Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday In Handcuffs

I'd never heard of it, easy since it was made for TV. If you are a Sabrina The Teenage Witch fan, you'll enjoy this silly little movie.

It's advertised as part of the 25 days of Christmas selection. These are usually pretty stupid and this is no exception, but with this movie, the stupidity works!

Some of the "racey" jokes are too stupid, and too "objectionable" to really be comfortable, so this really isn't suitable for family viewing. June Lockhardt (Timmy's mom on Lassie) is really good, why did they give her those embarrassing lines?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dean Spanley

Sometimes we stumble upon a movie that we know nothing of and find that we have discovered gold!

This little gem is one of those. Just a great period piece, very Victorian, very English and very thought provoking. When it was over, Jeanne and I both said, "Huh!" not a question but an exclaimation of satisfaction. We had both been held, mesmerized for the lenth of the video which we viewed by streaming on Netflix.

This is not an action blockbuster, but a quiet, elegant, thought provoking piece of entertainment.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pirates OTC: On Stranger Tides

You might think that the franchise would have run out of steam bu now, but the portrayal by Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, is just as fresh in the film as in any of the others.

I've watched the beginning several times and been impressed by the production values and the imagination of those doing set dressing and set creation. The movie is just a treat!

So...if you've enjoyed the others, this is sure to please!

As I watched with the audio track for sight impaired on they said those were mermaids jumping in the water by the Disney logo. I'll have to go back and check cause they looked like dolphins to me, maybe it's time for a new screen!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! This would be a great after dinner Thanksgiving choice!

Friday, November 18, 2011


We saw it and liked it. We viewed it on Netflix streaming. It's really a slow moving, yet interesting groupinf of scenes as babies from diferent cultures are born and grow to just beyond one year of age. What's refreshing is the way it was edited. We went chronologically through the babies lives without being repetitive. They selected the best examples of any bit of development and din't force us to see every thing that happened.

Then, our daughter came over and mentioned that she wanted to see it and went viewed it again, one day later. It was still good and we had lots of commentary because we'd seen it before.

This is not an action flick, so if you've got a short attention span, it might not be for you, but Jeanne and I enjoyed it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Netflix has a three disk collection and I just watched the extra "making of" feature that is continued across all three disks. The thing that makes this such an impressive and worthwhile movie is that all the effects were done before CGI. They had to come up with film methods and models to create each part of the film. This is such an achievement!

I really enjoyed the features on this set of DVD's and if you're a film buff, you'll enjoy it too!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Released in 2000, this may be my favorite work that M. Night Shyamalan has created.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bedtime Stories

Released in 2008, it's time to watch this one again! The other day, Jeanne said, "I don't think I ever saw this one," so we had to give it a viewing. She did think that one or two parts were familiar, but she couldn't remember them. I also had the same reaction, although I remembered many parts, it's been long enough that it was a treat!

Narrated by Johnathan Pryce (I remember him from "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Brazil") the film is a wonderfully imaginative voyage into the world of some childrens imaginations. Mixed in are truly funny situations when bedtime stories become real in the life of Skeeter (Adam Sandler).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grey's Anatomy Season 7 and Netflix

Okay, we got rid of satellite last year toward the end of season seven of Grey's anatomy and watched the first episode of the current season on Hulu. We were confused, we figured we'd missed the last episode, but it turns out that we missed five and that was too much to really know what was going on.

Fortunately, Netflix had those episode and we were able to watch them.

The other day I got the email about how they are chopping Netflix in half and renaming the DVD part. Now I know a lot of subscribers are angry and upset with these clowns, I'm just confused. I'm wondering what my plan should be. Go back to the DVR, record stuff and bail on Netflix? Join Hulu Premium? Keep both services? Get rid of both? I just don't want to pay so much for entertainment that isn't all that entertaining!

