April 11, 2009

Seems Only Fair

I love having such quick & easy access to the Wall Street Journal, especially at the Kindle price (much more affordable than the dead tree version) One of the best parts is the letters to the editor; whether our locals are not as articulate, or our paper just chooses not to print the good letters, we see nothing of this quality (in humor, in depth) in the AZ Repugnant. This one is even written by an Arizonan:

Time to Cap Pay of Subsidized Actors

I'm outraged after reading about actors making millions of dollars for movies that lose money ("Hollywood Squeezes Stars' Pay in Slump," page one, April 2), and this, after the studios receive taxpayer subsidies from film locations in the form of tax waivers, among other things. They're allowed to walk away with millions from a failed movie. Where was the oversight?

I hope Congress reacts with another 90% tax on anything actors make over $250,000. That would only be fair.

Cecily Buell
Flagstaff, Ariz.

It would only be fair, after all. Most of the celebs seem to be in favor of increased taxes, anyway...though it seems they would prefer not to pay them themselves (much like Obama's intended appointees)

Posted by Vox at 02:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 15, 2009

Let's Go To The Movies

Thanks to AMC's $5.00 early showings, D and I have gotten back to catching some new releases. In the last few weeks we have seen:

Gran Torino - See it

The Wrestler - See it

Taken - See it on the big screen.

Too tired to write more now, maybe full reviews on the Word of Mouth Scale later

Posted by Vox at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2009

A Slight Vindication

David Edelstein, reviewing The Dark Knight:

Even if the death of Heath Ledger hadn't already draped it in a funeral shroud, this sequel (now being rereleased) would be a morbid affair. Christopher Nolan's tense, realistic style is a shock-but then the novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag.

That's even harsher than my critique

(His response to those angered by his original review)

Posted by Vox at 09:29 AM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2009

So Sue Me

Heath Ledger won The Golden Globe which reminds me of something. I'm sure this will get me no end of flaming comments, but here goes....

I saw The Dark Knight, and it was fine. It was a Batman movie, it was enjoyable - but it was nothing near what the hype suggested it would be.

* I can't stand Katie Holmes. I think her acting is just fine, but her personal life has rendered her nearly intolerable. However, replacing her with Maggie Gyllenhaal was ridiculous. Gyllenhaal was nowhere near appealing enough to have us believing the major characters were both in love with her. Holmes is much more attractive physically and as Rachel Dawes.

* Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors, ever since his appearance in Empire of the Sun. He is a performer who you can count on to deliver a quality performance, and in Batman Begins, I think he did. For some reason, this time out, he decided to adopt an odd verbal style. While in the suit, he was nearly unintelligible. His first foray as Batman was great, this time I wanted to smack him upside the head and yell, "spit it out!"

* And, this will really get me in trouble, Heath Ledger . . . not that great. Much like his performance in Brokeback Mountain, where he did a poor imitation of Karl Childers, Ledger relies on affectation rather than acting. It is tragic that he died, but that doesn't make his performance better - it makes it poignant and sad, but not better. I didn't feel anything for this Joker but confusion - as to whether it would have gotten anywhere near the positive press if Ledger hadn't died. I have nothing against the guy, but seriously, if you watch that performance objectively, does it truly deserve to effusive praise that has been heaped upon it?

All in all, The Dark Knight was full up to the brim with overacting. The early Batman films were big, cartoony movies - overacting fit. These latest films seemed to be aiming at more grown-up, more serious - the performances should be tailored to fit.

In the words of another comic book hero, "Flame on"

Posted by Vox at 07:49 PM | Comments (4)

October 11, 2008

An American Carol

An American Carol $5.00
Sunday October 12th, 10:55 a.m.
AMC Westgate, Glendale

Be there or be a big doody-head ;-)

UPDATE: Apparently my readership consists of a mixture of church-goers and doody-heads. I went alone, but I enjoyed it anyway - more later.

Posted by Vox at 06:24 PM | Comments (2)

October 03, 2008

This Weekend

This weekend, Bill Maher's vile piece of excrement, Religulous, opens nationwide.

So does An American Carol.

And a lot of other movies to choose from. I would suggest An American Carol, but anything that pumps money into the box office this weekend, that doesn't go to Maher, is good for me.

Posted by Vox at 09:53 PM | Comments (4)

August 18, 2008

More Casting Changes

I mentioned my favorite Casting Game movie, Collateral, a few days ago. It is a bit unfair to choose that role, in that movie, because of the lack of parameters - the character of 'Vincent' isn't strictly limited by age, gender, ethnicity.... All you need to do is think of someone who can say "You attract attention, you're going to get people killed who didn't need to be." more convincingly than Tom Cruise and you have a winner. Not exactly a stretch.

It gets more challenging/interesting with other movies.

Let's take What Women Want as an example (because Helen Hunt really can't act her way out of a paper bag, and I am not convinced she fits the gender requirement). To replace her we have certain limitations; female, in a reasonable (movie reasonable) age range for Mel Gibson, with some comedic ability. Once again, they have an obvious answer right under their noses. Put Marisa Tomei in the lead role and the movie goes from cute and mildly amusing to down-right funny...and much more enjoyable.

Other possibilities:
Sandra Bullock - generally dependable in romantic comedies, but mostly when she gets to be goofy in some way. Not much goofball in the role as written, so this might not be a good fit.
Ashley Judd - A lot of people don't care for her (including D), but I think she could have swung it
Calista Flockhart - eh, maybe
Kate Beckinsale - I think it would have worked

I have a harder time with this one, obviously.

* How about some TV chicks (remember the movie was made in 2000); Kyra Sedgewick, Joely Fisher, Deirdre Quinn . . .
* Other chicks already in the movie; Lauren Holly, Sarah Paulson (maybe a bit young), Lisa Edelstein, Andrea Baker, Kelley Hazen (maybe too old, but she still looks good and the age works better with Mel) . . . .

Well, I am getting carried away and just grasping at straws now - anybody else want to play?

Posted by Vox at 02:43 PM | Comments (5)

August 16, 2008

Casting About

One of my favorite games to play with D is the casting game - take any movie and figure out who would have been better in any of the parts. I always thought I would blog about it, but like many of my clever post ideas®, it just never happened.

Then I posted about Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise...and their lack of acting ability. And Lori mentioned Collateral which is one of my favorite casting game movies.

Here's why - I don't think you could swing a cat in Hollywood without hitting someone who would have been better in the role of Vincent. I thought it was a good movie, and I thought Vincent was a great, and well written, role, but Cruise was NOT up to it. From the moment I saw him with that fake gray hair (I've seen better fake gray in junior high drama productions), I could not buy him as the ruthless killer - despite his emotionless, robotic performance.

So who would be better (besides anybody with a pulse)?

Take the easy and obvious switch, have Jamie Foxx play the killer. I think he would have rocked it.

* Then you have the list of never fails, the actors who always deliver; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale, John C Reilly, James McAvoy, Alan Rickman, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear...

* How about the pretty boys with talent; Eric Bana, Jason Statham, Will Smith, Val Kilmer, David Duchovny, Harry Conick Jr, Clive Owen, Pierce Brosnan - and for Lori, Russell Crowe...

* How about others in, or offered, roles in the movie; Cuba Gooding Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Colin Farrell, Adam Sandler...

* Even some highly unlikely choices that would have worked; Angelina Jolie, Jeff Bridges, Bruce Campbell, James Woods, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Stephen Dorff, Gabriel Byrne, Tom Conti, Famke Jansen, Rhona Mitra, Daniel Craig, Gerard Butler, Bill Paxton, Tom Waits, Chiwetel Ejiofor...

I could do this all day. Sorry, Lori, but I can hardly think of a performer who wouldn't have been better as the cold-hearted killer.

Footnote on this movie: Jada Pinkett Smith has an annoying and unnecessary role here. The annoying part may have been the casting as I really can't stand her. The character, though, is too obvious and predictable, not to mention completely superfluous.

p.s. D actually likes Tom Cruise, we definitely don't see eye-to-eye on that one, but he has come up with some of the best suggestions for alternate Vincents.

UPDATE: From ExLg's post on the Coen Bros films, I am reminded of John Tuturro, Tony Shaloub, Steve Buscemi, John Mahoney...

UPDATE: Forgot to include my favorite scary bad guys; John Lithgow, Rutger Hauer...(though they may both be a bit long in tooth)

And from the world of comedy; Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Robin Williams, Don Cheadle...

Actors that don't usually do much for me but who could've pulled it off; John Travolta, Richard Gere...

Posted by Vox at 06:53 PM | Comments (5)

August 07, 2008

300 . . . And Then Some

I admit it, I LOL'd. Oh yes, I did.

Posted by Vox at 11:35 AM | Comments (3)

July 23, 2008

Holy Subpoena, Batman

Overlawyered reminds us of a post they made after Batman Begins.

There should never have been a Dark Knight - Bruce Wayne should should have been bankrupt or jailed...or both.

