Friday, December 31, 2010

Chocolat (2000)

A young woman named Vianne and her six-year-old daughter Annouk arrive in a small village in the French countryside called Lansquenet. In this village the people believed in tranquility. But when Vianne opens up a chocolate shop at same the time of Lent, the villagers are curious about her and the fact that she doesn't attend church. Despite what they think of her she stays and sells mouth-watering treats that cause the villagers to act differently as she changes their lives. Then one afternoon when an Irish river rat named Roux comes to the village, the people of Lansquenet get angry but since the riverbank is public land they can't force him to move but put up signs to ban immorality. But Vianne and Roux become friends anyway. A sweet and delicious romantic film with an all-star cast. Starring Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Carrie-Ann Moss, Johnny Depp 8/10

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Funny Games (2007)

Two seemingly polite young men wearing white outfits and gloves visit a unexpected family at their vacation house near the lake one day. But they are not who they appear to be because these two young men want to play a game with them, a deadly and violent game. This film is very intense and often uncomfortable to watch at times. It starts out a little slow but it gets interesting when the two young men stay to sadistically torture and manipulate this poor family. But as it goes on the film doesn't give any reason why these two young boys want to harm them, but it seems they do it just for fun. Naomi Watts and Tim Roth are excellent in this suspense thriller. Starring Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart, Siobhan Fallon 6/10

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)

Italian Catholic Angie Rossini is a salesgirl who works at Macy's. She discovers she's pregnant from a brief fling she had with a musician named Rocky Papasano. She lives at home with her three protective brothers and widowed mother. But she doesn't tell them she's going to have a baby. Instead she finds Rocky and tells him about it, that she has to find a doctor to get an abortion, which in those days was an illegal act. He agrees to help her raise the money to pay for it. But when they find out that the conditions that it's going to be performed in are bad, he takes her out of there. Eventually the family finds out and Rocky wants to marry her, but Angie thinks it's a bad idea and spends her time with another man named Anthony, despite Rocky's insistent nature. A wonderful and sweet romantic comedy; McQueen and Wood make a cute pairing. Starring Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood, Edie Adams 8/10

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Son in Law (1993)

Rebecca Warner is a country girl who decides to go to college in California to see new places and meet new people. But when she gets there she feels out of place, until she meets a wild and wacky student named Crawl. They become friends and in transforming her look she breaks out of her shell. When Thanksgiving holiday rolls around, and Rebecca realizes that Crawl is going to be alone she invites him back to Nebraska to meet her family. Of course one look at Crawl and they think he's a nut. Things become a bit complicated for Rebecca when she finds out her boyfriend Travis is going to propose. So she lies to everyone saying that Crawl has already asked her to marry him so she can buy some time to think. An often silly film, Pauly Shore plays the usual zany and obnoxious character, but it is still fun to watch. Starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gulino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett, Mason Adams, Patrick Renna, Tiffani Thiessen, Dennis Burkely, Dan Gauthier 5/10

High School High (1996)

In this very funny comedy spoof on "Dangerous Minds", Jon Lovitz stars as teacher Robert Clark, who believes that anyone can have a chance at a good education, no matter what background they're from. He leaves a private school to go teach at an inner city school which is in a bad neighborhood filled with crime and drugs. Even so, he still goes there to teach, meeting the students and the staff including the attractive Victoria Chapell, and the mean principal Evelyn Doyle who's more than meets the eye. Richard knows that if he can get the smartest kid named Griff to listen, then the other classmates will follow. Starring Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, Mekhi Phifer, Louise Fletcher, Malinda Williams 6/10

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

When an evil Mexican bandit named Calvera and his posse terrorize a little farming village and steal their food, the farmers won't put up with it anymore. So they search for and hire some gunmen, seven in all to keep Calvera out. However Calvera has over a hundred bandits with him, so he forces the gunmen to hand over their weapons and leave the town. But the seven refuse to run, so they decide to go back to the village for a final showdown. A remake of the Japanese film The Seven Samurai, with an all star cast and a excitingly catchy music score, this is a one of a kind treat, and a great classic film! Starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz 8/10

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Six criminals who are strangers are hired by a crime boss named Joe Cabot to rob a diamond warehouse. They are all given fake names so they won't be connected to anyone; Mister Orange, Mister Blonde, Mister Pink, Mister White, Mister Blue, and Mister Brown. But the plan ends up going terribly wrong when the police show up, killing one and injuring another. The strangers who are left begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop. With a great and immensely talented cast,this is a brutal, violent but sometimes funny film by the great director/writer Quentin Tarantino. Starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Quentin Tarantino, Edward Bunker 9/10

Rounders (1998)

Damon plays law student Mike McDermott, who ends up losing all his life savings to a Russian mobster when playing the high stakes game of Texas Hold 'Em, winner takes all poker. So after that he wants to go straight and leaves the game to concentrate on becoming a lawyer. But when his buddy Worm gets out of prison, he ends up luring Mike back to the seductive world of card playing. It doesn't help that Worm owes a lot of money back to the same Russian mobster that Mike lost all his money to. Great acting in an underrated film; this film is mostly centered around Damon's character, but I think Norton really stole the show as Mike's sleazy, cheating pal. Starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, Martin Landau, Michael Rispoli, Melina Kanakaredes 7/10

Witness (1985)

A young Amish boy named Samuel Lap and his widow mother Rachel intend to go traveling to Philadelphia. But when they're waiting, the young Samuel walks into the train station restroom and ends up witnessing a murder. So Detective John Book gets assigned to the case of the murder, which it turns out that the man that was killed was an undercover cop. Samuel identifies that the man he saw is a narcotics officer. For the boy's safety and the mother's, Book wants them to go into hiding. But when Book ends up getting injured in a shoot-out, they go back to the Lap farm so they can help him. Book stays at the Lap home so the killers won't find him or the boy, and he and Rachel fall in love. But they both know that they're from different worlds and their love can't be. A suspenseful and unique story; Harrison Ford is sensational as the tough city cop who tries to learn the ways of the Amish. Starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas, Josef Sommer, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Viggo Mortensen, Patti LuPone, Jan Rubes, Brent Jennings 8/10

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Amityville Horror (2005)

George and Kathy Lutz move into what they think is a nice house, but discover that it is haunted. Apparently in the seventies, six people were murdered in the house by the oldest son of the DeFeo family. But despite that they stay in the house for 28 days, in which the vengeful spirits of the house take George under their control and he begins to turn into a dangerous and harmful person. While Kathy seeks help from a priest to exorcise the demons that are destroying her family. A remake of the 1979 film and based on the real life story of the Lutz family, this film is very frightening and incredibly disturbing. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Moretz, Rachel Nichols, Philip Baker Hall 7/10

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giant (1956)

Bick Benedict is a wealthy Texas rancher who visits a farm in Maryland one afternoon to buy a prized horse. While there he meets and falls in love with Leslie, the owner's daughter. They marry soon afterward and she travels back on the train with him to his ranch. But unfortunately Bick's sister Luz doesn't take to Leslie at all, thinking that she won't be able handle the hard life of a rancher's wife. But Leslie is a strong woman and she eventually adapts to it. Ranch hand Jett Rink who works for Bick wants to have his own ranch and takes a liking to Leslie. One unsuspecting day he strikes oil and becomes rich. An epic romantic drama; although the story is mostly centered around Rock and Elizabeth's characters, James Dean undoubtedly steals the show, in his last performance. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Mercedes McCambridge, Carroll Baker, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Earl Holliman 9/10

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

Shatner plays Doctor Robert "Rack" Hansen, a veterinarian living in Arizona who investigates about some farm animals who have recently become sick and died mysteriously. An arachnologist Diane Ashley arrives days later for Hansen and tells him that the animals have been bitten by a huge dose of spider venom. But Hansen is a skeptic, until the tarantula spiders start to attack the residents and take over the whole countryside. A strange and often comical low budget horror film. Starring William Shatner, Tiffany Bolling, Woody Strode 6/10

