Robin Williams and John Travolta), a couple of hotshot sports advertisers who do a lot of work with major Hollywood and sports celebrities. They are on the verge of a big sale with a large Japanese company when Robin Williams one night stand Vicki (Kelly Preston) shows up, says she is going to jail for two weeks and needs someone to watch her kids...and their Robin Williams' kids...boy imagine his shock when he learns he has fraternal twins. So Dan and Charlie make an effort to take care of these two kids for two weeks while juggling this big deal that could be their biggest hit.

Old Dogs is a tough one to rate. The laughs are pretty juvinile and they do play the "two dads haha your gay" joke a couple times as well as the "haha they are old so they must be grandparents haha" plenty of times. There are fart jokes, sight gags, pee jokes, pill switch up jokes, they have all been done before and done way better but at the same time it made me laugh. Its PG humor. And honestly for a Disney branded PG movie it got more laughs than I expected. Usually with PG comedies or these recent Disney comedies they are useless pieces of garbage and a waste of good film. But this one actually proved different.

Maybe it was thanks to Travolta and Williams. Williams is extremly dialed down in this but he still provides plenty of laughs. The same goes with Travolta. While I have never been a big fan of Travolta's comedy work, this one along with Wild Hogs proves that he CAN do some good comedy films. This film is rifled with plenty of other stars though. Bernie Mac (RIP), Matt Dillon, Justin Long (in a surprising role), and Seth Green fill out the main cast and each of them provide at least one big laugh out loud moment.

Its no award winner and in the end its a mildly amusing movie. In these days with Role Models, Tropic Thunder, I Love You Man ect. which are filled with dirty raunchy humor it IS kind of nice to see a decently done comedy for kids that parents can laugh at as well. While there ARE plenty better comedies I had a fun time watching it and its at least worth a rent.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Cookies? Who told you you could eat my cookies? Put that cookie down! NOW!!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I have actually had the honor (I guess) of meeting Sinbad. My mom has always been a huge fan of him, his film work and his stand up comedy so I got her an autographed DVD of one of his comedy specials. It wasn't my intention though, I didn't go out LOOKING for Sinbad it just happened. I was walking around the Ft. Lewis PX with my grandma when I saw his booth and it was practically empty (not a popular guy). Looking over to my grandma I said, hey would you mind waiting a second while I meet Sinbad? After getting the DVD I went over to the booth and met him. I wanted to give him crap about being a lousy stand up comedian (I am not a fan) but then I thought of two things. First, he is a very large and muscular black man (when did that happen?) and he could kill me, a fat white kid, with one hit. Second is that he was in one of my favorite Christmas movies and guilty pleasures of all time-Jingle All the Way.
Here is the DVD by the way

Jingle All the Way is the story of Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hard working businessman who really has no time for his wife and kid. After messing up one too many times and missing an important part of Jamie's life (karate upgrade from blue to purple) Howard decides to make it up to him by buying him the toy of his dreams: the Turboman doll. Turboman is a Power Rangers-esque superhero who is adored by kids everywhere so getting the doll proves to be harder than he thought. While going from sold out store to sold out store he meets Myron (Sinbad), a postal worker who too is after the doll.

Its poorly acted for the most part. Sinbad is laughably bad and Schwarzenegger is hillariously bad. The only good performance is from Phil Hartman (RIP) as the divorced neighbor who can't stop hitting on Howard's wife. The humor is horrible and cheesy and full of wah wah moments. The plot makes little sense and is pretty poorly executed, hokey and has a very cheesy ending.

But despite all these complaints its always been a guilty pleasure to me. I watch it every Christmas and despite being horrible, its hillariously bad (so bad its good) and fun to watch. Its a great holiday kids film and I love it. I hate to admit it but I love this movie.


Everybody betrayed me! I fed up with this world!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I really just wanted to let the movie speak for itself. Tommy Wiseau's "masterpiece" The Room (which he wrote, directed, produced, starred and executive produced) has become one of the biggest cult classics around. Its laughable dialouge, its Shatner esque delivery of every line, the subplots that go nowhere and the incessent need to say Hi (enter name) any time someone comes in, the overly long sex scenes, the melodrama...its all horrible but at the same time brilliant. Stay with me now:

Think about it this way-The Room is percieved as a drama by most critics. Wiseau calls it a black comedy. As a drama its one of the worst movies ever made. As a black comedy its a hillarious film that is worth watching over and over again.

If you don't already know, or are one of the many people who have yet to see this, The Room is about a love triangle between three people: Johnny, an interesting as paint drying but kind hearted man, Lisa, Johnny's future wife who is fed up with him, and Mark, Johnny's best friend. There is a lot more to this plot, in fact there are plenty of subplots interspersed throughout this entire movie, but the main plot focuses on this love triangle.

There's not a lot of NICE things to say about this movie. Its poorly acted, poorly written, poorly directed and just not that interesting to watch. But in this horrible movie is a gem. If you go into this movie with the right mindset (or a good drinking game) then its one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. Its so bad its good. I think if you look up that saying in a dictionary that this movie poster would be under it.

Like I said, if you go in with the right mindset than this a great movie. Be forwarned that this is NOT a good movie but a hillariously bad one that is always fun to watch. I reccomend seeing it.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fear not the weapon, but the hand that weilds it

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

This is probably THE most honest movie I have seen since Shoot em Up. Everything you need to know about this movie is listed in the title (I went with the Korean poster because its more badass)! Its about a ninja who is a deadly assassin and kills people. Honestly if you go into this film expecting more than you need to get hit in the face really hard. That is one of the biggest beefs I have with most professional critics is that they go into every film expecting Citizen Kane. Only fellow LAMB reviewers and other assorted critics actually understand that not every film is going to BE Citizen Kane. If you go into it expecting a frantic, quick cutting action film with ninjas killing each other than you get just that. Its not a masterpiece and it still doesn't hold a candle to any Bruce Lee film or even the original Ong-Bak but its still worth the 9.50-11 you would pay for a ticket.

The plot is pretty simple and for the 99 minutes that this film runs it kept me interested. Raizo (played by Korean pop sensation Rain) was kidnapped as a child and raised under the Ozuno clan of ninja warriors. He becomes one of the most deadly assassins in the world and when his friend is killed he flees only to return and vow revenge. That's mostly the plot but there is also a plot involving a Europol agent (Naomie Harris) trying to figure out who is behind a bunch of political killings but for the most part it is Raizo kicking ass and taking names.

The action in this film is great. Its quick, its brutal, its bloody and its stylistic. But then again with director James McTeigue (whose only other film is V for Vendetta), Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers running the film what more do you expect? Sometimes it gets a bit hectic and the screen is mostly red ketchup but its always fun to watch.

The acting...doesn't matter...really it doesn't. They do a good job, all the actors, especially Rain, Harris and Sho Kosugi, the leader of the clan. But when you watch a ninja movie, you arent looking for acting. Honestly overall its the films weakest link but it was good from what I noticed.

