MOVIE REVIEWS


These reviews were compiled and commented by my brother. If left to me, my brain only registers 3 types of movies - lousy, so-so, or good. I think critics really have to spend some brainpower in coming up with an opinion (and they probably have opinions about everything in life!). These reviews are not meant to defame anyone and so hopefully no one is offended. If you like to e-mail any comments with regards to these reviews to 'ryyc@yahoo.com' , please address it appropriately to my brother with the words 'CYJ reviews' in the subject. Thanks.


1997 MOVIE REVIEWS


1998 MOVIE REVIEWS

BOX OFFICE HITS ONLY

FIRST QUARTER 1998 REVIEW - The movie releases for the first 3 months of this year have been largely disappointing. ("Titanic", "As Good As It Gets" and "Good Will Hunting" donít count, as they were 1997 US releases.) High profile movies such as "Sphere" and "Hard Rain" turned out to be duds, and most of the rest faded away rather quickly too. (I could also have included "The Postman", but it was a 1997 US release. That mega-flop struggled to return even a quarter of its $80 million budget in the US.) The only highlights have been the IMAX documentary "Everest" (which is doing very well in the US, despite only being shown in 10 theaters), and the reissue of "Grease". The immediate future doesnít look too bright either, with the mega-budget "Lost In Space" and the Bruce Willis thriller "Mercury Rising" getting negative US reviews. As for "The Man In The Iron Mask", its success can only be attributed to Leonardo DiCaprio being in it. The period movie itself was nothing to shout about. Even "U.S. Marshals", the sequel to "The Fugitive", turned out to be lacking in depth as a bland (fugitive) Wesley Snipes replaces the inspiring Harrison Ford. Hence we can only hope for better things to come later in this quarter (or early summer), such as "Godzilla", "Deep Impact", and the new Disney feature "Mulan". As for "Species 2", to be released on 10 April (US), I donít expect much from it. The first movie was a poor effort.

SECOND QUARTER 1998 REVIEW - Summer is upon us, and half of the blockbusters have come and gone. Unfortunately they turned up to be more hype than memorable. Headed by "Godzilla" and savaged by the critics, the box office returns ended up less than anticipated. As at end June, "Godzilla" and "Deep Impact" both chalked up in the US between US$135 million to US$140 million, with the latter doing marginally better. Bright sparks include the critically acclaimed "The Truman Show", starring Jim Carrey, which was the only other movie this period to hit over US$100 million. The similarly well received Disney feature "Mulan" is expected to be as successful too in due time. Other movies which have performed reasonably well despite mixed reviews include the Michael Douglas thriller remake "A Perfect Murder", the Harrison Ford action comedy "6 Days 7 Nights", and the Eddie Murphy animal comedy "Dr Dolittle". "The X-Files : Fight The Future" had better reviews, but its success was largely due to the fans of the TV show coming to watch, and to them it was a good effort. Coming up on 1 July (US) is the other asteroid blockbuster "Armageddon", starring Bruce Willis. Other movies following that to watch out for include "Lethal Weapon 4", "Small Soldiers", "Mask Of Zorro" and "The Avengers". On a different note, the mega hit "Titanic" is finally bowing out after having grossed over US$1.7 billion worldwide, and "Gone With The Wind" has been re-released.

Note: I only review movies that are of interest to me and those which are available for free previews. My focus is more towards science-fiction / fantasy, and action-adventure movies.

A Perfect Murder - A man hires his wifeís lover to kill her but problems arise. Suspenseful.
Rating : MFV
Genre : T/D
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

Armageddon - Some oil drillers are sent to blow up an asteroid headed for Earth. Exciting.
Rating : M
Genre : A/D
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

Black Dog - A truck driver with illegal cargo is pursued by hijackers and the FBI. Thrilling.
Rating : MV
Genre : A/T
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Blade - A vampire hunter attempts to stop the evil schemes of a vampire lord. Gory action.
Rating : RFV
Genre : A/H
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Dark City - A suspected killer with amnesia is pursued by humanoid aliens. Better later on.
Rating : MSV
Genre : S/T
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Deep Impact - On the behavior of key persons as asteroid parts head to Earth. Flawed plot.
Rating : M
Genre : D
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Deep Rising - Mercenaries find a deserted liner infested by a sea monster. Flawed, but fun.
Rating : MFV
Genre : H/T
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Desperate Measures - To save his son, a cop must catch an escaped convict. Quite average.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Dr. Dolittle - A man becomes a doctor to animals once he can talk with them. Mildly fun.
Rating : PG
Genre : C/F
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Everest (IMAX) - True account of an expedition by a group to climb Mt Everest. Not bad.
Rating : PG
Genre : D
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

Fallen - A cop is harassed by a demon who can possess people by touch. Horrible ending.
Rating : MFV
Genre : H/T
Score : 4/10
Verdict : Miss

