Damn I spend too much time watching Movies 5: Can't I ever just shut the Hell up!!

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  • 1. Hidden Fortress Akira Kurosawa has always listed John Ford as an inspiration for his films. The Hidden Fortress is the first Kurosawa film that I have seen where the inspiration is obvious. I always thought that Star Wars was homage to John Ford movies but maybe it was a redirected tribute through this film. George Lucas has always maintained the direct link between Star Wars and The Hidden Fortress. R2D2 and CP30 are direct descendants of the two peasants who propel this movie along its sinewy path. Now just think of them as Ward Bond and Victor Mclagen from an old John Ford western and I think you can see the connection. No matter the inspiration or tribute, this is one of Kurosawa’s best. Of course the man had a lot of best films, so I am not sure where it ranks but that really matters little, as I would recommend this movie to just about any movie fan.
  • 2. The Dangerous Lives Of Alter Boys –2002 A nice coming of age story in the Stand By Me/Breaking Away tradition. It is not as good as either of those movies but it was better than I expected from its lukewarm reviews. It does a good job of depicting that precarious adolescent time in a boy’s life where testosterone, fear, lust and rebellion mix to provide a combustible concoction that is remarkable in that it does not blow up more often.
    Jodie Foster is quite good as a peg legged Nun who is the source of the boy’s venom and fear. She is such a good actress that she is able to make this (sometime) literal cartoon character three-dimensional.
  • 3.The Mothman Prophecies –2002 Well at least Debra Messing dies early in the film. I really do not like her. But other than that, there is not much here worth recommending. I was actually hoping there was going to be some actual Mothmen in this movie. You know giant Moths that eat Richard Gere and Debra Messing. Then maybe they could take on Godzilla to avenge their father’s (or would it be Mother’s) defeat in Godzilla vs. Mothra. Probably would be a more entertaining movie.
  • 4. Someone Like You –2001 I am distressed to report that Ashley Judd is very close to slipping into Goldie Hawn Doris Day annoying cuteness territory. This is a miserable predictable movie. To be fair, almost all romantic comedies are predictable so that is usually not a good barometer for this type of movie. You usually have to judge them on dialogue and performance. Unfortunately if you take the predictability quotient, the script and the performances of the stars you have three strikes and anyone with rudimentary understanding of baseball knows three strikes means you are out of there.
  • 5. Yojimbo- 1961 My favorite Toshiro Mifune performance in another one of the master, Akira Kurosawa, classic movies. A true western (in almost all meanings of this word) movie, Kurosawa is once again the student and teacher for moviemakers everywhere. It is simple from now on anytime I list an Akira Kurosawa movie on this list just assume it has my ringing endorsement. I am going to have to look to see what people consider his worst movie (available to me at least) and see if it is possible for him to make a bad movie.
    I am going to start a list of worst movies by great directors list. Many like Ford, Hitchcock and even Scorsese will have at least a few movies to choose from. Without further research, I can not think of one for Kurosawa. Should be an interesting list.
  • 6. Harvard Man - James Toback is full of shit. Unfortunately this is too big of a liability for his movies to overcome. His movies are occasionally witty and they almost always look good in a superficial way but ultimately the message of his movies are so couched in liberal leanings that hide their basic misogyny and hypocrisy. It ends up derailing any decent message he is trying to convey.
    This one is really stupid. The setup, poor Harvard Student must throw a basketball game so he can help his parents who lost their house in a flood (I am not making this stuff up), is so blatant and manipulative you end up rooting for the bad guys so the movie can end quicker.
    Another side note, I really think I am going to have to watch some Buffy, because I must say Sarah Michelle Gellar has not really done anything but annoy me in the movies I have seen her in. I know there are huge devotees to Buffy who get pissed when I rag on her so maybe I will have to see what all the fuss is about.
  • 7. Time Out -2002 Having recently ended my 4 months of unemployment, all I can say is I want to go back…. Well not really except possibly when the alarm goes off at 6am. Working is killing my sleeping habits. I bring this all up as it seems while I was unemployed I seemed to gravitate towards movies about male corporate identity and the effect unemployment has on it. This was my last entry in this category. The basic plot of this movie is Vincent gets laid off after many years working at one company. Instead of telling his family, he invents a new job in a distant town and then spends much of the movie driving around trying to find something to keep him occupied. An interesting if slight movie. Well that is if any movie that clocks in at 132 movies can be considered slight.
  • 8. The Bourne Identity –2002 I really liked this movie. It was an exciting action movie, which is something I was considering putting up for the endangered species list. Matt Damon is very good. Franka Potente proves she can cross over the big pond and hold her own in an American movie.
  • 9. The Good Girl –2002 I am sorry but this is a stupid movie. I appreciate that stupid people may end up working at a discount dollar store. It does not mean I want to watch them. I really really did not like this movie and while I think Jennifer Aniston can be a good actress and John C. Reilly is a very good actor they did nothing but annoy me to boredom.
  • 10. Amy's O –2001 The O from the title does indeed stand for orgasm. I am going to give you folks a little test. If you have never heard of this movie and you have no idea what it is about, you will be eligible for this exam. I am going to reveal the barest of details about the plot of this movie. Consider the title and the details I lay out and see if you can guess the outcome of the movie. Here are the details. Amy our heroine is a wildly successful self help author who preaches to women that women can survive and thrive without the love of a good man. Early in the movie she goes on a radio show with a Howard Stern –lite shock jock. He is much better looking than Howard Stern.
    based on this info see if you can guess the rest of the movie. Please put your responses in the comments section. The first one to come the closest to completing the movie will win a prize. (perhaps an autographed picture of Lbangs or a detailed copy of the code Jim uses to run this site. I will think of something appropriate). Please do not cheat and look up the movie. Have fun and no wagering please.
  • 11. Adaptation –2002 A very entertaining movie about a scriptwriter who can not fashion a script for a book that should not be made into a movie. Kaufman uses a gimmick to get himself out of (and also into) a creative conundrum. It is not as good as the last Kaufman Spike Jonze collaboration Being John Malkovich but it is still better than 98% of the movies that come out of Hollywood these days.
    I really do not care about who wins Oscars but if Meryl Streep does not win for this movie, it will be a tragic shame. She is drop dead funny and the zeal she has playing this part is pure brilliance.
  • 12. Tadpole -2002 Another movie derived from the Rushmore line of filmmaking. Precocious, intelligent teenager is very smart but life still has lessons he needs to learn the hard way. Entertaining despite its derivative inspiration. Bebe Neuwirth is delicious in her man (or in this case Boy) eating joy.