It's thrilling, its suspenseful and its brutally violent...and it has ninjas. If you like this kind of movie than you are in for a treat. It may not be a masterpiece but I sure was entertained.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've got a plan...I've got it all figured out!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I had an interesting experience at the theatre with this movie. Oddly enough I wasn't seeing this movie but instead seeing a different movie. The experience happened AFTER I was done with the movie. My friend and I were walking out of the theatre (not the building but the room they show the film in) and walked right by the concessions stand. Right next to the concessions stand was the projector room for the left side of the theatre and the projector storage room where they keep the film rolls. Now I am a huge movie fan but havent really seen a movie when its just in the can. Ive seen and own a few film reels but Ive never seen a NEW FRESHLY CANNED film reel. I was intrigued and so I walked over to the four freshly canned film reels (yay security) and picked one up. I twirled it around to see the title and lo and behold it was Post Grad. Now thanks to a giant frying panned to this film's face I never saw this film. In this economy I cant afford to see every movie...although I DO NOW. But still I was intrigued nevertheless and after a few more minutes of looking at it and contemplating taking it (once again yay security) I used my better judgement, put it down and talked to the manager about leaving their film canisters out in the open.

But that has nothing to do with this film. Honestly I just needed filler for this review. While this is not a disaster of a film, actually a pretty decent film, its not really that deep. Ryder (Alexis Blidel) is a straight A student who graduated with honors in high school and now in college. She has a "plan" that if she did really well in high school and college that she would get her dream job as a book publisher at the biggest book publishing agency in New York (im guessing). Things don't quite work out the way she wanted to with the job and so she moves back in with her parents and tries to figure out where to go from there. That's about how deep the plot goes. Mostly its whining and flirting and trying to get different jobs and ultimately get the dream job. But Alexis Blidel makes it all better and you really don't notice the lack of depth.

The cast is surprisingly good in this movie. Blidel is cute as always. That's something I have always enjoyed about her is her perkiness and overall happiness she always seems to have, even when she isnt happy. She IS a good actress (watch Gilmore Girls) and she really does a good job with this film. The other interesting people in this movie I notice right away is Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett. Keaton, if you remember, was the second Batman (after Adam West) and was Batman for two movies. A lot of people argue too that he is the second best Batman, after West that is. Burnett is a legend and its always a joy to see her and she delivers in this movie. The only other standout was Jane Lynch but since she's been so prominent on Glee she seemed pretty toned down in this movie.

Its a chick flick...nothing more nothing less. The film was written with a niche in mind but its cute if nothing else and you could do a lot worse with 80 minutes.


Ahh here it is "You have just been invaded by aliens" this oughta do the trick

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I love aliens. I love them in any shape, size, color or species. It doesn't matter if they are Alien/ID4 evil creatures or ET, they are just awesome to watch. Maybe its because I have always had an idea that aliens REALLY DO EXSIST. Yeah maybe they don't but you would think in a universe so huge that there would be life of some sort on another planet. And what would they really be like? Would they be the Hollywood ones we know or just micro organisms?Or could they be just like you and I but a little different? Well Dreamworks Animation decided to jump onto that idea but in a little more kid friendly way with their film Planet 51.

Planet 51 (aptly named since Planet 1-50 are trademarked) is the story of an alien planet inhabited by alien people. They walk, talk and act just like us...except during the 50s. The 50s and 60s were huge with alien films and this planet loves their alien movies. While most people buy into the idea that aliens really exsist one alien Lem (Justin Long) doesn't believe in aliens at all. As much as Skiff and Neera try (Seann William Scott and Jessica Biel) Lem wont believe. That is he doesn't believe till an alien space craft lands on his front porch. What comes out you might ask? Why an american astronaut thats what! Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker of NASA (Dwayne Johnson or The Rock) lands on what's supposed to be an uninhabitable planet only to realize its crawling with aliens. But whats surprising is that while he's freaking out, the whole planet is freaking out. Its a definite role reversal film. What if WE were the aliens. Its quite interesting.

Now mind you this IS a kids movie first and foremost. The film does plenty of the usual talking down and simplifying words stuff and it is quite short (By my clock 81 minutes) but I dunno I enjoyed it. I can definetly see why people would get bored with it and why people and critics dont like it but think about it in the mindset of a child. The animation is beautiful and colorful and the humor, albeit juvenile, is sometimes funny. Overall it IS a pretty well done kids movie. The pop culture references are abound and do provide some good laughs and nods to film buffs such as myself.

The cast does pretty well considering. Justin Long is fun to listen to and his dry delivery compliments the over the topness of many of the other characters. Seann William Scott is funny as the best friend and provides a good half of my laughs in the film. Scott has a knack for playing a good buddy. Biel is just kinda there...she has a total of like 15 lines maybe but she does well nevertheless. The three biggest standouts are Gary Oldman as the main antagonist, Dwayne Johnson as Chuck and John Cleese as Professor Kripple. Oldman is a great villain and has proved that in many movies. He plays his character quite well in this movie. Ive never been much of a fan as Johnson as an actor more so than as a wrestler but he actually does well for once in this movie. My favorite though is John Cleese. His parts are brief and placed sporadically but he always provides a good laugh and he is a joy to listen to. His voice is just brilliant.

Its a kids movie...if you like kids movies or got kids than you could do a lot worse. Its mildly entertaining to adults and its short so it doesnt take too much of your time. If you go in just as a teenager or adult thinking it will be a great Oscar film then you are wrong. It was made with kids in mind and I enjoyed it nevertheless.


Also that mix CD... uh that I left on your doorstep was the last one that I'll be making for you. More or less...

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Ahh quirky romcoms. They seem to be popping up like mad ever since Juno came out. Once Juno entered and became a hit, studios seemed to jump on any chance they could to make a quirky romcom. More often than not a lot of them failed or faded into obscurity. But one movie seems to have stuck in our hearts and minds and although not as good as Juno it has that quirky element that we all love. What is this film? Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

NaNIP is the story of Nick and Norah. Nick is in a band called The Jerkoffs, an all gay queercore band (although he is the only straight guy), and has just recently been dumped and cheated on by his girlfriend Tish. Nick is a hopeless romantic, sending custom mixtapes and album covers to Tish hoping that she will take him back. But while he IS heartbroken he does love his buddies and decides that he WILL play at the local club nearby, if nothing more than to play music, his real one true love. Meanwhile Norah is an straight-edgy pop/punk/alt goth/emo/scene chick (a lot of things could describe her) who loves music as much as anybody. It helps since her dad owns a record company. She attends the seemingly all girl catholic school with Tish who ends up giving her all of Nicks mixtapes. Norah's friend Caroline wants to go drinking so they all head to a bar where this band the Jerkoffs are playing. After the Jerkoffs set, Nick goes off in a mopey huff and when Tish arrives at the bar, Norah goes to Nick and pretends to be his girlfriend. From there they hear an announcement that Where's Fluffy, the apparently GOD OF MUSIC (cant explain it otherwise, is playing and noone knows where. What ensues is a quirky romcom plotline involving Nick, Norah, music and searching.

