Monday, December 28, 2009

Carl Fredrickson, explorer. When I get big, I'm going where he's going,

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

Pixar has a knack for making really good films. Ever since their start they have churned out good movie after good movie. And the interesting thing is that they keep getting better. Granted Cars was not THAT good but it was tolerable and entertaining to a lot of people. But greats like Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, Wall-E and the Toy Story series have made Pixar the dominant animated studio out there and they are certainly hard to beat. Their latest movie Up however really showed me just how good animation can be not only in storytelling but in creating a vivid image that truly makes you feel like a child again, wide eyed and happy. That and it has probably the BEST opening scene ever. If anything else, that opening scene should show you how Pixar doesn't even have to use words to make you laugh and cry all within a five minute period.

The story of Up is that of Carl Fredrickson. Carl is a grumpy 80 year old who lives in a small house surrounded by big cities. He and his wife Ellie had dreamed of adventure but after she *small spoiler* passes away he decides to curl up in his house and do nothing. When Russell, a small Boy scoutish kid working for the Wilderness Explorers visits he gets blown off by Carl. Carl then, before he can be taken to the retirement home, fills his home with balloons and turns his house into a makeshift aircraft, with Russell hanging on for dear life. Together they must venture forth to South America where Carl has wanted to go his whole life.

It's a wonderfully written story that really builds on that buddy story idea. Its not your usual fare, an 80 year old and a small child, but they have great chemistry and work well together. All the acting is top notch with Ed Asner doing a phenomenal job with Carl. The characters are memorable, the set pieces are vivid and everything about this movie is a joy to watch.

Pixar has yet to disappoint (truly that is) and Up is the latest in a long line of great memorable films. Up will be in the hearts and minds of children and adults for years to come.


Madame, I need you to remain calm and trust me, I'm a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release.

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

I should hate this movie, I really should. I am a self-proclaimed Sherlock Holmes nut. I have read every SINGLE story about the man and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has always been one of my favorite authors. Any movie or tv show or even shows that mimic Holmes attention to detail (The Mentalist, Case Closed, Psych) I love. So when I heard that Guy Ritchie, one of my favorite directors was making an action/mystery re-imagining of Holmes with Robert Downey Jr I was...happy. Yes, happy. While a lot of people have complained about its disregard for the original source material, I rejoiced. What a lot of people don't realize is that Holmes is a trained fighter. He knows martial arts, boxing and has been trained by Watson and others on pressure points and weak spots. He is even a trained fencer. But people don't like to think about that Holmes...all except Guy Ritchie. And he's all the better for that.

The story of Sherlock Holmes is hard to explain. If you know who he is than its a pretty simple plot: Holmes and Watson have just finished a case involving Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), a man who was known for dabbling in the dark arts. Shortly after he is hanged however he apparently rises from the grave and starts killing more people. While this is happening Holmes must deal with Irene Adler, (Rachel McAdams) a former flame-ish (hard to explain), the one who literaly got away...twice. Adler has hired Holmes to find a man and in usual Holmes style it all ties together.

If you DON'T know who Sherlock Holmes is (you poor depraved person) he is a world class detective. He is strange, uses drugs, lives an almost Bohemian style of life, hard to get along with, smarmy, sarcastic, cynical, overly observant, a master fencer, fighter, and pistol user. He is highly knowledgeable in sensational literature, anatomy, chemistry and botany and has knowledge in most everything that is necessary to be a good detective. His seemingly only friend is Dr. John Watson, a war veteran and trained physician. They live together and solve crimes together.

This movie is great. Even for a devout Holmes lover like myself I find myself loving every minute. The back and forth between Holmes and Watson is great and their chemistry is wonderful. Downey does great as Holmes encompassing all of the great things that make Holmes Holmes and also putting a fresh and modern twist on him. Jude Law gives (in my opinion) his best performance ever as Watson and is highly enjoyable to watch. McAdams does well but is mostly there just to be pretty and Mark Strong does well as Blackwood, providing a decent, albeit brief villainous role.

Even if you don't like Sherlock Holmes or if you love Holmes you will find something to love in this film. Its visually stunning, funny, a thrill to sit through and I have already seen it twice in theaters and it still holds up even after you know the mystery.

So the solution to this mystery is elementary dear Watson: see this movie.


The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over

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

Once in a while a film will come out that really makes you think. Not in the deep, philosophical way but in a more self-reflective sort of way. A film that asks the question "Who am I and what am I doing with my life?" Maybe for some people they find it in war dramas or films that talk about overcoming adversity but for me that film is Up in the Air.

Up in the Air is the newest film from director Jason Reitman, the man behind some of my favorite films like Juno and Thank You For Smoking. His tongue in cheek satire mixed with great cinematography and perfect pacing makes his films a joy to watch. His newest movie however is based on the critically acclaimed book by Walter Kirn. In it, Ryan Bingham, a career transition counselor who also works as a motivational speaker. He is cynical and uncaring about most things but he loves his job and especially loves one thing: the airport; which acts like a second home for him. It doesn't matter which airport, he knows the story, knows how to get through everything in record time and its all so he can reach one goal: 10 million frequent flyer miles. He already has (assumably in the movie) well over 9 million and its his lifelong dream to become a member of a club so elite that only 5 other (i think) people have ever gotten in. He reaches a hitch in his plan however when a new girl Natalie (Anna Kendrick) comes in and wants to make the digital switch, thereby pulling Ryan off the road. Ryan makes an effort to show his boss (Jason Bateman) that she isn't ready to make decisions if she can't fire people well so Bateman decides to send the two off together on the road. Meanwhile and through all of this he maintains a casual relationship with Alex, another frequent flyer.

Up in the Air is one of those movies that does a lot by doing a little. Its not a flashy movie by any means and it won't win any special effects awards but it is brilliant in its controlled chaos. Natalie is new and struggling with people's reactions to getting fired, Ryan's home life and family life is all but gone and he worries that his job may be on the line if they DO switch. But they never really outright say most of these things. The movie is very laid back. It tells you a story without shoving a story in your face. And in that it is brilliant.

George Clooney as Ryan is amazing. Clonney is one of those actors that has gotten better with age and it shows. His performance in this one is top notch and probably the best of his career. His wit, sarcasm, charm, charisma, mannerisms, and his delivery are all brilliant. Honestly he deserves any and all awards he gets. The same goes for Kendrick and Vera Farmiga (Alex). Both of these ladies give great performances and I really look forward to seeing how they do this awards season. They both are awesome but I will say Anna Kendrick was amazing. She is so young in yet she is SUCH a good actress in this film.

Up in the Air is a subtle, brilliantly acted film and one of the best of the year. You owe it to yourself to give this one a look. You'll laugh, you'll (maybe) cry, but most of all you will feel good. This movie made me feel good.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Hi, I'm Theodore. Hi, I'm Theodore. Hi, I'm Theodore" "Yes he is Theodore. I think they get it."

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

I was bored today and since I've been on a movie watching binge lately I decided to see another one..preferably one that came out today. Well I was geared up and ready to go see Up in The Air which will probably be one of the best movies of the year. Well I accidentally fell back to sleep and woke up an hour after Up in The Air had started. So I went to the theater and saw the first thing playing. I shuddered a little because the first thing playing was Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. I should have walked out of the theater then and there: seriously say the title out loud with a straight face. But in retrospect I am kinda glad I didn't.

