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