Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Movie Log


Tuesday, November 18, 2008 To Present…

Over the years I have seen some brilliant movies. Usually Lionsgate is the one to produce them. The problem is that as soon as they are returned I forget them. So from now on when I see a movie that really impressed me for whatever reason, I am going to log it here.
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2010 marks a change in cinema viewing for me.  I now officially see more movies at home than in the theater.  The realization of the this makes me a little sad, but not so much as to change this new trend in my movie watching habits.

What is interesting about this is that I am seeing movies a half a year behind their release.  So I see things like the Oscars, before the movies.  I wrote earlier in this article that 2010 was a slow year for movies.  That ended up not being the case.  I simply saw the best movies of 2010 in 2011.
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Live by Night (2016)

Live by Night is one of the best, epic movies I've seen in years.  The set design, the story line, and the acting, left me dumbfounded.  This is another Ben Affleck masterpiece and it deserves WAY more credit then it got.  I thoroughly disagree with low meta scores.  Bravo Ben Affleck for having the balls to make a movie this good!


Ghost in the Shell (2017)

The best movie, so far, of 2017.  Ghost in the Shell is visually stunning, and I perceive it as a natural progression in effects from The Matrix and Inception.  It seemed to be inspired by the past greats without copying them.  This is movie I could see twice.

Allied (2016)

Allied had a Spielberg flare to me.  Then I checked it out and found out that it was done by Robert Zemeckis, who is from Spielberg's camp.  This movie is story telling perfection.  I was enthralled from start to finish.  Definitely the best work Pitt has done in while.


Passengers (2016)

Passengers is good old fashioned story telling mixed with plausible sci-fi.  It's a first-class date movie that you should see with someone you're really into.  

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, served as a medic during the Battle of Okinawa, refusing to carry a gun or to kill, and became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.  Directed by Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge is a first class production thru and through.

In Order of Disappearance (2016)

Deathwish set in Fargo, but funnier and bloodier.  Yes, the tag line on the poster sums up the plot perfectly.  I'm smiling just thinking about it.  This is Scandinavian dark humor at it's best.  So happy I saw it!

 Arrival (2016)

I thought Arrival was just plain good.  Good writing, good effects, good acting.  Any time someone pulls off Scifi, I'm happy.

Citizenfour (2014)

See Citzenfour and Snowden one after the other.  Between the two works, a comprehensive portrayal of American Hero Edward Snowden is observed.  Both are fascinating and compelling in there own way.

Snowden (2016)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance is outstanding.  If I remember correctly, he is in my log 3 times now, for Rush, Inception, and now Snowden.

The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant will be added to Good Will Hunting, The Town, and Argo, in Baffleck's collection of top-notch movies.



Deepwater Horizon (2016)

In my opinion, this is Mark Wahlberg's best movie.  Kate Hudson and Kurt Russel shone brightly.  Gina Rodriguez made a mark for herself, and John Malkovich seriously over-acted (again).  Deepwater Horizon is a must watch film.


Judah Ben-Hur (2016)

It did not suck.

I was especially impressed with the story telling.  It flowed like a woman in line for the bathroom at a Cubs game.  Nazanin Boniadi had me captivated.  They even pulled off the chariot race.  But it was the way they added Jesus to story line that I will remember most.  "Anger is lie."


 Sully (2016)

The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot (bad ass) who became a hero after landing his bird struck, both engines blown-to-shit, beer can, on the Hudson River; in order to save everybody's ass.

Director: Clint Eastwood ( I want to be a genius when I grow up too!)


Writers: Todd Komarnicki (Screenplay:  Bravo!  Cheers!  Well Done!), and Chesley Sullenberger (Who da man,- he da man!)


Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, and Laura Linney, all of whom, did a fantastic job of growing a mustache.  Just saying.




Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water is a well written work of cinematic art, full of visual symbolism. Birmingham, Bridges, Foster and Pine all shine in their roles.

Bridges milks his True Grit, crotchety old man character, and Pine stares at the camera better than any actor I can think of.  The supporting actors in this film are a joy to watch too.


Hell or High Water is a good solid movie. 



Dr. Strange (2016) 

Jut add milk to Mads Mikkelsen and you have instant super villain.

If you need a quirky, call Tilda Swinton. 

And no one plays an asshole like Benedict Cumberbatch. 

Dr. Strange left me jonesing for more Marvel movies.  


The Infiltrator (2016)

Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, and Diane Kruger nail it in this little master piece about taking down a big chunk of the Medellín Gravy Train.

A side note:  The Infiltrator is perfect to watch after you've caught a few episodes of Narcos on Netflix.  The movie and the show go together like rum and coke.






Suicide Squad (2016)

Good job DC, glad you knocked one out of the park.

Everyone gave a first rate performance in a first rate story.  This movie is so good, I may actually choose to own it.  More importantly, it makes want to see where DC goes from here.


Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

The new Independence Day exemplifies one of my favorite movie categories; Spray Cheese!  Spray Cheese movies don't waste time looking for credibility. They are proud to be the fake cheesy goo on your nachos!  If you want Brie, go two theaters over.

As a Spray Cheese loving movie goer, you're not looking for a discernible value, you're looking for gobs and gobs of stupid fun, and Independence Day had two full cans of it!

The writers managed to put a school bus full of children in harms way, in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from where a school bus full of children would be.  And they wrote the flight suits off the smokin hot babes in the last scenes.  :-)

Brent Spiner and Jeff Goldblum killed their roles as eccentrics, as did Judd Hirsch and Bill Pullman.  The young people did a very good job of looking pretty, and most importantly, the absolute farce of the plot line went off swimmingly!

Independence Day Resurrection is a movie you should see on the big screen.

X-Men Apocalypse (2016)

Movie goers have become jaded.

Every review I hear about X-Men Apocalypse is that it was just 'decent.'  Compared to what?

Look, there are horseshit movies and then there's the stuff Marvel and Fox have been giving us lately.  They screwed up Iron Man 2 and 3.  Thor 2 was poorly written, and Sony's Spider Man just wasn't right.  But this, and everything else Marvel and Fox have done, is good.  That said, Apocalypse should have escaped.  Don't you think?



Finest Hours (2016)

I regret not seeing The Finest Hours in the theater.  This was a big-screen worthy film.  There was one silly scene; where the a town full of people, who live in Cape Cod, and who are used to boating disasters, didn't think to turn on the headlamps of their cars during a brown out, till Bernie Webber's (lead character) wife turned hers on.  Oh come on!  Everything else about the film was either decent or exceptional.  Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert, really made me smile.  He nailed it.

And, this is a 90% true story, with only 3 dramatic license characteristics added. (That I know of)

Legend (2015)

I thought Legend was outstanding!  Based on actual people, Tom Hardy was brilliant playing both Kray brothers.

I was really happy I saw this flick.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

This movie was so good, and so much better than Batman vs. Superman, that I almost took BvS off my log.  Civil War moved the benchmark for movies up one BIG rung.  All movies, not just superhero movies.

Civil War has a story, (try doing that DC) and the side characters and villains were even more interesting than the main characters, who were interesting!

Chadwick Boseman, f****** killed the part of Black Panther.  He seriously Michael Jordan, slam dunked the part!  Tom Holland made me fall in love with Spiderman again.  And Daniel Bruhl, whom I've written about before, for his brilliant portrayal of Niki Lauda in Rush, was a real villain, and a real character.

