Movie Reviews

Here are the superficially subjective movie reviews, naturally angled to create as much argument and dissent among my readers as possible.

Niagara Weekend Fall 2011 – Not A Typo!

Yes we were back in Niagara again during October, this time with my parents and Elyse. I have decided there is too much going on not to keep writing something and although I post to my fitness blog almost every day, my everyday life has no record and that is sad.

The trip to Niagara was fantastic, the weather held out OK, but the rain on thursday night was a disappointment. We took my parents to the other Brazilian Steak House Brassa and in comparison I have to say I liked Copacobana better. It had a livelier atmosphere and a much more varied selection. We stayed at the Doubletree again which is now our favourite Niagara destination and it didn’t disappoint. I spent the morning we left with Elyse in the pool and we both had a fun time jumping from the side into my arms. She is gettting so much bigger now, climbing onto things, pushing stuff around and basically interacting more with her environment. The weekend was a highlight of my parents being here including the trip across the border after the passport debacle.

The Truman Show

This will become one of my favourite movies of all time. There are movies that tend to put your life into perspective for you, ones that suspend your disbelief for you and at the same time draw you in to a reality that has existed for you on some level forever. This may seem a trifle deep for a Jim Carrey movie but I have to say that on a large psychological plane, there are many people who wish they were Truman. The man literally had a world revolving around him. This was a magnificent movie in all aspects. The story was original and diverse in it’s sources, the acting was accurate in it’s context and the premise was so unusual that there is really no way to measure it against conventional films. I think everyone was wrapped up tightly with the movie when they saw it. It really was a surprise even though I had expected to enjoy it, I never expected to be riveted by it. If you have not seen this movie, I suggest you go and buy it. I will be.

Rating 9 Brilliant movie. Truly an experiment gone right. Worth owning.
Theatre / Video Theatre. I would have paid to see this again in the theatre. Value at last for my $8.
Rewind / Return I have only seen it once, but as soon as I can, I am buying the DVD.
Highlight Too many to mention, but the spaceman in the mirror was classic.
Favorite Quote “Who are you talking to? I’m the only one here.”

Out of Sight

Sorry about this but I have to give a great deal of credit for my affection for this movie to Jennifer Lopez. It is not very often that I enjoy a movie solely for the actors, and it is not exclusively the case here, however if she were not in this movie it would have received a significantly lower score. the story is well thought through, Clooney and Lopez do a great job with a decent script and the casting in general is really what makes this movie so successful. There is enough to make this movie different from the mainstream cops and bad guys flick and there are plenty of laughs to go along with the generously understated action. This is in part what makes the movies so much fun to watch. It would have been tempting, no doubt, to end up with a “Big Hit” clone and to cash in on big time action sequences and special effects, but the mixture of clever writing and the right actors makes this a film well worth seeing even without the gratuitous explosions.

Rating 8 The acting and casting make this film. Very enjoyable and engaging.
Theatre / Video Video. It would have been nice to see it on the big screen, if only for a giant Jennifer.
Rewind / Return I have seen it a couple of times. I would watch it again with no hesitation.
Highlight Locked in the trunk, the wave from the elevator and her “romp” with the ex-boxer.
Favorite Quote “You talked about movies?”
“It was a very strange situation…”

The Full Monty

This has to be one of the best movies of last year. It is fortunate that I was raised in the same part of the world as these boys, since I could understand the stranger nuances of their language. After all, it is not the easiest thing to express the full meaning of the words “complete tosser” to someone and really have them understand the concept. The idea of gnomes has a completely different slant and the references to “widgers” “nowt as queer as folk” and “ruddy Nora” are so completely local as to be hilarious and completely untranslatable. This is a fabulous adventure of local lads chasing a few quid for getting their kit off, an idea that is so completely foreign as to tickle anyone’s fancy. The acting itself is fantastic, the cast is very cleverly chosen and the intricacies of the Northern Mentality are brought across with such accuracy that it is completely believable. You don’t have to be a Yorkshire lad to see the humour, but it helps. The Yorkshire version of the Magnificent Seven, fanbloodytastic.

Rating 8.5 Great acting, hilarious script and an unlikely cast of heroes.
Theatre / Video Video. I wish I had seen it in the theatre, but it is worth renting if you haven’t seen it yet.
Rewind / Return Seen it several times, will continue to watch it again and again.
Highlight The gnomes in the interview. Great ending sequence.
Favorite Quote “He’s not bad for a bastard””Anti-wrinkle cream they may have, but Anti-Fat Bastard cream they do not”

“Cantona, Cantona, has to wear a girlie bra”


Hoffman again, I love this guy. He does a great job, the core of the movie is the relationship amongst Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson and is well played, creatively written and leaves just enough to the imagination to make it genuinely spooky in parts. There is nothing quite like psychoses among friends. The plot is fairly well constructed, the characters and very well placed with actors being chosen very appropriately, and Sharon Stone once again astounds me with her ability to act. She is a vastly unappreciated actress, even in my estimation. The action is coherent and logically pursued and all in all, the movie has been put together with great care. In as far as science fiction movies can be considered “accurate” there were none of the usual glaring physical or logical impossibilities that tend to spoil the flavour of most of the genre (except for it being remarkably illuminated at 1000ft). An enjoyable flick, all told.

