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Archive for April, 2006

Spring Indianapolis USAmusement Auction

This was my first auction, and at that time I was only looking for a Ms. Pac-man, I hadn’t gotten totally sucked in my the hobby as I am today. Hence, I didn’t take photos or prices, but all of those are located at Madoc’s website.


A Lot Like Love (2005)

A Lot Like LoveFour Stars

Who’s in it

Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Taryn Manning, Ali Larter, Kathryn Hahn

What was good

The casual acting by Kutcher and Peet. It feels real, and these are possibly a realistic series of encounters between two people who get caught up in what they think they need more than what they feel.

What sucked

You don’t for one point in time believe Kutcher is what he portrays in the movie, which kind of ruins things because alot of his story revolves
around him getting his “ducks in a row”. Sarah didn’t like the time gaps, where they would be apart for 2-4 years or so at a time and then the story would pick up again. I don’t mind that sort of thing, but it is something to watch out for.

Who should go see this

I don’t have a lot to say about this. It is a love story, two people who get to know each other over many years and realize that if one of them could make a move at the right time that they could be right for each other. If you like love stories and can tolerate Peet and Kutcher, then you make like this. My parents may enjoy it a touch. I do wish that Kutcher wasn’t so serious in this movie, a little more playful without being an idiot because super serious isn’t believable.


Sparticus – TV (2004)

SparticusThree Stars

Who’s in it

Goran Visnjic, Rhona Mitra

What was good

I liked the idea of a remake, I loved the original and that says something since I hate most old movies. I liked that Sparticus in this movie acted more like a people’s ruler than a ruler among slaves, it seemed more realistic. I like most of the characters too, then seemed more believable in some ways then the main characters in the first movie. I think the battles were done better, more believable in a realistic setting, and you get a scope for how much of a threat these slaves are as they keep waging smaller battles and winning. I also liked the fact that they left out the Curtis line “I love you Sparticus.”

What sucked

Now, having said that I liked Goran as the people’s guy, I did liked Kirk Douglas more as Sparticus, he was more believable as this gritty warrior. I also liked some of the scenery better in the original, and I did like the end battle in the original better, more grandiose then this and Sparticus doesn’t die in battle, he is nailed to a cross. Not this one, I think it has less weight to nail one of Sparticus’ lackeys at the end. Marcus Crassus was a terrible actor and didn’t have the posture of fear that the original had. Most of the movie was spent bickering between politicians that all seemed insignificant.

Who should watch this

Maybe those who liked the original to have seen both, but you’ll probably feel like me, the ER guy can’t swing a sword. I would say in general pass, this is long at 3 hours, short for a TV movie, and really doesn’t hold a stick to the 60’s version with the dimpled Douglas Chin. But, Varinia (Mitra) was a lot classic of a wife for Sparticus in this movie, that just about makes it worth it? Ha.


The Upside of Anger (2005

The Upside of AngerThree and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, Evan Rachel Wood

What was good

Kevin Costner as the aging drunk ex-baseball player (don’t worry, they don’t dwell on this over common casting) and Joan Allen as the neurotic mother who one day wakes up and her husband is gone. She assumes that he has run off to Sweden with his secretary and she is broken. I have always thought Allen was a very good actress, and Costner although you never really get pulled into his character, it is a natural fit for him. I really liked the messed up relationships between all of the characters in the movie, each of the girls and their love interests, Allen and Costner, Keri Russell and Allen, it was all so messed up it was funny. Plus the ending has a great big emotional twist that I would never have expected, such a small sub plot that is running throughout the background of the movie turns everyone’s world upside down, I like that.

What sucked

The fact that this movie is about messed up people. I imagine the average person would hate this movie. The relationships are unnatural, but the circumstances are unnatural so I don’t dwell on that. Would Allen and Costner get so close so quick after the father left, maybe. She needed someone to fill a void, to be there for her bitching, and to help even her emotions out around the girls who also need support. Most of the characters minus the girls are people you love to hate, they are devious, especially Costner’s production manager at his radio show.

