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Reviews Written By PhilMouzy

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Siberia by NBC
 A scripted show that pretends to be a survival-reality show gone awry.   August 8, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
After watching a few episodes of Siberia, I am wholeheartedly convinced that everyone with any sort of power at NBC is under a 24 hour opium induced coma, and somebody's pet iguana is making all the decisions.

NBC's Siberia is a well marketed, well funded, but poorly acted and very poorly written TV show that unsuccessfully tries to present itself as a survival-reality show gone awry.

A group of contestants of different ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds find themselves at a remote campground somewhere in the Siberian wilderness. Whoever makes it through the unforgiving Siberian winter will share in the financial spoils. Events quickly take a turn for the worst, when one contestant gets killed.

From then on, mystifying events start happening around the campground. Not unlike the once popular show Lost, everything that goes on in Siberia is extraordinary, unexplained and completely manufactured.

At first, you might think, "I liked Lost! This new show does not sound too bad." You would be right! If Siberia was a movie on the sci-fi channel at 3:30 a.m. on a slow Thursday morning, it would be quite swell.

Alas, it is marketed and presented as a reality show gone disastrously wrong.

The vast majority of the time the contestants seem to be aimlessly wondering in the woods, finding mysterious evidence that something devious is going on. The whole hour of an episode is spent trying to convince the audience that suspenseful and frightening events are taking place, by talking about how suspenseful and frightening everything is.

If I was to start mentioning everything that is wrong with this farce of a show, I would spend a lot more time than this is worth, so I'll only mention the most grandest of offences.

Dress code has to be a dead give-away that this show is scripted. Who goes into the wilderness in an expensive-looking white jacket one would wear to a nice restaurant? I understand that these actors have to portray certain characters like "model," "bouncer" and "computer guy," but any rational adult would wear camping gear when going camping, and any not completely oblivious writer/director/producer should know these things. I almost lost it when Irene, (Asian, female, fashion designer,) was walking through the woods with a bow and arrow in a royal blue blazer. That was a great choice for hunting gear! I would not be surprised if she wore heals as well. Shockingly, she did not bring anything back from her nature expedition.

The emotions exhibited by the participants of this show are just plain awkward. It is uncomfortable and at the same time amusing to watch these people act like they are getting angry, sad, confused and scared. This show is the perfect example of what happens when bad actors meet worse writing. Do not be fooled, all of these participants have some, usually very limited acting experience.

One of the things I find most amusing and bizarre about this show, is the pathetic attention to details. We see the actors constantly relaxing by the fire. Who is making this fire all the time? Who is cooking for all of these city folk? How do they manage to look ready for a job interview, when they are supposed to be living in the wilderness with no outside interaction. I guess the producers did not think that those were important details for a survival show.

Did anyone stop for a second to think about the continuation of this project? How can you have a second season of a show in which everything goes wrong, people die and in the end nothing will have a sufficient explanation?

The worst move on the part of the network was not even the creation of the show, but rather the fact that it airs right after Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls, an actual survival-reality show. This pairing only highlights the complete buffoonery that is Siberia.

Siberia tries to fool, scare, excite and entertain the viewers, but in the end becomes an absurd, confusing and pointless mess that drags on like a tractor on the freeway.

Having pointed out some of the deficiencies of this show, I would like to end by saying, that if you enjoyed the TV show Lost and don't mind sub-par acting, sloppy and often illogical writing, this show might be for you. It is not completely unwatchable and will have a few people tuning in weekly. For that reason and for the fact that Siberia, although not original or successful, still tried to do something different in an often mundane and uniform world of today's television, I give Mr. Iguana two stars.
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Romeo + Juliet Directed by Baz Luhrmann
(Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes) Release Date: 1996
 Romeo + Juliet   July 11, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
It's not often, when a director is able to a reinvent an iconic story, and make us look at a well-known piece of literature in a different light. Director Baz Luhrmann does just that. With the help of a superb cast that includes; Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo among others, Luhrmann retells one of the most popular and tragic love stories of all time.

The plot and dialogue are authentically Shakespearean. However, Luhrmann dares to make a risky move by transporting the events of the movie into the late 1990's. The horses become flashy cars, the dagger and swords are replaced by uniquely elegant and fearsome pistols and the streets of old Verona look more like the concrete jungles of Los Angeles, in this place called Verona Beach. This move by the director is bold to say the least, but the risk sure pays off, creating one of the more original movies in the full sense of the word.

