Tuesday, January 26, 2010

REVIEW: Soderbergh’s ‘Che’ and Historical Accuracy

by Humberto Fontova

Well, Soderbergh and Del Toro’s Che was just released on DVD-Blu-ray. As a bonus, the Criterion release contains a behind-the-scenes “Making Che” section, featuring interviews with Soderbergh, Del Toro, the screenwriters, along with audio narration by the film’s chief consultant (except Fidel Castro), author John Lee Anderson.

An obsession among all involved with this monstrosity (271 minutes), we learn, was “historical accuracy.” As a professional duty, last year I sat through this thing. For the sake of this review let’s forget the films’ “omissions,” namely the only success in Che’s life: the mass murder of defenseless men and boys. This being a shoot-em up war movie, we’ll instead focus on the battle scenes and the attendant dialogue.


For starters, the only “guerrilla war” fought in Cuba during the 20th Century was fought, not by Fidel and Che, but against Fidel and Che (more on this shortly.)

After the glorious victory over Batista some of the Castroite “guerrillas” explained the harrowing battlefield exploits (so “expertly” dramatized by Soderbergh) to Paul Bethel who served as U.S. press attaché in Cuba’s U.S. Embassy in 1959. “We had a helluva time, Paul!” laughed one guerrilla’s named William Morgan. “We used a short-wave radio to broadcast the so-called battle. We yelled fake battle commands into the mic while a few of the muchachos shot BARs and pistols into the air for the sound effects. We really whooped it up!”

Another U.S. citizen described to Bethel how he managed to duck the hail of bombs and bullets:

“Che Guevara’s column shuffled right into the U.S. agricultural experimental station in Camaguey where I worked. Guevara asked manager Joe McGuire to have a man take a package to Batista’s military commander in the city. The package contained $100,000 with a note. Guevara’s men moved through the province almost within sight of uninterested Batista troops.”

According to Paul Bethel, the U.S. embassy had been highly skeptical about all the battlefield bloodshed and heroics reported in the New York Times and investigated. They ran down every reliable lead and eyewitness account of what the New York Times called a “bloody civil war with thousands dead in single battles!”

They found that in the Cuban countryside, in those two years of “ferocious” battles, the total casualties on BOTH sides actually ran to 182. New Orleans has an annual murder rate DOUBLE that. The famous “Battle of Santa Clara,” that Soderbergh depicts as a Caribbean Stalingrad, claimed five casualties total–on BOTH sides.

In one scene, amidst the thunder of bombs and hail of bullets, Che laments how the U.S. is intervening on Batista’s side. In fact: at the very time of Che’s lament as depicted in this obsessionally historically ‘accurate” movie, the Batista regime was under a U.S. arms embargo! Batista was subsequently denied exile in the U.S. and banned from even setting foot in the country that “backed” him.


On a visit to Cuba in 2001 for a “scholarly summit” with Fidel and Raul Castro, Robert Reynolds — who served as the CIA’s Caribbean desk’s specialist on the Cuban revolution from 1957-60 — clarified the U.S. diplomatic stance of the time: “Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” he boasted to his beaming hosts.

Reynolds’ colleague Robert Weicha, who served as CIA chief in Santiago, Cuba, (the city nearest the Iwo-Jima-esque exploits depicted in this movie) in the late 1950s, concurred. “Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State were pro-Castro, except ambassador Earl T. Smith.”

U.S. diplomat Weicha’s was a hands-on type of Fidelismo. In the fall of ‘57, Weicha and his subaltern, U.S. Consul Park Wollam, smuggled into Cuba the state-of-the-art transmitters that became Castro and Che’s “Radio Rebelde” From these mics (shown in the movie, right before Che’s “U.S. intervention for Batista” lament!) the Castroites broadcast their “guerrilla victories” island-wide, along with their plans to uplift Cuba into a Caribbean Shangri-La inspired by the principles of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Jefferson.

Now, on to Cuba’s genuine guerrilla war, fought from 1960-66 and–this cannot be repeated often enough– AGAINST the Fidel/Che regime. Farm collectivization was no more voluntary in Cuba than in the Ukraine. And Cuba’s Kulaks had guns, a few at first anyway. Had these rebels gotten a fraction of the aid the Afghan Mujahedeen got, the Viet Cong got – indeed that George Washington’s rebels got from the French – had these Cuban rebels gotten any help, my kids would speak Spanish and Miami’s jukeboxes today would carry Tanya Tucker rather than Gloria Estefan.

Be it known: Che Guevara had a very bloody (and typically cowardly) hand in one of the major anti-insurgency wars on this continent. Eighty percent of these anti-communist guerrillas were executed on the spot upon capture, a Che specialty. For my book I interviewed several of the lucky former rebels who managed to escape the slaughter. “We fought with the fury of cornered beasts,” I titled the chapter, using the phrase one used to describe their desperate freedom fight against the Soviet occupation of Cuba through their proxies Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.


In 1956 when Che linked up with Fidel, Raul, and their Cuban chums in Mexico city, one of them (now in exile) recalls Che dutifully reciting the Stalinist script word for word, railing against the Hungarian freedom-fighters as “Fascists!” and cheering their extermination by Soviet tanks.

In 1962 Che got a chance to do more than cheer from the sidelines. He had a hand in the following: “Cuban militia units commanded by Russian officers employed flame-throwers to burn the palm-thatched cottages in the Escambray countryside. The peasant occupants were accused of feeding the counterrevolutionaries and bandits.” At one point in 1962, one of every 17 Cubans was a political prisoner. Fidel himself admits that they faced 179 bands of “counter-revolutionaries” and “bandits.”

Mass murder was the order in Cuba’s countryside. It was the only way to decimate so many rebels. These country folk went after the Reds with a ferocity that saw Fidel and Che running to their Soviet sugar daddies and tugging their pants in panic. That commie bit about how “a guerrilla swims in the sea which is the people, etc.” fit Cuba’s anti-Fidel and Che rebellion to a T. So in a relocation and concentration campaign that shamed anything the Brits did to the Boers, the gallant Communists ripped hundreds of thousands of Cubans from their ancestral homes and herded them into concentration camps on the opposite side of Cuba. I interview several of these “relocated” families too.

One of these Cuban redneck wives refused to be relocated. After her husband, sons, and a few nephews were murdered by the Gallant Che and his minions, she grabbed a tommy gun herself, rammed in a clip and took to the hills. She became a rebel herself. Cubans know her as La Niña Del Escambray.

For a year she ran rings around the Communist armies sweeping the hills in her pursuit. Finally she ran out of ammo and supplies and the reds rounded her up. Amazingly, she wasn’t executed (Che must have taken that day off.) For years La Niña suffered horribly in Castro’s dungeons, but she lives in Miami today. Seems to me her tragic story makes ideal fodder for Oprah, for all those women’s magazines, for all those butch professorettes of “Women’s Studies,” for a Susan Sarandon or Sandra Bullock role..

Think about it: here’s that favored theme for Hollywood producers – “the feisty woman.” Well, they don’t come much feistier than Zoila Aguila, her real name. Had she been fighting, say, Somoza or Pinochet, you can bet your last penny Hollywood and New York would be ALL OVER her story. Instead she fought the Left’s most picturesque poster boys. So, naturally, nobody’s heard of her.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This is my 5th end of year best films list and once again I am breaking the films down into 5 categories (The best films of the year, the worst films of the year, the surprises of the year, the disappointments of the year and the last is what I like to call my WTF!!! (WTF=Why the Frack was this film made?)