Friday, October 7, 2011


You can't buy it on DVD formatted for the US, but you can watch the first 6 episodes on HULU. Jeanne and I find it to be a very interesting and engaging comedy/drama about folks who work in a kitchen at a medium level resort in the UK. The head chef, Roland, is a man who has been passed over as one of the greats, so his career is somewhat in decline. Add in a strange owner, a quirky staff and an over wrought manager and you get a mix of delightful characters who make this very entertaining. If you like BBC dramas, you'll find this series a treat.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Cold Day In Hell

Ick! This is a terrible movie. I'm writing this to warn you off. Don't bother renting this boring movie. It takes boring to a whole new level. There's only one thing worse than a badly written, slow moving movie and that's a badly written, slow moving movie with bad acting! And has this movie got bad acting. The opening scene happens inside a store which isn't believable at all. A trio on men walk in...there's no dialog...they stand around looking at stuff..another guy walks in. So the bad guys threaten to kill the store keep and the stranger kills them. Talk about bad! I've seen high school student videos that were better and more entertaining. And everybody in the film is fat! They must have been casting at a couch potato bad acting by fat guys! Hey, I'm not skinny, but but me up next to this bunch and I'll look much better! Really one of the worst movies I'm seen in recent memory.

Maybe you should watch it so you can appreciate a pretty good movie again!

Bad western, set in the old west. Long shots made everything look slow. The train looked slow, the "action" looked slow, even the train looked slow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Galaxy Quest

It's a little surprising that this movie was made nearly 12 years ago. Just a funny, really funny parody of the phenomenon that happened to to actors that starred in "Star Trek."

But, what if REAL aliens contacted the washed up actors? I love this show! Tim Allen as the glory hound that believes in helping the aliens and going on the adventure. Allen Rickman is hilarious as the embittered Spock character and Sigourney Weaver is the communications expert who repeats everything the computer has just said.

"The Office" fans will recognize Raiin Wilson in a minor alien role.
Brandon Long is the head of the geeks who work to save the actors, you'll recognize him from Apple vs Mac commercials.

This is really clever while being FUN science fiction!
Time to revisit this great comedy.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Almost Famous

I don't often recommend "R" rated movies. But I recently watched "Almost Famous" for a second look and the film is still very good.

Cameron Crowe (who directed the film) took home the academy award for best screen play. The film came out in 2000 and marked one of the first memorable appearances of Kate Hudson in film.

The film is a fairly realistic portrayal of a kid who wants to write about rock and roll and finds an opportunity. It's loosely based on actual experiences of Cameron Crowe and so has an edginess that earned it it's R rating. By today's standards the number of "F" words would still put it over the P-13 rating, but it would be a very soft R.

I found the entertainment value of the film to be worth the small amount of bad language and I would recommend it for a second (or first) look.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New York Doll

You can rent this on Netflix. I liked it. It wasn't as engaging as many biographical films I've seen, but the story of a rock star who has hit rock bottom and joined the Mormon church is pretty unique.

I probably liked the documentary more than most folks because David Johansen, lead singer of the Dolls, plays an important role in one of my favorite movies. You'll remember him as the "Ghost Of Christmas Past" in "Scrooged". I remember him as "Looney," the goofy sidekick of Richard Dryfus in the movie "Let It Ride." You used to be able to rent it on netflix, but someone must have broken the last copy and they don't know when it'll be available again.

Towards the end of the documentary, David Johansen sings "A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief." This is an unexpected moment. one that brought tears to my eyes.

I don't expect others to appreciate this flick as much as I do, but to me, it was pretty enjoyable. Nominated for the 2005 Grand Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival, the film has impeccable credentials.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The IT Crowd

Occasionally crude, this British sitcom by the same producers that created the British version of "The Office" is quite clever.

The show is populated with 2 extreme geeks and a manager who knows little or nothing about computers.

Episode one opens with Jen getting the job and the boss telling her she would be working in the IT department because of her knowledge of computers. "You did say you have experience with computers, didn't you."
"Oh sure, I have experience receiving emails and ah..opening emails and ah..closing emails and ah..deleting emails..

You expect it to be a goofy sort of comedy, and it takes a couple of episodes to really get invested with these characters, but from the start, it's a clever, engaging comedy. I've been watching it on Netflix streaming and even Jeanne enjoys it! A little crass at times, there are some moments that are laugh out loud funny!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ben Hur - 1959

Filmed in 1959, Ben Hur was a hit when it was made. Not many films in those days were produced for such a large sum. It cost $15 million, a huge amount then and the film took 11 academy awards.

I've seen it before and watched it again recently. Nearly Four hours on 2 discs from Netflix. This is a movie that requires a real commitment, but it stands up so well that the time just flies.

They used to show this film every year at Easter time, but with easier methods of getting your favorite movies, they don't seem to show repeats as often. Remember the old days when Wizard Of Oz was shown each year?

