December 15, 1989 |
Video games, and the kids obsessed with them, are the main subjects of "The Wizard" (citywide). But is it inevitable that the movie itself become a video game, with the movie-makers ramming us through the story, trying to jam down all our buttons? "Rain Man" may be one of the models for "The Wizard," but the treatment is closer to "Pac-man." The characters don't really interact. They keep moving forward, gobbling up the plot as they go.
July 17, 1995 |
Film critic Kenneth Turan can't seem to decide whether he liked "Apollo 13" ("Mission Improbable," June 30). Was it a "sentimental, middle-of-the-road" movie? Or was it "a great story, which they mostly tell rather well"? What did seem pretty clear was that Turan does not like director Ron Howard and did not want to say anything nice about his work. Calling Howard "the master of Opie-Vision" seems on a par with calling Frank Capra "the king of Capra-corn." And we know how much that damaged Mr.
May 27, 1993 |
Tom and Roseanne Arnold can't seem to get a break. Following their flap with ABC over Tom Arnold's "Jackie Thomas Show," the couple hit a roadblock in their efforts to get their first movie together off the ground. Columbia Pictures pulled the plug Monday on the Arnolds' modestly budgeted road movie--sometimes referred to as "Thelma & Lou" or "Car Movie"--three weeks before it was to begin shooting.
November 13, 1992 |
Hal Hartley is a filmmaker who takes us to familiar-looking yet utterly strange places: modern cul-de-sacs where anxiety meets lassitude, honor battles absurdity, and love tries to strike a bargain with lust. He's a comic original, but he's not just a comedian. With his mixture of sly wit and wary compassion, he's able to dig deeper into his characters than all but a handful of American directors, especially the self-consciously serious ones.
January 3, 2011 |
As a film genre, the road movie has proved to be as durable as any in Hollywood history. Perhaps that's because it's always being re-interpreted to fit the mood of the times and can be mined for both comic ("Sullivan's Travels," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles") and dramatic ( "The Road," "Rain Man") potential. Road movies were especially prevalent during the Great Depression, including 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road" and 1940's "The Grapes of Wrath," as millions of Americans left home in search of a better life.
March 9, 1990 |
"Coupe de Ville" (selected theaters), a mediocre road comedy with a few sparkling scenes, tackles that pivotal cultural question of the '60s: Exactly what were the lyrics of the Kingsmen's mush-mouthed big-beat hit "Louie Louie"? Were they, as many suspect, a barrage of unrelieved scatology and filth? Were they a tender, if incoherent, love song? Or were they, as one "Coupe" character stoutly maintains, a sea chantey about a voyage to Jamaica?
May 21, 1995 |
When the FBI went into the movie business in the 1980s in an attempt to weed out racketeering and payola, mobsters weren't the only casualties of the sting. Among the unwitting participants in the drama were struggling filmmakers Dan Lewk and Gary Levy. Though their film "Cartunes" was never produced, they were left with a wild story to tell--and now the real Hollywood is listening. The two were approached in 1987 by a producer named David Rudder with an offer they couldn't refuse.
April 10, 1987 |
In "Three for the Road" (citywide), the movie makers try to revive another day's genre--the early '70's "road" pictures--in today's terms. And it doesn't work. The looser, more anarchic feelings they're going after don't jibe with the modern packaging, and they wind up with something slicked-up, streamlined and hollow--like "Blowing in the Wind" rearranged as elevator music.
March 1, 2007 |
IN the new comedy "Wild Hogs," Tim Allen, John Travolta, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence play weekend warrior buddies from Cincinnati who jump on their Harleys and take a road trip to the Pacific in hopes of pepping up their humdrum suburban lives. Though filled with slapstick and more than a few off-color jokes, the movie's underlying theme is how many baby boomers feel that they have compromised their values while losing the idealism of their youth.
September 4, 1992 |
Gregg Araki's savagely comic, deeply romantic "The Living End" (at the Hillcrest Cinemas) wastes no time in getting to the point. Within its first five minutes, Jon (Craig Gilmore) learns that he has tested HIV-positive. To head off an inevitable mood of gloom, Araki swiftly cuts away from Jon to another young man, Luke (Mike Dytri), a sexy, well-muscled drifter, caught up in a series of outrageous and comical adventures on the road.