Richard Vane

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Last Holiday Review


OK
Queen Latifah and LL Cool J often do great work in bad movies - she elevates unnecessary Barbershop spin-offs; he convincingly flexes his acting muscles in action-centered junk like S.W.A.T. and Mindhunters.

Wayne Wang's Last Holiday might be the first film to allow both bright spots to shine in support of a good feature. Essentially a remake of a 1950s Alec Guinness comedy, Holiday casts Latifah as Georgia Bird, a kind-hearted department store sales clerk who is too shy to ask out her dream man, Sean (Cool J), and too timid to pursue her dream career as a chef. After receiving a brutal bump on the head at work, Georgia is diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and told she has three weeks to live. This shocking truth jolts the homebody out of her mundane existence. She drains her bank account, books a flight to Prague, and proceeds to splurge on life's finer points before her time runs out.

Continue reading: Last Holiday Review

Arachnophobia Review


Good
Spiders, courtesy of executive producer Steven Spielberg, who shows off some of his least interesting special effects here (i.e. giant spider) as deadly super-spiders invade a tiny California town. It's Jeff Daniels, who suffers from the titular disorder, and funnyman John Goodman, as the local extremist exterminator, to the rescue! Plenty of laughs, but the action scenes don't really generate much in the way of scares. Good enough for Sunday afternoon, though. Later aped (very badly) in Eight Legged Freaks.
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