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 March 16, 1998.

Monday:
The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
The Man in the Iron Mask is a long, tedious mess starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who struts around in a powdered wig and does a nauseating impression of a French accent. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing DiCaprio; I loved him in Titanic. But when you put him and the other actors in such ridiculous roles, with such pathetic lines, you take away their ability to do a good job!

DiCaprio plays young King Louis XIV, of sixteenth century France. He also plays Louis' twin brother, Phillipe, who was sent away at birth because their father didn't want them feuding over who would one day rule the kingdom. When Phillipe began to bear a striking resemblance to the king, he was kidnapped, forced into an iron mask, and thrown into prison so his identity could be kept a secret. Now, some of the king's men have become traitors, and to get back at him, they have released kind-hearted Phillipe and plan to replace Louis with him.

Handsome DiCaprio should have stuck to past-era setting films that contain more excitement and romance - like Titanic. Even he couldn't save THIS sinking ship of a movie.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Tuesday:
Twilight

Twilight
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Twilight stars three well-known and highly acclaimed actors - Susan Sarandon, Paul Newman, and Gene Hackman - and that's about all it has going for it. You can't even tell if the acting is convincing or not because the script is so weak!

Twilight is predictable with a capital "P". It's your typical murder mystery, minus the exciting plot twists and enigmatic characters. And what else is there to a murder mystery?

Nothing, which is precisely what you get from Twilight. Hackman is a rich old man slowly wasting away from cancer. Newman is his slightly depressed, very world- weary best friend, a retired police officer and private investigator who lives in Hackman's mansion. He also happens to be having an affair with Hackman's wife (played by Sarandon), an actress who apparently murdered her first husband (he disappeared mysteriously twenty years earlier).

The end is painfully obvious, and the script drags on tediously. There aren't even a lot of violent action scenes- not that they would have improved the movie, but you do expect a little more bloodshed from this kind of film.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Wednesday:
Throw Momma From the Train

Throw Momma From the Train
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito star in this screwball comedy, Throw Momma From the Train, which is about two writers and two very annoying women.

Crystal plays Larry, a frustrated writer whose ex-wife is a plagiarist - she stole his novel and has become famous for writing it. Now he is attempting to write another book, but has gotten no farther than three words of the first chapter, so meanwhile he teaches a writing class to make a living.

Which is where DeVito comes in, portraying Owen. A terrible writer, he still lives with his manipulative mother, whom he fantasizes about killing. When he finds out Larry dreams of killing his ex, he decides they can trade - he kills Larry's ex, and Larry will kill his mother. Without setting up an agreement, Owen kills Larry's ex, and now expects him to keep up his end of the bargain!

The acting is well done, and DeVito manages to look as particularly pathetic as Owen. Anne Ramsey, as "Mama," received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her memorable performance. Although Throw Momma From the Train doesn't hold much credibility, it is still comical, just because most Billy Crystal movies are.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Thursday:
Hush

Hush
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Hollywood should produce more movies like Hush: No special effects, just a well-scripted plot and superior acting.

Gwyneth Paltrow plays Helen, Jackson Baring's live-in girlfriend, who he takes home to meet his mother, Martha (Jessica Lange). When Helen surprisingly becomes pregnant, they decide to get married and have the wedding at his mother's huge estate. With some careful conniving, Martha convinces them to temporarily move to the estate and help her fix it up for sale. Later, Helen befriends Alice, Jackson's grandmother, and learns some interesting things about Martha's past, and her husband's "accidental" death (which Jackson blames himself for). In fact, its starting to look like Martha may just be out to get Helen too...

Lange's acting is superb - she is subtle but spooky as Martha; while she's spreading lies all over town, she has a fascinating nervous energy. Paltrow's portrayal is also commendable.

I liked the premise of the movie - a mother-in-law who is quite literally a holy terror - is original and terrifyingly portrayed by Lange.

My Rating = Four Stars

Rent


Friday:
Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Crimson Tide does what this year's Peacemaker failed to do: it depicts a serious power struggle concerning nuclear weapons while actually holding your attention.

Denzel Washington portrays Lieutenant Commander Hunter, who is second in command to Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman). In the midst of political friction between America and Russia, they are sent on a submarine mission. It soon becomes clear that the immensely important decision of whether or not to bomb Russian subs will have to be made. Transmissions with military bases are cut off, and Hunter and Ramsey disagree on what to do. Ramsey wants to arm the missiles and prepare to launch them; Hunter favors waiting to see what will happen. Ramsey attempts to relieve Hunter from duty, but instead, he winds up relieved of duty.

The admirable acting and scripting of Crimson Tide captivated me, despite the fact that I'm not a great fan of military movies. The technical military mumbo-jumbo is confusing, but it isn't difficult to get the gist of what they're saying. This film is sure to appeal to almost anyone.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Saturday:
The Brady Bunch Movie

The Brady Bunch Movie
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
It's unbelievable, weird, and totally unrealistic!

Of course, it's The Brady Bunch movie. As the movie ended, I commented, "Nobody could be that retro!"

The Bradys haven't changed one bit since their television show twenty years ago. They are just the same - but now it's the 90's. Who's in the movie? Three girls, three boys, two parents, and who could forget the always available maid , Alice! Marcia (Christine Taylor) the oldest girl is beautiful, talented, and extremely stuck up. (At one point,she even puckered up and kissed herself in the mirror.) Jan (Jennifer Elise Cox) the middle girl, is jealous of Marcia -jealous, Jealous, JEALOUS! Cindy (Olivia Hack) the youngest girl, is a cute tattle tale. She is often found skipping past the neighbor's yard, eavesdropping, and causing trouble. Greg (Christopher Barnes) the oldest boy, is a "wanna-be" rock star. Peter (Paul Sutera) the middle boy, has a strange voice that's constantly changing. Bobby (Jesse Lee) is the youngest.

The Bradys forget to pay their tax bill (how could they?!) and owe $20,000. Yeah, right! If they don't pay up, they'll lose their house but, naturally, they don't have the money. Most of the movie focuses on everyone trying to save the house, by coming up with $20,000.

It was so predictable it was boring.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Sunday:
Independence Day

Independence Day
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Independence Day impressed me.

When evil aliens from another planet attack earth the United States President (Bill Pullman), his assistant, and his assistant's ex-husband (Jeff Goldblum) are among the few who manage to survive. Washington D.C., along with 35 other cities worldwide, is bombed by the extraterrestials.

Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) an air force pilot, his girlfriend Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) and Jasmine's son, Dylan (Ross Bagley) survive the New York City bombing. Later, Steve narrowly escapes an alien plane attack, and causes the alien ship to crash. When it does, he finds in the wreckage - surprise! surprise! - an alien. "It" pokes its head up, and Steve punches its lights out saying, "Welcome to Earth!"

And, yes, Area 51 definitely exists and houses three dead aliens, plus their spaceship.

One problem: Even nuclear firearms can't stop these aliens. What is the world going to do?

The acting is imposing; the plot is unrealistic but intriguing. Humorous scenes break up the intensity of the plot, yet don't weaken the story.

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