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Moriarty's reviews view profile

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THIS IS... not bad.  
on July 30, 2007 - 8:20 AM PDT
  of 300 (2007)
4 out of 7 members found this review helpful

In my humble opinion this is the ultimate date movie. Let me tell you why. There is scene after scene of bone crushing action and violence for the guys. Enough for any hard core action junkie. And lets face it, I don't care how out of shape or doughy your physique, if you can't get lucky after your girl has just watched scene after scene of sweaty, adoniss adonises adonii??, whatever, dressed in leather loin cloths and capes, well then she really just wants to be friends. I mean, she's not thinking of you, but who cares right? Just yell out, "THIS IS SPARTA!" and jump on her in your tighty-whiteys and you're in.

To be honest though, I really liked this movie. It's not very deep, but it never really tries to be. At it's heart it's not anything more than a stylized action flick. But visually is where it really makes its mark. The visuals on this flick are really something to see. Almost every background is computer generated, but it's nearly impossible to tell. And they are incredible to see. 300 VERY loosely tells the story of the 300 Spartans that defended Thermopylae against the invading Persian army. The story takes many liberties, something freely admitted by both the writer and director. What you end up with is something that is not so much historically accurate as just a kick-ass action flick.

Bottom line, if you're in the mood for some action, violence, and a good movie night movie, I recommend this one. If you want historical accuracy then the Discovery channel did a great special on what really happened. Actually I enjoyed that too.
Beautiful but Brutal  
on May 18, 2007 - 1:11 PM PDT
  of Pan's Labyrinth (Special Edition) (2006)
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful

Director Guillermo Del Toro described this movie as a fairy tale for adults. I have to agree with him. The world he has created is beautiful, imaginative and horrific. His fairies, faun and giant toad are some of the most spectacular effects I've seen in movies in a while. I think with the current glut of CGI in movies and TV we've forgotten just how much of an impact a physical character can have. It makes the contrast between the real world and his fantasy world all the more vivid. Because the characters are actually there you aren't yanked out of the story by some cheesy computer graphics.
You may be tempted to rent this movie and watch it with your children after seeing the previews. I cannot stress enough that this is not a movie for children. There are scenes in it that contain brutal violence. And I mean it when I say that more than once both my girlfriend and myself found ourselves squirming in our seats due to some particularly graphic scenes.
We both however really liked this movie. Yes there were some parts that were hard to watch, but overall the movie was very good. It is a fairly tale more in the Brothers Grimm vein than Disney. I think this was a good movie, and good movies don't always leave with a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Like a feature length Nickelodeon show  
on December 23, 2005 - 9:45 AM PST
  of Sky High (2005)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

I went to see this one in the theaters with a friend and his children. Otherwise, I don't think it would have interested me much. But I have to say it's not a half bad movie. It's geared towards the tween set, those who are about to start high school. But it was entertaining enough to amuse me. (I've been out of high school for a while now.)
The story centers around a young man about to enter Hero High. His parents are two of the most famous heros in the world, and they expect big things from him. The only problem is he hasn't developed any powers yet.
On his first day he meets the school bullies, a possible love interest, the son of one of the villians his father put in jail, and several friends. He's also relegated to the unenvied position of sidekick by the school's physical trainer, played with scene-stealing ham by none other than Bruce Campbell.
The plot is a bit predictable, but overall, this is a new take on trying to survive high school. Literally. The acting isn't bad, and the effects are pretty decent. I'd recommend this one for a family movie night. It's excellent for the kiddies, and there's enough there to keep the parents happy.
I hope you're a fan of the games...  
on December 6, 2005 - 11:03 AM PST
  of Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