The theater was packed to the brim with 3-10 year old's and so I really felt like the odd man out. I'm no stranger to the fact I was a huge fan growing up. I watched the cartoon religiously and saw every single mini movie as well. So when I heard they were making a live action film I was intrigued. Well I will review it eventually but the first one was garbage. I probably would have rather stuck a fork in my eye repeatedly while listening to Barney than watch it again. So needless to say I didn't have high hopes for this one. In fact I actually stood in front of the cinema for about ten minutes before going in. But eventually I did and the movie started.

The film begins with a concert where Alvin and the Chipmunks are playing Van Halen's You Really Got Me. After that extended music scene (granted it was pretty cool) the film actually begins when Dave gets injured during said concert and breaks what appears to be every bone in his body. So Dave decides the boys need a break and sends them to school. In Dave's place he gets Toby, his nephew (played by Chuck's Zachary Levi) to take care of them. He is a slacker gamer who does nothing except eat, sleep and play games. Toby takes the boys to school where they are instantly popular and hated by the jocks. When they are sent to the principals office the principal (Just Shoot Me's Wendie Malick) says that they won't be suspended if they perform in a charity event that will earn their dying music department enough money to survive.

Meanwhile Ian Hawke (David Cross) is in the gutter after losing his gig with the Chipmunks and decides to take revenge in the form of singing FEMALE chipmunks called the Chipettes.

Really that's about it plotwise but its actually a pretty well developed, albeit stereotypical, plot. The acting from the humans is TEN TIMES better than the first with most of them actually trying. Malick and Levi give great and actually believable performances while Cross remains silly as ever.

Essentially its a kids movie. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are over the age of ten you will probably hate this movie. Even if you grew up with the chipmunks you probably will hate it. Me? Honestly I have seen plenty worse and they actually tried this time around. I kinda liked it actually. Not a great or groundbreaking movie by any means but if you got young kids then this will provide some decent entertainment.


Monday, December 21, 2009

There are no innocent people in this world Sever, you know that. Only killers and victims.

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

As a movie lover and someone who claims that "if no one else will see it, I will," I see my good share of really bad movies. I think that's why it was so hard for me to think of the worst movie that I have ever seen. I mean there are plenty of horrible B-Movies that I could have chosen from like Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room but those, like Dylan said, are way too easy choices. Everyone knows how bad those two movies are and in fact they are so bad that I actually like them. I could have also chosen from any of the other B Movies that I have watched but most of them have already gotten the MST3K treatment and I think that's enough for them. I was half tempted to put Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin but...I actually kind of like it. Even though Arnold is a horrible Mr. Freeze, the Bat Nipples are distracting and there is even a BAT CREDIT CARD (AHH!! Sorry bad flashbacks), it kinda grew on me as an Adam West-esque cheesiness.

But there is ONE movie I can never forgive. One movie that makes me cringe just saying the name. Hopefully nobody has sat through this horrific mess but it must be said-Ballistic:Ecks vs Sever is the worst movie I have ever seen and probably the worst movie of all time. I mean the directors name is Kaos...which is what this movie is!

Ballistic:Ecks vs Sever should have been at least a decent movie. Antonio Banderas, as much as he butches the English language in this film by passing off as a red blooded American, is a decent enough actor and has done some good action movies (The Zorro series, Desperado) and Lucy Liu has too (Kill Bill, Charlie's Angels) but for some reason they can't even get action right. An action movie can either be one of two things: it can be a mindless shoot em up that is made awesome by its use of 1.special effects 2.over the top action sequences 3.amazing soundtrack 4.cheesy but awesome lines...OR an action movie can be a plot driven experience that is made better by the use of extensive action sequences with huge explosions. Films like Shoot em Up, Die Hard and even Terminator fill both of those kinds of action movie roles and they are all good movies.

But when a movie gets in trouble usually is when it tries to mix both together to make it "better." Well Ecks vs Sever doesn't do that. All the action sequences are really boring. I mean Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead had better action sequences than this, and Uwe Boll is considered one of the worst directors of all time! I mean at least with Boll it had a lot of slow motion and gore. This is just gun fight, gun fight, explosion, gun fight rinse and repeat over and over. You now your film is bad when Uwe Boll looks legitamite as a director compared to your film.

The story (I should put that in quotes) is your typical "we need an excuse to blow up stuff" plot with a kidnapping of a politicians son. Instead of just going with that though they had to put in a conspiracy theory involving Ecks (Banderas)' family being killed, which is only used to make us pity the character. Honestly everyone in this film is so morally corrupt and/or stupid that you really DON'T care about any of them. The title is also totally bogus since Ecks and Sever (Liu) WORK TOGETHER FOR MOST OF THE FILM. There really is no vs...I also got to mention the numerous amounts of plot holes, continuity errors and just one TOTALLY bogus plotline involving the FBI. Alright let me just say something...a lot of films are shot in Canada and they are made to look American. Well when you see street signs, monuments, and building signs saying that its VANCOUVER then bringing the FBI in to investigate just makes the film look dumber than it already is.

A weak plot, boring action, laughable acting and a total lack of effort from Kaos, the director, makes this in my opinion the worst movie ever made. This should be buried with all the copies of the ET game."


Don't Lie to Me! Love ain't done nothing for me! Love beat me down! Love rape me. Made me feel worthless!

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

I am one of those people who never really gives into peer pressure. If I see a movie its usually because I want to see it. But every now and again, especially when it comes to movies, I sometimes give into peer pressure. Not usually when it comes to movies that are super popular like Transformers or the Twilight series (I see them on my own time or if I even feel like it) but when movies are so critically acclaimed by everybody and they get so much Oscar and Golden Globe Buzz I tend to have to see with my own eyes what all the hubbub is about. In all honesty I didn't ever want to see Precious. It seemed really depressing and kinda poorly made. The story didn't really grab me and I've seen plenty of people who live in (insert bad neighborhood here) and who achieve something and go onto becoming (enter something "Make a movie about my life" worthy). But when I hear that its almost a guarantee that Monique and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe are going to or already have won numerous awards for their parts I finally sat down and watched this movie.

The story is really peppy. Claireece Precious Jones live in Harlem in 1987. She is obese, pregnant with her second child, and illiterate (although she IS good at math). Oh did I mention she is sixteen, her father raped her and he is the father of her kids. Oh and her mom is on welfare, regularly beats and abuses her and treats her like crap. Needless to say if you think you have a bad life she can probably top yours in an instant. Because she is pregnant she gets kicked out of school and sent to a Alternative school so she can get her GED. Once there her teacher inspires her to learn and becomes a role model for young Precious and along with the other members of class, helps her out through her struggles.

I gotta say...I loved this movie but it is the first movie in a while to actually make me cry. I mean it is a definition downer of a movie. You leave the theater shaking your head and feeling like someone shot your dog/cat. The acting is spot on. Usually in movies with recognizable people (Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Monique) you tend to see them and not their movie. But in this movie they were totally real. They felt like their character and not themselves. Carey is almost unrecognizable in her role as a social worker looking pale, homely and messed up. Monique, who is usually a funny comedienne, is brutal, heinous, evil and demented. Every time she is on the screen she struck fear into my heart. But she has serious power to her. Gabourey is really good as well. At first since she barely talked except for a few grunts and the occasional narration she really didn't seem like she even deserved a nomination. But as she grew as a character and she got to the really hard times in her life her character shined and she was so emotionally raw and believable. You felt bad for her.

