Movie Review: Road to Roubaix

The story of the epic one-day cycling race, Paris-Roubaix.

* * * * * 

Fantastic! 75 minutes that flew by while I was riding the trainer. The movie tells the story of the race, the riders, the history, the fans, plus race coverage of the 2006 race. Having ridden some of these roads in 2004, seeing this really makes me want to go back to France and Belgium and go in the spring to see the race. 

Very highly recommended if you are a cycling fan.

21.5 Movies - I blame Hollywood!

Wow, some really crappy movies!  Glad I haven't wasted my time.  Though there are a few that I've seen multiple times. And one that I was in as an extra.

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 of these films, you have no life. (Though the Star Wars section is obviously a trick.) Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click Publish at the bottom. Have fun. 

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show [seen this at least 30 times] 
(x) Grease 
() Pirates of the Caribbean 
() Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest 
() Boondock Saints 
(x) Fight Club 
() Starsky and Hutch 
() Neverending Story 
() Blazing Saddles 
(x) Airplane 
Total: 4 

() The Princess Bride 
() Anchorman 
() Napoleon Dynamite 
() Labyrinth 
() Saw 
() Saw II 
() White Noise 
() White Oleander 
() Anger Management 
() 50 First Dates 
() The Princess Diaries 
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement 
Total so far: 4 

() Scream 
() Scream 2 
() Scream 3 
() Scary Movie 
() Scary Movie 3 
() Scary Movie 4 
() American Pie 
() American Pie 2 
() American Wedding 
() American Pie Band Camp 
Total so far: 4 

() Harry Potter 1 
() Harry Potter 2 
() Harry Potter 3 
() Harry Potter 4 
() Resident Evil 1 
() Resident Evil 2 
() The Wedding Singer 
() Little Black Book 
() The Village 
() Lilo & Stitch 
Total so far: 4 

() Finding Nemo 
() Finding Neverland 
() Signs 
() The Grinch 
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre (I'm talking about the original here) 
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 
() White Chicks 
() Butterfly Effect 
() 13 Going on 30 
() I, Robot 
() Robots 
Total so far: 5 

() Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 
() Universal Soldier 
() Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events 
() Along Came Polly 
() Deep Impact 
() KingPin 
() Never Been Kissed 
() Meet The Parents 
() Meet the Fockers 
() Eight Crazy Nights 
() Joe Dirt 
() KING KONG (I mean here the original) 
Total so far: 5 

() A Cinderella Story 
() The Terminal 
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie 
() Passport to Paris 
() Dumb & Dumber 
() Dumber & Dumberer 
() Final Destination 
() Final Destination 2 
() Final Destination 3 
() Halloween 
() The Ring 
() The Ring 2 
() Surviving x-MAS 
(x) Flubber 
Total so far: 6 

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle 
() Practical Magic 
() Chicago 
() Ghost Ship 
() From Hell 
() Hellboy 
() Secret Window 
() I Am Sam 
() The Whole Nine Yards 
() The Whole Ten Yards 
Total so far: 6 

() The Day After Tomorrow 
() Child's Play 
() Seed of Chucky 
() Bride of Chucky 
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You 
() Just Married 
() Gothika 
() Nightmare on Elm Street 
(x) Sixteen Candles 
() Remember the Titans 
() Coach Carter 
() The Grudge 
() The Grudge 2 
() The Mask 
() Son Of The Mask 
Total so far: 8 

() Bad Boys 
() Bad Boys 2 
() Joy Ride 
() Lucky Number Slevin 
() Ocean's Eleven 
() Ocean's Twelve 
() Bourne Identity 
() Bourne Supremecy 
() Lone Star 
() Bedazzled 
() Predator I 
() Predator II 
() The Fog 
() Ice Age 
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown 
() Curious George 
Total so far: 8 

