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Sep. 25th, 2004

02:18 pm - Saved!

3.5/4 stars


starring: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Eva Amurri


directed by: Brian Dannelly


Summary: Mary (Jena Malone) and Hilary (Mandy Moore) are two popular girls at American Christian High School. At the start of their senior year, Mary finds out she's pregnant, and Hilary turns against her. Soon, Mary discovers that she's an outcast.


 


Critique: Very good movie. The message is wonderful, the movie is amusing, the characters are awesome--Rodney [Culkin] and Cassandra are by far the most impressive to me, even though their roles were not quite as big. The plot is great, although time goes by a bit fast. The movie does an excellent job of portraying the sad reality of conservative Christianity's message compared to a more open loving version of Christianity. The messages in the end are especially touching, but not in an over the top way. I really hope that some fundamentalists could see this movie and open their eyes, but unfortunately that will most likely never happen.

Current Mood: amusedamused

Sep. 8th, 2004

10:27 am - The Village

3/4

Rating: PG-13

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Summary: A small village stays isolated by Covington Woods where a threatening force lives and keeps the village on its toes. A curious member of the town Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) wants to venture into the woods to find what is outside of the village, but when he does so endangers the lives of the entire town.

Review: The Village turned out to be a very unique piece by M. Night Shyamalan who is well known for his horror films like Thi Sixth Sense and Signs. In this tale, not only does he create the suspense and fear in many of his past movies, but Shyamalan also brings out an amazing amount of emotion. The fact that one twist brought me to tears and almost sobbing really surprized me when I almost never cry at movies. This is not just a horror film like many others.
Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of the actor Ron Howard from Happy Days deserves mention from her beautiful performance as a blind girl who is in love with Lucius. She pushes the story through with her acting. Adrien Brody does a wonderful job of really creating his character - a mentally retarded young man. Joaquin Phoenix portrays his character wonderfully as well. The movie has a great clear message of what people do to escape pain and save their loved ones. The use of color added greatly to the movie, and the technical aspects were sufficient.

Jul. 18th, 2004

01:46 am - SHREK 2

PG:
Some crude humor, a brief substance reference and some suggestive content

Starring:
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Antonio Banderas

Director(s):
Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon

Summary:
Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) return from their honeymoon to find a dinner invite from Fiona's parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. They heard their daughter had wed, but they assumed she married Prince Charming and are shocked at the arrival of two green ogres and a donkey (Eddie Murphy). Wanting to break up the couple, the King enlists the help of Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas).

Review:
This movie was amazing!!!! I was not that impressed by the first Shrek--my friends overhyped it and made it a letdown when I finally saw it. But this one! I could not stop laughing. Puss in Boots stole the show, but in a marvelous way. You wouldn't think they could continue this story and still be entertaining, but they managed it. And it doesn't only make you laugh, but the green ogres manage to create a little drama and romance as well. Entertaining for both the young and the old, once again.

May. 18th, 2004

04:59 am - MEAN GIRLS

3.5/4

Starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey, Lizzy Caplan

Director(s) Mark S. Waters

PG-13 - for sexual content, language and some teen partying

Overview from movies.com:
Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) was home-schooled in the African wilderness by her zoologist parents but finds that life gets a lot rougher when she matriculates at North Shore High School in a small town outside of Chicago. After she admits to having a crush on the ex-boyfriend of the school's most popular girl, Regina George
(Rachel McAdams), forces align against her.

Personal Critique:

One of my favorite movies of the year, definitely. You probably don't think you'd like this movie--Lindsey Lohan usually does cutesy Disney stuff and the trailer may not be your favorite. But I recommend this to anyone who has ever been in High School [AKA everyone], especially in a public high school. It's so humorous and I can totallllllly remember similar-ish things going on in my own school. It's funny to see them put on the big screen and seem so ridiculous, when you know it was so serious to you at one point in time---or at least to most of us, it was serious at one point in time. It's funny and charming, but in a bad sort of way. You know, I think I'd go see it again, if I wasn't so broke. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!