Firestorm - A fire chief battles escaped prisoners while trapped in a forest fire. Predictable.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Godzilla - It and babies, while attacked, thrashes New York. Thrilling, but lacks substance.
Rating : M
Genre : A/S
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Hard Rain - A slew of crooks after a guard with money in a flooded town. Mindless action.
Rating : M
Genre : A
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Knock-Off - A trader battles armed smugglers in Hong Kong over illegal goods. Terrible.
Rating : MV
Genre : A/C
Score : 3/10
Verdict : Miss

Lethal Weapon 4 - The cops battle the local Chinese triad. Impressive action and amusing.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A/C
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine


Lost In Space - The remake of the campy TV series. Good effects but the plot deteriorates..
Rating : M
Genre : S/A
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Mercury Rising - A FBI agent protects an autistic boy from rogue NSA agents. Mediocre.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A/D
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Mousehunt - 2 brothers come to disaster while trying to kill a mouse. Mindlessly unfunny.
Rating : M
Genre : C/F
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Mr. Magoo - A short-sighted tycoon accidentally gets a gem and becomes a target. A farce.
Rating : PG
Genre : C
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Mr. Nice Guy - Belated US release, where Jackie Chan outwits gangsters in Melbourne. Campy.
Rating : MV
Genre : A
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Mulan - Disney animation where a girl in China disguises as a man to fight in a war. Good.
Rating : PG
Genre : D/M
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

Out Of Sight - A fugitive on a heist and the FBI agent after him fall for each other. Slow.
Rating : MFV
Genre : D/A
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Phantoms - A sentient organic entity stealthily consumes almost everyone in town. Cheesy.
Rating : MFV
Genre : T/H
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Quest For Camelot - Good and evil forces compete to reclaim Excalibur. Mainly for kids.
Rating : PG
Genre : F/M
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Saving Private Ryan - Itís WW2 and a squad is sent to bring him back. Intense gory action.
Rating : RFV
Genre : A/D
Score : 8/10
Verdict : Good

Six Days Seven Nights - An editor and her pilot are stranded on a tropical island. Average.
Rating : M
Genre : D/C
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Small Soldiers - Sentient toy soldiers cause havoc while hunting their enemies. Too vicious.
Rating : M
Genre : A/F
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Snake Eyes - A crooked cop oversees a murder investigation in an arena. Plot deteriorates.
Rating : MV
Genre : T
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Species 2 - Specialists pursue a killer alien entity who is out to reproduce. Awful storyline.
Rating : RFSV
Genre : S/H
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Sphere - An alien artifact causes fatal manifestations in a deep sea base. Don't make sense.
Rating : M
Genre : S/H
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

Tarzan And The Lost City - He and Jane foil treasure hunters in deepest Africa. B-grade.
Rating : M
Genre : A/F
Score : 4/10
Verdict : Miss

The Avengers - 2 British agents have to stop a maniac from causing weather chaos. Poor.
Rating : M
Genre : A/S
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

The Big Hit - A mild hitman with domestic problems is targeted after a kidnap. Itís funny.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A/C
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

The Man In The Iron Mask- Four aging Musketeers save a bad King's good twin. A bit slow.
Rating : M
Genre : D
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

The Mask Of Zorro - Zorro and his mentor take vengeance on corrupt officials. Ordinary.
Rating : MV
Genre : A/D
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

The Negotiator - A cop is framed, takes hostages and negotiates to clear himself. Gripping.
Rating : MFV
Genre : T/D
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

The Patriot - A small town doctor faces a killer epidemic caused by militant patriots. Slow.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A/D
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

The Replacement Killers - An assassin with a conscience turns on his employer. Mediocre.
Rating : MFV
Genre : A
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

The Truman Show - An unwitting TV star tries to escape from his movie world. Original.
Rating : PG
Genre : D/C
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

The X-Files : Fight The Future - About the cover-up of an alien virus conspiracy. Not bad.
Rating : MV
Genre : S/T
Score : 7/10
Verdict : Fine

Thereís Something About Mary - She is pursued by some desperate suitors. Humourous.
Rating : MFS
Genre : D/C
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Twilight - A retiring PI investigates a murder mystery involving his friends. Slow-moving.
Rating : M
Genre : T/D
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

U.S. Marshals - The marshals pursue a fugitive agent, who is out to clear his name. Bland.
Rating : MV
Genre : A/T
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Who Am I? - Jackie discovers a conspiracy while being pursued. Good stunts, but flawed.
Rating : M
Genre : A
Score : 6/10
Verdict : Fine

Wrongfully Accused - A violinist is framed for murder and flees to clear his name. Bland.
Rating : M
Genre : C/A
Score : 5/10
Verdict : Duh

MOVIE STATISTICS 1998

TOTAL : 46

SCORE SUMMARY :-

3/10 = 1
4/10 = 2
5/10 = 12
6/10 = 22
7/10 = 8
8/10 = 1

Best Movie : Nil

Worst Movie : Nil

BOX OFFICE SUMMARY


"Titanic" heads (as at end March 98) with US$1.3 billion gross worldwide, and 11 Oscars.

