Kathy's Cinema Corner

Kathy's Cinema Corner

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Rated: PG-13

This film was to be made by Stanley Kubrick, but upon his death was taken over by Steven Spielberg, who wrote and directed it. There are many Kubrickian elements evident though, especially in the middle which takes place in Rouge City.

Haley Joel Osment is David, the first robot child, who is also the first to be programmable to love and dream. He is adopted by a couple (played by Sam Robarbs and Frances O’Connor) whose biological son has been frozen due to a terminal illness.

If the couple decide to program David to love them, the must understand that he cannot be reprogrammed if they change their minds; only destroyed.

When circumstances change at his adoptive home, David is thrown into a world where robots must fight for survival and all David longs for is to become a real human boy so that his mother will love him again.

Along the way he meets many other robots most notably, Gigalo Joe (excellently portrayed by Jude Law) a robot made exclusively for satisfying the longings of human women. He also has an encounter with a Flesh Fair, a sort of monster-truck rally for the doing-away with robots, and Dr. No who for a small fee can answer all the questions of the world.

The sets are dazzling, the story engrossing, and Osment’s portrayal of the robot child is dead-on. The ending is satisfying, but definitely more Speilberg than Kubrick.


Rated: R

This prequel to KISS THE GIRLS which also starred Morgan Freeman as police psychiatrist Alex Cross is every bit as engrossing as the first film.

A senator's daughter has been kidnapped from her private school, in an elaborate plot by her teacher (Michael Wincott), who contacts Cross to be his go-between in his heist.

Alex is aided by Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan who is feeling guilty because the girl disappeared on her watch.

There are many subplots and twists and turns to keep the viewer engrossed and guessing. You also see Alex learn to trust his instincts again after a devastating incident that occurred months before the kidnapping.

A true thriller.


Rated: PG-13

This film John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Eddie and Gwen, America’s dream movie couple. Billy Crystal is their studio promoter and Julia Roberts is Kiki, Gwens sister and underappreciated assistant. Kiki also has a crush on Eddie

After Eddie and Gwen break up, Gwen’s films are not doing too well and Eddie is at a rest retreat. His two weeks there have spread into six months.

There is one more film starring Eddie and Gwen that has yet to be released, and the studio is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the film is a hit.

Along the way, there is a press junket that invites 300 press members to view a film that no one has even seen. It is being held by the director (Christopher Walken) because he wants the press to be the first to see his greatest work.

You learn that Gwen is totally self-centered, Kiki used to weigh sixty pounds more and dreams about bread and that you can’t believe anyone in the movie business.

The last Eddit and Gwen film almost causes a riot among the cast, and you learn that Gwen will stoop to anything to save her career.

Hank Azaria gives a great performance as the lisping, heavily accented, Latin lover that Gwen left Eddie for.

A terrific film with some of the 1930’s slapstick.


Rated: R

Jennifer Lopez is a Chicago cop who is rescued by a strangely quiet man, Catch (Jim Caviezel) during a gun battle.

He seems to roam the city doing small good deeds for people. Both characters have dark past that they are trying to deal with, each somewhat unsuccessfully. As they get to know each other and fall in love, they get the strength to look into their past and be able to make a new start.

The chemistry between Lopez and Caviezel is good, but the story drags some and at times can be somewhat soap operah-ish.


Rated: PG-13

This film stars Rob Schnieder as a loser who dreams of being a cop and getting the girl. After an accident, he is found by a strange doctor who replaces his damaged body parts with those from animals.

There are some amusing moments when Marvin (Schnieder) doesn’t realize what is happening to him and when he suddenly can pass the obstacle course to become a policeman.

There is a love story that proves that not everything is as it seems and the ending is cute but a bit contrived.

There are a couple of surprise cameos, but unless you are a die-hard Schnieder fan, they’re not worth sitting through the entire film.


Rated: R

This true story of George Jung (played by Johnny Depp) shows how the American appetite for quality drugs in the 70's and 80's lead to a flood of cocaine from Columbia. According to the film, if you were one of the people doing cocaine at that time, there was an 85% chance it came to America through Jung and his alliance with the top Colombian drug producer.

It is also the story of a man who trusts his family, friends, and partners (one of whom a hairdresser played by Paul Reubens) steals each scene he is in, only to be disappointed by them time after time.

His father (Ray Liotta) and mother (Rachel Griffin) are what he does not want to become but by the time his marriage to his beautifully Colombian wife (Penelope Cruz) is only a few years old, they are like them more than he cares to admit.

His saving grace is his love for his daughter, which also became his downfall.

Currently in prison until 2015, this is truly the story of a man who went from bottom, to top, to bottom again.


Rated: R

At first glance this could be dismissed as another chick-flick, but it is so much more. Bridget (Renee Zellweger) has decided to clean up her life and decides to keep a diary of her efforts and results to lose weight and to cut back on the vodka, and cigarettes,

She has a humiliating, hilarious year in which there are two men in her life Hugh Grant as her cad of a boss and Colin Firth as an uptight lawyer, not to mention her parents, played by Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones and her other strange family members and acquaintances.

I'd bet most people know a Bridget in their own lives, she is one of the most real characters to come along in a long time.


Rated: PG-13

Tom Hanks gives another memorable performance as Chuck, the Fed Ex executive who lives and dies by the clock until he finds himself involved in a plane crash which lives him stranded on a South Pacific island for four years. Chuck spends those four years trying to survive, dreaming about his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) and talking to a volleyball he has named Wilson. During the time on the island, you hear no background music and see no flashbacks. The only sounds are provided by Hanks, the wind, and the sea. It works beautifully to help you feel the isolation of this man.

When he is finally rescued, he must come to the realization that time has not stood still for all of those people he left behind and have literally buried him.

This movie is thought provoking and shows a man at his primal best.