Posted by Vox at 12:55 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2008

Not So Smart

Guess I was right about Get Smart, at least according to Roger Friedman

Anne Hathaway is much too young to play 99 against Carell, so they explain that she’s had plastic surgery and has been "de-aged" somehow. Whatever. In the series, the dynamic between Max and 99 was that 99 adored Max, who was dim and self-possessed. He barely noticed her devotion. She saved him from himself. They were charming.

In this version, 99 mostly rebuffs Max and considers him her inferior. He’s not sure if she’s right, and is willing to concede his worst points. I guess this is a formula. The contemporary audience may swallow it. But Hathaway, who is fine, doesn’t have the mature sensuality of Barbara Feldon, and the couple feels out of balance.

Posted by Vox at 10:14 AM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2008

Get Smarter

I am not sure how I feel about the new Get Smart movie coming out. I have fond memories of the old series, and Hollywood has a lousy record of converting series' to the big screen. I really like Steve Carell, but his track record is hit or miss. (Hard to compete with the genius of Don Adams in that role)

Could be good, could be bad.

The one thing I am fairly certain about, though, is the casting error with Agent 99. Anne Hathaway is a fine actress. She attractive. She's just....young. And fragile. And goofy, but not in a cool, geeky way, more in an adolescent ostrich way. I just can't buy it.

In thinking of possible options, and remembering the perfection of Barbara Feldon, the first name that popped into my head was Tina Fey. She's funny, she's the right age for the part (and any sexual tension with Steve Carell), she easily comes across as smart....and she is, by far, much sexier than Hathaway.

She could also have lent her considerable skill to ensuring the quality of the script.

Posted by Vox at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2008

Oscar Wishes

OK, I haven't seen a lot of these movies, but I will tell you who I want to win anyway.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, or anyone who isn't Clooney.

Best Supporting Actor: Good with any of them, but would prefer Javier Bardem...partly because I have seen the movie.

Best Actress: Ellen Page, because I have liked her in all the stuff I have seen her in. Marion Cotillard's performance was over the top, the other actresses are all quite good. No disappointment here, either.

Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee, 'cause she is old and has an amazing body of work. Also, I don't want them to give it to anyone in that stupid Bob Dylan flick.

Directing: The Coen brothers for No Country For Old Men.

Movie: No Country For Old Men.

Makeup: The Oscar should go to La Vie En Rose - for making that gorgeous actress look frighteningly old before her time, like Piaf, even in close up.

Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody - former stripper writes a screenplay in 6 months (weeks?) that captures amazing attention.

UPDATE: Just saw a clip from The Savages - Laura Linney & Phillip Seymour Hoffman are both fantastic, either of them could win and I would be happy

UPDATE 2: I have a couple of reviews over on The Word of Mouth Scale

Posted by Vox at 05:26 PM | Comments (3)

February 22, 2008

Oscar Time

Yep, Oscar time again.

The nominees.

Printable ballot.

Posted by Vox at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2007

Stale Post

At the latest AZ blogger get together, we all mentioned the number of drafts we write, and save...and never publish. We also decided to each publish one of those "stale" posts for all the world to see. Here is mine, originally begun on 12/26/2005 and titled "Movies, Old & New".

Unfortunately, I can't finish my thoughts on SAJU's King Kong post, since it seems to be unavailable in the Zonitics archives - I don't remember what else I wanted to address (I covered a lot in my original review). I am also not sure what some of my points were in reaction to...and they don't hold up so well without the counterpoint.....

Since it has been almost two years, I don't recall what I wanted to say about the other movies, either. I do remember thinking that Fun With Dick & Jane included unnecessary swipes at the Bush administration (completely out of place in what was billed as a light, 'fun' comedy), and I don't think I found it overly entertaining. I will have to watch The Patriot & Rocky again before I can review them fairly.

So, here it is - what there is of it - in all it's stale glory.

Just a few bit to keep up, I wanted to answer Special Agent Johnny Utah in his King Kong complaints (mostly because I had more to say and he gave me a jumping off point), and then I saw three more movies I want to chat about, as well, the new: Fun With Dick & Jane, and the old: The Patriot and Rocky (I had never seen either of those, can you believe it?)

King Kong: I don't really know that the 'story' was worth telling, but it was certainly worth retelling. What made this movie possible, and desirable, is that it is a remake of a classic film that has been in our collective consciousness for 70 years. When it was originally made in 1933, it pushed the boundaries of the special effects genre (and decency) while making us care about a giant gorilla - no easy feat. I believe the only relationship you need to care about is between Ann & the ape, the rest is just filler for the most part (Well, Carl and his greed play a big part, too).

The comparison to Jerry Macguire is completely out there - I don't get the connection? I can't directly relate to the stories in The Patriot or Rocky, either, but I'm not going to dismiss them because of it. Different genres, different aims, different results.

I actually thought the dinosaurs here looked better than those in Jurassic Park, though I did have some issues with the effects. My complaint was with the backgrounds, specifically the mountain ledge that falls away during that chase. There were anatomical errors with these dinos, but that was intentional as an homage to the errors in the original.

I am willing to suspend my disbelief regarding Ann's potential injuries, and justify her resilience based on her profession. As a vaudeville performer who specializes in physical comedy, she has practiced falling, so flinging herself on the rocks would be no different than flinging herself on the stage. The rides in Kong's grasp and on his shoulder seem much more brutal, but not fatally so.

Posted by Vox at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 30, 2007


I had some time while working on my music project to write a few reviews for The Word of Mouth Scale.

I still have almost 20 movies with incomplete reviews . . . I will try to get them from draft to published soon. Really.

UPDATE: Made some notes on Debi's CD.

Posted by Vox at 07:26 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2007

Movie Day

D took his kids and I to see Live Free or Die Hard this morning. I plan to do more of a review later I did a slightly more thorough review over on The Word of Mouth Scale, but suffice it to say - really good flick. Better plot than 2 & 3, more of the humor that made the first one so great. Very well cast, as well.

(Those of you who have seen this, will recognize the exact technique as used by the terrorists)

Funny coincidence: In the movie, terrorists take out everything computer controlled and all the power. When we got to the theater, all the power was out. They said their emergency lights wouldn't even go on. Well, it was out in most of the mall anyway - not the Coffee Plantation. So, we went over there to get XtraTallKid an ExtraTall brain freeze and waited. When the power came back we made our way over, got the tickets (once their computers reset) and had the theater almost all to ourselves.

Flicks we have seen previews for on our last couple of trips to the theater that look good:

Also previewed were The Kingdom and 3:10 to Yuma, but they don't look as promising.

Bonus: Die Hard video by Guyz Nite (probably NSFW due to strong language)

Posted by Vox at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2007

Speaking of Movies

10 Greatest Movie Monologues

(Hat Tip Pop Candy)

UPDATE: Sofa King has assembled his own comprehensive list of great movie speeches.

Posted by Vox at 02:46 PM | Comments (7)

February 24, 2007

Oscar Weekend

I have been severely slacking this year on my run-up to the Oscars®. They have just been less & less fun the last couple of years.

Anyway, for those of you who want to play along and guess the winners, here is a printable ballot.

Posted by Vox at 04:21 PM | Comments (5)

December 04, 2006

Can't Top It

Somebody in Hollywood decided it would be a good idea to remake this movie

Why? It was very good (as far as psycho slasher movies go, one of my favorites) but not good, or popular, enough to warrant a remake. Yes, I know they did a sequel - dumb, dumb, dumb. And let's face it, you won't get a creepier bad guy than Rutger Hauer, and when you do a remake you risk killing the cult following built by the original.

Not much info to be had on the new one

Posted by Vox at 10:41 PM | Comments (3)

September 14, 2006


Thanks to Kevin, who has pointed out a new Will Smith movie that looks like a must see, The Pursuit of Happyness.

Supposedly a fairly accurate portrait of Chris Gardener's life, starring Smith and his son Jaden. Awwww.

UPDATE: Here is the 20/20 story about him

Posted by Vox at 10:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 04, 2006

No Question About It

An American In Paris is on right now....

Gene Kelly = Yummy

PS I really like Oscar Levant, too - he always cracks me up. He was such a talent. Too bad had such a screwed up life.

Posted by Vox at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2006

Capturing The Friedmans

Capturing The Friedmans

(cross posted on The Word Of Mouth Scale)

I had heard a lot about this movie when it first came out and always meant to watch it. However, knowing the subject matter would be heavy and disturbing, I had never gotten around to it. When it came on satellite we tuned in - and climbed aboard a roller coaster.

The film propels you through the story without a firm foothold on the outcome - is he a monster? are they all? were they railroaded by the system? At various points you believe all those things and none of them. And at the end you are still left to wonder because this film does exactly what a documentary should do; it gives you all of the facts, but none of the answers. Those conclusions you must draw on your own.

I think I am going to try to find the DVD which apparently contains additional footage - and perhaps additional information...or questions.

I give it a rare 5 of 5, on Rotten Tomatoes it scores a whopping 97% from the critics and 96% from the users.

