Friday, October 5, 2007


"Nothing Is As Simple As Black And White."

I saw this movie in theatres back in 1998. I must have been about 9 years old, and I didn't have a clue what this movie was about. As far as I was concerned if it wasn't Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I wasn't interested. But knowing me better than I did, my mom took me anyways. It turned out to be one of the best movie experiences of my life, and has been part of my collection ever since.
The movie opens in the modern world, but quickly shifts to a 1950's sitcom when a brother (Toby Maguire) and a sister (Reese Witherspoon) are ripped from their homes and thrust into this black and white world of Pleasantville, where everything is 'perfect'. But what if 'perfect' isn't really best?
That is the question these two teenagers have to ask themselves more frequently as their actions start to have consequences for the town and inhabitants of Pleasantville. Co-starring Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Jeff Daniels and Don Knotts (Oh yeah!), Pleasantville is a great movie, filled with laughs sorrow and everything else one needs when looking for a film that really touches the soul.

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"Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go...."

'The year's most revealing comedy' indeed. Well, back in 1997 anyway. If you like British humor, classic music, and a heartwarming story, then THE FULL MONTY is the movie for you tonight.
This irresistible comedy revolves around six unemployed steel workers who, pressed in on all sides by financial and social pressures, decide to form their very own male striptease show to meet ends meet, after a professional troupe makes a stop in their town.
Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, and four selected group members embark on a journey of self-discovery, personal drama and a search for the strength needed to perform the full monty, all nude, in order to make their show a hit. For the town of Sheffield, England, this is going to be a once in a lifetime show and one you won't soon forget.

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"Brace yourself. This politician is about to tell the truth!"

Written and directed by Warren Beatty, and nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor Golden Globes, BULWORTH was and still remains one of the best movies in years.
For Senator Jay Billington Bulworth (Warren Beatty) life is coming to an end. His career finished, the senator decides to hire a hitman to kill him, in the hopes that going out in flames will somehow make him more memorable in the minds the voting public. But once Sen. Bulworth has taken out the contract on his own life, he feels undeniable urges to break loose, break the rules and be totally honest. And he's in politics!
Finding himself the unexpected favorite in the polls, Sen. Bulworth then meets Nina (Halle Berry) a young, beautiful activist that sparks his desire to live back to life. With the hitman still intending to kill him, and the political race in full swing, the Senator must find a way to cancel the contract on his life or face the consequences.
An astounding drama and entertaining comedy about the possibilities in life when you have nothing more to lose.

Co-starring Oliver Platt, Sean Astin and Don Cheadle.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Third Pick of the Week


I just finished watching this movie, and I laughed so hard throughout the whole thing that I can safely say that my neighbors probably think that I am clinically insane.
Words are failing me, I can't even begin to describe how good this movie was. For those of you who don't like subtitles, you will have to take one for the team because there is no reason why anyone should miss this film.
A valet who has to live with a supermodel to earn enough money to save the bookstore of the woman he loves, a supermodel who has to live with a valet to save a billionaires marriage, a billionaire who's going crazy about the supermodel living with the valet, and the billionaires' wife toying with them all. Watch this movie and take part in this hilarious comedy about love and what it costs.
A truly original story, one that makes sense when you step back to look at it. It will leave you with the feeling that everything is right in the world. A gem.

If you're still a little skeptical, click on the link below to watch the trailer, or just go to and type in The Valet, then click on La Doublure, and click on watch the trailer.

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Honestly, I Love This Movie


"Throw the ball. Catch the girl. Keep it simple."

I'm stepping out on a limb here declaring that I actually enjoyed this movie, and in fact own it. The funny thing is, once you ask somebody straight out if they enjoyed The Replacements, more people than you think found this movie satisfying. I admit that some of the dialogue is a little weak at times, and Keanu Reeves basically has the same tone of voice and facial expression for the majority of the film, but the supporting cast, the soundtrack, and yes, the electric slide make it ridiculously watchable.
Keanu Reeves plays washed out quarterback Shane Falco, recruited by coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) along with a receiver who can't catch (Orlando Jones), another receiver who can't hear (David Denman), a defensive lineman who is almost clinically insane (Jon Favreau) and a welsh soccer player who kicks field goals (Rhys Ifans), to play while the real pro players are on strike. "At the very least they should be fun to watch."-Gene Hackman (as Jimmy McGinty)
Another classic example of second chances, this movie really is the guilty pleasure of sports movies.

