Movies Seen In 2006

  1. January

  2. Into the Blue (2005) John Stockwell [5+] An average thriller/suspense movie, that has fantastic scenery (yes I include Jessica Alba in that). Good popcorn/ date movie. (MG)
  3. The Cave (2005) BruceHunter [3+] A confusing, semi-scary movie that mistakes darkness, darkness in water, monsters in darkness, and more darkness for real scares. I get it - it is dark in caves. But here is a thought - you have to see it or least get a glimpse of it to be afraid. (MG)
  4. Dark Water (2005) Walter Salles [3] A big disappointment. A Japanese Remake with almost no scary moments. The ceiling is leaking dark water, the apartment upstairs is flooded with water, the water is dark, the water is flowing. If you have a fear of water, you will be terrified. Otherwise, Dark Water neither entertains or scares. (MG)
  5. Grizzly Man (2005) Werner Herzog [6+] The disturbing life of Timoty Treadwell is shown in all its glory by the great director Herzog. Treadwell's insanity is only matched by his obsessive love for bears (and foxes). Heartwarming, scary, painful are only a few of the words to discribe this movie. (MG)
  6. Cinderella Man (2005) Ron Howard [8] Ron Howard brings a powerful potrayal of Jim Braddock to the screen. Braddock, a depression era boxer, rises from rags to riches. Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger give fantastic performances. It sounds like Rocky, it plays out like Rocky, but somehow it is much better than the majority of movies. Can be a little corny - but in a good way. (MG)
  7. Transporter 2 (2005) Louis Leterrier [6] Pure in simple - Fast, furious, gun play, car chases, and martial arts.(MG)
  8. Spellbound (2002) Jeffery Blitz [7] A movie about the 1999 National spelling Bee screams boredom, but somehow, Spellbound will cature you. The competition, preperation, nerves, and geekness are captured thru the lives of several of the competitors. Young teenagers - much smarter than me - are driven by talent, self-motivation, and parents to seek the national prize. Just try to spell some of these words - I dare you. (NF)
  9. Red Eye (2005) Wes Craven [7+] Chilling suspense thriller by one of the masters of horror - Wes Craven. The previews leave many people to believe Red Eye is a horror movie. I guess it could be said it scares you but at a deeper level. The movie is basically three acts. The first act is all about two young beautiful people flirting, talking, and developing a small friendship. The second act, on the plane, steals the show. No spoilers - I will say this. The whole second scene is basically shot within a few square feet. No explosions, no star fleet - just two actors carrying the movie. The third act is to me personally the weakest, but overall Red Eye is fantastic. (NF)
  10. The Man (2005) Les Mayfield [6] Some good laughs. Jackson and Levy make a very funny odd couple. Great date movie. (MG)
  11. Lord Of War (2005) Andrew Niccol [8] Nicholas Cage plays a Russian immigrant that fights his way up the ladder of international gun trade. Thought provoking treatment of - Can you play with dirt without getting dirty. Cage tries to lead two lives, but it all finally caves in. A little preachy, but well worth the rental. (MG)
  12. Battlestar Gallatica Season 2.0 (2005) Michael Rymer [8] A groundbreaking television sci-fi series. Can be seen as stand alone but really need to get early parts of series to make sense. Totally character driven! Some effects but there are no green men, no pointed ears. Yes it is sci-fi, but not your Star Wars or Star Trek. Lost a little of its edge from last season, but still the very best TV sci-fi and maybe best TV overall. (NF) (TVDVD)
  13. Underworld: Evolution(2006) Len Wiseman [7-] It delivers what it promises. Is it a good movie - probably not. Does it have any socially redeemable aspect - no! Underworld promises blood, guns, vampires, Kim Beckinsale in black latex, and werewolves. In this - it is successful. (T)
  14. Here to Eternity (1953) Fred Zinneman [8] Heard so much about this movie - maybe my expectations were to high. Romance, army, heartbreak, war add up to a classic. If you have never seen an older movie - not a bad choice. (TCM)
  15. Brothers Grimm (2005) Jerry Gilliam [2] Yes a 2! This movie tries to be everything to everyone. Little bit of horror, dash of romance, big helping of fantasy, some comedy - what you get is confusion. Very disappointing. If you must rent it - don't blame me. (MG)
  16. Ride The High Country (1962) Sam Peckinpah [6+] Above average western - some good shootouts - Randolph Scott and a very young Mariette Hartley. (MG)
  17. Ox-Box Incident (1943) William A. Wellman [7+] A great moral play wrapped up in a western. The mood of the movie is dark, hurried, desperate. The plot revolves around murder, rustling, and possible lynchings. The majority vote at Ox-bow is a highlight, while the results of the vote are horrifying. Henry Fonda stars as a cowboy led by his convictions. Included in the 1001 Movies You Need To See Before You Die. (NF)
  18. Silence Becomes You (2005) Stephanie Sinclaire [3-] No - No - No! (MG)
  19. Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices (2005) Robert Greenwald [4+] Some excellent information - but can you blame Walmart for everything wrong in the world. This documentary tries. (NF)
  20. Serenity (2005) Joss Whedon [7] The movie version of the cancelled T.V. series Firefly plays well for fans of the series and/or Sci-fi fans. Big Brother is trying to groom everyone into "perfect" citizens - the result is choas and rebellion. There is a hidden secret, witty banter, gun/laser battles - your typical sci-fi shoot-em-up. Better than most - I liked it. But then again, I like almost all sci-fi. (NF)
  21. High Sierra (1941) Raoul Walsh [7] Humphrey Bogart plays a tough criminal with a soft heart. Typical role for Bogart - and he plays it with the usual flair. The story is a little sub-par but overall High Sierra offers an excellent time. One of the movies in the 1001 Movies You Need To See Before You Die. (O)
  22. My Darling Clementine (1946) John Ford [8+] John Ford treatment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Monument Valley substitutes for real Tombstone, while Henry Fonda plays Wyatt Earp. Elements of the historical story are here, but Ford plays a little loose with the story. Even with this, the movie is excellent entertainment. Fonda plays a confident and dangerous Earp, while Walter Brennan gives a unsettling performance as "Daddy" Clanton. The title might fool you - this is all western, and it is worth a rental or even purchase. (AMC)
  23. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) Hayao Miyazaki Anime [7+] From the Japenesse master of animation, Nausicca is an interesting and beautiful call for ecological responsibility. My favorite of Miyazaki's work- it is an excellent choice for any anime fan's library. {NF)
  24. Children of Heaven (1999) Majidi Majidi [6] An Iranian film centered around shoes. I know that sounds strange and boring - but it plays out to be a delightful film. My entire family -12 year old girl, 17 year old boy, my wife (who does not like movies as a rule) -were captivated by this "children's" film. The insights into Iranian culture make it worth the rental. (NF)
  25. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005) Judy Irving [5+] Tender protrayal of Mark Bittner tending to his wild parrots. A little on the "strange" side, but a well done, harmless documentary. (NF)
  26. February

