OK, hereís the deal. Every Friday night, 3 of my friends and I go down to the movie theater in the mall and see a movie. Since Iím seeing so many movies now, Iíve decided to provide you, the viewer, with my own personal movie revues. After the title, youíll see my own personal rating. I would have used stars, but thatís so clichť. After much pondering on the subject, I decided to use that oh-so-delicious and slightly addictive beverage Ė The Slurpee. The best rating a movie can get is a 5 slurpees (ironically, what I drink at a bad movie), and the worst a movie can get is 1 slurpee (ironically, what I drink at a good movie). After this rating, youíll be able to read my comments on the film. The reviews are in reverse-chronological order as Iíve seen them, so the newer movies will be at the beginning.
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps -- PG 13 --
While not quite as funny as the original Eddie Murphy movie, this oneís definitely worth a few very good laughs. If you didnít see the original, you really ought to rent it before going out and seeing this one. This is one of those sequel where they assume youíve already seen the original. If you have, this one (in which Eddie Murphy portrays 6 completely different characters once again) is a worthwhile movie to go out and see. If youíve already seen the original, I highly recommend giving this movie a shot as well.
Scary Movie -- R --
The most critically acclaimed summer comedy this year is definitely hilarious, though also pretty ďintense.Ē Not a movie for the weak of stomach, but if you can handle some in-your-face humor, this is a movie worth seeing. Once you get past the Wayans Brothersí special brand of comedy, this is actually a pretty good parody of the teen slasher movies that, while almost identical, grossed millions a piece at the box office. A laugh-out-loud movie, to be sure. I may never say anything this nice about something that has the word ďWayansĒ in the credits again, so definitely check this movie out.
X-Men -- PG 13 --
This years hot summer blockbuster will blow you away. The writers managed to condense several decades of comic book history into one action-packed movie. Loyal fans of the comic book will enjoy cameo appearances by some super heroes not given star billing. People who have never read the comic book will still be able to enjoy the movie, as they explain pretty much everything about the history of the X-Men and leave little to wonder. Great special effects, and an outstanding cast. A definite must-see for this summer.
Chicken Run -- PG --
This British claymation, though mostly geared towards children, has some aspects that make it enjoyable for older movie goers as well. In many ways, itís just comforting to see an old-fashioned claymation rather than a computer animated movie. The story was good and very uplifting. Anyone affiliated with the poultry industry, however, might be a bit insulted by their portrayal of chicken farmers, but other than that, itís a good movie for the whole family.
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle -- PG --
I was pretty excited about this movie, and sadly I was a little disappointed by it. As a huge aficionado of the original cartoon, I have to say that the film simply didnít do it justice. Many of the puns that would have worked fine in the cartoon just didnít play out at all in live action, and just came across as corny. Also, the severe lack of Mr. Peabody almost had me asking for my money back. Now, donít get me wrong, a lot of the movie was pretty entertaining. Particularly, Jason Alexander, Rene Russo, and Robert DiNiro who played Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader, kept me laughing. They really looked like their respective characters (kind of scary at some points), and also mixed in a little of their own personalities. Funny enough to get a 3.5, but at the same time, lame enough to get a 3.5. Hard-core Rocky and Bullwinkle fans will more than likely be disappointed.
American Beauty -- R --
I know this movie is kind of old, but I think some things have to be said. My rating is not an html error. This was the worst movie Iíve ever seen in my life, and Iíve seen Bats, and The Haunting! Iíve always known that the Oscars are rigged, but having this movie make a clean sweep only proves that theory. Iím assuming itís one of those movie where you have to ďrelateĒ to the characters, but every character in the movie is the type of person you just have to hate. Not one part of the whole movie made sense. The entire time, I found myself wondering, ďWhy did they put that in?Ē I figured it would all come together in the end. Guess what? It didnít. So, once more, I emphesize: WORST MOVIE EVER.
