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Caustic Acrostic Movie Reviews

By Andy Fenwick, Mary Ladd, Doug Moser, Poncho and Julie Wiskirchen

Anybody can write a movie review, but only Ape Culture brings you acrostic poems about current releases. What is an acrostic? Something that Rex Reed isn't smart enough to concoct, even with his alliterative name. An acrostic is a poem that you can read and enjoy, and then you can read down the first letter in each row of the acrostic to reveal the secret message. It's like back masking - only not Satanic!

Bruce Almighty Phone Booth
Bringing Down the House Chicago
About Schmidt Gangs of New York
Real Women Have Curves Bowling for Columbine
Punch Drunk Love The Kid Stays in the Picture

Bruce Almighty

Some people just hate silly. One recent reviewer panned this movie because
Its premise wasn't some Nietzsche-worthy depiction of God Stuff. The
Little premise of this flick aint no vortex of deep thoughts. But
Let's just appreciate it for what it is. Otherwise its message flies right over
Your bloated head. And its message is more than its premise --

A man confronts God. Jim Carrey is the message: innocent goofy humor
Stripped of cynicism and bitterness. Paliacchi being silly or
Simply silly being. A recurring theme: Bruce is frustrated, wants to be taken

Seriously and believes he's destined for the sober top spot, the anchor desk. He
Asks if making people laugh at silly, light material is respectable enough.
It's hard not to see Carrey's struggle with recognition here, his overdue critical
Nods; considering he can make us laugh against our will and cry with heartbreak.
Thespian Meryl Streep can only do half that.



Phone Booth

Delayed due to the DC Sniper, or to allow Colin Farrell to grow
Incrementally in popularity, this hitchcockian opus
Arrives to jolt us out of post-Oscar blues with
Loads of suspense and important life lessons.

Moviegoers may feel gypped by the

Film’s 80-minute running time, but
One can only stand being trapped in the phone booth so long.
Relentless pacing makes the film entertaining, but as a basic

Morality tale, it packs few surprises. A shallow, two-timing publicist
Owns up to his crimes under the red light of a
Rifleman’s laser sight. He must repent or die.
Able support is provided by an earnest Forrest Whitaker, but Farrell
Leaves the strongest impression, carrying the film and proving he
Is more than Britney’s boy toy. This movie owes a debt
To The Sweet Smell of Success, a smarter movie about publicists.
You’d be better off renting it.



Bringing Down The House

Kickin’ out the jams, this movie boasts the
Inspired pairing of Steve Martin and Queen Latifah, plus a wacky
Neighbor played by Betty White—yes, the lovably dumb
Golden Girl is still living, and still funny. However,

The cast standout is definitely Eugene Levy, so long
Under-appreciated, except by Christopher Guest movie fans. Levy’s
Turn as the BBW-lovin’ lawyer who has read “Ghetto Slang for Dummies”

Makes this comedy a must-see. He gets the most laughs, but
Everyone works together to make this film a hit. Martin’s yuppie lawyer
Escapes his loneliness through internet dating but is surprised to see
Thug princess Latifah at his door. She misrepresents herself in hopes of getting
Steve to represent her in court and clear her name. Wacky

Hijinks ensue as Steve tries to ditch Latifah, Levy tries to bed her, and Latifah
Inspires Steve to make an effort to get his ex-wife back.
Steve Martin parties in hip hop wear and his snotty sister-in-law brawls with

Queen Latifah in two of the film’s most hilarious scenes.
Ultimately, this movie just reworks racial stereotypes we’ve seen before, but it’s
Entertaining. The cast comes through with loads of
Energy and humor. Sho




I didn't know if I'd like this movie, having adored
The Broadway show staring Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking & Joel Grey,
So much of the charm being in the Spartan stagy aspect of it.

Glad to report director Rob Marshall took a narrative chance and
Opened up the movie: alternating strictly stage numbers with
Typical movie scenes. Result: showstoppers to knock our

Little socks off from Queen Latifah and Zeta-Jones, both worthy of
Earning Oscars. Gere and Zellweger seem much too stiff and
Green in comparison. But those with the musical chops carry the
Show, this jewel in the crown of Fosse style.



