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The Final Season (2007)
Inspiring, mostly good
In this fact-based story set in 1990, Kent Stock is the women's volleyball coach it Belle Plaine High School in Iowa. He is asked by his former baseball coach, the legendary Jim Van Scoyoc, to assist during part of the season. Norway School, with 101 students (we do see little kids in the building, so apparently it's all 12 grades), has won 19 1A state baseball championships, 12 under Van Scoyoc. Baseball is so popular in the town of 586 that fans come to practices.
Despite the long baseball tradition, in an effort to save money and give the kids a better education, the school board wants to merge tiny Norway School with a larger school 20 miles away. This will hurt the community badly and prevent many of the kids from playing baseball.
Polly graduated from law school, and it's never made quite clear what her job title is, but she is the expert who explains the school board's decision. She is attractive but doesn't really show it at first, and Kent seems to like her. Plus he hopes to persuade her to look at other communities where the same thing has happened.
The town of Norway will make every effort to save their school. It is agreed the change won't happen right away, but the baseball team will get one more season, and not under Van Scoyoc. Kent has left town for a new job in St. Louis (he appears to be working at a bank), but Van Scoyoc wants him to take the coaching job. This is fine with those in charge, who see Kent as a Clark Kent type (he corrected someone who got his name wrong by saying Kent, like Clark). However, he may turn out to be more of a Tom Welling than a Christopher Reeve. And he hasn't given up on Polly, either.
Burt played for Van Scoyoc years ago but runs a business in Chicago. Having lost his wife, he can't handle his rebellious son Mitch on his own, so he brings Mitch to live with his parents Jared and Anne. And, yes, he can play baseball.
Mitch hates being in this hick town but eventually learns to adjust, and Cindy, sister to the team's star Patrick, seems to like him. And Van Scoyoc, just a shop teacher, won't tolerate less than Mitch's best effort.
Some of the team members quit when Van Scoyoc leaves for a minor-league job. Others continue to play but seem ready to quit, and it appears Norway will be a bunch of losers in their last season playing baseball. But this loser of a coach won't quit, and he may turn out to be Superman after all.
Many obstacles stand in the team's way, but can they win another state title? And will the school be saved?
This is an inspiring movie, but it seems to leave out a few details. If there is a major weakness, it is jumping ahead in time too quickly and not really showing us what happened. We are just left to assume.
Sean Astin does an adequate job, and he improves toward the end, but his is not the standout performance.
Powers Boothe as the legendary coach could have gotten an Oscar nomination with the same performance in a more visible movie.
James Gammon does a great job as Mitch's grandfather, tough and conservative but loving with a sense of humor.
Josh Merino is a talented opposing pitcher on his way to pro ball. With his performance, the camera work, the editing, and the writing, he comes across as an outstanding villain in just a few scenes.
Tom Arnold starts out as little more than comic relief but, while he's not around much, he shows he is a capable father who's just in over his head.
Rachael Leigh Cook gets prettier and easier to like as time goes on. She's pretty good too.
When this movie is exciting, it's really exciting. Believe me when I say most of the final scenes live up to that.
It's a worthwhile effort.
Man Maid (2008)
Pleasant enough, provided it is cleaned up for TV
Vincent is a maid at New Hotel Redmond in Redmond, Oregon. Depending on who is describing it, it is either three stars, four stars, two and a half stars or moderately priced. His father, who left for another woman when Vincent was a boy, was a maid. Vincent feels being a maid is his destiny, and while his father may not have deserved respect, being a maid is his way of honoring his father.
People make fun of Vincent for doing a woman's job. In fact, he is always getting teased for one reason or another. He likes Chloe, a beautiful but untalented musician who performs at a local bar and goes out with Buck. Vincent has a friend Bobby who used to be a rodeo performer.
Vincent lives in a camping trailer near a lake (though a secret room in the hotel is said to be his) and appears to be building a house one board at a time. We later learn it is a stage. The man who works at the lumber yard and knew Vincent's father talks with what is called an electrolarynx.
Vincent also is quite friendly with Tory, a pretty but conservative girl who runs the hotel for her father. Terressa, another maid, advises Vincent to make Chloe jealous by dating Tory. The plan backfires because Vincent and Tory really like each other. And Terressa, who is mean and also supplements her income by being a hooker, makes sure to mess things up for Vincent.
