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warning : spoilers are included in this review . . . but it does n't really make much of a difference . deep impact begins the official summer movie season , and it also brings back memories of 1997 . remember when dante 's peak came out in february ? a few months later , volcano was released . the first film was smart , exhilirating , and one of the best disaster films i had ever seen . the latter film was an incohesive mess that defied logic and wasted talent . well , it 's deja vu all over again as two disaster films go head to head in competition . this time , unfortunately , the first comet flick is so bad that people may shy away from armageddon , the upcoming comet - disaster to be released the beginning of july . of course , the general reaction of the audience was oppposed to mine , and so i am in the minority , as i was when i stood on the side of dante 's peak . but while watching deep impact , i began to wonder how anyone in their right mind could actually like this film . apparently many did , and it utterly baffles me . to be completely honest , i have n't had this little fun watching a disaster film in my entire life . volcano had implausibilities up the wazoo , but it was still rather fun to watch . deep impact does n't just have implausibilities , it also contains cheap human drama , incredibly horrible special effects , and a poorly constructed plot . the only thing that gives it a half star above my bottom ranking is a slightly entertaining final fifteen minutes and some good actors making the most of their characters . deep impact begins in an unnamed year ( the year varies ; advanced technology sets it in the future , but fire in the sky is showing on a local movie theater , pushing it back to 1993 ) . a line of students is outside at night , peering through telescopes at the dark sky above . among these are leo biederman ( elijah wood ) and sarah hotchner ( leelee sobieski ) . leo unknowingly discovers a comet , and his teacher sends a photo of the unknown object to an astronomer , who then is able to determine the correct path of this distant comet in about a few seconds . he races off to mail the information , but is killed in a reckless car accident . a year passes , and nothing is heard about it again . we are then introduced to jenny lerner ( t ? a leoni ) , a reporter for msnbc . she gets handed a job to investigate a possible cover - up in the government involving senator alan rittenhouse ( james cromwell ) . she talks to a woman who mentions that rittenhouse was having an affair with a girl named ellie . after talking with rittenhouse , and unsatisfied with the information she gets , she decides to use the internet for help . luckily , she knows exactly how to spell the certain " ellie " that she is looking for ( they spell it ele in the film . . . that girl is pretty darn smart for guessing how it was spelled ) . before she can use the information , the government decides to push her car off the road . they take her in to meet the president of the united states , president beck ( morgan freeman ) . beck recommends that jenny keep the information secret for 48 hours so they can confirm it and then hold a press conference . naturally , she wants to be compensated , and they offer her a front row seat and the chance for the first question . and so , yada yada yada , they reveal the comet to the public and their plans : send a massive spacecraft out to destroy it before it can arrive . they announce a plan called " ark , " which is their only hope for survival . a computer will select 800 , 000 people at random . these people are the ones who will go into a large cave underground so that the impact of the comet wo n't kill off the entire human race . after two years , the dust will settle ( actually , it would take much , much longer -- approximately ninety years , from what i understand ) and the humans could come back to the surface and start over . the rest of the plot is your standard disaster film procedures , but there is one subplot worth mentioning . jenny and her father , jason ( maximilian schell ) , have a very touching relationship that forms out of the impending doom . the final moment involving the two characters is heartfelt and emotional . it 's a shame that nothing else is heartfelt . now , of course , we all know that the comet does impact the surface . the title alone suggests it , and the previews actually show it ! by doing this , absoltuely no tension can be drawn from any attempt to stop the comet because we all know that it wo n't work . director mimi leder came from her successful tries at direction with episodes of the hit television show " er . " her major film debut was the peacemaker , a pathetic and heartless action film . well , this time leder outdid herself , creating a film worse than that one . suggestion to ms . leder : please , stay away from the big screen , or at least the action genre . much of the blame can be placed on leder directly , because the pace is disastrously off . throughout the film we are given subtitles that tell us how much time has passed ( it goes from months to weeks to hours ) . it literally feels like this lapsed time is taking place in real - time -- it 's that boring . of course , leder is n't all to blame for it . screenwriters michael tolkin and bruce joel rubin have crafted a simplistic story that only gets worse with time . what starts out promising soon turns deadly ( for the audience anyway ) . chock full of cheesy one liners ( " you know , you are going to have more sex than anyone else in school ! " ) and stupid characters , you might think we were back in the 70s again . only one of the subplots is remotely interesting , while the rest are forgettable and boring . and the main plot is so outrageous that you ca n't figure out if this film is supposed to be an action , drama , or sci - fi . to put it simply : the special effects of this film are a hit and miss situation . that 's right , 80 % miss , and 20 % hit . scenes above the earth are well done , and the orbiting ship is majestic . but the comet is a huge mistake , making it more laughable than frightening . the concept of even trying to land on a comet is preposterous enough , but that 's forgiveable . what is n't forgiveable is actually having humans walk on the surface . give me a break , will ya ? and of course , the much hyped collision of comet and earth . well , it is far from spectacular , and it makes independence day look brilliant . the water rushing towards the land is effective , but once it hits the continent , the effects turn ridiculous . cgi water is used , and it looks so bad that i heard more laughs from the audience than shrieks . in fact , i may even recommend the film for those who want to see how bad effects can actually get these days . just when we think visual effects ca n't be improved , along comes a film to show that they really can and should be . one thing has struck a wrong note with me concerning mimi leder 's direction , which also influences the actors . leder loves to show the actors ' faces before and during moments of terror . this reminded me of another action director , renny harlin ( die hard 2 , cliffhanger ) . but harlin succeeds because he shows the faces of the victims in realistic situations . leder likes to flaunt people 's fears via their faces , but instead of coming off as sympathetic , leder seems more of a sadist . one moment has an astronaut flying off into space . this should be enough to warrant a response from the audience , but leder wants to go farther and shows us the person 's face while drifting into space . this is one of the cheapest ways to ellicit an emotional response from an audience , and i , for one , am not going to be fooled . on another note , leder 's film only picks up its pace during the last fifteen minutes when the comet actually impacts . the pace does pick up , and some very emotional moments are shown . then again , when you watch people cry for their loved ones , it 's obvious it will be emotional . it 's mostly just a big trick to rope viewers into " feeling " for the characters , but it did n't work for me . but anyway , the actors do as much as they can with what they are given . t ? a leoni ( bad boys , tv 's " the naked truth " ) is the best of the film , and she is given the meatiest role . her character is made stronger by leoni 's presence , and we grow to care for her . robert duvall is energetic and fun to watch , but his character is turned into shreds by the plot . elijah wood also comes off rather successfully , but he still has n't had many good roles ( wood , stick to drama ! you are too talented for this stuff ) . vanessa redgrave is barely acknowledgeable , and her performance is only enhanced by her strong presence on screen . maximilian schell is distracting , but he does provide some nice humor . morgan freeman has been infinitely better than this , and gives one of his most shallow performances to date ( which is quite remarkable for him ) . leelee sobieski could have been better , but i think she just suffered from a poorly written character . a special note should go to ron eldard and denise crosby . eldard is good in his role , but is limited by the plot . crosby is special to me personally because she was tasha yar from tv 's " star trek : the next generation . " seeing her was one of the highlights of the film . overall , a very talented cast virtually wasted . deep impact is rated pg-13 for disaster related elements and brief language . this is one of the worst films of the year , and if it is any omen of things to come , this summer could be one of the worst ever . luckily , the x - files movie is coming up , and hopefully armageddon will be more successful . it 's a shame that this film will do so successfully because it just is n't worth much . costing nearly $ 75 million , with special effects done by the illustrious ilm ( which is a huge shocker ) , and with a score composed by oscar - winner james horner ( titanic ) , one might have expected this to be more fun to witness and experience . well , it 's not . when the comet does hit the earth , you almost wish it could just take this film along with it .
0NEG
[ "the rest are forgettable and boring", "suffered from a poorly written", "much of the blame", "distracting", "yada yada yada", "soon turns deadly", "it is far from spectacular", "to see how bad effects can actually get these days", "one of the worst films of the year", "nothing else is heartfelt", "i began to wonder how anyone in their right mind could actually like this film", "the effects turn ridiculous", "you almost wish it could just take this film along with it", "have crafted a simplistic story that only gets worse with time", "it 's that boring", "it utterly baffles me", "chock full of cheesy one liners", "stupid characters", "this is one of the cheapest ways to ellicit an emotional response from an audience", "creating a film worse than that one", "it 's not", "unfortunately , the first comet flick is so bad", "gives one of his most shallow performances to date", "barely acknowledgeable", "it looks so bad that i heard more laughs from the audience than shrieks", "it also contains cheap human drama , incredibly horrible special effects , and a poorly constructed plot", "virtually wasted", "the comet is a huge mistake , making it more laughable than frightening", "the pace is disastrously off" ]
my first press screening of 1998 and already i 've gotten a prime candidate for my worst ten of the year list . what an auspicious beginning ! welcome to the dog days of winter when the only film openings of merit are those oscar contenders that the studios opened in late december in new york and l . a . and which are just now beginning to appear elsewhere . firestorm , the directorial debut of dances with wolves 's academy award winning cinematographer dean semler , is the first of the new year 's crop of movies . as our story opens , the movie pretentiously informs us that of the tens of thousands of firefighters only 400 are " smokejumpers . " we then cut to a plane load of smoke jumping cowboys and one cowgirl , where one of the gung - ho guys is taking a romance quiz from " cosmopolitan . " having the time of their lives , they then jump into the middle of a burning forest . when , even in the beginning , the director ca n't get the small parts right , you can sense the movie is in trouble . with the noisy fire roaring all about them and with the trapped people huddled near their gasoline - filled cars , smokejumper monica ( christianne hirt ) tells them to get away from their soon - to - explode vehicles . not bothering to shout nor even get close to them , she announces her warning without raising her voice much or approaching the people . miraculously , they manage to hear her and move away . in a movie that specializes in cheap shots , the camera locates the proverbial young girl trapped in a nearby burning building . as it does throughout , overly dramatic cinematographer stephen f . windon from the postman uses extremely fast zooms right down to the endangered girl 's face . our show 's two heroes , the crew 's chief , wynt perkins , played laconically by scott glenn , and his second - in - command , jesse graves , played by howie long in a weak attempt to be the next steven seagal , enter the burning house looking for the little girl . in a panic they have difficulty in locating her before they are engulfed in flames . the manipulative script has her hidden in her own dollhouse . this mawkish show cuts back to monica , who has a life - or - death decision to make . the chopper with the fire - retardant chemicals has only enough to save one group . will it be the large group near the cars or the helpless little girl and monica 's two firefighting buddies ? she has only seconds to decide who will be saved . yes , she goes for the majority , but , miracle of miracles , the other three come out alive anyway . not content with a traditional firefighting story , chris soth 's screenplay attempts to jazz it up by having william forsythe from palookaville play a vicious killer named randy earl shaye who sets a forest fire so that he can join the crew to put it out and then escape . ( " hoods in the woods , " is what the " ground - pounders " yell out when the convicts are bused in to help them fight the fire . ) along the way , shaye picks up an ornithologist hostage played by suzy amis , who turns out to have been trained in warrior ways by her father , who was a marine drill instructor . most of the highly predictable movie is a long chase in which poor howie long is given one ridiculous stunt after another to look silly performing . he flings a chain saw backwards over his head while riding a speeding motorcycle so that the saw can hit the windshield of the pursuing truck . arguably the low point is when he escapes from a locked burning building by riding a motorcycle conveniently parked inside . using a ramp , he shoots straight out of the top of the building 's attic , and when he hits the ground , he just rides off in a cloud of dust . when the film is n't using some stock footage of actual forest fires , the simulated ones look hokey . editor jack hofstra cheapens the action even more by his use of burning flames in scene transitions . the ending , with its sick twists , manages to be even worse than the rest of the movie . perhaps the best that can be said for the picture is the faint praise i heard afterwards in the lobby , " it 's not as bad as some of the television sitcoms . " firestorm runs mercifully just 1 : 29 . it is rated r for violence and language and would be acceptable for teenagers .
0NEG
[ "with its sick twists , manages to be even worse than the rest of the movie", "specializes in cheap shots", "i 've gotten a prime candidate for my worst ten of the year list", "the simulated ones look hokey", "given one ridiculous stunt after another to look silly performing", "cheapens the action even more", "the low point", "in a weak attempt", "the manipulative script", "highly predictable movie", "the director ca n't get the small parts right , you can sense the movie is in trouble" ]
ever since wargames , the first real computer hacking movie , hollywood has attempted to produce more and more films about hacking . these films usually show the audience a look into computers that really is not impossible and is usually ridiculous . if it 's not this , the exaggeration about what is real is usually greater than you would expect . hackers is guilty of all of these crimes . to anyone familiar with computers and/or the internet , most of the movie is so incredibly stupid that you ca n't take it anymore . those of you who frequent one of the greatest sites on the world wide web , the internet movie database , are probably aware of the section for movies entitled " goofs " . this is the section for mistakes in the movies . well , imdb sums up hackers extremely well with the first goof listed : " generally ill - informed and ridiculous to the extreme regarding the capabilities of computers and technology " . and truthfully , this is one - hundred percent correct . the plot , obviously , centers around computer hacking . more specifically , it follows the exploits of dade murphy , a young computer hacker played by jonny lee miller . miller should be extremely thankful for the film trainspotting , because if it were not for that , who knows where his career would be now after hackers . the film opens with a young dade murphy being arrested for hacking computer systems . he was forbidden to use a computer until he turned eighteen years old . the film then picks up at that point , an eighteen year old dade murphy hacking away at the computer . dade later meets up with fellow hackers acid burn ( angelina jolie ) , cereal killer ( matthew lillard ) , lord nikon ( laurence mason ) , and the phantom phreak ( renoly santiago ) , who are basically trying to do what is next to impossible : hack the gibson computer and not get caught by the fbi . oh , and as a little sub - plot , dade also tries to woo acid burn , the only female hacker in the film . really , i ca n't think of much more to say about the film 's plot aside from what i 've said . it 's just a bunch of computer geeks ( no , obsessive compulsive computer geeks a little too advanced for reality ) running around hacking computers and staying away from the fbi . thanks to this movie , the public unfamiliar with computers now has a distorted viewpoint of computers and what they can do . this movie makes computers look a little bit too advanced for their time , and the frivolous suggestions it makes are too many to list . to sum it up , hackers is a terrible computer film . if you 're looking for a film about computers closer to what goes on in the real world , i suggest sneakers . although at times it too may seem a little far fetched , it should be much more believable than hackers to regular computer users . hopefully , this film did n't influence too many young computer users out to think they can do what is portrayed in this 105 minute waste of time .
0NEG
[ "a terrible computer film", "generally ill - informed and ridiculous to the extreme", "most of the movie is so incredibly stupid that you ca n't take it anymore", "the frivolous suggestions" ]
if there 's one thing i just ca n't stand , it 's a film that oozes with sentimentality . here 's a note to all film makers : films are more effective when the emotions of the characters speak for themselves . swelling , saddening music is not a good way to tell us that the people in the film are unhappy , and that the situation is hopeless . alas , my giant is a film that uses manipulative sentimentality so frequently and with such high intensity that i forgot as i watched it that there are other ways of getting audience members choked up . what reminded me was that i was n't choked up , or even the slightest bit moved , for that matter . my giant is a forced , contrived , and conspicuously un - cute ( i detest the word " cute " but i 've chosen to use it because the makers clearly wanted to create a " cute " film here ) . it takes a premise that might have been interesting ( i liked the preview ) , and bogs it down with endless plot turns and cliches , all of which are intended to get some kind of easy emotional rise from the audience . maybe it will work for some people . it did n't work for me . billy crystal plays sam cayman , an agent who , at the beginning of the film , is in romania . he 's in romania because the kid actor he made famous is doing a film . the screenplay has him in romania so he can get fired , get in a car accident , and get saved by an enormous individual who stands almost eight feet tall . his name is max ( gheorghe muresan ) , and sam thinks he 'd be a great movie star because of his size . subplots are as follows : sam has a son and a wife ( kathleen quinlan ) , and he 's never around for them , so they move to chicago . max is in love with a woman named lilianna who moved away from romania twenty years before the film begins . sam convinces max to go back to america with him so they can make lots of money , and so their various subplots can all be resolved . sam is broke . max is dying . pass the kleenex . my giant , as a comedy , is only moderately funny . it has its moments , the best of which features steven seagal making fun of himself . in one great scene , sam gets his son on the phone to talk to seagal ; of course , his son does n't believe that he 's actually speaking to seagal , and he goes off about how bad of an actor he is ( i would quote the line i like but it would probably lose its effect ) . crystal is always entertaining , and he has a few good lines here ( some of which are subtle throwaways that many will miss entirely ) ; often , however , he 's countered by a slew of jokes that are n't funny , and cause an involuntary rolling of the eyes . muresan is kind of fun to watch , but he just ca n't act very well . quinlan , on the other hand , is a great actress who needs to get a role that shows off her talents . she was underused last year in both event horizon and breakdown , but at least in those films she had moments in which she could show us her stuff . here , the best thing she gets to do is fake a romanian accent . all of these disappointing ingredients create a film that , for much of its running time , is simply mediocre . as my giant lumbers to its inevitable conclusion , however , director michael lehmann ( who did a great job directing the underrated hudson hawk ) and scriptwriter david seltzer pile on every cliche imaginable , each one intended specifically to pull at our heartstrings . sam 's multiple engagements with his family are all completely hackneyed ( how about a main character who has a healthy relationship with his family ? ) . later , it turns out the entire story is supposed to be a great big metaphor signifying sam 's reunion with his family . and some people might think that what sam does for max towards the end is a valiant thing , but i had a few morality problems with it ( and i apologize for being vague ) . it 's icky . it drips with gooey , wannabe human emotions . my giant could have been a straightforward and funny family film . more importantly , it could have been moving on a level far deeper than it is . instead , it 's a complicated , overlong , and under - engaging film that elicits too few laughs and strives for superficial tears . and since it left me feeling completely unmoved , i stand by my position that sentimentality is evil and will ultimately destroy the world .
0NEG
[ "it 's a complicated , overlong , and under - engaging film that elicits too few laughs and strives for superficial tears . and since it left me feeling completely unmoved", "alas", "pile on every cliche imaginable", "it did n't work for me", "is not a good way to tell us that the people in the film are unhappy , and that the situation is hopeless", "bogs it down with endless plot turns and cliches", "is only moderately funny", "it 's icky . it drips with gooey , wannabe human emotions", "a forced , contrived , and conspicuously un - cute", "uses manipulative sentimentality so frequently and with such high intensity", "a slew of jokes that are n't funny , and cause an involuntary rolling of the eyes", "if there 's one thing i just ca n't stand , it 's a film that oozes", "all of these disappointing ingredients create a film that , for much of its running time , is simply mediocre", "he just ca n't act very well" ]
this is not a simple plan about finding a plane load of money and getting away with the cash . this is more about a parable of greed , and how money can become the bane of your life . yes , there are elements of ? fargo ' here ( the snow and cold ) , although not as vivid in the blood and gore department . it shows how greed can set of a chain of events leading to death and the destruction of lives . and how at the end of the day , the things that matter most are love , truth and honesty . although in one sense it may seem tedious , making a movie about the ugliness of greed ( not box office material ) , it does become tedious , not because of the morale ending , but because one expects the movie to end that way . this becomes apparent after the first murder to cover up the crime , the rest of the movie just spirals downward from there . the characters in this drama are a mixture of simple and intellectual folk , brothers and friends , who all fall prey to the avarice of money . they should have perhaps thrown in someone sensible , level headed and not affected by greed to give the party more balance . commendable is the exceptional performance of billy bob thornton , whose portrayal of the simpleton brother was masterful . bill paxton also gives a powerful performance as the greedier younger brother , whilst bridget fonda is convincing as the greediest wife , who indirectly causes the most problems . fill a room full of greedy people and several million dollars , and you will end up with a simple recipe for a blood bath . it 's not a simple plan , when you shoot everyone you love for money , unless you 're the menendez brothers .
0NEG
[ "the rest of the movie just spirals downward from there", "it does become tedious" ]
based on the 1960s tv series that i had never seen or heard of before this movie ( be happy , i wo n't bore you with any lame and unnecessary comparisons ) , this film allows will smith to take a third stab at the independence day weekend box - office , after scoring huge successes with men in black ( 7/10 ) , directed by the same man who controlled this one , and independence day ( 6/10 ) . can you say . . . the third times not a charm ? plot : james west and artemus gordon are chosen by the president to find the man responsible for the kidnapping of the nation 's top scientists , and threatening to take over the united states within a week . critique : i did not laugh once during this entire picture . when you consider that this film is a part - comedy , that 's not a very good sign . i also did not tense up or particularly enjoy any of its unenergetic action sequences which provided me with little more than a few minutes time to think back to the lovely salma hayek scenes . when you consider that the other " part " of this film is geared as an action / adventure , i would say that this another negative sign . and when you consider that the first hour of the film was boring and a little slow , the story - line tired , reminiscent of swiss cheese and uninvolving , and the special effects interesting but worth very little inside a plot filled with lame one - liners , weak characterizations and an anti - climactic end , you pretty much have the gist of my impression of this " big " summer blockbuster . it blows . or as they say in french , " eet blows " . could it be that the script was crappy because it took four people to write it ? maybe . could it be that most of the special effects do n't show up until the last half hour , and even then , we do n't see anything that its trailers had n't already given away ? perhaps . or could it be that we have come to expect so much more from will smith and hollywood big - budget movies , that we can not help but evaluate them on a scale onto their own ? naaaaaaah ! a bad movie is a bad movie . on a positive note , i could honestly say that i did very much enjoy the lovely performance by the adorable salma hayek , who seemed underused ( in my humble opinion ) , and lit up every bubbly scene that she was hardly in . branagh was also fun as the scenery - munching , over - the - top bad guy , but that 's pretty much where the entertainment - buck stopped . smith and kline were static at best , the plot full of holes , and the score insignificant and derivative of a dozen others . i would strongly advise anyone not to see this movie . then again , there is that one scene with the lovely salma hayek tied up in a cage . . . huh . . . oh yeah , but the rest of the movie sucked . little known facts about this film and its stars : will smith has starred in two of the ten all - time top grossing films worldwide : 1997 's summer blockbuster men in black ( 7/10 ) , for which he also recorded the grammy - winning title song , and 1996 's independence day ( 6/10 ) . he once turned down a scholarship to mit to pursue his singing career . kevin kline is a graduate of the juilliard school of drama , and has been married to the cute - as - a - button actress phoebe cates since 1989 . they have two kids together , greta simone and owen . one of the buildings that gets blown up in this film has " kasdan " written on it . lawrence kasdan is a director known to have worked with kevin on five of his movies , including the big chill , silverado , i love you to death , grand canyon and french kiss . salma hayek gave up a successful career as a major television star in latin america and moved to the united states to start over , even though she spoke no english . she made her feature film debut as an actress with a small role in allison anders ' mi vida loca ( no , not the rickie martin video ! ) and played her first starring role in robert rodriguez 's desperado opposite antonio banderas . since then , she has made an appearance in each one of rodriguez 's films . she stands 5'2 " , was born in southeast mexico , and the daughter of a lebanese father and a mexican mother . one of the actresses cast as branagh 's lovely but lethal beauties includes bail ling , a stage and screen star in her native china who was last seen starring opposite dick gere in red corner ( 7/10 ) . another is dutch - born frederique van der wal , who is one of the world 's most recognized supermodels , having graced the cover of cosmopolitan numerous times , as well as harper 's bazaar , vogue and mademoiselle .
0NEG
[ "a bad movie is a bad movie", "this another negative sign", "that 's not a very good sign", "i also did not tense up or particularly enjoy any of its unenergetic action sequences", "the third times not a charm ?", "it blows", "static at best , the plot full of holes , and the score insignificant and derivative of a dozen others . i would strongly advise anyone not to see this movie", "boring and a little slow , the story - line tired", "worth very little inside a plot filled with lame one - liners , weak characterizations and an anti - climactic end", "the rest of the movie sucked", "i did not laugh once" ]
in the line of duty is the critically praised series of television movies dealing with the real - life incidents that claimed lives of law enforcement officers in usa . the twilight murders , another one from the series , is dealing with the case of gordon kahl ( played by rod steiger ) , old farmer from north dakota who would rather spend a year in prison than pay taxes to the despised u . s . government . after being released , he still refuses to pay taxes and the warrant is issued for his arrest . when the u . s . marshals come to arrest him , it turns out that kahl is n't alone . many poor farmers in rural northwest share his extremist anti - government beliefs , and the routine operation turns into shootout that would leave federal officers that . that brings fbi on the scene , and agent mayberly ( michael gross ) is supervising the manhunt . however , his efforts seem fruitless , since kahl still has many supporters , some of them even in the local law enforcement . after betrayed , 1988 thriller by costa gavras , hollywood mostly ignored the disturbing trends of rising right - wing extremism in the american northwest , and that remained so until oklahoma city bombing , when media hype brought right - wingers back into spotlight . until that time , only the television movies like this one bothered to pay attention to that phenomenon . unfortunately , the twilight murders is still routine and formulaic television film , that uses sensationalist real life content in order to cover lack of originality in the script . sometimes , like many american tv movies , it creates drama where drama should n't be . on the other hand , film is steadily directed by dick lowry , and rod steiger does good job potraying gordon kahl . on the other hand , michael gross as his pursuer is quite wooden and his interaction with some of the actors is terrible . however , film does deal with potentially thought - provoking social and political issues , so hour and half spent in front of the screen should n't be the total waste of time .
0NEG
[ "it creates drama where drama should n't be", "is quite wooden and his interaction with some of the actors is terrible", "unfortunately , the twilight murders is still routine and formulaic television film , that uses sensationalist real life content in order to cover lack of originality in the script" ]
* * * the following review contains spoilers * * * " it 's just . . . the way . . . we are . " --- a rapist ( matt frewer ) responds to supergirl 's ( helen slater ) query as to why she 's being attacked , an example of the mind - numbingly bad dialogue in supergirl . i 'll admit it . . . i love superman iii . i know it 's hated amongst the superman faithful who dismiss it as nothing more than a vehicle for richard pryor , but i still think it 's a worthy addition to the man of steel franchise . supergirl , a spin - off film of sorts from the series ' same producers ( alexander and ilya salkind ) , does n't even rival superman iii in terms of quality , let alone superman or superman ii . supergirl lost me from the opening scenes and went steadily downhill for the rest of its two hour plus running time . as the film begins we see the residents of argo city , a commune like place consisting of refugees from krypton which resides in " inner space " , go about their daily lives . ok . . . what ? so these are exiles from krypton , which blew up right ? were they living there before krypton exploded ? how do you get to " inner space " ? this whole " inner space " notion is never explained , particularly in terms of how these people get information from the outside world . how do they know where superman went ? how do they know he took the name clark kent and now works at the daily planet ? these kinds of things frustrate the hell out of me . argo city is kept running by a power source called the omegahedron . one day the founder of argo city , zaltar ( peter o ' toole ) , gives the omegahedron to superman 's cousin , kara ( helen slater ) , for use as inspiration in her art . kara uses it to create a bug - like thing which immediately crashes through the layer of " whatever " that protects the city . in the chaos , the omegahedron sails out through the opening , dooming the argonians to death . . . in three days time , or something . kara then climbs into a pod which zaltar had designed for interdimensional travel and chases after the omegahedron to save her world . the power source travels directly to earth and lands in the bowl of dip belonging to a minor - league witch named selena ( faye dunaway ) who , immediately before her dip was ruined , announced her desires to rule the world to her sometimes warlock boyfriend nigel ( peter cook ) . selena somehow knows that this ball from the sky will help her with her evil plans , and she sets out to achieve world domination . selena is unaware of course that kara has also arrived on earth , and that she 's arrived as supergirl ( complete with appropriate costume ) . supergirl emerges from the bottom of a lake when she arrives . ok . . . huh ? why does the omegahedron fall from the sky but supergirl shoots out of the bottom of a lake ? attention movie : explain yourself ! i 'm sorry , i can only suspend disbelief so much . i ca n't buy into any of this nonsense just because the movie wants me to . knowing that she needs a secret identity , supergirl basically " wills " herself into a school girl outfit ( complete with a different hairstyle ) , picks the alias linda lee and enrolls into school . she 's given her dorm assignment , and who happens to be her roommate ? lois lane 's sister , lucy . ok , coincidence is one thing folks , but we 're getting really contrived now . what follows are some generic all - girls school hijinks . . . complete with evil bully girls ( mean for no reason , of course ) and even a shower scene ( ! ) . best moment though comes when supergirl decides to put a bra on over her school uniform and starts stuffing it with socks . at this point i 'm rapidly wondering why i 'm bothering with this nonsense . there is some credit to give to the film however . one lengthy and elaborate sequence featuring an " evil " bulldozer destroying a small town in search of its " prey " is very well done . also , its commendable to see genders reversed in the film , whereas the women have all the power and the men are merely objects and tools . hart bochner ( die hard ) is particularly fun as kara 's love interest , a lovesick landscaper who is under a spell cast by selena ( although he is unfortunately part of one of the film 's more ridiculous moments , when he has to be rescued from being tapped by some " menacing " bumper cars ) . then there were numerous little things that bothered me . the flying effects are never convincing for a moment . . . it 's all too obvious that helen slater is hooked to wires . instead of having her look like she 's flying , the filmmakers wanted her to be " graceful " , so she poses a lot and does ballet - type maneuvers . also , who are the first two humans to meet supergirl when she arrives on earth ? a pair of truck drivers / rapists who immediately attack her and then meet a " wacky " demise . there is also some rampant product placement in the film , most notably for popeye 's , tylenol , and a&w root beer , with the latter actually putting its logo on the t - shirt of one of the rapists ( ? ! ) . finally , just one word : monsters . faye dunaway and peter o'toole ham it up unmercifully , however when o'toole overacts he 's entertaining and when dunaway does it she 's annoying ( her character actually says the line " seize them ! " at one point ) . dunaway 's henchmen ( played by peter cook and brenda vaccaro ) fare much better , with vaccaro coming off best as the equivalent of ned beatty 's otis character from the first two superman movies . helen slater effectively portrays supergirl as the innocent , naive character she 's written to be , as she 's able to gaze at flowers and bunnies with the right amount of genuine wonder to make it believable . believability aside though , it 's still annoying . now despite all this negativity ( and i 'm not alone here . . . supergirl is not a well liked nor a well respected movie in many circles ) , leave it to the good people at anchor bay entertainment to actually make people not only interested , but excited about its release on dvd ! they have released two separate editions of the film on dvd , to the delight of many people ( including myself . . . yet i 'm still unclear as to why , since this movie is so awful ) . the first and most widely available dvd release features the international version of the film which runs 10 minutes longer than the print which ran in u . s . theaters . the movie is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2 . 35 : 1 , is enhanced for 16x9 televisions , and has been remastered in full thx glory . extras on the disc include : a full length audio commentary track with director jeannot szwarc and " special project consultant " scott michael bosco , the excellent 50-minute documentary from 1984 called supergirl - the making of a feature ( dig that workout montage ! ) , 5 trailers , 3 tv spots , talent bios , in - depth storyboards ( accompanied by score from the movie ) , and assorted still galleries . the transfer on this international version is incredible . . . you 'd think you were watching a new release . images are sharp , colors jump off the screen , and the picture is free of scratches or artifacts . only some special effects sequences show the wear of time , and there just is n't much that can be done about that ( unless you 're obsessive like george lucas ) . the new thx approved audio is loud and clear in all the right places , however you 'll be hearing absurd dialogue and a mediocre jerry goldsmith score ( which is completely unrelated to john williams ' classic superman theme and sounds better suited for a cannon films ' golan - globus production ) . the commentary track featuring director szwarc and project consultant bosco is a step in the right direction in the evolution of audio commentaries . bosco seems to be an expert in all things supergirl and is there with szwarc to ensure that there 's no dead air on the track . bosco probes szwarc for information on virtually everyone and everything that comes onscreen , and we learn a great deal more about the film as a result of his participation . although , at times you can tell that bosco is looking for a specific response from szwarc , and is surprised when he does n't get that response . we learn some fascinating tidbits on the track , most notably the " almost " appearance in the film by christopher reeve . great detail is given about superman 's proposed role in the original script before reeve ( wisely ) dropped out . as it stands , superman is written off early on in the film when we hear a radio broadcast mention that he is billions of light years away on some sort of peace mission . for the sake of brevity , i wo n't even get into that one . szwarc also reveals that is was the conscious decision of the salkinds ( and everyone else agreed ) that supergirl needed to stand on its own , replacing the science fiction of the superman films with cutsy " whimsical fantasy " nonsense . bosco also points out scenes not in the american release as they come along , claiming that had they been in the original release it would have been a hit at the box office . again , for the sake of brevity , i wo n't even get into that one . anchor bay has also released a limited edition ( only 50 , 000 copies pressed ) two - disc set . disc one contains everything mentioned for the regular release . disc two features the never before seen director 's cut of the film , which runs 138 minutes long . the additions mainly consist of scene extensions which do n't add much of note , except for a few moments which lengthen peter o'toole 's screen time ( particularly during his latter appearances ) . the print is rough in spots and the sound is only in mono , but fans of the film wo n't care . one question though . . . should n't the director 's commentary be on the director 's cut of the film ? i 'd never seen supergirl before i sat down to watch this dvd . i was nine when it was released to theaters , and even then i was smart enough to inform my parents not to take me to see it . so when i popped the dvd into my player and sat down in my easy chair i had no idea what to expect . i knew the film was n't beloved and i never had any interest in it before , but i was willing to give it a shot because of the impressive amount of work put into the disc . as the disc began to spin i was rather impressed with the opening sequence , which made me sit up and wonder if my assumptions all this time could have been wrong . come to find out however it was just the chase digital stereo logo . . . so i slunk back into my seat as the nightmare started . at the end of the film , supergirl flies back into the lake with the omegahedron , and flies back to argo city . ugh , i give up . i 'm surprised i even made it to the end of the film not once , not twice , but three times to review these discs . supergirl is definitely a terrific dvd package , but a very lousy movie . [ pg ]
0NEG
[ "frustrate the hell out of me", "i was smart enough to inform my parents not to take me to see it", "the film was n't beloved", "ugh , i give up", "i 'm sorry , i can only suspend disbelief so much . i ca n't buy into any of this nonsense", "i slunk back into my seat as the nightmare started", "i 'm surprised i even made it to the end of the film", "this movie is so awful", "we 're getting really contrived now . what follows are some generic all - girls school hijinks", "a very lousy movie", "mind - numbingly bad dialogue", "negativity", "does n't even rival", "it 's still annoying", "why i 'm bothering with this nonsense", "is not a well liked nor a well respected movie", "annoying", "there were numerous little things that bothered me . the flying effects are never convincing for a moment", "ok . . . huh ?", "lost me from the opening scenes and went steadily downhill", "more ridiculous moments", "you 'll be hearing absurd dialogue and a mediocre jerry goldsmith score" ]
" practical magic , " is a film that is so misguided in so many ways that it makes you wonder how such talented and high - profile actors would even get involved in an embarrassing clap - trap like this one . the film stars sandra bullock and nicole kidman as sally and gillian owens , two sisters whose family comes from a long line of witches , spanning back 200 years . at the start , their parents die when they are still children , and they go to live with their two zany aunts ( stockard channing and dianne wiest ) . switch to the present day , gillian , who is the stronger , more rebellious sibling , leaves home , and meets up with a dark , abusive guy ( goran visjnic ) , while sally stays in their hometown , meets and falls in love with a sweet , caring man , has two children , and then is devastated when her husband is hit by a truck and killed ( come to think of it , she 's not too devastated since she gets over it in about two minutes ) . when gillian calls sally to come get her after having another abusive spat with visjnic , they accidentally murder him , and in desperation , bury the body in the backyard of their aunts ' house . add to this wildly convoluted story subplots involving the dead rising and an exorcism , not to mention a spattering of " light - hearted whimsy , " and you have a pretty good idea how messy " practical magic " is . after seeing the film , i reflected that there was not even one scene , or element , that i liked or enjoyed . it is a comedy , to be sure , but all of the humor falls astoundingly flat , and the occasional dramatic moments are the least bit touching . it is not charming or entertaining in any way . and then to top it off , we 've got this dark , but bird - brained story of an evil spirit taking over gillian 's body . whatever . the characters are handled terribly , and actually , most of the actors do not have the fortune of even getting to be what you could call a character . there is no reason why channing and wiest should have decided to be in this film , and in every scene involving them , they are always standing side - by - side . no attempt is made to flesh them out into actual people . the same goes for aidan quinn , as a handsome police investigator , who has the misfortune of being the romantic lead opposite bullock , even though he comes into it at around the 70-minute mark , and once again , there is no attempt to develop their relationship , or his character , in any way . in fact , every line of dialogue in the film is in service of moving the plot along , rather than getting to know the people saying the lines . i should have know i was headed for trouble during the opening credits , when i found out the screenplay was written by the deeply hated akiva goldsman , who managed to destroy the " batman " series with " batman forever " and " batman and robin . " " practical magic " is directed by griffin dunne , primarily an actor , who last year made the contrived , clumsy romance , " addicted to love , " with meg ryan and matthew broderick . i disliked that movie quite a bit , but since " practical magic " is even worse , that can only give you a taste of what a talentless filmmaker he is . i 'd tell him to quit while he 's ahead , but in these last two years , he 's ultimately already buried himself .
0NEG
[ "wildly convoluted story", "a film that is so misguided", "an embarrassing clap - trap like this one", "there is no attempt to develop", "falls astoundingly flat", "managed to destroy", "ultimately already buried himself", "the least bit touching . it is not charming or entertaining in any way", "handled terribly , and actually , most of the actors do not have the fortune of even getting to be what you could call a character", "is even worse", ". whatever .", "messy", "i 'd tell him to quit while he 's ahead", "i was headed for trouble", "there was not even one scene , or element , that i liked or enjoyed" ]
nearly every film tim burton has directed has been an homage to the horror genre -- " frankenweenie , " " beetlejuice , " " batman , " " edward scissorhands , " " ed wood , " " mars attacks ! " -- yet none of them have been horror films . " sleepy hollow " is his first attempt to actually scare people . i greeted the prospect with high anticipation ; burton 's whole career seemed to be leading up to this . i left disappointed . andrew kevin walker 's screenplay takes only the character names from the classic short story " the legend of sleepy hollow . " in the movie ichabod crane ( johnny depp ) is a new york city police constable who is trying to introduce scientific methods of investigation to his superiors . ichabod is dispatched to the small town of sleepy hollow to investigate a series of murders . several of the town 's leading citizens have been decapitated by the headless horseman . although he rejects the ghost story the town elders tell him , ichabod finds that the facts of the case confound his scientific reasoning . he also discovers that the killings are not random , that the victims are tied together by a secret . along the way ichabod gets help from a bewitching ( literally ) young woman ( christina ricci ) and the son of one of the murder victims ( marc pickering ) . my reaction : ho - hum . the plot is an accumulation of cliches without even the slightest touch of originality to make it interesting . that in itself is forgivable ; hollywood constantly tries to sell us used products in new packages . however , burton 's attempts at inducing fright come off as goofy . it might be his background -- in his previous movies , goofy was the goal . along the same lines , it does n't help that creature designer ( and producer ) kevin yagher has done his best work for the tongue - in - cheek tales from the crypt tv series . a witch 's eyes and tongue shoot out like roger rabbit 's , a tree spurts blood like it 's in a monty python sketch , and the headless horseman . . . well , he 's a guy without a head . . . on a horse ( boo ! ) . the performances are also awful . although he 's impressed me with his work in other films , depp does n't seem to know what to do with ichabod , and his dialogue is hampered by stilted diction that 's supposed to pass for an 18th century accent . ricci seems to put all her effort into seeming enigmatic , which guarantees that we wo n't sympathize with her character . the actor who is revealed at the end to be the villain comes off as ridiculously cartoonish . the only pleasure generated by the cast comes from surprise cameos by christopher lee , martin landau , and christopher walken . i wonder if this movie was originally conceived as part of francis ford coppola 's projected series of gothic adaptations , a series that produced only " bram stoker 's dracula " and " mary shelley 's frankenstein . " coppola is an executive producer for " sleepy hollow , " and the script reflects his interest in early forms of " moving pictures , " particularly in a toy that ichabod carries which blends two pictures to create an optical illusion . ( there 's a bird on one side of the card , a cage on the other . when the card is flipped rapidly , the bird appears to be caged . ) bottom line : the hollow is n't the only thing that 's sleepy .
