Month: June 2012

Magic Mike

Hey you guys, it’s actually Amber. I know, I know. I can’t believe Ryan wouldn’t want to write a review about Magic Mike. So here I am writing a special review.

My friends and I went out after work last night to get dinner and then to see Magic Mike. It was such an incredibly fun night. This movie is just a lot of fun. Of course, I say that meaning this is a lot of fun if men are your thing. I can’t see Ryan ever, ever watching this movie.

Anyway, to the point here, what is Magic Mike about? It’s about Mike, this 30 year old super hottie played by Channing Tatum. He is a roofer by day, stripper by night and makes specialty furniture in his free time and building furniture ultimately is his passion in life. A chance meeting with Adam, played by Alex Pettyfer, ends up being a friendship in which he becomes close to Adam’s sister, (Cody Horn). He brings Adam into the stripper world where we meet the boss of the club, Dallas, played by Matthew McConaughey. Alright, Alright, Alright. Ladies, you probably see more of Matthew in this movie than you have ever seen before. One of the ending scenes leaves super little to the imagination. Another notable name in the stripping troupe is Joe Manganiello, and he plays Big Dick Richie.

[Click on the character names above to see a yummy picture from the movie]

Because the theater was filled with mostly women, we all screamed when it started and laughed throughout. This movie is no Oscar worthy film, it isn’t moving and the love story is hardly a love story at all, but this movie is SO incredibly fun. We all had a blast and the men are smoking hot. Why not just go ahead and make it a girls night and go see it.

Have Fun!


The Game

Year: 1997
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris


A very good movie. This was early in the career of director David Fincher and I would have watched anything and everything he made back then in the later 90s. This movie is dark, it’s intense, and an absolute thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat in suspense the whole time. I saw this for the first time after I became such a fan of Fight Club and David Fincher.  I thought this movie was very good but the weakest of the three films I had seen from him, Seven being the third.  Being the weakest next to those two films isn’t a bad thing though, they are great movies and that doesn’t make this one bad, it just suffers by comparison.

This movie really keeps you guessing the whole time.  When I saw it I was led to think that it was reasonable to expect so much more to come from Fincher films.  That isn’t how it turned out really and I said as much in our review of Fight ClubThese three Fincher films all wowed me and they are exceptional movies even now. The only thing that makes this the weakest of the three is simply that the other two were SO incredible.  This one is good but the wow moment in the end doesn’t really compare to the box or the realization that Tyler Durden wasn’t real.

I think Michael Douglas is a great actor and it really sucks that he is getting older now. He is very natural in the role he plays here because it is so similar to roles he has plays before.  He is like a more mellow version of Gordon Gecko in this movie. I have never been a big fan of Sean Penn but I have had to eat my words lately regarding him because he was so good in The Assassination of Richard NixonHe plays his part well enough in this movie too playing the younger brother of Michael Douglas. Spike Jonze also makes an uncredited cameo at the end of the movie as a paramedic. While the performances are good in this movie I think the film is driven mainly by the complexity of the story.  There is also a great musical score that goes along with the film and really sets the right tone for the intensity of the movie.

This is one of those movies that will keep you guessing for two hours then make you question everything all over again in the end.  I think we all occasionally find ourselves in the mood for that kind of film and next time that happens to you then you should give this one a try.  It’s not the greatest movie I have ever seen but it is good and it is worth your time to see it.


Isn’t Michael Douglas just, awesome? I really enjoyed this movie. I don’t remember the first time that I watched it, but every now and then I catch it on television and get sucked in all over again. It’s all about this guy who gets the opportunity to play The “Game” and unbeknownst to him, he is actually playing a game with his life. The Game actually becomes his life and we (the viewer) get to watch it unfold. How he reacts to the situations that present themselves is important to his character change throughout the movie. His character in this movie might as well be called Gordon Gecko from Wall Street.

Have I mentioned to you guys that I am a graphic designer? Yup, that’s what helps pay the bills around here. After talking to Ryan about the blog, we thought I may have a good voice on here to review the typography, intros and poster for these movies. This is the movie poster for The Game. I am sure that in 1997 they thought it was really clever to make his head into a puzzle, which of course is a game. Today, we may look at this as a little campy. Especially since the puzzle pieces are falling away into the distance. The typography of The Game is nice, however. A serif font was a good choice for the title and the movie itself.

