I've always loved the movies. Whether you agree or disagree with my recommendations, I hope you enjoy reading my reviews as much as I enjoy writing them. You'll find the 1999 reviews on this page. Click on 1998 for last year's reviews.

This page contains the movie reviews for 1999.

 

Analyze This - PG-13

A very funny movie with an interesting mix of Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro in the lead characters. The psychiatrist (Crystal) tries to help a mobster (DeNiro) overcome his anxiety and guilt of not being to kill people anymore. The mobster soon involves himself in the psychiatrist's life and wedding plans, that just don't seem to ever go off due to the needs of the mobster. This movie did not have much of a plot, but was a good evening of laughs. I give it a THUMBS UP!
 

Anna and the King - PG-13

A wonderful movie, that is quite different from the previous versions you may have seen. The movie is based on the diaries of Anna and shows through her eyes, an English woman, her trial and tribulations as a foreigner in a country in turmoil. Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat do a wonderful job as the title characters, who we get to see their
relationship develop more than we did in other movie versions. This was not only an enjoyable movie, but a history lesson for those that may not be familiar as to the background of how Siam became Thailand. A definite THUMBS UP!

Any Given Sunday - R

This movie was a waste of good talent. Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz and even Ann-Marageret could have found a better movie to star in than this. Now, I like football, but there was way too many football sequences and each lasted too long. The movie was about a coach and quarterback working on their last legs to make a football team a champion team. Through all the trial and tribulations of players getting hurt, yelling at each other, and everyone thinking they were better then the next person, I know there must have been movie there somewhere, but I got tired of looking for it and was happy when the lights came up in the theater. Definitely, a big THUMBS DOWN!!

Arlington Road - R

I was looking forward to seeing this movie and I wasn't disappointed. The movie stars Jeff Bridges as a professor that teaches a course in International Terrorism. He slowly begins to have suspicions that his neighbor, played very well by Tim Robbins, may be a terrorist. At the same time, he is having to deal with other issues in his life. Where do I begin? He has a son who has problems communicating with his dad, a girlfriend that thinks he is being fanatic and he is trying to get on with his life after the death of his wife. Aside from these issues, the movie develops into a well spun thriller of trying to figure out if the neighbor is or is not a terrorist. The car chase scenes at the end and the surprise ending are excellent, but don't let anyone tell you what happens. Even with the drawn out subplots, I am giving this movie a thumbs up.

 

The Best Man - R

If you ever write a book about your friends, the truth may actually hurt those involved. Taye Diggs ( from "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" ) plays an author who has just written his first book based on his friends and their past, but states most of it is made up. The book has not been published yet, but one friend has gotten a copy and is passing it on for each friend to read. This brings us to the weekend get-together for one of the friends' wedding. The weekend is full of happiness, sadness, awakening and awareness of everyones lives. I liked this movie not just because of the wonderful black cast, but because of the insight and intimacy it showed between friends. We must sometimes have to learn to live with the good and bad of our friends lives, but in the end, they are still our friends. Also, this movie had a great soundtrack. THUMBS UP!

The Blair Witch Project - R

I was uncertain whether to see this movie or not, but was swayed to go by all the controversy over whether the movie was any good or not. I should have gone with my instinct, not to go. This was a story about 3 people , 1 girl and 2 boys , who never came back from filming a documentary about a 'witch' in the forest. The cameras they used were found, but they were not. Are you scared yet? I waited the whole movie to be scared, but that never happened. I can't tell you which was worse, the shaky film from the camera (which has made some people sick) or the dark night scenes, when you couldn't see anything that was going on for 5-10 minutes each time. I will give the movie some credit for being different and being able to build so much 'hoopla' over this movie, before it even came out. I'm just hoping the gossip is not true that they are thinking of making a sequel. Don't waste your time.....thumbs down.

The Cider House Rules - PG-13

This movie was just named as one of the five nominated movies for Best Picture Oscar. I was not even going to go see this movie, it had gotten ok reviews when it first came out, but now I had to go see it. It was an enjoyable, but quiet movie about a boy, Toby Maguire, that grows up at an orphanage under the toolage of a doctor, Michael Caine, and some
nurses. The movie revolves around the issue of the doctor teaching the boy what he knows as a doctor so that some day the boy, Homer, would take over for him. Homer though wants something else and decides to leave to try and find it. The movie is based in the early 1940's, a time when abortion was still illegal but some still went ahead and performed
them. The movie shows different aspects to each side of the controversy to let the movie goer make their own opinion. The ending is predictable, but still an enjoyable movie. It may even be a surprise Oscar winner. THUMBS UP!

