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Saved! 2004

When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her...

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Imdb rating: 6.9

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This is a hard movie to describe without ruining for everyone,
because the plot itself is soo extremely spoiler sensitive.
But I'll just say : :
It's hilarious, it's bound to offend some, but there is an underlying moral that is very valuble.

Mandy Moore's Hilary is a pure 360 from her best role to date in A Walk to Remember.
Sure, she's still a good Christian, but this time, she's practically going for sainthood with every turn.
She wants to help everyone by helping them realize Jesus, by them letting her SAVE them.

Jena Malone plays her best friend Mary, who somehow becomes Hilary's enemy
(Can't say...spoiler).
Eva Amurri is sure to become a star from this film. Her role as the 'tough Jewish girl' plays up the extremities displayed by the high school atmosphere in this movie.
Macauley Culkin is perfect as Hilary's wheelchair bound brother.
And Patrick Fugit is charming as Patrick.
But Heather Mattarazzo was completely wasted as usual.


Sorry. That's all I'm gonna say. Just go see it.
Films between April 17, 2004 - April 24, 2004.
Not a bad movie as long as you dont walk into it with big expectations. The movie has some hallarious moments, and as a whole was nothing like I expected it to be. A lot of people think that Saved is making fun of christians, but thats not really true. The only people that this movie would upset are the extremists. Defenately a worth while movie. And as an added bonus both Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin were not that bad. Bottom line: If you walk into the movie with low expectations you will be positively surprised
This movie makes you think about interpreting the Bible and religion in a way that makes you happy. It also is a classic type of teen movie. So teenagers who think about religion (aka all teenagers) should really enjoy it quite a bit.
very funny... definitely worth seeing.
Saved was good. It wasn't as good as I was thinking it was going to be, but it was really funny nonetheless. I enjoyed it very much.

"I'm the father. I'm the boyfriend. I'm his boyfriend." Haha, that was hilarious. One of the funniest moments of the film.

I'm not going to say anything about the story, because the trailer really doesn't show what the real story is, and it's better that way.

The acting is okay. It's not great. A couple stand outs were Eva Amurri, who I couldn't stand in The Banger Sisters, and Jena Malone is good as always.

Mandy Moore has one of the most beautiful voices when she talks, and she's gorgeous, as well as having a really great screen presence, but there is something about her that always bugs me in every film I see her in. Anyway, I like her as an actress, though. Macaulay Culkin is good. It's a nice followup to Party Monster. Patrick Fugit I haven't seen in a while. He's good too.

There are some really funny scenes that make this film worthwhile, although I think it could have been better.

Saved: B
All things must start somewhere, and here I will start with the movie I saw most recently, Saved! This clever satire of Christians who are more concerned about looking good than being good certainly was one of the more amusing movies that I have seen recently. As someone who has experienced the modern evangelical Christian movement firsthand, I could see just how much reality there was in this movie.

The movie contains both amusing moments as well as serious ones. Sadly, the audience at the theater in Berkeley, CA where I saw this movie seemed to find all of it amusing, including what I thought were very sincere and not unreasonable faith experiences.