This movie is fast, but does not race to the end, giving the viewer an opportunity to enjoy every scene. It is flashy and colorful, yet not overbearing or pretentiously grandiose. It is fun and tragically sad at the same time. The two most important aspects of this movie for me, were; precise attention to details, (costumes, sets, cars, weaponry,) and the fact that the movie, although being a serious one, does not take itself too seriously.

The characters of the movie are vibrant and extravagant. Romeo and Juliet are young, naive, passionate and madly in love, just as they are in the play. Tybalt and Mercutio steal the movie in my opinion. They are eccentric, flashy, arrogant and aggressive yet graceful. They are the kind of characters that you want to know more about, even after their roles have expired.

Not everyone will be able to appreciate this movie, just like not everyone will be excited about listening to Shakespearean style language for 2 hours (I recommend watching this movie with subtitles.) But those who do, will truly enjoy this original film, which manages to do what most movies only wish they could.

It stands on its own.
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Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls. by NBC
 A reality survival show worth checking out.   August 14, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Contestants from different parts of the United States are paired up into teams of two, (best friends, dating, father-offspring combinations,) and are transported into the wilderness of New Zealand. There the contestants have to learn and master survival skills like making fire, building a shelter and finding food in order to advance in the game. Those who fail to quickly pick-up the survival skills or show that emotionally, mentally or physically, they are not up for the challenge are promptly sent home.

Bear Grylls is a great host, and honestly makes the show worth the watch. The best part about him is that he is authentic and credible. Unlike other various TV show hosts, like the guys on the bachelor, survivor or the ever-so-hard-to-watch Nick Cannon on America's Got Talent and the ever-so-stoned-and-bored-looking T.J. Lavin on the MTV's never ending The Challenge, Bear Grylls actually has expertise in the field of the show that he is hosting. He is a survival expert. Watching Bear, you believe that every challenge that he presents to the contestants he has accomplished in the past. Listening to him talk, you hear Bear Grylls not his producers telling him corny, generic lines that are meant to waste time and artificially heighten the suspense.

The contestants are an array of average Americans of different demographics. Some are likeable, some are not, but what is refreshing about this show is how little complaining and artificial drama there is. People get criticized when they do not fulfill their direct duties and obligations to the group, not because someone spread some rumors about someone else. There is very little nonsense, because when you are trying to survive in the natural elements there is very little time and energy for nonsense. Those who like to complain are swiftly eliminated from the show, with a killer farewell quote from the host. I think, "you would not get out alive," really drive the point home and gives the losers something to think about as they go back to their city flats and suburban houses.

The show is unpredictable because every episode just about anybody can be eliminated. The scenery of New Zealand is gorgeous, and makes one want to explore its vast landscapes on his own.

I found this show to be quite entertaining, informative and inspirational. The combination of knowledge of survival skills and the mental and physical toughness that it takes to survive the elements is eye opening.

This show is definitely worth checking out.
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Pasco, WA 99301
 Not worth the stop.   August 12, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
As a person who greatly enjoys wings, beer and sports, I have long been curious about a little place called Wingstop in Pasco, WA. After little deliberation my fiancee and I headed there to finally see what all the fuss was about.

Right off the bat two things stood out to me. The attitudes and uniforms of the staff reminded me of the time I coached a women's team in the New Mexican Prison Softball League, except for the fact that my players had better attitudes and more uplifting attire. The uniforms were ugly combination of sand color and black, and were memorable because of how awful and depressing they were. It's just a small detail, but small details make up the big picture. The cashiers weren't rude or dismissive but everything about their body language and demeanor led me to believe that they were kept at that place against their will and were not receiving any compensation for their efforts. Of course there is a chance that half of the staff happened to be having a "bad day" but as they say, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. The irony of the situation was the fact that the napkins at Wingstop said something along the lines of, "you will always be greeted with a smile." I am by no means implying that I deserve to be greeted like a long lost relative, but I wish they would try a little harder to conceal the misery that they were so obviously experiencing, especially at the time when so many people would be joyous to have any kind of work.

On the lighter side of things, the music at Wingstop was atrociously unbearable. It was country, the whole time, and not a list of great or even good country hits. No, it was a generic sloth of mainstream radio country that had me looking for a bottle of Jack, just so I could pour the contents in my ears, and achieve, if ever so briefly, a moment of tranquility. I understand that people have different tastes and opinions regarding various art forms, of which music is one, but can anyone, explain to me why country? This was not a country or cowboy themed establishment and there was no indication that things were going to take such a depressing and swift turn for the worst.

