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The Princess Diaries (2001)
Classic "ugly duckling" story, only this one is devoid of any substance.
Awkward teenage girl discovers an amazing secret about herself, is given makeover to reveal that underneath those glasses she's devastatingly beautiful, and gets the guy. Is it just me or have I seen this movie not once, not twice, but at least a thousand times in my mere 16 years of life?
This giant mistake of a film revolves around the film's protagonist, Mia Thermapolis (Anne Hathaway) whose entire existence depends on remaining invisible. With an exception of almost vomiting on an audience full of not so innocent spectators one can say that she's going a bang up job of it. That is until her long lost grandmother (Julie Andrews) pops up and reveals that Mia's father was the prince of a the nonexistent country of Genovia. For the simple purpose of there being a movie, Mia's father completely ignored the necessity of procreation to secure the family blood line and only had one daughter. And this makes Mia.get ready.princess of Genovia!
It turns out that her mother knew all along (how could she not), and thus Mia has a chance to throw a hissy fit. As you know, no movie of this caliber is complete without at least one of those. Ms. Thermapolis and Mia's father divorced when Mia was very young, and her mother thought it would be in her best interests to lead a normal life. You know, one where she lives in a firehouse, slides down a pole to get to the first floor, and occasionally throws darts at large boards covered in balloons filled with paint.
Mia's not too keen on being a princess, but she and her mother decide that Mia will test out the waters before she makes any major decisions. In turn, Mia finds herself taking lessons in princess etiquette, and finally getting some of that good old movie makeover magic that's the basis for the rest of the film. Enter the stereotypically flamboyant man to do the job. After gasping at just how bad Mia supposedly looks, he straightens her curly hair, ditches her glasses for contacts, tweezes her eyebrows into arched oblivion, and smothers her in makeup. In the end she doesn't look any prettier, just a lot less distinct.
The rest of the movie is just cotton candy flavored filler whose sole purpose is to make up the remaining 90 minutes of the film. Mia falls out of her chair. Mia can't put on pantyhose. The chauffer who seems to do everything except drive the limo gives Mia pep talk after pep talk Lana (Mandy Moore) terrorized the quiet kid with the oddly colored hair and Mia sticks up for him by dropping ice cream on her cheerleading uniform because as you know, all problems in Disney movies can be solved with a food fight.
Will Mia end up with the blonde, boy hand pinup (Erik Von Detten) that everyone but she can see through from the beginning of the movie? Or will she end up with the nice older brother (Robert Schwartzman) of her best friend Lily (Heather Matarazzo) whose attraction to her is made painfully obvious? Will the popular kids all of the sudden want to become her best friends only to stab her in the back, while her true friends rein supreme? Will Mia accept the crown at the end of the movie? If you don't know the answers to these questions before you even start watching the movie you were either born and are currently living under a very large rock, or one of the people who keep writing screenplays for movies like The Princess Diaries in hopes of enticing preadolescent girls across the globe.
Each character's actions are as hackneyed and predictable as the movie being viewed by the unsuspecting public. This fact alone may be the reason why not actor in this movie really shined, though potential is definitely evident. Anne Hathaway is cute and giddy without crossing the Meg Ryan line. I would have liked to see her make her on screen debut in a movie that doesn't involve her having to run into things and fall down for laughs. Julie Andrews unfortunately doesn't fair as well. I half expected her to burst into song or spin around on a hill like an escaped mental patient. At least it would have given her character some life.
Mandy Moore also makes her feature film debut playing the token nemesis of any hard working, ridiculed teenage girl; the not-so-nice cheerleader with the jock boyfriend, entourage of followers who want to be just like her, and no motive in sight. And no surprise to us, there's a little cheesy singing performance on the beach thrown in for no reason other than no singer/actress can be in a movie without showing off her pipes.
On the plus side there is a nice message about the meaning of true friendship and the rewards of remaining true to yourself. It will sit very well with the demographic audience of 12 and under. That audience will most likely enjoy The Princess Diaries. Too bad I can't say the same thing for myself.
With a "G" rating and the word "princess" in the title, I have to ask myself, what was I really expecting?
Sweet November (2001)
Makes me ashamed to be a female
The only reason that the machine keeps spitting out movies like this is because little delicate woman flock in herds to go see them. There is a cute little puppy and the couple somehow gets split up and they feel sympathy for fictional characters put into unimaginative situations and their unbelievable love stories.
