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1/10
Unforgivably bad script writing...
25 September 1999
You'd think that Paramount, while spending God knows how much money to make and promote this movie, they'd get a screenwriter that realized that the double jeopardy clause wouldn't be applicable here. For one, if she killed her husband, she'd STILL go to prison again, for 3 reasons: 1. No matter WHO she killed, it would still be considered a parole violation. 2. If she killed her husband, the double jeopardy clause wouldn't protect her because it would prove that she hadn't killed him before, thus making the previous conviction null and void, or she'd be tried for killing someone OTHER than her husband, if it couldn't be proved it was indeed him she'd killed. Plus, since she would have killed him on a different date, time and possibly way than the first time, it would be counted as a different crime anyway.

Basically, these thoughts kept ricocheting around my mind as I watched this movie, totally destroying any possibility of enjoying the film. If you're going to make a movie like this, get someone that can at least open a law book to consult the screenwriter. Maybe then they could make a script that didn't talk down to me and insult my intelligence.

I give this movie 4 out of 10 stars, the only saving graces being the acting and editing. I really can't recommend this film just on the sheer incompetence of the script.
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One of the greatest anime series of all time.
29 July 1999
This series, a creation of Studio Gainax, is a perfect example of why I love anime. It has everything: Adventure, romance, action, comedy, and drama. Oh, does it have drama. And all of these elements are brought together in such a way that "perfection" doesn't do it justice. Running for 39 episodes, this series starts out in Paris in the late 1800's. Jean (pronounced the French way), a young boy with an incredible knowledge for designing aircraft, meets a girl named Nadia. Nadia is a mysterious girl, and quite unusual. Her companion is a grey lion cub named King, and they are being chased by a band of jewel thieves (Graten, Samson, and Hanson, three of the coolest anime characters ever)because Nadia has a pendant around her neck, a diamond-shaped, blue crystal. But, that's just a small part of the story, for you see, that crystal holds a secret capable of destroying the world. Nadia and Jean meet other characters, including the enigmatic Captain Nemo, captain of a high-tech, almost futuristic submarine named the Nautilus (the series borrows some elements from the Jules Vernes novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, then adds it's own spin to them). They also encounter the series' true villain, the leader of a society called Neo Atlantis. This villain, named Gargoyle, is perhaps the single most evil villain I've ever seen, as well as one of the coolest. He's very proper, with a calm, smooth voice, not loud and over-the-top like most typical villains, and hides his face behind a mask (take Darth Vader's coolness and multiply it by about 10, and you've got Gargoyle). Eventually, the series explores the secrets of Nadia's past, her relationship with Nemo and Jean, and the awesome power her pendant, the Blue Water, unlocks. The series' finale, the final four episodes, are some of the best viewing you can get (why, oh why can't American animation be this good?), with heart-wrenching drama and glorious animation. The music, by the same composer as the Evangelion music, is heavenly, and the character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto are as good as his Eva character designs (the man is an artistic genius). The opening and ending themes are fantastic, also. All in all, this series is the only anime I can think of that equals Neon Genesis Evangelion in every respect, and in some may actually surpass Eva. After all, Eva was great, but lacked a cool villain (and Gargoyle is one of the coolest). If A.D. Vision ever gets around to releasing this officially over here, buy it (and please buy the subtitled versions, the voices are just TOO GOOD to watch a dubbed version). An 11 out of 10.
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8/10
A good series based on a great video game.
17 May 1999
As a huge fan of the video games, I was ecstatic when I heard there would be an anime based on them. Finally, something to erase the memory of the beyond horrible American cartoon (Darkstalkers). The story, which centers around a vampire hunter named Donovan, very loosely follows the game's plots. The main characters are Demitri the vampire, Morrigan the succubus, the little girl Anita, Felicia the cat woman, Lei Lei the Chinese ghost, and Gallon the werewolf. The primary antagonist is the alien being Pyron, who has come to earth to destroy all Darkstalkers and rule Earth himself. The thing that separates this series from others like it is the fact that, except for Felicia, Donovan, and Lei Lei, none of the other characters are particularly good. Demitri is as evil as any on-screen vampire, Morrigan cares only for herself, Anita hates everyone, and Gallon is a kind of anti-hero. And yet, Pyron is more dangerous than any of these creatures, planning global conquest and destruction. Normal humans in this series have a bleak outlook, since Pyron will destroy them, and Demitri subjigates them to his will (he's hidden the sun away with thick clouds for over a century). The music is decent, with lots of variety. Where this series really shines is the visuals. The animation of the first two episodes is spectacular, rivaling most theatrical anime. The second two episodes don't look quite as good, but they still look nice. The way that all of the character's moves from the games is nice, too. The fight scene with Morrigan and Demitri has a very Masami Obari (director of Fatal Fury)feel to it, and they do just about all of their trademark moves. The voice acting is excellent, as well. Rei Sakuma gives Morrigan a very lustful, throaty voice, while Yukana Nogami's Felicia is stunningly cute sounding. And Akio Otsuka's deep, powerful voice commands respect, and is perfect for Demitri, and Akiko Yajima delivers her lines with vacant perfection, capturing the emotionless girl Anita flawlessly.

