Month: August 2012


Year: 1995
Directed By: Michael Mann
Written By: Michael Mann


When Christopher Nolan made The Dark Knight this was the movie he turned to for inspiration, the bank robbery scenes anyway.  That was a big part of why The Dark Knight was so awesome and it says something about how awesome this movie is in its own right.  Movies about cops and robbers are always popular and this is one of the best ever made regarding the two.  It was made by a great filmmaker, it had an outstanding cast, and it doesn’t fail to deliver on the action.

In 1972 Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were both part of the same movie, The Godfather: Part IIAlthough they played characters living in completely different time periods and never shared any screen time together.  For the next 23 years both of their careers ballooned and they were the go to guys for mobster parts.  Yet in all that time they both made many mobster movies but never collaborated.  After all that time it became a really big deal that they were in this movie together and their first collaboration did not disappoint.  In fact I happen to think the scene in which they meet for the first time is one of the coolest I have ever seen.  There is so much build up, the music is just right, and then they are finally face to face and everything seems so natural and perfect.  I happen to think they did really well working together but they are both grade A professionals when it comes to acting and know how to do their jobs. This movie was almost twenty years ago now and these two men have continued their careers throughout that time.  Not with quite so much success mind you but they still wield a certain level of power in their industry.

I read that this was a movie Michael Mann spent over ten years trying to get made.  When you put that much time into something you really have to make sure you have the right people and I don’t know that a finer cast was ever put together.  The good guys and the bad guys alike could not have been better cast in any part.  I really like Mykelti Williamson and Wes Studi as Al Pacino’s main guys on his side.  Ted Levine has always creeped the hell out of me but he manages to play a convincing good guy in this one.  Val Kilmer plays one of his best roles in this movie. He is a total badass as De Niro’s right hand man. When you are casting bad guys I don’t know that you could have done much better in 1995 than Tom Sizemore and Danny Trejo.  Sizemore is one of the most intimidating guys ever.  He has an absolute look of insanity in his eyes; he fits into this movie nicely. There is one scene where a guy takes notice of the crew and Sizemore just stares him down and the guy quickly looks away. Sizemore wasn’t who the witness wanted having a good look at him.  I am a big fan of Danny Trejo; I have really enjoyed his rise to fame in recent years.  Jon Voight, Dennis Haysbert, and William Fichter are all great as well and bring a lot to the film.  There is a really young Natalie Portman here proving that she was always an exceptional actor.  Ashley Judd is smoking hot in this one and that served her well during the late 90s. I do not like the part that Hank Azaria played in this one but I am a big fan of his and love how often he pops up in different types of movies. He shot his scenes for this movie during his days off while filming The Birdcage, one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.

In preparation for this movie Michael Mann did a lot of research.  The story is somewhat loosely based on a real relationship between a high profile cop and criminal that took place in the 70s.  I don’t know much about the real story but it was one that Mann was always personally interested in.  When prepping his actors for their roles he actually arranged for the good guy actors to have dinner and interact with real police officers and also had the bad guy actors meet with real life criminals. This kind of preparation went a long way as we can clearly see by the performances of the actors.

This was a really awesome movie that I always enjoy.  It’s a long movie and has slow points here and there but the action makes up for any boredom that might be incurred. I would recommend this movie to anybody and it is definitely worth your time to see it.


Ryan makes me watch this movie all the time. Well, not really…but since it is so freaking long it feels like forever every time we watch it. It’s a great movie with a good storyline and amazing actors. It takes forever to finally get there, but it can be worth it to sit through the movie. If you like movies like this, go for it.

NEXT MOVIE: Heist (2001)

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Year: 2004
Directed By: Danny Leneir
Written By: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg


This is a funny movie but I do feel we have reviewed way too many stoner movies lately.  This one is another product of our college years when life was different. I thought it was funny then and it still makes me laugh now.  At the time I really enjoyed the efforts from Kal Penn and John Cho to become the new generation’s Cheech and Chong. I think they are both really funny in this one but it’s really just a typical pothead movie.  Like most mainstream movies like that it sports a lot of cool cameos.  In this one we see Ryan Reynolds, Anthony Anderson, and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few.  If you get a chance to see it this one it’s good for a laugh but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.  It’s worth your time if you have time to spare.


