Wednesday, December 17, 1997

Amistad

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Impassioned in its viewpoint and clinical in its execution, Amistad exists in large part to shed light on a heretofore little-known incident from American history. In 1839 -- 31 years after the importation of slaves was outlawed in the still-new United States of America and eight years after Nat...

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Amistad

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 1997 at 12:00 AM

If Steven Spielberg's Amistad is true, then history is a whore that will sleep with anybody, provided that you never tell anyone the truth. Amistad is a film that swings wildly from unflinching historical accuracy to disastrous melodramatic hyperbole. The film is so uneven it's as if all those...

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Home Alone 3

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Never underestimate the tenacity of Hollywood. It seemed almost certain that with Macaulay Culkin all grown-up and off to rehab, the Home Alone series was destined to become a throwaway line in some hipster geek's production about pop culture-obsessed crooks. Wrong. Installment 3 is upon us and the snickers...

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Scream 2

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 1997 at 12:00 AM

By now, almost every horror fan knows that Scream 2 is the newest part of a trilogy, so certain pretensions can go flying in reviewing this installment. Also because director Wes Craven rocks the suspense thriller here for every kick it's worth and then some. Craven and his screenwriter...

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Wednesday, December 10, 1997

The Truce

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 1997 at 12:00 AM

The focus of the second annual Italian Film Festival/Great Lakes (at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor today-Saturday) is writer and director Francesco Rosi, whose films serve as a bridge between 1940s neorealism and contemporary Italian cinema. Eleven of Rosi's films will be shown during the festival, including his...

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The Big Sleep

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 1997 at 12:00 AM

It's generally agreed that director Howard Hawks' 1946 classic film noir The Big Sleep is one of the toughest detective films ever made, but not in the brass-knuckles sense. Its steely intransigence derives from the fact that no matter how many times you watch it, you're never quite sure...

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Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 1997 at 12:00 AM

The road to bad films is often paved with good hype. None so much as those coming out of that promised land called Sundance (as in the film festival). Just as the fashion biz infuses the nebulous concept of "street" with strategic cachet, the entertainment world loves to use...

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Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 1997 at 12:00 AM

John Berendt's nonfiction best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil portrays Savannah, Ga., as a lovely, gracious and self-absorbed town with a dual personality: a rigidly traditional, ritual-oriented high society; and a cloaked subculture of hustlers, cross-dressers and voodoo practitioners. Their common bond is a love...

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Flubber

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 1997 at 12:00 AM

For the Walt Disney Co., nostalgia is a valuable commodity, and it expertly maintains and regularly recycles its tried-and-true stable of films, television shows and popular cartoon characters. But instead of just releasing its older films on video, Disney raids its vault for material to rework. It recently did...

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Project Grizzly

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Has Don Quixote been reincarnated as a Canadian? The National Film Board of Canada seems to think so. In the past year alone, it has produced two films about gentlemen from northern Ontario engaged in expensive, inexplicably dangerous hobbies that speak as much of their devotion to a dream...

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