Susan May Pratt

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The Gift Trailer


Simon and Robyn barely have time to contemplate their perfect lives with their happy marriage and beautiful new house when they come face to face with the less than perfect past. While shopping at a department store Simon bumps into an old classmate named Gordo, though it takes a while for him to recognise him. When a bottle of expensive wine shows up on their doorstep from Gordo, they are left wondering how he got the address but nonetheless invite him over for dinner to say thank you for the house-warming gift. But pretty soon Gordo starts frequently showing up uninvited with stranger and stranger gifts, and when Simon tries to break off their unwanted friendship, things start to get scary. Threatening notes are left, Robyn's fish are suddenly dead and their house is being vandalised. Robyn starts to become seriously suspicious of her husband when the suggestion of an uncomfortable past between the two men arises, and she's desperate to find out what happened before things get out of hand.

Continue: The Gift Trailer

Open Water 2: Adrift Review


Grim
Who knew you could build a movie franchise around people just floating in the ocean?

Open Water 2: Adrift is in no way a sequel to the original Open Water, except that both feature people bobbing helplessly in the water. In the original, the sharks get them (more or less) after one couple's SCUBA charter leaves them behind. In this follow-up, six Gen-X'ers jump off a luxury yacht and into the water... but *d'oh!* no one put the ladder down, so they can't get back aboard. How will they get aboard? Well aside from the obvious (which occurs to them at the very end), they'll try everything from jumping in the water to making ropes out of bikini tops.

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Drive Me Crazy Review


Grim
Traffic advisory: Plan alternate box office route to bypass Drive Me Crazy and gridlock of crazed teens. At the screening I attended, it would have been easier to find a share of an Internet IPO stock than an open seat (I doubt the stingiest broker you know could be more ruthless than the giddy girls saving seats for their friends). If this romantic comedy is successful, chalk up another victory for marketing and another loss for pop culture.

A more appropriate title for Drive Me Crazy would be "Highway Through Nebraska" -- the plot is flat, has no turns, and is completely devoid of scenery. At least this boring ride only lasts 90 minutes. In this rehashed tale of teen angst, next door neighbors Nicole Maris (Melissa Joan Hart - Can't Hardly Wait, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Clarissa Explains It All) and Chase Hammond (Adrian Grenier - Celebrity, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole) are neighbors with almost nothing in common. She's "in," he's in the alternative crowd. When the star of the basketball team snubs her affection and he gets dumped, they find common ground in a plot to scam everyone into thinking they are an item. If the plan works, they hope their ex-loves will come crawling back. Hmmm, care to take a wild guess what happens?

Continue reading: Drive Me Crazy Review

Center Stage Review


Grim
At the American Ballet Academy, there is an abundance of passion, talent and determination. Of course these things simply aren't enough when it comes to making it as a professional ballet dancer.

As the camera probes into a crowded room of ballerinas spinning and dipping, a young blond is immediately isolated from the bunch. The male choreographer's assistant notes that the girl has poor form. The choreographer retorts, "Who cares, look at her." And with that the blonde, blue-eyed Jodie is given a spot in the American Ballet Academy, the Julliard of dancing.

Continue reading: Center Stage Review

Center Stage Review


OK

In a brilliant stroke of summer event movie counter-programming, TriStar Pictures is opening this weekend a surprisingly satisfying sleeper called "Center Stage" -- about the competitive world of a prestigious ballet academy -- that teenage girls are going to gobble up like so much candy.

Turned away from sold-out blockbusters, they'll drag their dates into this "Fame"-lite crowd-pleaser revolving around ballet students dancing their hearts out for a place in the fictitious American Ballet Company. They'll love the pretty, ingenuous heroine (Amanda Shull) learning to believe in herself and her ability. They'll love the two handsome dancers that vie for her heart. They'll love the spectacular, toe-tapping and beautifully staged production numbers. They'll leave the theater smiling dreamily and make a beeline for the Danskin store.

And although they'll never let it show, the guys will like it, too.

Continue reading: Center Stage Review

Drive Me Crazy Review


Terrible

With a script recycled from the scraps of scores of other prom climax movies, "Drive Me Crazy" might just be the most generic high school flick ever.

Melissa Joan Hart, whose pert but plain, TV-sized personality (she's "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") can't carry a feature film, stars as Nicole, the super-organized Miss Congeniality of her school's in crowd, who finds herself dateless for the biggest dance in school history when her nondescript, jocko beau throws her over for a cheerleader he landed on top of when run out of bounds during a basketball game.

Meanwhile, Nicole's sullen, rebellious next door neighbor, Chase (Adrian Grenier, "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole"), has been dumped by his freaky chick (as demonstrated by her two-tone hair -- oooo!) girlfriend because he won't join her in her latest protest movement against medical testing on lab rats.

Continue reading: Drive Me Crazy Review

Susan May Pratt

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