Rated: PG-13

This film starts out with all the action of a James Bond movie, and doesn't stop the action until the end. Starring as the new breed of angels is Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lui, & Cameron Diaz, and Bill Murray as Bosley.

Charlie's voice is supplied by John Forsythe (as in the TV) series, but that is about all that has stayed the same. These new angles do not use guns, they overpower their various nemeses by great karate moves.

This film is a wild ride, and I'll bet there will be a Charlie's Angels II not far behind.


Rated: PG-13

This delightful film takes place in 1950's France in a small, very repressed village. When Maya comes to town to open a chocolate shop with her daughter right before the beginning of Lent, this throws the mayor into a tizzy.

He tries to keep the townsfolk from her shop, but curiosity and the powers of her chocolate bring them in. When gypsies' camp in town and Maya befriends them, the mayor begins to crack down and the town is divided.

There are many colorful characters, including Judi Dench as Maya's landlady, whose daughter (Carrie Anne Moss is the mayor's secretary, and has a son she does not let her free-spirit mother see.

There is the abused wife played by Lena Olin who discovers herself when she begins working in the shop.

This movie is basically about tolerance, and how you must have tolerance to gain it. It's a small film with a big message that is beautifully told.


Rated: R

THE CONTENDER is a political thriller with enough plot twists to keep everyone glued to their seats. Joan Allen gives a dead-on performance as a senator who is chosen by the President (Jeff Bridges) to be the next Vice-President after the vice-president dies three weeks earlier.

Sam Elliott, Christian Slater, William Peterson, Mariel Hemingway, and an almost unrecognizable Gary Oldman round out a very impressive cast.

Oldman's character uses every trick in the book to block Laine Hanson's (Allen's) appointment, and her performance of quite dignity in the face of an alleged sex scandal some twenty years earlier is mesmerizing.

This one will keep you interested and talking afterwards.


Rated: PG-13

This film is a notch above other teen fare in that not all is as it seems. Kirsten Dunst is Nicole, an out-of-control daughter of a senator who falls for Carlos, a dedicated student, football player and Annapolis hopeful.

Not only are they worlds apart in upbringing: Carlos must travel two hours each way to go to the school which will offer him challenges and Nicole just spends her days partying and is rarely sober. Her only other passions seem to be photography and ignoring her father and stepmother.

But unlike most teen films, the parents are not the villains and are actually genuinely worried. Carlos’s mom is worried that Nicole will take his mind off of his goals and Nicole’s dad is afraid that she will drag Carols down with her as she spins out of control.

There is a lot of self-discovery and genuine emotion which brings about a surprising and satisfying end.


Rated: PG

Seeing Paul Hogan return as Crocodile Mick Dundee was like visiting an old friend you haven't seen in awhile, or rereading a book from your childhood: you feel comfortable with him.

There weren't any real surprises, but that's okay. It is another fish-out-of-water story, this time set in L.A. When Sue is asked by her father to cover at his L.A. paper for a couple of months, she brings Mick and their son along.

While she is working, Mick and Mikey get in a lot of mishaps and a little bit of espionage about a shady movie studio.

There are quite a few laughs and it is good for the whole family.


Rated: PG-13

Don't let the fact that this film is in Mandarin with subtitles keep you away. It is an amazingly choreographed film and has very powerful roles for women.

Directed by Ang Lee, and gracefully acted by Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zyange Ziya, and Chang Chen, it will have you spellbound with the story and the gravity defying fight scenes.

The scenery here is as beautifully eye-catching as any I've seen and you see the scope of China from forest to deserts.

The stories in this film also run the range from love stories, revenge, desire and escape.

A great movie experience.


Rated: PG-13

This is based on the true story of a large satellite dish located in the Australian outback that had a large role in the television pictures we saw of Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.

Sam Neil is the leader of the small group who watch over the satellite and Patrick Warburton is the American NASA representative there to oversee the operations.

There are some delightful culture difference moments, and many views of the precarious position these men were put in, because if they failed, no television pictures.

There is a great late 60’s soundtrack and also a hilarious rendition of the U.S. National Anthem done by a group of teenagers who had 48 hours to find out what our anthem was and to learn it.

This film takes you back to a time when the whole world was watching this one momentous occasion and the little-known trials that brought us the images we have seen so many times.


Rated: PG-13

Sylvester Stallone is over-the-hill racecar driver Joe Tanto in this tale of love and racecar driving. He is convinced by old nemesis Cal Henry (Burt Reynolds) to come back to help up and coming star Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue) who gets too much advice from his jealous manager, his brother played by Robert Sean Leonard.

Along the way there are fights, love, breakups and makeups, but the star here are the races. They provide the continuity for the story and provide some edge of your seat action and suspense.

A good popcorn flick.


Rated: PG-13

This second installment of the Dr. who can talk to the animals (Eddie Murphy) which pits Dr. Dolittle against a logging company about to wipe out an entire forest is quite entertaining and should be enjoyable by family members of all ages.

The scenes between Archie, a bear the Dr. is trying to reintroduce in to the wild so that his particular species might keep from being extinct are really funny. Archie is a show-business bear and knows nothing about the wild , hibernation, and how to attract Ava, the lone female bear of his species in the forest.

There are many amusing moments and some funny and tender ones between the Dr. and his family, especially with his older daughter who is struggling with a secret of her own.

A good family film.


Rated: PG-13

This film is a silly look at two total morons who live to party and take no responsibility for their actions. After waking up from a night they cannot recall, they realize that not only can't they remember the night before, they can't find their car.

As they meet people during the day they start to fill in the blanks of the night before and spend the entire film either looking for their car or disappointing their girlfriends.

The end is amusing, but I don't know if it is worth sitting through the entire film just to see where the car finally turns up.


Rated: R

Richard Gere and an ensemble case of women make up Dr. T's world. They include Farrah Fawcett (as his wife), Helen Hunt (his lover), Tara Reid and Kate Hudson (his daughters), Liv Tyler (one of his daughter's best friends), Laura Dern (his sister-in-law), and Shelley Long (his office manager). There are also many patients of gynecologist Dr. Travis Sullivan who make his world a living nightmare.