() Independence Day 
() Cujo 
() A Bronx Tale 
() Darkness Falls 
() Christine 
() ET 
() Children of the Corn 
() My Bosses Daughter 
() Maid in Manhattan 
() War of the Worlds 
(x) Rush Hour 
() Rush Hour 2 
Total so far: 9 

() Best Bet 
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 
() She's All That 
() Calendar Girls 
(x) Sideways 
() Mars Attacks 
() Event Horizon 
() Ever After 
(x) Wizard of Oz 
(x) Forrest Gump 
() Big Trouble in Little China 
() The Terminator 
() The Terminator 2 
() The Terminator 3 
Total so far: 12

() x-Men 
() x-2 
() x-3 
() Spider-Man 
() Spider-Man 2 
() Sky High 
() Jeepers Creepers 
() Jeepers Creepers 2 
() Catch Me If You Can 
() The Little Mermaid 
() Freaky Friday 
( ) Reign of Fire 
() The Skulls 
() Cruel Intentions 
() Cruel Intentions 2 
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek 
() Shrek 2 
Total so far: 13 

() Swimfan 
() Miracle on 34th street 
() Old School 
() The Notebook 
() K-Pax 
() Krippendorf's Tribe 
(x) A Walk to Remember 
() Ice Castles 
() Boogeyman 
() The 40-year-old Virgin 
() Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring 
() Lord of the Rings The Two Towers 
() Lord of the Rings Return Of the King 
() Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 
() Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 
() Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 
Total so far: 14 

() Baseketball 
() Hostel 
() Waiting for Guffman 
() House of 1000 Corpses 
() Devils Rejects 
() Elf 
() Highlander 
() Mothman Prophecies 
() American History x 
() Three 
Total so Far: 14

() The Jacket 
() Kung Fu Hustle 
() Shaolin Soccer 
() Night Watch 
() Monsters Inc. 
() Titanic 
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail 
() Shaun Of the Dead 
( ) Willard (the original) 
Total so far: 15 

() High Tension 
() Club Dread 
() Hulk (The new Ed Norton version that just came out) 
() Dawn Of the Dead 
() Hook 
() Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 
() 28 days later 
() Orgazmo 
() Phantasm 
() Waterworld 
Total so far: 15 

() Kill Bill vol 1 
() Kill Bill vol 2 
() Mortal Kombat 
() Wolf Creek 
() Kingdom of Heaven 
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman 
() Re-Animator 
() Army of Darkness 
Total so far: 15  

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace 
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones 
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith 
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope 
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back 
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi 
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage 
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor 
Total so far: 21

(1/2) The Matrix [watched about 30 minutes and hated it so quit watching]
() The Matrix Reloaded 
() The Matrix Revolutions 
() Evil Dead 
() Evil Dead 2 
() Team America: World Police 
() Red Dragon 
() Silence of the Lambs 
() Hannibal Total so far: 21.5

Movie Review--On the Edge (1985)

Starring Bruce Dern.

A running movie with the story loosely based on the Dipsea race held every year in Marin County, from Mill Valley up over Mt. Tam, down to Stinson Beach. The Dipsea is the oldest race in the U.S. outside of the Boston Marathon, held every year since 1906 or 07.

The plot in the movie is aging runner Wes Holman (Dern), who was banned from running twenty years earlier when he tried to organize runners to protest the rules forbidding paying runners when everyone was receiving under-the-table payments, comes back home to Marin County to train for the Cielo-to-Sea race. The first 30 minutes kind of drag on, but the shots when he is training are awesome since they filmed the movie on Mt. Tam and in the surrounding area. Richardson Bay, the SF skyline, Mt. Tam, Stinson--all are in their most spectacular. The last 30 minutes when the actual race is on is fantastic.

