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Tart (2001)
I Kinda Liked it. . .
11 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILERS (I guess)*

Cat Storm (Dominique Swain) is a teenager attending Manhattan's most exclusive prep school in the 1980s. Her best friend, Delilah (Bijou Phillips) is always getting into trouble, and she has a crush on William (Brad Renfro), who is in the school's elite social group, the BPs ("Beautiful People"). When she is finally able to penetrate the BPs and finds herself escorted to a dance by William, Cat will ultimately find herself entangled in a web of clubs, drugs, and deception which will leave her longing for the quiet, unpopular status she once had. Frankly, when I started watching this movie, I was expecting a hell of a lot more drug-taking, sexual things, drinking etc. But no. There is some, just not a lot. This movie reminded me of everything from New Best Friend to Risky Business to American Beauty to Cruel Intentions. At times it wants to be a tearjerker, like the part when Cat and her mom were talking about their feelings to each other. They also had some pretty cool characters, I especially liked how feisty and rebellious Delilah was. I was up really late one night and happened to catch the movie from the beginning. I couldn't believe how Cat was being treated throughout the entire movie. I thought maybe the focus was that she was one of the BP's. I thought she would even go out with that guy for longer than that, after they spent all there time together. But it was kinda obvious after the movie progressed that he was using her, since no one else at school really liked her, because kids judged her on her looks and clumsiness. Tart is a funny movie when you overlook the cruelty that she endeavors. Just her name alone would target kids in the school. I hoped that the sequel would come out and prove that she out grew her old look and is able to be a normal kid, but that isn't in the works yet, is it? Bijou Phillips added the much needed pep to this movie. With the hot Brad Renfro only being there for maybe 15-20 minutes also helps, but the other BP's were dull and plain and boring. It seems that Cat was the leader of the pack, with the fashions and the hair and even the music that they were allowed to listen to. ALL of the BP's had blank slates on their face and Cat drew their emotions! If she wasn't the girl popular with the boys and leader of the BP's, I don't think the movie would have made it. I find it hard to believe that after having strict parents, that you go out and be the "girl that was with all the guys" on the roof!! With no one hearing you!! Unbelievable to me. I didn't see the need of having them all be wild drug-takers and hardcore party goers, if they wanted to see the world and be away from those strict and enforcers of parents, why didn't they just take the car and drive away to where they aren't know and start all over, with no attachments and worries. But the movie has some interesting points that should be discovered on your own. Add a cute supermodel Lacey Chabert (Not Another Teen Movie, Party of Five) who by the way was one of the only characters I liked a little. I also liked Delilah and William and Grace but that's about it. I have nothing really positive to say about the film except that Lacey Chabert looked attractive in the film. I guess I'm the *only* one who *kinda* liked this movie, mainly because the cast had good talent though it was quite short on script and story *sighs*. Mischa Barton, Lacey Chabert, Brad Renfro, Bijou Phillips, Melanie Griffiths and Dominique Swain are practically the only *good* things about this. I'm giving Tart a 6/10 because it's entertaining, has a great cast and performances. And for *real* quality, a 4/10.
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Polio Water (1995)
Great short film! (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)
10 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Thats about it, I love this movie! It's great. Seeing Mischa Barton's 'child actress' movies are always fun. All of her movies have been good, including Tart, which most people hated. It has a beautiful and wonderful story upon it that few movies can master. I think they should make a sequel. I wrote a short essay after watching this movie, not because it affected me, but that it left such a great impression. To me, the use of 'Polio Water' as title is apt, as the movie goes to show how many people continue to live in their private hells, when all around them is a place which seems like paradise. These people, though socially interactive at times, seem more preoccupied with the ghosts of their pasts rather than the blessings of the moment. Only when these characters are able to let go of the demons that haunt them are they able to once again experience the joys of love and intimacy.

This film can help us to evaluate the things that we allow to control us, and help us to understand that instead of examining our lives under a microscope, we should allow ourselves to look up and out sometimes, and maybe discover all those things missing in our lives but which were right by us all the time. Polio Water was a beautiful yet under-appreciated movie. If it weren't for HBO I probably would have never seen it. Mischa Barton is a parochial school girl during the polio epidemic of the 1950s. She doesn't have many friends either but is very smart and inquisitive. Mischa Barton is incredibly adorable and well on her way to her excellent role in 'Lawn Dogs.'

The movie is somewhat slow moving at the beginning but builds up to a great movie. Everything is believable. This is definitely a film worth seeing. Don't be turned off just because you haven't heard of it. It's better than a lot of that trash that is highly advertised. It is mainly about a girl who goes on an adventurous, dangerous odyssey to escape her goth like childhood and proves to be be wilder than any adventure she has imagined. My score. ..7/10. Definitely recommended.
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Lawn Dogs (1997)
Honestly Fabulous Film Complimented With Fantastic Performances by Both Barton and Rockwell (SPOILERS)
10 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I do not normally take the time to write a review - but this film affected me so much, I felt compelled to try. I fear I cannot capture the enormity of this film as a seminal work of art in words - kind of like Trent in his speech to Devon about having failed (even though he is celebrated) - the inability to capture in words the gestalt of life or in this case, just this film. I will leave to others to describe the plot, I am more compelled to describe the impact/impressions this film had/made on me:

1) Incredible acting by the entire cast right down to the main kids (the little girl). Loved Mischa Barton- a perfectly portrayed precocious little kid - caring daughter but cheerfully oblivious to the deeper currents in life that only become really known to one as we age.

2) The Trent created by Sam Rockwell was so real - I couldn't even find the "celebrity" when I looked closely for him. Kudos to hair & makeup because even on the closeups it was perfection. So compelling a character did Sam create, that I want to see him again in other films - nose and all playing different characters.

30 Mischa Barton- wow - what was the Academy thinking with Helen Hunt? - absolutely no comparison in layers of complexity between the two roles and Mischa's mastery of that depth and of her character. She had the more difficult role by far and was perfection in it.

4) Was this movie life changing as said by another commenter? Yes and I cannot even tell you exactly why. Perhaps an even greater appreciation of the art and contribution to humanity of a brilliantly written, designed and acted film. Perhaps a greater sense of my own humanity - because our humanity is a shared thing and there is such a thing as the collective/universal unconscious. That many of us sometimes feel lost or that we do not belong or cannot find the meaning we so eagerly search for - happiness (whatever that is exactly) is elusive. We are not alone - it is human to feel despair even when by all accounts we have nothing specifically to complain about and "should" feel happy.

I went to see it twice and it was even better the second time.

This movie is mainly about a young girl who finds friendship on the wrong side of the career tracks in this drama. Camelot Gardens is a "gated community" where wealthy people can purchase luxurious (if sterile) homes and a security force ensures that riffraff will be kept away from your door after nightfall. The Stockard family are new arrivals at Camelot Gardens; father Morton (Christopher McDonald) is a businessman who wants to go into politics, while mother Clare (Kathleen Quinlan) busies herself with affairs with younger men. Neither seems to have much time for their 10-year-old daughter Devon (Mischa Barton), who doesn't care for children her own age; Devon's uncle likes to entertain her with stories about a witch named Baba Yaga who lives in the forest, so one day she wanders into the nearby woods looking for Baba. Instead, she finds a trailer that's home to Trent (Sam Rockwell), a 20-something free spirit who scrapes together a living by mowing the lawns of Camelot Gardens. Devon and Trent both have physical and emotional scars to deal with, and they soon become friends and confidantes; however, Devon's parents become upset when they learn that their daughter's best friend is a grown man, particularly one who lives in a trailer and does lawn maintenance for a living.

Mischa Barton was absolutely fabulous and honest in her well written role-she truly deserved some kind of award.Mischa Barton has the more troublesome role. She must portray attraction to Rockwell without slipping into `Lolita' mode, or the dreaded melodramatic may-december domain. While Barton isn't Rockwell, their chemistry is one to step back in awe of. An 18 year gap separates the actors, but it is easy to accept them as a couple. Barton steadfastly maintains her character's intelligence and maturity, without her stooping to childish pranks to sell the differences between Devon and Trent. Through her writing, Wallace does all the work for Barton in this regard.Barton matches Rockwell in just about every way, making them, outside of Freddy and Jason, to be one of the more peculiar, yet lovely screen couples in the history of film. Wallace ends `Lawn Dogs' on a wonderful, secretive note, also staying away from emotional indulgence. We leave the film with a peculiar, fantasy ending, and that's exactly the note to end on. With the guitars dripping with feedback, trying to cover up the sweet melody, `Lawn Dogs' is doing the very same thing. Wallace is now two-for-two, in the quality of her recent product. I can't wait to see what she does next. Mischa Barton deserved an Oscar for this. Some people won't get it.. ...and that's the truth. This movie may not have a story that hits you over the head with a 2x4, but that doesn't mean there is no plot.

That plot is loneliness.

"Lawn Dogs" is one of the most honest movies I've ever seen. There are no explosions, the two main characters don't hop into bed every 5 minutes, and the dialog isn't ridiculously clever--this doesn't mean the movie is "stupid" or "dull" or "political hype". It's just real.

Maybe you don't see movies for realism, and that's OK. Most the time I don't either. This film touched me, though. The view of 2 people lost-- not only in life but in their own relationships--was perfect.

Maybe my opinion is favorable because I saw a lot of myself in the character of Devon. If this makes me dull and tedious, so be it. How many people do you know give long, eloquent, dramatic speeches every 5 minutes?

If you want flashy, warmed over plots and special effects, I advise you to see any movie but this one. If you are looking for some truth in how people relate to each other, "Lawn Dogs" is for you. The best part of any romantic film is when the leads recognize the critical chemistry they have growing between them, yet are powerless to do anything about it. While most onscreen relationships are eventually consummated, `Dogs' stays inside that reserved, wistful area where declarations of love and sex are kept at arm's length. `Lawn Dogs' is a story of heartache, but conceived by Wallace not as a downer, but as a luminous observance of attraction and connection in unlikely situations.Devon is rock steady as is Trent, but the thin layer of melancholy running through the character makes the experience all the more fulfilling. I had a fun time reading all the reviews for this movie. I can't help but wonder why adults who hated and didn't get this movie would bother to set through it let alone write lengthy reviews using highly colorful & hateful terms. If you don't like friendship movies don't watch them. Intelligent people wouldn't set through something they hated with a passion unless they were deliberately trying to find fault with it or the starring actors.

Either you like the movie or the actors or you don't. I have a list I don't care much for either but I'm not going to waste my time using colorful metaphors talking about them.

Mischa is one of the sweetest kids you will ever see. She's cute, honest, and when she smiles her entire face glows.

Mischa was literally thrown into the acting business after doing a commercial or two. Before that she sang and danced. She was in fact very inexperienced when she did Lawn Dogs. Her two first films aren't even available in the USA though I have seen them and LOVED them. If you understand the circumstances you should realize that with no more experience than she had at that time she did a fantastic job in this movie. The audience loved her!

For those people who really love to watch bad movies so they can hate them I have list they might like. ;^) You could start with "The Polish Vampire in Burbank" and move on to "Behind the Green Door" just for starters. I find it frustrating to turn the TV on and have 300 or so channels with nothing worth watching. But that's how the movie and TV shows are these days. I can't help but wonder if it is a lack of good scripts or if the producers just can't recognize a good script from a bad one. When a movie as bad as The Blair Witch, made by students on a budget of $8000 can turn a profit of more than $140,000,000 that's sad business. When people pay to see bad movies it sends the wrong signal to every producer in Hollywood. I have no doubt my kids could make a better movie than that.