  • 13. 24 Hour Party People -2002 A wonderful movie that could have only come from our friends across the pond. Sean Harris is inspired as the late Ian Curtis and Steve Coogan is very, very good as Tony Wilson. A must see movie if like me you remember the craziness of this era in music.
  • 14. Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter -2001 A movie selected for viewing simply based on the title. Of course after viewing it was obviously a very foolish way to choose a movie to watch. It is one of those movies that is so bad you dont know if it is just really awful or a parody satirical piece that you dont quite understand. 20 years ago I would have been sure there was some deep meaning I was just missing. These days I know crap when I see crap. This is crap.
  • 15. Only Angels Have Wings -1939 The Answer is Howard Hawks, Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth. The question why should I watch this movie. Nuff said
  • 16. New Rose Hotel -1998 Warning! Warning! Will Robinson; A very bad movie. A Really bad Movie. Unless you are an adolescent boy who is going to be inspired by the naked body of the very lovely Asia Argento or a Christopher Walken freak who thinks he can do no wrong, I would suggest avoiding this movie at all cost.
  • 17. Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind –2002 A very good movie with a stunning performance by Sam Rockwell. I am old enough to remember Chuck Barris and his gonzo performances on the Gong Show. Rockwell is just perfect recreating that manic caricature and more importantly, he does a tremendous job of explaining the pathos and hurt that you saw bubbling just under the surface. I still find it amazing that some people actually think he was a hit man for the CIA based on this movie. The Title of the movie should tell you what arena this story unfolds in.
  • 18. The War Wagon –1967 This Movie is just more proof that I am in a movie viewing slump. Well to be more accurate, I am in a time constraint crunch. I have very little time to watch movies (or write about them for that matter) so these old movies that I watch time and again have gone by the way side. My one hope is that all things tend to be cyclical so I am sure I will be back in the groove very soon. This is a standard Western from John Wayne’s later career. Nothing great; nothing awful.
  • 19. The Piano Teacher –2002 Well this certainly did not turn out to be the movie I expected. I must say though that is a very good thing.
    I heard someone recently talking about the difference between French and American society and that the major difference was that America was a relatively new culture while the French culture was very old. Very old and more than a little perverted and decadent I would surmise. This movie certainly helps perpetuate that theory.
    A bold performance by Isabelle Huppert keeps this movie out of the fetish Kinky market and makes the viewer give credence to the bizarre effects our modern society has on far more of our population than anyone truly knows. It will certainly make you look at the prim spinster a second time. If for no other reason to see if you can see the leather through the wool.
  • 20. Igby Goes Down -2002 Good movie but it has all been done before
  • 21. Star Trek Insurrection Not bad but about what I expected
  • 22. Who is Cletis Trout better than I expected
  • 23. 8 Women Fun movie.
  • 24. The Fast Runner Very Good movie
  • 25. Yi Yi Great Movie
  • 26. The Rules Of Atrraction Ok Movie but being provactive for the sake of being provactive is just a little lame
  • 27. Chicago Ho Hum...thank god for John C Reilley and Richard Gere must Die
  • 28. Scooby Doo Im a Sucker for talking dogs...
  • 29. All The King's Men Overrated
  • 30. City by The Sea better than Showtime. Of course that's not saying much.
  • 31. About Schmidt One of my favorite jack Nicholson roles ever. This movie has away of sticking with you months later.
  • 32. The Quiet American One of my favorite Michael Caine roles of all time. He probably should have won the Oscar but i have not seen The Pianist yet.
  • 33. Dodsworth I think Walter might have been the most talented of the Huston clan and that is a mighty strong recommendation
  • 34. Mallrats This movie still sucked
  • 35. Sands Of Iowa Jima A conflicted John Wayne. Usually a good recipe for a movie.
  • 36. What Time is It There? I shut this movie off at around the halfway mark. Never had a desire to go back and finish it. I think i was in a really bad mood at that time.
  • 37. Winter Sleepers One of Twyker's best.
  • 38. All or Nothing Ok Timothy Spall really should have won the Oscar for best actor last year but fat guys are often overlooked.
  • 39. Moonlight Mile A very good movie that almost no one talks about. A neglected film that is very well done.
  • 40. Die Another Day Halle Berry, James Bond and I still was bored.
  • 41. White Oleander Ok movie with a very strong performance by Michelle Pfeiffer
  • 42. Time and Tide it is probably better than I think it is, as I remeber being in a really bad mood watching it. The movie kind of pissed me off. Or it could really suck. The only way to know for sure would be to watch it again and even I am not that foolhardy..
  • 43. Femme Fatale It is an ok movie but it just makes you a little sad to see Brian DePalma's name associated with a movie starring Rebecca Romin Stamos. The man made Blow Out and The Untouchables for God Sakes. I guess if you are going to be a one-note director, it helps if you improve playing that note over time.
  • 44. Roger Dodger Real nice movie with a very strong performance by Campbell Scott. Isabella Rossellini is still very hot in her 50's.
  • 45. Diamond Men Another under appreciated movie. Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg are both strong in their grizzed vet cocky rookie dynamic. The ending is weak though. As everything gets wrapped up better than a christmas gift from Macy's
  • 46. Van Wilder A Van Tamer output from National Lampoon. You know that the PC police have gone too far when a National Lampoon movie resembes a 60's Disney movie.
  • 47. Blade 2 Not quite good enough to be considered a guilty pleasure. Not quite bad enought to be a complete bomb. It sort of resides in Moviedom purgatory. I think that is HBO in the 2am slot.
  • 48. Secretary Like the games the boss and secretatry like to play in this movie, the movie is the ultimate tease. It wants to be taboo and still feel safe. All it really ends up doing is leaving you wanting more of the kink or more of the rationalization, depending on your own predilictions
  • 49. Auto Focus "Hogan, you were a naughty boy" it is worth a watching but you might need a shower after it is over.
  • 50. Red Dragon I kept watching this movie and asking the question Why? Does Tony Hopkins need the money. ManHunter is a better movie.
  • 51. Ash Wednesday Catholics. Guilt. Irish. mobsters. Ed Burns tries to do a gangster movie. No one cares. It is not bad but it it has the feel of kids trying to play grown up.
  • 52. Knockaround Guys Guilt. Mobsters. Some wannabes try to do a gangster movie. It has the feel of kids playing grown up.
  • 53. Insomnia (1997) I actually like the remake better but I did see it first.
  • 54. Z A great movie that seems dated on this rewatch. That could be because it was made 30 years ago.
  • 55. The Crimes Of Padre Amaro Catholic Priest sleeps with very hot young girl. Is this considered progress?
  • 56. The Ring Having not seen the Japanese original and knowing absolutely nothing about the plot allowed me to enjoy this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I might need to follow this prescription for more movies. Naomi Watts is very good looking and she can ac too. A pretty lethal combo for a career in today's Hollywood.
