MOVIES

Nobody asked for my opinion, but here it is anyway!!

Top Movies:

Life is Beautiful

The King of Hearts

Children of Brothels

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Monty Python & the Holy Grail

The Name of the Rose

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The Bear

Enter the Dragon

The Red Violin

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Amadeus

Amelie

12 Monkeys (1995) - A wild science fiction story of someone sent back in time to thwart a deadly virus that will wipe out most of the planet. Dark and mysterious and compelling.

1918 (1985) - Towards the end of WW1 in a small Texas town a family struggles with the pressures of the war and a deadly flu virus. A sad reminder of the ravages of war and disease. Additional insights into the simplicity and complexity of community life, honor, expectations, class and family dynamics. Extremely well written, acted, and photographed.

21 Grams (2003) - Interesting story of three unrelated couples and how tragedy brings them together. Strange editing.

A Beautiful Mind (2001) - A true story of the brilliant but schizophrenic mathematician and his troubles and triumphs in a university setting and in romance. Creative and somewhat sneaky sequencing and filming leaves the viewer wondering through the first part of the movie what is reality. Absorbing and exhilarating.

Absolute Power (1997) - Clint Eastwood plays a sophisticated thief who sees the president commit murder. Somewhat suspenseful, predictable, and dull.

Adaptation (2002) - Interesting story about a screenwriter who's having many difficulties, and his brother, who has too much good luck, and some bizarre orchid collector and writer in the Everglades. When they all get together things get very strange and tangled in a bad way.

All Hell Broke Loose (2003) - The rough and crazy world of an Iranian family in Sweden surviving with traditionalism and modernity in a close knit family. Entertaining and troubling!

Amelie (2001)- Very cool Parisian love tale and insightful glimpse into the strange, ugly, and beautiful relationships that surround us all. Very quirky and fun. Highly recommended to international film lovers.

Animal House (1978) - At prestigious Dartmouth College the anti-establishment Delta fraternity plays havoc on their neighboring jock fraternity and the college dean. John Belushi is excellent throughout the movie as Bluto Blutarsky, the never graduating whisky drinking senior. Way funny with bad humor to boot!

Art House (1998) - Independent film about independent producers, actors, porn stars and other quirky people and relationships with very few good points. Bad script, bad acting, bad plot...I was torn throughout as to whether to walk away or wait for some redeeming moments. They never came.

At the First Breath of Wind (2003) - Mostly just a photo mosaic of the slow life on a farm in Italy Very slow but beautiful.

Austin Powers International Man of Mystery (1997) - Swinging cool crazy tale of a daytime fashion photographer and night time secret agent in London in the 1960's who is frozen, then returned to life in the late 1990s to once again take on Dr. Evil, also brought back to life thanks to cryogenics. Dorky and funny.

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) - Toilet humor, parallels to classic James Bond flicks, and quirkiness make this a stupid and yet at times extremely hilarious action comedy.

Babe: Pig In The City (1998) - Quirky flick about a journey from a farm to the big city to have Babe, the famous sheep herding pig, raise money to save the farm. Great shots of various animal association with each other. Generally very funny and entertaining with insights into human behavior towards one another and animals. Small children could get scarred at certain scenes of human cruelty.

Baghdad On/Off (2003) - Interesting documentary of a exiled Iraqi trying to reach Baghdad to see his mother before she dies. The journey to get there is both enlightening and horrific with respect to life under Saddam.

Bamboozled (2000) - Powerful flick about black history, ridicule, greed, deception, manipulation, love, what it means to be an Afro-American, and freedom of expression. Two poor dudes want to get an audience and some money for their tap dancing street show. A television writer employs the dudes to create a controversial minstrel show. Extremes are reached with show lovers and haters.

Barton Fink (1991) - A strange 1940s New York playwright, Barton Fink (played by John Turturro), is lured to a Hollywood hotel to write a screenplay for a shaky movie mogul. While experiencing writer's block he befriends some fun and shady characters, such as John Goodman as an affable traveling salesman. Twists and bizarreness make this a highly memorable flick, though demented.

The Bear (1988) - Set in British Columbia in 1885, this is the story of an orphaned black bear cub that is adopted by a 1500 pound grizzly. Adding to the drama are hunters who've wounded the grizzly and are anxious to complete the kill. Issues of animal intelligence, survival struggles, and empathy add emotional affects. Gorgeous scenery and creative videography make this a super flick. Recommended.

Beetlejuice (1988) - Fun and lively flick about ineffective ghosts and an old house with a dour young daughter. Great music & effects.

Belizaire the Cajun (1986) - A story of 19th century Cajuns and those that want them out of the area. Great music, scenery and lively characters add fun to this unique flick.

Bitter Water (2003) - Very sad documentary about the lives of Palestinians in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Powerful review of the history and current disposition of far too many displaced peoples.

Black Hawk Down (2001) - Based on a real mission, a group of elite Delta soldiers are dropped in the center of Mogadishu in 1993 to catch some warlords. The opposition is underestermated and a long gunbattle occurs with a small number of Americans surrounded by their enemy. A graphic account of a nightmarish chapter in American military history.

