# Datasets:movie_rationales

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there may not be a critic alive who harbors as much affection for shlock monster movies as i do . i delighted in the sneaky - smart entertainment of ron underwood 's big - underground - worm yarn tremors ; i even giggled at last year 's critically - savaged big - underwater - snake yarn anaconda . something about these films causes me to lower my inhibitions and return to the saturday afternoons of my youth , spent in the company of ghidrah , the creature from the black lagoon and the blob . deep rising , a big - undersea - serpent yarn , does n't quite pass the test . sure enough , all the modern monster movie ingredients are in place : a conspicuously multi - ethnic / multi - national collection of bait . .. excuse me , characters ; an isolated location , here a derelict cruise ship in the south china sea ; some comic relief ; a few cgi - enhanced gross - outs ; and at least one big explosion . there are too - cheesy - to - be - accidental elements , like a sleazy shipping magnate ( anthony heald ) who also appears to have a doctorate in marine biology , or a slinky international jewel thief ( famke janssen ) whose white cotton tank top hides a heart of gold . as it happens , deep rising is noteworthy primarily for the mechanical manner in which it spits out all those ingredients . a terrorist crew , led by squinty - eyed mercenary hanover ( wes studi ) and piloted by squinty - eyed boat captain finnegan ( treat williams ) , shows up to loot the cruise ship ; the sea monsters show up to eat the mercenary crew ; a few survivors make it to the closing credits . and up go the lights . it 's hard to work up much enthusiasm for this sort of joyless film - making , especially when a monster moview should make you laugh every time it makes you scream . here , the laughs are provided almost entirely by kevin j. o'connor , generally amusing as the crew 's fraidy - cat mechanic . writer / director stephen sommers seems most concerned with creating a tone of action - horror menace -- something over - populated with gore - drenched skeletons , something where the gunfire and special effects are taken a bit too seriously . deep rising is missing that one unmistakable cue that we 're expected to have a ridiculous good time , not hide our eyes . case it point , comparing deep rising to its recent cousin anaconda . in deep rising , one of the creature 's victims is regurgitated back into view , partially digested and still alive . he shrieks in horror at his freakish appearance and pain , in a moment a bit too disturbing to be laughable . in anaconda , we also see a regurgitated victim , partially digested and still alive . he looks at another character . .. and winks . make no mistake , deep rising has anaconda beat all to heck when it comes to technical proficiency and pacing . it 's also gloomy , uninspired and not nearly enough fun . i do n't ask much of my monster movies , but i do ask that they act like monster movies . you do n't have to show me a fantastically impressive , massive beast with tentacles a - flailing . just show me the massive beast burping , and i 'll figure you get the point .
0 (NEG)
[ "i even giggled", "something about these films causes me to lower my inhibitions and return to the saturday afternoons of my", "does n't quite pass the test . sure enough", "too - cheesy - to - be - accidental", "noteworthy primarily for the mechanical manner in which", "it 's hard to work up much enthusiasm for this sort of joyless film - making , especially when a monster moview should make you laugh every time it makes you scream", "deep rising is missing that one unmistakable cue that we 're expected to have a ridiculous good time , not hide our eyes", "deep rising has anaconda beat all to heck when it comes to technical proficiency and pacing . it 's also gloomy , uninspired and not nearly enough", "i do n't ask much of my monster movies , but i do ask that they act like monster movies . you do n't have to show me a fantastically impressive , massive beast with tentacles a - flailing . just show me the massive beast burping , and i 'll figure you get the" ]
renee zellweger stars as sonia , a young jewish wife and mother frustrated by the constraints of her hasidic community in brooklyn . her husband ( glenn fitzgerald ) is a religious scholar whose all - in - a - day's - work attitude on sex fails to tame the " fire " she feels within , as so she confesses to the rebbe ( after hearing her fiery confession , the rebbe suddenly gets frisky with his pleasantly surprised wife -- and dies the next morning ) . sensing her frustration , her husband 's brother ( christopher eccleston ) gives her a job in his jewelry brokering business in exchange for raw , passionless sex that just fans sonia 's still - burning flame . on the job , sonia befriends ramon ( allen payne ) , a cool blast of hunky puerto rican water who does his own jewelry designs when not working as a grunt in an upscale jewelry store . can fire - taming be far be that far behind for the ever - smoldering sonia ? just about everything in writer - director boaz yakin 's rings false , starting with the improbably cast zellweger , who does an adequate enough acting job but simply looks too waspy for the role . a better fit would have been julianna margulies , who outshines zellweger as sonia 's take - no - crap sister - in - law . some of sonia 's baby steps toward liberation , such as indulging in a non - kosher egg roll in chinatown , come off as silly . yakin attempts to spice up the proceedings with a touch of magical realism -- in the form of the recurring presence of sonia 's long - dead brother 's ghost -- make the story feel even more trite than it already is . " i did n't know what to expect . it 's like something you chase for so long , but then you do n't know how to react when you get it . i still do n't know how to react . " --michael jordan , on winning his first nba championship in 1991 . .. or , my thoughts after meeting him on november 21 , 1997
0 (NEG)
[ "rings", "improbably", "who does an adequate enough acting job but simply looks too waspy for the role . a better fit would have been julianna margulies , who outshines zellweger as sonia 's take - no - crap sister - in - law . some of sonia 's baby steps toward", "such as indulging in a non - kosher egg roll in chinatown , come off as silly", "attempts to spice up the", "make the story feel even more trite than it already is . \" i did n't know what to expect . it 's like something you chase for so long , but then you do n't know how to react when you get it . i still do n't know how to react" ]
there 're so many things to criticize about i do n't know where to start . recommendation : turn off your brain - do n't be like me , decreasing the rating everyday because i think about it too much . a comet is about to strike earth , causing a catastrophe similar to the extinction level event ( e. l. e. ) that wiped out the dinosaurs . what follows is the story of a president 's bid to think for the good of his people , a rising reporter , the love story of two teenagers ( one of whom discovered the comet ) , and a team of astronauts on the ship  messiah ' to save the world . firstly , there is nothing outstandingly inferior about the making of the film ( nor is there anything outstandingly good about it ) , but the plot holes make the film corny and stupid . to be honest , i was more moved by the trailer than the film itself ( which is n't saying much ) . mimi leder 's follow - up to  the peacemaker ' is equally incompetent , with all the big stars wasted . ( perhaps i 'm just annoyed that the release of  the peacemaker ' in the us overshadowed a far superior thriller ,  the assignment ' . ) it is very obvious that the title not only represents the big boom that will result from the collision , but also connotes the heavy impact on human lives . however , the film simply fails on that note . the effects are worn - out , the substandard screenplay limited the acting , and the director continued her sad run in terms of good - film - making credentials . she 's still making good money though . t ? a leoni 's unfortunate character , the news reporter , is the foundation of the story and of the cast . but the film suffers from too many characters that do not need to be explored . robert duvall 's aging astronaut is lifeless , and morgan freeman 's president is restricted to , well , a righteous president ( which means he 's not interesting at all ) . leoni 's character is the only appealing one , and is played with reasonable conviction ( but a rather peculiar showing when reporting for msnbc ) , but was definitely undervalued by the director and screenwriters . warning : spoilers included ( but a lot of it is irrelevant and predictable anyway ) . plot holes , plot holes , plot holes . now , e. l. e. is threatening to exterminate more than 99 % of the human race , and they send eight puny little nuclear bombs up there ? where 's the logic ? leder could have at least made it plausible with 20 . and then it turns out that only a few percent of the world population actually perish , and those less selfish ones ( the ones that stayed at home ) were the victims . the film was almost mocking them , telling them they had died for nothing . i also fail to see how two teenagers , carrying a baby , would be the first to climb up the mountain / hill , even with a motorbike for a head - start . it 's unlikely that the dust will take just two years to settle , but that does n't really matter . building caves was a strategy mentioned in  dr . strangelove ' , which proposed that people lived underground for one hundred or so years . now that is a more practical use for caves . what is the point of living in caves ? there is no , unlike  dr . strangelove ' , any radioactivity outside to restrict exposure . how do plants grow ? if humans have the technology to keep plants alive in caves , there 's no reason why they ca n't do it in the open . the president disclosed that other countries have been preparing their own caves . obviously this means that the other countries were informed a long time ago , and you ca n't be serious to say that nobody leaked the news to the media . in an important mission like that of the  messiah ' , for that matter any mission , it is impossible that is n't sufficient fuel for an extra couple of hundred metres , needless to say tens of kilometres . this is not deep impact ? it 's a frivolous cheap impact . but even with all that , some overacting , and a 3 . 4 rating , it 's still watchable , just do n't think about it . okay ?
0 (NEG)
[ "there 're so many things to criticize about i do n't know where to start . recommendation : turn off your", "decreasing the rating everyday because i think about it too much", "nothing outstandingly inferior about the making of the film ( nor is there anything outstandingly good about it )", "plot holes make the film corny and stupid", "more", "( which is n't saying much", "equally", "wasted . ( perhaps i 'm just annoyed that the release of  the peacemaker ' in the us overshadowed a far superior thriller ,  the assignment ' .", "fails on that", "worn -", "the substandard screenplay limited the acting", "continued her sad", "'s unfortunate", "the film suffers from too many characters that do not need to be explored", "", "restricted", "a righteous president ( which means he 's not interesting at all", "only appealing", "reasonable conviction ( but a rather peculiar showing when reporting for msnbc", "definitely", "warning : spoilers included ( but a lot of it is irrelevant and predictable anyway ) . plot holes , plot holes , plot holes", "where 's the logic", "the film was almost mocking them , telling them they had died for", "i also fail to see", "even with a motorbike for a head - start . it 's unlikely that the dust will take just two years to settle , but that does n't really matter", "now that is a more practical use for caves . what is the point of living in caves", "", ", and you ca n't be serious to say that nobody leaked the news to the media", ", it is impossible that is n't sufficient fuel for an extra couple of hundred metres , needless to say tens of kilometres . this is not deep impact ? it 's a frivolous cheap impact" ]
do n't let this movie fool you into believing the romantic noirs of william shakespeare . no one will truly understand the heart and soul of this man except through his work , and this movie makes a vain attempt at that . any moves to ? glamorise ' his life , which hollywood has an annoying tendency to do , will only subtract from his achievement rather than expound on his greatness . this movie about his life , although well written , puts too much make - up on a man whose life was probably more pork and potatoes , rather than lobster and champagne . oh well , let 's fantasise onwards an assume that he was a bit of a flirtatious play - write , who falls in love with a beautiful woman ( gwyneth paltrow ) and from her inspiration , several plays develop - ? romeo and juliet ' , and ? the twelfth night ' . it is easier for me to believe that he had a wet dream and that 's how all his plays develop , but please spare me all of this unnecessary melodrama . but i guess my version probably would n't draw a crowd or make a dollar on screen . so is there any justification in romanticising the man shakespeare , when all we need to do is read his work in order to find his soul . i think not . as for the oscars were they deserved by this movie ? i think not . in many aspects ? private ryan ' and ? life is beautiful ' were far superior movies , but one should never assume that this should be a criteria for winning an oscar , as time and again , for reasons unexplained , an undeserving movie will win the accolade . another sore point is the fact that gwyneth won the best female lead , over a more polished cate , but i guess if you go on enough about your grandfather dying and your nephew being hospitalised - people will start feeling sorry for you .
0 (NEG)
[ "do n't let this movie fool you into believing the romantic noirs of william shakespeare", "and this movie makes a vain attempt at that . any moves to ? glamorise ' his life , which hollywood has an annoying tendency to do , will only subtract from his achievement rather than expound on his greatness", "puts too much make - up on a man whose life was probably more pork and potatoes , rather than lobster and", "but please spare me all of this unnecessary", "but i guess my version probably would n't draw a crowd or make a dollar on", "so is there any justification", "i think not . as for the oscars were they deserved by this movie ? i think not", "were far superior", "but one should never assume that this should be a criteria for winning an oscar , as time and again , for reasons unexplained , an undeserving movie will win the accolade . another sore point is the fact", ", over a more polished cate , but i guess if you go on enough about your grandfather dying and your nephew being hospitalised - people will start feeling sorry for" ]
it 's a good thing most animated sci - fi movies come from japan , because " titan a. e. " is proof that hollywood does n't have a clue how to do it . i do n't know what this film is supposed to be about . from what i can tell it 's about a young man named kale who 's one of the last survivors of earth in the early 31st century who unknowingly possesses the key to saving and re - generating what is left of the human race . that 's a fine premise for an action - packed sci - fi animated movie , but there 's no payoff . the story takes the main characters all over the galaxy in their search for a legendary ship that the evil " dredge " aliens want to destroy for no apparent reason . so in the process we get a lot of spaceship fights , fistfights , blaster fights and more double - crosses than you can shake a stick at . there 's so much pointless sci - fi banter it 's too much to take . the galaxy here is a total rip - off of the " star wars " universe the creators do n't bother filling in the basic details which makes the story confusing , the characters unmotivated and superficial and the plot just plain boring . despite the fantastic animation and special effects , it 's just not an interesting movie .
0 (NEG)
[ "is proof that hollywood does n't have a clue how to do it . i do n't know what this film is supposed to be", "but there 's no payoff", "there 's so much pointless sci - fi banter it 's too much to take", "total rip - off of the \" star wars \" universe the creators do n't bother filling in the basic details which makes the story confusing , the characters unmotivated and superficial and the plot just plain", "it 's just not an interesting" ]
in the year 2029 , captain leo davidson ( mark wahlberg , " boogie nights " ) is training ' his ' chimp pericles to pilot a pod from the usaf oberon space station . when an electromagnetic storm is encountered and pericles ' pod is lost , davidson sets out unauthorized and lands thousands of years in the future on the " planet of the apes . " maybe if 20th century fox had set the proverbial 100 chimps in front of typewriters they would have gotten a better results than this adaptation of the pierre boulle novel by william broyles jr . ( " cast away " ) , and lawrence konner & mark d. rosenthal ( " mighty joe young " ) . director tim burton 's unique look and style are nowhere to be found in this silly , pointless remake . davidson no sooner lands than he finds himself being swarmed by savages running in terror , whom he wisely joins . however , he 's rounded up with the lot of them by the apes which rule this plant and handed over to slave trader limbo ( paul giamatti , " duets " ) . ari ( helena bonham carter , " fight club " ) , daughter of the illustrious senator sandar ( david warner , " titanic " ) and simian bleeding heart , believes humans should live with apes on equal standing , an unpopular notion . she takes a liking to leo , who she deems ' unusual . ' general thade ( tim roth , " lucky numbers " ) is of the opposite opinion , wishing for declaration of martial law that will allow him to annihilate the race . he 's sweet on ari . it 's relatively easy to see where this ' new ' story is going from the onset , yet its ultimate revelation has gaping logic holes . the much ballyhooed ' surprise ' ending is a nonsensical let down . an attempt at a love triangle , conveyed by ari and the human daena ( estella warren , " driven " ) giving each other ' back off ' looks over leo , fails because he never develops a relationship with either of them . the lone sex scene is some hilarious foreplay between elder orangutan senator nado ( glenn shadix ) and his trophy wife nova ( burton 's squeeze , lisa marie ) . guffaws will also likely greet charlton heston 's cameo as thade 's father , the one ape harboring a firearm ( ! ) who sputters some very familiar lines before dying . the only real success of the 2001 " planet of the apes " is rick baker 's makeup , and even that 's an iffy affair . no attempt was made to change the human whiteness of the actors ' eyes , a real distraction amidst some otherwise impressive work . roth , warner and michael clarke duncan ( as thade 's right hand man attar ) are given the most impressive makeovers . giamatti looks more like a skull than an ape and the female apes are too humanized to be given sexual appeal . tim roth delivers the most impressive acting job by getting the body language right - his nasty chimpanzee character leaps about , most spectacularly when mounting his steed , but even 's he 's undone by some obvious wire work . bonham carter delivers a goodly range of emotion from behind a stiff prosthetic , but is undone in turn by the silliness of the writing . most of the film has a set bound look which no amount of mist can cover . the ape 's city resembles a dank complex of tree houses . the apes ' military costumes ( colleen atwood , " sleepy hollow " ) as well as their field tents are reminiscent of eiko ishioka 's work on coppola 's " dracula . " that oriental flavor is also found in danny elfman 's tribal , percussive score . " planet of the apes " was the last blockbuster hope for the summer of 2001 , a dismal movie season that 's going to the dogs .
0 (NEG)
[ "director tim burton 's unique look and style are nowhere to be found in this silly , pointless remake", "yet its ultimate revelation has gaping logic holes . the much ballyhooed ' surprise ' ending is a nonsensical let", "fails because he never develops a relationship with either of", "and even that 's an iffy affair", "giamatti looks more like a skull than an ape and the female apes are too humanized to be given sexual appeal", "but even 's he 's undone by some obvious wire", "but is undone in turn by the silliness of the writing . most of the film has a set bound look which no amount of mist can", "the ape 's city resembles a dank complex of tree houses . the apes ' military costumes ( colleen atwood , \" sleepy hollow \" ) as well as their field tents are reminiscent of eiko ishioka 's work on coppola 's \" dracula . \" that oriental flavor is also found in danny elfman 's tribal , percussive score . \" planet of the apes \" was the last blockbuster hope for the summer of 2001 , a dismal movie season that 's going to the dogs" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "it 's not enough to follow the formula . you 've got to throw in something extra , something good and new and better than the last version", "the movie", "gets a big fat", "there are no surprises awaiting the audience in the jackal , no moment when you say to yourself , \" i wonder what happens next ? \" the script for the jackal is n't ripped straight from today 's headlines . it 's ripped off , straight from an episode of millennium", "no surprise", "but neither he nor the fbi ( or the screenwriters ) seem to know it . and just like in", "what 's more , in the last half of the movie , the jackal , supposedly a super - smart professional terrorist who never makes a mistake , comes down with a major case of the", "but not enough reason to see the movie", "richard gere is made to talk the entire movie in an irish accent , which detracts from his otherwise lifeless and dull", "sidney poitier is probably the most disappointing element in a overwhelmingly disappointing", "but it is sad that hollywood wo n't use this talented actor in any part other than an fbi agent ( shoot to kill , sneakers )", "it was n't done here", "do not go see this movie", "anything other than the jackal , which lives up to its name by gnawing the dead bones of other , better" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "speechless is a limp , poorly structured would - be romantic comedy", "it 's a noble attempt to shake things up , but unfortunately it just does n't work", "there is such a herky - jerky feel to the constant bickering and making up that even king 's sharp dialogue ca n't prevent speechless from becoming repetitive after about half an hour . inconsistency is also the defining characteristic of the performances of geena davis and michael keaton", "they 're just actors spouting lines . you keep waiting for a little spark , and it never happens . perhaps most disappointing is that king and director ron underwood completely waste their premise by removing all the punch from speechless 's", "the setting seems perfect for a high- energy battle of the sexes with partisanship thrown into the mix , but that 's never the tone that underwood is going for . he wants a warm , fuzzy romance compatible with marc shaiman 's flute - and - wind musical score , and the campaign which should have defined the conflict between kevin and julia fades into the background . it might as well have been a story about rival grocers , and every single character is about as uninspired as he or she could possibly", "but while there is wit in the words , this is a script which was probably much better on paper . on screen , it 's still paper" ]
teenagers have a lot of power in hollywood . every year countless films will be made targeting that audience in particular , and rely on the entire teenage population to turn out on friday and saturday nights , wallets in hand . the formula is very simple , you make a film with a big name young actor or actress with sex appeal . you add a high school environment that features everyone from prom queens to math club nerds , and then a very simple relationship conflict that can be worked out in 90 minutes , the typical teenage attention span . the response is enormous as this part of the population will waste it92s money on almost any = film set in an environment they can relate to , and , most importantly , they don92 t care to judge films=92 quality , so any piece of trash will = due . that is just what never been kissed , the latest film from director raja gosnell , is ; trash . josie geller ( drew barrymore ) is the youngest copy editor in the history of the chicago sun times . she has her own personal assistant , unlimited supplies , and her own office . but she is very much dismayed with her position in life . there is nothing she wants more than to be a reporter and go out into the field , where she can play a more active role in the chicago media . so when an assignment is quite literally thrown at her out of nowhere , she jumps at it with elation . constantly smothering josie in the work place is her friend anita ( molly shannon ) and her amicable superior , gus ( john c. reilly ) . the two of them are both stricken with horror upon hearing the news of her first assignment , as they both deem her to be an office worker and not a reporter . however , since this film is aimed at a teenage audience with little patience for character conflict , this otherwise interesting scenario is resolved within two minutes , and josie is headed for the field . obviously , the field assignment involves a high school . specifically , she is to become an undercover reporter at a high school , by enrolling in the senior class and " becoming one of them . " i don92 t think that i = need to even begin to explain all the impossibilities of this situation ever occurring , so i won92 t . the movie develops into josie trying to find the life that she never led in high school . interwoven flashback scenes show us just how much of a dork she truly was , and she appears to be heading down that road again . fortunately for this lame production , other characters do appear that make some of these high school scenes both humorous and remotely interesting . they include the predictable love stories , between both a student ( jeremy jordan ) and a teacher ( michael vartan ) , to show that josie is really two people in one body . also , her younger brother and opposite , rob ( david arquette ) comes into her new found life and even causes a rare scene that is mildly provocative . the humor found in this film is actually quite amusing . typical for teenage films , it is chalk full of sexual innuendoes and condom humor . one scene in particular features a certain classroom activity involving bananas and latex that is absolutely hysterical . most of the other jokes are straight forward high school humor that anyone who has ever been to high school can appreciate and will enjoy . but those still don92 t = recover for the total lack of quality in this movie . following this trend of high school movie rules , comes the general acting . it is even worse than the trend of overplaying a scenario from film to film . in this case , drew barrymore is absolutely painful to watch . she is required to play her character on two levels , having some very black and white transitions . and although some scenes are written to be particular shades of gray , she seems to hold that color throughout all of her screen time . at one point she is alone with an obvious love interest on a ferris wheel , and is expected to him on an adult level , since he is one , her teacher . but she never seems to get out of the gray area , and in doing so she makes a mockery out of his otherwise good performance . following barrymore is the pitiful molly shannon ( saturday night live ) . she seems to be limited to playing an ecstatic character that no one can relate to , and draws the attention of an audience as simply unrealistic . it is these " qualities " that prevent the aforementioned condom scene from being one of the few decent . luckily there is one great performance to emerge out of this otherwise bleak film . david arquette ( scream ) takes home the prize for being able to stand out in an ensemble performance that is absolutely pathetic , and not have his brilliant acting ruined . and as a central character he gets to take on his own mini - plot , which is one of the few well done parts of never been kissed . in a dazzling cherry - on - the - sundae type piece of work , he does an absolutely hilarious tom cruise impression from the 1983 hit , risky business . never been kissed is a mediocre film at best . the predictable plot has become so overplayed in hollywood , that it is sickening to watch time and again , and this film is no exception . the acting is just as bad , but there is the one positive presence of david arquette to add some light . unfortunately , the bottom line is that the movie will be a success , because teenagers will pay to see any trash .
0 (NEG)
[ "the latest film from director raja gosnell , is ; trash", "this film is aimed at a teenage audience with little patience for character conflict , this otherwise interesting scenario is resolved within two minutes", "i don92 t think that i = need to even begin to explain all the impossibilities of this situation ever occurring , so i won92 t", "this lame", "but those still don92 t = recover for the total lack of quality in this movie", "it is even worse than the trend of overplaying a scenario from film to film", "drew barrymore is absolutely painful to", "and in doing so she makes a mockery out of his otherwise good performance . following barrymore is the pitiful molly shannon ( saturday night live )", "limited to playing an ecstatic character that no one can relate to", "draws the attention of an audience as simply unrealistic", "bleak film", "absolutely pathetic , and not have his brilliant acting", ". the predictable plot has become so overplayed in hollywood , that it is sickening to watch time and again , and this film is no exception . the acting is just as bad", "unfortunately , the bottom line is that the movie will be a success , because teenagers will pay to see any trash" ]
walken stars as a mobster who is kidnapped and held for ransom by four bratty rich kids . it seems that a woman has also been kidnapped -- she is the sister of one of them ( e. t. 's henry thomas ) and the girlfriend of another ( flannery ) --and the asking price is $2 million , which said snots are unable to cough up alone . they even cut off walken 's finger to show they mean business , because they are desperate to save the woman 's life . suicide kings is a terrible film . walken aside , there is n't a single appealing cast member . o'fallon creates characters that are functional types without any resonance . in an amusingly unironic scene , walken plays poker with the foursome and describes each of their personalities to a tee -- it 's as if he was reading the summary sheet for a casting director . the plot is another issue entirely . o'fallon is someone whom i 'm betting has seen reservoir dogs and the usual suspects too many times , for not only does his story veer off on bizarre tangents from whence they never return ( do we really need the scene where dennis leary beats up an abusive father with a toaster , which is entirely unrelated to both the story and leary 's character , or the numerous anecdotal sequences ? ) , but the central plot itself is a serpentine mess , filled with crosses and double crosses and triple crosses . .. by the fourth big revelation / twist , i had completely tuned out , wondering what on earth attracted these actors to the material . recently a peer , a fellow young filmmaker , informed me that he had an idea for a movie about four guys , the mob , and the fbi . it occurred to me then what 's wrong with indies like suicide kings : i suspect o'fallon has never met a mobster , is not a rich man , does n't deliver endless " clever " monologues to his friends about his favourite types of boots . .. in short , these guys are just riffing on other movies , and in doing that , making the same film over and over and over again . tarantino found his niche and now hundreds of genxers with movie cameras are trying to find tarantino 's niche instead of carving their own . -reviewed at the toronto international film festival 0 (NEG) [ "is n't a single", "without any", "someone whom i 'm betting has seen reservoir dogs and the usual suspects too many times , for not only does his story veer off on bizarre tangents from whence they never return ( do we really need the scene where dennis leary beats up an abusive father with a toaster , which is entirely unrelated to both the story and leary 's character , or the numerous anecdotal sequences ?", "the central plot itself is a serpentine mess , filled with crosses and double crosses and triple crosses .", "had completely tuned out , wondering what on earth attracted these actors to the material", "i suspect o'fallon has never met a mobster , is not a rich man , does n't deliver endless \" clever \" monologues to his friends about his favourite types of boots . .. in short , these guys are just riffing on other movies , and in doing that , making the same film over and over and over" ] > from writer and director darren stein comes jawbreaker , the poorly told tale of what can happen when an innocent birthday prank goes wrong . at reagan high , four girls are sitting on top of the world . courtney shane , played by rose mcgowan , holds the title of meanest , most disrespectful soul in the school . everyone hates her , but everyone envies her due to her popularity . courtney is the " leader " of her clique , which also includes julie , played by rebecca gayheart , liz purr , played by charlotte roldan , and marcie , played by julie benz are the other three in the group . it is liz 's seventeenth birthday , and julie , courtney , and marcie concur that they will play a seemingly innocent prank on her , but the prank results in the death of liz . just like stupid teens in any teen directed film such as this one , the foursome decide to cover up the death to make it look like a murder committed by someone else . and also just like in other teen directed movies , one of the four do n't agree with hiding it , this time that character being julie . and finally , just like in other teen movies , there is a witness outside the group trying to hide the truth . this time that character being fern mayo ( judy greer ) , who is subject to many cracks from courtney 's group , as well as the entire school . > from here , jawbreaker turns into a predictable tale of revenge , bad morals , and at least trying to do the right thing . not only is the script weak , on a whole the acting is horrid thanks to a large amount of the main cast . judy greer is undeniably awful as her one dimensional , annoying character , as she overacts every line she has . also on the bad side of acting is julie benz , almost falling to the annoying factor that greer delivers . on the positive side of acting , rose mcgowan performs well here , but does n't match her wickedly clever performance as " tatum " , in 1996 's scream . mcgowan 's role is annoying , but this only adds to the film . she is wickedly mean , and even though she a well - written character , you downright hate her . faring even better than mcgowan is rebecca gayheart , who is always exceptionally believable as her roles . when the script feeds her a one or two dimensional character , she turns it into three , always putting strong emotion and power into her roles . gayheart is n't given as much to do here as she was in 1998 's urban legend , but you can still get a strong taste of her acting skills in jawbreaker . jawbreaker drifts and mianders different sub plots throughout , hardly throwing anything for the viewer to get absorbed in . we get way off of the topic of the jawbreaker incident , and get into things that do n't have anything to do with the actual film . the beginning and ending are strong , it 's just the middle that needs a lot of help . during the body of the movie , it is undeniably repetitive , never progressing towards a conclusion . nothing to grab the viewer 's interest is around , and the same , extremely annoying song plays over and over again . jawbreaker tries to get off on the same time of humor used in the 1995 film clueless , but falls flat . the few gags that actually work die off quickly and die off with a bang . all in all , a horrible disappointment . the bottom line : the tagline reads , " even the sweetest candies are sour as death inside . " yes , that is too true . no matter how good this film may have looked , it fails to deliver . 0 (NEG) [ "just like stupid teens in any teen directed film such as this", "also just like in other teen directed", "not only is the script weak , on a whole the acting is horrid thanks to a large amount of the main cast . judy greer is undeniably awful as her one dimensional , annoying character , as she overacts every line she has . also on the bad side of acting is julie benz , almost falling to the annoying factor that greer", "but does n't match her wickedly clever performance as \" tatum", "is n't given as much to do here as she was in 1998 's urban", "jawbreaker drifts and mianders different sub plots throughout , hardly throwing anything for the viewer to get absorbed in", "it 's just the middle that needs a lot of help . during the body of the movie , it is undeniably repetitive , never progressing towards a conclusion . nothing to grab the viewer 's interest is around , and the same , extremely annoying song plays over and over", "but falls flat . the few gags that actually work die off quickly and die off with a bang . all in all , a horrible disappointment . the bottom line : the tagline reads , \" even the sweetest candies are sour as death inside . \" yes , that is too true . no matter how good this film may have looked , it fails to" ] well there goes another one . sadly this like other movies this year was n't good . this one being almost as bad as ' the omega code ' but not quite . from the opening credits i had a good feeling this would be bad , and well i guess i was right . with bad excuses for acting , a horrible screenplay and straight - out bad direction ' the bachelor ' is a terribly unfunny movie that does n't work on any levels accept that fact that rene zellwegar who does give a good performance . the two cameos by brooke shields and mariah carey are also good with brooke being the best . the movie is troubled from the start because chris o'donnell is hugely miscast and gives one of the worst performances to date . here is the stupid plot : chris o'donnell plays jimmie shelton a man who has just broken up with his girlfriend , he meets anne ( rene zellwegar ) they instantly hit it off and are together for three years . jimmie decides that he wants to bring their relationship a little bit up . he really does n't realize that anne thinks he wants to marry her ( what he wants i never did catch ) . so he proposes in a really bad way , and she shoots him down and is very mad . he of course tries to apologize but nothing seems to help any . then his grandfather dies and he learns that he has left jimmie 100 million dollars . .. . as long as he marries before the next day at 6 : 05 pm . now jimmie must find anne and try to marry her to get the money and because he loves her , or get married to someone else to get the money itself , leading to an un - funny and predictable ending that leaves a bad taste in our mouths . ok so maybe this could be one of the dumbest , cliched , silliest romantic comedy to date that has no real big laughs . even the supporting roles of artie lange , hal holbrook and ed anser are n't even good . the plot was a good idea , but the script would have to have been written in less than five minutes and by a five year old . the choppy dialogue and bad directing do n't help things any . even though chris o'donnell gave an ok performance in the two batman movies , he does not give even a remotely good or funny performance here and i wanted to boo and throw my pop at the screen to get rid of him . rene zelweggar is a different story and gave a charming , sweet and likable performance ( as usual ) and really was the only thing that saved this confused movie from being a total huge washout . her sister played by marley shelton is also good and the two have good chemistry onscreen . brooke shields showed up in a funny little performance as a big - headed mogul who after a while became routine and old . one really ca n't help but think that we have seen this stuff before . it 's not like this is an original idea and in the end , everyone knows what is going to happen due do its cliches and typicalness . ' the bachelor ' works on no good levels and in fact does n't work at all . ed anser and hal holbrook were wasted in terrible roles and mariah carey can not act to save her soul , and this could be the only film of her movie career dispite her terrific music career . chris o'donnell is not as bad an actor as casper van dien but that is not saying a great deal . he seems held back and really does n't get into his character much and after even the first 30 minutes gets annoying and old . artie lange just to me seems like he is trying to another chris farley and was completely unfunny and un - nerving . why the filmmakers would want to waste such a cast in such a bad movie , with such bad acting and dialogue is a question only they will know . maybe they thought it would become a hit or a critical success , and sometimes i do n't agree with other critics on movies , even from the trailers for this film they made it look bad and showed all the mildly funny parts . its based on the 1925 silent film ' seven chances ' which i am sure is very better than this mess . even though some may think of this as a good date movie , most who see this will want to pull out thier hair and scream for thier money back . besides being a terrible movie , ' the bachelor ' is well a terrible movie . it has nothing worth recommending therefore i really ca n't recommend this movie . i did not have a good time and i laughed only three times . the running time of the movie is 106 minutes which is wayyyy over time and needs to be shortened at least thirty minutes . parts of it seems to go on forever and parts of seem to not last enough time . being one of the worst movies of the year , we can be sure that i hope they will not make anymore stupid unfunny romantic comedies , and if they do they i give up on filmmakers . 0 (NEG) [ "this one being almost as bad as ' the omega", "from the opening credits i had a good feeling this would be bad , and well i guess i was right . with bad excuses for acting , a horrible screenplay and straight - out bad direction ' the bachelor ' is a terribly unfunny movie that does n't work on any", "the movie is troubled from the" ] my inner flag was at half - mast last year when nick at nite pulled " dragnet " reruns off the air . sure , i 'd seen them all at least once , but i could always count on at least a few inadvertent laughs from ultra - serious jack webb when there was nothing else on tv . even though " dragnet " is out of circulation at the moment , we webb anti - fans still have the d. i. , a 50 's propaganda piece for the military that is almost as hilarious as the famous " blue boy " episode of " dragnet . " for anyone like me who got laughs out of webb 's rapid - fire speeches and straight - faced seriousness , think of the d. i. as what would happen if sgt . joe friday ever enlisted , because he plays exactly the same character here , a no - nonsense old fart who looks with disdain at the younger generation and loves to give long- winded , melodramatic speeches on any topic . in this election year , i 'm more convinced than ever that webb and bob dole were separated at birth . the movie opens in characteristic fashion as one recruit after another knocks on webb 's office door and enters . he gives each one a different series of cranky criticisms before the credits come up . the " produced and directed by jack webb " card pretty much goes without saying . this is his movie all the way , and after the first twenty minutes of him chewing out his recruits for no reason , i was wondering if there would even be a plot . i certainly would have been entertained by an hour and a half of trademark webb rants , but the d. i. gives us more -- much more . webb 's mission is to make a man out of private owens , the local screw - up . the captain gives webb three days to convert owens into marine material or , the captain will " personally cut the lace off his panties and ship him out myself . " ( whether the " lace panties " part refers to webb or owens remains unanswered . ) this , of course , gives webb an excuse to focus all his crotchety energy on making owens ' life a living hell . for those of you who have n't been indoctrinated into the pleasures of webb watching , here 's a reprint of a typical monologue of his . i ca n't duplicate his hilarious delivery on paper , but the words should at least partially convey what i 'm talking about . .. " now you listen to me , youngster . someday you 'll wake up fighting on a beach and you 'll pray to god somebody does n't get killed because of your foolishness . .. i 've got a headline for you : every time you make one of those little mistakes of yours , you 're gon na turn around and i 'll be standing right there . " i could n't write down all the reprintable dialogue from the d. i. ( nearly all of it belongs in the bad movie hall of fame ) , but i tried to include some of the more noteworthy lines , like one from the scene where webb unwinds from a hard day 's work by going to the local bar ( where he orders a tomato juice ) . he meets a woman who , coincidentally , also orders tomato juice but walks away from a typically - stimulating conversation with webb to flirt with his arch - rival , another marine d. i. webb marches over to the table , gets up in her face and says , " just what kind of a dame do you think you are ? " bogart he ai n't . the other d. i. gets one of the few memorable non - webb lines when he confesses to the girl , " he 's a damn good d. i. .. . i guess i 'm just a little jealous . " join the club , we 're all jealous of jack webb 's way with women , which is showcased even more amusingly in a later scene , as webb finds his way to the woman 's place of employment , a lingerie store , and stands around looking incredibly flustered at the negligees on display . " you expect me to talk to you . .. in _ here _ ? ! " he exclaims , no doubt intimidated by the barrage of bras . the woman goes off to help a customer , leaving webb to fend for himself once again in this palace of estrogen . a little girl spots him in the store and demands , " what are you doing in here . .. you 're a man , are n't you ? " he does n't reply , but you know he 's thinking in his head , " what an odd species of human -- so small . must be one of those children everyone 's been talking about . " this poor girl , scarred for life by her early encounter with jack webb , would later swear off the male gender entirely , just one of the many lesbian conversions he 's responsible for . the movie does n't focus too closely on webb 's romance , it also continues the owens subplot with probably the most memorable scene in the entire movie , where webb forces his platoon to spend the entire night searching the ground for a flea owens killed during one of their drills . after two privates hatch a scheme to present webb with the wrong dead flea , webb asks owens , " was that flea you killed a male or female ? " owens replies , " a male , sir . " webb yells to the platoon , " this ai n't the one ! " that such a scene ( along with the rest of the movie ) was intended to be taken seriously defies comment . but we know it was all presented with the utmost seriousness when a title card at the end thanks the marines not only for their cooperation in the making of the d. i. , but for iwo jima , guadalcanal and every other major battle of the first half of the 20th century . webb held the military in such high esteem that all the soldiers in the movie ( with the exception of owens ) were played by actual marines . someone wanting to parody this movie could n't do a more comical job than webb did . it makes it all the more ironic ( like raeeyain on your wedding day ) that the man had no sense of humor himself . there 's a scene in the movie where the guys are on their break time discussing something and one of them breaks into laughter . webb bursts in the room and shouts , " what did i tell you about laughing ? ! " to which the private replies , " sir , only nine - year - old girls laugh , sir ! " and let me tell you , i was as happy as a nine - year- old girl while watching this movie . 0 (NEG) [ "after the first twenty minutes of him chewing out his recruits for no reason , i was wondering if there would even be a plot", "no sense of humor" ] frank detorri 's ( bill murray ) a single dad who lives on beer and junk food with no apparent understanding of sanitation or hygiene , much to the dismay of his preteen daughter shane ( elena franklin ) . when he uses the ' 10 second rule ' to retrieve a hard boiled egg from a chimp 's cage at the zoo and downs it , he introduces a lethal bacteria into his system . inside his skin , the city of frank is in turmoil thanks to the vote - pandering of mayor phlegmming ( voice of william shatner ) , so it 's up to one frank pd white blood cell ( voice of chris rock ) to save the day in peter and bobby farrelly 's " osmosis jones . " the city of frank is a brightly animated ( animation directed by piet kroon and tom sito ) cellular municipality where osmosis jones is a typical rogue cop looking for another chance . he 's inadvertently teamed up with drix ( voice of david hyde pierce , tv 's " frasier " ) , a cold capsule with 12 hours worth of painkillers to dispense . this quarrelling duo are about to go on a " fantastic voyage " in order to hunt down thrax ( voice of laurence fishburne ) , the virus intent on shutting down frank . while the animation is certainly colorful to look at , osmosis jones ' story is a hackneyed one . the story cries out for puny puns , but we only get occasional sprinklings of wit or bodily humor ( drix graduated phi beta capsule , he departs on a bus headed for bladder ) . neither the hero or villain is particularly interesting ( thrax looks like an animated " predator " ) , although hyde pierce is a delightful sidekick . adults can desperately keep their eyes peeled for small amusements the animators dot along the landscape . meanwhile , back in live action land , bill murray is reduced to nothing more than a walking gross - out joke . there 's no particular enjoyment to be found watching him vomit on molly shannon ( she plays shane 's teacher , mrs . boyd ) or hoisting his ingrown toenail onto a restaurant table . one must wonder how the climatic flatlining of a child 's father will play to the family audience as well . rest assured , the whole enchilada is wrapped up with a fart joke . while far less offensive than the farrelly 's last effort " me , myself and irene , " that film at least spiked some comic highs with jim carrey 's hijinx . " osmosis jones " will probably be ok for the kids , but the farrellys playing for the family audience is like watching marilyn manson croon a phil collins tune . 0 (NEG) [ "osmosis jones ' story is a hackneyed one . the story cries out for puny puns", "neither the hero or villain is particularly", "can desperately keep their eyes peeled for small", "murray is reduced to nothing more than a walking gross - out joke . there 's no particular enjoyment to be found watching him vomit on molly shannon ( she plays shane 's teacher , mrs . boyd ) or hoisting his ingrown toenail onto a restaurant", "climatic", "the whole enchilada is wrapped up with a fart joke", "\" osmosis jones \" will probably be ok for the", "but the farrellys playing for the family audience is like watching marilyn manson croon a phil collins" ] woof ! too bad that leap of faith was the title of a 1992 comedy starring steve martin and debra winger , because that 's what 's required to watch this incredulous howler starring bruce willis as -- of all things -- a psychologist . not since the reagan administration has there been an acting stretch of such magnitude ! alas , mickey rourke , we hardly knew ye . story opens with a campy kick -- willis is treating a patient who abruptly steps out of the window to take the best flying leap since charles durning dove in the hudsucker proxy . she goes splat , he goes ugh , and his character spends the rest of the film colorblind . really . the good doctor then moves to sunny l. a. , where he rooms with an old college chum ( scott bakula ) , a therapist who 's getting death threats from someone in his monday evening group . buddy bites it in the second reel ( no surprise there ) and willis agrees to take over both the group and the death threats . for his troubles as therapy man , willis gets to share some cut - from - nc17 love scenes with the lover 's jane march while dodging nails , cars , and rattlesnakes . why 'd it have to be snakes ? color of night is the worst movie of the year . period . forget north , clifford , or , heaven help us , even on deadly ground . here is a movie misfire so audaciously awful that you ca n't help but wonder how the actors all kept straight faces while filming . for starters , the " group " is a collection of mixed nuts better suited to bob newhart than bruce willis . these are realistic portrayals of the mentally unhealthy ? playing a prissy obsessive / compulsive , cuckoos nest alumni brad dourif , alone , may set the psychology profession back ten years . the plot 's a wreck with laughable dialogue , pointless pov shifts , and the one big secret solvable in the first fifteen minutes . director richard rush , who once helmed freebie and the bean , does n't seem to mind . unfazed by the nincompoop plot and cuckoo characterizations , he overfills the film with enough canny camera shots and zany set - pieces to make the effort almost worth watching . his token freeway chase is ok , but the director has more fun with a vertiginous ending ala ( most recently ) fatal analysis . acting credits are across - the - board awful . willis can be forgiven because he 's filming die hard 3 as we speak . but what about ruben blades insulting presence as the cop ? or lesley ann warren 's stereotypical sex addict ? or worst offender jane march as a mystery - girl - who's - no - real - mystery ? shudder . bottom line : how they all kept straight faces , i 'll never know . 0 (NEG) [ "color of night is the worst movie of the year . period . forget north , clifford , or , heaven help us , even on deadly ground . here is a movie misfire so audaciously awful that you ca n't help but wonder how the actors all kept straight faces while filming . for starters , the \" group \" is a collection of mixed nuts better suited to bob newhart than bruce willis", "does n't seem to mind . unfazed by the nincompoop plot and cuckoo", "overfills the", "vertiginous", "acting credits are across - the - board", "bottom line : how they all kept straight faces , i 'll never" ] there 's only one presidential election every four years , but it seems like every few months we get another presidential conspiracy movie painted as _ the _ thriller of the year . in 1997 , we 've had absolute power , air force one , shadow conspiracy and murder at 1600 . this one is about as lame duck as old gerald ford , trying to bring us a complex plot of cover - up and intrigue but copping out over and over again with rehashes of action flick standbys . here 's what happens this time . it 's night at the white house . a secretary is having sex with some unidentified guy with a cute butt . the next day she 's dead and hotshot detective wesley snipes is called in . how do we know he 's a hotshot ? we 've seen the traditional action flick opener -- the clever hostage negotiation scene . it 's not so clever this time , consisting of snipes disarming a suicidal ex - government employee holding a gun to his head in the middle of the street . snipes is off to the white house , where he finds the secret service head ( the shiny bald head of daniel benzali ) wo n't cooperate with him at all . in fact , if not for the intervention of national security adviser alan alda , snipes would n't have been allowed in the white house at all . alda helps snipes out further , assigning a sexy secret service agent ( diane lane ) to act as his liaison . .. a very dangerous liaison . well , not really , i just wanted to say that . almost immediately , a suspect is found , an eccentric night janitor seen flirting with the deceased on one of the security videos . snipes does n't buy it , and launches into an independent investigation of his own , one that reveals planted evidence and romantic involvement by the president 's son . snipes ' partner , an always- wisecracking dennis miller , calls him up every once in awhile with more news and lane , who at first does n't believe snipes , eventually and predictably comes around , and risks her ass to break into social security storage and break out some classified information . for the first hour or so , murder at 1600 looks like it could be going somewhere interesting . sure , we have to sit through the lame opening sequence and plenty more lame scenes after that , but the whole murder in the white house thing makes for an interesting premise that is never quite delivered upon . snipes and lane do n't make for a bad action team , but with nothing to work with , they 're just cogs in the bad movie machine . dennis miller might as well not even be in the movie ; they waste his talents more in murder at 1600 than they did in bordello of blood , and that 's saying a lot . when you get to the last half - hour , the movie has descended metaphorically and literally into a wet sewer , busting out the old break - into - the - building underground climax . and when they finally reveal who killed the woman and why , you 'll wish you never sat through this movie at all . the " 1600 " in the movie 's title does n't represent an address , it represents the number of satisfied customers worldwide . serving the world for nearly 1/25th of a century ! 0 (NEG) [ "this one is about as lame duck as old gerald", "trying to bring us a complex plot of cover - up and intrigue but copping out over and over again with rehashes of action flick", "we 've seen the traditional action flick", "it 's not so clever this", "we have to sit through the lame opening sequence and plenty more lame scenes after", "the whole murder in the white house thing makes for an interesting premise that is never quite", "dennis miller might as well not even be in the movie ; they waste his talents more in murder at 1600 than they did in bordello of", "when you get to the last half - hour , the movie has descended metaphorically and literally into a wet", "you 'll wish you never sat through this movie at all . the \" 1600 \" in the movie 's title does n't represent an address , it represents the number of satisfied customers" ] ah , and 1999 was going along so well , too . " she 's all that " has the dubious distinction of being the worst movie i 've seen so far this year . and quite frankly , i doubt i 'll see anything equally bad . ( at least , i * hope * i do n't see anything equally bad ) . " she 's all that " tells the story of the most popular guy in school ( played by freddie prinze jr . ) who accepts a bet to transform the geekiest girl in school ( rachel leigh cook ) into the most popular . that , right there , is problem # 1 . how many times have we seen this storyline ? as cook comments near the end of the film , " it 's kind of like " pretty woman " , except without the prostitution " . of course , had the filmmakers attempted to try something new with this material , the well - worn storyline would have been a device to propell the movie forward . as it is , though , " she 's all that " relies * completely * on the lame and overused formula to push it ahead . there 's not one original or interesting character in the film , either , and if that was n't bad enough , there 's not one good performance featured . the star of the movie , rachel leigh cook , is simply horrible . i usually do n't like to get so personal , but in this case , i think it needs to be said . cook wears the same expression throughout the flick and looks to be having as miserable a time as i was . i was never convinced that she was a " nerd " , and her transformation was unconvincing and unnecessary . the movie seems to be saying it 's better to be popular than to be who you are . as for freddie prinze jr . , an actor i ordinarily enjoy , he too is quite bad here . he coasts through the film on so - called charm , and never establishes a real character . kieren culkin is here , too , as the brother of cook . and for some indiscernable reason , he 's got hearing aids . no explanation is given and they 're never brought up . were we supposed to feel * sorry * for him just because he wore hearing aids ? i do n't think so . that single element of the film was one of the most offensive things i 've seen in a movie in a long time . " she 's all that " sucks . that 's what it boils down to . it 's not entertaining , and it 's not even a good time passer . the hour and a half running time goes by slower than a 5 minute hair - removal system informercial . and what 's worse , it sends out a bad message to teens . it appears to be telling them , " hey , it does n't matter if you 're happy the way you are . that 's unimportant . if you want to * truly * be happy , dress in the latest fashions and act like a bubble - headed moron . " ugh . 0 (NEG) [ "the dubious distinction of being the worst movie i 've seen so far this year", "i doubt i 'll see anything equally bad . ( at least , i * hope * i do n't see anything equally bad )", "that , right there , is problem # 1 . how many times have we seen this storyline", "had the filmmakers attempted to try something new with this material", "lame and overused formula to push it ahead . there 's not one original or interesting character in the", "was n't bad enough , there 's not one good performance featured . the star of the movie , rachel leigh cook , is simply", "cook wears the same expression throughout the flick and looks to be having as miserable a time as i was . i was never convinced that she was a \" nerd", "her transformation was unconvincing and unnecessary", "he too is quite bad", "never establishes a real", "for some indiscernable reason", "were we supposed to feel * sorry * for him just because he wore hearing aids ? i do n't think so . that single element of the film was one of the most offensive things i 've seen in a movie in a long time", "she 's all that \" sucks", "it 's not entertaining , and it 's not even a good time passer . the hour and a half running time goes by slower than a 5 minute hair - removal system", "what 's worse , it sends out a bad message to", "it does n't matter if you 're happy the way you are . that 's unimportant . if you want to * truly * be happy , dress in the latest fashions and act like a bubble - headed moron . \"" ] michael robbins ' hardball is quite the cinematic achievement . in about two hours , we get a glancing examination of ghetto life , a funeral with a heartfelt eulogy , speeches about never giving up , a cache of cute kids ( including a fat one with asthma ) , a hard - luck gambler who finds salvation in a good woman and a climactic " big game , " where the underdogs prove to have a bigger bite than anyone ever imagined . all that 's needed is a guy getting hit in the nuts and a food fight to have the first film solely based on cinematic clich ? s. i ca n't wait to see the deleted scenes when it comes out on dvd . obviously , hardball is a strikeout of a movie that never gets the bat anywhere near the ball . it stars keanu reeves as the aforementioned gambler , who seems to owe every bookie in chicago an amount of money that rivals the gross national product of guam . out of solutions , he begs his successful corporate friend ( the always welcome mike mcglone ) to lend him$ 5 , 000 . instead , mcglone offers reeves the chance to help him coach a youth baseball team from the projects for a nice weekly stipend . reeves , who wants to keep his fingers , accepts the offer , but discovers mcglone is only too happy to let him handle the team entirely . the drowsy - voiced protagonist must teach the sassy inner city kids the baseball basics in a life of absentee parents and merciless gangs . and maybe , just maybe , they 'll play in the big championship game . one of the glorious surprises in the screenplay by john gatins ( summer catch ) , adapted from daniel coyle 's non - fiction book , is that there are n't any . the movie coasts from heartfelt moment to heartfelt moment like a zombie . that would n't be so bad , if the characters had an ounce of subtlety or humanity to them . most of the kids ' time is spent yelling at each other , talking in slang and acting surprised . there 's little that 's naturally amusing about them , as they all seem to know the cameras are rolling . the worst of the lot is a tough - talking younger player ( dewayne warren ) whose sole purpose , as the movie unfolds , is being an emotional pawn , a tactic so utterly despicable i ca n't find the right words to express myself . the adults also do n't fare well . reeves is impressively uninspiring as the down - on - his - luck loser . the character is poorly written , but reeves gives another charisma - free performance . every time he speaks , he sounds like he just got up from a long nap and is gradually waking up . kids are supposed to rally around this guy ? diane lane , who co - stars as reeves ' obligatory love interest , remains a glowing screen presence ( see my dog skip for better proof ) . it 's too bad that her role here consists of uttering lines like , " these kids trust you , and they do n't trust anyone ! " then there 's d. b. sweeney as an evil rival coach and john hawkes as reeves ' scummy betting buddy and other unoriginal characters you 've seen before and hope never to see again . i wanted hardball to be good . robbins ' varsity blues was a funny and alternately taut tale of texas high school football that had ali larter smothered in whipped cream and jon voight sneering at everything that moved . i have n't seen robbins ' goofy ready to rumble in its entirety , but i am intrigued that " macho man " randy savage and martin landau can exist in the same movie without there being serious worldwide repercussions . robbins obviously needs to go back to his forte -- making sports movies for guys and not cutesy , cuddly pap such as hardball , which also manages to annoy and insult the audience . here 's hoping that happens in the immediate future .
