Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I have not read Twilight and I did not see it in the theaters. I am however secure enough with my masculinity to watch it once it was released on DVD. I tried to approach it with an open mind. I knew very little about this story except for the fact that it's about a vampire named Edward. That being said here is my review.

First of all I have never seen so many pasty pale complexions in the first 10 minutes of any movie in my life. When I saw Dr. Cullen, all I could see was Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire. I wondered it the makeup artist for this movie intentionally did that. The family baseball game with the sister vampire pitching was too much for me to take. If you are a vampire with superhuman powers you should at least be able to throw a baseball.

I'm sorry but Twilight just didn't work for me. I don't want to be mean or rip on it but it felt more like watching a television episode on the WB than a movie. I'm sure if I was a girl and in Jr. High I would have related to it better. I'm sorry this is so short but that is all I have to say. I give it 5.6 out of 10 stars. At least I was able to add an evil twin to my collection as a result of watching it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Occasionally I will see a movie and leave the theater not knowing if I liked it or not. Knowing is one such movie. From the previews I knew it was about the supernatural and predicting the future events, but I wasn't counting on everything else that was a part of this movie. Warning: Spoilers follow.

I'm usually unaffected by violence in movies, but I found all the graphic deaths and mass destruction disturbing. I was surprised that the movie was rated PG-13. Maybe it was because the special effects made it appear so realistic. I also found several events in the movie to be frightening, like when the boy was being visited in his room by a whisperer. It's been a long time since I found myself tensing up while watching a movie.

The movie started as a suspense/mystery movie, then progressed to the supernatural/horror genre. It then became a disaster movie before moving to science fiction and finally a religious movie. I was surprised by the ending and some of the religious overtones about families being together forever and the references to Armageddon, angels, Noah's Ark , Adam and Eve, and the tree of life. I'm sure it turned off many viewers and I certainly wasn't expecting this in a big budget Hollywood movie.

There were parts of the movie that had me on the edge of my seat and others when I couldn't believe how dumb it seemed. Despite the detractions the movie may have had it kept my attention the entire time and I'm actually going to credit the movie for playing musical chairs with the various genres. I struggled for a long time trying to come up with a rating but I have finally decided to Knowing 7.2 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flash of Genius

This movie is about the legal battle between the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper and the big auto makers. Sounds riveting. I can't say I was expecting any court room scenes with people yelling "you can't handle the truth!", but it was still better than expected.

The movie takes place in the mid 60's and continues into the early 70's. Greg Kinnear plays Bob Kearns who is a engineering professor who comes up with the prototype for the intermittent windshield wiper. He tries to market his invention to the big 3 auto makers. Ford sees his design and plans to work with him on production but before they can start the process they pull out and say they are no longer interested. Shortly after they unveil his invention on their newest models. As a result he becomes completely obsessed and paranoid and eventually has a nervous breakdown.

Shortly after Ford offers him a settlement but he rejects it and insists on suing them. The case is held up in court for years and his relentless obsession for justice causes his family to fall apart. He ends up representing himself in court as he attempts to prove that they stole his invention.

Kinnear gives a great performance and the movie has an authentic feel for the time period it takes place in. At times it is uncomfortable to watch the pain he brings on himself and his family as a result of his stubborn quest for justice. Flash of Genius may not feature the most exciting subject matter, but I give it 7.0 stars.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Art of Slap Stick

I enjoy most comedies, but I prefer the subtle comedy you see in Dr. Strangelove, Best in Show, or The Office. Despite my preference for dry humor I have to admit that I also have a small place in my heart for slapstick. By slapstick I mean blatant unabashed physical comedy. I've been guilty of laughing at Buster Keaton, the 3 Stooges, and the Marx Brothers, but I have to draw the line when it comes to pies in the face or slipping on banana peels. That's never funny.

