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Training Day (2001)
Takes you for a neat ride... and then keeps going when it should have stopped.
*** o/o **** "Training Day" is a Drama/Thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua (Bait, The Replacement Killers) and stars Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Remember the Titans, The Hurricane, Glory) and Ethan Hawke (Michael Almereyda's Hamlet, Snow Falling on Cedars, Great Expectations) It is released by Warner Bros. at a running time of 120 min. It is rated R for brutal violence, persuasive language, drug content, and brief nudity.
The basic story is as follows: Jake Hoyt (Hawke) is a husband and father who has been a cop for 18 months. He is training to be a narcotics officer. On his training day he is assigned to Alonzo Harris who will show him the ropes. Alonzo at some times is bitter but at other times is fun. But Jake is surprised when he finds out how Alonzo is corrupt and conniving. And soon Jake is intertwined in Alonzo's plan to deliver a large sum of money after a mistake made with the Russian Mafia.
First of all this movie is performance based... the script doesn't give it any oomph and neither is the direction anything special. It is simply wonderful performances by Washington and Hawke (though Hawke will most likely be overlooked by Washington). The movie is paced very well at the beginning with Hawke waking up and meeting Denzel... then we get the intensity point as they go from bust to bust. There are surprisingly impressive cameos by Snoop Dogg and Macy Gray that also push the movie along. Scott Glenn also gives a worthwhile performance as Roger, Alozo's "supposed" friend. 1 hr. 40 mins. in I was thinking, whoa that was one of the best endings I have ever seen! And then the movie continued.
This is the movies fatal flaw... it should have quit when it was ahead... hell, I might have given it an extra half of a star if it had ended then but it all boiled up to a rooftop jumping and then loud ending.
Academy Potential: I am deeming this much too violent for the Academy to choose Denzel for a Best Actor nomination. It's just to much of an action flick to be considered... it would be like nominating Stallone for "Cliffhanger".
While the film has a horrible flaw... it's still enjoyable to watch the stars in brilliant performances. So the movie isn't completely wasted, just less than expected.
The Mists of Avalon (2001)
Greed, Betrayal, Fantasy, Ecstasy, Love, Honor... and you thought that there would never be a GREAT miniseries ever again.
Sunday, July 16, 2001
I comment on this film just 16 minutes after I have seen the last part.
One word: AMAZING
Another Word: BRILLIANT
Ten Words: IF THIS IS NOT AN EMMY MONSTER, BOYCOTT THE EMMYS!
To my surprise, Jullianna Margulies is wonderful as Morgaine LaFey. Being a small screen actress among such perfect actresses as Joan Allen and Anjelica Huston, I did not expect her to deliver as well as she did. But of course, Huston and Allen stole the movie with fabulous performances. Other performances from small time actors such as Michael Vartan, Samantha Mathis... e.t.c. are also worthy of recognition. The film (I would never refer to this film as a MINISERIES, or worse, a TV MOVIE) is beautifully shot in Prague. It's costumes aren't as elegant as some Arthurian films, but nonetheless fit the time. The visual effects are top class for a FILM THAT DID PREMIERE ON TELEVISION BUT IS STILL A FILM. The screenplay is wonderful in the sense that it doesn't say things like, "Dost thou maketh me lowereth thaneth youeth?" It is easy to understand and should be known as a monument of film and nothing else.
**** out of ****
Along Came a Spider (2001)
DIDN'T ANYONE READ THE BOOK?
My goodness! Everyone who has written a review on this movie hasn't read the wonderful and amazing book. I'll just say this, as a classic movie thriller, it just doesn't live up to the caliber of it's predecessor,(or chronological sequel) Kiss the Girls. Another problem: THE SCREENWRITER DIDN'T EVEN READ THE BOOK. And *SPOILER* obviously they don't plan on making the 3rd movie Cat and Mouse since they killed Gary Sonjei *SPOILER END* Michael Wincott is the worst choice to play Gary Sonjei, along with the fact that the character is so badly written. When or if you read the book, you can go inside Gary's mind, and in the end, you'll agree with me about Michael Wincott. The end of Monica Potter' character Jezzie Flanaghan (Who was yes very well casted) is bloated and cruel to the character making her completely awful. And what in the world is up with the beginning? Who thought that up? There is absolutely no mention of that anywhere in the book! Must have been some stupid thing that the screenwriter thought up to "further" the plot.
