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1997 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Extreme Unctuousness

    published December 25, 1997

    The new Gus Van Sant film Good Will Hunting is like an adolescent's fantasy of being tougher and smarter and more misunderstood than anybody else.... More >>

  • Black Like Him

    published December 25, 1997

    If Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown hadn't arrived weighted with post-Pulp Fiction (1994) expectations, it might be easier to see it for what it... More >>

  • The Big Wet One

    published December 18, 1997

    If one is in a biblical frame of mind, the sinking of the White Star Line's Titanic about 400 miles off the southern coast of Newfoundland in 1912... More >>

  • Slave to Historical Fashion

    published December 11, 1997

    Steven Spielberg's Amistad is being given the Big Picture treatment -- Schindler's List big, not Jurassic Park big. Last week's Newsweek featured... More >>

  • Ripley Again, Believe It or Not

    published November 27, 1997

    You can't exactly call Alien Resurrection a pleasurable experience, but then again, you wouldn't say that about its predecessors either. Directed... More >>

  • Cliche-spotting

    published October 23, 1997

    Stylishness without substance can become wearying real fast. Twenty minutes into A Life Less Ordinary, the new movie from the... More >>

  • Raging Ball

    published October 16, 1997

    Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights opens with a sinuous, breathlessly extended tracking shot that swoops us into a San Fernando... More >>

  • Living in a Spiritual Void

    published October 9, 1997

    Seven Years in Tibet feels more like Seven Days in the Movie Theater. It refuses to come to life -- even when Brad Pitt, hirsute as a yak, wanders... More >>

  • Stone Cold

    published October 2, 1997

    Oliver Stone's low-budget, hopped-up film noir U-Turn is being billed as a change of pace for the Conspiracy Dude, but actually it looks quite at... More >>

  • From France, with Bite

    published September 25, 1997

    Critics and audiences outside France have been going on for so long about the decline in French cinema that it's fun to see a French film -- Irma... More >>

  • Where Have All the Russkies Gone?

    published September 25, 1997

    This summer Air Force One kicked off the post-Cold War thriller derby. The Peacemaker, the first feature from DreamWorks, the studio headed by... More >>

  • Dark Victory

    published September 18, 1997

    The Fifties-era Los Angeles of L.A. Confidential is Noir Central. Its denizens are tattooed in shadow; the play of light and dark in the streets,... More >>

  • Game, Set, Match

    published September 11, 1997

    The Game is a puzzle picture; beyond its premise there isn't much you can divulge without giving the show away. I'm not one of those critics who... More >>

  • Father and Child Reunion

    published August 28, 1997

    If you're nostalgic for the cockeyed let-it-all-out gabfests of the late John Cassavetes, She's So Lovely will seem like dejà vu all over... More >>

  • The Blonde Leading the Bland

    published August 28, 1997

    Excess Baggage, Alicia Silverstone's first feature from her First Kiss Productions, turns out to be a rather shaggy and uninvolving jaunt. As... More >>

  • Way Too Ordinary People

    published August 21, 1997

    Mike Leigh's new film Career Girls is compact and minor. I don't mean that as a slam, exactly. After the dawdling expansiveness of last year's... More >>

  • Strong Women Still MIA

    published August 21, 1997

    In G.I. Jane, Demi Moore plays a naval intelligence officer, Lt. Jordan O'Neil, who is recruited to be the first female SEAL. She gets a buzzcut.... More >>

  • There Goes the Neighborhood

    published August 14, 1997

    The cops in Cop Land carry on like a bunch of goombahs. On the take from the Mob, they mimic the Mob. The fuzzy line dividing cops and crooks is... More >>

  • Men Behaving Badly

    published August 14, 1997

    In the Company of Men is about Chad (Aaron Eckhart) and Harold (Matt Malloy), two thirtysomething white-collar execs who have recently been passed... More >>

  • Point Plank

    published July 24, 1997

    Not satisfied with the president you have? Here's Harrison Ford's James Marshall in Air Force One: Vietnam war hero, straight as a ramrod, devoted... More >>

  • Space Suet

    published July 10, 1997

    A lot of ink has been shed in the press lately about the "seriousness" of the new Robert Zemeckis film Contact, starring Jodie Foster as an... More >>

  • Woo Can Play at That Game

    published June 26, 1997

    The title of John Woo's Face/Off is meant to be taken literally. John Travolta and Nicolas Cage play adversaries who swap faces. Here's how: FBI... More >>

  • Beastie Boy

    published May 22, 1997

    The appearance of The Lost World: Jurassic Park carries a double burden. Not only is it the sequel to the most popular movie ever made, but it is... More >>

  • The Woman in Red (Square)

    published May 15, 1997

    Judy Davis is often at her ravaged best when she's playing women pulled apart by their own warring impulses. Torn between their isolating desire... More >>

  • Star Whores

    published May 8, 1997

    In The Fifth Element, the all-knowing, all-powerful Supreme Being of the Universe turns out to be Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), an orange-haired babe... More >>

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