The hotel janitor, whose son makes Chloe look like Taylor Swift but continues to humiliate himself frequently, also constantly makes Vincent's life miserable. This after Tory suggested Vincent do maintenance and Vincent didn't want to do work that was the other man's.
Meanwhile, the hotel owes $40,000 and the bank could foreclose. A big company wants to buy the hotel and there's no guarantee what will happen if they do, or if the hotel will even remain standing. Vincent has a possible job offer from a hotel in California, but this is his home and he doesn't want to leave. Chloe knows a popular country singer named Sissy Tailor who might do a benefit concert, so Vincent gets to work organizing the event, which will take place on that stage where he lives.
So will they save the hotel? Who will Vincent end up with, if anyone?
This is a good movie. I wouldn't call it a family comedy but it is quite funny. There is lots of bad language, some of which didn't make it past censors, and more sex talk than I am comfortable with. Plus Jane Lynch has a memorable role as a woman who likes S & M.
On the other hand, there is respect for Christian values. While many of the characters yell "Jesus" like a curse word, Jesus means a lot to Tory. Although Tory wants to follow the Kama Sutra, and I'm pretty sure she's talking about having sex before being married, which is supposed to be a no-no. And she does a couple of other things that go against her faith. Still, Sara Rue does a great job in the role and Tory is mostly quite adorable and intelligent.
Phillip Vaden is quite good as well.
A singer named John Doe does a fine job as an actor, playing country singer Sissy Taylor. Don't be fooled by the name. He is tough but friendly.
Justina Machado, as nasty as she is, is quite talented.
There is a tender scene where Rapael Sbarge as Vincent's father assures the boy he loves him even though he is leaving.
Other actors in this movie do a good job too.
On the other hand, Steve Hytner, playing a businessman who has no respect for Vincent, comes across as little more than a cartoon.
It's worth seeing.
Furry Vengeance (2010)
Cute and funny but outrageous family comedy
At the start of the movie, the man in charge of phase two of Lyman Enterprises' plans for the Rocky Springs community arrives. But he soon wishes he hadn't, as the very intelligent animals that live in the woods attack him with a Rube Goldberg style contraption. It doesn't take him long to get fed up and quit.
Dan is in charge of Lyman's phase one. He and his gorgeous science teacher wife Tammy and their teenage son Tyler have left Chicago for a year, much to the boy's dismay. The family lives in a fabulous house which serves as the model home, as Frank and his crew build other houses nearby. However, Dan later finds out he is also in charge of phase two, and this will mean staying four years.
Tammy and Tyler are new at the local school. Tammy soon finds herself roped into running the Forest Festival. She doesn't like doing it, but it will help her husband's career.
Lyman arrives on a private plane at the "international" airport. There is a paved runway surrounded by grass but this place doesn't appear capable of qualifying for handling crop dusters. And the community Lyman has come to see is an hour away. To give you an idea of what he is like, Lyman gives Tyler a stuffed bear because he believes the boy is 4. When Dan tries to convince him otherwise, Lyman checks his phone and asks Dan if he is sure. Lyman also mentions having two kids himself; his beautiful assistant with the nerdy glasses says three. Also, Lyman claims his company is green, but later in the movie he describes it as "economically friendly" when the word he should have used is "ecologically". Almost nothing about the company's plans is green except for the money it will make, and possibly a few remaining trees.
Lyman is the guilty party here, along with investor Mr. Gupta who will arrive later. But the animals see Dan as the threat, and they harass him constantly. No one believes him, and everyone thinks he is crazy. He even visits a shrink.
Tyler meets pretty Amber at the school library. They end up liking each other, and it turns out Amber cares about preserving the forest, even though the townspeople only seem to care about the money coming to their area. Amber even knows about a history of animals harassing settlers over the past 11,000 years.
With all the wacky comedy, there is a serious environmental message. The film does turn serious (temporarily, I assure you) before the antics start up again.
So will the animals succeed in stopping the development? Will Dan's family ever be happy? How about Tyler and Amber?
This is a cute family comedy, though it's probably not considered a classic or anything. It uses several formulas, though I would say it is unique because it puts together formulas that maybe haven't been tried together.
The physical comedy is hilarious, at least to me. It's mostly Dan who is the victim, but others get attacked as well.