Race section * * * * *

Overall * * *

Movie Review--Höllentour (Hell on Wheels)


It's a documentary by Oscar-winning film maker Pepe Danquart on the 2003 Tour de France, focusing on the Telekom team, and especially Rolf Aldag and Erik Zabel, but also includes other riders (Vinokurov, Kloden), and the background players on a team--the Director Sportif, mechanics and soigneurs. I was a Zabel fan before, but after seeing this, he rises even higher on my list. There's a shot at the end after the end of the stage in Paris where Zabel is sitting on his bike and he is lost in thought, a very powerful moment.

2003 was the first time I went to the Tour, so reliving each stage was almost like being there again. The actual race footage is spectacular. It sure has got me excited for the race this year.

* * * * *

Movie Review--Music & Lyrics

Cute, fun movie. Good for Sunday night, chick's hanging out night viewing. Hugh Grant just gets better looking with age and he does that charming, goofy character perfectly. Plus, he doesn't have a bad singing voice! Even Drew Barrymore, who I sometimes find irritating, was good. I'd say three stars.

Movie Review--Elizabethtown

Some movie about a guy who lost a bunch of money for his company and his father dies and he has to go to Kentucky and then a road trip. WHO CARES! It had ORLANDO BLOOM and he is SO SO SO SO SO beautiful in this movie. I swear I said to Monty about 25 times, "My god is he good looking". Orlando Bloom is reason enough to watch. Seriously.


Movie Review--Garden State

An OK movie. Written and directed by Zach Braff, I couldn't stop thinking about him as one of the doctors from Scrubs, so couldn't really take the whole think seriously. Best thing about the movie? Peter Sarsgaard.
Was more than a little ambivalent about the ending. Too "Hollywood" for me.

* * * stars.

Movie Review--Running on the Sun

On Friday night I watched "Running on the Sun", the documentary about the Badwater 135 race through Death Valley in July where the temperatures can reach 130F. They run from Badwater in Death Valley (a couple hundred feet below sea level) to the Mt. Whitney portal--135 miles and about 20,000 feet of climbing, up to +8,000 feet. Oh boy, I need to go watch that race. Those are my kind of people!!!

The movies covers the 1999 race and chronicles a number of the participants. One guy (the previous year's winner) just stops running at one point and lays down in the gravel on the side of the road for a little shut-eye!! He pops up and takes off again like nothing has happened. The eventual winner had DNFed the prior two years and before the race, he said he'd trained for the heat and the distance, but he wondered what would jump up this year that he hadn't planned for. A rookie to the race, Kirk Johnson, (who wrote a book about his experience, "To the Edge"), just passes out at one point, sitting in a chair. There is a comment by Dr. Ben Jones, the Mayor of Badwater and medical director of the race, "There isn't one thing about this race that is good for you." That's the kind of race Badwater is.

The winner of the women's race was Angelika Castaneda, age 50-something!! Amazing! Then there was Marine Captain Curt Maples who had to DNF (dehydration, had to get an IV) and instead of hanging it up, took his men (from Camp Pendleton!!)/crew and helped out a gal from England who only had one guy as a crew. If not for their help, she may not have finished the race. But the funniest thing was 60-something Jack Denness, an Englishman, who was going pretty slow, so his wife and other mate took a can of Murphys Irish Stout *his reward for the finish line* and tied one can to the back of the van and then pulled in front of him until he saw it, then they sped up. And so did he, chasing the stout.

There are a number of other inspirational stories and I very highly recommend this movie! Also watch the director's interview and the interview with the race director. I've never been to Death Valley, but I think I now need to take a trip there.

Movie Review--Dreams

Released in 1990 and based on actual dreams of director, Akira Kurosawa at different stages of his life. There are eight different vignettes, each separate and seemingly unrelated, but at the end, they all eventually tie together, with the common themes of how man is destroying or taking on nature (chopping down trees, nuclear energy, war) and how much better it would be to live simply and with nature.