Blue Velvet (1986) - Very quirky, twisted erotic murder mystery by David Lynch. The fringes of civility are brutally displayed. Excellent atmosphere!

Boca (1994) - The world of Brasil's homeless kids is no easier with police death squads and ruthless ghetto bosses. Rough but intriguing.

Bourne Identity - Fascinating tale of a highly talented U.S. Government assassin who failed to kill a target African leader. Miraculously survives gunshot wounds and falling into the sea. With short term memory amnesia he tries to understand his recent past while surviving attempts efforts by the government that trained him to kill him.

Bowling for Columbine (2002) - An interesting review of gun policies and obsessions in the U.S. and Canada along with insights into the mentality of violence and gun and bullet sellers. Recommended.

Brother (2000) - Dry, brutal, dull review of Japanese gangs in Los Angeles. Senseless violence, useless plot. I don't know how or why I made it through this dour tale of useless destruction!

Butterfly - An excellent Spanish flick about two brothers, a venerable teacher, and various other personalities in Madrid in the 1930s. Wonderful insights into human associations, misperceptions, the art of teaching, compassion, nature, selfishness, and political fear. Wonderful photography.

Cast Away (2000) - A very busy FedEx employee (Tom Hanks) survives a plane crash in the Pacific, makes it to an isolated island, and must deal with solitude, dreams of romance, and the development of survival skills. While there is some nice island photography, the movie is somewhat melancholic and nothing too special.

Catch Me If You Can (2002) - A well done action adventure based on a true story of a teenager who passes himself off as an assistant airline pilot, doctor, and other roles while making fake checks that keep him wealthy though lonely and constantly on the run from a dogged FBI investigator. Often very funny and uplifting though it somewhat glorifies crime.

Caught (1996) - Guy lands job, room and board with fish market owner. When the wife gets frisky with the roomer and the bum son returns and figures out the clandestine relationship things deteriorate rapidly.

Cecil B Demented (2000) - While I've enjoyed John Waters films in the past (the older the better, though sicker!), this one was plainly dumb and disjointed. The plot involves a crazy amateur film maker and his insane followers trying to concoct a film exposing the horrible aspects of Hollywood films. While I laughed a lot throughout the film, it's still really dumb!

Chicago (2002) - In 1920's Chicago some wannabe famous dancer/singers end up in prison but through the use of a slick lawyer, they gain fame and the chance for freedom. A wild musical!

Chronic Amsterdam - Terrible filming, camera, audio, psuedo-porn scene, sequence...was there any plot, script or editing? The first time in over ten years I purposely tried to turn over and sleep through a movie. My buddy said it got worse as it dragged on.

Cider House Rules (1999) - In Maine during WWII an orphanage is run by a caring staff of two nurses and a doctor. One teen orphan learns medical skills but leaves to work at an apple orchard near the ocean where a love story develops. The scenery, pace, and focus on the strengths of friendships and human needs is powerful. Very well done and compassionate.

City of Joy (1992) - A dorky American ex-doctor (Patrick Swayze) for some reason ends up in a Calcutta slum hotel. This movie involves a free clinic called the City of Joy in a slum with various colorful characters and numerous difficult encounters. Great street photography and insights into human motivation.

Confessions of A Dangerous Mind (2003) - A man who has seemingly lost his mind over time describes his life story, including the creation of silly game shows, his love life, and a secret life as a spy and killer. Strange, unusual, quirky, and at times quite humorous with some insights into the meaning of life and romance.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Some spectacular photography and imagery add value to this movie. The plot and flying people scenes seemed rather silly.

Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - Big adventure involving lust, greed, jealousy, sword fighting, honor, prison life, unjust and corrupt powers that be, and treasure hunting! Fascinating, titillating, lots of action, and a great tale of a good guy overcoming bad circumstances and bad guys getting their just desserts.

The Cruise (1998) - So, you have a very knowledgeable, opinionated, funky-quirky-irritated-with-mediocrity fellow who gives tours of NYC on double decker buses for Grey Line. It's black and white, it's 95% this dude whom many viewers may be completely turned off to within the first three minutes, and you're on a bus! I loved it. The anecdotes, insights, trivia, and mannerisms are spectacular. I'd love to take a tour with this guy. Funky!

Delicatessen (1992) - the world has reached a point where nothing can grow and cannibalism is in vogue. Would you like to trade a bag of lentils for a human leg! Often funny despite the overall pitiful scenario presented.

Die Another Day (2002) - For the 20th James Bond movie there's a few new twists, John Cleese as Q, a seemingly invisible car, and a touch of cinamatographic creativity with some slowing down and speeding up of some scenes for effect. Beyond that it's the same clear-cut good vs. evil, sex talk and scenes, unbelievable stunts, and explosive action. There's also some nice scenes in Cuba and a good soundtrack.

Dirty Harry (1971) - An uncanny San Francisco cop hunts down a psycho killer with acts beyond the law. Great pacing, thrills and violent words and actions. A classic!

