One of my favorite things about movies is hearing other people's opinions.
But I'm lazy, so instead of writing down a lot of opinions, I've ranked a
bunch of movies. These rankings aren't perfect; they reflect how I felt
at the time I saw the movie, so they could depend on external factors.
The margin of error is .5 stars. I've tried to include warnings for the
movies where people have violently disagreed with me.
Some really good movies! (4 stars out of 4):
- Almost Famous
- (2000, Cameron Crowe) I don't
know why this is an R rated movie; I think it's appropriate for the PG-13
- (1983, Milos Forman) I saw this many
years ago, and the memories that remain are not of pictures or music, but
the associated emotions. I'm not sure that I'd like it as much now.
- (2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France)
This is as good as everyone says it is. Which is saying a lot.
- The American Astronaut
- (2001, Cory McAbee)
I enjoyed it while I watched it, but then I enjoyed it even more the next
day. Definately a movie that grows on you.
- The Animation Show
- (2003, many people) This
is a collection of animated shorts created by different artists.
Basically, enough of it appealed to my sense of bathroom humor that I was
highly amused. Parts of it are better than others, though, so the
individual films range from 2.5 to 4.
- Apocalypse Now
- (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
This is a movie about war, but it isn't a "war movie".
- (1974, Roman Polanski)
- City of Lost Children
- (1995, Jean-Pierre
Jeunet and Marc Caro, France, Germany) Absurdist entertainment.
- A Clockwork Orange
- (1971, Stanley Kubrick)
WARNING: If you're easily disturbed by violence, this isn't the
film for you.
- Dancer in the Dark
- (2000, Lars von Trier)
WARNING: You might hate this. The style of this one is very
different from a normal film; it seems like the actors had a few things
that they needed to do in each scene, and then they had to make sure that
the info came out. The only parts that are scripted are the musical
numbers. It's very melodramatic, but it worked for me.
- (1999, Andrew Fleming) This is a comedy
about two teenagers who accidentally happen upon the Watergate break-in.
It's quite funny, and isn't even vaguely trite.
- (2003, Gus Van Sant) This
(fictional) film follows around different high school students on a day
when a Columbine-style school shooting occurs. It is oddly calming, and
- The Exorcist
- (1974, William Friedkin)
- The Eye
- (2002, The Pang Brothers, UK, Hong
Kong, Thailand, Singapore) A spooky(!) horror movie
- Eyes Wide Shut
- (1999, Stanley Kubrick)
WARNING: Not everyone will like this! If you're sensitive about
infidelity, you might be disturbed by it. I thought this film was
excellent, except for the last 30 seconds. That leaves 2 hours and 38.5
minutes of excellence out of 2 hours and 39 minutes. Not too bad.
- (1994, Jan Svankmajer, Czech
Strange and insidiously creepy retelling of Faust using humans,
claymation, and puppetry
- The Godfather
- (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
This is the mafia film that all of the others copied.
- Grizzly Man
- (2005, Werner Herzog) A
documentary about Timothy Treadwell who lives with grizzly bears for
months at a time and who (we learn early on) is killed by a bear. This
was created using lots of footage and interviews, but none of the visual
images are disturbing. We learn more about the man than we do about
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- (2001, John Cameron
Mitchell) This could have been a farce, but the characters are treated
like people-- I appreciated this a bunch. Plus I really enjoy a
- Le Samouraļ
- (1967, Jean-Pierre Melville,
France) Very nicely put together film noir
- Me and You and Everyone We Know
Miranda July) Silly-ish but realistic-ish
- (1926, Fritz Lang) I prefer the
version with 80's music; look for the name Giovani Moroder.
- A Moment of Innocence
- (1996, Mohsen
Makhmalbaf, Iran) An intreguing film-- it is difficult to tell
what is acting and what is instinct.
- Mulholland Drive
- (2001, David Lynch) Maybe
you'll just think that this is weird. I hope you don't; it's a
captivating film which gets better with multiple viewings.
- Muriel's Wedding
- (1994, P.J. Hogan) Painfully
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- (1993, Henry
Selick) The first time I saw this I thought it was okay, but it's really
grown on me.
- Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)
(2006, Guillermo del Toro, Spain) Beautiful, atmospheric and engaging --
this is what older fairy tales are like.
