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A flawed but pleasant movie adaptation.
Garfield the cat comes to life in his big screen debut. Which is to say, he is a CGI cat living in a very real world. Voiced very well by Bill Murray, Garfield struts through life doing whatever he pleases. Whether he is stealing Jon's food, watching television, or tormenting his friend Nermal or the neighbor dog Luca (voiced by Brad Garrett), Garfield is truly master of his domain. All of the world is a cookie, everyone else is merely crumbs. He just happens to be one of the chocolate chips.

You ge the feeling that the cast was well laid out almost instantly. Newcomer Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt play Jon and Garfield's vet Liz respectively. Both do a good job considering the rather childish script that lay before them. Now, that having been said, I have a problem with their relationship. The comic strip that was originally penned by Jim Davis has Jon acting like a brash, almost obnoxious ladies man trying to woo Liz into a date while Liz would want nothing to do with him. The movie version, which was executive produced by the same Jim Davis, has them totally opposite. In the movie, Jim is quiet and shy with Liz trying to get him to ask her out. Eventually it works with Liz giving Jon the dog Odie to live with him. (Odie would have been better done as a CGI as well, in my opinion.) Buth without the chemistry between Jon and Liz, there really is no movie, so I suppose a little creative license is in order. The other HUGE problem I have with this movie is with Happy Chapman, the villainous bad guy in the film. One of the first words out of his mouth is the "D" word. Now, I don't have a big problem with profanity per se, but the script writers forgot that this was a children's movie to be watched by children. His "D" bomb was unnecessary and the writers should be ashamed of themselves for this faux pas.

Overall, it's a cute movie with lots of things for children to laugh about. Yeah, a lot of the movie, especially at the end is over the top, but it's harmless enough and enjoyable enough to give it a moderate "thumbs-up" if you will. Although I am somewhat grateful that I've not heard a word about a possible Garfield 2.

Necessary Roughness

Not great, but fun to watch.
Scott Bakula gets re-recruited (if that's a real word) to play for the fictitious Texas State Fighting Armadillos after the NCAA drops the hammer on the football program following various violations. It sounds like a premise to a bad sitcom, but in this case it's the premise to a somewhat decent, if not forgettable, movie.


Sinbad: The man has always been funny and will probably go down as one of the most under-appreciated comics working today.

Kathy Ireland: 'Nuff said.

Hector Elizondo and Robert Loggia: Not exactly Laurel and Hardy, but a likable duo and one that you truly want to root for.

Larry Miller: As the dean, he's a complete tool. He does that part so well it makes you wonder if he's as big a tool off screen as he is on. The perfect villain.

The "Convict" Football Team: Just looking at the credits that say "Convict Football Team" would make any football player wet himself.


Harley Jane Kozak and Scott Bakula: I didn't feel any chemistry between them at all. Nor did I believe for a second that they had any feelings for each other whatsoever.

The writing: It's in the negative category. 'Nuff said.

** out of *****

The School of Rock

Swearing children are not funny, but the rest of the movie is!
As someone who appreciates classic rock, I was tapping my feet and nodding my head up and down throughout most of the picture. It was that as well as Jack Black's unapologetic shameless devotion to the art of rock and roll that made me really enjoy this film.

Black plays Dewey Finn, a fat rock slob who gets kicked out of his band shortly before his battle-of-the-bands contest. Through a series of twists and turns that I will not divulge here, he ends up subbing at a prep school that is as prestigious as it is stiff. He seems content to let them have all day recess until one day he happens to overhear the class playing classical music in a different class. As he is watching them, you can see the dim light bulb over his head start to flicker as the main plot to the movie unfolds. He tells them about a school project called "Rockband" and tells them about a Rockband competition. "A victory goes on your permanent record! Harvard! Hello?" He reiterates, giving the kids their only needed incentive. For homework, Finn assigns classic rock CD's each tailored to each band members role. In this band, each kid has a job in the band. Either as band members, as technicians, as backup singers, even security and groupies. "I don't want to be a groupie! I did some research on the Internet. They're sluts! They sleep with the band!" That little gem comes from former groupie turned band manager Summer, the class smarty-pants.