Double Jeopardy - R

Finally, a movie with a strong woman character that does not weep every time she is in trouble. I've gotten tired of seeing in so many movies where the 'woman' is the weak link in a group or seems to always 'make the wrong turn' when being chased by the bad guy. "Double Jeopardy" starts out with a happy couple ( Ashley Judd and Bruce Greenwood ) and their son acting like the 'happy' family. The husband gets killed and fingers point to his wife and she goes to jail. The plot is simple, but gets better when the wife 'Libby' finds out her husband is not dead and she begins to search for him and her son after she gets paroled. She is willing to do anything to get her son back after 6 years in prison for something she didn't do. As a side character, Tommy Lee Jones plays her parole officer that at first thinks she is going to be trouble ( and she is ), but then softens to her situation as the movie progresses. The movie is predictable, but I enjoyed it enough to recommend it. I give it a THUMBS UP!

Eyes Wide Shut - R

The is Stanley Kubrick's last directed movie and it did not let me down. You have heard all the stories and articles of the things that may or may not be in the movie. Many of the guesses of what happens and the story lines were wrong. Eyes Wide Shut is an eye opening trip into the life of marriage. Not the concept of marriage that we all grow up to know, but the other side ( and not necessarily the dark side ) of sexual jealousy and sexual obsession for each other and for others. The movie looks at a 24 hour period in the lives of a doctor and his wife ( Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman ) that goes from being happy, to confusion and finally to understanding of each other at the end ( or do they? ). There have been good and bad reviews for this movie, which I can understand, but the two questions I use as my guides as to whether or not I enjoyed the movie stood up to the test. Did I look at my watch to see how much time was left until the end of the movie ? No, I did not. Was I still thinking about the movie and the story line the following days? Yes, I was for the next few days. This is 'NOT' a movie for kids under 18 yrs., maybe even 21 yrs. There is plenty of nudity in the movie, but to be honest, not as much as I thought there would be by all the stories that were written. The sex acts you see are only during the orgy scenes and those are disguised by people standing in front of the act. I give this movie a thumbs up and think all couples should see this movie.

The General's Daughter - R

The latest movie for John Travolta, The General's Daughter , is based on novel, which I wish I would have read before seeing the movie. The movie starts by having small scenes with each of the main characters in them, then the murder occurs. John Travolta is the military detective sent to solve the murder, along with rape counselor, played by Madeline Stowe. I don't want to give too much away, but they really waste the talent of Ms. Stowe in this movie, she basically just stands around during most of the movie. You don't get to know very much about any of the characters and you can figure out who did it by the middle of the movie. I was looking forward to a good John Travolta movie, but I left wanting more. Sorry, but I give it a thumbs down....

The Green Mile - R

This movie will move you to corners of your heart and mind that you didn't know were there. An adaption of another Stephen King novel, this movie tells the story of a mysterious and gifted man sentenced to die in the electric chair, back in 1932, during the depression. There are some very graphic scenes, but don't let that take you away from seeing this movie. It has a wonderful cast of characters, with Tom Hanks in the lead role and Michael Clarke Duncan as the prisoner, John Coffey ( you will see both these men at the Oscars!). There are many other supporting characters that help make the whole movie work. The movie doesn't focus on the 'issue' of the death penalty, as much as, dealing with the issues of those sentenced to die and what they have to deal with and of the guards that have to fulfill the sentence of death to death row inmates. If you liked "Shawshank Redemption", you'll love this movie too. It is over 2 hours, but you'll never look at your watch. THUMBS UP!

