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Archive for November, 2010

List Watch: Best Schwarzenegger Expressions

“Gggghhhh!” “Uuuhhhaugh?” “Uaauuhhh!”


These classic lines of theatrical dialogue can only come from one of our age’s finest thespians. Sir Ahnuld Schwarzenegger. Criticker user Barthalen has compiled ten of the athlete/actor/politician/living-myth’s best facial expressions into a list, which you can vote on.

This is one of the more popular new lists to come along in awhile, and for good reason! Life offers few pleasures so fun as clicking on raging Arnolds.

DVD Report – November 23rd

A lot of mediocre films precede the Thanksgiving holiday … although honestly, if you’ve just finished gorging yourself on turkey and stuffing, all you really want is to collapse on the couch and put on something mindless. So, The Expendables might just be perfect. Or, if you feel like vomiting out your undigested food, there’s always Julia Roberts acting out a self-help book, in Eat Pray Love.

The ExpendablesAverage Tier 4.16
Barney (Sylvester Stallone) leads a ragtag band of hired guns charged with overthrowing a South American despot, a job no official military unit is willing to touch. But once on the ground, the team learns there’s more to the mission than they were told. Their next move determines whether they survive — or are, indeed, expendable. The Expendables @ Amazon

Eat Pray LoveAverage Tier 3.68
Julia Roberts stars in the adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir about coping with a traumatic divorce. After failing to conceive a child and deciding to reshape her life, Elizabeth (Roberts) travels the world in search of direction. She heads to Italy, India and Indonesia, seeking the perfect pasta, a route to self-enlightenment and the true meaning of faith. Along the way she meets a bevy of odd characters and, possibly, her true love. Eat Pray Love @ Amazon

I’m Still HereAverage Tier 5.15
A documentary on Joaquin Phoenix’s transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper. I’m Still Here @ Amazon

FlippedAverage Tier 5.17
From director Rob Reiner comes a multigenerational family saga about the highs and lows of love. Bryce and Juli first meet as second graders, with Juli having a crush on the uncertain Bryce, and as they mature, it appears their love may blossom. As they wrestle with the problems of adolescence, their parents cope with an assortment of issues of their own. Flipped @ Amazon

JoleneAverage Tier 3.75
A teenage orphan spends ten years traveling cross-country experiencing life, love and heartbreak. Based on E.L. Doctorow’s story, “Jolene: A Life.” Jolene @ Amazon

Add All the Favorite Actors You Want

Back when we introduced the ability to mark your five “favorite” actors, directors and screenwriters, the main reaction was something like: “Great! But I have 15 favorite directors.”

Well, it’s taken us awhile, but you can now mark as favorites however many actors, directors and screenwriters you want. So you people with a lot of love in your heart… go nuts!

In case you were wondering… here are the most-favored filmmakers of the Criticker community:

1. Stanley Kubrick
2. Quentin Tarantino
3. Alfred Hitchcock
4. Martin Scorsese
5. Ingmar Bergman
1. Robert De Niro
2. Johnny Depp
3. Daniel Day-Lewis
4. Al Pacino
5. Jack Nicholson
1. Charlie Kaufman
2. Quentin Tarantino
3. Woody Allen
4. Ethan Coen
5. Joel Coen

DVD Report – November 16th

The only new DVD release in this week’s report not meant for kids is the only one with the words “Kids” in its name. Funny. Unsurprisingly, The Kids Are All Right is also by far the best of the bunch — in a week where not even Shyamalan’s latest travesty, The Last Airbender, is the worst film. That dishonor goes to the Cats & Dogs sequel. Sigh, why must we poison our children’s minds with such junk?

The Last AirbenderAverage Tier 2.58
In a world ravaged by the Fire nation’s aggression toward the peaceful Air, Water and Earth nations, reluctant youth Aang (Noah Ringer) learns that he’s an Avatar — a rare being who can manipulate all four elements and restore peace to the planet. Now Aang must join with his pal Katara (Nicola Peltz) and other allies to fulfill his destiny. M. Night Shyamalan directs this live-action adaptation of the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The Last Airbender @ Amazon

A Christmas CarolAverage Tier 4.51
An animated retelling of Charles Dickens classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. (imdb) A Christmas Carol @ Amazon

The Kids Are All RightAverage Tier 6.77
Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their birth father into their family life. The Kids Are All Right @ Amazon

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty GaloreAverage Tier 1.69
In the age-old battle between cats and dogs, one crazed feline has taken things a paw too far. Kitty Galore, formerly an agent for cat spy organization MEOWS, has gone rogue and hatched a diabolical plan to not only bring her canine enemies to heel, but take down her former kitty comrades and make the world her scratching post… (imdb) Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore @ Amazon

Lottery TicketAverage Tier 3.20
Kevin Carson is a young man living in the projects who has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he’s holding a winning lottery ticket worth $370 million Lottery Ticket @ Amazon

Unstoppable & The Best Films Set on Trains: POLL

I saw a commercial last night for this weekend’s biggest release, saying that Unstoppable is the “most acclaimed action film” in years, or something. Immediately, red flags went up in my mind… such a lofty claim seemed hyperbolic.

Turns out, that advance reviews are indeed good — the Criticker users who’ve been to advance screenings were mostly positive — and its 86% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes is impressive. At the very least, Unstoppable might definitely turn out to be Tony Scott‘s best action film ever. As long as this is on the soundtrack, it’ll win points from me.

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a poll … so how about this one? Which of these is the best train movie? This poll won’t expire, so feel free to check out Unstoppable first!

Best Movie Set on a Train

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Movie Bargains

DVD Report – November 9th

You know why I love the Criticker community? Far, far more of you have seen Antichrist (900 rankings) and Scott Pilgrim (637) than box-office smash Grown-Ups (210). You restore my faith in humanity.

AntichristAverage Tier 6.12
A grieving couple retreats to their cabin ‘Eden’ in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. (imdb) Antichrist @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldAverage Tier 7.80
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes in order to win her heart. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World @ Amazon

Grown UpsAverage Tier 3.40
After their high school basketball coach passes away, five good friends and former teammates reunite for a Fourth of July holiday weekend. (imdb) Grown Ups @ Amazon

Charlie St. CloudAverage Tier 3.16
Ben Sherwood’s intriguing novel is the basis of this ghost story about Charlie (Zac Efron), who is devoted to his brother, Sam, even after Sam’s death. As the caretaker of the cemetery where Sam is buried, Charlie has lots of time to commune with the dead. Sam visits frequently to hang out with Charlie, but when Charlie meets a mysterious young woman (Amanda Crew), he must decide whether to move forward or remain trapped in the past. Charlie St. Cloud @ Amazon

Ramona and BeezusAverage Tier 5.00
Follows the misadventures of young grade schooler Ramona Quimby from Beverly Cleary’s popular children’s book series. Ramona and Beezus @ Amazon

Things to Get Excited About: Tarsem Singh’s Snow White

Tarsem Singh has only directed a couple films, but they’ve been two of the most visually mind-blowing movies to hit theaters in the past decade. While The Cell was interesting, Singh really hit his stride with The Fall, which snapped up cinematography awards and universal plaudits from Criticker users.

And now, he’s signed on to direct Brothers Grimm: Snow White — an adaptation of the well-known fairy tale (in 3D, naturally). I assume this won’t be anything like the Disney version! We can’t wait to see what kind of crazy landscapes Singh dreams up.

To whet your appetite, here’s one of the director’s early works. I hadn’t seen this video in ages, and it still resonates.

DVDs for 1 Dollar