Film Shorts 


MOVIES & EVENTS

102 Dalmatians
102 Dalmatians is almost as good as 101 Dalmatians. 102 Dalmatians was really funny but pretty boring, because it seemed really long. The parts that were good were really good, but the parts that were bad were really bad. For example, the movie wasn't very exciting because almost half of it was dating and talking about stupid stuff. (Sam & Maggie, age 9)

The 2000 Cannes Advertising Awards
The cream of the crop of the best ads from last year's Cannes awards.

The 6th Day
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a goose-steppin' kraut who gets his Aryan panties in a bunch when scientists clone his Nazi rat bastard ass.

* Aelita, Queen of Mars
This is an incredibly rare work from the early days of Russian expressionism designed to confound and amaze us. Set in Moscow and--via some amazing sets--on the Surface of Mars, Aelita pre-dates even the classic age of Soviet cinema by a few years, and is an absolutely charming example of sci-fi communist propaganda.

* Baraka
Time-lapse photography is the focus of this beautiful array of scenery from 24 countries which includes Iguacu Falls in Argentina, Ayers Rock in Australia, and that old tourist standby, the Grand Canyon. Special one-time showing for First Thursday, and all profits go to benefit Dove-Lewis Animal Hospital, a cool animal rights organization.

* Best In Show
Christopher Guest's latest with Eugene Levy follows several dog owners on their quest for the blue ribbon at the 2000 Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A well-executed, ridiculous little film lovingly mining ridiculous little people's ridiculous little lives.

Bounce
So it's a given that Gwyneth and Ben are only in movies because they're fun to look at (everyone one knows they can't act); but in this movie, they aren't even pleasing to the eyes!

* Bring it On
High school cheerleaders must endure endless practices and bikini waxes to compete in the national championships!

* The Cell
Viewed conceptually, this film is remarkable: an acutley visual journey through a serial killer's mind that is both deranged and ethereal.

* Charlie's Angels
I swore it could never be done, but somehow they've taken one of the worst shows in TV history, put in two of the worst actors in Hollywood (Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz), and come up with a comedic gem--and dare I say it?--one of the most hilarious films of the year. In this updated version of the TV show, director McG tips his hat to the classic T&A detective show of the '70s and then has a field day tearing each of its conventions down. The cast is uniformly terrific, especially Cameron Diaz, who plays her role like a giggly, girlish sociopath. (Wm. Steven Humphrey)

The Contender
Liberals have won the culture wars, and it's embarrassing. In this Hollywood version of the Lewinsky affair (with the Clinton character recast as a woman), the Democrats make all the great speeches you wish they'd made during the 104th Congress and the Republicans are as simply evil and as plainly hypocritical as you wish they were. (Josh Feit)

* Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier's new film may be an self-absorbed intellectual trainwreck, but Bjork is fucking awesome!

Dear Antonioni
A survey of director Michelango Antonioni's body of work with commentary from collaborators such as Vanessa Redgrave, David Hemmings, and Sam Shepard.

Dungeons & Dragons
Calling all nerds! Here's the movie you've all been waiting for, starring Justin Whalin, the remarkably unfunny Marlon Wayans and Jeremy "Oh, how the mighty have fallen" Irons.

The Emperor's New Groove
The new Disney animated feature in which a greedy emperor is turned into a nude llama to learn some humility.

the family man
Nick Cage stars as a rich dick who learns what life would be like if he weren't a rich dick.

The Girl Next Door
A fairly depressing little documentary about the everyday life of porn star Stacy Valentine. See review this issue.

* Girl on the Bridge
Patrice Leconte (Ridicule) has recently been outshined by the directors of the so-called "new new wave," which is unfortunate, as he is certainly one of the best directors working in France. Girl on the Bridge offers further evidence. A ravishing, breezily paced tale of amour fou, Girl on the Bridge stars Daniel Auteuil as a Svengali-like knife-thrower who meets his perfect foil in Vanessa Paradis' Adele. What makes the film great, though, is Leconte's feel for the effect of place on people: The roads are beckoning, Monte Carlo is impulsive, and Istanbul is confusion itself. Auteuil is never less than his dour self, and Paradis--a gap-toothed woman, it's worth noting--is stunning throughout.