In 2009 we saw a life of love in 4 minutes. We saw grown men go to Las Vegas and get punched by Mike Tyson. We also saw the rebirth of “Star Trek”, the continuation of Harry Potter and we saw an innocent woman stoned to death. We saw a lady rebuild her life with 1920’s jazz and some different Indian Goddess. We also saw a soldier come home after he died to protect his fellow US Marines.

I will include in the reviews when the film will be released in South Korea, if the film hasn't been released here yet. As always, I saw films from all over the world and there will be a few non-English films on these list.

Now for my choices from number 18 to number 1 for the best films of 2009.

18. Whip It

We are shown a girl from a small town town in Texas who quite doesn’t fit in. She is doing these small town Texas beauty pageants that Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) has come to hate. She then finds a new passion that she loves, “Roller Derby”. You then see this shy girl turn into “Babe Ruthless” the new rookie of the Austin Roller Derby League.

What I also liked about the film was the rookie directing of Drew Barrymore. The film never insulted the audience and the pace of the film was never too long at anytime during the film.Please see the film when it plays in SK February, 2010 and I think that you’ll like it.My Review

17. Bakwji or Thirst (South Korean)

The film starts out like any normal film with a priest,Sang-hyun, he is trying to do the Lords work and trying to save some souls along the way. He is given a chance to volunteer for a really unusual project that might help to save more lives but instead it turns him into a vampire, but he is now a priest, who is in love with his friends wife and he wants to nectar on her blood.

What I also liked was first Sang-hyun feels alive and is energized by his insistent bodily desires, but soon he’s afraid to find himself sucking down blood from a former member who, is now in A coma, in the hospital. After attempting to kill himself, by jumping out the window and destroying a car and not his body, he realized that he has the F.I.V and the only cure is by drinking blood.

The film won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. My Review

16-15 City of Life and Death (Chinese: 南京! 南京!; pinyin: Nánjīng! Nánjīng!) John Rabe (Chinese-French-German)

Both of these films deal with The 1937 Nanking Massacre with the Chinese film taking a more complete look at the film while the German one deals with John Rabe's role in trying to save between 200,000 to 400,000 Chinese from being killed by the Japanese Army.

The "John Rabe" film picked up over seven German Film Awards nominations, including Best Film, Best Director , Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (for Steve Buscemi, one of the few times that a Lola nomination has been given to a non-German citizen - Buscemi is American). It won for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design. Lead actor Ulrich Tukur also won the 2009 Bavarian Film Awards for Best Actor.

14. Mary and Max (Australia)- Mary and Max is a 2009 stopmotion claymation feature film directed and written by Adam Elliot. The voice cast included Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Eric Bana. It won Best Animated Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in November 2009.

The film takes place from 1976 to 1994 and tells the story of the unlikely pen-pal friendship that lasts for 18 years between Mary, a chubby lonely 8-year-old girl who lives in Mount Waverley, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and Max, a 44-year-old, severely obese, atheistic Jewish man with Asperger syndrome who lives in New York City. The central focus of the movie is the letters shared between Mary and Max (from the ages of 8 to 26 and 44 to 62, respectively) and the stories behind their life and the lives of people around them.

13. The White Ribbon (German: Das weiße Band) It premiered at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in May 2009 and won the Palme d'Or. This has been followed by positive reviews and several other major awards, including the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film has been selected as Germany's submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.

According to the director Michael Haneke, the film is about "the origin of every type of terrorism, be it of political or religious nature." The film haunted me for days after watching it. I felt like I had seen how the Germans could have followed a mad man. The film was shot in Black and White to give the film create a distancing effect. When you watch the film be sure you try and grasp what is actually going on in this small town.

12. Sita Sings the Blues I read a story about this film and how it had taken a life of it own during 2009. I decided to watch it via YouTube and was quite impressed with it. Please watch the film and enjoy ones life story.

11. District 9. Producer Peter Jackson planned to produce a film adaptation based on the Halo video game franchise with first-time director Neill Blomkamp. Due to lack of financing, the Halo adaptation was placed on hold. Jackson and Blomkamp discussed pursuing alternative projects and eventually chose to produce and direct District 9.

I went into watching this film with very info on it. I knew that it had done good business in the USA when it played in Korea back in October 2009. I was not expecting a great film. I saw an unknown actor, Sharlto Copley, take the main role and turn into memorable one. The film is open for a part 2 and I eagerly await it.

10. The Hangover. I was expect a somewhat funny film, I was not expecting it to be as funny as "Blazing Saddle". The plot follows four friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing and missing the groom, whose wedding is scheduled to occur the next day.

The first few minutes of the film tell you that Doug (Justin Bartha) is about to be married to Tracy (Sasha Barrese). His friends — Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis) — take him to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Tracy's father (Jeffrey Tambor) lends them his car, a vintage Mercedes convertible, for the trip. The four get a villa at Caesars Palace hotel and casino, then sneak onto the roof and toast to the night ahead. The next morning, the three groomsmen wake up in the suite with no memory of the previous night and soon realize that Doug is missing. Clues abound: the suite is in severe disorder, a tiger is in the bathroom, a baby is in the closet, Stu is missing a tooth and has an ATM receipt for $800, one of the suite's mattresses is impaled on a statue outside, Phil is wearing a hospital bracelet, and a valet brings them a stolen police cruiser they dropped off the night before.

Then the film really takes off. Sad to say but, here in South Korea, the film went direct to video. Try and watch the unrated version and next year the sequel will be released.

9. The Blind Side. In my country, the USA, I have seen sports films talk about why men or teams are heroes,Miracle, how they handle trouble,We Are Marshall and some even how they handle the death that will soon become them, as in The Pride of the Yankees.

In this film we are shown a young man, Michael Oher (played by Quinton Aaron) has been in foster care with many foster parents. Every time he is sent to a new foster home, he runs off. But he is given a chance in a private school and is noticed by one of the students mothers, Leigh Anne Tuohy. For some reason, she offers to help Michael and the family soon adopts him. You see how a strong mother figure turns the boy into a first round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens. For her performance, Sandra Bullock won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama.

As of the time of writing this review, the film does not have a Korean release date yet.

8. Up in the Air

I kept reading on other websites that George Clooney had given the acting performance of his life in this film. After seeing this film, I must agree with them.

Mr. Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a man who makes his living traveling to workplaces around the country and conducting employee layoffs for bosses too cowardly to do it themselves. Walter Kirn stated in the film's press notes: "Ryan is like a masseur who comes in and sort of rubs your shoulders while rolling your desk chair into the elevator." Ryan also delivers motivational speeches, using the analogy "What's In Your Backpack?" to extol the virtues of a life free of relationships with people and things. He relishes the comfort of anonymity during his perpetual travels. Ryan's personal goal for his life is to achieve 10 million frequent flyer miles. While traveling, he meets another frequent flyer named Alex (Vera Farmiga) and they begin a casual relationship.

Ryan is called back to his company's offices in Omaha, Nebraska, where he finds out that an ambitious young coworker named Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) is pushing a plan to cut costs by having employees stay grounded and conduct layoffs over the Internet.Ryan argues that Natalie knows nothing about the process of firing people, and his boss (Jason Bateman) assigns him to take Natalie with him on his upcoming travels to show her what it's like.

This is where the film takes you in a direction that you do not expect and made me want to see a part 2 to this film.The subtle dept of Clooney's acting is what really makes this film. As of the time of this review, there is no release date for this movie is Korea.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox. The only reason I even watched this film, was because a fellow teacher told me that really wanted to see it and he was talking very good about it. I had the opportunity to watch it and I could not believe how much I liked it. I was expecting a so-so film. Instead I get a stop-motion film, that really worked for me because I did not believe that it was stop-motion.