NEXT MOVIE: Gangs of New York (2002)

Pixar’s Brave

I have had my eye on this movie for over a year now.  Last summer I was considering what movie would be my then 2 year olds first experience in the movie theater. Movies are obviously really important to us and it was important that we choose the right film when taking her to the theater for the first time.  I barely gave any other film scheduled for release any thought because if Pixar had something coming out it was the one we were going to see. I think Pixar is without doubt the best studio for producing animated films.  Films like Wall-E, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, and Up are already important to our daughter and we both loved them all as well.  I specifically think Up was a really incredible film that was so imaginative and funny, but I have liked almost all of the Pixar films. We don’t review our daughter’s movies as part of this blog so I would like to take the opportunity to recommend seeing all of them.

As it goes with Brave I didn’t feel that it met my expectations, but there are several reasons for that and that isn’t to say that it was a bad film.  The first problem is that my daughter clearly wasn’t in the age range of the target audience. That’s my fault though and not really a problem with the movie. She seemed to enjoy the film enough but for the most part I think by and large the story went over her head.  I think there were real problems with the story structure as well, for example there was no real significant antagonist in the film that was actually center to the overall story.  The story turned out to be more about the relationship between a mother and her strong willed teenager.  It was a good story that I think is really appropriate for older children, just not really up my 3 year olds alley.

Speaking of the story I found myself having an interesting revelation as we waited for it to start.  I didn’t even really know what this movie was about beyond it being about a red head Scottish girl that appeared to be a warrior.  I want my daughter to see films about strong female characters so it seemed perfect but despite all the attention I paid to it during the past year I never really found out what the actual story was.  I think that is odd and I don’t know that this movie has really been marketed well enough to maximize its potential.  It’s as if the studio doesn’t really bother anymore because they are Pixar and they know people are going to show up to see whatever they do.  That may just be the way I am though and maybe I managed to miss a larger effort to advertise the film.

If you are thinking about taking your child to see this film I by no means want to discourage you but do consider the age and maturity of your child.  I would think the appropriate age range might be something more like 5 and up but I don’t know for sure because my kids are younger.  I don’t think this was the best Pixar movie and I don’t think it was really up to the caliber of their other films.  It’s not bad and I will eventually revisit it and possibly find several things I liked about it.  I was looking for something that really blew me away like Up did the first time I saw it and Brave just didn’t do that.

Galaxy Quest

Year: 1999
Directed By: Dean Parisot
Written By: David Howard and Robert Gordon


When I was working at Action Video twelve years ago this was one of the family friendly movies I played frequently in the store.  I thought the movie was funny and it provided me many hours of both background noise and entertainment during the work hours when I was sixteen.  I have always loved this movie and still find it funny when watching it now. The cast is made up of great actors who in some cases are so surprisingly funny.  I’m also married to a big time Star Trek fan so I especially like a movie like this that is more or less a parody of that series.

I grew up watching Home Improvement so I have always been a Tim Allen fan and specifically like him in this movie. He is really natural in this leadership role and does a great job heading this fantastic ensemble.  Sigourney Weaver is great in this movie, she can be so funny and so attractive sometimes.  She has such a funny role as the hot woman from the show who didn’t actually do anything but speak to the voice activated computer. What surprises me is how funny she actually is though, I usually associate her with more serious roles so it was a pleasant surprise. Alan Rickman is awesome, I have always liked him in anything he was part of and this is no different.  Rickman is hilarious in the role of the Spock-like Dr. Lazarus. I like seeing the diversity from him as an actor when he can be so funny with a role like this.  I think two of the best roles in the movie go to Tony Shalhoub and Sam Rockwell.  Shalhoub is just so casual and nonchalant no matter what is going on in the movie and it’s really funny.  My favorite scene is when everyone is freaking out while they are trying to land on the alien planet but Shalhoub is just sitting there with a goofy smile on his face eating candy.  Sam Rockwell playing the part of the no name guy from the show that gets killed on landing parties is great.  When he realizes that he is the character that gets killed on the alien planet and starts freaking out it’s so funny.  There is one scene where he looks at everybody and demands to know if anyone there knows his last name, and nobody can answer.  These characters are not only all funny individually but they had great on screen chemistry that made the movie work really well.  Enrico Colantoni plays one of the main aliens and he is very funny in his role as well.  There is also a much younger Justin Long in this film playing the part of a big fan that struggles to get the attention of his idol Captain Nesmith.

This is a fun and funny movie that I really have always enjoyed.  Not only is this one that I enjoy myself but I look forward to watching it with my kids one day as it is a film you can watch with your children and still enjoy.  The humor in this movie can resonate with both fans of Star Trek as well as the people out there who never saw the show.  This movie didn’t make any serious waves when it came out and it didn’t win any awards but I think it is worth your time.  For a fun and simple movie that you can just sit back and enjoy this is one you need to check out.


