SOMEONE LIKE YOU (2001)

Directed By: Tony Goldwyn 
Written By: Elizabeth Chandler
Based On The Novel “ANIMAL HUSBANDRY” By: Laura Zigman
Cinematography: Anthony B. Richmond 
Editor: Dana Congdon

Cast: Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin, Donna Hanover, Catherine Dent, Nicole leach, Peter Friedman, Colleen Camp, Mirelle Enos, Veronica Webb, Naomi Judd

After being jilted by her boyfriend, a talk show talent scout writes a column on the relationship habits of men which gains her national fame.


Way before the ADELE song on the same name. This movie came around when Ashley Judd was getting used to being a star. This was the film where it would really rest on her shoulders.

The problem is that this film is so generic. That even at the time it came out there felt outdated. It’s one of those films that came out in the 90’a and while you can tell it is a studio film it still comes across as no-frills. As there is no particular style everything’s made to look bland. So that when something that looks sharp in style and person. It is jarring. The film feels like it could have been a storyline on the television show FRIENDS rather than getting its own movie.

It also feels like everyone is too for their roles and especially to still have the character’s mindsets.

This film is disposable. So disposable I watched it recently and don’t remember much of this film. I know enough that I would never watch it again.

Hugh Jackson plays a cad who somehow becomes roommates with a co-worker played by Judd. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and at first, they can’t stand each other (then why live together in the first place. It is New York after all so I guess desperate measures) slowly but surely, of course, they fall in love and he changes his ways.

I enjoy Hugh Jackman a lot. He is like one of those classic leading men from the 1940s and ’60s and at least the film in a scene shows why his character is so jaded and cruel as a ladies’ man. Though here he rarely has any chemistry with his female co-stars which really doesn’t help if you are making a romantic comedy. (Nor does the theory of double negative where the chemistry is supposed to be bad that it comes off charming eventually) Though there is something innately watchable about him.

Watching this film less for the romance and more for the comedy. As there is already little romance and more talk of it than anything. The comedy also never really comes other than some catty one-liners more from Jackman than Judd

At least Hugh Jackman seems to know he’s not in a necessarily good movie. He is just biding his time until each scene ends and is happy with the work. Not to mention a paycheck.

One can’t get mad at this film totally as it fits its conventions and lets you know what type of film it is. It doesn’t try to misdirect to make itself seem like it has more depth or one-of-a-kind filmmaking. Still even for its genre while competently filmed it is majorly disappointing in most aspects.

By the end, it also makes it obvious that the main character needed the break-up to happen for her to grow. As she would have been noted and settled into marriage with the wrong person in the first place and Even Though would have been happy. She also would have been bored and stuck 

The film is strictly painted by numbers and off the assembly line. I don’t even have that much more to say about it.

Grade: F

DOWN TO EARTH (2001)

Directed By: Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz 
Written By: Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi, Lance Crouther & Louis C.K. 
Based on the original screenplay “HEAVEN CAN WAIT” By: Elaine May & Warren Beatty 
Cinematography: Richard Crudo 
Editor: Priscilla Nedd-Friendly 

Cast: Chris Rock, Regina King, Chazz Palmenteri, Eugene Levy, Frankie Faison, Mark Addy, Greg Germann, Jennifer Coolidge, Wanda Sykes, John Cho, Mario Joyner, Laz Alonzo 

After dying before his time, an aspiring black comic gets a second shot at life – by being placed in the body of a wealthy white businessman.


This was Chris Rock’s Big starring movie in the lead after he had a resurgence as a stand-up comedian and came to be a comedy all-star. So a lot was expected with this film. Again virtually a black version and update of HEAVEN CAN WAIT. Starring a Caucasian actor originally Warren Beatty.

He not only stars but helped co-write the script, also directing the film were the Weitz Brothers. Who were fresh off the surprise hit film AMERICAN PIE. So this was a big important opportunity for them at the time. They even cast some for Aathe actors from that film in small to supporting roles here 

While a bit of watering down the material for more of a crossover appeal for audiences. Rock’s humor and It are still there but a bit buried. There is also a lack of bite. As the story seems to be more based on him with his character being a stand-up comedian here. Rather than a football player in the original. 

