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You can avoid this. . .
How can one help but be curious when a movie gets such universally bad reports, even so much as to be cast, at one point, at the very bottom of all movies. So, I decided to see it.
Actually, the premise and the plot aren't so bad; and the ending is pretty good. Some mildly amusing lines, too: Ricki: "So, you are Larry Giggly?" Gigli: "No, that's Gee-Lee"
The ruination of this movie is the long, boring, and pointless dialogue between leads Larry Gigli (Ben Afleck) and Ricki (Jennifer Lopez).
Fellows, if you're interested in this flick because you've heard that there is a sexy scene with Jennifer Lopez doing erotic yoga, forget it! It isn't that great. And it certainly is not worth watching the entire movie.
Verdict: Perhaps not as notoriously bad as you may have heard, but it sure is not good. 2.5 out of 10.
The Mist (2007)
I didn't like it. . .
This thriller left a lot to be desired. The trend in many movies seems to utilize poor lighting, bad camera angles, and a constant slight shaking of the camera. Supposedly this makes the movie more "real", I think it makes it more amateurish and overall more difficult to watch and enjoy. The Mist uses all of these. Plus it is absolutely cheerless, there is no comic relief at all.
The movie surrounds an artist (Thomas Jane) trying to protect his little son from The Mist, and the creatures that dwell within. They are trapped by The Mist in a grocery store with his skeptical neighbor(Andre Braugher), a Prohibitionist/Abolitionist era New England religious busybody (Marcia Gay Harden), and a host of other hysterical bunglers.
The most skillful and intrepid of those trapped in the store seems to be the meek-looking assistant manager, Ollie (Toby Jones).
This movie has all of the predictable themes of a horror movie: a religious nut; the unbelieving, angry skeptic who refuses to believe that there is any real danger until it is too late; the cute kid; etc.
*** possible spoiler *** The ending follows the Twilight Zone-ish "if only the hero waited another thirty seconds before his drastic, final action; things would have been all right". Not bad, but we have seen it before. Plus very, very sad.
Could have been better. 4 out of 10
Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar (1967)
Superior to newer Disney offerings
This is a really fun movie with great narration. The acting is sub-par generally, but this only seems to add to the effect of a rough logging camp and its workers.
Adults should find this film enjoyable, but it's mainly for young people. This film deals with issues that youth will find prescient: loneliness, alienation, fitting-in, and growing up... all through that scampish yet delightful cougar.
Much better than Disney's silly, flashy, A.D.D. inducing, garish animated movies of recent years; "Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar" should not be overlooked, parents.
Cheerless and poorly executed
This movie is poorly written, hard-to-follow, and features bad performances and dialog from leads Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The premise, believable but weak (undercover narcotics agent succumbs to the drug underworld) deserved better than this Lili Fini Zanuck flop. The competent supporting cast (Sam Elliott, William Sadler, others) was not enough to save this film.
In addition, this movie also contains the absolute worst "love" scene in cinema.
Moreover, the soundtrack is vastly overrated; specifically the revolting, sappy-without-substance "Tears in Heaven" by the otherwise legendary Eric Clapton.
"Rush" is wholly unenjoyable from beginning to end.
2 of 10
The Waterboy (1998)
"Silly" doesn't begin to describe it
In this politically-correct addled age, it is good that movies that poke fun of regional/ethnic differences can proliferate. "The Waterboy", however, was just a little too much. Even "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona" were classier and more even-handed than this. The Acadians deserve better.
Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler) plays a not-so-young flop who is fired from his duties as a waterboy. His mother (Kathy Bates) is controlling and domineering. Bobby then becomes the waterboy for a rival college football team, where the coach (Henry Winkler) recognizes his talent on the gridiron. Bobby's talent manifests itself when he channels his rage for Mama against the opposition. Combine that with endless silly stereotypes, and you have just about summed up "The Waterboy".
On the plus side it is good to see that N.Y. Giants football legend Lawrence Taylor is willing to get a laugh at his own expense (The "don't do drugs" line).
Verdict: If you have had a particularly horrid week at work, and your brain has become mush so that you cannot handle the intellectual level of "The Shawshank Redemption" or even "Police Academy", "The Waterboy" might be just perfect. Also for hard-core Sandler fanciers.
4 of 10
'Crocodile' Dundee II (1988)
A good flick forever cursed as a "sequel"
Superior to the delightful original, "Crocodile Dundee II" ought to be judged on its own merits and not simply as a 'sequel'.
The first installment -- though funny and well done -- was nevertheless based on the tired "country-bumpkin-goes-to-big-city-and-falls-for-metropolitan-sophisticate" theme. This movie builds on that groundwork and takes the main characters (the earthwise Mick and the streetwise Sue) in an altogether different direction.
The hugely successful original film's main deficiency, in my opinion, was its one-sided quality. "Crocodile Dundee II" combines many different and suspenseful elements, such as the crime underworld and kidnapping; yet it remains as funny as the first.
This movie also gives us a chance to see some real up-and-comers of today's entertainment as they appeared several years ago in these minor roles (just check out the cast of characters).
Although the ending is kind of saccharine, "Crocodile Dundee II" remains a top choice for brightening up a boring evening or weekend afternoon. Regrettably, it will always be in the shadow of the first as a 'sequel'.
