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The Perfect Storm (2000)
This movie sunk
Okay, first of all, I am amazed at the posts that either A:complain that people gave away the ending; or B:say they don't want to give away the ending. This was a very famous, very publicized TRUE story that was in every magazine and had a best-selling book written about it. Does everyone not know how it ends to begin with?? That's like being upset when Lou Gehrig dies at the end of his life story. With that off my chest, I can continue. I too read the book, and it was excellent. I watched the HBO First Look special about the movie, and couldn't wait to see it. I was highly disappointed. I realize that with any "based on a true story" film, certain dramatic liscense has to be taken. Every conversation between characters cannot be remembered verbatim. And all the main characters died, so no one knows what went on on the ship. I know the special effects were great, blah blah blah (although my 9-year-old daughter even noticed several times, "Gosh, that looks fake."). But couldn't they have spent more time fleshing out the characters and their relationships, and not have relied so much on the made-up goings-on on the Andrea Gail during the storm? (I totally disagree with Roger Ebert's review in which he says that more character development was not needed). That is what made the book so good--by the end, you really cared about these people and what happened to them--even though you knew in advance that it didn't have a happy ending. Not so in the movie, I thought. Billy Tyne (George Clooney) was portrayed as so gruff and unpleasant (and senseless) that I expected him to break out in an "ARRRRRGH" and perch a parrot on his shoulder any minute. It was difficult to like him--in real life, he didn't have nearly the callous disregard for his crew that this guy in the movie did. The Sully-Murph brouhaha went on and on and was never clearly explained--a mention of Murph's wife was made, but that very thin plot line was never fleshed out. They acted like two silly teenage boys. So write them off too (although I love John C. Reilly; I think he is a wonderful actor and was given no chance to shine in this film). Bobby Shatford (Mark Wahlberg) was little more than a tormented guy pining for his girlfriend (they weren't married, contrary to other posts) and playing yes-man to Billy Tyne. Alfred Pierre and Bugsy were the only ones who were likeable out of the whole crew. (But what was up with Bugsy and the woman he had JUST met before he went out on his doomed voyage? You would've thought they had been together for years. What an odd relationship). Another thing, Chris (Diane Lane)supposedly had lost her kids--why was that not explained? They were so many hanging threads that were never pulled on that could have made a much better movie. All that was cared about here, it seems, was the storm. A storm alone does not a movie make. I thought it was long, slow, and b-o-r-i-n-g. The acting was poor--actually, the lines they were given were poor, since most of them are skilled actors. (Although am I the only woman in the world who thinks George's appeal is overrated?) You could hardly tell that the book and the movie were related. I had heard that one of the families of the crew sued the filmmakers for portraying the character in a poor light--I can't remember who. At first I thought, oh, what a poor sport--supposedly at first the town welcomed the film crew with open arms. Now, I understand. And if I was Sebastian Junger, the author of the book, I'd sue too. If you must rent this, skip ahead to the last third of the movie just to see the storm. BUT--turn it off before the scene where Bobby is floating in the vast, storm-tossed ocean, trying to send telepathic messages to his girlfriend Chris. (And he stayed afloat amazingly easily, considering the elements. He barely had to put forth any effort to tread water, although those churning waves had just sunk the entire SHIP).Then--miraculously, later Chris tells the others at the bar that--gasp--she had had a dream about Bobby talking to her, replete with the SAME words we, the audience, had heard him say before he drowned. Isn't that amazing? I wanted to gag. I mean, there is dramatic liscense, and then there is crap. I was very disappointed by this movie. I give it a 4/10, and the 4 is only for the special effects, and the fact that Mark Wahlberg was in it at all.
The Haunting (1999)
Scary...that they made this pathetic movie!