Precious is based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Just to clear things up Precious is not Sapphire. No instead Paula Patton's character of Blu Rain is who Sapphire is. Sapphire was a poet/hippie who became a teacher for underprivileged kids. One of the kids she met while she was there was someone like Precious who she helped out and get straightened out. If you haven't read the book I suggest you do its a good read. But the movie does a good job portraying her book and for once the movie was as good or better than the book.

It's hard, especially with the holidays, to recommend this movie. Its well acted, well written, well done and deserves awards...but at the same time its just so emotionally draining to watch and there never really feels like a moment of happiness in this movie. Its extremely dark and hopeless. So if you don't mind crying a little or feeling bad for the sake of a good movie than give this one a shot.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

You're all fired, in the morning you'll all be on a bus back to Elfistan!

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

I should have liked this movie more. You have two actors whom I love: Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti and you have an interesting and unique story on the family of Santa Claus and what his family is like. You even got a kids movie that delves a little into the PG-13 humor a bit. But this isn't going to be a rant about how much I hated this movie. In fact it is actually a pretty good movie with a good story...but its not great.

Fred Claus is the story of Fred Claus, brother of Santa Claus. Fred is a bit of a slacker and a badboy and has always lived in the shadow of his brother. All his life he has had a deep seeded resentment of his brother because he was always the favorite. Every year around the holiday times Nick (Saint Nick get it) would always outdo Fred. The final straw came when Nick cut down Fred's favorite tree that had a family of birds in it along with a birdhouse Fred made. Because of that he hated his brother. Years and years later Nick is made a Saint and Nick and his family are frozen in time never to age. Nick becomes Santa and Fred becomes a repo man. Needing some cash because of trouble with the law Fred calls Nick and and Nick says that he will give him enough to bail him out but that he would have to work at the North Pole to earn the rest. There is only one problem: Clyde, an efficiency agent will close down the North Pole if they get three strikes..and Fred is a big hassle.

Its your typical family is important kids movie with a Christmas flair. Vince Vaughn does well enough in the movie and Paul Giamatti stands out as one of the better Santa's I have seen. Most of the other actors are decent enough. Elizabeth Banks, Ludacris and Kevin Spacey are good standouts as well but not too overwhelming.

Its a good Christmas movie but not great. It tries too hard to become a classic without ever succeeding. A decent Christmas movie all around but you can do better.


I will kill anyone who touches you. Because that's my job

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

Its weird that an eighteen year old can be a devout Cormac Macarthy fan but that's exactly what I am. Before I ever heard that it was going to be made into a movie I was excitedly reading The Road. Macarthy, who had previously wrote the book No Country For Old Men (you may have heard about the movie version) has a really good knack for writing books that have great movie potential. The same goes for Thomas Lehane, author of Mystic River and the upcoming Shutter Island. But my biggest fear with movies based on books is that they wont live up to the book and the book will always be better. That is the case with most movies based on books but Cormac and Lehane's book movies have all been quite good. So it was understandable that I was excited but hesitant when an inexperienced director like John Hillcoat (he has done a lot of music videos and a few movies but nothing really that stands out) and my love hate actor Guy Pearce were in it but my fears were (mostly) quenched when Viggo Mortensen signed on to play the main protagonist named "The Man."

Not only with Mortensen but the other big thing that helped ease my nerves was how closely it followed the book. Yes there are a few differences but for the most part its the same story. The Man (Mortensen) and his son The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee great actor) live in a post apocalyptic world. They go day to day trying to survive and ultimately reach the coast so they can possibly find food, shelter or other "good" survivors: those who haven't turned to cannibalism or thievery to survive. At various points in the movie it flashbacks to before the apocalypse and how his life was with his wife (Charlize Theron)

That's the basic plot. The story of a father and a son on a journey of survival. And it is extremely well done. The cinematography is beautiful, the music is great and the scenery is dark and brooding. They show a realistic and dreary picture of a post-apocalyptic time. The acting, especially from McPhee and Mortensen is brilliant and quite moving. Mortensen has always proved to be a great chameleon actor who always gives 110% in every role he does. And its evident in this movie.

Its a dark movie and its a sad and dreary movie but it is one of the best of the year. Cormac would be proud.


You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentleman.

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

It seems everyone and their grandma is seeing this movie and almost everyone and their grandma loved this movie. Maybe not the 5 star experience that James Cameron was hoping for but plenty of 4-4 1/2 stars to go around. Either way its critically acclaimed, mostly loved by all and called a stepping stone for modern movie technology. Its being heralded as the Star Wars of the 21st century or the biggest innovation in movies ever. The hype machine for this movie was so high that it almost blew New Moon out of the water. Almost...

James Cameron has been working on this movie for years and years now. The man behind the first two Terminator movies, the critically acclaimed Aliens, the Abyss (a guilty favorite of mine), True Lies and Titanic has released his first new movie in 12 years. Loved by many and hated by the same amount this former geek turned film director has made some of the best. He has a nasty temper and is a bit of a pretentious jackass but his work is brilliant. He has won plenty of Oscars and other awards now and even had the gall to shout "I'm king of the world" when he won Best Director for Titanic. Since then he's been re-writing and tweaking his Magnum Opus Avatar until the technology could catch up to his imagination. What is this final product: A remake of Dances With SPAAACCCEEE!!

Clocking in at a staggering 161 minutes long Avatar is one that you need not but the large Coke for. I opted not to see it in 3D for one reason: its a gimmick.

3D has always been a silly gimmick to me. Ever since I can remember I have never liked it. It always hurt my eyes and never really wowed me when it worked. Even at Disneyland with the Honey I Shrunk the Audience in 3D thing I couldn't get into it. The wind on my legs simulating rats was more intense than what was on the screen. And I don't understand why its coming back now! It was big in the 80s for some reason but it was never really liked all that much except for a few cool effects at the time. In the 90s people focused more on the movie and less on the gimmick with not that many 3D movies coming out. In the 2ks though (the 2000s) there has been a surge of new 3D movies with a lot of movies coming out with at least the option of 3D. The first 3D movie I saw was the subpar Spy Kids 3. Some of the effects were cool but lackluster overall. And no TV show or any movie, in my opinion, has ever blew me away or even interested me if it was in 3D.

But I digress. I did not see it in 3D. Before I tell you the story let me jump to the question that everyone has: how are the visuals? In my opinion they are stunning. They really are. I'm surprised at how much was CGI (like 60%) but it was really quite beautiful. The scenery on the planet Pandora is lush, bright and colorful and looks as realistic as CGI can. The same goes with the Na'vi/Avatars. They all look beautiful and quite realistic and almost like real humans or real creatures. But there is that animated-ness that goes along with all CGI heavy films.

Onto the story: have you seen Dances with Wolves? Or how about Fern Gully? If you answered yes to one or both of them then you have your story. But if you answered no then here is a BRIEF description: humans want Unobtanium, it is located on a planet called Pandora, they can't breathe the air so they create avatar beings so they blend in with the native Na'vi people. Things don't go well.