The Haunting - PG13

It is good to see that some movie makers are still using old fashioned scare tactics in their movies. The Haunting is a 'new' classic horror story that will give you goosebumps and make you jump out of your seat. Unfortunately, there were only a few such scenes in the movie, starring Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lili Taylor. The characters are drawn to an old castle for an experiment on insomnia, run by Liam Neeson's character, who is really studying fear patterns. The experiment starts off by the telling of a story about the man who use to live in the house. Weird things start to happen to the house and the people in it. The best scenes are not until the end when the special effects really kick in. The ending is a little of a let down, but I enjoyed the movie enough to recommend it. Thumbs up!!

Instinct - R

I'll start off this review by telling you that I love mountain gorillas. This will probably lead you to believe that I liked this movie...TRUE! Does it have flaws and simple plot line...YES! Theo Calder ( Cuba Gooding Jr. ) is a psychiatrist assigned to assess Ethan Powell ( Anthony Hopkins ), who has just been returned to the U.S. by the African police for having killed two people. Theo explores Powell's two year absence and what lead up to the killing, but the movie really shows the change in Theo, from ambitious psychiatrist looking for a book to write about, to learning about the kind of world we all live in these days. The prison scenes with the mental patients did feel like "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" and the plot was very predictable. This movie will not win any awards, but was worth seeing. I'll give it a mild thumbs up!!

Magnolia - R

One word would describe this movie... strange! I think the director was going for a "Pulp Fiction" scenario, but it was far away from it. It does have different groups of people in different scenes, whose lives somehow intertwine to affect one another, but it really made no sense at all. The weirdest thing was when it rained frogs in the movie, no one
understood what that was to mean. Tom Cruise played a sex guru of sorts in the movie and was the only character that seemed to really stand out. I will have to give the movie and THUMBS DOWN!

Man on the Moon - R

An outstanding movie that will stand well in tribute to the late Andy Kaufman. The movie was about the life and times of Andy Kaufman, from childhood to his death (which many stay he staged and is still alive, ala Elvis Presley). Jim Carrey does a marvelous and very realistic job acting as Kaufman through many years of highs and lows in his career. The director, Milos Foreman, does a wonderful job of reenacting many of the special events that occurred during the Kaufman years. His first day on Saturday Night Live singing the "Mighty Mouse" song still makes me laugh after all these years. Yes, I am a fan of his, but anyone could see this movie and still enjoy all the antics of his 'characters' he created. I think Jim Carrey will get a Oscar nomination for best actor for his work on this movie. There are a few 'teary' moments, so bring so tissue. I definitely give this movie a THUMBS UP!!!!!!

The Mummy

A visually appealing movie with all the special effects, but it leaves you with very little mind tingling excitement. The Mummy is a remake of an old classic, from the 1930's and was remade again in 1959, that has definitely run its course. No one in this version of the movie seems at all scared of the curse that will occur if the mummy is released. The main character is Rick O'Connor, played by Brendan Fraser, who plays a younger version of Indiana Jones (or at least tries to be). I went to the movie hoping to be scared, but it turned out to be more funny, with many one liner jokes, than a horror picture, like the original. After all this, I am still going to give this a THUMBS UP, because it wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. When I left the theater, all I could think of was the song "George, George, George of the Jungle!!" (This is in reference to a previous movie Mr. Fraser had done). THUMBS UP

Never Been Kissed - PG

Never been kissed will tug at your heart and have you clapping at the end of this movie. Drew Barrymore stars in another hit movie, this time as a single and lonely copy writer on a Chicago newspaper. She gets the chance to be a reporter when her boss asks her to go under cover at a local high school. Josie, Drew's character, is simply terrified to go back to school, due to her past experience as " Josie Grossie". For those of us that had it hard in high school, even those that were on the other side of it, you'll be able to relate to much of this movie. Josie gets a second chance to get into the "in" crowd. She learns many things about her friends and herself by the end of the movie. I give this movie and thumbs up!

Notting Hill - PG13

Notting Hill is the summer romance of the year (at least until Julia's next movie comes out ) that you do not want to miss. A funny and refreshing love story about two people that overcome the world's view of relationships and make their own love shine through. How could an American movie star (Julia Roberts) and a British travel bookshop owner (Hugh Grant) become a couple? You'll have to see the movie to find out, but you'll leave the movie feeling good about yourself. After all, everyone is human. It shouldn't matter where you live, what your income is, or what you look like when it comes to "love". Make sure to take some Kleenex and be ready to laugh a lot too. I give this movie a thumbs up!!!!!

