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And the award for best misdirector goes to...

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In a frantic attempt to meet the Academy Awards deadline for best picture and beat out Saving Private Ryan, some really horrible sequels are being rushed in under the wire this week. Pathetic attempts to rehash already bad movies, with even worse sequels, are causing movie-goers to roll their eyes as they gear up for another mediocre flick on the International Silver Screen that finished filming this week.

The critically acclaimed Big Showdown in Baghdad made its early 1990s debut as a box-office smash under the watchful eye of Director George "Lucas" Bush. But alas, attempts to repeat the success of this exciting desert saga have failed to live up to expectations. Anti-climactic and without closure, they leave audiences whining to get their $8.50 back.

Recent flop attempts at new storylines set in the Sudan and Afghanistan have left people expecting less and less from Director Bill "Spielberg" Clinton. Sure the special effects are great, but it lacks the substance, depth and drama audiences expect.

Clinton's unique form of directing has caused clashes with such high profile actors as aging Russian Boris Yeltsin, and international-man-of-mystery Jiang Zemin of China, who have been threatening to walk off the sets and delay production for some time now.

Part of the problem with getting this sandy sequel off the ground lies in the villain-Iraqi teenage heartthrob Saddam Hussein. This rogue actor has already displayed the habit of changing his lines, failing to show up for production on schedule, and not cooperating with film staff who want only to clean his trailer out every now and then. However, despite all this controversy, his agent, Tariq "Show me the money" Aziz, has still managed to keep good media contact in the entertainment scene, allowing Hussein to keep his positive pop-image alive in his own country. Surprisingly, this is not the first time Actor-Director Clinton has threatened to replace Hussein as the lead, nor is it the first time he has backed down at the last minute.

What will be the success of this shoddy sequel? Well, just like the Academy Awards, many would argue that decisions by the Security Council are already fixed and made well in advance. With the action genre all but completely ignored as of late, audiences are looking for more sordid "action." Hot titles include some more tantalizing efforts like: I Still Know What You and Monica Did Last Summer, James and the Giant Impeachment, and the direct-to-video release The Lyin' King 2.

Statistics say that as more and more Americans go to the movies every week, their complaints about expensive popcorn and big line-ups grow louder.

Many wonder if it isn't the "movie-entertainment complex" that is driving this pool of repeats, all set in the Middle East. Clinton had better be careful, however, that audiences do not just grow numb and tired of his continued posturing without following through. This juvenile "Boy who cried wolf" style plot grows old very quickly. This is leaving many looking to the old classic days of that dashing Hollywood star turned Director Ronald Reagan, whose domestic and international films sold-out with fervor.

The bottom line if you still want to see this latest flop sequel, is to make sure that you do it on a cheap Tuesday. Siskel and Ebert give it two thumbs down.

Ben Perrin can be reached at ben@sprint.ca.

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