0 (NEG)
[ "hardball is a strikeout of a movie that never gets the bat anywhere near the", "the movie coasts from heartfelt moment to heartfelt moment like a zombie . that would n't be so bad , if the characters had an ounce of subtlety or humanity to them . most of the kids ' time is spent yelling at each other , talking in slang and acting surprised . there 's little that 's naturally amusing about them , as they all seem to know the cameras are rolling . the worst of the lot is a tough - talking younger player ( dewayne warren ) whose sole purpose , as the movie unfolds , is being an emotional", "so utterly despicable i ca n't find the right words to express", "the adults also do n't fare well . reeves is impressively uninspiring as the down - on - his - luck loser . the character is poorly written", "every time he speaks , he sounds like he just got up from a long nap and is gradually waking up", "too bad that her role here consists of uttering lines like , \" these kids trust you , and they do n't trust anyone", "other unoriginal characters you 've seen before and hope never to see", "robbins obviously needs to go back to his forte -- making sports movies for guys and not cutesy , cuddly pap such as", "also manages to annoy and insult the audience" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "it 's about over - hyped holiday films with lots of merchandising and product tie - ins . at least that would seem to be the message of \" the grinch , \" which has been advertised since last christmas and whose logo is currently plastered all over stores . hollywood expects us to ignore this cynical greed as the movie scolds us about losing the true spirit of the", "it 's rare that a big budget hollywood release is shamed by a thirty - year - old half - hour", "by contrast , the movie hits one sour note after", "the numerous bad choices that jeffrey price and peter seaman made in padding out the short book into a 105-minute", "are we expected to like the", "and want him to steal christmas", "not only are the characters needlessly", "but the once - simple plot becomes so convoluted that the actual theft of christmas seems like an afterthought", "choices are n't any better than the screenwriting", "jim carrey seems woefully miscast . while his face is so supple that the rubber make - up seems superfluous , carrey brings nothing else to the role . his accent keeps changing ; i assume he was shooting for karloff , but he ends up sounding like a weird slurry of richard nixon , sean connery , and cartman from \" south park . \" not knowing what else to do during his many scenes alone in the grinch 's", "carrey falls back on his stand - up comedy and clowns around ace ventura - style . needless to say , his wise - cracking antics do n't quite fit the character of the", "little taylor momsen brings little to role of cindy", "she would have been fine if cindy lou was limited to her original purpose in the seuss story ( finding \" santa \" in her living room stealing the tree ) . however , the expanded script makes cindy as important as the", "and momsen is not up to the challenge . bottom line : when you 're stealing christmas ( movies ) , leave this one" ]
in the mid-1980s , following the splendid debut in hugh hudson 's greystoke and relative success of first highlander film , it looked like christopher lambert 's acting career might go somewhere . but , it was n't meant to be , which became obvious following highlander ii . in this decade christopher lambert became associated with films with low budgets and even lower quality . very often such films were science fiction , which meant that the fans of that genre learned the hard way what to evade anything starring christopher lambert . whether it was because of real lack of talent , terrible miscasting or simple bad luck is n't important - the end result was almost always horrible . the same can be said for fortress , 1993 science fiction film directed by stuart gordon , director who created cult following with his 1980s horror gorefests like reanimator and from beyond . the movie is set in 2018 . for some undisclosed reason , usa introduced strict population control and couples are barred from having more than one child . jake ( christopher lambert ) and karen brennick ( lori laughlin ) broke that law and are caught by authorities on the border . sentenced to 31 years in prison , they are both thrown into fortress , privately owned correctional facility , equiped with state - of - the - art futuristic technology and run by computer called zed . although equiped with gismos that regulate every aspect of inmates ' lives and make any escape impossible , prison authorities often use violence . jake survives many ordeals and earns respect of some inmates which would help him when he begins planing the escape . such escape should become necessity , because the warden poe ( kurtwood smith ) begins showing unhealthy interest in karen . after rather intriguing beginning and some interesting special effects that depict the futuristic settings of prison , this film soon starts sinking into mediocrity . the reason is in the screenplay that quickly degenerates into whole series of prison movie clich ? s and situations that are painfully predictable . by the time brennick begins his escape from fortress , those situations not only begin to look predictable , but utterly implausible too . of course , film never tried to explain why the country that lacks resources to support its present population happens to spend bucketloads of money on ultra - expensive supertechnology with sole intention of keeping alive most useless and dangerous members of the society . the initially interesting plot is done even more wrong by stereotyped characters , played by not too interested or talented actors . lori laughlin , although physically attractive , shows the acting ability of sequoia . kurtwood smith as prison warden is rather uninspired , capable of solid , yet forgettable performance . lambert 's performance is also good , but even the bigger talent could n't help this film , destined to end in oblivion .
0 (NEG)
[ "but , it was n't meant to", "", "the fans of that genre learned the hard way what to evade anything starring christopher lambert . whether it was because of real lack of talent , terrible miscasting or simple bad luck is n't", "almost always horrible", "this film soon starts sinking into mediocrity", "the screenplay that quickly degenerates into whole series of prison movie clich", "situations that are painfully", "those situations not only begin to look predictable , but utterly implausible too", "film never tried to explain why the country that lacks resources to support its present population happens to spend bucketloads of money on ultra - expensive supertechnology with sole intention of keeping alive most useless and dangerous members of the", "the initially interesting plot is done even more wrong by stereotyped characters , played by not too interested or talented", "lori laughlin , although physically attractive , shows the acting ability of sequoia . kurtwood smith as prison warden is rather uninspired , capable of solid , yet forgettable", "but even the bigger talent could n't help this film , destined to end in oblivion" ]
susan granger 's review of " the musketeer " ( universal pictures ) hollywood launches another assault on classic literature with this $50 million adaptation of alexandre dumas 's novel that 's strong on action but weak on drama , fusing hong kong martial arts with 17th century swordplay . the story chronicles the adventures of the dashing d'artagnan ( justin chambers ) as he leaves his village of gascogne , headed for paris , to join king louis xiii 's elite guard , the royal musketeers , and to search for the man who killed his parents 14 years earlier . this puts him in conflict with the formidable febre ( tim roth ) , vicious henchman for conniving cardinal richelieu ( stephen rea ) . the traditional musketeer trio - aramis ( nick moran ) , athos ( jan gregor kremp ) and porthos ( steve speirs ) - do n't offer much help so he turns to the feisty francesca ( mena suvari ) , chambermaid to the queen of france ( catherine deneuve ) . scripter gene quintano and director - cinematographer peter hyams are primarily interested in the derring - do , as evidenced by choreographer xin - xin xiong 's elaborate - but not original - stunts , including a fast - paced stagecoach chase , a tavern brawl on rolling barrels , high - wire acrobatics with the combatants dangling from ropes , and a ladder - fight sequence . filmed in southern france , the scenery , sets and costumes are spectacular , but the lighting is too dark and editing is filled with choppy , restless mtv'ish cuts . as the swashbuckling d'artagnan , bland calvin klein model justin chambers buckles where he should be swashing , totally lacking on - screen charisma , not to mention acting skill . mena suvari , so impressive in " american beauty , " seems like a contemporary interloper in the royal court . on the granger movie gauge of 1 to 10 , " the musketeer " is a cinematic but shallow 3 . " all for one and one for all " ? not this time ' round . 0 (NEG) [ "launches another assault on classic", "strong on action but weak on", "but the lighting is too dark and editing is filled with choppy , restless mtv'ish cuts", "chambers buckles where he should be swashing , totally lacking on - screen", "not to mention acting", "on the granger movie gauge of 1 to 10 , \" the musketeer \" is a cinematic but shallow 3 . \" all for one and one for all \" ? not this time '" ] note : some may consider portions of the following text to be spoilers . be forewarned . at the end of the day , those reflecting upon the debacle that is the avengers would do well to take note that warning clouds loomed on the horizon for the project well before warner bros . made the contentious decision to abandon preview press screenings and scrapped plans for a gala premiere . this highly - anticipated film rendition of the cult television show was originally slotted for an early june opening , where it would have gone head - to - head against the rival studios ' heavy hitters ; its eventual demotion to a less potent mid - august opening was an obvious early indication of the studio 's lack of confidence with the picture . and with good reason . this is a joyless exercise of a film , held together by a barely coherent plot and lacking any semblance of excitement , thrills or wit . remarkable in its banality and brutally uninvolving , the avengers is a catastrophic mess which immediately invites comparisons to last year 's case study in style over substance , joel schumacher 's much - loathed batman & robin . ( indeed , both films even feature appalling , ridiculous sequences which find central characters dressed up in fuzzy oversized costumes . ) uma thurman , who takes on the salacious role of the catsuit - clad , karate - chopping emma peel immortalized by diana rigg , was the only bright spot in the aforementioned schumacher disaster , imbuing her poison ivy with a dose of sassiness and sly wit that gave audiences something to smile at amidst the cinematic carnage . unfortunately , the same ca n't be said here , where she and cohort ralph fiennes ( our new john steed , taking over for patrick macnee ) demonstrate no appreciable chemistry whatsoever , fatally crippling the picture as they volley fizzling repartee back and forth and trade double - entendres with all the enthusiasm of two actors painfully aware that they 're on board a sinking ship . at this rate , usually - splendid actor mr . fiennes may never make the transition from arthouse apollo to mainstream leading man -- his tepid turn here will make as much of an inroad as his commendably seedy performance in the regrettably - neglected kathyrn bigelow film strange days . the duo * look * the part -- and admittedly the avengers is , more than most , heavily dependent upon style -- but they 're no fun to watch , and i found myself growing increasingly distant and annoyed by the lack of spark between the two cheekily ironic characters as they navigated through the picture 's caper - esque plot . when not checking my wristwatch or shifting restlessly in my seat , i began to alleviate the boredom by considering how this all might have played out had the filmmakers chose to go instead with that erstwhile emma as our mrs . peel -- no , not kate beckinsale ( although the notion now intrigues me ) , but gwyneth paltrow , who was originally in the running for the part and can veritably handle a spot - on english accent . if nothing else , it 'd at least be highly entertaining for the incongruous sight of the vaguely twiggish young actress kicking butt . the story , such as it is , involves the ever - bemused tandem of steed and peel combating the malevolent sir august de wynter ( sean connery ) , an eccentric aristocrat threatening the safety of the nation with his climate - controlling contraption . ( they also sip a lot of tea . ) overlooking some goofy cloning nonsense and quirky hijinx involving our protagonists ' superiors , it sounds far better than it plays , and is rendered almost indecipherable by blatant post - production tinkering ; it 's clearly evident that the picture has been cut to shreds . the avengers was never about gripping drama , and our heroes accordingly never take villainous sir august very seriously , but given the lack of cohesion in the plot and the lack of menace conveyed by the buffoonish maniac , it 's all decidedly uncompelling . mr . connery , who 's onscreen barely long enough to register an impression , approaches the role like a man fulfilling a contractual obligation , simultaneously chewing the scenery while unable to hide his disinterest . at least it all looks good . this is a genuinely handsome production , with fine costume design by anthony powell and crisply shot by roger pratt . in particular , the gleaming production design by stuart craig commands attention , adeptly drawing elements both old and new in order to depict this great britain . there are a handful of striking visual moments in the film , including an attack by a swarm of giant robotic bees and a nice shot of steed and peel finding a way to walk on water , but the film is so unremittingly dull that even these instances fail to stir interest or raise pulse rates . by the time the film 's climax had arrived , my interest was not with the sight of steed and sir august slugging it out amidst crashing waves and thundering rain , but with the quickest escape route from the theatre . not coincidentally , the enticing bits of visual bravura were the shots assembled into the movie 's remarkable trailer , a savvy piece of work which ironically is infinitely more appealing that the feature film itself ; the first promo which made the rounds in early spring is probably my favourite studio trailer so far this year . it 's everything that the avengers is not -- saucy , clever , engaging , and entertaining . a crushing disappointment , the film is one of the worst outings of the year -- too drearily awful to be savoured as gleefully bad , too polished to overlook its deficiencies . there may be upcoming pictures that are even more lifeless than the avengers , but i sure hope not . 0 (NEG) [ "its eventual demotion to a less potent mid - august opening was an obvious early indication of the studio 's lack of confidence with the picture", "this is a joyless exercise of a film , held together by a barely coherent plot and lacking any semblance of excitement , thrills or wit . remarkable in its banality and brutally", "is a catastrophic mess which immediately invites comparisons to last year 's case study in style over substance", "( indeed , both films even feature appalling , ridiculous sequences which find central characters dressed up in fuzzy oversized costumes .", "the same ca n't be said", "demonstrate no appreciable chemistry whatsoever , fatally crippling the picture as they volley fizzling repartee back and forth and trade double - entendres with all the enthusiasm of two actors painfully aware that they 're on board a sinking", "his tepid turn here will make as much of an inroad as his commendably seedy performance in the regrettably - neglected kathyrn bigelow film strange", "but they 're no fun to watch , and i found myself growing increasingly distant and annoyed by the lack of spark between the two cheekily ironic characters as they navigated through the picture 's caper - esque", "i began to alleviate the boredom by considering how this all might have played out had the filmmakers chose to go instead with that erstwhile emma as our mrs .", "if nothing else , it 'd at least be highly entertaining for the incongruous sight of the vaguely twiggish young actress kicking", "overlooking some goofy cloning nonsense and quirky hijinx involving our protagonists ' superiors , it sounds far better than it plays , and is rendered almost indecipherable by blatant post - production", "it 's clearly evident that the picture has been cut to", "but given the lack of cohesion in the plot and the lack of menace conveyed by the buffoonish maniac , it 's all decidedly uncompelling . mr . connery , who 's onscreen barely long enough to register an impression , approaches the role like a man fulfilling a contractual", "while unable to hide his", "but the film is so unremittingly dull that even these instances fail to stir interest or raise pulse", "but with the quickest escape route from the theatre", "which ironically is infinitely more appealing that the feature film itself", "it 's everything that the avengers is not -- saucy , clever , engaging , and entertaining . a crushing disappointment , the film is one of the worst outings of the year -- too drearily awful to be savoured as gleefully bad , too polished to overlook its deficiencies . there may be upcoming pictures that are even more lifeless than the avengers , but i sure hope" ] stallone attempts to ' act ' in this cop drama . the film is set in a neighbourhood pratically built by kietal , who 's nephew ( played by michael rappaport ) is involved in a car crash and killing of two black youths . keital dosen't really want to get involved in anything , gets rid of rappaport , and stallone and de niro try to work out what the hell is going on . this film should be brilliant . it sounds like a great plot , the actors are first grade , and the supporting cast is good aswell , and stallone is attempting to deliver a good performance . however , it ca n't hold up . although the acting is fantastic ( even stallone is n't bad ) the directing and story is dull and long winded some scenes go on for too long , with nothing really happening in them . in fact , the only scenes that do work are action scenes , which i suspect stallone was trying to avoid . in this film , serious means dull . the dialogue is warbling , and basically just repeats the same points over and over , no matter who is delivering them . the plot , which has potential , is wasted , again just being cliched after a while . in fact , the only thing that does keep the film going is kietal and de niro , both delivering their usual good performances . however , stallone , although not given much to say , gives a good performance . however , it 's not all that bad . as said above , the action scenes are well done . there s also a very good ending , which uses the cinemas sound system well . in fact , the last 10 minutes of this 2 hour film are one of the best endings of 1997 . if only the rest of the film was as good as the ending . cop land , then , turns out not to be a power house film , but a rather dull , and not every exciting film . hugely disappointing , and i ca n't really recommend it . 0 (NEG) [ "stallone attempts to ' act ' in this cop drama", "however , it ca n't hold", "the directing and story is dull and long winded some scenes go on for too long , with nothing really happening in them", "serious means dull . the dialogue is warbling , and basically just repeats the same points over and over , no matter who is delivering them", "", "just being cliched after a", "turns out not to be a power house film , but a rather dull , and not every exciting film . hugely disappointing , and i ca n't really recommend it" ] the first species was a moderately - successful science fiction yarn that diverted audiences with some nifty special effects , a few well- paced action sequences , and frequent views of model - turned - actress natasha henstridge sans clothing . however , it was definitely not a movie that cried out for a sequel . and , considering the quality of species 2 , it 's obvious that mgm should have stopped while they were ahead . the only thing that distinguishes species 2 is how awful it is . if you throw away the plot , which is characterized by a blatant disregard for intelligence , logic , coherence , and consistency , species 2 actually has a few things to recommend it to a select audience . of course , that audience is primarily comprised of teenage boys ( who , at least in theory , should n't be able to get into an " r " -rated film ) and connoisseurs of bad movies . there 's enough blood , gore , simulated sex , and bare flesh in species 2 to prevent it from ever becoming boring . this is a grade z exploitation flick that 's ripe for the mystery science theater 3000 treatment . somewhere , someplace , i recall hearing species 2 described as " erotic . " i would love to know who used with that adjective for this movie , because he ( or she ) has a peculiar notion of eroticism . sure , there 's a lot of sex and nudity , but it 's almost always accompanied by the ripping open of a woman 's abdomen as an alien baby claws its way free , splattering blood and gore in all directions . anyone turned on by that is not someone i would care to be sitting next to in a theater . i suppose the main attraction in species 2 is natasha henstridge ( and , to get the obvious question out of the way -- yes , she does remove her top , but only once , and only briefly ) . although the character she played in the original species is dead , government scientists still have the dna , and , out of what can only be described as a suicidal impulse , they decide to create another clone . this creature , dubbed " eve " by its creator , dr . laura baker ( played by marg helgenberger , reprising her role ) , is genetically engineered to be kinder and more docile . meanwhile , man has finally set foot on mars . a team of three , led by patrick ross ( justin lazard ) , has traveled to the red planet , but when they return to earth , they bring something with them . ross has become a half - human / half - alien hybrid , and he 's soon mating like crazy , collecting the blood - soaked children that are the result of each sex session . his intention is obviously world domination . standing in his way is that indomitable soldier of fortune from the first film , preston lennox ( michael madsen ) , and one of patrick 's fellow astronauts , dennis gamble ( mykelti williamson ) . but when patrick learns about eve , a female of his kind , there 's no damping his ardor . i 'm not sure what the budget for species 2 was , but a significant portion of it must have gone into paying handsome salaries to several recognizable actors ( as opposed to being diverted into the special effects ) . michael madsen and marg helgenberger , both back for a second round , are clearly on hand to do as little as they can , grab the money , and run . ditto for james cromwell , who plays patrick 's father -- " underused " is too kind a word to describe his involvement ( " invisible " would be more like it ) . george dzundza gets to do a little scenery- chewing as an angry - but - inept general . meanwhile , justin lazard 's performance as patrick is so flat that he makes natasha henstridge 's limited abilities look good by comparison . the only one in the whole production with any energy is mykelti williamson , who is cast in the part of the wisecracking black sidekick . complete with cheesy special effects , bare breasts around every narrative corner , and dialogue capable of producing howls of laughter , species 2 has been dumped into the marketplace without advance screenings for critics . director peter medak , a journeyman film maker with a significant list of mediocre movies on his resume , has added another forgettable title , but at least he appears to have had fun doing it , which is more than can be said of anyone trying to take this film with even a scintilla of seriousness . do i recommend the movie ? absolutely not , but i will admit that species 2 is dopey enough that it did n't try my patience to the degree that some pseudo - intellectual bad movies do . here 's hoping there 's no species 3 . 0 (NEG) [ "however , it was definitely not a movie that cried out for a sequel . and , considering the quality of species 2 , it 's obvious that mgm should have stopped while they were ahead . the only thing that distinguishes species 2 is how awful it", "if you throw away the plot , which is characterized by a blatant disregard for intelligence , logic , coherence , and consistency , species 2 actually has a few things to recommend it to a select audience", "i recall hearing species 2 described as \" erotic . \" i would love to know who used with that adjective for this movie , because he ( or she ) has a peculiar notion of", "but a significant portion of it must have gone into paying handsome salaries to several recognizable actors ( as opposed to being diverted into the special effects )", "ditto for james cromwell , who plays patrick 's father -- \" underused \" is too kind a word to describe his involvement ( \" invisible \" would be more like it", "meanwhile , justin lazard 's performance as patrick is so flat that he makes natasha henstridge 's limited abilities look good by comparison", ", species 2 has been dumped into the marketplace without advance screenings for critics . director peter medak , a journeyman film maker with a significant list of mediocre movies on his resume , has added another forgettable title", "do i recommend the movie ? absolutely not , but i will admit that species 2 is dopey enough that it did n't try my patience to the degree that some pseudo - intellectual bad movies do . here 's hoping there 's no species" ] a number of critics have decided that it 's open season on freddie prize jr . , slamming the young actor as an utterly talentless pretty boy on career cruise control in sound - alike , disposable teen fluff like " head over heels , " " boys and girls , " " down to you " and " she 's all that . " while the prinze oeuvre is hard to defend , his talent is not . i first saw him in the independent dark comedy " the house of yes , " where he gave a subtle , impressive performance as the younger brother in one of america 's freakiest families . prinze has the acting chops ; he just needs to take a few supporting roles in some grown - up movies to show the non - believers that he has what it takes . " summer catch " certainly wo n't help his case . inoffensive , but utterly generic , the baseball - related romantic comedy does little more than kill time . the story deals with the love affair between tenley ( jessica biel ) , a wealthy cape cod girl and ryan ( prinze ) , a local boy from a working class family who dreams of becoming a big - time baseball star . ryan 's preoccupation with his new honey - bunny drives her elitist father ( bruce davison ) crazy and endangers his position as pitcher with a cape cod summer league team . it 's a wonder the kid has any time to pitch , as his time is occupied with making out with tenley , fighting with her dad , bonding with his own dad ( fred ward , who deserves better than this ) , fighting with his brother ( jason gedrick ) and carousing at a neighborhood bar with his teammates . the filmmakers desperately want to make a quirky , character - heavy baseball movie like " bull durham , " but have n't got a clue how to get there . and so they glide from one clich ? to the next for 108 minutes . the only bit of originality comes from marc blucas in a minor role as a center - fielder from texas . in an early barroom scene , blucas , best known as demon - fighting riley finn from " buffy the vampire slayer , " hears a young woman compliment a guy on his ass , then turns to teammate matthew lillard and states , " he does have a nice ass . a bubble butt . " when lillard gives him an " are you insane ? " look , blucas calmly says , " it 's nothing sexual , " then goes on to evaluate the hind - ends of some other players , including lillard 's . speaking of asses , prinze does not bare his in the movie . the actor has a no nudity clause in his contract , so two stunt - butts were employed for a couple of semi - nude shots . blucas , whose character secretly dates a large woman throughout the story , gets another unique moment late in the film . sick of hearing teammates make " fat chick " jokes , he climbs on top of a table and loudly declares his love of amply - sized ladies . while his speech still ends up objectifying women , it remains a nice change of pace in a numbingly ordinary movie . trivial tidbit : " summer catch " marks a scooby doo summit . marc blucas appears in " jay and silent bob strike back " as fred from the scooby doo gang , while freddie prinze jr . plays the same character in the upcoming big budget film version of the old cartoon . 0 (NEG) [ "slamming the young actor as an utterly talentless pretty boy on career cruise control in sound - alike , disposable teen fluff like \" head over heels , \" \" boys and girls , \" \" down to you \" and \" she 's all that . \" while the prinze oeuvre is hard to defend , his talent is", "he just needs to take a few supporting roles in some grown - up movies to show the non - believers that he has what it takes . \" summer catch \" certainly wo n't help his case . inoffensive , but utterly", "does little more than kill", "the filmmakers desperately want to make a quirky , character - heavy baseball movie like \" bull durham , \" but have n't got a clue how to get there . and so they glide from one clich ? to the next for 108 minutes" ] everybody in this film 's thinking of alicia . no , this is not a documentary on those of us after we first saw the " cryin ' " video . this is one of those erotic thrillers , but not like one starring shannon whirry or shannon tweed . first off , there 's zero sex , almost no nudity , and it 's not as well - plotted as one of those tweed flicks . well , anyway . the " plot . " alicia plays , well , the babysitter , who is taking care of some kids one night while the parents ( j. t. walsh and lee garlington ) go out to a party . the film , trying to be like one of those introspective erotic thrillers , shows every characters ' thoughts , except alicia 's . the thing is alicia 's in most of them in most cases , and the thoughts are n't too kosher . first off , there 's her boyfriend ( jeremy london , who gave one of the all - time lousy performances in " mallrats , " and is only a notch better here ) , who 's a dorky kid who hangs out with a kind of bully , played by nicky katt from " suburbia " ( who shows he 's got that quiet creepiness down pat once again ) . they decide they want to crash her babysitting job , looking for the typical babysitting hanky - panky . somethine like that . the film intercuts between the subplots ( alicia babysitting , nicky and jeremy , the party ) and each characters ' thoughts . we get to see jeremy and nicky 's dreams of doing a little threeway with alicia , j. t. thinking of coming home to find alicia naked in the bathtub ( she has it all covered up , the little tease ) , and , worst of all , lee garlington dreaming of that hunk , george segal . it even shows them in bed together . yea . i so wanted to see george and lee garlington in bed , though i guess i 'm used to george after seeing her and mary tyler moore fooling around in " flirting with disaster . " the ending is some kind of big tragedy thing , but come on . like we care about any of the characters . the only interesting one is alicia , mainly because she 's alicia , and we mostly see her in the fantasies . so i guess she 's some kind of mystery or something . but she is never explored further . so , basically , this film is just a series of mastabatory images , sometimes featuring a non - nude alicia ( once again , sadly ) , sometimes featuring a scantily - clad george segal ( once again , sadly ) . i watched this on one of those free previews of showtime or cinemax one night , and let me tell you , it is the only way to watch this film . i mean , there 's a reason they put these kinds of films on late at night : they 're just as good as sleeping pills . and this one is one big fat waste of time , even for an alicia film . 0 (NEG) [ "and it 's not as well - plotted as one of those tweed flicks", "the film , trying to be like one of those introspective erotic thrillers", "and the thoughts are n't too kosher . first off , there 's her boyfriend ( jeremy london , who gave one of the all - time lousy performances in \" mallrats , \" and is only a notch better here", "and , worst of all , lee garlington dreaming of that hunk , george segal", "the ending is some kind of big tragedy thing , but come on . like we care about any of the characters . the only interesting one is alicia , mainly because she 's alicia , and we mostly see her in the fantasies", "but she is never explored further . so , basically , this film is just a series of mastabatory images", "scantily -", "i watched this on one of those free previews of showtime or cinemax one night , and let me tell you , it is the only way to watch this film", "they 're just as good as sleeping pills . and this one is one big fat waste of time , even for an alicia film" ] star wars : ? episode i -- the phantom menace ( 1999 ) director : george lucas cast : liam neeson , ewan mcgregor , natalie portman , jake lloyd , ian mcdiarmid , samuel l. jackson , oliver ford davies , terence stamp , pernilla august , frank oz , ahmed best , kenny baker , anthony daniels screenplay : george lucas producers : rick mccallum runtime : 131 min . us distribution : 20th century fox rated pg : mild violence , thematic elements copyright 1999 nathaniel r. atcheson a fellow critic once stated his belief that a reviewer should not speak of himself in his own review . i 've attempted to obey this rule in recent months , but to do so would be impossible in this case . the fact is , nearly every person who goes to see the phantom menace brings baggage in with them . the original star wars trilogy means so much to so many people . for me , they calibrated my creativity as a child ; they are masterful , original works of art that mix moving stories with what were astonishing special effects at the time ( and they still hold up pretty darn well ) . i am too young to have seen star wars in the theater during its original release , but that does n't make me any less dedicated to it . on the contrary , the star wars trilogy -- and the empire strikes back in particular -- are three items on a very short list of why i love movies . when i heard that george lucas would be making the first trilogy in the nine - film series , i got exited . when i first saw screenshots from the film , well over a year ago , i embarked on a year - long drool of anticipation . and when the first previews were released last thanksgiving , i was ready to see the film . but then there was the hype , the insane marketing campaign , and lucasfilm 's secretive snobbery over the picture . in the last weeks before the picture opened , while multitudes of fans waited outside of theaters and stood in the boiling sun days in advance just to be the first ones in the theater , i was tired of hearing about it . i was tired of seeing cardboard cut - outs of the characters whenever i went to kfc or taco bell . i just wanted to see the movie . reader , do not misunderstand . i did not have an anti - hype reaction . the hype was unavoidable . i understand and accept the hype -- it 's just what happens when the prequel to the most widely beloved films of all time get released . five minutes into the phantom menace , i knew there was a problem . " who are these jedi knights ? " i asked . " why are they churning out stale dialogue with machine - gun rapidity ? " " why are n't these characters being developed before their adventures ? " " why is there a special effects shot in nearly every frame of the entire film ? " these were just some of my questions early on . later , i asked , " where 's the magic of the first three films ? " and " why am i looking at my watch every fifteen minutes ? ' by the end of the film , i was tired , maddened , and depressed . george lucas has funneled his own wonderful movies into a pointless , mindless , summer blockbuster . the phantom menace is no star wars film . take away the title and the jedi talk and the force , and you 're left with what is easily one of the most vacuous special effects movies of all time . it 's an embarrassment . i looked desperately for a scene in which a character is explored , or a new theme is examined , or a special effects shot is n't used . there are a few of each , but they 're all token attempts . the fact is , george lucas has created what is simultaneously an abysmally bad excuse for a movie and a pretty good showcase for digital effects . this is not what i wanted to see . i did n't want to leave the phantom menace with a headache and a bitter taste in my mouth , but i did . the story centers mostly around qui - gon jinn ( liam neeson , looking lost and confused ) and his apprentice , obi - wan kenobi ( ewan mcgregor , who scarcely has a line in the film ) and their attempts to liberate the people of the planet naboo . naboo is the victim of a bureaucratic war with the trade federation ; their contact on naboo is queen amidala ( natalie portman ) , the teenage ruler who truly cares for her people . after picking up jar jar binks ( a completely cgi character , voiced by ahmed best ) , they head to tatooine , where they meet young anakin skywalker ( jake lloyd ) and his mother ( pernilla august ) . qui - gon knows that the force is strong with young anakin , and so the jedi knights take the boy with them on their journeys . the bad guys are darth maul and darth sidious , neither of whom have enough lines to register as characters . there is n't anything particularly wrong with this story when looking at it in synopsis form . the way lucas has handled it , however , it unsatisfactory . first of all , we do n't learn one single thing about qui - gon jinn . not one thing . what was his life like before this film ? well , i imagine he did n't have one . that 's why he feels like a plot device . this probably explains why neeson looks so hopeless in the role , and why he 's recently retired from film ( i do n't blame him , honestly ) . obi - wan , a character i was really looking forward to learning more about , is even less interesting . mcgregor has just a few lines , so anyone hoping to see the engaging young actor in a great performance is urged to look elsewhere . since these two men are the focus of the phantom menace , lucas has served us a big emotional void as the centerpiece of his movie . things start to pick up when our characters reach tatooine ; young anakin is perhaps the only truly fleshed - out character in the film , and lloyd does a thoughtful job with the role . i was also hugely impressed with the sand speeder scene ; rarely is an action sequence so fast and so exciting . and when anakin says goodbye to his mother , i found it moving . also fairly good is portman , and she manages to give a little depth to a character where no depth has been written . jar jar binks is one of the most annoying characters i 've ever had to endure , but he 's more interesting than most of the humans . as soon as the relatively - brief segment on tatooine is over , it 's back to the mind - numbing special effects and depthless action scenes . i 've seen many movies that qualify as " special effects extravaganzas , " but the phantom menace is the first one i 've seen that had me sick of the special effects fifteen minutes into the movie . the reason is obvious : george lucas has no restraint . i ca n't say that i did n't find the effects original , because i did -- the final battle between darth maul , obi - wan , and qui - gon is visually exceptional , as is most of the film . but i also found the effects deadening and tiresome . my breaking point was near the end of the picture , as anakin is getting questioned by yoda and the other jedi masters ; in the background , we see hundreds of digital spaceships flying around through a digital sky , and i wanted that to go away . ca n't we have one stinking scene that is n't bursting at the seems with a special effects shot ? i got so sick of looking at the cgi characters and spaceships and planets and backgrounds that i really just wanted to go outside and look at a physical landscape for a few hours . and then there 's the question of magic . what was lost in the sixteen years between the phantom menace and return of the jedi ? i have a feeling that lucas was so focused on how his movie looked that he forgot entirely the way it should feel . john williams ' familiar score is no help , nor is lucas ' direction . i think it comes right down to characters : there are none here . i longed for the magnetic presence of han , luke , and leia , but i got no such thing . and what about the ridiculous expectations ? mine were n't that high ; i simply wanted a film that showed me the roots of the films that i grew up loving , a story that had a few characters and a few great special effects . instead , i got two hours and fifteen minutes of a lifeless and imaginative computer graphics show . i do n't hate the phantom menace as much as i resent it : i 'd like to forget that it exists , and yet i ca n't . it 's here to stay . i can only hope that episodes ii and iii have something of substance in them , because if they do n't , then lucas will have pulled off the impossible task of destroying his own indestructible series . 0 (NEG) [ "i 've attempted to obey this rule in recent months , but to do so would be impossible in this case . the fact is , nearly every person who goes to see the phantom menace brings baggage in with them", "but then there was the hype , the insane marketing campaign , and lucasfilm 's secretive snobbery over the picture", "i was tired of hearing about it . i was tired of seeing cardboard cut - outs of the characters whenever i went to kfc or taco bell", "five minutes into the phantom menace , i knew there was a problem . \" who are these jedi knights ? \" i asked . \" why are they churning out stale dialogue with machine - gun rapidity ? \" \" why are n't these characters being developed before their adventures ? \" \" why is there a special effects shot in nearly every frame of the entire", "these were just some of my questions early on . later , i asked , \" where 's the magic of the first three films ? \" and \" why am i looking at my watch every fifteen minutes ? ' by the end of the film , i was tired , maddened , and depressed . george lucas has funneled his own wonderful movies into a pointless , mindless , summer blockbuster . the phantom menace is no star wars film . take away the title and the jedi talk and the force , and you 're left with what is easily one of the most vacuous special effects movies of all time . it 's an embarrassment . i looked desperately for a scene in which a character is explored , or a new theme is examined , or a special effects shot is n't used . there are a few of each , but they 're all token attempts . the fact is , george lucas has created what is simultaneously an abysmally bad excuse for a movie and a pretty good showcase for digital effects . this is not what i wanted to see . i did n't want to leave the phantom menace with a headache and a bitter taste in my mouth , but i", "neither of whom have enough lines to register as", ", however , it unsatisfactory . first of all , we do n't learn one single thing about qui - gon jinn . not one thing . what was his life like before this film ? well , i imagine he did n't have one . that 's why he feels like a plot device . this probably explains why neeson looks so hopeless in the role , and why he 's recently retired from film ( i do n't blame him ,", "obi - wan , a character i was really looking forward to learning more about , is even less interesting . mcgregor has just a few lines , so anyone hoping to see the engaging young actor in a great performance is urged to look elsewhere . since these two men are the focus of the phantom menace , lucas has served us a big emotional void as the centerpiece of his", "is one of the most annoying characters i 've ever had to", "it 's back to the mind - numbing special effects and depthless action scenes . i 've seen many movies that qualify as \" special effects extravaganzas , \" but the phantom menace is the first one i 've seen that had me sick of the special effects fifteen minutes into the movie . the reason is obvious : george lucas has no", "but i also found the effects deadening and tiresome . my breaking point was near the end of the picture , as anakin is getting questioned by yoda and the other jedi masters ; in the background , we see hundreds of digital spaceships flying around through a digital sky , and i wanted that to go away . ca n't we have one stinking scene that is n't bursting at the seems with a special effects shot ? i got so sick of looking at the cgi characters and spaceships and planets and backgrounds that i really just wanted to go outside and look at a physical landscape for a few hours . and then there 's the question of magic . what was lost in the sixteen years between the phantom menace and return of the jedi ? i have a feeling that lucas was so focused on how his movie looked that he forgot entirely the way it should feel . john williams ' familiar score is no help , nor is lucas ' direction . i think it comes right down to characters : there are none here . i longed for the magnetic presence of han , luke , and leia , but i got no such thing . and what about the ridiculous expectations ? mine were n't that high", "instead , i got two hours and fifteen minutes of a lifeless and imaginative computer graphics show . i do n't hate the phantom menace as much as i resent it : i 'd like to forget that it exists , and yet i ca n't . it 's here to stay . i can only hope that episodes ii and iii have something of substance in them , because if they do n't , then lucas will have pulled off the impossible task of destroying his own indestructible" ] the lives of older people in the twilight of their years attempting to come to grips with their shared histories and possible futures is a fascinating topic . finding an all - star cast for such a film is a stroke of genius . combining all that with a three - time oscar - winning director ( robert benton of " kramer vs. kramer " ) and creating a decidedly mediocre movie is the stuff of disappointment . in yet another noir mystery set in hollywood -- how many of these have we seen during the past few years ? -- the atmosphere is moody , the actors enjoyable to watch and the story goes nowhere . over-70 harry ross ( paul newman ) is a washed up cop - turned - private eye - turned man friday trying to figure out how to live what remains of his life . he 's screwed up things pretty well ( " i had a wife and daughter . now , i 'm a drunk ) and is at a crossroads . a couple of years ago , he traveled to mexico to bring back mel ( reese witherspoon ) , the under - age daughter of jack ( gene hackman ) and catherine ( susan sarandon ) ames and now lives with them . the ames are former movie stars , past their prime and the three have become fast friends . one gets the impression that ross is just hanging out waiting for something to wake him up . to fill his time , he does odd jobs for jack and falls in love with catherine . jack is in even worse shape than harry . he 's dying of cancer with only a year to live . things do turn more exciting when jack asks harry to drop off a sealed manila envelope for him . instead of the routine errand that ross expects , he walks into a barrage of bullets from the gun of another ex - cop who is , himself , full of bloody holes . this unsettling event gives the former detective a project to throw himself into and launches an investigation that revolves around the mysterious disappearance of catherine 's first husband 20 years before . through a series of very complex and convoluted plot devices that involve murder ; blackmail ; guns ; mel 's mexico traveling partner and his parole officer ; ross 's former cop buddies , ex - lover and would - be sidekick , the tale finally ends up exactly where everyone expects it to . it 's a film noir tradition that the story twists and turns down side roads for an unexpected finale , but here the journey meanders towards an ending that no one cares about . the only surprises are exactly whose face fits which role in the scenario . by the time they show you , it does n't matter . the storyline gets goofier and goofier exemplified in ross 's relationship with rubin ( giancarlo esposito ) , a partner wannabe . these scenes are obviously designed to be comic relief , however they are neither . rubin and ross have some past relationship but either it 's not explained or i did n't care enough at that point to remember . a running joke about where harry was supposedly shot while in mexico is probably meant to mirror his questions about whether he is still able to perform . it 's also not funny , does n't connect and keeps on showing up long after it has run its course . on the positive side , it 's often enjoyable to watch the seasoned actors on the screen . the three leads all have well - deserved academy awards and turn in accomplished , if not extraordinary jobs . newman is a grand actor , but does n't seem quite suited to the dark film style . he is a bit too clean and understated to come across as desperate and down and out . hackman , also low - key , is believable but lacks sparkle . sarandon comes across well as an sultry older babe although she is one - dimensional . the actors do what they can with lame dialog , but they ca n't pull the film out of the hole it 's dug for itself . james garner who plays ross 's old buddy ex - cop raymond hope is always a treat , but even he half - heartedly struggles through lines like " i 'm glad they did n't shoot your pecker off . " the best part of the film is the look at old friends , how their relationships change over the years and the difficult choices they must make . the genuinely easy and casual interactions among the actors hint that being on the set was much more interesting than what ended up on the screen the film does n't run very long before the audience realizes that it 's hopeless . the only reason for watching is the actors . it reminds me of disaster movies such as " towering inferno " where the star power is supposed to make everyone ignore the film 's problems . in a better world , there would have been second - rate actors in this second - rate movie and the ones here would have been saved for something better . of course , we do n't live in that better world , but you could make yours a little nicer by choosing a different movie . 0 (NEG) [ "and creating a decidedly mediocre movie is the stuff of disappointment . in yet another noir mystery set in hollywood -- how many of these have we seen during the past few years ? -- the atmosphere is", "the story goes", "the tale finally ends up exactly where everyone expects it to", "but here the journey meanders towards an ending that no one cares about", "by the time they show you , it does n't matter . the storyline gets goofier and", "a partner wannabe . these scenes are obviously designed to be comic relief , however they are", "rubin and ross have some past relationship but either it 's not explained or i did n't care enough at that point to remember . a running joke about where harry was supposedly shot while in mexico is probably meant to mirror his questions about whether he is still able to perform . it 's also not funny , does n't connect and keeps on showing up long after it has run its", "but does n't seem quite suited to the dark film style . he is a bit too clean and understated to come across as desperate and down and out", "but lacks sparkle", "although she is one - dimensional", "lame dialog , but they ca n't pull the film out of the hole it 's dug for", "but even he half - heartedly struggles through", "being on the set was much more interesting than what ended up on the screen the film does n't run very long before the audience realizes that it 's", "the only reason for watching is the actors . it reminds me of disaster movies such as \" towering inferno \" where the star power is supposed to make everyone ignore the film 's problems . in a better world , there would have been second - rate actors in this second - rate movie and the ones here would have been saved for something better . of course , we do n't live in that better world , but you could make yours a little nicer by choosing a different" ] martial arts master steven seagal ( not to mention director ! ) has built a career out of playing an allegedly fictitious martial arts superman who never gets hurt in fights , talks in a hushed tone , and squints at any sign of danger . he 's also the most consistent individual in hollywood today , since all his movies suck . they basically represent his egotisitical tendencies about his art ( that is , martial art ) . i 'm sure the guy 's good , and he seems like a nice guy on talk shows , although a tad haughty , but these movies he makes are all the same : a guy who is basically indestructable , is maybe wounded supposedly mortally , then comes back with a vengeance and goes buddha on all the baddies asses ( although i kinda liked " under siege " ) . of course , this one , as a change , has a " message " that is drilled into our mind . .. of course , after he blows up a lot of stuff and kills a bunch of people . so why do i watch his crap ? i usually do n't . i will never , and you can hold me to this , i will never pay to see this man 's movies , unless , and only unless , he 's in a supporting role ( i. e. " executive decision " ) and i 'd definitely pay if he dies ( i. e. " executive decision " ) . but this one has a special place in my heart . this does n't mean it 's good or that i even liked it . this was the last movie i watched with my deceased uncle , and we had one hell of a time ripping it apart a la " mystery science theatre 3000 , " and this was a couple years before i had heard of " mystery science theatre 3000 . " in this one , seagal plays a worker for a mining factory set in alaska and run by the greased - up typical shallow villain , this time played by an oscar - winner to give the movie some more clout - michael caine . it seems that caine wants to do something with his oil factory that includes him dumping oil all over inuit land . around the 20 - 30 minute point , seagal speaks up to him in what seems to be the typical speech to all the vain entrepeneurs ( what with his new " fire down below , " another " message film " ) , and caine has him bumped off . .. or does he ? seagal is rescued by some inuits , and falls in love with one of them , played by joan chen , who can act , hypothetically , but , for some reason , not here . one of caine 's cliched henchmen ( played here with a lot of overacting by john c. mcginley ) shoots the cheif of the inuit clan , and chen and seagal go on a voyage to take down the oil factory . .. literally , of course . at one point , seagal gives a wonderfully hysterical speech about how he does n't have any options but blow stuff up . he even goes as far as to say , " i do n't want to kill someone , " and in the same breath , he asks some guy where the arsenal is . i have no problem with violence . i 'm a huge john woo fan , but he paints his films with suspense , skill , style , depth , characterization , and just plain cool violence . in the films of seagal , the suspense mainly consists of the baddie attacking him stupidly , and him either wounding or killing them . at some points , they use the cliche of the talking villain , where the villain has the advantage , can shoot seagal , but begins talking by either telling him his big secret plan , or saying a corny line , to which seagal says something hokey back , and has had enough time to devise of a way to do away with them , and does . this would be okay if there were any suspense or if it did n't take itself seriously at all , like in the case of this summer 's " con air . " but seagal is serious about his skill , and of course , his message . i would n't mind if this was a message film in the way that they present it to you with evidence . but seagal has no idea how to present a film where the message is subtle , not pounded into the viewer 's mind . the villain is totally shallow and cartoonish , thus we ca n't take him and his motives seriously , and while seagal talks about being kind to the environment , he also goes ahead and blows up a square mile of rig , and kills some workers who were just doing his job . then at the end , he spends a good 10 minutes giving a speech , just in case you did n't get the message from the trailers . what seagal does n't realize is that no one takes his films seriously ( although maybe a couple do ) and any message he has is no only redundant , but does n't comfortably fit in his film , which is filled to the brim with hokey violence , crap suspense , stupid melodrama , and characters who have about as much emotional depth as a petri dish . as far as seagal and his acting , he 's rather boring . he squints , he kills . period . nothing else . oh , yeah , there 's corny one - liners ( " i 'm gon na reach out and touch someone ! " ) . of course , he 's the star , and we 're supposed to root for him and all , so he makes all the villains unbelievably stupid and a bunch of jerks . michael caine , who 's a great actor , is just supposed to yell and look cold . he does it well , i guess , but this is no " alfie . " of coure , no one was expecting that caliber of performance from him . his big henchman , john c. mcginley is kinda boring as well , but is not horrible . and we even get a small performance from that god of drill sergeants on celluloid , r. lee ermey ( from " full metal jacket " ) as a hired assasin squad leader who gets to say the obligatory speech about how dangerous seagal is , just for the movie trailers and for seagal 's ego . and also , look for billy bob thornton as one of ermey 's assasins . anyway , to conclude this all , to judge one of seagal 's movies is to judge all of them ( except for " under siege " and " executive decision , " though the latter is not really a " seagal movie " ) . they all have this same formula , they all have the same action , same villain , same plot , but this one has that message , which makes it more excrucitating to watch . i mean , if you do rent it , and i do n't reccomend you do , make sure you just skip the last 10 minutes . but i have to put it to seagal for creating a film so bad , that the last film i viewed with my uncle was a pleasurable one . my ( extra star for the fun it is to watch and mock ) 0 (NEG) [ "since all his movies suck . they basically represent his egotisitical tendencies about his art ( that is , martial art )", "but these movies he makes are all the same : a guy who is basically indestructable , is maybe wounded supposedly", "so why do i watch his crap ? i usually do n't . i will never , and you can hold me to this , i will never pay to see this man 's movies , unless , and only unless , he 's in a supporting role ( i. e. \" executive decision \" ) and i 'd definitely pay if he dies ( i. e. \" executive decision \"", "this does n't mean it 's good or that i even liked it", "the suspense mainly consists of the baddie attacking him stupidly", "they use the cliche of the talking villain", "or saying a corny line , to which seagal says something hokey back", "this would be okay if there were any suspense or if it did n't take itself seriously at all", "but seagal has no idea how to present a film where the message is subtle , not pounded into the viewer 's mind . the villain is totally shallow and cartoonish , thus we ca n't take him and his motives seriously", "at the end , he spends a good 10 minutes giving a speech , just in case you did n't get the message from the trailers . what seagal does n't realize is that no one takes his films seriously ( although maybe a couple do ) and any message he has is no only redundant , but does n't comfortably fit in his film , which is filled to the brim with hokey violence , crap suspense , stupid melodrama , and characters who have about as much emotional depth as a petri dish", "he 's rather boring . he squints , he kills . period . nothing else . oh , yeah , there 's corny one - liners ( \" i 'm gon na reach out and touch someone ! \" )", "so he makes all the villains unbelievably stupid and a bunch of jerks . michael caine , who 's a great actor , is just supposed to yell and look cold . he does it well , i guess , but this is no \" alfie . \" of coure , no one was expecting that caliber of performance from him", "john c. mcginley is kinda boring as well , but is not horrible", "", "just for the movie trailers and for seagal 's ego", "to judge one of seagal 's movies is to judge all of", "though the latter is not really a \" seagal movie \" ) . they all have this same formula , they all have the same action , same villain , same plot , but this one has that message , which makes it more excrucitating to watch", "and i do n't reccomend you do , make sure you just skip the last 10 minutes", "a film so bad" ] arye cross and courteney cox star as a pair of bostonians who meet in a bar , go to the movies , fall in love , move in together , etc . review = = = = = = well , if you have n't seen when harry met sally or he said , she said , or if you do n't watch love & war on television , you might think this is the most inventive film to come along in ages . however , if you 've seen any of these , than you have seen most of this film . this of course does n't mean its bad . some of it is amusing , but overall , i just had to ask what 's the point ? arye cross is the stereotypical single male who falls in love . kevin pollack is the stereotypical female - fearing best friend who make a lot of rather sexist and vulgar jokes , most if which were n't very funny . couteney cox is the stereotypical career - minded woman who falls in love . julie brown is the stereotypical bizarre best friend of said woman . ( notice the frequent use of the word stereotypical . this film uses a lot of formula , the plot is basically known from the opening credits . ) so what is good about the movie ? well as i said there are a few amusing moments . surprisingly , julie brown , who i usually find just plain goofy , was the best thing in the film . also there are several very funny sequences involving analysis of the human mating ritual . gee , this is really short . not much to say about the film really . it is just kind of there . watching it on video might not be a complete waste of time , but i would n't recommend hiring a baby sitter or spending a lot of money to see it at the theatre . 