Lawn Dogs is a feel good movie and if you like John Duigan of these characters you should like the movie. The acting and stuff in it are geared for a friendship flick and they accomplish exactly what the director wanted them to. I cannot believe that no critics have praised her or she hasn't got any awards. I know you may think a relationship between a 10 year old and a twenty-something is hardly entertaining and boring, but Barton's performance is one of the best I've seen in age and that alone makes it worth seeing. Critics must have their heads up their butts because how can Lawn Dogs get average reviews yet some movie like Titanic can get 3/4 star reviews. In short, Lawn Dogs is an excellent underrated little gem. 8.5/10.
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Getting There (2002 Video)
Painfully Pointless (SPOILERS)
9 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This was and is one of the worst kid's movies I have ever seen. It was a pathetic attempt to capture my attention for an hour and a half, but it failed miserably. If you give this movie anything about a 3, you should be banned from the IMDB site for misleading the readers. Every single thing was predictable, no action or excitement whatsoever. There actually came to a point where I was guessing not only what was going to happen next, but exact lines of dialog and what they were going to do etc. WARNING: Do not waste 90 minutes of your life on the dog. One of the worst things I have seen in I can't remember when. I could go on forever about this, but I am going to go get shock treatment to help me forget about it. The Olsens were just plain awful in this film. They're not New Yorkers and I have to agree with everyone with saying that the accent just didn't cut it. Their acting was really bad and since their performance wasn't up to standards, I'm glad that her role wasn't any bigger. It seems that a lot of people dislike this movie because they think it is unrealistic, or because they don't care about the characters. I think this just goes to show how self-involved and classist a lot of Americans are at the moment.It seems that a lot of people dislike this movie because they think it is unrealistic, or because they don't care about the characters. I think this just goes to show how self-involved and classist a lot of Americans are at the moment.

Anyone who thinks that the "wild and crazy" events that go on in this movie couldn't happen outside of the Olsen movies, would are totally and 100% correct. Who in hell would let their teenage daughters go on a road trip with their boyfriends to the Olymics? And then, when their car is stolen, they just buy them plane tickets. The two teenagers are both stupid spoiled brats who get everything they want. The writer doesn't even give his characters brains or anything. Yeah, it might be a teenage stereotype, but it's one that is also incredibly untrue. You'll probably enjoy this movie if you can relate to any of the situations in the film. If you approach this film with that mindset and without judgment about spoiled brats who get everything they want, this film will make you both laugh and wince because it does, at times, feel more unrealistic than a fairy tale. An "Olsen" film that, from the back of the box, promises twists, adventure and fun we will never forget. This film also fools us into watching it by flaunting the Olsens with starring roles. After the first twenty minutes, you realize that this movie is going to give you NOTHING. The story goes on aimlessly, revealing nothing new or important to keep us interested. All " typical teenager" characters have only small grains of back story to force us to care. Just as you reach the end, everything about the story is altered and instead of helping the audience catch up, you are left with no idea, and more importantly, no interest in "why". The director, who also thought it would be a good idea to co-star, seems to come into the film with no prior experience or knowledge of useful film making. The entire piece looks like a college film crafted by a freshman film student trying to hide a lack of true talent. Pretty dreadful movie about several unbalanced young people going on a road trip starts off reasonably well but becomes more bizarre and hard to swallow as it progresses. This film has no point, unless that is its point. Additionally, it is rather contrived, like a cheesy Olsen film that starts out one way and ends up another. The main characters have nothing in common, presumably, when in fact they do. There is few young males, and 4 young females, each trying to find something by going on a road trip, and that brings them together in an odyssey. The title seems intentionally misleading, unless as a synonym for an onslaught. They all appear to come from different places. That's what we are led to believe.

The story gets stranger and more bizarre as it goes - more than one is not quite right in the head. Sometimes the camera is just shooting pictures of telephone poles and wires, or other spurious details of passing along on a trip to nowhere in particular. The girls have a fancy new car but no money. As her judgement begins to deteriorate more profoundly, her three companions seem to grasp for some control of their destiny. Then the whole story, well, you will have to see it. The line between fantasy and reality is very blurred, and there is a purposelessness to the story. The ending fails to tie us back meaningfully to the beginning. It pretends to give us hope, but more like a wish, a dream, or something hallucinated by a dissociated, childlike mind. This is a film more difficult to ignore than to praise. 0/10.
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Wonderfalls (2004)
A surprisingly original fun show that is very clever on both its dialog and its story
8 April 2004
I saw the previews for Wonder Falls a few months ago and honestly did not know what to think of the show. It looked rather weird but interesting, well this a couple of weeks ago the show finally aired so I watched it.

The show's story is quite simple. Jaye (the absolutely gorgeous Caroline Dhavernas) is a twenty-something local shop girl in Niagara Falls. Well one day she has this breakdown, and toys in her shop soon start to talk to her and encourage her to help people all around her.

The movie switches between Jaye & her lesbian sister Sharon (Katie Finnernan) who is trying to make sure that Jaye is alright. However for Jaye only problem after problem occurs. As the movie switches to the family, the father Darrin played William Sadler, the mother Karen played by Diana Scarwid all want nothing to do with Jaye. As the show switches back and forth to each set of characters their problem just keep on getting worse and worse. Then surprisingly the show all of a sudden switches over to a drama for its powerful closing in each episode.

This show's budget is pretty small so don't expect the best color and lighting from the directing side of the show. The performances however are terrific. I for one am amazed that Caroline Dhavernas can act. After seeing her in such lousy roles such as Out Cold, Edge of Madness & Baroness & The Pig I never thought I would see the day she would actually prove herself as an actress and actually be in a decent show. The performances by Tyron Leitso again was top notch and he holds strong performance and I hope he gets more film roles soon. As for Diana Scarwid and William Sadler they are perfectly cast as the parents. Diana Scarwid for one gave terrific performances as the weird mother. William Sadler played the father character well trying to hold his family together.

Overall the show was rather unique with it's not so typical story and a very touching ending of the pilot. Like I said before the lighting and color in this film is not the best but hell the directors have to work with such a small budget, I am amazed it came out as good as it did. How the hell they were able to get some decent actors for this show and throw this whole thing together for that little bit of cash is amazing. It really makes me question Hollywood. Its amazing how Hollywood has to spent 20 million plus to make garbage not saying all of it is but a lot is nowadays and the shows can have a budget of $100,000 to 3 million and have better performances, better scripts and better story lines and plots then almost anything Hollywood can spit out at a 5th of the costs, Truly amazing. Well all in all Wonder Falls is very heartfelt, comedic, and well performed. I think it was a very good for Todd Holland and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future. This show was a breath of fresh air to the dreadful FOX lineup. It had it all, originality, good actors, and creativity. It's a shame that it was canceled because it was so much different from that pretentious crap that FOX plays (The O.C. and those stupid, stupid, awful, terrible, horrible reality shows). I don't know what FOX was thinking when the canceled it.

All of the actors actually had talent and I hope they go on to do great things. A standout was the one and only Caroline Dhavernas as saucy, fee-spirited, outsider Jaye, the shop girl. Mostly what she does at dark is drink.

I think the only show that actually survived was The O.C. It's a shame that this show didn't do the same because it was actually good. I first got my dad to tape this when I went on my annual trip to Hawaii. In fact, he taped the first two episodes. When I finally caught up and saw them, I adored them. The show was original, hip, funny, and meaningful. It combined talent with lighthearted humor and fun. The show had heart and promise. I like the character Jaye a lot. The creators mix in with some very fun, interesting people, all who have their own trials and tribulations as well. The show was a breath of fresh air for me, and will remain to be one of my favorite of all time. This show *sort of* reminds me of the other great show "Joan of Arcadia", if Joan had aged 10 years and it wasn't God talking to her. It borderlines on the same themes, only this show is aimed at more adult-like audiences. I know if they gave it a chance it would have been a huge success. 8/10 :^)
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There's no Cold Creek or Manor (POSSIBLE SPOILERS)
8 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not really sure how this movie got made, other than it's one of those scripts that only has five characters, so it was made cheaply. Other than that, it's about a family who moves into a "perfect house". But the problem is, the owner wants it back and will do great lengths.

There's a lot of "intense" music for scenes that really aren't that intense (oh no, the raft has a hole in it, she's going to fall in the shallow water, oh no!), including the title, which doesn't fit the movie at all.

Everything is predictable about this movie and it's never explained why this guy thinks he can get this house back, and why the family wants the house, when they've got money and nice place to live in.

Not a terribly bad movie, but not really good either.

A pretty straightforward basic idea fleshed out with good writing, excellent direction and effective cinematography. Fine performances from Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid (truth to tell, I have only seen them in supporting roles until now and never actually noticed either of them before, but this tight story really shows them off).

I watch all the thrillers/horror films I can get my eyes on. And I've seen some duds the last couple of years. This one, however, is decent (though not as good as What Lies Beneath). Suspense, character development, a script that actually holds water(!)... Maybe I'd better watch it again in a couple of months to see if it was really that good. In the mean time, I think you should do the same. 5/10.
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In America (2002)
An Uplifting Movie Which is Something Very Special
8 April 2004
I have never seen such a wonderful film in my life! The children's performances really hold the picture together.

Every time I go see it, this movie makes me forget about all my troubles and just experience joy, excitement, and adventure. I'm gonna miss it when it leaves the theaters.

In America is a real adventure for everyone to enjoy. It shows how important children are as actors and how their work deserves to be well credited and appreciated; especially in movies. (Sarah Bolger should of received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress).

I wish to thank all the people who participated in bringing this film to life; including director, Jim Sheridan and music by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer. Seeing In America has been a wonderful experience for me and I will hold it close it my heart forever.In America really shows how much joy children can bring to movies. I think they hold the whole picture together; especially with the little girl singing.

I hope the doors continue to open for these children because I feel they've succeeded here. In America could never be what it is without them.

Thank you all for bringing such a great story to life on the big screen once again. May it continue to prevail a lot more.

Thank you so much!

8.5/10
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Prozac Nation (2001)
A Unique and Original Film With Outstanding Acting
8 April 2004
It's silly to berate a movie that hasn't even come out. Having read the book, and been down the road of chronic depression for many months, I have to disagree with the first preview that claims this movie unworthy because of the image Wurtzel gives us of depression. Depression, sorry to burst Violetta's bubble, it a unique, personal hard fought battle for evey individual who suffers from it. That just happened to be Wurtzel's experience with her own depression. Needless to say I give the book my highest rating and hope to do the same with the movie. Prozac Nation was one of those movies I wanted to see as soon as I heard about it. I have seen the trailer a few times and couldn't wait for the film to be released into theaters. It was at first in limited release, which I don't understand why since it is a mainstream movie but anyway it finally arrived to my local theater today. So as soon as I could I rushed to the theater to see Prozac Nation.

The movie's plot is very simple but at the same time very complex, Lizzie played by the beautiful and talented Christina Ricci is a depressed girl. Following up his critically acclaimed debut Insomnia (1997), Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjaerg makes his first English-language feature with this adaptation of the novel by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Christina Ricci stars as Lizzie, a prize-winning student heading off to Harvard where she intends to study journalism and launch a career as a rock music critic. However, Elizabeth's fractured family situation including an errant father (Nicholas Campbell) and a neurotic, bitterly hypercritical mother (Jessica Lange) has led to a struggle with depression. When her all-night, drug-fueled writing binges and emotional instability alienate her roommate and best friend, Ruby (Michelle Williams), as well as both her first (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) and second (Jason Biggs) boyfriends, Lizzie seeks psychiatric counseling from Dr. Diana Sterling (Anne Heche), who prescribes the wonder drug Prozac. Despite success as a writer that includes a gig writing for Rolling Stone and some mellowing out thanks to her medication, Lizzie begins to feel that the pills are running her life and faces some tough choices about her future. Prozac Nation (2001) is a longtime dream project of star Ricci, who also serves as one of the film's co-producers. Prozac Nation then starts to develop into an unusual and original movie, which I for one have never seen before. A lot of symbolism, terrific acting, and a lot of dark past scenes ensue.

In this film I really could not believe the acting. It was terrific all around. Christina Ricci proves that she can hold a lead role and do it flawlessly. Her role was perfect and involved a lot of different emotions, which she played off like a natural. But Christina Ricci's acting isn't the highlight of this film, that award goes to Jessica Lange who plays her role like she actually was going though this in real life. Her incredible acting kept getting stronger throughout the entire film. The supporting actors and actresses were all good as well. Michelle Williams who played Ruby, was really good in her role. Emily Perkins who played Ellen was very good as well as Anne Heche who played the doctor Sterling.

