Monday, August 29, 2011

Aeon Flux

So the "AD"s are over and now to the "AE"s!

Aeon Flux- 2005, directed by Karyn Kusama, starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, and Pete Postlewait

He says-  Brainless sci-fi thriller in which a sexy rebel/assassin (Theron) battles to liberate a walled city from its dictatorial rulers.  This nonsensical, sleep inducing live-action cartoon is based on Peter Chung's animated MTV series; the material's far better served in its original format.  1 and a half stars

I say-  God this was confusing.  I had no idea what happened, it felt like I came in during the second half of a long movie.  Action was ok I guess.  I still don't get why people think Charlize Theron is sexy.  1/2 star

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Advocate

The Advocate-  1994, directed by Leslie Megahey, starring Colin Firth, Ian Holm, and Donald Pleasence
He says-  Lawyer Firth abandons the bustle of 15th-century Paris for the supposedly more pastoral pace of rural France, only to get involved in a murder cover-up that culminates in his defending a pig-back when animals actually used to stand trial.  Very offbeat but very accessible drama of courtroom intrigue with vivid characterizations.  Aka Hour of the Pig .  3 stars

I say-  This was at least watchable.  Not great, but was intriguing.  Colin Firth was good as usual.  Not a hell of a lot to say about this one.  2 stars

Advise and Consent

So Netflix doesn't currently have The Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, or The Adventuress, so that takes me out of the "adventure" movies and into

Advise and Consent- 1962, directed by Otto Preminger, starring Henry Fonda, Don Murray, Burgess Meredith, and Betty White

He says-  Long but engrossing drama of Washington wheeling and dealing, from Allen Drury novel.  Cast is fine, with effective underplaying by Ayres and Tone standing out among more flamboyant performances by Laughton (his last film) and Grizzard.  Also shown in computer-colored version.  3 stars

I say-  I HATED this one.  No idea what happened.  BLECH.  BOMB

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes-1939, directed by Alfred Werker, starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, and George Zucco

He says-  The master sleuth faces one of his greatest challenges when the nefarious Professor Moriarty (Zucco) plots to steal the Crown Jewels.  The second and last of Fox's excellent Rathbone-Bruce period pieces which predated Universal's entertaining modern series. 3 and a half stars

I say-  I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie.  Great mystery and great acting, and wasn't terribly dark for black and white.  3 stars.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Junior- 1994, directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Devito, Emma Thompson, and Frank Langella
He says- Pleasant-enough comedy about a straitlaced scientist (Schwarzenegger) who's persuaded by an aggressive colleague (DeVito) to try injecting sperm into his body and becoming pregnant.  Unexpected result: he doesn't want to give up his baby!  This "politically correct farce" boasts enthusiastic performances from its three stars, and precious few laughs after the initial "joke" is presented.  Instead, Arnold becomes a better man by experiencing childbearing like a woman.  Sheesh.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  There were so many questions I had in this movie, such as: why would the baby grow in his abdominal cavity without a womb and: the baby has no umbellical cord so how does the baby eat?  My biggest problem with the movie was that the middle hour really dragged down.  1 star.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D- 2005, directed by Robert Rodriguez, starring Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, and David Arquette
He says-  A daydreaming boy named Max is visited by two characters he created- Sharkboy and Lavagirl- who need his help to keep Planet Drool from being taken over by dark forces, including a nasty kid named Minus (who resembles Max's schoolyard tormentor) and his henchman Mr. Electric (who looks just like his teacher).  Inspired by the drawings and drams of his 7-year-old son Racer, Rodriguez usess computer wizardry to create an eye-popping world of wonder for young viewers...though his script and dialogue remain strictly earthbound.  3-D.  2 and a half stars.

