Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The 2007 List (2)

1. Breach
2. Smokin' Aces
3. Ghost Rider

It is nice and easy when I have seen 1 great movie, 1 okay movie, and 1 bad movie.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ghost Rider

Hooray for mediocre comic book movies! I do not want to go through a year without my slice of blatant super hero cash-in. You know what? I just might get two servings of that pie in 2007, there is still Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer this summer. Now with Ghost Rider there were no glaring faults but at the same time there was absolutely no reason to see this again. Unless you are just that big a fan of Johnny Blaze, me, I prefer Johnny Blaze to be in reference to Method Man.

Usually I like to list the positives first, it makes me seem like a much more glass half full type of guy. I do care ever so much about that. There is a problem though; there ain’t anything to list. That is a bit of an overstatement. Sam Elliott was awesome. But then again it is Sam Elliott; I am in favor of anything that allows me to hear him speak words. Let’s see what else? The CG didn’t suck; well some of it did. It was nice to see Peter Fonda. He didn’t do anything worth remembering but it was still fun to have him show up. I’m out of anything worth mentioning.

I am not going to waste my precious time reiterating that this whole thing was unnecessary. Were you the one demanding to see Ghost Rider on the big screen? If so, screw you and ya owe me 9 bucks. In lieu of payment, let me ask who would you use as the definition of average actor? I would say Nicolas Cage. This time around he puts all his average skills to use crafting something forgettable just for you. He fits right in with average comedian Donal Logue and average actress Eva Mendes. So we have a money-grab populated with uninspired casting but maybe there is a great script … no. Just move on.

Hey if you haven’t figured it out yet, don’t see this movie. It didn’t even have the decency to be memorably bad. Ghost Rider is just there to take your money and leave you feeling empty. Don’t fall in to its trap.

4 out of 10

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The All-Time Top 100

  1. The Godfather
  2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  3. The Godfather: Part II
  4. Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back
  5. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
  6. Se7en
  7. Jaws
  8. The French Connection
  9. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  10. Braveheart
  11. Gladiator
  12. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  13. The Shawshank Redemption
  14. Saving Private Ryan
  15. Star Wars IV – A New Hope
  16. Alien
  17. Pulp Fiction
  18. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  19. Goodfellas
  20. The Departed
  21. The Hustler
  22. Drunken Master
  23. Battle Royale
  24. American History X
  25. Rocky
  26. Die Hard
  27. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  28. Unforgiven
  29. Jurassic Park
  30. The Maltese Falcon
  31. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  32. The Usual Suspects
  33. Hero
  34. The Sting
  35. Drunken Master II
  36. The Killer
  37. Chinatown
  38. A Better Tomorrow
  39. The House of Flying Daggers
  40. Schindler’s List
  41. Hard Boiled
  42. Rear Window
  43. Bonnie Clyde
  44. Gangs of New York
  45. Good Will Hunting
  46. Heat
  47. Spider-Man 2
  48. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  49. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  50. Seven Samurai
  51. The Insider
  52. Tombstone
  53. Children of Men
  54. X2
  55. Oldboy
  56. Leon: The Professional
  57. Syriana
  58. Black Hawk Down
  59. Munich
  60. Glory
  61. The Wild Bunch
  62. Batman Begins
  63. Lady Vengeance
  64. Back to the Future
  65. Blade Runner
  66. A History of Violence
  67. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  68. Rounders
  69. The Princess Bride
  70. The Shining
  71. Traffic
  72. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  73. The Silence of the Lambs
  74. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  75. Training Day
  76. Midnight Run
  77. Batman
  78. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  79. Taxi Driver
  80. Enter the Dragon
  81. Boyz N the Hood
  82. Whale Rider
  83. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  84. Letters from the Iwo Jima
  85. The Aviator
  86. Lethal Weapon
  87. Vertigo
  88. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
  89. Iron Monkey
  90. Apocalypse Now
  91. Pan’s Labyrinth
  92. Wall Street
  93. Boogie Nights
  94. Donnie Brasco
  95. Finding Neverland
  96. Casino Royale
  97. Casino
  98. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  99. Hard Candy
  100. Infernal Affairs

The 2007 List

1. Breach
2. Smokin' Aces

That was nice and easy. Plus I highly doubt that these movies will flip-flop in my mind by the end of the year.


This is way too early in the year for a great movie. I have been trained to view the film calendar in the 4 parts. We are smack dab in the middle of part A. January through April is a barren wasteland, there are okay movies here and there but the vast majority of movies released at this time are there to distract at best. Usually they suck and suck hard. Well Breach screwed with the timetable. I am thoroughly flummoxed about this.

Well, Chris Cooper should get an Oscar nomination. The problem is that the 2006 Academy Awards haven’t even happened yet so by the time the next season roles around all this will be forgotten. I won’t overlook what you did here Mr. Cooper; I got your back. There were also fine efforts provided by Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney. But just like Chris Cooper, it is not surprising that they delivered here. The casting of this movie was nearly perfect. Outside of the big three at the top, commanding presence FBI guy played by Dennis Haysbert, middle management FBI guy played by Gary Cole, paranoid wife played by girl who had toy animals talking to her on Wonderfalls, all good stuff. Thankfully the story clicked along with the acting. It may not be the greatest espionage plot ever but it kept me involved until the handcuffs were snapped in place. Plus it was a true story for that great skin-crawling feeling.

It is nice to have this level of movie show up so early in the year. I now already have a top-shelf film to start my 2007 list. Usually I am throwing shit against the wall because there mathematically has to be a top five even in April when I actually haven’t seen 5 movies worth recommending yet. So what that nobody saw it! I did my part and that is really all that matters to me.

9 out of 10

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Smokin' Aces

Hey kids, do you like violence? Cause I have nearly 2 hours of senseless violence ready and available for your viewing pleasure. What about me? I am and always have been completely in favor of violence with or without sense. Although Smokin’ at least provided a reason for bullets, the problem is that they decided to throw in deep message at the end. You can’t have it both ways. It is either mindless action or profound underlying meanings that may change your life. This time around I was a willing participant to A but the inclusion of B soured me to the whole experience.

The good thing about a movie made by Joe Carnahan, and I can say this because this plus Narc creates the beginning of a pattern; he enjoys the trappings of the R rating. If you are going to be overly profane at least be creative and have fun with it. Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Ray Liotta, Common freaking Sense, among others all get their chance. Then after the jokes it would segue way into everyone shooting each other. Also a dude sat on a chainsaw, for a split second I thought Piven knocked someone’s eye out with a playing card and it was awesome for that second, Alicia Keys, Bateman’s cold sore and saying the phrase “dick beaters”, and the Beyonce to Big Foot line.

Like I was saying earlier, the conclusion to the plot was ridiculous even for this movie. The reveals were on the nose and the emotional finale was not earned in the slightest. The only thing it accomplished was to make me laugh. That and it really made me wonder about the security at hospitals since it really seems like the intensive care doors have magical locks.

Overall bullets flying and buckets of blood were big positives and on their own make the movie worth seeing but the final 15 minutes drops it a few levels.

6 out of 10

The Rules of the Game

Movies will be reviewed by me. These reviews are for educational and research purposes only. Things will start with theater releases but I will probably venture into older stuff and maybe even television. At the end I will give you a number from 1-10, I do hope you can figure out the scale.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First Things First

I have decided to take a foolish leap into this brave new world. The main reason for this is because reviewing 65 movies all at once has become a form of personal torture. So, I think I will try to do this one at a time and save myself the grief. Plus if I am going to do this consistently I might as well find a home for my words. This shall be that home.