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KISSman

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About me

I'm someone who is really passionate about the things I like.
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About my collections

I like most movie genres except for War and Westerns. My favorites are Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi and Drama. I enjoy music with a hard edge, but there are a few exceptions that seemingly don't make sense.

Lists

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Horror Favorites (30 items)
Movie list by KISSman
Last updated 8 years, 8 months ago
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Favorite Authors (4 items)
Person list by KISSman
Last updated 8 years, 10 months ago
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Favorite Actors & Actresses (13 items)
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Last updated 8 years, 10 months ago
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My Favorite Albums (25 items)
Music list by KISSman
Last updated 9 years ago
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My Top 10 KISS Albums (10 items)
Music list by KISSman
Published 10 years, 10 months ago



Recent reviews

Awful

Posted : 8 years, 6 months ago on 12 February 2009 08:17 (A review of Deep Rising)

This has to be one of the worst movies I've ever sat through. I couldn't recommend this to anyone. Before I watched it, I read the synopsis on digital cable before watching it and it sounded like it'd be like a winner.

The acting is awful and I'm not even sure why. I've seen some of these people in other movies and they were good in them. The one guy is so annoying that you just keep wishing that he'd get eaten by one of those stupid looking creature things.

Stephen Sommers has to shoulder most -- if not all -- of the blame for this mess. On paper, this movie had a shot of being enjoyable, but the execution was awful. How does this guy keep getting to direct big budget movies??

The creatures looked way too fake and they weren't the least bit interesting. Did I mention the bad acting? It sure wasn't helped by the dreadful dialog these actors were given to say. On top of that, there isn't a single character worth caring about. The main 'hero' guy is too much of a cocky dork to get too like and while Famke Janssen is fun to watch, she doesn't bring anything to the movie besides her looks.

There were probably only two things I liked about the movie... the intro text which sets a spooky mood (which the movie NEVER lives up to) and the final scene on the island. Everything in the middle is a big 'ol suck-fest. Don't waste your time.


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OK Idea, But Not So Good Presentation

Posted : 8 years, 11 months ago on 1 September 2008 07:15 (A review of Babylon A.D.)

I generally like Vin Diesel's movies and I enjoy Sci-Fi, so I was going to see this regardless of what any reviews said. In the end, it felt like it just barely qualified in being worth seeing even with those things working in its favor.

The trailer looked really cool for this movie, but you still had to wonder why it was being dumped/released during the Labor Day weekend. Now I know.

It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't all that good either. I'm not sure if the story ever grabbed me and really never made that much sense to me. I never really cared what happened to any of the characters. It just seems like an underdeveloped movie that could have been better with more content and better direction.

If you like Diesel and dig Sci-Fi movies, you might be OK with it, but even then, don't expect to be amazed by it. Keep your expectations in check (i.e. low).


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Seriously Good

Posted : 9 years, 1 month ago on 19 July 2008 07:56 (A review of The Dark Knight)

"The Dark Knight", as expected, is very good and is considerably better than "Batman Begins".

As we've all already heard, Heath Ledger was great as the Joker. Actually, all 3 of the live-action Jokers have been amazing (Romero, Nicholson and now Ledger). Ledger's is just a bit different than the other two. He's much darker and doesn't audibly sound like the prior editions, but he's amazing in his own right.

It's a little early to say that Ledger deserves the Oscar nod, but if he does get the nomination (I imagine it would be for Best Supporting Actor), I think he lands it in the interrogation room at the station. It's the best, most intense scene in the movie.

Much like Brandon Lee as The Crow, Ledger left us with a defining performance that we'll appreciate and enjoy for many years to come.

While The Joker is certainly a highlight of the film, Harvey Dent is no slouch either. I'm not even a big Aaron Eckhart fan, but he really does a great job in his role as well. For the first half of the film, he's actually the most dominant and interesting character.

"The Dark Knight" reminded me a little of the "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" in that it felt like there were several endings during the film. Unlike LOTR, it wasn't a bad thing. There were several moments where you feel like you might be seeing the resolution to the story only to discover that things aren't as resolved as they seem to be.

Oh, and it's too bad Maggie Gyllenhaal wasn't in the original film; she's soooo much better than Katie Holmes.

Anyhow, The Dark Knight is a winner. Big shock, right?


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Surprisingly Good

Posted : 9 years, 1 month ago on 12 July 2008 10:24 (A review of Hellboy II: The Golden Army)

Much to my surprise, "Hellboy II" was very, very good. I wasn't even a fan of the original movie, but the previews to this one totally sold me.

You can immediately see the "Pan's Labyrinth" influence in some of the new characters. I even think the little fairies from the film can be seen flying around in the Troll Market area. There were also 'tooth fairies' in the film as well, but they weren't the least bit friendly!

I just think the cast of characters and the story was so much better this time around. The addition of Johann Krauss -- a new freaky good guy -- was a really big plus. On top of all that, the fighting scenes were all quite entertaining.

