Entertain Your Brain!
Home | Movies | TV | Music | Books | Video Games | FAQ | Links

Web entertainyourbrain.com

Sign up below to get
the FREE Entertain Your Brain
Weekly Newsletter today!


Powered by

LinkShare  Referral  Prg


November 2005 Reviews

By Shawn McKenzie 01/08/2007

Here are my reviews of the movies that were released in November of 2005 (other than the reviews I have already done from that month.)

Go directly to my reviews of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Jarhead, Rent, Walk the Line, Yours, Mine & Ours, and Zathura.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is now 14, and he is about to start his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Instead of living with the Dursleys, he has been living with Ron Weasley’s (Rupert Grint) family.  As they are preparing to go to the 422nd Quidditch World Cup…where they will see Ron’s idol, Viktor Krum (Stanislav Ianevski), compete…Harry has a nightmare where he sees Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) conspiring with Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), a.k.a. Wormtail, to kill Harry.  They are doing this with another shadowy figure, and unfortunately, a Muggle named Frank Bryce (Eric Sykes) who overheard the conversation is killed.  Harry heads off with Ron, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron’s twin brothers Fred (James Phelps) and George (Oliver Phelps), Ron’s sister Ginny (Bonnie Wright), and Ron’s dad Arthur (Mark Williams) to the event, where they meet up with Amos Diggory (Jeff Rawle) and his son, seventh year student Cedric (Robert Pattinson.)  With the exception of running into the nasty Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) and his nasty son Draco (Tom Felton), it is a fun event.  That is until chaos ensues, with the arrival of Voldemort’s Death Eaters, who proceed to attack the Muggle spectators.  They put something called the Dark Mark in the sky, and Harry is accused of putting it there, since his wand was conveniently missing.  Later, in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, Professor Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), along with Ministry of Magic official Barty Crouch Sr. (Roger Lloyd Pack), announce who will be the competitors for the Triwizard Tournament…a dangerous competiton consisting of three events.  Only students 17 or older can submit their name into the Goblet of Fire.  From the school of Durmstrang, headed by headmaster Igor Karkaroff (Pedja Bjelac), the Goblet spits out the name of Krum.  From Beauxbatons Academy in France, headed by headmistress Madame Olympe Maxime (Frances de la Tour), the Goblet spits out the name of Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy.)  Finally, the Goblet spits out the name of Hogwarts’ own Cedric Diggory.  Just when they thought that the Goblet was through, it spits out one more name…Harry Potter.  Even though he is underage (and he hadn’t even put his name in for nomination), he must compete.  From that point on, Harry has to deal with Ron’s jealousy, an irritating reporter from the Daily Prophet named Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson), and his inability to get up the nerves to ask Ravenclaw student Cho Chang (Katie Leung) to the annual Yule Ball.  Maggie Smith returns as Hogwarts’ headmistress Minerva McGonagall, Alan Rickman as the Professor of Potions Severus Snape, Gary Oldman as Harry’s godfather Sirius Black, and Robbie Coltrane as groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid.  Joining the cast is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Alastor “Mad­Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleeson), whom Dumbledore assigns to watch over Harry during the tournament.  It is the first movie in the franchise to be directed by a British director (Mike Newell) and it is the first one to be rated PG-13.  It’s a darker and more mature movie than the previous ones…though I honestly didn’t think that it was any darker than 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I’ve also heard that some fans of the book were disappointed that they left out several subplots.  Originally, the producers wanted to split it up into two parts and release it several months apart (a la the Kill Bill movies or the last two Matrix movies), but Newell, using Steven Kloves’ screenplay, excised those subplots in favor of a tighter, shorter story.  Remember…Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling gave her approval, so she would be the one you should be mad at for it.  Having never read any of the books myself, I liked the movie.  I found the story interesting…especially when it dealt with adult topics…like puppy love and tragedy.  I look foreword to the next three movies and seeing what happens to the characters as they grow up.