  27. I Walked With A Zombie (1943) Jacques Tourneur [5] An average suspense/horror movie. Really tame for today's horror fan, but still interesting. (NF)
  28. Black Scorpion (1957) Edward Ludwig [5] In the same mindset as the movie Them. If you liked Them, you will enjoy this scorpion invasion. (NF)
  29. Roman Holiday (1953) William Wyler [7-] A chic mixture of light comedy, drama, and a romance. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn star in this movie classic. Hepburn is radiant as a princess wanting to just get away from her responsibilites. My wife loved it, while I found it entertaining but not as good as expected. (TCM)
  30. Flightplan (2005) Robert Schwertke [6] Jodie Foster is a powerhouse actress. The idea sounds really good. I could not wait until this movie came out. In reality, the movie plays perdictable. Very few suprises; in fact, I knew most of the answers before the movie was half way thru. Not bad - just very, very ordinary. (MG)
  31. Blade: Trinity (2004) David Goyer [4+] The law of sequels applies to this movie. The edge of the first two is lost and replaced with teenage banter. There are some good fight sequences, but they do not rescue this poor excuse for a horror/action movie. (PC)
  32. Doom (2005) Andrzei [4] Doom the movie is based upon a video game series of the same name. If you like the games, you might enjoy the movie. Otherwise, I would avoid this one. (MG)
  33. Ghost Shell 2 (2004) Mamouru Oshii Anime [5] Wonderful, strange, confusing, basically I just did not get it. You might want to try. (NF)
  34. Body Snatcher (1943) Robert Wise [5] Very basic, very average "scary" movie. (NF)
  35. Seventh Victim (1943) Mark Robson [6] More physocological and suspense than fear - better than most. (NF)
  36. Winchester 73 (1950) Anthony Mann [7] The story of the 1 in a thousand Winchester repeating rifle. Well told, lots of western action, and Jimmy Stewart in a tough man role - makes for some excellent Old West Viewing! (AMC)
  37. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit (2005) Steve Box [6+] Light family fun, some tame British humor, and cheeeeese Gromit. An excellent movie for all ages. (NF)
  38. Dail M for Murder (1954) Alfred Hitchcock [6+] Personally love Hitchcock, but this movie is really too easily solved. The relationships, as always in Hitchcock, are complex and very "British". Even rivals treat each other with civility - something most Americans would solve with a gun. Not bad, but he can do so much better. (TMC)
  39. Torn Curtain (1966) Alfred Hitchcock [6] Tries to be too hip - too 60's. Decent story - a small number of "Hitchcock" moments, but not enough. (TMC)
  40. Just Like Heaven (2005) Mark Waters [7] Remember I rate according to the genre not against each other. In other words, as a Romantic Comedy Just Like Heaven succeeds where most do not. I really like this movie because of Reese Witherspoon. Most people saw Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde and wrote her off as a serious actress - now with Walk the Line and an Oscar Nomination - things have changed. If you watch her and the movie closely, you will see the same talent. (MG)
  41. Tarnation (2004) Jonathan Caouette [2] Painful, confusing attempt to be stylish, insightful, strange and informative. (NF)
  42. The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman [8] A crusader has just returned to his homeland - just to face death. Death and the crusader play chess for the crusader's life. Fascinating, very unique, and thought provoking. (NF)
  43. The Corpse Bride (2005) Tim Burton [6] Anything that Burton touches will be creative and strange. This is true of this story. If you like Burton, you may find this enjoyable. Otherwise, you may find it too over the top. (MG)
  44. Philadelphia Story (1940) George Cukor [8+] Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart are three reasons to watch this movie. Story is complex, but the banter between Grant and Hepburn make it worth it. Had the potential to be a 9 or 10, but the full potential was not realized. (NF)\
  45. 8 1/2 (1963) Federico Fellini [?] I know this movie is suppose to be one of the greatest of all time. Simply put - I just did not get it. (NF)
  46. The Naked Spur (1953) Anthony Mann [7] Tough western. Jimmy Stewart plays a tortured soul looking for a bounty. Beautiful scenery, Indians, - you get it. An excellent movie all around (TCM)
  47. Rent (2005) Chris Columbus [6+] Anti-establihment, anti-"the man", anti-authority. Yes they are rebels, yes they go their own way, yes they are free. But, here is a though. Every action has a reaction. In life we call them consequences. Like it or not - everyone faces consequences. As for the music, these people can sing. Song after song hits the mark. Powerful, sad, and emotional. (NF)
  48. Singin' In The Rain (1952) Stanley Donen [8] Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds sing and dance thru one of the classics of all time. I watched Singin' right after Rent - yes back to back. Now that is a contrast. Where I loved Rent's music, Singin' in the Rain was a total package. (TCM)
  49. Wallace & Gromit: Three Short Adventures (2001) Nick Park [5] Enjoyable and harmless. (NF)
  50. The Apartment (1960) Billy Wilder [7+] Insightful, funny, and sad look at life. Jack Lemmon plays an average Joe, who has an apartment everyone wants to use. Shirley McLaine plays the woman everyone loves? Not a pretty reflection on marriage, but probably close to the truth. (NF)
  51. When A Stranger Calls (2005) Simon West [4] Nothing here that has not been done a dozen times. (O)
  52. March

