# 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" ]
"writing a screenplay for a thriller is hard . harder than pouring concrete under the texas sun . harder than building a bridge over troubled waters . and incidentally , a whole heck of a lot harder than writing a movie review . thrillers are all variations on a theme . you have a smart , resourceful , and powerful bad guy , who has a goal he has to meet . you have a noble and brave good guy , who has to protect the innocent , kill the bad guy , and not get killed himself in the process . the trick of thriller writing is doing all of this in an interesting and novel manner . this simple formula can lead to classic movies like north by northwest , high noon , or silence of the lambs , or big summer blockbusters like men in black , the fugitive , or air force one , or it can lead to utter dreck like masterminds , event horizon , kull the conqueror . .. . is anyone else getting depressed here ? point is , 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 . something to surprise and move all of us people who buy the tickets and the popcorn and the happy meals . this is a hard thing to do , but it is absolutely necessary in every way . without that something extra -- whether it 's a great plot or a well - written screenplay , or great special effects or great locations or great casting or great performances or great big hungry dinosaurs -- the movie fails . that 's why the jackal , with all its starpower , with all its budget , with all its hype , gets a big fat f. bruce willis is the bad guy , the jackal , a legendary killer for hire . richard gere is the good guy , a former ira assassin with a vendetta against the jackal . the jackal is trying to kill someone . gere is trying to stop him . will gere be able to stop the assassination in time and kill the jackal ? ( i 'll give you three guesses , and the first two do n't count . ) 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 . throughout the movie , we learn what the jackal 's plans are and how he intends to accomplish them . no surprise . the fun of a movie like this should come from richard gere figuring out what the jackal 's plan is and developing a clever plan to foil the bad guy . instead , we get two ( count 'em , two ) scenes where gere is sitting in an fbi conference room somewhere and instantly divines the jackal 's plan just as if he 's frank black ( or more likely , just as if he 's been handed a copy of the script ) . and we never get more than a superficial clue as to why gere has had this flash of insight . it 's like gere 's character is psychic , but neither he nor the fbi ( or the screenwriters ) seem to know it . and just like in millennium , the bad guy has an overwhelming need to go after the people the good guy cares about , whether or not they are important to what he 's trying to do or not . 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 stupids . as for the performances . .. bruce willis manages to get through the whole movie without a wisecrack , which is a major achievement , but not enough reason to see the movie . his disguises are good , but not as good or as interesting as val kilmer 's in the saint . richard gere is made to talk the entire movie in an irish accent , which detracts from his otherwise lifeless and dull performance . sidney poitier is probably the most disappointing element in a overwhelmingly disappointing movie -- not that his performance is bad or anything , it 's not , 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 ) . writing a good plot and a good screenplay , like i said , is hard , but it can be done . it was n't done here . it is our job as consumers to reward good screenplays and to denounce bad and uninteresting ones . do not go see this movie . you 'll only encourage the producers to make more just like it . instead , stay home and rent day of the jackal , or in the line of fire , or a fire safety video , for crying out loud . anything other than the jackal , which lives up to its name by gnawing the dead bones of other , better movies ."
