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Reviews for the week of November 1, 1999.

Wednesday:
Bats

Bats
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If there's one thing the producers of Bats did right - and I'm sure it's the only thing - it was choosing the release date for this film. A week before Halloween is the only time anyone will be interested in this movie (and even then, it's sure to disappoint).

Bats is a nonsensical, ridiculous film about - you guessed it - bats. Only these are genetically engineered, super-strong, super-aggressive bats (yes, they feed on humans!). That's right, they're your not-so-lovable super-blood suckers on steroids.

A zoologist who specializes in bats and her assistant are brought to a small town in Texas, where these super-bloodsuckers have run amok. Thanks to a mad scientist (he's the guy who "created" them) a few bats have escaped, and are currently infecting other bats with the virus that soups up their predatory skills. Getting rid of the whole mess of bats is not going to be a fun or easy task.

Neither is this a fun movie. The special effects are as unrealistic as they come (the bats don't look even close to being real). Lots of blood is tossed around, but this effect doesn't add much either. The acting is serviceable (although the actors are mostly unknown) - and there isn't much of a script.

My Rating = One Star

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Friday:
Crazy in Alabama

Crazy in Alabama
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Crazy in Alabama is a laughable, well-acted comedy/drama that takes place in Alabama in 1965.

Melanie Griffith plays Lucille, a woman who seems to epitomize the term "crazy". Loony Lucy is about as far off her rocker as you can get. First she murders her abusive husband - you can see her motivation there. But what you can't understand is why she chooses to carry his head around with her in a hatbox! (You'd think she'd dispose of it properly!)

Then she leaves her seven children with her mother and heads to Hollywood to become an actress.

She also commits several other crimes, including holding up a bar and stealing a car. When stopped by a cop, she seduces him, grabs his gun and runs off.

The story is narrated by her nephew, Peter Joseph (they call him Pe-Jo, which sounds pretty silly to me). Peter and his brother, orphans who have lived with their grandmother for years, are sent to stay with their uncle while Grandma takes care of Lucille's kids. Soon Peter gets mixed up in a civil rights protest at a local pool, which leaves an African-American boy dead. (Peter was the only one who saw what happened - the sheriff basically killed the boy.)

The two plots may seem unrelated, but they tie together nicely at the end. I found Crazy in Alabama enormously enticing, enjoyed all the actors in both the comical and serious drama scenes, and recommend it highly.

My Rating = Four Stars

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