I don’t care who you are, this movie is funny. I guess technically, if you have never seen Star Trek, then maybe you won’t get all of the humor, but nevertheless this movie is funny. Ryan introduced me to this movie before he made (yes, MADE) me wach all of the Star Trek movies. I didn’t really understand all of the humor at the time, but I really like Tim Allen and you can never go wrong putting Sigourney Weaver in anything sci-fi, spoof or not.

Is this movie a little bit cheezy? You bet it is. Is it still worth the time? Absolutely. What are you waiting for?

NEXT MOVIE: The Game (1997)

Movies By Request

The Great White Hype

Year: 1996
Directed By: Reginald Hudlin
Written By: Tony Hendra Roy Shelton

There are more movies made about boxing than any other professional sport.  I think there is a very good reason for that and it is simple.  Boxing movies are awesome, even if they are all the same. I have said as much before in my post on Cinderella Man but I think deep down we all have an instinctive desire to see fights. The men that choose to spend their lives as fighters always have interesting stories to tell as well.  Yet all boxing movies seem to follow a similar template, and this movie is no different.  It covers many elements of the boxing world that we see in others films, but the redundancy of boxing story lines somehow never seems to be a problem. I often find myself realizing this is the same thing I have seen before but still loving it in all boxing films, and or TV shows in the case of Lights Out. I was a really big fan of that show and disappointed to see it cancelled.  My main point here is that while they all might be so similar they are usually interesting in other ways.

This movie specifically makes fun of the racial element in the sport.  I despise racism but do enjoy the humor that can be found in stereotypes across the board.  We all fall into stereotypes, it doesn’t necessarily always have to be about race, but it is funny so long as it is in good humor.  There is a big difference between making a joke about a stereotype and making a racist joke.  I think this movie made fun of racist behavior albeit in a crude manner at times.  One of the times I laughed the hardest was when Samuel L Jackson accused a reporter of being racist.  He responds by saying he is Jewish to which Jackson then accuses him of being an “Uncle Tom.” The reporter says Jews can’t be “Uncle Toms” and Jackson turned to look at his cronie Jon Lovitz playing a Jewish man and puts the question to him.  Lovitz defensively says “we can be!” and it is just such a funny exchange.  This movie is about race all the way through and I did think it was really funny, but these kinds of films watched by the wrong people always send the wrong message.  I have found in my experiences that racist tend to feel validated by comedies or tragedies about race when in fact they should be humbled by them.  I don’t understand the disconnection but it is a disappointing reality about some people.  Racism at the root is a product of ignorance and people who embrace it are often not clever enough to see the error of their ways.

I remember always wanting to see this movie during my Action Video days but somehow never getting around to it.  So I was pleased when a co-worker brought it in among a stack of other films the other day.  I had completely forgotten about the film altogether and was glad for the opportunity to see it.  I was even happier to have liked the movie as I anticipated I would long ago.  Samuel L. Jackson has a charisma that reaches out to everyone and I am no different.  I have thought he was awesome for almost twenty years now since I first saw him in Die Hard with a Vengeance as an eleven year old. I had yet to see Pulp Fiction, that one was off limits for me until I was old enough to seek it out myself.  Nevertheless I have thought he was great since then and he has done nothing to dissuade me from that opinion.  If anything he has only made his image greater in my eyes as he has now become such a key figure in the Marvel movies as Nick Fury.  As to this film he is what would easily be expected, awesome.  As the key figure of a really large cast he does great with a powerful and commanding presence at all times. He is funny in this movie while playing a really flamboyant and enigmatic boxing promoter; he is exactly what he should be in that role.

Of this large cast that includes many notable actors I think the best one playing a supporting role was Jamie Foxx.  He is another actor that is very charismatic and good in most of what he does.  He plays someone kind of stupid in this movie and pulls it off well.  As a big and lifelong fan of The Shield I also really enjoyed seeing Michael Jace in a movie. He played Julian Lowe on the show and I thought he showed great range as an actor throughout the series.  The rest of this cast is made up of other notable actors who do a great job.  Among them are Jeff Goldblum, Cheech Marin, John Rhys-Davies (Gimli from Lord of the Rings), Jon Lovitz, and Damon Wayans (the first one).

I am glad that at long last I have finally seen this movie and I really enjoyed it.  It was a fun and funny movie that didn’t let me down after I had waited so long to see it I had actually forgotten about it.  I am grateful that my co-worker lent it to me to see and I would recommend it to anybody looking for a fun boxing comedy to see.