Not only does Black and the band have to win the contest, they have to get there. Enter Joan Cusak, the school principal. She would rather not see this happen, but she is also a very likable character despite herself. She, the last paragraph notwithstanding, is a groupie wannabe stuck in the body of a cold headmistress. She's as hard as they come, but get her drunk and play a Stevie Nicks song and she's all yours. Cusak plays this role perfectly, as does most of the cast here. The kids are very talented. (That's if they were really playing. I was given no indication if they really were playing or if a group was really playing off camera so I guess that's up to debate.)

The only problem I have with this movie is the mild language uttered by the kids. Granted, they never stray from the PG profanities, but come on! These are 10-year old kids! They should not be using any kind of profanity, ever. My 10-year old and I would have SERIOUS problems if I heard her using those kind of words. Children who swear are never cute or funny, and just makes me want to stop enjoying the movie long enough to slap them. However, it's not like they use profanity exclusively, and the movie stands on it's own merits boldly and hilariously enough for me to forgive this seemingly increasing trend and give this movie a very high recommendation, courtesy of PROFESSOR BLACK, DOCTOR OF ROCKOLOGY.

*** 1/2 out of 5

The Bernie Mac Show

The, "Married.... With Children" of the new generation
Let's face it. Fox has had it's share of really REALLY bad shows. (Anyone remember, "Oops!" and "The Pitts"?) But for every ten or twelve stinkers Fox has made a couple of gems. With the possible exception of "Married.... With Children", "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Malcolm In The Middle" may be the best Fox shows ever.

What makes both of these shows work so well can be left up for debate. For me, I love both because they don't insult my intelligence by telling me when to laugh. The absence of the laugh track on both shows allows me, the viewer, to decide what's funny and what jokes miss the mark. In Bernie and Malcolm's cases' the latter rarely happens. My ultimate wish is to have both shows on back-to-back on the same night. I eagerly await the day when "Malcolm" goes into five-day-a-week syndication. "Bernie Mac" still has a few years to survive before it happens for them, but until then I'll be waiting and watching.... ...and laughing my head off.

The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew

A cult classic!
I have to take exception to imdb user "dwpoller" who touts this movie as being "one of the most un-funny 1 1/2 hour stretches" of a movie. Having never seen the SCTV skit until after the movie's release, I found myself rolling on the floor at the Canadian stereotypes from hell, known simply as the MacKenzie Brothers. Being 1/2 Canadian myself, I never once felt offended by the somewhat negative stereotypes. (i.e. ice hockey watching, doughnut slamming, beer swilling half wits.) But rather, I was able to laugh at myself and my other Canadian bretheren through this VERY FUNNY movie.

OK, ok. So it didn't win any major awards, nor should it have. "Strange Brew" is not that kind of movie. You have to know going in that this is not Academy award winning materiel. Oh, and guys, don't bring the wives in to watch this either, they won't get it. (For the same reason they don't get the Three Stooges) You just can't explain why it's so funny, it just is.

3 1/2 stars out of 5.

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Not bad, but a little lacking.
As I watch this movie, I am reminded of the original Muppet Show, and how much it made me laugh. Of course, I was all of nine years old. If the risque jokes that were in this movie were in the original show, I certainly didn't get them. Likewise, a handful of gags were meant only for mom and dad. Besides, the kids would not have gotten them anyway. Pepe getting a permit to open a topless joint. (Kermit is never with shirt, in case you missed that joke.) Miss Piggy asking Kermit to sleep with her (in French, again, only for those mature enough to understand it.) Those a just a couple of examples of adult humor that seem to mire this Muppet holiday offering. Once they got past that, it was really quite funny. This is not a bad movie by any standards. However, I feel that the crew was too busy trying to capture their former audience, and didn't spend enough time concerning themselves with their real target audience... ...the nine year old kid watching television.