From Amazon:

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and with over $3 million at the box office to date, Capturing The Friedmans is nothing short of the most riveting, provocative, and hotly debated films of the year. Despite their predilection for hamming it up in front of home-movie cameras, the Friedmans were a normal middle-class family living in the affluent New York suburb of Great Neck. One Thanksgiving, as the family gathers at home for a quiet holiday dinner, their front door explodes, splintered by a police battering ram. Officers rush into the house, accusing Arnold Friedman and his youngest son Jesse of hundreds of shocking crimes. The film follows their story from the public's perspective and through unique real footage of the family in crisis, shot inside the Friedman house. As the police investigate, and the community reacts, the fabric of the family begins to disintegrate, revealing provocative questions about justice, family, and -ultimately - truth.

Posted by Vox at 01:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 09, 2006

"Prepare To Buy"

Yes, that is the tag line, cheesy and clever at the same time, attached to the marketing for one of my all time favorite movies.

It comes in Buttercup or Dread Pirate Editions, with extras of unusual size.....

"My name is Inigo Montoya..."

(clip from The Daily Wav)

Posted by Vox at 01:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

Stone Cold

I saw United 93 and found it to be a well done, and agenda free, accounting of that day. It doesn't flinch from the mistakes we made, yet it doesn't flinch from the truth of the matter - that several Muslim extremist terrorists killed several thousand people that day, mostly Americans.

I have no intention of seeing World Trade Center when it comes out because I know it is impossible for Oliver Stone to make an agenda free movie. It is impossible for him to find the truth in a story and stick to it. He takes a grain of fact and twists it and turns it and pulls it and stretches it and covers it in so much crap it is unrecognizable and then releases it as "a true story" and people believe it.

Jeff Jarvis knows Stone has an agenda to sell, as well. His take:

And so it occurred to me: Here is Oliver Stone, the conspiracy theorists to beat all conspiracy theorist, facing the biggest conspiracy he could imagine — bin Laden terrorists with Saudi money plotting right under our noses to a devastating outcome. But this conspiracy, he’s ignoring. I shake my head.
I imagine there will be a lot of head shaking after this movie.

Posted by Vox at 09:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 22, 2006

Why The DaVinci Code

Most of my favorite bloggers are posting one way or the other on The DaVinci Code controversy.

I already commented over at Lori's site re: why it's good that she knows it's fiction, since others believe it is fact. That doesn't mean, however, that those who are offended by it should not make it known that the subject matter is offensive. In fact, I also pointed her back to Zonitics for Anonymous Mike's take on it.

Now SAJU has posted his review of the movie - and the controversy - which finally gave me the kick I needed to post what I have been thinking for a while:

The whole premise of The DaVinci Code, and many other stories, hinges on Jesus being married (in most cases, including this one, to Mary Magdalen). As SAJU says, so what? Which is exactly why this is so offensive.

Had Jesus been married and fathered children, both actions that are encouraged by the church, it would not have changed the Christian experience/dogma at all. Therefore, why would it not have been written about, why would it have been hidden, why would it not be celebrated? The fact that Brown has chosen to suggest that the church would have secret societies, peopled with assassins no less, to protect this secret is indeed blasphemous. To hide behind the guise of "fiction" is disingenuous, as if works of fiction can not be deeply upsetting.

In a free society, Dan Brown has the right to write this book, Ron Howard has the right to make it into a movie, and Christians have a right to be offended.

Posted by Vox at 03:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

United 93

United 93 posterIf you have not yet seen this movie - go.

If you have already seen this movie - go again.

If you are afraid to see this movie, don't be. It is very respectfully done, very moving, and very palatable. This is not an action movie interpretation, it isn't presenting any specific viewpoint, yet you do get a sense of all the things that went wrong and just how complacent we were. Just how complacent we are becoming again, BTW.

This isn't a good movie for children, not because of the subject matter but because of the pacing. There isn't a lot of overt violence to scare them and bad language is minimal. The movie, however, is presented more or less in real time and so young viewers, with no idea of what is unfolding, will be squirmy. For teens, it is a good movie to see, though their level of interest will be directly proportional, I imagine, to their knowledge of the events of 9/11.

For those of us who remember that day, the violence will be mostly in your memories - not on the screen. He does show us the towers burning, and we hear about the Pentagon being hit, but the focus is really on what is happening on flight 93 and with the military, ATC and FAA workers trying to deal with the unfolding tragedy. I found myself tearing up at times that I wouldn't have expected - and not tearing up during the scenes you would expect to elicit the most emotion.

Really, truly - no matter where you stand politically, you should see this film.

When I say to GO see this, that is exactly what I mean - in a theater with a crowd of people. The experience is compelling. I have never been in a theater that was so quiet through an entire movie - not even candy wrappers crinkling. When the film ended and the lights came up, you could see in the faces of the other patrons the fear and the sorrow and the pride and the questions...

Posted by Vox at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2006

By The Numbers

In reporting this weekend's box office take, 411mania.com gives a bit of a biased snipe at United 93, even using the subhead of "9/11 drama fails to generate big results... "

They report RV at the number one spot ($16.4 million) with no extra commentary.

Then United 93 at number 2 ($11.6 million) with this:

The film had the highest per theater average of any in the top 10 with $6,465 per, but the disappointing debut does seem to indicate that many people didn't feel comfortable watching a drama on 9/11.
The movie was in the number 2 spot and had the "highest per theater average of any in the top 10" - but this is a "disappointing debut" that indicates peoples discomfort? Huh?

Then Stick It at number 3 ($11.2 million) with no extra commentary.

I would say recouping 64% of your production budget in the first three days, showing at far fewer theaters (1,795) than any of the other movies, is pretty darn good. But what do I know?

BTW: I did go see it this weekend. You should, too.

Posted by Vox at 12:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2006

Scene Stealer

Well, it's no surprise to me that the early buzz has Philip Seymour Hoffman stealing MI3 from Tom Cruise. Hoffman is an amazing actor, Cruise would have trouble acting his way out of a paper bag.

It also isn't a surprise that test audiences applaud when Cruise gets his butt kicked in the film.

I know that the movie will bring in some major dollars. Just imagine how much better of a film it might have been with a different star.....

BTW: I was going to link to the Non Sequitur comic that said, basically, "For the love of God please quit casting Tom Cruise as the star in what might otherwise be good movies" (I had previously linked it here) but that particular comic is gone from their archives. January 21st is there, January 23rd is there - January 22nd? Nope. Curious. Could be because it is a Sunday strip, could be because Cruise is a big baby who likes to sue people.

UPDATE: Found it in French.

Posted by Vox at 05:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

The Oscars

I am watching the Academy Awards - something I used to be really in to. This year, not so much.

This is the first time I ever remember not trying to predict the winners. Just (almost) couldn't care any less. For the second year in a row, I didn't throw an Oscar party - used to be one of my favorite things.

Is it the sorry state of Hollywood - just a bunch of whiny self-indulgent egos? Is it the sorry state of the movies they've been putting out? The movies I most enjoyed in 2005 were unlikely to get even a mention at the Oscars - Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin... hmmm, having trouble coming up with movies I enjoyed last year.

I was right about King Kong, it swept the visual & sound awards.

Underwhelmed by the show, by the winners, by the hosting, by the performances.....

I used to love that stuff

I did go ahead and pop open a bottle of champagne sparkling wine.

Posted by Vox at 08:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2006

The Oscars

It's official, of the 312 eligible movies, 52 were nominated.

I've seen two of the nominated films.

I've seen at least six of those that got Razzie nods.

UPDATE: I was just looking back over the nominees list. There really aren't that many movies on there that I even want/plan to see. Was it an especially bad year, or am I just missing out?

Posted by Vox at 01:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

Razzies - 2005

Just in time for the Oscar build up - the worst of the year.

Posted by Vox at 11:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Quality, Message...Or Mass Appeal?

Over at Chasing the Wind, Michael posts about the wide gap between movies that appeal to the general public (as evidenced by their high box office takes) and movies that appeal to the 'critics' and Hollywood elite (as evidenced by their award nominations). They have a lively little discussion going in the comments, but I thought I would give my take on it here.

In this case, I believe I agree with both Michael (Hollywood elites dismiss what appeals to the general public) and Jo (the Oscar's aren't about what has mass appeal)

Though box office take is generally a good indicator of the appeal (and success) of a movie, you can also chock up some major numbers to marketing and expectation. Star Wars: Phantom Menace did bang up business right out of the gate, and continued to rake it in, even though it was widely panned by critics and consumers alike. Star Wars fans in large numbers denounced it as craptastic, but they continued to attend (and drive up the numbers) to be part of the SW culture. (It received 3 Oscar© nominations, no wins)

In 1941, Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest filmmaking achievement in the history of movies, was nominated for 9 Oscars, but only managed to take home one (Original Screenplay). Orson Welles lost in acting to Gary Cooper (Sergeant York) and directing to John Ford (How Green Was My Valley), that film also beat Kane in Art Direction (black & white), Cinematography, & Outstanding Motion Picture, Film Editing went to Sergeant York. Music to All That Money Can Buy (The Devil And Daniel Webster). Sound Recording went to That Hamilton Woman.

