Review: The Incredibles

What Monsters, Inc. did for monster movies and creatures in the closet, The Incredibles does even more for comic book heroes and James Bond flicks.   [Read more...]

Review: The Grudge

Ok. Before I start this let me just tell you that, like Joe, I hate horror films. Maybe I've seen too many movies, maybe I just don't scare easily, but I have not seen a horror film since Alien that has scared me in the least. I rarely jump in a theater, and most of the time I end up yawning and drifting off as the movie's shallow bunch of characters make stupid and unrealistic choices.

Rating: 0.0001 out of 5

As example, a typical horror film scene: You're in someone else's dark, creepy house. You're alone, and you hear strange noises coming from upstairs. You go to investigate but find no one around. (Did I mention, this is not your house?) So you decide, after snooping around for awhile, that there is no one in any of the rooms. But, of course you can't stop there, go back downstairs and leave this mystery to the owner of the place. Instead, you are going to whip out your Zippo and take a peek up in the attic that you have to get to by crawling into a creepy closet while standing on a shaky box. (Not your house, did I mention this before?) Oh, and lest we forget, the whole while you are ransacking this person's domicile, you are seeing and hearing strange noises and dark apparitions. What a shock when the moment you stick your head up in the attic, something bad happens.

Who in their right mind would do this in real life? The answer is No One, and thus is the reason why I hate horror films. They are not scary and they are normally written with the assumption that the audience has no brains. It's insulting, and I normally leave them in a foul mood.

So? needless to say, when I decided to go see The Grudge I was not expecting much. Sarah Michelle Gellar-Prinze is the featured star, and since I am a huge Buffy fan I figured a nice shower scene or some other titillating shot would be worth my sitting through a two hour yawn-fest. No such luck, this movie was rated PG-13. So I then saw that Sam Rami directed it. I thought, ?Maybe this will make the movie bearable,? No such luck there either. This movie is a train wreck of bad writing, horrible characters, and unconvincing plot points. It is confusing, and completely transparent in its delivery.

Sarah is our main character. She is living in Japan and working for some company that takes care of old people, having something to do with school. (It's never really explained, you don't care) The story revolves around an old woman that is mostly catatonic and barely functioning - enter a young girl who plays out the afore mentioned horror film scene above - and our stage is set. A typical ghost story, set in a creepy house, people getting killed by making stupid choices and refusing to enlist the help of anyone for fear they will be considered crazy. I would tell you the details of this film, but it would be a waste of your time. Take every movie made in the last 4 years and you have it. Take the evil ghost and its basic story from The Ring, add the sound track from Fear.com, shake in a bit of plot from just about every other film made, and you've got The Grudge. And good luck trying to follow what is going on in this movie. The individual stories jump back and forth from character to character and even backward and forward in time. If you go, be sure to bring something to write with so you can take notes. You'll need it to understand the final explanation as to why all this is happening. Hint: it has to do with the fact that they are in Japan, and that the Japanese believe that when someone dies in a bad way, the house becomes bad. (Or something like that, I didn't have a pen!) 'Course, that is only because it is in Japan. If this was anywhere else... who knows.

I left this movie wondering who would watch this film, then it dawned on me that this movie was not made for you and me. If you are a teenage girl, this movie will scare the pants off you, and if you are a teenage boy, make sure you take your girlfriend to see it. As for the rest of us, wait for it to come out on DVD, then rent Ernest, Scared Stupid instead. You'll get more out of it in the end.   [Read more...]

The Final Cut

Lately, Robin Williams has turned his skills to art movies. Now these films are not getting huge reviews, but they are beautiful to watch. One Hour Photo was simply brilliant in its use of color (or lack thereof) to show the life and inner feelings of a strange, quiet, and creepy photo shop technician. Robin's latest contribution to this type of film is no less dramatic. The Final Cut is a movie that many will hate, but it is a brilliant film that works on many levels nonetheless.   [Read more...]

Review: Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

They came.

They saw.

They kicked ass!

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars reunites the three-peat Saturn award-winning cast and crew, answers the demands of Scapers everywhere, and raises the bar for the SciFi Channel   [Read more...]