The interior design was well thought-out and equally well done. It was aero exploration themed. It was a nice touch. Planes have wings, and this was a wings joint.

The service was prompt and we did not have to wait for our wings too long. I did not know it at the time, but this would be the last positive thing that occurred at that establishment.

I ordered a ten piece basket of original and lemon pepper wings.

The wings were small. Their underwhelming size made them appear more like dog treats than food for humans. They were dry, and the sauce was very watery, not thick at all. If I ever struggle to finish wings, it is because I have eaten an abundant amount of them. On that day, I struggled to finish the wings because of how poor their quality was.

Even as I am writing these words now, I feel a little resentment but even more pity for a wings joint that does not know how to make quality wings.

Among other highlights were small flat screens, that no self-respecting sports enthusiast will spend hours watching. A limited selection of bottled beer with no pitcher options to be seen, which would ensure no inebriated fun was to ever occur at Wingstop. Finally, as an added bonus, one of those fancy soda machines, with lots of buttons and options, that make your soft drink taste like the combination of the three previous drinks selected by other customers.

All in all, Wingstop was a very disappointing combination of good ideas and bad execution. I sincerely hope that the people who are in charge of that place will read this, and take even a brief moment to think of the validity of my comments. There is nowhere to go but up Wingstop. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for making me appreciate my wing spots even more.
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Big Brother
 A plague upon mankind   July 30, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
I am not a parent or a man of faith, but this show will rot your brain and steal your soul. What do you get when you put a group of 20 something's into a house together and film their every move? You get a bunch of young adults who act like a clique of insecure, jealous, spiteful, dishonest, superficial, conniving, immature kids, who would give any high school mean girls clique a run for its money.

They literally spend the entire time, lounging on couches, sofas and hammocks, while conspiring to screw the other members of the house over. It seems like the point of this show is to be the last person left in the house and win something (probably money,) but I am thoroughly convinced that the real objective of this show is to dumb down the American people, and any people who's TV execs think that this is a project worth investing into.

Some of the participants of this show are physically fit and fairly attractive, and that must at least in part explain the ratings that this sorry excuse for a show keeps getting. But c'mon!!! There must be a better avenue that can be pursued to get your eye-candy fix, without subjugating yourself to this mindless "entertainment."

Some people will tell you that they "love the drama." If you want drama, pick up Lord of the Flies, finish up the last of the Church wine, or put some lipstick and perfume on your dad's shirt and let your mother come to her own conclusions. Anything, absolutely anything is better than watching boring and lazy people being bored and lazy.

Not only is this show pointless and mind numbing, it also promotes self-importance and self-entitlement attitudes, creating "celebrities" out of these people. Instead of encouraging positive attitudes like humility and honesty.

I've watched some pretty bad reality TV shows in my day, but this one takes the cake. I am fairly certain that going through airport security is in every way a more enjoyable pass-time than watching Big Brother.

This show is not only a waste of time for an individual, but is also a cancer for society at large.
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Broken City Directed by Allen Hughes
(Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mark Wahlberg) Release Date: 2013
 Broken City   July 18, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Sometimes, the stars of the movie initially blind the viewers to the overall quality of the film. Broken City is that movie. The star-studded cast is what will draw in the viewers originally, but without much substance, this movie is just that, a forgettable film with grade A Hollywood personnel.

The plot of the movie is all too familiar and
uninteresting. A down-on-his-luck police officer
turned private eye, finds himself among corrupt politicians, conspiracies, betrayal, and pursuit of power and money at any cost. The twists of this movie are too little and too late. They are not interesting or surprising enough to mention, and are introduced at the very end, long after any sensible person has lost any interest in the movie.

This movie is like an expensive, luxurious car, that handles poorly, eats too much gas, and has constant electronic problems. It's impressive on paper, yet disappointing on the road.

It is quite obvious that the movie relied heavily
on its cast, but failed on too many fronts to be considered interesting or memorable. The stars of the movie; Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mark Wahlberg, along with numerous supporting actors and actresses, do a fine job portraying their characters. However, their characters are uncomfortably generic and one dimensional, and there is only so much a good actor can do with a flat character.

For my taste, the movie had a few too many; "what was the point of that scene?" and "is this going anywhere?" moments.