May. 8th, 2004

11:51 am - REVIEW: Spiderman

Rated PG

3/4 stars

My Personal Critique:
Well, besides the fact that I've liked Spiderman since I was young because my brother always used to watch the cartoons, I think this movie was great.

It gives suspense if you haven't seen the cartoons - and even if you have seen the cartoons.

The movie has some terrific parts: for example, when Spiderman has to choose with the bus full of children to die or the love of his life, MJ. What did he choose? Watch the movie to find out.

This is a GREAT movie, and you should rent it. Buying it too wouldn't be a waste of money..its the kind of movie you want to watch over and over.

Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated

Apr. 21st, 2004

04:43 pm - REVIEW: Ducktape Forever

Rated PG

2.5/4 stars

My Personal Critique
If you are a fan of the Red Green show, you will LOVE this movie.
I thought this movie was actually good.
It was actually funny, and was actually intereseting too. They had a proper plot, and I'd say go rent this movie anyday.

This is a kind of movie you want to buy when it comes out. For people of all ages.

Current Mood: calmcalm

11:08 am - LOVE ACTUALLY

4/4 stars.

R - for sexuality, nudity and language

Starring Alan Rickman, Laura Linney, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley, Martin Freeman, Liam Neeson, Rowan Atkinson

Director(s) Richard Curtis

Overview from movies.go.com:
Set in modern-day London, the story interweaves 10 romantic love stories. Hugh Grant plays the newly elected British prime minister, a bachelor who falls for a young tea girl (Martine McCutcheon) on his first day in office. Other tales tell of a happily married woman (Emma Thompson) who fears that her husband (Alan Rickman) may leave her, a widowed father (Liam Neeson) left to care for his only son, and a writer (Colin Firth) who escapes to the south of France to recover from a breakup, only to fall for someone else almost immediately.

Personal Critique:
A lot of the reviews for this movie were only so-so. But I think that they failed to truly grasp the concept behind the movie. I don't think anything could have been done better. I don't think it's overly sappy, I don't think it's too long, I don't think it's overly optimistic, I don't think it's a case of deja vu.

I do I wish this movie was not rated R. Many people will think maybe it is dirty---rated R for nudity and sexuality. But it's not, not at all. It's a beautiful movie. Real love, different kinds of love, broken love, weird love, oh so romantic love... Everything related to love is in this movie, all intertwined, into a most beautiful set of short stories. Every scene in this movie makes me cry. You can tell that the movie is British and at one point makes American government look kinda bad--I've heard a FEW complaints about that--but it's nice to get a refreshing view on life. And the whole movie is beautiful. I know I have said that already, but it's true and I can't say it enough. This movie comes out on DVD next week and I recommend anyone and everyone to buy it, even my "IHATECHICKFLICKS" boyfriend really enjoyed it. GO SEE IT. OVER AND OVER. It will make you smile and cry, and feel wonderful inside--while keeping it real.

See it if only for this one incredibly amusing Hugh Grant dance scene.

Apr. 19th, 2004

08:55 am - ELLA ENCHANTED

2.5/4

PG- for some crude humor and language

Starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Vivica A. Fox, Joanna Lumley, Minnie Driver

Director(s) Tommy O'Haver

Overview from movies.go.com:

Based on the award-winning novel by Gail Carson Levine, the story is about Ella of Frell (Anne Hathaway), a young woman who was born with the "gift" — given by a magical fairy godmother — of absolute obedience. But when her inability to disobey orders threatens to keep her away from her true love, Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), she sets out on a journey to rid herself of the curse.

Personal Critique:
I thought this movie was delightful, and exactly what it was supposed to be--an entertaining, WHOLESOME movie for the younger kids---these aren't made that often anymore, and when they are, they usually do badly because younger kids are seeing movies for older people. But anyways, Anne Hathaway does an excellent job playing Ella, one of my favorite story roles when I was younger. Char is cute and sweet, a perfect prince. Lots of lightheartedness, and even the dark plot twist is not too scary. If you have kids, or are just young at heart, see this movie.

