MOVIE Madness

"to see or not to see..." - ddewey

At the end of June of the year 2001, I decided to buy a DVD player. I'm not sure why, since I hadn't watched a dozen movies in the prior dozen years!!   (Haven't seen any since then either! 12/2003 aed )

To test this player while it still had a warranty, it was off to Blockbuster to rent some movie DVDs. The table below shows how the summer went - 83 movies viewed during July and August, and ending at 114 in October. (BTW, the player's a Panasonic, and it's working fine!) Here's the list, with "expert" ratings and comments.   ;-)

The legend:  (+) Would see it again   (o) OK, a neutral rating   (-) Negative, wouldn't recommend

Movie Title
AD's Cryptic Comments
15 Minutes Action-Drama + + I liked it, but too much graphic violence.
1941 Comedy - - Surely have to be in the mood.
A Civil Action Drama o o So-so.
A Knight's Tale Adventure/Comedy - o Not for my age group...
A Few Good Men Drama + + This is a good one!
Air Force One Action-Drama + + Good drama, but implausible.
Along Came a Spider Suspense-Drama o o Entertaining; many holes in the web however.
American Beauty Make one up.. - - Not my America!
Apocalypse Now Action-Military + - A Vietnam classic.
Apollo 13 Drama + + Dramatic! Some poetic license involved.
Armageddon Action Space - - You could surely skip this one!
Batman (1989) Action + - One of my favorites. Nicholson, Keaton, Basinger.
Best in Show Comedy o - Maybe if I had been in a different mood??
Big Comedy o o Early Hanks. Not really a comedy.
Blackhawk Down Action-Military + nr Very intense... a politician's war :(
Bless the Child Drama - o Not an enjoyable flic.
Boiler Room Drama o - Rough language, but informative.
Cast Away Adventure o + Different - starts to drag.
Chicken Run Comedy + o But have to be in the mood...
Clear and Present Danger Action-Drama + + A Clancy winner!
Close Encounters of the Third Kind SciFi + o Old classic.
Coogans Bluff Action - nr Skip this one.
Crouching Tiger - Hidden Dragon Adventure + + Good action, special effects. Story??
Das Boot Action-Military + o Classic submarine flick.
Die Hard with a Vengeance Action + o Weaker than Die Hard, but OK.
Diplomatic Siege Action-Drama o o Improbable.
Dirty Harry Action +
A must for this genre.
Double Jeopardy Suspense-Thriller o o You must first suspend all disbelief, then enjoy.
Driven Action - - Poorly done; a Stallone turkey.
End of Days Supernatural - - The end couldn't come soon enough!
Enemy at the Gates Action-Military + o War is truly Hell. Good flick for a >50 y o male.
Erin Brockovich Drama o + Did it happen that way?? OK flick.
Event Horizon SciFi - - Avoid Horizon... a big ugh!
Fargo Murder Mystery + - I liked it, but graphic violence.
Forest Gump Drama + + One of Hanks' best. Great film!
Frequency Action-Drama + + Good flick.
Gladiator Action-Drama o + OK, but tends to drag on, and on...
Good Morning, Vietnam Drama + + See Vietnam era with Robin Williams.
Good Will Hunting Drama + o Good flick.
Grand Prix Action-Drama + o Classic F1 racing flic; good cameos.
Hannibal Thriller o - Not a Silence of the Lambs! Gory.
High Plains Drifter Western + o Mostly for Eastwood fans.
Iron Giant Children-Animated + o Good family flick.
Kiss the Girls Thriller - - Not an enjoyable film.
LeMans Action-Drama + o McQueen in the Porsche long tail.
Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels Comedy - - Pathetic, no matter what the critics say.
Magnolia Drama - - Rough, disjointed flick... 3 hrs worth!
Manhunter Thriller o - The original from the novel Red Dragon. A pass.
Meet the Parents Comedy - - Forget the parents!!
Memento Murder Mystery + o Interesting due to reverse timeline.
Men of Honor Drama o o Differed from my mil. experience.
Mercury Rising Action-Drama + + Well, I liked it! :)
Mercy Streets Action-Drama - - Good intentions didn't get to the screen.
Miss Congeniality Comedy - + Don't bother.
Net Force Action - + You can miss this one also.
No Way Out Action-Drama + + Good genre flick.
O Brother Where Art Thou Comedy + + An enjoyable movie! Catchy bluegrass songs.
October Sky Drama + + Excellent! Don't miss this.
Once Upon a Time in the West Western + nr My all-time Western favorite.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Drama + nr A Nicholson classic.
Out of Sight Action-Drama - nr Language, violence - not enjoyable.
Patch Adams Drama + + Enjoyed this "based on true story" flick.
