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The Invisible Man (2000)
Surprisingly well done and fun series
This is one show I hope won't be disappearing anytime soon. I originally didn't think I would be interested in it at all. It's an old idea and I kept getting Vincent Ventresca's character from Boston Commons in my head when I saw the promos. What happened? A friend sat me down and told me I had to watch at least one episode. I am incredibly grateful. I went from that one episode to watching it devotedly.
I've had to reappraise Vincent Ventresca. I'd seen him in Boston Commons and Friends but never really put them together as being the same actor. He is quite good at being a variety of very different people. Darien is nothing like good time bobby or the snooty professor from Boston Commons. Ventresca has quite the job for him in this role. Darien is a fun loving, good guy with a past in theft and a cloudy future. The same Quicksilver gland that allows him to go invisible can also drive him insane.
No superhero is complete without his sidekick and so we have Paul Ben-Victor as Bobby Hobbes. I thought this was brilliant. Bobby Hobbes is a blast. I love the idea of assigning a paranoid agent a partner who can turn invisible. Bobby grows on you. Some people think the character is a little... annoying but he's a great guy and he's good at what he does despite being fired from several government agencies. Paul Ben-Victor does an excellent job with this character. His performance is a good part of why I'm watching. He's made Bobby into a very lovable character.
The supporting cast is good but we don't get as much of them as we do the main two. There are also well done special effects and some truly fun plot lines. If you want to watch something good on Friday night, this is it.
Saving Grace (2000)
Funniest Thing I've Seen In Ages
I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to see this film, but I absolutely adored it. I had a splendid time picking out and recognizing actors from other British productions and thought they all did a smashing job here. I especially enjoyed the performance of the good doctor who you might recognize from the British version of Men Behaving Badly. You'll also recognize Matthew as Drew Carey's boss.
The plot may seem like something more reminiscent of 70's U.S. humor, such as Cheech and Chong, but this is done in a slightly different way. None of the characters involved in growing and preparing the hemp plants are raving stoners for one thing. For another, there is more to the plot then just getting by while stoned. The movie is about a woman's life spinning out of control and her attempts, by whatever means necessary, to reclaim it.
I would highly recommend this film. It is funny and heart-warming. You'll enjoy yourself immensely.
Highlander: Endgame (2000)
There should have been only one
I loved the original Highlander movie. I suffered through the second and had hopes that things were improving with the third. Having seen this one, all I can say is that there should have been only one. This was absolutely painful. Less than five minutes into the movie my friends and I were commenting that what we were hearing was the scream of canon dying. I can understand fudging the Highlander canon a bit, here and there, but this was ridiculous. Even the characterizations were messed up. The female immortal love interest made no sense at all considering what the fans have known about Duncan in the 5 seasons that the series were on the air. The only possible way to enjoy this film is to go with friends and laugh at it which is a shame. I would have loved to have liked this movie, but to be honest, I nearly walked out.
Scream 3 (2000)
Closer to the original in quality
Having seen the first two, I figured I should see the third even though I'd been disappointed by the second film. I am very glad I did. I thought this had a lot of humor as well as some nice performances and cameos. I thought that the idea of Ricky as an homage to Randy in the latest Stab film was great and I thought having Randy's explanation of a trilogy as opposed to a sequel was wonderfully done. I also cracked up when I saw Jay and Silent Bob of the Kevin Smith movies pop up on the studio tour. It had nothing to do with the plot but it was great fun.
Scream 3 had a good plot that was as twisted as that of the first movie. Where I had been able to predict at least one of the murderers in Scream 2, I was kept guessing with Scream 3. Between that and the humor, I would say it was far superior to the second movie. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one.
Space Cowboys (2000)
Good Acting, Poor Plotting
I had high hopes for this movie since I first heard about it. With a cast like this, I thought nothing could go wrong. I was mistaken. The characterizations and the acting were terrific, but unfortunately, the plot was given a few too many complications. I would have been happy with a straightforward Daedalous team goes into space. There are plenty of difficulties and dangers to be faced by rookies going into space. They didn't need to add all of the additional complications which, in general, detracted from the film.
