The Fan – Review

October 1, 1996

The Fan is typical big-budget, glossy, action/suspense given a little extra grit beneath the polish by a top-flight cast and crew.

Waiting For Guffman – Review

October 1, 1996

This is not slap-in-the-face-with-a-giant-trout comedy; it’s a welcome example of a more rarefied, looser form of humor – knowing, sly, and sweetly sardonic.

Synthetic Pleasures – Review

September 1, 1996

Filmed on location from Tokyo to Detroit to cyberspace, Pleasures samples from a staggeringly ambitious menu of cutting-edge technologies.

River’s Edge – Review

September 1, 1996

The murdered girl is as resonant a portrait of femininity fragility as Ophelia, except she didn’t drown and Ophelia didn’t spend all of Hamlet lying naked.

Ninja Scroll – Review

September 1, 1996

If you are interested in Japanimation, this is a good one to get; it is a solid and entertaining piece of work. It is not the very best, but it holds its own.

My Own Private Idaho – Review

September 1, 1996

Gus Van Sant took the story of Henry IV to the streets of Portland, Oregon, where the trashy flesh-peddlers and addicts roam on a pilgrimage into the void.

Manny and Lo – Review

September 1, 1996

Amanda and Laurel – aka Manny (Scarlett Johansson) and Lo (Aleska Palladino) – are sisters who run away from foster homes to live life together.

Kingpin – Review

September 1, 1996

In Kingpin, the latest from local boys the Farrelly brothers, Murray puts in one of his best performances since What About Bob?. Piled high with great cameos.

Basquiat – Review

September 1, 1996

A story of rapid acceleration – from living in a cardboard box in Tomkins Square Park at 19 to Andy Warhol protegé at 21 to death by overdose at 27.

A Time to Kill – Review

September 1, 1996

It’s a fine, hard-nosed courtroom drama, with all the required plot twists and dramatic elements in place – it ain’t no Pelican Brief, thank God.

Welcome to the Dollhouse – Review

August 1, 1996

While most teen flicks set us up to cheer when the underdog fights back and wins, there are those who break down, and Solondz pulls no punches on that score.

Trainspotting – Review

August 1, 1996

Irvine Welsh’s ambivalent tale of heroin addiction amid the self-contained projects of east Edinburgh provides a lust for life no summer blockbuster can muster.

The King of Comedy – Review

August 1, 1996

Rupert Pupkin is a lonely would-be stand-up comic, one of the millions in the Big Apple, who feeds off the fame of others and the bright lights that elude him.

The Cable Guy – Review

August 1, 1996

The Cable Guy is a fiercely crafted dark comedy, a nasty yank at the wires of our video-saturated culture and my favorite film of 1996 thus far.

Kansas City – Review

August 1, 1996

The brilliance of Kansas City lies in Altman’s steadfast refusal to adhere to cinematic conventions, even the ones he himself created.

Heat – Review

August 1, 1996

Combining a great director’s flair with his actors’ wits in an action flick that is actually Zen material, as are the ghosts that roam through man’s passions.

Viva Las Vegas – Review

June 1, 1996

The slickest, and possibly the trashiest, film ever made. We got the hair, the voice, the hip-shaking eathquake competitions between Elvis and Ann-Margret.

Talk Radio – Review

June 1, 1996

This unrelentingly black tragicomedy may just be the peak of both Stone’s and Bogosian’s careers. A little-heralded masterpiece.

Not Bad for a Girl – Review

June 1, 1996

This is not just another “chick flick” – it offers a unique perspective on women’s role in music, and examines how they cope with sexist attitudes.

Mulholland Falls – Review

June 1, 1996

The gangster/detective thing should be done with a certain finesse, so here’s a message to Hollywood: Next time you attempt this, avoid ruining a good director.

Let’s Get Lost – Review

June 1, 1996

Shot in beautiful black and white by the elusive Bruce Weber, we follow the saint of the jazz scene through his biggest fears and most elaborate dreams.

James and the Giant Peach – Review

June 1, 1996

The animation is superb, and the vocal characteristics are perfect. Funny, I never thought I’d find a giant animated spider with a French-accent so sexy.

Dead Man – Review

June 1, 1996

Jim Jarmusch master’s brush strokes: Dry humor, dead landscapes, and twisted storylines that call for deadpan sentiments and stark realizations.

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