With George Clooney and Meryl Streep giving us the 2 main voices in this film,I found their humor making this good film into a great one.

6.Taking Chance Taking Chance is a 2009 historical drama based upon the experiences of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon) escorting the body of a Marine, PFC Chance Phelps (posthumously promoted to LCpl), back to his hometown from the Iraq War.

The film was selected for showing at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and, when a film distributor could not be found, the film was purchased by HBO and it premiered on HBO on February 21, 2009. It was nice to see a film about the War in Iraq, that did not pick a side. It tells you about how a soldier died while protecting his unit and it tells you how his body was given a military escort home.

What I liked about this film was how many people, who never knew this young man, grieved for him. Its a story that needs to be seen by all.

5. The Stoning of Soraya M. I had heard of this book back in 1994 but I had forgotten all about it until I heard that they were going to make this into a film.

The plot is simple, Stranded in a remote Iranian village, Freidoune Sahebjam is approached by Zahra, a woman with a harrowing tale to tell about her niece, Soraya, and the bloody circumstances of her death the day before. Her story attempts to expose a huge conspiracy which accused her of cheating on her husband. Her last and only hope for justice lies in the hands of the journalist who must escape with the story - and his life - in order to communicate the violence to the world.

The film tells the true story of one of the victims of stonings in modern Iran. Soraya M.'s husband Ghorban-Ali was an ambitious man, prone to rage with a lust for power. He wanted a way out of his marriage in order to marry a 14 year old girl but did not want to support two families or return Soraya's dowry. When Soraya began cooking for a friend's widowed husband, he found his excuse: abetted by village authorities, he accused his wife of adultery. She was taken away, buried up to her waist, and then stoned to death.

The stoning scene will be very hard to watch and its aftermath on the village is worth the time it will take you to watch this film.

4. Star Trek

I really went into this film, absolutely, wanting to destroy this film piece by piece. I could not believe that they were going to relaunch one of my all time favorite TV shows and they were not going to include William Shatner (the original James T Kirk) in this new film. I even listed this film as one of my 10 summers, “Do Not See” List. After the film was over, I was so glad that I was wrong about this

By the time Spock was stating the series Motto, I was cheering and I could not believe that they had done “Star Trek” correctly.

Now you must remember one thing, the time line was altered by the Narada. So what we think was Star trek is now another reality of it. Once i saw that I realized that, I was going on one heck of a trip.

I must also now agree that having a prime James Kirk, would have destroyed this film. Please watch the scene where Prime Spock, talks to the younger Kirk, you can see the pain in his eyes knowing that he has seen his old friend die and now he can help the younger one live. Also, the next scene where, we are introduced to Scotty, was a classic with Prime Spock telling Scotty the formula that, Scotty, would later invent.

What was also different was the unwritten love between Uhura and Spock. You could definitively see what Spock’s mother, had been trying to teach him about love.

Leonard Nimoy stated that he actually cried when he saw the scene of Kirk meeting Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. He remembered his old friend, the original McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Nimoy tells America’s TV Guide magazine, “I started crying – and it (scene) still moves me now. I loved D-Kelley, salt of the earth.

I have this film on Blu-Ray and is well worth watching on this format.

3. The Watchmen.

Have you ever seen a film and afterwords, you have no real idea how to explain it to any of your friends? This was my problem with the film after the first showing. I was not a “fanboy” of this series, so I couldn’t openly praise it for being the first true adaption nor could I condemn it for not being like the comic book, since I had not read the book.

What I really liked about this film was the music and how it was used exactly for the scene. I was laughing when certain songs were being played because of their subtle use in the film and after the film was over, I told the people who saw the film with me, why I was laughing at the music.

My advice for this film is this, please remember that the film was set up in an alternative 1985 that did not happen but in this world what you see was reality. A lot of reviews that I had read seem to be stuck on this point and it makes no sense for me. The film is just a movie, no more and no less. Please see it when you can and, if the opportunity comes your way, please see the film in Blu-Ray.

2. Invictus

I knew that this could be a good film, I had no idea that it would be a great one that I would want to get on Blu-Ray as soon as possible.

Invictus is a 2009 biographical drama film based on Nelson Mandela's life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film stars Morgan Freeman as South African President Mandela, and Matt Damon as François Pienaar, the South African Rugby team captain.

My favorite part of the film was the opening when Mandela attempts to tackle the country's largest problems—including crime and unemployment—he attends a game of the Springboks, the country's rugby union team. Blacks in the stadium cheer against their home squad, as the Springboks (their history, players and even their colors) represent prejudice and apartheid in their mind. Knowing that South Africa is set to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup in one year's time, Mandela convinces the South African rugby board to keep the Springbok team, name and colors the same.

He then meets with Springboks captain François Pienaar. Though Mandela never verbalizes his true meaning during their meeting, Pienaar understands the message below the surface: if the Springboks can gain the support of black South Africans and succeed in the upcoming World Cup, the country will be unified and inspired. Mandela also shares with Pienaar that a poem, Invictus, had been inspiring to him during his time in prison, helping him to "stand when all he wanted to do was lie down".

In my live I have seen nations unify over sports, I saw the USA cheer an Ice Hockey team to a gold Medal in 1980. I have seen a divided Germany win the World Cup back in 1974, and people wishing that their country could be unified. I saw that same spirit in this film. port can not solve all of one countries problems but it can unify them, for a brief moment. Please see this film when it arrives in Korea in March, 2010.

I had a hard time deciding between the top 2 films. Both of them worked for me and both of them told a great story. In the end, #1 had a short 45 minute scene that was well displayed on Blu-Ray when I saw it. The "Flynnie" for the best film of 2009 goes to...


To be honest, I really was not expecting much from this film. I knew that it was a Pixar film and that I had liked the small preview of it that I’d seen online. I was thinking that this will be a cute kid’s film that I will never want to see again about a boy an older man and a dog exploring South America. The previews tell you that this will be a light film, when I actually saw it I could not believe the quiet dept that make this small film into an instant classic.

Like I had stated earlier, I really had no hopes for this film. It was going to be a small, light, kids film, that I might like. The film opened up exactly like I thought it would with a goofy boy, wearing explorers goggles, watching his hero on the movie screen and seeing his hero fall from grace and maybe his hero redemption. I kept thinking OK, “So why is this a good film?”

The answer is because what happens next in the movie.

The goody boy meets a crazy girl and they find in each other that they want to both be explorers and that she has already made an adventure book. She has a few pages filled up and she tells him that she will keep the rest of the pages blank until she can go to South America and see a huge waterfall and fill it with stories from her life there. You are also shown that she gives him a grape soda badge and they are both now part of the same club. Then the film takes the step from good film into a great film and what was so awesome, there were no words used so this part will easy play in foreign theaters.

What you are shown for the next 4.5 minutes is that goofy boy, Carl Fredricksen being married to that explorer girl, Ellie. You are silently shown their entire life together and how they both loved each other. You are shown some good times and the bad times, but you are shown one thing, and that is the love that these two people have for each other. Richard Corliss of Time called it “the sweetest, saddest 4½ minutes you’ll ever see on film.”

Director Pete Docter intended for audiences to take a specific point from the film, saying:

“Basically, the message of the film is that the real adventure of life is the relationship we have with other people, and it’s so easy to lose sight of the things we have and the people that are around us until they’re gone. More often than not I don’t really realize how lucky I was to have known someone until they’re either moved or passed away. So if you can kind of wake up a little bit and go, “Wow, I’ve got some really cool stuff around me every day”, then that’s what the movie’s about.”

