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Kayla RSS Feed (Meridian, MS USA)

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Sugar & Spice
Sugar & Spice
DVD ~ Marla Sokoloff
Offered by Ultimate_Discounts
Price: $29.99
41 used & new from $2.79

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Really Tried To Like This Movie....., July 25, 2001
This review is from: Sugar & Spice (DVD)
I really, really wanted to like this movie because I'm a fan of a lot of people in the movie: Mena Suvauri(American Pie, Loser), James Madeson(Disturbing Behavior, X-Men) and, Marla Sokoloff(ABC's The Practice, Whatever It Takes). When I sat in the theatre on the opening night I saw that it was half empty but that didn't bother me. I understand why this movie didn't work: It was suppose to be a really dark comedy, it was originally rated R but they changed the script so it would be rated PG-13 but everyone knows that most R rated movies that are aimed at teens(American Pie is an exception) usually flop. When I walked out of the theatre all I could say was,"I chose to see this instead of "The Wedding Planner"? Oh why?!" So unless you are just totally obsessed with really, really stupid teen movies then skip this one. PLEASE skip it! All the jokes were suppose to be funny (duh!) but they were all just really stupid. The only person I thought that did an even not horribly bad job was Mena Suvauri but don't see this because of her. If you want to see good Mena movies then I suggest "American Beauty", "American Pie", and maybe even "Loser"

Girl, Interrupted
Girl, Interrupted
DVD ~ Clea Duvall
Price: $9.99
169 used & new from $0.11

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Liked This Movie........, June 23, 2001
This review is from: Girl, Interrupted (DVD)
My friends have a habit of calling me insane but they are only joking of course. Yet I can't help wondering if I'll end up like Lisa (Angelina Jolie's character) or maybe perhaps Winnona Ryder's character (I can't remember her name at the moment). I absolutley loved this movie but my friend hated it. She said it was the most boring movie ever. Okay now onto the actual review:
Winnona Ryder does a hauntingly good job at playing someone who thinks she's insane but really isn't. Angelina Jolie, I think, is Lisa in real life. She has a humor about being at a nuthouse,like it's just one big game but at the same time you realize that she has a real problem. The co stars have the following illnesses to add into the mix: a bilimic girl, a pathological liar, a girl that sets herself on fire when she was young and it's hard to look at her but she has a heart of gold, and a really fat girl.
THE PLOT Susanna's mother(I think that's the name of Winnona Ryder's character) thinks that Susanna is insane but she can't admit her to a mental institution because she's over 18 so she gets tricked into admitting herself. She meets and makes friends with the other "insane" people. Her roommate, Gorgina, is one of my favorite characters. She;s obsessed with "The Wizard of Oz" and when you first see her you think she's normal but then you discover that she's a pathological liar and she's quite good at it.
If I'm not mistaken I believe that this is a true story. It's set in either 1967 or 1969(I can't remember. So if you have ever wondered if you will end up at a funny farm then watch this movie. If you are a fan of Winnona Ryder(Lost Souls, Reality Bites, Little Women) or Angelina Jolie(Playing by Heart, Gone in 60 Seconds, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) or the gothic girl in "She's All That you should see this movie or if you just want to see a good movie SEE THIS MOVIE!

Save the Last Dance
Save the Last Dance
DVD ~ Julia Stiles
Offered by Treatspree
Price: $23.99
198 used & new from $0.01

