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American Girl (2002)
I enjoyed this movie. Quite a bit, actually.
Jena Malone is a great actress, and like another reviewer said, she's destined for truly great things. I think this film really showed that off. She's got a great talent that's barely been tapped, and I know that we'll be seeing her in other movies in the near future. If she's able to make a smooth transition into adult roles, I can see her as a leading lady in the not-too-distant future.
The story about a teenage girl traveling to visit her father in prison for the annual picnic seems boring and uninteresting, but a great supporting cast and excellent direction makes it well worth watching.
If you like indie films, this is one to check out.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
I went to see this movie this afternoon and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. "Napoleon Dynamite", is, well, dynamite.
Jon Heder as the titular character is hilarious. He's a classic geek, living with his llama obsessed, dune-buggy riding grandmother and his brother with grand delusions of cage fighting...and his creepy uncle Rico who sells Tupperware and peddles breast enhancement cream.
Tina Majorino, who I haven't seen in a movie since the completely forgettable big-budget flop "Waterworld" is wonderful as the adorable Deb who sells keychains and does glamour photos.
"Napoleon Dynamite" is a fun movie, down from its amusing credits to his big scene towards the end. All in all, ****1/2 stars out of *****.
The Straight Story (1999)
THIS was directed by David Lynch?!
"The Straight Story" is a truly beautiful movie about an elderly man named Alvin Straight, who rides his lawnmower across the country to visit his estranged, dying brother. But that's just the basic synapsis...this movie is about so much more than that. This was Richard's Farnworth's last role before he died, and it's definitely one that he will be remembered for. He's a stubborn old man, not unlike a lot of the old men that you and I probably know.
"The Straight Story" is a movie that everyone should watch at least once in their lives. It will reach down and touch some part of you, at least if you have a heart, it will.
I love this show!
I started watching this mid-season of this year. I actually wasn't planning on watching it, but I had seen a commercial for it and thought it looked funny (and also was planning on watching "Grounded For Life", which follows it). I LOVED IT! The acting is great. I've seen Reba act in "Tremors" and watched her in "Is There Life Out There" a few years ago, but I had no idea that she could be this funny! I love this show and I will definitely keep watching it. The acting is hilarious, the writing is undescribably funny, and the cast is terrific. I love Melissa Peterman as Barbara Jean...I'd like to see a LOT more of her too. All in all, I give "Reba" 7 out of 10 stars.
The Master of Disguise (2002)
Mildly amusing but not a must-see on ANY level
I just watched "The Master Of Disguise" last night. Other than being completely and utterly ridiculous, it did give Dana Carvey a chance to do what he does best, dress in silly costumes and talk in funny voices. Otherwise I thought it was a waste of time. There were some funny parts...Brent Spiner's bad guy was amusing, and Jennifer Esposito as Pistachio's sexy right-hand girl. Otherwise it was a waste of an hour and a half. Got kids? They might enjoy it. Otherwise, rent something worthwhile (I recommend "The Banger Sisters") for yourself.
Nothing But Trouble (1991)
Not the worst movie ever, but pretty damn close.....
Last night, I watched the worst movie that I had ever seen. "Nothing But Trouble" is TERRIBLE. I can't believe that my husband talked me into watching it with him. You'd think that with Demi Moore, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and John Candy it would be at least kind of funny. It's not only not funny, it's a waste of an hour and a half. I was hoping that there would be at least some element of camp to it, but nothing. Another reviewer said that it was the worst movie of all time. I've seen some that are worse, but not much. Maybe it'll grow on me. But I doubt it. All in all, two out of ten.
I just watched this for the first time last night, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.
Steve Martin is a dentist whose life seems to be perfect - granted, he's getting sick & tired of dealing with his screw-up brother Harlan (Elias Koteas) but otherwise, his life's great. He has a beautiful fiancee (Laura Dern, who is super), a successful dental practice and then...
In walks Susan Ivey (Helena Bonham Carter) and the good doctor's life is turned completely upside down. He's pulled into a seamy underworld of illegal drugs, illicit sex, and running from the law.
Laura Dern is great as Jean...the scene where she finally snaps and starts shouting that she's tired of being a codependent is her defining moment in the film. This isn't Steve Martin's best work, but it's definitely not his worst. All in all, I give "Novocaine" ****** out of 10.
White Oleander (2002)
Powerful, but doesn't do the novel justice
I bought this DVD yesterday and watched it the same night. As others have said, I don't think that the screenplay did the novel of the same name (by Janet Fitch) justice.