The best actor is the head raccoon, though you wouldn't call what he does acting. He is certainly animatronic when showing human emotions, but this is done very well. Okay, for this movie it is done very well.
The animals communicate but don't speak English. Much. There are occasionally sounds they make that resemble words. They do know the lyrics to "Le Freak" by Chic. Anyway, the animation and animatronic creations are quite good, if not on the same level as the great classics.
The best human actor is Skyler Samuels as Amber. I really like her.
Other actors stand out too.
Annie Drummond is a teacher so senile she really shouldn't be working. It has been 40 years since Bessie the Cow died. She isn't in many scenes but she is memorable.
I don't know his name or who plays him, but there is a demented cop who actually works for Lyman.
Brooke Shields does a halfway decent job. She isn't consistently talented but she seems to be the voice of reason in all the chaos. Plus she still looks good.
I'm not sure Brendan Fraser shows talented here most of the time, but there are a few exceptions. Fraser appears to play all of the unfortunate Brendan Fraser appears to play all of the unfortunate victims of the animals throughout history. Then there is the scene where Dan turns into Rambo. And finally, he goes over to the side of the animals when he realizes they are like people.
I liked the bluegrass band at the festival. Because Dr. Ralph Stanley once said what he did isn't bluegrass but old-time music, I will say that bluegrass may or may not be the appropriate term. And I really wish they had played more.
If you don't think anything else about this movie is worth seeing, at least stay around for the rap video with the closing credits. I think the name of the song is "Insane in the Brain". The cast members have a good time with it, even the historical figures attacked by animals and Shields in monster makeup as her character in Dan's nightmare. And several movies and memorable music videos are included, including Tom Cruise's famous "Risky Business" scene, Shields playing her "Blue Lagoon" character as an adult along with a Christopher Atkins type, Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" and Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love".
I did say this is a family movie, but there is considerable toilet humor. And other types of disgusting humor. But it really is appropriate for most kids. It would have to be, because no one over the age of ten should see it. Okay, not really. I had a good time.
The Girls' Room (2000)
A quality production but kind of hard to watch
Casey and Grace are college roommates. But they really shouldn't have been put together. Grace is a pretty, proper southern belle whose Daddy has money and a Christian faith, who is getting married to Charlie as soon as she graduates. Casey is sort of attractive but street smart with an attitude about everything and everybody who doesn't meet with her approval.
I'm really not sure what is going on here. My best guess is that Casey wants to sabotage Grace and Charlie's relationship. She messes up the wedding veil and steals Grace's notes so she'll fail a test, keeping her from graduating. Casey also persuades Grace to spend time in her world with her friends including Joey and Sweetie. Grace goes along because someone has told her the best way to get back at someone who has wronged you is to be their friend. And the two of them really are quite convincing as friends, before they become enemies again. This explains the movie title in my TV listings "Best of Enemies".
Grace supposedly cheats with Joey but I'm not sure why or how far they went. Meanwhile, one of her professors gives her a way to make sure she passes and graduates (the one whose test she probably failed when Casey stole her notes). She doesn't want to do that.
Casey works in a hot dog stand with Chloe and mistreats one of the conceited sorority sisters who seems to be friends with Grace.
There is anger and confusion and questions about whether the wedding will ever take place. And discussions about priorities.
While Casey's personality is kind of hard to take, Soleil Moon Frye gives a great performance. I saw her play a similar character for years on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", where Sabrina was the cute princess. Casey really isn't so bad, and she is so sweet and loving with her grandmother Nana.
Julianna McCarthy is quite appealing as Nana. Not your typical grandmother, but appealing enough.
Cat Taber is just adorable. You expect she will be this spoiled rich girl but there's more to her than that. In some ways Casey is preferable, but Grace is not so bad and sometimes easy to like. If you don't have money, you have to laugh at her priorities.
Sweetie is anything but sweet. I could have done without her. But she adds something to the movie and sometimes we just need to be exposed to that which is outside our comfort zone.
This is kind of hard to explain, but I'll try. A few years ago I couldn't find the magazines I wanted at the big downtown library and I had to go to nearby Wake Forest University to see them. And now that library is closed for renovation and I'm spending even more time at Wake Forest. I thought the architectural style of the college buildings was quite attractive but it didn't hit me why everything looked so familiar until the credits. Not even when I saw the unique name "Reynolda Hall". I tape everything I watch so I was able to back up and see the buildings again. If I had known ahead of time that it really was Wake Forest, that would have been an even bigger reason to watch.
