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Reviews for the Week of 11/2:

Scary Movie 3



Rated PG-13 | 90 mins


 [Insert Drum-Roll Here.]

My fellow moviegoers:

     My name is Danny Baldwin and I am on a mission to burn Mr. David Zucker at the stake. Not once, but twice, this year has this evil monster created two dismally painful pieces of crap, just to torture us. He has brutally beaten our backs and slapped our faces, vomited on our pants and smacked our asses. He is a failure; a filmmaker that is employed by production companies only because of the goodness he brought us all through a little movie called Airplane!. But one great film isnít enough to make up for all the train-wrecks that desensitized us, later in time. Scary Movie 3 has provoked me to lead a movement for change. It is a disgrace to everyone on the planet, with a single cell in their brain. Die Mr. Zucker, die.

     Now youíve probably seen the trailer for Scary Movie 3 by now, and yes, it is quite good. I was sure that this flick would be funny and interesting after viewing the promotional clips and such. I laughed endlessly at these advertisements. Sadly, all of the laughs that they contain are despicable and tasteless, when put into the context of this movie. I laughed only twice when experiencing this third installment in the Scary Movie series; it is a collage of missed opportunities and disgusting humor.

     There were three things which made the first two installments in this franchise good. Sure, the tremendous Anna Faris is still around and better than ever, but her work cannot save the nightmarish script or ugly technicalities. Whatís even more disappointing is that this movie is PG-13, so all of the raunchy laughs that made the Scary Movie and its first sequel are absent. And the ingenious Wayanís brothers, who molded the first two movies, decided to pass on this one, which was very smart on their parts, indeed.

     The majority of the members of the cast of Scary Movie 3 have obviously not studied the characters that they're mocking in this movie. Each "actor" simply walks through the script, and doesn't take the time to mimic the mannerisms, speech, and actions of the their subject. I'm incredibly sorry to say that, next to Faris, Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy give the best performances of the entire film.

     Make an effort to avoid this film and join me in my battle against Mr. Zucker. Together, we will be able to take a stand, and stop him from making any more terrible films of this nature. A Scary Movie 4 will be coming next year, letís just hope that there wonít be a fifth.

     Thank you. That is all.

[Insert Applause Here.]


Veronica Guerin



Rated R | 92 mins


     Could it? Would it? Should it? Yes, itís trueóI like a Joel Schumacher/Jerry Bruckheimer creation. Alert the press! After literally dozens of movies, the dreaded collaboration has finally made a good movie, and a very welcome one, I might add.

     The result of such is more shocking than joyous. This film tells a rather fictitious version of the life-story of Veronica Guerin, but regardless of how accurate it really is, it is still quite powerful. Guerin, who is played by a brilliant Cate Blanchett, was a brave and fearless Irish journalist, often too much so for her own good. She would travel into the drug underworld, and interview vicious criminals and their relations, often putting herself and her family in danger, because of it. Guerinís work still greatly influences the Irish political system today, several years after her death.

     One of the aspects of Schumacherís work that I admire the most is his moderate use of onscreen violence. When films like this are overwhelmingly gritty (as this yearís Narc was), the audience becomes desensitized, ultimately leaving them emotionally detached from the characters. Veronica Guerin never overplays anything, either. Given the material, itís always somewhat subtle in its execution, which allows the story to move along quite nicely.

     The one thing that Veronica Guerin is in desperate need of is triumph. While Schumacher succeeds most of the time, he clearly has no sense of the way in which he would like viewers to feel about his movie. However, the tremendous acting and proficient script make up for this, nonetheless.

     Veronica Guerin isnít a masterpiece, but itís certainly a passable motion picture with several redeeming qualities. Mr. Schumacher has accomplished something wonderful, even though heís not responsible for most of its success. This one is certainly worth the price of a ticket, though; it will not disappoint.


The School of Rock



Rated PG-13 | 108 mins


     The School of Rock succeeds doing in what it attempts to do, which is exactly why it deserves a solid recommendation. Originally, I made the decision to rate it two and a half buckets. But after viewing the disasters that were Scary Movie 3 and Daddy Day Care this week, Iíve gained an excessive amount of respect for it. This is one of the best feel-good, warm-hearted comedies of the entire year; itís sad that I did not realize this in the first place.