It was like they made a 3-5 minute version of “The Notebook” and they tell the story without any words, just with love and life that anyone in the audience will be able to follow. When you see that Ellie had died and the love is gone from his eyes, I was realizing that I might be seeing a way better film; than I thought that I was going to see.

Due to those two not being to have any children and that fact that the court has declared him a public disturber and that he must now live in a retirement home. Carl looks at the photo of Ellie and decides to do 1 last adventure, he makes a big balloon out of thousands of small ones and he takes his house up and with him and they are both going to South America.

Now this part of the film will leave a lot to the imagination of the audience and it will, at times be a stretch to believe but, for whatever reason, this part of the film works as we see Carl go on his adventure and now he has a sidekick a boy by the name of Russell, a Wilderness Explorer stowaway on Carl’s flying house. This part of the film I will leave unspoiled because you will have to see it to believe it.

What I thought was a great idea near the end of the film is when Carl finally finds Ellie old Scrapbook and he looks at it and then he discovers that she added a lot of new pages to it and finds her mementos of her life with Carl after they were married, and a final note from her thanking Carl for her adventure and an encouragement for him to go on an adventure of his own. Invigorated by Ellie’s last wish, the man goes into “HERO” mode to save the day.

If we have the best films of the year then, sad to say, we must have the worst films of the year.

The Worst Films of 2009.

Dishonorable Mention.

After Last Season. This film is so bad that the distributors called up the theaters individually and told them to BURN THE PRINTS. Burn the prints. Why? Because it was cheaper than shipping them back. I was not able to get a copy of this film to watch so that why the film is getting a late addition to the list.

20. Terminator Salvation

Of all of the Summer films that were coming out in 2009, this was the one that I was looking forward to the most. After watching it, I wanted to take a terminator and shoot everyone involved in the making of a huge turd of a film.

As one film critic said:

TERMINATOR SALVATION is about accomplishing 3 things.

1st – John Connor has to meet his dad, Kyle Reese and hand him a photograph of his mommy.

2nd – John Connor must become the leader of the resistance.

3rd – John Connor must get his scar.

I knew about all of this and the previews looked great and when I finally got the chance to see the film, I took it and sat down and watched it. After it was over, could no believe that anybody would think that this is was a worthy turning over of the franchise to Director McG.

I was expecting the same Christian Bale, who as Batman was ready to save the city from a madman. In this film, it’s like Bale shows up, yells at a light person and took his paycheck and went home. I never believed him for once as John Connor.

If you actually try and follow this plot, it goes from a maybe believable idea, to the end where you are left thinking, who made this and why the plot holes never really seem to tell a whole story. It looks and felt like a greatest hits album with no heart of its own.

I could write more about how bad this film is but really, what is the point? The film, at the time of the writing of this review, had been considered a disappointment in the US crowd, while the international market has seemed to like T4. (in Korea alone it has sold over 4 million tickets.)

Please do not even waste the time to download this huge disappointment of a film.

19.Sorority Row. The film is a remake of the 1983 slasher film The House on Sorority Row and it should have never been remade. I found every move telegraphed and with nothing new, all it was was murder porn and not really worth a free viewing.

18. Whiteout

Online critics at Zap2it claim, "The film moves like frozen molasses, letting the audience get out ahead of the narrative developments at every turn." I could not agree more with this film description. Please do not waste your time on this film.

17. Next Day Air.

Sam Adams of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review citing the fact that the director could not make up his mind, "whether he wants to make a straight-up crime movie or a tongue-in-cheek riff on the genre, and he lacks the wherewithal to do both at once." He went on to say that the film's plot had enough holes you could drive a delivery truck through.


The film stars Gerard Butler as an unwilling participant in an online game in which participants can control human beings as players. I was hoping that the original idea of this film could carry over into the film. Sad to say the idea was the only original part of this recycled hash.

15. All About Steve

Sandra Bullock has had 2 good films this year "The Blind Side" and "The Proposal". Then this film came out and made me wonder, why anyone associated with this film would ever want to claim it. Jonathan Ross said, "Blink and you'll miss it... I'd blink if I were you."

14. Jennifers Body

A huge miscalculation from writer Diablo Cody and Actress Megan Fox. I have no idea if they were going for a soft core-horror lesbian film or a campy horror comedy. Whatever they were going go, never comes across in this film.

13. Imagine That

Well, either Eddie Murphy has a great film or it's a bad one. With Eddie there seems to be no middle ground. Eddie is trying to go back into family entertainment but if this is it then please go back to bad action films.

12. Taking Woodstock

Taking Woodstock is a 2009 American comedy-drama film about the Woodstock Festival of 1969, directed by Ang Lee. I have no idea why Lee decided to make a Woodstock film without showing anything musically about the 3 day music event. The film just seems to wonder around with no real plot nor idea attached to it.

11. Friday the 13th (2009)

I heard that this was going to be a relaunch of this once classic horror series. in the end all we got was nothing new and killing stupid kids just because the director that it would be awesome. I agree with The New York Post's Kyle Smith, who felt that the director made no attempt to create a movie beyond blood and guts, and even those attempts were "forgettable"

10.Fame (2009)

Roger Ebert stated, "Why bother to remake 'Fame' if you don't have clue about why the 1980 movie was special? Why take a touching experience and make it into a shallow exercise? Why begin with a R-rated look at plausible kids with real problems and tame it into a PG-rated after-school special? Why cast actors who are sometimes too old and experienced to play seniors, let alone freshmen?"

I was complaining to myself the entire time I sat at the CGV while I was watching this horrid remake of a decent 1980 film.

9. Astro Boy

I knew who Astro Boy was, so when I saw the film, I would not be surprised by it. Sad to say, the film surprised me, due to a simple fact. I was expecting a good film and I did not get one. I could not believe how bad this classic Japanese character was misused by in this horrible film.

8. G.I. Joe 1

Dan Jolin of Empire magazine commented that it was "Bond without the style and Team America without the bellylaughs". The Daily Telegraph reviewer said, "The taint of cruddiness extends everywhere in this joyless stinker." James Berardinelli said the characters were "as plastic as the toys that inspired them" and considered Tatum "wooden" and that his character was "more animated in sequences when he is rendered by special effects than when being portrayed by Tatum".Roger Ebert described that "there is never any clear sense in the action of where anything is in relation to anything else"

What is sad is that they have part 2 to this piece of crap in the works.

7. Fast & Furious

Well it is once time again for the new Hollywood film that shows us fast cars, beautiful women, thumping jams and no plot nor sense of reality, what so ever. If this kind of a films makes you want to go to the movies, then please go see the new film “Fast & Furious”

The film is basically a no brainier action film with CGI added to the cars to make the driving more insane. I saw this film with 4 boys and 2 girls, the boys seemed to get it and the girls hated it. If you want to see action in a film then you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for some real acting or anything resembling a real plot, then please pass on this film at all cost.

6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop

How do you know that a comedy film fails? When you do not laugh anytime during the film. I found the entire plot to be inane and the films best part was when the credits were over and there wouldn't be anything more to show.

5. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

IGN gave the film 1.5 stars out of 5, saying "There's better staged and more enjoyable brawls between Peter and the Chicken on Family Guy." The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 4% of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon a sample of 47 and it was ranked 44th in Rotten Tomatoes's 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s. the film was bad but what surprised me but their were films that were worse.