There is a lot of talking and a lot of description/explanation in this movie so I don't really want to bore you with the whole plot because that would be a post and a half.

The acting is wonderful in this movie, even if the plot and dialogue are a bit uninspired. Giovanni Ribisi is a great corporate head, Sam Worthington plays a great protagonist, and Sigourney Weaver is great as well. The acting overall is quite solid and well done. The same goes for the action. Although there isn't a LOT of action, the last half an hour or so are extremely exciting to watch.

Overall its a good movie. Not a great movie or a groundbreaking movie but its still a good movie. Well acted, well designed and great special effects. The story is a bit uninspired but still good anyway. I recommend this one for sci-fi fans who can sit in place for a while.


Did you hear about The Morgans?

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

I am getting sick and tired of these kinds of movies. Movies where a couple/potential couple/married couple are having some hard times or hitting speed bumps or are having problems and then something out of the ordinary happens and they have to go and have a wacky adventure and ultimately fix their relationship. I saw that with couples retreat, all about steve, the proposal, and now this one but rest assured there ARE plenty more. Did You Hear About the Morgans is just another one of these kinds of movies. In fact I think I have seen the exact storyline for this movie on an episode of Family Guy. You know a movie is lackluster if it feels like watching an unfunny hour and a half live action episode of Family Guy. But that's what this is.

Did you Hear about the Morgans is the story of the Morgans. Meryl and Paul are successful business people in Manhattan. They are rich, powerful and have a seemingly perfect life...except their marriage is a sham and slowly falling apart at the seems. On their way home one day they see someone get murdered. The murderer happens to be a contract killer and decides to hunt them down. So what do they do? Well they get put into the Witness Protection Agency and get sent off to a small southern town where they have no technology (advanced that is) and have to try and survive in the South. And all the while they are rekindling their marriage.

I actually wanted to like this movie. And its not because of Sarah Jessica Parker. I can't stand her. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. No actually I wanted to like it because I love Hugh Grant. Even if the movie is really bad he always really delivers. And he did just that. All of the actually funny stuff in the movie is said by Grant. The only problem is these funny lines are few and far between and most of the really good ones you can see in the previews.

I can't recommend this movie to anyone. Maybe if you are on a date this could be an interesting date movie but really there are plenty other better movies out there to watch. Sorry Hugh...but skip this one.


Friday, December 18, 2009

*200th review* A tip of the hat from Dr. Facilier. How ya'll doin?

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

5 months, 200 reviews. A member of LAMB, Blog Catalog, and Zimbio. Got a Facebook fan page and 60 (at the time) fans. Who knew that one man's dream could come true like this. I know I'm not a household name and I never planned on that. I just wanted to review all the movies I had ever seen and put them online. But I'm just so glad for all of you guy's continued support and here's to 400!

Well now that that's out of the way let's get to the movie today: The Princess and The Frog.

Princess and the Frog is the retelling of the old classic fairytale the Frog Prince. In that fairytale a princess wishes on a star for a prince and a frog appears. She kisses the frog and he turns into a prince. Well that's not what happens here. Instead it takes the formulaic Disney approach to movies and twists the story, the Disney approach, and a completely original tale and puts it all together. Not since Atlantis has there been a really good Disney movie that was given time and effort. Usually nowadays Disney falls back on Pixar for all of its animated movies while Disney itself chugs out PG family comedy after PG family comedy. Now don't get me wrong...Pixar has made some of the best animated films ever but I was wondering if regular hand drawn animation was dead. Princess and the Frog proved me wrong. So after a semi private screening here's the scoop.

It's the early 1920s in New Orleans. Tiana is waitress/maid who has dreams of saving up enough money to open her own restaurant. Her mom (Oprah) and her father, who passes away in World War 1 (Terrance Howard), support her in anything she does. One day a prince from a far away land comes to marry a rich man's daughter. Naveen (his name) is a playboy though and wants to goof off and flirt instead of settle down. But after bumping into the Shadowman (Keith David) he turns Naveen into a frog. Later that night at the masquerade ball, the frog Naveen kisses Tiana and she turns into a frog. They accidentally float into the bayou and get lost. From there they have a grand adventure to get back to New Orleans and break the spell.

First things first: the music is great. Its a Disney musical so I was expecting kind of hokey songs. But no...these songs had spice, flair and most importantly they were good and sung well.

Here's my personal favorite sung by Keith David:

Secondly the acting is wonderful and probably some of the best I have ever seen in an animated movie. Keith David is a classic villain, Tiana is believable and has some serious pipes. Howard and Oprah are great and all the side characters are spot on. The plot moves along nicely and barely feels like 97 minutes.

In my honest opinion its the best Disney film made this decade. It's similar without being predictable. Its refreshingly new, well acted, well written, the jokes are funny, and its a joy from start to finish. I recommend this to anyone of any age who has ever liked a Disney film.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Give a guy a gun, he thinks he's Superman. Give him two and he thinks he's God.

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

Most men and a lot of women would agree that they like action movies. While it isn't my favorite genre (I love comedy) I do find myself going back to action movies more often than not. Its embedded into my brain and into my soul that I will always love car chases, explosions, slo-mo gun fights and the mexican standoff. But in a slew of Steven Seagal films and bad Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Van Damme movies which follow the generic plot of EVERY action movie, its hard to tell what a REALLY good action movie is. There is the plot driven ones like Wanted, the action oriented ones like Shoot em Up and the hectic/crack head action films like Crank. All of these are good in their own right but they all have some minor or pretty big shortcomings. Even Die Hard had its bad moments!

So what is the greatest action movie ever made? Look no further than the master of action himself: John Woo and especially his greatest feat Hard Boiled. Hard Boiled follows Detective Tequila (Chow Yun Fat) whose partner had been killed in an ambush. He vows revenge and with the help of an undercover agent (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) he decides to take down the Triad led by an evil boss (Anthony Wong Chau Sang)

Needless to say there is plenty of action between point A and point B. Here is a taste of the brilliance:

Its a debated scene that many people have called the greatest action scene ever filmed. Although I think this one is better.

But needless to say there is A LOT of action. And all of it is stylized, amazing and almost like watching an art piece. Like a gun ballet of sorts.

If you haven't seen this and even if you aren't a fan of Chinese films, you owe it to yourself to see it. Its the greatest action movie ever.


"Admiral! We have enemy ships in sector 47!" "It's A TRAP!!"

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

The epic finale to the greatest sci fi series of all time. Needless to say that it had high expectations. I knew that I had really big expectations since I had just finished Empire Strikes back. And while not as good as Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi is an amazing movie and a great finale to the series...besides one thing...but I will get to that later.

Basically all hell broke loose in the last one, Han Solo got frozen (cryogenic), Vader and the emperor are after Skywalker, Princess Leia, C3PO and R2, Bobba Fett is also after them and they need to stop the second Death Star from being built. Needless to say they do that but there is plenty of awesome action in between it.

Its full of great scenes and great action including the final battle between Luke and Vader with the emperor watching:

but there is one thing that keeps it from being as good or better than Empire: THE EWOKS

The annoying little teddies almost kill the movie for me. I wish the Robot Chicken Bobba Fett scene would have happened to them. THEY ARE SO ANNOYING!!! But either way its a great movie despite the Ewoks and a great finale to a great series.


