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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


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Movie review

'Miss Congeniality 2' is too familiar

By BILLY NORRIS
Published April 4, 2005

MOVIE: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

RATING: PG-13 for sex-related humor

SUMMARY: FBI Agent Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) has gained so much fame from her heroics at the recent Miss United States Beauty Pageant that the agency decides to pull her off the field and make her the official "face of the FBI." In the midst of publicity work, Gracie learns of the kidnapping of her best friend, pageant winner Cheryl (Heather Burns), and pageant host Stan Fields (William Shatner). With the help of her perpetually angry and unfriendly "bodyguard" Sam Fuller (Regina King), Gracie drops the spotlight and the makeup and reverts to her true agent calling in order to save Cheryl and Stan from certain demise.

MY VIEW: This is yet another case of the unnecessary sequel. Even though Miss Congeniality was released nearly five years ago, the producers apparently felt the necessity to capitalize on its success, though that success was limited in the first place. The result is basically the exact same flick, the only difference being the presence of a female buddy cop instead of a male love interest (not often do you see the "buddy cop" thing done with women). Bullock goes for the same goofy jokes and finds herself caught in the same goofy situations, climaxing with a dramatically goofy brawl between the dynamic duo and the bad guys. The biggest laughs come from Gracie's stylist (played by Diedrich Bader). When will Hollywood figure out how to leave well enough alone?

RECOMMENDATIONS: I'm not sure the "sex-related humor" was severe enough to warrant a PG-13 rating. I feel a PG rating would have been more appropriate. Aside from that, this is the kind of movie you will rent on pay-per-view on a rainy day. Don't feel an urgency to rush out and catch this one in the theater.

GRADE: C

- Billy Norris, 17, is in 11th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified April 1, 2005, 12:22:04]

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