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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


St. Petersburg Times Online

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On the wild side with Steve Irwin

Billy photo
Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.
By BILLY NORRIS

© St. Petersburg Times
published July 8, 2002


Movie : The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

  • Rating: PG

Summary: When a CIA spy satellite self-destructs and its pieces fall to Earth, its most crucial part (containing thousands of spy photographs) lands in Queensland, Australia. The agency sends two undercover agents there to recover the vital piece before it falls into the wrong hands. In the interim, the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, and his wife, Terri, are in the Outback river system searching for a mischievous croc that's been causing mayhem with the locals. Unbeknownst to them, the CIA suspects that Steve and Terri are international spies trying to get hold of the spy information, so they become the primary targets.

Crikey! It's the crocodile hunter!
[Photo: MGM]
When Steve Irwin goes after a crocodile, there’s always danger, danger, danger.
My View: I really wasn't sure what to expect. Actually, this movie was interestingly constructed. It was a documentary, with fictional plot thrown in. I liked the way that worked. The director of the film, John Stainton, was so taken by the reality of Irwin's Crocodile Hunter television show that he wanted to make it a large part of the big-screen version. He wanted to avoid putting Steve totally in a big screen, make-believe role. That makes watching this film like watching Animal Planet. Pretty much all of his encounters with the extremely dangerous animals are real and a lot of his lines ad-libbed. The fictional component of this movie is kept pretty simple, but Irwin's on-screen antics make up for that. This surely won't be an Academy Award winner, but it's a decent summertime distraction.

Favorite Part: Steve's comments when dealing with these animals were often unintentionally funny. His genuine but exaggerated reactions to the crocodiles' movements, and the way he talks to them like they're children, were comical.

Recommendations: Any fans of the show will love the movie. It's Animal Planet with a twist.

Grade: B-

-- Billy Norris, 14, will be in the ninth grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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