0 (NEG) [ "however , if you 've seen any of these , than you have seen most of this", "i just had to ask what 's the point", "most if which were n't very funny", "this film uses a lot of formula , the plot is basically known from the opening credits .", "but i would n't recommend hiring a baby sitter or spending a lot of money to see it at the theatre" ] _ soldier _ is hands down one of the worst movies a person could ever have to sit through that does n't have jean claude van damme in it . i could liken it to the sci - fi cheese that was the hollywood product - of - choice back in the early 80s , but that would be too much of a compliment . if there is a movie theater in hell , this film is playing there 24 hours a day . the story , such that there is , revolves around todd ( kurt russell ) , an automaton of a man who has been raised from birth to be a merciless soldier in a not - too - distant ultra - conservative future ( is there any other kind ? ) after years of desensitization at a military academy full of other boys just like him , todd becomes a ground fighter in a series of wars all over the galaxy . who the enemies in these wars are is never revealed , but the few glimpses of todd in battle show that it does n't matter , because innocent hostages are wiped out as indifferently as the bad guys . after ten minutes of this nihilistic trash -- yes folks , there 's more -- we see todd as a buff , scarred adult , now so accustomed to the carnage that no confrontation at all causes him to break a sweat . there 's a new wrinkle , though . todd and his brethren are declared obsolete , and a new batch of soldiers takes their place . after losing a sanctioned battle with _ dragon _ 's jason scott lee , the seemingly dead todd is dumped by a flying ice - cube tray ( well , that 's what is looked like ) on a remote garbage planet . if you predict that todd meets a bunch of outcast settlers on this planet , and that they band together to fight a bunch of bad guys coming to destroy them , you 're way ahead of the game . the renegade society on this trash heap is so clich you half - expect tina turner and master blaster to come strolling into frame any minute . it 's surprising that _ soldier _ is the brain - child of _ blade runner _ co - writer david webb peoples . unlike that mind - twisting classic , this film contains just barely enough dialogue to fill about three double - spaced pages . add into the mix the _ mortal kombat _ 's paul anderson inept direction , and it 's easy to see how _ soldier _ turned out so bad . and the special effects ! remember the flying steam irons in hardware wars ? gary busey is in this movie . 'nuff said . _ soldier _ is proof that hollywood still has plenty of bad ideas sitting in its script vaults . that this sad film made it to the silver screen should encourage plenty of aspiring screenwriters out there that there is hope after all . now if you 'll excuse me , i have to go weep for the future . 0 (NEG) [ "", "does", "too much of a", "", "nihilistic", "", "", "", "" ] it 's a sad state of affairs when the back box blurb is more exciting than the movie contained within it . such is the case for the 1990 paul mayersberg film _ the last samurai_. though the blurb alludes to " a jungle filled with political intrigue , uneasy alliances , and murderous enemies at every turn , " the story of the movie is actually quite simple ( and prosaic ) : a middle - aged japanese businessman named endo ( played by john fujioka ) and his assistant , both of whom have samurai aspirations , travel to africa in search of his ancestor , who went to bring buddhism to africa . he hires the services of down - at - the - heels vietnam veteran pilot johnny congo ( the redoubtable lance henriksen ) and his girlfriend ( arabella holzbog ) , and travels to the camp of an arms - merchant - cum - safari - host- cum - islamic - missionary ( john saxon ) and his wife ( lisa eilbacher ) . they are all kidnapped by an african revolutionary guerilla with witch - doctor aspirations to conceal a pre - arranged arms deal , which subsequently falls through . congo escapes , finds endo 's ancestor 's sword , and comes back , guns blazing , to free the rest of them , and endo kills the revolutionary with the sword . the end . _ the last samurai _ is one of those movies that is neither bad enough nor good enough to be enjoyable . it is merely _ there_. the murky plot is filled with subtexts that are never elaborated , subplots that are never explained , and many scenes that make very little sense at all . the film is shot through with all the tired old " inscrutable japanese samurai " and zen stereotypes that are to be expected from an american movie . it is quite slow - paced , with only a bit of action near the end , and the final duel between endo and the terrorist is quite anticlimactic . most of the acting is fair , with the possible exception of congo 's girlfriend . lance henriksen is his usual scene - chewing self , and is one of few possible reasons anyone might conceivably have for seeing this movie . the only other bright spot is the sweeping african scenery . i paid$ 3 for this film , from the discount rack at best buy , and halfway suspect i overpaid for it . if you are in the mood for samurai , read a clavell novel or watch a kurusawa movie . skip _ the last samurai _ unless you are a die - hard henriksen fan .
0 (NEG)
[ "it 's a sad state of affairs when the back box blurb is more exciting than the movie contained within it", "_ the last samurai _ is one of those movies that is neither bad enough nor good enough to be enjoyable . it is merely _ there_. the murky plot is filled with subtexts that are never elaborated , subplots that are never explained , and many scenes that make very little sense at all . the film is shot through with all the tired old \" inscrutable japanese samurai \" and zen stereotypes that are to be expected from an american movie . it is quite slow - paced , with only a bit of action near the end , and the final duel between endo and the terrorist is quite anticlimactic", "is one of few possible reasons anyone might conceivably have for seeing this", "i paid $3 for this film , from the discount rack at best buy , and halfway suspect i overpaid for it", "skip _ the last samurai _ unless you are a die - hard henriksen" ] birthdays often cause individuals to access their lives . are we doing what we want to be doing ? what happened to our dreams ? with the new millennium , our collective big birthday , just around the corner , some people are sensing a certain dissatisfaction with their existence . the old standbys of traditional religion and science are n't doing it for many anymore and they 're looking for something else . we 'll be seeing more and more films with a metaphysical theme over the next few years . ricky hayman ( jeff goldblum ) is having a career crisis . the programming director for the good buy home shopping network , he 's going to be fired unless sales increase dramatically . new producer kate newell ( kelly preston ) is supposed to whip things into shape . when the two are fixing a flat , they almost run down new age pilgrim " g " ( murphy ) . g wanders onto the television set and connects with the viewers by telling them that they do n't really want all that commercial crap . in some unexplained manner , this causes sales to sour . ricky is saved . the movie tries to be too much at once and fails at it all . it 's not an over - the - top comedy or a heart - warming message of humanity . it _ is _ a mish - mosh of poorly directed scenes made even worse by insipid dialog . i am willing to put up with preaching from a film , but the messages here are old hat . you should take time to smell the roses . selling your soul for cash is a bad idea . golly . i 'm glad i saw the movie . i never would have thought of these . the opportunity to poke fun at the goofy products is mostly missed . when g takes a chainsaw to the set , there 's an obvious chance for murphy to be hilarious . it does n't happen . the bits are so subdued and overly - long that there 's only a hint of laughter from the audience . murphy has changed his roles in recent years and not for the better . there are hints of promise in this one . the only time the film picks up even a little is when his shaved - headed character in the long flowing white caftan shows up on screen . the others are horrendous . goldblum has episodes of brilliance in his career , but here he seems to have been replaced with a lifeless pod from his " invasion of the body snatchers " . his relationship with kate makes no sense . they move from antagonism to love somewhere off screen . preston is as uninteresting as she could possibly be . somewhere hidden deep inside of this film is about ten minutes of value . an attempt to satirize stupid television , we get a self - parody instead . 0 (NEG) [ "the movie tries to be too much at once and fails at it all . it 's not an over - the - top comedy or a heart - warming message of humanity . it _ is _ a mish - mosh of poorly directed scenes made even worse by insipid", "but the messages here are old", "it does n't happen . the bits are so subdued and overly - long that there 's only a hint of laughter from the audience", "not for the better", "but here he seems to have been replaced with a lifeless pod from his \" invasion of the body snatchers \"" ] m : i-2 , the sequel to mission impossible , is a james bond wannabe film , but it fails to even come close to that film in wit , humor , and entertainment value . it tries to be a spy / romance movie , but without any suspense the film just looks like it 's an extended commercial for dudes who think they look cool in throwaway sunglasses . it is a film that prefers techie gadgets to anything human . the coolest thing about this movie , was all the holes it had in its story and the most trite thing about the movie , was the usage of doves throughout as peace symbols . the film plays as if it was a wet fantasy dream about techie violence . except for the choreographed action sequences , the film was dull for three - quarters of its time , filled with too many dead spots in its story to garner concern about its wooden characters or the superficial romance that developed . as for the action scenes , they might look good to those who are converts to violence in their films , but their advertisement for sadistic responses , is nothing short of mindless cartoon violence , which makes it very difficult to sit back and applaud without feeling put off by the gratuitous cruelty seen . m : i-2 opens and closes with fast - paced action scenes , but it is hard to get past the middle part which just drags on in banal dialogue . the film looks as if it had been invaded by a computer virus , at that point . the only thing that kept me awake , was the horrible music composed by hans zimmer that became very loud at any of the film 's supposedly momentous action scenes and seemed to make an uninteresting scene even more noticeable in the wrong way . it 's a mega - buck film adapted from a popular high - tech gadgetry tv series . but its artistic success is an impossible task to accomplish because it hired the wrong director and actors to star in it , and it failed to produce a story that had any substance . john woo ( " broken arrow " / " face / off " ) is good at doing car chases , choreographed fights with midair flips and kung - fu kicks , slo - mo shots of two guns blazing , and of fire explosions , but he just ca n't seem to handle dialogue and suspense . the star of the film and co - producer , tom cruise , and his romantic interest , thandie newton , are miscast . cruise is no james bond and looks more like a yuppie than a superhero in his stylish long hair and innocuous smile , as he tries to carry off this macho role , while thandie is not an action - film girl , and seems like a fish- out - of - water in this one . their romance did n't work , not only was it tepid and not sexy , but it was n't convincing . the film opens with dizzying speed , perhaps with the hope that a befuddled audience is its best bet for success . we will be in three different locations instantaneously : sydney , the american southwest , and seville . first , we are in sydney , australia , where a scientist with a muffled russian accent , dr . nekhorvich ( rade ) , mentions that he created a deadly killer virus called chimera and an antidote for it . he also mentions that every hero needs a worthy villain . which explains the film 's mythic theme . .. as we enter the world of comic book myths on good and evil . the one who played the villain , dougray scott , does so in a one - dimensional gruff tone , which did not distinguish him in that role . at least , if the film got the villain part right , it might have had some fun with this nonsense . soon the diabolical scientist is on a plane talking to someone he trusts called dimitri , but then the plane is taken over by terrorists who set it on automatic pilot and crash it into the rocky mountains . before they crash the plane and parachute out of it , the one who was posing as dimitri , turns out to be sean ambrose ( scott ) , a rogue member of the imf , which is a cia - like clone . he steals the package with the antidote , peels off a latex mask , which is a replica of the hero of the story , ethan hunt ( cruise ) , who had posed as dimitri to the scientist before and had thereby gained his trust . sean and his group of terrorists carry out this attack because they plan a virus plague on the world and then to sell the victims the antidote at marked up prices . we already saw the gimmick of peeling masks used in face / off and in the original mission impossible , which as convoluted a plot as that film had , it was still a superior film to this sequel . woo has run this peeling mask routine into the ground , as it is used so often in this film by both sides , so much so , that it blurs any ethical character differences between good guy or villain . it makes it seem as if anyone could be another character , which distorts the reality of the film and makes it impossible for the film to make much sense . next we are in a mountain range in the american southwest , and ethan is on vacation , hanging by his fingertips while climbing and looking cool , when a helicopter with his boss anthony hopkins aboard , delivers via a rocket launcher , a pair of talking sunglasses . hunt learns his next mission is to retrieve the chimera package and he is allowed to pick two regular imf agents to help , billy baird ( john polson ) and luther stickell ( ving rhames ) , with luther running a high - gadget computer , but he also must get a jewel thief named nyah hall ( thandie ) to join his team . he is told , as an incentive to recruit her , all her criminal charges will be dropped . hopkins then signs off with the tag line : this message will self - destruct in five seconds . actually , with the departure of hopkins , it was this disposable film that actually self - destructed at this point . in seville , hunt recruits nyah into the team in the middle of a jewel heist and a subsequent car chase , where he nearly runs her audi sports car over the side of a mountain road . he also falls for her when this was only supposed to be a business deal , and learns that she is valuable because her ex - boyfriend was sean ambrose and that he still wants to f * ck her . the imf team then inject a location tracer chip into her to spot sean so she can go f * ck him , as she leads them to his hide - out in the seaside of australia in which he shares with his sneering villainous cohort , the south african , hugh stamp ( richard roxburgh ) . robert towne , the screenwriter , who contributed to the first " mission , " who is noted for doing " chinatown " -- writes a colorless , pedestrian script , one that fails even to be funny in a camp way . the terrorists , who aim to rule the world , are interested in owning 51 percent in a biotech company and in getting stock options , as they plan to infect sydney with the virus and have their company sell the antidote , insuring that they will make billions on the stock . ethan comes to the rescue of the world and of nyah , with his only conflict being who is more important to save first . ethan does this rescue against all odds , as he finds a way to penetrate a security tight biotech company , fight it out with sean and the other terrorists , and rescue nyah , who injected herself with the virus to hinder sean 's getting it , as the only way to transport the virus is through another person or from the vaccine needle . ethan rescues her by doing stunt riding on a motorcycle , using kick - boxing , winning a shootout , throwing a full john wayne supply of grenades at the terrorists , making some more use out of that peeling mask bit , and by being completely fearless and larger than life , while he kick 's everyone 's ass . if i was only entertained by this . .. i could have lived with it . but this film was so badly made , that it was like watching a highlight film of a basketball game , seeing only the slam - dunks , but with the game itself being excluded from the telecast . in any case , this is a critic - proof film , and will in all probability do well in the box office , as it was made to appeal to all the demographics who find commercial ventures like this one easy to buy into . 0 (NEG) [ "a james bond wannabe", "fails to even come close to that film in wit , humor , and entertainment value . it tries to be a spy / romance movie , but without any suspense the film just looks like it 's an extended commercial for dudes who think they look cool in throwaway", "the film was dull for three - quarters of its time , filled with too many dead spots in its story to garner concern about its wooden characters or the superficial romance that developed", "but their advertisement for sadistic responses , is nothing short of mindless cartoon violence , which makes it very difficult to sit back and applaud without feeling put off by the gratuitous cruelty seen", "the middle part which just drags on in banal dialogue", "it had been invaded by a computer virus", "horrible music composed by hans zimmer that became very loud at any of the film 's supposedly momentous action scenes and seemed to make an uninteresting scene even more noticeable in the wrong", "an impossible task to accomplish because it hired the wrong director and actors to star in it , and it failed to produce a story that had any substance", "but he just ca n't seem to handle dialogue and suspense", "tom cruise , and his romantic interest , thandie newton , are", "cruise is no james bond and looks more like a yuppie than a", "while thandie is not an action - film girl , and seems like a fish- out - of - water in this one . their romance did n't work , not only was it tepid and not sexy , but it was n't", "the film opens with dizzying speed", "does so in a one - dimensional gruff tone , which did not distinguish him in that role", "it might have had some fun with this", "we already saw the gimmick of peeling masks used in face / off and in the original mission", "it was still a superior film to this sequel . woo has run this peeling mask routine into the ground , as it is used so often in this film by both sides", "it makes it seem as if anyone could be another character , which distorts the reality of the film and makes it impossible for the film to make much sense", "it was this disposable film that actually self - destructed at this", "writes a colorless , pedestrian script , one that fails even to be funny in a camp way", "but this film was so badly made , that it was like watching a highlight" ] ex - universal soldier luc has to battle a group of newer - model engineered fighters gone bad . the review jean - claude van damme has a one - liner early on in universal soldier : the return , his latest attempt to remain relevant , that sums up this entire movie ; he says " been there , done that . " no film critic could possibly sum up van damme 's recent film choices any better . while other ageing action stars have wisely moved into other film genres ( schwarzenegger makes as many family comedies as he does action films ) , van damme stubbornly persists in sticking with what used to work for him : martial arts and guns . this unwillingness or perhaps inability to move into new genres has caused van damme to enter the straight to video world , with legionnaire never seeing the inside of a multiplex . he joins fellow martial artist / action star steven seagal as they watch their film careers rapidly fizzle away . universal soldier : the return is truly poor . the plot is a complete copy of several action films from this decade , specifically terminator 2 : judgement day and the similarly named soldier . soldier 's kurt russell was an older model super - soldier sent off to retirement when circumstances forced him to battle his successors , for the good of a planet ; schwarzenegger 's terminator in t2 tried to save john connor from a newer model killing machine , the t-1000 ; and jean - claude , a former universal soldier , has to save the planet from the rampage of a group of , you guessed it , newer model soldiers . considering the poor box office performance of soldier , it 's amazing that this project was ever given the go - ahead . luc devereaux ( van damme ) was the sole remaining universal soldier ( or unisol for short ) , until he was returned to a normal , if muscular , human form . in this sequel ( technically the fourth film in the series , following two straight - to - video duds that were ignored here plot - wise ) , luc is now a human trainer / consultant of sorts for the unisol program . working with dylan cotner ( xander berkeley , who interestingly also appeared in t2 ) , the unisol program has engineered a tougher , fiercer fighting force with the help of super - computer seth . unfortunately , upon hearing that the program has been axed by the government , seth takes control of his soldiers , killing everyone in the building except for luc , his partner maggie , his daughter hillary and erin , a reporter trapped inside . the rest of the film involves luc trying to keep them all alive , while beating up a group of near - indestructible soldiers , most notably romeo ( popular wrestler goldberg ) . there are lots of fights , gun battles , lame plot developments and a noticeable lack of plausibility . there are so many clich ? s in this film that it is almost painful to watch . luc gets saddled with the task of saving erin the reporter early on , and in the course of a single night , they go from bickering to falling for each other , to kissing . erin is a pathetically - written character ; people are getting brutally gunned down all around her , and yet , not only does this not seem to frighten her , but she finds time to remind luc that she " is n't leaving without her story " . whatever . other laughable moments include a ) luc going to a strip club to get internet access ( what ? ) and b ) a group of rangers , who after having been given good advice ( luc tells them that their weapons are useless , and shows them a specific gun which should work better ) , choose to go into battle with their useless weapons anyway ( guess who wins the battle ? ) . not one single scene in universal soldier : the return has any originality to it . when fuelled by don davis ' loud , driving music score , the film 's many fights become almost passable , but mostly are full of the same ol' jean - claude moves . director mic rodgers ( a former stunt co - ordinator ) keeps the action coming at a rapid pace , with only a few token serious moments to be found . his past work is evident in the many moments when characters are thrown through windows , tossed off of buildings or sent flying through the air thanks to an explosion . if only jean - claude were n't getting so old and slow compared to younger martial arts film actors like jet li , rodgers could probably have made a decent action film . to place the blame squarely at van damme 's feet , however , is an injustice . i 'm not sure that anyone , not even robert deniro or edward norton , could make writers william malone and john fasano 's script sound good . one particularly painful scene is when erin asks luc how he is so sure that the aforementioned strip club will have internet access . he cringes , looks down and mutters " uh . .. uhm . .. they all do , i saw it on 60 minutes . eh he he he " the script 's and indeed the entire film 's only saving grace is goldberg . he chews up every scene he is in , obviously enjoying his role immensely . he even gives the film a few laughs , as he mutters things like " i really do n't like that guy " every time he fails to kill luc . sadly , his presence is not enough to turn universal soldier : the return into anything better than a below - average action film that truly deserves to have joined its fellow sequels by going straight - to - video . 0 (NEG) [ "his latest attempt to remain relevant , that sums up this entire movie ; he says \" been there , done that . \" no film critic could possibly sum up van damme 's recent film choices any better", "stubbornly persists in sticking with what used to work for him : martial arts and guns", "with legionnaire never seeing the inside of a multiplex", "their film careers rapidly fizzle away . universal soldier : the return is truly poor . the plot is a complete copy of several action films from this decade", "considering the poor box office performance of soldier , it 's amazing that this project was ever given the go - ahead", "following two straight - to - video duds that were ignored here plot -", "lame plot developments and a noticeable lack of plausibility . there are so many clich ? s in this film that it is almost painful to watch", "erin is a pathetically - written", "not only does this not seem to frighten", "but she finds time to remind luc that she \" is n't leaving without her story \"", "other laughable", "not one single scene in universal", "the return has any originality to it", "but mostly are full of the same ol' jean - claude moves", "with only a few token serious moments to be found . his past work is evident in the many", "that anyone , not even robert deniro or edward norton , could make writers william malone and john fasano 's script sound good . one particularly painful", "\" the script 's and indeed the entire film 's only saving grace", "sadly , his presence is not enough to turn universal soldier : the return into anything better than a below - average action film that truly deserves to have joined its fellow sequels by going straight - to - video" ] the plot of big momma 's house is martin lawrence in a fat suit and a dress . that 's not just the high - concept premise ; it 's the fully - realized , all - encompassing plot . such an emphasis is not unheard - of in the world of hollywood summer entertainment . one need merely look back to last summer , when the plot of big daddy was adam sandler being an incompetent surrogate parent . the trap inherent in such an approach is that the high - concept plot idea better be pretty well - realized , or rest on the shoulders of an extremely talented performer , because you can bet there will be nothing else worth a second of your time -- not a developed character , not a provocative theme , not a witty twist . you will get 90-plus minutes of martin lawrence in a fat suit and a dress -- nothing more , nothing less . those who find martin lawrence more than an occasionally amusing screen presence may have a shot at enjoying the one - note dud that is big momma 's house . others will simply stare , mouth agape , at its sheer unapologetic laziness . lawrence plays fbi agent malcolm turner , an undercover expert on a stakeout assignment with his partner john ( paul giamatti ) . dangerous convicted bank robber and murderer lester vesco ( terrence howard ) has escaped from prison , and the feds think he 's headed for his former girlfriend and presumed - but - never - proved accomplice sherry ( nia long ) . sherry , however , has fled with her son trent ( jascha washington ) , possibly to visit her grandmother hattie mae ( ella mitchell ) , better known as big momma . indeed , sherry appears to be on her way , but big momma is headed out of town without knowing sherry is coming . that leaves master of disguise malcolm to go under very heavy cover as big momma and find out what sherry knows . big momma 's house 's bloodlines are certainly traceable to mrs . doubtfire -- director raja gosnell edited that film , and the makeup effects were similarly created by greg cannom -- but there 's just as strong a whiff of tootsie in the main character 's attempt to use his alternate identity to get closer to a woman . unfortunately , big momma 's house makes a ridiculous decision neither of those other films made : instead of having the protagonist pose as a completely manufactured character unfamiliar to anyone elses , it places malcolm in the position of playing a friend and family member to several other characters . suspension of disbelief in big momma 's house requires you to believe every other person in the film is blind and/or stupid , since no one notices that one big momma looks or sounds absolutely nothing like the other . of course , laughs trumps logic every time , and big momma 's house probably still would have worked in spite of its utter disdain for common sense if it had just managed to be funny . and it misses its best possible opportunity for some great farce by ignoring the simple fact that the real big momma is set up as a foul - tempered beast , while malcolm has to be nurturing in order to get the information he wants out of sherry . unfortunately , no one involved appears to have the faintest idea how to deal with the comic gold mine involved in one real person pretending to be another , very different real person , so they fall back on an endless parade of sight gags : malcolm reacting violently to big momma 's explosive diarrhea attack ; malcolm - as - momma schooling a pair of cocky teens in basketball ; malcolm trying to avoid detection as various prostheses give way at inopportune moments ; malcolm delivering a baby because big momma is the town midwife ( one of the few sequences that works ) . martin lawrence can be likeable enough at times , but there 's no reason to care a whit about his budding romance with sherry because malcolm is never an independently significant character . he 's just big momma without the makeup on . i wo n't waste time commenting on how ineptly the set - up of the escaped convict is employed , since it was clearly a waste of time to the film - makers . there are a few token scenes of lester looming as a threatening figure , but he 's ultimately a distraction in a film that 's really about its central visual incongruity ( and the accompanying lascivious glances at nia long 's posterior ) . i 'm never prepared to underestimate how appealing that idea may be to other people -- several million of them apparently found adam sandler as an incompetent surrogate parent appealing -- but i know that when a film - maker tries to throw a concept at me and pretend that it 's an entire film , i duck out of the way . the gross implausibility of big momma 's house might have been tolerable if it was seasoned with more big , cleverly - constructed laughs . its lack of big laughs might have been tolerable if its characters were at all relevant . big momma 's house is ridiculous _ and _ not funny . it 's just a sad exercise in the jaded presumption that any scene should be considered wacky and hilarious if it involves martin lawrence in a fat suit and a dress . 0 (NEG) [ "there will be nothing else worth a second of your time -- not a developed character , not a provocative theme , not a witty twist . you will get 90-plus minutes of martin lawrence in a fat suit and a dress -- nothing more , nothing less", "one - note dud that is big momma 's house", "big momma 's house makes a ridiculous decision neither of those other films made : instead of having the protagonist pose as a completely manufactured character unfamiliar to anyone elses", "requires you to believe every other person in the film is blind and/or stupid , since no one notices that one big momma looks or sounds absolutely nothing like the other", "its utter disdain for common sense if it had just managed to be funny", "i wo n't waste time commenting on how ineptly the set - up of the escaped convict is employed , since it was clearly a waste of time to the film - makers", "but he 's ultimately a distraction in a film that 's really about its central visual incongruity ( and the accompanying lascivious glances at nia long 's posterior )", "the gross implausibility of big momma 's house might have been tolerable if it was seasoned with more big , cleverly - constructed laughs . its lack of big laughs might have been tolerable if its characters were at all relevant", "ridiculous _ and _ not funny", "a sad exercise in the jaded presumption that any scene should be considered wacky and" ] starring william baldwin ; cindy crawford & steven berkoff all right , the first problem that fair game has is the casting of supermodel cindy crawford in the lead role . not that cindy does that bad , it 's just that anyone who watches this film knows from moment one that that little bit of casting was not done because of cindy 's extraordinary acting skills , but for her extraordinary ability to look drop dead gorgeous in any situation . and in fair game most situations tend to find cindy either soaking wet or very hot and sweaty , but i 'm sure that that is just a coincidence , no doubt that these situations were essential to the plot and the fact that cindy looks great wet , well , that 's just a happy coincidence . sure . william baldwin is n't a bad actor . unfortunately , he just does n't demonstrate it at all in this movie . i 'm not sure if that 's because most of his lines were just so hokey , or if he was trying to make cindy 's acting look good . if it was the latter , it worked . cindy does a surprisingly good job here in her first movie . which is not to say that she does n't have room for improvement . although to be fair to cindy , her lines were kinda cheesy in places . so right about now you are no doubt asking yourself what sort of movie does cindy crawford , arguably the most beautiful woman on the planet , chose for her foray into the world of cinema ? well , i 'm glad you asked that question . cindy plays a lawyer who by some convoluted plot twists becomes a target for former elite kgb agents . why woud they target someone as likable as cindy , you ask ? by the end of the movie you wo n't care . the story is so contrived it is n't funny . anyway after cindy gets blown out of the window of her house , without getting so much as a scratch i might add , she is placed into protective police custody under the watchful eve of william baldwin . who 's character , max kilpatric , a police detective , seems to possess the skills of some sort of fighting machine ( my guess is that the writers have seen way too many of steven seagal 's early films ) . the point is that the idea of the crawford and baldwin 's characters of the run from these killer russians is n't all that bad of an idea , it 's just everything around that basic idea which kinda stinks out loud . the supporting cast members are nothing more that over acted stereotypes . if i was baldwin , i 'd hope this film disappears . as for crawford , she may indeed have some acting ability . unfortunately , any she does have is obscured by writing that goes beyond bad . this movie was obviously written with cindy in mind , since the writers spend most of their time finding ways to capitalize off of her looks . it 's too bad they had n't spent more time on a half decent plot , since ms . crawford is more than capable of looking just fine all by herself thank you very much . unless you are a huge fan of either baldwin or crawford this is a movie that will only disappoint you . 0 (NEG) [ "the first problem that fair game has is the casting of supermodel cindy crawford in the lead role", "he just does n't demonstrate it at all in this movie", "most of his lines were just so hokey , or if he was trying to make cindy 's acting look good", "by the end of the movie you wo n't care . the story is so contrived it is n't funny", "without getting so much as a scratch i might add", "( my guess is that the writers have seen way too many of steven seagal 's early films", "it 's just everything around that basic idea which kinda stinks out loud . the supporting cast members are nothing more that over acted stereotypes . if i was baldwin , i 'd hope this film disappears", "unfortunately , any she does have is obscured by writing that goes beyond bad . this movie was obviously written with cindy in mind , since the writers spend most of their time finding ways to capitalize off of her looks . it 's too bad they had n't spent more time on a half decent plot", "unless you are a huge fan of either baldwin or crawford this is a movie that will only disappoint" ] take a look at the following equation . .. . a christmas carol+ghostbusters = scrooged yes , scrooged is the odd mixture of sentiment , comedy and horror you would get if you mixed those two elements toghether . scrooged is alternatively sick , gross , funny , and then sickly soppy . bill murray plays frank cross , a t. v executive with a horrible personality . he 's evil to secretary , actors , crew , everyone , except the t. v 's station 's boss , of course ( played by the late robert mitchum ) however , he is then visited by a very dead exec , who warns cross that he will be visited by three ghosts , past , present and future ( who is called the ghost of yet to come , for some reason ) sure enough , they arrive , show cross how much of a s. o. b he is , and he changes his way . however , throughout this simple plot , we 've got to suffer outlandish special effects , poor comedy , and an very , very mean performance from bill murray . frank cross is n't ' funny ' mean , he 's just mean . he also is n't very good at emotional scenes , and totally destroys the last ten minutes of the film , with an utterly desperate speech saying how great christmas is , and how he has changed . however , the supporting cast are ok , with good performances from mitchum , allen ( who plays his girlfriend ) and john glover ( who plays cross 's ' partner ' ) the ghost of christmas past is n't that bad either . sadly , though , the audience has to suffer 25 minutes of ' home alone ' style violence from the ghost of christmas present , played by carol kane . whoever thought smacking that kane smacking murray in the head with a toaster was funny , should be fired straight away . and the audience also has to suffer bobcat goldthwait ( the guy with the annoying voice in police academy 3 , if i remeber correctly . .. . ) who , thankfully , dosen't say much . the script is horrendous . michael o'donaghue churns out terrible , bad taste jokes ( which i guess is the whole point really ) then changes direction completely to emotional scenes . and he must of been on some drug when he wrote the final ten minutes , which are awful . the special effects look nice , but do nothing for the film . there 's some impressive make up effects also . the music is also good , which is scored by danny elfman . but great effects and make up do n't make a great film . scrooged is an appaling attempt to inject some christmas spirit into the audience , seeing as the first 1 hour 20 minutes of the film are so depressing anyway , and the last ten minutes had to make up for it with an godawful speech . why did n't cross just look out his exec window , and ask a young boy to buy a goose for him ? overall , then , you 'd have a much better christmas if you avoid this film like something that should be avoided ( perhaps a plague ) 0 (NEG) [ "scrooged is the odd mixture of", "scrooged is alternatively sick , gross , funny , and then sickly", "throughout this simple plot , we 've got to suffer outlandish special effects , poor comedy , and an very , very mean performance from bill murray . frank cross is n't ' funny ' mean , he 's just mean . he also is n't very good at emotional scenes , and totally destroys the last ten minutes of the film , with an utterly desperate speech saying how great christmas is , and how he has changed", "the audience has to suffer 25 minutes of ' home alone ' style violence from the ghost of christmas present , played by carol kane . whoever thought smacking that kane smacking murray in the head with a toaster was funny , should be fired straight away . and the audience also has to suffer bobcat goldthwait ( the guy with the annoying voice in police academy 3 , if i remeber correctly . .. . ) who , thankfully , dosen't say much . the script is horrendous . michael o'donaghue churns out terrible , bad taste", "and he must of been on some drug when he wrote the final ten minutes , which are awful", "do nothing for the", "but great effects and make up do n't make a great film", "seeing as the first 1 hour 20 minutes of the film are so depressing anyway , and the last ten minutes had to make up for it with an godawful speech", "overall , then , you 'd have a much better christmas if you avoid this film like something that should be avoided ( perhaps a plague" ] synopsis : a maniac , crazed by virulent microphage , slaughters more than twenty people , including a street gang and heavily - armed troops , with a small knife . even with a handgun , however , he ca n't take out the two cops who are after him , despite having shot one of them a total of seven times . comments : the most notable aspect of adrenalin : fear the rush is that it marks a striking career move for natasha henstridge . not only does she manage to keep all her clothes on ( her trademark in earlier films such as species and maximum risk was to strip naked as often as possible ) , but she actually puts on even more clothes as the film progresses . this will probably disappoint many henstridge fans , but i welcome the change because henstridge is an attractive , capable actress who deserves less exploitative roles ( though , i admit , it does n't show in this mess ) . henstridge , just like every other actor in the film , delivers a wooden performance in this monumental turkey . ( the cast also includes christopher lambert , who has appeared in the highlander and mortal kombat films . ) how on earth this movie got two big - name stars to appear in it is beyond me . adrenalin : fear the rush is set in boston ten years in the future ( 2007 ) . boston has changed dramatically in those ten years . it is now home to a bunch of interred foreigners and policed by cops who drive around in small cars with " policia " printed on their doors . some guy has a really bad virus , and he 's killing people because of it . so , the brave good guys ( lambert and henstridge ) go after him . that 's it . 76 minutes never seemed so long . this is a drawn - out chase scene through dimly - lit abandoned buildings turned into an entire movie . the plot development is nil ; we learn absolutely nothing about lambert 's character and very little about henstridge 's character . the dialogue is littered with unnecessary obscenities and concerns mindnumbingly idiotic arguments over who will go down the next dark corridor / tunnel / airduct next and who will carry the flashlight . a subplot does exist involving henstridge 's character 's illegal attempt to get her son out of boston . in her opening monologue , a monologue which sounds as though henstridge was reading from cue cards , we learn that she has gone to great lengths to secure a fake passport for her son . twenty minutes into the film , i wondered if the movie would have been better if it focused on this plot . in a defining scene of the movie , however , i changed my mind . this fake passport drops to the ground . lambert 's cop immediately recognizes it as a fraud from six feet away . must not have been a good fake . this emphasizes another fault with the film . things just defy common sense . lambert 's cop , for instance , is shot seven times , yet he is still able to talk and slide about . adrenalin : fear the rush ends in a trite manner that does n't seem to even fit the mood that the filmmakers were trying for . i found myself rather bored with this film , which will disappoint both sci - fi / horror fans and fans of henstridge and lambert . do n't fear the rush . fear the movie . watch something else . 0 (NEG) [ "delivers a wooden performance in this monumental turkey", "how on earth this movie got two big - name stars to appear in it is beyond me", "76 minutes never seemed so long . this is a drawn - out chase scene through dimly - lit abandoned buildings turned into an entire movie . the plot development is nil ; we learn absolutely nothing about lambert 's character and very little about henstridge 's character . the dialogue is littered with unnecessary obscenities and concerns mindnumbingly idiotic", "sounds as though henstridge was reading from cue", "i wondered if the movie would have been better if it focused on this plot", "this fake passport drops to the ground", "must not have been a good fake . this emphasizes another fault with the film . things just defy common sense . lambert 's cop , for instance , is shot seven times , yet he is still able to talk and slide about . adrenalin : fear the rush ends in a trite manner that does n't seem to even fit the mood that the filmmakers were trying for . i found myself rather bored with this film , which will disappoint both sci - fi / horror fans and fans of henstridge and lambert . do n't fear the rush . fear the movie . watch something else" ] post - chasing amy , a slew of love - triangle movies : this month we have kissing a fool , co - starring amy 's own lee , and april brings us the object of my affection , which may as well be titled chasing allan , for it is the story of a woman who falls in love with her gay roommate . ( to be absolutely six degrees of kevin bacon about it , that film stars schwimmer 's friend jennifer aniston . ) if only kevin smith could write them all . .. schwimmer stars as womanizing chicago sportscaster max , who falls in love with his best friend jay ( lee ) 's book editor samantha ( avital ) a mere twenty - four hours after meeting her . they are soon engaged , and max , because of his own raging libido , grows suspicious of samantha 's fidelity . he convinces jay to flirt with samantha during the development of his book , to " test her " . the trouble is , jay might be secretly in love with her . to stretch this flat , sitcom premise to feature length , the plot is framed by a climactic wedding , at which bonnie hunt recounts the triangular tale -- the events leading up to the nuptials -- to an annoying fat man and his silly girlfriend . hunt has the best comic timing of anyone in the film ; schwimmer can spin bad dialogue into mildly humorous dialogue ; and lee , poor lee , is miscast . so hysterically funny in chasing amy , here he is forced to repress his comic instincts : to swear , to yell , to talk about oral sex . .. the script 's idea of a character trait is to stress that jay is a " sensitive man " , and then show him drinking pepto bismol when he 's stewing over his girl trouble . as for avital , an israeli actress , she is warm and sweet , but we do n't know anything about her character other than that it takes her an incredibly long time to realize the most obvious things . she also too closely resembles the stunningly beautiful kari wuhrer , who plays schwimmer 's assistant and personal temptress , turning that particular subplot into an unintentional riff on vertigo . there are a handful , a smattering , of good scenes in kissing a fool . i enjoyed a moment in a comedy club , during which jay gets up and asks " has anyone here ever hated their girlfriend so much you wanted to kill her ? " over and over until he 's booted off stage . there are also a few obviously improvised lines that are fresher than anything that 's on the page . kissing a fool is never as clever as the thursday night joke - machine friends that spawned schwimmer 's movie career , so save yourself eight dollars and watch three episodes of that series back to back . 0 (NEG) [ "it takes her an incredibly long time to realize the most obvious things", "subplot into an unintentional riff on vertigo", "few", "kissing a fool is never as clever as the thursday night joke - machine friends that spawned schwimmer 's movie career , so save yourself eight dollars and watch three episodes of that series back to back" ] yet another brainless teen flick , this one is about , surprise , drugs and sex . stars katie holmes and sarah polly could n't look more bored . their characters are cardboard cut - outs of every cliched teenager out there . one thing you need to know is i really hated this movie . everything about it annoyed the hell out of me . the acting , and script , the plot , and ending . the director ( of the fluke hit swingers ) could have very well directed a bunch of no - name actors and had a watchabe film . the " big " stars of go pretty much drown the project of any originality . i felt like i was watching dawson 's creek episode 200 . although the film still would have stayed at red despite its cast . the " surprise " ending was sooo predictable . since when is a male character 's sudden outing of the closet considered a surprise in hollywood anymore ? ? go is dawson 's creek + varsity blues - she 's all that = go home and watch something else . 0 (NEG) [ "yet another brainless teen", "stars katie holmes and sarah polly could n't look more bored . their characters are cardboard cut - outs of every cliched teenager out there . one thing you need to know is i really hated this movie . everything about it annoyed the hell out of me . the acting , and script , the plot , and ending . the director ( of the fluke hit swingers ) could have very well directed a bunch of no - name actors and had a watchabe", "the \" big \" stars of go pretty much drown the project of any originality . i felt like i was watching dawson 's creek episode 200 . although the film still would have stayed at red despite its cast . the \" surprise \" ending was sooo predictable . since when is a male character 's sudden outing of the closet considered a surprise in hollywood anymore ? ? go is dawson 's creek + varsity blues - she 's all that = go home and watch something" ] set in harlem during the great depression , rival gangster " families " go to war over control of " the numbers " , an illegal gambling lottery . " runners " take bets from potential lottery winners and deliver them to private locations for drawings . the undisputed leader of the harlem numbers is the madame queen ( cicely tyson ) who is challenged by dutch schulz ( tim roth ) , a ruthless hoodlum . by turning against the queen , dutch defies his partner , the infamous lucky luciano ( andy garcia ) , who wishes to respect the queen and keep the peace . the queens ' army strengthens when an acquaintance , ellsworth " bumpy " johnson ( lawrence fishburne ) is released from prison and becomes a bodyguard for her . he proves himself worthy in short time as he thwarts an assassination attempt ( on himself and the queen ) , and later takes control of the queens army when she is jailed for tax evasion . bumpy 's reign is not as restrained and subdued as the queen and he declares all out war on dutch . bloody gang warfare ensues . bumpy faces many obstacles during his reign . his new army questions his methods . his girlfriend ( vanessa l. williams ) and the queen disagree with his violent solutions . most importantly ( in his eyes ) , dutch has become a more formidable foe than he imagined , and seeks help from lucky luciano to assassinate him . there have been so many movies dealing with organized crime that it must be hard to write an original story dealing with it . this movie is not original at all . in fact , i was angered by how many similarities there was between this film and , arguably , the best gangster movie of all time , the godfather . if you are going to borrow ideas from another movie and not give credit , why not borrow from a lesser known movie ( say , millers crossing ? ) . how could the credited screenwriter chris brancato not give credit to mario puzo himself ? here are just some of the major similarities ( i stopped counting at 10 ) . crooked cop assaults blood relative of the leader . gang extracts revenge on crooked cop . wife ( or girlfriend ) questions her partners ' murderous activities and leaves him . high ranking " officer " betrays the leader . blood relative of the leader murdered . war erupting between the " families " . high - ranking officer disapproves of the leader in front of other family members . new leader runs family differently from previous leader . large meeting with all families involved . the setup in this movie is done rather well . i enjoyed the portrayal of the network of " runners " sprinting through the streets collecting bets for the queens lottery . this was the way of life in harlem , and most people involved with the queen did so because it was the only way to support their families and put food on the table . number running was the only way for the harlem population to find work . i also enjoyed the interaction between the angry , violent dutch and the calm , patient lucky . after about the 30 - 40 minute mark all of the similarities with the godfather start appearing , one after the other ( and in short order ) . it was a huge distraction , and an insult to my intelligence . who was the screenwriter kidding here ? some of the individual performances were well done . andy garcia was very convincing as lucky , unfortunately his screen time is reduced to a supporting role . tim roth effectively plays the cocky villain , much like his roles in " the cook , the thief , his wife and her lover " and " rob roy " . the good performances and convincing setup during the first third of the movie do not make up for the lackluster story that follows . a couple of coincidences is one thing , over a dozen is an insult . directed by bill duke ellsworth bumpy johnson . .. .. .. lawrence fishburne dutch schultz . .. .. .. .. .. . tim roth lucky luciano . .. .. .. .. . andy garcia the queen . .. .. .. .. .. .. cicely tyson francine hughes . .. .. .. .. . vanessa l. williams illinois gordon . .. .. .. .. . chi mcbride written by randy turgeon , january 22 , 1998 0 (NEG) [ "there have been so many movies dealing with organized crime that it must be hard to write an original story dealing with it . this movie is not original at all . in fact , i was angered by how many similarities there was between this film and , arguably , the best gangster movie of all time , the godfather . if you are going to borrow ideas from another movie and not give credit , why not borrow from a lesser known movie ( say , millers crossing ? ) . how could the credited screenwriter chris brancato not give credit to mario puzo himself ? here are just some of the major similarities ( i stopped counting at 10 ) . crooked cop assaults blood relative of the leader . gang extracts revenge on crooked cop . wife ( or girlfriend ) questions her partners ' murderous activities and leaves him . high ranking \" officer \" betrays the leader . blood relative of the leader murdered . war erupting between the \" families \" . high - ranking officer disapproves of the leader in front of other family members . new leader runs family differently from previous leader . large meeting with all families", "patient lucky . after about the 30 - 40 minute mark all of the similarities with the godfather start appearing , one after the other ( and in short order ) . it was a huge distraction , and an insult to my intelligence . who was the screenwriter kidding here ? some of the individual performances were well done . andy garcia was very convincing as lucky , unfortunately his screen time is reduced to a supporting role . tim roth effectively plays the cocky villain , much like his roles in \" the cook , the thief , his wife and her lover \" and \" rob roy \" . the good performances and convincing setup during the first third of the movie do not make up for the lackluster story that follows . a couple of coincidences is one", "over a dozen is an" ] at first glance , i thought that the sword and the sorceror had promise . its plotline goes like this : the evil king cromwell , desiring to take over the world , resurrects an evil , ancient sorceror , xusia for power . he attacks the kingdom of eh - dan and kills young prince talon 's parents . given a triple - bladed sword ( which can shoot bad guys , like a gun ) by his dying father , talon vows for revenge . eleven years later , when he 's established his own army , the mercaneries , he vows to take back his kingdom . along the way , he meets up with alana , whose village is attacked by drunken guards and her brother is kidnapped by cromwell . talon vows to help , and , after a series of minor escapades , eventually ends up rescuing alana 's brother ( and several other prisoners ) , only to be captured himself ( in other words , put on a cross to be crucified ! ) . fortunately he frees himself , rescues alana from marrying cromwell , defeats xusia , and then cromwell , all with his triple bladed sword ( during the final battle , the blade breaks , but talon finishes cromwell off by using a hidden dagger in the blade ) . then , everything ends happily . unfortunately , the sword and the sorcerer is not even half as good as it sounds . what would have been a great film is completely destroyed by uneven plot jumping , bad acting , and gruesomely gory , bloody scenes . never once does the story seem to connect together , it just jumps around repeatedly . this problem is extremely noticeable in the opening scene where cromwell resurrects xusia . after telling him that he needs his help , he leads the warlock out into daylight , but then stabs him and sends him careening off a cliff afterwards . wait a minute , did n't the plotline say that he needs the help of xusia in order to invade eh - dan , which he can not do by military force ? if that is the case , why does he dispose of xusia after resurrecting him ? and why does he manage to take over eh - dan anyway ? these questions are just never - no , never - answered in the film . another example is that one moment we see talon fighting for his life , another moment we see him just about to be crucified during alana 's wedding to cromwell ( ! ) , and finally at the end , instead of settling down with alana , he just tells her to " wait " , and then he just rides off ! in addition to the extremely bloody scenes , this uneven plot jumping completely destroys what would have been a great fantasy adventure . even some attempts to make it exciting , a few fire scenes , battle scenes , do n't work . it just completely fails altogether miserably . the only good thing about this film is its musical score , contributed by david whittaker , who had an ( extremely ) short music composing career . the score is boomy and adventurous , powerful , and a billion times better than this film is . my suggestion : steer the hell away from this bloody mess and buy the soundtrack album instead ( if you can find it ) . ironically , though , before the film 's credits roll , there is a message indicating that a sequel , tales of the ancient empire , would follow . to my relief ( and delight ) , it never got into production , because the sword and the sorcerer laid an egg at the box office , grossing only$ 39 million . critics were right on in slamming the sword and the sorcerer , all right . leonard maltin rightfully called it " second rate in scripting , and acting " and at - a - glance film reviews called it " a confusing , stupid , unimaginative , unengaging , bloodfilled bore " . i totally agree with these reviews , all right , and i hope that this piece of # $% ! will be forgotten about . there are far better fantasy movies than the sword and the sorcerer . i hope you get a good laugh out of this review , but i am not laughing . in fact , my insults do n't even come close to the gruesome sickness that this film gave me throughout its 100 minute running time . 