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What can you say... Vulcan rocked it in his own super-cheesy way, embracing the show with those crazy eyes as only he could do. Storm was a dude before s/he was a female Gladiator- nothing wrong with it, but does that sound entirely fair on the female contestants? The show was entertaining but monotonous, had a smell of scripting attached to it, and we never saw the ep where Kimberly Joseph sacked up and quivered into the ring. Pity.
Home and Away (1988)
You know it's not just gonna fade away
What can you even say about Home and Away. It ain't going away until everyone, as in everyone stops watching it, and it does have a way of suckering you in. The quality of the show actually wavers as the talent does- thank god they hung onto the unconventionally beautiful Tammin Sursok, who can act circles around most of the cast *cough* Rebecca Cartwright *cough*. With any luck Tammin will move on to Always Greener, do a stint on All Saints, find a starring role in an indie movie, and become an A-list Australian actress, at least of Rachel Griffith status, and with any luck Nicole Kidman. She's the most natural with Home and Away's admittedly clunky, wordy dialogue, and she already has one (best newcomer) Logie under her belt.
Until then, I will keep watching Home and Away. Because I'm interested in the characters. Because of the (usually) Aussie music they use. Because of the lovely Tammin, and the hopes that Edward will someday re-emerge. Because it's predictable, entertaining and familiar, and there's nothing else on at 7 weeknights.
Kick of the desert
I was quite excited to see the ads for Kick, looked like a great Aussie film. Somewhat disappointed to see then a predictable storyline (let's see- rugby player (Matt) has a conventionally beautiful girlfriend (Tamara) and a desire to please everyone, but also a burning desire to Dance! and a not-so-boldly-attractive female dance partner (Claire). Where will this take us, guys? Do you think maybe the big game and the big performance might be held on the same night?)
The dialogue was annoying, seemed to be more from the school of Daytime American Movie of the Week then the more gritty Aussie films that actually sound like how Australians talk. The plot doesn't make much sense. Seemingly, we're meant to dislike Tamara for being upset when she thinks her long-time boyfriend is cheating on her (he is, but the movie never pays that any attention because, you know, it's Tru Luv). Tamara is A Popular Girl, gorgeous, and wears a beret to school. You know she can't be the one. Claire is a Free Spirit, can inspire our hero to follow his dreams, and naturally they fall in love... because she dances well and she looks like a knockoff Reese Witherspoon. Actually, without bias, Matt has more chemistry and better timing with his best friend then either of the girls (Martin Henderson was a crackup, stealing every scene he was in.)
Come to think of it, Radha Mitchell's Tamara was fantastic too, (her reaction when she finds tights in Matt's room was priceless). She went on to play the captain in Pitch Black, which she was also very good in, and deserves better then the standard Evil Materialistic Girlfriend bit.
Oh, and for god's sake, these kids were meant to be high school students? Not many of them could pass for anything under early twenties, especially Matt, who looked like he should be teaching by now.
So. There we have it, folks. If you're a gorgeous rugby player with a burning heart's desire, if you can dance a musical at the Sydney Opera House in under three songs, if you have the strength to stand up to your blonde girlfriend who supported all and everything you did up until you decided to completely change your life while hiding this change from her, you too can achieve your goals, keep your yobbo friends, and make the old man happy.
Higher Ground (2000)
Huh... mixed bag
This show does seem to have some idea of issues... definitely more so then the Dawson's All That TV/movie cr*p that shows teens usually. But I had a hard time realizing these were meant to be 'troubled' kids at first, as each and every one of them is always perfectly dressed with beautiful hair and skin. It's like The Gap sponsored it or something, and threw in one or two of their models to act as well. Fair enough if this is a place for rich kids with problems, but it's unrealistic to dress up 'street kids/juvenile offenders' as if they're upstanding citizens all neat and preppy, and the picture perfect faces don't help either.
The idea and storylines of the show seemed well enough, but the 'we're all beautiful' actors and attitude ('by the way, I'm in for third degree manslaughter!') stumbled it.
True family movie
I picked up Hook at the video shop: strangely enough, the eleven year old and the four year old both wanted it. Went home: Mum was also happy to see it. And being a long-time fan of Peter Pan I sat down to watch too.
