JAWBREAKER (1999)

Written & Directed By: Darren Stein 
Cinematography By: Amy Vincent 
Editor: Troy Takaki 

Cast: Rose McGowan, Julie Benz, Rebecca Gayheart, Charlotte Ayana, Judy Greer, Pam Grier, Carol Kane, Tatyana Ali, Chad Christ, Jeff Conaway, William Katt, P.J. Soles, Marilyn Manson 


In what was meant as a harmless birthday prank, three of Reagan High School’s most popular girls, Julie, Foxy, and Courtney pretend to kidnap their friend, the latter shoving a jawbreaker into the victim’s mouth to keep her from screaming. Their plan goes awry when the girl accidently swallows the jawbreaker, choking to death. The cool and calculating Courtney tries to cover the crime but is found out by school geek Fern Mayo. In return for her silence, Courtney transforms the gawky Fern into the stylishly beautiful Vylette, leaving the conscience-stricken Julie out in the cold, threatening to set her up for the girl’s murder if she breaks her silence. 

This film was compared to HEATHERS by some critics. So I had to check this film out. Luckily I was working at a movie theater that was playing this movie so I got to see it for free. If I had paid for it. I believe my review would be more vicious. 

The film is very colorful and has a dull witty edge the jokes sometimes hit their targets, but often misfire. Even though the film is cast with memorable stars of teenage set sitcoms. One of the problems with the film is the cast playing teenagers look too old. I’m not talking 90210 old. I’m talking having the first kid setting up house in the suburbs old. 

Writer/director Darren Stein intentionally cast older actresses as the high school leads as an homage to films like GREASE and CARRIE, which seemed to use actresses who were clearly in their mid-twenties. 

There are a few things to like in this movie Jeff Conway is hilarious intentionally in his one scene. The scene where Rebecca Gayheart is the only one moving in the hallway while everyone else is In freeze frame is inspired and beautiful. The lunch room social status table scene is hilarious 

Rose McGowan is on point and great in her role. The only problem, she’s too poised and self assured in the role. She is beautiful, But is just too old. I can see why she took the role. It’s a star-maker, but then there are the problems with the movie. Which out number the good thing most of the casting a lot of good actors are miscast or wasted in their roles. There are Celebrity cameos here for no reason other then former or noted actors just trying to get work, which are beneath them. 

This is a very nasty film in spirit and material. It’s a dark comedy that is supposed to contain some satire, But feels mean spirited for no reason while being campy. The sets and makeup are at times nauseating. 

I would have to say the main reason for watching this film is Rose McGowan and her performance. So if you are a fan of her this is a definite must see. Even the usually dependable Judy Greer is wasted in one of her first leading roles plus I hated her 80’s Alice hairdo. 

During the entire film, a circular theme is visible, to call back to the jawbreaker. From the girls earrings (they wear hoops throughout the majority of the film), to light fixtures, to patterns, and wall fixtures. 

The problem here is that Rose McGowan excels in this role, but the movie or at least the script can’t keep up to her talent. No one else is written as well or as vividly as she is. This has also been the problem with McGowan’s career there has hardly been roles tailor made for her and when there were she was usually the best thing or the most noteworthy thing in the movie, Because everything else was disappointing about the films. She just keeps seeming to miss those roles that would catapult her full speed ahead or doesn’t seem to take the momentum offered when she does. Almost like a older Christina Ricci with less chances. 

Marilyn Manson was given his cameo part because he was engaged to Rose McGowan at the time the movie was made. 

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GRADE: C-

BLUE STREAK (1999)

Directed By: Les Mayfield 
Written By: Michael Berry, John Blumenthal & Stephen Carpenter 
Cinematography By: David Eggby 
Editor: Michael Tronick 

Cast: Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, William Forsythe, Peter Greene, Olek Krupa, Nicole Ari Parker, Dave Chappelle, John Hawkes, Tamala Jones, Richard C. Sarafin, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Jason Kravits, Octavia Spencer 

Miles Logan is a jewel thief. Things go awry while he’s stealing a huge diamond in downtown L.A.: a thief, Deacon, tries a double-cross, the police arrive, and Miles is arrested, but not before he hides the jewel in an air duct of a building under construction. Two years later, he’s out of prison and he heads for the site: it’s L.A.’s new police headquarters! Posing as a reassigned cop, Miles gets into the building, but before he can recover the swag, he’s partnered with a naive detective and sent out to investigate burglaries. With Deacon on his trail, he must recover the diamond, keep the cops fooled, and do a few good deeds as a detective who can think like a criminal.


Before BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE and seeming I he typecast after that to a degree. Martin Lawrence was a hot popular comic, who had a pretty successful film career. This film while not his best was one of the films that was successful.

