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The Caveman's Valentine (2001)
ok for nut case fans
The reviews are up and down for this one, and it may be because of the psycho scenes. As the first reviewer noted, it does a good job of getting the viewer inside the psycho's head, but if you aren't into strange scenes with psychotic visions, confusing sequences, etc you might find it tedious. These aren't the crisp psycho scene like in The Cell, but more like visions. The plot is good, and the supporting acting is adequate. But watching this nut stumble around trying to catch a crook might be too off the wall for some people. I'd give it a 6.5/10.
On the Beach (2000)
average TV movie
First a warning for the guys, don't be seduced by the nuclear sub on the box, this is a chick flick. It's after the war, and there is nothing more to shoot at. It's long, but moves along alright, although you can FF through the mood scenes. It's lots of relationship stuff and crying, and a little suspense as they try to locate life in another area of the world. There are tons of cliches and platitudes, and the plot is straight formula. The acting is adequate, and if all you want is a tear-jerker with an adequate story, this might be enough for you. If you're looking for action, this isn't it. -Bob
Spanish Judges (2000)
mediocre heist flick
Two aspects of this movie had the chance to make it a good flick, the psychos in the gang, and the plot twists, mostly betrayals. But it gets bogged down in a lot of banter, and the pace gets too slow, not as slow as "High Art", but close. There is also a little too much over-acting, sort of like a high school play. The beginning sets things up fairly well, and the ending has all the plot twists, but you have to bear with the middle scenes. The psychos were well thought out, but not well executed, rather shallowly done. Better caper/heist flicks to rent would be Phoenix, Route 9, or Judas Kiss, and a better psycho movie would be In Dreams, but it might be worth a couple bucks if you don't get your hopes up too high. -Bob
Perpetrators of the Crime (1999)
"Dumb and Dumber" clone
This is another movie in the dumb-crook genre, and to be honest this is a review of half the movie, because we turned it off halfway through. We just couldn't take any more tedious arguing and bickering between these 3 morons. We were expecting something like "A Simple Plan", or maybe even "Fargo", but instead it was shallow, irritating, and boring. But if you just loved "Dumb and Dumber" you'll probably like this one. -Bob
Dr. Zhivago meets Wuthering Heights
Set in 19th century Russia, the movie has elements of the two in the summary line, but not the depth of either. The viewer has to accept that love can happen even though the 2 people have never touched, kissed, or even had more than a few words together, rather like love at first sight. The wonderful Russian scenery and architecture lend beautiful texture to the story. It's rather slow moving, but if you're in the mood for a very visually appealing, melancholy story, this might fit the bill. And as with Zhivago, bad timing is everything. -Bob
Pitch Black (2000)
not bad except for the cast
I agree with most of the positive reviews on this one, it's a pretty good Alien clone. A minor complaint was the jerky camera work, it didn't add to the mood, and a bigger complaint is about the shallow characters. You'll find yourself not caring much who gets killed next, but see if you can guess who will survive and who will get eaten, it's a surprise. -Bob
I Want You (1998)
I agree with most of the other reviewers comments, but the viewer should know that this is not mainstream stuff, it's alternative, sort of like "High Art". If you like standard slick Hollywood stuff, this won't be your bag. Scenes change quickly, and at other times dawdle over a mood. The sex is alternative too, no standard love here. The acting is adequate, and the cinamatography is rural grundge UK, nothing pretty, not one nice English garden anywhere, mostly mud and weeds. If you've got broad tastes, give it a try. -Bob
Velocity Trap (1999)
This film is bearable but that's about it, similar to a good TV ep of "Space: Above and Beyond". It's a step up from the sci-fi gagger "Escape Velocity", which had even less action and more cliches. FF through all scenes of him with his girl friend, it's banal drivel, and that part isn't even tied up at the end. And forget the plot holes too. -Bob
This movie has a pretty good plot idea, a fake kidnapping similar to Fargo, but the rest is poor. The acting is overacting half the time and very thin, forced and phoney half the time, even from Amy, not even equal to a decent TV network movie. The cops on the side actually do a better job of acting. A better suspense yarn on the rental shelves would be Best Laid Plans. The IMDB vote rating of 3.x is right on. Some of those voters should have posted reviews too :-) -Bob
equal to network TV movies
Reviewer Chris had it about right, it's ok but about the level of a network TV movie. It's about being double-crossed by your spouse, and moves along ok, without any real plot twists. If you're usually happy with TV movies you'll probably like this, but if you're looking for more, skip it. -Bob
Very B flick
I'm totally puzzled by the reviewers who liked this so much. It's in the same league as other B flicks like Montana, and Prisoner of Love. The plot if very interesting, but the acting is very ordinary, like a TV network movie, and it generally plods along. It isn't even visually interesting like New Rose Hotel. There are many better flicks to spend your rental money on.