For more information check out my links list.

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It Could Be The Greatest Car Chase Ever

"There are bad cops and there are good cops - and then there's Bullitt."

What came first, the rogue cop genre or Bullitt?
This movie was the embryo of a whole genre of film. Shouldn't that be enough reason to see it?
Movies like Dirty Harry, Beverly Hills Cop and any other gritty cop film with a rogue agent roaming around seeking satisfaction came from Bullitt.
However, a lot of people have heard of this movie for one reason; the car chase. This chase scene is so good, it can still go toe-to-toe with today's best, and unlike car chases of today, excluding the one in the opening scene of The Transporter, the chase in Bullitt involves realistic competitive driving. Nothing gets utterly destroyed, the bad guys car's don't mysteriously implode for no apparent reason, and their driving real honest-to-goodness cars. There's no NOS, no supercharged engines worth more than my apartment. There Mustangs, pure and simple, and that's what makes them so great.
Steve McQueen plaPublish Postys Sgt. Frank Bullitt, in pursuit of the drug kingpin who murdered a witness in protective custody. That's it, no long spoiler.
Suffice it to say that it's a classic, and the writing, directing and acting are top notch.

Co-Starring Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset, Don Gordon and Robert Duvall. Directed by Peter Yates.
For more information check out my links list.

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This is the kind of movie that everybody needs to watch in the developmental stages of childhood. The question is, do you know why it's so important?
Here's why; this movie has Class, with a capital letter C. It has wit, intelligence, and a good deal of cuckolding, transforming from a run of the mill musical to a well rounded feature film, all the while keeping it's dignity intact. That's Class.
While it does portray the two female leads in ways that would be unbecoming of a modern day feminist, you have to remember that this movie was made in 1953. Taken in proper context of the times, this movie was a cornerstone for women in cinema.
Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe star as two sultry lounge singers on board a yacht, trying to make their way to France, and keeping an eye out for eligible men. Based on the Broadway show, which in turn was based on the novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a total joy of the 50's musical genre. Perfect weeknight escapism.

Co-starring Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan and George Winslow. Directed by Howard Hawks.
For more information check out my links list.

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A Piece of Craftsmanship


Based on true events taken from Robert Graysmith's books and criminal case files, this movie will have you engrossed from the first minutes to the end credits.
Jake Gyllenhal plays Rober Graysmith, a cartoonist for a large newspaper, who becomes entangled and ultimately obsessed with the Zodiac, a serial killer who in the 60's and 70's wrote to newspapers claiming responsibility for various murders. Also entangled in the web is co-newspaper man Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) and lead investigator David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), both men wrapped up too tight in the Zodiac for their own good.
A true thriller, Zodiac will have you watching so intensely you'll forget your even watching a movie.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cult Classic For The Ages


"Who can save the universe?"

Barbarella can!
Tasked by the 41st Century President of Earch with finding and defeating the evil Durand-Durand, Barbarella must travel to the planet Lythion and the city of Sogo. Once there, and in fact while trying to get there, Barbarella (Jane Fonda) encounters the widest array of characters and villains with the most outlandish talents and evil schemes I have ever seen.
A truly revolutionary epic, Barbarella entered the halls of cult classics before it was even released in 1968. Co-starring John Phillip Law (Danger: Diabolik!) as Pygar the blind angel and Milo O'Shea as Durand Durand, this movie rocked my world when saw it as a young adult.
And through the grapevine, I have read about hints of a remake. I don't know if the viewing public is ready for that, but they better shape up fast because I want to see the remake if they make one!
You will simply have to trust me that you should rent this if you like classic science fiction, Jane Fonda, movies like Heavy Metal, The Fifth Element and the original Superman, or all of the above.

