Friday, April 30, 2004


MEAN GIRLS: Every once in awhile a teen comedy comes out of nowhere to be an actual engaging film. I remember looking at the standee for CLUELESS and thinking, "What the hell is this?" since it seemed to emphasize that it would be a bunch of high school chicks who liked to go shopping--it turned out to be one of the funniest movies of the 90's. It helped that an old pro in Amy Heckerling was at the helm. Here, we have a film written by one of SNL's top writers, Tina Fey, who has made sure with some sharp writing that this would be more than the average teen comedy. Lindsay Lohan is turning into a hot item and she really takes command of this movie. A lot of deserved attention went to Jamie Lee Curtis in FREAKY FRIDAY, but I believe Lohan emerged as the star in that picture. I laughed out loud about 5 times in this movie, which I believe is quite a lot, considering there was plenty of chuckles to be had surrounding those laughs. Honestly, one guy in here steals a lot of the very few scenes he has as a "mathlete" played by Rajiv Surendra. Tina Fey plays a calculus teacher and offers more range than you would have ever guessed from her co-anchoring of "Weekend Update." Well worth your time.

GODSEND: One of the most puzzling films I've ever had to form an opinion on. In a mishmash of A.I. and EXTREME MEASURES and several other horror films that you could possibly name, this movie sent some chills down my spine a couple of times, which is significant because it is rare for that to happen to me. However, there are much too many cliches and not much of a reason to give a damn. I think that the reason why people will cite THE EXORCIST as "the scariest movie of all time" (I don't) is the likability of Linda Blair's Regan character, an innocent who is suddenly turned into a horrible monster with no end in sight. Here, we have a good performance from Cameron Bright as the kid-who's-been-killed-and-reincarnated-by-a-mad-scientist, but the character actually is fairly unlikeable from the moment he turns eight the second time. Although we as the audience are aware that a good kid was once there, the good kid dies really early into the film and not much of an imprint is left. The plot is a little contrived (aside from the sci-fi aspect of it)--the intention seems good but the occurrences don't make much sense once all is figured out. GODSEND has the FEEL of a movie that has been cut several times before its release (I saw a trailer for this on an early release last year, CONFIDENCE). Mad scientist Robert De Niro doesn't exactly phone it in, which is better than what I could say about every film of his in the oughts, but he's capable of better. Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos have turned into actors you'd never have thought possible 5 years ago. Performances and mood aren't the problem, which is why it's difficult to form a solid thumbs up or down on this film. I'd say go see it if the mood strikes you.