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Early October 1999

Second Spectacular Issue! Featuring:    The New Fall TV Season!    Indiana George of the Jungle Vs. The Mummy!    PLUS: The Secret Origin of Ash!    Drive Me Crazy drives NEW staff member Buffy completely insane!    And   Eeyore takes on the Hollywood Death Machine!
NEW IN THEATRES: American Beauty ****

A truly fascinating film that deals with the beauty that lies behind everything in life, even if we can't see it. It handles the dysfunctional, phoney suburban lifestyle so often lampooned in modern movies with a surprisingly delicate touch, layering each character with a depth so often lacking in today's films. The main lesson of the movie comes not from the main character, a bored, numbed family man played by talented Kevin Spacey, but from his drug dealing next-door neighbour, who, through the clinical electronic eye of his video camera, is able to see the awe-inspiring beauty that lies beneath everything in the world, from a plastic bag been blown around by the wind, to a pattern of dirt left from someone's shoe, to the spray of blood that erupts from Kevin Spacey's head as he gets shot with a 9mm handgun at the end of the film. Whoops. I guess I shouldn't have told you that, huh? Well, that's what you get for reading a review about a wussy movie. Honestly, there were practically no zombies in the entire flick, and it's almost two hours long! But on the plus side, the touching, intellectual depth of the film is emphasized by exactly three nekkid breasts, so I wasn't completely disappointed. Anyway, before his head explodes like a crashed car in a Hollywood blockbuster, Spacey is a hollow-eyed workaholic, a typical middle class loser who meekly takes his wife's abuse in between bouts of hostility from his daughter. However, a brief brush with pedophilia manages to bring him out of his shell, and he becomes rejuvenated and reborn, a transformation symbolised throughout the film by these brilliantly red rose petals that keep popping out of 17 year-old love interest Mena Suvari's private areas. In fact, every character in the movie undergoes some sort of transformation, for better or for worse, and when you leave the theatre, you will feel as if you yourself have changed, as if something inside you has been forever altered. I say 'you', of course, because I only ever get that feeling after I've eaten many Skittles and ruptured my intestinal wall, but you get the idea. Although American Beauty is a great movie, there are a few moments when it feels a little forced, and that prevents it from reaching the heights of true film greatness alongside such classics as Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, Evil Dead II, and of course Fist of Gammara IV: The Bloodening.


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