The Walker

B.5 (out of 5) Woody Harrelson plays a southern aristocrat in Washington who has concluded the legacy started by his tobacco giant grandfather and politician father with a career as a “walker”, an ornamental dandy who spends his days entertaining rich political wives. When not playing canasta with lunching ladies Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin, he spends…

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BB.5 (out of 5) Paul Schrader has once again delved into the seedier side of life in this marginally successful biopic about Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear), most famous for his leading role on the television series Hogan’s Heroes. What most fans didn’t know about him until after his mysterious murder in the mid-seventies was that…

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Affliction

BBB (out of 5) Relentlessly depressing drama based on the novel by Russell Banks (The Sweet Hereafter) about a man unable to outrun the vicious cycle of domestic violence he learned from his father. Nick Nolte is powerful in the lead role of this unhappy tale, and James Coburn is positively terrifying as the tyrant…

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Light Sleeper

BBBB (out of 5) This excellent drama by Paul Schrader features a marvelous script and excellent performances. It stars Willem Dafoe as a drug dealer who gets wrapped up in some tricky schemes when his boss (Susan Sarandon) decides to shut down her business. Now he finds himself with a life unexamined and definitely half-lived….

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Once Upon A Time In Mexico

BB.5 (out of 5) The events of Desperado have now been followed up by a grandly filmed sequel, with Antonio Banderas returning as the guitar-slinging gunman and Salma Hayek making a brief appearance as his beautiful love interest. The cast has been filled out with a whole new bevy of sidekicks and villains, from a…

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Spider-Man 2

BBBB.5 (out of 5) It’s been two years since Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) was bitten by a radioactive spider and turned into the Manhattan superhero Spider-Man, and he’s still spinning webs across town keeping people safe from harm. No matter how well Spider-Man does at stopping crime, Peter Parker himself is having a hard time keeping…

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Spider-Man 3

BB.5 (out of 5) After the enjoyable opening and the superb second act, it’s a shame that the third installment of the popular franchise would land with such a thud. It’s the same issues all over again as Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is having trouble balancing his complicated personal life with his duties as the…

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Spider-Man

BBB.5 (out of 5) Another comic book superhero finds his way to the big screen in this amiable high-flying adventure. Perpetually adorable Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker, a geeky high-school student with an aptitude for science who is one day bitten by a mutant spider while attending a field trip to Columbia University, and suddenly finds…

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Clear And Present Danger

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Jack Ryan returns for his third screen adventure in this highly superior drama that comes close to the riveting suspense of The Hunt For Red October.  Harrison Ford improves on his performance from Patriot Games as the out-of-his-depth CIA operative who takes a high-ranking position when his mentor and close friend (James…

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Shadow Of The Vampire

BBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeous film by E. Elias Merhige that fictionalizes the accounts surrounding the filming of F.W. Murnau’s German Expressionist classic Nosferatu. The real production of Nosferatu is still so fraught with myth and mystery that it lends itself perfectly to a film of this sort, and the director has all kinds of…

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The Hunger

BB (out of 5) Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie play a vampire couple who search the underground punk clubs of their urban city for victims with which to enjoy all manner of lethal, carnal pleasures. When she meets sexy young Susan Sarandon, she is immediately smitten and decides to kill Bowie off in order to have this…

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Mississippi Burning

BBBB (out of 5) Alan Parker’s drama gets few points for truth, as most of his fact-based films generally do, but he gets high marks for telling an emotionally involving story. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe play FBI agents on the trail of missing civil rights activists in the Klan-riddled Mississippi of the sixties. While Dafoe…

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