Wednesday, July 11, 2001

Surviving Elm Street

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Troubled teen Beckett believes she is the “final girl,” the girl in the horror movie who knows what is going to happen before anyone else, who must suffer as her friends die one by one, leaving her to make the last stand against the killer. This is her nightmare,...

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Blood & roses in high school

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

I’m not sure exactly where I was in my writing career at age 13, but it likely consisted of notes passed in class that read, "Do you like me? Check yes or no." It was certainly nothing nearly as polished and promising as the vampire fiction of teen author...

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Pretend-moi

"Come out, come out, whoever you are," in a new French farce.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

This very funny farce directed by Francis Veber (La Cage Aux Folles, The Dinner Game) would be as light as a soufflé if it weren't for performances by Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu: A loser’s leap into the void is halted by a neighbor who also suggests that if the forlorn fellow were to pretend he was gay then his employers, fearing a discrimination suit, would be less likely to fire him.

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Big Eden

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Director Thomas Bezucha’s Big Eden is a fairy tale, about a beautiful place (it was filmed around Glacier National Park) where well-intentioned people cook gourmet food, listen to good country music and think nothing of two men dancing in public. It’s a pleasant vacation, leaving behind pettiness, hatred, cruelty and bad taste for a lovely vision of rural bliss.

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Showshane

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Showshane constructs an instrumental wall of confusion, chaos and question; waxing and waning through spacious frontiers searching for some sense of clarity. It may not be the answer you would have chosen, but they succeed in figuring it out none the less, and perhaps that's what's so inventive about...

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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Every frame of Final Fantasy is inventive and stunning, but it takes too long in establishing the specific rules of its world. In both tone and style, it resembles Japanese anime, with director Hironobu Sakaguchi pushing computer animation beyond safe, kid-friendly fare.

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Scary Movie 2

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

"Taking the piss out" of someone in British slang means draining them of their self-importance. Shawn and Marlon Wayans don’t so much take the piss out of a random sample of Hollywood ghost flicks. They piss on them while aiming not only streams of urine, but geysers of vomit and semen, at America’s commercial pop culture.

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Cats and Dogs

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

At once clever and shallow, this film takes the expression "fighting like cats and dogs" literally, pushing the pitched battle between felines and canines into James Bond territory. One of its funniest conceits is that animals must never reveal their true intelligence (or ability for human speech) before their two-legged masters.

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Kiss of the Dragon

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Visually, Kiss of the Dragon falls on its own sword. First-time director Chris Nahon’s quick cuts chop up Jet Li’s championship-winning Wu Shu martial arts action almost beyond recognition. Bridget Fonda’s acting skills are wasted.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Flying solo

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Jennifer Belle writes postmodern Bildungsromans for the 20-something female. Her heroines (who have the kind of childhood where therapists figure at least as prominently as family members do) take on — and are empowered by — ventures no parent or shrink would advise. Her piercing first novel, Going Down,...

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