Beware fans of the book, you will not be pleased.
** out of ****
The Contender (2000)
"How's that for a swan song?"
"Pretty darn good!"
The Contender is an absolutely fabulous film. What makes most of it worth seeing is a *MINOR SPOILER*happy ending*END MINOR SPOILER* which is not common among political thrillers. Joan Allen should have won the Oscar for her honest and glorious performance as Senator Laine Hanson. You can tell that the part was written for her, because if you really think about it, no one else can play Laine Hanson (No one including Julia Roberts who stole the award from her). The only performances that come within an inch of Ms. Allen's were Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman (the master of disguise). The movie should not only be considered a political drama, but a classic ranking among such movies as "All the King's Men" and "All the Presidents Men". No performance comes without strength and believability. If people stopped wanting to watch the same film over and over again (hint hint The Fast and the Furious) The Contender would have made at least 200 million at the box office. This film should have gotten a writing nomination. This character driven masterpiece will undoubtedly go into history as the GREATEST political drama of all time.
**** out of ****
Cats & Dogs (2001)
Beware, toilet humor afloat!
Oh come on! Why did they make this film. The beginning is so nauseating and bloated with kiddie crap that this film must never be called a FAMILY film! If you're gonna take your kid to a FAMILY movie, than go see Shrek (Which actually has clever dialogue) This piece of trash is almost not worth reviewing! 1/2* out of ****.
The Last Broadcast (1998)
It's unfair to call this a BWP rip-off, because it was made the year before... otherwise, this film SUCKS!
What a horrible little film. Never the least bit scary, always weird and ridiculous.
This was the last film that I saw before the century.
Why did Cinemax have to make this their new years eve movie.
Why do people like this film?
To the film makers, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
P.S. IHAAAAAAAAAAAATED this movie. :(
Dont be afraid...
Don't be afraid to let this film take you over. Don't consider leaving the theatre after the first five minutes assuming that you know everything, because unless it's been spoiled for you, you don't know the twists yet to come. Don't be afraid to think. You are set up with these choices:
I chose Memento. If you are willing to sit through this and let your mind be sucked into the plot full of intrigue and twists, then you will love this movie. If you don't want to think, go see The Animal. If you want something with a plastic plot, go see Pearl Harbor. If you look at the Memento page, you'll notice that it is # 12 on the viewers greatest films of all time. It was also deemed the best movie of the year in the MARCH! issue of Total Movie. Richard Roeper said that it was the best movie of the year so far. It is the Sundance winner for Best Screenplay. And it is the best reviewed film this year.
Don't be afraid to laugh, cry, fish, swim, drink, eat, blow your nose, wink, blink, think...
OH F**K, JUST GO SEE THE DAMN MOVIE!
Cherry Falls (2000)
This movie is really scary! (Big Spoiler!)
If you knew me, you wouldn't expect me to watch a slasher flick like this. But actually, I very much like slasher flicks. And this is no exception. There are only three problems with this, one of which is too much of a spoiler. Number one, they didn't send this to theaters! Number two, *SPOILER* You can see two shots of the killer without the hair covering the face on the trailer. *SPOILER END* Otherwise this is slasher fun.
I was very impressed with Brittany Murphy, this being her first normal role. The cinematography was stunning, and costumes were also good. It also had a catchy title, as opposed to something like "The Virgin Massacre" or something of that sort. I really hope that they send this to video, because this is a movie I could never get tired of!
The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
One of the two worst movies ever made.
This movie is simply awful. The performances were the worst. And did you notice in the beginning of the movie where the guy says come with me, and it seems like she's refusing, but then she says, "Then take me to someone who can,"? This might seem like a line that a heroine uses, but the setup makes nauseating. Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron are the biggest actors in the movie. They also give the worst performances. And as for Johnny Depp's so called "country accent", I haven't seen a worse accent from a good actor since Christina Ricci in "200 Cigarettes". I was hoping that this would be a wake up call to people who are thinking of making clicheic space thrillers, but then I saw "Mission to Mars".
out of ****
Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
Oh, I get it, a sequel having almost nothing to do with the original!