Flashdance (1983)

Alex Owens is a welder in a steel mill by day, and an exotic dancer in a bar by night. When her boss sees her on stage, he is fascinated by her and finds out that she works for him at the mill. Her one dream is to get accepted into a prestigious dance company, which her mentor Hanna Long, a retired professional dancer encourages her to audition for. But when she visits the actual place, she can't help but feel intimidated and out of place so she leaves. Despite a tragic loss in her life, she emerges from her sorrow and finally gets the courage to pursue her dream. A high energy dance film with a dynamite soundtrack. Starring Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala, Sunny Johnson, Kyle T. Heffner 6/10

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Joy Ride (2001)

Lewis Thomas is a college student who decides to drive cross-country to see his girl friend Venna. On the way, he bails out his brother Fuller from jail. When stopping for a pit stop, Fuller has a mechanic install a CB radio in the car. And being the troublemaker that he is he practically forces Lewis to play a practical joke and pretend he's a woman to excite one of the truck drivers on the other end. Unfortunately when Lewis reveals that he's a man, the driver known as Rusty Nail, gets insulted and stalks them on their trip. Even worse do things get when he kidnaps Venna and humiliate them for fun. A great thriller with terrific twists and turns. Starring Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski 7/10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Gilmore (1996)

Happy Gilmore is a hockey player, but not a very good one and he can't skate. When he finds out his grandmother's house is in foreclosure because she didn't pay the back taxes, Happy tries to find a way to make some money. He discovers when he's at a driving range that he's got a great golf swing and can drive the ball a hundred feet. The range pro tells him he'd make an excellent golfer, but Happy is a hockey player. But realizing that he can make real money playing, he decides to try out for the golf tour so he can get his grandmother's house back. He ends up being in the tournament and instantly becomes a popular favorite. However the tournament leader Shooter McGavin thinks he's a disgrace and embarrassment to the game and will do anything to win the tournament away from Happy. A laugh your ass off comedy; Adam Sandler is a crazy and nutty character that you can't help but root for. Starring Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen, Carl Weathers, Frances Bay, Bob Barker, Dennis Dugan, Kevin Nealon 7/10

Monday, November 15, 2010

Heat (1995)

Neil McCauley is a bank robber who believes in never doing a job that you can't walk away from in thirty seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner. He and his buddies decide to hit one more bank so they can all retire and go their separate ways. Vincent Hanna is an L.A.P.D. detective who becomes obsessed with catching McCauley, so much so that he his personal life is falling apart; hardly ever spending time with his third wife and step-daughter. Neil meets a young woman named Eady, but lies to her about what he really does. Even so, he doesn't know if he can walk away from her. An intense and provocative crime drama; DeNiro and Pacino are absolutely dynamic. Starring Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Diane Venora, Ashley Judd, Amy Brenneman, Mykelti Williamson, Natalie Portman 8/10

Matilda (1996)

Matilda Wormwood is an incredibly smart girl, ever since she was a child she was able to fend for herself because her family is wrapped up in their own lives and don't appreciate her. She discovers she has an amazing gift of moving objects with her mind when she concentrates hard enough. She attends school and becomes best friends with a girl named Lavender, and has the most wonderful teacher; a sweet and caring woman named Miss Honey. But unfortunately Agatha Trenchbull, her principal is a cruel and mean woman who punishes her students by locking them in the chokey, an iron maiden like device with nails and jagged edges. Matilda and Miss Honey become good friends and Matilda tells her about her power. When Matilda's father, a crooked used car dealer sells Miss Trunchbull a lemon, she begins to hate the child more and more. To make things even more complicated, Matilda discovers two cops who are scoping out their house. From Roald Dahl's children's novel, this is a wonderful fantasy film; Mara Wilson is simply enchanting. Starring Danny Devito, Mara Wilson, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Pam Ferris, Brian Levinson, Tracey Walter, Paul Reubens 8/10

The Great Outdoors (1988)

Chet Ripley and his family go on a vacation to a beautiful lake resort in Pechoggin, Wisconsin. But when his brother-in-law Roman Craig; an annoying, loudmouth investment broker, his wife and twin daughters drive out to surprise Chet and the gang, it is hardly what Chet had in mind. Especially when the kids don't want to do the activities Chet had planned, but instantly agree when Roman suggests something better to do. Chet's older son becomes smitten with a young waitress, and the family become under siege when a huge bear attacks their cabin, the same one that supposedly attacked Chet years before. A fun and underrated adventurous comedy. Starring John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Annette Bening, Stephanie Faracy, Chris Young, Ian Giatti, Rebecca Gordon, Hilary Gordon, Lucy Deakins 7/10

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stripes (1981)

John Winger is a cab driver who ends up losing his job, his apartment and his girlfriend dumps him. So when he and his friend Russell finally get fed up with their lives, they decide to join the army. But it's not easy, especially when John doesn't get along with the tough and strict Sergeant Hulka. Also while in boot camp, John and Russell meet and fall for two attractive young Military police officers when they get arrested one night for fighting in a strip club. After graduation, the boys take the recreational vehicle and have a good time with their girlfriends while their buddies are captured by Russian troops and taken to Czechoslovakia. So it's up to John, Russell, Stella and Louise to go there and rescue them. My favorite military spoof, Bill Murray is hilarious in this crazy comedy that can't be missed! Starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, John Candy, Sean Young, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold 7/10

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Fugitive (1993)

Set in Chicago, Doctor Richard Kimble, a successful and greatly respected vascular surgeon is falsely accused of attacking and murdering his wife. He tells the police that when he came home after an emergency operation call he found a one-armed man in his house and that he fought with this man. But there isn't any evidence to back up his story, so Richard is convicted and sentenced to execution. He is transported by bus with other convicts to another prison but while on the way there, one of the prisoners fakes a seizure and as the prisoners try to take control, the driver is shot and the bus turns over, landing right on train tracks. Although injured, Richard saves one of the guards that has been stabbed and just narrowly escapes when the oncoming train crashes into the bus. Enter U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, who takes over the search of hunting down Richard who's become a fugitive despite being innocent. With some help from his fellow colleagues, Richard is determined to find the one-armed man who killed his wife. A suspenseful and incredibly exciting film; Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are both fantastic. Starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore, Joe Pantaliano, Jeroen Krabbe 8/10

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scent of a Woman (1992)

In New Hampshire, Charlie Simms is a prep school student who witnesses some of his friends playing a prank on the headmaster. The headmaster finds out that he and his friend George know who did it, but doesn't admit anything. So they have until after the Thanksgiving holiday to confess if they saw anything. Charlie is torn because he doesn't want to rat out his fellow classmates but the headmaster tells him that he'll get him into an Ivy League school if he does. Charlie wants to go home to Oregon for Christmas break but doesn't have money for air-fare. So he gets a part-time job house-sitting for a blind ex-colonel named Frank Slade. But when he meets Frank, Charlie discovers the job is not at all what he expected; Frank is a tough, no-nonsense man who says what he means, no matter how blunt he may sound. And what Charlie doesn't realize until later is that the colonel has plans of his own. One of Pacino's best performances; a terrific, emotional, often comical drama. Starring Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, 7/10

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Primal Fear (1996)

A hotshot attorney named Martin Vail takes on a case of an altar boy who's been accused of murdering a priest. As he investigates the evidence and what happened, the case becomes even more complicated when Martin discovers that Aaron, the altar boy has two split personalities; the shy Aaron and the tough Roy. Then when a sex tape is found with the priest being involved in harassing a girl and two young altar boys, one being the accused it is considered that a motive has been found as well. A thrilling and chilling courtroom drama that will keep you guessing until its shocking climax. Norton, in his screen debut is simply astonishing. Starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodward, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton,Terry O' Quinn, Steven Bauer, Maura Tierney 7/10