Your head will spin
There exists films which deftly employ zaniness and the surreal in a truly entertaining manner to get an important message across. "Toys" is not one of them.
The plot revolves arouind Robin Williams in an attempt to protect his inherited toy factory against those who would produce less-than-peaceful products. There are many scenes which might ellicit chuckles, but these are far outweighed by both the pointless bizzareness and the sheer stupidity.
Viewing this movie is like seeing a nightmare. In the main, this film is an attempt to send a social message through imagery which comes up well short.
WARNING to live-in mental health workers or substance-abuse clinics: Do NOT show this movie to your clients during movie night. You could obliterate years of progress and therapy.
Anti-War/anti-Military industrial complex advocates: see something else supportive of your cause. Viewing "Toys" might cause you to doubt your beliefs.
Verdict: a challenge for the cognitive senses that is well to be avoided.
Entertaining and provocative...
Although those of us with a orthodox theological perspective might take issue with the premise, "Ghost" is a movie that has a lot to offer. Even non-romance lovers will find plenty of reasons to smile.
Patrick Swayze (Sam) is above average (for him). Demi Moore (Molly) is a bit weak, but not enough to detract. I've never liked Whoopi Goldberg on general principle, and I detest her on "Star Trek: T.N.G.". Here (as Oda Mae) she shines, as in "Sister Act". Most comical was the scene in the bank as she impersonates a wealthy tycoon-ess. Sam's reaction to her foibles will have you laughing as well.
Another good scene is when the non-corporeal Sam seeks the guidance of the tortured soul on the subway (Vincent Schiavelli). Reluctant at first, the soul briefly accepts Sam as a sort of afterlife protege.
[SPOILER] Most memorable was near the end. Sam and the traitorous Carl (Tony Goldwyn) square off for the (literally) final showdown. Afterwards, Carl sees Sam, and seems glad to see him, almost in the old manner. Knowing that Carl is about to be sent to his 'reward', Sam only regretfully says, "Oh, Carl."
This movie offers a lot: romance, murder intrigue, betrayal, action, comedy, and the metaphysical. If you haven't already, give it a try.
7.5 of 10
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Not a total waste of time, but...
I recently saw "Jerry Maguire" on NBC. While it was not the worst movie I have ever seen, it is probably the worst with a pro-football based theme that I can remember. It was predicatable and woefully saccarine.
This was the movie which coined the phrase "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" back in '96, which I found almost immediately irritating. Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire) was his usual over-emoting self. Renee Zellweger's character (Maguire's love interest, Dorothy) was revolting. Cuba Gooding Jr, (Maguire's only remaining client, the cocky Rod Tidwell) was annoying throughout. That little kid (Dorothy's son), although cute, seemed awfully stoic for a youngster when saying goodbye to Maguire when he and his mother were about to move out of Jerry's life.
The bright light here was Jay Mohr's excellent portrayal of a sleazy, aggressive, backstabbing fellow sports-agent. Mohr's portrayal was so good that I found myself wanting to come through the screen an wring his neck -- and this even though I found no emotional attachment to Cruise's character.
[possible spoiler warning] ..probably not necessary since this movie was so transparent.
The writing and acting was so bad, the outcome so predictable. Tidwell gets k.o.'d after scoring the winning touchdown, and the world holds its breath. After sufficient nail-biting time, he leaps up, does and end-zone jig, climbs up the side of the stadium, etc...pretty good for someone who just sustained a near-concussion.
Tidwell gets his long sought $12.8mil contract(or something like that, the obscene salaries of these guys was about the only believable aspect of this film). He then hugs everyone in sight and weeps.
Maguire enters a ladies divorce support group with Dorothy in attendance and says to her something like "You will not get rid of me, I won't let you go!" (something that would get many men a restraining order, and their girlfriends a stay at a battered woman's shelter). Dorothy, of course, takes him back, and they live happily ever after... la la la!
Sports fans, you can do much better. Ditto romance lovers.
3 of 10 *s
Airport 1975 (1974)
Funniest of the "Airports"
Airport '75 was definitely the funniest of that series. It was not as soap opera-esque as the original, nor was it as cheerless as '77.
Humorous elements abounded: The lewd young navigator (Erik Estrada, who at that point could not speak a word of Spanish, despite his seeming mastery of it here). The three obnoxious business passengers (Conrad Janis, Norman Fell, and Jerry Stiller; who would all later, as we know, go on to co-star in highly successful TV comedies) The hapless Cid Ceasar character, who only attended this flight to see the in-flight movie, which promptly broke right before his favorite scene.
The passenger areas look surprisingly comfortable, with ample space for individual passengers. Much better, it seems, than what we are subjected to today (the mid-seventies decor notwithstanding).
The mirthful subtones aside, this is a serious movie. The pivotal point happens when a small private plane goes astray, hitting the 747 right above the windshield. The navigator is killed, the co-pilot is sucked out through the hole (in a manner reminiscent of the commander of the imperial walker being pulled out by Chewbacca in "Return of the Jedi"; and the captain is incapacitated. Poor Nancy the Stewardess (Karen Black) must seize the controls!
It is up to Charlton Heston (before he became a conservative) and George Kennedy, with some help from friends in the U.S. Air Force, to save the day.
Verdict, hardly a brain challenger (If you want your brain challenged, read a book, I always say!) but worth seeing.