From Dusk Till Dawn

Year: 1996
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
Written By: Robert Kurtzman (story) Quentin Tarantino (screenplay)


I don’t know that I have ever watched any other film that does a 180 quite like this one.  This movie offers one of the most dramatic changes in direction that I have ever seen in any movie but I think that is part of what makes it memorable.  For the first half of the movie there is a completely different tone to it and absolutely no hint of what is to come.  Suddenly, seriously out of nowhere, it becomes a movie about vampires.  It’s cool in this case though because it was before vampires would completely consume our culture and wear out their welcome. I have never been a fan of vampires that turn into creepy ass monsters but these vampires aren’t supposed to be cool they are supposed to be scary, or at the very least just silly. This isn’t my favorite film from either of the filmmakers but I think it has many elements that make it a worthy film.

One of the things I think makes this film most significant was that it advanced the career of Robert Rodriguez.  It was his second collaboration with Quentin Tarantino and it would go on to start a franchise and acquire a large cult following. I am a big fan of any time Tarantino and Rodriguez collaborate but I actually think Rodriguez is the better of the pair, not including Inglourious Basterds which was phenomenal. I have never understood why Tarantino has insisted on acting in many of those collaborations but he isn’t bad in this one.  I think he is well suited for the role of a hot headed pervert as it happens though so it works out really well in this case. Rodriguez is ever the king of cool and can always deliver on exciting action so his movies are always great.

It’s not often that I admit this but every so often George Clooney plays a part that is really cool.  I normally cannot stand Clooney but he is pretty badass in this movie, and it’s pre-Batman and Robin so I suppose that makes it OK. There were five other actors approached to play his part before he was offered the role though.  Michael Madsen, John Travolta, Christopher Walkin, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Roth all had scheduling conflicts and ultimately Clooney was approached and accepted.  I think he did a good job; he played a really cool bad guy.  I have always been a big fan of Juliette Lewis, she has a really interesting story and I wish she was in more movies currently.  She doesn’t do anything special in this movie but plays her part well enough.  Salma Hayek is sexy as only Salma Hayek can be and I remember hating the filmmakers briefly for making her so ugly all of a sudden and interrupting her strip tease. I think Harvey Keitel is awful in this movie but I normally like him a lot. I don’t think he was right for the role at all. This movie has several Rodriguez regulars as well playing smaller roles such as Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, and Tom Savini.

This was a really cool movie that all of a sudden took a nose dive and got really silly.  I think that this is these two guys (Tarantino and Rodriguez) just having a good time and doing something they think is fun.  Watching it this time I felt stupid having told Amber to pay attention to it.  There seems to be no end to the silliness at certain times such as when the vampire band is playing instruments made of body parts and people eventually just start exploding from gunshot wounds.  Despite all that I still see something in this movie that makes it worth the time to watch it.  You would probably be taking a gamble if you chose this to watch one evening but there is plenty of potential so you might like it too, it is worth a shot.


What the heck did Ryan just make me watch? I have to admit that I like both Tarantino and Rodriguez. They are both very talented writers and movie makers. Having said that (my co-workers would kill me for saying that), I am not a fan of this movie. The dramatic change in story line is ridiculous. Everyone I talked to about this movie all seemed to love it and think that I was crazy for not finding it incredibly interesting. I tried to put myself back in time to when this movie came out, because then I am sure the vampire craze wasn’t so prevalent. Maybe I should give the movie another chance someday before really bashing it. If you are in to strange movies that have variable storylines this is your movie.

NEXT MOVIE: Full Metal Jacket (1987) 

Full Metal Jacket

Year: 1987
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Gustov Hasford (novel) Stanley Kubrick, Gustov Hasford, and Michael Herr (screenplay)


I think this is a perfect movie. It is Stanley Kubrick‘s masterpiece. There are many movies that I love and many that I will say are great but there aren’t many I ever call perfect. This is one of the ones I do though; it is an incredible film on a level above all others I describe that way. This movie means something where so many mean nothing. It has a purpose that transcends everything that most movies are made for. This movie will be forever remembered and loved because it is special, because Stanley Kubrick is an amazing filmmaker and because it tells a different story about the war.