The film's script was another strong point. It was very good! I never knew what was going to happen next. I thought I did a few times but I was wrong. The script also had a lot of symbolism in it and if you watch the movie closely you will be able to catch it. I also like how the movie didn't have the typical Hollywood ending at the end. It was very different and I didn't expect what happened to happen. The writer, Galt Niederhoffer did a great job and surprisingly this was his second film. I wish I could shake this man's hand for making such a great piece of cinema. I am really looking forward to his next movie Lonesome Jim that comes out in 2005. I loved the director's use of camera angles and the many views of various landscapes and the sky. It was very creative.

So what else can I say about the film, it was very independent like which I am sure will turn the normal moviegoers off right away. The movie moves slowly to build its story and suspense. It does this flawlessly. It's really amazing. If you want a great movie that has an unusual and original story, great acting and lots of hidden messages and symbolism then go see Prozac Nation and enjoy. If you don't like movies that make you think then skip this one because it's not for you. It was a terrific film from a great new director.I've been looking forward to seeing Prozac Nation since I first saw the poster for the film. The poster itself seemed rather amusing and then when I had seen the trailer for the film and wanted to watch the film even more. I usually enjoy Christina Ricci on the big screen. She is definitely a great actress. Lots of clever dialog, great acting, and a unique story ensue.

The acting in the film was top notch. I think Christina Ricci's performance was very noteworthy. I liked her character. Lizzie was nice girl who was very sweet and innocent. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers performance was another great role for his resume. I liked how his character had many sides to him. I felt they all played their characters well.

I think what is amazing about the script is the fact that a. the writer never wrote a film anything like it before and b. it's a very original film. I know I haven't seen every movie but I never seen a movie like this. The story was unique, the characters were likable, and the dialog was rather clever. I applaud these two screenwriters for their effort on the script. Sadly I doubt the movie will do well. There was only three people in the theater counting me and the story is rather odd and original so I don't know if it will really trigger much interest from the typical moviegoers.

Erik Skjoldbjærg was the director of Prozac Nation. I have not seen his movies Insomnia yet but I'll watch it as soon as I can get my paws on it. I liked how in the film, Erik Skjoldbjærg really captured being in Harvard and being depressed, showing everyone in the opening scene of the film. It really lets you know how life is for Lizzie. The director also did a good job of directing the actors and making them connect. I really felt for the characters in this film. I liked that they had this great connection with each other on screen.

So to summarize, I overall really enjoyed Prozac Nation. The cast is great, as is its story. I feel the film won't attract much attention since the crap fest wholesome teen movies and sex comedies rule the box office, it's an indie film and the fact that Prozac Nation itself isn't aimed at the average moviegoer crowd. I recommend this film though to anyone who wants to see a film that is smart, original and witty. It delivers great performances and some sad moments. I really enjoyed the film and will probably go see it again if I can. My final rating for Prozac Nation is an 8/10
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Enjoyable Family Fare
7 April 2004
OK, I admit it - I liked Little Secrets. Didn't LOVE it, but I liked it. Which will place me squarely in the critical minority, I'm sure. But, here's the thing. I'm first, and foremost, a family woman. And, from a parental perspective, I can tell you that films I can feel comfortable sitting down and watching with my younger cousins are few and far between. Little Secrets is one of those films, a non-threatening, light-hearted piece of fluff that leaves you feeling….pretty good. A girl puts her ability to keep a confidence to work, though she soon learns it's a tougher job than she imagined in this comedy drama for young people.

A girl puts her ability to keep a confidence to work, though she soon learns it's a tougher job than she imagined in this comedy drama for young people. Emily (Evan Rachel Wood) is a 14-year-old girl who loves music and is studying the violin. She has a real gift as a violinist, and has passed up the opportunity to go to summer camp with her friends to study with her tutor, Pauline (Vivica A. Fox), who believes Emily has a chance of landing a spot in the community symphony orchestra. Emily also has an unusual business on the side -- for 50 cents, she'll hear and keep other kids' secrets, and offer advice on how to keep incriminating facts away from parents, teachers, or other authority figures. However, she also has a secret of her own -- a new family has moved into the neighborhood, and while Philip (Michael Angarano), a year or two younger than Emily, quickly takes a liking to her, she immediately develops a crush on his older brother, David (David Gallagher). However, David has a habit of getting into trouble, and soon Emily is keeping some secrets she's prefer to get off her chest.

If all of this sounds very formulaic it is. There is little in the way of surprises here - much of the plot is recycled from any one of a dozen other family films. But it is loaded with nice little comedic moments. Under the comedic surface lie themes of family unity, cooperation, priorities, and unconditional love.

As for the performances, they're okay. Our star Wood (Thirteen, Simone) doesn't have to stretch too far playing the teenage violinist and Gallagher (TV's Seventh Heaven) gets plenty of face time as Emily's friend. Vivica A. Fox plays Emily's violin teacher. With an ensemble cast this large, it is difficult for anyone in the cast to stand out performance wise, but each gets a moment during the film to reveal a bit of his or her personality.

Overall, Little Secrets is innocent and inoffensive family fare that the kids will probably love and parents will find rather enjoyable.7/10.
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Uptown Girls (2003)
Disappointing but Cute at Times (MINOR SPOILERS)
7 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this movie was cute in some ways, stupid in others. Dakota Fanning annoyed the hell out of me in this, but she's a good actress.When I went to Uptown Girls I was just expecting a stupid little chick flick that my friend was dragging me to see and of course it was but this particular movie was a little better than I thought it would be. Brittany Murphy plays the part so good you wonder if maybe this is how she really lives but then again that is coming from a not so big of a fan. The movie ends up not totally a waste of your time feeling but a little too close for me. My advice is to wait until the cheap theater has this movie playing or wait until your friend rents it. Then again that is all up to you. Okay! I thought that was a really stupid movie! I excepted more from it! I thought that the previews for the movie showed you every scene and I know what the end was and what happened next! It wasn't one of those movies that I was one the edge on my seat waiting for the next part to happen.Though I expected this movie to be funny, having seen Brittany Murphy in Just Married, I was sadly disappointed to realize what a sad, depressing movie it actually turned out to be. The previews were misleading and because of their roles in different movies, I expected better. I did read the reviews before seeing the movie, so I guess I got what I deserved, but I don't like going by what critics say because sometimes they dis my favorite movies. I doubt it will take long for Uptown Girls to reach the dollar movies.This movie is promoted as a comedy, a comedy that it sure doesn't measure up to be! It is deep, slow, and the few sprinkled in moments of humor (those you saw on the trailer I might add) don't pull it out as a worthwhile two hour movie. Save your money. Wait for it to come on video, just as something to do for a few hours. So I can't say I had much of a choice the weekend I saw it except to see Uptown Girls starring Dakota Fanning and Brittany Murphy (who I can stand). I don't know what to think of Brittany Murphy anymore. Her career started out good with many funny guilty pleasure films like Clueless, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Girl Interrupted. Then she went to Cherry Falls, which was one of the worst films I have ever seen, and then went on to do some so/so films like Don't Say a Word, Spun and 8 Mile. Then every film after 8 Mile has been worst than the next, first with the horrible, awful, silly Just Married, etc.. So needless to say I was very hesitant to see her new film Uptown Girls. The trailer to me didn't look like something I wanted to see but I figured she was teaming up with promising young actress Dakota Fanning so I figured what the hell I will give it a shot. I am sure it can't be that bad. So continue on reading to read my thoughts on Uptown Girls.

So I walked into the local theater to see at the 5: 30 pm showing. The film started and the basic story is this, Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy), the daughter of a dead rock star, who lives off her inheritance and has never worked a day in her life. When her father's estate is swindled away from her, Molly suddenly finds her life of luxury and excess pulled out from under her. Begrudgingly, she decides that she has to get a job and is hired as a nanny for Ray Schliene (Dakota Fanning), the daughter of record executive Roma Schliene (Heather Locklear). At first Molly can't shake her spoiled-brat personality, but eventually she and Ray discover that they have a lot in common and strong bond is formed. Jesse Spencer plays Molly's boyfriend, and Donald Faison, who previously worked with Murphy in Clueless, plays another record executive who offers Molly a place to live until she gets on her feet. This is were the fun is supposed to start. To me the film seemed more like a sweet comedy than anything else.

Well Brittany Murphy is back at it again, same role in some movies, playing the immature girl who then all of a sudden grows up because she finds true love.Well Brittany does the best she can and by now if you like Brittany Murphy you see her do the same thing over and over again and still go home happy. Dakota Fanning was pretty good in the film, although I liked her better in other movies such as I Am Sam, Taken and Trapped. She has a very likable character in the film and the way they write her character you feel very compassionate for her. I also think that Fanning and Murphy both have great on screen chemistry. The supporting cast in this film is what really drove me nuts and which caused me to not like the film as much I probably would if they haven't been in it. I normally like Jesse Spencer but in this film he was intolerable. I wanted him to go away. He annoyed me. His role was so dumb. He played this guy named Neal who was a rock star in love with Brittany Murphy's character. Then we have Donald Faison, who offers Molly a place to stay. I didn't get the joke in his character. He had a lisp and looked like he took steroids.. To me the character was very annoying. Well then they had this perfect clean girl Ingrid, which seems to be the new latest joke in the Murphy films, again another badly written character that I would have been more than happy to do without.

Newcomer Julia Dahl wrote Uptown Girls. I didn't think a lot of the jokes in the film worked. It was like they were first making fun of the spoiled brat character and then all of a sudden they want us to feel bad for the character. Granted it worked for some people but it didn't really work for me. Rosy thought the film was sad and I thought of it more as a sappy way to get you to feel bad for the character. Either way is fine but I didn't care for them trying to mix my emotions. I didn't want to laugh at the character and then feel bad about it, which is basically what the film aimed to do. The Molly Gunn character was decently scripted and so was Ray's character. All the rest of the characters should have been thrown away. It was a so/so script some of it worked, some of it didn't. This film is like a version of About a Boy if it was turned into a romantic comedy and the two leads were females.

The film was directed by Boaz Yakin, who directed a total of four feature films,Uptown Girls being 4th. The first two films he directed I really enjoyed those being Remember the Titans and A Price Above Rubies. But the first film he directed was the awful Fresh. So with a director who's first three films out of four I really enjoyed and one I didn't really like at all its hard to judge him. Boaz Yakin did a great job of capturing the emotions of Ray and Molly in the film. I also think he did a really good job with filming on location. I can't really blame the director for the things I didn't like about the film. Well I guess I can because in the end, he probably could have reviewed the film and taken some of the pointless and unfunny characters out.

