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Cadillac Records, while not a "musical" in the traditional sense, is close to 50% musical content and 50% drama. Accordingly, it's about 50% good and 50% bad. The re-creations of some of the most noteworthy blues and early rock tunes from the '50s and '60s feature high-energy performances that do the originals proud. Sadly, the drama that accompanies them is hackneyed and poorly paced - the kind of thing that makes the average made-for-TV movie appear well constructed. There are plenty of small pleasures to be found throughout Darnell Martin's feature, but a compelling storyline featuring three-dimensional characters is not among them.
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Echelon Conspiracy is a more evocative title than a movie this stupid deserves. Once again, Hollywood displays a blatant ignorance of the capabilities of modern computers by providing a "God machine" that seemingly has no limits, except when it comes to the simple things. The storyline hinges on contrivances so exaggerated and circumstances so implausible that it's never possible to take the movie seriously. Yet director Greg Marcks and his screenwriters stumble forward, hoping no one in the audience will take a moment to think about how paper-thin their "conspiracy" is - something that should be evident to anyone whose condition is short of a persistent vegetative state. And, no, I didn't like it any better when it was called Eagle Eye.
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In Envy, the "Va-poo-rizer" is a liquid that, when sprayed on animal fecal matter, causes the offending substance to disappear. Would that such an invention existed to use on this motion picture… It's remarkably appropriate that Envy is about turds, because that's what the movie is.
If he's not at the top of the list, then Barry Levinson is one of the contenders for the title of "Most Inconsistent Working Director." It boggles the mind that the man responsible for such wonderful cinematic fare as Tin Men, Avalon, and Wag the Dog is also on the hook for Toys, Sphere, and Envy. This movie has languished on its distributor's shelves for a long time. Now, having experienced this 99-minute endurance trial, it's not hard to understand Dreamworks' reluctance to release it. The unanswered question is how something this awful could be greenlighted in the first place.
The better you know movies, the more appreciation you'll have for the wit and energy of Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty. While it's quite possible for the cinematically unaware to enjoy this film -- it's got a fair amount of readily-accessible comedy and action -- this is a real treat for movie buffs. The story is as much about the love of motion pictures as it is about gangsters.
Scott Frank's script for Get Shorty, which lifts huge chunks of dialogue directly from the book, captures the spirit of Elmore Leonard's work the way no previous adaptation has been able to (The Moonshine War, Stick, Cat Chaser). This film is wry and sardonic all the way through, with the actors and director knowing exactly how to play each scene for maximum effect. Get Shorty is much more a comedy than anything else, and a very funny one at that.
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Welcome to a world where Father knows best, where Mother cooks dinner, and where Sister and Brother's small missteps are treated with stern-but-kind lectures. It's a realm where everyone is nice to one another, where neighbors greet each other with a kind word, and where there's never any sign of lingering ill will. Obviously, this is not a real place, nor was it ever. In fact, it's the landscape of homogenous, black-and-white '50s television, the bastion of clean living and family values that has recently found a new generation of viewers through repeats on nostalgia cable channels like Nickelodeon.
Jefferson in Paris
The Bostonians. A Room With A View. Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. Howards End. The Remains of the Day. These represent the best of Merchant-Ivory -- a category in which their latest, Jefferson in Paris, does not belong. Nevertheless, although this examination of several years in the life of Thomas Jefferson (the U.S. minister to France between 1784 and 1789) is flawed, it nevertheless represents two-plus hours of diverting melodrama. The historical accuracy of certain plot points may be in doubt, but this certainly isn't the first motion picture "based on a true story" to play loose with the facts.
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When two of America's brightest comedians get together, you'd expect something better than this buddy-buddy cop movie that mostly limps from one overly forced, unfunny moment to another.
Who Am I?
Somewhere in the jungles of South Africa, a Black Ops unit ambushes a convoy and kidnaps several scientists working on a highly-volatile compound extracted from a recently discovered meteorite. Among the operatives is a Hong Kong national identified by the CIA as "Jackie Chan". The CIA sends Special Agent Morgan (Ron Smerczak) to South Africa to investigate the incident, not knowing that Morgan and newly-retired General Sherman (Ed Nelson) orchestrated the abduction for their personal profit. At the same time, the CIA assigns another operative in South Africa for a more covert operation.
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A distant, slightly dysfunctional family is brought closer together when the fathers long-estranged Uncle Nino comes from Italy to Chicago for a surprise visit.
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100 Million BC
The film centers on a group of Navy SEALs, led by American Dr. Frank Reno (Michael Gross), who once worked on the Philadelphia Experiment. The film begins in 2008, when Reno has purportedly perfected time travel technology. The SEALs use it to travel backwards to the year 70,000,000 BC (despite the movie's title) of the Cretaceous Period, in order to rescue a previous, 1949 expedition led by Reno's brother Erik (Christopher Atkins).
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Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Yesterday it was rural Kingston Falls. Today its the Big Apple -- and lots of wild, anarchic comedy -- because a new batch of mischievous green meanies is on the loose. We told you. Remember the rules. You didnt listen. Now youll have to face up to the hilarious consequences.
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Johns life has become a nightmare. He is hunted by the police for a series of murders he knows nothing about, a woman who claims to be his wife is after him, and so is a mysterious doctor. But his worst trouble is the strangers, a series of vastly powerful beings who seem to manipulate just about everything in the city, and want him because of the extraordinary powers he manifested. John decides to find out what is happening in his city why is it always night? And why can nobody tell him a way to leave the city?
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As Trevor drifts through Texas on collision course with a nightmare he is still haunted by the evils of the war he recently returned from and a promise he failed to keep. When a stranger offers a ride, Trevor finds himself battling the brutal homegrown evil of the Broderick family at Hoboken Hollow,a remote West Texas ranch that many visit but few ever leave.
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A comedy centered on two single girls working the dating scene in Los Angeles.
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Kids follows a group young, unsupervised, not mature, but all-too-grown-up kids in New York. One girl has just been diagnosed with HIV and is trying to notify the boy who gave it to her, who is on a quest to sexually prey upon innocent girls. The film follows these characters and their friends through the day, hanging out, playing, carousing, and going to parties. Each scene is intriguing and disturbing -- conveying an urban reality that includes drugs, sex, guns, and disease and yet never letting you forget these are kids, some of them barely in puberty.
Innocent people are being brutally murdered on the streets of New York by a uniformed police officer. As the death toll rises and City Hall attempts a cover-up, Frank McCrae heads the investigation. A young cop, Jack Forrest, finds himself under arrest as the chief suspect, having been the victim of a set-up by the real killer and a mysterious woman phone-caller. Forrest, his girlfriend Theresa, and McCrae set out to solve the puzzle before the Maniac Cop can strike again.
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