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100 Movies in 2008 Challenge! Pt II [Jan. 13th, 2008|12:09 am]
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1oo Movies in 2oo8
continued from here

1o1. "Tootsie" (1982)
director: Sydney Pollack writers: Don
McGuire, Larry Gelbart, Murray Schisgal, Robert Garland,
Barry Levinson & Elaine May starring: Dustin Hoffman,
Jessica Lange, Teri Garr & Bill Murray
watched: June 24 rating: 3.5/5
comments: Dustin Hoffman is hilariously perfect in this role. It’s made only more perfect by the fact that he has such a deep, booming voice. The scenes in which he’s dressed as a woman, but speaks in his masculine voice are the some of the best in the film. Teri Garr and Bill Murray provide a great deal of the laughs in their supporting roles.

1o2. "Absence of Malice" (1981)
director: Sydney Pollack writers: Kurt Luedke
& David Rayfiel starring: Paul Newman & Sally Field
watched: June 25 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This was a bit disappointing for me. I love journalism films and I love crime films, but I think this one just didn’t achieve what it set out to do. It feels a bit thin through the middle and the end isn’t as strong as it could be. However, Paul
Newman is excellent in his role as a man who is forced to defend himself after his name is dragged through the mud by way of a front-page newspaper story.

1o3. "Out of Africa" (1985)
director: Sydney Pollack writers: Karen Blixon,
Judith Thurman, Errol Trzebinski & Kurt Luedke starring:
Meryl Streep & Robert Redford
watched: June 25 rating: 4.5/5
comments: It’s amazing how Pollack can change gears between drama and comedy so easily, which is vividly evident in the fact that he made “Tootsie” between “Absence of Malice” and this film, all within four years. As a very serious and intense story, this film definitely falls far at the dramatic end of that spectrum. Though very different stories in very different settings, its hard to not compare this movie to “The Way We Were” and Meryl Streep to Barbara Streisand. I don’t think either woman acted better or was ever more beautiful than in the films they did for Pollack. And Redford,
well he’d be beautiful in anything (though he does quite resemble Crocodile Dundee in some scenes in this film).

1o4. "Wall Street" (1987)
director: Oliver Stone writers: Stanley Weiser
& Oliver Stone starring: Charlie Sheen & Michael Douglas
watched: June 27 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is such a great cautionary tale about greed, materialism and arrogance. I guess they didn’t make greed one of the seven deadly sins for nothing. The story is as heart-breaking as it is exciting. It’s definitely Charlie Sheen at his best.

1o5. "Haute Tension" (2003)
director: Alexandre Aja writers: Alexandre Aja
& Grégory Levasseur starring: Cécile De France
watched: June 28 rating: 5/5
comments: What an amazing film this is. I had very low expectations, and I’m usually not a fan of horror films, but this movie won me over ten fold. It’s such a well flushed-out story with well-developed character, fantastic directing and terrific cinematography. It’s as much of a visual triumph as it is a storytelling success.

1o6. "The Parent Trap" (1961)
director: David Swift writers: Erich Kästner &
David Swift starring: Hayley Mills
watched: June 28 rating: 3/5
comments: Such a classic! Though I do love Dennis Quaid, the original is still the best. Lindsay Lohan doesn’t hold a candle to Haley Mills! This movie tells a great story about sisterhood and the importance of family and teamwork. It’s just a perfectly adorable and funny movie. It’s certainly not Disney’s best 60s’ live-action effort (that would go to either “Candleshoe” or “Escape to With Mountain”), but a great film still.
*Cheating! It’s not my first viewing of this film, but the first since I was 10*

1o7. "Hard Candy" (2005)
director: David Slade writers: Brian Nelson
starring: Ellen Page & Patrick Wilson
watched: June 29 rating: 4/5
comments: I had very high expectations of this movie because of its critical and fan praise, and while it didn’t disappoint, it also didn’t exceed those expectations. Ellen Page is terrific and terrifying as the predatee turned predator, and Patrick Wilson holds his own, but I would have liked for the characters to be more thoroughly developed and for the back story to be explored a bit more. The art direction is only second to the acting as the film’s strongest element, but the extremely tight camera shots and the lack of establishing shots create an unnecessary feeling of claustrophobia, which would have been achieved anyway by the fact that one character has taken the other captive.

1o8. "Broken" (2006)
director: Alan White writers: Jeff Lester, Drew Pillsbury
starring: Heather Graham & Jeremy Sisto
watched: June 29 rating: 2.5/5
comments: This film may have been able to pass as a deep, artsy fete if only Heather Graham weren’t chosen to carry it. With seemingly no other talent than to look awkwardly pretty, Graham makes the film's other flaws all too apparent. It’s achingly slow pace and it’s predictability are among its more charming qualities. The poor writing, curious casting choices and undeveloped plot are hard to look past. The only thing that makes this film watchable is the wonderful Jeremy Sisto.

1o9. "Beach Party" (1963)
director: William Asher writers: Lou Rusoff
starring: Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon
watched: July 5 rating: 3.5/5
comments: The original definitely is the best in this series of films. The storyline, the acting, the music – everything is better in this one.

11o. "Bikini Beach" (1964)
director: William Asher writers: William Asher,
Robert Dillon & Leo Townsend starring: Annette Funicello &
Frankie Avalon watched: July 5 rating: 1.5/5
comments: This installment in the beach series just fails in every aspect of its being. There are fewer beach scenes and musical numbers than in the other films, the storyline, taking place mostly off of the beach, doesn’t make much sense and what does make sense just isn't any good.

111. "On the Beach" (1959)
director: Stanley Kramer writers: Nevil Shute, John
Paxton & James Lee Barrett starring: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner,
Anthony Perkins, Fred Astaire & Donna Anderson
watched: July 9 rating: 4/5
comments: Though it unfolds at a pretty slow pace, especially the first half, this is a great movie. The acting and story are both superb. It’s a tragic and depressing look at a post-Cold War world with a pair of love stories at its core.

112. "Only Angels Have Wings" (1939)
director: Howard Hawks writers: Howard Hawks,
Jules Furthman, William Rankin & Eleanore Griffin starring:
Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess & Rita Hayworth
watched: July 9 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is a great romantic comedy, with a dark side. Between all the sorrow and drama there’s a fantastic love story between the hilarious Cary Grant and Jean Arthur, which prevails as the driving force of the film.

