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Wednesday, July 29, 1998

Mafia!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 1998 at 12:00 AM

It's always sad when a good actor bites the dust. Even sadder is when his swan song turns out to be a stinker. At least Lloyd Bridges didn't live to suffer through a final indignity at the hands of Jim Abrahams, collaborator on previous cavalcades of slapstick and sight...

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Pi

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 1998 at 12:00 AM

In one of his hallucinatory, migraine-induced visions, Maximillian Cohen (Sean Gullette) pokes a ballpoint pen into a throbbing human brain. The tension expressed in that moment -- where a utilitarian utensil breaks through the protective layer and touches the infinite, mysterious expanses of the mind -- ideally encapsulates the...

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Saving Private Ryan

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 1998 at 12:00 AM

The opening half hour of the latest "important" film from director Steven Spielberg (an Amistad as opposed to a Lost World) perfectly sums up the powerful brutality and cheap sentimentality that are, equally, Saving Private Ryan. After solemn credits driven by mournful, military-style horns, Spielberg shows a translucent American...

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Disturbing Behavior

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Hats off to Wes Craven for warning us. His Wes Craven's New Nightmare served as a cheeky throwing in of the towel for the gifted schlockmeister, a good-natured admission that he had done all he could do in the horror department without cracking a giggle. The mine was all...

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Wednesday, July 22, 1998

The Mask of Zorro

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 1998 at 12:00 AM

In the middle of a particularly stale summer movie season, The Mask of Zorro arrives like a blast of fresh air, a welcome reminder that Hollywood can still produce a mainstream entertainment that invigorates instead of suffocates. And this action hero doesn't even need a gun. The character Zorro,...

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Polish Wedding

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 1998 at 12:00 AM

There's no wedding in Polish Wedding, but that's the least of its troubles. Written and directed by Detroit native Theresa Connelly, and filmed entirely in Hamtramck and nearby neighborhoods, Polish Wedding has a distinct sense of place and two strong central performances from the talented Gabriel Byrne and Lena...

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Buffalo '66

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Vincent Gallo is a natural-born iconoclast, an actor-artist-musician-model whose primary role is that of a cultural and aesthetic agent provocateur. Since he functions as this film's writer, director, composer and star, it's easy to state that Buffalo '66 is resoundingly his. But Gallo manages to go deeper than that:...

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Small Soldiers

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Just as Steven Spielberg could not have made Saving Private Ryan without Platoon, Joe Dante could not have made Small Soldiers without Toy Story. Vietnam and its subsequent treasure trove of graphic, cinematic mayhem proved that the Duke was dead and, with him, the jingoistic and largely bloodless heroism...

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Wednesday, July 15, 1998

Madeline

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Madeline is further evidence of girl power. Not the preening hyperbole of the Spice Girls, but the real power inside brave, intelligent, creative girls like Madeline, the central character of six books written by Ludwig Bemelmans. Since the first book appeared in 1939, generations of women have grown up...

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There's Something About Mary

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 1998 at 12:00 AM

What is it about Mary Jenson (Cameron Diaz) that turns seemingly ordinary men into obsessed stalkers? After all, Mary's smart, funny, compassionate and, of course, distractingly beautiful. She seems to have everything, so why can't she meet a decent guy? On one level, There's Something About Mary is a...

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