08:50 am - THE PUNISHER

3/4

R- pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity.

Starring Thomas Jane, John Travolta, James Carpinello, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Laura Harring, Will Patton, Ben Foster

Director(s) Jonathan Hensleigh

Overview from movies.go.com:
The Punisher follows an FBI undercover agent, Frank Castle (Thomas Jane); he's a former Special Forces member who is finally moving into a safe desk job, to the delight of his wife and son. But when his family is executed after witnessing a mafia hit, Castle dons a black battle suit, arms himself with a ton of guns, and seeks swift revenge.

Personal Critique:
One of the better comic book movies that I have seen. I only wish that the ending had involved more happily-ever-after magic elements, but that's just the girl in me. :) The movie moved quickly, but not too fast---just enough so that it rarely dragged and yet everything got covered that should. It was interesting how he goes about his revenge, [and I'm not one for revenge movies usually] and definitely very entertaining. It will be interesting to see if they decide to make any sequels to the movie, but I guess that's what the comic book is for!

08:45 am - KILL BILL VOL 2

2.5, maybe 3/4

R - for violence, language and brief drug use

Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Darryl Hannah, Gordon Liu, Michael Parks

Director(s) Quentin Tarantino

Overview from movies.go.com:
In the follow-up to Kill Bill, Volume 1, The Bride (Uma Thurman) is closing in on the man who shot her at her wedding, Bill (David Carradine), her former boss and lover. Before she gets a chance to fight him, though, she must face The California Mountain Snake (Daryl Hannah) and Sidewinder (Michael Madsen).

Personal Critique:
Personally, I'm not sure what all the 4 star business was about. [Even my boyfriend who was expecting 4 stars, only gave it three, maybe three and a half.] I was not a big fan of the first movie, because of the excessive use of graphic violence, but I would pick the first movie over Volume 2 any day. It has less violence, but it's almost as if they didn't know what to do to fill time if they couldn't fill it with murderous rampages. I think the comic anime whatever element that Tarantino was going for was lost in this version, and that the Chapter this, Chapter that only became silly. The movie dragged and dragged and dragged with interesting things being broken up by tediousness. There was an interesting twist at the end, at least. And a really cool bitchy Chinese guy.

Of course, if you realllllly enjoyed Volume 1, see the movie, and see it in theaters. However, you may be disappointed. Now, if you REALLLLLY didn't like Volume 1, as I did not, then you will be even more disappointed, so don't see it.

Apr. 11th, 2004

12:02 pm - REVIEW: The Passion of the Christ

4/4

Rating: PG-13; immense amount of violence.
Director: Mel Gibson

Personal Analysis
I thought this movie was excellent in its way.
It explained what happened back then with Jesus; it showed the pain of what he had to go through.

Even though there was a lot of violence in it, I think that this movie is a great movie, especially for people who don't believe in Christ much.

The only confusing part were with the parts with the Devil; a lot didn't make sence, but Mel had a different "view" on what happened.

Current Mood: okayokay

Apr. 5th, 2004

05:18 pm - WALKING TALL


3/4

Rating: PG-13
Starring: The Rock, Neil McDonough, Johnny Knoxville
Director: Kevin Bray

Plot Summary (from movies.go.com)
After returning home from serving his country overseas, Chris Vaughn (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) finds his hometown infested with drugs and crime. Picking up a four-by-four, Vaughn begins kicking butt and taking names in an effort to clean the place up

Personal Analysis
No one could accuse this movie of moving too slow. In fact, it almost seemed like it moved *too* fast at times. There were a few subplots it seemed like they were trying to open, but didn't give them the attention they deserved--the lead's relationship with his love interest, and his nephew's drug problem--both of which played into the main plotline, but were explored too much to be forwards but not enough to stand on their own.

