R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey

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Willard Review


OK
A pallid complexion, stuttered speech pattern, and naturally creepy persona have prevented Crispin Glover from achieving leading man status over the course of his 20-year career. Best known as George McFly from Back to the Future, Glover's main challenge lies in finding the right role for his unmistakable screen presence.

One such role is Willard, an introverted loner who discovers an innate ability to control rats. When the original Willard was released in 1971 with Bruce Davison in the title role, Glover was seven years old and probably horrifying a helpless babysitter. Thirty-two years later, with this remake from director Glen Morgan, the actor finally sinks his teeth into the role of his lifetime.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Review


Terrible
There's a great conversation that goes on in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where a crazed man and a van of hippies awkwardly talk about the difference between the new way of killing cattle and the old, barbaric ways. The new way is painless and more sanitary in general, but it was bad for social matters (layoffs, machinery-over-manpower etc.) but the old way was brutal, unclean and considered inhumane. At the time, this conversation was meant to point out how the '60s counter-culture wanted to help the poor workers but disapproved and actually fought to get rid of the jobs they had. How proper it is that now, 32 years after the original and three years after the original remake, the same argument can be used to discuss what has now become the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

The film begins with the terrifically gruesome birth of none other than Tommy Hewitt, aka Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski). He is born in the dark, dirty floor of an old-style killing floor, and thrown out in the garbage behind the plant. There, he is saved by an elderly woman who brings him home and puts him under the care of his Uncle Charlie (R. Lee Ermey), who later takes on the identity of Sheriff Hoyt, the Texas town's only cop who is disposed of after he calls Tommy "retarded." Time passes and the Hewitt family, at the full swing of the Vietnam War, happens upon two soldiers and their girlfriends. Only one of the girlfriends (Jordana Brewster) stands a chance of surviving the night.

Continue reading: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Review

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Review


Terrible
There's a great conversation that goes on in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where a crazed man and a van of hippies awkwardly talk about the difference between the new way of killing cattle and the old, barbaric ways. The new way is painless and more sanitary in general, but it was bad for social matters (layoffs, machinery-over-manpower etc.) but the old way was brutal, unclean and considered inhumane. At the time, this conversation was meant to point out how the '60s counter-culture wanted to help the poor workers but disapproved and actually fought to get rid of the jobs they had. How proper it is that now, 32 years after the original and three years after the original remake, the same argument can be used to discuss what has now become the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

The film begins with the terrifically gruesome birth of none other than Tommy Hewitt, aka Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski). He is born in the dark, dirty floor of an old-style killing floor, and thrown out in the garbage behind the plant. There, he is saved by an elderly woman who brings him home and puts him under the care of his Uncle Charlie (R. Lee Ermey), who later takes on the identity of Sheriff Hoyt, the Texas town's only cop who is disposed of after he calls Tommy "retarded." Time passes and the Hewitt family, at the full swing of the Vietnam War, happens upon two soldiers and their girlfriends. Only one of the girlfriends (Jordana Brewster) stands a chance of surviving the night.

Continue reading: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Review

Full Metal Jacket Review


Extraordinary
The best movie ever made about the American experience in Vietnam happens to have been filmed by an American expatriate living in Britain. Stanley Kubrick's war masterpiece is split into two parts, and it's the first that is laser-engraved into the psyche of any film fan. R. Lee Ermey has never (and will never) be able to shake the role of the uber-demanding sergeant, and Matthew Modine and Vincent D'Onofrio turn in career-making performances as well. Written tautly to the point where it's impossible to look away, this harrowing look at the war -- and what the experience was like for the troops before they ever set foot on foreign soil -- is unmatched in the genre.

Toy Story 2 Review


Excellent
Previously destined for a straight-to-video release, the Toys are back in the long-awaited sequel to 1995's massively successful Toy Story.

Thank God! Almost as good as the original, Toy Story 2 is an unabashed crowd-pleaser to children and adults. With enough (non-offensive) adult humor and plenty of good-natured kid stuff, this film had our tiny audience in stitches from start to finish.

Continue reading: Toy Story 2 Review

Skipped Parts Review


Terrible
I have been searching for a delicate way to put this, but nothing has come to mind, so here goes: This movie is seriously screwed up.

Skipped Parts, based on a purportedly much-loved book that I've never heard of, tells the unlikely story of a 15-year-old boy (Bug Hall) in the early 1960s, whose trashy mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh, a fright in platinum blonde) encourages him to do whatever he wants. Namely, that involves experimenting with sex, and our buddy Bug does so, frequently, with the local cheerleader (Mischa Barton, the scariest looking young actress in film today, next to Gaby Hoffman). Meanwhile, mom sluts it up with a friendly Indian while the prepubescent teen becomes pregnant during all this boning.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Review


Unbearable
Aren't remakes intended to improve on the films they're honoring? First-time director Marcus Nispel may return audiences to the Lone Star State to recreate the horrific and (not really) "factual" events of August 20, 1973, when five hippies were abducted and tortured by a killer named Leatherface and his inbred family of cannibals. But this flavorless rehash ultimately proves you can't just fire up a power tool, hang an innocent teenager on a meat hook, and call yourself The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The new Massacre hacks away everything different and inventive Tobe Hooper's original film did for the horror genre. Graphic yet pointless, it introduces five teenagers returning from a Mexican vacation who make the fatal mistake of stopping to ask a woman wandering the side of the road if she needs a ride. They assume she's on a bad acid trip, and intend to turn her over to the local authorities. Little do they know that their bad trip has just begun.

Continue reading: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Review

The Apartment Complex Review


OK
Atmospheric non-thriller about a guy driven mad by a Hollywood apartment complex and its nutty residents. Passable flick but hardly memorable.

Saving Silverman Review


Weak
Saving Silverman is a film you pray for. With its hilarious trailer, you beg and plead with the Hollywood Gods that, no, all the funny scenes can't be in the previews -- they had to have saved something for the movie, right? Please make this another sophisticated-yet-subversive comedy like Meet the Parents.

Alas, my prayers were not answered. Saving Silverman is an often-funny farce -- and probably the best comedy we're going to see until the summer -- but it's a poor imitation of some much better movies, desperately longing to be Woody Allen while ending up as Adam Sandler.

Continue reading: Saving Silverman Review

Prefontaine Review


OK
Slightly less-realized than late-to-the-race competitor Without Limits, Prefontaine is still a reasonably good retelling of the life story of Steve Prefontaine, the opinionated and brash distance runner who choked during the Munich Olympics and died in an untimely car crash before he could redeem himself in Montreal in 1976. Prefontaine focuses more on tertiary characters than Limits, some of which are interesting and some of which are not, but really gets annoying for its mock-documentary style. Namely, the actors are "aged" and interviewed in the present day, talking about Pre, complete with subtitles identifying who they are. The problem, of course, is that it's all fake -- and the last thing you want to feel when watching a biography is that you're being lied to.
R. Lee Ermey

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