Supposedly based on an ancient Chinese proverb about the four pillars of life -- Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow, and Love -- Lee's film embodies these four emotions into four killingly stereotypical characters played by Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Kevin Bacon, handing them their own stories interconnected in a Tarantino-esque roundelay of increasingly absurd coincidences. But even though the film is unrelentingly bleak and despairing and is even bracketed by weeping, all the storylines in the film lead to Sarah Michelle Gellar taking a vacation. It's Sarah Michelle Gellar's world and we just live in it.
Continue reading: The Air I Breathe Review
Continue reading: Date Movie Review
Debuting before uncaring audiences in 1993, director Rachel Talalay's (Tank Girl) Ghost in the Machine is a derivative sci-fi/horror hybrid that adds nothing new to the old "amok machine" genre that is represented best by director Donald Cammell's Demon Seed. The plot concerns Karl, the "Address Book Killer," (the horror!) played by Ted Marcoux (Dark Blue), who is killed in a freak accident and has his ever-living and ever-evil soul transferred directly into the power supply. (Don't even ask.) Karl roams the electric highway, possessing all manner of gadgets and kitchenware, as he stalks lovely Karen Allen and her son.
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Whatever It Takes is actually a solid pinning of the high school romantic comedy. There's nothing especially original about its plot or characters, but most of its target audience won't notice. Basically, what we have here is the standard boy-wants-girl-but-she's-out-of-his-league-so-his-friend-coaches-him-and-she's-gullible-enough-to-fall-for-it picture. The twist is that this is a two-way exchange. Ryan Woodman (Shane West) is a supposedly geeky high school senior lusting after popular girl Ashley Grant (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe -- She's All That). Chris Campbell (James Franco of Freaks and Geeks) is a dumb but popular jock looking to bed Maggie Carter (Marla Sokoloff), the smart-but-undervalued hottie who lives next door to Ryan. So the two begin a completely unsurprising story arc in which the two most prominent teenage girl stereotypes fall for every line in the book without ever suspecting a thing.
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Lopez is Marisa Ventura, a divorced mom forced to raise her young son Ty (Tyler Posey) on her salary as a maid for a ritzy Manhattan hotel. Each day, she drops Ty off at school and travels by subway from the Bronx to work where she arrives just in time for the morning briefing on the glamorous guests the maids will serve that day. These guests include the newly single socialite Caroline Sincaire (Natasha Richardson), who has come to the hotel to sulk, and New York Assemblyman Chris Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) who is there to prepare for his upcoming campaign for Senator.
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A truer thing has never been said. It amazes me the filmmakers left that line in the film. Perhaps they were feeling self-reflective.
Continue reading: Black Knight Review
So, what is Rushmore? Rushmore is a prestigious private school in Nowhere, U.S.A. (actually Houston and Dallas, Texas), where its most vocal student, Max (Schwartzman), is also its worst academically. Rushmore the movie follows Max in his travails at school, where he falls hopelessly in love with teacher Miss Cross (Williams, straight from The Postman and a haircut). Unwilling to accept that the age differential is a concern, the 15-year old Max embarks on a grand scheme to build an enormous aquarium as a symbol of affection. That he builds it on the school's baseball diamond is what gets him thrown out of Rushmore.
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Smile stars Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson, a new teacher who has accepted a position to teach art history at Wellesley - the all women college in Massachusetts. Much to her dismay, the progressive thinking taught in California is not embraced by the stiff administrators at Wellesley, and prompts comments like, "You didn't come to Wellesley to help people find their way, you came to help people find your way."
Continue reading: Mona Lisa Smile Review
Steven Tyler prays for Chris Cornell during Asia show.
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