Wesley Strick

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Return to Paradise Review


Good
Surprisingly effective, if highly unlikely, drama of the soul and the conscience. If some guy you hardly knew was sentenced to hang in a Malaysian jail unless you went back and did 6 years in a third-world slammer, would you go?

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Doom Review


Unbearable
However low your expectations are for the movie take on the videogame Doom, lower them more. It's pretty obvious that this adaptation was never going to be a film of any serious artistic or social value, but those of us who are either fans of the game itself, video games in general, or even of its star, The Rock, were at least hoping for a good time. Instead, the big-screen Doom is low on both monsters and action, heavy on a dull, inaccurate, and a somewhat preachy story.

The game storyline for Doom is a classic one-man army tale: a lone, tough, nameless Marine is sent to Mars in order to restore peace after scientists working for mega-corporation UAC stationed there open a portal to Hell, and the demons are coming through in droves. While most gamers were mainly concerned with the then-groundbreaking first-person-shooter (FPS) gameplay (it was 1993, after all), the story was just creepy and supernatural enough to make shooting these imps and zombies a brainless blast.

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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.

The Saint Review


OK
The Next Big Franchise [Well, I guess not - Ed.] hits theaters this Friday, with all the trappings of a sequel-destined event. Infused with a backstory to set up the past of its nameless hero (Val Kilmer) as something of a "rogue James Bond with a guilty conscience and a Volvo," The Saint is as improbable as it is entertaining. With a plot revolving around a successful cold fusion experiment developed by miniskirt-clad scientist Emma (Elizabeth Shue) and the Russian Mafia's enlisting of the Saint to "steal the formula," it would be easy to sit back and laugh at the film's goofiness. However, Kilmer comes off as so engrossing and delivers his wryly hilarious lines with such precision that you end up forgetting the bad techno soundtrack and the series of unlikely coincidences that drive the picture to its inevitable end. And while that obviously-altered-to-make-it-happy ending is truly annoying, it's The Saint's combination of action and comedy that make it a worthwhile trip.

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The Glass House Review


Good
People who live in glass houses... better not have much to hide. Because sooner or later, you'll get caught with your pants down, leaving everything hanging out for everyone to see.

The Glass House stars everyone's favorite Helen Hunt clone, Leelee Sobieski, as half of a sister-brother duo who move in with family friends after the untimely deaths of their parents. Little does she know that her new guardian's motives are less than altruistic and it's up to her to protect herself and her brother.

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