Buy these items at

Jarhead Review

LCpl. Anthony “Swoff” Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a young man who enlisted in the Marines in 1989.  He goes through a brutal regiment of basic training at Camp Pendleton in California (reminiscent of the basic training scene of 1987’s Full Metal Jacket), where he meets his fellow MarinesCpl. Alan Troy (Peter Sarsgaard) quickly becomes one of Swoff’s best friends.  The other Marines he meets are LCpl. Chris Kruger (Lucas Black), PFC Dave Fowler (Evan Jones), LCpl. Juan Cortez (Jacob Vargas), LCpl. Ramón Escobar (Laz Alonso), PFC Fergus O’Donnell (Brian Geraghty), Pinko (Iván Fenyö), and Bryan Dettman (Marty Papazian.)  Staff Sergeant Sykes (Jamie Foxx) invites Swoff and Troy to join a sniper squad called the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon.  They are soon dispatched to the Persian Gulf as a part of Operation Desert Shield under the command of Lt. Colonel Kazinski (Chris Cooper.)  It becomes a hurry-up-and-wait situation.  They wait for months to see any action, which doesn’t come.  They succumb to boredom, and in the case of Troy, he starts to lose it.  After Dettman sees a homemade porno made by his wife (Becky Boxer) having sex with a neighbor, Swoff becomes suspicious that his girlfriend Kristina (Brianne Davis) is cheating on him as well.  Eventually, Operation Desert Shield becomes Operation Desert Storm, and they think that they may finally get to see some action.  From the description, it may seem like it is a boring war movie…and it will bore some.  I found Sam Mendes’ movie (using William Broyles Jr.’s screenplay, based off the real Anthony Swofford’s book) interesting and funny though.  Can you imagine a war movie where there is no war in it?  Some people will look at it as a political statement, but I just found it amazing that they didn’t let a silly little thing like a war get in the way of telling a story that manages to not “suck” (you’ll have to check it out to see what I mean.)

Buy these items at

Rent Review

The director of the first two Home Alone movies and the first two Harry Potter movies, Chris Columbus, has brought us the movie version of the late Jonathan Larson’s Tony and Pulitzer-prize-winning Broadway musical, and unless you are a fan of musicals (and this musical in particular), you might not like it.  Aspiring documentary filmmaker Mark Cohen (Anthony Rapp) and aspiring rock musician/former junkie Roger Davis (Adam Pascal) are roommates who live in New York’s East Village in 1989.  Their former roommate, Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III (Taye Diggs), is now their landlord, and when he married the building owner’s daughter, Alison Grey (Jennifer Siebel), he reneged on his promise to allow them to live there rent-free.  Benny does give them an out though.  If they can convince Mark’s ex-girlfriend, Maureen Johnson (Idina Menzel)…who is now a lesbian and is dating a lawyer named Joanne Jefferson (Tracie Thoms)…to cancel her protest performance against a new high-rent condominium complex that will force the eviction of many of the current tenants, then Benny will let them live there rent-free in the complex.  They both refuse to do so, and Mark actually ends up helping Maureen and Joanne in their cause.  Shut-in HIV-positive Roger, who hasn’t gotten over his girlfriend April’s (Mackenzie Firgens) death from AIDS, meets downstairs neighbor, stripper and HIV-positive heroin junkie Mimi Marquez (Rosario Dawson), who likes him (though the sentiment isn’t returned.)  Meanwhile, Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin)…an HIV-positive philosophy teacher who used to be a roommate of Roger, Mark, Maureen, and Benny…is beat up and mugged in an alley.  Drag queen HIV-positive street drummer Angel Dumott Schunard (Wilson Jermaine Heredia) helps him and tells him about Life Support, a support group for people with AIDS.  They end up falling in love with one another.  I absolutely hated this movie, because it reminded me too much of ABC’s goofy musical cop drama “Cop Rock,” in which the audience is presented with serious scenarios…only to have everyone bust out in song.  It may be a personal preference for me, because I know that the original Broadway musical has been a hit for many years.  Most of the original stage cast is present (only Dawson and Thoms are new editions), but since AIDS isn’t the fatal death sentence it was back in 1989 because of all of the new drugs to combat it, the movie is very dated.  I’ve also heard that some fans of the stage musical were disappointed that Columbus took out many songs for the sake of keeping the narrative going.  It doesn’t matter to me, because…while some people will see it 525,600 times…I won’t see it again ever.

