8 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Dying to Dance (2001 TV Movie)
An Irritating Portrayal
12 August 2001
Never mind the serious logic gaps, never mind the achingly cliche character portrayals, never mind the haphazard writing, and you might like this movie. The main character Alyssa was supposed to be endearing, the heroine who you root for to be saved,(or in this case, save herself) But instead she merely grates, and makes one wonder, are all pro ballerinas really that stupid? Her busybody mother was obviously only necessary to further propagate the illusion that ballet companies are evil monsters ready to snatch your poor, innocent, young girl from your grasp, with an ever present, biting artistic director/villain. And the cliche's! Not only does she become anorexic, bulemic, an over the counter junkie, and a pathological liar, but all in the course of a few months. It's like the writer read every horror story he could dig up about ballet and decided to see how much he could cram into two hours, (with commercials).

Believe it or not, but I am a dancer. This "uprising" or "resurgence" of anorexia and bulemia that is happening is nonexistent at all of the dance schools I have attended. In fact, the teachers are so scared to even suggest that a girl might stand a better chance a few pounds lighter, most of the dancers in my classes would be actually considered minorly overweight. I'm not saying eating disorders never occur, but not to the extent as it was portrayed in the movie.

Another annoying problem this movie had was the means-to-an-end writing style. Her on again off again boyfriend probably had all of half an hour total screen time, all in the first half. The other supporting characters were merely props, decorations to further the story. Given the right dialogue, this would have been a very intricate mind study of a psycological problem. As it is, it turns into a one woman show, and Kimberly McCullough doesn't have the chutzpah to pull it off.

To a non dancer, this movie would be a supposed "insight" into what really goes one behind closed doors at a ballet company. To a dancer, this is a very insulting movie, which portrays ballerinas as stupid and parents as pushy and ill informed. Those adjectives more correctly describe the people who got this on the air in the first place. 3/10
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Dark Angel (2000–2002)
What's the big deal???
20 July 2001
There is nothing below the surface in this obvious and shallow show. Yes the stunts are all right, and Jessica Alba sure knows how to pout. But come on, for this she got nominated for a Golden Globe???? When she talks she sounds like a handful of marbles was stuffed in her mouth, (I guess that's supposed to be sexy). And both her and Michael Weatherly's reactions are incredibly planned and fake looking. Their performances would look fine in an Acting 101 class at a community college. It's really quite a shame, because the show had incredible promise. The scenario was good and original, and the scripts aren't half bad. But the horrible casting, which was so obviously based on looks alone, just ruins the rest of the show. But I suppose it does reach a target audience, mainly twenty something guys who drool over Alba, or twelve and thirteen year old girls who giggle over Weatherly. Personally, I'd hate to say this show was the launching point of my career, (sorry Jessica)
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Can Can and opera, comedy and melodrama
3 June 2001
This film goes on a rollercoaster ride which doesn't stop until the ending credits. It opens on a young writer Christian (Ewan McGregor) who takes us on a view of how he and the famed courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) met and fell in love. Now if you don't like films that focus on love or have a rather tired plot, don't see this film. However, in spite of the almost weak dialogue at times, both Kidman and Mc Gregor so such a superb job of acting that you really do not care. The sets are absolutely amazing, and Kidman's costuming merely shows what a gorgeous creature she is.The music constantly shifts from one piece of pop music to another, from the Police's Roxanne to Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. I heard people arguing about the point of that as I left the theatre, but I don't think the songs were meant to be imbued with any deep hidden meaning here. They are just there for laughs and fun. Something that I also loved,(and others hated) was the close up, almost independent film quality that the shots had. It left you with the same sort of artistic feeling that going to Sundance might have, and was just as long (two hours). But again, if that isn't your thing.... My only beef with this film is that I felt the ending was a bit smarmy and contrived, although certainly effective. Here is where Mc Gregor and Kidman show why they are called actors, and manage to take an ending we have seen before and transform it into something that rips your heart out, and then makes you marvel at its beauty. 9/10
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South Pacific (2001 TV Movie)
Flat, incredibly flat
1 April 2001
This was the most horrible disappointing remake of a musical I have ever seen. After it ended, I stared at the television in mildly catatonic state, thinking "WHAT HAPPENED????" I thought it was not possible to ruin such a lovely musical. I was wrong. To start, most of the characters were incredibly miscast. Glenn Close was way too old for the part of Nelly, but I think her being an executive producer might have had something to do with the casting choice. Nelly Forbush is supposed to be a character we all fall in love with who has vim and vivacity, none of which were seen in Close's portrayal. Her acting also falls so radically short of her previous work. Rade Serbedzija as Emile was also too old(although he matched Close), and he sang like Pepe le Peu gargling with a mouthful of saltwater! He also repeatedly seemed to forget what accent he was supposed to have. Neither of them would be people you would spot "across a crowded room" and fall in love with. I was also extremely disappointed with Harry Connick Jr.s performance as Lieutenant Cable. His acting was well, it wasn't there, and he sang like Barry Manilow on Valium. Robert Pastorelli was also woefully miscast as Luther Billis. Instead of providing us with the comic relief this movie so desperately needed, he merely annoyed and grated on the nerves as a pathetic slob.

