Month: September 2014

Halloween Season 2014

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since we did this last October but in the spirit of Halloween we will again be dedicating the month to watching and reviewing horror films. To check out the movies of this genre we have already done check out the Horror category to the right of the page.  You can also check this out to see what all we covered last year during Halloween.

Halloween is a fun holiday and we are looking for the right movies to get us in the mood for it as the month progresses. This year we have six set aside already for the season and may be doing more as time is available. As with last year we will only be reviewing horror films that fall before “O” in alphabetical order. That means we have just missed the mark for some good ones such as Poltergeist and The People Under the Stairs. You’ll have to wait until next year for those but in the mean time we will be reviewing Night of the Living Dead, The Cabin in the Woods, Devil, The Hills Have Eyes, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween II at least. Of course we are open to suggestions if you have one that meets the prerequisites of starting with a letter before “O” and a horror film. Also, we will not review or watch any classic horror remake.  All films listed are the originals.

Our progress through the movie collection has slowed of late as life has been tumultuous. We have made it through the letter “N” with the exception of Night of the Living Dead which was held out until this month. After Halloween we will get back to business as usual with three “O” movies that are ready to go and just waiting editing. The films waiting to be published after the holiday are Office Space, Old School, and Orange CountyUntil that time enjoy the Halloween season and check out our reviews if you are looking for movies that will set the mood right for the holiday.


Year: 2009
Directed By: George Tillman Jr.
Written By: Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker


This movie surprised me.  I did not expect much from it and I think Amber and I actually watched it on a whim one night because we had nothing else to do.  It not only surprised me but I found it exceptional enough to add to the collection.

I was still fairly young when Biggie Smalls was on his rise to the top but even at a young age I knew who he was.  Even in my household, of all places in the world, his music had been well received.  Although the edited version, supplied by Wal-Mart, who at the time only sold such.  I specifically remember my mom and step dad being really fond of “Big Poppa.” I find that perplexing even until this day but it serves as a glowing example of how overwhelming popular he was as an artist.

I was too young to understand the East vs. West feud that was brewing in the rap world in the mid nineties but I was starting to listen to both Biggie and Tupac around the time they were both killed.  I do remember some, but my understanding of it was vague and they were both gone before I really learned anything about the feud.

I do not know specifically how accurate this movie is but I think it covers the basics well enough.  I don’t think any film, no matter the content, should be taken as truth when it is “based on a true story,”  but I think they can offer an outline for the truth.  The story this one tells is a good one regardless where it might have embellished things here and there for dramatic effect.

The part of Biggie Smalls was a difficult one to play, but I think Jamal Woolard did as well as anybody could have.  In the part of the younger Biggie the part was played by the late rapper’s son Christopher Jordan Wallace. With such an iconic character as Biggie came to be it was a difficult role to play and I thought both held up nicely.  The same can be said about the role of Tupac Shakur.  Anthony Mackie didn’t look the part enough to sit right with me but his performance was good enough.  Derek Luke, in the role of Puff Daddy/Puffy/P. Diddy/Diddy/Sean Combs, didn’t look the part enough either but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.  He always has sunglasses on so he is doing the best he can but the guy just doesn’t look enough like Combs to me.  With a movie like this you can never find someone who looks enough like the person they are trying to portray but I do think they could have done better beyond Biggie.

Angela Bassett brought credibility to the film with her fame and she did a great job playing Biggie’s mom.  My favorite female role in the movie has to go to Naturi Naughton though.  She is just so smoking hot and does a fantastic job playing Lil Kim. I was never a fan of the actual Lil Kim myself.  I found her to be too vulgar, even in my immature and horny teenage years.  She is a very attractive woman but she was always too aggressive and obscene for my taste.  I will never forget her boob at the VMAs or whatever award show it was when she had one exposed breast covered only by a seashell or something.  I think it was Diana Ross who came on stage and bounced it up and down on live television.  This was before the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl that scarred the innocent eyes of Super Bowl viewers and led to a timed delay on live television.

This is a really great movie.  The only thing I can criticize is the casting which I’m just nitpicking about anyway.  I think a movie like this could have been bigger budgeted and more heavily promoted but I think what was ultimately produced serves well.  It surprised me the first time I saw it and it did exactly what it should have done by sparking a new interest in the rapper’s music.  Biggie Smalls was a significant cultural icon that maintains his big time status even nearly twenty years later.  This movie about him is worth your time to see.


I made Ryan watch this and now it’s in our collection. You have to understand, I get really excited about such things because Ryan doesn’t like to take my suggestions easily. He normally loves the things I suggest (imagine that after 13 years), but he doesn’t go into them with a smile on his face. I remember seeing this and stoping it, thinking Ryan should watch this with me. I think this a really good biopic movie. The characters are portrayed well, and I think the story is really interesting. Nobody really knows the full details about how close a movie like this is to the real truth, but the way this movie is laid out, is close to what my recollection is of how these events played out.