Buy these items at

Walk the Line Review

As big of a fan I am of Ray Charles, I’m an even bigger fan of the Man in Black…Johnny Cash.  The movie begins and ends in the same place…in Folsom State Prison in 1968.  Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) is performing a concert in the prison with his backup band… guitarist Luther Perkins (Dan John Miller) and bassist Marshall Grant (Larry Bagby)…when he flashes back to his childhood.  In 1944 in Dyess, Arkansas, a young J.R. (Ridge Canipe) and his older brother Jack (Lucas Till) live on a cotton farm and both have dreams of doing other things.  Jack wants to be a preacher and J.R. wants to be a singer, but they have a mean alcoholic father named Ray (Robert Patrick) who discourages them.  Their mother Carrie (country singer Shelby Lynne) on the other hand exposes J.R. to country music…and the sounds of a 10-year-old June Carter.  Unfortunately, Jack dies in a fatal circular saw accident, and Ray thinks that the devil took the wrong son.  Flash foreword to a few years later, and Johnny is ending his time in the Army.  He marries Vivian Liberto (Ginnifer Goodwin), has a baby daughter named Roseanne (Halee Estelle Moore; Hailey Anne Nelson in later years) with her, and becomes a door-to-door salesman in Memphis, Tennessee.  One day, Johnny passes by a small recording studio called Sun Records, and he talks Perkins and Grant into auditioning for Sun owner Sam Phillips (Dallas Roberts.)  They sing a gospel song, which sounds like everything else Phillips has heard before, and he challenges Johnny to come up with something different.  Johnny begins playing “Folsom Prison Blues,” and Phillips is blown away.  Soon he’s touring with other singing sensations, like Elvis Presley (Tyler Hilton), Jerry Lee Lewis (Waylon Malloy Payne), Roy Orbison (Johnathan Rice), Carl Perkins (Johnny Holiday), and the Carter family…including a grown-up June Carter (Reese Witherspoon.)  Johnny starts falling in love with her, but he is married to Vivian and she is married to a musician named Carl Smith.  He also starts becoming hooked on prescription medication.  Soon she is divorced and he is living with fellow drug addicted musician Waylon Jennings (Shooter Jennings, Waylon’s real-life son) when Vivian kicks him out.  After he hits rock bottom, he has to decide between drugs or June.  Phoenix and Oscar award winner Witherspoon did their own singing, unlike Oscar award winner Jamie Foxx in 2004’s Ray.  Also different from Ray is its linear storyline structure.  Even though it has the flashback, it follows a straight story from childhood to the Folsom concert.  Ray seemed to jump back and forth to different times in Ray’s life, which annoyed me.  In both cases, I have to wonder…why didn’t they follow their lives after they kicked drugs?  Johnny lived another 35 years past the end of the movie.  Why did they not show the Highwaymen years and the years with Rick Rubin?  Director James Mangold did a good job of adapting Johnny’s books, Man in Black and Cash: The Autobiography.  Both Phoenix and Witherspoon captured their subjects perfectly.  I recommend watching both Walk the Line and Ray back-to-back for a comparison.