Marvel actually took the time to develop the villain, (hint, hint, DC).  I actually felt sorry for the villain in a super hero movie.  I didn't even think that possible.

Every actor and their characters in Captain America: Civil War deserve to mentioned.  William Hurt as General Ross, boo ya!

As of today, 05-30-2016 Captain America, is consistently the best superhero movie series of all time.  One, Two and Three, all first rate, top of the line.  Thank you.


East Side Sushi (2014)

So much fun!  I had a blast watching this flick. A sweet little gem of movie with a cast I fell in love with.



Heart of the Sea (2015)

The lost art of old fashioned story telling.  It was nice to sit back and watch a story unfold as apposed to getting punched in the head with 'J.J. Abrams style' spastic action.  Ron Howard proves once again why he is one of the best.  As I understand it, there is a little truth to this story as well.


Concussion (2015)

Super well made movie!  Super impressive character.  Will Smith played an inspiring homage to Dr. Bennet Omalu.
That said, there is some serious bullshit that needs to be addressed with this movie.
 
The FBI did raid Wecht’s office, but that happened three months before Omalu published any of his research on brain injuries in football. The government did indict Omalu’s boss, but for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with the NFL or CTE, nor with the Nigerian-born pathologist whom Wecht had taken under his wing.  And while the movie version of Omalu swears he’ll never testify against his mentor and then is banished from his office to a different job in the Central Valley of California, the real-life Omalu did show up in court as a witness for the prosecution and even made a bid for Wecht’s job. (He didn’t get it and eventually decamped from Pittsburgh of his own accord.)  --Source:  Slate.com


--Source: Brian Bastyr: Wecht was indicted because he was heavy political target because of his outspoken private practice, but it wasn't connected to the NFL. Omalu did testify against Wecht because Omalu faced threats of deportation if he did not.  Omalu regretted testifying and has never spoken to Wecht again since. The book League of Denial is great.  The NFL was afraid of Omalu because he was not a football fan they could co-opt. The NFL's attempt to muddy the waters with a stream of false scientific papers was very similar to tobacco company attempts a decade earlier. The movie did not need to make the false FBI/ NFL connection.

So in the end, Omalu is a good scientist, but not a hero.  I just don't appreciate the movie making it look like the FBI were acting as enforcers for the NFL, when they weren't.  We have a enough real injustice to deal with in America today.



Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman Vs. Superman proved something very important to me last night.  Buzz can be bull!

There were so many negative articles about this film, I was afraid to see it.  I spent half the movie looking for were it was going to suck, and it never did!  I loved every Easter egg, and every bit of the story line.  Cavill and Affleck  played their parts with aplomb! Bravo gentleman.

Affleck plays a Batman that had grown bitter and jaded over the years, to the point of almost permanently crossing the fragile line he walks on and becoming a villain himself.  This is the Frank Miller Batman.

His soul is restored by the goodness he sees in Superman.

The paramount fight seen between the two was masterfully crafted, as to make the impossible, plausible.  This was the linchpin of the entire movie and I loved it!

Wonder Woman is an intro character at this point, with the rest of the Justice League members being teased.  But Gadot's Diana slam-dunked it!  Linda Carters shoes were tough shoes to fill, but she filled em.   Her new armor is killer, no pun intended.

A new franchise is born, one I'm eager to see. 


The Big Short (2015)

Every performance in The Big Short was superb.  The characters; Dr. Michael Burry and
Mark Baum, played by Christian Bale and Steve Carell were inspiring.

Burry and Baum are two men I would love to sit down and have lunch with.   2015 proved to be a great year for serious drama, and The Big Short shined bright alongside the other great movies of the year.

Spotlight (2015)

Heroes fighting evil.  The true story of the day that Boston opened its eyes to the pedophile epidemic within the Catholic Church.
Agora (2009)

In Alexandria, 391 AD: Hypatia teaches astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy, as a rising tide of zealous Christians, eager to slaughter anything that gets in their way, murder the Pagans, the Jews, and finally Hypatia, who refuses to give up logic and reason for religion.

An extraordinary work of historical fiction that paints an honest picture of the role of religion is society.  This movie is a must see for anyone who can deal with the uncomfortable truth of mankind's desire to use God as an excuse to become ignorant, vicious killers.

 Deadpool (2015)

OK, first, good job.  Second, if your gonna make 200 million dollars your first week, you can show Colossus in human form.  I know the actor doesn't look like the CGI guy, but figure it out, your business is magic, make it happen.  And we all know going into the film, that your little dispute with Marvel is going to keep us from seeing more crossover.  Come on?  You're supposed to be grownups, act like them.

You two; Marvel and Fox, have raised the bar higher for movies with the Marvel Universe than anything audiences have ever seen before.  Go the freaking distance.



With everything else in regard to Deadpool; Bravo, hands clapping, bravo, whistles.  Well done!  More clapping, cheering and whistling.

I fell in love with Morena, again.  Negasonic rocked.  Colossus, as a sweet gentleman, played really well.  And of course, lets not forget the testicle with teeth, the California Raisin in the sun, Ryan Reynolds.  He went for it and came up aces.

As odd as it sounds, Deadpool is an instant classic.  People will be watching this movie in 10 years, or more, and still smiling.


Bridge of Spies (2015)

This is the kind of movie Spielberg does best.  The good old fashioned "When America was Great" movie.  As usual, Tom Hanks was perfect for the role, playing James B. Donovan, a real-life insurance lawyer who was asked to defend a Soviet Spy and became an exchange facilitator.  I enjoyed every minute.

The Martian (2015)

Shortly after The Martian wrapped, NASA discovered that Mars has a lot of water.  I thought that might bother me, but it didn't.  The science of the farming was plausible, as was all the science in the movie.  With the possible exception of using a tarp as a nose cone?  The story begged the question though.  Is the life of one man stranded on Mars worth the Carl Sagan money they spent to rescue him?

Everest (2015)

You may enjoy the actual documentary on the 1996 climb that killed 8 summit climbers and 15 people total, just as much as the movie, but this is well done film that does not waste your time.  In total 250 people have died on Everest.  It astounds me that people pay around 60k to be cold and miserable, and risk their lives.


I wonder how much people would pay me to take them on expeditions through Chicago?

The Walk (2015)

Wow, The Walk was a fantastic movie.  I was glued to it.  Absolutely a must see, and a true story to boot.

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Do not let your young kids watch this movie.  You however, should watch this movie.  The cast nailed it!   This film is world-class story telling, with some "let's see if we can out-do Game of Thrones" gore.  Cleaver, well directed, and very well acted; I felt like this was an adaptation of a good book.  I don't know, and I'm not going to check, because I like remembering it just how I saw it.

Spoiler: There is no way the guy with the broken leg survived.

Trumbo (2015)

Cranston is a genius, and the cast killed it.  This is a no excuses movie, made to the standards movie lovers love, with the kind of writing writers aspire too, and the kind of acting actors wish to emulate.

No Escape (2015)

Surprise!  Both for me and the Dwyer family, who land in Cambodia just as all hell breaks loose.  This is a well made, well acted movie.  I think you will enjoy it.  Anyone who's traveled to an unstable area will cringe at the realism and desperation portrayed in this film.  Lake Bell, Owen Wilson and the kids sell this flick!