0NEG
[ "ho - hum", "the performances are also awful", "does n't seem to know what to do", "i left disappointed", "it does n't help", "ridiculously cartoonish", "his dialogue is hampered by stilted diction", "we wo n't sympathize with her character", "( boo ! )", "an accumulation of cliches without even the slightest touch of originality" ]
annie wilson ( cate blanchett ) , a widow who struggles to raise her children in a small town in georgia is asked for help by local authorities in solving the case of a missing woman . annie is something of a psychic , she has involuntary bouts with the supernatural where she can see the past and the future and physically feel the actions happenning to her she envisions . her " gift " leads to the arrest of a nasty wife beater who may or may not have killed the pretty rich girl found in the swamp on his property . in an ultra conservative backwoods town will her testimony based on her psychic visions hold up in court ? do they even have the right man ? what 's good about it : aside from keanu reeves giving one of the best performances of his career as the loathable redneck donnie barksdale , there is little else going for the film . what 's not so good about it : lame , unoriginal screenplay . predictable ending . suspense scenes that are just plain boring . ridicously trite characterization makes the entire south out to be ingnorant , hateful goobers . relentless in its emotional sensationaliztion . overall critique : " the gift " is one of those movies that makes you wonder where you 've seen this story before . it 's a collection of every cliche and stereotype of the south ever made , and coming from a yankee like me who dislikes the south that 's really saying something . for an established , talented director sam raimi is unable to provide any kind of originality to this film . it 's predictable from the first scene , the screenplay is written like a rip - off of a photocopied bootlegged play . you know that as nasty as the murder suspect is he did n't actually do it . it 's no surprise either who the real villain turns out to be and what their motive was . sigh , how trite . for a supernatural thriller this is neither scary nor intense because it 's so cliche . " the gift " is basically a glorified b - movie .
0NEG
[ "there is little else going for the film", "this is neither scary nor intense because it 's so cliche", ". sigh , how trite .", "lame , unoriginal screenplay . predictable ending . suspense scenes that are just plain boring . ridicously trite characterization", "a collection of every cliche and stereotype", "unable to provide any kind of originality", "predictable from the first scene , the screenplay is written like a rip - off of a photocopied bootlegged play" ]
note : some may consider portions of the following text to be spoilers . be forewarned . i was incredulous when i first heard that mgm was planning a sequel to their 1995 science - fiction flick species . squandering an intriguing premise , the original film turned out to be a dreadful mess , widely disliked by both audiences and critics alike -- and nonetheless still somehow succeeded in becoming a financial success , raking in over $ 60 million domestic during the competitive summer season despite a distinct lack of star power in its cast ( ben kingsley 's a splendid actor , but a marquee name he ai n't ) . miraculously dodging the bullet with the first film , i doubted that they 'd dare tempt fate and go for another round . so here comes species ii , with a new creative team ( director peter medak and screenwriter chris brancato step in for roger donaldson and dennis feldman , respectively ) that fails to improve the series one iota -- like its predecessor , species ii fails to capitalize on a potentially promising kernel and instead runs the gamut from ridiculously silly to unmitigatedly stupid . the film follows the exploits of a young man , patrick ross ( justin lazard ) , whose sole focus is on cruising along the streets in order to pick up women , loitering in strip clubs , and generally trying to bed as many different ladies as he possibly can . in other words , patrick is like a lot of guys ; these activities could describe the everyday routines of a huge percentage of men his age , but there 's a catch -- he 's an astronaut who recently returned from a seemingly successful mission to mars , and who 's now infected with alien dna . patrick 's overriding compulsion : to mate and sire countless numbers of gooey little alien offspring . and when he becomes aware of eve ( natasha henstridge ) , a half - human , half - alien clone of the monster from the first film being studied in a government lab , patrick 's primary focus turns to her -- " if these two were to mate , the resulting pure strain of offspring would be unstoppable " warns dr . laura baker ( marg helgenberger , gamely reprising her role ) with admirable conviction . species ii opens with the mars mission , and the space scenes are remarkably unconvincing and hokey - looking , even splicing back to dated , grainy footage of actual spacecraft activities -- they really skimped on production values this time around . however , this all looks positively inspired when compared to the first appearance of the evil alien goo which ultimately infests patrick ; watching as it slinks around the command module of the spaceship , any question as to whether or not this is a cheesy b - movie is quickly answered . mr . brancato 's original screenplay is filled with outrageous lines which often leaves the audience in stitches . like the first film ( and perhaps in homage to it ) , there 's a real penchant for dialogue which underlines the obvious . last time around featured the hootworthy line uttered by forest whitaker 's psychic empath character upon entering a bloodsoaked room -- " something bad happened here . " this time , laura gets to stand over a fresh , shredded corpse with its entails ripped out and mutter " this is awful . " and she 's not even empathic ! and when a psychotically horny patrick accosts a supermarket shopper and drags her kicking and screaming behind the building in a woefully - paced suspense sequence , eve , who 's telepathically linked to her alien / human - hybrid counterpart ( whatever ) , helpfully tells our alien - hunting protagonists , " he 's going to rape her . " while species ii is often unintentionally hilarious , at least it occasionally demonstrates a sense of humour of its own . there 's an amusing , tongue - in - cheek bit of product placement ( which does n't really make much sense , but i appreciated the sentiment ) , as well as some supermarket - related hijinx ( " he 's in aisle 1 ! " informs eve ) . if the film maintained this sort of light - hearted tone , it would have been much more charming and enjoyable to watch , but , to its detriment , it instead takes its silly plot far too seriously and barrels along to a bloody , effects - ladened anticlimactic conclusion . much of the film fails to make a whole lot of sense , and there are such gaping plot holes that it 's terribly difficult to contain any suspension of disbelief . the implausibilities are endless : what about the toxic bomb in eve 's brain ? why are the guards armed with guns when they already know firearms are ineffectual ? my favourite was the slow - motion sequence in the film where eve , sporting superhuman strength , is shown tossing aside guards who are attempting to contain her with what look like body blocks . this is the sort of movie which leaves you holding your head in amazed disbelief , incredulous that it 's being foisted upon the public . returning headlines michael madsen ( who reprises tough guy press lennox ) and ms . helgenberger do what they can with this goofy screenplay , but there 's realistically only so much one can do with this script as a basis . mykelti williamson ( portraying astronaut dennis gamble ) churns out an all - too - familiar spin on a generic brash - mouthed character , and fine character actors george dzundza ( playing colonel burgess and looking ridiculous in the process ) and james cromwell ( patrick 's neglectful father , senator ross ) are utterly wasted in the film . mr . lazard gives his character an appropriately shifty - eyed look , while returning vixen ms . henstridge is actually given the opportunity to act in one scene ( and acquits herself nicely ) , but is mostly relegated to reprising her familiar role of parading about in skimpy clothing ( or none at all ) . ms . henstridge recently commented on how some female audiences have expressed appreciation for her character in the first entry of the species series , claiming that " she 's so empowered . " a lethal half - alien in heat who dispatches of her sexual partners in grotesque fashion -- now * that 's * what i call empowerment .
0NEG
[ "really skimped on production values this time around", "the implausibilities are endless", "any question as to whether or not this is a cheesy b - movie is quickly answered", "there 's a real penchant for dialogue which underlines the obvious", "fails to improve the series one iota -- like its predecessor , species ii fails to capitalize on a potentially promising kernel and instead runs the gamut from ridiculously silly to unmitigatedly stupid", "leaves you holding your head in amazed disbelief , incredulous that it 's being foisted upon the public", "mostly relegated", "a woefully - paced suspense sequence", "this goofy screenplay", "fails to make a whole lot of sense , and there are such gaping plot holes that it 's terribly difficult to contain any suspension of disbelief", "churns out an all - too - familiar spin on a generic brash - mouthed character", "takes its silly plot far too seriously and barrels along to a bloody , effects - ladened anticlimactic conclusion", "utterly wasted in the film", "are remarkably unconvincing and hokey - looking , even splicing back to dated , grainy footage", "( whatever )" ]
the sequel to the fugitive ( 1993 ) , u . s marshals is an average thriller using it 's association with the fugitive just so it can make a few extra bucks . tommy lee jones returns to his role as chief deputy samuel gerard , the grizzly cop who was after harrison ford in the fugitive . this time , he 's after fugitive mark sheridan ( snipes ) who the police think killed two fbi agents , but of course he 's been set up , and when the police plane escort he ( and gerard ) are riding crashes , he makes a run for it , gerard not so hot on his tail . what follows is about 2 hours of action , brought to us by the director of executive decision ( 1995 ) , another film curiously involving a plane . when comparing this movie to the fugitive , the prequel is far superior . but even on it 's own , u . s marshals is a pretty lousy movie . while the original was reasonably intelligent , and had a fugitive to root for , the audience feels strangely distanced from snipes fugitive , mainly because we know so little about him until way into the film 's overlong running time . while the fugitive gave a little time to develop harrison fords character , u . s marshals is straight in there , pulling it 's trump card ( the place crash ) almost immediately . to be honest , i could n't care less if snipe 's character got captured or not . snipes performance is average , and his character gets surprisingly little screen time ( considering he is the fugitive ) for reasons i 'll explain later . tommy lee jones is as fine as ever , although his role is hardly a challenge . the sense of deja vu was overwhelming . i know it 's the same role from the fugitive , but there is seemingly no attempt to develop his character from the last film . there 's a few ' nudge nudge ' references from the first film , but apart from that , nothing . nobody even mentions harrison ford in this movie . downey jnr is ok as fbi agent john royce who 's roped into the chase , and sexy french actress irene jacob wanders in and out of the movie as snipes wife . nobody looks as if their having a good time , and all the performers are on autopilot . the supporting cast are o . k , but when it comes to performances , u . s marshals falls flat on it 's face . it does n't fare any better plot - wise , either . the film starts off with gerard trying to capture snipes , but then veers off into terrorists territory . as said above , the film is an normal , average terrorist thriller , seen a million times before , but is using the fugitive reputation to make it sound more professional . if this film was n't the ' sequel ' to the fugitive , this would probably go straight to video , or not even been made at all , because it 's so average . and because of the film 's plot changing it 's course , snipes is almost forgotten apart , and hardly features in the movie . stuart baird , the director , is all right , but there 's no particular scene that stands out . it 's director is the usual action movie style . even the plane crash is sorely lacking in tension . the special effects are nice , especially the plane crash , and there 's a good ( if very loud ) soundtrack by veteran composer jerry goldsmith . but in the end , u . s marshals suffers from an overwhelmingly lack of excitement . sure , it 's loud and dumb , but in the end u . s marshals just ai n't fun . bored performers and a lackluster plot and script , do not make a good action movie . overall rating= review by david wilcock web space provided by geocities
0NEG
[ "sorely lacking", "just ai n't fun", "his role is hardly a challenge", "a pretty lousy movie", "an average thriller using it 's association with the fugitive just so it can make a few extra bucks", "almost forgotten apart , and hardly features in the movie", "nobody looks as if their having a good time , and all the performers are on autopilot", "suffers from an overwhelmingly lack of excitement", "falls flat on it 's face . it does n't fare any better plot - wise , either", "bored performers and a lackluster plot and script", "would probably go straight to video , or not even been made at all , because it 's so average", "to be honest , i could n't care less", "gets surprisingly little screen time", "seemingly no attempt to develop his character", "the sense of deja vu was overwhelming", "feels strangely distanced", "overlong running time", "there 's no particular scene that stands out" ]
one of the contributors to the destruction of the batman film franchise chris o'donnell stars in this remake of buster keaton 's 1925 silent film seven chances . now i 've never seen seven chances , as i 'm more of a chaplin fan than a keaton fan , but i seriously doubt that the classic version could be as insipid as this . o'donnell plays jimmie shannon , the manager of a pool table manufacturing company . he also fears commitment , and despite dating anne ( renee zellweger ) for over three years , he 's unwilling to marry her . his reasons ? well he 's a guy you see , and well , guys are like stallions , and they apparently do n't like to be roped or something ( hey , that 's the movie 's explanation . . . i 'd marry renee zellweger in a second ) . eventually it comes time for jimmie to propose , and when he does , it 's the most absurd proposal ever uttered by a man ever . he essentially says to her , " you win " and hands her a ring . the audience should now hate this character . i did . then the meat of the plot presents itself . jimmie 's grandfather ( peter ustinov , completely wasted ) dies and leaves jimmie his entire estate of 100 million dollars as well as ownership of the pool table business . however , in order to get the money and save the jobs of the factory workers , jimmie must be married before his next birthday ( which is just over 24 hours away ) . having blown his chances with anne , jimmie proceeds to track down all his prior girlfriends and suggest a " business proposition " . the movie was n't half bad by this time , surprisingly . it was n't boring me , and even managed to read my thoughts at one point . ustinov 's character left a video will , and while he 's reading the ridiculous clause in it , i thought to myself " what is this , brewster 's millions ? " . as soon as i thought it , hal holbrook 's character actually says " what is this , brewster 's millions ? " it was quite surreal . something happens though during the film 's final act that caused me to sharply drop the rating it was going to receive . up to that point , all of jimmie 's prior girlfriends had turned down his " business proposition " which i felt was good . at least the film was n't painting women to be cold hearted gold diggers . when jimmie has no other options , his goofy friend ( played by artie lange , making a career out of playing the goofy friend ) places an ad in the newspaper that somehow becomes a front page story . at this point , 100 , 000 women don wedding gowns and head off to persuade jimmie to pick them to be his bride . these women arrive at jimmie 's location and immediately start bullying him about what he 's looking for in a woman . when he 's had enough of their unjustified attacks , he tells the angry mob that there 's been a mistake and he wo n't be marrying any of them . as a result , the women proceed to chase him around the city , in hopes of catching him and tearing his limbs off . this goes on for the rest of the film . it 's just chris o'donnell running from 100 , 000 obnoxious , greedy , angry and stupid women . my groans of disgust could be heard for miles . the film finally ended ( thankfully ) , but to this day i 'm still groaning . the bachelor is available on dvd from new line home video . it contains the film in both full frame and in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1 . 85 : 1 , cast and crew info , and special dvd - rom features . the original theatrical trailer is also on the disc , which contains scenes not in the film . apparently there was even more footage of the gang of brides chasing o'donnell around the city , and at one point o'donnell is leaping from the tops of buses . so that was bad enough to be cut , but the other 30 minutes of bride shenanigans was good ? ugh .
0NEG
[ "as insipid as this", "caused me to sharply drop the rating", "ugh .", "i 'm still groaning", "one of the contributors to the destruction", "my groans of disgust could be heard for miles" ]
the happy bastard 's quick movie review holy man more like holy crap . the film stars eddie murphy as a mystical - ish figure named g on a strange journey of some sort when he comes across two network execs ( jeff goldblum and kelly preston ) with a flat tire on their hands . somehow he ends up in their car and on their channel , a line - up of infomercial programs featuring the likes of betty white , morgan fairchild , and a slew of other celebrities and nameless figures . it 's here that he seems to hit his stride , speaking of life instead and somehow boosting sales . at this point in the movie , of course , morality comes into play , particularly on goldblum , who suddenly feels he can market the magical g into megabucks to get in good with his boss ( robert loggia ) . it does n't take long for the movie to unfold into sappy mush , with realizations taking place left and right and poor plot points . only a real zippy sequence involving frying morgan fairchild 's face seems to have any interest in the movie . murphy lends nothing to his character and poor goldblum looks as if he 'd rather be someplace else . some may argue that the movie has a message , but all that came across to me is that i could probably get more entertainment watching that informercial with the guy in the question mark coat . at least he has something for us to laught at . . .
0NEG
[ "poor plot points", "it does n't take long for the movie to unfold into sappy mush", "i could probably get more entertainment watching that informercial", "lends nothing to his character", "more like holy crap" ]
forget get carter . instead . . . get me a cup of coffee . what the hell has happened to all good american action movies ? did i unknowingly miss a meeting somewhere ? when did all of the bad - ass , kicking butt and taking names , gun - toting , crazed , vengeful characters of the 1980 's -- from such films as commando , cobra , predator , raw deal , first blood -- suddenly turn into innocent , compassionate , sensitive , teary - eyed knuckleheads . the only place to turn these days for an honest action film is towards the east -- and i do n't mean new york city . get carter -- the latest masterpiece from uber - thespian sylvester stallone -- is a prime example of large and in charge 80 's action stars trying to fit back into action roles they have long since outgrown . stallone seems like that one uncle you have who tries to be cool with his members only jacket and izod polo shirt with the collar popped up . a few years ago , stallone made a movie that gave him the opportunity to gracefully exit the roles that typecast him as an action monkey . that role was sheriff freddy heflin in copland -- a strange film about redemption within a broken soul . stallone actually gave an amazing performance and it seemed he had shaken off the past . too bad get carter returns stallone to action , but with the shiny paint rusted off on the edges . get carter is a simple story . stallone plays frank carter , a vegas bruiser for a loan shark ( played with amazing gusto by the uncredited voice of actor tom sizemore ) . when frank 's brother gets himself killed in a drunk driving accident , frank , feeling all guilty and mushy inside , thinks foul play is involved and travels to seattle to set right all the wrongs with the patented " carter 's way " . he talks tough with his brother 's wife , lends a helping had to his brother 's daughter doreen ( rachel leigh cook ) , and walks around seattle in the pouring rain dressed like a lost member of the rat pack with a really bad goatee . carter finds out that his brother was involved in some bad stuff with a slimy porn king played by ultra - cool , mcqueen - esque mickey rourke , a multi - millionaire computer geek ( alan cumming ) , and a strange foreign guy ( michael caine ) who speaks in riddles and talks tough . carter stalks all of them while trying to figure out who did in his brother and how to extract proper revenge on the responsible parties . what a minute ! this sounds just like another film i saw last year , the limey . better not tell terence stamp about stallone ripping him off . actually , get carter is a remake of the 1971 british production of the same name , starring caine in the title role ( and what with his cameo here , the cleverness is astonishing ) . while stallone still carries his own weight here , the movie lacks what the original did as well : purpose . throughout the film , stallone looks like an old guy trying to act tough , while nobody is taking him seriously . his one - liners fall flat , and he seems tired and uncertain of all the actions , mental and physical , required of his character . there is even a strange homoeroticism between rourke and stallone that lends a bizarre tone to their numerous conversations -- in both fists and words . the biggest surprise in get carter is that the best job done in the film is by the versatile mickey rourke . an amazing method actor in the eighties who fell into drugs , spousal abuse , a boxing career , and an intolerable attitude towards not getting his way , rourke still brings a dangerous sense of purpose to his porn king character . he may not win any oscars , but he still ranks highly in my book . get carter has great directing , strong acting by rourke and caine , and energetic car chases that would make william friedkin proud . the only thing it lacks - as with most hollywood productions -- is a good script and proper casting . never mind that it should never have been made at all .
0NEG
[ "the movie lacks what the original did as well : purpose", "the shiny paint rusted off on the edges", "the only thing it lacks - as with most hollywood productions -- is a good script and proper casting . never mind that it should never have been made at all", "looks like an old guy trying to act tough , while nobody is taking him seriously . his one - liners fall flat , and he seems tired and uncertain", "too bad", "what the hell has happened to all good american action movies ?" ]
a remake of the 1978 warren beatty vehicle " heaven can wait " ( which in turn was a remake of " here comes mr . jordan " ) , " down to earth " tells the tale of lance barton ( chris rock , " lethal weapon iv " ) , a young black standup comic trying to win over the audience at harlem 's apollo theater . when he 's taken to heaven prematurely by bumbling angel keyes ( eugene levy , " best in show " ) , his only recourse is to return in another body . he chooses that of charles wellington , the tenth richest man in the united states . of course , wellington is not only rich , but white and 53 years old , which makes lance 's bid for closing night at the apollo , as well as his desire to woo suntee ( regina taylor , " jerry maguire " ) , a tad tricky . the original elaine may / warren beatty script has been reworked by chris rock , lance crouther , ali leroi , and louis c . k . to turn beatty 's vehicle as a football player into rock 's vehicle as a comic and add some racial humor . as directed by chris weitz and paul weitz ( codirectors of " american pie " and costars of " chuck & buck " ) , the whole affair comes off as amateur hour . initial scenes play like filmed line reading rehearsals . production values are shoddy . most serious of all is the use of rock when his wellington counterpart would have been more appropriate . this problem is clearly attributable to the fact that the old white guy is never lip or action synched when he is on screen . rock does get the chance to do some fun schtick , such as his turnaround on wellington 's plans for a poor neighborhood hospital ( ' bullet in the head ? you got a bed ! ' ) , but he 's uneven when interacting with the rest of the cast . regina taylor fares well amidst the mediocrity as the young activist who confusedly ends up falling for the man she believed to be her nemesis . also good is frankie faison ( " hannibal " ) as whitney , lance 's compassionate manager - the only human who 's made privy to lance 's body body switch . chaz palminteri and levy are pretty much wasted as heaven 's ambassadors . another " best in show " alumnus , jennifer coolidge , is poorly used as wellington 's cheating wife ( and shown several days apart wearing the same outfit ? ! ) and greg germann ( tv 's " ally mcbeal , " " sweet november " ) continues display his sitcom roots as her lover and husband 's lawyer . mark addy ( " the full monty " ) is sorely underutilized as cisco , wellington 's fake english butler . stealing the show in every scene she 's in is wanda sykes ( " the chris rock show " ) as wellington 's disgruntled maid . " down to earth " is for chris rock fans only . all others should go rent " heaven can wait " or truly be brought down to earth .
0NEG
[ "the whole affair comes off as amateur hour", "shoddy", "mediocrity", "this problem is clearly attributable", "are pretty much wasted", "he 's uneven when interacting with the rest of the cast", "sorely underutilized" ]
what would you do if no one could see you ? well , if you 're a super smart bio - molecular research scientist working for the military , you 'd grope a co - worker and rough - up your neighbor from across the street . that 's right . of all the non - criminal possibilities brought about by rendering oneself invisible , in " hollow man " kevin bacon 's character opts to commit sex crimes . er , it 's kevin bacon who plays the super smart military bio - molecular research scientist ? something sounds horribly wrong already . but this is a paul verhoeven film , and the sleazepin director of such open - crotch classics as " basic instinct " and the infamous " showgirls " never lets a little credibility get in the way of his voyeuristic tendencies which , when you come right down to it , is all this film is about . " hollow man " features a string of hapless , c - list actors ( among them bacon , elisabeth shue , josh brolin , and kim dickens ) in a grade - z plot with a lot of special effects that , frankly , do n't look much better than those used in the 1933 version of " the invisible man . " oh bacon glistens when he gets wet all right and looks like a rather fatty side of cheap flank steak when he 's attempting reentry but otherwise it 's lots of " thermal " shots and inanimate objects ( elisabeth shue included ) bobbing around without any visible signs of support . since invisibility , once achieved , is n't much of an effect ( the actors spend half their time conversing with nobody and the other half of their time talking to each other -- it amounts to much of a muchness ) , the director elects to wardrobe all of his female protagonists in loosely - buttoned sweaters so that the minute bacon 's character gets invisible he can head straight for them . it 's as if that fascinating concept -- what would you do if no one could see you ? --is simply a verhoeven ploy to show some skin . as a horror film , " hollow man " is unsophisticated and disturbing ( in its intent , not its achievements ) and not worth your time or your hard - earned dollars . it 's minor verhoeven -- and even that 's not saying much -- and boy is it hollow .
0NEG
[ "unsophisticated and disturbing", "otherwise it 's lots of \" thermal \" shots and inanimate objects", "without any visible signs of support", "a string of hapless , c - list actors", "simply a verhoeven ploy to show some skin", "a grade - z plot", "never lets a little credibility get in the way of his voyeuristic tendencies", "boy is it hollow", "something sounds horribly wrong already", "not worth your time or your hard - earned dollars" ]
roger ebert asks in his review of sexy beast , " who would have guessed that the most savage mad - dog frothing gangster in recent movies would be played by . . . ben kingsley ? " my response would be that anyone who has seen alan arkin in wait until dark , henry fonda in once upon a time in the west , or anthony hopkins in the silence of the lambs should have guessed it . they should know that the way for a film to create a really creepy sociopath is cast someone who generally plays mild , sympathetic , or even ineffectual character roles . the same characteristics that make an actor seem gentle in most of his roles can work in his favor when a role calls for him to be fierce and vicious . that is the principle that works for kingsley in sexy beast . gary " gal " dove ( played by ray winstone ) has retired from a london career of crime and is living on a luxurious villa in spain . life has become a routine of sunning himself and relaxing . but his paradise is about to be shattered by a one - two - punch . the first punch is a boulder that comes rolling down the hill next to the villa . the second punch comes from gal 's past . back in london gang boss teddy bass ( ian mcshane , tv 's lovejoy ) is planning to break into a safety deposit room in a bank and he wants gal . he sends his most rabid henchman don logan ( ben kingsley ) to fetch gal . don will accept any decision gal makes from " yes " to " certainly . " however , if gal says " no " don will do whatever it takes to turn it into a yes including threatening guy 's ex - porn- star wife deedee ( amanda redman ) . in the meantime don knows just how to get under everybody 's skin . kingsley makes don a compact package of fury and nastiness . there are some serious problems in louis mellis 's and david scinto 's script that should have been caught before filming . when we see the actual crime we have no idea why gal was so important to its success . beyond an ability to use skin - diving gear , no special talents are required of him . any local hood could have done what gal is needed for . additionally the crime involves digging from a swimming pool to the bank vault , flooding the vault . no only could they have let the water out of the pool and avoided the complication altogether , but there is by far too much water to be accounted for by what was in the pool . in spite of the provocative title , the story is cliched and overly familiar . i know i have seen all the plot elements of sexy beast in old westerns like the law and jake wade . the story is usually of the reformed outlaw , a robert taylor type , who has hung up his guns and is trying for a life of peaceful respectability . the old gang , however , wants to do one more job with their old buddy and sends a rabid richard widmark type to go and git ? i m . it is not a great plot . in sexy beast even the plot twists have gray beards . perhaps the film has a little more respectability because it was made not as a western but as a stylish british gangster film . it is an old plot dressed up to look new . if the plot is old , at least the style is creative . this is director jonathan glazer 's first film , but he has reputedly done some notable tv ads for guinness stout . his style does have some unexpected touches including some very odd dream sequences . cinematographer ivan bird uses a lot of half lit scenes . we see one side of a person 's faces . but the other side fades into the darkness , a sort of metaphor for the half - world these characters in - habit . half of everything that is happening is also kept hidden . us yanks will have a hard time with some of the dialog . at least in my theater it was difficult to make out the words with the quiet speaking , the heavy accents , and the cockney language . sexy beast is a very and familiar minor plot lent respectability in the us by being done in what is here a still somewhat novel genre , the london crime film . the plot may be new to british crime films , but it would be overly familiar as a western . further respectability comes from ben kingsley 's high - powered performance . i give it a 4 on the 0 to 10 scale and a 0 on the -4 to +4 scale .
0NEG
[ "there are some serious problems", "it is not a great plot", "it would be overly familiar", "the story is cliched and overly familiar" ]
apparantly money talks . . . and uses quite a bit of obscenities doing so ! i 've always considered myself pretty open about the gratuity a film can possess , whether in language , violence , sex , or what have you . i find that this fact gives me a little more leverage to complain when a movie goes overboard , and money talks definitely does ! it 's not so much that the movie swore nearly constantly ( and i mean constantly ! ) , but it swore so much that it seemed overly prominent and way too staged . perhaps if one character were foul mouthed , but in this film , everybody swears nearly every other word . money talks is about a black ticket scalper named franklin hatchett ( played less annoyingly than expected by chris tucker ) . franklin is your typical con - man and ends up with more than one person out to get him . when the plot finally gets underway , there 's no less than three people ( or groups ) that want him , dead or alive . the frenchman who 's somewhat responsible for franklin 's escape from a prisoner - packed bus , a hoodlum whom franklin owes seven grand , and the cops who wrongly suspect him of murder . franklin 's only hope : james russell ( charlie sheen ) , an investigative reporter for the local news who 's out to prove himself a worthy journalist . james offers to help clear franklin 's name if franklin will just allow him an exclusive report to help channel 12 conquer sweeps week . both of these elements are completely lost along the way however , and never do reappear . as expected , the odd couple of franklin and james do wind up friends at the end , which is another wasted element seeing as how they show no signs of becoming friends at any point along the way . there is just nothing original or intriguing about this film , and so many developments are either non - relevant , or just plain forgotten about . money talks is a paint - by - numbers movie that lacks any real involvment with the audience . frivilous dialogue , a predictable , flat storyline , and two - dimensional characters make money talks a reason to save your money .
0NEG
[ "a paint - by - numbers movie that lacks any real involvment with the audience", "there is just nothing original or intriguing about this film , and so many developments are either non - relevant , or just plain forgotten about", "both of these elements are completely lost along the way however , and never do reappear", "another wasted element", "it swore so much that it seemed overly prominent and way too staged", "frivilous dialogue , a predictable , flat storyline , and two - dimensional characters make money talks a reason to save your money" ]
starting with the little mermaid and most recently the lion king , the walt disney company once again proved that they could not only consistently make modern day animated classics , but were particularly in touch with what the general viewing public -- particularly kids-- wanted to see . therefore , it 's with some surprise that as a big fan of the above mentioned movies i was so disappointed with pocahontas . despite some innovation and risk taking , the story is surprisingly straightforward and dramatized in broad strokes , as are its characters . a group of englishmen lead by the evil governor ratcliffe come to the new world in search of gold with no regard for the " savages " that live there . the natives look upon the english with just as much fear and distrust . only the love between the beautifully structured pocahontas and the dashing captain john smith can prevent a terrible clash . the ending , as it turns out , is not entirely a happy one and is one of the film 's finer moments . the characters are mixtures of stereotypes and lack any real depth . governor ratcliffe , for instance , is a snobbish , single - minded bore whose mere appearance is supposed to bring about hisses . captain john smith is a blond hunk who , while " slightly " misguided , is good at heart . pocahontas herself is the typical disney heroine who is practically being forced to marry a man who everyone but her likes and finds the man of her dreams just in time . she even comes complete with insignificant best friend . again , against tradition , talking animals are n't used , but a lusty , wizened , talking tree is . this is an odd compromise , but it 's one of the few elements that really work . the animals are a delight , and what brief time their interactions take place brings the only humor and fun to a rather bland presentation . maybe it would have been a better film if we saw the story unfold through their eyes . the talking tree , who seems to have a thing for john smith , is the only other character that can hold our interest and is perhaps the best developed of the bunch . the music , a welcome delight in the later disney films , is mostly a let down here , with the exception of the catchy and motivational , " colors of the wind . " mel gibson , as the voice of john smith , has a solid singing voice and should have been used more . the opposite holds true for the governor ratcliffe led songs ; the singing is even more grating than his simplistic character . i was rather bored through what turned out to be a shorter than expected running time . even the children in the audience seemed restless . while there 's no stopping a kid from seeing something that they want -- or disney wants them to -- most i believe will be disappointed . perhaps the biggest problem is that disney has strayed from their familiar fable and fairy tale themes to history . it 's all right to change or embellish fantasy to suit a movie 's entertainment value , but doing so to historical facts does n't work nearly as well as creating nagging questions in the viewer 's minds and plot holes that are never filled . even the artwork , another disney strong point , varies greatly in quality , making any story problems even more obvious . as mentioned above , there were many questions that stayed with me while viewing the film . for instance , if john smith was truly such a world traveler and had so much experience with " savages , " why did he so quickly change his previous " kill as many indians as i can " attitude . if he was such a nice guy after all , he should have changed his ways long before this . or how about pocahontas ' amazing english speaking ability when this had supposedly been the first time she had seen white men ? i can understand making the native americans speak english for the benefit of the audience , but simply saying that they had met a missionary years earlier would have cleared up a lot ; history was modified in the film anyway . as it is , i wonder if it does n't give kids the wrong impression . in short , the film is too simplistic for adults and contains too much romance and not enough action or humor for the younger set . while disney tried valiantly in many ways to break with some of their firmest traditions , they end up failing on too many levels .
0NEG
[ "does n't work nearly as well as creating nagging questions in the viewer 's minds and plot holes that are never filled", "most i believe will be disappointed", "the children in the audience seemed restless", "i wonder if it does n't give kids the wrong impression", "i was rather bored", "too simplistic", "i was so disappointed", "the biggest problem", "they end up failing on too many levels", "mostly a let down here", "not enough action or humor", "the characters are mixtures of stereotypes and lack any real depth", "varies greatly in quality , making any story problems even more obvious", "surprisingly straightforward and dramatized in broad strokes", "the singing is even more grating than his simplistic character" ]
plot : upon the realization that they are failing all of their classes , two roommates try to find a third roomie who will kill himself , since the school 's charter automatically grants top grades to the roommates of any student who succeeds in suicide . critique : despite this film 's interesting premise and dark subject matter , this movie sucks because it is unfunny , boring , and presents us with one of tom everett scott 's worst acting performances . add that to a completely unsuccessful romance element , many lame and corny jokes , a long wait for the setup , and an ending that takes all the blackness out of this " black comedy " ( if you 're gon na create a black comedy , do n't chicken out in the end - see very bad things ( 8/10 ) for a perfect example ) , and you 've got yourself a trite mtv creation worthy of its own subject matter . i barely laughed at any gags , found the bong element contrived and repetitive , and was horrified not to find any gratuitous nudity tossed anywhere in this movie ( if you 're gon na make a bad college comedy , at least slap in some free t&a shots for the kids : ) . this one 's not even worth the rental , fellas . skip it altogether ! little known facts about this film and its stars : during auditions for that thing you do ! , tom everett scott 's first feature film role , director tom hanks was opposed to hiring tom because of the fact that scott could 've passed for hanks 15 years ago . it was n't until hanks ' wife rita wilson saw the audition tape , and decided he was cute , that hanks decided to risk hiring scott . the actor who played scott cooper in this film , mark - paul gosselaar , is best known for having played the character of zack morris on tv 's " saved by the bell " . his parents are dutch and named hans and paula . and who would 've guessed that this is director alan cohn 's first shot at directing a feature film ?
0NEG
[ "contrived and repetitive , and was horrified", "this movie sucks because it is unfunny , boring , and presents us with one of tom everett scott 's worst acting performances . add that to a completely unsuccessful romance element , many lame and corny jokes , a long wait for the setup , and an ending that takes all the blackness out", "i barely laughed", "not even worth the rental , fellas . skip it altogether !" ]
when respecting a director , you must also respect the fact that they are not perfect . woody allen has made a couple less - than good films , and he 's my favorite . even martin scorsese has n't had a perfect track record . kevin smith , after a smashing debut with the classic " clerks " stooped as low to sell - out and make the dreadful " mallrats . " i mean , so far the only director who 's made several films , none of which have been bad is richard linklater ( " slacker , " " dazed and confused , " " before sunrise , " and " suburbia " . . . all which were great ) . now , i adore quentin tarantino . his first two films were classic films , the second one being one of the greatest films of all time . but 1995 just was n't that good of a year for him . he made way too many tv appearances . he mispronounced jackie chan 's name on the mtv movie awards . and he made this film . ( he was also awarded an oscar , so i guess that would be a grand exception ) . robert rodriguez is also a great director ; not a brilliant one , but a cool one . i 've never seen an alexandre rockwell or allison anders film , so i ca n't comment on them . but in this crap ensemble director 's film , all four give pitiful efforts . pitiful for any director , too . now in all fairness , ensemble director pieces never really work out . i 've never seen all of " new york stories , " but have heard the first two films , by scorsese and francis ford coppola are crap ( i saw woody 's one , which was hilarious but not totally up to par ) . but i will rate each film individually and then report back to you on the overal average score of the film . exposition : a simple one - a bellhop , ted ( the totally overdone tim roth , who 's a god and all , but not in this one , though he has a couple good moments ) is working on new year 's eve for his first shift ( ! ! ! ) in an old fancy hotel . he 's the only one there ( again : ! ! ! ) and he only has a couple rooms ( yet again : ! ! ! ) . the old bellhop ( the seemingly immortal marc lawrence - who hated pulp fiction actually ) hands over his cap to ted and he goes to his job happily . as the night goes on , he becomes increasingly annoyed and hostile . yea . ( the short films are presented in order , btw ) : the missing ingredient writer / director : allison anders starring : sammi davis , amanda decadenet , valeria golino , madonna , ione skye , lili taylor , alicia witt this one starts it off horribly with no plot , no intrigue , and crap dialogue . the situation is so terrible that it 's physically painful to watch . the plot has something to do with a coven of witches needing sperm to bring back a godess who is ( gasp ! ) stuck inside some object in their hotel room . the witch that was supposed to bring it ( ione skye ) calls up ted and asks him if she can perform fellatio on him to get it . yeah , that 's what i said . stupid plot , inane characters who are n't interesting at all , etc , etc , etc . the only good thing about this is it has a good cast which , in turn , it wastes pitifully . not even actually funny for a second . my rating ( out of 5 ) : no stars ! ! ! ! the wrong man writer / director : alexandre rockwell starring : david proval , jennifer beals and laurence bender another bad little film with another stupid sex thing going on . ted stumbles into the wrong room or something and gets in the middle of a couple ( david proval and jennifer beals in her attempt at " coming back " ) who are playing sex games . ted tries to escape and we cheer him on so it will end soon . but at least this has a bit of comedy in it , just not that much . and david proval has never overacted as much . and it 's " pulp fiction " producer laurence bender who gets to puke from a window . a masterpiece compared to the first one , but still . . . the misbehavers writer / director : robert rodriguez starring : antonio banderes , tamlyn tomita , lana mckissack , danny verduzco , salma hayek would a robert rodriguez film be the same without salma hayek 's navel ? nope . luckily she 's on the tv dancing so we get to see her . surprisingly enough , when i read the screenplay ( about a year before actually seeing it ) , this one seemed to have the most potential . it was fast - paced , funny , and well , funny . but when i watched it , it seemed anti - climactic and only seemed to gain any momentum towards the end when everything happened at once . antonio overacts nicely and the two kids ( lana and danny ) are funny . but , as i said , it moves slowly and in that way , it 's more painful than funny . but the ending was stupid and funny at the same time . oh ! the plot : antonio is a supposed gangster ( assumed , really ) who leaves his two troubling kids home while he and his wife ( tomita ) go out to get drunk at a new year 's party . antonio hires ted for a couple bucks to watch his kids all night long , but things go wrong . . . it was okay . the man from hollywood writer / director : quentin tarantino starring : quentin tarantino , bruce willis , paul calderon and jennifer beals ( again ) ironically , this one could be considered the best for a bad reason : it best represents what quentin has done with this film . he plays chester , a spoiled brat actor or something who has just had a huge box - office hit on his hands and is living it up by playing an anti - climactic game from a hitchcock tv episode starring steve mcqueen and peter lorre where they gamble to see if one of them can get light from his lighter ten times in a row . they 're drunk and need sober but nervous ted to hold the cleaver and bring it down if the lighter does n't light . they also pay him a lot of cash . this is so much exactly what this little film is about that it 's campy . tim roth was probably payed a lot of money to do this stupid part in this stupid film made by a bunch of people who are high on themselves 'cause they 've had hits , major or minor . it took quentin to realize that . but the thing is , it does n't seem like he realizes that . if he did , i 'd give this a good 3 stars . but this sucked . it was anti - climactic and the dialogue was n't very good . he starts off with a very long steadicam shot then goes to flashes . that makes no sense . it 's cool for a while , then he makes it uneven . it 's long and it 's just not very good . hopefully quentin never repeats what he did with this one . conclusion : what 's the moral here ? if you 've made celebrated films , do n't do an ensemble piece . they should have re - watched " new york stories " and then stopped in their tracks . none of these have any point to them and they 're embarrassing to not only the writer / directors , but to the actors 'cause they 're working with crap . but i will forgive everyone involved and i especially look forward to quentin 's next directing job ( even though he and rodriguez jumped back to the top immeadiately with the cool " from dusk till dawn , " which i found exhilerating ) . i love quentin and i suppose it 's good he made " the man from hollywood " because it makes him seem more realistic and not some " god of cinema . " i seem to respect directors if they are n't " gods " and are actually human beings who make mistakes . " the man from hollywood " is his big mistake and let 's hope he does n't return her continuously .