I say-  Strictly for kids.  Found this a little boring, with really bad special effects.  Very disappointed that Robert Rodriguez made this instead of spending time on something awesome and violent.  It's very apparent that this is meant to be seen in 3D, as things fly toward the screen and things get bigger and smaller, which makes this unwatchable in 2d.  Also, this introduces the world to Taylor Lautner, so it gets a BOMB

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole- 1999, directed by Tod Williams, starring Vinny Chase and Clark Gregg

He says-  Compassionate coming-of-age story about an introverted adolescent and the impact on him and his family when his stepfather (Gregg) announces he is planning a sex-change operation.  Despite this offbeat premise, the film is more true to life than many other teen-angst tales.  3 stars.

I say-  Holy arthouse film Batman.  Pretty much anything you can imagine in an independent film is here.  The ending sucked.  The story was slow.  Not many adventures to be had here, but the cast was likable.  One and a half stars

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Hunk-  1987, directed by Lawrence Bassoff, starring James Coco and Deborah Shelton

He says-  Youthful nerd sells his soul to become a California hunk- but still has to deal with the Devil (Coco) and his beautiful emissary (Shelton).  Silly stuff benefits from an attractive and colorful cast.  2 stars

I say-  What a traditional 80's comedy that I've never heard of!  You know what's going to happen, the whole thing takes place at the beach, and the characters are not to be taken seriously, but still enjoyable in the right frame of mind.  2 and a half stars

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle- 2000, directed by Des McAnuff, starring Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, Robert De Niro, Randy Quaid, and Keenan Thompson

He says- FBI agent yanks Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose out of cartoon reruns in order to foil world-domination plans of Fearless Leader (De Niro).  Fans of Jay Ward's cartoons will probably cut this benign comedy more slack than others.  De Niro (who coproduced the film) has fun and even spoofs Travis Bickle!  A number of stars appear in gag cameos.  2 and a half stars

I say-  This was what it was.  I enjoy Rocky and Bullwinkle, but not for 90 minutes.  It seemed more about the fact that they were able to pack a million stars into it rather than about the story.  Watch if you're bored or you love the Moose and Squirrel or have a young kid, otherwise, move on.  1 and a half stars.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

School For Scoundrels

School For Scoundrels- 2006,  Directed by Todd Phillips, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Heder, Jacinda Barrett, Michael Clark Duncan, Luis Guzman, Ben Stiller, David Cross, Horatio Sanz, and Sarah Silverman

He says-  Nerdy guy who lets people step all over him is recruited by a mysterious entrepreneur who runs a class for worms in need of turning.  But our would-be hero isn't prepared for his "teacher" to start playing dirty tricks on him.  Most contemporary comedies are too crude for our taste, but this one is terminally bland and never takes off as it repeatedly promises to do.  Remake of the 1960 British comedy.  Unrated version runs 107 minutes.  2 stars.

I say-  It's movies like this and reviews that Maltin does that makes me wonder his system.  He says it's bland but gives it 2 stars.  And this movie did suck.  Slightly better than the original, but still boring.  Would have been better if they had the original actor signed on, Bill Murray, playing the Billy Bob Thornton character.  1 star.

School For Scoundrels

School For Scoundrels- 1960, Directed by Robert Hamer, starring Ian Carmichael and Terry-Thomas

He says-  Wimpy Carmichael, about to lose the girl of his dreams to pushy Thomas, attends the title institute, where he learns "one-upmanship" and "gamesmanship."  Clever, funny, veddy British satire.  Full title on-screen is School for Scoundrels or How to Win Without Actually Cheating.  Remade in 2006.  3 stars

I say-  Bleh.  I hate British humor.  I thought the beginning was good, and that was about it.  Now it's time to watch the remake and see if it's any better.  BOMB

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Heat- 1987, directed by R.M. Richards, starring Burt Reynolds and Peter MacNicol

He says-  Dim, dingy, scattershot film (written by William Goldman, of all people) about a Las Vegas tough, whose exact livelihood is never defined, but who knows how to handle the low-lifes--and teaches "protege" MacNicol all he knows.  So what?  BOMB