Diva (1981) - A young delivery driver on a scooter stealthily records a superb opera singer who prefers never to be recorded. Inadvertently he also receives a tape from some scary mobsters who are determined to get back their tape. Very suspenseful and well done. Could easily be in my top 20 - highly recommended.

Divorcing Jack (1998) - A usually drunk, notorious reporter gets unwittingly involved with political thugs with violent intentions in Northern Ireland. The suspense and violence builds as the movie flows. Good plot but the main actor is a little irritating to keep following.

The Dreamlife of Angels - Two young French women struggle to survive in a cold city where they have no permanent home and decent jobs are difficult to land. Some good insights into friendship, compassion, allegiance, romance, jealousy, and how people like to spend free time and have fun.

Dream With the Fishes (1997) - A dull suicidal man and a dying wild man spend weeks together exploring fantasies and tragedies. At times funny with interesting insights into the meaning of life and aspirations.

Dune - In 10,191 there's a struggle amongst various peoples and things to gain control of an all powerful spice on a desolate planet with giant killer worms and an underground network of people. Dark, mysterious, and rather slow and dumb. Despite a good cast and David Lynch direction, I could've skipped this one.

Edward Scissorhands - Fascinating photography and landscaping don't make up for a very silly storyline. Some insights into suburban paranoia and ignorance. I still want to know how he urinates.

The Emerald Forest (1985) - Based on a true story of a engineer in the Amazon and his son who is kidnapped by the invisible tribe. Years later the father finds the son, but he's not the same!

The Emperor and the Assassin - Long epic saga of attempts by the Qin dynasty to unite the remaining six tribes into a unified and prosperous kingdom. The issues of trust, fidelity, greed, respect and deceit are covered. There's some good photography and a few heavy scenes of battle action and violence.

The Emperor of Hemp - Psudo-documentary on Jack Herer, promoter of the mass production of industrial hemp to solve many of our nation's woes. Gives insights into the stupidity of current marijuana laws.

The Emperor's Club (2002) - At a fancy boys school a esteemed teacher confronts the fact that not every child will absorb an ethical code of conduct, despite the most determined and compassionate efforts. Yet, under the proper conditions most students will both excel in personal life while making a positive contribution to their community.

The Emperor's New Clothes (2001) - An interesting tale of what could have happened if Napoleon didn't really die as planned but devised an alternate scheme to retake the throne. Things go wrong and he finds himself as an ordinary human torn between living a normal life and ragaining royalty, much to the confusion and irritation to his new common friends.

Enemy at the Gates - True story of the life of a young sniper in Stalingrad during 1942 as the Germans are at their height, blazing across Russia towards the oil fields. To boost morale Kruschev is promoting media stories making heroes of snipers and other soldiers. To deflate morale the Germans have sent their best sniper to kill this Russian hero. Realistic, sometimes brutal, dark, a bit long, but a good recollection of the ravages of war. Also contains a love story.

Enlightenment Guaranteed (2000) - Two very different middle aged brothers go to Japan to study Zen. Tragedy strikes the first day but in the end both brothers experience and learn a lot about life and themselves. Some good humor.

Erin Brockovich (2000) - Fascinating flick based on a true story of a struggling law clerk who uncovers a corporation that is poisoning a community secretly. Very well done.

The Field (1990) - In Ireland in the 1930s an old codger tries to protect the plot of earth he has worked all his life but doesn't own from a potential outside investor looking to bring in industry. A timely and powerful flick and message.

Finding Nemo (2003) - A little clown fish, Nemo, gets captured to be enslaved by a bratty girl but Nemo's father goes beyond imaginable efforts to try to catch up with his son and bring him back to the wonderful world of coral undersea. Some interesting insights into family bonds and the carelessness of humans towards all life. Animated.

The Firm (1993) - Intriguing, suspenseful, and complex story of a hot, young lawyer and the amazingly powerful firm that chose him to work for them. Lots of interesting twists to a plot of high level crimes.

Fists of Fury (1972) - Country boy (Bruce Lee) moves to Bangkok after his mother dies to work with cousins in an ice factory. Unfortunately the factory is a front for drug smuggling and the cousins start disappearing as they get curious. Pitiful plot, dubbing, and overall cinematography, but some excellent moves by Bruce give the movies some value.

Fitzcarraldo (1982) - Around 1900, in the heart of the Amazon an eccentric European dreamer (Klaus Kinski) tries to make money through rubber plantations. To reach his objective he must move a 230 ton ship up and over a steep jungle mountain ridge. If all goes well, he will turn this far away neck of the world onto opera performances. Wonderful stuff.

Frida (2002) - Excellent movie about romance, fidelity, art, politics, image, health, wealth and the strength of the human body and spirit. Wonderful cinematography with creative and wild effects. Recommended.

Gangs of New York (2002) - Some insights into racial prejudice and hostilities are overshadowed by seemingly endless and senseless violence as the major focus of the film.

Genesis (2005) - Very cool depiction of the creation of the universe, earth, life, and all it's spectacular details.