Is it worth seeing? Probably.
Joe Dirt (2001)
Funny in a sick way
Because I like David Spade, I probably liked this movie better than a lot of people. He seems to play basically the same character whatever he does, but this character seemed different, and Spade should get credit for challenging himself. He is at his best when being funny, but he lacked something in the more dramatic scenes.
And I can't say I liked every scene, but many scenes were enjoyable. In general, I like the type of humor here, but some gags were just too disgusting for me.
Dennis Miller did a great job. While I know he has had a radio show since then, I don't know anything about it, but he proved he could do that.
The audience for Joe Dirt's story added something. So many people seemed fascinated by him, and that added something to the movie.
I liked Kicking Wing and the bizarre fireworks jokes. One went kind of overboard but this particular joke could be forgiven for a reason I won't give away.
Brandy was not only a sweet girl but quite good-looking, especially in short shorts. And even if I don't like dogs, the dog added something too.
Christopher Walken gave yet another weird but quality performance as a janitor who hired Joe when he needed work. It appeared some of his lines recalled other movies or TV shows. His story turned out to be quite interesting too, and I shouldn't give away any of the wacky twists.
Jaime Pressly was another hot girl and more than just pretty. I have seen her win awards for similar characters, and I could tell she was more than just an ordinary actress. Whether I would have known this if I had seen this first I can't say.
There was just so much silliness of the Jerry Springer and possibly Myrtle Manor variety (I've never seen "Myrtle Manor") that I couldn't help but be happy at times. And then there were the warm and touching scenes, which made all the suffering worth it.
And if you like classic rock radio, many of your favorites are here. I'm not really a fan of that kind of music, but some of it was appealing.
It's not a masterpiece but if you just want to laugh and don't have any expectations, and you can handle really sick humor, this just might work.
Peace and Riot (2013)
Cute romantic comedy if you like heavy metal and naughty talk
Crystal is pretty and has a nice singing voice. She makes her living singing and making noise with her guitar. I won't dignify it by calling it music. She learned from Hendrix, but says it's not that one, although it could have been. Her boyfriend and manager Richard wants her to write a hit song instead of just playing other people's songs. To do that, Crystal goes to a remote cabin by a lake. Scott is already there. He wants to be alone so he can write a novel. He and Crystal have a problem.
According to Scott, the landlord, on the phone, claims there are no hotel rooms for miles. They will just have to work it out. Crystal is willing and she seems pleasant enough. She won't be pushed around, and Scott isn't particularly macho, even though he served two years in the Air Force in Iraq. He was actually in communications.
Crystal and Richard's relationship isn't as good as it could be, so there is the possibility of a romance here, despite this couple being so mismatched. However, they are both writers in a sense. Scott has had stories published. Crystal is surprised to learn a movie she enjoyed was a book first, and believes a book can't be much good if it can't be a movie. Scott is more sensitive and a vegetarian and wants to write about feelings, and Crystal has to admit that feelings are a part of her so-called music as well.
Meanwhile, an elderly couple who live nearby are spying on the two and making up stories about them. Eventually, the two couples meet.
Crystal is a basically a nice girl, though with a somewhat edgy personality. She's easy enough to like. Believe it or not, she wears bunny slippers. I am glad, however, that I saw this on broadcast TV, where the language had to be cleaned up. She has got a mouth on her.
Scott is also pleasant enough but kind of shy and socially awkward.
The older couple are nice, though Raymond, who served in Vietnam, doesn't respect Scott's military service, calling it "Chair Force". But he does try to get Scott to enjoy fishing.
Richard is in more than just the first few scenes, but that's all I'll say about that. I kept thinking he looked familiar, but he's Gary Busey's son. He's sort of a jerk but pleasant enough.
So will our mismatched couple discover they love each other after all?
Anna Pheil is great (considering what this is), not just as an actress but, if one were to like what she seems to consider music, also as a musician.
Ben Savage is appealing but not really more of an actor than his TV career would suggest.
Richard Riehle and Janet Wood do a fine job.