Nelson Moss (Reeves) is a business (the only thing that I can see Keanu selling is pizzas) man who lives in a pretty apartment and wears nice clothes. You already know that he's miserable because no businessman in a love story can be happy. So he thinks his life is great because he has a pretty car, but really his life is meaningless and empty.
Sarah is like a prostitute who does her work for free. The only thing that she wants in exchange for her sex (with complete strangers) is for them to come out of it happy. We know that Sarah herself is free spirited because she likes to run on the beach and save cute little puppies.
To top off the terrible script and direction, they decided to cast Keanu Reeves in a leading role. Watching Keanu try to act is like watching a car crash in slow motion. You have to hand it to Keanu though. Never have a seen an actor so closely resemble a deer in headlights. He appears to be trying very hard, but the poor thing will never get past the image that he has been provided, no matter how hard he tries. I was actually waiting for him to say `Surf's up dude!'
Charlize Theron is a perfect example of Hollywood not looking for talent. But who needs to be able to act if they have a pretty face. Lucky for her she was `acting' Keanu, who made her look like an Academy Award winning actress. Theron was completely miscast in her role because she comes off as being so inhibited, but she's playing a free spirit.
The ONLY thing that I enjoyed about this movie was Jason Issac's performance. He was so incredibly cute and funny as Chaz that I instantly fell in love with him. I would much rather have watched Jason standing in front of a white screen with his hands in his pockets. When he said `aye' to Keanu while standing in the doorway I just kind of melted onto the floor. The only problem that I had with his character was the fact that they pointlessly made him a transvestite. I would have no problem with this if it served a purpose other prying some cheap laughs out of ignorant people. It made it look like just because you're gay you also have to cross dress. That's not right.
The funniest moment in the movie came when Norman and Sara are having passionate sex and Norman is really into it. Close up on Sara's face and she is looking bored staring at the camera.
I figured out the end just by watching the commercials. As soon as we discover that Sara has cancer, she has to be without makeup, looking really sick (all of the sudden), and crying in just about every single scene. I had a bet going with my sister that she was going to end up with cancer and then she would die at the end. Instead we got her walking away to go make up with her family (gag) and a blindfolded Keanu walking around aimlessly (looking the same as he does when he can see). I think the reason that she didn't die at the end was so that Keanu wouldn't have to try to cry in the movie. We all know that he wouldn't be able to pull that one off.
If you've seen one love story, you've seen them all. The original `Sweet November' had to have been better than this. The two actors and the original writer must be turning in their graves right now. Do yourself a favor and buy `Love Story' or `An Affair to Remember'.
Charlie's Angels (2000)
What a shame...
After all of the hype surrounding the movie, you would think that it would be relatively decent. Well i'm sure as heck glad that I didn't actually waste my money to see this crap. All I got out of it was a bunch of T and A from some non talented little tramps.
My respect for Drew Barrymore has most definitely withered away to nothing from this movie. I never really liked Cameron Diaz or Lucy Lui. It's very difficult to stumble upon a movie in which none of the lead characters have any acting ability, but I surely chose a winner (or loser) with this film.
Sam Rockwell was very good in his role. I was actually rooting for him and only him throughout the whole movie. Luke Wilson is a pretty decent actor and fun to watch. He's so adorable that I want to pinch his cheeks and give him a balloon. Too bad I can't say the same for Tim Curry, whom I usually enjoy.
The soundtrack was awful. All of the song contained the word "Angel" in them, even though they didn't go well with the scene at all. If I saw another angel take off her helmet and swing her hair in slow motion, I would have punched the nearest person in the face. Don't forget the slow mo running scenes with everyone's everything jiggling everywhere. And those god awful matrix moves. Why does EVERYTHING have to look like The Matrix now?!
Take laughable acting, bad directing, a horrible script, slow motion hair flinging, the matrix, and TOM GREEN, and shove them into one movie, and you've got Charlie's Angels.
I guess I'm pretty much alone on this one...
Any movie with exclamation point in the title should be avoided. This is no exception. Disney's problem is that their casting is superficially based on appearances. They get people that they think will draw in a crowd or people that they think look right for the part rather than people that can do what actually needs to be done. In 'Double Teamed' they hired the two girls who because they were tall and blonde, even though they couldn't play basketball.