The acting is good enough. I cant stand Michael Cera (Nick) honestly. He IS a good actor but he really seems too one dimensional for my tastes. He always plays the quirky, quiet, quippy guy. But he does well enough and gets punched in the throat so I am happy. Kat Dennings (Norah)does well. She is soooo white and looks so gothy (beet red lipstick and black hair) but she is sweet and quirky and funny so she does well as herself. I will say the big laughs I got from the film came from the Jerkoffs and Caroline. The Jerkoffs were hillarious and werent just gay stereotypes. They werent effeminite or sissies but just party dudes who liked to drink, laugh and have fun. Caroline is drunk for 99% of the movie and so watching a drunk chick stumble around IS pretty funny.

If you liked Juno than you'll like this but if you dont like the quirky/indie kind of romcoms than this probably wont change your mind. But I was entertained for 90 minutes so it did its job.


But if you wanna know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did. In the hall. With the revolver. Okay,Chief, take 'em away. I'm gonna go home and sleep with my wife

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will.

If you love film then you will know what I am talking about: Have you ever watched a movie that isn't really that good at first but when you start watching it over and over it really grows on you and you start quoting it and then eventually you study up on the film and suddenly you realize that it is one of your top 5 favorite movies of all time? Well maybe not that exactly but that's the way it is with me for Clue.

Clue was the first movie to be created based on a board game. And it was pretty hard to do because everyone has played Clue. I mean why do you think they have never done a Monopoly movie or a Candyland movie? But despite the huge reputation it had to live up to and considering the board game didnt really have a story-it was essentially just a whodunit murder mystery-John Landis and Jonathan Lynn created a masterpiece of comedy. That's right a masterpiece. I consider this movie funnier than Blazing Saddles and Airplane! Now before you tar and feather me for blasphemy, Blazing Saddles and Airplane are in my Top 25 of all time but Clue has just always surpassed it in my opinion. There are certain reasons for that too:

First is a man named Tim Curry. If you dont know who Tim Curry is...well you do know who Tim Curry is but you probably couldnt put the name to the voice. Tim Curry has THE MOST recognizable voice I have ever heard. He is the snobby British voice we all know quite well. If youve watched any animated movie with a British guy it was probably either John Cleese or Tim Curry. If you watched Legend its the devil. If you played Brutal Legend (awesome) than he is Deviculous. Anywhere you go you can find Tim Curry and this was his shining moment to me. Not a minute goes by where he isnt just brightening up the scene. His quirks and quips are nonstop and always provide laughs. And I think Clue probably has the greatest last half an hour of film ever....for one reason: Tim Curry. Tim Curry essentially redoes the entire movie by himself in great comical fashion. That and since the movie has three ending that are usually back to back (if you watch the whole movie) than you know that Curry had a lot to work with.

The second reason is the rest of the cast. You got SNL and comedy icon Michael McKean, Madeline Kahn of Blazing Saddles and any Mel Brooks movie fame, you got satirist master Martin Mull, CHRISTOPHER FREAKIN LLOYD

Lesley Ann Warren of TV fame and Eileen Brennan who helped come up with the idea for the film. You mix all of these great actors and comedy legends together along with Tim Curry and you got a fantastic film.

The third and final reason is the writing. Its hard to take a board game that has no plot except someone dies and one player did it, and turn it into comedy gold. John Landis took this thing from the ground up and using his horror backround as well as his comedy backround, mixed great comedy and great tension together. Landis also did something quite brilliant: he mixed in subtle nuances that you dont notice the first time around. There are so many hints, nods to the audience and subtle looks or props that just tell you everything you need to know about the movie. That's telling you something about good writing...a film that MAKES YOU REWATCH IT. Thats what I love. Ive seen Clue countless times and still notice something new.

This is one of those films that you notice in the bargain bin or the Target 5 dollar film isle but Clue holds a close place in my heart as one of the best of all time. It was the first and greatest film based on a boardgame and it seems someone else liked it because in 2011 they are remaking it. Here's hoping it lives up to my standards. I now leave you with this:


Not one, not two, but THREE BRUCE LEE'S!!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Now I don't know about the rest of you my dear readers but Bruce Lee has always been a favorite of mine. He is regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest martial artist of all time. Now a lot of people would argue Chuck Norris is better but as awesome as Chuck Norris is...Bruce Lee did kill him in a one on one fight. So obviously Bruce is the better fighter. Although in retrospect Chuck Norris is still alive and not dead for many years so while Lee has the better fighter thing going for him...Norris is still alive.

Oddly enough however death did not stop Bruce Lee from making movies. Yes like Tupac and his yearly record releases, Heath Ledgers films or the reprints and latest movie releases from Michael Jackson some of the greatest don't let death stop them. Although some of the after death movies are ones the REAL Lee worked on but never finished, most of them use lookalikes to fill in his missing parts...or just use the lookalikes period and call them Bruce Lee. This spawned the era of the Bruceploitation martial arts films. Now being a sucker for martial arts movies I happened to watch most of these Bruceploitation films and even my favorite internet personality Noah Antwiler (Spooney) has reviewed one of favorite one actually. This one goes beyond the realms of possibility and beyond any reasonable explanation but it still came out. The sad thing? It came out overseas as well as over here too. But thanks to some importers, years of looking around in Ross's (supplier of Kung Fu movies and rip off clothes) and just youtubing everything I was able to watch this entire mess from minute one till the end. And let me tell you something: THIS IS PLANET 9 THE ROOM bad. But while I do give it my lowest score possible I do have to say that it is actually pretty fun to watch.

The Clones of Bruce Lee has a very paper thin plot but I might as well explain it. You see Bruce Lee has just died of a heart attack. What's the first thing they do? Clone him using experimental FBI technology thats what. Because while just using this technology would probably benefit the advancement of medicine....lets use it to clone Bruce Lee. Why clone Bruce Lee? To use him for governmental missions.

Yes use them for missions. What are the missions? Stop a gold smuggling movie producer by pretending to be an actor...stretch...stop a crazed doctor who invented deadly Raid....odd...and stop a mad scientist...okay this was throw a dart at random sticky notes and call it a plot.

But for its lack of plot this movie makes up for it with hillarious dialogue (not on purpose) over the top kung fu and topless chicks. Yes topless chicks.

This movie is by no means good but if you like cheesy, campy martial arts movies than this is actually pretty good. Its fun to MST3K and its just fun to watch and honestly there have been worse kung fu movies. But, like the Room and P9FOS, it IS a horrible movie and does deserve the bomb...


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nobody is going home on leave. We have only won the war. The revolution has just begun.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary who was essentially Fidel Castro's number two guy. He helped lead the revolution in Cuba, was a great tactical leader, a poet, doctor, theorist and a man who stood for justice. Whether or not people liked Fidel Castro, everybody loved Che. Even today I see Americans and Latinos alike all wearing Che's picture on their clothes. He stood for justice and he stood for revolution. Guerrillero Heroico, a photograph of Che has been called and voted the greatest photograph of all time. So it would come to noone's surprise that he would be the topic of many pop culture references. Songs have been written about him, books have been written and his picture can be found in countless numbers of movies. He wasnt named in Time's 100 most influential people of the 20th century for nothing. He was loved, feared, hated and he was important.