"White Oleander" is probably one of my favorite novels and I've read it many, many times. The main flaw that I saw in the movie was the absence of Marvel Turlock, another foster mother from the book. Why was Marvel left out? Did the screenwriter think that seeing the way Marvel treated Astrid was going to make the film harder to watch? Another character that was central to the novel was Olivia Johnstone, Marvel's neighbor. In the novel Marvel is a racist and calls Olivia some horrible racist names, not to mention calling her a 'whore'. Sometimes, harder is better. Leaving this part of the novel out of the movie was unacceptable. Some other things that irked me were the changing of Ingrid into an artist instead of a poet - why was that done? It was stupid and unecessary. And why in the name of God was the name of Noah Wyle's character changed from Ron to Mark? If you're going to write a screenplay based on a novel, at least do it justice.
Granted, "White Oleander" is not a bad movie. The character of Starr is played very well by Robin Wright Penn, who is a superb actress. The reviewer who complained about the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as Ingrid, I have to say that I disagree with you on that point. In the novel Ingrid is described as being beautiful, almost ethereal. Michelle Pfeiffer fits the bill perfectly. No one else could have portrayed the selfish Ingrid Magnusson as well as Pfeiffer did. I feel very strongly about that.
As I've said before, this isn't a bad movie. Read the book too, and give yourself a chance to see how that movie should have been made. And see if you agree with me.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
The way a REAL horror movie should be
I watched this on "Bravo" last week after wanting to see it for years, and I have to say that I was very impressed. The acting is wonderful - Mia Farrow is superb as the terrified Rosemary, Sidney Blackmer and Ruth Gordon are wonderful as the enjoyably evil (or is it evilly enjoyable?) Roman and Minnie Castevet.
"Rosemary's Baby" is, like I said, the way that a real horror movie should be. There's a story, a plot, and not a bunch of blood and gore, along with a big-breasted girl who can't act running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. The movie grabs you in, and it doesn't let you go until the end.
Rosemary Woodhouse is fragile. She's a scared young woman who's not sure of what's going on inside her. She describes the early stages of her pregnancy as 'feeling like there's a wire inside her that's tightening'. Minnie, the sweet old lady across the hall is nurturing and maternal, bringing Rosemary an herb-spiked drink every day. She's seeing the best OB/GYN in New York, the kindly old Jewish doctor. But things aren't right...
This is a wonderfully delicious horror movie, a pleasure to watch. Just don't watch it when you're pregnant...because who knows what you'll be giving birth to?
The Prince of Tides (1991)
"The Prince of Tides" is a fair adaption of the much better book by Pat Conroy.
The acting in the movie is very good, including an excellent performance by Nick Nolte, one of my favorite actors. He brings a depth and a warmth to Tom Wingo that not many other actors could have done.
One of the main problems that I had with the movie was that it varied a little too much from the book, which I love. The whole scenario with Renata Halpern, for starters, and the way that they left out what really happened to the men from Callanwolde. Also, Amos & Tolitha Wingo (Grandpa & Grandma Wingo) weren't part of the movie whereas they were important parts of the book, such as the black widow scene.
All in all, I like "The Prince of Tides". It's a fair adaptation of a wonderful book. But if you really want to do yourself a favor, read the book first.
Remember Me (1995)
A Fair Adaptation of the Book of the Same Name...
"Remember Me", which is based off of Mary Higgins Clark's book of the same name, is a pretty good made-for-tv-movie. The story of a young mother who is suffering from PTSD related to the death of her young son, which she blames herself for. The main character, Menley, and her husband, stay in a wonderful old house on the Eastern Seaboard, where her husband grew up. Strange things begin to happen in the house - and Menley begins to doubt her sanity, which is dangerous, especially since she is alone most of the time with her baby daughter Hannah. "Remember Me" is a good movie, one of the better made-for-tv adaptations. I enjoyed this movie. If you are a fan of Mary Higgins Clark's novels, watch this movie.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
What's with all the negative reviews?
I can't believe the number of negative reviews here. Granted, this isn't the best movie of all time, but it's not bad at all. I just watched this last night at a friend's house, and I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite characters was Dolph Lungren's street preacher, a role almost tailor-made for him to play. Keanu Reeves has more data in his cyberpunk head than he can handle, and he needs to get it out of his system before it fries him for good. Dina Meyer, now playing the paralyzed Batgirl on the WB series 'Birds of Prey' does a good job as the sexy Jane. "Johnny Mnemonic" is the ultimate cyberpunk/Shadowrun movie. If you're interested in cyberpunk, this is what to watch in order to introduce yourself into that culture.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Truly wonderful and beautifully animated
A good friend of mine and my husband's treated us to "Treasure Planet" on Wednesday, and I must say that it was an absolutely fabulous movie. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt does the voice of young Jim Hawkins, one of the most attractive cartoon characters I've seen lately. Everyone knows the plot, so I won't drag you down with trite details. My favorite character in the movie was Morph, an adorable little pink blob not unlike the "Flubber" from the Robin Williams film of the same name from '97. But I must say that my absolute favorite part of the movie was the female feline captain of the ship - Captain Amelia, voiced wonderfully by Emma Thompson. What I liked the best about Captain Amelia was that she was a cat - and that there was a woman in charge of the ship. She was strong, independent, and quite simply a excellent role model for girls watching the movie. David Hyde-Pierce plays Dr. Doppler the same way he plays Niles from "Frasier", with an irresistable charm and fussiness that is totally charming. I give "Treasure Planet" a five out five. An all-around great movie for anyone!