Best Laid Plans (1999)
worth the rental
I thought reviewers Galen and Adam were too hard on this one, and agreed with the other reviewers who liked it. It was interesting and moved along well, and Reese had a better role than that goofy thing in Election. This one is about the same level as Route 9 and Johnny Skidmarks. It's nowhere near as bad as flicks like Prisoner of Love and Montana. Couple plot holes, like how did they know the raper would call that particular friend? -Bob
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
I had to agree with reviewers Dan, Cupid, Flick, Stephanie and others who didn't see much in this movie. My main complaint was the Tom and Nicole were acting like kids. She's a professional woman who gets all upset and distraught over a fantasy. (Get a grip Nicole). And he's a doctor who can't even come to terms with his own sexuality. (Looks cool, acts like a nerd). They're both like a couple lost and confused teenagers.
The orgy is standard stereotypical male group sex. The women who saw this with us said it was a sexual turn-off for them, nothing horny going on there (bad date flick :-) Good plot idea, so much more could have been done with it. -Bob
boring and shallow
I have to agree with reviewers Movie Fan, Briggs-3, and Benaiah, this movie is a loser. There is nothing humorous, the characters are shallow and one-dimensional, and the plot is boring. Its attempt to satirize stereotypes is thin and boring to watch. Two important events have no purpose ... why did he get a bee sting in the eye ... why did the neighbor lady get him in trouble; these just seem disconnected. The whole reason for the teacher facing off against the student is silly and unrealistic. For a good teen flick with some twists, see Cruel Intentions instead.
Valentine's Day (1998)
average TV cop/mob movie
This is on video under the title The Protector. The other reviewers are maybe a bit hard on this one, it's not bad for a TV flick, worth a few rental bucks if you like to see mob action (Ben Gazara is a pretty good aging mob boss), Randy Quaid is his usual self, Peebles is trying to be intense, and he's a good match for Stallone :-) . It's a step above the other recent mob movie Prisoner of Love, and the earlier one Montana. -Bob
Outside Ozona (1998)
rural Pulp Fiction
This movie is like a rural version of Pulp Fiction, where several subplots are drawn together at the end. It's interesting and moves along well, complete with serial killer, stripper, armed robber, budding romances, and a cool DJ. If you liked the kind of subplot dialogues in Pulp Fiction, you'll like this one.
