The things I do to write a stupid Academy Award update.  I woke up early today (that means sometime around noon) and hit two movies in two theaters in two separate cities that were two hours apart.  Both films are up for Academy Awards, and I'm happy to say that I've now seen every movie nominated for an award, outside of Iris.  Impressive, eh?  It's left me flat broke, exhausted and more upset with the Academy than ever before, but, at the same time, it's been fun.  I'd like to thank all my good friends, my family and devoted projectionists across the state of Minnesota for giving me this opportunity, and I'd like to thank the Academy for giving me an excuse to spend the last two months inside a theater, catching up on all the films I missed earlier in the year, when they didn't seem as important.  Finally, I'd like to thank all of the pawn shops across the state for buying about 40% of my DVD collection so I could afford to see all the films the Academy told me were worthy of watching.  Now, onto the reviews, because they're cuing up the music, and insisting that I wrap up my speech and leave the stage . . .

I Am Sam

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 3 I'm not one to suffer sappiness easily.  Well, that's not really true, but as any logger worth his weight in union fees knows, there's only so much sap a man can take.  This film is so predictable, artificial and sugary-sweet, you start becoming embarrassed that you're sitting through the entire thing.  Every moment of this movie is calculated.  Nothing is genuine.  Even the Beatles' songs (all remakes) are cued up at the exact right time with a lyric appropriately fitting the sappy situation at hand.  And my GAWD the product placements.  Never, in any movie, has there been so many fucking ads for corporate crap.  This thing doesn't even try to be subtle with the way the products are placed.  Half the conversations center around Starbucks or Pizza Hut or Payless Shoes, or take place in one of those, or many other assorted corporate facilities.  Now that I've slammed this film sufficiently enough, I'll admit that the acting is okay (although I couldn't decide if Sean Penn was playing a retarded man or playing Dustin Hoffman playing an Autistic Savant), and there are a few funny parts.  It's not worth seeing at the theater, or even worth renting, but if it's on TV some night, well, it still really isn't that worth it.  The two ladies I saw the film with both liked it, so maybe it's just one of those things guys don't get, sort of like Payless Shoes.
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  3

The Royal Tenenbaums, The

The Almighty Sandell's: 1-10 rating (10 being the best): Comments:
The Almighty Alex Sandell 9 This film is nothing like you think it is, unless you've seen it.  I've been wanting to see this for months, but I always thought it looked kind of dorky in the ads, even with the awesome Ramones' song (speaking of which, Joey Ramone's solo CD came out yesterday, and it RULES!).  None of the ads did it justice.  None of the critics did it justice.  I know damn well that I won't do it justice.  This film is deviously clever and understatedly humorous, much like a Kurt Vonnegut novel, but like a Kurt Vonnegut novel, it's nearly impossible to describe what's so clever or humorous about it.  It just is.  The ensemble cast is incredible (for the first time ever, it doesn't seem as though Gwyneth Pawltrow is phoning in her performance), the story is fun, and it's all wrapped up in a wonderful package that is incredibly unique in its familiarity.  That doesn't make any sense, does it?  I told you I couldn't do this movie justice.  You'll just have to go buy a ticket, and see for yourself.  While you're at it, why don't you write the Academy and ask them why they didn't nominate Gene Hackman for his wonderful performance as Royal Tenenbaum?  
The Almighty Matt Sandell N/A N/A
The Almighty Ben Sandell N/A N/A

Overall Rating:  9

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All text is Copyright 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].  I don't know why you'd want to copy other people's opinions in the first place (but that is what made Lord of the Rings a hit), but if you do, for some pathetic reason, you must contact me first, and get my permission!