As with most movies directed by Robert Altman, there are a lot of characters, a lot of subplots, and a really wacky ending.

Gere is great as Dr. T., but the women soon began to grate on my nerves.



This latest cartoon from Disney is unique in the fact the characters do not burst out into song throughout the film.

The Emperors is introduced as a spoiled young man with no regard for anyone else. When his assistant turns him into a donkey and orders him killed, he is forced to rely on the kindness of others and learn to take the feeling of others seriously. He does a lot of growing up and learns much of life and himself.

The voices are supplied by David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and Patrick Warburton and the animation is up to the great standards of Disney.


Rating: R

With performances by Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Bob Hoskins, and Ed Harris, I expected to be entranced by this true-story adaptation of the battle for Stalingrad in World War II. But with little introduction of the war to that point, and the assumption that the audience would be familiar with it was the first of many mistakes made in this film.

You also don't know the characters well enough to care that much and much of the time is spent fighting among themselves and not just against the Nazis.

The love triangle between Law, Fiennes, and Weisz is tepid at best, and the only true emotion on the screen is suprisingly supplied by Ed Harris as the cold-as-ice Nazi sniper sent to kill Law.

This film never really jells and since the Russians don't really seem to care about their soldiers, the audience doesn't also.


Rating: PG-13

This alien comedy is quite an enjoyable ride, mostly because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. David Duchovny is Ira, a biology professor at a small Arizona community college. When a meteor crashes into the desert, Ira along with another professor (Orlando Jones) and a would-be firefighter (Sean William Scott) are the first to discover it and to discover that there are rapidly-growing organisms there.

Soon the army descends upon it along with a Dr. from the CDC (Julianne Moore) who bar the three original discovers from the sight.

As the organisms mutate and wreck havoc on Arizona, there is conflict between Ira and the officer in charge (who seem to have had a run-in in the past). It must not have been pleasant, as Ira moons the officer in a jeep at one point and then salutes him.

It is a race against time to see who can save Arizona and eventually the world from these fast-evolving creatures.

The ending is both gross and hilarious.


Rating: R

A Steven Seagal movie that is actually entertaining. It helps that he has a good supporting cast in this tale of a vigilante cop who gets transferred to a rough precinct after saving the life of the Vice-President during an assassination attempt, but defying orders in doing so.

The assassination sequence was a little creepy considering that Christopher Lawford (JFK's and Bobby Kennedy's nephew) played the VP who was being shot at.

After Seagal is transferred he is forced to attend anger-management classes and a fellow classmate (played by Tom Arnold who almost steals the picture as the host of Detroit AM).

Rapper DMX plays a very complex character who figures heavily in the action when Seagal stumbles on some shady dealings in the precinct.

There is a lot of violence in this film, but also a surprising amount of humor.

It's the bast time that I've ever had watching Steven Seagal in a very long time.


Rating: PG-13

Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni star in this sort of backwards IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Cage is a multi-millionaire wheeler-dealer who left the love of his life 13 years ago for business.

He is given a glimpse after doing a kind act to see what he have up. He is appalled to find himself in a New Jersey suburb as a tire salesman with two kids. He also finds himself on a bowling team and with a wardrobe he'd like to burn.

By the time he realizes that this life might be what he wants, the glimpse is over. Can he make it a reality, and will Kate (Leoni) want to give up her life as it is now.

An interesting premise and beautifully told.


Rating: PG-13

This film is full of car races and chases galore, but there is a story behind all the cars.

Brian (Paul Walker) a car enthusiast is trying to get in with the big boys of street-racing which seems to be run by Dominic Toretto. After Brian helps him ditch the cops one night, Toretto takes a shine to him as does Dominic’s sister Mia, (Jordana Brewster).

There is some tension between Toretto’s gang and an Asian one lead by Johnny Tran (Rick Yune) which runs deep.

There are a few surprises, especially regarding Brian and the movie mostly delivers the goods when it comes to speed, intrigue, and emotions.


Rating: R

Robert DeNiro is a hotshot police detective and Edward Burns a fire investigator who reluctantly team up to discover who murdered a couple and torched their apartment.

The film has some good scenes, but drags on and on and seems to have a continuity problem.

The villians (a Romanian and Russian) do offer some comic relief when they use American talk shows to figure out psychiatric problems to get them put in mental institutions instead of prison.


Rating: PG-13

This film stars Sean Connery as reclusive author Forrester and Rob Brown as the Bronx high school student with great basketball skills and even greater achievement test scores.

His scores and skills get him an all-expenses paid scholarship to a prestigious Manhattan Private school where he succeeds on the basketball course but doesn't have such an easy time convincing his embittered English Professor (F. Murray Abraham) that he is a talented writer.

He embarks on an unlikely relationship with Forrester who agrees to help him with his writing if he does not tell anyone who he is. Forrester also has a history with the English teacher, so he enjoys hearing about the doings in the class.

There is an interesting climax in the film and a cameo by Matt Damon as Forrester's attorney. Also good in supporting roles are Anna Paquin as Claire, a student who befriends him at the new school, Michael Nouri as her father and board member of the school, and Busta Rhymes as his brother.

A very satisfying tale.


Rated: R

Maybe Freddy didn't, but the audience certainly did.


Rated: PG-13

This teen comedy which loosely follows Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is a notch above the other comedies in this genre.

Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Colin Hanks, Sisqo and Martin Short head this cast of a lovelorn teen who has been dumped by the love of his life and joins the cast of the school play to be near her. He is so busy trying to impress his ex that he cannot see that his best friend's sister (Dunst) who is helping him rehearse is everything that his ex is not.

Martin Short is great as the high school drama teacher who thinks he's the best thing to hit theatre since Bob Fosse.