Otherwise, it was excellent. Action movies don't require a lot of acting talent and the cast supplied enough to make it work, the editing, aside from leaving you wondering what elements were actually important, was done well and the cinematography was believable for the story. Very good action sequences as well, particularly the huge shoot-out at the end.

My two words to sum up this movie? Bad. Ass.

Current Mood: hungryhungry

Apr. 2nd, 2004

02:37 am - JERSEY GIRL

3/4

PG-13 - for language and sexual content including frank dialogue
Starring Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Raquel Castro, George Carlin, Jennifer Lopez, Jason Biggs
Director(s) Kevin Smith

Summary from movies.go.com:
Set in New York and New Jersey, circa 1996, Jersey Girl follows Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck), a slick music promoter whose wife (Jennifer Lopez) is about to give birth to their first child. But a tragic accident leaves Ollie a widower tasked with raising a child by himself. He moves back in with his father (George Carlin) in Jersey, where he meets a flirtatious grad student (Liv Tyler).

Personal Critique:
Not as fall on the floor funny as most Kevin Smith films, but very clever and adorable still. A much better attempt at being serious than CHASING AMY was, the pain of the single parent life---along with its joys--is convincingly portrayed. Very much more like real life than most of these types of comedy-dramas and Ben Affleck gives a wonderful performance, yet is slightly showed up by young Raquel Castro and older George Carlin. It's not just another JLo and Ben movie---she dies fast into the movie obviously, though actually gives a surprisingly good performance, perhaps because it was so brief. I would recommend this movie to anyone, even though I know that critics did not like it as much as I did.

02:29 am - SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED

2.5/4
PG - for some scary action, rude humor and language
Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Seth Green, Alicia Silverstone
Director(s)
Raja Gosnell

Summary from movies.go.com:
This time around, the gang tries to stop a sinister villain from conquering the city of Coolsville and making it very much uncool through the use of a monster machine that brings back classic Mystery Inc. enemies.

Personal Critique:
Not bad, not bad at all. Definitely better than the first one. Lots of allusions to episodes, any Scooby fan will enjoy this movie as the characters are closer to their TV show personalities and looks. The ending may or may not be predictable---I saw it coming, but the person I saw it with guessed COMPLETELY WRONG. I think you'll enjoy it if you are a Scooby fan, for sure, although it still can be childish, unScoobylike in a few moments, and a little bit of dragging in the middle. Not quite as funny as it COULD have been, but still solid.

Mar. 29th, 2004

01:18 pm - The Ladykillers


3.25/4 Stars

R - language including sexual references
Starring - Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans
Director - Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Plot Summary (from imdb.com)
A remake of the 1955 comedy, the story revolves around a Southern professor who puts together a group of thieves to rob a casino. They rent a room in an old woman's house, but soon she discovers the plot and they must kill her, a task that is more difficult than it seems

Personal Critique
I found this movie absolutely hilarious--Tom Hanks has lost none of his power to captivate an audience, even when he's playing a Professor-turned-criminal who takes himself far too seriously. His only real problem in this movie is a wavering accent that is generally southern but sometimes almost sounds british.

Set in the deep south midway through the 20th century, the crew for the movie did a wonderful job creating the setting--Ms. Mundun's (played by Irma P. Hall and the Lady referenced in the title) house reaches out to the audience--as a southern girl I have several family members who live in small houses in the south that look almost unlived in--very neat, no electronic noise whatsoever, and the house in this movie made me feel like I was there--from the Southern quiet to the musty smell of dust in the summer heat, resting in high places that haven't been touched for years.

As for the plot--it was very unexpected up to the turning point--that was something no one in the huge group I went with saw coming. After that point, however, everything becomes humorously predictable, to the point where audience members were audibly guessing what would happen next--and being correct. But unlike many predictable movies, in this case it worked, and almost felt more like a mockery of predictability than an actual failure on behalf of the production crew.

