Reviews


Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?

A Movie ReelWhere in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?: 5 out of 10.

I was really disappointed in this Morgan Spurlock documentary. It's far too silly for its subject matter. Spurlock doesn't really want to find Osama Bin Laden, he just wants us to know Muslims in the Middle East are just like you and me.

That's a nice sentiment, but it doesn't make for a riveting 90 minute doc.

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One Week

A Movie ReelOne Week: 8 out of 10.

Finally, a movie made for me. Ben Tyler was born in Toronto in the 1970s. We travel with him on the Gardiner Expressway, on the 400, on the 401, through Ontario and west to the Pacific Ocean.

Along the way, we hear amazing Canadian music, Joel Plaskett, Great Lake Swimmers, Stars, Sam Roberts, Wintersleep and Patrick Watson are among the artists featured in the film, and celebrate the beauty of this country. It's Michael McGowan's love letter to Canada and Canadiana, with shots of everything that strikes a chord, from the CN Tower, to a Tim Hortons coffee, to the Sudbury Nickel and Stanley Cup. We even hear the voice of Terry Fox. There are even great cameos from Gord Downie, Joel Plaskett (in a great scene as a busker) and Emm Gryner.

I adored this movie, a great story set in our country and drenched in wicked tunage. Do me a favour... go see One Week. If One Week does well, maybe we'll see more movies like this. Maybe we'll see more movies that speak directly to us.

One Week

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Frost/Nixon

A Movie ReelFrost/Nixon: 8 out of 10.

Frost/Nixon was one of five films I watched during yesterday's AMC Best Picture Showcase at Yonge and Dundas. It was great.

You're forgiven if you don't know that name Frank Langella. He's worked a tonne, but there's nothing that really jumps out and forces you to learn his name. And yes, I'm aware he was Skeletor in Masters of the Universe.

Frank Langella's performance as Richard Nixon makes this movie sing. Considering the film is about an interview between a British talk show host and a former president of the United States, Frost/Nixon is surprisingly gripping. It's like a boxing match for the heavyweight title.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

A Movie ReelThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button: 6.5 out of 10.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was one of five films I watched during yesterday's AMC Best Picture Showcase at Yonge and Dundas.

After watching Milk and The Reader, I was left underwhelmed by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was very long, and a shadow of a similar movie I enjoyed a great deal more. Yes, I'm referring to Forrest Gump, a movie ten times better than The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Seriously, Eric Roth penned both screenplays. He essentially watered down Forrest Gump here, with similarities you can't ignore. Here's a spoof that does a pretty good job explaining the parallels.

I was also underwhelmed by Brad Pitt's performance. He was better in another David Fincher film we know and love. I'm surprised The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was even nominated for Best Picture, considering both The Wrestler and Wall-E were superior, in my humble opinion.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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The Reader

A Movie ReelThe Reader: 8 out of 10.

The Reader was one of five films I watched during yesterday's AMC Best Picture Showcase at Yonge and Dundas. It was great.

I went into The Reader totally cold, without a clue what it was about. It's actually the most thought provoking of the films I saw last night, as I'm still debating certain details with myself.

As usual, Kate Winslet is brilliant as Anna Schmitz, and my pick as Best Actress. She also gets naked a lot, something else she's quite good at.

The Reader

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Milk

A Movie ReelMilk: 8 out of 10.

Milk was one of five films I watched during yesterday's AMC Best Picture Showcase at Yonge and Dundas. It was great.

Watching Sean Penn as Harvey Milk has me torn between him and Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. I'll be posting everyone's Oscar picks later this morning, so you'll see then who I pick to win it.

On a side note, it's worth mentioning that Milk has absolutely nothing to do with my favourite beverage.

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Semi-Pro

A Movie ReelSemi-Pro: 5 out of 10.

I saw some pretty weak comedies this Family Day long weekend. Semi-Pro was funnier than Be Kind Rewind, but it barely earned a 5 out of 10.

People seem to really like Will Ferrell movies, but I'm always left disappointed. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was okay, but Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Blades of Glory were pretty bad. Throw this one in that bad pile.

semipro

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Be Kind Rewind

A Movie ReelBe Kind Rewind: 3 out of 10.

I strongly discourage you all from giving Be Kind Rewind a shot. The premise may intrigue you, and the presence of Jack Black may cause you to believe it can't be all that bad, but I assure you... it is.

I honestly couldn't get through it, and it's pretty rare that I shut down a flick mid-stream. It's almost as if Jack Black, Mos Def and Danny Glover were making it up as they went along. It's one of the least funny comedies I've ever had the displeasure of watching.

What a mess. Avoid at all costs. This is not a drill.

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Horton Hears a Who!

A Movie ReelHorton Hears a Who!: 7 out of 10.

We watched this one with the kids tonight, and it was pretty entertaining.

In the book, Horton Hears a Who! seems to be about a speck. In the movie, it seems to be about something greater. The movie seems to be about God or religion. Is it just me, or are there some hardcore Christian undertones running through this flick?

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21

A Movie Reel21: 6 out of 10.

Not bad, but not nearly good enough. It's frustrating that this interesting story with a solid cast amounted to a mere 6 on the Booner Scale.

With a better script, it coulda been a contender.

21

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