Sean Daniel

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The Wolfman Review


OK
This B-movie made on an epic budget is so over-the-top that the earlier you start giggling the better. Even though it's played dead straight, it's an old-style monster romp that couldn't be any more camp if it tried.

American-raised actor Lawrence (Del Toro) returns to his family manor on an English moor, where his wild-haired father Sir John (Hopkins) lives with his Sikh servant (Malik). Lawrence discovers that his brother has just been killed in the woods by a vicious creature, which later wounds him as well, turning him into a werewolf. And on the first full moon, he finds himself on the hunt as well as chased by a Scotland Yard detective (Weaving). But maybe a gypsy woman (Chaplin) and his brother's ex-fiancee (Blunt) hold the key to his salvation.

Continue reading: The Wolfman Review

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor Review


Bad
In the classic movie monster hierarchy, the cloth-clad Mummy really scrapes the bottom of the scare barrel. Aside from his close kinship with the zombie -- sadly, this is one Egyptian artifact that avoids the mandatory skin eating -- there's really nothing inherently spooky about a reanimated corpse with limited super(natural) powers. This is especially true of the sarcophagus' latest big screen incarnation. In Rob Cohen's horrid The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, our wrapped rascal is literally as menacing as an inert stone statue.

Ever since the end of WWII, the rough riding O'Connell Family -- Rick (Brendan Fraser), Evelyn (Maria Bello, subbing for Rachael Weisz), and college age son Alex (Luke Ford) -- have been in semi-retirement. Gone are the days when they would circumnavigate the globe looking for ancient treasure and kicking antiquated butt. When they get the chance to return a precious diamond to the people of China, they jump at the chance. Unfortunately, the gem is instrumental in the resurrection of the evil Emperor Han (Jet Li), a ruthless tyrant bent on conquering the world. Luckily, an ancient witch (Michelle Yeoh) has cursed him to an eternity embedded in rock. Of course, it won't be long before our haphazard adventurers have him up and around -- and seeking immortality via his massive terra cotta army.

Continue reading: The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor Review

Dazed And Confused Review


Extraordinary
This film started a number of careers, and it's definitely a classic and a high moment in the career of director Richard Linklater (also known for Slacker, the disappointing Before Sunrise, and the new Waking Life).

It is an entertaining fictionalization of high school graduation weekend of the senior class of 1976 in Linklater's former home city of Austin, Texas. Jocks, rednecks, cheerleaders, stoners, frosh, and the other high school demographic groups are all lovingly and respectfully rendered on Linklater's canvas. Though I didn't graduate until the mid-'80s, I'm pretty sure that the amount of pot smoking is this film is not exaggerated. And as evidence of the director's commitment to brutal realism, Foghat's "Slow Ride" is heard not once, not twice, but three times before the end of the movie. Rock on.

Continue reading: Dazed And Confused Review

Alfie Review


Weak
With his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex, his cockney British chirp and his healthy confidence in his own good looks, Jude Law's modern-day Romeo romping through Alfie is a smoother-talking Austin Powers without the adolescent giggles.

How much is too much when it comes to Law? Before the female readers answer, consider this: The handsome Brit has his well-manicured hands in three current projects and will release three more films between now and year's end. Needless to say, your tolerance for Law's antics will determine how much you'll enjoy Alfie. Director Charles Shyer's mixed bag of tricks includes a continuous conversation through the imaginary fourth wall and a camera lens that's terrified to let Law wander too far out of frame.

Continue reading: Alfie Review

The Scorpion King Review


Terrible
The Rock: One name symbolizes everything that can be defined as the stereotypical American male. Why? He's a gruff, tough-as-nails, merciless, and sexually magnetic savior of the free world. And he's huge on TV. And sure enough, The Scorpion King - the latest installment in the mind-numbing, insanely profitable Mummy series - is pure trash. Starring the aforementioned WWF superstar, The Scorpion King is filmmaking at its worst.

The Scorpion King ably rehashes the plots of the variety of other, better films including Gladiator, the Indiana Jones series, Flash Gordon, Beastmaster, and even The Goonies. Set 5,000 years ago, a warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand), acting on crazed Napoleonic urges, ravages the land and bends its people into totalitarian rule. With the aid of a seer who foretells the future, Memnon stands invincible against all aggressors.

