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Movie Reviews written in about 1 Minute.™

MEGAMIND

It's the year of the loveable villain! (First DESPICABLE ME, now this!) Hilarity ensues when a not-so-bad bad guy finds an even more evil nemesis!

Did you see it? Let me know what you thought!

  • OLDER REVIEWS

THE PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOOD

A very touching story of finding a family, with a fine performance by the young leading lady.

MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM

If only this movie had lived up to its title! Only for the very young or easily pleased.

Did you see it? Let me know what you thought!

RATATOUILLE

  • As charming as rats in the kitchen! Moments of marvelous fun throughout, even if there's a slight aftertaste.

HAIRSPRAY

  • Whether you like a beehive or a bob, a crewcut or a DA, a Mohawk or a mullet, for a bouffant good time, see Hairspray!

MONSTER HOUSE

  • Monster or monstrosity -- a monstrously good time!

CURIOUS GEORGE

  • More fun than a barrel of Georges!

ELF

    In honor of the three-letter title of this movie, my entire review will consist of words of three letters:

    Wow! How fun. One elf boy who was way too odd. His job? Joy! His own dad was bad. His elf dad was Bob. See now, pal!

    Bad? Not bad? Pow wow now.

THE CAT IN THE HAT

    WHAT were they thinking?

LILO & STITCH

    What an entertaining movie! Sweet without being sticky, funny and warm, great characters in an enjoyable story. Many times it made me laugh and at other times it made my eyes well up with tears -- what more could you ask for in a movie? Fun for the whole family!

    Want to talk about it? Let me know!

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (2002) [on video]

    This is such a great adventure story, that even a weak telling can't wreck it. This time around it's like the "Classic Comics" version of the tale, "dumbed down" so that even a ten year old who's not paying very close attention could follow the story. If you've never read the novel or seen any of the previous incarnations on film, this might be worth a look. But if you can get ahold of the video of the Richard Chamberlain TV mini-series version, aired in 1975, that's the one to get! Or even better -- read the book! You'll never forget it!

SIGNS

    A bit of fun, a measure of suspense, a witty, intelligent script...and yet, I was hoping for more. I left the theater thinking it was almost an excellent movie. There wasn't quite enough fun, enough suspense, or enough wit. (And there were quite a few logical flaws and more than one truly embarassing sequence.) In short, not bad, but not another E.T. or Close Encounters...or JAWS, for that matter!

    Agree? Disagree? Want to know more about aliens? Let me know!

MINORITY REPORT
(Rated PG-13)

Not a bad action movie, but such plot holes. When it worked, when it moved, it was fun, fun, fun. Some great action scenes and set pieces (loved the escape from the mall with Agatha the "pre-cog" shouting predictions at John and passers-by like a bad habit she can't shake). But the movie never moved fast enough to cover the many lapses in logic -- eye eye eye!

Agree? Disagree? Want to discuss it further? Let me know!

SPIDERMAN

      Spiderman, Spiderman,
      Does whatever a spider can
      Spins a web any size
      Catches thieves just like flies
      Look out, here comes the Spiderman

    Did anyone else stay til the very end of the end credits, and catch the original theme song from the 1960s Spiderman animated TV series? I just had a feeling they were going to play it if I waited long enough. There's one line in the second verse I just love:

      Is he strong? Listen bud--
      He's got radioactive blood!

    What a line! What a rhyme! "Bud" and "blood"! How did they ever get away with that? What were they thinking? And yet it works. I have to marvel.

    Oh yeah, the movie. It was great!

    Agree? Disagree? Want to discuss it further? Let me know!

THE IRON GIANT [on video]

    Fun, funny, clever, touching, heartwarming, heartbreaking, hilarious. These and many other positive descriptions are fully deserved by this simple yet well-told tale of a boy and his giant alien robot. The script was smart, the animation style was simple, elegant and engaging, and I laughed out loud several times. It is definitely one of those rare family films that the parents will enjoy as much as their kids.

    Agree? Disagree? Want to discuss it further? Let me know!

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

    Spectacular! One of the best movies I've seen in a long time, and one of the few movies that I would have stayed and watched again immediately -- if it hadn't been the last screening of the day which let us out at 1:30 a.m. The filmmakers made every right choice in adapting the book, and produced not only an exciting action film, but one packed with depth of feeling as well. Go see it!

Agree? Disagree? Tell me about it!

PLANET OF THE APES

    Visually imaginative and technically dazzling, but doomed by a pedestrian story, a weak resolution to the central apes vs. human conflict, and a completely meaningless ending.

    I give this movie one monkey butt.

    Agree? Disagree? Want to discuss it further? Let me know!

JURASSIC PARK III

    WOW! What a ride!

I have to admit I wasn't expecting a lot when I went to see this, the third in the JURASSIC PARK series. But was I wrong. It was a fun, entertaining and exciting movie.

For one thing, they started with a good script--it was smart and funny. For another, Sam Neill (from the first movie) was back. Plus, William H. Macy, a terrific actor, had a major role. Hooray for intelligent casting and good acting.

Finally, they knew how to pace an action movie. It wasn't just one long chase--there was plenty of variety. You never knew what was going to jump out at you--or how the humans were going to escape. (Well, sometimes you knew--but it was still fun watching them do it.)

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

SHREK

    SHREK ain't dreck!

    Well, okay, that actually took less than a minute to write. So let me say I really enjoyed it, and thought it was very funny, but there were a few things that bugged me. Like, the movie started off a little slow for me--it was entertaining and all, but the story didn't really get started until Shrek went on his journey to find the Princess.

