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the grudge
director: takashi shimizu
OK, that was really frickin' scary. Still, instead of a nagging sense of dread, it left me with a nagging sense that I really had to clean the hair out of my bathtub.
reviewed by: Ishbadiddle |  October 2004 [link] |  recommend


kikujiro
director: takeshi kitano
The dreams of a child and the adult as a child are two of the themes in this highly effective tale of an unlikely friendship. A far cry from Kitano's earlier work this beautifully shot film is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend


the savages
director: tamara jenkins
Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play grown siblings with the last name Savage (get it, Savages, punny) who must put their father with dementia in a nursing home, and their characters hit a little too close to home since Linney's character is a playwright/office temp who steals post-it notes from her job and Hoffman's character is a Brecht scholar with piles of books. Even though the film is stuffed with all sorts of fun details and quasi-theatre humor, I kept waiting for the characters to truly become savage, and they never really do.
reviewed by: jen |  December 2007 [link] |  recommend


blow
director: ted demme
More "Goodfellas" than "Boogie Nights" this near epic boasts two kickass performances: one from Johnny Depp, the other from Ray "I Normally Appear In Crap " Liotta. I like the first half of this film a lot, unfortunately it loses steam and some focus after a while but it manages to never get preachy; I just wish they had spent some more time fleshing out the other characters.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  April 2001 [link] |  recommend


the new world
director: terrence malick
Colin Farrell is the lead role, but go see this movie anyway. This is the best movie of the year, and it won't win one single award.
reviewed by: tim |  February 2006 [link] |  recommend


hotel rwanda
director: terry george
Don Cheadle turns in an amazing performance with the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who turned his hotel into a refugee camp during the genocide in Rwanda. This is a heart-wrenching, nail-biting movie set smack dab in the middle of one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time – that said, it's a must see.
reviewed by: rich |  February 2005 [link] |  recommend 7 thumbs up


ghost world
director: terry zwigoff
Every once in a while we get to see a film that is just a pleasure to watch and this was one of those cases: I really love this movie. A sharply written and beautifully acted dark comedy about two best friends trapped in a world that just doesn't get it; I could have watched another hour of this film.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2001 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up


bad santa
director: terry zwigoff
#1. Lauren Graham on top of Billy Bob Thornton yelling, "F*ck me Santa!" over and over and over.
#2. A string of very dark and very funny moments which will offend someone in this world and make another cry and lose their breath from laughing too much.
reviewed by: tim |  December 2003 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up


matrix: reloaded
director: the wachowski brothers
How the mighty have fallen! If V.I. Warshawski's brothers are going to keep making video games from the spare parts of great movies, I'd like to play Lawrence of Arabia: Reloaded next.
reviewed by: matthewS |  May 2003 [link] |  recommend


matrix revolutions
director: the wachowski brothers
The review could easily be one sentence – and that one sentence would be: this was much better than Matrix 2. The final (?!) installment of the Matrix series, while not a great film was less sappy, no rave montages, plenty of cool fight scenes with lots shooting and jumping around, and the digital effects were good without being over the top.
reviewed by: rich |  November 2003 [link] |  recommend


the family stone
director: thomas bezucha
reviewed by: jen |  December 2005 [link] |  recommend


charlie & the chocolate factory
director: tim burton
Must admit, I wanted to hate this movie the day before I saw it, but once I settled into my seat and ate some shitty Goober-quality chocolate, I couldn't wait to see what Burton had in store for us. Turned out to be Depplicious (sorry) -- got a little stomachache from the overwhelming A/V onslaught that comprise the Oompa numbers (I once hung out with Elfman in his $3k-a-night hotel room, watched him PhotoShop deviltoes on a picture of his feet that he was emailing to his daughter, then we had drinks with Nick Rhodes downstairs - don't ask (ok, ask)), but all human beings (if Depp actually IS one) score big, the director most of all -- can't wait to see what confection this golden ticket allows him to conjure next.
This is a third sentence: I hate myself.
reviewed by: alec |  July 2005 [link] |  recommend 7 thumbs up