Continue reading: The Scorpion King Review

Dark Blue Review


Weak
Call it L.A. Confidential lite. In Ron Shelton's derivative new police corruption drama - adapted from a story by Confidential scribe James Ellroy - Kurt Russell stars as Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr., a self-professed gunslinger who sees himself as a noble warrior charged with cleaning up his beloved city's streets. A member of the LAPD's elite Special Investigations Squad, he's the kind of guy who freely expounds on the depravity of L.A.'s lower classes with a barrage of bigoted epithets, and feels no pangs of conscience when gunning down unarmed suspects in back alleys. According to Perry's tunnel vision logic, a criminal is a criminal, and worrying about the vague, inconsequential differences between each one is not only a waste of time, but a disservice to the community he's trying to save.

Unfortunately for Perry, it's April 1992, and not a very good time to be an arrogant, white LAPD officer. The Rodney King trial has set L.A. on the precipice of Armageddon, and the verdict - to be announced imminently - has become the focal point for a metropolis simmering with class and racial tension. Perry, however, has more pressing matters to worry about. His partner, a wet-behind-the-ears rookie named Bobby Keough (played with baby-faced blankness by ex-Felicity hunk Scott Speedman), has screwed up an arrest, and Perry - always looking to back up a fellow brother in blue - has killed the defenseless perp (with Keough's gun) rather than letting him escape. The film begins with both officers knee-deep into lying their way through an eight-hour inquiry, since Perry has decided that his incompetent protégé should take the heat for the killing anyway. As far as Perry is concerned, one's first shooting inquiry is a right of passage - a baptism into an immoral system that's primarily sworn to protect and serve its own members.

Continue reading: Dark Blue Review

Down To Earth Review


Bad
There are times when a remake feels more like a ripoff. The Chris Rock comedy Down to Earth is a perfect example. Based on... no, xeroxed from 1978's Heaven Can Wait, it's a string of dull fish-out-of-water scenes held together by someone else's script.

The "someone else", in this case, are Elaine May and Warren Beatty, screenwriters of that earlier romantic comedy, which itself was a remake of 1941's Here Comes Mr. Jordan. But Beatty and May crafted a fresh story with a modern update and some sex appeal, while paying homage to the old version. Down to Earth is just a much weaker version of the same movie.

Continue reading: Down To Earth Review

The Mummy Returns Review


Bad
That darn mummy!

Stab him, burn him, unravel him (or whatever Brendan Fraser & Co. did to him in the original; I can't even remember)... he still keeps coming back!

Continue reading: The Mummy Returns Review

The Mummy Review


Terrible
Normally, when a movie is really bad, the best part of watching the film is watching the previews. When watching The Mummy, Stephen Sommers "not-quite-a-remake-but-really-is" of the 1921 version, I didn't even get that satisfaction. I think one of the previews was good, but not good enough for me to remember its title. I remember that Jan de Bont is coming out with a new chic horror film called The Haunting or something equally cheesy, which looks to be worse than his last one. I also remember seeing a preview for a new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that didn't even dare put his name on it after him having been in the double-trouble combination of Eraser and Jingle all the Way.

So, when the movie was as bad as the previews, I was not a happy camper.

Continue reading: The Mummy Review

Michael Review


OK
I have a theory about Michael. Take Groundhog Day, substitute William Hurt for Bill Murray. Substitute Travolta as an angel for the groundhog. Take out all the time travel stuff. Oh, and take out the funny stuff. Same movie.
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Sean Daniel Movies

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Review

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Review

In the classic movie monster hierarchy, the cloth-clad Mummy really scrapes the bottom of the...

Alfie Movie Review

Alfie Movie Review

With his insatiable appetite for the opposite sex, his cockney British chirp and his healthy...

The Scorpion King Movie Review

The Scorpion King Movie Review

The Rock: One name symbolizes everything that can be defined as the stereotypical American...

Dark Blue Movie Review

Dark Blue Movie Review

Call it L.A. Confidential lite. In Ron Shelton's derivative new police corruption drama - adapted...

Down To Earth Movie Review

Down To Earth Movie Review

There are times when a remake feels more like a ripoff. The Chris Rock...

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The Mummy Returns Movie Review

The Mummy Returns Movie Review

That darn mummy!Stab him, burn him, unravel him (or whatever Brendan Fraser & Co. did...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

Normally, when a movie is really bad, the best part of watching the film is...

Rat Race Movie Review

Rat Race Movie Review

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Tombstone Movie Review

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If Kurt Russell's handlebar mustache doesn't give you the willies, you need a bigger TV.The...

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