Reviews written by registered user
Shawn Stingel

4 reviews in total 
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Gladiator (2000)
A graphic display of the gladiator wars in Rome. I came, I saw, I conquered, 6 May 2000

Russell Crowe is emerging as one of Hollywood's most enterprising actors with critically-acclaimed roles in Oscar nominated films such as "L.A. Confidential" and "The Insider," the latter earning him an Academy award nomination for Best Actor (which he solely deserved). It comes as no surprise then why renowned director Ridley Scott ("Blade Runner") would chose Crowe as the hero, Maximus, in this Roman epic about the gladiator wars and the struggle of the Roman Empire. Another wise choice on behalf of Scott was his selection of the dimensional Joaquin Phoenix who plays Commodus, the heir of the Empire after his father's death. Phoenix plays the typical jerk, the antagonist that defies all that is good and what goes against the people. Of course, that's his role but it's a juicy one. One of the best things about this film deals with its own aesthetic quality. If marveling over how realistic some of the fight scenes weren't enough, Scott digitally enhances the scenery to bring Rome right to your pupils. It's visually stunning and quite remarkable (Oscar-worthy perhaps), but it just may well be (sadly enough) its only redeemable feature.

This film is an astonishing visual achievement nonetheless thanks to the special effects team under Scott's command, but that's all the sword can penetrate through unfortunately. Crowe and Phoenix do what they can, and they do a great job of it, but the script is too choppy, too complex in its nature that we have a hard time making sense out of crucial moments, especially if you're not aware or Rome's history or the hidden Shakespearean peculiarities. I, myself was confused at times simply because some of the inside references went over my head. Although subplots and climactic moments are crucial in the overall core of the movie, it did not deter however from the overriding aspect of the film's protagonist. Crowe delivers a grand performance that is quite complimentary to his previous ones, and "Gladiator" proves that he has the versatile capacity to transform into anything. He came, he saw, he conquered. Indeed

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Julia Robert's over-the-top portrayal of the real Erin Brockovich, which could land the actress her 3rd Oscar nomination, 3 May 2000

The pretty woman's portrayal in this true story about a woman who discovers that an industrial plant is secretly polluting the residences' groundwater in Hinkley is nothing short of spectacular. Boasting with sex appeal, a million dollar smile, and an enhancing bra, Roberts delivers a performance that shows off her ubiquitous talent, which could earn the runaway bride her third Oscar nomination. "Brockovich," helmed by acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh ("Out of Sight"), benefits as well from being based on a true story that doesn't wander off into an oblivious fog, a very difficult and controversial subject to handle (see "The Hurricane" and "The Insider"). Although Roberts' role may be the film's selling point, the fact that she is portraying a real woman with a profound livelihood deserves a little more attention than her wide grin. Erin is a torn woman, one who has been stretched to the brink of exhaustion as evidenced by her struggling attempt to keep food on the table for her three kids while fumbling through job ads. We can relate to people like Erin, and it's because of her willingness and ability to project a rather intimidating image that she is able to get what she wants and not take 'no' for an answer. She's a true inspirational hero, a woman who crosses the boundaries for a people suffering from the suit-driven executives of a billion-dollar corporation. Julia Roberts, tell Benjamin Bratt you may have to cancel dinner; you just might have a date with a stud named Oscar.

12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
A wonderful and innovative behind-the-scenes film about the competitive world of dance, 30 April 2000

"Center Stage," a film about the lives of young modern dancers who want nothing more than to make a name for themselves, dazzles with some of the best on-screen dance performances since Patrick Swayze shook his hips in "Dirty Dancing" thirteen years ago. Starring some of the most talented modern dancers ever to hit the silver screen, "Stage" focuses its attention on the lives surrounding the young dancers and their struggles for stardom. The film is a revealing exploitation of the complexity associated with modern dance, diving into the realities of dance phenoms that sacrifice their social life for a role that will find them performing in front of a live audience.

Rating: 6

Frequency (2000)
A heart-warming and inspiring "Back to The Future" flick., 28 April 2000

The movie was super! It started out slow, but picked up pace very quickly! The plot is kind of twisted, but don't think too hard or else you'll end up fumbling around with too many ideas; just sit back, relax, and let "Frequency" take you on a roller coaster full of winding proportions that are intriguingly fun and enjoyable! My rating: 9