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
Amazing piece of cinema
I saw "The Sweet Hereafter" on Bravo a year or so ago. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it at first, but after about ten minutes I was enthralled. I just can't say enough wonderful things about it. This movie simply bowled me over. In fact, even reading some of the other reviews about this movie made me feel the same way the movie did - and that's something I just can't quite put into words.
A Dangerous Woman (1993)
Debra Winger is marvelous
This is a good movie - not as good as the book, but still a very good movie.
Debra Winger plays Martha Horgan, a mentally disabled young woman who lives with her beautiful Aunt Frances (the always ethereal Barbara Hershey). Martha works at a dry cleaning shop, where she is framed for stealing money by the sleazy Getso (David Strathairn). Getso is the boyfriend of Martha's best (and only) friend Birdie, played by Chloe Webb. Martha sets out to prove her innocence. This is furthermore complicated by Gabriel Byrne's sexy handyman, who Martha falls in love with.
"A Dangerous Woman" is believable and the acting is wonderful. Not as good as the book, but still a very good movie.
Little Voice (1998)
I watched this with my mother a few months before I got married. I was on one of my indie movie kicks, so the two of us loaded up on popcorn and ice cream, sat on the couch and watched this movie. I couldn't get over how wonderful the acting was. Especially Jane Horrocks as LV. Her impersonations of singers like Judy Garland were phenomenal! I haven't seen this movie since then, but I found it to be a wonderful film and a great one to watch with a friend.
Grumpier Old Men (1995)
Funnier than the first!
This movie is downright hilarious with tons of good one-liners. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon (may they both rest in peace) are two of the funniest actors in history. No one else could have played Max & John. Sophia Loren is still one of the most beautiful women in movie history! One of the funniest scenes is when she says "Holy moly" after being kissed by Max. Watch this movie. You will enjoy it, if you have a sense of humor!
Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)
A Great Film!
Every time this movie airs on Bravo, I make a point of being able to watch it. I love Natasha Lyonne's acting and she plays Vivian wonderfully. The characters are all hilarious - Alan Arkin as Vivian's father, Kevin Corrigan as the pot-smoking Elliot...I just really think this is a great film. Watch and enjoy!
The Fighting Fitzgeralds (2001)
One More Great Show Gone from the Airwaves
I miss this show - it was a lot of fun and the acting was great. It was also fun to see Connie Britton playing a completely different character from Spin City's Nikki. The role of the father was tailor-made for Brian Dennehy, who now plays a similar character as Finch's dad on "Just Shoot Me". If you're lucky enough to have seen this show, mourn its loss along with me!
Just Shoot Me! (1997)
Dennis Finch RULES!
"Just Shoot Me" is one of my favorite TV shows, and I don't miss an episode.
My favorite characters are Nina, a shallow former fashion model, played by Wendie Malick, along with Kevin, the sexiest dorky guy on TV, and Dennis Finch, played by David Spade with the aplomb he brings to every role.
Laura San Giacomo (sp?) plays Maya, who to sum her character up, is Mary Richards from the Mary Tyler Moore show working for Hugh Hefner. And in this case, Hugh Hefner is Maya's father, Jack Gallo. A sexiest man who married a high school classmate of Maya's, Jack Gallo is the head of "Blush" magazine - basically "Cosmo" for TV.
This is a great, funny show that isn't too complicated to follow. The characters are well-drawn and realistic, and the acting is terrific. "Just Shoot Me" is one of the best shows on TV to date.
Van Wilder (2002)
Dirty? You bet!
"National Lampoon's Van Wilder" is the best movie I've seen all day. It's also the only movie I've seen all day, but on with my review.
Ryan Reynolds from the defunct "Two Guys and A Girl" plays Van Wilder, a normal run-of-the-mill college student who's majoring in "leisure studies" - except he's been at Coolidge College for seven years. Reynolds does a great job as Van, who is absolutely hilarious and steals every scene that he's in.
If you're easily offended, don't watch this movie, and don't waste our time complaining about how the jokes involving dogs and eclairs made you sick, because we don't want to hear it. Has a college movie without dirty jokes ever been made? With the exception of "With Honors", which I really liked, I can't think of one.
Tara Reid plays Gwen Pearson. She's a great actress, and I've really enjoyed the few movies I've seen her in - "Dr. T and the Women," "American Pie", "The Big Lebowski", etc.
To say much more would be to ruin the plot - so that's it - and as my final comment, DO NOT RENT THIS MOVIE if you are expecting a great piece of cinematic art!