Inside Out (2015)

A blog worthy flick.  Inside Out was pure serendipity, which you know if you read this log, is my favorite kind of movie. Unexpectedly brilliant, I found myself saying; "wow, that is so cool," repeatedly.  For me, there is no higher praise I can give to a movie than that.  Inside Out is a 'must see - must own' film.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  (2015)

Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander shine alongside Cavil in this fun Ritchie film.  More than that, the supporting characters carry themselves with distinction.  This, just like every other Ritchie film, is a well made piece of cinema.  


Self/less  (2015)

Self/less, has so far, been the best movie of 2015 that I've seen.  It's a very good screenplay and is exceptionally well directed.

I think Self/less is Ryan Reynolds best work and kudos to Natalie Martinez and Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen for killing me with cuteness.

Ben Kingsly too, delivers his usual 'outstanding' performance, and heck, Victor Garber killed it too.  Self/less was a good way to spend an evening. 

Cut Bank (2014)

Cut Bank was a lot of fun.

Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, *Michael Stuhlbarg (Kudos for playing a great X-Files style psychopath,) Billy Bob Thornton, John Malkovich, Bruce Dern, and Oliver Platt nailed their roles.  This was a great nutty people, nutty small town flick.  Stuhlbarg clinched it for me.  Dern, Platt and Malkovich were true to form and thoroughly enjoyable.   Cut Bank makes good use of an evening.     

 Run All Night (2015)

With all the Taken movies Neeson has made, I wasn't planning on watching Run All Night.  But dang-it, this turned out to be a good movie.  I have to give extra kudos to the cinematographer for making a beautiful movie to watch.  I also felt that direction and acting were up to par.  In my opinion, Run All Night is truly an action flick worth seeing.

The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)

The Hundred Foot Journey is a wonderful character driven story.  I was impressed by the simple elegance of this film and dream of writing this well.  Bravo!
Kingsman:  The Secret Service (2015)

When I saw the previews for Kingsman, I instantly filed it away in my mind as a 'rental,'  not worth the $10 bucks.   Boy was I wrong.  Kingsman turned out to be fresh and stylish.  The movie surprised me repeatedly with it's cinematic quality and story.  The violence was epic, but given today's zompoc culture, it fit.   The logic of Sam Jackson's super villain, Valentine, is realistic and relevant.  And the heroism of the Kingsman felt sincere.

Kingsman is a first class movie.

Paddington (2015)

Paddington is a kids movie that we rented out of desperation.   However, my wife and I found ourselves smiling throughout the film and we were impressed with the creativity and quality of the story.  This movie is remarkably entertaining for adults.

The Imitation Game (2014) 

Sometimes, when we really need one, God sends us an angle.  Most of the time, the angles sent to us are not what we expect them to be.

Alan Turing was an angle sent in a grave time of need:  A gay, autistic angle, and without his help, evil could have won the war.

Our primitive society repaid his help by ruining his life.  One day we will be worthy of the angles sent to us, sadly though, today we are not.

The Theory of Everything  (2014)

You couldn't give enough Academe Awards to Eddie Redmayne for this performance.  Felicity Jones sparkled!  I was blown away by this film.
American Sniper (2014)

Clint Eastwood is the greatest director of my lifetime.  Cooper and Miller earned every accolade they received for this film.

Chris Kyle is an inspirational hero.  Eastwood and Cooper honored him.


Big Hero 6 (2014) and The Incredibles (2004)

Two great movies that go great together.  I enjoyed every minute of both of these flicks and they reminded me of each other.
 
The Judge (2014)

The Judge is masterpiece film making.  I would bet that even if your jaded and easily disappointed by movies, you'll love this one.

Downey and Duvall gave top shelf performances, but it was Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dax Shepard, and Jeremy Strong that made the movie.

This was a story with no small characters and no bad acting.  Bravo.  This movie left me having a better day than the one I started with, and I was having a good day to begin with.

Nick Schenk ... (screenplay) and
Bill Dubuque ... (screenplay)
David Dobkin ... (story) &
Nick Schenk ... (story)    Good job guys!


Predestination (2014)

I was glued to this flick; enjoying every single minute.  For me, it was the incarnate of unexpected pleasure.

Possibly Ethan Hawk's finest role, Sara Snook's breakout role, and one of many great performances by Noah Taylor.

In my opinion, the quality of this story falls on the same level as Inception.   The acting was deep and flawless.  It blows my mind that something this good made it to Red Box without me hearing about it.

Michael Spierig ... (written by) (as The Spierig Brothers) &
Peter Spierig ... (written by) (as The Spierig Brothers)
Robert A. Heinlein ... (story "All You Zombies")   Wow!

 Lucy (2014)

In my opinion, Lucy is a much better film than people have generally given it credit for.

The movie is well researched.  The scientific hypotheses of space and time and brain usage, used as the foundation for the story, are well thought out and plausible.  Luc Besson's writing is wonderful.

Pseudoscience magazines responded to the movies 10% brain usage hypothesis by proclaiming that humans in fact use 100% of our brains.  But both general assumptions are true in context.

Yes, Lucy does degrade slightly into a 'million bullet' Asian slug fest.  But lets be honest, who doesn't like seeing 5 guys shoot 150,000 rounds and pull out a bazooka?   The car chase thru Paris is awesome and reminded me of my beloved BMW films with Clive Owen from 2002.

I give Lucy 3.5 out of 4 stars, consider it thoroughly 'Blog Worthy,' and a must watch.

Stretch  (2014)

Sometimes a movie is bad in such a way as to be good.  This is one of the those movies.  Stretch is a masochistic, realistic look at Hollywood, with a story that left actor Chris Pine, who plays twisted Wall Street banker Roger Karos, not wanting to be credited for his role.

Chris, you did good... Squish, squish, squish.

The Hoff and Ray Liotta did great jobs playing caricatures of themselves. Patrick Wilson, the lead actor, did a fine job with his role,  I sympathized with his character.

Jessica Alba played the fem fatal, and nailed it.  She has awesome on screen presence.  Someone give her an A movie please, she's earned one.

In summation, I have to say that I enjoyed it and am glad I watched it.  If your not offended by the theater of the absurd, I highly recommend you rent Stretch.
 

Lord of War (2005)

I just realized that I have been telling people that Lord of War is a must watch, but never put it in my own log.  This is one of Cage's very best.  Enthralling and well made, I have to see this flick again.

The Skeleton Twins (2014)

Edgy and funny, the Skeleton Twins is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time; writing, acting, and directing are spot on.  This is the kind of movie teachers like to talk about in a film or screenwriting class, because it's a fine example of what a movie should be.


 Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

I put Edge of Tomorrow above Interstellar even though I saw EOT first, because I liked it more.  It's not that it was better per say, It just had more humor and thus, was more fun to watch.
 Interstellar (2014)

Both EOT and Interstellar raise the bar high.  I appreciate that.   These two movies, along with Gravity are must owns for the Geek in your family.
Wish I Was Here (2014)

Zach Braff and Kate Hudson  play my wife and I in this heart warming, funny flick.
Salmon Fishing in Yemen (2011)

Surprisingly good movie.  McGregor and Blunt shine!
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Another Wes Anderson masterpiece.  Loved every minute.  A must watch.

