Sunday, February 28, 2010

I just got a date with Drew Barrymore.

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

This movie plagued my Blockbuster shelf for months. It stared me in the face and never let me go. No matter what movie I got, my Date with Drew was always right next to it. And when Blockbuster started charging a dollar to BUY the movie I couldn't help but wonder what this movie was all about. Was it a documentary? Was it a romantic comedy? Was it really sad and depressing?

Well it IS a documentary and in a way a romantic comedy but in no way is it sad. Brian, the star, director and writer of this indie drama was born around the same time as Drew. Ever since he could remember Drew was the girl of his dreams. No matter what he just couldn't shake the idea of Drew being the one girl for him. But she is a world famous celebrity and he is just a middle class schmo. So what does he do? He rents a camera and equipment and he takes all the money he has and finds a way to somehow, and in someway get a date with Drew Barrymore.

This movie was shot in a month. You know why? Because Circuit City had a 30 day return policy that he wanted to take advantage of so he didn't have to pay for the camera. So in those 30 days he goes through every single method and way of getting a date with Drew. Some are met with sad results, some are hilarious and some are worth praise. It's interesting to see just how far someone will go for a date with a celebrity. The film also had a wide Internet campaign that was one of the first big Internet launches of a film. This film was spammed so much not only at Blockbuster but all around the Internet that you would be hard pressed not to find this movie somewhere. I think it was a bold move and the movie is good enough to withstand this amount of hype.

The only major disappointment I had with this film was the date itself. He goes through all of this hard work and effort to get a date and when he does its kind of sweet but mostly awkward and you can tell as sweet as Drew is she is a bit uncomfortable at this sweet but borderline stalker.

Overall it's a good documentary and really sweet. It's funny and it shows just how far someone will go to find the one they love.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

These are desperate times, Mrs. Lovett and desperate measures are called for...

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

A recent conversation on the LAMBcast involving remakes got me to thinking of some of my favorite remakes. I've already reviewed Dawn of the Dead and the Crazies but I think it's now time to review one of my favorite remakes that also happens to be a Tim Burton movie-Sweeney Todd.

It's hard for me to admit I'm a Tim Burton fan and for good reason. While Tim Burton is very visually masterful he also can co over the top on most occasions which does turn a lot of people, myself included, off. That doesn't mean that he makes bad movies by any means but he's one of those you gotta love him or hate him kind of directors. Me personally I enjoy select works of his and one of my favorite Burton films ever is this one Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I've always been a sucker for musicals and because of my theater background I've always been a sucker for Broadway musicals. My favorite Broadway musical ever is Sweeney Todd. The visceralness and the lyrics and the songs and the story all just grab me in. A twisted tale of redemption by a demented barber on a hellbent quest to get back at all those who burdened him and took him away from his wife and child. There is just something so wonderfully twisted about that.

It was hard for me to swallow the cast being what it was and especially considering it was a musical but overall I was quite surprised at how good the cast is. Johnny Depp is short of sheer brilliance and his voice is actually quite good. Alan Rickman makes a great villain and Helena Bonham Carter is quite good as well. Overall the sound and musical numbers as well as the acting all work together quite well.

In my opinion nothing will ever beat seeing the original but as far as movie versions this one is quite good. If you were skeptical before give this one a look.


You know, when I was your age, I used to have these awful nightmares.

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

I was really hoping on skipping reviewing this one but I guess since I reviewed the first one I might as well review this one as well. In 2007 for some unknown reason the Strauss Brothers, a relatively unknown brother directing duo, along with a relatively unknown writer decided to take two of the biggest names in Sci-fi horror and make a pseudo sequel to the first Aliens vs Predators movie. Does it have anything from the original like Weyland? fact besides the creatures and one brief joke line of "Get to the chopper (which is butchered)" there is nothing that reminds me of the original movies. It's like Fox said they needed a good horror movie but don't want to pay any big names or create new characters...oh look we have the AVP saga, people like that let's make another movie. And to tell you the truth, while I was glad it used more blood and gore and was more like an R rated movie (like the originals)...I really wish this wouldn't have been made.

Here's the story: a predator with a facehugger is shot out into space and is intercepted by a predator ship. The creature becomes a hybrid alien/predator known as the "Predalien" and kills all the predators on board causing it to crash into a small town in Colorado. The facehuggers and Predalien escape the ship and wreak havoc while a distress signal is sent out to the rest of the universe. An ex-con and a small band of people must escape the town or die trying. The basic premise is set up more as a horror film with people fodder for killing so there is no other real plot besides that.

Yes there IS more action in this one than the first AVP and some would actually enjoy that. Me? I found it all quite repetitive and dull. Any fan of the original movies has seen it all before so why do it again? Honestly I can't figure it out. The kills hold no weight, the effects are laughable and overall the acting and plot are just dull.

The only redeeming value is the Predalien and the fact that there is more violence. Otherwise this is just another dull and boring movie just made to cash in on these two once great franchises.


They're not hunting us. We're in the middle of a war. It's time to pick a side.

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

Anyone who loves sci fi thrillers will know that you can't get much better than the Alien and Predator series. Predator set a standard for action thrillers and redefined the idea of a monster movie and the alien series showed us how awesome Lawrence Henrickson and Sigourney Weaver are. Well that and they created probably the scariest sci fi films ever made. So in the mid 2000s when I heard they were combining the two I was ecstatic! Freddy vs Jason was amazing (compared to their most recent iteration) and the video game AvP was and still is a staple of great sci fi survival horror gaming. But for some reason Paul W.S Anderson just couldn't get it right. It's not that AvP sucks (to some it does but the first one's not bad) but it's just terribly underwhelming compared to the great series they came from.

The story is pretty simple: A group of scientists lead by Weyland from the Aliens series goes into an underground cave area in search for why there was a spike in the heat temperature. When they get there however they realize that they just stepped into the middle of an all out Alien vs Predator war and if the humans get in the way than they die. It doesn't really get more complicated then that and honestly for this kind of movie do you really want it to be extremely deep? Probably not.

The acting is mediocre at best but realistically all any fan of the show cares about is Weyland. Besides that the rest of the cast is basically fodder. The effects are nice but they can be wonky sometimes and the aliens don't really feel natural. Not that they were natural or anything but it just caught me off guard at how fake they looked. The predators look good but seem very subdued in the movie. I blame that on the film's PG-13 rating as well as its idea that the Predators are good guys (WTF?). The action scenes are okay but like everything else very subdued. It was just a run of the mill sci fi horror when you got down to it. A few jump scares but basically kind of dull compared to their original sources.

Overall this movie could have been much better but for some reason Paul WS Anderson felt the need to bring the AVP universe to the younger crowd. Bad decision on his part because this could have been an awesome movie. It's not bad for what it's worth but definitely forgettable.

Add Image

Friday, February 26, 2010

LAMB Devours the Oscars-Best Sound Mixing

the Large Association of Movie Blogs Devours the Oscars

Ever since the late 20s-early 30s sound has been a major part of films. Some Silent Film enthusiasts believe it's what damned the film industry but for the most part most people think sound is one of, if not the most important part of a film. If you think about it while visuals ARE important without sound we would be bored to tears. Imagine if films like Black Hawk Down, Transformers or The Bourne series didn't have sound. They wouldn't have been as effective as a film! One of the best scenes in Black Hawk Down is when they are riding across the ocean in the helicopter and all you can hear is the noise of the helicopter. It's such an overpowering sound that adds SO much to the film. Both of the Transformer films use sound to magnify the effect of the transformations. The "Ree kee kee" noise that you hear when they are transforming is almost more exciting than the actual transformation because you know "OH SNAP THAT IS THE SOUND OF THINGS ABOUT TO BE GOING DOWN!" And in a film like Bourne Ultimatum sound is crucial. During the apartment fight scene the music cuts out completely and relies on sound along to make the fight exciting. You hear every punch land, every kicks impact and every prop getting thrown at Bourne and the assailant. It's tension filled without needing sound.

