Jacqueline Obradors

Jacqueline Obradors

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review


Excellent
The song-and-dance numbers are out. The cheery sidekicks are nowhere to be seen. The predictable villains in black are nonexistent. This summer, Disney comes out with both guns blazing, literally, in its newest animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire, an imaginative and eye-popping mix of action, adventure, and sweeping vision landscapes filled with gorgeous computer enhanced animation.

Continuing on its recent arc of solid storylines in its animation and quality visuals, Atlantis is successful in both being a wide-eyed roller-coaster ride for kids and is interesting enough to keep adults from passing out from boredom. The film follows the adventures of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a bookworm/boiler room attendant/linguistics expert who probably hasn't had a date in years. Milo's grandfather was an explorer looking for Atlantis who knew where to discover the location of the lost city -- in a hidden journal. With the help of eccentric billionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), the lost journal is recovered, providing new clues to Atlantis's whereabouts. Milo then joins a group of rag-tag explorers -- including a 200-person Navy, enough surplus to take over a small county, and no cute sidekicks -- in the search for the city of Atlantis.

Continue reading: Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review

Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review


Excellent
The song-and-dance numbers are out. The cheery sidekicks are nowhere to be seen. The predictable villains in black are nonexistent. This summer, Disney comes out with both guns blazing, literally, in its newest animated feature Atlantis: The Lost Empire, an imaginative and eye-popping mix of action, adventure, and sweeping vision landscapes filled with gorgeous computer enhanced animation.

Continuing on its recent arc of solid storylines in its animation and quality visuals, Atlantis is successful in both being a wide-eyed roller-coaster ride for kids and is interesting enough to keep adults from passing out from boredom. The film follows the adventures of Milo Thatch (Michael J. Fox), a bookworm/boiler room attendant/linguistics expert who probably hasn't had a date in years. Milo's grandfather was an explorer looking for Atlantis who knew where to discover the location of the lost city -- in a hidden journal. With the help of eccentric billionaire Preston Whitmore (John Mahoney), the lost journal is recovered, providing new clues to Atlantis's whereabouts. Milo then joins a group of rag-tag explorers -- including a 200-person Navy, enough surplus to take over a small county, and no cute sidekicks -- in the search for the city of Atlantis.

Continue reading: Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review

A Man Apart Review


Weak
After muscling his way through films like The Fast and the Furious and XXX, Vin Diesel has quickly become the new poster boy for the action genre. Along with this new title, he has developed a cult following of obsessed Diesel fanatics who live to see him blow things up. However, those expecting A Man Apart to be a wild romp like XXX could be disappointed. While Man does have it's share of exploding cars and gun battles, the film is much more subdued than his previous works.

Diesel plays seasoned DEA agent Sean Vetter, who is part of a group of agents that have spent the last seven years assigned to halt the Mexican drug pipeline headed by kingpin Memo Lucero (Geno Silva). Despite the eventual success Vetter and his partner Demetrius (Larenz Tate) have at putting Lucero behind bars, they soon face a greater challenge when a hit meant for Vetter is botched and his wife is killed. This lights a raging fire under Vetter's ass, and he is now hell-bent on avenging his wife's murder and putting an end to the newest cartel headed by a man named Diablo.

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Six Days, Seven Nights Review


OK
Slightly underrated, and I mean slightly... this precocious romantic comedy is all over the map, er, so to speak, when gruff 50+er Ford hooks up with 20something Heche after he crashes his plane on a deserted, tropical island. This couple is as opposite as it gets, but watch out, because in crazy times you never know who's going to fall for their complete opposite! The plot is lifted wholesale from The African Queen, sans the Bogart/Hepburn chemistry, but the addition of the subplot of the intermingling of the significant others left behind actually makes the film quite giddy. Sure, Schwimmer and Obradors make for an even less likely couple, and don't get me started on "the pirates." But hey, it's not the worst flick than any of the principals have made, not by a long shot.

Tortilla Soup Review


Good
This fairly remake of the Chinese film Eat Drink Man Woman puts the father-and-his-daughters comedy in the kitchen of a Mexican-American family instead. Hector Elizondo lords over his uniquely messed-up offspring with a knowing twinkle in his eye. He's having fun, and so are we. Elizabeth Peña's supremely anal Leticia is a highlight, as is Raquel Welch's vixen putting the moves on dad.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo Review


Grim

One of the indications that a screenwriter has been living in Hollywood too long is when he start writing stories in which gorgeous, intelligent women fall in love with homely, chauvinist trolls like Rob Schneider and David Spade.

In a city where real-life Barbie dolls are only one phone call to Heidi Fleiss away for anyone who can afford them, such plots stop seeming so fantastic after a while, which is how we get movies like "Lost & Found," in which 98-pound pig Spade bagged French beauty Sofie Marceau, and this week's "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo."

Rob Schneider, late of "Saturday Night Live," is laughably cast as a romantic lead -- and a male prostitute -- in this occasionally funny fantasy for the "Beavis and Butthead" set.

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A Man Apart Review


Grim

In their attempt to make a shoot-'em-up with a soul, ready-to-be-crowned action king Vin Diesel and director F. Gary Gray ("The Negotiator") wind up with a dark and handsome movie -- quite unfortunately titled "A Man Apart" -- that's less than exciting and only superficially deep.

As a DEA bad-ass on the war path against an anonymous drug kingpin who killed his wife -- something you know is coming the minute he stares lovingly into the eyes of a beautiful actress without any name recognition (Jacqueline Obradors) -- Diesel seems to have taken the part so he could dust off some of his emotional range without straying too far from his muscle-rippling, shaved-head, five-o'clock-shadow tough Guy-with-a-capital-G screen persona.

While he does sell his brokenheartedness, with the aid of some beautiful ocean-side sunsets in front of which he despondently holds his head in his hands, Diesel and Gray know that's not what the people pay to see -- so pass the ammo, baby! Several thunderous, chaotic, hard-to-follow shoot-outs are the picture's big set pieces.

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Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review


Weak

Disney animated features have never been known for their originality, but their creators almost always craft delightful entertoonment from threadbare grab bags of clichés and contrived plot devices.

This year's regularly scheduled summer cartoon release is a perfect example of this principle. "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" is a grand-scale archeological adventure that, if it were live-action, would be the kind of campy, glossy, bottom-rung syndicated stuff you find padding the prime-time schedules of the UPN and WB networks.

It's populated with an unlikely racial balance of stock characters -- a muscle-man African-American doctor (voice of Phil Morris), a sassy teenage Latina tomboy mechanic (Jacqueline Obradors) -- most of whom are mercenaries ("adventure capitalists," one proffers) on a quest for the legendary ancient city in the title. The catalyst for the endeavor is, of course, an eccentric millionaire (voiced by John Mahoney) who funds the expedition.

Continue reading: Atlantis: The Lost Empire Review

Jacqueline Obradors

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