Unfortunately the film isn’t that memorable but it is entertaining enough while watching it.

Though some scenes of the movie would be funnier if we saw the character who he is on the body of so some do the behavior he does. As they are funny in theory and in glimpses when we do see him as everyone else does. Though Mostly it’s a quantum leap situation where Chris Rock is on the screen representing the character. As he is the star so It’s Expected. Though not as funny.

Though if he wasn’t would he really be the star unless they set up a kind of WHITE CHICKS prosthetics which would cheapen the movie

It shows Chris rock to be a capable enough actor and leading man. It also allows racial humor and observations to work. The film also allows the supporting cast to be funny and ridiculous too especially Wanda Sykes (here you see why so many people found her hilarious. As her comedic skills are on point. And sharp) and Jennifer Coolidge as the more outrageous ones. Hit their marks.

Though they try the Heaven Chazz Palmenteri and Eugene Levy material seems too formulaic and partially takes you out of the film and reminds you of the cheesier parts. Though at least they try to class it up and show another existence. It also feels more in tone with the weak comedy.

The film has a lot of human moments and works as funny and even romantic when you see Chris Rock in the scene that becomes like the show QUANTUM LEAP where you forget who he is supposed to be or at least look like and is more believable even when it is just him in whatever situation.

The film just comes off softer and lighter than you might expect and want.

GRADE: C

HEIST (2001)

Written & Directed By: David Mamet
Cinematography By: Robert Elswit
Editor: Barbara Tulliver

Cast: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sam Rockwell, Delroy Lindo, Danny DeVito, Ricky Jay, Patti LuPone

Joe Moore has a job he loves. He’s a thief. His job goes sour when he gets caught on security camera tape. His fence, Bergman reneges on the money he’s owed, and his wife may be betraying him with the fence’s young lieutenant. Moore and his partner, Bobby Blane and their utility man, Pinky Pincus find themselves broke, betrayed, and blackmailed. Moore is forced to commit his crew to do one last big job.


Writer/director David Mamet isn’t necessarily interested in the action and spoils I war as much as the audience is. He is more interested in the characters and the before as after of their thoughts and actions. He is in love with the art and construction of the con and the plan.

There isn’t some gargantuan score to keep us riveted. The film keeps things small scale and subdued. Not filled with reaction sequences. Not that the older cast can’t take it. They are in the classic mold of tough guys, but they are older and established. They don’t need the headache of the bigger score. Also don’t need as much. They treat the scores as more I do a job, but they get off on the excitement and intrigue more than anything. Beating supposed smarter and tougher men.

While it telegraphs much of what will happen the film still holds a few aces of its own sleeves. 

While one if the off moments of the film could be Rebecca Pidgeon as the Femme-Fatale of the film. She is the directors wife and has a more common look. Not the typical bombshell you would expect. That is what works for her. In real life when you see the person some guys risk it all for. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea. That is the power in the relationship. They are so unassuming you don’t see them coming. A Jennifer Lopez or Charlize Theron you sense something is up. A Julia stiles you don’t and they use their power once they have you. To lead you down a road you, not ally would never take. It makes it all the more real. Think about some couples it’s always the one least likely. Not a centerfold, but as you get to know them and appreciate other aspects of them it accentuated their looks as overall appeal until you have fallen under a spell by the name of love or lust.

Rebecca Pidgeon usually plays the female lead of his films or at least an important role in them. She is a talented actress though at times feels a little too staged in her performances.

Sam Rockwell is good though his mustache does most of the character work for him it seems as his slimy character is easily transparent. Like a cad from a bygone era.

Gene Hackman is a marvel and fits into the film as he is an acting Everyman. Though strangely doesn’t get the best lines. This is one of his last performances and while there is nothing particularly special about his performance. He is as usual strong and believable. He has the grizzled veteran part down pat.

Gene Hackman mentioned in several interviews that he found shooting the film difficult and somewhat uncomfortable because he was so much older than everyone involved. He, therefore, kept much to himself, and in the end managed to draw on that feeling of being an outsider in the group for his portrayal.