A teen comedy that uses intelligent humor and doesn't really on the gross-out variety.



Cate Blanchett heads up the cast of this film about a small bayou town and the strange goings on there. She is a recently widowed woman who reads cards for the locals and she has a steady strange clientele.

There is the trouble young man (Giovanni Ribisi) who has strange dreams of a blue diamond, the young wife (Hillary Swank) who seeks counsel about her abusive husband (Keanu Reeves).

When a young woman is found murdered (Katie Holmes) Blanchett sees clues to the murder and tries to comfort the dead girl's fiancé (Greg Kinnear).

There is an interesting cast of characters and the film will keep you guessing as to the identity of the murderer and there are a few shocking twists and turns.



This retelling of the Dr. Suess classic stars Jim Carrey as the Grinch, and even under his grinchly costume, he shines. The film not only retells the television classic from the 60's, but also elaborates on the Grinch's childhood.

Directed by Ron Howard, THE GRINCH also stars Molly Shannon, Christine Baranski, and Jeffrey Tambor as the Mayor of Whoville and a childhood adversary of the Grinch.

The sets for Whoville and Mt. Krumpit are dazzling and you would probably have to see this movie more than once or twice to catch all the eye-popping detail.

Anthony Hopkins narration is quite good, but comparisons to Boris Karloff's are inevitable. As are comparisons with this film and the cartoon.

There should be a place in everyone's holiday viewing for both.



Still as scary as ever, Hannibal Lecter is back after lying low for ten years in Florence, Italy. Anthony Hopkins is again flawless in the reprisal of Dr. Lecter. Julianne Moore does a credible job replacing Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, the FBI agent with whom Dr. Lecter has formed a bond. Rounding out the cast are Ray Liotta as an FBI agent who is out to get Clarice, Giancarlo Giannini as an Italian detective on Lecter's trail, and an unrecognizable Gary Oldman as Mason Verger, the only one of Hannibal's victims to survive.

This a good, suspenseful film, but there could have been more screen time with Hannibal and Clarice. But the story is engaging, plausible, and there is plenty of the old Hannibal to keep you glued to your seat, even if you can't keep your eyes glued to the screen at all times.

Like it's predecessor, HANNIBAL is not the young or squeamish. Then ending is unexpected, and perhaps we may be meeting Dr. Lecter again.



This comedy about two con women Max (Sigourney Weaver, and Page (Jennifer Love Hewitt) who marry wealthy men, set them up in compromising situations, and divorce them for handsome settlements, all in three months time.

Their three marks are played by Ray Liotta (as a New Jersey chop shop operator), Gene Hackman (as a chain-smoking tobacco executive on his last breath), and Jason Lee (as a laid back bar owner in Florida).

The trouble starts when Page wants to go out on her own and break up the act with mom (Weaver), but is forced by a financial setback to do one more job.

Everything is going fine until Page starts to fall for the owner of a small bar who likes his laid back lifestyle despite being offered $3,000,000 for his bar by developers.

There is plenty of slapstick and some good laughs and an interesting turn at the end, which should leave you, amused at the end.



The end of the Highlander series does not have a lot going for it save some nice Scottish scenery. This film jumps so between centuries that you find it difficult to follow what story there is. There is also quite a lot Violence (mainly decapitations) since that is the only way the immortals can get the energy of the immortals they kill, and hence win the game.

Not much to recommend.


Movie's Web Site


This thriller starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, and Josh Brolin (his largest role that I've seen him in and he's good) would have been better if Sebastian (Bacon) would have been the least bit likeable from the start.

Sebastian is a genius who is working with the others on a top-secret government project in the hopes of being able to make humans invisible and bringing them back again. They have succeeded at the first, but the bringing them back has eluded them. When they have their breakthrough, Sebastian decides to try it. He soon goes a little power happy and does a whole lot of things the average person would not do. This also would have been more shocking if Bacon's character wasn't such a creep to begin with,

The movie does have its terrifying moments, and there is the underlying question of what would you do if you couldn't be seen.


Rated: PG-13

Joe Dirt is on a mission to find his parents he lost in the 70's at the Grand Canyon. Joe (David Spade) is thoroughly stuck in the late 70' s early 80's era of Southern Rock as he floats from one degrading job to another trying to find his family. When Joe gets a janitorial job at an LA talk radio station, he is picked on by all, but a talk show hose (Dennis Miller) puts his on the air to fill up time, then he along with all of LA and soon American are enthralled by Joes adventures.

There are plenty of bodily fluid and gross-out jokes, but most of it isn't even remotely funny unless you happen to be a boy between 12 and 16 and that may be pushing the audience range.


Rated: PG-13

Rachel Leigh Cook is Josie, Tara Reid is Mel, and Rosario Dawson is Val who make up the band in this film based on the cartoon series from the Archie comics series in the early 70's. Alan Cumming and Parker Posey are the record label producers who are not all they seem, but the girls are riding too high at finally being discovered to notice anything is amiss for awhile.

Mind control and product placement are subplots of this film. and the product placement is shameless in this film but never remarked upon.

The music is surprising good, and the beginning with the boy-band DeJour is very good.


Rated: PG-13

Bringing back Sam Neill for this third installment of the dinosaur tales was the best move the producers could have made. They also brought back Laura Dern in an extended cameo and the always good William H. Macy and Tea Leoni as the distraught couple who have very personal reasons to try to convince Dr. Grant (Neill) to return to the dinosaur-infested island.

Though nothing could be as bone chilling as the first Jurassic Park, this one is a definite improvement over the second. There are some very dramatic moments, especially one involving a giant birdcage.

Although at the end it looked like there was the sequel set-up, lets hope that the dinosaurs bow out gracefully after this one.


Rated: PG-13

This fish-out-of-water, time travel comedy has a few funny moments, but not enough to fill 90 minutes. Jean Reno and Christian Clavier star in this remake of Les Visiteurs, the French version of this film which was also written by Clavier.