Goya in Bordeaux
A dull, laughably pretentious attempt to portray the painter's twilight reminiscences, Goya in Bordeaux marks a definite nadir in Carlos Saura's career. The elder, barrel-bellied Goya smugly pontificates to his daughter about the tragedies and obligations of being an artist; his younger self mulls over the compromises inherent in being a court painter and the agonies of loving a notorious mistress. Neither appears smart enough to paint a bathroom wall, let alone the masterpieces that are liberally scattered throughout the film.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Grinch is much different than the old cartoon. In this movie, the Grinch has a huge house with a telephone, a pulley, and trap doors. In the old cartoon he doesn't have any of that stuff. If you watch this you will find out where the Grinch came from, and why he hates Christmas. Like always, Jim Carrey is FABULOUS! He is sooo funny--you couldn't find a better actor to play the part. On the other hand, the actor who played Cindy Lou Who was not very good-she was pretty corny. The Grinch was funny but not as good as I thought it would be. (Sam Lachow, 10-years old)

* Human Resources
A stinky title for a swell, smart film about parallels between unions and bosses, fathers and sons. University student Frank takes a management position at the small-town factory where his father has worked for 30 years. He discovers that the bosses are exploitative scum and winds up leading a strike, while realizing that since childhood his father has infused him with shame for being working class. Terrific performances from the leads and cameo actors. (Stacey Levine)

I'm the One that I Want
Margaret Cho made a terrible sitcom a while back-- All-American Girl--and this straightforward record of her recent standup act recounts her struggles with weight, alcohol, and pernicious self-doubt that resulted from its failure. Cho isn't a particularly insightful comic, but she sure knows how to go after a laugh. What's funny here is gleefully, howlingly funny. Her personal emancipation, however, doesn't quite flow freely from the rest of her material; the show strains whenever she stops to hit a nail on the head. As a result, it's the scruffy, playful stuff that fares much better, including priceless takes on her mother, a testy Karl Lagerfeld behind bars, and a fag hag navigating her pals through the Underground Railroad. (Steve Wiecking)

The Interview
The Interview tells the story of Eddie Fleming, normal dull guy, who is abducted from his flat in the wee hours by Australian police officers who have vague questions about unspecified crimes. The film documents Eddie's interrogation by Detective John Steele at police headquarters.

La Notte
Modern relationships get a harsh look from director Michelangelo Antonioni as he explores the disintegrating marriage of a wealthy couple.

The Last Waltz
Scorsese proves he can RAWK with this loving documentary about The Band's final performance.

The Legend of Bagger Vance
Bagger Vance opens with Jack Lemmon having a heart attack on a golf course, which sets the tone for the whole movie. Lying in the rough, Lemmon starts to narrate a story about how, when he was 10 years old, he and a mystical caddy named Bagger Vance (Will Smith) helped keep local golfer Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) from embarrassing himself in an exhibition match against the two greatest golfers in America. You see, Junuh "lost his swing" when he saw his buddies die in WWI, and he needs the love of a pretty good woman (Charlize Theron), the faith of a child, and some Zen-like advice from a mystical caddy to get it back. Unlike Space Cowboys, Clint Eastwood's practical take on old age and death, Redford's film about death and dying is chock full of nostalgia but not mortality. Maybe he needs a little more experience before he takes on his next project. (Andy Spletzer)

Legend of the Drunken Master
Miramax attempts to make a little more money by dubbing Jackie Chan's Drunken Master II into English, and then re-releasing it. Meanwhile, fans of the Crow series have demanded a boycott of the film, in a harebrained attempt to convince Miramax to release The Crow: Salvation. Angry Jackie Chan fans responded by arguing that a boycott of Legend of the Drunken Master only really hurts Jackie Chan. Blood is gonna fly! Mark our words!

Little Nicky
Adam Sandler stars as the son of Satan in the 35th Devil-themed film of the year. Could it be that the true millennium is really scheduled for New Years Eve, 2001--like the Quakers said? God help us!

* Meet the Parents
Jewish complications ensue when Ben Stiller meets the pop of his new g-friend, Robert DeNiro.

Men Of Honor
A biopic about the first black underwater salvage expert that soaks Robert De Niro, sinks China Gooding, and drowns the audience with every cliche of the military movie genre, never mind that they all contradict each other. (Barley Blair)

* Miracle on 34th Street
Warm-hearted hilarity ensues when the actual Santa Claus is hired by Macy's, and a small child is convinced he's a goddam fake.

* MVP: Most Valuable Primate
HUH?!? A monkey who can play ICE HOCKEY?!? You know, this is how Planet of the Apes got started!

Nurse Betty
Betty (Renée Zellweger), a diner waitress, settles comfortably into a thick confusion after accidentally witnessing her sleazy drug-dealer husband's murder. She instantly blocks out reality, and drives to Los Angeles in pursuit of her favorite soap-opera character, whom she believes is her long-lost true love. On paper, this sounds great-onscreen it's surprisingly disappointing. After watching these relentless caricatures strut around for 112 minutes, it's difficult to keep caring, and to keep rooting for Betty in earnest. (Min Liao)

* Omen
Damien, Satan's wee little son, is born onto earth to terrorize a diplomat's family. A rash of deaths freaks the family out but when they find the mark of the devil on his wee little skull, well, that's just a little too much to take.