Idiocracy (2006)

Idiocracy predates the creation of this log.

It's a masterpiece of sarcastic perspective.  The underlying reasoning behind the story's premise makes you think, and is dangerously real.

I can't remember the last time a movie did that.

Divergent (2014)

Great flick!  Never read the book, but I'm guessing the film is a good adaptation.  Awesome story, well portrayed, quality work, very happy I saw it.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

I didn't know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy before I saw the movie.   Now I love this team!  Marvel and Fox keep duking it out to see who can bring a better Marvel Universe to the screen, and I like it!!!  I hate that there is a separation in the characters because of it, but I'm loving the quality of the work.  Stan Lee must be the proudest man in America.  Fox, Marvel, well done, thank you.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

TGBH is a grand Wes Anderson masterpiece and possibly my favorite Ralph Fiennes movie.  Tony Revolori, who played Zero, kicked ass; honestly, the entire cast, kicked ass.  The Grand Budapest Hotel shines like an opal in the gray noon sun.  You'll be happy you saw it, and when you do see it, notice the movie's symmetry and color pallet.  These are Wes Anderson trade marks.


Maleficent (2014)

Continuing Disney's new trend of letting guys off the hook as Prince Charming(s).  Maleficent masterfully tells the tale of how love really conquers all.  Angelina Jolie played the quintessential Maleficent and will now live on decades past her natural time as one of the greatest of all movie characters.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

Mitty has charm and it's "memorable".  In thinking on it, this movie made me happy.  Not blown away, just happy.  It was a good movie and I would encourage you, if you haven't seen it, to rent it.


X-Men Days of Future Past (2014)
This movie set a new benchmark for excellence.   It's so good, I can't limit it by putting it in the category of "Best Super Hero Movie," I consider it a contender for "Best Movie" of 2014; no qualifiers necessary, and I may put it along side Inception and the Matrix in my "Top 10 Best Movies of All Time."

I would argue: Rate the movie on story, direction and performance, leave out the shock value of real tragedy or true life, tragic history, and Xmen Days of Future Past can stand side by side in quality with the best movies ever made.

I need time for my emotions to settle.  I'm still pumped up after seeing the flick.  But as for now, I think X-Men Days of Future Past may actually be one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Godzirra (2014)

Yea!  Godzilla didn't suck!!!  The story line flowed, there were no serious plot holes, I never wanted to leave.  Even the halo jump made sense, unlike Transformers Dark Side of the Script, where the halo jump was as pointless as the rest of movie.

I had a good time watching this flick.  G 2014 is the best of all the Godzilla movies and totally worth the ten bones to see on the big screen.  Now do Gamera and Ultraman!  Please?!  I won't ask anything for Christmas!

The Monuments Men (2014)

A little boo ya serendipity from the Clooney Meister der!  The cast killed it.  I was enthralled start to finish.  The Monuments Men is a must see.  Good job!


The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014)

I can't believe it.  I was blown away by this film. Andrew Garfield plays the old channel 44, sarcastic Spider Man, that I watched in my youth, very well.  Emma Stone is so captivating, I'm not sure if she's good or not.  I just can't take my eyes off her.  I wanted to hate Jammie Fox's Electro because I thought he was gonna suck, and he didn't suck.  Even Paul Giamatti's Rhino was fun.

This was an over the top flick, but the over the top stuff didn't ruin the story or the characters.  Well done.

Rush (2013)

Rush is way out of chronological order as to when I saw it.  It just occurred to me that it absolutely had to be put in the log.  Great flick, beautifully done, a must see.

Special mention to Daniel Bruhl, who played Niki Lauda, I've seen him in a few things.  He's got range and is a actor to look out for.

Snatch (2000)

I just reviewed my entire movie log and realized that Snatch wasn't in it.  Understandable since I didn't start the log till the end of 2007.  However, it must be added.

I can't believe Snatch came out in 2000.  Fourteen years, poof!   Snatch is Brad Pitt's best work and is the best movie of its genre.  If you haven't seen it, drop what your doing and go to Family Video; right now, go.

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Clash of the titans.  Dallas, Wolf and Hustle went up against each other at the Oscar's and Dallas won.  I get it; McConaughey and Leto were amazing.  But it's not that cut and dry.  For the movie goer that's a really good thing.  Not so much for DiCaprio, Hill, Bale, Adams, Cooper and Lawrence.  All of whome gave "holly shit!" performances.  Very different, outstanding, Oscar worthy, performances.   I can't remember a time when three more worthy opponents came up against each other at the Oscars.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

This movie can offend you.  I even found it a little offensive, in a very "real" way.  Love it or hate it, Wolf was masterfully made and acted.  Jonah and Leo crushed it.
American Hustle (2013)

Wow!  I waited a day to digest this amazing masterpiece before I wrote about it, to make sure I wasn't overly caught up in emotion.

This is what I decided about the movie after giving it careful consideration; American Hustle is the best movie of its genre ever made.

With American Hustle, I experience one of the best flowing story-lines I have ever sat through, combined with some of the most inspired acting I have ever seen; perfectly directed.  This is one of a very few movies I felt was so good, I would give it 4 stars.  For me, American Hustle sits in the same strata as Inception, The Matrix, and Snatch, as masterpieces of their genre.

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

I don't have the words to express why you 'must' see this film.  But you really 'must' see it!  It's a study in; obsession, hypocrisy, art and culture.

This documentary has layers that go deep and reflect back on you. Ultimately, after watching, I felt like a mark caught up in long-con.  But the con was so elaborate and interesting.  I didn't mind.

Exit Thru The Gift Shop is the  story of how an eccentric French shop keeper 'Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. MBW' an amateur film maker and street artist, attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains footage of Banksy, Shephard, Fairey, and Space Invader, along with many more of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work.

Paraphrased from  Sundance Film Festival 

Food, Inc.  (2013)

Do you know the saying; "All that's needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing?"

Well, evil is winning.  America is reverting back to the way it was at the dawn of the twentieth century; when the American worker was treated like an animal and animals were treated like insects.

We need our government to protect us from being poisoned by our food, our water and our medicines, and once in a while, to even things out for the American people who are taken advantage of by the corporation, or face discrimination.  Or we don't need them at all.

Read the rest of this article by clicking here. 

Mud (2013)

Mud plays out like a great novel; it draws you in slowly and flows like the currents of a lazy river.  There are no surprises, no big explosions, just people caught up in the story of their lives, and you're invited to come along.  This is the kind of movie that's meant to be seen at home, the way a good book is meant to be read in your favorite chair or couch. 

Monsters University (2013)

Even better than the first movie, Monsters Inc.  MU is a very well written story combined with a multitude of colorful, imaginative characters.  Every segment of the film was a great use of story line and visual. 


Captain Phillips (2013)

A well told, well acted, amazing movie.  Two thumbs up from my left and right thumb!

Gravity (2013)

The first movie I think almost hast to be seen on the big screen, in 3D.  Its masterful direction and cinematography make full use of this medium.   I sat up close, in the center, to drink it all in and am glad I did.  Gravity is plausible, exciting, and worthwhile.

Bad Grandpa (2013)

Johnny Knoxville's Magnum Opus!

Jackson Nicoll should win an academy award for best supporting actor.

I stood and watched as people left the theater exhausted from laughing, shaking their heads and smiling.  Myself included. Well done!