  • 57. Catch Me If You Can Christpher Walken is very good. The rest of the movie is a passable way to spend two hours. Too bad the movie was 2 and a half hours long. Does Spielberg believe it is beneath him to make a movie in under 2 hours anymore?
  • 58. Maid in Manhatten J Lo I am still one of the few. I am still one of the few who think you have not completely ruined your career. Just forget the media whoredom and concentrate on picking better movies. You have more than a nice butt and a bad singing voice. I still remeber Out of Sight. Do you? Even in this train wreck of a movie you can see the things that could make you a great actress.
  • 59. One Hour Photo This movie was a rare exception in moviemaking these days in that the ending redeems it. What started out as an obvious attempt for Robin Williams to try to get some oscar buzz turned into an ending that at least I did not expect. Good for the movie, good for me.
  • 60. Real Women Have Curves Fat girls need love too.
  • 61. Sidewalks of New York I had to look this movie up and then I got it confused with Edward Burn's gangster movie Ash Wednesday. These two facts are probably an indication of the quality of the movie but after looking it up I did remember it somewhat fondly
  • 62. Antitrust Microsoft as the evil corporation many peope suspect they are. Tim Robbins does a reasonable Bill Gates impression and Ryan Phillippe still can not act
  • 63. Reign of Fire A big potential for future camp classic. But, lord, if our society is done in by a bunch of fire breathing dragons, then I am not sure I want to go on living. Dragon say hello to my little friend called the Nuke. Nuke say hello to the dragon with the bad breath. Semms simple to me....
  • 64. Antwone Fisher A good movie but a little too cliched and predictable to acheive the greatness that I am sure Denzel was hoping to acheive.
  • 65. The 25th Hour Hello Mr Spike lee its nice to have you making movies again. I was wondering where you had gone. Strong movie with wonderful performances by Edward Norton and Brian Cox.
  • 66. Darkness Falls Darkness has fallen on my memory of this movie. I am betting it was a bad horror movie that has completely seeped out of my brain. Which is probably not a bad thing.
  • 67. Standing in The Shadows Of Motown The documentary is pedestrian the music soars. I have always been a big fan of the Funk Brothers and this movie did absolutely nothing to change my mind
  • 68. Talk to Her Most likely the best movie made last year. I will have to do a little research to actually confirm this claim but no other movie made last year thrilled me as much while I was watching it and also still resonates in my thoughts many months later.
  • 69. Two Weeks Notice Hugh Grant is his usual stellar self and Sandra Bullock is servicable. The cinematic equivalent of cotton candy. Light airy and instantly dissolves in your mouth and from your memory.
  • 70. Treasure of Sierra Madre One of the greatest movies ever made and possibly the finest adaption of book to film ever done. Read the book, see the movie. Oh yeah Bogart was a pretty good actor.
  • 71. The Four Feathers Health Ledger trying to play grown up again. Is he a coward? Will his gung ho father forgive him? Will his perky fiancee forgive him? Does anyone really care? Does anyone no what time it is? Can I stop asking questions? Will this comment ever end? Yup.
  • 72. Spirited Away A beautiful film but I fear not a great film. Well worth a viewing but if you are not a fan of Japanese animation then I fear you might be disapointed. I was a little.
  • 73. The Shield Season 1 This is the first television show I watched on DVD and it was a worthy choice. I am not sure it isn’t over hyped but it was engaging enough to keep my attention. Watching the whole season on DVD was actually a very enjoyable experience. With the arrival of my first child, it is likely I will be using this method in the near future.
  • 74. Star Trek: Nemesis A pretty good Trek movie. Picard is by far the best character to ever come out of the Trek universe. I wonder if the credit goes to the writing or the acting. Considering Patrick Stewart’s acting pedigree, I suspect he deserves a lot of the credit.
  • 75. Ran I would not vehemently disagree with anyone who says this is Kurosawa’s best movie and therefore one of the greatest movies ever made. I prefer Rashomon but its like saying I prefer Willie Mays to Babe Ruth as a baseball player. You can’t really go wrong.
  • 76. The Talk Of The Town An underrated Cary Grant Jean Arthur movie. Of course Ronald Coleman almost steals it from these two screen screwball stalwarts. If you like some of George Stevens movies like Gunga Din, Penny Serenade and Woman of the Year than you are doing yourself a great disservice if you don’t watch this one because it is certainly one of his best.
  • 77. Resident Evil I have never even seen the game Resident Evil played. I have never had a desire to play a game like it and I have absolutely no idea why I watched a movie about this game either but I did watch it. I still have absolutely no desire to play or watch a game of Resident Evil after watching the movie. The movie was mindless entertainment that was not horrible but certainly not worth recommending either.
  • 78. Rabbit Proof Fence This movie left me a little cold. A unique story that seems a tad too formulaic for my taste. Plus, Kenneth Branagh might be one of the great studies in acting overexposure in recent movie making history. The heir to Olivier has turned out to be closer to Lawrence Harvey than Laurence Olivier.
  • 79. George Washington Now here is quirky slice of moviemaking worth recommending. Filmmaker David Gordon Green is one of the most promising new filmmakers of the new century. This wonderful movie along with his next project All the Real Girls are unique in that they are not like any other movies being made these days. Americana movie making for our jaded age. I was pleasantly surprised to see he is the one tackling the Confederacy of Dunces project. A very tough, very wonderful book to try to make into a movie. If I ever do one of those Movies I am looking forward to lists this one will surely make it.
  • 80. Old School Man, I know I am getting old and entering my cranky middle ages when a movie like this one leaves me so cold and god forbid bored. Besides Rap Music (and maybe Ashton Kutcher), I cannot think of anything that separates me from current popular culture like Will Ferrell. I know lots of people who think he is very funny. But he is the ultimate channel changer for me. I see him on anything and the remote is energized. I did see where Ebert and Roeper gave Elf a glowing review so maybe that will be the one that works for me
  • 81. Heaven A very good Twyker movie. The man is a heck of a film maker.
  • 82. Frida Salma Hayak goes for an Oscar and comes up short. I kept thinking of Halle Berry making her Dorothy Dandridge biopic. Both ladies trying to prove they are more than their visible assets would lead you to believe. Alfred Molina is quite good.
  • 83. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Girls here is the answer; take him to this movie for 10 straight days and any decent man will run, run as fast as he can.
  • 84. Reservoir Dogs Style is sometimes so much more than substance when dealing with the attention span of the movie loving age we now live in; this is not a complaint mind you. Tarantino almost more than any other filmmaker understands style is more about the dialougue and less the look. Still one of te best first films from a direector in the last 50 years.
  • 85. The Hours This is a movie that surprised the hell ot of me. I had not read the book and the hype was about the actresses goinng for gold. What a wonderful story. Well worth a viewing
