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Reviews for the week of May 1, 2000.

Monday:
U-571

U-571
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Alhough Matthew McConaughey is an excellent actor, it certainly doesn't make U-571 an excellent movie.

McConaughey plays Lt.Tyler of a marine group sent on a special World War II mission. Their job is to board a Nazi submarine and steal the enigma machine, a sort of sophisticated decoder-ring type device that the Nazis use to transmit secret messages to each other. If the Americans get their hands on the enigma machine, they can interpret the Nazis' plans and makes their own plans for counterattack.

Tyler and his crew pose as Nazi mechanics arriving to fix the Nazi submarine. Almost immediately upon boarding the sub, they are discovered, and firing starts. The American ship is destroyed, along with its crew, including the captain. That leaves Tyler in charge.

After overtaking the sub, the Americans must find a way to avoid a nearby Nazi destroyer and escape with the enigma machine.

U-571 isn't the most stale war movie I've seen, but it's no Saving Private Ryan. The acting is certainly commendable though, and there are several suspenseful scenes.

Audio VersionThere wasn't anything I disliked about U-571; it just wasn't riveting. This movie is interesting for a little while, but lasted longer than my attention. I thought it was predictable, but then, that might be because I already knew who won World War II. (I knew history class was a waste of time. It spoiled this movie for me!)

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball
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Love and Basketball begins promisingly enough, but that's the problem: All the good stuff is at the beginning of this movie, and it quickly dries up.

The movie is divided into quarters (like basketball games, I'm guessing) and the first quarter starts when eleven-year-old Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) moves into a new neighborhood. She challenges several neighborhood boys to a game of basketball, and that's how her relationship with Quincy (Omar Epps) begins.

Later, in their senior year of high school, Monica and Quincy, now both aspiring professional basketball players, get romantically involved. Their romance lasts through a few months of college, and then they break up. They don't see each other for five years, at which point Quincy is engaged to someone else.

Love and Basketball was amusing and quick-paced for the first forty-five minutes, but then it started to drag. It is ridiculously obvious what is going to happen. If this movie traveled a road of highly entertaining scenes to reach its obvious final destination, that would be forgivable. However, the entertaining dialogue ends around the time that Monica and Quincy break up, and from that point on the movie just limps along like an injured athlete.

Even basketball fans might not necessarily enjoy this movie, because it lacks many actual basketball scenes. (That was one of the movie's good points, in my opinion.)But since the plot is lacking too, I still didn't like it.

My Rating = Two Stars

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