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Review of the day for the week of December 1, 1997.

Monday:
Anaconda

Anaconda
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This sensationally thrilling heart-pounder of a movie is captivatingly and deliciously freaky.

A movie crew is in a jungle, trying to locate a mythical tribe of still uncivilized Indians that is supposed to inhabit the area. Their guide, a creepy dude named Paul Serone, leads them deep into the wilderness, and at first it is unclear what he really wants out of the expedition. Too late, the crew realizes he wants to capture a rare anaconda snake, therefore endangering their lives.

This movie's one pitfall is that the crew spends the first third of the movie endangered by rare species other than the anaconda (such as one disgusting scene where a huge, poisonous wasp stings a guy's tongue and has to be pulled out of his mouth). I guess this is supposed to be a sort of warm-up for the Big Scare, but I would have preferred more scenes with the deadly (and very realistically done) anaconda itself.

Rent this movie today, but not if you're squeamish, and especially not if you're scared of snakes! Of course, even if you're not, you will be by the time the movie's over. Too bad it was only an hour and a half long - I could have sat through at least two hours, if not more, of the gloriously gory action.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Tuesday:
Alien: Resurrection

Alien: Resurrection
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All right, I forgive the writers for killing off Ellen Ripley in Alien 3, because they did such a splendid job of bringing her back in Alien:Resurrection, the fourth movie. I even forgive them for trying to work a romance into the plot of Aliens, the second movie, because this film is what makes going to the movies fun.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), is the heroine of the last three movies, and she's supposed to have been taking a dirt nap for the past two hundred years. However, some brilliant, if twisted, scientists manage to find some of her blood and re-grow her in a lab. Newly revived, she's even spookier - and more darkly humorous - than before. It becomes hard to tell who's creepier - Ripley or the aliens! (The funny thing is, although she's now the exact age as she was when she died, she seems to have aged - in other words, they shouldn't have waited so long to make the fourth movie!)

The plot is more or less the same as the previous Alien movies - Ripley is once again trying to kick the alien's butts. If you didn't like the first three movies, you probably won't like this one. Also, if you didn't view the first three movies, you're apt to be confused, as my mom and a friend of mine were, so I would recommend renting the first three before you see this one. You might want to rent them even if you've seen them already - this brings back some good memories. I just hope we won't have to wait so long for the next movie (and hopefully, there will be a next one).

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Flubber

Flubber
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This semi-amusing, semi-stupid film will entertain youngsters, but probably holds little entertainment value for those over the age of ten.

Robin Williams is, naturally, the absentminded professor who forgets his own wedding three times. When he accidentally creates flubber - flying rubber - he is on the verge of fame and fortune, which could help save the bankrupt college he works for. But alas, the bad guys show up to steal flubber and make all the money. One of the bad guys even tries to steal the professor's fiancÚ - which isn't hard to do, considering she's been jilted three times!

Williams is his usual wacky self here, although I preferred him in some of his earlier endeavors, such as Mrs. Doubtfire. Flubber held my attention for the first fifteen minutes or so, but after awhile I was just dying to go see Alien: Resurrection again instead. Gentle little kid movies just aren't my thing - I want blood and guts and slime.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Thursday:
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
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If you like to watch movies where a bunch of people try to kick each other's you-know-whats using an equal amount of karate techniques and high-tech special effects, this movie's for you. If you're like me, and have an attention span suited to something with a bit more depth, skip it.

Naturally, there are the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and they have lots of karate battles. At least it's not completely male-dominated and sexist - there are several female karate-choppers (one of them looks like a clone of TV's Xena: The Warrior Princess). Speaking of clones, there's also a Jackie Chan lookalike, and a Superman wannabe with huge steel plates that give his arms super strength. Please! Oh, have I mentioned that there's this immortal "thundergod" named Rayden with long white hair that makes him look just like the old guy in Back to the Future? Or an evil witch with long, platinum streaked hair like Morticia of The Adams Family movies and show? Do you see a pattern here? It's like they copied every famous TV or movie character they could think of!

Apparently I was one of the few people who disliked this movie - as I left the theatre I heard many people saying "Cool!", "Awesome", or "Better than the first one!" If you are one of those people, I'll be expecting your hate mail.

My Rating = One Star

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Friday:
Son in Law

Son in Law
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Pauly Shore's comic genius does not fail him in this off-the-wall comedy, Son-in-Law about - you guessed it - a son-in-law.

Country girl Rebecca (Carla Gugino) leaves her family and boyfriend behind to attend college miles away. As if she wasn't in for a culture shock already, she meets Crawl (Pauly Shore), a screwball who makes every other punked-out freak you've ever seen look like a shining example of good grooming. Before you know, it, Rebecca, is his new best friend, and has cut and died her hair, acquired a tattoo, and become very accustomed to city life.

Then she goes home for Thanksgiving - with Shore in tow - and when she realizes that her old boyfriend is about to propose, she suddenly gets very nervous. Apparently, she's not quite as devoted to him as he is to her, and she's definitely not ready for commitment. So she announces that she and Shore are engaged (which they're not). Of course, her already shell-shocked family can't get any more devastated than this. Her mother, being a mother, asks if she's pregnant, then when Rebecca says no, her mom demands hysterically to know just what is going on. Dear old dad decides to see if Shore can handle running a farm, and things get even more laughably ridiculous. In one scene, Shore is asked to kill the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and does so by literally scaring the turkey to death. Or so he thinks - it later comes back to life and everyone has to chase it around the kitchen.

You get the idea - it's Pauly Shore's usual brand of humor, and I find it amusing.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Saturday:
Top Gun

Top Gun
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I can't say enough good things about Tom Cruise. He's sexy. He's a great actor. He makes excellent movies. And this one is no exception.

Cruise plays a military pilot nicknamed Maverick, who is in the top one percent of the pilots, and gets sent to a California base, or Fightertown, USA, as they call it, for "Top Gun" training. Determined to win the top gun award, the cocky young pilot is not exactly well liked by all of his superiors, although he does develop a romance with a female instructor. One of his problems is that his father, also a military pilot, disappeared, and all the information surrounding his death is classified. Most people believe Maverick's father died in disgrace. The tragic death of Maverick's flying partner and best friend, Goose, consumes him with guilt and he considers giving up.

There are a couple amusing scenes where Cruise sings in this movie, and although it wasn't hard to listen to, Cruise is certainly a better actor than a singer. This wonderful movie is sure to please Cruise fans, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Sunday:
The Burbs

The Burbs
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This comically unrealistic movie doesn't really show off Tom Hanks' talent as an actor, but it's entertaining nonetheless.

Hanks plays a guy named Peterson, who takes a week off from work so he can stay home and laze around the house. Bad idea - considering his neighbors. There's the busybody who comes over to everybody's house and eats them out of house and home. There's the military guy and his dumb blonde wife, who are constantly annoyed by another neighbor, whose dog always does his business in everyone else's yard. And let's not forget the new neighbors, who come out in the middle of the night and dig holes in their backyard. Nope, I guess it isn't going to be such a relaxing week for Peterson.

If you're into dumb comedies, this is the movie for you.

My Rating = Two Stars

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