August 2001: New System -- not so wordy, probably no splats, just a few words...

  Lucky Numbers:
Disappointing since I really like Lisa Kudrow and John Travolta. Reminded me more of a badly done farce (or theatre-of-the-absurd genre), than anything resembling a comedy.

  Jurassic Park 3:
Unfortunately not nearly as good as the first two installments, but the special effects are so cool it's worth seeing.

  The Score:
Edward Norton is his naughty self as usual, but DeNiro matches wits in this interesting movie about honor among thieves, with lots of twists and turns

  America's Sweethearts:
Light-hearted and entertaining, especially if you love Julia Roberts like I do, but not quite as funny nor as good as I had hoped.

  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
I don't understand what all the hype was about: this stinks! (And that was the opinion shared by the other four people watching the rental with me.)

  The Mummy Returns:
Didn't seem as good as the first, but the special effects were awesome and I love Brendan Fraser! "The Rock" was just plain stupid in it.

  Eddie Izzard: Glorious:
Absolutely hysterical! A+++

  Eddie Izzard: Unrepeatable:
Very Funny; an earlier work, but it grows on you!

  Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill:
My favorite of his! Clever, side-splittingly amusing!

  Eddie Izzard: Definite Article:
Another of his earlier works where he's not quite as funny and polished, but absolutely hysterical nonetheless!

Haunting and disturbing, but very interesting and well worth watching (not for kids). Wonderful acting by Oscar-nominee Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade, as well as Joaquin Phoenix as the priest.

  In and Out:
Very funny, especially when Kevin Kline is listening to the self-help macho tape!

  Shadow of the Vampire:
Really bad, in spite of Willem Dafoe's Oscar nomination as Nosferatu and my fave Eddie Izzard in it. Yikes.

  Dr. T and the Women:
TERRIBLE! One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Don't even bother renting it (like we did).

  What Women Want:
Funny; perfect casting of Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

  The Princess Bride:
Always fun and entertaining.

  Remember Me:
Okay acting by Minnie Driver and Fox Muldur, ah, er, David Duchovny, and interesting story, but somewhat slow moving.

  Mystic Pizza:
A classic worth renting if you've seen just about everything else.

  Miss Congeniality:
Pretty amusing and well worth seeing if you love Sandra Bullock.

Everything Below Here: Pre-August 2001...

Legend:      = Movie       = Donna's Rating (out of five possible splats)

(Movies seen after June 4, 2000 are listed from most recent to longest ago. Movies seen before that (but after this page first appeared on my website) are listed after those, and are listed in alphabetical order.)

Recent Movies:

  Meet the Parents (Robert deNiro, Ben Stiller)
  I guess I'm getting really boring with these reviews as I intend to rate this one the same as the last few. It was disappointing though there were a few funny moments. It seemed really long and contrived, though. Like the last one, I feel like giving it one splat, but it wasn't THAT bad. Just disappointing, like I said.

  Proof of Life (Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan)
  I was really looking forward to seeing this movie after the powerful previews, but it was a bit disappointing. I like the two key actors a lot, so that was nice, but aside from a few interesting moments, it was really a little dull. I feel like giving it one splat, but it wasn't THAT bad. Just disappointing, like I said.

  Men of Honor (Robert DeNiro, Cuba Gooding Jr.)
  I'm not a big DeNiro fan and he was pretty annoying in this story of the real first Black Navy diver. Cuba Gooding is fabulous, as always, though, and I do love stories based on real lives. Much of the dialog and tension between commanding officers and underlings made me think of nothing but "An Officer and a Gentleman," but I was able to sit through it for the pure historical nature and good Gooding acting.

  The Sixth Day (Arnold Schwartzenegger, Robert DeNiro)
  This was pretty typical Arnold stuff, but there are some really neat ideas of the not-so-distant future and some interesting plot twists. Really cool special effects; very enjoyable, though the human cloning double people aspect got a little confusing from time to time.

  Pay It Forward (Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment)
  I don't know why this got such horrible reviews. I found it heartwarming and poignant. Found myself crying quite a bit throughout it. I can't stand that kid from "The Sixth Sense", but since I like Spacey and Hunt so much, it was bearable for him to be in it too.

  Bedazzled (Elizabeth Hurley, Brendan Fraser)
  Apparently this is a remake of the same-titled movie from several decades ago. They should have just left well enough alone. I really like Fraser and there were a couple of funny parts, but this really isn't worth seeing and it's very predictable.

  The Perfect Storm (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg)
  Some very cool and seemingly realistic special effects really made this yarn, based on a true story. It's been out for a long time and yet I just saw it because I didn't think it would be all that good, but I was sincerely surprised and impressed to find myself actually getting physically more and more tense in the more dramatic moments. It certainly held my interest and is one of the most gripping movies I've seen in a long time.

  Coyote Ugly (John Goodman in a stupid role and a lot of no-name others)
  A friend described this to me as a modern version of "Flashdance" and that just about sums it up! At least some of the more energized scenes in the bar are fun to watch, especially the tough-acting but fair club owner/manager (who looks really familiar) and the bar stompers, esp. the hot, sexy brunette with a chip on her shoulder. Pretty lame story but fun music off and on.

  Space Cowboys (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, Donald Sutherland)
   Definitely something that appeals to the senior citizen generation. (Most of the moviegoers were, in fact, senior citizens!) Halfway interesting story with a few little twists, but a little too far-fetched to be as enjoyable as it could have been with this great cast.

