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Teen Movie Critic

Reviews for the week starting on April 15, 1996

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MOVIES ON VIDEO

Before I begin with the reviews, I'd like to say a few words. As some of you may have noticed, a few weeks back, before the Oscars, I had predicted Apollo 13 to be the winner of best picture. However, I'd like to confess that I had not seen any of the other nominees and that I did not see any of them until about three days before the Awards. However, after seeing all the nominees, I not only think that Braveheart was a better movie, but I thought that ALL the other nominees were better than Apollo 13. Plus, I conducted an interview with KARE-11 about my Oscar predictions, and all of them came true. I did think that Susan Sarandon and Nicholas Cage would win their Oscars, as well as Mel Gibson and his film, Braveheart. I just want to say that I've learned not to predict things without getting the facts straight. I sincerely apologize for the mistake. Now, on with the show!!!

Braveheart (1995)

Braveheart
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This year's winner for best picture of 1995, the story of the Scottish revolt against the British really deserves that award. Mel Gibson stars as William Wallace, the Scottish peasant who lead the revolt, because of the killing of his wife, and the slaughtering of his people. The massive revolt seems to succeed for awhile, until the Scottish noblemen that had promised to help Wallace betray him and abandon his army, just when they need them the most.

Gibson's directing and acting are superb, as is the screenplay by Randall Wallace and the beautiful Oscar-winning cinematography. It's also helped by spectacular battle scenes and a strong supporting cast. Among them, Angus McFayden as Robert the Bruce, the sometime foe of Wallace, Sophie Marceau as the french princess who falls in love with Wallace, and most especially Patrick McGoohan as the diabolical King Edward. All these elements make up for what should truly be the best picture of 1995.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Magical Mystery Tour
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Sadly, there isn't much that's magical or mystical about this tour. Think what it would be like if Ed Wood directed a Beatles TV special. That's what you get with this totally mindnumbing music video from the Fab Four. The incomprehensible story revolves around the Beatles journey through the countryside on a multi-colored tour bus, while we the viewers wait for something to happen. Nothing does.

Bad editing, cinematography, story and humor. None of the things that made the Beatles' first two films enjoyable. This was highly (and rightfully) criticized world-wide. You'd think the songs would redeem it somewhat, but the sound quality is so terrible, you'd think you were listening to an old record. Alas, the Fab Four tend to be even less interesting then the story. You could say that this was the first music video, but that's about the only thing going for it these days.

My Rating = One Star

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National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (1993)

National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1
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Dumb, dumber and dumbest is the only way to describe this so-called spoof of standard cop-buddy films. The plot, if you even care to hear about it, has Emilio Estevez trying to outdo his brother Charlie Sheen, in the much funnier Hot Shots and Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction trying to put on his best Danny Glover imitation. Both fail miserably. What's more, William Shatner is preposterous as the bad guy, once again proving that he can't act outside of Star Trek, and most certainly can't do comedy. The movie tries to be in the same league as Airplane! and Top Secret, but doesn't hold a candle to either of them. The performers seem uncomfortable doing the strained humor, especially non-talent Kathy Ireland in one of her typical lame-brained characters. Rent some of the early Zucker Bros. films. You'll feel much better after watching a couple of those films.

My Rating = One Star

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Babe (1995)

Babe
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A charming family film from down under, Babe is the story of a talking pig, that becomes, through many harrowing adventures, the hero of a small farm and the sheep-pig for the kind-hearted Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell). Babe is a very touching fable which deals subtly with the prejudices of the everyday world. What is most amazing is that, like Watership Down, you actually care for the animals in the film and you think of them as human actors, rather than animal actors. Cromwell is quite good, even though he plays second fiddle to the pig. His heartfelt performance as Hoggett is certainly worthy of some kind of award, if not from the Academy. Everything about this film, including the incredible special effects and wonderful story, make this truly the feel good movie of the year, and possibly the decade.

My Rating = Four Stars

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