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The Day After Tomorrow (R, 2004) ... Average: 2.0
(Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Ian Holm, Dash Mihok)

Kirsten Cheskey (CLICK HERE for "Neurotic & Negligent")
Some comments on The Day After Tomorrow:

Best part of the movie:  The guy getting killed in a hail storm.

Worst part of the movie:  Every other part.

Best actor:  Ian Holm...but only because it reminded me that he played Bilbo in LOTR and that led to thoughts of Viggo Mortenson and Orlando Bloom and well... mmmmmmmm.

Worst actor:  Everyone else.

Best 'very obvious foreshadowing': The chick cutting her leg but only because it led to the "Books are good for more than burning" line...and the very quick diagnosis of blood poisoning.

Worst 'very obvious foreshadowing':  "Hey, Bob...look at this!  The huge bear didn't break out of the zoo...but that pesky pack of wolves did."

Best use of a line said in every disaster movie:  "Mr. Vice President...if we don't act now there could be serious consequences."

Worst use of a line said in every disaster movie:  "I made my son a promise.  I'm going to keep it."  (Even though I ended up getting my friend killed and only arrived to save my son AFTER he was out of danger.) 

Supposed scariest part of  the movie:  Computer generated animals attacking kids in a kitchen (Jurassic Park, anyone?).

Actual scariest part of the movie:  Raft inflating when it was totally unexpected. ( made me scream...but in hindsight I was the only one who did.) 

Best computer generated animal:  The homeless guy's dog.  (Oh wait...I've just been told that was a real dog.  My apologies to the dog/actor.)

Worst computer generated animal:  The pesky pack of wolves.  (And they were most certainly not real.  As Carter always says, "It's hard to get good wolf help nowadays.)

Best part about the ending:  Sam looking at his dad and giving him a smile that says, "Hey half the world is dead...probably most of my friends are dead.  But look...this chick put her head on my shoulder which means when this ice age is over...I'm getting laid."

Worst part about the ending:  When the lights came up, I realized I spent 8 bucks to see this piece of crap movie. 

In conclusion...

Will this movie inspire people to worry about global warming?  Hell no!!

Will this movie inspire the people of Berks County to buy all the bread at the grocery store?  Of course!

So I give it 2 stars...because there is really nothing I love better than seeing people get killed by big chunks of hail.  Glad that FINALLY made it into a movie.


Below is an excerpt from an email I later got from Kirsten. --YPCM

I was talking to a friend of mine who mentioned the movie would have been better if more people had died.  I reminded her that 1/3 of the world's population did, in fact, die.  To which she replied, "No, the main characters.  Then they would have shut up already." 

Dead Calm (R, 1988) ... Average: 3.5
(Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane)

Movie ImageChris Mal
Well they didn't have to spend much on extras!  Neill, Kidman and Zane play the only three roles in this suspenseful thriller that is like Cujo on a boat, where Zane is the dog and Neill and Kidman are trying to escape with their lives.

Neill and Kidman play a husband and wife who have just lost their young only son in a car accident and plan to sail the Pacific for a month or so on their yacht to get away, and help Kidman deal with the grief before returning home for the first time since the accident.  Zane plays a guy who Neill and Kidman rescue as a lone survivor from his sinking ship.  He claims that the other five aboard the ship had died of food poisoning.  Of course, Zane is not what he appears to be.  

The movie doesn't waste any time building up to a climax that seems to last for much of the movie.  It becomes obvious that Zane is deranged about 5 minutes after he makes his appearance on screen, and the terror begins.  Neill boards the sinking ship and is confronted with a horrifying situation, as he realizes that Zane had killed everyone on board.  Zane then takes off with the yacht - with Kidman on it - leaving Neill behind stranded on the crippled boat.

Kidman is afforded about a half dozen opportunities to kill Zane at the very end, which, after hours of terror, would have been what any normal person would have done.  Instead the audience is left to roll its collective eyes when she decides to do things like just tie him up or lock him in a room behind a door seemingly made of balsa wood.  And, of course, a guy who seems like he should be dead - stabbed, drugged, a harpoon thru his shoulder and thrown in a raft in the ocean wasn't good enough?  Is this guy Superman?  Oh, and here's a thought - why not throw him in the ocean WITHOUT the raft?!?!  You've essentially killed him, why give him a freaking RAFT?!

