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She’s All That

  She’s All That is one of those nineties teenage Rom-Coms that you either love or hate. I was in the middle of eighth grade when it first came out, just the right age for a movie about high school to make a lasting impression, and I have to admit that I liked it. I’ll even admit that I watched it again last night with my girlfriend. I’m not proud to admit it, but I’m not ashamed either. Anyway, She’s All That stars Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Zack Siler, the resident big man on campus who makes a bet that he can turn any girl into Prom Queen. Rachel Leigh Cook plays Laney Boggs, the nerdy outsider who becomes the object of the bet.  

 I’ll give you the general plot line now, so spoiler alert. Zack gets dumped by his girlfriend for another guy, so logically he makes a bet with his douchey friend that he can make any girl Prom Queen. Laney is chosen because she looks awkward in overalls and a ponytail. Zack lies, deceives, and manipulates her into a fake relationship. At some point he decides that he really does want to fuck her, but then his douchey friend decides that he wants to fuck her too, and that leads to drama. At some point there’s a dance-off. Oh, and some bullies eat pubes on a pizza. In the end, Zack ends up with Laney because high school popularity is all that matters.

 Ok it’s not a great movie, but it’s a movie that I like. I saw it at the right time in my life. You can’t judge me. It’s funny to go back and watch it now. You realize how dramatic everything was in high school, how it seemed like everything was important, and that it was all bullshit. It’s especially hard to take this movie seriously if you’ve seen Not Another Teen Movie, which does a great job parodying She’s All That. That’s a review for another day though. 

 Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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World War Hulk (comic)

World War Hulk is a comic book storyline and the sequel to Planet Hulk. The Hulk returns to Earth to get his revenge on the Illuminati (Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, the Black Bolt, and Doctor Strange) for banishing him from Earth and for detonating a bomb that killed his alien wife and unborn child. Remember: the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. And right now he’s pretty pissed off and rightfully so. The Hulk wants justice and anyone who stands in his way is his enemy. The Illuminati have to resort to some desperate measures in order to stop the green monster, but the Hulk has never been angrier (and therefore, he’s never been more powerful).

Writer Greg Pak and penciller John Romita, Jr. tell a tale of revenge and redemption. The Hulk’s rage has the potential to destroy the world. World War Hulk is an entertaining follow-up to Planet Hulk, but it’s not nearly as good. It answers a few lingering questions from Planet Hulk, but it’s not as epic. It’s a shorter story, and it seems rushed at times. It’s still entertaining though. There are a lot of entertaining moments, but nothing compares to the climax where the Hulk releases his full fury and the world seems completely fucked.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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What Dreams May Come (film)

Vincent Ward directs Robin Williams in one of his more dramatic roles. This is not a comedy. This is a depressing movie about death and the afterlife. It’s about the lengths a guy will go through to be reunited with his soul mate. It’s based on a book that I never read and probably never will because I’ve seen the movie.

Robin Williams plays Dr. Chris Nielsen, and when he was young, he met an artist named Annie (Annabella Sciorra). They fell in love and had a couple of kids and life was good. Then life wasn’t so good when their kids died in a car accident. Annie goes a little crazy with grief and tries to kill herself, but Chris pulls her through. He is her strength, her rock. And then he dies too, and Annie is all alone.

Chris is dead, but he’s not gone. A part of him still exists and he stays around for a while. A blurry Cuba Gooding, Jr. appears and acts as his guide to the afterlife. They watch Annie grieving at his funeral and at his gravesite. He has to move on and so he goes to his own personal Heaven.

You create your own Heaven and Chris goes into his wife’s paintings. His old Dalmatian is there and so is Cuba Gooding, Jr. and he’s no longer blurry. Cuba identifies himself as Albert Lewis, Chris’s old mentor. He teaches Chris the basics of Heaven, what you can and can’t do, free your mind, all that hoopla. Chris and Albert see a tree that wasn’t in the painting before. Annie just painted it, and they are able to reach each other through her art. Because they are soul mates. And that’s how it works.

Chris mentions that he hasn’t seen his kids. Albert says he will see them when he wants to see them. Even though he saw his dog right away. I guess we know his priorities. Chris continues touring Heaven and meets a hot Asian chick. She ends up being his daughter. I saw this movie in theaters and I was really confused at this point, because I thought he had two sons that died in a car accident. I didn’t know that the younger kid was a girl. Girls should have long hair. I thought he just had an effeminate son. Anyway, the hot Asian chick is his daughter. His daughter assumed the form of a sexy Asian because her dad said that Asians were sexy. So she wanted to look attractive for her daddy. That’s kinda gross. And I guess that even though Chris loves Annie he still has a case of yellow fever.

So after this awkward father-daughter reunion, Albert tells Chris that Annie committed suicide and is now in Hell. She was suffering and she ended her suffering and ended up in Hell. When the dog was suffering and they ended his suffering, it ended up in Heaven. Why did she end up down there and the dog end up in Heaven? Did they murder the dog? Is that the difference?

Anyway, Chris decides he wants to go to Hell to rescue Annie. Albert takes him to a Tracker (Max von Sydow). They all go to Hell, and Chris remembers telling his son that he wouldn’t walk through Hell with anyone other than him. And he realizes that Albert is actually his son. So the first two people he meets in the afterlife were actually his kids and they were lying to his face. Everyone lies in Heaven. Maybe his dog is really his old cat.

So Albert/Actually-his-son stays behind and Chris and the Tracker go through Hell to find Annie. And the Tracker reveals that he is actually the real Albert Lewis, the same guy who his son was pretending to be. Small world or lazy writing?

Chris finds Annie trapped in her own personal Hell. She doesn’t recognize him. He chooses to stay in Hell with her and they end up back in Heaven. Because they are soul mates and that’s how it works. They are reunited in Heaven with their two kids and it seems like the perfect ending. But Chris and Annie decide to get reincarnated and get sent back to Earth to start a new life together. The two kids get to stay in Heaven and not live full lives, while their parents get to go back and start a new family and forget about their two kids they already had. That’s a terrible ending. It’s child neglect from beyond the grave.

This is not a comedy. Just because you see Robin Williams on the cover doesn’t mean it’s a good time. This movie is sad. It tries to be uplifting but it fails. There are great depictions of Heaven and Hell, and the plot seems original at first, but it becomes mundane. It’s a decent movie, but I wouldn’t say it is essential viewing.

Critically Rated at 11/17

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