I got a discount on this film from the back of a coke box, and I'm sort of glad. I found that there were too many problems with this film. For one thing, this defeats the purpose of having much more elaborate death scenes (one of the rules of a sequel, as told by Randy in Scream 2) And also, most of the deaths are not noticeable enough, due to flickering lights, and the constant moving of an amateur using a camera. And you'll also notice that there are almost no "urban legends" depicted in this film. And did anyone care to notice that Reese said "8 students"? In Urban Legend only 5 students were killed, not including the Dean, and Wexler who aren't students. But if they were counted that would add up to 7. But anyway, this film uses no time for a story that you can hang on to. Also, this movie uses to much time making us laugh than scaring us. And finally, the killer has a really stupid motive. Now lets get to the good part. Jennifer Morrison seems to be a very promising young actress who I hope to see playing more sweet girls. Also, I love the killers choice of costume, considering that it's very original. And the rest of the casts costuming is also good. The sound as expected was amazing, and gave you some jumps. The set was marvelous, as was the cinematography. And there is a surprise at the end. But I won't give any clues. Fans of Urban Legend may be pleased, if they can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie!
Scary Movie (2000)
This is a wonderfull spoof! I'd heard that there were male organ jokes in the movie, but I did not expect what I saw. Most of the jokes (99%) were laugh out loud hilarious. But there were the occasional okay, or just plain stupid jokes. But even during the scene with Ms. Man, (ewwwwwww) I was laughing histerically! "Scary Movie" is completely original. I now understand why "I Know What You Screamed Last Summer" didn't come out around this time. It would have done horribly compared to "Scary Movie". But I think "Scary Movie" draws the line for spoof movies. So spoofers beware, (especially "I Know What You Screamed Last Summer").
O.K., but not very promising... (Warning:Spoiler)
This film is for people who are expecting good action. Well, unfortunately, that's almost all that there is... action. The performances are less than expected. I especially disliked the Tank's performance. He seems to be delivering his lines as if he's reading them strait from the screenplay. You like to dislike some characters, but to a certain extent. The character we most dislike in the film is a German prisoner. But they do too much with the character. Bill Pullman's character is also a character to dislike. But instead of giving us a chance to get to know him, they kill him in the first act. The reactions in this film are not too realistic. And also from what I've heard, the history is also a little off.
I'm not saying don't see the film... but historians and people with a love for compelling movies, think before you see this.
*** out of ****
I'm glad at least some people respect this film!
I thought I was the only one who loved this film. It has everything! The groove, passion, soul food, a butler in a penguin suit, fashion, e.t.c. I'm so sad that this isn't on DVD, because I only buy DVD's. But this film is still one of my favorites. **** out of ****
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)
This film, IS NOT FUNNY!
I hate to be dissing a film with Rob Schneider in it, but this film is disgusting. Deuce Bigalow, is not an interesting character. His life is way to normal for a comedy. The detective in the film is so vulgar! The only thing that might have gotten laughs, was the problems of Deuce's odd clients. This film is disgusting!
Cruel Intentions (1999)
I thought that Cruel Intentions was absolutely spectacular! The acting was the best I've seen from Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon. Reese Witherspoon hasn't given a performance like this ever since Pleasantville. Great new update of the classic Dangerous Liaisons. This is one of my top 100 films. I give it 9 out of 10!
I loved this film! The complete twist of what Star Wars was before Luke Skywalker and Han Solo's story was spectacular. George Lucas is a powerful genius. It is so awesome that Lucas did the last story first, and the first story last! Liam Neeson was great in this movie. It's one of the best performances he's ever given! Jake Lloyd did a great job portraying young Anakin Skywalker. I thought the special effects were the best ever used in a motion picture. The pod race was amazingly subperb! The pod racers themselves were so amazing.The lightsaber fights were much more better than the ones used in the original film. The costumes were so awesome. But the makeup used on Queen Amidala was so spectacular! I can't believe this movie was actually pulled off at all! I can not wait untill Episode 2!
This is one of the best horror films of all time. All though on the same line as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer has it's own little spark of light in the sky filled with killers and victims of horror movies. I thought that the murders were fabulous, and the end was very chilling. I love this movie!!!!