One would think, with the caliber of actors in this movie, that it would at least be okay. One would be wrong! Liam Neeson and Lili Taylor are both excellent actors, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is fairly good also. (Owen Wilson is the only one I haven't particularly been impressed with in his past endeavors). But in this film, I couldn't believe I was watching the same actors. Especially Lili Taylor! All of the fault is not hers--the dialogue was atrocious--but her acting was so wooden it made me squirm. I actually laughed many times--when I was not supposed to! If she went running thru the house in her flowing white nightgown one more time saying, "Oh no" (like she has just dropped something instead of screaming it in terror about the things that she was seeing) I was going to scream. I couldn't believe at the end when Owen Wilson's character got beheaded--she just said, "oh no" the same way! The special effects were good but I thought there were way too many of them. It got a little ridiculous. I think more could've been gained from some creepy shadows and things like that instead of these over-the-top things like everything in the house coming to life. There is something to be said for being understated! Liam Neeson also sleepwalked thru his performance. Catherine Zeta-Jones had a completely useless role but I guess she did the best she could. The original is so frightening and so much more could've been done with this movie. Jan DeBont needs to stick to action films, definitely. The plot was totally confusing, with Lili Taylor being part of the family that had lived in the house. The dialogue, like I said before, was awful. The acting was pathetic. I was embarrassed for everyone in the movie. I am not one who thinks horror movies have to be full of gore. I just thought this was an incredibly bad movie. I would not recommend this to anyone. I give it a 1/10.
Soul Food (2000)
As good as the movie!
I just finished watching the first episode of "Soul Food" and was blown away. The movie is one of my top 5 favorites and I wondered if the Showtime series could do it justice. Well, I wasn't disappointed. Even though the characters were played by lesser-known actors, they were all excellent. I look forward to the next episode. (Although I am worried about scheduling conflicts when "Oz" comes back on in a few weeks! I guess I will have to put the VCR to use then.)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Interesting premise, but...
Well, tonight I finally watched this much-talked-about film that I have been dying to see, and I am disappointed to say...I was slightly disappointed. I love John Malkovich in anything, and Catherine Keener is one of my favorite character actresses. But the first hour of the movie was sooo ploddingly slow, I was itching to turn it off. I'm glad I didn't because it got much better in the last hour. (I realize a lot of the posts here say the opposite, that the first hour was better, but I beg to differ. To each his own, I guess). I myself enjoyed the in-jokes with Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn, etc. John Malkovich himself was great, as usual, and though John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener were good, too, I still don't see the need for Catherine's Oscar nomination. It was an excellent idea and some of the bits were great--the trip Cameron and Catherine took through Malkovich's subconscious (you have to wonder if those were real experiences of his youth!) was suberb, and the flashback that Elijah the chimp had to the jungle and his parents being tied up was very good and touching, as well.
The end could have been tied up a little bit better, i.e., where was the portal to enter Emily's head? All in all it was entertaining but there could have been a little more to hold my attention in the first half. It was thought-provoking, but they could have done more with the concept instead of focusing on that bizarre love triangle.
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Cute little movie
I just saw this movie for the second time with my 8-year-old daughter and I remembered why we liked it the first time. All these people who say it is bad are too uptight and critical! It is simply an entertaining little movie, it's not supposed to change the world. I thought all the actors did a great job with their characters. (Except for Jeremy Jordan as Guy--he was a maggot who looked seriously in need of soap and shampoo. If HE is supposed to be the hot guy in their school, then they've got slim pickins'.) But I digress--Drew Barrymore was delightful, as usual, and David Arquette was even enjoyable, and I usually can't stomach him, if only because of those STUPID AT&T commercials! Molly Shannon is always entertaining, and Leelee Sobieski did a great job as a tortured brain. Some parts were actually painful to watch, reminding me of high school. Even though I thankfully didn't get made fun of, it made my heart ache for those who do. Movies like this are actually good for children to see--my daughter made several observations about the cruelty of some of the students and how wrong it was. This movie is appropriate for anyone and a good way to while away 2 hours. If there's ever a time you want to see a lighthearted little movie with a happy ending where you don't have to think very much, then this is definitely a consideration.
If you don't like the show, don't see it!
I am a 36-year-old mother of 2 and I love "South Park", the tv show. I had heard and read a lot about how the movie wasn't as funny because the words weren't bleeped like they are in the show. WRONG! I found this movie utterly hilarious. I laughed practically the whole time I was watching it. I became more disbelieving with every scene that Trey and Matt got away with this stuff! (Bravo for them that they did.) I had the captions on my tv because I always have a hard time understanding Cartman on the show, so I got to understand every word to "Kyle's Mom is a Big Fat B****". I couldn't believe all the stars that were poked fun at! (I was about to die during the Winona Ryder ping-pong ball scene until it showed that she had a paddle.)This movie is so clever--you're laughing even when you know you shouldn't be--such as all the scenes in Hell with Satan and Saddam. I couldn't help but wonder, has anyone told Saddam Hussein about this movie? I would think he would find his portrayal a reason for biological warfare against the US, seeing as how he's such a lunatic. Like I said before, if you don't like the show, you will NOT like the movie. Be warned! But I saw it 5 days ago and I am still walking around my house humming "Shut your f****** face, Uncle f*****". What a catchy tune! I really liked the storyline (if you can call it that) with Kenny floating up to heaven at the end. I actually said, "Awww...". If you're a "South Park" fan, by all means, see this movie.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Much better than I expected!
