Dirty Dancing

Add Comment on August 21, 1987 by Tom Matthews

The time is 1963, P.K.A. (Pre-Kennedy Assassination). The setting is a lodge in the Catskills, where well-off families spend whole summers together. Our heroine is Baby (Jennifer Grey), who has come to the lodge with her parents (Jerry Orbach and Kelly Bishop) and her sister (Jane Brucker) to spend one last summer with them before joining the Peace Corps. Little does she know that her life is about to change forever when she discovers..."dirty dancing."    The dancing is introduced to her by Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), a young buck who gives dancing lessons to elderly, love-struck matrons at the camp. By day he teaches the Fox Trot, but at night he and all of the other young camp employees get together for what can be described only as dance orgies.

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Heaven

Add Comment on April 17, 1987 by Kevin Courrier

   "Heaven" is a preposterous thriller about a divorced gambler, Robert (Martin Donovan), who meets up with a clairvoyant transvestite stripper named Heaven (Danny Edwards). She attempts to use her powers to help Robert restore his crumbling life, win his bitter legal battles with his ex-wife (Joanna Going), and gain custody of his son.    "Heaven" combines some of the tricky time-shift cutting of "Performance" with the tony sex-confusion of "The Crying Game," but the effect is bludgeoning and confusing rather than illuminating. Scott Reynolds' attempt to create a moral parable about friendship and loyalty bogs down in unbelievable lapses of logic, gratuitous bloodshed and melodramatic tripe.

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Little Shop Of Horrors

Add Comment on December 19, 1986 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   When it originally came out in 1960, “Little Shop of Horrors” could have been voted Least Likely Candidate to Endure. In a time when New Wavish dramas and bloated spectacles were commanding public and critical attention, the ultra-cheap horror comedy, shot in a breathtaking two days by veteran schlockmeister Roger Corman, seemed destined for oblivion.    But the surprisingly durable quickie eventually became a staple of repertory houses, and then the basis for a hit off-Broadway musical. Now, it's back onscreen in an adaptation of the musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

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Running Scared

Add Comment on June 27, 1986 by Mark Keizer

A reprehensible attempt to bring the violence and cruelty of the Grand Theft Auto videogame series to the multiplex, "Running Scared" is one of the most repugnant movies ever targeted to a youth audience. Writer/director Wayne Kramer, who has forever destroyed the memory of directing the Oscar-nominated "The Cooler," takes the blame for this rancid stew of hookers, pimps, mobsters and child murderers. Granted, there have been many good films featuring hookers, pimps, mobsters and even child murderers. But this movie has no interest in anything but carnage: how to block it, how to shoot it, how to edit it. It's an experience that gets increasingly unpleasant, until one begins to wonder why this movie was made.

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Water

Add Comment on April 18, 1986 by Shlomo Schwartzberg

The true -- and still prevalent -- tribulation of Indian widows, some just children, who are forced to live out their lives in exile as penitence for their husbands' sins, is the subject of the latest controversial film from Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta. But unlike "Fire," her 1996 film about two Indian women who become lovers, "Water" lacks passion and power. Set in 1938, "Water" centers on an eight-year-old girl, Chuyia (Sarala), whose much older husband has just died. Her family sends her to an ashram, where she is to spend the rest of her earthly existence -- something she cannot begin to fathom. As Chuyia befriends the women around her, the reformist influence of Mahatma Gandhi, who wants to ban the practice of sending widows away, begins to make its presence felt.

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The Hitcher

Add Comment on February 21, 1986 by Tim Cogshell

We've got to get the kids to stop driving through painted deserts in old cars on their way to sex romps — it always works out badly. On their way to spring break, Grace ( John Tucker Must Die 's Sophia Bush) and Jim (Zachary Knighton) nearly run over a stranded hitcher (Sean Bean of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ) but pass him by only to run into him again (so to speak) a few miles down the road. Feeling a little badly, they decide to give the guy a ride to a hotel. Eighty minutes later the movie is over, you change you underwear, and you wonder why you would put yourself such a thing on purpose, particularly when you actually knew what was going to happen because the movie is a remake.

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Power

Add Comment on January 31, 1986 by Craig Vickers

   In 1989, the Quebec provincial government announced plans to proceed with James Bay Phase II, a massive hydroelectric project that would dam waterways, including the Great Whale River. After James Bay I was built in the '70s, the region's Cree Indians found that their water had become poisoned with mercury.    In "Power," veteran Canadian filmmaker Magnus Isaacson documents the Cree's successful battle against the Quebec government. He follows their journey by Odeyak--part canoe, part kayak--down the Ottawa, St. Lawrence and Hudson rivers as they stop at strategic points to plead their cause and enlist the support of key American politicians and the general public.

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