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Review of the day for the week of November 24, 1997.

Monday:
Muppet Treasure Island

Muppet Treasure Island
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I am positive that kids 10 years old and under will like the Muppet Treasure Island movie.

When young Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) receives a treasure map, he goes looking for the treasure, and takes along his good pals, Gonzo and Rizzo, on a trip that quickly becomes an adventuresome high-seas quest. The captain of the ship is Captain Smollet (Kermit), and since every movie has to have a bad guy or two, Tim Curry plays "the evil pirate disguised as a ship's cook", who calls himself Long John Silver.

When Long John Silver and his crew of pirates take possession of the map, and kidnap Jim, it's up to Captain Smollet, and his Muppets, to save the day. It's not long before they all wind up on the treasure island with Smollett's old girlfriend, none other than the beautiful Miss Piggy. Now, all Jim and his friends have to do is redeem the map, do something about those exasperating pirates, and patch up Smollett's relationship with his old flame, Miss Piggy. No problem, right? Well, maybe...

You'll just have to see this movie to find out if Miss Piggy and Captain Smollett make peace, and what happens to Jim and his friends.

If you appreciate the Muppets, you'll love this movie - there's 400 Muppets in it!

My Rating = Four Stars

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Tuesday:
Phenomenon

Phenomenon
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Phenomenon is disappointing. Touted as a "big smash of the summer" type movie Phenomenon didn't quite fit the billing. The buttered popcorn left a better taste in my mouth than Phenomenon.

On his 37th birthday, John Malley (John Travolta) gets drunk, and stumbles outside. He sees a "light", which he speculates is a U.F.O..

Soon, it's all over town. Lovely Lacie, whom he loves but is constantly being rejected by (talk about taking a beating and coming back for more!) thinks even less of him now.

Did I mention that ever since he saw this "light" he has become a genius? He can also predict earthquakes, move things with his mind, and feel the pain of others. Right!

And he really doesn't do anything with his powers, except give his small town neighbors- including Lace - something to gossip about.

Oh, gee, what a plot.

If you've watched Phenomenon and liked it, I'd say that is a phenomenon!

My Rating = One Star

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Wednesday:
Naked Gun 33 1/3

Naked Gun 33 1/3
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Spy movies are always good for a laugh. Especially those that double as comedies, like Naked Gun, 33 1/3.

Retired cop/spy Frank Daley (remarkable comedy actor Leslie Nielson) is prompted to get back into the game by his old coworkers. Disappointing his dumb-blond wife, who was all too happy that he retired from his stressful, dangerous job, he takes off on a new case: tracking terrorists who plan to bomb the Academy Awards (although the bombing site is not discovered until halfway through the movie). This results in some crowingly funny scenes at the Awards, where Frank, at one point, has to pose as Phil Donahue (and thoroughly embarrasses Donahue, too!).

Rent this risible comedy for nonstop fun. You'll cackle so much you'll think you've turned into a hen!

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
Austin Powers

Austin Powers
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Austin Powers is a movie that is so stupid you must laugh or risk going crazy.

Mike Meyers plays Austin Powers, a spy who has been cryogenically frozen since the seventies, when he defeated his nemesis, Dr.Evil (who was also frozen and launched into space). When Dr.Evil returns in the nineties, Powers is also unfrozen and, naturally, he's a little out of place in the nineties - after all, things have changed a lot in thirty years! Powers goes around looking like someone out of a bad old movie, makes politically incorrect statement after politically incorrect statement, and pretty much embarrasses the government to death! (Meyers also portrays Dr. Evil, who is perhaps even funnier.)

If you're a big fan of ridiculously dense comedy (like me) you'll love Austin Powers. If not, well, it is only ninety minutes long.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
The Santa Clause

Santa Clause
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Due mostly to Tim Allen's noisily merry comic genius, the Santa Clause movie is charmingly entertaining.

Allen plays Scott Calvin, a divorced dad whose young son is spending Christmas Eve with him. In the middle of the night, his son wakes him shouting, "Dad, dad, there's reindeers on the roof!" Scott is dragged outside by his persistent son, only to discover that Santa has died leaving behind a suit and a note instructing Scott to take over his job (that's the Santa Clause). This prompts Scott to wisecrack, "Great, there's a nude guy who thinks he's Santa running around the neighborhood."

Later, however, Allen begins noticing strange changes that lead him to believe he IS Santa after all: for example, he gains a LOT of weight, due to his new insatiable appetite. Naturally, his son has complete faith that he is Santa.

Viewing this movie (again!) makes me look forward to Allen's upcoming film For Richer or Poorer even more.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Saturday:
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a lethargically slow and poky movie that certainly didn't live up to my expectations. I thought it would never end (and at nearly three hours, it almost didn't!).

It takes a while for the plot to become clear, and until that point the pointless, uninteresting scenes have little coherence. After a while it turns into something of a murder mystery - although not a very intriguing one. A rich guy named Jeff Braswell (Tim Black) living in Savannah is accused of shooting his gay lover (Jude Law) and is subsequently taken to court. Meanwhile, JohnCusack (John Kelso), a reporter for Town and Country magazine, who was sent to do a story on the accused's extravagant annual Christmas party, now investigates the case. Subplots include his romance with a local woman, and the antics of a local cross-dresser.

Unless you're interested in being bored stiff for two and a half long hours, I wouldn't recommend this movie.

My Rating = One Star

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Sunday:
Anastasia

Anastasia
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Almost everyone will love Anastasia, a delightful animated musical.

Anya is an eighteen-year-old Russian orphan who sets out to Paris to track down her family. Her only clue to her past is a locket she's had since the age of eight, when she was found wandering around, apparently lost, and was subsequently brought to an orphanage. Accompanying her on her quest are her poodle Pooka and two crooked guys who plan to pass her off as the lost Princess Anastasia, the deceased Czar's daughter. Along the way, however, they begin to suspect that she really is Anastasia (hey, it's a Disney movie; you can't expect it to be firmly rooted in reality).

The music, and the colors in the animation were enthralling, although the plot at times slowed down. It was also pleasing that Anastasia had a strong personality and didn't hesitate to put the men in their place (when necessary ) using very modern language.

The crying babies in the theatre were a little distracting, but most children under ten should enjoy the movie. The theatre was packed (Sold Out!) and it's sure to be a hit.

My Rating = Three Stars

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