0 (NEG) [ "at first glance , i thought that the sword and the sorceror had promise", "unfortunately , the sword and the sorcerer is not even half as good as it sounds . what would have been a great film is completely destroyed by uneven plot jumping , bad acting , and gruesomely gory , bloody scenes . never once does the story seem to connect together , it just jumps around repeatedly . this problem is extremely noticeable in the opening scene where cromwell resurrects xusia . after telling him that he needs his help , he leads the warlock out into daylight , but then stabs him and sends him careening off a cliff", "did n't the plotline say that he needs the help of xusia in order to invade eh - dan , which he can not do by military force ? if that is the case , why does he dispose of xusia after resurrecting him ? and why does he manage to take over eh - dan anyway ? these questions are just never - no , never - answered in the film . another example is that one moment we see talon fighting for his life , another moment we see him just about to be crucified during alana 's wedding to cromwell ( ! ) , and finally at the end , instead of settling down with alana , he just tells her to \" wait \" , and then he just rides off ! in addition to the extremely bloody scenes , this uneven plot jumping completely destroys what would have been a great fantasy", "even some attempts to make it exciting , a few fire scenes , battle scenes , do n't work . it just completely fails altogether miserably . the", "the score is boomy and adventurous , powerful , and a billion times better than this film is . my suggestion : steer the hell away from this bloody mess and buy the soundtrack album instead ( if you can find it ) . ironically , though , before the film 's credits roll , there is a message indicating that a sequel , tales of the ancient empire , would follow . to my relief ( and delight ) , it never got into production , because the sword and the sorcerer laid an egg at the box office , grossing only$ 39 million . critics were right on in slamming the sword and the sorcerer , all right . leonard maltin rightfully called it \" second rate in scripting , and acting \" and at - a - glance film reviews called it \" a confusing , stupid , unimaginative , unengaging , bloodfilled bore \" . i totally agree with these reviews , all right , and i hope that this piece of # $% ! will be forgotten about . there are far better fantasy movies than the sword and the sorcerer . i hope you get a good laugh out of this review , but i am not laughing . in fact , my insults do n't even come close to the gruesome sickness that this film gave me throughout its 100 minute running" ] this movie stinks ! although it is professionally crafted and there are some decent performances , the plot is so bad it drags the film into the abyss . i knew i was in for trouble when , during the opening establishment shots , we see a detailed close - up of warrant officer paul brenner 's ( john travolta ) military identification card and it is the wrong color . this might seem like a minor detail , but anyone who has spent anytime with the military knows that active duty identification cards are green and dependant cards are yellow . and what about the senior military officer whose uniform shirt is so wrinkled he looks like he is a recruit on his first day of training . or what about when brenner tells a suspect that , because he is in the military , he does n't have the right not to answer his questions even though these rights were central to military law well before the miranda decision . how hard is it to get someone familiar with the military to check these facts ? now details like this could be overlooked if the underlying story held up , but this story is so full of holes it is painful to sit through . for example , at the beginning of the film , paul brenner , an undercover army investigator , gets into a gun and knife battle at his off - post houseboat and winds - up killing an arms dealer he had been investigating . the local police investigating the death are openly hostile to the military and they discover that brenner has been lying to them about the killing . but instead of arresting him , or at least take him into custody for further questioning , they release him . duh ! ultimately , brenner gets assigned to investigate the murder and possible rape of the commanding general 's daughter , a young captain also assigned to the post . when brenner finds graphic sex tapes featuring the general 's daughter , does he use them to generate a suspect list and begin grilling suspects . no , his instinct is to suppress them because they might be potentially embarrassing . eventually , brenner discovers that this murder is related to a violent gang rape at west point eight years earlier . i wo n't even go into the totally unbelievable rationale for the army 's suppression of this horrendous crime . i will just mention one final flaw . brenner is investigating a crime that occurred in georgia . the rape occurred in west point , which is in new york . he is under a very tight ( and totally implausible ) 36-hour deadline to solve this case . he needs to discuss the rape with a psychiatrist at west point . does he phone the doctor ? no , he travels ( via some unexplained very fast transport ) to new york to question the psychiatrist in person , and then he returns to georgia ( again by the miracle transport ) , without once worrying about the impact any of this will have on his deadline . you have been warned , stay away from this one . 0 (NEG) [ "this movie stinks !", "the plot is so bad it drags the film into the abyss . i knew i was in for trouble when , during the opening establishment shots , we see a detailed close - up of warrant officer paul brenner 's ( john travolta ) military identification card and it is the wrong color . this might seem like a minor detail , but anyone who has spent anytime with the military knows that active duty identification cards are green and dependant cards are yellow . and what about the senior military officer whose uniform shirt is so wrinkled he looks like he is a recruit on his first day of training . or what about when brenner tells a suspect that , because he is in the military , he does n't have the right not to answer his questions even though these rights were central to military law well before the miranda decision . how hard is it to get someone familiar with the military to check these facts ? now details like this could be overlooked if the underlying story held", "but this story is so full of holes it is painful to sit through . for example , at the beginning of the", "but instead of arresting him , or at least take him into custody for further questioning , they release him . duh !", "i wo n't even go into the totally unbelievable rationale for the army 's suppression of this horrendous crime . i will just mention one final flaw . brenner is investigating a crime that occurred in georgia . the rape occurred in west point , which is in new york . he is under a very tight ( and totally implausible", "does he phone the doctor ? no , he travels ( via some unexplained very fast transport ) to new york to question the psychiatrist in person , and then he returns to georgia ( again by the miracle transport ) , without once worrying about the impact any of this will have on his deadline . you have been warned , stay away from this one" ] " it was not scary . " these are the first words that came to mind after it was over . when a movie is called _ vampires _ , " not scary " are n't words that should be associated with it . but that was n't my only gripe . john carpenter is a name associated with cutting - edge cinema , as in the intense scares of _ halloween _ , _ the thing _ and _ the prince of darkness _ , or the offbeat action of _ they live _ and _ escape from new york_. unfortunately , the only thing that is cutting edge about _ vampires _ is the level of boredom the movie is able to reach . with an anemic plot and not - quite - kosher special effects , _ john carpenter 's vampires _ has barely enough substance to slake the thirst of even the least discerning genre fan . the film is at first concerned with a group of roaming vampire slayers , led by james woods , of all people . like some sort of holy a - team ( they even have their own souped - up van ) , the bunch invade and wipe out a nest of vampires in a new mexico shack . their method is amusingly innovative : the blood - suckers are reeled out with harpoons so they can flare up in the sun like matchsticks . to commemorate their victory , the loutish band decorates a motel room with hookers and parties the night away . their celebration is short - lived , however , as a master vampire named valek ambushes and single - handedly destroys most of the team . woods ' jack crow and buddy montoya ( daniel baldwin ) escape with their lives , along with a woman named katrina ( sheryl lee ) . although the woman has been bitten , montoya and crow decide to keep katrina for her psychic link to the master vampire . the rest of the movie is concerned with the boys ' hunt for valek ( thomas ian griffith ) , a freaky marilyn manson - type who 's on a mission that dates back 600 years . along the way they pick up a priest named guiteau ( tim guinee ) , a character who serves pretty much the same purpose as the jittery cpl . upham in _ saving private ryan_. some stuff happens in the middle of the movie , but i ca n't remember most of it , because i often found a twitching hair in the corner of the frame more interesting than what was happening on screen . _ vampires _ finally starts to pick up about 90 minutes into the mix , as crow , guiteau , and montoya assault an abandoned prison - turned vampire nest . only then does the film begin to even resemble a carpenter flick . but it 's too little too late . we get the inevitable final confrontation , but it seems tacked on and rather anti - climactic ( come on , we 're dealing with _ the _ master vampire here ! ) interestingly , last summer 's vampire actioner _ blade _ was derived from a comic book , and _ vampires _ from a novel , yet the latter seems more steeped in campy cheesiness than the former , a more deliberate superhero flick . woods ' jack crow spouts glib off - the - cuff one - liners and strolls away from exploding buildings with that oh - so - cool stride . and his motive for killing vampires ? take a wild guess . ( hint : a _ _ _ _ _ _ killed his _ _ _ _ _ when he was just a _ _ _ _ _ . ) at least _ blade _ had decent action and slick stylishness . _ vampires _ lacks even cheap thrills to mask its gossamer - thin plot . to make up for this , the movie resorts to other " shocks , " such as its generally condescending attitude towards women ( crow slaps them around for the fun of it ) and an overplayed contempt for religion ( crow teases guiteau incessantly about whether his vow of celibacy has made him prone to " getting woodies . " ) it can be argued that maybe i wanted too much from this movie . if not scary and gory , i wanted tense , relentless , and exhausting . _ john carpenter 's vampires _ is none of these . i can only recommended it for the hardcore carpenter fan . for the rest of you looking for a good scare , beware : _ vampires _ is a film with no teeth . 0 (NEG) [ "it was not scary . \" these are the first words that came to mind after it was", "not scary \" are n't words that should be associated with it . but that was n't my only gripe", "unfortunately , the only thing that is cutting edge about _ vampires _ is the level of boredom the movie is able to reach . with an anemic plot and not - quite - kosher special effects , _ john carpenter 's vampires _ has barely enough substance to slake the thirst of even the least discerning genre fan . the film is at first concerned with a group of roaming vampire slayers , led by james woods , of all people . like some sort of holy a - team ( they even have their own souped - up van", "but i ca n't remember most of it , because i often found a twitching hair in the corner of the frame more interesting than what was happening on screen . _ vampires _ finally starts to pick up about 90 minutes into the", "only then does the film begin to even resemble a carpenter flick . but it 's too little too late . we get the inevitable final confrontation , but it seems tacked on and rather anti - climactic ( come on , we 're dealing with _ the _ master vampire here !", "yet the latter seems more steeped in campy cheesiness than the former , a more deliberate superhero flick . woods ' jack crow spouts glib off - the - cuff one - liners and strolls away from exploding buildings with that oh - so - cool stride . and his motive for killing vampires ? take a wild guess . ( hint : a _ _ _ _ _ _ killed his _ _ _ _ _ when he was just a _ _ _ _ _ . ) at", "_ vampires _ lacks even cheap thrills to mask its gossamer - thin plot . to make up for this , the movie resorts to other \" shocks , \" such as its generally condescending attitude towards women ( crow slaps them around for the fun of it ) and an overplayed contempt for religion ( crow teases guiteau incessantly about whether his vow of celibacy has made him prone to \" getting woodies . \" ) it can be argued that maybe i wanted too much from this movie . if not scary and gory , i wanted tense , relentless , and exhausting . _ john carpenter 's vampires _ is none of these . i can only recommended it for the hardcore carpenter fan . for the rest of you looking for a good scare , beware : _ vampires _ is a film with no" ] perhaps best remembered as the recently departed news anchor on saturday night live who always started the segment with " . .. this is the fake news , " norm macdonald , at times , could elicit some laughter by blurting out semi - offensive phrases in his raspy voice , coated with a condescending attitude . his shtick was marked by crassness . in this movie , for example , when his girlfriend says that she 's kicking him out because he 's been fired from 14 different jobs over the last 3 months , he tries to calm the situation by saying , " maybe you 'll feel better after we have some dirty sex . " this kind of humor can only go so far , but certainly ca n't go the distance in a full - length feature . " dirty work " , is nothing more than a sophomoric comedy about two best friends who grow up only physically . emotionally , they 've never outgrown their pubescent years , which is somewhat amusingly explored in a beginning flashback . although having no apparent real world skills , the one thing that these two have always been adept at is getting back at people . if the meter maid was unjust in giving you a ticket , then dump a bunch of unpopped kernels of corn onto the engine block and watch the car burst apart . mitch ( norm macdonald ) and sam ( artie lange ) need to come up with$ 50 , 000 in a period of two weeks so that sam 's dad ( jack warden ) can have a heart operation . their idea is to start a revenge - for - hire business where they 'll do your dirty work . in the funniest scene ( and possibly the only funny scene ) of the movie , they take advantage of a live television shoot at a nearby used car lot . their presence is established , but when a less - than - honorable real estate developer hires them and then reneges on the payment , the two go to work to exact their sordid brand of revenge . by default , dirty work should treat us to some outrageous revenge plots , but it delivers jerky boys level material . except for the bit at the used car lot ( and possibly another episode that involves frat brothers ) , the dirty work is uninspired and becomes about as funny as a prank phone call . already weak on material , it further spirals itself towards the video store by having jack warden constantly blurt out that he has an unsatisfied libido and needs ' broads ' and also includes a very unfunny chevy chase as a bumbling doctor with a gambling addiction . but what 's really painfully evident is that norm macdonald has no versatility as an actor . relying on his trademark of speaking into his personal recorder and saying " note to self " ( " note to self : learn to fight , " he says after getting beat up ; " note to self : there 's always beer , " he says after hitting rock bottom ; etc . ) , we feel like we 're just watching an elongated rehash of his not - so - glorious days on saturday night live . much like the television show , for 90 minutes we get one or two funny bits . the rest of the story is just dead space .
0 (NEG)
[ "best remembered as the recently departed news anchor on saturday night live who always started the segment with \" . .. this is the fake news , \" norm macdonald , at times , could elicit some laughter by blurting out semi - offensive phrases in his raspy voice , coated with a condescending attitude . his shtick was marked by crassness . in this", "this kind of humor can only go so far , but certainly ca n't go the distance in a full - length", "dirty work \" , is nothing more than a sophomoric", "in the funniest scene ( and possibly the only funny scene ) of the", "dirty work should treat us to some outrageous revenge plots , but it delivers jerky boys level material", "the dirty work is uninspired and becomes about as funny as a prank phone call . already weak on", "further spirals itself towards the video store by having jack warden constantly blurt out that he has an unsatisfied libido and needs ' broads ' and also includes a very unfunny chevy chase as a bumbling doctor with a gambling", "what 's really painfully evident is that norm macdonald has no versatility as an actor . relying on his trademark of speaking into his personal recorder and saying \" note to self \" ( \" note to self : learn to fight , \" he says after getting beat up ; \" note to self : there 's always beer , \" he says after hitting rock bottom ; etc . ) , we feel like we 're just watching an elongated rehash of his not - so - glorious days on saturday night live . much like the television show , for 90 minutes we get one or two funny bits . the rest of the story is just dead" ]
summer movies are , by nature , dumb affairs that are usually made for some quick enjoyment and to make money . wild wild west , the latest will smith affair , follows much the same formula , except that it is dumber and less enjoying than most summer movies . will smith plays jim west , a black sheriff with a nice line in sunglasses . he is called by president grant ( kline ) to go on a mission to find out why top government scientists are disappearing . west is paired up with scientist artemus gordon ( kline again ) and the two track the missing scientists to a legless mastermind , named dr . loveless ( branagh , with a zany moustache . ) before i pile on with the many negatives in this sorry affair , i 'll give it a chance with the positives . there 's a nice credit sequence , the production design by bo welch is pleasing to the eye , and the special effects are decent enough . there 's also a pleasant soundtrack . buried deep in the dross are one or two amusing jokes . and salma hayek pops up as the female interest , which is always nice to see . apart from these factors , though , nothing else in wild wild west works . firstly , there 's little chemistry between smith and kline , who appears to be in it purely for the money . one would expect zingers passing between the two : none arise . both of them plod through the below standard plot , knowing that there is a pay cheque waiting at the end . not even kenneth branagh provides much entertainment : although he is over the top , the material does n't present much opportunity for branagh to be truly crazy . therefore , he just comes across as loud as obnoxious . the only enjoyable performance comes from the sexy salma hayek , who is given so little screen time it 's embarrassing . she appears to be in the film to merely show off her body , and be ogled at by kline and smith . her character also changes at a whim to fit the mechanics of the script , and there is no sense of realism about the character . the ' humour ' in the film is also very off . will smith put a little spin to his daft lines in men in black , here , not even smith could save the humour on display . the script largely boils down to insults that are n't very funny , and one - liners that barely raise a smirk . it 's also somewhat racist , although it does n't intend to be , with one scene with jim west trying to wisecrack his way out of a lynching , and actually says slavery is good to save himself . it 's not a funny scene , and the whole thing comes off rather uncomfortably . the film also makes the tragic mistake that a man ( in this case kline ) in a dress is automatically unfunny , it is n't , but the wild wild west makes this joke even more painful to watch through pure ineptness . there 's also problems with the plot . jim west and artemus gordon get caught up in all kinds of sticky situations , but the way they get out of them are always unsatisfying , and rely purely on luck , rather than audience pleasing skill . plot elements are introduced into the film , and then thrown away just as quickly . the main piece of the story , a 80 foot mechanical , steam driven spider devised by loveless looks rather impressive , but there 's no particular reason why it should be built . why not loveless build a great big tank , instead of an ungainly , fragile piece of machinery that 's just begging to be blown up ? director barry sonnenfeld always has a breezy look to them , with some nice camera tricks , but even this is missing from this stilted affair . wild wild west could have benefited from sonnenfelds whacked out style of directing , but not much of it is evident , making this film drag out even more . it 's a sad thing when _ four _ ( credited ) screenwriters , a talented director and a willing star ca n't make a film work , and eventually wild wild west collapses under it 's sexist , mildly racist , unfunny weight .
0 (NEG)
[ "summer movies are , by nature , dumb affairs that are usually made for some quick enjoyment and to make money", "except that it is dumber and less enjoying than most summer movies", "before i pile on with the many negatives in this sorry affair , i 'll give it a chance with the positives", "buried deep in the", "apart from these factors , though , nothing else in wild wild west works . firstly , there 's little chemistry between smith and kline , who appears to be in it purely for the", "one would expect zingers passing between the two : none arise . both of them plod through the below standard plot , knowing that there is a pay cheque waiting at the end . not even kenneth branagh provides much", "although he is over the top , the material does n't present much opportunity for branagh to be truly crazy . therefore , he just comes across as loud as obnoxious . the", "who is given so little screen time it 's embarrassing . she appears to be in the film to merely show off her body , and be ogled at by kline and smith . her character also changes at a whim to fit the mechanics of the script , and there is no sense of realism about the character . the ' humour ' in the film is also very off", "not even smith could save the humour on display . the script largely boils down to insults that are n't very funny , and one - liners that barely raise a smirk . it 's also somewhat racist , although it does n't intend to be , with one scene with jim west trying to wisecrack his way out of a lynching , and actually says slavery is good to save himself . it 's not a funny scene , and the whole thing comes off rather uncomfortably . the film also makes the tragic mistake that a man ( in this case kline ) in a dress is automatically unfunny , it is n't , but the wild wild west makes this joke even more painful to watch through pure ineptness . there 's also problems with the plot . jim west and artemus gordon get caught up in all kinds of sticky situations , but the way they get out of them are always unsatisfying , and rely purely on luck , rather than audience pleasing skill . plot elements are introduced into the film , and then thrown away just as quickly . the main piece of the", "but there 's no particular reason why it should be built . why not loveless build a great big tank , instead of an ungainly , fragile piece of machinery that 's just begging to be blown up", "but even this is missing from this stilted affair . wild wild west could have benefited from sonnenfelds whacked out style of directing , but not much of it is evident , making this film drag out even more . it 's a sad thing when _ four _ ( credited ) screenwriters , a talented director and a willing star ca n't make a film work , and eventually wild wild west collapses under it 's sexist , mildly racist , unfunny" ]
what were they thinking ? nostalgia for the seventies is bad enough , but do we really need an eighties film ? robbie hart ( adam sandler ) used to want to be a rock and roll star , but in 1985 he 's singing at weddings and having a good time . a romantic at heart , he loves weddings and is just about to get married to his high - school sweetie . when she leaves him waiting at the altar , his tune changes to " love stinks " . he meets waitress julia ( drew barrymore ) who is engaged to a junk - bonds salesman and you know that they are going to get together . in fact you know everything that is going to happen during this movie . sandler is somewhat adequate in his leading man role , but there is no spark . barrymore does n't seem to be able to convey anything other than a pretty face with nothing behind it : beauty but no attitude . both characters are just there . bit parts by steve buscemi and jon lovitz steal the show . the eighties are shoved in our face . references to deloreans , madonna , " dallas " , ivana and donald , burt and loni and " miami vice " get old fast . the filmmakers must have realized that there was n't much entertainment to the story and thought they could dazzle the audience with humorous period allusions . they 're not funny and it does n't work . with change on all fronts accelerating more and more , nostalgia appears to have a great appeal , but do n't you think we could have more than 14 years before we yearn for the past . maybe we can look forward to a film next year waxing nostalgically about el nino . ( michael redman has written this column for over 23 years and he knows that nostalgia is not what it used to be . )
0 (NEG)
[ "what were they thinking ? nostalgia for the seventies is bad enough , but do we really need an eighties film", "in fact you know everything that is going to happen during this movie", "but there is no spark . barrymore does n't seem to be able to convey anything other than a pretty face with nothing behind it : beauty but no attitude . both characters are just there", "the eighties are shoved in our", "the filmmakers must have realized that there was n't much entertainment to the story and thought they could dazzle the audience with humorous period allusions . they 're not funny and it does n't work . with change on all fronts accelerating more and more , nostalgia appears to have a great", "but do n't you think we could have more than 14 years before we yearn for the past . maybe we can look forward to a film next year waxing nostalgically about el nino . ( michael redman has written this column for over 23 years and he knows that nostalgia is not what it used to be ." ]
0 (NEG)
bats ' is an insulting slap across the face for any dedicated horror movie fan . to pull something like this off , you need to have a sense of wit and style , with a heavy dosage of humor to back up the process if the fright factor ever declines . something like the underground worm thriller  tremors ' had just the perfect mixture of these elements , and in return , the film was tremendous fun . with the notable exception of a wisecracking supporting player ,  bats ' mainly plays it 's premise for straight - arrow horror . judging by the ridiculous premise , this was not exactly a wise move . the movie attempts to capture the essence of alfred hitchcock 's  the birds ' , but fails miserably . done right , it could have been adequately amusing halloween cinema . unfortunately ,  bats ' is a prime example of a formula movie done terribly , terribly wrong . the only thing amusing about this festering pile of guano is in how intelligible the filmmakers anticipate their core audience to be . i will recite the following paragraph in a manner that will reach the audience of individuals to whom  bats ' is aimed toward . those guys in hollywood have made a movie about bats . these bats are not very nice , because they eat a lot of people . boy , are these bats ugly . they are infected with this bogus virus that makes them super - duper smart . they 've got big claws and red eyes and they are not very friendly at all . a whole bunch of people in texas get killed , so a sheriff guy and a scientist lady are brought in to kill the bats . they have big guns and other cool things to fight them with , but the bats are pretty smart , so it 's sorta hard to do . the bats swoop down and they shoot at them to make they go away for good . but no ,  bats ' is probably too violent for pre - schoolers . the film , directed by louis morneau , should have ventured straight into video stores . on the small screen , perhaps more fun could have been derived with lower expectations . but sitting through this crapper on the big screen is almost awkward ; although at a few moments it becomes a guilty pleasure , the film is poorly written , poorly acted and executed with glaring ineptitude . even the bats themselves are cheesy , and the attack sequences too rushed and jittery to be properly enjoyed . the sheriff in the story is emmett kimsey ( lou diamond phillips ) , who embodies every pathetic stereotype a small - town authority figure usually portrays ( he chomps on a cigar , struts contentedly in his boots , etc . .. ) . the scientist is dr . sheila casper ( dina meyer ) , who specializes in flying mammals and is classified as  the best in her field ' . meyer uses a lot of technical terms designed to make the movie seem more intellectually capable , but everything about dr . casper is recycled beyond recognition . her memories of how she became hooked on the topic of bats sounds suspiciously like oceanographic student matt hooper 's tale of how he became infatuated with sharks in  jaws ' . everything revolving around  bats ' is tired drivel , which desperately requires some directorial style or acting capabilities to spruce it up . the supporting cast could have been constructed out of straw , with voices dubbed in later . in fact , that may have worked out better in the end . take one glance at casper 's bat - loathing sidekick jimmy ( leon ) , and you 'll have immediate deja vu - he 's the exact same humorous buddy caricature from every other movie , constructed specifically for timed comic relief . unfortunately , none of his comic interludes are funny . in the role of deranged mad scientist dr . mccabe , the reliable bob gunton gets cornered with the most hideously idiotic character in the bunch . mccabe  accidentally ' released two experimental test subjects , and the virus spread to other bats . the entire town of gallup , texas is under attack from an enormous swarm of the creatures , but gunton appears to be inconspicuously contemplating something else . something like :  when is the damn movie going to be over ? ? i just want my money . ' the bats are ugly , i must say . there 's the occasional moment where they look moderately convincing , but mainly , the swarm is represented in cheesy digital imagery . only bits of the bloody action even hint at the campy fun the film could have been , but by the absurdly stupid climax , it 's way too late in the game for a decent recovery . characters experiment in slaughtering the bats with gunfire . let 's explore the logic there : is this really a very efficient way to decrease the bat population ? ? you could empty an entire clip at the flying winged serpents and not even wound one , and after that there are only 18 , 000 more of them . this kind of behavior represents the regular level of intelligence behind  bats ' .
0 (NEG)
[ "bats ' is an insulting slap across the face for any dedicated horror movie fan . to pull something like this off , you need to have a sense of wit and style , with a heavy dosage of humor to back up the process if the fright factor ever declines", "with the notable exception of a wisecracking supporting", "mainly plays it 's premise for straight - arrow horror . judging by the ridiculous premise , this was not exactly a wise", "the movie attempts to capture the essence of alfred hitchcock 's  the birds ' , but fails", "done right , it could have been adequately amusing halloween cinema . unfortunately ,  bats ' is a prime example of a formula movie done terribly , terribly wrong . the only thing amusing about this festering pile of guano is in how intelligible the filmmakers anticipate their core audience to be", "but no ,  bats ' is probably too violent for pre - schoolers", "should have ventured straight into video stores . on the small screen , perhaps more fun could have been derived with lower expectations . but sitting through this crapper on the big screen is almost awkward ; although at a few", "the film is poorly written , poorly acted and executed with glaring ineptitude . even the bats themselves are cheesy , and the attack sequences too rushed and jittery to be properly enjoyed", "meyer uses a lot of technical terms designed to make the movie seem more intellectually", "but everything about dr . casper is recycled beyond recognition . her memories of how she became hooked on the topic of bats sounds suspiciously like oceanographic student matt hooper 's tale of how he became infatuated with sharks in  jaws ' . everything revolving around  bats ' is tired drivel , which desperately requires some directorial style or acting capabilities to spruce it up . the supporting cast could have been constructed out of straw , with voices dubbed in later . in fact , that may have worked out better in the end", "unfortunately , none of his comic interludes are", "the reliable bob gunton gets cornered with the most hideously idiotic character in the", "but gunton appears to be inconspicuously contemplating something else . something like :  when is the damn movie going to be over ? ? i just want my money . ' the bats are", "there 's the", "but mainly , the swarm is represented in cheesy digital imagery . only bits of the bloody action even hint at the campy fun the film could have been , but by the absurdly stupid climax , it 's way too late in the game for a decent recovery", "let 's explore the logic there : is this really a very efficient way to decrease the bat population ? ? you could empty an entire clip at the flying winged serpents and not even wound one , and after that there are only 18 , 000 more of them . this kind of behavior represents the regular level of intelligence behind  bats" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "why we 've even bothered to see a film about a long high school party we probably never felt the desire to go to in the first", "i would actually highly recommend this film if it satirized all of this", "this film shows them as superficial , lame , and basically as a bunch of losers", "the writers and directors take several major misteps on the way to making this into an admirable and even likable film", "its characters as superficial and just totally ignorant to", "they let this lie , and actually make these characters into our", "and tries to tell boring and overly melodramatic tales about them as if we actually cared and/or identified with", "plot is incredibly lame and a track record of what goes on with it would n't be able to carry a commercial let alone a feature", "are allowed to follow the laws of plot cliches from point a to point b with nary a bit of characterization involved after awhile . ugh", "this film forgets to satirize its characters , and ultimately tells a story about a bunch of uninteresting stereotypes .", "we ca n't take this film seriously , nor can we take this as fun , so really what good is it", "except for a couple too - over - the - top features , like way - too - glossy jump cuts ( it 's like an oxymoron ) and other", "however , the character of denise really does n't work with the film", "she may ruin the film", "a couple other things that just do n't work : mike 's character , who suffers an epiphany throughout the film but in the end acts as though he has forgotten everything : too much the sacrificial lamb for the film in general ; the aimless , bitchy driving by", "give me a break ; and perhaps the one thing that just does n't work at all : jenna eflman 's uncredited cameo as an angel - just did n't", "the worst thing about this film , the real reason i 'm giving this such a low rating , is because it refuses to give us any fully realized characters and then insists we follow around complete stereotypes from other movies doing things that are inane and unlike anything we 'd do . we do n't feel for these characters because for most of us", "are n't stereotypes going through the motions to worn subplots . the acid test for high school movies is : does it at all capture the feel of what it 's portraying ? the answer for this film is no" ]
the film may be called mercury rising , but that title does n't describe the trajectory taken by this motion picture , a routine thriller that combines government cover - ups with a cloying and poorly - motivated buddy story . the " hook " that is supposed to make mercury rising unique is that the young protagonist is autistic . however , aside from giving actor miko hughes a chance to win raves for his performance , this particular aspect of the film comes across as nothing more than a convenient plot device . those expecting to see even a semi - thorough exploration of the condition will be disappointed . mercury rising treats autism with the same degree of efficiency that many action thrillers accord to alcoholism . the script for mercury rising is exceptionally tiresome and hard- to - swallow . i do n't know whether the problem is in the original book , simple simon , or in the screenplay adaptation , but this movie easily exceeds the intangible threshold beyond which a suspension of disbelief is no longer possible . once again , certain standby plot elements -- the high - level government conspiracy and the maverick law enforcement agent -- are recycled , and not to good effect . while bruce willis can play the action hero as well as anyone in hollywood , this particular outing leaves him marooned in situations that are characterized by too little tension and too much nonsense . the story begins with a formulaic sequence in which the tough fbi agent with a heart of gold , art jeffries ( bruce willis ) , is confronted with his own failure . unable to resolve a hostage crisis in time , he is forced to observe as two teenagers are shot to death . the event weighs heavily on his conscience and heavy - handedly establishes his motivation for protecting 9-year old simon lynch ( miko hughes ) when he discovers the autistic child hiding in a closet after his parents have been gunned down by the evil hit man who looks like an ex - football player . soon , art and simon are on the run from seemingly everyone -- fleeing for their lives and bonding at the same time , with the evil hit man who looks like an ex - football player always just a step behind them . along the way , they are helped by the best friend who defies orders to help out his buddy ( chi mcbride ) and the supporting female who may or may not become a love interest ( kim dickens ) . why is simon in danger and why were his parents turned into swiss cheese by the evil hit man who looks like an ex - football player ? apparently , the government has spent millions of dollars developing an ultra - secret code called " mercury . " to make sure it ca n't be cracked , they do the most intuitive thing possible : place a sample of it in a " nerds ' puzzle magazine . " of course , no one can solve it -- no one except autistic simon , that is . when he calls the phone number listed in the solution , he gets the nsa . as a result , the cold - hearted , sneering government man ( alec baldwin ) decides that simon has to be eliminated -- for the good of the country , of course . but he has n't counted on the tough fbi agent with a heart of gold , even though everyone in the audience has . it 's hard to get worked up about a routine thriller that does n't do anything exceptionally well , and does quite a few things rather poorly . for those who are desperate to find elements of this movie to like , mercury rising manages to manufacture tension from time - to - time , but even the most exciting scenes ( such as the one where art and simon are crouched down , avoiding passing trains ) are n't that pulse - pounding . the climactic struggle is a real ho - hum affair which leads to a finale that is painful in its obviousness . overall , director harold becker is constantly struggling ( and failing ) to generate even a moment that is n't derivative or obligatory . bruce willis ' star seems to be fading . this is his fourth straight lackluster outing , following last man standing , the fifth element , and the jackal . willis is n't terrible , but this is the kind of role he can sleepwalk through , and often does . alec baldwin , combining elements of his characters from glengarry glenn ross and malice , does some scenery- chewing , but his performance is surprisingly lacking in menace . the film 's real star is young miko hughes ( heather langenkamp 's son in wes craven 's new nightmare ) , who does as good a job as dustin hoffman playing an autistic individual , but is about 50 years younger . mercury rising joins the likes of hard rain , the replacement killers , and u. s. marshals on the heap of pallid 1998 thrillers . for those who like action and adventure in the theater , this has not been a good year . hopefully , the advent of summer will change that . until then , the best choices ( for bruce willis or any other action hero ) are on video . and , if you 're determined to see mercury rising , check out the morning sky in early may .
0 (NEG)
[ "but that title does n't describe the trajectory taken by this motion", "a routine", "cloying and poorly - motivated buddy", "raves for his", "nothing more than a convenient plot", "expecting to see even a semi - thorough exploration of the condition will be", "the script for mercury rising is exceptionally tiresome and hard- to - swallow . i do n't know whether the problem is in the original book , simple simon , or in the screenplay", "but this movie easily exceeds the intangible threshold beyond which a suspension of disbelief is no longer", "once again , certain standby plot elements -- the high - level government conspiracy and the maverick law enforcement agent -- are recycled , and not to good effect", ", this particular outing leaves him marooned in situations that are characterized by too little tension and too much nonsense", "even though everyone in the audience has . it 's hard to get worked up about a routine thriller that does n't do anything exceptionally", "quite a few things rather", "but even the most exciting scenes ( such as the one where art and simon are crouched down , avoiding passing trains ) are n't that pulse - pounding . the climactic struggle is a real ho - hum affair which leads to a finale that is painful in its obviousness . overall , director harold becker is constantly struggling ( and failing ) to generate even a moment that is n't derivative or obligatory . bruce willis ' star seems to be fading . this is his fourth straight lackluster outing , following last man standing , the fifth element , and the", "willis is n't terrible , but this is the kind of role he can sleepwalk through , and often", "but his performance is surprisingly lacking in" ]
" alcohol and drugs = bad . not alcohol and drugs = good . got it ? " just when you though you 've seen enough of brave young women dealing with their personal problems on screen , be that insanity or alcoholism , hollywood releases yet another one of those ' deep , emotional stories about finding yourself ' . . ' 28 days ' is practically a visualization of the usual ' meaningful ' true stories that people are so proudly retelling at aa - meetings . gwennie ( sandra bullock ) is a young woman who drowned her problems in alcohol . for her life was a big party , with no beginning and no end . this behavior has of course estranged her from her only sister and from life itself . her existence is filled with endless parties and comic episodes . such as when she got drunk with boyfriend jasper ( dominic west ) , borrowed her sister 's ( elizabeth perkins ) wedding limo and crashed it into someone 's house . this time she had to pay with a 28 day stay in court - ordered rehab . here she must realize that the only thing that can save her is her is redemption , willpower and commitment . most important she must realize her place and direction in life and understand that her life is not just a big party . the film itself feels like a rehab program , whining and moaning about things that have been said and written a million times . it is a classic cautionary tale . an echo . a big , fat and expensive clich ? . a shadow of last year 's ' girl , interrupted ' , which likewise followed in the footsteps of great masterpieces like ' the cuckoo 's nest ' and ' trainspotting ' . director betty thomas has stuffed her film with so many failures and errors , that it is impossible to sum them all up in one review . for some paranoid reason she decided to make her film a drama / comedy . jokes and funny characters almost deliberately delude you from the really important and complex issues : alienation , despair , terror , confusion , loneliness . and what awesome power and strength of character it actually takes to overcome all that and become clean . is n't that what the filmmakers wanted to show in the first place ? even the transition process itself seems like a walk in the park . betty thomas ' idea of hell is a cozy , homey place where happy alcoholics and cheerful drug addicts are not allowed to smoke , drink or watch tv after 11 . it is simply too light , simplified and unnecessary sweet to be taken seriously . but the worst thing about it is that it actually thinks that it is saying something of significance . that it actually tries to educate the audience with its extremely predictable and primitive story . " all you need to do is just say no " , says dr . cornell ( steve buscemi ) as if was the revelation of the century . and that 's how simple it is ! in fact i would rather watch ' lost in space ' once again , than return to ' 28 days ' . as for acting , it 's acceptable , but hardly anything else . for sandra bullock it 's an opportunity to demonstrate that she is capable of more than ' speed ' . she handles her part with a surprising professionalism and ease that certainly saves the film from being a complete flop . dominic west shines as the source of gwenie 's devilish temptations , but elizabeth perkins ' and steve buscemi 's great talents are wasted on unnoticeable and shallow characters . although intellectually ' girl , interrupted ' was a greater achievement , ' 28 days ' is superior in its visual aspect . there are some nice flash back sequences and occasionally impressive pacing , but the overall technical aspect of this film is on the ground floor . the most important thing is that we 've seen it before and it was a lot better . ' clean and sober ' , ' only when i laugh ' , ' when a man loves a woman ' , ' leaving las vegas ' and many other stronger films were made about the same issues . so what 's the point ? in other words ' 28 days ' does n't contribute to the moviemaking business on any level . if you 're caught in a snowstorm or bolts of lightning fall from the sky and you 're standing in front of the movie theatre , you might as well go in and watch ' 28 days ' . under all other circumstances stay away , because this film equals $8 and 103 minutes lost . 0 (NEG) [ "the film itself feels like a rehab program , whining and moaning about things that have been said and written a million times . it is a classic cautionary tale . an echo . a big , fat and expensive clich", "director betty thomas has stuffed her film with so many failures and errors , that it is impossible to sum them all up in one review . for some paranoid reason she decided to make her film a drama /", "jokes and funny characters almost deliberately delude you from the really important and complex", "is n't that what the filmmakers wanted to show in the first place ? even the transition process itself seems like a walk in the park . betty thomas ' idea of hell is a cozy , homey place where happy alcoholics and cheerful drug addicts are not allowed to smoke , drink or watch tv after 11 . it is simply too light , simplified and unnecessary sweet to be taken", "but the worst thing about it is that it actually thinks that it is saying something of significance . that it actually tries to educate the audience with its extremely predictable and primitive story . \" all you need to do is just say", "and that 's how simple it is ! in fact i would rather watch ' lost in space ' once again , than return to ' 28 days", "saves the film from being a complete", "but the overall technical aspect of this film is on the ground", "so what 's the point ? in other words ' 28 days ' does n't contribute to the moviemaking business on any level . if you 're caught in a snowstorm or bolts of lightning fall from the sky and you 're standing in front of the movie theatre , you might as well go in and watch ' 28 days ' . under all other circumstances stay away , because this film equals$ 8 and 103 minutes" ]
capsule : combine one quart of raiders of the lost ark , a dash of a jackie chan movie ( sans jackie ) , two teaspoons of gun- and swordplay , and a dollop of cgi . simmer for 100 minutes . yields : zilch . the phantom is a depressing and tired retread of so many earlier , better movies that after the fifteen - minute mark i started cataloguing them out loud . it 's hard to make a good action - adventure movie that does n't simply recycle its predecessors , and i 've seen movies that even at least did the recycling gracefully . the phantom , allegedly based on the long - running comic of the same name , does n't even bother to be graceful . it 's a stupid and incompetent movie in too many ways to list , but i 'll try . the film opens up with a " prelude " sequence that looks like it was slashed to ribbons in the editing and then given a heavy voice - over to compensate for whatever got thrown out . we go from there to a jungle sequence that , i swear to god , recycles the truck - chase scene from raiders of the lost ark note - for - note , possibly even shot - for - shot , right down to the moment where indy wrenched open the door and slung one of the drivers out into the brush -- and then goes on to rip off the rope - bridge scene from " sorcerer " as well ! sorcerer , as you may well remember , was a remake of a french movie , the wages of fear , in which a bunch of lowlifes were paid piles of money to drive a truck loaded with nitro through horrible jungle terrain . both versions of that movie were far more interesting than this flick , but i 've got my job to do , so back to the salt mines we go . anyway , the cinematic theft does n't stop there . or at least the lack of inspiration . there is n't a single thing here we have n't seen , and it 's not given to us in a way that remotely evokes our interest . we have ( where 's my list ? ) a bad girl , a tough good girl , a secret cave hideaway ( which seems inspired more by dr . no than anything else ) , a boardroom meeting that drips with greed and venality , magical artifacts of terrible power , and cary - hiroyuki tagawa wasted in another stupid role where he gets to wear a fu manchu mustache and sneer a lot and generally humiliate himself . what else is there ? the plot is a waste of time . the sets alternate between big but hokey -- and tiny and still hokey . there are lines in the script that are just begging to be mst3ked -- and i 'm sure once mike and the ' bots get the cash , they 'll stick it on their sked . the only thing in the movie worth noting is billy zane -- he 's a good actor , and he tries very hard , even when the script is sending him down one dead alley of a scene after another . all i can say is that i pray this is n't the beginning of the end for him -- although it sure looks like the final nail in the coffin for the comic - book super - hero movie .
0 (NEG)
[ "the phantom is a depressing and tired retread of so many earlier , better movies that after the fifteen - minute mark i started cataloguing them out loud . it 's hard to make a good action - adventure movie that does n't simply recycle its predecessors , and i 've seen movies that even at least did the recycling", "", "does n't even bother to be graceful . it 's a stupid and incompetent movie in too many ways to", "looks like it was slashed to ribbons in the editing and then given a heavy voice - over to compensate for whatever got thrown out . we go from there to a jungle sequence that , i swear to god , recycles the truck - chase scene from raiders of the lost ark note - for - note , possibly even shot - for - shot", "both versions of that movie were far more interesting than this flick , but i 've got my job to", "the cinematic theft does n't stop there . or at least the lack of inspiration . there is n't a single thing here we have n't seen , and it 's not given to us in a way that remotely evokes our interest . we have ( where 's my list ? ) a bad girl , a tough good girl , a secret cave hideaway ( which seems inspired more by dr . no than anything else ) , a boardroom meeting that drips with greed and venality , magical artifacts of terrible power , and cary - hiroyuki tagawa wasted in another stupid role where he gets to wear a fu manchu mustache and sneer a lot and generally humiliate himself . what else is there ? the plot is a waste of time . the sets alternate between big but hokey -- and tiny and still hokey . there are lines in the script that are just begging to be mst3ked -- and i 'm sure once mike and the ' bots get the cash , they 'll stick it on their sked . the only thing in the", "the script is sending him down one dead alley of a scene after another . all i can say is that i pray this is n't the beginning of the end for him -- although it sure looks like the final nail in the coffin for the comic - book super - hero movie" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "we are subjected to bodily function humor and just about every bad \" dick \" joke one can derive from this type of supposed", "dunst screams \" you have to stop letting dick run your life", "much to the horror of everyone standing within earshot . several other variations on this wordplay surface all throughout the film . if this movie had been smarter i would have been less likely to fault it 's juvenile bathroom", "but it 's not . the film was apparently made for relatively younger people because every major player in the watergate scandal is introduced and shoved down the audience 's throat in the least subtle way possible", "pander to it 's", "was n't a comedy aimed squarely at a 13 - 20 year - old film going audience . the only", "but unfortunately , they are only relegated to the final half -", "but are given nothing to work with", "more suited towards their comedic", "stay through the first half of the end credits though , to see an interesting scene involving dunst and williams suggestively sucking on lollipops emblazoned with the title of the", "an excellent idea marred by poor", "dick could have been a great movie . less of the juvenile", "could have made this film a wonderful", "dick offers nothing but what filmmaker kevin smith so accurately defines as \" dick and poopie \" jokes . and that , to me , does not make a funny movie . [ pg-13" ]
words i thought i 'd never write : the sequel to urban legend lacks the grace , wit , and power of the original . put the gun to my head , pull the trigger , and put me out of my misery . better yet , put the horror genre out of its misery . when you 've finished watching urban legends : final cut , you 'll share my same grim point of view thanks to the horrible acting , terrible script , and ridiculous directing which has become all too common today . urban legends : final cut is a smorgasbord of stolen movie ideas ( mainly from the blair witch project and scream ) : fabulous people with perfect teeth and skin , one creepy film school , and a dog eating a freshly removed kidney from one of the movie 's hapless victims . urban legends delivers a story about a bunch of film students working on their thesis films to win the coveted " hitchcock award " which guarantees the winner a director deal in hollywood . one female filmmaker ( jennifer morrison , the freaky dead girl from stir of echoes ) writes a fiction script based on a serial killer who kills his victims according to " urban legend " tales . suddenly , her entire crew starts getting bumped off with urban - legendary homicides , but the bodies are always missing and she is often the only witness to the killings . the killer wears a fencing mask and a long black overcoat , looking like a scorned olympian out to avenge his defeat in sydney . why this is scary is never explained . of course , the golden rule of sequels is that there must be least one recurring character for continuity 's sake . urban legends has one minor , recurring character from the original who we never cared about anyway ( the security guard , of all people ) . the other central problem is that this character has already seen the urban legend killings once before , but she 's utterly clueless about what 's going on around her . call it suspension of disbelief . this film is also a prime example of how horror films are now completely dead in the water . the last decent horror film was the blair witch project , and that seemed more like a snuff film than fiction . the stalking killer with crazy motivation has become a tired clich ? , as everyone seems to have forgotten : real horror is not about what is seen but about what is unknown .
0 (NEG)
[ "words i thought i 'd never write : the sequel to urban legend lacks the grace , wit , and power of the original . put the gun to my head , pull the trigger , and put me out of my misery . better yet , put the horror genre out of its", "share my same grim point of view thanks to the horrible acting , terrible script , and ridiculous directing which has become all too common", "smorgasbord of stolen movie ideas ( mainly from the blair witch project and scream", "one creepy film", "why this is scary is never explained . of course , the golden rule of sequels is that there must be least one recurring character for continuity 's", "never cared about anyway ( the security guard , of all people", "problem is that this character has already seen the urban legend killings once", "but she 's utterly clueless about what 's going on around her . call it suspension of", "this film is also a prime example of how horror films are now completely dead in the", "last decent horror film was the blair witch", "seemed more like a snuff film than fiction . the stalking killer with crazy motivation has become a tired clich ? , as everyone seems to have forgotten : real horror is not about what is seen but about what is" ]