Pain and Gain (2013)

The cast is perfect for this true story that has to be seen to be believed.  You'll watch this flick shouting "no way" the whole way through.  It surprised me and I'll bet it will surprise you too.

Dredd (2012)

Dredd is stylish and well told.  Its edgy because its not constrained by the restrictions of a main stream movie. I liked it a lot and would recommend it to anyone who likes a darker, edgier genre.

Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

Good Night and Good Luck is a masterpiece, reminiscent of the bygone era of exceptional, ethical, journalists, and a reminder to all of us, that tyranny in American government arose before and only by making a stand and speaking up was it dealt with.  The fear of our government was very real and the bravery of Edward R. Murrow was astounding.

Pacific Rim (2013)

I would like to say thank you to Guillermo del Toro for saving my f****** summer.  After Star Trek crammed 3 story lines into one, made the Enterprise completely irrelevant and beat the hell out of me with non stop; bam, bam, bam, ADD action and plot.  And Superman offed itself with the biggest plot hole ever followed by one of the worst, last 10 minutes of a movie, I have ever seen!  I was "ELATED" to see someone tell a story and use cheesy character development and special effects right.

Pacific Rim was fun.  Niether the power of the advisaries, nore the technology made the people irrelevant.   Every battle scene was like watching Rocky.  And that is meant as a total compliment.  Sure it had cheese, Spray Cheese!  The kind you know you shouldn't like, but you do!  And you keep spraying it on more and more because its so f'n good! This movie was Twinkies, and chocolate cake mixed with loaded hot dogs and 22oz beers.  It was fun.  I left it cheering!  I was happy when I walked out!  And I really believe you will be too.

P.S. I love Gypsy Danger!!!

Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay) Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi


The Great Gatsby (2013)

I thought Gatsby was amazing;  a visual triumph with persuasive acting and directing that brought a masterpiece to life.  The mixed reviews of the eclectic audience I spoke with, seem to me, to be caused by the turmoil exuded by the characters and are a credit to the winding ride masterfully written and acted.
 
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Based on actual events.  HPoH is a truly masterful, historical piece.  Bill Murray has come a long way as an actor.  All the way!  No one could have done FDR better.  This movie was a joy to watch and should be seen by all.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Many have already seen SLP.  Everyone you've overheard talking about it, probably raved how incredible a movie it is.  All I can do is confirm the awesomeness of this flick.  It is incredible.  One of the most powerful movies I have ever seen in my life.

The World's Fastest Indian (2005)

Wow!  I can't believe I waited this long to see this movie.  It's on Netflix and if you haven't seen it, you should.

The story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle -- a bike which he used to set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.  As far as I know, his record stands. 

Butter (2011)

This movie is for people who like to think outside the croissant. Downing a scotch or "chiefing" will definitely enhance the hilarity of this utterly ludicrous, situation comedy and will help you to appreciate the genius of Jason A. Micallef, the liberal on drugs who wrote it.  Well done.

Premium Rush (2012)

I loved this movie!  It had me on the edge of my seat and I finished it feeling inspired.  The characters and their situation felt real.

Special mention to actor Michael Shannon who stole the show with his performance in this movie and in Machine Gun Preacher.


Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

A true and inspiring story of a drugged up, bad ass, biker, who found God, turned his life around and wound up in the Sudan, saving children from evil.  This movie is Gerard Butler's best work.

Act of Valor (2012)

IMDB viewers gave this flick a 6.4.  Balderdash!  This was a great movie based on a true story.  I was glued to my seat the entire time watching.  Absolutely a must see  Hooh Ra!

Citizen Gangster (2011)

A movie about the misadventures of disillusioned WWII vet, Eddie Boyd, who passed away in 2002.

His story is amazing and the movie is a must see.  


Hitchcock (2012)

A love story between filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho in 1959.

This film has all Academy Award winning performances.  It's is a must see for any film buff or period piece lover, and is the best movie in theaters now.
 
Get The Gringo (2012)

Get the Gringo should have been on the big screen.  If you can get past Mel's real life demons, see this flick; because it's truly a great movie, enjoyable from start to finish.



Argo (2012)

Wow!  Two masterpieces in a row for Ben Affleck, The Town, and now Argo!  I predict Argo will win an Academy Award for best picture and the Brass Balls award for best adaptation of a true story.

Here's what happened:


6 hostages escape the embassy in Iran in 1979


The Canadian ambassador takes them in, risking it all

CIA agent Tony Mendez dreams up a crazy idea to make a fake movie, and then to pose as an Canadian location scout for the movie, in Iran; all while the Iranians are chanting death to America, people are being hung on construction cranes, cars are on fire in the streets and chicks in black robes are packing AK's.  It's the craziest, ballsiest thing I have ever heard of.  And he pulled it off, walking into the jaws of hell by himself, and flying out with 6 Americans on a SwissAir flight.


The fake movie, Argo, was so realistic that Steven Spielberg sent a script to the films producers, (John Chambers and Lester Stiegel), who could never speak about what they accomplished.  Mendez won the highest honor that you can receive in the clandestine service, and then had to give it back, because no could know what he did.  17 years later he was re-issued the award after the mission was de-classified.


And now, through this brilliant movie, we are privileged to know one of the greatest accounts of heroism ever.  Awesome!  See it, then buy it,
 
2016 (2012) 

A thoughtful and scholarly look into the background and motivation of  the President American's projected their hopes onto, without ever knowing the man.

Atlas Shrugged Part II (2012)

Brilliant and daring, this movie; besides having the guts to go against the mindset engrained in all of us from years of liberal media brainwashing, is a really compelling, catchy story.
 
The Dark Night Rises (2012)

OK, now its summer!  The Dark Night Rises is a true epic movie, with real stunt men, thousands of extras, dozens of city blocks and a huge sound stage used.  The movie's plausibility and realism make it ... in your face real!   Every character is human, not super, with huge flaws, weaknesses and demons.  Their story on film is a masterpiece, and I created this movie log to remind me of the masterpieces I have seen.
 

Total Recall (2012)

The exact polar opposite of the real life epic movie is the mega high tech, "use every trick we have", totally awesome, Total Recall!  This movie is the Yang to Batman's Yin, and is every bit as enjoyable.  It takes you to a new world, completely different from our own.  It is triumphantly original, while playfully paying homage to the original.  It is a must see and instant sci-fi classic.  Seeing Batman and Total Recall in the same weekend left me feeling like I needed a smoke.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Let me start with what I love about this movie the most; the axe martial arts!  Benjamin Walker and his stunt men made the action look good!


Ben's performance was excellent.  He portrayed Lincoln with dignity and could have easily played him in a serious documentary.  The movie did a great job of mirroring actual events to remain in the realm of historical accuracy while diving off into the supernatural.


I'm not saying this movie is a masterpiece, some spots rely on cheese-ball CGI fight scenes, but the stunt man stuff is first rate!  This is a theater quality movie.


The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers Is The Best Super Hero Movie Ever Made, to date!

When I described my enjoyment of the film to a friend the other day I made two points; first you don't have to like the genre to enjoy this movie, and second, that this was the most fun I have had watching a movie since the Matrix.

