Sexy Cineplexy: Reviews

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(directed by William Lustig, 1980)

Maniac is your typical mother-abused-son, then son-became-killer movie, a la Psycho, but set in the mean streets of New York City. Featuring the bloody special effects of Tom Savini (Friday the 13th) and starring Joe Spinell (Rocky, The Godfather) as the killer, Frank Zito, Maniac packs a wallop when it comes to violent serial killer cinema.

The film features several suspenseful, violent deaths of women who unfortunately encounter the lonely character of Frank, who lives in a small apartment, which he shares with female mannequins that wear the clothes and scalps of his victims. Frank is obsessed with his dead mother and thanks to her mistreatment of her little boy, he has lost his mind and he kills to preserve his female victims forever -- probably in hopes of keeping his mother around, psychologically speaking.

Although there's not much going on for Maniac -- Frank Zito is basically the only character we can really get to know -- the film still has a certain charm with its passion and dedication to exploring a dark, twisted man. It's Halloween if you were able to spend some alone time with Michael Myers - get inside his head, hear his thoughts, that kind of thing. I'm a fan of horror films so this was a nice change. I have only seen it once, but the film is thirty years old and I never knew about it until recently. For some reason, it kind of reminds me of Zodiac, either because the murders are sort of similar, or maybe it's just because Maniac and Zodiac rhyme. Maybe a better comparison is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but I feel that Henry and Frank Zito aren't the same people, although their deranged hobbies would draw them both to the same Wednesday night meetup group.

Besides the murder scenes with women, there's a little plot involving Frank dating a photographer (Caroline Munro), whose passion for photographing women attracts Frank, since he's passionate about... well, slaying women. Really, though -- not much is developed between these two characters. One of Caroline Munro's models becomes a target of Frank's and Frank becomes the first murderer I know of who uses the word "fabulous" quite a lot.

There's also a bubble bath growing wildly out of control and a great moment involving a guy's head being blown apart by a rifle.

Maniac is now available on Blu-ray from Blue Underground in a nice 2-disc 30th anniversary set. I bought it blindly but I wasn't disappointed, so if you're ever in the mood to watch suspenseful, bloody scenes of women (and some men) getting stalked and killed, bring Maniac into your home and let the screams begin.

(directed by John Madden, 2005)

Well, it may not be Love and Other Drugs, but I finally saw this Jake Gyllenhaal movie that I've been dying to see. Some people, including Holden Pike, have been on record saying that this is his best movie -- I dunno about that. It is definitely a very good movie, but... this is the most shocking thing about it... I can't believe I'm saying this...

Gwyneth Paltrow STOLE THE SHOW!

And I went into this movie thinking that Gwyneth Paltrow was gonna be the downside to this Gyllenflick.

Catherine is remembering her dead father, imagining that he's with her. For the past several years, she's been taking care of him at their house. There was something wrong with him mentally and he went further and further into madness, trying to come up with a physics proof that will change the world. Catherine, it seems, may have been doing the same.

Jake arrives as one of Anthony Hopkins' favorite students. He is a sexy nerd and he plays drums in a nerd band (drummers are very sexy, by the way). Of course, he and Catherine hit it off since he's been spending a lot of time at her house, going through her dad's notebooks filled with his writings.

Hope Davis arrives in town for Anthony Hopkins' funeral. She is Catherine's sister, Claire -- and I've never hated a character more. I wanted to kill this woman! She almost ruins the movie for me, I swear. She comes in and she tries to take over Catherine's life. I don't wanna give it away, but she's practically trying to break up Catherine and Jake, whose character is named Hal. See? Don't you hate her already?
A relaxing movie.

I did enjoy the movie a lot I am also not a big fan Of Gwynnie but i did like her in this
I didn't find it as relaxing as you, as it felt a lot like work
The things I really liked were the flash backs and the funeral scene I was in her corner.
Thanks for the review again.
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Grown Ups
(directed by Dennis Dugan, 2010)

Just avoid it. I know you won't like it.

When their old basketball coach drops dead, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider, along with their wives and kids, drop everything and go to a little cabin house in the woods so that they can scatter the coach's ashes out in nature. While they're at it, they groan at their kids, who wanna play inside the cabin instead of going outside to enjoy the outdoors. The whole point of the film is to get the kids active and enjoy old fashioned outdoor entertainment.

Along the way, there's a couple of jokes involving odd characters -- a sassy old black woman with an Aretha Franklin Inauguration Day hat, Adam Sandler's fat old wife, Kevin James' wife who still breastfeeds her four year old son, and so on and so on.

