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    21 years


Get Your Stuff

Kudos to the cast
of this horrific disaster for wading through what is probably the worst script I've heard this year. The expository writing and heavy-handed directing refuse to allow you to think. The acting is so horrendously stilted (largely due to the truly awful writing)that your skin will crawl... it's not even campy bad. It's just boring bad.

The story throws every passe cliche it can dig up, gay and straight, at your face... and more than once. Let's hope this film is not the harbinger of the death of gay cinema.

I notice a couple of raving user comments... they're phoney. Those users haven't commented on anything else. This user is an avid movie-goer, and not an insider or buddy of the filmmaker. It's just an honest opinion.

Kurt & Courtney

I know less after seeing this than before
An interesting documentary that probes the lives of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Broomfield manages to dig some oddballs out of the woodwork, which is fascinating. But a couple of token reliable sources would've lent the film credibility. The film seems to build up to a confrontation with THE Courtney Love, but when he finally confronts her, his questions are rather tame and anti-climatic.

He Got Game

A pleasant surprise.
Lee's story of soon-to-be basket ball superstar, Jesus Shuttlesworth, as he is wooed by colleges, a conniving girlfriend, and his imprisoned father, is solid, funny, and entertaining. While his directing choices do not always work, Lee's script is amazing. The cast is excellent. Milla Jovovich gives a great performance in an utterly superfluous role which could have (and often does) popped up in any movie. Aaron Copland's self-conscious score jars against Lee's self-conscious directing. Public Enemy's excellent song would be more effective if it was limited to being played, say, less than ten times during the film.

Two Girls and a Guy

A witty satire that finds two young women discovering they have the same boyfriend. Excellent performances and sharp dialogue overcome the weak storyline. The throwaway subplot of Robert Downey Jr's mother dying simply serves to elicit sympathy from the audience. In writing the script, Toback must have doubted that Downey's performance could do this without the crutch. He should have had more faith.

Species II

What was I expecting? An unadulterated alien sex fest with fantastic special effects. What I got? PG sex scenes, '80s gore, and crappy effects. It's sad when the special effects in a movie's poster work better than those in the film. The sexy stars have a fairly good amount of naked time, but mostly in scenes where gross fake-looking things start popping out of their bodies. The model space ship at the beginning is a joke. The fuzzy computer-generated graphics are obvious. The story actually would've worked if even just one of the characters in it was believable.

The Odd Couple II

Comedy for the comatose
Honestly, I will sit through anything. This horrid little medley of catatonic performances and age-old one liners has the nerve to inundate us with annoying continuity gaffes on top of everything. Throw in a little Jonathan Silverman and you've got a fantastic new torture at the disposal of some 3rd world dictator. Upsides: I did laugh a few times, but I forget where, and Christine Baranski was cool.

Lost in Space

Comatose in Space
Intentionally silly or not, it didn't work. It ends up being boring. Performances that simply make you feel sorry for the likes of William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Gary Oldman, and Heather Graham (note, Matt LeBlanc left off that list). At least the special effects are cool. Engaging, fun, exciting? Only in the way a lava lamp is, you can sit there and watch it for a while as your mind drifts. Later, you forget exactly what you were doing for that entire afternoon.

Deep Impact

117 minutes too long
All you really need to see is the trailer. The three minutes of computer generated mass destruction are hardly worth the two hour wait. The unlikely, simplistic plot which can be told in full detail in one minute (see the trailer) is dragged out over 90 minutes. We know there are two comets, we know the smaller one hits the earth. No big surprise (you could figure it out without the trailer), yet it's slowly unraveled to us like a mystery.

The soap opera that surrounds the mass destruction has a few of good performances, Tea Leoni in particular. The "human stories" start out with much promise. Unfortunately they descend into predictable, often annoying, plot padding. The idea of only saving 1 million Americans was great, but underplayed.

The Big Hit

it's not all that
An action-packed comedy that's neither very thrilling nor funny. This sophomoric romp follows hitman Mark Whalberg through a kidnapping scheme that gets him into big trouble. I guess the moral is plain and simple: killing is better than abduction. There are a few genuine laughs, but not enough to balance out the moments of utter frustration as testosterone-fueled characters strut about uttering self-important bull. Antonio Sobato Jrs' (very underused) body is worth the price of admission.