4. Dragonball Evolution

Luke Thompson of E! Online referred to the film as a "surreal mess" that would only make sense to fans of the original series. He questioned the use of a Caucasian in the main role and felt Chow Yun-Fat was "overacting like never before", but did consider it "fun in a train-wreck kind of way" and that while it was never boring it was also never "logical, coherent [or] rational"

A huge mess that I still have no idea why they even made this film. I was very disappointed in Chow Yun-Fat lack of acting in this film.

3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

If you are truly a fan of the comic book “Wolverine”, I will recommend that you pass on this film. Due to the horrible plot, the inane special effects, the horrid acting, the absolutely uneventful tale that this film has to show. I was cringing at the theater while I was watching this junk. The utter misplacement of “Wade Wilson/Deadpool” in this film, is what finally made me despise what I has just wasted my money on. Please pass on this film at all cost.my review.

2. Antichrist

Antichrist is a 2009 horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier, about a couple who, after the death of their child, retreat to a cabin in the woods where they encounter strange and terrifying occurrences.

I have read many reviews praising this film and I have wondered, are they seeing the same film that I watched. I kept wondering what was the director going for in this film, an artsy horror film or a sad tale of sex hurts. I wasn't sure and, to me, the film said the exact same thing.

Now their was one really bad film this year and this is the film that I give my "Flynnie" award to...

1. Stoic

I saw the film about jail, rape and death and couldn't believe that anyone would make a film like this. Will Uwe Boll please for the love of a critics sanity, quit making anymore films. They are not even worth wasting anytime to download.

The 20 most surprising films for 2009.

20. Moon

I really was not expecting much it once I got into this film I was amazed by Sam Rockwell who literally carries this film - mainly because he is basically the only person in the movie. A nice little films that deserves to be seen.

19. Bronson The film follows the life of notorious prisoner Michael Gordon Peterson, who was re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. Its a look at the life of one of England's worst prisoners. It a hard look at a hard man.

18.Mother (South Korea) The film has been selected as South Korea's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. Kim-Hye-ja won Best Performance by an Actress for the film at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The film has a very simple plot with a mother trying to save her son from being wrongly convicted. The film is definitely worth a DVD rental.

17. The Twilight Saga: New Moon

To be honest, I had absolutely no idea of seeing the 2nd film of the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. I then heard that it made about 141 million in the USA during its opening weekend. After I saw the film, I was shocked that I liked it. This film could have been a hue miss but the ladies seem to love this vampire story.

16. Brothers at War A simple documentary in which Jake Rademacher sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The film follows Jake’s experiences as he embeds with his brother Isaac in Iraq as well as other U.S. and Iraqi combat units. Rademacher goes along with secret reconnaissance troops on the Syrian border and into sniper "Hide Sites" in the Sunni Triangle. As Rademacher’s brothers return home, the film shows the toll separation and life-threatening work takes on soldiers’ parents, siblings, wives and children.

15. Cloudy With A Chance of Meetballs

In what could have been the death knell for Sony Animation, they come up with this little quirky film about it raining food. The film took a gamble and it worked. please rent it for you and your family.

14. Adventureland What a great coming-of-age film this sleeper ended up being. The marketing of this film killed any good word of mouth and sad, to say, in Korea, its direct to video here.

13.Take Off 국가대표 (Gook-ga-dae-pyo)(South Korean)

A small Korea film that drew 8.44 million tickets sold about a Korean Ski Jumping team. My students seemed to like the film. It it now available for rent with English subtitles.

12. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

The film received mostly negative reviews. Review aggregation Rotten Tomatoes reports that 21% of 76 critics have given the film a positive review. The film was set up to fail by the critics and the ticket buying public ignored them. At the time of writing this review the film has grossed world wide about 360 million.

11. Haeundae (South Korean)

This was Korea's first attempt at a "Disaster Film". With ticket sales over 10 million ans this film now being the #4 all time Korean film in tickets sold. The film was released straight to DVD in some foreign markets, so you might be able to find a good copy with English Subtitles. When the disaster stats in the film, I thought the director, Yoon Je-kyoon, did a great job showing you that a huge tidal wave was going to strike Busan.

10. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

This films deals with rape, incest and AIDS. Then the film really starts to take off. This will be a very hard film to watch, so if what I stated above bother you then please pass on this film. It has won some Golden Globes and, at the time of this writing, a possible candidate for Best Film of the year by the Academy.

9. Red Cliff 2 (China)

Part 2 of the Asian epic about the Battle of Red Cliff. The film was released in the west as a 143 minute 1 part film unlike the 2 part 280 minute film that was released in most of Asia. Please try and see the film in the 280 minute mark.

8. Zombieland

I have really cared tat much for the "Zombie" genera of films that seem to come out every few years. To me this one was different. It actually had an original idea and they ran with it. i am looking forward to part 2 of this series.

7. The Proposal

From a film that looked like it would be a lightweight, the film has grossed over 300 million word wide and helped make 2009 into a great year for Sandra Bullock.

6. Drag me to Hell

With Director Sam Raimi's return to the Horror film. He once again shows us that a good horror film doesn't need to be the "Torture porn". The end shot of the film is its money shot and make a good film into a great one.


Coraline is a 2009 American stop-motion 3-D horror-fantasy film based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name. This was a huge gamble with the film being a stop motion film, shot in 3D and with the book being one that no boys would read. I had the chance to see it in 3D and to me, it was better than "Avatar" was in 3D.

4. Hannah Montana: The Movie

The critics had a field day destroying this film. The audiences seemed to love it. I have no idea why this show or, for that fact, Miley Cyrus is popular. All I know is that little girls see her as a hero and they love watching her and her show and they followed her to the movie.

3. Ice Age 3

I was thinking for sure that this film would fail and that would be the end of this series. Then something happened. As the film was being shown in foreign markets, the film was being dubbed into the local language with popular stars voicing the characters. The film has made $690.4 million overseas so far and has been a huge hit.

2. Avatar

I still do not like the film but at the time of writing this review the film has made about 1.7 billion dollars world wide. It has been a huge hit in Korea and is now the #6 all time film in tickets sold.

The next film only cost 15,000 to make and has 3 different endings but it has been called the next "Blair Witch" The Flynnie goes to...

1.Paranormal Activity The film has earned over $100 million at the U.S. box office alone, on a reported budget of $15,000. The films ending can really scare you. It looks like part 2 of this story will be released in October 2010.

Now for the Most Disappointing films of 2009

20.Police Adjective Police, Adjective (Romanian: Poliţist, Adjectiv) is a2009 Romanian drama directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. Back in 2006 he directed 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006). I was hoping that this film was going to be a good as his last one. With this film, I felt as thought I was watching paint dry. The pace of the film was that slow and tedious.

19. The Great Buck Howard

With John Malkovich and Tom Hanks in a film together, I guess I was expecting more that the one trick pony in this film. A huge disappointment for all involved in this film.

18. The Invention of Lying

Well i guess this comedy was supposed to be funny. I didn't laugh at it. I only grimaced when the jokes fell flat. I am sure glad that I did not pay any $$ to see this clunker.

17. Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience

The Jonas Brothers are the young, hot, hip act next up on the Disney Channel. They were given a 3D concert film and the film was presented in IMAX and then proceeded to lay an egg. It has made about 21 million world wide and the South Park episode making fun of them was better than this film.

16. The Lovely Bones

This should have been Peter Jackson return to small movies. Instead we are given a film that is hard to follow and has not done well at the box office. The film is rumored to have cost between 65-100 million $ and after seeing the film, I have no idea where the money went, because it sure did not go into the film.

