Peter Macgregor-scott

Peter Macgregor-scott

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Batman & Robin Review


Terrible
This fourth episode in the Batman series isn't a movie so much as a theme park. It wasn't scripted so much as run through the Hollywood script mill, where every line of dialogue is reduced to a catchphrase. "Allow me to break the ice," says Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), "My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom." That groaner is representative of pretty much every line of Batman's arch-nemesis. He later posits such zingers as, "Tonight, hell freezes over!" and "You're not sending me to the cooler!" This is not character development so much as paint-by-numbers screenwriting, where you can imagine the gang sitting around wondering what incorrigible pun they'll come up with next.

Tim Burton's first two Batman films were all about this nerd auteur playing with a gigantic train set, so even though the stories were threadbare and superficial, at least Burton brought a highly stylized pop Gothic look. Jack Nicholson hammed it up nicely as the Joker and Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman was an unforgettably sexy femme fatale who was able to hold her own in a power struggle with the caped crusader. Say what you will, the films had their moments, and even miscast Michael Keaton was an enjoyable wild card.

Continue reading: Batman & Robin Review

Collateral Damage Review


Bad
I'm not one for Septemeber 11 censorship. You know what I mean, where the big, loving movie studios protect us from facing the grief and loss of that stupendous tragedy by erasing every trace of its existence from movies, television, and print. Collateral Damage, Schwarzenegger's latest, was one of the biggest victims of this recently popular sentiment. The release date was pushed back months amid rumors of revisionist editing to make the film friendlier to today's environment. Having seen Collateral Damage, I now understand why.

Collateral Damage stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a rough 'n' tough fireman, whose family is murdered in a bombing by notorious Columbian terrorist "The Wolf." Confronted with the inability and unwillingness of the U.S. government to seek justice, our fireman hero decides to take matters into his own hands and heads to Columbia to seek revenge. In one sense, this film is almost uniquely appropriate to the world's post-9/11 environment, presenting as it does such a larger than life hero, who just so happens to be a fireman, a group we are all looking to these days as real-life heroes. Yet, on the other hand, Collateral Damage is clearly the product of a different era. Blatantly and painfully pointing out our pre-9/11 ignorance, never has America's innocence been shown so clearly and by such a poorly made movie.

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Batman Forever Review


Weak
Batman's reins have been turned over from director Tim Burton (now producing) to Joel Schumacher, from lead Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer, and from an old, baroque Gotham to a heavily stylized, kiddie-pop city.

A lot can be said for the idea that the setting of a picture thoroughly controls its tone. What we Batman Forever is an attempt to make Gotham more like Los Angeles, full of neon, black lights, and people sporting primary-color wigs. Unfortunately, something has been lost in translation.

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Death To Smoochy Review


Bad
Classic children's television show hosts like Mister Rogers and Barney make great role models for children, but their trite style makes them easy targets for adult jokes. Danny DeVito's latest project, Death to Smoochy, is well-intended with its mockery of children's television and those inane hosts, however it is completely misdirected in its efforts to be funny.

After the obnoxious but popular host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) is caught taking bribes from parents who want their kids on television, network head Frank Stokes (Jon Stewart) pulls the plug on his show. An exhaustive search through the downtrodden Barney wannabes to replace Randolph yields a pink, squeaky-clean rhino named Smoochy (Edward Norton), who becomes an overnight success with the kids despite his preachings of bland politically correct messages to children. Despite Smoochy's best wishes, his boss Nora (Catherine Keener) wants to cash in on the show's newfound success by selling Smoochy-sponsored cereals, cola, and string cheese. Randolph, on the other hand, is hell-bent on making life miserable for the rhino, and Smoochy's crooked agent (Danny DeVito) is busy making backdoor deals trying to sell Smoochy out to the mob.

Continue reading: Death To Smoochy Review

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Peter MacGregor-Scott Movies

Collateral Damage Movie Review

Collateral Damage Movie Review

I'm not one for Septemeber 11 censorship. You know what I mean, where the...

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Death To Smoochy Movie Review

Death To Smoochy Movie Review

Classic children's television show hosts like Mister Rogers and Barney make great role models for...

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