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

A Great movie that mainstream movie reviewers didn't have the guts to look at!
Let's get one thing out of the way right here and right now. I am not a big fan of the mainstream media, e.g. their treatment of Christians and their role in this new 'enlightened' society. And having seen the utter lack of respect that mainstream movie critics have given this movie by not having seen any reviews on camera, internet or in print has only hardened my opinion of them. (Not counting local newspapers who have put their reviw of this movie on the back page as an afterthought.) I have yet to see anything about this movie by either Ebert, Maltin or Shallit and it's a shame. They all managed to have time to review "Scooby Doo" and "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" but couldn't be bothered by a kids movie with a moral compass. (Their only saving grace was that all to a man thought that the aforementioned movies stunk, which they did.) Personally, I find it perplexing that they would all snub Big Idea Productions like this. Big Idea Productions have sold over 30 million units of their wildly popular, direct-to-video "VeggieTales" series of videos in only a scant few years. That is a prestigeous accomplishment that Nickelodeon and Disney cannot honestly say they've matched. (And by that I mean individual entities like "Blues Clues", "Dora The Explorer", "Rollie Pollie Ollie" et al.) Shame on the nationally syndicated critics that could not be bothered by a movie that teaches a bible story. I realize that you, dear reader, think of this as a rambling of a Jesus freak. (Uh-Oh! I said, "The J-word"! I better hide before the ACLU accuses me of 'offending' someone!) But I expected this movie to be treated equally, but to no avail. It's clear that in this 'enlightened' society, everyone gets a fair shake except those that believe in Jesus. (DOH! I did it again!)

Now that I have ranted, let's get to the actual movie. "Jonah..." was very crisp in it's animation and funny in parts for even the grown-ups. There's enough songs to keep the kids singing for hours after the movie is over. (Which may or may not be a good thing!) The pace is very quick and the character voices are memorable to say the least. The voice of Junior Asparagus is best when taken in small doses, and "Jonah..." had enough of the rest of the cast so as not to make me ill from sugar poisoning.

If anyone reading this is not a Christian, but have kids of young enough age, I would encourage you to see "Jonah...". You won't get a "fire n' brimstone" sermon. You'll just have a good time...

Save the Last Dance

Finally, an MTV movie worth watching!
After a few years of really, REALLY bad movie making, MTV finally strikes gold with this movie. Look for Sean Patrick Thomas to star in many more motion pictures, as he really holds his own here. Derek, played by Sean Patrick, is basically the glue that holds the relationships together, all while fighting his own demons of self doubt. The character of Sara, played by Julia Stiles, plays her part the way it should be played. Shy at first, because she gets ripped from the only home she ever really knew and then thrust into an inner city Chicago high school as one of possibly three other white kids which you never see. But she also defends herself verbally with anyone that gives her any static.

At first I was a little disappointed with all the racial stereotypes. Inner city Chicago school loaded with black students, so obviously there has to be security at the door. Plenty of hip-hop and smack running in the cafeteria and, of course, the air of drugs, weapons, and drive bys. However, as the film progressed, I started to wonder if that isn't what really drives the movie forward. In one of the sub-plots, Derek tries to get his best friend Maliki out of the gang scene that seems to be holding him back. Without the inner city stereotypes, it would be a pointless for Derek to try and change Maliki.

What makes this movie as good as it was is the fact that you wanted to like everyone in the movie, and you hope that everything will turn out alright for everyone in it at the end. (With the possible exception of Nikki, who spends the entire movie trying to split up Derek and Sara.) The part of Sara's father was well written and performed. He spent what little movie time he had trying to be the father he knew he should have been, and is less concerned about Sara and Derek than most.

All in all, this movie was very well written and performed. Look for Stiles and Thomas to go far in their acting career. If they are as good with big name stars as they are with each other, I'm sure that we'll see alot more of both of them.

