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Please distribute this URL as you see fit. By Ted Baldwin
I Can Hardly Wait

Reviewed: Along the way.

     It's BIG! It's BAD! It's all I had...
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Updated 5/15/00
Drama, serious stuff SCI-FI, Horror, Animated, Etc. Comedy
Gutter Punks

Our documentary on homeless kids passing through New Orleans starts June 16th at Movie Pitchers in New Orleans. Intense and riveting, (by what the audineces have told me), it has been acclaimed at film festivals and broadcast internationally.


Get more info at www.gutterpunks.com
or
www.moviepitchers.com
What Lies Beneath

A Robert Zemeckis ghost story with Harrison Ford in an otherworldly "fatal attraction".
Shaft

This is not comedy per se', but it has probably more going for it in this deparment than some comedies will. Samuael L. Jackson looks exactly right for the part, with an over the top visual style and 00's sensibility - cynical, perverse and all business.
The Patriot

Super-producers Devlin and Emmerich whistle up a Mel Gibson action pic about the Ghost and the British War Machine. Lotsa periodicity - nice look and feel.
The Perfect Storm

George Clooney goes swordfish hunting and finds a whopper of a hurricane. Intense looking, but who knows.

I put it here in Horror because it has a twistery feel.
Big Mama's House

Looks pretty good, with Martin Lawrence disguised as a big fat fat fat fat mama.
     
     
SEEN-ITS    
U-571

Seen it. Super flick. Best wwII actioner to date (excluding Private Ryan which is in a world by itself).

This looks to be a fine action picture, in the vein of Crimson Tide and Run Silent, Run Deep. Set in WWII, a submarine crew is trying to steal a Nazi code machine, and end up with the whole submarine. Downside? The don't really read German all that well, and everyone on their side is trying to sink them. Looks good. You can see a real U-boat, U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Supposed to take my Dad, a WWII vet.
 Battlefield: Earth

Seen it. So-so sci fi played tongue in cheek with aliens who are supposed to represent ultimate in corporate greed.

Sci-fi war from the book, with John Travolta in the lead. Lotsa action. No feel for the quality yet.
Keeping The Faith 

Seen it. Ed Norton Overload. Not as funny as he thinks it is. Stiller is good, for the script.

Ben Stiller is a proven comic genius, the son of Anne Meara and Jerry (Seinfeld) Stiller. Still, Ed Norton is unproven in an intentionally funny (Fight Club, anyone? Fight Club? Fight Club? Anyone? Anyone?) film, and I am not ready to trust him...
Gladiator

Seen it. Super flick. Best sword and shield actioner ever.


Ridley Scott is gracing us with a Roman epic of gargantuan proportions. Looks beautifully shot, well produced, lots of lions eating Christians, blood, that sort of thing. (Would a lion eat a Unitarian?)
 
 Frequency

Seen it. Fantasy is a conservative word for the plot. Too much on both sides of the timeline, the opening a fool's paradise of wrong science.

This one is a little iffy. Dennis Quaid doesn't thrill me at all, and here he plays a man talking to his future son on the radio - in the future. And somehow the timeline gets changed, and somehow they have to change everything back.
Viva Rock Vegas

Seen it. Stephen Baldwin is pretty good. It's a good flick for little kids, last two minutes are rockin'.

I just found out that Stephen Baldwin plays Barney Rubble, and he is taller than the guy playing Fred. I like Stephen, but he can't act his way out of an M&M commercial. So I moved it down here to the "below iffy " category.

Otherwise, this looks so silly as to be highly entertaining. I think this is a Young Flintstones kiddie movie that Parentis Locos can probably stomach. We shall see, but the trailer I saw had some cute over-the-rock gimmicks. And the actors are younger - set in the past of the first movie. Lots of 3-D makes it all come to life. And there is nothing wrong with movies just for kids.
Drama, serious stuff SCI-FI, Horror, Animated, Etc. Comedy
MI2
Tom Cruise does the Mission thing again. The previews are very tight and action packed, like X-Men only much more intricate. Depending on how good the mission is, and how well they divorce Tom from non-action drama, it has potential. It does not look like a dog in any respect. This advance is helped by a Robert Towne script and John Woo direction.
X-Men
Big budget live action adaptation of the mutant crime fighting heroes with wildly variant talents. Trailer is tight and action packed. If they paced the story well, kept it moving, and focused on the action, this could be good. Picard is Dr. X. If they go for the emotional interaction between the characters external to the action mode, it will drag like bad Tennessee Williams.
Shanghi Noon

Jackie Chan goes at it in the Old West with his particular brand of chop-yocks. This prevew was wildly funny, and if the film is half as good as it looks, Chan has another hit. Owen Wilson is his train robbing barbarian buddy, who helps Chan search for a kidnapped Chinese Princess.
Where the Money Is
Paul Newman keeps at it, and one of these days he will strike it as big as Unforgiven, but this does not look to be it. Maybe he needs a Butch And Sundance - The Last Days romp. Don't get me wrong, this is probably as good as anything since The Color Of Money, but I want to see him in a more satisfying role.
Chicken Run
If you have ever seen the British-made Wallace and Gromit shorts, you have seen the style of animation behind CR. It looks to be very funny, with a concentration-camp for chickens/Great Escape motif.

