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The critics are idiots (as always)
'Waterworld' was given an incredibly bad rap by many critics. The only problem is that the film was actually pretty good. Sure, it was corny at times, but nonetheless entertaining.

Kevin Costner and Jeanne Tripplehorn portrayed their characters very well, exuding the sense of hopelessness in a world seemingly without dry land. And yet there is a constant dream undergirding day-to-day life among the "atollers" and the "smokers."

The cinematography was very good, the stunts were very well done, and the overall atmosphere of the film was truly magical. There are certainly worse movies to spend your time with.


'Daria' was a terrific show with some great writing and a great cast overall. Daria's cynical outlook on life was a riot; every show elicited laughs throughout.

I particularly enjoyed the creativity of the show. For instance, I loved how the end credits depicted all of the show's characters in a different light than they actually were portrayed. They would be dressed up in funny costumes and the like - for example, one of my favorites was Daria dressed as a 'Baywatch" lifeguard.

The two made-for-TV Daria movies were also good for some laughs, although the shows themselves proved to be better.

The Dentist

Weird... that's about the only word that comes to mind when thinking of 'The Dentist.' All I can say is that I'm glad I hadn't seen this film immediately prior to the semi-annual dental cleanings we get. While this is supposed to be a horror flick, I personally found it to be more of a comedy. Of course, I also consider such idiotic pictures as 'Halloween' and that crop to be comedies as well, so maybe I'm just too cynical to enjoy this type of fare.

Dennis Miller Live

Good show
We didn't get HBO until a couple of years ago, but since we've had the channel, we've watched Dennis Miller. The guy is sharp as a tack, and a lot of fun to listen to. Sure, he's a little on the pedantic and self-important side, but not to the point that it gets annoying. It was nice to see many of the re-runs that HBO would show throughout the week, and it's a shame that the show was canceled. Of course, I'll take Bill Maher's show over Miller's any day.

Bobby's World

This was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid... the adventures Bobby found himself in were always interesting, and the animation was neat in its own way. Certainly one of the better kids shows that have been thrown out over time.


A riot!
I can remember as a little kid watching this very short-lived series. In fact, we had the pilot episode recorded and have watched it several times. 'Babes' centered on three overweight sisters and the various situations they found themselves in. The one show I remember was fall-down funny throughout the entire run, and it's a shame that the show was canceled so quickly. Unfortunately it seems that FOX has an uncanny ability to dump the good shows and keep the ridiculous ones.


Okay, sure... we all watched this show for the bodies. I admit that... but I also have to admit that the show itself wasn't too terrible. I can remember enjoying the show's plot and what ensued with the characters as much as the flesh prevalent throughout. For a show to last this long, there had to be at least some modicum of substance in order to keep it afloat (silicone inserts not included!).

Hitler: The Rise of Evil

The latest in a long line of Hitler film adaptations, this miniseries introduced a more unique slant. It portrays Hitler's rise (as the title suggests) through the ranks of German politics prior to World War II, and certainly lends credence to the fact that evil can flourish merely when good people do nothing.

Robert Carlyle portrayed the title character eerily well, showing just how crazed Hitler actually was. Matthew Modine did a splendid job as one of the sole voices of opposition to Hitler's rise through Germany's government. The rest of the cast, which includes Jena Malone, Julianna Margulies, Liev Shreiber, Stockard Channing, and Peter O'Toole, was top rate as well.

A good miniseries overall, with a surprisingly small viewing audience. Apparently quality television that actually broaches historical topics simply isn't popular anymore... what a shame.

The Amazing Race

Outstanding, innovative
Thankfully, a reality show with an innovative idea - 11 teams of 2 racing around the world, trying to win $1 million. The show is quite exciting, and there never seems to be a dull moment. Fortunately, CBS has renewed the show for another couple of seasons, so it appears we'll be able to enjoy a reality show that's actually worth watching.


Jennifer Garner is perfectly cast as "Sydney Bristow," a double agent working for the CIA and a rogue group known as SD-6. The show is remarkable in its ability to reveal hairpin plot twists and a constant sense of "whoa!" The remainder of the cast works terrifically well, especially that of Victor Garber as Sydney's father and Ron Rifkin as the apparently evil "Sloane." Perhaps the best character cast is Sydney's mother, beautifully portrayed by Lena Olin. What's more, this woman actually bares a stark resemblance to Jennifer, which is a treat indeed.

Anxiously awaiting the next season!

Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle

Fletcher's back
Yes, the nosy Ms. Fletcher has returned for another murder mystery. When presented with roundtrip tickets to Ireland to attend a reading of an acquaintance's will, Jessica Fletcher discovers just what the prospect of finding treasure will do to people.

The made-for-TV film was corny and pretty flimsy to solve, and it was quite a joke to see the immediate transitions of some of the characters. The ending was also quite abrupt, but the film managed to remain at least somewhat entertaining.

Céline Dion: Opening Night Live Las Vegas

Celine is back, and better than ever. This is her first Las Vegas concert, one of hundreds she will be performing for the next three years. The arena made specifically for her is simply outstanding, and the extra effort Celine put into the show was evident throughout. Of course, Celine's pipes were in full force during the concert, in which she performed hits like "I'm Alive." Certainly a treat for any Celine fans out there.

The American Embassy

A disappointingly early finish
A promising new show, 'The American Embassy' was pulled far too quickly after only a few short episodes. Arija Bareikis, who played the main character, looked poised to fill the void left when 'Ally McBeal' ended its run. Unfortunately, Fox didn't allow this upstart to gain an audience, which is certainly a shame. While the cast made the show watchable, it was the general topic that made the show interesting - finally a somewhat "exotic" show about diplomats and their jobs after the flood of shows about lawyers, doctors, and inept family men. And to think that a promising show such as this was replaced with so much Fox reality show trash is truly a shame.

Just Looking

Just having some fun
'Just Looking' stars Ryan Merriman as a young boy whose curiosity about sex is growing exponentially. When his mom and stepdad send him to stay with relatives for the summer, he becomes determined to catch someone "in the act."

The story itself is interesting; watching the lengths to which young "Lenny" (Merriman) goes to fulfill his curiosity is quite funny in and of itself. But there's also a dramatic aspect, a life lesson if you will. Through his exploits, Lenny learns about life and the responsibilities therein. Overall, not a bad effort and quite an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

First Monday

'First Monday' is (was) a terrific show. Unfortunately, it appears that CBS has canceled it. The cast was great; each character portrayed their respective justice well. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with some of the law clerks, played by Hedy Burress, Randy Vasquez (of "JAG" fame), and Christopher Wiehl. Each episode tackled a controversial current event extremely well. "Novelli" (played brilliantly by Joe Mantegna) always seemed to be the 'breaking vote,' as the other eight justices always had more solid opinions about appeals. Of course, Novelli was always drawn in by the others in hopes that his vote would sway to their side. Novelli dealt with this well, explaining his problems with both sides and his agreements. It would be terrific if CBS were to start the show up again, but unfortunately that doesn't appear likely.

The Mole: Episode #3.1
Episode 1, Season 3

Fun to watch
Yet another reality show spin-off, "Celebrity Mole: Hawaii" is both enjoyable and laughable. Fortunately the games aren't ridiculously 'celebritized,' although they're certainly toned down from the better original series. Hopefully ABC plans to continue the original genre once this foray is over with.

Easily the best part of the show is the celebrity banter, especially that of Kathy Griffin and Frederique Van Der Wal. It's unfortunate that this show does not shuttle the players to various locations, as this was an intriguing part of the original shows.

National Security

Dumb, but nevertheless funny
Martin Lawrence stars as a rent-a-cop who failed the police academy, and Steve Zahn portrays a former cop who interestingly teams up with Lawrence. The whole "black paranoia" thing present throughout this film gets VERY old VERY quickly, but otherwise the movie is just an entertaining comedy; nothing more, nothing less. Hilarious scenes abound in this film, and it's the perfect popcorn, forget-it-as-soon-as-it's-over flick.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's outstanding novel, ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," is a riveting, joyful adventure. The cast is simply brilliant; Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint all shine as the Hogwarts first-years "Harry Potter," "Hermione Granger," and "Ron Weasley," respectively. Another outstanding cast member is Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the strict but fair "Professor McGonagall." Finally, Robbie Coltrane, as "Hagrid," and Richard Harris, as "Albus Dumbledore," are also great for their roles.

The special effects in the film are as outstanding as the cast. The particular centerpiece of this film is the Quidditch match, which is brought to us in stunning detail. The view of the Hogwarts School is also brilliantly done. I especially liked the Gryffindor Common Room with its high ceilings and tall, narrow windows - just as you'd expect in a castle's tower.

While there are a myriad of small changes and additions, the film surprisingly stays very close to the progression of the book. The so-called "lengthy" run time of the film is nothing to worry about; with this particular movie, the more the better! Besides, the film engrosses you too much and proceeds quickly enough as is. It's doubtful that anyone will be watching the clock!