In 1997 a documentary on Che Guevara was made and Benicio Del Toro, who loved Che and was going to play Che even before the movie was announced, picked up the rights. But after two years of shopping for a director and writer for a new film, a more traditional tale of Che, Del Toro and the producers went hunting for research. They met with people who knew Che through all parts of his life, read all the books on Che, met his widow and even met Fidel Castro himself and talked with him. Finally, after getting all the info they could find, getting Steven Soderbergh to direct, and finding all diary entries and journal entries and postcards ever sent by Che, they started shooting in 2006.

The film was going to be an epic. The story of Che is the story of one of Cuba's biggest heroes. Its the story of a man bigger than life. Its essentially the story of Cuba as a country itself. So instead of just making a two hour movie, they made a 268 minute long movie split into two distinct parts.

The first part is called "The Argentine" and follows Che's early life as a revolutionary, meeting Fidel Castro and staging a massive coup. It shows Fidel and Che winning the Cuban Revolution but, stating the quote above, the war may have been won but the revolution was just getting started. The Argentine is shot in more Hollywoodistic style, very big colors, cranes, stedicams, cut aways, long voice overs and big special effects.

The second part is "Guerrila" is about Che's time in Bolivia and his undercover guerrila warfare he did there when he was trying to help the people. The film is told in days with the last day being the day when he was finally executed. Its split up with title cards and is shot in a much more simple hand held style. Very indie feeling.

The story is massive but is easy to summarize. In 268 minutes they tell the life story of Che beginning with the revolution. Its shot in two distinct ways, both extremly well done and very fun to watch. Like Doctor Zhivago and Lawerence of Arabia, this is a big epic with a lot to say.

The acting is awesome. Benicio Del Toro IS CHE. His acting is so good that I really do believe that that 10 minute standing ovation at the Marxist theatre in Cuba was neccessary. He is brilliant as Che and ecompasses the life of a great man. Whether or not you like Che or have ever even heard of Che, this is an amazing movie that everyone should see. Yeah its over four hours long but if you got the time than this is a must see film.


This is my problem: when I think about trying with you again, I have no idea if it's a moment of strength, or a moment of weakness.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
The film noir genre has evolved since its inception in the early days of film. Gone now is the hard lights, the trench coats, the guy standing on the corner with a cigarette, nowadays you got these Blade Runner esque neo noirs with over the top stories, odd color palletes (The Spirit) or robot/cyborgs. But the regular genre of film noir still somewhat lives on, even if just found in independant thrillers. One such thriller was Steven Soderbergh's fourth movie, an obscure movie that is REALLY hard to find, The Underneath.

The Underneath is based on the novel Criss Cross by Don Tracy and follows the story of Michael Chambers, played by Soderbergh staple actor Peter Gallagher. He is a small time gambler who got a lot of money and when he lost it, jumped town and left his wife and family behind. The movie is the story of his return. The reason? His mom is getting remarried and his ex wife is in town. What unfolds is a suspense thriller full of twists and turns.

I never cared for Gallagher all that much. I didn't like him in Soderbergh's first film "sex,lies and videotape" and I never liked him in the OC. But for some reason he really stood out in this movie. He should since he IS the lead but his performance is definetly a lot better than a lot of his other roles. Alison Elliot plays Rachel the ex wife and she does well, although her part seems a little small for a top billing. The big stand out for me in this film was William Fichtner who played the criminal boss Tommy. He is devious, he is violent and he is a smooth talker. He is a bad ass that no one messes with and I see a lot of his character in his later role that he had on Prison Break. Inspiration maybe? But his villainy is amazing in this movie and extremly fun to watch.

Although its low budget, its a colorful movie (seriously COLORFUL) with good acting and an interesting plot. Not Soderbergh's best but a decent low budget thriller.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

You know how I said you could thank me's later

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

It was a strange event. Warner Herzog's new film Bad Lieutenant wasn't playing at my theatre, the crowd was massive for New Moon with lines going around the theatre with little to no parking whatsoever. Cops were all around in full force and the lines to get into the auditoriums were massive. I had already seen New Moon however so I was game for one of two movies: Precious or this. My friend who I usually see movies with, The Buisness Guru (link on the sidebar), had gotten tickets for this thinking it would be the better movie. So after pushing through the mass hysteria that was the New Moon crowd and finding the one theatre that wasn't playing 2012 or New Moon somewhere shoved in the back corner we walked into this movie, The Blind Side. To my surprise the theatre was packed to the roof. Every seat was taken in the entire auditorium and there was little or no elbow room whatsoever. I thought to myself "Why are so many people seeing this movie, a movie that while decently reviewed, has not recieved the box office acclaim of 2012 and New Moon already?" After walking out of The Blind Side I knew two things: 1. It was packed because it was an amazing heartwarming movie and 2. If I see Precious it better be damn good because it has some stiff competition.

The Blind Side is Sandra Bullock's new movie. And before you stop reading she actually does GREAT in this role. I would even go so far to say its Sandra Bullock's best film. But either way...The Blind Side is based on the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game which tells two stories. One is the story of how Lawerence LT Taylor changed the history of football by making left tackle one of the most important posistions in football. The second is about Michael Oher, the current right or left (depending on player availability) for the Baltimore Ravens. It tells the story of how with the help of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, went from a kid in the ghetto with bad grades and no hope, to a star athlete with good grades and a sports scholorship.

Leigh Anne is played by Sandra Bullock. Leigh Anne is a southern spitfire who doesn't take crap from anyone and is a card carrying member of the NRA. Bullock is quite moving in this movie and balances humor, seriousness and a great delivery in this movie. She is brilliant. Sean Tuohy is played by Tim music sensation Tim McGraw. But you would NOT be able to tell that in this movie. Full head of hair, no facial hair, put on a little weight and without an accent. When I saw who it was that was playing Sean I was blown away. It was a Heath Ledger is the joker REALLY???!!! moment. But he is great in this movie. The definite star in this movie and who I wouldn't be surprised seeing get an Oscar nod is Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher. Quinton's only other role was a supporting role in Be Kind Rewind but otherwise this is his only other movie and definetly his first major starring role. He is so touching, so moving and just wonderful in this movie. You cheer for this man and I felt deeply for him.

I think my only major complaint with this movie is it takes about twenty minutes to really get going. Its a two hour, six minute movie so they CAN do that but it is slow in getting started. They spend a lot of time introducing all the characters in great detail but once all the major character development has set in, the film really starts moving fast and it keeps you engaged, absorbed and drawn in the whole time.

Even if you hate Sandra Bullock or even if you hate sports movies, this one stands alone as the best feel good movie of the year. Its touching, its moving and its brilliant. Expect this one to get some nominations soon.


Friday, November 20, 2009


Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will.

Hello again, here with another Sodenbergh film but luckily its one of his best. Released in 2000 and starring Julia Roberts and Albert Finney, Erin Brokovich is based on the true story of a woman who took some power and with that power took down one of the biggest companies in California and her struggles as a young mother with relationship issues.