Buy these items at

Yours, Mine & Ours Review

Frank Beardsley (Dennis Quaid) is a widower US Coast Guard Rear Admiral and superintendent of the United States Coast Guard Academy.  His superior, Commandant Sherman (Rip Torn), has tapped him to become the commandant of the entire organization…but having to move yet again is tough on his eight kids.  This time Frank is reassigned to run the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut with old friend Darrell (David Koechner.)  He does get help from his house manager Mrs. Munion (Linda Hunt) to raise the kids in his disciplined military unit style in their new coastal lighthouse home.  They include 4-year-old Ethan (Ty Panitz); 6-year-old twins Otter (Bridger Palmer) and Ely (Brecken Palmer); 8-year-old Kelly (Haley Ramm); 10-year-old Harry (Dean Collins); 12-year-old Michael (Tyler Patrick Jones); 16-year-old Christina (Katija Pevec); and 17-year-old William (Sean Faris.)  Meanwhile, widow Helen North (Rene Russo), who was Frank’s girlfriend in high school, is now a clothing and purse designer working with her manager, Max (Jerry O’Connell), who is trying to secure her a profitable department store job.  She raises her ten kids alone in a less structured manor.  They include 4-year-old Aldo (Nicholas Roget-King); 8-year-old twins Marisa (Jessica Habib) and Bina (Jennifer Habib); 9-year-old Lau (Andrew Vo); 10-year-old Joni (Miranda Cosgrove); 11-year-old Jimi (Lil’ JJ); 12-year-old Mick (Slade Pearce); 14-year-old Naoko (Miki Iskikawa); 16-year-old Dylan (Drake Bell); and 17-year-old Phoebe (Danielle Panabaker.)  At their 30-year high school reunion, Frank sees Helen there, and the feelings they had back then come back.  They get impulsively married…which shocks and upsets all of the kids.  They are forced to work together to try and split their new parents up and restore the balance of their normal lives.  It’s a remake of the 1968 film of the same name, starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, and Raja Gosnell, the helmer of the two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, directed it.  While it wasn’t as bad as the very similar 2003 Steve Martin/Bonnie Hunt family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen (itself a remake as well), it was still a little cheesy and predictable.  The original movie was funny and sweet, and its success allowed for the greenlight of the ABC series “The Brady Bunch” (but don’t hold it against that fact.)  I’d recommend renting the original, and if you like that one, then maybe rent this one.

Buy these items at

Zathura Review

The movie is a sequel to 1995’s action-packed family fantasy flick Jumanji (both movies were based on the children’s fantasy books written by Chris Van Allsburg), and it was directed by actor-turned-director Jon Favreau.  Six-year-old Danny (Jonah Bobo) and ten-year-old Walter (Josh Hutcherson) are two brothers who get on each other’s nerves.  One day, their divorced dad (Tim Robbins) puts their teenage sister Lisa (Kristen Stewart) in charge of them…and she tells them not to disturb her unless the house is burning down, because she is resting up for a date later that night.  While messing around in their old house, Danny escapes from Walter while being chased and ends up being trapped in the basement.  He finds an old board game down there called Zathura: A Space Adventure (which was contained inside the Jumanji game), and when he gets out of the basement, he tries to get Walter to play it with him.  When Walter refuses, Danny plays it on his own.  Suddenly, with the push of a button and the receipt of a card instructing the player to do something, weird things begin happening.  They include a meteor shower, a malfunctioning six-foot robot (voiced by Frank Oz), the accidental cryogenic freezing of Lisa, and an attack of a race of cold-blooded carnivorous aliens called Zorgons who attack their now space-bound house.  With the help of a stranded astronaut (Dax Shepard), the brothers must play the game together until the end so that they can get back home in one piece.  While Shepard is no Robin Williams (the hero in Jumanji), he does a decent job here.  I liked this movie much more than Favreau’s previous family film, 2003’s Will Ferrell-led Christmas movie Elf…but I hope that he will get back to directing more adult fare.  His 2001 debut movie Made was hilarious, and he is signed on to direct the live movie adaptation of the comic book Iron Man in 2008.  It might be a little scary for very little kids, but like Jumanji, it’s a movie that grown-ups can enjoy with or without kids.

Buy these items at

Ratings System:


Catch this movie at the theater if you can...

Wait until it comes out on video...

Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...

Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!

Return home        Return to Movies

[Home] [Movies] [TV] [Music] [Books] [Video Games] [FAQ] [Links]

Send mail to shawn@entertainyourbrain.com with questions or comments about this web site. Please indicate in your email that you are writing about www.EntertainYourBrain.com
Copyright © 2002-2010  www.EntertainYourBrain.com   
Advertise with Entertain Your Brain
Hosting provided by Webreferral Service Inc. 303-322-1234  www.webmarketing101.com