This doesn't work on so many levels for so many reasons
The most amazing similarity between this film and its sister blockbuster "Deep Impact," is the same level of suckiness they register. This one, the hard-core action flick (as opposed to the spring's sentimental "human" one) dredges up just as many horrible lines and schmaltzy relationship scenes. Only it rushes them and leaves character development on the fly, which is fine in a film like this. But it had better make up for it in action. There's a lot of intense music, testosterone-fueled scream-offs, quick cuts, and a few explosions: all the earmarks of action. But no action. Not on the scale of worldwide destruction anyway.

Like Deep Impact, much of the best destruction was shown in the trailer. A couple of scenes were saved for those willing to put out the price of admission (like the destruction of Paris), but these are few and far between. Here's the perfect opportunity to randomly cut to any point in the world and show its obliteration by any size meteor the creators deem necessary. What a fantastic image. That's what we're here for. It's only used a couple times.

Our hunger for worldwide annihilation is expected to be satiated with excruciatingly long "action" scenes like a shuttle refueling gone awry. These scenes simply feel like budget buffers and unnecessarily stretch the film to an uncalled for 2 and a half hours.

Any astronomers or physicists, hell anyone who passed 6th grade science, should be prepared to feel insulted by the ignorance the script expects you to have. Even if you know absolutely nothing about things like say, gravity, the holes in simple logic are distracting enough to keep you frustrated: Easy access machine guns mounted on the space shuttle's drill machines? (Even though a handgun is under top secret lock and key) There was tons of debris hindering their landing on the meteor; when they take off, because the run time is way too long, it's miraculously gone. At one moment everyone is rushing because there's only 7 minutes of radio contact left. Hours later, once the action sequence has passed, radio contact is fine. With that big of a budget, you'd think they could stick a PA or two on continuity.

Speaking of radio contact, why is it that people in space suits can only hear the other people in space suits with whom they're specifically talking only when they're talking to them? Another annoying transmission snafu: there are only a few moments to drop dead time and Bruce Willis (in outer space) has an unimaginative two minute conversation with his daughter (an earthbound Liv Tyler). I guess the 30 second or so delay between transmission and receipt of each line was inconvenient to the story line. And hey, why was there a camera in his suit, but nobody else's?

Of course the special effects are decent. They better be for that much money. Few of the applications are creative, these generally involved crashing meteors. The effects used on the surface of the big kahuna meteor are unconvincing and bland. Digital effects look so obvious now, they seem to have reached their limit in simply awing us by existing, now they need creativity and unusual application.

Bay does try to infuse some style into the shoot. A few cool angles here and there, and generally nice shot composition. Unfortunately he goes AT&T/British Airways commercial in his montages of all the wholesome cultures around the world uniting in fear and prayer on the eve of Armageddon. At some points the dialogue and character plots are so bad, so pre-fab, one can't help but hope for a sign that this is all tongue-in-cheek. Please, just a pinch of irony. Is this how stupid we've become? Is ID4 really the masterpiece, formula-setting film this movie sets it up to be?

The film starts out with some promise. The impromptu meteor shower on New York with a sprinkling of zany characters gives us the hope for a sarcastic, playful Armageddon. But the waterworks and lovey-dovey crap are heaped on soon thereafter. Armageddon may bring on the end of worldwide destruction movies.

The Man Who Knew Too Little

the film that tried too little
A surprisingly funny script and interesting concept rushes us past the half-assed performances and stock supporting roles. A man buys his brother a night in an adventure murder mystery style theatre game. Naturally, Bill Murray unwittingly stumbles into the real thing, thinking it's all a game.


good acting, bad movie
A sometimes engrossing drama about a ragtag group of kids from the British projects who reform and join Bob Hoskins' boxing club. There is no chemistry between Hoskins and the boys, and one is left wondering what they see in him. Loaded with cliches, the film offers little originality. It does have quite a few heartfelt performances worth seeing.

The Truman Show

Smile, you're on-- I said smile, not guffaw.
Yes it's Jim Carrey's best movie, but why does he insist on throwing in those (thankfully few) muggy faces. And why did Peter Weir let him? Otherwise an engaging light comedy that plays off the Twilight Zone-esque premise that one's entire life is simply someone else's experiment. Weir abstains from making this a one-joke film by carefully shifting control back and forth between the mad documentarian (Ed Harris) to Truman (Carrey). The supporting cast is hardly spectacular, but they're all supposed to be TV actors, right?

