Among the top 200 movies ever made, according to the IMDB!

Failed motivational speaker Greg Kinnear hops aboard the family’s busted VW bus along with goodwife Toni Collette, heroin-sniffin’ grandpa Alan Arkin, silent sullen teen Paul Dano (the kid from L.I.E.), suicidal gay Proust scholar brother Steve Carrell, and little miss sunshine candidate Abigail Breslin to get from Albequerque NM to somewhere in California in a day or two.

Grandpa dies, Dano finds out he can’t fly jets cuz he’s colorblind, Kinnear goes bankrupt when his buddy can’t sell his program at a big conference, Carrell runs into his crush at a gas station, and mom ties it all together and doesn’t get any quirks of her own. The little miss sunshine pageant is a disaster, and after Abigail does a striptease dance her grandpa taught her, the whole family dances on stage and is thrown out.


Not really a plot-strong movie, but funny, especially in the first half. Alan Arkin won an oscar for delivering the funniest lines and swearing a lot, narrowly beating out Marky Mark for doing the same thing in The Departed… that’s all it takes these days. I’m just glad he beat Eddie Murphy, who dared to expect an Oscar for his work the same week he released Norbit.

Movie has caught some flack for being depressingly negative with its hopeless characters, but it’s not like I took any of them seriously, so I didn’t think so. Grandpa’s death wasn’t even sad (or funny, really… I would’ve preferred to see him laughing at the strip dance at the end). Wasn’t painting a dark, downward-spiralling portrait of the american family, just showing a bunch of silly weirdos on a road trip. Don’t think the movie had any higher purpose than that, which makes you wonder why it got a Best Picture nomination I guess. Nowadays you’ve just gotta hand it to any halfway-funny comedy that doesn’t die in the second half.

Katy liked it too.

Nice monster movie, funny most of the time, a few good scares, good effects and everything. Full of death and serious situations, but never feels heavy or grim.

GUY is a dim slacker with a young daughter, a drunk college-grad brother, a champion archer sister, and a dad who owns a food stand on the beach, where guy and his daughter also live. One day a legged, tail-swinging fish monster attacks the beach and steals the daughter. After they find out she’s still alive via a cellphone call, they set out to rescue her. Of course the archery will play a part in this, along with a homeless man with a tank of gasoline. The girl actually dies at the end (so does grandpa), but she helps an even younger homeless boy, who ends up living with our guy after the almost-successful rescue attempt.



Americans are implicated everywhere! First a belligerent US lab guy orders his assistant to dump a whole lot of used formaldehyde down the drains into the river. Then the US forces (which have laughably low security throughout the movie) take charge of hunting down the monster and quarantining the area. Then they apparently lie about the monster being “the host” of a crazy killer virus that never really exists, capturing our guy and extracting tissue samples from his brain! Finally they try to destroy the monster with “agent yellow”, a gas that causes all the cops and student protesters and our family members to cough and bleed from their mouths and ears, but of course doesn’t hurt the monster one bit. One particular American military doctor just looks so ludicrous in close-up that the whole theater was laughing at him. Not such a pro-US film, then… but they take us down in entertaining ways.

A good movie, worth waiting to see in theaters (video has been out for a while). A dysfunctional family teams up to fight a giant monster… sort of Little Miss Sunshine vs. Godzilla.


The lead guy and his sister starred in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, and the men of the family were all in Memories of Murder, Joon-ho Bong’s popular 2003 movie.


One of the very best movies of the eighties (forget that it missed the 80’s by six months). A slightly-too-slow buildup places the action in a state-of-the-art technological office building, brings back Billy and Kate, brings back the Futtermans, closes down the shop where the Gremlins came from and puts Gizmo in the hands of corporate scientist Christopher Lee. Then all fucking hell breaks loose and it’s a hilarious, gonzo 45 minutes of action and comedy and movie references. I love it.

Don & Dan Stanton from Terminator 2 with Christopher Lee:

Zack and Phoebe Cates, who has gotten cuter since part 1:

My favorite gag, again:

Hulk out:

The electric-gremlin death of Christopher Lee:

“I guess they pushed him too far”:

A great movie that does not get enough credit. Completely successful as a comedy, a horror, an action/effects popcorn flick, even a kids movie. I’ve loved it since I was 7.

The dog (“mushroom”) is amazing. In the commentary, Joe Dante says he loved the dog and little Corey Feldman, ’cause they were the only two actors that believed the gremlins were real. Apparently the whole production was a puppeteering nightmare, compounded when Spielberg decided (correctly, you’d think) to NOT kill off Gizmo halfway through the movie… hence little cheats in the second half, like carrying him in Billy’s backpack, and having him ride the toy car.

The black man’s the first one to die, of course. Dante fave Dick Miller plays xenophobic Mr. Futterman, who coins the term gremlins for our beasties. Dante wanted to play the old warner WWII cartoon short about gremlins before the feature, but they wouldn’t let him… too bad. Judge Reinhold has a small part, Chuck Jones has a cameo, Spielberg & Goldsmith & Robbie the Robot get cameos, and Howie Mandel is the voice of Gizmo.

Zach, Corey Feldman, and a lotta mogwai:

When mogwai go bad:

My favorite gag:

Katy and I both liked.

Interesting watching this after reading “Silk Road to Ruin”. I wonder what Ted Rall thinks about Borat.

Movie was funny, and I’m sure a lot of people are rightly pissed off. The flag carrier falling off a horse behind Borat as he finished singing a fakey Kazakhstan National Anthem to a rodeo is still astounding. Can’t think too hard about this right now but there’s probably not much to say anyway.

Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph are supposed to be frozen for a year, but it turns into 500. Dax Shepard is Frito, the dummy they meet who tries to help them get home. Luke goes from being a criminal to being president (taking over from a pro wrestler). Also there’s a monster truck gladiator match, a big clock in the middle of town that blinks 12:00, and some other stuff that’s too tiring to try to remember right now. A pretty okay movie with scattered funny + clever parts, not the cult classic the AV Club seems to think it has/will become.

2015 edit: I was wrong. Cult classic!

2017 edit: Watched this again, for the final time, now that it has mostly come true.

Not much left to say about Dr. Strangelove, since I’ve nearly memorized it by now.

Groovy font on the titles.


George C. Scott is actually better than Peter Sellers in this movie.