Admittedly this is a movie I never understood until I actually understood The Vietnam War. I studied history in college and took an entire class specifically about the war. It was after that class that I revisited this film and recognized how great it really was. Before that I remembered always giving up during the half way point where the story goes from boot camp to Vietnam and the story seems to change so dramatically. The film almost feels like a comedy for the first half during the boot camp section but once it moves overseas it moves like the experience of those men. It changed dramatically, it became real, and it became something those of us that weren’t there could never understand. The first time I saw this movie I knew nothing about the Tet Offensive, or anything at all about the Vietnam War for that matter. I would imagine that everything after the boot camp half of the movie must be confusing to a viewer who doesn’t know anything about the Tet Offensive. For those that don’t know, the Tet Offensive was a major coordinated offensive counter strike from the Vietcong on a major Vietnam holiday during the war in 1968. At the time Americans were under the impression we were winning the war, but suddenly there was a major nationwide attack that changed everything. This movie eventually settles around that event and it is important to understand what actually happened when watching this film. The Tet Offensive occurred in 1968 during the Tet holiday in Vietnam in which no fighting was supposed to be done. It was a serious coordinated offensive attack all over North and South Vietnam that caught US and South Vietnamese forces by surprise and hit hard. It happened during a time the war was still developing for people back home in the US and many people were under the impression the Vietcong was nothing to worry about and we were beating them. The Tet Offensive proved not only that we weren’t easily defeating the Vietcong but that they were in fact a serious opponent as well. It then went on to take the war to the next step that would go on for another four years or so. The Tet Offensive was a significant event in The Vietnam War and I would suggest that anybody interested do further research about it because I am just getting this information from memory. The Vietnam War overall has a really fascinating history that everybody can learn from, I would suggest anybody and everybody to read about that war.

From the very beginning of this film you can see how great it is. I love the opening with all the recruits having their hair shaved off. They all have such different kinds of hair and hairstyles and they all begin to look so similar without them. It suggests the loss of identity, they are in the first stage of being stripped of who they are and molded into something different. The Marines are masters at making men into machines and this movie gives us a window into what it was like during the 60s. The fact that they are Marines at all makes this a different Vietnam film and that was something else I never understood when I was younger. Men were drafted into the Army prior to and during the Vietnam War, but not the Marines. The men we see in this film weren’t drafted, they volunteered to go, and it was their decision. That changes everything about this movie and their war experience in general. I think the strangest thing is that a guy like Private Pile was even able to get in, but there are probably men finding they aren’t cut out for what they decided to do every day in the Marines.

Private Pile’s role in the movie is very interesting and the part is played well by Vincent D’Onofrio. His character’s inability to get with the program is something that happens all of the time and this movie offers a great opportunity to see an example of it. The marines are tough, you get that seeing this movie if you don’t already know it, and some men just aren’t cut out for it. Private Pile obviously didn’t have what it took but the Marines don’t accept failure as an option. His drill instructor only got harder and harder on him until those efforts proved fruitless and then he made the whole squad suffer in his place. That led to the hazing that we see with the soap wrapped in towels. I think that scene is incredible because you can see that Joker knows he shouldn’t join in, but his own frustrations with Pile overcome him and he ultimately gives Pile the worst beating of anybody. When Pile actually goes crazy it’s clear that it was only a matter of time and it turns into such a dramatic and hard hitting scene.

A major part of what made the first half of the film so great was the performance of R. Lee Ermey. He brought his own personal experience to the role and made it so much more real for the viewer. Ermey spent over a decade as part of the Marines and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He actually served for over a year in Vietnam during his service so I’m sure he his opinion had a lot of weight during filming. Although there is no telling how suggestions were taken on a Stanley Kubrick set. Ermey’s role was so incredible that his career ballooned afterwards and he is still popular today. He is an interesting and enigmatic actor who I have always liked; he has such a unique and intimidating voice. He is perfect for so many roles.

Once the story goes into Vietnam we see such a different film because it is such a different world over there.  The men over there are all half mad, and the ones that aren’t half mad are totally bat shit crazy.  These were young men that went overseas to fight that war and they went into quite a mess.  They entered a world full of death and uncertainty.  Eventually they begin to question what they are even doing there because they don’t know anymore. They are told they are there to help the South Vietnamese gain their freedom from the Communist but more often than not they find themselves fighting the men that they are supposed to be there to help.  This was a common problem in Vietnam because the South Vietnamese troops were just as likely to turn around and fight the Americans as they were to fight the enemy.  This makes the whole purpose of the war confusing to the soldiers in the field and eventually they all have to question why they are there.  The one thing that they all do know for certain is that they are there to kill, and that is what they do, but it makes them crazier and crazier as time passes. With the individual interviews you see being recorded in the film you get a wide range of opinions about the war from the people involved.  It’s also really interesting to see how the craziest ones (Animal Mother) can put on a nice face for the cameras.

