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Review of the day for the week of July 21, 1997.

Monday:
Dear God

Dear God
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Dear God is a delightful film about a criminal who avoids going to jail by accepting a job at the post office - for a year. One day while at work, he starts reading letters addressed to "God". While lifting expensive jewelry and other assorted stuff from the "unable to deliver" section, he accidentally drops his payroll check into an envelope. "Caught -in-the-act", he snatches an envelope full of stolen goods, and claims that he was just "checking the address" on the package. Immediately, he addresses the letter to a poor woman who wrote to God because of her financial troubles, and he figures that she'll just get some free jewelry. It turns out she gets his paycheck - and the miracle begins. Soon his co-workers get involved and they are all answering "Dear God" letters. However, this is a federal offense. What will happen? Will they get convicted, or will they be permitted to keep up their goodwill? See this heartwarming Christmas movie and it'll really put you in the giving spirit.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Tuesday:
Contact

Contact
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Contact is a captivating movie about a scientist named Ellie Araway (Jodie Foster) struggling to establish contact with aliens. But establishing contact with aliens is expensive and she's having a major funding problem. Eventually Ellie does get her funding from a shadowy billionaire , but when nothing turns up, she's back to square one: no money for research and a belief that most people scorn. But, then the signal arrives from outer space (Oh yes, ET does call home!) and the movie takes off. Ellie, as well as numerous scientists and government officials, has problems deciphering the message from outer space. Soon, she volunteers as a candidate for becoming a human guinea pig - that's the person who gets to go up in the spaceship the aliens sent the blueprints for. Her journey into space is amazing as are the special effects. Jodie Foster's acting is terrific, and handsome Matthew McConaughy (Foster's love interest in the movie) makes a good partner for her. The pace and tension of this movie makes it one of the best alien movies around.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Kazaam

Kazaam
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Kazaam: Big genie, big build-up, big disappointment for movie-goers.

Max Conner, a young city kid, living in a tough neighborhood accidentally knocks over a boom box which contains a 3,000 year old genie. Oops! Max has freed Kazaam - the genie. Kazaam's only desire is to grant Max his three wishes as soon as possible, and get back to sleep.

The movie ambles along with Max denying Kazaam's powers , and trying to lose Kazaam. It can't be done. Kazaam sticks to Max like glue. Max has other problems as well and different subplots enter as the movie drags along.

Max's mother is getting remarried. Why is a twelve year old so upset that his single mother is getting remarried? (I'd be more upset about the lies his mom told him.) Why the sudden search for the "no-good thief " his real father turns out to be?

This movie is predictable, with the action coming between long boring segments. Like I said, it's a disappointment. Skip it!

My Rating = One Star

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Thursday:
Faceoff

Faceoff
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Faceoff is an unrealistic, science fiction movie, but it's also quite possibly the best film of the summer (so far). John Travolta stars as FBI agent Sean Archer; Nicholas Cage as a terrorist killer named Castor Troy (who gunned down Archer's son six years earlier). In an action filled shootout, Archer manages to put Troy into a coma, only to learn that he has a new mission : to dismantle the bomb that Troy has hidden somewhere in L.A. To accomplish this, he must switch faces with Troy (I know you're thinking "yeah , right" but, hey, it's a movie- a science fiction thriller at that- what can I say?). The rest of the movie involves Archer's struggle to become Troy , and kill him. Then it's vice versa when Troy wakes up and discovers he's missing his face , he forces the skilled surgeon to put Archer's face ( which had been soaking in a saline solution) on him. Now, Troy is on a mission to kill Archer. The personality changes of the two men with new faces- especially Travolta's jaunty and cocky attitude with his family- are amusing- and realistic. Travolta did a great Nicolas Cage, and Cage wasn't a bad Travolta. If you can buy the "face switching", as I easily did, it becomes a fascinating movie and keeps you alert trying to remember that Cage is Travolta, and vice versa.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Friday:
The Sixth Man

The Sixth Man
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The Sixth Man is a movie for sports fans (if you liked "Space Jam" and fight for tickets to basketball games, you'll like it). However, if you're like me and can't tell the difference between a baseball game and a basketball game, skip it.

Two boys are on the school basketball team , coached by their father. Ten years later, they hope to make a really big team - a university team. Their now late father's ghost comes back to help them play basketball. Because only they can see their father when he guides the ball on the court, they have a terrific advantage.

Well, I didn't say it was a realistic sports movie.

Anyway, if you're a sports fan, you'll like this movie, but don't take along anyone else who isn't a sports fan. Although my dad liked this movie, my Mom and I agreed that it was boring. Sorry.

My Rating = One Star

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Saturday:
Larger Than Life

Larger Than Life
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The star of United Artists' latest, Larger Than Life, is just that - larger than life. Tai, an enormous elephant, is Bill Murray's inheritance from his father, who disappeared years earlier. Now, Murray has to deliver the elephant ( across the USA, no less ) to either a "no-nonsense" zookeeper (Janeane Garofalo) in charge of a breeding genepool experiment with elephants or to a cruel animal trainer (Linda Fiorentino) who zaps her animals with electric rods to get them to behave.

Murray has a few vaguely amusing experiences on his cross country trip, and I'm sure that young children, and/or animal lovers will probably find the elephant's stunts hilarious. As for me, it was yawn...yawn...yawn...yawn...

My Rating = One Star

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Sunday:
B.A.P.S.

Larger Than Life
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B.A.P.S. is an hilariously funny movie about two poor, down-on-their-luck, waitresses who meet the bigtime in Hollywood. When Nisi (Halle Berry) and Mickey (Natalie Desselle) arrive in Hollywood, their plan is for Nisi to become a famous dancer. When that doesn't work out, a man offers them a job posing as the granddaughters of a woman named Lily - beautiful Lily, who was the one true love of a now old and terminally ill man. Unfortunately, and years ago, the old man's wealthy family refused to let him marry Lily because she was black. His nephew hires Nisi and Mickey, claiming he wants to make his uncle's last days more enjoyable, while his true motive is to get his uncle's money. Naturally he develops some underhanded schemes. Will Nisi and Mickey find out that they are part of something illegal? Will they be framed? Or will the old man find out that they really aren't Lily's granddaughters?

A few good laughs make this movie enjoyable. I recommend it.

My Rating = Three Stars

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