I can't give this movie a full four stars because it felt a little disjointed at times and didn't quite have the emotional connection I feel the best movies have, but quality wise, The Ladykillers is excellent.

Mar. 27th, 2004

08:22 pm - Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Not another teen movie. I thought this was going to be a sappy dorky movie with a <3 story ending; however, I was VERY surprised that it was non of those things. Taking place during the explosive cuban revolution this movie shows one girls need and desire to understand the REAL Cuba, not the Cuba that her rich family knows. Having just moved from America, shes an outsider to the girls at the rich country club and to the Cuban boy whos not sure what to think of this girl.
Of course they end up becoming friends (and later more) and entering a HUGE dance contest- and contest for the white population of Cuba. The dancing is wonderful, not stupid and you actually get to see their feet, which is a plus.
The ending which I wont say is not at all expected all though totally realistic.

Mar. 25th, 2004

09:14 am - DVD Review - History of the World Part I

4/4
Rated:
Starring:
Mel Brooks, Gergory Hines, Dom Deluise, Madeline Kahn
Director(s): Mel Brooks

Overview:
From the dawn of man to the distant future, mankind's evolution (or lack thereof) is traced. Often ridiculous but never serious, we learn the truth behind the Roman Emperor, we learn what REALLY happened at the last supper, the circumstances that surrounded the French Revolution, how to test eunuchs, and what kind of shoes the Spanish Inquisitor wore. (From IMDB.com)

Personal Critique:
This has to be one of my favorite movies by Mel Brooks, as a warning however there are a lot of jokes in this movie that might be offensive to some. While much of the humor is far from sophisticated, it doesn't diminish the fact that the film is just plain funny! Lots of comedic actors, great and small, make side-splitting appearances in the film, including Sid Ceasar, Harvey Korman, Dom DeLuise, Bea Arthur, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Jackie Mason, and Gregory Hines. The beauty of Brooks' scathing spoofs of historical events and figures is that the humor is timeless, holding up just as well in 2004 as it did when the film was originally released.If you haven't seen this movie, you should get your hands on it and see it. It's strange to put into words the way this comedy works.

Mar. 21st, 2004

11:27 am - ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

4/4

R - for language, some drug use and sexual content
Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson
Director(s) Michel Gondry

Overview from movies.go.com:
Joel (Jim Carrey) is stunned when he learns that his one-time girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their failed relationship erased. Now he wants her gone from his memory and asks the doctor who invented the process (Tom Wilkinson) for help. But as the procedure slowly destroys his memories of Clementine, Joel recalls the good times they had together and tries to mentally overcome the procedure while he sleeps

Personal Critique:
Amazing. It is rare that a movie this good comes along. So interested and so REAL---showing both the lovely times when you fall in love with someone and the sad sad moments when things just don't seem like they will work out---bounced back up by those lovely moments. So emotional and heart-wrenching and just wonderful. Funny and great from  beginning to end. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet are magical in their roles. And it's not just pure romantic comedy slush, but so much more human than that--even my boyfriend who HATES romantic comedies thought this movie was amazing.I have to quote TV Guide on this one, because the quote is just right: "… almost enough to restore your faith in Hollywood." For me, it was enough. Go see it. The only movie thus far in 2004 that is truly a MUST SEE.

11:22 am - DAWN OF THE DEAD

2/4

R - for zombie violence/gore and language
Starring Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly
Director(s) Zack Snyder

Overview from movies.go.com:
In this remake of horror classic Dawn of the Dead, a mysterious plague causes the newly dead to rise from their graves and begin to eat the living in this horror remake, starring Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley. During the ruckus caused by all the zombies walking about, a group of humans takes refuge in a shopping mall.

Personal Critique:

Bloody but not particularly scary. The tension can get high at moments but is not fully maintained throughout the movie. It reminded me a lot of a video game. I think part of the problem is that it did not make you care overly about the characters. Sure, they were developed some, but most were not developed enough to make you care if they lived or died. Left some loose ends as well. But still a better horror movie than most.