The film for all of it’s twist and turns lacks a certain excitement and fells more cut and dry.
While certainly entertaining and commanding. You feels satisfied but a bit underwhelmed. It might be the smaller nature of the film compared to its usual genre companions which are usually bigger productions and more action-packed. This one is more for adults.

Grade: B-

THE ONE (2001)

Directed By: James Wong 
Written By: James Wong &Glen Morgan 
Cinematography By: Robert McLachlan 
Editor: James Coblentz 


Cast: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham, Dylan Bruno, James Morrisson, Dean Norris 


This movie postulates what if there is more than one universe. And that all of these universes are held together by one single stream of energy and that energy is equally distributed to every living in each universe and if one of these beings die, that energy is reallocated equally to each other surviving member. And with each allocation, a person becomes stronger. Now one universe has master the ability of crossing into another universe, and a man named Shulaw who believes that if he can kill all of his counterparts, he will become invincible, but there are those who believe that it might have detrimental effects, so try and stop him. Unfortunately, he just has one more person to kill, Gabe Law, but the officers follow Shulaw but Shulaw has committed some crimes and Gabe is accused and is wanted. But Gabe discovers that he has changed and only wants to kill Shulaw not realizing what could happen.

Even for experienced writer-directors James Wong and Glenn Morgan who were also showrunners for THE X-FILES, this film feels especially weak for a science-fiction tale though I realize it is more action. That element could have been played up more. I am not even blaming the lackluster effects. It’s just that everything about this film feels uninspired.
This is a film I have seen beige and pretty much forgotten about until I re-watched it recently and all the old feelings and impressions came rushing back.

It feels uninspired though it takes elements from a bunch of different sci-fi films it never settles to use any of those inspirations to come up with spent anything different and original. I can accept that.

It also seems like a film where the directors were either fans or in awe of the star of the film Jet-Li and seem to just hang back on film ad let him do what he does best. Which would be fine of hey a least set him up with scenes that were somewhat Interesting and set up the action so that we can be amazed by his skills.

For the martial arts aficionados: Jet Li uses two distinct kung fu styles when portraying Gabe and Yulaw. The evil Yulaw uses Xingyi Quan, or “Mind-Form Fist” (loosely translated). As can be seen, when he is training, it is a very linear, offensive style. Gabe on the other hand practices Bagua Zhang, or the “Eight Trigrams Palm”. It is characterized by open palm fighting, with circular footwork. Both styles are two of the three main “internal” styles of Chinese kung fu – the third being Taiji Quan (Tai Chi).

The film LETHAL WEAPON 4 did it and look at how. Underwhelming that film was. He only played a supporting part and amazed audiences with his martial arts skills so much that soon after he was making film after film in the United States though he Barry spoke any English and most of those films while disappointing at least knew how to use him to his advantage and have at least one memorable scene with him.

This is a shame as Jet-li never really found his niche in America sure he starred In many American films though he never found a project that really defined him nor pinpointed his skills. None were truly showcases or even highlights. They all looked kind of like bargain-basement productions and paired him with a musician of some kind. They also seemed more to advertise him to more of an urban audience. (CRADLE TO THE GRAVE, ROMEO MUST DIE) Though usually, the films were multiracial. Though the films he made just as always from overseas were usually excellent to passable (HERO, FEARLESS)

This film feels like it could have been written for any action star. To use their skills in the role only here it happened to be martial arts. Truly this could have started anyone that is how much the lead character and the villain have no real personality or general-purpose other than to fill out their roles and work within the mechanics of the film.

When Dwayne Johnson’s’ The Rock’ was attached to a star, this film was known as The Rock Movie. When he left to work on THE MUMMY RETURNS, it was listed for a short while as Untitled Sci-Fi Project, and when Jet Li came aboard, it became The One. Now I will admit I can be a snob and at times hard on the action, that might be because growing up with action films I grew used to them and I just can’t take the run of the mill. There must be something special or some kind of passion about the film for me I appreciate it. Even of the film is lackluster there must be something in it even iconic that might bring me memories of yesteryear ones. This one though truly feels like a waste of time and talent. That seemed doomed from the beginning.