I will admit to skipping it in theaters to me the only noteworthy aspect of the film was the Jay-Z song on the soundtrack. It was an exclusive single at the time. The whole dressing up as a bad toothed pizza delivery guy in the trailer reeked of bad situation comedy and had no interest. 

Then once it came out on DVD I was working at a video store and had a co-worker who loved to put on African-American cinema all the time which wouldn’t have been so bad  if he had the sense to choose good movies of African American cinema and not the seemingly same 5 films, this was one in rotation. The other I remember being what’s the worst that could happen which I have seen more times he. Necessary probably even more then the people who made it. BLACK KNIGHT . In fact the only good film he ever python was MALCOLM X.

This film was one of the least films he put on and finally one day just to keep it outbid the store I rented it so that I could watch it completely with. Interruptions and have a few days of peace.

What followed was a typical popcorn blockbuster that really offered up no real surprises and to tell the truth you don’t really expect any the film is pretty cut and dry. It’s funny and entertaining and to will forget it pretty soon after watching it. It’s no classic but a good time waster. It keeps the formula of mistaken identity and fish out of water combining them.

The film stocks with the comedy. It flirts with a romantic story line though is quickly abandoned for more of a buddy comedy.

One of the few things that fascinates me about this film ad it’s type is that the stars of the film are supposed to handle all the comedy and everyone else around is kind of the straight men, but usually the supporting characters are so over the top in the personeas hey seem cartoon-ish or comedic themselves. Throwing the film off a bit. Luckily the wackiness ensues when Dave chappelle shows up in a supporting role.

Martin Lawrence is funny and for all his Foul mouthed at times humor. His most graceful aspect is his physical comedy. Even when telling jokes the energy, the faces and his movements all are in-synch to sell his humor ad make you marvel at his talent. I mean he has funny jokes too, but his true talent is in all the other skills he brings to the table.

The film Was supposed to be a hard R rating until they found the film and material worked better as a pg- 13 film. Leaving it open to more all ages access for the audience. As most of the humor seems more inclined for a younger audience. So the plot, Dialogue and characters had to all be rewritten Screenwriter, John August was the last minute Script Doctor for the script

The film introduces Nicole Ari Parker’s character as a strong rival for his character. Though she adds to the story. It almost seemed like a set-up for a kind of love interest. Though the film never seems to quote go there. As his character doesn’t have that much time for that. Nor would the ending make any sense if he still has her as baggage.

This is the first Martin Lawrence showcase where he is the entertainment the real Lead. Even though he is partnered up with Luke Wilson. It seems more like Wilson is a co-star and not another name above the title who Martin Lawrence is the co-star or buddy of. Instead here Lawrence gets to be the one who the camera never leaves and who the story is based around instead of being just he comic relief or the supporting character that he had been relegated to in films such as HOUSE PARTY, HOUSE PARTY 2, BAD BOYS, NOTHING TO LOSE.

He was kind of my first introduction to really following stand-up comedy and comedians. I remember him from HOUSE PARTY then hosting DEF COMEDY JAM. I got his albums and when his career blew up I followed him. I remember classic comedians before him line Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay but he was he first I could relate to a point and groin watching him and other comedians on DEF COMEDY JAM, I started to pay attention to stand-up even broadening my admiration for more comics.

They were rebellious (especially after NBC banned Lawrence for his routine on Saturday night live) Comics have been like rock stars to me ever since i mean examine it. they have a talent that looks easy, but once you actually try it realize how hard is to master if you ever really do. Your style and skill is constantly in transition. You spend most of your time on the road in front of crowds. Though there are many in your field somehow your voice and brand manages to stand out and be noticed and admired. You have die hard fans and groupies. Everyone tries to do it, but only the strong survive as you pretty much are open and. Are your soul and ate at the mercy of the crowd.

According to Dave Chappelle, a scene was written during filming in which his character was to wear a dress while disguised as a prostitute. Chappelle adamantly refused. The writers complained to the producers who then tried to convince Chappelle to do the scene but he still refused. According to Chappelle, he felt that it was part of a disturbing trend in which African-American men wear dresses in films.

There were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.

It’s a worthy rental

Grade: C+

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS (1999)

Directed By: Michael Patrick Jann

Written By: Lona Williams 

Cinematography: Michael Spiller Editor: David Codrob & Janice Hampton 

Cast: Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Brittany Murphy, Amy Adams, Will Sasso, Mindy Sterling, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney, Sam Mcmurray, Alexandra Holden, Matt Malloy, Mo Gaffney, Adam West, Nora Dunn, Jacy King, Amanda Detmer, Michael McShane, Jon T. Olson, Laurie Sinclair 

A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.


This should have been a bigger hit or at least better remembered. This movie had a cast of many before they were stars actresses. 

