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Review of the day for the week of August 4, 1997.

Monday:
Air Bud

Air Bud
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This is a nice sexist film: the classic "A-boy-and-his-dog" story, except this boy, Josh, and his dog, Buddy, play basketball. (Why couldn't it have been a-girl-and-her-dog who played basketball?) Buddy, is a former clown's pet, used to doing birthday parties. Buddy finally runs away and finds a new home with Josh, who has recently moved to town after his father's death. Josh is a lonely, sad child until Buddy comes along. He can't make the basketball team at his new school until Buddy the basketball - playing dog comes arrives, then he's the star player. But uh - oh! The clown who used to own Buddy wants his now - famous former pet back.

I was bored out of my skull, but this is a Walt Disney Pictures family movie and is definitely aimed at young children - and will please them. I, however, wouldn't recommend it for anyone over ten.

My Rating = One Star

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Tuesday:
Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber
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Dumb and Dumber is a cleverly capricious film about two dumb guys. Harry and Lloyd are broke and Lloyd is in love with a woman who would never in a million years fall for him. She's married, she lives halfway across the country, and Lloyd just screwed up her attempt to pay ransom for her kidnapped husband. No problem. Lloyd and Harry just pack up and follow her to Aspen, her hometown.

Don't tell me how stupid this is. I know. That's what makes it laughable. You have to know how to pull the plug on your brain and just sit back and enjoy a movie like this. If you can't do that, you won't realize how brilliantly - yes, brilliantly - written this comedy is. In my opinion, a screenwriter has to be smart to write a stupid -and truly funny -comedy.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Alaska

Alaska
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Alaska is a good movie for anyone who likes animal flicks. Two kids, Jessie (Thora Birch) and her brother move to Alaska with their dad - a former pilot who now delivers toilet paper. Neither one is happy with their dad, but Jessie's brother is especially bitter, because he still misses their late mother. At one point he tells his dad, "I wish you had died, and not Mom."

When Dad flies out in a storm and crash lands, Jessie's brother changes his mind and wants to search for his dad. Jessie, being so much smarter than her brother, insists on accompanying him. Along the way, they encounter a friendly polar bear (which they rescue from some poachers); they kayak down rough rivers narrowly missing sharp rocks, and have many other adventures.

Meanwhile, Dad hangs on for dear life as his tiny aircraft balances precariously on a cliff's edge . Will Jessie and her brother make it to their dad in time to save him? If they manage to find him, can they get him out of the plane? Will their polar bear be safe from the poachers, or will the poachers get him back? Let's just say, the ending was predictable.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Thursday:
Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect
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This is, as the manager at my local movie theatre so aptly put it, a "female" movie. So, girls, don't drag your boyfriend, or any other guys, to it, because they'll be bored. But do see it.

Jennifer Anniston stars as a single woman whose boss at an advertising firm thinks she's too young and independent to take her job seriously, and therefore doesn't give her the promotion she justly deserves. Just then, her dear friend Darcy sweeps in to save Anniston by showing the boss a picture of Anniston and a wedding photographer. Darcy claims they're engaged. The boss figures Anniston is now tied down, and gives her the promotion. At first, Anniston is against this sneaky, manipulative idea, but persistent, persuasive Darcy talks her into it. As you can imagine, this leads to some humorous situations, including a hilarious dinner table scene with her boss.

See this movie for good laughs - and great acting. Anniston is better here than on Friends.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Friday:
Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire
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Jerry Maguire is a movie that captures your attention - honestly. No stupid pranks, no ridiculously ludicrous one- liners (ok, except for the ever-famous "Show me da money"), no far - out plot, and definitely no fancy special effects. It's just got a great story line. Period...

Jerry Maguire is a sports agent with the perfect life: good career, beautiful fiance, nice New York apartment. Then one day he realizes the superficiality of his life, and writes a mission statement for his agency that, while well-written and completely correct, gets him fired. Next, he breaks up with his materialistic fiance (I particularly enjoyed the scene where she punched him out) and starts his own company. The only employee from his old company who agreed to leave with him, struggling widow Dorothy Boyd, soon becomes his new love interest (well, who wouldn't fall for a guy as good - looking as Tom Cruise?). Although he starts his new company with only one client, and high principles, Jerry is determined to make it, with Dorothy's support.

As a movie Jerry Maguire was a huge success thanks in part to Cruise's name (not to say that his acting isn't superb and completely convincing), but it also had a well -written script, and it most definitely deserves a full four stars.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Saturday:
Grease

Grease
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Instead of wasting their time on Star Wars the movie industry should have reissued this timeless musical in DTS. John Travolta never fails to make you slobber, and even the sixties music is enjoyable. Coming from me, that's quite a compliment, as I usually hate old music.

This movie is a real treasure, and if you weren't around to see it when it first came out, you should rent it today. Watch Grease once and you'll scowl at some of today's best movies.

As many of you may know (If you're considerably older than I am) this movie stars Travolta as Danny Zuko, a senior at Rydell High . Danny is quite shocked when his summer fling, whom he thought he'd never see again, shows up as a new student at Rydell on the first day of school. The music continues on about their relationship, with equally engaging subplots about their schoolmates.

The problem with many movies today is that they just don't have charismatic actors like Travolta (except for the movies he plays in, of course ) or this refreshing combination of dialogue and singing. The only movie released in my lifetime with this pleasing "Two-hour-music-video" format is Evita. I truly wish the movie industry would stop making violent, shoot-em-up-everybody-dies action "thrillers" and start making more musicals. Particularly more musicals with Travolta.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Sunday:
Spawn

Spawn
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What a piece of trash! Actually, trash isn't a strong enough word , but they don't allow profanity on the net , so just take my word for it , it's a rotten movie. People shouldn't pay to see this movie; they should be paid to see it.

Spawn is about a Satanic cult headed by a short, fat, bald guy with a painted face. So, the superhero named Spawn arrives - to save the world from the Satanists. (Not much of a plot)

Also included in Spawn are a lot of special effects, which don't make up for the obvious lack of plot. And, it's totally disgusting. In one scene, the devil's fat servant eats a piece of pizza crawling with maggots. (Glad I passed on the popcorn.)

I wouldn't take little kids to this excessively violent movie - to tell you the truth, I wouldn't take anyone to it, period. I even managed to get my dad to walk out, and he'll sit through any piece of garbage.

My Rating = One Star

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