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Slow Dancing
Lughnasa stumbles in the leap from play to motion picture
, December 24, 1998
Dancing at Lughnasa arrives brightly wrapped. It's the screen version of one of the most acclaimed stage plays of the '90s. It stars the... More>>
Super Stepmom
Tears will flow over this terrific showcase for Sarandon
, December 24, 1998
Given the manipulative tendencies of many mainstream pictures, Stepmom easily could have slipped into a sticky morass of sentimentality and... More>>
Buoyant Bard
Smart Shakespeare In Love treads lightly into romantic comedy
, December 24, 1998
Geniuses often come across unimpressively in the movies. Amadeus presented Mozart as a giggling fop. Both Kirk Douglas and Tim Roth gave us Van... More>>
Whale's Tale
Gods and Monsters traces a gay film director's complex life
, December 17, 1998
On May 30, 1957, the Los Angeles Times reported that the body of "the distinguished film producer and director James Whale" had been found... More>>
Labor of Love
A romantic fairy tale does finewith a working-class setting
, December 17, 1998
Robert Guediguian's Marius and Jeannette invents its own genre -- the left-wing working-class romantic fairy tale. This French import succeeds so... More>>
Return Mail
Ephron offers an appealing update of a classic charmer
, December 17, 1998
Old-fashioned romantic comedies are an endangered species, and in these generally unromantic days it's always a pleasant surprise to find a... More>>
Exodus Lost
Prince of Egypt goes wrong with Good Book rewrites
, 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>>
Son of Psycho
Van Sant pumps fresh blood into his tribute to the classic
, December 10, 1998
First of all, if you're among the benighted who've never seen Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 shocker Psycho, stop reading at the end of this paragraph.... More>>
Punk Put-On
Hard Core Logo takes a mock-documentary lookat musicians lost
, December 10, 1998
This Is Spinal Tap and Fear of a Black Hat did their pseudo-documentaries, those savagely satirical takes on rock and rap. But those who think... More>>
Sound Evidence
A documentary delves into theera of electronic music
, December 10, 1998
Documentary films that take rock or pop music as their subject rarely succeed as anything more than extended-play cheerleading. Take the concert... More>>
Reality Check
Stylish Shattered Image smashes narrative rules wonderfully
, December 10, 1998
According to the sparse information available in standard reference books, Chilean expatriate director Raśl Ruiz, now in his late fifties, ha... More>>
Singing Praises
Little Voice lights up the soul with humor and pathos
, December 03, 1998
British actress Jane Horrocks is thrice-gifted: She can act, she can sing, and she can sing like Judy Garland. And like Shirley Bassey, Marilyn... More>>
Awe That's Eel
A troubled woman and an ex-convict create a compelling Asian film
, December 03, 1998
In The Eel, which won the Palme D'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, director Shohei Imamura once again demonstrates his empathy for the... More>>
Movie Starr?
Enemy of the State parallels special prosecutor plots
, December 03, 1998
Here we go again. Enemy of the State is Fascism in America 1998, Chapter Four ... or Five ... or whatever we're up to. It readily invites... More>>
Fantastic Antics
A Bug's Life brings out the best of Pixar's new breed
, 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
Berg's sour script kills off suspense as well as a stripper
, 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>>
Allen's Landing
Woody's clever Celebrity charts the descending pain of fame
, November 19, 1998
Holed up with his Sidney Bechet records, old flannel shirts and dog-eared copy of War and Peace, Woody Allen has made a second career of shunning... More>>
Throne Out
Exotic Elizabeth has admirable themes but an addled plot
, November 19, 1998
Even students of English history may have trouble sorting out the palace intrigues and intragovernmental conspiracies that fill Elizabeth, the... More>>
American History Xploitation
Nobody's clamoring to claim this uncertain neo-Nazi film
, November 12, 1998
American History X, a hard-edged look at American neo-Nazis, arrives in theaters with a lot of behind-the-scenes baggage: First-time director... More>>
Irregular Joe
Plodding pace and humorless Pitt result in dead Meet
, November 12, 1998
Well, now we know why the term "bored to death" was invented. Meet Joe Black takes an interesting idea -- Death assumes human form and comes to... More>>
Great Dane Dogma
Denmark collective debuts with the bitter comedy Celebration
, November 12, 1998
Denmark was the first Scandinavian country to have a film industry, but -- with the exception of the revered Carl Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of... More>>
Stock Shock
Does anybody care that I Still Know What You Did?
, November 12, 1998
First, a disclaimer: Having missed last year's I Know What You Did Last Summer, I deliberately put off seeing it until after viewing its sequel,... More>>
Glam-rock Goldmine
Stylish Velvet unfolds to reveal real substance
, November 05, 1998
Fifteen minutes into Velvet Goldmine, director Todd Haynes's love letter to England's glam-rock scene of the late '60s/early '70s, the film has... More>>
Rights Out
Freedoms and order are at odds in the provocative Siege
, November 05, 1998
Fascism is in the air ... well, at least it's on movie screens. In a two-week stretch we've seen old Nazis (Life Is Beautiful), neo-Nazis... More>>
Surreal Appeal Still
1957 Cabiria returns as a study in Fellini's transition
, November 05, 1998
Postwar Italy's most heralded contribution to world cinema may have been neorealism, but its most distinctive and beloved filmmaker was Federico... More>>
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