Archive for December, 2000

Rushmore

Even though “Rushmore” is set in the present, the film has the feel of old school. Set in an elite boys academy in Texas, “Rushmore” is filled with remembrances of things gone by. The soundtrack is lined with songs from the 1960’s British Invasion, while the look and feel of the Academy, it’s students and the small town it’s located in all recall a quieter, simpler time. Read the rest of this entry »

Kelly’s Heroes

As I was watching David O. Russell’s “Three Kings,” I said to myself: “Oh my God, someone has remade Kelly’s Heroes.” Indeed, “Three Kings” and “Kelly’s Heroes” are the same movie. They just take place during different wars. Read the rest of this entry »

The Money and Run

After honing his skills as a filmmaker on the scrambled Japanese spy thriller “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?“, writer-director- actor Woody Allen delivered his first feature film, a pseudo-documentary about inept criminal Virgil Starkwell. While it doesn’t rank with his best, “Take the Money and Run” is still a laugh-filled exercise in silliness. Working from a clever (and joke filled) script by Mickey Rose and himself, Allen finds plenty of humor in this tale of one man’s attempt to leave his criminal past behind in order to share the love of winsome laundress Louise (Janet Margolin). Read the rest of this entry »

State and Main

There is a scene halfway through David Mamet’s lighthearted “State and Main” where a screenwriter tries to explain to the woman he likes why a nude starlet is standing in his hotel room. As strange as his explanation sounds, the woman seems to understand. Read the rest of this entry »

Razor Blade Smile

While sitting through writer-director-editor Jake West’s “Razor Blade Smile,” his influences become obvious. Tarantino. Woo. Anne Rice. Julie Newmar. Howard Stern. West has created a film that is definitely style over substance, and even then the style looks like someone’s first film school project. Read the rest of this entry »

Instinct

I would love to have sat in on the pitch meeting for “Instinct.” “It’s ‘Silence of the Lambs’ meets ‘Gorillas in the Mist.'” Been there, done that. “I’m not done. We’ll also toss in bits and pieces of ‘Cool Hand Luke,’ ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ and ‘Mighty Joe Young.'” What else do you have? “Did I mention that it takes place in a prison just like ‘The Shawshank Redemption?'” I wonder how many references the writer had to toss out in order to get a green light. Read the rest of this entry »

The Killing

Up until this evening, I have to admit that I have never seen Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing.” I know. Shame on me. What kind of critic am I if I allowed this film to slip by? I wasn’t even born when “The Killing” was released in 1956, but that is no excuse. Read the rest of this entry »

Nashville

When Robert Altman’s “Nashville” first graced theater screens in 1975, I wasn’t old enough to fully appreciate the effort. I was quite impressed with the musical soundtrack (which as a collector of soundtracks, I immediately went out and bought a copy), but the film’s structure and character development totally escaped me. Read the rest of this entry »

Sinema review

BIRDS OF A FEATHER…

BIRDCAGE, THE

It may have took 20 years for the American version of “La Cage Aux Folles” to get made, but the final result is well worth the wait. “La Cage Aux Folles” started life as a French stage farce, and then jumped to the big screen to become one of France’s biggest-grossing films. Two French sequels and an American stage musical followed, but it took director Mike Nichols 20 years to secure the rights to remake the comedy. Read the rest of this entry »

Grace of My Heart

I love girl groups. Always have. Always will. Especially the girl groups of the late fifties and early sixties. I just love female singers, and I definitely love the music of that period. I’m probably one of the very few people still alive who own both copies of Patty Duke’s albums. Yeah, Patty Duke. Read the rest of this entry »

Fallen

Director Gregory Hoblit follows up his harrowing courtroom thriller “Primal Fear” with a film that only occasionally courts thrills. “Fallen” begins with one of those promising “Sunset Boulevard” film noir openings in which homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) exclaims “Let me tell you about the time I almost died. Read the rest of this entry »