15. The Road

Well this is the latest film in, “The end of the world” series. I really saw nothing new in this format and was wondering why critics were praising this film? I really didn’t feel anything for this film. I can see a good film in here but the film just left me flat. I didn’t really hate this film but I did not leave the theater, wanting to tell the world to see it either. If you like this type of film then please see it at the movie theater. If you do not like this type of film, then you might want to pass on this one.

14. Brothers

Brothers is a 2009 American drama-war film starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film is based on Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish film Brothers.

Well once again Hollywood has made a War film and once again the US Public has rejected it. I never could believe Tobey as a soldier. Hollywood, try and make a film about a hero. It can not do any worse.

13. Nine

I went and saw this film and left the theater thinking that the film was a huge mess. I saw the grace of a mother (played by Sophia Loren) and how empty the film looked whenever she was not on the screen. Compared to her no one else in the film could act and , in my opinion, that really hurt the film.

12. Knowing

I know that Nicholas Cage has $$ and he needs the work, but he just has to be better than what this film showed. If this is the end of the world, then its not going down FIGHTING, IT WILL BE GOING DOWN WITH A REALLY BAD SCRIPT ATTACHED TO IT.

11. All About SteveOn Film 2010 on 12 January 2010, Jonathan Ross said, "Blink and you'll miss it... I'd blink if I were you."I have no idea who green-lite this film but they need ti be fired.

10. A Christmas Carol (2009 film)

Rotten Tomatoes websites general consensus is that "Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman. To me it was a Christmas film with no soul.

9. 2012

For the few who have no idea about why the #2012 is so important in this film this is the answer. The film is inspired by the idea of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar’s current cycle on or around December 21, 2012 (the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice).

To me the main problem with this film is that the film tries to tell us that when the world is in trouble that the world will come together to save humanity but instead we are given a story that the uber rich will only save themselves. To me, the film fails here and only after a horrible speech does humanity even try and save the world.

8. The Brothers Bloom

I had heard a few critics that I like, praise this film, I knew that I had to see it. I was so disappointed. This film was given many good reviews. I kept asking myself, "Did we watch the same film?" I found the film so unoriginal, I guessed every plot twist. I found the film to be a huge bore.

7. Orphan

I read that a few critics liked this horror film, so once again I decided to watch it and once again I was hugely disappointed. The film was a bad rip-off of other bad horror films and this one brought nothing new to the table.

6. Land of the Lost (2009)

The film received a surplus of mostly negative reviews. The Wall Street Journal stated that it "isn't worth the celluloid it's printed on", Entertainment Weekly remarked that "it leaves you feeling splattered", The New York Daily News called it "a high-concept disaster", Christian Science Monitor labeled it "resolutely uninspired", The Hollywood Reporter labeled it "lame", and The Miami Herald commented that "the whole thing feels at least three summers too stale."

I still have no idea why they took a TV show from my childhood and really screwed it up.

5.Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat leaves viewers stranded in an arid, mirthless and humorless comedy. I really tried to laugh at this film. It just wasn't funny.

4. Inglourious Basterds

While I was watching the film, I kept thinking, “What if this film would have been set in the present day and instead of the Nazi’s we are given Al-Qaeda or the Taliban?” This would be a very bold move. Instead we are given the same, tired plot, given that the Nazis were the bogeyman back in 1944. Does Hollywood only consider the past evil men and pretend that the present day evil doesn’t exist?

To me this was the main reason why this film failed for me. Since “Pulp Fiction”, I have asked Tarantino to always give me another great film. I do not mind the reusing of old ideas into something new but with this film, we are given a lot of recycled material, but nothing new and instead of a new classic film, I see a 2+ hour adult, anti-Nazi cartoon.My Review

3.Angels and Demons I really had no idea what to think about this film. I remembered all of the talk about the first film, “The Da Vinci Code” and I wanted to get a better idea of the Catholic faith, so I asked a friend of mine, who is catholic ,to see the film with me and to give me his ideas about the film. After we saw the film, we both agreed that, its a “Popcorn action flick” but not that good of one due too many errors thought the film and some really bad story plots and ideas. My review.

2. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

I really had some huge hops for this film. The idea of a museum actually coming to life at night, just sounded too weird, but it had a great cast and great story and it worked. Sad to say, the 2nd film, this film, fails on every level.

And now its time for the "Flynne" for the most disappointing film of 2009 and it goes to....

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I so wanted to like this film. I went to a digital screen and saw this film twice on opening day. After the second time, I realized that I did not want to see this film again for the rest of the summer.

The sad thing about this movie that I can actually see a great film in this film. This film badly needs a 20-30 minute edit and a lot of the scenes could used a tighter direction. The main idea must have been, Let’s make more robots and let us add a heck of a lot more explosion and let add a hot evil alien female that wants to kill Sam. It was just too much and all of this bloated shots actually took away the heart of the film and just absolutely ruined the film for me.

Some of the viewers are going to have their own issues with Mudflap and Skids, also known as the twins. Some critics have called these 2 racist and compared these 2 to Star Wars infamous “Jar Jar Binks” I will let you, the viewer, make up your own minds about these 2 robots.

The one thing I loved about this film was the showing of the Military as men of honor who believe in what the robots are doing. Watch for the little scene of Prime and Robert Epps, It is a small scene , but the small joke, I got it.

Now for the last part of this years review when I list 25 films that I had to ask "WTF"

I will list these in order from number one to number 20

1. Pink Panther 2 At the movie theater I saw this film at their was a photo of Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau, as I walked out the theater, I looked at the photo and said "We did you no justice today, this film was horrible. It looks like their will be a #3 and with a new Clouseau, Oh Joy.

2. Halloween 2 (2009).

Well I guess Rob Zombie had to make a sequel to his 2007 Halloween film. If this was his best then he needs to stop and never make another. What a joke this film was.

3. 9 (2009)

I sat backed ad watched this film and realized that the cartoon had no heart. It was an 80+ minute mess of a film that never really comes together, not even when it ends. I found it to be a complete waste of time.

4. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

In a hero film, the audience must decide to be a good person or the cheer for the bad guy and when the film lets you cheer for neither, as this one did, you are left with a mess. At the end of this film, I felt that I had lost my $ and was cheated by an inferior product trying to be the 1974 classic film.

If you have seen the original, then please pass on this film at all cost. If you have not seen the original, then this film, is worth at least one viewing to see weather or not, you will like it. My review

5. Law Abiding Citizen

I found myself cheering for Gerald Butler to kill everyone in this film so it would be over. I never believed him nor Jamie Foxx in this film for a moment. That's why this film failed me and many others.

6. Miss March James Berardinelli, an online film critic, wrote about the film, saying, "This is bad. Not bad in a way that it might be fun to see when inebriated. Bad in a way from which only death provides immunity. Forget waterboarding - just show Guantanamo detainees Miss March and they'll say anything." Tom O'Neil, a critic for the Los Angeles Times, questioned as to whether the film could be the worst of 2009. CNN critic Tom Charity declared the film the worst of 2009. Ouch.

7.Year One The film received negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes summarized the consensus as: "Year One is a poorly executed, slapdash comedy in which the talent both in front of and behind the camera never seem to be on the same page. To me the film was a huge mess and a comedy that did nit make me laugh nor did it let me laugh.

8. Fired Up

When the film was released it was screened to very poor reviews and now that its out on DVD, the reviews are still horrible for this film.

9. Public Enemies

Although the film has been praised for its attention to period detail and general accuracy, it takes significant creative license with known facts. This is a reason I hate films like this, I start to count the errors and soon loose interest in the film.