If you haven't seen Ben Hur, or haven't seen it for a long time, it's worth seeing it again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wild Target

This is a surprising little comedy. It's avilable on both watch instantly and DVD rental on Netflix. The situation is quite funny, a hit man sent to kill a con artist and Rupurt Grint (Ron Weasley in Harry Potter Movies) gets scooped up in the drama.

This isn't going to have to laughing out loud, but you may find it amusing, I did.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Captain America

I'm crossing over with this review because I am creating a stained glass Captain America shield for the couples art show in December that we're in.

But the movie! Very good! I didn't read the Avengers very often when I was a kid and Cap seemed to be a guest story in large comic books occasionally. So I was exposed to him as a reader, but not immersed in the story.

I really enjoyed the story line. After the movie, my son, Christopher and I had a conversation about movies in general. He overheard some youths talking about an action type movie and they were complaining that it spent too much time on the story and not getting to the action. We are both appalled at that attitude, since we've both been to "nothing but action" movies and they were horrible! The story line is what makes the action worthwhile, it's what makes us invested in the character, what makes us care if he suceeds or not.

We are both happy to report that the Captain America movie has a great story line. Chris Evans is made to look so wimpy in the beginning, you can't help but love the guy! And you can't have a great hero without a great villian, enter Hugo Weaving (agent smith from the Matrix), just a great actor! Tommy Lee Jones is a surprising character that is supurbly cast.

What the heck, just go see the movie, you'll find it worth your time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Source Code

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan
Here's a science fiction movie that one of the actors describes as being a cross between Ground Hog Day and Speed and De'ja vu on a train.

It's very good, very entertaining, and could easily be ruined by hearing too much about it.

You should see it as soon as you can before someone ruins it for you.

You may recognize Jake Gyllenhaal from "Moonlight Mile" or "The Prince Of Persia". The director, Duncan Jones also directed "Moon", which was a selected film at the Sundance Film Festival.

This is one of those movies that has something for everyone, it's sf, but Jeanne even got engaged in it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adjustment Bureau

I waited till it came out on home video, but I've been excited to see this movie since it was announced. The short story by Phillip K Dick, who has brought so many great scifi stories to us is superb.

Just great, pure fantasy.

I highly recommend it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I heard from several people that Rango was pretty good. "It has Johnny Depp as the voice of Rango." That was the only concrete statement about the movie. I had seen previews and it looked mildly interesting, so I didn't have high expectations, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Right off, it was very quirky and the animation was excellent, but then it just went on and on. I felt no real connection to any of the characters. None of them really stood out, so it was a one character drama that didn't work. Halfway through, there was a moment that Jeanne and I looked at each other and admitted we were pretty bored by it and yet we endured that last hour. Pain and suffering. Just a stupid movie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paint Your Wagon

If the movies you like say something about your psyche, then this movie must say a lot about me because I just love it! When Lee Marvin sings, "I was born under a wandering star," in that deep, gravelly voice, I just thrill!
"By Gum, they're Mormons!"
"Whats A Mormons?"
makes me laugh everytime I hear it.

There's just something stupidly madcap funny about this lowlife, decrepit musical.

Netflix has got it and Amazon has it for a great price. No reason to miss it.

"Got a dream boy, got a song, paint your wagon and come along!"
"Where am I goin' I don't know, when will I get there, I ain't certain, all that I know is I am on my way."

I like to have this one playing in the background for company once in awhile. You can watch it with little or no attention and enjoy the music and the adventure.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Dilemma

The Dilemma should have been a great movie. Ron Howard directed, Vince Vaughan and Kevin James are excellent comedy actors. There were moments that were pretty funny and yet after it was over, Jeanne and I both thought it was worth watching, but we won't need to see it again.
So what went wrong? Maybe it was the subject matter, which tended to be rather serious and wasn't handled in a slapstick was somewhat, but there were many instances where they played for the one laugh when there should be been much more. When Vince had the plant problem, they gave you a couple of laughs, but the problem cleared up way too soon and wasn't played for the comedy.

Queen Latifa was completely wasted in this movie. Was she the token black person? She was given some stupid embarrassing lines and that was all! Her character was a waste of space and should have been a great comedy element.

In fact, that's what was wrong, this was a comedy that was played too seriously or else it was a drama played for laughs, it just didn't do either as well as expected. There just wasn't that heart warming feeling that we expect from great films. The ending hockey scene was meant to be great finale, but it seemed forced.