10:28 am - 50 FIRST DATES

2.75/4

Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Lusia Strus, Dan Aykroyd
Director(s) Peter Segal
PG-13 - for crude sexual humor and drug references

Overview from movies.go.com:
Romantic comedy 50 First Dates follows a veterinarian (Adam Sandler) who falls for a woman (Drew Barrymore) suffering from short-term memory loss. Because of her condition, every day their love is new — literally. He must woo her again and again or she will forget that he's the one for her.

Personal Critique:
I LOVED this movie! I thought it was very romantic, yet very humorous as well. If you like Adam Sandler, you'll like this movie. If you don't like Adam Sandler, you will probably still like this movie. It's not just plain dumb humor like with Billy Madison, it's more along the lines of The Wedding Singer---only better. It's a great romantic comedy that the guys can probably enjoy as much as the girls.

10:24 am - SECONDHAND LIONS

3/4

PG - for thematic material, language and action violence
Starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment, Kyra Sedgwick, Nicky Katt, Josh Lucas
Director(s) Tim McCanlies

Overview from movies.go.com:
Michael Caine and Robert Duvall play the eccentric and wealthy great-uncles of a shy young teenager (Haley Joel Osment). The men care for him over a summer in Texas during the 1960s, when his unreliable mother (Kyra Sedgwick) drops him off, regaling the boy with unbelievable and impressive stories of their past, seen in flashbacks.

Personal Critique:
Adorable. I think that Osment does an excellent job at making you feel the pain of his young life and the uncles are crazily funny and cute. DEFINITELY a feel-good movie with lots of humorous sections thrown in. While it was not necessarily recommended by many of the critics, I would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a movie that will just make them feel wonderful. Very charming and delightful all the way to the end.

10:21 am - GOTHIKA

2/4

R - for violence, brief language and nudity
Starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Bernard Hill, Penélope Cruz
Director(s) Mathieu Kassovitz

Overview from movies.go.com:
A respected criminal psychologist (Halle Berry) hears confessions from a satanic patient (Penélope Cruz) and later has an experience with a mysterious woman. This leads to nightmares, but her life really becomes horrific when she wakes up and discovers she's been locked in her own sanitarium for a murder that she can't remember committing. It turns out that the victim is, in fact, her husband (Charles S. Dutton), the hospital's administrator, and all the evidence points to her. While trying to figure out what's happened and separate fact from fiction, her colleague (Robert Downey Jr.) wonders whether she's finally gone crazy.

Personal Critique:
How much you like this movie really depends on two things---how much do you like supernatural psychological thrillers?? How easily do you get freaked out by them. The entire thing is basically is she crazy? Is she not crazy? What's going on??? I greatly enjoyed it and thought that the tension was kept up pretty well. Unfortunately, psychological thrillers also have a tendency to become predictable when you've seen too many of them, as apparently I have. I was constantly able to figure out what was going on before it was revealed to me---sometimes wayyyy before, sometimes just a few minutes, but was rarely overly surprised or shocked. Still, a solid 2 stars---not awful, but not oscar-worthy... like most movies these days.

Mar. 19th, 2004

12:30 pm - HONEY

Borderline 2/4

PG-13 - for drug content and some sexual references
Starring Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer, Joy Bryant, David Moscow, Lonette McKee, Zachary Isaiah Williams
Director(s) Billie Woodruff

Overview from movies.go.com:
Honey Daniels, an inner-city woman (Jessica Alba) into hip-hop dancing, works at a neighborhood dance studio where she's discovered by a powerful young music mogul (David Moscow). Flush with success as a video choreographer, Alba's character finds herself suddenly unable to get work after she turns down the mogul's sexual advances.

