Othello Goes Hollywood

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Published on 10 Apr 1992 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Deep Cover

Larry Fishburne plays a cop who poses as a Hollywood drug dealer in order to infiltrate and destroy a cocaine cartel, but gradually discovers that the U.S. State Department has other political priorities and agendas in mind. Amply fulfilling the promise recently shown in A Rage in Harlem, director Bill Duke does a terrific job in spelling out the grim implications of this exceptionally violent picture, scripted by Henry Bean and Michael Tolkin (The Rapture). What emerges is a powerhouse thriller full of surprises, original touches, and rare political lucidity, including an impressive performance by Jeff Goldblum as a yuppie Jewish gangster. With Victoria Dillard, Charles Martin Smith, Sydney Lassick, Clarence Williams III, Gregory Sierra, and Roger Guenveur Smith. (Starts Wednesday, April 15, Hyde Park, Broadway, Burnham Plaza, Chestnut Station, Golf Glen, Plaza)

Published on 10 Apr 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Meet the Parents

It’s tempting to call this low-budget, independently made feature by Chicago stand-up comic Greg Glienna (who directed and cowrote the script) the ultimate worst-case-scenario comedy. Glienna plays an unassuming young man in advertising who drives from Chicago to Indiana with his fiancee (Jacqueline Cahill) to meet her folks (Dick Galloway and Carol Whelan) and sister (Mary Ruth Clarke, Glienna’s cowriter). What follows is a cascade of nightmares that may not always make you laugh but will impress you with the singularity of Glienna’s dark approach. Some of these nightmares work better than others–I could have done without the encounter with the fiancee’s former boyfriend, and there are times when the bits about the maniacal star struck sister seem overworked–but you’re still likely to be taken by the purity and relentlessness of this picture’s vision (1991). (Music Box, Friday through Thursday, April 3 through 9)

Published on 03 Apr 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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The Rock

Very entertaining 1996 action hokum that benefits hugely from the use of its three starsSean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris. Harris, evoking Dr. Strangelove’s Jack D. Ripper, is a brigadier general so angry about the U.S. government’s refusal to honor the soldiers who died in covert operations that he kidnaps a bunch of tourists on Alcatraz and threatens to hit the mainland with lethal poison gas if reparations aren’t made immediately. Connery is a top-secret federal prisoner who once escaped from Alcatraz and Cage is an FBI chemist and biological weapons expert; together they form a funny and crotchety action duo pitted against Harris and his renegade commandos. Michael Bay directed from a script by David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner that’s high-octane nonsense but gives both the actors and the audience all that’s needed to make this divertingcar chases, wisecracks, narrow escapes, explosions. With Michael Biehn, William Forsythe, and Vanessa Marcil. (JR)

Published on 01 Apr 1992 in Featured Texts, by admin

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