Who should go see this

Kevin Costner doesn’t have a typical movie anymore, so you wouldn’t go to see this movie for that reason. I would say that if you like dysfunctional families, this is just for you. They are believable, human, lost, mixed up, and so neurotic it’s hilarious. I would say if you have a touch of a twisted sense of humor, you may like this. I wouldn’t let my parents see this, and I wouldn’t watch this on a Friday night, but I would watch this as a married couple and say, “Let’s never be like that.” I imagine it may be something like “The Family Stone” if I ever get to see that.


Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Pride and PrejudiceFour Stars

Who’s in it

Kiera Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland

What was good

This was a good love story. I gave Sarah heck about it through the whole movie, but the love story was engaging, and believable. We have a poor daughter, one of 5 who one day meets a man who seems arrogant, well to do, and unapproachable. His deeds support his demeanor, but over time the daughter starts to see beyond what other people think of him, and the few things he has done to see what he has done right, things that cannot be measured.

What sucked

The movie was slow getting into it. I think Sarah was patient because she knew the story, I did not, and I needed something to keep me engaged. I knew it wouldn’t be my type of movie because it is set in the 1800’s or prior, but I had a hard time relating to many things, one of which was how important a family name could be, even as important as wealth and class.

Who should go see this

I don’t know the play to know if this was a good translation. I did believe it when Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth, and I did believe that because he helped out two of her sisters in finding “love” or saving the family name, that she started to see who he truly was. I think my parents would like this, the scarce moments of humor are something the older crowd would laugh out loud at. I wouldn’t recommend this to my friends, but if you like a good love story now and then, this is right up your alley.


Domino (2005)

DominoThree Stars

Who’s in it

Kiera Knightly, Mickey Rourke, Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green of Beverly Hills Fame

What was good

How they made fun of Ziering and Green, for starters. The style of the movie, the color, the elements and how it was shot was different and engaging. The opening sequence was really sweet too. The story was pretty good, pretty basic and quite a stretch to believe at times, but still something you don’t see everyday. Girl from preppy family goes awol and becomes a hot bounty hunter.

What sucked

The movie didn’t really keep my interest in a lot of ways, the characters were hard to relate to, everyone was a tough guy and the interaction didn’t seem very genuine. Knightly looks good with a couple of guns, but you never believe she is the character. Plus, you have seen the previews where they keep repeating the dialogue “My name is Domino. I am a bounty hunter.” It’s annoying in the previews and equally so in the movie. It just seems to be a lot of disjointed violence, double crossing, and stupid characters that don’t know which way is up.

Who should go see this

If you thought the previews looked interesting, you probably should feed the need and just see it. But I think the previews were a tell all, and if you weren’t hooked then, then you probably wouldn’t be at all. I can’t think of anyone but college guy friends I might recommend this one to, otherwise this movie barely got three stars for me. I wouldn’t watch it again.


V is for Vendetta (2006)

V is for VendettaFive Stars

Who’s in it

Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman

What was good

Everything obviously, check my rating. This movie is great on many levels, it was true to the story, it was a great translation to the movie genre, and it was very entertaining with a powerful message. Set in England in the future, in an England where people are ruled by why is implied to be a dictator and they don’t know how, one man in a mask sets out to make them remember freedom, to remember unopressed rule.

What sucked

For Christine who I went to see this with, it was a little slow to start. I knew what was going to happen, so I enjoyed the story buildup, and I didn’t think it was slow, but it isn’t always fast paced action and fight scenes. They concentrate on the story, which is so rare in movies today. A great literary work by Alan Moore, this is not about why the man in the mask as much as it is about symbol and his actions. Armed with only knives, this movie is about statements and not seeking out a fight. I will say the movie got quite bloody, especially at the end, so while parts of this movie can definitely be for an older child, it is like a light switch how violent parts can suddenly get. True to the story, of course.

Who should go see this

Everyone who has read the book. I wouldn’t recommend my parents to see this, but I think anyone from 20-30 could see this and enjoy it, there is a weird twisted romance that slowly develops, and you get to see some amazing knife play made by the Wachowski’s (Matrix). A nice use of effects that never once makes you think “Neo”, oh yeah, and the blow up Big Ben and Parliament in London, and that just kicks butt in a big way.