113. "Cursed" (2005)
director: Wes Craven writer: Kevin Williamson
starring: Christina Ricci, Jessie Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson,
Shannon Elizabeth, Milo Ventimiglia, Mya & Portia de Rossi
watched: July 10 rating: 1.5/5
comments: This is one of the most unintentionally funny movies I’ve seen. The acting, directing, CGI are all so terrible. The movie as a whole is so bad that the actors in it who are normally pretty good (and there aren’t many) are even awful. Not to mention, it has the lamest celebrity cameos in film history (Scott Baio and Craig Kilbourne). The whole thing comes off as more of a spoof than a serious attempt at a film. The only good part of the film is its use of Hollywood scenery to set scenes.

114. "The Three Musketeers" (1948)
director: George Sidney writers: Alexndre
Dumas père & Robert Ardry starring: Gene Kelly, Lana
Turner, June Allyson, Van Hflin, Vincent Price & Angela Landsbury
watched: July 12 rating: 3/5
comments: Gene Kelly is an amazing D’Artagnan. He performs the many swordfight scenes just as beautifully as he does his exquisite dance sequences in his musicals.

115. "Crank" (2006)
directors: Mark Nevedine & Brian Taylor
writers: Mark Nevedine & Brian Taylor
starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart & Dwight Yokam
watched: July 12 rating: 2/5
comments: For all its flash and all its snark, this is an epically bad movie because with those factors it doesn't take much more to turn out a pretty good action flick, but this movie doesn't even attempt to strive for that little bit more. On the plus
side, Jason Statham is always enjoyable to watch kicking ass.

116. "The Wicker Man" (1973)
director: Robin Hardy writers: Anthony Shaffer
& David Pinner starring: Edward Woodward
watched: July 13 rating: 1/5
comments: The reason I gave this even one star is because how comically entertaining it is (unintentionally, of course). Plus, I guess it does have the suspense factor going for it way deep down, under all the freaky naked women and singing.

117. "The Stratton Story" (1949)
director: Sam Wood writers: Douglas Morrow
& Guy Trosper starring: James Stewart, June Allyson &
Frank Morgan watched: July 14 rating: 5/5
comments: While Jimmy Stewart delivers a wonderful performance in this inspiring film, it’s June Allyson as Morty Stratton’s wife who is really the heart of this film.

118. "The Interpreter" (2005)
director: Sydney Pollack writers: Martin Stellman,
Brian Ward, Charles Randolph, Scott Frank & Steven Zaillian
starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn & Catherine Keener
watched: July 14 rating: 4/5
comments: Pollack's final directorial effort is is a fantastic one. Kidman delivers the best performance I've seen of hers and Penn's is only second to his astonishing turn in "Mystic River" in this thriller. Never one to shy away from tough subjects, Pollack tackles world affairs in his last film, and does so with amazing results.

119. "V for Vendetta" (2005)
director: James McTeigue writers: Andy & Larry
Wachowski & David Lloyd starring: Natalie Portman &
Hugo Weaving watched: July 14 rating: 4/5
comments: This film is a visual and story-telling masterpiece. From the use of music, scenery, costumes and make-up to the superb acting, the story comes together beautifully.

12o. "Notes on a Scandal" (2006)
director: Richard Eyre writers: Patrick Marber
& Zoe Heller starring: Judi Dench & Cate Blanchett
watched: July 15 rating: 5/5
comments: What a fantastic, twisted film. Judi Dench is especially amazing and strikes a perfect balance of intensity and comedy in her character – a character that is truly unique. Even Cate Blanchett is perfectly suited for her role.

121. "Night at the Museum" (2006)
director: Shawn Levy writers: Robert Ben
Garant, Thomas Lennon & Milan Trenc starring: Ben
Stiller, Dick Van Dyke, Owen Wilson, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams,
Kim Raver, Paul Rudd, Carla Gugino & Ricky Gervais
watched: July 15 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is such an adorable movie, and I was pleasantly surprised how adult friendly it is. This isn’t just another kids’ movie or brainless comedy; it has comedy, history, romance, action and great CGI effects. Another great surprise was the film’s great use of an ensemble cast, especially the fantastic Paul Rudd, even if he only has two scenes. I would have expected more if I’d known it was written by the talented duo of Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, the geniuses behind “Reno 911!” and “Strangers With Candy” (the only two of the pairs other films I’ve seen).

122. "The Minus Man" (1999)
director: Hampton Fancher writers: Lew
McCreary & Hampton Fancher starring: Owen Wilson,
Dwight Yokam, Brian Cox & Mercedes Ruehl
watched: July 16 rating: 3.5/5
comments: Owen Wilson was perfectly cast in this as a boy-faced serial killer. This thriller has a twist of black comedy that makes it as amusing as it is twisted. And although it doesn’t even hold a candle to “Dexter,” it was a great mid-summer tiding over until I can once again watch my favorite charming serial killer of all.

123. "Edmond" (2005)
director: Stuart Gordon writer: David Mamet
starring: William H. Macy
watched: July 16 rating: 4/5
comments: What a delightfully twisted and intense movie. It’s like the less ingenious sister film of “American Psycho.” And the supporting cast of characters – including Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, Mena Survari, Bai Ling, Julia Stiles and Steve Guttenberg – is perfect for this film. Each one of them is absolutely perfect in their minor roles, helping to tell the story of a man whose life spirals out of control during one long night.

124. "Ils" (2006)
directors: David Moreau & Xavier Palud
writers: David Moreau & Xavier Palud
starring: Olivia Bonomy & Michaël Cohen
watched: July 17 rating: 3/5
comments: The simplistic cinematography and direction give the film an authentic feeling, but the plot is pretty thin and the writing is a bit unrealistic. People always make dumb decisions in horror films, but I found some of the things the characters in this film did completely implausible. It still provides some pretty good
thrills though.

125. "An Eye for an Eye" (1996)
director: John Schlesinger writers: Erica Holzer,
Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa starring: Sally Field,
Ed Harris, Kiefer Sutherland & Joe Mantegna
watched: July 17 rating: 4/5
comments: A great, intense, heart-breaking thriller, “An Eye for an Eye” grips you from the beginning and doesn’t let go. Sally Field is as talented of an actress as there is and this role really provides her with a great opportunity to show off her range.

