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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
They warned you not to resist arrest., 4 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

---Intro Spoilers (Yeah, I'm being careful)---

You can't resist some movies. Some are so silly or so disliked we call them guilty pleasures. However, there are also many films in which you just want to love and ignore what people say about them. Ignoring the 4.6 IMDb average users rating, National Security is an entertaining action comedy, cop-style. Although it doesn't have the seriousness of many other cop films like S.W.A.T and Training Day, it fills the emptiness with comedy. Critics and Hollywood however are always picking on that kind of comedy, as it's some kind of bug that follows Martin Lawrence everywhere and won't go away.

National Security has a plain and lovable plot. Starring Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn, it's a buddy comedy without the buddies. Steven Zahn plays Hank, part of the elite people of the LAPD. Him and his partner cruise the city as any other cops do. However during a warehouse check, him and his partner are cornered in a gunfight and his partner perishes in the finish. Down and out, Hank searches for justice but doesn't know where to start.

Meanwhile, Earl (Lawrence) is a struggling police trainee who is kicked out of the LAPD police academy for his outrageous antics. Settling down after him being kicked out, we join him on a sunny street of LA near a park where he forgot his keys in his car. Then Hanks cruises by solo and they meet. After some funny, racial bickering, Earl ends up with an allergic reaction and Hanks ends up with 6 months in prison. However with this being a misunderstanding caught on video by a Spanish family, Hank snaps and becomes a security guard once he gets out of jail. Coincidentally, on his first job in a soda factory, he meets up with Earl and they put each other at gunpoint.

National Security brings the laughs by the barrelful. It's filled solid, laugh-out gags and jokes that are brought by Steve Zahn and Martin Lawrence as they carry the film to its unpredictable conclusion. However I found there were some unneeded, poorly written scenes but the action sequences mix well with the comedy of the script.

Overall, National Security is a great time. A good comedic cast is provided to back up Martin and Steve during small, slow scenes and National Security is filled with many solid laughs. However you might as well throw the race card in here because Martin's comedy is loosely revolved around that and that can really P.O (I didn't know it was on the "review restricted list") many audiences, mostly the immature ones. National Security is not to be missed and goes up there with Black Knight. Don't resist it.

My Rating: 8/10

Eliason A.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
When East meets West., 1 March 2005

(Original Date of Review - February 12, 2005)

There are tons of mindless, worthless, no name westerns out there. Even John Wayne and Clint Eastwood have one or two films nobody wants to put their hands on even if Blockbuster or Rogers is selling them for $9.99. Now in the 21st century, westerns have practically died out with those films now having many references to history or western context.

One breed of film that hasn't been around as long can be just as entertaining. Martial Arts. From Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li, martial arts are fun-filled action films. Even a newfound Tony Jaa has burst into the martial arts genre with his new film Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior, out in theatres this weekend.

However, when you take both films and smash them together, add a loved martial arts star (Jackie Chan), and have a comedic funny-man to represent the western front (Owen Wilson), you get an awesome new breed of film I like to call an "Eastern".

Taking place in the 19th century (if memory serves correct), Chon Wang (played by Chan; Chinese for John Wayne) plays an Imperial Guard of the Chinese emperor. When their beloved Princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu) is kidnapped by their mortal enemies, Wang offers himself to personally find her where she's been kidnapped: The US of A. Now in the Wild West, Chon finds himself in the good ole' state of Nevada. Meanwhile, Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) is a crook that loots trains and saloons with his group of friends. They cross paths and they soon enough, they venture through a tough adventure. The unlikely duo teaches each other, as they learn new things that lead to tons of action and tons of comedy. Together, they help each other get what they want in an action filled western-style adventure film.

Overall, Shanghai Noon is a great action film. It's got a great, unique combo of both martial arts action and classic eastern shoot-out scenes. This combo is brought to life with the personality and likeness from both Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. However, the film drags a bit and sometimes, you feel a lot could be cut out. The drama seems out of place and doesn't seem very well done, as they should have concentrated a bit more energy and effort into it. Lucy Liu does a nice job with her role though and the action scenes, both martial arts and western are impressive enough to stand on its own. Definitely a Chan classic. Wonder what two action genres Hollywood will combine next and maybe with their crazy ideas can come random success.

