6 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Evita (1996)
Lovely musical capturing the essence of the controversial figure
18 October 2011
This is an epic musical in every sense of the word: stirring music, compelling visuals, an energetic pace. Pretty costumes, lovely scenery, and yes, some fluff. Of course, what else would you expect from such an acclaimed musical?

In case you're not sure what to expect, it begins a little silly but transforms into a stirring drama that propels you through the turbulent history that the story attempts to capture (but, yes, largely glosses over and/or flies through) and the woman at the center of it all. A Broadway musical in every sense of the word.

The acting is superb. I was very moved by Madonna's performance. Her voice was stronger than I expected and melted well into the overall story. Why hasn't she done any other movies of this caliber since? Of course, I can't imagine anyone else in the role and perhaps she could never play another role quite as perfectly as she did in this.

As for the political, historical side that the story revolves around... well, the controversial nature of it must explain why this movie has such a low rating on IMDb. Don't expect an in-depth history lesson or necessarily a flawless portrayal of the controversial figure. Even historians don't exactly know what to make of her and unbiased resources on her are rare if non-existent. If you are looking for a completely accurate history of the woman, however, I wouldn't exactly expect anyone to turn to a musical for a flawless history lesson.

This movie was released over a decade and a half ago... but I think it stands the test of time very well. A good one to dust off and thoroughly enjoy!
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Living with Fran (2005–2007)
Not flawless, but worth watching for a few laughs and Fran
21 September 2005
I watched this show because like many other reviewers on here I am a Fran Drescher/ "The Nanny" fan. Generally I'm pleased with the show, mostly because it's better than most sitcoms that have been on TV the past few years. It could definitely be better, however. I am a bit disappointed with the writing because there doesn't seem to be any real storyline that threads through all of the episodes other than Fran has a hot younger boyfriend. I am also not a big fan of the cast, other than Fran. Fran is as fun to watch as ever. Her character on this show is a bit toned-down compared to the intensity of Fran Fine on "The Nanny," but she still is great at the comedy and overall is a lot of fun to watch. The rest of the cast doesn't really have a great dynamic. I find that I'm just not very interested in their characters. The show could also probably use a few more reoccurring cast members with stories of their own. Fran's daughter on the show, Allison, drives me insane. I know it's supposed to be a comedy but I just can't find daughters who are irritating and rude to be very funny. It would have been better if there had been an adult character for Fran to 'clash' with. Fran's on-show boyfriend, Riley, is slowly growing on me. He didn't seem to have a lot of personality at first but after a few episodes he's started to evolve into a more likable character. However, he's too "perfect" especially for a 20-something-year-old. They need to give him a few character flaws other than his age (if you could even call that a flaw). Finally, the cast member I do enjoy is Fran's son on the show, Josh. I like how he adds a light, humorous touch to the situations on the show, although the writers need to give him a bit more of a storyline to give him some life beyond making jokes about how disturbing it is to live with his mom's younger boyfriend. Finally, having Charles Shaughnessy guest star as Fran's ex husband Ted was brilliant. It was so funny to see him in a role that is so opposite of his role as Maxwell Sheffield in "The Nanny" and added a fun dynamic to the show. Overall, it's worth watching the show. I find myself laughing at several of the jokes throughout the episodes, which is much more than I can say about any other sitcom I've watched recently. (Other than "The Nanny" reruns, of course!) I think "Living With Fran" could be quite successful if they tweak it a bit by strengthening the cast of characters and story lines of the show. At any rate, I'll still be watching it because bottom line is that Fran Drescher is truly fun to watch and without her the show wouldn't have a prayer of making it.
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What this girl likes
11 February 2005
Okay, I love this movie. It's sweet, it's simple, it's cute, and fun. It's clever and well put together. The scenery is great (what's not to love about London)? And Firth and Bynes were adorable. Colin Firth is great no matter what movie he's in, but Amanda Bynes (I've been a fan of hers since she was on Nickelodeon) was fun to watch and a perfect fit for the role of fun-loving Daphne. The rest of the cast was good as well, I loved the jokes that were thrown in and the silly/cute subplots going on (Peach and Pear). I appreciated that this movie didn't take itself too seriously, yet was certainly not all fluff or nonsense, either. I loved how this movie primarily dealt with a father-daughter relationship (so refreshing from other so-called teen movies that often only deal with a teenage romance) and I also loved how the main character, Daphne, was not angry or angsty, she was refreshingly fun and optimistic. Overall this is a good, clean fun movie that can be appreciated by all ages and audiences.
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An under-appreciated movie
26 November 2004