The main, albeit minor, flaw of the movie is that it didn't end when it had a good opportunity.  There is a point where the movie seems like it clearly should be over...and then continues to roll on as Neill and Kidman go BACK to find Zane - OK, why?  Why would you do that?  Of course, that turns out to be near disaster and another moment of terror that seems nothing more than gratuitous.  The movie still would have been more than entertaining without the unnecessary "extra" ending.

I certainly don't mean to make too big of a deal out of the negatives - they are actually quite small in comparison to the way the movie made your heart race.  All-in-all, I really liked this movie.  I actually saw it in the theater in 1988, and rented it again in 2002.  This was Nicole Kidman's first feature film and she does a splendid job, and Billy Zane is so convincing as a mad-man.  I definitely recommend this chilling suspenseful thriller.


Deliverance (R, 1972) ... Average: 3.0
(Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed O'Neill)

coverChris Mal
Deliverance is a story about a group of four businessmen who take what turned out to be an ill-fated canoe trip down a river in the deeeeeep backwoods of Georgia before the river is flooded by a dam being built for a hydro-electric facility.  And when I say "backwoods" I mean so far into the backwoods that there are no dentists within hundreds of miles, and the people are about as unfriendly as the scenery is beautiful.

Outside of one particularly disturbing scene, the rest of the movie is essentially just a constant uneasiness waiting for something terrible to happen thanks to people in serious need of dental work, intermixed with rapids.  It does do a good job allowing your imagination to run wild with the possibilities of impending doom.

The movie is from 1972, and I'm probably one of the last people to see it, so maybe someone can email me and tell me what I missed.  During "disturbing" scene, two of the canoe people stop off to the side of the river and are ambushed by two "mountain men" who tie them up, and rape one of them.  Just as you're waiting to see what they intend to do with the guy that wasn't raped, the other two canoers see what is happening and shoot one of the cavity people with a bow-and-arrow.  The other plaque-and-tartar guy flees into the woods.  From there the entire premise of the movie is based on the fact that all four of them think they are in deep trouble for murder, hide the body, and then try to come up with the best fabricated story.  Ummmmm, why???????????  For the record, if I'm getting raped by hillbillies, and you've got a bow-and-arrow, you damn well better shoot them!

Regardless, I did enjoy the movie, despite the weak underlying premise and the somewhat cheesy 70's dialog.  The movie is considered an American classic.  It was good, yes, but a classic?


Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (R, 1999) ... Average: 0.0
(Rob Schneider, William Forsythe, Eddie Griffin, Arija Bareikis, Gail O'Grady)

(No stars)

David M. Somerfleck
Why is it everyone who has ever held a spot on "Saturday Night Live" gets to make an least one movie, no matter how miserably-written or insipid the end-product roll of celluloid fundament-wipe they give us? Except in the cases of Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Bill Murray, and a select others (who are now either dead or close-to-dead), most of alumni of "SNL" produce a fetid exhalation for a brief moment, like their fame, and not-quickly-enough fade into the ether from which their fame-mongering, talentless lives sprang. I guess Rob Schneider, who can't fade fast enough, thinks this burst of cinematic brilliance will rival "Ace Ventura," since it copies its formula so closely.

Movie ImageI'm not going to pretend for a minute that I liked this movie or attempt to feign subtlety. This movie is as subtle on the senses as Marlon Brando wearing a day-glo thong...and trying to act like this drivel could even remotely pass as entertainment is worse than kicking my mother down a flight of stairs on her birthday. Let's take a look at this car-wreck of a movie.

The movie stars Rob Schneider, of "Saturday Night Live," and "Men Behaving Badly," as a career tropical fish tank cleaner. He's so inept in love, that he has to buy some sea snails just in the hope that the girl behind the counter at the fish store will dip her T-shirt into the tank. WHen Deuce sees a handsome stud named Antoine (Oded Fehr, "The Mummy") with a hot babe, he is filled with envy, especially when he finds out the babe is paying the stud, who is a gigolo.