This movie is not without its positives though. The thespian ensemble, along with high quality production value, makes this movie watchable. The dialogue through most of the movie is pretty good. The spirit of New York and New Yorkers is portrayed well in my opinion, and makes one wish to be a part of it.

In conclusion, this movie fails to impress, surprise, or stand on its own, becoming one of many anticipated, yet, disappointing productions. Having said all that, this movie is an alright DVD watch, as long as your expectations are grounded.
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Moscow, ID 83843
 This joint does not stack up   September 3, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Stax is a homemade sandwich and soup shop in the heart of Moscow, Idaho.

This relatively new addition to the Moscow dining scene has been getting a number of great reviews and even won some "best in town" type of awards. Being an avid supporter of delicious sandwiches, I decided to see for myself if the rumors were true.

The place is nice and cozy, with outside sitting options available. The staff was very friendly and truly looked like they were enjoying their job.

My expectations were pretty high because the word "homemade" and the price tag of almost 9 dollars per sandwich, suggested to me that the quality of the sandwich would be very high.

I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak with a soup and a "homemade" lemonade for myself and a BLT, coke and a soup for my fiancee. The total came to almost thirty dollars.

The food was brought up very quickly, and that is when everything went wrong.

The giant sandwiches that I have heard so much about were truly impressive in size. That is of course, if you don't count the ingredients like meat and vegetables as part of the sandwich. What I am trying to say, is that the sandwiches were big pieces of bread smothered with butter and mayonnaise with miniscule portions of meat and vegetables. Have you ever seen what a Philly Cheesesteak looks like? The meat should be the first thing you see and the last thing you finish eating. This sandwich looked like the meat was carefully rationed, as if we were on an uninhabited island and food provisions were scare. You get the impression that you are getting a large amount of food because of the size of the sandwich and half a bag of potato chips, but chips and overly thick slices of bread is not what I had in mind when I was signing the receipt for thirty dollars.

The "homemade" lemonade part of the meal was not unlike the sandwich experience. It came in a very large cup, but appeared to be diluted with water and was not enjoyable. Once again an attempt to present a large portion was just a cover up for the actual size of the serving.

Unlike the lemonade, the soups definitely looked and tasted homemade. It was the kind of homemade that a high school student makes when the parents are gone. I did not finish my chicken noodle soup and my fiancee said that her clam chowder had too much garlic and not enough clams in it.

To top off this memorable outing I found a hair in my sandwich, as did my fiancee, as did some girl at the table next to us. I would suggest from now on only hiring bald people, or maybe hair nets could somehow be utilized? Utterly disappointed, we promptly left and vowed never to return again. With some ups and some downs this place stumbles, yet manages to impress a lot of people. I can only assume that the patrons of this establishment love overpriced food and poor quality, as long as the portions are huge.

To each his own I guess.
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Cocktail Directed by Roger Donaldson
(Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue) Release Date: 1988
 Cocktail   July 30, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
If you enjoy Tom Cruise's work of the late 80's this movie is a must watch. If young, cocky, going to prove everyone wrong, charismatic maverick of Top Gun and The Color of Money is your cup of tea, than this is a can't miss. If for some reason you find yourself being annoyed and bothered by the young Mr. Cruise, you might want to skip this one.

Cocktail is a proto-typical story of young love and self-discovery. It tells the story of a young army vet who's got confidence, charisma and dreams big. Brian Flanagan, played by
Tom Cruise, starts bartending in NYC and quickly achieves fame and success. After a fall-out with his bartending mentor Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown,) Brian finds himself bartending in Jamaica. A surprise visit from his old sensei and a flourishing romance with a young artist Jordan (Elisabeth Shue,) change the calm beat of the tropics, and Brian moves back to New York to pursue his ambitions.

At its core, Cocktail is about chasing the American Dream, but finding happiness in American Reality.

Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown are exceptional in this film. The interaction between the two of them is what really makes this movie worth the watch. The witty back and forth banter of this captivating and entertaining duo is top notch. Even though Cruise is the headliner of this movie and gets much of the camera time, Brown is every bit his equal if not better. This bartending duet dazzles the patrons of various taverns and clubs, with their bartending showmanship skills and clever catch-phrases.

The soundtrack, which so many people like to rave about, is really hit-or-miss. Going from pretty solid, mood-fitting party tracks to 80's vanilla fluff that would have even the author of the said song wonder whether it was his work or one of a thousand similar sounding creations.