But for some reason we don't really pay attention to these awards or at least the majority of us don't. A lot of people, for some reason only focus on the acting and film awards and completely forget about sound. I'd like to remind those people that without the sound editors and sound mixers that you wouldn't enjoy the movie as much.

Originally called the award for Best Sound, this award has been given out for a long time. Every year since The Big House in 1930 an award has been given for Best Sound (which later evolved into Best Sound Mixing). And this year is no different. As the Movie Encyclopedia I have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of seeing all of these movies that have been nominated this year. And now one by one I will list out the nominees and who I think is most worthy of walking away with the Oscar this year:

First up is Avatar-
Avatar, as most people know, is the high grossing magnum opus from James Cameron. Despite my gripes towards Avatar's story it's hard to say that it wasn't a pretty movie. The visuals were stunning and the sound complimented it well. This talented group of 13 people created a great variety of sounds for the film and mixed it all together well. Every tree, every creature and noise translates well onto the screen and the efforts by the recorders and re-recorders to make a rich, vibrant sound is evident. A definite front runner for the award.

Second is The Hurt Locker-
Kathryn Bigelow's masterpiece (besides Point Break) is not only a front runner for Best Picture but, in my opinion, a definite front runner for Best Sound Mixing. The Hurt Locker depends so much on Sound that it's not even funny. There is very little music in The Hurt Locker so the majority of what you hear is voices and sound effects. And I can tell you that without sound Hurt Locker would be a very boring film. With it though it is a very tense action thriller. Every step, every breath, every tick and every noise is important to create the suspense and tension that this film provides. These 3 talented people came together and have created a wonderfully recorded/re-recorded film.

Third is Inglourious Basterds-
Quentin Tarantino's Nazi/WWII masterpiece is great. All the action, all the suspense and the great writing and directing from Tarantino and the wonderful acting have made this a film that I will remember for a long time. As for the sound, unlike the first two I mentioned, isn't at the forefront of the film. It's there for sure and there are a few scenes (the opening scene with the creaking and the bat scene) that really do play up the sound really well or lack thereof but for the most part the sound takes a back seat. A great film but will not win the award for Best Sound Mixing.

Fourth is Star Trek-
J.J. Abrams took a break from Fringe and Lost to bring us a great re-imagining of the Star Trek Universe. Seven red shirted men were given the task of recording sound for the film. That is and still in my eyes is a daunting task. The sword fight clangs, the ship clanks, creaks and thrusters, the blasters and even the creatures all had to be brought together and mixed to create something special and they did just that. While I think the Academy overlooked this film in the Best Picture category I think that they were right to nominate this for Best Sound Mixing. I'm on the fence whether it will win or not but if it does win I wouldn't be surprised.

And last and certainly least (at least film wise) is Transformers: Rise of the Fallen-
While certainly out of place at the Academy Awards (the Razzies got it covered though) it's hard not to admit that it DOES deserve to be in this category. Whether or not you liked the film, the sound was great. The aforementioned "Ree kee kee" sound as well as all the explosion and fighting effects were crucial to this film. Without the sound this visually stunning film certainly wouldn't be as exciting. In fact the sound is the best part of the movie. The 6 hard working mixers definitely earned their paycheck with this one. Since the first one didn't win I doubt that this one will but like Star Trek I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Overall I think this is a good category and each of the contenders deserve to be there. I personally think that Hurt Locker SHOULD win the award but I think, along with all the visual awards, Avatar may end up taking this award home.

"It's gonna be alright, we're gonna be okay" "You don't really believe that do you?"

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

Horror remakes seem to be as common as a Saw film nowadays. Michael Bay is hellbent on remaking every horror movie series from the 80s with his remakes of Texas Chainsaw, Friday the 13th and the New Nightmare on Elm Street and other recent films like Last House on the Left, Dawn of the Dead (and subsequently the remakes of Day and Night) and My Bloody Valentine have been crowding our screens nowadays. Honestly though, like most common horror movies, they all suck...that is with the one in a million exception. Every now and again a director and writer strike gold with a remake making it better (or almost better) than the original. Sadly though Dawn of the Dead and Last House on the Left are the only recent ones that come to mind but now I have another to add to the list: The Crazies.

The Crazies is the third film from Sahara director Breck Eisner and is written by Ray Wright (2006's Pulse) and Scott Kosar (TCM remakes and The Amityville Horror remake) with help from original director George A Romero. With the exception of Romero the credits didn't make me excited for the movie. Even the title made me laugh the first time I saw it. The film looked interesting but needless to say I went in with low expectations. When I walked out I was flabbergasted...the film was amazing!

The plot of the Crazies is pretty simple: In small town Ogden Marsh located in rural Iowa things seem pretty normal. That is they seem normal until a toxin contaminates the water supply. When that happens, slowly but surely each of the inhabitants of the town go completely crazy and suddenly die. The government gets word of this and quarantines the town shooting anybody on sight. Now a small band of people must get together and try to escape the town, or die trying.

The first thing I noticed about this film is how intelligent it is. Usually in horror movies, no matter how good they are, there are a lot of eye rollingly bad moments where you just want to yell "C'mon!" But surprisingly to me and everyone else in the audience there weren't that many in this film. Like The Descent the characters think before they act and actually use the thing between there ears. The second thing I noticed was the's top notch in this film. I personally think Timothy Olyphant is highly underrated and it shows in this film. His role is brilliant (no award winner by any means) and he was a joy to watch. Otherwise the supporting cast was quite good and very entertaining to watch, especially when everything started going crazy.

Another nice thing about this movie is it's unwillingness to rely on jump scares. Most horror films use that as a crutch but not this one. Yes they are in there but when they are used they are used smartly. The film also doesn't rely on gore to get a rise out of people. There are some extremely disturbingly violent moments and gory moments in the movie (I may actually have nightmares) but overall it is uses tension to create the scares and not the jumps or the gore.

Overall The Crazies is no award winner. But it DOES stand head and shoulders above most horror movies out there and it stands millions of miles above most to all horror remakes. Despite it's name and it's writer/directorial credits I suggest giving this one a look. A great film if you want a good scare.


Survivor Heroes vs Villains Interview with Randy Bailey

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

Well another episode of Survivor 20: Heroes vs Villains has gone by and after two heroes getting the boot, a villain is finally going home. But out of the colorful characters on the villains team who is the first to go home? Randy Bailey. Randy is a 50 year old no nonsense Texan with a knack for being blunt, angry, sarcastic and mean and is a self-proclaimed bully who loves to crush the dreams of those who don't share in his supreme intellect and strength. He is a wedding videographer, an avid scuba diver, and triathlon/marathon runner but nowadays he mostly sits on his couch or in his hot tub with a scotch on the rocks and enjoy the silence. He is a private pilot and enjoys golfing as well. Randy doesn't talk much with his family or what's left of it and recently the only "person" in his life passed away: Johnson, his black Lab mix.

So without further ado Randy Bailey-

The Movie Encyclopedia: Hey Randy thanks for sitting down and talking with me.
Randy: No problem. I'm tired and I've been doing this all day but hopefully you'll get SOMETHING out of this.

TME: Okay...first What was it like being brought back to Survivor? What made you want to come back and how did it feel to be called a villain?
Randy: It was a great experience...well at least the first time. I was pretty excited that they wanted me to come back. Slightly confused as to WHY but still excited. I didn't mind being called a villain and honestly the label doesn't really matter it's all semantics anyway. I was more surprised though at some of the heroes. A lot of them were backstabbers and and when you get right down to it all of the people on Survivor are villains. But I guess they HAD to divide us up. You'll have to give it a try.