Its really a simple life story when you get down to it. There isnt any huge revelations or twists or anything, just the simple story of an extraordinary woman. Julia Roberts plays the title character in this film and she is amazing. She embodies Erin Brokovich to the core. I think even the real Brokovich (who has a cameo IN the movie) was probably surprised at how similar they looked and acted. She is simply brilliant in this film and really deserved the Oscar she won for it.

Erin Brokovich is 130 minutes long but really feels like only about a half an hour. It moves so fast and the story progresses so smoothly that it feels like no time has passed. It feels like you are watching someone's life unfold on screen. Soderbergh does an amazing job in this film and its definetly in his top three films he has ever done.

Its a great movie and probably one of Soderbergh and Roberts best movies they have ever done.


You're like the Morecambe and Wise of the thievery world, but even they went off the boil after a while.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

First there was 11, then 12 and now finally 13. Sure there was never a 1-10 but 1-10 is an ovverated number series for a movie. If you wanna leave an impact, start with 11. Oceans 11 was a modern day remake of an amazing 1960 rat pack movie (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin ect) starring all the major stars, at the time, of 2001. George Clooney played the crafty Danny Ocean with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Eddie Jemison, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin and Carl Reiner as the Oceans 11. Andy Garcia was the big villain and the owner of the casino.

Two movies later they are still going strong with the third and final movie. They even added two more Eddie Izzard and even Andy Garcia, who had alternative motives but thats a different story.

Saul Bloom (Reiner) has just lost a lot of money thanks to hotel/casino extrordinaire Willy Bank (Al Pacino in a great villian role). Saul is left in shock and so its up to Danny, Rusty and Linus (Clooney, Pitt and Damon) along with the other guys to get back at Banks and end his career.

Oceans 13 is a major step in the right direction from the subpar Oceans 12. The characters are livlier, the heist is much more inventive and its just a lot more fun to watch in general. It still doesnt live up to the original's greatness but for what the cast and Soderbergh had to work with I must say it was pretty good.

If there is an Oceans 14 then hopefully the crew can reach the greatness of 11. But if 13 was in fact the finale, then its a great way to end a trilogy of one of the greatest ensemble movies ever made.


If you're gonna ask if you can ask me a question, give me time to respond. Unless you're asking rhetorically, in which case the answer is obvious: yes

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Oceans 11 was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ensemble film of all time. Mixing action, romance, suspense, tension, comedy and robbery it was suave, it was cool and it was great. Danny Oceans 11 was a great group. You had Brad Pitt, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Eddie Jemison and Shaobo Qin all together on one screen pulling off one of the greatest heists of all time.

Oceans 12 picks up shortly afterwards as Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia from the first movie) captures all the 11 and shakes them down for all the money that he lost. When the group can only collectively get about half, Benedict forces them to commit another heist to get it back, this time in Europe. Joining the 11 in their quest is Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts), Danny's wife. Their ultimate goal? Stealing the Coronation Egg. And with Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta Jones) after them this heist is going to be much harder than before.

Its hard for a sequel to live up to the original, I understand that. But when you got all these great actors on one screen you think it would be better. Sadly the movie altogether seems rather forced and straining for humor. The celebrity cameos are odd, unnecessary and provide kind of Robot Chicken/Family Guy esque "WAH WAH" humor. It is a lot more cheese and a little less good.

But Oceans 12 is by no means a horrible movie. Its still enjoyable and Pitt and Clooney are great together on screen. There are plenty of great gags and jokes and its always nice to see Julia Roberts. Its just too bad that they didnt put more effort into 12...if they had it would have been great. As it stands, it is the weakest of the three but still a good movie by my standards.


I'd say you're looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

In 1960 the Rat Pack were the big wigs in Hollywood and in music. They were suave, cool as a cucumber, dressed in nice suits and all had voices that could make a woman melt. They could also act which made them a true force to be reckoned with. One of their movies, also one of my favorites, was called Oceans 11. Oceans 11 was a heist movie where the Rat Pack played a group of robbers who were going to rob a bunch of casinos all in one night. It was funny, it was full of action and it had the biggest celebrities in it.

So it was no surprise that in 2001 Steven Soderbergh, famous for his work with independant films and great work as a cinematographer and editor, decided to remake and revamp the classic film, but with the biggest actors they could find at the time. In the role that Frank Sinatra played of Danny Ocean was suave modern day Frankie George Clooney. Also on board was Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Don Cheadle, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Carl Reiner, Shaobo Qin, and Eddie Jemison as the Oceans 11.

The plan was still the same: rob the three (in the original 5 but oh well) biggest hotels all owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) and get a huge chunk of cash. To do so they will need to do as many cons at one time as they can...all which were given codes (you can see it in the quote). Its a simple idea and story but its all in the execution.

The movie is pure fun. The jokes are quick, fresh and funny. The action is fun to watch and seeing all those great actors on screen all at once is something.

Oceans 11 is an American Classic. The 2001 Oceans 11 is also an American classic. It is, in my opinion, the greatest celebrity ensemble movie of all time. This is a definite must see and a definite must own.


You're my best friend...I just need to get a picture of you

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will.

In my seemingly unending quest to see every movie directed by Steve Soderbergh, I had to come across his more out there indie films which have been nicknamed "Soderbergh experiences." Usually running between 70 and 90 minutes these films are short, sweet and to the point, usually only featuring three or four prominent actors. They are extremly low budget but shot with an HD camera (note one camera). The first of his experience films was one simply known as Bubble. Don't ask why because its never explained. Unlike some of the other "experience" films (Girlfriend experience) its not really explained. But luckily the creepy poster is.

Bubble is about a woman named Martha who lives in a small Ohio town and works at a local doll factory. Martha takes care of her sick, elderly father with whom she lives with. She has one friend, Kyle, who is much younger and lives with his mother. Kyle works on head design for the dolls and Martha works on airbrushing and design. One day a new girl Rose comes in to work at the factory but two days later is murdered in her house.

That's really the extent of the non spoiling plotline. Its only 73 minutes long and the climax doesnt happen till the 43rd minute but still it has a pretty good build up. Maybe it comes from having no script. Yes thats right, no script. The entire movie was cast with random people (Martha works at a local KFC in the area), no script (just an plot outline), used one muscian (a local artist named Robert Pollard...who does a good job) and was directed, shot and edited by Steven Soderbergh. It has a very low budget feeling and almost feels borderline documentary. But the true talent lies with the actors abilities to craft a good story with no real direction. It has a bit of a dull tinge to it and you do wait a bit for anything to ACTUALLY happen but the last half an hour or so are extremly interesting and make this movie definetly worth watching.

Yeah it has no great big actors or a truly engaging plot, but Soderbergh does a great job and along with the great music and acting from mostly first timers, its definetly a film worth checking out.


Sometimes clients think they want the real you, but at the end of the day, they say they don't.

Hi I'm the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Steven Soderbergh has had quite the career. He has had mainstream success with the Oceans series, eyebrow raising films like sex, lies and videotapes and Bubble and his big hit Traffic but his latest film after the abysmal (in my opinion) The Informant is a small independant drama called The Girlfriend Experience starring pornographic actress Sasha Grey. Its shot in a documentary-esque style and runs at about 77 minutes, which is odd considering Soderbergh's movies tend to be longer. But it DOES really work for this film.

