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1998 Stories by Michael Sragow

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Year of Yearning

    published December 31, 1998

    Silver lining or slender thread? That question nags at me as I go over my best-of-the-year list. There were some terrific movies in 1998 -- eight,... More >>

  • Eight for '98

    published December 31, 1998

    Critic Michael Sragow picks his best films of the year, in alphabetical order: Babe: Pig in the City. As a fairy tale of an imperiled innocent... More >>

  • Exodus Lost

    published December 17, 1998

    DreamWorks's grandiose attempt at an animated feature for adults is a flimsy musical about Moses -- a Sunday-school filmstrip ultralarge and... More >>

  • Fantastic Antics

    published November 26, 1998

    Surprise and pleasure come wrapped together in A Bug's Life. This big adventure about tiny critters is the latest piece of robust whimsy from... More >>

  • Very Bad It Is

    published November 26, 1998

    In the rancid nightmare farce called Very Bad Things, Peter Berg, in his movie writing-directing debut, creates characters that you immediately... More >>

  • Leonard's Canny Charmer

    published June 25, 1998

    Too many post-Woody Allen movies have been made about "sex in the head." The smart, engaging Out of Sight is an action comedy about love in the... More >>

  • Tonka Turns Tomboy

    published June 18, 1998

    It's Christmas vacation, 1958. The movie my dad has chosen for a first-grade pal and me to see is the new Disney live-action adventure Tonka,... More >>

  • The Voice, The Spark, The Image

    published May 21, 1998

    Frank Sinatra never gave a better performance as an actor than he did as Frankie Machine in 1955's The Man with the Golden Arm, in which he plays... More >>

  • The Larry David Show

    published May 14, 1998

    Not since the death of Diana has there been a pop phenomenon as cataclysmic as the demise of Seinfeld. The surrounding hoopla has reached such,... More >>

  • Money Changes Everything

    published April 23, 1998

    Is the opposite of offhand onhand? If so, The Spanish Prisoner is the most onhand movie since Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. The... More >>

  • The Lying Game

    published April 16, 1998

    Pulling off a caper requires cunning. Pulling off a caper movie requires cunning and artistry, especially in an era when special effects have made... More >>

  • Travels with Mikey

    published April 9, 1998

    If nothing else, the current edition of Michael Moore's continuing self-love fest does have a great subject: the desperation hidden inside a... More >>

  • Brown and White

    published March 26, 1998

    Lovers of American movies used to joke that foreign films wouldn't look so good if you saw them without subtitles. John Sayles's latest movie, Men... More >>

  • No Going Forward

    published March 26, 1998

    The flimsiest hustle in movie promotion today -- one perpetrated by film festivals and their camp followers -- is that independent movies are... More >>

  • Coens Go to Pot

    published March 5, 1998

    Jeff Bridges is so euphorically wacked as a social dropout in The Big Lebowski that you get a secondhand high just looking at him. Padding around... More >>

  • Venus Envy

    published March 5, 1998

    Dangerous Beauty presents a 16th-century Venice filled with statesmen who hop from bed to bed without fear of "bimbo eruptions." That's because... More >>

  • Heart of Glass

    published February 5, 1998

    Set in 19th-century Australia, this tale of two gamblers -- Oscar, a failed minister, and Lucinda, a glassworks owner -- is too wispy to be an art... More >>

  • The Albanian Candidate

    published January 1, 1998

    When was the last time the audience applauded a trailer and the movie lived up to it? Independence Day enticed millions with its preview shot of... More >>

  • 1997, by the numbers: Our film critics' "ten best"lists

    published January 1, 1998

    Peter Rainer 1. Hamsun 2. L.A. Confidential 3. A Self Made Hero 4. La Promesse 5. Grosse Pointe Blank 6.... More >>

  • Cuddly or Crude?

    published January 1, 1998

    The ad line proclaims As Good As It Gets "a comedy from the heart that goes for the throat." Isn't this simply another way of saying, "You'll... More >>

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996