Personal Critique:
Okay, so the entire plot is cliche and predictable. Yet it still can make you feel good in the end. The dancing is very awesome and there are cameos left and right from a million hip hop stars---I didn't even know who some of them were! Sometimes the poverty stricken badpartoftheneighborhood in Jessica Alba seems a bit forced, and Mekhi Phifer's role is almost unneeded. But still---it can make you feel good in the end and has moments that can be quite funny. Definitely not going to win an oscar or anything, but not abysmally awful either.

Mar. 18th, 2004

01:39 pm - KISSING JESSICA STEIN

3?/4

 

R - for sexual content and language

Starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Scott Cohen, Jackie Hoffman,

Michael Mastro, Carson Elrod
Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld

 

Overview from movies.go.com:

Tired of dating the wrong guys, Jessica answers a personal ad from another woman. She was only looking to make a new friend, but romance soon blossoms as she explores her sexuality.

 

Personal Critique: Does the plot sound strange? Well, the movie only gets stranger. It takes a very odd, unconventional look at love and relationships that is strangely fascinating. It only got excellent reviews from the critics, and I can understand why. Yet it still… I don’t know. It’s so quirky and charming, but in an incomparable way. I would definitely rent it, because it is incredibly hard to describe. I think that this is a movie you have to see for yourself and make your own mind up.

01:38 pm - COLD MOUNTAIN

3.5/4</o:p>

 

R - for violence and sexuality

Starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Donald Sutherland, Ray Winstone, Brendan Gleeson
Director(s) Anthony Minghella

 

Overview from movies.go.com:

Cold Mountain is based on the best-selling, National Book Award-winning novel by Charles Frazier. The story focuses on a wounded Civil War soldier, Inman (Jude Law), who gets up from what doctors suspected was his deathbed and begins the long, difficult walk home to Cold Mountain, N.C., so he can be with the woman he loves and left behind three years earlier, Ada (Nicole Kidman). Inman encounters many obstacles along the way. Ada, heartbroken, lonely, and struggling to care for her deceased dad's farm, receives a helping hand in the form of a sassy, hard-working wanderer (Renée Zellweger), who is estranged from her fiddle-playing father (Brendan Gleeson).

 

Personal Critique: This movie is beautiful. While sometimes slow, the beauty of the connections between the people, their ideas on war, the inner torment that they go through… Even my boyfriend enjoyed it and he hates romantic movies! But jokes aside, the movie was truly breathtaking. Many have said that Renee stole the show, but I believe that Jude Law is the real star. So quiet, yet able to portray every thought in his head. The entire cast works together seamlessly to create this movie magic. I think it does an excellent job of portraying the reality of war, its effects on those left behind---and in war---and the feelings of the Southern soldiers: not necessarily that they wanted slavery, but that they were fighting for their homes… and by the time this movie takes place, they were tired to the soul, something that Minghella has been able to get his actors/actresses to bring to the screen in more than words—the underlying expressions, gestures, feelings that can be seen in their eyes. And while some say that the romance between Inman and Ada is ridiculous, once seeing the movie, I believe you can feel the deep connection that brings them together in just their few meetings. And sometimes there are people you just connect with.

01:37 pm - BARBERSHOP II

2.5/4

 

PG-13- language, sexual material and brief drug references

Starring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Queen Latifah, Troy Garity

Director(s) Kevin Rodney Sullivan

 

Overview from movies.go.com:

This sequel to the original Barbershop stars Ice Cube as Calvin, the proprietor of an independent neighborhood barbershop in South Chicago with a clientele as outspoken as its barbers (who include Cedric the Entertainer). When corporate hair franchise Nappy Cutz moves in across the street, a battle for business begins.

 

Personal Critique: Okay, I did not want to see this movie. However, it was surprisingly---okay. I never saw the original and was still able to enjoy the ending, although I am sure you will appreciate some of what is going on more if you see the original. The beginning was veryyyyy slow to get going and some parts were extremely confusing, but there were plenty of jokes mixed in to make you laugh. However, some people will not enjoy these jokes or the movie, especially if they hate “black culture.” [I’m not sure what other words to use??] I think the message and the meaning behind the story were very good though, even if it seemed to pop up at the end.