So in conclusion, I wasn't thrilled with Uptown Girls but it was all right. I must admit it's a hard film to hate. You really start to feel for the Molly character in the film. The movie was passable at best in my opinion. Rosy, on the other hand, was happy with the film and stated that she will be purchasing the DVD for our collection. I can't say anything more than it was a so/so movie. A few jokes worked, many didn't. I actually laughed 2 or 3 times throughout the film and I smiled a few times. I guess that's the best way to judge what I thought of it. So my final thoughts if you like Murphy give this movie a shot I am sure you will enjoy it. If your not a huge Murphy fan or aren't a fan of her at all there are better films to see. This film would be best at a rental level at the local video store when it hit shelves sometime in the future. My final rating for Uptown Girls is a 5/10.
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Passport to Paris (1999 Video)
Oh My God This Was HORRENDOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! (SPOILERS)
7 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I can't express how bad this movie is. I could swear and curse until the cows come home and that would *still* not express how bad it was. I don't know how Passport to Paris escaped the bottom 100 films. This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. When I watched it on the TV, I had to choose between this and awesome crime series "Brigada". Since I have seen "Brigada" before, I decided to pay attention to "Passport to Paris".Well, I made a VERY wrong decision. Why is this movie so bad? First of all, it has all the cliches ever produced by Hollywood, like the two spoiled brats who only want to be pretty and popular and the French guys with horrible accents. They even complained that they wanted a stereotypical grandfather. Thank God there were no rednecks whth shotguns and terrorists. The plot is ridiculous, and the cast is really bad. I believe the Olsens do horrible, awful, terrible jobs, but since they are no great actresses, the outcome is below average. This movie has no sudden moves, no intrigue, no humor, no philosophical or political idea, and in genital it is as shallow as "Lord of the Rings", for example. Avoid at all costs. Right in the first second, I was ready to barf. I would not recommend this movie to my worst enemy. How come that stupid Jeremy guy didn't have the keys when Allie and Mel locked him out of the limo? Seriously, I don't get how this got a release. It's absolutely awful. This movie drags and drags, and has well, about 0 good qualities. I was literally kicking myself for having wasted my time to view this horrendous, atrocious mess of a movie. The plot is lame and very forced, the acting is awful at best, and the story is more than predictable. I understand that this was no attempt to make another Citizen Kane or anything, but God, this is painful to watch! If you are looking for good family entertainment and to get your girls out of your hair, there are millions of other options. However, if you are looking to torture yourself and/or others, then check this movie out...it's something that you will forget, though more than likely you'll wish you could. It started out decent, but however, early in the movie, it takes a turn for the worse: it starts looping in an endless chain of cliches, which have been done in every Olsen movie.If you have seen this movie, I am very sorry. I sat through this horrendous movie one afternoon and wound up actually beating myself for it. The acting is atrocious, but what do you expect from two young girls. A hell of a lot more. The Olsens are the worst actresses on planet Earth, their facial expressions were cringe making, their delivery was just awful and they were unbelievably over-the-top. The script was just terrible, and there was absolutely no value or excitement whatsoever AT ALL to this film. The events are both predictable, and *extremely* unlikely. The worst part about it is there aren't even any laughable aspects as in other horrible movies such as Troll 2 or Manos: The Hands of Fate. If you haven't seen this movie, don't go out of your way to see it. Actually, do everything you can to avoid to be in 5 feet of this movie. I think it's a crime to recommend this as family movie. The only thing that's decent about it is the Paris scenery and the good soundtrack, and that is pretty bad as well. I feel quite sorry for all of you who have viewed even one second of it, and actually LIKE it! I cannot believe there's people out there who actually think this movie is good. The part where the paintings fly over the Olsens heads, was so weak and cheesy. Many kids would KILL to go to Europe, yet the stupid girls complain that they have to miss the Spring Fling dance in which 2 slimy guys asked them to. Boys only like Allie and Mel because they're pretty, and that's the raw truth. Even the mom and dad admits that their world is the size of a pin. They also ran off with the French boys, who they only knew for like, what, 1 hour?? They could be rapists for all they know! But, yet, they're not, since everything is great and happy in the end. The part where they're bread stick sword-fighting was very stupid. I don't know how the Jeremy guy can even keep his job. He can't even control a banana, and the girls were almost as stupid as one. The twins get away with running away, locking out Jeremy, etc., man this movie is just messed up. I wasted all my time and felt like I had just been beaten with a stick. 0/10.
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The Wonderful World of Disney: Life-Size (2000)
Season 3, Episode 8
This funny heart warming story you'll enjoy again and again.
7 April 2004
I would first like to start off my review for Life-Size by saying I love Lindsay Lohan. I know she has not done much in the light but this is her 2th movie role and I think she will soon become a great well known actress. I was impatiently awaiting for Life-Size to come out on video. I had seen the full trailer on this DVD I have many times as well as several TV spots. The movie to me looked like it was going to be great but with trailers lately you never really know what to think. So on Saturday evening it aired on TV.

The film stars Lindsay Lohan as Casey, a girl unwittingly giving new meaning to the phrase "living doll" in this comic fantasy. After the death of her mother, 14-year-old Casey (Lindsay Lohan) is despondent. As she and her father Ben (Jere Burns) begin to drift apart, Casey finds a book of magic spells and tries to use one to bring her mother back to life. But the plan backfires, and instead she finds that she's animated Eve (Tyra Banks), a fashion-plate dress-up doll. Eve is excited to be both alive and nearly six feet tall, but she has a lot to learn about living in the real world -- and Casey isn't so sure she has the desire or the patience to teach her.Life-Size is a magical movie that all girls love!Starring the beautiful model Tyra Banks and Parent Trap's Lindsay Lohan. It is about a 14 year old girl Casey (Lohan)who is sad and lonely after the death of her mom at this point Casey would do anything to spend time with her mom and decides to steal a Spell Book in hopes it will bring her mother back instead it brings her Eve (Banks)Barbie doll to life! This happy accident changes Casey's life upside down.This is where the film really starts to get fun and Life-Size ensues…

The acting in this film is very good. Lindsay Lohan played Casey perfectly. She nails the role on the head. Like I mentioned earlier I love Lindsay Lohan. She is a terrific singer and she can act. She is literally perfect in every role she has done so far. Even in her last film Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen which was one of my biggest disappointments of 2004. Her character Lola in that film was the only good thing about the film. The rest of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was horrible, it had a rotten script, stupid jokes and an extreme lack of character development. That's why it was nice to see Lindsay Lohan in action in this good movie. As for her co-star Jere Burns who played Ben in the film was great. I liked his whole nice guy personality. I think we will be seeing him in a few more movies down the line. The supporting cast of Tyra Banks as the bimbo doll come to life in the film was also quite amusing and good in the film.

The film's director Life-Size did a great job on this film. This was his kid's film but he has been a director of many TV shows and horror/thriller movies both of past and present. He did a great job with many of the different camera angles and chasing sequences. I feel the director really caught the emotion of all the characters in the film and you really cared about the characters especially Casey and Ben.

The script as well is a pleasant. This film is a bit predictable but then again only 3 to 7 made-for-TV movies a year are original so you can't hate the film for that. Life-Size is a kid's romantic comedy, what do people want from it? There are only so many ideas you can use with a kid's romantic comedy. I personally think the movie is unique in several levels though. I have never seen a kid's romantic comedy about a girl who takes a steals a book, without a mother and plans to revive her and ends up turning the doll she got from an employee at her dad's office for a birthday present. That is quite original. I also thought there were several other scenes in the film which were unique to only this film. I also thought the dialog in the film was great and the ending was good without getting to sappy. The script overall was very good just like everything else about the film.

So in conclusion, I loved Life-Size. Sure it is not one of the critically acclaimed year's best made-for-TV films but it's a fun and enjoyable film which I could probably watch over and over again several times. It was a pleasure to watch the film for its 2 hour running time. The film like I said above is a bit predictable but so what when you have some originality, strong performances, and a beautiful and talented leading lady like Lindsay Lohan it's very hard to go wrong. This movie is my third favorite Lindsay Lohan film; The Parent Trap is still my favorite because I really feel for the characters and I can at times I can really relate to the film. And Freaky Friday was a fun and hilarious remake of a beloved classic. But Life-Size comes in right behind it in 3nd place. I want to rate this movie an 7/10 because it was very likable, had good performances, and was an all in all feel good film. See it if you like romantic comedies or well made made-for-TV teen/kid flicks. I know I will be seeing it again and possibly purchasing it. Too bad Mark Rosman's talents will be wasted directing the (probably) horrible films, A Cinderella Story and The Perfect Man, both starring the horrid actress Hilary Duff.
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It's decent, but nothing more. (SPOILERS I guess)
6 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston are both good comedic actors in their own right. Put together, however, they seem to lack the spunk and chemistry necessary for this movie to put the "romantic" in romantic comedy. "Along Came Polly" is the story about Reuben (Ben Stiller), an uptight risk analyzer, whose wife cheats on him during their honeymoon. Disillusioned, he returns home home and runs into Polly (Jennifer Aniston), a childhood friend, after only a few weeks. The oddly-matched pair begin to see one another and Reuben finds adventure and love in this unpredictable lady. Laughs came hard, but died gradually as the film progressed. I must say though, that Reuben's antics in Polly's bathroom are outrageously silly and hilarious. Even funnier yet is washed up actor and Reuben's best friend, Sandy (Philip Seymour Hoffman). He is a great supplement for visual humor and somehow manages to do comedy in all the seriousness, making a seemingly effortless laugh or two. Unfortunately, the jokes wore kinda thin as the story became quite predictable. If you're a Friends fan and have watched this movie, you know what I mean. It's almost disappointed how oddly similar some of the scenes, jokes and characters were to the sitcom. The couple HAS romantic potential, but somehow someway the obvious spark doesn't ignite the fire we expect to blaze. Along Came Polly is a light, nice little movie that you will tend to forget as time passes. On the other hand, you'll leave the theater with a refreshing outlook on love. For all it's really worth, it's a movie that simply makes you laugh a few times, which makes it a nice treat to see with friends on a rainy day. 6/10
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Jolly Good Pirate Fun! (SPOILERS)
6 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this while babysitting my neighbor's kids ages 9 and 12. They liked it a lot, I thought it was okay. I got a little bored about half-way but not enough to turn it off, I wanted to see how they would wrap it all up.

It has some neat effects and the story line is pretty good, every kid wonders what it would be like to do something amazing. The acting was pretty good, especially from Johnny Depp he delivers an excellent performance. The beautiful Keira Knightley delivers a good but not great performance and so does eye candy Orlando Bloom. I think that this movie is a good movie for Keira Knightley's future career, she is a beautiful young actress that has a lot of potential. I thinks that she would be in many of the future "big" movies! I also think that Orlando Bloom would become a big actor, but I don't think that he will become bigger than Keira Knightley. Well this wasn't the greatest pirate movie ever told, but the potential for it to be above average is definitely there. I went into this movie expecting it to suck right up there with one of those crazy Lampoon type spoofs of a movie, not to mention something that was just for kids. I was totally wrong. Me being a 18 year old adult found it to be quite humorous and quite exciting in most parts. Johnny Depp, in my opinion was cast perfectly for the role. Of course I tend to be a bit biased when it comes to good old Johnny( I loved him in Edward Scissorhands). He definitely shines in all of his performances and will blossom into one of the great actors of the upcoming generation. As far as this movie goes, its all about having fun, and that's exactly what Johnny accomplished with this film... hail Jack Sparrow (Johnny). When I took my cousin out to see "Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl", I fully expected to be bored and go away hoping that at least the children enjoyed it... boy, was I surprised! Johnny Depp played a great pirate, and Keira Knightley was a cute rich girl. I thought it was really funny and full of action, and my cousin thought it was "really cool!" It's a creative family flick...fun for the whole family. (Even I enjoyed it!) I think this movie will be on every kid's top ten for a while to come...as for me, I'll be waiting for a sequel. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. Keira Knightley's acting really doens't leave much to be desired, but the witty script, good lead from Johnny Depp and excellent fighting make this a must see. A great movie. I liked "Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl". It was cool, funny, thrilling, and had a lot of action. Although I am a big fan of Keira Knightley's and was disappointed at her acting in this movie. Sure, she was great in "The Hole" but in this movie I found her to be a bit over-the-top. I know Keira could've done better than that. On the other hand, Johnny Depp did great playing Captain Jack Sparrow. Keira's clothes weren't really appropriate for a PG-13 movie. But I thought this movie was a little bit too intense for a PG and for little kids under the age of 7 to watch. Some of the violence was just a tiny bit intense. In one scene they show Will running his hand up Elizabeth's chest, but I don't think it was meant in a sexual way, and some woman show cleavage and look like prostitutes. But I still recommend this movie. If you haven't seen it, you should!!Pirates of the Carribean :Curse of the Black Pearl has an interesting premise even if at first I was a little cautious about it. But we must look at it from the right point of view, meaning like a kid would. Who never wished to be to be a pirate? Even today I think about it.

