Jim Kouf

Jim Kouf

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The Last Mimzy Review


Good
A mimzy -- to answer your burning question -- is a tattered, plush bunny stuffed with cotton and an alien nervous system that gives the doll artificial intelligence. Scientists from a dying future need a sample of good DNA, so they teleport the last of these rabbits to a Seattle beach in our present day, where precocious siblings Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma Wilder (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) scoop the toy up and bring it home.

So begins Robert Shaye's pleasant adventure The Last Mimzy, inspired by Lewis Padgett's short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves, which should do for sci-fi exploration what Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise did for family espionage. The adults in Noah's life -- from his parents (Joely Richardson, Timothy Hutton) to his science teacher (Rainn Wilson) -- are too caught up in their daily routine to notice that the boy is changing. It isn't until Mimzy causes a citywide blackout that the military -- personified by Michael Clarke Duncan -- comes snooping around. The movie, at this point, begins to mimic E.T. without actually becoming its emotional equivalent.

Continue reading: The Last Mimzy Review

The Hidden Review


Good
Fun yet predictable spin on the evil-alien-jumping-from-human-body-to-body-and-the-good-alien-out-to-kill-it genre. Kyle MacLachlan is engaging as the unsure-in-a-human-body alien, and the series of hosts our villain inhabits are also a lot of fun -- notably including Claudia Christian as "a zoned-out stripper." Good, clean, Sunday-afternoon fun.

Rush Hour Review


Good
I'll be the first to admit that I didn't used to like Jackie Chan or Chris Tucker. I have never seen either of them in a movie I liked -- until now. Rush Hour, the 1998 action comedy directed by Brett Ratner, successfully blends two immensely different personalities. The film also works because it contains the perfect amount of action and comedy. By themselves, Chan and Tucker do not provide anything inspiring or refreshing, but when they are combined, they form a surprisingly entertaining comedic duo.

Chan and Tucker are truly opposites. Jackie is known for his modest demeanor and amazing physical abilities, but not for his amazing grasp of the English language. Chris is boastful and outspoken, a shameless motormouth that just will not shut up. The pairing of these two actors works well. Chan provides us with the action and Tucker provides us with the witty comic relief.

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Class Review


OK
This flawed but generally amusing comedy set up Rob Lowe's career -- even though he's just a supporting character here. The real story is between his prep school roommate (Andrew McCarthy) and Lowe's mom -- who have a torrid affair without realizing the identity of one another. Also well-known (and rightfully so) for Virginia Madsen's topless slapstick routine, a classic film clip for over 20 years.

National Treasure Review


OK
If there's one thing every good paranoiac knows, it's that the Freemasons founded America. But what nobody seems to know for sure is the reason they went to all that trouble. At last, director Jon Turteltaub brings to the screen a story bold enough to tell the whole story -- or, at least, one version of it.

You see, the Masons weren't always a massive fraternity of elderly men who carried out ancient rituals behind the closed doors of their lodges. Once upon a time, they were knights. The Knights Templar, to be precise. And the Templar discovered the greatest treasure in human history buried deep beneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. To keep their treasure safe from the greedy kings of Europe and England, they carried it across the Atlantic to the New World, where they eventually founded a country and built an elaborate system to protect their treasure forever. So begins the story of National Treasure.

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Snow Dogs Review


Terrible
When I first saw the trailer for Snow Dogs in front of Monsters, Inc., I couldn't believe what I was seeing or hearing. Cuba Gooding Jr. as a dentist in Miami who inherits a house and a team of sled dogs in Alaska, and chooses to move there and make the best of things. It's all kind of a blur, but then there were a lot of shots of him being cold; him being a city "slicker" in the wilderness; and him screaming because he's either slipping, falling, being dragged, or being chased by some kind of animal. All the while, "Who Let the Dogs Out" plays over his screams.

I thought, "Man, how surreally bad." Comedian David Cross has a joke about how he keeps a list of great money making ideas he came up with while stoned. A kid's sled dog movie about a black dentist from Miami has to be one of them.

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Taxi Review


OK
Meet Belle (Queen Latifah), a classic New York loudmouth with a hunky boyfriend and a dead-end job. By day, she works as a bike messenger, hustling from destination to destination, utilizing garbage truck roofs and crowded department store floors as shortcuts. By night, she spends her time skipping out on dates and transforming her Crown Victoria into supercharged yellow taxicab. After all, if she's going to drive at NASCAR someday, she will need a lot of practice, and if she can win the title as the Big Apple's fastest taxi driver, it might help her chances.

Now, meet Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), a bumbling misfit of a New York City police officer. He screws up nearly every case his lieutenant -- who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend -- throws at him. Most recently, he blew an undercover assignment by getting his partner shot in the arm just before crashing the police car into a street market. His driver's license has been revoked (not that he could ever drive), and now might fight the streets of New York on foot.

Continue reading: Taxi Review

Jim Kouf

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