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2002 (2002) - Warner Bros.
I love Clint. But this movie shouldn't have been made. My God is it
obvious who the killer is! Why this wasn't reshaped to be a
Dirty Harry film, or at least
fiddled with to be a better film is beyond me. Clint is an FBI
profiler, hot on the trailer of a murderer, when he has a heart
attack and suddenly needs a transplant. He soon gets one... and once
he gets back on his feet, he finds out that his "benefactor"
might have had ulterior motives. Telling you any more than that
would be to ruin the film more than it already ruins itself. Clint,
at least, is good here. But I'm sorry, Blood
Work is just not a good film. The best extra on this
thing is an interview with the cast on the state of Latinos in
American cinema. It's worth a watch... but not before you check out
the film itself, because plenty is given away.
Doogan Says: C-
Shades of Darkness - Volume 1
2001 (2003) - ADV Films
This Anime, set in near-futuristic France, tells the story of
Mireille Bouquet, an assassin with a painful past. Mireille hooks up
with the enigmatic Kirika Yuumura, whose own past is so shady it's
black (or, as the French say, noir). Kirika is working with Mireille
to unravel the secrets of her life - what happened before she woke
up in a room with no knowledge of who she was or what she was
supposed to do. Mireille agrees to help, under one condition: she'll
kill Kirika once the secrets are revealed. This is a pretty good
(and very fun) anime produced for Japanese TV in 2001. Although I'm
not a big fan of the drawn out, series-styled anime, this one is up
there with Eva and
Blue Seed. It looks like there
will be six or seven volumes in this set, and it should be a fun
ride getting through them. Look for a new volume in April.
Doogan Says: A
2001 (2002) - New Line
We're getting a lot of Charlie Kaufman this year, aren't we?
There's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,
Adaptation... and this. "This"
isn't the best of the three, but it is cute enough. Tim Robbins
plays a scientist whose mother berated him so badly growing up that
his whole belief system is based around manners - which he teaches
to lab mice. Patricia Arquette is a woman whose entire body is
covered in thick hair. She becomes one with nature and writes a
series of best-selling books... and eventually tries to fit in with
society. In doing so, she has her hair electronically removed. When
the two meet, sparks fly, and on a trip in the woods they discover a
man (Rhys Ifans) raised by his father to believe he was an ape. I
know... it's pretty silly, but hang in there. Robbins believes that
he can turn the young man, who he names "Puff", into a
real civilized person using his table manner training. And with the
help of his sexy French assistant (Two
Towers' Miranda Otto), he succeeds... but at a terrible
cost. There's much more to it, and the film is very watchable and
quite good. It's in no way any better than Malkovich
or the other two Kaufman-penned films currently in theaters, but
fans of Kaufman will definitely love it. The DVD features very
little in the way of extras, aside from the trailer.
Doogan Says: It's
a solid B
2002 (2003) - Warner Bros.
I wonder if Warner knew that they were remaking
Ringu. How dastardly was this?
In this day and age, the producers of this thing had to know that we
American filmgoers have seen most of the good films in other
countries by hook or by crook. Anyway, there's a cursed "thing"
that corrupts its viewer with a "virus", an odd-looking
girl who visits the "viewers" before they die and a time
limit before they die equal to the time limit of the "monster".
The best thing that could be said is that this film is actually
slightly creepy, thanks to the director who also did the re-imagined
House on Haunted Hill. But
visuals don't make a film good, and the fact that this film ripped
off a Japanese flick without any acknowledgment makes me say it's
not worth your time. That's especially when the superior Japanese
version will be out this year from DreamWorks. Same with their
official remake, The Ring,
which is also way better than this. Extras here include a commentary
track, which okay, and a really odd deleted scene involving mushroom
people. Yeah, I said mushroom people. For horror fans, I can't keep
you away. But for everyone else, it's not worth your time.
Doogan Says: I
give it a D
Ecks vs. Sever
2002 (2002) - Warner Bros.
Uhg. You know, there's nothing worse than a by-the-book action
film. When there's no passion either in the action, direction or
acting, you've got a recipe for boredom. No one cares in the film,
the fight scenes are over choreographed, the acting is so minimal it
could have been done with department store mannequins and the
direction is so obvious that Michael Bay looks like Fellini in
comparison. And you know what? Everyone involved in this film
deserved more. This is a dumb movie. It's not worth your time, and
it really should have been. I mean, it has one of the greatest shots
of a man falling from a building... and you get that in the trailer,
so there's no reason to waste your time. What's it about you ask?
Banderas is an agent who has lost everything and is sucked into a
game to stop an assassination technique that could change the world
of espionage, as we know it. When a rival agent gets involved,
they're in a competition against each other to stop the bad guys
before everything goes all-cockeyed. Sure, there's more to it, and
you've got sub-plots out the ass, but it just doesn't matter because
the whole affair is boring beyond words.
Doogan Says: F (I'm
not kidding, it's that bad)
Tour: Disaster in Time
1991 (2002) - Anchor Bay
I don't know much about the history of this film, but it HAD to be
made-for-TV. It just has that feel. Jeff Daniels plays the standard
grieving dad, having lost his wife years before. As he renovates an
old run-down inn, he's visited by a group of very beautiful, very
thin and very odd people, who claim they are tourists. And as the
weirdness piles up, Daniels learns that these people are from the
future... and that they visit disasters from the past in order to
experience them first-hand, because their own society is so perfect
and boring. Grand Tour is
actually a quite competent film, from the man who brought us
Pitch Black and
The Arrival. But if you're
looking for anything more than a standard TV movie with a Sci-fi
bend, you'll find it slightly boring. And if you're looking for more
about broken innkeepers, keep reading 'cause our last flick features
one as well.
Doogan Says: C+
2002 (2003) - Hallmark (Artisan)
I don't usually fall for the Hallmark thing, but I have to say that
Bridget Fonda looks pretty hot on the cover of this DVD. I don't
know what it is, but she's awfully sexy in this flick. Too bad she
isn't very good in the role. And it's not like she's a bad actor in
it - she's not. It's just, she doesn't do ice queen very well.
Loosely based on the Hans Christen Anderson tale,
Snow Queen is about a young
woman and her father, who basically stop living life after the sad
death of her mother. They run an inn. One day a young man comes to
work for them and the girl falls in love. Enter the Snow Queen, who
steals the young man away so he can help repair a mirror that she
needs to control the seasons. Undaunted, the girl travels through
the various seasons to save her soul mate. The film's not really
very good (I stopped watching it a variety of times). I can't really
recommend it unless you like watered-down entertainment and bad
acting (from everyone aside from Fonda). This disc contains a short
"making of" featurette that includes really bad video
transfers of the film.
Doogan Says: C-
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