Lisa Alspector

Lisa Alspector

Agrees with the Tomatometer 71% of the time.

Lisa Alspector's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review

The Bachelor (1999)

"Viewers have almost two hours to become thoroughly disgusted" ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 29, 2010

A Walk to Remember (2002)

"This realist fairy tale of impossible love has a fair amount of nuance and charm." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jan 20, 2010

Fantasia 2000 (2000)

"The rest of these animated sequences depend on gimmickry, cuteness, or facile ideology." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 16, 2009

The Emperor's New Groove (2000)

"Ingenious action sequences driven by surprisingly little plot lead to a climax full of the transmogrification animation was invented for." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 16, 2009

Tarzan (1999)

"The stylized physiques and movements of the characters in this exciting animated musical-romance-adventure are at once realist and fantastic." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Nov 13, 2009

The Little Vampire (2000)

"Vampire cows provide comic relief and many of the scares in this respectfully dark yet optimistic story about a lonely child who befriends a vampire." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 21, 2009

Dracula 2000 (2000)

"Mary, a descendant of the prototypical vampire slayer, works at a Virgin megastore in New Orleans, and the gratuitous use of the city during Mardi Gras is the least of this movie's unoriginal sins." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2009

Queen of the Damned (2002)

"Michael Rymer stages high-tech sequences combining gore, romance, and gothy music, and he has enough conviction to make what could have been very silly strangely provocative." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 20, 2009

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

"The most stimulating, satisfying aspect of this action fantasy is the theme music." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 9, 2009

'Til There Was You (1997)

"With its clotted script, art direction that's all splash and no style, and dialogue that's too nakedly calculated to facilitate identification), this tedious and confused movie points several characters in obvious directions." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 28, 2009

Shadow Conspiracy (1997)

"Bland, interminable chase scenes take up so much of the story -- the hackneyed plot doesn't need much exposition -- that the sheer repetitiveness begins to amaze you." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 28, 2009

Knock Off (1998)

"Though the jokey lines seem out of place, the somber tone of this 1998 action movie makes the political subtext more sincere and less grandiose than usual." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 28, 2009

Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)

"Gently humorous and moving." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 28, 2009

B.A.P.S. (1997)

"t's a celebration of bonds that are thicker than blood and demonstrates above all that fame-and-fortune fantasies can blur divisions of race and class as persuasively as they can exaggerate them." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 21, 2009

Holy Man (1998)

"It may not be earthshaking, but this calmly competent feel-good movie shows that a little sincerity can go a long way." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 21, 2009

Vegas Vacation (1997)

"The subplots involving D'Angelo and Newton and Ethan Embry -- the Griswolds' son, who can't stop winning -- have their charms." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 21, 2009

Bride of the Wind (2001)

"Alma Mahler is flirting again." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 7, 2009

Down to You (2000)

"[A] relentlessly adolescent romantic comedy." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 7, 2009

Enemy of the State (1998)

"[Its] spirited action is balanced by an almost contemplative attitude toward surveillance phobias and the movie cliches they've spawned." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 30, 2009

Bats (1999)

"This bad-scientist movie about bats that attack humans and the humans who track them -- Texas sheriff Lou Diamond Phillips and zoologist Dina Meyer -- is played straight, though it wasn't intended to be taken that way." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 24, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)

"The draggy narrative of this 1997 comedy is tough to sit through -- there are even several overproduced musical numbers -- but it does have an intriguing subversive element that I don't want to give away." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Feb 3, 2009

Rush Hour (1998)

"The contrast between Tucker's motormouth and Chan's man of few words should be funnier, but the plot -- which is cliched without quite becoming self-reflexive -- and the uneven pace dampen most of their moments." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Oct 14, 2008

The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)

"Footage shot from over their shoulders reveals a sea of faces out of which individuals quickly emerge, as the comedians -- especially emcee Harvey -- enthrall and provoke audience members." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 23, 2008

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

"Its hard-to-pin-down tone is frighteningly original -- simultaneously world-weary and adolescent with an aura of perpetual anxiety, as if the characters and filmmakers were in pursuit of a catharsis everyone knows will never come." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Sep 17, 2008

Three Kings (1999)

"A damning yet idealistic satire about the motives behind U.S. foreign policy." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Aug 25, 2008

