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.
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 15, 2007 |
WHILE norteamericanos were rereading dog-eared copies of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera," a dyslexic, globe-trotting high-school dropout and ex-heroin addict was publishing the most celebrated Latin American novels in three decades. Then, in 2003, he died.
August 17, 2008 |
The FATHER and son struggling to stay alive in "The Road" understand that everything they know is coming to an end. -- Ext. ROAD -- DAY In the burnt, barren landscape, through swirls of soft ash and smoggy air the MAN appears dressed as if homeless, a filthy old parka with the hood up, a knapsack on his back, pushing a rusted shopping cart with a bicycle mirror clamped to the handle and a blue tarp now covering its load. The little BOY, similarly dressed with a knapsack on his back, shuffles through the ash at his side.
May 29, 1994 |
For most actors, it's the sound of applause and laughter rippling through the audience that is the most gratifying. But for Stephen Spinella, it's the sound of gasps. The 37-year-old actor certainly incites his share of them as Prior Walter, the addled and flamboyant scion and reluctant prophet who is at the heart of "Angels in America," Tony Kushner's two-part epic about gays, AIDS and Reaganism.
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.