Also, who slaughtered the original arrangements?????? I had trouble recognizing "Younger than Springtime" as well as "Some Enchanted Evening", both of which are the most famous songs of the show! The only two numbers that survived were "There is Nothing Like a Dame" and "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right out of My Hair", merely because of the sheer number of people that were singing. How pitiful when the background saves the show.

There were a few redeeming qualities, like a simply hilarious Bloody Mary and a gorgeous Liat. And the scenery was beautiful. But come on, this is a musical. What good are real palm trees in the background, if in the foreground are choir rejects? 2 out of 10
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Extremely cool
10 March 2001
As my above summary indicates, my feelings for this film are positive,except for the ending. Like most French films I've seen, the plot goes faster and faster until the end, where you'll be left saying "That's It??????????" Anyway, Anne Parillaud plays Nikita, a drugged out criminal who is given a chance to reform and become a secret agent for the French government. The government officer who she trains under is simply known as Bob, who is beautifully played by Tcheky Kuryo. When Nikita is released after a grueling preparation, she meets and falls in love with Rico, played by Marc Duret. Their tranquil romance is soon spoiled however, when she is called into service as an assasain

There were some things that I found could have been omitted from this film, because they served no artistic purpose. Like when she gives the mouse to her computer teacher. ?????????? My only guess is that was to show how incredibly off the wall this character was and to further differentiate between her at twenty and her at twenty-three. There has also been some dispute over the graphic killing of the policeman at the beginning of the film. But a complete junkie who just saw all her friends got killed would probably do such a thing. Needless to say, if you don't like blood, you won't like this movie.

One thing I am not ambivalent about is the acting. Every single one of these actors carries their role off to a t. Kuryo completely and believably switches from the hard and stoic trainer to tender and loving when he is with Nikita. Duret plays with complete natural ease. And Parillaud shows such depth in her acting it's scary.

After that long-winded review, I don't really have anything else to say except this movie was one of the best Action flicks I have seen in a while. The acting was wonderful, and the plot was good, despite a very contrasting, subtle ending. 8.5/10. Feel free to email me with your thoughts or arguments.
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Chocolat (2000)
25 February 2001
I saw this movie for free because one of my friends won free passes. I am very glad I did not spend eight dollars to go see this movie. True, the scenery was beautiful and the actors were wonderful(if you can ignore their stilted and wavering accents). However, I felt this movie was full of anti-Christian sentiments, which disturbed me a bit. Every Christian was portrayed as being silly, shallow, selfish,(like my alliteration?) and repressed. The "Pere", Hugh O' Conor, is afraid to say boo, and hides in the town mayor's shadow(Alfred Molina), until the end when he preaches about Christ's "humanity" and "tolerance". Yes, he was very tolerant to the Pharisees and the moneylenders. The Christians of the town were also shown as needing to be rescued from their closemindedness by Binoche, finally refuting all semblance of decorum in a Mardi Gras style celebration in one of the closing scenes. The Mayor,(Molina), who is the main property owner of the town and who basically runs the church, is a pompous radical who shuts down anything that does not fit into his idea of "tranquillite" Another disturbing thing is that the heroine becomes the heroine because of her "openmindness" and "passion". Well, if those are synonyms for immorality and complete disrespect for religion, it works fine. She is an unwed mother, which was quite serious back then, and is in a pattern of love em and leave em. Her daughter Anouk, Victoire Thivisol, responds to taunting about how she has no father by saying " Yes I do, we just don't know who he is."

Don't get me wrong, this was a good movie if you are a liberal or just not Christian. The acting was excellent. I have to give this a 4/10.
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I liked it!
25 February 2001
Personally, I am not a big Drew Barrymore or Angelica Houston Fan. Who knew that if you put them together you would get great results? Barrymore was extremely likable if a bit over the top as the lead character. I was surprised she was able to transform Cinderella into someone with a bit more spunk and charm without making us hate her. Usually there is not much below the surface in a movie like this, but I found Houston's portrayal as the "wicked stepmother" extremely realistic. It gave the character some humanity without taking away the villainess thrill from her. Also, the two stepsisters were hilarious and perfectly cast. My only problem with the film was Dougray Scott as the prince. He seemed so incredibly shallow and characterless, that I found it a little hard to believe Barrymore's character would fall for him. Also, why did everyone have English accents if this was set in France?????? Aside from those details, this was a very enjoyable film. 7.5/10
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X-Men (2000)
10 December 2000
When I first saw the previews for this movie last year, I thought it was going to be another mildly entertaining Batman-like movie,with corny special effects and costumes, that would never fully make the transition from comic strip to film. Therefore, I was extremely surprised when this turned out to be both an excellent film and a visual masterpiece. Development of all the characters was done extremely well, from Rogue's first experience with her powers, to Wolverine's mysterious and haunting past. The acting was also excellent, with Australian newcomer Hugh Jackman doing an excellent portrayal of Wolverine. I found his and Rogue's emotional chemistry to be poignant, and showed a more caring side of his character. Also in the cast are such notables as Patrick Stewart,(Xavier), Halle Berry, (Storm), and Famke Janssen, (Jean Grey). The special effects are eye popping and imaginative, and include a final showdown on the top of the Statue of Liberty. The only thing that slightly varied from the comic strip, was Anna Paquin's portrayal of Rogue as a stoic, waifish teenager, instead of the voluptuous, firey bombshell. In spite of this, X-Men left almost nothing to be desired. This movie deserves a 9.9 out of 10.
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