DreamMachineTeen Movie Critic - II is a Dream Machine Site
The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
Google
Teen Movie Critic

Home This Week's Reviews TV Reviews Radio Audio Clips Alphabetic Index Celebrity Interviews Hall of Flame Other Film Sites Feedback

Review of the day for the week of February 2, 1998.

Monday:
Vampire in Brooklyn

Vampire in Brooklyn
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Vampire in Brooklyn combines two of the best ingredients for a deliciously horrific vampire flick: Eddie Murphy, and lots of blood and gore.

Murphy plays Maximilian, a vampire searching for his soulmate, a half-vampire he expects to find in Brooklyn. In true vampire form, he acquires a zombie slave like Dracula's Renfield, and attacks many unsuspecting people. At one point, he reaches into the chest of a gangster and rips out his still-beating heart. (Amazingly enough, this is one of the most ridiculously entertaining scenes in the movie.)

The best scene, however, is when Maximilian poses as his latest victim, a preacher, and as you can imagine, this is hilarious. He swears loudly and preaches a sermon on why evil is necessary, and exposes several "sinners" who are members of the church.

This movie is low on intelligence and high on stupidity, yet it's amusing. And Murphy actually pulls off a decent acting job, considering the ridiculousness of his role.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Tuesday:
Deep Rising

Deep Rising
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Perhaps Deep Rising isn't the most original horror movie ever made, nor even the most original in the special effects department, but that doesn't stop it from being entertaining.

The plot is pretty basic: A group of hijackers discover that the ship they're looting is apparently deserted, except for a fellow crook and your typical huge, slimy monster. One by one, they become meals for the monster. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner...how can the few survivors escape without becoming a midnight snack?

The special effects look like a rip-off from the "Alien" movies, which isn't bad as they were very high-tech and impressive. The acting is about as well portrayed as possible - for an action/horror movie. One particularly dumb hijacker provides comic relief, an essential for intense thrillers such as this, and while not terribly innovative, this is still a good choice if you're looking for a nice, brainless scare.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Wednesday:
Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Although he is better known for his The Naked Gun movies, I think Leslie Nielson is actually funnier - if that's possible - in Dead and Loving It, an uproariously entertaining comedy.

Yes, Nielson is Dracula, he is dead - undead, actually- and he sure does love it. And so do I. One funny scene follows another in a hysterical display of sheer, glorious stupidity.

The story takes place in 1897. Of course Dracula has Renfield, his faithful slave, and of course he drinks blood. Unfortunately, the friends of his latest victim, Lucy, begin to suspect something is wrong with her. So, they call in a rather unorthodox doctor - supposedly he's an expert on rare diseases - who decides that yes, it must be the work of a vampire. (Did they teach that stuff in medical school back then?) Uh-oh, they're on Dracula's trail! The good doctor sets up traps for Dracula, including filling Lucy's room with garlic, and trying to catch him in front of a mirror (vampires have no reflection). This results in some side-splitting events, but the best scene actually has nothing to do with Dracula. It involves the doctor performing an autopsy, and all ten medical students fainting.

Another hilarious scene involves the doctor instructing a concerned friend of the now vampiric Lucy to put a stake through her heart. The friend winds up soaked in blood but the doctor doesn't because, as he puts it, he "knows where to stand".

If you don't have a sense of humor, you may find Nielson's brand of comedy hard to take and you'll want to skip this video. However, I for one laughed so hard I almost died, pardon the pun, and I loved it, pardon the second pun.

My Rating = Four Stars

Rent


Thursday:
Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Desperate Measures is an exceptionally well - plotted and original thriller. I got the impression that the plots of the two popular TV dramas NYPD Blue and ER had been thrown together and this was the result - but that's not a bad thing.

The only thing Desperate Measures is really missing is George Clooney, but that's forgiven because instead we get a gutsy female doctor (Marcia Gay Harden) who helps outwit escaped killer Pete McCabe (Michael Keaton). McCabe was temporarily released from prison so he could donate his bone marrow to Matt, the critically ill son of police officer Frank Connor (Andy Garcia). Naturally the only reason he agrees is so he can attempt to make an escape, which he accomplishes in grand style. Now he's got the whole police force after him, but of course Connor doesn't want McCabe shot down, because then his bone marrow would be useless. I like the idea of a cop trying to catch a criminal without using a gun - when was the last time you saw that in a movie?

