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On the Line Review


Grim
Here's a test I use when I review a kid friendly movie like On the Line, starring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of the teen pop group *Nsync. If I took my young cousin to the movie, would there be something in it for me -- subtle humor, a funny supporting character, nice scenery?

On the Line does have a few little things that old folks (people who remember Cheers during its network run) can latch onto. Dave Foley, a great straight man, has a sizable role. There are lots of nice shots of Chicago. And Al Green sings a few songs.

Continue reading: On the Line Review

Acceptable Risk Review


Grim
While his wife was busy winning an Oscar for Boys Don't Cry, poor Chad Lowe was crying in the audience -- and not just because he was happy for Hilary Swank, but because he had to star in this made-for-the-Superstation-WTBS atrocity, Acceptable Risk.

Sure, you're probably saying that worse movies about Salem witch trial-era fungi that resurface 300 years later, are turned into experimental medicine by researchers for use as brain medicing, and then slowly turn the subjects into violent madmen have been made. And if there were any other movies about evil witch spores, you'd probably be right. But as it stands, Risk falls into every common pitfall of low-grade horror movies: a nonsensical setup, no rationale or explanation for the plot, a series of "mysterious" events designed solely to scare you, and a relatively pat ending.

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On The Line Review


Terrible

There's almost no point in reviewing a movie like "On the Line" because its target audience -- N'Sync fans dizzy to see oh-so-dreamy Lance Bass play a lovelorn shy guy -- isn't likely to care how clumsy, lifeless and cliché-driven it is. They're probably not interested in Lance's acting ability, and they certainly don't care what somebody who isn't a 14-year-old girl has to say about said acting ability.

Apparently, director Eric Bross didn't care about lifelessness, clichés or Bass's Hallmark card-thin talents either, because this movie is on autopilot. An uninspired, lowest common denominator romance about a sheepish ad agency grunt (Bass) searching Chicago for a beautiful girl he clicked with during a commute on the El train, the film is one long "missed connections" personal ad come to life.

Bass plasters the city with flyers reading "Are you her?" and fields so many phone calls from lonely women that his posse of pals from central casting (the slob, the snob and the pervert) start scamming the rejects for dates. Implausibly, a newspaper runs a series of stories about this quest, which is more pathetic than it is romantic. Inexplicably, the female population of the windy city becomes enamoured with Bass through this story, and the girls in his office all start cooing at him when he walks in every morning. (All except that one tough-as-nails career gal who steals his idea for a Reebok campaign in a story-padding subplot.)

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