I still really like this movie. I think it is a funny comedy about being a stoner and going the super extra mile to find some munchies. It still makes me laugh. I also love Neil Patrick Harris. Number one, I love gay people. (Side note here: I love gay people because I am among a minority that was once refused rights and therefore, I am utterly and completely 100% FOR equal rights for every single person on this planet. You cannot let religion get in the way of people’s rights.) Sorry for the mini-preach. Second, when I was little we used to watch Doogie Howser, M.D. all the time. I love that guy. This movie is super silly and somewhat slapstick, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

NEXT MOVIE: Heat (1995)

Harlem Nights

Year: 1989
Directed By: Eddie Murphy
Written By: Eddie Murphy


What I like about this movie is that it is a gangster movie, and not a gangsta movie.  Nothing against gangsta films, but they tend to dominate films and stories about African American organized crime.  There was a time before gangsta rap and the culture it would create, and this is a film that shows us some of it. This film is considered a comedy but I think that is because of how many funny people play the lead roles.  This is a funny movie but I think it is a serious film as well. It has a terrific cast and Eddie Murphy did a good job making the film.

This is a cool movie because it has such a cool setting.  I really like movies set during the age of prohibition in the 20s.  I like the hats, the suits, and the overall style in general. Eddie Murphy did a good job directing the picture and he does great in the lead role.  As Quick he plays the cool and head strong gangster that is being groomed to take over.  As his mentor Richard Pryor plays a great part as Sugar Ray.  I have never been a really big fan of Pryor but I like him as the cool and calm “candy store” owner he plays here.  I grew up with my dad watching Sanford and Son all the time and I really liked seeing Redd Foxx in a movie part. Like Pryor he is really funny in this movie and brings a lot to the cast. Della Reese is incredible as the head mistress woman Vera.  She is intimidating when she fights Quick but shows later that she can also be tenderhearted and caring.

This is a movie that gets darker and more serious as it progresses.  I have always found that a bit unnerving when watching it because I don’t know if I am supposed to be laughing anymore.  About the time Quick kills Dominique La Rue in bed the movie has made a full transition and the jokes are fewer and farther in between.  I still like this movie despite that though.  It has a great cast, a cool story, and it covers an era I am always happy to see.  This movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.


I really like this movie poster. I think it resembles the film, the genre and the time period all in one. It is very geometric looking and uses an original looking sharp pointed sans serif. I really love how the guys at the top break out of the shape. It is not only symbolic but also very aesthetic, especially when it comes to the fundamentals of art. Another cool little part of this poster is at the bottom. The woman’s dress flows into the background. This again breaks the geometric rectangle. This is one of my favorite posters so far that I have put on the blog.

NEXT MOVIE: Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Happy Gilmore

Year: 1996
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Written By: Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler


Now this is an Adam Sandler movie I will stand behind. It is arguably just as stupid as any other Adam Sandler movie but this one came out when I was 12 and it has had me laughing for 16 years now.  This was Adam Sandler at his best and in my opinion it has nearly been all downhill since.  He still has a rather large fan base despite what I think though. Sandler is really funny in this movie and that makes it memorable.  It is also memorable simply for being a golf comedy. It is no Caddyshack but it is second only to that. Even those that don’t appreciate this film have to find themselves laughing and enjoying the epic fight between Sandler and Bob Barker.

I wrote down my opinions about Adam Sandler in our recent review of Grandma’s Boy.  He wasn’t in that film but it was made by his production company Happy Madison. I think Sandler was great in the 90s but I haven’t been able to stomach him since The Wedding Singer.  That movie wasn’t even particularly funny but I still enjoyed the film.  I don’t think Sandler has ever been able to get back to the kind of comedy that made him funny in the 90’s but I have enjoyed all of his efforts into being a serious actor.  I enjoyed his serious roles in Punch-Drunk Love and SpanglishI think he has a lot to offer as a serious actor and I would really like to see more of that from him.  Years ago I heard that he was really interested in the lead role as the hitman in Collateral.  A role that ultimately went to Tom Cruise.  If I remember correctly he was turned down because the role was too violent for his image.  Well I think that’s a shame because I would much rather see a violent Sandler than more of the same crap he has been doing for years.