big fish
director: tim burton
Tim Burton's latest directorial effort does a wonderful job portraying the hyperbole of a man whose imagination matched the size of his heart in this adaptation of neophyte novelist Daniel Wallace. Though graced by solid performances by Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, the story is the star of this film; written as a wonderfully mythic tale, it truly steals the show.
reviewed by: nate |  January 2004 [link] |  recommend 4 thumbs up


planet of the apes
director: tim burton
While this might be the best film to ever contain the line "Your monkey launches at 06:00", it is probably the worst film to contain the words planet and apes in it's title (yeah, worse than the ones with Ricardo Montablan). The visual effects are pretty cool, but the rest of this business is loud, stupid, and boring; which really just hammers in the fact that this didn't need to be made.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2001 [link] |  recommend


sleepy hollow
director: tim burton
While entertaining, this film is very long on style and woefully inadequate with substance. Unfortunately about halfway into things Johnny Depp starts playing Ichabod Crane for laughs and Tim Burton's funhouse is open for business, where everything soon becomes wacky for wacky's sake.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend


the corpse bride
director: tim burton and mike johnson
I am a HUGE fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas, so when I found out that Tim Burton was making another stop-motion picture I couldn't wait to see it however; the Corpse Bride doesn't hold a candle to Tim's original masterpiece (or even James and the Giant Peach for that matter). It maybe due to the fact that Tim had better technology this time around which in turn lost that WOW factor with the computer effects OR it could have been the absence of Henry Selick (director), whom I feel gave both of the prior films that special creepy magic that makes you actually like a Tim Burton film.
reviewed by: kelly |  September 2005 [link] |  recommend


cradle will rock
director: tim robbins
It seems as though this flat, hollow, cartoonish drama about the production of a controversial play about unions is supposed to be Tim Robbins' epic, to bad there's nothing inspiring about it. There's not a real character in the film, just a few sketches; this film just plods along at a snail's pace leading up to a syrupy by-the-numbers ending which is so hokey and contrived that the film seems to be daring you not to like it…. well, I'll step up to the plate.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend


barbershop
director: tim story
A great ensemble cast speeds this movie along with complex characters, witty dialogue, and a coherent worldview, leaving you wishing for a Gandhi-length film and actually looking forward to the inevitable sitcom this flick will spawn.

In the sequel they should drop the wacky ATM subplot.
reviewed by: dave bug |  October 2002 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up


door in the floor
director: tod williams
Tod Williams directs his own adaptation of the first third of John Irving's novel A Widow for One Year, with Jeff Bridges as storybook author Ted Cole ("I'm just an entertainer of children... and I like to draw"). It's lots of fun, and somewhat moving, too, to watch the spectacular troubles in the House of Cole, which Ted's eager young assistant Eddie exacerbates as he masturbates.
reviewed by: matthewS |  August 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up


in the bedroom
director: todd field
Despite one major misstep I have to say this was a really terrific film. A well acted study on mourning and loss, well worth skipping Snow Dogs for.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  February 2002 [link] |  recommend


far from heaven
director: todd haynes
About one and one-half hours too long, this suck-fest of a movie drags you along without the presence of a plot, leaving a bunch of 50s stereotyped characters the job of entertaining and perhaps enlightening you, including the yummy Julianne Moore and the consistently disappointing Dennis Quaid. Instead of seeing this movie, fill a bowl with gas, hold your head over the bowl of gas with a towel over your head, breathe deeply and then proceed to clean the cat box, enjoying the mysterious giggles until the headaches come.
reviewed by: tim |  November 2002 [link] |  recommend


i'm not there
director: todd haynes
This new film from Todd Haynes has six actors playing various aspects of a Bob Dylan character. I saw it last night and was blown away by it, and I want to see it again, please.
reviewed by: jen |  November 2007 [link] |  recommend