126. "Dead Silence" (2007)
director: James Wan writers: Leigh Whannell
& James Wan starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta &
Donnie Wahlberg watched: July 17 rating: 2.5/5
comments: This is an average horror film, that is completely predictable until the end. Everything from the acting to the directing to the CGI effects are awful, but one thing this movie does have going for it is possibly the creepiest villain in horror film history.

127. "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000)
director: E. Elias Merhige writer: Steven Katz
starring: John Malkovich & Willem Dafoe
watched: July 17 rating: 4/5
comments: John and Willem are such a great team. They’re perfect in their roles – Only they could pull off such bizarrely eccentric characters. Willem Dafoe is especially impressive as a vampire masquerading as an actor, but Malkovich is also
astounding as the director who hires him with that knowledge. Along with a great supporting cast the duo make this a fantastic dark comedy.

128. "The Fountain" (2006)
director: Darren Aronofsky writers: Darren
Aronofsky & Ari Handel starring: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz
& Ellen Burstyn watched: July 17 rating: 2.5/5
comments: This movie was just over my head. While I understood certain themes of it, the whole thing just seemed like one big acid trip, but still somehow boring at the same time. But, hey, the cinematography, make-up and effects are great.

129. "Once" (2006)
director: John Carney writer: John Carney
starring: Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
watched: July 17 rating: 4.5/5
comments: What a touching and inspiring film. And the music is so beautifully integrated and the whole film flows so naturally.

13o. "The Illusionist" (2006)
director: Neil Burger writers: Neil Burger &
Steven Millhauser starring: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti
& Jessica Biel watched: July 18 rating: 3/5
comments: I thought maybe the only reason this movie got such a bad wrap was because it came out against Christopher Nolan’s similarly themed “The Prestige,” which was widely thought of as the superior of the two, but after having seen it I know that was definitely not the only factor. It’s a slow and boring build up to a great, if not predictable, conclusion.

131. "10,000 BC" (2008)
director: Roland Emmerich writers: Roland
Emmerich & Harald Kloser starring: Steven Strait, Camilla
Belle & Cliff Curtis watched: July 19 rating: 2.5/5
comments: If you ignore the (many) historical inaccuracies and take the film as pure entertainment you’d still be disappointed. It’s very thin on plot and while there are films in which you can excuse a lack of plot and enjoy them for their visual offerings (as I thought might be the case with this film from the trailer), this film doesn’t even boast that. For a film that relies heavily on CGI effects, they’re very poorly done. The movie is made even more disappointing by the fact that it’s made by the same man who brought us “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.”

132. "The Dead Girl" (2006)
director: Karen Moncrieff writer: Karen Moncrieff starring: Rose Byrne, Toni Collette, James Franco,
Marcia Gay Harden, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy, Giovanni Ribisi,
Mary Steenburgen & Kerry Washington
watched: July 19 rating: 4/5
comments: This is a really interesting film that tells several inter-connecting stories all surrounding the death of a girl. You get to see several people’s points of view, with the last one people the dead girl’s. There are numerous outstanding performances, including that of Toni Collette, Marcia Gay Harden and a surprisingly exceptional turn from Brittany Murphy.

133. "Drop Dead Sexy" (2005)
director: Michael Philip writers: Paul Doiron,
Benjamin Martin & Miachael Philip
starring: Jason Lee & Crispin Glover
watched: July 19 rating: 2.5/5
comments: I adore Crispin Glover and have always liked Jason Lee, but this one was just a little too stupid. Don’t get me wrong – it’s really entertaining – but when it comes down to it, it’s really, really stupid. Jason has a predilection for these silly comedies when he really is an impressive dramatic and comedic actor.

134. "The Pledge" (2001)
director: Sean Penn writers: Friedrich
Dürrenmatt, Jerzy Kromolowski & Mary Olson-Kromolowski
starring: Jack Nicholson, Aaron Eckhart,
Benicio Del Toro & Patricia Clarkson
watched: July 20 rating: 4/5
comments: Jack Nicholson really proves why he’s royalty in this film. He plays a cop who, on the day he’s set to retire, promises a mother he’ll find her daughter’s killer. The film follows his quest to do so and how it sends him into a downward spiral. Jack’s intense performance counters the film’s slow pace.

135. "The Dark Knight" (2008)
director: Christopher Nolan writers: Christopher Nolan,
Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer & Bob Kane starring: Christian Bale,
Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal & Morgan Freeman
watched: July 20 rating: 5/5
comments: For once, a film lives up to the hype. The phenomenal acting, stunning effects and entangled plot are all married exquisitely in this brilliant film. The one weak point of this film is Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acting, but since it’s still better than her predecessor’s in the role, Katie Holmes, you can’t even really complain about that.

136. "You Can’t Run Away From It" (1956)
director: Dick Powell writers: Samuel Hopkins Adams,
Claude Binyon & Robert Riskin starring: Jack Lemmon & June Allyson watched: July 22 rating: 2.5/5
comments: This is a disappointing remake of a classic film that stars two wonderful actors. If the original hadn’t existed this would have been a fine film, but when you remake a movie it’s bound to be compared to the original and this one just doesn’t stand up. It’s nearly a scene-by-scene remake, just with the inclusion of musical numbers. June Allyson and Jack Lemmon do great work in the film; better than maybe anyone else could, but it’s still not enough to bring this film out of the original’s shadow.

137. "’Til There Was You" (1997)
director: Scott Winant writer: Winnie Holzman
starring: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dylan McDermott & Sarah Jessica Parker watched: July 22 rating: 4/5
comments: A beautifully nuanced film with a great mix of humor, drama, romance, “’Til There Was You” is a unique love story in the respect that the couple doesn’t meet until the end of the fim, with everything before being what lead to their meeting. There aren’t many films that can tell you what will happen at the ending and still hold your interest throughout, but this one achieves just that.

138. "A Prairie Home Companion" (2006)
director: Robert Altman writers: Gerrison Keillor &
Ken LaZebnik starring: Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones,
Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly,
Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep & Lili Tomlin
watched: July 23 rating: 4/5
comments: Although a bit slow and disjointed, everything comes together in this quirky and heart-felt film by an ingenious filmmaker.