I absolutely adore this movie. So, it might not have won an Oscar and it may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but then again, it didn't try to be, either. "The Prince and Me" is everything a good movie should be. It's cute, funny, easy to watch, enjoyable, it doesn't resort to swearing, violence, or sex, and it's not pompous, presumptuous, or didactic. It IS happy, uplifting, creative, funny, cute, modern, and overall completely enjoyable. I think it's silly that this movie is called "a Cinderella story" by many. Just because a girl (unknowingly) meets a European Prince doesn't mean the girl's going to be Cinderella. In fact, the main character, Paige, is a modern, ambitious, typical middle-class American college girl with dreams of being a doctor. She's a hard worker and we get the impression she's never had a serious relationship because she doesn't want to get "distracted" like her friends, who all seem to be falling in love and getting married. Paige is obviously the focused, studious one in her group of friends. Meanwhile, her life couldn't be much more different than the life of the young Danish Prince Edward (who is fictional, by the way; this movie doesn't pretend to be a documentary). The playboy Prince is immature and unfocused and resistant to his royal destiny, preferring to race cars in the streets of Copenhagen and make the headlines of tabloids. In the hopes of finding a fun, carefree life with crazy college girls in America, he decides to be an exchange student in Wisconsin at the university that Paige also happens to attend. The story unfolds from here, as Paige learns that chemistry isn't just something that you learn in a classroom, and as Prince Edward learns the meaning of hard work, responsibility, and how to be an ordinary college student with a personal egg poacher. Ultimately they both learn the meaning of true love. However, don't expect a sugary sweet fairy tale story: while it is sweet, the story has many modern twists and plenty of humour thrown in for good measure (Scotty the roommate and Soren the butler/caretaker are, quite simply, hilarious). Overall, this is a smart movie, well thought out, well planned, and completely enjoyable. I loved how this movie was a college student romance. Too often with romance movies we're left with are either 20-something urbanite stories or silly high school romances. I loved the one-liners, irony, surprises, and humour in this movie and I highly recommend it as a perfect Friday night movie rental. Don't get tripped up in the irrelevant details (apparently it was a really warm Thanksgiving in Wisconsin, and yeah, the Danish prince has impeccable English, and the technicalities of the Danish government aren't exactly followed to a "t")... but this is a movie to be enjoyed and not overly analyzed. It strikes a perfect balance between just being realistic enough with being a fun, modern, sweet, relatively carefree romance.
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Chicago (2002)
Amazing, incredible, spectacular, jazzy
11 January 2003
WHOA! What an amazing experience! Can anyone spell Oscar? Chicago is an incredible movie. It certainly was way more than I expected... this film is musical-lover's heaven. Even if you're not the biggest fan of musicals, you should still give this film a try- it has action, drama, and even a bit of comedy. The audience seemed to love every moment of it, clapping and laughing during several parts. No wonder why- this film is clever and powerful and beautifully done. The power of Chicago translated beautifully from the theatre to the Silver Screen. At several points in the movie I felt as though I was sitting in the front row of a theatre watching the actors on stage. The visuals and cinematography was incredible, and each musical number smoothly blending with the story. I was completely blown away by the cast, especially Catherine Zeta Jones and Richard Gere. They were absolutely incredible and such a pleasure to watch on screen. Catherine totally has that whole theatre, dramatic acting quality about her and I hope to see her in more powerful roles and singing and dancing herself away in future films. She was definitely the brightest talent in this film, and though she was one of the major roles it was still too bad that she didn't have more screen time. Renee Zellweiger wasn't bad. She's not really my favourite actress but I definitely can't say anything bad about her in this film. She fit her role nicely, and though she doesn't have nearly as powerful of a voice as Catherine nor does she seem quite as comfortable dancing on stage, she was still rather impressive. I have to also note that Queen Latifah was fantastic! She managed to make her character seem funny, loveable, selfish, and rotten all at the same time. She also proved herself quite well during her musical number. Overall, this film is absolutely amazing. I imagine it will be a major Oscar contender. Don't miss out... go see it! A definite 10/10.
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Potter Fans Will Be Pleased: for the most part it's better than the first
10 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Note: I tried hard to not include any spoilers in this post so if you haven't seen the movie yet I think you'll be ok reading this message, although if you want to know absolutely nothing about the movie before you see it maybe it's best that you don't read this post! Thanks!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second movie in the series of at least three to be made based on the books by JK Rowling, is for the most part far better than the first film, "Harry Potter and the Philosophers/Sorcerers Stone."