55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will You Want To "Save the Last Dance", June 8, 2001
This review is from: Save the Last Dance (DVD)
Save The Last Dance is quite a bit smarter, and more entertaining, than the majority of what some people call teenybopper flicks. Much of this is due to the performances of Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas. I know Thomas only from a small role in Cruel Intentions (one of my guilty pleasures from 1999), but Stiles always seems to bring an added depth to her movies, from 10 Things I Hate About You to Hamlet. This movie's no different. She's the protagonist, the heart and soul of the movie, and she doesn't disappoint.
Stiles is Sarah Johnson, a suburban teen whose life is torn apart when her mother is killed in a car accident en route to her daughter's ballet recital. Sent to live with her estranged father Roy (Terry Kinney), a down-on-his-luck jazz musician, she is forced to adapt to her new environment -- inner city Chicago. There she enrolls in a school in which she is pretty much the only color. She makes friends with Chenille Reynolds (Kerry Washington), a single mother, and her brother Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), a smart kid who is at a crossroads in life. She also makes enemies with Nikki (Bianca Lawson), who wants Derek all to herself, and Malakai (Fredro Starr), Derek's best friend and convicted criminal, who's swiftly descending into a life of crime. Needless to say, a relationship develops between Sarah and Derek, and they help each other: he gets her involved in dance again, and she opens his mind to the possibilities of life outside the hood.
Save The Last Dance is more realistic than many of its counterparts. The high school looks like a real high school. The dance club is more like a dance club; ie, some people dance, some don't, and nobody breaks out into a quasi-Busby Berkeley style group dance number. And the actors make their characters seem like real people. Director Thomas Carter and screenwriters Duane Adler and Cheryl Edwards bring up a number of issues that make the movie more than just another teen flick. If you're a romantic, the ending will leave you with a huge smile on your face, and perhaps even choke you up. It's definitely worth taking a look at.

Center Stage (Special Edition)
Center Stage (Special Edition)
DVD ~ Peter Gallagher
Price: $5.81
198 used & new from $0.01

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Center Stage' makes old story fresh, June 8, 2001
The story is old but the energies are new in ''Center Stage,'' and that's all this film needs to carry it past its familiar backstage elements. A spirited ensemble of appealing young newcomers essentially takes us through a year at a thinly disguised American Ballet Theatre school that will end with advancement for a very few and heartbreak for most. This is made bluntly clear at the outset by the company's kingpin, played by Peter Gallagher with a certain arrogance, but also in a way that convinces us he's not wrong to be as demanding as he is. In one of the film's many echoes of past backstage sagas, he reminds us of the godlike choreographer in ''A Chorus Line.''
Before long, we're also sensing the ghosts of ''The Turning Point,'' ''Stage Door,'' ''Flashdance,'' ''Gypsy,'' and ''Saturday Night Fever.'' But ''Center Stage'' is kept from seeming old and hackneyed by the explosions of freshness from its young performers. One, Ethan Stiefel, is a bona fide ABT star. In the film, he plays a prominent soloist who's feeling confined by the strict parameters of the company's repertoire and wants to push off into a looser, freer kind of choreography. He's also coming off the short end of a romantic triangle involving Gallagher's top dog and the prima ballerina for whose affections both competed.
Not surprisingly, the big climactic dance he devises for the academy graduation recital at a Lincoln Center benefit mixes a romantic triangle with a devolution from classical ballet into something more street-flavored. You expect as much, given that his way of relaxing is to ride his motorcycle from Lincoln Center to a Broadway dance studio and exchange Kenneth MacMillan for Bob Fosse as a change of pace. When he meets Amanda Schull's young ballet maverick, Jody, there, it isn't long before they're doing their own variations on ''Romeo and Juliet.''
''Center Stage'' is filled with mavericks. Schull (in real life a San Francisco Ballet corps member) keeps dancing on pure determination, having been told from day one that her body type is not the balletic ideal. But she works hard, and projects charisma and glow. These mavericks also are uninhibited about mouthing off to their teachers, especially Zoe Saldana's Eva. But one of the quietest young dancers (from the ABT corps), Sascha Radetsky's Charlie, has his eye on Jody, too, and is remarkable for his airy elevations besides. Not all of the characters are portrayed by dancers. Ilia Kulik, who plays the resident Russian in the troupe, is Russian, but is an ice-skating champ.
The ''Stage Door'' echo comes in the competitive roommating of Jody, Eva, and Susan May Pratt's unhappy, bulimic prize pupil, Maureen, being shoved toward stardom by her unfulfilled mother (Debra Monk), the film's ''Gypsy'' connection. As the most prominent of the teachers, Donna Murphy contributes emotional depth to a film that doesn't get enough from its simplistically pitched battle between aspiring youth and manipulative fogeys. Oddly enough, although the film does a good job capturing the backstage world of dance, the dance sequences themselves often seem pedestrian. Still, the producers were right to cast dancers who could act rather than try the reverse. They're easy to watch, easy to like, and they vault over the speed bumps placed in their way by the script. Anybody who's ever laced on toe shoes, or wanted to, will find something to take away from ''Center Stage.''
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 27, 2011 5:24 PM PDT