So, a movie about greed, corruption and redemption lost to movies about a reluctant war hero, the environmental damage caused by coal mining, a man who makes a deal with the devil, and an adulterous woman. Read into that what you will.

The Oscar's were never intended to reflect what movies had the highest attendance or most successful marketing, but instead recognize "excellence in cinema achievement" Whether they have managed that is certainly up for debate, remember that Kim Basinger, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow (over Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth!) and Helen Hunt all have Oscars on their mantles. Whoopi Goldberg won hers for Ghost - a public favorite, not exactly a critics darling.

Recognition for what has mass appeal comes in the form of the Peoples Choice Awards (and large profits). Because I don't put much stock in what the general public finds entertaining, I don't often rely on these awards to decide whether or not to see a movie.

Recognition for quality is supposed to come from The Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards... Unfortunately, these awards often reflect the voters (Hollywood Elite) leanings rather than the actual quality of the film. Fahrenheit 9/11 winning as a Documentary is proof enough of that, they liked the message so much they dismissed their own rules for the category (and, frankly, did anyone expect different?). As such, I don't often rely on which of these awards a movie wins to decide whether or not it is worth seeing.

Occasionally, I will use box office take as an indicator - but only if it is sustained. A big opening weekend shows me nothing but the success of their advertising campaign. More often I rely on recommendations from friends and/or bloggers

Does the Hollywood elite reward what appeals to their sensibilties rather than the masses? Absolutely!
Does the Hollywood machine have enough sense to make movies that appeal to the masses? Definitely!
Do they produce crap? Oh yeah!

There are 312 eligible movies this year. How many of them have you seen? I've seen 28, so far.

Hollywood has always had an agenda. Unfortunately, where it used to be pro it is now anti (America, family...). Where it used to be anti it is now pro (adultery, promiscuity...). In general, of course

Disclamer: I enjoyed Wedding Crashers and The 40-year Old Virgin - both of which were loaded with crass humor and sex jokes. I loved the razzle-dazzle, let me entertain you movie, King Kong. I liked The Wedding Date - and it was by no means a 'good' movie.

Posted by Vox at 10:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 24, 2005


Did we actually see the same movie?

My experience with Kong,

And his.

Posted by Vox at 04:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 17, 2005

Kong, the Conquerer

Caught an early showing of King Kong Friday night, and I went in with seriously low expectations. I am sick of Hollywood's insistence on remaking movies rather than showing a smidgen of creativity and perhaps giving us something original.

Peter Jackson has given us a most excellent film. This is the movie they will use as justification for all the crappy remakes, past and future. This movie will make other directors think they, too, have what it takes to furbish a classic.

Beautiful. Stimulating. Heartbreaking....Outstanding. And what an amazing job they did with Kong - I can't imagine there was anything else this year that will come close for the effects Oscar®. They really need to come up with an award for Andy Serkis whose work here as the giant ape, and as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, is integral to the success of our experience - and outside the scope of traditional Academy categories.

I have only a few small complaints:

  • Too long. I am not the first to say this, but I definitely agree. It didn't really need to be 3 hours long; a full hour is gone before we even get a hint of Kong, a lot of time is spent on developing characters we don't really need to know, and some of the loving homage to New York in the 30's, though impressive, is not needed (can't believe I am advocating taking that out).
  • Too scary for the little ones. There were several families in attendance with small children. People, this flick is rated PG-13 for a reason, in this case because of the violence and scary monsters. Think of the bits you know will be in the film, the giant ape, the dinosaurs, the screaming damsel - then realize they are being presented on the big screen with surround sound in a dark theater - NOT good for kidlings. Throw in the tribe of cannibals, the giant bugs.... You get the picture and should leave the little ones with a sitter. But, why should this movie be any different? To clarify, my complaint isn't with the level of scary in the film, but with the parents who insist on bringing their children.
  • Jack Black. This surprised me, because I am a Jack Black fan. He just didn't fit this part, and he was a bit distracting to me.
  • The effects. Most of the effects were so breathtaking you forget that what you are watching is computer generated. Because of the success of most of the CGI, when it stumbles even slightly (e.g. during the Brontosaurus chase), it becomes a glaring disappointment. Though far beyond what you've seen elsewhere, that sequence just seems sloppy here.
Small complaints, to be sure, and they don't diminish my Word of Mouth rating at all.

BTW: I didn't cry at the end, though I was fully expecting to - perhaps because of that expectation I was sufficiently braced for the trauma...

Posted by Vox at 11:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

School Ties

A while back I went through Blockbuster online and added a bunch of Brendan Fraser movies to my queue, every now and then one shows up. Some are throw aways (i.e. Airheads) some are surprisingly good. Like School Ties.

I didn't watch it right away, once I saw that Ben Affleck was in it I was prepared for major suckage. I would have to say that this may well be Affleck's best movie, in much the same way that The Outsiders was Tom Cruise's best movie.

I was expecting just your standard prep school conflict type movie but, while there were certainly a lot of clichés, I was quite pleasantly surprised. Prejudice, traditions, friendship, conscience - and Brendan Fraser (oh, and Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell....)

Word of Mouth Scale:

Posted by Vox at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2005


My girlfriend and I were discussing movies last night (among other things) and I mentioned I had seen and disliked Bewitched.

She said she hated it when they took old sitcoms and turned them into movies because it never works - and I have to admit that I couldn't think of an example to prove her wrong.

Starsky & Hutch was a funny movie, but it was a parody of a crime show, not a sitcom.

I never saw The Brady Bunch Movie, but I heard it was a decent parody, as well, so maybe that counts.

Can any of you think of an example of a decent movie made as a big screen adaptation/recreation/treatment of a sitcom?

Posted by Vox at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2005

Lori's Right

This is freaking hilarious - The Shining, feel good movie of the year.

She links some other redone trailers, as well.

Posted by Vox at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2005


I just got done watching Bewitched , which I wanted to see since my friend worked on it and Lori & I visited the set.

Man did it suck!

I don't think the casting was bad, though Steve Carrell was quite disappointing as Uncle Arthur (and I like Steve Carrell). Nicole Kidman is physically a great choice to play Samantha, Will Ferrell was fine, Michael Caine was charming - even Shirley MacClaine was tolerable.

Unfortunately the script was pathetic. Soooo, so bad. I had a feeling it might stink when I heard it was a Nora Ephron endeavor (in fact, I heard that when we were on set and let out an audible "Ech!" - oops) I figured she didn't have the chops to pull it off and I was right. It was such a great show, with so many fun episodes to choose from - why they decided to try this tactic is beyond me. Movie in a movie is very tricky and rarely successful.

Word of Mouth Scale:

And the soundtrack - who picked these tunes? I mean, they were fine tunes and the CD may be great, but most were completely out of place and distracting in this movie.

Production budget - $80,000,000
Total US Gross - $62,252,415

"Director Nora Ephron takes an imaginative idea and turns it into a flat, skill-less dud."
-- Boo Allen

UPDATE: Seems that Reilly agrees, though she is perhaps not quite as vehement as I was.

Posted by Vox at 04:21 PM | Comments (5)

October 29, 2005


I am having a hermit sort of a weekend, which means chick flicks. On the suggestion of the clerks at Blockbuster, I picked up The Wedding Date.

Not bad, definitely good cinematherapy, I think my girlfriends would like it so on the Word of Mouth -

Some truly great lines from Dermot Mulroney's character:

  • "The hardest thing is loving someone and then having the courage to let them love you back."
  • "I think I'd miss you even if we'd never met"
  • "Here's to the husbands who've won you, the losers who've lost you, and the lucky bastards who've yet to meet you"
Yeah, the flick was definitely written by a woman.

Now the coincidence - the soundtrack of the movie features a bunch of Michael Buble songs that I posted in the RadioBlog earlier today.

To be fair: Rotten Tomatoes liked this one even less than Bewitched, though there were some (slightly) positive reviews

"A bit like cheap champagne: It's better if you revel in its bubbly fizz and don't think about the finish."
-- Sue Pierman

Posted by Vox at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2005

Quality Entertainment

Via Macker, a remake of War of The Worlds.

Not quite as good as the original, definitely better acting than Tom Cruise could manage. And quick - I love quick.

Posted by Vox at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

September 27, 2005

Movie Quote

I watched I Do, But I Don't yesterday - cheesy, made-for-Lifetime-TV movie. Basically a reworking of The Wedding Planner, but without J-Lo so it was instantly better. There were some funny lines in it, but for me the money quote was:

Cute guy at the bar to Lauren: Can I buy you a drink?
Lauren: Why? So you can lull me into a false sense of security and break my heart?

LOL - good times......

Posted by Vox at 02:23 AM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2005

RIP - Robert Wise

Oscar Winning Director Robert Wise Dies After a Short Illness

He was at the helm of some of my favorite movies, they just don't make 'em like they used to. Thanks for the beauty, the drama, the music, the chills.....

Posted by Vox at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2005

Raunchfest or Chick Flick?

SG took me to see The 40 Year Old Virgin last night two nights ago (Friday). I figured it would be good, I always enjoy Steve Carrell and I heard this was a real gut-buster.