My Rating: 7.5/10 (A High 7.5)

Eliason A.

Rudy (1993)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Raging Rudy., 23 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

---Minor Spoilers---

The football genre is a hard one to please. Whether you want a memorable drama like Remember the Titans or Any Given Sunday or a comedy like The Waterboy or the upcoming Adam Sandler/Chris Rocker starrer, The Longest Yard. It could take one scene of a football film to ruin it, one down or one play that could strongly influence it's story, whether it's based on a true story or not. Radio went down this path as it was brought to us in 2003. Based on a true, remarkable story, Radio was a memorable, football drama. However if they did one wrong thing, they could have displeased the American audiences watching their prime, favorite sport in film. Rudy was one of the earlier films to go down the rocky path compared to a football pre-season training camp. As it was based on a true story, it was one that pleased the audiences and is now memorable today.

Sean Astin plays Rudy Ruettiger, a young football fan who grew up having his favorite university football team being the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As him and his family would always gather round the television set and watch their team in action, Rudy had a dream that one day, he could play for the team. However with his small size, his brother and his father always doubted him in his efforts and that brought Rudy down. In his senior year, he was one of the most memorable players on his high school football team with only one aspiration on his mind, attending Notre Dame University and playing for the Fighting Irish. With his low grades and his only job being at a steel mill, Rudy had a bad start as nobody helped him on his journey.

After the death of his best friend, Pete, he decided that was the final straw and the only thing to do was to strive for a future. As he made new friends and started to improve in life, he finally got a chance for the team after months of minimum wage work with the caretaker of the stadium. Rudy worked his way through the training camp but was only on the side team. So one day, Rudy asked the coach to play one game for the Fighting Irish. The coach granted this request as he realized Rudy had gone far enough and could only continue to prove all the people who doubted him wrong. During the game, Rudy was called in to play and won the game heroically as he was carried around the field. Rudy had fulfilled his dreams.

This great true story was brought from the acting of Sean Astin. With this being one of the earlier roles in his career pre-Lord-of-the-Rings, I believe Sean Astin did a fine job portraying this true story. The movie has its fair share of downsides unfortunately. Since it is a true story, it's terribly predictable but the filmmakers worked with this and tried to incorporate surprises with these moments. The story may sometimes feel very lagged and sluggish and even unappealing sometimes. Sometimes you think Rudy is inhuman with his disparity just to get into Notre Dame with his crazy antics and über-determination. However we see this is all worth it with the film's conclusion.

Overall, Rudy is on the list of one of the most memorable football films out there. It has its problems but they can be forgotten if you just sit back and enjoy the film. For a look into the future, I think it's going to be hard to make any excellent football films but The Longest Yard looks promising in the comedy department. Having said that, Rudy will be one of those remembered football movies to be shown in years from now.

My Rating: 7.5/10 (A Low 7.5)

Eliason A.

Going to the Mat (2004) (TV)
3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A family movie with a very nice message except it couldn't have come at the worst of times with it being Ray's year., 22 February 2005

Parades of TV movies come out around this time of year from Disney. They usually are nauseating, painful, movie experiences, which would take hours to describe the endless horrible things about them. However sometimes, Disney does pull out the nice ones that are APPEALING and LITERALLY fun for the WHOLE family. I'm just saying: these buzz words are constantly thrown around with the advertisement of these films and it makes you want to hunt them all down for lying.

Andrew Laurence and his brothers haven't taken any attention away from Hollywood as of late and usually they go under the list of actors who are too lazy to do anything with their deadbeat careers. Andrew Laurence however does an average Disney film here and does a decent performance, however it could have been done in a better fashion to add more interest.