  • 86. The Man From Elysian Fields Andy Garcia is a very good actor and he is the reason to watch this male fantasy gone awry tale. Cliched and predictable but what movie isnt these days (I Think this is more a reflection of my movie viewing habits, but I crave for something that will make me go Wow; now I did not expect that to happen.)
  • 87. Dark Blue Ditto the comments above except change Kurt Russell for Andy Garcia and male fantasy for how a bad man can still redeem himself in the end story.
  • 88. Possesion The worst Labute movie I have seen but still better than a lot of other movies.
  • 89. Narc Pretty good movie. Jason Patric is a very good actor who often gets overlooked. Worth a viewing.
  • 90. Dead Reckoning Bogart, film noir. Seems a pretty good recipe for a movie if you ask me.
  • 91. Max The humanizing of Adolph Hitler did not bother me. Cusack is very good and the though the movie is pure fiction it is riveting enough to keep your attention. Well worth a viewing
  • 92. The Grey Zone I am very surprised that this movie did not get more of a push last year. A fascinating movie that would make my top ten movies of 2001 if I ever make such a list. David Arquette is quite good (really).
  • 93. Phone Booth Colin Farrell is quite good as the oily agent and Keifer Sutherland will always have a career as long as he has that voice but I still was bored by this movie despite its only 80 minute running time.
  • 94. Laurel Canyon With the possible exception of maybe Meryl Streep, I am willing to give the best actress makig movies these days title to Frances McDormand. This movie is only one of the better proofs of this theory. It is not a great movie but Frances just absolutely shines as the record producer hedonist. The women simply rocks.
  • 95. The Recruit Latest movie formula exemplified by this movie; take a young hot shot actor (Colin Farrell) and team him up with a former young hot shot actor now turned grizzled veteran (Al Pacino) in a formula movie. Throw in some good looking woman and you at least have a movie that will rent big in the DVD market. I am not sayig it is a bad formula just predictable. This is weaker than the Redford Pitt Spy Games formula movie but not horrible.
  • 96. The Pianist A very good movie. The best Polanski movie in some time. Brody deserved the oscar as much as some others such as Caine and Nicholson.
  • 97. The Believer This is a movie that deserves more hype than it got. Ryan Gosling's performance was as good as Brody's. This is not meant to demean Brody. Gosling is that good. This is one of those movies that gets lost in the churn of modern day Hollywood where movies are made to fill cable programming and rental shelves but often overlooked by the viewing audience. You should stop at this one the next time you are looking for something different at the local video store.
  • 98. Skins Native Americans were screwed by the US government, we all know that. This movie does a nice job of showing the effects of those actions many geerations later. Not a great movie as it is derailed by a truly unbelievable ending but the lead performances are very strong and the pain and love of those two brothers are a pretty universal theme well represented here.
  • 99. Formula 51 Escapism wrapped in machismo dumbed down for a modern world. I have watched worse movies on this list but not many. Samuel L. Jackson was going for the paycheck here and it shows.
  • 100. Tully A real nice independent movie. Anson Mount is very good as the local lothario who doesn't really know what he wants from his younger brother best female friend. It is this inability of Tully to commit that rings the truest.
  • 101. Empire Boring. Probably this movie along with a few others is the reason I stopped watching so many movies.
  • 102. Spun Ditto but less so than empire.
  • 103. Tears of The Sun I liked this movie. Bruce Willis is very good in these roles. Nothing spectacular but at least a movie worth watching
  • 104. Me Without You Nice enough movie. But forgettable soon after watching
  • 105. Solaris A noble failure.
  • 106. Daredevil A waste of a lot of money.
  • 107. Basic This movie has the absolutely silliest ending to a movie I have ever seen. It is almost worth recommending for the pure audacity of the ending of this movie but don’t do it because you will be pissed at me for even suggesting a viewing
  • 108. Pipe Dream Plumbers need love and dreams too.
  • 109. Irreversible There is no reason for the gratuity of the rape scene in this movie besides the publicity garnered by the scandal. That is reason enough to skip this movie. If you want another. It is not a very good movie.
  • 110. Maelstrom A fascinating movie. Those northern neighbors of ours are doing some very good movies that no one really talks about. This one is told from the point of view of a fish who is about to be chopped up in cannery. And it is very serious movie.
  • 111. Welcome to Collinwood Not a bad remake. The original is funnier, but they usually are....
  • 112. XX/ XY A male fantasy gone awry themed movie. This one is the men sleeps with two women who approve of the arrangement fantasy. All I could think of was that beer commercial where the dorky guy is afraid to tell this model that he wants to date her roommate too. And she tells him to date both them. Now there is a male fantasy for you. Did you see that guy? He was pretty ugly....
  • 113. Super Troopers A harmless movie that I laughed at a few times. You could do worse at 2 in the morning channel surfing
  • 114. Hard Ball See What did I tell you. You could do a lot worse...
  • 115. Banger Sisters Ok now I am just piling on here with this point. What is even worse is Susan Saradon and Geoffrey Rush have prominent roles in this movie and Goldie Hawn plays the role of voice of reason. Sad, very sad...
  • 116. Treasure of Sierra Madre A great movie. Just watch it, if you haven’t seen it yet.
  • 117. Love Liza Weak scripts can be overcome by great acting. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates are great actors. You can not get a great movie with a bad script but if you are lucky enough to get some serious acting chops, you can get a good movie like this one.
  • 119. Bowling for Columbine The problem with many liberals is they open their mouth and diminish the message by grandstanding. This movie could have been more powerful with a little less Moore. Well at least a little less of Moore's publicity stunts. It is hard to separate the man from his message. Which is just sad.
  • 120. Mute Witness I watched this one because of a Listology recommendation. As usually is the case, I was not misled. A movie that overcomes its low budget self is always a pleasant surprise. This one is a good example.
  • 121. The Good Thief A nice remake of a very good movie. Nolte is very good and the movie keeps you involved.
  • 122. All The Real Girls Just a wonderful movie about real girls and real boys ad how they ca really hurt and really love. David Gordon Green is one of the better new filmmakers making movies these days.
  • 123. Poolhall Junkies It is not the Hustler but it still is a pretty good movie. if you like pool, you should like this movie
  • 124. Identity Ten Little Indians dumbed down for the new century. Interesting enough movie but you can probably figure it out long before the participants do.
  • 125. Levity Not a lot of levity found is this dour movie. The acting almost carries it to being good but it just cant get past it's mediocre script
  • 126. Raising Victor Vargas **1/2
  • 127. The Core ***
  • 128. Great Expectations ***1/2
  • 129. The Truth About Charlie *1/2
  • 130. Charade ***
  • 131. Hollywood Homicide *
  • 132. Russian Ark *1/2
  • 133. The Kid Stays in the Picture ***
  • 134. Down With Love **1/2
  • 135. The Matrix: Reloaded **
  • 136. The Safety of Objects ***1/2 Worth seeing
  • 137. Confidence ***
  • 138. Full Frontal *1/2
  • 139. Owning Mahoney ***