The movie isn't the worst film out there and I enjoyed it at times, but it's a head scratcher in that it's just not exciting enough. This is a very tame Adam Sandler movie. There's some odd humor to be enjoyed, but it's too much of a sappy family film. Near the end of the film is when it gets really bad because I lost interest. It just doesn't really go anywhere. Actors here are totally wasted. Salma Hayek agreed to do this?

It's not awful, but it's lacking pizzazz and character. It is a tired Adam Sandler movie. You would think a movie with all of these dodo brained guys like Sandler, James, Spade and Schneider would be a bonanza of wacky humor and outlandish material, but noooooooooooo, they made a family movie that bores kids and adults. It's like Full House with just a touch of an Adam Sandler cold. Very flat and lacking energy -- as dead as the basketball coach that's mourned throughout.

So, I cannot recommend it, but if you're looking for a quirky family feel good movie, give it a shot.

Thanks for the review but not a big Adam Sandler fan
That's sad to hear. Adam Sandler is one of my favorite actors. Grown-Ups wasn't really that great though.

(directed by Joel Schumacher, 1999)

It's a strange feeling when you find out you've been missing out on one of the campiest movies of drag queen cinema ever made. Especially when it stars Robert DeNiro hanging out with flamboyant drag queens. And this movie is twelve years old? And I just now heard about it and saw it? Taxi Driver of my life, where have you been taking me?

Robert DeNiro plays Walt Koontz, a retired security guard who has a past as a New York City hero. He nows lives in a slummy apartment building, next to Busty Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a chubby drag queen who sings loudly with his drag queen friends and also wants a sex change operation. One night, Rusty's friend, Amber, who's been hiding in the apartment building, gets murdered by some thugs looking for money, and when Walt goes to save the day, he has a stroke instead.

Sometime later, Walt gets out of the hospital, cane in hand, a real mess. He goes home and just sits around, refusing to let friends and lovers see him in this condition, until finally his doctor pays a visit and demands he get physical therapy at home. Once therapy finally comes, Walt, who has trouble speaking from the stroke, is told to take singing lessons to improve himself. When he has trouble leaving the apartment to go to a recommended music teacher due to his partial paralysis, he decides to ask for help from a songstress who lives closer by -- Busty Rusty.

What follows is an almost two hour long adventure in the development of a friendship between an odd couple, Rusty and Walt. There's lots of cussing and derogatory words said. Busty asserts her fierce, gay, feminine self and knocks down Walt's attempts at manliness. They become sort of like a couple, but it never strays into the possibility that maybe they'll turn out to be one. Walt has some other ladies in his life, as well - one bad, one not so bad.

There's also more of the plot involving the thugs looking for their money, but even more exciting, there's also plenty of scenes of drag queens fighting with each other!! The film is a bizarre mixture of drama, comedy, action and camp. Only someone like Joel Schumacher (Batman and Robin, The Lost Boys -- both reviewed in Sexy Cineplexy) could pull it off.

Really, though, I had to see it to see Robert DeNiro interact with drag queens. Who would have thought? It is a very gay 90's movie -- over the top, flamboyant, outrageous, appealing. Drag queens be representin'. It's almost better than The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Check it out.

Bright Lights, Big City
(directed by James Bridges, 1988)

Bright Lights, Big City is one of the best films I've watched in awhile. Starring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Swoosie Kurtz, Frances Sternhagen and Phoebe Cates, Bright Lights, Big City is a look at a drug addicted editor/fact checker at a prestigious magazine who has complicated emotions involving his ex-wife and his mother (Dianne Wiest), who died a year before this movie begins.

What a stunning performance by Michael J. Fox as Jamie Conway. Michael is without a doubt one of the best actors of all time. He was perfect for the part of Jamie, really humble yet strong. Everyone did great -- alright, Swoosie Kurtz needed a makeover and Phoebe Cates' mannish hair annoys me -- but it was Michael who really stands out and keeps this movie going.

The movie was not what I expected. I never even knew this movie really existed until just recently. I was expecting it to be all about partying and the night life, but it really isn't. It's actually sort of a family drama, a down to Earth, goin' home yet not goin' home kind of movie. The brother of Michael J. Fox's character (Charlie Schlatter) even makes an appearance. He takes a shower and sadly the camera doesn't film any of it as we've got to watch Michael J. Fox have a flashback with his sick Dianne Wiest mother.

