Category: "Movies: Don't Watch"

Swimming Pool

January 20th, 2005
Swimming PoolThe life of a mystery writer begins to resemble one of her novels after she meets a provocative young woman with a dangerous past.

For the longest time I have debated whether or not to see this movie. has recommended the movie to me for awhile now, yet I have never been sure upon what those recommendations are based. I finally broke down when the movie was recommended by my barber of all people. Next thing you know, it's queued on my account and off we go.

I had nothing more to go on than the blurb above (if I had more, you'd have more; trust me). With nothing known about the film, I had no expectations going in to watching it. What I discovered was a good movie, do not get me wrong. I have it listed as a "Don't Watch" due to the fact that I am still waiting for something to happen. The movie ended two hours ago and I keep thinking the action is right around the corner. What little happened was entertaining enough, but the movie was slow. I may or may not have had the unrated version, so keep in mind that Swimming Pool was not pure torture.

If it was on purpose that there was so much left unfinished in the film then maybe I have missed the artistic point. I will not go into too much more for fear of ruining the movie if any of you care to see it, but this one left something to be desired. Was I entertained? Yes. Will I see Swimming Pool again? Probably not.

Buy Swimming Pool $9.74

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The Conversation

January 11th, 2005
The ConversationWith Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Teri Garr, Robert Duvall and Harrison Ford. A professional surveillance expert gets too close to a case and finds himself entangled in murder and obsession.

This was a tough one. I think if there was a list of movies you need to be in the right mood for, this would qualify. Maybe it was just my desire to see it for so long that kept me going. I will have to say, however, that I do not think I was in the right mood for The Conversation when I watched it last night. And while we're in the business of honesty, I did not even know what the movie was about. I wanted to see this movie for so long because it was recommended from many sources. A recommendation from one place is great; a recommendation from multiple sources (though rare) is even better. That caused The Conversation to jump a few rungs on my "To Watch" Ladder.

That said, what I did not know to expect was a very creepy 1970s thriller. If you're familiar with this type of movie then these points will not surprise you: this movie freaked me out living alone as I do, and the movie took a long time to get rolling. Was it my desire to see this movie that kept me waiting for the action? Was it my stubborn nature to never walk away from a movie I've started that kept me waiting for the action? Maybe I wasn't as bored as I thought. Whatever the reason, eventually things began to happen and my boredom tapered off.

Gene Hackman plays the surveillance expert and for someone who exposes secrets for a living, he is a paranoid introvert. It was frustrating to watch him in his inability to open up to anyone. On top of making viewers uncomfortable watching him ruin relationships, this left many loose ends. I don't know what was more frustrating, Hackman lashing out at anyone who tried to get close or not having closure on a few things they never tied up at the end.

Overall, I walked away with a positive feeling towards this movie. That was partially due to the fact that I like scary movies, and The Conversation turned out to be pretty scary. I will tell you though, unless you have nearly two hours to devote to a movie that will only bother you at the end, watch something else. I put "Don't Watch" on this one, but I will not be opposed to seeing this again and as strange as it sounds, it might even end up in my collection, especially at that price.

Buy The Conversation $11.24

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Meet the Fockers

January 6th, 2005

The much anticipated Meet the Fockers is out and is bringing down the house in box office revenue. The only thing that I cannot understand is why. The movie's predecessor, Meet the Parents has quickly become a smalltime favorite amongst adults and their older children. How could the movie made to follow be anything short of classic? Well, I will tell you how in one word: plot.

What did Meet the Parents lack? A plot.
What did Meet the Fockers have? A plot.

Therein lies your difference between good and bad in this series. Do not get me wrong, I was laughing hysterically last night....for about 33.33333333% of the movie. It started strong. Writers relied on what had made them successful in the first film and that was off the cuff, quirky humor. Robert DeNiro's strict persona as Jack Byrnes pointing out all of the faults in his to-be son-in-law Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller). I don't think I need to recap Meet the Parents. Odds are, you've seen it.

Though I was excited when I first heard they were going to make Meet the Fockers, previews and commercials told me what I could really expect. It was not for lack of funny moments in the previews, obviously they try to show you the parts you'll want to see, but rather there was some uneasy feeling I had from them. I simply had a sense that this movie would not be good. Call it "movie-watcher intuition". (I do a good job of leaving any expectations at the door on my way into a theater, so I do not think this negative premonition had any affect on my opinion of the film.)

It was a good move bringing in Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand as the Fockers. Before I went to see this I was told that Hoffman nailed his part. I will say that I agree. He was great. My only complaint was that this role had him too similar to his character from one of my favorite movies (CONfidence).

If you have seen the movie, I felt it turned south as the scene changed to the restaurant at which the Fockers were throwing the party for Greg and Pam. It was here that the plot began to emerge from beneath the laughs. Sure there was a giggle or two beyond this point, but they were not nearly as hearty as those prior. I found the end of the movie dragged. They were tying loose ends from two movies. It was at the end of Meet the Fockers that we would see some conflict resolution. Funny is not resolution, funny is the conflict itself.

In Meet the Parents, Jack Byrnes uses his ex-CIA tactics to find out information about Greg and nearly tears his family apart. This same gimmick was used in Meet the Fockers, though this time it was something that was far more serious and this time he came even closer to disbanding the Byrnes family.

Why does a sequel need to follow the same path as it's predecessor? Why can you not make a movie as a continuation of characters and have new situations arise? Maybe it is too risky. Why fix it if it ain't broke? as the saying goes.

Last night I not only met the Fockers, I also met disappointment. Pass on this.

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Little Black Book

September 6th, 2004

So I am actually admitting publicly that I saw "Little Black Book." This is the movie with Brittany Murphy and Ron Livingston.

The good thing is that I have a newfound crush on Brittany Murphy. The bad news is that I actually had to sit through this movie. For roughly twenty minutes this movie wasn't bad. As soon as she begins to actually go through his stuff in digging up his past, the movie makes a drastic turn for the worse and never recovers. This flick could have actually saved itself from being so bad if it ended about 3 minutes sooner than it actually does. It just went too far.

I'm picking the next one...