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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'Swimfan' needs CPR

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Read Billy's movie reviews on his special archive page.

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 16, 2002

Movie: Swimfan

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford) is a high school senior with great potential to make it big in swimming. Everything in his life is falling into place just as he has always dreamed, but things are shaken up when the new girl in town, Madison Bell (Erika Christensen), shows up at his school. After a fluke one-night stand, she attaches herself to him. Ben makes it clear that he is in a serious relationship with a girl named Amy (Shirri Appleby) and that their encounter was a big mistake, but that's not the answer she's looking for. Madison becomes obsessive, and her intentions turn to revenge. Look out, Ben!

My View: The beginning of this film was encouraging. It was strong and enticing, and showed promise of a quality movie. But conditions quickly deteriorated. The movie became so ridiculously predictable that I could have taken a nap through the second half and still accurately described what happened -- except for the ending.

Least Favorite Part: This movie had the most abrupt, senseless ending I've seen. It was awful! I have to say that I was expecting a lot more than I got from this flick.

Recommendations: If you're not a teenager, don't bother. Even if you are, you'd better think twice before dishing out the dough for tickets to this one.

Grade: D

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

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