TME: Well then do you have any advice for future survivor castaways?
Randy: Honestly? Don't do it. It's an interesting experience when your there and not watching it on TV but I wouldn't recommend anyone doing Survivor. It was fun the first time but it's a lot of work to do and a pain overall.

TME: So how were things at camp? Did you get along with anyone?
Randy: I was glad to see Coach there and don't let the act fool you...he knows what he's doing. He's a wonderful guy and great to get along with and he's sharp as a tack. Coach, Jerri and myself actually got pretty close and I felt the most connection with them. Believe it or not Jerri is a lot of fun to talk with. I really hope one of them win since they are the most worthy but that never ACTUALLY matters in Survivor. It's all just a big popularity contest.

The camp was mostly a mess since we didn't have a clear team leader. Boston Rob was in charge of the challenges but really he gets too much credit for doing nothing. He's a popularity snob and I've never liked Boston Rob. I've never respected Boston Rob either. He's a douchebag. The same goes for Russell. I had never seen him play but he is a total egotistical pain in the ass. Overall this season there are too many camera hogs with big egos this season.

TME: I gotta ask what was going through your mind during that tribal council?
Randy: I knew I was going home. Russell seems to have everyone fooled and everyone LOVES Rob. Russell had Parvati's back so I knew she was safe even though she deserved to go home. She's already won so she doesn't deserve to stick around. Hero or Villain that goes for all of them. If you already won or are coming back for a third time you don't deserve to win. But that didn't matter. Rob and Russell sealed my fate. They are, for some unknown reason, completely influential over everyone else. Especially Russell. He made Rob cave and because of his love for Parvati they made sure I went home.

TME: So I know you don't like Rob, Russell or Pavarti but why did you end up voting for Rob?
Randy: It didn't matter. I could have voted for anyone but I would still have gone home.

TME: Why'd you throw your buff into the fire? Was it just for show or were you just that pissed?
Randy: I was pissed....thought I'd send a message as I left and you remembered it so it seemed to have worked.

TME: How was that last challenge for you going up against James? Were you worried?
Randy: I actually thought the whole thing was humorous. I'n not scared of James and honestly I have no ill feelings towards him for kicking my ass. I knew I was gonna get killed so I was more worried about how the mud would feel. It's not like the Villains had much chance in the challenge anyway so what was one more loss. How bad could I have done honestly? I was pissed that he threw the bag at me but I was stuck in the mud so there was no point in retaliating.

TME: How do you think you were portrayed on the show?
Randy: Portrayed? I was invisible! I am...well was the best villain on the show and definitely the most strategic player in the game but they were never able to show that. They were too busy focusing on the egotistical camera hogs like Rob and Russell.

TME: Besides Rob, Parvati and Russell are there any other players you'd like to see go home sooner rather than later?
Randy: Probably Courtney first. She is the most annoying person on the team and a pain to deal with. She does nothing for the tribe and is really a waste. The same goes for Sandra. But there non game strategy will get them far probably unless the villains tribe wises up. But if they ever do that then Rob, Parvati and Russell would be gone in a blink of the eye.

TME: Would you play again if you got another opportunity? If you were to ever win the million what would you do?
Randy: I've been a big fan of the show since day one so never say never. If I ever do win I want to move back to Texas. Although I will say, and this goes for everyone, save your money. It would definitely be my retirement money. That would be great.

TME: One last question and then I'll let you go: do you think you'd ever consider starring in a Gary Busey biopic?
Randy: What?!
TME: Nevermind...
Randy: No I'll answer the question: No I have not considered starring in a Gary Busey biopic.

TME: Thanks again Randy
Randy: Yep

Well that's it for this week but be sure to check Dylan Fields over at Blog Cabins for the Survivor Recap and then join me next Friday for the next interview.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is it better to live as a monster or to die as a good man?

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

To say I was anticipating this movie would be an understatement. In my honest opinion Martin Scorsese is the best living director right now and has created some of the best and most memorable films as all time. Then I hear that Dennis Lehane, an author whom I love dearly and who has created great masterpieces like "Gone Baby Gone" and "Mystic River (both ended up as movies)" was creating a new thriller about Federal Marshall's stuck on an island with an asylum. It was called "Shutter Island." I read the book and was blown away. Not since Catcher in the Rye had I read a book that was truly brilliant. Then I hear Martin Scorsese will direct the movie version. On top of that you got some of the best actors today attached and Steven Knight (of Eastern Promises) and Laeta Kalogridis (of Birds of Prey) are writing it. I nearly squealed with glee when I saw a release date. But it kept getting pushed back...nevertheless my hope never faded and when it finally came out I rushed to see it. The theater was packed but I didn't care, I was happy and seeing the movie I was dying to see. What did I get? I got what I expected: a great thriller from great writers with great direction and great acting that was true almost line for line with the book.

Without giving much away in terms of plot (and it's a doozy of a plot) it's this. Edward "Teddy" Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule are Federal Marshall's that have been assigned to a case at Ashecliffe, a mental institution on Shutter Island. Once there they have to figure out how a patient Rachel Solando disappeared from the island while under watch from the gaurds. But when they start digging they realize that not everything may be as it seems.

From the first shot to the last shot this is a brilliant film. Leonardo DiCaprio continues to impress me at how much he has grown as an actor. Mark Ruffalo is brilliant as well playing the sidekick to Leo and they play off each other quite well. Other great performances come from the brilliant as always Ben Kingsly, Michelle Williams in a surprisingly deep and sinister role and probably most importantly Jackie Earl Haley. His role is no more than about 6 minutes at most in yet it is phenomenal. The look, the voice, the inflection...I actually clapped after he went off screen. Add them all to the great pacing, writing and direction from Scorsese and it's all a brilliant film...

...except for one NAGGING problem: the horrendous editing. Thelma Schoomaker, a multiple Academy Award Winning editor and a great personal friend and collaborator with Scorsese really slacks in this movie. There are noticeable cuts that are quite jarring (not just for effect but like in the first couple minutes) and it doesn't get better. It seems like plot points disappeared and reappeared at random and glasses and scarves disappear and reappear at random as well. One second they are holding a glass and the next frame a cigarette. Usually I don't notice things like this but Thelma really dropped the ball with this one. It wasn't a movie killer but it was consistent enough in the film to make me get a bit peeved.

Overall though Shutter Island is a great and suspenseful thriller that is well told, well acted, well written and well directed and that proves that you don't need jump scares nowadays to really make an audience feel disturbed without being disgusted. A great film.


"Use this to defend yourself. It's a powerful weapon." "It's a PEN!"

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

When I heard they were making a film version of Percy Jackson I was a bit hesitant. As a pretty big fan of the book series I was hoping for a great and true to the book series movie. Some movies based on books have done that well but usually when geared towards kids the film tends to veer away from the original material. Well I can tell you that Percy Jackson changes DRASTICALLY from the original source material. There are SOME similarities and most of the characters are there but it IS really quite different. But unlike some films that totally veer away from the source material *cough* Eragon *cough* this one is actually pretty good. Not the greatest but still I was pleasantly surprised.

The plot (I might as well explain it because it's so different) is this: Zeus thinks that the son of Poseidon stole the master bolt and gives Poseidon 14 days to get the bolt back unless he wants total war to break out. Meanwhile Percy Jackson, a teenager and the son of Poseidon is at an art exhibit. After being attacked by a Fury and saved by his Latin teacher, him and his best friend go to a camp for demigods and there he meets new friends and, after his mom is kidnapped, takes on the task of finding the master bolt. The plot is actually quite good for what it is in my opinion. It moves along at a good pace, it doesn't FEEL like a kids movie and its pretty action packed (once again for what it is). I had a lot of fun watching this movie altogether.