For more information check out my links list.

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Dark 90's Style Thriller Anyone?

"A world where the night never ends. Where man has no past. And humanity has no future."

A great accomplishment in science fiction, Dark City "sets a bold new standard..." (Bill Bregoli, WESTWOOD ONE.)
What can you trust if not your own memories? John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) has woken up in a bathtub, unaware of everything that has happened to him up to that point. Hunted by the police, and more frighteningly by The Strangers, Murdoch must follow the broken pieces of his shattered mind along a trail that is both dangerous and deceiving, while his forgotten wife (Jennifer Connelly) and a private detective (William Hurt) also try to unravel what is happening to their life and their reality. Directed by Alex Proyas, who also directed The Crow, Dark City is a marvelously rich and intense thriller.
To say anymore would be both cruel and pointless, as words can't explain the intricacy of this story, the quality that makes it great, nor would I want to attempt it and end up ruining the surprise.

For more information check out my links list.

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Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole... Where?


"A movie about those who appreciate the finest things in life... for free!"

Why would you steal a priceless statue from a heavily guarded museum in the middle of downtown Paris? And how?
For the answer to these questions, RENT THIS MOVIE. One of the finest examples of an all around good crime movie, spliced with dialogue that possesses both fine wit and enormous humor, How to Steal a Million is a rare find.
You might find yourself expecting theatrical antics and common humor from what I have described, but the true comedy of this film comes when you least expect it, in lines of dialogue so crafted that they sneak in the back door and have your belly aching.
The story of a young aristocratic woman (Hepburn) in her quest to save her father from going to jail by covering up his acts of artistic forgery, and the 'burgular' (O'Toole) who might just have a lucky enough plan to pull off the heist of the century, in between bouts of looking dumbstruck by Audrey Hepburn's character. Histerically funny, romantic, and dramatic, How to Steal a Million is without a doubt a fabulous movie.

Please rent this movie. You will be the richer for it.

For more information check out my links list.

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"A comedy about fear of commitment, hating your job, falling in love and other pop favorites."

The tag line says it all.
Adapted from Nick Hornby's novel, High Fidelity follows John Cusack's character Rob Gordon through a series of his top 5 countdowns, including most painful breakups, things he loves about his ex-girlfriend and countless containing music related trivia. Through thick and thin, the movie pulls no punches with content nor does it hold anything back in terms of Rob's personal character. It shows a man in stark detail, totally frank and utterly hopeless, trying to realize what he wants most out of life, and what he is willing to do to get it.
This movie does not only have a great story, it also has one of the most amazing soundtracks in recent history. That, and Jack Black as Rob's employee, striving for fulfillment in his own life although he doesn't know it.
This movie is without a doubt one of the funniest movies I have seen, not in a stand-up-comedy kind of way, more subtle than that, but a favorite of my collection non-the-less. And even if you don't like the movie as much as I do, the soundtrack still makes a large impression.

Starring John Cusack, Joan Cusack and Jack Black. Directed by Stephen Frears.
For more information check out my links list.

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Second PIck of The Week 10/4/07


This week, I am going to share one of my many cinematic guilty pleasures in a special second Pick of the Week. I just couldn't hold back. I love this movie.
Everybody say Samuel L. Jackson in formal Scottish attire, wielding a golf club in downtown London. Add to it Robert Carlyle in his usual persona as a fast talking British gangster, random soccer hooligans, Rhys Ifans as a Hyped up drug dealer, and Emily Mortimer as the hired gun protecting Jackson and Carlyle. Oh, and don't forget Meat Loaf as The Lizard. What do you have? An awesome movie, that's what!
Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a chemist on the brink of a once in a lifetime score, and doing it all dressed in plaid. Aided with an attitude by Felix DeSouza (Carlyle) they criss-cross London from the docks to a football (soccer) stadium, hoping to make the deal and live long enough to enjoy their success. They even manage to drive an original mini cooper in the process.
Filled to the brim with action, double-crosses and a mean golf swing, this movie has something for everyone who likes their action with a splash of humor but can never seem to find it.
It's like watching Shaft in a kilt!
There's nothing more to say except; Go Rent This.