It tells the tale of Count Thibault of Malfete who is to marry Rosalind in the 12th century, but through witchcraft Rosalind is killed and the Count enlists the help of a wizard (Malcolm McDowell, the only one who looks like he is having fun in this film), to bring him back to before Rosalind was killed.

Through a mishap, the Count and his servant end up in a modern-day Chicago museum exhibit of 12th century furnishings run by Julia, a descendent of the Couint's family. They have a few amusing encounters and misunderstandings in the future; one in a posh eating establishment stands out, but it is mostly a yawn. Tara Reid and the gardener to Julia's neighbors, who is treated as badly by her employers as the Count's servant is by him, provides some amusement as she tries to bring 21st century ideas to the servant.

They made a sequel to this in France, let's hope they don't feel the need to do one for American audiences.


Rated: PG-13

Angeline Jolie plays the title character, an heiress who spends her time in exotic locals trying to keep ancient objects from ending up in the wrong hands.

She discovers a clock in her mansion that begins ticking (counting down) to a planetary eclipse that happens only once every 5,000 years.

There is a group, the Iluminati who need the clock to help them locate two halves of an ancient triangle buried at opposite ends of the earth. Once they have succeeded, they will be able to control time. If they fail, they will have to wait another 5,000 years.

This movie is based on a video game, but has a little more meat then most. It has adventure, humor, intrigue, betrayal, and longing.


Rated: PG

This film starring Whoopi Goldberg as a new widow who must cope with the family as they arrive for the funeral of her late husband, who she describes as mean and surly.

The eccentric cast includes LL Cool J as her eldest son (he drinks and broods), Vivica A. Fox as his wife (she longs for a child), Anthony Anderson as her younger son (he put all of his money into a failed parking lot cleaning venture), Jada Pinkett Smith as his wife (shrill, and wants to be a singer but is stuck with a husband and three out-of-control boys) and Loretta Divine as her dead husband's sister who is deeply religious and has one son in jail and another who might be on his way there if he doesn't pull his act together.

Cedric the Entertainer is amusing as the lisping pastor who tries to keeps things dignified at services.

There is a lot of raw emotion, jealousy and soul searching in this picture and probably resembles more families than not.


Rated: PG-13

This mix of medieval and modern works because there is a story of true passion and commitment behind it. Health Ledger is William Thatcher, a servant who longs to be a knight and is given his opportunity when his employer dies and William takes his place.

He decides to reinvent himself and win the jousting competitions and also the heart of the beautiful lady. He is also haunted by memories of his father whom he hasn’t seen since he was a young boy and sent to be apprenticed.

There is an energy flowing through this film and it is both entertaining and heartwarming.

Also be sure to stay to the end of the credits for the “contest”.

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Rated: R

This latest movie based on a Saturday Night Live skit stars Tim Meadows as Leon Phelps, an afro wearing, stuck-in the 70's, self-proclaimed "ladies' man".

There are a few good gags, but they wear thin throughout the movie. Some characters are best left to five or ten minute bits on television.


Rated: PG-13

This film directed by Robert Redford and starring Will Smith in the title role brings back the depression-era south in many different layers.

You see the ruination and disgrace of the towns wealthiest and the never-say-die attitude of some of the working class, and then there are those who just give up.

One of those is the local golf hero (played by Matt Damon) who after being shell-shocked in WWI has lived the last ten years in a drunken stupor. When Adell (his old flame, played by Charlieze Theron) gets the idea of hosting a gold tournament to save her father's dream of a championship league gold resort in Savannah, she enlist the two best golfers in the south along with Damon.

Damon is about to give up, when he meets Bagger Vance (Smith), a caddy who mysteriously shows up and helps Damon get his game back.

There is plenty of humor and heartache in this film, which is narrated by a young boy who has idealized Damon and has some issues of his own when it comes to his family.

This is a beautifully told and set movie, and the ending will leave you satisfied.


Rated: PG-13

This uplifting comedy stars Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, a sunny California university student who is dumped by her Harvard Law School bound boyfriend Warner because he needs to find a more “serious” girlfriend if he is going to become a successful politician.

Although Elle majored in Fashion Merchandising, she decides to follow Warner to Harvard. After a truly amazing admissions video and cramming to pass the LSAT exam, she is on her way to Harvard Law.

Her southern California ways are truly out of sync with the uptight easterners, but Elle forges forward. She befriends a middle-aged dropout beautician and Emmett, a lawyer played by Luke Wilson. After Warner becomes engaged to Vivian another student who he has known such prep school, Elle decides to really throw herself into her studies.

Along the way she discovers much about herself, Warner, her professors, and learns that she is more than just a pretty face.

A very funny and thoughtful film.


Rated: PG-13

Adam Sandler is Nicky, the good son of the devil when compared to his evil brothers. When his brothers plot to take over the throne from their father (Harvey Keitel) it is up to Nicky to save dad and New York City from his brothers' wrath.

This is an Adam Sandler picture, so expect many juvenile gags and some coarse language, but it is funny a lot of the time. There are cameos by John Lovitz, Quentin Tarantino, Rodney Dangerfield, Dana Carvey and a few other SNL alumni.

If your children are over eight, they should be able to handle LITTLE NICKY.


Rated: PG

This film stars Jonathan Lipnicki as an American transplanted to Scotland and having a rough time making friends and also being plagued by nightmares of vampires.

By chance he meets a young vampire and befriends him and decides to help them in their quest to become human. The need to find an amulet that was taken from them 300 years before because it hold the key to their return to human form. These vampires only drink cow blood and there are some amusing scenes of a very perplexed farmer trying to deal with his vampire cows.

This may be a bit frightening for those under 5, but those 6 and up will find it delightful. It is a good family film.


Rated: R

This black comedy starring John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth, and Bill Pullman never can make up its' mind whether or not it is a comedy or an murder/action movie.

