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2005 Bellview Awards, Part III



The finale!

Most Popular (counted by number of responses) Bellview Essay--"AHHHHHHHHHH!!"

The only high point for me regarding UVA sports in 2005 was a classic game, a win over Florida State; too bad it was followed up the very next week by another shitty UVA loss

  1. A Wedding at a Campground in Wisconsin...on a Thursday

  2. Movies We Love:  "Predator" (guest essay by Charles "Chuck" Longer)

  3. Dear Apple, Fuck You (Love, Justin)

  4. Stay Home, You Sick Bastard

  5. This IS a Real Person

Best Xbox Game:  The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay

Usually, having a movie license from anything respectable turns into bad news...but, this Vin Diesel-fronted game is an awesome adventure title that is a cool mix of stealth, fighting and first-person shooter.  You can get this almost anywhere for $20 and only a few games on the system look as good as this

Best PS2 Game:  Grand Theft Auto--San Andreas

Here's the thing:  if you like old-skool hip-hop, epic storylines and a true game where the world is your oyster, there isn't a single video game available on consoles that will fit you any better than the most recent "GTA" game.  It's almost too big, but when you start playing it you realize how far video games have to go before they truly become perfect, because this world is so big and there's so much to do in it AND you keep wishing there was even more going on.  I still don't know how these guys keep coming up with the games, from the stellar voice talent to a ten-album soundtrack that can be bought separately to the 100 hours of gaming to be had in this title.

Best Picture of the Year:

Note from our winner, Beth:  "After receiving the link to your site from Erin and Terry, let me say how much I enjoyed your synopsis of the wedding [A Wedding at a Campground in Wisconsin...on a Thursday].  And shit, that picture that you posted of me cutting a rug, I thought that overbites like that were reserved for obnoxious white men on the dance floor...I'll readily admit to regularly making fun of that facial expression. Anyways, between reading and research today, I had a chance to scan your website, and had a few laughs. I look forward to future essays."

The Ten Best Bellview Responses of the Year (in date order)

Yep, if you ever respond to one of the essays, not only do I read them, I almost always keep them.  Out of literally hundreds of responses, here are the ten best ones; some are positive, some are negative, some are funny and some bring a tear to the eye...


10.  "Why is Chuck Longer so unbelievably wise?  Is it having a kid that makes you wise?  Now I thought it was having a kid that gave you 'Dad strength' as well as the ability to suddenly do extensive yard work in a polo shirt and khakis.  I mean, I always dreamed of having a kid and then immediately running around and opening every jar of pickles I could get my hands on, then untying even the stir craziest of knots because of my newfound powers.  But are you telling me that my skreet smarts and Sensei-like wiseness will increase just because my boys know how to swim?

"Please tell me CLonger was previously just your mild-mannered video game and bad movie connoisseur with a Luke-from-'Empire Strikes Back'-type Jedi mind (not yet at its wisest).  Please tell me so I can decide if I should go have some illegitimate children right away or not."

--Ross "Team Skirmish" Stephenson


9.  "As a devoted reader of your site, I write the following with love and adoration. I will always be a fan and supporter. However, recently I have been disappointed by some of your reviews. They have been so out of synch with my own thoughts/perceptions that it made me question my allegiance to Bellview.

"I couldn't put my finger on what was really bothering me. That was until a fellow Bellview reader articulated the problem. She said, 'his taste in movies is like that of a 16-year-old boy.' Now I know you're not a 16-year-old boy and consider you to be very intelligent. However, when I did an informal content analysis of recent reviews I noticed that most movies that dealt with adult themes and didn't have at least one scene of ass kicking were saddled with a matinee rating or lower. In fact, I pondered an experiment where you and a 16-year-old boy would review the same movies. Then we could measure the variance between them.

"I like someone who exhibits youthful exuberance, but when it comes to movie reviews I want someone who can relate to mature themes and doesn't discount a movie just because he thinks there's too much dialogue. For example, your review for 'Closer' you state, 'But, as the new film 'Closer' is based on a play, the reliance on all of this dialogue leaves us with a movie so chatty that it feels a fair bit exhausted, leaving me wanting just a little bit of action.' Would a Kung Fu fight between Clive Owen and Jude Law sated your appetite for action?

"Seriously, your reviews exhibit great film knowledge and they're excellently written. Maybe I just have to accept we're not going to see eye to eye. This is disappointing to me. I thought you were my movie kindred spirit."

--Stefan "Stefdog" Prelog


8.  "I haven't even read the rest of the week's Bellview, and I'm already angry.  'BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE'...without any young kids/siblings as your excuse for viewing?!?  Are you kidding me?

"You know that three-years-late knife I gave you? need to take that bad-boy, stick it blade-up between the cushions of your sofa, and then do a swan dive onto it.

"'BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE?'  Jeez.  What's next?  The Strawberry Shortcake / Rainbow Brite Snuggly Sleepover Spectacular?  Care Bears Go to Lemon-Drop Island?  Garfield: The Movie?  I don't even know you anymore."

--Charles "Chuck" Longer


7.  "Wow.  Wow wow wow.  I must admit to the quick 'delete' on recent Bellviews due primarily to my craziness at work (when I check most email).  However, today I decided to treat myself to some 'view and I wasn't disappointed.  Chuck's essay [Movies We Love: 'Predator'] was right on.  I probably saw 'Predator' once (or part of it stumbling through the channels) over the past year and it is a classic.  I can still picture Arnold covered in mud 'paint' (funny, mud never went on me that perfectly when I was a kid).  The most impressive part of Chuck's essay--it makes me want to go see the movie again!  I still have a $10 Blockbuster gift card from Christmas--I may have just found the right way to spend it.  Thanks for helping me keep in touch with my 80's roots.  Well done Chuck."

