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Wednesday, March 31, 1999

EDtv

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

What happens to someone’s life when you point a camera at it? Two very different movies tackle the same basic question and, in both cases, the motivation for turning an ordinary life into entertainment is desperation. "How many chances do guys like you and I get?" Ray Pekurny (Woody...

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Forces of Nature

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

You know the story: The trailer’s taken care of that, as trailers do these days, careful to reveal every twist in the plot but the ending. The main protagonist of a wild bachelor party whose prize – a feisty stripper – is the cause of his grandfather’s heart attack,...

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20 Dates

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

What happens to someone’s life when you point a camera at it? Two very different movies tackle the same basic question and, in both cases, the motivation for turning an ordinary life into entertainment is desperation. "How many chances do guys like you and I get?" Ray Pekurny (Woody Harrelson)...

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I Stand Alone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The butcher is dangerous. He’s out of work, his wife has left him and his strangely withdrawn daughter has been institutionalized. He’s left Paris and moved to the northern town of Lille, which he sees as a bleak and featureless backwater. He’s taken up with a woman whom he’s...

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Day of the Beast

Posted By on Wed, Mar 31, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Imagine a mix of Luis Buñuel’s tongue-in-cheek blasphemy, Dario Argento’s stylish mayhem and schlockmeister Jess Franco’s what-the-hell inventiveness, and you’ll have some idea of the tone and texture of Spanish writer-director Alex de la Iglesia’s Day of the Beast. The film’s hero is a little Milquetoast of a priest...

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Wednesday, March 24, 1999

First Love, Last Rites

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 12:00 AM

First Love, Last Rites, based on a short story by British writer Ian McEwan, is the sort of film which favors mood and character over narrative. Drifting dreamily with its three principals as they slouch through a hot summer in Southern Louisiana, it’s a beautifully photographed, gothic chamber piece,...

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True Crime

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Old investigative reporters don’t just fade away, according to Clint Eastwood in True Crime. They bide their time in bars and the beds of their editors’ wives, until that one big break comes along that’ll prove that, no matter what’s lacking in their lives, their "nose" for news can...

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The Harmonists

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 12:00 AM

All totalitarian regimes have one element in common – control – and, more often than not, that control extends beyond the political arena. As museum shows detailing the Nazi idea of "degenerate art" illustrate, the National Socialists were absolute totalitarians, anxious to have the German population goose-step with the...

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Tango

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 12:00 AM

About 15 years ago, well past the midpoint of his impressive career, Spanish writer-director Carlos Saura quit being a purveyor of a sort of post-Buñuel neorealism and became that guy who made those movies about dancing – vivacious coffee-table flicks crackling with the precise passion of clicking heels. Tango is...

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Ravenous

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The question is this: If you were banished to a desolate military outpost in the Sierra Nevada where savage winds howl over icy mountains in the company of wolves; if you were a bloody mess, stabbed in the belly and bleeding from the head, tormented by visions of perforated...

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