Thursday, June 30, 2011


Terrorvision-1986, directed by Ted Nicolaou, starring nobody anyone knows
He says- Inept direction and over-acting sink this cartoonish tale of a family and friends' reactions when a monster from outer space emerges from their tv set.  Watch the old Outer Limits episode instead.  BOMB

I say- This could have been so much more fun than it was.  It was really slow, and the effects were laughable instead of cheesy.  I wanted more.  BOMB

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland-1999, directed by Gary Halvorson, starring Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, The Count, Telly, and other denizens of Sesame Street

He says-  TV's Elmo (the red, furry, three-year-old monster from Sesame Street) loses his precious blanket and  his search leads him to Grouchland, where he tangles with the villainous Huxley (Patinkin).  Fine fare for young fans, but little else for older viewers.  Elmo, Patinkin, and Williams seem to be having fun.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  This was an odd one to watch.  My wife thought this was the worst thing ever and couldn't believe I was going through with watching a movie clearly aimed at the under 4 crowd.  But I had to.  And it was pretty bad, not from the standpoint that it was for kids, but mainly because they had NOTHING in there for adults.  If you watch Sesame Street (and there are funny clips on youtube), you'll find inside jokes for adults, such as Cookie Monster hosting SNL.  This aspect was not present in this film at all.  Still, I had to admire the technical work for the Muppeteers.  1/2 star.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smiley Face

Smiley Face- 2007, Directed by Gregg Araki, starring Anna Faris, Danny Masterson, Jane Lynch, John Krasinski, Marion Ross, John Cho, and Danny Trejo
He says- Loser goes from A to Z when she devours her roomie's maryjane-spiked cupcakes, propelling this slacker into an episodic series of pot-fueled misadventures.  But this colorful, technically adept comedy simply isn't funny; a big disappointment from onetime indie wunderkind Araki.  Roscoe Lee Browne narrates, as himself.  Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson has a three-second cameo.  One and a half stars.

I say-  God, this movie was awful.  The biggest problem lies in Anna Faris, who is completely unlikable in this film.  All she does is smoke, and not in a funny Cheech and Chong style, but borders on being completely depressing.  What a waste of good cameos.  BOMB

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adventures of Don Juan

I cannot watch the Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, so next is

 Adventures of Don Juan-  1948, directed by Vincent Sherman, starring Errol Flynn

He says- Handsome tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler has Errol stringing along countless maidens and even enticing the Queen (Lindfors); Oscar winner for Best Costumes.  The lady at the end is Flynn's second wife, Nora Eddington.  3 stars

I say-  There's a song in this movie I've heard a million times, and I'm assuming it was written for this movie.  I loved Errol Flynn in this, and I thought the movie was worth a watch once.  A little dated, but still fun.  If this was remade today I could only imagine how much nudity would be in the film.  2 stars.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Dirty Shame

A Dirty Shame-2004, directed by John Waters, starring Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair, Chris Isaak, Ricki Lake, and David Hasslehoff
He says-  Ullman plays it to the hilt as a repressed, scowling convenience-store clerk who is conked on the head and awakens a sex addict.  Waters' outlandish film depicts a cartoonish world that's gone sex-mad.  Occasionally funny, mostly silly; plays like the concoction of a preteen boy who's just learned his first naughty word.  R-rated version also available (NC-17).  2 and a half stars.

I say-  This movie was funny.  Not a great one to take grandma to, but if you like John Waters and Tracy Ullman and nudity, you'll love this.  2 stars.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Netflix doesn't have The Adventures of Barry McKenzie so that takes me to:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension- 1984, directed by W.D. Richter, starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Lloyd

He says-  Off-the-wall pulp fiction by Earl Mac Rauch about a hero who's a neurosurgeon, physicist, rocket-car driver, rock singer, and government troubleshooter.  Should be fun, but it's incoherent, like coming in at the second chapter of a Saturday matinee serial.  Still, it has a fervent following.  2 stars.

I say-  What the hell was this?  This movie just plain sucked.  Peter Weller is not that a sex symbol, which in this he is portrayed as such, and also, this movie was extremely confusing.  I still have no idea what happened, except the aliens look like they cost 10 bucks to make.  BOMB

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The Adventures of Baron Muncahusen- 1989, directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Eric Idle, John Neville, Sarah Polley, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, Sting, and Robin Williams

He says-  The legendary tale spinner returns in a new interpretation of his exploits by director-cowriter Gilliam.  Breathtaking special effects go hand in hand with Gilliam's outlandishly funny and far-out ideas; a visual feast that's worth staying with through its occasional lulls.  The Baron's exploits were previously filmed in 1943 and as The Fabulous Baron Munchausen in 1961.  3 stars

I say-  They don't have the Fabulous Baron Munchausen, so I can't compare.  I own this movie.  I enjoy the movie after the first 45 minutes, really long and boring set up.  I think Robin Williams is great in this, and you get to see Uma Thurman naked (albeit she has really long hands).  Worth watching if you like artsy fantasy.   2 and a half stars.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

Adventures in Babysitting- 1987, directed by Chris Columbus, starring Elisabeth Shue, Penelope Ann Miller, and Anthony Rapp

Maltin says-  Shue, extremely winning in her first lead role, plays a teenager who takes her two babysitting charges into downtown Chicago to help get a friend out of a jam- and winds up in a snowballing series of wild adventures, a'la Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Young teens might go for it, but it's mediocre at best.  Screenwriter Columbus' directing debut.  2 stars.

