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Reviews for the week of September 3, 2001.

Monday:
Chasing Amy

Chasing Amy
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Chasing Amy is not your typical romantic comedy (I mean, it's Kevin Smith!). The movie centers around Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck), a comic book artist who lives with his long-time friend and business partner, Banky Edwards (Jason Lee). The film opens in a comic book convention where the two are signing autographs.

At the convention, Holden meets Alyssa Jones, another comic book author. Alyssa, Holden, Banky and their friend Hooper go to a club that night...where Holden finds himself attracted to Alyssa. She's sweet, pretty, clever, funny...but he soon finds out the one thing he never even considered...she's gay.

Well it was a very well-made film, a lot of the movie was kinda sick. Kevin Smith may be witty, but he also seems to be quite perverted.

SPOILERS! The refreshing thing about this film was how it seems to... again, lifelike. Not like your typical Hollywood fairytale. For instance, when Banky comes into his apartment to find Holden and Alyssa in bed together, his reaction is pure shock...he drops his drink, stares for a moment and quickly exits. It's not this long drawn-out ordeal, like in most pictures.

Now.....as for the ending. I've heard a lot of complaints about it, but even after it kind of made me uneasy, I wasn't that bothered by it. When he sat down with his best friend and his girlfriend and told them that the only thing he thought they could do to get along was to all sleep together. Now that was just REALLY weird...it freaked me out. Then...Alyssa breaks down into tears and leaves Holden.

A year later, Holden appears at a comic book convention again. It seems his comic is continuing without him, only Banky was working on it then. He sees Alyssa and gives her a copy of his new comic "Chasing Amy". Now it's really not made apparent who 'got together' with who, if anyone did. I was rather confused, but that's just how life is sometimes...

Well since it IS a romance movie, you did have a lot of the sappy dialogue, but it still was pretty clever. Although perhaps the best thing about the film was the appearance of Jay & Silent Bob. Looking past the vulgarity, good performances by the actors, good directing, and clever lines make this a film worth seeing.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Wednesday:
Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl
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One of my obsessions in life being the fabulous Monty Python, I decided to do their most obscure film as my first review of their work.

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is their fourth of five films. Basically it's a recording of a three-night show they performed in 1982 at the exquisite Hollywood Bowl. The troupe performs a lot of their classic skits from the series (The Argument Clinic, The Ministry of Silly Walks, Whizzo Chocolate Company, The Lumberjack song, etc.) and a handful of hysterical original ones. They also perform classic songs and skits that before had only been released on their records (i.e. - The Bruce's Philosopher Song, Four Yorkshire Men).

Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and John Cleese give wonderful Pythonesque performances, along with special guest stars Carol Cleveland and Neil Innes (who performs some special treats for us Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band lovers, when he sings "I'm the Urban Spaceman" and "How Sweet to be an Idiot").

Now....as big as of a Python fan I am (the biggest, in short) I do have my LONE complaint. In the series Monty Python's Flying Circus, in their first film And Now For Something Completely Different and on the records, Michael Palin sang the famed "Lumberjack Song"...however... in Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Eric Idle sings it. We love you Eric, but, that song was just meant for Michael to sing!

Other than that rather minor complaint, I have no reason to say anything other than absolute praise about this film. It's hysterical, by far one of the funniest films I've ever seen. Python has done it again!

Never-ending satire and beautiful plumage, this is a film for any Python fan. It could very well be my favorite of the lot.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Friday:
Drop Dead Gorgeous

Drop Dead Gorgeous
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This comedy stars Kristen Dunst as a high-school girl in a small Minnesota town. Her goal is to win this year's annual beauty pagent. It follows her around as all of the sudden, contestants start dying mysteriously. Falling lights, trailer fires, explosions, etc. The police seem pretty relaxed about it....

Well what can you expect from Kristen Dunst? It's not exactly as if she has the best acting record... Aside from her mundane performance, this film actually did have some funny moments. Overall the film was pretty stupid, but there was an occasional laugh or two.

The movie was pretty mediocre, so-so performances, corny dialouge and not-so-brilliant directing. Despite all these flaws, it still managed to be somewhat entertaining...albiet extremely stupid.

The film takes on the same "mockumentary" style as such films as: Waiting For Guffman, This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and The Rutles: All You Need is Cash. It's a very interesting style of film, and I would enjoy seeing more movies made in this fashion.

Not a complete waste of time, yet not exactly worth paying for. A couple of laughs, but mostly pretty stupid.

My Rating = Two Stars

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