The acting was pretty good in my opinion. Once again my inner fanboy wants me to cast a lot of other people in the characters roles but for who they got the roles were well acted. Logan Lerman plays a great Percy, Brandon T Jackson is a good Grover and Alexandra Daddario makes a good Annabeth. The supporting cast is good but I will say Uma Thurman felt way out of place. Overall I think Chris Columbus did a great job overall casting the film. Mostly I'm just glad to see Columbus. He has always been one of my favorite directors and so to see him come out with a new movie I'm always there. He puts a lot of effort into his films to make them visually stunning and entertaining films for the whole family.

Overall it was a good movie. Not great and certainly not like the book but still a good movie that is worth seeing.


Survivor Heroes vs Villains Interview with Stephenie Lagrossa

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

Well guys I am back and fresh off my interview with the latest Survivor to get booted off Survivor's 20th anniversary season "Heroes vs Villains": Stephenie Lagrossa. No stranger to Survivor, this 30 year old tough as nails Philly native returned for her THIRD time only to get eliminated second. But still in high spirits and still feeling the effects of her dislocated shoulder she was happy to sit down and have an interview with me.

(Editors Note: Stephenie was pretty busy so my interview with her was kinda brief but I got a lot out of her in that short time)

And it goes it little something like this:

The Movie Encyclopedia: It's great to finally sit down and talk with you, it's definitely an honor.
Stephenie: Glad to be here today thanks for having me

TME: Well I gotta ask the big question right now: how's your shoulder doing? What was it like dislocating it on the first challenge? Oh and outta curiosity what was your opinion on Sugar running with her top off?

Stephenie: It was pretty unfortunate that it had to happen so early and pretty painful but I couldn't and still can't dwell on the pain. It's doing well now but I probably will need surgery down the line...but that was the case prior to the game. I thought the Sugar thing was awesome. Too bad to see her go so soon.

TME: So what's it like going in for a third time? What made you want to come back after all this time and how are the conditions over there?

Stephenie: Why did I come back? The love of the game. The conditions were the hardest part of it all but the experience of Survivor in general, at least for me, was, and still is, a life changing one. It's definitely fun still but it DOES get harder every time. I am getting older now and it IS an All-Star cast. Coming back this time and making it even for the short time I was on was just a conformation on how strong I can be. I would play again in a heartbeat I can tell you that right now. It doesn't matter how old I get I love doing Survivor.

TME: So how's life outside of Survivor been for ya? Do you get recognized a lot still? How is your restaurant doing and do you still do anything for the Philly Flyers (hockey for those who don't know)? How bout you and your fiancee? Got any wedding plans yet?

Stephenie: Life is good. I used to get recognized all the time and now I still get recognized from time to time especially now. I have been home for a few months now and I'm actually planning on going back up to the restaurant soon. You should come by it's called GiGi's. We are located at 319 Market Street, Old City, Philly. Come in and try our best dish: the Filet Mignon Pizza. I haven't really done anything with the Flyers in a few years but I still love hockey. We're going to get married in Napa-Silverado. My fiancee, if you didn't know, is Kyle Kendrick, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. We will be getting married towards the end of the year.

TME: So I gotta ask do they film you 24/7? Do you think they treated you (despite your brief time) fairly on camera? Is there anyone who is totally different than what we are used to seeing? Any feelings especially for James or Rupert who seemed to have it out for you?

Stephenie: Yeah its 24/7 so there is no privacy at all. I think they treated me fairly and portrayed me accuratly. I think James showed his true colors on the last episode and will now have to deal with that in the public eye. He is a totally different person off camera and so I'm glad his true colors came out. I used to like Rupert but he was kind of a tool this season and was really standoffish for some reason. I don't DISLIKE anyone, I'm not that kind of person but I probably wouldn't play with those two again.

TME: So who do you think will win? Do you think a hero or villain are more likely? And just outta curiosity did you know anything about Russell going in and why do you think the heroes struggled as much?

Stephenie: I would like to see Tom or Boston Rob win. Tom and Rob are the strongest players. I do like Colby though and I think he has a good chance of winning. I like him. I think a villain is more likely to win though. They seem to be more organized then the heroes. The main problem with the heroes I think is the egos. Egos don't equal being good. Just because you've played a challenge before and just because you THINK you know what your doing or how a puzzle works doesn't mean you are or you can. I didn't know much of anything about Russell going in except that he was on the last season and did something to qualify as an All-Star. I never really got a chance to talk to him either.

TME: Do you have any regrets? Would you have done anything differently?

Stephenie: I don't have any regrets. I would have liked to stay longer and I would have liked to play with Boston Rob but everything's 20/20 in hindsight. I kind of wished though I would have been more in your face at tribal council though. It was really pleasing though to see I wasn't alone at tribal council though and that I had support from Tom and Colby. I can't even put it into words those guys are awesome for standing up for me. But I do wish I could have been more in your face though.

TME: Alright who SHOULD have gone home?

Stephenie: Amanda...or James especially after Tribal Council.

TME: Who is your favorite female on Survivor right now?

Stephenie: Probably Parvarti. She's definitely a player and sneaky as well. I think she'll go far.

TME: Just wondering do you talk with anyone from previous seasons:

Stephenie: Yeah I do. Mostly people from Palau but in particular I do still keep in touch with Jenna, Ethan, and Heidi mostly.

TME: Final Question: Any advice for people wanting to do Survivor in the future?

Stephenie: I think it's hard to get accepted in the first place but it's easy if you are interesting. Give a good story, do something funny or out there but still be yourself. That's important if you do make it into the game as well. Be honest with yourself. Try your hardest out there, be strategic, always stay on your toes and make friends. If you do these things then you will make it in Survivor.

TME: Thanks for sitting down and talking with me!

Stephenie: No problem I was glad to do this interview. Bye.

Well that'll do it for this interview but be sure to check back next week for another interview with the latest Survivor cast off. And be sure also to catch Dylan Field's Survivor Live Recap for all the up to date information on what's going on during the episode. Check it out at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A lot can happen in twelve months John

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

Nicholas Sparks has pretty much reinvented the term tearjerker. He's also wrote books that not only appeal to a large female crowd but also a large male crowd as well. And his books continue to bring joy to millions everywhere. In recent years as well his books have translated into numerous amounts of films. Each is a tearjerker and each makes us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside...usually. His most successful book film to this day is still "The Notebook" which viewers of all ages, races and genders seem to love. Even the toughest of guys love "The Notebook" if nothing else because it's a well told story and a love story that really speaks to us. Trying to recapture that gold, or at least give us something before his Miley Cyrus probably going to be a hit The Last Song, Sparks' latest hit "Dear John" has been brought to the silver screen. With the help of "Chocolat" director Lasse Hallistrom, Sparks has made a film that has already seemed to garner a lot of attention, even if it's not the best of film.

Dear John, the book and movie, is the story of John, a US soldier who on shore leave in 2001 meets Savannah Curtis, a college student on Spring Break. Savannah and John soon fall in love and soon meet each other's family. Savannah has a good family but John's family is a little less than stellar. After a misunderstanding between Savannah and John, John writes Savannah a letter and they make up. John returns to active duty and soon they begin sending letters back and forth to each other, trying to keep the relationship alive.