The sets for Neverland are gorgeously imaginative, in their own cartoonish way. Robin Williams seemed to have found his new home with the Lost Boys, take that however you see fit... and Dante Basco was perfect as the 'new Pan' Rufio. Great wild smirking lil' rebel he was, and for me the movie ended when... for those who haven't seen it, I won't spoil. For those who have, anyone else think that was pretty unneccessary?
In fact, I think my only real complaint about this movie was Peter's daughter... as soon as they were in Neverland, she was as corny and lispy as any child character ever was. Perhaps that was all that was needed, but not once did I get the feeling that this child was anything other then a little pouty about being kidnapped, but for the ham-handed "Dadddddy! Saaaave me! I don't wanna stay with the mean Mr Pirate!" lines she spouted occasionally. Not exactly heart rending stuff. The confusion of her brother was more interesting, and it would have been nice had the girl shown some decent emotion... perhaps simply the writing of the character at fault. Anyway, not a major problem at all.
Julia Roberts... a little detached from the movie. Could have done without the 'romance', which somewhat detracted from the childish playmate friendship of Tinkerbell and Peter. But very cute when fairy-sized, and the first interaction with her and Peter was very funny. Her performance was more of a plus then otherwise.
Captain Hook and Smee's scenes, hilarious. The action and stunts, wonderful. Altogether a completely entertaining, original spin on Peter Pan, may not be some's cup of tea, but without a doubt a great family movie, and something I'd recommend to others for campy PG fun.
Resident Evil (2002)
I saw this at the movies with my friends, and we all thought it was pretty damn awesome... some of us liked the gore, the zombies were damn freaky-lookin', Milla Jovovich was lovely as always and actually did a good job with her action sequences, and Michelle Rodriguez, the chick with the EYES, got all the coolest lines... the story was good, the opening sequence was awesome, but for me the movie started when the troopers invaded and took over... think I'll go see this again now.
Rat Race (2001)
If you can relax and stop expecting American Beauty crossed with Monty Python, it's hilarious.
Ok, personally I had a great time seeing this at the movies. Duane and Blaine Cody were particularly insane as the con-artist brothers, Duane being the brains, Blaine being the muscle, and both of them very attached and connected family. Amy Smart had without a doubt the best revenge scene on her cheating boyfriend I've ever seen in a movie or otherwise, she was truly maniacal, and Rowan Atkinson was amusing in his own way as the Italian tourist. I didn't worry about staring at the screen with my 'contemptuous' look on, turning to whisper to those around me, "This is sooo stupid!" in the hopes that they would think I had mature, refined tastes and was altogether above this kind of brainless physical comedy. Instead I sat back, took it for what it was, and laughed my booty off. I'd suggest to anyone considering this movie to do the same.
Mystery, Alaska (1999)
Mystery- a hit if you're up for it
This movie was a little confusing at times, what with the gleefully constant swearing mixed with the 'here comes a heartwarming moment' music. But hey, people swear a lot, in my country at least. A lot of Americans don't seem to be used to it. But this is about Mystery, Alaska, so I digress.
Being a teenager, obviously my eyes were drawn early to the two younger actors, the mayor's daughter and the new hocket talent. And I have to admit it was pretty sad watching this girl so desperate to keep her boyfriend since he was on the worshipped 'Saturday team'. As one of the other ladies in this movie said, it's hard to be a woman in Mystery. And it does seem hard, the whole team built around a sport which only the men seem to be eligible for.
This is what hit me personally hardest about this movie. And for the others, Russell Crowe is a good actor, Mary McCormack does a great job, the two who play the young couple are relevent and fairly interesting. To each their own, and to me Mystery, Alaska is always fun and entertaining. It's been called the adult Mighty Ducks. What they don't seem to realize is that the many many kids who watched the Mighty Ducks are older now.
The Saddle Club (2001)
The word 'tacky' comes to mind.
Some young kids will probably like this show, but cringe if they see it again when they're older. The storylines are cheesy and most scenes are very unrealistic, such as where a young girl trips over the side of a cliff and her young friend, also hanging off the cliff by her fingertips, catches her in one arm. Always full of moral, the good people always get what they want and the bad people end up punished in a fitting manner. The even mix of Australian and American accents is interesting to say the least, making you wonder where the show is supposed to be set.