Not rated by the MPAA – contains violence, sex, nudity, general weirdness, language
Note: As I will be out of the country for a period of time, I have decided to inflict upon anyone who reads these reviews a sampling of my earlier work. These will be shorter, less formal, poorly written, and generally crappy. They will lack stills and links, and I will apologize in advance for their poor quality. They have received minor edits to (very slightly) improve readability. Some might not be appropriate for all audiences. Enjoy.
(review originally published 1/2/09)
And now for something totally different. This is the first film by the guy who did Bikini Med School and Body Parts. I’ve never heard of him either. (And yes, it looks like most stuff he’s done is soft core porn.) But whatever.
Unfortunately, the film is not as good as its title. But, you have to admit that the title is one of the greatest ever. It looks like someone filmed it wherever and whenever he could, with money stolen from homeless people. The quality is dreadful, the script is abominable, the acting pathetic, the special effects barely even laughable.
However, it’s a film of a lot of firsts. And for this reason it’s almost worth watching.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains butt shots, some crude humor
Alpha and Omega, despite some high profile voice actors and the melancholy accompanying it due to Dennis Hopper’s death, ultimately falls flat as an animated feature and a family film. There are enough cute moments to entice younger children, but then why is there so much innuendo and so many butt jokes?
The story itself is a little on the tame side. Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (Justin Long) are introduced in the opening scenes, cavorting and having fun together as young wolves are apt to do. But even at an early age they realize that they won’t be able to be together, as Kate is an alpha wolf in training under the tutelage of her father, Winston (Danny Glover), who is the clan leader. And Humphrey is an omega, the stupidest of the stupid wolves. He’s forced to hang out with lame friends (even though he likes them) and the only girl wolves he can hope to get are the berry-loving vegetarian organic types.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains some language and mature themes
In a lot of ways Dad represents the worst of the motion picture industry. It is not truly awful, and therefore able to be enjoyed in its badness. And yet it is good in very few ways. It is an entirely manipulative movie, mediocre in its execution, and nearly excruciating to watch at times on account of its generic lameness. There may be some spoilers ahead, but I refuse to excuse myself.
There are undoubtedly some interesting themes to be mined from the story. John Tremont (Ted Danson) is a Wall Street executive, busy buying up companies and closing them down. He has an ex-wife, a kid he rarely sees (Ethan Hawke), and a mother and father who aren’t doing too well. When his mom, Bette (Olympia Dukakis), falls ill with a heart problem he leaves his job to take for his elderly father, Jake (Jack Lemmon). Jake has been so reliant on Bette that he can no longer perform even the simplest tasks on his own.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains some mild profanity, some mild sexual references, some mild violence, and some extreme contrivances
Rarely do you find a film that is entirely constructed out of coincidental plot contrivances, but While You Were Sleeping might be that rare picture. Not a single element of the story transpires because of anything that a normal person would do; the entire plot is contrived and absurd.
The film is not helped by some awful dialogue. There are maybe five humorous lines in the movie, and some truly awful ones (“I don’t drink anymore. I don’t drink any less, either.”) There is some chemistry between the leads, and Sandra Bullock is likable, but these small bright spots are not enough to save the picture.
While You Were Sleeping begins with Lucy Eleanor Moderatz (Bullock) delivering a short and ultimately pointless monologue about the sad state of her life and some happy times in her past. She soon reveals that she works for the Chicago Transit Authority collecting train fares.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains goofy action violence
The Spy Next Door is a children’s film, an important fact to remember when attempting to review it. It is not a good children’s film, however, nor is it a good film by any definition of the word. My advice would be to take the young ones to go see Where the Wild Things Are [review here] or Fantastic Mr. Fox [review here] in the dollar theater instead. They can find this drivel on Saturday morning television shows; there is no need to go to the theater for a movie this poorly made.
Jackie Chan provides the only hook that might be of interest to audiences. Unfortunately, this is definitely the worst Jackie Chan movie I have ever seen, worse even than Fantasy Mission Force. He manages to retain some of his trademark charm, and some of the action sequences are mildly enjoyable, but this is a low step for the venerable action and comedy star.
Rated PG by the MPAA – contains cartoony violence, mild language and Sinbad
I imagine that the only reason to watch this movie is for Arnold Schwarzenegger. His performance is campy and ridiculous, which is fine since the whole movie is ridiculous and campy.
Schwarzenegger plays Howard Langston, a family man. Or, he would be if he didn’t spend so much time schmoozing with clients of his mattress business. His work prevents him from spending much time with his wife, Liz (Rita Wilson, best known for being Tom Hanks’ wife), and son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd, best know for being slightly less annoying than Jar-Jar Binks). Howard misses Jamie’s karate class and instills a fear inside the kid that he will mess up Christmas.
There’s only one thing Jamie, and every other boy in the world, wants for Christmas. Lust for the new Turbo Man doll has reached a fever pitch and they are sold out everywhere. Of course, Howard doesn’t know this when he promises to get one for Jamie for Christmas and tells Liz that he has already procured the toy.
Not rated by the MPAA – contains some violence, odd “relations,” and dullness
Note: This movie is a bit strange, and the following review will discuss some plot points that may be disagreeable to certain readers.
I had heard about this movie for years. It continually popped up on lists of the most disturbing movies of all time. In fact, reading the description I could hardly believe it was an actual movie.
Well, it is an actual movie, but I’m afraid the most interesting thing about it is that it was made at all. There’s one actor (unless you count a pig and three piglets) and one setting. There is no dialogue, just an odd soundtrack consisting of farm noises and a strange mix of music.
Not rated by the MPAA – contains violence and Weng Weng
While D’Wild Wild Weng isn’t quite as fun as For Y’ur Height Only (reviewed here) it is still an enjoyable venture into Weng Weng land. Our favorite 2’9″ butt-kicker is back, and this time he’s in the Wild West.
Well, he’s sort of in the Wild West. There are some problems, though, such as the fact that this Wild West looks like Florida and there are way too many ninjas around. Weng Weng is joined by Gordon (played by Max Laurel.) They are wandering through the Wild West for some reason, on their way to Santa Monica. I’m not sure why they are headed that direction, but they are.
It’s a good thing, too, since there are so many bad guys on the road. Apparently there are gangs of Mexican bandits roaming the area, pillaging and raping at will. Good thing Weng Weng (he’s called Mr. Weng in this movie) and Gordon (who is large and strong and can throw Weng Weng) are around to combat these evil forces. They end up rescuing several damsels in distress, teaming up with a man who has no tongue, and kicking lots of Mexican bandits.