godzilla is the ultimate culmination of the " who cares about plot " summer movie . a loose remake of the 1954 " classic " japanese monster movie , godzilla , king of the monsters ( which is itself pretty thin in the story department ) , roland emmerich and dean devlin 's big - budget lizard - stomps - manhattan disaster flick has been written with the brain dead in mind . the script is n't just " dumbed down , " it 's lobotomized . godzilla lives and dies on special effects alone . presumably , the primary target group for this film is teenage boys , the demographic most likely to shell out $7 repeatedly to see the same images of monster - instigated carnage . that 's not to say that females and other age groups are immune to the special effects seduction ; they 're just not as readily susceptible . this is the third straight movie in a row where emmerich and devlin have demonstrated that a mastery of computer - generated visuals is far more important for making money than the ability to write and direct for actors . stargate was a financial success . independence day was a runaway hit . and , with godzilla already drowning in hype and merchandising tie - ins before it even opens , it 's virtually guaranteed at least$ 100 million . nice numbers for a film that could have been penned by a not - too - precocious grade school kid . godzilla is n't completely without merit , although it is close . there 's a certain visceral thrill inherent in watching the giant lizard rip his way through manhattan , but it wears off quickly . frankly , while the special effects are competent , they 're not all that stunning . there 's nothing new here ; it 's jurassic park meets aliens , with a little independence day thrown in for bad measure . maybe it will require george lucas and his new star wars movie to take computer - generated visuals to the next level . godzilla never really pushes the envelope , preferring to remain within a comfort zone . the imagination of monster movies like king kong has been replaced by a crass , formulaic approach which disallows creativity . ( how disturbing is it to know that godzilla has been chosen to close the 51st cannes film festival ? ) worst of all , godzilla is n't even exciting . with the possible exception of a mildly enjoyable car chase near the end , there is n't a sequence in this film that raises the pulse . even the scenes with dozens of aircraft attacking the monster are so devoid of tension and suspense that they are yawn - provoking . independence day may have been dumb , but it was full of " adrenaline moments " capable of getting the audience involved in the action . in this aspect of its production , as in so many others , godzilla is lacking . actually , part of the problem is that we 're never sure who we 're supposed to be rooting for : the green monster with an attitude or the paper - thin humans trying to stop him . the plot , such as it is , can be summed up rather simply . after sinking a few ships and leaving some footprints on tropical islands , godzilla shows up in the big apple . he does some of the usual tourist things : stops by madison square garden , visits the chrysler building , goes on a walk through central park , and takes the subway . in the process , he knocks over a few buildings and steps on countless cabs , but he never has trouble with traffic jams . on hand to stop him is an elite u. s. army unit , led by a slightly less - arrogant - than - usual military man ( kevin dunn ) and a biologist named nick tatopoulos , who has a theory about godzilla . in his opinion , the big guy is actually a lizard grown to enormous proportions as a result of the radiation given off by french atomic bomb tests in the south pacific . in nick 's words , godzilla is " a mutated aberration ? an incipient creature ? the first of its kind . " as luck would have it , nick 's old girlfriend , audrey ( maria pitillo ) , is a reporter based at a new york tv station . along with her cameraman friend , animal ( hank azaria ) , she decides to follow nick around as he trails godzilla . then , just when the military has rejected nick 's theory about why godzilla is in new york , a member of the french secret service ( jean reno ) recruits him for a special assignment . instead of stomping around tokyo this time , godzilla has chosen new york city . unfortunately , manhattan has been destroyed so many times in recent disaster movies ( independence day , deep impact , armageddon ) that it 's becoming boring . the whole tradition of monsters roaming around the city started with king kong , but the big ape was only about 30 feet tall . he could climb the empire state building . at ten times that height , godzilla would be more likely to knock it over . godzilla contains a few lame attempts at humor . there 's an ongoing feud between animal and his wife that plays like sit - com material , an unfunny and repetitive gag about how no one can pronounce nick 's last name properly , and a rather tame attack on film critics roger ebert and gene siskel . both of the popular personalities have alter egos in the film : " ebert , " the mayor of new york , is played by michael lerner , and " gene " ( lorry goldman ) is his campaign manager . ebert 's re - election slogan is , not surprisingly , " thumbs up for new york . " the siskel / ebert stuff is amusing the first time it 's used , but , after a while , it grows tiresome . and , although the " characters " do n't serve any real purpose , they keep popping up . godzilla is saddled with an unimpressive cast . this is largely because emmerich does n't want to risk a human performance upstaging his lizard . that 's not to say that matthew broderick and jean reno are n't capable of good performances ( both have done their share of solid acting in the past ) , but they are n't a - list names . then again , considering the quality of the writing , even pacino and deniro would have been hard- pressed to shine . maria pitillo ( dear god ) plays the love interest and hank azaria ( great expectations ) is on hand to present what is supposed to be comic relief . ultimately , it does n't really matter what i ( or any other critic , for that matter ) have to say about the movie . tristar has assumed that godzilla , like all self - proclaimed summer event motion pictures , is pretty much critic - proof . it may also be word - of - mouth - proof . those who want to see the movie will see it no matter what i write or their friends say . so , when i go on record to assert that godzilla is one of the most idiotic blockbuster movies of all time , it 's like spitting into the wind . emmerich and devlin are master illusionists , waving their wands and mesmerizing audiences with their smoke and mirrors . it 's probably too much to hope that some day , movie - goers will wake up and realize that they 've been had .
0 (NEG)
[ "is the ultimate culmination of the \" who cares about plot", "a loose remake of the 1954 \" classic \" japanese monster", "( which is itself pretty thin in the story department", "roland emmerich and dean devlin 's big - budget lizard - stomps - manhattan disaster flick has been written with the brain dead in mind . the script is n't just \" dumbed down , \" it 's lobotomized . godzilla lives and dies on special effects alone . presumably , the primary target group for this film is teenage", "that 's not to say that females and other age groups are immune to the special effects seduction ; they 're just not as readily", "this is the third straight movie in a row where emmerich and devlin have demonstrated that a mastery of computer - generated visuals is far more important for making money than the ability to write and direct for", "nice numbers for a film that could have been penned by a not - too - precocious grade school kid", "although it is", "but it wears off quickly", "they 're not all that stunning . there 's nothing new", "it 's jurassic park meets aliens , with a little independence day thrown in for bad measure . maybe it will require george lucas and his new star wars movie to take computer - generated visuals to the next", "godzilla never really pushes the envelope , preferring to remain within a comfort zone", "has been replaced by a crass , formulaic approach which disallows creativity . ( how disturbing is it to know that godzilla has been chosen to close the 51st cannes film festival ? ) worst of all , godzilla is n't even", "of a", "there is n't a sequence in this film that raises the pulse", "are so devoid of tension and suspense that they are yawn - provoking . independence day may have been dumb , but it was full of \" adrenaline moments \" capable of getting the audience involved in the", "godzilla is lacking . actually , part of the problem is that we 're never sure who we 're supposed to be rooting for : the green monster with an attitude or the paper - thin humans trying to stop", "the plot , such as it is , can be summed up rather simply", "unfortunately , manhattan has been destroyed so many times in recent disaster movies ( independence day , deep impact , armageddon ) that it 's becoming", "but the big ape was only about 30 feet tall . he could climb the empire state building . at ten times that height , godzilla would be more likely to knock it over . godzilla contains a few lame attempts at", "there 's an ongoing feud between animal and his wife that plays like sit - com material , an unfunny and repetitive", "both of the popular personalities have alter egos in the", "but , after a while , it grows tiresome . and , although the \" characters \" do n't serve any real purpose", "godzilla is saddled with an unimpressive cast . this is largely because emmerich does n't want to risk a human performance upstaging his", "that 's not to say that matthew broderick and jean reno are n't capable of good performances ( both have done their share of solid acting in the past ) , but they are n't a - list names . then again , considering the quality of the writing , even pacino and deniro would have been hard- pressed to", "maria pitillo ( dear god ) plays the love interest and hank azaria ( great expectations ) is on hand to present what is supposed to be comic relief . ultimately , it does n't really matter what i ( or any other critic , for that matter ) have to say about the", "tristar has assumed that godzilla , like all self - proclaimed summer event motion pictures , is pretty much critic - proof . it may also be word - of - mouth - proof . those who want to see the movie will see it no matter what i write or their friends", "godzilla is one of the most idiotic blockbuster movies of all time , it 's like spitting into the wind . emmerich and devlin are master illusionists , waving their wands and mesmerizing audiences with their smoke and mirrors . it 's probably too much to hope that some day , movie - goers will wake up and realize that they 've been had" ]
recently one night a young director named baz luhrmann could n't sleep . he tumbled out of bed and moved over to the television where he watched mtv for an hour . then he moved to his kitchen where he spent the same amount of time eating spoiled food . then he took down a volume of shakespeare 's work and read it cover to cover - never really paying attention to the words or plot . and then , as a climax , he took out his video camera and pressed the " on " button . the result ? william shakespeare 's romeo + juliet - the worst film ever made and a complete failure . though , to be fair , an interesting complete failure . the idea at the film 's core is to make shakespeare appealing to the crowds . this is done by moving the camera around at a rapid rate so that we ca n't see what is going on . and filming the dialogue in voice over . and shooting leonardo dicaprio like a calvin klein model . and making the frame go still while flashing the character 's name at the bottom . and filming long tedious action sequences in slow motion . i mean , man , this is the 90s , dude . however i 've seen terrible films that are fun to watch . ( examples are batman and robin and the island of doctor moreau . ) that rule does n't apply here . this is a film that takes itself seriously . that is it 's major fault . another problem was pointed out by my friend , alex ( who was singing songs by leonard bernstein throughout . ) ; the original play is a powerful piece of work because the author remained neutral and did n't take sides . here it 's clear that we are supposed to side with romeo . ( just look at the way they film him . ) from the begining he 's our hero and this does n't work . and dicaprio 's awful performance does n't help . luhrmann never decides if he wants to entertain us or enlighten us . the result is a mess . you can feel him striving to be something he is n't . he tries to pull of a mix in which drag queens are filmed from purposefully arty angles . he tries very hard . key word : tries . " oh look , he 's filming above water action from below . pretty . what does it represent ? " why do people do ugly things ? i scrambled away from my tv set feeling guilty as if i could never read the play again and keep a straight face .
0 (NEG)
[ "recently one night a young director named baz luhrmann could n't sleep . he tumbled out of bed and moved over to the television where he watched mtv for an hour . then he moved to his kitchen where he spent the same amount of time eating spoiled food . then he took down a volume of shakespeare 's work and read it cover to", "never really paying attention to the words or plot . and then , as a climax , he took out his video camera and pressed the \" on \" button . the result ? william shakespeare 's romeo + juliet - the worst film ever made and a complete failure", "an interesting complete", "this is done by moving the camera around at a rapid rate so that we ca n't see what is going on . and filming the dialogue in voice over . and shooting leonardo dicaprio like a calvin klein model . and making the frame go still while flashing the character 's name at the bottom . and filming long tedious action sequences in slow motion . i mean , man , this is the 90s , dude . however i 've seen terrible films that are fun to watch . ( examples are batman and robin and the island of doctor moreau . ) that rule does n't apply", "film that takes itself seriously . that is it 's major fault . another problem was pointed out by my friend , alex ( who was singing songs by leonard bernstein throughout .", "here it 's clear that we are supposed to side with", "( just look at the way they film him . ) from the begining he 's our hero and this does n't work . and dicaprio 's awful performance does n't", "never decides if he wants to entertain us or enlighten us . the result is a mess . you can feel him striving to be something he is", "he tries to pull of a mix in which drag queens are filmed from purposefully arty angles . he tries very hard . key word : tries . \" oh look , he 's filming above water action from below . pretty . what does it represent", "why do people do ugly things ? i scrambled away from my tv set feeling guilty as if i could never read the play again and keep a straight face" ]
in times of crisis people are driven to desperate measures . of course what constitutes a crisis differs from person to person . what may be a disastrous situation for one , may be seen as a challenge to another . as deepak chopra is known to say , " it 's not the ride , it 's the rider . " unfortunately clear - thinking is not always the reaction to problems . wall street wheeler dealer steven taylor ( michael douglas ) is a man with troubles . he 's sunk his money in illegal financial activities and it 's blown up in his face . in a matter of days he will lose it all . his wife emily ( gwyneth paltrow ) is a highly - placed un interpreter and is not happy with her life either . her marriage is cold and unfulfilling . unknown to her , her new lover david shaw ( viggo mortensen ) is not only a painter , but an ex - con with a history of bilking wealthy women of their money . emily is a prime target : she 's worth over $100 million . steven 's solution to his predicament is to offer david half a million to kill his wife . the artist accepts and the movie is underway . drawing from frederick knott 's play and loosely based on hitchcock 's dial m for murder , this is all - too typical of summer releases . all style and no substance . and there 's really not much style . director andrew davis ( the accomplished witness and best - forgotten other films ) has made exactly the wrong choices at almost every turn . douglas and paltrow have both shown us that they are skillful actors in previous films . mortensen showed promise in the past . here all three are walking uninterestingly through their roles with oddly waxen faces . the only person who shows any sense of life is david suchet as new york detective mohamed karaman . he 's only on - screen long enough to make you think that there might be a likable person in the film and then he disappears . the first concern of a suspense film is to create suspense . surprises are important . in this movie the audience keeps waiting for something to happen . and nothing ever does . nearly every event is telegraphed in advance . close - up on this object or that action and it 's easy to guess what 's going to happen . as the film plods towards its inevitable conclusion you keep expecting a plot twist to make the movie worthwhile . it 's a hopeless quest . the story does n't make much sense . steven 's wife is loaded . even with unfriendly relations , you 'd think that he could have talked to her about his difficulty rather than deciding to kill her . when he does decide on the dire plan he makes an unreasonable choice . if you were going to hire someone to kill your wife , would your first choice be her lover ? no matter how sleazy he is , i would think there might be a chance that he would turn down the opportunity . why would steven plan the murder as a break - in in their apartment ? why not just take her out as she was walking to david 's loft in a bad neighborhood ? while deciding among the numerous summer films , you might do well to skip this one . you 'll find more suspense than this movie offers by watching the weather channel . 0 (NEG) [ "this is all - too typical of summer releases . all style and no substance . and there 's really not much style . director andrew davis ( the accomplished witness and best - forgotten other films ) has made exactly the wrong choices at almost every turn", "here all three are walking uninterestingly through their roles with oddly waxen faces . the only person", "he 's only on - screen long enough to make you think that there might be a likable person in the film and then he", "in this movie the audience keeps waiting for something to happen . and nothing ever does . nearly every event is telegraphed in", "close - up on this object or that action and it 's easy to guess what 's going to", "as the film plods towards its inevitable conclusion you keep expecting a plot twist to make the movie worthwhile . it 's a hopeless quest . the story does n't make much sense . steven 's wife is loaded . even with unfriendly relations , you 'd think that he could have talked to her about his difficulty rather than deciding to kill her . when he does decide on the dire plan he makes an unreasonable choice . if you were going to hire someone to kill your wife , would your first choice be her lover ? no matter how sleazy he is , i would think there might be a chance that he would turn down the opportunity . why would steven plan the murder as a break - in in their apartment ? why not just take her out as she was walking to david 's loft in a bad neighborhood ? while deciding among the numerous summer films , you might do well to skip this one . you 'll find more suspense than this movie offers by watching the weather" ] " virus " is a monster movie without a monster . any movie with a hurdle that large to overcome had better be pretty damn good otherwise . sadly , " virus " does not deliver , on any level . the movie opens with the russian space station mir about to transmit something ( we never find out what ) to a big boat with lots of satellites on it . sudddenly , a wave of colorful lightning comes flying through space , and winds up destroying mir and using it to transmit itself to the aforementioned big boat . cut to seven days later , we meet donald sutherland and his band of seafaring vultures . see , they spend all their time sailing around looking for dead - in - the - water ships to rescue , and then collect the reward money . at least , i * think * that 's what they do . along with many other things in the film , their reason for being out in the middle of the ocean is n't really explained . so , they stumble upon this big boat with lots of satellites on it , and decide to haul it back to russian waters . the only problem is , the crew starts disappearing one - by - one and turning into borg . yes , borg . complete with the red laser beam in place of an eye . apparently , this alien lifeform can only survive if inside something electrical . so , it creates make - shift machines and uses humans for " spare parts " . blah , blah , blah . i could go on forever describing the ludicrous so - called plot , but i wo n't . suffice it to say the most original thing about this movie is having donald sutherland play an irish man ( ! ) . everything else in this movie has been taken from other ( better ) movies . for example , many of the machines resemble those found in the little - seen japanese movie , " tetsuo - the iron man " . and the plot is right out of " aliens " . the funny thing is , i was actually expecting to enjoy this movie . i have a soft spot for cheesy monster movies , like last years under - appreciated " deep rising " . but " virus " , as i mentioned earlier , does n't even have a monster . it just has a big pile of circuits and wires and expects the audience to fear this ridiculous looking contraption . " virus " is the type of movie that really makes you wonder what the screenwriter was thinking about when he wrote it . besides the lame " monster " , it 's chock full of dialogue that no real person would ever say , and situations that no real person would ever allow themselves to get into . for example , there is a scene late in the movie in which one of the characters actually attempts to * negotiate * with the alien ! now , i do n't know about you , but if i came upon a lifeform that viewed mankind as a virus to be eliminated , i doubt that i would attempt to reason with it . that makes about as much sense as a baby squirrel calmly asking a fierce predator to spare his life . finally , " virus " is n't scary . the least the filmmakers could have done was to make the movie just a little scary . as it is , it 's about as frightening as a box of cookies . skip " virus " . if it 's a cool monster movie you want , rent the far superior ( and the granddaddy of this genre ) " aliens " . 0 (NEG) [ "is a monster movie without a", "any movie with a hurdle that large to overcome had better be pretty damn good", "sadly , \" virus \" does not deliver , on any", "( we never find out what", "at least , i * think * that 's what they do . along with many other things in the film , their reason for being out in the middle of the ocean is n't really", "the only problem is , the crew starts disappearing one - by - one and turning into borg . yes , borg . complete with the red laser beam in place of an eye .", "blah , blah , blah . i could go on forever describing the ludicrous so - called plot , but i wo n't", "everything else in this movie has been taken from other ( better ) movies . for example , many of the machines resemble those found in the little - seen japanese movie , \" tetsuo - the iron man \" . and the plot is right out of \" aliens \" . the funny thing is , i was actually expecting to enjoy this", "but \" virus \" , as i mentioned earlier , does n't even have a monster . it just has a big pile of circuits and wires and expects the audience to fear this ridiculous looking contraption", "virus \" is the type of movie that really makes you wonder what the screenwriter was thinking about when he wrote it . besides the lame \" monster", "it 's chock full of dialogue that no real person would ever say , and situations that no real person would ever allow themselves to get", "one of the characters actually attempts to * negotiate * with the alien ! now , i do n't know about you , but if i came upon a lifeform that viewed mankind as a virus to be eliminated , i doubt that i would attempt to reason with", "makes about as much sense as a baby squirrel calmly asking a fierce predator to spare his", "virus \" is n't scary . the least the filmmakers could have done was to make the movie just a little", "it 's about as frightening as a box of cookies . skip \" virus \" . if it 's a cool monster movie you want , rent the far superior ( and the granddaddy of this genre ) \" aliens" ] dr . alan grant ( sam neill , " jurassic park " ) is becoming disillusioned . paleontology is no longer the sexy science it once was since the ingen corporation cloned his subject matter . his lectures bring people interested in his adventures on isla nubla rather than his research and funding dollars are drying up . when the kirbys ( william h. macy , " fargo " ; tea leoni , " the family man " ) ask him to be their guide for an anniversary flyover of isla sorna ( the notorious site b of " the lost world " ) he 's disdainful , but once they wave their checkbook , he reconsiders . however the kirbys have n't given dr . grant their real agenda in " jurassic park iii . " of course , we , the audience , have been tipped off , given that the film begins by showing us eric ( trevor morgan , " the patriot " ) , a young boy , and ben ( mark harelik , " election " ) going for a paragliding adventure off that same island that goes awry ( and looks like cheesy rear projection ) . grant 's established back home with a new right hand man , billy brennan ( alessandro nivola , " love 's labour 's lost " ) on site at a dig in montana sorely lacking funds . he also pays a visit to old flame dr . ellie sattler ( laura dern , " jurassic park " ) , now married to another with a young son who calls grant ' the dinosaur man ' apparently for the sole purpose of dredging her up again for the film 's poorly imagined finale . grant takes billy along on the kirbys trip , which is really an illegal gambit to save their son , that young paraglider . the couple are n't millionaires , making grant 's check bogus , and they 're separated as well ( eric was with amanda 's new boyfriend , not that that makes much sense ) , meaning we 're in for some gooey family dynamics while waiting for the dino dining . the kirbys hired hands ( and obvious bait ) are a threesome led by mr . udesky ( michael jeter , " the gift " ) . ( did n't anyone consider that casting michael jeter and william h. macy together and not having them be related was a little odd ? ) as directed by joe johnston ( " october sky , " " jumanji " ) ( spielberg only produced this one ) from a risible script by peter buchman and the " election " team of alexander payne & jim taylor , " jurassic park iii " is nothing more than a quickie monster flick with a couple of new dinos ( a spinosauraus , which goes head to head with the t - rex , and pteranodons ) . the plot , as it were , is a series of coincidences combined with extreme leaps of faith and a trifecta of stupid cell phone tricks . the effects are no longer new , and , as shot by television cinematographer shelly johnson , rather murky looking at times . film editing by robert dalva ( " october sky " ) was presumably done by machete , to keep this down to a 90 minute run time . i know of no other reason to explain the ridiculous ending which features the survivors confronting a pack of raptors , then being saved by the most ludicrous of logic jumps within a few minutes . ' original ' music by don davis just repeats john williams ' original themes . while neill and young morgan attempt to inject some humor and humanity into the proceedings , the rest of the cast are plodding unexceptional . " jurassic park iii " will probably provide some quick entertainment for those who go into it knowing what to expect , the same crowd who maybe liked " the lost world : jurassic park . " 0 (NEG) [ "the film 's poorly imagined", "did n't anyone consider that casting michael jeter and william h. macy together and not having them be related was a little", "nothing more than a quickie monster", "and a trifecta of stupid cell phone", "the effects are no longer", "rather murky looking at", "presumably done by", "to keep this down to a 90 minute run", "no other reason to explain the ridiculous", "the most ludicrous of logic jumps within a few", "just repeats john williams ' original" ] barb wire , pamela anderson lee 's first foray into films , highlights the fact that her only talent lies in her silicone enhanced assets . being the only notable member of the cast , the camera lingers lustily o n her body at every opportunity , making her character 's catch line , " do n't call me babe , " sound very ironic indeed . from the very opening of the movie , we are treated to a striptease routine from anderson , ending in her hurling her stiletto smack between the eyes of a lusty male who happened to call her babe . throughout the movie , there is ample footage of enormous breasts and cleavage , if not of anderson 's , then at least of the female extras . this alone is enough to retitle the movie babe wire . for a plot , barb wire rehashes the casablanca storyline . it is 2017 , the middle of the second american civil war , and barb wire , a former resistance fighter , runs a joint in steel harbour called hammerhead ( ! ! ) . known for attracting resistance fighters an d characters of all sorts , the bar attracts the attention of the government forces who appear dressed in nazi - style uniforms . in between bashing up helpless males and showing off her trademark breasts , barb wire has to help a former lover and his wife get to the airport on the other side of the town , past the government - controlled areas , and to freedom . even the airport looks like the one in casablanca , except that the plane in the background is a modern , private jet . there are hardly any significant moments in this film , and one gets the impression that it was designed for young teenagers familiar with the dark horse comics version of " barb wire . " if anything , one leaves the film with the confirmation that anderson di d not do her own stunts . who could fight and jump in a skimpy , strapless leather top , and yet keep her breasts from spilling out ? only a stuntwoman . not pamela anderson lee . 0 (NEG) [ "her only talent lies in her silicone enhanced", "the camera lingers lustily o n her body at every opportunity", "sound very ironic", "this alone is enough to retitle the movie babe wire", "the confirmation that anderson di d not do her own stunts . who could fight and jump in a skimpy , strapless leather top , and yet keep her breasts from spilling out ? only a stuntwoman . not pamela anderson lee" ] humanities quest for knowledge never ends . so a team of scientists and film - makers travel to the amazon to search for a legendary indian tribe . the party consists of anthropologist steven cale ( eric stoltz ) and the camera team consisting of terri flores ( jennifer lopez ) , danny rich ( ice cube ) , gary dixon ( owen wilson ) , denise kahlberg ( kari wuhrer ) and warren westridge ( jonathan hyde ) . early on their journey they meet paul sarone ( jon voight ) whose boat is stuck on the shore . they agree to give him a ride to the next village . he claims to know the area well and can be useful locating the native tribe . very soon their friendliness backfires on the group because sarone turns out to be a snake hunter without scruples who only wants to catch a giant anaconda and sell it to a zoo . we do n't have to wait too long for the giant snake . she just had a panther hors d'oevre and now is looking for the main course . our heroes paddle around in the amazonas as if it were the pool in their own backyard . no wonder giant animals mistake their splashing for a dinner bell . our anaconda is a polite one and swallows the first victim in one big gulp . enjoy ! so much for the first attempt to catch her . but who would want to catch a giant snake with a fishing pole ? our villain sarone shows his soft side when he stops terri from shooting the snake . too bad that anaconda is just about to strangle another member of the expedition . one by one she goes after the others . eric stoltz is stung by a giant wasp right in the beginning and is mercifully unconcious for the rest of the adventure . the rest of the crew keeps entertaining the viewer although not the way the makers of the movie had planned . however the scenes without the anaconda are rather boring . whenever the leading lady shows up we 're in for a laugh . the snake reminds us of a favorite character of a famous animated movie even if she should be an awe - inspiring monster . her attacks always follow the same plan : one last hypnotic look - she 's looking at you , kid - then she speedily wraps herself around her victim and starts to gush it down . mostly we do n't see the act of devouring . but she looks nice when she wiggles away with her bulging middle part . whoever did the special effects on this movie may have wanted to go to a zoo first and study some real snakes . maybe then the anaconda model would have looked more real . the animatronics are somewhat more believable . but that did n't work for the strangling scenes . do n't go see the movie for the f / x . they are everything but up - to - date . the viewer who likes to watch the end credits will see to his / her surprise that a snake expert was a consultant for the team . we may doubt though that he has ever seen the final result of his work . a well known american science magazine is also mentioned in the credits , but i will refrain from naming it here to avoid further damage to its reputation . the majority of viewer will have left the theater as soon as the credits start rolling , anyway . what kind of audience is the target group for this movie ? hard to say . this ca n't be a serious horror movie , or can it ? see for yourself . 0 (NEG) [ "although not the way the makers of the movie had planned . however the scenes without the anaconda are rather", "her attacks always follow the same plan", "whoever did the special effects on this movie may have wanted to go to a zoo first and study some real snakes . maybe then the anaconda model would have looked more", "but that did n't work for the strangling scenes . do n't go see the movie for the f / x", "the viewer who likes to watch the end credits will see to his / her surprise that a snake expert was a consultant for the", "we may doubt though that he has ever seen the final result of his", "but i will refrain from naming it here to avoid further damage to its", "what kind of audience is the target group for this movie ? hard to say . this ca n't be a serious horror movie , or can it" ] absolute power , the new film produced and directed by clint eastwood , attempts to be a thriller set in the world of hypocritical presidents and their murderous political staff . it is about as thrilling as a lecture on the mating habits of the south american grasshopper . one can only wonder how an utterly absurd script like the one written by william goldman could have ever interested eastwood . not only is the plot unbelievable and contrived , but even the writing itself lacks any consistency or intelligence . continually underestimating the audience , the film gives us information we already know or do nt even need . details essential to the story are so improbably convenient they are annoying ( like why would two unprepared secret service men carry two night - vision goggles in their car ? ) . oddly enough , the initial setup for absolute power offers interesting possibilities . a masterful jewel - thief ( played by clint eastwood ) witnesses the murder of the wife of a powerful millionaire ( played by e. g. marshall ) . while robbing one of marshalls mansions , he is forced to hide in the bedrooms vault . there , through a two - way mirror , he sees the wife and another man engage in passionate foreplay . their game of love quickly turns into a violent struggle as the man starts beating the woman . in self defense , the woman grabs a letter - opener and stabs the man in the elbow . she raises her arm to stab again when she is fatally shot by two secret service men . the man ? he is the president of the united states of america . where does the film go wrong ? it can not be the acting . clint eastwood , ed harris and gene hackman as the president give type - cast , but decent performances . the cinematography is sufficient ; wild and erratic during action sequences , dark and mysterious during psychologically suspenseful scenes , and calm and warm during dramatic dialogue . even the music is not as bombastic as it usually tends to be in the thriller / suspense genre . the fault clearly lies in the screenplay , and the screenplay alone . while setting up a story about misuse of power , about the true possessors of that power , and about intrigue and double - crossing , it does not resolve it . not one buildup of suspense is resolved by an exciting climax . rather , the tense situations are left dangling at the end , giving the viewer an uneasy sense of incompleteness . an example of this is a very promising and tense buildup of a scene : in an attempt to arrest clint eastwood , the police have set up a trap at a small restaurant . police officers are everywhere , incognito of course . at the same time , not one but two hit men are preparing to kill clint eastwood when he arrives . all three parties are unaware of each others presence . this scene is tremendously exciting and the audience is wondering how clint eastwood , who might suspect this is a trap , will get himself out of this difficult position . he will probably have a brilliant plan , involving ingenious preparations . however , when he arrives at the trap , both hit men miss ( how convenient ) and in the confusion eastwood simply walks away . the buildup of this scene took about ten minutes . ten minutes of close ups of the hit men loading their weapons intercut with the police preparing for the trap . the scene was resolved in less than 20 seconds . .. parallel to the story line of catching the real killer is a cliche emotional tale about the estranged relationship between father eastwood and his daughter . the daughter blames her father for never being there for her , because he was either in jail or robbing a house somewhere . of course their relationship takes a turn for the better during the adventure and they end up a happy family . again , it is commendable that absolute power tries to deviate from the mainstream suspense film by giving room for a dramatic subplot . however , trying is simply not enough ! the second story line should be subtle , original and preferably unpredictable . .. everything this film is not . how could a screenplay like absolute power ever get the funding to be produced ? how could eastwood , who has successfully produced and directed many outstanding films such as the brilliant unforgiven , ever believe in a project like this one ? i am sad to say that my respect for the actor / director / producer has diminished substantially due to this film . director quentin tarantino once said : " i can make a good movie out of any bad script . " director clint eastwood obviously can not . 0 (NEG) [ "", "it is about as thrilling as a lecture on the mating habits of the south american grasshopper . one can only wonder how an utterly absurd script like the one written by william goldman could have ever interested", "not only is the plot unbelievable and", "but even the writing itself lacks any consistency or intelligence . continually underestimating the", "gives us information we already know or do nt even", "details essential to the story are so improbably convenient they are annoying ( like why would two unprepared secret service men carry two night - vision goggles in their car ?", "the man ? he is the president of the united states of america . where does the film go wrong ? it can not be the", "even the music is not as bombastic as it usually tends to be in the thriller / suspense genre . the fault clearly lies in the screenplay , and the screenplay alone", "it does not resolve it . not one buildup of suspense is resolved by an exciting climax . rather , the tense situations are left dangling at the end , giving the viewer an uneasy sense of", "however , when he arrives at the trap , both hit men miss ( how convenient ) and in the confusion eastwood simply walks away . the buildup of this scene took about ten minutes . ten minutes of close ups of the hit men loading their weapons intercut with the police preparing for the trap . the scene was resolved in less than 20 seconds . .. parallel to the story line of catching the real killer is a cliche emotional tale about the estranged relationship between father eastwood and his", "it is commendable that absolute power tries to deviate from the mainstream suspense film by giving room for a dramatic subplot . however , trying is simply not enough ! the second story line should be subtle , original and preferably unpredictable . .. everything this film is not . how could a screenplay like absolute power ever get the funding to be produced ? how could eastwood , who has successfully produced and directed many outstanding films such as the brilliant unforgiven , ever believe in a project like this one ? i am sad to say that my respect for the actor / director / producer has diminished substantially due to this film . director quentin tarantino once said : \" i can make a good movie out of any bad script . \" director clint eastwood obviously can" ] ever feel you 're spending your whole life on the net ( ouch ! ) , eating , breathing and excreting web sites ? that your most meaningful relationships are being formed on the net ? that you get your best sex on the net ? if first - time director hal salwen could shoot an entire movie of characters typing at their computers , he would . as it is , he settles for characters talking on the phone . denise calls up is a movie for and about the electronic generation , where characters are too caught up with their work and insecurities prefer to live out their relationships and fantasies on the phone . it 's a satire - and a sometimes funny one - about how we let handphones , call - waiting and answering machines run our lives . the problem : denise calls up is a movie about an idea . a darn good one , but still an 80 minute - long idea . and despite salwen 's attempt at plots and sub - plots , despite some genuinely funny moments , you can predict the movie 's outcome within the first fifteen minutes . you get the drift after a series of shots of characters explaining over the phone why they all could n't make it for a party - nobody is going to be meeting anybody in this film , they would rather be talking on the phone . here 's salwen 's plot : while all the characters are in a dysfunctional , telefixated limbo , loud quirky stranger denise calls up martin to announce that she is pregnant with his child , courtesy of the sperm he donated to the local bank . as martin progresses from slamming the phone on her to long phone conversations over the baby 's name , his friends - and his friends ' friends - get involved , courtesy of call - waiting and double - lines . in the tigher and more tantalizing sub - plot , barbara and jerry are set up on a blind date that neither turns up for . both profess to have too complicated schedules to ever meet , but they get it going over the phone . with repeated phone sex comes a glitch ; what if the other person is simply faking it ? denise calls up scores with some inspired moments . mousy barbara metamorphoses into a vamp over her cordless , everyone shares the excitement of denise 's delivery through a conference call to her handphone , and barbara 's best friend gale is killed in a car accident while taling animatedly into another friend 's answering machine . ( as gale 's overly - chatty aunt recounts , her cordless was knicked into her ear and lodged in her brain . ) but these moments are not enough to sustain the movie . the pace sags , the dialogue drags and not much acting appears to be required of the telephone - touters . and the ending is literally a non - event as expected , everyone is too chicken to turn up for the party frank throws in gale 's memory despite promising over the phone that they will . we get the point . the movie appears to be intent on flogging its terribly-'90s statement until they have it coming out of your ears . pun intended . there 's even a on the movie 's web site where you can win cellular phones ( as if we have n't had enough of these things already ) . watch the movie only if you find it philosophy compelling enough for a earful . the flying inkpot 's rating system : * wait for the video . * * a little creaky , but still better than staying at home with gotcha ! * * * pretty good , bring a friend . * * * * amazing , potent stuff . * * * * * perfection . see it twice . 0 (NEG) [ "the problem : denise calls up is a movie about an idea . a darn good one , but still an 80 minute - long idea . and despite salwen 's attempt at plots and sub - plots , despite some genuinely funny moments , you can predict the movie 's outcome within the first fifteen", "nobody is going to be meeting anybody in this film , they would rather be talking on the", "while all the characters are in a dysfunctional , telefixated limbo , loud quirky", "but these moments are not enough to sustain the", "the dialogue drags and not much acting appears to be required of the telephone - touters . and the ending is literally a non - event as", "we get the point . the movie appears to be intent on", "pun intended . there 's even a on the movie 's web site where you can win cellular phones ( as if we have n't had enough of these things already ) . watch the movie only if you find it philosophy compelling enough for a earful . the flying inkpot 's rating system : * wait for the video . * * a little" ] " book " should have remained in shadows book of shadows : blair witch 2 a film review by michael redman copyright 2000 by michael redman certain things in our lives are inevitable . death , sorrow , love , heartbreak , pain , joy . we expect these events . we know they 're going to happen and some , we even look forward to . it 's part of the human condition . we have also become accustomed to inevitable occurrences in our society . as we near the fall election , several of them are hitting us in the face . politicians exaggerate their own importance . our side is always right ; theirs is always wrong . in the end , voters are usually forced to choose the lesser of two whocares . in hollywood the one indisputable inevitable is that if a film makes big money , there will be a sequel . even if the original story does n't merit one . even if the first film is complete in itself . even if success is a fluke . " the blair witch project " was made with a budget of$ 1 . 75 and exploded on the screen , raking in huge profits . the concept was brilliant . the filmmakers created a remarkable buzz that the story might be real . the film itself was even more convincing . the movie _ must _ be authentic . why else would such amateurish footage be on the big screen ? the first film caught lightning in a bottle . the sequel proves you ca n't pour that old lightning into a new bottle . you have to give this effort some credit . it would have been easy to have made the same movie again with a new group of kids . it would have been easy , but of course , it would n't have worked . instead " book of shadows " acknowledges the first film as a movie and concentrates on the hysteria following its release . it 's a great scheme and possibly the only entertaining way to do a sequel . unfortunately it does n't work either . five kids spend the night in the woods at the scene of the first film . weird stuff happens and they retreat to an old factory where one of them lives . even weirder stuff happens . some people die , there 's blood and knives and none of the characters have a lick of common sense . while supposedly doing serious research , the group sets up a circle of surveillance cameras in the ruins of the old house in the woods and vows to stay alert all night awaiting a visitation . then they proceed to get totally trashed on drugs and alcohol and party down with very loud , very obnoxious heavy metal music . it 's a bad plan . the cast shows some early promise . a couple is doing research on a " blair witch " book . the tour guide is a former mental patient turned ebay aficionado . a goth amazon princess adds a bit of comedic relief . the obligatory hot babe is the 2000 spiritual cinematic descendent of the cute hippie chick , the cute rock and roll chick and the cute disco chick : the cute wiccan chick . the first film 's unaccomplished actors came across as real people in a real situation because hours and hours of video were shot during days in the woods . this time , these unaccomplished actors just come across as unaccomplished actors . there 's not one character you care about when they start shouting for no reason . although what passes for a plot starts out with a solid idea , it 's ruined by poor execution . the follow - up to one of the most successful horror films ever is nothing more than a bad slasher movie . they 're trapped in an old big weird house . they stupidly separate into various rooms . there are strange noises , they see scary apparitions and people disappear . ever see this movie ? seasoned documentary director joe berlinger should know better . the film features mostly cheap tricks and unnecessary gore . for a storyline filled with surprises , it 's oddly predicable . " the blair witch project " was a rare triumph of style over substance . " the book of shadows " is a triumph of tedium over promise .
0 (NEG)
[ "even if the original story does n't merit", "even if success is a fluke . \" the blair witch project \" was made with a budget of $1 . 75 and exploded on the", "the filmmakers created a remarkable buzz that the story might be", "why else would such amateurish footage be on the big screen ? the first film caught lightning in a bottle . the sequel proves you ca n't pour that old lightning into a new bottle", "unfortunately it does n't work", "the first film 's unaccomplished actors came across as real people in a real situation because hours and hours of video were shot during days in the woods . this time , these unaccomplished actors just come across as unaccomplished", "there 's not one character you care about when they start shouting for no", "it 's ruined by poor execution . the follow - up to one of the most successful horror films ever is nothing more than a bad slasher", "ever see this movie ? seasoned documentary director joe berlinger should know better . the film features mostly cheap tricks and unnecessary gore . for a storyline filled with surprises , it 's oddly predicable . \" the blair witch project \" was a rare triumph of style over substance . \" the book of shadows \" is a triumph of tedium over" ] warren beatty , diane keaton , goldie hawn and gary shandling star as a pair of married couples whose complacent lives are about to be shaken up in director peter chelsom 's version of the classic romantic , screwball comedy in " town & country . " the drawing room farce of the 30 's dealt with sexual innuendo and relied on wit and a great deal of commotion and noise to place the viewer in the thick of the duplicitous romantic action . back then , impossibly wealthy scions of society , with too much free time , would get themselves wrapped up in all sorts of sexual peccadilloes with spouses and lovers , only to have everything come out all right in the end - see " the philadelphia story " for a great farce . " town & country " has the impossibly wealthy protagonists with too much free time - the kind of people that have jobs but never seem to work - and sexual misconduct on several levels . but , there is almost no life to original script by michael laughlin and buck henry and this is " t&c 's " downfall . there is , obviously , a great deal of hollywood talent , in front of and behind the camera , involved in " town & country , " but , without a likable or , at least , interesting story to carry through their efforts , it is all for naught . and , that 's what we get here - naught . porter stoddard ( beatty ) is a high - powered new york architect with a very good life indeed . his 25-year marriage to ellie ( diane keaton ) appears , on the surface , to be perfect . but , there are cracks just below this pristine surface . his wife is suspicious of his whereabouts , his kids do n't need him and his best friends , griffin ( garry shandling ) and mona ( goldie hawn ) , are in the midst of a divorce . porter tries to get control of his life before it is too late , but like a man fighting against quicksand , his struggle just sinks him deeper . at the 90-minute mark of " town & country " i asked myself , " what 's the point ? " i was n't entertained , i laughed three times - over silly little pratfalls - and spent most of the film marking time ' til the end . warren beatty wanders around with his character in a bewildered fog , making problems for himself by thinking with a part of his anatomy other than his head . keaton 's ellie is an empty headed flake who ca n't see the obvious as porter screws around on her . and , as you get to know them , who would want friends like griffin and mona ? the supporting cast is given nothing to do and , sometimes , does harm to the film , given the material they are forced to use . nastassja kinski plays a cellist with whom porter has a fling . the actress , who has , eerily , failed to age over the years , is miscast as the air - headed musician and the character does n't belong , anyway . jenna elfman is a sweet , but smart , ditz who joins porter and griffin on one of their tacked on misadventures . andie macdowell is absolutely painful to watch as a wealthy heiress ( is there any other kind in this movie ? ) who comes on to porter . the saving grace is a pair of quirky perf 's by charlton heston and marian seldes as macdowell 's very strange parents . glib rationalization of infidelity , like , " if he does n't speak english , it does n't count , " are a staple for the screenplay . the morality of the film seems to be , if you can get away with it , go for it . the cast of characters are mostly people you would n't want to know , never mind befriend . the actors do their best , but are hamstrung by the weak material . helmer chelsom , who made the outstanding , offbeat comedy " funny bones , " is mired in the mess of a script and never puts his imprint on " town & country . " the production values are high , as one expects from a big budget hollywood film . but , the opulent sets by caroline hanania , lavish wardrobes by molly maginnis and top - notch photography by william fraker can not save " town & country . " the film has had a long list of production and distribution problems and it might have been better , for me anyway , if hollywood just said no to this movie . i give it a d . 0 (NEG) [ "but , there is almost no life to original script by michael laughlin and buck henry and this is \" t&c 's \" downfall", "at the 90-minute mark of \" town & country \" i asked myself , \" what 's the point ? \" i was n't entertained , i laughed three times - over silly little pratfalls - and spent most of the film marking time ' til the", "warren beatty wanders around with his character in a bewildered", "the supporting cast is given nothing to do and , sometimes , does harm to the film , given the material they are forced to use", "is miscast as the air - headed musician and the character does n't belong , anyway", "andie macdowell is absolutely painful to watch as a wealthy heiress ( is there any other kind in this movie ?", "if he does n't speak english , it does n't count , \" are a staple for the screenplay . the morality of the film seems to be , if you can get away with it , go for", "characters are mostly people you would n't want to", "but are hamstrung by the weak", "helmer chelsom , who made the outstanding , offbeat comedy \" funny bones , \" is mired in the mess of a script and never puts his imprint on \" town &", "but , the opulent sets by caroline hanania , lavish wardrobes by molly maginnis and top - notch photography by william fraker can not save \" town & country", "the film has had a long list of production and distribution problems and it might have been better , for me anyway , if hollywood just said no to this movie . i give it a" ] the crown jewel of 1970 's irwin allen disaster movies , the poseidon adventure features an all - star cast including gene hackman and ernest borgnine spouting some of the most laughable dramatic dialogue in movie history while trapped on a cruise ship . the story begins on the u. s. s. poseidon 's big new year 's cruise , where we are introduced to the ensemble of people who will soon be the only passengers left alive . let 's see , there 's the new age preacher ( hackman ) who advises people to " pray to that part of god within yourself . " there 's the ex - cop ( borgnine ) who busted a hooker ( stella stevens ) six times -- then married her . there 's the hippie singer ( " there 's got to be a morning after . .. " ) who turns to the company of a lonely man ( red buttons ) once her brother is killed . and to round out the group : the elderly couple ( jack albertson and shelley winters ) who live aboard the ship , the beautiful teenage girl and her brother who are sailing alone and adventurous scotsman roddy mcdowall . we get to know these people a little too well in the first thirty minutes of the poseidon adventure , before straight- faced ship captain leslie nielson looks in horror at the giant tidal wave headed right for the ship . everyone 's in the giant ballroom at the time , shortly past midnight of the new year , when the ship turns first on its side , then completely upside down . the second- in - command wants everyone to wait in the ballroom until help arrives , but rebel hackman leads his small band of followers on a quest to the top of the ship . in this case , because the ship is overturned , the top is the bottom . or is the bottom the top ? either way , we get to see a lot of bottoms because the two beautiful women in the crew are both conveniently wearing hot pants during the scenes where the camera shoots upwards while they climb up ladders and -- in the ballroom scene -- christmas trees . thus begins an hour or more of hushed trips down long corridors , through burning rooms , etc . while the ship slowly fills with water behind them . it 's a race against the clock which is only mildly interesting . the poseidon adventure works more as a bad movie to laugh at , with all the melodrama that comes in - between the non - thrilling action scenes . the one note in borgnine 's one - note performance is to be a cranky old man that argues with hackman every step of the way while buttons and the hippie fall in love ( although since there is n't a sex scene , we never find out if his buttons really are red ) and albertson and winters wonder if they 'll live to see their grandson 's birth . shelley winters provides the most hilarious scene in the movie in a scene toward the end , where water has flooded the next two rooms of the ship and hackman is preparing to dive under with a rope for the rest of them to pull along . winters , who has been the whiny fat woman throughout the movie ( stevens even not - so- affectionately calls her " fatass " in one scene ) , finally finds her purpose . " i was the underwater swimming champ of new york three years running when i was seventeen , " she brags , and before hackman can even ask her how she could be seventeen for three years , she 's swimming through the water , her skirt billowing up around her hips , showing off her cellulite ( or do you call it shellulite ? ) ridden thighs . it 's not so much funny as innately disgusting , which pretty much sums up the poseidon adventure as a whole . 0 (NEG) [ "spouting some of the most laughable dramatic dialogue in movie", "where we are introduced to the ensemble of people who will soon be the only passengers left alive . let 's", "we get to know these people a little too well in the first thirty minutes of the poseidon adventure", ". it 's a race against the clock which is only mildly interesting . the poseidon adventure works more as a bad movie to laugh at , with all the melodrama that comes in - between the non - thrilling action", "( although since there is n't a sex scene , we never find out if his buttons really are red", "it 's not so much funny as innately disgusting , which pretty much sums up the poseidon adventure as a" ] while watching loser , it occurred to me that amy heckerling 's true genius as a film - maker is casting . in fast times at ridgemont high , she gave us sean penn 's jeff spicoli ; in look who 's talking , she turned bruce willis into a wise - cracking baby and provided john travolta with is first career revival ; in clueless , she found a star vehicle for the adorableness that is ( or was ) alicia silverstone . she seems to understand instinctively how to find performers the audience will like in spite of their flaws . unfortunately , she may also be starting to understand that she understands . giving appealing actors an appealing script creates likeable movies . giving appealing actors a script in which their appeal _ is _ the movie makes for unexpectedly awful films like loser . naturally , heckerling makes her protagonist an all - around swell guy . paul tannek ( jason biggs ) is a small - town boy who gets a scholarship to nyu , then instantly finds himself an island of compassion and diligence in the cold - hearted big city . paul is the kind of guy who gives up his seat on the subway to an elderly woman ; his roommates adam ( zak orth ) , chris ( tom sadoski ) and noah ( jimmi simpson ) are the kind of guys who blast their music and let their waterbeds leak all over paul . paul is also the kind of guy who adores girls from afar , in this case the lovely dora diamond ( mena suvari ) . dora has problems of her own , including a shortage of funds to pay her tuition and a relationship with a professor , edward alcott ( greg kinnear ) , that 's more than slightly one - sided . they 're two conscientious kids who love animals and homeless people , so clearly they belong together , even if paul is a loser . i must confess that , for a while , i was suckered in by heckerling 's casting . jason biggs is an engaging performer whose unconventional looks make him even easier to embrace ; suvari is a coquette with an undercurrent of intelligence . they 're pleasant enough to watch , and heckerling gives us plenty of scenes establishing how nice they are and how nice their respective antagonists are n't . then it gradually becomes clear that there 's virtually nothing to loser but scenes of that sort . in theory , loser is a romantic comedy , but there is scarcely a laugh to be found in the entire film ( notable exception : a cameo by a scene - stealing comic actor as a video store clerk ) . instead of taking any time to make the characters ' situations funny , heckerling spends 98 minutes making her characters ' situations pathetic . she shows none of the ear for quirky dialogue that sparked clueless , nor any of that film 's interest in lively plotting ( not surprisingly , since clueless 's plot came via jane austen 's emma ) . she simply turns the film into a pity party . since loser is a film composed almost entirely of establishing character , you might think that those characters would be interesting , or at least slightly complicated . instead , you have people either so perfect or so unredeemable that there 's no reason to watch them . paul is n't just a nice guy , he 's flawless ; consequently , he 's a central character who does absolutely no growing . his roommates are n't just inconsiderate , they 're actively evil - blackmailing professor alcott , drugging women with rohypnol and generally giving humanity a bad name . and professor alcott is n't just manipulative , he turns dora into his house slave . dora 's unthinking devotion to alcott is the only whiff of basic human frailty to be found in loser , and even that is n't explored in sufficient detail . there 's more ambiguity in the 30-second snippet from alan cumming 's broadway performance as the emcee in cabaret then there is in the rest of loser it 's one thing to turn supporting characters into comic exaggerations ; it 's another to flatten your leads into easily digestible mush . and it would help if those comic exaggerations were somehow . .. i do n't know . .. comic . still , i spent much of the film holding out the ridiculous hope that heckerling would somehow salvage loser from its tedium and justify my desire to like paul and dora . that hope dissolved the moment heckerling underscored a sequence of paul in the throes of unrequited love to simon and garfunkel 's " scarborough fair / canticle . " instead of giving the sequence a knowing wink - a reference to the graduate , a hint that paul is becoming an overly - sensitive clich - heckerling plays it deadly straight . even in the scenes that scream for a light comic touch and a bit of a poke at her protagonist 's foibles , she finds it impossible to stray from the gospel of paul as saint . clueless 's cher had her self - absorption and manipulative tendencies to balance her cuteness . in loser , amy heckerling shows a leaden hand with material that demands friskiness ( her one show of wit involves naming paul 's dorm " hunt 's hall " after erstwhile bowery boy huntz hall ) . her gift with casting proved to be her curse . loser may be a crashing bore , but gee , are n't those two kids swell ? 