0NEG
[ "is his big mistake", "it wastes pitifully . not even actually funny for a second", "this one starts it off horribly with no plot , no intrigue , and crap dialogue . the situation is so terrible that it 's physically painful to watch", "another bad little film with another stupid sex thing going on", "stupid plot , inane characters who are n't interesting at all", "more painful than funny", "stupid part in this stupid film made by a bunch of people who are high on themselves 'cause they 've had hits", "none of these have any point to them and they 're embarrassing", "they 're working with crap", "this sucked", "anti - climactic and the dialogue was n't very good", "in this crap ensemble director 's film , all four give pitiful efforts", "it seemed anti - climactic", "it moves slowly", "it 's long and it 's just not very good" ]
you do n't need to have seen the original " species " to appreciate how utterly lousy " species ii " is . with few exceptions , sequels tend to be worse than the films that spawned them , but the fact that " species ii " is a follow - up is n't the only reason it 's so miserable . it 's the predictable storyline , the cardboard characters , the banal dialogue , the failed attempts at humor , the revolting special effects , the gratuitous nudity ( all female , of course ) , the bad acting , and the bland direction . the plot , simply geared at getting the alien species back on planet earth so that it can reak some more havoc , involves three astronauts landing on mars and inadvertently bringing some alien slime in a soil sample back aboard their shuttle . the slime , well , sort of jumps out at them and the screen turns black . that should have been the end of the movie right there . back on terra firma , at least one of the crew is now a carrier of alien dna and , as you 'll remember if you saw the first movie , driven by a strong urge to procreate . on a parallel track , government scientists have cloned a version of sil from the first film ( now called eve , again " played " by natasha henstridge ) and are keeping her around for some testing . this , apparently , includes observing eve 's reaction to " the dukes of hazzard " tv show , which she appears to enjoy . eve 's bio - rhythms go off the scale each time one of her kinfolk " mates , " which we are forced to witness in gross - out detail , but otherwise there does n't appear to be a whole lot of reason why henstridge is in this film , unless it was written into her contract ( let 's hope it cited one sequel and one sequel only ) . eve finally breaks free of her confines -- and her bra -- for the finale , but the effects are so messy you ca n't really see what 's going on . peter boyle is totally wasted as an institutionalized scientist who screams " i told 'em not to go ! " at the top of his lungs , referring to the mars mission but more likely aimed at the makers of this piffle . michael madsen reprises his role of press lennox ( so that he can enter high security areas , flash a badge and claim to be press , maybe ? ) , as does marg helgenberger as dr . laura baker , the one subjecting eve to the tv reruns . they 're both unbelievably wooden . what 's a talented filmmaker like peter medak ( " the ruling class , " " the krays , " " let him have it " ) doing directing this tripe , i wonder . it 's an unfortunate trend , this : once - talented directors throwing in the towel and lending their names to unchallenging horror flicks like " species ii . " last year peter hyams gave us " the relic " ; no thanks necessary there . and the first " species " was helmed by roger donaldson who , although certainly no genius behind the camera , had demonstrated much better judgment with his previous choice of projects . is it just that there are no better offers out there ? " species ii " is worthless . worse than that , it 's also exploitative , offensive , and insulting to the intelligence at every turn . it 's not that there is n't anything positive to say about the film . there is . after 92 minutes , it ends .
0NEG
[ "utterly lousy", "worthless . worse than that , it 's also exploitative , offensive , and insulting to the intelligence at every turn", "unbelievably wooden", "we are forced to witness in gross - out detail", "the effects are so messy you ca n't really see what 's going on . peter boyle is totally wasted", "an unfortunate trend", "throwing in the towel and lending their names to unchallenging horror flicks", "it 's so miserable . it 's the predictable storyline , the cardboard characters , the banal dialogue , the failed attempts at humor , the revolting special effects", "the bad acting , and the bland direction", "the makers of this piffle", "tripe" ]
" something is fishy in the state of universal . " about ten years back , with the unexpected success of mad max and the road warrior , post - apocalypse nitty - gritty survival yarns became popular at the movies . we 've always had movies of this nature ; on the beach , the end of the world , damnation alley , the ultimate warrior , and so on . to date , the most smoothly done were straightforward " haircuts " of the classic western plot , like the lone gunman who comes to town and protects the widow and the son against an evil organization , usually one in possession of some critical resource , like water , feed range , or a mining claim . most of these grew out of venerable , but solid hero yarns like the virginian and shane . ( my personal favorite is a patrick swayze movie called steel dawn , which was fairly well made on a small budget . ) now we have waterworld , which again brings the traditional lone gunman to town to rescue the young widow and her daughter . ( well , she 's not a widow , and the kid is n't her daughter , but you get the idea . ) the lady is helen , played by the stunning jean tripplehorn , who is n't given a chance to be stunning , or even interesting , by the mediocre and unimaginative script . the child enola , played by tina majorino , is living proof that a child actor need not be a bad thing to have in a movie ; she outshines her material all the way through . in simple , the scene is earth , hundreds of years from now . the polar ice caps have melted , and somehow produced enough water to inundate the entire planet . the few remaining people live in boats and floating colonies , and survive by trade , theft , or piracy . somehow an oil tanker has survived the centuries , and its inhabitants , called " smokers , " are able to keep gasoline engines running despite the dearth of replacement parts and raw materials , so the bad guys have outboard engines , and fast - moving boats , airplanes , and jet skis . enola , found at sea as a young girl , has a mysterious map no one can read tattooed on her back . we suspect early on that it is the way to the mythical " dryland , " the place where trees , crops , and animals grow , and what plot there is hinges on who has enola . the psycho ruler of the smokers , the " deacon , " is trying to get her and find his way to dryland . played with typical self - lampooning , rug - chewing histrionics by dennis hopper , " deacon " is the only thing in the movie that 's close to amusing . his performance is * almost * laughable , but there just is n't enough there to be funny . the star ( and a co - producer ) is kevin costner . he 's playing an un - named lone denizen of the sea , a man called the " mariner , " who turns out to be a gilled , water - breathing mutant with webbed feet . very little is done with this . the script ignores the ineffectuality of gills in supplying enough oxygen to support a human metabolism ; it ignores the fact that even with both ice caps completely melted , much of the earth 's surface would still be above water ; and it ignores the blatant impossibility of the cultures and technology shown . ( canned meat does * not * last for centuries ; ammunition does * not * fire after it 's more than a few decades old ; and so on , and so on . . . ) i 'm quite fond of tina majorino 's previous work , very impressed by jean tripplehorn 's past accomplishments , and still speechless over costner 's dances with wolves . but this movie could destroy the careers of anyone associated with it ! this movie cost one hundred and eighty - two million dollars , and there 's * nothing * in it we have n't seen before , done better on only a few percent of the cost of this turkey . at 125 minutes of material , this movie cost over one point four million dollars per minute to make . the budget of this movie * could * have given us over thirty movies ; it could have paid for six years of a prime - time sf tv series with expensive fx work , or ten years of an sf tv series with good digital fx . in sum , this movie is beneath contempt . it has nothing new to offer , it has a script that could easily have been bettered by the people who write comic books for dc , and it spent more money than the national budget of a small nation . if you * have * to go see it , see it on a four - dollar matinee . otherwise you 'll find yourself sneering at you every time you pass a reflective surface , for weeks .
0NEG
[ "turkey", "this movie is beneath contempt", "this movie could destroy the careers of anyone associated with it !", "it ignores the blatant impossibility of the cultures and technology shown", "is n't given a chance to be stunning , or even interesting , by the mediocre and unimaginative script", "has nothing new to offer , it has a script that could easily have been bettered by the people who write comic books for dc , and it spent more money than the national budget of a small nation", "the script ignores the ineffectuality" ]
this season needs another serial killer movie like kathie lee gifford needs more public devastation . but lo and behold , here comes " switchback , " and fast on the heels of such stalker fare as " kiss the girls " and " i know what you did last summer . " but " switchback " is an undoubtedly weak genre entry , as the material it covers is old and tired , and the filmmakers rarely sustain enough energy to make any of the proceedings interesting . " switchback " opens with the murder of a babysitter and the abduction of the young child she 's watching . we learn late in the game that the kid belongs to fbi agent frank lacrosse ( dennis quaid ) , and that the kidnapper / killer is a nameless fiend that lacrosse has been tracking across the country for quite a while . he is promptly removed from the case , but this conflict of interest does n't keep him from offering pursuit . lacrosse 's most recent trek takes him to a blood - soaked hotel room in amarillo , texas , where the local sheriff ( r . lee ermey ) is torn between his re - election campaign and helping his new ally catch his man . in a related aside , former railway worker bob goodall ( danny glover ) is cruising through the snowbound west in his pinup - plastered ( even on the seatbelts ) el dorado . along the way , he picks up -- and subsequently saves the life of -- hitchhiking loner lane dixon ( jared leto ) . this tangent is n't a random one , as bob or lane will end up either holding a piece of the puzzle or turn out to be the killer himself . or is the villain in fact lacrosse , only pretending to be after the cold - hearted murderer he knows so much about . in a sense , that 's half of the basic problem with " switchback . " for its first hour , the movie presents evidence that any of these three men could be the perpetrator , so we 're given little insight into who they are , likely for fear that we 'll learn too much too fast and therefore be able to make the proper deduction . but " switchback " then decides to explicitly reveal the killer 's identity at its midpoint , and the following contradictory character motivations muddle both the pacing and the generation of suspense . some of the acting is a burdensome area as well , probably because the performers were instructed to build personas that are the exact opposite of their true selves . what is danny glover doing here , grinning and yeehawing his way through the messy plot ? and dennis quaid ? ( that monotone -- stop it ! ) ermey is solid in a supporting role that 's more interesting than the two leads thrown together , but the charismatic leto ( claire danes ' object of affection in " my so - called life " ) is a scene - stealer tried and true . > from a material standpoint , " switchback " is pretty empty . but even when first - time director jeb stuart ( who wrote " the fugitive " and " die hard " ) does n't know what to do , he knows what he wants it to look like -- the movie provides some great visuals . the set - on - a - train climax looks good ( even though the action is illogical ) , and the beautiful , crisp cinematography captures the rockies in all of their icy splendor . still , that 's not enough to turn a lump of coal into a diamond , and more than the movie 's look will end up leaving you cold .
0NEG
[ "stop it !", "that 's half of the basic problem", "a lump of coal", "will end up leaving you cold", "does n't know what to do", "pretty empty", "the following contradictory character motivations muddle both the pacing and the generation of suspense . some of the acting is a burdensome area as well", "an undoubtedly weak genre entry , as the material it covers is old and tired , and the filmmakers rarely sustain enough energy to make any of the proceedings interesting" ]
plot : a separated , glamorous , hollywood couple must pretend to reunite for a press junket of the last movie that they ever shot together . kewl . . . now i only wish that i could pretend never to have seen this movie . . . critique : trite , unfunny , boring and a waste of everyone 's talent . how a premise with such zest and bite can turn into a movie that does n't feature any chemistry , any real laughs , any surprises or any spice is beyond me . how julia roberts is used solely as a " puppy dog " character , puttering around in the background while we endure the complete bitchiness of zeta - jones ' character , who is not one bit funny or romantic ( two ideal ingredients in a " romantic comedy " ) , is also beyond me . and why they chose john cusack , a great , quirky actor in his own right , to play the most bland , uninteresting and unfetching character ( with zero chemistry with either of his leads ) is further more , beyond me . and to anybody who decided that this project was " funny " enough to greenlight featuring the talents mentioned above , along with billy crystal , christopher walker , seth green and stanley tucci . . . well , what can i say . . . i just do n't have the words . so is this the worst movie that i 've seen all year ? no . but it definitely sucks and it 's basically because . . . well , it 's just not funny . and for the record , allow me to state a few more problems with it . it starts off slow , it 's got no energy , it does n't engage you with any of its characters ( julia barely gets somewhat interesting in the film , everyone else . . . lame ! ) , it utilizes way too many flashbacks to move the story forward , it 's utterly predictable , standard , routine , see - through and uninteresting as a plot and it just sits there on the screen , big and ugly , waiting . . . waiting for you to laugh or find something in it that is amusing . and then hank azaria shows up . . . aaaaaah , the film 's savior ( mind you , some might be offended by his exaggeration of a stereotype , but that 's another story altogether ) . but when an experienced " voice " actor upstages all of the main stars in a summer " blockbuster " romantic comedy with an over - the - top antonio banderas accent , damn dude . . . your film 's in trouble ! ! rent this movie on video just to see what went wrong yourself . the references to ricky ricardo and senor wences ( huh ! ? ) , the idio - plot points like when one of the characters goes on the roof to stretch his arms out and relax , but everyone believes that he 's going to kill himself ( hardy - har - har ) and the cheap way of getting the audience to leave the theater laughing by bringing back a ball - sniffing dog that has no place being in the location at the end of the movie , well . . . i could go on . but i wo n't because i do still respect all of the actors in this film and actually did laugh at azaria , green and tucci 's antics from time to time ( ironic , eh . . . what about the leads , dammit ! ) and liked the premise behind the film ( before i saw the finished product , of course ) . a dud all the way around . btw , all the talk about this film was that julia roberts was to be in a fat suit for one scene ( her character is supposed to have lost 60 pounds ) , so when the scene finally came , i did get a little excited about what it might look like and then . . . well , it basically just looked like julia roberts in a fat suit ! ugh . i think i 'm gon na start drinking again after this lame - ass movie . c'mon hollywood , enough with the crud ! where 's joblo coming from ? beautiful ( 1/10 ) - my best friend 's wedding ( 7/10 ) - notting hill ( 5/10 ) - pretty woman ( 7/10 ) -runaway bride ( 5/10 ) - someone like you ( 4/10 ) - wedding planner ( 3/10 ) - when harry met sally ( 10/10 ) - you 've got mail ( 4/10 )
0NEG
[ "ugh .", "it 's just not funny", "enough with the crud !", "one bit funny or romantic", "it definitely sucks", "what went wrong", "lame - ass movie", "trite , unfunny , boring and a waste of everyone 's talent", "( huh ! ? )", "has no place being in the location", "way too many", "the most bland , uninteresting and unfetching character ( with zero chemistry with either of his leads ) is further more , beyond me", "utterly predictable , standard , routine , see - through and uninteresting as a plot and it just sits there on the screen , big and ugly , waiting . . .", "also beyond me", "a movie that does n't feature any chemistry , any real laughs , any surprises or any spice is beyond me", "allow me to state a few more problems with it", "your film 's in trouble ! !", "idio - plot points", "i only wish that i could pretend never to have seen this movie", "a dud all the way around", "starts off slow , it 's got no energy , it does n't engage you with any of its characters", "used solely as a \" puppy dog \" character , puttering around in the background while we endure the complete bitchiness", "the cheap way", ". . . lame !" ]
some talented actresses are blessed with a demonstrated wide acting range while others , almost as gifted , have more limited types of parts for which they are suitable . as was amply evident after basic instinct , sharon stone can play sensual roles with great abandon . rejecting her natural abilities , she has spent the rest of her entire career trying with little success to play against type . gloria is her latest disaster . babe ruth did n't quit baseball after one season to play football in a quixotic quest to prove his athletic dexterity , and neither should stone reject what she does best . janeane garofalo , for example , is no less wonderful an actress because she could have never pulled off stone 's part in basic instinct ; neither is stone any less talented because she could n't do garofalo 's comedic roles . gloria , directed by respected director sidney lumet and adapted by steve antin from the 1980 screenplay by john cassavetes , was not screened in advance for critics , almost always a sign that the studio is n't behind the picture . after seeing it in a nearly empty audience after it opened , it is clear why they held it from the press . it is a film more to be endured than enjoyed . as the story opens , an angry gloria ( stone ) is being released from prison after 3 years confinement . she 's got a bad attitude and a big mouth . she also has a bad case of wavering and overblown new york accents , a disease suffered by much of the rest of the cast . an annoying child actor named jean - luke figueroa plays a soon - to - be orphan named nicky . just before his whole family is gunned down by hoods working for gloria 's ex - boyfriend kevin ( jeremy northam ) , nicky 's dad gives him a banana yellow floppy disk with secrets about kevin 's operation and offers him a piece of fatherly advice . " be a man , " his father lectures him sternly . " do n't trust nobody . not no broads . nobody . " most of the film 's leaden dialog is delivered with the emotive power of the automated time and temperature announcements . add in the movie 's almost non - existent background noise and the excruciatingly slow pacing , and you can hear the sounds of the lines falling to the ground like stones . lumet places his actors in the frames like fruit in a still life painting . they stand awkwardly mouthing the stiff sentences that pass for discourse . ( " say you 're my baby , " kevin coos demandingly . " i 'm not gon na , " gloria pouts back . ) the movie has a plethora of logical flaws and implausibilites . the kid rarely seems the least bit worried or scared , no matter how many people are after him with guns , trying to kill him . and in one key scene , the yellow floppy he holds is assumed to be the right disk without checking it and is further assumed never to have been copied . gloria , who keeps saying how she hates kids , takes nicky under her wing and protects him from kevin and the bad guys . think her maternal instincts will show up before the movie finally and predictably ends ? if you do n't know the answer , you may be just the right viewer for this film . you have to say this for stone : she can keep a straight face . when explaining life to a 7-year - old kid , she says with utter seriousness , " you got a lot of love making to make ; you got a lot of boozing to do . " gloria runs 1 : 48 . it is rated r for profanity , violence and brief male nudity and would be acceptable for teenagers .
0NEG
[ "her latest disaster", "a plethora of logical flaws and implausibilites", "it is clear why they held it from the press", "the studio is n't behind the picture", "overblown new york accents , a disease suffered by much of the rest of the cast", "more to be endured than enjoyed", "leaden dialog is delivered with the emotive power of the automated time and temperature announcements . add in the movie 's almost non - existent background noise and the excruciatingly slow pacing , and you can hear the sounds of the lines falling to the ground like stones . lumet places his actors in the frames like fruit in a still life painting . they stand awkwardly mouthing the stiff sentences that pass for discourse" ]
susan granger 's review of " ghosts of mars " ( sony pictures entertainment ) horror auteur john carpenter ( " halloween , " " vampires " ) strikes out with this sci - fi eco - fable that 's so bad it boggles the mind to imagine how the project ever got green - lit . the script by carpenter and larry sulkis appears to have been lifted directly from last year 's " pitch black , " involving a violent prisoner who must be released from bondage so that he can help a small band of humans protect themselves from blood - thirsty , marauding aliens . in the year 2176 , there are 640 , 000 earthlings on mars , living in a matriarchal society led by a commander , played by pam grier . grier , pill - poppin ' natasha henstridge , and some rookie mars police officers ( clea duvall , jason statham ) travel to the remote mining town of shining canyon to fetch " desolation " williams - that 's ice cube - to bring him back to chryse city to stand trial for murder . but when they 're besieged by demented , zombie - like , body - snatching miners , they readily free the scowling ice cube since they need him for protection . it seems a red cloud was released from a shining canyon cave and , soon after , most of the miners went bonkers as long - dormant remnants of an ancient martian civilization took over their minds and bodies , lopping off heads as " vengeance for anything that tries to lay claim to their planet , " according to a scientist ( joanna cassidy ) . carpenter uses so many flashbacks to tell the " night of the living dead " -like story that the idiotic plot gets incomprehensibly confusing . but you can easily predict each of the supporting characters who will be killed , along with the order of their elimination . on the granger movie gauge of 1 to 10 , " ghosts of mars " thuds to a laborious , bottom - of - the - barrel 1 . perhaps , indeed , there is a curse on mars films , if you recall two other duds : " mission to mars " and " red planet . "
0NEG
[ "thuds to a laborious , bottom - of - the - barrel", "there is a curse on mars films , if you recall two other duds", "the idiotic plot gets incomprehensibly confusing", "strikes out with this sci - fi eco - fable that 's so bad it boggles the mind to imagine how the project ever got green - lit" ]
plot : based on the wildly popular " jerry springer " tv show , this movie follows the lives of two groups of people before they make their bizarre appearances on the infamous program . one posse comes from the trailer parks and are to be featured in the " i slept with my stepfather " segment , and the other is based on some fly - girl whose girlfriends keep sleeping with her undevoted " dog " boyfriend . critique : the truth is that if i did n't have a day job , i would probably watch the real " jerry springer " show every day . i find it quite entertaining , despite its complete lack of redeeming value . having said that , the show itself is outrageous , funny , and always filled with goofy surprises , as opposed to this film which features no laughs ( is this a comedy or a drama ? ) , uninteresting and completely unbelievable one - dimensional stereotypes , and a contrived plot which bores us stupid all the way . i never thought i would utter the word boring in the same sentence as jerry springer , but this film is an absolute yawn - fest , despite offering various scenes featuring simulated blowjobs , lesbians , t&a and tv violence ( who would 've guessed that ? ) . i wish they would have either a ) made this movie much , much funnier , or b ) turned it into a complete drama and given us a real perspective as to why people like this actually put themselves through these public forums of embarrassment . unfortunately , it does n't seem as though screenwriter jon bernstein spent more than a drunken weekend watching real " jerry springer " reruns to complete his script , leaving us with a boring film , featuring no laughs , one - dimensional characters , and no fun whatsoever . little known facts about this film and its stars : jerry springer used to be the mayor of cincinnati , ohio . for this film , he won the 1999 razzie award for worst new star , tied with joe esterhas from an alan smithee film : burn hollywood burn .
0NEG
[ "as opposed to this film which features no laughs ( is this a comedy or a drama ? ) , uninteresting and completely unbelievable one - dimensional stereotypes , and a contrived plot which bores us stupid all the way", "a boring film , featuring no laughs , one - dimensional characters , and no fun whatsoever", "unfortunately , it does n't seem as though screenwriter jon bernstein spent more than a drunken weekend", "this film is an absolute yawn - fest" ]
i never understood what the clich ? " hell on earth " truly meant until very recently . i 've just never experienced anything in my life which was so terrifying , so horrible , so monstrously deplorable that it justified being termed as " hell on earth " . after all , i 've never been to war , i 've never been the victim of any violent crime , i 've never really been broken hearted , and i 've never been audited ; so i really had no frame of reference as to people meant when they said that something was " hell on earth " then i saw cruel intentions . in a perfect world , i would be in charge of all the movie studios . the very first thing i 'd do in this perfect world , would be to take every hollywood producer who thinks that setting any story in contemporary america with a 20-something cast playing teenagers and featuring a soundtrack ripped directly from mtv , and throw them in jail . but it would n't just be your average jail , not even a maximum security installation . i 'd have these producers ( and everyone else involved in the production of these films ) put in front of a war crimes tribunal and forced to beg for mercy for their crimes against humanity . now you 're probably thinking to yourself : " is this really how bad cruel intentions is ? " the answer is no . it 's actually much worse . watching the cast of this motion picture atrocity try to act their way through roger kumble 's awfully written script is probably a lot like stabbing yourself in the arm with a chainsaw and then pouring salt on the open wound . and then pouring acid on the salt . i do n't know if kumble was trying to evoke comedy or tragedy out of his opening scene where marci greenbaum ( tara reid ) whines about having nude photos of her posted on the internet , but the only emotion i felt was sheer boredom . from that opening scene , where boring actor ryan phillippe tries to seduce tv actress swoosie kurtz , to the conclusion which i do n't remember because i had practically fallen asleep ; cruel intentions is truly " hell on earth , " right up there with war and tax audits .
0NEG
[ "is truly \" hell on earth , \" right up there with war and tax audits", "the only emotion i felt was sheer boredom", "who thinks that setting any story in contemporary america with a 20-something cast playing teenagers and featuring a soundtrack ripped directly from mtv , and throw them in jail", "i 'd have these producers ( and everyone else involved in the production of these films ) put in front of a war crimes tribunal and forced to beg for mercy for their crimes against humanity", "i had practically fallen asleep", "this motion picture atrocity try to act their way through roger kumble 's awfully written script is probably a lot like stabbing yourself in the arm with a chainsaw and then pouring salt on the open wound . and then pouring acid on the salt", "i never understood what the clich ? \" hell on earth \" truly meant until very recently", "it 's actually much worse", "boring actor", "so terrifying , so horrible , so monstrously deplorable that it justified being termed as \" hell on earth \"" ]
about an hour or so into " the jackal , " a character wandered around as people were being shot at in a big suspense sequence , and one of the audience members in the theatre i saw it in shouted out " i hope she gets killed now ! " at that point it hit me : i did n't care for any of the characters being played by actors i did n't really like . when the sole reason you care about a character being played by sidney poitier in a suspense film is because he 's being played by sidney poitier , you know something 's rotten in the state of denmark . every year , a couple films like this are released . you know : the cheap , action packed international espionnage film , featuring a semi - promising premise , some big - name actors ( usually bruce willis ) , and the hopes that some audience members will forget the cold war ended several years ago . this was the third one of ' 97 , following the very lackluster " the saint , " which featured an amoral costume changing bond wannabe ; and the surprisingly fun " the peacemaker , " featuring clooney and kidman trying to stop an almost untraceable villain . " the jackal " tries to mix both elements . and you thought " the saint " was bad . " the jackal " is loosely ( very loosely , i hope ) based on the 1973 fred zimmerman classic that i 've yet to see , " the day of the jackal , " which featured ( apparently ) a suave hitman called the jackal , played by edward fox , trying to assasinate charles degaule . well , welcome to the 90s , where a sorta suave hitman , also called the jackal ( bruce willis ) , trying to kill the head of the fbi . . . or is he ? after being hired by a russian mob lord as a bit of vengeance for the murder of his brother ( killed in the opening scenes ) , the jackal romps all over the northen hemisphere , from helsinki to virginia , setting up an elaborate scheme wherein he 'll be able to assasinate this person and still get away to live in seclusion . and like the saint , the jackal changes his look over and over and over again to elude people . the agent working on the case , cater preston ( sidney poitier - yes , that sidney poitier ) , working with a russian agent , valentina koslova ( diane venora - lady capulet from " romeo + juliet " ) , gives up early on and meets with an ex - ira man , declan mulqueen ( richard gere , putting up some tight competition between himself and brad pitt for worst fake irish accent of ' 97 ) who 's in a massachusetts jail , but who has apparently seen the jackal , who has been eluding the law forever . soon , he 's out working with the two untrusting agents , and trying to help them catch him . there are numerous problems with the film , and which one is the biggest one is pretty impossible to put a finger on . the film is supposed to be a big suspense thriller , but save a couple moments , the film never achieves suspense , or even a sense of intrigue . sure , the big assasination attempt is a bit cool looking and even slightly tense , but every other scene in the film is too short and too dull to register . the film never picks up enough to become a thrilling experience , or even an entertaining one . it does n't help that the plot is designed to be complex , but falls into so many problems , like plot holes and unbelievable circumstances . the script of " the jackal " is a complete mess , mostly because it ca n't decide what it wants to focus on . is this a film about a man trying to find redemption by catching a nasty killer ? is it a film about a nasty , amoral hitman who 's in everything for the money ? or is it a combination of both ? " the jackal " aims for the latter , but never focuses in on either character . the connection between the two feels completely edited , so much that in a scene when the jackal turns around and notices declan , you wonder how he recognized him so fast . the worst part is the little past they try to give declan , most notably his relationship with an old girlfriend , isabella ( mathilda may ) , given so little screen time that you almost forget her character exists until she pops up every now and then . the supporting characters are worse . sidney poitier is given a completely unplayable role , that of a man who is just stern sometimes , and other times more giving and likable . what is poitier doing here ? he 's one of the best living actors ! does he really need to waste his time doing drivel like this ? diane venora 's russian character is almost as bad , with a cigarette perpetually in her mouth , and a plastered on expressionless facade . it 's not that anyone 's bad here ; it 's that they have nothing to do . the plot is a joke , feeling like it was pasted together by someone in post - production who dropped each scene on the floor and pasted them together quickly so it could be released on time . the jackal himself is not even much of an international villain . there are several times where he 's in a tight situation and makes things worse for himself , the only explanation being that the filmmakers wanted to toss in a cheap thrill . take a scene where he 's being followed by some agents into a parking garage : he quickly sprays his car another color , and adds a solvent that if touched kills the person who touched it . does n't killing someone attract more attention than it does distract ? and does he think dying his hair bottle blond makes him fit in in a public place ? geez ! is there anything good here ? well . . . a couple things . i did like willis 's icy expressions ; he may not have been real suave or anything , but some of his looks are worth a chuckle . richard gere has a couple of good moments , making his character as likable as he possibly could have . and a couple sequences are kicky in that kind of proposterous , completely inane but fun kinda way , most notably : a sequence where he tests out a new gun on an annoying gun builder ( jack black ) ; and a bit where he seduces a gay washington man , which has its share of a couple good jokes , most particular a kiss by willis . but none of these elevate the film any higher than it could go ; they 're just little distractions along the way to amuse us mildly then toss us back into the world of dullness and stupidity that is " the jackal . " director michael caton - jones ( who directed the far superior " rob roy " ) has made a film that is made very couple months , one that is unentertaining , unintriguing , and pretty much cold , but will nevertheless make money because , hey , the trailers do make it look like it may be fun in that kind of retro - clancy kinda way . every now and then , the filmmakers get it right ( " clear and present danger , " which was enormous fun in that smart kinda way ) , but " the jackal " is an example of when they go completely wrong .
0NEG
[ "the supporting characters are worse", "falls into so many problems , like plot holes and unbelievable circumstances", "a completely unplayable role", "unentertaining , unintriguing , and pretty much cold", "so little screen time that you almost forget her character exists", "they have nothing to do . the plot is a joke", "there are numerous problems with the film", "every other scene in the film is too short and too dull to register . the film never picks up enough to become a thrilling experience , or even an entertaining one", "a plastered on expressionless facade", "they go completely wrong", "i did n't care for any of the characters being played by actors i did n't really like", "something 's rotten in the state of denmark", "the world of dullness and stupidity", "a complete mess , mostly because it ca n't decide what it wants to focus on", "the worst part is", "almost as bad", "the film never achieves suspense , or even a sense of intrigue", "does he really need to waste his time doing drivel like this ?" ]
" showgirls " is the first big - budget , big - studio film to receive an nc-17 rating . and its release last year came at a time when senator bob dole and other politicans chastised the entertainment industry for promoting sex and violence . but if " showgirls " is any indication of hollywood 's future , the folks in washington should focus their attack on a more dangerous threat to american values -- bad moviemaking . " showgirls " is a relentlessly exploitive look at the las vegas strip scene , and the film turns out to be just as trashy as its subject matter . director paul verhoeven and writer joe eszterhas , who collaborated on another shock - value project , 1992 's " basic instinct , " follow the plight of a young woman ( teen tv star elizabeth berkley ) determined to make a name for herself as a topless dancer . it 's a hackneyed premise to begin with , so not surprisingly , all of the stock characters are trucked out . there 's the demanding producer . the loyal friend . the bitchy competitor . lest i forget the scummy club owner . of course , any attempt at character development or a coherent storyline is just window dressing for the film 's main attraction -- an endless parade of full - frontal nudity . unfortunately , " showgirls " does n't satisfy in this department . verhoeven 's slam - bang , in - your - face style of direction proves neither arousing nor erotic . to make matters worse , you 'll be forced to sit through the movie 's clothed scenes , which do n't cover up for laughable acting and some of the most absurd dialogue ever spoken in film history . verhoeven and ezsterhas deserve credit for trying to break ground , but if it 's adult entertainment you want , stay home and watch the playboy channel . you 'll be the wiser for it .
0NEG
[ "a hackneyed premise to begin with", "unfortunately", "just as trashy as its subject matter", "slam - bang , in - your - face style of direction proves neither arousing nor erotic . to make matters worse", "does n't satisfy in this department", "a relentlessly exploitive", "laughable acting and some of the most absurd dialogue ever spoken", "bad moviemaking" ]
here 's a concept -- jean - claude van damme gets killed within the first ten minutes of the movie . now if that is n't enough to get you to finally see a van damme movie , i do n't know what is . all sarcasm aside , it is certainly a different way to start a movie , of course a few minutes later we find out that the newly deceased had a twin brother -- so lucky us , we get to see more of jean - claude . van damme # 1 works for the russian mafia in the united states and is killed by some of their operatives . van damme # 2 is a police officer in france who finds out that he had a twin brother he never knew about after # 1 gets killed in france . the remaining twin ( the french cop ) goes to the united states to find out who killed his brother and avenge his death . once there , he hooks up with his deceased brother 's girlfriend , played by natasha henstridge , and the two of them set out to discover who the murderers are . jean - claude 's acting abilities do n't seem to be up to the usual lackluster standards in this movie . in other words , just in case you missed the sarcasm , his acting is worse than normal . on the upside , natasha henstridge is in this film , and she does what she did best in species -- she gets naked . sadly , this is probably the high point in the movie . she is actually a decent actress , but did n't improve as much as i thought she would after species . this is the typical van damme movie , with jean - claude doing a variety of high end martial arts moves on his opponents . nothing new here , and certainly nothing we have n't seen in every other van damme movie . simply put , there is absolutely nothing new about this movie . it has a retread plot -- this is n't the first time jean - claude has played twins . he still ca n't act . we all saw natasha 's breasts in species ( although this is one repeat performance i 'm not complaining about ) . this is pretty much like every movie that van damme has ever been involved in -- sub par .
0NEG
[ "sub par .", "his acting is worse than normal", "there is absolutely nothing new about this movie", "lucky us", "he still ca n't act", "nothing new here , and certainly nothing we have n't seen in every other" ]
what makes reindeer games even more disappointing than just a predictable , lifeless action flick is the cast and crew who signed onto the project . most of the people involved in reindeer games just came off terrible slumps with excellent comeback performances in their most recent films . john frankenheimer , who made the unforgettable cold war drama the manchurian candidate way back in the early 60 's , recently showed critics and fans alike that he still had some magic left in his directorial skills when he created the brilliant car chase scenes in ronin . screenwriter ehren kruger gave a remarkable first impression when he wrote the script for the underrated arlington rd . ben affleck displayed his comedic talents in dogma and boiler room , and even on saturday night live directly after the horrible forces of nature and 200 cigarettes . even charlize theron , who i was convinced could n't act , did a decent job in cider house rules . when all of these bright stars come together , one would assume that the movie will have great potential to be entertaining . after coming out of the theater showing reindeer games , disbelief was my first reaction ? then frustration . the movie could have premiered on cinemax at two in the morning starring an all - rookie cast and still would have been equally lacking in entertaining . the acting is so pitiful and the script so dull , i may have to rethink some of my opinions on how talented these actors actually are . it seemed like everyone was restricted to just the script and not given a fair amount of improvisational rights . we have all seen ben affleck have some fun on the set , it is so apparent in a number of scenes in good will hunting when he exchanges jokes with his friends at a bar . the actors in that movie were having fun and , from that , the audience had fun . reindeer games is the complete opposite ; the actors do n't seem to want to be their characters ( even danny trejo , who will do practically anything , does n't look like he is enjoying himself ) , causing the audience to quickly lose interest . evidence of public disapproval was noted when a woman behind me yelled " boy this movie is horrible ! " and when there were scattered giggles during the most dramatic moments . the story follows a man , rudy ( ben affleck ) , who is leaving prison in a few days along with his best friend and cellmate nick ( james frain ) . nick has been exchanging love letters with a beautiful woman , ashley ( charlize theron ) , and can not wait to leave prison and meet her in person . when nick is killed in a prison riot , rudy decides to pretend to be nick and take ashley out on a date for the christmas holidays . unfortunately ashley 's brother , gabriel ( gary sinise ) interferes with their relationship . thinking rudy is nick , he kidnaps rudy and threatens to kill him unless he helps rob a casino , which nick use to work at as a security guard . now rudy must pretend to be nick so he can protect ashley from her brother gabriel . confused ? the movie only gets more complex as it goes on , until it gets way , way too complex at its climax . but reindeer games makes its first serious mistake during the first half an hour . the hero commits a greedy , selfish act when he decides to pretend he is his dead cellmate in order to date ashley . some hero . the point of a hero is to do the morally correct thing , a person for the audience to relate to or admire . when rudy lies and cheats his way into trouble , instead of gathering support from me for him to ultimately succeed in getting the bad guys , i felt more like he was getting what he deserved and even wanted to see him fail at times . the most irritating part of the film ( besides the fact that this is a christmas movie released in february ) is the number of chances the bad guys get to kill rudy but fail or delay for some idiotic reason . the routine in which the bad guy must explain his genius plan to the hero before attempting to kill him with some elaborate machine is getting so tired nowadays , especially when i eagerly want to see the hero dead . the only saving grace keeping this movie from receiving zero stars is an amusing but pointless cameo from isaac hayes as a prisoner upset with his food . why he was in this movie for such a pointless role beats me . why any of these people had anything at all to do with this movie beats me .