John Travolta is a favorite weatherman in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who has his own table reserved at the local Denny's and a snowmobile dealership. His dealership isn't doing well because at Christmastime temperatures are still in the 60's.

Lisa Kudrow is Crystal, the lotto ball girl who is having an affair with both Travolta and the station manager played by Ed O'Neil.

Travolta is faced with foreclosure of his house and losing his dealership when his friend (Tim Roth) who runs the local strip club comes up with the idea of fixing the lotto (for a fee of course).

After this, all hell breaks loose and the movie falls apart a little. It is basically impossible to like the characters, but they are all you have to root for in the movie.

Kudrow gives a good performance as Crystal, as does Bill Pullman as the laziest policeman in America, but the rest of the cast seems to be gliding through on their weak charm.


Rated: PG-13

This film starring Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro, and Blythe Danner is a comic delight. Stiller is Greg a male nurse who heads to the home of his girlfriends parents for the wedding of her sister.

Everything that can go wrong does, from lost luggage, fires, missing animals, and some problems with a toilet and urn.

DeNiro and Stiller play off each other with comic precision, and Danner is refreshing as DeNiro's long-suffering wife.

This film will keep you laughing, sometimes uncontrollably, especially the unique proposal scene near the end.


Rated: R

This film stars Guy Pearce as a man who has no short term memory of anything that happens from the time his wife was found murdered which makes it very difficult for him to try and investigate this case.

Told in reverse order, it takes a little getting used too, and you may feel like your own memory is lacking, but the film pays off.

Carrie-Anne Moss is a mysterious bartender and Joe Pantoliano is his friend/enemy, good guy/bad guy depending on what memories Guy has at the moment.

He uses Polaroid’s and notes and numerous body tattoos to help him remember past events and it is fascinating to watch his daily rituals and struggles.

A great mystery that will keep you guessing.


Rated: R

This based-on-a-true-story film gets a headstart from its stars, Robert DeNiro as navy diver Master Chief Sunday, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Carl Brashear, the first black deep-sea diver in the U.S. Navy.

When Carl shows up for diving school in the 1950's he is rejected by almost everyone and is thrown obstacles at every turn. Against some very high odds he becomes a diver and goes on to have a distinguished career before being thrown another curve that at first glance would make you believe his navel career is over.

But Carl and Sunday form an unlikely partnership and try to overturn the navy's decision to retire Carl.

The movie also stars Charlize Theron as Sunday's younger wife and Hal Holbrook as a racist, naval commander who is very wary of germs.

This movie should be inspiring to almost everyone. .


Rated: R

Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt in a romantic comedy is a great idea. The not so great idea was having them together for only about 15 minutes of screen time.

Sam (Roberts) and Jerry (Pitt) are having relationship problems which Sam thinks can be cured by moving to Las Vegas now that Jerry has paid off his work-debt to the mob. But since Jerry bungled his last job, he still owes them one more and that is where the two part company, Sam to Vegas, and Jerry to Mexico to retrieve THE MEXICAN a silver pistol that may be cursed.

James Gandolfini steals the emotional heart of the movie as a gay hitman who kidnaps Sam to be sure Jerry will return with the pistol.

They both have their share of misadventures and the movie seems to drag a bit in a few places. The ending is satisfying, but like the rest of the film, could have used more time together with the two main characters.


Rated: PG-13

Sandra Bullock is a very unfeminine FBI agent and Benjamin Bratt is her partner. When someone is threatening to blow up the Miss United States Beauty Pageant (run by Candace Bergen and William Shatner), Mr. Vick (Michael Caine) is called in to turn "Dirty Harriet" into a beauty queen.

The transformation is remarkable and hilarious. There are plenty of funny moments and the story is satisfying.


Rated: PG-13

This musical starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor is a cross between the old musicals and an MTV video. Although the film is a little jarring at first, just hang in there and you will soon be enjoying the ride.

Kidman is Satine a courtesan at the Moulin Rouge and McGregor is Christian, a poor writer who has come to 1899 Paris to experience the Bohemian Revolution.

It is essentially a love triangle with Richard Roxburgh as the Duke who also covets Satine and has the financial resources to make her a real actress and who also holds the deeds to the Moulin Rouge.

Jim Broadbent as Harry Zidler, proprietor of the Moulin Rouge and John Leguizamo as legendary Teluc LeTrec round a great supporting cast.

The sets are dazzling, the music is great, and the story will enchant.


Rated: PG-13

Everyone from the original THE MUMMY returns for the sequel as well as a couple of notable additions. Brendan Fraser is again American Rick who has married Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) and has a young son Alex. John Hannah returns as Evy’s gambling-loving brother and Oded Fehr as the mysterious watcher over the tombs.

Arnold Vosloo and Patricia Velasquez return as the villains along with a brief appearance of The Rock as the Scorpion King.

This time Evy is having dreams, which prove to be scenes from her past life, and this gets the whole gang going into another rollicking adventure, which is just plain fun.

We see mummies of all shapes and sizes, breathtaking scenery, and a getaway on a double-decker bus in London.

Fun for the entire family.


Rated: PG-13

This film by the Coen Brothers is an amusing tale of three chain-gang escapees, led by George Clooney who are trying to stay a step ahead of the law in Mississippi in the 1930's.

Along the way they meet some strange characters played in unique Coen fashion by John Goodman (a one-eyed Bible salesman), Stephen Root (a blind radio station owner), Charles Durning (a mayoral candidate), and Holly Hunter (as Clooney's soon-to-be-wed) ex-wife.

The film has a good soundtrack of bluegrass and country. You'll come out of this film laughing and humming.


Rated: G

This sequel to 101 DALMATIONS is almost a mirror copy of the original, from the story about making a fur cape out of the puppies, to the budding love story of the dog lovers.