10. Julie and Julia

I never got this film. I found it to be boring and no real idea why the film was made. A lot of people disagree with me on this one. Please rent the film and decide for yourself.

11. Where the Wild Things Are

I remember as a child growing up in West Germany and falling in love reading this book. When I saw the film as an adult, something was missing. What ever magic the book had for me never came across in the film. I was so sad after I saw this film. Once again Hollywood had taken a childhood memory and destroyed it.

12. The Men Who Stare at Goats

I kept telling myself this comedy has to be funny. By the time the film was over I didn't laugh once and couldn't understand why people were laughing at this film.

13.The Soloist Reviewers generally praise the performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, but comment on the film's lack of narrative focus in attempting to tell a convincing or engaging story due to the somewhat "uneven" direction by director Joe Wright. I found the film to be a complete bore and never felt sorry any of the people in this film.

14. Saw 6

Why do I even bother to watch these film? All it has become is a bad torture porn joke with no real horror. What worse is that a #7 is on the way. Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times wrote "But, really, do reformers and victims of callous health insurers really want a guy with a penchant for elaborately constructed death panels of his own to be their advocate? Elsewhere, the usual critiques apply: terrible acting, zero suspense, laughable logic and the promise of another one next year. How can we get this policy canceled?"

15. Dance FlickThe movie's critical reception was generally negative. It received a 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it a "rotten" score. On Metacritic, it got a 40/100 "mixed or average" score, based on 17 critic reviews. All I saw was a parody of a parody of a really bad parody and in the end that is all that it was. A really bad film with nothing to offer.

16. State of Play

State of Play is a 2009 American political thriller. It is a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed six-part British television serial of the same name, which first aired on BBC One in 2003. The plot of the six-hour serial was condensed to fit a two-hour movie format. To me that's what killed this film. I kept thinking, a lot sure seems to be missing from this movie. How could a film have so many good actors be this bad?

17. The Box
Market research firm CinemaScore reported that the film receives very negative feedback. The Box received an F, for which CinemaScore President Ed Mintz blamed the film's ending and was quoted as saying "People really thought this was a stinker". The film horrible ending with a lack of any plot really hurt this film and made me wonder why anyone would want to cast Cameron Diaz ever again.


Amelia has received extremely negative critical reviews Echoing the majority view, Martin Morrow's review on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was very critical of the film labeling it "a dud," declaring: "Hilary Swank may look the spitting image of Earhart in those vintage newsreels, but her performance is more insipid than inspiring. Mira Nair directs as if she were piloting an overloaded plane on an endless runway — the film lumbers along interminably, never achieving takeoff..." and "As the film limps to a close, Amelia has accomplished a feat we didn’t think possible: it has made us indifferent to this real-life heroine’s tragic fate." Most critics decried the inconsistencies and lack of focus in the film; Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote, "The actors don’t make a persuasive fit, despite all their long stares and infernal smiling. ...the movie is a more effective testament to the triumphs of American dentistry than to Earhart or aviation."Ric Gillespie, author of Finding Amelia, wrote that "...Swank, under Nair’s direction, accomplishes the amazing feat of making one of the most complex, passionate, ferociously ambitious, and successful women of the 20th century seem shallow, weepy, and rather dull.

The film was just bad and I agree with all of the critics above.

19 bride Wars

Manohla Dargis of the New York Times called the film "dopey if largely painless". She said that Hathaway's presence meant "that there’s a little acting in it, along with a few human emotions" Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "How bad can a movie be, with Goldilocks Hudson and Cinderella Hathaway? So excruciating that Hudson's sunshine can't warm it and Hathaway's rose redolence can't mask its stink."

Longtime BBC Radio Five critic Mark Kermode was notably harsh toward the film, going so far as to say that he would quit film criticism if Bride Wars did not end up in his list of 10 worst films of 2009. At the end of the year he decided that he would keep his job, as the film finished eighth in his list.

If I was to ever want to get married again and my bride turned into the ultimate "Bridezilla" I think that I would leave her and never go back. This film fails on every level.


Dito Montiel's film has been advertised as the 'Rocky of our generation' Well I love all of the Rocky's (Except for #5)and this crapola of a film was worse than Rocky 5. I saw no heart, no plot and one really boring film.

Well this is the end of my Best and worst films of 2009. Stand by and in a few weeks I will have the best and worst of 2000-2009. Once again, "I see the crap, so you don't have to!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Movie Review: 500 days of Summer.

What if you went after the wrong girl for you, but you thought that she might be the right one for you? If you have tried this before then you might have already seen this film. Not because you have, just because you have already lived through this film.

In this film we are shown 500 days of a girl named “Summer” and a boy named Tom Hansen and we see Tom tries to make love work with a girl, who tells him flat out that you aren't the one for me. The film ends the way that a doomed loved works out and in the ends it leaves the chance of a sequel to this film but using a different girl all together.

I have read many reviews for this film because this film is on a lot of best of 2009 list. I have been trying to look and see what I could have missed in this film. I have read that this is a great film but, as for me, all I saw was a waste of time for a bad love attempt that never should have gone through. I found all of the actors boring and I kept checking my watch to see when the film would end.

Readers, if you agree with my reviews then please pass on this one. If you really hate my reviews then you might want to see this film when it opens here on 21 January 2010.

Grade D-

Author's Note: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.
Movie Review: The Princess and the Frog.

I so wanted to like this film. When I heard that Disney was going back to its’ roots with a 2-D princess tale movie, I was expecting a great cartoon like, "The Lion King". But, in the end all I saw was a huge disappointment of a film.

The film failed me for a few reasons.

1. The Love Story. With Disney films in the past, they could make you believe that a Beast or a simple dog could find love. With this film, I never believed that the frogs were ever in love. Every time they tried to show the heroes in love, I never believed it. To me the film never could recover from this massive failure.

2. The "PC" message. Disney had been criticized by a few people that they have never had an African-American princess as the main star of one of its films. In this attempt to accomplish that, they took out anything that might offend and in the end they did not offend anyone but everyone. I could see a great film here, but by trying not to anger anybody, the film never takes shape and we are left with a "pc" mess that never lives up to its true potential.

3. The Villain: In this film, the villain is Dr. Facilier (voiced by Keith David), a shady New Orleans gent who dabbles in dark arts. In Disney's past films, we have been shown truly evil lions, cats or humans who you would never cheer for. In this film, we are given a joke that never made me fear him. I was treating him as a bad joke and the film never worked as a love story or why you should fear this bogeyman.

The one saving grace about this film was the sidekick. A jazz-loving alligator named Louis (Voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley. Every time he was in the film, I wanted the film to be about him and not what the film was supposed to be about, finding ones true love.

In the end, I liked the film for the alligator only. The rest, I could have done without. Please pass on this film when it arrives in South Korea on 21 January, 2010.

Grade. D

[from trailer]
Princess Tiana: Just one kiss?
Prince Naveen: Just one, unless you beg for more.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Well this is the latest film in, "The end of the world" series. I really saw nothing new in this format and was wondering why critics were praising this film?

The plot is very simple for this film. The world has suffered an unknown apocalypse. All of the plant life and animals have been destroyed. People are now eating each other and the moral compass of humanity no longer exist. We are shown a father and son who are trying to stay alive in this new world.

The film shows that man has become the animal that is lost and will do anything to survive. Some of the film will show you very graphic reminders of this fact. The Korean audience that I saw the film with was covering their eyes and trying not to see hell on Earth.