While I'm not a big fan of having a lot of comedy mixed in with my action flicks, the humor in this movie is pretty good. To see Hellboy and Abe (the fish-looking guy) doing a feel-good duet of Barry Manilow's "Can't Smile Without You" is super hilarious.

When I first heard of there being a sequel to "Hellboy", I remember rolling my eyes to the idea. Thankfully, I'm not a closed-minded person or I would have missed out on this very entertaining movie. I guess my point is that even if you weren' all too crazy about the first film, you might still enjoy this one if you are willing to give it a chance.


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Uninvited House Guests Provide A Decent Scare

Posted : 9 years, 2 months ago on 1 June 2008 06:51 (A review of The Strangers)

I thought "The Strangers" was a pretty good horror movie. The three creepy people in it are all, well, creepy. The director does a really nice job of making you feel uneasy everytime these masked people were on camera.

There were several scenes where you would see a masked person in the background unknown to one of the main characters. It's not really a common technique used in a lot of horror movies, but it's quite uncomfortable to watch, but also so very cool!

Unlike most movies in the horror genre, it spent less time trying to scare you with unexpected noises & sudden occurances, and focused more time on making you squirm in your chair with obvious, but unsettling visuals.

It allows you the chance to think, "Oh my god...uh-oh... no... no... nooooo... eek!" instead of trying to make you jump out of you seat with a bunch of sudden out-of-nowhere scares and false alarms.

I didn't feel there were any real surprises in the story so I think, if there was one thing preventing it from being really good, it would be that.

There's nothing here that makes you think that there is a sequel in the works (which always makes for a better movie when they aren't thinking past the task at hand), and even though there really isn't any reason for another, there isn't any reason there couldn't be either. In the horror genre, as long as people might pay to see a sequel, there usually is one.


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Better Than Expected

Posted : 9 years, 4 months ago on 13 April 2008 06:49 (A review of The Ruins)

"The Ruins" is neither a 1 nor a 10. A masterpiece it is not, but it's really not all that bad.

The thing that irks some people is that they want to know why stuff happens. In all honesty, it doesn't really matter here. Whether the characters know why or not, it won't do them any good in this case.

Personally, I sort of enjoy not knowing why. Much like "Cloverfield", the situation is what it is. It doesn't matter how the problem started; it only matters if/how you survive it.

I braced myself for a problematic ending from the get-go due to the reviews that I read before seeing the film. Yes, it's not a perfect ending, but it was not as bad as I expected. It could have been better and it also could have been worse.

Personally, I feel that "The Ruins" was better than the trailer presented it to be. It gave no indication why some girl's skin was crawling and, honestly, I didn't even care why it was. I was up for seeing a horror flick so I gave it a shot.

I'm happy enough with "The Ruins". Generally, it's an entertaining enough film.

If you don't have high expectations, enjoy horror and 90 minutes to kill, this movie might just be a good option for you.


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A Great Movie For A Select Audience

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 28 October 2007 09:12 (A review of In the Valley of Elah)

Make no mistake about it; your view of the Iraq War will likely determine how you feel about this film.

In a word, this film is moving. Few non-documentary films have been so impactual. Personally, this film gave me a renewed compassion for those soldiers who are sent to war.

While this film does have its messages, it's not necessarily beating its chest trying to be an anti-war film. It is much more about the reality of what happens to many soldiers when they come home and the damaging, emotional effects that war has on these people. You often don't hear about the broken homes and forever-changed lives of these folks. This is a film that shines a light on this dark secret that doesn't get splashed on the front pages of newspapers or covered on the cable news networks.

The acting by Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron is nothing short of supurb. They are the heart and soul of this film.

The story is gripping and keeps you guessing until the end. Without giving away anything, I have to say that when you find out what actually happened, it felt a little anti-climatic at first. On the surface, it seemed a bit too simplistic and understated, but that is exactly what ends up blowing your mind once you take a moment to really digest what happened and why it happened.

There is no doubt that the final scene will be jeered by war supporters, but the anti-war crowd will likely feel a raucous applause within themselves. It's probably the single most powerful scene, but also the most divisive scene as well

I truly believe this is a love-it-or-hate-it film. Those against this war will have a hard time watching this movie objectively. Those who oppose this war are really the only folks who will be able to make a proper judgement on the quality of this film.

Me? I think "In The Valley of Elah" is a touching and powerful film that I highly recommend to those who are not war supporters.


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...And The Truth Will NOT Set You Free

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 28 October 2007 09:07 (A review of Rendition)

Simply put, if you agree with the Bush Administration's policy concerning how it handles what it deems as terror 'threats', AVOID THIS FILM. I probably just saved $10 for a ticket or a waste of a Netflix rental.

As for the rest of us...

