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Monkasi

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73 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Ma nime's Forse, Forse Guh-uhmp..., 26 September 2002

FORREST GUMP was a much more enjoyable experience for me when I was a boy. I thought it was a wonderful, magical tale about taking life slow and easy. But now I am older, and I see it as little more than an overlong showcase of clichés in which Tom Hanks talks in an embarrassing Southern drawl and plays a cardboard caricature.

I admire Forrest for the good old boy that he is; unfortunately, that's ALL he is. If you will pardon the hyperbole, our mentally retarded hero is so pure and innocent and decent and good-hearted that he makes Jimmy Stewart's character in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE look like a child pornographer. Whether he's the knight in shining armor protecting girlfriend Jenny from any menace; the selfless warrior rescuing all his comrades in the heat of battle; or the pious Christian whose faith remains fervent even as Lieutenant Dan Taylor curses God, Forrest Gump never does anything morally questionable.

In addition, throughout the film Gump displays an "idiot savant" personality type that really gets on my nerves. Now I know that some autistic people are blessed with highly unusual skills, but it is simply not feasible that Forrest is perfect at everything he does. He runs faster, plays better ping-pong, assembles a rifle quicker, is more successful in the business world, and in general proves to be a whiz at almost everything through a combination of freakish talent and dumb luck.

Not to be insensitive, but I think Gump had it pretty swell. After miraculously overcoming a childhood infirmity (really!) by busting the braces on his legs through sheer willpower, Forrest has an infinite string of good luck while all of his friends and loved ones either die painful deaths, surrender to their personal demons, or become human vegetables. These are the characters we should feel sorry for, and not Forrest Gump.

If Gump had been plagued with at least ONE character flaw - alcoholism, for instance, or some kind of sexual disorder - then maybe I would find it easier to sympathize with him and rejoice in his many accomplishments. As it is, however, Hanks's character is hopelessly squeaky-clean.

Which is not to say that FORREST GUMP is an inherently bad movie. It's fine, I suppose, if you like simpleminded morality plays. For the more cynical among us, however, GUMP is just too gummy.

Screwballs (1983)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The misadventures of five pathetic reprobates, 26 September 2002

In my review for the similarly themed ZAPPED AGAIN!, I noted that it came across as a whitewashed T&A offering that was much better received as a puerile comedy than anything voyeuristic in nature. SCREWBALLS, which was apparently made on a much lower budget and with much less renowned performers, is the exact opposite - a chaotic carnival of soft-core porn in which the humor is at best unremarkable and at worst painful.

Some have compared this movie to NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE, but that comparison is extremely unjust. You see, ANIMAL HOUSE was not just an excuse to show drunken frat boys and girls in their underwear. It also tackled such trenchant topics as class conflict, race relations, and the lure of irresponsibility in a hopelessly puritanical and joyless world. I view it more as a poignant examination of the trials and tribulations of adolescence than as the purely tawdry slice of camp which it's usually tagged. The makers of SCREWBALLS do not deserve to lick the boots of John Landis and company.

SCREWBALLS was put together by a gaggle of confirmed slackers with absolutely no regard for taste and decency. The movie is unabashedly politically incorrect (granted, the idea of "political correctness" did not exist as such in the early 1980s; but these guys violated most of its tenets just the same) and is based on the erroneous belief that high school boys do not care about anything other than sex. While the members of Delta Tau Chi may not have been above reproach, at least they didn't spend most of their time trying to separate the prom queen from her clothes.

If you are a diehard fan of this genre, I don't want to spoil the ending for you. Let's just say that it involves sartorial decay and magnets, and leave it at that.

Female moviegoers will probably not enjoy SCREWBALLS because of its sexist nature, so I recommend that they skip it. Their male counterparts, on the other hand, might have a good time. But remember this, fellows: a movie about female stripping becomes less and less entertaining every time you see it - so limit your viewing of SCREWBALLS to one night.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
When this movie was over, I needed a different kind of bag..., 26 May 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I rented this movie from the local video store when I was seventeen years old. At this young, tender age I innocently believed that all comedies were created equal. If a film wanted to make me laugh, it would make me laugh - no questions asked. Truth be told, I can't even remember why I rented it. Perhaps it was because Joe Pesci was in it; if he was funny in HOME ALONE, then surely he'd be funny here. And the movie would be a blast as well.

As it turned out, I was right on only one count. Pesci is wonderful in 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG, playing his sadistic mobster shtick to the hilt. However, a little bit of Pesci goes a looooong way: halfway into the picture, I realized that his brand of dark comedy had seeped into every comic situation, rendering the movie a sordid mess.