Ron Howard just phoned this one in. No one took the time to tweak the script. Someone should have stood back and this funny? Sadly, it wasn't.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

School Of Life

This movie came out in 2005 and I'd never heard of it till I stumbled onto it on Netflix. What I liked about this comedy is that they didn't go for stupid, easy laughs that so many comedies go for. They played it straight, let it be funny without going for stereo types too much. It's a great story about a teacher who has been overshadowed by his father (John Astin) for years and now he gets his turn to shine. But the new teacher is pretty spectacular.

This was worth watching twice and it's just that good. Jeanne and I were both inspired by it and it may belong on my list of favorites.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Note

I found this movie advertised on some other DVD and it looked intriguing, so I ordered it from Netflix. Some movies that teach positive values are a little sappy. This one seemed to avoid that problem. There were many times when the opportunity was there for juvenile behavior and bad acting that takes place in the sappy shows, and they didn't lower their standards, the actors, director and editors kept the movie a good solid story. Maybe it's because it was based on a book, so the author kept it steady. Whatever the reason, this is a good solid piece of entertainment!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Netflix and the video streaming

I don't have any of the cool video equipment that will stream netflix to my TV so if I want to watch a movie on netflix, it's at my computer. Mostly I find it a way to verify that I want to rent or pass on a movie. I usually pass on R rated fare. It's usually so unsavory. The other day I clicked on Zombieland, because it had been one whose preview had looked interesting. I didn't make it through the opening credits, the gore was way over the top. It just wasn't going to be something I wanted to fill my mind with.

But everything rated R isn't necessarily bad. I stumbled upon "The Oxford Murders" with Elijah Wood. There was a sex scene and a couple of f word instances that got it the rating, but otherwise, I found it to be a highly intelligent, concise and well written piece of drama.

I'm going to continue to avoid R rated fare, but this streaming is great to preview a few minutes of a flick and see if it's worth seeing. I watched a minute or two of "How To Murder Your Wife" with Jack Lemmon. It reminded me of what a cute movie it was and It's at the top of my Netflix Que.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This should have been good, maybe it was, but I didn't like it at all. There were moments where I wondered what was going to happen, but it was so unsettling and slow that it wasn't worth my time. It's a twisty, strange story about a man who has lost his mother. It's like Norman Bates of Hitchcock fame, mets Lars and the real girl with none of the humor. From the very first it has an unsettling, creepy feel about it. Why they wrote it and why some good actors thought it would be good is beyond me.

If you try it, I'd really like to hear your opinion of this worthless story.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Despicable Me

This is one of the best movies of all time! I had no expectations, I thought it was going to be stupid or insulting. Instead, I discovered a priceless little nugget. A real heart warming adventure. The story and voyage of self discovery and how it effects all around is a message that can and should make us all strive for a better life, to be a little less despicable.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dinner For Schmucks

I really had low expectations for this one, I was sure that a dinner where you bring your candidate for worst loser sounded like a horrible idea and a horrible premise for a movie. Several of the characters in the movie felt the same way.

But you know sometimes in the opening moments of a movie that you've stumbled on something with promise, like the opening of Ghostbusters. The music of this was from the beginning, funny, or promised to be and it delivered.

I was surprised, there was a lot of story before the dinner and it was not just bearable, it was down right charming. But the dinner just promised to be a train wreck and the set up is part of the comedy genius of this flick.

This was a great comedy! Thinking people will enjoy the life lessons, the rest of us will just laugh at it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Lottery Ticket - Eck

This is a movie that had some value, but you had to suffer through too much to get to it.

The ghetto, lowlife idots that populate the movie are uncomfortable to watch. I wouldn't want to live in their neighborhood, because I'd be afraid they would drag me down to their level. This is about living in the projects and having little hope of getting out. The thing is, it's not pleasant and it's dangerous and why would anyone want to pay to see this movie?

It's well done, well edited and has a very good plotline, it's just so difficult to watch!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Flipped, I flipped for it!

Rob Reiner directed this film and it was quite an unexpected nugget. Throughout the unusual film which shifts from viewpoint to viewpoint and back again, I wondered where is this going to go?
We start with the neighbor boys' viewpoint and then shift to the same story from the neighbor girls' viewpoint. In this story it worked and it couldn't have been easy to adapt the book to film.
You never know how the story will turn out but you feel that whatever happens, it will be the right thing for Julie in the end.
A heartwarming look at people, relationships and family.