Bill Borden

Bill Borden

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High School Musical 2 Review


Weak
Picking up days (possibly hours) after the end of the improbably popular High School Musical, High School Musical 2 tells the continuing story of our high school heroes in the summer following their junior year. What are they doing? Working at (or hanging out at, in the case of the elite Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel)) the local country club, each trying to earn some college cash, at least in between dance numbers.

The central dilemma comes when Sharpay -- whose family turns out to be so rich (dad lands in a helicopter for his tee time) that one wonders why she is slumming it at public school -- attempts to steal Troy (Zac Efron) away from Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) by pulling strings to elevate him from the kitchen and the caddy locker room to a salaried position, complete with "Italian shoes." Not only does this successfully alienate him from Gabriella, but his b-ball friends start to hate him too. Will Troy hang with the riches or realize that friendship is more important than his future?

Continue reading: High School Musical 2 Review

High School Musical 3: Senior Year Review


OK
Something sinister is going on over at the House of Mouse. Scientists should study Disney to see how they manage to make huge pop culture phenomena out of the slightest of entertainment material. Recently, they manufactured marketing gold out of an ex-country one-hit-wonder's questionably talented daughter. Now, they're poised to add to their parent-plumped and tween-topped coffers by bringing their unfathomably successful High School Musical franchise to the big screen. Oddly enough, it's actually not that bad... as wholesome, wholly unoriginal spectacle goes.

After winning the state basketball championship, East High senior Troy (Zac Efron) realizes that, in a few short months, he'll be separated from his sweetheart Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens). Meanwhile, Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) threatens to stage a one woman show for the upcoming spring musical, so composer Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) gets most of the class to join up. Drama teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) also has some amazing news -- Troy, Kelsi, Sharpay, and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) are all being evaluated for a scholarship to Julliard. Then Gabriella gets an offer to go to college early, which further threatens the lovebirds' relationship. Troy's dad balks at the thought of him giving up sports for performing. Naturally, all will be revealed and resolved during the big, brassy production at the end.

Continue reading: High School Musical 3: Senior Year Review

Picture - Bill Borden Los Angeles, California, Thursday 16th October 2008

Bill Borden Thursday 16th October 2008 The Los Angeles Premiere of 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' held at the Galen Centre - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

The Medallion Review


Unbearable
Stop me if you've heard this one before. In The Medallion, flailing fighter Jackie Chan plays a police officer (surprise!) who botches an important case (surprise!) and must team with an irascible Yank (surprise!) to set things straight. The plot has something to do with a mystical two-piece amulet that's guarded by a young boy but gives the powers of flight, invulnerability, and more to whomever holds either of the trinket's halves.

Don't ask too many questions, though, because Medallion doesn't have the answers. How does the glorified hood ornament provide these miraculous powers? And why does this boy have it in the first place? Clunky, tired, and totally illogical, the screenplay can't hold up to the slightest bit of scrutiny.

Continue reading: The Medallion Review

A Midnight Clear Review


Excellent
Keith Gordon's scant few films -- including Mother Night, Waking the Dead, and A Midnight Clear -- rank among some of the biggest cult fan pics ever made. For my money, Clear is his best work, a scathing anti-war tale set in the final days of WWII, when both sides were scared shitless. A group of Germans attempts to surrender to an American intelligence patrol, with disastrous consequences. An all-star cast makes it wholly worthwhile.

End Of Days Review


Weak
Here it is, November of 1999, and I thought we weren't going to get a good end-of-the-world, Satan-conquers-all apocalypse movie (Dogma doesn't count). Whew! End of Days arrives just in time (no pun intended) to quench that Linda Blair thirst.

If you know the basic plot of End of Days ("Satan visits New York in search of a bride") the question you'll be asking isn't, "Is this a bad movie?" Rather, it will probably be, "How bad can it be?"

Continue reading: End Of Days Review

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