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Askew Review 15

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. DVD. Sci-fi/thriller. 118 minutes. PG-13.  Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) is a computer engineer who designs and builds top secret projects for huge corporations, then has his memory erased to protect the secrecy of the project. After a three year job, Michael once again has his memory erased, but is stunned to realize that right before the memory erase procedure, he forfeited his $92 million paycheck. With the FBI and an assassin hot on his trail, Michael’s only hope is an envelope stuffed with 20 everyday, common trinkets he mailed to himself before his memory was erased. 
I watched this movie for two reasons: 1) I like a lot of director John Woo’s past movies (Hard-Bioled, Face Off). 2) Ben Affleck’s cute ass. OK, so I watched Paycheck for only one reason, I’ll let you figure out which of the two is the real reason. I found Paycheck’s storyline (based on a Phillip K. Dick short story) a bit sluggish, but Woo’s action sequences help move the plot along. Co-star Paul
Giamatti adds some refreshing comic relief, but his character isn’t around enough. Aaron Eckhart, who played perhaps one of the greatest movie pricks in 1997’s In the Company of Men, fails to shine his evil sunshine like he’s capable of. Then there’s romantic interest Uma Thurman. You know, I simply just can not figure out if she’s good looking or not! As far as Ben Affleck and his ass, well, he’s Ben Affleck and he does a good enough job without drawing any unwarranted attention to himself. People seem to have a hard time liking Mr. Affleck and I fail to understand why. After all, you never read or hear anything negative about the guy, only crap about him having a good time; gambling, drinking, spending his money, and his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. The DVD includes a bevy of extras, but I didn’t watch any of them due to disinterest. Now, do I feel that I wasted 118 minutes of my life watching Paycheck? No. However, I will not be recommending this movie to anyone any time soon, or ever for that matter. – Denis Sheehan



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