0 (NEG) [ "unfortunately , she may also be starting to understand that she", "giving appealing actors a script in which their appeal _ is _ the movie makes for unexpectedly awful films like", "i must confess that , for a while , i was suckered in by heckerling 's casting", "heckerling gives us plenty of scenes establishing how nice they are and how nice their respective antagonists are n't", "gradually becomes clear that there 's virtually nothing to loser but scenes of that", "but there is scarcely a laugh to be found in the entire", "instead of taking any time to make the characters ' situations funny , heckerling spends 98 minutes making her characters ' situations", "she shows none of the ear for quirky dialogue that sparked clueless , nor any of that film 's interest in lively plotting ( not surprisingly , since clueless 's plot came via jane austen 's emma )", "simply turns the film into a pity party . since loser is a film composed almost entirely of establishing character , you might think that those characters would be interesting , or at least slightly complicated . instead , you have people either so perfect or so unredeemable that there 's no reason to watch", "paul is n't just a nice guy , he 's flawless ; consequently , he 's a central character who does absolutely no", "and even that is n't explored in sufficient detail . there 's more ambiguity in the 30-second snippet from alan cumming 's broadway performance as the emcee in cabaret then there is in the rest of loser it 's one thing to turn supporting characters into comic exaggerations ; it 's another to flatten your leads into easily digestible mush . and it would help if those comic exaggerations were somehow . .. i do n't know . .. comic . still , i spent much of the film holding out the ridiculous hope that heckerling would somehow salvage loser from its tedium and justify my desire to like paul and", "that hope dissolved the moment heckerling underscored a sequence of paul in the throes of unrequited love to simon and garfunkel 's \" scarborough fair /", "instead of giving the sequence a knowing wink - a reference to the graduate , a hint that paul is becoming an overly - sensitive clich - heckerling plays it deadly", "she finds it impossible to stray from the gospel of paul as saint", "amy heckerling shows a leaden hand with material that demands friskiness ( her one show of wit involves naming paul 's dorm \" hunt 's hall \" after erstwhile bowery boy huntz hall ) . her gift with casting proved to be her curse . loser may be a crashing bore , but gee , are n't those two kids swell" ] capsule : john the baptist is sent from heaven to see is the world is worth saving . he must find some sign of hope in the people of newfoundland . this is little more than a tv skit in movie form . it is watchable and apparently will be released to theaters in canada , but it is unlikely to be seen on the international market . it is diverting but hardly a serious piece of cinema . , 0 ( -4 to +4 ) minor spoilers in this review . - written and directed by john w. doyle . - john the baptist sent to st . john , newfoundland . gets an invitation to live with a family . that extraordinary hospitality for some reason does not count as a reason for hope . - script has a lot of holes . - friend who adopts john is surprisingly militant and is planning actions to destabilize wall street . - john does look middle eastern , but somehow one expects john the baptist to be more dramatic . - there is a conspiracy in the vatican riding on the result of the visit , though that result seems small compared to the end of the world . - big yucks like seeing a nun give the pope a pedicure and evil pope 's aid praying to a mendes goat . - in large part a satire of life in newfoundland taking licks at things like the poor produce . the one good tomato in grocery ( by virtue of a miracle ) " must have fallen off the truck to toronto . " - based on a 20-minute short film . 0 (NEG) [ "but it is unlikely to be seen on the international market . it is diverting but hardly a serious piece of cinema . , 0 ( -4 to +4 ) minor spoilers in this", "written and directed by john w. doyle . - john the baptist sent to st . john", "script has a lot of holes", "but somehow one expects john the baptist to be more dramatic", "- big yucks like seeing a nun give the pope a pedicure and evil pope 's aid praying to a mendes", "in large part a satire of life in newfoundland taking licks at things like the poor produce . the one good tomato in grocery ( by virtue of a miracle ) \" must have fallen off the truck to toronto . \" - based on a 20-minute short" ] the " disney stick - to - what - you - do - best " rule states that disney 's animated features will invariably be sublime but whenever they try their hand at live - action kids ' entertainment , they will fail miserably . this goes double for occasions when they try to make a live - action adaptation of a popular cartoon ( remember the 1996 version of 101 dalmations ? i 'm still trying to forget ) . that rule proves more dependable than ever with inspector gadget , an insulting , despicable and , worst of all , expensive piece of trash trying to pass itself off as a viable children 's film . it will bore anyone over five and should prove unbearable for adults , even at its relatively skinny running time of 80 minutes . it 's films like this that make me want to go to my local blockbuster and rent something from the days when brains were more important than budgets and wit compensated for lack of fancy effects . just as matthew broderick began to convince me that there is hope for him as an actor yet , his career takes a nosedive to hell with his " role " as john brown , a depressed security guard with a big heart who hopes that one day he can become a real policemen and help the people around him . he dreams of heroic deeds and the subsequent admiration of his long time crush , dr . brenda bradford ( joely fisher ) . but after a few bizarre coincidences it seems that he has to dream no longer . john breaks every bone in his body while trying to save dr . brenda 's father . dr . brenda has been working on a " gadget project , " which would make a half - man half - machine super - policeman to fight crime . feeling indebted to john she decides to save his life by making him the subject , realizing his dream of becoming a policeman . now , when he says " go go gadget [ insert name of gizmo here ] " he can use all kinds of nifty gadgets to capture crooks , bang up bandits and mangle murderers . in the meantime , the evil claw ( rupert everett ) , the man responsible for the murder of the good doctor 's father is building a gadget of his own : a carbon copy of our inspector gadget except evil and john brown 's worst nemesis . claw has plans of world domination , which leaves it up to the inspector and his gadget mobile ( voice of d. l. hughley ) to save humanity from his wrath . state of the art effects fly at a mad pace in this$ 90 million dollar movie and yet director david kelogg never sets up a convincing atmosphere . had they replaced all the fancy gizmos with dollar bills they would have wound up with the same effect . what we see on the screen is like the raw ingredients of a meal : all of the expensive f / x amounts to nothing . part of the charm of the tv series was its sly irreverence which has gone down the toilet in the condescending movie . can kids really admire a hero so goody - two - shoes that he screams " hey ! you ran a stop sign ! " while hanging off the back bumper of a quickly moving vehicle ? i think that today 's children will respond better to somebody dashing , someone ultra - cool . they ( probably ) receive enough preaching from their parents and its an insult to their intelligence to assume that they want to go to an action movie to see a father figure kick butt . in addition to the more complex complaints above , there 's also the simple stuff : inspector gadget is boring , formulaic and achingly implausible . there 's no feeling that the director really cares about his story : more than any other film i 've seen this year , this one really feels like it was made on an assembly line . there 's a popular commercial ( for sprite , but that 's irrelevant ) running in movie theaters before features that spoofs the way major studios deal with projects . it consists of studio suits discussing a fictitious ( thank god ) movie called " death slug " . each executive gleefully presents a different merchandise tie - in ( slug taco ! slug on a stick ! ) . at the end one of them asks " what about the movie ? " another answers : " well , we do n't have a script yet , but we can bang one out by friday . " they probably could have replaced " death slug " with inspector gadget . this film contains the sort of logical contradictions and blatantly obvious adherence to formula that could have been eliminated had any attention been payed to the script . it 's no coincidence that most good children 's entertainment these days comes from animation . animated features take so long to maker that it becomes a labor of love for the filmmakers and they put care and pride into their work . these kinds of films are banged out quicker and a good percentage turn out worthless , sloppy and impersonal . the studios are becoming factories and films their assembled products . ? 1999 eugene novikov&#137 ;
0 (NEG)
[ "whenever they try their hand at live - action kids ' entertainment , they will fail miserably . this goes double for occasions when they try to make a live - action adaptation of a popular cartoon ( remember the 1996 version of 101 dalmations ? i 'm still trying to forget ) . that rule proves more dependable than ever with inspector", "an insulting , despicable and , worst of all , expensive piece of trash trying to pass itself off as a viable children 's", "it will bore anyone over five and should prove unbearable for", "even at its relatively skinny running time of 80 minutes . it 's films like this that make me want to go to my local blockbuster and rent something from the days when brains were more important than budgets and wit compensated for lack of fancy", "his career takes a nosedive to", "director david kelogg never sets up a convincing atmosphere . had they replaced all the fancy gizmos with dollar bills they would have wound up with the same", "all of the expensive f / x amounts to", "part of the charm of the tv series was its sly irreverence which has gone down the toilet in the condescending", "i think that today 's children will respond better to somebody dashing , someone ultra - cool", "an insult to their intelligence to assume that they want to go to an action movie to see a father figure kick", "there 's also the simple stuff : inspector gadget is boring , formulaic and achingly implausible . there 's no feeling that the director really cares about his story", "this one really feels like it was made on an assembly", "they probably could have replaced \" death slug \" with inspector", "this film contains the sort of logical contradictions and blatantly obvious adherence to formula that could have been eliminated had any attention been payed to the", "these kinds of films are banged out quicker and a good percentage turn out worthless , sloppy and impersonal . the studios are becoming factories and films their assembled products" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "this bit of lame physical humor is typical of disney 's meet the deedles , a movie more to be endured that watched", "she 'd start sticking her finger in her throat . and she 's right , it is that bad . ) directed without any imagination by steve boyum", "the film limps along at best . boyum attempts to keep the pace moving by staging stunts , stunts and more", "he seems incapable of finding any fresh ones", "there is the script by james herzfeld , whose only other film , tapeheads from a decade ago , was so awful that it is considered a cult", "however , is painfully bad rather than laughably bad . it will probably be in and out of the theaters like a tornado and is in no danger of becoming a classic anything", "gratingly abysmal", "does have a propensity for choosing some truly odoriferous material", "arguably the worst movie he 's ever been", "steve van wormer and paul walker , as stew and phil , give lifeless", "even the cinematography by david hennings is so prosaic that it manages to make yellowstone look", "to add insult to injury , hennings is fond of inappropriate close - ups , which only serve to remind us of the inanity of the dialog . put a ten - foot pair of lips on the screen", "\" how could this possibly be", "the movie takes a turn further downhill . its low point may have you looking for an airline barf bag", "it is rated pg for a little bathroom" ]
' bicentennial man ' is a family film without any external motive with the exception of providing the minimum dose of entertainment . chris columbus , the director who gave you " mrs . doubtfire " , plays on sentimental strings and mushy dialogue to make his point . based on the short story by isaac asimov , it is supposed to be a science fiction story about a robot who wants to be human , which as you can imagine is very difficult . starting in a not too distant future the film concentrates on a wealthy family that buys an android to help them with the house and children . soon this robot , called andrew ( robin williams ) shows abilities that makes his owner mr . martin ( sam neill ) very curious . andrew is interested in art and music , he " enjoys " making clocks , which clearly shows that he has genuine emotions . it shows out that because of a small failure in the " electrical circuits " and " positronic brain " andrew has accidentally gained a soul . this makes him unique and his evil creators worried . then mr . martin decides to teach andrew all the things he was n't programmed to do . soon andrew wants to leave the house in pursuit of freedom , destiny and love . this film can be described as a disney version of blade runner , a film that still shines as the biggest gem in the crown of science fiction . ever since that film , the subject of humanity still stands as one big controversy . what makes us human ? the thoughts ? the emotions ? is it possible to become human ? at what point can we say to a robot " now you are one of us " ? these are very tough questions that require a serious and thurral approach . it is obvious that columbus did n't take them very seriously . when you think about it , this film is not really meditating on the question " when is a robot no longer a machine , but a human being ? " , but tells a story about racial discrimination and lack of understanding . andrew is so complex and emotional from the very beginning that the audience immediately accepts him as a human being , and only the society has troubles with it . in other words , it is as far from reality as from the academy awards . further more , there are other annoying problems . to this day no serious filmmaker has dared to speculate about the future in more than 50 years from now . this has not been done for obvious reasons , because the filmmakers are well aware of the fact that they lack the knowledge and imagination to perform such a difficult task . columbus is the first to have crossed that line . the result is , as you might imagine , primitive , unrealistic and incredibly disappointing effort . the world is simply frozen in time . neither the society , fashion , culture or values have changed over 200 years . mom is still working at the kitchen , doing the dishes . when you think back to the late 17th century and then compare it to the world we live in today , you 'll see a slightly bigger difference . i am not saying that everything should change . it is unlikely that the human rights will change , but it 's even more unlikely that there will not be any progress in science , technology and fashion . i suppose it 's possible to watch this as a some sort of bizarre fairytale , but it 's really hard . robin williams is hidden behind c and speaking in a robotic way . as always he does a decent job , as does sam neill . but it does n't really matter . it is the sentimentality and length that turns this picture into a tiresome experience . pretty much like last year 's " meet joe black " , this is a primitive and unresolved story which is presented with a splendor and professionalism that it does n't deserve . great actors and a talented crew have worked hard to achieve something that will be instantly forgotten . when isaac asimov wrote this story , the future seemed far away and magical . everything seemed possible . now is the future of asimov 's time , and we know that it is not as magical and perfect as it seemed a long time ago . for the same reasons that the young generation of today can not be amazed by julius verne 's " 20 000 leagues under the sea " , so ca n't we accept this story as a potential reality . let us hope that next year 's " a. i. " will be more rewarding .
0 (NEG)
[ "without any external motive with the exception of providing the minimum dose of", "it is obvious that columbus did n't take them very", "this film is not really meditating on the question \" when is a robot no longer a machine , but a human being ? \"", "it is as far from reality as from the academy awards", "there are other annoying", "to this day no serious filmmaker has dared to speculate about the future in more than 50 years from now", "they lack the knowledge and imagination to perform such a difficult task", "the result is , as you might imagine , primitive , unrealistic and incredibly disappointing", "but it does n't really matter . it is the sentimentality and length that turns this picture into a tiresome experience", "this is a primitive and unresolved story which is presented with a splendor and professionalism that it does n't", "something that will be instantly forgotten", "it is not as magical and perfect as it seemed a long time ago", "young generation of today can not be amazed by julius verne 's \" 20 000 leagues under the sea \" , so ca n't we accept this story as a potential reality . let us hope that next year 's \" a. i. \" will be more" ]
in the continuation of warner brother 's franchise , joel schumacher has successfully killed this cash cow . what makes this film such a grand disappointment is the tremendous line up of talented people involved with the film . avika goldsman 's screenplay is such a cluttered mess that there is no suspense built from one scene to another . this coming on the heals of such a marvelously written project as " the client " is such a shock that it gives rise to thoughts that the latter film was a fluke . situations are developed and executed with no thought of reason other that to get the characters from one point to another . this is most glaringly brought to point by the appearance of alicia silverstone 's batgirl , who just happens to be alfred 's niece . the story of dr . victor freeze is told almost completely in dialogue as an afterthought . while working on a cure for a tragic decease contracted by his wife , dr . freeze is injured during a cryogenic procedure , and becomes a man who can only survive in a sub zero environment . now of course he has become a terrorist intent on turning the world into a frozen planet where only he can live . now the logic of that little sub - plot escapes me . if mr . freeze wanted to find a cure for his wife and bring her back from the brink of death , why would he want to have her live in a world with no warmth . this is indeed a cold hearted man . the development of poison ivy is no less contradictory . she wants to breed a form of plant life that can defend itself like an animal . she joins with mr . freeze in his plan to start a new ice age , destroying all animal life , therefore giving her plant creations no reason to have the defense mechanism she had been trying to breed into them . the characters have no logic . batman of course is no longer the dark knight of the earlier films . now that he has an adoptive son in burt ward / robin , bruce wayne is trying to be a father figure , constantly spouting out homilies about family and relationships , while at the same time not really having any . george clooney tries in vain to keep from rolling his eyes while reciting the dialogue given him . to say that his performance is workman - like is to be generous . his best performances are still on " e. r. " . bruce wayne has the most unromantic evening with his girlfriend ( played by elle macpherson ) , that it brings into question bruce 's latent homosexuality . there is no spark and no passion ( as there was for nicole kidman 's psychologist in " batman forever " ) between bruce and anyone other than alfred . and even that relationship is very reserved . robin comes off less charismatic that in the last film in the series . now he 's just a spoiled kid . in " batman forever " , burt ward wanted to be batman 's partner and friend . now , robin is suffering from ego deficiency . robin 's attraction for poison ivy is not believable , except for a boy around the age of 15 . his later flirtation with batgirl smacks of incest , even though they are not related in a traditional sense . chris o'donnell , once considered a rising star , successfully burns up on reentry with this performance . his robin needs nothing more than a good spanking . the less said about alicia silverstone 's performance the better . this talented young actress reads her lines with all the aplomb of a dubbing actor for a godzilla film . she was cast strictly for her commercial value and she knew it . this brings us to the villains . arnold scharzenegger walks through his part with all the concern of someone waiting for payday . the most rediculous scene is during mr . freeze 's imprisonment . the guards are at least a foot taller that arnold and yet fall at his hand in one of the most unbelievable fights scenes caught on film . it 's almost as ludicrous as seeing michael jackson as a gang member . umu thurman struts and coos her way through her part , showing a growing discomfort with her sex symbol status . her poison ivy has all the come hither sex appeal of may west in " sextette " ( 1978 ) . the only performances worthy of notice are pat hingle and michael gough . these two seasoned veterans carry their scenes with a dignity sorely lacking from the rest of the film . without going through the intricacies of the plot , there is one question that always comes to mind with this series ( except for the first " batman " ) , and that is how do these super villains manage to hire so many thugs only to abandon them at the final reel . mr . freeze is introduced with a team of hockey playing hoodlums that seem to have stepped out of an old kiss music video . every villain ( even the minor ones ) have to have a look , no one can be an individual with day glow paint on their face or some sort of elaborate costume . with this film , warner brothers has succeeded in retrograding the series back to it 's tv incarnation . the only thing missing from the action scenes are the superimposed titles detailing the pows ! , gwaaaa 's , and clang 's associated with the old series . you almost wonder if william dozier , producer of the tv series is collecting royalties from this film . the special effects ( by john dykstra ) and production design ( by barbara ling ) are the primary stars of this film . and it is a case of extravagance in the pursuit of nothing . every set , from ivy 's lair , the batcave , to freeze 's hideout is set with enough neon and fiberglass to keep the epa in paperwork for years to come . there is no one realistic set or set piece in the film . everything is set for maximum exposure . the special effects have that strange cartoon look that most rushed cgi effects have . there are homage thrown in by dykstra and his team to gene warren and his work on " the time machine " ( the growing plant scene ) but these scenes are so wroth with glaring color and art that they are almost obscured . joel schumacher has directed the film with no flair . camera angles are poorly chosen rehashing set ups from the old tv series . master shots pepper the action scenes , destroying any flow of kinetic quality they may have had . mr . schumacher is a good director . one just has to look back on the films " the lost boys " , " cousins " ( an underrated film ) and " the client " to know that . but " batman and robin " comes off as a mated made for tv movie . the film has no style of individuality . it is the cinematic equivalent to jell - o , pretty to look at , but empty . it is unfortunate that this film , even with it 's surprisingly strong box office has succeeded in doing what warner 's thought tim burton would do with the franchise . kill it . joel schumacher 's " batman & robin " is loud , colorful , action packed , and ultimately . . boring . stars .
0 (NEG)
[ "joel schumacher has successfully killed this cash cow . what makes this film such a grand disappointment is the tremendous line up of talented people involved with the film . avika goldsman 's screenplay is such a cluttered mess that there is no suspense built from one scene to another", "the latter film was a fluke . situations are developed and executed with no thought of reason other that to get the characters from one point to", "the characters have no", "george clooney tries in vain to keep from rolling his eyes while reciting the dialogue given him", "bruce wayne has the most unromantic evening with his girlfriend ( played by elle macpherson ) , that it brings into question bruce 's latent homosexuality . there is no spark and no", "and even that relationship is very reserved", "successfully burns up on reentry with this", "the less said about alicia silverstone 's performance the better", "reads her lines with all the aplomb of a dubbing actor for a godzilla film", "arnold scharzenegger walks through his part with all the concern of someone waiting for payday . the most rediculous scene is during mr . freeze 's", "most unbelievable fights scenes caught on film . it 's almost as ludicrous as seeing michael jackson as a gang", "showing a growing discomfort with her sex symbol", "warner brothers has succeeded in retrograding the series back to it 's tv incarnation", "and it is a case of extravagance in the pursuit of nothing", "there is no one realistic set or set piece in the film . everything is set for maximum exposure . the special effects have that strange cartoon look that most rushed cgi effects", "these scenes are so wroth with glaring color and art that they are almost obscured", "has directed the film with no flair . camera angles are poorly chosen rehashing set ups from the old tv series . master shots pepper the action scenes , destroying any flow of kinetic quality they may have had", "the film has no style of individuality . it is the cinematic equivalent to jell - o , pretty to look at , but empty . it is unfortunate that this film , even with it 's surprisingly strong box office has succeeded in doing what warner 's thought tim burton would do with the franchise", "and ultimately . . boring ." ]
long ago , films were constructed of strong dialogue , original characters , memorable plot points , and solid acting . one of the best examples that hollywood now completely ignore these qualities is found in the new film where the heart is . this opus about the power of love and the redemption of family follows the tragic , and i mean tragic , life of novalee nation ( natalie portman ) . hitting the road with her hick , guitar - playing boyfriend in a rusted - out gm , novalee dreams of the blue skies of bakersfield and sipping chocolate milk beneath a plastic umbrella with her unborn baby , due in a month . stopping off at a nearby wal - mart for a quick rest , novalee 's boyfriend decides to take off and leaves her there . novalee then decides to secretly hole up in the wal - mart ( because she 's not the brightest bulb in the stagelights ) . a wacky librarian ( keith david ) comes to her rescue when she goes into labor one night while she is camped in the outdoors section of the store . then the she moves in with a family , befriends everyone in town -- including ashley judd 's character ( who has five kids and still can work part - time as a nurse ) -- fights off religious freaks , survives a tornado , breaks the heart of the wacky librarian that saved her , receives an inheritance , builds a martha stewart - esque house , becomes an award - winning photographer , and manages to always look like she stepped out of a cosmo shoot , all while not once doing anything with her kid . this film is terrible . the directing is awful : it seems director matt williams had an index card with six angles written on it and used every one of them , over and over and over again . we get pathetic and ugly acting by natalie portman , who can do good work . a disjointed pacing of key scenes and a time structure so confusing that it would throw steve prefontaine off . a subplot that actually validates the actions of the boyfriend who abandoned novalee in the wal - mart parking lot . an embarrassing display of emotions by the characters , making the audience ill . taking two great comedic screenwriters , babaloo mandel and lowell ganz , and forcing them to write drama on par with oprah 's book club . altogether , it has the feeling of being trapped at home , watching a very bad television mini - series and wishing it to end , only the remote is broken . however , the main problem with the film is that it never answers the most poignant question brought up : where is the heart ? no one ever seems to find it in this piece of junk .
0 (NEG)
[ "long ago , films were constructed of strong dialogue , original characters , memorable plot points , and solid acting . one of the best examples that hollywood now completely ignore these qualities is found in the new film where the heart is", "this film is terrible . the directing is awful : it seems director matt williams had an index card with six angles written on it and used every one of them , over and over and over", "get pathetic and ugly acting by natalie portman , who can do good work . a disjointed pacing of key scenes and a time structure so confusing that it would throw steve prefontaine off", "an embarrassing display of emotions by the characters , making the audience", "forcing them to write drama on par with oprah 's book club . altogether , it has the feeling of being trapped at home , watching a very bad television mini - series and wishing it to end , only the remote is", "however , the main problem with the film is that it never answers the most poignant question brought up : where is the heart ? no one ever seems to find it in this piece of" ]
stars : armand assante ( mike hammer ) , barbara carrera ( dr . charlotte bennett ) , laurene landon ( velda ) , alan king ( charles kalecki ) , geoffrey lewis ( joe butler ) , paul sorvino ( detective pat chambers ) , judson scott ( charles hendricks ) , barry snider ( romero ) , julia barr ( norma childs ) / mpaa rating : r / review : in the 1982 updating of mickey spillane 's 1947 novel " i , the jury , " hard - boiled detective mike hammer is a vietnam vet who drives a shiny bronze trans am , dresses like don johnson in " miami vice " with less pastels , and has sworn off alcohol . however , he still smokes his lucky strikes , detests all forms of authority , and kills at a whim . beyond that , the updated film retains little or no resemblance to the original pulpy page - turner by spillane , probably the most infamous and often reviled of all mystery writers . the movie starts off with a bang : a howler of an opening credits sequence that is a cheap steal from the james bond series , complete with cheesy graphics and an overbearing jazz score by bill conti ( " rocky " ) . after that , the movie and the book begin the same , with the murder of jack williams ( frederick downs ) , a one - armed detective and hammer 's best friend . hammer declares that he will seek vengeance for jack 's death , and with the help of his devoted secretary , the blond and shapely velda ( laurene landon ) , and the alternately friendly / antagonistic police chief pat chambers ( paul sorvino ) , he is immediately on the killer 's trail . here the movie splits completely from the book , and dives into a convoluted and improbable tale of government conspiracy and mind control tactics involving the mafia , the cia , one of hammer 's vietnam vet buddies , and a kinky sex clinic . many of the same characters from the book appear in the movie , but they take on slightly different roles . for instance , charles kalecki ( alan king ) , a numbers runner and narcotics dealer in the book , turns into a suave mob boss . and , more importantly , hammer 's suspicious love interest , charlotte bennett ( barbara carrera ) , morphs from a run - of - the - mill psychiatrist into the coordinator and founder of the sex clinic . " i , the jury " is one of several cinematic renditions of spillane 's books ( including a 1953 version which was made in 3-d ) , but this film differs from those earlier versions in one major way : it includes all of the sex and violence spillane wrote about that could never be given screen treatment due to hollywood 's production code . although this takes the 1982 version of " i , the jury " closer to the core of the original subject matter , it is in this aspect that the film received the most criticism , because it took this new license to extremes that many argued surpassed what was in the book . rest assured , the movie not only includes a great deal of nudity , but it is thoroughly violent , especially toward women . it features one woman having her neck slashed , a set of twins forced to strip before being stabbed to death by a psychotic sexual deviant programmed by the cia ( judson scott ) , and another woman shot point - blank in the belly by hammer himself . no one would deny that spillane 's writing has a definite misogynistic nature , but the movie seems to take it a step further by giving it such glorious screen treatment ; its constant equation of sex and violence , much of which is played with the intention of being erotic , is quite unsettling . it 's no surprise that the movie , like the book , fades to black with a dead woman on the floor . " i , the jury " had a troubled production and was not well - supported by the studio that made it , which is one explanation why it did n't do well in theaters and many people have forgotten that it was ever made . the script was written by larry cohen , who is best known for his creatively cheesy but nonetheless effective monster movies , like " it 's alive " ( 1974 ) and its two sequels , " q " ( 1981 ) , and " the stuff " ( 1985 ) . cohen wrote the script thinking he was going to helm the project as well , but he was yanked from the director 's chair after only a week 's worth of shooting because he was already $100 , 000 over budget . he was quickly replaced by richard t. heffron , who has worked for the last three decades on a handful of undistinguished movies and dozens of television projects . heffron was obviously brought in not for his talent , but because he could make the movie rapidly and efficiently . it shows in the final product . cohen had personal interest in the updated version of hammer , but heffron has none . he shot the movie quickly and clumsily , and although some scenes ring true , most of them are flat , trite , and invariably dull . the movie features numerous car chases , shoot - outs , and stunts , but heffron 's background in television is the dominant tone ; despite the graphic violence and full - frontal nudity , " i , the jury , " takes on the air of a made - for - tv quickie , with no real punch or depth . but the problems in " i , the jury " run deeper than the technical . the central fault in this updating is mike hammer , whose character was lost in the shuffle while updating from the fifties to the eighties . because spillane wrote all his hammer mysteries in the first person , hammer 's character is central to the tale because all the events are filtered through his persona . we never really get that impression in the movie -- there is no first - person voice - over narration and some scenes do n't have hammer in them at all . consequently , a great deal of the texture of spillane 's storytelling is lost . the period updating turns out to be a detrimentally bad idea because much of hammer 's moral code is thrown to the wind . despite his characterization as a hard - nosed , violent , misogynistic killer , hammer always stuck fervently to his own moral code . the title itself , " i , the jury , " refers to his anti - establishment notion of being his own law . unlike private eyes who seek out the bad guys and then turn them over the police , hammer both pursues the criminal and exacts the punishment . in this way , he can be seen as " above the law , " but he still adheres strictly to her own personal code of conduct , his own morality . the movie forgoes that aspect of his character , and hammer comes off not only as amoral in society 's terms , but in any terms , especially his own . if anything , hammer always had his professionalism , but the movie does away with that in the first three minutes by showing him rolling in the sack with the wife of a client who had paid him to find out if that wife was being unfaithful . maybe the scene was intended for laughs , but it only cheapens hammer 's character and is , by all accounts , a lousy way to start the movie . the blame for hammer 's character ca n't be laid on assante 's shoulders , because despite some unnecessary marlon brandon - like mumbling , he delivers a fine performance . spillane never once described hammer 's physical attributes in any of the dozen books in which he appeared , so any actor could conceivably portray him . of course , because of the lack of written description , those who have read spillane 's books will have a strong personal notion of what hammer looks like , and therefore almost any screen incarnation will somehow fall short of expectations ( spillane , who played the character himself in 1963 's " the girl hunters , " is generally considered the best of the film hammers ) . the rest of actors are most un - noteworthy . with the exceptions of alan king and paul sorvino , everyone who appeared in " i , the jury " were up - and - comers who basically went nowhere . many of them ended up working in television ( like carrera , who had a short stint on " dallas " in the mid - eighties ) , which only adds to the made - for - tv atmosphere of the film . maybe someday , someone will manage to get the right elements together and make an effective film rendition of a spillane book , but this is certainly not it . 0 (NEG) [ "retains little or no resemblance to the original pulpy page - turner by spillane , probably the most infamous and often reviled of all mystery writers", "that is a cheap steal from the james bond series , complete with cheesy graphics and an overbearing jazz", "is quite unsettling . it 's no surprise that the movie , like the book , fades to black with a dead woman on the floor", "had a troubled production and was not well - supported by the studio that made it", "one explanation why it did n't do well in theaters and many people have forgotten that it was ever made", "most of them are flat , trite , and invariably dull", "\" takes on the air of a made - for - tv quickie , with no real punch or depth . but the problems in \" i , the jury \" run deeper than the technical . the central fault in this updating is mike hammer , whose character was lost in the", "we never really get that impression in the movie -- there is no first - person voice - over narration and some scenes do n't have hammer in them at all", "great deal of the texture of spillane 's storytelling is lost . the period updating turns out to be a detrimentally bad idea because much of hammer 's moral code is thrown to the", "the movie forgoes that aspect of his", "the scene was intended for laughs , but it only cheapens hammer 's character and is , by all accounts , a lousy way to start the", "and therefore almost any screen incarnation will somehow fall short of", "the rest of actors are most un - noteworthy", "everyone who appeared in \" i , the jury \" were up - and - comers who basically went nowhere", "manage to get the right elements together and make an effective film rendition of a spillane book , but this is certainly not" ] nostalgia for the 70s continues , as we see a revival of one of the decade 's greatest achievements : the marijuana comedy . however half baked does n't quite run with all its brain cells , and will make you appreciate the questionable talents of cheech and chong all the more . the plot follows the misadventures of four ne'er - do - well stoners . there 's the group 's unofficial leader , thurgood ( david chappelle ) , scarface ( guillermo diaz ) , brian ( jim breuer ) , and kenny ( harland williams ) . kenny gets into trouble , when , while on a munchie run , feeds his snack foods to a diabetic police horse . when the animal keels over , he finds himself accused of killing a police officer , and facing a$ 1 , 000 , 000 bail . his friends promise to raise money for a 10 % bail bond , but have no idea how . that is , until thurgood stumbles upon a stash of pharmaceutical marijuana being tested at the company where he works as a janitor . soon the three guys are dealing dope to raise funds , while avoiding the cops and rival dealer sampson simpson ( clarence williams iii ) . for a comedy , the film is pretty humorless . not that it does n't try . .. it 's just that the comic setups are obvious and the payoffs nearly all fall flat . the four leads are nearly all playing the same character . only williams stands out ( while still performing on the level of his humor - free comedy rocket man ) , but that is because he 's imprisoned throughout most of the film , giving a much needed change of pace ( but mostly swapping one set of obvious gags for another ) . to help out , the film is packed full of cameos . steven wright , tommy chong , janeane garofalo , willie nelson , snoop doggy dogg , and jon stewart all make appearances at one point or another . none of them work , beyond the simple " hey , that 's _ _ _ _ _ " level . in fact the funniest work in the film comes from chappelle . not as his bland pothead lead , but in his second role , as a pot - obsessed rapper , sir smokealot . granted , it 's pretty much a one - joke role , and there are n't a ton of laughs . .. but this film needs every one it can scrape up . to top it off , and in a move contrasting with the tone of the rest of the film , thurgood is given a love interest , mary jane ( rachel true ) . her role is that of the public service announcement : to inform us why doing drugs ( including pot ) is wrong . her character seems fabricated merely as a defense to the " your film promotes the use of drugs " camp . the film would have been better off by sticking with the " rebel " tone it so eagerly tries to claim . yet , in the end , it does n't really matter . watching the film clean and sober , you are bound to recognize how truly awful it is .
0 (NEG)
[ "however half baked does n't quite run with all its brain cells", "for a comedy , the film is pretty humorless", "it 's just that the comic setups are obvious and the payoffs nearly all fall flat . the four leads are nearly all playing the same character", "( but mostly swapping one set of obvious gags for another", "none of them work , beyond the simple \" hey , that 's _ _ _ _ _ \" level", "it 's pretty much a one - joke role , and there are n't a ton of laughs . .. but this film needs every one it can scrape up", "seems fabricated merely as a defense to the \" your film promotes the use of drugs \"", "the film would have been better off by sticking with the \" rebel \" tone it so eagerly tries to", "watching the film clean and sober , you are bound to recognize how truly awful it is" ]
0 (NEG)
anna and the king is at least the fourth film adaptation of margaret landon 's fact based novel the king and i , and it 's big , expensive and soulless . though good - looking , its lavish sets , fancy costumes and luscious cinematography can do little to compensate for the emotional wasteland that is peter krikes and steve meerson 's script . so much money was spent on pretty pictures that they forgot to actually make the movie interesting . this is jodie foster 's first movie since the jaw - droppingly brilliant contact came out more than two years ago and it is n't the best choice to show off her acting chops . she 's trapped in the stoic role of anna leonowens , the uptight , widowed british schoolteacher who comes to siam ( now thailand ) with her son to instruct the king 's ( chow yun - fat ) son in the ways of the west ( because " the ways of england are the ways of the world ) . the king likes her so much he puts her in charge of educating the whole royal family ( 58 kids with 10 more in the way ; impressive , no ? ) . the eldest prince is none too happy about this ( " father , have i offended you in some way ? why do you punish me with imperialist schoolteacher ? ) , but soon gets to know anna and her stern- mother - who - loves - you personality better and comes to like her . meanwhile , siam comes under attack from the neighboring british colony of burma . the king and his close advisors suspect that this is britain 's doing which arouses suspicion in siam , putting anna in an uncomfortable position . she is not sure what to make of this and seems to herself suspect british involvement in the crisis but works to diffuse the king 's prejudices . he , though self - righteous as ever , ca n't help but be influenced by the eloquent anna and they slowly , quietly , develop affections for each other . there is a scene in the middle of anna and the king where one of the king 's younger daughters dies . it 's your classic deathbed scene , with the girl 's mournful eyes staring at her father , who tries only semi- successfully to maintain his composure . anna then comes in and cries a bit . the sequence was there for a purpose : to evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer . i 'm usually a sucker for such scenes and yet this time , i was just sitting there , my emotions untouched . this remains true through all of the movie which remains emotionally barren . we never develop connections to the characters ; never given a reason to care . this ludicrously long epic was directed by andy tennant , whose last film was ever after , one of my favorites of 1998 . i do not doubt tennant 's ability to put together a decent movie , but anna and the king , aside from being psychologically inept is also technologically deficient . the sets and scenery are gorgeous , but the camerawork does nothing to convey its grandeur . even terrence malick managed to do more with flora and fauna in his otherwise abysmal the thin red line than tennant can muster from $75 million worth of props and a shoot in malaysia . we feel like the camera is restricted to its immediate point of view ; there are no wide tracking shots or sweeping zooms to fill us with larger - than - life awe . i liked both foster and yun - fat , who give entertaining if not terribly involving performances in the two lead roles . foster 's generally stoic persona serves her well here , as she is playing a reserved , formal and rather underdeveloped character . yun - fat is especially effective , perfectly conveying the king of siam 's sangfroid permeated with violent outbursts . what does anna and the king in is its inability to involve the viewer in its characters and situations . the cast is great , the director is talented , and the budget is lavish , but this ill - advised remake of the classic rogers and hammerstein movie is unable to utilize any of those things to form a compelling whole . this is an emotionless costume epic . 0 (NEG) [ "can do little to compensate for the emotional wasteland that is peter krikes and steve meerson 's script . so much money was spent on pretty pictures that they forgot to actually make the movie", "it is n't the best choice to show off her acting", "she 's trapped in the stoic role of anna", "( because \" the ways of england are the ways of the world", "( 58 kids with 10 more in the way ; impressive , no ?", "yet this time , i was just sitting there , my emotions untouched . this remains true through all of the movie which remains emotionally barren . we never develop connections to the characters ; never given a reason to care . this ludicrously long", "but anna and the king , aside from being psychologically inept is also technologically deficient", "but the camerawork does nothing to convey its grandeur . even terrence malick managed to do more with flora and fauna in his otherwise abysmal the thin red line than tennant can muster from$ 75 million worth of props and a shoot in malaysia . we feel like the camera is restricted to its immediate point of view ; there are no wide tracking shots or sweeping zooms to fill us with larger - than - life", "rather underdeveloped", "its inability to involve the viewer in its characters and situations", ", but this ill - advised remake of the classic rogers and hammerstein movie is unable to utilize any of those things to form a compelling whole . this is an emotionless costume epic" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "unfortunately , robin hood : men in tights has none of the easy going humor of blazing saddles , none of the fun acting of young frankenstein , is devoid of the charm of spaceballs , and is even lacking the good , solid dialogue of history of the world . it is , in short , one of the worst movies i have seen mel brooks , or anybody else ,", "the plot borrows heavily from the well - received kevin costner movie of last year , robin hood : prince of thieves . this is not surprising in and of itself , and could have been used to great comic effect , mainly by parodying scenes from the orginal", "mel brooks does not take advantage of this , however , and uses the film to launch several ideas into the air , none of which connect and none of which are explained later on . the movie 's scenes could be shuffled around in any order and one would be hard pressed to", "( i am sure you can see the obvious joke", "a good adventure plot that is sadly unused", "but the dialogue in the movie is simply excruciating . neither actor has any good words to work with , and the lines simply are n't funny , nor believable", "the worst", "this particular scene is so out of place and so badly acted , and followed by so many other scenes of equal miserable ideas , that i really felt like leaving the theatre . much of the audience continued to look at their watches throughout , and some left the", "chuckles were few and far between , and they mostly dealt with visual jokes ( such as an old , beaten up horse from \" rent - a - wreck \"", "whatsoever . scenes that could have been classics , such as the archery contest , are ruined by poor acting", "the largest problem with the movie is that it is simply offensive . the basic", ", is not witty nor", "is also offensive to me and others in the audience ( not all jewish , either ) . the movie simply tries to hard trying to be funny and by and large", "could", "but is also made terribly offensive . the", "if you can stand an hour and half of unfunny dialogue , excruciating visual humor , old puns , ancient jokes and bad acting . if you ca n't , do n't even bother watching this miserable film" ]
with his successful books and movies , michael crichton is doing well . with early successes with westworld ( 1973 ) and coma ( 1978 ) , and recent films such as jurassic park ( 1993 ) , his films have been entertaining . however , he seems to taken a wrong turn somewhere with sphere . this $100 million mess by good director barry levison ( disclosure ) is dull , long winded , and a huge disappointment . considering the huge budget , the all star cast , and a story by crichton , sphere is majorly disappointing . the film opens with norman goodman ( hoffman ) , a psychologist who thinks he is visiting an airplane crash to console the survivors . however , when he arrives , he his told by supervisor barnes ( peter coyote ) that he is actually investigating an spacecraft . along with goodman is mathematician harry adams ( jackson ) , biologist beth halperin ( stone ) and ted fielding ( liev schrieber . ) they investigate the spaceship , find a massive sphere inside , meet an alien intelligence called jerry , and basically weird crap happens . unfortunately , something went wrong along the way with sphere . the film starts off entertaining enough , but throughout this very long movie , it just gets sillier and sillier . the film jaunts along from scene to scene , never fully explaining what is going on . the actors and directing do n't help , either . hoffman is on autopilot ( and almost seems embarrassed ) throughout the movie , churning out dull lines , and probably wondering what the hell he is doing in this movie . stone is useless , displaying no emotion , and fails to convince the audience that she has any feelings for hoffman . the only person who seems to be having fun in this movie is jackson , who 's funny as the mathematician who slowly goes crazy and entering the sphere . but he 's hardly in it , and by the end of the film he is just as dull as hoffman and stone . the same goes for peter coyote , who hams it up as the officer , but is then killed off halfway through . the director , barry levinson , who directed the better crichton adaptation disclosure ( 1994 ) messes up with the drama and the action . the drama scenes are , quite frankly , boring , and the action scenes suffer from overkill , with levison throwing the camera all over the place ( much like the godawful speed 2 , 1997 ) the writing does n't help much , either . although crichton is great with plots , he 's terrible with dialogue , and practically every line in sphere is a dud . the speech is too simple , i was hoping it would be a bit more intelligent . practically every line is just stating the obvious . none of it is smart . also , where the hell did the budget go ? the sphere itself is impressive , and there 's a few nice special effect shots , but where the$ 100 million went is anyone 's guess . there 's a giant squid attack in the picture , but not once does the audience see the squid , even though the film has a massive budget . i assume the picture was trying to build up tension by not showing the squid , and if handled correctly it probably would . but the whole scene is done badly , and i was just hoping we could see the stupid squid . finally , the film has no idea what genre to be . levison ca n't handle his own plot . it leaps from hokey sci - fi , to horror , and finally the shining / event horizon psychological thriller . and , of course , the film is very much like the abyss ( 1988 ) , although in it 's defense , crichton did write sphere before the abyss was released ( and is far superior to this rubbish . ) it 's not all that bad though . the plot is all right , there 's a few jump scenes ( although nothing very scary ) and there 's the occasionally interesting bit . but overall , sphere is a big waste of some fine talent , a lot of money , and a potentially good movie . not really worth seeing . overall rating= review by david wilcock
0 (NEG)