Shaft -- R --
This was a #$&% good movie. If youíre not into profanity, skip this one. Otherwise, you HAVE to see Shaft. Fans of the original tv show might be a LITTLE disappointed that it doesnít match up with the series completely, but itís a very entertaining movie. Samual L. Jackson getís a bit more camera time than he did in Star Wars, and puts on a good performance. Original Shaft fans will he happy to note the original John Shaft in a cameo role as Shaftís uncle. Itís a bit early to call this the best movie of the summer, but I think that just might be the case. Action, comedy, drama, and more action make this my favorite movie since The Green Mile. One word summary: Shaftacular.
Small Time Crooks -- PG 13 --
In Woody Allenís newest movie, he portrays a former bank robber, turned legit, whoís trying to get back into crime, and in doing so, strikes it rich. Though the titleís a little misleading (as not much of the movie focuses on his life as a criminal), Iíd say itís your typical Woody Allen movie, right down to the music, but of course updated for the year 2000. Lots of laughs, I say go see it.
Big Mommaís House -- PG 13 --
The theater was packed for the release of the new Martin Lawrence movie when I went. The other two people in the theater and I were laughing pretty hard at this one. Itís about a police officer who goes undercover as the mother of wanted criminalís ex-girlfriend. Some definitely hilarious parts, but a semi-weak plot. Martin Lawrence was good, as was Rob Schneider. At first, it doesnít look like the best movie out there, but go see and I think youíll be glad you did.
Battlefield: Earth -- PG 13
If you like the colors green and black, hereís the movie for you! Those colors seemed to be the serious theme to this movie. It wasnít all that different from your typical post-apocalyptic movie. Humans are an endangered race, aliens rule the world, blah, blah, blah. The one thing about this movie that sets it apart from others of its kind is the fact that you see the movie not only from the perspective of the humans, but also that of the aliens. This lets you almost sympathize with the enemy a little, much more than with your usual card-board cut out bad guys. The fact that the aliens are constantly going back and forth from their own language with sub-titles to speaking English is a little confusing, but you get used to it. John Travolta doesnít exactly remind me of the worldís most evil supervillian, but he lends his own brand of dastardliness. Iím not sure it was worth all of the hype it got, but itís definitely one of the better movies out now. (Oh, yeah! Weíre getting into the summer releases!)
Held Up -- PG 13 --
A so-so movie about a guy from Chicago who becomes a hostage in a small town convenience store out west. Some pretty funny jokes, and an interesting cast of characters (though little in any big names). Go see it if youíve got nothing better to do. Otherwise, Iíd skip it.
U-571 -- PG 13 --
Öor was it U-715, or maybe U-157? Thatís the one problem with this movie: Nobody can remember the title. Other than that, it was actually pretty good. Itís based on a true story from World War II, but as I understand it the writers took a FEW liberties. This movie featured Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, as well as a lot of other big names. This film was commendable in the sense that the writers werenít afraid to kill off any main characters and you could tell what was going to happen, but it still managed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Though I detected a bit of influence from Das Boot and The Hunt for Red October, it was for the most part, and original film that I highly recommend.
Ready 2 Rumble -- PG 13 --
When you combine David Arquette with second-rate pro-wrestling, you can only get one thing: blockbuster! This movie was about a couple of marks (people who donít know wrestlingís fake) who see their hero get stabbed in the back by his friends. While there were a couple of decent parts in this movie, itís nothing to rush out and see. Oliver Platt played the top face (good guy), and basically every big name in the WCW had at least some role in this movie. Unless youíre into wrestling this movie will probably put you to sleep faster than Titanic.
Mission to Mars -- PG --
SERIOUSLY clichť movie. That was the first thing I noticed. Aside from that, it was pretty decent considering itís one of those blockbuster March releases. Iíve always been interested in this stuff, so I found it to be pretty cool. There was a lot of action, and the movie coincided with the theory that life on Earth originated on Mars (a widely believed theory). One thing that kept bugging me was that the writers didnít know the difference between a gene and a chromosome (90% of Americans donít). That made it a bit hard to follow it a little. Not much I can say about this movie, other than itís better than most of stuff out now. God, I canít wait til the summer movies start coming out.
