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Reviews for the week of June 11, 2001.

Monday:
Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward
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Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment shine in this awe-inspiring film about a young boy's plan to change the world. Helen Hunt is Arlene, a cocktail waitress who's son wants to change the world because he sees it as a horrible place; his mom is an alcoholic who was in an abusive relationship, and now has to work two jobs to support her son, his teacher is a burn victim, and he seems to be all alone. Kevin Spacey plays his teacher, and gives the class an assignment: to change the world. While most kids go for the usual, recycle, clean graffiti business; Trevor (Osment) goes for the real deal....he comes up with an idea to "Pay it Forward". His idea is that he will help three people in big ways, something that they can't do for themselves. And all he asks for in return is for them to Pay it Forward, and do the same for three more people.

The WHOLE cast is terrific, Helen Hunt's character had a much harder edge to it that her normal characters, which was surprisingly refreshing. This is a very dark movie, and is also very sad, but the point of the movie is that you can make a diffrence, but sometimes life just sneaks up on you, and gets you when you least expect it. It is not a feel-good movie, despite what some may have hoped for...but I ask, how can you think it's gonna be a fun, happy movie when Kevin Spacey's face looks like that? I mean, come on, people, get a clue! Anyway, yes the film is a very dark drama, but is absolutely wonderful. It is very sad, but if you're going to make a drama, it might as well be one that almost makes you cry, right?

My sole complaint is the music...I mean, what did the composer do, write one queue and just repeat it throughout the film? Now I've seen movies where they repeat one piece over and over, things like the theme in Brazil, but this was just pushing the limit...I mean, I'm not sure if I heard any scene, containing music, that wasn't that piece! He should NOT have gotten away with that, they paid him a lot of money, and all he did was write one queue, and then sit and do nothing!!

My Rating = Four Stars

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Friday:
The Godfather

The Godfather
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Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is head of the New York Mafia Family. When a gangster supported by the Sollozzo Mob family tells Don Vito of his plan to start selling narcotics around New York, Don Corleone is disguisted. Don Vito hates the idea of drugs, and believes "drugs are a dirty business". He wishes to continue the gambling and protection services that made him his riches. The gangster is outraged, and an attempt is made on the Don's life. Sollozzo then kidnaps one of his advisors (Robert Duvall) and tries to get him to force Don's son Sonny to agree to let him sell drugs, but the plan goes wrong when he finds out Don Corleone is still alive. We truly start the story when Don Vito's son Michael (Al Pacino), who was previously uninvolved in the family business, takes over in his father's absence...

Mob movies don't get better than this, in fact, films in general don't get better than this. The film runs three hours, but it doesn't seem like it when you're watching it. Although Marlon Brando gets all the credit, Pacino steals the show. After all, Brando has only about 20-30 minutes screen-time, tops! That's 30 minutes out of three hours!! Anyhow, the acting, sets, dialogue are all as good as you can get. Pacino is wonderful, as always. You can definitely see why The Godfather won 1972's "Best Picture". Full of rich dialogue, breathtaking sets and beautiful acting, Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece will be one you'll never forget.

My Rating = Four Stars

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