George Washington (2001) - No, this is not about our first President! This is about a poor black boy named George Washington and numerous neighborhood friends and residents. Very realistic coverage of pre-teen issues. Great insights into friendship, love, the fragility of our health, parenting and inner city life. Very cool and unique.

Geronimo (2003) - Great review of an amazing Apache Indian and equally powerful indictment of horrible American policies towards Native Americans.

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) - Robin Williams plays a wacko military disc jockey and comedian in Vietnam during the war. Some bureaucrats hate his style, but he is loved by the rank and file. Things get complicated when unofficial insights are broadcast, and when street level violence is seen firsthand. One of Williams best presentations.

Gosford Park (2001) - Murder mystery set in a formal 1930's English countryside mansion filled with snotty and curious guests and servants. Explorations of relationships, feuds, and flirtations amongst the rich and their workers is more insightful then the perpetrators of the murder.

The Green Mile (1999) - A large black man in unjustly in prison has magical abilities. Very well produced with plenty of intrigue and suspense in what would ordinarily be seen as a long, somewhat repetitive, slow and simple tale.

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) - A grand tale set in the late 1800s in Africa and Scotland. This movies has a strong beginning and some beautiful scenic photography, but the few meaningful messages, the silly romantic sequences, and with a lack of anything humorous or fun, the film leaves me wanting.

The Guru (2002) - An aspiring young man leaves India to attain fame and fortune in the U.S. The comedy is often outrageous and the movie turns into a musical at various times. The cast is great and there are numerous insights into Indian culture, sex and illusions, the power of convictions, and true love. Very entertaining.

Happy Texas (1999) - Low life guys escape prison and steal a dance couples van and must play the role of beauty pageant producers. Wild and silly.

Harry Potter (2001) - A fantastic adventure of a boy gifted with magical abilities as he enters the witches school. Plenty of magic, mystery, suspense, and excellent special effects.

High Fidelity (2000) - Life around an independent record store owner and his employees ranges from intriguing to bizarre. Insights into romance and musical obsessions. Many classic scenes.

Highway 61 (1991) - From north of Thunder Bay, Canada, a strange couple make their way to New Orleans with a dead rock stars boty in a coffin on the roof. A little melancholy and the lead male is a dork. Reminds me of the 1984 Stranger than Paradise, but a tad more lively and in color.

Himalaya (1999) In Nepal's Dolpo an aging chief loses his son on the Yak trail and had difficulty accepting a new, younger leader. Some beautiful photography and insights into leadership and generational communications.

Hook (1991) - Assuredly aimed for pre-teens and children, this fantasy seemed awkward for Robin Williams as Peter Pan, or perhaps it was just an awkward script. Some funny moments and family messages, but I could easily have skipped this one.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) - Technically advanced, different from the original, sometimes quite funny. Good for some kids.

Indochine - Story of a wealthy rubber plantation in pre-war Vietnam. Beautiful scenery interspersed with insights into class rivalry, war, romance & jealousy, crime, greed and growing up in a traditional society undergoing big transformations.

Intolerable Cruelty (2003) - Highly acclaimed divorce attorney finds himself in love with a high class, seemingly heartless gold digger. Some interesting and sometimes comical insights into the value of riches, health, fidelity and love.

Italian Job - Great suspense flick about ripping off the Mafia and the repercussions including the unfolding of a story a decade later. Intense intrigue. Very cool movie.

Jackie Brown (1997) - Vulgarities, guns, senseless murders, drugs, plenty of twists and perhaps a touch more plot than Pulp Fiction.

James' Journey To Jerusalem (2003) - A naive African Christian is sent on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, totally oblivious to the real nightmares that exist in Israel. Fascinating tale though very sad in many respects.

Jesus' Son (1999) - Stoned out bum narrates episodes of his life in his twenties. A few interesting photography scenes, sequencing moments, and messages about the joys and struggles of life.

The Jungle Book (1967) - Fascinating animated musical tale of a child who grows up in the jungle and faces the joys and threats of the animal community. Wonderful tunes by, among others, Louis Prima.

The Juniper Tree (1996) - Two sisters in Iceland (including Bjork) try to find a safe home in an isolated, rugged region with a man and his son. Their mother died from being stoned and burned as a witch and they don't want the same fate. Melancholy and a bit long.

Kandahar - An Afghani woman living in Canada travels illegally into Afghanistan to try to save her sister. Under a tight time frame and difficult travel and living conditions this movie is about the journey, and all those encountered along the way. Super photography and insights into a traditional lifestyle far removed from the West.

Kate & Leopold (2001) - Through a portal in time a wacky scientist accidentally transforms an 1867 nobleman to modern Manhattan where a romance develops just in time for the nobleman to be returned to the past so history can properly unfold. Quirky, sometimes very funny yet dorky tale.

Kelly's Heroes (1970) - During WWII a troop has a few days off. While Telly Savalas has visions of days off with booze and dirty movies, Clink Eastwood has a plan to steal a bounty of gold from a small German city bank. While at times suspenseful as a war flick, it's often very funny, especially with Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland. Classic sountdrack.