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) have become more comfortable in their roles. They are obviously starting to relate to their characters more easily. This definitely makes the film more enjoyable and more enthralling. Rupert (Ron) is definitely the best of the 3 at playing his part. He certainly has become Ron. Several new characters were added, including Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), who is incredibly convincing at his part, Dobby the House-Elf, who was CG'd so well that he really came alive on screen, there really was no way that I could tell he was computer animated, and also Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson), the ghost of the girl's bathroom who was EXACTLY as I imagined her in the book.

The story was much more exciting because hardly any time was wasted on explaining who the characters were, etc. It moved at a very, very rapid pace- the 2 1/2 hours went by quickly! I think most of the people in the theatre also got really into the movie- hardly anyone got up, moved around, etc., even though the theatre was mostly full of young children. It was also much funnier than the first film... although I do have a few critiques. There was a lot more drama and violence and the "scary" parts, such as the spiders in the Forbidden Forest and the basilisk in the Chamber, were almost overkill. I thought maybe these "scary" scenes were a little too violent, a little too dragged out, and made the film seem even a bit darker than the book. It was, however, very powerful and got the message across that as cute and as happy as Hogwarts is there is definitely a dark side. And maybe I have really underestimated how "dark" the books actually were intended to be.

Anyways, I am very pleased... it was kind of disappointing that my favourite parts of the book- the Deathday party and Valentines Day weren't included- but I understand that the movie would have likely been 5-10 hours if they had included everything from the book! Although I definitely wouldn't complain if the film had been a bit longer. 3 hours would have been ok with me!

I think my favourite part was the Burrow (the Weasley's home)- definitely very, very cute and whimsical and homey. The Weasley family were very well portrayed in the movie. I had been looking forward to seeing the filmmakers' interpretation of their residence. Unfortunately Oliver and James (Fred and George) didn't have very big roles. Neither did Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley) which was unfortunate because he was brilliant as Mr. Weasley. Of course everyone except for the "trio" had rather small roles in this movie because as I said the story was definitely rushed along a bit and therefore a lot of the wonderful dialogue from the books was lost, even more so than in the previous film.

Chamber of Secrets will please all of those who are die-hard Harry Potter fans. Of course, you cannot expect the film to live up to the novels by JK Rowling- they are what hold the true magic of Harry Potter. Both this film and the first are just a means of interpreting the books, not to replace them altogether. Do not go to this movie if you have not yet read the book- trust me, you will probably not enjoy it or appreciate it. Also, do not go to this movie and expect it to take the next Best Picture Oscar award home. However, just like the books audiences of all ages will be able to appreciate this film. Parents who have read and enjoyed the books with their kids should really have a great time watching the movie. In fact, it was the adults who were laughing and really immersing themselves in the show, while the children in the theatre were mostly just sitting in their seats, quietly spellbound. Pre-teen girls seemed to enjoy Dan and Rupert. All in all, considering the fact that I don't think it would really be possible for anyone to do a better interpretation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the silver screen, I give it a 9.5/10.
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