Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Side of raunch

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Sex as entertainment? Snore (after the obligatory post-coital cigarette, of course): Been there, seen that. But sex as serious topic of journalistic investigation? Snort. “Sure, give me that assignment,” cry legions of writers. “Let me be the one to go to Amsterdam’s red light district, Montreal’s strip shows, Paris’...

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Advanced reading group

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 12:00 AM

There are really too damned many “children’s books” out there. Not that kids shouldn’t read; it’s just that most books are obviously written by adults and that’s obvious even to kids. Sure, you have to consider different levels of intellectual development, but too often “children’s book” means painfully unimaginative...

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A Hard Day's Night

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 12:00 AM

If some of the Beatles’ 1964 feature debut (low-budget, seemingly off-the-cuff and filmed in cheeky black-and-white) now seems quaint, the music still has the ability to charm. Even though as a film it's only good, as a cultural artifact it remains essential viewing.

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Cast Away

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 12:00 AM

The key to Cast Away, which is nearly a one-man show, is Tom Hanks alone on a tropical island, improvising survival tactics to keep himself alive even when hope for rescue runs out. It’s hard to imagine another American actor who could pull this off as gracefully.

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Chocolat

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2000 at 12:00 AM

The main conceit of Lasse Hallström's film is that chocolate is not just the mood-altering sweet that we all know and crave, but also a liberator of the essential life force as well as a powerful aphrodisiac. Though well-filmed and desperate to please, it's flat and predictable — with Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina and Johnny Depp.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Proof of Life

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM

In Proof of Life, based on William Prochnow’s Vanity Fair article, "Adventures in the Ransom Trade," war is business and business war. Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan depict the dilemma of their characters with depth and intelligence, both bound by duties that seem to go increasingly against their hearts.

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An Affair of Love

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM

In this film, the French title of which is Une Liaison Pornographique, a woman (Nathalie Baye) and man (Sergi Lopez) initially meet for a one-time tryst. Their anonymous affair, initiated to fulfill a sexual fantasy, develops into something more.

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Vertical Limit

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM

The world of this flick is Hollywood big with hyperreal climbing stunts, explosions and computer graphic-enhanced avalanches: It’s a thrill ride. But as Hollywood as it looks, at its heart a family drama motivates this tale of man (and woman) against nature.

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Think differently

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Behold, this is Sega’s glory stance: Rocketed by rival Sony’s inability to manufacture PS2 units in time for holiday shopping warfare, the Dreamcast is finally given due recognition as an overflowing powerhouse of gaming majesty. For only $149 and 50 coins per game, why not scream “Sega?” Here are...

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Deep cuts

Helmut Newton’s first book shattered Eros into many sharp pieces.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2000 at 12:00 AM

White women should wonder about the photographs of Helmut Newton — as should all women and men. Who are these figures populating worlds of opulence and isolation who seem to have everything — mansions, swimming pools, great bodies, sexy clothes and toys (human or otherwise) — that glossy magazines...

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