Reviews written by registered user
The Phan

8 reviews in total 
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Moviemaking dictated by market research, 20 January 2002

It's ironic that Meg Ryan plays a market research professional in this film, because this movie was so clearly a paint-by-numbers effort put together to please a specific demographic. Hugh Jackman (easy on the eyes) + Meg Ryan (non-threatening goofy beauty, although what is up with her hair in this pic? Aaaarrrgh!) + contemporary career and love conflicts + historical romance = perfect movie for women 18-54, right?

Wrong. Yes, it's as light as air, and there's nothing wrong with that. But despite good character development for the leads, there's never much support for Hugh and Meg to develop a relationship, particularly one that creates the ending in this movie.

And oh, the ending. C'mon guys, spend a little more time trying to wrap up some loose ends next time. We get about 115 minutes of storyline, followed by a ridiculous 5 minutes of "okay, let's wrap this thing up, we're getting close to exceeding the magic two hour mark!"

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
John Turturro's Finest Two Hours, 20 January 2002

John Turturro's portrayal of Howard Cosell in this film is so absolutely perfect that it has Emmy written all over it. While this movie (based on a book of the same name) is more than just a Howard biopic, Turturro really shines as America's most beloved and most hated sports broadcaster. He has the many mannerisms of Cosell down pat, down to the nasal voice that was both inimitable and grating. His narration of MNF's halftime highlights is particularly inspired.

Nicholas Turturro, John's brother, also stands out as Chet Forte, the gambling, womanizing MNF director, as does John Heard as Roone Arledge, the brains behind MNF and ABC Sports for so many years. The only downer is Brad Beyer's performance as Dandy Don Meredith. Nothing against Brad, but he was the wrong pick for this role. His baby face and forced Texas accent make me wish they had cast someone with a genuine Lone Star State drawl (Beyer is from Wisconsin).

17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Break these Rules, 7 January 2001

What a mess. Sleepwalking performances by two otherwise very fine actors (Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson), impossible plot holes, the use of every military and courtroom cliche imaginable, an awful script, and a continual need to suspend the viewer's disbelief. It's hard to believe such a good cast (including Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Greenwood, Ann Archer) give performances that are either sad or so brief you wonder if they left much of this film on the cutting room floor. Not that it would have mattered--very little could have saved this disaster.

Contact (1997)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Overblown, overhyped, 10 December 2000

This movie is generally an overblown piece of trite filmmaking. The concept is not bad, and some of the scenes are really quite fascinating and intriguing (I loved the shots of the construction of the machine, and the sequence of events showing how the team of scientists finds all of the clues necessary to build the machine). But the film is tarnished by two things in particular. One, it takes itself waaaaaaaaay too seriously. And two, worst of all, the movie is really held back by grotesquely bad acting performances and casting. Rob Lowe, James Woods, and Matthew McConaughey all deliver seriously flawed performances (Woods' and Lowe's characters are nothing more than stereotypical caricatures) hurt even more by the awful lines they are forced to utter.

There is a good movie waiting to be made here. This isn't it.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
When good premises go bad, 11 August 2000

Ugh. This movie has so many unbelievable plot contrivances that they made what could have been a good movie into a hideous mess. The story is halfway decent, but the holes in the plot make the execution literally laughable. We're actually supposed to believe that the Secret Service would go against all common sense and allow the President of the United States to be put at unbelievable risk. If this is an indication of the kind of thinking that passes for good judgment among the President's protectors, then we're all in trouble. Roy Scheider turns in a good performance as the President, but it is unfortunately offset by the truly loathsome acting of Patrick Muldoon (who somehow continues to get jobs in Hollywood based solely upon his good looks and his uncanny knack of smirking at every opportunity, regardless of whether the script calls for a smirk). Perhaps someone will see this and be inspired to make a good movie from the premise--or, perhaps someone will see it and say, "Hey, if they can get a movie this bad made, maybe I can, too!"

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A Perfect Disappointment, 30 July 2000

Okay, so I had read the book just one week prior to seeing the movie, which unfortunately made "The Perfect Storm" all the more disappointing to me. The script and the direction take far too many liberties with the book, inventing a character here and there, combining this story detail with another, and developing several key characters as total cliches. I am even willing to give them the poetic license of speculating as to what might have happened onboard the Andrea Gail before and during the storm. However, it was a real letdown to see so many cliched plot devices thrown into already solid story. The Coast Guard and Air Force rescue sequences, about which Sebastian Junger goes into great detail in the book, were sort of an afterthought in the movie and unfortunately become contrived and largely fictional.

The script aside, the movie is actually sort of boring and the performances pretty rote, with the actors spouting a seemingly endless string of old mariner soliloquies. Yes, the special effects are impressive, but after a while the effect becomes numbing. "The Perfect Storm" is probably one of those books that seemed like it would make a great movie upon publication, but in hindsight now seems more of a challenge.

The Limey (1999)
5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
More Like a Lemon "Limey", 15 June 2000

What a bore. This movie is typical of the kind of indie garbage that is being shoved down our throats lately. We're supposed to be impressed by the sort of indie "hipness" this film radiates, yet I found myself falling asleep and wondering why the movie was made in the first place. "The Limey" substitutes attitude for substance, and the result is a movie which leaves the viewer not caring what happens to any of the characters. A real disappointment.

Akin to chewing the same piece of gum for 2+ hours, 15 May 2000

This movie was like chewing on a stick of gum. When you first put it in your mouth and bite down on it, it's full of flavor and delicious. Two hours later, though, it's just a wad of tasteless sticky goo, the next bite is as tasteless as the last, and you wonder why you wanted it in the first place. For Love of the Game starts out snappily enough, with Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston portraying interesting, attractive characters about whom you want to know more. But midway through the film, character development ceases entirely, and by the end you can't figure out why Costner and Preston were attracted to one another in the first place. This movie drags along at a mind-numbing pace and is too long, and the ending is as predictable as they come.