    And let me just ask--did anyone else think the rock songs they chose didn't work particularly well? I mean, some of them were okay--but that title song? The one about being a rock star? What did that have to do with Shrek? I though it undercut the humor of the opening sequence--which was great.

    But like I said, those are minor points. Overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot!

    Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

CASTAWAY

    I have never seen a more exciting, interesting, adventurous movie so undone by its ending. The island sequence, which makes up most of the movie, is great--with hardly a word of dialogue, and no music, it's utterly believable and enthralling, and strikes me as very close to the way someone would really handle being thrust in such a dire situation.

    But...(spoiler coming--if you haven't seen the movie, don't read any further) when Tom Hanks finally gets off the island, the movie is over. Five or ten minutes of resolution was all that was needed to show how his life's direction has changed. Instead, the movie seems to go on for about forty more dull, unnecessary minutes--spelling out in tepid redundancy all that we have already seen, and completely evaporating all the good will the movie has so carefully, and craftily, built up.

    I left the theater with a headache and a sense of pent-up emotion that took the rest of the night and part of the next morning to dissipate.

    The island sequence: 10 Coconuts (Highest rating). The needless, meandering epilogue: 1 Empty FedEx envelope! My advice: As soon as Tom Hanks sees the ship that rescues him, leave the theatre--you're not missing anything.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

CHICKEN RUN

A very enjoyable movie--and yet I wanted more. I expected it to have the sharp, hilarious writing of TOY STORY, or the heart and warmth of BABE. It didn't quite have either. Okay, so I had high expectations. Even without quite hitting those heights, it was still one of the most entertaining movies I've seen in quite a while.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

DINOSAUR

What a surprisingly enjoyable movie. To tell you the truth, I didn't expect very much going in. But the opening sequence, following that egg, took my breath away and won me over. In fact, it was so good, I was a bit disappointed when the dinosaurs and mammels started to talk--I would have been happy if the whole movie were a more or less "realistic" glimpse into the primeval world. Still, I enjoyed the film overall--even some of the dialogue and lame jokes--and the visuals and animation were, I have to admit, jawdroppingly spectacular.

ANALYZE THIS

A very funny movie that worked much better than I had expected. Even though some of the jokes were predictable, comedy is all about timing, and the two leads, Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro, are such pros they can make the most banal gag hilarious.

BABE: PIG IN THE CITY

What an interesting failure. Visually spectacular, but with the fractured story logic of a dream. A fascinating, if deeply flawed film.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

PATCH ADAMS

Very funny, very sweet, and very sad. Almost too syrupy sweet for me, but Robin Williams saved the day. Yay, Patch!
 
Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

PRINCE OF EGYPT

90% bad and 10% brilliant. The songs were weak, the drama uninspired. The story didn't follow the Bible--and it wasn't an improvement. Unless you're very, very young (like, under ten), it's worth seeing only for the heiroglyphic dream sequence, the Angel of Death bit, and the crossing of the Red Sea.
 
Agree? Disagree? Let me know!


Eric's Oscar® Round-Up (2001 edition)

    Is this the worst bunch of movies that have ever been nominated for Best Picture, or what? Each one is a perfectly decent, well made entertainment. Each one has some parts that are truly wonderful. But Best Picture? C'mon!

    GLADIATOR, aside from a few decent action sequencies, hardly felt like a feature motion picture at all. At least, I didn't feel satisfied. The story was so compressed, it felt like episodes from a longer work. At around the time I sensed the movie was about to wrap-up, I started thinking, "Uh-oh, it's almost over?" The characters were superficially drawn, the story arc sketched out in the broadest crayola strokes imaginable, plot holes abounded, and the relationships were barely meaningful.

    CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON is the most overrated movie this year, possibly the most overrated foreign film ever. For years, the Hong Kong film industry has been turning out great, exciting, thrilling action movies--only they've been a great secret to most Americans. I've only seen a few of them myself, but the ones I've seen were mind-blowing. One from the mid-1980s (I think), "Peking Opera Blues", truly is one of the best movies I've ever seen. CROUCHING TIGER doesn't come close to touching that peak. Even the much vaunted flying action sequences are stiff and stagey compared to the best Hong Kong films.

    ERIN BROKAVICH was a very good movie that I really enjoyed--but again, Best Picture? No way! Yes, it was earnest, entertaining, politically savvy, socially conscious--but only in the most tepid, tentative way. Was it much, much better than other recent courtroom dramas and socially conscious message pictures? Yes. Was it the best movie of the year? Far from it.

    TRAFFIC is another infuriating choice. Although I enjoyed parts of the movie as I was watching it, the more I thought about it afterward, the emptier it seemed. There were three interrelated stories. The reason I enjoyed the movie at all was because one of the stories, about a Tijuana cop, was a unique look into an ambiguous character with a fascinating story in an unfamiliar mileau. But the other two stories were filled with hackneyed cliches and stereotypical characters--the kinds of things we've seen a million times on a thousand cop shows. And done better on TV!

    The fifth movie is CHOCOLAT, which I haven't seen, so by default it has to be my choice, of the five nominees, as Best Picture of the Year. (And that might change since I plan to go see it this week.)

    However, if it were up to me, which pictures would I have nominated as the best movies of the year? Granted, this wasn't the best year in the history of the movies, but there were still lots to choose from that were better than the five nominees. Among them...

      ALMOST FAMOUS
      BEST IN SHOW
      BILLY ELLIOT
      BEFORE NIGHT FALLS
      O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
      HIGH FIDELITY

    And my choice for Best Picture of the Year? The envelope please...



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