I also heard it was raunchy; worse than There's Something About Mary, worse than The Wedding Crashers.

And it was.


Yet, through the whole movie and all the gross/crass humor, you could see the sweetness. It wasn't so much a guy trying to get laid (OK, there were some other guys trying to get him laid) as a guy trying to find love. Yep - the L word...it must be a chick flick. That, and the fact that they burst spontaneously into a musical production number......

So, since it is so crass and I can't recommend it to my mom...or my sister...or, really, anyone in my family....and I know it isn't Lori's cup of tea....the Word of Mouth Scale suffers, even though I was LMAO:

BTW: I expect the tag line "You know how I know you're gay?" to catch on, everyone I have talked to who saw the movie is using it. I have also heard "Kelly Clarkson!" as an expletive.

UPDATE: The movie cost $26 million to make and has brought in $37 million in the first week. I'm not surprised and I expect it to stay up there, I imagine many people are telling their friends, who are telling their friends....it is one of those movies.

Posted by Vox at 12:49 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2005

Waste of Time

I had some time to kill this evening (and kill it I did) since SG had other plans. I got Boogeyman from my Blockbuster Online account a couple days ago. Now, I don't remember putting it in my queue, but I imagine I must have seen it in the "Coming Soon" section and just clicked it - I like creepy movies.

Anyway, I have a friend I haven't seen for a while and she was up for it so after I ate dinner I went to her house and we watched it. All of it - which was no easy feat! To say this movie sucked would be an insult to all other things which have ever sucked. It wasn't even in the realm of funny bad - just boring bad. She kept trying to get me to turn it off, suggesting other thing that might be on, rattling off the movies in her collection.

No way, I'm no quitter - and surely they had to put something interesting in there, right? Wrong...so, so wrong. So predictable all the way through, so snooze-worthy.

I have an excuse, I wasn't warned. You, on the other hand, have been warned. Don't come whining to me if you take it upon yourselves to try and sit through it. I did my part.

UPDATE: I forgot to include my Word of Mouth scale rating. I designed it to reflect how likely I am to recommend a movie to my family and friends. I will definitely tell any of them I think likely to be curious about this movie - advising them strongly to stay away. Unfortunately, I didn't design it to allow negative numbers, so zero out of five will have to do....

Posted by Vox at 11:00 PM | Comments (4)

July 12, 2005

Ed Wonka?

Johnny Depp is usually enjoyable to watch.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a great story by one of my favorite authors.

Ed Wood cracked me up, Depp was great in it.

But - the commercials for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory make it look like Depp is just recycling his Ed Wood mannerisms.....

Posted by Vox at 11:44 PM | Comments (3)

Like Something The Lord Made

Wow! I watched Something The Lord Made tonight last night and was thoroughly captivated. I have been wanting to see it for some time and have had it on my Blockbuster Online list almost from the start (it actually got sent out once but never made it to me) SG, being the thoughtful guy that he is and knowing I have been wanting to see it, noticed it was on Monday night and programmed it in for us to watch during dinner.

Consummately captivated - I love small movies like this. Alan Rickman was, as usual, brilliant. Mos Def showcased Vivien Thomas' genius, and his vulnerability. The story held your attention, even though you know how it turns out. (I do wonder how much of it was fictionalized, though I would love for every frame to have been true)

Can't think of anyone in my circle I wouldn't expect to enjoy and benefit from this film. Word of Mouth scale, therefore:
It loses half a star for being hard to get my hands on.

Posted by Vox at 01:34 AM | Comments (1)

June 26, 2005

Oppression Trifecta

Friday night we watched Mississipi Burning

Saturday night it was Schindler's List

I had never seen either of those movies, though I had heard they were very good - and incredibly powerful. I just knew how horrible the stories were...and how hard it is to see that. I still marvel that humans are capable of such unbelievable hate and cruelty. It is unfathomable to me that there are people still, in this day and age, who think that way.

To make it a complete weekend, and since I am already bummed out, I thought we should go for the triple play. There are several choices in this vein; Sophie's Choice and Life is Beautiful (which at least has a somewhat uplifting story) - both of which I have seen - The Grey Zone and Ghosts of Mississippi are supposed to be good and I've never seen either of those....


Posted by Vox at 01:01 AM | Comments (2)

June 19, 2005

Bad, Bad, Bad - Really Bad

I was intrigued when I heard Kevin Spacey was making a movie about Bobby Darin - Spacey is a good actor, Darin is an interesting subject..ought to be good, right? WRONG!

Beyond The Sea is possibly the worst movie I have seen in the last 10 years. Possibly worse than a bunch of movies I haven't seen. In fact, I think the only way to make this movie worse would have been to cast Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in it.

I will bend enough to say that it may have worked as a stage production. In the theater you can get away with having a 50 year old actor portray a 20 year old character. In the theater cheesy dance/production numbers don't seem so cheesy.

In the movie we had Spacey, looking nothing like Bobby Darin, romancing Kate Bosworth, with none of the charm of Sandra Dee, and it was just creepy - the thirty year age difference of the actors making the 6 year age difference of their characters seem minuscule.

We also had Spacey, whose singing voice is fine but not spectacular, presenting the songs of Bobby Darin. Uh....no. Darin was once billed as being "so hip he never even ate a square meal", Spacey is a drama club geek. I was one, too, I have nothing against them, but it is ridiculous of him to think he could swing those tunes the way they needed to be swung.

Then we had the dance numbers - not well choreographed, not well executed. If you are going to throw those into a movie they better be good. Here they just made me cringe...then laugh out loud.

All of this was presented in an All That Jazz sort of way - flashbacks while the main character is telling his life story. Kevin Spacey, despite his personal beliefs, has always been one of my favorite actors - even in bad movies he gives a solid performance. This movie is the exception to that rule and is the movie that made me lose a lot of respect for him professionally.

Word of Mouth Scale:
It gets half a lip for the times it made me laugh, even if it was unintentional

Posted by Vox at 11:52 PM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2005

"Inadequate Timeliness Assessments"

I haven't had any problem with Blockbuster and their late fees. I have been loving the Blockbuster Online service, though my sister uses Netflix and they seem to have a wider selection.

However, Lori has.

And so has Tony - his recent foray back to Blockbuster made me laugh out loud.

Posted by Vox at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2005

Sweet and Moving

When I watched The 13th Warrior (which I liked, wanna make something of it?!?!) I was mesmerized by the Scandinavian babe, Maria Bonnevie, who treated Antonio Banderas' wounds.

Maria Bonnevie

I was wondering the other day what other movies she may have done and found one on Blockbuster. It turned out that James Caviezel * was in it, too, and since I like him I rented it.

The movie is I Am David and it is wonderful. It took me a few days to get around to watching it...unfortunately. As it turns out, the two performers I was originally hoping to see were barely in the film - though what they did was pivotal.

There is only one person in my immediate circle that I wouldn't expect to really enjoy this film. It is currently making the rounds in my family; my sister had it last night, my mom and step-dad have it now....

That earns it a rare perfect score on the Word of Mouth Scale:

* the actor who portrayed Pilate, condemning Caviezl's Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, here portrays the prison commander, condemning Caviezel's Johannes.

Posted by Vox at 03:21 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2005

A Lot Like a Rerun

I haven't seen A Lot Like Love, but it sure looks and sounds a lot like When Harry Met Sally to me.

Posted by Vox at 02:53 PM | Comments (1)

April 09, 2005

Sin City

Still need to give you the full run down on the Laughlin trip (did I mention it was GREAT?!?) but did want to chime in with my review of the movie we saw up there.

Sin City: Fan Boys fantasy come true. For the rest of us....eh. Kinda boring, way cheesy. SG seemed to like it, so maybe it is a guy thing. I'm sure SG Jr will like it, but he's 13, the perfect comic book graphic novel age. My nephews will probably like it since they are teenagers, male and into comics.

Can't think of anyone else I would recommend it to, so on the Word of Mouth scale it does poorly

Posted by Vox at 01:53 PM | Comments (4)

March 07, 2005

Movies To Go

I am loving my Blockbuster Online! I have had it for about 6 months (I think) and it is great. I pick up the movies at my PO Box on the way to work, watch 'em at the office, and send 'em back the next morning. They also give you 2 free in store rentals every month - for when you just can't wait.

Today I got and watched "America Dances: The History of Social Dance in the Movies" (yeah guys, I can see your eyes rolling from here) and it was fascinating. My only complaint was that they had replaced the old soundtracks (I assume because they were bad) with a calliope-sounding piano track - and it got old after a while. It was so fun to see all the variations of those old dances like the "Charleston" and the "Lindy Hop", and to see dance moves that are still being used on the dance floor today.

Posted by Vox at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

Oscars - 2005

I am usually way into the Oscars - big party, etc. This year I just have not been able to get into it. Between not seeing many of the movies, and them choosing Chris Rock as host (come on, people!) it just seems like a big yawn.

However, I do think I will post my picks. The movies I have actually seen are in bold - you can tell I am picking based purely on the buzz. I generally get a high percentage correct, this year I will be surprised if I get 30%. We'll see.

