John Watson

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Backdraft Review

I got in enough trouble as a kid to learn firsthand that fire is cool.

That said, even the wicked fire shots of Backdraft -- which feature rising towers of flame, backwards-flowing fire, and blankets of flame that slowly ripple across the floor -- are barely able to distract you from the ultimately tiresome family drama that makes up the bulk of Ron Howard's firehouse epic.

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Tank Girl Review

Lori Petty, America's number one Madonna wannabe, is back in action as Tank Girl, a comic book character come to life. Actually, the whole movie is a comic book come to life. Live action is spliced with still shots of comic strip panels and some full-motion animation, so if you get bored with the live-action part of this picture (and you probably will), at least you can look at the cartoons.

Not that these bits are any more entertaining, but at least they're a change of pace from the dull storyline. The filmmakers use them any time there is the possibility for a neat special effect or some potential for plot development, so they don't waste any money on actually interesting footage, instead copping out to some goofball crayon scribbling.

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Moll Flanders Review

Potential taglines for this movie... Moll Flanders: Less than just a bad title. Moll Flanders: Not a shopping center in Belgium. Moll Flanders: Total waste of time.

The last one is the most appropriate for this: a picture which wastes a lot of raw acting talent and pretty photography on a boring, groaning-in-your-seat story which hinges on every cliché in the book.

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Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves Review

I have to say that I probably have seen the parody of this film more times than I have seen the movie itself. Somehow, through quirks of fate (namely, a WPST-NJ promotion), I got a free copy of the tape of Robin Hood: Men In Tights and have put up with watching it time after time. So, in the sense of cosmic justice, I figured I should actually watch the movie that spawned the film that has given me so many laughs that it probably didn't deserve.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is yet another example of Hollywood taking a famous story and making it Hollywood-compliant. In other words, the original story is still there in some bizarre form (he robs from the rich and gives to the poor), but we're missing Prince John, and Robin Hood's not speaking in a British accent. I can accept Robin Hood not speaking in a British accent if he happens to also be an animated fox (Disney's version, which took up some of my childhood hours), but when Kevin Costner takes a stab at it I just approach the entire movie from that point on with a sort of incredulity.

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