DreamMachineTeen Movie Critic - II is a Dream Machine Site
The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
Google
Teen Movie Critic

Home This Week's Reviews TV Reviews Radio Audio Clips Alphabetic Index Celebrity Interviews Hall of Flame Other Film Sites Feedback

Review of the day for the week of September 14, 1998.

Monday:
The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
The Dead Zone is the spooky, tense film version of Stephen King's .The Dead Zone.

When Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher with a nice, normal life, and a nice, normal fiance, crashes into a semi-truck on a snow-laden road, he winds up nearly dead in comatose state - for five long years. When he finally wakes up, his fiance is married to another man and, oh yeah, Johnny now has psychic powers to get in his way.

Whenever he holds someone's hand, he gets a flash of what will happen in his future. (Oddly enough, nearly every person he touches has a tragedy coming - or a hidden secret in their past.) Smith becomes well-known for his visions, although he's not seeking the publicity. It's not long before Smith uses his astonishing powers to help the police catch murderers, to stop a little boy from going on a fatal hockey trip, etc. He soon realizes that not only can he see the future, but can change it.

If you're not into reading long books, The Dead Zone is a great way to hear a Stephen King story. (However, I would recommend reading the book too, because there are always differences in film versions.) Surprisingly, this horror film didn't have many special effects, but instead had a wonderful plot with enough tension to keep you rooted to your screen.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Tuesday:
Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Surprisingly, Smoke Signals, an independent film that received almost no publicity, was thoroughly gratifying.

Victor Joseph (Adam Beach) and Thomas Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams) are two Indian kids who grow up on a reservation. Thomas lives with his grandmother because his parents were killed in a fire when he was a baby. (Victor's dad saved Thomas.) When they were about ten, Victor's dad left (his wife threw him out because she wanted him to stop drinking).

Now Victor and Thomas are in their late teens, and Victor has to claim his recently deceased father's ashes in Arizona. Because his mother doesn't have enough money to send him on the trip, Victor has to borrow money from Thomas - and take him along.

Smoke Signals, an original and unusual story, was not only engrossing, but also marvelously performed.

Another movie critic - whom I seldom agree with - had recommended Smoke Signals, and I was delightfully impressed.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Wednesday:
Blame it on the Bellboy

Blame it on the Bellboy
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Blame it on the Bellboy is a rather predictable, but funny comedy. Naturally, it's about a bellboy who gets all the blame - but the title makes it sound like he doesn't deserve it, when he certainly does! This guy's I.Q. is so low, they probably couldn't test it - they'd have to dig for it!

He passes on messages to all the wrong people, causing lots of confusion. One guy thinks he's going to buy some real estate property. Instead, he ends up with a gun to his head, as the people he went to see think he's a hit man. Meanwhile, the real hit man goes after a woman whom he thinks he has a contract on. She thinks he's the blind date she was planning to meet. And so it goes.

Blame it on the Bellboy was just confusing enough that I still didn't entirely get what everyone was supposed to do when the film ended. Still, it was entertaining - for a "mistaken - identities" type story.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Thursday:
Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
In Taking Care of Business, Spencer Barnes (Charles Grodin) and Jimmy (James Belushi) are two completely different people: Spencer is a compulsive workaholic whose wife is ready to leave him for spending so much time at work and so little with her. When he has to cancel their vacation to take a business trip, it's the last straw.

Jimmy is a convict who escaped from jail in order to see the World Series. He just so happens to find Spencer's very important misplaced book, which includes the security code to his boss Walter's swanky vacation home. Oops.

Before you know it, Jimmy decides to kick back and relax at the mansion, and then gets stuck posing as Spencer, which he doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he even goes to a big meeting with Spencer's potential clients - and makes a fool of himself. His clients, however, like him for some reason! Oh, and did I mention that he wastes no time sleeping with Walter's daughter?

While Taking Care of Business is unrealistic, and a bit long, the acting is credible. The plot may not be very original - how many movies have you seen where someone poses as someone else and screws up their life? - but there are some very entertaining scenes.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Friday:
Rounders

Rounders
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
For a Matt Damon movie, Rounders was surprisingly....average.

Damon plays Mike, a law student and compulsive gambler who finally quits playing poker after he risks and loses it all - big-time. He promises his girlfriend he won't play again, and doesn't - at least for a while.

Then an old friend gets out of jail, and persuades Mike to start playing poker again. After vouching for his in-debt friend, Mike finds that he's in major trouble too, and they both take a beating. To pay back the money that they now owe, they decide to....play poker!

Although Matt Damon is a good actor, not to mention nice to look at, he can't do much with this role. You never find out the reason he is so obsessed with gambling, and there isn't much character development for any of the characters! The only intelligent person in this movie is Mike's girlfriend, who promptly ditches him when he starts gambling again.

If you just want to watch a bunch card players for more than two hours straight, then this is the movie for you. Mainly because of Damon, it held my attention longer than it normally would have, but it still seemed too long. And if you don't understand poker very well, expect to be confused.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Back to Home Page
The Dream Machine --- Network Services
Gypsy's Photo Gallery

Cerzan

...the best independent ISP in the Twin Cities