Speaking of sexy guys, what about that manly totem pole of a beast, Kiefer Sutherland? Isn't he just the hottest? I don't normally go for blonde guys, but Kiefer makes it work. If it was 1988, I would be all about Kiefer. He plays Michael J. Fox's drug addicted, suit wearing friend. Doesn't really have much to do in the film except drag Michael to parties.

But, really, this is a great film about a guy who can't come to terms with the death of his mother, the death of his marriage and maybe even the death of his career. There are some bizarre scenes that pop up out of left field -- one involving an alien baby and another involving a ferret. I also like Phoebe Cates, as Michael J. Fox's ex-wife, strutting across the stage at an Oscar de la Renta show as Michael calls out her name, asking, "Why?! Why?! Why?!" and she doesn't even look his way. There's also nosebleeds, contraceptive jelly, old dominatrix bosses, bald women with big earrings, transvestites, stupid old men, bizarre surgical artwork hanging above Michael J. Fox's bed, Phoebe Cates having a panic attack with straws in her nose as she turns into a mannequin and more.

Good stuff.

The Social Network
(directed by David Fincher, 2010)

I don't think The Social Network deserves the Best Picture award at The Oscars this year.

It only really grabbed my attention at the very end of the movie. The rest of the time was really boring. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, seems like one of the biggest douchebags ever. Jesse Eisenberg, who played Mark Zuckerberg in the movie, was annoying, obnoxious and talks way too fast. I could not stand his John Moshitta Jr. (the fast talker from old 1980's commercials) performance. What a terrible choice for the lead actor. Justin Timberlake did a much better job as Sean Parker, the founder of Napster.

I just don't like business movies. I don't like business movies and I don't like court dramas (though, this isn't really a court drama) -- I don't like technical stuff. This was too technical. The movie revolves around Mark Zuckerberg's ability to piss people off -- in particular, his friend and co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield.) Mark makes people unhappy. He makes girls miserable. He loses friends. Yet he gains and gains and gains.

But that's not the problem of the movie. One of the most firey scenes of The Social Network occurs about 90 minutes after it's began -- Eduardo's girlfriend bursts into his apartment while he's asleep, angry that he didn't respond to her 45 text messages, and confused by his Facebook relationship status saying... "single."

Now that's a Facebook movie. Psychos that get enraged over their boyfriends still saying they're "single" on Facebook. She immediately sets fire to his trashcan.

What this movie is:
- Legal problems (way too much of it)
- Girl problems (the nerds are, of course, obsessed with scoring girls)
- Friendship problems (but nothing really exciting until the end of the film)
- Party scenes/alcohol/drugs/loud music

There is a scene in it that I found really, really annoying -- Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker are talking at a club and you can barely hear what they say because the loud music is drowning them out. They made it that realistic. It was hard to hear what they said. It was intentionally very low. Sorry - I didn't care for the artistic touch. Unless it was just my TV with a problem?

The Social Network was just not my cup of tea. It really doesn't deserve Best Picture. This is not David Fincher's best movie. Fight Club (which this movie seems most like, in some odd little way), Zodiac, Benjamin Button, Panic Room, Alien 3, Se7en -- all more engaging than this. This is a chic little movie that's scoring a lot of attention for being about Facebook. Maybe years from now I could appreciate it more, but not today.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Wow! That scene in the restaurant/club was one of the main reasons I thought the movie ruled. The music was enormousloud yet you COULD STILL hear everything being said, I think that is the future of sound editing. I also don't get why nerds or any other "people" in college who want to hit it off with a loved one could possibly be boring. AS far a everything else about this particular movie, which I certainly find to be the best of last year, it's an awesome social satire, not only about people who are into all-encompassing social networking (that's certainly not me; I don't even have a cell phone), but people who believe that they spend hundreds of thousands of their parents' money to get laid. Overall, I just love the film on a totally-cinematic level (cinematography, editing, sound, lighting, etc.), but it's the script which contains about 50 quotable words per minute which completely satirizes the 2000s and crystallizes what many prople I know are doing or trying to do..
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Keep on Rockin in the Free World
Hey, neat that you got a copy of bright lights big city after all.

Was it a rental or a purchase, any extras on the DVD?
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo.

The Private Lives of
Elizabeth and Essex
(directed by Michael Curtiz, 1939)

Dumbstruck is how I feel after watching The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. I don't care if this movie is accurately portraying history, you do not send Errol Flynn to be executed if you love him and he loves you. That's a hot bod right there, you horny old cougar, Queen Elizabeth I. I don't care how much you love England, it won't give you multiple orgasms.