Jason Newfield (Laurence) is a blind teenager living in New York and is the drummer of a band with his friends. However when his family is forced to move away to Colorado, he must start anew as an unpopular blind kid. At his new school, his passion of music isn't nourished in the school band and the conductor (played by Wayne Brady) is keeping him quiet and uptight. However, what Jason doesn't know is that his conductor, Mason, is too a blind person. They teach each other new things from time to time in the film except since these are blind roles from Laurence and Brady with their eyes opened and just out of focus it loses its realism and its believability. Then Jason starts to get bullied by the wresting team of the school (very surprising even for an American high school to have the flagship team their wrestling team over their football team) so he wants to tryout. He does and with hard work and determination, he's on the team. He then befriends the captain of the team and starts to win many of his matches. The story however has a very predictable ending, much like ALL of Disney's TV movies. Never has someone been shot, killed, brutally beat, strangled, drowned, hung... etc. Not even something happening against what they want you to think...

Going to the Mat has a nice lesson behind the whole story that any blind man can do anything. However this film couldn't have come at the worst of times with Ray, starring Jamie Foxx, being nominated for Best Picture. It did a definitive much better job in showing a similar story except more appealing and more entertaining. Foxx actually was blind but Brady and Laurence had to fake it and at times, it wasn't realistic. Also, just the fact of a blind teenager wrestler raises an eyebrow and a lot could have been cut from the film.

Overall, Going to the Mat isn't a typical Disney TV movie but still has its elements of monstrosity. There are those nice performances from Brady and Laurence though. I can't really see these actors do any interesting movies in the future. It doesn't really entertain but it was an interesting experience. It was just obvious that once you were done this film, you'd be dying to watch/re-watch Ray.

My Rating: 6/10

Eliason A.

5 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Whale Rider is a sour fruit not for the picking as it is one of the most overrated films of all-time., 13 February 2005

Everybody has those bored moments. In those good old days I hear, in these moments people would climb up some grassy, beautiful hills to orchards and pick up some fruits. Apples, oranges, pears, the whole lot of ripe, straight-off-the-tree fruits for people to enjoy. However one thing that didn't happen in those old days was when they found a fruit so sour, that they couldn't kill the taste out of their mouths for a long time.

Sorry for the corny, mediocre intro but it matches the type of movie this is. Whale Rider. I find it hard to fairly criticize a film like this so I'll try my best, bare with me.

Whale Rider is a story that takes place in New Zealand, the east coast in fact. Yeah sounds all right so far until you get lost within the first minutes. The "Whangara" believe in this ancestor guy named "Paikea" who was able to survive a canoeing accident and arrive to shore on the back of a whale. Everyone after him becomes inferior descendants. Here's when it gets weird. A young 11 year old is part of this tribe, as he wants to become the next "Paikea". Thing is this he is really a she. This girl a weird, masculine tomboy who wants to become a boy (or at least more like one). Too bad they didn't have sex changes back then. Can't satisfy everyone. Throughout the film, we watch this weird girl become more and more like a boy, as she wants to fulfill her destiny of becoming the next chief, still not caring about her gender.

Throughout the film, we watch the sickening hilarity of this young... person. In fact when I watched this with some of my classmates, mostly everyone didn't even know that the kid was a girl. Everyone burst into laughter when it was revealed the kid was a girl. The film is laughable to. You laugh at the most random things ever seen during a film like this. The plot isn't taken seriously and half the time, you don't know what the hell they're doing. But it wasn't a complete waste of 101 minutes of my life. I was laughing.

Overall, Whale Rider is a weird experience. I strongly doubt laughing at this kind of material was the approach of the film. I was just surprised how horrible this film was with its lack of any good acting. The direction is terrible as the film doesn't even feel like a movie, it feels like a crappy TV show. A lot of the film is just unappealing. Seeing that this film got an Oscar nomination and is on the Top 250 just disgusts me. How could a monstrosity like this get an 8.0 rating when amazing films like Ocean's Eleven, Collateral, and Spider-Man 2 are not even on the Top 250? HOW I ASK YOU? Just this fact makes this one of the most overrated films of all-time. Thank God this film is almost off the Top 250. Before you see this film, just remember the lack of sour fruits back in the day and how they never effected a perfect, bored moment.