Random Hearts - R

This movie had good intentions to be a romantic mystery, but the script forgot to include both the romance and the mystery. First, the mystery is solved at the beginning of the movie. Harrison Ford's wife is having an affair with Kristin Scott Thomas's husband, who both die in a plane crash sitting together. Both of the main characters could have left it at that, but they want to know when the affair got started so they can despair over how long they had been deceived. As the minutes ticked by very slowly ( I was looking at my watch ), Ford and Thomas start to fall for each other. I didn't see any real chemistry between them and Ford needs to do something with that spiky haircut he has been sporting lately. The movie was originally a book and it should have stayed there. This was another movie that I had high hopes for, but it disappointed me. THUMBS DOWN!

Runaway Bride - PG

This is going to be another 'runaway' hit for Julia Roberts. I loved this movie as much as I did "Notting Hill" earlier this year. Julia Roberts plays a woman who left three previous men waiting at the altar. A writer from New York, Richard Gere's character, gets a hold of the story and prints an article that gets him fired. He goes to her small town to find out whether boyfriend number 4 , who she is about to marry, will get left too and show that what he wrote about the woman is true. The chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts still sparkles as it did in "Pretty Woman". You can see the characters fall for each other, but you really don't find out 'why' she leaves these men, until toward the end. Once again, Kleenex will be needed at this movie. It comes down to that we must be ourselves first and foremost, not what others or what we think others want us to be. The soundtrack is really good, especially the Miles Davis songs. So, I don't only recommend this movie very highly, probably the best movie I've seen this year, but the soundtrack too. BIG THUMBS UP!!!!!!!!!!

The Sixth Sense - PG-13

Are you ready to delve into the world of the afterlife? This movie is about a sad boy who sees the ghosts of dead people and a brilliant child psychologist, Bruce Willis, who tries to help him get rid of the ghosts. Sixth Sense is spooky in places, but is more of a psychological thriller that plays with your thoughts of life, death and more. I really liked this movie and it even caught me off guard at the end. If you do go to this movie, don't let anyone tell you about it, especially the ending. Oscar watch: The boy, Haley Joel Osment, was really good in this movie and will probably be seen in a lot more movies in the future. Thumbs way up!!!!!!

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - PG

The day finally came...I went to see 'the' movie of the year. I left the movie wondering what exactly had I seen? The first 30 minutes dragged on as they were introducing the 'trade' problem story line and you were getting used to the new characters. This is when I looked at my watch, a bad sign, so early in the movie. The new computer technology was great, but I believe it was too overdone (whatever happened to the fake fights, fake backgrounds and fake makeup!). The story did get more interesting as the movie went on, but some of the mystery and intrigue of some the characters were easy to figure out. I am a fan of the original Star Wars movies.. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, but once again the third sequel (I know this was a 'prequel' but it's still the third one!) has lost some of its original flare. I am willing to look at this one as a buildup to the next 2 stories and will just hope that the next ones have a little more meat to the story lines. I hate to do this, but I would give it a thumbs down.

Sleepy Hollow - R

Tim Burton as director, Johnny Depp and Christine Ricci starring...I had such high expectations...but it was just another telling of the headless horseman. I would probably call it a 'quirky' version of the old tale, since the movie could not decide whether to be funny, serious or scary, but since Tim Burton directed, that is no surprise. I did look at my watch once during the movie, so that tells me the plot did not hold my attention , which is true. There was so many twists and turns, you could not keep track of who was who. This was not a bad movie, but not one that I will probably tell people they need to see. Again, I would make this a video movie later on, save your money for some better movies coming up....THUMBS DOWN!

Stir of Echoes - R

 
If your thinking about getting hypnotized soon for any reason, you may have second thoughts of doing it after seeing this movie. Kevin Bacon plays a family man whose sister in law puts him under to prove a point about hypnosis, but instead opens a gate to being able to see things in the past and future. He starts to see visions of a girl who had
been missing for 6 months and he tries to figure out why he is seeing these flashes of information. His life and family are slowly affected with his obsession to resolve the visions he has had. The story is suspenseful and has some 'guess who did it' feel to it. Though not as good as "The Sixth Sense", I still would recommend seeing this movie, so I give it a Thumbs Up!