Rating 7.0 Well directed and acted, with plenty of psychological drama.
Theatre / Video Video. May have been better in the theatre, but was good with all the lights out on a big screen TV.
Rewind / Return Worth sitting through again, although I wouldn’t rent it again myself.
Highlight The holographic ship’s log showing the travel through space. Funky…
Favorite Quote “I forgive you, man. But I don’t forgive you for Ted, he’s a pain in the ass”

“Bring back the entity known as Ted. I liked the entity Ted. He was humorous”


With the memory of Lost Boys, I expected good things from this vampire flick and I am happy to say I was not disappointed. In the mold with which it was cast, it is a good movie. Wesley Snipes does a great job as the Daywalker and has some moves you would not believe. There is a great deal of fast-paced action, lots of gory and graphic scenes, and comic irony thrown in. It is an unoriginal plot done in an original fashion. It was entertaining, didn’t leave any unnecessary gaps and was not filled with moral or needless romantic messages. There are clever humorous veins running through the plot, and with a very “Roadhouse” kind of relationship with his mentor, Snipes manages to kill the bad guys, not get involved with any women, and stick true to his cause which rarely happens in these types of movie. The hero is usually changed by his love interest and persuaded to leave his life of darkness and move out to the country with the beautiful co-star. but not Wesley, he’s too cool for that.

Rating 7.5 It delivers on it’s promise with entertainment and flair.
Theatre / Video Theatre. I would see it if you can, but it wouldn’t be a waste to wait for video.
Rewind / Return It is definitely a see again on video.
Highlight The exploding corpses, very original effects and the “Bloodbath” party scene.
Favorite Quote “Let’s try fire this time…”

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I was sure I was going to hate this movie, but I had avoided it for so long, I finally decided it was time. By the time I had seen the bats and lizards, witnessed the trapeze flying dog, growling like some kind of demented Werewolf and watched the “Attorney” trying desperately to get off the revolving restaurant floor I was pleasantly surprised. It was an extremely funny, albeit sympathetic view of the irrelevant and paranoid rambling of a drug abusing man who believes he is the centre of the universe. Some just wonderful cameo appearances and acting that was, in  as far as I can tell, extremely representative of the exact state of mind in which the drug user finds themselves made it all the more tantalizing. Oh, not to mention that I finally understand where Hex got the quote on his index page from… It was enjoyable, I watched it twice and found the ending to be somewhat abrupt both times, probably the same way a user must feel when they are suddenly aware that they are no longer stoned…

Rating 7. Funny, not abrasive, plenty to make anyone laugh. Don’t take it seriously.
Theatre / Video Video. In the theatre, I am sure it would have had a narcotic effect…
Rewind / Return I saw it twice and would sit through it again, especially with stoners..hehehe
Highlight Trapeze Dog, escaping from the revolving restaurant and the strap-on lizard tail.
The opening scene in the desert is just great, including the hitchhiker.
Favourite Quote “Hello, Sir, Baby, Child, whatever…”

“You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug”

Star Wars – The Phantom Menace

Beside the fact that I had to wait to see this movie until all the freaks and wierdos in their Yoda and Chewbacca outfits had dissipated, I was still very much impressed with the whole thing. I am not a Star Wars groupie by any means, in fact I haven’t even see the other 3 in their entirety, I think I got tired of it halfway through number 2 and caught parts of the last one at a party somewhere. This, however was a different story. I always believe that as a part of a trilogy or a series of any size, each film must have enough content and substance to stand alone, but must balance that with enough significant ties to it’s predecessor or sequel to make the themes and plot seem contingent to the whole. For myself, the movie was entertaining, and I have to admit, at the start, I was a little taken off guard by what I considered to be unsettlingly specific ethnic accents. That apart, though, I really went for the special effects and have to say that I was not disappointed. The rendering was amazing, detail was carefully combed and but for the lack of reflected traffic in one scene, I couldn’t find a technical flaw with it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am very happy that I got to see it on a Sunday afternoon in an almost vacant theatre. I think the hype would have spoiled my enjoyment. Was it the movie event of the last decade? Hardly.

Rating 8.5. Special effects were brilliant, acting was solid.
Theatre / Video Theatre. Guaranteed you will miss out if you only see it on video.
Rewind / Return I would go again, if only for the pod race or the underwater scenes.
Highlight Pod race, no doubt. The thought of that dork C3PO realizing he was naked..hehe
Favorite Quote

What Dreams May Come

I am such a sucker for sappy movies. I have heard this movie take bad criticism for so long that I finally forgave myself for not seeing it in the Theater and rented it. It took me three days to get it, but it was worth the wait. for someone like me that lives and breathes traditional romance then this movie has your heartstrings playing Waltzing Matilda from the very outset. It is a beautifully thought out piece of work, the casting is perfection and of course, with Anabella Sciorra, what could be better? The story is really trying on the emotions which is why so many people took exception to it. It also takes a traditionalist view of religion, another hot button of the mentally fanatical critic. However, if you were to take yourself back to a time when your views of romance and good and evil were pure, this is a story of which dreams are made. The acting, writing and screenplay are superb, and the cinematography at times is simply breathtaking. It is a treasure of a movie, not the kind of thing you would want to see every week, but for those times when you need your faith in love restored, this is the perfect shot in the heart.

Rating 8.5. Just a lovely movie, leaves you with that cathartic feeling.
Theatre / Video Video. I am sorry I missed it in the Theatre. If I get a chance I will go.
Rewind / Return Definite rewind. I would see this a dozen times if I wasn’t such a mess afterwards.
Highlight His decision to stay with his wife when he got a second chance.
Favorite Quote