Supernova -- PG 13 --
Talk about your bad movies. The basic theme was, "Look what we can do with our special effects." The characters were boring and lifeless. There was a villian and some good guys on a space ship, and they both wanted a pretty glowing thing. If that doesnít shout "Acadamy Award," what does? There were lots of loud noises and shiny things that grabbed your attention. It was like a watered down version of The Matrix. So, if youíre not in a thinking mood, and you just wanna kick back and zone out, then this is the ideal movie for you.
Toy Story 2 -- G --
Yes, I saw Toy Story. You gotta problem with that? This was actually a very good movie (if you saw the first one that is). If you never saw the original Toy Story, you might find yourself a bit lost, however you would still be able to enjoy the bulk of the movie. Since Disney has quite a budget to work with, they were able to get many famous actors to do voice-overs. Some of these stars include Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, and Neumann from Seinfeld. Although, I didnít think the voice of Dr. Frasier Crane was all that fitting for that of the nutty old prospector. Much like all of the Disney/ Pixar films, the computer-generated animation was great. During the credits, they showed some fake out-takes from filming the movie that seemed a bit tacky, but were pretty funny nonetheless.
The Green Mile -- R --
If I had to sum this movie up in one word, it would be ďmasterpiece.Ē If I had to sum it up in two words, it would be ďlong masterpiece.Ē Staring Tom Hanks, this is a movie about an old man who looks back on his past when he was a prison guard during the Depression. Unlike many flashback movies, at the end it comes back to the present, and we are given a bit of closure to the story. This movie, which spanned over 3 hours, had the most intricate plot Iíve ever seen in a movie or book before. Taken from the Steven King novel of the same name, there were so many little things that all came together in the end. They spent 2 hours just setting the movie up for the real action. The movie was filled with drama, suspense, magic, and a little bit of humor to keep the audience awake. Itís been half a year since I gave any movie a 5-rating, but The Green Mile definitely deserves that honor. So, if youíve got a day to kill, I highly recommend you go see this movie.
Galaxy Quest -- PG --
This movie staring Tim Allen and Segorny Weaver was a sci-fi comedy about some washed up stars from a tv show very similar to Star Trek. They get abducted by aliens who think that the tv receptions theyíve received were actual historical documents, and are put to work defending the alien race. The aliens modeled all of their space equipment after props from the show, so it was like the cast was back on the tv program. Iíve never been a big Tim Allen fan, and I think the actors playing the aliens did a pretty weak job which made this movie a bit less enjoyable. Another little problem that kind of annoyed me was the fact that nobody on this production crew had ANY idea what a black hole really is. Twice in this film, the space ship goes into this whirlpool-like structure in space and comes out the other end perfectly fine. Sorry if I find that a little unbelievable. As for the rest of the movie, it definitely had some humor, and the bulk of the cast played believable roles. The special effects were also above average.
Bicentenial Man -- PG --
I really donít know what this movie would be called. It was definitely a sci-fi. It also had some decent humor, and there was a bit of serious drama as well. In this movie, Robin Williams (applauding silently to self) plays a robot from the future, who through some one-in-a-million coincidence, is created with a sentient mind and unlike other robots of his make, is able to think for himself, and possesses creativity and interests all of his own. First off, any movie with Robin Williams canít be that bad, and secondly, good special effects just add to an already fantastic film. This movie spanned a total of 200 years (hence the title), and it was interesting to see the main characters age and the world around him change, while Robin Williamsí character didnít change at all. Throughout the movie, he is constantly upgrading himself so that he is more and more like a human. With the exception of the possibility that the writers of Pinochio just might sue for copyright infringement, this was an excellent movie definitely worth seeing.