This movie has a fun cast around Sandler.  I have always liked Christopher McDonald as Shooter McGavin.  It is the role I have always associated him with.  I think Carl Weathers is really funny and I liked what he brought to the film.  I thought Julie Bowen was really hot but looking at her today I find myself repulsed by how unnatural and different she looks in Modern FamilyBen Stiller has a cool cameo that was part of a story line mostly cut out of the film.  Deleted scenes include Happy going back to the old folks home and confronting Stiller about the racket he has been running.  I thought it was funny but it must have proved to make the movie too long.  Allen Covert plays a role he was made for.  As Happy’s homeless caddy he has virtually no speaking lines.  I like Covert but I think he was really bad as the lead in Grandma’s Boy. Last but not least I cannot fail to mention Bob Barker, in one of the greatest cameos of all time. “The price is wrong bitch!”

This is a fun movie that I think even the mature can still enjoy having not grown up with it.  I won’t stand behind too many Adam Sandler films and tell you they are worth your time but this one offers a good time and a lot of laughs.  If you get a chance to see it then your time will be well spent.


I can recite almost this entire movie. Instead of going on about how you should watch this movie, (because I know that you have seen it already, right?) I am going to put my favorite quotes.

“Hey, my girlfriend is dead, you know. She fell off a cliff and died on impact.”

“You can trouble me for a warm glass of shut-the-hell-up! Now, you will go to sleep! Or I will PUT you to sleep. Check out the name tag. You’re in MY world now, grandma!”

“Did that go in? I wasn’t watching, did it go in? I didn’t see it, could you tell me if it went in?”

“But she’s an old lady. I mean, look at her. She’s old. You can’t just take her stuff. She’s too old.”

“Just taaap it in. Just taaap it in. Give it a little tappy. Tap Tap Taparoo.”

NEXT MOVIE: Harlem Nights (1989)

The Happening

Year: 2008
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan


This movie is more or less M. Night Shyamalan’s movie about the environmental problems our planet faces.  A message about the damage we are doing to this world and the danger we would be in if it were able to fight back.  This movie received a very critical response from fans and critics alike but I enjoyed it; as I enjoy most of Shyamalan’s films.  People hated this movie, but if we are being honest here, people have progressively hated nearly everything he has made since The Sixth Sense blew everybody away and became such a big hit.  I think because of the shocker that The Sixth Sense offered at the end people have always expected too much from him.  Not only that, but the advertising for all of his films has always been misleading in order to get people into the theater.  They intentionally lead the viewers to believe that his films will offer similar shockers and thrills but he hasn’t made a movie with quite the same bang to it at the end.  His movies are usually a metaphor for something else and people don’t understand that.

I am a huge fan of M. Night Shyamalan and ironically it has nothing to do with his first film.  I wasn’t always the biggest fan of The Sixth Sense. I chose to watch Kevin Bacon’s similar Stir of Echoes that year and enjoyed it quite a bit.  By the time I got around to seeing The Sixth Sense the ending had already been spoiled for me and I thought it was too much like a movie I already liked.  What made me a fan of Shyamalan were all his films after.  I love Unbreakableit may have been slower but it was a good movie.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Signs because I thought it was too religious but that was what it was about.  The movie is more about Mel Gibson rediscovering his faith than it is about aliens, and I fell victim to the misleading advertising in that case. The Village is one of my all-time favorite movies; it is a great story about fear and love.  I may have been the only person but I loved Lady in the Water too, it really hit me hard in the theater and the story touched me on a personal level.  This film was admittedly not his best movie, but I like it nonetheless.  Like I said, people expect too much from Shyamalan.  The idea that plants could turn on humanity seemed so ridiculous to most of the people I knew at the time but I didn’t think it was that far-fetched. Yeah, it is unlikely to happen, but that is what makes watching movies great.  They allow us to see the things that are unlikely to happen in real life. I do not care what anybody else thinks, I think M. Night Shyamalan is a terrific filmmaker and I will always take the time to see and enjoy his movies.

At one point in the film they are running through a field and pass a sign advertising real estate development coming for the area.  On the sign you can plainly see the phrase “you deserve this.” It is meant to imply that as humans we are being too greedy in exploiting the Earth and destroying nature.  We deserve what is happening to us now as the plants have found a way to fight back. It’s very subtle and I’m sure it completely escaped the attention of the average viewer but it is those subtle things in Shyamalan movies that make them exceptional.  Shyamalan makes great movies but he attracts the wrong kind of viewer by and large with the studio advertising for the film.  With plenty of the wrong viewers sitting in the audience these kinds of subtle effects are missed while most of the audience is just waiting for the next person to kill themselves.  When you go to Shyamalan movies looking for shock and awe you walk away not only disappointed but missing out on the message of the movie all together.