Despite Crystal's musical taste, there is actually music in this movie. There is some nice background music with acoustic guitar. In one romantic scene involving the older couple, there is music from the big band era. Similar music is playing in a restaurant where Scott goes to get away from it all. Most of the background music is kind of new age style, with what sounds sort of like a guitar, some loud drums, a piano and something that sounds like a violin is plugged in.
Be sure to stay around for the closing credits. There are some Youtube style performances, in various genres, of a ridiculous song Crystal writes. The hicks who sort of sound country are the best in my opinion. The rappers' video is professional quality. Whatever that is worth, since it is rap.
It's sort of like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, only with bad words and naughty talk. Cute, but not too cute.
Adorable, funny, sometimes difficult to watch
The movie begins--I assume in Hawaii since the rest of the movie is set there--with Miriam's first husband proposing very publicly at an event with Hawaiian dancers and entertainers.
Miriam's story is told through animation. She had Lily, but her first husband did something wrong and she was single. Miriam tried again with a second husband and had Twinny. Again, something happened and she was single again. With husband no. 3 she had Hoku. And something happened. Somewhere along the line Miriam started her wedding planning business Tying the Knot.
In the present, Lily is back in Hawaii for a wedding her mother and sisters are planning. She lives on the mainland, and her boyfriend wants to marry her but she doesn't believe in marriage.
Lily doesn't want to work for the business, but she happens to be around when Tina has a crisis, and Lily solves the problem (to the dismay of another couple who now have to find another venue). Lily reluctantly agrees to stay around and help with this wedding. Twinny, who has a daughter already, is very pregnant and there are signs she and Roy aren't getting along, but she continues to work. Hoku suspects Roy of cheating. And the business may be in trouble.
In high school, Lily dated Kai. Kai is now a science teacher and Lily and Kai meet at what appears to be a park, where Kai is teaching kids. Lily doesn't know Kai is dating Hoku.
So will Hoku's marriage survive? Will the business survive? Will Lily find out who she really belongs with?
This is a pleasant enough movie, though I didn't like a lot of the characters. I liked Kai and I liked Twinny, but that's it. Lily is kind of hard to take. She's quite independent and just doesn't have the personality that appeals to me. Hoku is demanding and quirky and wears too much makeup. She doesn't do much for me either. But I'm describing how I feel. I think both characters will appeal to others in their own way.
The leading actors do a good enough job, I suppose.
There is a sad scene where Hoku's father leaves for good and this upsets the girl a great deal. Lily has no sympathy, saying Daddies are not supposed to stay around.
Chris Taloa does quite a good job in the scene where as Roy he finally reveals what has been going on in his life.
There is lots of good music, some of it connected with Hawaiian culture.
It's a cute movie that can get serious, and probably appropriate for family viewing as well.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
Lucy Liu is tough, if nothing else
For the past several years I have watched Lucy Liu as a low-key, intelligent partner to the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. While this is not the type of movie I would enjoy, I did like seeing Liu in a very different role as a capable martial arts fighter who also used serious weapons.
Sever could beat up a big burly man who hit on her, or pretty much anyone else, or blow up everything in sight, or shoot at anyone around her with firepower I doubt most soldiers would have, and show no emotion whatsoever. And never a hair out of place. And great looking clothes, just like Dr. Watson.
And yet in scenes with the kidnapped boy, she almost seemed compassionate. At least she seemed somewhat caring. Not the monster who all the cops wanted to take down.
Also worth mentioning is the overly confident billionaire bad guy from "Scandal". Here, Gregg Henry played a character who was merely rich, but didn't quite achieve that character you love to hate (except I only hated the man in "Scandal"). Later in the movie, he showed signs of what he could do.
I thought Antonio Banderas was considered a quality performer, and he certainly showed his talent as Puss in Boots last night on "Jeopardy" (assuming that was him). Here, he seemed bored and tired.
So is there anything about this worth seeing? Well, I didn't pay for it, beyond what I pay each month to get a dependable signal and the ability to record. If there's anything good in it at all, it wasn't a total waste of time.