No...*I* am your father!

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

Watch this. If it doesn't blow your mind then I will fight you. This action scene as a kid was the epitome of a true action scene and anytime it would snow (or even just for fun) I would reenact this battle over and over. As a member of the Luke Skywalker fan club I would always love watching this scene over and over. Its an amazing battle and an amazing start to the best film in the star wars series: Empire Strikes Back.

Directed by Irvin Kershner this time around (with Lucas writing/producing) Empire takes place a short time after the first movie. The Rebels have taken out the Death Star but the Empire is strong. Vader is obsessed with finding Luke Skywalker and enlists the help of many notorious bounty hunters (including BOBBA FETT) to find him, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2 and C3PO. That's all I can really say without giving away major spoilers but the plot has plenty of great twists and a much more darker tone than the first one.

Besides the story and the battle scene in the beginning there is one scene that is engraved in my head and the minds of many other people. Just watch:

It in my opinion is the greatest scene in film history. It is truly amazing in every sense of the word.

If you see only one Star Wars movie ever then it should be this one. The writing, the plot, the characters, the's all there and tenfold. You owe it to yourself to see this one.


The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master.

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

The original that started it all. A sci fi epic unlike anything seen before. The movie that captures you and never lets go. Its the film that sparked a newfound love for sci fi films and ushered in a huge following that still goes strong today. What is that film? Star Wars: A New Hope.

Star Wars: A New Hope is the fourth episode in the Star Wars series but was the first to come out. Confusing as that may sound at the time nobody cared. When that black screen with the endless space popped up and John Williams epic music came on and played for the very first time you could care less what was being said. In all honesty nobody reads the entire thing the first time. You see it and skim over major parts but you are too engrossed by this booming music to care. Then that first scene starts. Oh that first scene. You see the spaceship and you see the doors open and the action starts right then and there. Blaster fire, storm troopers, rebel fighters, robots (well R2 and C3PO) and the big guy himself Vader, its all so amazing the first time that it blows you away. And I saw this in the 90s. It doesn't matter what era you watched it in, it was amazing.

The basic non spoiler story to the first movie is simple. Luke has family, well mom. Mom gets killed. Guy named Ben Kenobi comes and says he can wield the force, a mystical power and gets a lightsaber. With the help of two droids, Han Solo and Chewbacca, they hunt down Darth Vader.

It is the definition of sci fi. Or if not its what you see when you look it up in the dictionary. If you haven't seen this shame on you-its a classic. But don't worry. The best is coming up next.


The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

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

Dedication thy name is Travis. Or at least that's how I felt going into Star Wars Episode 3. I bought my ticket when the box office opened on the Friday that it came out. I bought my ticket at 9:00 am and the only available showing was at three. I wasn't going to risk getting a crappy spot so I waited in the theater from 9:30 to 3:00, even going so far as to take a nap in one of the auditoriums. I got to know the manager there really well in the time I spent there and got to know most of the staff that worked there. Sad that the theater would be closed down shortly afterwards but now all of the employees and even the old manager work at the new theater that they built about a block down from the old one.

Either way I had to wait a long time and it was a hot day. But eventually we all crammed into the theater and I got a pretty good spot, thankfully not sitting next to a storm trooper with a big helmet. The movie started people cheered their heads off and they all gave a standing ovation after it was over. It was the end of Star Wars until The Clone Wars in terms of movies and really it was the last true Star Wars movie to be released (unless Lucas wants to do a whole episode seven thing). And I was glad to be a part of that experience. Someone that belonged to the Luke Skywalker fan club was now watching the last of the movies.

Onto the movie itself. Believe it or not it was actually much better than the first two in the prequel trilogy. The acting was more believable, the action was tighter and more exciting, the story and Anakin's struggle and ultimate succuming to the dark side was fun to watch and that last battle scene was definition epic. I was genuinely surprised to see how good it was considering the first two. But it was good nevertheless.

My only main complaints seem to be that there at times seem to be too much going on at once and that can get a little hectic. And Hayden Christensen is a bad actor. And he pretty much ruins Vader's reveal at the end. But the full circle plot at the end and that epic lightsaber battle make up for it on all levels. My inner action movie lover loved every twist, turn, jump and hit. My inner drama nerd loved the struggle of good vs evil. And my inner fanboy was going "EEEEEEEEEEEE DARTH VADER VS OBI WAN THE FIRST ROUND!!"

If you only see one of the prequel movies this would be the one. But like I have said you are much better off watching the original trilogy. A good ending to the legacy known as Star Wars.


But for certain, Senator, in grave danger you are.

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

Part 2 of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Out of all of the movies in the series this is the hardest to review since its the hardest to rate. I guess I might as well tell you my story of seeing this film as it is almost probably more interesting than my actual review for this movie.

As a devout Star Wars fan I made sure to see this film opening weekend. Luckily my Dad is also a big Star Wars fan so we were able to get tickets for that opening Saturday (thought we'd weed out the costumed crazies although that would certainly be ironic for the third movie). The theater was packed to the brim with people and we could only get a spot in the third row. I usually hate sitting right up front since its a literal pain in the neck but its Star MAKE exceptions. Well the movie started up and for about the first hour everything was normal. It was a good enough movie but nothing too special compared to the original series. Right near the climax of the film something odd happened: my last tooth fell out. I always had a knack for losing teeth at the weirdest places...Disneyland holding the record with four (two on one day) but I had never lost one in a theater before. And it WAS my last baby tooth. Well in the excitement of a nearby explosion I dropped my tooth and it rolled. I went up the few rows, grabbed the tooth, and sat back down. I turned to my Dad and said "That explosion knocked the tooth right outta me."

Enough nostalgia. Attack of the Clones happens ten years after the original film. Anakin is a Jedi, Obi-Wan is his mentor and Count Dooku is a bastard. He takes the droids and creates an army of his own while the Republic clones, made from Jango Fett aka Bobba Fett's father. Really that's all I can tell you, you will just have to see it for yourself.

I don't mean to be brief with these reviews but honestly most people who are interested in these movies have seen them. Those who aren't I can only repeat what I said before: The original trilogy is much better. While this is leaps and bounds better than Phantom Menace, it droned on for a while and didn't get exciting till the third act. But its still a visually stunning film with decent acting so I say its at least worth seeing if you DID skip Phantom Menace and if you DID see it than well it IS much better isn't it?


Wesa got a grand army. That's why you no liking us meesa thinks

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

This has been one of the one's requested from the beginning. Honestly I have always been a bit hesitant to review the series because of two reasons: one-that I would, by accident, give away the whole plot or major spoilers to people who may not have seen the series and while I do usually give minor spoilers, this series is special to me and I want people to watch it with fresh eyes. The second reason is that I will piss some people off. Surprisingly there ARE a lot of people who like the prequel trilogy but I am not one of them. I also do not like the Clone Wars cartoon (the new one...the original? Classic) or pretty much anything Star Wars related, besides games, that came out after Return of the Jedi.

Why is that? Well I think George Lucas should have just let things be. His first mistake was titling the original star wars episode 4. Although it WAS the original film that started it all, people complained after Return of the Jedi came out that they wanted to see the first three episodes. I think I am partly to blame for that. I loved Star Wars growing up and it was especially great growing up in the 90s when there was such a renewed interest in the series. The only problem was George Lucas had to re-release the series with different things in it. Some were for the better but at the same time it took a little bit away from the nostalgia that was the untampered original editions.