I thought the acting was specifically bad in this movie.  I am no fan of the racist ex-con Mark Wahlberg but I will admit when he does a good job acting.  That isn’t called for after his performance in this movie though; he is as bad as he gets in this one.  I also thought Zooey Deschnal and John Leguizamo were bad in their roles.  None of the actors really seemed invested in the film or story.  It was cool to see Ferris Bueller’s Alan Ruck in a small role as the school principal. Shyamalan usually has a better cast on hand but maybe the casting in this film reflects his dwindling clout within the industry.  As I said earlier his films have been progressively hated and I have heard the studios are getting tired of it.  I am under the impression he was not allowed to direct what would have been his last film, Devil (2010).  He was credited with writing the movie, which I thought was really good and Shyamalan-like but the directing duties were given to someone else. I hope I am wrong about that however and we continue to see more movies from him in the future.

I do have to take a quick moment to give some credence to the critics of this film.  This movie absolutely does fall to pieces in the end, and the story is never really resolved.  I completely understand why so many people hated that and I don’t really like it myself but I have seen worse endings.  I liked that Shyamalan sort of left it open for speculation.  Was it a government accident and cover-up or did nature in fact turn violent against humanity? Of course he screwed it all up with the last shot of the film.  It really doesn’t make much sense for the scare to stop in one place just to start up somewhere else if nobody gets the message.  Are the plants compassionate? Is that it? Were they moved by the love between the two main characters? It doesn’t really make sense and I think that is pretty lame but I still enjoy the movie despite it.

In closing I will simply say that anybody you happen to ask will probably tell you that this was a really bad movie and not to waste your time on it.  I am telling you different though, this isn’t the greatest movie ever but it wasn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It does kind of fall to pieces in the ending but the movie as a whole makes up for it. I think it offers shocking images, an interesting story, and a compelling idea about our relationship to the planet.  This movie is worth your time if you can be patient enough to appreciate what it is saying.


I think Ryan and I are the only ones on the planet that actually like M. Night Shalalalalalallalalala. I think all of his ideas are completely original and speak on a much larger level. This is one of those films that try and teach us that we need to start taking care of the planet or the planet is going to get back at us. I think he did it quite literally. The plant life literally starts attacking the humans. I can totally understand why people wouldn’t like this movie. I don’t think a lot of people have any faith in Shyamalan anymore and automatically go into it thinking this is going to be horrible.

I identify with this movie because it has to do with saving the Earth. I won’t preach here, but we have a serious problem on our hands with the planet, and we need to figure out a better plan and alternative.
There were three different posters for this movie and I think this one was the better one, but I still don’t really like it. I think that they could have come up with something a lot more interesting. This is pretty cliché for an apocalyptic themed film. This looks very similar to the design for The Walking Dead, the color filters are just different. The typography for the movie title is nice. I like a clean sans serif. But the placement of the just seems too easy and boring.

NEXT MOVIE: Happy Gilmore (1996)

The Hangover

Year: 2009
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore


Amber and I went to see this movie in the theater when it came out and I don’t know if we have ever laughed so hard in the theater. From beginning to end the laughs never stopped and we walked away feeling really fulfilled by the film. I think it has been a little outplayed at this point, only 3 years later. It was really popular when it came out and still is today. I also think the sequel destroyed any legacy the movie might have had by being so awful. For my thoughts on The Hangover 2 you can read this.

This movie caught everybody by surprise in 2009, and it put Zach Galifianakis on the map. I think Galifianakis is awesome but he is only going to go as far as that beard will get him. He is hilarious in this movie but I think he has played the character to death now. I’ve had enough of the weird bearded guy by now, but I’m glad to see he has gone with simply a stache in his next film, The Campaign. Although he does appear to be playing the same character yet again. I am not really a fan of Ed Helms but he was really funny in this movie as Stu. I think Bradley Cooper is really good as the cool guy in control too. I think Ken Jeong is really funny, and his role in this movie really advanced his career. Ken Jeong is from Greensboro, NC and before becoming an actor he was a surgeon or something. It’s a fascinating story really and I think it is really cool because we live really close to Greensboro. Coincidentally Galifianakis is from a town farther away but still close in the other direction from where we live (he is from Wilkesboro, NC). I thought Mike Tyson‘s cameo was funny and I have heard that it has helped him get his life back on track which is a good thing. I can’t forget to mention Jeffrey Tambor, I think he is awesome and he adds a lot to the film.