This movie is fun, cool and intriguing, for a good two-thirds of the movie. The bar atmosphere of New York and the beautiful and colorful images of Jamaica are very pleasing to the eye and keep the viewer engaged. The third act, if you will, really drops off in entertainment value. It seems that the writers have either run out of steam, time or ideas.

The third part of the movie is dominated by Cruise's character unsuccessful attempts to apologize and win back his romantic interest, with her constantly denying him that opportunity,
until she finally surrenders to his persistence.

I give Cocktail a 3-star rating because it manages to overwhelm and excite as well as underachieve. The build-up is great, but at the end leaves one slightly unfulfilled.
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Predator Directed by John McTiernan
(Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers) Release Date: 1987
 Predator   July 19, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Predator knocks it out of the park! Even though it might appear dated at first glance, do not be fooled. This movie is a timeless classic, and is a must see for anyone who has even a remote interest in action, sci-fi, horror or adventure genres, or just loves epically awesome movies!

A group of U.S. commandos is sent on a covert rescue operation, deep into the jungles of Latin America. On their way back from the mission, the members of the squad start getting killed off, one-by-one. They realize that something in the jungle is hunting them.

Predator is as great as it is straightforward. The story, acting and special effects are not elaborate, but are all exceptional on their own and work extremely well together. Yes, I said acting in Predator is exceptional. It's not going to win any Oscars, but the collaboration of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, along with a group of fine supporting cast members are perfect for the kind of movie that Predator is. Thus, I deem it exceptional. Same goes for character development, which effortlessly makes you feel like you've known these men for years.

This movie is violent at times but it is not sadistic in nature, which is the route so many of the current action, sci-fi and horror films have chosen to take. A character's life comes to a swift, glorious and warrior-like end rather than a slow, miserable and painful finale.

The Predator takes pleasure and pride in the challenge of the kill, rather than the torment of the prey. I believe this to be an important distinction that needs to be made. It shows that the Predator has a lot more in common with his prey than one would think. After all, humans have been hunting for sport for centuries. The Predator also takes his victim's skulls as trophies. The need to collect trophies of personal conquests is not unlike the behavior of many human hunters.

The score in this movie is brilliant and well timed. It achieves the desired effect of heightening the tension and suspense of the film. The atmosphere created by the music is both worrisome and exciting.

This movie is great because, among other aspects, it deals with the human nature. We witness a band of hard men, who pride themselves on their toughness and fearlessness, succumb to doubt and fear. To their credit, even when the commandos are facing certain doom and are clearly worried, they never panic, and fight and die with honor.

The dialog is short and to the point. There are some pretty funny catch-phrases as well. This movie avoids the uncomfortable, corny state that some sci-fi, action and horror movies find themselves in, when trying to be too funny or too serious.

Predator is a bastion of epic glory, a must for anyone, regardless of your creed, age or political affiliations.
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The Call Directed by Brad Anderson
(Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin) Release Date: 2013
 The Call   July 13, 2013   Report Abuse
By PhilMouzy  
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
It's not every day that a thriller truly captivates the audience from start to finish. The Call, directed by Brad Anderson and starring Halle Berry, is a welcomed exception. This fast-paced, clever and exciting film will have you on the edge of your sit until the movie ends, or you fall from your sit.

The plot is straightforward and believable. A young girl named Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin,) gets abducted from the mall parking lot and manages to call 911 from the trunk of the car, that she is trapped in. From then on, it's up to Casey's resourcefulness and will to survive and a 911 dispatcher Jordan Turner's (Halle Berry,) quick thinking and deductive powers to stop this horrible story from reaching its fatal conclusion.

The acting in this movie is worth mentioning. The
actors actually make you feel emotions in response to their characters. You worry for, sympathize and root for Casey and Jordan, and despise the kidnaper. I believe that developing a connection with the characters makes the movie worth watching. Would anyone want to sit through a two hour movie in which you completely don't care what happens with the characters one way or another? Probably not.

My favorite aspect of the movie would have to be the fact that none of the main characters use firearms. This is refreshing to see in today's gun friendly and trigger happy culture of the United States. Plus, it makes the movie a lot more interesting.

Be prepared to have all of your snacks and refreshments at an arm's length, because this is not the movie you pause to make popcorn. This is the movie you watch on one breath, and exhale only after the end credits start to roll.

If you are looking for an exciting and emotional thrill ride, The Call is the way to go.
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