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Reviews

Sunday, January 1 1995

Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

American consumers need to get on with the slam-bang business of (mediated) life.


Beautiful People (1999)

In language, the gulf between seeing and knowing gapes. The phlegmatic British attempts to be polite and their ardent struggle to keep conversation going, however meaningless its content, become a powerful vehicle for both the pusillanimity of language and the soothing power of its white noise.


Brotherhood of the Wolf (2002)

The Beast makes the systemic abuses of the time literal, as well as sensational and legendary.


Before Night Falls (2000)

A faithful filmic adaptation of Arenas' memoir could easily take six hours and still not capture the full impact of the book. Painter-turned-director Julian Schnabel ('Basquiat') consciously diverges from the traditional school of literary adaptation.


Bubble Boy (2001)

PULL.


Bounce (2000)

Bounce is straight in the sense that it stars Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow, and does not include Opposite of Sex-style bitchiness, much less wily jokes about masturbation, Hollywood morality, and the Planet Maturia.


Blow (2001)

Hey, it doesn't hurt that Johnny Depp makes a leisure suit look good.


Blood Simple, The Directors’ Cut (1984/2000)

Though shot on a shoestring budget by first-time feature filmmakers, the movie encapsulates all that has come to typify the Coen brothers' style: engaging narrative, inventive direction, and the juxtaposition of grim violence with moments of sublime, sometimes surreal, human behavior.


Bait (2000)

The film's most effective balancing act comes in the form of Foxx's terrific performance: throughout, he's quirky, subtle, and thankfully able to keep up with the movie's lurching tone-and-genre shifts, from comedy to action to almost-arty to melodrama.


Bless the Child (2000)

Cody's special in a very particular way -- in a second-coming kind of way -- which, in movie-logic, makes her the prime target for a slew of Satan's minions.


Black and White (2000)

'I'm a kid in America, I can do whatever I want.' Jutting her chin at the camera, New York City high schooler Charlie (Bijou Phillips) mouths off to her stuffy-suit dad, who's been pestering her about where she goes after school.


Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000)

'There are some naysayers,' one Blair Witch fanatic enthuses, 'who come and they say nay.' Not the sharpest wooden stake in the breastbone, this guy.


But I’m a Cheerleader (2000)

The cultural systems that condone more subtle forms of homophobia are left unexamined. This allows viewers to forget the important fact that homophobia and strict either-or gendering practices do prevail in today's 'civilized' cultures, liberal and tolerant as they may seem to those who don't have to worry about such things.


Bicentennial Man (1999)

Robots: we either love 'em or hate 'em. Movies have given us friendly Star Wars droids like R2-D2 and C-3PO and sadistic mechanical henchmen like Maximilian in The Black Hole. Science fiction television has shown both Buck Rogers' loyal sidekick Twiggy and the destructive Cylons of Battlestar Galactica.


Beowulf (1999)

Beowulf saves the girl and carries her to the stronghold, where she immediately breaks away again and allows herself to be killed. Evidently there's 'something' inside the castle worse than death -- the rest of the movie.


Billy Elliot (2000)

Behind a triumphant tale of self-discovery is a subtext of anxiety that ultimately enhances what might have been a pretty ordinary film.


Better Than Sex (2000)

PULL.


The Beach (2000)

“Innocence never lasts forever.” This is the tagline for The Beach, the expensive and highly touted occasion for Leo’s long-awaited return to the big


But I’m a Cheerleader (2000)

Though behaving like proper girls and boys has little effect on Megan and the other patients, they still pretend that they are actually heading down the path to heterosexuality.


A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Interestingly, in one of 'A.I.''s inconsistencies, we are shown a society obsessive about controlling consumption and the conservation of resources, which nevertheless is still steadfastly consumer-driven: the answer to all our problems can be found in the perfect product, in this case a robotic child.


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