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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>>
Non-Negotiable
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 II¸ ("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>>
Cultural Front
Smoke Signals laughs and cries Native-American style
, July 09, 1998
Smoke Signals is a rare drama about modern life on an Indian reservation that, unlike Hollywood fare such as Dances with Wolves, has been written... More>>
Saharan Stunner
Like its leopard, the sleek and evocative Passion prowls the senses
, July 09, 1998
The winds that sweep across the Sahara kick up ferocious sandstorms. Dunes change shape by the hour, flying particles blind the eye, and all... More>>
Career High
Sheedy shines in the pansexual angst of High Art
, July 02, 1998
High Art is a low-budget American independent movie about a junkie lesbian photographer, Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy), who spends most of her time... More>>
All Climax
Feeling is forgotten in hard-sell Armageddon
, July 02, 1998
Michael Bay is the director of Bad Boys and The Rock and the new asteroid-attack movie Armageddon -- which should be called The Very Big Rock. He... More>>
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