I say- This movie is rather boring.  I saw this when I was younger, and really didn't care for it then, and now watching it again, I can see why.  For a movie about "adventures" it does not feel very adventurous.  You can pretty easily predict everything that's going to happen.  Plus, I felt rather old to be watching this one, however, for younger kids, this movie is very dark. So not really sure where it fits in.  1 star.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Me and Orson Welles

Me and Orson Welles-2009, directed by Richard Linklater, starring Zac Effron, Claire Danes, and Christian McKay
He says- Teenager with an artistic bent stumbles into a job with Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre troupe as they're preparing their groundbreaking stage production of Julius Caesar in 1937.  Quite suddenly he finds himself in fast company, attracted to the ensemble's girl Friday (Danes) and in the orbit of the mercurial but brilliant Welles.  Wonderfully vivid evocation of a storied time in Welles career.  McKay is a standout in the fine ensemble as the larger-than-life boy genius.  Based on a novel by Robert Kaplow.  3 stars.

I say- There's something about Zac Effron that I just don't like.  I felt like the story was good, but him as a lead really detracted from the experience.  1 and a half stars.

The Adventurers

The Adventurers- 1970, directed by Lewis Gilbert, starring Bekim Fehmiu, Candice Bergen, and Ernest Borgnine
He says-  Three-hour challenge to the kidneys based on Harold Robbins' best-seller about fictional South American republic that has a new revolution every two minutes.  Incredible mess wastes attractive cast.  BOMB

I say-  YUCK.  This did not need to be 3 hours, nor did it need to be made.  Waaaaaaaaaaay too many changes in story direction made this painful.  BOMB

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother- 1975, directed by Gene Wilder, starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, and Dom DeLuise

Maltin says-  Wilder's first film as a writer-director-star is mild spoof of Sherlockian adventures, as Sigerson Holmes becomes involved with music-hall songstress Kahm, a damsel in distress.  DeLuise, as a hammy opera star, adds film's liveliest moments.  Listen carefully for vocal cameo by Mel Brooks.  Made in England.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  Not Wilder's finest work.  Rather bland, and very slow.  The jokes seem forced, and the acting is played comically instead of seriously, which does not lend itself to the quality.  1 star.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks!-1996, directed by Tim Burton, starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Benning, Pierce Brosnan, Danny Devito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Natalie Portman, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Jack Black, Lisa Marie, and Christina Applegate

He says- Overly self-satisfied spoof of '50s alien-invasion movies (and '50s attitudes) has Martians landing in flying saucers.  President Nicholson urges calm and reason, but the little guys turn out to be predators...nasty ones at that!  Great effects and animation (of the Martian characters) but awfully broad and one-note in tone, spoofing something that's already funny in the straight-faced originals of the period.  One can't completely dislike a film in which Slim Whitman figures so prominently, however.  Inspired by a gum card series of the same name.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  Very enjoyable cast, not that enjoyable of a movie though.  I feel like the ending was anticlimactic, and there were far too many characters; it almost seemed as though Burton called his friends and offered them bit parts in a movie to make a large movie.  I saw this when I was younger and felt pretty much the same way as I do now, which is love the actors, dislike the movie.  One and a half stars.


So for now I have to skip through Advance to the Rear and Adventure, so we go to:

Adventureland-2009, Directed by Greg Mottola, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, and Ryan Reynolds

He says-  In 1987, a brainy (and virginal) college graduate (Eisenberg) plans a trip to Europe before attending grad school, but a change in family finances forces him to take a menial summer job at a run-down amusement park in his hometown of Pittsburgh.  Things take an interesting turn when he falls for a pretty coworker (Stewart).  Seriocomic coming-of-age tale boasts strong acting and moments of insight, but covers familiar territory and drags in several spots.  Mottolla also wrote the semiautobiographical script.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  Can you bite your lip, brood, be stuck between 2 guys,and twirl your hair?  Congratulations, you are Kristen Stewart in every role!  Can you be nerdy, an alcoholic, incredibly likable and yet oddly hateable at the same time?  Congratulations, you are Jesse Eisenberg in every role!  Can you be a douche?  Congratulations, you are Ryan Reynolds in every role!  Each of these actors played the same characters they play in every film in this movie.  Fun fact:  Kristen Stewart plays with her hair 55 times in this movie.  The movie itself was ok for a one time viewing, however, the last half of the movie is really tedious and hard to watch,  You know how the movie will end from the beginning, which really makes me lose interest.  2 stars.