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Review of the day for the week of April 20, 1998.

Monday:
House Sitter

House Sitter
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Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn are lots of laughs in the screwball comedy House Sitter.

Martin plays Davis, an architect that built a huge house for his girlfriend and proposed to her, only to be turned down. Heartbroken, it is several months before he goes back to the house, only to discover that Gwen, a waitress he had a one night stand with, has moved in. And, oh yes, she has spun elaborate lies for everyone, to the point of telling them she's married to Davis! She spends a lot of money - on credit, because everyone in town knows and loves Davis - and apparently Davis will have to go along with the scheme. It works out pretty well, considering that it makes his old girlfriend jealous. But Gwen also gets him into quite a few comical mishaps.

House Sitter is a good dumb comedy, and is well enacted, despite its lack of believability. It's definitely a fun rental.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Tuesday:
City of Angels

City of Angels
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Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan star in City of Angels a wonderful film about, well, angels.

Cage plays angel Seth, whom heart surgeon Maggie Rice (Ryan) glimpses when he comes to "take" one of her patients to heaven. Later she meets him , and, still under the impression that he's a mortal man, falls in love with him (although she already has a lukewarm boyfriend). Soon, however, she begins noticing unusual things about Seth. For example, while slicing lettuce, he cuts right through his finger without drawing blood or feeling any pain. Finally, he realizes that in order to keep Maggie, he'll have to become mortal, or "fall to earth". But does he really want to give up being an angel?

City of Angels is a uniquely contrived movie, and is well acted by Ryan and Cage. Dennis Franz, known for his butt-naked scenes on his TV show NYPD Blue, does bare it again in "City of Angels", in his amusing role as another "fallen angel".

My Rating = Three Stars

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Wednesday:
Celtic Pride

Celtic Pride
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Lewis Scott is the superstar player of the Utah Jazz. Two obsessive, basketball fans - Mike O'Hara (Daniel Stern) and Jimmy Flaherty (Dan Aykroyd) - hate Scott's guts because they are big Celtic fans. Hence, they decide to kidnap Lewis Scott because without Scott, the Celtics will easily beat the Utah Jazz in the NBA finals. Basketball means everything to them - it doesn't matter that kidnapping is a serious offense. Early in the movie, Scott is "kidnapped" and the rest of the movie is about his efforts to escape in order to play for the Utah Jazz. (This sorry script holds no surprises.)

A subplot involving O'Hara's swearing wife filing for divorce adds little interest.

If you think this movie will be funny because Stern and Aykroyd in it, forget it.

My Rating = One Star

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Thursday:
Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible
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My mission: to review the hit spy movie, Mission Impossible. Armed with a box of popcorn and a Coke, I popped the video into my VCR, ready to be blown away. I was not disappointed.

Tom Cruise portrays Ethan Hunt, a spy on a secret mission to steal government secrets. And Jim (Jon Voight) is the Impossible Missions Force Commander who kills off the entire team, except his own wife, Claire, and, of course, Ethan. Talk about playing favorites! Jim proceeds to fake his own death, and Ethan wastes no time stealing Claire, who is in cahoots with her still-living husband Jim. Confusing? Ethan is strongly warned to abort his mission, but will he?

This is a great action movie, and I highly recommend it.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Friday:
Paulie

Paulie
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What can I say? Paulie is your typical little kids movie: cute, nauseating, and boring. Yes, it's a great movie for kids under ten, but it's torture for anyone older.

Paulie is a parrot who not only mimics what people say but carries on conversations with them. The movie begins with the poor parrot locked up in a basement, befriended by a Russian immigrant. He tells the immigrant his life's story - how he originally belonged to a little girl with a speech defect until her parents got rid of him. Then he traveled across Russia to find her, having lots of adventures along the way.

Twenty minutes into Paulie, I was mildly bored. After an hour, I was going up the curtained walls of the movie theatre. Fortunately, Paulie is only an hour and a half long; thus some of my sanity was salvaged and brain damage was minimal.

Send your kids with their friends' parents to see this one.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Saturday:
Naked Gun 2 1/2

Naked Gun 2 1/2
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Naked Gun 2 1/2 is your typical Lesley Nielson movie: stupid, stupid, stupid. And funny, funny , funny.

Of course Nielson plays Lt. Frank Drebin, the idiotic cop who always somehow manages to save the day. In this film he's investigating a bombing that may indirectly involve his old girlfriend Jane, whom he has been trying to get over for five years. Turns out she never got over him either, but of course he doesn't know that.

The movie opens with Drebin attending a White House dinner, where, naturally, he knocks over the First Lady twice. Not to mention that he also displays terrible table manners (he manages to get food all over himself and several other guests). Five minutes into the movie I was already laughing hysterically, and I didn't stop until the end. Nielson is terrific at acting dull-witted.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Sunday:
The Object of My Affection

The Object of My Affection
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Although Jennifer Anniston is a terrific actress, and her last comedy, Picture Perfect was hilarious, The Object of My Affection just falls flat.

Anniston plays Nina Borowski, a social worker who lets George Hanson, (Paul Rudd) a gay guy, be her roommate. Her boyfriend Vince (John Pankow) gets her pregnant, but Nina doesn't want to marry him. She doesn't think they make a good couple because of Vince's terribly overbearing ways, yet Vince loves her. So she asks George, a homosexual nursery school teacher, to help her raise the child. Predictably, she falls in love with him, (he is rather cute) but, obviously, he doesn't feel quite the same way about her. The movie drags on and on, eventually concluding that gay men usually have no interest in women, and certainly don't want to get married. Now that's profound! Shouldn't it have been obvious to Nina from the beginning how this was going to work out? Because the ending was so transparent, it really wasn't a particularly entertaining movie to sit through. A few amusing scenes occurred near the beginning, but the movie took way too long reaching its too-apparent end.

Jennifer Anniston picked a sorry script; that's all I can say.

My Rating = Two Stars

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