All in all, I thought it was a great film until they actually got into space and started running into complications. The interactions between Garner, Sutherland, Eastwood, and Jones were fun to watch and thoroughly enjoyable. The opening of the movie which tells about how the four of them know each other and the scenes showing them preparing for their mission were a treat to watch. I was glad that I saw it but I would have preferred to have seen it as a matinee or even on video.
Scream 2 (1997)
Suffers from Sequel-itis
It started off good. I was thrilled to see Dewey and Randy were back as they were my favorite characters from the first film. Unfortunately, you can't have Scream without Sydney who was even more annoying now that she's gone off to college. I would have much rather have left it where it was at the end of the last film.
The Saint (1997)
Viewable with Fast Forward
I have always thought Val Kilmer was a good actor and someone who I could see in pretty much anything. This wasn't a bad flick but it wasn't exactly good either. If you have the option of fast forwarding through the bad science about cold fusion and you don't mind massive amounts of smarmy romantic scenes, then you'll enjoy it. I fast forwarded through a lot but what I did watch was enjoyable. I liked the disguises and the pyrotechnics. View at your own discretion.
Surprisingly Good for a Slasher Film
I was recently talked into seeing this by a friend of mine. Now, normally, you couldn't convince me to see a hack and slash horror film without some serious bribery, but I was outnumbered so I watched it. As usual there are stupid girls getting slashed up, but not all the characters were annoying. Even better, I actually liked some of the characters who survived the film! It is a surprisingly good film. There is plenty of thought and humor here that you wouldn't normally expect in this type of film.
The Prophecy II (1998)
Stellar bits in an iffy movie
I'd watched The Prophecy and enjoyed it immensely so I figured I'd rent the sequel. I wanted to find out how they could bring back Christopher Walken as his character had been defeated in the first film. Most of the plot of this film, I could have lived without and yet I would still recommend seeing it. You've got a remote so you can fast forward through the boring bits of plot. The parts you want to see are those featuring Christopher Walken as Gabriel and, as usual, Gabriel's helper. There are some great lines for both of these characters. I won't spoil it for you, but you really will enjoy the ending of this movie. I thought it was a brilliant idea.
Implausible but enjoyable
I was looking through the action collection at the video store and trying to find something that might interest my husband and myself, a daunting task. When I picked up Victory, I thought 'why not?' as it has Max Von Sydow who we both enjoy. The fact that it had Michael Caine was an added bonus. Besides I wanted to know what kind of film could have those two AND Sylvester Stallone. Somehow I couldn't picture Stallone playing football with the Europeans, at least not doing it well. I was right. Stallone couldn't play, but it didn't matter because that was part of the shtick for the character.
I'll admit that there were a couple of places where the plot was rather predictable and places where I simply thought it was completely unbelievable. However, all in all I would recommend this movie. It's fun and, at times, touching.
When a friend and I saw this in the recent releases, we decided to get it despite the fact that neither of us had heard of it before. We both like Costas Mandylor and it had James Coburn so we figured it couldn't be that bad. We were wrong. It was. It was REALLY that bad. No actor or actress could have made this film worth seeing. It was like taking Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure and some nuclear bomb film and trying to cut and paste it all together.
I must admit that there were a couple of chuckles. I did laugh when the head cabin boy is asking Alan (Costas Mandylor) if he's some "pussy marine." The other laughs this film got though had nothing to do with the writing. I would dearly love to know how the people making this movie thought that you could have a cruise liner knocked upside down and have it remain steady. It isn't tipped or anything.
If you are looking for something to watch for Costas Mandylor, James Coburn or any of the rest of this cast, move on. Find something good that they did.