  The Cell (Vince Vaughan, Jennifer Lopez)
  Talk about Recesses of the Mind! Very bizarre delving into the mind of a schizophrenic serial killer. Some very vivid and disturbing scenes. Interesting story and some interesting visual effects.

  The Hollow Man (Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue)
  Should be subtitled: The Hollow Movie. The two splats are for the phenomenal special effects. They really rank higher than that, but the lousy content and idiotic acting detract so much overall. Worth seeing for special effects if you've seen every other new movie out there, but don't expect to be overwhelmed with the storyline.

  X-Men (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen)
  I really know nothing about the X-Men comics or characters, so the entire movie was an enjoyable surprise to me, especially finding out which mutants were on the good side and which were evil. It has nice special effects and an interesting story and some great characters. (Not great actors for most of them, but great characters!) And I especially enjoyed seeing Famke Janssen paired up with Patrick Stewart again. They first stirred up enormous on-screen magic in one of my all-time favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes called "The Perfect Mate" where Janssen was to be a gift from one warring nation to another, but was prematurely released from suspended animation and was due to "conform" to the greatest desires, needs, etc. of the man for whom she was chosen. Etc. etc. etc. Even the X-Men website's extensive filmography of her doesn't mention this, though. A fun movie.

  The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (Eddie Murphy several times)
  Not as funny as the first one and the professor's nemesis Buddy Love gets really annoying in this one. But the outtakes at the end are hysterical and it's still amazing how Murphy can play all the family characters he does, and have them each be so different and funny.

  The Patriot (Mel Gibson)
  If you like Mel Gibson, war stories, and stories of honor and revenge, you'll probably like this. Some amazing battle scenes with thousands of actors, horses, etc. But a little too bloody and full of killings for me.

  Shanghai Noon (Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson)
  My first Jackie Chan movie, so I don't know how it compares to his others, but this one was very funny and immensely entertaining. Some slapstick humor, of course, but the mix between the Asian dynamo and the Wild West is just too funny! Great for a belly laugh or two!

Somewhat older movies:

  28 Days (Sandra Bullock)
  Depressing; is this a comedy or drama? Not one of Sandra's best. Predictable.

  American Beauty -- (Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening)
Stupid, long, waste of time; I don't get why it gets such rave reviews except that those reviewers tend to like this sort of nearly-theatre-of-the-absurd, English-Patient-like artsy-fartsy trash.

  Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Mildly entertaining, especially special effects parodying The Matrix. Slapstick and gross humor at times, though.

  Drowning Mona (Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell)
Same kind of humor as Fargo, though less clever; Midler is annoying and it's a fairly consistent waste of some great actors' talents.

  Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts)
  Outstanding, entertaining, interesting, great movie; Julia Roberts is gorgeous, funny, and perfect for the real-life part. Definitely go see this one!!!

  Frequency (Dennis Quaid)
Gripping, interesting, and fascinating. I got brain cramps now and then, though, trying to keep track of the time-space continuum, but that's just me. Has some nice twists.

  Galaxy Quest (Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub)
Funny, clever, very entertaining take-off on sci-fi movies (sort of). The cast is hilarious and the storyline is amusing. Worth a good laugh or two!

  Girl, Interrupted (Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie)
Well-acted, interesting movie. A little too depressing and true-to-life, so don't go to "feel good"!

  Gladiator (Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix)
Intense, loud (battle scenes), and majestic. Both key actors are brilliant for their parts; Joaquin Phoenix plays the whiny self-centered emperor with the same believable, true-to-character performance as he gave in the Nicholas Cage movie 8MM a couple of years ago. It's a little too bloody for me in some parts and a bit long at over two and a half hours, but gripping enough to keep most of my attention.

  The Green Mile (Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, James Cromwell)
Interesting and well-done. I thought it should have gotten better reviews than it did. Duncan is wonderful in it, as is Hanks (as almost always). Somewhat predictable at the end, but definitely worth watching.

  The Hurricane (Denzel Washington)
Somewhat of a disappointment considering how much I like Denzel and true stories. It seemed long and drawn out.

  Keeping the Faith (Jenna Elfman, Edward Norton, Ben Stiller)
The previews are the funniest parts and it tends to drag at times. Elfman looks terrible on the big screen (weird teeth/mouth)! Wait 'til it comes out on video and rent it.

  Mission to Mars (Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Tim Robbins)
A sad waste of a great cast. Has some interesting ideas and special effects from time to time, but a little underdeveloped and predictable. Worth renting if you're interested in no-brainer fantasy but don't spend movie-ticket money on it.

  Music of the Heart (Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan)
Another true story and although I don't much like Streep, she's fairly good in this. It's a great story, heartwarming and moving at times, and has a good cast. It should have gotten better reviews than it did. It's only playing at cheap theaters now, but it's worth seeing if you can.

  Pitch Black (unknown actors)
(no splats) I ended up seeing this thinking it was Mission To Mars. Sheesh. What a waste of time and money. Some cool special effects but don't spend money on it, including to rent it!

  Rules of Engagement (Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Ann Archer, Ben Kingsley)
Good drama with two of my favorite actors (Jackson and Jones). Provocative, interesting; worth seeing.

  U-571 (Tom Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Matthew McConaughey, David Keith)
Another movie based loosely on fact, somewhat unbelievable at times, but gripping and intense throughout. Worth seeing, especially on the large screen (wouldn't be as good on TV).

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