  • 140. Mystic River *** I liked the movie. I did not love it. Probably has somethig to do with my love of the book first or it could be that I hate people trying to do Boston accents. No one ever gets it right.
  • 141. The Killer Inside Me **1/2
  • 142. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle **
  • 143. 28 Days later ***
  • 144. The Hulk **
  • 145. Terminator 3: Judgement Day **
  • 146. The Italian Job **1/2
  • 147. Wrong Turn **
  • 148. High Heels and Low Lifes **
  • 149. Life and Times of David Gale **
  • 150. Bad Santa ***1/2
  • 151. Something's Gotta Give ***1/2
  • 152. Play Misty for Me ***
  • 153. Open Range **
  • 154. Once Upon a Time in Mexico **1/2
  • 155. WaydownTown **1/2
  • 156. The Bad and The Beautiful ***
  • 157. The Shield Season Two ***
  • 158. Lovely and Amazing ***
  • 159. The Experiment **1/2 I liked this movie but it just came across as too much a set up than reality. I would recommend people watch this movie because it is something different than the standard fare but I suspect your true enjoyment of the movie will depend on your ability to buy into the premise. If you take the giant leap of faith necessary, you will probably enjoy this movie. For me, it was just a little too big a slice of bullshit for me to heartedly recommend
  • 160. Bruce Almighty **
  • 161. Whale Rider **1/2
  • 162. X2-XMen United ****
  • 163. Thirteen ***
  • 164. Runaway Jury **
  • 165. Intolerable Cruelty **1/2 Another Coen brothers mediocre movie. You have to say the Coen brothers are becoming this generation's biggest tease. The beginning of their career held so much promise but they are now churning out so many mediocre movies it almost hurts. In a way they have taken reworking cliched movie formula into a cliched formula. They take a movie genre and try to give it "The Coen" touches. This one was the old screwball romantic comedies. You would be better off looking for any Cary Grant movie you can get your hands on.
  • 166. The Missing **
  • 167. The School of Rock ***
  • 168. Matchstick Men ***1/2 I am not a huge Nicholas Cage guy. The man can act but too often there is a smugness to his characters that often is not written into them. That must come from somewhere. However, in this movie, I think that tone of smugness works for him. Plus Sam Rockwell is always good.
  • 169. Movern Caller *1/2
  • 170. Mona Lisa's Smile *
  • 171. Pieces of April ***1/2
  • 172. Nicholas Nickleby ***
  • 173. 21 Grams ***
  • 174. Gothika ** Halle Berry in a silly Sixth Sense retread. Thank god Halle is so good looking or I might have trashed this movie even more.
  • 175. The Singing Detective ***1/2 What a wonderful movie. I hear the mini-series is 20 times better. I am awaitig the opportunity to view the series. Robert Downey is quite good in this movie and the premise captured and captivated me.
  • 176. Northfork *** A movie I would recommend for visuals only. The look of the movie is stunning. It's like someone took an Ansel Adams photograph, mixed it with an absurdist artist like Dali and the churned it through a film noir grater. The plot is slow and plodding but I can honestly say there are shots from ths movie i would not mind hanging on my wall.
  • 177. Matrix Revolutions **1/2 I was able to put aside the philosophic mumble jumble enough to be mildly entertained by this movie. Of course it could just be I was glad that it finally came to an end. The Matrix series was like having sex with a good looking woman who does not know how to make love. Lots of promise but eventually too much work for the reward.
  • 178. House of Sand and Fog ***
  • 179. The Magdalene Sisters ***1/2
  • 180. Kill Bill Volume 1 ** I was very disappointed with this movie. Tarantino has always favored style over substance but this was ridiculous. This is the first movie where I think Quentin lets his annoying "I am smarter than anyone" attitude win out over the quality of his story. The man has always come across as an asshole in interviews and now I think it showed through in this movie. A huge disappointment for me. Is it a better movie than Matrix Revolutions? Probably but since I expected so much more it gets the lower rating.
  • 181. Shattered Glass **1/2
  • 182. Comedien **
  • 183. Veronica Guerin ***
  • 184. Eye of God ***
  • 185. Love Actually ****
  • 186. Casa De Los Babys **1/2
  • 187. American Splendor **** Wow. What a movie. I had read reviews of this movie and the premise just left me bewildered and reluctant. Every review that I read tried to explain the premise and they all seemed a little different and murky but after viewing the movie I understand why. I am not sure I could properly explain it very well either but all I can say is once you watch it, it makes perfect if disjointed sense. I laughed out loud in many areas and in the end you just have to marvel at the human conditions ability to adapt.
  • 188. Elephant ** Now talk about two movies at the complete polar opposite of each other. American Splendor is about the ability of humans, no matter their predilections or conditions, finding a place in the world. Elephant is about mindless numbing violence for no apparent reason. I really did not like this movie but I am not sure that is not what he filmmaker wanted.
  • 189. The Last Samurai **1/2 it is not a horrible movie but the formula is so familiar I amused myself for most of the movie by guessing plot development well before they happened. This is definitely meant as an indictment of the script.
  • 190. Paycheck **1/2 Not horrible. Better than I expected. There are worse ways I have spent two hours. Ok these are not ringing endorsements but those were the three thoughts that popped into my head about this movie. Afleck, despite the media overexposure, can act. Aaron Eckhart is always good and Uma seems a little wasted in the girlfriend role though she does get to pull out some Kill Bill kicks near the end.
  • 191. Out of Time **1/2 Denzel is so likable you almost don't mind that this movie is pretty predicatable. Almost. If you have not see the Denzel Carl Franklin movie Devil in the Blue Dress yet, skip this one and get that movie. It is much better and it has a truly great Don Cheadle performance in it.
  • 192. The Cooler *** Despite a truly bizarre ending, I really liked this movie. Baldwin is good in the showy role and Macy is always good but the true find is Maria Belo. Her performance could have sunk this movie but instead the depth she brings to this cliched character connects everything together. A real nice movie.
  • 193. The Secret Life of Dentists **1/2 Young Mr. Scott looks like he might be able to give daddy a run for the money on an acting career. He is quite good in this near miss movie. Castinng Dennis Leary as your Id is a natural and Hope Davis is usually good. Somewhere though, this suburbia can be hell story just goes slightly wrong.
  • 194. Lord of The Ring: Return of the King ***1/2 Well done as usual but I would say this was my least favorite of the trilogy. I prefer the second one just slightly over the first one. I think the rushed feel of the ending and the annoyance of Frodo brings this one down just slightly.
  • 195. Stuck on You *** Its a Farrelly Brothers movie and though I really do think they need to venture out and try something a little different, their formula usually gets me laughing at some point.
  • 196. Behind The Red Door ***1/2 A great performance by Keifer Sutherland brings this drama to its greatness. Though its is a little jarring to see Jack Bauer as a effeminate gay man, it is a testament to his performance that you forget Jack Bauer pretty quickly. Kyra Sedgwick is also strong in this unraveling family secrets movie.
  • 197 Cary Grant: A Man Apart *** A nice documentary that unfortunately only skims the Cary Grant persona. My favorite line is supposedly quoted by Grant himself; I paraphrase "everyone wants to be Cary Grant, hell I would like to be him too...."
Author Comments: 