This is the only movie since the Matrix that I feel compelled to see more than once.  And it seems that thousands of people have already made return trips.  The movie is quotable, as all great movies are, and has real belly laughs, not just grins.  What distinguishes The Avengers is it's writing and character development.  I'm a grown up and have seen hundreds of movies, and I can't stand slapped together, stupid plot lines and superficial characters. They tend to ruin my whole day.  The writers; Joss Whedon  and Zack Penn did such a good job!  The weaker characters are as important as the stronger ones, making The Avengers a real "team."  Everyone has a purpose, everyone contributes, no individual has so much power as to make you ask "whats the point?"


I have said before that special effects are the icing on the cake, not the cake, and The Avengers has fantastic icing on a delicious cake!  The visuals are stunning and make the impossible, plausible.  This could be the first super hero movie that I know of, to win one or more academy awards for both screen play and special effects.

I find myself wanting to quote the movie to give you an example of how great the writing is, but I don't want to take away the enjoyment of hearing it for yourself.  This is a movie that should be seen in a theater on a big screen!

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Incredible acting, amazing true story, beautiful cinematography.  This movie is reality at its most interesting.  Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, and Michael Fassbender give amazing performances.

I studied these men in college and that made the movie even more interesting to me, but previous knowledge of Frued and Jung is not required.

 
The Iron Lady (2011)

One of the great persons of my time, dealing with the harsh reality of old age, candidly, but never without dignity.  See the life of an amazing woman, portrayed by and amazing women!

This movie reminds us why Meryl Streep collects Oscars like Hummels.

 
The Descendants (2011)

Clooney has bad habit of entertaining himself why making movies, leaving me wanting.  He did not make that mistake in this movie.  I felt for the characters because they were presented to me for my enlightenment, not the amusement of the man making the film.  I enjoyed every bit of this movie.


J Edgar(2011)

My wife and I laughed as we wiped away the tears in our eyes.  We noticed at the same time that Clint Eastwood had directed this film during the ending credits.  Figures, we thought.

We consider Clint Eastwood to be one of the great masters of film.  His brilliance as a director towers over the simple entertainment value of his earlier work.


Writing, directing, acting and cinematography are all perfect, the film is a masterpiece. In addition, the character, J. Edgar Hover was the most fascinatingly tortured, complex combination of masculine and feminine,good and evil I could imagine, and a real person!

This movie is a study in human nature, contradiction, duality, sexuality, and morality.  It should be played and discussed academically.

Clint Eastwood inspires me to become a master myself one day.  And Leo was incredible.  He became the embodiment of J Edgar.

Hugo (2011)

A thoughtful Scorsese masterpiece.  Brilliant story telling used to give credit to one of the original Masters of film.  Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès.


Beautiful to watch, awesome story, see it on a special night.


Killer Ellite (2011)

I was expecting a mindless action movie, instead, it turned out to be a mindful action movie!  Its based on a true story, and I bet it will surprise you.

This is not your typical shoot-em up movie.  I highly recommend it.
 
Contagion (2011)

I typically do not like this genre, however, this movie is not typical.  This is very much a movie-log worthy flick.  It meets all 3 of my requirements; superior writing, acting and directing.  I believe you will be blown away by this movie, and enthralled, as I was.

The use of time shifting in this movie is brilliantly done, and ads

The characters are "real."  I left feeling that Kate Winslet's character was a true hero.  Not someone I cried for, but felt pride for.  Every performance was first rate.


Anonymous (2011)

Superior story, superior acting, so-so editing.  This movie was a little to complex at first, but still qualifies as a must see.

The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.


The story, which I assume to be much researched, is, true or not, fascinating!  If you like period pieces this one will really take you back!


Money Ball (2011)

A solid, very well made, enjoyable movie that is also interesting, and true.

I am not really a Brad Pitt or Jonah Hill fan, however these two shined in this movie.   I'm glad I saw it!


BMW Movies - The Hire (2002)

A series of short films that are a must see.
Link to the BMW Films - The Hire 


Midnight in Paris (2011)

Here you go!  A slice of pure serendipity!  This is a Woody Allen movie that surpasses Woody Allen movies.  You do not have to like his genre to like this movie, it stands completely on its own.

You get a splash of his wit and style painted into an imaginative story line so endearing; suspension of disbelief just happens.

I found myself swept away by the story line, captivated by the actors, wishing, very strongly wishing, I could be there with Owen Wilson experiencing his adventure with him.

The movie was so well done, In a small way, I felt I had.


Margin Call (2011)

Wow!  WOW!  The best douche-bags on Wall Street movie since the original "Wall Street!"

Jeremy Irons portrays the icy, filthy greedy, no accountability, unadulterated scum that is the Wall Street/Washington mogul so well it will give you chills!

Kevin Spacey plays the disconnected corporate sell-out with crystal clear, stark cold reality.

Every performance was astounding, but I have to give a special mention to Demi Moore.

She's in the very first movie I ever put in this log, "Flawless," and she was great there too.  She is a very underrated actress, who adds depth and character to a movie, and she masterfully holds her own with "the boys."

Because there hasn't been anything to write about movie wise in so long, I thought I would pay homage to my TOP 4 FAVORITE MOVIES of ALL TIME!  Each one of these movies, to me, are pure genius, each in their own way.

The Matrix (1999)

Army of Darkness (1992)

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Hesher (2010) 

Its horribly slim pickings for movies this time of year, nothing in the theaters, nothing to rent, so I dig deeper than usual, trying to find something worth seeing.  And, once in a great while a little serendipity happens.


This movie was a guilty pleasure; offensive, tasteless and very well done.  I would strongly recommend it to anyone who can find the humor and sentiment in a "white-trash" situation comedy.

Win Win (2011)

Does Paul Giamatti not make bad movies, or are the movies just better because he's in them?

Giamatti rocks in this flick, as usual.  But I have to say Alex Shaffer, the 17 year old real wrestling champ that played the part of Kyle, was never upstaged, or drowned out.  He was integral to the story and very believable.

Burt Young slam-dunked the grandpa character.

Its just not fair in a flick this well done to pick favorites, everyone brought their A-game.

The Beaver (2011)

Not really a happy movie, but a good movie.  I felt it did a really good job of showing the impossible nature of mental illness, and how hard it is to stick by someone with one.

This movie is more of an learning experience than an entertainment, but I give it full marks for writing, directing and acting.  I'm not sorry I saw it, and I will remember it.

Limitless (2011) 

I want NZT!  Then maybe I could finish one of my f'n books.

Bradley Cooper is going places, places with red carpets and over-dressed skinny chicks.  The guy can act, and this movie is good enough to take him to the next level.

Abbie Cornish too, wow, I had know idea who she was till now.  She belongs in more movies.

This movie is a must rent, and will appeal to a very wide audience.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

OK, this was a good flick.  This movie has everything I like about movies.  Really good writing, directing and acting combined with a good story and great characters.

I felt this one.  I was swept along by it.  And I just have to say that Marisa Tomei is just so much fun to watch, she has always been a fantastic character actress, since the beginning of her career.  And I know lots of people give McConaughay shit because he's good looking.  But he really plays this one.  Josh Lucas and John Leguizamo (scary brilliant) stand and deliver.

I was very happy we brought this one home.  I bet you will be too.

Source Code (2011)

I was surprised.  I saw the advertisement for this flick and said "nah".  I was wrong.  Jake Gyllenhaal proved once again that he is "leading man" material, and Michelle Monahan was captivating.