- Praire Home Companion
- (2006, Robert Altman)
This is possibly the coziest movie I've every seen. Possibly this has
something to do with ketchup, which has natural mellowing agents. Highly
recommended for anyone who enjoys the radio program; also recommended for
anyone that can appreciate a relaxed sense of humor.
- (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) Since the
ideas and scenes in this pop up so much in our culture, I needed to watch
it twice to actually have a fresh viewing. (The first time, I laughed at
the ending.) But it's worth it.
- Pulp Fiction
- (1994, Quentin Tarantino) Watch
it to be entertained.
- The Saragossa Manuscript
- (1965, Wojciech Has,
Poland) This is an incredibly cool movie. It's about a story within a
story within a story within a story...
- The Shining
- (1980, Stanley Kubrick) I read
the book many years before watching the movie; they're similar, but also
very different. The film filled me with nervous suspense.
- Singin' in the Rain
- (1951, Gene Kelly) Fun!
- Strictly Ballroom
- (1992, Baz Lurhmann) This
is something of a fairy tale. It's also quite amusing and appropriate
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
- (2007, Tim Burton) This version of the musical is played very
sweetly. It also redeems Johnny Depp's performance in "From Hell". If you've
seen the magnificent Angela Lansbury version that creeped me out as a
child, you should be warned that this one is diferent. This one wasn't
creepy (to me) at all! Of course, I'm a vegetarian now...
- Taxi Driver
- (1976, Martin Scorsese) This was
- The Trilogy: On the Run, An Amazing Couple, After the
Life (2002, Lucas Belvaux, Belgium/France) This is a trio of movies,
each in a different style (political thriller/ romantic comedy/
melodrama), that take place concurrently. They have the same cast of
characters, with major characters in one film turning into minor
characters in other films. At first, I was afraid that this would just be
a gimmick, but as we watch each movie our perceptions of the characters
change, in entirely believable ways. This makes this trilogy much better
than the sum of its parts.
- (1999, Roger Nygard) This is a
documentary, but I found it entertaining. I think that this is a film
mostly for those among us who liked either Star Trek or TNG.
- Trembling Before G-D
- (2001, Sandi Simcha)
This is a documentary about many people who are certain about both their
homosexuality and their faith. It's full of love, which is the most
important part of understanding.
- Virgin Spring
- (1960, Ingmar Bergman, Sweden)
There's both great depth and simplicity here.
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
(2005, Steve Box and Nick Park) This is great for anyone who has a sense
- West Side Story
- (1961, Robert Wise) My 9th
grade English class loved this.
- You Can Count on Me
- (2000, Ken Lonergan) This
is a very honest film.
Almost perfect (3.75 stars out of 4):
- (1990, Guy Maddin)
- Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit
Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
- (2006, Larry Charles) This
is hillarious, but as it uses real people somewhat unknowingly it made me
a bit uncomfortable at times. (One could argue that this discomfort added
to the humor in a way.)
- Deserted Station
- (2002, Alireza Raisian,
Iran) Quite lovely, nicely paced
- Donnie Darko
- (2001, Richard Kelly) In a way,
this reminds me of Heathers. It's also really grown on me. But I found
the ending disappointing. Still, it really captures the feeling of
adolescence in the 80's. Okay. I really liked it, even with the ending
being disappointing (not in content, but in form).
- Eastern Promises
- (2007, David Cronenberg) The
plot is pretty good, but the performances are excellent.
- Little Children
- (2006, Todd Field) This tries
a little too hard to be Literature. (Is a Mdme Bovary book club choice
cliched? Perhaps.) But the performances and flow work.
- Little Miss Sunshine
- (2006, Jonathan Dayton,
Valerie Faris) A solid comedy-- if you're in the mood for something
amusing, I'd recommend this. Some of the characters/situations came
close to characatures, but the actors and directors were able to pull it
- Marie Antoinette
- (2006, Sofia Coppola) I saw
this on DVD rather than in a theater. It created a sympathetic mood; the
acting was excellent, but the youth of the main character wasn't clear to
- The Simpson's Movie
- (2007, David Silverman)
I don't know whether this needed to be a movie (rather than a few tv
episodes), but it was very funny.
- Spider-Man 2
- (2004, Sam Raimi) Oh so
- A Tale of Two Sisters
- (2004, Kim Jee-woon,
South Korea) This has lovely filming, acting, and plotting as well as
a good sense of mystery and tension. The only flaw for me was about two
minutes in the middle where I had a "Oh come on now..." sort of
reaction. But it redeemed itself, and I'd like to rewatch it.