the ridiculous and I see the sublime on the imminent horizon. When does one man's wandering pontifications about inane subjects reach the point of irrelevance? This seems to be the question I am trying to answer

Ok, here is my goal with this series of lists which will grow as we go. It will be very similiar to many others on Listology who rate all movies they have recently watched. Since I never feel comfortable givng things rating, I am just going to try to give random thoughts and critiques.

I really do watch too many movies but insomnia is a huge benefit as it gives me the hours between 12 and 2 am to get in a movie a night.

As always please feel free to comment, condemn or console as you feel appropriate.

Ashley Judd is a study of how so many Hollywood actresses begin with promise and end up full of crap. She soared in Ruby in Paradise, nearly stole Smoke from Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, and Stockard Channing with a freakin' CAMEO for godssake, was fine in Heat, and, well, basically has sucked ever since 1995.

A shame, a crying shame...

Great list, here!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

"Damn I spend too much time watching Movies 5: Can't I ever just shut the Hell up!!"

Jeez, I hope not! :-)

What he said!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

No pressure, but I wouldn't be disappointed if you made it to "Damn I Watch Too Many Movies 20: I Figure I'm About A Tenth Of the Way Through This Series." :-)

Jim I am with you on this wish but my reasoning might be a little different. Even with my movie viewing pace, to get to twenty has to mean at least another 6 years. And if I am writing that I expect to reach 80 lists then I expect I have at least another 20 years of living. Sounds good to me.

Alas my lists at that time might be a very scary propistion. I already find myself veering off into obscurity on these comments. I hate to think about the reference points then.....

I'm psyched to see you liked The Bourne Identity. Based on the trailer and what I've read here and elsewhere, that's the already-released action movie I've been looking forward to the most (on the "not yet released" front I'm most looking forward to Hero and The Matrix Reloaded).

I'll take a shot at your Amy's O contest, although I'm going to make the formula bet. They fall in love (of course), and based on the title of the movie their love is based on no small part on fabulous sex. If that's not the answer then I'm going to feel deliberately misled. :-)

So did I safely defend my source code?

Hmm, well, Jim's answer sounds about right, and I was going to guess the formula ending as well. But he did it first, so I think I'll take it in a different direction, on the hopes that your contest was a trick question:

Amy is actually an alien from the planet Neptune in disguise, and the radio guy is undercover - he's really a secret agent from a very male-dominated country, sent to assassinate Amy for preaching feminism. When the agent discovers that Amy is an alien, he tries telling everyone about it and somehow winds up being elected the dictator of Utah. Meanwhile, Amy vaporizes everyone with a last name starting with the letter "R" and then starts her own fitness video collection. And then she has an orgasm.

