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Tadpole (2002) - **1/2
A fairly unbelievable tale of a 15 year old who is infatuated with his step mom, Sigourney Weaver, and what goes on when he comes home from boarding school for Thanksgiving. It's mildly amusing.
Rank: #8
Thanksgiving Movie

This is My father (1998) - ***
A teacher (James Caan) finds some photos that let him know his mother hadn't been truthful about who his father was. He takes his troubled grandson and heads to a small village in Ireland to seek out the truth, what he find is a very romantic and rich story of the past. I wouldn't have thought James Caan would have been the best actor for this role, but he definitely pulled it off well...as did the supporting cast. As with most films shot in Ireland, you can't help but be taken by the scenery. A lesser known film that's worth a look.
Rank: #5
St. Patrick's Day Movie

Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle (1999) - ***
A fun little short film created by Steve Oedekerk. An altered version of Star Wars (the original) acted out by thumbs. Sure it's a silly idea, but it had me laughing out loud at some of the lines. The names are hilarious, especially "Oobedoob Scobydoob Benubi". It's the only movie in the Thumb series that I've seen, but I found it pretty amusing. With a running time of 29mins, it's gimmick doesn't overstay it's welcome.

The Touch (2002) - **
It seemed like this Hong Kong adventure story had potential, but never really came together. I think the script was just too lacking, despite it's similarities to one of my favorites...Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Only Michelle Yeoh's acting stands out, while the others range from mediocre to over-the-top and unbelievable. It's nicely filmed in some scenic locations and the action scenes are fun...Yeoh kicks butt! But alas, the film as a whole let me down.

Trading Places (1983) - ***1/2
One of my favorite comedies from the 80s, back when Eddie Murpy, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis were at their best. Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy were excellent as Randolph & Mortimer. Though I hadn't seen this movie in several years, I've seen it at least a dozen times. Though it seems slightly dated, it really stands the test of time and I still enjoyed it.
Rank: #7 in
1983, #9 New Year's Eve Movie

Traffic (2000) - ***1/2
Steven Soderbergh gives us a harsh and realistic look at the trafficking of drugs from Mexico into the U.S. and some of the problems with the war on drugs from several different points of view. I have a strong opinion that the war on drugs causes a lot damage. You'd think we could learn from history, all you have to do is look at prohibition to realize that it doesn't work. I think this movie does a good job at pointing many of the issues surrounding this subject. The look of the film is excellent and different depending on which story is on the screen. The acting is top notch all around with a cast of many quality actors, highlighted by Benicio Del Toro who won a well-deserved Oscar. My hat's off to Soderbergh for doing such a good job on a subject that isn't pretty. I'm glad this film was made and I am ever hopeful that I will see some big changes in our ineffective drug policies during my lifetime.
Rank: #3 in
2000, #7 in 2000s

The Transporter (2002) - *1/2
Written by a Frenchman, Luc Besson...Directed by a Hong Kong director, Corey Yuen...Set and filmed in France...Dialogue is English. Maybe it could have drawn the best from it's different sources, but instead it's just a big mess. Really it's just a long chase scene with lots of explosions. For some that may be enough entertainment, but I like a little more of a plot, depth of characters...I guess just a little something more to hold my attention.

The Truth About Charlie (2002) - **1/2
A decent mystery from Jonathan Demme. I found myself entertained while the twists and turns were being unveiled, but there was nothing really new or very surprising in this remake of Charade (1963). I haven't seen Charade, so I can't compare and contrast it to the original story. Mark Wahlberg, Tim Robbins, and Thandie Newton's performances were passable, but nothing special and I felt the other characters were pretty flat. This movie is good for some light entertainment.

The Tuxedo (2002) - ***
Another entertaining film from Jackie Chan. This time he's got Jennifer Love Hewitt as a sidekick and she does a good job. You can't take a Jackie Chan plot too serious as they are mostly just an excuse to show off Jackie's stuff. This one is pretty much over the top...with the help of a highly engineered tuxedo that is totally unbelievable, they have to stop the nation's water sources from being ingeniously contaminated using water striders that have poison on their feet that will make the water undrinkable so everyone will have to buy water from the bad guy. Sounds ridiculous I know, but any excuse to watch Jackie show off his moves with a good dose of comedy. Though not great cinema, I found it highly entertaining which was it's intention.

25th Hour (2002) - ***
Spike Lee brings us another quality film. Edward Norton is excellent as Monty Brogan, a drug dealer who has been sentenced 7 years in prison and has one last night of freedom. I don't claim to be a legal expert, but I do know a fair bit how the legal system works. I'm pretty sure that once you are sentenced, you are taken into custody straight from the courtroom and not allowed some amount of time to go home and then drive yourself to prison. For me, this keeps the movie from being a notch better. But once you get past that, the movie is a good story of Monty spending one last night with his two life long friends played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper. It's set in New York and there are many references to life after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and their story in this movie.


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