Sunday, January 1 1995
ound dogs baying, wildflowers bending to the wind, angry white men in shirt-sleeves carrying shotguns, a swatch of cloth clinging to a tree branch. The details are all a little too familiar. You know you're looking at yet another recreation of the scary Old American South, specifically, you're looking at the set up for a lynching. This first scene of Frank Darabont's The Green Mile...
The film's depiction of an ecstatic New York City might be its only strength.
Adam (Nick Nolte) is introduced on screen with the title, 'America's First Billionaire' (this is the level of overstatement to which the film resorts repeatedly, not trusting its audience to follow even the simplest plot points).
Sixties rock and roll festivals -- given their large crowds of people, lack of sanitary facilities, bad drugs, and shortages of food and water -- were catastrophes waiting to happen. People get angry when they're uncomfortable or feel ripped off.
While 'Goya in Bordeaux' should be applauded for breaking from the stale conventions of narrative and image in cinematic biography, it does so in a manner that garbles meaning and smacks of 'art for art's sake.'"
The title character in The General's Daughter is dead. The image gets your attention. It's grotesque and horrifying. And it's recalled several times in the film, verbally and visually, to impress on you the threat that it supposedly poses for military, moral, sexual, and aesthetic orders.
In the guise of a spoof of Star Trek, Dean Parisot's cheesy and pleasurable Galaxy Quest delves deeply into the social relation known as fandom. What, the film seems to ask, is a fan?"
In 'Ghosts of Mars', Desolation is a perfect candidate to ensure the human-humans' survival: not only is he the resilient and brilliant Ice Cube, but he is also the consummate delinquent champion.
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.