It's actually not that bad of a story. A little hammy, heavy handed and hokey at times but still quite well written and well told. The directing and cinematography is actually quite lacking in this film but the score and the story seem to make up for it. Amanda Seyfried does a great job as Savannah and Channing Tatum, despite his recent hiccups with GI Joe and other films, does a pretty good job in this film and gives what's probably HIS best performance (not saying much but still). I will say the one bad thing about the story is that it follows the basic rules of a tearjerker and doesn't really deter from that framework at any time. It's sad because the book, in my opinion, deterred from that formula.

I could sit here and say I hated it but I didn't. Yes it's a hammy romantic tearjerker like all of Nicholas Sparks' work but at the same time it's interesting enough, well written enough and well acted enough to at least warrant a rental.


Monday, February 15, 2010

"What are you doing in my apartment?!" "Blowing your mind!"

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

Wow another romantic comedy where an independent woman meets a funny hunky guy who makes her let her guard down and after an hour and a half they fall in love and live happily ever after but not before going through some hilarious hijinks and physical comedy moments sprinkled in with some serious or sad moments! Excuse me for not giving a damn.

I'm not being fair to the movie. Josh Duhamel and Kristen Bell are good actors and the supporting cast is quite strong (Dax Shepard, Jon Heder, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett, Don Johnson) but it just feels too familiar. Beth is a successful art curator who goes to Rome to attend her sister's wedding. When there she meets Nick, a journalist who is a little goofy and shy but falls for Beth. She goes to a fountain and wishes on it and while there picks up some coins. She returns to New York and is followed by a whole lotta suitors.

It has it's funny moments (Shepard and Arnett mostly) but mostly the film falls flat. The writing is predictable, the plot is uninspired and it's kind of dull. It's been done to death before and honestly I wasn't that interested. A harmless date movie I guess but overall just not that good.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let's remember those three words we all love to hear: Let's...Get...Naked

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

Gary Marshall has been an interesting director for me. I like him but I don't exactly love him. He was a great writer for "Happy Days" and I love Pretty Woman but he hasn't really reached that greatness of Pretty Woman ever since. Granted The Princess Diary films were good but that was because of newcomer at the time Anne Hathaway...not Gary Marshall. Well since Love Actually was apparently too British for people, Gary Marshall, along with Katherine Fugate (creator of Army Wives) created a pseudo Love Actually based on a holiday nobody actually cares about and put about almost every actor not busy at the time and looked good in it.

To tell you the plot would be a mindblowing experience. To say the least its a hodgepodge of different plots all going on at the same time that connect in some weird 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of way. There are two florists, a teacher, an agent, a PR person, a sports newscaster, a mailboy, a football player, a soldier, a business man, an old couple, two young couples, a hopeless romantic, and a phone sex operator. I'm probably forgetting a bunch of things but forgive me for that. Basically all the stories revolve around the love or hate of Valentine's Day and all the things people go through on that day. The story is your usually sappy, cheesy, corny, hokey, funny, happy, aww inducing, romantic comedy stuff that we usually see. But honestly I kinda liked it. It's harmless, no real groaner moments, kind of goes out of the way to be different and in the end is just an average funny film.

I can't really comment on the acting that much unless you want nine pages of description. Basically they all do there job fine with a few stand out performances. Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Hector Elizondo, Topher Grace, Bryce Robinson and Taylor Swift all stand out as being above average with Robinson and Garner pretty much going above and beyond everyone else. I actually appreciate Swift's ability to make fun of herself and if your wondering No Taylor Lautner still can't act and no he doesn't take his shirt off. The only lackluster performance was probably Jessica Alba who was kind of painful to watch. And despite what people say, Ashton Kutcher wasn't bad.

Overall it's an average movie with a sappy sweet plot. A good date night film and at least worth a rent.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hip-hop is the unwanted bastard son of superior musical forms like jazz and blues.

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

As you all may know I am a huge fan of the original Smokin Aces. It's an awesome, over the top action film that doesn't take itself too seriously and is brilliant for it. It remains one of my favorite guilty pleasures of all time. But what happens when you decide to make a prequel, cut half the budget, get rid of half the actors and make them all (except Soot) total jerks? You get a movie that HAD potential but blew it because they wanted to cash in on a great franchise.

The sad thing first off is that there actually is a story. The first one got away with just having a set up and character development and then boom boom boom until the end of the movie. Not so the case with the second one. It's the same idea, one target, a bunch of assassins but this time the target knows he is being targeted and hires his own assassins and there's political backstabbing and clown bombs and badly done mexican stand offs but the result is the same. Whereas the first was just funny and entertaining because it didn't take itself seriously, this one TAKES itself seriously and thusly makes everything kind of stupid. Then you have the nerve to get rid of almost the entire cast from the first one including Reynolds, Liotta, Pine, Affleck, Garcia and Durand and then get rid of the great Clint Mansell, the great composer, Joe Carnahan is reduced to a producer and the only good thing about this movie is the return of Lazlo Soot.

The acting, except for Jones and Soot, is abysmally bad and way over the top, the action is too chaotic, makes no sense and the CGI is really weak. The directing and cinematography makes it look home made and overall there is not much to like about this film.

This is a sad tragedy of a film series. The first one was a great film that remains one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. The second one is a complete sell out of the series and really shouldn't have been made.


Terrible things Lawrence, you've done terrible things.

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

Thanks to Tom Clift, Roger Ebert and the great people at Rotten Tomatoes my expectations for this movie went from really high to rock bottom. I'm glad that happened because it braced me for the impact that was this film. Not in recent years have I seen a horror film SO predictable, SO cheesy, SO badly acted (except for one actor) and SO visually boring that I was in pain watching this movie and nearly pushing my mom out the door to get out of the theater.

The story of the Wolfman, if you haven't already heard it a thousand times before with little tweaks, is about Lawrence (Benicio Del Toro), an actor living in New York who is summoned to a small town near London by his sister in law Gwen (Emily Blunt) to solve the disappearance of his brother who recently went missing. When he arrives his father (Anthony Hopkins) is pleased to see him but warns him of what happened to Ben. Ben is later found dead and Lawrence takes it upon himself to find who now murdered his brother. Well Lawrence goes to the forest, gets bitten by a creature, becomes a werewolf and the rest is what you expect to see in these kinds of films. The plot, for the most part, is as predictable as a Friday the 13th film, with me actually being able to predict every jump scare (the ONLY scares in this movie) and almost all the lines, because you can predict those from a mile away.

The ONLY good part in this ENTIRE film is the character of Francis Aberline played by the remarkable Hugo Weaving. For those who don't know Weaving is the man responsible for such great characters as Agent Smith in "The Matrix" series, V in "V for Vendetta", Megatron in the reboot of "Transformers" and Elrond from "The Lord of the Rings." His dry sense of humor, animated delivery of lines and his ability to make any movie watchable has made him (and only LAMBcasters will get this) MY Ben Foster. Anyway...Aberline is a detective from Scotland Yard who recently dealt with the Jack the Ripper case and has now been sent to investigate the deaths and disappearances of the townsfolk caused by Lawrence.

Del Toro gives Tommy Wiseau a run for his money by giving one of the worst delivery of lines in the history of film. He starts off a whispering, timid mouse, goes Shatner, goes Slater, and then finally goes Wiseau and beyond. By the end of it every time he opens his mouth you laugh. Hopkins, who is usually really good, gives a very monotone performance with the same inflection in his voice the entire time. It's only during the last ten minutes do we see Academy Award Winner Anthony Hopkins and 5 of those are CGI. Blunt is good but doesn't really do anything...except by Victorian era hot and do what her script tells her to do. Good job but a little more effort maybe. Then Weaving comes in and everything's better.

Sadly I can't recommend this movie to anyone. It's a waste of money, boring, predictable, poorly acted (except Weaving) and uninteresting. Skip this one.