For more information check out my links list.

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I Hope Everyone Has Seen This


If you haven't seen this movie yet, then i strongly suggest that you get out of your chair right now and go rent it.
Outer space, Sigourney Weaver, a really scary looking creature and intense, thilling action sequences, and all directed by Ridley Scott. What more needs to be said?
Seriously though, this movie is and always will be a staple of the Science Fiction genre. Young adults will undoubtedly find this movie in their parents collection or at the video store, and instantly another generation will incorporate it into their archive of great movies watched.
And the great thing about this movie is, if you like it so much that you want more, the good news is that there IS more! Three more actually, although none comparable to the first.
If you want to have a satisfying movie night and you don't want to rent another drama, you know what you need to rent.

For more information on this movie check out my links list.

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A Movie That Will Never Fade


This movie is the essence of a 'feel good movie'. It has romance, it has humor, it even has a little action here and there, although nothing gets blown up or demolished, and most importantly; it will never get old.
What's more, this movie is honest. Honesty plays a big part in my movie selections for the simple reason that if a movie cannot be honest about aspects of life that are indeed fit for the screen, then a movie has no reason to be honest with anything else. Without honesty, all genres would eventually require leaps of faith to watch. There would be no grounding anymore.
Moving back to the film, this movie is the chronicle of two young people, played by Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, newlywed and beginning a new portion of their lives. What follows is not so straight forward. Life isn't what they expected; it has surprises that neither of the them could have predicted; like having to sleep in a twin size bed together. Coupled with a varied and hilarious community of supporting actors and actresses, this movie presents a close perception of what love could truly mean between two people, and that in itself brings hope to its viewers.

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A Natural Classic


"He lived for a dream that wouldn't die."

I frequently find myself looking for a solid sports movie, but apart from interesting ones like Any Given Sunday, I find myself running into dead ends. I mean, do I really want to rent Blood Sport? To be honest, I do enjoy movies like The Gridiron Gang, and Rudy, but options for satisfying sports movies are few and fare between. I rented this movie on a recommendation from someone who's movie taste i trust. I didn't know anything about it, and in the end I think that was the best way to see it; unaware.
This movie was nominated for 4 Oscars, and for good reason. It's an accessible vision of second chance, and what it takes to take the same chance a second time in a lifetime.
Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, an up-and-coming baseball pitcher who encounters dramatic barriers in his path to the majors. The movie really revolves around his return to the game that he loves, through many years and countless struggles. Armed with his baseball bat hand carved from a tree that was struck by lighting in his childhood, and an incredible supporting cast, Hobbs is the inspiration and determination of a generation whose dreams never went away made flesh.

Starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker. Directed by Barry Levinson.
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A Still Relevant Thriller: A Rarity


His code name is Condor. In the next seventy-two hours everyone he trusts will try to kill him."

I think that the most important comment I can write about this movie is that among the older classic movie genre, a percentage of older film may lose some of its relevance to the current viewing generation. Some stories or trials portrayed in an older screen play are no longer considered in the same context as they were when they were first produced. That is the theme of this post; context, and the rarity of context enduring through decades of change.
This movie has done exactly that; endured. New movies like the Bourne Ultimatum series are good adaptations of books that were written in a different time and context. The special attribute of Three Days of the Condor is that it IS still relevant in its original form and with its original context. The suspense, the thrills, and the characters all resonate with the same intensity as new movies, even thirty-some odd years later.
For this post I will not reveal any plot spoilers or overviews, but instead will simply state that this movie is a superb spy/CIA thriller, a terrific movie, and possessed of an inspired cast.

Starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. Directed by Sydney Pollack.
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Jackie Chan Delivers Again


Attention Viewers: The following movie has subtitle options. Don't let that stop you from enjoying this film.

