Reviews


The Dukes of Hazzard

A Movie ReelThe Dukes of Hazzard: 2.5 out of 10.

Ouch. That was painful. It pains me to think I'll never get those 106 minutes back.

You're probably wondering why I even bothered. I mean, it's not like there was a slight chance this could be a decent flick, so why did I ensure I was in front of the television at 9pm last night to watch total and complete rubbish? The answer has something to do with bed sheets and countless afternoons from my youth.

"The Dukes of Hazzard" was my show. I watched it every single day in syndication, absolutely enthralled by every aspect of the show. I loved the car, I loved Uncle Jesse and Daisy Duke and I wanted to be Bo and Luke, makin' their way the only way they know how. I had General Lee Hot Wheels and a Dukes lunch box and yes, I even had bed sheets. The best part of my Dukes of Hazzard bed sheets was the picture of Daisy Duke on the pillow case. She was my first crush and every night I slept with my face next to hers. Yee haw!

If you go back to this very site five years ago, you'll see a link to Hazzard County on the left. That was my tribute to the show. Unfortunately, most of the images didn't get archived by The Wayback Machine, but you'll get a feel for what this franchise means to me. This movie didn't do my show justice. There oughta be a law.

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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

A Movie ReelEnron: The Smartest Guys in the Room: 8 out of 10.

Wow. The Enron story is difficult to believe, but in this documentary it's all nicely laid out before us so we can watch with shock and awe. It's riveting stuff with great use of music and pop culture references, including a great scene from "The Simpsons" where people ride The Enron Ride to the poor house. I'd laugh if it wasn't all so tragic.

hu-bris n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance; Enron

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Lost Boys of Sudan

A Movie ReelLost Boys of Sudan: 6.5 out of 10.

Every month we get a free seven day rental from Rogers. They throw us this bone because we give them so much money each month. Right now we have cable, internet acess and our home phone with the big red machine. I sometimes feel as if I'm personally financing A.J. Burnett's contract.

The challenge each month is finding a seven day rental that we haven't seen and would like to see. Sometimes we skip movies altogether as we did when we rented the British version of "The Office", but usually we end up renting a documentary that never made its way onto "The Passionate Eye" or "The Lens". This month, we were intrigued by the premise of "Lost Boys of Sudan", a 2003 documentary that somehow eluded me.

Peter Dut and Santino Chuor are Sudanese refugees from the Dinka tribe who survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya. Two of thousands referred to as the Lost Boys, Peter and Santino are chosen to come to America where they have four months of assistance. While in Africa, it's believed the roads in America are paved with gold and everything will be ideal. Reality quickly sets in and we watch as they're forced to adapt to an unfamiliar culture.

It's fairly interesting material, but I wanted more. I had so many questions that went unanswered. What really went down when Peter left Houston and his pals for Kansas? What was the deal with those creepy Christian kids? Here's hoping for a sequel.

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Proof

A Movie ReelProof: 7 out of 10.

When Taryn asked me if I was interested in watching "Proof" with her, I had no recollection of the film ever being released. I guess I just missed it. I popped over to IMDB.com to make sure it was a worthwhile way to spend 90 minutes. I saw it was directed by John Madden, so I gave it a go.

It was a neat little flick. I wasn't bored and that's pretty much all I ask. Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis and Jake Gyllenhaal are all good in it and there's a little of "A Brilliant Mind" and "Good Will Hunting" thrown in the mix to keep things interesting.

Bonus points: The title reminds me of this quote!

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The 40 Year Old Virgin

A Movie ReelThe 40 Year Old Virgin: 6.5 out of 10.

Not bad... It was kinda cute. Steve Carell has been funnier, and it's sort of a one-trick pony. And if you ask me, that chest hair removal scene goes on way too long. C'mon guys, we got the joke in 30 seconds. It hurts a lot, right?

On the "summer of 2005 comedy scale", I'd put it slightly ahead of "Wedding Crashers".

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Pauly Shore Is Dead

A Movie ReelPauly Shore Is Dead: 4.5 out of 10.

I have a theory. I call it my theory of relativity. I hope that title isn't taken.

My theory is that the enjoyment you get from a movie is directly related to your expectation level going into a flick. If you're not expecting much of anything but you get a bit of something, you look back upon the movie watching experience favourably. If you have lofty expectations and the movie doesn't measure up, you're dissapointed and harsh in your review.

