Greatest 9,331 movies of all times

For the past 9 years (yes, it’s nine, not a typo), Brad Bourland, 58, of Austin, Texas has been rating/reviewing movies. He’s got 9,331 so far, and wants his site readers/visitors to help him complete it to a nice, round 10k. Obsession, hobby, or just another slick marketing ploy? Visit his site, read up on the … hobby

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Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton has done it again – a visual marvel of a film, a pretty close adaptation of a timeless classic book, great performances (although a little too heavy on screen time for Depp and Bonham Carter), and a lovely, rebellious Alice. What more do you need to know in order to run into theaters? It’s in 3D, which actually works.
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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

First of all, kudos to the marketing campaign. This film heavily relies on word of mouth, we got a free screening (packed room, hardly any press, just people who got invites from eventful.com website). The screening was fun, we howled, took home t-shirts, and promised to tell others about it.  The movie is so much more than its title suggests. In fact, one of the many buddy-comedy cliches it breaks (and yes, it is a buddy comedy, elevated to a new level), is its silly title. When one of the characters exclaims (in an attempt to awkwardly explain the title/concept and give 5-second exposition): “this must be some kind of … hot … tub … time … machine”, he does so looking straight at the camera, breaking the fourth wall, and addressing the audience. “Get it? Get it? We’re all in on the joke here”.

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At the Movies is canceled

Disney/ABC is pulling the plug on the popular ‘movie-critics-going-at-each-other’ show in August. It lasted 24 years. As far as I know, At the Movies died when Roger Ebert lost his voice in 2006. Yes, Gene Siskel’s death in 1999 was a big blow to the show, but the two of them have been doing it so long between ’75 and ’99 and knew each other so well that Ebert was able to continue the legacy of intelligent, informed, entertaining arguments about the state of cinema. He had a tough season with rotating guests in ’99-’00 (Kevin Smith and Richard Roeper were my personal favourites). Roeper stuck around for a few seasons as a second chair to Ebert, but the last few years were a big mess. ABC/Disney tried to put in Ben Mankiewicz and Jeffrey Lyons , but  got horrible reception, bad ratings, and people just didn’t like them. Besides, what the hell happened to Roeper? Pushed out?

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Kevin Smith is growing up; Traci Lords is a notorious porn legend; and Seth Rogen is goofy but not funny. These are all undeniable facts, and you can bash your head against the wall trying to object to this reality, or pretend it’s not there. It won’t change the fact that Kevin Smith is growing up; Traci … you get the idea. This movie has many such FACTS going against it – and many would love to see them different, but it’s just not possible. For example, I would love to see a movie where Seth Rogen is truly funny – and despite the best marketing campaigns out there – it just doesn’t happen – he remains a goof in every film. Yes, there is a difference, and I should know. I would also love to see Kevin write material that’s as fresh and sharp as Clerks and Mall Rats – but it’s just not going to happen – been there, done that. It belongs to another decade. So let’s all move on from the fact that another time, in another place, this could have been a much different movie. Perhaps funnier, perhaps more poignant. It’s not going to happen. Let’s enjoy it for what it really is.
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George Carlin RIP – catch TV specials

We knew it was coming, and his last few appearances on TV have been pretty telling. The guy’s been on stage, entertaining us, our parents, our grandparents for decades. That heart can only take so much, you know. How appropriate – heart failure. My guess is George just got tired. And can you blame him – fighting idiocy, and observing the morons who surround him every day. There are no others like you, George. I’m sorry you got tired of all of us. We should have tried harder to be decent beings.
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Sydney Pollack RIP

Sydney Pollack has died or cancer. What a terrible loss – the director of Tootsie, The Way We Were, The Firm, Out of Africa, and so many other films – the kind of movies you never watch just once – he’s no longer with us. He was also a gifted actor, appearing in many memorable scenes from the last couple of decades – Changing Lanes, Michael Clayton, Eyes Wide Shut, The Player, Husbands and Wives.
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Transformers (2007)

Transformers came out on DVD a few weeks ago, and I was reminded that this past summer, this movie fell through the cracks, and the review was never posted. Here’s the movie review, a little brief, but better late than never. Given all the marketing and ego-power that went into this project (Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg) this could easily have been a really big disappointed. Instead, Transformers turned out to be a better movie than our depressed expectations, and a good blockbuster to fill a summer weekend. Of course, now that we’re nearing the holiday season, and the film is out of theaters, perhaps it will make a good gift.
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Juno (2007)

Jason Reitman has another unusual hit on his hands with ‘Juno’. Why unusual? Because his last film, ‘Thank You For Smoking’ was a hilarious, biting satire about the tobacco business. And it’s not an easy task to be satirical and likable about such a topic. Jason got plenty of flak from people who thought he was supporting the tobacco industry. Yes, satire is hard to do these days – people tend to get upset by the face value of it before they ‘get’ the in-between-the-lines message. ‘Juno’ uses sorta the same idea – except completely different. It also deals with a delicate subject with reason, and with understanding. Not really picking sides, but rather exploring the human nature of a finicky situation. This time, the subject is unplanned teen pregnancy, and the approach is somewhat different. No cynicism, no satire. But so much love, and so much diffusing humour that you can’t help but roar with laughter, even though the characters are going through some tough times.
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