Wednesday, November 25, 1998

Ringmaster

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 1998 at 12:00 AM

To watch the Jerry Springer movie when you're not a Jerry Springer fan is an exhausting and humbling experience. Quiet in the middle of an unleashed crowd chanting Springer's name with a fury reminiscent of the battle cry in Lord of the Flies, you feel like the last reader...

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A Merry War

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 1998 at 12:00 AM

In Britain, A Merry War was released as Keep the Aspidistra Flying, which is also the name of the 1936 George Orwell novel from which it was adapted. The name change is both understandable -- few Americans would know that an aspidistra is a sturdy little plant which Orwell latched...

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Enemy of the State

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 1998 at 12:00 AM

An innocent camera records the crime. Successive frame enlargements reveal the criminal. The scene -- of decoding through enlargement -- brings back memories of similar incidents: the dead body discovered by the carefree photographer in Blow-Up; the replicant's reflection in the mirror projected on the solitary and obedient screens of...

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The Cruise

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 1998 at 12:00 AM

New York City tour guide Timothy "Speed" Levitch wants to change not only the way you see Manhattan, but how you look at the world. At least that's the impression left by director Bennett Miller's idiosyncratic The Cruise. The short (76 minutes) documentary is all Levitch all the time, which...

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Elizabeth

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Elizabeth is a lavish historical epic about personal transformation, showing the metamorphosis of a headstrong princess into the ruthlessly efficient national icon, Elizabeth I. Screenwriter Michael Hirst pits the personal squarely against the political as he chronicles Elizabeth's ascension and eventual consolidation of power. Looking back 340 years -- through...

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Wednesday, November 18, 1998

Being there

A good look around the weird world.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Remember Rod Serling's line, from the old "Twilight Zone." "Imagine, if you will ...," he'd say, walking onto the set each week to introduce some weirdness or other. Well, imagine -- if you will -- the average, increasingly overweight American, commuting to work on the interstate, alone, in a...

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Meet Joe Black

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 1998 at 12:00 AM

What's more of a fantasy: that supremely wealthy, control freak, media mogul Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) can reach retirement age beloved by everyone he's ever met, or that the dreaded duo of death and taxes can be embodied in a package as glowingly attractive as Brad Pitt? Actually, the...

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American History X

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 1998 at 12:00 AM

American History X is a movie at war with itself, and not just because of the very public dispute between New Line Cinema and British director Tony Kaye, who claims the studio re-edited his work into something unrecognizable. The real battle is within the narrative itself. American History X...

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Western

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director Manuel Poirier's Western isn't a western but an amiable combination of road movie and buddy movie, its perambulating pair wandering around Brittany, which is on the western coast of France. This character comedy, laid-back and low-keyed, has a slight narrative momentum nudged along by the antic behavior of...

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I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 1998 at 12:00 AM

The trailer ends with a therapy session. "You can't change the past," whispers the psychiatrist. "You can't change the past," repeats Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), facing her reflection in the mirror. "What's done is done," she takes a deep breath and looks sad, as she will throughout the movie...

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