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Review of the day for the week of March 1, 1999.

Monday:
Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker
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Hailed in its advertisement to be "the best teen movie since Heathers", Jawbreaker failed to impress me. (I never saw Heathers, but Jawbreaker was awful.)

Courtney Shane (Rose McGowan) is an incredibly vain and snooty high school beauty who "rules the school with terror". As a prank, Rose and two friends kidnap a fourth friend, gagging her with a jawbreaker candy. Soon enough, when they open the trunk of the car (where they've stored her) they discover she has choked to death. Apparently it never occurred to them that this might happen. The more they try to cover up their predicament, the more things start going down the toilet.

From this point on, the movie continues going downhill.

If this is supposed to be a teen movie, then it's vastly insulting to the intelligence of any teen that views it. Not only was Jawbreaker unrealistic and foolish, it wasn't even interesting to watch. McGowan's stuck up attitude became an annoyance, and the other characters weren't much fun to watch, either.

My Rating = One Star

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Tuesday:
The Other Sister

The Other Sister
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The Other Sister is a marvelous movie. When I went to a recent sneak preview, the very small theatre was packed! No seats available!

Juliette Lewis portrays Carla, a mildly retarded young woman of about eighteen or twenty. Having recently graduated from her school for mentally challenged people, she now wants to attend a "real school". She also wants to get her own apartment. Her mother, wonderfully portrayed by Diane Keaton, is reluctant to let Carla make so many major changes. Eventually, she gives in. Meanwhile, Carla meets Danny, a boy with similar problems, at school and soon their relationship becomes serious. This worries Carla's mother even more.

The Other Sister is a thoroughly entertaining, terrific movie. All the actors are excellent, especially Lewis, and the film was marvelously plotted. This movie has humor, romance, and all the elements of a wonderful film. It also focuses heavily on Carla's relationship with her mother, while there are subplots about her sisters. (One is getting married and brings her fiance home to mom and dad, while the other is a lesbian and wants her new girlfriend to meet the family.) I loved The Other Sister and highly recommend it.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Brewster's Millions

Brewster's Millions
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Brewster's Millions is a capricious film starring Richard Pryor as an unlikely millionaire.

Well, almost. His great-grandfather has recently died, leaving three hundred million dollars to Brewster (Pryor). There's just one catch (there always is): Brewster must spend thirty million dollars in only a month if he wants to get his hands on the rest of the loot. If not, he can just take one million and kiss the rest goodbye. However, if he tries and fails to spend thirty million in a month, he gets nothing.

Brewster decides to go for it, and therefore goes on a wild spending spree. He can't have any assets by the end of the thirty days, so he has to squander all his money on huge parties, various services (he hires his best friends to basically do nothing), and renting expensive things.

It's quite evident how Brewster's Millions will turn out, but getting to the end is a fun ride. All the characters are quite facetious, and Brewster's Millions was a pleasant, if not intellectually stimulating, film to watch.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
Little Voice

Little Voice
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Little Voice is a splendid, enjoyable movie. LV, or Little Voice (Jane Horrocks), is nicknamed solely because she has a little voice (in fact, she seldom speaks at all). However, she constantly listens to old records from the fifties, including many Broadway numbers, and sings them to herself. Amazingly, she sounds exactly like the singers that she is imitating, down to the last detail. Obviously, she is quite talented.

Unfortunately, she in also quite inhibited, thanks to her loud, screechy, overbearing mother. When Mom's new boyfriend, a producer, becomes interested in LV's singing talent, mommy dearest is madly jealous. He convinces her that LV's talent could make them all rich, so she goes along with plans to make LV a star, at least for the time being. (LV, on the other hand, is terribly shy, and it takes an enormous amount of convincing to get her to sing on stage - in front of an audience.)

Little Voice was a superbly done film, and deserves its Oscar nominations. The acting was wonderful, the characters had depth, and the plot had a fast pace. In addition to the humor, watching LV lavishly imitate so many different singers was not only amazing, but impressive. Also, mommy dearest - and boyfriend - both get what they deserve in the end, so justice is served.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Friday:
Gods and Monsters

Gods and Monsters
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No matter what role he's in, Brendan Fraser always seems to have a perpetually dumb look on his face. That was okay (although not particularly useful) for films like George of the Jungle and Blast from the Past. But it's completely out of place in his role in Gods and Monsters.

Fraser plays a young man who trims lawns in a wealthy neighborhood. One of his clients is an aged former director, whose resume includes the Frankenstein films. He is obviously gay, but it takes Fraser half the movie to figure that out - and then he doesn't even figure it out, but the man's maid informs him. (I thought it was pretty blatant when the old man asked to paint Fraser's portrait, then asked him to take off his shirt.)

Gods and Monsters was quite tedious and tiresome. I couldn't get past Fraser in a role that didn't involve him walking into a tree or something equally dumb. Not that I think another actor would have had luck with such a decrepitly slow script - but it certainly didn't help.

My Rating = Two Stars

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