Everyone's Hero

A Movie ReelEveryone's Hero: 5 out of 10.

Tonight I was looking for a flick to watch with the kids when I rolled the dice and went with "Everyone's Hero". If you've never heard of it, and I certainly hadn't, it's about a kid who has to get Babe Ruth back his lucky bat so the Yankees can beat the Cubs in the World Series.

Even though it featured Babe Ruth and World Series action, I couldn't get into it. I awarded no sympathy points because Christopher Reeve was directing it when he passed away and Dana Reeve was the executive producer. It wasn't very good and the ending was just silly, although I noticed James loved it. When it was all over, he proudly told me it wasn't the bat that made a hitter great, it was the batter.

Save 90 minutes and track down Tiger Town.

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The Pursuit of Happyness

A Movie ReelThe Pursuit of Happyness: 8.5 out of 10.

I must confess, I'm not a big Will Smith fan. I liked him in Six Degrees of Separation and thought he was pretty good in Ali, but that's about it. In The Pursuit of Happyness, however, he's fantastic.

The entire film is damn good. It's a great story that's well paced, never boring and includes a great Will Smith performance that makes you forget he was ever the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I almost gave this one a nine.

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Let's Go To Prison

A Movie ReelLet's Go To Prison: 5.5 out of 10.

Ok, there are better comedies out there, but I didn't mind "Let's Go To Prison". Maybe it was the fact I liked seeing Will Arnett because he reminded me of Arrested Development, or maybe it's because it was directed by Bob Odenkirk which reminded me of "Mr. Show" or maybe it's because it's only 84 minutes.

I've seen plenty worse.

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A Movie ReelBobby: 6 out of 10.

This is far from a bomb from writer and director Emilio Estevez, but I found myself playing "name that actor" for most of the film. There are so many known actors and actresses in "Bobby" you can spend a third of the film identifying the famous faces.

I had two issues with "Bobby". First of all, for a movie taking place in 1968 we're hit with a great deal of below average tunage. I may not have been around in 1968, but I'm familiar with the sensational songs that came out that year. The "Bobby" soundtrack should have been stronger. The best track was "Hurdy Gurdy Man" by Donovan, which should tell you something. Oh yeah, "The Sound of Silence" was in there, but I stand by my point. They cheaped out on tunes.

My other issue was with the silly subplot in which Ashton Kutcher got a couple of young campaigners high. It was embarrassing. Really, see this film for these ridiculous moments alone and the cringe induction will be well worth it.

Not bad Emilio, but it's no Young Guns.

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The Queen

A Movie ReelThe Queen: 9 out of 10.

I finally saw The Queen. Helen Mirren becomes Queen Elizabeth II, even more than Scott Thompson did, and slam dunked that Oscar. Everyone is good in The Queen, the writing and direction is superb and you're not bored for a second. This is a brilliantly crafted film.

What's particularly extraordinary is that The Queen contains no swears, no nudity, no suggestive sex or violence and is rated G. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a non-cartoon rated G as much.

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For Your Consideration

A Movie ReelFor Your Consideration: 6 out of 10.

"For Your Consideration" isn't terrible, it's just disappointing. It's disappointing because the previous three films from this group were so much funnier. Of the four, which I'll rank at the end of this review, it's a distant fourth.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few laughs and plenty of smiles, but these guys are better than that. Catherine O'Hara is fantastic, Fred Willard gets most of the laughs and the "Home for Purim" scenes are pretty funny, but this one misses the mark. Here, in order, are the best in the series, according to Toronto Mike.

  1. Best in Show
  2. Waiting for Guffman
  3. A Mighty Wind
  4. For Your Consideration

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American Hardcore

A Movie ReelAmerican Hardcore: 6 out of 10.

The cool kids always wore tee shirts celebrating bands like Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys or D.O.A. It was a scene I completely missed and never totally understood. The songs seemed to be big walls of noise devoid of melody or hook. I just didn't get it.

This documentary on the hardcore punk scene from 1979 through 1985 does a fantastic job of explaining it all and showing the evolution as it spread East. It's loaded with fantastic footage and great insight. I didn't know much about Bad Brains prior to last night, but I liked what I heard and I know I'll be hunting for more about these hardcore pioneers. To these ears, they were the best of the bunch.

I think I get it now. I'm just sorry I was born too late.

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Running with Scissors

A Movie ReelRunning with Scissors: ? out of 10.

The reason I haven't given this film a score is that I fell asleep about half way through it. Before I dozed off I remember thinking it was just like The Royal Tenenbaums without the wit and comedic elements.

When I'm enjoying a film, I never doze off. 'Nuff said.

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The Heart of the Game

A Movie ReelThe Heart of the Game: 7 out of 10.

I hadn't heard much about this documentary about a Seattle high school girls' basketball team, but when it showed up on TMN I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

The story unravels in such a way that you'd swear it was fiction, although if it was fiction I'd be complaining about how convenient it all was. It's quite remarkable what happens with the Roosevelt Roughriders. Like the very fine Hoop Dreams, it's a story that deserves to be told. It's pretty damn awesome.

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The Simpsons Movie

A Movie ReelThe Simpsons Movie: 8 out of 10.

This is the hardest movie review I've ever sat down to write. I just ended a 17 year wait to see a film featuring the Simpsons. Since they announced this project had been green lighted, I went from heavy anticipation through a thick fear it would be mediocre to a recent optimism based on positive reviews. You can follow that roller coaster ride of emotions here, but I've got a review to get to.

I'm torn. On the one hand, it's good, which is good. My biggest fear was that it would stink, and it certainly doesn't stink. In fact, it looks great and feels quite good for 87 minutes. As good as it is, it's not exceptional. In fact, I would never label this film "great". It's good, and that pleases me, but this isn't just any movie. This is The Simpsons Movie.

I'm not necessarily disappointed, I smiled often and laughed quite a bit, but it did tail off in the second half and it didn't ever advance beyond the scope of a pretty good 87 minute episode. I guess I just set the bar too high. I guess I've spent 17 years hoping this movie wouldn't just be good, but would be ex-cel-lent. I remain hopeful that will be truer of the sequel.

When it comes to The Simpsons Movie, good isn't good enough.

James Loves Homer

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