Everybody already knows how funny this movie is so I’m not going to go any farther into it.  I think this is a really funny people that most people will enjoy, but the sequel left such a bad taste in my mouth I don’t find myself in the mood to watch it anymore.  Nevertheless this movie is worth your time.  Just don’t waste any on part 2, if you saw this movie you more or less have already seen the sequel.


I remember seeing this movie in the theater. I also remember completely laughing my ass off. Everyone I know has seen this movie and every single one of them think it’s hilarious. There is really not much more to say about it.

I like this poster. It captures the main characters in strange situations leaving the question, why? Why does Galifinakis have a baby with sunglasses on? Why is Andy from The Office missing a tooth and hey, look! Hot Bradley Cooper is in this. We all know the cliché of going to Vegas, getting completely wasted to the point where you do something crazy. I mean the city’s motto is “What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” The font is a clean sans serif that is glowing slightly to allude to the glowing lights over Vegas.

NEXT MOVIE: The Happening (2008)


Year: 1996
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
Written By: William Shakespeare (story) and Kenneth Branagh (Screenplay)


This is an outstanding movie that is worth the time of each and every English student out there.  However we are currently on vacation and this movie is over four hours long.  We cannot take the time to see it now but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.  Hamlet is an outstanding story and Kenneth Branagh put a lot of effort into bringing it to the screen.  This movie has an awesome cast and a lot of great production work was done in an effort to make it. We own this movie because it is significant, but I haven’t seen it in some time and can’t give it a proper review now.

NEXT MOVIE: The Hangover (2006)

Half Baked

Year: 1998
Directed By: Tamra Davis
Written By: Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan


When I was a senior in high school this was a movie my friends and I lived our lives by.  Life was so much simpler back then.  This was the movie we quoted to one another, we had discussions about it, and we even had a communal pipe named “Old James.” I guess that says something about the kind of teenager I was but times were different then.  There was a time when I had plenty of growing up to do, but it sure was a lot of fun back then.  This movie reminds me of that time, about not having a care in the world and a freedom I will never know again.

Dave Chappelle will have a voice in many generations to come in the future, but it was my generation that he was a part of.  This movie was part of what got him started; it was his powerhouse at the time.  I have been watching Dave Chappelle since he was playing bit parts in movies like The Nutty Professor and Con AirWhen I was in high school he made this movie and it was one made for people my age.  It made Chappelle important to us on another level. When I was in college he started Chappelle’s Show, which of course became a huge success.  It became so successful that Chappelle became overwhelmed with stardom.  He couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Rick James Bitch!” I never blamed him for what he did but he just dropped off the face of the planet one day.  He turned his back on tons of money and went to South Africa or something; but I don’t blame him.  I am a fan of Dave Chappelle and support whatever he decides to do.  I’ll admit I have no idea what he is up to now, or anything he has done in the past five years or so, but it doesn’t matter.  Dave Chappelle put together a great body of work, and it will live on forever.  This movie is part of that work, and it will live on forever with him.

I think this is a good movie about pot because it is funny while sending the right message at the same time.  You have to read between the lines but if you look at these guys in the movie the message is there.  Thurgood is a “master of the custodial arts,” Scarface works on a fast food line, Brian works in a record store he gets fired from, and although Kenny had a good job he is the one that goes to jail.  A clever person can see what that says about the person that gets too involved in marijuana.  It’s a lesson I hope the teenagers that are laughing at this movie don’t fail to recognize. This is a silly movie for the most part but it is all in good fun.

I think Jim Breuer is a really funny guy and I like him in the role of Brian, it seems to come really natural for him. I have never been a fan of Harland Williams really but he is funny in this movie.  Guillermo Diaz is also really funny but he is my least favorite character of the film.  This film is full of notable cameos that would take me forever to list.  The most notable ones are the obvious celebrities of the pothead world being Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, and Snoop Dogg. Another cameo worth mentioning is that of Bob Saget, it is memorable.

This isn’t a movie I ever recommend to anyone because it is too telling and it sends the wrong impression of who I am.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time though.  Depending on your age and maturity I think this movie is worth the time of plenty of people.  It gives me a nostalgic feeling and still makes me laugh today so it will always be important to me.  If nothing else this should be seen by any Dave Chappelle fan because at this time it doesn’t appear he is getting back into the comedy game any time soon.


