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Life During Noir-Time
This retro neo-noir is full of powerless cliches
, February 19, 1998
Love Walked In, despite the Gershwin in the title, is less champagne fizz than bottom-shelf rotgut rye, drained from a dirty glass. Argentine... More>>
All Wet
In the latest Crichton-based thriller, there's nothing to fear but Sphere itself
, February 19, 1998
When and if we humans make first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, the experience may have this much in common with Sphere: It could be... More>>
After the Obsession
Is Pedro Almodvar at an awkward in-between stage? Or is he just lost?
, February 12, 1998
His eye trained on the manic collision of Catholicism and consumerism, Pedro Almodovar has made some of the liveliest, most genre-bending films... More>>
Geezer Love
Take heart, Boomers: You're never too old to be tortured by romance
, February 12, 1998
The Only Thrill, directed by Houston native Peter Masterson, is a conventional, sentimental movie that nonetheless hits where it aims. The film,... More>>
Around the World in 21 Films
, February 05, 1998
Only two months in, 1998 already seems to be the year for film festival and festival-ish series resurrections. First came the Museum of Fine... More>>
On the Lam
This "official" John Woo knockoff is less than dazzling
, February 05, 1998
John Woo has generated plenty of American disciples in the decade since his Hong Kong action films began playing film festivals in the West. Even... More>>
Heart of Glass
Too much symbolism (and too little sex) shatters Oscar and Lucinda
, February 05, 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... More>>
Porcelain Pop
Beautiful around the edges, Great Expectations is wispy at the core
, January 29, 1998
In the new Great Expectations, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and scripted by Mitch Glazer, the teeming world of Charles Dickens's 1861 novel is very... More>>
On the Nickel
Houston director Greg Carter makes an audacious first try in Fifth Ward
, January 29, 1998
Fifth Ward, first-time director Greg Carter's film about inhabitants of Houston's most notorious ghetto, is a charmingly amateurish effort that... More>>
God Help Us
The Apostle's road to hell is paved with good intentions
, January 29, 1998
As The Apostle's title character, E.F. "Sonny" Dewey, writer/director Robert Duvall never stops moving and never speaks in a voice lower than a... More>>
This Is Your Brain on Drugs
Like, wow: Half Baked proves to be half-witted
, January 22, 1998
Would that Half Baked were even as well done as its title implies. This attempt at a contemporary pothead comedy makes you long for the lightness... More>>
Do Not Go Gentle
The Winter Guest deserves a warm reception
, January 22, 1998
It seems contradictory to describe a movie as both expansive in scope and personal. But The Winter Guest, the first offering from director Alan... More>>
Dripping with Irony
Hard Rain drowns the myth of small-town virtue
, January 22, 1998
After watching Hard Rain, all but the most intrepid humans and whatever ducks are in the audience will probably feel like changing into dry... More>>
Can't Get Up
If only Fallen were as tightly and shrewdly constructed as its ad
, January 15, 1998
After Santa's overstuffed sack of Oscar qualifiers is disgorged onto New York and Los Angeles screens in December, the studios have little left... More>>
Made in Houston
, January 15, 1998
Three years ago, the Museum of Fine Arts put together "First Look," a showcase of films made by Houstonians. Back by popular demand, the series... More>>
Hello, Dalai
In Kundun, Martin Scorsese meets Tibetan Buddhism
, January 15, 1998
Martin Scorsese's Kundun is a deeply ceremonial experience. It's like watching a serene pageant of colors, rituals, costumes. It's about the... More>>
Flameout
, January 15, 1998
It's always depressing when an action movie presents a plot idea that, though reminiscent of earlier ventures, at least comes off as a new spin... More>>
More Troubles
As The Boxer, Daniel Day-Lewis K.O.'s a weak script
, January 08, 1998
Where would Irish filmmakers these days be without The Troubles? In just the past couple of years we've seen The Crying Game, In the Name of the... More>>
Sins of the Father
In La Promesse, a teenager must face his dad's evil ways
, January 08, 1998
Too frequently, movies that confront pressing social issues turn into morality plays. The protagonists are nothing but victims of the Modern... More>>
The Albanian Candidate
Wag the Dog bares its teeth at the White House
, January 01, 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
, January 01, 1998
Peter Rainer 1. Hamsun 2. L.A. Confidential 3. A Self Made Hero 4. La Promesse 5. Grosse Pointe Blank 6. Wag the Dog 7.... More>>
Cuddly or Crude?
As Good As It Gets aims for both. And misses.
, January 01, 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>>
Magic for Adults
The Iranian film Gabbeh weaves an old-fashioned tale
, January 01, 1998
There seems to be an unwritten rule in American cinema that adults don't go for original fairy tales. Fantasy, sci-fi, sure -- but it's a rare... More>>
Dinner and a Movie
, December 25, 1997
You knew it had to happen: When the Tinseltown and AMC 30 movie megaplexes sprang up complete with in-house coffee bars and pizza joints, it... More>>
Post-Pulp
Jackie Brown shows Tarantino looking for direction
, December 25, 1997
If Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown didn't arrive weighted with post-Pulp Fiction expectations, it might be easier to see it for what it is: an... More>>
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