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.
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.
May 6, 2011 |
"There Be Dragons," most of which is set during the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s, is supposed to be about the intersecting lives of a saint and a sinner. But it is a third man, a revolutionary, who nearly steals the show. Which might have been all right if writer-director Roland Joffé hadn't been so conflicted about whose story he wants to tell. But indecision can be deadly, and it proves to be here. The British director has done very well in the past with sprawling epic tales of religion (1986's "The Mission")
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.
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.