This movie is a classic. All of my friends have seen it and most of the people I know have seen it. It’s just a silly movie about potheads. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to know. Just watch it and pretend you have been watching it all these years.

Some of My Favorite Quotes:

Scarface: Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, and fuck you, I’m out!

Kenny: No. NO. NO! Devil man! Devil 6-6-6, the mark of the beast! No! Naughty! Naughty jungle of love!

Bob Saget: Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck dick for coke. Now that’s an addiction. You ever suck some dick for marijuana?

You ever see the back of a twenty dollar bill… on weed? Oh, there’s some crazy shit, man. There’s a dude in the bushes. Has he got a gun? I dunno! RED TEAM GO, RED TEAM GO.

NEXT MOVIE: Hamlet (1996)

Gung Ho

Year: 1986
Directed By: Ron Howard
Written By: Edwin Blum, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel

No trailer was available.


This is a movie about culture clashes and I always enjoy those because they can teach us so much about the differences between us. In this movie it is the efficient and hardworking culture of Japan versus the “me first” attitude of the American culture. I think this is a great movie that doesn’t get enough recognition today. It has a timeless quality to it and it is a movie we can learn from so it should have more of a presence in our culture today.

I have been hearing a story my entire life that revolves around this movie. When it came out in 1986 my dad was managing a theater that it was playing in. My mother and grandmother had gone into to see the movie one night and I think it was during the baseball scene that my grandmother created an uproar in the theater. When George Wendt knocked down the Japanese player everybody in the theater started cheering and apparently it really bothered my grandmother, who has never feared to speak her mind. She stood up in the theater and let the cheering people know exactly what she thought of their reaction. It wasn’t an appropriate action in truth, what Wendt’s character did was cheap and shameful. Later during the movie my dad came to investigate what he had heard about and he sat down with my mom and grandmother and asked them to point out the crazy person who had made everybody angry. It became an awkward situation that both parents talked about for some time. Making it even funnier is that I hear a completely different versions of this story regularly from my long since divorced parents.

There is another story about this movie that I will also be telling for years to come. I got into Twitter a few months ago after a long time of refusing to give it a chance. I am not big on social networking and Twitter seemed like the stupidest form of the new communications form to me. I was wrong though, and I can admit that now. I got into Twitter specifically for this blog and we have gained a lot more traffic since I started. Well, about a month or so ago I saw that Ron Howard had retweeted someone who had tweeted him that they were watching one of his old movies. Well I checked the shelf and saw this movie coming up so I tweeted him that we were watching it soon. Howard retweeted me and responded that he really enjoyed making the film. Now I know that isn’t really a big deal in the Twitter world but it was a huge deal to me. I grew up watching Howard on The Andy Griffith Show and then on Happy Days because my dad was a huge fan of both shows. As a child Howard became even more endeared to me with films like Willow that I thought was the greatest thing ever as a young boy. I have lived most of my life in North Carolina and we all love Ron Howard down here. I actually go to Mt. Airy regularly for work and The Andy Griffith Show is still a big deal there. The loss of Andy recently was sad news all around and he will always be remembered fondly here, just as Ron Howard will always be thought of in high regard.

In this movie we see two very different cultures clash. When they begin they run into the typical problems between two peoples but by the end they learn to appreciate one another. The actions of the American are based mostly on arrogance and ignorance. Americans do not like foreign people coming in and telling them how to do things, or that they don’t do things the right way. There has always been a certain air of superiority that comes with being an American. It’s not our fault really; it’s just part of growing up in post WWII America. I like to think that we always have the ability to be better though and I think you can see that in this film. The Americans have their flaws but they do eventually earn the respect of the Japanese and vice versa. The American spirit to never give up in the face of adversity is a quality I think most of us are proud of, but we have been spoiled by freedom and prosperity. This movie may be twenty six years old now but I don’t know that the things we see in this movie have really changed much sad as that is. Of course I have always grown up in the south, maybe things are different in other parts of the country but I have my doubts. This movie is also still relevant today as it gives an idea of how long the automotive companies were a problem for America.  The economic crisis that has ensnared the U.S. in recent years can be directly tied to, among other things, the automotive industry.