The Spanish Prisoner

cool, calm
An elegant, if somewhat minimalist, crime story with excellent, layered performances from an ensemble cast. Its mysteriousness and confusion is helped along by the almost unbelievable naivete of the main character. Campbell Scott carries it off well though, keeping us guessing as to just how much he knows.

Primary Colors

someone get rid of the lawyer
A comedy about middle aged people, aimed at middle aged people. Funny, but I felt so old watching it. Travolta's performance was pretty good, just the fact that I stopped seeing him as Travolta and started seeing him a Bill Clinton says is a feat in itself. It's main drawback is the boring main character who pretty much innocently stumbles through this political semi-corrupt quagmire and cries at the end.

Men with Guns

Never has guerilla warfare been so fascinating
A fascinating story of a doctor who travels through an unnamed South American country in the midst of rebellion, seeking former students, only to find them dead or missing. Sayles is an amazing story teller. He takes a ragtag band of fairly unlikeable people and forces you to fall in love with them. I only wish the film didn't have to have a point. It kinda gets in the way of simply enjoying the atmosphere and characters he's set up.

Dark City

Baby it's all in your mind
A surprisingly creative storyline lures us through Proyas' twisted and beautiful world. Unfortunately, the lead characters don't have the the charm to overcome some of the scripts' plot holes.

One Fine Day

bad bad bad
A light-hearted no-brainer. Pfeiffer is mega-business woman and Clooney is happy-go-lucky local celebrity playboy. They meet, and kinda even each other out. The kids are so forcibly cute you could puke. As most films of this fare do, it offers a couple of genuine laughs.

Immortal Beloved

kinda interesting
Upon the death of Beethoven, a friend, and executor of his will, sets out to track down the Beethoven's beneficiary, identified only as his "Immortal Beloved." Not much feels like it rings true. It's a fairly interesting piece, but doesn't really explore its subject matter satisfactorily.


A fascinating portrait of a man whose love for the opera drives him on a peculiar mission to build an opera house in the South American rain forest. The characters are sharply developed without the use of unnecessary "reflective" dialogue. Herzog instead chooses to allow his actors to show us the characters almost wholly through expression and action.

There is some beautiful camera work, and the script is always fascinating.

Kuro no tenshi Vol. 1

bad, sad, and slow
A schmaltzy, violent, slow moving action flick following a young girl who witnesses her family's massacre and returns 14 years later to seek vengeance. The soap opera's hamminess and relationships lend it some interest, as do a couple of camera shots.

The sound recording is pretty bad as is the acting and much of the story line. The direction drips with cliches such as the vixen shot of stockinged legs getting out of a car.

Out of the Past

A good attempt
A documentary covering two things. One gay and lesbian role models of the past. And two, a young lesbian in Utah who attemts to form a gay-straight alliance in her high school and runs into much resistance. Although the intent is honorable, and makes sense, the two elements never combine well.

We are jerked into the past to stories of obscure figures with quotes that often seem like stretches of the imagination. Then thrust into into the quick-paced present day story. Not much detail is shed on either.

Ultimately, the film is uplifting and reaffirming. A very good start.

The Object of My Affection

A cutesy, touchy-feely comedy with a few genuine laughs. Both Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are charming as the young pregnant woman who falls in love with her gay roommate. The plot is fairly predictable and the dialogue quite routine. The script does however, allow a little more complexity in the characters and their relationships than your standard romantic comedy.


did anyone even try to make it interesting?
An old-fashioned gigantic monster flick. The special effects have been updated, too bad the storyline and cinematic cliches haven't.

Surprise, Godzilla's laid eggs. Surprise, one of the eggs is alive. Surprise, Godzilla isn't dead when everyone thinks he is.

Even the special effects aren't so special. The first half of the movie, the computer graphics are so frustratingly obvious. The second half, either they get better, or they look better because it's all in the dark and raining (a la Jurassic Park).

Actually a good 40 minutes of the film is reminiscent of Jurassic Park.


tries too hard
A comedy that tries a little too hard to be offbeat. Ulrich is Juvenile, an oblivious ex-Franciscan monk who has the power of stigmata. He can heal those he touches.

Walken is a religious profiteer who attempts to make a few bucks of Juvenile by elisting Fonda's help. The tongue-in-cheek satire does not mix well its use of slapstick, and most of the jokes end up flopping around on the floor for a few moments too long.

No one seems to be having much fun in their roles, except for Tom Arnold, who's having too much fun as the annoying christian extremist trying to bring people to the old ways of worship. His energetic idiocy succeeds all too well in annoying.

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