Sleepy Hollow -- R --
We donít see a lot of horror movies, so this was nice for a change. Iíve always enjoyed the work of Tim Burton, and this was classic Burton all the way. The special effects are great (notably better than the plot), and much like Sixth Sense, the whole story comes together in the end. One thing I found to be a little strange was that the hero, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), seemed completely invulnerable. While everyone around him was having their heads chopped off, or being shot, he was completely unaffected. Another or Ichabodís quirks was the fact that he did autopsies on decapitated corpses, but screamed like a little girl at the site of a spider. I donít know if this was some kind of representation or anything. I just didnít get it. The gore was very realistic (probably why it was rated R), and if you have a weak stomach, I donít suggest this movie. Otherwise, I highly recommend.
James Bond: The World Is Not Enough -- PG 13 --
I really enjoyed this movie. Completely unlike the previous nineteen Bond movies, this one includes everyoneís favorite Brit. skiing down a mountain while being shot at, mishap aboard a submarine, a really cool watch, and 007 getting the number of every girl he looks at. This movie was great with special effects and lots of action. I found a few things, however to be a bit unbelievable. For one, the main villainís origin is basically nothing more than his being shot in the head. Rather than killing him, it does something to his nervous system that makes him unable to feel pain, and is slowly killing him. Typically, being shot in the upper forehead doesnít make you Superman, it makes you dead. He was also more of a ďhands-onĒ villain than Iím used to seeing in these movies. His henchmen were much less vital. I guess theyíre trying new things. Now, Pierce Brosnan definitely isnít my favorite James Bond, but heís not my least favorite, either. Though no one can compete with the mighty Sean Connery, he did a good job in his second playing this part. Also, I positively loved the hilarious ending.
The Sixth Sense -- PG 13 --
This was a huge hit that I never got around to seeing for some reason. In fact, I waited until it came to Taft before even considering it. After the movie, I donít know why I waited. This is probably the best written movie weíve seen yet. Though Iíve never been big on horror movies, this was definitely cool. I've also never really looked a Bruce Willis and said, "Hey, heíd make a good childrenís psychologist," but he definitely played a good role. The little kid really freaked me out, in a very "Carrie" sort of way. If youíre the kind of person who likes to walk out on movies, try to wait this one out. I was lost throughout most of it, but the last 3 minutes pull the entire movie together. A really creepy movie, that just MIGHT have surpassed the horror of The Haunting. God, itís easier writing bad reviews.
Bats -- PG 13 --
This was a pretty lame movie. I liked it much better the first time I saw it, when it was called Arachniphobia. This was your basic Jaws / Lake Placid kinda movie. Nameless characters go off to investigate some crazy mutated animals thatíve been killing stuff. Some innocents die, and no matter how dire the situation, the main characters seem completely invulnerable to all attacks. The basic plot consisted of bats with a virus that made them smarter and deadlier, ravaging this small Texas town. Though I believe most bats are genial creatures, once these ones saw prey, they would actually sneak up and pounch on it. They literally crawled up quietly and then jumped up on the unfortunate civilian. The people in this movie seemed pretty dense. One guy in a diner had a bat right on the table in front of him, and didnít even notice until it began to claw his eyes out. All the while, a little boy in the corner who was playing a video game didnít even notice the screaming man being ripped to shreds. When thing got exiting, sometimes the screen would go all red for some reason. Other times, it would get stretched out, so the people looked all squiggly. When the heroes were in a REAL fix, the screen would get red AND stretched out. I think the only reason Lake Placid got a higher rating was due to special effects. So, if you want to go to a movie, but donít feel like doing much thinking, this is a good movie for you. (The ending is also mildly funny)
Superstar -- PG 13 --
This is the newest movie from SNL Studios, and was the grand finale of our marathon. I found this to be one of the better Saturday Night Live movies. It was about Mary Katherine Galagher (an excellent character to make a movie about) and stayed very close to the basic outline of the sketch, which I think is a very important to movies like this. I was surprised at the lack of SNL cast members to appear in it. The only two I noticed were Molly Shanon (Mary) and Will Ferrell (Jesus/Sky, the cool guy in school). Will Ferrellís portrayal of Jesus was very funny, and this movie kept me laughing pretty much throughout. The plot was pretty text-book, and Tom Greene was veryÖ well, himself. Honestly, Mary Katherine Galagher has never been my favorite segment of the show, but this movie was (if itís possible) better than the skit it was based on. Definitely worth seeing.
