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the_match_maker

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3 reviews in total 
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Pumpkin (2002)
10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
When 'separate but equal' worlds collide., 15 May 2004
7/10

Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word ‘retarded' as: 'slow or delayed in development, esp mentally.'

The movie's setup is certainly different from the typical ‘boy meets girl' formula. We've all seen the ‘nerd gets girl' bit. Well, this time it's taken to the ‘next level' if you will. The plot revolves around a stereotypical ‘prom queen' type of sorority girl falling in love with a mentally (and physically) handicapped boy, and how everything she once held dear falls apart because of it.

This is the sort of project that Christina Ricci has made a career out of doing. Namely, dark comedies. She plays against type insofar as she's considered a rather ‘edgy' actress, yet her role in this flick is that of the ‘popular girl'. A role in which is has obvious fun lampooning.

The subject matter would make one think that this would be a conventional straight drama, but it isn't, which is perhaps what elevates it above what could be typical tearjerker schlock. The film never takes itself too seriously, there's always a bit of ‘winking' involved. Take for instance when Ricci's character tries to kill herself by overdosing on Night Quill and Pepto-Bismol-only to succeed in making herself sick to her stomach.

However, while satirical, it does make good points on how the general public view and think about the mentally handicapped. How beneath the platitudes and seeming self sacrifice, most people still view them as ‘unequal' to the rest of us-people to whom mouth service is given, but true acceptance of is never a genuine consideration.

The way everyone turns on Ricci's character (her friends, her boyfriend, her parents) when it's made clear her feelings for her ‘special friend'-it's very poignant and very real (if not also very farcical). And one supposes that it's because of that blatant bias of others that make her make out scenes with said ‘special friend' so satisfying. She not only accepts him, but accepts him as a woman accepts a man. One has to admit, there's something oddly esoteric about seeing her have an implied sex scene with a ‘retard'. It sort of warms the cockles of one's heart.

‘Off beat' is the best way to quantify this film. It toes the line between full-blown farce and full on drama. Satirical yet genuine. And this is coming from a guy that usually avoids these types of flicks like the Bubonic Plague!

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Difference Between 'Low Budget' and 'No Budget'., 17 April 2004
2/10

Low-grade production values and only slightly better acting bring down an otherwise generic plot.

The bottom line: a 'magical' princess leads a group of women warriors and peasants against her evil brother who seeks to take the kingdom's throne after the death of their father.

As far as 'Fantasy' flicks go, there are three levels of production values. On the high end one has `The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Below that one has `Conan the Destroyer'. And below *that* one has this movie. The production values here make `Xena: Warrior Princess' look like `Lord of the Rings'! They're horrible. The props look as though they came from the trunk of the local community theater. The weapons are especially laughable (and who know that one could be stabbed with a sword and not bleed!).

And the acting, well, the best thing that can be said about the acting is that the thespians involved took the dialogue seriously (though I can't imagine the humiliation one must feel to have been a part of the making of this travesty). If I were to have worked on this film I don't think that I could have ever looked anyone straight in the face again.

And to make matters worse, the movie tries to 'cater' to a certain demographic with gratuitous nudity. Even the sight of two bare-chested ladies fighting in mud is not enough to recommend this flick-that's just how poorly done it was. One has seen soft-core porn with better production values!

And for nominally being a 'fantasy' film, no actual 'magic' is ever really seen.

Everything about this movie is so poorly done one can't help but wonder *how* it ever got made. A film student and two chimps could have produced something better!

There is a difference between low budget and *no* budget! Avoid this film if you can, though viewing it won't do one any long term harm. It's just bad. Not 'laughably bad', just bad. I don't think even `Mystery Science Theater' could make this one look good!

X2 (2003)
Less Character, More Movie., 31 January 2004
6/10

While there is more movie here than in the first one, there is much less of the characters involved. Instead of "X2: X-Men United", they should have titled this "The Story of Wolverine". Whereas the last movie was an ensemble piece, in this movie everyone takes a backseat to Logan. This is especially glaring in the cases of Rogue, Professor X, and Magneto. In the last movie they (along with Wolvie) were the main characters, the main focal points of the plot. In this movie everyone outside of Logan is reduced to set dressing. One gets the idea that if the actors weren't contractually obligated to return for the sequel that they wouldn't have (because the script gives them nothing to do).

In addition to that, certain plot lines are suddenly dropped while others are begun and go no further.

But don't get me wrong; this isn't a bad movie by any means. For instance, the fight scenes are better this time around, and the general story isn't bad at all, it's just that the overall feel of everything is different here.

The story is bigger than last time (the whole world is at stake), but the time devoted to characterization is smaller (Cyclops is MIA for 3/4 of the film).

It's a different balance this time around. In the first flick the story was small, the characterization was in the forefront, and the number of characters utilized was many. This time around the story is big, the characterization is in the background, and the number of characters utilized is few.

Perhaps they should spin Wolverine off into his own film series.