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Week in Review: April 18 - May 18, 2001

"Week in Review" from April 18 - May 18, 2001



SPY KIDS - Did great at the BO, over $100 million to date. Robert Rodriguez's career didn't go anywhere but up.

DRIVEN - Let's face it aspiring screenwriters, 99% of us are lessor screenwriters than Sylvester Stallone (ROCKY, RAMBO) who wrote and stars in DRIVEN. The story isn't bad and will attract not just the kiddies, but some of us adults as well. Should easily go over the $100 mil mark.

BRIDGET JONES' DIARY - A smart and entertaining screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis.

A KNIGHT'S TALE - When I read and reviewed the script last year I wasn't so hot on it, and thought that it would need a serious marketing campaign to open. Writer/director Brian Helgeland's film is one-dimensional and lacks enough narrative to keep most intelligent viewers satisfied. But the 15 to late 20's crowd will show up in force to see this tale of heroics, nostalgia, and rowdiness as promoted during a wonderful ad campaign. The movie will start with a flourish and then run out of gas and fall shy of the $100 million mark.

THE MUMMY RETURNS - A blockbuster no doubt, and one that will hit the $200 mark with ease.



SHREK - The "kiddy" hit of the year, could be a top 5 grosser for the year as well and a sure $100 million winner. The screenplay is by Joe Stilman, Roger S.H. Schulman, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. And from what we understand, it's a well written and funny script with some humor for us adults who will be dragged to the theater by our seven-year-olds to see it.

EVOLUTION - We reviewed the script a little while ago and found it to be interesting, to say the least. The script is written by Don Jakoby, and the film is directed by Ivan Reitmen. " A meteor, carrying alien organisms hits the New Mexico desert. The aliens multiply and evolve at an alarmingly fast rate threatening to take over the world. A community college science professor, his eccentric geologist buddy, a wannabe fireman and a government scientist are brought together to deal with the invasion."

PEARL HARBOR - A "can't miss" $200 million BO hit. No way it isn't in the top 3-4 grossing films of the year when all is said and done. Once again, we reviewed the script some time ago, actually several drafts, a sensational narrative and well executed story with only a couple of flaws, one of which is the third act and it's prolonged execution.



SPACE COWBOYS - Ugh. Actually, there could have been something there, but in the end all was lost. Another in the long line of "feel good" genre - dvd notes: Dolby Digital 5.1, no DTS. Some extra footage to go along with the standard "making of" featurettes. Rank: Average.

TIGERLAND - first, it's a solid movie, and unfortunately not very well known. In the long line of "Vietnam" genre films, comes a fresh perspective on the occasion by filmmaker Joel Schumacher. With a excellent screenplay by Michael McGruther and

Ross Klaven - dvd notes: Digital 5.1, good picture, commentaries and the usual, along with extra footage. Rank: Above Average.

FINDING FORRESTER - Frankly, it's a little too warm and fuzzy of a story for me. It's a solid story with a well-conceived narrative and well executed. But you just know what's going to happen in the end, and though that can't be changed, I still blushed it was so contrived. On top of that, it's a story that feeds off of racial ignorance, and societal perceptions of what ignorance looks like. Both are such guileless themes that they pollute the worthiness of this fine story - dvd notes: extra footage, deleted scenes and the rest of the usual. Good sound and excellent picture. Rank: Above Average.


SPARTACUS - A classic film that is completely refurbished and digitalized with such impressiveness that I was stunned and delighted at its quality - dvd notes: Dolby Digital 5.1, Additional Release Material, Audio Commentary - 1. Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov - Stars, Howard Fast - Source Writer, Edward Lewis - Producer, Robert A. Harris -

Documentary - Restoration Demonstration, the Making-of -doc, and Scene-by-Scene Analysis.

YI YI - A little known independent from Chinese director Edward Yang. Subtitled in english, it's not that bad. The dvd is decent and has extras.

WHAT WOMEN WANT - It's interesting to observe what so very few think is on the minds of men and women, or maybe I should say obtuse. A movie that has a few laughs, but then dies a lonely death - dvd notes: commentary, additional material and nice sound (5.1) and picture quality. Rank: Average.


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