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Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Frequency

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2000 at 12:00 AM

In the what-if scenarios of films such as Sliding Doors, characters wonder what their lives would be like if one pivotal moment in their past were changed, and are sent off to explore the different course they so desire. Frequency is one of the best of these films, because...

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Up at the Villa

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2000 at 12:00 AM

At first glance, Up at the Villa seems all too similar to a film such as Tea With Mussolini. In both, a gaggle of upper-class twits (primarily pompous Brits and nouveau riche Americans) insist on maintaining their aesthetically pleasing expatriate life in sunny Italy during the 1930s, despite the...

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Where the Heart Is

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2000 at 12:00 AM

If you haven’t seen Where the Heart Is, you’re in good company and for good reason. Despite its obvious talent pool, including Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd and Stockard Channing, this film is flawed by a lack of continuity and obnoxious characters. The story is based on a novel by...

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Short cuts

Small town stories from writer Stephen Dobyns.

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Stephen Dobyns represents the most irksome of literary types: the talented multihyphenate. Although his name has never become a household word, his 31 previous books have established him as a novelist-poet-essayist to be reckoned with. Now, Eating Naked reveals him to be a wonderfully gifted short-story writer as well. Fans...

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Shanghai Noon

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Shanghai Noon is a hoot and a half, an action-comedy with its heart in the right place. Silly, fun and nowhere near historically accurate, this culture-clash western is a mishmash of styles and temperaments which somehow manages to find its own loopy logic. Based on an idea from star...

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Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Mission Impossible II

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Forget (and it’s not difficult) Brian DePalma’s frantic, confused Mission: Impossible, the first movie based on the 1960s television series about a crack team of superspies. All that remains in John Woo’s supercharged Mission: Impossible II is star-producer Tom Cruise, the always marvelous Ving Rhames, impossibly elaborate gadgetry and...

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Civil disobedience

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2000 at 12:00 AM

OK, OK, if we must have an entertainment-obsessed culture, with its incumbent proliferation of glossy mags enough to make even the most fertile of rabbits jealous, at least let them all be as cover-to-cover engrossing as Mean. Better still, let them all be as in touch with situationist politics...

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Road Trip

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Here’s the not totally unpromising premise: Josh (Brecklin Meyer), a college student in Ithaca, N.Y., is having his first protracted separation from his longtime sweetheart, Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard). The relationship seems to have hit a damp spot as Tiffany, who is matriculating in far-off Austin, Texas, hasn’t been returning...

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Center Stage

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2000 at 12:00 AM

A cross between Fame and The Turning Point, Center Stage follows a group of students during their first year at the prestigious American Ballet Academy. All the movie clichés about backstage life are front and center in the screenplay by Carol Heikkinen (The Thing Called Love), from the small-town...

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Small Time Crooks

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Done in a manner similar to, but not as good as Take the Money and Run and Bananas, Small Time Crooks will still delight most audiences. In Woody Allen’s latest comedy, the emphasis is on Ray (Woody) and his wife Frenchie (Tracey Ullman) fronting a cookie shop in a...

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