     The School of Rock simply works. This success is predominately because of lead actor Jack Black, who is the only man on the planet who couldíve played this role. His character is named Dewey Finn, a guy who has just been kicked out of a rock band, and is desperate to make as much money as he can, so he can pay off numerous rent debts to his longtime friend, Ned. Being the clown that he is, he takes a long-term substitute teaching job, pretending to be Ned, who actually has the proper credentials to do so. Dewey proceeds to go to work, and finds himself in control of a bunch of kids with snobby rich parents at a prestigious private school. Since he doesnít know anything about teaching, he originally just lets the kids have recess all day. But when he hears them playing classical songs with their music instructor, a great opportunity arises. Dewey will form a band with these kids, in hopes of winning a ďBattle of the BandsĒ competition. He will teach them about the history of rock music, they will listen to it, and most importantly, everyone will practice for the competition. Black is expressive and very funny. He does everything right and delivers the best comedic performance of the year.

     Joan Cusack is also very good as the principal of the school, as is director Richard Linklater, behind the camera. Even though writer Mike Whiteís screenplay is flawed, to a certain extend, these two, along with Black, make up for any errors that this movie may contain.

     I canít wait to see The School of Rock again; itís far more funny and original than most of the excruciatingly painful creations called ďcomediesĒ that are being released these days. While I was hesitant to like it at first, I now respect it greatly. Take the whole family and have a blast; this flick is well worth the price of a ticket.


A Man Apart



Rated R | 110 mins


     A Man Apart feels like itís an exercise in sheer randomness. There are more unnecessary characters here than there are in Jackass: the Movie. Most of them are undeveloped, too; weíre not even attached to our protagonist. His name is Sean Vetter, and is played by a horribly miscast Vin Diesel. At the beginning of this movie, Sean busts an infamous Mexico/United States drug exporter, who he has been chasing for seven years. When he arrests him, and is ready to deport him to the United States, the man, named Meno Lucero (Geno Silva), swears revenge. Meno has a double-life jail-term to serve, but this doesnít mean that he canít still have his payback. Days later, a man shoots Seanís wife Stacy (Jacqueline Obradors) late at night, killing her. All signs point to Meno, but after talking with him a few times, Sean has a reasonable doubt that he had someone do it. Sean now points his attention towards the man who has taken over Menoís drug empire, who is only referred to as ďel Diablo.Ē Thus, a question arises: who is el Diablo?

     There is talent here, but after watching the first ten minutes of A Man Apart, itís easy to sense that itís gone to waste. Director F. Gary Gray desperately needs to find some better material to work on. His work here is a nightmarish mess of vomit; thereís no creativity, no emotion. Diesel is not a great actor, folks. Heís good at looking pretty for teenage girls in action movies, as seen in xXx. A Man Apart contains hardly any action, though. Diesel is laughably bad in this movie and has no charisma, whatsoever. Thereís actual acting involved; he doesnít do acting. If you chuckle through it, A Man Apart may be tremendous entertainment, but if youíd like more than a slice of American cheese, youíll find yourself chuckling your way out the door.

     There are much better action flicks available on the shelves of your rental store, at this time. Iíd definitely take Grayís other film, The Italian Job, over this one. That movie had four things that this one doesnít: good direction, good acting, good characters, and a good story. This one has no understanding of what it wants to be, and never will. If you must, watch it on cable. For now, donít even think about plopping it into your DVD player.


Jeepers Creepers 2



Rated R | 104 mins


A Review By Contributor Daniel Leonhard:

     As far as cheesy horror flicks go, Jeepers Creepers 2 isnít bad. Although I have not seen its predecessor and have only heard bad things about it, I must say this sequel will most definitely satisfy the average moviegoer. The plot is simple enough: every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days, the creeper, a grotesque bat-like demon, is set loose to feed on whatever victims it chooses. The creeper is incredibly smart, strong, and invulnerable to any types of physical harm, as it is able to replace any lost limbs by taking them from its victims. The creeperís body is built much like that of a human, but with sharp claws and teeth and gigantic powerful wings. When a school bus becomes stranded on the twenty-third and final day of the creeperís killing spree, the students inside must survive the night while the hideous creature attempts to hunt them. Despite its undeniable faults, this is one film that has just enough thrills, chills, and kills to keep us entertained and waiting to see just what happens next. There is no doubt in my mind that this will make one hell of a Saturday night rental.


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