MY VERDICT: AVOID IT (only because of Weaving should you see this)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Survivor Heroes vs Villains Interview with Jessica "Sugar" Kiper

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

Survivor has been on for twenty seasons now and it's still going strong. So to celebrate twenty years of Survivor they decided to do another All Star Season this time pitting famous Survivor Heroes against famous Survivor villains. For some strange reason my back alley connections have gotten me the ability to interview the contestants that get eliminated so hopefully (I can't always promise) I can get you up to date interviews with all the fallen cast mates.

First up is fan favorite Jessica "Sugar" Kiper from Survivor: Gabon who was famous for being the bubbly, cheerful pin up girl who surprised everyone by coming in third. Sadly though, even after a valiant effort in the reward challenge even going so far as to lose her bra, her emotions and her flirtatious nature got the best of her and thanks to Colby she was the first one to go. So without further ado here is the interview:

The Movie Encyclopedia: Hello Sugar Thank you for doing this interview
Sugar: No problem.

TME: A question that seems to be on everyone's mind is WERE you hitting on Colby during that first night?
Sugar: Only for the sake of the game. I had no romantic feelings for him. I mean I'm not single, I'm with someone right now!

TME: Alright. How does it feel to be considered a Survivor Hero?
Sugar: It felt like a I felt kind of bad.

TME: How's it like playing with other Survivors?
Sugar: It's VERY HARD

TME: Did you know you were going home first?
Sugar: Yeah...I knew...

TME: Do you think because you shared your emotions when you lost is the major reason why you went home?
Sugar: No but I don't think it helped

TME: Colby seemed to play a huge part in your going home it seems
Sugar: Yeah it appears that way

TME: So why DO you think you went home?
Sugar: Because someone had to go and apparently I was weak and annoying

TME: So who got on your nerves the most?
Sugar: I was most annoyed at myself actually lol.

TME: Do you have any regrets?
Sugar: Regrets...I have a FEW lol

TME: So who do you think will go home next?
Sugar: Cirie...or someone that the group has targeted. Probably someone from Micronesia

TME: Speaking of do you and Corrine talk much?
Sugar: We've bumped into each other a few times. Same goes with Cirie and Amanda and really anyone from Micronesia.

TME: So do they send you right back home when you get voted off?
Sugar: No you stay out there the entire time.

TME: During that first challenge what was going through your mind?
Sugar: "I need to do something good!"

TME: Do you regret rolling out of your bra?
Sugar: No actually I don't regret that at all

TME: Who do you want to win?
Sugar: Tom. I admire him the most out of all of them.

TME: So how do you feel about Randy?
Sugar: I like Randy. I think he's funny and if he has the potential to make everything more interesting (laughs)

TME: Alright then who is your favorite villain?
Sugar: Coach

TME: What do you think his chances are?
Sugar: I think he'll go far.

TME: So what's your opinion on Russell? How much do you know about him?
Sugar: I think he's psychic...and possibly crazy. They didn't tell us much about him except that he was on the last season and had done something worthy of him being brought back.

TME: Who do you think was left out this season?
Sugar: Todd Herzog...he should have been there.

TME: What are you allowed to bring with you to the island? Do you have any advice for future cast aways?
Sugar: Just basic stuff and be sure to mentally prepare even more so than you expect.

TME: So how's life outside of Survivor? We know your a pin up girl. What made you want to do that?
Sugar: I just like the retro look to be honest with you.

TME: Do you do anything else? Sing maybe?
Sugar: Yes actually I have a band called "She Loves Betty White." It's an alternative band and I play the drums and sing.

TME: Do you have any pets?
Sugar: I have two: Major P. Pants, who is usually nicknamed Maj or Major and my new puppy Misty.

TME: Why Major P Pants?
Sugar: Because he pees whenever he sees anyone.

TME: Do you like being a reality TV star?
Sugar: I'd honestly rather just be a regular TV star.

TME: This is my first interview with a Survivor so I must ask a burning question that I have had for a while. Is it true that the show is taped ahead of time and what we see is just the recording. Like the winner has already been chosen and everything?
Sugar: No actually they cloned us and those are our clones out there right now on the island. Mine didn't do to well it looks like.

TME: I knew it haha. So I have one last question. You seem to really like Tom and Coach but who do you think is more likely to win Survivor: a hero or a villain?
Sugar: Villain probably because they are nastier but I'm pulling for my old tribe of the heroes.

TME: Thanks again for your time and participation!
Sugar: Thank you.

Tune in next time to see if I can get an interview with the next eliminated contestant. And be sure to check out for the latest Survivor recap and play by play. Until Next time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sometimes, fate just... fate just up-and-f***s you for no good reason. That the way'a the world! The way it's always gonna be. Alright then, peace bro

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

I love Smokin Aces. I am one of the few I know but I really do. No matter how much I try to hate it, this over the top action film is brilliant. It's profanity ridden dialogue hides some truly brilliant plot twists and turns and the characters are fully developed into living, breathing characters that you really care about. Even though all of them (for the most part) are dirt bag assholes it's hard not to enjoy some of the witty banter they have back and forth with each other and when and if they kill off a character it's really hard to watch. No one actor doesn't do their job right with everyone shining and really standing out as being top notch. Just everything about this film is great.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Smokin Aces is directed by Joe Carnahan who is mostly famous for the film Narc but I've loved him ever since Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane. He is also slated to direct the A-Team movie as well. Well Carnahan writes and directs this film that I really need to separate for it to make any sense:

-Buddy "Aces" Israel is a magician is Vegas and also an FBI informant for the mob
-Primo Sparazza is the mob boss who is slowly dying of heart disease and wants Aces dead.
-The FBI are sent to protect Israel but are really getting sick of his crap
-A shitload of assassins are hired to take Israel out including:
  • A group of bounty hunters who are sent to bring Israel in for skipping bail
  • A group of crazed hillbilly brothers known as the Tremor Brothers
  • A chameleon known as Lazlo Soot
  • Two female assassins Sykes and Watters
  • A man simply known as "The Plague"
-They all go to the hotel to fight

And about an hour and 50 minutes later it's over.

It's so over the top it's great. It's a refreshing guilty pleasure of a film and while most would disagree I've watched this film at least ten times and it's still awesome. So give this one a look and you won't be sorry.


I trust everyone. It's the devil inside them I don't trust.

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

The original Italian Job was an under appreciated classic with heists, fast cars and great acting. In the early 2000s, since Hollywood has essentially run out of original ideas, they decided to remake this unknown classic. Putting together a team of some of the best looking actors (or in some cases actors not working) together they were able to create a great BMW car commercial with plot put in between it. But that's not necessarily a bad thing...especially when you have Edward Norton as an antagonist.

The story of The Italian Job is this: A group of skilled thieves led by an old retired safe cracker and his daughter plan to commit one final heist. Everything goes according to plan except one of them (Norton) betrays them and leaves them all for dead. Vowing revenge the team bands together to get revenge on Norton.

This film is full of fast action and even faster car chases. There are explosions, kisses, espionage and pretty much everything you'd expect from a typical action movie. The acting is good for what it is and considering it has an all star cast it works out well for them. The movie is fast paced and never feels boring. Overall it's a pretty well done movie...

...except that it's pretty run of the mill. Everything about it has been done before and done better. But don't let that stop you from seeing it. Bored? Watch the Italian Job. A good flick for a boring day.


Do you ever feel like a chess piece yourself? In a game being played against your will.

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

Period pieces are always interesting to watch and they (for the most part) tend to be pretty good. For the most part period pieces (at least in modern cinema) seem to take place during the Victorian era and honestly why not? Big fashions, bigger hair, castles, kings and queens, cheating lovers, forbidden love I mean these movies practically write themselves. The latest of these period pieces is a small British film entitled The Young Victoria based on the reign of Queen Victoria and her early years as queen and romance with Prince Albert.