- Tales from the Gimli Hospital
- (1988, Guy
Maddin) Fun/ stylised by necessity
- (2003, Jonathan Caouette) This one
is really quite good. It's something of an autobiography/family history
that at times is very horrific--as nonfiction, this is very striking.
Very Good movies! (3.5 stars out of 4):
- A. I.
- (2001, Steven Spielberg) I know, I
know... it was a slick film and very manipulative at the end. But I
enjoyed it anyhow.
- An American Werewolf in London
- (1981, John
Landis) Amusing! It explores the logic of horror a bit, and has way cool
department store Halloween mask special effects.
- Amores Perros
- (2001, Alejandro Gonzalez
Inarritu, Mexico) WARNING: The (pretend) violence to animals may
make some people uncomfortable.
- Annie Hall
- (1977, Woody Allen)
- Batman Begins
- (2005, Christopher Nolan) More
realistic than the other Batman movies (this one comes up for a reasonably
plausable explaination for everything), it's also well acted by everyone
- Being John Malkovich
- (1999, Spike Jonze)
This one is just cool.
- Big Fish
- (2003, Tim Burton) Visually
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Stephen Herek) This was one of the best things about jr high -- it gets
lots of brownie points for nostalgia.
- (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni) (Art
- Bowling for Columbine
- (2002, Michael Moore)
Overall, this was very good, but some of the numbers given didn't have
enough context. (Eg, we were given the number of gun deaths in the US and
Canada respectively, but not the population of those countries at the time
of filming. If you don't have a quick idea about the sizes, it could be
hard to compare.) It should be noted that it falls more into an editorial
category than a documentary category, although that is the case for most
- (1985, Terry Gilliam, Britian)
- Bringing Out the Dead
- (1999, Martin Scorsese)
- Bubba Ho-Tep
- (2002, Don Coscarelli)
Silliness, but a reasonable meditation on aging as well
- Cabaret Balkan
- (1998, Goran Paskaljevic,
- (2002, Rob Marshall) It was hard for
me to like any of the (well acted) characters, but the dance numbers are
- The Company
- (2003, Robert Altman) Ballet
that's interesting even to those who aren't interested normally --likely
this is unrealistic, but I didn't care.
- Cowards Bend the Knee
- (2003, Guy Maddin) Artsy!
- (1991, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc
Caro, France) The second least disgusting movie about cannibals that I've
ever seen! It's very silly/adventury, but it works well.
- (1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot,
France) Also known as Les Diaboliques Be sure to find this older version,
and get the subtitled copy (assuming it exists)! The dubbed one is
- Everything is Illuminated
- (2005, Leiv
Schreiber, parts in Ukrainian) We are deftly swept through some
well done comedy into drama. I enjoyed it, but I would have enjoyed it
more if I didn't leave the theater feeling so manipulated.
- Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control
- (1997, Errol
- The Five Obstructions
- (2003, Jorgen Leth and
Lars von Trier, Denmark) Lars von Treir brings Jorgen
Leth out of retirement and challenges him to redirect his short film, A
Perfect Human, under different sets of constraints. We get to watch
conversations between the directors as the different set ups are decided
on, and then again as the completed films are shown. We also get to see
each new film as it's being made. The ends up turning this into an odd
combination of documentary, art film, and home movie.
- The Funeral
- (1996, Abel Ferrara) It's a mafia
sort of film in the somewhat philosophical/family drama style with Christopher
- The Good Shepherd
- (2006, Robert De Niro) I
have no idea how this holds up historically.
- Harold and Maude
- (1971, Hal Ashby) Dark
- The Hour of the Wolf
- (1968, Ingmar Bergman,
- House of Flying Daggers
- (2004, Zhang
Yimou, China/Hong Kong) Many well choreographed fight scenes; follows
the style of a folk tale
- Howl's Moving Castle
- (2004, Hayao Miyazaki,
Japan) Rather fairy-tale like
- La Femme Nikita
- (1991, Luc Besson, France)
- Last Night
- (1998, Don McKellar) This film is
about the end of the world; it seemed very realistic, and the characters
were very sincere.
- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Wes Anderson) Amusing in kind of a dry way
- Life is to Whistle
- (1998, Fernando Perez,
Cuba) The film is full of life and color.
- The Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
Peter Jackson) I cannot watch these without comparing them to the books.