Overall, the first two episodes are better than the last two, but the series as a whole is great, and definitely a step above the typical game-based anime, ranking up there with the Fatal Fury anime and the Street Fighter II movie (Japanese version only). If you like the Darkstalkers games, buy this anime. The DVD has loads of cool extras, so buy that version if you can.
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Santa Claus (1959)
It's not exactly "Miracle on 34th Street", but...
21 April 1999
nor is it exactly horrible, either. It swims somewhere in between having lighthearted camp and disturbingly offbeat theology. Santa Claus as God? Uhh, no. But the little girl is actually cute, and endearing. The devil Pitch is pretty annoying, but he's the devil! What did you expect him to be? The MST3K episode with this movie is one of the funnier ones, and along with the Mistie treatment of "Santa Clause Conqures the Martians" is a yearly tradition at my house.
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It's the Poopy Suit!
13 April 1999
Honestly, that's a line in the movie, if you can call this a movie. It's mostly stock footage of jets flying, landing, bombing, and roughly ten hours of refueling footage. The "plot" revolves around some leather-faced Air Force pilots training in new jets. That's it. Tedious doesn't come close to describing this film. Literally NOTHING happens. Nothing.Oh, and everyone in this movie has third degree sunburns and disturbingly lumpy faces. "Top Gun" it isn't. This is just a really bad movie. Be sure to look out for the Poopy Suit, a suit that somehow keeps you from drowning if you crash a jet into the ocean (not that that happens, because THAT would be interesting). The only way this is watchable is the Mystery Science Theater version, it's hilarious.
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The best movie ever.
11 April 1999
Never before has a movie put me through so many emotions. Anger, joy, fear, depression, hope, all flowed through me as the epic film unfolded before me. I was left emotionally wrung out the first time I watched it, and my view of life has been changed forever because of it. Just be warned, if you haven't seen all the TV episodes, you will be totally lost by this movie. Oh, and hope you haven't developed too much of an emotional attachment to the characters.
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Movie good, Disney bad...
11 April 1999
It's bad enough they had to ruin this movie by dubbing it, but they also tampered with the sound effects and music to boot! Thank God Disney has released a widescreen, subtitled version of this wonderful film. Buy the sub instead, it's MUCH better (I liked Phil Hartman and all, but English voices and anime simply do not mix).
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Eegah (1962)
1/10
Watch out for snakes!
14 March 1999
Everything about this movie screams BAD! Arch Hall Jr.'s hideous, greasy face, the bizarre sexual undertones between Roxy and her dad, Eegah's drapery cave, everything is just so depressingly awful in this movie. The horrors of this film still haunt my dreams, especially the shaving scene, and Arch Hall Jr. running around whining "Roxy! Roxy!" all the time. Not to mention the wretched soundtrack...

Avoid at all costs, unless it's the MST3K episode
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Metal Gear Solid (1998 Video Game)
Buy the import if you can.
6 March 1999
Although they made a few minor improvements to the US version, the horrible English voices make the game unplayable. Snake sounds like a stupid cliche Clint Eastwood rip-off, and Meryl's voice made me cringe while having Resident Evil flashbacks. Not to mention Liquid's stupid British accent. The Japanese voices were much better, and worth buying the import for.
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Dragon Half (1993– )
The funniest anime ever.
6 March 1999
This is, without a doubt, the funniest hour of anime I've ever seen. The characters and situations are incredibly goofy, parodying everything from RPG cliches to idol singers. The way the characters snap in and out of Super Deformed mode (where they become goofy caricatures of themselves) never gets old. The voices are perfect (as is usually the case with Japanese voices for anime), and the music is fittingly nutty (the ending theme made my laugh until I cried). Take my advice, if you want a good laugh, buy this anime! My only complaint is that they only made two episodes, whereas the original manga ran for quite a while, and this series deserves to be continued. A classic.
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10/10
Disney's best live action movie
14 February 1999
This movie is one of the most underrated classics of sci-fi. The production designs are outstanding: One really gets a sense of the immensity of the Cygnus from the shots of huge, miles long corridors. The story is very good, especially the ending (the vivid scene of Hell still gives me chills). The musical score is very haunting and appropriate. Overall, the acting is pretty good, with only a few stiffly delivered lines. Plus, Maximillion is still one of the most menacing robots in movie history. I'm glad Anchor Bay is re-releasing this movie on VHS and DVD.
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Beast Wars: Transformers (1996–1999)
Decent animation, but...
12 February 1999
This show fails to live up to the original. The original had better characters (Optimus Prime as a monkey? I don't think so), and more interesting plots, not to mention much better toys. Toy Fair magazine summed it up perfectly when they had Jetfire of the original toys standing next to Optimus Primal (ugh), and they had Jetfire saying "I transform into a jet capable of flying faster than Mach 5", and Optimus Primal says "I throw my own feces". If that doesn't perfectly sum up why the originals are better, I don't know what does.
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Worse than "Manos"?
