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Reviews for the week of January 15, 2001.

Tuesday:
Dracula 2000

Dracula 2000
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Although Wes Craven has produced superior movies in the past (Scream, for example), Dracula 2000 is still a captivating movie for horror fans.

The plot is basically yet another version of Dracula (you'd think he was the only vampire ever written about), with modern twists. A rich old man guards Dracula's coffin - he keeps it buried deep in an ultra-protected vault. Too bad his enterprising and scheming employees manage to break into the vault.

Of course, they weren't expecting to find a vampire in the coffin - I think cash and other valuable assets were the main treasure they expected to find! At any rate, they finally open the tightly locked coffin and unleash -guess who, it's everybody's favorite vampire!- Dracula.

As you might surmise, Dracula escapes and starts drinking blood - wow, who would have expected him to do that? He also searches for the rich old man's daughter, who he wants to transform into a vampire. (Why didn't they just make this movie Bride of Dracula? Hey, it worked for Frankenstein.)

The stupidity of the characters provides good comic relief. At one point, a character we'll call "Einstein" sticks his head all the way down into the coffin so he can get a better look at the rotting corpse of Dracula. Is it any wonder leeches leap into his eyes and Dracula suddenly attacks Einstein?

Don't take my sarcastic criticism of Dracula 2000 the wrong way - I enjoyed this movie. Hey, horror movies were never meant to be realistic - although originality would be nice. As I mentioned earlier, the script's lack of intelligent characters or scenes makes for good comedy. In spite of its few flaws, I have to recommend Dracula 2000 for horror fans.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
Family Man

The Family Man is hardly original (it's a modern It's a Wonderful Life, need I say more?) but I'll say this: It sure is predictable. Oh, wait, that's not a good point either. Hmm... There's got to be something entertaining in this movie - after all, they only spent a fortune promoting it...Wait, I've got it: Nicholas Cage is the star.

Now, I'm not saying The Family Man stinks - except for that diaper- changing scene. (Note to producers - the audience does not need to see so much of that dirty diaper, thanks. Don't they realize some people eat Milk Duds while they watch movies?) Cage is a terrific actor, and Family Man has some very laughable scenes. Doubtlessly it's doing well at the box office - but honestly, Family Man just doesn't have that flair that most blockbusters do.

Surprise, surprise! Cage plays a successful man who gets a "glimpse" of what his life could have been like - had he taken his girlfriend's advice thirteen years earlier and married her - instead of running to school in London. Instead of a rich Wall Street executive, he could have been a middle class family man (there's a shocker).

I liked the comic relief bits, and certainly enjoyed watching Nicholas Cage. Regardless, Family Man was uninspired and uninteresting in plot, and eventually grew tedious. I saw the end coming before I even saw the previews, and I don't have my own "psychic friends" 900 number. The best I can say for Family Man is: Nice try, but not quite.

My Rating = Two Stars

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