In this movie, none of the actors can really rollerblade and it's terribly obvious. All of the shots involving someone doing a trick of any kind, or skating down a hill are stunt doubles. Disney doesn't even try to hide it anymore.
None of the kids can really act too well. The movie is completely cheesy right down the way Christina Vadal's character will speak English and then add an "estsupido" in there just to show is that she's from Peru. It's a family movie, but whatever happened to family movies that actually had some depth and educational value?
Pay It Forward (2000)
Pay It No Mind (People Magazine)
* This comment contains major spoilers
I've already commented on this movie once before. But I watched this movie again recently and I felt as though my first comment really didn't go in depth about exactly how bad this movie is. I should have turned it off as soon as I got to that scene where Arlene smacks Trevor and instantly covers her mouth with her hands and rummages through the cupboards looking for her hidden vodka.
In my other review I said that I was looking forward to seeing the movie because Helen Hunt was such a good actress. I have no idea what I was talking about. Helen Hunt is one of the most overrated, overacting actresses in the business today. We know that she's an alcoholic because she has bleached blonde hair that never seems to be combed and a wardrobe that makes Erin Brokovich look like Princess Diana. Her appearance is so snobby to where seeing her as a trashy alcoholic is just plain ridiculous. And by the way no one's bangs should move that much when they speak.
Kevin Spacey is a marvelous actor. It's a shame that he went from his Academy Award Winning role in American Beauty' to this over dramatized piece of muck. He's the glue that held the whole movie together. He was given by far the worst lines in the movie but he managed not to chew the scenery. His performance was the only likeable one in the whole movie. This will no doubt haunt him for the rest of his life.
Haley Joel Osment is playing the same role as he does in every movie he's always a little boy who is pretty much raising his mother because she has her own problems. He is without a doubt a child acting prodigy. But after you see him cry for the 3rd time in a half an hour it just starts to get repetitive and annoying. No wonder his mom was an alcoholic. I don't drink but being around him day in and day out would make me want to hit the bottle as well. Oh and Osment gets to say his first sh*t in this movie. His mother must be so proud.
In the book, Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) was supposed to be African American. But in the movie they hired Kevin Spacey and you all know what race he is. It seems as though this was a racist decision. Whoever was in charge of casting the movie declared that when they read the script they automatically though `Kevin Spacey'. When have you EVER seen Kevin Spacey play a whiney role such as he does here? The only black character in the movie has to be stabbed by his sister, carry a gun into a hospital, steal, and speak like a complete idiot. And then there are the kids who sneak knives into school and beat up Trevor's little asthmatic friend. Of course those kids have to dress like punks and look Hispanic.
Oh and then there's Bonnie, Arlene's sponsor. The woman who plays her should stick to animation (Pepper Ann). She bursts into her house talking about how you have to call your sponsor and seems to be caught up on her not being supposed to date for a year. It's strange to me that she's worried about her dating someone who doesn't drink but she has no objections to Arlene working in 2 bars. You know from the beginning that Bonnie's only real reason of being in the film is to ask Arlene `Are you in love with this man?' So that Arlene can reply `You know what? I think I am.'
Jon Bon Jovi leaves almost as soon as he gets there. He chews up the scenery however he is not a terrible actor. He is pretty good at being a drunken fool. Is it a coincidence? I don't know
And then there's what it all boils down to: The Ending. The ending was just an excuse to make everyone cry so that their attention wasn't aimed at how bad the plot, acting, and direction was. Trevor tries to help his friend out and then he gets stabbed with a short knife in the lower right side of his abdomen. Now I'm not doctor, but as far as I know there are no valuable organs located in that region of the body. There is no reason for him to die on the operating table. Then the final scene with hundreds of cars gathering around a suburban house carrying candles and crying while a song calling Trevor an angel is playing in the background is nothing but propaganda.
I saw this movie with my mother in the theater and nearly everyone walked out of the movie crying. My mother and I were sitting there with a look of disgust on our faces. What they saw as beautiful dramatic cinema, my mother and I saw as a melodramatic bit of propaganda. I'm proud to say that not a drop fell from my eye.
This is one of those movies that prepubescent teenage girls watch at slumber parties to rid themselves of the everyday traumas of their middle school lives. Or else it's one of those movies that cynical teenagers such as myself watch with their equally as cynical best friends so that they can make fun of how terrible the movie is and feel better about themselves.