"Rendition" is not a film about a specific true story, but is a statement about the reality that exists in the world today. It is not a secret that the US operates off-shore prisons where, some claim, that our Constitution does not play any role. What actually goes on in them and how they are operated is where the issue becomes especially murky.

While there are several human struggles in this film, the most glaring is not about people at all. It concerns our Constitutional rights vs. current US policy. The human example of this comes in a moving scene involving Meryl Streep (defender of policy) and Peter Sarsgaard (a Senator's aid who believes that a man's Constitutional rights have been taken from him) go face-to-face in a verbal, threat-based conversation.

The film also shows us how someone could be tortured to the point where they may lose the will to tell the truth in an effort to avoid the continued agony that comes because of it. As a viewer, you watch what this man goes through and ask yourself, "Would I have a breaking point as well? Would telling them what they want to hear just be easier than repeatedly being subjected to unbearable harm?"

I don't believe that one should watch this film and take it as gospel on the subjects that it presents to us. What it should do is encourage us to take a moment to think about and/or read about what is going on right now and consider if our current policy is justified, immoral or something else.

As a film, it is extremely well acted. This has to be my favorite cast since "Little Miss Sunshine". In a completely different role than he had in that film, Alan Arkin shines once again in a limited role as does Meryl Streep. Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon and Peter Sarsgaard all give outstanding performances as well. Much lesser known actors, Omar Metwally and Igal Naor, arguably outshine their more famous castmates and may have delivered the finest performances in this movie.

"Rendition" is a powerful, engaging and thought-provoking film that attempts to shine a light on a subject that gets very little media attention. It attempts to be a wake-up call to its audience and tries to show how easily we could lose the rights that we simply take for granted. "Rendition" also presents its case that we cannot win the hearts and minds of those who hate us by using torture practices that not only ruin any chance future peace, but will only infuriate and embolden extremists.

In my opinion, it would be pretty difficult to check your political views at the door when seeing "Rendition" and view it objectively. While the film's story is fictional, it is shaped and constrained by reality and your current view of today's world & US policies will directly affect how you personally view the story in this movie.


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Sex Doll Romance Makes For Great Dramedy

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 28 October 2007 09:04 (A review of Lars and the Real Girl)

This film has all of the makings for a laugh-out-loud comedy -- but it's just not that kind of film. It's a lot smarter and deeper than what it appears to be.

Not everyone is going to get this film. Some folks are going to go in with the wrong idea of what it's all about.

"Lars and the Real Girl" is about a lonely man who orders a sex doll as his girlfriend -- not for sex -- but for companionship. While shocking at first, Bianca is really a tool for Lars to introduce himself to the world that he has mostly been withdrawn from.

Yes, this film is funny at times -- especially right after Bianca arrives onto the seen (via UPS). The strangeness and uncomfortability of it all is quite humorous. While most of the humor is due to Bianca herself, the silliness begins to wear off as the film digs deeper into the reasons behind Bianca's arrival.

Lars' relationship with Bianca is bizarre, but exists because he struggles with some emotional issues. The one thing that actually came along with Bianca was normality in Lars. He became social, confident, and started to simply feel for the first time in a long time. Bianca was like his security blanket more than anything else. He needed her so he could be more normal. Everyone (sans his brother's wife) failed to notice that Lars was not exactly 'normal' before Bianca came out of her box.

The reaction from the town is what really makes this movie. If how they treated the situation were actually plausable in the real world, it certainly could only happen in a small, close-knit down like the one Lars lived in. The way Bianca became part of the community was quite funny, but more heartwarming than anything else.

Personally, I think this particular aspect of the film is what will make it or break it for people. If you allow yourself to buy into the fact that the town is there to embrace Lars and his situation, you're likely going to enjoy this film. If you can't, you'll probably find it to be silly and unrealistic. However, no one ever claimed it to a docudrama.

"Lars and the Real Girl" is the kind of film you feel inspired to go and tell other people about because it's likely that they've never heard of it. It's just so different than anything else. I feel that it's pretty hard to walk out of this movie not feeling good about it all (as long as you walked into it not expecting a Farley Brothers film).

In short, this is just a really good movie.


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"The Number 23" Adds Up To Being A Medio

Posted : 10 years, 6 months ago on 24 February 2007 07:57 (A review of The Number 23)

Previews looked great for "The Number 23", but it wasn't as good as expected.

It's not terrible, but it's really not as exciting as you might expect it to be. At no point are you really on the edge of your seat or anything.

Jim Carrey is decent in this role, but not so special that a lot of other actors couldn't have stepped in and given basically the same performance.

All and all, I expect some people to feel somewhat disappointed if they were really looking forward to this one.


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Comments

Posted: 1 year, 4 months ago at Mar 24 23:36
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Posted: 8 years, 10 months ago at Sep 30 2:05
Anyone who has met Gene and the Emperor is cool with me.
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thanx 4 the pic. lol. luv it.
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