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Eat My Dust! (1976) - **1/2
One of many fun Roger Corman car chase movies. This one stars Ron Howard, a rebel, who steals the fastest race car in town to impress a girl. To make things even worse, his father is the town sheriff. You won't find any deep meaning or hidden themes in this movie, but if you want a fun 70s car chase movie, this movie does the job. This is the movie that indirectly is responsible for launching Ron Howard's directing career on his next movie, Grand Theft Auto. Eat My Dust was a box office success for Roger Corman, so automatically they wanted a sequel. Instead of asking for more money, Ron Howard asked for the opportunity to write and direct the movie. The rest is history. Not a lot of big names in this movie, but Ron's brother and father are in it...as well as an unrecognizable Corbin Bernsen as the slow-witted gas station attendant.
Rank: Honorable Mention
Car Movies

The Edge (1997) - ***
This movie may not be as good as I give it credit for, but I really enjoyed watching Anthony Hopkins put his book knowledge to use while trying to survive in the real wilderness. This movie's slight downfall is it's plot, but I am able to bear it to watch Hopkins get out of a variety of sticky situations.

Eight Legged Freaks (2002) - *1/2
Besides being totally unbelievable, this movie is full of flaws. It's so sloppy that it insults my intelligence. Why would they continue into the mines when they could smell methane gas? Why would there be no way to communicate outside of town when one phone pole is knocked down? Why would someone own a cell phone in a town where you have to go to the top of a mountain to use it? The list goes on and on. Now going in, I surely wasn't expecting great cinema, but this was just plain bad.

8 Mile (2002) - ***
Let me start by saying, I had little knowledge about Eminem before going to see this movie. I am a fan of rap music up until the early 90s, but haven't been too interested in anything that I've heard recently. I can't name you an Eminem song and the few minutes of his music that I'd heard before this movie definitely weren't my style. When I saw a preview for this movie, it looked like it might be mildly interesting, but definitely wasn't on my must see list by any means. Yesterday I read my good friend Vince's review of the movie at
Qwipster's Movie Reviews and decided to go see it. It was a good modern story reminiscent of the old school days where rappers would "battle" each other with freestyle raps. I love the scene where B. Rabbit dogs the guy in the lunch line who is making fun of other people. Back in the day, these battles were common. Rappers Kool Moe Dee and L.L. Cool J had an ongoing feud and each would come out with songs dissing (before dissing was a word) each other. But more commonly, it was just a way to trash your enemies in the street in a non-violent manner or a little good-natured ribbing among your friends. The overall story was a semi-autobiographical tale of a young man struggling against the odds to make it big. Not knowing Eminem's story, I can't say how close this movie is to his life, but it's a pretty good story. Though fairly typical and predictable, it's well acted especially by Eminem and Kim Basinger. I think it's safe to say that I won't become a big fan of Eminem's music, but he was good in this movie.

Enough (2002) - **1/2
Jennifer Lopez is swept off her feet and marries, seemingly, the perfect guy. Things aren't as they seem when she find out he's not being faithful to her and he doesn't really mind that she knows, because he's the boss. She manages to leave him and runs for as long as she can, but he's hot on her trail thanks to his money and connections. Finally she realizes the only was she can end it all is to fight back. This movie is highly predictable, but JLo plays the part fairly well and it's filmed well enough to keep you mildly interested in seeing how it all plays out. Definitely nothing ground breaking in this tale of love gone wrong. Keep your expectations low.

Enter the Fat Dragon (Fay Lung Kwo Gong) (1978) - **1/2
Sammo Hung directed and stars in this parody of Enter the Dragon. Parody might be a bit strong, it's somewhere between a parody and a tribute to the late great Bruce Lee. You can't take this movie too seriously, but if you go in with the right mindset it's fairly entertaining. There is a lot of comedy thrown in with a few really good kung fu scenes. No surprise that Sammo is good with the jokes, but he definitely has some kung fu skills! He has an uncredited role in the original Enter the Dragon where he fights Bruce Lee.

Erin Brockovich (2000) - ***
Julia Roberts portrayal of the real life Erin Brockovich is, in my opinion, the finest of her career. This movie is based on a true story of a struggling single mom who does whatever it takes to get a job to support her kids. She ends up convincing a law office to hire her and ends up breaking open a major case against a big power company. Albert Finney is excellent in the role of her boss who doesn't know quite how to handle such a strong outspoken woman, but ultimately they make an great team in their common goal of holding PG&E accountable for their actions.
Rank: #6 in
2000

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - ***
Spielberg brought us a fun, emotional family movie about kids who find an alien who was accidently left behind on a visit to earth. Though much of what happens is pretty unbelievable, for some reason it seems we are willing to accept it for the sake of the movie. There's a good 80s cast of kids and adults, including Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Robert MacNaughton (with his cool Space Invaders shirt), C. Thomas Howell, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote...and a young Erika Eleniak, of Baywatch & Playboy fame, as the girl that Elliott kisses in the classroom. There is a good theme of acceptance. Unlike most other movies with aliens, everyone welcomes E.T., even the adults. I hadn't seen the movie in well over a decade, and I was pleasantly surprised that I still enjoyed it as much as I did back in the 80s. With it now being released on DVD, I'm glad it will bring E.T. to a whole new generation of kids
Rank: #7 in
1982, #4 Halloween Movie, Bicycle Scene

Das Experiment (2001) - ***1/2
When I saw the preview for this German movie a few weeks ago, I knew it was a film I HAD to see! My major in college was Law & Society and one of my favorite classes was a sociology class, Punishments and Corrections. It's always been an area that I've been interested in. This movie is based on a failed Standford experiment in 1971. The premise is 20 people are selected for the study and divided up into guards and prisoners. The guards are told to maintain order without the use of violence. The results both in the study and this movie are very telling as to what a delicate thing the human psyche really is. As for the movie, it has some real strengths and a couple weaknesses. The strengths of the movie include the extremely interesting story idea, some very fine acting and directing, and the willingness to take on the bleak subject. The biggest weakness for me was how unbelievable I found it that the two head's of this delicate experiment would leave the experiment virtually unmonitored. I would expect either the head guy, or his number one assistant to be watching at all times and for certain precautions taken to avoid letting the experiment get this far out of hand. The other slight unbelievablity for me was that both the guards and the prisoners could be SO affected by the experiment SO quickly. Even if it may be true, it's still hard to believe. Which does lead to one of it's strengths, the showing of how delicate the human mind is and how stress can affect it. I know everyone is different, but it would take a lot more than this experiment to change me enough to act like these people did. What I do find believable is that if someone is already on the edge and predisposed to this type of behavior, that it might not take that much to push them over the edge. It reminded me a lot of William Golding's, The Lord of the Flies. I remember reading the book for the first time as a kid and being equally surprised how quickly people could become uncivilized and deadly. That's different though, as I think children are much more impressionable and likely to go with the follow the popular crowd. But then again, maybe not. Maybe that's what this story tells us...that even as established adults, there's a fine line. I find it somewhat troublesome to think that normalcy can be so easily forgotten, but it is very intriguing to me. I am really glad this movie was made and that I saw it. I'm interested to see others impressions. How realistic people think it could be?! I don't think many would want to admit it, but I don't think it's that far from reality.

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