Team America

If you don't understand that Matt Stone and Trey Parker are true masters in what they do, then you may not agree with this review. Because in my opinion, Team America, World Police - the latest offering by the South Park crew - has hit one out of the park.   [Read more...]

Review: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

The summer began with Van Helsing returning to the days of the creature feature and the Hammer House horror films. It ends with a return to the days of mechanized monsters and Saturday afternoon serials.

Move over Indiana Jones. Make room for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

RATING: 5 out of 5

Okay, let me start this review by saying that everything I said early in the summer about Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow being a stinker I take back. I'm not only choking on my ill-chosen words?I'm dry-heaving on them.

In my defense, it had all the makings of a lemon. First, there was the title. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? You've got to be kidding! Have we completely run out of original ideas that now we are recycling cheap serials and dressing them up in over-the-top special effects? Then there was the Jude Law factor. Jude Law was one of those actors I put in the same class as David Spade and Matthew McConnehey. How do these guys get work? I've described Law as a human brake in all the other films I've seen him in. He just bores the hell out of me, and he was the lead guy. Well, that gives me another reason not to see this film. The trailer looked slick, and that was a warning as well. Sometimes, when teasers and trailers look too cool, that's a warning to me. But the big red flag for me was its release date?being pushed back from early summer to mid-summer to September.

Ouch.

Still, there was that morbid curiosity about a movie carrying a title like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and not blinking an eye at that. It was when I heard its director, Kerry Conran, was a raging Mac geek and he hard-wired all his G4s and G5s and created sets for this flick. Apparently three-quarters of this film was all shot in a blue screen setting, the sets and setting computer generated in order to give the film an "old-fashioned" look. Allright, I was hooked. I was now curious about this odd film that had everything going against it.

Maybe I'm a sucker for the art deco. Maybe I've got a thing for the cliffhanger serials with their impossible escapes from impending doom. Maybe I'm a pushover for a tough chick in an eyepatch. Whatever the case?I loved every minute of it!

So let me take you back to 1939, but this is a world where Hitler never came into power. Oh sure, there was a World War I, insinuating there was another World War earlier but there is no Third Reich?although there is a third zeppelin bearing the name Hindenburg. There is a Radio City Music Hall, and they're even showing The Wizard of Oz, but there's no organized air force or national army. Instead, the world relies on a mercenary flying squadron under the command of Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan. Since the Bat Signal was out for repairs, Cap gets the call that downtown Gotham is under attack by giant robots. So turning his tricked-up P40 Tomahawk towards the city, Sky Captain takes on these lumbering leviathans and saves the city.

Of course, he couldn't help but think, ?That was too easy.? He was right.

A second wave of robots?this time, winged hawks that are a lot faster and nastier than the first group?take on Sky Captain, his base, and the entire city. He finds his base in shambles, his gadget expert and head mechanic Dex Dearborn kidnapped, and a clue pointing the way to Nepal.

Now, you would think this rescue would be a piece of cake for our bomber jacket-wearing hero, but he's got company on this little adventure: ace-reporter and all-around-pain-in-the-tail-rudder Polly Perkins (Gwenyth Paltrow playing Lois Lane better than Terri Hatcher and Margot Kidder put together!). She's along for a ride in the sky as she's tracking a story involving disappearing German scientists who are all running from the Dr. Totenkopf (played by Sir Laurence Olivier), an evil renegade scientist who's carrying out his plans to create the perfect world.

Yes, I said, "played by Sir Laurence Oliver." You have got to see it to believe it.

Not seeing Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on the big screen would truly be a missed experience. As I mentioned earlier, writer and director Kerry Conran set out to create something very familiar but also something quite different. If anyone remembers the somewhat forgettable Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty wanted to capture the feel of a comic book so he shot everything using only primary colors. Nice idea, Warren, but something was missing from the effort. (Maybe if he hadn't been playing ?Hide the Baloney in Breathless Mahoney? with Madonna, he would have made a better picture.) Conran, however, captured not only a comic book look with his Macintosh-created sets, but he also captured the feel of the Saturday morning serials using just enough shadow and soft-focus to give Sky Captain a ?Neo Film Noir? atmosphere. There was also some terrific touches such as the robots' death rays sounding remarkably like the Martian's death rays from Geroge Pal's War of the Worlds, and how Conran would use a halo effect around notes, newspapers, and maps to emphasize what our heroes were cluing in on. You can help but smile at how world-wide travel or emergency signals broadcast across the country is depicted. Pure fun and romance there?

