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Reviews for the week of May 29, 2000.

Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth
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Battlefield Earth is a silly sci-fi movie that rips off several more credible films.

The story takes place in the year 3000 (at least everyone stopped making "year 2000" movies). John Travolta plays a Psychlo (an alien from the planet Psychlo) who is stuck on Earth. His job is to supervise the mining of Earth's metals. But Psychlo workers cost money, so Travolta comes up with an evil plan: Catch some Man-Animals (what Psychlos call humans) and train them to do the work. Perhaps they can help him mine some gold for himself, thus stealing from the company and making him richer. (By this time, Travolta is pretty angry with the company for refusing to give him a better job.)

Travolta is a terrific actor, and the supporting cast is sound, but Battlefield Earth is still a cosmic mess. The dialogue might be amusing if not for the distraction of those ridiculous settings and costumes. The Psychlos look just like Klingons from Star Trek. They drink bright green "alien" brew that looks suspiciously like Mountain Dew. They're also sexist pigs.

Humans, on the other hand, have regressed back to the caveman stage. They have no technology; they get around on horses. Only one human thinks he can defeat the Psychlos.

I briefly considered reading the book Battlefield Earth before viewing the movie. When I realized that the small-print paperback version was more than a thousand pages long, I quickly gave up on that idea. I did read the first page, then I decided I'd never get through the rest of it.

Audio VersionI like science fiction stories if they make sense, but Battlefield Earth doesn't. I only saw this movie because John Travolta was in it, and I was still sorely disappointed. If you managed to read that huge book and enjoyed it, you might like Battlefield Earth. Otherwise, I don't recommend this movie.

My Rating = Two Stars


Road Trip

Road Trip
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Road Trip is a witty comedy about four college students who take a hurried and hilarious road trip.

The reason for their trip: Josh (Breckin Meyer) cheated on his girlfriend Tiffany, who is attending school 1800 miles away. He sends her video- tapes every day, and his hapless friends accidentally mail Tiffany a tape of Josh with the other girl. So, they have to get the tape back before she arrives at her apartment after a three-day absence.

During their trip, the friends try to cross a broken bridge by taking a flying leap - just like stunt drivers in movies. While they do make it to the other side, their car soon falls apart, then explodes a few minutes after they make a hasty exit. And that's just the beginning of their trip.

Meanwhile, Josh has left his friend Barry (Tom Green) in charge of feeding Josh's pet snake. When the snake won't eat his lunch (a live mouse) Barry goes to some extreme - and very funny- lengths to encourage him. (At one point, Barry even puts the mouse in his own mouth. If you gross out easily, don't see this movie.) However, I thought the mouse-and-snake scene was great comedy.

Audio VersionAs is much of this movie. Road Trip is exceedingly dumb, but it is highly amusing. For the most part, I enjoyed this silly, capricious comedy.

My Rating = Three Stars


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