Empire of the Sun (1987)

It's 1941, and just at the beginning of World War 2. James "Jamie" Graham, a young British boy who lives with his rich family in Shanghai gets separated from his parents when there is a Japanese army invasion. He goes back to his house but his parents aren't there. He stays for a few months until the food runs out. But when he goes back to Shanghai on his bike, he is mugged by a Chinese boy. He's nearly run over by a truck, which the driver named Frank brings him back to where he and his friend Basie are staying. Not long after they are sent to the Soochow Interment prison camp, which is next to an airbase site. When the war ends, Jamie is eventually reunited with his parents but doesn't recognize them right away because of the long time that has passed since he's seen them. From the autobiography of J.G. Ballard, this is an emotional and exciting story. Christian Bale, only thirteen and in his film debut, is simply mesmerizing. Starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Joe Pantaliano, Ben Stiller 8/10

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Papillon (1973)

Papillon is the true story of Henri Charriere, a criminal who's falsely accused of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The name Papillon is French for "butterfly" which he has a tattoo of on his chest. He is sent to the French penal colony in French Guiana, South America. There he becomes friends with another inmate, a counterfeiter named Louis Dega, and with his help plans to make an escape. But escaping isn't easy when he keeps getting captured and put into solitary confinement. However Papillon does not give up, because freedom is all that he wants. An amazing, unforgettable film that doesn't glamorize prison; it shows the harsh and brutal conditions of what penitentiary life is like. McQueen and Hoffman are both fantastic. Starring Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Don Gordon, Bill Mumy, Anthony Zerbe, William Smithers, Val Avery 8/10

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Machinist (2004)

Trevor Reznik is an industrial worker; emaciated and an insomniac who hasn't slept in a year. The only happiness in his life is spending time with his hooker girlfriend Stevie, and talking with a divorced waitress at the airport restaurant. But weird things start to happen; he keeps seeing a co-worker who everyone says doesn't exist, then he finds mysterious Post-It notes on his refrigerator. Then after there's an accident at work, Trevor claims that it was the non-existent co-worker who distracted him. When he begins to suspect that there's a revenge plot against him, he soon believes that he's slowly losing his mind. A strange and intriguing psychological drama; Bale is simply astounding and barely recognizable. Starring Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, John Sharian, Michael Ironside, Larry Gillard Jr. 8/10

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Death to Smoochy (2002)

Randolph Smiley is a kid show host who calls himself Rainbow Randolph. But when he is caught taking a bribe he is arrested and loses his job. Desperate to find a replacement for Randolph and fast, they hire Smoochy; a wholesome fuchsia colored rhinoceros created by Sheldon Mopes. As Smoochy becomes a hit and more popular than ever, Randolph begins to turn insane, and plans revenge to kill Smoochy so he can go back to being on television again. A bazaar and hilarious dark comedy, one of Robin Williams best comedic roles. Starring Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Danny Devito, Catherine Keener, Jon Stewart, Pam Ferris, Danny Woodburn, Michael Rispoli, Harvey Fierstein, Vincent Schiavelli 7/10

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

Leslie Nielsen plays Count Dracula in this hysterically funny Mel Brooks parody of the 1992 Bram Stoker Dracula film. Thomas Renfield, a solicitor from London arrives at Transylvania to work for the Count. When Renfield accidentally gets a paper cut, the Count can't help but be tempted by the blood and so he transforms Renfield into a vampire as well. Dracula and Renfield travel to England and while Renfield is in the lunatic asylum, Dracula meets his new neighbors; Doctor Seward, Jonathan Harker, Seward's daughter Mina and Mina's friend Lucy. When Doctor Seward finds Lucy is ill not long after meeting the Count, he calls upon Doctor Van Helsing to find out why Lucy has strange puncture marks on her throat. Meanwhile Dracula has plans to woo Mina and make her his bride for all eternity. One of the funniest spoofs of horror I've seen; Leslie Nielsen is bloody good. Starring Leslie Nielsen, Peter McNichol, Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Lysette Anthony, Mel Brooks, Harvey Korman 6/10

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Don Diego de la Vega is Zorro, a masked swordsmen who fights for the people of Spain. One night when returning home to his wife Esperanza and baby daughter Elena, Don Rafael Montero, the ruthless Governor and enemy of Zorro discovers Diego's secret identity. While under attack Diego's wife is murdered, his daughter is taken and his house is burned. He is arrested and sent to prison, and Rafael raises Elena as his own. Twenty years later, Diego escapes prison and returns to claim his lost daughter back, now a beautiful young woman. A man named Alejandro Murrieta, who with his brother helped Zorro twenty years before wants revenge on Captain Love, Montero's commander-in-chief who killed his brother. With Diego's help he trains Alejandro to become the new Zorro. Alejandro also becomes smitten with Elena, but doesn't realize that she's Diego's daughter. Together they try to save California from Rafael and his plans. A fun swashbuckler; Hopkins is terrific as the former Zorro and Banderas is perfect as his replacement. Starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher, Victor Rivers 8/10

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ever After (1998)

After her father dies tragically, Danielle De Barbarac becomes a servant in her own home, living with her mean stepmother, the Baroness and stepsisters, one kind and the other spoiled and nasty. She grows up to be a strong, passionate and opinionated young woman. One morning when she finds someone stealing one of her father's horses she throws an apple at him, but she realizes too late that it's the Prince Henry. The Prince though wealthy and privileged has problems of his own, having to deal with his parents as they insist on having him marry someone he's not in love with. Danielle pretends to be a courtier, claiming he's her a servant and that she wants to pay for his release so he's not taken to the Americas. Danielle is persistent and this captures the Princes' eye. They fall in love, but the Baroness intends to make her horrible daughter Marguerite Henry's bride, and will do anything to make that happen, including getting rid of Danielle. This modern real story of the classic Cinderella story is just wonderful to watch; Drew Barrymore is enchanting, and Angelica Huston is wickedly great. Starring Drew Barrymore, Angelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Patrick Godfrey, Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynsky, Jeroen Krabbe, Jeanne Moreau 8/10

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Nutty Professor (1996)

Sherman Klump is a shy and tremendously overweight man but with a good heart. He is a college professor who desperately wants to be thin, researching and testing a DNA reconstruction solution formula that can make him thin. When he meets a beautiful woman named Carla Purty, Sherman tests the formula on himself and he's instantly transformed into the trim but obnoxious Buddy Love. As Sherman keeps turning into Buddy, Buddy puts the moves on Carla, soon devising a plan of his own to get rid of Sherman permanently so he can be with Carla and take credit for his work. Funny and touching; Eddie Murphy is amazing, playing seven different characters in the film. Starring Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chappelle, Montell Jordan 7/10

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Liar Liar (1997)

Fletcher Reed is a successful attorney who constantly lies his way through life. And even though he adores his son Max, he doesn't keep his promises to him. Max it seems is always let down by his father, even when when Fletcher misses Max's own birthday. So for his birthday, Max makes a wish that for one day his father couldn't tell a lie. The next morning Fletcher wakes up to soon discover that no matter how hard he tries, he has to tell the truth. His son tells him about the wish and Fletcher asks Max to undo the wish he made, but Max replies that he can't because when he made the wish he meant it. So Fletcher has to try and defend his client, Samantha Cole however his entire defense that he has for her is a lie. A laugh out loud riot; Carrey as always gives a wacky and hysterically funny performance. Starring Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Jennifer Tilly, Amanda Donahue, Swoosie Kurtz, Mitch Ryan, Eric Pierpoint 7/10