Patton Action-Military + o On my all-time "best" list!
Pay It Forward Drama o - Good idea, but not in vogue.
Pulp Fiction Drama - - Not my kind of film.
Raising Arizona Comedy o o Ummm... it's the Coen Bros. in a trailer park.
Rules of Engagement Military Drama + + It was... well... engaging!
Saving Pvt Ryan Action-Military + + War is truly Hell! A must see.
Silence of the Lambs Thriller + o No.1 in genre. A "must see"!
Silverado Western + nr If you like Westerns - don't miss this.
Sleepy Hollow Horror o - "Don't lose your head over this one!" - MJZ :-)
Space Cowboys Action Space o o Nothing much here.
Stir of Echoes Horror-Suspense - - Sixth Sense Wannabe
Super Speedway Action + o IMAX niche race car documentary. (CART)
Talented Mr. Ripley Thriller? - - The assemblage is good; story line loses it.
The Abyss Action-Drama o - Have to be in the mood.
The Body Adventure + + We beat the critics! :)
The Burbs Comedy + o My street! View with a beer on Fri nite.
The Cell Thriller - - An "out-of-your-mind" experience. Forget it.
The Contender Drama - o Left wing ideology : pro-abortion, anti-gun. anti-religion.
The Crew Comedy + + Only if you're over 55. (I can relate!)
The Devils Own Action-Drama + + A fairly well-made suspense film.
The Dish Drama o o An entire film about a dish!! A Sun nite flick :)
The Eiger Sanction Adventure - nr So-so. Can be missed.
The English Patient Romance-drama o o An epic in the older Hollywood manner.
The Family Man Drama o - Class disparity in a dream; long; so-so.
The Fast and the Furious Action - nr Don't know what to say...
The Fugitive Action-drama + o The progenitor of felonious fleeing flicks!! :)
The General's Daughter Murder Mystery + - Strong Travolta role.
The Gift Thriller + + Blanchett "makes" this movie.
The Green Mile Drama + + Lots of emotions here.
The Haunting Supernatural o o OK, but barely.
The Insider Sci-Fi - - Earns my Hollywood "UGH!".
The Jackal Thriller + o Great for engineers!
The Madness of King George Drama + + Well done!
The Matrix SciFi + o Weird! Did I say weird??!
The Mummy SciFi o - You can miss this one..
The Omega Code Drama - - Started fine; got lost along the way.
The Patriot Action-Drama o o Heroes vs. zeros - good guys win!
The Pledge Murder Mystery o o So-so; drags.
The Siege Action-Drama + + Unnerving - NYC terrorism predictor- made in 1998!
The Sixth Sense Supernatural + + Great story; surprise ending.
The Whole Nine Yards Comedy o o Casual viewing - OK.
Thirteen Days Drama + o Good flick, but too much Costner.
Toy Story 2 Children-Animated + o Well done animation!
Traffic Action o o OK flick, but no joy.
Truman Drama + o Life before TV and the net...
U-571 Action-Military o + Improbable, but go along for the ride.
Unbreakable Supernatural o o Ummmm, rent it only
Vertical Limit Action-Drama - - Monotonous. Maybe better on a large screen.
Waiting for Guffman Comedy o o Dèjá vu.
Waking Ned Devine Comedy + - Go with the flow.
What Dreams May Come Supernatural o o Smothering, as in when will it end.
What Lies Beneath Thriller + - Depends on your mood.
What Women Want Comedy - - Bad as a "dumb blonde" joke.

Well, there it is! The special Blockbuster DVD rental plan has ended. While most of the movies listed above were played from DVDs, some of the older films were VHS taped, and several were viewed in the theater.

Many of our film selections were based upon reviews found on the web. The rest were from the recommendations of friends, video store consults, or just a read of the rental box cover itself. (The box ads, by definition, were the least reliable.)

There were some lessons learned from this exercise. Picture and sound quality are generally excellent on DVD, but you'll most likely have to upgrade your audio system to take advantage of the newer forms of audio encoding. Regarding the movie content itself, the entertainment industry, unfortunately, doesn't make very many family films anymore. They also seem to have forgotten how to make a decent comedy, usually substituting crude, crass language, and similar activity under the guise of humor.

Sadly, there are far too many movies offered today which could never be shown in my house to my extended family. This fact notwithstanding, there were some films which were enjoyable at an adult level, as can be seen in our reviews.

When you're done here, you can link back to the contents, or to my home page.

Comments to: alan d
Copyright 2001 AED