Thursday, August 31, 2006

Your reviews

Tired of those snooty critics always getting the last word? Here's your chance to be a critic. Just click under comments here and write a review (feel free to make it just a couple of lines or go as long as you want) about any of the movies in theaters:
Black Dahlia
Everyone's Hero
Jesus Camp
Gridiron Gang
The Last Kiss
The Covenant
The Protector
The Illusionist
The Quiet
Who Killed the Electric Car
The Wicker Man
The Any Bully
The Devil Wears Prada
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
How to Eat Fried Worms
Lady in the Water
The Lake House
Little Miss Sunshine (everybody's loving this movie!!!)
Material Girls
Miami Vice
Monster House
Nacho Libre
Over the Hedge
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Roving Mars
Snakes on a Plane
Step Up
Superman Returns
Talladega Nights
World Trade Center
You, Me and Dupree

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pub quiz

The group Geeks Who Drink, which does a weekly pub quiz at McCabe's at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, invited me to host a "celebrity" quiz this week.

I was struggling for a theme and decided to make this as self-indulgent as I possibly can, basing all the questions on my favorite movies.

It should be fun.

I saw these guys this weekend at the Business of Art Center's Venue 515, where they were doing a '60s trivia quiz at a fundraiser for the BAC and KRCC. I'm still smacking myself for missing a question asking us to name the X-rated movie that won an Oscar in '69.

I thought "Last Tango in Paris," which didn't come out till '72.

The answer, of course, is "Midnight Cowboy," one of my all-time faves --"I'm walkin' here!"


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mission improbable

Paramount's move to drop Tom Cruise for jumping too much on Oprah's couch had me thinking.

Should actors' off-screen antics affect our movie-going decisions?

Mel Gibson, of course, is a perfect example.

I really want to see his next movie, "Apocalypto," about the Mayans. Do I let his drunken anti-semitic rant stop me?

It's a tough one. It recalls the whole Jane Fonda thing. I remember people who wouldn't see "On Golden Pond" because they were still bitter about Fonda's anti-war stunts.

At some point, it gets silly, doesn't it? Several of the stars I've met have been jerks in person. So what? Are we going to study People magazine to see if all our favorite actors have the right moral fiber to represent our values on screen?

I'm not crazy about funding Gibson's rehab, but if he makes a movie I want to see, I'll still go see it.

Tom Cruise's case is easier. So, he's a bit of an eccentric. He wants everybody to be a pharmaceutical-free Scientologist. That's easier for me to forgive than his awful performance in "Legend."

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I want my motherbleeping 'Snakes' screening

I don't know if you've noticed, but we've been featuring more local movie reviews in GO!

I still like the Rogers -- Roger Moore, the critic from the Orlando Sentinel, and Roger Ebert, the Chicago Sun Times critic who's recovering from surgery -- and you'll still find their reviews in GO!

But I believe that local critics create important links with readers. Local movie fans know they can pick up the phone (or log onto a blog) and chew us out and actually get a real person and a real response.

That's why I was hoping to do a local review of "Snakes on a Plane." After all that internet buzz, I figured this would be the movie everybody would check out last weekend and everybody would be talking about for weeks.

I thought for sure New Line would give us a press screening.

Nope. The studio folks figured critics would hate it and that it would make $25 million or more just from Samuel L. Jackson's talk-show tours and the internet hype.

They were wrong on both counts. Most critics who saw it after it opened last weekend actually liked it, but their reviews came too late to save the movie from a lackluster opening of $15.2 million.
This trend of studios releasing movies without pre-screenings really ticks me off, and it should upset you, too. Without reviews, all you get is the studio spin.

I still hope to see the movie at some point, but until then, you people can be my critic. Is it any good?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

World Trade Center issues

Oliver Stone's tribute to American heroism, "World Trade Center," which opened a couple of weeks ago, raised several issues among movie buffs.

One was whether it's too soon or whether it's worth going through that pain again. I feel it's not too soon and the movie is worth the discomfort. One significant point a Denver critic raised was that the movie has a lot of humor in it and that watching two cops trapped in rubble actually is much more watchable that you'd expect.

Another point will be discussed next year at Oscar time. Is it politically incorrect to dislike this movie? I happened to think it was very good, marred only by the miscasting of Nicolas Cage in a key role.

But as an Academy voter, can you really vote against this movie? Wouldn't you be voting against America? Against heroism? Against New York?

What do you think?

I'd love to also hear from cops and firefighters after you've seen the film. What did you think?

My wife had an interesting question: weren't there any women officers and firefighters on the scene? Stone's movie doesn't think so.