The Prophecy (1995)
Horror for the mind
I picked this up at the video store because I love Christopher Walken. I've thought he was an amazing actor since I saw him in Dead Zone years ago. I was expecting some hack and slash, gruesome horror flick that I would sit through so that I could see a few random good bits with Walken. I couldn't have been more wrong about this film. Admittedly, it did have gore, but it was secondary to the plot. I will gladly put up with some fake blood for such an intriguing discussion of the meaning and power of faith.
I thought the way in which the angels were portrayed was brilliant. It was very clear that these weren't men. Christopher Walken, in particular, did a great job of it. I loved how, even though we didn't see them with wings, they all seemed to perch and land when they moved. The neutral nature of the angels was also an interesting view. Even though some were doing horrific things, none of the angels were truly evil. They were just lost.
If you want a film that will make you think and you are willing to be open minded, then this is an excellent film for you to rent. I would highly recommend it.
Amusing & Horrifying
I was excited when I saw that Trekkies was available at my local Blockbuster. I hadn't had the opportunity to see it in the theater though I had seen the trailers for it. I'm no longer quite sure what I expected, but this wasn't it, though I suppose it should have been. This documentary trots out Denise Crosby to interview the most stereotypical examples of Star Trek fans that they could find. After all why should they talk to the majority when you have such a recognizable extreme to work with?
I am perfectly willing to admit that I found parts of this film amusing, but I wasn't laughing at the same things a non Star Trek fan would. I was mostly laughing at myself as I sat there thinking I knew some of the people interviewed. In fact, I watched it with a group of my friends and some of us had actually seen some of them in person, like the gentleman who runs conventions. I also got a chuckle out of my friends' disbelief over the whole section on the town in Iowa that claims to be the future birthplace of Kirk. Since I'm from Nebraska, I'd often seen fliers for their annual conventions.
What I did not find amusing was the way this documentary picked only extreme cases and focused so totally on one aspect of the lives of these people. We were left almost completely in the dark as to what these people did with the rest of their lives. Instead it was all focused on how strange they were for spending so much time and money on Trek stuff. Yes, the people shown are spending a lot of money on Star Trek stuff, but you know what? They must be making good money at whatever it is they do in their lives to be able to afford it. For the most part, these people were quite intelligent, despite how they were being portrayed. The dentist who runs Starfleet Dental and his wife thought up a way to pay for their fan stuff and have it help their business. I think it's a great gimmick. He's going to get people coming in to see the stuff and keep them because of his ability. Oh, and the kid who is doing his own computer animation? He's got quite the future ahead of him with that kind of ability.
If you're a fan, you will enjoy this if you can laugh at yourself and you are comfortable with the fact that no matter what you do, Trek fans are always going to be seen this way. If you aren't a fan, well, I'm not sure why you would want to see this in the first place unless you just want to laugh at people you don't understand.
Company Business (1991)
Sometimes you rent something that you think will be bad just for the sheer campiness of it. That's what I thought I'd done with Company Business as I'd been browsing through the Blockbuster and couldn't remember the film at all, despite being a Baryshnikov fan. I figured what the heck and rented it anyway. I was quite surprised to find myself really enjoying this film even though you sometimes have to really work at suspending your disbelief. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly Baryshnikov could have been successful as a mole with his accent.
This film has two things really working for it though -- the dialogue and the stars. The dialogue is wonderful. Throughout the movie there are great one line bits that leave you chuckling. Mind you, most of those lines wouldn't have worked if Hackman and Baryshnikov hadn't had such great chemistry. You really don't watch this film for the plot, but for the interaction between these two. It certainly wasn't a pairing I expected, but it worked.
With all that said, my one complaint about the movie has nothing to do with whether or not it was a believable plot, but where it left off. I wanted more resolution. My husband agrees. We got to the end of the film and he looked at me and said "That's it? It was just getting good." It leaves too many things up in the air.
All in all, I would say if you are expecting a spy movie, don't bother. If, on the other hand, you want a fun little buddy movie, rent it and enjoy.