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I watch movies. On DVD, at the theater, via cable TV. Sometimes I want people to know what I think about the movies I watch, regardless of whether or not they care. I promise I will make my reviews short, but I won't be ashamed to throw around cliches like "beautiful cinematography" and "post-modern irony," so be warned.

Sunday, December 26, 2004 :::

Ocean's 12

Why I saw it: I liked Ocean's 11 okay.

What I think about it: It was pretty much more of the same, which wasn't exactly necessary, but not really uninvited either. There were some clever bits, and some worthwhile dialogue, but the actual plot was a bust, and the final twist was a cheat which made everything before it sort of evaporate and dissolve, if it's even possible for both of those things to happen at once. It pales in comparison to the first movie, and seems a little too cheeky at times, but it didn't bore me to tears which is always good, so I give this a dead-center average rating. I'd grade it a C if it requested a report card.

On a side note, Elliott Gould is a terrible actor. He's supposed to be a goomba, so he changes all his T's to D's and all this TH's to T's and calls it acting. Ex: "And you tink dis is gonna change tings between us?" Blah. And the gross little pouty thing he always does with his lips is stomach-churning.

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::: posted by dan at 11:40 PM :: #

Friday, December 10, 2004 :::


Why I saw it: It got good reviews.

What I think about it: For all the great dialogue and talky substance, it doesn't really have much that's new or interesting to say, but at least the characters were fascinatingly portrayed and it's quite entertaining along the way. It plays out as a series of scenes about love and lust and fidelity that jump ahead in time without warning, which helps it retain that theatrical play feeling, which also means it occasionally comes off as pretentious and self-important. I think it also suffers from some ill-advised directorial decisions, such as playing off the final revelation as if it were a surprise, and some overly dramatic and seemingly out-of-synch scoring and music choices. But the individual scenes are pretty great, the dialogue is a good as it gets, and the acting really pulls it all together. It's a good movie, just not a great one.

It's also pretty darned vulgar. Especially when you hear some of the things coming out of Julia Robert's mouth. Yowza. A couple of chaste-looking suburb moms apparently found it to be too much and left halfway through, which is probably good for them because they would have had simultaneous coronaries during the stripping scene. Of course, all of this just made me like the movie all the more.

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::: posted by dan at 8:20 AM :: #

Sunday, December 05, 2004 :::


Why I saw it: It got good reviews and it's about exposing the prudes.

What I think about it: This movie is more enlightening and interesting than it is entertaining, and the only reason it is really enlightening is because it reveals how little has changed since Kinsey exposed the truth about people's sexual proclivities in the 40's and 50's. Don't get me wrong, there are some truly funny moments and some genuine sweet touches to the movie, but it's really about exposing the truth about sex and humans and hypocrisy. It doesn't really care about anything else. In fact, in tends to gloss over the more important elements of human sexuality, like love and actual emotions, but you can see how far we HAVEN'T come in being open about sexuality in America when the entire audience gasps when they show a penis on screen for the first time. The old biddies behind me traded "oh my gods" throughout the entire movie. It's definitely going to shock the uninitiated, but it should be required viewing material for all the prudish ignorants out there, and it also should be considered important historical material. Honestly, Kinsey was really on to something, and people are STILL missing the point, no matter how graphic (albeit clinically graphic) this movie is. Oh, and Chris O'Donnell is seriously one of the worst actors of all time. They could've hired a potato for his part and gotten similar results.

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::: posted by dan at 2:16 AM :: #

Spiderman 2

Why I saw it: I bought it on DVD for no good reason.

What I think about it: All the hype for this movie is pretty spot on. For a mindless comic book action drama, it's pretty darned good. If you really boil it down, it's basically the exact same story from the first movie, only more refined and focused. So to me it seems less a sequel than it is a full-on remake, which begs the question: is it really necessary? Who knows, but it's entertaining, and I lost my copy of Spiderman 1, so this will do fine to replace it. The climax with the big fusion ball and the river is surprisingly anti-climactic, but everything up until that point is finely-honed and crafted by obvious professionals. The main villain is cool, the special effects are eye-popping, and the story is more than adequate, even though it's fairly rote as far as comic book stories go. I usually HATE comic book movies, but this one is pretty much the comic book movie to end all comic book movies (thank god). In spite of Kirstin Dunst's wicked teeth, I'm giving this a high score for pure professionalism.

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::: posted by dan at 1:56 AM :: #


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