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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This 'Scorpion' too short on action


© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 27, 2001

Movie: The Curse of the Jade Scorpion

Rating: PG-13

Summary: C.W Briggs (Woody Allen) is a big-shot insurance investigator in 1940. He is constantly butting heads with Betty Ann Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt), the new worker hired to make the office more efficient. At a party one night, they are both hypnotized by Voltan (David Ogden Stiers), a magician with a mysterious jade scorpion. The spell they are under is never reversed by Voltan, so the verbal prompts of "Madagascar" and "Constantinople" cause them some serious problems long after the party has ended.

My View: I didn't really like this movie. Woody Allen has a very different kind of humor than I'm used to. It was strange to have someone I consider to be pretty old (Woody Allen) playing a romantic lead to characters who were much younger. I saw this movie with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousins. The adults had a better appreciation for this movie than I did, because they were familiar with Woody Allen's style. My cousins (ages 15 and 18) also liked it more than I did. There were some scenes I found funny that kept this film from being a total waste of time, but overall it was just an average piece of work.

Favorite part: I really enjoyed the '40s style jazz, big-band music that was used on the soundtrack!

Least favorite part: There wasn't enough action in this film. It lacked the thrills and anticipation I think a good movie should have. All around, I was bored by this one.

Recommendations: Some sexuality in this movie gave it the PG-13 rating. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion is definitely geared toward an older audience, so I'd recommend it to folks 16 and up.

Grade: C

Billy Norris, 13, is in the eighth grade at Seminole Middle School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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