My Rating: 1/10.

Eliason A.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
If only if they jazzed it up and slapped a PG-13, it would have been an awesome sci-fi flick., 4 February 2005

You got to love sci-fi films. The complex plots and the CGI are just 2 great reasons to stay tuned to them. One of the latest and greatest sci-fi films to come along is I, Robot. With its intriguing plot and its amazing CGI, there's no way you can't love this film. However back in 2002, Clockstoppers came along. Unfortunately, Clockstoppers is a severely missed opportunity for a great sci-fi film. The creators had to keep it appropriate for a PG rating in the U.S so the kids would get a loving sci-fi film that they could actually enjoy. They had to tone down the possibly great plot and turned down all content away from making any movie good. It's too bad really.

Zack Gibbs (Jesse Bradford) is a busy high school kid as he desperately sells everything he can find for a quick buck. The guy is saving his money for a car. While looking in the basement where his father (Robin Thomas) works, he finds a cool wristwatch. However his father is a top-secret scientist who works for an evil corporation. Back to his daily routine, him and his best friend, Meeker (Garikayi Mutambirwa), are at the paintball shop where he works and they meet a new Spanish girl named Francesca (Paula Garcés; yeah I know a lot of no-names). Zack hits on her and volunteers to go to her house to do chores so he can get to know her better. During the chores, Zack accidentally toggles his watch and it freezes all of time as everything and everybody have come to a stop. Zack has discovered how to use the device as the special time is called Hypertime. But when Zack realizes he wasn't supposed to take the watch from his dad, agents fro the corporation come after him. Now him, Francesca, and Meeker have to escape the evil "bad guys".

French Stewart probably is one of the main reasons to look forward to this film. He's a great comedian and he does a nice job on-screen as Earl Dopler, a scientist who works for the same corporation as Dr. Gibbs. The head of the evil corporation is Henry Gates (Michael Biehn; GATES! Microsoft should sue!) as he hardly is a good villain.

The opening sequence is probably one of the best scenes in the movie. If they had driven the film with the caliber from the first scene, it would have been more enjoyable.

Analysis time. First off, if this film was PG-13, they could have accomplished so much more. If they had forgotten the kid content, it would have been a worthy sci-fi film of mention. Just think: can you imagine what kind of power you could have if you had that kind of watch on hand? You could do so many things not demonstrated in a PG film. Instead, the film shows what could happen if this were in the hands of a desperate teenager. This is particularly noted in one scene when they pull minor pranks on the town. Oh, big man now! If French Stewart would have had more screen time, he could have made the film more enjoyable and he'd seem more in place if this were PG-13. All the characters talk as if they don't know English. The action violence is revolved around a lot of biking or running and the running concept only worked for Minority Report. Honestly put, Clockstoppers is a major miss for the sci-fi genre.

Overall, Clockstoppers is a good family sci-fi film. If you pause and take 10 minutes to realize that this film is PG, you might enjoy it more. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this film but it was lacking from my particular audience. I definitely would enjoy this film if I was much younger but how can that satisfy everyone? If someone can take this concept and put it in a PG-13 context, I'll be willing to pay $5 for the move ticket.

My Rating: 5.5/10 (A Mid 5.5)

Eliason A.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Sharp-Dressed Blonde., 4 February 2005

Legally Blonde brought an ending that could satisfy both men and women. It was an ending which contained a great courtroom scene, some conclusive alliances were cleared up, and a graduation. However it didn't quite yell out "SEQUEL!" as it was a light ending to conclude a good film. We got it anyway but the question here was would Legally Blonde stay to the non-stereotypical formula or would it go the other way for what would be a very sour sequel.

Reese Witherspoon comes back as Elle Woods, now an attorney who has found a great law firm in Boston. However after some of her controversial fashion-law sense, she's fired and she seeks justice as she looks for a better political job in Washington D.C. In the mean time, Luke Wilson comes back as Emmett Richmond. Emmett is now a law professor at Harvard and him and Elle are engaged. They have big marriage plans as they plan to get married at Fenway Park, under the Green Monster (to you non-baseball fans, that's the big green wall Fenway Park is famous for). However when she decides to temporarily move to Washington, their marriage plans are halted.