Many "plot" complications result. These "plot" complications are about as challenging to the intellect as watching paint dry. The fearsome gigolo hires the doe-eyed, innocuous tank-cleaner to baby-sit his valuable fish while he goes to Switzerland. Being the predictably slow-witted loser that he is, Deuce, of course, breaks the fish tank into a million pieces one day accidentally. Now, Deuce has three weeks to make everything right before Antoine comes home. Where's he going to get the scratch to fix the tank? A phone call from one of Antoine's lusty clients provides a way out, and before you can sing along with the first line of Blondie's "Call Me," Deuce's professional life makes an emergency turn toward the gigolo's trade. He is well-advised by a pimp, who is an expert on what the movie calls (only about a million times) "man-whores." Enough of the lurching Schneider and his male-fantasy impossibilities! Schneider is as charismatic as a post and has the acting ability of a tree stump.

From this dismal juncture, the plot takes on a handful of predictable set pieces as T.J. Hicks (played by Eddie Griffith), Antoine's pimp, sets Deuce up with women who are too tall, too heavy, carry sleep disorders or are given to stupid outbursts. Yet, despite the suspicions of an exhibitionist LAPD detective (ever-mumbling and waddling William Forsythe), Deuce doesn't actually do anything with the women except tend to their insecurities the way he tends to sick fish. Only Kate (Arija Bareikis), who seems perfectly normal, makes him want to do more than "just talk." (What would you guess the chances are that she later finds out he was paid for their first date and gets mad at him?) Oooh, the suspense.

There is a scene where Deuce the gigolo dates a woman so gigantic that her feet are almost too large for him to massage. I mean these are seriously large feet! Now, this would be funny...if I'd just had a frontal lobotomy, or if I were 15-years old. My earwax is more interesting than this kind of asinine condescension.

There is another scene where a pimp lectures Deuce on his place in the gigolo food chain. It is an illustrated lecture, with three varieties of tropical fish discussed as the visual aids. Deuce is not like the rare imported fish or even the beautiful domestic fish, but the bottom-feeding scavenger, down there with the plastic scuba diver. This isn't funny either. In fact, Clint Eastwood said almost the exact same dialogue in "Sudden Impact," which must've came out almost ten years ago.

Not for nothing is Deuce's dad a washroom attendant. This movie belongs on the floor of a washroom, or in the bottom of a toilet. The jokes amount to a series of skits that carry you down into a long, dull slog, that even by current "SNL" standards is abysmal excrement. The "plot" demonstrates what people will do for money, and does this horrendous, shameful movie. One of my favorite words is "gardyloo." The word refers to a cry formerly used in Edinburgh, to warn passers-by to beware of slop being thrown out of a window. It's actually a real word, however seldom used. "Deuce Bigelow" is a movie so stinking of someone's unwashed cheese-toes, that it is hard to accept as real. It's real alright, and let my review be your gardyloo.


Dinosaur (PG, 2000) ... Average: 3.0
(D.B. Sweeney, Alfre Woodard, Julianna Margulies, Ossie Davis, Joan Plowright)


Movie ImageTony Porco (CLICK HERE to go to Tony Porco's Movie Reviews Page)
I remember reading ages ago in the Guinness Book of World Records that the shortest-ever print review was for a Broadway musical called Wham! The review consisted of one word--"Ouch!" I must confess that I was tempted to approach that record with my review of Dinosaur, offering only five words--"Extraordinary animation and little else." To be honest, I am still sorting out whether my decision to be more verbose was fair, or overly generous.

