Anaconda [1997]

Money Train This attempt to reunite the stars of White Men Can't Jump will most likely be remembered as the movie that allegedly inspired a number of copycat arsons in the New York subway system. In other words, the movie itself is too perfunctory to be remembered for any other reason. Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes share their established chemistry as a pair of stepbrothers who work the subway detail as undercover detectives in the NYPD. Woody's a compulsive gambler with a huge debt problem to contend with, and he's also competing with his brother for the attentions of their new and beautiful partner (Jennifer Lopez), who's been assigned to join their investigation of the subway crimes. They're also supposed to guard the daily money train (so named because it contains each day's worth of subway fares), but Woody gets the bright idea that it might be the solution to his money woes. What follows is standard-issue action fare for the mid-1990s--lots of violence, excessive profanity, and attempts at witty banter between the costars to make it all seem more entertaining than it really is. You'd need to be a serious Harrelson, Snipes, or Lopez fan to add this movie to your collection. For anyone else, one viewing ought to be enough. --Jeff Shannon Anaconda This giant-man-eating-snake-in-the-jungle thriller definitely scores points as a guilty pleasure, especially with Jon Voight hamming it up as the monster-poacher. He makes life miserable for a team of documentary filmmakers on the Amazon river. Anaconda is one of those movies that exists for no other reason than to give computer animators a chance to strut their stuff with a new digital beastie, and they don't disappoint. It's a lot of fun to watch the mega-snake scarf down its victims and--in the case of Voight--regurgitate 'em right back up again, all covered in gooey digestive juices. You might wonder why Eric Stoltz, who plays Dr. Steven Cale, showed up for a role that requires him to be off-screen for most of the movie, but hey--when it comes to big snake movies, you might as well put your brain on hold and sit back for the slimy ride. --Jeff Shannon

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