Keith Michaels once had it all; recognition and money from an award-winning screenplay and an attractive wife to share it with. However, now he's nearing middle-age and he no longer seems to have any of it. Sure, his famed movie is still a hit, but he's struggling to find any more work and now that he's sadly divorced, the only support he has is from his agent. Desperate to make ends meet, the agent offers him last resort; there's a teaching post vacancy at a small town university in Binghamton, available to teachers in screenwriting. With a Golden Globe hit under his belt, he's a sure-fire candidate for the job - but it's the last thing he wants to do. However, he soon finds the silver lining in that a string of attractive young students have applied to enrol on his course and he uses the opportunity to revel amongst young women, while doing as little work as possible. When he meets mature student Holly though, he's inspired to turn his spiralling life back around.
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Morton Downey Jr. was unequivocally the most controversial talk show host of the 80s with his heated, high intensity and often violent show 'The Morton Downey Jr. Show' which had an air of Jerry Springer about it with the guests sometimes getting into altercations over issues that were amplified by Morton's loud shrieking, insults, his in-your-face attitude and his audience's giddy mob mentality. He really was the pioneer of 'Trash Television' before the likes of reality TV as we know it hit the networks with the constant stream of 'Jersey Shore' and 'The Hills' style shows that viewers everywhere devoured daily. It was a short lived by shocking show that captivated audiences and certainly left its mark on TV culture today.
Megan (Bush) is a perky teen who always wanted to be a ballerina but wound up in the inner-city Musical High School instead of Julliard. She's befriended by the sassy Charity (Atkins), whose brother Thomas (Wayans Jr) catches her eye and offers to teach her some new dance steps. But Thomas and his pal (Crockett) are in debt to a local gangster (Grier). To pay up they need to take on a rival team in The Streets dance-off, which happens to be on the same night as the school's Senior Showcase.
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The dumb jokes are, of course, framed in send-ups of other box office hits from the last couple of years - Anna Faris's spectacularly inept and oblivious Cindy Campbell, who appeared in all the previous films, moves into the house from The Grudge, next door to Tom Cruise's - oh, sorry, Tom Ryan's - house from War of the Worlds. The plot, such as it is, somewhat follows the Worlds story, but is really a cobbled-together excuse to veer from spoof to spoof like a sketch comedy, and the dialogue, such as it is, is almost entirely forgettable. Actually, it's largely a time killer, something for the actors to do while carefully oblivious to the antics around them and not really meant to be heard over the guffaws of the audience.
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There you have Osmosis Jones, a combination of clunky live action and cool, creative animation that tries too hard to please both adults and kiddies while journeying inside one disgusting body.
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If you've seen the trailer, you know the story: Ted (Ben Stiller) finally gets to go out with Mary (Cameron Diaz) to the prom and is stymied by a freak zipper accident, sending him into years of therapy to wonder what-coulda-been. Thirteen years later, we find that he's not the only one fixated on Mary... as no fewer than five suitors appear to win her heart.
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Murray's TV weatherman is a burnout with a bad attitude, a small fish in a small market, who affects the egotism and cynicism of all members of the press but knows that he's second-rate. Then, in a bizarre plot turn, he is thrown into a time warp where he is forced to live the same day over and over until he gets it right -- and to learn to appreciate life's blessings in the process.
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Maybe we can relate a little too well. This story has literally been done to death (it feels practically like a remake of 1995's Angus), but at least Snow Day is reasonably funny along the way. Thanks to the movie's "fresh new stars," Snow Day feels newer than it should. And thanks to leading kids Mark Webber (Drive Me Crazy) and Schuyler Fisk (daughter of Sissy Spacek), the movie has a lot of charm and heart.
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I've always kind of suspected Bill Murray was a cartoon on the inside, and "Osmosis Jones" is mighty entertaining proof.
A wildly clever and consistently funny kiddie-fare gross-out comedy (snot jokes galore), "Jones" may be live-action on the outside -- Murray plays Frank, a zoo janitor who gets sick from eating an soft-boiled egg after dropping it in a monkey cage (eww!). But the bulk of the story takes place inside his body, a weird animated world where Chris Rock provides the voice of an impudent white blood cell determined to defeat the virus so he can get himself reinstated to that microscopic police department that is the immune system.
A quintessential Bill Murray performance drives about a third of the plot, following a slovenly, flatulent, fast-food addicted dad whose 10-year-old daughter (great newcomer Elena Franklin) is trying in vain to drag him toward a healthier lifestyle. Directed by the Farrelly Brothers (of "There's Something About Mary" fame), there are plenty of lowbrow laughs -- and even some sincere emotions -- to be had in these scenes. However, it's the seamlessly integrated battle for control of Frank's Looney Tunes innards that makes "Osmosis Jones" such a gas. (Ooh! Call the pun police!)
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Somehow, the kid movie genre made it all the way to 2000 without a feature about rugrats running rampant in celebration of snow-closed schools. It's such a great idea that it's hard to imagine nobody thought of it before.
Alas, nobody did. So now enter "Snow Day," a production of kiddie cable network Nickelodeon, in which a band of neighborhood children resolve once and for all to defeat their most wicked adversary -- the sinister Snow Plow Man (Chris Elliott), who takes great glee clearing the roads so efficiently that the kids never get two days off in a row.
This winter, the kids (lead by young Zena Grey, "The Bone Collector") vow to do whatever it takes -- snowball fights, dirty tricks, laying traps, playing chicken with the giant plow and even kidnapping the plow man's scary pet bird -- to get that second snow day.
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Technically speaking, "Scary Movie 2" is a real mess. The editing is pathetic, mostly because the script -- if you can call it that -- is just a series of unrelated horror movie japes put in almost random order and tied together by about two minutes of plot.
Characters disappear completely from the story without explanation and blatant continuity errors abound because some gags where left on the cutting room floor while the follow-up jokes were kept. In one scene a character is lying in a pool of blood, then a second later the blood is gone. Then it's back, then it's gone again, then it's back again. No attempt whatsoever is made to cover up this sloppy, choppy, rushed-into-production total lack of cohesion.
But comedically speaking, "Scary Movie 2" is an almost constant laugh riot of extreme gross-out humor and surprisingly limber lampoonery -- and this is coming from a guy who didn't think much of the first "Scary Movie" and was pretty irritated when the Wayans brothers (director Keenen Ivory and stars Shawn and Marlon) broke their promise not to make a sequel.
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