Kikujiro (1999) - A orphaned boy's journey with a shady male to find his mother. Similar to Central Station where a shaddy woman helps a Boy in Brazil search for his notorious father after his mother dies. Both films have some telling messages about role models and family strength.

K-Pax (2001) - You better pack your tennis shoes for a trip to planet K-Pax! Interesting, engaging, thought provoking fantasy with insights into the strength of family, relationships, sanity, and the tastiness of fruits.

Last Samurai (2003) - In 19th Century Japan an American civil war veteran is hired to train an army to overcome the Samurai. Lots of violence and a bit long.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) The Queen assembles a group of fictional super beings to save the world from evil enemies. They must work together despite their often outright hatred for one another. A dark tale that's so-so.

Leaving Las Vegas - Disturbing journey of a depressed man into the sordid world of Las Vegas with a mission to drink himself to death.

Legend of the Drunken Master - Jackie Chan is truly amazing in his stunts and marshal arts. Unfortunately, some of these movie plots and scripts are pretty stupid.

Les Miserables (1998).

Liam (2000) - In the 1930s pre-war England a family struggles with unemployment and racism. Liam is the young boy in the family and has difficulties with speech and understanding the Catholic notions of sin, guilt, and confession. Somewhat slow paced but filled with examples of the simplistic struggles for survival with dignity.

Lifestyles - Documentary-style look at mostly retired folks who are swingers, misconceptions about swingers, a variety of relationship issues involving sex and trust, and how to throw a swingers party. Don't forget the hot appetizers!

Life is Beautiful (1998) - Italian funnyman Roberto Benigni portrays Guido, a father struggling to save his son's life while in a concentration camp during WWII. Highly recommended.

Like Water for Chocolate (1993) Intriguing story of a Mexican family whose youngest daughter, Tita, is bound by tradition to remain unwed and take care of the aging mother, despite a powerful love affair. The man recognizing he cannot marry his true love, marries the eldest daughter instead. Tita's passion and sadness is expressed powerfully through her seductive cooking ability.

The Lord of the Rings - A big series of adventures and dangerous escapades by the somewhat feeble Frado Baggins who is obligated to remove a ring from the ever getting closer evil black knights, and others!

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - Big journeys against improbable odds combines with special effects to create another fantastic journey, more enjoyable to me that the first if for no other reason I was prepared this time for a very long movie. Super scenery but a bit the story was tedious at times with switching back and forth to different scenarios whose connection to the whole plot were fuzzy.

Lost in Translation (2003) - Fairly interesting semi-love tale of a disgruntled older movie star and young bored wife in Tokyo. Some fun city shots.

The Luzhin Defence (2000) - John Turturro stars as Alexander Luzhin, an eccentric chess master in Como, Italy, in 1929 for a chess match. While his playing skills are adept, his socialization abilities are strange at the least. Nevertheless, a beautiful woman chooses him as a lover over the objections of her intrusive mother and others. Evil forces are against Alexander as he enters the final round to determine the world champion. Issues of greed, love, obsession, addiction, child rearing, and the balance between genius and insanity are explored.

Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town - It's 1949, the Kettles have won a brand new home and are comfortably moved in. Now they've won a trip to NYC after Pa wrote a positive letter about a drink he despises - "I'd have written how horrible the drink was but I wouldn't have won anything!" This back woods hick family of 15 kids finds themselves inadvertently associated with a bank robber, a black bag with $100,000, rich folks, and the police. Quite a hoot!!!

Managua (1996) - The story concept was good, and some of the architectural shots and brief scenery scenes were good, but the script and acting were so-so, and the audio portion was often abysmal - I couldn't hear or understand large sections. Irritating overall.

The Man Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain - When a small Irish town is told their backyard hill is about 20' or so short of being technically classified as a mountain, they go to extremes to convince the officials that it is a mountain. Funny and well done.

Marooned in Iraq (2002) - A father in the early 1990s deceives his children to accompany him from Iran on a big dangerous journey into Iraq to save a former love. Insights and footage of the destruction from Hussain and the U.S. while offering images of a dynamic culture and some humorous events.

Master and Commanders (2003) - Big ocean adventure during the Nepoleanic period. Intense production and effects. Exciting!

Men in Black I & II - Both films are interesting and funny, with aliens and a secret earth agency to monitor them.

Men of Honor (2000) - The true story of a black mans successful attempts, against all odds, to rise in the Navy to the position of master diver. Seemingly a tad long, but very powerful presentation of racism and the rewards from personal persistence.

Monsters, Inc. (2001) - Way cool story, animation and action in this tale of a planet of "nice" monsters who need to collect earth children's screams for their power. Very funny, oftentimes heart tugging, with insights into human greed and motivation. Recommended.

The Mosquito Coast (1986) - A father disgruntled with life in the U.S. moves his family to a Central American jungle to set up a unique utopia. The vision is strong but with time daddy starts to become deranged and outside factors lead to deterioration. A Peter Weir production.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) - Seemingly frumpy gal from proud Greek gamily falls in love with a non-Greek, much to the dismay of her father. Super progression of scenes and plenty of comedy make this seemingly simple plot very fun. Recommended.

