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wivabef

wivabef

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Reviews written

since 26/02/2003

7

Never Been Kissed (DVD) 05/03/2003

Dissed -- Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed (DVD) Okay, let's start practicing how to say, "yeah, right!" Because you'll find yourself saying, "yeah, right" every ten minutes or so as you watch "Never Been Kissed" In the beginning of this movie, Drew Barrymore's character is talking about how this might seem like a dream but it's real. "Yeah, right!" About as real Pamela Anderson's bust. But, does that make it a bad movie? Yes. Right now, I'm trying to decide between one and two stars. So, let's review. The premise of this movie is that Drew's character Josie, a copy editor at a Chicago newspaper, gets her first writing gig by going undercover as a high school senior to expose teen-life. She transforms from geek to chic … blah, blah, blah… insert John Hughes plot from Pretty In Pink or Some Kind of Wonderful and there you go. Except, it's not well written or acted so, it's not nearly as enjoyable as the aforementioned films. First of all, Drew Barrymore can't act. Or at least, she isn't acting here. It's this "sweet little thing" reality of hers played for us on the big screen. They make her mousy and in love with grammar to make her seem like a big loser (what's wrong with being a lover of great grammar, anyhow?) from the start. Then, she becomes blond, so of course her life is going to improve, right? p.s. - I was blond. It didn't happen. Then, there's the Molly Shannon character, who, I guess is a reporter and the office tramp. I worked at a paper and have never seen a reporter dress quite ...

Samuel Adams Boston Lager 03/03/2003

My Secret Affair with Sammy.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager I bought my first rack of Sammies about seven years ago. My husband and I had just returned to our home at the time in Waterbury, Connecticut after visiting Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and we were feeling nostalgic for the 18th Century. I saw Mr. Adams holding up his stein and said, "Hey! Look's like the St. Pauli Girl is on some kind of hormone treatment." OK, I didn't say that. But I did say, "Something from Boston! Cool!" Glad I'm a sucker for Minute Men, Patriots and the musical "1776". They led to my discovering THE brew offered to our guests. This lager is perfection. Now, of course, there ARE better brews out there -- many of them are other Sam Adam's creations. But sammies are my first choice when it comes to: Eating grub at a pub Watching the Pats battle the Bills (glad Bledsoe didn't pull a Roger Clemmons on us and get better after leaving the home team) Attending a Bruins Game Being a good host/hostess When requiring beer as an ingredient as in Beer and Beef Stew or Beer-B-Q Pork chops. Every sip of a Sammy is even-handed. Malty but not saccharin. Yeasty but not frothy. Hoppy without searing your nostrils. Its texture is not acidic, nor syrupy. It has exactly the right weight and, well, for lack of a better word, viscosity to make it a good chaser of anything -- from Wild Turkey to French Fries. It's caramel color says "Hey, this isn't a Bud. Take your time to enjoy me." Its foam stays on your upper lip like a bit of whipped ...

Mulan (Animated) (DVD) 02/03/2003

My daughters' introduction to feminism

Mulan (Animated) (DVD) When I first watched this movie with my eldest daughter I thought it was cute and all, but I was influenced by the media. At the time they were reporting how chinese women were mad, chinese historians were mad, chinese restaurants were mad ... oh, heck, everybody was mad because Mulan was not the Mulan they all knew and loved -- an honest to goodness, accepted military figure in chinese history and not someone who had to sneak into the army. But, after the third or fourth viewing I said, "Get over it! So what if Eddie Murphy is an ebonics-talking dragon in ancient china! It's funny!" I like Ming-Na's "Mulan" as a role model for my daughter, who always says, "Mulan saved the day again!" And she does it not with angelic soprano melodies and big blinking eyelashes, but rather with strategy and quick thinking. Or, as the new millenium business cliche goes -- she thinks "outside the box" Her love for family, her strong sense of duty, her sticktuitiveness -- these are all admirable qualities. Regardless if its historically accurate, I would think any culture would be proud to have Mulan there to save the day. Having seen this many times, there is no longer any part I don't like. I love the guys in the camp, spitting and scratching and slapping each other on the backside. Harvey Fierstien as the tough, black-eyed Yao is a major coup -- talk about irony considering his current role on Broadway as Tracy's Mom in "Hairspray". George Takei, Pat Morita, a singing Donny Osmond ...

The Sixth Sense (DVD) 01/03/2003

I must haunt you a second time.