Bette Davis portrays Queen Elizabeth I quite remarkably and much more memorable than Cate Blanchett's version in the two recent Elizabeth films. Here she dresses up in extravagant gowns, yards of pearls, supportasses that would chop your head off, and she plays with fans, rings, tassels and other assorted queenly things. Her performance is loud, bossy, dominating, screeching, maniacal, stern -- kind of like the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. She breaks mirrors, she bitchslaps men, she scolds her slutty bimbo mistresses that sing to her and try to steal her man. She is not to be messed with, for she is constantly changing moods and authority must be hers at all times.

But, we are looking at her private life here -- and the truth is, Bette Davis' Elizabeth I is nothing but a wannabe submissive love starved lady who'd gladly bend down on the floor for Errol Flynn and take it doggie style if only she didn't have a cantakerous royal tooth in her mouth that gave her so much pride. For Elizabeth hates Flynn's character, Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, for his strong ambition to have power and conquer everything, even the throne. But if only Elizabeth would look in the mirror and see that she herself has strong ambition -- an ambition to not give in, to stay stong, to stay powerful, to stay alone.

She almost plays mommy to Essex -- an older female that loves him so much that she really doesn't want him out there fighting in the army. She sends him love letters and he does the same, but there's a problem with their mailing service, you see. He loves her fiery nature, for it reminds him of her father (could Essex secretly be homosexual?) I certainly wouldn't still love somebody if they sent me to death, but Essex does. So why couldn't she give in?

Trust, you see. Trust. It's trust before thrust for Queen Elizabeth I. Apparently, she did stay a virgin all her life. Hey, if she's strong enough to kill her lover because of stupid reasons, who'd wanna hit that? It's like mating with a female praying mantis, a creature that bites the head off her lover during or after erotic encounters.

Never boring, never tiring (although I was already tired going into this movie) but totally bewildering -- The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

I'm not old, you're just 12.
You write the most entertaining reviews on this site. I may not watch the same films that you do, but I love your reviews of them all the same.
"You, me, everyone...we are all made of star stuff." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

Love and Other Drugs
(directed by Edward Zwick, 2010)

This was an odd little movie. Don't get me wrong -- I totally overdosed on Jake Gyllenhaal, my drug of choice. I was on the floor, dying - somebody had to stab a needle into my heart, like Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, so I could get adrenaline and come back to life. But I thought this was an odd little movie. A sweet movie, a romantic movie, a sexy movie, but odd.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Randall. We begin by finding him working his buns off at an electronics store in 1996, selling TV's and things during the opening credits as Spin Doctors' Two Princes plays on the soundtrack (this movie has a great soundtrack, by the way.) He's a ladies man and a total manwhore. OMG. This movie is the Basic Instinct of Jake Gyllenhaal movies. I'm not kidding -- I couldn't believe how sexed up this movie was. Even in the very beginning, Jake is pounding some woman on top of a subwoofer (oh, how I wish it could have been me.) Anyway, because of this little sexual tryst, Jake gets fired from the electronics store and soon he's working for Pfizer, trying to get doctors to sell Zoloft. His favorite doctor he hangs around is played by Hank Azaria, and he's there at the office a lot dropping off samples and talking to the receptionist, played by Judy Greer, whom he also has sex with. I tell ya, I hated seeing this side of Jake Gyllenhaal -- just because I'm jealous and I feel cheated on.

Moving right along... Jake soon meets Anne Hathaway (her character is Maggie Murdock) who is getting examined at the doctor's office. She's a wild and crazy lady (as evidenced by her recent bizarre behavior at the Oscars) and she's quite a lot for Jake to handle -- but, of course, he ends up in her bed, anyway.

And this is where the clothes finally start coming off of Jake. And, OH MY GOD, do they stay off! Sex, Sex, and More Sex. Jake's chiseled body and hard buttocks are on display quite a lot, more than any other film he's been in. I wasn't kidding when I said this was the Basic Instinct of Jake Gyllenhaal movies. Anne Hathaway gets naked a lot, too, for those who care. There's quite a bit of nudity in this movie.

Of course, the big complication in having a relationship with Anne Hathaway's character here is that she has stage one Parkinson's Disease. So, her hands are shaking and stuff. They shake even when Jake Gyllenhaal is on top of her, riding her, and he has to hold down her shaking hands, which aren't just shaking because of how excited she is -- I swear, it's like porn for Michael J. Fox.

