Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Trip (quick movie review)

stars-three-halfA Quick Review!  Sometimes, I don’t have a lot to say about a movie, no matter how much I liked or disliked it.  When that happens, I get my Quick Review on.  Word.

The Trip (2011)

Whenever I see a mockumentary, I have to judge it against This Is Spinal Tap, which is unfair, but that’s my standard.  Of course, The Trip can’t hold it’s own against such a fierce competitor, yet it’s still a lot of fun and often hilarious.  There’s nothing quite like dueling Michael Caine impressions, is there?  But unlike Tap (or it’s younger brother, A Mighty Wind), the movie lacks an arc and any sense of closure – never before was ‘The End’ more needed at the end of a flick.  Starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (Brydon is my boy – Gavin and Stacey style!), The Trip is totally worth a watch, but it’s not exactly reinventing the genre – it’s just good fun.

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“It’s like trying to catch smoke with you bare hands…”


Catching smoke might be tough, but photographing it is easy.

This photo brought to mind what is easily the weakest scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during which the newspaper notes that Sirius Black has been sited in the area. “It’s like trying to catch smoke…   It’s like trying to catch smoke with you bare hands…” some kid says.  Ooooo!  Scarry!

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Protect Yourself From Air Conditioning With The Air Defender Ver 2.0 Beta!

Air Conditioning in the winter – you know I hate it, but who wouldn’t?  My office, that’s who.  The office where I work my day job has an unusual HVAC system that functions beyond any reasoning I can understand.  See, you can’t simply choose ‘Fan,’ ‘Air’ (as in air conditioning) or ‘Heat’  as one usually would, but instead, the system kicks on if the set temperature deviates by a half degree in either direction.  During the winter, once it gets a half degree too hot, the fan kicks on (yeah, not the air conditioning – sorry if I mislead you), blowing air from the outside on helpless me.  As it’s winter, the air is quite frigid, and I can’t tolerate being unnecessarily cold.

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Presidential Candidates In Comic Book Form

An eight part series came out on eight president contenders, and they released Barack Obama’s issue first.  What sense does that make?  They knew he’d be in the general election, so why not release his issue last?  I’m sure everyone’s face was red when the Sarah Palin issue came out.  Anyway, I’m pretty sure they’re just quick biographies in all their fluffiness, but the Obama issue was the only one I bought.


Hells yeah - I'd vote for that!


Ha - Sarah Palin! Way to read the Tea Leaves!

I imagine that the conversation on who to put in here went something like, “Look, we can’t fit nine, so we have to draw the the line somewhere… who do you want?  Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich?”  I imagined someone vomited and said, “Yuck!  Go with Perry, I guess.  At least he has a soul…  well, probably.”


If you're not wearing a tie, this pose just doesn't work. Sorry, ladies.

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War Games movie review

A QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!

War Games (1984)

stars-fourMatthew Broderick stars as a computer geek in the first age of personal modems in War Games, one of the first movies that takes a look at the idea of computers getting too much control. David (Broderick) thinks he is playing a computer game over the internet (and I use the term ‘internet’ loosely) by running the program remotely, but he’s actually playing against an artificial intelligence named ‘Joshua,’ who is an American military super computer and may or may not think David has just ordered an attack on the United States.  I don’t think it’s the best paced movie I’ve ever seen, but Broderick and Ally Sheedy carry it well.  It’s the sort of movie everybody has to see once.  If you’re older, it has great nostalgic value; if you’re younger, check out how sad computers used to be – even dial up AOL users will laugh at the way David connects to the internet.

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Batman goes Bat-Gambling

Batman never leaves home without his gadgets – his utility belt is stocked with batarangs, grapple gun, smoke bombs…  oh and the iconic Bat Spray from the 1960s Adam West movie.  Oh, and, as seen in Batman and Robin, the GothCard.


"Never leave home without it." Sigh.

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow review

stars-twoA QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

I imagine that during pre-production of Captain America, the producers sat down and watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the Rocketeer just so they were clear on what NOT to do.  Gweneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ewan McGregor in the title role just aren’t enough to bring this highly stylized bit of old school sci-fi fantasy adventure to life in a way that you’ll believe – it’s too digital, it’s too silly and it just doesn’t work. Oh, and the robots look like they’re straight out of the Superman cartoon from the 1940s – it’s so obvious that I’m not the only dork who noticed..

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Saw review

A QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!

