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Review of the day for the week of April 5, 1999.

Monday:
Affliction

Affliction
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Affliction is a dull, depressing film that plays up the downside of alcoholism in a tedious, overstated, and poorly plotted script.

Nick Nolte plays a small town police officer that can't seem to stop hitting the bottle, just like his father. He's also a lousy father - no wonder his daughter doesn't want to visit him. His girlfriend (Sissy Spacek) is supportive for a while, but eventually he drives her away, too. In the end - this movie was so awful I don't even feel guilty about giving away the end - he kills his father and sets him on fire. (Still, the worst scene was when he pulled his own tooth - it was painful just to watch him yank it out! Ouch!) Ah, yes, this is sophisticated, fine filmmaking.

A murder mystery subplot was maddening, as it amounted to nothing (no crime was ever committed for all that theorizing!). What a way to write a script! The oppressive gloom and dis-esteeming characters made this movie difficult to watch.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Wednesday:
Mod Squad

Mod Squad
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The Mod Squad failed to impress me.

Peter Cochran (Giovanni Ribisi), Julie Barnes (Claire Danes), and Lincoln Hayes (Omar Epps), three young convicts, are each offered a job as something like assistant cops. Their boss, Captain Adam Greer, will keep them out of jail if they help him by getting into clubs and other "young, hip people" type places to collect evidence on various crimes. Unfortunately, they serve only to hinder him. Soon enough, however, he is murdered, and they are framed. They can't go to anyone on the police force because the majority of the police force is in on a huge drug operation. So it's up to Pete, Julie, and Lincoln to save the day all by themselves.

Although The Mod Squad wasn't monotonous, it wasn't exactly thrilling, either. I found myself thinking of other things, several times. Not only was the plot loosely crafted but over-dramatized and unrealistic as well.

I didn't care for the characters either. Lincoln was the only of the three that seemed levelheaded enough to be a cop; Julie and Pete were too immature, too emotional, and too foolish. A few brief and well-needed but not entirely successful attempts at levity are the only good points in this film.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Friday:
10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You
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I didn't hate 10 Things I Hate About You as much as I expected to. Still, I really didn't like it.

Bianca Stratford (Larissa Oleynik) and her sister Katarina attend the same high school but seem to live on different planets: Bianca is the most adored, popular girl in school. Katarina's acerbic wit drives everyone away (which is pretty much her goal). Their father won't allow Bianca to date until Kat does, which means no dating, period, since Kat only wants to tell guys off.

Meanwhile, the cutest and most popular guy in school (Andrew Keegan), and a nerdy new kid (Joesph Gordon-Levitt), both want to date Bianca, so they devise a plan to get Kat a date with the freakiest guy in school.

10 Things I Hate About You contained a few mildly diverting moments, but could have been much more entertaining. The actors, as well as the characters they played, were sufficient, but not extraordinary. The plot was too silly, as well as too predictable. The few times that I laughed during this film, it wasn't because of comedic value. (Some of the pathetic attempts at humor were so useless that they became amusing in a completely different way - the way extremely bad scripting can hold your interest - just because it's bad.) The only thing I really liked about this film were some of the very sarcastic, nasty zingers Kat shoots at everyone.

My Rating = Two Stars

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