It must be said that "extraordinary" is almost too un-generous a word to describe this movie's animation; in fact, no words I can come up with can do it justice. Unlike Jumanji (the only movie I have seen, apart from Jim Henson's Dark Crystal, which bears much resemblance to this one), the computer-generated figures made me forget they were computer-generated figures in about three minutes, and I hardly gave the matter a thought after that. Furthermore, the Disney people clearly did their homework in terms of how large animals move, what plant life looked like in the Mesozoic era, how different dinosaur species were similar or disparate, and so on. Not merely this animation, but all the visual elements of the film--the cinematography, the art, the effects, the location shooting (done in four different countries!)--are up to the usual high Disney standard. The problem is that nagging little necessity known as a plot, which is, unfortunately, up to Disney's usual high level of hokiness. These dinosaurs (not to mention the group of lemur-like mammals that befriend them) just happen to talk. They also argue, have ethnic diversity, make lame, child-pleasing jokes, and try to escape the bad guys, the evil "carnotaurs" (a pair of tyrannosaurus who, inexplicably, do not talk).

Obviously, this isn't the first Disney movie featuring talking, anthropomorphic animals. The problem that this movie has, and that the earlier ones did not have, is the jarring incongruity between the realism of the animation and the unbelievability of the whole animal-personification thing. I wonder if this dissonance was even necessary--why did the dinosaurs have to talk at all? (If this sounds too non-commercial, keep in mind that the dinosaurs in Fantasia weren't exactly loquacious.) That aside, if you want to see this movie, definitely see it in a theater. The transition to a small screen will undoubtedly soften the punch of the animation, which is really the only reason to see it.


Dogma (R, 1999) ... Average: 2.5
(Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Jason Mewes)

Mike Capilo
I read Chris' review before watching this film. I agree that as a comedy this movie falls short. However, I determined to watch the movie as a drama. It was much better. I recommend this movie to all Catholics. If you spent any time involved in Catholic education, on any level, you will find a subtle humor weaved into the movie revolving around the church's teachings.

Jason Mewes steals most scenes in which he appears. If you aren't currently in love with Linda Fiorentino you will be after watching.

Chris Mal
This movie is presently in just behind "American Beauty" in top rentals at Blockbuster.  Must be a weak field of competition because this movie is just plain B-A-D awful.

The premise of the movie is that two fallen Angels (Affleck and Damon) condemned to roam Wisconsin forever (OK, that's kind of funny now that I typed that) find a loop-hole in Catholicism that will allow them back in to heaven.  A motley cast of characters - prophets, arch-angels, the 13th apostle (Chris Rock), and an abortion clinic worker (Fiorentino) - appointed by God (played by Alanis Morrissette - yes, THAT Alanis Morrisette) attempt to stop them.  I admit, that sounds like the foundation for a good comedy, which is what I thought from reading the synopsis on the back of the box.  Don't be fooled!

This movie is long, long, long (2-hours-and-8-minutes-plus-previews) and not filled with more than maybe 10 minutes of legitimate good humor - and all of that humor comes solely from Jason Mewes (below left) who plays one of the prophets.  Let's face it, there's a lot that you could poke fun about the Catholic religion, so coming up with good material shouldn't have been that hard.  And based on all the complaints from die-hard Catholics when this movie debuted in the theaters, you would have thought this movie had found some of that good old fashioned you-Catholics-are-so-wacky jokes that are classic (like the ones found in Monty Python movies.)  Did those Catholics even see the movie?  Even the jokes about the Catholic religion where so stupid they were tame.

What I found incredibly odd was that it was firmly established from the outset of the movie that you were watching a comedy.  Yet, why was it that there were such looooong stretches where there was almost no attempt at humor (aside from random comments from Mewes' character)?  The ending scene, in particular, was soooooo drawn out and not the least bit funny.

Don't Say a Word (R, 2001) ... Average: 3.5
(Michael Douglas, Famke Janssen, Sean Bean, Jennifer Esposito,
Oliver Platt, Brittany Murphy, Syke McCole Bartusiak)

Movie ImageChris Mal
Michael Douglas plays a noted child psychologist whose daughter is kidnapped and held hostage.  Douglas will get his daughter back if he can get a unknown specific number from a catatonic patient who has ties to the kidnappers in a way that unfolds throughout the movie.  It's your basic formula of high-priced thieves against regular-Joe who rises to the occasion, solves the mystery on his own, and gives the bad-guys their due with little help from anyone else.  This one's intelligent and it plays well.