What this movie lacked was a real connection with the real serious-side of the situations, so that I didn't really develop a sense that anything was really at stake. Perhaps a little tragedy would have livened this movie up, and made it more than another "feel good" comedy. It came close at times, but in the end it missed the mark, which is the real 'sin' of this movie.
Being done with finals has let me catch up on my movie-going. Of course, the first thing I did after finishing was see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Now I know what an LOTR fanboy feels like. I'm an unabashed Harry Potter fan, so my views on the films are slightly skewed. I enjoyed the first film a lot (***1/2) due to the novelty of seeing the book onscreen. The second film (***) was competent, but Kenneth Branagh was the only special thing about it. Now we have the third movie, and it lands somewhere in between. Technically, there is little that is wrong with the film. Visually, it's great. The acting is well-done by both children and Famous British Character Actors alike. Harry is more brooding (and will grow up to be a stud, too), and Hermione and Ron bounce off each other quite nicely (though all that can be said about their changes is that she's got boobs and he's even more confused). Alfonso Cuaron has managed to make Hogwarts seem more like an actual school, too. Quidditch seems more like college footbal than just wizards and broomsticks, the scene with Harry goofing around with his pals gives it a college dorm feeling, and having the kids wear normal clothes reminds us that they're just ordinary teens when you take away the magic. My problems with the film, however... the only techinical problem is that the pacing seems a bit off. The beginning is way too rushed, but the film manages to find its footing after about 20 minutes. However, that doesn't keep Emma Thompson and David Thewlis from rushing all of their lines. And that brings me to another problem: the adult acting. It's not bad. It's good. Too good. Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman were seriously deprived of screen time, Maggie Smith has little more than a cameo, and even the Dursleys and Dumbledore seemed short-changed (Michael Gambon, incidentally, does a fine job). David Thewlis doesn't fit my mental image of Professor Lupin, but he does well enough. There's just too little of a good thing, which brings me to even another problem. Prisoner of Azkaban is probably the best book in the Harry Potter series thus far. It's also very long, and that means a lot that is in the book isn't in the film, or is mangled in the transition to the screen. There's barely any Quidditch or any mention of the compitition between the houses (the film completely ignores Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff). The bit about the Firebolt was mishandled. Sirius doesn't get into the bedroom. We don't find out who Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail, and Prongs are. The scene with Snape and the Marauder's Map is all too truncated. But the most disastrous glossing over of the material has to do with the Shrieking Shack, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. All of that backstory needed to be dramatized, not narrated. We don't know why Sirius escaped. The entire thing is just botched. Besides, when you have Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman in a room together, you need a longer confrontation, dammit! (Incidentally, one of my biggest problems with Chamber of Secrets was that Branagh and Rickman didn't interact with each other enough) So, I must admit that when seen objectively, Prisoner of Azkaban is a very good movie. But for me, it was kind of a bittersweet experience.

It was announced a while ago that Brandon Glesson will be Mad-Eye Mooney in the adaptation of Goblet of Fire. Hells yeah. But what they absolutely NEED to do is get Ludivine Sangier as Fleur Delacouer. And replace whoever is playing Cornelius Fudge with Jim Broadbent.

But enough wizards. Let's move on to Jesus! Satire is hard to do as it is, but religious satire is damn near impossible. So far, the only one I've seen that works is Life of Brian, because it's so damn silly. Kevin Smith tried his best with Dogma, but covered up what could've been a serious theological thriller with blow job jokes. Then there's Saved which tries to be subversive but is too vanilla to get the job done. I mean, a good Christian girl gets pregnant after having sex with her gay friend to "cure" him. You can't lose with that premise, right? Wrong. I once said that I liked Being There so much because it managed to be satirical without being mean-spirited. Well, satire rarely has a blanket form. Saved! needed to be meaner and nastier. There are some good moments, but in the end, it's too chicken to pull out all of the punches. Not to mention that parts of it were all too reminiscent of Mean Girls, which was a much better movie than this. Saved! does have quite a cast though: Jena Malone (being troubled, again), Macauley Culkin (he's not that bad), Mandy Moore (I can't say that she can't act, but I can't say that she can, either), Patrick Fugit, Mary-Louise Parker, and Heather Matarazzo, who seems to be doomed to play the Ugly Best Friend for the rest of her life. There's a good movie buried in Saved and I wish I could've seen it.
It is way too late to write full reviews for either of these things (As usual), so here are a few quick thoughts.



Saved: Its comic brilliance does a good job compensating for an overly preachy story. Even though the film is saying what needs to be said, the way it is said is quite often way too over-the-top and in your face, which is the very problem with people who try to force religion on you in the first place.

Garfield: Let's get one thing clear, I only watched this since it was it my job to do so. I had incredibly low expectations from the beginning, and yet some how this film actually managed to sink beneath them. I have seen litter boxes with more redeeming qualities.
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