The eight dreams are:

1 Sunshine Through The Rain

2 The Peach Orchard

3 The Blizzard

4 The Tunnel

5 Crows

6 Mount Fuji in Red

7 The Weeping Demon

8 Village of the Watermills 

Kurosawa has had a big influence on filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, who is in the Crows segment. I’ve not seen any of his other films, but will check out Ran and The Seven Samurai. Dreams is more visual than dialog filled, but the cinematography is stunning. Worth watching, especially if you are interested in filmmaking. If you are an action/blockbuster kind of movie fan, then perhaps you should skip it.

Of the eight dreams, my favorite was 3 The Blizzard.

Movie Review--What It Takes

A triathlon movie!! Even better, an IRONMAN movie!

This is a 90 minute documentary following four pro triathletes (Peter Reid, Lori Bowden, Heather Fuhr and Luke Bell) as they go through the 2005 triathlon season to prepare for IM Hawaii. They had a couple of showings here and Wednesday night the theater was filled with triathletes. I really enjoyed the movie, since I love Ironman and seeing the race footage from last year in Kona brought my own day back. I'm now a much bigger Peter Reid fan after getting a glimpse into who he is. And the movie really shows what a sweet person Heather Fuhr is. A very enjoyable evening.

Movie Review--Dogtown and Z-Boys

2002 documentary by skateboarding legend and filmmaker Stacy Peralta (Riding Giants).

Who knew the link between surfing and skateboarding? If you did, you've got me beat! This is a very good documentary about the birth of a new style of skateboarding which happened in Santa Monica in the 70s. Intercut with video and interviews (both back then and now) and still photography, the film kept my interest the entire time. Great music too. 4-stars!

Movie Review--The Hurricane

Denzel Washington has got to be the best actor around! I watched "The Hurricane", the story of Ruben Hurricane Carter, an African American boxer, who was wrongfully imprisoned for murder, and then spent 20-some years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. Denzel is just fabulous--he becomes Hurricane Carter and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the role. Very, very highly recommended!

* * * * *

Check Out This Movie!

"Runners High" -- documentary about the Students Run Oakland program. We went Monday night to the premier and it's a very inspirational film. Anyone who has run any time at all around the Bay Area will recognize Coach Alphonzo because he's out there everywhere. He, the directors, the ED of SROakland and the main kids from the film were there and answered questions afterwards. Hopefully they will get a distribution deal and everyone can add it to their Netfix list!

A few more chances to see it in SF.


Monday, April 24 • 7pm AMC Kabuki
Thursday, April 27 • 10am AMC Kabuki
Saturday, April 29 • 3:30pm AMC Kabuki
Tuesday, May 2 • 8:30pm El Rio
For more information about the festival and tickets, go to

More info at:

The Chronicle's review:

Movie Review--Whale Rider

What a great film!! The story of a Maori girl who is the chosen one for her people, though her grandfather doesn't want to believe it, as it's a very male-dominated culture. Her twin (male) dies at birth, as does their mother, and she is raised by her grandparents. Excellent performances by everyone actually. The woman who plays the grandmother is really good and the grandfather, well, you just want to slap him! I was raised very grandfather always told me that I could do or be ANYTHING I wanted to do or be, so it was pretty interesting to see another side.

Fabulous movie. * * * * * +++

Movie Review--Sideways

Hmmm, at first I didn't like this movie, but by the end, it grew on me. But not to the level of all the rave reviews it received.

Both of the male characters are PATHETIC. One, an overgrown teenager who only thinks with his dick. The other you just wanted to slap and say SHAPE wonder your life sucks. And the two the Central Coast that bereft of men???? Though I will say that the last shot of the film is the perfect ending.

* * * stars and I do like a good Pinot Noir.

Movie Review--What the #$*! Do We Know!? (2004)

A very unusual, film. Part narrative, part documentary and part animation, the story is about a woman played by Marlee Matlin who is a photographer who questions her boring life. Cut into the scenes are short interviews by scientists about quantum physics and attempts to explain quantum physics. Kind of hard to explain the movie, but interesting to watch. * * *

Movie Review--Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace

I decided to watch all the Star Wars movies again, though in story order, not in the order George Lucas made them.