My Life as a Dog (1985) - Swedish flick about a boy who seems to cause his dying mother quite a bit of grief. Staying at his loving and fun uncle's introduces him to a wider community of soccer, boxing, young aggressive girls, and lovely coconuts. A fun, sensitive, sad, insightful and overall a super movie. Over-dubbed in English.

My Louisiana Sky (2001) - Simple story from a young girl about life in rural Louisiana in the early part of the 20th century. Touches issues of family continuity, love, embarrassment, reaching puberty, televisions' allure, nature, rural survival, and life in the big city.

Mystery Train - Seemingly three short stories tied together towards the end. Japanese tourists discovering Memphis, a drunk's poor behavior, women's obligations and explorations - all involving a seedy hotel with Screaming Jay Hawkins as the manager. Slow but intriguing.

O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000) - Three convicts try to get beyond the confines of a prison mentality. Funky personalities and twists. Good old-timey soundtrack.

Out of Time (2003) - Down in the Florida Keys a police detective must solve a perceived double homicide quickly as he has been set up as the most likely murderer. Different affairs add difficulties and complications.

Parallex View (1974) - Political psycho thriller about a conspiracy and continued cover-ups and assassinations. A funky journalist is caught up in trying to solve some related murders while getting dangerously close to the flame!

Paradise is Somewhere Else (2003) - Interesting tale of a teenager's longing to leave Iran for the jobs and culture in the UAE. Highlights the poverty of life in rural Iran, but also shows the bonds of family and the role of honor in an unjust world.

Pay It Forward - An 11 year old boy and his mom try to survive emotional and alcoholic difficulties with the help of an insightful but semi-reserved teacher. Insights into alcoholism, romance, a child's need for a father, the power of positive actions towards unsuspecting others and associated obligations of the receiver, and unrealistic expectations are explored. As with real life, some features of the script are uncomfortable and irritating, but the overall effect is powerful and well done.

Pentagon Papers (2003) - A patriotic and very intelligent Pentagon researcher finds evidence that the image of Vietnam portrayed to the American public was deceptive and wrong. His release of documents to the press eventually helped lead to Nixon's downfall. Recommended.

The Pianist (2002) - A talented Polish, Jewish pianist works for five years of Nazi occupation to escape and stay alive, despite overwhelming odds against him. Based on a true story and very well produced.

Pink Flamingos (1972) - This John Waters flick is so bad it's good to a sick mind. Which family is the most grotesque in Baltimore...or the world! Devine and Edith Massey are determined to maintain that title against fierce competitors. Some scenes are not fit for humans. Lovely!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) - A fabulous tale of scary pirates, curses, & love, oh my!

Platoon (1986) - This movie emphasizes not only the horror of war but the development of distress amongst soldiers with themselves, nature and each other. Mans inhumanity toward each other is brutally displayed.

Pow-wow Highway - Activist Indian and laid back buddy make their way from Montana to Santa Fe to free a relative from local jail. Quirky, fun, with some good insights into human motivation and personalities.

Priest - A young Catholic priest tries to come to terms with his sacred vows vs. secret sexual drives of himself and others. Very thought provoking and well done..

Princess Mononoke (1997) - Japanese animated film about an epic adventure in the 14th century of a young warrior to the dangerous forest filled with angry animals and greedy humans trying to mine iron ore. Presents challenging questions about survival attitutes, fears, deceit, power, manipulation, environmentalism, love and hate. Fascinating, often beautiful, and sometimes very violent.

The Producers (1968) - Gene Wilder and Zero star as accomplices to create a sure-fire Broadway farce they're sure will flop and at the same time earn them great rewards. Silly, dated, and politically incorrect, this film is at times both dumb and funny.

Quiet American (2002) - Intrigue, jealousy, and danger lurk in Vietnam at the beginning of the Indo-China war. Mysteries and plot twists add body and excitement.

Regret to Invorm 1998) - Documentary of two women (one American, one Vietnamese) who go to Vietnam 20 years after the war. Both lost their husbands there. One experienced the horrors of was as a 14 year old child there. The documentary interviews various widows from the U.S. and in Vietnam. The horrors of war are clearly displayed. Excellent editing and videography.

Respiro (2002) - The heated story of a family in a small Italian fishing village. The mother is sometimes considered mentally unstable and runs away rather than going to a therapist.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002) - A European team are documenting the life of the popular and democratically elected president Hugo Chavez when a coup occurs, partially backed by the CIA. For once an American backed coup doesn't go as planned and amazingly Chavez gets reinstated two days later. Excellent real life film about international affairs and the power of empowered people.

The Secret of Roan Inish (1993) - Fascinating tale about rural island life in Ireland in the late 1940's. Legend and reality become intertwined for a young girl whose own background is mythical. Beautiful photography and music. .

Robert Louis Stevenson's St. Ives - Fun romance about a captured French soldier and Scottish beauty during the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Lots of action, comedy, plot twists, and beautiful photography. Recommended.