SG wanted to play too.
His picks
My picks

The Aviator (Miramax)
Finding Neverland (Miramax)
Million Dollar Baby (Warner Bros.)
Ray (Universal)
Sideways (Fox Searchlight/20th Century Fox)
Martin Scorsese, The Aviator
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Taylor Hackford, Ray
Alexander Payne, Sideways
Mike Leigh, Vera Drake
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator
Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx, Ray
Annette Bening, Being Julia
Catalina Sandino Moreno, in Maria Full of Grace
Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Alan Alda, The Aviator
Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
Jamie Foxx, Collateral
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
Clive Owen, Closer
Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
Laura Linney, Kinsey
Virginia Madsen, Sideways
Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda
Natalie Portman, Closer
The Incredibles (Buena Vista)
Shark Tale (DreamWorks)
Shrek 2 (DreamWorks)
Before Sunset (Warner Independent PicturesWarner Independent Pictures)
Finding Neverland (Miramax)
Million Dollar Baby (Warner Bros.)
The Motorcycle Diaries (Focus Features and Film Four)
Sideways (Fox Searchlight/20th Century Fox)
The Aviator
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Hotel Rwanda
The Incredibles
Vera Drake
The Aviator (Miramax)
Finding Neverland (Miramax)
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Paramount and DreamWorks)
The Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement (Warner Independent Pictures)
The Aviator (Miramax)
House of Flying Daggers (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Passion of the Christ (Icon and Newmarket)
The Phantom of the Opera (Warner Bros.)
A Very Long Engagement (Warner Independent Pictures)
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Born into Brothels
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Super Size Me
Tupac: Resurrection
Twist of Faith
Autism Is a World
The Children of Leningradsky
Mighty Times: The Children’s March
Sister Rose’s Passion
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby
As It Is in Heaven - Sweden
The Chorus (Les Choristes) - France
Downfall - Germany
The Sea Inside - Spain
Yesterday - South Africa
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Passion of the Christ
The Sea Inside
Finding Neverland
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Passion of the Christ
The Village
Accidentally In Love - Shrek 2
Al Otro Lado Del Río - The Motorcycle Diaries
Believe - The Polar Express
Learn To Be Lonely - The Phantom of the Opera
Look To Your Path - The Chorus (Les Choristes)
Birthday Boy
Gopher Broke
Guard Dog
Everything in This Country Must
Little Terrorist
7:35 in the Morning (7:35 de la Mañana)
Two Cars, One Night
The Incredibles (Buena Vista)
The Polar Express (Warner Bros.)
Spider-Man 2 (Sony Pictures Releasing)
The Aviator
The Incredibles
The Polar Express
Spider-Man 2
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I, Robot
Spider-Man 2

BTW: I would love to see Jamie Foxx win in both categories; not only do I think he is great, I would love to see someone lock it up like that. I also think that Salma Hayak will be the best dressed of the night - I just have a feeling.

UPDATE: Having seen Salma's dress, I still think she looks great, but there is room for someone to pass her.
Posted by Vox at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2005

Review and TUNES - 15

This week I rented De-Lovely, which I have been curious to see since I heard it was in the works. Kevin Kline is always fun to watch, and Ashley Judd (as much of a dip as she may be) is ridiculously beautiful. The story of Cole Porter's life is one that lends itself to movie making.

Unfortunately, the story has never been well told. This telling was a bit too "All That Jazz" in it's presentation. I enjoyed the technique in that movie, don't get me wrong, but it's already been done - and much more effectively. I did enjoy Jonathan Pryce in the role of 'host', but he is no Ben Vereen (the host in All That Jazz).

I enjoyed De-Lovely, and I am glad I watched it, but it was not the movie it could have (or should have) been. The only two people in my life that I would recommend it to watched it with me, so on the Word of Mouth Scale it only rates two.

I think perhaps my disappointment may have been fueled by the songs, made over by contemporary artists. Singers who are not up to the task. Alanis Morrisette's version of "Let's Do It" is particularly painful. Sheryl Crow has nowhere near the vocal talent required for "Begin The Beguine". Whether it was the performers or the arrangers, the wink and a smile that Porter wrote into his songs is sadly absent on most of the film tracks. The interpretations feature affectations that would not have been heard in that era. So....

This weeks Radio.Blog features some older recordings of Cole Porters songs. There are two versions of Let's Fall In Love - Billie Holiday and Eartha Kitt - with two distinctly different feelings...but they both make the Morisette version look like a poor attempt at Karaoke. You'll find Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire (who many of these songs were written specifically for). I didn't go through and listen to all of these tracks yet, so one or two muzak versions may have made it in - if I find them in the next few days I'll delete 'em

~ Listen ~

Posted by Vox at 02:27 PM | Comments (4)

January 26, 2005

Yes, I'm A Geek

But I think this is cool

- John Williams' 43rd Oscar nomination, for composing the score of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," ties Alfred Newman's record in that music category. Williams is up against Newman's son, Thomas, who is nominated for composing the score of "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."
I am not a huge John Williams fan or anything (I think his scores all sound pretty similar) though you have got to be impressed with his success.

And I love dynasties, like the Newman family.

And I love little coincidences like this.

Because I am a geek

Posted by Vox at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2005

His Best Movie Ever

SG Jr wanted to watch The Outsiders after his game yesterday. I wasn't really in the mood for the teen angst genre, but he is too sweet to turn down.

He said a friend of his had said that it was one of Tom Cruise's best movies. Since he is on screen for less than 10 minutes, I have to agree - I've never seen him better

Fun to see all the stars sooooo young. It is a good story, or should I say a good adaptation of a good story, and it is well acted. But, since I can't think of many people in my circle I would recommend it to (and those have probably already seen it) it doesn't score too high on the Word of Mouth scale:

Posted by Vox at 03:55 PM | Comments (3)

December 29, 2004

Perfect Timing

One of my favorite guilty pleasure movies of all time is Imitation of Life, specifically the Lana Turner version. I own this movie on VHS so I can watch it anytime I want, but when I come across it on TV I will always stop and watch it - even if it is in the middle of the night. And, when it is over, I always end up bawling and calling my mother (even if it is the middle of the night) to tell her I love her. She always knows..."you've been watching that movie again, haven't you?" - lol.

This morning when I got to the office the first version of it was on - Claudette Colbert. I haven't ever seen the end of this one, and it doesn't seem to be quite the tear jerker of the later one, but it is still pulling at my heartstrings. Amazon sells them both together - great marketing.

Just what a girl needs when she is weepy, and the rain is falling....

Posted by Vox at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

Entertainment Reviews

Recent movies we watched...

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
I liked this one, for all the reasons I enjoy the Harry Potter stories. Unfortunately, having read the book, this movie fell short - not just for what they left out but for the whole feeling of the flick. Though still quite an amusing film it suffers in comparison to the first two - just not up to par.
Still; it's a Harry Potter movie, the young stars are great, the story is intriguing. If I was not familiar with the original story, or the first two films, it would be getting a higher rating.

Shrek 2: A movie that survives as a sequel. Loved all the references to other films, love Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy, love John Cleese and Julie Andrews. Don't get why they needed Cameron Diaz in the part, let alone paying her $20 million to do it - she doesn't bring anything extra to the role. We laughed straight through, I would definitely watch this one again. And again.

And my most recent book read...

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: How do you make a beautiful story out of the rape and murder of a 14 year old girl? You let Alice Sebold write it. I bought this book a while back but hadn't had the guts to dig in - just couldn't wrap my mind around the premise. I needn't have worried. Though there are a couple of missteps, or rather "unnecessary detours" which I will discuss in more since they are spoilers, all in all it is a wonderful ride. I have not yet decided whether to recommend this to my sister, as the Heaven presented here is not the one she believes in. But the way it follows the characters and their different grieving processes is remarkable. Those type of questions cost it on the word of mouth scale, which you may remember is based not on how good the product is but on how likely I am to recommend it to my family & friends.


Why did Susie's mom have to hook up with Fenerman? Especially where/when she did - didn't add to the story at all.

Why did Ruth & Susie have to switch? or Accepting that, why would Susie, who was killed at 14 and tells us she never grows up as she sees her sister doing, want nothing more than to have sex with Ray? What in her heavenly existence would lead her to that?

Posted by Vox at 05:09 PM | Comments (3)

December 06, 2004

Strange Casting

Ok, why would they cast Leonardo DiCaprio (who is short and baby faced and goofy looking) to play Howard Hughes (who was tall and chiseled and handsome).

Thinking maybe Tom Welling woulda been a good choice. Hadn't really heard of this guy, but found his picture while looking for pics of Leo. Where have I been that I missed him?

UPDATE: I should point out that I think all of the casting looks weak. Kate Beckinsale, though certainly beautiful, does not work as Ava Gardner. Cate Blanchett, though certainly talented, seems in the previews to do a lousy Kate Hepburn. Gwen Stephani may be able to present a reasonable facsimile of Jean Harlow, not sure how her acting will be - I have high hopes for her though.

side note: SG's oldest son thinks of himself as a bit of an Ashton Kutcher look-alike. I have always thought he was much better looking than that - in fact the only thing they have in common is bad haircuts. Now I think he looks a bit like Tom Welling. Don't know if he would agree.