0NEG
[ "quickly lose interest . evidence of public disapproval was noted when a woman behind me yelled \" boy this movie is horrible ! \"", "everyone was restricted to just the script", "its first serious mistake", "more disappointing than just a predictable , lifeless action flick", ". some hero .", "is getting so tired", "beats me .", "beats me .", "the most irritating part of the film", "lacking in entertaining", "disbelief was my first reaction", "so pitiful and the script so dull", "frustration" ]
( dreamworks skg ) running time : 2 hours starring robert duvall , tea leoni and elijah wood directed by mimi leder the first of the two asteroid movies coming out this year ( the second is the macho armageddon ) is actually a dull affair . elijah wood plays leo biederman , who during astronomy class discovers that a large asteroid is heading for earth . tea leoni plays a ( rather crap ) news reporter , jenny lerner , who soon discovers about this asteroid through a very long winded and boring way , and robert duvall plays the leader of a space crew , spurgeon tanner , who are planning to blow the asteroid out of the path of earth . also featuring is morgan freeman as the president , and maximilian schell and vanessa redgrave as jenny 's father and mother . while many people will walk into the film expecting a big special effects fest with the asteroid blowing everything up ( as the trailers seem to promise ) , the film is actually more of a character study , if a very poor one . the main problem is that there are too many characters in the film , and not enough time to explore them all . only the space crew are given any depth , jenny lerner , leo and the president are surprisingly 2d , and we never get to know these characters . and because i could n't care for them , i did n't really give a crap if the asteroid killed them or not . the script by bruce joel rubin and michael tolkin is horribly simple , and never really makes any interesting statements . mimi leder , the former er director and director of the average the peacemaker ( 1996 ) , again directs in a ho - hum style , and never really gets any emotion out of a scene , which is a shame . the cast are seemingly on autopilot , although tea leoni does gives a rather good performance , even if she acts a bit too dorky for her own good . she seems uncommonly stupid for a journalist . robert duvall is on autopilot with a underwritten role , he just seems to be in this film for the money . elijah wood , one of the best child actors working today , is surprisingly average , although his choice of roles lately have n't exactly been brilliant ( i . e . flipper , 1996 ) . his role is also vastly underwritten . morgan freeman , again , is utterly wasted with a ridiculously underwritten role . like duvall , he just seems to be in the film for the money . the supporting cast are all o . k , none making much of an impression . ok , so deep impact may have messed up character wise , but surely the special effects are good ? well , yes and no . although the special effects should be impressive , with a massive tidal wave destroying new york , the special effects look like , well , special effects . sadly , the waves looks like it 's been drawn on computer , and does n't look too good at all . surprising really , when the effects are done by industrial light & magic , who did the effects for the lost world and twister . in the end , deep impact is a wasted opportunity . what could of been a moving movie with good effects turns out to be a dud in both characters and effects . the 2 hours the film had could have been used to much greater effect . once again , dreamworks has churned out another average movie . let 's hope armageddon is a bit better . overall rating= review by david wilcock web space provided by geocities
0NEG
[ "i did n't really give a crap if the asteroid killed them or not", "a wasted opportunity", "does n't look too good at all", "utterly wasted with a ridiculously underwritten role", "a very poor one", "a ho - hum style , and never really gets any emotion out of a scene , which is a shame", "horribly simple , and never really makes any interesting statements", "messed up character wise", "turns out to be a dud in both characters and effects", "churned out another average movie", "the main problem is that there are too many characters in the film", "surprisingly average" ]
seen may 2 , 1998 at 3 : 40 p . m . at the crossgates cinema 18 , theater # 13 , with chris wessell and sean o'shea for $ 5 . [ theater rating : * * * 1/2 : very good sound , picture , and seats ] the big - budget , mega - hype " event " movie is becoming so trendy now it is becoming a weekly routine instead of a seasonal one . gluttony is hollywood 's favorite sin , but it is the movie - goers who pay the price by being dealt the same things over and over on an ever - worsening basis . " lost in space " is the latest such offering - a film so poor it would be twice as good if it were mediocre . it 's made up of every element of science fiction , but at no time does it evoke the slightest amount of wonderment the genre was meant for . audiences ' attention spans are rapidly decreasing and as is the trend with such films , this one opens with a fast - paced space battle which serves not only as the most interesting scene in the film ( probably because it has " star wars " written all over it ) , but as the producers ' way of showing off their budget through the special effects . battle scenes are worthless without tension , and since we have no idea what the setting is it 's impossible to care about anything that happens . in essence , the entire segment works like a teaser for an arcade game , not a piece of filmmaking . we meet the robinson family - a family of five that does not get along but has been chosen to act on earth 's behalf in effort to find another planet worthy of colonization due to the exhausting of our natural resources . each member of the family has a special trait and personality , and yet none of them seem like actual people . professor john robinson ( hurt ) is the intelligent , quiet leader who has devoted so much time to his work his family and marriage are suffering without his realizing it ( it 's obvious what role this aspect will play ) . of course this is all established through extremely melodramatic scenes such as the children and parents arguing and bickering among themselves and with each other , while the necessary problems are " resolved " at the right moments . the only thing worse than the screenplay is the fact it 's presented in a completely serious manner without a trace of satire , and is so pathetic it 's laughable . the first act is not a building of a story , but a juxtaposition of scenes that serve no purpose other than to plug in all the required elements ( such as plot , conflict , and characterization - god forbid ! ) . we 're provided with the minimum amount possible of these elements to keep the film from being completely silent . in fact , it might as well be since the dialogue is virtually non - existent . yes , the characters do speak , but they do not talk . they say things that only relate to the conflict , but they never really interact ( unless it 's the cartoony flirting scenes between arrogant major don west ( leblanc ) and uptight , unemotional judy robinson ( graham ) ) . it 's amazing that after an hour of trite dialogue and generic plot devices that so little happens . eventually the pacing rapidly increases , but the amount of genuine interest does not . the story finally gains some prospective by living up to its title as the robinsons find themselves lost in space after narrowly managing to defeat dr . smith ( oldman ) , the cartoony villain , and his plans for sabotage . what ensues is a series upon series of completely unrelated conflicts . the first such scene takes place on an abandoned spaceship and what ensues could best be described as " alien " -lite . the story changes again when the robinsons crash land on an alien planet and must act quickly to escape it and survive . but there 's never any real notion of suspense here because the script constantly wanders aimlessly . plotlines are developed , but each becomes totally irrelevant as the story changes from scenario to scenario . the atmosphere attempts to be surreal by incorporating time travel and various time paradoxes , but it 's presented in such a ridiculous way it 's utterly boring . by the time the last act rolls around , there is no sense of a payoff building . the ending does not go out on a high note with any kind of climax , instead , it seems to come to a sudden halt ( but at least it ends at all ) . " lost in space " is major film production at its worst . it 's frightening that a film so poorly written , directed , and acted might be considered mainstream entertainment .
0NEG
[ "production at its worst", "works like a teaser for an arcade game , not a piece of filmmaking", "extremely melodramatic scenes", "the dialogue is virtually non - existent", "trite dialogue and generic plot devices", "no sense of a payoff building", "the only thing worse than the screenplay is the fact it 's presented in a completely serious manner without a trace of satire , and is so pathetic it 's laughable", "the same things over and over on an ever - worsening basis", "so poorly written , directed , and acted", "completely unrelated conflicts", "presented in such a ridiculous way it 's utterly boring", "battle scenes are worthless without tension", "serve no purpose", "at no time does it evoke the slightest amount of wonderment", "god forbid !", "the cartoony villain", "constantly wanders aimlessly . plotlines are developed , but each becomes totally irrelevant", "so poor it would be twice as good if it were mediocre" ]
the only thing worse than watching a bad movie is realizing that the film had a lot of potential and could 've been effective . such is the case with _ urban legend _ , the new horror film from first time director jamie blanks . the idea behind the movie is that the mad slasher of the film muders people according to various urban legends . examples include the killer in the backseat of the car and person getting calls from inside her house . the killer wears one of those l . l . bean parkas with the hood drawn completely up , so you ca n't see the face . i guess halloween masks are out of style for psychos these days . anyhow , the premise is certainly a nifty one and the opening scene is spooky and atmospheric . it 's a very good setup that promises more chills to come . unfortunately , the film never takes off from there . the movie takes place on a peaceful new england college campus . like most slasher flicks , this one also centers around a young female main character whose friends are slowly killed off by a knife wielding maniac ( or in this case an axe wielding maniac ) . i 've always wondered why these killers do n't save themselves a lot of time and trouble and just go after the person they ultimately aim to kill . after the fine first scene , the movie degenerates into a monotonous series of those annoying you - thought - it - was - the - killer - but - was - just- someone - else scares . these are always accompanied by loud bursts of music . i guess sudden , sharp music chords are what passes for terror these days . the actual killer will attack at about every third music blast . the slasher appears , attacks , the victim is eviscerated , and the tedious cycle appears anew . false scares should always be used in moderation . someone needs to tell director blanks that things like this just are n't as scary as they used to be . this movie commits the biggest sin a horror film can commit -- it 's not frightening . remember the horror movie cliches that were so mercilessly mocked in _ scream _ and _ scream 2 _ ? this movie still adheres to them . tons of illogical moments about ; more than i really have the inclination to list . and i do n't mean illogical in the summer popcorn movie sense . that type of illogical can be fun . this film insults your intelligence more times than i care to remember . the last 20 minutes especially degenerates into such lunacy that you 'll be laughing more than you 'll be screaming . actually , you wo n't be screaming at all . at its best , the acting can barely be called " adequate " and the script could 've definitely used a rewrite or two . the film still manages to have some strong points . the killings are certainly inventive and plentiful enough to satistfy most gore fans . there are some intentionally funny moments . ( these were exceeded by the unintentional ones . ) the film is well made from a technical standpoint . besides the first part , there is also another good scene , a prolonged cat and mouse chase inside a radio station . if there had only been more sequences like this , that relied on tautness and suspense rather than loud bursts of music , _ urban legend _ might 've been worth your money .
0NEG
[ "tons of illogical moments", "commits the biggest sin a horror film can commit -- it 's not frightening", "the tedious cycle appears anew", "can barely be called \" adequate \" and the script could 've definitely used a rewrite or two", "degenerates into such lunacy", "unfortunately , the film never takes off from there", "insults your intelligence", "the movie degenerates into a monotonous series of those annoying", "watching a bad movie" ]
my opinion on a film can be easily swayed by the presence of actors i love . i love ralph fiennes . i love uma thurman . i love sean connery . hell , i 'm even a big fan of jim broadbent and fiona shaw . i saw the fantastic preview for the avengers nearly eight months ago , and i 've been eagerly awaiting the film ever since . a few months into the summer , however , i noticed that its release date had been changed a few times , and that it had ended up in the mid - august dumping ground . then , in this final week before its official release , i learned that it was not to be screened for critics . and that the actors had not been plugging the film on late night programs . and that it was directed by the same man who brought us the remake of diabolique . my expectations fell to pieces when i learned all of these things . the film i saw today did n't even meet those expectations . this is a lousy , incoherent mess . i would slam it harder , if it were n't for the nifty sets and the mere presence of all these fine , lovable actors . but sets are ultimately empty , and the performances are completely uninspired . that 's the main problem with the avengers : for all it 's hip - hop flash and tidal waves , none of it feels the least bit energetic or inspired . it 's like a chore , a bland exercise in superhero film making . it also feels like its been cut to pieces , clocking in at 90 minutes and forgetting to close some of its own subplots . this is just plain depressing . the avengers is a film version of the popular 60s television show . frequent readers of mine will not be surprised to learn that i 've never watched an episode . i was n't alive then . i do n't even watch television now . i 'm very sorry that i do n't have this perspective , but , judging from the reviews i 've already read , knowing the tv show just makes matters worse . i did n't know and love john steed and emma peel , and therefore i was not as upset to see how these actors i love have managed to thrash their roles . i also doubt that familiarity with the series would allow me to understand more clearly the chain of events that do take place in this film . based on what the film told me , i gather that steed ( fiennes ) is some kind of british super guy ( somewhat like james bond ) , and that dr . peel ( thurman ) is just a really smart doctor , who also happens to know a lot about weather and about beating people up while limited by tight leather suits . they are to work together , under mother 's orders ( mother is played by jolly jim broadbent , while his co - conspirator , father , is played by the equally - talented fiona shaw ) . it seems that there is a man out there controlling the weather . his name is de wynter ( connery ) . he is a crazy scottish guy . our heroes had better stop him , or else . . . the weather will keep getting colder until they " have to go to hell to warm up " ( one of the film 's few funny lines ) . along the way there is subplot after subplot , hinged sloppily together by scenes that go nowhere , feel perfunctory , and ultimately make no sense . for example , our heroes are eventually attacked by a swarm of giant mechanical insects with machineguns attached to their torsos . now , killer bugs do n't really go with the weather - controlling theme of the film . the purpose of the bugs , other than to annihilate our heroes , is never established . they 're never even directly connected to de wynter ( they 're controlled by his crazy henchman , played by eddie izzard ) . the special effects are n't bad , but they 're loud , obnoxious , and intrusive . like so many scenes in the film , it seems present only to keep your attention from waning . and i guarantee you , it will wane . i stopped thinking about the story when i realized it did n't do any good to think . the avengers has clearly been chopped up and re - assembled so many times that even the people involved could n't tell us what happens . there are several scenes in the preview that did n't make the final cut . in addition , many of the sequences have irritating , grainy film quality , which makes it feel low - budget ( the last scene is particularly bad ) . the scenes that do n't feature action should be electric , thanks to our wonderful cast . they are n't . the action scenes should be electric , because this is an action film . they are n't , either . and what about this wasted cast ? oh , it makes me weep with disappointment . we 're talking ralph fiennes here , one of the best actors working today , one of the best actors * ever * . i love the guy . i 've loved all his films , until this one . he seems like he wants to understand the film , but he 's as lost as we are . and thurman , in all of her spectacular beauty and talent , ca n't manage to look at home here . ( i do n't blame her completely , for there is a strange subplot involving her evil twin that is never explained in any way , and it ca n't be easy to deal with such terrible screenwriting . ) connery , however , seems the most out of it , totally lacking any kind of focus , or interest , for that matter . who is to blame ? is it the screenwriter , don macpherson ? perhaps , although i can see a shell of a story here that could have been a good superhero movie had it been handled right . is it the actors ? for god 's sake , no -- these people clearly lost interest when they saw the inevitable path of destruction on which this film was travelling . i blame director jeremiah chechik , who should n't have been given the task to begin with . his best film , benny & joon , is quirky in the same way that this one was supposed to be , but here it mostly seems like a lot of failed attempts at wit and humor . add to that a lack of experience in big - budget action , and you have the worst choice for director this side of james ivory . if the avengers has a saving grace , it 's the set design . the sets ( by stuart craig ) are big , colorful , and often pleasing to look at . i like the final set - piece , on de wynter 's island , even if none of it makes a bit of sense . i admired the overhead view of the stairs , showing dr . peel running around in circles and never getting anywhere . i also enjoyed michael kamen 's music score , particularly in the opening credits . but this stuff is routine -- good sets and music are nice , but there 's a lot more that needs to be here . inspiration , for instance , would have been really nice . maybe a little bit of cohesion in the story . or a sense of purpose . most of all , though , i would have liked to see these actors relish in their roles . damn this movie for not giving them the chance .
0NEG
[ "did n't even meet those expectations", "sets are ultimately empty , and the performances are completely uninspired", "out of it , totally lacking any kind of focus , or interest", "a lousy , incoherent mess", "damn this movie for not giving them the chance", "there 's a lot more that needs to be here", "a lack of experience", "none of it feels the least bit energetic or inspired . it 's like a chore , a bland exercise", "it will wane", "ca n't manage to look at home here", "wasted cast", "managed to thrash their roles", "just plain depressing", "irritating , grainy film quality , which makes it feel low - budget ( the last scene is particularly bad )", "makes me weep with disappointment", "i blame", "the worst choice for director", "none of it makes a bit of sense", "clearly lost interest when they saw the inevitable path of destruction", "a lot of failed attempts", "they 're loud , obnoxious , and intrusive", "just makes matters worse", "who is to blame ?", "terrible screenwriting", "hinged sloppily together by scenes that go nowhere , feel perfunctory , and ultimately make no sense" ]
if snake eyes were a dog , you 'd put it to sleep . if it was a couch , you 'd put it out on the sidewalk , where it would sit for a week . if it were your child , you 'd be reading military school catalogs . if it were a ship -- no , it would n't be the titanic , that would imply glamor and tragedy -- it would be the exxon valdez . ( personal side note : i saw this movie on the road during a houston business trip . for whatever reason , my hotel 's cable system was n't showing the astros - braves game , which featured a randy johnson - greg maddux matchup . this forced me to pay full price for snake eyes instead of watching a perfectly good baseball game for free -- so the invective , deserved as it is , should be seen in that perspective . ) snake eyes is supposed to be a mystery movie , and good mystery movies are supposed to leave you asking yourself questions on the way out of theater . snake eyes is not a good mystery movie , but i had some questions : where 's the manager , and how do i get a re - admit pass ? if i fall asleep on the drive home and wreck my rent - a - car , can i sue brian de palma ? is it too late for the academy to revoke nicolas cage 's oscar ? will someone please ( i 'm begging you ) give gary sinise a role worthy of his talents ? and how , exactly does cage end up wearing the exact same shirt and tie as sinise does ? the first and most glaringly wrong thing with snake eyes is the trailer . if you 've seen the trailer without seeing the movie , consider yourself fortunate . the trailer is a work of sheer genius . it manages to convey everything worthy of the movie -- the noteworthy steadicam work , the exuberance of cage 's performance as a thoroughly corrupt atlantic city policeman , the essential elements of the marginal plot . the expert craftsman who pieced together a fairly good trailer out of snippets of a wretched movie deserves praise and a percentage of the gross . ( is a best trailer category at the oscars that far - fetched , after all ? ) but all it does is set us up for an overwhelmingly disappointing movie . the trailer sets up what should have been a promising plot : detective ricky santoro ( cage ) must solve the mystery of who shot the secretary of defense at an atlantic city pay - per - view boxing match . unfortunately , there are multiple problems afoot . the trailer gives away much , too much of the story . the shooter is killed instantly , so the story revolves around why the secretary was killed and who is involved in the conspiracy . the film 's secret is ho - hum at best , and anyone who has watched the trailer and is aware of the law of economy of characters can figure out who the top conspirator is . without an interesting plot , without interesting dialogue , and without much of a reason to care about the characters or the story , snake eyes is a failure on almost every possible level . as much as i hated this movie , i must give brian de palma one tiny bit of credit . de palma is maddeningly inconsistent . he can , on his day , create amazingly well - done movies ( the untouchables , carlito 's way ) . on off - days , he can be , well , just horrid ( the bonfire of the vanities , raising cain ) . snake eyes falls into the horrid category , but there are a couple of moments that are worth seeing strictly for their film - school degree - of - difficulty value . the steadicam opening scene does a good job of introducing the cage character and is a virtuoso technical job by both the director and the actor . there is a split - screen chase scene that looks pretty good , and it 's followed by a god 's eye view of a bank of hotel rooms that 's imaginitively done . this is what 's called giving the devil his due . but the technical skill does n't even come close to making up for the sheer evil of this movie . placing plot holes to one side for a moment , snake eyes features easily the worst boxing match in cinema history ( george foreman is in better shape than the movie boxers ) , a hurricane that exists for no other reason than to punctuate significant plotlines with portentuous thunderclaps , and perhaps the worst , most overly drawn out ending in years . snake eyes is a criminal act , an evil waste of time and talent . cage , sinise , and yes , even de palma deserve better . the audience deserves better -- but no refund , no re - admit pass , no free popcorn coupon , can ever restore to us the time we 've spent or wash the awful images from our mind . however , we are left with one consolation , that we were warned by the movie 's title -- because snake eyes is nothing more than a roll of craps .
0NEG
[ "nothing more than a roll of craps", "a wretched movie", "you 'd put it to sleep", "just horrid", "ho - hum at best", "the worst boxing match in cinema history", "the worst , most overly drawn out ending in years", "is not a good mystery movie", "an overwhelmingly disappointing movie", "you 'd put it out on the sidewalk", "unfortunately , there are multiple problems afoot", "falls into the horrid category", "plot holes", "an evil waste of time and talent", "without an interesting plot , without interesting dialogue , and without much of a reason to care about the characters or the story , snake eyes is a failure on almost every possible level . as much as i hated this movie", "the technical skill does n't even come close to making up for the sheer evil of this movie", "deserve better . the audience deserves better -- but no refund , no re - admit pass , no free popcorn coupon , can ever restore to us the time we 've spent or wash the awful images from our mind", "the first and most glaringly wrong thing" ]
the last line ( or near to that honor ) is the great butler , alfred ( the ubergod , michael gough ) saying , " i think we need a bigger bat cave , " or something to that note . that 's exactly what this film is - too big for its own good because it has too damn much . cut batgirl out . cut one of the villains . it 's too much to handle in one dosage . it 's so much that characters get left behind . poor elle gets a mere 3 scenes and a subplot which is introduced but never finished in any way , shape or form . and elle deserves better . this is the fourth in the gigantic film series and the second from director joel schumacher . it 's also the fourth worst in the series ( and second worst from joel ) . the series has been declining since its stunning debut , followed by the almost - as - stunning sequel and then the anti - climactic third one ( first by joel ) . this one 's not anti - climactic - i knew it was gon na suck . it 's up to joel to make it fun though . " batman forever " was fun . this is a big bore of over - produced action sequences and shallow characters . i mean , this one bit . i 'm gon na put all the plot in one paragraph : mr . freeze ( ah - nold ) , who 's wife was dying of some disease , has become the new big villain these days . he 's a huge ex - scientist who fell into some weird liquid ( hello ? joker ? ) and now has a body temperature of a big fat zero and has a blue body . batman ( george ) and robin ( chris ) fight him a bit but find they 're growing apart . meanwhile , another villain shows up , poison ivy ( uma ! ) , who was a dorky scientist chick working on flowers in south america with a twistet scientist ( john glover ) who kills her when she finds out he 's used her research to develop an uberman , bane , who is basically a man pumped with chemicals which probably killed any personality he ever had . she emerges from her chemicals ( do n't ask 'cause i ca n't tell ya ) as a sexy woman ( the real uma ) who 's poison when or if you kiss her and has some aphrodiasiatic scent she blows at people . she starts to tear away at the dynamic duo . meanwhile , alfred 's dying of the same disease mr . freeze 's wife has ( but in an earlier state than she ) , and his niece , barbara ( alicia ) , comes all the way from oxford without an english accent to get him away from the butler trade , but soon ( well , not really soon , it takes her 2 hours ) becomes batgirl . meanwhile , in an unfinished subplot , bruce ( batman 's alter - ego , if you forgot ) has been dating the lovely julie madison ( the even lovlier elle macpherson ) who wants a commitment after a year but he says nothing . end of her for all we know . mr . freeze ultimately teams with poison ivy and they want to freeze the world and then take it over growing new plants as their population ( do n't ask ! ! ! ) . the trio must team together " as family " to beat them . there ya go . not the whole story but no big context clues . too much , right ? right ! the films seems patched together of nice little ideas which would have made for a couple good sequels . however , while tim burton nicely balanced the villain / batman storyline ( although not wonderfully ) , joel seems to do almost nothing with batman in this one . he gets some corny speeches , a couple clever lines and that 's it . maybe some stunts . for all this , i ca n't even comment on george clooney as batman - i hardly saw the guy ! and when i did , he had horrible dialogue to say . i think michael keaton is the quintessential batman but val kilmer was too robotic and fake as batman in the last episode . george is in between them . he 's not quintessential , he 's not horrible , he 's good . but i 'm sure next time when they decide to renovate the series since they 'll be critically murdered for this sorry effort , we 'll get a good script and clooney will shine ( if he still has the job ) . the villains are the only interesting part of the series according to schumacher . last time , we had the brawn of two face as played by tommy lee jones and the brains / comedy supplied by the riddler as realized by jim carrey . this time we have a somewhat sympathetic and somewhat hatable villain ( the same guy ) , mr . freeze . we feel bad for his mental / physical collapse but does he really need to kill everyone for plants ? arnold is n't very good - too hokey but kinda sympathetic at some points . when he watches old movies of his wife , he actually looks somber . wow . but uma makes the most of her seductive character , getting the right point between hamminess and seductiveness . it 's like she 's almost parodying herself in " pulp fiction " at points . she 's incredibly hot and makes the movie pretty much a star better . as for the lower bat - people , chris is the same as he was in " batman forever , " although i think his work in these is too hokey when he 's best at quieter parts in " scent of a woman " or just plain cool parts in " fried green tomotoes . " alicia - i love the girl but she 's not particularly good in this film . she can hypotheitically act , we all saw that in " clueless , " but her lines kinda sound weird . and it is n't the mushy - mouth this time . but in all fairness , she has virtually no part . joel gets around to her occasionally and when she 's on , she does stupid stuff . . . although i know i 'm not the only one who loved the catfight between her and uma . . . and poor elle . poor , poor elle . i love that woman and she can also hypothetically act ( for those of us who saw " sirens " ) . but she has no part ! ! ! it seems like joel had so much footage that he had to edit almost an hour out of the final product . there are no " couch " scenes ( like my best friend noticed ) . now listen to me on this one - in every " batman " flick , there 's a couch scene . in the original , it was with vicki . in " returns , " it was a good make - out scene with selena . and in the last one , it was a chat with nicole . this one , it 's nothing . and batgirl does next - to - nothing in this film till the end when she 's suddenly " part of the family . " fortunately , we get a lot of alfred . he 's the always reliable butler , in case you did n't know , who has been with bruce all his life . he 's a god . he 's a father figure . he 's also dying . this got to me . i love alfred almost as much as bruce and to see him in a robe , not in his tux , and freaking dying just gets to me . we also get the idea that he might have been unhappy the whole time . . . but this is never answered , as this film is too cluttered . but in defense , it does have some good parts , other than uma . for one , george is a good batman but unfortunately gets nothing to do . and there are some nice touches . when they show the asylum at one point , they show the patient 's belongings in a room and we see the riddler 's costume . i laughed . and during a biker scene ( involving robin and batgirl - another subplot never handled past initiation period ) , we not only see coolio but a bunch of bad - asses dressed as " droogs " from " a clockwork orange . " i laughed at all these . the film falls apart around the five - minute mark during an enormously long action sequence which must last around 20 minutes . . . or did it just feel like that ? the film should serve as another in the long - line of films which demonstrate that we need more intelligent films nowadays . people are fed up with stupid films . that 's why the word of mouth killed " the lost world ! " that 's why last year , indy films grossed more than ever . that 's why this will have a strong box - office initative from people who just want to see it , like me , but will die after a week or two when the word around the grapevine kills it . that 's why the next two big - budget aciton pics are john woo 's " face / off " and barry sonnenfeld 's " men in black , " both which are the first two to catch on to the wave early on . i like joel schumacher more as a person than an artiste . i like some of his films ( " flatliners , " " a time to kill " ) but a lot of them suck . he 's a really eccentric person and i loved one of his quotes about how he admits to being a mediocre director and that 's what makes him great . but his costuming for woody allen 's " sleeper " was more interesting than this one ( and his costuming was cool - look for the nazi number ) . i love the " batman " series . the first two rocked and i did like the last one . but this one is not going to be one that i watch repeatedly like the other three . hopefully , this will also serve as a springboard to a better batman next time . and maybe they 'll get smart and bring back catwoman . and michael keaton . but we can only hope .
0NEG
[ "this film is too cluttered", "she 's not particularly good in this film", "unfortunately gets nothing to do", "( do n't ask ! ! ! )", "is n't very good - too hokey", "seems to do almost nothing with batman in this one", "the film falls apart", "has virtually no part", "demonstrate that we need more intelligent films nowadays . people are fed up with stupid films", "a big bore of over - produced action sequences and shallow characters", "will die after a week or two when the word around the grapevine kills it", "he had horrible dialogue to say", "poor elle gets a mere 3 scenes and a subplot which is introduced but never finished in any way , shape or form", "i knew it was gon na suck", "is too hokey", "she has no part ! ! !" ]
writers : dennis feldman and jonathan hensleigh ( based on the comic book by chuck pfarrer ) starring : jamie lee curtis , william baldwin , donald sutherland , joanna pacula , sherman augustus , marshall bell , cliff curtis , julio oscar mechoso i suppose i 'm not extremely surprised that " virus " comes to us from a deciple of james cameron ( john bruno ) , and if i strain real hard , i could even say that it 's an obvious given , particuarly looking from the standpoint of mr . cameron 's early works . in fact , " virus " is yet another in the long line of action / horror / paranoia thrillers from the " aliens " vein : a group of people are dropped into a mysterious situation only to find a mortally - threatening entity is out to get them , a textbook example hailing all the way back to the early talkies , and maybe even to the first pictures , albeit redeveloped by cameron in his 1986 blockbuster that earned him esteem and bigger budgets to come in his future . no such thing will happen to bruno , whom i believe worked in some capacity on that quasi - landmark feature ; while bruno may have studied under cameron 's wing for years and years , i 'm beginning to wonder at what capacity , and what exactly did he learn from him . in fact , " virus " should at least be mediocre ; the fact that bruno could have worked under a man like cameron - a director who , if anything , just knows how to make a movie - and then make a film like " virus " is just another detraction fairly aimed at this z - grade schlockfest of a film , albeit a z - grade schlockfest with a respectable budget . the film seems to not only borrow it 's plot from last year 's similarly - fated " deep rising , " but also from a clunkish b - movie from the ' 80s called " leviathan , " an underwater thriller starring peter weller , richard crenna , hector elizando , and daniel stern about a group of miners who stumble upon an alien lifeform that was part " alien , " part john carpenter 's twisted remake of " the thing . " " virus , " again , has a similar , uh , selling point : a group of sailors on a boat stumble upon a russian cruiser that is dead in the water . they get on . they break up into pairs and investigate . and they find an alien lifeform on board that comes in the form of energy , has taken over all the machines on board , have meshed the machines with parts from corpses , and have deemed humankind their enemy because of a misquote in the dictionary ( ha ha ) . not that any of this is for a second scary or the least bit involving ; not only does this film start off with a chintzy bond - ian opening ( the destruction of the cruiser via a satellite transmission from mir ) , destroying any of the suspense in what could happen , but it also fails to bring us any interesting chracters . of its motley crew , it only choses as its potentially eccentric cast of characters a lead woman skipper , a masculine potential - romantic - interest , a drunken captain , a black technician , a tatooed aborigine , a manic russian survivor , and a couple other candidates for alien food , none whom are the least bit interesting or more dimensional than a thin , plain piece of writing paper . and it 's not the traditional argument for films like these , where you may in fact want them all to be eaten ( even " aliens " played with the karma of the arrogant soldiers , but this was more of a plus - side for the film as a whole than the opposite ) ; instead , as another cliche goes , you just do n't give a damn . i almost do n't even have to say that the acting from everyone ranges from sub - par to horrific , the former being jamie lee curtis in the lead showing off what a strong female lead she is ( and she is , just not really here ) and the latter being - and it pains me to say this as he 's a particular favorite of mine - donald sutherland , who plays the captain so poorly and without a second of credibility that this will go down as the performance - of - which - he - should - be - ashamed . like anthony hopkins for " legends of the fall " ( the line " scrooooooo 'em " has been thus embroidered upon my membrance ) . or peter o'toole in " caligula . " great actor , horrific performance . it happens every now and then , and it only helps sutherland 's career that no one , except for an elite few , even bothered to see this film . though it has sat on the shelves of universal studios for about two years , waiting until it can be released and make as much money as it possibly can ( read : early january , when everyone 's still trying to catch up on the potential oscar - nominees ) , it does show that universal shelled out a pretty penny to make this film : it 's laden with complex machinery , boasts respectable production design , and it may even feature believable special effects . . . if , of course , i , or anyone else , could see them . " virus " mostly takes place on a large , abandoned cruiser , and mostly at night until the dawn , and mostly without the use of lights , not so much for the productivity of the alien creatures in their pursuit of their human prey , but more so because , as the hollywood cliche seems to go , " if it 's dark enough , then the special effects will be more believable . " and if you do n't believe me , go back and rent " godzilla , " and tell me if there 's even one shot where we see godzilla either a ) in his entirety in one wide shot , or b ) n the light so that we can at least see him ( well , you do n't really have to sit through it again ; just take my word for it ) . but all of this does n't matter since " virus " is basically just one loud , cluttered mess of a movie . the action scenes are muddled and as difficult to follow as any action movie i 've ever seen ( my , um , favorite part was the scene where a trio of them end up somehow on the outside of the ship , during a five minute bouillabaisse of tidal waves , rain , and any other ocean - extremeties the film can cook up , then end up back in the ship when one of them is revealed to have apparently drowned - well , i must say , thanks for telling me afterwards because i sure could n't figure it out when i saw it ) . imagine the first attack of the aliens in " aliens , " shot from the pov of the soldiers and then the authorities in the battle car if it was all hard to follow and done without any dramatic intensity , and that 's basically the whole of " virus " : one horribly - directed action scene after the other , capping it off with a proposterous gadget that saves the day and at least a couple of the original cast members . and my god , it 's a long damn sit . with no interesting characters , no dramatic urgency , no tension , not one good moment of action , and no mesmerizing visuals , it 's a wonder that it even got made . we already know that big movie studios ' mentality is shallow at best , and movies like " out of sight " and " saving private ryan " give you more faith in them , but movies like " virus " manage to drain a little more out of the pool . i almost wish that instead of making this movie , john bruno had gone cinema verite and captured the meetings with universal heads when they gave this film a green light . they read the script , they knew they were entrusting millions upon millions of dollars into a director who might have very well been a cameron hack ( and he is ) , and they still went ahead with the project , only to have bruno and company shit back in their face . even though i hold universal in contempt for making this horrible movie , i 'd say even more contempt should be aimed at mr . bruno for making a movie that could be this bad . in fact , shouts of " egad , man , what were you doing when you worked for cameron anyway ? " are not only justifiable , but encouraged .
0NEG
[ "and my god , it 's a long damn sit . with no interesting characters , no dramatic urgency , no tension , not one good moment of action , and no mesmerizing visuals , it 's a wonder that it even got made", "shallow at best", "shit back in their face", "fails to bring us any interesting chracters", "another detraction fairly aimed at this z - grade schlockfest of a film", "one horribly - directed action scene after the other , capping it off with a proposterous gadget", "no one , except for an elite few , even bothered to see this film", "you just do n't give a damn", "none whom are the least bit interesting or more dimensional than a thin , plain piece of writing paper", "horrific performance", "no such thing will happen to bruno", "destroying any of the suspense in what could happen", "basically just one loud , cluttered mess of a movie", "muddled and as difficult to follow", "from a clunkish b - movie", "so poorly and without a second of credibility that this will go down as the performance - of - which - he - should - be - ashamed", "the acting from everyone ranges from sub - par to horrific" ]
deuce bigalow ( rob schneider ) cleans fish tanks . yeah , i did n't know that was a real job either . one of his customers is antoine leconte ( oded fehr ) , a successful gigolo . when antoine has to go to sweden for three weeks , he lets deuce use his house to look after an ailing $ 800 fish . fooling around , deuce sets fire to the kitchen and smashes a $ 6000 fish tank . after taking a try at one of antoine 's clients and earning $ 10 , deuce decides to prostitute himself to raise the money to replace the fish tank before the fiery - tempered antoine returns . enter t . j . ( eddie griffin ) , a pimp for " man - whores , " who arranges for deuce to service an assortment of women whose imperfections keep them from dating . there 's an enormous woman ( played by transvestite porn star chi chi la rue ) who hides food in her clothes . there 's claire ( gail o'grady ) whose narcolepsy causes her to fall asleep every few minutes . tina ( torsten voges ) is so tall her face does n't fit on the screen , and ruth ( amy poehler ) has tourette 's syndrome and shouts obscenities without warning . finally there 's kate ( arija bareikis ) whose sorority sisters secretly paid her fare . she seems perfect , and deuce quickly falls in love with her . ( she does , we discover later , have an imperfection , but deuce decides it is n't important . ) deuce 's life is complicated by a bothersome cop ( william forsythe ) looking for information on antoine and by kate 's discovery of his man - whoring . however , neither threat generates much suspense . the formula is so familiar that we know how it will end from the start . " deuce bigalow " is the first project from adam sandler 's company happy madison , the formation of which assures that we 'll be seeing the sandler style of comedy mass - produced at an increasing rate in years to come . be afraid . be very afraid . the good news is that sandler does n't actually appear in " deuce " and that rob schneider and eddie griffin are funnier than sandler . schneider has a sweetness that makes the clueless but good - hearted deuce believable . griffin 's delivery is dead - on , especially in the coining of " technical terms " for t . j . 's profession , as in " do n't make me he - bitch man - slap you ! " there 's the expected amount of toilet humor in " deuce . " ( for one thing , deuce 's dad is a men 's room attendant ) . does anyone over the age of eight actually find bowel movements that funny ? for most of us , i think that childhood fascination with bodily functions disappears when we hit the far - side of puberty and discover how funny sex is . i , for one , will be glad when the toilet trend is finally flushed . bottom line : " deuce " does n't offer anything new but it is intermittently funny .
0NEG
[ "does n't offer anything new", "be afraid . be very afraid .", "does anyone over the age of eight actually find bowel movements that funny ?", "neither threat generates much suspense . the formula is so familiar that we know how it will end from the start" ]
this is your definitive " hollywood " movie , extremely predictable , following the basic formula ( a horrible ending ) , overzealous writing ( meaning the writing was bad and seemed as if it were trying too hard to make it exciting , therefore making it look as if many things were merely tossed in there to fill space ) and if tommy lee jones and his lovable wise - ass character ( of which we 've seen before in the fugitive and quite frankly , was n't used enough here ) , i 'm afraid the film would have been completely unbearable . in this film , ashley judd plays a women who is wrongfully convicted of killing her husband while out sailing for a weekend . while in jail she finds out that her husband really is alive and that he framed the murder on her . over money ( how original ) . while in jail she works out , exercises and basically does her best to get into near perfect condition . now she has learned about a law titled " double jeopardy " stating that if she serves her full sentence and get out she could kill her husband and the law could not touch her ( although there has been talk that this is not the way the actual law works ) . now her po ( parole officer ) , and a bunch of cops are chasing after her and are conflicted whether or not to believe her claims . skipping over to the acting : the fact that judd is more of a looker than an actress ( no offense , she has been good [ simon birch ] and even very good to great [ kiss the girls ] at times , in the past and i believe may have the potential to be better . . . but she 's terribly unconvincing in this and her performance seems stale and unsatisfying ) does n't really add to the movie at all ; just takes away . as i 'd said , jones was fine , although he did not have much to work with . he was much more of a supporting character . which is fine , and he handled it well ; especially considering the material he had to work with . i feel this film had alot going for it . originality not being an issue . the acting was the only thing ( as i said ) keeping it alive . the plot seemed pretty intriguing and could have been as well if applied better . the action scenes were well made ( however sometimes out of place ) . i was just left unsatisfied in the long run . so basically some of the action may have been exciting but genuinely over - thought , the plot has certainly been done before ( generally speaking ) , the movie moves way too fast for us to get involved in either the characters or the plot , and is basically a film that was almost saved by tommy lee jones , who if he had some more screentime , could perhaps have earned the film a higher rating ; in my book , anyway . keep this in mind , if you 're in the mood for a good action film -- rent the fugitive . d+
0NEG
[ "i was just left unsatisfied", "extremely predictable , following the basic formula ( a horrible ending ) , overzealous writing ( meaning the writing was bad and seemed as if it were trying too hard to make it exciting , therefore making it look as if many things were merely tossed in there to fill space )", "moves way too fast for us to get involved", "he did not have much to work with", "she 's terribly unconvincing in this and her performance seems stale and unsatisfying", "does n't really add to the movie at all ; just takes away" ]
dead - bang , an action thriller starring don johnson , lives up to its dumb title , or at least to half of it . although dead - bang is definitely dead , it is anything but a bang ; in fact , they should have called this one " dead bore . " in the film , johnson plays . . . you guessed it . . . a cop . the role must have been really challenging for johnson since his character , jerry beck , is a gritty los angeles homicide detective , a real stretch from the slick vice detective johnson portrayed on " miami vice . " a la mel gibson in lethal weapon , beck is an emotional wreck , complete with violent outbursts , unscrupulous police methods , and a bleak outlook on life . beck 's wife has just divorced him , and she is cutting him off from their children . she will not even allow him to wish them " merry christmas " by telephone . but beck 's family and emotional problems take a back seat to the action and thrills in dead - bang . beck is investigating the brutal murders of a shopkeeper and a cop . his investigation starts in l . a . and finally culminates and climaxes in oklahoma , where he has a violent showdown with the killers at a white supremacist camp . virtually every aspect of dead - bang is inept and ineffective . the plot is incoherent and full of holes . the movie depicts beck 's investigation so clumsily that you never see the connections between his clues and his conclusions . the action sequences in dead - bang are strictly third - rate , and the movie has absolutely no momentum or suspense . i certainly expected more from long - time director john frankenheimer who directed the classic political thriller , the manchurian candidate -- as well as black sunday , seven days in may , and the french connection ii . in all fairness to frankenheimer , however , i should note that most of dead - bang 's shortcomings seem to stem from its shabby script rather than from the direction . dead - bang tries to don a mask of social relevance by incorporating themes of racism and white supremacy , but its efforts are nothing more than token gestures and nothing less than insulting . according to the movie 's production notes , dead - bang is based on the real - life experiences of still - active detective jerry beck . you would never guess this from watching dead - bang , however , since the film totally lacks credibility ; it is utterly unconvincing and unbelievable . most of the characters in dead - bang are either atrociously acted , underdeveloped , superfluous , or all of the above . william forsythe , for example , is painfully bad as arthur kressler , a wholesome by - the - book fbi agent who 's offended by beck 's foul language and unorthodox methods . forsythe 's lame performance and corny dialogue makes his character unbearable . dead - bang marks the motion picture debut of tim reid ( " wkrp in cincinnati " and " frank 's place " ) , but his talents are completely wasted in a cliched and contrived role ; he plays the chief officer of a squadron of black cops who help beck to nail the villains . the sole function of penelope ann miller 's character is to give dead - bang an excuse to include a gratuitous love scene between characters about whom you could not care less . i guess the film 's title refers to this love scene since it 's definitely a dead bang . the only real virtue of dead - bang , believe it or not , is don johnson , who tries to overcome the limitations of the movie 's pitiful script . johnson succeeds in giving his character a sarcastic sense of humor and a hint of depth , and his pessimistic wisecracks occasionally bring the film to life . and i must admit that dead - bang does have one or two amusing moments . the funniest scene has johnson throwing - up all over a criminal as he interrogates him . but when barf is the highlight of a movie , you know the movie 's in trouble . the other amusing scene involves a psychological examination of beck , in which he ca n't keep a straight face because the psychiatrist resembles woody allen . but two funny scenes and a couple good wisecracks do not a movie make .
