Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Indestructibly feminine

Girls and "girls" make their way through thick and thin.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

This is the ultimate coming-out party, striking for the way Barbra Streisand, making her big-screen debut in her portrayal of vaudeville-era comedienne and chanteuse Fanny Brice, so effectively created her own mythology — with complex performances from both Streisand and Omar Sharif.

The Iron Ladies

HHH 1/2

Using entertainment as a vehicle for social change, director Yongyoot Thongkongtoon recreates the 1996 winning season of a volleyball team composed primarily of gay men who became media darlings in Thailand. The Iron Ladies, as they christen themselves, are wildly flamboyant on the court and off, flying in the face of Asian expectations of proper manhood.

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K-PAX

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Kevin Spacey returns to the screen as another variation of the highly intelligent, psychologically damaged character that he could patent. His Prot is either an interstellar tourist or a mental patient on the verge of blissful catatonia. But the film’s hackneyed people and events could only happen on a planet called Hollywood.

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Grateful Dawg

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Toward the end of his life, Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia renewed his friendship with master mandolin player David Grisman. The two had a yin-yang relationship, both personally and musically, and the happy mesh is examined in this new documentary assembled by Grisman's daughter Gillian.

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Downtown 81

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Filmed on NYC's Lower East Side in 1980-81, this slender fable is a notch below amateurish. But as a documentary of a particular place and time, it’s spiced by brief performances from the likes of Tuxedomoon, DNA (with the great Arto Lindsay) and James White and The Blacks — and the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the lead.

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13 Ghosts

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

This low-voltage spine-tingler is from the same team that gave us last year’s House on Haunted Hill and, like that B-movie, is another disposable remake of one of director William Castle’s cheesy horror classics of the ’50s and ’60s. It has a nonsense plot filled with "Scooby Doo"-quality dialogue and jokes.

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Indestructibly feminine

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

What could a lavish Hollywood musical and a modest film about a gay Thai volleyball team possibly have in common? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Funny Girl and The Iron Ladies are part of a long tradition of movies about misfits who triumph against the odds, and...

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Impaler

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2001 at 12:00 AM

The dark, imposing figure known as the Impaler surrounds himself with ancient legend, a sweeping cape, and a fishnet-clad harem. It's an extravagant showcase of gothic decadence – an ineffable hybrid of Barry White's alluring rap and the disturbing sexiness of Count Dracula himself. Backed by electro-industrial beats, live...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Waking Life

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Director Richard Linklater’s beautiful film is an experiment in lucid dreaming, a controlled trip through the unconscious threads of a community linked by thought. What makes it so utterly hypnotic is the way the animation team led by art director Bob Sabiston took the live-action footage shot by Linklater and utterly transformed it.

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From Hell

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Directors Albert and Allen Hughes (American Pimp, Dead Presidents) illustrate the legend of Jack the Ripper with ironically dark brilliance as an allegory, a grimly entertaining tale that cuts like a surgeon’s scalpel to reveal the progressively profound implications hidden within — with Johnny Depp.

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Riding in Cars with Boys

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Penny Marshall's film tells the story of how a young woman's desire to escape her small town, get a college education and become a professional writer is thwarted by her teenage pregnancy and subsequent marriage to a likable but burdensome loser — with Drew Barrymore.

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