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Reviews for the week of June 25, 2001.

Monday:
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
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Guy Ritchie's first film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a marvelous movie about four friends in the crime underworld of east London. Cardshark Eddy (Nick Moran) and his buddies Bacon (Jason Statham), Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Tom (Jason Flemyng) decide to seat Eddy at a high-standards card table with an underworld boss called "Hatchet" Harry. So when Eddy looses half a million pounds, Harry gives Eddy a week to come up with the money. So the four plan a caper that will enable them to pay off Harry and collect a generous amount of cash. Full of surprises, twists and laughs, this is a film you won't forget.

I've heard people complain that this movie isn't funny because only the English will get the jokes...these are the people who consider "Dude Where's My Car?" a quality film. Now I know many non-anglophiles (unlike myself) who adore this movie. It combines fast-paced action with side-splitting comedy and the result is a simply awesome film. Although there is a lot of violence, it is surprisingly done very tastefully, the most violent shoot-out in the movie isn't even shown. All in all, it brews down to this: Action, comedy and crime, resulting in a hilarious, face-paced melee...what more could you ask for?

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
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The long-awaited prequel to Lucas's masterpiece trilogy failed to recreate the magic of it's proceeders. It follows the path of young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), who of course, is destined to become everyone's favorite helmeted villain - Darth Vader. And of course, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is back and younger than ever, and although Ewan McGregor is a good actor, he alone can't save this film.

Okay, so in all honesty now, did ANYBODY like this movie? Aside from the kind of people that just like EVERY movie? I saw it six times in the theater; the first times desperately trying to enjoy it....I mean it IS Star Wars...at least that's what Lucas wants us to believe. But no avail, so the next four times I saw it purely to poke fun at it's stupidity. Okay, well, George Lucas has NEVER been able to direct people, and we know that, and it didn't matter in the trilogy because Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were good actors. But Jake Llyod... and it isn't even the acting! A weak story, shallow dialogue, atrocious acting, bad directing yet again, and of course, Jar-Jar....the only thing ever more annoying than the Ewoks. Don't kid yourself - this movie isn't worth the film it's on.

My Rating = One Star

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Friday:
Way of the Gun

Way of the Gun
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Third film by the writer of The Usual Suspects, Way of the Gun follows the antics of two petty criminals, who kidnap a woman being paid $1 million to be a surrogate mother to a wealthy couple. The duo demand money from the couple, and are greeted by several henchmen. Their crime eventually leads them to Mexico, where bullets fly and pointlessness ensues. Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro star.

The third film by the writer of The Usual Suspects is a disgrace to cinema. The story, first of all, is admittedly dumb, and it would take a genius to pull it off. Basically it's a lot of action; stupid dialogue (of what little dialogue there is). Predictable 'plot twists' and shallow dialogue. Now a lot of things don't seem to make any sense; and they had a bunch of side stories that never went anywhere. First off: The aristocrat's wife's lovers...they had a little bit of that, and it just disappeared, there was no point whatsoever, it had no meaning and was ultimately unimportant to the film. Second: The wealthy man and the doctor being brothers. It also had no point, and didn't go anywhere. Third: Ryan Phillippe's character and the pregnant woman's little love thing. There were subtle hints of romance, but it went nowhere, it was for about once scene in the movie, and the next she was shooting at him?! Last: Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro's characters seemed to be unnecessarily angry at one another. They barely spoke the whole movie, and when they did they said little, and acted rather...cold. Kind of high-and-mighty and I-don't-want-to-talk-to-you if you will. The only time they seemed to enjoy each other's company was at the end, when they both died...the only good scene in the movie. Now there was a lot more but I don't want to waste any more time thinking about this crime against humanity.

My Rating = One Star

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