The individual interviews were a really incredible part of the movie because they are so informative but they can also be confusing to people who know little about the war.  Vietnam was, at the root, more of a political war than anything else and it is just an unfortunate reality that many many people suffered because of it.  The Vietnam War was fought to combat the growth of Communism in the East.  There was The Domino Theory that suggested if one country fell to Communism they all would and it became the position of the United States to not allow the Communist to gain ground in South East Asia.  This led to the creation of the South Vietnam democracy by the US government and that was who we allied with during The Vietnam War. The truth of it all is that the nation of South Vietnam never really existed; it was just set up by the US government to give us somebody to fight for. We would get natives from South Vietnam, train them to fight, and then put them in the field and back them up. Those people didn’t care whether or not they had freedom though. The whole thing was ridiculous and in reality the whole war was just a big mistake that went too far and many different men continued making more mistakes and took things farther.  It wasn’t a winnable war because there was no side that could win.  We couldn’t win because we were just helping, but the country we were helping didn’t really exist.  You can’t force freedom down the throats of people who just want foreign people to leave so they can go home to their farms and villages to live life as they always had.  The South Vietnamese soldiers in the field would more often than not turn and fight the Americans because their hearts weren’t in it for freedom.  Democracy made no difference to them and they weren’t going to die for it.  In a nutshell this is why the war was so ridiculous, and it accomplished nothing but death and destruction for both sides.

This movie makes several strong statements about the war but they are wasted on people who don’t understand the conflict. For those of us that do understand, this movie is more than moving and it can teach us plenty about the war.  The Vietnam War is one of the most interesting conflicts I have ever studied and I would encourage anybody interested in history to learn as much as you can about it.  It was an awful situation, as all wars are, but there wasn’t much glory in this war as there was in the ones that came before it i.e. WWI or WWII.  This movie shows us the effects the war had on the soldiers and on the country of Vietnam as well.  It says a lot about guerrilla warfare and how unfair it all is.  In the end the squad loses several important characters and risk quite a bit to resolve the situation.  All of them end up at the mercy of one single person and it turns out to be a girl that was doing all the killing.  That says a lot about the war right there.  They never knew who the enemy was, where they were, or how many of them might be waiting to attack.  These men had it hard, and their lives were on the line.  It’s unfair to make assumptions about them or pass judgment on the things that they did because we weren’t there and we don’t know.  They were dying for people who might very well turn around and shoot them while they were focused on the enemy.  Every day was a struggle just to survive and danger was around every corner.  That situation would wreak havoc on the minds of any of us, and we can’t hope to understand what it was like for those that were involved.

I might not have said this before watching the movie again for this review but I now feel that this is without doubt Stanley Kubrick’s finest work.  That is only my opinion but I consider it a perfect film and it is now my favorite of all his movies.  It didn’t win any awards, but Platoon may have stolen all the Vietnam thunder at the Oscars the year before.  Kubrick was a perfectionist and people had difficulty working with him because of that but his efforts paid off in spades with this movie.  Matthew Modine also did a great job in the lead role.  I think this kind of role should have propelled him on to the next level of stardom but it didn’t.  He has remained in the background of movies for a long time but he has never really become that headline actor I think he had the potential to be. This summer we will be able to see him in the background of another film but this time a big time movie.  Modine will be playing a small role in this summer’s The Dark Knight Riseswhich I think many of us are looking forward to.

I think I have sufficiently gone on forever about this movie but there is plenty I haven’t even mentioned.  Among the many things I haven’t mentioned is the soundtrack.  The music in this movie is excellent and does a great job of setting the tone for the film all around.  This is a graphic movie but a movie about The Vietnam War that isn’t graphic is a waste of your time.  It was a graphic conflict; there is no point to sugarcoating it. Bad things happened on all levels and as a nation I think we learned a lot from the conflict.  For example I think soldiers are treated differently today specifically because of that war.  There are also many ways in which we didn’t learn from the war as we entered such a strikingly similar conflict in Iraq.  I will side step the tangent that will lead me down though.  I think this is a perfect movie and I have LOVED watching it again.  I actually lost a fight with Amber about watching it a second time to write an even longer and better review. This movie isn’t one that she can appreciate so she won’t be adding in her own review.  Don’t let that discourage you though; this movie is worth your time.  If you don’t understand this movie then I suggest you educate yourself and watch it again.  This is a great movie and I would recommend it to anyone.

NEXT MOVIE: Galaxy Quest (1999)


Year: 1995
Directed By: F. Gary Gray
Written By: Ice Cube and DJ Pooh


I remember this movie still being very popular nearly ten years later when I was in college.  I had always liked it before and we had owned it at my house growing up ironically enough.  I never liked it enough to actually purchase it for our collection though.  This movie, like many others we now own was simply assimilated into the collection when someone was giving away movies.  I like having this movie in the collection because it brings back a lot of memories but it isn’t one I watch very often and it’s not one of my favorites.