Glenn Close expertly reprises her role as Cruella DeVille, and she is joined by Gerard DePardou as Msr. Van Pelt, a criminal designer of illegal fur products

There is much slapstick comedy and the film should be enjoyable for all those under ten.


Rated: R

An impressive cast fail to deliver in what could have been a great screwball comedy. Jewel (Liv Tyler) dreams of a home of her own so much that she carries a scrapbook filled with pictures of what she will buy for it is at the center of a love triangle—quadrangle.

First there is her soon-to-be-dead boyfriend, Utah (Andrew Dice Clay), the bartender at McCools, Randy (Matt Dillon), Randy's lawyer cousin Carl (Paul Reiser), and the cop assigned to investigate Utah's death (John Goodman). There is also the hitman Randy hires to take out Jewel so he can get his life back (played by Michael Douglas).

Jewel will do anything to get herself a home and the contents desired and Randy becomes her unwilling partner and later victim.

The last ten minutes of this film are hilarious, but the bad part is you have to make your way through the first part.


Rated: R

Angeline Jolia is Julia Russell the mail-order bride that Luis (Antonia Banderas) has sent for in late 19th century Cuba.

They both have their secrets, but hers are much deeper and darker.

This film almost earned an NC-17, because of the steamy scenes between the newlyweds. They leave very little to the imagination.

After being betrayed by Julia, Luis looks for her, as a man possessed because he is obsessed with her.

There are a few for surprises for both of them along the way, and you never really know what Julia is up to.

The ending is unique, but plausible.


Rated: PG-13

This is a great movie to open on Memorial Day weekend and one that should be seen by everyone. Though the story focuses on to army flyers Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) and a nurse, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsdale), it shows through their story and others how America was awakened to our vulnerability on December 7, 1941.

America thought itself invincible to the war that was waging on the other side of the globe and our troops at that time weren’t that prepared for any real combat. Although some fought with the British, the vast majority were safe at home training for a day they thought would never come: our entry into World War II.

The actors are very believable in their roles of those who have their innocence smashed literally to bits by the Japanese Empire and in the way they rose in the confusion to fight as best they could.

Cuba Gooding as a navy cook/boxer turned machine-gunner and Alec Baldwin as Colonel Doolittle bring much in their roles as the first black soldier to win the Navy Cross and the leader of the bombing of Tokyo which turned the war around in our favor.

Jon Voight is also very believable as Franklin D. Roosevelt and does a very credible job delivering the speeches that are a part of so many peoples memories.

A must-see.


Rated: PG-13

This retooling of the 1968 movie starring Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and Michael Duncan stands on its own.

An astronaut crash lands on a planet where humans are enslaved and hunted by apes. While trying to be united with his ship, the astronaut (Wahlberg) is reluctantly persuaded to help some humans escape their captors.

Along the way Captain Davidson (Wahlberg) and the female ape Ari (Carter) a human rights activists learn more about each other and have an underlying sexual chemistry.

There are two twist endings, the second leaves more questions than it answers, but all in all it is a thought-provoking, entertaining film.


Rated: R

This action-drama starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan takes place in South America. A businessman is kidnapped (David Morse) and his wife (Ryan) enlists the help of professional negotiators (Crowe and David Caruso) to bring her husband back alive.

There are many setbacks along the way and you are moved both by her husbands will to survive and get back to her and by her taking charge of the situation (when most of the time in her past she has been affectionately referred to as the ditz.)

Caruso is great as Crowe's partner and the sexual tension between Crowe and Ryan is smoldering . There is a lot of action, drama, and emotion to keep this film rolling to the bittersweet end.


Rated: R

This film directed by Spike Lee is a look behind a comedy act one night in North Carolina. Doing their routines are D. L. Hughley, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. The bits are interwoven with candid shots of the audience and behind the scenes looks at how the performers spend their time and psyche themselves up for their shows.

There is plenty of raw language, so although it is very funny a times, I wouldn't suggest bring any children under 15.


Rated: PG-13

This movie stars Keven Spacey as Mr. Simonet, a 7th grade social studies teacher, Helen Hunt as Arlene, a waitress and single mom, and Haley Joel Osment as her son, Trevor.

Trevor is looking for a male role model and he seems to have found one in Eugene Simonet. Though terribly burned, Mr. Simonet shows confidence in his class and pushes his students to think. Trevor is inspired by one of the assignments, and tries to put the ideas in action in a unique form.

This leads to shock, laughter, and heartache. The story shows true raw emotions, and when it takes to heal and forgive and accept loss.

This story will stay with you long after you have left the theatre in shock and disbelief. after the unthinkable happens.



This movie is based on a true story of integration in the early 1970's in Virginia. The film stars Denzel Washington and Will Patton as the two coaches who are thrown together and are given the seemingly impossible job of making the newly formed TC Williams Titans integrated football team actually become a team.

The film accurately depicts the times through the actions of the characters, the dress, and music. It is very emotional at times, and you will laugh and cry along with the players as they try to find their place in this new arena they are thrown into.

Coach Boone (Washington) uses some unorthodox tactics in his coaching, but when everyone stops fighting one another long enough to become a team the film starts to gain its momentum..

It's a good film for all ages over six, but you may want to give a little history lesson first. Everyone can learn a lot about how far we have come and still have to go from this film.


Rated: PG-13

This story of a Midwestern girl with dreams of dancing at Julliard who is first confronted with the death of her mother and then having to move to the south side of Chicago with her musician father starts out as a fish-out-of-water tale. Sarah (Julia Stiles) is scared and alone (she hasn't had much of a relationship with her father) upon her arrival in Chicago. She makes a friend and becomes attracted to her Johns Hopkins-bound brother, Derek.

Derek and his sister introduce Sarah to the world of hip-hop and soon Derek and Sarah are spending much of their time together. This bothers many of Derek's black friends who do not want a white girl stealing one of their men.

