Jailhouse JimWelcome to Jailhouse Jim's!

Welcome to Jailhouse Jim's Convict Flicks! This is my little cell block on the web, where I take a hard edged, streetwise look at the best (and worst!) Hollywood has to offer!

As an ex-convict I am a tinseltown outsider, you might even say an outlaw. I refuse to knuckle under to Hollywood fat cats. I tell it like it is whether "the man" likes it or not!

Please read my reviews and let me know what you think!

Just added: new reviews of End of Days and Anywhere But Here!


In theaters


Susan Sarandon plays Darth Mom to Natalie (Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace) Portman's teen queen character in this stirring, funny relationship drama. In a way, it is Portman who has to do the mothering, when Sarandon's flakiness gets the better of her. At times it's hard to take the cold-hearted sniping between blood relatives, but in the end Sarandon and Portman burn up the screen in roles that have Oscartm written all over them. Better get that mantle cleared off, Mrs. Robbins!


With this engaging romantic comedy, Chris O'Donnel earns a much needed comeback after the "holy disaster, Batman" of Batman and Robin and the embarassment of Robert Altman's box office dud Cookie's Fortune (which clicked with critics but not with audiences). O'Donnel charms a bevy of delightful lady co-stars with his handsome good looks, but the real charm of the pic is the sensitive humanity of the story. O'Donnel will need a Matrix-like cyberhit in order to regain his box office muscle, but this is a great start. The Bachelor could be this season's My Best Friend's Wedding.

The Bachelor (jailhouse) rocks!


Denzel Washington delivers in this explosive, whiteknuckle thriller in the tradition of Silence of the Lambs and Seven. Angelina Jolie delivers a sexy, steamy performance as Washington's young charge. Astonishingly, Washington's Oscar worthy theatrics as a courageous quadriplegic investigator are almost overshadowed by the chilling, eepy-creepy villain, who makes Hannibal Lecter look like Barney. Director Philip Noyce molds what could have been a stale potboiler into a dynamite, surefire hit.

I'd go into solitude for a week to be spooked by this one again!


This weird mishmash from MTV wunderkind Spike Jonze proves why video directors should stay on the tube. Full of dark, would-be comedy and bizarre sci-fi concepts, this is much too bonkers for mainstream audiences to bother with. Not as funny as Notting Hill and too mean spirited to be another quirky countercultural hit like Men In Black, this is one laughfest that never materializes. Cameron Diaz is especially disappointing in a frumpy wig and bad makeup that all but erase her charm from There's Something About Mary and My Best Friend's Wedding. Malkovich has all the grossout potty humor of Mary but none of the heart.

Give this one the chair!

DOGMA - ***

The dialogue sizzles in this ingenious Ben Affleck/Matt Damon vehicle about fallen angels who use a loophole to try to get back into Heaven. Kevin (Chasing Amy)Smith's controversial religious satire has the Catholic Church up in arms, but audiences are unlikely to react the same. Really, it's a witty, pop-culture-literate ode to faith among gen-x, with several whizz-bang twists and a funny (though foul-mouthed) performance by Lethal Weapon 4 star Chris Rock. The controversy could help propel this to the top of the box office - if not, the star wattage of the Good Will Hunting boys is given an extra bounce by spicy hot Salma Hayek, who was so great in Fools Rush In and Wild Wild West.

Give this one the book - the Holy Book! Hot!


Ah-nuld is back (just as he promised) in his best action film since T2. In this rousing, atmospheric thrill ride, we get to see Schwarzenegger take on his greatest adversary yet, the devil himself. Full of spooky religious themes and terrifying CGI beasts, not to mention a musical reunion between Schwarzenegger and Guns 'n Roses star Axl Rose, End of Days promises to bring back Arnold the Box Office Barbarian.

Not for girly men!


Based on the '50s b-movie shocker by campy horrormeister William Castle, this boo-boo ghost story is less The Sixth Sense and more The Non-sense. Geoffrey Rush (Wild Wild West) hams it up as the villain but fails to match the wicked, lusty lather of Vincent Price's original. Playing like a shoestring budget rehash of last summer's superior Liam Neeson/Catherine Zeta Jones hit The Haunting, Haunted Hill is dead in the haunted water. Without the sex appeal of Jones or the star power of Sixth's Bruce Willis, don't expect boffo box office after the season of Halloween chills ends.

Anyone who likes this one should be "shanked"!


This Japanese "anime" cartoon from famed Japanimator Huayo Miyazaki explores the battle between monstrous gods and colonists in the feudal orient. Too violent for kids and not realistic enough for adults, it is likely to fry at the box office electric chair. On the other hand, it is considered the Titanic of Japan (where only Leo's "King of the World" hit has defeated it at the box office). Wisely dubbed into English with Young Hollywood enfants terrible Claire Danes, Minnie Driver and Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon), the youth appeal and star power could give this tedious eye candy a little financial juice.

The jury is out on this suspect.


Goth horrormeister Tim Burton returns with a spooky costume thriller designed to make us forget about his last turkey, Mars Attack. Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci try their hardest to overcome the gorey material, but even these A-list stars can't mold this one into the good time rollercoaster ride the audience wants. The script is too grim and unrealistic - it's not only headless, but brainless! In the hands of a Spielberg or a Cameron this might have reintroduced the headless horseman to a new generation, but Burton is too weird to make a real crowdpleaser.

Put this one on death row - off with its head!


Pierce Brosnan continues his hot streak with this action packed installment in the shaken not stirred franchise. Denise Richards (Starship Troopers) plays blonde... sexy blonde, with great success, at the same time doing what Chinese martial arts star Michelle Yeoh failed to with last year's mild Tomorrow Never Dies: provide the curvaceous sex appeal the franchise needs to shoot back to the top of the box office in the age of megabuck rollercoaster blockbusters like Independence Day and Armageddon. World is full of dynamite stunts, steamy eroticism and debonair flair. Bond fans will be in double-oh heaven.

Inmates will be shakin' and perturbed when they're not able to see the hottest flick of Thanksgiving!

On video


Kermit, Fozzy and Miss Piggy are back to give the Independence Day/X-Files sci-fi flick flurry a little bit of puppet power. Kids will love the cutey-patootie characters while adults will enjoy the obscure pop-cult references from Close Encounters to Men In Black. A lot more fun than any puppet movie deserves to be, the only drawback is the overly rowdy funk soundtrack.

If you're in lockup, this one might be worth tunneling out for!


In the news

After starring in both the #1 and #2 movies of Halloween week (House On Haunted Hill and The Best Man, respectively) you don't have to be Mr. Showbiz to know that Rent hunk Taye Diggs is the toast of the town. Look for the buzz-o-meter to explode on the young African-American's upcoming projects.

He's not only at the top of the charts, he's at the top of tinseltown's most wanted list!


Please, let Jailhouse Jim know what you think! Send me a jail-o-gram!

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