0NEG
[ "lame performance and corny dialogue makes his character unbearable", "the limitations of the movie 's pitiful script", "to give dead - bang an excuse to include a gratuitous love scene between characters about whom you could not care less", "you know the movie 's in trouble", "virtually every aspect of dead - bang is inept and ineffective . the plot is incoherent and full of holes . the movie depicts beck 's investigation so clumsily that you never see the connections between his clues and his conclusions . the action sequences in dead - bang are strictly third - rate , and the movie has absolutely no momentum or suspense", "do not a movie make", "the film totally lacks credibility", "utterly unconvincing and unbelievable", "his talents are completely wasted in a cliched and contrived role", "it 's definitely a dead bang", "nothing more than token gestures and nothing less than insulting", "is definitely dead , it is anything but a bang ; in fact , they should have called this one \" dead bore . \"", "most of dead - bang 's shortcomings seem to stem from its shabby script", "atrociously acted , underdeveloped , superfluous , or all of the above", "painfully bad" ]
it was once said that in order to truly enjoy some of today 's movies or novels , you must ' suspend disbelief . ' however , there is a distinct separation between opening your mind to ridiculous situations and believing a bunch of flat lies . it came as no surprise to me to learn that huntingburg , indiana ( where the film is set ) , does not have a mcdonald 's , a sears store , a statue of a man on a horse , nor even a dam close by . even if you can ignore these somewhat ' white ' lies ( even though the dam is crucial to hard rain 's plot ) ; there is still a bunch of things that just do n't gel . firstly , morgan freeman , possibly the greatest actor alive ( after such films as driving miss daisy , the shawshank redemption and se7en ) , was cast as a shifty goon intent on stealing enough money for a healthy retirement . he _ should _ have played the town sheriff , an experienced and somewhat intriguing policeman . as a massive flood started by a dam accident overwhelms huntingburg , its residents presumably flee as the water level steadily increases . i say presumably simply because we never know what happened to them ; and it seems a tad strange that an entire town ( with the exception of some folk who get introduced along the way ) can vanish before the flood has actually started . but nether the less , armored guard couriers tom ( christian slater ) and his uncle are carrying three million dollars in the back of their van . with a heavy rainstorm causing depressing conditions and slippery roads , it does n't take long for the van to end up stuck amongst mud and water off the side of the road . jim ( morgan freeman ) and a small gang of thieves locate the van and attempt to steal the three million dollars . but of course tom is more than willing to save the day , so he takes the money and hides it elsewhere in town . the local sheriff ( randy quaid , whom most will remember as the drunken pilot in id4 ) and a couple of police men investigate the situation , but their morals are soon overpowered by greediness as each character contemplates what he / she would do with their share of the three million dollars . director mikael salomon has made sure that hard rain ends up turning everything topsy - turvy , and whilst the film may at first appear to be a definite ' goodies versus baddies , ' there are numerous twists in it 's plot that make this a slightly more enjoyable experience . but by the time these interesting changes occur , it 's far too late in the film for them to have much affect . hard rain 's continuos corniness and lack of originality washes out whatever hope the script may have had ; and although it 's cast is somewhat appealing most of its stars act well below par . not at one stage capturing what could have been a fabulous on screen battle between slater and freeman , we are left to reminisce on films that dared to do something different and achieved more than what was expected . such titles as broken arrow ( slater and john travolta ) and face / off ( nicholas cage and john travolta ) come to mind as films that have mastered silver screen confrontations . strangely enough , they were both directed by john woo and both star john travolta . we can forgive morgan freeman for giving a slightly disappointing performance since he is newish to the action genre , but christian slater could have achieved so much more had the amount of crummy one liners been reduced and some personality added to his character . if you had asked me whether slater could perform well enough to substantially boost a movie prior to the release of broken arrow , my answer would have been a definite no . i now know that he has no excuse , and _ can _ do better ( if you do n't believe me rent a copy of broken arrow from your local video store ) . although hard rain never really works from the start , i somehow felt feelings of missed opportunity when the credits filled the screen . the addition of an enticing sub - plot would have given the film time to breathe , rather than try to cram 96 minutes of action and disaster into a story that ca n't handle anything else . despite the fact that hard rain fails on almost every account , if your standards are low enough you may find this to be a mildly enjoyable film . no creative flair and no inventive scenes means that hard rain does not stand up well against its many competitors , but it does n't really matter since the last thing you would want to do after shelling about $ 8 . 50 is compare this to other films .
0NEG
[ "a slightly disappointing performance", "try to cram 96 minutes of action and disaster into a story that ca n't handle anything else", "act well below par", "fails on almost every account", "never really works from the start", "opening your mind to ridiculous situations and believing a bunch of flat lies", "continuos corniness and lack of originality washes out whatever hope the script may have had", "the amount of crummy one liners", "does not stand up well against its many competitors" ]
" some houses are born bad , " goes the haunting 's tag line , to which i must add , " some movies , too . " nothing short of hiring a new cast , a more literate screenwriter , and a new director could have saved this tragically misguided adaptation of jackson 's meritorious novel . the haunting is late entry summer dreck too slick to be creepy , and its seemingly endless stream of digital trickery and spooky ooky sound effects do n't frighten so much as numb the audience into submission - the film is like a rube goldberg contraption rigged to shout " boo . " fragile nell ( taylor ) , bisexual theo ( zeta - jones ) , and smiley luke ( wilson ) are three insomniacs who gather at the reputedly possessed hill house for an extended study on sleep disorders , hosted by professor marrow ( neeson ) . marrow 's secretly gathering data on their respective paranoid responses to his recount of hill house 's bleak history . he 's not prepared for the very real apparitions that terrorize the crew , nell especially , who has some ancestral connection to the manor 's previous inhabitants . taylor is thoroughly insufferable in her first big - budget lead . for starters , her consistently dour expression sucks the life out of even the early scenes , when we 're introduced to the mansion and all its fun - house trappings . her character is supposed to be depressed , having tended to an unloving mother for too many years , but taylor plays nell as supernaturally lame , alternately grouchy , mopey , wiggy and pathetic , and i kept wondering why the other characters did n't just ditch this bitch . as for the obscenely photogenic zeta - jones , she breezes through her scenes with a wink and a smile and takes the scenery with her . unfortunately , she 's saddled with some of the most unlikely dialogue the screenplay has to offer . theo 's assessment of the house ? " i love it ! sort of charles foster kane meets the munsters . " who on earth would say that in place of " citizen kane meets the munsters " ? ( furthermore , would you gladly spend a single night in a house befitting that description ? ) both actresses fare better than neeson , who looks embarrassed to be a part of this ensemble ( and for good reason ) , and his character is the most bland . as luke puts it , dr . marrow pulls the old " academic bait and switch " on his subjects , but he breaks down and confesses to this the second he 's accused . later , he risks his life by climbing a crumbling stairwell to save nell ( it 's amusing to hear neeson shout " nell " repeatedly , given his starring role in the 1994 jodie foster vehicle of the same name ) . why was this nice , helpful , and redemptive researcher so absent of ethics at the start ? the haunting was well designed by eugenio zanetti . his sets are obsessively detailed , and even before the cgi kicks in , they seem alive , never quite still . i do have one beef with this aspect of the production : the real life mansion used in exterior shots , nottinghamshire 's harlaxton manor , is so vast that one has trouble believing that nell and company , no matter how much running away they do from ghosts and goblins , always finish up in locations that were established in act one , as if all the action has been confined to one wing of hill house . eighty million dollars was spent on the haunting , and despite a powerhouse box office debut , i doubt it will recoup its costs ( including marketing ) domestically . thank jan de bont for that : proving for the third time that speed was a fluke , in that it was actually enjoyable , de bont has served up another ride , sans thrill . his images , well - lit though they are , have an unmistakable been there - done that quality ; in fact , whole sequences , not to mention the cloaked , airy ghoul who owns the climax , feel lifted from a much smarter and infinitely more enjoyable spectacle from three summers back , peter jackson 's the frighteners . i do n't mean to suggest de bont is a plagiarist , i mean to suggest that he 's a hack , having found no new ways to give us chills .
0NEG
[ "looks embarrassed to be a part of this ensemble", "consistently dour expression sucks the life out", "he 's a hack , having found no new ways to give us chills", "unfortunately , she 's saddled with some of the most unlikely dialogue the screenplay has to offer", "this tragically misguided adaptation", "his character is the most bland", "has served up another ride , sans thrill", "thoroughly insufferable", "an unmistakable been there - done that quality", "who on earth would say that", "supernaturally lame , alternately grouchy , mopey , wiggy and pathetic , and i kept wondering why the other characters did n't just ditch this bitch", "feel lifted", "do n't frighten so much as numb the audience into submission", "i doubt it will recoup its costs" ]
play it to the bone is a punch - drunk mess of a movie . containing a good cast but awful acting ; an interesting premise but terrible execution , ron shelton ( white men ca n't jump ) gives us a rocky story with not one rocky but two . rocky no . 1 is vince boudreau ( woody harrelson , edtv ) , a bald , tattooed , newly converted christian , whose idea of christianity is not using the name of christ as a curse word . . . something that he has not yet successfully achieved . rocky no . 2 is caesar dominguez ( antonio banderas , the 13th warrior ) , best friend of vince who is currently dating vince 's ex - girlfriend , grace . both men are nearing the end of their " almost " careers when a fluke provides them with a redemptive opportunity . when both fighters of the undercard of a vegas based mike tyson title fight become incapacitated , the fight promoters need to find a quick replacement . our boys are tapped to fight each other , the winner of which is " promised " a shot at a future title fight . the film is divided into two sections . at first , we have a buddy road picture as our two heroes , in grace 's " sassy grassy " green muscle car , travel through the desert to vegas in order to make the fight scheduled for that day . along the way we learn about their pasts and the opportunities that have come and gone by . once in vegas , the movie settles down to the effectively staged fight sequences between vince and caesar . both mr . harrelson and mr . banderas have provided us with stunning characterizations in the past , not that we 'd know it from their work here . mr . harrelson is uncomfortably awkward , apparently never having gotten a firm handle on vince . the christian conversion angle simply falls flat and unbelievable . mr . banderas is uncharacteristically non - charismatic as caesar . weak and ineffectual , there is little life in his screen performance . the other actors involved merely play stereotypes of one sort or another . tom sizemore ( saving private ryan ) , robert wagner ( austin powers ii : the spy who shagged me ) , and richard masur ( fire down below ) are crooked promoters , lucy liu ( payback ) is a sex - starved hitchhiker looking for a good time , and lolita davidovich ( gods and monsters ) , is the shared girlfriend who ca n't make her mind up which boxer she prefers . because of the weak characters and the lack of screen chemistry between them , the film flounders with all the appeal of a dead fish until the boxing match actually begins . but even then , because the outcome is so predictably obvious , the suspense factor is negated and we are relegated to just watching two men pummel each other . writer / director ron shelton clearly spent much time orchestrating the fight sequence as it is well photographed , well - choreographed , well - edited , and well - performed . if only some of that same detailed attention had been diverted to the remaining parts of the film . as it is , the scenes which require the characters to actually talk to one another are weak and laughable . the title is actually the most interesting aspect of the film . the phrase , " play it to the bone ' is a reference to seeing something all the way through or not quitting until you 've achieved your desired goal . that is a biblical principle . " know ye not that they which run in a race run all , but one receiveth the prize ? so run , that ye may obtain . " 1 corinthians 9 : 24 [ kjv ] achieving anything worthy in life requires " playing it to the bone " . we need to develop fully persuaded mindsets and commitment levels in order to endure and persevere past the obstacles and distractions which lay between us and our stated objectives . this is true in practical matters of our physical lives as well as the in the developing maturity of our spiritual lives . as a movie , play it to the bone is hardly worth our time . but as a principle of life , the phrase " play it to the bone " are words to live by .
0NEG
[ "the outcome is so predictably obvious , the suspense factor is negated and we are relegated to just watching two men pummel each other", "are weak and laughable", "the weak characters and the lack of screen chemistry between them , the film flounders with all the appeal of a dead fish", "uncomfortably awkward , apparently never having gotten a firm handle", "uncharacteristically non - charismatic", "merely play stereotypes of one sort or another", "terrible execution", "simply falls flat and unbelievable", "not that we 'd know it from their work here", "weak and ineffectual , there is little life in his screen performance", "a punch - drunk mess of a movie", "awful acting", "hardly worth our time" ]
i have no real tangible proof of this , but i swear that there are a lot of producers in hollywood who adamantly believe that if you take a bad script , written by a bad writer and give the project it to an equally bad director , then it is actually possible to make a good movie . using their logic , all that really needs be done to change the bad movie into a good movie is cast a bunch of super - famous actors and provide an almost unlimited production budget . this is the only way i can fathom how 20th century fox hired jon amiel in order to direct this eighty million dollar waste of my time ( not counting the time it took me to get to and from the theatre ) . now , before i continue to ferociously attack what 's wrong with this film , i just want to point out that one of the reasons it fails so miserably is because it does have the potential to be an exciting thriller . catherine zeta - jones plays virginia baker , an insurance investigator tracking down an infamous art thief named robert macdougal ( sean connery ) . if you 've ever seen any hollywood blockbuster before , i really do n't have to spend too much time on frivolous plot details : the two team up for various jobs , stealing various things for various purposes . the problem we come to is that we 've all seen this a few billion times before and this film does n't break any new ground in the big - budget / hollywood / action genre . the result is that the entire production feels contrived . i 'm going to be completely honest here : pretty much the only thing keeping me awake throughout the run - time was looking at catherine zeta - jones . now while this may be a compliment for ms . zeta - jones , it certainly is n't for either the writers or the director , who are not nearly as clever as they think they are . just about the most profound thought they can inject into this film is when they have macdougal lecture baker on the semantic difference between " entrapment " and " blackmail " . with an eighty million dollar budget , you 'd think that entrapment would at least feature edge - of - your seat action scenes or breathtaking special f / x . well , you 'd be wrong . the action that is present in this film takes place in a huge skyscraper and is relatively unspectacular . unfortunately for all those involved with entrapment , die hard narrowly beat it to the screen by ? 11 years . the reality is that after 15 minutes of watching this picture , you know exactly what 's going to happen , despite rather pathetic attempts in the screenplay to throw in plot twists . many scenes seem to exist merely as a reason to outfit zeta - jones in extremely tight - fitting clothing . one particular scene features baker crawling around trying to avoid laser - beams while she tries to steal an ancient chinese mask . nothing wrong with that , but she entered the room from the floor and knew exactly where the mask was - so why did n't she and macdougal tunnel in directly under the mask instead of the other side of the room ? i 'll tell you why : because it 's a great excuse to photograph zeta - jones ' posterior as it slides underneath those beams ( and it also allows a second scene of the exact same thing - the rehearsal ) . ving rhames also makes an appearance in this movie , and though he has great screen presence ( although so do connery and zeta - jones ) and the most interesting character in the film , not even he can rescue this film from the depths of the boring film abyss ( a concept i invented just to describe this picture ) . one last complaint : entrapment is littered of instances where macdougal will just slip into a shadow or behind a building , or he becomes obstructed by a moving vehicle and then in the next shot , he 'll spontaneously disappear in ninja - like fashion . i can picture amiel patting himself on the back , thinking to himself " it 'll leave the audience wondering for days : how did he do that ? " we know jon , it 's called editing .
0NEG
[ "well , you 'd be wrong", "littered of instances", "the reality is that after 15 minutes of watching this picture , you know exactly what 's going to happen , despite rather pathetic attempts in the screenplay to throw in plot twists . many scenes seem to exist merely as a reason", "the entire production feels contrived", "a bad script , written by a bad writer and give the project it to an equally bad director , then it is actually possible to make a good movie", "one last complaint :", "the depths of the boring film abyss", "i continue to ferociously attack what 's wrong with this film , i just want to point out that one of the reasons it fails so miserably", "waste of my time", "takes place in a huge skyscraper and is relatively unspectacular", "who are not nearly as clever as they think they are", "we 've all seen this a few billion times before and this film does n't break any new ground" ]
when i originally saw the trailer for " analyze this " a few months ago , i must admit , i thought it looked kind of lame . and then when the commercials started popping up a week or two ago , i thought it looked outright bad . but then when " analyze this " finally opened a few days ago , an odd thing happened . it got great reviews . critics were proclaiming it " hilarious " and a " dead - on parody of mob movies " . well , with praise like that , i figured , it must be good and so i headed off to the theater . you know that expression that says always trust your gut instincts ? well , turns out that expression is more valid than i ever gave it credit for . " analyze this " is slow , unfunny , and badly acted . do n't get me wrong , i think that deniro is one of the top ten greatest actors of the century , but he is just out of his league here . i think the problem is he did n't quite know how to approach this material . he plays his character , mob boss paull vitti , somewhere in between the realm of comedy and drama . if he had played the character straight , along the lines of leslie nielson in the " naked gun " series , he probably would have been a lot more successful . as it is , though , he plays the character completely serious at some moments , and for laughs at others . this does n't work . it creates an uneven character that never breaks out of the deniro mold ; you always know it 's him . and the movie is badly paced , too . it never takes off . it just crawls from one scene to another without any forward momentum . i think the blame for this should be placed on the script . it 's obvious the writer had a good idea for a movie , mob boss faces breakdown and needs the services of a psychiatrist , but once this is established , the movie does n't really go anywhere . the formula of the film seems to be this : billy crystal says no to deniro , deniro forces him , and much wackiness ensues . this formula of sorts is repeated several times throughout the movie . i 've said it before and i 'll say it again : the only thing that matters to me in a comedy is whether or not it 's funny . if " analyze this " had been funny , the pacing and bad acting would n't have bothered me . i would have been too busy laughing to notice . but as it is , i only chuckled a few times . the only really funny scene is a dead - on parody of " the godfather " . sadly , though , i do n't think anyone in the audience i saw it with realized it was a parody , because i was the only one laughing . but my sense of humour , i have come to realize , is vastly different from the general population . i loathed " there 's something about mary " , yet loved " baseketball " . now , if you want a movie that * i * think is funny , go out and see " office space " . it 's full of genuine laughs and wo n't leave you glancing at your watch every 10 minutes , as " analyze this " did .
0NEG
[ "i thought it looked kind of lame . and then when the commercials started popping up a week or two ago , i thought it looked outright bad", "did n't quite know how to approach this material", "he is just out of his league here", "does n't really go anywhere", "this does n't work . it creates an uneven character that never breaks out", "sadly", "and the movie is badly paced , too . it never takes off . it just crawls from one scene to another without any forward momentum . i think the blame for this should be placed", "i only chuckled a few times", "slow , unfunny , and badly acted" ]
jean - claude van damme movies tend to be , if nothing else , a lot of mindless fun . his latest film , " knock off , " skips on the fun part leaving a wildly incoherent exercise that is , well , simply mindless . you ca n't really blame van damme . no one , i suspect , has ever expected " the muscles from brussels " to contribute a heartfelt performance brimming with introspection and delicate shades of gray . and even his sidekick co - star , " saturday night live " alumnus rob " makin ' copies " schneider , does what 's expected of him , although neither appear to want the role of straight man . no , the problem with the film is its direction . the first five minutes of the film are incomprehensible . . . and it goes downhill from there ! five hundred characters , it seems , are introduced within the first fifteen minutes . van damme does n't land his first kick until after thirty -- too late for most action fans -- and by the time the hour mark has rolled around , your jaw will be on your cup holder and you 'll be wondering why you elected to spend seven dollars on this mess . director hark tsui , whose previous film was the van damme / dennis rodman teamed " double team , " films at such a frenetic pace that it 's hard to know what 's going on , who 's on whose side , and what the point of all this is . faster than you can yell " fruit stand ! " we 're watching a crazed rickshaw race with schneider being bounced along by an energetic van damme . when schneider starts whacking van damme in the behind with a four - foot eel while enthusing " move your beautiful big ass , " the movie takes an unprecedented turn to the bizarre . every now and again " knock off " will deliver some truly ingenious directorial flourishes -- inventive camera shots and angles , wild rides down gun silencers and from the tops of buildings to the sprawling street below , revealing cut - ins within the frame -- but they all happen too quickly , and within such a furious frame of reference , that they 're wasted . if only hark could have slowed things down just for a minute . if you 're interested in the plot , you 're better off reading a capsule review than trying to extract any meaning from the on - screen shenanigans : " jean - claude van damme plays a shady bluejeans manufacturer who uncovers a russian mafia plot to terrorize the world with " nanobombs " hidden in cabbage patch knock - offs . maybe . with paul sorvino . " a more accurate summary would be " jean - claude van damme bums around hong kong failing to avoid large , blatant coca - cola product placements . " the fact that the film is staged during hong kong 's last days under british rule gets some lip service but does n't figure in at all . perhaps " knock off " 's most intriguing credit is that ron and russell mael composed the frenzied music score . some of you might remember the mael brothers as the ' 80s synth pop duo sparks ; their contributions here are as confused as the accompanying action-- " kimono my house " indeed ! like the cheap jeans and " pumma " sneakers manufactured in hong kong , van damme 's latest is a real phony .
0NEG
[ "is a real phony", "incomprehensible", "at such a frenetic pace that it 's hard to know what 's going on", "it goes downhill from there !", "the problem with the film", "your jaw will be on your cup holder and you 'll be wondering why you elected to spend seven dollars on this mess", "skips on the fun part leaving a wildly incoherent exercise that is , well , simply mindless", "they 're wasted", "takes an unprecedented turn to the bizarre" ]
in " twilight , " a ex - alcoholic , ex - cop , ex - husband , ex - private - eye , harry ross ( paul newman ) , works for a pair of aging hollywood actors , catherine ( susan sarandon ) and jack ames ( gene hackman ) . jack is being blackmailed , and he asks harry to deliver the payoff . instead of the blackmailers , harry finds a dying ex - cop ( m . emmet walsh ) . as more bodies begin to pile up , harry realizes that he will have to solve the disappearance of catherine 's first husband twenty years earlier to find out who 's willing to kill to keep that secret buried . newman . sarandon . hackman . with an a - list cast of oscar laureates like that , " twilight " would seem very promising . however , the script is tired and predictable . it would serve well as a tv - movie - of - the - week , possibly with some 1970 's detective hero reprising his role . the appeal of the project for its stars and its director , robert benton , is nostalgia . " twilight " wants very much to be a 1940 's film noir with alan ladd or dick powell . all of the standard tropes are here : a hard - boiled p . i . among the rich and beautiful whose glamour hides sinister secrets , a femme fatale who tempts and confounds the hero , shadowy figures shooting from doorways , dead bodies confronting the hero at every turn , cops dogging his path and interfering with his investigation . the script offers little originality , and co - authors benton and richard russo seem unaware that what was original in 1948 is a clich ? in 1998 . elmer bernstein 's score is hauntingly melodic and could have been drawn note - for - note from a vintage noir . the lead actors try hard - none of the three has every made less than a full effort , even when burdened with a bad script . they try to invest every line and gesture with meaning , and they create a convincing sense of the relationships between the main characters . harry is fond of jack but is in love with catherine . jack is dying of cancer and is jealous of harry 's love for catherine . catherine teases harry and enjoys his attention , but her real feelings are hidden beneath a carefully - maintained veneer . " twilight " wants to be character - driven like " nobody 's fool " ( also directed by benton , also starring newman , based on a novel by russo ) was , but the tired script gives the actors too little to work with . " twilight " also squanders a fine supporting cast : stockard channing ( harry 's friend on the police force ) , reese witherspoon ( jack & catherine 's bratty kid ) , giancarlo esposito ( the humorous sidekick ) , john spencer ( harry 's nemesis on the force ) , liev schreiber and margo martindale ( the blackmailers ) , and james garner ( a cop who bailed movie stars out of trouble ) .
0NEG
[ "hauntingly melodic", "burdened with a bad script", "squanders a fine supporting cast", "the script is tired and predictable", "the tired script gives the actors too little to work with", "the script offers little originality" ]
there was probably a good reason that the warner bros . studio chose not to allow critics to view this steven seagal film when it first opened . and , after seeing this piece of toxic waste , i now know why . this movie is by far the worst offering that has hit the screen since possibly those ernest movies years ago . fire down below centers its story on a little mining town in god 's country , somewhere in eastern kentucky . it 's beauty and natural goodness is being slowly destroyed by an uncaring mining magnate ( kris kristopherson , who constantly looks like he wants to kill his agent for getting him this role ) . it turns out that he 's filling the mines throughout kentucky with toxic waste for a tidy profit . seagal plays jack taggert , an aikido - versed , fighting machine , who is an agent with the epa . no . . . not the cia nor the fbi nor the nsa . it 's the environmental protection agency . i had no idea that epa agents were trained to be killers ! taggert is sent to find the perpetrators and to bring them to justice . written by someone named jeb , i could already envision the stereotypes of incestuous relationships , banjo - picking preachers , and dumb - as - nails rednecks . but the script puts seagal right smack dab in the middle of all of these scenarios as he tries to discreetly fit in . seagal 's idea of a disguise is a long - length $ 1000 leather jacket . but to get closer to the kinfolk , he will fix people 's porches for free . that 's another great epa asset - teaching agents how to fix porches . slow and plodding , this project is a total mess . the sometimes allure of watching seagal is watching him outmaneuver enemies that outnumber and outgun him like in under seige . here , his bravado basically turns into bullyness . townsfolk who are foolish enough to challenge seagal are quickly subdued . fight scenes are quick and senseless and offers no enjoyment value whatsoever . and his soap box message wears thin within the first 15 minutes . the most annoying moment comes when he barges into the middle of a sunday church ceremony , gets behind the pulpit , and beseeches the townsfolk to take control of their lives and to help clean up the environment . but the epitome of how moralistically mushy this film gets happens when the person responsible for the toxic dumping , kristopherson , meets up with seagal . kristopherson asks seagal how much it will take for him to go away . seagal gallantly replies : " i 'll leave when you take the poison from the streams and the earth . " i was expecting patriotic music to start blasting and a show of fireworks in the background . this is truly nothing more than a pompous showcase for seagal 's righteousness and narcissistic arrogance . seagal has been vanguard in trying to bring a new genre into the filmplace , that of the enviro - thriller ( on deadly ground ) . however , the message will never come across through poorly developed vehicles like this . still , i believe in preserving mother earth , so save your $ 5 and please donate it instead to some worthy environmentally conscious charity .
0NEG
[ "nothing more than a pompous showcase for seagal 's righteousness and narcissistic arrogance", "the most annoying moment", "this piece of toxic waste", "the epitome of how moralistically mushy this film gets", "slow and plodding , this project is a total mess", "the worst offering that has hit the screen", "looks like he wants to kill his agent for getting him this role", "quick and senseless and offers no enjoyment value whatsoever", "poorly developed vehicles" ]
tom dicillo directs this superficial comedy about superficial people in superficial careers , all searching for deeper meaning . however , they wo n't find much meaning in the real blonde , and not enough real humor , either . joe ( matthew modine ) is a struggling actor , or he claims to be one , even though he has no credits under his belt . his girlfriend , mary ( catherine keener ) has no pretensions about her career : she 's a makeup artist , working for the eccentric fashion photographer blair ( marlo thomas ) and supermodel of the month , sahara ( bridgette wilson ) . sahara , who has acquired a new age spirituality from repeated viewing of the little mermaid , has an on - again , off - again relationship with joe 's best friend , bob ( maxwell caulfield ) . however , bob has gotten his biggest break yet : a starring role on a soap opera opposite the beautiful kelly ( daryl hannah ) , who may be that illusive woman he 's always pursued : a real blonde . there are some moments of good humor in the real blonde , but not enough . the best stuff is in throwaway details in the background , such as sahara 's perfume ads : " depression - it 's not just a state of mind " . but to find humor in the superficiality of models and actors is to shoot fish in a barrel . and , unfortunately , the film 's forays outside the realm of comedy are pathetic . take for example the film 's framing device of an old lady and her dog . the story serves absolutely no purpose , makes little sense , and is completely tangential to the main plotlines of the movie . matthew modine and catherine keener have the most sympathetic characters in the film , but they 're stuck in the most boring plotlines . modine whines and complains and would be completely pathetic if he was matched against someone stronger than elizabeth berkley , who appears as another struggling actor . keener 's character has a stronger edge , but the insult self - defense class ( taught by denis leary , no less ) she is stuck in makes little sense . the movie 's running time is under two hours , but it seems like it is well over it . there 's just not enough humor to speed things along , and not enough meaning to propel any drama .
0NEG
[ "serves absolutely no purpose , makes little sense , and is completely tangential", "unfortunately , the film 's forays outside the realm of comedy are pathetic", "makes little sense", "superficial comedy", "there 's just not enough humor to speed things along , and not enough meaning to propel any drama", "they 're stuck in the most boring plotlines" ]
the ads for " batman and robin " scream " the event of the summer is here " and that 's the problem . the producers were apparently so intent on creating a spectacle that they forgot to put an actual movie inside of it . " batman and robin " is 126 minutes of lavish sets , flashy costumes and big , confusing fight scenes with barely a hint of substance . it 's like one of those cheesy kings island stage shows ; bright , busy and visually diverting , but not very much fun . it was n't always this way . tim burton 's " batman " was an epic story of obsession and duality , of darkness and revenge . the film , while far from perfect , was a striking mood piece with an otherworldly feel . batman was a creepy , brooding creature of the night . the joker , brilliantly overplayed by jack nicholson , was at once charismatic and repellent . batman and the joker were opposite sides of the same coin , battling inner demons and one another over gotham city 's breathtaking gothic skyline . those days of the dark knight are gone , replaced by a psychedelic ice capades run amuck . " batman and robin " has far more in common with the campy 60 's batman tv show than with tim burton 's tale of darkness . the blame lies with director joel schumacher . a former window - dresser , schumacher is adept at decorating sets and dressing people in exotic costumes . unfortunately , when it comes time to have those people walk and talk , he has n't the faintest notion of what to do . " batman and robin " is overstuffed with intricately choreographed fight scenes so poorly edited that it 's often difficult to tell who 's whacking who . while the characters flail at each other , one - liners and bad puns are tossed about like confetti . a few carefully placed jokes can set an action movie sailing , but too many wisecracks can undermine the momentum of a film . " batman and robin " does n't merely lose momentum , it stalls out completely on several occasions . it 's rare to see an action flick as sluggish as this one . ironically , the parts of " batman and robin " that work are the ones showing the characters in street clothing , and most of those succeed because of george clooney as bruce wayne . easily the best batman yet , clooney 's expressive eyes and weary smile gives the character a sense of depth that the script does n't even hint at . the film 's most effective scene is a tender , quiet exchange between clooney and alfred ( michael gough ) , bruce wayne 's butler and surrogate father . as for the other heroes , chris o'donnell 's robin is enthusiastic , perky and horny as hell , while pudgy alicia silverstone is hard to accept as an athlete in her debut as batgirl . in a movie filled to the brim with major characters , the decision to add the entirely unnecessary batgirl and elle macpherson as bruce wayne 's girlfriend is puzzling . i suspect the producers inserted the women in an attempt to convince audiences that two guys who run around in rubber suits with built - in nipples , shapely buttocks and huge codpieces are actually straight . of course , the real stars of a batman film are the villains and that 's where " batman and robin " really suffers . as mr . freeze , arnold schwarzenegger gives his worst performance in years , spitting out a stream of lame catch phrases in wooden fashion . laboring under a ton of appliances , schwarzenegger looks as if he 's having trouble even moving in his suit , let alone trying to act . uma thurman fares somewhat better as poison ivy . she overacts terribly in the early establishing scenes of her character ( it 's apparently a rule in the batman series that before a person becomes a villain , s / he must be a cartoonish , bumbling nerd ) . once thurman transforms into the eco - psychotic poison ivy , she does a nice mae west impersonation as a classic vamp who can seduce men with her breath and kill them with a kiss . thurman fails to maintain the character 's maniacal sense of style though , and ends up merely sputtering her way through the latter scenes of the film . the biggest lesson to be learned from " batman and robin " is that more is not better . joel schumacher fills the screen with eye candy ; but the technicolor overkill merely emphasizes what a trifle the film really is . some critics suggest that the batman series has run out of steam . i do n't think so . my prescription ? fire joel schumacher ( but offer him a ticket to a rubber fetishist 's convention so he 'll understand that there 's no hard feelings ) . give alicia silverstone her walking papers , while keeping clooney , o'donnell and michael gough . call jack nicholson and michelle pfieffer and beg them to reprise their roles as the joker and catwoman . then , ditch the campiness and , for the love of pete , lose the " event " mentality and make a movie instead of a spectacle next time .
0NEG
[ "overstuffed with intricately choreographed fight scenes so poorly edited that it 's often difficult to tell who 's whacking who", "puzzling", "really suffers", "too many wisecracks can undermine the momentum of a film", "fails to maintain the character 's maniacal sense of style though , and ends up merely sputtering her way through", "entirely unnecessary", "the blame lies", "they forgot to put an actual movie inside of it", "that 's the problem", "what a trifle the film really is", "big , confusing fight scenes with barely a hint of substance", "those days of the dark knight are gone , replaced by a psychedelic ice capades run amuck", "bad puns are tossed about like confetti", "he has n't the faintest notion of what to do", "gives his worst performance in years , spitting out a stream of lame catch phrases in wooden fashion . laboring under a ton of appliances , schwarzenegger looks as if he 's having trouble even moving in his suit , let alone trying to act", "does n't merely lose momentum , it stalls out completely on several occasions . it 's rare to see an action flick as sluggish as this one", "overacts terribly", "not very much fun" ]
" gordy " is not a movie , it is a 90-minute - long " sesame street " skit , and a very bad one at that . this movie is so stupid and dumb that it 's depressing to think that some hollywood executives actually gave this the green light , and even more surprising is the fact that this is a disney movie . i 'm sure children are the target audience of this movie , but only kids under the age of five may be able to tolerate it . it is the story of a farm a piglet named gordy ( voiced by garms ) , whose family has been taken away to " up north , " which we know means death . of course we can hear the animals talk to each other , and they actually went to the trouble of attempting to sync the voices with their mouths but it comes out terrible . actually , it 's almost funny in a way . the only remotely interesting and likable character soon appears , a little girl named jinnie sue macallister ( young ) who sees gordy on the back of a truck and essentially steals him . jinnie is a country singer and the film goes off on a huge tangent to show her little concert and the people dancing to it . what is the point of this ? maybe she is one of the producer 's relatives and they wanted to show her on camera to promote her or something . we then cut to a huge social gathering and drop in on another young kid named hank royce ( roescher ) who is sad because his divorced mother is dating . he leaves the party and meets jinnie sue , but he accidentally falls in a pool ( probably because he was sitting on the diving board with a $ 200 suit on - nah , did n't see that one coming ! ) , starts to drown , and is miraculously saved as gordy pushes an inflatable float over to him and saves him . if this had not been insanely stupid already the story quickly changes when jinnie gives gordy to hank who then ends up becoming the ceo of a food processing corporation when hank 's grandfather , the original ceo , dies and leaves his fortune to hank . . . and gordy ! of course there must be a villain , but even this villain ( donadio as sipes ) is n't that evil . he never raises his voice or becomes angry , and of course he has the typical idiot goons kidnap gordy but this is just so beyond stupid and cartoony we are constantly two steps ahead of the story . it 's hard to tell whether the overall corniness and cheesiness to the movie is intentional because it is a family film , or if the filmmaker 's are just this untalented and stupid . at times " gordy " is tolerable to watch , thus earning it one star and not the dreaded " z- . " but it 's just so unbelievably boring , cliche , dumb , unfunny , corny , and just plain bad it may scare children , it certainly disturbed me . ( 4/21/96 ) ( 1/29/97 ) ( 6/13/97 ) [ see also : " babe " ]
0NEG
[ "a very bad one", "it comes out terrible", "so stupid and dumb that it 's depressing to think that some hollywood executives actually gave this the green light", "what is the point of this ?", "this is just so beyond stupid and cartoony we are constantly two steps ahead of the story . it 's hard to tell whether the overall corniness and cheesiness to the movie is intentional because it is a family film , or if the filmmaker 's are just this untalented and stupid", "insanely stupid", "just so unbelievably boring , cliche , dumb , unfunny , corny , and just plain bad it may scare children , it certainly disturbed me" ]
senseless ( r ) marlon wayans is a very talented physical comedian , and it is that gift that brings senseless moments of life . alas , moments are simply that , moments , which are not enough to lift this fantasy / comedy above its one - joke premise . granted , that one joke is initially amusing . when wayans 's darryl witherspoon , an economics major at stratford university , hits some dire financial straits , he becomes a guinea pig for a experimental drug that heightens all five senses . after some initial side effects and problems controlling his superhuman senses , darryl learns to enjoy the benefits of his abilities and uses them to land a position at a highly esteemed corporate firm . at this point , the film sounds more like senseful than senseless , but through some turns of the plot , darryl finds himself only able to use four of his five senses at once , essentially leaving him -- yes -- senseless . this sets up some showcase moments for wayans 's gift for physical comedy , especially when darryl loses his sense of feeling and his body goes completely , hilariously limp . but these gags , and the gag behind the entire movie , quickly grows stale . once darryl is shown without the use of all of the senses , instead of exploring any new comic territory , director penelope spheeris and screenwriters greg erb and craig mazin take the easy way out and simply recycle each form of senselessness . wayans approaches each go - round with gusto , but by this point he 's simply treading water for the rest of the film 's unfunny duration . senseless would not be as problematic as it is if it did n't strive to be anything more than a comic trifle . however , the raucous and often raunchy comedy is wrapped in a blanket of bogus sincerity . darryl goes through the experiment in order to help his cash - strapped family , and this " serious " angle seems to come from an entirely different movie . unlike wayans 's last starring vehicle , the surprisingly effective ( and serious ) the 6th man , the " emotional " content of senseless is forced and unconvincing . any attempt at anything more substantial than broad comedy fizzles -- darryl 's romance with janice ( tamara taylor ) , a young woman who yearns for a man who is true to himself , does not generate sparks of any kind . once his wb television sitcom the wayans bros . comes to an end , the genuinely funny marlon wayans has a promising big - screen future ahead of him . but if he continues to associate himself with projects as flat as senseless , his film career could go the way of his once - promising older brother , damon , who is now set to make his comeback -- on television .