old school
director: todd philips
IMDB user "movieguy1021" says OLD SCHOOL is "basically just stupid, with idiotic sex jokes thrown in," and I wholeheartedly agree, but I get the impression I enjoyed it an awful lot more than he did. I don't get "movieguy1021"; I assume he's a hefty guy himself, as he indignantly notes that he didn't appreciate the "fat jokes" (there aren't any "fat jokes" per se, just a very fat kid whose corpulence is exploited to comic effect, which is different) -- but aren't tubby folks supposed to be jolly or something?
reviewed by: matthewS |  February 2003 [link] |  recommend 1 thumbs up


starsky & hutch
director: todd phillips
Makes me wish I knew more about the original show apart from the car and the principal actors, because I spent the whole time wondering if things were supposed to be funny because they looked 70's or because it was something that happened in the TV show. That said, alot of the funny stuff was a bit obvious (big hair! crazy clothes!), but Vince Vaughan's performance was genuinely fun to watch, and Snoop Dogg was funny I think mostly because it was Snoop Dogg.
reviewed by: eric w |  March 2004 [link] |  recommend 3 thumbs up


road trip
director: todd phillips
Not so much a movie as it is a series of situations set up one after the other to disgust or offend, this is definitely my guiltiest pleasure so far this year and I laughed quite a bit. Let me just say that I am thrilled at the prospect of the return of the teen sex comedy and I prediction this genre would once again rise and reclaim it's rightful place in cinematic history.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend


storytelling
director: todd solondz
Fool me once: shame on you, fool me twice: shame on me, fool me three times: I’m just going to your f---ing movies so I can complain about you. Sorry, I should know better by now; but this latest exercise in character and audience abuse was pretty much it for me; apparently those of us who don’t subscribe to Todd’s worldview are simples and prudes…..hmm.....go see Snow Dogs.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  February 2002 [link] |  recommend


run lola run
director: tom tykwer
A great colorful entertaining film which shows how the simplest of things can change one's day. Exciting cinematography, taut editing, and a great soundtrack propels the viewer through an 80 minute chase, once again: it's really nice to something different.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  July 2000 [link] |  recommend


let the right one in
director: tomas alfredson
This the best Swedish, slightly erotic, bleak as hell, but weirdly pastoral, adolescent vampire friendship movie you will ever see. Here is another sentence.
reviewed by: john ball |  December 2008 [link] |  recommend


tinker tailor soldier spy
director: tomas alfredson
The drab 70s color scheme, ensemble of intense European actors, lack of gadgets, and Gary Oldman's eye glasses could be a turn off, but this film is more fun than a barrel full of bad James Bond movies. I walked out afterwards smiling for Smiley.
reviewed by: jen |  January 2012 [link] |  recommend


the taking of pelham 1 2 3
director: tony scott
This urban action thriller about the hijacking of a 6 train in Manhattan is a lot of fun when the characters behave like assholes, but when the film becomes a valentine to New York City, the whole thing gets really lame. Travolta and Washington competently lead a cast of guy-guy character actors, but I still missed the 1974 version's Walter Matthau who could be both an asshole and a valentine at the same time.
reviewed by: jen |  June 2009 [link] |  recommend


spy game
director: tony scott
Light, entertaining bit of something about spies and the games they play; it's really not too bad, not great, but the cast kind of makes up for some of it's dodgier aspects. Essentially the film is told in flashback so I was hoping for some sort of Keyser Soze type moment to come at the end....alas in the end it's really all about the Redford and Pitt.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  December 2001 [link] |  recommend


dumb and dumberer: when harry met lloyd
director: troy miller
Bob Saget's cameo is likely the highlight of any movie that includes one; it's certainly the highlight of this prequel to 1994's DUMB & DUMBER. On our way out of the theatre, we overheard a 19-year-old kid utter the best capsule review ever to his girlfriend: "them niggaz was mad dumb!"
reviewed by: matthewS |  July 2003 [link] |  recommend



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