Rock n' Roll High School (1979) - A classic punk cult phenomenon about the Ramones and others taking over a high school whose principal was obsessively anti rock n' roll. Way cool, funny, juvenile, and action packed crazy.

The Rundown (2003) - A mob boss sends a "retrieval expert" to the Amazon to bring back his unappreciative son. Lots of intense fight and action scenes with a touch of comedy in this adventure flick.

The Saint - Kinda like a rogue James Bond with a big profit motive and an alienated personality. Lots of flash, suspense, high-tech gadgetry, and hard to believe scenes. Fun, but the original TV show had superior sound scores!

Satchmo - A great documentary of Louis Armstrong with a nice life history and superb film clips. Avoids over sentimentality and moves along with facts and chronology very nicely. Amazingly, no mention of Ella Fitzgerald was made, but rare footage of Louis with Dizzy Gillespie was wonderful.

Saving Grace - Quirky tale about a kind-hearted, garden society lady whose husband just died leaving her deeply in debt with no income and creditors constantly contacting her. To make ends meet she and her gardening assistant try to grow hemp as a cash crop. Many hilarious scenes involving her small town neighbors, her socialite friends, and big time drug dealers.

School of Rock (2003) - Silly story of a wannabe rocker who sneakily takes a substitute job and teaches elementary school kids the history of rock while creating a band to compete with his former band which rightfully kicked him out! Funny, at times touching, and often dumb!

Sense and Sensibility - Romantic story involving many interesting people. Intriguing, often funny, gorgeously filmed with wonderful scenery and costumes. Sometimes a bit quirky. Insights into love, greed, discrimination and honor. Excellent flick.

Shadow Magic - A semo-obnoxious American introduces video in Peking in 1902. Local reaction goes from skepticism to pure fascination. Numerous fascinating personalities are featured as traditional loyalties compete with the lure of new technology. Recommended.

Shaka Zulu (1983) - Epic storey based on the history of the relationship between southeast Africans and the English invaders. Fascinating stories looking at the life history of Shaka and his rise to power against numerous odds. Excellent review of the Zulu organization and capabilities. Be prepared for 300 minutes of story, violence, partial nudity, and wonderful cinemtography of the peoples of Africa in the 1800s.

Shanghai Noon - Comedy about a search by Imperial Guards for a princess who was taken to the wild western U.S. Goofus Jackie Chan has numerous close calls and wonderful stunt and fighting scenes.

She's Gotta Have It (1986) - Spike Lee's first film is a masterpiece of funky humor regarding relationships and sex. Spike himself is "yo baby yo, let me just have a little sniff," excellent. A funny independent film.

Shower - A somewhat rigid professional man comes to his traditional father's bath house after many years of absence because his semi-retarded brother sent him a card of his father looking ill or dead. A touching movie with deep meanings with respect to family and modernity.

Shrek (2001) - Animated story of a big green oger named Shrek in the swamps who doesn't like visitors because they usually don't like him. A greedy, ruthless, undersized king attempts to send outcasts to Shrek's swamp paradise which leads to a fantastic adventure with a happy ending. Good insights into discrimination, trust, earning friendships, and the power of love.

Silence of the Lambs (1991) - A tense but cool psychological thriller about a gruesome serial killer.

Silkwood - A 70's flick about some young chain smoking pleasure driven white trash Arizona nuclear power plant workers who saw too much and experienced too much radiation poison. The main character, Karen, then got involved in Washington politics and in the end she dies under mysterious circumstances possibly related to her employer.

Small Change - French movie following the lives of numerous school children and teachers in a small town in central France. Great cinematography and insights into big and little minds as the school year progresses. Sometimes the subtitles move a little fast, but a really heart warming, wonderful film.

Smoke Signals (1998) - The bittersweet and quirky story of two very different Indian youths who make a journey to discover some truths about family history, alcoholism, transportation in the spread out West, and friendship. Very well done and insightful. Recommended.

Spellbound (2002) - Excellent review-documentary of intellectual capacity, learning styles and the pressures upon youth to excel in American society. Many wonderful insights into motivation and competition in the national spelling bee competition. Highly recommended.

Spiderman (2002) - Lots of special effects and a little love story with good vs. evil make this a classic Marvel adventure set to the big screen. The main actor is somewhat lackluster but it's suspenseful and fun at times.

Star Trek Nemesis (2002) - Uh, it's OK for a current Star Trek fan, but pales in comparison of any episode or movie with the Borg. Fairly lame.

Stormy Weather (1943) - Predominantly a musical with a love story, this flick is a classic for the quantity and quality of the Afro-American talented performers that appear, including Lena Horne, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway and Fats Waller.

Stranger Than Paradise - Black and white film about two dudes and their 16-year old Hungarian cousin and their trip from up north to Florida. Strange, quirky, slow, sometimes funny budget film.

Stroszek - An interesting tale of some east Germans who because of trouble in their homeland migrate to Wisconsin with hopes of surviving contentedly with some relatives. The struggles of economic survival parallel the struggles of institution life for one of the feeble yet affable and musically talented young immigrants.