I went into this movie expecting it to just be a way of killing a couple of hours during a rainy day on vacation at the beach. I was very pleasantly surprised! I thought it was very funny and the references to the 80's were hilarious. I graduated from college in '84 so I could really appreciate it. They had the hair, the clothes, the pop-culture references all down pat. The music was great also! Glenn, Julia's fiance, was a perfect parody of guys I knew in the 80's who were bitten by the "Miami Vice" bug. It was hilarious when the door to his car opened and the theme from "Miami Vice" burst out. He was such a pig, you knew she wouldn't end up with him. Christine Taylor's character, Holly, was a dead ringer for some girls I went to college with also. Her wardrobe was perfect! Drew Barrymore was a doll as Julia and I never thought Adam Sandler could play anything besides a numbskull (although he's funny at that too). They made a very cute couple and I am a sucker for happy endings. I am embarrassed to say the little song he sang to her at the end brought tears to my eyes! All in all, a very enjoyable way to pass time. I think this is Adam Sandler's best effort to date. And a bit of trivia--did anyone notice that the girl who played Linda, the one who left Robbie (Adam) at the altar, was the same girl who played Chloe (the hot chick from the Xerox place, as she was referred to), who Ross slept with when he and Rachel "were on a break" on Friends?
Mystery Men (1999)
I was so looking forward to this movie--with such a great cast, how could it miss? I love Ben Stiller, and I think Janeane Garofalo is the funniest person on the planet. (She was still the funniest person in this movie.) I was woefully disappointed after seeing it, however. It was so silly I found myself embarrassed for the actors. I am not some highbrow person who does not like silly humor--I think "Austin Powers 2" was the funniest movie I've seen in a long time! (I can't believe the person who said this was twice as funny as AP!) It was a great idea that could've been hilarious but fell flat on its face. The lines sounded like something my 8-year-old daughter would write. Ben Stiller, of all people, was the least funny of all with his lame dialogue. This is one of those movies where you think, "Did they actually read the script and think, wow, this is funny!?" Geoffrey Rush was horribly miscast. There were several scenes that were supposed to generate laughs and everyone in the theater just sat there. There were a few funny parts but all in all, I must sadly say I can't recommend this movie. If you must see it, wait for video. One recommendation I can give is that it is totally appropriate for children (if you don't mind the Paul Reubens' character farting all the time, which I don't). There was only one profanity near the end of the movie uttered by Hank Azaria's character and with his faux-British accent it is hardly recognizable. I think children would really get a kick out of it. Unfortunately, I didn't.
Most overrated movie since the invention of film
I cannot believe this movie won the Best Picture Oscar. I could've written a better script. The romance between Rose and Jack was totally unbelievable. We were supposed to believe that she was going to give up her spot in the lifeboat for this guy she met the day before? Please. The only redeeming value was the actual footage of the Titanic underwater. When the movie was over I couldn't have cared less about one person on that flippin' boat. Billy Zane's character was so overdone I kept expecting him to twirl a mustache and laugh maniacally. I saw an afternoon tv movie on Lifetime about Titanic that was better than this.
The Apostle (1997)
Stays with you for a long time
This was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Robert Duvall was robbed of an Oscar by Jack Nicholson (playing the same sour character he always plays). I couldn't get Sonny out of my mind for days after I saw this one. Growing up in the south as a Baptist (which I am sometimes embarrassed about--we are not all bigoted idiots who think Baptists are the only ones going to heaven), I can tell you there really are people that are like Sonny--maybe not to that extreme, but like him nonetheless. Robert Duvall gave the finest performance of his career playing a woefully inadequate christian at war with his feelings and desires versus his commitment to God. I can't believe he actually made me feel sorry for him by the end of the movie! All the supporting characters were wonderful too, especially Miranda Richardson as his love interest. At first I was none too interested in seeing this movie, thinking it would be too "religious"--but don't be deterred by that. It's not. You'll be glad you saw it.