I remember when I saw Airplane for the first time. That movie took gags and puns to a whole new level. Leslie Nielsen has since become the poster child of the spoof comedy and is now typecast in that role. I have learned that people are very subjective when it comes to comedy. What some people think is funny, others may just roll their eyes and shake their head at.

One such example is this clip from Hot Shots Part Deaux. I remember when I saw this scene in the theater I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks and I couldn't breathe. I look at this scene with mixed emotions because I knew some of the gags are just plain stupid, but others are hilarious. I understand that people have different tastes and preferences, but if you can't laugh at something in that scene, then you have some issues.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The following post takes place between 9:00 pm and 10:00pm...

I have been a fan of 24 since it first came out. After the first few seasons I decided I'd prefer to rent them all at once rather than watch them on TV. That way I'd avoid commercials and wouldn't have to be strung along from week to week. It has been nice, but there are some disadvantages. I don't usually start watching until 10:30 or 11:00 at night. I tell myself I'm only going to watch one episode. Yah right! That's impossible since each episode leaves you hanging at the most intense moment. So I watch the next and next. There are 4 episodes on a disk and I have never been able to stop myself from watching an entire disk. In that past I have been known to stay up as late as 3:00 a.m. shaking like a drug addict watching episodes.

Apparently I was not the only one with the bright idea of renting the entire season at once. Several years ago when I was returning disk 3 of 6 to Blockbuster, I noticed a couple stressed out guys loitering at the entrance waiting for the store to open. I noticed they were also holding 24 DVD jackets. Even though we were strangers, it was like we were a close group of friends or brotherhood since we had mutual respect and understanding for what we were going through. I just hoped they weren't there for the same disk that I needed because they were going to have to get through me first.

24 takes the concept of leaving you hanging to a new level. It is almost ridiculous how they have to keep outdoing themselves each episode and every season. I now realize that it is just a man's formulaic soap opera featuring action, terrorists, violence, and suspense. My other problem is that I feel like such a slacker when I compare what I accomplish in one day to what Jack Bauer does in 24 hours. He should teach time management seminars. Despite these negative aspects, some of my favorite things about 24 are:

1. The phone system at TCU. I could never get sick of sound their phone ring.
2. I love the countdown noise that comes on before and after commercials.
3. I always get a kick out of Jack when he is about to interrogate a stubborn bad guy who won't talk. I love the look on their face when he turns off all the surveillance monitors in the interrogation room because he is about to get down to business. (I'm no fan of torture, but I am a fan of efficiency and results).
4. He chooses not to participate in political correctness in his world. The show takes stereotyping and profiling to the extreme.

I have decided that if I am going to have an authentic 24 viewing experience then I need to do it over a 24 hour period. So next time I am going to get the entire season on DVD and burn straight through all 24 episodes with no breaks. That's only fair since that's how Jack has to do it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Animated Movies

A couple weeks ago I was waiting in line somewhere and there was a TV playing Surfs Up. It was just back ground noise at first but after several minutes of watching and listening it almost gave me an anxiety attack. The same thing happened when I saw part of Cars. I'm not sure why. I don't mind an occasional animated feature, but maybe I was just bugged because it seems that every movie studio is now obligated to pump them out on a regular basis.

Animated features are much more common than they used to be. When I was younger these sort of movies were referred to as "cartoons". I can see why movie studios are so excited about these movies since they bring in a lot of cash due to kids begging their parents to take them to see them. 8 of the top 50 highest grossing movies in the US are animated and over 5o animated movies have broken the 100 million mark at the box office.

Some animated movies are definitely better than others. Below I have listed some that I enjoyed more and some that I did not like at all. Sorry if you are a Japanese anime fan, but I have never been able to get into that. I will leave you with a list some of my favorite and least favorite cartoon movies.

The Best
The Incredibles
Monsters Inc
Toy Story
Wall E
The Lion King
The Emperor's New Groove
The Little Mermaid

The Worst
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Home on the Range
Spirit:Stallion of the Cimarron
Large Association of Movie Blogs