I have always been a fan of Ice Cube and usually enjoy his ventures into acting.  I don’t think this is his best role by any means but he became very popular as an actor after it came out.  I wouldn’t call myself a rap fan but I usually like most of Ice Cube’s music as well.  I think he is a good multi-talented entertainer.  This movie also opened a lot of doors for Chris Tucker who would have a brief stint as a headline actor.  I liked many of his movies, but I wasn’t a fan of the Rush Hour films.  I think The Fifth Element was far and away his best film but he was great in this one too. The late Bernie Mac played a small role in this movie and I for one really miss him.  His untimely death was so unfortunate, he was a really talented comedian that brought a lot to all the films he was part of.  John Witherspoon was really funny in this movie as Craig’s dad, and I think Tommy “Tiny” Lister was great as the neighborhood bully.  Tony Cox also makes a small but memorable appearance, and I am a big fan of his as well.

This is a fun movie and I can appreciate how funny it is.  I have outgrown it to a certain degree and don’t have much more to say about it.  I would say this was worth taking a chance on if you have never seen it because I have known many people who really LOVED it.  It’s not one of my favorites though and after this viewing I doubt it will be picked off the shelf for a long time if ever again at all.


This movie is referred to by Wikipedia as a “1995 stoner comedy-drama-buddy film” and I think that just about sums it up.

NEXT MOVIE: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Forrest Gump

Year: 1994
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Written By: Winston Groom (novel) Eric Roth (screenplay)


I was ten years old when this movie came out and I remember so much about it.  I remember watching it in the theater.  I remember watching specials on TV about it, how they inserted Tom Hanks into footage of JFK specifically.  Overall I remember how big of a deal the movie was when it came out, and I have probably watched it one hundred times between then and now over the years. I think this is a great movie and I have always loved it but to be perfectly honest I’m just not feeling it right now.  For whatever reason this movie feels totally worn out to me at the moment and I don’t have much to say about it.  Frankly, we have been writing the hell out of some reviews lately and maybe I’m just a bit exhausted with it.

This was the greatest role Tom Hanks ever had.  He was already a celebrity but this took him to the next level of super stardom.  I have heard that despite what most people think of him that Tom Hanks is actually a really big asshole.  I heard once that he really hated this movie specifically, because ten years later he was still being sent random boxes of chocolate. I hope none of this is true though because I do really like Tom Hanks.  He hasn’t had a really big hit in nearly ten years though and I don’t expect much more from him in the future. Nevertheless Hanks made many memorable films and above all of them is this movie and this performance as the one and only Forrest Gump. I have always been a big fan of Gary Sinise as well but his star has faded also. He saw a spike in his workload after this movie but that passed in time. I think he ended up on one of the CSI shows, but I haven’t seen him in that or anything else for that matter, for a long time. I think Sally Field was great in this movie and I have never been a big fan of Robin Wright, but she is good in this movie too. This was probably the biggest role Mykelti Williamson has had in his career and he was great at it. I do specifically want to mention how much of a badass he was in season 3 of Justified, his character was great. Also worth noting is an early role by Haley Joel Osment as Forrest’s long lost son.  Osment faded away once he hit puberty but he was an incredibly gifted child actor.

This movie has a really great soundtrack and tells a fantastic story that everybody loves.  This movie is remembered fondly all around and for good reason. It won many awards and again, for good reason.  It is a great movie and you don’t need me to tell you that because you most likely already know that for yourself. This movie was based off a book that had a sequel and for years there was talk of that book being made into a movie, but I really doubt that will ever happen now.  I have not read the book but from what I understand it begins with Forrest explaining that you should never let anybody make a movie about you. So I assume the movie doesn’t follow the book accurately. Also in that book he fights in the Persian Gulf War and plays football for the New Orleans Saints.  I don’t know about this accurately because I haven’t read the book myself but it seems stupid to me.  Nobody that fought in both The Vietnam War and The Persian Gulf War could play football in the NFL for any team.  Forrest’s story in the movie and presumably first book goes on through the early mid 80s and he would be much too old to actually play professional football.

Look at this, for crying out loud.  Even when I intend to keep something short I go on forever but I really thought I had nothing to talk about when I started.  This is a great movie and if you haven’t seen it you need to make a point to do so.  That pretty much sums it up and I’m going to wrap this up before I go off on some other tangent.


