Sunday, January 1 1995
Robert Zemeckis's Contact (1997) is without a doubt the finest movie in recent memory to deal with the question of what might be happening to all those rays of media dreck - TV shows, radio programs, and the like - we've been beaming higgledy-piggledy through the cosmos for the last century. Galaxy Quest is almost as certainly the second-finest such recent film, but come to think of it, I can't really recall a third, offhand, so I suppose this might constitute a less-than-ringing endorsement.
This is a playful film that does not ask the viewer for sustained reflection, but rather, to take delight in the images on the screen. Hey, I've always been a sucker for those Robert Doisneau pictures.
It's not news to anyone that Steven King screen adaptations get tossed into two categories: absolute crap (Maximum Overdrive, Cujo, Pet Cemetery, et. al.) and important American cinema (Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Frank Darabont's previous King adaptation, The Shawshank Redemption).
It is clear about what it is, a study of affect that is also affected.
Sam Raimi's new scary movie isn't nearly scary enough.
'The Glass House' can't manage its own metaphors, and ends up tripping all over itself in order to give them a coherent context.
Karyn Kusama's debut feature takes you along this road with Diana slowly and carefully, showing you her body, her character, her hope, her possibility -- as she builds it, with bruises and setbacks along the way.
For all of Godzilla 2000's noisy, confused symbolism, its central message is as clear and simple as it was when the series first got underway: what's inside can kill.
The real subject is the street, or rather, the street as a cultural concept, simultaneously brutal and beautiful.
The invasion is not from without, per se, but from, and, as Ripley noted so insightfully in 'Alien 3', 'It's a metaphor.' And when 'Final Fantasy' pauses to engage this question, most notably in Aki's dreams, it's onto something.
The Canadian-based filmmaker Atom Egoyan has taken a different approach to the serial killer in his new film, Felicia's Journey. There's not much here that you would call sensational, no decapitated corpses, no flayed flesh, no nymphets taking ominous phone calls. Rather, the movie follows two characters, neither particularly introspective or self-aware, and both feeling nostalgia for what never was.
Everything about Final Destination probably looks demented, if not downright silly. If you've seen the trailers playing for a couple of weeks now on youth-oriented TV, you will have seen the lame plot (a kid keeps his friends off a plane flight doomed to explode), ooky wind and thunder effects, the sweaty-faced and way too pale teens, and most effectively, Tony Todd's ominous rasp, 'You can't cheat death!'"
Given Frequency's premise -- a son talks to his father who's been dead for 30 years via the old family HAM radio -- I didn't have much hope that the film would be good.
Every woman in '15 Minutes' is a function of the film's overriding theme, that tabloid culture is all about getting a rise out of otherwise cynical cops and villains, reporters and viewers.
'From Hell' is the story of a disturbed man on the trail of a madman -- an exploration of the minds of killer and the man sent to stop him.
For all the havoc the adults wreak on one another, the film's most harrowing moments concern the child. "
It's hardly a new idea to call vampirism a virus. Nor is it original to portray it as a spiritual scourge, a youthful disorder, or even a politically charged plague.
If director Julien Temple had chosen to explore the implications of his opening sequence, he might well have produced a film about punk as a movement instead of a rockumentary about a particular band.