They have, however, made me like the books even more. The extended
editions are the ones to watch, if you have the choice.
- Man of the Century
- (1999, Adam Abraham)
- Man Of Iron
- (1981, Andrzej Wajda, Poland)
- (2000, Christopher Nolan) I don't
need to tell you about this because you've already seen it.
- Moulin Rouge
- (2001, Baz Luhrmann) This grew
on me; it's mostly silly fun. It's good to see it with a group of people
in a giggly mood.
- North by Northwest
- (1959, Alfred Hitchcock)
This is one of his funniest movies, although I can't tell whether that was
the case originally. Either the banter between the two leads is supposed
to be witty or amusing.
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- (2000, Joel Coen)
If you want to watch this movie, don't watch the trailer for it ahead of
time. Even with the trailer, this is amusing.
- The Princess Bride
- (1987, Rob Reiner) This
looses something after the twelfth time or so.
- (1965, Roman Pulanski, France)
- Requiem for a Dream
- (2000, Darren Aronofsky)
WARNING: People left the theater during this movie. If you're
sensitive to violence or yucky sex or drug use or gangrene, don't see
- Schindler's List
- (1993, Steven Spielberg)
- The Seventh Seal
- (1957, Ingmar Bergman,
- The Sixth Sense
- (1999, M. Night Shyamalan)
- (2002, Steven Soderberg) This is a remake of an older
film based on a science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem. This is a little slicker and a little
less artsy than the older version, but it still is artsy enough. I do prefer this one, though
I'm glad that I also saw the older one.
- (1919, Frank Hurley) Historic!
- Stop Making Sense
- (1984, Jonathan Demme)
Talking Heads Concert footage.
- This is What Democracy Looks Like
- (2000, Jill Friedberg) Overall
interesting, but it could have used a little technical work (eg, white words over a light
background were hard to read.)
- (2000, Steven Soderbergh) This is
somehow a both complicated and very simpleminded portrait of drugs in the
- Three Seasons
- (1999, Tony Bui, USA/Vietnam)
- Toy Story
- (1995, John Lasseter)
- Toy Story 2
- (1999, John Lasseter) It's as
good as the original.
- The Usual Suspects
- (1995, Bryan Singer)
- Vanity Fair
- (2004, Nira Nair, UK/India)
- The Virgin Suicides
- (1999, Sofia Coppola)
The style is very evocative. It captures the trapped feelings of the
teenage years where you begin to see the world, but don't yet have enough
experience to understand it.
- The Wings of the Dove
- (1997, Iain Softley)
I don't know how closely this follows the book, but it seemed to be done
well. It is a costume drama, but it is better than the category itself
- Xiu Xiu, the Sent Down Girl
- (1999, Joan Chen,
Movies that I bumped down from 3.5 (or up as the case may be) (3.25 out of 4 stars):
- (2006, Mel Gibson, in Maya)
You've seen this story before, but this is a reasonably good telling of
- (1992, Guy Maddin)
- (2002, Zhang Yimou, Hong Kong/China)
The fight scenes are reasonably good (some are better choreographed than
others), and the plot is pretty solid.
- Hot Fuzz
- (2007, Edgar Wright) Mostly a comedy
that contains murder mystery, horror, action, and police buddy movie
elements. If you are in the mood for a comedy with any of those, you
should see this.
- The Iron Giant
- (1999, Brad Bird)
- Knocked Up
- (2007, Judd Apatow) Generally
amusing-- though some jokes are cheap, the characters have depth.
- The Science of Sleep
- (2006, Michel Gondry,
France) This movie might want to be whimsical or perhaps it doesn't.
- (2005, Joss Whedon) This is one of
the best sci-fi movies from a tv show. Firefly (the television show) is
much better, though, and it can be seen on DVD without commercials. In
the tv series, the characters are closer knit, and the plots are more fun.
- Shrek 2
- (2004, Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury,
Conrad Vernon) Generally amusing.
- Sleepy Hollow
- (1999, Tim Burton) Atmosphere!
But don't bother watching it a second time. Once the plot mystery is
gone, the mysteriousness of the surroundings suffers.
- Waking Life
- (2001, Richard Linklater)
Picture yourself walking around through various dorm lounges at about 2AM
and listenning in on people's philosophical discussions.
