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Review of the day for the week of August 18, 1997.

Monday:
The Client

The Client
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I didn't like The Client any better the second time I saw it than I did the first. Which is to say I hated it.

A teenage boy (Brad Renfro, who, despite teen magazines raving about him, does not seem cute to me) sneaks his little brother out into the woods. Why? So he can teach little brother to smoke of course. After witnessing a murder in the woods, their trailer eventually goes up in smoke and little brother winds up in a coma. Renfro's character is terrified to tell exactly what he saw and a district attorney (Susan Sarandon) desperately attempts to get it out of him.

Even if you're a John Grisham fan, don't rent this. I can't believe Grisham let them do this to his brilliant book.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Tuesday:
Kull

Kull
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Where do Hollywood bigwigs get these awful scripts, anyway? Do they dig them out of starving playrights' trashcans? Do they hire people to write terrible scripts just for the purpose of torturing the audience? Or do they simply think the public will be so stupid as to like this rubbish?

Kull the Conqueror is the new king of a medieval empire. Half the people in his court plot to overthrow him, and a couple of them even bring back a long- dead evil priestess. Your typical good-versus-evil struggle ensues.

After 45 minutes of "struggle" viewing, I ducked into the ladies room to get away from this mind- numbing waste of film. I would have stayed there for the rest of the movie if my dad hadn't knocked on the door and reminded me that I should sit through the movie if I wanted the pleasure of giving it a bad review. (He knows I always hide out in the ladies room when I dislike (hate?) a movie.)

Most of the acting was unbearably insincere, the costumes mundane, and the long list of credits were the best part of the movie.

My Rating = One Star

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Wednesday:
Sleepwalkers

Sleepwalkers
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This proves that Stephen King is not only the best novelist I know of, but also the best screenwriter. Pardon me for gushing, I happen to be a big King fan, if you haven't figured that out already.

The "sleepwalkers", half-ghost, half-phantom creatures, have come to a sleepy little town in the guises of a high school boy and his mother. To survive they must kill and eat his new girlfriend - who is more resilient and feisty than she looks; Also, although their backyard fills up with cats - they must avoid cats, whose scratches are deadly to sleepwalkers.

Oh, this is good stuff. King never fails to be gory, gruesome, and gleefully startling in the Sleepwalkers. and the metamorphosis from boyfriend to monster - and back, and from mother to monster - and back is terrific. If you have missed this movie (it isn't as well known as The Lawnmower Man or as recent as The Shining) you should rent it today. But only if you're not chicken. This movie is not for anyone who's scared of cats, can't stand the sight of blood, or is just plain wimpy.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
The Relic

The Relic
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The Relic is your classic monster movie: lots of screaming people, cheesy special effects, and of course, your big, hairy, reptilian monster. If you like that type of movie, The Relic will please you, but I thought it lacked originality.

An evolutionary biologist, Margo Green works at a museum studying old bones, relics, rare plants, etc. Upon receiving a box filled with nothing but leaves from Brazil, she scrapes some sort of fungus from the leaves and sends it to the museum lab. Without her knowledge, the fungus evolves into - congratulations, you win the million dollar prize, you guessed right! - a MONSTER. After a body is discovered, police search the building, and are almost forced to stop an enormous exhibit opening at the museum. Upon pressure from the mayor, they reluctantly allow the curators to proceed with the gala exhibition party - to which no less than the mayor himself has been invited - and disaster ensues when the monster makes a guest appearance.

If you are actually curious about how the movie turns out, go ahead and rent it, but don't expect a profoundly creative plot, or special effects that are any more than ordinary.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
Psycho

Psycho
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Psycho is definitely as good as it's said to be. Even if it is from the fifties and lacks some of today's high - tech special effects, it has an attention - getting plot and reasonably good actors.

A young woman steals $40,000 from her boss and runs off to live with her boyfriend, who could really use the money. On the way, she stops at the Bates Motel, owned by kooky creepazoid Norman Bates and winds up murdered. The private investigator hired by her boyfriend and her sister meets the same fate. What's going on at the Bates Motel?

This movie's run time is 149 minutes, but it seemed more like fifteen. Rent it today!

My Rating = Three Stars

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Saturday:
Copland

Copland
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Somehow I expected more from the new movie, Copland - and Sylvester Stallone. Although the movie wasn't bad, it just wasn't as sensational as I'd expected it to be.

The plot at least deserves points for originality. Sylvester Stallone plays a sheriff who really wants to be a cop, but can't because he's deaf in one ear. So he sits around all day and acts depressed. Meanwhile, his town of Garrison, New Jersey- the so -called "Copland" because so many of its residents are cops - becomes the home of some dirty dealings. Could the safest place to live now be turning into the biggest haven for crooks?

Stallone isn't a good Stallone here. Everyone is used to Stallone being the tough guy, and this sheriff 's role is vastly different. Instead of being a hardened, rugged tough guy with that great Rocky sneer, he goes around with his head hung down and a clinically depressed look on his face. True, this shows his talent as an actor - he can definitely play roles other than a macho man - but I preferred him in roles such as "Rocky". Weakness just isn't his style.

Note: Another problem I had with this movie is that I'm not a big fan of cop shows/movies. However, I do recommend that anyone who loves NYPD Blue go watch it.

Another Note: The excessive swearing, not to mention violence, makes this movie a bad pick for kids under twelve.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Sunday:
She's So Lovely

She's So Lovely
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She's So Lovely has your typically perfect John Travolta role. He is really cut out for roles like these, in which he does what I've heard described as his "Travolta bad guy act". Not that he's really a bad guy here; he just somehow brings that aura to every role in which he comes in contact with a gun. Unfortunately, the moviegoer waits nearly an hour before Travolta shows up.

Much fighting, punching swearing and violence show up, first.

One hour into the movie, Travolta's wife of ten years now wishes to leave him and their young children for her old boyfriend - who happens to have been in the looney bin for the past ten years - and probably should have remained there. However, she's not all there herself it seems, and she wants to run right back into his arms now that he's out of the funny farm. Naturally, wealthy Travolta is shocked, outraged, angry, and, of course, just crazy enough himself to pack a pistol.

Travolta conveys all these emotions splendidly, and makes this movie worth seeing - more than once. But don't take young children - the violence is there, as well as a lot of swearing (duh, that's why it's rated R).

My Rating = Four Stars

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