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" ]
"all right , all right , we get the point : despite all similarities to the best - selling story , speechless is * not * based on the romance between 1992 presidential campaign rivals james carville and mary matalin . in fact , the script was in development well before 1992 . still , the comparisons are inevitable , until one realizes a critical difference . no , it 's not that the speechless twosome are speech writers , not campaign managers ; it 's that carville and matalin 's story is actually interesting . speechless is a limp , poorly structured would - be romantic comedy . speechless is set during a new mexico senatorial campaign , where kevin vallick ( michael keaton ) and julia mann ( geena davis ) meet and get romantic one night when neither one can sleep . what neither one realizes is that they are on opposite sides of the campaign : kevin is a sit - com writer brought in to punch up the republican candidate 's speeches , while julia is the chief speech writer for the democratic candidate . at first each one believes that the other has an ulterior motive for the relationship , but eventually they let down their guard and become closer . but there are plent of obstacles in the way , including julia 's stud - reporter fiance ( christopher reeve ) and a series of stunts which continue to prove that all 's fair in love and politics . the standard formula for a movie like speechless would have the two principles starting out as antagonists and realizing only at the end that they 're crazy about each other . screenwriter robert king completely subverts expectations by throwing kevin and julia into each other 's arms in the first fifteen minutes , then developing the antagonism . it 's a noble attempt to shake things up , but unfortunately it just does n't work . part of the fun of watching sparring in a romantic comedy comes from recognizing the chemistry even before the characters do , but in speechless they already know they 're attracted to each other , and we 're left with waiting for the campaign to end so they 'll admit that they love each other already . 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 , and with those performances most of their scenes together . the problems begin with their initial courtship , which does virtually nothing to establish julia 's character and merely establishes that kevin is a wise - ass . davis is radiantly beautiful , and keaton is generally entertaining , but these characters are so plastic that nothing that happens to them seems to matter one bit . in a couple of scenes , like a quiet moment sitting at a fountain , they actually achieve some measure of connection . for the most part , however , 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 politics . 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 be . i was about the only reviewer in the civilized world who seemed to enjoy robert king 's previous screenplay , the dana carvey flop clean slate , so i had some hopes for speechless . 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 thin ."
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" ]
"you know something , christmas is not about presents . 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 season . you know the plot : there 's this evil furry green guy called the grinch ( jim carrey ) who lives on a mountain overlooking whoville . down below all the who s are preparing for their whobilation , but the grinch is determined to steal their christmas . the movie is , of course , a live - action version of the beloved children 's book , which was previously adapted into a 1966 tv special by looney tunes animator chuck jones . it 's rare that a big budget hollywood release is shamed by a thirty - year - old half - hour cartoon , but that 's the case when jones ' version is compared to ron howard 's . the tv grinch hit all the right notes : boris karloff 's soft , deep narration ; thurl ravenscroft singing " mr . grinch " ; max the dog weighed down by the gigantic antler tied to his head ; and the grinch 's wide , toothless grin . by contrast , the movie hits one sour note after another . first , there are the numerous bad choices that jeffrey price and peter seaman made in padding out the short book into a 105-minute movie . young wide - eyed cindy lou who ( taylor momsen ) is depressed about the misplaced priorities of her parents ( bill irwin and molly shannon ) during the holiday season . she begins to sympathize with the grinch , who turns out to be surprisingly sympathetic . cindy lou discovers that the grinch turned tearfully away from whoville in grammar school when he was publicly humiliated while expressing his love for the prettiest girl in the class , martha may whovier ( played as an adult by christine baranski ) . are we expected to like the grinch , hate the who s , and want him to steal christmas ? the grinch is n't even the villain here ; that role is filled by the corrupt mayor of whoville ( jeffrey tambor ) who was the grinch 's rival for martha 's affection . not only are the characters needlessly complex , but the once - simple plot becomes so convoluted that the actual theft of christmas seems like an afterthought . the casting choices are n't any better than the screenwriting decisions . 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 home , 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 grinch , who is an embittered loner filled with hate . little taylor momsen brings little to role of cindy lou except big eyes and a cute smile . 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 grinch , and momsen is not up to the challenge . bottom line : when you 're stealing christmas ( movies ) , leave this one behind ."
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 \"" ]
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" ]

# 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

@inproceedings{deyoung-etal-2020-eraser,
title = "{ERASER}: {A} Benchmark to Evaluate Rationalized {NLP} Models",
author = "DeYoung, Jay  and
Jain, Sarthak  and
Rajani, Nazneen Fatema  and
Lehman, Eric  and
Xiong, Caiming  and
Socher, Richard  and
Wallace, Byron C.",
booktitle = "Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics",
month = jul,
year = "2020",
publisher = "Association for Computational Linguistics",
url = "https://aclanthology.org/2020.acl-main.408",
doi = "10.18653/v1/2020.acl-main.408",
pages = "4443--4458",
}
@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.