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Erin Brockovich is not an eye opening startling revelation in film but it's entertaining. When a male version of something fails what should you do? Make a female version of course. Like a line of clothing Erin Brockovich is what comes out of the failure of A Civil Action. I guess someone thought Julia Roberts could hold the audiences attention better than John Travolta. That decision maker was correct and deserves a nice, big bonus. Erin Brockovich is the story of a woman who wants to go back to work but has no previous working experience. After many trials and tribulations of consequences she ends up with a job at a law firm and stumbles onto a big case. She investigates the case and in that she finds a renewed confidence plus she finally is getting respect.

The big case involves a power plant that is causing sickness to the people who live near it. Of course Roberts works for a small time law firm and they get this big case. The movie is a series of courses. It's very predictable but when Roberts is in the formula, it tastes much better.

The best part of the film is by far Roberts. She's loud, emotional, persistent and sexual. I was also impressed by the performance of Robert's love interest played by Aaron Eckhart (who incidentally was in one of my all time favorite movies, In the Company of Men). His lovable George, and forward Harley Davidson loving character perfectly matched up against Julia's Brockovich.

Also putting in a good performance was Albert Finney. His role as Ed Masry, Brockovichís lawyer then employer, was funny, smart and where most of the humor in the film came from. Finney was recently in the film version of Kurt Vonnegutís Breakfast of Champions and he was terrible, the whole film was terrible.

Director Steven Soderbergh uses a lot of things to advantage in this film. He uses Roberts, different film stocks, different camera angles and styles that work real well with the lowbrow kind of people that the film is supposed to be about. Not to say low brow is bad, lowbrow is the real people. It worked much better than Drowning Mona with itís fake accents and attempted corniness and oddity of the small time. This works much better. His string of excellent films of recent include The Limey and Out of Sight. Both which used excellent editing techniques to their favor. Both were in my favorite movies in their respective year plus seeing his Sex, lies, and videotape at a young age basically screwed up my mind. Thatís how I got to be where I am today.

Erin Brockovich is very well written by Susannah Grant. The humor is slick, and interesting and complements of Robertsí style very well. Much better than her script for Pocohontas and Everafter, those junky retellings of classic childrenís stories. She coincidentally wrote the upcoming 28 Days which features my personal favorite actor Steve Buscemi. My personal favorite scenes in the movie involved the hostility between Brockovich and the real lawyers. Especially when they in disbelief of the great things she's done, Erin just says the perfect thing. The absolute best is when she confronts her snobby brown-nosing lawyer/ enemy. This woman looks down on her but Erin can do twice as much as this woman can because she has the street smarts. 

I like to refer to this movie as a chick flick with cleavage and a brain. Brockovich is a strong woman who uses her features to her advantage. Roberts definitely used her features to her advantage in the film. She was funny charming and the film as a whole is definitely a film I would recommend even if it is sort of a chick flick, thereís something for everyone.

Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, and Aaron Eckhart
Written by: Susannah Grant 
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh 



Rating: *** out of ****/ 71 out of 100
Reviewed by: Joe Soria
Running Time: 130 minutes
Rated R for language.

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