0NEG
[ "a blanket of bogus sincerity", "flat", "does not generate sparks of any kind", "take the easy way out and simply recycle each form of senselessness", "quickly grows stale", "unfunny duration", "forced and unconvincing", "fizzles" ]
a slight romantic comedy with a feminist bent , but one with no edge to it . it turns out to be a conventional film filled with the usual clich ? s and stock characters of this genre . though it 's a well - written and well - acted fluff piece , it still does not have too much to say that is surprising . it 's made for the gentle art - house set , those who do n't want something too disturbing to think about . it 's about a critically successful writer husband , alec ( pryce ) , who is so self - absorbed that he 's threatened by his department store floor - walking model wife , kate ( bouquet ) , who wants to be a writer . she meets his crass publisher , vanni corso ( walken ) , another self - absorbed man , and a predictable relationship occurs . the fireworks occur because she outgrows her husband 's first impressions of her as someone who was impressed with his genius and worships at his feet . she now wants her own identity and her independence . the film looked like the usual sitcom stuff , and is plagued with the cheap set design features reserved for a tv movie . the film sagged in the middle of the story from the weight of its tedium , and eventually landed on its rear end with its unspectacular climax . it 's set in london , and it opens as model kate rebuffs sexual advances by a wealthy american shopper , vanni . she later meets him as her hubby 's new upstart publisher who seeks to have her intellectual author husband in his stable in order to give him credibility as a publisher of quality , and he quickly wins favor with her by publishing her vanity novel . alec who is an obnoxious grouse , someone whom it seems it would be impossible to live with , tries to do everything to stop his wife from having her book published -- which only pushes her into the grasping arms of vanni . the publisher is proud that he 's a mamma 's boy who never married and is a self - made man who has earned millions . he has recently acquired a failing old london publishing house and plans to revitalize it , as he proudly tells kate : " if my father could sell pizzas in harlem , i could sell culture in europe . " the only thing that could n't be sold , is this stiff story and tired plot line . the mystery to me , is how the lovely kate could like either man unless she was an insensitive dummy . she soon divorces the beleaguered alec and marries the soon - to - become - beleaguered vanni . when she writes a second novel , he rebuffs her the same way her first hubby did . it ends with the same results that happened to hubby number one , as its story of ambition and lust winds down in a whimper . a business affair was loosely based on the real - life literary and romantic travails of married authors barbara skelton and cyril connolly , in their celebrated 1950s love triangle .
0NEG
[ "this stiff story and tired plot line", "sagged in the middle of the story from the weight of its tedium , and eventually landed on its rear end with its unspectacular climax", "does not have too much to say", "plagued with the cheap set design features", "one with no edge to it" ]
if you 're the kind of person who goes to see movies just because you long for some of that overpriced theatre popcorn ( butter optional ) , then this is the movie for you ! indeed , this has got to be either one of the most unimaginative rip - offs of other recent action movies , or an incredibly unfunny spoof of them . it 's difficult to fathom such insipidness unless you actually watch this film . but at least we 're warned very quickly that we may regret our ticket purchase , giving us an opportunity to sneak on out and into the adjacent show . what are the four ingredients of a really bad action movie ? first , the movie gives us an introductory premise . huge caverns exist deep beneath the ocean floor , and in this area , many ships have disappeared . oooh . . . scary ! secondly , a cheesy soundtrack tries to connote a tone of mystery , but only succeeds in drowning our ears with an abrasive musical score . third , the main character is a mercenary that delivers goods without asking about the contents of his cargo ( treat williams ) . he operates a sophisticated military - style pt boat and every word that comes out of his mouth is awash in comical flippancy . finally , in the cargo hold , we see those that hired him . they are also mercenaries that have tough - looking haircuts , talk with accents , and try to show how macho they are . during their trip across the stormy sea , their boat suffers an incident and requires repairs . spotting a cruise ship in the distance , they make their way to the ocean liner and devise a plan to raid the machine shop , take the parts that they need , and then continue on their merry way . little do they know that this cruise ship has become infested by some kind of ocean monster . yet , they board the ship armed to the hilt with grenades and machine guns that can kill dozens in a matter of seconds . this is nothing more than a by - the - book action film . their realization of the situation that they 're in does n't happen until they are in the bowels of the boat . those who are dumb enough to stray off on their own will ultimately get killed . the corridors on the ship are narrow , misty , and provide the kind of atmosphere that all scare - fests must have . yet , despite the predictable nature of this film , there are some scary " boo " moments . but most of it is just outright silly . and this film is unusually gory too . monsters basically suck off the flesh and spit out skeletal remains . there is one particularly neat scene where a monster has been cut apart and reveals a victim that is still alive . he screams horribly as the monster 's digestive juices continue to slowly eat him away . additionally , it borrows heavily from speed2 , alien and a bunch of other recent films . the mercenaries even run into a lone , surviving passenger ( femke jannsen ) who looks amazingly like sandra bullock . to be honest , when i left the theatre , i just had to laugh at how witless the film was . it 's moronic fun at best . so , if you 're hankering for a large bucket of popcorn served with a side of silliness , then this might just hit the spot .
0NEG
[ "a really bad action movie", "insipidness", "i just had to laugh at how witless the film was . it 's moronic fun at best", "a cheesy soundtrack", "most of it is just outright silly", "one of the most unimaginative rip - offs of other recent action movies , or an incredibly unfunny spoof of them" ]
synopsis : when a meteorite crashlands in the arizona desert , community college professors ira kane ( duchovny ) and harry block ( jones ) are first on the scene . they discover that an alien lifeform has arisen from the rock and is evolving at an amazing rate . soon the army , advised by dr allison reed ( moore ) , moves in and forces kane and block out . but when the aliens begin to menace society , it may take the scientists ' combined efforts to stop them before they terminate the evolution of another lifeform : humanity . review : " evolution " certainly has the ingredients for a decent comedy . it 's directed by reitman , clearly trying to parlay his " ghostbusters " success into a twenty - first - century counterpart . it stars duchovny , and although one might question his judgment in lampooning his " x - files " character so soon after leaving the tv series , it should certainly provide him with plenty of ammunition . and then there 's moore , who may not have much prior experience in comedy , but who has certainly proven her ability as an actress . a shame , then , that it all deteriorates into such a hopelessly unfunny morass . " evolution " is a movie more concerned with its special effects ( which are quite good ) than anything resembling a consistently funny script . it has its moments ( a scene in which jones ' body is invaded by an alien is particularly entertaining ) , but there are embarrassingly long stretches that are utterly devoid of humour . moore is totally wasted , her clumsy shtick getting very old , very fast . duchovny has stunningly little in the way of material to work with . and the story is so formulaic , it could have been written by monkeys . part of what made " ghostbusters " so wonderful was a combination of a great script and characters the audience could root for . " evolution " is so mind - numbingly tedious that it 's difficult not to start cheering for the aliens .
0NEG
[ "a shame , then , that it all deteriorates into such a hopelessly unfunny morass", "embarrassingly long stretches that are utterly devoid of humour . moore is totally wasted , her clumsy shtick getting very old , very fast", "mind - numbingly tedious", "stunningly little in the way of material to work with . and the story is so formulaic , it could have been written by monkeys" ]
deceiver is a plot twist in search of a movie . this overly constructed film succeeds in having many surprises , and , being true to its title , being deceptive . but there is little in the film that is worthy of deceit . braxton ( chris penn ) and kennesaw ( michael rooker ) are two cops investigating the brutal murder of a prostitute ( renee zellweger ) . their lone suspect is wayland ( tim roth ) , a wealthy young man whose phone number was found in the hooker 's pocket . however , a routine lie detector test turns against the investigators , as the crafty wayland somehow turns the tables . braxton and kennesaw are forced to confront their own troubled lives . braxton is a gambling addict in deep to mook ( ellen burstyn ) , a local bookie . kennesaw is bitter about his marriage to a socialite ( rosanna arquette ) , believing his wife to be unfaithful . the plot is twisty and complex , with lots of lengthy flashbacks , and plenty of surprises . however , there are times when it is needlessly complex , and at least one instance the storytelling turns so muddled that the answers to important plot points actually get lost . take a look at l . a . confidential , or the film 's more likely inspiration , the usual suspects for how a complex plot can properly be handled . the dialogue in deceiver is as overcrafted as the plot . for example , the film tells a few substories ( such as the tale of a woeful absinthe bender , or an alternative telling of how van gogh lost his ear ) , but they are so flat and so plastic that they come off as prefabricated and unbelievable . there 's never the sense that these are real characters engaging in conversation . they appear to be nothing more than words on a screenplay . the characters , themselves , are rather pathetic and despicable . not one of them is an ounce sympathetic , and as a result , the labyrinthine plot is all for naught . what does it matter who is guilty of what and why ? writer - directors josh and jonas pate seem to desire to emulate the coen brothers ' masterwork blood simple , or the wachowski brothers ' less worthy bound . but , while they have got the plot twists down cold , they need to work on characterization and dialogue .
0NEG
[ "they are so flat and so plastic that they come off as prefabricated and unbelievable . there 's never the sense that these are real characters engaging in conversation . they appear to be nothing more than words on a screenplay", "all for naught", "rather pathetic and despicable", "they need to work on characterization and dialogue", "there is little in the film that is worthy of deceit" ]
this is the kind of movie that makes one appreciate disney 's live- action george of the jungle . tarzan and the lost city , the latest attempt to bring edgar rice burrough 's legendary hero to the big screen , is one of the most inept and ill - timed of any tarzan adventure so far . badly conceived and poorly executed , tarzan and the lost city appears headed for a quick trip to video store shelves . i have no idea why the producers chose now to bring back tarzan ; it 's not as if there are legions of new fans clamoring for his next movie . furthermore , it 's even more curious that this film is rated pg , which , by definition , rules out any sex or explicit violence . and , while i 'm not advocating the excesses embraced by the 1981 bo derek version of the story , tarzan deserves a slightly more adult approach than the one used in the embarrassing production . of course , no tweaking of the content to change the rating could have saved tarzan and the lost city , since the film 's troubles originated with the script and were propagated all the way down the line . imagine george of the jungle stripped of all ( intentional ) humor , and you have a fair idea of what this tarzan is like . with its uninspired action and tepid adventure sequences , the film barely registers a pulse . anyone in search of a relatively entertaining , family jungle adventure should check out the 1994 version of the jungle book , which uses the same basic elements to much better effect . the only worthwhile element of tarzan and the lost city is the pretty scenery ( which , unfortunately , includes the two lead actors ) . the film does n't attempt to re - tell the origin story ? the thinking is that it has been done often enough . instead , tarzan and the lost city introduces us to lord graystoke a . k . a . john clayton a . k . a . tarzan the ape man ( casper van dien ) several days before his marriage to lady jane porter ( jane march ) . he is living happily in england , enjoying the benefits of being a land - owning noble . meanwhile , in central africa , the dastardly nigel ravens ( steven waddington ) , a self - proclaimed scholar and explorer , believes he has found the way to the lost city of opar , which he calls the cradle of civilization . on the way there , he and his band of mercenaries do all sorts of nasty things , like burning native villages , to earn the wrath of the locals . one shaman , determined to stop ravens from unearthing opal , sends a mystical message to tarzan for help . with lady jane following close behind , he returns to the jungle where he was born . its patently obvious that casper van dien ( one of the pretty - boy heroes of starship troopers ) was not hired on the basis of his acting ability . with his plastic facial expressions , monotone voice , and complete inability to make convincing animal noises , his range rivals that of steven seagal . his pecs , however , are impressive , and director carl schenkel makes sure that he is given every opportunity to show them off . jane march , on the other hand , has to keep her shirt on , which may be a first for her . some six years ago , march give a solid performance in jean jacques annaud 's steamy the lover . since then , she made the career - killing decision of appearing opposite bruce willis in the color of night , which exploited her every acting defiency . tarzan continues this trend . march may be attractive , but , at least judging by this performance , she ca n't act . meanwhile , steven waddington has serious trouble summoning up the menace necessary to be a really detestable bad guy . instead , he turns out to be little more than a nuisance . the story line is pure formula , which has largely been true throughout the years for almost all of the tarzan movies . the problem is that this one seems so childish and lifeless . the romantic elements are all contrived - in fact , lady jane 's presence is necessary only so she can be captured and subsequently rescued by her buff fiance . the special effects are truly bottom - of - the - barrel ( including some laughably bad men in ape costumes - apparently , animatronics were too expensive for this production ) . and , of course , as with all jungle movies , there are the obligatory cute animals . over the years , the legend of tarzan has been one of the most popular sources for film series material . the most famous ape man was johnny weismuller , but no less than two dozen other actors have essayed the part ( including gordon scott , who is widely believed to be the best actor to tackle the role ) . weismuller made 12 tarzan features ; van dien will probably fall 11 short of that number . and , having seen tarzan and the lost city , i would argue that the movie - going public would have been well served if he had missed by 12 .
0NEG
[ "uninspired action and tepid adventure sequences , the film barely registers a pulse", "plastic facial expressions , monotone voice , and complete inability", "has serious trouble summoning up", "laughably bad", "exploited her every acting defiency . tarzan continues this trend", "the film 's troubles originated with the script and were propagated all the way down the line", "one of the most inept and ill - timed", "i have no idea why", "badly conceived and poorly executed", "embarrassing production", "she ca n't act", "pure formula", "truly bottom - of - the - barrel", "headed for a quick trip to video store shelves", "the problem is that this one seems so childish and lifeless . the romantic elements are all contrived" ]
" desperate measures " is a generic title for a film that 's beyond generic . it 's also a depressing waste of talent , with the solid team of michael keaton and andy garcia unthankfully thrown thankless lead roles , not to mention once - cool director barbet schroeder sadly continuing his string of not - cool flicks -- this thriller is more " before and after " than " reversal of fortune . " the movie is a big disappointment , and yet it 's somewhat easy to see what motivated such big names to attach themselves to it -- the premise is both promising and intriguing . too bad the execution 's all wrong , though , because the set - up of " desperate measures " boasts some rather enticing elements that deserve to be put to far better use . san francisco cop frank connor ( garcia ) is a single parent with a troubling dilemma -- his son matt ( joseph cross ) is stricken with cancer which only a bone marrow transplant can push into remission . even worse , the only compatible donor is violent sociopath peter mccabe ( michael keaton ) , currently serving a life sentence for multiple murders and other various crimes against society . connor tries his best to convince mccabe to go along with the surgery ; he 's at first reluctant , but reconsiders after he realizes he can plan his escape at the hospital . when he does make a run for it , connor offers close pursuit , but for different reasons than his superiors ( including the crusty brian cox ) -- they want to take mccabe down , while connor needs to keep him alive , or all hope is lost for his little boy . one misstep " desperate measures " makes is in its underdevelopment of matt 's illness . what 's needed are more details as to exactly why mccabe is the only bone marrow match that works ; there would seem to be other possible contenders somewhere in the country , and thus many of the ways that connor endangers the lives of himself and those around him by attempting to keep mccabe alive are just a little too hard to swallow . take , for example , a scene where mccabe is trying to make a getaway by climbing over an elevated passage tunnel connecting two sections of the hospital . the police have their spotlight and guns aimed right on him , and what does connor do ? he shoots the spotlight out so that mccabe can continue his flight . connor knows very well what dangerous deeds this guy is capable of , and yet never seems to think that mccabe will eventually get to and try to harm his son . whatever . to be fair , though , the lack of story background is the least of the movie 's problems . first and foremost is how cheaply " desperate measures " trades the potential of it 's opening scenes for the routine action ballistics of its final hour . once mccabe escapes , the film becomes the fugitive in reverse and with no thrills . there are countless scenes where the good guys catch up to keaton only to have him grab a hostage and get away . also , the movie is so intent on giving you a hoot - inducing , lip - smacking villain ( the ads have compared peter mccabe to hannibal lechter , natch ) that it completely casts garcia 's frank connor by the dullsville wayside ; " desperate measures " appears to like its antagonist so much more than its protagonist , and the movie 's head - scratcher of a send - off confirms this . there is some good to be found amongst this mess , particularly in the acting department . cast against type , michael keaton 's understated menace is highly effective . although he 's not given much believable to work with , andy garcia plays off a taut emotional chord . joseph cross , as garicia 's ailing son , is surprisingly unsentimental , and marcia gay harden lends solid support as a doctor who becomes a major player in the unfolding chaos . this cast does its best to camouflage the sorry plot as it chugs towards an inevitably happy ending , but most is lost . it goes without saying that " desperate measures " needs an operation of its very own .
0NEG
[ "unthankfully thrown thankless lead roles", "the execution 's all wrong", "needs an operation of its very own", "routine action ballistics", "a generic title for a film that 's beyond generic . it 's also a depressing waste of talent", "head - scratcher of a send - off", "just a little too hard to swallow", "sadly continuing his string of not - cool flicks", "most is lost", "the lack of story background is the least of the movie 's problems", "in reverse and with no thrills", "a big disappointment" ]
robin williams is a comedic genus . that is , he is one when he 's in a film that allows him space to move . " flubber " straps him in a straitjacket , covers him with duct tape , stuffs him in a coat closet and piles furniture against the door to make sure that he does n't get out . in a re - make of its own 1961 " absent minded professor " , disney offers us proof that more is definitely less . recycling old films ( " that darned cat " , " 101 dalmatians " ) dressed up as new is the newest money machine from the home of the mouse that roared . professor phillip brainard ( williams ) is a terminally forgetful scientist teaching at a small college . his fiancee , sara jean reynolds ( marcia gay harden ) , president of the college is none too happy with him because he 's left her waiting at the altar due to his lack of short - term -- and long - term -- memory . she 's giving him one more chance . he blows that chance when he invents " flubber " ( flying rubber ) and is so excited by his discovery that sara jean is once again awaiting him in her white dress . his tardiness is helped along by his jealous flying robotic assistant who wants him all to herself . it 's not all bad news . flubber is a green jello that can magnify and reflect energy that is applied to it . brainard realizes the commercial potential within the goo can save the school from bankruptcy and being taken over by the town 's evil industrialist charles hoenicker ( raymond barry ) . while he 's busy with his new breakthrough , the slighted sweetheart is being wooed by his sleazy rival wilson croft ( christopher mcdonald ) . there 's a flying car , flubber - enhanced basketball game and an assortment of broken lab equipment : none of which are the least bit interesting or funny . at one point , my son looked around the audience and asked " why are these people laughing ? " although williams turns in one of his least inspired roles , he is easily the most lively of the actors . everyone else comes across as half - asleep . the re - make is successful in that respect . it feels like a bad disney movie from the sixties . i remember the original as being charming , but my guess is that the memory from almost four decades ago has been artificially enhanced by the years . there have been some updates . fred macmurray 's flying model t has been replaced by a t - bird . his faithful dog charlie is now " weebo " , the hovering robot . the biggest change is that , with sophisticated computer animation , we now can have films show off special effects without being at all entertaining . flubber is anthropomorphized into a being supposedly with personality . the gloop has little arms and legs and splits into tiny little gloopettes for a big dance number . this has nothing to do with the story . the only possible reason is to create merchandising opportunities so that kids can badger their parents into taking them to mcdonalds for the toys . not that contributing little to the plot is a big problem . there are very few aspects of the film that move the story and those that do do n't make sense . the discovery of flubber is going to save the college because brainard can sell his flying car to ford . anyone with half a brain would be able to see that his intelligent flying automaton is worth billions . it 's unbelievable that his lover ( well , probably not a lover -- after all this is disney ) starts dating croft after the aborted wedding . there 's not one appealing component of this man . after the professor discovers that smearing a golf ball with the gunk causes it to bounce uncontrollably around his lab wreaking havoc , i cringed as he picked up a bowling ball . this guy is beyond forgetful , venturing into the certifiable . co - writer john hughes used to direct light - weight but thoughtful teen films . the care behind " pretty in pink " and " the breakfast club " all went out the window after his " home alone " franchise heated up the box offices . looking much like " home alone 3 1/2 " , " flubber " even features a couple of vapid goons who get banged around and a cute little boy who screams a lot . in some ways , it 's difficult to judge this film . i have a suspicion that i 'm not it 's target audience . after all , i measure my age in two digits .
0NEG
[ "everyone else comes across as half - asleep", "none of which are the least bit interesting or funny", "turns in one of his least inspired roles", "show off special effects without being at all entertaining", "all went out the window", "this guy is beyond forgetful , venturing into the certifiable", "straps him in a straitjacket , covers him with duct tape , stuffs him in a coat closet and piles furniture against the door to make sure that he does n't get out", "do n't make sense" ]
ever watch a very young child try and tell a joke that is beyond his , or her , sophistication ? it 's full of stops and starts and usually , the punch line is ruined . i felt the same way watching drowning mona . skip a stone across water and you approximate the depth of this attempt at an ensemble comedy . there are some slightly successful attempts at humor , but they only serve as window dressing . there is a running gag about the town , verplanck , n . y . , being a test town for the then new yugo . everyone drives a yugo , differentiating their cars with personalized license plates . even the police chief drives one . there is a certain sublimeness to the image of a lights and siren decked out yugo skittering its way through the town streets . there also is a running gag about one of the characters , jeff , missing a hand and how it occurred . it pokes gentle fun at the notion of urban legends . it turns out the truth is more horrifying than any legend . there are some sight gags that pop up as well , such as mona 's tombstone , which reads " demoted " , instead of devoted . still , the core of the story maintains the flatness of a still pond . the lynchpin of the film falls on the redundant and sporadic scenes involving mona ( midler ) . each scene with her is the same : scream at someone , hit someone , then scream some more . there 's no uniqueness or modulation to her or explanation for her meanness . anyone off the street could have played the role , such as it is . the other characters are walking cardboard cutouts . each one is defined by one trait and no further attempt is made at deeper characterization . there is a burly , female car mechanic , so of course , there is a forced lesbianism gag . mona 's son , jeff ( marcus thomas ) is a simpleton , hence you can predict his dialogue before it even plods its way from his mouth . chief of police rash ( devito ) likes broadway musicals and loves his daughter . there 's nothing more to him . elle , the chief 's daughter ( campbell ) , is bland personified , a dutiful girl with no higher aspiration than to have a child and be married . mona 's husband phil ( fichtner ) jeckle and hydes from shirking coward to reptilian letch . bob ( affleck ) , elle 's betrothed , and business partner to jeff , is a mumbling , obvious dullard . there is no contrast to any of the characters . by having at least one character with some wit , or wits , to serve as counterpoint to the others , perhaps steinfeld 's attempt at satirizing a small town infested with ambitionless people might have come off better . ostensibly a murder mystery , drowning mona gives you almost all the clues immediately , then lets you sit back and feel superior as you watch the cast of paper people fumble their way to finding the killer , who could be anyone due to mona 's loving manner with everyone on town . even that aspect of the film fails , throwing in a convenient , ridiculous and unsatisfying wrap to things . it 's been a while since i walked away from a movie theater in an angry mood . what makes it all the more remarkable is that i rarely remember a comedy making me so angry for wasting my time at it 's ineptitude .
0NEG
[ "the cast of paper people fumble their way", "ridiculous and unsatisfying wrap", "wasting my time at it 's ineptitude", "full of stops and starts and usually , the punch line is ruined", "the core of the story maintains the flatness of a still pond", "the redundant and sporadic scenes", "you can predict his dialogue before it even plods its way from his mouth", "there 's no uniqueness or modulation to her or explanation for her meanness . anyone off the street could have played the role", "there is no contrast to any of the characters", "walking cardboard cutouts" ]
what are we going to do with jim carrey ? viewers of television 's " in living color " know this one - man cartoon from such characters as fire marshall bill . viewers also know that " in living color " is a skit - show and that a little of jim carrey goes a long way . unfortunately , this fact was forgotten by the makers of the carrey comedy ace ventura : pet detective . three writers , including carrey , worked on the slapstick story , which sends a self - styled " pet detective " on the trail of a stolen dolphin . the missing mammal belongs to the miami dolphins , who need their mascot for the upcoming superbowl . for plot porpoises , this story works as well as any three stooges short . carrey gets to do his " official " schtick as he snoops around greater miami . he leers and sneers , craning his neck to funny effect . he even does his captain kirk impersonation . again . all of this is pretty harmless stuff up until the point that you realize that the writers have absolutely no intention of focusing on anyone * other * than carrey . ( suggested alternate title -- jim carrey : will do anything for a laugh . ) export it to france and you may have a hit . as it stands , ace ventura is n't even good kid 's stuff . the profanity count , alone , is too high . which is ironic , since children are , probably , carrey 's best audience . the film does n't even have the goofball charm of chris elliott 's recent no - brainer cabin boy . sure , carrey has his moments . but what can you say about a film whose high - points include watching carrey slink around to the theme from " mission impossible ? " ace ventura has one glaring incongruity . amid the butt - jokes and double - takes , the script takes great pains to set - up an elaborate and rather funny " crying game " gag . and , for * this * intended audience , that takes ( ahem ) cojones .
0NEG
[ "is n't even good kid 's stuff", "unfortunately , this fact was forgotten", "does n't even have the goofball charm" ]
there are some pretty impressive stars in lost in space - it 's just that none of them happen to be actors . the stars i 'm referring to are the computer generated ones that make up the movie 's " outer space " ; the stars that the less impressive actors hurtle thru as they try to find their way home . yes , in terms of acting , the star power is . . . well , more like a falling star . kinda pretty , short - lived , and pretty much dead . lost in space , as if you really did n't know , is based on the 60 's sci - fi television series of the same name . it 's the year 2058 , and earth 's precious resources are quickly being usurped by the needs of its massive population . john robinson ( william hurt ) is the scientist leading a mission program to colonize a foreign planet . earth 's entire existance is contingent upon a successful mission , but nobody , whether it be john 's family or hired battle pilot don west ( matt leblanc ) , seems too enthusiastic about leaving their home planet for several years . john 's family consists of his wife maureen ( mimi rogers ) , his atypical teenage daughter penny ( lacey chabert ) , his ingenious son will ( jack johnson ) , and his beautiful scientist daughter judy ( heather graham ) . despite everyone 's reluctance , the jupiter 2 spacecraft abandons planet earth and makes its way into the vast eternity of space . unknown to anyone but the audience , there is an evil doctor stowaway determined to sabotage the entire mission . dr . smith ( gary oldman ) has been hired by a group of rebel conspirators to turn the expedition sour , and dr . smith has re - programmed a talking robot to " destroy robinson family " ! when everything that could go wrong does go wrong for both sides , the spaceship is warped to an unknown destination , and now the premise of being lost in space is complete . as for the audience , you will likely be lost in boredom by this point , wondering if the plot , like the jupiter 2 , will ever get off the ground . it 's hard to tell who deserves the most blame - the incredibly bland and corny characters or the horrifically lame script ? chabert is basically the only one to overdo it , sounding like a whiny munchkin on helium . if you , like me , were convinced by commercials that her voice was altered for some sort of plot twist where her body would be taken over by aliens , you 're wrong ! that 's just her normal voice ! in yet another example of a " friend " faltering on the big screen , leblanc is so incredibly dull and yet so obviously trying so hard to be so incredibly charming ( make sense ? ) , it makes you want to shove his ass out the escape pod corridor without an escape pod . graham is a babe - thank goodness there was something for me to think about during this film . hurt , the black hole of excitement , sucks up any energy that might have been left . if hurt were available in tablet form , he would be a prescription strength sleeping pill . johnson is n't dull , he 's just lame as the young know it all who winds up saving everybody 's ass all the time . want an example of how cool this kid can be ? how about when he convinces the robot to think with its heart and reconsider killing the family ? hey , do n't laugh - the thing actually listened to the mr . rogers - would - be - proud sentiment . but alas , if you thought a character could n't be much worse , there was rogers as the epitome of generic ( or , mother as she was known ) . why hire an actress ? they could 've had a white cardboard cutout with the word mom printed on it . now that would 've had some pizzazz ! lost in space luckily does n't suffer in every single category that it could have . the special effects are crisp , clear , and at least mildly captivating , unlike any of the presences onscreen save it be oldman , who plays his evil character with a great deal of fun and finesse . unfortunately , oldman is locked away for most of the film , giving us nothing but ample mocking opportunities to enjoy . while the special effects are pleasing to the eye , they are nothing you could n't find in most modern sci - fi films . contact , for example , far exceeds this film in terms of imagery and imagination . lost in space just has too many shortcomings to ever be considered a work of cinematic art , with numerous contradictions ( the time travel aspect was horribly flawed ! ) , wooden and corny acting , worse dialogue , and an ending so disappointing , you 'd be happier to have seen the entire robinson family get blown to smithereens . then again , with an ending like this film has , it 's obvious a sequel is already being considered . what an awful note to end on , knowing there could be more of this in a year or two . the attempt to be family oriented is commendable , but lost in space is lost with the illusion that special effects and the nostalgia of a classic tv series being revisited is enough to satisfy all age groups . well , danger potential movie goers ! danger ! this movie crash lands without ever breaking thru the atmosphere of mediocrity .
0NEG
[ "be lost in boredom", "unfortunately , oldman is locked away for most of the film , giving us nothing but ample mocking opportunities to enjoy", "the black hole of excitement , sucks up any energy", "lost with the illusion", "he 's just lame", "what an awful note to end on", "alas , if you thought a character could n't be much worse , there was rogers as the epitome of generic", "could 've had a white cardboard cutout", "just has too many shortcomings to ever be considered a work of cinematic art , with numerous contradictions ( the time travel aspect was horribly flawed ! ) , wooden and corny acting , worse dialogue , and an ending so disappointing , you 'd be happier to have seen the entire robinson family get blown to smithereens", "more like a falling star . kinda pretty , short - lived , and pretty much dead", "danger potential movie goers ! danger ! this movie crash lands without ever breaking thru the atmosphere of mediocrity", "the less impressive actors", "so incredibly dull and yet so obviously trying so hard to be so incredibly charming", "makes you want to shove his ass out the escape pod corridor without an escape pod", "it 's hard to tell who deserves the most blame - the incredibly bland and corny characters or the horrifically lame script ?" ]
so , it 's thirty years later , and oscar and felix are together again . that might have been an exciting notion if it was n't for the fact that the " odd couple " of jack lemmon and walter matthau have been reunited in several recent movies : 1993 's " grumpy old men , " 1995 's " grumpier old men , " and 1997 's " out to sea " ( i . e . " grumpiest old men " ) . so , " the odd couple ii " ( i . e . " the grumpiest old men of all , really " ) seems just another entry in a tired series . the plot is even similar to that of " grumpy old men " in that lemmon and matthau 's mismatched characters are brought together by a romance between their children . oscar 's son ( jonathan silverman ) and felix 's daughter ( lisa waltz ) are getting married , and former roommates felix ungar ( lemmon ) and oscar madison ( matthau ) meet at the airport and decide to share a car . . . then hilarity ensues . well , a few chuckles ensue anyway . neil simon , the award - winning playwright who created oscar and felix , provides the screenplay , which is a shock , because the script is a piece of talentless hackwork from beginning to end . unlike the original play / movie , " odd couple ii " does n't find its humor in the personality conflict of its characters . instead , it depends upon a series of humorous situations : oscar and felix lose the car over a cliff , are caught smuggling mexicans over the border , take up with two women on the run from their violent husbands ( the women are played by christine baranski of " cybill " and jean smart of " designing women " ) , and hitch a ride with a man who dies in the desert . the original 1968 movie " the odd couple " remains a classic comedy . it introduced the motif of roommate - as - spouse that has provided gags for movies and sitcoms ever since . it was the second outing for the lemmon / matthau team ( which debuted in 1966 's " the fortune cookie " ) , and they made a couple more worthwhile comedies , " the front page " ( 1974 ) and " buddy buddy " ( 1981 ) , before going their separate ways . the reunion of lemmon and matthau in " grumpy old men " six years ago was delightful , and its sequel seemed appropriate because it tied up some loose ends from the first movie . but " out to sea " and " the odd couple ii " are just beating a grumpy old horse . ( you can add lemmon 's " my fellow americans , " i . e . " grumpy old presidents , " to that list , too . ) let 's hope that hollywood offers these two actors something fresh to do . let 's hope also that we see neil simon 's name on movies that do it justice ( this is his first since 1993 's " lost in yonkers " ) .
0NEG
[ "just beating a grumpy old horse . ( you can add", "the script is a piece of talentless hackwork from beginning to end", "just another entry in a tired series" ]
except for a few bright moments of good verbal comedy , that old feeling is embarrassing to sit through . bette midler and dennis farina play lilly and dan , actress and author , once married , now violently divorced , and back together one last time for their daughter molly 's ( paula marshall ) wedding . lilly and dan hate each other passionately -- so passionately that they have sex at the wedding and fall in love again . each ditches his or her current spouse of 14 years and runs off with the other . molly , married now only 24 hours , runs off in search of her irresponsible parents while her husband keith ( jamie denton ) tries to console the abandoned spouses . in molly 's search for her parents , she somehow falls in love with lilly 's paparazzo joey ( danny nucci ) . meanwhile , the newlywed keith ends up consoling dan 's wife rowena ( gail o'grady ) in bed . the audience i saw this with apparently thought that all the adultery was hilarious . i 'm no dan quayle , but i thought it was a bit creepy . the message seemed to be " ignore your responsibilities unrepentantly and have fun fucking who you wish . " " family values " aside , there 's something cruel about all this . perhaps this movie would have played well as a black comedy , but the movie is a romantic comedy . we are supposed to be rooting for these creeps . reiner and screenwriter leslie dixon tried to make it easier on us by making the victims unlikeable . lilly 's husband is a new - age flake who rambles about " emotional valet parking , " so we can write him off as irrelevant . dan 's wife is vain , manipulative , and jealous so we can write her off as a bitch . molly 's husband is a career - conscious , self - centered republican politician who thinks she 's too fat ( and just for good measure , he also fucked dan 's wife ) , so we can write him off as a prick . everyone else falls in love . but still , that somehow does n't justify the actions of the movie 's main characters . " he 's a prick " or " she 's a bitch " is no defense . the movie is somewhat redeemed by some funny dialog -- often during heated arguments -- and by above - average performances by midler and farina ( breaking out of his character - actor mold ) . other than that , it 's a standard romantic comedy with a very substandard gimmick .
0NEG
[ "creeps", "it was a bit creepy", "we can write him off as irrelevant", "a very substandard gimmick", "that somehow does n't justify the actions", "we can write her off as a bitch", "we can write him off as a prick", "embarrassing to sit through" ]
maybe this mission should have been scrubbed mission to mars a film review by michael redman copyright 2000 by michael redman there 's a world of difference between artists and technicians . the artist has a vision to create something new . he may not do it well , it might be sloppy , but it 's something you 've never seen before . a good technician can make it look good , but without direction from his own inner artist or someone else , it 's going to be just a xerox . obviously successful films need both skills . brian de palma is a masterful technician . he 's spent his career copying others , most notably hitchcock . he usually knows exactly what to do to make a scene work , but only because he has learned it by rote . aside from rare flashes of originality , his films are often soul - dead . in de palma 's latest , he turns his attention to stanley kubrick . to tell the truth , i enjoyed portions of this movie , but i liked it a lot better over 30 years ago when it was called " 2001 " . i enjoyed it even more when it was titled " close encounters " . nasa has set its sights for mars . when the first crew meets with disaster , a rescue mission is sent to the red planet . they do n't do so well either , but eventually meet up the lone surviving astronaut - gone - rasta and solve the mysteries of the universe . and it 's all so boring . there are so many scenes that just do n't work , it 's difficult to begin . when the first crew is a few feet away from a raging massive upside - down martian tornado ( which looks remarkably like a sandworm from " dune " ) destroying everything in its path , they just hang out watching . error . the most interesting character ( and that 's not saying much ) is killed off . error . the alien is laughable . error . the rest of the characters are the dullest people imaginable . error . there 's some nice eyecandy . the face on mars , which turns out to be a giant metal thai buddha head , looks cool . a three - dimensional holographic planetarium is more fun to watch than anything at disney world . maneuvering in space suits outside the ship seems realistic . but there 's so much more that feels as if we 've been there before . from " 2001 " , there 's the rotating space station , the blinding white room . > from " close encounters " , they solve a sound puzzle and play it to the aliens . the list goes on . the actors are mostly mobile wooden statues . even gary sinise and tim robbins ca n't muster enough emotion to convince us they are breathing . no one seems to care about anything that happens . you wo n't either . the absolutely worst sin is the blatant product placement as dr . pepper , with a 20 foot tall logo , saves the day . they should save the commercials for those insipid bits before the film .
0NEG
[ "the alien is laughable", "the dullest people imaginable", "and it 's all so boring . there are so many scenes that just do n't work , it 's difficult to begin", "no one seems to care about anything that happens . you wo n't either . the absolutely worst sin", "are mostly mobile wooden statues" ]
mulholland drive did very well at the cannes film festival . as you can see from the rating it did not do very well from me at the toronto international film festival . it may not be clear to the viewer why i am so negative on this film for most of the running time . in fact it is an interesting mystery story told on the backdrop of the hollywood film industry . toward the end of the film i think everything that has been built falls apart . the film was to be a pilot for a tv series but writer and director david lynch did not sell his tv pilot and i think he decided that he wanted to do something else with it . something else is what he did . the film opens with a woman ( played by laura harring ) about to be killed in a car when a car crash saves her life . she crawls away from the accident with a concussion and finds herself a bungalow with an unlocked door to sleep . meanwhile young vivacious betty ( naomi watts ) arrives in hollywood from canada . she wants to build a career as an actress . betty is a little surprised to find a woman sleeping in the borrowed bungalow . she does not know who the woman is . she is even more surprised when the woman awakes and does not herself know who she is . they fix on a name rita for her , but are not sure if this right or not . meanwhile local director adam kesher ( justin theroux ) has problems of his own . he is trying to cast one actress for his new film and is getting pressure from the producers and from crime figures to cast someone else , cammie rhodes ( melissa george ) . these two threads are joined by a third one in which there is a strange and comic murder that goes terribly wrong . there is also a strange character called the cowboy ( monty montgomery ) adding to the confusion . in what was probably intended for the television pilot the film opens with a great vibrancy showing dancing 60s style under the credits . a lot of mulholland drive starts out fun . lynch wants you to know he could make an enjoyable stylish film . he just chooses not to . as with any david lynch film there is strange material added for little reason . there are no earthworms , but there are some decidedly strange david lynch touches . the film is a little long for the subject matter . toward the end it gets into some heavier violence and sex scenes , clearly not intended for the tv pilot . unfortunately some of the most important comments to make about this film would be spoilers . i will not mention them in the main body of the review but i give mulholland drive a 4 on the 0 to 10 scale and a low 0 on the -4 to +4 scale . mulholland drive spoiler warning . i have rated this film fairly low . you should read this only after seeing the film or deciding that you will not see the film . david lynch is in large part a dark satirist . most of his work is done in familiar genres but in some way shows their underside . in mulholland drive i think he is having a laugh at the expense of the crime film genre . what he does with this film is ( are you sure you want to read this ? ) playing off the audience expectations that there will be a simple explanation for what is going on . the first 80 % of the film he tells a simple multi - thread crime story with clues sprinkled throughout . then suddenly at the end he turns the story on its ear with a large number of clues that appear that they should add up to something . the audience expectation is that they will add up . but he has given clues that are self - contradictory . lynch wants the audience to argue about what they have seen afterward and come up with theories . in fact , the pointers are noticeably contradictory and until i hear a better explanation , i think lynch is merely playing a joke . there is a visual curiosity that was popular in the sixties . mad magazine called it a poiuyt . other sources called it a tri- pronged u - bar . look at small portions of it and makes sense . look at the whole figure and it does not . this film is , in my estimation , the cinematic equivalent of a tri - pronged u - bar .