But I'm nitpicking and avoiding the actual review. Which one am I reviewing? Phantom Menace...WHY??!!! George Lucas? Really? I shook your hand dammit and you make this crap? I knew I was doomed when the kid from Jingle All the Way was Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader whoops spoiler). And then you added the little bug man who acted like a mobster and a race of water people with one who talks like a....oh God...can I avoid talking about Jar Jar? I guess not. Jar Jar Binks was George Lucas's attempt at bringing kids in. But Jar Jar was so infantile, so stupid and so aggravatingly annoying that it made it hard for me to even watch the movie. To top it all off they killed the two best characters in the movie: Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Nothing against Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan but when you are following Alec Guinness its pretty hard to live up to his standards. But Star Wars has had a knack for that: killing or "misplacing" its best characters.

Oh well. I still have the other five in the series. Honestly its not that bad of a movie. The effects are great, the music is epic and the acting, save for Anakin and Jar Jar is pretty good. If you are a Star Wars fan then you've probably seen it already but if you are new to the series, I don't recommend starting with this one.


Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.

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

They just don't make films like these like they used to. A political/socio-economical movie that is a true tongue satire that pushes the limits of what is appropriate or not. Granted its not Clerks 2's donkey show scene (horrible memories) but a film that puts you deep into enemy grounds and almost makes you FEEL for them is something special-especially if its lobbyists and smoking. We all know someone that smokes (for the most part) and we probably have known someone who knew someone that died from smoking. Ever since the Surgeon General cracked down on cigarettes and their safeness, cigarettes have become taboo in films (at least in America) and never glorified if they MUST be in it. Me? I could care less. I don't smoke nor do I ever plan on it but if its in a movie I could care less.

Thank You For Smoking takes that hatred for the cigarette companies as well as the lobbyists that help them and turns it into a smart, witty comedy that had me laughing at every minute. Aaron Eckhart (a brilliant actor) plays Nick Naylor, a top lobbyist for big Tobacco. He is that guy who can sell ice to a polar bear and who can get any girl at any time. He is at the top of his game and can talk his way out of any situation. He does have cracks in his armor however. His wife (Maria Bello) left him and his son Joey resents him. On top of that his boss BR (JK Simmons) is riding him and a senator (William H Macy) wants to put a skull and crossbones on cigarette packages. Its up to Nick to balance all of these together.

Its never sappy, always snappy and really isn't afraid to poke fun at anything. Eckhart is great in this role and delivers every line with the conviction of a real lobbyist. Its one of those films where everything comes together without being hokey in its conclusion. From minute one till the last line it is a very tongue in cheek, brilliantly written film.

If you like political films, dark comedies/satires or are just interested in the mindset of a lobbyist than this is the film for you. In my opinion everyone should at least see this one once. Its a great film.


I thank whatever gods may be / For my unconquerable soul. / I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul.

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

To say Nelson Mandela has been extremly influential to South Africa is an understatement. To go from being a prisoner for twenty something years to becoming president in a country that's power is dominated by whites and you always have a giant target on your back and STILL do a great job with a smile on your face is a feat that I have seen no mere man do before. He is the epitome of forgive and forget and in a risky and controversial decision, he banked his initial success on the South African Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup.

From the beginning Nelson Mandela wanted Morgan Freeman to play himself in the movie. He would do any and everything in his power to make sure that Freeman played him. And for almost ten years a biopic has been in the works covering Mandela and Freeman has always been the first and only choice to play Mandela. But it took now retired actor/director Clint Eastwood, his son Scott and other son Dylan along with Matt Damon and Freeman to create a good biopic. Yeah its not the tell all tale of Mandela's entire life but it does what its supposed to do and more importantly shows you who Nelson Mandela is through his actions and not by his past.

The story takes place between 1990 and 1995. In 1990 Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) was released from prison and in 1994 he was elected president of South Africa. The film quickly jumps from 1990 to his election skipping over that four year period. Why? Its not important why. The film neatly transistions using psuedo news reels to show Mandela's rise to power and his ultimate winning of president. From there it mostly follows what was going on in his life during that period. Where the story picks up however is when Mandela watches the Springboks play Rugby. Led by Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) the Springboks have not been on the top of their game. But when Mandela realizes that as a great political move that he could use the Springboks to create unity in South Africa, he pulls Pienaar aside and says that he needs to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Seemlessly blending biopic and sports movie this film always feels both and neither. Dylan Eastwood's music composistion is brilliantly crafted and fits every scene perfectly. Clint, who directs and produces it is amazing. He has a true eye for beauty in this film, not only aesthetically but also in the way every shot is done. No one shot seems out of place and they all seem to have meaning. Clint Eastwood is not only a great man and a great actor, but he rivals Scorsese, Kubrick and Welles as one of the best directors ever. If you need any proof than pop this movie in. It shows Eastwood's true brilliance.

I don't even need to mention the acting. Its all brilliant and even Matt Damon is perfectly cast in this role, bringing a true emotion and sense of pride to his character. And I will tell you right now that if Freeman doesn't win or at least get nominated for an Oscar...I will never watch them again. He IS MANDELA. His nuances, his body language, his accent everything. Never in my life have I seen an actor truly embody the true nature of one person like Freeman has in this movie. He is a joy to watch in every scene.

This is a movie you must see. Whether you like or even know who Nelson Mandela is or whether or not you actually enjoy sports influenced movies it is a movie that will truly move you and make you stand up and shout "THIS IS HOW A MOVIE SHOULD BE DONE."

So while not in my top 20...I can't give this anything lower so I introduce a new category: Top Film. It has the same 5 star quality as a Top 20 but not ACTUALLY IN my top 20.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ask him, Edie...ask him how come he's so good at killing people.

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

For some reason or another I tend to have a soft spot for David Cronenberg. I am a huge fan of The Fly, Videodrome and a Scanners fanatic. But most of these films are just cult classics with very few being recognized as the pieces of art that they are. But Cronenberg, whose films have been rifled throughout all the 70s, 80s and 90s, has been scarce in the new millenium. He has only directed three films in the 2000s: Spider with Ralph Fiennes, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Spider was a well recieved movie but has faded into obscurity like so many of his other films. His two latest though, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises have not. Eastern Promises was nominated for countless numbers of awards and Viggo Mortensen, the lead actor was nominated for a Best Actor oscar. A History of Violence has stood out though, making the top 10 lists of all time for many critics. Its on the AFIs recent top 100 films poll and has won countless numbers of awards.

But why is Cronenberg such a household name now? Its because of this movie "A History of Violence." Based on a graphic novel by John Wagner (creator of Judge Dredd) and written by Josh Olson it follows the story of Tom Stall, a normal family man. He lives in a small rural town, has a wife and two kids, he owns and works at a diner and lives the simple American dream. One day however it goes awry and two killers come in and try to rob the place. Tom, in a heroic act kills both of them in a matter of seconds. While called a hero by some, this act of violence brings up a dangerous past and hidden demons that should have just stayed hidden.