Johnny Depp is perfect for the role. He represents a feisty pirate captain. Orlando Bloom is also great as his tough, icy partner. The amazingly beautiful Keira Knightley however suffers from a huge lack of screen time. Her acting could also be better and we can clearly notice the girl has a huge ego. With her looks she can go far no doubt about it. But she has to be a little humble and be ready to learn. I'm not sure that is the case. With full knowledge of the power of her physical side she appears not the least interested and I would say even bored throughout the movie.

The story is simple and without a touch of reality to it, just like it was supposed to be. The humor however could be more efficient. Some jokes, maybe too many, fall flat. The action could also have been improved. It's not even close to spectacular. The opening scene is very attractive but then all we get is some explosions and a few swashbuckling fights. There's also some violence, but nothing too extreme.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl has some flaws. Its slow to build, some scenes fail miserably and sometimes its just too stupid.

But since I'm not in its target audience. not anymore, I would recommend it because I still enjoyed it very much. It has a light, pirate atmosphere that works very well and provides an innocent fun. This was a very entertaining film for anyone of any age. It had cool action, and good special effects. Johnny Depp was good as Jack and was excellent at playing the beautiful Elizabeth Swann. When Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the daughter of Governor Swann (Jonathan Pryce) is kidnapped by a group of pirates led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and taken aboard their ship, The Black Pearl, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), the young man who loves Elizabeth despite the fact that she is promised to another, sets out to rescue her. But he can't do it alone, so he enlists the help of swashbuckling ship captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Together the two chase after The Black Pearl, but they soon discover that the captain and crew aren't your average pirates. Cursed to remain between the living and the dead, Barbossa and his men look like skeletons when basked in the moonlight. When it is revealed that the only thing that can break the curse is Elizabeth's blood, Jack and Will are faced with a race against time and a battle against the undead to save the Governor's daughter.Perfect Film to take the whole family to. This was also pretty funny. Very good action/family/comedy/pirate movie.Loved this movie! Saw a free sneak preview and would pay to see it again. Johnny Depp was crazy/wonderful as usual. Funny, creative, handsome, surprising - as he always is.Orlando Bloom was like a young Errol Flynn. He was a dream in Lord of the Rings and this proves that was no fluke. He can act, he's good to look at - has a sweet personality and the physicality to carry the role. The swordplay between Bloom and Depp was terrific!Geoffrey Rush pushed the envelope at being wonderfully hammy and the rest of the cast was simply great.Beautifully visual, a bit too long, but worth the ride. And I mean Ride!

Really cool! 8.5/10

I liked the action parts and the skeleton pirates. If you think of yourself in place of the actors,it helps you get a feeling of how the actor were.

There is also romance at the end of the movie.

I would recommend this movie.Went to see this on a rainy evening on vacation with my cousin. They loved it, and my parents and I enjoyed the experience too.

Depp is an excellent lead - charming and likable, and the other cast members are well cast. Interesting story, good dialog, pretty decent special effects, great pace and length - what more could one ask for?

AND IT'S NOT JUST ANOTHER FREAKING PIRATE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!
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Jolly Good Pirate Fun!
6 April 2004
I watched this while babysitting my neighbor's kids ages 9 and 12. They liked it a lot, I thought it was okay. I got a little bored about half-way but not enough to turn it off, I wanted to see how they would wrap it all up.

It has some neat effects and the story line is pretty good, every kid wonders what it would be like to do something amazing. The acting was pretty good, especially from Johnny Depp he delivers an excellent performance. The beautiful Keira Knightley delivers a good but not great performance and so does eye candy Orlando Bloom. I think that this movie is a good movie for Keira Knightley's future career, she is a beautiful young actress that has a lot of potential. I thinks that she would be in many of the future "big" movies! I also think that Orlando Bloom would become a big actor, but I don't think that he will become bigger than Keira Knightley. Well this wasn't the greatest pirate movie ever told, but the potential for it to be above average is definitely there. I went into this movie expecting it to suck right up there with one of those crazy Lampoon type spoofs of a movie, not to mention something that was just for kids. I was totally wrong. Me being a 18 year old adult found it to be quite humorous and quite exciting in most parts. Johnny Depp, in my opinion was cast perfectly for the role. Of course I tend to be a bit biased when it comes to good ol' Johnny( I loved him in Edward Scissorhands). He definitely shines in all of his performances and will blossom into one of the great actors of the upcoming generation. As far as this movie goes, its all about having fun, and that's exactly what Johnny accomplished with this film... hail Jack Sparrow (Johnny). When I took my cousin out to see "Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl", I fully expected to be bored and go away hoping that at least the children enjoyed it... boy, was I surprised! Johnny Depp played a great pirate, and Keira Knightley was a cute rich girl. I thought it was really funny and full of action, and my cousin thought it was "really cool!" It's a creative family flick...fun for the whole family. (Even I enjoyed it!) I think this movie will be on every kid's top ten for a while to come...as for me, I'll be waiting for a sequel. I know what you're thinking, and you're right. Keira Knightley's acting really doens't leave much to be desired, but the witty script, good lead from Johnny Depp and excellent fighting make this a must see. A great movie. I liked "Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl". It was cool, funny, thrilling, and had a lot of action. Although I am a big fan of Keira Knightley's and was disappointed at her acting in this movie. Sure, she was great in "The Hole" but in this movie I found her to be a bit over-the-top. I know Keira could've done better than that. On the other hand, Johnny Depp did great playing Captain Jack Sparrow. Keira's clothes weren't really appropriate for a PG movie. But I thought this movie was a little bit too intense for a PG and for little kids under the age of 7 to watch. Some of the violence was just a tiny bit intense. In one scene they show Will running his hand up Elizabeth's chest, but I don't think it was meant in a sexual way, and some woman show cleavage and look like prostitutes. But I still recommend this movie. If you haven't seen it, you should!!Pirates of the Carribean :Curse of the Black Pearl has an interesting premise even if at first I was a little cautious about it. But we must look at it from the right point of view, meaning like a kid would. Who never wished to be to be a pirate? Even today I think about it.

Johnny Depp is perfect for the role. He represents a feisty pirate captain. Orlando Bloom is also great as his tough, icy partner. The amazingly beautiful Keira Knightley however suffers from a huge lack of screen time. Her acting could also be better and we can clearly notice the girl has a huge ego. With her looks she can go far no doubt about it. But she has to be a little humble and be ready to learn. I'm not sure that is the case. With full knowledge of the power of her physical side she appears not the least interested and I would say even bored throughout the movie.

The story is simple and without a touch of reality to it, just like it was supposed to be. The humor however could be more efficient. Some jokes, maybe too many, fall flat. The action could also have been improved. It's not even close to spectacular. The opening scene is very attractive but then all we get is some explosions and a few swashbuckling fights. There's also some violence, but nothing too extreme.

POTC:COTBP has some flaws. Its slow to build, some scenes fail miserably and sometimes its just too stupid.

But since I'm not in its target audience. not anymore, I would recommend it because I still enjoyed it very much. It has a light, childish atmosphere that works very well and provides an innocent fun. This was a very entertaining film for anyone of any age. It had cool action, and good special effects. Johnny Depp was good as Jack and was excellent at playing the beautiful Elizabeth Swann. When Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the daughter of Governor Swann (Jonathan Pryce) is kidnapped by a group of pirates led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and taken aboard their ship, The Black Pearl, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), the young man who loves Elizabeth despite the fact that she is promised to another, sets out to rescue her. But he can't do it alone, so he enlists the help of swashbuckling ship captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Together the two chase after The Black Pearl, but they soon discover that the captain and crew aren't your average pirates. Cursed to remain between the living and the dead, Barbossa and his men look like skeletons when basked in the moonlight. When it is revealed that the only thing that can break the curse is Elizabeth's blood, Jack and Will are faced with a race against time and a battle against the undead to save the Governor's daughter.Perfect Film to take the whole family to. This was also pretty funny. Very good action/family/comedy/pirate movie.Loved this movie! Saw a free sneak preview and would pay to see it again. Johnny Depp was crazy/wonderful as usual. Funny, creative, handsome, surprising - as he always is.Orlando Bloom was like a young Errol Flynn. He was a dream in Lord of the Rings and this proves that was no fluke. He can act, he's good to look at - has a sweet personality and the physicality to carry the role. The swordplay between Bloom and Depp was terrific!Geoffrey Rush pushed the envelope at being wonderfully hammy and the rest of the cast was simply great.Beautifully visual, a bit too long, but worth the ride. And I mean Ride!

Really cool! 8.5/10

I liked the action parts and the skeleton pirates. If you think of yourself in place of the actors,it helps you get a feeling of how the actor were.

There is also romance at the end of the movie.

I would recommend this movie.Went to see this on a rainy evening on vacation with my cousin. They loved it, and my parents and I enjoyed the experience too.

Depp is an excellent lead - charming and likable, and the other cast members are well cast. Interesting story, good dialog, pretty decent special effects, great pace and length - what more could one ask for?

AND IT'S NOT JUST ANOTHER FREAKING PIRATE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!
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Freaky Friday (2003)
Terrific Teen Movie. (Minor Spoilers)
6 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
A high-strung mom and her punky daughter learn what it's like to walk in each other's shoes -- literally -- in Disney's second update of their 1977 teen fantasy comedy. The new-millennium Freaky Friday has disgruntled teen Anna Coleman (Lindsay Lohan) living, sans father, with her uptight therapist-author mom Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and bratty brother Harry (Ryan Malgarini). The angst between the two reaches a fever pitch on the eve of Tess' wedding rehearsal: Anna wants to ditch the proceedings for an all-important band audition, but Tess sees the conflict as a show of resentment toward imminent step-dad Ryan (Mark Harmon). When the whole clan goes out to dinner at their favorite Chinese restaurant, their sage waitress (Lucille Soong) picks up on the tension between the mother and daughter and casts a spell on them via two magic fortune cookies. The next day, Tess and Anna must put up with life in each other's bodies -- until, as the fortune says, they can come to a greater understanding of one another. For a teen movie, this is a very good movie, which technically is a updated version of Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan taking over the Jodie Foster character and the mom this time played Jamie Lee Curtis. Thanks to these 2 performances, this film gets to live up to it's reputation because this film isn't just funny and dramatic(even though it's chock full of that), it is also sweet and touching. One of the honorable mentions of 2003, definitely the best teen film of the year. Freaky Friday isn't your average teen/remake film, although it's been said before that it's full of been-done-before jokes, I saw past this and I think that the film is great in showing how anyone can learn to understand, sounds cheesy I know! All of the characters each have something different about them, Annabel just wants a normal life, Tess just wants to understand Annabel etc., all adding to the film. I think that Freaky Friday is a different, twisted thought on the lives of teenagers and family life, switching bodies, showing most of them as wanting a normal life and being punkers, and it shows this in such a different and unique way! Lindsay Lohan has a great voice and is also a great actress, she brings charm and sass to the role of Annabel much like Jodie Foster did in the original movie. Also another one to mention would be Jamie Lee Curtis, she was excellent and sassy as Annabel's mother. Anyways, it's a quirky, colorful remake and I recommend it to anybody who is in a quirky mood! 7/10
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Swimfan (2002)
Not that advertised but a solid little but forgettable thriller nonetheless (SPOILERS)
6 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
A moment of temptation leads to a high body count and untold regrets for a high-school swimming star in this thriller starring Jesse Bradford and Traffic's Erika Christensen. Despite a shady past involving drugs and the juvenile justice system, Ben Cronin (Bradford) seems to have it all: a loving mother, a devoted girlfriend (Shiri Appleby), and a shot at a college scholarship in California. But the same week that athletic scouts will be deciding his future, Ben finds himself embroiled in a flirtation with Madison Bell (Christensen), a bewitching transfer student who seduces him into supposedly strings-free sex during an impromptu swim lesson after hours in the school pool. When Ben takes Madison at her word and goes about his business as if nothing had happened, she insinuates herself into his life with sinister glee. Showing up at Ben's house, befriending his girlfriend, and sending him naked pictures -- none of her strategies wins his heart. So Madison turns to other, more devious forms of courtship. Soon, Ben finds himself kicked off the swim team for supposed steroid use, suspected of murdering a rival (Clayne Crawford), and rejected by his girlfriend for his sexual indiscretions. Eventually, though, he receives help in uncovering the genesis of Madison's uncanny fixation from an unexpected source. Lots of people have slated this movie for it's numerous inaccuracies and glaring plot holes, but I believe much of this criticism is unfounded. For basically a teen version of Fatal Attraction with swimming, Swimfan is well above average. Erika Christensen is solid but not spectacular, and in fact that goes for the rest of the cast as well. I had no problem with the script, which was far less cheesy than some people make out. What I don't get is why

Ben would cheat on his perfect girlfriend in the first place or why the stalker chick wouldn't just take someone who's taken already. I don't get what was so special about Ben, he's normal looking (OK a bit above normal looking), he's got a normal personality, maybe the girl had a thing for jocks?And since he WAS the swimming star. . .well, you know. Or maybe she just liked to steal other people's boyfriends? Or maybe she just liked to lure people into her sexual seduction traps?

