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1999) ... Average: 2.0
Broderick, Reese Witherspoon)
I felt compelled to defend this movie after reading the other
reviewers' remarks. I thought it was great! Very funny! Intelligent, witty
writing with a great cast. C'mon, a dark comedy starring Matthew
Broderick? A winning combination. It's in my top 10 for the year.
"It wasn't a great movie, but it kept me entertained."
This movie sucked. It was supposed to be funny - I laughed only when
Paul, the stupid "jock", was praying to God, giving thanks and said
"...and thank you for my penis which is quite large, or so they tell
me..." (I thought this was funny only because I've uttered the
same prayer a number of times in the past.)
None of the main
characters were really likeable. Broderick's character cheats on his
wife and is boring, his best friend cheats on his wife and is a loser, the
stupid jock is a stupid jock, the stupid jock's sister is a bitter
lesbian, and her best friend is mean; while Reese Witherspoon's
character was excruciatingly annoying and then winds up getting away with
being a bitch. All characters
wind up losing their jobs and their wives, or the election that they
deserved to win. All of which, to me, sounds a lot like real life, not
comedy. If I wanted real life,
I wouldn't have rented this movie.
This was the worst movie that I have ever sat through in its
Emperor's New Groove (G,
2000) ... Average: 4.0
(David Spade, Eartha Kitt, John Goodman, Patrick Warburton,
For all of you Pals of Chris Mal out there who have kids, this one is
really worth owning. Super-cute and funny. If you are a fan of David
Spade or John Goodman, all the better. Also featuring the voice talents
of Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton (of "Seinfeld" and "The Tick" fame)
who is positively hilarious as Kronk, a big-hearted, dumb goon-type.
Highly recommended, rated-G fare.
at the Gates (R, 2001) ... Average: 3.25
(Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Bob
Hoskins, Ron Pearlman)
The setting of the movie is the Battle of Stalingrad, a story that is
one of great significance to World War II, but one not as
familiar to me as it should have been. Specifically, the
plot, based on a true story, centers on a legendary Russian
sniper named Vassili Zaitsev (played by Jude Law) whose prowess is used as propaganda
to inspire his fellow Russian soldiers. While his growing legend
gains momentum and becomes larger than life, Vassili wages his own mental
war pondering his future existence and his love for a woman in a local
The gruesome mind-numbing opening scene stirred up emotions similar to
those felt in the first half hour of the 5-Star Classic movie "Saving
Private Ryan." Then, we meet Vassili as he becomes an instant
hero by playing dead among the hundreds of slaughtered soldiers and picks
off one unsuspecting Nazi after another. But, after that...for some
reason, it just seemed to me that the remainder of the movie kind of
Ed Harris plays a Nazi sniper brought in by the Germans to find Vassili
and kill him. Although Harris does a fine job, you don't really get
to know him as anything more than a face. The writers of the movie
could have added a whole other dimension to the movie by adding some sort
of link between the two men to make the viewer think.
I'm having a difficult time explaining why, but this was one of those
movies where I felt I should have enjoyed it immensely, but ultimately wound
up feeling empty for some reason. This was, indeed, a decent movie,
had story worth telling and a promising plot, but something was lacking to
kick it up from good to great, and I really have no explanation.
Based on the fact that this movie kind of came and went from the theater
without any fanfare leads me to believe everyone else felt the same way.
(PG-13, 1999) ... Average: 3.33
Connery, Katherine Zeta Jones)
Excellent flick ... great acting ... good story line ... plots and subplots throughout.
Firstly, the Chris Mal ranking system automatically deducts one star for
any movie which uses the Y2K computer bug as a premise for anything which this movie does,
so they were behind
the 8-ball from the start. In a way,
"Entrapment" gave me some vibes of "Broken Arrow"
(John Travolta) in it's all-too-frequent lack of realism. Where
"Broken Arrow" displayed scene after scene where Travolta's
character would have been killed or shot, "Entrapment", a story
about two high caliber 90's thieves, displayed scene after scene where our
"heroes" would have been caught - sometimes escaping without much
Additionally, perhaps I'm simple when it comes to
movies, but I need to have a clear-cut 100% pure good guy hero in my
movies. The child in me says people who steal are bad guys.
This movie was solely about two thieves who steal billions of dollars - in
the end I found part of me routing for them to get caught.
grand finale heist was stealing $8 billion by gaining secret code access
to a bank computer and transferring it....where? Could this not be
tracked somehow? And why were there 1000s of security guards in this
building but NONE right next to the main bank computer on the 70th
floor? And why did the computer screen have to take 5 of the 30
seconds they had to scroll up to $8,000,000,000? Was it counting the
money first? Despite all of this, it was an OK rental, I'm just glad
Bev and I didn't spend $15 to see it in the theater.
Brockovich (R, 2000) ... Average: 3.5
Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Cherry Jones)
If it wasn't "based on a true story" I probably would have
been a little skeptical that an out-of-work, high-school drop out,
twice-divorced, single-parent of 3 children living in a roach infested
shack in the "sticks" of California could possibly have this
much affect on the world. But, true it is, and the result is an
attention grabbing movie. As for just how true this "based on a
true story" story is, I read that the movie has gotten high praise
from the people portrayed in the movie as being very realistic.
Brockovich, played by Julia Roberts, is a loud/foul-mouthed but sincere
and determined woman who winds up working for a small-time lawyer and
uncovers the truth regarding toxic chemicals that had seeped into the
water of a small community resulting in 15-years of illnesses, diseases,
miscarriages, and cancers for hundreds of people.
It's your basic little-guy against seemingly immovable large corporate
company lawyer-movie, but it's very well done. The story is
interesting from start to finish, all of the main characters are likeable
if not loveable, and the sub-plot relationship between Brockovich and her
home life adds
touching realism to the main-story. Every role and line in the movie
seems perfectly scripted. It's a rare movie that is able to hit on
every emotion from cheers to jeers, from laughter to tears - this one will
hit you from start to finish.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, note that the REAL Erin
Brockovich actually appears in the movie as the waitress at the diner in
one of the scenes.
For all of you Julia Roberts fans, this is clearly her best work since
"Pretty Woman", 20 feature films ago. And for those of you
who are fans of just LOOKING at Julia Roberts, this has got to be her
all-time BEST film. I never found her as attractive as most people
do, but you could justify the enjoyment of this movie even if the sound on
your TV wasn't working.
This movie is good but save your money and see it on video. This movie
is based on a true story. The basic premise of the movie is that
"Erin" (Julia Roberts) is a down on her luck divorced mother of
3 who needs a job. She ends up working for a washed up lawyer and gets
involved with a case of corporate negligence which caused serious illness
many people in a small community. The rest you will have to see to know
The advantage of seeing this movie on the big screen is
that Julia Roberts breasts are on display in every shot.
BOTTOM LINE, RENT THE VIDEO.