Little Athens is no Pulp Fiction. We've got a small-time drug dealing kid (John Patrick Amedori) who steals a stash from his own dealer's dead cousin, a pair of EMTs (Erica Leerhsen and Rachel Miner) each dealing with issues of love and lust, and two slack-jawed losers (DJ Qualls and Jorge Garcia) who have just been evicted.
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The film imagines that there's an entire wing of the national intelligence apparatus composed of nubile young women in tarty schoolgirl outfits (knee socks, plaid miniskirts, the whole bit) selected by how they answered questions buried in the SATs that secretly test for espionage aptitude. The starring quartet of hotties soon to graduate from the D.E.B.S. academy are: straight-A and dishwater dull Amy (Sara Foster, her blonde hair making her the star), chain-smoking and slutty Domique (Devon Aoki, sporting a respectable French accent), love-starved and not-too-bright underachiever Janet (Jill Ritchie) and their over-the-top bitchy leader Max (Meagan Good, trying too hard).
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1998's remake of "The Parent Trap" showed a savvy sense of humorwhere the original was merely cutesy-poo. 2003's hilarious "FreakyFriday" expanded on its predecessor's body-swapconcept to hit the nail on the head of mother-daughter relationships. Nowcomes "Herbie: Fully Loaded," a witty and creative follow-upto the dumb but endearing "Love Bug" movies about a race-crazyVolkswagen Beetle that comes to life.
Lohan plays fresh college grad Maggie, a speed demon groundedfrom racing by her struggling NASCAR-driver father (Michael Keaton) aftera bad crash in an illegal street race. For her graduation present, Daddytakes her to a junkyard to pick out a fixer-upper car, and she reluctantlychooses a rusty 1963 Volkswagen Beetle with a forgotten history and waymore personality than Maggie bargained for. The moment Maggie turns thekey in Herbie's ignition, the little Bug takes off like an excited puppy-- with his passenger screaming her head off -- and the pair end up ata backwoods body shop where Herbie gets a make-over and Maggie gets a loveinterest (Justin Long).
While looking for parts at a car show, Herbie and Maggiefall into an impromptu street race, which leads to a nitrous-fueled desertshowdown for pink slips, then a demolition derby ("10 cars enter,one car leaves!" chants the crowd in a "Mad Max" tribute)and -- after some serious souping-up with a roll cage, fat tires, a spoiler,and passing mention of a rules loophole -- a shot at NASCAR glory.
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"Breakin' All the Rules" is a tart romantic comedy almost lives up to its (unfortunately trite) title by side-stepping the kind of superficial plot contrivances that drive most movies of its ilk.
Predicated on misunderstandings (but not the kind that require morons for main characters) and manipulation (but not the kind that considers a misogynist's apology to be a happy ending), it's a shrewdly elaborate roundelay of convoluted cross-coupling that is kicked off when mens'-mag editor Quincy Watson (Jamie Foxx) is unceremoniously dumped -- at their engagement party -- by his boom-shake-a-licious fashion-model fiancée (Bianca Lawson).
As a man who recently quit his job because he'd been saddled with the task of figuring out the most psychologically analgesic way of firing people (his boss is paranoid about workplace shootings), the devastated Quincy sits down to write his ex a letter chewing her out for her tactless way of kicking him to the curb. But when his heartbroken dispatch grows and mutates into a best-selling how-to tome for stage-managing a break-up, all his commitment-phobic pals are soon seeking his advice.
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