Friday, December 3 1999
Even though Sean Penn brings a phenomenally hysterical freshness to Emmett Ray (and he played a similarly mustachioed maniac in Hurly Burly, without the artistic genius), Sweet and Lowdown is familiar ground for Woody Allen, replete with his usual themes.
Friday, October 29 1999
The new movie Being John Malkovich is about celebrity culture, as it inspires, frustrates and pummels you into such desire. It offers its protagonists and you the chance to imagine being a celebrity, with one small hitch: the only celebrity you can be is John Malkovich.
Thursday, October 14 1999
Does capitalism have you by the balls? If you're feeling a little limp lately, a little flaccid, emasculated, or impotent, then David Fincher's Fight Club may just have your number. This film kicks butt, and in doing so it also manages to suggest that your need for it and for other butt-kicking films is a late capitalist symptom of contemporary psychosis.
Sunday, January 1 1995
I confess to feeling a certain dread when I first heard that Ethan ('I have this planet of regret') Hawke was starring in Michael Almereyda's updated-and-abbreviated Hamlet.
Newly married and deeply in love, the couple is known for their 'modern ideas', which means -- in the film's rather simplistic terms -- that they are willing to look beyond a man's deed and into his character. It also means that they make love often, curtains billowing in the background.
Rear Window's theatrical rerelease is, among other things, a showcase for mainstream moviedom's emergent special effects technologies.
Daniel Johnston's extensive self-documentation is sometimes eerie, as The Devil and Daniel Johnston has an abundance of material from which to cull its storyline.
Zoolander's parody of the fashion industry is a pretty pointless endeavor, for the simple fact that ultimately, it parodies itself.
Y Tu Mamá También is all about how we shape the details of living, despite and because of this risk.
With 'Yi Yi', Edward Yang accomplishes what so few films (U.S.-made, in particular) even strive to do: present an earnest depiction of familial relations.
In fact, when Terry describes Scottsville as a town full of 'dull, narrow people... with no perspective, no scope,' he might have been describing the film's characters.
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.