8 February 1999
A tough question, but nothing changes the fact that this movie really sucks. The incomprehensible dialog, the horrible quality of the film, the inept editing, the laughable "monster", and the utter lack of any suspense make this one boring movie. It ranks up there with "Plan 9" and "Manos" as one of the absolute worst movies ever. Not even "Eegah" is this bad. Please, don't reveal the surprise ending to "Monster A-Go-Go".
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1/10
Painful to watch.
9 January 1999
Of all the bad movies based on good video games, this is the worst. Being a huge fan of the games, I was more insulted than disappointed at this movie. On every level, it fails: as an action movie, as an adaptation of the games, as a Van Damme vehicle. The most degrading thing is the deliberate mispronunciation of Ryu's name: it's REE-YU, not RYE-YU. Overall, just a terrible, terrible movie.
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Bubblegum Crisis (1987–1991)
9/10
Finally, the classic series given the treatment it deserves.
5 January 1999
The DVD set of this series is excellent. The sound is great, and the picture quality is perfect, even surpassing the laserdisc release. The ability to watch it in the original Japanese without subtitles covering the picture is nice, also. All 8 episodes are in the set, which is a steal at about $50 (compared to about $120 for the tapes, or around $100 for the laserdiscs, if you can even find them). My only complaint is that the music videos are compressed really badly, giving them an M-PEG look, and compared to how the actual episodes look in this set, that low quality is unacceptable. Still, that one complaint aside, this set is more than worth the money if you like this series even a little.
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Laserblast (1978)
2 1/2 Stars can't be wrong!
3 January 1999
Unless they're given by Leonard Maltin. What was he thinking? This terrible movie has everything against it: Unlikeable characters, bad acting, laughable special effects, and virtually no plot. Only Roddy McDowall's presence and the stop-motion aliens save the movie from a big fat bomb. This was a 1 star movie at best. Shame on you, Mr. Maltin.
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Shin Seiki Evangerion (1995–1996)
The greatest anime of all time.
21 December 1998
This is the best animated series ever. Everything, from the character designs to the acting (especially Ogata Megumi's tortured Shinji) is beyond excellent. The music, especially in the last few episodes and the two movies, is some of the best since the "Akira" soundtrack. The story has more depth than any ten other series. The sheer level of artistic brilliance is staggering. The final two episodes are especially good, while not wrapping up the story per se (that's the movies' job), but rather tie up the emotional loose ends for Shinji, which is the series' main focus anyway. Many people didn't like these episodes, but they merely didn't understand them; they're very difficult to follow without careful analysis. What makes the series so great is the psychological depth of the characters. By the end of the series, we know them all intimately, as if they're our own family. The two movies haven't been released officially yet, but they're worth the trouble finding fansubs: they're both excellent. Out of 10, this series deserves a 20.
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One of my favorite movies.
18 December 1998
As a huge fan of the games, this movie was everything I hoped it would be. The animation is very good and smooth, the character designs do the characters justice, and Tetsuya Komuro's musical score perfectly reflects the mood of the film. The voices are excellent, from Kojiro Shimizu's calm-voiced Ryu to Takeshi Kusaka's completely evil sounding Vega (M.Bison in the U.S.). The plot, while having a few holes in it, manages to follow the game closely enough that even die-hard fans like myself can forgive any shortcomings it may have. The soundtrack is wonderful, from Big Life's rock ballad "Cry" to the ending credits song "Good Luck (Hooray for the Street Fighter)" and are much more fitting than the grunge rock in the horrible American version of this movie. If I have any complaints with the movie, it's that many of the characters don't get enough screen time, but then if they tried to give all the characters a starring role the movie would be too crowded. Overall, if you get the chance to see the original Japanese version of this movie, do it. It's much better than the terrible U.S. version.
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1/10
This movie sapped my will to live.
14 December 1998
And I was watching the MST3K version! This is one of those movies that just sits on your head and smothers any strength you may have against bad movies. The "acting" was so bad it defies description, the plot was laughable, the music annoying in the way only the sound of a spoon in a garbage disposal can be, and the ending is downright offensive. I find it appropriate that Hal Warren was a fertilizer salesman. Avoid this movie like the plague.
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The animation is stunning.
13 December 1998
The frame-rate is very high, unlike some anime where you can count the frames. The sheer amount of colors used is mind-boggling: They used about four different shades of color for the characters eyes! The movement of the characters and the amount of detail in the drawings is excellent. Satoshi Urushihara's character designs have never been done justice in anime form until this. However, the story is woefully incomplete: watching it, I got the feeling that the budget ran out and they had to hurry the last ten minutes of the film. The comic version (written and illustrated by Urushihara) is a much better version of the story. Still, if you want stunning visuals, you can't do much better than this (well, except Akira, of course).
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10/10
The best American animated movie ever.
9 December 1998
This is the best animated movie ever made in America. The animation blows away anything Disney was doing at the time, and most of what they're doing now. The story, however, is where the movie really shines. A good adaptation of the book, the story is better than the typical Disney fairy-tale plot-by-numbers fare. The characters have personality, and the voices are all excellent. Bluth hasn't made a movie since that equals this masterpiece.
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