- Whale Rider
- (2003, Niki Caro) I think I
would have enjoyed this more if I were younger. This is definately one of
those movies where you should enjoy the trip, rather than wondering about
the destination. Mostly, I felt like it was trying to manipulate my
Movies that I irrationally enjoyed. (Pi out of 4
- Dark City
- (1997, Alex Proyas) Watch it for
- The Fifth Element
- (1997, Luc Besson) This
movie is like a comic book.
- 50 First Dates
- (2004, Peter Segal) It's a
romantic comedy, which embarassingly enough I saw out of my own volition
and more embarassingly liked.
- Finding Forrester
- (2000, Gus VanSant) The
plot isn't overly new, but the acting is good and very sincere. I don't
know why I liked it.
- (2003, James Mangold) It's a
Thriller that uses some Conventions, but it's done well.
- Truly, Madly, Deeply
- (1991, Anthony
Minghella, UK) Not really a romantic comedy, although it involves both
comedy and romance. Even still, I liked it.
Movies that are probably worth seeing. (3 out of 4 stars, or
possibly 2.5; I'm too lazy to distinguish):
- Animated Films from Iran
- (various, Iran)
Sadly, I don't have any more information on directors, etc. This was
a collection of five short animated childrens films. Some were very
interesting in form; others were kinda boring.
- Before Sunrise
- (1995, Richard Linklater)
Basically, this is about an hour and a half of the audience following a
couple around and eavesdropping on their conversations with Vienna as a
backdrop. It's put together pretty well. The conversations are
thoughtful in a way, yet I don't really agree with the characters all that
often, and it's frustrating to be unable to interject.
- (2007, Robert Zemeckis) This is a
reasonable adaptation of a very old tale; the premise is this series of
(clearly fictional) events could have inspired the epic that I read in
highschool English class. Everything is computer generated; the people
look very similar to humans. It captures the mood well. The earlier
battles are well done; the ending one less so.
- (1942, Michael Curtiz)
- (2000, Robert Zemeckis)
- Cinema Paradisio
- (1989, Guiseppe Tornatore,
- (1994, Kevin Smith) It feels very
folksy, but the humor, while funny, is embarassing. WARNING The
humor can be quite crude.
- The Constant Factor
- (1980, Krzysztof Zanussi,
- Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary
Guy Maddin) It's unclear whether this is a ballet movie or a movie
- (1998, Christopher Nolan) This was
very interesting, although the ideas didn't seem fully matured.
- (2003, AJ Schnack) Documentary of
sorts on They Might Be Giants
- The Golden Compass
- (2007, Chris Weitz) The
acting and effects are strong. The script is weak-- it alternated between
introducing characters and action sequences. The book has depth and
subtlety that could (and really should) have been added here.
- Irma Vep
- (1996, Olivier Assayas, France)
(Kind of an artsy film) The bulk of the film wasn't overly striking, but
the ending was very effective.
- The Italian Job
- (2003, F. Gary Gray) A heist!
- Knife in the Water
- (1962, Roman Polanski,
- Legally Blonde
- (2001, Robert Luketic)
There's just enough in here to entertain me.
- Man on the Moon
- (1999, Milos Foreman) Jim
Carrey does a realistic job, but it is more entertaining to just watch old
Andy Kaufmann sketches on a TVland marathon.
- (1996, Claude Nuridsany Marie
Perennou) Lots and lots of bugs doing buggy things. My attention span is
just a little too short for this whole film.
- The Million Dollar Hotel
- (1999, Wim Wenders)
- (1998, Darren Aronofsky) I liked the style
of this, but after about an hour they tried to squeeze it into a specific
plot. (Art film)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (1, 2, and 3)
2006, and 2007 Gore Verbinski) This is more entertaining than you'd expect a
movie-based-on-a-ride to be. All the same, I've grown kind of tired of
adventure films. (But clearly not so tired that I avoided all of the
sequels-- each one has its moments.)
- The Prestige
- (2006, Christopher Nolan) Jim
wants me to say, "Tesla! Tesla, Tesla, Tesla, Tesla, Tesla!"
- (2004, Shane Carruth) I appreciate it
when a movie doesn't overdo the explaination, but instead allows the
audience to think for itself. Of course, it is possible to overdo lack of
explaination (see film for example). This film probably requires multiple
- Princess Mononoke
- (1997, Hayoa Miyazaki,
Japan) It's more intense than the average cartoon and less intense than
the average anime.