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
The first of the series was so warm and gaspingly funny, I cannot believe they can top it, but it looks like they may have. The secret ingredient is Eddy Murphy's fantastic success playing all of the members of a very very very very very very very fat family. If the story hold sup, it will be a big hit.
Gone in 60 Seconds
This is a big budget remake of the classic GISS (Ron Howard Flick). More action. A little talk.
Titan, A.E.
This trailer blew me away. That is because the opening animation is startlingly similar to one I created and animated for a computer game three years ago. Others familiar with my work were shocked too. Aside from a similar penchant for destruction of the Earth, though, there may be something to recommend this animated romp through an Earthless future, searching for a lost ship.
Me, Myself and Irene
The Farelly Brothers are unloading Jim Carrey on us as a split personality vehicle for absolute insanity. Looks to be funny. If it is as daring as their other stuff, it may be hilarious.
Rules of Engagement
Another War-type Epic, this time a soldier defends against an enemy to the death, theirs, and now he is on trial for murder. Intrigue, camera, action!


Supposed to take my Dad to this too.
Dinosaur!
Really high quality 3-D animation about an adventure a little dinosaur has at the end of everything for them. I remember how scary and depressing the Dinosaur Rite of Spring Fantasia Sequence was when I was little. Had a tremendous effect on me. Thought I dreamed it. How can the end of everything for the species (which was apparently so good for us) be anything but a downer for them?

Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Jason Alexander as Boris, Rene Russo as Natasha, and Robert DeNiro as Fearless Leader (Who is Mr. Big?). Looks to be a romper stomper. 3-D animation blended with live action. Who Framed Roger Rabbit plus ten years technical advancement. This should be the big July 4 pic this year. I hope it's great...
AND LOOK AT ALL THE CRUMMY STUFF COMING OUT IN SUMMER 2001!!!!
A.I.
Astro Boy
Atlantis
Blair Witch: The Sequel
Die Hard 4
Doc Savage
Final Fantasy: The Movie
Harry Potter
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Johnny Neutron: Boy Genius
Jurassic Park 3
Kings of Comedy

The Matrix 2
The Matrix 3
The Mummy 2
Ocean's 11
Pearl Harbor
Planet of the Apes
The Sea Wolf
Shrek
Spiderman
The Sum of All Fears
Timeline
Tomb Raider
The Travel Agent
True Lies 2
Not an Oscar* winner among them, but boy oh boy!!!!!   I can hardly wait!!
*Real Oscars, not the technical ones the computers win for those overpaid cathode-ray chewing plasma display gawking mouse pad pawing attendants - I mean real Oscars, for acting and stuff like that. You know, the real work. Not sitting behind a keyboard for three years, agonizing over every single little detail, surfing the learning curve on ever more difficult and choice- laden software, struggling to make photorealism unnoticed, thinking up real world scenarios and making them more believable and interesting than the real thing. I am talking about HollyWoodLand here! Not stretching the limits of human endurance to create a spectacle the world has never seen and could never be witness to except through the efforts of geeks and nerds and ponytail hair guys married to their pathetic little microstations with only the little poeple out there in the dark to appreciate what they spend half their lives doing. I mean STAR POWER where someone has a grueling day waiting for makeup to be applied or acting their lines to empty air because the co-star is not in the shot, and there is no need for them to be on the set, because the trailer in the parking lot is expensive, waiting, and inviting. That is work! Fretting about the possible emergence of a wrinkle, the agony of not knowing whether Mr. K. Aucoin will be able to do the 4,000.00 paint job on their faces (HE is really good. Met him before he was famous, when he would talk about what he wanted to do and nobody really understood his talent.) Or whether the talent agent they have is evil enough, or whether paying 100 bucks for lunch is trendy enough for two slips of watercress and a tepid bottle of lukewarm pond water. You don't know what work is until you've had to sleep 'til noon to maximize your beauty and end up missing the tabloid photographers and trying to find just the right escort to be seen in public with at the opening of some art gallery with pictures of Madonna drippping with her own sweat. Whew. I am tired just writing about it.

I can hardly wait!
These below are questionable, and I don't know if I would recommend them to you at first blush...
28 Days
Can a woman that likes to party drunk and (possibly) drugged find happiness inside the box? This just looks too bad. And the trailer gives a little smidgen of the entire timeline of the story- at least enough to ruin any surprises for me. I guess they think this is for audiences that are burned out and hence no memory. Gee! We can enjoy this film over and over - let me loop it!
Gossip
This is a teen flick about the evils of speaking evil. An experiment at a college goes awry - ends in an arrest for murder. I'd say it is an important horror film for young people that live and die by the opinions of others.
Ready to Rumble
I don't care for David Arquette.

Black and White
As much as I have seen of these previews, it looks to be a superbly exploitative film, focusing on interracial couples. And we have enough of racial exploitation every day.
ScrewedI don't know that I can recommend a Norm McDonald movie on the strength of the previews. It felt like they put all the good stuff in the trailer, and it wasn't that good. Look to the reviews closely on this one before committing moolah, but it could be a great comedy with a critical backlash simply because it looks stupid (and it is not about abortion, feminine empowerment, or suburban angst).
     My dad started taking me to movies when I was two or three. (1955) I'd stand in the seat, and marvel at the stuff going on in front of me. Wasn't quite focused yet. I didn't know what previews were, and I sort of thought they were little movies - without making the connection between them and future events.

{short description of image}      I remember some of those today - Rodan, Forbidden Planet, The Mysterians, Tingler, and a blur of Cowboy and Indian images. I'd usually fall asleep before the movie started. After the newsreel, Cartoon, and Stooges.

     Now I scour the trailers for some glimpse of hope for cinema, finding it in the oddest places. I also have learned the feel of trailers that show everything with nothing left for the film.

     Sitting in the theater these last few weeks (no not the same one, but for the purposes of existence it might as well be one screen) I have been exposed to some memorable and not so memorable trailers (as they are known even though they now come before a film).

     Above are some of the recent ones that stuck in my mind- and it was either write this or play Free Cell. Anybody solve #3835?
More later...
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