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Yay! I'm a llama again - oh, wait...
"The Emperor's New Groove" is the absolute best Disney movie to come out of the last ten years. One of my favorite things about this movie was the way that it felt like a really old Warner Brothers cartoon. Some of the cases in point are when Yzma is trying to come up with ways to kill off Kuzco. Kronk's conscience is also thoroughly enjoyable, as Kronk himself. "Look at him, with his little sissy stringy thing..."
"Aaah... How shall I do it? Oh, I know... I'll turn him into a flea. A harmless, little flea. And then, I'll put that flea in a box. And then I'll put that box inside of another box. And then I'll mail that box to myself. And when it arrives, (laughs) I'll smash it with a hammer! It's brilliant, brilliant! Brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say!"
The animation style is really unusual for Disney too - reminescent of, dare I say, the Flintstones. There are a lot of sharp angles in the characters. Kuzco as the llama is not a perfectly drawn llama, more of a whimsical charicature of a llama. Which goes along with the whole tongue in cheek feel of the movie.
"I was turned into a cow. Can I go home?" "All right, you're excused. Anyone else?" "No, we're good."
There are so many memorable scenes in this movie I can't even begin to tell you anymore of them. Just do yourself a favor and watch this hysterical movie alone, with your kids, whatever. But just watch it. I promise you that you will not be sorry!
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
Beautiful Animated Fable
This has been on my top-ten list of favorite animated movies since I was at least five years old, along with "Sleeping Beauty", "The Last Unicorn", "Lady and the Tramp" and "American Tail", to start.
The first person who reviewed this marvelous film was completely accurate. Animation is not only for children. This movie is one of the few that can be thoroughly enjoyed by adults and children as well. You've gotta love Jeremy, the crow - "Gotta get the sparkly, Miz Briz! Gotta get the sparkly!" - Justin - "Well, that's a refreshing change, Jenner, usually you're screaming about us" and Auntie Shrew - "Prepare to move your very large and very odd family!" The sad part is, that like others have mentioned, almost all animated movies made within perhaps the last 50 years or so, have had sequels. Lady and the Tramp 2, Cinderella 2, and don't even get me started on the whole "Land Before Time" franchise. My husband has an idea for the next "LBT" movie. It gets dark, you hear some screaming from the annoyingly cute baby dinosaurs (even that bitch Sarah) and then the credits roll. Anyway, on with my review.
This movie is a simply stupendous piece of cinema. That probably sounds presumptuous, but I don't really care. The characters are brought to life not only by Don Bluth's beautiful animation, but by the wonderful voices of the actors portraying the characters. Did Wil Wheaton get some inspiration for Wesley Crusher from doing the voice of Martin? They're both brats, you know. But in an animated movie, characters don't randomly burst into song. We'll leave that to Disney. If you have seen this movie and didn't love it...well, what's WRONG with you?
Terms of Endearment (1983)
The Ultimate Chick Flick
I could watch "Terms of Endearment" every day and always cry at the end without fail. The story of a fiercely protective and clingy mother, Aurora Greenway, played beautifully by Shirley MacLaine, and her daughter Emma, is one of the best movies to come out of the 80's. Jack Nicholson is terrific as Garrett, the astronaut, and other memorable performances come from Danny DeVito, as Vernon, and John Lithgow, as Sam. Jeff Daniels plays Flap, Emma's unfaitful husband. If you want a good cry or a movie to watch late at night when you're by yourself, "Terms of Endearment" is that movie. Make yourself a big bowl of popcorn and curl up on the couch with a box of Kleenex, because I promise you, you're going to need them.
The World According to Garp (1982)
You're the bastard son of Jenny Fields!
************SPOILERS AHEAD**************** "The World According to Garp", one of the first movies I ever saw Robin Williams playing a dramatic role in, is on the list of my top five favorite movies of all time - it grabs you and wraps you in from the beginning credits of "When I'm 64" to the closing scene of Garp's death in a helicopter. Robin Williams plays T.S. Garp, the son of a feminist nurse (Glenn Close) and a ball turret gunner named Garp. In the words of Jenny's father, played by Hume Cronyn, "Is that the bastard's first name or last name?" Just Garp. Anyway, Garp grows up in a boy's school where his mother, Jenny, is the nurse. He wants to wrestle, she insists of basketball. Garp wins and later falls in love with the daughter of the wrestling coach, with whom he has three children. Tragedy strikes Garp and Helen when their son Walt is impaled by an uncovered gear shift in Helen's VW Bug. Their little family, then consisting of Garp, Helen, and older son Duncan, visit Jenny at Dog's Head Harbor for some much needed R&R. To say much more would be to completely ruin this wonderful film, so that's where I'll end. "The World According to Garp" is a stupendous, wonderful movie. Enjoy.