I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Bodyguard (1980)

Clifford (Chris Makepeace) is the new kid in a Chicago public school. He learns quickly that the students are ruled by a bully named Melvin Moody (Matt Dillion) who demands total obedience. Clifford approaches the one kid in school that even the bully and his cohorts whisper about: a brooding, hulking boy named Ricky Linderman (Adam Baldwin). Clifford overcomes his fear of Ricky to ask him to protect him from Melvin. What Clifford doesn't know is that Ricky's imposing demeanor hides a tragic secret.

Very charming movie that captures what it is to be the new face in an hostile environment. The teenagers seem like those that would be found in any school, anywhere. Joan Cusack (In & Out), whose parents ran an acting school in nearby Evanston, IL, appears as one of Clifford's friends. Another Chicagoland native, Jennifer Beals ("The L Word") is another kid among Clifford's crew. Martin Mull ("Fernwood 2Nite") and Ruth Gordon (Harold and Maude) portray Clifford's father and grandmother. Tim Kazurinsky ("Saturday Night Live") has a small part as a workman.

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The Crooodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002)

This movie was made purely to capatilize on the popularity of Steve Irwin, an Australian zookeeper who has a show on cable's Animal Planet station. Irwin loves animals, especially crocodiles, and he takes incredible chances to capture them and study them. His American wife, Teri, also appears in the movie. There isn't much of a plot. CIA agents are sent to retrieve a communication device that a crocodile has swallowed. Steve and Teri mistake the agents for poachers, and attempt to thwart them from getting at the animal. It is like watching an episode of the TV show, but with actors added.

Timothy Bottoms (The Last Picture Show) has a cameo, portraying President Bush.

Beauty Shop (2005)

So-so comedy about Gina (Queen Latifah) a single mom who works in an upscale beauty shop for an extremely arrogant stylist named Jorge (Kevin Bacon). Fed up with his ways, she walks out and starts her own beauty shop. A helpful handman (Dimjon Housou) helps her fix the place up, and after a few fits and starts, she's in business. Jorge feels threatened by her shop, especially when some of his best customers defect over to her place. He plays dirty trikcs in an attempt to shut her down.

The Queen is likeable in this film, but despite her and some other cast members (Alicia Silverstone, Alfre Woodard, Laura Hayes, Della Reese), the story is routine. Keisha Knight Pulliam, who played Rudy on "The Cosby Show" is featured as a fast tail relative of Latifah's character who is too busy dating the wrong man to watch her step. LisaRaye, an actress from Chicago who is currently on the TV series "All Of Us" has a small part, as does Golden Brooks, who is a cast member on TV's "Girlfriends". Kimora Lee, ex-wife of mogul Russell Simmons, appears as a hard to please customer. Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and A Funeral) plays a ditzy Southern belle.

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Undefeated (2002)

The excitement level raises in a prison located in the desert when Iceman, an arrogant boxer (Ving Rhames) is sent there on a rape charge (shades of Mike Tyson). Already there on lockdown is a former boxing champion named Monroe, who is serving a life sentence. He caught his lover cheating on him and beat her boyfriend to death. Iceman wastes no time trash talking Monroe. Monroe wants nothing to do with him, but soon, he finds himself set up in a match. An old mob boss named Mendy (Peter Falk), who is also doing time, has an interest in seeing the match happen. He's a big boxing fan.

Okay prison drama/boxing drama that, pardon the pun, didn't pack as much of a punch as it could have. Not enough tension building up to the big fight that takes place near the end of the movie. Rhames is good as the boxer who knows his lawyers will eventually fix it so he doesn't serve all of his time.