I saw the trailers for this and assumed it was another teen slasher. I think the trailer is an example of a studio unsure of how to sell a product and just plumping for the lowest common denominator. However this film rises above that. Instead of being a slasher or a horror it is a thriller with a horror twist. This makes it better – it may not be as scary as you expect but it is a better story and is creepy rather than schlocky!

The cast are good despite being young. The weaknesses come in with the adult cast. However the teens are good and are more than the sort of fodder that is put in teen movies.

Overall this is not what you expect. But it is better than you'd think. The thriller story is gripping because you're not sure what possessed the scary girl to prey after someone until the end and I had questions answered as I went. Not great but certainly better than another teen slasher movie. It wasn't half bad. I dunno what you guys think, but it was pretty interesting to me. It was actually kinda deep at points. OK, maybe not so deep, but whatever.

Overall it's a fun and occasionally thrilling story an obsessed "fan", which is well worth a second viewing. 6/10
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Frankie & Hazel (2000 TV Movie)
Surprisingly pleasant movie with good performances
6 April 2004
My thoughts for Frankie & Hazel at first were not good. I really thought this film was going to be another piece of kid garbage since there were very few good kid flicks in 2000. I however was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong tonight as I turned my TV on to watch Frankie & Hazel.

The movie is about Frankie (Francheska), a 12 year old ballerina. Frankie has done ballet all her life, but walking through the park she sees a sign announcing baseball tryouts. Encouraged by her activist best friend and neighbor, Hazel, Frankie decides to go out for the team. She has to do this on the sly because her grandmother, whose thinking is in the victorian era, feels Frankie should live, breathe, and eat ballet. Frankie lives with her grandmother because she lost her parents when she was two. Frankie's grandmother hasn't finished grieving for her daughter, who also was a ballerina, and demands ballet from Frankie because it's a way of closure for the severe emotional loss. The amusing subplot in this movie is the activist exploits of Hazel. Bothered by a library rarely open, filthy parks, and ignored by the town's mayor, Hazel does her homework and discovers that there's no age set to run for mayor. Hazel announces her run, and quickly draws a following. The scene not to be missed is the mayoral debate where she hands the middle aged mayor his hat, metaphorically speaking. Any mother can put this video on and know that their children will be inspired by Frankie and Hazel. This is where a heartfelt, sometimes serious and real life movie begins but sadly ends with the typical Hollywood ending.

The acting for this type of movie was great. The lead role played by Mischa Barton was right on target. I am really starting to enjoy her work. I thought Polio Water, her first movie, was decent although it was basically for 1950's lover. Her character Diane in that film was very likable, and so was her character in this film. Her transformation from ballerina to mayor seemed so natural, which was very nice to see. Ingrid Uribe was pretty good as Frankie's best friend. This was her second movie and her performance was pretty strong. I think she did a good job. Joan Plowright's character I did not care for. She was obviously just put into the film for comedic effect but I feel this did not work well.

Elisa Guest and Jeremy Bogart wrote the script for this film. They did a good job with taking a script about young caring girls and adding a lot of new scenes to this film. But like I said previously, they both seem to fall for that typical Hollywood ending. The script had a very real life feel to it and I can picture most of this actually occurring in real life. I can honestly relate to the feelings and emotions of the characters. This film attempted to do this on the most part but like I said above they threw Joan Plowright in this film to try to get a few chuckles. JoBeth Williams was also the director of this film; I think she did a good job directing especially since this is only her second film.

So I turned off the TV feeling good. The film put a smile on my face and I really felt I could relate to this film. It is a typical film for the most part, which in Hollywood does not really mean anything anymore. It did however take the normal script and add some new things to it to spice it up and make it seem more like a reality than fiction. This movie is not an Emmy winner or anything but it's a decent release that many should like. The critics once again panned this film, which does not surprise me. They always like the Independent films, which I normally always agree with them on but when it comes to mainstream Hollywood films they are usually wrong. So In conclusion, I liked this movie for the most part, it did have a few problems here and there but all in all I really enjoyed it. I went renting the movie not knowing what to expect. The film started and by the time Mischa Barton came into the movie I was hooked. This film was so weird. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. I laughed several times in the film and the movie itself was a visual fest for the eyes. It's hard to describe the movie but it's like Fly Away Home, a ballerina girl, a kid running for president and some great background art all mixed up in a blender and you get Frankie & Hazel. The problem is it's special effects and realism (or lack of). That's the best way I can explain the movie and also this film is very unique. Trust me when I say this you will not see another movie like this one.

The acting in the film for what type of movie it was is good. Mischa Barton who played Frankie in the film, for once did not annoy me. I remember watching her in Pups over the summer and I hated her performance but in the film she fitted in nicely.

The movie as I said above is a fest for the eyes. The director and the art designers on this movie do a terrific job. I love the camera angles and all the backdrops and the unrealistic. The movie didn't have much of a story but its one of those movies where you just watch to enjoy and laugh. It's a fun film for many people. There were some jokes for the kids and a lot of adult jokes mixed into the mix as well. It was an enjoyable movie.

So in conclusion, I really liked the film. It put me in a good mood and I for one was not in a good mood when I went to see this film. I laughed quite a bit and I was amazed of how great the acting and story was. I know the critics hated this but it's not a film, which is going to be hailed by critics. If you want a good meaningful movie visit the Independent Theater but if you want a fun, silly, and above all weird movie then go see Frankie & Hazel. I would give this film a solid 7/10 and I will go see it again because I enjoyed it that much.
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Almost Famous (2000)
A very well made cinematic gem with terrific acting and a lot of heart!
6 April 2004
I remember back in the late summer of 2000 I watched this. I remember oddly enough I really quite enjoyed the film so I went out and bought myself a copy of it. I never wrote a review for it when I went to see it back in 2000 so I figure I will watch the film again tonight, which I just did, and now I want to write a review for the film.

Almost Famous is about 15-year-old William Miller (Patrick Fugit) is a huge music fan in 1973 in San Diego, thanks to the collection of albums his older sister, Anita (Zooey Deschanel), left him when she suddenly left home several years earlier to be a stewardess. A budding music journalist, William eventually meets Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a legendary critic who warns William about the death of rock and roll and the lengths to which bands and promoters will go to in making sure that critics and reporters are happy so that they'll write positive stories about them and their music. Although reluctant, Lester likes William's enthusiasm and thus assigns him to do a story on Black Sabbath. William's mother, Elaine (Frances McDormand), a college professor and restrictive parent, isn't crazy about the idea, but drops him off at the concert, making him promise that he won't do drugs. Once there, William meets several groupies, including Sapphire (Fairuza Balk), Polexia (Anna Paquin) and Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), the latter of whom he's instantly smitten with. He also meets the up and coming band, Stillwater, consisting of lead guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee), bass player Larry Fellows (Mark Kozelek), drummer Ed Vallencourt (John Fedevich) and their manager Dick Roswell (Noah Taylor). As they're opening for Sabbath, they manage to get him backstage for their performance.

Although they consider him the enemy since they play for the fans and not the critics, the members of Stillwater like William's style and thus invite him along on their tour. With his mother reluctantly letting him go, and then getting a freelance assignment to write a story for Rolling Stone magazine, William travels across America with the band and witnesses the varied dynamics and dramatic conflict of the rock and roll lifestyle while on the road.

Patrick Fugit is an actor who grows on you. I liked Patrick Fugit from his earlier work in movies like Stray Dog. I though he was just doomed to made for TV movies. Then all of a sudden began to grow on me again. In this movie, I liked his character William. He was a hopeless, sweet, and caring. You really felt for his character. You wanted him to find his happiness again. So I am starting to like Mr. Fugit again thanks to his role in this film and his roles in such movies as White Oleander and the upcoming movie Saved! with actress/singer Mandy Moore and one of my favorite actresses Jena Malone. The film's other great characters include the entire band in which William has to interview and makes friends with them. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the famous critic role all so perfectly. He seemed like the above average critic that we don't read that much of today in real life. The three groupies Sapphire (Fairuza Balk), Estrella (Bijou Phillips) and Polexia (Anna Paquin) where also very enjoyable in their roles. Fairuza Balk's character was very enjoyable, she was very amusing and I think she is also very beautiful and alluring. The rest of the supporting cast included Zooey Deschanel as William's beautiful, unique and rebellious teen sister and the members of the band, all of which were very amusing to watch on the screen.Kate Hudson gives a lovely and convincing performance as Penny.She is sweet and occasionally touching in the role. I was also impressed with the way Crowe convincingly arranged the attraction between William and Penny, layering on the sweet with an uncommon grace not found in this type of cinema, and giving the audience a peek into why Penny is so touched by William's attentions. The drama/comedy comes quickly and the story rolls forward.

Cameron Crowe who I think did a great job on the script for what type of film it is. I have to admit the story is very original. A 15 year old wins an assignment for a famous magazine in which he gets to go on a national tour with a rock band. That's original anyway you look at it. The dialog at times was very clever and catchy like as I mentioned earlier I think the groupies were the best parts and some of the jokes contained in the film. There are of course some jokes that didn't work like the two small gay jokes but it's a musical/drama/comedy and almost all movies have their hits and misses. The thing about the film, which I liked most were how the characters were written, you really like them. You felt for them and wanted them to be happy and everything to work out for them. I have to say very good job on the script Cameron Crowe.Almost Famous isn't the typical type of film I would normally go see in the theater. I am usually not the one to see many rock band movies but something about the trailer really interested me to see this film. Was it the fact that Kate Hudson was in it and this was her first movie in a few years that didn't look like it was totally going to suck? Was it the awesome song playing in the background during the trailer? Or was it just the fact that it seemed like a very interesting film to me. Well, I think it was all of the above. So continue on to read my review for Almost Famous.

I got to see Almost Famous a few years ago at a special sneak preview. I was really looking forward to the film as being the highlight of the week. I walked into the theater, which was very packed and had to sit up in the top row because there were no seats in the theater besides on the floor. So I sat there with a group of loud obnoxious college kids and watched Almost Famous.

The movie stars Patrick Fugit in possibly the best role of his rather short career as William Miller, loosely based on Cameron Crowe himself. He is a huge music fan and dreams of interviewing a famous rock band. Well William gets his wish and gets an opportunity of a lifetime, to get paid a hell of a lot of money to get to interview the famous rock band Sabbath. A lot of strong performances, great performing scenes, and excitement lie ahead...

The movies' acting was terrific. I used to like Kate Hudson but after this role she went to be the queen of romantic comedies. Her last decent film before this was Desert Blue in 1998. I think honestly though her role as Penny Lane in the film was outstanding. What a performance. Bravo Ms. Hudson a.k.a Mrs. Robinson I applaud your excellent work. Patrick Fugit who is starting to be seen as an actor also did a good job in the film as William Miller. I see him becoming a big star I mean he has three good movies now under her belt, Saved!, Dead Birds and White Oleander. As for the entire band in the film, well there are way to many to name but all did a great job. The performances in the film were really something great.