The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides
DVD ~ Kirsten Dunst
Offered by vntgbox
Price: $14.95
127 used & new from $0.01

49 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Loss Of Innocence, June 8, 2001
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (DVD)
The Virgin Suicides is Sofia Coppola's directorial debut, and its effectiveness illustrates that she's better behind the camera than she is in front of it. (Most movie-goers will remember her ill-fated attempt to portray Michael Corleone's daughter in The Godfather III.) Tragic, haunting, and sometimes darkly comedic, this movie leaves a strong impression in its telling of a story about the destruction of innocence. The film is based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, which happens to be Coppola's favorite novel. As a result, she felt that, in bringing the adaptation to the screen, she had a strong responsibility to be faithful to the source material.
The time frame is the mid-'70s and the setting is an upper class suburban community in Michigan. The film tells the sad story of the five Lisbon sisters - Cecilia (age 13, played by Hanna Hall), Lux (age 14, played by Kirsten Dunst), Bonnie (age 15, played by Chelsea Swain), Mary (age 16, played by A.J. Cook), and Therese (age 17, played by Leslie Hayman) - all of whom come to a bad end before finishing high school (this much is revealed during the introductory voiceover, which is provided by Giovanni Ribisi). Unhappy, neglected Cecilia is the first to give up on life - after surviving one suicide attempt, she is successful on the second try. In the wake of that event, the atmosphere surrounding the surviving sisters becomes grim, and their parents' overprotectiveness threatens to suffocate them. For most children, mothers and fathers set boundaries; for the Lisbons, it's iron bars.
The Virgin Suicides is filmed as a memory looking back through 25 years, and the point-of-view is that of a boy who was in love with one (or perhaps all) of the girls. As a result, the events recounted here offer a filtered perspective of the sisters and the complexities of their lives. Presenting things in this manner, The Virgin Suicides manages to be both poignant and touchingly nostalgic. Also, Coppola's style is such that she avoids turning the film into a sudsy melodrama that glamorizes self-destruction.
One of The Virgin Suicides' strengths is its ability to effectively capture the nuances of teenage life during the '70s. Coppola gets all of the little things right: the awkwardness of a chaperoned boy/girl party, the thrill of first love, and the nervousness of the pre-dance ritual (in this case, the homecoming dance, not the prom). The film also boasts a solid soundtrack featuring a few songs that haven't been endlessly recycled in other, recent, set-in-the-'70s features. In one key scene, music provides a link between the Lisbon girls and the outside world - it becomes their only viable means of communication and free expression.
Most of the cast is comprised of fresh faces, all of whom do solid jobs. The more recognizable names include Kirsten Dunst as Lux (the girl with the most visible role), James Woods (as the girls' father), and Kathleen Turner (as their mother). Josh Hartnett (last seen as the guy who loses the girl in Here On Earth), who is slowly building a reputation in Hollywood, plays heartthrob Trip Fontaine, whose poor treatment of Lux sets off a chain of events that leads to one of the movie's tragedies. The Virgin Suicides also includes excerpts from a modern-day interview with a forty-something Trip (played by Michael Pare), who clearly has regrets about his treatment of Lux.
By using occasional bursts of humor and setting up the film as a collage of reminiscences, Coppola establishes a mood that is wistful and sad, but not funereal. There are a few instances when the film gets a little heavy handed, but, for the most part, the tone is well modulated. Although Coppola almost certainly gained more than a little help from her famous father in getting the production off the ground, the talent evident in her debut argues that this is not a case of unwarranted nepotism. The apple has not fallen far from the tree.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2012 10:21 AM PDT

