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Review of the day for the week of October 19, 1998.

Monday:
Holy Man

Holy Man
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While I enjoyed Holy Man I think it was marketed entirely wrong. The ads and previews make this movie out to be nonstop comedy - and with Eddie Murphy in it there's bound to be some - but it takes on more of a serious tone after a while.

Murphy plays a character known simply as "G". He basically acts like some sort of guru, and the home shopping network producers who befriend him Ricky Hayman (Jeff Goldblum) and Kate Newell (Kelly Preston) decide to put him on television. Hayman's career is failing and he hopes G will be a success, therefore earning them both loads of money while Kate really likes G. As it turns out, G is a great success, but thinks they should let him go so he can "continue on his journey", as he puts it.

There were some wonderfully funny scenes in Holy Man and I thought that Murphy was very well cast in his role, but I must warn you that this is not straight comedy. Also, the open ending is frustrating -- there are so many things not clearly explained. All in all, though, I would recommend Holy Man.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Tuesday:
Firestarter

Firestarter
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Firestarter was based on the novel by Stephen King, and was extremely well adapted for the screen.

A very young Drew Barrymore plays Charlie, a little girl with pyrokinetic, telekinetic, and telepathic powers. (Her parents were part of a mad scientist's experiment years earlier and they also developed abilities too.) Charlie, it seems, got the best of both parents and can set things on fire just by looking at them. For this reason, men from the Shop, a secret government agency that apparently does the dirty work for a lot of mad scientists, want Charlie. After they kill her mother and try to kidnap her, Charlie's father uses his mind-controlling powers to make them hand her over. However, they're always on the run now, and you know that sooner or later the Shop will catch up with them. But can they stop Charlie from getting away?

The scenes were well played out and the acting was intense. Aside from setting a lot of fires, this movie doesn't rely heavily on special effects, but has a lot of plot. Watching Firestarter as a movie was almost as much fun as reading the book.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Wednesday:
Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky
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I just saw a terrific romantic comedy - Bride of Chucky. If you intend to rent the three prequels - Child's Play I, II, and III - before seeing this one, but can't locate them at the video stores, don't worry, this movie is so simplistic that it's easy to understand - even if you don't watch the first three movies.

Tiffany has spent the past ten years patiently waiting for her boyfriend Chucky to return. Problem is, he's been dead that long. Not a problem, though, as he was able to inhabit the body of a child's doll before. So, she just reincarnates him with her handy "Voodoo for Idiots" book! Unfortunately, she soon becomes a doll, too.

This is not the movie to watch if, say, your I.Q. is above the single digits, unless you have a great appreciation for idiot comedy. The special effects are entirely too fake looking, the plot is weak, and the acting is so lousy it's funny, but there's something to be said for bad movies - surprisingly, they can be rather good. (If that doesn't make sense, you know Chucky did something to my brain....)

My Rating = Two Stars

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Thursday:
Funny Lady

Funny Lady
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Funny Lady is a mediocre sequel to Funny Girl.

Once again, Barbra Streisand stars as Fanny Bryce, the comic and singer who made it big in Funny Girl. This time around, she's just been served divorce papers by her husband, whom you were led to believe she was resolving things with in the last film. Meanwhile, the stock market crash has left her less than rich, so she decides to do a new show. She does this with the help of a songwriter/producer who screws thing up and "overproduces" the show.

In other words, opening night is a disaster. And, oh yeah, Fanny is sort of falling for this idiot. Or will she forget him and get back together with her now estranged husband?

The music made this movie - it was fantastic - plus there were some notable comical scenes. Yet, the plot was extremely evident. I saw the end coming from the beginning! (I hate it when that happens.) I don't know which movie was better - they're fairly comparable, and actually Funny Lady just seems like a slightly different version of the first movie.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
Beloved

Beloved
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Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover star in Beloved, a captivating film.

Winfrey plays Sethe, an escaped slave who now lives in a house haunted by her long-dead daughter. Her surviving daughter, Denver, who still lives there hates it, and her two sons have already left because they couldn't stand the ghost. Then one day Paul D, another freed slave whom she hasn't seen in eighteen years shows up and stays at her house.

Not long after, a strange young woman who seems to be either very ill or mentally retarded, also appears on Sethe's front lawn. Only calling herself "Beloved", she never talks about her past, and Paul becomes suspicious, although Sethe quickly becomes attached to the girl.

After a while we learn that Beloved is the ghost of her daughter, come back in human form, and she seems to have cast an evil spell over Sethe.

There was satisfying character development, and the scenes were very well portrayed. The acting was excellent, and I definitely see Oscar nominations for this film.

My Rating = Four Stars

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