Douglas's character has just six hours to obtain the number which is interesting because the time elapsed in the movie is only four hours more than the actual length of the movie, so there is a unique feel that you are living through the entire experience in real-time.

The acting in "Don't Say a Word" is flawless.  Michael Douglas is one of the most tremendous dramatic actors of my time.  Although this is, admittedly, pretty much a similar role to what he has played a few times before, he doesn't disappoint here,
Movie Image hitting this one brilliantly.

Brittany Murphy plays one of Douglas's patients, and she is fantastic as the catatonic violent psycho.  (I guess she should be as she played a prominent role as a psycho in the classic "Girl, Interrupted" as well.)

Syke McCole Bartusiak, who plays Douglas's kidnapped little girl, is soooo cute!  Maybe I'm more in tune with such things now that Bev is 21 weeks pregnant, but this little girl really had me star-struck.  Her sunny smile and youthful exuberance was perfect for her role in this movie.  It made your want for her to be back with her family that much more intense.

The only real plot flaw that I can think of is - why would the murderous kidnappers give such a tight deadline?  After all, they waited 10 years to get out of jail, what would hurt if they gave Douglas plenty of time to get the information they wanted?

All-in-all it was a very good movie, full of more than enough plot twists to keep the audience entertained.  I even came close to giving it a FOUR, but settled on 3.5 - it's better than most of my 3.5's, but I just couldn't quite give it a 4.


Double Jeopardy (R, 1999) ... Average: 3.0
(Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd)

Rory Pfeifer


Down to Earth (PG-13, 2001) ... Average: 3.5
(Chris Rock, Regina King, Mark Addy, Eugene Levy, Frankie Faison, Wanda Sykes)

Chris Mal
Bev actually rented this thinking it was just Chris Rock stand-up, only to find out it was a legitimate movie.  Rock essentially plays himself.  He's a budding comedian in the movie, with aspirations to play the last amateur night at the Apollo.  Unfortunately he is killed when he's hit by a bus; which was, truly, an accident since he wasn't supposed to die yet - it was a screw-up by his guardian angel.  Since heaven feels badly for the mistake, the angels agree to allow him to continue living on earth as soon as they can find him a new body.  Temporarily they put him into the body of a old husky white multimillionaire who was just murdered until they can find him a better match.  Rock sees himself the same, but others still see him as a white old man.  You can see where that is going...

It's light and entertaining.  Not the greatest movie of all time, but it's fun and worth the rental - particularly if you like Chris Rock's stand-up because you get it throughout the movie.

Down with Love (PG-13, 2003) ... Average: 3.5
(Ewan McGregor, Renee Zellweger, Sarah Paulson, Rachel Dratch, David Hyde Pierce, Tony Randall, Jeri Ryan)


Movie ImageTony Porco (CLICK HERE to go to Tony Porco's Movie Reviews Page)
DOWN WITH LOVE: is intended as an homage to the screwball, double-entendre romantic comedies of the early 60's, and while it's no substitute for those movies (as many other critics have pointed out), it does have its own charm.  A major reason for this is that the two stars, Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, end up surprisingly good together, even if they aren't Doris Day and Rock Hudson (as many critics have also pointed out).

She is the bestselling author of a Feminine Mystique-style tract (which gives the movie its title), and he is a roguish reporter determined to seduce her and prove that she is, in fact, just another woman who needs a man (which gives the movie what little tension it has).

There's a lot not to like; the plot doesn't stand up to close scrutiny (or any scrutiny, actually), and the cocktail-jazz soundtrack and humor both get really stale about halfway through the proceedings.  Also, David Hyde Pierce, playing the reporter's editor and best buddy, plays the exact same character he plays on Frasier, down to the last tic, making you wonder if it wouldn't be more entertaining to just watch a rerun of that show.  All that said, the stars are good enough together, and the plot is charming enough to make me, a romantic comedy fan, overlook its flaws for an hour-and-a-half or so.

The best aspect of the film is the incredible job that the production designers and set-people did recreating the look of the early 60's, down to the (terrific) animated credits at the beginning and the tab collars (keep an eye out and you'll spot them!)

