A - Movie Reviews

Movie Review Archives
- A -

Almost Famous: The Untitled Bootleg Cut - ***1/2
Almost Famous is a semi-autobiographical account of Cameron Crowe's adventures as a young journalist for Rolling Stone Magazine. This movie gives us an excellent and realistic behind the scenes look at the life of a rock & roll band in 1973. The characters all have so much depth and show us more than just the typical stereo-types and are brought to life wonderfully the actors who play them. This movie really shows just how much the music is loved...by the band, the band-aids, and the fans...the best example of this is when everyone on the bus starts singing Tiny Dancer and all their worries are put aside. There is an excellent assortment of songs from the time, as well as a few good Stillwater originals. I thought the theatrical release of this film was wonderful, but this bootleg version goes a little deeper into the characters and shows even more of what I enjoyed so much about the original road trip.
Rank: #1 in
2000, #1 in 2000s

About Last Night... (1986) - **1/2
A typical 80's romance starring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. They meet during a softball game and we follow them through their relationship. They think they are ready to settle down, but Rob Lowe's character misses his freedom and hanging out with his buddy played by Jim Belushi. We see them in several holiday moments progressing through the relationship. Jim Belushi adds a nice touch of comic relief with his rude and crude character. Nothing really special, but an entertaining enough movie if you want to flash back to the mid-80s.
Rank:
Thanksgiving Scene, New Year's Eve Scene

Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) (1997) - ***1/2
A very intriguing movie. You're never quite sure what's real, but you're so interested in finding out you can't wait for the story to unfold. Abre Los Ojos was remade as Vanilla Sky, which I haven't seen yet. It may have been spoiled a bit as I was aware going in that the reality of what was happening was in question, but not to the point that it took away from the film. I'll have to see how Hollywood and Tom Cruise did with it. Penelope Cruz played Sofia in both movies.
Rank: #7 in
1997

El Abuelo (The Grandfather) (1998) - ***
After a failed search for gold, the grandfather (Fernando Fernán Gómez) returns from America to his Spanish village when his son dies. His intentions are as good as you might guess when the legitimacy of one of his granddaughters is in question. He seems more concerned with finding out the truth, than returning the loving he receives from both of his granddaughters. I really enjoyed his interactions with all the characters in the movie. It showed he does have a good heart, especially when a compadre asks Don Rodrigo to help him commit suicide. Don Rodrigo is a powerful character who is easy to dislike at times, but you can't help but respect him. The cinematography was excellent and really captured the beautiful Spanish countryside.

The Accidental Spy (Te wu mi cheng) (2001) - **1/2
Jackie Chan is at it again. It has plenty of his usual fun action and stunts that entertains us fans. Sometimes the plot is a bit unbelievable as he figures out some near impossible clues with the greatest of ease, but the plot isn't what we watch for...it's to see Jackie kick butt using his typical unusual props to help him with a good bit of humor thrown in. No matter how much I've seen him, I still see him do stuff that I can't believe he does.

Alice's Restuarant (1969) - ***1/2
I remember back in the 80s my Mom rented this movie and from the cover and title I didn't think I'd like it. Not only did I like it, but I now watch it every Thanksgiving season. I've always liked Arlo Guthrie's music and the soundtrack is excellent, featuring the title track which tells this true story. It's quite a fun movie, laced with moments of very serious elements like Woody, Arlo's dad, in the hospital. The scene in the hospital with Arlo and Pete Seeger singing the Car Car song to Woody in the hospital was very heartwarming. The characters are all colorful and enjoyable to watch and very typical of the folk scene in the late 60s, just before I was born.
Rank: #4 in
1969, #1 Thanksgiving Movie

An American Werewolf in London (1981) - ***
I often don't care for movies that mix horror with humor, but this one pulls it off well. A good version of the werewolf legend in which two guys backpacking in England are attacked by a werewolf. David Naughton, the actor from the 80s Dr. Pepper Commercials, plays a guy who becomes a werewolf, having to deal with the changes his body goes through. While watching the movie, I kept trying to place the nurse who befriended him. I looked it up and the actress is Jenny Agutter, who starred in the Australian film, Walkabout (1971). The movie does interject nice bits of dark humor like having his dead friend come to visit him throughout the movie. But don't be lulled into thinking it's not a classic werewolf film, as there are several gruesome scenes of werewolves attacking innocent people.

Angel Eyes (2001) - ***
An unusual, but good, romance about two characters that are brought together twice through violent events. Both have demons haunting them and only together can they help each other get rid of them. A decent story that I really feel is brought to life by the two actors, Jennifer Lopez and James Caviezel. Though pretty predictable, I enjoyed watching the events unfold.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) - ***
A nice blend of screwball comedy and thriller. Many times this combination doesn't work, but Cary Grant is surrounded by a nice cast of secondary characters to keep just the right mix moving along at a quick pace. I think this movie might be slightly overrated, but it's still a very fun ride.
Rank: #5 in
1944, Halloween Scene

Atlantic City (1980) - **1/2
Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon turn in excellent performances, but unfortunately I think they're wasted on a cheesy 80s script. I really enjoyed the scenes the two stars shared, but was turned off by the rest of the movie that seems like a bad TV script. I think this movie succeeds as a romance, but fails slightly due to it's surrounding story. It's not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see this movie.

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) - **1/2
Right on par with the first two movies. Not great in my opinion, but I can't help but laugh throughout the movie. There is enough potty humor to offend most. Lots of cameos and continuations of jokes and characters from the previous movies.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

Home | Movies | Review Archive | © 2005 Andrew Nixon