0NEG
[ "everything that has been built falls apart", "he just chooses not to", "strange material added for little reason", "i am so negative on this film for most of the running time" ]
ingredients : possessed plastic dolls in love , plastic dolls having sex starring : jennifer tilly , voice of brad dourif , katherine heigl , nick stabile , john ritter synopsis : this is the fourth film in the chucky series , which debuted in the late 1980s . basically , chucky is a plastic doll that can walk and talk because it is possessed by the spirit of a slain murderer . in bride of chucky , chucky 's longtime girlfriend tiffany ( jennifer tilly ) dies and her spirit inhabits a female plastic doll through voodoo . dolls tiffany and chucky get married and embark on a quest to reach a cemetery in new jersey , where a mystical gem might enable them to be humans . the dolls stow away in the back of a vehicle driven by a newly eloped couple , so in the side plot , the couple suspects each other of being a murderer . opinion : bride of chucky is an attempt at horror with humor , but does n't succeed . somehow , chucky moaning about mid life crisis , and how he should have gotten married does not make for a very scary chucky . and tiffany harping about mid life crisis , and how she should have gotten married does not make for a very scary tiffany . the suspenseless bride of chucky relies mostly on jennifer tilly 's cleavage to keep attention during the first half , and on occasional puns to keep attention during the second half . the best that can be said about bride of chucky is that it is sarcastic .
0NEG
[ "an attempt at horror with humor , but does n't succeed", "suspenseless", "occasional puns", "relies mostly on jennifer tilly 's cleavage" ]
watching the movie , i vowed to subtract half a star from the review because the filmmakers included a saccharine syrup , cute ' n cuddly , computer - generated monkey . if the monkey died , the movie got an extra half star . alas , the monkey showed up at the end , unharmed , to the wet sickly sound of gagging and rolling eyeballs . what that means is that lost in space actually deserved 2 stars . that 's pretty generous , considering the movie 's camp lacked any hint of tongue in cheek . when will robinson ( jack johnson ) teaches his pet robot about friendship , you are actually supposed to buy it . so why such a seemingly high rating ? there are a few reasons that made me unable to throw away the experience with the garbage . first , we saw the movie on opening night of the first day of operation of a brand new theater . the sound and screen kicked ass . nobody in the country enjoyed the movie as much as my audience did ( and i do n't necessarily mean that in a good way ) . also , there were more than zero scenes where i found myself rooting for the robinsons , or getting caught up in the movie 's tension . i even liked the computer - generated settings . i usually prefer to see models or sets , but the cg was more detailed than i 've seen in a lot of movies ; it looks like someone spent a little overtime to render some of the futuristic cities . also , gary oldman is never a bad actor , even though he is typecast as a villain . william hurt is n't too bad either . neither actor had a great role , but their performances were watchable . and perhaps i should n't admit this , but something about the tone and outlook of the movie brought me back to my childhood . there is very little swearing or blood ; there is a strong moral message , saccharine though it is ; there is a bit of romance ( whose culmination after 2 hours is a " real " kiss -- no sex ) . it felt like one of those disney movies that i so looked forward to when i was six . those movies were probably as bad as lost in space , but at the time , they were manna from heaven . that type of moviemaking is a lost art . now for the bad news . worst and most unforgivable was the incredibly bad dialogue . it 's squeaky - clean , family fun , trying hard to be as hip as pulp fiction . " you better hold on to your joystick , " is one such line . and when a robinson is called upon to deliver a line about warp conduit thingamajigs , they inevitably stumble badly enough to embarrass even the lowliest star trek ensign . second worst , and closely related , is the screenplay . the story 's exposition takes place at a press conference , which allows the writers to explain what 's happening with the least amount of creativity , effort , or interest . once the story gets going , i do concede a momentary burst of interest once in a while , but on the whole , the situations that arise are silly and contrived . when gary oldman easily reprograms will 's pet robot to kill the robinsons , my friend summed it up perfectly : " he flipped the switch to ' evil . ' " then there 's the tone of the movie . the colorado daily said the film would have been more interesting if the central character was will robinson and not his father john robinson . then it could be an adventure movie . they 're mostly right , except that johnson ( will ) was n't a good enough actor to carry it off . still , that the film has the robinson patriarch as our hero shows a lack of imagination . just because a movie is tame enough for kids does n't mean that we have to bow to a " promise keepers " notion of who 's the center of a family . many quality family films have been made with a non - traditional family structure ( fly away home comes to mind ) to much better effect . and the politics of the time seem a bit conservative and regressive for a futuristic movie . in star wars , the rebels were the good guys . we were rooting for those who were fighting against the system . in lost in space , the rebels are the bad guys , a terrorist force that must be killed , crushed and silenced so that our children may live free . that ominous excuse for violence almost makes me sympathize with the terrorists . finally , a few specific details deserve criticism . the movie tells us that the setting is the year 2056 . why ? why bother saying what year this is . just tell us it 's the future . i bring it up because the tv series was supposed to take place in 1997 . setting a specific date only dates the movie and guarantees that it wo n't be timeless ( not that this movie was really in the running anyway . ) . then there is a scene that shows john robinson checking one of his controls on a chair that rises about fifteen feet on a pole . this silly waste of money reminded me of bugs bunny 's barber chair , and only shows that the future is a time when spaceship designers have n't learned a thing about ergonomics . one vaguely redeeming quality is that the end credits succeed where the rest of the film failed : it made lost in space look cool . the strong techno beat sampled the cheesiest dialogue and , out of context , made it sound hip . this is overlaid on a cool jumpy credit sequence with interesting distorted clips from the movie . but if that 's the best part of the movie , i ca n't in good conscience recommend it . still , if you get stuck seeing it , as we did , you might be able to appreciate it if you keep your distance , think of liking bad movies as a child , and bring along your " bad movie bingo " cards .
0NEG
[ "shows a lack of imagination", "as bad as", "now for the bad news . worst and most unforgivable was the incredibly bad dialogue", "this silly waste of money", "silly and contrived", "lacked any hint of tongue in cheek", "inevitably stumble badly enough to embarrass even the lowliest star trek ensign . second worst , and closely related , is the screenplay", "i ca n't in good conscience recommend it" ]
i was going to see ram shrasta on the big screen last night , but before that i stopped into my video store to rent some movies . luckily , my video guy was in the middle or recording ram shrasta ! i knew it was going to be a bad print with only half - faces and poor sound quality , but i could n't help myself . . . i got it . well , after watching it ( it indeed was a bad print ) i was glad i did n't dish out $ 7 to waste three hours of my time sitting in a bad theatre watching a bad movie . this movie really sucks . it had so many inconsistencies it was driving me crazy ! ! for example , how can jackie shroff grow two feet of hair in just three or four days ? jackie shroff looked really stupid with his steven seagal ponytail . the songs are bad , the acting is bad ( especially deepti bhatnagar 's ) , and the direction is the worst of all . the comedy scenes with jagdish and johnny lever just made me want to throw up . i did n't even finish the movie . . . i could n't take it anymore . note : but if anyone out there liked aatish ( by the same director ) , i guess you 'd like this movie . it 's practically the same except that sanjay dutt is replaced with jackie shroff . aditya panscholi is the sidekick again . ( i was going to give it a zero , but i personally like jackie shroff , so i loosened up a little . he looked fresh , wore good clothes ( as always ) , and his performance , even though it was n't his best , was the only saving grace of the movie )
0NEG
[ "a bad movie . this movie really sucks . it had so many inconsistencies it was driving me crazy ! !", "looked really stupid", "the worst of all", "it was n't his best", "just made me want to throw up . i did n't even finish the movie . . . i could n't take it anymore", "the songs are bad , the acting is bad" ]
starship troopers is a bad movie . i mean , a really , really , bad movie . not only does it cross the line of bad taste when it comes to blood , gore and body parts shown on the screen , it blissfully jumps over that line , apparently unaware that the movie trailers appeal to an audience of five to fifteen year olds ( of which i saw many in the theatre ) . looking past the appalling sight of overdone violence , we are left with a movie with a thin plot at best , no strong lead characters , a blatant disregard for physics , and a very obvious naziesque theme . that being said , onto the review : the movie starts with a propaganda message from the federation ( who 's logo bears a * strong * resemblance to a nazi german eagle ) , urging the populace to go off and fight the bugs , who are attempting to destroy earth . the film shows large rallies with young children in attendance , pledging allegiance to the federation ( again , sound familiar ? ) . as the movie progresses , we are shown terror tactic training , as a drill sargeant very graphically compound fractures one recruits arm , and throws a knife through another 's hand . eventually , the recruits embark on a journey to a location two thirds of the way across the milky way galaxy , to fight the bugs on their home planet . as our faster than light travelling " heroes " arrive on planet , they drop onto the planet , and burst our of their craft brandishing . . . " what ? " you say , " laser beam weapons ? sonic weapons ? phasers ? photon cannons ? " . nope , they hop out brandishing good old 1997 machine guns , pump action rifles , and tactical nuclear weapons ! i guess a lot of physics money r&d went into travel and not weaponry . as the assault begins , our group of troopers are seen walking in a straight line through a box canyon . two members of the group notice rocks slipping and falling above them , and one even sees a streak fly by , but disregards it as nothing . this of course , leads to more massive carnage , blood shed , and graphic depictions of limbs and heads being ripped and severed from their bodies . again , i see that military tactics in the future must have evolved at about the same pace as their weapons ! in the end , we see neil patrick " doogie howser " harris burst onto the scene in what could accurately be described as a nazi ss trenchcoat , hat , and gloves . he does a vulcan mind meld on the giant slug , and then proclaims that the bugs are scared ! this sets the troopers into a frenzy , as they are now one step closer to completing their goal , total genocide of a species ( again , sound familiar ? ? ) . i have tried very hard not to step on and spoil the plot with this review , but given it 's non - existence , i may have anyway . i could go on for pages ripping this movie apart , but do n't want to bore you too badly . in short , i felt as if i were subjected to a mix between a pro - nazi war film with bugs substituted for allies , a drivers education accident scene film , and a complete blank screen ( the plot , of course ) . i would n't recommend this movie to anyone , anywhere , under any circumstance . copyright ( c ) 1997 tim jandt " >
0NEG
[ "a thin plot at best , no strong lead characters , a blatant disregard for physics , and a very obvious", "i were subjected to a mix between a pro - nazi war film with bugs substituted for allies , a drivers education accident scene film , and a complete blank screen", "i would n't recommend this movie to anyone , anywhere , under any circumstance", "is a bad movie . i mean , a really , really , bad movie . not only does it cross the line of bad taste", "given it 's non - existence", "the appalling sight of overdone violence", "blissfully jumps over that line , apparently unaware", "i could go on for pages ripping this movie apart , but do n't want to bore you too badly" ]
capsule : one of the ten worst movies ever made . christopher lambert vs . evil ninjas in modern - day japan . . . and nobody wins . the hunted is such a bad movie , so completely inept and so totally brain - damaged that i could almost feel affection for it . i could see myself showing this movie to friends and getting a good jolly guffaw out of it , if it were n't also insanely xenophobic and insulting . christopher lambert plays a computer - parts salesman who 's on business in japan . he meets a slinky young woman ( joan chen ) and has a torrid night of lovemaking with her -- and then manages to witness her death at the hands of an evil ninja clan and their leader ( john lone ) . apparently they had some unfinished business that could only be concluded with her getting slaughtered . since lambert is a witness , he 's of course the next one to die . let 's stop and think about this for a second . if lambert were in real life being chased by fanatical devotees to a ninja secret society , he 'd have a lifespan you could only measure with an atomic clock . in this movie , the ninja manage to kill just about everyone except him . i imagine the japanese gods smiled down on lambert and provided him with a goof field that radiates out about ten feet from his body . you know what a goof field is : that invisible zone in which anyone who has intent to do harm to you becomes a klutz no matter what their real dexterity is . this is , of course , only the beginning of the movie 's problems . lambert eventually finds pseudo - safety with a long - haired modern - day samurai ( yoshio harada ) and his partner -- yoko shimada , who you may remember as lady toda buntaro in shogun . they are the two best things in the movie ; in every scene they have authority and presence , and they actually look like they belong here , even when dressed in full samurai armor and wielding bows . the script does n't know what the hell to do with them . lone , as the bad guy , is zero - dimensional . the only bad - guy cliche he has to wallow around in is the one about how the bad guy always has exotic women dripping off of him . in the hunted , this is elevated to the level of an insulting stereotype . what 's funny is that the peripheral characters in the hunted are not sterotypes -- there 's a nice little scene with a tokyo cabdriver , and a girl in a pachinko parlor -- but many of the main characters are unsalveageably hateful . also , the phenomenal instrumental troupe kodo has assembled a superior soundtrack -- get the cd -- that manages to survive despite the drek it 's been designed to accompany . there is an extended battle scene in the middle of the movie that is almost reason enough to watch the whole thing -- a gory , excellently staged fight on the bullet train that shows some real imagination for a moment , and then smothers it by trying to clumsily re - couple the whole thing with the movie 's relentlessly stupid plot . by the time we get to the final showdown , with lambert getting to wield his own sword ( which , judging from the ham - handed editing of one scene , was forged in seven hours or so ) , we no longer care . we 're not even given any definitive information about whether or not one of the key characters lives or dies ! someone once said that the key to good art -- good movies , good books , whatever -- is to start somewhere interesting , end up somewhere interesting , and show respect for the audience all along the way . this movie bungles two out of three , badly .
0NEG
[ "one of the ten worst movies ever made", "the script does n't know what the hell to do with them", "unsalveageably hateful", "zero - dimensional", "smothers it by trying to clumsily re - couple the whole thing with the movie 's relentlessly stupid plot", "we no longer care", "badly", "this is , of course , only the beginning of the movie 's problems", "such a bad movie , so completely inept and so totally brain - damaged", "despite the drek it 's been designed to accompany", "an insulting stereotype", "insanely xenophobic and insulting" ]
hello kids . today the movie studios want to take over my critical review , and somehow persuade you that _ armageddon _ , the summer 's biggest blockbuster , is a film for everybody . and remember , if a film is for _ everybody _ , and if it makes the most money for the summer , it _ must _ be good , right ? armageddon is a comedy , with a capital " c " . it stars bruce willis , who has a hundred one - liners ! it has a tiny rock land directly in the middle of a heated argument in new york city ! ! and , chuckle , chuckle , one of those new yorkers , _ survives _ , with charcoal all over his face ! ! snorkle , * sniff * , hiccup . and it has steve buscemi as a _ genius _ who wants to work for an oil rig ? knee - slap ! ! is n't this just so , so , funny ! ? armageddon also has romance , with a capital " r " . it has a tender moment between * forbidden lovers * ben affleck and liv tyler , with , with , animal crackers ! and it has will patton as a long lost husband trying to reunite with his separated wife and child , who thinks he 's a salesman ! gurgle , * sniff * , awwwww . and it has steve buscemi spewing more one - liners about minors and strippers . umm , moving right along . . . armageddon also has lots of action , with a capital " a " . not just any action sequence would do . it must have _ original _ action sequences that are designed to thrill . like , drill , darn it , drill ! ! ! and , let 's have inept people destroy the mir space station ! ! ca n't you hear your heart beating ! ? and steve buscemi goes crazy and starts shooting at people ! ! what drama ! ! lastly , armageddon is out there to save the planet , with a capital " p " . this ca n't be any old thriller -- we must have an asteroid , the size of texas head straight for earth ! ! and , and , we must have beautiful scenic worldwide shots , like paris , blown up . and , and , we must have peoples of all colors , nations , and religions , join hand in hand for one final , hopeful , hug . the final sequence , where muslims in prostrate worship stand up -- in domino fashion -- to cheer the victory , filled me with such emotional goo that i wanted to , to , to rip the screen into shreds ! ! i mean , i mean , cheer for ecstatic joy ! ( it was over ) . comedy . " c " . romance . " r " . action . " a " . planet . " p " . okay , kids , what does that spell ? seriously , folks . any film that could take the indie - films ' most valuable talents , and throw it all away with a bruce willis vehicle , a hundred - million dollar budget , but have cheap - o sets and lousy special effects , is , bottom line , living proof that hell exists , and has made a multi - picture deal with universal . in the midst of all the action , the terseness , the one - liners , the fake sets , the overall waste of time , i recognized matt malloy playing an underwritten nasa technician ( " malloy , give me a reading " ) . remember him ? he was a principal player in last year 's _ in the company of men _ , a film that was more powerful , shocking , terrifying , funny , and shocking than _ armageddon _ could ever aspire to be . _ armageddon _ cost over $ 100 million to make . _ itcom _ cost a paltry $ 30 , 000 . need i say more ?
0NEG
[ "snorkle , * sniff * , hiccup", "and , and", "knee - slap ! ! is n't this just so , so , funny ! ?", "have cheap - o sets and lousy special effects , is , bottom line , living proof that hell exists", "has a hundred one - liners ! it has a tiny rock land directly in the middle of a heated argument in new york city ! !", "* forbidden lovers *", "what drama ! !", "like , drill , darn it , drill ! ! ! and , let 's have inept people destroy the mir space station ! ! ca n't you hear your heart beating ! ?", "with , with , animal crackers !", "gurgle , * sniff * , awwwww", "( it was over )", "and somehow persuade", "the terseness , the one - liners , the fake sets , the overall waste of time", "i wanted to , to , to rip the screen into shreds ! !", "and , and", "spewing more one - liners about minors and strippers" ]
deserves recognition for : achieving the near - impossible task of making a grander monument to self - love than steven seagal 's on deadly ground . capsule review : a question : after the floating baby ruth that was waterworld , what in the @$&% were the hollywood execs who gave kevin costner the money to make another post - apocalyptic movie thinking ? in this 3 hour advertisement for his new hair weave , costner plays a nameless drifter who dons a long dead postal employee 's uniform and gradually turns a nuked - out usa into an idealized hippy - dippy society . ( judging by the costuming at the end of the movie , the main accomplishment of this brave new world is in re - inventing polyester . ) when he 's not pointing the camera directly at himself , director costner does have a nice visual sense , and it is undeniably fascinating to see such an unabashedly jingoistic film in the trust - no - one 90 's ; but by the time the second hour rolled around , i was reduced to sitting on my hands to keep from clawing out my own eyes . mark this one " return to sender " .
0NEG
[ "what in the @$&%", "i was reduced to sitting on my hands to keep from clawing out my own eyes", "making a grander monument to self - love than steven seagal 's on deadly ground", "mark this one \" return to sender \" ." ]
starring ben stiller , elizabeth hurley , maria bello , janeane garofalo screenplay by david veloz , based on the novel by jerry stahl directed by david veloz permanent midnight is a pretty bad movie , though it took me a few days to conclude this . the film is more masturbatory than bleak , with its main character intent on confounding us with his stupidity . ( he has a $ 6000 a week drug habit . ) ultimately , as adapted by veloz , jerry stahl comes off as one of those playground braggarts who chainsmokes at the age of twelve ; you are less mystified by his self - destructive nature than bored into a stupor yourself . ben stiller plays stahl , a young author who arrives in l . a . with ambition and a nasty drug habit . he eventually gets a gig for $ 5000/week writing for a sitcom called mr . chompers ( a thinly veiled stand - in for " alf " : chompers looks just like alf except he 's blue ) , marries a producer ( hurley ) so she can get a green card , and hooks up with a spanish mother ( liz torres ) , who shoots heroin with him in the afternoons . insert proverbial downward spiral here . permanent midnight is structured mostly as a flashback , with recovering addict bello meeting stiller ( at a fastfood restaurant , where stiller works the drive - thru as part of rehab ) , taking him back to a hotel , and between bouts of serious screwing , listening to his life story . i 've spent the last week trying to figure out why stiller never seemed to find the frighteningly gorgeous hurley attractive - worse , i 've been trying to figure out why hurley did find stiller attractive . as stahl , stiller displays none of the charm or wit one would expect ( post - there 's something about mary ) of either the actor or a comedy writer . what separates stahl from the hundreds of other hollywood punk - junkies , it seems , is that stahl wrote a book about his idiocy . watch stahl shoot heroin next to a baby ! watch stahl spoil numerous pitch meetings with smack - fueled babble ! stiller gives a technically flawless performance : the film could double as a documentary on how to be a junkie . but permanent midnight is mostly soulless . when the movie poses the question will stahl be saved ? and then answers it in the form of bello 's character ( basically a shrink in black panties ) , could a person care less ? in the film version of his autobiography of the same name , stahl does n't need saving , he needs someone who will sit there and listen to him go on about himself . if you learn anything about the other characters in this movie , it 's that they are the most incredibly tolerant hollywood - types known to man . ( stahl also seems to be the only person at schmooze parties doing drugs . is this hollywood . . . california ? ) i learned very little about the entertainment business from permanent midnight and a whole lot about an egotistical lunkhead . of course you know that stahl triumphed because he lived to talk about his problems . so , basically , his drug habit got him a book deal , a movie based on his life , and now he 's apparently collaborating with stiller on future projects . so much for the moral of that story . temporary midnight is more like it . -bill chambers ; september , 1998
0NEG
[ "is a pretty bad movie", "proverbial downward spiral", "mostly soulless", "less mystified by his self - destructive nature than bored into a stupor yourself", "displays none of the charm or wit one would expect", "could a person care less ?" ]
the camera zooms in incredibly close . it focuses on the closed eyes of a person presumed dead . all of a sudden , with a thunderous sound effect and an eerie sounding musical pulse , his eyelids open . the camera zooms in incredibly close . it focuses on one of the characters desperately running for her life . then , with a thunderous sound effect and an eerie sounding musical pulse , she bumps into the killer . the camera zooms in incredibly close . it focuses on a door from where seemingly strange sounds emanate . all of a sudden , with a thunderous sound effect and an eerie sounding musical pulse , the doors swing open to reveal what 's inside . close - up thrill - shots such as these seemed to elicit more laughter from the audience rather than genuine fear , which is a pretty good sign that you 're not watching the thriller that the director had originally envisioned . rather , you adopt the opinion that the characters are so goofy and so unaware of the trouble that they 're in , that you stop caring about who lives , who dies and where the story goes . instead , you become more interested in how the characters get killed off . the four young teenagers who are the potential sacrificial lambs for this movie are helen and barry and julie and ray - two couples and dear friends to one another . during the summer just after high school graduation , they take a fateful drive down a dark mountain highway . suddenly , without warning , their car hits someone whom the teens presume was killed as a result of that collision . fearing jail time and possible manslaughter charges if they confess , they instead decide to dump the body into the ocean and make a pact never to discuss the episode again . a year goes by and things among the four friends begin to change . relationships fizzle , future dreams crumble , and attitudes change . but , they can not forget what they did . and apparently , neither can someone else . someone begins to send letters to all four of the teens with the frightening message : " i know what you did last summer . " the letter - writer ( a figure in a rubber slicker wielding a large metal hook ) soon makes his presence known and begins to hunt down the four teens . it 's now up to the four of them to try to figure out who the killer is before it 's too late . while this movie has some nice visually eerie effects , too much of it 's impact had to be generated with extreme close - ups , while the level of suspense was choppy at best . there is so much more that this movie could have been , but decided to give us nothing but cheap thrills . it could have been a clever whodunit , but discovering who ultimately was the killer made me just shrug my shoulders . it could have explored the changed friendships after a year of adulthood , but seemed to only include that aspect to add 15 more minutes to the film . it could have given us smarter characters who knew that anytime you 're alone and you see shadowy figures moving about , you do n't walk towards them yelling " hello " . once you yell " hello " , you can expect an extreme close - up , a thunderous sound effect and an eerie sounding musical pulse . it 's difficult to be in suspense when you know what 's about to happen . the only redeeming aspect of the movie is that i now have a neat idea for a halloween costume , but i 'm not sure if the local costume store sells rubber slickers and hooks . the horror that i experienced from this film is realizing that i actually went to see it .
0NEG
[ "made me just shrug my shoulders", "nothing but cheap thrills", "too much of it 's impact had to be generated with extreme close - ups , while the level of suspense was choppy at best", "close - up thrill - shots such as these seemed to elicit more laughter from the audience rather than genuine fear , which is a pretty good sign that you 're not watching the thriller that the director had originally envisioned", "so unaware of the trouble that they 're in , that you stop caring", "the only redeeming aspect", "the horror that i experienced from this film is realizing that i actually went to see it" ]
" goodbye , lover " sat on the shelf for almost a year since its lukewarm reception at the cannes film festival last may , and one look will tell you why . it 's a mess . and that 's * way * before ellen degeneres shows up . the film is one of those torrid double - indemnity crime stories that , in this case , required the services of three screenwriters . i suspect that one wrote a sexy thriller , one wrote a murder mystery , and one wrote a comedy , then director roland joff ? tried to piece it all together in the editing room while scratching his head in bewilderment . i did n't laugh at ellen degeneres much ( i think i was supposed to ) . degeneres is horrible and her character is even worse , a tough - talking vulgar cop with a bad wardrobe and bad hair . either degeneres is wearing a wig -- as most of the actors appear to be -- or she does n't yet have enough clout to secure a hairstylist . every single word out of her mouth is supposed to be racy and hip , but her incessant wisecracking is poorly - written and merely stupid . her reaction to the brutal killing of a jogger is " at least she died healthy . " and that 's one of her wittier asides . degeneres ' sgt . rita pompano is called in to investigate the allegedly accidental death of . . . wait . to give away too much of the plot would all but ruin a film that has very little going for it outside of its numbing plot twists and multiple triple - crosses . it 's best described this way : sultry sexpot / real estate agent sandra dunmore ( patricia arquette ) is married to jake , a " creative yet unfocused " ( and alcoholic ) advertising rep , played by dermot mulroney . sandra likes to act out her deep - seated sexual fantasies and jake 's brother ben ( the suave - as - ever don johnson ) likes to help . ben is also coming on to his petite , mousy co - worker peggy blaine ( mary - louise parker ) and someone , somewhere , is planning to cash in on that huge life insurance policy of his . the film is ripe with cheating lovers cheating on each other and back again . although there are some genuine surprises , the plot twists get too contrived too quickly . probably around the time degeneres ' gumcracking gumshoe appears . at least the former " ellen " star is going for something a little different . arquette turns in yet another of her stiletto - heeled , platinum blonde bombshell roles ( see : " lost highway , " " true romance " ) while quoting embarrassing lines like " i 'm not wearing any underwear . " i hope she got paid a lot of money to do this . here 's an example of some of the film 's flat - out stupidity . sandra purchases a used car and disguises herself in a red wig prior to stalking two of the film 's duplicitous lovers . she drives the motorbiking couple off a cliff while blaring her favorite " the sound of music " on her car stereo , intent on identifying herself to her hapless victims . so what was the point of the wig and the car ? " the sound of music " stuff might be a reference to " the wizard of oz " allusions in david lynch 's " wild at heart , " but if so joff ? must have forgotten that " wild at heart " was a despicable movie . it 's hard to believe that " goodbye , lover " was directed by the same person who made " the killing fields " and " the mission . " it 's not , however , hard to see why it sat on the shelf for so long . it should have stayed there .
0NEG
[ "her incessant wisecracking is poorly - written and merely stupid", "while scratching his head in bewilderment", "numbing plot twists", "quoting embarrassing lines", "another of her stiletto - heeled , platinum blonde bombshell roles", "it 's a mess", "flat - out stupidity", "it 's not , however , hard to see why it sat on the shelf for so long . it should have stayed there", "is horrible and her character is even worse", "the plot twists get too contrived too quickly" ]
as with any gen - x mtv movie ( like last year 's dead man on campus ) , the movie is marketed for a primarily male audience as indicated by its main selling points : sex and football . those two items , wrapped in a guilty - pleasure package , are sure to snare a sizeable box office chunk initially , but sales will decline for two reasons . first , the football sequences are nothing new , nor can they be ; the sports genre is n't mainstream and it 's been retread to death . second , the sex is just bad . despite the appearance of a whipped cream bikini or the all - night strip - club party , there 's nothing even remotely tantalizing . the acting is mostly mediocre , not including the fantastic jon voight . cultivating his usual sliminess , voight gives an unexpectedly standout performance as west canaan coyotes head coach bud kilmer . kilmer is the driving force behind the coyotes ' twenty - two conference championships and two state titles in thirty years ; this year he plans to make it twenty - three . unfortunately , when his star quarterback , lance harbor ( paul walker ) , goes down for the count , he 's got to rely on the unreliable abilities of backup john moxon ( james van der beek ) . moxon leads the team through its last four games , and then must cope with his newfound stardom , the effect it has on his relationship with girlfriend julie ( amy smart ) , and other temptations that abound in football - crazy west canaan . most regions of the country are not nearly as football - crazy as texas , and so the atmosphere is likely to be lost on most . similarly , the set design is wrong for a high school setting : the teams are decked out with sparkling uniforms , radio headsets ( which never seem to work , however , and instead require coaches to signal plays manually ) , and even a giant bronze statue of coach kilmer . these elements ( as well as the heavy drinking and carousing ) might be more appropriate on a college campus -- but mtv 's core audience is the high school demographic . this focus is further emphasized by the casting : james van der beek , of tv 's " dawson 's creek , " is an understandable choice for the reluctant hero , although he never manages to do anything with the role . other stars are similarly young and unmemorable . there 's not much that goes right about varsity blues , and there 's not much to like about it , either . everything herein has already been done , and if it has n't , the movie manages to botch it one way or another . this is certainly missable .
0NEG
[ "certainly missable", "the atmosphere is likely to be lost on most", "sales will decline", "he never manages to do anything with the role", "the set design is wrong", "there 's nothing even remotely tantalizing . the acting is mostly mediocre", "manages to botch it", "there 's not much that goes right about varsity blues , and there 's not much to like about it , either", "the sex is just bad" ]
nicolas cage comes up with an ingenious survival mechanism for his role in the wink - and - a - concussive - nudge bombast - o - rama con air . the opening credits sequence introduces us to cage as cameron poe , a gulf war veteran convicted of manslaughter and serving eight years in prison after an ill - fated bar - room brawl . the prison scenes are accompanied by voice - overs in which poe , in a languid southern drawl , describes prison life to his wife back home and offers simple homilies for the daughter he has never met . if the scene gives you a tickle of familiarity , it probably should . cage appears to realize that con air is going to be utterly dim - witted and ridiculous , and that he 's going to have to do something to keep himself entertained . and thus he slips into a familiar , surreal role as his own commentary on the proceedings -- cage plays cameron poe as a buffed - up version of raising arizona 's h . i . mcdonnough . cage should have known what he was getting himself into . he got a paycheck from jerry bruckheimer last year for the rock , and if there 's one thing you can count on from a bruckheimer production ( even without his late partner don simpson ) , it 's that you can count on seeing everything you saw in the _ last _ bruckheimer production . the critical difference between the rock and con air is cage 's performance . in the rock , cage appeared to be having the time of his life jumping into the action fray for the first time . that sense of discovery has been replaced by a wry self - awareness . while the plot of con air finds poe a parolee on board a hijacked prison transport plane whose goal is just to get home , cage 's goal is different but just as simple : to get out of the film with some measure of dignity intact . audiences , too , should know what they 're getting themselves into with a bruckheimer production . in fact , the marketing people are counting on it . no one who loathed the rock for its swear - grunt - blast repetitiveness will be converted by con air ; no one who loved the rock for exactly the same reasons will be dissuaded . director simon west ( yet another tv commercial auteur plucked by bruckheimer from the advertising equivalent of the schwab 's soda fountain ) delivers exactly the kind of adrenaline / testosterone cocktail which could launch an endocrinology lecture ( it 's perversely appropriate that one sympathetic con spends most of the flight nearing a diabetic coma ; like insulin , con air does the work of a gland ) . what he does n't deliver is a moment of suspense . a bruckheimer film has no use for hitchcock 's notion that showing you the bomb under the desk creates a more interesting scene than just blowing up the desk ; a really , _ really _ big desk and a really , _ really _ big bomb will serve the purpose nicely . if either west or bruckheimer were interested in genuine tension , they might have done something with con air 's creepiest set - up . at a desert stop for the plane - load of convicts , serial killer garland greene ( steve buscemi ) wanders of into a trailer park where he meets a little girl having a tea party in a drained swimming pool . their tete - a - tete is eerie and menacing , providing a welcome shift in tone and giving buscemi a chance to stand out in a cast with too many villains ( danny trejo , ving rhames and a characteristically reptilian john malkovich among them ) . in fact , con air usually opts for too much of something when the tiniest measure of restraint would have been an improvement -- too many characters , too much editing , too many dopey punch lines , too much of the cheap , ugly appeals to machismo which characterize too many bruckheimer efforts . it is that kind of exhausting excess to which cage is responding with his detached performance . while malkovich goes for the outrageous and john cusack ( as a u . s . marshal ) goes for earnest , cage looks like he just wants to go to sleep . his recycled raising arizona performance is a means of escape , his chase after a stuffed bunny a continuation of his pursuit of that big box of huggies . it does n't bode well for cage 's appearance in face / off later this month ; perhaps he already realizes that all he can do in action films is more of the same over and over . there 's a word for people like you , nicolas . that word is called recidivist . . . repeat offender .
0NEG
[ "that sense of discovery has been replaced by a wry self - awareness", "detached performance", "looks like he just wants to go to sleep", "utterly dim - witted and ridiculous", "too many characters , too much editing , too many dopey punch lines , too much of the cheap , ugly appeals to machismo", "what he does n't deliver is a moment of suspense", "exhausting excess" ]
a big house . a big director , jan de bont of speed and twister fame . a big star , catherine zeta - jones , hot of the heels of entrapment ( 6 . 5/10 ) and zorro . a big remake of the haunting . and big special effects . so what do they all amount to ? unfortunately for us , a big bore ! plot : a hotshot doctor brings three insomniacs to an old , spooky mansion for controlled testing . unbeknownst to the patients , the good doctor is actually conducting his own cover project that has to do with the psychology of fear . critique : this movie just did n't scare me one bit . sure , it creeped and spooked me out a little here and there , but on the whole , it took waaaaay too long to get going , provided very little meat in the plot , went way past its own bedtime , and basically relied on grunts , the muttering of children 's voices and over - the - top special effects , to scare us . well , this film did n't do much for me . and they might as well have called it the " haunting of lily taylor " , since she 's basically the only character who had any real depth , background or reason to be in the house in the first place . do n't get me wrong , catherine zeta was sweet window dressing ( despite my continued perception of her faint mustache - see entrapment ) , and owen wilson was good as the standard " comic relief " , but come on people , if you 're going to have us sit through two hours in a theater with these folks , how 'bout giving them a little more than one - liners as dimension . neeson was also wasted as the smart , british guy . it 's all too sad , cause certainly the " idea " seemed like a good one ( see the shining ( 9/10 ) for a close to perfect example of a creepy gone awry ) , but the story was thin , the conclusion was laughable ( be gone . . . poof ! ) and the special effects ? well , they sure were nice to look at , but not for a moment did one of them scare , or even for a split - second , have me believe that they were anything more than hollywood special gadgetry . see it for zeta - jones , or if you like special effects and scary movies that take forever to get going , and provide very little payback , otherwise skip it and check out the original or the ultimate movie about spooky homes from the netherworld , the shining . little known facts about this film and its stars : goofy actor owen wilson co - scripted indie favorites rushmore ( 8/10 ) and bottle rocket with director wes anderson . his brother luke wilson is also an actor , who once dated drew barrymore for a year or so . brother andrew is also an actor . singer lisa loeb is listed in the credits as having portrayed the character of olivia morice , but i personally did not notice her . she is well known for her number one single " stay ( i missed you ) " and goofy glasses . the creaks and moans heard throughout the house were prerecorded and played during filming in order to get a more natural expression of fear out of the actors . catherine zeta - jones is currently dating flabby ass actor michael " sex is my life " douglas . she stands 5'8 " . in 1998 , actor michael rapaport pleaded guilty to the aggravated harassment of lily taylor . he was ordered to stay away from her and undergo counseling for one year . actor bruce dern , who plays the throwaway role of the gatekeeper in this film , was once nominated for an oscar for best supporting actor for his role in coming home . director jan de bont was born in holland , and began his lengthy career as a cinematographer on films as die hard , hunt for red october and basic instinct , directed by another dutchman , paul verhoeven . actor todd field also played a small but pivotal role in stanley kubrick 's last film , eyes wide shut . he was nick nightingale , the pianist . this film was originally titled the haunting of hill house .
0NEG
[ "the story was thin , the conclusion was laughable", "also wasted", "not for a moment did one of them scare , or even for a split - second , have me believe that they were anything more than hollywood special gadgetry", "unfortunately for us , a big bore !", "take forever to get going , and provide very little payback , otherwise skip it", "it took waaaaay too long to get going , provided very little meat in the plot , went way past its own bedtime", "how 'bout giving them a little more than one - liners as dimension", "just did n't scare me one bit", "did n't do much for me" ]
it 's always a bad sign when the core audience of a film -- children -- are either walking out early or are half - asleep when the credits roll at the end of a film . that about sums up the dreadful ugliness of 102 dalmatians , a cold pea soup of cute animals , stupid home alone antics , a boring puppy love subplot between dumb humans , and glenn close reprising her best joan crawford impression . indeed , walt disney is rolling over in his grave again , cursing john hughes ' name for making the original live - action 101 dalmatians , one of the worst kiddie flicks of all time , and now its sequel . the main culprit behind the hideousness of 102 dalmatians is its predecessor , 101 dalmatians . the original made more than $ 100 million dollars at the box office , spawned a torrid collection of " collectible " items that ended up months later in the discount bins of wal - marts across the country , and generally made every kid on the planet want a damn dalmatian pup for christmas . well , it 's been about four years since then , and dalmatian fever is coming back , and this time it 's digitally enhanced . here 's the story . cruella de vil ( glenn close ) is released from prison due to the " cure " of her puppy homicide urges by one dr . pavlov . ( oh , how witty . ) she rejoins the world as a dog lover and is assigned to a probation officer , who oddly turns out to be her victim from the original film . cruella then becomes ella -- dog lover -- until the plot twists , like a dog with his leash caught on the back of a moving truck , and she becomes the evil vixen again . a kidnapping plot unfurls again as cruella decides she still needs her dalmatian coat , but she now needs 102 dalmatians instead of the commonly used 101 dalmatian formula . at this point , i was envying those kids filing out of the theater . how low have glenn close and gerard depardieu ( as the film 's villain ) sunk in the film business ? it 's almost laughable in a sadistic way to watch close walk around in costumes that seem to be pulled from the wardrobe of flash gordon . and depardieu . . . how can a french guy have a bad french accent ? and never mind the toilet brush haircut . the only minutely positive selling point i can even think to point out is the talking bird with a british accent ( courtesy of eric idle ) that thinks he 's a rottweiler . now that 's funny .