Emily Blunt plays Victoria, the queen of England who becomes queen when she is eighteen. She is young but she is strong willed and quite brilliant. But while some may disagree with her or her methods, one man Prince Albert, falls for young Victoria and its not too long before Victoria reciprocates. The story is fairly accurate to history and it should be: it's sponsored by the Queen, Sarah Duchess of York and is produced by Martin Scorsese. The script is written by Oscar Winner Julian Fellowes who won the Oscar for the great film Gosford Park. The director Jean-Mark Vallee is fairly unknown but does a great job with the film as well.

While I don't see this film winning any awards for acting (although to be fair Emily Blunt is wonderful when she's not shoving her accent down her throat to sound American) it certainly will for the aesthetics. The art direction, makeup and costumes are truly brilliant. Usually I don't notice things like that in movies but for this one it was really evident. A lot of work was made to make it as Victorian era as possible down to every bush, cheek mark and ruffled shirt. I only mention this here because like sound awards nobody really cares...which is a shame because when effort is shown like it is in this one it should get more attention.

Overall everything is pretty good. It's a bit sappy at times and it really is a girl power chick flick but if you enjoy well made period piece films then give this one a look.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You'd let both of us die just to keep your secret?

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

You've heard about this movie, we've all heard about this movie...but have you seen it? I'm willing to bet not a whole lot of you did and for good reason. This multi Razzie award winner is one of the crowning achievements in suckitude in the past decade. This film further cements the fact that Lindsay Lohan is a terrible actress and unless her role is to be slutty, sleep with anything and anyone, smoke like a chimney or go on a drug binge that she is pretty much useless as an actress. It's too bad because when she was younger she had a lot of potential. But like Tom Sizemore she is just a slippery slope that is falling to oblivion.

The plot of I Know Who Killed Me is convoluted, more confusing then Lost and is boring to boot. In a small town there is a serial killer running rampant and kidnapping and torturing women. Aubrey, a writer and piano player is the latest one to go missing. One day a lady finds a girl that looks just like her and brings her to the hospital. Aubrey's parents are there and are happy to have their little girl back only to realize that who they think is Aubrey is really a stripper named Dakota who is a bit down on her luck after suffering some pretty bad wounds. It's now up to her to find Aubrey, this girl who looks just like her, and find out what happened to her.

It could have been an interesting story. The plot when taken out of the context of the movie is actually pretty decent. But the writing and acting completely destroy any hope this film had of being good. Every performance is shallow, hollow, forgettable, boring and uninteresting and all the dialogue is bash your head against the wall stupid and hard to follow. Lohan does nothing for this movie and ultimately this film is a total waste of time.

If you must see it, see it just to witness how horrible a movie truly can be. Otherwise stay away from this one and let it disapear into nothingness.


Escort, hooker, prostitute, whore. I don't mind what you call me that's all just semantics.

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

As an avid fan of Doctor Who I have been following the career of Billie Piper for a while. As most Who fans know she plays the iconic character of Rose and while that character is awesome, it WAS more of a supporting role when you think about it. But I guess the TV executive gods were listening because in late 2007 a new show appeared on itv2 called Secret Diary. Soon enough however Showtime, home to so many great shows, picked it up and renamed it Secret Diary of a Call Girl. And being a huge fan of Piper as I am I gave this show a look and I was NOT disappointed.

Call Girl is the story of a girl named Hannah. She is fresh out of university and looking for a job. Problem is she isn't very good at proper jobs so one day, after a fateful encounter with a man, she decides to become a high class escort named Belle de Jour. The interesting thing about this show is that it's actually based on a book with the same title but the kicker is that the events and stories actually really happened and are based on the real life stories of Brooke Magnanti who once was a call girl known as Belle de Jour.

If you go into this show thinking it's sex 24/7 nonstop with some dialogue in between then you're wrong. While sex plays an important part in this show it's more about the adventures of Belle/Hannah than anything else. In fact for most of the show it takes a humorous approach to sex and keeps things usually pretty light.

My main gripe with this great show however is that each episode is 23 minutes long with 2 of it being previously on. So I'm a guy who likes good quality episodes and while most of the episodes are interesting there are a few filler episodes and some of the good episodes have some really slow moments. It feels sometimes like they are wasting time at our expense. That and the first season is about 2 hours long altogether. Otherwise the writing is usually pretty sharp and witty and the acting is good all around although Piper is above and beyond better than anybody else on the show.

Call Girl is a show that grows on you and while season 1 has some bumps, season two and three only get better. This one's worth giving a look at.


Does this tutu make my butt look big?

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

This is the kind of movie I wish I could unsee. I knew it would be a bad movie, the first time I saw the previews I was turned off just like that but for some strange reason I must love torturing myself because I went and saw this God awful film. Why? I don't know I had a free ticket and I was bored I guess is the best answer I could get. I was the only one there and so I thought I could just riff on it...but even with me mocking it almost the entire time it's so mind numbingly stupid that I wish I could get that hour and a half of my life back.

If you must know the story of The Tooth Fairy is that of a hockey player named Derek Thompson. He is pompous, arrogant and thinks he's all that even though he is just a MINOR league player. His nickname is the tooth fairy because he knocks out people's teeth during games. He doesn't believe in fairy tales and even steals the tooth money from his girlfriend's daughter....what a douchebag (and he is our hero ladies and gentlemen). Shortly after committing this act of extreme douchebaggery he is summoned by the realm of tooth fairies and sentenced to be a tooth fairy for two weeks. He thinks it's a dream, it's not yadda yadda yadda his heart grows three times it's size you get the picture.

It's unfunny, lacks any humor even FOR kids, is almost too brutally violent for kids, has horrible special effects and if it wasn't for Julie Andrews or the always funny Billy Crystal I probably would have left the theater it was that bad. Andrews and Crystal ARE pretty good but that screen waste Dwayne Johnson is terrible to not only watch but listen to. I swear he is trying to kill his career as slowly as possible and he's bringing us all down with him.

So even if you have small kids or you have no kids at all just please avoid this movie. It's a painful film to watch and you'll do good to stay away from it.


No, he can't see us. But trust me, he can feel us watching.

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

Rear Window was and is one of the best thrillers of all time and probably one of Hitchcock's best films. It's brilliantly written, tense, a modern marvel of movie technology (wikipedia it and you'll see what I mean), extremely well acted (Jimmy Stewart for life) and is one of the best films ever. Disturbia, a remake of Rear Window featuring Shia LaBeouf is nowhere close to that. But it's not a total piece of crap either, just a disappointing thriller with some good scares but overall lacking the punch and the testicular fortitude of the original film it's based off of.

The story of Disturbia is kind of like Rear Window in the way that it's the same idea and same premise but different means to the end. In other words while in Rear Window Jimmy Stewart broke his leg and was doing something to keep busy, in Disturbia Kale is under house arrest for punching out his Spanish teacher after he made a crack about his dead dad and his Xbox live was shut off...same difference right? No not really. Honestly they could have just gone with the original idea (I mean people still break their legs) but NOOO they had to give a "re imagined" look at Rear Window. But basically from there the plot is the same. Kale, in this case, goes in his dead dad's room, finds his binoculars and finds out that his neighbor is a murdering psycho...and he can't prove that.

The story isn't bad but horribly unoriginal, horribly told and all the jokes are juvenile and for about 30-35 minutes the movie is painstakingly boring. It doesn't help that Shia LaBeouf is the best actor in the whole thing. He gives his usual "I'm tough but totally just still a complete nerd with a hard on for anything with a skirt" and everyone else is full frontal lobotomy dumb. Even the villain is boring and dumb. "Look I can steal keys *ghost noises*." Yeah he's pathetic.

