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Kino Korner

Movie Reviews by Michael Gildea


Mean Girls

I spent the days before actually seeing Mean Girls very much in the same manner that one might spend between rounds of playing Rock/Paper/Scissors (the kind where the loser gets their hand smashed onto a flat surface) with Michael Clarke Duncan (the huge black dude from The Green Mile). Iím always up for a playful game, but that could potentially be excruciatingly painful. I really wanted to like Mean Girls, but the previews I saw made it look like a low-grade Heathers knock-off. When the credits eventually rolled, I was pleasantly surprised. And itís really no wonder when you consider that Tina Fey, co-head writer for "Saturday Night Live," is a very big reason that show no longer sucks. Mean Girls is the story of the daughter of anthropologists in Africa who starts in a public school after years of home schooling. Sheís got no idea how the high school world works, so sheís thrown to the lions andÖwell. I liked Mean Girls because it wasnít the typical teenage bullshit movie with screaming idiots and characters with really quirky names and the ability to defy the laws of life. But on the other hand, it also made me think of how much I really didnít like high school all those many years ago. So ultimately, if you want to feel old and want a few laughs all at the same time, Mean Girls just may be the way to go.


Envy

Envy is the kind of movie I should be really excited about, but I just canít be. Watching Jack Black ham it up is getting truly old and Ben Stiller is quickly becoming the Woody Allen for this generation. Furthermore, I really had to take a wicked shit during the movie, so my opinion may not be entirely trustworthy. You see, I never walk out for anything during a movie, no matter how bad the feature is. As a result, my perception of the movie sometimes suffers. It all started a couple of hours before the movie, when I ate at Zebbís. I didnít mind that much waiting fifteen minutes for something to drink. I didnít mind so much when the fries were stuck together like three-dozen used condoms in a pickle jar. But when the meat on my burger looks like it was run over with an SUV and the mullet-coiffed waitress deprives me of a refill, someoneís got to pay. This is going to be one of the only times I tell you not to entirely trust my opinion, but youíre big boys and girls now. I canít make all of your decisions for you anymore. There is one more thing I do remember: Christopher Walken was funny, but heís at the point in his career where his appearance alone bumps a movie up a few notches.


Godsend 

Watching Godsend, I thought one of two things was going on. The first possibility was that Robert DeNiro isnít even trying anymore. Heís finally joined the club that Jack Nicholson invented where youíve built up such a reputation that your bodyís internal and involuntary activities are all the preparation that goes on for a movie. Heís probably drinking whiskey in some exclusive lounge wearing velvet smoking jackets and smoking $350 cigars with Al Pacino, laughing about the good old days back when they used to make things called great movies and when they actually got paid to do something called act. I know that Mr. DeNiro has been having health problems lately, but I had no idea that his predicament was this bad. The other prospect pointed to the potentiality that Godsend was simply a king-sized honker of a piece of shit. By the time the credits rolled on this turkey, I decided that it was a little of both. Godsend is Hollywoodís ballot-casting against the controversial issue of cloning. Itís the story of a couple (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) that agrees to clone their dead child. DeNiro plays the doctor who offers them this wonderful proposition, and he actually seems to be embarrassed that heís spewing his lines on film. I think that after her performances in The Punisher and Godsend, we probably wonít see Ms. Romijn-Stamos until a third X-Men movie hits theaters. Godsend also gets a little too Omen-like for my tastes and will probably turn up on UPN sooner than you can say "itís all for you Damien!"


Laws of Attraction

I think Iím sick to death of movies like this. It was the same thing as Two Weeks Notice and What Women Want. Get a good-looking man and an attractive woman together, make them hate each other, and then have them go at it by the end of the movie. I think the only difference is that said male and female are more classically attractive than the stars in other versions of this story. I think this movie has cemented the fact that Pierce Brosnan is going to be remembered as James Bond and nothing else. Julianne Moore is so beautiful she could pull off the tarred and feathered look, but that doesnít change the fact that Laws of Attraction is destined for the shit bin at Wal-Mart, along with such classics as the Dolph Lundgren 3-pack and Shaft in Africa.


Van Helsing

 

 

Against all better judgment, I saw Van Helsing. I wanted to give director Stephen Sommers the benefit of the doubt since I enjoyed the first Mummy movie at the time it came out. Then he had to follow it up immediately with a sequel. The Mummy for him was like being on a first date and putting his hand on his dateís thigh: ambitious, ballsy, and risky, but that risk paid off. The Mummy Returns was like running that hand up the thigh: not as well-received as the first time, but it didnít exactly get his hand slapped away. Now weíve got Van Helsing, a James Bond-like secret-ops government agent who hunts down vampires with nifty and impossible gadgetry. All that, plus the Wolfman, Frankensteinís monster, and Dracula. Tripling up on the monsters like this is Sommersí way of shoving his dateís head in his lap on the third date (Smack!). I like Hugh Jackman, who plays the title role, but I canít help wondering why he let himself look like a dickhead with those hair extensions for a movie of this caliber. I made the decision that Kate Beckinsale should die after appearing in last fallís Underworld, but after seeing Van Helsing, I decided that she should die slowly and painfully. Youíd think that the silly cow would have learned her lesson after Underworld. In Van Helsing, Beckinsale plays a fellow vampire hunter named Anna Valerious. Itís been my experience that someone with an adjective for a last name is trying way too hard. Dracula was a hipster cheesedick and, overall, the movie was a big computer-generated mess. I believe that the first movie of the summer serves as an omen for how the rest of the summer movie season will unravel, and I think itís going to be a cruel, cruel summer.


New York Minute

 

With the Olsen twins turning legal in mere days, the appeal of these sirens is fading at an alarming rate. If you listen to them speak, that appeal ebbs even faster. I was an Olsen junkie, but an hour before the credits for New York Minute rolled I completely kicked any and all fascination with these two. I feel like I can get on with my life. As for this expectorant, I couldnít tell you if you put a gun to my head what it was about. I want to say that they ditched school and Eugene Levy (and I canít for the life of me figure out what in the hell a man of his comedic genius was doing in a piece of shit like thisóhe was either muscled into it or heís got a monkey on his back the size of Utah that needs feeding) chased them around for a while. He was either a truant officer or a pedophileóI canít say which. On a serious note, New York Minute marks the end of an era. The Olsens will turn eighteen soon and they will legally become billionaires. Their Lolita years will be behind them, and an "E! True Hollywood Story" will premiere shortly thereafter. My days will become empty and grey. Goodbye, cruel worldÖ!

 




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