I have nothing against dark comedy, but 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG doesn't so much push the envelope as rend it asunder. There is so much vulgarity and mean-spiritedness that I actually began to pity the characters, trapped as they were in their little 1950s sitcom universe from Hell.

Joe Pesci notwithstanding, every character in this movie is a loathsome stereotype. We have the naive young man, the squeamish girlfriend, the clueless father, the ditzy wife, the crotchety old grandma, etc. And let's not forget all those hot-blooded Italians and sneaky Mexicans.

There was one - only ONE - point where I really surrendered myself to gales of joyful laughter. It was the great comic set-piece wherein Pesci's mobster is asleep and dreams that the eight severed heads of the movie's title come to life and begin singing "Mr. Head Man" (to the tune of "Mr. Sandman") like seasoned recording artists. Then their headless bodies crash through the wall and begin to strangle our hero. I laughed my proverbial butt off at this surreal comic masterpiece. Then the scene ended - and I went back to being not amused again.

At the end of the movie, one of the characters tries to make up for nearly two hours of bleak vacuum by spouting a barrage of "head" puns ("Stop a-HEAD," "Anyone need to use the HEAD?", etc.) and other corny jokes, some of which were, admittedly, quite clever. But, as they say, it was too little, too late.

On a scale of 1-8 heads, I give 8 HEADS IN A DUFFEL BAG a small section off the smaller ear of the smallest head in Tommy Spinelli's bag.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Response to Kayla, 5 May 2002

I'm going by a different name, but I'm still Jay from Southern California.

Anyway, Kayla...your post telling me to "lighten up" doesn't make any sense. For one thing, shows like "Leave It To Beaver" DID portray their contemporary periods accurately. "The Brady Bunch" didn't. And, if it is true, as you say, that people watch television to escape from the harsh realities of everyday life...then why is it that, with life being so chaotic in 2002, I turn on the television and find shows that are even MORE chaotic? Why don't we have any non-children's shows nowadays that are anything like "The Brady Bunch"? (And don't tell me there are, because there aren't.)

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

I like this show, but..., 27 April 2002

I like this show, but...

Matt Groening and company really got carried away with the celebrity cameos. I watch "The Simpsons" for its FANTASY element, because it takes place in a world that never was - not so I can see yellow-skinned, lipless versions of the REAL world's movers and shakers.

Tony Bennett, Aerosmith, Linda Ronstadt, Adam West, Leonard Nimoy, George Harrison, Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor, Luke Perry, Mel Brooks, Bono from U2, Ron Howard, Mel Gibson, Britney Spears...arrggh! It's not that I don't like these people, but their overexposed mugs belong in live action and not in cartoons! I watch "The Simpsons" as a means of escape from reality, so it's frustrating that I get reality shoved right in my face about 75 percent of the time when I watch this show.

The really annoying episodes are the ones where the celebrity's name is said over and over and we're supposed to be entertained just because that person is famous. "Gasp! It's James Woods!" "Oh my God, it's Kim Basinger!" "Wow! It's 'N Sync!" (actually said TWICE, by Milhouse) Give me a freaking break! True, celebrities have made cameos on other cartoon shows; but at least then they had the good taste to play satirical versions of themselves (like "Ann Margrock" on "The Flintstones").

In closing, let me just say that "The Simpsons" would be a perfect show if it weren't for all these celebrities shamelessly self-promoting themselves. I don't mind the celebrities, but I wish they would play fictional characters and not themselves. Then the pristine atmosphere of Springfield could be protected from the incursions of modern American life. "The Simpsons" is a fantasy - and it should remain that way.

Oh, and one more thing: I wish they would shut up about what state Springfield is in! NOBODY CARES!

All that aside...I really like "The Simpsons."

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Made me want to vomit..., 17 April 2002

I hated this movie. In fact, I was all but seething with rage after watching it. Sure, it was SUPPOSED to be a romantic comedy; but it quickly degenerated into yet another insulting farce about how White Protestants are greedy, clownish, and totally devoid of any imagination or sexuality. Meanwhile, the Hispanic characters are unbearably noble brown Catholics who lead lives of self-righteous morality out in the desert and think all White Protestants are clueless Babbitts - which, of course, is exactly what Alex's parents are! After watching the movie, I sat myself down and tried to calm down. My ire had been aroused: I felt both contempt for the blockheaded WASP characters and resentment toward the arrogant Latinos.

I apologize for the bitter nature of this review, but FOOLS RUSH IN is a prime example of allegedly innocent race-baiting (particularly of people like me, since I am an upwardly mobile white middle-class dweller much like Alex is). I never truly understood the frustration and humiliation felt by African-Americans, Jews, and other groups who have been misrepresented or even mocked in movies throughout the years. Now I finally understand.