Well, it was a shot in the dark, but I think that would make an entertaining movie. Am I right?

Close AJ, But I am afraid you will have to ask Lbangs directly for the autographed pic :)

Is this supposed to be a reward or a punishment?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Jim you have the first half of the movie correct but remember this is a traditional movie trying to hide in an independent film wrapper.

Hmm. So they fall in love despite the sex being lousy?

not really but it does get me wondering if there is any movies where the sex portrayed on screen is lousy? Maybe a Woody Allen Movie.

Did you ever notice how almost all sex as portrayed in Hollywood movies is fabolous. Makes me wonder why they do anything else besides boink each other.

Maybe someone should start a list of movies with lousy sex scenes....

I nominate Lizzie Borden's Working Girls for that list.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The fall in love, have acceptable sex, and Amy buys a dog and names it Orgasm? I'm starting to think the title is a red herring.

It is interesting to think of painting innovations as “technologies” in and of themselves… If we do that, recent changes seem more in line with historic shifts in technique, do they not?

I saw you posted on another list you probably won't get to comments on All or Nothing until 2004. I hope that's a joke, but if it's not I'd like to request Chicago and Yi Yi in 2003, if possible. Of those on your list, Chicago is the one I'm looking forward to the most that I haven't seen, and Yi Yi is the one that I've liked the most of those I have seen. Since I've only seen four movies of the 39 movies on this list, that's not saying much in itself, but I did like it quite a bit.

The way it is going 2004 might not be a joke and it might even be an optimistic outlook.... Not really of course. Just a lot of changes going on in my life. I need to let things settle down and figure away to fit everything back in again. If you notice even my movie viewing has slowed down to where I am watching only 2 or 3 movies a week. I am so ashamed.

Chicago is an ok movie bordering on a good one. It DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT, deserve to win the academy award. I am a sucker for musicals so it got some brownie points for helping revive that Genre. You notice I said help. I think Moulin Rougue deserves far more credit for getting it started.

I do not know what is more embarrasing about Richard Gere. His performance in this movie or his constant need for validation during the award process. He almost destroys the movie himself.

Catherine Zeta Jones is either a linebacker in high heels or a Transvetite's wet dream. I actually think both descriptions fit her performance but neither make her ideal for the most important role in the movie.

The best part of the movie is John C. Reilly. His performance of Mr. Cellophane is very, very good.

Yi Yi was a very good movie. It is one of those foreign movies that strike me as ironic, sad or amazing considering world events going on these days. It is one of those foreign movies that help remind and explain the true pervasiness of American culture. Even in communist China Suburbs exist.

Of course this movie as about a lot more than that simplistic definition. A wonderful film.

Thanks for obliging me on those two reviews! So glag you liked Yi Yi, and thank you for tempering my expectations of Chicago.

As long as you're obliging me, I don't suppose I could wheedle a Die Another Day review out of you? I'm definitely curious if Bond is out of his downward spiral. I'm not too optimistic, but a guy can hope.

I hope your life allows you to return to your normally voracious movie-watching pace soon! Two or three a week is my pace, and we can't have you going that slowly too. :-)

I'm glad to hear Sam Rockwell turns in a good performance in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. That guy is totally in the zone. I don't think I've seen anything less than a good performance out of him yet.

Even though I often slink away, crestfallen to find no new reviews, I still rush over here to see what's new every time this list updates. Shane! Come back, Shane!

Jim, I appreciate the guilt you are heaping on me here. :) Just kidding... Do not abadadon all hope. I have a plan.

My wife and I have our first scheduled trip to Russia in June to meet our new little girl! I will have lots of times on planes and waiting in courts and such and one of my goals is to try to get this list closer to being caught up. It is at least a plan I dont know how realistic it is but one can only hope....

Wow, that's great! June is right around the corner! When you say "first trip" does that mean you don't get to bring her home this time, and that there'll be a second trip?

Yup two trips. The second one is a 1-3 months later. How gut wrenching do you think that is going to be? The whole process is surreal. You can only rationalize it all by compartmentalizing it. Probably why I handle it better than my wife. Men are much better at this then women. Probably half the reason many women think men are jerks.

Argh! That sucks! In my somewhat limited travel experiences nobody tops the communist and former-communist countries for needless bureaucratic hoop-jumping. We couldn't get a visa to Mongolia without a ticket, and we couldn't get a ticket without a visa, would be one example.

I do know China is a one-trip affair when adopting, although I was relieved on your behalf recently when I read that China had suspended their adoption program due to SARS. So in a sense you could view it as lucky that you're adopting from Russia instead, where you have to go through meeting your child and then waiting for the follow-up trip, instead of getting indefinitely post-poned at the last minute. Probably small consolation on the 1-3 month interim, but it's something.

Anyway, probably too much rambling from me! Best of luck on your trip, and I hope your second trip comes in one month rather than three!

Good luck! How incredibly exciting!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Thanks. it is indeed exciting as well as very frightening. The whole Adoption process is convulted and awe inspring at the same time.

And, I'm sure, frustrating, very frustrating, at times.

I'm keeping fingers crossed for you and your wife.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Looking forward to your comments on Ran and Spirited Away! When are you leaving for Russia? I ask not because I'm looking forward to your reviews (although I am), but because I'm vicariously excited for you! Feel free to tell me to butt out any time.

Right now we are scheduled to leave on June 21st and return on the 28th. Of course everything is very tenuous when it comes to this process. No need to butt out. I appreciate the interest....

Possibly less than two weeks? Wow.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Welcome back! Please add Heaven and Reservoir Dogs to the list of movies I'd really like to hear your thoughts on!

Wow, I even enjoy your five-word comments!

I'm thrilled you dug Yi Yi.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Damn, how did I miss Winter Sleepers was a Tykwer movie?! I'll definitely have to check that one out. Glad to see you making progress on the backlog. While I prefer your longer reviews, I enjoy your soundbites quite a bit as well! I picked up four movies for my queue reading your latest additions. I can't quite bring myself to remove Die Another Day from my queue, but it really sounds like I should judging from your comments and others.

Thanks to you and Mr. Bangs,

I actually hope to go back and write some more stuff on a few of these films.But, I figured I better comment soon or completely forget about them all together.

