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Wednesday, January 27, 1999

The Thief

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director Pavel Chukhrai’s The Thief opens with a young woman, Katya (Ekaterina Rednikova), giving birth on a muddy, country roadside in Russia in 1946. Her husband was killed in the war and now, with her newborn son Sanya (Misha Philipchuk), she must fend for herself in a country which...

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A Simple Plan

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Simplicity is one of the most difficult things to get right, but A Simple Plan demonstrates beautifully how it’s done. Employing a visual style that’s stripped down to the bare essentials, director Sam Raimi sets the stage for a devastating Pandora’s box morality tale of submerged desires.

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Virus

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

We’ve seen it all before: a Russian ghost ship looming ahead; a nightmarish storm; a crippled salvage tug approaching; a crew in desperate need of assistance. For a moment, in the midst of clumsy opening shots and choppy dialogue — as "abandon ship" sounds like a really good idea...

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The Hi-Lo Country

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The strength of The Hi-Lo Country is the way it captures the raw beauty of a particular landscape and an atmosphere of resentful nostalgia as the life of the cowboy drifts from reality to mythology. Set in northeast New Mexico during the 1940s, the film follows the friendship between...

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Playing By Heart

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

In a movie, what does it mean to say "I love you"? It was one thing in the heyday of screwball comedies or two-hanky romances, but today those three little words are just as likely to be loaded with fear or pain as heart-lifting joy. That the newly minted...

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In Dreams

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Claire’s nightmare is always the same: a boy, screaming, chained to his bed — water flooding the streets, pouring into empty staircases, breaking through the windows, settling in his room — the boy’s eyes wide-open, his hands pulling at the chain. His name is Vivian and he was left...

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Wednesday, January 20, 1999

The Theory of Flight

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 1999 at 12:00 AM

For reasons known only to himself, Richard (Kenneth Branagh) has decided that, because he doesn't fully grasp how things fly, he must construct his own small airplane sans instruction manual and test it out above the rolling green hills of England. But as Jane (Helena Bonham Carter), a young...

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The Thin Red Line

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Though it must inevitably be compared to Saving Private Ryan, writer-director Terrence Malick's long-awaited adaptation of James Jones' Pacific war novel has much less in common with Spielberg's apotheosis of the ripping combat yarn than it does with such eccentric and misshapen battle epics as Coppola's Apocalypse Now and...

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Hilary and Jackie

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Hilary and Jackie is a dual biography of two real-life sisters who, although not twins, shared that kind of intense, mysterious bond. The du Pré sisters were both musical; and, as children, Hilary -- the eldest who took their mother's instruction and discipline to heart -- won awards and...

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Central Station

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Central Station harks back to the type of old movie which often starred Wallace Beery with Jackie Cooper or Margaret O'Brien -- the kind where a cranky but essentially lovable cynic's frozen heart is thawed by a hapless and, not incidentally, cute little kid. It's the sort of sentimental...

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