OH! OH! OH! Non-porn incest movie lovers, take note: Jake has a fat brother in this movie, played by Josh Gad, whose fat ass you see a bit in this movie, too -- and he's part of one of the funniest, most disturbing scenes. Jake comes home to find his brother masturbating to a sex tape WITH HIS BROTHER IN IT. Now -- I can't blame him -- I want a copy of that Jake Gyllenhaal sex tape myself -- and of course Jake's brother claims he was only watching it for Anne Hathaway naked. But I know better. He wants to see his hot brother getting it on. Oh, and he does this while wearing a Viagra t-shirt. See, Viagra later comes into play in this movie as Pfizer soon releases the drug and Jake starts giving it out.

My final thoughts: Jake Gyllenhaal was absolutely adorable in this movie. If any other actor had played his part, I wouldn't have cared for this movie AT. ALL. This man really does have quite a range. I've never really seen him as a manwhore. He brought a humanity to that kind of character. And he gets naked a lot. He is positively hot, extremely virile, top of his form.

Anne Hathaway was alright. Actually, she was more than alright. I'm allowing her to mess with my man. She really doesn't annoy me, personally. I thought she was a riot in her own way at the Oscars. I'm sorry not everyone saw that (James Franco was a hot mess, though.)

I actually get the feeling that this movie will go down as some kind of cult classic. There is a certain charm going on in this movie that's different than most. It's nostalgic. Being set in the 1990's, it feels like one of those old, corny romantic comedies of the 1990's. But with more sex. It also has a really good soundtrack, like I said earlier. It's also very sweet and romantic. I'm gonna spoil it for ya -- stop reading if you're that sensitive -- it has a happy ending. They stay together. If you're looking for a happy little romantic film with a little edge, this is the one.

It's not really all that funny, though, in my opinion. That bizarre brother character played by Josh Grad was a misstep. That scene where Jake finds him masturbating to a sex tape of himself was out of left field. And the guy looks like John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman. All of the other characters that circle around Jake and Anne aren't very interesting, but Jake and Anne were adorable and made the movie. See it on your next date night.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I think your rating is a tad high, but I agree it was an odd movie. The tonal shifts were a bit much for me. It has a lot of sex, nudity and language for a more mature audience, then it has some American Pie style humour with the brother. Then it becomes a drama and throws a depressing disease at us which makes you feel totally different for the rest of the film.

I liked it, but not enough.

"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

127 Hours
(directed by Danny Boyle, 2010)

So, have you ever been trapped inside a canyon thanks to a big boulder pinning your arm to a rock wall? Aron Ralston (James Franco) has and here is a movie chronicling the 127 hours he spent in a quaint big old canyon that wouldn't let him leave until he cut half of his arm off, Saw movie style.

This is a difficult movie for me to review. On one very big level, this was a fantastic, down to Earth -- very down to Earth -- movie that deals with what happens when man gets too cocky and thinks he's bigger than Nature. Nature likes to test man. Random events like a boulder dislodging and relodging by your arm might occur and test your ability to survive. It's Saw meets the Blue John Canyon in Utah. The ultimate horror movie deals with Nature, the thing we cannot overpower, the thing we have to struggle with and work with, at all times, in order to stay alive and keep going. Destiny is whatever Nature throws our way. Get too assured of yourself and your place in the world and you might meet a bigger foe than you've ever known -- in Aron Ralston's case, it was the boulder, it was the canyon and it might have even been his own mind.

The film begins with him taking off at night to start another adventure out in the canyons. The next day, he meets two young women who are out hiking together. They come upon Aron and he takes them on a thrilling little journey that ends with a little pool party at the bottom of a canyon. The trio parts company, leaving Aron by himself and he soon finds himself trapped in his predicament. He has a water bottle, a video camera, a crappy knife, a rope and not much else. He's stuck and he ain't going nowhere. A raven flies by every morning - only once - and Aron says, "Hey" to it because there's no other creature around to talk to.

Most of the film features jazzy flashbacks and hallucinations, visual and auditory. What could have been a boring 127 hours is sexed up with the Scooby Doo theme song, an old girlfriend or someone that Aron used to know and had issues with and is thinking of again as he's trapped, images of Aron as a child and with his family, and he even plays chat show with himself using the video camera. I dunno -- to me, this kind of stuff helped the movie a lot, but it also diluted it, some. It gets a little too clever and cute with the visuals -- he jabs a knife into his arm, we see an inside point of view of what's happening in that arm. He sticks his lips inside the hole of a bottle, we see (almost rather obscenely looking) a point of view from inside the bottle with just his lips. These little touches, although cool, cheapen the film for me, somewhat. It's the feeling of... too much. It's a great present with too much wrapping paper, too many bows, too much confetti and glitter. I mean, we get to watch him cut half his arm off -- and it's excruciating, y'all -- so the movie just kind of does a little too much. I dunno, I could have done with a little more agony from James Franco, even though I love him. He hosted the Oscars recently and that was more painful than this.