139. "Woman of the Year" (1942)
director: George Stevens writers: Ring Lardner Jr.,
Michael Kanin & John Lee Mahin starring: Spencer Tracy &
Katharine Hepburn watched: July 23 rating: 4/5
comments: What a great melodrama! Katharine and Spencer are perfectly cast in this terrific film about a couple trying to get it together and keep in together when one of them is more interested in their work than their family.

14o. "Libeled Lady" (1936)
director: Jack Conway writers: Maurine Dallas
Watkins, Howard Emmett Rogers, George Rogers, George Oppenheimer
& Wallace Sullivan starring: Spencer Tracy, William Powell,
Jean Harlow & Myrna Loy watched: July 24 rating: 4/5
comments: A hilariously entertaining film about entrapment, false identities and blackmail with a quartet of actors with great chemistry and individual talents.

141. "Step Brothers" (2008)
director: Adam McKay writers: Will Ferrell,
Adam McKay & John C. Reilly starring: Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly watched: July 28 rating: 4.5/5
comments: Will Ferrell hasn’t been this much on top of his game since his SNL days. And I’ve only seen John C. Reilly funnier in one movie: “The Promotion.” But the two of them together are comedy gold. A riotous movie from start to finish, this is easily the funniest movie of the year so far and is joining my all-time favorites. Kathryn Hahn is an exceptional treat as Will’s character’s sister-in-law, who fancies John’s character.

142. "Hellboy" (2004)
director: Guillermo del Toro writers: Mike Mignola,
Guillermo del Toro and Peter Briggs starring: Ron Perlman,
John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans & Jeffrey Tambor
watched: July 29 rating: 3/5
comments: This is a much more enjoyable movie than I expected. Sure, it’s cheesy as hell, but it’s unapologetic and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ron Perlman gets to prove his comedic and dramatic skills as the insecure, wise-cracking lovable demon.

143. "American Teen" (2008)
director: Nannette Burstein writers: Nannette Burstein starring: Hannah Bailey, Colin Clemens, Magan Krizmanich &
Jake Tusing watched: Aug. 4 rating: 4.5/5
comments: A great documentary about what it’s like to be in highschool. The filmmakers did their best to get a diverse sampling of four teenagers from different walks of life in a single high school and succeed flawlessly. The film really gives viewers viewers a look at what it’s like to be a teenager in today’s world.

144. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1998)
director: Terry Gilliam writers: Hunter S. Thompson,
Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni, Tod Davies & Alex Cox
starring: Johnny Depp & Benicio Del Toro
watched: Aug. 5 rating: 2.5/5
comments: I suppose this is one of those movies that you either you get or you don’t, and I for one just didn’t get it. The story of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and told from his perspective, the viewer follows him on a drug binge in Vegas as he has wild hallucinations and makes stupid decisions. The constant introduction of celebrity cameos – Christina Ricci, Cameron Diaz, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, etc. – wasn’t even enough to hold my interest (actually, if anything,
it just weakened the plot and flow of the film).

145. "The Dark" (1998)
director: John Fawcett writers: Simon Maginn & Stephen Massicotte starring: Maria Bello, Sean Bean, Sophie Stuckey &
Abigail Stone watched: Aug. 6 rating: 3.5/5
comments: A freaky dead child movie that’s reminiscent of the American remakes of J-Horror movies like “Dark Water” and “The Ring,” this film provides more constant creepiness and fewer cheap scares.

146. "Big Nothing" (2006)
director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea writers: Jean-Baptiste
Andrea & Billy Asher starring: David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg,
Alice Eve, Jon Polito & Natasha McElhone
watched: Aug. 6 rating: 4/5
comments: A great dark comedy in the vein of “Death to Smoochy” and “The Big White,” this movie provides a great platform for Simon Pegg and the underappreciated David Schwimmer.

147. "Shooter" (2006)
director: Antoine Fuqua writers: Jonathan Lemkin &
Stephen Hunter starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny
Glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas & Rhona Mitra
watched: Aug. 7 rating: 3.5/5
comments: As usual, Mark Wahlberg delivers his lines so flatly and without emotion, but he’s more convincing in this role than most of his others. More distracting than Wahlberg is Danny Glover’s lisp, making his dialogue nearly inaudible. Visually stunning with beautiful landscape shots and entertaining with a plot that unfolds at a quick pace, this movie keeps you enthralled from beginning to end.

148. "Perfect Stranger" (2007)
director: James Foley writers: Todd Komarnicki &
Jon Bokenkamp starring: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis & Giovanni Ribisi
watched: Aug. 8 rating: 3/5
comments: This is a mediocre thriller with awful performances from its lead actors. The only saving grace of this film is Giovanni Ribisi’s performance and the film’s twist, even if it does feel forced.

149. "Shoot ‘Em Up" (2007)
director: Michael Davis writer: Michael Davis
starring: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti & Monica Bellucci
watched: Aug. 8 rating: 3.5/5
comments: If you watch this movie keeping in mind that it doesn’t take itself seriously so you shouldn’t either, then it can be quite enjoyable. Among its more distracting flaws are the obvious use of a baby doll in lieu of a live child and the lack of defined character dialogue, as funny and snarky as it is. Clive Owen’s committed and convincing performance is what makes the movie work.

15o. "The Joy Luck Club" (1993)
director: Wayne Wang writers: Amy Tan & Ronald Bass
starring: Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, Ming-Na,
Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom & Rosalind Chao
watched: Aug. 9 rating: 4.5/5
comments: A beautiful film spanning multiple generations, this story shows how different the lives of people from the same culture can be. It examines mother-daughter relationships and cultural divides while thoroughly entertaining the audience along the way.

151. "Untraceable" (2008)
director: Gregory Hoblit writers: Robert Fyvolent,
Mark Brinker & Allison Burnett starring: Diane Lane, Billy Burke,
Colin Hanks & Joseph Cross
watched: Aug. 10 rating: 3/5
comments: Although it’s very entertaining and holds your attention, this movie relies too heavily on false scares – shadows, noises, eerie music – than actual plot developments. And the things that do happen are just torture porn. I guess the idea is that when lacking real plot direction fall back on cringe-worthy gore.

