Archive for June, 2005

Gladiator

Forget snowboarding and base jumping. Today’s thrill seeker’s think they invented extreme sports. Far from it. That honor would go to the gladiators of ancient Rome, who were trained with one goal in mind: kill or be killed. As if life in ancient Rome wasn’t harsh and decadent enough, imagine being enslaved and forced into brutal combat for the amusement of the masses. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Seconds

When an experienced thief accidentally makes off with a Van Gogh, his partner is kidnapped by gangsters in pursuit of the painting, forcing the criminal to hatch a rescue plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later DVD

When I was a teenager and anxious to take on the world, my mother would always tell me, “Slow down, because when you get older, everything goes so fast.” Yeah, right. Read the rest of this entry »

King Kong

Let me get this off my hairy chest. Director Peter Jackson has not reinvented or re-imagined King Kong. Jackson has made King Kong. I’m not about to drag out my critic porta-potty and dump on the original. Given the state of the art in 1933, King Kong was and still is a beast to contend with. Read the rest of this entry »

Enemy of the State

You ever get that creepy feeling that you’re being watched? There is no one else around, but for some reason, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and paranoia sets in. Is that smoke detector really a smoke detector? Is that unusual hum on the other end of the phone just static (are you listening, Linda Tripp)? Read the rest of this entry »

Rumor Has It…

Sarah Huttington, recently engaged, goes home to Pasadena with fiancé Jeff for a family wedding. She hears a rumor that “The Graduate” (book and movie) are based on her family. Did her grandmother and her mom have flings with the same man just before her parents married? Is she a strange man’s child; does this explain why she doesn’t fit in? Was her mother happy? Is she too facing a loveless marriage? Where can she seek answers: her mother’s dead, her father’s a pleasant naïf Read the rest of this entry »

King Kong

Set in the 1930s, this is the story of a young and beautiful actress Ann Darrow from the world of vaudeville who finds herself lost in depression-era New York and her luck changes when she meets an over-ambitious filmmaker Carl Denham who brings her on an exploratory expedition to a remote island where she finds compassion and the true meaning of humanity with an ape Kong. The beauty and the beast finally meet their fate back in the city of New York where the filmmaker takes and displays the ape in quest of his fame by commercial exploitation which ultimately leads to catastrophe for everyone including a playwright Jack Driscoll who falls in love with Ann and plays an unlikely hero by trying to save her from Kong and her destiny. Read the rest of this entry »

2001 Maniacs

Three college slackers, Anderson Lee, Cory Jones and Nelson Elliot, plan a good time away from their college by heading out to Daytona Beach for Spring Break. But along they way, they get detoured into the small, off-the-map, town of Pleasant Valley, Georgia, where they, along with three drifters, Joey, Kat and Ricky, and biker Malcolm and his girlfriend Leah, are welcomed as guests of honor by the cheerful but sinister-looking Mayor Buckman for the annual Pleasant Valley Guts and Glory Festival. Unknown to the eight unsuspecting Northerners, Mayor Buckman and the residents have more in store where they plan to use the festival as a blood ritual by separating the guests and killing them off one-by-one in ultra-gory fashion Read the rest of this entry »

Are We There Yet?

The fledgling romance between Nick, a playboy bachelor, and Suzanne, a divorced mother of two, is threatened by a particularly harrowing New Year’s Eve. When Suzanne’s work keeps her in Vancouver for the holiday, Nick offers to bring her kids to the city from Portland, Oregon. The kids, who have never liked any of the men their mom has dated, are determined to turn the trip into a nightmare for Nick Read the rest of this entry »

Galaxy Quest

Delivered with affection and tongue-definitely-in-cheek, “Galaxy Quest” is one big grin of a movie. Arriving amidst the Holiday rush of heavy, dramatic Oscar-contenders, “Galaxy Quest” breaks through with great performances and sharp, witty dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »

Squid and the Whale, The

The patriarch (Jeff Daniels) of an eccentric Brooklyn family claims to once have been a great novelist, but he has settled into a teaching job. When his wife (Laura Linney) discovers a writing talent of her own, jealousy divides the family, leaving two teenage sons to forge new relationships with their parents. Linney’s character begins dating her younger son’s tennis coach Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing Down The House

Except for that fleeting moment in “Silver Streak” where Richard Pryor teaches Gene Wilder how to be black, I’ve never found the idea of uptight white people getting “Jiggy” with it very funny. In fact, I find the idea offensive, and cringe whenever I see rappers like Vanilla Ice and Eminem, or those “out of control” teens on Jenny Jones, acting like brothers and sisters. Read the rest of this entry »

Gloomy Sunday

In “Monty Python’s And Now For Something Completely Different,” there’s a sketch about how the allies created a joke so lethally funny that anyone who hears it dies. The allies planned to use the joke as a secret weapon against the Germans, having it translated one word at a time into and shouted phonetically at the enemy. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Say A Word

“Don’t Say A Word” could have been a decent thriller if only it had an original thought on its mind. It’s based on the novel by Andrew Klavan, but it feels as if has been pieced together from numerous Alfred Hitchcock movies. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Cool

Streetwise mobster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer is back, but this time Chili has abandoned the fickle movie industry and veered into the music business, tangling with Russian mobsters and gangsta rappers and taking a talented, feisty young singer named Linda Moon under his wing. From the recording studio to an Aerosmith concert to the MTV Music Awards, he manipulates events to watch them play out the Chili way, using his signature blend of wiseguy skills and negotiation tactics. It’s a dangerous business, and everyone’s looking for their next big hit Read the rest of this entry »