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Reviews for the week of March 13, 2000.

Monday:
Boiler Room

Boiler Room
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Boiler Room is a grim but also somewhat laughable movie.

Giovanni Ribisi portrays Seth, a recent college dropout who runs a gambling operation in his apartment. Until he finds a better racket, that is.

Yes, Seth moves up in the world - he takes a job as a stock salesman in a backward brokerage. His boss, Jim Young (Ben Affleck), encourages Seth to make as many sales as possible, in order to become a millionaire in no time. Soon Seth is skillfully swindling people (although for a while he thinks it's honest money).

Meanwhile, Seth becomes involved with the office secretary (Nia Long), and attempts to work out some family problems. (His father disapproves of Seth's little casino.)

Boiler Room isn't thrilling, but it is fairly entertaining. However, some of the scenes were overdone - Seth keeps whining about how his father slapped him when he broke his leg and became hysterical as a ten-year-old. Towards the end, he and dear old dad have a heart-to-heart and Dad starts whining and crying about how helpless he felt when Seth broke his leg.

Cry me a river. Come on, it was just a broken leg. It's not like the kid was dying of cancer or something. They don't need to spend half the movie emoting on this point.

Audio VersionI did enjoy the humorous scenes where Seth and other brokers go all-out trying to make sales. And whining aside, most of the characters were interesting and more or less likeable.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
Drowning Mona

Drowning Mona
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What do you do when a woman hated by everyone is murdered? After all, you've got suspects aplenty. Danny DeVito plays a small-town sheriff faced with this dilemma in Drowning Mona, a fairly funny comedy/mystery.

Bette Midler plays Mona, the recently murdered generally despised woman.

The suspects: DeVito's daughter (Neve Campbell), who wants to celebrate when she learns Mona is dead; Campbell's fiance, whose landscaping business with Mona's son would be much more pleasurable - and profitable- without Mona. Let's not forget that Mona's husband was cheating on her with a waitress (Jamie Lee Curtis), so they both become suspects too. Mona's only son also hated his dear old mom - another suspect.

Audio VersionThe mystery was intriguing, but Drowning Mona wasn't quite as laughable as expected. Some scenes were comical, but the best part was the previews. The acting is, for the most part, convincing, and the cast is talented.

My Rating = Three Stars

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