In Washington, Elle Woods joins a new law firm. The people there are filled with ivy-league, hotshot lawyers who find Elle's motives of clashing fashion with law weird themselves. When Elle is there, she meets with a congresswoman in order to pass a bill to ban animal testing as the story; it turns out before she even went to Washington, her favorite designer name is also an animal testing facility. She even finds out that her beloved chiwawa, Bruiser, actually has his parents in that testing facility and she wants them to be at her wedding. At her law firm, one of her enemies is a smart lawyer named Grace Rossiter (played by Regina King) who eventually becomes one of her friends. She eventually befriends all the lawyers there as they help with her animal testing protest parade, blah, blah, yada, yada. She even calls Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge) to come to D.C and help with the protest.

The movie is centred around the protest in winning the rights to the stop of animal testing. However at parts in the film, she also befriends congressmen and congresswomen in the weirdest situations. At the local D.C beauty parlour, she meets Libby Hauser (Dana Ivey), a congressman who too is concerned about animal rights, particularly for dogs. Then she meets Stanford Marks (Bruce McGill), a congressman who's dog... how should I put this, meets with Elle's dog, Bruiser as they become more than friends. Note: the dogs are both male but it is all put in for comedy of course, which I found quite funny myself.

Overall, Legally Blonde 2 stays with the non-stereotypical formula, which brought the first some success. It's a nicely written story and is still quite enjoyable. Sequels-wise, I believe it's one of those rare sequels that exactly matches the first as a lot these days are mediocre or surpass the original. If you're a fan of the series, go for it has it's a cute, funny romp that you can enjoy if you forget it's a chick flick. It has its fair share of problems and sour moments and falls even of the first. I just think going to Legally Blonde 3 would be going way too far.

My Rating: 6/10

Eliason A.

19 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Born to be blonde., 4 February 2005

Take it from me, I hate "Girl-Power". From the female motivation of being stronger and more powerful, the "Girl-Power" genre never appealed to us men. Suffering occurs when this sub-genre is inserted with chick flicks. During dates, men have to go witness these bantering, young (and a lot of the time anorexic) woman who cheer for whatever the hell there are cheering for in the movie. Even some of the time, some men have the free time to view these enigmatic acts voluntarily as they explore the unknown attitudes and motives of these women who are classed as "girly". Girl Power however has become a thing of the past and is dyeing fast seeing that the Spice Girls revolution ended years ago.

Still to this day, we see these movies being made and headed by the teenyboppers who have taken many MINUTES of attention away from Hollywood (i.e. Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan). However, when it comes to chick flicks, there can be substantial surprises.

Well "substantial" is a bit of an overstatement however Legally Blonde was a slightly pleasant surprise. When my sister picked up a copy of Legally Blonde, I wasn't that interested. "Typical Chick Flick." I said to myself. However when the film ended, it actually was pretty good.

Reese Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a sorority queen from Beverly Hills. She is the typical dumb blonde, I mean if there were any example of a girl of this category, Elle Woods would be it (and Reese Witherspoon nailed the performance). She has everything, friends, make-up, and all that girly crap. However when her "perfect boyfriend" (Matthew Davis) dumps her after she originally thought he'd purpose to her, she falls apart. The news spreads so fast in her girl club it's not even funny. The thing that is sad is this kind of thing is true in real life as there truly is some kind of girl system that spreads "vital" and "shocking" info within minutes. *Shudder* *Shudder*.

So her ex-boyfriend moves to Boston to continue his family legacy of law as he's accepted to go to Harvard and become a lawyer. As a desperate attempt to win his heart back, Elle takes the qualifying exams to get accepted as a lawyer and drops her dreams of becoming a fashion specialist. When she gets accepted, she moves to Boston and sticks out like a sore thumb as she dresses for school like a fashion model. However, her attention attracts friends and she learns the law ropes. When a case of an exercise expert is accused of killing her husband, Elle's professor and his best students get to use this real life case as a final test. The students include Elle, her ex-boyfriend Warner, and Vivian Kensington (Selma Blair). Luke Wilson plays the older law student named Emmett Richmond who helps the class and starts becoming good friends with Elle. Finally, Jennifer Coolidge plays Paulette Bonafonté, a beauty shop employee who becomes fast friends with Elle when she needs her weekly dose of nail polish and whatever.