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy Gale lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Emily and Uncle Henry. When a mean woman named Miss Gulch threatens to have her dog Toto put to sleep, Dorothy runs away with him. But when a tornado hits and she returns home, she gets knocked out and starts to dream. In the dream, she wakes up and finds she's in a strange and beautiful world with good and bad witches and munchkins. Wanting to go home, she asks Glinda the Good Witch for help, but she tells her the only person who can get her back to Kansas is the powerful Wizard of Oz. Only he is in Emerald City which is a long journey away. So with her dog Toto she begins to travel there, on the way meeting a Scarecrow (who wants a brain), a Tin Man (who wants a heart) and a Lion (who wants courage). She insists that if the wizard can get her home, then surely he can give them what her friends want. So they go along with her on the journey. But unfortunately the Wicked Witch of the West, wants to destroy her and possess the ruby slippers that Dorothy is wearing. Based on the L.Frank Baum books, it's an enchanting, magical and captivating. A timeless classic that all should see and enjoy. Starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton 10/10

Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)

Elizabeth is an attractive woman living in New York City. She is an art assistant who has been recently divorced after three years of marriage. One day she meets a man named John while shopping, he almost instantly seduces her and soon they're having a torrid affair which lasts exactly nine and a half weeks. But Elizabeth knows nothing about his life and when she wants to introduce him to her friends, he refuses, telling her that he wants to be with only her. Soon the sexual games they play become too much for Elizabeth. She's unhappy and realizes that the obsession she has for him is unhealthy. An explicit and erotic film, Rourke is alluring and Basinger is hot. Starring Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Christine Baranski, Karen Young, Margaret Whitton, David Margulies 6/10

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan are two dumb teenage boys who live in San Dimas, not far from Los Angeles and have dreams of starting their own rock n'roll band The Wyld Stallyns. But they're in danger of flunking history and not graduating. Even worse, if Ted fails, his father is going to send him to military school. However their history teacher decides to give the boys one last chance; if they can present a good enough oral presentation about how famous historical figures might react to the modern day world, then they'll pass. An Emissary from the Future named Rufus arrives not long after to help them with their report. He explains to them how he traveled through time in a telephone booth and that in Rufus' time, Bill and Ted's music is the center of all existence, so if their band doesn't make music anymore, Rufus's world will no longer exist. So using the phone booth, Bill and Ted travel back in time and gather up famous people including Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Joan of Arc, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Socrates, Sigmund Freud and Genghis Khan to come back with them for their report. A wild and wacky story; Bill and Ted are fun and George Carlin is unforgettable. Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Jane Wiedlin, Robert V. Barron, Clifford David, Hal Landon Jr. 7/10

Hair (1979)

Claude is a young man from Oklahoma who goes to New York City because he's going to be drafted into the Vietnam War. While in the city he is befriended by George Berger, the leader of a group of hippies. He begins to hang out with them and also falls in love with a rich girl named Sheila when Berger and his friends crash a private party. Despite George's objections, Claude still wants to go and serve in the war which George and the hippies are against. So George devises a plan so they can have one last get-together with Claude before going to war; so while Claude is with his friends, George stays on the base and poses as Claude. But unfortunately Claude doesn't get back in time and reluctantly George is shipped off to war. Based on the Broadway musical hit of the 60's, a vibrant and exciting film; the music is incredible and the dance numbers are amazing. A film not to be missed by musical lovers. Starring John Savage, Treat Williams, Beverly D'Angelo, Annie Golden, Dorsey Wright, Don Dacus 8/10

Monday, October 18, 2010

Track 29 (1988)

Linda Henry lives in a nice house on a suburban neighborhood and her husband Henry is a surgeon. But she's tired of his obsession he has with model trains. She often wonders about the child she had given up at birth. One day when she's at roadside diner with a friend, she meets a British hitchhiker named Martin who claims to be her illegitimate son. She of course doesn't believe that it is actually him. But as we see in flashbacks, when Linda was sixteen she was raped at a carnival by a man who looks just like Martin. So Linda and Martin spend time together and become close, perhaps a little too close. Little does Linda know that her husband is also having an affair with one of the nurses at the hospital where he works. An interesting psychological drama; Oldman really stands out, giving an intense performance. Starring Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd, Colleen Camp, Sandra Bernhard, Seymour Cassell 7/10

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rescue Dawn (2006)

Based on the real-life story of German American pilot Dieter Dengler, who while bombing Laos is shot down and captured in the early days of the Vietnam War. He is sent to a prison camp where he meets other prisoners, including Duane Martin. Despite being tortured and having hardly any food, Dieter keeps his hopes up by planning an escape out of the camp before he gets killed. However Gene, one of the more unstable prisoners is against it and doesn't think he'll survive out in the jungle. But Dieter is determined to be free again. So along with Duane, he shoots his way out of the camp and flees. But it's not easy, having to deal with the harsh weather conditions and miles of thick foliage. A moving and inspirational story; Christian Bale gives an extraordinary performance. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Zach Grenier, Marshall Bell, Jeremy Davies 8/10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty McFly is a typical 80's teenager who loves to play the electric guitar. He receives a message from his friend Dr. Emmett L. Brown Doc that he needs help with his latest invention, a plutonium-powered time machine made out of a DeLorean sports car. The invention is successful but when Emmett is gunned down by Libyan terrorists, Marty escapes by driving off in the DeLorean and ends up going back to the year 1955. He bumps into his parents when they were teenagers and looks up the doc so he can help him get back to the year 1985. Marty explains to him about the Flux Compacitor that he had a vision of, which makes time travel possible. But the doc doesn't have the means to create the power to bring him back unless by a bolt of lightning. Luckily the clock tower in town is supposed to be struck by lightning the next Saturday, so that's when they plan to send Marty back. While doc gets everything ready for that, Marty is determined to get his parents to be to fall in love, otherwise he and his siblings will never exist. But it's not easy when a bully keeps bothering his mother and father. An imaginative and sheer fun comedy. Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Marc McClure, James Tolken, Billy Zane 7/10

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002)

Neal Oliver is a talented young artist. But his father wants him to go to Oxford to be a lawyer just like he did. For Neal's birthday he gets a car but the color that his father likes. Neal doesn't want to be like his father, but he's not sure what to do. So he makes a wish on his birthday to get an answer to his life. O.W. Grant, the O.W. standing for "One Wish" is the son of a Leprechaun and a Cheyenne Indian and grants Neal his wish, but he'll have to travel on a road trip to a non-existent town called Danver on a non-existent route Interstate 60. While on the trip, Neal is determined to find the girl of his dreams, a blond that appears on the billboards along the route. A terrific and unique original story; charming and entertaining. Starring James Marsden, Gary Oldman, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Amy Smart, Kurt Russell, Ann-Margret, Chris Cooper, Amy Jo Johnson 7/10

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

All Neal Page wants is to get home for Thanksgiving. But it is easier said than done. When trying to catch a taxi in Thanksgiving rush hour, someone steals his cab. Then his flight is canceled because of bad weather so he tries to find another flight to board. While waiting he meets Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman who just can't seem to keep his mouth shut. Neal isn't amused by his jokes and doesn't want to socialize with him. He just wants to get home to see his family. But they end up on the same flight and sitting next to one another. From there the hilarity ensues when one thing after another goes wrong for the unlikely pair, all the while trying to get to Chicago. With hysterically funny and sometimes sad moments; Steve Martin and John Candy make a great odd couple. Starring Steve Martin, John Candy, Michael McKean, Kevin Bacon, Dylan Baker, Larry Hankin, Matthew Lawrence, Edie McClurg 7/10

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump, a slow and not very bright man tells his life story to strangers while waiting for a bus one day. He tells them about his childhood, how he was teased because needed braces for his legs, how he meet Jenny the love of his life, his meeting with Elvis Presley, JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon. Then about playing football, fighting in Vietnam and meeting his friend Bubba, going into the shrimping business. But all the while thinking about Jenny who's had just as many experiences and ups and downs as Forrest. Eventually she does come back home to be with Forrest after his mother dies. They get married and unbeknown to Forrest, the existence of a son, whom is very smart. A wonderfully touching story about an ordinary man who does extraordinary things despite his lack of intelligence. Tom Hanks is astounding. Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field, Mykelti Williamson 8/10