I say-  Good.  I thought I missed something in not knowing exactly what Burt Reynolds did for a living.  This was a really dumb movie.  It felt like I was watching a tv show episode a la Miami Vice.  Just terrible.  Burt thinks he's tough, but I laughed at him the whole way.  BOMB

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Adventures of Robinson Crusoe- 1952, Directed by Luis Bunuel, Starring Dan O'Herlihy
He said-  Colorful, entertaining adaptation of Daniel Defoe's classic story about a resourceful shipwreck victim, with some distinctive Bunuel touches; vivid performance by O'Herilhy.  Screenplay by Philip Ansell Roll (Hugo Butler) and Bunuel.  Excellent music score by Anthony Collins.  Main title on film is Robinson Crusoe.  3 and a half stars.

I say-  This is really a hard review to do.  The dvd transfer was terrible, with scenes skipping and sound going in and out.  I could tell it was good, but I can't tell how good it was.  Maybe in years they'll restore it properly.  2 stars to keep it neutral.

Mad Monster Party?

Mad Monster Party?- 1967, Directed by Jules Bass, voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller

He says- Famous monsters are brought together by Baro n von Frankenstein (voice of Karloff), who wants to announce his retirement, in this silly animated kiddie feature from Rankin/Bass.  2 stars.

I say-  First, let me say I LOVE Rankin/Bass.  My favorite Christmas special is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, which they did.  However, this one isn't as magical.  Just seemed as though they relied on the monsters rather than the creativity they normally exhibit.  I wish this style of stop-motion animation would come back.  Might be great for young kids at Halloween.  1 and a half stars.

The Water Babies

The Water Babies- 1978, directed by Lionel Jeffries, starring a combination of stereotypical racist sea creatures

He says- Combination live-action and animated film for children, framing its fairy-tale undersea adventure with virtually unrelated story and characters in Dickensian London.  Inoffensive for children, but downright boring at times.  Aka Slip Slide Adventure.  2 stars

I say-  I used to watch this movie constantly as a very young child.  The live-action part is unwatchable.  Except for when the kid screams "ow, my bum!"  It takes 45 minutes to get to the cartoon, which is the only part kids will like, and the animation is terrible by today's standards.  The High-Cocalorum song is catchy.  Stereotypical gay seahorse, Scottish crab, French lobster, etc.  2 stars.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hercules in New York

Hercules in New York- 1970, directed by Allan Siedelman, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
He says-  Hercules journeys to Earth from Mount Olympus and gets mixed up with wrestling promoters-and mobsters- in this lumbering comedy.  Inept, but irresistible for the opportunity to watch a young, badly dubbed Schwarzenegger in his movie debut (his original dialogue was restored for the dvd).  Reissued as hercules-the movie at 82 minutes, and Hercules Goes Bananas at 75 minutes.  1 and a half stars.

I say- this movie is unintentionally hysterical.  I would recommend watching it under the influence, as Hercules wrestling a bear is a sight to see as is Arnold continually announcing that he is Hercules.  I got the version that was dubbed, but was able to watch the scene where he throws the discus in original Arnie English.  2 stars.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Santa Claus

Santa Claus- 1985, directed by Jeannot Szwarc, starring Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston, and Burgess Meredith

He says-  Story of how Santa came to be starts out so wonderfully- with eye-filling looks at his North Pole toy factory, reindeer, and sleigh- that it's too bad the rest of the film (with contemporary tale of humbug kid and greedy toy magnate) can't measure up.  Still entertaining, just a bit less magical than it should have been.  Referred to as Santa Claus: The Movie everywhere but on-screen.  2 and a half stars

I say-  Yes, it's August, but it's never too early for Santa Claus!  Dudley Moore was really not the star of this movie.  I agree with Maltin, that this movie loses steam midway through, but I was still entertained by it.  It felt a little dark in places, I think that this movie used to scare me when I was younger, so I never fully watched it until now.  2 stars