Armageddon

It’s strictly a side issue whether mankind will survive colliding with an asteroid the size of Texas; the real question is whether Liv Tyler, who plays Bruce Willis’s daughter, gets to keep her boyfriend (Ben Affleck). Not wishing to spoil the funpretty hard to come by anyway in this 1998 blockbuster’s 150 minutesI won’t tell you the outcome, but I’ll wager you can guess. Basically this is The Dirty Dozen meets When Worlds Collide: a grubby team of oil drillers headed by Willis is dispatched to save the planet by nuking the asteroid from within. Michael Bay, who was more comfortable with the subtleties of The Rock, is director and coproducer, and among the credited and uncredited writersall of them clearly encouraged to work in their sleepare Jonathan Hensleigh, J.J. Abrams, Tony Gilroy, Shane Salerno, Robert Roy Pool, Robert Towne, Paul Attanasio, Ann Biderman, and Scott Rosenberg. Others in the cast who embarrass themselves and us for their salaries include Billy Bob Thornton, Keith David, Steve Buscemi, Chris Ellis, Will Patton, and Jason Isaacs. (JR)

Published on 29 Jun 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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It’s In The Water

Lightly comic agitprop about homophobic bigotry in a small southern townsincere, hokey, and artlessby first-time writer-director Kelli Herd. Various complications ensue when the rumor spreads that something in the drinking water turns people gay. In spite of a couple of able actors (Keri Jo Chapman and Teresa Garrett) as the two leadsestranged wives and best friends who become loversmost of the performances and direction call to mind little theater productions, and the storytelling and sense of character remind me of porn films. I can sympathize with this movie’s reactive essentialism, which seems to imply that straights are as one-dimensional as they seem to think gays are, but I find it hard to stay interested in the reductive sense of human personality that levels everyone in the movie regardless of his or her sexual preference. With Derrick Sanders, Timothy Vahle, and Barbara Lasater. (JR)

Published on 29 Jun 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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True Romances [HAV PLENTY & MR. JEALOUSY]

Please go to

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1998/06/true-romances/

Published on 19 Jun 1998 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Hav Plenty

Not everything works in this no-budget autobiographical romantic comedy by writer-director-actor Christopher Scott Cherot, but just about everything is fresh and unpredictable. A homeless novelist named Lee Plenty (Cherot) is invited by a wealthy college friend named Hav Savage (Chenoa Maxwell) to join her at her mother’s home in Washington for New Year’s Eve; during the weekend, he finds himself sexually approached by her best friend, her recently married half sister, and Hav herself. Quirky throughout, this is seldom laugh-out-loud funny, but it kept me interested and amused. (JR)

Published on 08 Jun 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Cousin Bette

Jessica Lange plays the title heroine in another highly forgettable piece of set decoration inspired by a 19th-century novelin this case Balzac’s tale of a calculating spinster. At least writers Lynn Siefert and Susan Tarr and director Des McAnuff play it mainly for laughs, rather than with the usual strangled piety. Others in the cast include Bob Hoskins, Hugh Laurie, Kelly MacDonald, Elisabeth Shue, and Aden Young. (JR)

Published on 08 Jun 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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