[ ". however , he seems to taken a wrong turn somewhere with", "", "dull , long winded , and a huge", "majorly", "entertaining", "it just gets sillier and", "the film jaunts along from scene to scene , never fully explaining what is going", "the actors and directing do n't", "hoffman is on autopilot ( and almost seems embarrassed ) throughout the", "churning out dull lines , and probably wondering what the hell he is doing in this", "stone is useless , displaying no emotion , and fails to convince the audience that she has any feelings for", "he 's hardly in", "he is just as dull as hoffman and", "messes up with the drama and the", "drama scenes are , quite frankly ,", "the action scenes suffer from", "levison throwing the camera all over the place ( much like the godawful speed 2 , 1997 ) the writing does n't help much ,", "great with", "he 's terrible with", "every line in sphere is a", "the speech is too", "hoping it would be a bit more", "every line is just stating the", "none of it is", "where the hell did the budget go", "where the $100 million went is anyone 's", "but not once does the audience see the", "even", "and if handled correctly it probably would . but the whole scene is done badly , and i was just hoping we could see the stupid", "no idea what genre to", "ca n't handle his own", "( and is far superior to this rubbish .", "big waste of some fine talent , a lot of money , and a potentially good movie . not really worth" ] director luis mandoki 's last film was the superb , serious 1994 drama " when a man loves a woman , " but his luck has ultimately run out with his latest picture , " message in a bottle , " which is the worst type of romance , a movie that tugs so relentlessly and violently at the heartstrings that it miraculously manages to dry out your eyes rather than tear them up . everything that occurs can be telegraphed way in advance since this same type of story has been done many times before --- and much better --- so there 's an absence of suspense , and the film ultimately moves at such a very , very deliberate pace , as if it is trying to make great , " meaningful " statements and plot developments , that it just becomes a tedious bore to sit through . " message in a bottle " begins with theresa osborne ( robin wright penn ) , a single mother and researcher at the chicago tribune , whom finds a bottle washed up on shore as she is jogging one day . inside the bottle is an anonymous love letter addressed to a mystery woman named catherine , and theresa is so taken aback by its honesty and sweetness that she shows it around at her work and , to her objection , finds that her editor has placed the letter in the newspaper . soon , a heavy research is conducted to find out who wrote the letter based on the type of bottle and a ship logo on the top of the typed message , and after it is traced to a man named garrett blake , theresa finds herself traveling to the outer banks , a boating town in north carolina , to find out the specifics of the message . of course , garrett turns out to be a handsome , rugged man around theresa 's age and played by kevin costner . she is immediately charmed by him , but hesitant to unveil the truth of why she is there , and finds that catherine was garrett 's late wife who died a few years earlier . do you think you know where this is headed ? most likely you do , and i would n't call it giving away anything to say that by the picture 's end , the movie has fallen into deep , artificial melodrama that i did n't buy for a second . if there are any positive things to say about " message in a bottle , " it is that the performances by robin wright penn and paul newman , as garrett 's stubborn , but loving father , are far above par to be in such a wasteful , " shaggy dog " love story , and that the cinematography by caleb deschanel takes great advantage of the beautiful eastern coast , and paints chicago as an equally alluring city . meanwhile , costner has yet to redeem himself for some of the less - than - stellar films that he has made recently . it seems that with such bad luck , he would n't want to make another movie set near water , but here he is again with one of the main , and most ridiculous , centerpieces set on a storm - swept sea . the other actors are all , sadly , wasted , including illeana douglas , an underused actress who seems to always get stuck with the " friend " roles , here playing penn 's confidante and co - worker at the tribune . the first half of " message in a bottle " plays like a hum - drum , trite television movie for the lifetime channel , as theresa spends a great deal of time " getting to know " garrett , with dialogue that is not the least bit stimulating or entertaining . usually , i am the type of person to practically salivate over dialogue - laden sequences since the film is no doubt trying to develop the characters and their relationships , but here it all rang with a resounding falseness since the dialogue felt " written , " and not as if people were really " talking . " when the main characters of a film have very little of interest to say to each other , and are not particularly interesting themselves , you know immediately that you are in trouble . i swear that while watching " message in a bottle , " i felt as if i had just read the screenplay in its entirety before arriving at the theater ( heck , in actuality i 'm not even familiar to the novel this is based on , by nicholas sparks ) . always one step ahead of the characters , the movie ran so closely and tightly to the constraints of the tried - and - true hollywood melodrama , the film strip often seemed to almost be in danger of tearing . nobody wins prizes for guessing that garrett will eventually find out theresa 's secret , and that several obstacles will come within their ways of living happily ever after . this same exact problem occurred in last year 's very , very similar ( watch this , and you will realize just how similar i mean ) meg ryan - nicolas cage romantic drama , " city of angels . " although theresa is deeply touched by the " heartfelt " letter that she finds in the bottle , perhaps the filmakers might have been better off finding a message in a bottle of their own , preferably before filming began . it should have read , " memo to screenwriters : use you brain ! " 0 (NEG) [ "but his luck has ultimately run out with his latest picture , \" message in a bottle , \" which is the worst type of romance , a movie that tugs so relentlessly and violently at the heartstrings that it miraculously manages to dry out your eyes rather than tear them", "everything that occurs can be telegraphed way in advance since this same type of story has been done many times before --- and much better --- so there 's an absence of suspense , and the film ultimately moves at such a very , very deliberate pace , as if it is trying to make great , \" meaningful \" statements and plot", "a tedious bore to sit through", "do you think you know where this is headed ? most likely you do , and i would n't call it giving away anything to say that by the picture 's end , the movie has fallen into deep , artificial melodrama that i did n't buy for a second", "are far above par to be in such a wasteful , \" shaggy dog \" love", "it seems that with such bad luck , he would n't want to make another movie set near water , but here he is again with one of the main , and most ridiculous , centerpieces set on a storm - swept sea", "sadly , wasted , including illeana douglas , an underused actress who seems to always get stuck with the \" friend \"", "plays like a hum - drum", "with dialogue that is not the least bit stimulating or entertaining", "here it all rang with a resounding falseness since the dialogue felt \" written , \" and not as if people were really \" talking . \" when the main characters of a film have very little of", "are not particularly interesting themselves , you know immediately that you are in trouble", "the movie ran so closely and tightly to the constraints of the tried - and - true hollywood melodrama", "seemed to almost be in danger of tearing", "this same exact problem occurred in last year 's very , very similar ( watch this , and you will realize just how similar i mean", "perhaps the filmakers might have been better off finding a message in a bottle of their own , preferably before filming began . it should have read , \" memo to screenwriters : use you brain !" ] i remember really enjoying this movie when i saw it years ago . i guess my memory really sucks . there is very , very little that is funny in caddyshack . the laughs are few , and far between , and what there are really are n't that great . caddyshack , as the name implies , more or less centers on one young caddy working at an exclusive country club . michael o'keefe plays said caddy . why they cast this unknown , fairly untalented actor in the lead role is completely beyond me . the movie does n't seem to have a real plot , just a series of scenes that are little more than opportunities for the rest of the cast to mug at the camera . the only real story , if you can call it that , was a subplot involving the mentally disturbed greens keeper , bill murray , who is having his own private little war against a gopher who is ruining the course . most of the marginal laughs come from rodney dangerfield and ted knight mugging and overacting for the camera -- with painfully limited success . bill murray is slightly amusing in places , but fairly wasted . the biggest waste of all is chevy chase , who did n't even crack a smile on my face with his character 's lame zen - like approach to golfing . there are a few decent scenes involving the interaction between dangerfield and knight , but they are far too infrequent to carry the movie . i guess that 's what you get for basing a story around an unknown kid . i 'm not sure what the writers of this thing were thinking of , but i really think it was something far removed from comedy as they were putting pen to paper . nothing about this movie works . it would n't have taken a genius to figure out that this thing was n't going to fly . most of the scenes just could n't possibly be funny . it 's as if the writers where off in their own little brain damaged world . i 'm sure scenes involving chevy chase and his oneness with the golf ball were supposed to be funny . in reality , they were painfully embarrassing to watch . there is a scene at the club pool where all the caddies go wild for the " hot babe " of the movie walking by in her bikini . olive oil would have filled out this swimsuit better than this girl . everything about this movie was just completely implausible as far as the comedy was concerned . maybe if you were drunk out of you mind or high off some sort of illegal narcotic this thing might be funny . but for the rest of us , stay the hell away from caddyshack . 0 (NEG) [ "i guess my memory really sucks . there is very , very little that is funny in caddyshack . the laughs are", "what there are really are n't that", "why they cast this unknown , fairly untalented actor in the lead role is completely beyond me . the movie does n't seem to have a real plot , just a series of scenes that are little more than opportunities for the rest of the cast to mug at the", "the only real story , if you can call it", "most of the marginal laughs come from rodney dangerfield and ted knight mugging and overacting for the camera -- with painfully limited", "is slightly", ", but fairly", "the biggest waste of all is chevy chase , who did n't even crack a smile on my face with his character 's lame zen - like approach to", "are a", "but they are far too infrequent to carry the movie . i guess that 's what you get for basing a story around an unknown", "not sure what the writers of this thing were thinking", "but i really think it was something far removed from comedy as they were putting pen to paper . nothing about this movie works", "would n't have taken a genius to figure out that this thing was n't going to fly . most of the scenes just could n't possibly be funny . it 's as if the writers where off in their own little brain damaged world . i 'm sure scenes involving chevy chase and his oneness with the golf ball were supposed to be", "in reality , they were painfully embarrassing to", "olive oil would have filled out this swimsuit better than this girl . everything about this movie was just completely implausible as far as the comedy was concerned . maybe if you were drunk out of you mind or high off some sort of illegal narcotic this thing might be funny . but for the rest of us , stay the hell away from caddyshack" ] tommy lee jones chases an innocent victim around america who is trying to prove that she did not kill her spouse . the fugitive ? not quite ? this is the plot for double jeopardy , another fugitive copycat without the action , excitement , and good acting that the original had . there are other slight differences besides one movie being bad and the other good ; this time tommy lee jones plays a parole officer not a us marshall , clever huh ? oh and the fugitive ashley judd was framed by her own husband ( bruce greenwood ) who needed to collect two million dollars in life insurance money not a one armed man . both movies are on video . make the wise choice and pick the fugitive . there are so many flaws in double jeopardy , it is laughable . while serving time in prison , libby parsons ( judd ) discovers that she can never be charged for committing the same crime twice . learning that her husband is still alive , she decides to serve her time in prison , find him , retrieve her son , and kill her husband if necessary . when the strict parole officer travis lehman ( jones ) stands in her way , libby decides to break the rules ( who knows why ? ) and continue her plan , despite the fact that if she gets caught , she 's going back to jail . director bruce beresford spends way too much time trying to convince the audience that libby misses her son . every other scene , we are given a shot of libby staring and crying at his picture . in an action movie like this , valuable time wasted on these shots takes away more opportunities for libby to get up and do something . all that is needed in this type of movie is a short scene in which libby tells herself or a friend " i miss my son . " nothing more , nothing less . dr . kimble of the fugitive did n't look at one picture of his dead wife , his primary concern was to save himself . libby at times shows this same determination but not nearly enough . ashley judd and bruce greenwood both are excellent actors but if they continue to do movies like this , they will be typecast for the rest of their careers , kind of like their doomed co - star tommy lee jones . winning an oscar for the fugitive must have convinced jones that audiences will never get tired of his i - do - my - job - whether - they - are - innocent - or - guilty roles . people still pay to see his movies and he makes plenty of money so i guess he was right . though i do n't think he will win another oscar again . the ultimate mistake in the script is what eventually becomes of libby parsons . even if she was excused for disobeying her parole officer , the number of other crimes she commits while on the run are too numerous to count . burglary , assault , grand theft auto are some of libby 's slipups . the message of the movie is you can break all of the small laws as long as you 're innocent of the major crime . hopefully criminals wo n't use double jeopardy as a reference in court for why they are innocent . that would just be plain stupid . 0 (NEG) [ "the fugitive ? not quite ? this is the plot for double jeopardy , another fugitive copycat without the action , excitement , and good acting that the original had . there are other slight differences besides one movie being bad and the other good", "clever huh", "there are so many flaws in double jeopardy , it is laughable", "spends way too much time trying to convince the audience that libby misses her son . every other scene , we are given a shot of libby staring and crying at his picture . in an action movie like this , valuable time wasted on these shots takes away more opportunities for libby to get up and do something . all that is needed in this type of movie is a short scene in which libby tells herself or a friend \" i miss my son . \" nothing more , nothing", "but if they continue to do movies like this , they will be typecast for the rest of their careers , kind of like their doomed co - star tommy lee jones . winning an oscar for the fugitive must have convinced jones that audiences will never get tired of his i - do - my - job - whether - they - are - innocent - or - guilty", "people still pay to see his movies and he makes plenty of money so i guess he was right . though i do n't think he will win another oscar again . the ultimate mistake in the script is what eventually becomes of libby", "the message of the movie is you can break all of the small laws as long as you 're innocent of the major crime . hopefully criminals wo n't use double jeopardy as a reference in court for why they are innocent . that would just be plain" ] while i am not fond of any writer 's use of cheap , easy puns , i am not completely above using them myself when the situation merits it ( witness my review of _ pecker _ from a couple of issues ago ) . so here goes : the juvenile , college - set black comedy _ dead_man_on_campus _ is dead on arrival . strait - laced med student josh ( tom everett scott , who manages to remain somewhat likable throughout ) 's blemish - free academic record breaks out into fs , thanks to the influence of his ever - partying roommate , cooper ( mark - paul gosselaar ) , who introduces josh to the sex- and booze - filled nights that come with university life . with the threat of losing an academic scholarship ( josh ) and a life cleaning toilets for his dad looming ( cooper ) , what are two good - hearted slackers to do ? easy -- look for a loophole , which they find in the form of an unbelievable rule in the school charter that states that if a student 's ( or students ' ) roommate commits suicide , the surviving student ( s ) shall receive straight as . so instead of studying , josh and cooper attempt to seek out the most depressed student out there , move him into their dorm room , and drive him to suicide before the semester ends . director alan cohn and screenwriters michael traeger and mike white ( working from a story by anthony abrams and adam larson broder ) take their sweet time to build the head of steam that comes with josh and cooper 's diabolical plot . until then , the usual boring cliches of college life ( booze , sex , more booze ) fill the time , which is made to feel longer by _ saved_by_the_bell _ alumnus gosselaar 's sitcom - bred mugging . that said , once cohn and company do build some comic momentum , they mishandle it . the introduction of the manic , psychotic cliff ( lochlyn munro ) , a potential roommate for josh and cooper , brings some demented life to the uninspired proceedings before being hastily written out in favor of two less interesting candidates : paranoid nerd buckley ( randy pearlstein ) and british death rocker matt ( corey page ) . one wishes that cliff would reappear , but , as they say , be careful what you wish for . not surprisingly , he does resurface , and it then becomes clear that this is a character that is best taken in a small dose ; almost immediately , his extended boorish and sociopathic antics loses its novelty . the same can be said about all of _ dead_man_on_campus_. whatever morbid appeal the far - fetched premise has quickly evaporates , and the self - absorbed characters , especially cooper , pretty much grate from the get - go . _ dead_man _ does n't grow tiresome ; it already _ is _ once the clever opening titles are through . as it slogs along to a cheesy , happy - for - all - parties conclusion , _ dead_man _ lives up to its title and then some -- not only does the movie grow even more tired and die , it still insists on going on . .. like a zombie . 0 (NEG) [ "while i am not fond of any writer 's use of cheap , easy puns , i am not completely above using them myself when the situation merits it ( witness my review of _ pecker _ from a couple of issues ago", "college - set black comedy _ dead_man_on_campus _ is dead on", "what are two good - hearted slackers to do ? easy -- look for a", "until then , the usual boring cliches of college life ( booze , sex , more booze ) fill the time , which is made to feel longer by _ saved_by_the_bell _ alumnus gosselaar 's sitcom - bred mugging . that", "the introduction of the manic , psychotic cliff ( lochlyn munro ) , a potential roommate for josh and cooper , brings some demented life to the uninspired proceedings before being hastily written out in favor of two less interesting", "but , as they say , be careful what you wish for . not surprisingly , he does resurface , and it then becomes clear that this is a character that is best taken in a small dose ; almost immediately , his extended boorish and sociopathic antics loses its novelty . the same can be said about all of _ dead_man_on_campus_. whatever morbid appeal the far - fetched premise has quickly evaporates , and the self - absorbed characters , especially cooper , pretty much grate from the get - go", "dead_man _ does n't grow tiresome ; it already _ is _ once the clever opening titles are through . as it slogs along to a cheesy , happy - for - all - parties conclusion , _ dead_man _ lives up to its title and then some -- not only does the movie grow even more tired and die , it still insists on going on . .. like a" ] boy , what a great movie ! ! keanu reeves and morgan freeman acting together , the director of the fugitive ( andrew davis ) back again to give us another thriller , and the beautiful rachel stealing beauty weisz thrown in to boot . how could this not be a blockbuster ? all die - hard keanu reeves fans , read on . ol " much ado about nothing " plays eddie kasalivich , a machinist studying at the university of chicago . to help pay for the rent , he takes on this job making the machinery for a hydrogen project being conducted by the university . by happy coincidence , he also happens to stumble on the solution to the final problem and thus is the only one who knows the key to performing this feat of miracle physics . this project holds great promise : taking hydrogen from water and giving out more energy than is put in . a potential solution to the earth 's energy problems without the pollution cost . surely nobody could have any problems with that ? morgan freeman is paul shannon , the project 's sponsor . he works for a very powerful organization that disagrees with the paternal project leader as to how quickly technology should be released to the public . he figures the world will disintegrate into anarchy if the results of the project are released too quickly . so he murders the project leader , blows up the project ( great but short scene here , sort of like a mini id4 city - devastation thing ) and tries to simulate the experiment at some other hi - tech hush - hush location . unfortunately , our intrepid machinist and an english physicist ( weisz ) manage to get away and now follows a fugitive - like chase using a not too dissimilar rehash of that movie script . this movie is just dying for a comparison with " the fugitive " . both movies use chicago as the main city and since the place does n't change much , i guess we ca n't really blame the setting for the paucity of atmosphere . the trouble here is that where the fugitive had harrison ford and tommy lee jones , chain reaction only has keanu reeves and fred ward . credit to them , but we are n't really given much of a chance to empathise with the characters . where ford was able to work within the confines of the movie to evoke sympathy , eddie kasalivich just doesn9 t seem very believeable and reeves ' character is never given the time to develop . it might have been a better investment in film to give the characters more depth and spend less time on the chase sequences , which frankly , get quite boring after a while . harrison ford was " the man against the world . " he was alone in a world where he did n't know who to trust and it came across real well . in chain reaction , keanu reeves is n't alone . now that would be fine if the fleeing couple had some chemistry and could really portray some paranoia , vulnerability and confusion . we do n't get this . we get him thinking he 's still in speed , only now our sandra bullock has an english accent , probably does n't drive a bus , and hardly contributes anything to the movie . the producers here probably thought , " hey , what if keanu and rachel do n't hit it off too well ? let 's rope in that morgan to help us out . " well , keanu and rachel did n't hit it off well on the screen , and most unfortunately , morgan freeman does n't help much either . the only thing we come to really know of paul shannon is that he always has a full load of cigars in his cigar holder . it 's not really his fault . once again , andrew davis just does n't take the time to build his characters . someone must have convinced him that this time round , cinema dollars are best earned by making the movie run like a headless chicken . the flying inkpot rating system : * wait for the tv2 broadcast . * * a little creaky , but still better than staying at home with gotcha ! * * * pretty good , bring a friend . * * * * amazing , potent stuff . * * * * * perfection . see it twice . 0 (NEG) [ "now follows a fugitive - like chase using a not too dissimilar rehash of that movie script . this movie is just dying for a comparison with \" the fugitive \" . both movies use chicago as the main city and since the place does n't change", "the trouble here is that where the fugitive had harrison ford and tommy lee jones , chain reaction only has keanu reeves and fred", "eddie kasalivich just doesn9 t seem very", "it might have been a better investment in film to give the characters more depth and spend less time on the chase sequences , which frankly , get quite boring after a", ", probably does n't drive a bus , and hardly contributes anything to the movie . the producers here probably thought , \" hey , what if keanu and rachel do n't hit it off too well", "keanu and rachel did n't hit it off well on the screen , and most unfortunately , morgan freeman does n't help much either . the only thing we come to really know of paul shannon is that he always has a full load of cigars in his cigar holder", "andrew davis just does n't take the time to build his characters . someone must have convinced him that this time round , cinema dollars are best earned by making the movie run like a headless chicken . the flying inkpot rating system" ] there are those of us who think of leslie nielsen as the bumbling , hapless straight man from the hysterical " naked gun " films , crack an immediate smile and forgive him of whatever wavering movie spoof he 's committed himself to starring in since . the wavering movie spoofs , however , are less forgivable . to be fair , " wrongfully accused , " the send - up in question and nielsen 's third parody since the last " gun , " is n't quite as excruciatingly humorless as his " dracula : dead and loving it " or " spy hard , " which is a mighty good thing . nielsen is still in tip - top comedic form , able as ever to deadpan his way through even the most horrible puns , but he really needs a screenplay that plays off his talents instead of relying on them , and he needs one very soon . " wrongfully accused " meshes together the premises of " the fugitive " and " patriot games , " casting its always game star as ryan harrison ( get it ? ) , a master violinist who is drawn into an affair with a married temptress ( kelly le brock ) . she , however , sets harrison up to take the rap for the murder of her husband ( michael york ) - a crime actually committed by a one - armed , one - legged , one - eyed man ( aaron pearl ) . harrison is arrested , found guilty and sentenced to death , but escapes from a prison bus , of course , and then is pursued by a determined u. s. marshal named fergus falls ( richard crenna , unnecessarily riffing off of tommy lee jones ' already smirky oscar - winning role ) . there 's also a mystery brunette ( melinda mcgraw ) and an assassination subplot involving the u. n. secretary general , but like any of it matters . " wrongfully accused " gets off to an assured start , with an in - concert nielsen , touted " lord of the violin " by bare - chested posters , pulling a jimi hendrix on his musical instrument as hundreds of tuxedo - clad mosh in front of the stage . nice touch . most of the scenes that follow , however , never top the opener . ( hysterical exceptions : the mentos and " baywatch " goofs . ) movie parodies are crammed in at an almost - subliminal rate , but most are empty . when a giant snake lunges onto the screen and snatches a cast member a la " anaconda " or baseball players disappear into a " field of dreams " -esque cornfield , there 's really nothing to laugh at . other moments , like an interlude in a fishing shop , are so unfocused that you 're not sure what you 're supposed to be laughing at . there seem to be more cheap references than frenzied send - ups here , so it 's possible that director / writer pat proft , by bombarding the viewer with a careless mixture of the two , guarantees something is sure to stick . and what does stick sticks well , particularly the jabs at genre conventions like stylized flashbacks and hard - boiled dialogue , what those " naked gun " s ( which proft collaborated on ) did great ; these bits are so on - target that they allow you to remember " wrongfully accused " as an almost - halfway - there spoof instead of a lame - brained failure . the movie might have been cursed to begin with , opening fast on the heels of " mafia ! " , from proft colleague jim abrahams , and " baseketball , " from proft colleague david zucker , but it 's a strong possibility that nobody is going to be accusing " wrongfully accused " of being nielsen 's funniest . 0 (NEG) [ "think of leslie nielsen as the bumbling , hapless straight man from the hysterical \" naked gun \" films , crack an immediate smile and forgive him of whatever wavering movie spoof he 's committed himself to starring in", "however , are less forgivable . to be fair , \" wrongfully accused , \" the send - up in question and nielsen 's third parody since the last \" gun , \" is n't quite as excruciatingly humorless as his \" dracula : dead and loving it \" or \" spy hard", "able as ever to deadpan his way through even the most horrible puns , but he really needs a screenplay that plays off his talents instead of relying on them , and he needs one very soon", "but like any of it matters", "most of the scenes that follow , however , never top the opener . ( hysterical exceptions : the mentos and \" baywatch \" goofs . ) movie parodies are crammed in at an almost - subliminal", "but most are", "\" -esque cornfield , there 's really nothing to laugh at . other moments , like an interlude in a fishing shop , are so unfocused that you 're not sure what you 're supposed to be laughing at", "seem to be more cheap references than frenzied send - ups", "by bombarding the viewer with a careless mixture of the two , guarantees something is sure to stick . and what does stick sticks well , particularly the jabs at genre conventions like stylized flashbacks and hard - boiled", "as an almost - halfway - there spoof instead of a lame - brained", "the movie might have been cursed to begin", "but it 's a strong possibility that nobody is going to be accusing \" wrongfully accused \" of being nielsen 's" ] please do n't mind this windbag letting off a bit of steam . .. i just want to warn all of y' all not to waste your hard - earned$  on anaconda . it 's not even worth a 99-cent video rental . do n't listen to ebert on this one ( he has no clue what he 's talking about ! ) btw i accompanied my friend to this one because she was * required * to watch it on assignment ( she reviews movies for a local paper ) . now i 'll actually back up my huffing and puffing . here goes : movie : anaconda rydain 's bottom line : wait for it to come on usa up all night . even then , i doubt it 's worth the price of jolt ( to help you stay up that late ! ) why do i hate anaconda ? let me count the ways . .. first of all , this movie gets way too many snake facts wrong . as an ophiophile ( snake lover ) , i can tell you that a ) anacondas would never reach a length of 40 feet , b ) they 're scared of people , c ) cases of snakes eating adult humans are extremely rare because human shoulders are too wide to fit in a snake 's mouth , and constrictor snakes do n't kill what they ca n't eat , d ) people can outrun snakes with no trouble , especially heavy ones like anacondas , e ) if an anaconda did eat a human , it would need at least 6 months of sitting on its butt to digest the huge meal , therefore it could n't run around gobbling up everybody else in the cast , and f ) snakes have no vocal cords , so they ca n't make funny squealing noises . whew . i was prepared to suspend reality if the movie would have been worth it . unfortunately , anaconda was about as suspenseful and exciting as watching paint peel . my friend and i even successfully predicted who would live at the end . anybody can tell the bad guy is going to die eventually . that was a pity because his character was one of the few reasons my friend and i did n't give up and fall asleep . he was the most likable character in the movie . who would n't enjoy somebody who looks like a deranged walt whitman ? anaconda did have its cute moments : arguments between ice cube 's character and the british guy , for instance . however , those small flashes of wit were not worth the other hour and twenty - eight minutes of boring schlock . the writers had - and blew - a multitude of opportunities to insert funny lines . i was quite disappointed with a scene where a young guy tells a young lady that the jungle makes him horny . did she retort with a clever , ego - withering comeback ? of course not ! " i 'm trying to work ! " gee , that 's even dumber than the crap comebacks i come up with . she could have told him to go find a knothole or something . .. ; p but i will admit , there was just one scene where i was surprised at the outcome ( hint : it involves the evil guy and miss crap comebacks ) . as for the plot , i 'm still trying to find one . this movie was basically an excuse to get a boatload of people into dangerous territory where they could get snarfed by ridiculous , computer - generated anacondas with the eyes and fangs of vipers and the faster - than - gravity downward acceleration of a harrier jet . ( harrier snake ? ) not to mention instant digestion so they could go snarf countless other victims . the writers tried to throw in some sort of plot twist ( should i call it a plot knot because it made no sense ? ) in which the sick guy 's g - friend kisses the evil dude and suddenly everybody hates said evil dude and starts trying to kill him . that was about as clear and understandable as mission : impossible . ( if someone could explain that movie to me , i 'd be most grateful ! all the old - guy double agents looked the same ! ! ) i was n't inspired by the acting , save for the evil dude . i ca n't blame the actors , though . it 's not their fault they had a cruddy script to work with . this concludes rydain 's diatribe on a shameless exploitation ( and perpetuation ! ) of public fear of snakes . comments , flames , anyone ? -rydain the atomic cheese , fresh from chernobyl dairies !
0 (NEG)
[ "please do n't mind this windbag letting off a bit of", "want to warn all of y' all not to waste your hard - earned  \$ on", "not even worth a 99-cent video", "do n't listen to ebert on this one ( he has no clue what he 's talking about !", "now i 'll actually back up my huffing and", "rydain 's bottom line : wait for it to come on usa up all night . even then , i doubt it 's worth the price of jolt ( to help you stay up that late ! ) why do i hate anaconda ? let me count the", "this movie gets way too many snake facts wrong . as an ophiophile ( snake lover ) , i can tell you that a ) anacondas would never reach a length of 40 feet , b ) they 're scared of people , c ) cases of snakes eating adult humans are extremely rare because human shoulders are too wide to fit in a snake 's mouth , and constrictor snakes do n't kill what they ca n't eat , d ) people can outrun snakes with no trouble , especially heavy ones like anacondas , e ) if an anaconda did eat a human , it would need at least 6 months of sitting on its butt to digest the huge meal , therefore it could n't run around gobbling up everybody else in the cast , and f ) snakes have no vocal cords , so they ca n't make funny squealing noises . whew . i was prepared to suspend reality if the movie would have been worth it . unfortunately , anaconda was about as suspenseful and exciting as watching paint peel . my friend and i even successfully predicted who would live at the", "anybody can tell the bad guy is going to die eventually . that was a pity because his character was one of the few reasons my friend and i did n't give up and fall asleep", "however , those small flashes of wit were not worth the other hour and twenty - eight minutes of boring schlock . the writers had - and blew - a multitude of opportunities to insert funny lines . i was quite disappointed with a scene where a young guy tells a young lady that the jungle makes him horny . did she retort with a clever , ego - withering comeback ? of course not ! \" i 'm trying to work ! \"", "that 's even dumber than the crap comebacks i come up with . she could have told him to go find a knothole or", "there was just", "( hint : it involves the evil guy and miss crap comebacks", "as for the plot , i 'm still trying to find one", "movie was basically an excuse to get a boatload of people into dangerous territory where they could get snarfed by ridiculous , computer - generated anacondas with the eyes and fangs of vipers and the faster - than - gravity downward acceleration of a harrier jet . ( harrier snake ? ) not to mention instant digestion so they could go snarf countless other victims", "writers tried to throw in some sort of plot twist ( should i call it a plot knot because it made no sense ? ) in which the sick guy 's g - friend kisses the evil dude and suddenly everybody hates said evil dude and starts trying to kill him . that was about as clear and understandable as mission : impossible . ( if someone could explain that movie to me , i 'd be most grateful ! all the old - guy double agents looked the same ! !", "was n't inspired by the acting , save for the evil dude . i ca n't blame the actors , though . it 's not their fault they had a cruddy script to work with . this concludes rydain 's diatribe on a shameless exploitation ( and perpetuation ! ) of public fear of snakes . comments , flames , anyone ? -rydain the atomic cheese , fresh from chernobyl dairies" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "everyone and their grandma said \" sure , go for it ! \" . uhhm , my question is . .. did anyone bother reading this stupid script ? ?", "critique : it 's not so much that this is a bad movie , than the fact that it sucks . this movie is chock - full of one - dimensional characters , contains no actual humor that i was able to zone in on , zero tension or", "plot holes the size of my big ass , lame pop tunes played to mask nothing going on in the movie , and molly ringwald , vivica a. fox and lesley anne warren tossed away in throwaway", "but unfortunately for williamson , he went nowhere with the bright foundation , making references to the exorcist and dr . zhivago , which i doubt many in his target market will appreciate", "also forgot about suspense , with all of his characters based on incomprehensible decisions , unbelievable motivations and simply boring us with all of their trite", "but how can we forgive the biggest one - dimensional character in any film , holmes ' rival in the film , mrs . tingle 's complete unprofessionalism being let go by all others around her ( are teachers allowed to behave that way nowadays ?", ", hired to be the poor man 's version of skeet ulrich ( who himself is a poor man 's version of johnny depp ! ) . all in all , this movie was laughable for me , provided me with no insight into anything , demonstrated williamson 's genuine lack of directorial skills alongside a juvenile", "unfortunately forgetting to give her character any believability , humanity or capacity to comprehend . no hip lines , no cheap thrills , just a dull time at the movie theater . if you want to see a funny teenage movie , go see detroit rock city ( 8/10 ) , and thank my drunken , sorry ass in the morning . little known facts about this", "this is actor barry watson first full feature film . he has played the character of \" seth \" on tv 's \" malibu shores \" several times" ]
in a typical cinematic high school , the football jocks have sex with the girls and then dump them , but not before the boys ' scores are dutifully recorded in their little black books . as the sexual acts take place , the other guys hang out nearby , guzzling beer and grunting like pigs . in the rage : carrie 2 , robert mandel 's terminally bland sequel to carrie , there is n't a single original moment . only amy irving returns from carrie , and the talent of the rest of the sequel 's cast is impossible to determine given the stupefying mediocrity of rafael moreu 's script . as rachel , the horror story 's lead , emily bergl gives one of the least scary performances in recent memory , but it is n't exactly her fault . the director asks for little from his actors , which is precisely what he gets . sporadically in this lame and lifeless movie , rachel will cause school lockers and windows to fly open , but generally she just mopes around looking like a victim . her fellow students delight in tormenting her . of course , she will get her revenge in the obligatory ending bloodbath in which she will decapitate and castrate the boys and crush the girls with burning timbers . as the movie marks time until its big finale , it throws in some repugnant scenes , hoping to turn audience 's stomachs . rachel 's girlfriend commits a horrible and realistic suicide after the boy who made " love " to her the night before spurns her . ( he gets major points in his black book for this , but his buddies say he would have gotten more if he had had sex with her after her death . ) even a helpless puppy is run over , and we see his poor , little body flipping over and over under a truck . the teenagers in the movie are completely blas ? about it all . " does n't it offend you that some girl offed herself yesterday , " asks one of the few kids with a conscience . " why ? " responds his nonplussed girlfriend . " she was n't anybody . " remarkably devoid of any energy , especially for a horror flick , the movie makes one yearn for a fast forward button on the theater 's armrest . with material this bad , the film 's only hope is to go for parody , but it is n't smart enough to realize it . even the mandatory epilogue is as pointless and predictable as the rest of the movie . the rage : carrie 2 runs 1 : 45 . it is rated r for graphic violence , teen alcohol abuse , sex , nudity and profanity and would be acceptable only for older teenagers .
0 (NEG)
[ "there is n't a single original moment . only amy irving returns from carrie , and the talent of the rest of the sequel 's cast is impossible to determine given the stupefying mediocrity of rafael moreu 's script . as rachel , the horror story 's lead , emily bergl gives one of the least scary performances in recent", "but it is n't exactly her fault . the director asks for little from his actors , which is precisely what he", "sporadically in this lame and lifeless", "as the movie marks time until its big finale , it throws in some repugnant scenes , hoping to turn audience 's", "remarkably devoid of any energy , especially for a horror flick , the movie makes one yearn for a fast forward button on the theater 's armrest . with material this", "the film 's only hope is to go for parody , but it is n't smart enough to realize it . even the mandatory epilogue is as pointless and predictable as the rest of the", "the rage : carrie 2 runs 1 : 45 . it is rated r for graphic violence , teen alcohol abuse , sex , nudity and profanity and would be acceptable only for older" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "one wierd", "it could n't decide which genre it is", "this was when the makers blew the script out the airlock and just decided - \" screw it , let 's just kill everybody \"", "it tried to scare you in entirely the wrong", "instead of using clever tricks or trying to build up to a scare - this movie just uses loud noises , sudden camera shifts and short quick bursts of gore . .. .. yawn . .. . everyone 's seen it all before and knows when to expect it", "no complex or interesting dialogue to speak", "could have", "just nothing new here that any of us have n't seen before in aliens or hellraiser" ]
the king and i , a warner brothers animated , musical feature , recycles the classic story of a woman who challenges the heart of a king , with obvious results . when anna ( miranda richardson ) , a british schoolteacher , travels to saim to educate the king 's ( martin vidnovic ) children , she learns that the king is treating his people unfairly , and must say something to the greedy ruler . meanwhile , the king 's prime minister ( ian richardson ) , the stereotypical villain , plots to overthrow the king , taking the throne . the last , and most predictable , main subplot deals with the king 's son ( allen d. hong ) , and his love for a servant , tuptim ( armi arabe ) , and how he conflicts with his feelings , and the ancient laws of saim . not even the lone strong character of anna can save the unbelievably horrible waste of talent , as the king and i 's problems could fill the blank pages of a journal . i will only note the major difficulties , for it would take pages to elaborate on every detail . the screenplay , written by arthur rankin , peter bakalian , jacqeline feather , and david seidler , which is based upon the play written by richard rodgers and oscar hammerstein , has some of the worst dialogue written in a film within recent memory , as every time the obnoxious king would shout , " etc , etc , etc , " i would cringe . literally . speaking of cringing- i did quite a bit of this during the rather short film , which is a classic display of terrible filmmaking . besides the repetitive dialogue from the king , on the whole , the songs seem out of place , and unlike the lyrics , are unmagical . the sole song which is used cleverly is " getting to know you , " which is used as anna shows the children the great outdoors , which they have never been exposed to . unlike disney animated features , the king and i 's songs do n't add to the film , and are as uneffective as could be . take the following scenario as an example , as the sheer horror of the king and i 's music is at its worst . you 're being hunted by a dragon ! what do you do ! ? sing a happy song ! martin vidnovic voices the king without effort or emotion- you hear the saying two negatives do n't make a positive ? believe it ! with the terrible dialogue that the king has , along with his awful voice track , the king is completely unbelievable , only shows mild signs of any personality , and the only thing that changes in the king is that he says " etc . , etc . , etc . , " more and more as the film progresses . no personality at the beginning of the movie , none at the end . and where does this character 's personality change ? hey , i thought anna was supposed to change him ! is n't that the whole plot ? the prime minister 's hideous sidekick ( darrell hammond ) brings his share of cringes as well - oh no ! another one of his teeth fell out ! hardy - har - har ! he is supposed to bring laughs for the kidlets , but even at age five i would have cringed while watching him . by the way this review is going , you may think the reasoning for my hate for this film is due to not liking animated films- hence why i hate this movie , because the king and i is a disgrace to animation . animated films , such as 1994 's the lion king and 1998 's the prince of egypt , are among my favorite movies of all time . the animation team does design their share of well animated settings , so this makes it easier to take my mind off of the annoying king , until i realize that day and night switch back in fourth within seconds . i have not read the play , or seen the oscar winning , 1956 film adaption , but from what i can tell , the screenplay for the 1999 version completely butchers the play , for the king and i is never magical , nor interesting . if it was n't for miranda richardson , who voices anna with feeling , the king and i could earn the title , " worst movie of the decade . " instead , the king and i will just go down as among the year 's worst . the bottom line- avoid this movie at all costs . not even young children , the target audience in this film , will enjoy it . not the slightest bit .
0 (NEG)
[ "and most", "not even the lone strong character of anna can save the unbelievably horrible waste of talent , as the king and i 's problems could fill the blank pages of a journal . i will only note the major difficulties , for it would take pages to elaborate on every", "has some of the worst dialogue written in a film within recent memory , as every time the obnoxious king would shout , \" etc , etc , etc , \" i would cringe . literally . speaking of cringing- i did quite a bit of this during the rather short", "which is a classic display of terrible filmmaking . besides the repetitive dialogue from the king , on the whole , the songs seem out of place , and unlike the lyrics , are", "unlike disney animated features , the king and i 's songs do n't add to the film , and are as uneffective as could", "take the following scenario as an example , as the sheer horror of the king and i 's music is at its worst . you 're being hunted by a dragon ! what do you do ! ? sing a happy song ! martin vidnovic voices the king without effort or emotion- you hear the saying two negatives do n't make a positive ? believe it ! with the terrible dialogue that the king has , along with his awful voice track", "king is completely", "and the only thing that changes in the king is that he says \" etc . , etc . , etc . , \" more and more as the film progresses . no personality at the beginning of the movie , none at the end . and where does this character 's personality change ? hey , i thought anna was supposed to change him ! is n't that the whole plot", "but even at age five i would have cringed while watching him . by the way this review is going , you may think the reasoning for my hate for this film is due to not liking animated films- hence why i hate this", "because the king and i is a disgrace to animation . animated films , such as 1994 's the lion king and 1998 's the prince of egypt , are among my favorite movies of all time", "it easier to take my mind off of the annoying king , until i realize that day and night switch back in fourth within", "but from what i can tell , the screenplay for the 1999 version completely butchers the play , for the king and i is never magical , nor interesting", ", the king and i could earn the title , \" worst movie of the decade . \" instead , the king and i will just go down as among the year 's worst . the bottom line- avoid this movie at all costs . not even young children , the target audience in this film , will enjoy it . not the slightest bit" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "not even her starring role in this turkey , unfortunately , can save it from being an unbelievable exercise in cheese . it 's so uniquely", "that it 's oddly fascinating . the ridiculous attempt at drama here leaves the audience somehow transfixed , wanting to see how this dud plays out", "i have never read this book , but i sure hope it 's 10 , 000 times better than its film adaptation . if not , then i 'm at a complete", "comically absurd", "the audience 's expectations of a convincing portrayal of prehistory are immediately", "what follows is a laughably choreographed", "i wo n't detail the story any further ; this seems enough to illustrate my point . this movie is really stupid . it never even gives the audience a chance to suspend their", "the obvious comparison between the appearance of cro - magnon man in prehistory and the rise of feminism in our century is about as subtle as burning a wonderbra in front of charlton", "it whacks the message into the", "the movie depends upon a lot of make - up", "but much of it is unconvincing . as stated", "this movie also suffers from its new age", "maybe the music sounded a lot more fresh or original during 1985 , but now it sounds dated and cliched , like poorly conceived elevator music . add to this the film 's faux - mysticism , including spirit animals and dream visions , and a narrator who sounds like a psychic you 'd expect to hear on a 1 - 900 number , and you get a movie that has serious problems being", "the clan of the cave bear is rated r , though it 's probably one of the most inoffensive offensive films i 've seen in quite a while", "although this may sound gratuitous , i 'm sure , it 's so cheesy that it probably wo n't bother most people . the clan of the cave bear is a bad movie", "though it 's so", "( which is why i awarded this turkey two stars", "however , i 'm only basing this observation on the fact that the book is almost invariably better than the movie" ]
salaries of hollywood top actors are getting obscenely large these days and many find this to be the main reason for skyrocketing movie budgets . actors who demand such salaries might be greedy , but in some instances they are quite justified , because many films would never be watched or even made without their participation . proof for that can be found even in the realm of low - budget movies , and one fine example is breakaway , 1995 thriller directed by sean dash and starring ( in ) famous figure skater tonya harding . face of tonya harding is most prominently featured on movie 's poster , but the main star of the film is terri thompson who plays myra , attractive woman who works as a courier for gangster . one day she decides to retire , but her employers are anything but enthusiastic about that . realising that her life suddenly became worthless , myra starts running for her life , followed by professional assassins . terri thompson being the actual star of the film instead of tonya harding becomes quite understandable after the scenes that feature former figure skater . although tonya harding displays convincing martial arts abilities , her acting leaves much to be desired . on the other hand , her disappointing efforts are hardly out of place in the film that lacks originality , believable characters and situations and actually represents anything that gave b - films a bad name . martin sheen 's brother joe estevez , whose character looks like he had entered from another movies ' set , is the only bright spot of breakaway . unfortunately , he appears in this film too little too late to prevent viewers from realising why tonya harding 's silver screen debut proved to be her last film .
0 (NEG)
[ "salaries of hollywood top actors are getting obscenely large these days and many find this to be the main reason for skyrocketing movie budgets . actors who demand such salaries might be greedy , but in some instances they are quite justified , because many films would never be watched or even made without their", "proof for that can be found even in the realm of low - budget movies , and one fine example is", "her acting leaves much to be", "her disappointing efforts are hardly out of place in the film that lacks originality , believable characters and situations and actually represents anything that gave b - films a bad", "character looks like he had entered from another movies '", "is the", "unfortunately , he appears in this film too little too late to prevent viewers from realising why tonya harding 's silver screen debut proved to be her last film" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "movies like six days , seven nights make me mad because talented people like harrison ford , anne heche , and ivan reitman put a lot of hard work in to a script worth about ten cents . ? the script was written by michael browning , and he decided that , instead of thinking up new ideas , he 'd rehash a lot of", "omit even the slightest bit of character", "for instance ) . ? six days , seven nights is simply a", "( they have to kiss , because otherwise nobody will want to see the", "for no obvious reason , they 'll accidentally run into pirates who try to kill them . ? oh , yes ! ? i feel so good about this story . ? instead of using characterization to propel the events , it will be completely random , and yet totally predictable ! ? imagine that . do n't get me", "dialogue is drowned out by the actors ' sheer force of talent .", "even though the pirate subplot is profoundly dumb", "my contempt for this film surfaces", "the picture feels like it 's been hacked to pieces -- i would n't be surprised if five or six inept subplots have been edited out completely . ? the ones that are here are as bad as they come ( i think i let out a very audible groan when they get the first glimpse of the pirate ships", "i 'd just like to shake the producers by the shoulders and scream , \" why did you pick this awful script ! ? \" ? the film is outright", "but some of the elements are subtly horrifying", "this is a serious problem in real", "but six days , seven nights reduces any chance of complexity to a weak plot", "? in a script that lacks even a glimpse of intelligent subtlety , i find it odd that such a strangely insulting device ended up in the story . this is summer movie season , but that does n't mean our movies have to be dumb", "1998 so far has been one of the worst years in recent memory for summer blockbusters . ? when i was in line for six days , seven nights , i heard the woman in front of me ask for \" two tickets to that new harrison ford movie . \" ? why did n't she know the name of the film ? ? i suppose she just did n't care . ? what bothers me even more is that the people who make these big - budget pictures do n't realize that their films are becoming parodies of themselves . ? good actors should sign to good scripts , and if hollywood insists on making flicks to rake in cash , they least they could do is assume that we 'd like to spend our money on a story worth more than ten cents" ]
0 (NEG)
0 (NEG)
[ "zardoz \" is a goofy cinematic debacle so fundamentally misconceived and laughably executed that it takes on a bizarre enjoyment quality all its", "the rampant bumblings of one edward d. wood jr . has a movie been so silly and so serious at the same", "wood 's career can be explained by two things : he had no money and he had no talent . boorman , on the other hand , can not court such excuses to explain \" zardoz \" ( or his follow - up film , the equally awful \" exorcist ii : the heretic \"", "although you would n't know it from this film , boorman does indeed have", "unfortunately , the bigger they are , the harder they fall , and when boorman falls , the resounding impact can be heard for miles", "but , despite all this reaching , the resulting movie is more unintentionally funny than intentionally enigmatical or compelling . the events take place in the distant year 2293 , but there is little of the typical futuristic movie - ness to be found . in fact", "bellows seriously laugh - inducting statements like , \" the gun is good . the penis is evil . \" that line alone is worth the movie 's cult following", "i say \" hilarious \" because that is exactly what \" zardoz \" is . it is obvious that boorman did not intend it to be so ; he made this film with the straightest of", "hard time believing that as production moved forward , he did n't get even the slightest inkling of how patently ridiculous it was becoming . just looking at connery is enough to give one the giggles", "which is the only reason i can imagine a studio would green - light this", "are about the only good thing in \" zardoz \" besides the inadvertent", "and it 's a wonder it did n't end his career", "maybe boorman made it as an extended lsd trip . people high on illicit substances are the only ones i can imagine enjoying this asinine silliness as anything more than a completely unintentional" ]
the kids in the hall are an acquired taste . it took at least a season of watching their show on hbo before i became a believer . maybe after watching a half dozen kids in the hall movies , they would grow into the big screen . my recommendation is that , unless you are a big fan of the kids , skip the film . as it is , their first -- and most likely only -- attempt at a full length film lacks the qualities that made their comedy work on tv . a big - budget and glossy production can not make up for a lack of spontaneity that permeates their tv show . the kids go through the motions , but you get the feeling that they are nt really having fun doing so . and this makes it more difficult for the audience to enjoy their antics . brain candy is a bunch of skits tied together by the story of a pharmaceutical company that develops a new drug to cure depression . in typical sketch - comedy tradition , each actor plays several roles . doctor cooper ( kevin mcdonald ) and his team create the drug . then , under pressure from don roritor ( mark mckinney ) , founder and president of roritor pharmaceuticals , dr . cooper releases the drug into the marketplace . the ensuing distribution of the new happy pill throughout the populace drives the rest of the film . at about 90 minutes , brain candy still seems long . the best thing about sketch comedy -- and the kids are no exception -- is the ability to quickly deliver the laughs , then go on to another quick skit . but with the additional set - up necessary in telling a longer , coherent story , the laughs just do nt come fast enough . strangely , the show is even more tame than it was when on cable tv . the movie makes several attempts at risqueness -- mostly by pointing up the gayness of one of scott thompsons characters -- but they seem almost forced ; as if they have to live up to a pg rating . one of the best bits , though , does make use of thompsons naked buttocks ; we see him charging into battle -- going to have sex with some guys taking a shower . in the classic of this genre , monty python pulled off this delicate balancing act between plot advancement and punchline delivery for most of the holy grail . the kids , unfortunately , are not up to the task . there are some amusing moments , to be sure , but not enough to make the experience an enjoyable one .
0 (NEG)
[ "unless you are a big fan of the kids , skip the film", "their first -- and most likely only -- attempt at a full length film lacks the qualities that made their comedy work on tv", "can not make up for a lack of spontaneity that permeates their tv show", "but you get the feeling that they are nt really having fun doing so", "this makes it more difficult for the audience to enjoy their", "at about 90 minutes , brain candy still seems long", "the laughs just do nt come fast enough . strangely , the show is even more tame than it was when on cable tv", "but they seem almost", "as if they have to live up to a pg rating", "unfortunately , are not up to the", "but not enough to make the experience an enjoyable" ]
0 (NEG)
[ "but something terribly wrong happened to him in 1992 , with the terrible comedy , \" memoirs of an invisible man", "with junk like his failed 1995 remake of , \" village of the damned , \" to his uninspired 1996 sequel , \" escape from l.", "look like cinematic works of art compared to his latest", "if i was him , i definately would n't want to put my own name in the title . it is a sad state of affairs when carpenter can make something as misguided and flatly written and filmed as , \"", "how many time have we seen this same story played out ? well , the answer is just about as many times as a better version of the story has been made", "sadly enough , is one of the most unscary horror films i 've ever seen . in fact , there is n't even one suspenseful moment in the whole 105-minute running time", "stylelessly filmed , without any interesting camera work", "nearly non - existent", "no story", "is n't even an attempt to flesh out the characters", "but he has nothing to do here but to say a couple of \" pseudo \" -clever lines of dialogue", "there is not an ounce of intelligence , or excitement", "which is very disheartening coming from an ex - fan of carpenter 's", "carpenter has finally lost any trace of his lasting talent , not to mention a significant number of iq" ]
two party guys bob their heads to haddaway 's dance hit " what is love ? " while getting themselves into trouble in nightclub after nightclub . it 's barely enough to sustain a three - minute _ saturday_night_live _ skit , but _ snl _ producer lorne michaels , _ clueless _ creator amy heckerling , and paramount pictures saw something in the late night television institution 's recurring " roxbury guys " sketch that would presumably make a good feature . emphasis on the word " presumably . " _ a_night_at_the_roxbury _ takes an already - thin concept and tediously stretches it far beyond the breaking point -- and that of viewers ' patience levels . the first five minutes or so of _ roxbury _ play very much like one of the original " roxbury guys " skits . with " what is love ? " blaring on the soundtrack , the brotherly duo of doug and steve butabi ( chris kattan and will ferrell ) bob their heads , scope out " hotties " at clubs , and then bump a select few with violent pelvic thrusts . there is one crucial difference , however -- these guys speak . that little fact has been used as justification for the film 's existence , that the butabis ' newfound capacity for speech would open up a whole new set of doors for the characters . the doors opened by director john fortenberry and screenwriters steve koren , ferrell , and kattan are new , that 's for sure , but they all lead to comic dead ends . there is no story per se , only a loosely structured and linked series of subplots . the brothers literally run into ( or , rather , get run into , as in by car ) richard grieco of _ 21_jump_street _ fame , and through him they gain entrance into the exclusive roxbury club . there , they meet a hotshot club owner ( chazz palminteri , conspicuously uncredited -- can you blame him ? ) , who takes an interest in an idea of theirs . meanwhile , the bros ' overbearing father ( dan hedaya ) wants them to stop clubbing . when doug refuses and the dimwitted steve obeys his father , a rift is created between the two . the narrative messiness of _ roxbury _ would have been forgivable if all that went on were the slightest bit funny , but virtually none of it is . the assembled press audience mostly sat stonily silent throughout the entire film , with the one big exception being a big laugh near the end . alas , the joke -- a rather lazy takeoff on _ jerry_maguire_--will only strike a chord with people who have seen that film . granted , a lot of people _ have _ seen _ jerry_maguire _ , but the fact that the film 's best joke is completely dependent on one 's familiarity with another film says a lot about _ roxbury _ 's lack of inspiration . that lack of inspiration can be traced back to the insipid characters themselves . like too many of the skits on the current incarnation of _ saturday_night_live _ , " the roxbury guys " is a one - joke sketch that never once suggests that the characters have enough comic life in them to survive outside of the sketch context . after watching one of the " roxbury " skits on snl , this is what you come away with from the characters : they bob their heads to " what is love ? " , bump unsuspecting women , and . .. that 's all . after watching _ a_night_at_the_roxbury _ , you 'll be left with exactly the same .
0 (NEG)
[ "already - thin concept and tediously stretches it far beyond the breaking point -- and that of viewers ' patience", "but they all lead to comic dead ends . there is no story per se , only a loosely structured and linked series of", "conspicuously uncredited -- can you blame him", "the narrative messiness of _ roxbury _ would have been forgivable if all that went on were the slightest bit", "but virtually none of it", "the assembled press audience mostly sat stonily silent throughout the entire", "the joke -- a rather lazy takeoff on _ jerry_maguire_--will only strike a chord with people who have seen that film", "the film 's best joke is completely dependent on one 's familiarity with another film says a lot about _ roxbury _ 's lack of inspiration . that lack of inspiration can be traced back to the insipid characters themselves . like too many of the skits on the current incarnation of _ saturday_night_live _ , \" the roxbury guys \" is a one - joke sketch that never once suggests that the characters have enough comic life in them to survive outside of the sketch", "you 'll be left with exactly the" ]
End of preview (truncated to 100 rows)

