November 2, 1990 |
Shirley MacLaine plays a sexy grandma in "Waiting for the Light" (throughout San Diego County)--actually, a sexy grand-aunt--and it is a mark of the movie's confused attack that it keeps waving her at the audience like a piquant flag.
April 21, 2006 |
"The Sentinel" is an unassuming thriller, a nifty piece of genre filmmaking without frills or self-importance. It's a throwback, if you will, to the days of B pictures, when formula movies were made with a maximum of skill and a minimum of pretense. Set in the no-nonsense domain of the U.S. Secret Service, where smiling on duty is apparently a capital offense, "The Sentinel" is made by people who not only believe in telling these kinds of stories, they believe in telling them right.
September 13, 1986 |
Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio" (at Beverly Center Cineplex) is a kinky ode to chiaroscuro and the dark side of the Renaissance, a luxuriantly eccentric look at the Bad-Boy-as-Artist. It's a film that rhapsodizes over the textures of paint and the textures of flesh--and the passions that join them together.
December 15, 1988 |
"The Courier" (Music Hall) is a mixture of two sensibilities, two kinds of movies: Irish gritty urban naturalism and pseudo-American thriller. It was co-directed by Joe Lee and scenarist Frank Deasy, and it's about a hero trapped and traveling between two worlds: Dublin's criminal underworld and the realm of law and order.
October 22, 1999 |
"Molly" seems like a TV movie masquerading as a big-screen feature; its saving grace is that it offers Elisabeth Shue a splendid part in the title role. At 28, Molly, who is autistic but highly functional, has lived in an institution since the death of her parents 15 years before. She has been well cared for and formed a bond with one of the staffers, Sam (Thomas Jane). Molly suffers from a severe learning disorder, but a cutoff in government spending is thrusting her into the outside world.
May 30, 1997 |
Most big-budget, dream-cast comedies are a lot like pea soup: A creamy mass, with the occasional lump of ham. "Trial and Error," starring "Seinfeld's" Michael Richards (in a very Kramer-esque performance), is a pretty soupy mess, but the croutons are fabulous--i.e. the statuesque Charlize Theron ("Two Days in the Valley"), with whom director Jonathan Lynn is either madly in love or knows a good thing when she comes into focus.