The thing about Legally Blonde is that it isn't a stereotypical film as it avoids most of those elements. It has some solid comedy and good performances, especially from Luke Wilson's charm brought. One of the film's last scenes shows the cleverness Elle learned as her fashion skills pay off with her newly acquired law skills.

Overall, Legally Blonde isn't just a stereotyped chick flick, as many would assume. It's also a good comedy for men too as it combines a good law film with a film for many women to enjoy. The film lacks and drags but it is pleasantly surprising with its appeal to men as well. It's not even guilty pleasure material; it's just surprisingly watchable. Legally Blonde will bring the blonde out of all of us as we witness a not-so-dumb blonde in law action both in and out of the courtroom.

My Rating: 6/10

Eliason A.

161 out of 187 people found the following review useful:
A stunning picture about the real life story of a man who accomplished the extraordinary., 2 February 2005

Rwanda 1994. The genocide of the Hutus and the Tutsis sadly commenced. The Hutu militia broke the peace of the country as they started killing any Tutsis in their sight as they called them "cockroaches". This all goes back to when Belgium took the country and sorted out the Rwandan people by shades of colour, nose size and more as it is briefly explained at the beginning of the film.

Hotel Rwanda however does not focus on the graphicness of the wars or the humanity that occurred. It focuses on the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina and his amazing, heroic struggle. Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina magnificently as a hotel manager who housed over 1000 Tutsis in the Hotel Des Milles Collines. When all hell broke loose on Rwandan soil, he was there to shelter people in need.

Hotel Rwanda is not only an amazingly done drama but is also educational. It shows the real life events with all the details showing how France, England, Canada, and the U.N helped during the disaster. Nick Nolte plays Colonel Oliver, a Canadian soldier from the U.N who is there at the beginning of the film to help with the peace agreement. Later on, him and other Canadian soldiers are relied to help Paul and the rest of the people during the wars. His character is roughly based on the Canadian war hero Romeo Dallaire who wrote his award winning book, Shaking Hands with the Devil. Nick Nolte's performance is fabulous as he brings Colonel Oliver to life.

Sophie Okonedo superbly plays Tatiana, Paul's wife as she gives a stunning performance. She truly did a magnificent job with her stellar, dramatic talent revealed from this film. Joaquin Phoenix gives a gratifying, exceptional performance as an American cameraman there to visually capture the wars on film.

The real story here is Don Cheadle. With his absolutely extraordinary role, he carries the film on his shoulders. Definitely an astonishing, breathtaking performance, which is one of the best of the year. Don Cheadle's performance is so moving, emotional and so remarkable that he is at his absolute best ever.

The film's flaws are hardly noticed. During the intro, it has the documentary feel and seems hard to get into but after only 5 minutes, you get inside Rwanda and live the strong story of survival and heroic, epic events. Also, from a film like this, I expected more inspirational speeches from Paul Rusesabagina, but his actions and his emotions displayed are more than enough to compensate.

The film's cinematography and editing are well down. The direction Terry George brings to the screen is a calm but strong feel that sternly keeps you in the film as there is no place in the film without a small slight of suspense or tension. Even at some parts of this film, the constant, building tension is relieved with some nice jokes that fit right in. Terry George and his partner Keir Pearson cleverly do this as they beautifully bring their screenplay to life. One thing I loved about this film was during the most emotional times, the songs with the African children singers added to an already perfect atmosphere of sadness or emotional struggle. It was truly beautiful when these songs played as we watched the actions of Paul and his wife at the same time.