I am a big fan of Michael Keaton and he does a great job in the lead role. Mimi Rodgers plays the female lead opposite Keaton and does well. This film also has a good supporting cast playing the American workers including John Turturro, George Wendt, and Ron Howard’s little brother Clint Howard. Clint Howard is often cast in his brother’s films; he also casts his parents frequently. I didn’t notice his mom in this one but you can see his dad, Rance Howard, as the town mayor that greats the Japanese when they arrive. The Japanese cast was all great as well and they actually reprised their roles on a short lived TV series based off the movie.

This is a movie I always enjoy watching and I think it is still relevant today. It was made by one of my all time favorite directors, starred an actor I really like, and told a story I learned from. I think this movie is more than worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.


I think the first time I ever saw this movie was last year some time. I was surprised, like I usually am when we come to a movie that I have never seen before. I like to think that I have seen all of the movies that “we” own, but I am always surprised when we come across one that I haven’t. This was one that I wished I had been watching for a lot longer. I thoroughly enjoy this movie.

Ironically, this movie shows how Japanese and American cultures interact. I say ironically because we just reviewed Guess Who, which also revolves around race relations. Gung Ho shows how the cultures are different and alike and how those cultures value things differently. In Japanese culture, it is important to show your work ethic. That you are a contributing member of a team working toward a goal. Your honor is a stake. I think for Americans, life is more important outside of work. The fun times you have with friends and family. Work is mainly something that you do to make money in order to do the things that are more fun to do. We look at hard work differently. Neither one is better than the other and I think we can all learn to be better, adopting the positives from each other.

I really recommend this movie. I really enjoy almost everything Ron Howard makes and this one is no different.

NEXT MOVIE: Half Baked (1998)

Guess Who

Year: 2005
Directed By: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Written By: Lots of people, this isn’t the kind of movie where that matters.


I used to avoid seeing this movie, as I typically try to avoid almost anything that has Ashton Kutcher in it.  I begrudgingly agreed to watch it a few years ago when my sister insisted that I would love it.  I did too; this movie had me laughing the whole time.  When we were approaching the “G” section of our movie collection I actually went out of my way to buy this movie and add it into the collection. This is a fairly typical movie but it is funny and showcases a great comedian that died before his time.

I was a big fan of Bernie Mac; I think he brought a great comedic presence to everything he was involved in.  He is great in a number of movies simply playing supporting or cameo roles.  In this film we really get to see him shine as he is the star. Mac had a great voice that put a funny spin on nearly everything he said and he had those bug eyes that made Jackie Gleason so famous when TV was just getting started.  In this movie Mac actually reminds me a lot of my own dad, a black version anyway.  He is uptight, overbearing, and a massive Jeff Gordon fan.  Not only that but he specifically says and does things in the same manner my dad would in this film and that makes it funnier to me. In 2008 Bernie Mac died suddenly from complications when he was hospitalized with pneumonia. Mac had a disease called sarcoidosis that he had said was in remission during the time this film was made in 2005.  The disease has something to do with inflammation and affect the organs in the body, particularly the lungs.  It was an unfortunate problem to have and even more unfortunate that it took such a talented entertainer from us.  I will miss Bernie Mac and always cherish the movies like this one that maintain his legacy.

I loathe Ashton Kutcher because I have never been able to figure out what the big deal was.  For most of my adult life he has been a really marketable celebrity that was everywhere,  I always felt like he grew so popular by simply acting like a douche bag on his MTV show Punk’d. I never thought Punk’d was funny, only immature and messed up.  I remember one episode where he tried to punk Warren Sapp.  Sapp didn’t see the humor in it, instead getting really angry.  What was funny was that Ashton Kutcher didn’t run out in that episode to have a laugh with his victim, he didn’t come out at all.  What a loser. I can’t stand the guy that tries to pull that on the wrong person then can’t own up to it when the person gets seriously pissed. Nevertheless Kutcher is funny in this movie and I can admit that.  I may not like him but he isn’t that bad, he had great chemistry with Bernie Mac in this movie too.

I think this is a really funny movie that anybody can enjoy.  I think it’s also a great opportunity to remember and laugh with a really funny comedian. Bernie Mac will be missed and all his ultra dark glory, RIP MacMan.  This movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.


This is an easy-going and fun movie. I think it’s a funny take on the relationships between black and white people. About culture differences and takes on life in general. Of course, this movie leads you to see that everyone is the same and love can happen between anyone. I really like the take they have on race. This movie is funny and easy to watch. You can usually catch it on TBS if you try. I really recommend it.

NEXT MOVIE: Gung Ho (1986)