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Shoot the Sheriff
Stallone seeks, but doesn't find, redemption in Cop Land
, August 14, 1997
The cops in Cop Land carry on like a bunch of goombahs. On the take from the Mob, they mimic the Mob. The fuzzy line dividing cops and crooks is... More>>
Real Girls
, August 14, 1997
Mike Leigh's new Career Girls is compact and minor. I don't mean that as a slam, exactly. After the dawdling expansiveness of last year's Secrets... More>>
No Balls
In the battle of the sexes, the Company men lose
, August 14, 1997
First-time writer/director Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men is about Chad (Aaron Eckhart) and Howard (Matt Malloy), two thirtyish white-collar... More>>
But What If the Nuts Are Right?
Conspiracy Theory offers a new action hero: the addled Everyman
, August 07, 1997
Jerry Fletcher, the hero of Conspiracy Theory, is a comic, glamorous variation on Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Like Travis, he's a New York... More>>
The Unhappy Hooker
Star Maps sells itself cheap
, August 07, 1997
In the not-so-brave new world of independent filmmaking, low-budget movies premiere at Sundance or Cannes and win plaudits from over-psyched... More>>
Perfect Mess
What's wrong with this Picture? Everything.
, July 31, 1997
In Picture Perfect, Jennifer Aniston tells a whopper of a lie partially to win the attentions of a guy who has heretofore ignored her, interrupts... More>>
Superzero
On the big screen, Spawn is as flat as a comic book page
, July 31, 1997
John Leguizamo is lithe and full of juice -- he's like the shy boy who suddenly discovers he can dance and can't keep still. Given his need to... More>>
Flunking Out
187 is a blackboard bungle
, July 31, 1997
187, a number favored by adolescent thugs, is the California state penal code number for homicide -- and a harsh sentence for all involved in... More>>
Chan Do
With Operation Condor, Jackie Chan continues his campaign to conquer the U.S.
, July 24, 1997
It's no secret that the "new" Jackie Chan releases in the U.S. aren't really new at all. In fact, they're not even showing up in chronological... More>>
Royal Pain
Mrs. Brown fails to interest us in Queen Victoria's grief
, July 24, 1997
Mrs. Brown (a Cannes hit and Miramax release) is dignified to the dead max -- brownish-gray in mood and look and spirit. It's based on the true... More>>
Going Down
Air Force One nose-dives into an ocean of ennui
, July 24, 1997
Not satisfied with the president you have? Here's Harrison Ford's James Marshall in Air Force One -- Vietnam war hero, straight as a ramrod,... More>>
Waltz on the Wild Side
In Shall We Dance?, a midlife crisis resolves itself in the ballroom
, July 17, 1997
At first glance, the new Japanese comedy Shall We Dance? appears to be an Asian remake of the Australian hit Strictly Ballroom -- but, in fact,... More>>
Shtick-Up
Robbins and Lawrence make something out of Nothing
, July 17, 1997
What must those poor guys in Insane Clown Posse be thinking? After all, the sad white rap act only made a record that included profanity, and... More>>
Family Reunion
The Van joy rides through an ordinary life
, July 10, 1997
The Van is being billed as "the final chapter in the Barrytown Trilogy," Irish author Roddy Doyle's group of novels set in a fictional north... More>>
To Coldly Go
Contact is more like a close encounter of the turgid kind
, July 10, 1997
A lot of ink has been shed in the press lately about the "seriousness" of the new Robert Zemeckis film Contact, starring Jodie Foster as an... More>>
Galactic Mediocrity
Men in Black thinks small and tries too hard
, July 03, 1997
One speech and one prop from Men in Black combine to sum up the movie. An alien in four-legged Earthly form delivers the speech: "You humans,... More>>
Hit and Myth
Hercules fritters away its strengths
, July 03, 1997
Slapstick decadence is the dominant style at the Disney studios this summer, reaching all the way from Touchstone Pictures' action hit Con Air to... More>>
A Gay Question
When is a movie about two women in love not "lesbian" enough?
, July 03, 1997
Dallas screenwriter Gretchen Dyer fully expected that some heterosexuals would resist the plot of her debut feature Late Bloomers. The film,... More>>
Twin Towers
Travolta and Cage make Face/Off more than skin-deep
, June 26, 1997
The title of John Woo's Face/Off is meant to be taken literally. John Travolta and Nicolas Cage play adversaries who swap faces. Here's how: FBI... More>>
Batman on Ice
Director Joel Schumacher, not Mr. Freeze, kills the Dark Knight
, June 26, 1997
Bring earplugs to Batman & Robin. A pair of noseplugs wouldn't hurt either. The fourth installment in the Batman franchise is one long... More>>
Petty Woman
Wedding smothers the romantic comedy -- by embracing it hard
, June 19, 1997
Nothing against My Best Friend's Wedding, but it's a sign of just how vacuous things have become in Hollywood when folks start getting excited... More>>
Humblebees
In Ulee's Gold, Victor Nunez's sticky-sweet direction lacks sting
, June 19, 1997
To get into a good-lovin' mood before each date, a college housemate of mine croaked along to Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" while blasting it... More>>
The Write Stuff
The Pillow Book successfully mixes calligraphy and sex
, June 12, 1997
Director Peter Greenaway's films are an acquired taste -- quasi-surrealist fare at its most annoying or resplendent, depending on who you're... More>>
Magical
Rough Magic has plenty up its sleeve
, June 12, 1997
In a season of lumbering big-screen circuses, Rough Magic provides a rowdy creative sideshow. It's the kind of haywire high-wire act that... More>>
That Sinking Feeling
Speed 2 runs aground before the ship starts its engine
, June 12, 1997
First, the good news: Unlike most action film sequels, Speed 2: Cruise Control is not a mere retread of the original. Now the bad news: Better it... More>>
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