MAJOR RELEASES NOT REVIEWED AND WHY
(Only for movies still screening in 1998 and that exceeded US$20 million gross)

N.B.: Have not seen these movies.

As Good As It Gets (Comedy, 97) - Not a Jack Nicholson fan. Many parts are pure drama.
Plot: A neurotic writer romances a stressed waitress and befriends a depressed gay.

Boogie Nights (Drama, 97) - Explicit sex and nudity. At least 250 Ďfí words, and very long.
Plot: About a porno star's life and the porno industry in the late 70s and early 80s.

Bulworth (Drama, 98) - Not a Warren Beatty fan. Main character is weird. Foul language.
Plot : A senator makes political blunders while spewing rap, just before re-election.

Canít Hardly Wait (Comedy, 97) - American students having wild parties is just too crude.
Plot : Itís college party night and the students go to extremes to fulfil their fantasies

. City Of Angels (Drama, 98) - Itís a romance, and will mainly be of interest to lovers only.
Plot : An angel falls in love with a surgeon and decides to be a mortal for her sake.

Ever After (Drama, 98) - A romance and womens movie where actresses take centre stage.
Plot : Cinderella has to twart her wicked family while battling to rescue her prince.

Good Will Hunting (Drama, 97) - Main character is dysfunctional. Premise not so thrilling.
Plot: A young genius finds a new lease on life with his girl, therapist and a lecturer.

Great Expectations (Drama, 98) - Main characters all dysfunctional. Romance not thrilling.
Plot: About a boy's infatuation with a girl from his youth to adult and town to city.

Halloween H20 (Horror, 98) - Violent and gory, where the main focus is mindless killing.
Plot : After 20 years a serial killer returns to stalk his paranoid stricken first victim.

He Got Game (Drama, 98) - An ethnic basketball movie. Main characters dysfunctional.
Plot : A jailed father mentors his son, who has become a skilled basketball player.

Hope Floats (Drama, 98) - A tearjerker romance and a womanís movie. Nothing thrilling.
Plot : A woman attempts to rebuild her life in a town when she loses her boyfriend.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (Drama, 98) - A womens movie. Romance not thrilling.
lot : A 40 year old woman has an affair with a 20 year old guy while on vacation.

Jackie Brown (Drama, 97) - Not a Quentin Tarantino fan. Too much swearing and talking.
Plot: An air stewardess schemes to smuggle money, and many others are involved.

Madeline (Drama, 98) - A childrenís show, featuring mainly child actors. Not interesting.
Plot : An orphan girl and her friends attempt to save their school from being sold.

Mafia (Comedy, 98) - The gangster warfare premise is not interesting. Not much of a plot.
Plot : Based on the Godfather, where siblings in a mafia family fight for leadership.

Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (Drama, 98) - Many crazy characters. Boring.
Plot: A man becomes involved in a town's court case after a murder is committed.

Paulie (Comedy, 98) - More of a childrenís show, and with some sentimental elements in it.
Plot : A sentient talking parrot travels about in the hope of finding his true owner.

Primary Colors (Drama, 98) - Political dramas are boring. Too much swearing and talking.
Plot: About a Governor's progress towards becoming President, amidst scandals.

Spiceworld (Musical, 97) - More of a semi-documentary. Hardly any plot, and bad acting.
Plot: The Spice Girls experience fantasies and encounter hurdles to their concert.

The Borrowers (Comedy, 97) - A kiddie movie. Lots of weird tiny humans. Over-the-top.
Plot: A nasty landlord attempts to capture and evict his minute unwelcome tenants.

The Horse Whisperer (Drama, 98) - Not a Robert Redford fan. Exceedingly long romance.
Plot : A woman falls for a trainer who has the ability to befriend and tame horses.

The Newton Boys (Drama, 98) - Wild west period is not appealing. More talk than action.
Plot: Based on a true story, where a few siblings rob banks without any violence.

The Object Of My Affection (Drama, 98) - Not a Jennifer Aniston fan. More a romance.
Plot : A woman falls for her gay roomate, who is not able to return her affections.

The Parent Trap (Drama, 98) - The main characters are the children. Hence not appealing.
Plot : Two girls discover that they are twins and attempt to reconcile their parents.

The Wedding Singer (Comedy, 98) - Main character is quirky. More romance than funny.
Plot: A singer, dumped by his fiancee, then finds love with another man's fiancee.

Wag The Dog (Drama, 97) - Political dramas are boring. Too much talking. Nothing great.
Plot: To turn attention away from the President's scandal, his team invents a war.

Wild Things (Thriller, 98) - Explicit sex. Horrible end stated for all, except for the bad girl.
Plot: A rape investigation reveals a conspiracy, where those involved may be lying.

Wings Of The Dove (Drama, 97) - Period romance is not thrilling. Generally all dialogue.
Plot: A woman gets her lover to woo a wealthy lady so that they can have money.

As reviewed by CYJ (12th September 98)

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