Everyone who wants to see a great martial arts movie raise your hand!
Once again the place to go for one of those elusive picks is in the Jackie Chan section. I'm not saying that all his movies are great, or even good, but this one does possess a certain style and movement that martial arts movies sometimes lack.
The really great thing about this movie though, is that its not just one type of martial art being shown in the action sequences, but a variety. It goes from Kung Fu to traditional Boxing and everything in between.
Jackie Chan plays a millionaire businessman, who falls in love with a country girl, played by Shu Qi, and who must inevitably fight for her. Not the most original screenplay, but it has certain merit when it is portrayed with stunning scenery and interesting camera direction.
This movie is for everyone who goes to the video store and stares at the action section for half-an-hour and can't remember why their there in the first place. Give it a chance, and put the subtitles on because the dubbed version is horrible, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Also starring a pre-SHAOLIN SOCCER/KUNG FU HUSTLE Stephen Chow.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Kevin Kline at his best


Grand hand gestures, a stellar supporting cast including Matt Dillon, Joan Cusack and Peter Selleck, and an upbeat soundtrack give this movie it's heart and soul. Kevin Kline plays a quiet town English Literature teacher happily engaged, upstanding member of the community and an all around decent human being. "Of course the guy thinks your gay!"
When a former student of Kline's turned movie star declares at the Oscar's that Kline's character Howard is gay, everything takes a turn for the twilight zone, and maybe for the better. Throw a bicycle, a wedding junkie for a mother, and an anchorman intent on getting the whole juicy story into the mix and out comes one of Kevin Kline's best films. This, and I Love You To Death, but thats for another day.
Sincerely heartfelt and cleverly devised, IN & OUT delivers a standing invitation to all of us who have trouble being honest with the ones we love, and even with the ones we don't.

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PIck of The Week 10/2/07


I know that selecting this movie for the pick of the week might seem sacrilegious to some, those of you who revere the classic television series, but i feel that the new full feature version should be given a chance. So rarely is a remake, especially from TV to film, given this much polish and attention by it's director and production teams, especially not in the action/cops/drug ring genre, where a good car chase and the hero vanquishing the villain with the rescued maiden behind usually gets the job done for a blockbuster.
Quick, sleek dialogue, solid action, a great cast and a few well selected edges of dry humor fill out the picture, coupled with introspective character relationships and consistent personality portrayal for each character makes this movie a must see for anyone in the mood to see the Good Guys beating the Bad Guys with a stylish 90's twist.

Starring Claire Danes, Omar Epps and Giovanni Ribisi.
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A Short Commentary

To Movie Watchers:

Where are all the Blake Edwards' and Billy Wilders' of our generation? Are they already present in the industry, or are they waiting to be discovered?

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Greatest Movie Year After Year


One of the few movies I have seen that represents almost every genre of film out there, this movie is so well crafted that it became a family tradition to watch it every Christmas without fail, all encompassed by a story that fills the heart with contentment and stirs the adventurous spirit in its viewers.
Written and directed by Blake Edwards, mastermind behind The Pink Panther movies, The Great Race stars Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Peter Faulk.
The story of an early 20th century car race, a newspaper woman who is the only female driver, and an evil nemesis with a soft side and his sidekick, coupled with great scenery and a fantastic set of destinations, some real and some not, all add up to a great laugh. This film is without a doubt a landmark in comedy, and having been made in 1965 produces quality and intelligent wit that has been missing since. i know that i highly recommend almost all the movies on this blog, but this film is indisputably worthwhile.

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Weeknight Classic Movies: Part 1


There is a major trend, or lack thereof, that I have come across. A descent percentage of the movie watching population knows or has seen at least ONE Mel Brook’s film, probably Robin Hood; Men in Tights for the younger crowd or maybe Young Frankenstein for anybody else, but when I say the name Billy Wilder to someone, a look of utter incomprehension crosses their faces. Why is this?
Movies like Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and Irma La Douce are classics, although most movies with Jack Lemmon in them are. Why have so few people heard of them? Maybe I’m not asking the right people, but I seriously urge anyone interested in well made movies that are solid and secure in their value to go out and rent one or all of these. Their perfect for a weeknight, or a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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