Monthly Archives: June 1999

Wild Wild West (1999)

This movie should have been re-titled “Wild Wild Mess.” After much speculation, the truth finally comes out about the overly hyped Will Smith vehicle: It is the loser of the summer season.

Rehashed from a 1960s series that no one under 30 will remember unless they stay up late watching Nick at Nite, it is full of special effects, headlining stars, and a talented director. So what went so terribly wrong?! The main problem is the story, or more accurately, the absence of one. This movie meanders through the entire plot, characters are thrown in, but there is NO story whatsoever.

Will Smith is a real disappointment. Even though he is such a charismatic actor and has a natural likability, he couldn’t save this disaster in the West. There is so little chemistry between Smith and Kline that it probably would’ve been better if ILM just created a Western Jar Jar for Smith to banter with. The jokes are so lame and unfunny that I slapped myself in the face more often than I laughed.

The beautifully delicious Salma Hayek plays peek-a-boo with the audience as she disappears and then reappears periodically throughout the movie. She has no real purpose except for some T&A and a forced romantic love interest. After playing every possible Shakespearean character, Kenneth Branagh now focuses on being an evil Lt. Dan of the South. His villain is more kooky than dangerous and provides more unintentional laughs than thrills.

This is an incredible lumbering mess that shows what can go wrong when children are not supervised while playing with daddy’s toys. May John Peters’ mechanical spider rot in hell! I want two hours of my life back!

Nate’s Grade: D

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American Pie (1999)

 

I may be a lone voice in a sea of opposition but I’ll say that I really didn’t laugh much at this latest teen sex romp. I wanted to laugh more than I did, oh I did, but it never really transpired. The movie throws together out of place gross-out gags and false sentimentality. The entire thing was predictable and for the most part stale. I may be over-analyzing a teen sex comedy, but that’s what I had to do with the time where I wasn’t laughing. The creators of this seem to imply that gals who don’t put out aren’t worthwhile or even cool. I could never feel for any of the characters or relate because they were all so shallow. There are some humorous scenes in this flick but they are few and far between. Many of the jokes just fall flat. Overall I could say I was greatly disappointed with American Pie and hope that the most innovative joke in the next teen sex comedy isn’t played to death in commercials and turned into a tagline. Are you listening Universal marketing team?

Nate’s Grade: C

 

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

I‘ll start off and say I had fallen out of favor with the show at the time and really wasn’t interested in seeing the movie. But after being dragged along by a group of friends against my will I’m very glad I did.

I don’t fall into hysterics by hearing eight-year-old cartoons use the F-word profusely like many in my theater, but luckily for me there was plenty of wit to go around. The movie is riotously funny and I often found myself at times having to grip the armrest so I wouldn’t tumble out of my seat.

The movie could have been easily re-titled South Park: The Musical with the batch of 14 original songs they have that parody the Disney formula tunes and classic Broadway renditions. The songs are dead-on perfect at parodying their designed targets. The music is so brilliant and catchy that it deserves to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Comedy or Musical score if there is any justice in the film community. Never thought you’d see the words South Park and Oscar in the same sentence did you? Well neither did I.

The movie even plays witness to issues circling our country today like knee-jerk reaction to assess blame, responsible parenting, and blaming Hollywood media. This is a true piece of comic brilliance as they satirize anything and everything and so damn well. There are those that might take offense to some of the racial jokes but take it with a grain of salt because pretty much every person of race, creed, culture, and what not will be a source of humor. After all, that’s what Brian Boitono would do.

Nate’s Grade: A

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