Grade: A-

Girl, Interrupted

Rider, Jolie did the best they could, but....
Girl Interrupted should have re-titled "Girls Uninteresting". The story is about a girl who get placed in an asylum set in the mid-60's. There, Winona Rider meets up with Angelina Jolie and from there the fun stops. Suffice it to say that Jolie as the "Bad Girl" of the movie was less than convincing. I mean, come on. ANYBODY can smoke cigarettes and say the "F" word forty times in the movies. If you don't believe me, see "Casino". It goes from boring, to twisted, to psychotic and finishes off at predictable. This movie keeps me guessing as to how Winona Rider ever got as big of a star as she did. She's been in some real stinkers in her career (i.e. "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael", "Edward Scissorhands", "Mermaids", and now "Girl, Interrupted".) Rider could have ended her career at "Beetlejuice" and probably would have been better off.

But, all is not lost. For out of the shadows of a painfully boring movie comes Whoopi Goldberg. This move also made me appreciate Goldberg more. She has this gift of taking weak, uninteresting scripts and making them somewhat tolerable. (i.e. "Clara's Heart", "Sister Act II", and ANY episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation") Whoopi was the only thing that kept me from walking out being thankful that my friend paid for this movie and not me.

Girl, Interrupted- *** 3 stars out of 10. (Two for Whoopi Goldberg, and one for the fact that eventually the movie had an ending)

The Prince of Egypt

The greatest animated movie EVER!
It seems that every year and a half or so, Disney brings to the big screen an animated feature film that although is very good, leaves adult audiences trembling in fear that they would have to take their kids to it again and again and again while not being entertained themselves. Not me personally, as I have come to look forward to Disney's latest releases with baited breath. Usually satisfied, (i.e. "Tarzan", "Alladin", and "The Lion King") but sometimes disappointed. (i.e. "Pocahontis"). But DreamWorks may have finally begun a long journey to maybe knock Disney off as "King of the Animated Hill". The Prince of Egypt is just shy historical accuracy and animated perfection. I say this because, well, never mind. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it. But as far as the overall product, it was a pure masterpiece. I was particularly impressed by the fact that it was done by an all star cast, yet only one was very recognizable. (Patrick Stewart as Moses' father. But then again, Stewart is steadily rising up to the Sean Connery level of 'most distinguishable voices in a crowd' category.)

But overall, the story is about 95% biblically accurate. And if you're like me, you need to give a LITTLE creative license to any historical movie, although the TV version of "Noah's Ark" was just this side of blasphemous.

Prince Of Egypt- ********** (10 stars out of ten)

Clue VCR Mystery Game

I agree with the last person!
Although I think the game is fun to play, I agree with the last person who wrote in saying how bad the video was. A bunch of two-bit dinner theater rejects try and make the game enjoyable and they succeed. Unfortunatley, they succeeded in making the movie laughable rather than suspenseful. Mr. Green's phony New York type accent (not to mention M. Brunette's French accent) are laughable. Miss Peach and Ms. Scarlett are hot, but I can't get over how cheesy they are!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I was very impressed about how everything flowed in this production. I have to admit I was very skeptical about how film captures biblical stories, and if you've had the misfortune of seeing NBC's atrocious waste of time "Noah's Ark", it's not hard to be skeptical. However, I was VERY impressed with not only the main principals (Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman) but also with the supporting cast. Any production that can make A-list stars like Lord Richard Attenborough, Joan Collins, and Ian MacNiece take such small roles you know has to be good. I was particularly impressed by the brothers. Among the best of the group were Simeon, Benjamin, Ruben and Judah. I wanted to not like them because, after all, they are the bad guys. But they made me laugh more than anything else, which I believe was the whole point. A splendid variety of music and choreography make this one a keeper. (P.S. My absolute favorite character was Pharoh played by Richard Torti. "Pharoh is in the building!"... classic!

Son in Law

Destined to be a cult classic!
Son In Law didn't do so hot in the box office, but that only means the masses were wrong. This movie is one of the few movies that Pauly Shore really excels in, with some of the funniest lines I've ever heard. Although the ending is sub-par, the antics of Shore carries the movie.

