For your viewing pleasure…

By Cecelia Francisco
September 9, 2004

Shrek 2

Grossing just over $108 million in its opening weekend, Shrek 2 succeeded in producing a sequel which was more then a pathetic flop compared to it predecessor. Adding “new” lovable characters from some of our favorite stories and fairytales of youth, such as Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas), Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), and even Prince Charming himself (Rupert Everett), Shrek 2 is the continuing story of troubled ogre romance and hilarious slapstick humor surely not intended for children.

Running on the premise that ogre lovers Shrek and Fiona (Mike Meyers and Cameron Diaz) travel to the city of “Far, Far Away” with the intention of meeting Fiona’s parents. Viewers had merely seconds between scenes to catch their breath before falling into fits of laughter again. This movie earns five out of five stars.

Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban

Former director, now producer of the Harry Potter movie series, Chris Columbus replaced himself with Alfonso Cuaron to direct the third installment of the hot Harry Potter book series. While those who read the books in addition to seeing the movies know that much of the landscapes and sets of the books have changed and some subplots had been removed, the movie still managed to rake in nearly $94 million in its opening weekend and woo fans over.

The third Harry Potter book, often reported as the overall favorite book of the series by many, brings Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) back to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry for his third year where murderer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has broken out of Azkaban and appears to be after Harry.

The golden trio, Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) must figure out where Black is and how to take him on before he finds Harry first. There are major differences in the book and movie this movie earns four out of five stars.

Spiderman 2

Action packed is the best way to describe the second installment of this Marvel comic superhero movie. Pete Parker (Tobey Maguire) finds himself in the pits as he loses his job, is failing classes and is a disappointing friend to Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). There is only one way for him to fix these aspects of his life; cease to be Spiderman for his own sake.

A new villain, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) begins to seize the city with his extra metal limbs that are almost life-like pets almost, he rampages through the city wishing revenge on Spiderman for disrupting his energy experiment in the first place. To save the city, the world and yes, even Mary Jane again, Peter must decide which he should do; give up his life which he was piecing slowly back together, or save the lives of millions-including everyone’s favorite redhead, Mary Jane.

With all of this drama, Spiderman is also pursued by Harry Osborne (James Franco), whom wishes to exact revenge on Spidey for killing his father hinting at the “new” Green Goblin. Harry also happens to be Peter’s best friend. What’s a humble superhero to do in a situation like this? Earn four and a half stars out of five, that’s what.

The Village

M. Night Shaymalan’s fourth film venture is predictable within the first half hour. Though it is an interesting concept a small village in the 1800s is trapped within its own borders by a nasty group of creatures that doesn’t like the color red. The typical “shock” ending of Shaymalan’s movie is probably his biggest cop-out ending of all his movies.

There was one moment that made the audience cringe, but mentioning gives too much of a spoiler. As usual, Shaymalan even made a cameo in the movie in which he rambles about a boring, useless blather making the shock ending even more disappointing. Due to the cop out ending and the slow meandering pace of the movie earns it a two out of five stars.

Exorcist: The Beginning

Made 31 years after the original and set up as a prequel rather then the second sequel of a trilogy, this movie sets out to tell the story of Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard) the original old priest in “The Exorcist” and his work with demon possession in Nairobi. The movie is much more intense and graphic than its predecessors, “The Beginning” uses loud noises and sudden outbursts of animals, characters and inanimate objects to send thrills, chills and spills through its audience.

While this is effective the movie progresses relatively slow until the last half hour or so of its scenes. The movie did, however convey some very frighteningly creepy ideas of faith and demons, which it is worth seeing for. This movie has a lot of gore and graphic scenes essential for a good horror movie and because it did well to detail how and why things happened this movie gets three out of five stars.

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Cecelia Francisco

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