In my general opinion people who do porn tend to not do so well when they turn to regular film. Yes they are good looking but they lack any emotional depth or any talent besides looking good. I have hope for Sasha Grey. Maybe I AM just blinded by looks but her performance as Chelsea is extremly surprising. She never relies on her looks to support her performance rather than her performance support her looks. She is well spoken in this film, never "ummming" or "like-ing" but rather delivering an honest performance that has serious depth. Hopefully more people will take notice of Ms. Grey and put her in more roles. She has potential.

The Girlfriend Experience is about Christine/Chelsea (Grey), an escort who deliver's the "Girlfriend Experience" (google it kids) to different clients of different ages. She does have sex with her clients but for the most part she spends time with them, talks about current issues like the economy or the upcoming elections or the stock market, goes to movies and has dinner. The movie also follows Chris (Chris Santos), Christine's boyfriend, a personal trainer who is asked to go to Vegas for the weekend. In Chris's segments it bounces back and forth between the present and the plane ride to Vegas where they talk about current issues and the major plot points of the movie.

The movie, in its 77 minute time frame, bounces back and forth between the two of them really well delivering a well told story that is really fun to watch. Its a subtle film if nothing else. Not a lot actually happens but in that nothing there is a lot of character development and well told dialogue.

Don't turn away from this one because of its controversial nature. Its well told, well made, has great writing and Sasha Grey really shines in her first MAJOR motion picture. Definetly worth a look.

There are four kinds of alien encounters. The fourth kind is abduction

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will.

Did you like Paranormal Activity? Blair Witch Project? Cloverfield? If you answered no then quit reading this review right now.

If you are still here, The Fourth Kind is a strange mix of all three of the aformentioned movies but with sci fi alien elements. Based on "actual case studies," the movie follows Abby Taylor, a psychologist who is doing studies on people suffering from insomnia. The one thing that strikes her as interesting is that when she puts her patients to sleep and asks them what they see, they all have visions of the same owl (i put a picture here of the owl sighting)
But once they actually get deeper into the story of what they see/saw, most or all of the people flip out. Long story short, if you've seen the previews then all of the spoilers for this movie have already been given. They spend a good hour talking and explaining their stories and what the owl could mean before they get to the big reveal: that they are aliens! It says they are aliens IN the trailer, ON the poster, everywhere. That owl is nothing more than a close up of an alien face. So the big spoiler/money shot moment for this film has been given to you. So for the most part I kind of felt cheated. They spend all this time talking and Im sitting going, "When are the aliens coming?" And then when they pull the whole "OMG THEY ARE ALIENS!!" everyone in the audience is like:

The worst part is the aliens are total jerks and they never explain why! Explanation would definetly be neccessary but the director and writer must have figured that the big ALIENS!!! reveal would have been enough....someone doesn't watch trailers.

The story (albeit pointless and completly spoiled already), is told in two different ways: the first way is using "real live footage" and "real tape recordings" of the occurances, and the other using actors for reenactments of these events, with special effects and everything. The real life one feels like an okay Blair Witch Project/Paranormal Activity with aliens ripoff. The people ARE actors and none of it is actually real but they play it off like it is. However the real life footage is WAAY better than the overpriced reenactment version featuring Mila Jovovich and Will Patton. Its as cheesy or even cheesier than the real life and sometimes to prove that point (unintentionally) they will play the two side by side.

Now I would have appreciated it if it would have just been one or the other. The real life footage only would have been kind of a cool Paranormal Activity esque sci fi film. Not good but not an abomination. Or if they would have gone all Hollywood it could have had the possibility of being a cult classic or so bad its good but put them together and you got a mashed up piece of crap film.

Don't see this movie. If anything see Paranormal Activity again. Except this time think that the demon is an alien. It will still be better than this...


I love you. You're my only reason to stay alive... if that's what I am

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

The Twilight series is the fastest rising phenomenon I have ever seen. Every girl between the ages of 10 and death have read this book series with it showing in how well the books seem to be selling. While most its mostly written with the female in mind, guys (including myself) have read the series, sometimes numerous times. I cant say Im a fan of the book series but I know the canon and I know the characters and so Im not in the dark like most people who dislike Twilight are. Its nothing against the story itself, its actually kind of sweet; but the constant emo moping and dreading along with the estrogen levels at ludicrous levels and the bad editing (not Meyers fault), I just havent been able to truly LOVE this book series like other people have.

Needless to say like all the big book series with a devout cult following (especially here in WA) it HAD to be made into a movie. And I'll write a seperate review for it but the original Twilight was BAAADD. Whether it was the low budget, the crappy director, the horrible special effects, or Edward's glitter, it was a low budget snore fest even for me, a reader of the books. But I will say Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner (for what he had) did a good job in the movie and although looking like a crazed stalker with steel wool for hair, Robert Patterson wasn't bad either. I would definetly have to say if they had a bigger budget and more time it could have been good but as it stands it isnt.

Now we have the next highly anticipated chapter in the Twilight saga "New Moon." New Moon is NOT a good movie. Its borderline so bad its good/funny. I really tried to like it, considering it changed most of what I hated about the first one, but this one just did NOT click for me.

If you dont know the story....actually screw it...Im not going to tell the story because if you are seeing this movie you already know the story or dont care cause you are trying to appeal to your sister/girlfriend/wife/cousin and get in her good graces by taking her to see it. But basically if you didnt already know.

Bella wants to be a vampire
Edward no like
Edward leave
Bella sad
Bella get close to Jacob
Jacob werewolf (GASP!)
stuff ensues...

Trust me there is a lot of filler and "stuff" in this movie. Its two hours and ten minutes long, eight minutes longer than the original and while I appreciate them putting a lot of effort into crafting a story, its roll your eyes bad, sometimes laughable and just not enjoyable.

I will say its one redeeming value is that its done MUCH better than the original. The effects are good, Edward isnt as glittery, the action is cool and overall it feels like a much better done movie and way better directed movie.

Saying that however, New Moon is NOT a good movie. But honestly if you are a fan you dont care what I think. Heck you have probably seen it four, five times already. But I guess since my opinion does kind of count I might as well give it.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Do you know "All People That on Earth Do Dwell?"

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I dont know a lot about (or aboot) Canada really but one thing I do know is that if you go to college or high school in Canada, chances are you were forced to read this book for your english class. Most people I know who've read it says its dreary, sad and boring. Personally I think its a bit too feministic for my taste but it is still a good book nevertheless. So as per usual with good books "The Stone Angel" was turned into a movie featuring mostly (with the exception of like two or three actors) Canadian actors, written and directed by Canadians and shot IN Canada. So what came aboot this picture? Well apparently it was a big award winner and everybody loved Canada. Over here people really didn't care and most of the people who did see it were in nursing homes. But thanks to Showtime and a weird desire to see every Ellen Page movie I sat down and watched this two hour dramatic Canadian masterpiece.