  53. Walk The Line (2005) James Mangold [7+] A strong biodrama of Johnny Cash. As in Ray, the things you learn are often painful. Our idols are just flesh and bones. Reese Witherspoon plays June Carter - she even sings her own parts. Joaquin Phoenix plays the man in black. In my opinion, Walk the Line is a better movie than Ray; in fact, the acting is superior also. (MG)
  54. Saw 2 (2005) Darren Lynn Bousman [6+] Inventive and sickly horrifying. More background is given; therefore, you get a better understanding of who and why there is a Jigsaw. The shock of the original is hard to beat, but Saw 2 still delivers some awesome punches. How these movies escape a NC-17 rating I will never know. (MG)
  55. The Man From Laramie (1955) Anthony Mann [7] Another great western - yes there are bad westerns I just have not seen any lately. Jimmy Stewart looking for his brother's killer. Not as angry as The Naked Spur, but a movie full of drama and action. (PC)
  56. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) Stanley Doren [5] I realize many people love this musical - not me. (PC)
  57. Life of Mammals (4 discs) (2002) (NA) [6+] Not as good as Life of Birds, but David Attenborough narrates an informative, extensive documentary concerning Mammals. Counless animals and locations - not a bad choice to add to your nature library. (NF)
  58. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) John Huston [6] Gold and greed! Bogart plays a manic prospector - like him as a tough guy much better. (NF)
  59. The Paradine Case (19470 Alfred Hitchcock [5] Not a typical "Hitchcock". Relationships are complex - a few twists, but the ending does not deliver the goods. Gregory Peck stars. (PC)
  60. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Alfred Hitchcock [6+] Great tension between characters. A mysterious Uncle and his brave and challenging niece face off in a delightful and unsetteling account told by Hitchcock. Very few suprises but well played by everyone. (TCM)
  61. House of 9 (2005) Steven Monroe [5} Saw lite! Same basic idea, not bad - not real good! For those who love this new genre, it is passable. (MG)
  62. Red River (1948) Howard Hawks [7+] Unchararistic John Wayne western! Wayne plays a strange mixture of villian/hero. Montgomery Cliff plays his son/gunslinger. Cattle Drive, indians, shoot-outs, and a chuck wagon. What else could a self-respecting western fan ask for? (NF)
Author Comments: 