152. "Disturbia" (2007)
director: D.J. Caruso writers: Christopher B. Landon
& Carl Ellsworth starring: Shia LaBeaouf, Sarah Roemer, Aaron
Yoo, Carrie-Anne Moss & David Morse
watched: Aug. 10 rating: 3/5
comments: This movie has a good build up, but I think it spends too much time on the subplot (a love story), yet doesn’t really develop it well. The writer focused too much on making the story super modern to distinguish it from he movie it’s based on – from the house arrest anklet (opposed to a cast on a broken leg) to the high-tech surveillance equipment (opposed to regular binoculars) – and in the end the thing that’s most different from the original is its lack of substance. Shia LaBeouf is no James Stewart and “Disturbia” is certainly no “Rear Window.”

153. "One Missed Call" (2008)
director: Eric Valette writers: Andrew
Klaven, Yasushi Akimoto & Minako Daira
starring: Shannyn Sossamon & Edward Burns
watched: Aug. 10 rating: 2/5
comments: An awful, cliché of a horror film that’s 90 percent predictable and 10 percent nonsensical. I’m a Shannyn Sossamon fan (and I find Ed Burns hit-or-miss), but this movie is just laughable, even by American horror film standards.

154. "Funny Games" (2007)
director: Michael Haneke writer: Michael Haneke starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet & Devon Gearhart watched: Aug. 10 rating: 4.5/5
comments: I understand that this is a frame-by-frame remake of the original French film and I can’t blame the American filmmakers; this movie is perfect as is and I’m grateful that they cast the perfectly creepy Michael Pitt. Naomi Watts also does an amazing job in her role in this brilliant film. It’s as scary as they come because it doesn’t use editing tricks or suspenseful music to induce scares; letting the genuine scariness of the situation speak for itself.

155. "Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium" (2007)
director: Zach Helm writer: Zach Helm
starring: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman & Jason Bateman watched: Aug. 11 rating: 4/5
comments: This is a wonderfully charming and whimsical adventure, with the perfect cast. Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman have great chemistry and both are hilarious, as is Dustin Hoffman. And Zach Mills is just adorable as the hat-collecting boy who’s just trying to make a friend. Jason proves that he’d easily transition into family movies if he decided to.

156. "Strange Wilderness" (2008)
director: Fred Wolf writers: Peter Gaulke & Fred Wolf starring: Steve Zahn, Jonah Hill, Justin Long, Ashley Scott,
Allen Covert & Peter Dante watched: Aug. 11 rating: 2/5
comments: This movie is funny enough to not be a waste of time, but that’s about it. There are some funny parts, but all together the movie just doesn’t come together. I love Steve Zahn, but it’s Jonah Hill and Justin Long who are the funniest in the movie. The highlight would have to be Robert Patrick’s cameo.

157. "The Plague" (2006)
director: Hal Masonberg writers: Hal Masonberg &
Teal Minton starring: James Van Der Beek & Ivana Milicevic watched: Aug. 11 rating: 1.5/5
comments: A zombie/rapture/apocalypse/end-of-world movie that makes absolutely no sense. I went on the imdb message boards to see if someone had explained what the hell was supposed to be going on, but it turns out I didn’t miss anything and it really is just a shitty nonsensical movie. And the pretentious score – all dark piano pieces – is probably the worst part about it.

158. "Let’s Go to Prison" (2007)
director: Bob Odenkirk writers: Robert Ben Garant
Thomas Lennon, Michael Patrick Jan & Jim Hogshire
starring: Will Arnett, Dax Shepard & Chi McBride
watched: Aug. 11 rating: 3.5/5
comments: I absolutely love Will Arnett, but outside of “Arrested Development” he really hasn’t had a good vehicle for his talents. I’m not a Dax Shepard fan at all, though. He was funny in “Without a Paddle,” but everything else I’ve seen him in I’ve hated. The movie is much funnier than I expected. But I should have expected more from a flick Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (the geniuses behind “Reno 911!”) wrote.

159. "Godsend" (2004)
director: Nick Hamm writer: Nick Bomback
starring: Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn & Robert De Niro
watched: Aug. 12 rating: 3/5
comments: It starts out as a fantastic drama, but then becomes a supernatural thriller, with all the expected clichés and twists. Greg Kinnear is amazing as usual and Rebecca Romijn is even pretty impressive, but the acting alone isn’t even enough to stop this movie from self-destructing.

16o. "The Hoax" (2006)
director: Lasse Hallström writers: William Wheeler &
Clifford Irving starring: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Julie
Delpy & Marcia Gay Harden watched: Aug. 12 rating: 3/5
comments: Although it’s slower and longer than it has to be, this is a very interesting and funny movie. Richard Gere delivers an award-worthy performance in this story based on a true story.

161. "I Am Legend" (2007)
director: Francis Lawrence writers: Mark Protosevich,
Akiva Goldsman, Richard Matheson, John William Corrington & Joyce Hooper Corrington starring: Will Smith
watched: Aug. 13 rating: 4/5
comments: A thrilling, well-acted and well-shot film with surprisingly weak CGI. Will Smith does a fantastic job carrying the film.

162. "Brothers Solomon" (2007)
director: Bob Odenkirk writer: Will Forte
starring: Will Arnett, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig & Chi McBride
watched: Aug. 13 rating: 3/5
comments: This is a really sweet, pretty funny movie. It’s definitely superior to its similar female counterpart, “Baby Mama,” which is also stuffed chock-full of former and present SNL cast members. Will Arnett doesn’t disappoint, but isn’t at his best.

163. "Hitman" (2007)
director: Xavier Gens writer: Skip Woods
starring: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko & Robert Knepper
watched: Aug. 13 rating: 2.5/5
comments: Now, “Hitman” is just awful. I watched it because I was in the mood for an action flick and because I love Timothy Olyphant, but Tim is so bad in it! I mean, he’s no Daniel Day-Lewis, but he isn’t usually as bad as he is in this one. And I think maybe the bad acting was the fault of the director; maybe that’s how he wanted him to play the character – completely flat and emotionless – because he’s supposed to be a cold-blooded assassin, but he just doesn’t pull it off convincingly. That’s the most glaring fault of the film, but it’s not the only one. Even the action is weak. There are a few really funny parts where you think it might be starting to find its stride, but then it teeters off.