Die Another Day is one of those movies if you saw the expanded trailer you saw most of the good parts. Berry is very nice to look at in her Ursula tribute scene. Bronson is good as Bond, The other girl Rosamund Pike is very hot. It should add up to an enjoyable Bond movie but somehow it just seems very tired.

And Thank you all for the good thoughts and wishes for my personal odyssey recently. Everything went as well as we could have expected. One giant hurdle cleared, one giant hurdle to go.

Always nice to see you return to this list, Sir Jgandcag! I felt the same way about The Ring, and while I still haven't caught the original, I am looking forward to that director's recent effort Dark Water.

I'm still not a Michael Mann fan though, and I preferred Red Dragon to Manhunter (it's been too long since I saw the latter to make that proclamation with 100% surety though).

Keep plugging away please! There are a bunch of movies between 58 and 98 that I'm looking forward to hearing more about.

Whoa, I think yours is the first non-glowing comment on Spirited Away I've ever seen. Not that you're not entitled, of course, but I thought it was one of the best animated movies I've seen.

Oh, update the numbers in my "keep plugging away please" comment above to "between 73 and 126." :-)

Have a safe, wonderful trip!

Jim, I was hoping to sneak that comment by without anyone noticing it. I just found it a little slow and there was something a little disconcerting about it. I was sick when I watched it so that could have seeped into my mindset.

Thanks for the good wishes. I am indeed on my way to Russia for the rest of the month of September. But when I get back we will have the most beautiful little girl to control the rest of our lives... (already have the overly proud parenting skills perfected)

I completely agree about Talk to Her. Definitely the best movie of last year. Do you have any plans to make a top ten for 2002? or 2001?...or any year? I'd LOVE to read it.

Hmmm. Top ten's are always tough for me but perhaps I will give it a try.

Yay! Welcome back (to this list, that is, I've already welcomed you back to Listology :-). Here's where I stand on your uncommented movies at the time of this writing (numbers 73-138):

I've seen Ran, Rabbit Proof Fence, Reservoir Dogs, Phone Booth, The Recruit, The Believer, Daredevil, Identity, and The Matrix: Reloaded and of course would be curious to hear your thoughts on those.

Of the others, is there anything you particularly recommend?

Of course, I could just wait, but there's no harm in asking, right?

Just a heads-up: I think you have an error in the Javascript/insomnia link.

Cool. You finally got to see Mute Witness! :-)

Yup saw Mute Witness. It was one of those B movies that was much better than it had any right being. Not a great movie but certainly entertaining enough. Plus the lead was actually pretty good.

I must say life has a way of being too coincendental even for my doubting beliefs. In the same write ups, I praise the filmmaker David Gordon Green and his tackling of Confederacy of Dunces and slam Wil Ferrell as an overrated buffoon.

I finally got my brain working enough to ask myself the salient question about Dunces which is of course who is playing Ignatius. None other than the buffoon himself Wil Ferrell. Now that is a really bad choice in my opinion and I must now eliminate the Confederacy of Dunces from my still unwritten Movies I am looking forward to list. Will Ferrell? What the Heck are they thinking?

More comments! We *LOVE* the comments!

Not that you don't have more important stuff to do, but...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Thanks for the oh-so-true note on Frances McDormand. I've been meaning to plug that hole in my "favorite actors" list for quite awhile.

Good reviews on the Kurosawa movies there. If you really want to see a bad AK movie, search for Sanshiro Sugata Part II. Part I was his debut directorial effort, and while that one is a pretty decent judo saga, the sequel is just laughable. The Most Beautiful and The Idiot aren't exactly masterpieces either, but have their moments.

"Probably this movie along with a few others is the reason I stopped watching so many movies."

Wow, I didn't know there was any reason beyond parenthood! So does this mean you're trying to watch fewer movies in general, or just fewer bad movies by being more selective?

Does the star system mean I should stop holding my breath for reviews? Can I request reviews of titles I'm particularly curious about? What do the stars translate to, roughly?

Of 60 movies, only two get 4 stars: X2, which I agree was great, and Love Actually, which I have yet to see but will definitely queue up. I almost rented Hollywood Homicide a couple times, but Ford's downhill slide has saved me to date, and your rating should keep me away for good. Russian Ark has been getting lots of good press, but now you have me wondering if I should de-queue it; should I? I take it Casa de los Babys was a particular disappointment, given your (well-placed) high regard for Sayles?

Oh, between you and bertie I had to check out The Core, which I enjoyed. Kinda the movie Armaggedon would have been had it not sucked. I'll review it in a bit, in my usual places.

If you have been holding your breath this long. You should be dead by now....

In an ideal world, I tell myself I am going to try writing about the most recent stuff and work my way back. of course in an ideal world I look like Mel Gibson and act like Bogart. Neither are remotely close to being reality.

My star system is much like the American political landscape. Everything is sort of in the middle. There should be about as many 4 stars as there are 1 stars. Sort of the Michael Moore and Pat Buchanan of ratings. Of course somewhere along the way we might get a 5 star (Like Casablanca) or even a 0 star (Like Forrest Gump).

I think Casa De Los babys is probably a good movie but it's subject matter's, international adoption, is just too personal for me to appreciate the objective treatment. It was not possible for me to seperate my own baggage and guilt on the subject.

If you want some reactions on movies fire away a list and I will try to oblige....

The last comment on the list was not directed at me, but I was wondering if I could just request your thoughts on two of the unreviewed movies whenver you get the time: "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and "The Matrix Revolutions." Thanks!

I'd like to hear your thoughts on these, two of which I've seen: The Experiment, Intolerable Cruelty, Matchstick Men, and The Singing Detective.

Thanks for the reviews! And I'm psyched to see reviews up for your three latest entries as well. It feels like you're back in force, especially with lines like these snuck in:

"In a way they have taken reworking cliched movie formula into a cliched formula."

"The Matrix series was like having sex with a good looking woman who does not know how to make love. Lots of promise but eventually too much work for the reward."

Great stuff. Hey, I finally saw The Swimmer. Loved it.

I feel exactly the same way about Return of the King. And I second your recommendation of Devil in a Blue Dress (and Don Cheadle's performance).