Sunday, January 1 1995
The first scene in 'Exit Wounds' shows Boyd (Steven Seagal) arriving to a speech on handgun control given by the Vice President. He arrives late to the speech, cueing the audience -- and his superiors -- to his renegade spirit.
Wigs. Ideally, they can change everything: your appearance, your self-image, your imagined possibilities, your identity. In the movies, wigs can also effect change, but at the same time, they carry moral meanings, they can suggest artifice and disguise, dashed dreams and pathologies.
There are a lot of things to like about 'The Emperor's New Groove', and one of the most compelling is the fact that the lead character, the teenaged Emperor Kuzco (voiced by David Spade) is largely unlikable.
Hollywood's most recent millennial offering is End of Days, the latest in a long line of apocalyptic visions that have seen the planet threatened by the likes of aliens, asteroids, tidal waves, even bats.
It feels like a chain industry has bought up a neighborhood institution. It's inevitable, but it is also, like the mall that looms so prominently in Evolution's imaginative realm, routine and uninspired.
This is Enemy at the Gates's most elegant theme, one that its often heavy-handed melodrama almost but not quite diminishes: that to be observed is to die, but to be invisible and quiet as the dead may allow you to survive.
For all their superficial differences, the women are actually surprisingly homogenous, in attitude as well as their intellectual and emotional void, and in their collective role as the 'exotic other.'"
As this minimal plot summary suggests, 'Exit Wounds' is full of cliches that it displays proudly. It is what it is -- a Steven Seagal formula flick dressed up so a hip-hop-martial arts crowd might appreciate it, and even tolerate Seagal.
When I was watching her host the PTL Club in the early 1980's, I always thought of her more as an entertaining oddity -- a bizarre cross between a country singer, a drag queen, and Elmer Gantry.
For a film that concerns itself with the increasing complexity of hyper-evolutionary organisms, 'Evolution' is decidedly simplistic and one-dimensional.
The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen is really The Version That We Would Never Have Let You See If We Didn't Need New Material For DVD.
Do you ever wonder what Arnold thinks about himself? Is he proud of his lunkhead-robot self-image? Is he aware of how demented he looks when he smiles on a wide screen? Does he ever fret that people - even his fans - see him as a guy version of the dumb blond, rippled and well-posed?"
Never trust a film which has been included in the dubious category of 'Best Foreign Film' in the Oscar sweepstakes. Usually European and usually directed by well-positioned, older, Caucasian men, such films almost invariably evoke historical epochs and collective patriotic memory.
This is a diary of hate, reads Maurice Bendrix (Ralph Fiennes) aloud as he simultaneously types these same words onto a page. Contrary to what you might expect following such a declaration, however, there is no violent emotion displayed in this introductory scene; no screaming, no violence, no melodrama.
The Emperor and the Assassin, the latest film from Chinese director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) is another wonderful-looking period film, with an epic budget and running time, and a sizable cast of historical (and fictional) figures.
High school sucks. While this is currently a headlines-worthy observation, movies about high school have been underscoring it for years. From Blackboard Jungle, Carrie, Jawbreaker, and Heathers, to Cooley High, Scream, The Ice Storm, and Never Been Kissed, the point is the same: in high school, you spend way too much time worrying about cliques, grades, popularity, and sex.
On its surface, Neil Jordan's film of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is about love. In particular, it appears to be about heterosexual love, or maybe the similarities and disjunctions between spiritual and physical manifestations of such love.
'Dancer in the Dark', for all its fantastical musical excursions and all its tear-jerkiness nevertheless brings home the sobering reminder that justice does not always prevail.