Once in the Life
So, y'all, I'ma tell you 'bout this FILM, yo. Coz this fuckin' film is the BOMB, yo. It's based on a fuckin' play by fuckin' Laurence fuckin' Fishburne, bitch. I'll fuckin' waste you if you go fuckin' see this film, though. Yo! I'm not saying it's a bad film, sabes? I'm just here, yo--its like about fuckin' doin' crime, doin' time and shit, you know? Like, they like brothers, you know? On the streets of fuckin' Brooklyn and shit, livin' the life with my man "20/20" and "Nine Lives" and "Tony the Tiger." So, you wanna know if this fuckin' film is any fuckin' good? Then, yo! You don't fuckin' like this fuckin' genre? Back off, motherfucka! I'll fuckin' waste you, bitch! BoomBoomBoom! (Jamie Hook)

Pay it Forward
After having been instructed by his social studies teacher to make the world a more benevolent place, Haley Joel Osment starts at the bottom, where the bums live amid burning oil cans, of course. About five minutes into his effort, Osment thinks he's failed and that the world is, in fact, shit. It's a performance that'll probably earn somebody an Oscar, but it just made me feel like kicking a kid in the teeth. (Kathleen Wilson)

Place Vendome
Nicole Garcia's film may not be a historical analysis of Parisian society, but two hours of watching Catherine Denueve do her work will surely be worth your time. (Pablo de Ocampo)

* Pola X
Leos Carax remains the great poet of cinematic love, and Pola X is his finest testament to date. Casting off his life of comfort and abandoning his engagement to the privileged and lovely Lucie (Kathleen Golubeva), young Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu), hustles himself and his newfound sibling, the dark-haired and raven-eyed Isabelle (Kathleen Golubeva), off to Paris to make a living. The blonde and ethereal Lucie arrives in Paris. She and Isabelle come to represent for Pierre a battle between two would-be truths which is played out as the struggle between light and darkness. (Bruce Reid)

Proof of Life
Russell Crowe is an expert on the fine art of dealing with hubby-'napping terrorists in this new work presumably intended to worry the American public.

Red Desert
An electronic engineer's wife has an affair with her husband's best friend (Richard Harris) in this 1964 film from Antonioni.

Red Planet
Humankind seems to be absolutely screwed for this one reason: When in trouble, we send Val Kilmer to save us. Even if you can grin-and-bear that we would we send a half-dozen nitwits and a malfunctioning robot to colonize Mars, the action never really kicks in.

Remember the Titans
Denzel Washington coaches a bi-racial high school football team. Will they win the big game? Or more importantly, will they have any nudie locker room scenes?

* Requiem for a Dream
The yuks keep flying in this Disney-produced user's manual for heroin addiction.

* Shadow Boxers
An excellent documentary on women's boxing, featuring the female queen of whup-ass, Lucia Rijker. See review this issue.

Solas
A mother and her daughter lead separate, but together lives in this award-winning Spanish film. A widow enters the picture, and manages to slowly draw these two together using love and hilarity!

Solomon and Gaenor
Wales has long been a cinematic parasite on Britain-until this film. Set randomly in 1911, this atmospheric tale of Welsh anti-semitism shines a light on the long neglected history of racism in a country otherwise known for it's strange cuisine and prodigious output of challenging, mixed-verse poetry.

The Tao of Steve
The Tao of Steve: 101 ways to bag a babe and keep her coming back for more.

The Tic Code
A 10-year-old jazz pianist teams up with a respected sax player-but they both have Tourette's Syndrome! Hilarity and heartbreak ensue!

Unbreakable
Given a blank check after The Sixth Sense, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has returned the studio's largesse by delivering one of the worst films of the year. (Bruce Reid)

* Urbania
Urbania is is an attempt to mingle urban legends with one man's suppressed memories of a nasty attack. The story finally doesn't deliver on its earlier promise, shifting into a more simplistic resolution than necessary, but I marveled at much of Urbania's comic and visual daring. (Ray Pride)

* Vertical Limit
Despite Hollywood's sad attempt to re-create a version of reality, Vertical Limit is actually a fantasy-filled fishing story blown entirely out of proportion. Not only does it star Chris O'Donnell, it also throws out tragedy after tragedy, and you don't feel bad about laughing at it. (Another bonus point!) You become trapped inside this product of a demented imagination, and soon, watching it becomes surprisingly fulfilling. (Megan Seling)

The Yards
The return of the prodigal son is far from a fresh theme, but director James Gray has assembled an outstanding cast and had the good sense to stay out of their way. It is only in the last few minutes of the film that Gray's minimalist instinct derails, as each plot point is rushed ruthlessly toward completion. (Tamara Paris)

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