Movies are rated based upon category (type of Movie). Underworld is rated in comparison to other movies similar to it - not Casablanca.

Codes: (T)- Theater, (NF)- Netflix, (BBO) - Blockbuster Online, (Own) - self purchase, (MG) - Movie Gallery Store, (BB) - Blockbuster Store, (PPV) - pay per view, (PC) - HBO, Showtime, etc., (AMC) - America Movie Channel, (TCM)- Turner Classic Movies, (TVDVD) - Television viewed on DVD [Regular Television will not be included - only shows seen on DVD]& only listed after viewing entire season, (O) - other.

Ratings: 1 being horrible - 10 being perfect. + and - added just as in report cards. It is difficult in my mind to be a 1 or 2 movie, just as it is difficult to be a 9 and impossible to be a 10.

I'm willing to bet that the Wal-Mart documentary is probably banned in Wal-Mart. Yet they'll sell super adult animes as long as it doesn't have sex in them.

I've never seen it there. Wal-mart is the best and worse of American capitalism. This documentary gives you most of the bad.

You and I seem to agree on a lot of movies so long as they're completely apolitical (our disagreements seem to be on "Wal-Mart" and "Rent" - both of which I gave 8-s).

One thing to understand about Greenwald is he's much like Michael Moore. He makes documentaries for shock value. Unlike Moore, however, he tends to use interviews as opposed to supplying his own commentary. Being as I agree with him more politically I tend to appreciate him but I can see how many wouldn't.

"Brothers Grimm" was one of the worst pieces of crap I've ever seen and I wish I had read your list before I watched it. Of course I watched it last year so that wasn't possible. But let me just say that I second your warning!

I struggled with rating Rent. I totally loved the music, yet I struggled with the life with no rules attitudes. Maybe what I was doing in my rating was a not so subtle protest against the values; even so, Rent's music has to be the best in the last 20-30 years.
The Wal-Mart documentary troubled me because little was produced in their defense. I realize Wal-Mart has major problems - labor issues, supply from 3rd world children staffed factories, etc., yet he could have brought a little more balance.

Actually the life with no rules bothered me slightly too. I actually found myself saying, "this is the liberal Hollywood the right is always complaining about more than a movie like 'Brokeback Mountain'" or whatnot.

Have you seen "Reefer Madness: The Musical"? That's actually my favorite music of the past 20-30 years. Followed closely by "Hedwig & The Angry Inch." Though "Rent" is definitely top five!

I also agree on "Wal-Mart" though I am so against that store and its policies across the board that it didn't effect me. But it was definitely a pretty simple laundry list. It's really tough to find many people to defend Wal-Mart because the best most people can do is: "well, their practices suck but that's the free market and they are just doing what they need to do."

I have not seen the other musicals you named.
As for the other parts of your reply, I would agree.