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Archive for September, 2000

NURSE BETTY – Rolfe Kent

September 8, 2000 Leave a comment

nursebettyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been said a hundred times before, but sometimes the most unlikely movies get great scores. Neil La Bute, having contributed two of the nastiest relationship movies in recent memory with In The Company of Men (1998) and Your Friends and Neighbors (1999), both of which told twisted little stories of manipulation, verbal assault and a total lack of moral fiber, is the last man you would expect to helm a sweet-natured road movie. Therefore it comes as something of a surprise to discover that his third feature, Nurse Betty, is a generally wholesome romantic fable – with just a hint of subversion to keep it interesting. Renee Zellweger stars as Betty Sizemore, a put-upon waitress obsessed with the daytime soap opera A Reason to Love, and its star Dr David Ravel (Greg Kinnear). Betty’s life is drastically altered when she witnesses her lowlife husband Del (Aaron Eckhart) being murdered by two bickering hitmen (Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock) over a drug deal gone wrong. Shocked into a “fugue state” by the trauma, Betty goes AWOL and heads off across America to LA, convinced that she is in fact a nurse at the fictional hospital from A Reason to Love, and that Dr Ravel is her real-life former fiancé. Unaware that the two killers are hot on her trail – and that a cache of cocaine is stowed in her trunk – Betty’s odyssey picks up pace as she traverses the country, imparting her tale to a variety of bemused on-lookers, and becoming increasingly determined to rekindle her imaginary relationship. Read more…

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THE WATCHER – Marco Beltrami

September 8, 2000 Leave a comment

thewatcherOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’m starting to get worried by the way Marco Beltrami’s career is progressing – or isn’t progressing, as the case may be. When Beltrami first burst onto the scene five years ago with the arrival of Scream, it seemed as though a great new talent in the soundtrack world had arrived. A composer with talent, a gift for melody, and who knew how to write for a big orchestra. A dozen or so movies later, and Beltrami is still scoring more horror movies than anything else, and herein lies the problem. With just a couple of exceptions – like the disco drama 54 and the Emmy Award winning Tuesdays With Morrie – the vast majority of the Italian-American’s work has been in the horror and thriller genres, and if he’s not careful he’s going to end up in the same situation Chris Young was in ten years ago: a great composer stuck in a pigeonhole from which he can’t escape. Read more…

HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME – Stephen Graziano and Nick Glennie-Smith

September 1, 2000 Leave a comment

highlanderendgameOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Back in 1986, when the original Highlander series began, Queen’s classic soundtrack song “It’s a Kind of Magic” proudly proclaimed that there can be only one. Fourteen years, three sequels and two TV series later, I still think they were right. Christopher Lambert has never bettered his original performance as the immortal clansman Connor MacLeod, both The Quickening and The Sorcerer were woefully poor movies compared to the hugely entertaining original, and Adrian Paul’s turn in the first of the two spin-offs contained more wood than your local branch of B&Q. Highlander Endgame, the fourth big-screen outing for the franchise, sees Connor MacLeod (Lambert – the cinematic hero) teaming up with Duncan MacLeod (Paul – the small screen hero) for the first time, to take on a new all-powerful and extremely evil immortal named Kell (Bruce Payne). Although the producers wax lyrical about the two actors being the “yin and yang, a symbol of wholeness”, it personally strikes me as being nothing more than a piece of opportunistic film-making by Miramax, eager to cash in on the popularity of the TV series and to give Adrian Paul a movie vehicle. And I thought they’d gotten rid of the last evil immortal when Mario van Peebles got chopped in half at the end of Highlander III… oh, well. There’s love interest in the form of actress Lisa Barbuscia, plenty of sword-wielding action, and the whole thing is directed by Douglas Aarniokoski. Read more…