This film is brilliantly made. It shows a realistic depiction of violence and its consequences on people. Viggo Mortensen is totally believable as Tom Stall, Maria Bello is great as his wife Edie and Ed Harris and William Hurt are great in their roles as the villains. Hurt even was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars.

Its a great movie with a great set up, wonderful symbolism, realistic depictions of violence, great acting and its extremly fun to watch. I know leave you with the robbery scene, the one that will best give you the idea whether you want to watch this film or not:


Monday, December 7, 2009

"*I want ROOM SERVICE*! I want the club sandwich,I want the cold Mexican beer,I want a $10,000-a-night hooker! I want my shirts laundered...!!!"

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

As much as it pains me to say it...I think Keanu Reeves is a good actor. Yes he's had some laughably bad roles (Dracula) but he's also made some impressive movies where he's done a lot of really good roles and does a great job acting. I won't admit it out loud but this is a website so I might as well say it: the surfer dude who gave a whole new meaning to WHOA is a good actor. In 1995, after the success of his latest movie Speed, Reeves signed on to play in a new cyberpunk futuristic sci fi movie called Johnny Mnemonic. The film has become pretty forgettable but the game released on PC has become a cult classic for bad FMV games. But believe it or not the film isn't bad. It has some REALLY bad moments but overall its actually a pretty entertaining film based off the short story by William Gibson (who wrote the movie) and the only film ever directed by Robert Longo.

*note: I am reviewing the Japanese version. Its still in English but its a longer directors cut. Ive seen both versions and they deserve the same score but I like the directors cut more*

The story is a mix between the game Mirrors Edge and Crank. Johnny is a data trafficker who has a brain implant that lets him store between 80-160 gigabytes of data in his brain safely. Companies use him to secure data that is too sensitive to keep on regular computers and he regularily acts as a courier between two parties exchanging data. One day he accepts a package that has WAAY more than 160 gigs and will kill him if its not removed. It also contains some pretty heavy stuff and because of that assassins are after him.

Its a cool and unique story that actually works really well. And to top it all off the acting is actually pretty good. Keanu can appear really over the top but he does really well. Its almost a pre-Neo Neo that he pulls off. He even delivers this really nice speech:

It sounds cheesy but its pretty badass in context. He does a lot of this exploding and its actually really cool. Here's the other really good one.

Dolph Lundgren and Ice-T do great parts with Lundgren really standing out as the street preacher.

Its a 90s cyberpunk sci fi movie. Its well acted, its funny and its a well done movie. It borders on over the top and lacks some serious focus but its a really good movie. Check it out.


It's not unlike ancient dental equipment on Earth - not that you'd know anything about that!

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

As a huge fan of MST3K as well as Reb Brown (don't ask why...alright Im a huge Bruno Matei fan as well) it would come as a surprise to no one that I'd review this movie. A movie so bad it makes the Room and Plan 9 from Outer Space look like Academy Award Winners. An abomination to cinema that should be kept away from any and everyone...unless you watch it with the MST3K crew...than this movie is brilliant. But as a standalone movie it is one of the most eye-gougingly bad movies of all time.

Well Space Mutiny stars Roll Brown as Ryder, a space pilot who lives and works aboard the spaceship Southern Sun. Most of the inhabitants have never set foot on solid ground and most of the people are just happy with their lives as is. But Elijah Kalgan isn't happy and so he conspires with a group of pirates to take over the trip and take down Santa Claus I mean MacPherson. Needless to say there is a mutiny so its up to Butch Deadlift I mean Ryder to save the day and save the ship.

Its an extremly homophobic film, its extremly cheesy, Reb Brown likes to yell nonsense alot, the lines make no sense, the action is pointless and dumb and about everything else about this movie is bad. If you REALLY want to watch it, then watch the MST3K version of it. If you add that to the movie than it becomes a really good movie and in my opinion a classic. But without it, its a horrible film that I must beg you to stay away from. But here's some MST3K to help you through this.


We're going to need a lot more hemp before we're through

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

This should be enough proof right there. If you can sit through this with a straight face than power to ya.

But Reb Brown is here in his first starring role in a film. Too bad it had to be this one. Reb Brown is a B movie actor with a knack for yelling and screaming, having large muscles and an inablility to say cool catchphrases after he kills someone. He hasn't really made any good movies but some of them have become great cult classics. Well this is not one of them. I know Noah Antwiler (Spoony) loves this movie but it is a total waste of film only saved by HOW bad it is.

The story follows Yor, a prehistoric hunter who fights off dinasaurs and evil blue cavemen. When Pak (the village leader)'s daughter Kala is kidnapped by the blue cavemen, Yor sets out to find them. He finds her and commits a double mass genocide by killing all of the blue cavemen and accidently killing all the other kidnapped people from the village. Yor, after countless battles, arrives on an island only to find out that they are in the present and that there was a nuclear holocaust that ressurected the dinosaurs.

The films ends with the line "Yor returns to the primative tribes on the mainland. He is determined to use his superior knowledge (aka that this IS EARTH after boom boom) to prevent them from making the same mistakes as their forefathers. Will he succeed?"

That's it. The plot is paper thin and full of bad homages, horrible action sequences, crazy over the top music and a head scratchingly bad ending.

The only redeeming thing I can say about this movie is that it is short, its so bad its funny and the effects were decent for its time. Its one of those films that is long out of print but that you can find on youtube. But seriously, even for laughs, I don't reccomend seeing this movie. Its boring and laughably bad. Ive seen MST3K films better than this.


I knew this was gonna be the best Christmas ever

Screw know Im the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it I will...but this is pathetic. Honestly I wish my catchphrase wasn't true. I wish I hadn't seen this abysmal piece of crap. But it came in my Home Alone collection so sadly, like the Next Karate Kid, I own this one.

What happened? I'll tell you what happened...John Hughes and Chris Columbus stopped helping out after the third movie. Chris Columbus helped with the third although he didn't direct it. John Hughes wrote and produced the third one and helped make it the second best in the series. But with Home Alone 4, two novice writers took over, slapping John Hughes name on it to make it look legit but it was just the "Characters inspired by" thing if you actually sat through this movie, if you wanna call it that. Then they got the director of Teen Wolf (AHHH!!) to take over as director for this movie. And, as if to slap fans in the face, they brought back Kevin but screwed up the story and replaced the original Kevin with some unknown, brought back Marv but with a different actor and brought in Missi Pyle. This is nothing but a Missi Pyle of crap.

The story focuses on greed this time. Yay messages! Kevin's parents are divorced and the house is totally empty (hello? other characters?) Kevin decides that since his Dad's new girlfriend is filthy rich that he would rather spend Christmas with her because Christmas is all about material things and however much money you have equals how much someone loves you RIGHT?! NO...well explain that to them. Oddly enough, for somewhere that's supposed to look suburbian, snowy and cold...IT WAS SHOT IN AFRICA!!!! What's next? The Sun People shot on Antarctica?

But basically that's the plot. All the acting is cheap, dull, phoned in, boring, lifeless and I almost couldn't even finish the movie. There is SOO much eye rolling going on you'd think I was possessed by teh satan.

And to top it all off this movie lacks any moral fiber and lacks any good family values. Its all about the shopping, the money and the spending in this one. Christmas is turned commercial in this one. I mean I didn't like Home Alone 2 much but at least it had good values. This one lacks any of that.