A perfect example is my perception of "Pauly Shore Is Dead" compared to my review of "Wedding Crashers". I gave "Wedding Crashers" 5 out of 10 and here I am giving "Pauly Shore Is Dead" 4.5 out of 10. Is it really that close? The answer is no. I had high expectations for "Wedding Crashers" and felt it didn't measure up. I had no expectations for "Pauly Shore Is Dead", but found it surprisingly edible. In reality, "Wedding Crashers" was a far better and funnier movie than "Pauly Shore Is Dead", but my theory of relativity (patent pending) cannot be denied.

Besides, there was a Michael Madsen cameo, and that's pretty cool.

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Lord Of War

A Movie ReelLord of War: 6.5 out of 10.

Let's just say, I expected worse. It was kind of neat before it sort of lost its way. There was one scene, however, that was unintentionally hilarious because it was the most forced line I've heard in a while.

Nicholas Cage is an arms dealer who brags about selling to the worst of the worst. He'll sell to anybody, it doesn't matter who they're killing. He'll sell bombs, guns and grenades to anyone except Osama Bin Laden. Selling to Bin Laden wouldn't sit right with the American theatre goers. Here's the line Yuri Orlov throws at us early in the flick. "Back then, I didn't sell to Osama Bin Laden. Not because of moral reasons, but because he was always bouncing checks."

See, Orlov is still bad, but OBL kept bouncin' them cheques. Now it's okay to like Orlov for being so bad. I feel better, do you?

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Loose Change - 2nd Edition

A Movie ReelLoose Change: 7 out of 10.

I've shared my thoughts on just about every movie I've seen over the past few years. Usually it's a movie I've seen on DVD or our local movie network and once in a blue moon I actually get to a theatre to watch a flick. "Loose Change - 2nd Edition" is the first film I've ever watched solely on the world wide web.

"Loose Change" is a documentary by Dylan Avery that's been available since November 2005, but I only learned about it when I picked up Taryn's latest issue of Vanity Fair. I don't normally read Vanity Fair, but I was intrigued by the promise of "9/11 Conspiracies". The entire 81 minute doc is being shared via Google Video and can be seen at http://www.loosechange911.com/.

It's an interesting perspective on 9/11 and quite riviting. I wasn't bored for a second. Without a doubt, there's more than meets the eye when we look back on September 11, 2001. At the very least, Avery's film gets you thinking about things and questioning that which doesn't make sense.

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Cinderella Man

A Movie ReelCinderella Man: 8.5 out of 10.

Fantastic. Let's see... This is a well acted, feel-good story with exceptional camera work, particularly during the mesmerizing fight scenes. Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti... they're all great, but boxing and the human spirit are the true stars of this flick. Damn, I liked it so much I'm going to watch it again.

Of course, I loved this movie before I pressed play. The opening scene is an exterior shot of Madison Square Gardens in the late 20s and that scene was filmed hours after Michelle was born. How do I know that? I was there. I get chills just thinking about it. Other scenes were filmed in areas very familiar to me. The church scenes, including the interior shots, were of St. Cecilia on Annette Street at Pacific Avenue, a church I used to attend. The MSG interior shots were of good ol' Maple Leafs Gardens. Watching "Cinderella Man" is akin to enjoying a smorgusborg of Toronto locales.

Irregardless of the Toronto shots and memories of my daughter's birth, this is a fantastic movie. See it.

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Wedding Crashers

A Movie ReelWedding Crashers: 5 out of 10.

Sigh. Where have all the good comedies gone? "Wedding Crashers" was too long, too predictable, and not particularly funny. Sure, I chuckled a few times, but there were no belly laughs. When I saw "There's Something About Mary", I remember belly laughs. Where the hell are my belly laughs?

I realize this movie was from last summer, but I'm usually about a year behind on my flicks. Over the past year, I kept seeing references to "Wedding Crashers" which actually tricked me into expecting a fairly funny movie. I just saw it clean up at the recent MTV Movie Awards, although I guess I should have known better than to have attached expectations to that. This was weak, no stronger than "Dodgeball", which actually got a higher rating from me. I want belly laughs!

Tomorrow I'll run down my five favourite Owen Wilson movies. I can think of at least three hysterical flicks the dude has starred in. This wasn't one.

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