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Infinity (1996)
Filmmaker(s): Matthew Broderick

Story of the early life of genius and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman.

Surely You Jest Some theorists live in the world of their theories. If you are going to pay attention to people, these are the most worthwhile. And certainly if you are going to build a film around them, you have some pretty rich possibilities. That’s because...

Published April 2, 2024
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Schizopolis (1996)
Come early! Come often!
Filmmaker(s): Steven Soderbergh

A man works for the unpleasant guru of a Scientology-like movement.

Duals I am glad that Soderbergh is making films, even if every other one is a glossy mess. Like many filmmakers, he lives in and loves the medium. Unlike most of them, he experiments in film with things that matter — and he does it while...

Published February 22, 2024
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Cosi (1996)
When chasing your dreams... it helps to be a little crazy!
Filmmaker(s): Mark Joffe

Lewis, a young amateur theater director, is offered a job with a governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney institution. His project is overrun by one of the patients who wants to stage the opera Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart despite the fact that none of the patients are able to sing and none of them speak Italian. A comedy of errors ensues, but one which unifies the patients and their director in unexpected ways.

Madmen ‘The Ninth Configuration‘ was an interesting film. It was structured around comic madness determined to put on a Shakespearean tragedy. It took risks and was sloppy but it worked because the film itself was mad. The idea surrounded the thing and provided a real situation,...

Published February 19, 2024
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Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)
Filmmaker(s): Anjelica Huston

A poor, struggling South Carolinian mother and daughter face painful choices with their resolve and pride. Bone, the eldest daughter, and Anney her tired mother, grow both closer and farther apart: Anney sees Glen as her last chance.

The Daughter's Revenge Angelica Huston is the rare child of the film business who really does have talent. That talent, a cinematic poise and a grand frame destined her to be somebody important. But her work has been infrequent and often quirky. One imagines that life is...

Published January 22, 2024
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Harriet the Spy (1996)
On your case!
Filmmaker(s): Bronwen Hughes

When the secret notebook of a young girl who fancies herself a spy is found by her friends, her speculations make her very unpopular! Can she win her friends back?

Is About Itself This little film has been roundly criticised for being disjointed and amateurish. Well, it is disjointed: part of it is surreal allegory, part realistic morality play. Part of it moves with a natural rhythm while other parts seem to have been transplanted from...

Published January 19, 2024
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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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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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American Strays (1996)
Love 'em or Kill 'em.
Filmmaker(s): Michael Covert

The desert can be a lonely place for the people who live there or for those who are traveling through. It is also the teller of different stories including the story of a traveling salesman whose only commodity is death and the story of a young man who finds that the death that he wishes for is difficult to find. Others are just traveling through, on their way to another place when they stop to eat at Red's Desert Oasis. The food may not be great, and the waitress may be surly, but those who stopped at Red's will find that they are involved in the showdown of their life.

Cutie Cleaner Quentin Tarantino gets under my skin, where Richard Rodriguez does not. It is a corner of myself I do not quite understand. If you have QT wonder, this could help. Tarantino places the viewer as a sort of museum visitor. He has this virtual video...

Published March 27, 2023
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Last Man Standing (1996)
In a town with no justice, there is only one law... Every man for himself.
Filmmaker(s): Walter Hill

John Smith is a mysterious stranger who is drawn into a vicious war between two Prohibition-era gangs. In a dangerous game, he switches allegiances from one to another, offering his services to the highest bidder. As the death toll mounts, Smith takes the law into his own hands in a deadly race to stay alive.

Kurosawa on Kurosawa Students of film have great fun with situations like this. Here we have three films (‘Yojimbo,' 'Fistful,' and ‘Last Man') with the same script but entirely different cinematic philosophies. All do well at what they attempt. Kurosawa is one of the great innovators of...

Published February 27, 2023
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100 Years of Horror (1996)
Filmmaker(s): K. S. Ravikumar

A multi-volume documentary on the history of horror movies. Hosted by veteran horror star Christopher Lee, this video series brings together footage from many notable (and some less notable) films from the silent era up to the 90's. Also included are interviews with many of the leading horror actors and filmmakers, in which they share their stories, opinions, and techniques on how to make the world scream.

Horrible I only watched a third of these before giving up, so I will do a blanket comment. This is many hours of stuff stretched out possibly three times as long as it deserved. Interviews are reused in multiple weeks. There is lots of footage from the...

Published December 8, 2022
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