Reviews of Movies That Aren't As Good As Star Wars
DUMB AND DUMBER
Hidden amid all the poop jokes, pee jokes and sight gags, DUMB AND DUMBER develops into something quite unexpected: a damn funny movie. Jim Carrey is wonderful as Jerry Lewis, pratfalling his way through another shameless display of idiocy, this time with Jeff Daniels following close enough to his heels to be hilariously kicked in the face. DUMB AND DUMBER is the kind of movie that everyone claims to hate, but laughs at it in the theatre both time they see it. Go see this movie no matter what people tell you.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain:: Jeff Daniels - SOMETHING WILD - Melanie Griffith - WORKING GIRL - Harrison Ford - STAR WARS - Obi Wan Kenobi.
Stupid title aside, DROP ZONE is something of a rarity in 1994--a fun, somewhat intelligent action movie that harkens back to the shoot-em up heyday of LETHAL WEAPON and DIE HARD. Wesley Snipes confirms his status as the action hero of the next decade with a believable performance as the-guy-who's-gonna-avenge-my-partner's-senseless-death-at-the-hands-of-the-bad-guys. Best of all, DROP ZONE features heart-pounding sky-diving stunts that never once stretch believability, and a pair of strong female characters who don't have to resort to displaying their naked boobies to be interesting. Although DROP ZONE will never approach the quality of the TERMINATOR, DIE HARD or LETHAL series, it's worth watching merely because its nowhere near as bad as either SPEED or TRUE LIES.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Wesley Snipes-WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP-Woody Harrelson-NATURAL BORN KILLERS-Juliette Lewis-CAPE FEAR-Jessica Lange-POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE-Jack Nicholson-BARFLYS-Meryl Streep-POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE-Carrie Fischer-STAR WARS-Obi Wan Kenobi
Kevin Smith's look at a day in the lives of two counter jockeys is chock full o' bad actors and amateurish cinematography, but even Quentin Tarantino would sigh at the film's barrage of hilarious dialogue, strange characters, and viciously funny plot twists. The film's heroes, Dante and Randall, stagnate in a cesspool of post-high school hometown hell, surrounded by sophomoric metalhead drug pushers, idiotic customers, and loudmouth jocks, as they work at their respective adjacent store fronts, a small convenient mart and a video rental den. Dante is the model employee except that he still has aspirations beyond selling cigarettes, whereas Randall is the kind of person who watches skin flicks during business hours and spits in customer's faces. For a grainy black-and-white film shot almost entirely in a second rate convenience store and further clouded by the kind of acting that makes one cringe, Clerks holds its own quite well.
Ben Kenobi Death Star Watch: Randall has a problem with the destruction of the unfinished Death Star because it would have meant the deaths of many independent contractors who were working on it. However, an independent roofing contractor assures him that personal politics come heavily into play for most independent contractors when accepting a job, thus only those with imperial affiliation would work on the Death Star.
A LOW DOWN DIRTY SHAME
With this flick, Keenan Ivory Wayans has now officially resorted to doing exactly the sort of schlocky hero movie he made fun of with IM GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA. As a black hero named Shame, a down and out detective who leaps through plot holes in a single bound, Wayans can't seem to glean much entertainment value out of the tangled web of Die-Easy stunts, bad breath jokes and gay-bashing antics that comprise this film. And of course, he had to top it all off by sticking in a James Brown routine. Hey, Keenan: James Brown impressions aren't as funny now as they were in the last 98 episodes of Comic View.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: James Brown - REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE - Macauley Culkin - HOME ALONE - John Candy - SPACEBALLS - Pizza The Hut - RETURN OF THE JEDI - Harrison Ford - STAR WARS - Obi Wan Kenobi
INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE
Neil Jordan directs the most faithful adaptation of a novel to reach theaters in recent years, and even if Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire is a plotless bore that better lends itself to suburban goth angst than to the silver screen, audiences should enjoy the surprisingly convincing duo of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as aristocratic, homoerotic bloodsuckers. Although the screenplay accentuates some witty gallows humor easily missed in the book, and Stephen Rea nearly steals the show as a deranged vampire mime, no amount of set-chewing histrionics can steal the show from Kirsten Dunst as the adorable and evil child vampire. Vampire may be just another special-effects laden costume drama but it is at least an entertaining one. Melvin Vocabulary Alert: "Preternatural."
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Tom Cruise - TOP GUN - Kelly McGillis - WITNESS - Harrison Ford - STAR WARS - Obi Wan Kenobi.
STAR TREK '77: GENERATIONS
Although Generations succeeds in its primary task--entertaining legions of Trekkies--it's frightening how much the latest release resembles the tacky made-for-tv Airport movies of the late seventies, featuring a bloated cast of bad character actors, silly technical jargon, and super slow motion shots of the Enterprise crash landing as the crew screams and flies into bulkheads. Cheesiness aside, Generations is an enjoyable film. Patrick Stewart proves himself the actor that Bill Shatner never was, and Brent Spiner is funnier than ever when he begins to experience human emotion for the first time. The real star of the film, however, is the beautiful special effects which will make you weep for the glorious utopian future to come. Generations successfully passes the Trekkie franchise from one generation of actors to another, and it's apparent from the final shot that Star Trek will boldly go where no serial has gone before, with the possible exception of the James Bond movies.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Jedi warriors deny all connection to the crew of the Enterprise and others of their ilk.
WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE
Whoops, it's not new and it's not a nightmare. However postmodern it may seem (the house lights in the theater, for example, are not fully turned out until the second half of the movie), it's the same old plot-full-o hackneyed situations. Happily, there's less violence than usual, but the psychological horror, which revolves around a boy possessed by Freddy's evil spirit, comes off like an unfunny parody of Poltergeist or The Exorcist (there is even pea green projectile vomiting). The scariest aspect of the whole thing is Heather Langenkamp's acting: she's as bad portraying herself as she was playing Nancy in Nightmare on Elm Street.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Heather Langenkamp - NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET - Johnny Depp - EDWARD SCISSORHANDS - Vincent Price - THE HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS - Peter Cushing - STAR WARS - Obi Wan Kenobi.
MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN
Those who have seen Dracula will be well-prepared for the lavish visual fiasco of this latest Coppola creature-feature. And some of the juicy gore in this tender romance is more nauseating than the acting of Keanu Reeves. Kenneth Branagh proves without a doubt his status as a mediocre Brit director, and as an actor finally nails the kind of whiny, annoyingly melodramatic performance to which he apparently aspires. Fortunately, Helena Bonham Carter as Victor Frankenstein's sister provides welcome relief from Branagh's sniveling by delivering a performance astounding enough to make an essentially phony, stilted script come to life. The only redeeming qualities of this new addition to the ever-growing monster/romance genre are the breathtaking sets and the heartwarming depiction of the Creature as played by Travis Bickle, who returns to the screen with the same calculated vengeance he showed playing Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver.
Ben Kenobi Amazing Movie Chain: Robert DeNiro - ANGEL HEART - Mickey Rourke - BARFLY - Jessica Lange - THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE - Jack Nicholson - IRONWEED - Meryl Streep - POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE - Carrie Fisher - STAR WARS - Obi Wan Kenobi.