"Blow Hard," an intentional spoof of "Die Hard" and its imitators, is somewhere in the Hollywood pipeline. Until it arrives, we'll have to content ourselves with "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory." As always, a stoic hero singlehandedly defeats heavily armed evildoers; a jive-talkin' African-American sidekick (Mor- ris Chestnut) gripes about being stuck in such a dangerous situation but comes through when it counts; and a token female (here, Katherine Heigl as the hero's nubile niece) provides incentive for the hero and introduces some cheesecake into a testosterone-heavy cast.Read more
This adaptation of Aussie author Hannie Rayson's play centers on the troubled relationships among three Sorrento-born sisters: the eldest, Hillary (Caroline Gillmer), a widow who keeps her emotions and hopes in tight rein; middle sister Meg ("Disclosure"'s Caroline Goodall), a writer who long ago left her Down Under life behind for the cosmopolitan life of London; and Pippa ("Strictly Ballroom's" Tara Morice), a neophyte New Yorker who's thinking of franchising an American sandwich chain and who's nursing a dark family secret. Joan Plowright stars as Marge, an older weekend resident of the coastal town who takes a special interest in the Moynihan clan.Read more
A Southwestern Latino family awaits the return of their patriarch, Gallo (Edward James Olmos), from prison, where he's served seven years for manslaughter. His son Hector (Danny Nucci) is embittered and a would-be cockfighting champion; daughter Angela (Sarah Lassez) is a dreamer who's possibly mentally disturbed; sister Chata (Maria Conchita Alonso) is the town's promiscuous pariah; and wife Juana (Sonia Braga) just wants life back to normal. Adapted by Milcha Sanchez-Scott from her play, "Roosters" sets up its situations and conflicts with efficiency but then squanders any drama Gallo's arrival should engender.Read more
It's never a good sign at a children's movie when the kids are heading in large numbers to use the restrooms. The best films, like "E.T.," can keep even the most listless child rapt; "The Indian in the Cupboard" has no such holding power. So bland and uninspired it's hard to believe it's written by the Melissa Mathison who scripted that Spielberg work, this film showcases special effects at the expense of story and character development, encapsulating much of what's wrong today with children's entertainment.
The story follows a boy named Omri (Hal Scardino) who on his nin...
Based on the French film "Neuf Mois," "Nine Months" is a charming but predictable comedy about the perils and pleasures of impending fatherhood. Recent real-life arrestee Hugh Grant stars as Samuel Faulkner, a self-absorbed but likable San Francisco child psychologist who's terrified of having kids of his own. When his live-in girlfriend Rebecca (Julianne Moore) becomes pregnant, their ideal yupscale relationship is tested. Samuel's support for Rebecca's pregnancy wanes when it's suggested he trade in his beloved two-seater Porsche for a family car. When Samuel misses a joint doctor's appointment, Rebecca concludes he isn't ready for fatherhood and moves out.Read more
If you've ever had the misfortune to work on a low-budget film, you will instantly recognize the characters of "Living in Oblivion," a comedic behind-the-scenes look at the making of just such a movie. The always interesting Steve Buscemi stars as beleaguered, bug-eyed, terminally tense director/visionary Nick Reve ("reve" is French for "dream," the film's central theme, used literally and figuratively). Catherine Keener is Nicole, an ingenue whose most renowned role to date is a shower scene in a Richard Gere movie. James LeGros is Chad, a shallow, egotistical, Kato-coiffed leading man who tries to commandeer the production with his lamebrain ideas.Read more
They say things come in threes--or is that celebrity deaths? At any rate, the three films set centuries ago in what is now the United Kingdom about fights for freedom and honor led by one incredibly noble man catalyzed by the love of a good woman have all been well-done works of cinematic art. "Rob Roy," "Braveheart" and "First Knight" were all released within weeks of each other; though all are thoroughly enjoyable and impressively depicted, by now the battle scenes, the rally for emancipation, the supremely dastardly pillaging villain and the lush, sweeping cinematog- raphy of medieval countrysides all seem repetitious.Read more