Quick Reviews of Last Season's Movies (Fall '97 - Spring '98)
I didn't get to see all that many movies, but I managed to catch quite a few of them, thanks largely to the gang of four (well, Jon, mostly). Here you go, some quick and dirty reviews:
- Hoodlum. Good mobster flick, lots of '20's action.
Likes: Tim Roth as the uneducated, ballsy and boorish mob boss.
Dislikes: Non-cohesive. I didn't feel like the story hung together well.
- A Life Less Ordinary. Great seamy adventure featuring your not-so-average pair of star-cross'd lovers and a strangely frightening pair of angels.
Likes: Ewan McGregor. Cameron Diaz. Holly Hunter. Wow. I even liked that weird claymation sequence at the end.
Dislikes: Tries too hard to be pithy and deep; should have been snickering less and more playful.
- Anastasia. A wonderfully animated version of the legend. I make it a point to see non-disney family animations (to get out of the Disney/Manga/Anime/Bakshi rut I seem to be stuck in).
Likes: Meg Ryan as the title character; heck, the whole cast might as well go in here. Good casting all throughout. Liked the little albino bat.
Dislikes: Once again, a great story is ultimately flattened out in order to feed the need of a horde of prepubescent moviegoers. sigh
- Alien: Ressurection.
Likes: Winona Ryder. Good team-play by the misfits on board that little ship. The weird science touches of the Auriga. The Horror Gallery of Ripley Clones.
Dislikes: Unfortunately, Winona Ryder. She should have kicked ass, and instead she was relatively bitchslapped around. The "newborn" alien. The weird Ripley/Alien sex scene. ugh...
- Starship Troopers.
Likes: Woo Hoo! The good use of Blur's Song 2 in the adverts. The co-ed showers. Denise Richards. Really cool looking bugs. Lots of gore. The interspersal of government "We are winning the war" propaganda videos. The fact that Neil Patrick Harris (ex-Doogie Howser) is a Gestapo-like good-guy telepathic secret service operative. Lots of fun.
Dislikes: It was otherwise a pretty bad movie, with plot holes wide enough to pilot one of them mega-fire-breathing beetles through.
- Scream 2. Nice solid romp through horror-convention land.
Likes: The cast, 'specially Neve Campbell and Sarach Michelle Gellar (buffy! 'course, she does get slaughtered early and often) Little slice of life touches, like Sidney's caller-id box. The movie within a movie, featuring Heather Graham (rollergirl, yeah baby!) and Tori Spelling.
Dislikes: None really; but I was a bit pissed about the weird "pulled that out of the magic hat" ending. "My ex-boyfriend who was also the killer in the last movie's mother" my ass.
- James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies. Decent Bond flick, on par with Goldeneye.
Likes: Nice Bond babes, though Teri does bite it early. Loved the action sequences. Also good plug on Apple Products (loved that Newton) And, as always, Q and his toys and gadgets. Gotta love that car-chase scene in the parking garage.
Dislikes: Exposition was a bit long and boring, tho...
- Titanic. See the review on my Favourite Movies list.
- The Postman. A Post-apocalyptic world. A people oppressed by the forces of organized tyranny. The only hope... the postman. Urgh. The book was so much better... And it cost way less to produce. Someone tell Costner that he should stick to stuff he knows.
Likes: The fact that Dave Brin is being paid for even this piece of dreck. The weird-ass cities (like the ones on the reservoir wall). Tom Petty as mayor of the city.
Dislikes: I really had to lower my expectations down a lot farther than I expected to feel comfortable about enjoying the movie.
- As Good As It Gets. Marginally psychotic misanthrope (Jack Nicholson/Melvin Udall) meets overcaring sassy mom of a really sick kid, who also happens to look good in a T-shirt (Helen Hunt/Mabel). Bunch of other characters, including Cuba Gooding Jr., the wonderfully empathetic guy whose name I always seem to forget, and the dog.
Likes: Helen Hunt. In a wet T-shirt. Good dialogue. Wonderful chick-flick.
Dislikes: The damn dog. Weird dating standards.
- Wag the Dog. Strange little political thriller/comedy.
Likes: Dustin Hoffman's pretty cool. Anne Heche pulls off the hectic aide to the president thing. Woody Harrelson makes a pretty convincing psycopath. Denis Leary. Soundtrack by Mark "the bard" Knopfler.
Dislikes: Pretentious, arrogant, and insiderish. Then again, that's what it was trying to portray...
- Great Expectations. The Dickens Classic, revised and updated (with footnotes and addenda, as well the occasion MTV/MuchMusic video for the attention-impaired). So good, I saw it twice.
Likes: Gwynneth Paltrow, yum. Great acting, all around. Kick-ass soundtrack.
Dislikes: Strange overtones, bad tummy-rumbles left-over from the conversion of a Dickensian classic.
- Good Will Hunting. Wouldn't we all love to be this smart? And this disfunctional? With Minnie Driver as our lovely pre-med girlfriend?
Likes: Good cast, great story, wonderful performance by a very "Dead Poet's Society-ish" Robin Williams. A really good movie, all throughout, except for..
Dislikes: Come on, look at me, I'm poor, I'm a genius, and I'm cool. The odds are so stacked against me, oh woe is me, and terrible my lot in life. Whatever
- U.S. Marshals. The Fugitive II; this time, from Tommy Lee Jone's eyes.
Likes: T.L.J. The man could move mountains with a glare from those flinty peepers.
Dislikes: Pretty damn predictable, and the action was a little on the slow side.
- Wild Things. Sex and Betrayal in the Swamp! Wild three-ways sex between teachers and students! Twisty plotlines! Woo!
Likes: Bill Murray's character, the only guy having fun in the film. Denise Richards (of Starship Troopers fame). Rrrow. And, of course, Neve Campbell. And this weird scene with her after the credits involving a pair of pliers and their application...
Dislikes: Torturously thin plot. Neve's unbelievability as a "bad girl". And, of course, Neve as a blonde. She doesn't pull that off well at all.
- Lost In Space. I can't believe this pile of dreck unseated the Titanic.
Likes: Good effects. Decent cast. Gary Oldman as the villain (what a surprise). Matt LeBlanc did exactly what I expected him too, so in a film like this, that's a good thing.
Dislikes: Too many to count. Lessee, the lack of scale, the lack of vision, the misuse of CGI (someone should pass a law saying only Zemeckis and Cameron get to use CGI). Ugh.
- City of Angels. See the review on my Favourite Movies list.