The film has some great cameos by Robert Duvall, Guy Pierce and Charlize Theron as the Wife, who can not forgive herself for allowing her son to be born into this world and her solution to this problem causes the family to carry this scar for the rest of the film.

I really didn't feel anything for this film. I can see a good film in here but the film just left me flat. I didn't really hate this film but I did not leave the theater, wanting to tell the world to see it either. If you like this type of film then please see it at the movie theater. If you do not like this type of film, then you might want to pass on this one.

During the credits, I heard sounds of "The Man's" past. Happy memories that the viewer must interpret for themselves.

Grade: C

The Man: The clocks stopped at one seventeen one morning. There was a long shear of bright light, then a series of low concussions. Within a year there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting. By day the dead impaled on spikes along the road. I think it's October but I can't be sure. I haven't kept a calender for five years. Each day is more gray than the one before. Each night is darker - beyond darkness. The world gets colder week by week as the world slowly dies. No animals have survived. All the crops are long gone. Someday all the trees in the world will have fallen. The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts and road gangs looking for fuel and food. There has been cannibalism. Cannibalism is the great fear. Mostly I worry about food. Always food. Food and our shoes. Sometimes I tell the boy old stories of courage and justice - difficult as they are to remember. All I know is the child is my warrant and if he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.

When I saw that the film "Whip it" was coming to Korea on January 7th, I thought that this film could be a good one. I had no idea that this film was a great one and that this films deserves to be seen during its opening week in Korea.

The plot of the film is very simple and it fits the style that we liked in the film "Juno" from the star of this film, Ellen Page.

We are shown a girl from a small town town in Texas who quite doesn't fit in. She is doing these small town Texas beauty pageants that Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) has come to hate. She then finds a new passion that she loves, "Roller Derby". You then see this shy girl turn into "Babe Ruthless" the new rookie of the Austin Roller Derby League.

What I also liked about the film was the rookie directing of Drew Barrymore. The film never insulted the audience and the pace of the film was never too long at anytime during the film.Please see the film and I think that you'll like it

Grade A.

Earl Cavender: I like smart girls. That's why I married your mama. Well, that and I knocked her up.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mike adopted Soju the jindo back in April. The poor girl had heartworms and died of a heart attack after 6 months of treatment...

Mike finally felt ready to honour Soju's memory by helping another dog in need. He came to the shelter about 3 weeks ago and adopted the beloved Alpha who was one of the volunteers' favorite.

She is a shy one, and we were worried that she would have trouble adapting, but not at all! I saw them this week and yes, Alpha is scared of other people, but the good part is that she ran right up to Mike for comfort.

Alpha spends every night with Mike on his bed and also after every walk now that there is snow. She is a real princess!

Look at them~
Congratulations again.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The new Walt Disney!

Friday, January 01, 2010

By Bill on December 31st, 2009 at 9:52 pm

No way to treat a Marine Widow III

» by Bill in: U.S. Marines

It’s 16 months since Marine Michael Ferschke died in Iraq. At the time of his death, Michael had a Okinawan born wife named Hotaru. Hotaru, or Hota for short, was pregnant with the couple’s first child when her husband died in Iraq.

Hota has since given birth to a baby boy named Michael Harvey Ferschke III. Mikey as he is known, will turn one-year-old next month.


Michael Harvey III sleeps peacefully under his father’s memorial, Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr.,- February 2009

Not long after her husband died, Hota’s immigration troubles began. She and her husband were married by proxy while Michael was serving in Iraq. Hota was pregnant at the time. Proxy marriages are recognized by the United States military and she and Mikey are receiving survivor benefits.

Except Hota isn’t being given permanent residency status by immigration officials. The reason? A 50-year-old law that required Michael and Hota to consummate the marriage after the ceremony. That Hota had a baby fathered by a dead marine don’t count.

The marriage wasn’t consummated because Michael Ferschke died serving his country and protecting his fellow Marines.

More than 150 Marines, Ferschke’s parents, his widow and infant son gathered in the chapel to remember the 3rd Reconnaissance Marine killed Aug. 10 in Iraq.

The 22-year-old from Maryville, Tenn., was killed during a firefight in Salah ad Din province. He was credited with saving lives by drawing enemy fire to himself when his recon team entered a building where insurgents had holed up.

Now the country he died for is not honoring a fallen Marine’s wish for his wife to raise their son as an American.

Simply outrageous. I’ve written multiple posts on this subject. Click here, here, here, here, and here for more details.

It should seem a simple matter to grant Hota residency status(Mikey Ferschke while born in Okinawa is a United States citizen) but immigration is sticking to the letter of the law. There is even a recent law supposed to protect immigrant relatives of Soldiers and Marines killed in action. But Immigration doesn’t recognize Hota’ as Michael’s immigrant spouse because the marriage wasn’t consummated and therefore not legitimate. Do any of these idiots who refuse Hota residency realize that only because Michael Ferschke died serving his country, that the same country is using that reason for the denial?

I have heard few people who know the story of Hota Ferschke who don’t believe she should be able to raise her son in the country of his fallen father. Most people are actually appalled at what is happening.Ferschke

After the birth of Mikey Ferschke, Hota was granted a tourist visa to come to the United States. Since late February of this year, she has been living with her in-laws in Tennessee.

Hota has an excellent relationship with the Ferschkes. Michael’s parents have welcomed Hota into their home and treat her like a daughter. Don’t forget Michael Ferschke Sr. and Robin Ferschke have also suffered a terrible loss. One that will be made worse by their daughter-in-law needing to take their grandson and leave the United States together.

This year a private bill was presented to Congress. It’s House sponsor is Congressman John Duncan, the representative for the Tennessee congressional district the Ferschkes live in. On the Senate side, Senators Webb from Virginia introduced the bill and both Tennessee Senators are also sponsoring it. Almost six months later, both the House and Senate have done nothing about the bill. Hota’s handful of backers in Congress have worked very hard for her.

It has been known from the time Hota arrived, that she had less than a year to get her immigration status settled. Hota was given a tourist visa to come here, and it was renewed. In Japan she is on a one-year leave from her job at Kadena AB. If she wants to keep that job, she needs to return to Japan in early January. She and Mikey are flying home on January 4th and at this moment nothing can be done to correct the injustice being done to Hota and the Ferschke. Maybe when our lazy Congress and President Obama get off their asses and go back to D.C. to do their work instead of vacationing right now, something will be done for Hota. Nobody knows when that will happen, if ever.

On Sunday Hota wrote at Facebook-

8 more days then I have to leave… ;(

Robin Ferschke replied to a email of mine today-

Hota and Mikey are leaving on Jan. 4th. Nothing has been done to the bill since Senator Webb introduced it on the Senate side. We are very upset that they are leaving. We tried so hard to get them all to understand the time line but I guess with the government they care about other things more. We still need many letters to the Senate and Congressmen. Right now I don’t know anything else to do.

Can’t you feel the pain tin what that mother has written? She lost her son, now she’s losing her daughter-in-law and her grandson.

Note- I’m a Facebook friend of Hota, Robin, and another close friend of the Ferschke family named Irene Cooper. Because of my support for Hota and the Ferschkes and the many blog posts I’ve written, the producers of online military documentaries contacted me last summer. Ultimately I wasn’t interviewed.

Below is the documentary in question. It is called ‘Second Battle‘ It tells Hota’s story and that of another wife of a soldier. The illegal alien spouse in ‘Second Battle’ eventually got her deportation stopped. Hota, a person who tried to legally enter this country for the purpose of raising her United States citizen son, will have to leave. Where is the justice in that?