Back to Index

CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN (8 1/2)
Far better than the critics say, this is a powerful story about Love, War, Attack, and Surrender in 1940's Greece, filmed entirely on the BEAUTIFUL Island of Cephallonia. A strange thing: An American Nicholas Cage plays an Italian; a British John Hurt plays a Greek; a Walesean Christian Bale plays a Greek; a Brit David Morrissey plays a German; and a Spanish television actress Penelope Cruz plays an Italian. Are there no working Greek & Italian actors out there? Still, they all do a passable job with their dialects. Cruz is making a name for herself in the skin game--this woman likes to be naked. And there are several topless beach scenes with some other female cast members. You will have to tolerate the F word a couple of times. The music is wonderful, and I look for my mandolin sales to shoot up for a few months. Also worth mentioning, Cage does his own singing in the film. You will hate the Germans, for once again, war is Hell Harry.

 

CASTAWAY (9)
Once again nature takes over as the star of yet another Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Hanks and the overworked, overrated Helen Hunt.  Does that woman ever sleep?  Her role is small.  Very little dialogue in this movie.  But insightful self-revelations. Monstrous physical transformation of Hanks.  GREAT movie!  By the way: DO NOT watch HBO's special about the Making of Castaway BEFORE you see this movie.  I refused to watch it until after, and boy was I glad.  EVERYTHING is revealed.  Be surprised and see the movie first.
 

CHARLIE'S ANGELS (6 1/2)
Warning: do not take seriously. Mindless.  Lots of SLO-MO!  Kickboxing! Hair Flying! Lots of teeth! Lots of skin! Action!  Lame plot.  Did I say plot?

Few totally zipped up shirts.   You will want to comb Drew's hair the entire movie, so try to ignore that. Lucy's hair makes up for it.  John Forsythe still vocalizing as Charlie.

Rating the new angels alongside the old ones?  The old ones: 10  The new ones: 2
Cameron, Lucy, Drew: Give it up, girls. There will never be another Kate, Jackie, or Farrah.   But then, I was a big Charlie's Angels fan.  Never missed an episode.
Bill Murray in another goofy role for him.  He continues to fill those stupid roles.  And he is a funny guy.  Wonder why he doesn't make a movie that deserves him?
Still, if you like action and kickboxing, you can spend your time in a worse way.

 

CHICKEN RUN (6)
Clay based animated chickens and people; chickens try to escape eventual doom at the chopping block.  Mel Gibson has been busy this year! He's the voice over for Rocky.  I took my grandchildren; they don't want to eat chicken now.  They told me they liked it a lot, but none of us ever once laughed a hearty laugh.  I grinned a few times.  It was enjoyable, but it seemed a bit slow really and not on their level...great new clay + animation process and cute chicken personalities.

 

CHOCOLAT (10)
If you liked Waking Ned Devine, Life is Beautiful, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you will be sure to LOVE this movie. A bit on the artsy side for some I am sure, but don't be put off by that. Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin, and Judy Dench are all wonderful in this off the wall comedy, which should keep you giggling throughout and is centered around a Chocolat store set in a small minded French town. Johnny Depp again is good in a smaller role. I loved this movie!

 

CIDER HOUSE RULES (7 1/2)
Another Hollywood statement movie: this time, the topic is abortion.   Michael Caine is very good, as always.  A movie of his this last year that didn't get much attention, but one in which I thought he was excellent, was Little Voice.  I LOVED Little Voice.  See it if you ever have the chance. But Cider House Rules is a strange movie with some strange turns.  You might like this one, and then again, you might not.  I liked it.
 

 

CITY BY THE SEA (9 1/2)
It's another DeNiro movie, so of course, it's going to be copasetic!  DeNiro commands each of his films, without exception.  As a respected cop, albeit with a cloud surrounding his father's past and a messy divorce, he suddenly finds himself with a grown drug addicted son, whom he abandoned as a young child, and who is now in trouble with the law.  Francis McDormand  (Fargo) is always top notch, and DeNiro's son is excellent as the pathetic, hapless, hopeless wretch of a human being.  Even though this movie is graphically dark with 62 F-words, it is still an excellent, gripping film.
 

CONTENDER (The) (3)
What a potentially great lineup!  Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliot, and William Petersen.
Wow!  Mature, great lookin' guys, all of whom are three of my FAVES--
And then they throw in Joan Allen--what's up with THAT??
Lots of  Hollywood liberal propaganda:
If you are a liberal, you will be shouting, "Right on!"
If you are conservative, you will be saying, "For crying out loud!"
Either way, this movie is a major disappointment.  I was hoping for MUCH more.
F word alert.  Still and all, hooray for an overall message that says, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  And still and all, Sam and Jeff and William look great.

 

COLD MOUNTAIN: 10  

Did you read the book?  A hard to get moving book, but well worth the effort.  The movie features two actors that I  never would have cast as leads: Nicole Kidman (excellent) and Jude Law (excellent), supported by the ever-adaptable Rene Zellwegger.  If Nicole were to play Laurie in Oklahoma, Rene would be Ado Annie--she's awesome.  True to the book as I remember it, full of angst and devotion, acquaintances become lovers over time and distance.  It's a heart ripper. I loved this movie.  Rusty loved this movie.

