For a generation of kids exposed via cable to plenty of movies whose sole raison d'etre is to seem naughty, the testosterone-engorged, feel-copping, fart-ripping, drug-toking genre exemplified here has little place anymore. What poses for a plot-line concerns a scheme by a stereotypically evil senator to discredit the president by allowing a motley crew of screw-up high schoolers to speak publicly about the state of American education. The rogues gallery includes a druggie troublemaker, a pretty girl desperate to lose her virginity before college, a fat kid who (you guessed it) eats and belches a lot, and the usual tired array of B-movie teens whose partying ways cause trouble until the third act, when they close ranks against the forces conniving to do them harm.Read more
An earlier effort from the director of "Heavenly Creatures," this puppet film is the Muppets by way of the Marquis de Sade. A motley crew of puppets about to go on-air for a major TV special are hiding all manner of peccadilloes. Once you get past the X-rated puppet concept, there's not much to "Meet the Feebles." It skewers showbiz cliches the innocent neophyte, the temperamental diva, the screwed-up headliner but all to little end. Directed by Peter Jackson. Written by Danny Mulheron, Frances Walsh, Stephen Sinclair and Peter Jackson. Produced by Jim Booth and Peter Jackson. A Greycat release. Satire. Unrated. Running time: 97 min.Read more
Lanling (Lorenzo Callender) is a warrior with an unusual problem: The leader of an opposing army refuses to fight against his forces because he thinks Lanling has a woman's face. The disgraced warrior puts on a mask that hides his features and makes him fierce in battle. The mask, which cannot be removed, causes Lanling to be violent and dangerous even to the woman who loves him ("Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker's" Ning Jing).
The film imaginatively creates an ancient Chinese culture that is dominated by females and led by Lanling's mother (Yang Liping). Director Sherwood Hu devises a new language for the characters and shows a talent for filming vigorous battles and elaborate outdoor images laced with smoke.
A modern-day "Robinson Crusoe," the slight, sentimental "Behind the Blue" details the relationship between precocious 12-year-old Cendrine (Marie-France Monette) and a twentysomething mentally handicapped man (David LaHaye), the only survivors of a plane crash in the Bahamas. Stranded on an island, they must learn to work together to survive.
Both Monette and LaHaye, who won a best actor Genie for his performance here, are utterly persuasive, but their performances operate in a vacuum. Claire Wojas' paper-thin script shies from the sexual implications of the potentially p...
It's not often a movie is this darkly disturbing with interminable events endlessly documenting a Cold War spy story. Based on the best-selling novel, "The Innocent" never quite achieves thriller status, instead focusing on the harrowing experiences of a young man (Campbell Scott) coming of age in a dangerous world. Anthony Hopkins plays an arrogant, stogie-smoking American intelligence officer named Glass; Scott is Leonard, a geeky British telephone engineer hired to infiltrate Russian communications; Isabella Rossellini is a German seductress, Maria, who lures the naive Leonard into her strange world. Its cast is strong, but this film noir never reaches a point of resolution, leaving one groping with black images of despair and violence that linger.Read more
Writer/director Gregory Widen has created a rich premise -- a war between angels and mankind -- but lets his script ride on the concept alone, leaving plot development and character motivations sketchy and promising possibilities uninvestigated. Elias Koteas stars as Thomas Dagget, who abandons the church after suffering horrific mental images of a biblical war in Heaven. Years later, now a homicide cop, he finds, on investigating a murder, thatthe corpse is not human. An ancient bible is found with the body, containing a previously unknown chapter telling of a second war to be waged by angels on earth. That war is about to occur, led by the Archangel Gabriel (Christopher Walken), whose jealousy of God's love for humans has turned him malevolent and bloodthirsty.Read more
This tragic waste of celluloid must ostensibly be labeled a comedy, but it's more of a bomb-edy: Few films in recent memory offer fewer laughs. Director David Price (who also receives a story credit) puts an ingenuous as opposed to ingenious spin on Robert Louis Ste-venson's classic story that has Tim Daly ("Denise Calls Up") as a latter-day Jekyll adding estrogen to his famous fore-father's formula to offset its aggressive effects. When the transformation occurs, he becomes a woman. In the right hands, this premise a macho man must face his feminine side might prove worthy, but Price is happy with offensive sitcom stereotypes. In this tale, Jekyll works at a perfume company, but "Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde" is the worst kind of aromatic cinematic: It stinks.Read more