Pride and Prejudice

Great effort
This film adaptation of Jane Austen's classic work, ``Pride and Prejudice," is a worthy effort. The film is very long but in this way manages to stay right with the book, which is a treat indeed.

Jennifer Ehle (as "Elizabeth Bennet") and Colin Firth (as "Fitzwilliam Darcy") shine. Both actors are perfect representations of the book's characters. The cinematography of this film is also terrific; the houses of the Bennets, Bingleys, and Darcys are all well-done and realistic, along with the costumes.

Anyone who has enjoyed the book is sure to enjoy this miniseries; it doesn't disappoint anyone in want of a clear, precise adaptation without the Hollywood fluff.

Captain Ron

Hilarious fun
While 'Captain Ron' certainly isn't an Oscar contender, it's great fun and can be watched over and over again. Martin Short and Kurt Russell are both fall-down hilarious. Mix that with absolutely beautiful Caribbean scenery, and you've got a great comedy.


One of the best
One of the best in the Bond enterprise, 'Goldfinger' delights with its action sequences, storyline, and actors. Honor Blackman is truly one of the all-time great "Bond girls." And of course, nobody does it better than Sean Connery as James Bond himself.

In 'Goldfinger,' Bond must try to stop yet another highly-financed psychopath. Despite its age, this still proves to be one of the most engaging Bond films, even without all the ultra-techie gadgets present in the newer flicks.

Red Dragon

Terrific effort
I was certainly anxious to see 'Red Dragon.' I've enjoyed both 'The Silence of the Lambs' and 'Hannibal,' and knew that this probably wouldn't be any different. Having not seen 'Manhunter,' the earlier adaptation of Thomas Harris's novel ``Red Dragon," I cannot comment on which film is better. Of course I'm not going out on much of a limb to say that without Anthony Hopkins, there's likely an immense hole that goes unfilled.

Edward Norton shines as "Will Graham," a formerly-retired FBI agent who is brought back thanks to the good doctor, "Hannibal Lecter." Similarly, Ralph Fiennes portrays a sociopath incredibly well. Between him and Buffalo Bill (of 'Silence' fame), Fiennes' character easily wins out as the most intriguing of the two.

Of course, Anthony Hopkins reprises his role with yet another terrific performance. There's no question that 'Red Dragon' is better than 'Hannibal,' and easily steps up to the lofty heights achieved by 'The Silence of the Lambs.' Of the three book adaptations, 'Red Dragon' is far and away the most interesting story, with a plethora of interesting characters and a suspenseful storyline rivaling that of 'Silence.'


Flaws abound, enjoyable still
Considering 'Titanic' is a truly Hollywood-esque movie, one is not the least bit surprised at the amount of historical inaccuracy present. Regardless of these various (and numerable) mistakes, 'Titanic' still proves to be a highly enjoyable and moving film.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio perform well as the main characters of a love story backdropped by the sailing of the doomed vessel. Kathy Bates is excellent as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown," and Frances Fisher performs well as the arrogant, love-to-hate mother of Winslet's character.

The special effects, including a near life-size replica of the ship, are great. The film would be enjoyable to watch simply to see the magnificence of the oceanliner itself. The soundtrack to this film is brilliant as well.

La vita è bella

Inspiring, touching story
There's not much to say about 'Life is Beautiful' other than the fact that it is certainly worthy of seeing. The film is at once hilariously funny and immensely sad.

Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, Benigni's character falls in love. What ensues is a series of comedic events, all in spite of the blunt truth of World War II.

Benigni was certainly worthy of his Oscar, and this film was certainly worthy of its own Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It's an inspiring, clever way to depict the events of the Holocaust, without feeling overly cynical or insulting. That in itself was quite a triumph.

Legally Blonde

Clever, light-hearted fun
Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) is the quintessential "Valley Girl." The story of 'Legally Blonde' is highly unbelievable, and yet enjoyable at the same time. Witherspoon easily becomes her character and is able to portray an ultimate stereotype with a new freshness.

Holland Taylor is perfectly cast as one of Elle's law professors at Harvard. Taylor is a judge on TV's 'The Practice,' and so her character is immediately recognized as being law-savvy. Victor Garber also does well as a colleague of Taylor's and partner of a prestigious law firm. Finally, Selma Blair portrays the role of a seemingly snooty, uptight intellectual well.

Obviously, 'Legally Blonde' won't be winning any Oscars. Nevertheless, it's a clever film that lightheartedly pokes fun at law school and its overall environment.

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