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Reviews for the week of August 23, 1999.

Monday:
Brokedown Palace

Brokedown Palace
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If you're planning a trip overseas, skip the movie Brokedown Palace - or you might just decide to skip the trip!

Claire Danes stars as Alice Merano, a troublemaker teen who talks her best friend Darlene into vacationing in Thailand (their parents think they're in Hawaii). Upon arrival, they stay in a cheap, roach-infested hovel that somehow passes for a motel and suffer in the summer heat. (I can't see this being anyone's idea of a fun vacation. If Darlene were smart - and less of a pushover- she would have become angry at this point and kicked Alice's butt for talking her into such a stupid idea.)

And the stupid ideas don't stop there. Alice lets Darlene talk her into flying to Hong Kong with Darlene's new boyfriend. (This two-timing jerk was coming on to Alice as well, but Darlene was more easily swayed, so he romanced her, and suggested the Hong Kong trip.) At the airport, Alice and Darlene are caught smuggling narcotics, although both claim to have no knowledge that the drugs were in Alice's luggage. (Alice was carrying the bag, but Darlene had packed it.)

Unfortunately, the justice system is pretty tough in Thailand, and Alice and Darlene are sentenced to 33 years in prison. (While the conditions in the Thailand jail seem crude and unclean, they don't appear to be much worse than Alice and Darlene's motel room.) The guards do treat the inmates roughly and unfairly, though.

Enter Yankee Hank (Bill Pullman), a lawyer who hopes to get them out of jail. To say the least, this is not an easy task.

The best thing I can say for Brokedown Palace is, at least it's not another poke-fun-at-those-stupid teenagers type comedies. Alternatively, Brokedown Palace is a feel-sorry-for-those-stupid-teenagers drama, which is just as bad. I'm sick of movies that imply that all teenagers have the mentality, naivete, and intelligence of a four-year-old. Whether this portrayal is supposed to be funny, or supposed to be sad and pity-pleading, it doesn't work, and it's hideously inaccurate.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
Mickey Blue Eyes

Mickey Blue Eyes
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Mickey Blue Eyes is a farcical, funny comedy starring Hugh Grant as Michael, a clueless auction house manager who wants his girlfriend Gina (Jeanne Tripplehorn) to marry him. She wants to marry him, but doesn't want him to become involved with her father and his friends, who are in the Mafia.

Michael assures Gina that everything will be fine and persuades her to become engaged. Michael and Gina promise not to lie to each other about anything.

Well you can guess where this one's going. Gina's father tries to "help" Michael in his auction house business, and expects Michael to help in a money-laundering scheme as repayment. When his attempts to convince Gina's father that he doesn't want to be a mobster fail, Michael is forced to lie to Gina, for what he thinks will be the first and last time.

Of course it isn't, and many hilarious situations occur. All the actors are entertaining and convincing, and the script proved laughable. I saw a few things coming in this movie, but then, I've seen quite a few movies, so I know what to expect. Mickey Blue Eyes did make me laugh, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My Rating = Three Stars

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