164. "Spartan" (2004)
director: David Mamet writer: David Mamet
starring: Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, Tia Texada, William H. Macy,
Ed O’Neil, Geoffrey Pierson & Kristen Bell
watched: Aug. 13 rating: 4.5/5
comments: Spartan” is a fantastic film. I saw it a couple years ago, but couldn’t remember much about it. Val Kilmer is really hit-or-miss, but he’s on his game in this one. It’s a pretty great cast. William H. Macy, Geoffrey Pierson, Tia Texada, Ed O’Neill, Derek Luke and Kristen Bell are all great in it. It’s a great conspiracy thriller.

165. "Silence Becomes You" (2005)
director: Stephanie Sinclaire writer: Stephanie Sinclaire
starring: Alicia Silverstone, Sienna Guillory & Joe Anderson
watched: Aug. 14 rating: 1.5/5
comments: From the very beginning you feel like you’re jumping
into it late. Nothing’s explained outside of vague flashbacks, usually by way
of dreams. Every five minutes one of the three characters is sleeping,
obviously to provide an avenue for the flashbacks. And (this might go
without saying) Alicia Silverstone is laughably bad in it. She’s supposed
to cry in several scenes, as her character is the sensitive sister, but her
fake sobs are so awful you can’t help but be embarrassed for her!

166. "Deep Rising" (1996)
director: Stephen Sommers writer: Stephen Sommers
starring: Treat Williams & Famke Janssen
watched: Aug. 16 rating: 3/5
comments: This is an awesome, unabashedly cheesy sea monster action flick. Treat Williams and Famke Janssen are both hilarious and havegreat chemistry.

167. "Pineapple Express" (2008)
director: David Gordon Green writers: Seth Rogen,
Evan Goldberg & Judd Apatow starring: Seth Rogen, James
Franco, Danny McBride, Kevin Corrigan, Craig Robinson, Gary Cole &
Rosie Perez watched: Aug. 16 rating: 4/5
comments: Though I love everything Apatow, I went into it expecting a stupid stoner comedy, but I was surprised by how well flushed out the storyline is and how much action and drama it has. It’s extremely funny, but it’s so annoying that so much is given away in the trailers. Not more than five minutes pass without something that was shown in a trailer. But the movie has a ton of even funnier parts, so it wasn’t a case of all the funny stuff being in the trailer, like with so many movies. My beloved Ed Begley Jr. is funny as hell in it. He’s only in one part, but he’s one of the highlights of the film. And I totally appreciated the Jeff Goldblum shout-out.

168. "The Invisible" (2007)
director: David S. Goyer writers:Mick Davis, Christine
Roum & Mats Wahl starring: Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva,
Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Marquette, Michelle Harrison & Callum Keith Rennie
watched: Aug. 16 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is a really good, intense film with an awesome cast. Justin Chatwin is amazing as a boy stuck in limbo between life and death, Chris Marquette is great as his best friend, Marcia Gay Harden is fantastic as his greiving mother and Margarita Levieva is exceptional as the troubled school delinquent.

169. "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007)
director: Wes Anderson writers: Wes Anderson, Roman
Coppola & Jason Schwartzman starring: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody
& Jason Schwartzman watched: Aug. 17 rating: 4.5/5
comments: Adrien Brody is a perfect addition to the Wes Anderson family and he, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman have great on-screen chemistry and are really believable as brothers. It’s different from Anderson’s other films in that it has even drier comedy, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

17o. "The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang" (2006)
director: Tim Skousen writer: Tim Skousen
starring: Jeremy Sumpter, Justin Long, Carl Weathers, Joey Kern,
Addie Land watched: Aug. 19 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is really silly but a lot of fun. It’s about a bunch of extreme characters in a small town. It has this “Napoleon Dynamite” vibe; and guess who has a cameo? Jon Heder himself. Justin Long is especially funny in it as the epitome of white trash, equipped with a mullet and a T-top. But it’s Joey Kern who steals every scene he’s in.

171. "Jumper" (2008)
director: Doug Liman writers: David S. Goyer,
Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg & Steven Gould starring: Hayden
Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson & Samuel L. Jackson
watched: Aug. 19 rating: 3.5/5
comments: “Jumper” is about as bad as I expected it to be. It’s really lame and I find it funny that they’re working on a sequel (even if it is about a completely different storyline). They really left the end open for one, though. By the time it ends you don’t really feel that anything’s been resolved. I have mixed opinions about Hayden Christensen. In this, despite the film being shitty, he’s pretty good. He still has a bit of a smirky glazed over look and shallow inflection, but not nearly as bad as in his other films. Now, Rachel Bilson is just plain awful. I was pretty disappointed to find out that David S. Goyer wrote this and it’s as bad as it is because I usually like his work.

172. "Across the Universe" (2008)
director: Doug Liman writers: David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls,
Simon Kinberg & Steven Gould starring: Hayden Christensen,
Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson & Samuel L. Jackson
watched: Aug. 26 rating: 4/5
comments: This is so much better than I expected. I’m not really a fan of the modern musical genre and I was pretty turned off at the concept of hearing actors sing Beatles songs, but most of them were pretty good. Evan Rachel Wood was the glaring exception; the filmmakers overproduced all of her songs and she still sounds like crap.

173. "Smart People" (2008)
director: Noam Murro writer: Mark Poirier
starring: Sennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Hayden
Church & Ellen Page watched: Aug. 28 rating: 4/5
comments: As a grammar geek I appreciated the grammar references in the film, but don’t let the language be a deterrent from seeing it. It’s more of a motif than a theme and is accessible and enjoyable, with the film really being about these socially retarded characters and how people interact with one another. Dennis Quaid and Thomas Haden Church deliver especially great performances in film with nothing but great performances.

174. "Smiley Face" (2007)
director: Gregg Araki writer: Dylan Haggerty
starring: Anna Faris, John Krasinski, Danny Masterson,
Adam Brody & John Cho
watched: Aug. 28 rating: 4/5
comments: This movie doesn’t shy away from being silly or whimsical, but it also has a tight plot and at its core is a sad, dramatic story. It’s a fantastic cautionary tale with hilarious performances by the entire cast, especially John Krasinski.