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Movie stars, TV stars, and rock stars make each other see stars..., 15 April 2002

Part WWF freak show, part celebrity roast, and 100 percent outrageous satire, "Celebrity Deathmatch" is one of the best ideas for a novelty TV show to come out in years. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing snobbish starlets, overhyped matinee idols, and self-aggrandizing mega-entertainers maim each other and humiliate themselves in front of the entire world (as clay facsimiles, of course).

But despite all the schadenfreude, it's all in good fun. Fictional hosts Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond provide a hilarious running commentary on the grisly goings-on with nonstop puns, quips, and zingers at the unfortunate celebrities' expense. Real-life referee Mills Lane moderates the bouts and sometimes even plays a crucial role in which celebrity will win. And the celebrities themselves (actually impersonated by voiceover artists) have the most fun of all, coming up with ever more creative ways to annihilate each other while making references galore to their own movies, their opponents' movies, and pop culture in general.

"Celebrity Deathmatch" is even more fun to watch if you have a bunch of friends over and you want to do some Vegas-style gambling. Wagering on the outcome of the fights can be fun, but be forewarned: don't always root for the more popular celebrity (for example, Eddie Murphy over Nick Nolte). The playing field is level in these fights, and just about anything goes - so the victor may surprise you. Bet on your personal favorite instead.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Movie stars, TV stars, and rock stars make each other see stars..., 15 April 2002

Part WWF freak show, part celebrity roast, and 100 percent outrageous satire, "Celebrity Deathmatch" is one of the best ideas for a novelty TV show to come out in years. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing snobbish starlets, overhyped matinee idols, and self-aggrandizing mega-entertainers maim each other and humiliate themselves in front of the entire world (as clay facsimiles, of course).

But despite all the schadenfreude, it's all in good fun. Fictional hosts Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond provide a hilarious running commentary on the grisly goings-on with nonstop puns, quips, and zingers at the unfortunate celebrities' expense. Real-life referee Mills Lane moderates the bouts and sometimes even plays a crucial role in which celebrity will win. And the celebrities themselves (actually impersonated by voiceover artists) have the most fun of all, coming up with ever more creative ways to annihilate each other while making references galore to their own movies, their opponents' movies, and pop culture in general.

"Celebrity Deathmatch" is even more fun to watch if you have a bunch of friends over and you want to do some Vegas-style gambling. Wagering on the outcome of the fights can be fun, but be forewarned: don't always root for the more popular celebrity (for example, Eddie Murphy over Nick Nolte). The playing field is level in these fights, and just about anything goes - so the victor may surprise you. Bet on your personal favorite instead.

19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
A laugh riot!, 13 March 2002

This was TV's first true "reality show," and boy, was it a doozy! It must have been a revolutionary concept at the time; but now, twelve years later, it's become lodged in our cultural consciousness.

But enough content analysis. This show was great! Where else could people win thousands of dollars for sharing their embarrassing moments with the entire country? And host Bob Saget was the icing on the cake. The video clips just wouldn't have been as funny without his zany voiceovers, in which he imitated everybody from Jerry Lewis to Sylvester Stallone. We usually saw him as "straight man" Danny Tanner on "Full House," so it was cool to see him be goofy for a change.

Many people have condemned this show for being mean-spirited and exploitative. That is a very unfair accusation. Obviously the producers at ABC got permission to use the tapes sent in by the people in them, and you could tell from the audience's reaction that it was always in good fun. And if you can't laugh at yourself getting whacked in the crotch by a golf club, how are you supposed to laugh at the antics of the Three Stooges or Itchy and Scratchy?

Kudos to this show, which proved once and for all that real life could be more hilarious than any Hollywood comedy. I just wish that Bob hadn't turned the reins over to Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang.

High Noon (1952)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Can't be beat, 7 March 2002

The greatest western movie ever - and that includes STAGECOACH and THE SEARCHERS. The script jettisons all the tiresome clichés of the genre and the black-and-white photography is haunting. Gary Cooper is terrific as Will Kane, the ultimate good-guy sheriff; he even manages to lend a Christ-like majesty to his role as a man left stranded by his friends to battle the forces of evil alone (after all, I don't think it's a coincidence that the theme song, "Do Not Forsake Me," almost echoes Jesus' lamentation on the cross). And of course it's extremely refreshing to watch an action movie where the villain - here a gunslinger named Frank Miller - neither goes over the top nor dominates the proceedings. This is Cooper's show all the way, and he comes through with flying colors. Great drama, thrilling suspense, and a happy ending to boot - what more could you want?


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