- The Red Violin
- (1998, Francois Girard)
- Run Lola Run
- (1999, Tom Tykwer, Germany)
- The Saddest Music in the World
- (2003, Guy
Maddin, Canada) Not quite as surreal or as comic as I had hoped, but it
definately has its moments. (Comedy based upon melodrama)
- Shadow of the Vampire
- (2000, E. Elias
Merhige) This was an interesting film mentally, but I was aware that I was
watching a film the entire time.
- Shadows and Fog
- (1992, Woody Allen) I didn't
find Woody Allen's character interesting at all, but John Malkovich was
quite amusing. This film is full of cameos, which are distracting, rather
than amusing. It does manage to be suspenseful in a good old-fashioned
mystery kind of way.
- Shaun of the Dead
- (2004, Edgar Wright) If
you are ever in the mood for a humourous zombie movie, you should watch
this one. (I saw this on DVD; it is possibly better in the theater.)
- (2001, Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson)
This was put together nicely, but I didn't find myself becoming
emotionally attatched to the characters (at all).
- (2007, Michael Moore) I'm glad this was
made, but it could have been stronger.
- (1972, Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR) This
is similar to 2001, except the story is completely different. Parts of it
are very slow paced.
- Some Like it Hot
- (1959, Billy Wilder)
- Spike Mike's Classic Festival of Animation
- War of the Worlds
- (2005, Steven Spielberg)
The overall storyline was alright -- we follow a not too likeable
character and his not too likeable children through an alien attacked
world, but there were a couple of rather well done scenes.
- X2 X-men United
- (2003, Bryan Singer)
- Young Frankenstein
- (1975, Mel Brooks)
I would not lose any respect for you if you liked the following
movies. (Probably) They have some good points. (2.0 out of 4
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron
- (2004, Adam McKay) This could work with the right
audience. I suggest one with very giggly people or nearly teenaged
cousins. (It's meta-funny! That is, it's fun to watch other people
laughing, and some of them do indeed laugh at this.)
- Best in Show
- (2000, Christopher Guest) I
know that I'm supposed to like it, but this didn't amuse me too much.
It's about a dog show and its contestents, and I didn't find myself caring
in the slightest who would win.
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- (1961, Blake Edwards)
This is, I think, better than many romantic comedies in that it has fewer
Plot Devices, but it replaces them with Deep Symbolism that occasionally
drives the plot a bit. Sadly, the symbolism merely longs for depth,
rather than acheiving it. I didn't really care too much about the
characters, although I think the main couple's acting was fine. The
upstairs neighbor character was just an embarassment.
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- (1998, Terry
Gilliam) Bits of this were good, but it just doesn't quite hold together.
I should note that Johnny Depp was terrific.
- (2001, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo,
Spain) Basic premise: luck is a semi-tradable commodity. This is a
stylized film, but it centers on gambling of sorts. It just didn't appeal
to me all that much.
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
- (2004, Brad Silberling) I enjoyed this as much as I do the books.
Both do have some potential, and some sense of style, and maybe a much
much younger version of myself would actually enjoy them. As is,
something was missing. (Possibly a sense of tension? or sorrow? or any
other kind of emotion?) The characters should be somewhat sympathetic
(though not enough to scare the kiddies, I guess), but this failed.
Still, it's probably fun enough for someone who wants a movie that a
wider array of ages can watch.
- Ma Vie En Rose
- (1997, Alain Berliner,
France/Belgium/UK) There are lots of good parts to this, but it felt very
- The Matrix
- (1999, Larry & Andy Wachowski)
Watch it for the action. If you don't expect a plot, you might be
pleasantly surprised by the traces of one that are snuck in here and there.
- Meet Joe Black
- (1998, Martin Brest) The
characterizations were okay, and the plot was servicable, but there was
nothing outstanding about this movie.
- Ocean's Eleven
- (2001, Steven Soderbergh) It
was both slick and boring. I couldn't find anything new or interesting
- Onward Christian Soldiers
- (1997, Freke
Vuijst) It's a documentary, but it's not well documented enough for my
tastes. It doesn't spend enough time on what issues are involved, why
they need to be considered, and what might be done to help.
- Real Women Have Curves
- (2002, Patricia
Cadroso) I know that this movie means well, but it's really quite a lot
like watching an after-school special.