175. "Charlie Bartlett" (2008)
director: Jon Poll writer: Gustin Nash
starring: Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Kat Dennings,
Tyler Hilton & Robert Downey Jr.
watched: Aug. 29 rating: 5/5
comments: Simultaneously hilarious and heart-felt, this is not only a superbly acted and immensely entertaining movie, but also an excellently scripted and directed one. It’s one of the best depictions of not only the teenage and high school experience, but also of our society’s preference to medicate its children or classify them as lost causes rather than pay attention to them. I think this movie is completely underrated and its star, Anton Faris is one of the finest young actors Hollywood has to offer.

176. "Red Belt" (2008)
director: David Mamet writer: David Mamet
starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Alica Braga, Emily
Mortimer & Joe Mantegna watched: Aug. 29 rating: 4/5
comments: I was hesitant going in. I mean, a movie about martial arts doesn’t entice me, personally; but I should have known that a David Mamet film would deliver, no matter what the subject. This is an exceptional film about greed, honor and betrayal. But don’t get me wrong – there’s some great action in it too. Additionally, Emily Mortimer’s performance is outstanding.

177. "Death Sentence" (2007)
director: James Wan writers: Ian Jeffers & Brian Garfield
starring: Kevin Bacon, Kelly Preston, Garrett Hedlund & Aisha Tyler
watched: Aug. 29 rating: 4.5/5
comments: This movie starts as a dramatic heart-felt story and nearly seamlessly transitions into a shoot-‘em-up action film. The one constant throughout is its ability to keep you enthralled. It’s just completely gripping. It’s definitely not your cookie-cutter thriller or action flick.

178. "Funny Money" (2006)
director: Leslie Greif writers: Harry Basil, Leslie Greif
& Ray Cooney starring: Chevy Chase, Penelope Ann Miller,
Christopher McDonald, Alex Meneses, Armand Assante, Robert Loggia,
Rebecca Wisocky, Zoltan Butuc & Kevin Sussman
watched: Aug. 29 rating: 3.5/5
comments: A wonderfully entertaining screwball comedy! Chevy Chase is on his game in this one, and he’s not the only one; the supporting cast is equally as hilarious.

179. "Short Cuts" (1993)
director: Robert Altman writers: Raymond Carver,
Robert Altman & Frank Barhydt starring: Andie McDowell,
Anne Archer, Annie Ross, Bruce Davison, Buck Henry, Chris Penn,
Frances McDormand, Fred Ward, Huey Lewis, Jack Lemmon, Jennifer
Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore, Lili Taylor, Lily Tomlin, Lori Singer,
Lyle Lovett, Madeleine Stowe, Matthew Modine, Peter Gallagher,
Robert Downey Jr., Tim Robbins, Tom Waits, Zane Cassidy
watched: Aug. 29 rating: 4.5/5
comments: This film lives up to its reputation, even 15 years after it was made. At three hours it’s pretty long, but it doesn’t feel excessive because of the many storylines the film has. It’s more appealing than the alternative: to insufficiently cover each story. The acting, writing, directing, etc. are all great, but I do have one complaint about the film: It’s based in Los Angeles and features several families and couples, but they’re all Caucasian.

18o. "The Ten" (2007)
director: David Wain writers: Ken Marino & David Wain
starring: Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Famke Janssen, Kerri
Kenney-Silver, Ken Marino, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd, Winona
Ryder, Live Schreiber & Jessica Alba
watched: Aug. 29 rating: 3.5/5
comments: A hilarious spoof film with cautionary tales representing the 10 commandments. Paul Rudd, as the host, is amazing and other stand-outs include Leiv Schreiber (that guy can do anything!), Winona Ryder and Michael Ian Black, even if he is in only one scene!

181. "The Condemned" (2007)
director: Scott Wiper writers: Scott Wiper, Rob Hedden
& Andy Hedden starring: Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Sullivan
Stapleton, Robert Mammone, Tory Mussett, Rick Hoffman
watched: Aug. 30 rating: 3.5/5
comments: I figured at its best it could be an indictment of the public’s escalating voyeuristic nature and at its worst it could be a pointless gore-filled excuse for an action film. It’s actually both. It definitely looks at our society’s fascination with violence and the new way we’ve incorporated it into our culture with the prevalence of technology in our daily lives. But it’s also a raw, violent ass-kicking movie. It’s has gritty cinematography and bad-ass music and quick, flashy dialogue.

182. "Murder at 1600" (1997)
director: Dwight H. Little writers: Wayne Beach &
David Hodgin starring: Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Tate Donovan,
Ronny Cox, Dennis Miller & Alan Alda
watched: Aug. 30 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This is a solid political conspiracy thriller and you know how I love those. Wesley Snipes is sufficient, Diane Lane is great and Alan Alda is utterly fantastic. Plus, it’s always nice to see Tate Donovan in a film.

183. "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996)
director: Robert Rodriguez writers: Robert Kurtzman & Quentin Tarantino starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis & Ernest Liu watched: Aug. 31 rating: 4/5
comments:Robert Rodriguez plus Quentin Tarantino plus George Clooney equals no room for error! And this really is flawless. If you don’t know anything about this movie do yourself a favor and don’t read up on it before watching it.

184. "A Good Year" (2006)
director: Ridley Scott writers: Marc Klein & Peter Mayle starring: Russell Crowe, Marion Cottilard, Albert Finney, Freddie Highmore, Abbie Cornish, Didier Bourdon, Tom Hollander & Archie Panjabi watched: Sept. 1 rating: 4/5
comments: Russell Crowe might have won me over after all. He’s very good in this movie; he nails the dramatic parts plus has great comedic timing. This movie has a lot of heart and it extremely humorous on top of it. The art direction and cinematography are beautiful and the plot is layered and intelligent.

185. "Martian Child" (2007)
director: Menno Meyjes writers: Seth Bass, Jonathan Tolins & David Gerrold starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack, Sophie Okonedo, Oliver Platt & Bobby Coleman watched: Sept. 1 rating: 5/5
comments: This is possible the best movie ever about parenthood. It’s so sincere, witty and moving you can’t help but be engaged with the characters and story.

186. "Keeping Mum" (2005)
director: Niall Johnson writers: Richard Russo & Niall Johnson starring: Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Patrick Swayze, Tasmin Egerton, Toby Parkes & Liz Smith watched: Sept. 3 rating: 4/5
comments: This is a fantastically hilarious dark comedy. And very dark it is. Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith and Patrick Swayze are are wonderful in it, but it's Maggie Smith Smith who really carries the film as a demented housekeeper who'll stop at nothing to appease the family she works for. And Tasmin Egerton is great as the family's wise-cracking promiscuous teenage daughter.