Posted by Vox at 03:36 PM | Comments (4)

November 15, 2004

Weak in the Knees

Howard Keel movies on TCM - all day.


What a voice. Right now is Showboat, then Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Kismet.....

Sorry to say goodbye, happy to have the movies to revisit.

UPDATE: Only bad thing is he did a lot of movies with Kathryn Grayson - very pretty, fine actress, but that voice...ouch. She sings in that very high operatic style, which only works with opera music (and even then, not sooo high) - not showtunes. Bleh. But, I am always willing to suffer through for him.

Posted by Vox at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)

October 04, 2004


Janet Leigh has done her final scene. The actress passed away at the age of 77. I had no idea she was sick - 77 just seems too young to go. Though I thouroughly enjoyed her work in Psycho, I always thought it a shame that her other roles didn't garner her more recognition - despite everything else she did, she will always be the girl in the shower.

Posted by Vox at 10:32 AM | Comments (2)

September 03, 2004

The Other Side

I don't agree with him politically.

I often agree with him critically - though not always.

I always enjoy his style - even when he is wrong.

James Wolcott gets a blog. Give it a look see, it will infuriate or amuse you - but it won't bore you.

(Hat Tip Buzzmachine)construction

Posted by Vox at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)

July 08, 2004

Alternate Titles

Michael finds the best stuff

The Top 13 Alternate Titles for “Fahrenheit 9/11″
(Right-Wing Wacko version)

Posted by Vox at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004


I have never seen Forrest Gump.

That movie had a key part in the events that led to the final dissolution of my marriage. I have never been able to hear about that movie without experiencing that same stomping on my heart feeling - and people love to talk about that movie. I certainly never had any desire to sit through the whole thing.

Well, last night I was visiting a friend...and the kids wanted to watch it...and I felt that kick in the sternum....but I didn't know how to say, "no, please don't because I will spend the entire time fighting to keep breathing and stop crying" without going into the specifics of why. So, I watched it.

And you know what? It was the right friend at the right time. The right hand holding mine, the right kids goofing off with us.

I feel like a weight has been lifted because I conquered that demon. Thanks SG

It may seem like a small victory to you - but it feels like the Tour de France to me!

Posted by Vox at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2004

Looks Interesting

America's Heart and Soul

Anyone want to go?

Posted by Vox at 01:47 PM | Comments (2)

June 26, 2004

The Notebook

Just saw The Notebook with my mother and sister. Cute, sweet, romantic bit of fluff. Definite chick flick.

The theater was almost sold out, only 10 tickets left 30 minutes prior for the showing I went to - that is a good sign I think, considering the other movies opening this weekend.

I may have more of a review later, right now I need to get back to work.

Posted by Vox at 05:41 PM | Comments (2)

June 24, 2004

The Weekend

Speaking of the fat man's movie..I do want to catch a fllick this weekend, most likely Shrek 2 or Harry Potter 3, probably Saturday.

Anyone want to go with me?

BTW: other things to do this weekend

Posted by Vox at 11:49 AM | Comments (6)

June 20, 2004

Gay Marriage....

...is De-Lovely.

There is a new movie coming out that makes a point rarely heard in the recent debate - gays have always had the right to marry. I don't doubt that this movie will also have the undercurrent of how tough it was to be gay - in his time.

As a long time Cole Porter fan, I am interested to see this film. As a realistic person, I will take the story they present with a grain of salt (Cole Porter himself said, after seeing Night and Day, "it's a lovely story, not a bit of it true").

Posted by Vox at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004

Next Weekend

With the impending release of the new trash movie from Jaba (now he says he's like to make the same type of film about Tony Blair) and the focus that will be on it's performance, I'd like to propose something.

We should all make a point of going to the theater to see something else. Preferably the same movie so it has an even better chance of overshadowing MM's filth. There are two possibilities also being released on June 25th.

My choice would be De-Lovely which is a story of Cole Porter. There is bound to be some fudging of the truth in this one, as well, and also a bit of propaganda - but the man and the music are so compelling it should still be de-lightful.

Another possiblity opening that day is Two Brothers - with tigers and Guy Pearce. I usually avoid movies that involve so much use of live animals (worry about their safety) and it is a French production (but in English, so no subtitles) which may put some people off.

There really isn't anything else to choose from that will be new. We could certainly all make the commitment to go see Shrek 2, or Harry Potter. I am sure they will both still be up at the top - perhaps we could go see both...send a message about what America finds entertaining.

What do you think?

Posted by Vox at 12:58 PM | Comments (3)

May 17, 2004

The Pitts

Dodenhoff predicted this early, saying that Brad Pitt would be the weak link in Troy. Chris Hewitt agrees, writing "The actor, miscast as Achilles, is the major flaw in the handsome, intelligent Troy"

I have little interest in seeing this movie, despite my overwhelming childhood interest in ancient Greece. The main reason is Brad Pitt who, though better looking than Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise, is barely better than them when it comes to acting. Unless someone I know and respect tells me it is worthwhile I won't go see it. Peter O'Toole and the subject may convince me to rent it when it comes out on DVD.

Posted by Vox at 11:09 PM | Comments (1)

May 09, 2004

Subtle Touches

Just watched The Cooler, which had several little jabs at conservatism - or someone's idea of it. Any movie with Alec Baldwin, what would you expect.

But the one at the end, where the drunk driver comes into the action. Did you notice he is driving an SUV and has an American flag on his antenna?

There is a battle for hearts and minds right here.

Posted by Vox at 12:08 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2004

Jesus Saves

Apparently, Mel's movie has revived what had been a dismal year for the movie industry.

Lesson for producers: when choosing a project based on a book, make sure it is a good book. Better yet, make it the good book.

UPDATE: Got this in my ArcaMax email today (3/25/04) and agree with the conclusions. Sorry to post it whole, but I can't find a link for it. It is attributed to National Review, no reason to doubt - but can't find it on their website perhaps it will be there later:

The Passion Of The Reviewers

By: Anonymous; Source: National Review

Originally Published:20040322.

MEL GIBSON'S Passion of the Christ has, as they say, inspired moviegoers and critics alike. It has inspired opposite passions in each case. It has done phenomenally well at the box office under circumstances including a late-February release, subtitles, and what in ordinary Hollywood terms would be considered a major downer of a plot. The critics have, for the most part, torn into it with the fury of the Roman guards.

The movie is certainly not to all tastes, including all Christian tastes. As Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, has warned, any cinematic depiction of the Passion will fail to capture its full meaning. Some of its aspects will be emphasized too much, others insufficiently. So Gibson's dramatic and even theological choices are open to serious question, and some of the reviewers have provided searching criticism.

Some critics have, however, seemed to regard themselves as gladiators in a culture war. Movie criticism has been an excuse for criticism of styles of Christianity or, indeed, Christianity itself.

We will not here repeat all the reasons for denying that the movie is anti-Semitic. It is notable that the only people who have found it to be anti-Semitic are people who are themselves immune to the disease. Maureen Dowd does not profess to find herself hating Jews after the movie. It is always the guy in the next seat over. No person has entered the movie neutrally disposed and come out saying that he now hates the Jews. The critics assume that other people, especially evangelicals in the hinterland, will be moved to anti-Semitism. And given that another motif of the critics has been that evangelicals are so stupid that they cannot recognize that the movie violates their own theology, we suppose the critics' view of them has a certain coherence. What the critics are panning here is American society.

The gleefulness with which critics have flayed the movie's alleged anti-Semitism rather undermines the critique. If we really believed that millions of Americans were thrilled by a movie that was genuinely, at its core, anti-Semitic, we would be alarmed. The trouble with the reviewers who claim that this movie will lead to anti-Semitic violence is not that they are hysterical; it is that they are not hysterical enough for their concerns to be taken in good faith.

Gibson is said to have exculpated Pontius Pilate, and thus inculpated the Jewish leaders, by portraying him as doubtful and indecisive. To our minds, this criticism says more about the modern liberal celebration of doubt than it does about Gibson. A man who knows or strongly suspects that what he is doing is wrong is surely more culpable than a man who is certain that he is right. Nor can a man exculpate himself by shifting the blame for his own sin to others.

We are told that Gibson has erred in paying too much attention to the Passion, and not enough to the public ministry of Jesus; hence the movie lacks its proper context. David Denby in The New Yorker. "[Gibson] largely ignores Jesus' heart-stopping eloquence, his startling ethical radicalism and personal radiance. . . . [T]he movie Gibson has made from his personal obsessions is a sickening death trip."

For most Christians, however, Jesus Christ is not primarily a teacher of ethics. He is not the bearer of a message, but the message Himself. His crucifixion is the axis of history. Everything else in His life (and everyone else's) prefigured it; everything else in His life is illuminated by it. The Crucifixion is the context to end all contexts. If you do not understand that, you have not understood this movie.

