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"Frequency"

Directed by Gregory Hoblit.
Written by Toby Emmerich. 
Starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  5/13/00 

Folks--

I thought for this review, I would go back to my time-honored Q&A format.

"FREQUENCY?"  WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU GO AND SEE THAT?

Well, you got me:  this is not my normal summer fare, but I am trying to expand my horizons a bit, to create the "sensitive and sensual" image that passed me by during my sweat pants period of years one and two of college.  Anyway, the real reason?  I wanted to see "Battlefield Earth", but Brian "Schmoove" Prenoveau's response to my request was "there is no fucking way I am going to see that movie."  Mm-hmm!  So, Christine "Cover Girl" Kerner, a newbie to the Bellview list until this review, said ixnay to her boyfriend and hello to an $8.50 showing at the Potomac Hoyts Cinema in Alexandria. 

OK, OK...SO, THE MOVIE.

Here's the thing about "Frequency":  it is that rare movie that tries ever so hard to be all things to all people.  In the hour and 45 minutes that I was in the theater, it was a baseball movie, an action movie, a time-travel thriller, a fantasy, a romance, and a bad episode of "NYPD Blue."  Besides its very interesting plot--a 1969 fireman (Dennis Quaid, worthless since "The Big Easy" but pretty good in this film) makes contact with his 1999 grown-up cop son (Jim Caviezel, "The Thin Red Line") via a short-wave radio that resides in both men's homes, since the son lives in the same house as his father.  For some reason, surreally-intense sunspots make it possible for this kind of communication to happen, so it gives the father a chance to communicate with his grown-up son and find out what life is like in the future.  It also helps save the father's life early in the film and enables the father-son combo to conduct an investigation on why it seems that the father's wife/son's mother has been murdered.

Because the movie tried to do so much, it didn't seem to do any one thing very well--despite the presence of some really interesting performances by Quaid and Caviezel, as well as "Homicide" vet Andre Braugher as a close family friend (or, as I came to know him during the movie, the only black guy not playing baseball for the Mets).  By the time its closing minutes turn into a mild shootout/chase sequence, I was wondering where the kind fantasy movie had gone and the wannabe Stallone movie showed up.  And, its ending...

HEY, HAVE YOU EVER BROKEN UP WITH A GIRL LIKE THEY DO IN THE MOVIES?

Actually, no.  I have never walked into my apartment, seen a girl packing up her things in a small suitcase/carry-on item, and asked her, "So, that's it?  After all we've been through?  You're just going to pack up and leave me?"  I assume that someone must have had this happen to them, because it has become such a cliché in the movies that it doesn't ever register as a dramatic scene to me.  And, no, after the girl has left, I don't pick up a bottle of whiskey/scotch/gin from my sparse liquor cabinet and finish the whole bottle while walking the barely-lit streets of my suburb wondering what it was that I have done wrong.

SO, TELL ME AGAIN:  WHAT IS IT ABOUT MIAMI THAT YOU LIKE SO MUCH?

Well, it's pretty simple:  one, the clubs--collectively and individually--are better than any club in any city in America (and, believe me, I have been to some clubs).  Two, it isn't that there are "hot women on every corner", like people in some other cities might say.  It is that every person who you walk past is at least marginally hot, if not an out-and-out model.  Three, topless beaches.  Four, the best Latino food in this country.  And, five:  the shopping is cool as shit.

FUNNIEST MOVIE YOU'VE EVER SEEN?

Hmm, that is tough...but, it has got to be "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", Keenan Ivory Wayans' crowning achievement and the only film to feature the world famous speech "My Bitch Betta Have My Money" during the Pimp of the Year sequence.

...AND, THE WORST MOVIE YOU'VE EVER SEEN?

Well, many of you know that "Hard Vice" is the worst, but a close second is clearly "Leonard, Part 6", the disastrous action movie starring Bill Cosby and a bunch of fucking farm animals.  You need to treat yourself to a viewing of this film; I was convinced about halfway through that this was the worst movie I had seen (until, of course, Shannon Tweed jiggled her way to fame in "Hard Vice"), and it delivers the shitty goods in its final, awful half hour.  And, no:  “Leonard, Parts 1-5” were never made.

WHAT'S UP WITH "GRATUITOUS 2"?

Well, now that Dave Bell--starring as Tyrone Thomas, DC's finest black private dick--is back from college, production must go into overdrive.  Although we were originally shooting for a July 4th release, it looks now like it will be Christmas time, since I just won't have the coin to have it edited before then.  If you haven't seen "Gratuitous"--The New York Times described it as "'The Blair Witch Project', with about one-fourth of the budget"--you need to contact Bellview to get yourself a copy.

CAN YOU THINK OF A COOLER BELLVIEW MEMBER THAN STEFAN PRELOG?

Man, not really; the guy is just flat-out cool.  After running the gamut of talk shows in New York City, this literary badass has started writing advice columns and pick-up reviews of local holes in the city for the getting sexually-challenged folks around the globe.  You can check Stefan out at http://www.clubplanet.com under G-spots, or in the latest issue of Stuff Magazine, in the article titled, Tell What She's Like in Bed Just by Looking at Her on page 78.  (Shameless promotion is one of my best skills.)

IS THIS A MOVIE REVIEW, OR JUST AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO TALK ABOUT A WHOLE LOT OF RANDOM SHIT?

Well, a man has got to keep things interesting, and sometimes, the best way to do it is to not talk about what the reader had in mind.  And besides, I'm creatively tapped today, and I wanted to at least make this fun!

Rating:  Matinee

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09