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

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Movie Review

Jim Carrey's 'Bruce Almighty' role deserves praise

Published May 26, 2003

Movie: Bruce Almighty

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey), a television field reporter specializing in stories about things like the world's biggest cookie, yearns for a highly desired, respectable anchor position being vacated by a retiring veteran at his station. In the midst of the worst day of his life, that coveted position goes to his archrival at the station, Evan Baxter (Steven Carell), whose super-sized ego is the straw that breaks Nolan's back. He totally loses it, and who better to blame than the big man himself: God! Well, God (Morgan Freeman) responds to that complaint directly by bequeathing Bruce all of his powers, so he can realize just how difficult it is to run the show by himself.

My view: I expected this film to be nothing more than another vehicle for Carrey's gross-out jokes and stupid (yet funny) physical antics, with little other value or merit. Thankfully, I was mistaken, and his vintage comedic genius was back in full swing, along with strong supporting acting performances (like Jennifer Aniston's as his girlfriend, Grace) and a rather amusing and moral story. Carrey's acting here was reminiscent of the Ace Ventura days - extremely funny stuff! Carell, whose face you may recognize from The Daily Show, was great. He was actually the one who carried the most hilarious scene in the film. Freeman's verbal strokes of wisdom were like critiques of today's society, and that, coupled with recurring biblical references, tied the story line back into the God theme. Although Carrey's style of humor and God all rolled into one movie could have resulted in something completely tasteless, this one stopped short of doing that.

Recommendations: Despite the religious subtext of this film, there are a few racy scenes and some crude humor, so the PG-13 rating is appropriate. This is surely worth the price of a Saturday night movie ticket. And Jim Carrey aficionados will be thrilled with this latest effort.

Grade: B+

- Billy Norris, 15, will be in the 10th grade at Seminole High School, and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

[Last modified May 23, 2003, 14:45:35]

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