Talent ran high on this remake of a classic novel which reveals the intertwining lives of four sisters and their evolvution from girls into women as they choose the paths their lives will follow. Although it is being critically hailed as one of the years best movies, Little Women runs the risk of being dismissed by the general public as either a period piece or a chick movie. And who are we kidding, it really is both. Unseen since Empire of the Sun, Little Women also allows an older Christian Bale to remind us of his acting genius. Performances were really strong, but the cast was star-studded so no surprises there. Gabriel Byrne did shed his irish accent for an annoying German one. It was good. But I'm a chick. It was about love and being an oppressed woman and the bonds between sisters. It was a chick movie, and like I said, I'm a chick. And this chick's going home. If you need more info. I'm in the office 9-5 on Tuesday.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Winona Ryder-MERMAIDS-Cher-WITCHES OF EASTWICK-Michelle Pfeiffer-RUSSIA HOUSE-Sean Connery-HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER-James Earl Jones-STAR WARS-Ben Kenobi
Rarely does a movie with three big name actors deliver three stellar performances, but I.Q. is one exception. Walter Matthau, as a fun-loving Albert Einstein, Meg Ryan as Einstein's brilliant and beautiful niece, and Tim Robbins as the auto mechanic who loves her, are perfect both individually and as a team. Despite the movie's seemingly dumb premise, the three bring to life a clever script to make I.Q. more than just another sappy romantic-comedy, and allow the viewer to easily forget some of the movie's more contrived moments. I.Q. avoids the pitfalls of so many romantic comedies by not becoming too goofy or too sentimental, but riding the line between with perfect balance.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Meg Ryan-TOP GUN-Tom Cruise-INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE-Christian Slater-NAME OF THE ROSE-Sean Connery-HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER-James Earl Jones-STAR WARS-Obi Wan Kenobi
Add the components of big name talent to the lush Carolina countryside and a typical Hollywood moral and you can almost smell the Oscar nominations. Neeson plays a small town doctor who finds Foster in the house of her mother after she dies. Raised by a man-hating hermit with a speech impediment caused by a stroke, Foster plays a "wild child" who is exposed to society with the help of Neeson, who feels responsible, and Richardson, who wants her for a psychological experiment. Of course by the end, Nell shows both characters how to live and love again, through her simplicity and sensitivity. (It's actually even more cheesy then it sounds.) Despite the solid acting, this movie is merely a glorified E.T. for adults, and only holds surprises when attempting to guess when Liam Neeson would change his accent next.
Basic plot for synthetic review: Boy who brings Nell's mom groceries, sees her dead on the floor and contacts Neeson and police. Neeson finds Nell and goes to see Richardson to try and find out what's wrong with her. Richardson believes that she should be in an institution for psychological study rather then be the next talk show topic. They go to court. They have three months to find out if Nell is competent or if she should be committed. Neeson pitches a tent. Richardson has a boat. Neeson begins to decipher her language. They watch her a lot. She acts pretty weird. They realize she had a twin sister who's dead and she has hallucinations of her. Photographer finds out about her and writes a story. Finally a TV crew comes, and they take Nell away to the psych institution where they think she'll be safe but actually she turns into a vegetable. A few days later in court just when you think she'll be committed by the evil psychologist, Nell suddenly becomes totally competent and Neeson can not only understand everything she's saying but can also completely translate into her language.
We'll save everyone the trouble of seeing this movie by saying that eventually Neeson's doctor and the evil psychologist played by Natasha Richardson fall in love and they live happily ever after with Nell as a surrogate child, and they finally learn that some things like love and life and family picnics are more important than science, and the acting is all wonderful, and wouldn't all of society benefit from the knowledge of poor inbred orphans from Tennessee? The End.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Natasha Richardson-HANDMAID'S TALE-Robert Duval-APOCALYPSE NOW-Harrison Ford-STAR WARS-Obi Wan Kenobi
For the thousands who enjoyed the intro to the arcade game Streetfighter, as they stood in the arcade absorbed in the thrilling lives of video game characters, and for the same thousands who followed the intro to the video game Streetfighter II with the same rapt attention, and even for those daring enough to pop in a slug or two to play the games, the Hollywood version will be an unforgettable masterpiece.
However, for those of us who have graduated from junior high, those of us who have actually mastered the art of reading, those of us daring enough to pack our own lunches, Streetfighter will seem like the most asinine, ridiculously forgettable movie ever made. Not only does it feature Jean Claude Van Damme's astounding butchery of the English language as he destroys all scant traces of cleverness in the dialogue, it lacks any amount of plot and action in its first hour substantial enough to make anyone aged 12 and up want to see the rest of it. Any supporter of this poor excuse for a movie who brings up the defense that it was aimed at kids should note that fourth graders at recess could write better jokes and action scenes. And fans of brutal violence like that of Kickboxer can only look for the huge cyst on Van Damme's forehead and pretend it's a bump caused by a lead pipe.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Raul Julia-PRESUMED INNOCENT-Harrison Ford-STAR WARS-Obi Wan Kenobi