0NEG
[ "it 's almost laughable in a sadistic way", "it 's always a bad sign", "the main culprit behind the hideousness", "the dreadful ugliness", "cold pea soup of cute animals , stupid home alone antics , a boring puppy love subplot between dumb humans", "( oh , how witty . )", "rolling over in his grave", "walking out early or are half - asleep when the credits roll", "i was envying those kids filing out of the theater" ]
" the animal " is a marginally inspired comedy that only manages to lumber along , generating just enough momentum to keep it from stalling . it 's clunky and slow , like watching an 18-wheeler trying to accelerate up a hill . there are certainly better things you can do with your time . actually , if you 've seen the trailer , then you already know the plot and have seen its funniest moments . the story centers on bland marvin ( rob schneider ) , who is an evidence clerk at the local police department that yearns to be a real officer . but he 's afflicted with loser - itis . dogs attack him , neighbors torment him , children bully him , and his co - workers ignore him . truthfully , with his bad haircut ( seemingly modeled after weird al yankovic , little richard , and giant poodles ) and his unenthusiastic demeanor , we 'd probably throw tomatoes at him just for fun . this is actually bad because you ca n't like a character if you ca n't develop sympathy for him . we never do , and it may be just as well that he drives off a cliff and plummets to the canyon floor . however , marvin is found by an eccentric doctor ( michael caton ) who uses a radical and experimental procedure to save him , implanting our doofus with various animal parts and organs . as a result , marvin develops heightened senses and increased agility and speed . he can smell drugs hidden anywhere on a body , swim with the speed of a dolphin , and can run as fast as a cheetah . imagine the comedic possibilities that arise from this operation . with his enhanced abilities , he could now reap vengeance on all those who have shunned him . however , the spirit of the film takes a raunchy turn , and instead , marvin spends most of his time trying to subdue or satiate his voracious appetite and his animalistic , sexual urges . goats beware ! he also chases cats , urinates to mark his territory , or growls at his enemies . what he should 've done was stick his head in the sand like an ostrich . equally tenuous is its other running joke , which involves one of his friends ( guy torry ) who constantly complains that everyone is treating him too nicely because he 's black . " it 's reverse racism , " he declares as he blows smoke into the faces of strangers but none of them says anything . this element does n't work the first time it 's mentioned , and it becomes increasingly trite with every recurrence . you do n't have to be as wise as an owl to realize that " the animal " is tame . if there 's any reason to see this film , it 's to see colleen haskell who makes her big screen debut . remember her ? she was voted off in week 11 of the 13-week program , " survivor . " here , she plays marvin 's sunny love interest . while her role required very little actual acting , she seemed very comfortable ( even when marvin licks the side of her face like a lapping dog . . . yuck ! ) . with her adorable disposition , radiant smile , and playful innocence , she could be a meg ryan in the making . it 's too bad that she 's in such a mediocre offering
0NEG
[ "it 's too bad that she 's in such a mediocre offering", "however , the spirit of the film takes a raunchy turn", "equally tenuous", "a marginally inspired comedy that only manages to lumber along , generating just enough momentum to keep it from stalling . it 's clunky and slow , like watching an 18-wheeler trying to accelerate up a hill . there are certainly better things you can do with your time", "this element does n't work the first time it 's mentioned , and it becomes increasingly trite with every recurrence" ]
romeo is bleeding wants to carry the unusual flavor of reservoir dogs or bad lieutenant . with director peter medak , whose previous credits include the good films let him have it and the krays , and top - notch character actors gary oldman and lena olin , they seemed likely to be a successful combination . those mentioned films , however , brought something to the screen that romeo is bleeding did not : a solid , well - written screenplay . call me cynical , but the jobs of writer and producer do n't seem to mix well . gary oldman plays jack grimaldi , a good cop turned bad , selling information to the mob and cheating on his wife . his cheating is obvious enough to obtain his nickname , although the name does n't provide any insight or analogy to the shakespearean character . jack has become addicted to " feeding the hole " , a hole in the ground where he stores his payoff money . when he realizes his colleagues are being shot , he feebly attempts to get out . gary oldman 's performance is disappointingly weak ; he seems nearly bored . in the process , he also gets tangled - up with mona demarkov , a russian mobsterette who wants to take over the territory from top boss falcone , played adequately by roy scheider . demarkov , played by lena olin , is a tough but tremendously sexy woman with seemingly no problems maneuvering within the mob world . this character is combination of both linda hamilton and arnold schwarznegger from terminator 2 . i ca n't remember seeing a character quite like her . after being shot , handcuffed , and thrown in the back seat of a car , she still manages to cause an accident , kick out the windshield with her legs , grab a suitcase full of money ( plus some important documentation ) , climb through the rubble , land on her shot leg , and still succeed at running for safety . what a woman ! lena olin 's performance is the only glimmer in this dismal film . anabella sciorra is wasted in her role as romeo 's wife . there is little insight into her character . she 's depressed , she makes obvious references , she mopes around the house . juliette lewis , as romeo 's girlfriend , is treated with the same cliche attitudes , although ms . lewis ' portrayal certainly did n't improve it . both women were anything but sexy or attractive . poorly developed characters aside , the screenplay also suffers from several logistical problems . it is so discouraging to watch a film and want to shout at the main character ( not ) to do something . for example , jack and his friends attend a funeral to hang in the background to scope - out the mob scene . fine . jack spots the big boss with his goons by the gravesite . fine . what does jack proceed to do ? he brushes his friends off by telling them he is n't feeling well , then strolls over to the boss . why ? the boss had all ready threatened him ; falcone simply takes the opportunity to issue more threats by ordering his goons to take off some of jack 's toes by the gravesite . i guess they were n't worried about any federal agents lingering around after the funeral . . . . or here 's another : demarkov set - up her own death by cutting off her arm with a circular saw . she proceeded to set the place on fire . would n't the flames burn off the fingerprints ? are n't dental records more important ? as bright and resourceful as she was supposed to be , could n't she come up with a better plot ? ( and it took her no time at all to get a good - fitting , functional prosthesis . ) lack of attention to detail certainly adds up in a film . this film does n't even add up the large details . there is little or no consistency in the story - line . not much makes sense . the direction lacks cohesion , surprising from a director whose previous credits are impeccable . the moods shift , the styles shift , and no one can seem to decide if it is a serious film or satire of one . so while it certainly is n't reservoir dogs , it certainly is n't diva . there 's plenty more to tear apart in this film . my advice to someone who has n't seen it to to wait until it comes on video . there are some quotable lines that would provide a campy evening if not taken seriously . it 's not a boring film , just not a good one . or an intelligent one .
0NEG
[ "treated with the same cliche attitudes", "does n't even add up the large details . there is little or no consistency in the story - line . not much makes sense . the direction lacks cohesion", "just not a good one . or an intelligent one .", "there 's plenty more to tear apart in this film", "in this dismal film", "anything but sexy or attractive . poorly developed characters aside , the screenplay also suffers from several logistical problems . it is so discouraging to watch a film and want to shout at the main character", "is wasted in her role", "lack of attention to detail" ]
54 is dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring . a greater writer might have created a lyrical sentence for each of those adjectives , flowing in lovely arangements with soaring metaphors . i , however , would rather cut to the chase . 54 is dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring . there is nothing in it -- not a glimpse of depth , nor a shimmer of intelligence or insight . there is no electricity in any of the scenes , or a moment of interest in the story or its subplots . and it 's underdeveloped , and features an array of bland characters played by actors who think they 're in this year 's boogie nights . they are so wrong . the picture has been assembled by mark christopher . based on this film , i do n't know how he got a job in the business . 54 is supposed to be an amazing insight into the world of the dance club of the same name , which originated in the 70s and closed down in the 80s . i do n't know if this film went into production after boogie nights was released , but christopher has managed to plagiarize paul thomas anderson 's brilliant work in every possible way , from the framework of the plot down to the style of the cinematography . what it lacks is everything that made boogie nights great : depth , intelligence , energy , fascinating characters , and challenging themes . 54 ca n't even measure up to the last days of disco , which is flawed , but still smart and entertaining . it 's remarkably bad timing , i 'd say , to release a film this tedious after a couple of noteworthy pictures of the same kind . i have exaggerated , though : there is one interesting character , and one terrific performance . that character is steve rubell , played with more perceptiveness by mike myers than this limp production deserves . steve rubell is the owner of studio 54 , and if christopher had focused on him , then myers could have forced a good film out of this wreck all by himself . alas , we are instead guided to endure the trials of a young man named shane ( ryan phillippe ) , a going - nowhere new jersey teen who gets a job in the club , thanks to rubell 's homosexual impulses . it 's here that he meets his friends , the array of uninteresting characters : his co - worker , greg ( brecklin meyer ) , his wife , anita ( salma hayek ) , and , of course , the love interest , julie black ( neve campbell ) . shane is just an innocent young fool in the beginning , and he has a reasonably sturdy home life . ( some of the scenes with his father border on interesting , while heather matarazzo , who plays his sister , pushes phillippe off the screen . ) but he decides to envelop himself in the disco scene , and succumb to peer pressure and to drugs . why his " friends " push him into drugs is never really explained , but the fact that they are " friends " is questioned only is superficial ways ( greg gets really mad at shane because he 's been elevated to bartender status ) . there is n't a single conflict that takes center stage , except that shane has some kind of unexplored reservation with the business in which he works . most of the film is dumb , and most of the dialogue is inane . there 's a scene late in the film in which shane confronts julie black , and , in the next scene , they 're arm - in - arm without a bit of development . then , they 're kissing in a bowling alley ! this is five minutes of material , thrown into the picture at the last minute ( well past the one - hour mark , and this is n't a long film to begin with ) . campbell is a talented actress , but she needs a role that gives her a little depth . this one does n't . and phillippe has almost no presence whatsoever ; this performance pales in comparison to mark whalberg 's star - making role in boogie nights . he seems dumb and misguided , and his voice never changes tone . i guess he was picked for the color of his hair and the shape of his body , but he seems pretty lanky to me . he 's all wrong for a lead role , but it does n't help that christopher has forgotten to develop his characters . by the end of 54 , shane 's most notable trait is his stupid , fake accent . the rest of the performances are wasted . hayek is an energetic , talented young actress , and does almost nothing here . meyer is endearing , but allowed to be no deeper than cardboard . only myers , by sheer force of talent , manages to rise above christopher 's wading - pool of a script . rubell has been written just as depthless as the rest of the characters , but myers is good enough to inject subtleties that help round out the performance . in fact , myers is the sole reason to see 54 , and all it really does is make you wish that the film had revolved around him . i 've read that studio 54 has been recreated down to the last detail . frankly , i do n't care . it 's easy to recreate something technical like this . a fairly skilled production designer and a few carpenters can manage such a task . besides , christopher keeps the lights so low that the sets are invisible , anyway . aside from myers ' performance , 54 is a complete failure . it 's dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring . some may find my comparisons to boogie nights unfair , but they 're so obvious to me . in any event , 54 is pallid without the contrast . it does n't even work as mindless entertainment : it 's so shallow that the most escapist viewers are likely to dismiss it . so , do n't forget those key words : dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring . everything else i said was just padding .
0NEG
[ "frankly , i do n't care .", "does n't even work as mindless entertainment : it 's so shallow that the most escapist viewers are likely to dismiss it", "ca n't even measure up", "dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring", "what it lacks is everything", "dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring", "just as depthless", "alas , we are instead guided to endure", "questioned only is superficial ways", "a complete failure . it 's dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring", "wading - pool of a script", "this wreck", "pallid", "allowed to be no deeper than cardboard", "most of the film is dumb , and most of the dialogue is inane", "does almost nothing here", "almost no presence whatsoever ; this performance pales", "dull , perfunctory , uninspired , and boring", "it 's remarkably bad timing , i 'd say , to release a film this tedious", "it 's underdeveloped", "he seems dumb and misguided , and his voice never changes tone", "he seems pretty lanky to me . he 's all wrong for a lead role , but it does n't help that christopher has forgotten to develop his characters", "the rest of the performances are wasted", "i do n't know how he got a job in the business", "bland characters", "managed to plagiarize", "there is nothing in it -- not a glimpse of depth , nor a shimmer of intelligence or insight . there is no electricity in any of the scenes , or a moment of interest" ]
an experience like baby geniuses can have certain effects on an average moviegoer . you may be scarred for life after seeing this petrified piece of garbage , which is so disarmingly horrible that it may cause you to ponder it 's hollywood existence . when i think of the screenwriters behind this film , i picture a room full of monkeys . the monkeys are pounding on their typewriters while scratching themselves . all of the monkeys combine their efforts , hop in a cab and take the finished product downtown to director bob clark 's office . the designated monkey explains the plot by jumping up and down on clark 's desk while flailing his arms and shrieking . the director appears to be deep in thought , until he slams his fist down on the desktop and exclaims ` i love it ! ! ! ' the writing behind this project is embarrassing . for your amusement , i will explain the plot . dr . kinder ( kathleen turner ) and dr . heep ( christopher lloyd ) are two of the cold - hearted executives at the baby geniuses institute , where peculiar studies are going on . as the story goes , there is an ancient myth explaining that babies ( ages 2 and under ) know all the secrets of the world from previous life experiences . when they move past this phase , they become like any other drooling toddler . kinder and heep want to unlock the secrets using their test babies , namely little sylvester ( sly for short ) , who can break in or out of any given situation so efficiently that he would be right at home on the mission : impossible team . there is so much crap derived from this premise , despite the fact it 's virtually identical to the plot in look who 's talking ! ( a far superior film in any league ) . you will be able to determine the quality of the film by examining the opening scene . sylvester has broken out and managed to elude several security guards with his amazing intellect and kung - fu tactics . question : it 's obvious the babies are super - smart , but why are they able to fight like jackie chan ? ? the adults in this film are furiously beaten by these youngsters in diapers . it 's a shock when writers will stoop this low just to draw cheap laughs by using john hughes ' familiar home alone formula . i also found it disturbing that the babies in this film have attitude and endless 90 's knowledge , quoting numerous movies and insulting their adult captors . the effects in baby geniuses ( similar to the talking animals in babe ) are pathetic , the editing is a disaster , and the jokes are never funny . the only reason viewers may avoid vomiting is the argument that the babies are ` cute ' . i suppose they are . i can admit to smiling a few times because the babies were cute . other instances , though , i was howling in laughter due to the inane stupidity of the script . there are supporting characters who have no personality whatsoever ; their entire existence is based on punch lines . peter macnicol and kim cattrall , as an unwilling couple who have adopted sylvester 's twin , are both miscast . then again , i do n't suppose any performer could handle the uneven material without looking incredibly stupid . meanwhile , dom deluise plays a fellow who gets hit in the crotch with a monkey wrench ( hahaha ) . i would avoid baby geniuses at all costs . instead of watching this , i would recommended filling your bathtub with cement and going snorkeling . or perhaps you would consider going diving in shark - infested waters . anything to avoid this painful movie . the final line in the film , spoken by the bratty sylvester , is ` if they think i 'm doing the sequel for less than $ 20 mill , they 're nuts ' . sequel ? please have mercy .
0NEG
[ "anything to avoid this painful movie", "disaster", "the writing behind this project is embarrassing", "i would avoid baby geniuses at all costs", "there is so much crap derived from this premise", "found it disturbing", "i was howling in laughter due to the inane stupidity of the script . there are supporting characters who have no personality whatsoever ; their entire existence is based on punch lines", "i do n't suppose any performer could handle the uneven material without looking incredibly stupid", "it 's a shock when writers will stoop this low just to draw cheap laughs", "are never funny", "pathetic", "both miscast", "petrified piece of garbage , which is so disarmingly horrible" ]
" houston . we have a serious problem . " after making " mission : impossible " , brian de palma has a lot to live up to . by making an epic science fiction and inviting great cast and talented crew , he hopes to reach the modern audience . and the possibilities are certainly there , but the result is a great disaster . starting in a near future , with a prologue copied from " apollo 13 " , de palma slowly builds up his " story " . the human race has already set foot on mars . a research expedition has vanished without trace on the red planet and another one has been sent to find out what happened . this is basically the whole plot . so it 's hard to imagine that it can be stretched to 2 hours . but de palma manages to do that . it is not a very good achievement . as we follow this expedition to mars and watch them slowly float in space , the hardest thing to do is stay awake . the film 's major problem is that it tries to seem more clever than it is . david mamet 's dialogue , while trying to seem natural , is distant and simply fake . de palma and mamet wanted to combine action with a thought provoking plot . the result is more like an unsuccessful mutation of kubrick 's " 2001 : a space odyssey " , " apollo 13 " and " godzilla " . to make time pass , the creators have inserted several " refreshing " scientific details , that would not convince a half - crazed frog . it consists of multiple copies and direct ripp - offs from several great science fiction films and stories . when it finally presents an almost original idea , it falls flat because of its uncovered stupidity . i ca n't even call this film predictable , since no one with a healthy imagination can come up with something like this . sometimes it gets so cheesy , that you 'll start laughing when you 're supposed to cry and cry when you 're supposed to laugh . you 'll see enormous sandstorms , hear mysterious sounds and , last but not least , on this " constantly surprising " tour you 'll see -- an alien . it 's really hard to find comparisons to such an experience , and i know that i 've never said that before ( i thought i never would ) , but " lost in space " is actually better . that 's an achievement in itself ! director brian de palma has stroke gold with " untouchables " that became an instant american classic . it is for this film that he will be remembered , while all his other failures will be forgotten . he 'll live to fight another day ! i send the actors my condolences , since they truly do try to transform into their undeveloped and dull characters . and both the cinematography , production design and art direction are very decent . it is because of the achievement of 254 people , that i rate this film 2/10 . unfortunately their hard work was in vain . if you have problems with insomnia , i recommend you this film . if you 're not asleep within the first half hour , consult your doctor .
0NEG
[ "direct ripp - offs", "it gets so cheesy", "i send the actors my condolences", "would not convince a half - crazed frog", "an unsuccessful mutation", "no one with a healthy imagination can come up with something like this", "distant and simply fake", "it falls flat because of its uncovered stupidity", "the result is a great disaster", "not a very good achievement", "unfortunately their hard work was in vain", "the hardest thing to do is stay awake . the film 's major problem is that it tries to seem more clever than it is", "undeveloped and dull characters" ]
gun wielding arnold schwarzenegger has a change of heart by the film 's end and becomes a believer in god instead of a skeptic , going through an amazing transformation by having a christian epiphany in the final scene as he becomes someone who can now beat the devil by his faith alone . . . this is after two hours of throwing people out windows and shooting more people than your average serial killer . nobody can save this bomb from it 's own stupidity and arrogance in filmmaking and arrogance in believing that this is a positive religious - type of film . it 's just a pile of dreck . . . an ill - conceived exploitive project , a pyrotechnical film . " end of days " aims to be an apocalyptic thriller . it features an idiotic script , a hack director , and a one - dimensional star who is past his prime . . . which makes this film dumber than dumb , plus it 's not funny , not campy , or is it in the least bit entertaining . it 's just dreary and unwatchable . . . a big - budget slasher film . arnold plays an alcoholic security guard who finds his new mission in life is to stop satan ( occupying gabriel byrne 's body and possessing a wall st . bank account ) from destroying the world . the film opens in vatican city , roma 1979 -- where the pope is alerted by a young visionary priest tomaso , looking out at the night sky and seeing a comet whiz by , who proclaims after looking at his scrolls -- that 's the sign for the ' eye of god , ' which reveals that a child has been born who is being prepared to give birth to satan 's baby ( the anti - christ ) in the hour before the new century begins , when satan will fuck her and open up the gates to hell on earth . tomaso has some twenty years to find this woman and save her and the world from doom . but some in the pope 's circle want to kill her if found , even though the pope insists on having faith and letting her live , as he lectures them : " even in the world 's darkest days -- doing evil does n't stop evil , but brings on more evil . " we saw the girl being born in nyc in 1979 , which seems to be the ' logical ' place to look for satan according to the astrology charts of the visionaries . the chosen woman is christine york ( robin ) . it is now a few days before the new year celebration for 2000 and arnold and his wise - cracking security guard partner kevin pollack are hired to guard a wall street turd , and when he is fired upon by a renograde priest , thomas aquinas , arnold saves him and through a ridiculous chase captures the tongue less priest who fired the shot . he , nevertheless , can speak and tells arnold an ' end of days ' is coming as prophesized in revelations . but satan gets to him in his hospital room and nails him to the ceiling while scribbling latin warnings of ' the end of the world ' on his body . it is now up to arnold to save the world and find the chosen woman . he quickly finds christine and does everything to protect her from all the evil forces around her , as the film includes ludicrous helicopter rescues , people jumping out of windows , satan taking a piss and dropping a match to kill arnold 's partner as the piss explodes like gasoline , satan being fired at . . . resulting in his sometimes experiencing pain and sometimes nothing , as if the director forgot which way he wants to have it . there is nothing spared in nyc from fire bombs -- including the subway , churches , and luxury buildings . the only trouble with all these high - budget action sequences , was that it lacked purpose and even entertainment value . the story was so terrible and inaccurate , that it did not have an iota of value or credibility . mercifully the movie drags to a final confrontation in times square , trying unsuccessfully to build tension to the countdown toward the year 2000 . why is the end of 1999 considered to be the devil 's number " 666 , '' well ! . . . satan 's numeral is actually " 999 , '' which is upside down of " 666 . '' accordingly , you just put a " 1 ' ' in front of it-- and bingo -- you get " 1999 . '' with logic like that , this film might even think it pulled the wool over the viewer 's eyes and got away with such a febrile explanation of the occult . this film should become a classic used by film schools in how not to make a horror film . i highly recommend seeing it for that purpose .
0NEG
[ "it 's just a pile of dreck . . . an ill - conceived exploitive project , a pyrotechnical film", "it lacked purpose and even entertainment value . the story was so terrible and inaccurate , that it did not have an iota", "nobody can save this bomb from it 's own stupidity and arrogance in filmmaking and arrogance in believing", "such a febrile explanation of the occult", "an idiotic script , a hack director , and a one - dimensional star who is past his prime . . . which makes this film dumber than dumb , plus it 's not funny , not campy , or is it in the least bit entertaining . it 's just dreary and unwatchable", "how not to make a horror film", "includes ludicrous helicopter rescues", "trying unsuccessfully" ]
after enduring mariah carey 's film debut , glitter , i 'm reminded of a bit from chris rock 's bigger and blacker . in response to women saying that they can raise a child without a man , rock says , " you can drive a car with your feet , but that do n't mean it should be done . " to that i say , you can give mariah carey a movie , but that certainly do n't mean it should be done . sure , there are plenty of pop star film vehicles out there -- from the beatles ' a hard day 's night to the spice girls ' spice world -- but none have been so vapidly pointless or laughable as glitter . everything about this complete tripe is ludicrous . start off with the story , which -- as gruesomely predictable as it is -- is the least offensive part of the movie . the film is inexplicably set in the 80s , a period piece that really shows no sign of its period except for a few chicks in leg warmers . worse yet , everyone 's speaking late 90s hip - hop slang in what should be 1983 . meant to be partially autobiographical , carey plays billie frank , a young singer in new york who struggles to overcome a rough childhood and abandonment by her alcoholic mother . influential club dj julian dice , a . k . a . " lucky 7 " ( max beesley playing a bad mix of puff daddy and robert de niro ) , hears her sing on a track , and decides to make her a star . in predictably rapid succession , billie and dice fall for each other , she starts hitting it big , dice gets jealous and starts acting like an ass , and suddenly billie 's on " the roller coaster of superstardom . " in the meantime , billie is on an emotional hunt for her missing mom . i wo n't give away the ending , but -- honestly -- just think of unicorns and rainbows . . . you 'll figure it out . the movie screams to be made with camp , and that could 've been fun . but the filmmakers thought making the bulk of glitter weepy and dramatic would be better . what a mistake . the brief attempts at comic relief -- as in a scene where an effeminate russian - sounding director gets wacky with filming billie 's first music video -- go over like lead balloons . instead , the audience at my screening tended to laugh loudest during mariah 's most dramatic scenes . which brings us to the performances , of which there 's nothing good that can be said . mariah is primarily seen with a wide - eyed deer - in - the - headlights look frozen on her face . she actually looks scared during her one love scene . but you have to wonder if the writing is n't even worse . so much of the dialogue is so hackneyed and watered down for carey 's virginal target audience that it 's probably impossible for any actor to pull it off with aplomb . even the characters could n't have been written more absurdly . they 're all members of a barbie playset : the important film director who swoons , " billie , i 'd love to put you in a movie i 'm making , " and the big - time record executive who takes billie 's demo tape and says , " oh , i 'll make sure the whole team listens to it in the morning . " everyone in the film is a device , and it 's painful to keep watching just to see another one appear . to say more would be a waste . there 's so much wrong with this film . and , it pains me that mariah carey -- with her ego and sanity in such fragile condition these days , as evidenced by her multiple hospital stays -- will have to suffer through all the negative reviews she 's likely to get . but , then again , i had to suffer through her movie .
0NEG
[ "there 's so much wrong with this film . and , it pains me", "probably impossible for any actor to pull it off", "you can give mariah carey a movie , but that certainly do n't mean it should be done", "worse yet", "so hackneyed and watered down", "inexplicably", "you have to wonder if the writing is n't even worse", "none have been so vapidly pointless or laughable", "playing a bad mix", "everything about this complete tripe is ludicrous", "there 's nothing good that can be said", "what a mistake .", "everyone in the film is a device , and it 's painful to keep watching", "predictably rapid succession", "will have to suffer through all the negative reviews she 's likely to get . but , then again , i had to suffer through her movie .", "the characters could n't have been written more absurdly", "after enduring", "go over like lead balloons" ]
poster boy for co - dependency needs patching patch adams a film review by michael redman copyright 1999 by michael redman mediocrity is a pox on civilization . in our heavily consumer oriented society , there is an enormous demand to churn out " stuff . " what would happen to our economy if we did n't feel the need to have more things ? to make us buy more , businesses need to produce a ton of product . the sheer volume of items necessitates that most of them are of dubious quality . the film industry is like any other . in order for studios to survive , they have to make money . the prevailing attitude is that more films equal more profit . some movies obviously exist only to put wares on the screen and to do that , less talented people are used . there are n't enough great directors and actors to create the number of films necessary . for some reason , it 's never crossed anyone 's mind that the real equation is quality films = more profit . often , mediocre films are more of a pain for the audience than the horrendous ones . at you can have a good time making fun of bad movies . i 'm not suggesting that " patch adams " was tossed out just to rake in the bucks . my guess is that someone was asleep at the wheel . it features an accomplished actor and a potentially engrossing story , but it 's as dull as could be . hunter " patch " adams ' ( robin williams ) desire to become a doctor has an unusual genesis . checking himself into a mental institute after a suicide attempt , he discovers that he can help the other patients by clowning around . patch could be a poster boy for co - dependency . he explains that he likes devoting himself to others because then he does n't focus on his own problems . he decides that he wants to be a physician , leaves the place and a couple of years later enrolls in the medical college of virginia . as a med student , patch 's antics at the school 's hospital catch the attention of his soon to be arch - enemy , straight - laced dean walcott ( bob gunton ) . the dean is so opposed to the goofiness that he wants patch kicked out of school although he 's one of the top students . he writes in patch 's academic file that he shows " excessive happiness . " i walked into the film knowing little about its history and wondered about its odd mechanical pacing . there also seemed to be no reason that it is set in the early seventies . then it struck me . it must be based on a true story . the movie is an adaptation of a book by hunter adams who founded the gesundheit institute , a free clinic . robin williams is an amazing actor . while he is adept at dramatic roles , his forte is over - the - top free spirits . that 's what makes his failure here so remarkable . patch is exactly the character he should be best at , yet even the scene where he and another mental patient are battling fierce imaginary squirrels falls flat . something holds him back . most of the rest of the cast is two - dimensional . for a film that champions seeing patients as human beings , it 's curious that the ones here are cardboard characters . peter coyote as a man dying of cancer is refreshing because he seems like a real person . unfortunately he 's in the film for only about two minutes . the audience is blatantly lead by a ring in its nose from scene to scene . we 're not left to our own emotional decisions : we 're hit over the head with them . shaved - headed children with cancer , an elderly woman whom patch makes laugh , a beautiful woman who ca n't love because of her abusive history . when a group of students fix up an old house to use as a clinic in the andy hardy " hey , let 's put on a play ! we can use the barn and my mom can make the curtains ! " mode , they laugh and roll around while painting each other . there might as well be giant signs flashing : " feel good now ! " " feel bad now ! " " patch " is a good title for the film . it is a patchwork of every manipulative scene you can think of . the full - of - life student fights stodgy establishment types . there 's a touching death . then there 's another . the film does n't trust us to get it the first time . the dean tries to kick patch out and later he tries again . worst of all is the final courtroom bit . scary - looking old men sit in judgment of a man who only wants to help people . the room is packed with patch 's supporters . williams makes a supposedly impassioned speech about the humanity of all . it has as much emotion as his earlier statement " humans are the only animal that kills members of its own species " contains truth . most of the blame must be placed with the director tom shadyac and screenwriter steve oedekerk . shadyac also directed the first " ace ventura " movie . oedekerk directed the second one . need i say more ? the real adams is to be admired for his devotion to treating patients as people rather than diseases . the film has a number of worthy messages about the state of the modern medical business with hmos and managed care . the " doctors are not gods " theme will resonate with a number of people , but it 's so poorly produced that no one will care .
0NEG
[ "falls flat", "something holds him back . most of the rest of the cast is two - dimensional", "it is a patchwork of every manipulative scene you can think of", "unfortunately", "it 's as dull as could be", "we 're hit over the head with them", "a supposedly impassioned speech", "most of the blame must be placed", "it 's so poorly produced that no one will care", "blatantly lead by a ring in its nose from scene to scene", "the ones here are cardboard characters", "worst of all is", "his failure here" ]
young einstein is embarrassingly lame , but that did n't stop it from becoming a phenomenon in australia , where it became the third largest box office hit of all time . in the u . s . , warner brothers is hoping the movie will follow in the footsteps of paul hogan , inxs , and shrimp on the barby to become the latest rage from down under . personally , i 'm hoping americans everywhere will rise to the occasion and make young einstein a box office bomb . young einstein sprang from the twisted mind of yahoo serious , who not only wrote , produced , edited , and directed the film , but also starred and did his own stunts . his creation is about as stupid and contrived as you 'd expect from someone named yahoo . the movie takes substantial historical liberties in recreating einstein 's youth . whereas the scientist actually hailed from germany , the film finds him still living with his parents on tasmania , a remote australian island . in addition to deriving the formula for energy and the theory of relativity , albert invents surfing , bubbles in beer , and the electric guitar . yahoo plays einstein as a naive and unrefined country hick -- a clown with an insatiable curiosity . although yahoo 's performance is at first endearing , the one - dimensional characterization loses its novelty faster than you can say e = mc2 . yahoo has created a charming family for albert , and the scenes on tasmania are often clever . but after the first twenty minutes , the movie quickly plummets and degenerates into a poor excuse for a comedy . young einstein is hampered by its lethargic pace and inane plot . yahoo must be an mtv addict because his movie features an omnipresent soundtrack ; unfortunately , the music is altogether gratuitous and quickly becomes overbearing . almost every other scene includes a blaring rock song that leaves you wondering whether you are watching a movie or a music video . the instrumental score , on the other hand , is generally playful ; yahoo uses such classics as the " 1812 overture " and the theme from the good , the bad and the ugly to great comic effect . halfway through young einstein , i knew for sure the movie was a stinker . but it was n't until the very end that i finally put my finger on why : the comedy takes its roots not from whimsical film fantasies ( such as young sherlock holmes ) but from cheesy prime - time sitcoms . in fact , young einstein might have been more at home on network television , where its sophomoric humor would n't raise any eyebrows .
0NEG
[ "i knew for sure the movie was a stinker", "the music is altogether gratuitous and quickly becomes overbearing", "the movie quickly plummets and degenerates into a poor excuse for a comedy", "the one - dimensional characterization loses its novelty", "sophomoric humor", "hampered by its lethargic pace and inane plot", "as stupid and contrived as you 'd expect", "embarrassingly lame", "cheesy prime - time sitcoms" ]
this is the last carry on film with its almost intact regular cast and it is the swansong of hattie jacques and sid james . dick turpin ( sid james ) and his gang which includes harriett / harry ( barbara windsor ) and tom " doc " scholl ( peter butterworth ) , terrorise the countryside by staging highway robberies : " stand and deliver ! " owing to the increased occurrence of turpin 's robberies , captain desmond fancey of the bow street runners ( kenneth williams ) and his sidekick sergeant jock strapp ( jack douglas ) visit turpin 's area of influence to bring him to justice . they are under the express orders of sir roger daley ( bernard bresslaw ) . their intellect does not count for much and when they increasingly become suspicious of reverend flasher aka dick turpin ( sid james ) , whom they confided in earlier , they still can not believe that the rector has any part in these robberies . however , once they catch harriett and put her in jail , and sir roger daley takes complete charge , it seems that there is no hope for dick turpin . then again , sir roger has assigned the dimwits fancey and jock strapp aswell as the old dithering constable ( kenneth connor ) to keep an eye on their prisoner ! there is no doubt that this is a ' sid james ' carry on movie . he excels in double roles ( as in ' carry on- do n't lose your head ' ) and his performance as flasher and turpin is hilarious . barbara windsor is also funny as harriett the sex mad housemaid and member of the gang , and hattie jacques ' small but effective role as the rector 's housekeeper martha hoggett is played to perfection . jack douglas plays a milder version of his excruciatingly annoying on - screen persona and kenneth williams is given a rather mundane part . peter butterworth is not allowed to shine in his boring performance as tom , and bernard bresslaw 's character appears only briefly in the film . the only notable performance from the support cast comes from joan sims as madame desiree , who is travelling around the country escorting her starlets the ' birds of paradise ' and sporting a fake french accent . when her girls and her are robbed by turpin , she is determined to catch him and helps the reverend to find the culprit ! a carry on by the numbers , this movie is only notable for the great performance by sid james in his last carry on movie . the jokes are bluer , the script is poorer ( it is the last script written by talbot rothwell ) , but the music is a marked improvement . although nearly all the regulars appear , they seem to be just going through the motions . none of the high spirits of the earlier films are apparent here . just a selection of crude jokes and repititive double - entendres .
0NEG
[ "they seem to be just going through the motions . none of the high spirits of the earlier films are apparent here . just a selection of crude jokes and repititive double - entendres", "the jokes are bluer , the script is poorer" ]
one of the first films of 1999 is this mtv pictures release which marks the first leading feature role for james van der beek , the star of the wb 's runaway hit dawson 's creek . following in the foot steps of mtv 's two other live action films , joe 's apartment ( 1996 ) and dead man on campus ( 1998 ) , varsity blues is a bad film and is unlikely to cause much of a sensation in the marketplace . set in west cannan , texas , the film examines the small town obsession with high school football through the eyes of second string quarterback john " mox " moxon ( van der beek ) . we know he 's smart because he reads kurt vonnegut instead of the playbook . coach bud kilmer ( jon voight ) has been around so long there is actually a bronze statue commemorating him . the star quarterback , lance harbor ( paul walker ) , is a handsome , blonde , hero who has his own billboard in his front yard and dates the sexy head cheerleader , darcy ( ali larter ) . also on the team are an enormous guy ( ron lester ) with some health problems and the token african - american team member ( eliel swinton ) whose only real dialogue scene deals directly with the color of his skin . when lance is seriously injured , mox gets his chance to shine and he runs with it , undermining kilmer with his unusual playing strategies . his relationship with his dutiful girlfriend , jules ( amy smart ) , is threatened and there 's a big game at the end . guess who wins ? nothing about varsity blues is inspired and the whole film simply moves through the sort of conventional motions that coach kilmer would love . there 's a chance for some smart satire on small town obsessions but the humor here is decidedly lowbrow . van der beek does a decent job of carrying his first film although a silly accent trips him up sometimes . also , the role is n't very much of a stretch from his dawson leary character . he 's still a pseudo - intellectual , whiny , nice guy , except here he also happens to be a jock . voight is a terror as he chews up every single piece of scenery and spits it out . the other adults are all notably awful while the younger performers do n't fare much better . on the positive side , walker is a charismatic actor who is due for a breakout role following this and his supporting turn in pleasantville ( 1998 ) . scott ( son of james ) caan has some lively moments as tweeder , the team 's wild man . larter , as a gorgeous seductress looking for a one way ticket out of texas , gets to show off the film 's most interesting costumes , including a very eye - opening " whipped cream bikini . " it 's interesting to note that the film definitely earns its r - rating with a lot of harsh language , alcohol abuse and an unusually high amount of nudity ( including a gratuitous trip to a strip bar that reveals a not very surprising surprise ) . all this is likely to come as a shock to the young female fan base of dawson 's creek , presumably the target audience for the picture . director brian robbins previously helmed the kids feature good burger ( from nickelodeon films , a sister company of mtv ) and changes directions here a bit but still fails to make much of an impression . the look of the movie is as bland as the town and characters who populate it . the football scenes are generally unexciting and the entire film looks a bit washed out . there 's an ok soundtrack featuring music from collective soul , foo fighters , green day and aaliyah but it 's not as impressive as one would expect from a mtv film .
0NEG
[ "still fails to make much of an impression", "the humor here is decidedly lowbrow", "do n't fare much better", "a bad film and is unlikely to cause much of a sensation", "generally unexciting and the entire film looks a bit washed out", "notably awful", "bland", "a terror as he chews up every single piece of scenery and spits it out", "not as impressive as one would expect", "nothing about varsity blues is inspired and the whole film simply moves through the sort of conventional motions" ]
susan granger 's review of " america 's sweethearts " ( columbia / sony ) what a waste of a talented cast ! billy crystal and co - writer peter tolan have concocted a sly , provocative premise and , as the opening credits roll , it 's obvious that they 're attempting an old - fashioned romantic comedy . the story involves a veteran publicist ( billy crystal ) who is summoned to orchestrate a press junket in las vegas when an arrogant director ( christopher walken ) holds a megabuck movie hostage in his editing room , refusing to show it to anyone . he figures that by giving the journalists juicy hints of a possible reconciliation between the film 's once - married - but - now - estranged stars , gwen and eddie ( catherine zeta - jones , john cusack ) , they 'll be so distracted that they wo n't remember they did n't see the movie or it was n't what they expected . ( and crystal thought of this long before a sony exec concocted the phony critic / david manning quote scandal ! ) for help , he turns to gwen 's personal assistant / sister ( julia roberts ) . but the laughs are few and far - between . crystal 's glib , cynical flack is n't wickedly funny enough with a few amusing one - liners . after six months under the care of a depak chopra - like guru ( alan arkin ) , cusack 's character 's too emotionally fragile , lacking the necessary charisma . zeta - jones 's vain , narcissistic diva is undeveloped and one - dimensional . only hank azaria , as zeta - jones 's much - macho spanish lover , and stanley tucci , as a studio exec , and roberts manage to whip up any farcical froth . basically , we do n't like these ego - driven , stereotypical characters , let alone root for them to unwind their romantic entanglements , and joe roth 's direction is predictable , formulaic and telegraphic . on the granger movie gauge of 1 to 10 , " america 's sweethearts " is a contrived , shallow 4 . as a screwball satire , it 's strictly superficial .
0NEG
[ "predictable , formulaic and telegraphic", "contrived , shallow", "what a waste of a talented cast !", "the laughs are few and far - between", "too emotionally fragile , lacking the necessary charisma", "we do n't like these ego - driven , stereotypical characters , let alone root for them", "screwball satire , it 's strictly superficial", "undeveloped and one - dimensional", "is n't wickedly funny enough" ]
susan granger 's review of " jeepers creepers " ( mgm / ua entertainment ) this nasty , little horror film begins as a bickering brother ( justin long ) and sister ( gina philips ) are driving through the desolate countryside on their way home from college and spy a man dropping wrapped - up bodies down a drainage pipe . when long decides to investigate , there 's nothing but trouble . " you know the part in scary movies where somebody does something really stupid and everybody hates them for it ? - well , this is it ! " philips warns . what he finds in the basement of an old , abandoned church is a dying boy with a horrifying , jagg