Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Craplist

The Crap list is a new thing I came up with, instead off giving stars to things you think are good. You give brown stars to things that suck. Meaning that getting a ***** brownstar rating is the ultimate crapfest. No stars means it gets my recommendations. This time I would like to start with six movies I've just seen.


After moving to San Francisco, the middle-aged New Yorker, Harvey Milk, became a Gay Rights activist and city politician. On his third attempt, he was elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the USA. The following year, both he and the city's mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by former city supervisor, Dan White, who blamed his former colleagues for denying White's attempt to rescind his resignation from the board.

This is damn fine movie, a bit of a slow start, but people who are sensitive for human beings for their rights to be just human beings will like this movie with and dramatic ending. So, zero stars for this one.

Pride and Glory

A saga centered on a multi-generational family of New York City Police officers. The family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney, investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Another good movie, it seems I was lucky this week. Though a story I've seen in movies many times, it's the cast that makes it so much more believable. No start for this one also.

Body of Lies

Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a covert CIA operative working in Jordan searching for terrorists who have been bombing civilian targets. Ferris uncovers information on the Islamist mastermind Al-Saleem (Alon Aboutboul). He devises a plan to infiltrate Al-Saleem's terrorist network with the help of his boss back in Langley, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). Ferris enlists the help of the Chief of Jordanian Intelligence, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong) on this operation, but he doesn't know how far he can trust him without putting his life in danger. The uneasy alliance leads to a cultural and moral clash between the men.

What can I say? It's a nice movie, not the best, shallow acting by Leonardo DiCaprio. One brown star *

Seven Pounds

Once, Tim Thomas (Will Smith) was a gifted aerospace engineer with a beautiful wife and a lovely beach house. Then, while using his cell phone while driving, his car wandered across lanes and he became responsible for the deaths of 7 others, including his beloved wife. Unable to forgive himself or raise the dead, Tim sets out to give "pounds of flesh" that will give new life to seven deserving individuals to make up for the seven lives he destroyed. Just as Antonio would have to die to pay Shylock the "pound of flesh" he demands, Tim intends to kill himself to atone for his sins. His brother Ben (Michael Ealy), who works for the IRS, is deeply concerned about his state of mind. Tim steals his brother's IRS ID to access the IRS database and to find and meet people who he believes worthy of his gifts which includes body organs and material possessions. Holly Apelgren (Judyann Elder), Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson), Connie Tepos (Elpidia Carrillo) and Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson) are among those whom he identifies to help. Furthermore, Tim assumes his brother's identity of "Ben Thomas" to personally investigate these people and verify that they are indeed the right people he should help. He has a plan for when he identifies his 7 beneficiaries that requires his best friend Dan (Barry Pepper) to see that his wishes are carried out after he is dead. Tim's plan threatens to unravel when he begins to fall in love with one of the people he is trying to help.

Hmmmm, I must admit I've still got Will Smith fatigue. And this movie doesn't take it away. He is a shallow actor and he will stay that. Though this is an interesting movie to watch at least I thought so. So just one brown star *

Disaster movie
*****, nuff said!


'Religulous' is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Larry Charles and starring political comedian Bill Maher. According to Maher, the title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words "religion" and "ridiculous," implying the satirical nature of the documentary that is meant to mock the concept of religion and the problems it brings about.

Simply a nice documentary, though the way it was edited leaves me thinking it forces a way to think on you... still one you'll have to watch! No stars for this one!

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