# Dataset Card for "movie_rationales"

### Dataset Summary

The movie rationale dataset contains human annotated rationales for movie reviews.

## Dataset Structure

### Data Instances

#### default

• Size of the generated dataset: 8.33 MB
• Total amount of disk used: 12.04 MB

An example of 'validation' looks as follows.

{
"evidences": ["Fun movie"],
"label": 1,
"review": "Fun movie\n"
}


### Data Fields

The data fields are the same among all splits.

#### default

• review: a string feature.
• label: a classification label, with possible values including NEG (0), POS (1).
• evidences: a list of string features.

### Data Splits

name train validation test
default 1600 200 199

## Considerations for Using the Data

### Citation Information


@unpublished{eraser2019,
title = {ERASER: A Benchmark to Evaluate Rationalized NLP Models},
author = {Jay DeYoung and Sarthak Jain and Nazneen Fatema Rajani and Eric Lehman and Caiming Xiong and Richard Socher and Byron C. Wallace}
}
@InProceedings{zaidan-eisner-piatko-2008:nips,
author    =  {Omar F. Zaidan  and  Jason Eisner  and  Christine Piatko},
title     =  {Machine Learning with Annotator Rationales to Reduce Annotation Cost},
booktitle =  {Proceedings of the NIPS*2008 Workshop on Cost Sensitive Learning},
month     =  {December},
year      =  {2008}
}
`

### Contributions

Thanks to @thomwolf, @patrickvonplaten, @lewtun for adding this dataset.