This movie has only two redeeming qualities. One is the always great Kevin Spacey. Another is a wonderful score by Thomas Newman. It is very similar to that of American Beauty, but hey who's complaining? Take my advice and go watch a blank tape. Paint your room magenta. Just don't waste valuable hours of your life watching this dreadful piece of human celluloid.
Young Americans (2000)
A good show that shouldn't have been canceled
This show was a breathe of fresh air to the dreadful WB lineup. It had it all, originality, good actors, and creativity. It's a shame that it was canceled because it was so much different from that pretentious crap that the WB plays (7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek). I don't know what the WB was thinking when the canceled it.
All of the actors actually had talent and I hope they go on to do great things. A standout was Katherine Moening as Jake. I've never seen the concept of a girl posing as a boy. This was very creative even though the reason for this was kind of lame. And then her and Hamilton's relationship was great because they had trouble of hiding it and everyone thought that they were gay.
I think the only summer show that actually survived was 90210. It's a shame that this show didn't do the same because it was actually good. 9 out of 10 stars.
My VH1 Music Awards (2001)
This awards show is was interesting from the start. The very talented and also extremely attractive host, Eric McCormack was hilarious. The opening scene where he was doing a spoof of the Elton John song "I Want Love" while burping babies and basting turkey had me laughing out loud. The performances by No Doubt, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly Furtado were very good.
There are only about 3 things that could have been better. We get the picture that the voting goes on until the moment that the winner is called. But when the winner was about to be revealed, they showed a little cursor closing the voting. It was ok the first 2 or 3 times but after that it just got annoying. Some of the jokes that the presenters told were really lame. I don't know if they were on the teleprompter or if they were ad-libbing. But if they were on the prompter, they need to adjust some of those.
The In Crowd (2000)
Rick white kids with problems
This movie could be submitted as proof of the inexistence of a merciful and loving God. The acting brings to mind the effect of a deer in headlights. The main characters couldn't even pull of the simple task of drinking water out of a cone shaped cup convincingly. I wonder how they even managed to learn their lines. The idea that your parents divorcing and your sister being the pretty popular one can lead you to insanity is an insult to my intelligence. Plenty of kids go through worse traumas and come out fine. If you're looking to see a movie with no plot, character development, horrible direction, even worse acting, but pretty faces and some brief moments of nudity
this is your movie. I give the movie a 1 out of 10. If I could give it a 0 out of 10 I would.
X-Men: Evolution (2000)
A disgrace to the original
They took a good thing and then destroyed it. I'm pretty young but I've had the privilege of watching the original x men series and this show is an insult to Stan Lee and everyone else who took part in making the original. They managed to turn the show into a teeny bopper fest.
The weird thing about the show is that it's called X. Men Evolution. But they seem to be evolving backwards because now they are all high schoolers going to a a regular high school with tons of non mutants. But they still sleep in a dorm-like building together and get free food etc.
What also makes me angry about the series is that they destroyed a lot of once great characters. Rogue is now a whinny brat who barely uses her powers. She doesn't fly anymore or say her catch phrase "suga." Her accent also seems really fake and you can only hear it some of the time.
The Beast was also a great character but now he's a big dumb fool. His color is all wrong, and he's not even smart. I remember him being some kind of genius. Spike is also a shame. Why leave out better characters like Ace and Iceman and put in hackneyed cliche characters like Spike. He's the skater type with blonde...no...yellow hair and can shoot spikes out of himself. Shawdowcat has to be the one of the worst characters.
Well, the rest of the characters are also terrible, even the once great Wolverine. I don't understand why some of the people are teachers and some of them are students. And how does evolution make them younger? Storm is one of the only good characters left, yet we barely ever get to see her. Don't waste your time watching this show.
According to Jim (2001)
Watch it for Jim
This is one of a numerous array of TV sitcoms about families involving very popular movie stars. Most of them, however, will not last. You've seen what happened to 'Bette,' 'The Geena Davis Show,' and 'What About Joan?'. Everything on the show has been done before. There's nothing special here. The only reason that I can see it staying on the air is because Jim Belushi is incredibly hilarious and the little girls that play his daughters are adorable. I personally think that Courtney Thorne-Smith was a horrible choice because she isn't funny.