Phantom Menace introduces us to a young Anakin Skywalker (I'd forgotten how cute that little boy was) and a young Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor--not at his hottest). The pod racing scene is quite exciting, but Liam Neesom as a Jedi with a bad ponytail just didn't work for me. And that whole Jar-Jar Binks thing--I'm glad Lucas has admitted that JJB was a bad decision. The one guy I LOVE in the movie is Darth Maul. Good fight scene with him and Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.

* * * for me.

Movie Review--Real Women Have Curves

From Netflix: Set in East Los Angeles, this is the story of Ana, a Mexican-American teenager struggling to break free from the responsibilities and expectations of her mother, Carmen, and sister, Estela. Ana wants to attend college so she can better herself (she's received a scholarship to Columbia University), but she's needed in Estela's sewing sweatshop, where women labor to make dresses that are then sold for many times what the shop is paid to make them.

* * * 1/2 from me. I liked it, especially the girl who played Ana. She had that teenaged girl eye roll, pout, slumped sitting and walking look totally down. Brought back some very distinct memories of how much you think you know and your mother doesn't. I also loved her relationship with her grandfather and father. Grandpa helping her get out of the house to meet up with the boy and dad, for standing behind her and helping her to go after her dreams and then dealing with the fallout from mom. Definitely worth watching. It's mostly in English, but turn on subtitles if you don't understand Spanish.

Movie Review--Bloody Sunday

* * * * * What a powerful film!

from netflix:
"On Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972, in the Catholic Bogside district of Derry, Northern Ireland, 13 unarmed civilian demonstrators were shot and killed by members of the British Parachute Regiment. Director Paul Greengrass's documentary-style drama -- nominated for an Independent Spirit Award -- depicts the massacre blamed for turning relatively peaceful dissent into two decades of civil war and inspiring thousands of young Irish men to join the IRA."

The documentary-style of the film (hand held cameras mostly) puts you right there in the middle of the story and you forget that it's a film. The acting is just fabulous, especially James Nesbitt, who plays the local Catholic councilman. I've been to Derry and the north of Ireland (1994--one week prior to the IRA cease-fire) where the British Army was still running the streets in tanks and with machine guns. I had to watch this movie in sections since I would get so angry I had to turn it off. At one point, I shouted at the computer, "f*&#ing British!"

There is one scene, in the hospital where the camera is moving around in a circle, taking in everything going on with all the background sounds and the realization comes over the councilman's face of what has just happened. Very powerful. The other amazing thing is that many of the actors were first-timers, chosen from the Derry neighborhoods where this happened nearly 30 years prior.

Very highly recommended. But turn on the subtitles since the Derry accent can be hard to understand.

Movie Review--The Tao of Steve

* * *

Fat, underachieving dude thinks he has women figured out (be cool like Steve McQueen, don't beg for sex, do something cool in front of the chick) and gets plenty of sex (how?), but can't get the one girl he really wants. A cute movie and Donal Logue is good as the main character. I liked it, but didn't love it.

Movie Review--Super Size Me


I've had a week to be lax on my eating plan and seeing this tonight puts me straight back on the program! If you watch it on the DVD with the bonus scenes, there is a scene where he puts four different Mc D's sandwiches and McD's fries and a 'handmade from a local restaurant' hamburger and friens each in a specimen jar and leaves them for up to 10 weeks to see how the food breaks down. The 'handmade' burger and fries break down pretty quick. The McD's sandwiches do, but not as fast. The McD's fries never broke down or had one tinge of mold in TEN WEEKS!!! YUCK!

Movie Review--Fight Club

Lots of violence--bare nuckle fighting, heck slugfests. A twist in the third act (still not sure whether I liked that or not.) But I first finished watching it, I thought, "What a waste of time." But thinking about it, I liked it somewhat. Get past the violence and there were some things that made you think. Three stars.

Brad Pitt's physique....5 stars!