Overall though the movie isn't horrible just boring, poorly written and acted and a shameful excuse for a Rear Window remake. Kids just go watch the original.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rorschach's Journal: October 12th, 1985. Tonight, a comedian died in New York.

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

This has been one of the hardest movies for me to review. I actually began writing it as my 200th review spectacular but I couldn't end up getting the words right and Princess and the Frog got that spot. Then in the past couple months I have started and stopped this review at different points almost posting it before ultimately deleting it. But why is it so hard to review?

Watchmen is what I like to (as well as Tom Clift and a lot of other bloggers) a flawed masterpiece. It's the David missing an arm. It's so visually stunning, extremely well written and well acted but at the same time there are problems with wonky visuals, questionably timed scenes and a couple REALLY bad performances. The plot is also almost too hard to describe without spoiling but I don't WANT to spoil it since it's such a good story as well. I feel like Travis from Taxi Driver when I review this movie.

If you're wondering I have seen all three versions of the movie (theatrical, director's cut and extended cut) and each are about the same in quality. For me, who loves to see everything that a movie has to offer, the extended cut is better but the quality of the editing goes down the drain in that one so I'd probably say see the Director's cut and if you want everything else rent the extra part on DVD/Blu-ray.

The basic plot is this: there are a group of superheroes known as the minutemen. They aren't really "super" heroes but do possess enhanced strength, speed, mental capacity and reflex time so in a way there super but not...screw this I'm not going into that argument. But basically one by one the Minutemen are picked off except for four (Comedian, Silk Spectre, Night Owl and Dr. Manhattan ). Soon after however the Watchmen are created and they consist of the same four (but with Silk Spectre being the original's daughter and the Night Owl now the original Night Owl's friend) but also include a man named Rorschach and a man named Ozymandias to round them out. But soon after they are put together Nixon disbands all superheroes and the Watchmen spread out. On October 12th, 1985 however the Comedian is murdered and that is the catalyst that brings the Watchmen back together and facing some of their own past demons that they already have.

That was hard to write without spoiling but hopefully I did well. The acting overall is great. Rorschach (played by Jackie Earl Haley) is brilliantly devious and embodies the character from head to toe. Night Owl (Patrick Wilson) is great as well playing a man who struggles with his own life and his own problems while trying to be the "good guy." Billy Crudup's Manhattan is amazing and almost enchanting to watch and Jeffery Dean Morgan's Comedian is a hard performance to watch but it's so good.

Then you have Matthew Goode, Malin Akerman and Carla Gugino who all bring this film down a few notches. Goode is a pain to watch and comes off as too arrogant. I realize his character is your atypical snooty rich guy but he's going over the top. Akerman isn't horrible but she has about as much depth as cardboard in this role and looks bored half the time. Gugino IS painful to watch because she IS a great actress but she just doesn't give a crap in this film and really brings it down. For those with the extended edition Gerard Butler does a great job as well but that's only for one of the three versions so I wasn't going to mention it before but why not.

The visuals are stunning and a joy to watch. The art style and art direction are brilliant and work well with the film. The soundtrack is brilliant as well and quite touching in some parts. But then you have some songs that are WAAAYY out of place and then...there's penis. I understand it's necessary for the character's sake but I never wanted to see that much Billy Crudup in my life.

In the end though Watchmen is a masterpiece. Hard to understand at times and sometimes harder to explain the story is well done. The acting sans a few people is well done and the visuals and soundtrack, minus a few are really good. So if you haven't seen it I really recommend you do. You probably won't be sorry.


Monday, February 8, 2010

My name is Steven Seagal...that's right...Steven Seagal deputy sheriff

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

Ya know what I actually like Steven Seagal. Granted he isn't the best actor in the world and he basically plays the same character in every single movie he does but there is something refreshing almost about his sameness. It's like if you go to the video store and find a Seagal movie you know what you're going to expect: lightning fast martial arts fight scenes that are really over the top mixed with explosions and poor writing. That and I respect Seagal's ability to just not give a crap about what critics think and poke fun at himself when and if the time comes.

Another thing I respect about him is that he really is a jack of all trades. He's a writer, an actor, a black belt, a sensei, a producer, a director, a DAMN GOOD blues singer, a master guitar player, a philanthropist for countries in need and in his spare time a reserve Deputy Sheriff for Jefferson Parish Louisiana. For those of you who don't know Jefferson Parish is one of the WORST and crime ridden places in Louisiana. Most cops would dread having to work there and here comes Steven Seagal who works as a sheriff...for free. That's guts and that's ballsy. Then the show got announced. When I first heard about the show I laughed and wrote it off as a fake Cops ripoff. But when you actually sit down to watch the show it's pretty good.

SS:L brings a fresh new approach to the reality police officer show. Instead of just going from crime to crime for a half an hour instead they break it up into different themes for the episode. Sometimes the theme will be fixing the drug problems or educating the youth or training animals or firearms test ect. It's nice to see the show break up into these different themes to space out the crimes and also to show a different aspect of cops that we may not see on a regular basis.

One thing that happens usually whenever there is a crime is what I like to call "Seagal-vision" It's when the camera zooms in on a person and shows what happens in slow motion with a heart beat sound effect. This is usually preceded by Seagal looking inquisitively at something or someone. It's kind of a cool effect and it really does show how some cops have a sixth sense about crimes that may or may not be committed.

My only major gripe with the show is that most of the crimes are kind of over too soon or they let them get away too often. There really aren't that many chase scenes unless for a brief moment before capture. Also they let people go a little too often so you don't hear the lecture in the police cruiser you usually see with Cops. The only other problem I have is Seagal's incessant need to say "From my years of training in the martial arts" or "my training in the martial arts." I swear it should be a drinking game.

Overall SS:L is a pretty good cop show that is entertaining and fun to watch. It does have it's flaws and the season did end a little too soon for my taste (and I don't know if it's returning) but I looked forward to watching it every Wednesday and with the first season to be released on DVD soon I reccomend you at least give this one a look.


The spirits tell me your little pants are on fire.

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

When Psych first debuted I was pretty excited. The writing was fresh, the dialogue was witty and the acting was great. Plus seeing a guy pretend to be psychic and fool everyone into believing he IS one is pretty awesome. From the pilot I was hooked and needless to say I still enjoy this show to this day. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's now take a look at the beginning of what would become one of my favorite shows: the first season of Psych.

Psych is the story of Shawn Spencer. Shawn is a free spirited, womanizing, motorcycle riding, cynical, sarcastic son of a decorated police officer. Shawn loves get rich quick schemes but has always had one major hidden talent: his ability to notice things others can't. His powers of deduction along with his steel trap of a memory make him a great detective, even if he doesn't realize it. One day he gets interested in a police case and gets involved a LITTLE too much. One of the head detectives once him thrown in jail but in a last ditch effort Shawn says he is psychic and proves it him by telling the detective all about him. Shawn his noticing powers and impresses the police station. Shawn then grabs his best friend Gus, a medical sales rep and overall smart guy, and starts Psych, a psychic detective company that works with the police.

Every episode follows the same usual pattern. Someone is killed or goes missing and using sleuthing techniques, stealth, disguises and noticing powers, Shawn and Gus figure out who was killed or where the missing person was. The catch is he doesn't tell anyone and has a psychic "vision" that tells the police the answer. These are usually quite dramatic and elaborate and usually always catch the criminal.

The first season does have it's hitches that most rookie shows face, forgettable episodes, plot lines to nowhere and some character development episodes, but when Psych is's really good. The first season shows how great the show will become and it certainly does not disappoint.