The director and writer Cameron Crowe has made a film he can be proud of for many years to come. This guy did one hell of a job capturing the true feelings and inspiration of William and the band. And what about those awesome camera angles capturing the excitement. I almost felt I was right there when the movie was playing.

I am sure with this very powerful and inspirational script will Cameron Crowe get many more jobs in the near future. The man wrote a very touching, inspirational, and exciting script. Some people never achieve to write something as good as this film is so he should be proud.Cameron Crowe also directed the film. Crowe hasn't had to many hits but is better known for writing successful movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and my friend Rosy's favorite 80s' movie Say Anything. His film credits include the great movie Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise and the mildly enjoyable Singles with Bridget Fonda. So up until this point I don't think Cameron Crowe has had much success with film in the 90s'. But I did enjoy him directing and writing Almost Famous. I loved his view of the typical rock band. It made me want to be William now. As for the characters, he really caught their emotions and made you feel for them. Cameron Crow sure did pick a great location to shoot the film; it felt like a great scenario. Good work on this film Cameron Crowe.

So my final thoughts on Almost Famous are the following, it's a very enjoyable and original. It's just a watch if you want to have a good time. I bought the DVD because I think the movie is amusing and I seen it three times now and I still enjoy it. The bonus features make the DVD more worth while. So if you haven't seen it dish out the $4 measly dollars at the local video store and rent it. I am sure you will at least get a few chuckles out of it even if this kind of film isn't your typical Hollywood schlock.

So to conclude my review, I really enjoyed Almost Famous. I would have probably enjoyed it more if I wasn't sitting in front of a bunch of rude college kids who did nothing but laugh for the first twenty minutes but luckily they quieted down and I got to really enjoy this film. It showcased a very powerhouse performance by Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup and the entire cast who played the band and everything to do with it. I was very interested in the story. I think this could quite possibly be the best movie made about rock bands ever. It's sure as hell the best rock band movie I ever seen. I would probably give Almost Famous a 8.5/10. It was a really great film and might be one of the years best.
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Casper Meets Wendy (1998 Video)
Worst movie. . .EVER!
6 April 2004
HUGE disappointment. A real stinker. Terrible cast; Hilary Duff made me cringe every time she opened her mouth! Too many one-liners and too little acting. I don't get why it has so many high votes. There wasn't anything I could like about it. I don't see how Casper Meets Wendy missed the list of the bottom 100 films. It was the worst film I have seen in years (or since). Truly horrible. The acting was terrible, the dialog was terrible, the story was terrible. Cathy Moriatry plays a role that embarrassed *ME*, Hilary Duff TOTALLY ruined it with her atrocious, beyond bad overacting. And no, I was not expecting much. I liked Casper and the second one was alright, so I set my expectations accordingly but this is a crime to recommend this pathetic excuse as a family/kids movie. Now, if you are looking to torture yourself and others. . .well then I recommend it.Poor, very poor... didn't expect much to be honest and that's what I got... nothing... .....If you ever see a movie like this that seems too cute for you, I must say one thing....Don't Watch It! Horror, Thriller, and Dramas are way better than stupid comedy/drama movies that show a whiny spoiled witch and crap like that. Lizzie McGuire was too retarded and this movie was worse. Don't ever waste your money on this crap. Remember people cute movies like this are only and mostly for girls so don't watch this. This movie makes House of the Dead look a lot more alive and that movie was horrible. Anyways, I never actually wasted money on movies like this cause I know they would suck. The only way I see them is if my sister rents them and that's with her own money. This is crap so see some other movie in the B-movie category. Cute movies suck... 0/10

It's obvious that this film was made-for-TV-- what's scary is how little talent is evident in this production -- writing, directing, acting, etc. Whoever green lighted this production in Hollywood is hopefully now grilling hot dogs at Pink's. This movie was not what I was expecting at all.

Overall, the best way to describe this film is as one that would be featured on the TV show "Mystery Science Theater 3000". The film is so cheesy; it invites you to ridicule it. I rated it a 1 because it did make me laugh despite its atrocious script and horrendous acting. One of the worst movies EVER. This stinker was so terrible that even the makers of the Casper franchise now mock this movie.

The acting was beyond terrible (especially from Hilary Duff), the dialog stilted and artificial. Hilary Duff is so annoying and beyond atrocious, and the character she played was demeaning. Wendy was a character who deserved to die. Teri Garr was obviously slumming; she said openly in interviews that she did this film for the money. Her performance was over-the-top ham at its worst.

When I saw it with some people I know, they either excused themselves for snack/bathroom breaks every 3 seconds or were laughing when the movie was trying to be serious and dramatic, or staying stone quiet when it was trying to be funny.

This film has an overall juvenile feel to it, and probably would have been good for children had the script hadn't been written by a 8 year old in 15 minutes. As it stands, it's a piece of garbage. I don't know how to express how bad this movie was. I could swear and curse and it still wouldn't describe how bad it was. I actually thought this movie would be pretty good when I first saw the previews for it. You know...it looked like a nice, enjoyable, family fun filled film. I can honestly say that I was completely blown away by how bad this movie was. I HATE all Hilary Duff movies, but I liked a few of Teri Garr's films (now that I think about it I really don't...). But it also had Cathy Moriarty and George Hamilton, which I usually like. This movie was supposed to be supporting the craft but instead was filled with an innumerable amount of cliches (e.g., the brooms, telekinesis, black clothing, long, pointy hats, black cats, etc., etc., etc.).

Most of the horrendous movie made no sense either. Can you say cheesy? And then there is the whole scene with the ghosts disguised as humans and the witches was just horrendous. How are the two aunts gonna be practically drop-dead drunk, and then as soon as it is relieved they are ghosts, they don't like them?

Now lets talk about how atrocious that acting in the movie was. Let's start with Desmond Spellman. I might have possibly gotten the worst role in the movie. Why does he want to make Wendy disappear by throwing her down a warp zone. Then there. The character that was REALLY bad in this movie was Wendy played by Hilary Duff. They were just too happy about every single thing that they did. And in the scene where she crying, it sounded like they were laughing/choking on something. And the scene where she was laughing, she sounded really angry. I have never seen Hilary Duff on anything but Lizzie McGuire before I watched this movie (I later on saw most of her films, she was all terrible in them)... after being in this movie, I thought she would probably never get another role. She was cute though...

The movie is just one corn fest. Don't even waste 100 minutes of your valuable time watching this. Because you will regret it. Hilary Duff's performance was by far the worst I have seen from a child, and believe me I have seen A LOT of movies with child actors, even though Jake Lloyd in "Star Wars: Episode 1" gives her a run for her money. OH MY GOD this movie was the worst I have ever seen -- I would give it at the VERY least a -10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 I hate that movie SO much! For those of you who are planning to see it in the near future I have some advice for you -- DON'T! In fact, do everything you can to avoid it! It totally sucked! Trust me ! It makes me so mad how awful this movie was ! I saw it with a bunch of my friends and we all said that it was the worst movie we had ever seen and everyone at my school who had seen it agreed that it was terrible so I would waste my money and buy the video. TRUST ME! It just pains me to see how some people liked it because they are over exaggerate and have not seen any films. I will never see a horrible movie like that again! "Hilary shines in this movie"-YEAH RIGHT!! She is truly the world's worst child actress, this is proof, she is absolutely horrendous and atrocious. I cannot describe how absolutely awful she is in this movie. "She does a good job"?? Whoever said that has never seen a GOOD movie with GOOD child acting(good as in anything with Jodie Foster in it). It's not really worth my time to write about it, I'm just putting a warning out so you'll know not to torture yourself. . .do not listen to all the good user comments. . .it's just a freaking trap to get you to suffer as well. Every scene Hilary Duff is in, she is horrendous. Her delivery was atrocious, I could swear and curse ALL DAY and that would STILL not describe how horrendous she was in this movie. I feel very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very sorry for all of you who liked it and gave it more than a 1! There may be a small amount of those who like it, but I must say GET OUT MORE!!!!! AND GET YOUR HEAD EXAMINED!!!!!!!! If you have seen this movie, I am very sorry. I sat through this terrible film one afternoon and wound up actually kicking myself for it. The acting is bad, but what do you expect from two young girls. The script was just awful, and there was absolutely no excitement or value whatsoever to this film. The events are both predictable, and highly unlikely. The worst part about it is there aren't even any laughable aspects as in other terrible movies such as Night Train to Mundo Fine or Manos: The Hands of Fate. If you haven't seen this movie, don't go out of your way to see it. Actually, do everything you can to avoid seeing it. I'm sure that this was one of the films they forced Alex to watch in A Clockwork Orange. This movie drags and drags, and has well, about 0 good qualities. I was literally kicking myself for having wasted my time to view this atrocious mess of the cinema. The plot is lame and extremely forced, the acting is horrendous at best and the story is quite predictable. I understand that this was no attempt to make another Citizen Kane or anything, but oh man, this is seriously painful to watch! If you are looking for good "family" entertainment there are tons of other options out there. However, if you are looking to torture yourself and/or others, then check this movie out...it's something that you'll never forget, though more than likely you'll wish you could.

Couldn't stand it. I watched it but I almost threw up after. Something I RARELY EVER do after watching movie.
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Freaky Friday (1995 TV Movie)
The American Version is Better
6 April 2004
Great role for Gaby Hoffman! My family enjoyed this one quite a bit. At times, tears came to our eyes! Shelley Long also does well, as does the rest of the cast. I did expect the movie to be a bit closer to the original, but I believe that they were trying to portray the actual events, not the writings such as what the first was based upon. - - THIS SHOWS HOW PARENTS NEED TO BE PART OF A CHILD'S LIFE. ALL DEAD BEAT PARENTS NEED TO SEE THIS! - FUN!I am a huge fan of the remake of Freaky Friday, and I decided to rent the second remake, the supposedly much better and funnier version. The idea was nice, a very good and original plot, but nothing about this movie was funny enough to keep me laughing. The sounds and music were scary at some times, but i was expecting more laugh out loud humor. Freaky Friday seemed short and predictable too me but that was probably because the American remake version added lots more stuff and funnier jokes to it that this movie didn't have. I think that the Jamie Lee Curtis/Lindsay Lohan version and the original movie starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. 6/10
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Reality Bites (1994)
Interesting and sweet (SOME SPOILERS)
6 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film was one of the more mainstream offerings in the array of films that emphasized the overly hyped "Generation X" phenomenon, a list that ranges from Slacker to Singles and includes a host of other films. Winona Ryder stars as Lelaina, a recent college graduate. Out on her own and independent from her supportive, but out-of-touch parents, Lelaina faces the realities of careers and relationships. She can't stand her internship under a local television personality (John Mahoney), and she's forced to choose between Michael (Ben Stiller), a well-intentioned music-video network executive, and Troy (Ethan Hawke), a brooding, sensitive slacker. Meanwhile, she must also protect the artistic integrity of "Reality Bites," a video documentary that depicts the everyday lives of her friends (Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, and Steve Zahn). The first time I saw this movie I went insane! I saw it on the first day of school that year, so it started me off pumped. It meant so much to me, and accentuated and made sense of many parts of my life. I cannot explain how close I am to this movie. My best fiend saw it with me too, and we have been a lot closer since then.

It was very smartly written, realistic as hell- not necessarily the actions, but the feelings behind the actions taken in this movie.

As a drama/comedy, Reality Bites was great. The first half of the movie, though, was one of the funniest, darkest setups I have ever seen. A lot of sarcastic humor that many would call it whatever. It's got some of the best one liners I've ever heard. I will not go on and on about the ending, because other reviewers have overly voiced their 10 line opinions about how it's so good that it's gone past bad and back to good again or really "artsy and it sucks". About the ending, I will say this- It is not a normal Hollywood ending. That's good. Hollywood is redundant. Ghost World is one of the better teen or coming of age movie I have seen in a while. The story was very sweet, and it gives people who are hopeless (like myself) hope. This is because the beautiful AND unique dork of the movie gets to find true love! I don't usually see that in todays movies.