Something has been bothering me about this review and I just now realized what it is.  There is a big question about this movie that I didn’t even bring up.  Did little Forrest have AIDS? I heard this question brought up on my favorite morning radio show Two Guys Named Chris on Rock 92.  The disease that Jenny dies from is obviously AIDS and she presumably had it when she showed up at Forrest’s house and conceived little Forrest.  Obviously Forrest didn’t have it but I thought the crew on Two Guys Named Chris brought up an interesting question.  In lieu of rewriting this entire post and including topics like this I’m simply going to put the question to anybody that reads this post.  Do you think Little Forrest had AIDS? Have you read the book and is this covered? I would be interested in your thoughts on the topic if you would leave us a comment about it.


This movie is on my list of all-time favorite movies. I was 9 or 10 when this movie came out. My mom usually let my brother and me watch about anything we wanted to watch, which was different from Dad’s house where we didn’t usually get to watch movies. My brother and I watched it with Mom for the first time and for some reason I loved the movie even then. Growing up with this movie has been really cool. There is a lot to the story line and for a 10 year old, it is sort of a brief history of the past few decades through the eyes of this guy, Forrest. He tells his story and you fall in love with the characters and the story that is his life.

Watching this movie as a 10 year old, I had no clue about some of the things that were happening. The more I watched it as I grew up, the more I started to understand. Some of the historical scenes didn’t resonate with me until later while I was in middle and high school and started to learn our country’s history. The scene with Forrest and Jenny in her dorm room is another example of how young I was. I didn’t have a clue what had happened when he said “I think I ruined your roommate’s bathrobe.” After watching it later in life, I understood a whole new part of the movie. It’s fun when movies from your past do that.

This movie is so quotable that I couldn’t resist ending it with my favorite Forrest Gump quotes.

“Dear God, make me a bird. So I could fly far. Far far away from here.” -Jenny

“Goddamn it, Gump! You’re a goddamn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamn gifted, Private Gump. Listen up, people…” -Drill Sergeant

“…Jenny, I don’t know if Momma was right or if, if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.” -Forrest

Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: “Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?”
Forrest Gump: “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.”

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.” -Bubba

NEXT MOVIE: Friday (1995)


There will be a more in depth review of this film when we get to the “P’s” in our movie collection because we will own it.  I just really want to share a few thoughts with our readers because we just watched it and I think everyone should know how great it is.

I think the marketing for this movie was incredible.  The previews show you a lot of excitement without giving any hint to exactly what the movie was about.  That type of advertising reminds me a lot of Inception from last summer because it did something so similar.  It was very effective too because it builds anticipation for the movie while leaving a lot of surprises for you at the same time.  When I sat down to watch this movie I had no idea what it was really about. I went in knowing only the basics and that it was a prequel to Alien. I knew within the first five minutes that I liked it and that it was going to be awesome.  Some movies manage to convey that immediately, it works both ways though.  More often than not I can tell in the first few minutes that a movie is going to suck, but I’m glad there are still movies like this coming out that can actually surprise me.

I do not think this movie would have worked without Ridley Scott behind the camera.  I think that he is the only person that could actually make this movie and blend it so well with the original.  Everything looked so great and in the same fashion we saw over thirty years ago.  It has been a long time since Scott went back to his roots to make a Sci-Fi picture but he obviously still has that talent that made him a legend in the beginning. This movie will probably be very successful and I hope that success means we might see more of this to come from Scott.  As of right now I am going to really hope Scott comes back into the genre strong and does exactly what he did for it thirty years ago with Alien and Blade RunnerScott left a lasting impression on the genre and his films are both legendary.  Scott has made many great films throughout his career but I think it is rather obvious after this film that this is where he truly belongs.

The cast all did an outstanding job in this movie.  Michael Fassbender was specifically good, I think his role called for the most acting to be done as the android and he did it really well.  His face seemed so implacable throughout the whole movie and he spoke with such a great tone.  I am not a fan of Charlize Theron but she did an excellent job as well.  I think she was well suited for the role and appropriately cast. Idris Elba was great too; he played a smaller part but still managed to be a badass.  I think Noomi Rapace did very well as the lead; she could quite possibly be the new generation’s version of Ripley when all is said and done. Rapace is mainly known for playing Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies. One way or another I think we will be seeing a lot more of her after this. I think Guy Pearce is wasted in this movie; I had to come home and look up the movie on IMDB just to figure out who he was.  I’m OK with that though, if he has to be in a film this great the less we see of him the better.

Overall I think this was a great movie and I hope I have encouraged all of you to give it a chance.  There aren’t many movies coming out these days that I think are worth your money to make the trip to the theater.  I can attest that this film is without doubt worth the ridiculous price of admission at theaters these days.  We watched it in 2D because we aren’t risk takers when it comes to 3D but if the 3D effects were good I would imagine this movie looked great in the format. If you watched the movie in 3D please let us know how it looked because if we make it back to see it a second time we might try it out