Sunday, January 1 1995
In 'The Yards', Mark Wahlberg again plays an emotionally damaged young tough, but this time his entire environment is orchestrated to reflect that character, dark, sad, and heavy with non-options.
Boys and girls are dressed alike, singing in unison, sitting rapt before a movie screen that shows glorious war footage, the triumph of good over evil. These early images in Joan Chen's debut feature, Xiu Xiu, the Sent Down Girl, set the scene i
X's whole theology -- to the extent it can be deciphered -- is airlessly pessimistic.
Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito are doing that non-mating mating dance that buddy characters tend to do, with too much spastic energy and not nearly enough inspiration.
Waking the Dead opens with a television image. In 1974, young Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) is watching the news, when he sees that his girlfriend Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) has been killed in a car bomb explosion (reportedly engineered by 'terrorists,' that all-purpose contemporary cultural monster).
Hey there. If you find yourself pushing on past middle age and wondering why all your potential has only gotten you just where you are and not one iota farther, then Curtis Hanson's new film Wonder Boys may be your sunset tonic.
All of these elements combine to create a contemporary fairy tale where the purpose is not only to invoke a nostalgia for the warmth and simplicity of childhood or perhaps the soothing powers of food, but also to address, however whimsically, sex and gender politics.
The Wedding Planner's many compromises between eras, between genres, between color palettes -- never really take you anywhere, except, perhaps, a place where everything has turned kind of beige.
Soon enough, they're locked in an opposites-attract sort of love affair, translated to a few scenes in which she behaves wildly in public and he discovers wild sex. Who knew this wussy guy was such a tiger in the sack?">
Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys is very much concerned with the boys its title declares (or, rather, with a certain sort of boyish behavior). More to the point, it actually seems to wonder, as we do and as the characters do, what is to be done with them.
Throughout Waking Life, the pictures rarely, if ever, stop moving, flowing, breathing -- attention has been paid to the animated environments, not just the characters in the foreground.
Penelope Cruz is as radiant a rising star as you're likely to see in this lifetime, sensuous and dewy-new-seeming.