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Reviews for the week of January 24, 2000.

Monday:
Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted
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Girl, Interrupted is an intriguing movie about mental asylums in the 1960's.

Winona Ryder does an extraordinary job of playing Susannah, a young woman with a questionable "borderline" personality disorder. Sent to a mental hospital at age eighteen, she makes friends with the other girls - most of whom are far less sane than Susannah.

One of Susannah's friends is a loud, wild, and amusing girl named Lisa (Angelina Jolie). (According to her hospital file, she's a psychotic sociopath.) Lisa enjoys "pushing buttons" - at one point, she provokes a newly released patient to commit suicide. (Of course the girl was probably suicidal anyway, and might have done it at a later date if not provoked then, but Lisa pushed her over the edge.)

Girl, Interrupted reminded me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, another fascinating movie about mental hospitals. Lisa is very similar to Jack Nicholson's R. P. MacMurphy of Cuckoo's Nest, in that she shakes up the hospital and causes trouble. Both movies were original and well-written, although the endings - for some characters - were tragic.

Audio VersionI also enjoyed the cast of Girl, Interrupted. While Angelina Jolie is a perfect "crazy" Lisa, and Winona Ryder is enormously convincing as Susannah, Whoopi Goldberg is impressive as a nurse who clashes with Susannah on a few occasions.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Friday:
Supernova

Supernova
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Oh wow, it's the TV show ER meets the Alien and Star Trek movies - Supernova.

Angela Bassett plays Kayla, a futuristic spaceship doctor who never smiles. She is especially unfriendly towards the ship's captain, a recovering "Hazon" addict. (Whatever Hazon is supposed to be.) Apparently Kayla's ex-boyfriend Luke Carlson was a Hazon addict and she's still bitter toward him.

And that's when they get an emergency rescue call - from none other than Old Boyfriend himself. After a risky hyper jump, Kayla and the crew rescue Luke - and a strange "artifact" he mined from an abandoned planet. This strange, semi-solid, glow-in-the-dark object turns out to be a space age bomb. Yet its other qualities have turned Luke into even more of a creep than he was originally. (Evidently, he's a half-alien, half-human monster.)

Supernova is a silly, unrealistic, ridiculous sci-fi film. It is also rated PG-13, which means it couldn't possibly have enough action and bloodshed to interest anyone past the age of ten. Heaven forbid Supernova should have to survive on plot alone - it is severely deficient in plot and scripting.

Audio VersionBasically, Supernova is a rip-off of several far superior sci-fi films - and a poor imitation at that.

My Rating = One Star

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