Antitrust (Special Edition)
Antitrust (Special Edition)
DVD ~ Ryan Phillippe
Offered by The DealNerd
Price: $14.30
266 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are We Really Being Watched All The Time?, June 8, 2001
This review is from: Antitrust (Special Edition) (DVD)
"Antitrust was a pretty good movie but I do wish it would have had more character depth. I believe that this movie could have been better if we could have gotten to know the characters better. First of, Ryan Phillippe: He has tried to steer clear of teen movies(which gave him his first big break " I Know What You Did Last Summer") with films like "54" and "Cruel Intentions". "Antitrust" shows a new possibility for Phillippe's acting abilities: thriller. For some reason this movie didn't come out in theaters so I was anxious to see it when it came out on video and I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed and while I will that it was nothing like I excpected it to be, but I mean that in a good way. You can look forward to mysterious performances from Claire Filoni(Meet Joe Black, Boys and Girls) and Rachael Leigh Cook(She's All That, Josie and the Pussycats).

Down to You
Down to You
DVD ~ Freddie Prinze Jr.
Offered by SAMIPLACE
Price: $25.99
54 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry But I Actually Liked This Movie, June 8, 2001
This review is from: Down to You (DVD)
It was set out to be aimed at 13 year old girls but somehow it got a wider audience. Most teen movies take place when the stars are in high school but this taked place when they are in college. This movie shows that not all relationships are fairy tales. The theme is giving first love a second chance and while it does give audiences a dose of reality it does seem to give a little too much information sometimes. Julia Stiles is smart in her career choice because while she does movies aimed at teens her films are somehow more serious but at the same time fun. This film deals with heavy issues but it doesn't let you know that it's getting you to think about certain things like teen pregnancy, drug overdose....and so on and so forth. If you are a fan of Julia Stiles or Freddie Prinze, Jr. then I recommend this movie. It's not your typical run-of-the-mill teen flick. But beware guys, this is a chick flick!

Whatever It Takes
Whatever It Takes
DVD ~ Shane West
Price: $6.20
122 used & new from $0.01

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do "Whatever It Takes" Not To See This Movie, June 8, 2001
This review is from: Whatever It Takes (DVD)
This is just another teeny bopper movie of the lowest kind. This movie was worse than "Sugar & Spice" and that's pretty bad. Two otherwise good actors, Shane West and Marla Sokoloff, must have been completely out of it when they signed to do this movie. Shane West could have become a serious actor if he would keep looking for roles like the one he has on the ABC series "Once and Again". The same could have been said for Marla Sokoloff who seems like a pretty good actress on the ABC series "The Practice". Jodi O'Keefe can't seem to get out of teen angst. This and "She's All That" were the only movies I've seen or heard of her in. She's going nowhere fast but there could be hope for West and Sokoloff. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone unless you just love stupid, pointless movies that are a waste of time.