Saw (2004)

A movie about a killer who doesn’t actually do any killing but forces his victims to carry out the deed on their own sounds intriguing, but it’s not.  This should be a simple movie with a villain whose motivation is clear, but it’s not.  Cary Elwes and Danny Glover are in this movie, so it should be decent, BUT IT’S NOT.  If you love horror movies, give it a look, but everyone else should steer clear.  Saw is the worst title for a movie ever – as soon as you see the trailer, you know exactly how the movie is going to end.

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Rain Man review

stars-fourA QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!

Rain Man (1988)

Dustin Hoffman taught us all about where he buys his under wear in Rain Man, the performance that won him the Academy Award.  Tom Cruise portrays Charlie Babbit, a prick with money woes who learns he has a brother (Hoffman) when his father dies and leaves all money to Raymond, an autistic-savant. It’s a road movie with a lot of heart and a great performance by Hoffman, but in some ways, it’s almost a performance seeking a story.  Rain Man isn’t really about the plot, it’s about the characters and their relationships, and sure, this is important in any movie, but you should at least care about what happens in the end…  but whatever, it’s a movie with a ton of montages and good acting, and I recommend it.

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The Princess Bride movie review

stars-four-halfA QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!

The Princess Bride (1987)

This is the first flick I’d guess most people saw starring Cary Elwes, and it might be hist best movie.  (Nevertheless, anything he does gets my seal of approval – check out The Pentagon Wars…  not so much Saw.) He carries a film like a champ. Co-staring the beautiful Robin Wright Penn as Buttercup and narrated by Peter Falk as the grandfather and Fred Savage as the grandson, this movie has been delighting both young and old for years. I could go on and on and sing the praises of the cast, the directing and the Fire Swamp and it’s three terrors, but do yourself a favor and see this movie for yourself.  It has something for everybody – that’s why you’ll see this flick rebroadcast on every cable channel from comedy central to women’s entertainment. Anyway, the TV Guide one sentence summary would probably go something like, “Buttercup has decided to marry the prince after her true love’s death only to be kidnapped twice before she can be wed.

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South Carolina Debate, Ya’ll!

I watched most of last night’s Presidential Debate in Charleston (?), North Carolina, hosted by CNN – you might have noticed it was hosted by CNN as they brought a few thousand CNN signs to decorate the stage with. If you’re wondering who won, I have no idea – for the most part, I thought each candidate received equally positive reactions from the crowd. OK, Ron Paul was lagging behind, but when he doesn’t agree with the crowd, he’s not afraid to tell them so – this strategy does not win you Presidential elections. Nevertheless, the crowd really seemed to enjoy themselves – the exit polling data indicated that every attendee was very excited to vote for… one of the Republicans.

Newt Gingrich was disgusted that the first question of the night concerned the interview his second wife had given NBC that same day. He might not think his personal life is relevant (particularly since he maintains his second wife’s claims concerning Newt asking for an open marriage are not true), but when you’re having an affair with a member of your staff while you’re impeaching the President for lying about an affair he had with a member of his staff… well, that’s a horse of a different color, ain’t it? I think it is. Still, I don’t care about the infidelity – that’s none of my business, although it does call your character into question. What does concern me is the hypocrisy the man bathes in, like a dateless kid wearing too much cologne at the junior prom.

I’m surprised how effective Newt’s badgering of Mitt Romney and his tax returns has been – Mitt seems to be a bit on edge. I don’t know why Mitt won’t release the documents, but I suspect it has something to do with Mitt’s strategy of trying to relate to the common man despite being a multimillionaire. (Or is it billionaire? I forget.) Does Mitt really think we’ll view him differently if we know how much he’s worth? Or, more to the point, view Mitt differently then Newt? It won’t matter, because Newt and Mitt are both rich guys – who cares which one is richer? In 2005, the average median income was $32,140 for people over the age of 25. Newt Gingrich made over $2 million dollars last year alone. If Mitt is worth a hundred times Newt’s 2011 earnings, does that make Newt more relatable to the average American? I think not – they’re just two rich guys.

So choose your rich guy wisely, South Carolina – or just vote for Herman Cain.

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O Brother, Where Art Thou? review

A QUICK Review!  I found a bunch of old movie reviews that I never got around to publishing – they’re old, they’re short, but they get the job done!stars-four-half

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Based on The Odyssey (for all those who slept through english comp in college, that’s the one after the war (The Iliad) when he’s trying to get home), the Coen brothers deliver a musical and yet carefully dress it as a comedic drama. I really enjoyed this one; the story, the twists, and the performances (led by a George Clooney) are all top-notch. Everything just works, and John Goodman is a great surprise; the best reveal in the movie, probably. Don’t miss this.

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