As Derek and Sarah work together on her dancing for her delayed audition for Julliard, Derek is forced to decide between his loyalty to his neighborhood and his chance for a new life upon his acceptance to Julliard.

There is a hip-hop soundtrack and much emotional undertone, which help elevate this film from the predictable formula it could have sunk into.


Rated: R

This film by the Farley brother's opened with a bang, but you find yourself yawning through the middle hour and then end, although funny, hardly makes up for the middle.

They have a good cast including Heather Graham, Chris Klein, Sally Field, and Orlando Jones, but they seem to be scraping the bottom of the gross-out-humor barrel for this one.

SAY IT ISN'T SO should be titled SAY, DON'T GO!!!!!!


Rated: PG

This tale of a dog-hating mailman (David Arquette) who inherits an FBI dog who has a contract on his life by the mob was a surprising funny film that is great for the who family.

The humor is clever and Gordon (Arguette ) learns some life lessons as he becomes attached to the dog and his neighbors son who he is babysitting.

Through the many adventures with the dogs on his mail route, to the hitmen who are on the prowl for the dog, known as Agent 11 of the FBI, but later dubbed Spot but Gordon's young charge you will find yourself laughing and then laughing some more. Michael Clarke Duncan is excellent as the hard-nosed FBI agent who is emotionally attached to Agent 11 and cannot seem to connect with a fellow female officer because all he thinks about is the dog.

A good family film.


Rated: PG

This animated tale of an unlikely hero (an ogre voiced by Mike Myers) who is pressed into service by evil Prince Farquat (John Lithgow) to rescue Princess Fiona (Carmen Diaz) for him from a dragon so that the prince may marry her and become a real king.

Along for the journey is a donkey (hilariously done by Eddie Murphy) who is going to be Shrek's friend whether he wants one or not.

Farquat has banished all fairy tale characters to Shrek’s swamp and Shrek agrees to rescue the princess so that he may have his privacy back. Shrek does not count on falling for the princess, which makes him angry since he believes himself to be hideous and therefore unworthy of love.

The princess has a secret of her own and there is a lot of confusion on their journey back to Farquat’s castle.

This is a great movie for the entire family.


Rated: PG-13

This story about a girl, Jane (Ashley Judd) and the men who have done her wrong, the latest being her co-worker (Greg Kinnear) lacks the imagination and fire of the similar Bridgit Jone's Diary. Hugh Jackman does lend a likeability to the hound dog friend of Jane's who takes her in after she is dumped.

Jane comes up with a theory of why men are the way they are and invents a character to express these opinions in her friend's magazine.

There are some cute moments, but it never really catches fire.

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Rated: R

Pierce Brosnan plays the opposite of James Bond here and looks to have thoroughly enjoyed doing so. As British spy Andy Osnard, he is punished for past wrongdoings and given a last chance to find out information about the future of the Panama Canal.

He enlists the help of a fellow Brit with a past, a tailor to the rich and infamous of Panama, Harry Pendel. Pendel also has a Canal Zone raised wife who works for officials in the Panama Canal Company (Jamie Lee Curtis).

You never know who or what to believe, but the story becomes clear, but the ending is muddled. The three principal players are all sharp, witty, and devious, which does add to the intrigue.


Rated: PG-13

This political docudrama takes place in October of 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis between the United States and the USSR

Kevin Costner is Kenneith O'Donnell, friend and assistant to President John F. Kennedy (Bruce Greenwood) and his brother Bobby Kennedy (Steven Culp).

This movie shows the tension, the feelings of helplessness, and the chances that were taken to try and resolve this situation.

For all the instant communication that exists today, you see what the lack of that technology almost cost the U.S. and perhaps the world.

Greenwood is convincing as JFK, and there is a great supporting cast which includes Dylan Baker, Christopher Lawford (JFK's nephew), and Kevin Conway.

Though this movie is 2.5 hours long, it goes by quickly, and even though we know the outcome, it is quite engrossing.


Rated: R

This film about the breakup of two marriages after twenty years has no beginning, middle, or end. You never get to know these couples played by Diane Keaton, Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn, and Garry Shandling is just a mishmash of skits strung together as a film.

There is no character to really identify with or route for, they are all devious and self-centered.

The best part of this film is the scenery, from the Hamptons, Manhattan, rural Mississippi and Montana mountains. At least it was something to look at while the characters were whining about themselves.


Rated: R

This multi-layered ensemble piece is very eye opening and engrossing. You see three separate stories that don't as much intersect as touch boundaries with each other.

There is the newly appointed U.S. Drug Czar (Michael Douglas) who can't be bothered to notice that his 15-year old daughter is hooked on drugs.

There is the wealthy socialite (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whose husband has just been jailed as a major drug smuggler and the interesting challenges and choices facing her.

Then there is the story of fighting Mexican drug cartels with Benicio Del Torro as an honest cop.

There are many good supporting roles played by Dennis Quaid, Amy Irving, and Don Cheadle. An interesting study of the never-ending war on drugs


Rated: PG-13

This romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez as Mary, the perfect perfectionist in her chosen profession and in her life.

Matthew McConnaughy is Steve, a pediatrician that saves Mary's life and her heart. But Steve is engaged and Mary has been employed by his fiancée to plan the wedding.

There are the usual tensions, made worse to Mary because her father (Alex Rocco) has brought over a groom from Italy to marry Mary.

Joanna Gleeson and Charles Kimbrough bring laughs as the bride-to-be's newly rich, social-climbing parents.

A sweet film, but predictable.


Rated: PG-13

A movie with a cast that includes Martin Lawrence, Danny DeVito, and John Leguizamo should be very funny. After seeing this film. I would have settled for a small chuckle.

Lawrence is a thief who while robbing a millionaire (DeVito) has the tables turned and ends up being robbed the victim. This promising premise never really brings the film beyond the usual mundane action that can be seen in a thousand other films.

The actors seem to be walking their way through this film and don’t even look as if they are having a good time.

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