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don Juan DeMarco (1994)

A young man, claiming to be Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world attempts suicide because he has searched and failed to find his long lost love. Soon to be retired psychiatrist Doctor Mickler, asks to hear about Don Juan's true love. So the doctor brings him to the hospital and gives him a ten-day paper, which means he has ten days with his patient to see if he's crazy or not. Within those ten days, Don Juan DeMarco tells his life story; how his mother and father met, how from a very young age the girls were drawn to him, how his father died defending his mother's honor, how he spent a year in a harem, and how he found true love but was rejected on a remote island. Doctor Mickler begins to believe that he really is Don Juan, but the rest of the staff think otherwise. Don Juan has a tremendous affect on not only the female staff but on the doctor as well, helping him to put the fire back in his own marriage. A unique and funny tale of love; Depp and Brando are absolutely magnetic. Starring Marlon Brando, Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Rachel Ticotin, Bob Dishy 7/10

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Donnie Brasco (1997)

Based on a true story, Johnny Depp plays FBI Agent Joseph Pistone who goes undercover as "Donnie Brasco" to infiltrate the mafia in New York, led by Sonny Black. Donnie becomes good friends with veteran Lefty Ruggiero as they go to collect money for the bosses. Not soon after does the big boss gets whacked, and Sonny Black moves up the ranks to become the boss himself. But undercover work is a constant strain for Joe; his marriage is falling apart, he has a non-existent family life with his kids. And if that wasn't enough, the mafia suspects that there's a mole in their group. But if the FBI take Joe out of the investigation, his cover will be blown and it will be Lefty who is punished because he brought him into their circle. An engrossing and deeply moving gangster film; both Pacino and Depp are amazing. Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche, Zach Grenier 8/10

Carlito's Way (1993)

Carlito Brigante is a Puerto Rican ex-con who has gotten out of prison after five years because of a technicality made by his sleazy lawyer, David Kleinfeld. Now that he's out he pledges to go straight and retire in the Bahamas selling used cars as soon as he gets enough money, but he doesn't want to go back to being a gangster. So David tells him about this nightclub that he can manage. So Carlito runs the club while trying to stay out of trouble but it isn't easy when his crew won't leave him alone. Especially a young gangster named Benny Blanco who's following in Carlito's footsteps and wants to to business with him. Carlito also rekindles a romance he once had with his ex-lover, a dancer named Gail. But when David asks Carlito to do him favors because he's involved with the Italian mob, things start to get out of control. Carlito has a bad feeling and decides that it's now or never; so he collects his money and asks his girlfriend to leave with him. A gripping and suspenseful crime drama; Pacino is outstanding as well as a virtually unrecognizable Sean Penn as his lawyer. Starring Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo, Ingrid Rogers, Luis Guzman, James Rebhorn, Viggo Mortensen 8/10

Monday, October 4, 2010

With Honors (1994)

Montgomery Kessler is an undergraduate student attending Harvard who's sure he'll graduate with honors with his senior thesis he's been writing. But when his computer crashes, he is left with only a single printed copy of it. So he immediately runs out to photocopy it but while on the way he accidentally trips and loses it down a grate. He goes down to the boiler room to search for it when he encounters a homeless man named Simon whose been living there. He has Monty's thesis but in order for him to get it back he makes a deal with him; for every favor Monty does for him, he'll give back a page of it. Desperate, Monty gives him food and his friend's van to sleep in. Monty soon learns about Simon; that he left his family to join the merchant marines and that his lungs have been infected by asbestos poisoning. So when Monty finds out that Simon is sick, he lets him stay with him and his Harvard friends in their house and they become friends. A sad though often funny story, Pesci without a doubt steals the show. Starring Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Hamilton 7/10

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Love in the Afternoon (1957)

Set in Paris, France, Chevalier plays private detective Claude Chavasse who is hired to follow a wife suspected of cheating on her husband with American millionaire playboy Frank Flannagan. When the husband figures out that his suspicions are true, he tells Claude that he plans to kill Flannagan. Ariane, Claude's daughter overhears and goes to the hotel that Frank is staying at to warn him. She pretends to be his girlfriend to convince the husband that it's not his wife which works like a charm. Not telling him her name, Ariane pretends to be a socialite that has had many past boyfriends. Frank becomes fascinated by her and wants to see her again at the hotel in the afternoon. So they spend time together and she falls in love with him. When he goes back to America she follows all news on him. The following year she sees him when she's at the opera but he doesn't recognize her. She continues to play the part of the socialite with many past lovers. Frank, feeling jealous about it and wanting to know more about her, hires Claude to investigate. When Claude realizes Frank is talking about his daughter, he tells him that she has never been in love, and to not break her heart. Despite Gary Cooper's miscasting, he really is quite wonderful in this picture; and of course Audrey is charming and delightful as always. A lovely romantic comedy by the great Billy Wilder. Starring Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier 8/10

Bananas (1971)

Fielding Mellish is a clumsy consumer products tester. He meets Nancy who is a political activist and falls in love with her. But she breaks up with him when she admits that she is looking for someone with greater leadership potential. So Fielding quits his job and goes to San Marcos where he becomes a rebel and eventually the President of San Marcos. When Nancy meets him one day to say how much she admires him, she doesn't even realize it's Fielding until he takes off his fake beard. She ends up falling for him now that he's this great leader. A crazy satirical comedy with many terrific one-liners. Starring Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Carlos Montalban, Howard Cosell 8/10

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Conan the Destroyer (1984)

In the sequel to the 1982 film, Conan the warrior is called upon by Queen Taramis to accompany her niece, Princess Jehnna on a perilous journey to find a treasure which only she can touch. She tells him that from the day she was born she's been preparing for it and that it is her destiny. The treasure she is to get is a jeweled horn that is guarded in a castle by a wizard. In exchange, the Queen says that she'll bring back Valeria, the woman Conan loves from the dead. So along with the Princess, Conan, Malak, Conan's sidekick, and Bombaata, the Captain of the Guards set out on the journey. Along the way he retrieves Akiro the wizard and save Zula, a woman warrior. What Conan doesn't realize until later on is that once the Princess brings the horn back to the Queen, she is going to sacrifice the virginal Jehnna to summon Dagoth, the dreaming God to rebirth. Although not as good as the first film, Conan the Destroyer is still an entertaining adventure and worth watching. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Mako, Tracey Walter, Sarah Douglas, Olivia d'Abo 7/10

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

When his family is killed in a raid by Thulsa Doom, the evil sorcerer, young Conan is sent with other children to a slave camp. He grows up and is trained to become a powerful warrior, determined to take revenge for his families' slaughter. He sets out on a long journey to solve the riddle of steel and on the way he meets Subotai, an archer, a Chinese wizard and Valeria, a thief whom he falls in love with. Conan learns that Thulsa Doom is the leader of a snake cult which has brainwashed the Princess Yasmina. King Osric, her father asks Conan and his companions to rescue his daughter from the snake cult and they'll be rewarded. So they go get her but when they're escaping, Thulsa Doom shoots an arrow and kills Valeria. Conan, Subotai and the wizard set up booby traps and weapons to prepare for the final battle against Thulsa's warriors. Great fun; an epic tale with a dynamic score. From the books written by Robert E. Howard. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Gerry Lopez, Mako 7/10

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Painted Veil (2006)

