Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity

4.5 Stars

This guy is a super talented comedian who can throw his voice like I've never seen before. I didn't realize until watching the extras that he designs and creates his own dummies, too! Seems like a normal middle-aged fellow... until he opens (or doesn't) his mouth. Be prepared for Walter... he steals the show. I just have to say, Jeff Dunham's wife is either a saint or just plain dumb for putting up with him!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


5 Stars

I really really liked this book. I had never heard of Frank McCourt before, but I had heard of "Angela's Ashes", which I have yet to read. "'Tis" is Frank McCourt's memoir. His account of his life from his childhood in Ireland, to his arrival and survival in New York. Throughout his life McCourt seems plagued by his tendency for paranoia and disappointment with his life, and somehow I found this to be comforting and extremely funny. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


4.5 Stars

This could be one of those films for which you have to be in the mood to appreciate the humor, but I personally laughed several times throughout this film. It's absolutely purposefully silly and satarizes Disney to a whole new level (and yet it ends up taking the predictable route and incorporating a Disney ending). Boy, I didn't realize how annoying Disney cartoon characters were until brought into the "real" world. Too ridiculous!

Michael Clayton

4 Stars

How to describe this film? Remember Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts? Well, pretend Michael Clayton is a lawyer (or not?) for the company she went after. This is a flip side of the story, with much bigger twists and turns. It was one of those thrillers that slowly unfolded, hooking you with the, "huh?" factor in the beginning, wondering if you were missing something until they finally would reveal an answer, and then another. Not exactly a believable film, but fun to navigate.

The Man Who Sued God

3 Stars

The concept of this movie was very interesting, but I had a hard time getting past the lack of cinematic oomph, so to speak. If this movie had been made in the 70's or 80's, I could excuse it, but it was made in this decade! OK, so it was an independent film from Australia without a huge budget, but even so, the poor filming and laughable special effects took away from the story for me. But all in all, still worth a rental just to find out how a guy goes about suing God!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We've been enjoying this television series on DVD, originally from HBO. It's great to watch a movie without chase scenes. The author of the book is a great historical writer, and it would be great to see the same team produce some of his other books. The visual performances here are not exactly top-notch, but it doesn't hurt the intelligence of the script, most of which has been culled from historical documents, letters and diaries, as well as newspaper accounts from the day. Definitely worth watching once, the series feels more realistic than many histories I've watched about the 'founding fathers'.

I've read many of these words before, and the verbal acting is really done quite well. I may make myself some audio files from the movie to see if they work better in an mp3 player than on the screen. There are times common phrases we've heard many times from history are filled with humor based upon the sly verbal performances. Both the main character (John Adam) and Benjamin Franklin get a lot of good cracks in. My favorite role here is Abigail, and I would love to see this team work on an off-shoot based upon her diaries, etc. She has some great lines here, as does Thomas Jefferson.

I'm interested in renting more movies/historical dramas like this if anyone knows of any.