A Night at the Rocksbury -- PG 13 --
I donít know what made the producers think that they could make a movie out of this sketch. I absolutely love them on SNL, but I mean, come on. Itís just two guys who go to clubs and fail at getting women. They kinda had to make a plot to have a movie, and that was so-so. It was pretty funny, but they had a lot of dialogue (VERY unlike the sketch), and suprisingly enough, didnít play the song What is Love? as many times as I would have thought. The elevator scene was good, and the opening scene was funny, but it was too in-depth. On SNL, these were two nameless guys who just partied a little too hard, and had no real family members or jobs. The movie COMPLETELY changed that around. I realize that to make a 4 minute skit into a 2 hour movie, you need to develop a plot, and I think thatís what kind of turned me off to this movie.
The Coneheads -- PG 13 --
It would seem that the casting directors had a few bucks to work with, as this movie had more major stars than any other that I can remember seeing, plus basically the entire SNL cast from 1993. Many big names played small roles, which I found a little unusual. Most of the movie was very compatible with the sketch (at least more so than most similar movies). Entertaining, with decent special effects, this movie also had a fairly competent plot line. The Conehead family was played by the usual actors, Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtain. David Spade (and guess who?) Chris Farley played excellent supporting roles that added to the over-all effect of the movie. This was definately a good skit to do a movie about.
Stewart Saves His Family -- PG 13 --
Based on the sketch "Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smally," this movie was a little disappointing. Iíve always kind of liked the Daily Affirmation skit, but have never been a HUGE fan of it. This movie seriously couldnít compete with the original. It had a great plot, but if you condensed all the funny scenes in the movie, the result would only be about 20 min (30, tops). The flashbacks were good, and the character Stuart himself was pretty funny. Definitely not the best SNL movie Iíve seen.
Wayneís World 2 -- PG 13 --
It stars Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, so it canít be that bad. As with most similar movies, it just couldnít compete with the original sketches, but did prove to be pretty funny. However, at certain points, the movie just went into long stretches of boring filler, costing it quite a bit as far as my ratings are concerned. In this movie, Wayne and Garth plan a rock festival in their hometown, and have a hard time getting it off the ground. The Village People scene was hilarious, and the fight scene was worth the movie rental price.
Blue Streak -- PG 13 --
This was a pretty funny movie, staring Martin Lawrence, about a bank robber who steals a precious diamond, and hides it in a construction site before the police can send him to jail. When he gets out, he finds that the construction site has become a police station. He then becomes a police officer, in order to get into the building and get the diamond back. Lots of funny police humor, which I personally, enjoy very much. The one slightly annoying thing in this film was the over abundance of the phrase, "belieí dat." The plot was pretty assembly line, but that was made up for with laughs.
Bowfinger -- PG 13 --
Hilariously funny. The very first Eddie Murphy/Steve Martin team up since the good old days on SNL was a definite crowd pleaser. The story was basically a low budget film director using a big-shot Hollywood actor in a movie against his will. Eddie Murphy handled the double role very well, and succeeded in developing two completely different personalities. Steve Martin was extremely hilarious as usual. Funny from beginning to end, this is a great movie for anyone looking for laughs (especially Steve Martin fans). In my oppinion, Heather Graham's funniest role of the year. The final scene in the movie is easily worth the price of admission.