A Thousand Acres (1997)

"The story is just an empty, manipulative compilation of tragedies and misunderstandings." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jul 2, 2008

Dead Man on Campus (1998)

"This limp 1998 comedy tries hard to be both irreverent and ethical by suggesting that deceit motivated by self-interest is OK as long as no one gets hurt." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 16, 2008

Big Daddy (1999)

"This light yet earnest drama starring Adam Sandler deals openly with one of the most insidious elements in popular filmmaking -- the male screenwriter's relationship with his own father." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Jun 2, 2008

Good Burger (1997)

"A laboriously slow suburban adventure..." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 21, 2008

Rugrats in Paris - The Movie (2000)

"Nauseating gags suggest the makers of this eclectically animated adventure... know their audience, though all the Godfather references will be thoroughly puzzling to at least half of it." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 20, 2008

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

"[An] inspired, self-referential animated musical." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 20, 2008

The Rugrats Movie (1998)

"The dialogue reproduces infantile idiom even as it parodies the baby talk of adults, and a touching, didactic scene involving a baby blanket that's become the object of sibling rivalry may appeal to a broad age range." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 20, 2008

The Saint (1997)

"This insufferable romance-adventure includes vague comedy as well as unintentional humor, and its target audience seems to be preadolescents who won't notice the calculated enthusiasm with which it sidesteps sexuality." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 20, 2008

Dudley Do-Right (1999)

"The fanciful associations and bad jokes are more often stupid than silly, making all the spectacle and contrived dance numbers seem a colossal waste." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 20, 2008

Superstar (1999)

"Contrasting the erotic with the disgusting is usually provocative and can be funny, but not in this underdog comedy." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 19, 2008

The X-Files - Fight the Future (1998)

"Only two scenes in this spin-off are worth the time of followers of the TV series." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 19, 2008

Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000)

"Scenes with Peter Fonda as a melancholy grandfather -- he couldn't get a cherished engine running in time for his late wife to ride it -- periodically bring the movie screeching to a halt." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 19, 2008

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

"The extravagant makeup and special effects are actually unobtrusive because they're demanded by the pleasantly formulaic story, whose conflicts--and broad, innocuous political allegory -- justify the heartwarming resolution." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 19, 2008

Leave It to Beaver (1997)

"[The] dead-on imitations of some of the characters from the television series created by Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly will seem pointlessly stylized to viewers unfamiliar with the old sitcom." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 19, 2008

Barney's Great Adventure (1998)

"With very little modification, this archly innocuous children's musical could have been marketed as a sequel to Invasion of the Body Snatchers." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 16, 2008

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)

"With minimalist and universal fantasies as their points of departure, the superheroic deeds evolve only incrementally beyond the realistic -- a deeply satisfying process." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 14, 2008

Stuart Little (1999)

"[Uses] class and ethnic stereotypes in support of the idea that it's best to be adopted by rich white people." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 13, 2008

Paulie (1998)

"Shalhoub gives an impressively nuanced performance in the dangerously cliched role, and Paulie -- a combination of trained parrots, animatronics, and the voice of Mohr -- comes across as a fully developed character." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted May 12, 2008

Dark City (1998)

"A mishmash of iconography lifted from better movies." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 28, 2008

Snatch (2001)

"Ritchie may be skilled at generating controlled chaos, but his surprise-a-minute strategy ultimately holds no surprises." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 15, 2008

Training Day (2001)

"If he makes it through the trial by fire -- and a blandly twisting plot with no meaningful revelations or substantial themes -- Hawke will get a promotion, but there's nothing in it for us." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2008

Cop Land (1997)

"The movie's no roller-coaster ride, but there isn't a boring moment either." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2008

L.A. Confidential (1997)

"This movie restores genre elements to a level of potency that's disturbing, satisfying, and rare as hell." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Apr 9, 2008

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

"The blend of animation techniques somehow demonstrates mastery modestly, while the special effects are nothing short of magnificent." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2008

Eve's Bayou (1996)

"Subplots are woven stealthily into the story, taking the pressure off the central drama, allowing it to be affecting rather than melodramatic, and heightening the atmosphere of the lush Louisiana setting." ‐ Chicago Reader
Posted Mar 19, 2008