The Sixth Sense (DVD) My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed "The Sixth Sense", so much so, we will have to rent it again. I should reveal, too, that we rented "The Sixth Sense" soon after purchasing "Star Wars, Episode One, The Phantom Menace" (even George Lucas' title is pretentiously long), so we were ripe for anything with good acting and neat plot twists. I am sure if we had picked up "Wild, Wild West" we would have been pleased. So, my review may be somewhat tainted. Haley Joel Osment plays Cole as a little boy who is intense and scared, a walking molatov cocktail just waiting for a match to walk by. Always concerned not to worry his Mom, he harbors his secret -- that dead people talk to him -- with such wistfulness, it betrays his age. I especially like how he waits out the storm when the room grows cold, warning him of a new visitor. Bruce Willis' Doctor Crowe is also well-played. There is a calm to him that helps Cole render his horrifying world in a safe way. This is a man who is not a father -- but is obviously played by a father who has a knack with children. The chemistry between Willis and Osment is warm and poignant throughout. Throughout the film, there are unifying mechanisms that help prepare the viewer for most of the visitations. Cooling rooms, subtle score changes, Cole's raised brows -- this helps make this a drama more than a horror film. Though the spirits are scary, you soon see they are people unaware of their fate -- and the incongruity of their ...

Huggies Little Swimmers Nappies 28/02/2003

Number One for Number Two

Huggies Little Swimmers Nappies When my first child was born, Huggies Little Swimmers were not around. We had to go with those fabric swim diapers that did an OK job holding in a BM. But then what do you do with the soiled diaper? Take it to the disgusting -- gerp -- bathrooms known to the beach community, rinse it in the -- gack -- toilet, put it in a plastic bag and then -- gag -- take it home? Blech. Your other option was to put a normal diaper on, cover it with a fabric swim diaper and then watch your little one waddle around with sixteen pounds of water packed into what is now a disposable anchor. Four or five years ago, these amazing Little Swimmer diapers hit the racks and let me tell you, beach time is fun time once again! They keep BM's in, let water out and can be readily tossed away! Little Swimmers come in a number of sizes and color schemes. They are pull up style diapers, with sides that can be easily torn away from baby's skin so his or her little mess doesn't make even more of a mess. They fit my daughters extremely well -- I can't vouch for boys, though my nephew seems content in them. Little Swimmers are designed not to suck up the entire lake and that is a big bonus. In fact, you'll hardly notice they're wet with their stay dry cover. And again, they are disposable. Even if 7 to 11 of them cost the same as one reusable diaper, I gladly pay it knowing I don't have to bring home a washable diaper, stinking from the summer heat. But do change them when your little one ...

Star Wars - Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace (DVD) 28/02/2003

Less exciting than a corporate training video.

Star Wars - Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace (DVD) I am a huge Star Wars fan. When I saw Episode IV as a young girl, I admired Princess Leia and drooled over Luke Skywalker. The music stirred my spirits, the pace kept me riveted, the chemistry between the characters made me want to step in and take part in the rebellion. What happened to that human spirit in Episode I? There is no banter, no communal humor. Nobody has a crush on anybody; nobody seems torn by duty and family. They are all acting as if by parliamentary procedure. I believe NPR's Scott Simon referred to it as "Star Trek on C-Span" -- I am paraphrasing, but you get the gist. The actors don't respond to their environs, either. When they are in a great desert expanse, they do not wince from the sun, or struggle to walk in the sand. The awesome glory of Queen Amidala's city does not interest them. They do not peek around corners to see who's coming, or look long over a sweeping meadow. True, they mostly act before green screen, but you shouldn't be able to tell. At one point, Neeson looks over at Jar Jar, and he's looking right past him. Even Steve from Blue's Clues can direct his attention to characters on a green screen better than these Shakespeare trained actors. In an effort to make characters distinct, Lucas has gone overboard. It is not enough that Jar Jar Binks is offensive with his flapping ears and blubbering speech. He had to make his entire race offensive, speaking like simpletons and shaking their jowls, spraying saliva everywhere. The accents ...

Galaxy Quest (DVD) 27/02/2003

Live Long and Laugh

Galaxy Quest (DVD) I am married to a Trek Geek. For example, at Christmas, I know I'm golden if I get him a Starship Enterprise Lamp (from the "Wireless" catalog) or a Star Trek watch that plays the theme song as the Enterprise spins around its face. But, he can laugh at himself, too. Which is good, because I can say I'm laughing with him rather than at him. Galaxy Quest is, then, our perfect date movie. There's no gore, no human nakedness and very little profanity (in fact, in the video version, there is some obvious dubbing to make it even cleaner) so parents can feel okay about youngsters and teens watching it. And it is FUNNY. Absolutely, laugh out loud, funny. One of Shakespeare's best plays, "A Midsummer's Night Dream," featured a play within a play - a chance for us to laugh at the actors on the stage as well as a chance for the actors on the stage to laugh at their craft. This is what makes Galaxy Quest so damned funny. The actors are not admired for their craft, but rather, idolized for the characters they played. Each actor realizes how absolutely silly their roles were, yet, convention stop after convention stop, there they are, pretending for their loyal fans, who are dressed like them, reciting lines the actors themselves are loath to repeat. There the fans are, questioning the technical realities of a ship that is "cardboard and plywood", a technology that is powered by "christmas tree lights." The actors play along, begrudgingly, collecting a humble fee. Yet an entire ...
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