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"Cradle 2 the Grave"

Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak ("Romeo Must Die").
Written by John O'Brien and Channing Gibson.
Starring Jet Li and DMX.
Release Year:  2003 
Review Date:  3/6/03 


March’s holidays pretty much blow--I’m not a big drinker, so I won’t even address the “holiday” known as St. Patrick’s Day--so, I have decided to start a new one.

It’s called “Dogshit Week”, in honor of my favorite user of the word dogshit, Keith Karem.  Dogshit Week, which will take place during the first week of March in every city in America, will feature shitty film and sports entertainment, courtesy of Hollywood, the NCAA and the NBA.  Hopefully, your Dogshit Week will feature some--if not ALL--of the following things:

1) Games featuring the University of Virginia basketball team

Now, I know dogshit, and when your alma mater gets lit up--on NATIONAL CABLE TELEVISION IN PRIMETIME--by a team called “Georgia Tech” (an oxymoron if there ever was one) by 20 points on their home floor and has an announcer say during the broadcast that they are killing time because the game is so bad...then, you KNOW it’s gotta be Dogshit Week.  Or, when you lose to a team that has gone 0-10 on the road before they play you, then you know it is Dogshit Week.  Or, maybe a guy named Jarrett Jack has his best game of the season against you, or maybe you have a 6’10”, 270-pound center that not only cannot dunk, but can’t make LAYUPS either, then kiss the sky baby!  It’s Dogshit Week.

2) Shitty-ass dogshit films

I thought things had hit rock-bottom after I saw “Gerry” on Sunday night, which in the words of a writer named...uh, Justin Bell, was “the worst fucking piece of shit fucking fuck-fuck I have seen in quite some time.”  Wrong!  Jet Li essentially created this rap-kong, ghetto chopsocky category three years ago that my friend Patrick “Half Man, Half Amazing” Shea has ingeniously named the “Kung Fu-Tang” phenomenon, and Jet has apparently decided there is no longer a need for him to make good, entertaining action films.  It is sad to see such a martial arts genius sell out like this--take $5 million check, show up for about 15% of the film’s scenes, get starring credit and play roughly the same character in every single outing.  But, there Jet is, smiling to another urban performer (this time around, rapper DMX), kicking people through the air, playing a cop who seems to not believe in carrying a handgun.  He even worked with essentially the same cast and crew as he did in the equally shitty “Romeo Must Die” and with each passing day, I wonder when “Hero” will be released in the US.  The action scenes suck in “Cradle 2 the Grave”, Tom Arnold sucks, the script sucks, the child-kidnapping subplot sucks, the title sucks, and the ending is the EXACT SAME ENDING used in “Romeo Must Die” with a different actor to fight against the Jet.  Horseshit...whoops, DOGSHIT.

3) The NBA’s Dog (Shit) Days of Spring

Man, does the NBA suck for that month or so following the All-Star Game; the games are played with the intensity of my Saturday-afternoon “dad” naps, SportsCenter and ESPNews try to juice us up for the “awesome playoff run” of an 82-game season (or, roughly 30 games too many), and we get to watch the annual tank job of teams like the Washington Wizards, the Denver Nuggets and the LA Clippers as they charge us admission to watch them take the basketball equivalent of a dive in boxing.  For about a third of the league’s teams, their seasons are, we are forced to watch some seriously shitty highlights before contending teams really do make a run for the playoffs in the season’s final two weeks.  The NBA season lasts so long now that even baseball can breathe a sigh of relief more often than this; eight months to finish this NBA dogshit up?  If any of you NBA fans ever pull that “Ugh...the baseball season is SOOOOOO long, though...”, you can expect a full beatdown.

Or, to quote DMX...”RIDE OR DIE!”

Rating:  Hard Vice


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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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