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Serious as Hell Gladiator.
Deadly somber Gladiator needs every ounce of earnestness to prevent it from lapsing into parody
, May 04, 2000
There is a killing late in Gladiator, Ridley Scott's new heroic epic, and it is one of those wonderfully cathartic extinguishings that make a... More>>
(Stay) Out of Africa I Dreamed of Africa.
The cast can't transcend the overwrought script to this melodrama set in Kenya
, May 04, 2000
Poor Kim Basinger! In her first role since bagging the 1998 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (for L.A. Confidential, the film that... More>>
Literary Pretensions Up at the Villa.
Based on Maugham's novella, Up at the Villa is little more than trash fiction in a nicer locale
, May 04, 2000
The highfalutin soap operas in W. Somerset Maugham's fiction earned him a huge reading public in his day and made him a favorite of movie... More>>
Damsels in Distress The Virgin Suicides.
Five suburban maidens face the music in Sophia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides
, May 04, 2000
Everybody's a princess at one point or another. Rich girls work it from birth to final crack-up. Bourgeois girls play the... More>>
Prehistoric Rock The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.
The Flintstones, ahem, go back in time for prequel. Old cast opts to stay put.
, April 27, 2000
When the previews for The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas debuted, one imagines that the same thought entered everyone's mind: A Flintstones... More>>
Okie Glamour Where the Heart Is.
Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman as poor white folk? It's best not to question the attraction of Where the Heart Is.
, April 27, 2000
You're just going to have to accept that Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd are far too glamorous for the roles they inhabit in Where the Heart Is.... More>>
New Frequency Frequency.
Filmmakers invent a sci-fi subgenre with this unique twist on time-travel flicks
, April 27, 2000
Go get a few grains of salt to accompany these observations of tenable consistency: The movie industry is run by big kids; nifty sci-fi trickery... More>>
Seek Bomb Shelter Deterrence.
Director Rod Lurie's nuclear debate blows up in his face
, April 27, 2000
Rod Lurie's Deterrence is a bush-league foreign policy debate disguised as a movie. There may come a day when Paramount Classics ships every... More>>
Empire's End The Last September.
High drama and spirited romance spice up The Last September
, April 27, 2000
Unless you're iron-willed Margaret Thatcher or some other sort of imperialist nostalgiaphile, it's hard to get choked up these days about the... More>>
Boot Camp U-571.
A pumped-up U-571 recalls Wolfgang Petersen's famous German submarine drama
, April 20, 2000
Why aren't there more submarine movies? It seems like a no-brainer formula for success: claustrophobic setting, invisible enemy whose approach... More>>
Clang! Love & Basketball.
Rookie director fires up a ton of bricks in Love & Basketball
, April 20, 2000
Love & Basketball is divided into four quarters; thank God there's no overtime. The directorial debut from writer Gina Prince-Bythewood, who once... More>>
Do You Want to Know a Secret? Joe Gould's Secret.
Stanley Tucci unravels the mystery behind why New Yorker journalist Joseph Mitchell stopped writing
, April 20, 2000
In the rich mythology of The New Yorker, a periodical renowned for the quality of its writing and the quirks of its writers, no legend carries... More>>
Psychological Warfare American Psycho.
Did he or didn't he? Only the makers of the American Psycho dreamscape know for sure.
, April 13, 2000
It's quite possible that American Psycho is a brilliant movie. It's also quite possible that it's a dreary, obvious chop-'em-up dressed in Alan... More>>
Funny Money Where the Money Is.
Still trying to play the leading man, Newman's best - when he's acting his age
, April 13, 2000
Where the Money Is is the latest attempt at a geezer vehicle -- in this case, for Paul Newman. Despite his unassailable movie star credentials... More>>
28 Days.
Alcoholism undergoes the Sandra Bullock treatment in 28 Days
, April 13, 2000
Rehab, sweet rehab: It's the last resort of the alcoholic, the drug addict and the would-be suicide. Free room and board, lots of tender loving... More>>
Boy Meets Goy Keeping the Faith.
So, there's a rabbi and a priest... wait, maybe you've heard this one...
, April 13, 2000
Like some pilot for a new ABC series titled Two Guys, a Girl and a Synagogue, Keeping the Faith is a banal sitcom masquerading as religious... More>>
The World (Fest) Is Not Enough Film Festival ReviewsDownload the film schedule here
In its 33rd year -- or is it the 22nd? the Houston International Film Festival still barely registers with the people it's suppose to serve
, April 06, 2000
J. Hunter Todd still winces when he remembers an all-too-typical episode from last year's edition of his WorldFest/Houston International Film... More>>
International Film Festival 2000 International Film Festival 2000
Film Reviews
, April 06, 2000
Editor's note: Not all of WorldFest/Houston's films were available for screening prior to the opening of the festival. Below is a complete list... More>>
Heart Condition Return to Me
Minnie Driver has a problem with her ticker - and with the cinematography - in the awful Return to Me
, April 06, 2000
What's your pick for the most ridiculous movie ever made? The Conqueror, starring John Wayne as Mongol emperor Ghengis Khan? How about The... More>>
Mixmaster Black and White.
Director James Toback crosses racial, gender and class lines in the gracefully gritty Black and White
, April 06, 2000
Beats, please: Claudia Schiffer, Claudia Schiffer / makes a fellow want to lean in close and sniff her. / Putting up a gender fight in Black and... More>>
There's Something About Mary Cotton Mary.
Ismail Merchant probes the psychological underbelly of postcolonial India
, April 06, 2000
Merchant/Ivory Productions has long been America's quintessential purveyor of classy "literary" films. At its best, the team of director James... More>>
Road to El Bathhouse The Road to El Dorado.
Animated film puts a gay spin on the old Hope-Crosby comedies
, March 30, 2000
From its opening moments, The Road to El Dorado looks and sounds oddly out of time, as though it were removed only yesterday from a time capsule... More>>
Boneheaded The Skulls.
If it only had a brain: The Skulls struggles to form an original thought
, March 30, 2000
Not so long ago The Skulls would have starred Tom Cruise -- but in which role? He could have been either lead; the one he didn't choose could... More>>
Price of Glory
Like father, like son, only better, in the insidiously likable Price of Glory
, March 30, 2000
In the opening scenes of Price of Glory, set in the late '70s, a young prizefighter named Arturo Ortega (Jimmy Smits) loses a career-making bout.... More>>
Dead Man Walking Waking the Dead.
Minus his female soul mate, a young politician loses his spiritual way
, March 23, 2000
O sweet vulture of love! Picking through the bones and sinew of doe-eyed fools the world around! How exquisite is thy rending, how blissful the... More>>
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