Noah's Ark

How offensive! Those who liked this movie have probably never opened a bible. I can imagine those at NBC saying, "OK. Let's make a movie to appease those pesky Christians, but they'll never know the difference if we don't have anything factual or in the correct chronological order." Well, they were wrong. Anybody associated with this atrocity needs to find a church and repent for their involvement in this blasphemous atrocity. I only gave this movie a 1 because I couldn't give it a 0.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

Oh, man! What a waste of a movie! Nothing was funny, everything was sick, obscene, rude and generally un-watchable! They not only crossed the line of good taste, but they pole vaulted over it! After watching "Beavis and Butthead Do America", I was amazed at how much of a difference was in these two movies. The most glaring difference was that Beavis and Butthead was funny! Don't bother!

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Addictive. And, Yes, that IS my final answer!
Who would have thought that Regis Philbin would be as popular as he is. The show is great, the contestants (well, most of them anyway) are regular people like you and me, and Regis is actually funny. Who'd a thunk it! I've tried several times to get on, but no success.....so far!

Sports Night

Quite Possibly, the world's most perfect television program.
Sports Night has everything you want with nothing you don't. Felicity Huffman is sexy without any gratuitous material. It's hilarious without being cheesy. Peter Krause and Josh Charles have some of the most sophisticated, funny chemistry I've ever seen. They're not just that way with each other, but also with the other members of the cast. They also have a very well rounded supporting cast along with some excellent guest appearances by William H. Macy. (You may remember him in E.R.). If this enough to make you want to watch, I'll give you one more reason. The legendary Robert Guillaume. 'Nuff said.


The greatest movie I refuse to ever watch again.
"All this, and he still has Hell to look forward too...." Oh, man. Whoever wrote this movie is one sick puppy! A BRILLIANT plot where the murderer takes out his victims by way of each of the seven deadly sins. This movie makes you want to crack open a bible and hop the God forgives you for taking part in this EXCELLENT spooky movie. Textbook definition of a psychological thriller from start to finish.

Blue's Clues

What a delightful children's program!
Blues Clues is the most inviting, creative show on television. It stars a guy named Steve and he and his puppy, Blue, have fun playing the Blues Clues game. Blue, a computer generated dog, is ADORABLE and her voice is fun to listen to! Parents have just as much fun watching it as their children, and I should know! (Blue is a she by the way.) Move over, Telletubbies. Goodbye, Barney. Blue is here to stay!

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Toward the end I was rooting for Dr. Evil.
Wow! What a dissapointment! the APII script takes something that was genuinely funny (see my review of the original AP) and took a big left turn at Toilet Humor City....and never came back. For a while I thought I was watching "South Park: Bigger, Louder, Uncut". Now, I love slapstick as much as the next guy, but the fecal sample bit was, to say the least, greatly jumped over the bounds of good taste. Score one for Dr. Evil, as he and Mustafa (played by Wil Ferrell) were the only things about this movie worth watching. Felicity Shagwell would have been nice to watch if she didn't have any lines, but alas.....

Boy Meets World

Wonderful Television Fare
The mere fact that Corey and Topanga have not had sex yet proves that there are still SOME values left in American television. Added to the mix are some VERY talented acting makes this show one of the best ABC has to offer.

The Ghosts of Dickens' Past

Wonderful Holiday Fare
The Ghosts of Dickens' Past is a wonderful retelling of the story behind how Charles Dickens became inspired to write the greatest book of his career, "A Christmas Carol". The costumes are splendidly done and the director takes great care to make sure everything is set up according to the time period. Having almost a Twilight Zone effect in how the story unfolds, this movie in its uncanny ability to strike a chord in the viewer makes it THE movie to watch this holiday season.

The Apostle

A truly inspirational piece
The Apostle is, by far, the greatest movie of 1997. BETTER than Titanic. It's really a shame that Robert Duvall had to invest almost all of his own money to finance this film. People that he counted on to be there turned their backs on him. But that didn't stop Duvall from making this remarkable, powerful movie. If you're not moved by this movie, you must be either: 1) Stone Cold, 2) Satan, or 3) Dead.

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