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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
Coming to a screen bigger than your TV.
Filmmaker(s): Mike Judge

Slacker duo Beavis and Butt-Head wake to discover their TV has been stolen. Their search for a new one takes them on a clueless adventure across America, during which they manage to accidentally become America's most wanted.

Missed Baywatch I'm constantly amazed at how quickly some fresh, edgy cinematic ideas go stale. This was strange enough it its time to be noticed: the placement of the narrative stance within the sixth grade. Having played its small role in advancing the scope of narrative irony,...


Published May 21, 2023
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Alicia (1994)
Filmmaker(s): Jaume Balagueró

After her first menstruation, Alicia is kidnapped and led by fly-men into a surreal and dirty underworld ruled by a disgusting being.

Stillborn This is purely personal, but I have a few wickets through which a film must pass for me to willingly splice it into my imagination. I’m only talking here about films that present themselves as art. — It has to be competent, which for me can...


Published May 21, 2023
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Aladdin (1992)
Imagine if you had three wishes, three hopes, three dreams and they all could come true.
Filmmaker(s): Ron Clements, John Musker

Princess Jasmine grows tired of being forced to remain in the palace, so she sneaks out into the marketplace, in disguise, where she meets street urchin Aladdin. The couple falls in love, although Jasmine may only marry a prince. After being thrown in jail, Aladdin becomes embroiled in a plot to find a mysterious lamp, with which the evil Jafar hopes to rule the land.

Sweet Arabian Skins This, to my mind, is a terrific concoction. It has no story to speak of. Oh, there's some motion and noise but they are only there to give us something to look at while the three main notions unfurl, all of which are...


Published May 21, 2023
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The Basketball Diaries (1995)
The true story of the death of innocence and the birth of an artist.
Filmmaker(s): Scott Kalvert

A high school basketball player’s life turns upside down after free-falling into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Visions of the Other Side Unless you are just filling space until you die, you're going to want something out of experiences like this. The idea is supposed to be that someone can guide us to alternative worlds and report back with something useful or at...


Published May 17, 2023
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Beautiful Girls (1996)
Good times never seemed so good.
Filmmaker(s): Ted Demme

During a snowy winter in the small fictional town of Knight's Ridge, Massachusetts, a group of lifelong buddies hang out, drink and struggle to connect with the women who affect their decisions, dreams and desires.

Dorothy This is some pretty good writing. You know it is pretty good when it deals with ordinary silliness and is directed by a non-entity and yet still engages. This is a fellow that is not afraid to write junk films, but who has also written the...


Published May 16, 2023
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Barton Fink (1991)
There's only one thing stranger than what's going on inside his head...what's going on outside.
Filmmaker(s): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

I'll Show You the World of the Mind Any Coen film is worth traveling to see. All of them are enterprises about the enterprise of film-making or writing, but you never know what little side voyage we're going on, what creases of creation we're exploring. In this...


Published May 16, 2023
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Barcelona (1994)
Americans. Anti Americans. In love.
Filmmaker(s): Whit Stillman

During the 1980s, uptight Ted Boynton is a salesman working in the Barcelona office of a Chicago-based company. He receives an unexpected visit from his cousin Fred, a naval officer who has come to Spain on a public relations mission for a U.S. fleet. Not exactly friends in the past, Ted and Fred strike up relationships with women in the Spanish city and experience conflicts -- Ted with his employer, and Fred with the Barcelona community.

Talk to Him A great joy in a life with film is to discover a film that is competent and coherent, that exists cinematically but which on reflection has dynamics worth rejecting. After all, you build your life not so much on absorption but on paring....


Published May 16, 2023
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BAPS (1997)
These Pretty Women... Are Clueless!
Filmmaker(s): Robert Townsend

Two clueless homegirls move to L.A. to become dancers, but instead find themselves scamming a dying millionaire to eventually become B*A*P*S (Black American Princesses).

The Curse of the Story Projects like this start with the notion of self-parody. You create funny characters that carry a funny world with them. The Waylons do a good job at this, with the mannerisms so over the top you are aware of the actresses...


Published May 16, 2023
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Bad Influence (1990)
When fantasy becomes a fatal distraction.
Filmmaker(s): Curtis Hanson

Wimpy young executive Michael is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in—and then disappears. Later that night, Michael runs into a stranger on a pier, who wheedles his way into Michael's life and turns it upside down.

A Failed Experiment When you encounter a bad movie, the tendency is to just blow it off. After all, most folks are largely incompetent at what they do. But if you check the credentials of the people involved, you have to think again. The writer has written...


Published May 16, 2023
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