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Review of the day for the week of June 15, 1998.

Monday:
It Takes Two

It Takes Two
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In the movie It Takes Two, Amanda Lemmon and Alyssa Callaway (The Olsen Twins) are two girls with very separate, different lifestyles. Amanda, an orphan, gets all scrubby and dirty playing baseball outside of the orphanage. She also has her heart set on being adopted by social worker Diane (Kirstie Alley), but Diane is single and doesn't make enough money. So Amanda goes to Camp Callaway for a week.

Camp Callaway, which was formed by Alyssa's deceased mother, is just where Alyssa's dad intends to send her since he doesn't want her around. He's getting remarried to a woman Alyssa knows will make a truly wicked stepmother - yes, just like in Cinderella. Alyssa sees no alternative, so she runs away.

While running away, she bumps into Amanda - and they discover that, although they're perfect strangers, they look exactly alike! They decide that if Diane, the social worker, and Roger Callway, (Alyssa's father, played by Steve Guttenberg) meet, they will fall madly in love, get married, and live happily ever after. Then Diane can adopt Amanda and it's bye-bye to Miss Classical, Wicked stepmom! So they pretend to be each other, and some hilarious happenings occur.

This is definitely a great rental for kids.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Tuesday:
The Truman Show

The Truman Show
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The Truman Show, starring JimCarrey, was a delightful surprise. This isn't classic Carrey - no wonderfully braindead-type comedy. While there is some humor, Carrey's character, Truman, is quite sensible and normal - compared to Carrey's other characters - especially considering that Truman's entire life has been televised without his knowledge.

That's right, before Truman was even born, he was the star of The Truman Show. Hidden cameras broadcast his life to millions twenty-four hours a day. Everyone who has ever been in Truman's life - his parents, his friends, even his wife - is an actor. For most of his life, he has suspected nothing. But now he begins to notice oddities and decides he must be "a part of something big". How big he doesn't really know! He even tries to escape, but fails, and is convinced by the many other actors that there's nothing going on. But how long can they keep their secret from Truman?

When I came out of the theatre, I felt sure that The Truman Show would be a big hit. However, it may be too dramatic and complicated for the target audience - in other words, people who are expecting another Dumb and Dumber aren't going to get it! But I loved "The Truman Show", and was very impressed by Carrey's ability to skillfully portray such a serious role.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Kramer Vs. Kramer

Kramer Vs. Kramer
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An almost unrecognizably young Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep star in Kramer Vs. Kramer.

Hoffman plays a young businessman who has some great opportunities at work, but his marriage is in trouble. When his wife tries to talk to him, he ignores her, so, not surprisingly, she leaves him - and their young son. Apparently she has a major self- esteem problem and doesn't think she can do anything - including being a good mother. Hoffman is left on his own to raise the child , which takes him away from his work too often, and agitates his boss.

After several months of therapy in California, Streep returns to New York and decides she wants her son back. Hoffman fights for custody, pointing out that she "abandoned" her child. Around the time that they are set to go to court, his boss gets fed up and fires him for missing deadlines and losing a big firm account.

At this point while I was watching the movie, the electricity decided to fail. So I spent the next forty minutes or so wondering what happened next in this very suspenseful and extremely well acted film. It drove me crazy. In other words, do rent this film, but don't watch it during a thunderstorm.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
A Perfect Murder

A Perfect Murder
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A Perfect Murder is a perfect movie. It's suspenseful and marvelously acted, with a deviously twisted plot.

Steven (Michael Douglas) and Emily Taylor (Gwyneth Paltrow) star as a rich but not so happily married couple. Emily is sleeping with another man, David Shaw, (Viggo Mortensen) and naturally Steve quickly discovers their little secret. When secretively confronting David, instead of getting angry or furious, Steve asks David to do him a favor and murder Emily! Steve offers David $500,000 and promises to keep David's police record a secret. Then he gives David a tour around their apartment, explaining exactly how he wants David to sneak in - appearing to be a random burglar - and kill Emily. But when the "intruder" shows up, things don't exactly go as planned.

The acting was terrific - in one especially impressive scene, Emily confronts Steve, and he manages to turn the whole twisted story around and make it appear that he was only trying to protect her! What an acting job! Also look for a scene where someone is murdered with a meat thermometer - now there's a new twist on the old horror movie attack sequence!

My Rating = Four Stars

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Friday:
Always

Always
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Always , a silly and boring film, stars Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter.

Dreyfuss is a pilot who fights forest fires. His girlfriend (Hunter) begs him to give it up because it's too dangerous. She wants him to take a sensible, and easy job teaching. He agrees, but then goes out to fight another fire, promising her it'll be the last one.

Yeah, it' s the last one all right, because he gets killed this time. Didn't see that one coming did you? Actually, I did. Anyway, after he dies he ends up walking around in the forest like nothing happens. He meets a woman dressed in white who obviously is an angel (Audrey Hepburn). She gives him a haircut - what's the point of that? - and explains that he will now be a guardian angel to people, including his old girlfriend, and the friend he died saving.

Dreyfuss picked a particularly poor script here, and you can see where this one's going the entire way through. Always lacks excitement and suspense.

My Rating = Two Stars

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