Sunday, January 1 1995
Messy, outrageous, and mostly brilliant, 'Bamboozled' is bound to make trouble. And I can't think of a more important trouble to make.
You might love a film about unspeakably wealthy whiteboy stock traders that opens by quoting Biggie Smalls. Then again, you might hate it. The citation is surely reverent, but it also reveals a certain confusion concerning early Biggie rhymes, and maybe hip-hop in general.
In her diary, Bridget Jones is a star.
Facing his boys on the basketball court, where they go to sweat, score, and hash out their 'stuff', Terry (Shemar Moore) argues -- none too convincingly -- that his settling down is a sign of his maturity. The others are unconvinced. And so they go on to talk about it. A lot.
... examines the threat science poses to organized religion.
In lieu of making a strong pro-labor statement, 'Bootmen' focuses on asserting that these dancers are not pansies.
Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is the anti-hunk, the inverse of the pectorally endowed fighting machines typified by Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
A Beautiful Mind idealizes mental illness as spectacle, a feel-good gladiatorial games of the psyche where the human spirits always triumphs and love always blooms.
Now this is a surprise: Bring It On is, at some not-quite-invisible sublevel, about white thievery of black cultural forms and content.
As the Blair Witch has her way with the group one by one, 'BW2' turns partly cheesy and nonsensical like a slasher film and partly, like 'BW1', emotional and visceral, with disquieting depictions of grisly violence.
'Who are these guys?' a voice asks, as the screen is filled with successive images of men, some bloody and all wearing tights, beating one another senseless.
As the charismatic protagonist in Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, Brandon embodies the ongoing dilemma of masculine identity. This dilemma is exacerbated by the fact that, when you see him riding that pickup truck, some fifteen minutes into the film, you already know that 18-year-old Brandon's efforts to act like a boy are complicated by the fact that he is, biologically speaking, a girl, born Teena Brandon.
Jose Luis Cuerda's film, Butterfly, mourns the Spain destroyed by civil conflict by remembering it through the enchanted eyes of a small boy.
High school movies tend to end with graduation. It's at the prom that the primary couple finally achieves their much-anticipated clinch (with camera circling and trendy pop song resounding) while their adversaries - treacherous teachers, jealous fellow students, ridiculous parents - back off or smile approvingly, showing that they have indeed learned whatever lessons they're supposed to have learned.
[In 'Bride of the Wind',] Alma agrees to marry Mahler even when he demands that she give up her own piddly composing and adopt his music as 'our music.' This suggests he's a jealous, possessive, and petty fellow, but that is for us to surmise and for her to deal with in later scenes.
The Bone Collector assumes you know the drill, the serial-killer-movie drill. It gives you most everything you need to know during the first four minutes, half of which take up the credits sequence (the credits themselves are, of course, hyper-scratchy and slashy-looking, very post-Seven stylish).
But of course, all this genderfuck is just warm-up for Malcolm/Big Momma's dilemmas when it comes to sex.