I'm going to start this review with the disclaimer that I'm a huge fan of the video game franchise that this movie was based on. That being said, I'm not sure where this movie would appeal to anyone else.
As a zombie movie, there's nothing new. Slow, lumbering corpses are easily dispatched with a bullet to the head. There are a few new creatures, but nothing that lasts very long. Characters are dispatched by the various enemies as the movie moves along. And it's not real hard to pick who's not going to make it. The one very huge bone they throw to the fans, Nemesis, was pretty decent, but was under-used and had a pretty cliched ending.
As an action movie, this wasn't bad. There were a few pretty decent stunts and lots of gunplay. And Milla Jovovich, who makes a pretty hot heroine is joined by Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, the heroine from the original Resident Evil game. So you get two hot, ass-kicking babes for the price of one.
The one jarring bit for me was the ending. When you figure the movie was just about over, they tack on another 10 minutes that just serves as a huge lead in to another sequel.
For me the best parts of this movie were recognizing the bits and pieces that came from the various games. Weapons, characters, and even some scenes were lifted from the different games. All of that was enough to hold my interest and keep me entertained. But will it be enough to keep you happy?
For fans of the genre only  
on November 7, 2005 - 6:41 AM PST
  of Hawk the Slayer (1981)
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful

When I was a kid, I loved the Sword and Sorcery genre. Which was great because the 80's was the hayday of crappy, low budget S&S movies. I remeber the first time I saw "Hawk the Slayer." I was about 10 years old and I thought I was one of the greatest things I had ever seen. It had an elf and a dwarf and magic, and all the things I couldn't get enough of. Well, I'm a little older now and the movie still delivers, only not in the way it originally meant to. When I saw that it had come out on DVD, I decided to watch it for old times sake.
This movie has it all; hammy acting, visible wires, cheap special effects, and too many cliches to count. If you're looking for good movies about wizards, elves, and magic, go rent The Lord of the Rings. But if you're a fan of movies with names like The Beastmaster, or Deathstalker, give this one a try.
It centers around a warrior named Hawk. A man with the incredible ability to get over the death of a loved one amazingly fast. He gets drawn into a hostage situation brought about by his evil older brother, Voltan, played with scene stealing ham, by Jack Palance. In order to triumph he must round up his rag-tag band of warriors for one final, not-so-epic battle.
Trust me when I tell you, if you're not a fan of this type of movie, there is nothing here to change your mind. But, if you, like me, loved this kind of schlock back in the day, this is a nice, if kind of cheesy trip down memory lane. Consider it a guilty treat for your inner child.
The toons you remember in situations you can't forget.  
on August 3, 2005 - 5:40 AM PDT
  of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law vol. 1 (2001)
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful

A while ago Cartoon Network bought the rights to all of Hanna Barbera's vast array of cartoon characters. The disturbed geniuses behind the network's Adult Swim block of programming have taken those characters and turned them on their head.
For those of you unfamiliar with Birdman, he was one of many heros HB created in the early 70's in response to the growing popularity of mainstream comic heroes. But in Adult Swim's hands he has become Harvey Birdman, Attourney at Law, a putz of a lawyer. With his faithful clerk Peanut, formerly Birdboy, his assistant Avenger, his pet eagle, and an assortment of office mates from various other HB cartoons, Harvey continues to fight for truth, justice and a favorable verdict.
This series is truly bizarre. From Race Bannon suing Dr. Benton Quest for custody of Johnny and Hadji, to Fred Flinstone being tried as a Tony Sopranoesque mob boss, these are not the characters you grew up with.
I recommend this for anybody looking for something out of the ordinary. It's funny, but a lot of the humor comes from the situations the characters are now put into. If you're not familiar with some of thses old toons you may have a hard time getting the joke. But at about 15 minutes an episode, the jokes and resolutions come quick. As with all Adult Swim shows, this material isn't recommended for anyone under 14, in this case it's mostly for inuendo.
If you're looking for something a bit offbeat that isn't afraid to turn beloved childhood icons into angry litigants, I recommend you check this one out.
Over the top and proud of it.  
on June 20, 2005 - 6:47 AM PDT
  of Team America: World Police (2004)
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful

I'm going to start by saying if you don't think South Park is even a little bit funny, this isn't your movie. This movie goes so joyfully over the top that more than once I thought, I can't believe they just did that, while laughing out loud. The movie skewers every action movie cliche out there and at the same time pokes fun at our current political climate. Both sides of the political debate become the victims of this movies vicious humor.
I'm not going to lie to you, while there is some very clever humor, most of the jokes go for the low brow, including one of the most graphic sex scenes I have ever witnessed. Given that it was between two marionetts, you begin to get an idea of the twisted genius of Matt Parker and Trey Stone.
This movie is most certainly not for everybody. If four letter words and puppet sex offends you, maybe you should look elsewhere. But if you're looking for something a little bit different, a little bit daring, and totally irreverent, give this one a try. But put the kids to bed first.
Not a half bad remake.  
on June 20, 2005 - 6:14 AM PDT
  of Walking Tall (2004)
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful

This was pretty much your typical revenge flick. The Rock comes home after 8 years away in the military to find his home town taken over by a corrupt casino boss who just happens to be his old friend/rival. Nothing really new or unique.
But I was surprised to find I liked this movie. A lot of it had to do with The Rock. Believe it or not, he actually gives a pretty good performance here. While there's no great dramatic range, he basically goes from charming to angry and back again, it works for this movie. I think The Rock has a natural charm that comes across in this movie. I also liked Johnny Knoxville's character. He's the typical old buddy character who's a former junkie and loser. But unlike some other loser buddies in other flicks who are borderline depressing, he's also pretty likable. And the source of most of the movies laughs.
This movie doesn't waste a lot of time on a lot of backstory or character developement. It gives you enough to like the good guys and hate the bad guys. It's fairly quickly paced but doesn't feel rushed. The action isn't too overdone and the comedy works.
This isn't a bad one for a Friday or Saturday night. And I think whether or not you're a fan of The Rock, you may find this one is ok.
Probably for Geeks Only  
on May 19, 2005 - 7:53 AM PDT
  of Comic Book: The Movie (2004)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

I kind of enjoyed this movie, but that's because I'm a huge comic geek. Comic Book:The Movie is a faux documentary that centers around Don Swan (Mark Hamill,) as an aging comic geek and devout fan of Commander Courage. It seems a Hollywood studio wants to make a movie using an updated version of the character and they want Swan to sign off on their version in his fanzine. But of course, they are changing everything about the character that Swan loves. Hamill convincingly plays the overenthusiastic Swan. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fans Hamill himself meets at various conventions.
Being the geek that I am, I can see the parrallels that this movie is making with many of the recent Hollywood adaptations of comic books. (Catwoman anyone?) And to it's credit, this movie gives you both sides of the debates; Hollywood's lack of respect for the chracters and the geeks' over-obsessive insistence on continuity and minutia. Both sides are played for laughs and are a little overemphasized. But even so, you get a feeling that this may not be too far removed from the truth. I can say from expierience that I've had some of the conversations that you get to see in the movie. Old costume or updated version? Who should play him/her? Origin story or something new? And of course, original or updated hero?
But the major flaw of this movie is that it really is for geeks only. A lot of the references, cameos, and in jokes will only make sense to a very specific set of fans. And I doubt most people would be interested in seeing the footage of the San Diego Comic Con, where most of the movie is set. Let's face it, if you don't get why someone would spend the time and money to go to a convention dressed as Aquaman, this probably isn't your movie.
Not so Legendary  
on May 12, 2005 - 8:14 AM PDT
  of King Arthur (2004)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

I want to start off by saying this wasn't a bad movie. The production values were good, the fights were excellent, and overall this was a pretty good flick. It would almost rank as a poor man's Braveheart.
That said, my biggest issue is with the de-mystifying of the legend. I knew going in that this was an attempt to tell the truth behind the myth. And I think in that way the movie failed. It was more like they took a standard action movie and tacked the names onto the chracters.
You get to see Arthur pulling the sword from the stone and the round table, and all the major players are there, but there's no real connection to the events in the movie and the legends that supposedly followed. That disconnect is what put me off giving this movie a better rating.
As a popcorn flick, this movie is better than some. But as the "truth" behind the Arthurian Legends, this movie falls far short.
Fire this one up  
on May 6, 2005 - 7:37 AM PDT
  of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful

This movie was funny. Flat out. It was goofy, silly, and totally immature. What my friend likes to call "Guy Humor." If you're looking for the next Oscar contender, keep searching. But if you're looking for a movie that never takes itself too seriously, give this one a shot. Let's face it, this is a movie about two guys who get stoned and make a pact to make it to White Castle for some burgers to kill the munchies. We're not talking MacBeth here.
Be on the lookout for an appearance by Neil Patrick Harris playing himself. You'll never look at Doogie Howser the same way again.
The best movie you'll never understand.  
on April 6, 2005 - 9:52 AM PDT
  of Donnie Darko (Director's Cut) (2001)
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful

It's been nearly a week since I've seen this movie and I still don't think I have it all sorted out. A co-worker of mine has also seen this and we've wasted plenty of company time trying to figure it all out. And thet's the best part of this whole movie.
Donnie Darko is the name of the "hero" of this tale. He is a brilliant but disturbed young man who is currently in therapy. It seems Donnie has been sleepwalking late at night. A 6 foot tall rabbit named Frank has been leading Donnie out of his house at night. Which fortunately saves Donnie's life when one night a jet engine from a plane nobody can locate, falls through the roof into Donnie's bedroom. After that things start to get weird.
I don't want to give too much away, mostly because there's still a lot I don't understand, but this was one of the most original movies I've seen in a while. You'll spend most of the movie trying to figure out what's going on. And when you finally get to the end, there's no nice, simple wrap up. The story leaves you wondering. But not in a bad way. There's no final narrative to explain what you just saw, no cheap, tidy wrap up. It leaves you thinking. Which, for me at least, is a rarity when it comes to most movies.
From our discussions I've been able to figure out that the Director's cut gives you more to help you understand what's happening to Donnie, so I'd recommend that version of the movie. But overall, I recommend giving this one a try.
Good for me, but better for younger viewers.  
on March 22, 2005 - 6:09 AM PST
  of Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths (1987)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

I had seen snippets from Jim Henson's Storyteller series years ago during some kind of tribute to him on TV. They left enough of an impression that years later I jumped at the chance to get my hands on them. That said, I have to say I was a bit let down by this offering.
I guess, growing up with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, I had expected something with a bit more wimsy. That's not to say that this was a bad disk at all. I think I was just hoping for more Muppet goodness.
Anyway, these were actually very well done. The disk contains four shows each being about a seperate Greek myth. The story mostly unfolds through live action, and is interspersed with a narrator and his Muppet dog. The narrator is played by Michael Gambon, the most recent incarnation of Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He does a very nice job of narrating the stories. And his dog provides the point of view of a younger viewer, asking questions and helping to move the story along.
The acting in general is decent, if exaggerated in some cases. And the production values aren't too bad either. Not big budget stuff, but it does set the scene nicely. And I have to say that the make up for the creatures is very well done. I just wish there were more of it.
Overall, I'd say this disk would be a good way to introduce younger children to Greek mythology. A topic I loved as a child. Just keep in mind that Greek myths don't have the happy endings of Disney and this series doesn't sugar coat the stories and you should be alright.
Super Superheroes  
on March 4, 2005 - 10:53 AM PST
  of Justice League: Starcrossed: The Movie (2004)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

If you're one of theose people who think of the campy 60's Batman series every time someone mentions superheros, you're missing out. Comics moved away from that stereotype a long time ago. Now you'll find they are full of gripping, relevant, and sometimes very adult story lines. Set in a world of spandex clad super beings, I'll admit, but that's all part of the fun.
Way back in 1992 Warner Bros. introduced Batman: The Animated Series. And since then they've put out several Batman series, and a few Superman, finally culminating in Justice League. Far from being simple "kiddy fare" these are exceptionally well written shows. I'd recommend them to anyone who even had a passing fancy with super heroes.
Justice League - Starcrossed is the link between the Justice League and the new Justice League Unlimited cartoon series. You don't necessarily need to be up to date to enjoy this movie. At this point the JL has been together a few years and they have their relationships tested by an outside menace and an internal betrayal. The story is interesting and complex, foregoing a typical good guy vs. super evil bad guy slugfest. Instead we're given an antagonist who believes that what he is doing is right and for the greater good. There's also a nice little romantic subplot.
I'd recommend this and almost any Batman/Superman toon that's come out over the past 13 years. And the new Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows are fantastic. The writing is well done, and the animation, while a bit stylized is excellent. There is some violence and gun play, nothing graphic or brutal, so I'd only recommend it for children who can handle it. But this is something that I'd recommend for the child in all of us.
Not what it could have been, but not bad.  
on February 28, 2005 - 7:33 AM PST
  of Alien vs. Predator (2004)
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful

I guess being the geek that I am, I was hoping for a bit more from this movie. That's not to say it was bad at all. The effects have come a long way from the origionals, both of them, and it makes for some really fantastic fights between our two antagonists. But in my opinion, not enough of them. Too much of the movie is spent on the token humans. We know most of them are just cannon fodder anyway.
Other than that, there isn't too much to complain about. The acting of the human cast is actually pretty good. Which really helps get you into the sprit of this movie. And as I said, the effects are really pretty good. Again, my only problem with this is I was hoping for more Aliens and more Predators. But if you're a fan of either of these franchises, I'd recommend this. Even if you're just looking for a good popcorn flick, check this out. I really hope they make a sequel and go all out.
Daredevil was ok. The Director's cut is so much better.  
on February 22, 2005 - 10:01 AM PST
  of Daredevil (Director's Cut) (2003)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful

One of the only extra features on this disk is a small featurette where the director gets to explain the differences between this version and the one released to theaters. He explains why parts were cut or changed for the theatrical release. In my opinion the studio should have listened to him. This is a much better version of the movie. Seriously, if you thought Daredevil was decent, check this out. There's so much more here in the Director's Cut.
There's more sub-plot, more character interaction, and yes, more violence. Unlike the director's cut of Underworld, where I couldn't notice anything different, this was a much different movie. It's slower, deeper, and darker. If that's the kind of thing you look for in a movie as opposed to a cliched popcorn flick, pick this over the theatrical release.
More than a few cliches  
on December 20, 2004 - 5:40 AM PST
  of A Man Apart (2003)
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful

This one wasn't bad in the usual bad cop flick way. In fact, the acting by Diesel and the rest of the cast is fairly decent. But as far as plot points, story, and the big "plot twist" it's pretty standard stuff. They don't use every cop movie clich, but they definitely had a "Cop Flicks for Dummies" book on hand. Unless you're a die hard Vin fan, leave this one alone.
Good Call Pop  
on December 9, 2004 - 5:20 AM PST
  of They Call Me Trinity (1970)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful

My father turned me on to this one. At first I thought I was stuck watching a dull cowboy flick, but I was surprised at how much I liked this movie. It's definitely low key, with a bit of a relaxed pace, and funny. After I saw this I went right out and bought my father the sequel, which I also enjoyed.
A good movie for a lazy Sunday afternoon. And with no real graphic violence, some gunshots and old school fist fights, it should even be enjoyable for the PG set.
Just Not Funny  
on November 18, 2004 - 12:06 PM PST
  of Scary Movie 3 (2003)
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful

Sorry, but this one's a stinker. I can't believe it's from the creators of the Airplane movies. The jokes and sight gags were obvious. There was none of the originality of the first two. And the cramming in of references to Signs, The Ring, The Matrix, 8 Mile and others created and unwatchable mess. It was directionless and unfunny. Skip this and rerent the first two.
Everyone Should Check This Out  
on October 11, 2004 - 12:10 PM PDT
  of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
9 out of 13 members found this review helpful

With the election only weeks away, and one of the most critical votes in a long time, this is definitely a must see for anyone still unsure of who to cast their ballot for. While I doubt this movie will sway too many Bush supporters, who view it as nothing but propaganda anyway, it's worth it for it's spotlight on our current commander-in-chief. I dare you to watch this and look at Bush as a man of the people. Love him or hate him, every voter should watch this if only to see what a billionairs boys club our government has become. I'll say it, I was appalled... but not at all shocked.
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