I call this type of movie borderline scifi, because its so close to what's possible that you can't help but go huh?   Its a very cerebral movie.  The explanation scenes in the bonus material are really cool.  Definitely a worth renting flick.
 
X Men First Class (2011)

Wow!  Unbelievable!  Maybe I  am enjoying these movies so much because I am expecting them to be crap.  But I wait a couple of days to write their reviews.  And days latter, I still can't think of anything bad to say about them.  The first 3 X men movies were decent, but not good enough to end up in the log.  This movie stands head an shoulders above it predecessors.  My wife who knew nothing of the Xmen was enthralled by this movie, as was I, as an Xmen enthusiast.

As with every movie that goes into my log.  The writing was superb!  It was a pure joy to watch Xmen First Class!  This movie continues a bright, enjoyable movie going experience for 2011, for my wife and I.


Thor (2011)

Seldom is the bar raised high for a movie.

For this to happen, writing, directing, and acting have to come together harmoniously, surpassing my expectations.

I never expect it to happen.  Not with a summer blockbuster, and certainly not with a super-hero movie.

But it happened!  Thor hurtled "Mjolnir" through the 3D IMAX screen, striking me squarely in my serendipity!  Leaving me dumbstruck with a stupid smile on my face!

There are 3 key points I would like to make about this movie;

First, in the comic era I grew up in, Thor was one of my lessor "hero's".  Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Batman always rotated in top position.  After this movie, Thor earned a place in the upper echelon of my favorite comic book hero's.  And that's a testament to the good writing.

Even with Iron Man the writing was predictable.  Iron man has to fight an armored villain,  the Hulk has to fight a Hulk-like villain.  Yadda yadda yadda, bla bla bla.  Shake it up for me guys.

Thor had "characters!"  Still limited in that they were all Thor-type characters but they were interesting.  I love it when side kicks are as fun as the main players.

Second.  When my wife asked me if I wanted to see Thor in 3D,  I said no.  I have been sadly disappointed with 3D.  It has not been worth the extra money in the past.

We saw this movie in 3D IMAX and it was worth it!  I’m not sure what they did, but the 3D was much improved.

This movie was gorgeous, visual "Ka-pow!"

Third,  actor Chris Hemsworth was "perfect" as Thor!.  He makes Brad Pit look like a French pastry.  He got my wife worked up, and I got to reap the benefit!  She wants to see the movie again,  and I'm OK with that!

Thor got my summer of to a good start.  See this movie in the biggest venue you can!

The Tourist (2010) 

This movie only got average reviews.  I found it thoroughly enjoyable.  Certainly no harm in renting it. 

Country Strong (2010) 

A very well done movie, with as much realism as "movie charm".  Fantastic characters.





The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)


The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009)


The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest (2009)

A Brilliant Trilogy! The films are Swedish, the story lines are dark, the movies are not for everyone.  The writing is pure genius.  Lisbeth and Mikael are my literary heroes!


The Kings Speech (2010) 

Its a no-brainer!  It won Academy Awards for "Best Picture", "Best Director" and "Best Actor".  And now it wins the most important award a motion picture can hope to receive, a spot on "The Brazilian Wax Poetics Movie Log"!

A thoroughly enjoyable, must see movie. 

Unstoppable (2010) 

Now this was a movie!  And a true story to boot!  I feel guilty that I didn't see this in the theater.  This is truly a big screen worthy flick.  It is everything I love about movies.  Hard to believe it really happened.
  
Inside Job (2010) 

A fantastic movie!  "Documentary" It explains clearly how the United States government was purchased by Wall Street and how Wall Street trashed the whole world economy with no accountability.

Fair Game (2010) 

Great flick!  "Docudrama" shows how the Bush administration wanted Weapons of Mass Destruction to be in Iraq so bad, they only listened to people who said they were , plunging us into 13+ years of endless war. 

And how they punished those who disagreed with them.


Love and Other Drugs (2010) 

Remarkably funny!  Remarkably good.  Worth renting.

Gives a you an idea of why doctors work so hard to push drugs on you that you don't need. 


The Town (2010) 

Actually saw this Jan 2011.  That's why its not listed earlier.

Because of the unfortunate string of crap that Ben Affleck has been involved in I didn't intend to see this movie.  I was wrong.

I forgot that Ben Affleck can write and has talent.  This is a really good flick, well written and directed, by, wait for it... "Ben Affleck"  Good job!  And he got to have sex with two really adorable chicks in the movie!



True Grit! (2010) 

Oh yea!  It's because of movies like this that I write my movie log.

Story line and character development, that's all that needs to be said.  The fact that this movie is a re-make takes nothing away from it.  In fact, it adds something, because the effort put into the characters wasn't expected.

It seemed like a really dry year for movies, but I logged 5 really good ones, which isn't bad.  They were just so spread out it was like crossing the desert between flicks.

For 2010, out of my top 5 movies logged.  I'm gonna have to say that Inception is #1 and True Grit is number #2.  Both Academy Award winners!


RED (2010) 

Awesome!  Fun, really, really fun!
This is a movie you actually buy! 

Everyone's performance was memorable!  Malcovich was "insane!"  Dreyfuss played his best "asshole" role since portraying Dick Cheney in "W".  Willis managed to pull off "bad-ass".  Rebecca Pidgeon played a perfect "bitch".  Karl Urban managed to scare me and have me sympathize with him at the same time, and that's not easy.

Helen Mirren and Brian Cox were brilliant!  Freeman was his usual outstanding!

But most of all, Mary Louise Parker just stole the show!  Her character is so messed up, lonely, and beautiful, I fell head over heals in love with her!  She played a perfect "beautiful disaster!"  I've noticed her before, but never really got just how captivating she is!  Wow! Shwing!  See this flick!


Inception (2010) 

Its been a really dry year for movies in 2010.  The only 2 really memorable, entertaining movies for the whole second half of the year are; Inception for it's sheer brilliance in every aspect of film making, starting with fantastic writing, mind-blowing (literally) cinematography, wonderful acting and direction.   Inception is as close to perfect 10 as you can come.


Jackass 3D (2010) 

And Jackass 3D for its raw, painful, unbelievably riotously funny, shit filled, frat boy humor.   I made the comment to my friend after the show, that the two funniest movies I have seen in the past 20 years have been the Jackass movies.


The Book of Eli (2010) 

OK, so its been done before. A post apocalyptic story with a tough guy and hot babes. In this case really hot! Go Mila, and go Jennifer! Wow, there’s a love sandwich! But this movie separates itself from all the rest with really good writing. All movies have great special effects now, so more than ever, its all about the writing. Eli, for a big budget studio movie really paid attention to the story. Denzel, as usual, gave a perfect performance. This, and remember the Titans are my two favorite Denzel movies. 

Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Capitalism A Love Story (2009) 

I have always hated Michael Moore, thought he was to one sided. Well he is. Our side. This movie is a masterpiece. Bill Maher referred to this work as Michael Moore’s “Magnum Opus” and I would agree. My perspective on the decline of America has now been forever changed. I now see that the destruction of Liberty in our country does not come from the Democrat or Republican parties but the wholesale purchase of both by Wall Street, who were encouraged, and supported by the apathy of the American people. 