Coyote Ugly
Coyote Ugly
DVD ~ Piper Perabo
Price: $4.99
254 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have You Been To Coyote Ugly?, May 25, 2001
This review is from: Coyote Ugly (DVD)
Coyote Ugly" is a cliff-hanger in which Piper Perabo ventures into a Jerry Bruckheimer production and escapes more or less untouched.
The film stars Perabo as one of a group of heedless wenches who dance on a bar and pour straight shots down the throats of the seething multitude. In a movie of this sort, it is inevitable that the song "I Will Survive" will sooner or later be performed by drunken pals. Next week's opening, "The Replacements," makes us wait an hour to hear it. "Coyote Ugly" takes no chances and puts it under the opening titles. Do you get the feeling these movies are assembled from off-the-shelf parts?
There is a story beloved in movie lore about the time Howard Hawks asked John Wayne to appear in "El Dorado." Wayne had already starred in Hawks' "Rio Bravo" and "Rio Lobo," which were essentially the same picture. So was "El Dorado." "Shall I send over the script?" asked Hawks. "Why bother?" asked the Duke. "I've already been in it twice."
Does Jerry Bruckheimer have the same nagging feeling of deja vu as he compares each new screenplay to those that have gone before? I wonder if he suspects his movie may not be original, as he contemplates a story about a girl from New Jersey who dreams of being a songwriter, moves to Manhattan, meets a guy, gets a job and has a heart-rending reconciliation with her dad, all in a movie that ends (yes, it really does) with the final line, "What do you do when you realize all your dreams have come true?"
Bruckheimer and his director bring superb technical credits to this wheezy old story, and they add wall-to-wall music to make it sound like fun. But you can pump up the volume only so far before it becomes noise. I don't ask for startling originality in a movie like "Coyote Ugly." I don't object to the scene in which the heroine and her guy neck in a convertible and regard the lights on a Manhattan bridge. I am not even surprised that the hero drives a classic car (no characters in Bruckheimer movies drive cars less than 25 years old unless they are parents or gangsters). I don't even mind the obligatory line, "It's payback time!" All I ask is that I be surprised a couple of times. Give me something I can't see coming and make it more unexpected than a beloved character getting hit by a car instead of having a heart attack.
In the movie, Perabo, who has big-time star power, plays Violet, a working-class girl from South Amboy, N.J., who packs up and moves to a cheap apartment in Chinatown (where she meets not a single Chinese person) and gets a job in Coyote Ugly, a bar that would be the result if you took the bar in "Cocktail" and performed reckless experiments on its DNA.
It's the kind of bar you would fight to get out of--and you'd have to. Customers are jammed so tightly together, the fire marshal can barely wedge his way into the room. They are offered no mixed drinks, no wine, just "Jim, Jack, Johnny Red, Johnny Black and Jose--all my favorite friends," according to Lil (Maria Bello), the sexy blond who owns the club. "You can have it any way you want it, as long as it's in a shot glass."
Violet auditions for her job, which consists of dancing on top of the bar, pouring drinks, dumping ice on customers who get into fights and spraying the others every so often with the soda gun. These are skilled dancers. They can do Broadway routines on a slippery bar top, while drunks grab at their ankles. Every once in a while, just for variety, they pour booze on the bar and set it on fire.
Many of the movie's shots are high-angle, looking down at the customers, their mouths upturned and gulping like gasping fish. Illuminated by garish neon, they bear an uncanny resemblance to Hieronymus Bosch's paintings of the damned roasting in hell.
After a shaky start, Violet becomes a hit at the bar; meanwhile, she tries to place tapes of her songs around town. She has stage fright, you see, and can't sing her own songs because she's afraid to sing in front of an audience, although she will obviously do almost anything else.
She meets Kevin (Adam Garcia), an awfully nice Australian short-order cook who encourages her, and even bribes a guy to give her an audition by trading his precious Spider-Man comic. They would no doubt have steamy sex, except that Bruckheimer, a student of straws in the wind, knows this is the summer when PG-13, not his old favorite R, is the coveted rating. (His "Gone in 60 Seconds" was also PG-13, which may explain why Angelina Jolie was missing from most of the film.)
"Coyote Ugly" finally leads up to the questions: (1) Does she find the courage to sing? (2) Do they stay together after their Idiot Plot Misunderstanding? and (3) Do all of her dreams come true?
There is a reason to see the movie, and that reason is Piper Perabo, who I first noticed in "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," writing that she was "so fetching she sort of stops the clock." She has one of those friendly Julia Roberts smiles, good comic timing, ease and confidence on the screen, and a career ahead of her in movies better than this one. Lots better.