- (1987, Mel Brooks) I know I
thought that this was funny back when I was a kid, but now it's only
- Star Wars, Episodes I and II
- (1999 and 2002,
George Lucas) This wasn't as epic as I was expecting. You should go into
it with low expectations. But hey, I feel some kind of cultural
obligation to them.
- Twilight of the Ice Nymphs
- (1997, Guy Maddin)
I didn't care for the style too much; it seemed like the film was ruined
by an overlarge budget.
- The World
- (2004, Jia Zhangke,
China/Japan/France) Disaffected youth in a theme park -- I couldn't relate
much to any of the characters.
- The World Is Not Enough
- (1999, Michael Apted)
The world, perhaps, is not quite big enough to hold all of the bad puns
and special effects. This one didn't stand out; it was like all of the
other Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies.
- Wonder Boys
- (2000, Curtis Hanson) This just
didn't work for me, even though it was set at CMU.
- (1996, Rinarto, Japan)It was kind of
interesting, but I didn't feel like the plot or the characters were really
developed at all.
Okay-ish ones (1.5 out of 4 stars):
- The Big Lebowski
- (1998, Joel Coen) This was
kinda okay, but it really wasn't all that satisfying. Maybe you'd like it;
I don't know. It lends credence to the belief that it's harder to make
comedy than drama.
- Blazing Saddles
- (1974, Mel Brooks) Some people
really like this movie, but I'm not one of them. You should watch this
with people who laugh easily.
- (1972, Bob Fosse) The announcer is
very good, but the rest was just okay.
- (2004, Joe Johnston) Overall, I don't
really like Westerns. The fact that this Western was set (largely) in the
Middle East didn't help enough. Gererally, the plot was boring, and the
effects weren't all that different from other desert movie effects (the
Mummy?). But the horse was a very good actor.
- (1993, Dominic Sena) I felt like
I'd seen the style, the camera angles, the acting, and the general plot
points before. It also lacked an appropriate amount of suspense. And the
ending scene seemed trite. But the credits were neatly typed!
- King of New York
- (1990, Abel Ferrara) It
stars Christopher Walken. He's always fun. But the seedy underworld
bores me. It's an alright laundry/bus movie.
- (2003, Michael Polish) I think
that the movie was trying to get me to make assumptions about things, but
it didn't work. There's some chance that this was really deep, and I just
didn't get it. But I've enjoyed many surreal films in the past, and this
didn't work for me. Perhaps it was because it was a (mid?)western, and
I'm not so fond of those.
- The Passion of the Christ
- (2004, Mel Gibson)
You might like this. I did not. Cinematically, it was alright. It was
reasonably well paced. Some people were moved by it, and I can respect
that. I have found other depictions of the passion to be moving in many
different ways. But the entire time I was watching this, I was aware that
I was watching an actor in make-up. I felt that it dwelt too much on the
physical body without going into the self and interpersonal relationships.
It was someing like Jesus as a human body rather than Jesus as a person.
There wasn't enough context, and while I know (my impressions of) the
context, that's the sort of thing that could have made it work.
- (2004, Lynn Hershman Leeson)
There are a few interesting enough bits in here, but it doesn't quite
mesh together well. It seems to want to be a sci-fi comedy, and it does
alright enough for that genre, I suppose.
I can almost conceive of someone liking this (1.0 out of 4
- From Hell
- (2001, Albert and Allen Hughes)
When I left this, I felt like I'd just wasted 3 hours of my life.
Fortunately, I'd only wasted 2 hours and 17 minutes.
- The Illusionist
- (2006, Neil Burger) What is
the point in a movie about magic where all of the effects are obvious CGI?
Maybe it's the predictible ending! Technically, the ending was a surprise
to me-- I hadn't realized that the big reveal would happen because I
thought that they were spelling it out to us all along. Okay. I guess I
just found this insulting and mostly boring.
Bad bad bad:
- Meet the Feebles
- (1989, Peter Jackson) Chuck E
Cheese style puppets do many things that puppets don't normally do.
Honestly, there's no reason why puppets should have so many body fluids.
The film almost made me physically sick.
- (1999, Rupert Wainwright) This film
really wanted to be artistic, but it didn't work out very well for them.
The acting is well done. This alone would have left it waiting quietly in
the okay-ish category, but the film tries to create a new mythology based
loosely on Catholicism and then justify it with historical fact blurbs at
the end. A new mythology alone would be fine--this is a movie, after all,
but it's hard to believe in a vast conspiracy to hide documents which can
be easily found via a web search.