The Stone Angel is essentially the story of the life of Hagar Shipley (played by Academy award winner Ellen Burstyn and Christine Horne in her first role ever). In modern times she is 90 years old, living with her son and daughter in law (Dylan Baker and Sheila McCarthy) and being forced into a retirement home. Not content with going to a retirement home Hagar ventures off to find lost memories. During all of this we the viewer get to see what her life was like growing up. We see her get married to Bram (Cole Hauser), have two children (Dylan Baker is one of them but is rarely seen. The other is Kevin Zegers, of Air Bud fame). The youngest one John grows up with Hagar and meets Arlene (Ellen Page). Through these flashbacks we see the long and full life of Hagar Shipley.

The story itself is rather moving. It almost felt like The Notebook in a lot of ways. The person that DEFINETLY steals the show is Ellen Burstyn as older Hagar. She is SO good playing a fiesty, smart mouthed and grouchy old Scottish broad. She is a pain but you can see her gentle soul and how good of a person she really is. She steals the show and shows exactly why she earned an Oscar. Christine Horne as young Hagar is quite interesting as well. For someone with such little acting experience she looks like she has been doing it for years. All around the acting is quite good, even from Ellen Page, whose only in the movie for like 15 minutes.

Its a really moving picture and I definetly didnt have a dry eye after it was over. Its emotional without being over the top and hokey. Its a wonderful story of an interesting women and its one that I'd reccomend to anyone who wants to see a great movie. And if you go to Canada most people will agree that it is one of the best films ever. Or at least thats the consensus Ive got.


Here's a rather long record. I hope I'm here at the end of it.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Richard Curtis has made some of the most charming British romantic comedies of our time. He has a knack for making great and memorable movies that I still get a kick out of now and again. Well in early 2009 Curtis released his latest hit, a somewhat historically accurate retelling of Radio Rock, a music station that broadcasted out in sea all over Europe that was loved by fans and hated by the government. The government even went so far as to call them Pirate Radio stations. The original British film was almost 3 hours long but was cut down to 133 minutes for the sake of most audience members. When word came that this film was a success, despite a few flaws, North America wanted to get a hold of it but wanted to change its title to something shorter and they renamed it Pirate Radio and cut it down even further to less than two hours, making it even easier on American audiences. Well I saw the original theatrical British version, 133 minutes and all, and am basing my review off that. Its essentially the same film but with a few added parts and a different name.

On an interesting side note though, when I tried ordering tickets for this on Fandango, the person on the other side said the movie was STILL called The Boat That Rocked. Oh and also if you want to hear Radio Rock, now renamed Radio Caroline, go to your itunes, open radio, go to rock/alternative and go to Radio Caroline. That's the radio station this film is based off of.

The Boat That Rocked (Im calling it that so STFU) takes place in Britain during the 60s. During this time pop/rock music was extremly limited on the radio airwaves so a bunch of renegade DJs came together to create pirate radio stations. The most popular of these was Radio Rock headed by The Count played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His crew consists of a bunch of DJs, all played by great comedic actors (including Nick Frost). Their boss, played by Bill Nighy, makes sure that everything runs smoothly.

Thats all I really CAN tell you. I could describe everything a lot more in detail but the film actually does a lot of describing FOR you. Also there are a lot of great moments I don't want to spoil and above everything this is just a blast to watch.

First off the soundtrack is awesome. Any fan of 60s rock will be pleased with the selection of tunes used in the film, I know I was. On top of that the film is extremly funny and well acted. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a talent. A brilliant character actor who can be really serious and really funny with the blink of an eye. He engulfs the character of the Count and really brings a spark to the movie. Nick Frost is definetly another standout for me. I love Nick Frost in anything he does whether Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz or whatever but he really shines with comedic gold in this movie. In fact everyone does. EVERY PERSON IN THIS MOVIE HAS AT LEAST ONE LAUGH OUT LOUD MOMENT. Thats the brilliant thing about this movie. Well acted and really funny. A great combo.

I guess my only real complaint is length but thats minor since the film is very fast paced and I was never bored during the film.

If you like fast paced comedy, great performances from great actors, Britsh comedies or you just love classic rock than The Boat that Rocked (Pirate Radio) is definetly one of the best films you will see all year. In ROCKS!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

When they tell you not to panic... that's when you run!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

...I'm conflicted. This is a bad movie. Its 158 minutes of subpar acting with a downer of a story. And Im sorry but 158 minutes is WAY too long for a movie about this kind of subject. That and I should have seen it coming since its Roland Emmerich. I hate Roland Emmerich. Besides the Patriot which is a phenominal movie, all of his other movies, mostly focusing on disaster of some sort, are just a pain to watch. Badly acted and with a horrible plot they rely on their special effects. And he blows up monuments. Whether its the white house:

The Chrysler Building:

or just leveling new york:

Roland Emmerich LOVES blowing up or destroying things. And while all of his movies feature great state of the art special effects, the movies themselves blow.

2012 is about the 2012 phenomenon which says the world will end December 21st or 23rd, 2012. Apparently that means the Earth will just be leveled and totally destroyed. And Roland Emmerich describes in 2 and a half hours exactly what that looks like. Oh and there is a story about a family saving themselves and John Cusack is the dad and Danny Glover is president.

But you don't (or shouldn't) care about the plot. If you go see 2012 you should be seeing it because you want to see stuff blown up and destroyed. Well thats exactly what you get as every single monument in the world including the Vatican get leveled. And it looks awesome! The special effects are mind blowing and seeing everything get destroyed is awesome. But you have probably seen a lot of it in the previews alone so you KNOW that its awesome the amount of destruction.

Thats where my conflict comes in. The plot is nonexsistant and poorly acted, its waaayyy too long, the entire story (or lack thereof) is a total downer and makes me actually worry about 2012 and its nothing but a special effects showcase. But at the same time those said special effects are mind blowingly awesome and the level of destruction is amazing to watch. And honestly you are probably only seeing this movie for the action and destruction.

So in a weird way...


But I actually reccomend seeing it at the same time. By my definition its an AVOID IT but this is one horrible movie I actually think you should at least rent so you can see the awesome special effects. Oh well...I hate being conflicted.

A story about love that's taking on a life of its own.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

A lot of people spend their lives asking what love is and rarely do they ever get an answer. That's because love, true love, is hard to explain it just happens. Well one comedianne decided she wanted to figure out what love really is and that is the basis of Paper Heart.

Paper Heart is the story of a young comedianne/musician named Charlyne Yi. Yi is a pretty popular stand up comedian and pals around with comedians such as Dimitri Martin and Seth Rogen. She has a pretty succesful career despite not making that much money but one thing has always eluded her: love. She says in the beginning she thought she was in love once but that that guy turned out to be on drugs. Since then she hasnt had a boyfriend and has really given up on the idea that love really exsists. So with Nick Jasenovic, film/documentary director and one of Charlyne's best friends, she goes out to find what love really is. Shortly after filming begins she meets Michael Cera, who falls for Charlyne pretty quickly.

