In case you weren’t already procrastinating enough at work by YouTubing that Obama/McCain “Dance-Off,” the video-sharing Website has announced a new feature that’ll keep us unproductive for the foreseeable future: full-length movies.
They may be tiny -- and don't expect widescree HD. But, hey, they're free. And legal.
The Google-owned site struck a deal with MGM over the weekend to stream the movies. Just don’t go thinking you’ll be able to catch up on every MGM-produced James Bond film in time for the release of Quantum of Solace, because the Bond series isn’t a part of the pact. Yet.
Initially, full-length titles will include the Seann William Scott actioner Bulletproof Monk and the Yul Brynner Western The Magnificent Seven, while clips of films such as Legally Blonde will be available.
Some of the studio’s TV shows, beginning with the original American Gladiators, also will be streamed.
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The story starts at a junior high dance where a nerdy kid Jeremy asks each one of the popular girls to dance. All of them in one way or another rebuff and ridicule Jeremy mercilessly. Jumping ahead 13 years it's nearing Valentine's Day and the girls still close friends are now all grown up. There's sexy Paige (Denise Richards) smart Shelley (Katherine Heigl) fun Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) sweet Kate (Marley Shelton) and ugly duckling-turned-swan Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw). Tragically the girls and the men in their lives are being bumped off one by one in rather gruesome ways by a killer in a angel mask with most of the murders taking place at Dorothy's Valentine's Day party. Is it Jeremy who's come back for revenge or someone else?
Well there certainly isn't a lack of beautiful people in this movie. And that's what a slasher film is all about. Not much is required of the acting besides looking scared and asking "Who's there?" But darn it they all look good doing it. As far as any notable standouts Denise Richard's sexy bad girl actually has the audience guessing whether or not she's the killer which is a credit to her performance. Other than that the rest of the cast just goes along for the ride in an extremely predictable script.
Really what can one say about another slasher film that is incredibly formulaic? There are no real twists or surprises. One must plod through the whole movie hoping to find a touch of originality or even creativity but is pretty much served the same tired horror schtick as in most other horror flicks. The only saving grace is the more well-known cast members especially David Boreanaz ("Angel") as Kate's boyfriend Richards ("The World Is Not Enough" "Wild Things") and Shelton (in the new release "Sugar and Spice"). And unfortunately that really isn't saying a whole lot.
Elle Woods is a fashion merchandising major at CULA president of her sorority and adored by her legions of Grecian sisters. Her utopian microcosm is shattered when her dimpled frat boy love interest Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) dumps her on the very night she thinks he is going to propose. As it turns out Warner who is leaving to study law at Harvard University wants to marry someone a little brainier who will help bolster his image when he runs for public office. So Elle decides to apply to Harvard Law School and groom herself to become a career politician's wife in hopes of winning him back. She sends HLS a video essay and clad in a pink bikini floating in her pool on an air mattress details the reasons why they should consider her application. For whatever ludicrous reason this works and Elle packs her bags and pet Chihuahua and heads for the Cambridge dorms. But rather than win her popularity her high maintenance looks ostracize her from Harvard's academic overachievers. And just when things could not get any worse she finds out Warner has reunited with his prep school sweetie Vivian (Selma Blair).
Articulate and magnetic Witherspoon salvages this film from its painfully wafer thin and predictable plot. She makes shoddy dialogue entertaining and lame one-liners seem sharp. She also adds some dimension to her bimbo character Elle demonstrating both her smart and flaky side. Unfortunately the script calls for her SoCal ditzy persona to prevail over the one with substance. Her dark-haired nemesis Blair perfectly acts the part of Warner's bitchy blue-blooded girlfriend. She turns her stiff pearl-clad character into a more likable and distinctive one. These two rivals definitely steal the show. Too bad the same cannot be said for Davis who gives a bland and forgettable performance as Elle's boyfriend Warner. Of course it doesn't help that the script left him with no redeemable qualities whatsoever. Jennifer Coolidge is funny enough as the tacky manicurist who befriends Elle but why on earth were Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach cast as her sorority sidekicks? They look more like 30-year-old beauty school dropouts than a couple of college students.
As talented as Witherspoon is her abilities can only detract so much from such an ill-conceived story line where things never seem to add up. In an early scene for example Elle is in her dorm room applying nail polish a hair-color kit from Herbal Essences clearly visible on her desk. It's hard to believe the girl who grew up across the street from Aaron Spelling would color her hair over the bathroom sink and actually paint her own nails. The props and costumes are elaborate and pink giving the film a campy bubble-gum feel but it's presented inconsistently. The ending comes together a little too easily when Elle solves a high profile case thanks to her in-depth knowledge of hair perms. To make things cheerier the characters' futures are summed up at the bottom of the screen. Not surprisingly the heroes succeed and the villains get their just desserts. Elle who spend most of the film lamenting the hardships of being a blonde and beautiful object learns that she really can get by just by being perky!
Alpine University film student Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) needs to start her senior project but she's stymied by a case of screenwriter's block. Then a chance encounter with the new campus cop (Loretta Devine the only link to the original "Urban Legend") gives her an idea: She'll make a film about a serial killer who slays college students in ways related to urban legends. Needless to say her cast and crew members (Joseph Lawrence Eva Mendez Jessica Cauffiel) start to disappear in a series of bizarre and mysterious incidents. And yes the killer is the person you would least suspect but only because he/she lacks a plausible motive.
Morrison ("Stir of Echoes") never finds the right mix of vulnerability naïveté and attitude to play the slasher flick damsel-in-distress-turned-heroine. (And she's never in any real peril.) Sorely missing are the outrageous performances that Rebecca Gayheart Danielle Harris and Julian Richings provided in the original "Urban Legend" -- the supporting players shackled to tired Hollywood clichés and a lackluster story never get to exercise their dramatic talents.
Freshman director John Ottman struggles with an already sputtering script by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. Apparently the muse of over-the-top schlock horror blessed the first 15 minutes of the film then succumbed to spontaneous human combustion. With the exception of a mildly amusing "Blair Witch" cinéma-vérité parody the balance of the film generates neither thrill nor swill.
Returned as the dim witted Margot for "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde"
Had two guest appearances on "Frasier," (NBC) where she played a vacant wild girl opposite stuffy Niles
Had a small part in the Farrelly brothers' comedy "Stuck On You" as the Bar Hottie
Cast as one of Reese Witherspoon's cheery sorority sisters in the summer hit "Legally Blonde"
Appeared with Shawn and Marlon Wayans in the comedy "White Chicks"
Cast in the role of Ninotchka, the Russian assassin in the action-comedy "D.E.B.S."
Made her television debut on the soap opera "Guiding Light" (CBS)
First notable film role as the wrong Tiffany in "Road Trip"
Played recurring role on ABC's "The Drew Carey Show"
Appeared in the Bernie Mac/Ashton Kutcher comedy "Guess Who"
Her feature debut came with a role in a remake of "The Out-of-Towners"
Co-starred in the thriller "Valentine" with David Boreanaz
Acted Off-Broadway in "Jesus Hopped the A Train", directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman
writer true-crime mysteries
University of Michigan
University of Michigan
speaks fluent Hindi
Is a trained singer, who has studied for over 14 years in Western Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, Blues, and Eastern Devotional vocal mediums.
She and reknowned Bollywood percussionist and composer Sivamani performed live in Dharamsala, India for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and approximately 20,000 other monks and visitors from around the world, on occasion of the March 10th, 2004 anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
She is active in several non-profit, NGOs that serve to bring inter-faith harmony amongst the many cultures and spiritual orientations of the world