Scintillating, suspenseful, and sentimental, “Spellbound” is an entertaining drama that plays out like an Agatha Christie mystery…”and then there were none.” Interestingly, the origin of the word “bee” comes from an American term used to describe a community social gathering where friends and neighbors engage in a single activity with the prime purpose of helping one another. And through this film, we see how the National Spelling Bee personifies that definition. Those who earn the right to participate share a common goal and interest, battling against words rather than each other. Although many may see the spelling bee as a meaningless or brainless exercise, those who partake in the activity realize something greater: “The journey itself is the reward.”
By focusing on the month long wait in line for the theatrical release of “The Phantom Menace,” “Starwoids” offers an hysterical, and often frightening, look at Star Wars Mania. The odor of a wrecked train still tickles our noses.
23. SUNSET STORY
You’ll never look at getting old the same again.
“Sunset Story” offers a touching look at the residents of a special retirement home in Los Angeles.
24. THE UNDERGROUND LIFTING VIDEO
It is a shame that Ang Lee did not know about actor/bodybuilder Paul DeSimone before making The Hulk as he could have saved a ton of money and had an infinitely better movie by junking the expensive CGI effects and pouring green paint over the personable DeSimone.
25. THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND
Using miles of fascinating and vibrantly colorful archival footage – some of it sickeningly graphic – and an eerie music score by members of Fugazi, among others, Sam Green and Bill Siegel have crafted a breathtaking portrait of one chapter of the ‘60s story that hasn’t been done to death.
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Posted on August 4, 2003 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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