I really, really like this poster. I think it is cool and collective, just like most people remember BIG being. I love the dark monochromatic coloration of the portrait, and how very important it was to show the pinstripped suit and the rings, and the glasses; mostly showing the things that made Notorious, BIG. I love the tagline, which is everything to his story, and the simple typography of Notorious is well played, simply because this picture does the whole poster justice, the typography of the title simply becomes a needed assets, instead of the main focal point or purpose. It’s also in gold. That’s the perfect color for Notorious. This is such a simple way to convey the message and is probably one of my favorite posters to date.

NEXT MOVIE: Office Space

Nothing To Lose

Year: 1997
Directed By: Steve Oedekerk
Written By: Steve Oedekerk


It wouldn’t be for almost another ten years before the name Steve Oedekerk meant anything to me, but long before I saw Kungpow I was laughing at this movie.  It was a popular film in my home after it came to video and many evenings of my early high school years were spent watching it. As it goes with comedies like this it’s a pretty simple film.  The strength lies in the chemistry of the men who play the unlikely companions in the film and this one does well enough.  The unlikely pairing of Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence is pretty funny and I still enjoy watching it on occasion.

Back in the days before one, or two, or THREE Big Momma movies I thought Martin Lawrence was great.  I still think he is great but he never impressed me with his career as a leading actor.  My favorite role of his has always been his part in Bad Boys but this movie is a really close second.  This one takes me back to a time when I was younger and before I and my siblings grew up to move away. I think he has surprisingly good chemistry with Tim Robbins. While he never impressed me as a leading actor, I always felt the strength of Lawrence’s acting came in the supporting role.  Much like his role in this film or in Bad Boys where he isn’t the center of attention but the funny guy who brings his chemistry and comedy to the movie. I have not seen his new show where he is paired with Kelsey Grammer but I think that is an interesting duo with a lot of potential to be funny.  If anybody has seen this show I’d love to hear thoughts on how it is.

I have never been much of a fan of Robbins.  He is a great actor and there is no denying that. I think part of my disliking of him goes back to my younger days when I was simply jealous that this goofy looking guy got to go home to Susan Sarandon during his downtime.  They had a long time relationship that my ill place adolescent admiration of her took hold of my better senses.  I have long since though Sarandon was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace the screen.  She is much older now but still doesn’t fail to be beautiful and even sexy in her later years.  It’s sad that with such a distinguished actor such as Tim Robbins that all I can do is talk about how lucky he was with the wife he had but like I said I’ve never been much of a fan.  He plays a different role in this movie and I do think he is quite funny at it.  He had surprisingly good chemistry with Martin Lawrence and it made for good comedy.

Now, to Steve Oedekerk.  I have said in many reviews now that I think he is hilarious and this has been a pleasant surprise because I had no idea until watching this film recently that he was responsible for it.  It makes sense though, when a movie is really funny as much credit goes to the man directing the show as it does to the talents of those playing the parts.  Oedekerk wrote a funny script for this movie and he did a good job directing it.  He plays a small cameo in the film to that I had also never noticed or made the connection with.  He plays the security guard that goes wild with his own personal and presumed to be private dance routine during the scene when Lawrence and Robbins are breaking into Robbins’ boss’s office.

Also worth mentioning is Irma P. Hall who plays Mama in the film.  I specifically remember Hall from her role in The Ladykillers and I thought she was hilarious in that part as well as this one.  This movie precedes Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma trilogy and I have to think that her role in this film was a significant influence on the idea Lawrence had when he started that franchise. If she wasn’t what influenced him from the get go then her performance in this film undoubtedly influenced Lawrence in his performance in the part.  Granted I only saw the first one, or at least part of it, but I can clearly see a correlation between Big Momma and Irma P. Hall.  Hall was a very talented woman who always fit the roles she was cast in appropriately.

If you haven’t seen this movie you really haven’t missed anything significant but you may have missed something you would enjoy.  I love the movie that came out in the later 90s when comedies weren’t made with the teenage market in mind.  We still have plenty of funny R rated comedies coming out today but not like we did in the late 90s.  Martin Lawrence is without doubt funnier when he has free reign on his vocabulary.  When you censor him down to a PG-13 rating you have take something away from him.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this film but if you get a chance to see it your time won’t be wasted.


This is one of those easy-to-watch movies that they usually play on TBS, or Comedy Central on repeat during certain times of the year. It’s always interesting when they put to people you normally wouldn’t see together and see how they play off of each other’s comedic abilities. This is a funny movie and I always like watching it, if even just listening to it while doing something else. It’s completely easy to follow.


There isn’t anything special about this poster, but it’s not completely horrible either. I love how they play up the height difference between Lawrence and Robbins. The typography is simple, but a little offset, and I think that replicates the movie pretty well. I don’t know if “The Funniest Comedy Of The Year” is true or not, I am guessing not, but ultimately I hate this little retail plug. I don’t think the viewer cares at all about this opinion.

NEXT MOVIE: Notorious (2009)