Of course Connor does resort to much other violence, including a ridiculously elaborate car chase resulting in a huge pileup. Throw in an explosion or two at the hospital, and you've got some great action sequences. Apparently Connor doesn't care how many people die, just as long as his son receives the transplant and lives.

At times Keaton is rather amusing as a killer, while Harden is much more impressive in her role as Matt's doctor than she was as Robin Williams' girlfriend in his recent dull comedy Flubber. Andy Garcia and the other actors also provide sincere performances, and while I noticed several inaccuracies in this film, I found it highly entertaining. Warning: This movie contains action scenes which may raise your blood pressure. View with caution!

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Friday:
The Pallbearer

The Pallbearer
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
David Schwimmer stars in this inventive, if silly comedy about - what else? - a pallbearer.

Schwimmer plays 19 year old Tom Thompson, who receives a call letting him know that Bill Abernathy is dead. And who is Bill Abernathy? Tom has no idea! Still, he agrees to be a pallbearer and even to give the eulogy. Meanwhile, he runs into Julie (Gwyneth Paltrow), a former high school crush whom he never really got over. Looks like as good a time as ever for Tom to ask her out, but it seems that it isn't such a good time for Julie, who plans to take off with no definite destination to do some soul searching. Tom also has an affair with Bill's mother (remember the dead guy!), who becomes incredibly jealous after seeing him with Julie. He also has fights with two of his good friends. What a mess he's in now!

I have to give the writers kudos for coming up with such a new premise for a movie. Also, it's not one of those movies where the end is ridiculously apparent - it keeps you wondering about who Bill was, why his mother thought to call Tom, and what Julie's problems are.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Saturday:
Great Expectations

Great Expectations
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Handsome Ethan Hawke's last endeavor, Gattaca, left me rather unimpressed , but Great Expectations changed my opinion of his acting.

Great Expectations opens with Hawke's character Finnegan Bell still in childhood, an orphan whose uncle is paid to send him to visit a dotty old woman (Anne Bancroft) and her ten year old niece, Estella (Raquel Beaudene). Of course he has a crush on her niece, although she snubs him. Eventually, she leaves to attend college abroad, and Finn becomes bitter and disillusioned. Seven years later, however, a mysterious benefactor pays his way to New York to become an artist, a dream that he gave up years earlier. As romance movies go, he runs into Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is now engaged to someone else. That doesn't stop her from stirring up their old romance though.

The acting is wonderful, and the movie is well plotted. Having originally been written in the eighteen hundreds (I never could get into any of Charles Dickens' books) and recently revised for the movies, it has a silly, fairy tale element, but that can be forgiven. The movie is too unrealistic to be taken very seriously, and fortunately a few comical scenes were provided as well.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Sunday:
The Silence of the Hams

The Silence of the Hams
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
So I walk into the video store in a hurry. I'd like to be home in time to catch Home Improvement, so I'm simultaneously trying to eat a veggie sandwich and pick out some videos at the same time - and fast. Recalling that someone recommended Silence of the Lambs, I hunt it down, grabbing a copy from the shelf the second I see it without glancing twice at the box.

As it turns out, I got the "rip-off-from" version, Silence of the Hams, and I still have no idea whether or not Silence of the Lambs lives up to its hype. However, the rip-off is pretty amusing, considering that I never saw the film it was ripping off!

Actually, it seemed more like a rip-off of Psycho - a secretary steals money from her boss and runs away to the "Cemetery Motel", run by a Norman Bates type creep. Her boyfriend, who happens to be an FBI agent named Jo Dee Fostar follows, along with her sister, who looks like Marilyn Monroe. There are many hilarious mishaps, and a cameo by John Astin, better known as the head of the Adams Family (which is also mimicked in this film).

But the best part doesn't come until the end, when almost everyone pulls off a mask and turns out to be someone else. This is sheer comic genius. And the acting turns out to be rather good for a movie with such a silly premise.

So I never did get to see Silence of the Lambs, but I did get to see a hysterically amusing film . Next time I will tear my attention away from my sandwich long enough to be sure I get the right movie, though.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Back to Home Page
The Dream Machine --- Network Services
Gypsy's Photo Gallery

Cerzan

...the best independent ISP in the Twin Cities