There is, finally, the criticism that the movie is too violent. Most of Gibson's foes managed to withhold this criticism from Saving Private Ryan and Kill Bill. Now it is true that the Lord's suffering was spiritual as well as physical, and that its character was bound up with its being voluntarily undergone. The movie can reasonably be criticized for overdoing the physical dimension of the suffering. But let us also remember Flannery O'Connor's stricture: "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." This is an era in which many people are powerfully drawn to the notion that the Lord can be reduced to a set of teachings and that we are pure spirits who just happen to be attached to bodies. For Christians, however, the fact that he became flesh is absolutely central. Perhaps a more gifted filmmaker could have depicted His spiritual suffering in a way that made viewers reflect on their own almost unbearable guilt for it. But the critics are saying that the film's unbearableness is what makes it suspect, when it in fact shows Gibson's success.

The reviewers do not, in general, object when movies make viewers uncomfortable. Indeed they applaud it. Nor, it need hardly be added, do they object when art takes liberties with Scripture. Compare the treatment of The Last Temptation of Christ or The Da Vinci Code with the niggling fact-checking employed against Gibson's Passion. They have attributed all manner of malign intent to Gibson. Whatever his sins, and whatever ours, the main intent is as clear as it has been missed by the reviewers. It is that this be a season of repentance.

(C) 2004 National Review. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

Posted by Vox at 01:57 AM | Comments (1)

March 01, 2004

Saw the Passion

I have much to say, but not tonight. For now I will just say I thought it was an amazing film. I can see how Christians would find it incredibly moving, I would think that Jews would find it very moving as well. I also think agnostics would see it as an amazing bit of story telling and a visually stunning movie.

Unless you went in with a preconceived notion, or if you were determined not to like it. It is so well done - you have to be trying in order to avoid being impressed.

Posted by Vox at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2004

It's the grace, stupid

Eric Spratling has a well reasoned take on the Passion uproar.

On a side note - this is a 23 year old college student who is the token right wing blogger on the ASU Web Devils website. I'm impressed they found one. I hope he starts to bring some of the same logic and writing style to his Web Devil blog that he shows in his articles.

UPDATE: in the interest of fairness, here is a link to the lefty blog at Web Devil.

Posted by Vox at 01:16 AM | Comments (2)

February 17, 2004

At The Movies

Gibson Warns Film May Spur 'Infectious Pro-Semitism'

Posted by Vox at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2003

Top Secret Box Office

Well, now we know.

The reason Gigli bombed at the box office wasn't that it sucked, it's that people knew it sucked.

Posted by Vox at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2003

Chick Flick?

So, last night S.O. Man suggests we "do something together"

Great. Sounds good to me.

"Hey, let's rent a movie. We'll get something you want to see, a chick flick - how about Basic?"

That's what he considers a chick flick? Well, there is a chick in it ~ I think. I heard it was incredibly bad and I am not in the mood for a bad John Travolta movie (of which there are many)

Fortunately, I managed to get "About a Boy" instead. I had heard it was quite good, and I really enjoy Toni Collette's work. Happy to report it was a nice movie. A middle-aged man coming of age story. Heartwarming, moving, funny and all that.

I enjoyed it and it got S.O Man laughing. A smashing success.

I'd give it 4 out of 5 on the "word of mouth" scale.

UPDATE: I have been asked to include his original suggestion for the evening which was going to a movie. He's been wanting to see Seabiscuit. I didn't want to go out - too tired from the week. But still...Basic???

Posted by Vox at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

Big Surprise

OK, you take two of the worst, most cardboard actors currently working and put them in a movie together - and you expect it to somehow not suck?! I'm only surprised they managed to get any decent actors to appear in the same movie - though somehow they always do.

Society for the Preservation of a Clue has put together a list of humorous reviews. As Dever says "But did anyone actually think it would suck so bad that the reviews are more entertaining than the movie itself?"

Posted by Vox at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003

A Real Hero Passes

The world is slightly less warm today with the passing of Bob Hope.

A man who dedicated so much of his life to entertaining and comforting American troops around the world. I don't know if there was ever a more true and generous heart in the movie biz - he'll be missed.

Photo Essay

Update: Please, please go read these testimonies to Hope. Written mostly by serviceman, most posted before his death - they show how Bobo Hope not only made people laugh, he also made them smile.

Update: It's hard to get a grasp on the life he led, but Susanna does a nice job.

Update: Right we are has a nice list of Bob Hope links.

Update: From the Yahoo Obit "...comedian Jay Leno (news - Y! TV) summed up Hope this way: 'He was a true American hero and a comedy legend who made the entire world his stage. He possessed all the gifts I, and all other comedians, could ever ask for or want: impeccable comic timing, an encyclopedic memory of jokes, and an effortless ability with quips.' "

Posted by Vox at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

This can't be good.

I received this announcement from ArcaMax Entertainment News today:

Barbra Streisand's husband, actor James Brolin, has been cast as Ronald Reagan in a CBS miniseries set to air in November, FOX News reports.

Brolin will play Reagan, a Republican, as he moves from his film career to California governor to president.

"We haven't asked Streisand for her opinion, and it took us a minute to digest it," CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves admits, but the veteran producers "were convinced that he was the right guy for it, and we back them."

Last September, Streisand headlined a Hollywood gala that raised about $6 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Fox says.

I have to assume that if Mr. Streisand has agreed to play this part, the script has a decidedly left-bias ~ or she wouldn't allow it. Next we'll hear that Oliver Stone and Michael Moore are writing the script - and they'll call it a "true story" because they get the names right.

Posted by Vox at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003


S.O. Man and I just went to see the movie 28 Days Later.

First off - great movie! Stunning visuals, intriguing plot, clever scenes that make you jump. Really well done horror film.

That's the other creepy part. There were actually mothers who brought their children to see this movie. Not teen-agers, children. There were at least 5 of them under 8 yrs old, one of them around 2 yrs. What in the previews or reviews would make this seem like acceptable family fair??? What kind of parents are these?? I finally had to report the family with the 2 yr old because he kept screaming and crying. I reported him as a noise problem - though I was also really worried about his poor little mind. There are some extremely graphic and disturbing scenes. Then the whole family just got up and stood in the entryway, so they could all still see the movie but could step outside the door when the little guy got too loud.

Can you imagine the thought process? "I could take my kids to see Finding Nemo tonight, but I might find that boring. I know, to hell with my parental responsibility, I'll just take the little tykes with me to A HORROR FLICK" Idiots!

Posted by Vox at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2003

Red Dragon

Finally saw Red Dragon the other night. It was a fine movie, definitely better than Hannibal but not as good as Silence of the Lambs.

There is no denying the talent involved:
   Edward Norton - always good, even if he is a bit mentally challenged
   Philip Seymour Hoffman - never disappoints
   Anthony Hopkins - is Hannibal
   Emily Watson - luminous and wonderfully talented
   Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Kietel, Mary-Louise Parker - great performances all

And yet...I found myself not nearly as creeped out by this version.

Why, you ask?

The Michael Mann version from 1986 (Manhunter) was just darker somehow. Perhaps it was the lack of gore, which leaves more to the imagination - what you see is never as scary as what you don't see, what you imagine.

More likely, though, is the focus on Hannibal. Anthony Hopkins has so inhabited this role, and the public has embraced it, that Bret Ratner had very little choice but to lean that way.

When Michael Mann brought the Red Dragon story to film the focus was on Will Graham and his struggles with his own demons while hunting real ones. The conflict between saving himself, and protecting his family, vs. doing what is necessary to save others was gripping. William Peterson pulls off the tortured soul fairly well here, though Kim Greist in the role of his wife seems a bit more wooden than concerned. Brian Cox is a wonderfully menacing Lecktor (different spelling in this movie). I also found the ending here more satisfying.

I've read about most of the cases that Thomas Harris used in compiling his villians, but I haven't read any of his books. I think I will pick up Red Dragon and see who got closest.

Right now I would say that, if you can get past the Miami Vice clothes and soundtrack, Manhunter is a more enjoyable flick.

Posted by Vox at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2003

Pay It Forward

OK, so I am a bit behind. We just saw this movie Thursday. To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I would ever watch it because of the Helen Hunt factor [how does this horrible actress keep getting parts?] In the end, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment were too promising to pass up. The movie was generally nice, Spacey and Osment were moving (boy does that kid sell the "I'm brokenhearted" look!), Hunt didn't suck any more than expected, Angie Dickinson was amusing as a bag lady. I do have a gripe, however - but don't read any further if you haven't seen the movie yet...

How did having the kid die help the movie?

It added nothing to the story, didn't advance any points, didn't fit with the action. The only conclusion I've been able to draw is that the writer, or director, was lazy. They wanted a way to show that Trevor had touched peoples lives, perhaps even changed the world, and ran out of ideas. Someone has a flashback to Field of Dreams and decides they need a crowd holding candles and a line of cars coming down the road, "yeah, that'll be great!" So, rather than think of something original and potentially subtle, they knife him and wrap it all up with some candle light and flowers.

Other than that, a nice premise with a clever circle back plot line.

But Trevor should have lived - they could have killed off Arlene

Posted by Vox at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)