Movie Reviews

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The Sound of Silents
Rice's festival of non-talkies shows that silence can be golden
, June 09, 1994
Middle-aged Americans such as myself likely got their first taste of silent films by watching the '60s television program Fractured Flickers. For... More>>
Yee-haw City
The Cowboy Way takes a fun ride through New York
, June 02, 1994
What's with all these summertime Westerns? The cheesy Maverick and the stilted Even Cowgirls Get the Blues have already tumbled into town, while... More>>
The Mild, Mild West
Maverick proves harmless -- and charmless
, June 02, 1994
If awards were given on the basis of inoffensiveness, Maverick's would fill a trophy case. Who could get mad at the sight of Mel Gibson mugging... More>>
Widows' Wonderland
, June 02, 1994
With exceptions that I can count on one hand, the movies I've seen since the end of last year's strong summer have been numbingly bad. Even... More>>
Travels with Charlie
, May 26, 1994
The recent short films of River Oaks native Alex Georges have been a mixed bag. A Bit of Chartreuse was a small, very stylish black comedy, while... More>>
Murder Most Fine
A tasty noir treat is rescued from the video heap
, May 26, 1994
Film noir might soon experience a renaissance, thanks to John Dahl, one of the most exciting American directors to come along in years. His... More>>
Shopping for Buddhas
Bertolucci returns from the East with a handful of nothing
, May 26, 1994
Bernardo Bertolucci's career has been a crashing disappointment for so long that I've sworn off getting excited by the presence of his... More>>
The Perils of Being Human
Bill Forsyth stumbles on the road to profundity
, May 19, 1994
Bill Forsyth has never made a bad movie. Until now. Being Human, the writer/director's mostly flat and lifeless look at what he thinks being... More>>
City Life, Family Strife
Spike Lee returns to old haunts, and old ways, in Crooklyn
, May 19, 1994
What is it about movies that causes them, or at least their essential ideas, to so often appear in matched sets? Until a few weeks ago, I had... More>>
The Color of Freedom
Blue examines what it means to be truly on your own
, May 12, 1994
At first blush, Blue sounds terribly over-conceptualized. Most ominous is that this is the first in a movie trilogy by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof... More>>
Great Escapism
In Hong Kong, films are frantic fun
, May 12, 1994
With the approach of 1997 -- the year that control of Hong Kong will turn over to China -- and with the success of John Woo's films, including... More>>
Drunk, But Not Disorderly
Meg Ryan battles the curse of cuteness
, May 12, 1994
How realistic a portrait of substance abuse can a movie give when it features perky beauty Meg Ryan playing an alcoholic? That's the question... More>>
Polanski's Passion
Roman returns with a sexy, stylish thriller
, May 05, 1994
The opening-credit sequence: ocean waves undulating behind a luxury liner's porthole while the camera slowly pulls in and out of the circular... More>>
Union Blues
Claude Berri traps himself in a coal mine
, May 05, 1994
When I heard that director Claude Berri was filming the Zola novel Germinal, I didn't know whether to consider him courageous or crazy. Adapting... More>>
The Second-Movie Itch
Two black filmmakers try new territories, with mixed results
, May 05, 1994
When filmmaker Mario Van Peebles spoke at Texas Southern University last fall, he emphasized the problem of black filmmakers' "second movie" --... More>>
Playing by the Numbers
From the French, more music, more affairs -- the usual
, April 28, 1994
The scope of French film has certainly narrowed in recent years. If a movie is Gallic, odds are that it deals with the problems of making art,... More>>
Crazy Child
Martin Lawrence has a mean mouth, but a mild mind
, April 28, 1994
Attending a 9:30 a.m. screening of the concert movie You So Crazy sounded like the downside of film reviewing. Citizens normally have little... More>>
Despite its Oscar,
Fernando Trueba's new film isn't a prizewinner
, April 21, 1994
Belle Epoque arrives on the wings of its recent Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The voters were apparently in a playful mood, as they chose... More>>
Manners To Die For
, April 21, 1994
At first blush, Serial Mom appears to mark a departure for John Waters. This time his lead actress is Kathleen Turner, rather than the mighty... More>>
WorldFest's World View
Hunter Todd returns with a slimmed-down film festival
, April 14, 1994
After taking his show on the road -- specifically, to Charleston, South Carolina -- for a film festival last fall, Hunter Todd will, on April 15,... More>>
American Potluck
At WorldFest, variety doesn't always prove spicy
, April 14, 1994
If there's anything that binds the American films presented at this year's WorldFest, it's that they offer derivative pleasures. There is no... More>>
Falling Stars
The Taviani brothers face their own family curse
, April 07, 1994
There was a time when the Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, were regarded as standard-bearers for Italian film. Their 1981 movie The Night of... More>>
Hollywood Lives, Hollywood Lies
Barry Levinson takes a loopy look at the realities of Tinsel Town
, April 07, 1994
Barry Levinson's 1992 fantasy Toys was an interesting flop. Who would have thought that the man who directed Bugsy, The Natural and Rain Man; who... More>>
New Wave AIDS
In the French Savage Nights, HIV provides the catalyst for a fierce, complex love story
, March 31, 1994
Savage Nights dominated last year's Cesars, the French equivalent of the Oscars. But it could scarcely be more different from Hollywood's... More>>
Cultivating a Career
River Oaks native Alex Georges crosses his fingers and hopes for a chance at the movies
, March 31, 1994
Houston filmmaker Alex Georges wasn't hard to pick out of the crowd of cinephiles entering Austin's venerable Dobie Theater last Monday. The... More>>
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