01:34 pm - RUNAWAY JURY

2/4

 

PG-13 - for violence, language and thematic elements

Starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman,

Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Beals, Nora Dunn, Luis Guzman, Orlando Jones, Jeremy Piven

Director(s) Gary Fleder

 

Overview from movies.go.com::

A man (John Cusack) on a jury in a landmark lawsuit against a gun manufacturer conspires with a woman (Rachel Weisz) to swing the verdict. Because it's such a high-profile lawsuit and there are millions at stake, he finds himself in conflict with an idealistic lawyer (Dustin Hoffman) and a jury consultant (Gene Hackman) who will do anything to get the verdict he wants.

 

Personal Critique: I thought this movie was intriguing.  I admit that there were some parts that dragged a bit in the middle. However, I thought the twists in the plot were placed very nicely. Maybe I’m just slow, but I didn’t quite see them coming as fast as I normally do ---and I’m usually pretty good at guessing. I was amazed by the all-star cast that just kept popping up in random places. While they do not lend an all-star quality to this movie, nothing to make it STELLAR, it still is a solid movie, neither GREAT nor HORRIBLE, just interesting and good. Worth a rent at least.

Feb. 19th, 2004

09:33 am - The Sweetest Thing

Staring: Cameran Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Jason Bateman.
Rating: R

Stars: 2/4

Overview: Cameron Diaz plays a sexy single woman who, alongside her best friend (Christina Applegate), enjoys club hopping while in search of true love. The pair seem to have a knack for picking the wrong guys, and when they finally do find Mr. Right, it creates more problems than they could have imagined.

Critique:
One of the best things about this movie is the soundtrack. Macy Gray, Sugar Ray, Ben Fold, David Mead and others. Truly one of the better movie soundtracks I’ve heard in a long time.
The chemistry between all the actors is superb as well. Jason Bateman is hilarious, and the three women (Diaz, Applegate and Blair) make you believe that they are friends away from the movie set.
It’s a feel good movie, so if you’re expecting something else you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Bottom line is that if you watch this movie to learn about life's mysteries, you've chosen the wrong movie. People should take this movie for what it is: A feel-good & fun chick flick.

Feb. 13th, 2004

01:31 pm - LION KING 1 1/2

Children's movie, G

Starring: Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Matthew Broderik, Jerri Stiller, and Whoopi Goldberg

1.5/4 stars

It may be a bit harsh to give this movie 1 1/2 stars. There were definitely clever moments, featuring the integration of Timon/Pumba's story with the original Lion King 1 story. And even some comedic laughs.

However, the songs were awful and NOT catchy. Many times the movie dragged with filler scenes---and the movie is only 77 minutes, what does it need filler scenes for?

Basically, it's your typical Disney animated sequel. So if you adored Lion King, I'd say rent this movie, because it is cute and clever. Children will probably adore it. But overall, it fails to meet the standards of the original Lion King and sinks into history as yet-another-sorry-Disney-sequel.

01:22 pm - EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

Drama, PG-13

Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West....

3.5/4 stars

Wow. I think I was the only person that hadn't seen this movie before. And that is a crime.

I know this because now having seen it, I would have to say Edward Scissorhands is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen. The contrasts of light & dark, the picture painted of Suburbia, the dramatic shift in the neighborhood point of view... All of it works towards a perfect modern fairy tale, a very tragic modern fairy tale.

And the movie pulls you in. I felt for Edward; I felt his pain and joy. Johnny Depp did an amazing job portraying a character's emotions and thoughts---while barely speaking. The movie was more than just watching a movie... it was an EXPERIENCE. And one with lessons that I think all of us could learn.

If you, like me, were one of the few people who had never seen it, go now. If you have seen it, see it again. The film is amazing.

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