The movie consists of many interesting characters, and the actors who played the characters did an outstanding job (especially Ben Stiller and the beautiful Winona Ryder). The settings in the movie was good, and I liked how the movie used different room colors for different occasions in this movie.

There are some problems of this movie: 1. The movie was a little bit long, and sometimes the story drags. 2. Ethan Hawke character seemed pretty small, it would be nice to more a little bit of Ethan Hawke character.

This movie was funny, sweet, and interesting. If you are sick of the ordinary kinda teen movies, you should watch this interesting little teen movie called Reality Bites:)

If you liked this movie, I recommend Ghost World (2000), Election (1999), maybe Can't Hardly Wait (1998) and Psycho Beach Party (2000)
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More than 50 laughs in deed. (SPOILERS)
5 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Adam Sandler has really done a great job with his recent string of movies and I think this is definitely one of the best so far. Anyone who has seen The Wedding Singer will know that Sandler and Drew Barrymore have undeniable chemistry on screen. In Fifty First Dates, Sandler plays Henry Roth, a complete player. He's practically a professional at one night stands with the tourists who visit native Hawaii. However, one day, after a boating accident, he meets lovely Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) and feels that the first time he actually has a strong emotional connection with a woman. Though the next day Henry finds out the horrible truth about Lucy-after a car crash nearly a year before, she has lost ability to form new memories. Henry realizes that his entire life from then on will be devoted to meeting Lucy and making her fall in love with him every single day. This movie is funny, sweet and at times even thought-provoking. You will leave the theater feeling good with a huge smile on your face. It's filled with a healthy mix of crude, smart and witty humor and the latter is delivered hilariously by Rob Schneider. Schneider and Sandler make a great comic duo in the movie-Sandler's performance being very believable and subtle, while Schneider's being ridiculously funny and adding a touch of comedy. This movie does an excellent job of holding true to its comedy without compromising the seriousness of the heroine's situation. The intricate directing touches the viewer's heart when it portrays the emotional distress Lucy's family has to go through every single day. Barrymore handles her somewhat sensitive and sort of funny role perfectly, with feeling and heart-wrenching emotion and once again proves that she earned her recent star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I would definitely recommend this as a feel-good romantic comedy, in which the ending won't leave you disappointed. 7/10
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Amateurish, stupid and boring. I have seen some pretty bad movies but this. . .(Possible very very minor spoilers for those who don't know the plot)
5 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
. . .takes the cake. I just finished watching a copy of this film and I must say. This movie is horrendous, awful and without a doubt the worst movie I have seen in my whole life! Aside from Hilary Duff's extremely mediocre performance with hints of horrid acting ability. Do not believe the high user ratings - they have clearly been corrupted by insider voting! When I saw this movie there were very few people in the audience, some walked out during the movie, and several of the rest made very negative comments when the movie was over. This movie is artificial, stupid, pretentious, and boring. It's not really worth my time to write about, but when I saw the voting results here I felt compelled to insert a strong warning to discerning viewers. To clarify, there is nothing particularly offensive about this movie, it's just very, very bad. And aside from Ms. Duff's unconvincing Italian accent and acting ability, this movie is atrocious. Worst movie ever made. There was more potential in this movie, but we're left behind with the results of bad acting, no creative twists but twists nonetheless or story layers and weak dialogs. The musical score does lift some scenes up though and the overall look from The Lizzie McGuire Movie has a certain flaw to it due to the stereotypical character of Lizzie. I've seen worse, but it's not worth your time unless you're a real fan of wholesome family/teenage movies and the likes.Very horrible film not even worth the price of a video rental. Very confusing film has little logic and just gets more tiresome as it goes along.Stay away from this movie at all costs. I was suckered into watching this movie in a bet to see which one of us knew the "worst movie of all time". Needless to say this one won hands down. It is long and drawn out, and has no purpose or plot from what I can gather. A movie about a girl who travels to Rome and meets an Italian pop star. The twist is anything BUT creative. If you are extremely bored and have no life watch this movie. But if you rather keep your sanity, stay AWAY. This movie was crap. The script is so full of holes; I can't see how the producers agreed to finance it.We are never given an explanation of ANYTHING. The acting is horrible. The plot sucks. This movie was obviously written for those 8 and under.I have to say this: who goes to Rome for an end of school graduation? And wouldn't the people who were feeding food to Lizzie notice she has no cheesy fake accent??Oh, the dialog. Do we really need the lines, "Wow, evil and smart." "Fear it. Embrace it." Thanks for the tip; I could never put that together myself. It never gets any better.Why does Lizzie talk the way she does, even in the beginning?This movie is a very, very bad rip off of all the other wholesome teen movies. It's a really awful What a Girl Wants/ The Princess Diaries/Sabrina Goes to Rome slopped together by a 10-year old writer. It's not cheesy enough to laugh at, it's just an incredibly frustrating bore. This is easily one of the worst films I've seen in many years. I started viewing the film not expecting much and that is exactly what it delivered....not much! In fact, it ended up delivering even less than I expected. My first reaction when I saw the opening portions of the film was that I would probably end up rating it a "4". I thought that it seemed to have reasonably good photography and a cheery atmosphere.As the film progressed however, the rating kept going down and down in my mind mainly due to pedestrian acting and a plot that went from being just plain silly and tasteless at the beginning to being both silly and repugnant near the end. By the time the movie was over, I was willing to rate it no more than a "1". Hilary Duff is the world's worst actress. Her facial expressions were cringe-making, her delivery was horrendous and she was so over-the-top it's unbelievable. I cannot believe there's people out there who think she's a good actress. And while there may be people who find this film funny, delightful, charming and great, GET OUT MORE!!!!!!!!!!! Not to mention get your head examined. This seems like a BAD student film. Just like too many TV shows now, it has the characters addressing the camera, and saying things that are not interesting or funny. In fact, it sometimes seemed much like a bad sitcom, but without the fast pace and professional craftsmanship of a bad sitcom. Every scene was both fake and unfunny. It's too bad, because I have liked both the stars in the past. It's amazing how a horrible script and a bad director can make even the most appealing actors look bad. I see 5 movies a week, and this is the worst one I've seen in over a year.This film seems to have fallen out of a cookie cutter for even wholesome teen romantic comedies. Everything that happens in this film is cliched and predictable. The acting is bad(especially Hilary, who has two expressions, one and only emotion displayed and a very hollow sounding voice) but the script is worse. It creates boring and stereotypical characters.The dialog is hokey and irksome. You can almost predict what the characters will say before they say it. A horrible,horrible film. Hilary Duff was terrible in her role as Lizzie. Every single scene she's in, she's horrendous, atrocious and amazingly horrible."The Lizzie McGuire Movie" is a terrible movie. I had heard terrible things about it, as have many others. I wanted to see it for those reason. It's just one of those things...you have information leading to the fact that it will be bad, but you have to see just HOW bad. I cannot believe I wasted my time and money on it. Teens traveling to a foreign place has been grounds for a a lot of movies. However, most of those movies to it in a more tasteful and watchable fashion. I felt nothing from this movie except anger, for the better things I could have put my money towards. The shock value of this movie is not enough to watch it. Pure garbage. In a nutshell, I am an embarrassed watcher of one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The Lizzie McGuire Movie is one of THOSE filmes. You know, the kind that goes out of it's way to be as unfunny, nonsensical and stupid as possible so the creators can tell everyone that doesn't fall over worshipping it because of hype they've heard from the creators (look at most of the people commenting here. "Academy, take notice" ""Hilary is AWESOME""Great Family Film" "Sweet movie" Excellent little movie" "Delightful magic"? PLEASE.) that they have no sense of good film, or that they can't truly understand the work. That's like saying Future War was a revolutionary masterpiece; you just don't get it. The Lizzie McGuire Movie, in short is one of the worst films ever made (possibly the worst film ever made). . The ending is incredibly stupid. The worst I've ever seen. A nonsensical, random romp through Hell. To reiterate, one of the worst ever made. And no, I am not a 30 year old man/woman. I am an 18 year old. My parents rented it thinking it would be a cute family movie, I'm an 18 year old female who suffered so much because I decided to watch this incredibly pointless movie. I left halfway, even my little preteen cousin thought it sucked. My parents regretted getting this movie. And really, don't waste your time on this piece of nothingness. Don't listen to the other positive comments. Its a trick to get you to suffer as well. I'm serious ........ what a waste of time and money ......... I have really no complaints about this movie except for how badly it sucked! I rented this movie and was sorely disappointed. That girl from the TV show of this was horrendous and the boy (Gordo) has like no depth in his voice. The other actors in the movie were not convincing at all, and times when the movie tried to be dramatic it was not. In fact, dramatic scenes I found were the most humorous! My sister is a singer, and had several complaints on how unconvincing her singing was. Seriously, fix the movie and maybe I'll be satisfied. Horrible casting - that's all I have to say. Don't waste your time, brain or money on this one.
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Damn Scary!
5 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS::

This movie is good. Really, it's great. It was just so surprising all the time, you never knew really what was going to happened. Heather Donahue, wow, they couldn't have found a woman better for the role...the plot's great, the story line stunning and the actors...GREAT JOB!The acting (well, I HOPE it was acting!) was well done. The teenagers make an interesting and compelling portrayal of their characters. I have always admired Heather Donahue and this serves to keep that high opinion in tact. Technically, the direction, filming and editing are well done, but not outstanding in any way.I love a good scare, when it's not accompanied by gratuitous gore. This fit the bill nicely. I look at it as fiction, despite the notice that it's based on true events, and it was an enjoyable fictional movie. Very, very creepy.A nice idea, and good execution of that idea make this a foreign film to see. The film does have a few cliche moments, but don't let that distract you from the film itself. It's very clever, very scary in bits, and the final twist is worth waiting for.

It just goes to show that a decent horror film can be made without all the blood and guts. I don't think it was better than Ring, but you can see some similarities. It's worth a look, and you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.

And if you really can't be bothered to watch it, watch out for the Hollywood remake which will either be a total load of rubbish, or a good adaptation - probably the former!!

Some friends were ranting about how damn good The Blair Witch Project and its sequel were, so I rented the first one last night to see whether all the fuss was justified.

It was.

Bloody hell. I've never been to terrified at a film in my life. Actually, I've NEVER been scared so bloody much by a film. I can appreciate creepy moments and often feel mildly uneasy after watching a film, but never this level of fear. Oh, no. I had to sleep with the light on. What sort of fool am I? I guess because it's way more realistic than your average teen horror fare. This movie was pretty good, but the way it was filmed, it looked like someone just used a video camera, so the shakiness and zooms sort of distracted you from the film itself, which is indeed brilliance. This movie really captures that disturbing feel, and it doesn't skip showing the raw things. The actors are good. Good horror film.

The idea of a sort of going into the woods with a thing stalking you while taping it is rather American High School Horror Film, but The Blair Witch Project is so much more than that. It begins with a couple of teenagers in the uncomfortable (but brilliant) opening scene, then begins to concentrate on them.

The tension builds slowly -- helped along by the magnificent soundtrack and the sound effects of the video -- and things that happen often have no build-up. For example, if it was a Hollywood film then THAT spectacular bloody hand print scene would have been chock-full of intense music, building up to a crescendo. But was it? No, there was no sign that anything was going to happen. I mean, I had my suspicions but there was no build up. So, when it happened I jumped a good five feet into the air.

I thought that was it, but there was yet ANOTHER climax in which they see the bloody hand prints and hear the children laughing. That scene should go down in history as THE second (or third) creepiest film scene of all time. The bloodied hand prints, the children laughing, the witch stalking them and the cliche bad-always-moves-slowly-and-good-always-moves-quickly-yet-bad-always-gets-good thing to create a scene that I fear will never leave me alone. I feel stupid now in the bright morning sunshine, having to explain it to my sister. We've turned it back around, but don't think for one second that it'll stay that way when I go to bed.

I've turned off my phone. And I've forced my boyfriend to watch the film, and told him to show it to his mates.

Just in case.

8/10.
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