The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
A Critical Roundup of Other Films
By JASON LLOREN
Blast San Francisco Bureau
As Good As It Gets
Jack Nicholson plays an obsessive-compulsive grumpy old writer who's actually sorta likable. He woos Helen Hunt, a pretty single mom who pays off her sick son's piling medical bills by working as a waitress. Nicholson's neighbor, played by Greg Kinnear, is a homosexual painter who gay-bashed and robbed. They all bond.
The Good: Nicholson's obsessive-compulsive grumpy writer is actually likable.
Hunt is adorable. Kinnear's pet pooch steals the show.
The Bad: The script feels like a first draft.
The Ugly: Jack's age is beginning to really show.
Wag the Dog
Days before the election, the president gropes a little girl in the White House. Spin doctor Robert De Niro, White House aide Anne Heche and Hollywood producer Dustin Hoffman concoct a war with Albania to distract voters away from the ensuing sex scandal.
The Good: The performances. Is that really Hoffman?
The Bad: It's funny but did Siskel and Ebert actually compare this to "Dr.
The Ugly: Monica Lewinsky and Iraq. Been there, done that.
Daniel Day-Lewis plays an aging boxer and former Irish Republican Army soldier just released from prison. He returns to his old neighborhood, gets back into boxing, reconnects with his old girlfriend (Emily Watson) and finds political strife remains high.
The Good: Day-Lewis' boxes well for an almost-40-year-old. Oh, and the
acting's fine as well.
The Bad: Not very uplifting.
The Ugly: Who wants to see a movie about the troubles in Ireland?
Christian Slater's armored car gets stuck in a flooded town. Morgan Freeman and thugs want his loot, which he's hidden. The sheriff, played by Randy Quaid, shows up and all hell breaks loose.
The Good: They sure used a lot of water. Hey, how often do you see a gunfight on Waverunners?
The Bad: The plot is all wet.
The Ugly: El Nino news has more death, more pathos.
Joanna Going and Rose McGowan play sisters who visit their hometown, which is now a creepy ghost town. They run into sheriff Ben Affleck and deputy Liev Schreiber. They face off against a spooky and mysterious entity that has invaded the town.
The Good: Going and McGowan are pretty.
The Bad: Affleck and Schreiber are pretty lame.
The Ugly: The fact that Peter O'Toole agreed to star in this. Without revealing much, let's just say the monster in this film can be found at any good Chevron.
Blues Brothers 2000
Seventeen years after the original film, Dan Ackroyd's Jake Blues leaves prison. He finds out his brother Elwood has died. He hooks up with a wise-ass kid and Mighty Mac (John Goodman) to bring the band back together. State trooper Joe Morton chases after them for myriad crimes.
The Good: The music. The movie rocks like thunder and sways like trees because of it. The movie's often funny.
The Bad: OK, there's not much plot. "BB 2000" rehashes a few scenes from the original. Real musicians, like Eric Clapton, can't act.
The Ugly: No John Belushi.