Reviews


Fuck

A Movie ReelFuck: 6.5 out of 10.

This documentary is all about the F-bomb. There is an interesting collection of people speaking up on this controversial word, with Bill Maher, Billy Connolly, Ice-T, Drew Carey, Kevin Smith and others on one end of the spectrum and a bunch of stiffs and Pat Boone on the other. Pat Boone even shared with us the word he uses instead of the F-word when he needs a hard core expletive. The dude says "Boon!".

I find myself fascinated by how offended some people are by certain words. Words are words, and even the bad ones have therapeutic qualities. "Fuck" has a weight to it no other word has and in certain situations you can accept no substitute.

I've been known to swear here and there, and I'm as liberal as they come when it comes to such things, but I still try and catch myself when around the kids. It's not that I think the word will corrupt them or hurt their spiritual growth, it's that they copy everything I say and I worry they'll accidentally say it in inappropriate places.

Maybe I should follow Pat Boone's lead and yell out a "Boon!" when I stub my toe, a Jay hits into a double play or somebody pisses me off. Consider yourselves warned.

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Shut Up & Sing

A Movie ReelShut Up & Sing: 7 out of 10.

For a long time, I didn't like the Dixie Chicks. Actually, I should rephrase that. It's their music I didn't like. Somehow I don't think I was their target audience when they were singing about being ready to run and some bumpkin named Earl.

I first sat up and took notice of this band when the controversy hit. Suddenly, I was interested. Nothing gives a band more integrity in my eyes than an all country music station removing them from their playlist. Especially if they're being removed for uttering an anti-Dubya statement, that's just icing on the cake.

This is a great little doc and I recommend it to all, even those who don't particularly dig the Dixie Chicks format. Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers appears for a bit and there's a scene later in the film when concert sales are tanking except for Toronto which sold out a show quickly and rolled out into a second night right away. I remember hitting the web when those tickets went on sale to buy a pair for my wife and mom, two bona fide fans

The Dixie Chicks now have street cred and it looks awfully good on 'em. Not Ready To Make Nice isn't just a great country song, it's a great song. Period.

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This Film Is Not Yet Rated

A Movie ReelThis Film Is Not Yet Rated: 7 out of 10.

I love docs, and this one about the MPAA is quite entertaining. The MPAA oversees a "voluntary" film rating system, but as Kevin Smith points out in the film, it's anything but voluntary if you want to promote your film and maximize revenue. For 35 years they've done their thing with no transparency or public accountability of the process.

In the documentary we actually learn about this film getting an NC-17 rating and losing the appeal by a 10-0 vote. This version, with this additional footage, was never rated, and that's why you can't rent it at Blockbuster.

Voluntary, indeed.

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Underdog

A Movie ReelUnderdog: 3 out of 10.

The other day I wrote about the things we do for love. When I first became a father about 5.5 years ago, I was prepared for many of the sacrifices I'd have to make. I knew I'd have to change diapers and take them to swimming lessons and attend many a freezing Santa Claus parade, but I wasn't ready for the kind of sacrifice I made last night. This, in my humble opinion, is cruel and unusual punishment.

Underdog is bad. It's not quite Karate Dog bad, but it makes The Shaggy Dog feel like Pulp Fiction. If Underdog were a television show, I'd recommend flipping on by. Not even the presence of Puddy and the voice of Banky Edwards can save it. Bow. Wow.

It was also just about the best 80 minutes I've ever enjoyed. James was seated to the right of me and Michelle to the left, and I spent more time watching their reaction to this talking, flying mutt than watching the screen. At 3 and 5 years old, they were the target audience, and this movie nailed the target. There's a scene where Underdog belches loudly in another dogs face and Michelle thought it was the funniest scene ever captured on film. When Underdog was flying into outer space, James was literally at the edge of his seat, mesmerized. The kids absolutely loved Underdog, and that's why I was there. That's what last night was all about.

Unless you're accompanying someone under the age of ten, you have no business wasting a second of your life watching this brutal film. But if you are looking to kill 80 minutes with your four year old, I won't judge. I had a blast.

Theatre

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The Last Kiss

A Movie ReelThe Last Kiss: 7 out of 10.

Is it possible I was in the mood for a relationship movie last night? That's doubtful, but it would explain why I enjoyed "The Last Kiss" so much.

There are a bunch of different couples and they're all trying to figure it all out and you're just sort of peering in and watching how the pieces fall. It's a solid cast and great fuel for deep discussions with your spouse, and Rachel Bilson is awfully cute, so what more are you looking for in a hot summer night flick?

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The Illusionist

A Movie ReelThe Illusionist: 7 out of 10.

Ed Norton and Paul Giamatti are always good, but who knew Mary Camden could act? Jessica Biel more than holds her own here in an entertaining flick with a funky ending.

This is easily Biel's best work since Ulee's Gold. It's even better than Stealth.

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Clerks II

A Movie ReelClerks II: 7 out of 10.

Clerks was one of my favourite films of all time. I loved the dialogue, I loved the raw indie feel and I loved the sentiment. Everything was ultra cool, from the Death Star discussion to the ball hockey game on the roof. Even that Soul Asylum tune kicked ass.

I was worried about watching Clerks II because I love Clerks so much. Thankfully, Clerks II is good. It still has that charm and entertaining dialogue, and even Jay and Silent Bob show some restraint that keeps them funny as opposed to annoying. Clerks II is good, but it suffers from the same faulty premise that plagued the even funnier Knocked Up.

Ugly dudes like Brian O'Halloran who work at a fast food joint don't score total babes like Rosario Dawson. At least, not in the real world. And Seth Rogen, bless his heart, doesn't get my Izzy to fall in love with him. It's fiction.

Once you accept this premise-flawing required leap of faith, Clerks II is a winner.

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Ratatouille

A Movie ReelRatatouille: 8.5 out of 10.

Avoid Ratatouille if you hate funny, charming, entertaining films.

Pixar is 8 for 8 if you're scoring along at home. We'll see if Wall-E makes them an unprecedented 9 for 9.

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Bon Cop, Bad Cop

A Movie ReelBon Cop, Bad Cop: 6 out of 10.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop was named Best Motion Picture at this years Genie Awards. I had heard many good things about this flick, so I was pretty jazzed when I settled in to watch it this weekend.

Patrick Huard and Colm Feore are very good, and there's lots of funny CanCon revolving around the Ontario - Quebec rivalry. The premise is explained without using actually names and NHL teams. For example, they'll talk about the team from Quebec City that moved to Colorado before becoming champions. Then they'll discuss #88 who refused to play in Quebec City and instead played for Philadelphia. They also refer to The Great One, who was sold to L.A., and Rick Mercer plays a thinly disguised Don Cherry who slags the French and wears rather obnoxious shirts. See how silly it all is?

Even if you get past the cheesy hockey fuelled premise, the movie completely loses you in the final act. The final act and lead up to the climax is just way too long and, quite frankly, boring. The whole charming and fun good cop / bad cop work of the previous 2/3s is pissed away so we can watch a drawn out, cliched cops and robbers chase.

My list of best Canadian movies will not require an edit.

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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

A Movie ReelTalladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: 6 out of 10.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby isn't bad, but it's no Knocked Up, which I saw earlier in the day. It's really saved by Gary Cole who plays Ricky Bobby's father, Reece. The middle scenes with Ricky and his daddy really are funny.

If you're keeping score at home, this one isn't quite as funny as Anchorman, but probably just as funny as Dodgeball. Of course, anyone who would see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby already has, but just in case...

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