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The Big Board
for Michael Bentley

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¡Es excelente!
1. No Country for Old Men
    It is many things: an unrelenting thriller, a probing drama, and a meditative adventure about young/old, past/present. The Coens are back in a big way.
2. Ratatouille
    Not that anyone should be surprised, but Pixar does it again. They are on a whole other plane compared to other studios.
3. Hot Fuzz
    If you like action movies, and you like to laugh, then you'd be hard-pressed not to enjoy this.
4. Away From Her
    A highly compelling and tender story. Christie is great but Gordon Pinsent is even better.

¡Muy bueno!
5. Knocked Up
    Perhaps a tad funnier if you've experienced the ups and downs of a pregnancy, but I'm amazed at how well it blends the chick flick with guy humor.
6. Zodiac
    A tad too long, and Chloe Sevigny's character is weak, but top-notch besides that. A great examination of a perplexing case.
7. There Will Be Blood
    A tightly scripted feat with tremendous acting that brings together multiple themes, though the closing argument could have been a little more impressive.
8. Sunshine
    If someone asks you about the final half-hour, just smile and nod. Before that, it's an amazing ride with astounding effects and art/set direction.
9. Waitress
    A genuine heartfelt ode to small towns, pies, illicit love, life, and hope.
10. The Bourne Ultimatum
    The smart, well-paced action film is a nice finale to the saga.
11. Sicko
    If you aren't angry at the American health care system after watching this, then you are either part of the problem or something is seriously wrong with you.
12. No End in Sight
    A good, informative expose on the Keystone Kops-like catastrophe in Iraq. Still, only begins to scratch the surface on the blunders.
13. Disturbia
    Is pretty fun, with some thrilling moments, and LaBeouf is bound to be a big star. That said, it was absolutely sacrilegious to remake Rear Window.
14. Superbad
    Funny, often very funny, entry in the teen sex genre. Better than American Pie.
15. The Simpsons Movie
    I'm pleased to say that's it is definitely not the Worst. Movie Ever. But it also misses the complexity and emotional heights of Classic Simpsons. Plenty funny though.
16. Grindhouse
    Both halves are simply too long, but both serve their purpose of providing a good time.

¡No malo!
17. Paris, je t'aime
    A couple misses, but mostly fun little hodgepodge of short stories centered around Paris.
18. Shooter
    I like Mark Wahlberg. It's just another random action movie though.
19. Ocean's Thirteen
    It's a pretty fun ride, but nowhere near the charm or creativity of the original.
20. Alpha Dog
    The movie really stumbles in the final act. Quite enjoyable overall though, and Timberlake is actually a very promising actor.
21. Music & Lyrics
    It's very hard not to like Hugh Grant. Good, fun pop movie, much better than I was expecting.
22. The Kingdom
    Sort of a poor man's Syriana.
23. Talk to Me
    The story loses its way in the second half, but the actors are all great - particularly Cheadle, who once again proves that he is one of the very best.
24. Mr. Brooks
    It's refreshing to see Costner in a villianous role, and he handles it quite nicely. A decent thriller overall, if a bit uneven in tone and pacing.
25. A Mighty Heart
    Some good performances, particularly Jolie, and manages to be thrilling despite the obvious ending. Though some of the investigative aspects are rushed and rather confusing.
26. Once
    It's a bore at first, but finds its way into a nice, little budding romance musical.
27. Hairspray
    Colorful, kitschy musical is a big step up from hokey teen alternatives like High School Musical.
28. Black Snake Moan
    Better than it should have been, it has enough solid acting and folksy Southernness to make it mostly enjoyable.
29. Breach
    Needed more suspense and sense of intrigue. Good performances though.
30. 28 Weeks Later
    A different, but decent - and often scary - followup to the original hit, its main weakness is the boring main characters.

¡No es bueno!
31. Transformers
    A typical Bay movie, which is to say: a stupid plot, poorly developed one-sided characters, an annoyingly bad music score, and a few explosive moments to make it a little fun.
32. The Invisible
    The ending is unfulfilling and there are a few plot holes, but before that it's a solid teen supernatural thriller.
33. 300
    Visually exciting, but the plot is so thin it could have been a 15-minute short story.
34. Bug
    Prepared to be extremely disapointed if you were expecting a thriller or horror movie. But, it's not bad as a creepy psychological drama.
35. Spider-Man 3
    Evil Peter Parker is indeed as bad as you've heard it is, but much of the rest of the movie falls flat as well.
36. Smokin' Aces
    An attempt to capture the magic of 90s movies like Pulp Fiction or The Usual Suspects, instead we get a broken plot with a dizzying array of characters.
37. Live Free or Die Hard
    Has little of the tension, excitement, or thrills of the original.
38. Vacancy
    Its moments of being a tense little thriller are marred by unlikeable characters and some hair-pulling stupidity.
39. Shrek the Third
    An unoriginal, mish-mash of a movie is interupted by a couple humorous moments and a few scenes of some really nice animation.
40. Halloween
    A few notable scenes, but otherwise an unnecessary, disappointing, and flat remake of a horror classic.
41. 1408
    When it works, 1408 is Shining-esque. When it doesn't, it is bad c-list horror.
42. Fracture
    "Thriller" with a mediocre plot, bad dialogue, and anticlamactic finish is propped up just slightly above TV movie because of the two leads.
43. Next
    The next time someone suggests watching this trite, poorly written movie say "No!"
44. Astronaut Farmer
    Instead of a heart-warming family comedy/drama, we get a disappointing, inexplicable movie filled with plot-holes galore.
45. Premonition
    Pretzel logic is rarely a good thing.
46. Ghost Rider
    Ho-hum, yadda yadda. Not everything makes a good movie, Marvel.

¡Es terrible!
47. Hannibal Rising
    Let's just forget this happened. Though not technically bad, it's not scary, thrilling, dramatic, or even interesting in any way.
48. Dead Silence
    The plot had potential, but this is pretty dull for a "horror" movie. I'm really surprised it wasn't straight-to-video or cable.
49. Wild Hogs
    It's a complete embarrassment for everyone involved. Not funny or fun in any way.
50. The Number 23
    Reaches new lows for absurdly idiotic and stupid plots. It's a complete failure of a story.



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Thursday, May 28, 2020
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