Set in the 1920's, Kitty Fane is a pretty, upper-class woman whom wants to marry so she can move out of her parents house, away from her domineering mother. She meets and is courted by the shy, middle class Doctor Walter Fane and they marry soon after, despite her not loving him. When they relocate to Shanghai where he is stationed, she has an affair with Charles Townsend, a married British vice consul. When Walter finds out about it he confronts Kitty and threatens to divorce her on the grounds of adultery. Kitty pleads to be allowed to divorce him quietly and he agrees, if Townsend will leave his wife and marry her. But when she tells this to Charlie, he doesn't accept. So Walter punishes Kitty by forcing her to accompany him to Mei-tan-fu, a small village in China where he has volunteered to treat victims of a deadly cholera epidemic that has been spreading throughout the village. They travel an arduous, two-week-long overland journey and while Walter is treating patients, Kitty who doesn't know what to do with herself, volunteers to help out at the orphanage run by a group of French nuns. During the time they're in the village, Walter and Kitty forget about their unhappiness and slowly their marriage begins to bloom. A visually stunning film and interesting love story; with amazing performances by the two leads, Norton and Watts. Remake of the 1934 Greta Garbo picture. Starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Toby Jones, Diana Rigg 8/10

City of Angels (1998)

Seth is an angel who watches over Los Angeles with his friend Cassiel, who's also an angel. They watch the sun rise and sit on the signs above the highway. One day when looking around at patients in the hospital Seth sees Maggie, a beautiful heart surgeon and instantly falls in love with her. When she meets him for the first time, she becomes curious and intrigued by him. She starts to realize that Seth is not like anyone she's ever met before. And when she finds out he's an angel she doesn't believe it. When Seth meets Messinger, who is one of the patients at the hospital, Messinger can see him because he was once an Angel but gave his power up to become human. So that makes Seth want to be human too so he can love and feel Maggie, but he would have to give up being an angel and fall to Earth. A beautiful and touching story; comical at times but also heartbreaking as well. Starring Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz, Colm Feore 7/10

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Superman 2 (1980)

In the sequel to the original Superman, this time the Man of Steel saves Lois when terrorists seize the Eiffel Tower and threaten to blow it up with a bomb. But when Superman throws the bomb into outer space, the explosion releases the three prisoners of the Phantom Zone that Jorel convicted in the first film. The three criminals, led by General Zod fly to Earth and take over The White House, forcing the President to kneel before Zod as the new ruler. Meanwhile at the Fortress of Solitude and unaware of what's going on, Superman reveals his true identity to Lois, while she confesses to being in love with him. He gives up his powers to be an ordinary man with Lois. But when he finds out that Zod has taken over, he must find a way to get his powers back to save the world. A terrific sequel; good story and three terrifying villains is a great combination of entertainment. Starring Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O'Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, E.G. Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp 7/10

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

After being kicked out of another town for allegedly burning a barn, Ben Quick arrives in Frenchman's Bend, Mississippi looking for work. He hitches a ride and meets Clara and Eula when they pick him up. Will Varner, who owns just about everything in Frenchman's Bend, hires Ben to work in his store. Although Will's own son manages the store, Will thinks he lacks ambition. Jody feels weak and insecure because of his father's disapproval. Jody's wife Eula is the fashionable sex kitten, who often gets hollered at by the young boys in the town, which makes Jody very upset. Will also has a daughter named Clara, an unmarried school teacher whom catches Ben's eye. She is saving herself for Alan Stewart, but is competing for his affection with his overbearing mother. Will wants Clara to marry so he can have a heir to inherit his fortune and carry on his name. But when the Varner's find out about Ben's bad reputation, things get upsetting and the townspeople think they should get rid if him before their town starts to burn. With a tremendous cast and steaming hot dialogue, this film is a great film that can't be missed. Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Orson Welles, Lee Remick, Angela Lansbury, Richard Anderson 8/10

Friday, September 24, 2010

Babes in Toyland (1961)

Miss Mary Quite Contrary is about to marry Tom, the Piper's son. But on the night just before they're supposed to marry, evil miser Barnaby hires two bumbling henchmen, Gonzorgo and Roderigo to kidnap Tom and throw him in the sea. But instead they sell him to the gypsies so they'll get paid for him twice. They also steal Bo Peep's sheep, which is Mary and the children's livelihood so Mary has no choice but to marry the rich but mean Barnaby. He hires a band of gypsies to dance and entertain the townspeople, having no idea that they are the same gypsies that Gonzorgo and Roderigo sold Tom to. Tom escapes and disguises himself as an old gypsy who can see the future and sings to Mary and Barnaby. When he reveals his true identity, Mary and the townspeople are overjoyed, but that doesn't stop Barnaby from doing everything in his power to get his way and marry Mary, even if that means having Tom disposed of. When Bo Peep and the children get lost when they go looking for the sheep in the forest, Tom and Mary rescue them. They discover Toyland, which is where The Toymaker makes toys for the children of the world. When the toy machine that the Toymaker's assistant breaks, Bo Peep and the children help The Toymaker make the Christmas deadline. This Disney classic is wonderful fun; the songs are terrific, Annette Funicello is delightful and Ray Bolger is a perfect villain. Starring Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, Annette Funicello, Ed Wynn, Tommy Kirk, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Ann Jillian 6/10

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Public Enemies (2009)

Set in 1930's Chicago, the notorious bank robber John Dillinger breaks out of jail. Not long after he and his posse start to rob the banks of the big businesses, but leaves the citizens money alone. Meanwhile, after taking Pretty Boy Floyd out, FBI Agent Melvin Purvis is promoted and assigned by J. Edgar Hoover to hunt Dillinger down. But that proves to be no easy task. Dillinger falls in love with Billie Frechette when he meets her at a restaurant. Melvin and his men take her in so they can try to catch the outlaw, but faithful to John she refuses to tell them anything. Purvis and his men apprehend a fellow bank robber named Carroll and interrogate him to find the rest of the Dillingers' gang's location. Purvis organizes an ambush at a hotel named Little Bohemia where Dillinger is supposedly staying, but is unsuccessful when Dillinger manages to escape. So Purvis threatens one of John's friends with deportation if she is not cooperative in setting up Dillinger. She agrees and Purvis stakes out the theater where she and Dillinger are seeing a film. A thrillingly interesting crime drama; Johnny Depp plays a convincing gangster, and Bale is also extraordinary as Purvis. Starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, James Russo, Marion Cotillard, Stephen Dorff, Billy Crudup, Giovanni Ribisi, Channing Tatum, Leelee Sobieski 8/10

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cujo (1983)

Based on Stephen King's novel, Cujo is a friendly Saint Bernard who gets bitten one day when he's out chasing a rabbit. The rabbit runs into a hole where there are bats and the dog is bitten, contracting rabies. A suburban housewife named Donna Trenton drives with her five year old son Tad to take her Pinto to Brett Cambers' (Cujo's owner) father's car shop to get it fixed. But unfortunately the car stalls out. So Donna and Tad are trapped in the broken down car with the rabid Cujo trying to get in. Although it takes a while for the tension to build, this is a very suspenseful and incredibly frightening film. Starring Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter, Kaiulani Lee, Billy Jayne, Mills Watson, Sandy Ward, Jerry Hardin, and Arthur Rosenberg 6/10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Millie Perkins plays Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam when she and her family are forced to go into hiding when the Nazis come to power. They also invite another family, the Van Daans to share their hiding place, a tiny annex that's above an old spice factory. Their friends Miep and Mister Kraler who bring them food and news also ask them to take in a dentist named Dussell, despite the cramped quarters and little food that they already have. During the day when the workers are in the factory they have to stay quiet and not move about, for fear that someone will hear them and they'll be arrested by the Gestapo. An emotionally heartbreaking and poignant story; with amazing performances, especially Shelley Winters as Mrs. Van Daan and Joseph Schildkraut as Otto Frank. Not taken directly from the actual diary, but from an adaptation of the Broadway play. A must see. Starring Mille Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters, Richard Beymer, Gusti Huber, Lou Jacobi, Diane Baker, Ed Wynn 10/10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Thorn Birds (1983)