And this film has, in my opinion, one of the funniest last lines for a movie!

If you happen to miss Sky Captain? on the big screen, no need to worry? the film will still work on the small screen on account of its charm, sense of fun, and cinema cliffhanger approach to things. On the big screen, however, you truly appreciate how innovative and to what lengths Conran went to in creating this old-fashioned comic book romp.

And I would be amiss if I didn't mention another outstanding highlight of this film?Angelina Jolie who outdoes her Lara Croft performances and redefines ?cool? in her role as Francesca ?Frankie? Cook, captain of the British Amphibian Manta Squadron. Jolie is so ultra-hot in this flick that she proves beyond the shadow of a doubt you can make an eyepatch sexy!

As passionate as I was over Hugh Jackman and his monster mash Van Helsing, I am equally enthusiastic (if not more so) over Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, an unexpected September surprise. And in a strange way, we have come full circle in our 2004 summer onslaught of movies! Sky Captain ends the season in the same vein that Van Helsing started it: nostalgically looking back to films of yesteryear (in this case, those terrific pulp Science Fiction-Adventure?) and recapturing their magic!   [Read more...]

Review: "Ella Enchanted" - The Movie

Have you read the Ella Enchanted book review yet? If not, you can check it out here.

Some movies I find quite easy to review. Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope is a great movie. Star Wars Episode I, The Phantom Menace, not so much.

There is one type of movie that I believe defies reviews, and that is the goofy comedy. I honestly believe that these are movies that you either like or don't, and to hell with logic.   [Read more...]

Code 46

Before I get too far into this review, I need to make a few statements:

1) It is impossible to review an indy flick without giving massive spoilers away
2) I'm a sucker for indy films

As long as you understand the ramifications of both of those points, read on.   [Read more...]

Review: AVP: Alien vs. Predator

I don't believe I'm about to do this...

RATING: 5 out of 5

Surprised? So was I. So was I.   [Read more...]

Review: Collateral

Keep in mind...this isn't a Tom Cruise film but a film by Michael Mann, and that means your attention is going to be kept on the screen from beginning to end. With incredible performances, a slick look, and just enough of an edge to leave a mark on you, Collateral is a film worth the time and the ticket price.   [Read more...]

Review: The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy sports the tagline "They should have left him alone." And after seeing this sequel, I kinda wished that, too.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5   [Read more...]

Review: The Bourne Identity

The new Die Hard of cable and satellite as you just can't turn it off when it comes on, The Bourne Identity is just one butt-awesome and ultra-cool flick!!!

RATING: 5 out of 5

Now why, oh why, is Tee reviewing a film that is over two years old?

Keep reading and you'll understand the method behind the madness...   [Read more...]

Review: Spider-Man 2

Simply put: This is the greatest comic-book film ever made. Spider-Man 2 leaves the original in the dust, raising the bar for the comic book film and delivering on so many levels.

RATING: 5 out of 5   [Read more...]

Review: Catwoman

You know, films like Spiderman and Superman make me wonder why there aren't more superhero movies. Of course, films like Daredevil and The Hulk make me wonder why some don't just go straight to video. But then roles in the occasional rarity in the market, films like Catwoman.

The best way to enjoy Catwoman in the theater this summer is by buying the largest soft drink container they sell at the concession stand and slamming the entire contents before the title slides start. That way, you are likely to spend more time in the toilet than in your seat. Trust me. The view from the commode is better than in the theater.   [Read more...]

Review: I, Robot

First of all, just to get it out of the way, I haven't read the stories. As a card carrying geek, I hang my head in shame.

I have every belief that if I had indeed read Asimov's work, I'd spill hatred and bile into the review, wondering how anyone could make such crap from such wonderful source material.

But, since I haven't, I must judge the movie on it's own merits. Based on that restriction, I think the movie is a cookie cutter action flick... that I enjoyed watching a lot.   [Read more...]

Review: King Arthur

It's not your father's Knights of the Round Table. Director Antoine Fuqua and producer Jerry Bruckheimer decide to re-tell the legend of King Arthur, but their quest falls short...   [Read more...]