About Schmidt

Nebraska : it’s just as dull as you always thought it was.
In the middle of this state in the middle of the
Country lives Warren Schmidt and he’s retiring from
His actuarial position. When his wife dies suddenly, Schmidt embarks on an
Odyssey of self-discovery, trying to stop his daughter from marrying a loser and
Letting us into his head through hilarious
Soliloquies he pens to a poor African child he’s adopted for
Only pennies a day. Anchoring this quirky film with his presence,
Nicholson gives one of the best performances of his career,

Unusually restrained and frumpy, looking his age and married to a woman who’s
Not anorexic or in her twenties. Jack said he had to “un-
Jack” himself for the role, and there’s no eyebrow raising or grinning here.
Although plenty of laughs come from a fearless Kathy Bates and her unusual
Clan, the film is profoundly melancholy and moving.
Kitsch and mullethead humor make way for
Extended meditations on the meaning of work, family, life and
Death. Our lives are as shaky as a Hummel on the roof of a Winnebago.



Gangs of New York

Boy, am I glad I
Live in New York City now, and not in the mid 19th Century.
Over-stylized and under-written, Scorsese’s long-anticipated epic
On the hard knock life of Irish immigrants in the Five Points
Demands attention and respect and earns both.
You haven’t seen this richly-created world on film before, with its

Boldly colored costumes and loud personalities clashing with
Run-down and drab housing, prejudice, and desperate poverty.
It’s just your average revenge story that takes 3 hours to unfold amid
Lavish sets and gang fights so bloody that I nearly took a second
Look at my popcorn and raisinets. Cameron Diaz and Leonard DiCaprio
Imbue the film with good looks and a bit of passion, but their
Acting is dwarfed by the towering performance of Daniel Day Lewis. His
Nasally voice hints at today’s New York accent and Giuliani’s vocal swagger. He’s
Terrifying and amazing, and so is this must-see film.



Bowling for Columbine

Gun deaths in the USA are out of control and
Uber-liberal filmmaker Michael Moore’s
New documentary tries to find the causes.
Not known for his subtlety and often self-aggrandizing, Moore
Irritates many people, but I’m a big fan and I have
No doubt that everyone should see this
Gem of a film, which provokes laughter and provides much

Fodder for post-film discussion and reflection. Moore focuses
On Columbine, talking to survivors, showing the
Raw security camera footage of the massacre to force us to

Confront the reality. He goes to Canada and walks into
Houses, surprising people who don’t lock their doors because they
Aren’t afraid of their neighbors. He perhaps takes advantage of
NRA spokesman and Alzheimer's-sufferer Charlton Heston, but
Gets Chuck to say some chillingly stupid things. In the
End, Moore offers no real answers but at least he asks the hard questions.



Punch Drunk Love

Lyrical and odd, Paul Thomas Anderson's latest
Opus manages to unnerve and enchant at the same time. It's a
Very well-made film with strong performances,
Even from Adam Sandler whose boy-man dichotomy

Is once again on hand, but tempered with sadness and mania.
Sandler's Barry, though emotionally crippled, manages to

Somehow run a successful novelty plunger business. Barry's attempt
To connect with a woman leads him first to be
Raped and plundered by a phone sex scammer and then to fall into the
Arms of a winsome, placid Emily Watson whose love for the weirdo is
Never adequately explained. Anderson's inability to
Give Watson's character adequate motivation causes this film to
Evade greatness. It's no Boogie Nights, but it's worth taking the plunge.



Real Women Have Curves

Meatier than Babycakes, this small,
Old-fashioned coming of age story
Relates the tale of a young latina (America Ferrera in a breakout role) who
Endures constant criticism from her overbearing mother (Lupe Ontiveros) who

Thinks she too fat to find a husband and doesn't belong in college.
Our heroine must find the strength to follow her dreams while

Learning to accept her role in the family. This film
Often lurches into melodrama and it
Veers into Afterschool Special territory; yet, its potential to
Empower ample women makes it important and vital.



The Kid Stays in the Picture

Surely this film outdoes any
E! True Hollywood Story. Robert Evans narrates
Laconically, reading passages from his autobiography to
Flesh out the details of his rise and fall and rise in Hollywood. He

Loved Ali McGraw, among many other broads, and
Oversaw the production of Chinatown, Love Story, The Godfather, and
Various other 70’s blockbusters before falling hard,
Enduring professional failure with The Cotton Club and drug

Selling allegations. Although there is no live action, the filmmakers present
Three-dimensional cut outs of photos and clippings that dance
On the screen to tell Evans’ fascinating story. Any movie buff will
Relish the insider stories that the inflated Evans spins in rat pack speak. Also,
You shouldn’t miss Dustin Hoffman’s hilarious imitation of Evans in the credits.



Disagree with our reviews? Tell us about it, poetically.  

Check out our acrostic video reviews.

Read the Tom Jones acrostic poems--they're about projectile underpants!




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