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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>>
In the Groove
Shallow feels swell in McMillan-inspired Stella
, August 13, 1998
The timing couldn't be better for How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The dog days of summer are upon us, and few prospects could be more welcome to... More>>
Heroine Overdose
The Governess looks good but turns unlikable
, August 13, 1998
Minnie Driver makes a far more credible Orthodox Jew than Renee Zellweger did in A Price Above Rubies, but The Governess itself is only... More>>
Snakes Alive
De Palma and Cage craft a creepy thriller
, August 06, 1998
Nicolas Cage has never seemed more dazzling than he does in the new Brian De Palma thriller Snake Eyes. Playing Rick Santoro, a corrupt Atlantic... More>>
Hour Gang
Slow countdown stifles the cute Clockwatchers
, August 06, 1998
It's a truism that unless your film picks up momentum as it goes along, you'd do well not to put a ticking clock in it. Thrillers like The Big... More>>
Dark Red Star
A boy and a Bolshevik bop steal The Thief
, August 06, 1998
Your first reward for seeing The Thief will be to learn a word of Russian. During the title credits, the word BOP almost covers the screen, but... More>>
The Negotiator surrenders to a silly plot
, July 30, 1998
Do we really need to see the great Kevin Spacey fuming and fussing in one of those we-do-things-my-way-or-we-don't-do-them-at-all roles? In The... More>>
Take Two
A fun documentary follows From Dusk Till Dawn
, July 30, 1998
Thanks to the hungry maw of cable TV, nearly every movie production is now accompanied by a documentary crew, assigned to get enough footage for... More>>
Math Madness
Frenzied II adds up as an original
, July 30, 1998
You'll want to go easy on the caffeine before seeing IIł ("Pi"), the debut feature of writer/director Darren Aronofsky. His tale about th... More>>
Marriage Blahs
Flat characters and script deflate Polish Wedding
, July 30, 1998
The feature directorial debut of writer/director Theresa Connelly is a complete misfire. What is meant to be a somewhat farcical, but also... More>>
Combat Reality
Spielberg desanitizes WWII with the powerful Saving Private Ryan
, July 23, 1998
The first shot in Steven Spielberg's remarkable World War II epic Saving Private Ryan is an American flag with the sun behind it. It's a... More>>
Fool's Gold
Offbeat "epic" Henry Fool hunts for authentic humanity
, July 16, 1998
Epics aren't what they used to be. Hal Hartley's new film Henry Fool has been described using the "e" word by sources ranging from Janet Maslin... More>>
Buffed Up
Stylish Buffalo '66 makes an incomplete pass
, July 16, 1998
Director/writer/composer/star/visionary Vincent Gallo, a left-field character actor whose best work has been in the films of mainstream... More>>
Mark of the Zzzzs
Lame Mask of Zorro lacks cojones
, July 16, 1998
In The Mask of Zorro, Anthony Hopkins plays the eponymous masked hero as if he were doing Shakespeare. He's trying to turn a kitsch hero into a... More>>
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