But, 127 Hours is still a fun little movie that touches deeply with the human spirit. Danny Boyle just overdid it a little with his "Jai Ho" Slumdog Millionaire style. Not everything needs a song and dance number. Nature's favorite song is the scream of an anguished human being.

The Fighter
(directed by David O. Russell, 2010)

There's something wrong with The Fighter and Roger Ebert helped me clarify what it is (but don't read his review until you're done with mine). I noticed this during the movie and it really is the biggest problem -- Mark Wahlberg's character, Micky Ward, is a soft-spoken and semi-dull personality. He's no Rocky Balboa/Sylvester Stallone who speaks loud (but not always clear) with that booming voice. Micky Ward/Mark Wahlberg speaks very low and I often had to strain to hear him.

Christian Bale is the real star of this movie (and rightly deserved his Oscar), as Micky's half-brother, Dicky. Micky and Dicky. Cute. I wish my name was Micky and I had a boyfriend named Dicky. Anyway, Christian Bale steals the whole movie as the loud, crazy, cocaine addicted/crackhouse visiting brother that's trained silent (but hardly deadly) Micky how to be a boxer.

Micky has always looked up to Dicky. Back in 1978, Dicky fought Sugar Ray Leonard on HBO and actually won the fight. Ever since then, he's really been a nobody. Micky and Dicky and their icky family (Melissa Leo as the controlling yenta-like mom, all hair and cigarettes, whose performance everyone loves, and yeah it's good, but she was really annoying to me) all live in Lowell, Massachusetts -- not a good place to live, apparently. Nothing there besides drugs and bars.

There's about seven hideous sisters to Micky and Dicky that do nothing but sit around with each other all day, displaying their out of style, 1980's looks - hairspray, hairspray and more hairspray. I swear, this movie is like a trashy, drug infested docudrama version of Rocky, Goodfellas and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I was reminded of Goodfellas a lot for some reason - I think it's the general feel of the whole movie. It has a very realistic, suburban madness quality to it. Then of course it's got a lot of Rocky-imitating scenes and some ridiculous Big Fat Greek Wedding characters (the ugly sisters).

My favorite part takes place in the jail Dicky gets thrown in halfway into the film. Before he went to jail he was being followed around town by an HBO camera crew, apparently filming a documentary about his life and comeback. Turns out they were filming him and the crackhouse down the street he frequents at and it's a documentary about Dicky's crack life. He gathers up the whole prison to watch the documentary and soon gets embarrassed when he realizes what the show is really about. This, of course, leads to tattooed prisoners fighting with each other when Dicky shuts off the TV.

Meanwhile, outside jail, Micky is calling his vicious ex, who has his young daughter, and telling her not to let the daughter watch the documentary, which is showing uncensored footage of her troubled uncle. Too late, she's already sitting comfortably in front of the TV. We see her watching Dicky take a crack hit.

Micky gets a new girlfriend in the movie - Charlene the barmaid - played by Amy Adams. I never really noticed Amy Adams before. I thought she looked like hell at the Oscars. What a horrible outfit. But here she looks a lot better - for a woman - and she plays a strong and likeable character who does battle with Micky's annoying mom and sisters (who, by the way, drive around everywhere together, all tightly fitted, in this old white car).

No nudity from Mark Wahlberg, which is a real shame. Sometimes there's some nice shots of his ass in athletic shorts. He has a sex scene with Amy Adams, but you see nothing and it's not even long, thanks to that annoying mom and those fat, ugly sisters pulling up outside in their car, knocking over trashcans.

So, in short: Dicky (Christian Bale) is the life and blood of the movie. The whole subplot involving his drug addiction was way more interesting than the fighting. They should have called this movie The Crackhead. Mark Wahlberg's Micky is underdeveloped and barely heard. Amy Adams did a good job, but still, eh, whatever. The mom and the sisters were sometimes funny and sometimes you hoped they'd die. See it because it's sweet, precious, quirky and sort of interesting.

Also, I think you see Charlie Sheen inside the crackhouse. Pretty sure I saw him there, right next to Mel Gibson.