--Jason "King of Fallsmead" McGrath

6.  "You are fucking fired.  How many fucking messages did I leave on your goddamn cell phone because I had to walk by a huuuuuuuge fucking billboard for what was obviously a total shit stain on the hardly clean tighty whities of Hollywood?  And you gave 'Beauty Shop'--aka 'Beauty Shit'--a fucking Hard Vice.  Well duh.  BUT YOU DIDN'T DROP A SINGLE FUCKING BIT OF FUCKING PROFANITY?!!?  WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON  HERE?  The warning label CLEARLY states that STRONG PROFANITY will be used in ALL reviews of Hard Vice movies.  ALL, motherfucker.  ALL!!!!!!!  Stop making me do your dirty work."

--Brett "Fuck You, Fucker" Stone


5.  "I don't believe we have ever met, but I am a good friend of Jeannine's and she has told me much about you.  Still, I have not heard enough to know whether your message this morning was a joke.  Perhaps when I see Jeannine, she can clear this up for me.  In the meantime, I'll assume you are serious.

"Jeannine and Zak went out of town that weekend to celebrate their anniversary, and many of us expected and hoped that they would get engaged as well.   I too received a text message that Monday morning, but since Jeannine was still out of town and on her cell phone, I did not in any way expect a call.  I also figured that there were other people she needed to call--like her parents, grandparents, sister and best friend (do you fit into any of those categories?).  Also, some of her friends picked up the phone and called her as soon as they heard the news.  I figured she may have been tired of relaying the story over and over and probably wanted to spend the rest of her special weekend celebrating with Zak.   I figured I would hear more details in due time.  And I did, the next time I saw her.  Have you called Jeannine to congratulate her and find out the details of how Zak proposed?

"I don't know Amy and Jason, but to think that a couple with a new premature baby on their hands should drop everything to call you is a bit absurd.  Do you think they have nothing better to do?  Do you think that having a new baby isn't one of the most overwhelming things in the world and that you should take precedence?  Did you go visit them in the hospital?  Did you call them?

"It is NOT all about you, Justin.  It was very nice of these people who thought enough of you to include you in the announcements that they made--even if it was brief--they still thought of you and wanted to let you know right away as best they could.  So maybe it is your turn to do something?  What kind of person goes and craps all over two very joyous occasions like this? You diss your friends in a public forum because they did not kowtow to you?  These people may be your friends, but you are not a friend to them.  Grow up."

--Helene Crowfoot


4.  "Oh I must take issue.  I'm highly disappointed with ONE sentence of your review of 'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith':

'Meanwhile, Anakin and Padme have continued their intergalactic love affair and are now pregnant with the kids that will become Luke and Leia...'

"'Are' pregnant?  Dude I can't believe that you, YOU, have fallen into the hokey p.c. b.s. trap of saying that a Man and a Woman ARE pregnant.  Newsflash: SHE is pregnant. Unless he's also feeling morning sickness and bloated as a snake after a meal, there is no 'they are.'  Last I checked, the twins are growing inside of HER and HER alone.  This "we are pregnant" is some cockamamy PC crapola. You don't need to pander to idiots who have found some reason why this is more acceptable nomenclature."

--Jeremy Faust


3.  "Yo, that [AHHHHHHHHHH] was a great article. I read that last paragraph about nine times, laughing my ass off. You've got talent!  However, some food for thought. 

"a. Bobby Bowden is old. Really old. He's been old for a long time. I got a good glimpse of him when we were on the field. He looked atrocious. I think that game aged him about 10 more years, bringing his real age closer to that of a California redwood. You know "Big Trouble in Little China"? Remember the ooooolllld guy in the wheelchair. He looked like that guy. The kind of person you'd shield your kids from if he walked by. Eat shit, Bowden!

"b. A real football field feels...special. I've played plenty of football, but there's something special about setting foot on a real field.

"c. The path of destruction from the stadium to the Corner. Not that I like seeing UVA dirty, but I was proud to see UVA dirty. I'm sick of this wine and cheese bullshit. I want to see some couches burning on McCormick. Knowing that people were partying and didn't give a crap about the trail they were leaving, it made me feel like we had a real football school...just for a moment."

--Gordon "The Professional" Stokes


2.  "Just wanted to utterly concur about the life is good thing.  How often do we twenty- and thirty-somethings take the time to sit back and reflect?  We are always pushing ahead to make sure we are succeeding or getting closer to the goal o' the minute to validate our transitioning young lives... but as you said, take the time to say, 'damn, life is good!'  I put 'Life is Sweet' on my screen saver a few weeks ago and it keeps me smiling!

--Jen Carter

1.  "You fuckin' hit that nail right on the fuckin' head [Dear Apple, Fuck You].  Fuck Apple and their stylish ways.  Fuck Apple for tricking me, a teacher, into dropping three months pay, on a failing machine.  Fuck Apple for making me angry.  Remind me to tell you about the time I had a run-in with the people at the Apple store, I'd tell you now but I don't want to spend my whole day angry."

--Mike "Fuck Happiness" Iacovone


Wow.  20 essays.  100 flicks.  119 Video Composite Units, which is my way of adding up the total number of flicks plus TV shows I watched on TV (each VCU is roughly 100 minutes).  I made the goals for the year and I must say, it was fun.  Hopefully you enjoyed reading some of this stuff as much as I loved writing it.  Happy muthafuckin' New Year!!!

Video Composite Units--this number combines films and TV shows that I have watched by breaking them down into total hours.  For standalone films, those count as one VCU; for TV content, they are broken down into total minutes so that they fall within a 90-to-120-minute range and then are referred to as a unit.  For example, the first season of "Deadwood" had 12 60-minute episodes, so that breaks down into 6 VCUs, since it is 12 hours of footage.



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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09