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 November 16, 1998.

Monday:
Trading Places

Trading Places
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Trading Places in an hilarious comedy about two totally different people who, well, trade places.

Eddie Murphy is Billy Ray Valentine, a con man on the streets - who will say any lie for a buck. Winthorpe is a snooty rich commodities broker who apparently thinks he's the greatest thing to ever hit Wall Street.

His two bosses, brothers who own a brokerage, make a bet that they can't put Winthorpe out on the streets and make a success of Billy. So that's exactly what they try to do.

Murphy is hysterical. Watching how the two characters develop is interesting, too. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis has a supporting role as Winthorpe's new girlfriend - a prostitute who befriends him at the police station. The funniest part of all comes when you find out that the bet was for the amount of one dollar.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Tuesday:
Mr. Destiny

Mr. Destiny
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Mr. Destiny is a farcical but rather unbelievable comedy about - you guessed it- destiny.

Larry Burrows (James Belushi) has spent his entire life regretting what he apparently considers to be the worst mistake of his life: losing a baseball game on his fifteenth birthday. (If you ask me, this is rather obsessive.)

Exactly twenty years later he meets an old guy named Mike (Michael Caine) in a bar who fixes him a strange potion - because of this potion Burrows discovers his life is totally different. The potion changed that one moment of his life - he hit the baseball after all - and everything else wound up being totally different. He is now married to the boss's daughter, beautiful Cindy Jo (Rene Russo) and consequently has a much better job. However, the woman he used to be married to doesn't like him at all now, and Burrows is stuck in the middle of some shady business deals.

You guessed it, Burrows wants his old life back.

Mr.Destiny is both too preachy and too far-fetched to be a truly entertaining comedy, but there were many hilarious scenes. Jon Lovitz is hysterical as Burrow's best friend, and all the other actors were well-cast, too. All in all, Mr. Destiny was a fairly pleasant and interesting watch.

My Rating = Two Stars

Rent


Wednesday:
I'll be Home for Christmas

I'll be Home for Christmas
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
I'll be Home for Christmas is a splendid holiday comedy that the whole family can enjoy.

Johnathan Taylor Thomas stars as Jake, a self-absorbed prep-school student whose father wants him home for Christmas. Jake is resentful of his stepmother, whom his father married only ten months after his first wife's death, and doesn't want to spend the holidays with them. In a desperate attempt to lure Jake home for the holidays, his father offers Jake a Porsche - just to come home.

Unfortunately, Jake winds up stranded in the desert, wearing a Santa suit - thanks to some bullies, one of whom is headed home with Jake's tough-stuff attitude girlfriend (Jessica Biel). Therefore, Jake has to hitch rides with all sorts of crazy characters.

In one of my favorite scenes, Jake, a terrific schemer, helps a cop get back together with his estranged wife by rewriting "Oh, Christmas Tree". The cop sings this revamped Christmas song in a terribly off-key voice, which was very hilarious. (One discrepancy - the actor's voice sounded very well trained, even though he was off key - obviously he had had a lot of vocal training. Personally, I think they should have picked someone who really couldn't sing.)

But enough of my nit-picking. I thoroughly enjoyed I'll be Home for Christmas. This film is well-acted, highly comical, and really puts you in the holiday spirit. (And it's also an especially great opportunity for Johnathan Taylor Thomas fans to catch him on the screen, as he recently left the TV show Home Improvement.) I would gladly sit through it again.

My Rating = Three Stars

Rent


Thursday:
Meet Joe Black

Meet Joe Black
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Meet Joe Black is wonderful movie that, despite being three hours and eleven minutes long, kept me captivated till its end.

Meet Joe Black does have a great plot, but it wouldn't matter if it didn't, because it stars Brad Pitt, and I could look at him for three hours anyway. Frankly, the subject of this movie could have been about the composition of dirt and it would still have held my attention.

Seriously, the plot is quite complicated and thought-provoking. Pitt, of course, is Joe Black - or so he says. In reality, he is Death in a human body. Death - or Joe - has come to claim a rich communications magnate (Anthony Hopkins) about to reach his sixty-fifth birthday. However, Joe becomes sidetracked when he falls in love with Hopkins' daughter. She, too, falls in love with him, despite already being involved with her father's back-stabbing assistant.

Aside from being great to look at, Pitt is a powerful actor, and so are all his costars in Meet Joe Black. (Hopkins, for example, was much more enjoyable here than in his last film, The Edge.) Although generally serious, this film also contained some humor - like Joe's fixation with peanut butter. (Hey, that's not so weird - it's good stuff. Of course, refusing the main course of a fancy dinner and requesting only peanut butter is a bit rude.)

My Rating = Four Stars

Rent


Friday:
Stepmonster

Stepmonster
Buy this poster at
MovieGoods
Stepmonster is a silly, unrealistic, but still somewhat amusing horror film.

A boy who loves comics takes a vacation with his family. His father, an architect who appears physically incapable of cracking a smile wants him to practice the violin and forget the comics. Naturally, he doesn't believe his son's stories of creatures called "Tropopkins", although his stepmother tries to humor the boy. His grandfather encourages him to believe in tropopkins, and suspicious things that look like the work of tropopkins begin happening.

Meanwhile, there's a subplot about his mother - she was presumed dead after an accident although her body was never found. His father remarried six months later.

Stepmonster held my attention but lacked originality and got a bit on the corny side after a while. However, the acting was good (the guy who played the father must have had his face frozen into place in that stony expression!) And, after all, how scary can a horror film be when it's rated PG-13?

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