This film currently sits at #8 on my Best of the 2000's chart, as it is truly that good. One thing that absolutely got me furious was that this film was not nominated for Best Picture for this year's Oscars. With filth like Finding Neverland in the category, I really wonder how the Academy snubbed this one out. This film will never be forgotten, as I will undoubtedly buy this film on the first day its DVD is released.

Overall, Hotel Rwanda is a truly moving, stunning and inspirational masterpiece. The acting is some of the best this year and Terry George does a superb direction job. As for Oscars, Don Cheadle got a nomination for this role and I'm truly proud for saying that. Even more so for Sophie Okonedo as she truly did a magnificent job for a supporting role. This year, I hope either Don Cheadle or Jamie Foxx (for his absolutely extraordinary role for Ray) win Best Actor and I hope Sophie Okonedo takes the Best Supporting Actress statue. As for Best Original Screenplay, Hotel Rwanda can easily take it if it can beat Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. On a closing note, I must say that I strongly recommend that all should view this masterpiece as it educates everyone on the disasters that occurred back in '94. If you truly believe and have faith, the extraordinary can be accomplished and Paul Rusesabagina proved this to us.

My Rating: 9/10 (A High 9)

Eliason A.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The big what-now?, 1 February 2005

It takes a lot of sweat and blood to make a good heist film. The carefully planned schemes. The action, crime, and comedy. The characters and their deep personalities. The direction and the screenplay mixing perfectly together. We all love to see these factors carefully and professionally placed in the best of the best heist films. Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job are prime examples of some of the best of the best to come out with the past few years.

However if you take the dumping ground of January and put a rushed heist in there, you get a different story. The Big Bounce stars a prime cast with a great idea for a story. With Owen Wilson, Sara Foster (a former super model), Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise, and Charlie Sheen, you can't go wrong right? Although there is occasional chemistry within the many combinations of actors and actresses on screen through the film, the characters miss their objectives of entertaining or having any interesting appeal at all. The direction is uncomfortable and the screenplay isn't that interesting at all, without a doubt not at the high level caliber for a good heist film.

Jack Ryan (Wilson) is a pickpocket/ con man in Hawaii who gets bored easily. Him and his friend Frank Pizzarro (Gregory Sporleder) need to pay off some debts so they go for a stealing spree. Jack just lost his job so he applies for a new job at a beach side hotel, which is managed by Walter Crewes (Freeman). Meanwhile, Ray Ritchie (Sinise) is a rich tycoon whose company is about to build a hotel. His number 1 flunky Bob Rogers, Jr. (Sheen) gets into trouble with Jack as they have finished taken care of business from his lost job. It just so happens that Jack used to work for Ray as a construction worker until he lost his job for assaulting the foreman with a baseball bat (one of the only funniest parts in the film). Then Nancy Hayes (Foster) is a young pickpocket who's been an old acquaint of Walter. She then meets Wilson and the trouble begins.

With the film based on he-said, she-said, "who's-scamming-who?" effect, the film gets tired fast. The film's cuts from an R film to a PG-13 film were very unwise and in between scenes there is too much surfing footage. There are some jokes here and there but there isn't enough action or carefully played skills; no smoothness, just a rough, bumpy ride. The film tries to be like Ocean's Eleven or The Italian Job but instead, it goes for a heist filled comedy, Hawaii-style like 50 First Dates. At least 50 First Dates could accomplish comedy. Not only that, The Big Bounce's love scenes make the film seem like a "love-searching" crappy reality TV show like Average Joe. Even the title; what is with that title?! Is it a bounce as in the need to steal or the heist itself? One of the biggest problems is the small objective in the screenplay: to steal $200,000 dollars. People don't want a small amount of money stolen on screen. They want insane amounts of money like in Ocean's Eleven or some Italian chick on many golden bars like in The Italian Job. That amount of money only worked for The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. It won't work for a 2004 film.

Overall, The Big Bounce is a missed opportunity. It could have been a successful, more enjoyable heist film but instead, I think the studio knew it was going to bomb. It will make you laugh sometimes but the stupidity of the characters' moods and motives is a tough act to follow. I'm glad this one bounced out of everyone's attention fast.

My Rating: 5/10

Eliason A.

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