Mystery Men -- PG 13 --
This was an excellent and very funny movie. I love the idea of ďunderdog super-heroes.Ē Those who donít quite cut it as ďsuper.Ē The plot to this movie was better than that to most of the movies Iíve reviewed so far. Slightly better than anticipated, the movie was ďpee-your-pants-funnyĒ* Iíve said before that special effects donít make a movie worth seeing, however the donít hurt. There werenít a tremendous amount of effects used in this movie, however those that there were seemed quite realistic. The cast was phenomenal, with many famous actors including Ben Stiller, William H Macy, and Janeane Garofalo. My friends and I enjoyed this movie very much, but it may not be for everybody.
*William H Macy, a.k.a. The Shoveler during a guest appearance on The Late Show.
The Haunting -- PG 13 --
The first 30 minutes of this movie were pretty good, and set up a good story for the rest of the movie to follow. However, the following hour and a half were filled with nothing more than doors slamming and stuff popping out of other stuff. The only parts that actually scared me were when things popped up really fast, which I guess really just kinda shocked me. I had no trouble sleeping that night. The special effects were quite realistic, however:
"Special effects make not a movie greatĒ Ė Yoda (in a scene cut out of The Phantom Menace)
Lake Placid -- R --
Though the plot line was pretty weak, it entertained much the same way those "reality" shows on Fox entertain. The movie included a crocodile eating 2 cows, 1 bear, 2.5 people, and part of a helicopter. Towards the end of the movie, the people trying to catch the giant crocodile dangled a cow on a cable from a helicopter. Later on, a crocodile exploded. The character connection was pretty bad. After the end, I could name maybe 2 of the characters, the rest were simply know as ďfattyĒ, or ďfalling-out-of-boat girl.Ē A good action movie. Not exactly Life Is Beautiful, but it was pretty entertaining. If youíve already seen Jaws, however, donít bother.
Wild Wild West -- PG 13 --
This movie, which held my attention and had a decent plot line, was docked 2.5 slurpees since it was completely unbelievable. I think the movie producers came to the conclusion that if you put a steam engine on any modern day convenience, it must have existed back in the 1800ís. Some of these modern day inventions include: airplanes, motorcycles, tanks, automatic wheelchairs, and giant metal spiders. As far as I know, all of these that we have today were invented in the 1900ís. If they had written the movie so that these machines came from the future, then at least itís supposed to be unbelievable, but according to this film, they were all invented during President Grantís presidency. Even though I found a black sheriff only decades after the slaves were freed to be a bit unbelievable, they did a good job with this, and as always, Will Smith played a great role.
Big Daddy -- PG 13 --
Adam Sandler, who was hilarious in all of his previous movies (including The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy) once again, satisfied his audience in his latest movie. The twins who played the little boy in the movie were also very funny, and proved to be excellent actors (especially for their ages). I had no idea they were twins until I saw them on Leno. With less slapstick humor than The Waterboy, this movie contained more verbal humor. There were a few long ďtouchy-feelyĒ parts of the movie that docked it 1 point. I wanted to rate it slightly lower than that, but after thinking back to the many times during the film in which I laughed so much it hurt, I decided that a 4 is definitely a fair rating.
Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me -- PG 13 --
Easily the funniest movie Iíve seen since Space Balls. The non-stop hilarity surpassed the previous Austin Powers movie (which I also enjoyed) in the first half-hour. Though some of the jokes were a bit mature, but they were incredibly hilarious. I don't think I stopped laughing at any point in this movie. If you have to go to the bathroom, hold it, or else you could miss some really funny stuff. Mike Myers was excellent in all three of his roles. The new character known as Mini-Me kept me laughing from beginning to end.
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Ė PG --
This was an excellent film, quite possibly one of the best-made movies my group and I have seen. It fit in quite well with the previous trilogy, and kept me in suspense. The special effects blew me away, especially in the racing scene, which Iíve heard was 2 years in the making. Though there were not as many human characters as most people wanted, I found that the humans that were in it played excellent roles. With the exception of Jar-Jar Binks, the cast was simply phenomenal.