Please avoid watching this one. Even if you got suckered into buying this one because it was in a box set, just throw this one'll thank me later.


Hey, Alex, could you pass me the false alarms? I mean, the peas

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

Usually if you are doing a series of movies and you completly switch the entire premise, characters, and everything else it gets booed for being a really bad movie. This one was pretty much booed too. But believe it or not, in my opinion, I think this was really good for the series. While the first Home Alone will always be the best, the second one felt like a total case of deja vu and almost totally ruined the experience for me. I mean its one thing to be simalar, another to be totally unoriginal. Well Home Alone 3 answered my problems and honestly is the Home Alone that I have seen the most times. It changes enough to make it fresh but keeps that Home Alone spirit alive.

The story follows that of Alex, a small boy living in a suburban neighborhood. He has a good family and a good life but things go awry when a group of terrorists go looking for a dangerous computer chip that they hid in a remote control car. A remote control car that was given to Alex. When Alex becomes sick with chicken pox and the thieves come after him, and with the police not believing a word he is saying, Alex takes matters into his own hands and unleashes booby traps onto the thieves.

The acting isn't as good as the original but they all do quite a good job with Alex D Linz doing a great job as Alex. Its a sweet movie with original traps, a cute story, good Christmas morals and an interesting plot that kept me interested for 102 minutes. I reccomend seeing this one.


You can mess with a lot of things, but you can't mess with kids on Christmas.

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

Did I accidently pop in the deleted scenes for Home Alone? Seriously did they have like an alternate ending involving New York? Is this deja vu? Seriously I am really confused. Wait this is a sequel? Arent sequels supposed to be the same but at least a LITTLE different. Honestly I dont even need to explain the plot to this one. But as my duty as a small online film critic followed by a small cult following I must review this and I must try to discern the second movie from the first.

The plots the same. The idea "Second verse same as the first" comes to mind. Kevin McCallister is a young boy whose entire family consists of narcsisistic, nihilstic, superficial, greedy douchebags who could care less about their son. Honestly they treat him like the black sheep. Well this time they ACTUALLY remember to take Kevin to the airport (gee I guess they learned) but in a totally recycled scene from the first movie and rifled with "NOT AGAIN"s they are late to the airport and make a mad dash for their terminal leaving their unloved child to wander around until he accidently boards on a plane to New York. There he breaks into a hotel where Tim Curry runs it (THE ONLY REALLY GOOD PART) but its ruined once he's kicked out. And wouldnt you guess it...Marvin and Harry are released from prison and after Kevin.

The weird thing though is that everything is WAAY to cartoonish and has a real sadistic side to it. You would think that it was an PG-13 film where two guys were trying to destroy a child. But oh well everything works out and Christmas is saved and everyone learns a valuable lesson.

I guess I cant knock this movie too much but it IS more of just the same. I guess if you liked the original and since its the last movie to include the original cast its really not that bad but the first and third are MUCH MUCH better. Still its a decent entry and a good enough Christmas movie.
By the way....brick to the face...


Keep the change, you filthy animal.

Its the most wonderful time of the year. Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

When we think about Christmas classics its easy just to think about the ones Ive mentioned to death:the Bass/Renkin specials and Its A Wonderful Life. But, in my own personal opinion, one of my favorite movies to watch around Christmas time, and one I make an effort to watch once a year is Home Alone. Actually I tend to find myself watching all four of them every Christmas but this is the best out of all of them.

Iconic for Macaulay Culkin's smart assiness, clever traps, sharp wit and of course the face, Home Alone has not only become a major staple of Christmas movies but also a major staple of kids movies in general. Its ultimately heartwarming, charming in its innocence and forever beloved and ripped off by many filmmakers and critics alike.

The story (which is recycled for the next three movies) is about Kevin. He has it rough. His brother is a jerk to him and his parents really don't seem to give a crap about him. The other members of his family are nihilistic, narcissistic, superficial and could care less about little Kevin. He is the unexplained black sheep of the family. Well the family decides to take a trip out of state and in the rush to beat the Christmas rush they leave in a flurry and leave one thing behind: Kevin. By the time they realize this they are already in the air. Kevin, taking advantage of his newfound freedom thinks everything is hunky dory. He's a smart kid so he knows how to get what he wants. But when a two man group of robbers decides they want to rob the house and take them for all they got, its up to Kevin to stop them.

This ensues

Its physical comedy at its most innocent and quite honestly at its finest. All the characters, especially Marv and Harry are well thought out and provide good laughs. And of course in the end it has a great moral and good family values.

I have to applaud Chris Columbus and John Hughes (RIP) on their great colaboration together and definetly have to say that this is one of my favorite movies growing up. Sure, in my opinion, it stumbles in the sequel only to get up for the third and then get shot in the face by four, but the Home Alone series will always be a well known Christmas/Holiday tradition for years to come.


Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have f****d with? That's me.

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

I was once asked if I could have the career of any celebrity in Hollywood who would it be? My answer came out of my mouth quicker than anything else: Clint Eastwood. The person who asked me looked at me funny and said "Really? Why not your favorite actor Ed Norton or Donald Trump or Bill Gates or Angelina Jolie (for obvious reasons I guess)?" I shook my head and said "Have you seen this guy's career? Clint Eastwood is one of the best directors in the buisness right now, he's a multi award winning actor/director/writer, he has composed and written music for his movies, holds the most memorable catchphrases of any actor and his name is synominous with BAD ASSNESS, just by being himself. Who wouldn't want that career?"

And its true. Clint is a shining example of Hollywood. He's in his late 70s and he still looks great and could still probably beat me up. His IMDB list is a mile long and he's done it by playing the same character over and over. Now don't boo me for that. He really has. Clint Eastwood has played the same character for 40 years. Angry guy with a soft heart that's hard to get to. Nowadays its Angry, crotchety old man with a soft heart that's hard to get to but its still the same. And everytime its still totally awesome!

His latest movie before Invictus was Gran Torino, a movie SO racist, SO funny, SO BADASS that it blew my mind. Walt Kowalski is a war vetran whose wife just died. He's grumpy, he hates everyone and he has a big shotgun in his garage. Now that the love of his life is gone he has only two things left: his dog Daisy and his Gran Torino. But when his neighbors, an Asian family, is being terrorized by a gang of misfits, he stands up for them and breaks the racial barriors he once had.

Its that kind of film that does a lot without doing much. The religious undertones, the social and economic undertones and the racial coming togetherness through adversity are very well done in this film. Its by far one of the most racist films Ive seen in a while but it does this for art. Clint is a man who grew up with the N word and other racial slurs being acceptable and tolerated. In the 2000s now it seems overly racist but its showing a real life scenario of a people that are still around. But Walt always means well, even if he's not touchy feely, as evidence by his love for his dog Daisy. This movie is ripe with subtlety and its for the best.

Clint is Clint in this movie. You either love him or 95% of America will beat you up. He's a classic American Icon with a brilliant eye for film. Its also nice to see him in front of the camera which he hadnt done since Million Dollar Baby. Everyone else in the movie is great too but of course is overshadowed by Clint. I will say however the character of Toad was quite enjoyable to watch.

Overall its a great film, with great lines, great subtle nuances and its a Clint Eastwood film. That should sell itself.