Its then the film turns into a bit of a romantic docucomedy. Thats one thing I think I couldnt figure out about this movie. Is it a documentary or is it a mockumentary? The acting seems really unscripted and raw but at the same time it has a lot of comedic mockumentary Best in Show kind of moments. The line is almost a little too blurred for my tastes.

The only other glaring issue to me is the two protagonists. Charlyne is infectious and pretty funny at times but for the most part she comes off as a bit high strung and dull at times. She means well and there are some really sweet moments but some times she isnt interesting to watch. The same goes for Cera. Cera is a good actor I think but in a more natural enviroment he tends to not shine as much. He kind of sucks at playing himself, which is quite odd.

Despite that though, Paper Heart is a really sweet docucomedy that leaves you feeling kind of warm inside. While not that interesting and lacking some serious punch, it leaves you satisfied in the end and is at least worth a rent.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to phase two...

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

As a fan of Clockwork Orange I was always interested specifically in the behavioral modification scene (aka the Serum CRM-114 scene) and where that idea could have came from. Most people rumor that it was directly linked to Project MK-ULTRA (Which i just call McUltra), a secret CIA program that worked as a sort of mind control program. Well due to civillian casualties the program was shut down. But what does this have to do with a Nick Cannon thriller that sounds like an alternate title to Saw? Everything actually.

I jokingly watched this movie after reading that it was a mix between Cube (awesome movie) and the original Saw (even awesomer) so I was intrigued. When I started it, it started to describe project McUltra and its history. While Im wondering why they are doing this we are introduced to Ms. Reilly (Chloe Sevigny), a behavioral analyzer and Dr. Phillips (Peter Stormare) a Russian-American-Transylvanian-Southern accented Doctor who is behind the reintroduction of the McUltra program. My joke with his accent is that it changes every scene apparently. But what does this have to do with a killing room? Well 3 dudes and a chick are put into a room, given a questionaire and after one is shot in the head, the remaining three are left to fend for themselves, until one is left. That's essentially all I can reveal but it IS a mix between Saw and Cube, except with more political and psychological undertones in my opinion.

Killing Room is a decent psych thriller. The actors do a good job and Nick Cannon especially does a really good job. My only issue would probably be that its a bit too long and maybe a bit too slow at times. There arent any real glaring flaws to me, but at the same time it just kind of feels middle of the road. Not bad but not great, just decent.

If you like psych thrillers or are interested in McUltra or political undertones in your thrillers than this is a pretty good movie to see. Otherwise its a decent enough movie that kept me interested and was a good timekiller if nothing else.


I think my new heart will love you as much as my old one

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Don't read other reviews for this movie, especially if they describe the story in detail. Don't wikipedia the plot beforehand. Don't look at the other ominous poster that gives away one of the major plot twists IN the tagline. If you can do that then 2007's under the radar and critically panned (except by Ebert of course) Awake starring Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen will be one of the best thrillers you have ever seen.

More often than not I find myself deviating from my lists of movies I need to review and just sitting down and watching a random movie on demand. One of the first movies that popped up was this one. Its a story about a wealthy billionaire Clay (Christensen) who has a great life, a great fiancee Sam (Alba), a great friend Jack (Terrence Howard) and an overprotective mom that dearly loves him (Lena Olin). He only has one problem though: a faulty heart and he needs a transplant. That shouldn't be a problem though since his buddy is a doctor right? Well THAT is not the problem. The problem? He can feel and hear everything that is going on during the surgery, something known as Anesthesia awareness.

Ya know one of my favorite books by Stephen King is his short story collection "Everything's Eventual. In "Everything's Eventual" the first story is called Autopsy Room 4. In Autopsy Room 4, a man is bitten by a snake that completly paralyzes him and halts his breathing and pulse giving him the appearance of being dead. No matter what he tries he can't wake up but he can feel everything that is going on. Its been done in a lot of other books and movies and Awake is a lot like this story. The difference? Its shorter, overall better written and contains SLAP YOU IN THE FACE twists that leave you going WTF!!??

And thats the great thing about this movie. It is SO engaging and it absorbs you completly that you will be talking to the characters throughout the whole movie. Hayden Christensen, who I usually don't like, brings a great energy to this movie and he plays his role perfectly. The same goes for Olin and Howard but the standout role is definetly Alba. Honestly to me this is her best performance ever. She is easy to love, she delivers her lines perfectly and you REALLY care about her character. Its great, to me, when a film has such great writing and is backed up by great performances.

Well as usual this is a case of critics getting it wrong to me. Most of them wouldnt even give this film a chance and wrote it off without actually thinking about it. But most of those critics wikied the plot probably and were watching it from a distance instead of letting the film draw you in. If you can do that then this is a great movie that really defines psychological thriller.


Excuse me? Am I being flirted with by a psychotic rat?

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Ronald Dahl is one of my favorite writers of all time. Growing up reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach I learned quickly that Dahl had a wonderful creative style that begged to be made into film. And Im not the only one who thinks that since all of these have been made or remade into movies. And for the most part (cough Charlie cough) of all them are phenominal kids movies that both kids AND adults can all enjoy. For some reason though I had never read or heard of Fantastic Mr. Fox before the movie and after reading the book I regret that. The book is wildly creative and really well done. So when I heard that George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe were all gonna star in it I was eccstatic!! Then I saw the director and all of that was dashed...

I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this but I have not liked a SINGLE Wes Anderson movie. For some reason they are either too artsy or too out there for me to truly enjoy. Granted The Darjeeling Limited (and its companion prequel Hotel Chevalier) was okay but I have not been able to enjoy any of his movies. Then I saw the animation and I was put off even more. Here see for yourself:

Though funny and well written the stop motion animation just seemed TOO weird for me. But then I sat down and watched the movie...

...WOW it was actually pretty damn good. The basic story of this movie is about a Fox (Clooney) and his wife (Streep) who have a pretty good life. One day however their neighbors Boggis, Bunce and Bean, three of the meanest buisnessmen in the world, started digging up their home. Not content with letting that stand Fox plans his revenge.

Fox has great writing. Dahl's influence is all over this film but at the same time there is an originality and true comedic wit to this movie. Although for children, there are plenty of laughs to be had and its just a fun movie to watch. Clooney is great playing the strong but sarcastic Fox and Streep can do no wrong. Although the writing is great, it definetly has to be the actors performances that really sell this film.

My only complaints are the deviations from the original story kind of change the meaning (pulling a Watchmen) and that's a bit disheartening to fans of the book. Also the animation is pretty funky. Its great and original but it will definetly turn some people off. But if you like stop motion animation then its fine. It actually does a good job improving on that technology. One other complaint I may have is there are a few parts that are really slow. I mean molasses slow. And its a kids movie too so it seems odd to have slow parts when kids have trouble sitting still for an hour and a half. But they ARE good scenes nevertheless but still they kinda slam the brakes on the momentum the film breaks.

Though not an award winner or the greatest animated movie of all time Fantastic Mr. Fox IS a good film. Its funny, adults can enjoy it, the actings great and its a feel good movie. Though the animation is weird and there are some molasses slow moments, I definetly reccomend seeing this one.