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Remember that you’re getting movie & TV advice from regular guys with regular lives. The fact that we’re not sitting in front of our computers and TVs all day also means that we don’t have time to review every movie ever made. While this list will continue to grow as fast as we can continue to watch and review movies & TV, we apologize in advance for those we did not get to yet. Rather than relying on it as an exhaustive encyclopedia of movies & TV, though, we hope that you will simply use this list as a source for good suggestions of what to watch or stay away from.
Reviews are organized in reverse chronological order by the date the review was created. However, you can also check out reviews for particular genres by using the “Categories” drop-down box at the bottom of the page. Also, you can use the “Search” box (also at the bottom of the page) to find a particular movie/show.
Plot Summary: The misadventures of a milkshake, an order of fries, a meatball, and their retired next door neighbor in the suburbs of New Jersey.
Creators: Dave Willis, Matt Maiellaro
Stars: Willis, Carey Means, Dana Snyder
Serious Jest: (Casual Watch) I watched the first 2 seasons on Netflix and would have kept watching, but I wasn’t willing to pay to watch the remaining seasons on Amazon, or even to take the trouble to download them on bit torrent. I suspect you have to be high to really enjoy this show. That being said, at about 10 minutes an episode, it’s entertaining enough to casually squeeze an episode or two in at lunch. Also worth it for its pop-culture value; get 2 or more of your friends together, and you’ve got some great Halloween-costume potential!
Plot Summary: Living in exile, Hannibal Lecter tries to reconnect with now-disgraced FBI agent Clarice Starling and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim.
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Thomas Harris (novel), David Mamet (screenplay), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman
Serious Jest: (Must See) The sequel to The Silence of the Lambs is more creepy than thrilling, and sometimes a little hokey. Moreover, while Moore is an exceptional actress, it just feels different with her playing Starling. Furthermore, the plot is not as sophisticated as SotL.
That being said, the film is entertaining in more of a comedic-horror way. Hopkins is deliciously sinister, the supporting cast is very talented, and there is a classic scene involving the human brain that is worth adding to your pop-culture tool belt. If you’re a fan of Hannibal the Cannibal, you should set aside time to see this flick once, although you shouldn’t go into it with high expectations. If you’re not high on Hannibal, though, this movie will be more of a Worth Watching for you.
Plot Summary: A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Michael Gill, Robin Wright
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) This superb cast really brings out the essence of cutthroat DC politics, both in government and in private-sector. The series is basically a modern-day version of Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince. While some may not like Spacey’s breaking of the fourth wall, I think it adds to the Poe-like tone that this show obviously seeks to convey. The series also pulls back the “government-conspiracy” curtain, looking at such conspiracies from the point of view of the conspirators and the cleaners. Unfortunately, the show becomes a bit too far-fetched for my tastes in some respects, reaching for soap-opera scandals to pacify those viewers who will not be content with political coups and corporate maneuvering. Also, I deeply despise Spacey’s and Wright’s characters for their ethical and moral depravity, and for their lack of a code, so I have some trouble separating my hostility towards them from the series as a whole.
Plot Summary: Growing up in a Rio de Janeiro slum, Rocket is able to avoid being drawn into a life of drugs and crime by having a passion for photography.
Director: Fernando Meirelles, Katia Lund
Serious Jest: (Must Own) I kept hearing that this movie was good, but I never got around to watching it. Having glanced at its cover before, I was expecting something different…more of a sappy romantic tale. Instead, I discovered one of most poignant, suspenseful, exciting, and action-packed tales of a place that I’ve only heard stories about. It catapulted me through a wide range of emotions. Watch this and then try to complain about your “first-world problems.” The City of God is shockingly poor and frighteningly dangerous, yet culturally rich and unexpectedly beautiful.
Meirelles and Lund manage to convey a stark realism through a cast made up largely of actors from Rio favelas who had never acted before, but who stepped up to the task in an amazing way with some intense coaching. The film even features some takes which were not scripted, as well as real coverage from true events. The music masterfully complemented the mood of each scene, while staying true to the beauty of Brazil. The camera work was top-notch (especially for 2002), both in César Charlone‘s skillful employment of the equipment and in the scenery that he captured. Daniel Rezende, the film editor, presented Charlone’s vision at a wonderful intersection of deliberate and thrilling, ensuring that the viewer’s attention stayed captive throughout.
This flick is so good, I wanted to watch it again immediately after the credits rolled the first time around. You will be hooked from the moment the chicken starts running for its life. Make this film the next one you watch.
Plot Summary: While vacationing at their secluded summer home, an affluent family is terrorized by a pair of sadistic creeps in this disturbing thriller.
Director: Michael Haneke