Skip it

 Grade: F

FORMULA 51 (2001)

Formula51

Directed By: Ronny Yu
Written By: Stel Pavlou
Cinematography By: Hang-Sang Poon
Editor: David Wu

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Meatloaf, Rhys Ifans, Ade, Sean Pertwee

Elmo McElroy is a streetwise American master chemist who heads to England to sell his special new formula – a powerful, blue concoction guaranteed to take you to ‘the 51st state.’ McElroy’s new product delivers a feeling 51 times more powerful than any thrill, any pleasure, any high in history. But his plans for a quick, profitable score go comically awry when he gets stuck in Liverpool with an unlikely escort and his ex-girlfriend and becomes entangled in a bizarre web of double-dealing and double-crosses.

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THE CENTER OF THE WORLD (2001)

centerofthe world

Directed By: Wayne Wang
Story By: Wayne Wang, Miranda July, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt
Written By: Ellen Benajmin Wong
Cinematography By: Mauro Fiore
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Molly Parker, Peter Sarsgaard, Carla Gugino, Mel Gorham, Pat Morita, Bahlthazar Getty, Shirley Knight

A successful computer engineer meets a stripper in a cafe. He offers her $10000 and she offers 3 days and nights of no penetration in Vegas.

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AMERICAN PIE 2 (2001)

Directed By: J.B. Rogers
Written By: Adam Herz
Story By; David H. Steinberg & Adam Herz
Cinematography: Mark Irwin 
Editor: Larry Madaras & Stuart Pappe

Cast: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy, Chris Owen, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cho, Molly Cheek, Eli Marienthal, Joanna Garcia, Lisa Arturo, Denise Faye, Casey Affleck, George Wyner, Joelle Carter, Larry Drake, Bree Turner, Nora Zehtner, Adam Brody, Kevin Kilner, Luke Edwards

Jim and his friends are now in college, and they decide to meet up at the beach house for some fun.


A sequel Was inevitable considering how much of a surprise hit the first one was. Though this one is very disappointing most of all because it’s rushed.

This film had a lot going against it. As it has a built-in Audience that expects the material to be on par or better than the first film. So there is an excitement watching this film, unfortunately, the film never rises to the heights of the first film. Never actually comes closer as it not only lives in its shadow but seems to be repeating some aspects of it.

The film has a different director which with the change seems to feel like the strengths of the film have changed hand with someone who didn’t know how to keep the elements as strong.

Most of the film is more for the same type of jokes and humor from the first film. Only here they aren’t as inspired. So that there is no real reason for half of them except for trying to shock or top the scenes from the first film. 

Which hurts the movie because they are obviously trying way too hard. Which doesn’t really amount to anything. As nothing really happens plot-wise and it’s More watching  them In their college years 

Most of the cast returns for the sequel except that excluding Alyson Hannigan most of the returning female cast members are barely in the movie except for cameos and small supporting roles. Which takes away some Of the excitement. Especially when they only Seem here in relation to the romantic entanglements with the guys from the first film More to put an ending with them. At least in the first film, we saw some of their hang-ups and fears. Here they are more like obstacles.

So that half the film becomes a kind of comedic romance as Alyson Hannigan prepares Jim For sex which seems Like a sure thing for him when Nadia comes back to visit. 

Though he slowly finds himself falling for her. That is really the only Sweet part of the film. It also allows Alyson Hannigan to become More of a full-fledged cast member. She fits the ensemble rather well.

As most of the rest of the cast is around and has their Storylines they are treated more as Minor primarily serving only the main plot of Jim. 

There is only one scene which is supposed to be a Centerpiece of the whole film that is memorable and that is when they are caught spying on two men who they think

Are lesbians and then once caught the guys have to do to own another what they want the girls To do to own another. While at first, it keeps raising the stakes it ends up never rising to the comedic height it could have gone and tries to set up. Which is pretty much what the movie is like. 