What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath
DVD ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by Clyde Parks
Price: $8.14
274 used & new from $0.01

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Already Know Qhat Lies Beneath?, May 25, 2001
This review is from: What Lies Beneath (DVD)
Here's another textbook example of a film's preview giving away too much of its plot. What Lies Beneath is a full three-quarters over before you get to the content revealed in the trailer. Fortunately, it doesn't much matter - Beneath is a taut psychological thriller that would make Hitchcock proud. In fact, it could do for bathtubs what Hitch's Psycho did for showers.
Beneath features Harrison Ford (Random Hearts) and Michelle Pfeiffer (The Story of Us), two stars with box office clout fading faster than the Baltimore Orioles' chance at a playoff berth. They play Dr. Norman and Claire Spencer, a genetic biologist and an ex-concert cellist, respectively. They live in a picturesque waterfront Vermont home that was formerly owned by Norman's recently deceased father.
While Norman is completely consumed by his work, Claire stays at home and begins to experience strange and spooky stuff in their new house. It's your typical poltergeist fare - doors opening on their own, pictures crashing to the floor - but nobody's sure if it's just Claire suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome (her only daughter just left for college) or if she's really experiencing some type of otherworldly force. And if Claire is being haunted by an apparition, whose ghost is it? Norman's dead father or perhaps the Spencers' new neighbor, who Claire believes was murdered? In an homage to Hitchcock's Rear Window, Claire thinks she sees her body being removed from the house one night in the pouring rain. Like I said, if you've seen the trailer, you already know the answer.
Claire also seems to be suffering from selective amnesia, forgetting important events that happened in her life, especially those surrounding a social event where Norman was awarded a Chair at a prestigious University. The whole role kind of reminded me of Emma Thompson in Kenneth Branagh's wonderful Dead Again. Claire has to piece her own life back together with virtually no help from her unsympathetic husband, who seems to only care that her kookiness is inconveniencing his career.
There are about a dozen jump-out-of-your-skin moments in Beneath. You can see most of them coming, but they're so well done that it doesn't matter. The ending is very maddening and takes so long to develop (about thirty minutes) that people at my screening nearly became physically ill. I can't ever recall being at a film before and hearing a group of men shouting out loud in fear or a woman shrieking at the top of her lungs. Beneath is a terrific popcorn thriller that plays better than The Sixth Sense and its sucker-punch ending. Just don't eat too much popcorn.
Pfeiffer gives one of her best performances ever, but Ford has just turned into a really bad actor. He's becoming more and more like Frankenstein with each film he makes. I'm not sure if he's actually wooden or just grumpy. Even Beneath's tagline could be interpreted as a poke at the fifty-eight-year-old actor - "He was the perfect husband until his one mistake followed them home." What was it? Sabrina? Six Days, Seven Nights? Random Hearts? It doesn't matter - when Ford takes off his shirt, studio executives roll around in money like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.
Director Robert Zemeckis (Contact) fills Beneath with a bunch of technically dazzling long shots, some of which left me scratching my head and wanting to see the film again. He's one of the better mainstream directors out there, and the fact that Zemeckis and crew are able to sustain such a level of sheer terror for the last thirty minutes is a real testament to the director and the script, which was written by Clark Gregg. Beneath is Gregg's debut screenplay, but he's appeared in a myriad of films with amazing scripts (Magnolia, The Usual Suspects, The Spanish Prisoner) and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award last year for his performance in The Adventures of Sebastian Cole.
Zemeckis, who won an Oscar for Forrest Gump, reassembled his top-notch crew for Beneath (namely, editor Arthur Schmidt, cinematographer Don Burgess, score-meister Alan Silvestri and production designer Rick Carter - all Oscar nominees for Gump). They do a fantastic job of making a beautiful lakefront home seem warm, cozy and inviting, as well as creepy, ominous and terrifying. Beneath is the first of two potential blockbusters helmed by Zemeckis this year - Cast Away, which re-teams the director with Gump star Tom Hanks, is set to be released this Christmas.

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