Species

Add Comment on July 07, 1995 by Christine James

   "Be Intrigued," the tagline invites. "Be Seduced. Be Warned." Be warned that, although this film looks very exciting in trailer form, as a full-length feature it disappoints on all levels from characterization to suspense to originality. It's essentially "Alien" meets "V" meets "Splash" meets "Playboy's Erotic Fantasies: Forbidden Liaisons," diluted into a diffuse, misdirected bore.    In 1974, scientists relayed a message to the rest of the galaxy via the world's largest radio telescope. The communication contained information such as our planet's location and population--and our DNA structure. The premise here is that, 20 years later, we receive a reply.

Read more

Apollo 13

Add Comment on June 30, 1995 by Christine James

Ron Howard has tackled diverse subjects in his directorial history: from mermaids ("Splash") to aliens ("Cocoon"), journalists ("The Paper") to firefighters ("Backdraft"), prostitutes ("Night Shift") to parents ("Parenthood"), and auto workers ("Gung Ho") to medieval midgets ("Willow"). About the only predictable aspect of Howard's filmmaking is the obligatory cameo casting of brother Clint Howard. In Howard's latest project, the new frontier is the space program (and Clint is a Mission Control worker). "Apollo 13," based on the book "Lost Moon" by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffre...

Read more

Judge Dredd

Add Comment on June 30, 1995 by Pat Dietmeier

   The quixotic attempt by action lunk Sylvester Stallone to alter his all-too-established image as the punch-drunk palooka who played Rocky, Rambo and a dozen minor variations on those personae is one of the remarkable celebrity stories of recent years. First came the misconceived comedies ("Oscar," "Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot"). We appear to be in the middle of the misconceived science fiction phase (remember "Demolition Man"?) in which Sly tries to emulate the Schwarzenegger "Terminator" archetype about 11 years too late.    Essentially a modified version of "The Punisher"--a ...

Read more

Bandit Queen

Add Comment on June 30, 1995 by Wade Major

Still unreleased in its home country of India, director Shekhar Kapur's biopic on the exploits of the famed "Bandit Queen," Phoolan Devi, is a towering achievement that should find its way onto a respectable share of year-end 10-best lists. Lower-caste Devi's rise from 11-year-old bride to notorious bandit warrior makes for riveting cinema, pulling no punches in its quest to immerse audiences in the horror of the Indian caste system. Foremost, though, "Bandit Queen" is a dissection of the psychology of revenge, in emotionally devastating fashion depicting Devi's torture, rape and degradation at the hands of mostly upper-caste men, leading finally to her bloody rampage and eventual surrender.

Read more

Lie Down With Dogs

Add Comment on June 30, 1995 by Neal Weaver

   "Lie down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas," the saying goes. And writer/director/producer/actor Wally White sets out to prove it in his slick but diffuse debut, "Lie Down With Dogs." A young homosexual man, Tommy (White), is fed up with his life in the Big Apple, so he flees to the beachfront gay playground of Provincetown, Mass. for a summer of sex and fun. He tangles with sinister employers, falls for a charming Latino freeloader (Randy Becker), gets dumped by a fair-weather friend (Bash Halow) and fails to win Mr. Right (Darren Dryden). At the end, he's a little sadder but not much wiser.

Read more

Batman Forever

Add Comment on June 16, 1995 by Christine James

The third installment of the "Batman" series, based on characters created by Bob Kane and published in DC comics, is the best to date. The action-packed thriller exemplifies big-budget grandeur gone right, thanks in great part to fabulously fun, over-the-top performances by the human cartoon Jim Carrey as the Riddler and by Tommy Lee Jones, who appears to be having the time of his life as Two-Face. But the big star is the jaw-dropping visual splendor, in the form of elaborate sets, gadgetry and costumes in jarring reds, magentas, blues, purples and greens. That's no surprise, given that new director Joel Schumacher (taking over the reins from I and II helmer Tim Burton) began his Hollywood career as a designer.

Read more

Pocahontas

Add Comment on June 16, 1995 by Christine James

   "Pocahontas" is typical Disney fare, in that the studio can't seem to help but revert to the formula of star-crossed lovers who must overcome adversity, sing with well-trained voices about the adversity, and have anthropomorphized animal friends try to help them escape their troubles so they finally can be together. Based on the true story of the Powhatan Indian maiden Pocahontas who in 1607 saved the life of English sea captain John Smith, our heroine is depicted as a Native American supermodel, with exaggeratedly high cheekbones, square jawline, freakishly long neck, a head of hair in ...

Read more

Subscribe to Articles Feed