187. "Wind Chill" (2007)
director: Gregory Jacobs writers: Joe Gangemi & Steven Katz starring: Emily Blunt & Ashton Holmes watched: Sept. 3 rating: 4/5
comments: This is a great, scary horror flick, with amazing performances by its two stars. Emily Blunt is especially amazing as a college student who catches a ride with another student home for the holidays only to break down on a back road.

188. "Driving Lessons" (2006)
director: Jeremy Brock writer: Jeremy Brock starring: Rupert Grint, Laura Linney, Oliver Milburn, Nicholas Farrell, Tasmin Egerton & Julie Walters watched: Sept. 3 rating: 3.5/5
comments: A really cute and charming movie about a teenager coming into his own and trying to break away from his overbearing mom and uninvolved priest-father.

189. "Road House" (1989)
director: Rowdy Herrington writer: David Lee Henry & Hilary Henken starring: Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Ben Gazzara & Sam Elliott watched: Sept. 3 rating: 3/5
comments: Damn! Patrick Swayze was a hottie in his day. This is a pretty good butt-kicking movie, with a little humor and romance thrown it.

19o. "30 Days of Night" (2007)
director: David Slade writers: Steve Niles, Stuart Beattie, Brian Nelson & Ben Templesmith starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George & Ben Foster watched: Sept. 6 rating: 4/5
comments: A great vampire film! Eerie and scary, it’s not only packed with action, but it’s also a good psychological thriller.

191. "Joshua" (2007)
director: George Ratliff writers:David Gilbert & George Ratliff starring: Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga & Jacob Kogan watched: Sept. 7 rating: 3.5/5
comments: What an eerie mind-fuck of a movie! Forget about that creepy kid in “The Omen”; he has nothing on Joshua. Sam Rockwell does an amazing job as a father whose desperation grows as his family spirals out of control.

192. "The Curse of El Charro" (2005)
director: Rich Ragsdale writer:Ryan R. Johnson starring: Drew Mia, Heidi Androl, Kathryn Taylor & KellyDaen Malloy watched: Sept. 7 rating: 1/5
comments: This is probably up there with the worst films ever made. There’s 90 minutes of nothing followed by 10 solid minutes of gore. The writing and directing aren’t even the worst part of the film – the acting wins that dubious honor; it’s abysmal! The movie is so bad that at times it borders on a horror spoof, and those are the most enjoyable moments of the film. I only watched it because I saw Danny Trejo was in it, but then it turned out he was just the voice of the killer, whom you only hear about twice.

194. "10 Items or Less" (2006)
director: Brad Silberling writer: Brad Silberling starring: Morgan Freeman & Paz Vega watched: Sept. 8 rating: 4/5
comments: A touchingly charming and humorous movie! It’s refreshing to see Morgan Freeman do comedy again and he reminds you that he’s the best for a reason – that man can do it all!

195. "Ticker" (2001)
director: Albert Pyun writer: Paul B. Margolis starring: Tom Sizemore, Steven Seagal, Dennish Hopper & Jaime Pressly watched: Sept. 8 rating: 2.5/5
comments: This is an awful, cheesy, poorly made buddy cop film with old, washed up bloated white men, but it sure is enjoyable. Between Steven Segal and Tom Sizemore the level of acting in this action thriller is pretty damn bad, but Dennis Hopper, while over the top as always, is intense and creepy. He sure does love those mad bomber roles, doesn’t he? There are a lot of explosions and a good fight scene or two, but the most enjoyable part of the film is laughing at the cheesy dialogue and bad acting.

196. "In The Gutter" (documentary) (2008)
starring: Jason Biggs & John Waters watched: Sept. 8 rating: 3.5/5
comments: A great look at why moviegoers can’t get enough of the disgusting, from “Porky’s” to “American Pie” and “Pink Flamingo” to the “Jackass” guys. The public’s fascination with the repulsive is looked at from every angle and there’s no shortage of cringe-worthy clips.

197. "Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film" (documentary) (2006)
writer: Adam Rockoff starring: Wes Craven, Rob Zombie & John Carpenter watched: Sept. 8 rating: 4/5
comments: What a great analysis of the slasher genre! You have all the essentially players from the industry, from special effects guy to directors, writers and actors, talking about their trade and giving you an inside look at what they do.

198. "Bandidas" (2006)
directors: Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg writers: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen starring: Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek & Steve Zahn watched: Sept. 8 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This movie is about as good as you’d expect a western about two female bank robbers to be. It’s light-hearted and silly, like “The Wild, Wild West” (which Hayek also starred in), but it’s definitely not family friendly; there’s a scene that could at most be described as soft-core porn between the three stars and even a quick penis shot. Overall, it’s a fun, witty buddy western and at the very least it has two incredibly hot women riding horses, shooting guns and robbing banks.

199. "Dead Mary" (2007)
director: Robert Wilson writers: Peter Sheldrick & Christopher Warre Smets starring: Dominique Sawin, Marie-Josée Colburn, Seven McCarthy, Maggie Castle, Michael Majeski, Raegan Pasternak & Jefferson Brown watched: Sept. 9 rating: 1.5/5
comments: A fantastically shitty movie, “Dead Mary” doesn’t even try to make sense. You’re trying to piece together the logica throughout the entire movie, thinking “Is it just over my head?” only for it to end without anything being explained and you realize that nothing was over your head – the movie just has giant plot holes and makes no sense. It seems to fancy itself a psychological/paranormal thriller, but it’s really just an-hour-and-a-half of nonsensicalness.

2oo. "The House Bunny" (2008)
director: Fred Wolf writers: Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith starring: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Tyson Ritter, Beverly D’Angelo, Christopher McDonald & Hugh Hefner watched: Sept. 10 rating: 3.5/5
comments: This movie is silly and cheesy, but enjoyable. Anna Faris is adorable and hilarious and Emma Stone (from “Superbad” and “The Rocker”) and Kat Dennings (from “Charlie Bartlett” and the upcoming “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) are really funny too. Sure, there’s a lot of stunt casting (Katherine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Tyson Ritter, Hef and the girls), but it’s just a fun movie that’ll put you in a good mood.

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