Suriyothai, The Legend of (2001) - A long epic review of the feuding families in 16th century Thailand. Lots of violence and deceit mark this historical piece.

Sweet and Lowdown (1999) - Emmet Ray (played by Sean Penn) was a top quality guitarist during the 1930s with a penchant to watch trains and shoot at rats at the dump. Drinking and romantic eccentricities add depth and color to this strange tale directed by Woody Allen. Very intense, intriguing, and memorable with some fine guitar playing.

Thin Red Line (1998) - A emotionally strong account of the variety of motives and fears associated with a Pacific island battle during WWII . The film offers insights into soldiers psyches, with issues of heroism, greed, isolation & honor displayed like few war movies have before. Peaceful nature photography adds contrast to the brutality of war.

Toy Story - Fun animated film for kids and adults alike. An exploration into what toys do when people aren't around, but more importantly examines issues of friendship, greed, jealousy, revenge, guilt, duty and compassion. Recommended.

Truce - After WWII or any war the struggles continue. In Truce an Italian Jewish chemist needs to get from Auschwitz back to Italy, but the journey requires backtracking, getting help from obnoxious Russian soldiers and a pompous Greek personality.

The Truman Show (1998) - Is there a parallel between Truman Burbank and so many of our lives, both in the Big Brother activities and in that many cannot move beyond a certain comfort zone that acts as a cage? Great movie for its insights and beautiful Florida scenery. Recommended.

Tulley (2003) - On a rural farm in Nebraska a father and two sons experience deceit, farm management and raging harmones. A relatively slow pace and wonderful scenery make this movie very real and warm despite underlying frustrations experienced by every character. Very nice movie.

Underworld (2004) - Big special effects help this warewolf vs. vampire action flick.

The Unforgiven (1992) - A retired and aged former gunslinger (Clint Eastwood) in lured into a risky proposition to earn money by avenging a prostitutes slashed face and body by malicious local cowboys. It's rather slow and dreary for most of the film, and far from my favorite Eastwood films.

The Van - A fine Irish story of two unemployed men who turn their dream of a mobile meal van into a reality.

Vendetta - After the emancipation of slaves in New Orleans, Italians were imported with the hopes that they would fill the voids from lost slave labor on the shipping docks and markets. Smart and ambitious Italians rose to positions of ownership and control of these markets within a decade, much to the chagrin of the powers that be. The setting of Vendetta is 1890 New Orleans as friction develops. Based on a true story this film explores a trial of Italians falsely accused of killing a fair and popular police chief. This powerful film does an excellent job of exploring one of the many chapters of extreme American greed, corruption and bigotry.

War Stories (2003) -In Uzbekistan war correspondents compete and struggle to get the "hot" story while risking their lives. The movie has various relationship triangles. The movie focuses on the life of one disgruntled, cold reporter in particular. An exploration of objectivity is explored. Refugee camps are reviewed with respect to their insignificance to governments. The human side of "terrorists" is depicted. Deep insights into the value of life and different peoples take on this is explored. There are various plot twists that add intrigue. A discovery is made about U.S. deliberate acts that defy morality to track a wanted terrorist. Good cinematography and pacing. Exciting and thought provoking movie.

What Alice Found (2003) - A restless teenager leaves New England for a big journey to join her sister in Miami. On the way she hits some bad luck, travels with a strange older couple in an RV, and finds out far too much about life amongst truckers.

What Dreams May Come (1998) - Robin Williams stars in this after-life exploration of what's in our minds and what drives our inner selves. Some great visuals but the tale seems to go on a little long.

White River (1999 - 2001) - A rather odd and shoddy film about a religious poser (Bob Hoskins) selling socks for a fictional orphanage. When the priest warns a fugitive about his imminent arrest, he inadvertently invites the fugitive and a waitress for a journey of trouble. Bob Hoskins does a fine job acting and the scenery is often nice, but overall the movie has plenty of loose ends and is dumb.

Wild Dogs (2003) - In Romania dogs run wild through the streets of Bucharest. Numerous people's lives almost cross paths, including a timid dog catcher, a deformed Gypsy beggar, and a hesitant pornographer. Fascinating.

Winged Migration (2003) - A spectacular video journey around the world with a variety of migrating birds. Super armchair traveling as though you're there with the birds.

The World According to Garp - the story of a dedicated family man (Robin Williams) from conception to an untimely death. Some insights into fidelity, fame and family life. A tad long, but also real and touching.



More Favorites:

Still Waters Life of Brian Eve's Bayou Star Trek (w/ the Borg)
Twin Peaks Dirty Harry Jean de Florette Manon of the Spring
Naked Lunch Crying Game Alice in Wonderland The Great Train Robbery
Moscow on the Hudson Apocalypse Now South Pacific Oliver
The Usual Suspects Harold & Maude You Only Live Twice Dr. No
South Pacific Harry and Tonto Mary Poppins
Robin Hood Kelly's Heroes

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