Once again the IMDB reviewers are divided, and it's likely due to a matter of taste. One reviewer's description of Gorillas in the Mist meets Cuckoo's Nest is apt. But I think the thing that divides the reviewers here is that the movie is very melodramatic and transparent, almost phoney at times, like a chick flick. So the lack of depth will leave some ppl cold, but others who want a lightweight 2 hours, similar to a fairly good made-for-tv movie, will accept it. -Bob
Prisoner of Love (1999)
B mob flick
This is a basic little mob picture, not a whole lot of acting or plot going on. Supermodel Naomi Campbell has limited range, sort of like Eliz Barkely, and Eric Thal is adequate. Most of the plot is about Eric keeping her captive against her will so the mob won't kill her ... she witnessed a crime. She doesn't believe she's in danger, and constantly tries to escape. Rather silly. This movie is about the same level as the other B mob movie "Montana", except Kyra Sedgewick does a better job of trying to hold things together in Montana. Not much acting, not much plot, not much action, not really worth any rental bucks. -Bob
Persons Unknown (1996)
Average caper flick
This is about a heist gone bad, and Joe Mantagna does his usual adequate job, perhaps not quite as animated as he is in "Jerry and Tom". It may not move along fast enough for some viewers, and the downbeat score keeps it low key. A lot of time is spent on his relationhips with the 2 sisters involved in the heist. But the plot gets interesting, and it's worth a few rental bucks. It's better than Portraits of a Killer, but not quite as good as Route 9 or Phoenix.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
real but thin
As usual, the IMDB reviewers are divided on whether this is crap or good, and again it's because the movie is different, and will appeal to different people. The acting is ok, a combination of sincerity and amateurishness that that gives it a realistic feel. The shakey photography might bug some people, but it fit what was happening. Was it scary? ... it had a certain suspense to it, but there was nothing to make you scream. The drama among the 3 movie makers was the strongest part, how they handled events. The ending fit the myth or legend, but was simple and unenlightening.
Viewers who like pretty, glitzy, show biz movies will think this is crap, and those who are interested in offbeat flicks like Last Night will find it interesting. -Bob
Notting Hill (1999)
light and cute
As a romantic chick-flick the film delivers on the relationship between Grant and Roberts, they have an intensity that matches Meet Joe Black and Sleepless In Seattle, much better than You've Got Mail. But it's very light, there is none of the depth of a great love story. The quirky supporting roles are a laugh, and it moves along well. Worth a few rental bucks. -Bob
Hidden Agenda (1999)
rather flat spy flick
This movie is called Secret Agenda at our cable rental store. Although Chris Plummer does a good job as the inscrutable German detective, the movie is like a standard TV flick. It's a pretty good story, but the acting is rather flat, and it doesn't really draw the viewer in. It's really not worth rental money, and it should be on regular TV sometime soon anyway. It's better than Act of War with Jack Scalia, but not much.
Judas Kiss (1998)
cool but quirky
Most of the IMDB reviewers liked this movie, and I did too, it was a good suspense yarn. But potential viewers should be aware that the whole mood of this flick is quirky, and if you like your actors straight up, this will have you shaking your head like it did my wife. Other similar characters that come to mind are the house-boy in The Birdcage, and the lead lady in Natural Born Killers, oh what's her name? All the gang members are quirky, and both cops are quirky.
Gang member Carla Gugino is very hot, but she drifts in and out of moods, sometimes not even hearing what others are saying, fretting, and being excentric. Even her sex scenes are quirky. And the gang's heavy is a huge quirk, including how they find him and how they interview him.
Alan Rickman as a cop is a good quirk, he doesn't want this case because he can smell something wrong, and spends as much time trying to get out of it as solving it, bumbling around like Columbo. Emma Thompson is good as his partner, full of cracks and good fun.
But the plot is good, some good twists, other good supporting actors like Hal Holbrook, and if you don't mind some strange people. I got a kick out of them. -Bob
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
the "adult" Matrix
Here again the IMDB has divided reviewers, most liking 13th Floor, and a few not, and it's likely because of where the viewer is coming from. Same theme as Matrix and eXistenZ, an alternate virtual world, but 13th Floor is the adult version, with adult relationships, adult effects, and an adult story. Matrix is the action version, with lots of flashy FX, and basic one dimension relationships. eXistenZ is the pure teen version, with amateur acting and simple relationships, and silly FX. 13th Floor is a match for Dark City except for the FX. Definitely worth a rental.
Jerry and Tom (1998)
Pulp Fiction wannabe
Jerry and Tom is similar to Pulp Fiction, with many of the same silly dialogues about trivial things, followed by intense action as a mob movie. But some people might get tired of the nattering in these scenes, it didn't have the same power as Pulp, and nowhere near the power of The Money Kings, another recent mob movie with Peter Faulk. It's worth a rental as long as you don't get your hopes up too high.>