All Jackie Chan movies are basically the same right? Jackie is the good
guy who's on the run from or in pursuit of a truly evil bad guy. In
this one Jackie plays an Imperial Chinese guard sent to the American
west during the 1800s to rescue a kidnapped princess (Lucy Liu). He
buddies up with a bumbling outlaw (Owen Wilson) and as you might guess
action and laughs follow.
One reason for Chan's phenomenal success of recent years is that he
seems to realize his own strengths and weaknesses as an actor and plays
up to them. As he did with Chris Tucker in "Rush Hour " Chan plays the
straight guy while Wilson (doing a more slapstick type of comedy than in
"Bottle Rocket" and other films) acts the goof.
Well there's some nice scenery of the Sierra Nevadas and the old west
(where this stuff was actually filmed I have no idea but it looks
great) but other than that this film is a showcase for the actors. For
the most part director Tom Dey doesn't deviate from the tried-and-true
elements of a Hollywood western: Gunfights Indians brothels bounty
hunters barroom brawls hangings damsels in distress and so on. The
final fight between the good guys and bad guys is a lot of fun mixing
up swordplay gunplay martial arts and fighting sticks.
Celebs young and old turned out Sunday for the Young Hollywood Awards presented by AMC and Movieline's Hollywood Life magazine. The event, which celebrates the accomplishments of Hollywood's brightest young talent, featured many stars, including Mandy Moore, Eve, Lucy Liu and Kate Bosworth.
Veteran actor David Alan Grier hosted the ceremony, which took place at Hollywood's vintage El Rey theater. Presenters included Josh Hartnett, Christina Applegate, Matthew McConaughey, Sam Rockwell, Antwone Fisher, Shane West, Jesse Bradford, Leelee Sobieski, Topher Grace, Jon Voight, Ali Landry and Dennis Haysbert.
Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford, who stars in the upcoming crime comedy Hollywood Homicide alongside Hartnett and Isaiah Washington, was honored with the special Role Model award.
The ceremony was taped for broadcast for the first time in its five-year history and will air on AMC June 2, 2003 at 8:00 p.m.
Here is a complete list of categories and honorees:
Adrenaline Rush: Lucy Liu, Charlie's Angels
Unstoppable Vision: Mandy Moore, A Walk To Remember
Most Exciting Crossover: Eve, Barbershop
Superstar of Tomorrow: Alison Lohman, White Oleander
Exciting New Face: Elizabeth Banks, Seabiscuit
Standout Performance: Troy Garity, Barbershop
Next Generation Female: Kate Bosworth, Blue Crush
Next Generation Male: Ryan Reynolds, National Lampoon's Van Wilder
Rising Star: William Lee Scott, Identity
Breakthrough Performance Male: Cole Hauser, White Oleander
Breakthrough Performance Female: Joy Bryant, Antwone Fisher
One to Watch Male: Clayne Crawford, Swimfan
One To Watch Female: Nikki Reed, Thirteen
Jeremiah Ecks (Antonio Banderas) is a retired FBI agent who is having a hard time dealing with his wife's death when his former mentor tells him she is actually alive and will reveal her whereabouts on the condition he accept this one last assignment. The assignment from what I can gather revolves around locating this injectable microscopic assassination device. As it turns out Ecks' wife Vinn (Talisa Soto) never died but instead married this really bad and powerful guy named Gant (Gregg Henry) who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The slimy Gant uses their five-year-old son to transport the device from country to country by hiding it in a Band-Aid on the kid's arm. Enter Sever (Lucy Liu) a disaffected DIA agent with a bone to pick with Gant. It seems the DIA adopted Sever--an orphan girl from China--and trained her to be a perfect assassin but she turned against the agency when her baby was killed in a DIA mission. Ultimately she joins forces with Ecks to reunite him with his wife the kid (whom she kidnaps to protect from the bad guys) and get revenge on Gant. I just did this film great justice by explaining the plot because it actually made no sense at all. Next to Gymkata this is probably one of the worst films ever made. It makes you wonder if anyone even read the script before giving the project the greenlight.
