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Four Days (1999)
A truly incredible movie
"Four Days" has all the makings of a crime/thriller classic. Terrific acting, sharp writing and smooth, layered direction all combine to create a wonderful filmgoing experience. Watching this film, I guarantee you will become caught up in the web it spins, as Simon (Kevin Zegers) makes his way with stolen money to meet his father (William Forsythe) who, unbeknownest to him, was shot and killed in the robbery. Forsythe's partner, played by Colm Meaney in an Oscar-calibre performance, sees Zegers run with the loot and chases after him along with Zegers' neighbor, played with equal conviction by Anne-Marie Cadieux. The film is too complex and rich for me to give a good description in a short paragraph, but trust me on this one: See "Four Days" and you won't regret it.
Siskel & Ebert & the Movies (1986)
Ebert & Roeper and the Movies is a wonderful show, each week providing new insights on the week's new films. In fact, I only see a movie if I get a recommendation (Two Thumbs Up) from Roger and Richard.
After the death of the great Gene Siskel on February 20, 1999, everyone was worried about the fate of this show. When they announced the new co-host, most people were worried that the memory of Siskel would be forgotten. Well, I'm happy to say that they are doing a great job, and I happen to like the new co-host, Richard Roeper, seeing as no one would ever live up to Siskel. He is a fine reviewer in his own right, though, and his chemistry with Ebert is almost at the level of before Gene Siskel's death. So:
Siskel and Ebert: 9.5 out of 10
Ebert & Roeper and the Movies: 7.5 out of 10
The Contender (2000)
Incredibly Powerful Thriller
"The Contender" is one of last year's very best films (along with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Gladiator, Almost Famous, Cast Away, etc.) Joan Allen is astounding as vice-presidential nominee Laine Hanson, she's quietly strong yet vulnerable, Jeff Bridges gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a fun lame-duck president that always manages to seem smarter than everyone else in the room, Gary Oldman plays the evil Shelly Runyon like someone that everyone hates but that everyone respects, and the under-rated Christian Slater shows us how good an actor he is as a sly political newcomer. The Contender has a strong story and able direction by Rod Lurie (if anyone likes this film, check out an earlier work by Mr. Lurie, "Deterrence"). It's a great film.
10 out of 10
Air Bud 3: World Pup (2000)
Not a horrible kiddie movie
I suppose that to say this is an all-out terrible movie would be unfair, but it's pretty bad. The sub-Disney storyline involves dogs playing soccer and falling in love (aw, how cute!) The acting isn't bad, but definitely could be better, especially that of young Canadian actor Kevin Zegers, who, during the whole movie, looks embarrassed, like he doesn't even want to be there. Anyway, kids will love it, but parents beware!
Cast Away (2000)
Best Movie of the Year!
I just came back from "Cast Away" at the theater, & I was shocked out of my mind. What I thought could have been an interesting diversion at the movies turned out to be a powerful, emotional, hilarious and fun holiday movie. The simple story, about a man's adventures stranded on a desert island, becomes an incredible drama that makes you feel for its characters. Oscars all around! Best Movie of the Year!
The Red Green Show (1991)
"The Red Green Show" is, in my opinion, one of the best Canadian comedies ever (definitely one of the best that CBC ever made). The antics of all of its characters are refreshing and hilarious each week, and the acting is just terrific. Even after the departure of the inimitable Patrick McKenna as Harold Green after last season, the show is still great. Both Canadians AND Americans (who can see it on their PBS) can enjoy this show. Canadians: It's on Fridays at 8:30pm on CBC (times may be different in different time zones)
Cold Squad (1998)
Gripping Police Drama
"Cold Squad" scores with its engaging plotlines, terrific acting (especially Julie Stewart as Sgt. McCormick), and taut direction. Hats off to CTV and the show's creators for creating and airing such a terrific Canadian police drama. For all of you Canadians who are disappointed with the quality of Canadian television series, and for TV viewers all over the world who want a good drama and are capable of receiving a Canadian show, this is for you. It's now on Saturdays at 9pm EST on CTV, so watch it! It's great!