J. Mackye Gruber

J. Mackye Gruber

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Final Destination 2 Review


Terrible
For all of you budding screenwriters, here is a simple set of guidelines to help you pen the next Final Destination film (yes, there will probably be another, even if it's direct-to-video): First, devise really hideous, graphic ways for people to die -- five or six deaths should do it. Second, tie the gruesomeness together by having paper-thin characters explain the plot -- the grim reaper gives chase to those who've cheated death -- over and over again. Lastly, keep the dialogue simple and void of any entertaining qualities, relying on devices like flipping the bird for big laughs.

That, in summary, is all of Final Destination 2, the generally bland follow-up to the far more likable original from 2000. Here, instead of a clairvoyant teenage boy having visions of a plane explosion, there's an equally clairvoyant teenage girl getting a premonitory look at a massive highway pileup. Director (and former stunt expert) David R. Ellis (Homeward Bound II), and first-time screenwriters J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress really don't get much more creative than that, instead leaning on the concept of the original to get them through.

Continue reading: Final Destination 2 Review

The Butterfly Effect Review


OK
Ashton Kutcher is a goofball. There are no two ways about it. From bumbling around as the clueless Kelso on That '70s Show to attacking his well-to-do friends on the ubiquitous Punk'd, this guy has made a hell of a living being wacky. Kutcher's noogie-giving persona does exude a confident charm, however, and that charm goes a long way in The Butterfly Effect, the heartthrob's first dramatic lead since he hit the cover of Tiger Beat.

With his innocent smirk and sincere delivery, Kutcher (who also executive produced) brings a fun simple honesty to this alternate-worlds thriller, and it's often necessary, as the subject matter ranges from heavy-duty to soap opera-sudsy. Kutcher is Evan Treborn, a college student who, after growing up suffering childhood blackouts, begins recalling lost memories. The effects are traumatic.

Continue reading: The Butterfly Effect Review

J. Mackye Gruber

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