Liu's character Sever is so utterly inconceivable that this Charlie's Angels star never really has a chance to do anything constructive with it. Sever's character has no real depth. We are supposed to believe there is something to her because she has mastered origami the art of Japanese paper folding. She even makes a little origami mobile for the boy she kidnaps and stashes in a cage--give me a break. Complete with lines that rarely exceed more than a dozen words it is not surprising that Liu cannot pump any life or emotion into her brokenhearted villain. Banderas' character Ecks is slightly more multifaceted but too implausible to buy. When Ecks reunites with his wife Vinn whom he believes died in an explosion five years earlier there is no emotion whatsoever. How come he doesn't ask the obvious like "What happened? Where have you been--and why are you married to that sleazeball you claim to hate so much?" As Vinn Soto's character is just as irritating and hard to comprehend. She married someone despicable because she thought Ecks was dead. Is being single such a sin or are there no other men out there for her to hook up with? Although they play her character up as being tough she comes across as desperate and weak.
Director Wych "Kaos" Kaosayananda tried to turn a convoluted mess of a script into a glossy and stylized actioner but instead delivered a really bad movie. The film is peppered with one too many slow-motion shots of ammo flying out high-powered automatic weaponry which we already saw in The Matrix and almost every action movie since. There is one good slow motion shot of a sniper falling off a building arms flailing on to the roof of a car the impact popping a wheel of the vehicle. But who wants to see slow motion shots of some extra falling to his death? Kaos should have saved those for significant moments involving key players. The messy script penned by Alan McElroy has a strange Saturday morning cartoon feel to it complete with showdown confession where the villain divulges everything to the protagonist. And although there is plenty of opportunity for the bad guys to kill off both Ecks and Sever they never do but instead--with weapons pointed directly at them--let them give little spiels and cartwheel off into obscurity.
We knew Gil Bellows was leaving "Ally McBeal." We knew his character had a brain tumor (as diagnosed last week). And maybe we'd even read that he (the character) was going to exit the show by, you know, kicking the bucket. But did we know he was going to drop dead last night?
Not all of us, apparently.
The Internet is reeling today with debate over the death of "Ally McBeal" lawyer Billy Alan Thomas, who in Monday's episode gave new meaning to the term "closing argument," passing away in court, felled by a cerebral hemorrhage entirely unrelated to that brain-tumor thing.
In a post entitled "Good Lord He Died," one fan on the alt.tv.ally-mcbeal newsgroup writes: "I CANNOT believe it! I was totally unprepared for it ... Was there any spoiler that predicted this?"
The consensus among Netizens is, yes, there were spoilers all over the Net -- fueled by media, and specifically tabloid, reports that nailed the Billy-dying-in-court scene (minus the cerebral hemorrhage detail). Some even complained chatty talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell spilled the beans on her morning show.
But the timing -- killing Billy in March, as opposed to the usual last-episode-of-the-season-in-May routine -- appears to have been the wildcard.
"Ever since it had been written in the media that Gil was leaving and then it was leaked that it was a brain tumor and that he would die, I felt a little ripped off -- like, Damn, can't we have any surprises!!!! I, for one am glad that he died suddenly and they didn't do the expected," another "Ally" cyberfan writes in a post today.
While Bellows' character is out as a living, breathing member of the "Ally McBeal" ensemble, he's expected to hang around for a while in ghost form.
And joining the show next month: A new living, breathing male character as played by indie film star James LeGros.
IN OTHER "ALLY MCBEAL" NEWS: Planning to fly to Singapore to catch a rerun of that episode, first aired here last November, in which "Ally" stars Calista Flockhart and Lucy Liu do a liplock? Forget it. Government officials there have banned the installment on the grounds that it "centers around alternative sexual explorations." We're betting they're not big Madonna fans there, either.
DOCTOR IS OUT: Christopher Lloyd, not the "Taxi" star, but the guy who executive produces "Frasier," isn't going to be the guy who executive produces "Frasier" anymore. After seeing the hit NBC show through its first 168 episodes, Lloyd announced Monday he'll depart at the end of this -- the series' seventh -- season. No word on whether Lloyd finally intends to become the "Taxi" star.