On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece Roger and Me, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world).

But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film goers into uncharted territory. With both humor and outrage, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story explores a taboo question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism?

Years ago, that love seemed so innocent. Today, however, the American dream is looking more like a nightmare as families pay the price with their jobs, their homes and their savings. Moore takes us into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down; and he goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC and elsewhere.

What he finds are the all-too-familiar symptoms of a love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal…and 14,000 jobs being lost every day.

Capitalism: A Love Story is both a culmination of Moore’s previous works and a look into what a more hopeful future could look like. It is Michael Moore’s ultimate quest to answer the question he’s posed throughout his illustrious filmmaking career: Who are we and why do we behave the way that we do? (Written by Overture Films)


Goya’s Ghost (2006) 

This movie is the very essence of extraordinary! The very reason I created my movie log , so as not to forget a masterpiece of this caliber! Extraordinarily WRITTEN, ACTED and DIRECTED. The depth of the Characters and their situations could not have been more masterfully portrayed! Such a joyful surprise! An amazing movie! 

Goya’s Ghosts is a 2006 Spanish film directed by Miloš Forman, and produced by Xuxa Producciones (Spain) and by Saul Zaentz, and written by Miloš Forman and Jean-Claude Carrière. The film stars Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, and Stellan Skarsgård, and was shot on location in Spain during late 2005. The film was written, produced and performed in English language although it is a Spanish production.

The beginning of the film is set in the year 1792, as Spain reels amidst the turmoil and upheaval of the French Revolution. Francisco Goya is a renowned painter, who, among others, does portraits for the royal family as the Official Court Painter to the King and Queen.

The Spanish Inquisition is disturbed by part of Goya’s work. Brother Lorenzo is hiring Goya to paint a portrait and defends him, saying that his works are not evil, they just show evil. He recommends the Church step up the fight against anti-Roman Catholic practices. He requests and is put in charge of intensifying the Inquisition.

Amazing Grace (2006) 

Another masterpiece. See it to expand your mind. You will learn so much! This movie is in the same class as Goya’s Ghost. 

Amazing Grace is a 2006 film directed by Michael Apted about the campaign against the slave trade in 18th century Britain, led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn “Amazing Grace” and the film also recounts John Newton’s writing of the hymn.

Frost/Nixon (2008) 

Thought it might be interesting. Turned out to be very interesting. The writing and the superb acting tells the story exceptionally well. For me it was enlightening to get a grasp of American history during the first years of my life, when I didn’t care, and thought America was mom, muscle cars and apple pie. Of course back then, for me, it was! 

Frost/Nixon is a 2008 historical drama film based on the eponymous play by Peter Morgan which dramatizes the Frost/Nixon interviews of 1977. The film version was directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment

UP(2009) 

Everybody in the theater cried, except me of course, I am much to stogy and mature to cry over a cartoon. Yea right! I only heard everyone else’s sniffles when I stopped. Supper hart felt, suspension of disbelief movie. The 3D wasn’t as pronounced, as eye popping as some other 3D movies I have seen recently, but the story was much more moving. 

By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn’t alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 

I wanted to hate it. I couldn’t, the movie was masterfully written and beautiful to watch. 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American fantasy drama film, based on the 1921 short story of the same name written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film was directed by David Fincher, written by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord, and stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2008.

The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Pitt, and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson. It won three Oscars for Art Direction, Makeup, and Visual Effects.

The Departed (2006) 

Seriously, one of the best mob stories ever done. Nicholson was mind blowing! Every performance was top notch! And I am still pissed off at what happened in the story, like it was real. 

The Departed is a 2006 American crime-thriller film remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. The Departed was directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg and Ray Winstone. The film won four Academy Awards at the 79th Academy Awards, including the Best Picture, and a Best Director win for Scorsese.

This film takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, where notorious Irish Mob boss Francis “Frank” Costello (Nicholson) plants Colin Sullivan (Damon) as an informant within the Massachusetts State Police. Simultaneously, the police assign undercover cop Billy Costigan, Jr. (DiCaprio) to infiltrate Costello’s crew. When both sides of the law realize the situation, each man attempts to discover the other’s true identity before being found out.


The Secret Life of Bees (2008) 

I was impressed by the superb writing, the fine acting the compelling story, much like every movie in this log. I found myself wishing I could sit down and have a lemonade with Queen Latifah’s character on the back porch or her pink house. Actually I left this movie feeling I had left their house after visiting a while. I can only dream that someday I could write a story nearly as well. 

The Secret Life of Bees is a historical fiction 2002 bestselling novel by American author Sue Monk Kidd. It received much critical acclaim and was a New York Times bestseller. It was nominated for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and has been adapted into a film by Gina Prince-Bythewood that stars Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson. The film was released on October 17, 2008.

Changeling (2008) 

One of the most powerful stories I have heard. Ms. Collins should be remembered as an American Hero. The story was so incredible I had a hard time acknowledging that it was true. She stood against pure evil. The evil of the local government and the evil of a serial killer! Her story deserves more than just to be an interesting side topic. She made a difference and should be written into the history books. 

American period drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by J. Michael Straczynski. The film begins in 1928 Los Angeles and tells the true story of a woman who recognizes that the boy returned after her son’s disappearance is an impostor. After confronting the city authorities, she is vilified as an unfit mother and branded delusional. The events were related to the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders, a kidnapping and murder case that was uncovered in 1928.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 

An great example of fantastic writing. Characters and situations with heart wrapped in clever story. 

British drama film directed by Danny Boyle, co-directed by Loveleen Tandan,[3] and written by Simon Beaufoy. It is an adaptation of the Boeke Prize-winning and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-nominated novel Q and A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup.

Gran Torino (2008) 

The writing on this is superb. There is a lot more to this movie than you might think. Real characters you can’t help care about. 

Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him.

Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man, who can’t get along with either his kids or his neighbors, a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition.

When his neighbor Tao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Tao’s family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood. Written by Alfie Hitchie.

Religulous (2008) 

In my opinion the most important work of the 21st century, disguised as a comedy. 

American comedy/documentary film written by and starring political comedian Bill Maher and directed by Larry Charles. According to Maher, the title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words “religion” and “ridiculous”; the documentary examines and satirizes organized religion and religious belief.

A range of views on the various world religions are explored as Bill Maher travels to numerous religious destinations, such as Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Salt Lake City, interviewing believers from a variety of backgrounds and groups, including Jews for Jesus, Christians, Muslims, former Mormons, Satanists, and Hasidic Jews. He travels to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London and satirically preaches Scientology beliefs.

P.S. I Love You (2007) 

Uber chick flick, my wife forced me to watch it. Glad she did. Writing – Brilliant! Acting – Superb! and Cecelia Ahern is the most beautiful novelist in the world. You can see her on the DVD extras. 

Directed by Richard LaGravenese. With Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow and Gina Girshawn.
Irish writer Cecelia Ahern’s first novel, published in 2004.

Flawless (2007) 

Holly cow! Superb writing. Its a long film, slow moving and detailed. Better for watching at home that at the movie theater. But I can’t think of a minute were I wasn’t glued to the story! This movie sets a benchmark for character development, direction, cinematography, writing and acting. 

Directed by Michael Radford. With Demi Moore, Michael Caine, Lambert Wilson. A crime/drama set in 1960 London.