By the way, the gorgeous Jeri Ryan, who is one of the best of the many good things about Fox's TV show Boston Public, ends up mostly as eye-candy here as a stewardess and conquest of the reporter.  More importantly, the casting people got one actual 60's star, who I didn't even think was alive anymore, to play a small-but-important role.  Anyone familiar with New York City geography will get a good laugh out of the first five minutes.


Dr. T and the Women (R, 2000) ... Average: 0.5
(Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Shelley Long, Laura Dern, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler)

Sue Hohenadel (Catgirl)
This movie rates 0.5 stars because I like looking at Richard Gere.  It would have been a higher rating had he not opened his mouth.

The movie is about a OB/GYN (Gere) who is surrounded by women every waking minute of his life.  His wife is a nut case (played by Farrah Fawcett -- go figure), one of his daughters is getting married and the other daughter is trying to find herself.  His assistant is in love with him, every one of his patients demands his undivided attention and he develops a hankering for the new (female) golf pro.  Ooops ... I just revealed the whole movie.

Movie ImageThe office dialogue is annoying -- all the women speak at once so it's a garbled mess of nonsense.  His wife speaks about nothing -- more garbled nonsense.  And poor Dr. T just looks so hapless and pathetic.  You'd think he'd either be used to his surroundings or would have learned how to tolerate them, but nooooo ... he walks around looking flustered.  Idiot.

My friend Kerry (who, by the way, made me watch this garbage) described the final scene as "symbolic" -- a word I can only surmise means "sucks."  Without giving away any of the WONDERFUL details of the movie, suffice to say that I was praying we would see Dr. T trapped under a house, feet and legs curling up, gasping for the last breath of life.  I'm sure Richard Gere was praying for that, as well.

Do yourself a favor.  If you want to see Richard Gere at his finest, rent, "Primal Fear."  If you want to see Richard Gere in a vehicle not even worthy of Pauly Shore, rent "Dr. T and the Women."


Dragonfly (PG-13, 2002) ... Average: 3.5
(Kevin Costner, Joe Morton, Ron Rifkin, Kathryn Erbe, Linda Hunt)

Movie ImageChris Mal
I really liked this movie.  Bev did not, but I can't really figure out why.  Classic Kevin Costner, classic Kevin Costner movie.  He pretty much plays himself in every movie he's been in, and this one is no different.  Very likeable characters - the usual very likeable Kevin Costner, very likeable movie with some interesting twists.  Call it, Sixth Sense-lite in the way subtle clue after subtle clue is laid in front of you - and Costner - in an effort to figure out what is really going to happen.  OK, VERY lite, but any even remote comparison to Sixth Sense has got to be good, right?

Costner plays a doctor whose wife, also a doctor, is killed in a tragic accident while helping the Red Cross in Venezuela.  He is haunted by the fact that he can't seem to get closure on her death.  Haunted, both mentally and literally.  It seems that his wife is desperately trying to reach him from the afterlife to tell him something that must be extremely important - mostly through near-death experiences of his patients.  But what does she want?!

This movie was unique in that it is really a combination supernatural thriller/love story.  There aren't too many of those.  What was a tad odd is that in an effort to contact Costner, the result is often quite frightening to both Costner and the audience.  You would've thought she'd be a little more...I dunno...Casper the Friendly Ghost about it.  But that doesn't ruin anything, and it certainly does make the movie fun.

The end was surprising.  I definitely didn't see it coming, despite all of the clues - not unlike Sixth Sense.

I wouldn't say this was one of the greatest movies of the year and there was a bit of fluff to it, but it was still very good.  More than a worthy rental, particularly if you like scary movies and/or Kevin Costner.


Drowning Mona (PG-13, 2000) ... Average: 2.0
(Danny Devito, Bette Midler, Neve Campbell)

Bill DeHaven
Not worth your time or cash. There were a few funny parts but they don't make up for the rest of the movie. The one funny but strange thing in the movie is that everyone drives YUGO'S.

If you have a choice between cleaning the toilet or seeing this movie - choose the toilet.