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Appealing Alarmist
Dark comedy may be entering a bright new era with this offbeat film
, November 05, 1998
The hero of Evan Dunsky's The Alarmist is a dopey innocent named Tommy Hudler (Scream's David Arquette), whose only sin seems to be falling in... More>>
All in Vein
Clichs are the real killers in the anemic action film Vampires
, October 29, 1998
When Montoya, one of the fearless vampire killers in John Carpenter's Vampires, tells another character that nobody believes in the title... More>>
To Die Laughing
Chaplinesque Life uses humor against Holocaust horrors
, October 29, 1998
In 1994's The Monster (Il mostro), his most recent film to gain wide American release, the Italian writer/director/star Roberto Benigni put... More>>
Hard Body Tex-Zen
, October 29, 1998
The Lone Star State supplies an extremely unlikely subject for a documentary -- Hands On a Hard Body -- that develops into one of those Zen... More>>
Grand Slam
Poetry is the great escape for this prison film
, October 22, 1998
The first time we see Ray Joshua, the young black hero of director Marc Levin's impressive feature debut Slam, we get a vivid taste of the... More>>
Haunting Happiness
A dark comedy takes a compelling look at lonely heartbreak
, October 22, 1998
For filmmaker Todd Solondz, it's always midnight in suburbia. Life is lonely, and the natives can be hostile. In his daring second film,... More>>
Boys in the Bond
The Mighty mixes myth and reality for a fresh fable
, October 15, 1998
The hero of The Mighty -- the title character, in fact -- is an eighth-grader known by the nickname Freak (Kieran Culkin). His might isn't... More>>
Moved by the Spirit
Post-slavery Beloved unleashes emotions
, October 15, 1998
Beloved, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by the much-revered Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, is a tragic, sorrowful affair -- just like... More>>
Gypsy Woman
Gadjo Dilo dances with dark tragedy and humor
, October 15, 1998
Insofar as filmmaker Tony Gatlif's justly admired "Gypsy Trilogy" is an exploration of his roots and a search for his nature -- he was born in... More>>
Seeking the Cure
, October 08, 1998
This Saturday and Sunday, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston holds three screenings of a film that's a mystery, a detective story and a documentary... More>>
Affairs of the Tart
Lolita's classy, but where's the comedy and character?
, October 08, 1998
Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita still has the power to scare off people. Proof is the book's new movie adaptation, directed by Adrian Lyne and scripted... More>>
French Disconnection
Shining Sobieski has to carry A Soldier's Daughter
, October 01, 1998
Leelee Sobieski is a mouthful of a name (40 years ago, studio moguls would have made her change it to something short and unassuming), but get... More>>
Backwoods Bin of Sin
Powerful Clay Pigeons scores with country-style noir
, October 01, 1998
Have adultery, murder and greed all moved to the sticks? Once firmly rooted in the big city, the seven deadly sins have taken on a distinct... More>>
Family Foibles
Slums tries to please but plays it too safe
, September 17, 1998
Slums of Beverly Hills is the first feature by the young writer/director Tamara Jenkins, and it has its mild amusements. It's one of those movies... More>>
Family-Style Friction
Strife stirs relatives in the sentimental One True Thing
, September 17, 1998
One True Thing, directed by Carl Franklin, is trying to be the Terms of Endearment of the '90s. Scripted by Karen Croner from the 1995 Anna... More>>
Titanic Tale
Imagery and imagination fuel the mysterious Chambermaid
, September 17, 1998
You can't keep a good ship down. No sooner have a billion or so Titanic videos hit the shelves than a little-known Spanish moviemaker complicates... More>>
Trouble in Tinseltown
Permanent Midnight parades another too-hip heroin addict
, September 17, 1998
For better or worse, the confessional memoir has become the most popular literary form of our time, prompting ballplayers, Irish bartenders,... More>>
Little Big Man
Lightweight Simon's no Meany, but he can make you cry
, September 10, 1998
The opening credits of Simon Birch assert that it was "suggested" by John Irving's popular 1989 novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. Actually, it's a... More>>
Dousing the Flames
Cerebral Firelight can't ignite sensual sparks
, September 10, 1998
Who would have guessed that a movie called Firelight could give off so little glow? William Nicholson, the screenwriter of Shadowlands, making... More>>
Barely Staying Alive
, September 03, 1998
Shane, the teenage hero of Mark Christopher's 54, wears the petulant expression of a Raphaelite cherub, and he comes complete with a halo of... More>>
Audacious Adolescents
Marie Baie moves with stylish exuberance
, September 03, 1998
With the hyper-naturalism of Kids still very much in mind, newcomer Manuel Pradal transplants the horrors of feral youth to the sun-pocked... More>>
Love Conflicts -- Nailing Neil
Your Friends' writer/director takes a wicked route through relationships
, August 27, 1998
Even in his grad-student days, playwright/filmmaker Neil LaBute got a charge out of stirring up audiences nearly to the point of physical... More>>
Crossing Paths
Wonderland works as a pleasing foray into notions of fate
, August 27, 1998
The idea of destiny -- especially the notion that fate will bring two people together to fall in love -- is a load of crap, but a surprising... More>>
Escapism from Houston
Dance has local angles but an unimaginative story
, August 20, 1998
When successful romance authors pick the settings for their sappy, melodramatic novels, they know better than to conjure scenes of windswept lust... More>>
Brutality a LaBute
Director dissects depraved and depersonalized urbanites
, August 20, 1998
As the lights came up after a screening of the new Neil LaBute movie Your Friends and Neighbors, a colleague next to me growled disapprovingly,... More>>
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