 

 
COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (The) (10)
This adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' story, set in France in the early 1800's, is epic-like in length and quality.  It's a story about riches, love, revenge, and friendships.   Filmed in Malta and Ireland, the landscape is magnificent.  James Caviezel gets his first, really great, lead role here supported by Guy Pearce and Richard Harris.  Ahhhh....Richard Harris.  What a great finish to an outstanding career to be able to perform in his later years like this.  Lots of swordfighting.  It's popcorn time and total enjoyment!
  
Rusty really liked this movie.  Any guy who doesn't like swordfighting, well...

 

COYOTE UGLY (1)
No sane person over 25 years of age, would darken the movie door of this worthless film.  To give it a 1 rating is pushing my envelope to the brink.  John Goodman: shame on you.  Shame on your agent.  SHAME ON ME for watching you and not walking out.  A young Australian actor was the only redeeming thing in this silly, ridiculous excuse for taking up a screen in a multiplex theater that I have ever seen.  Make room on my worst film list for this one.  Lee Ann Rimes: surely her career is not that pathetic to appear in this joke. Young girls prancing erotically on a bar with wild men doing their usual "wild male thang" -- having gone on the recommendation of a couple of college students, who said it was so good about a song writer...well, forgive me for stooping so low.  And Lord help the younger generation.

 

CREW (The)  (4)
If Burt Reynolds was ever in a smash movie (besides just getting lucky with the "Smokey Stuff"), will someone PLEASE tell me what it was?  And HOW does that man keep those toupes on under water?  One of life's greatest mysteries.  Lucky for him, he posed nude for Playgirl back in his heyday; otherwise, he might be selling shoes.  Anyway, this is a slow, goofy plotted, grumpy movie centered around a retirement building in Miami 1968, then 2000--with Burt, a couple of other character actors, and Richard Dreyfuss, as the Wise Guys...posing as now OLD MEN--Dreyfuss is miscast even though he has aged quite quickly for a young guy.  He's WAY too good to be in this schmuck of a movie. But it is regular celluloid for Burt.  I chuckled a couple of times.  But mostly, waited impatiently through it ... TO END.  And who can believe Burt is over the hill--with no wrinkles...oh brother.  Give me Space Cowboys any day!!!!

 

CROCODILE DUNDEE III  (0)
12 years after sequel II, Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski should hang it up.  This is the movie bomb of the century.  It is worse than lame.  This movie is pathetic.  If you are having trouble sleeping, forget the Sleep Aid.  Go see this movie.  You will sleep like a baby.

 

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (9)
I tried to drag anyone I could think of to this movie, but they all refused to watch subtitles.  However, I finally caught Rusty in a weak moment, and he agreed to go.  Not since Life is Beautiful have I been to another foreign film, and this one was worth seeing.  Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi all co star in this faster than a speeding bullet martial arts, plus a bit of fantasy, flick about love, theft, and discipline.  Most critics are giving this movie to Fat; I'm giving it to Michelle Yeoh.  Make yourself go see this movie.  It will stretch you and broaden your horizons. Reading subtitles becomes as natural as reaching for your popcorn.  You can do it.

 

CSI: Las Vegas: Season 1, 2, 3, 4 (10)

Of all the Crime Scene Investigator series, this one might be the best...but it runs a close call with CSI: Miami.  Since William Petersen is one of my favorite actors, I was a little biased about this particular series.  He plays quirky Gil Grissom and heads up the CSI dept with a fine supporting cast.  I didn't think I would like the other two because this one is just so darn good.  One thing: if you are squeamish, don't try to eat dinner while watching any of the CSI shows.  If you do, "Would you like fries with that autopsy?"

 

CSI: Miami: Season 1, 2, 3 (10)

OK.  I'll admit I didn't want to watch this one because I do not like David Caruso. Well, excuse me please!  Now, I love this guy.  He is everything Gil Grissom is NOT.  He is compassionate.  He is kind.  He feels.  And I say, good for a boss like that!  And the team is great.  I particularly like Emily Procter.  But, why they messed with that woman's hair is a mystery to me.  When you have a fine head of hair like she DID have, why would you go and mess with perfection?  But I digress.  This series showcases Miami in such a gorgeous light.  I've actually been to Miami, but I never saw all that beauty they showcase each week.  Think I'll go back!

 

CSI: NY: Season 1 (4)

I guess two out of three isn't bad.  What were they thinking when they put DRAB Gary Sinese and that MOROSE Greek chick together in a darkly lit and ugly New York City?  You have Viva Las Vegas and all that color and Miami and all that beauty, and then you have New York.  Sorry folks.  I think they have picked the ugliest parts of NY City to showcase.  I have been to NY City, and they can do better than this.  I'm going to have to be pretty desperate to buy season two of CSI NY.  All the cast is just as boring as Gary.

Back to Index