Increasingly bizarre toward the end
Tim and Nick are neighbors who work at a company which makes sandpaper. It's not clear what they do but they wear suits and have offices, and they carpool together each day. Both men have a wife and kids. Nick is so annoying with all his ideas for inventions, and while they are usually ridiculous, one day he gets an idea that actually works. A spray can that eliminates what dogs do! There is a scientist (I assume he works at Nick's company) who actually comes up with the magic formula. The one question that is never answered in the movie is: where does it go when it disappears? On broadcast TV, the question may have been slightly different than the one in the original version. And I just know the original must have used one word far more than what I heard.
Tim did not choose to invest in this ridiculous idea. That's okay. he and Nick are such good friends that he shares the wealth, as much as Tim tries to stop his family from being spoiled.
Tim is quite envious of Nick, who built a huge mansion right across the street and has the best of everything. And yet he resists letting Nick share the wealth as much as he can, and the white horse Tim's kids love is a particularly serious problem as it does what Nick's invention can cure, only Tim won't use it. Or shouldn't have.
Eventually everything falls apart for Tim, and that's when the movie really gets crazy. Tim has a big secret and the wacky J-Man to help him with a scheme to keep this secret from ruining his life even further--for a price. And you just know that whatever Tim tries to do, he will ruin his life even more and more, with hilarious results for the audience.
Meanwhile, Nick's wife wants to run for State Senate.
The big question we all want to know the answer to: Surely everything will fall apart for Nick too, right? And how will Tim get out of his mess? How far will J-Man go to bring Tim down? How far down can Tim go?
Ben Stiller and Jack Black are both considered talented actors. Just not here. Neither man shows why they are so popular.
Christopher Walken, on the other hand, stood out. J-Man is quite a character. At least for this type of movie. Let's just say he is superior to Captain Hook in that NBC live production. The weirder this movie gets, the weirder he gets.
Amy Poehler does nothing for me but annoy under normal circumstances. She does even less here.
But if all you want to do is laugh at something bizarre, and just escape from your own troubles, this just might work.
Tim regretted not investing in what he considered a dumb idea. Someone probably should have had Tim's intelligence not to invest in another dumb idea, but I'm glad someone did.
History teacher and guidance counselor Miss Ruiz speaks to a high school gym class made up mostly of Latino kids. She's hoping some of them will listen because few Latino kids in the Los Angeles schools go on to college, their best bet at improving their status in life.
In history class, Jordin makes it clear he's not interested in what Miss Ruiz has to say, and he uses a word that I'm not sure was even allowed when the version I saw was being cleaned up for TV (though this word is often used on broadcast TV). Miss Ruiz kicks him out of class.
Felipa, a nerdy but somewhat attractive girl from New York City who moved in with her beautiful cousin Kika and her parents when her mom couldn't handle the responsibility of a child or anything else, is interested in a scholarship. Jordin sees her when he is waiting to be chastised by the school principal, but he doesn't think too much about her. Or does he?
Jordin lost his mother when he was too young to know her. In fact, the truth is that giving birth to Jordin was very risky and some wrong decisions were made. His father, who sells cars along with Jordin's dropout brother, expects Jordin not to send up like his brother, and he is very demanding and borderline abusive. Yet we do see he really cares for his sons.
Jordin has a reputation. He acts very macho in front of his friends and wants to impress them by flirting with as many hot girls as possible, including Kika. And eventually getting some of them in bed with him.
And yet when Kika and Felipa are together, somehow Jordin wants to hang out with Felipa. Just as a friend. I'm not entirely clear on what happened, but it might have been a bet that he could resist the hot girl and go for the ugly one instead.
But Jordin really does seem to fall for Felipa. He just won't admit it to anyone else. And he goes after Kika to show he's still got it. Kika, who is somewhat shallow and not particularly brainy, is actually jealous of her cousin, when one would expect things to be the other way around.
Meanwhile, Jordin makes the discovery that his biological father is a college professor. In the process of going to find out more about the man and about the mother he never knew, he just might be inspired to go to college.
So will things turn out well for Jordin? What about his romance with Felipa?
This is a very good movie. Although there are some stereotypical images, this movie does make an attempt to show positive images of Latinos as well. Veronica Diaz-Carranza and E.J. Bonilla both do very good jobs, and so do many of the leading actors.
Jennifer Esposito, in addition to being hot for her age, gives a strong performance. She's tough. She can handle whatever Jordin throws at her, and still care about him enough to help him in life.
This is a worthy effort.