The film keeps it’s dark sense of humor throughout despite being more aimed at being a mainstream comedy. The film might think itself more of a satire but comes off more as straight comedy. It’s Inspired but the jokes don’t come off as sharp as they should. 

Watching this film originally in a theater was a memorable film experience if only because it is one of the few I watched with one of my best friends. It was a late summer movie and we were the only ones who seemed to laugh non-stop cementing our budding friendship. As we had the same kind of sense of humor.

Denise Richards looks the part, but also seems a little to long in the tooth for her role. As she looks noticeably older then the rest of the contestants. She also looks too polished. But does look like a beauty queen.

Kirsten Dunst is good as the lead. The beginning of her best roles playing more small town girls.

Though this is more of a teen movie. It spends just as much time on the adult characters. Who are more guilty in their influences and rivalries.

This is a kind of more studio oriented version of the 1970’s comedy SMILE. Which was also an ensemble comedy looking at a small town beauty pageant that was more risqué at the time and had a lot of material you couldn’t get away with now. This film is cleaner and snarkier then that one.

Amy Adams and Brittany Murphy are standouts amongst the cast. This is really Adams first big role and Brittany Murphy is hilarious in her supporting role. One wishes she had been given more to do and be in as she makes the material work and rise.

I remember this was one of the first roles I remember seeing Alison Janney in next to 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. As she and Ellen Barkin steak their scenes together and even when apart they do.

This is one of the better film roles for Kirstie Alley has played. Here she is the villain and head of the pageant community and ceremony.

The movie is directed by Michael Patrick Jann who was a member of the sketch comedy group THE STATE as well as director of most of their specials. The performances end up better than the film overall.

The problem is at times the film comes off as too goofy and is mostly safe. Playing it’s

The Midwestern angle is strong. I guess they need representation in movies at the time. When it’s Strengths are more when it explores it’s dark side.

Though the humor never has quite the sting you expect and want 

GRADE: C+

AMERICAN PIE (1999)

Directed by: Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz
Written By: Adam Herz 
Cinematography: Richard Crudo
Editor: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly 

Cast: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy, Tara subkoff, Casey Affleck, Chris Owen, Jennifer Coolidge, Lawrence Pressman, Clyde Kusatsu, John Cho, Christina Milian, Molly Cheek, Eden Riegel, Eli Marienthal, James Debello, Clementine Ford, Blink 182 

Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.


This is a movie that holds a special place in my heart. As when I had My first job working at a movie theater this movie came out and I was 20 years old and I watched it many times. As did my co-workers and many audience members.

I remember the influence it had as a surprise hit. I was happy that three was a successful teenage sex comedy again in theaters that pushed the envelope but I’m the end had a sweet message and didn’t have the characters stay sex-crazed and juvenile the whole time.

Anytime I watch, it takes me back to a certain time and places in my life that I miss and at the time taken for granted but means so much to me now. This film is almost a vessel for that and my way of thinking at that time. 

This is one of those movies I will always enjoy for the huge comedic set pieces that at first come fast and furious but the. As the film Goes along becomes a little more distant but still there. They still Also manage to shock you. At first, when this movie came Out I think that is what audiences enjoyed the more shocking humor of it all. As it had been a long time that a teenage film Was that upfront about sex. And actually went there and showed some.

Another aspect to enjoying this film At least personally is if you are watching it with someone who has Seen it and getting excited for the big shock comedic moments that are coming and watching Them react to it.

One of the minor quibbles I have with the film Is that it’s Editing is annoying and horrible especially in the cutaways that work but if they were sharper would make the jokes the same way stronger.

What also works is that while there are some recognizable faces most of the cast are new to the big screen so we can believe them. For as the characters instead of stars. 

Just like the characters the film plays dirty and juvenile but sweet In The end. Where we end up caring about the characters. 

Now while there is a lot of sex talk and eventually even some in the Movie the film doesn’t Actually show as much as one would believe and really there is only nudity in one scene. Which belongs to Shannon Elizabeth’s character. Which made her a sex symbol and on-screen goddess for a bit that she never really followed up or really capitalized on.

The film had plenty of more sequels, but this one stays special as there wasn’t as much pressure for it to live up to, and pretty much was undiluted at the time.

This movie and series really show Seann William Scott at his comedic best even though he is part of the group he is also In Effect their nemesis or at least a villain of sorts who gets his comeuppance. To Me, he was always the standout in this movie 

This film also helped revitalize Eugene Levy at the movies already a comedic legend in some Circles. This movie broadened his appeal to a younger audience. So much so that he appears in most of the sequels even the straight to DVD ones of the time.

Throughout the Movie, it shows diversity even though most of the people of color are more in the background and never one of the major characters. This was kind of disappointing as this is obviously More aimed at more suburban Kids,  it while the feelings are universal the actions and atmosphere of the movie are more specific.