This epic mini-series covers sixty-years of the lives of the Cleary Family, their trials, loves and tragedies. It mostly centers around the youngest Meggie, the only daughter of the Cleary's in a family of males. When Aunt Mary Carson, a brash, no-nonsense tycoon hires her brother Paddy to be head stock man at Australia's Drogheda, Meggie meets and falls madly in love with Ralph De Bricassart, the handsome and ambitious priest. Even when she grows up into a stunning young woman she's still crazy about him, despite the fact that he's a priest and loves God more than she. He encourages her to go out with men and live her own life and Meggie marries young man named Luke O'Neil only to get away from Drogheda and Ralph even though but she doesn't love him. Meggie's mother Fee only has affections for her son Frank, who was fathered by a different man. The pattern of love for only one child continues through the generations; as Meggie only loves her son Dane, who is Ralph's child. While her daughter Justine who is Luke's feels left out so she chooses to avoid love and concentrate on her acting career to escape reality. One of the best and most poignant mini-series about unrequited love; Henry Mancini's musical score is hauntingly beautiful. Based on Colleen McCollough's best-selling novel. Starring Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Simmons, Bryan Brown, Richard Kiley, Piper Laurie, Earl Holliman 8/10

Monday, September 13, 2010

Benny & Joon (1993)

Benny is an auto mechanic living in a small town with his mentally ill schizophrenic sister Joon. His friends want him to go out on dates and have fun, but Benny can't do anything he wants because he has to take care of his sister. He's been taking care of her ever since both their parents died in a car accident when they were kids. One night when Joon plays a poker game with Benny's buddies, she ends up losing the game and as a result has to look after a player's relative named Sam. So Benny and Joon bring Sam to their home and let him stay for a few days. Sam, who acts a lot like the silent movie comedian, Buster Keaton, quickly steals Joon's heart which Benny knows nothing about. After he does, he throws Sam out. Joon argues with him and confesses her love for Sam, but Benny doesn't like the idea one bit. When Joon has a fit when she is riding on a bus with Sam, she is put in a mental hospital and Benny has to consider what is the best way she can be cared for so this doesn't happen again. A sweet and funny movie, Johnny Depp gives a great physical comedy performance. Starring Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore, Oliver Platt, Dan Hedaya, William H. Macy 7/10

Friday, September 10, 2010

American History X (1998)

Derek Vinyard served three years in prison for killing some thugs when they try to steal his car one night. After Derek's father is killed in the line of duty, he turns into a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that has been committing racial crimes in Los Angeles. Danny is assigned to write a paper for his teacher about Derek and the affect the events of Derek's incarceration have made on his life, calling it American History X. After Derek gets out of prison, he realizes the mistakes he's made and changes his ways for the sake of his family. His younger brother Danny, who looks up to his older brother begins to follow in his older brother's footsteps. Derek tries to get Danny to understand that there's consequences to his actions, and tells him the reality of what prison is like (which isn't pleasant at all). Although Derek tries his best to turn his life around and prevent his brother from going down the same path as he did, tragedy is the end result. Controversial and violent, but with a powerful moral message. Edward Norton's performance is astounding and incredibly frightening. Starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Avery Brooks, Jennifer Lien, Ethan Suplee, Stacy Keach, Fairuza Balk, Elliott Gould 9/10

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

In this sequel to the 1984 film, the same terminator that tried to kill Sarah Connor comes back again. But this time in the year 1994 and is assigned to protect her and her son from the T-1000, a more sophisticated terminating machine made of liquid metal. John is now ten years old and in a foster home while Sarah is locked up in Pescadero State Hospital, a mental institution. A juvenile delinquent that has been in trouble more than once, John is shocked when he meets the terminator but remembers his mother telling him about it. When his foster parents are killed, John orders the terminator to help him bust his mother out of Pescadero. Once they do that, they prepare to fight the T-1000, getting weapons ready and transportation. But Sarah has other plans in mind; she takes off on her own mission to kill the man responsible, a computer developer called Miles Dyson so it will prevent the war from happening. However, John wants to stop her so he and the terminator go to his house before she does. They then plan to destroy all of Miles's work at the lab, including the chip that was saved from the previous terminator. A roller-coaster ride; with even more awesome special effects, this is one of the best sci-fi sequels ever made. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton, S. Epatha Merkerson 9/10

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Terminator (1984)

In the year 2029, a computer called Skynet is fighting against a human resistance, after having destroyed nearly all of humanity in 1997. A cyborg is sent back in time to the year 1984 to kill the mother of John Connor, the Leader of the human resistance. This cyborg doesn't have any remorse or pity or fear and will stop at nothing to kill Sarah Connor before she can have her son. But another person has been sent back in time as well, a soldier named Kyle Reese who is sent to protect her. Reese attempts to get to Sarah before the Terminator does and from there it's a race for survival to stay alive. With unbelievable stunts and special effects; this film is a thrillingly great ride to watch. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Bill Paxton 8/10

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Ace Ventura is a hip, eccentric pet detective living in Florida. He is just like a cop but he's hired by people who have missing or stolen pets. Two weeks before the Super Bowl, the Miami Dolphins football mascot, a bottle-nosed dolphin named Snowflake goes missing. Ace is employed by Chief Publicist Melissa Robinson to find him. Not only that but when Dan Marino, the quarterback of the Dolphins is also kidnapped, Ace helps the cops to find him as well. One of my favorite Jim Carrey films; the gags are hysterical, the dialogue is laugh out loud funny and Carrey is wild and zany. Starring Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox, Sean Young, Tone Loc, Dan Marino 7/10

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Lloyd Christmas is a dim-witted limousine driver who falls head over heels for a young woman named Mary Swanson when he picks her up to drive her to the airport. But when he sees her leave her briefcase there, he snatches it up before two thugs arrive to pick it up. Unfortunately he doesn't get to her in time, so he decides to take a trip to Aspen where she said she was heading so he can deliver it to her himself, thinking that she'll be so happy to see it she'll fall madly in love with him. Lloyd's friend Harry Dunne, also a bit slow and stupid, is in the pet grooming business when he loses his job. Lloyd loses his job as well, and both desperate Lloyd tells Harry about his plan to go to Aspen. So they go in Harry's van (that looks like a sheepdog) and take a cross-country road trip to Aspen, Colorado. The criminals follow them because they are after the same briefcase. Hilarious hi-jinks ensue as they take the wrong route and end up in Nebraska, and they accidentally kill one of the thugs by feeding him rat poison. What Harry and Lloyd don't realize until later is that there's ransom money in the briefcase, which Mary had purposely left at the airport terminal in exchange for her husband, who's been kidnapped. A crude but funny comedy; Carrey and Daniels are both very convincing as the two dim-witted pals. Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly, Mike Star, Karen Duffy, Teri Garr 7/10

Friday, September 3, 2010

East of Eden (1955)

Set around World War One in the Salinas Valley, Cal Trask is an unhappy young man who feels like he's competing with his brother Aron, for their father's affections. His father Adam never tells Cal he loves him or that he needs him in any way and calls him bad, while Aron is the perfect one who always does the right thing. Cal is also jealous of the relationship between Aron and his girlfriend, Abra. One evening Cal discovers that his mother (whom Adam told them was dead) is still alive and living elsewhere as a madame of a local brothel. When Adam's lettuce business falls through, Cal wants to start his own business of growing beans so he can pay back the money his father lost. So he asks his mother Kate for start-up money and when they get into the war the price of beans rises and he ends up making a small fortune. He decides to give the money as a gift to his father when he has a surprise birthday party for him. But when his father rejects it, he is heartbroken and brings Aron show him their mother. Abra falls in love with Cal while Aron, shocked by this leaves to fight in the war while Adam has a stroke so it's up to Cal to take care of him. A magnificent classic; James Dean is perfect in this film about the Bible retelling of Cain and Abel. Starring James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives, Richard Davalos, Jo Van Fleet, Lois Smith 10/10

