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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: In 1948 Los Angeles, a stranger asks war veteran “Easy” Rawlins to help locate a missing woman–a task that gets him embroiled in a murder mystery.
Director: Carl Franklin
Writers: Walter Mosley (book), Franklin (screenplay)
Stars: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Serious Jest: (Worth Watching) Unlike too many 1990s blockbusters, this film is timeless because it did not rely on big explosions, hoky effects, or the general ignorance of audiences in the pre-Google age. Instead, it showcased a captivating story, interesting characters, a cool setting, and good acting (Don Cheadle & Sizemore are especially badass). In sum, it is a very solid film noir, well worth dedicating a couple of hours to watch it, but it is not so unique that it’s a Must See.
Plot Summary: Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two Eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a natural talent for riding broncos with the inter-prison rodeo coming up.
Director: Sidney Poitier
Writer: Bruce Jay Friedman
Stars: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) Don’t get me wrong, I love the bromance between Wilder and Pryor. They were both very charismatic in their films together, their comedic chemistry was synced up like the periods in a women’s barracks, and they didn’t rely on their differences in race to establish a masterfully balanced contrast. But, over time, the jokes that used to kill back in the 70s and 80s just don’t have the same impact anymore.
Also, is it just me, or is it a little unbelievable that a prison rodeo would draw the huge crowd seen in this film? I had similar thoughts during The Longest Yard, and I love football.
This movie is amusing, and it’s not bad background, but it’s not worth dedicating an exclusive 2 hours to. On the other hand, I’m definitely going to try to incorporate “kiss the baby” into a future conversation.
Plot Summary: A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
Director: Sergio Leone
Writers: Luciano Vincenzoni (story & screenplay), Sergio Leone (story & screenplay), Agenore Incrocci (screenplay, as Age), Furio Scarpelli (screenplay, as Scarpelli), Mickey Knox (English version by)
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Serious Jest: (Must Own) Unless you hate spaghetti Westerns, this film needs to be in your collection. It’s a classic tale of greed, backstabbing, strategy, and dumb luck. If you ever want to really understand a director like Quentin Tarantino, you need to watch at least one Leone film. Leone was a visionary! This is my favorite of the “Dollars Trilogy” thematic series. Eastwood and Van Cleef are completely badass in this one, but Wallach steals the show as Tuco! The cinematography is awesome, Ennio Morricone‘s score enhances the action and tension, and this film starts and ends epicly.
Plot Summary: Naive young Mormon Joe Young is recruited to act in porn movies.
Director & Writer: Trey Parker
Stars: Parker, Dian Bachar, Robyn Lynne Raab
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) Jeez, these South Park guys really love to go after the Mormons! To be fair, though, they often portray them as happy and good people, despite their wack-job religion. Parker & Matt Stone often seem to be on the same wavelength as my funny bone (no pun intended), so although this movie was silly and came off as thrown together with little effort, I couldn’t help but keep a smirk through most of it. The acting of Parker and Bachar in this film was very good, especially in their expressions.
Also, the women in this film were hot (except for the ones that weren’t meant to be)! IMDB reflects that an unrated version of this film exists. If any of you have seen that version, please weigh in here. I suspect that I would have given that version 3 mugs!
Plot Summary: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.
Director: Tom Hooper
Writers: William Nicholson (screenplay), Alain Boublil (screenplay), Claude-Michel Schönberg (screenplay), Herbert Kretzmer (screenplay), Alain Boublil (stage musical “Les Miserables”), Claude-Michel Schönberg (stage musical “Les Miserables”)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) A compelling story with visually pleasing cinematography and a top-notch acting cast…however, I generally don’t favor musicals, unless they’re able to break into the songs somewhat organically, as Moulin Rouge! did. But this movie sang. just. about. every. word…this dragged the film into the unnecessary territory of 2 1/2 hours. I heard there’s a non-musical version. Gonna try that one after a reasonable “cooling off” period.
Plot Summary: Urban legend-style killings begin to occur on a movie set, in this non-sequel sequel to “Urban Legend”.
Director: John Ottman
Writers: Silvio Horta (characters), Paul Harris Boardman (written by), Scott Derrickson (written by)
Stars: Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) You may be flipping through your cable channels and come across this movie. Parts of it may seem entertaining, especially if you’re a fan of urban legends, like myself. If you continue about your business with this film on in the background and occasionally stop to watch a couple of scenes, you may not be disappointed…but do not waste your time by dedicating over an hour and a half to watch a collection of half-interesting urban legends executed with unconvincing special effects. While the plot twist isn’t bad, the ending is otherwise hokey and ruins what was a mediocre movie featuring some recognizable actors like Anthony Anderson, Eva Mendes, and Joseph Lawrence…and Loretta Devine, shame on you for playing this role…you know what I’m talmmbout. In sum, this flick is bad enough so that its homage to Alfred Hitchcock is a little insulting, but it’s not bad background if you keep your expectations low.