There are so many memorable scenes that are classic. So much so that the sequels never quite matched this film. No matter how hard they tried. In the end, though the film is about sexy it is also a film about relationships not necessarily romantic but between friends and others and how time spent with them can be a commodity 

Grade: B

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (1999)

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Directed By: Gil Junger
Written By: Karen McCullah & Kirsten Smith
Cinematography: Mark Irwin
Editor: O. Nicolas Brown 


Cast: Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Julia Stiles, Larisa Oleynik, Gabrille Union, David Krumholtz, Allison Janney, Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Daryl Mitchell, Larry Miller, David Leisure, Kyle Cease 


Adapted from William Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew,” A pretty, popular teenager can’t go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.

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SHE’S ALL THAT (2000)

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Directed By: Robert Iscove
Written By: R. Lee Flemming Jr.
Cinematography: Francis Kenny
Editor: Casey O. Rohrs 


Cast: Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachel Leigh Cook, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Paul Walker, Dule Hill, Tamara Mello, Gabrielle Union, Matthew Lillard, Kevin Pollak, Anna Paquin, Kieran Culkin, Elden Henson, Usher Raymond, Kimberly “Lil’ Kim” Jones, Clea Duvall, Debbi Morgan, Tim Matheson, Chris Owen, Ashlee Levitch, Vanessa Lee Chester, Carlos Jacott, Alexis Arquette, Katherine Towne, Brandon Mychel Smith, Milo Ventimiglia, Sara Rivas, Flex Alexander 


A high school jock makes a bet that he can turn an unattractive girl into the school’s prom queen.

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PUSHING TIN (1999)

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Directed By: Mike Newell
Written By: Glen Charles & Les Charles
Based On An Article By: Darcy Frey 
Cinematography: Gale Tattersall
Editor: Jon Gregory 

Cast: John Cusack, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thornton, Vicki Lewis, Jake Weber, Kurt Fuller, Matt Ross, Mike O’Malley 


Nick and the other boys working the hotspot of air traffic control in New York are impressed with themselves, to say the least. They thrive on the no-room-for-error, fast-paced job and let it infect their lives. The undisputed king of pushing tin, “The Zone” Falzone, rules his workplace and his wedded life with the same short-attention span that gets planes where they need to be in the nick of time. That is, until Russell Bell, a new transfer with a reputation for recklessness but a record of pure perfection shatters the tensely-held status quo. The game of one-upmanship between the two flies so high as to lead Nick into Russell’s bed with his wife. His sanity slipping just as fast as his hold on #1, Cusack’s controller is thrown out-of-control when Thornton’s wanderer quietly leaves town. Nick must now find a way to regain his sanity and repair his marriage before he breaks down completely.

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THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999)

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Directed By: David Lynch
Written By: John Roach & Mary Sweeney
Cinematography By: Freddie Francis
Editor: Mary Sweeney

Cast: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton, Everett McGill

“The Straight Story” chronicles a trip made by 73-year-old Alvin Straight from Laurens, Iowa, to Mt. Zion, Wis., in 1994 while riding a lawn mower. The man undertook his strange journey to mend his relationship with his ill, estranged, 75-year-old brother Lyle.

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END OF DAYS (1999)

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Cinematography & Directed By: Peter Hyams
Written By: Andrew Marlowe
Editor: Jeff Gullo & Steven Kemper 


Cast: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Rod Steiger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Robin Tunney, CCH Pounder, Udo Kier, Mark Margolis, Miriam Margolyes, Renee Olstead, Gary Anthony Williams, Victor Varnado

On December 28th, 1999, the citizens of New York City are getting ready for the turn of the millennium. However, the Devil decides to crash the party by coming to the city, inhabiting a man’s body, and searching for his chosen bride, a 20-year-old woman named Christine York. [If he bears her child between 11:00 PM and midnight on New Year’s Eve], the world will end, and the only hope lies within an atheist ex-cop named Jericho Cane, who no longer believes in God because of the murder of his wife and daughter.

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DETROIT ROCK CITY (1999)

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Directed By: Adam Rifkin
Written By: Carl V. Dupree
Cinematography By: John R. Leonetti
Editor: Mark Goldblatt & Peter Schink 


Cast: Eddie Furlong, Sam Huntington, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Lin Shaye, Natasha Lyonne, Melanie Lynskey, Emanuelle Chriqui, Joe Flaherty, Nick Scotti, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Lindy Booth, Ron Jeremy, Kevin Corrigan, Shannon Tweed, Steve Schirripa, Kristin Booth 


Four members of a high school band called Mystery do everything they can to attend a KISS concert in Detroit. In order to make it to the show they must steal, cheat, strip, deal with an anti-rock mom and generally do whatever it takes to see the band that has inspired them to be musicians.

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