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sleeper (1973)

Allen plays Miles Monroe, a clarinet player and health food store owner who lived in Greenwich Village in 1973 and has been cryogenically frozen. Two-hundred years later, scientists thaw him out so they can have him overthrow the government. But when the authorities bust them, it's up to Miles to find out on his own what the "Aires Project" is. To avoid the law, he disguises as a robot butler in socialite Luna Schlosser's house. However when she goes to have his head changed, he reveals his true identity. She freaks out and he kidnaps her so she won't tell the police about him. They fall in love, but eventually he gets caught and is brainwashed to live in society while she joins the Underground Movement and becomes a rebel. Luna goes to get him out, but he forgets everything so she and another rebel named Erno try to jog his memory. Miles and Luna successfully break into the Aires Project; and learn that the Leader was killed and all that survived was his nose. So Miles and Luna pretend to be doctors so they can steal the nose and assassinate the leader. My favorite of Woody Allen's films; with witty one-liners and hilarious monologues, this classic comedy never ceases to make me laugh. Starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck, Mary Gregory, Don Keefer, Brian Avery 8/10

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Times are rough at Rio Rancho Estates. The real estate salesmen are frustrated with the same dead-beat leads they're getting, they want the good leads. But good leads have to be earned. There is no room for losers in this competitive, masculine world. One rainy night a quick-tempered, brash businessman man named Blake is sent by the owners to tell them there's going to be a contest in which only "closers" get the new Glengarry leads; first prize for the winner is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize a set of steak knives and the third prize is you're fired. So the employees of Rio Rancho go out and attempt to close; the veteran Shelley Levene, the hotshot Ricky Roma, Dave Moss the distraught one and the weak George Aaronow. Unfortunately, things are made all the more difficult when the new leads are stolen and everyone is a suspect. Every actor in this film is astonishing, based on David Mamet's play. Starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce, Bruce Altman, Jude Ciccolella 8/10

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Book of Eli (2010)

The story begins in post-apocalyptic 2043. A wanderer named Eli has been traveling west for thirty years reading a very special book that holds the secrets to saving mankind. He walks to a village that is run by a mobster named Carnegie. When Eli decides to stay for the night, Carnegie tells his lover Claudia to send her daughter Solara to find out about the book; which is coincidentally the same one that Carnegie has been looking for so he can have the power to rule the world. Eli escapes and Solara follows him on his journey, while Carnegie rounds up his posse to track them down to get the vital book back. An interesting apocalyptic western; both Washington and Oldman give great and memorable performances. Starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits, 8/10

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Ferris Bueller is a high school wise guy who's popular and has a pretty girlfriend. He dislikes school so much he decides to skip and pretends he's sick. So while everyone else is in school, he goes over to his friend Cameron's house to borrow his father's classic Ferrari so they can pick up Ferris' girlfriend. However not everyone believes him; including his sister who is frustrated because Ferris gets away with everything. Also the school principal, who's just dying to catch Ferris and hold him back another year. Ferris, Cameron and Sloane have lots of fun; eating lunch at a fancy restaurant, seeing priceless works of art, and Ferris even sings in a parade on a float. All seems great until they rack up too many miles on the Ferrari and then it crashes out of a window. Ferris runs back home but does he make it before his parents get there? You'll have to see it to find out. This movie is very funny, and Ferris is a great character that you'll instantly love. Starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward, Edie McClurg, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, Kristy Swanson 8/10

Jingle All the Way (1996)

Arnie plays Howard Langston, a neglectful workaholic father who will do anything to make his spoiled son Jamie happy, so he decides to get him the hottest action figure on the market, a Turbo Man for Christmas. So Howard goes on a search through town to find the action figure, but since it's days before Christmas, the stores are packed and running out of stock. Along the way Howard competes with a rival searcher, a deranged postal worker named Myron, as well as con-artist Santas, the cops and every parent in town who's dying to get their hands on the doll. Not only that but his son is wondering why his father is never around, and his next door neighbor tries to hit on his wife. Pretty funny but silly at times. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull, James Belushi, Harvey Korman, Jake Lloyd 6/10

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Molly Ringwald plays Andie Walsh; a poor and unpopular high school teenager, who meets Blane McDonnagh, one of the rich kids from her school when he stops in at the record store she works at. She is immediately smitten and even more excited when he asks her out. So they go out on a date and despite their differences in the social class, they fall in love. But it isn't easy; especially when Andie's best friend Duckie has had a life-long crush on her and Blane's stuck-up friend Steff tells him that he's wasting his time with her. One of writer John Hughes' best teen films about young love. Starring Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader 7/10

The Santa Clause (1994)

Allen plays Scott Calvin; a neglectful, divorced dad that accidentally kills Santa by scaring him off the roof of his house while he's delivering Christmas presents. His son, Charlie begs for him to put on the suit and deliver the goods himself. So reluctantly, Scott does just that, but realizes that in doing so he's bound by "The Clause" which states that if you put on the suit, you assume all the responsibilities of Santa. Scott also realizes that he begins to turn into the man emotionally and physically. A magical story with great characters. Starring Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Peter Boyle 6/10

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Buffy Summers has a great life; shopping with her friends, cheer-leading, and dating the captain of the basketball team. But she has no idea that she is "the chosen one", the slayer of vampires. Until a man named Merrick approaches her one day and tells her that it is her calling. Buffy of course doesn't take it seriously; all she wants to do is graduate from high school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. But once strange things start to happen does she start to realize it's true; and figures out that the dreams she's been having is also part of it. While training to be a slayer, she abandons her friends, and becomes friends with Pike, who also suspects that something weird is going on in the town. Together they set out on a mission to defeat the vampires and Lothos, the Vampire King that wants to turn Buffy into one. Fun movie; Kristy Swanson is terrific and memorable in the title role. Starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, Paul Reubens, Hilary Swank, Michele Abrams, Paris Vaughan, David Arquette, Randall Batiknoff, Candy Clark 7/10

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Return to Me (2000)

Bob Rueland is a building contractor living in Chicago with his wife Elizabeth, who is an animal psychologist specializing in great apes. They're young and in love until one night after they attend a gala in which his wife is hoping to fund a new gorilla exhibit at the zoo, she's injured and dies in a fatal car accident. Bob survives and mourns his wife's death. Meanwhile, Grace Briggs, a waitress at a local Italian-Irish restaurant which her grandfather is the owner, is fighting for her life because she needs a new heart. The family and friends are overjoyed when they find out that Grace will finally get a replacement heart, which just so happens to be the heart of Bob's wife. After Grace's operation is a success, both she and Bob go on with their lives. But one evening fate steps in when Bob goes along on a double date and he just so happens to go to the same Irish-Italian restaurant. Although Grace and Bob meet, becomes friends and eventually fall in love, they don't find out until later that it's his dead wife whose heart she has. A sweet, touching and hilarious romantic comedy. Starring David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia, Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, Joely Richardson, James Belushi 7/10

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pleasantville (1998)

Maguire and Witherspoon play teens David and Jennifer; brother and sister who live in the 90's. While David is the single and lonely type, Jennifer is more aggressive and outgoing. One night David plans to watch the 1950's sitcom Pleasantville marathon on tv, but Jennifer wants to watch something else. They have a fight and their remote control breaks. So a mysterious tv repairman gives them a new remote control. But this one isn't a normal remote control. It ends up putting both David and his sister into the old 50's show and they realize just how different it is to their world: Everything is pleasant; the families are wholesome, everything and everybody is in black and white, and the town is picture perfect. While David wants to leave and not alter anything, Jennifer spends time in the town and does whatever she wants. As they are in Pleasantville, their influence start to change things around them; the black and white begins turning into color and the people are disturbed by the changes. A fascinating and brilliant story. Starring Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Jane Kaczmarek, Paul Walker 8/10