The Story of Us - R

 
Going to this movie was a major disappointment to me. The movie had the big stars, Bruce Willis, Michelle Pfeiffer and was directed by Rob Reiner. The movie trailers showed a movie that was sad and funny at the same time, but most of these shots were only flash backs and not part of the actual story we got to see. The concept was good in showing what some married couples go through when life does not seem to be going the way they thought it would years later into a marriage. In the movie, each time the Jordans ( Willis and Pfeiffer ) had a fight or situation arise, the movie would refer back to a time in the marriage when things were good between them. The movie had just too much squabbling between the characters and some of the scenes seemed to go on for way too much time. I am sorry to say that I will be giving this movie a THUMBS DOWN!

The Talented Mr. Ripley - R

A bizarre movie whose previews gave me hope of a good movie, but instead got a garbled screenplay that did not stand up on its own. Matt Damon plays the methodical psychopath, Tom Ripley, and takes over the identity of a man he was sent to Italy to find and bring back to the United States. Ripley kills and lies his way throughout the movie so that he can maintain the high society life he can lead in his new identity. He plays the character very well and utters the one line that people will remember this movie by ,"I would rather be a fake somebody then a real nobody", but that's about all you will come away with when you leave the theater. The movie has many good supporting characters that try and maintain the movie, but when he came for the end, I was ready to leave. I give this movie a THUMBS DOWN!

Tarzan - G

If you just want to go to a movie that will make you feel good when you leave, I would highly recommend "Tarzan". Tarzan is Disney's latest animated movie, that definitely would be in my top 3 of best Disney movies in the last 10 years. Visually, this movie just takes your breathe away and with the amazing Phil Collins doing the music soundtrack, what more could you ask for in just 88 minutes. The story has been told many times over in other movies, books, comics, etc., but with a new update to how he looks and moves in the jungle like he is on a skateboard, makes it feel like a brand new story. I give this movie a thumbs up!!!!!

Three Kings - R

Three Kings has 3 wonderful actors in it, too bad the writers could not decide on what kind of movie to make it. The movie is set at the end of Desert Storm and everyone is about to go home. A map is found that may lead them to Saddam's gold that is stashed in a bunker out in the desert. So George Clooney, Ice Cube and Mark Wahlberg's characters decide to go out in search of this gold so that they can return home rich. As the story develops, you can not tell whether the movie is wanting to be a comedy or a serious story. I had high hopes for this movie, but it disappointed me. Who needs to see a bullet go inside a person's gut for a visual effect?? Sorry, but I give the movie a Thumbs Down!

Thomas Crown Affair - R

High class romance and adventure that is shakin, but has no problem in stirring the heat that develops between the main characters. Pierce Bronson mixes a little of his James Bond character with a rich financier who dabbles in stealing art work. Rene Russo plays the insurance investigator that can break all the laws and not get arrested as she tries to find the stolen painting. The two find each other a challenge and each tries to outsmart the other. Romance sizzles between them, especially during a dance scene where Rene Russo's dress will certainly get your attention. The story line is very simple and slow at times, but it is an enjoyable movie compared to some of the movies that are showing these days in the theatres. Thumbs up!!!!

Toy Story 2 - G

You always have to worry about sequels, will they be better or worse than the original? Well, in this case, you don't have to worry, because this one is as good as the original. Most of the original characters are back and they are all trying to save Woody from his kidnapper. Your kids will love this movie and so will you. The movie will bring a smile to your face as you watch it. I just wish Hollywood would make more of these type of 'good natured ' movies for kids. A big 'THUMBS UP' for this movie!

The World is Not Enough - PG13

Does the world need another James Bond movie??? Of course it does. I don't think the Bond franchise will ever end, especially since they now have an actor , Pierce Bronson, that is just as good as the original James, Sean Connery. The action, romance and adventure are still living on in this latest movie about a terrorist wanting to control the oil in the world. It is the usual good vs evil plot of all the Bond movies, along with all the new gadgets James bond has to play with. I liked the movie, but I would not go running out to see it. It might be one to wait to see on video....but I will give it a THUMBS UP!

Allison's most recent reviews are also available at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Woods/2696/


Updated April 2000.

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