It’s Nice that the cast Comes together but just like the film they all seem here under contract and already onto their fame at the time. They’re never really there in the film. Not that the film gives them Much to do either.

Grade: D

RUSH HOUR 2 (2001)

Directed By: Brett Ratner
Written By: Ross LaManna & Jeff Nathanson
Cinematography: Matthew F. Leonetti
Editor: Mark Helfrich & Robert L. Lambert

Cast: Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, John Lone, Zhang Ziyi, Roselyn Sanchez, Alan King, Harris Yulin, Kenneth Tsang, Maggie Q, Ernie Reyes Jr, Jeremy Piven, Saul Rubinek

It’s vacation time for Det. James Carter and he finds himself alongside Det. Lee in Hong Kong wishing for more excitement. While Carter wants to party and meet the ladies, Lee is out to track down a Triad gang lord who may be responsible for killing two men at the American Embassy. Things get complicated as the pair stumble onto a counterfeiting plot by L.A. crime boss Steven Reign and Triad Ricky Tan, an ex-cop who played a mysterious part in the death of Det. Lee’s father. Throw in a power struggle between Tan and the gorgeous but dangerous Hu Li and the boys are soon up to their necks in fist fights and life-threatening situations. A trip back to the U.S. may provide the answers about the bombing, the counterfeiting, and the true allegiance of sexy customs agent Isabella. Then again, it may turn up more excitement than Carter was looking for during his vacation.

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VALENTINE (2001)

valentine1

Directed By: Jamie Blanks
Written By: Tom Savage (Book) & Donna Powers & Wayne Powers & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Director Of Photography: Rick Bota
Edited By: Steve Mirkovich
Production Design by: Stephen Geagahn

Starring: Marley Shelton, David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Jessica Capshaw, Johnny Whitworth, Katherine Hiegel, Jessica Cauffiel

It is the late 1980’s. At a high school dance, young nerdish-looking Jeremy Melton is spurned & insulted by every girl he asks to dance, except one named Dorothy. Later they start making out under the bleachers until a group of bullies discover them, and Dorothy says Jeremy attacked her. The boys further humiliate Jeremy by violently assaulting him & pulling off his clothes. About 12 years later, those same girls are in their twenties and enjoying the dating scene. But Jeremy has mysteriously disappeared. After one of the girls, Shelley has a date with an arrogant loser, she is savagely murdered in her medical school’s anatomy lab by a tall, sinister man dressed in a dark coat and wearing a cherub mask. Just before her death, Shelley received a threatening Valentine’s Day card. The other girls soon start receiving similar cards shortly after, and one at a time, they start dying violently. When police inform them that Jeremy Melton has not been seen or heard from for many years, Dorothy speculates that he may have had plastic surgery and worked out to change his appearance. Kate has recently found herself a new boyfriend but Dorothy suspects he may in fact be Jeremy, using his new look to get close to the girls who spurned him so many years before…and seeking revenge…

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HANNIBAL (2001)

hannibal______2

Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: David Mamet & Steve Zallian
Based On The Novel By: Thomas Harris
Cinematography By: John Mathieson
Editor: Pietro Scalia

Cast: Julianne Moore, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Hazzelle Goodman, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri, Zeljko Ivanek, Don McManus, Ajay Naidu,

The final chapter of the Dr. Hannibal Lecter quadrilogy, the murdering cannibal. He is presently in Italy, and works as a curator at a museum. Clarice Starling, the F.B.I. Agent who he aided to apprehend a serial killer, was placed in charge of an operation, but when one of her men botches it, she’s called to the mat by the Bureau. One high ranking official, Paul Krendler  has it in for her. But she gets a reprieve because Mason Verger , one of Lecter’s victims who is looking to get back at Lecter for what Lecter did to him, wants to use Starling to lure him out. When Lecter sends her a note, she learns that he’s in Italy, so she asks the Police to keep an eye out for him. But a corrupt Policeman, who wants to get the reward that Verger placed on him, tells Verger where he is, but they fail to get him. Later, Verger decides to frame Starling, which makes Lecter return to the U.S., and the race to get Lecter begins.

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