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1998 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997
  • Mission: Unfilmable

    published October 15, 1998

    The Jonathan Demme-directed Beloved runs nearly three hours, and it's a long slog. This adaptation of the 1987 Toni Morrison novel bursts with... More >>

  • Northern Exposures

    published October 8, 1998

    Every year the Montreal World Film Festival runs for ten days through Labor Day, and the Toronto Film Festival picks up a few days later and... More >>

  • Workers' Compensation

    published October 1, 1998

    The ants in Antz show a lot of personality. The film is the best example yet of how a fully animated computer-generated feature can delineate... More >>

  • The Family That Frays Together

    published September 17, 1998

    One True Thing, directed by Carl Franklin, is trying to be the Terms of Endearment of the '90s. Scripted by Karen Croner from the 1995 Anna... More >>

  • What's Love Got to Do With It?

    published August 20, 1998

    As the lights came up after a screening of the new Neil LaBute movie Your Friends & Neighbors, a colleague next to me growled disapprovingly,... More >>

  • De Palma Plays It Cage-y

    published August 6, 1998

    Nicolas Cage has never seemed more dazzling than he does in Brian De Palma's new thriller, Snake Eyes. Playing Rick Santoro, a corrupt Atlantic... More >>

  • Talking Down

    published July 30, 1998

    Do we really need to see the great Kevin Spacey fuming and fussing in one of those we-do-things-my-way-or-we-don't-do-them-at-all roles? In The... More >>

  • Life During Wartime

    published July 23, 1998

    The first shot in Steven Spielberg's remarkable World War II epic Saving Private Ryan is an American flag with the sun behind it. The image is... More >>

  • The Z Stands For Zzzzzz

    published July 16, 1998

    In The Mask of Zorro, Anthony Hopkins plays the eponymous masked man as if he were doing Shakespeare. He's trying to turn a kitsch hero into a... More >>

  • Angst Eats the Soul

    published July 9, 1998

    High Art is a low-budget, American independent movie about junkie, lesbian photographer Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy), who spends most of her time... More >>

  • Chip Off the Old Rock

    published July 2, 1998

    Michael Bay is the director of Bad Boys (1995) and The Rock (1996) and the new asteroid-attack movie Armageddon, which should be called The Very... More >>

  • Afterthought Special

    published June 25, 1998

    The 1967 screen musical Doctor Dolittle, which starred Rex Harrison, was a commercial disaster for its studio, 20th Century Fox. The new... More >>

  • The Revolution Will Be Televised

    published June 4, 1998

    The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, is the Zeitgeist movie of the hour. How could it not be? It's all about the omnipotence of television and... More >>

  • Cheese Shortage

    published May 28, 1998

    The "Size Does Matter" marketing campaign for Godzilla is far more ingenious than the actual movie. It's also highly annoying and has spawned a... More >>

  • He's With the Band

    published May 21, 1998

    In director Barbara Kopple's new documentary, Wild Man Blues, we follow Woody Allen around Europe as he takes part in a whirlwind concert tour... More >>

  • He Got Lame

    published May 21, 1998

    It's the tail end of the 1996 California primary election campaign, and incumbent Democratic Sen. Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty) is having a nervous... More >>

  • Bizarre Love Triangle

    published April 30, 1998

    In writer-director James Toback's quicksilver sex comedy Two Girls and a Guy, Robert Downey, Jr., plays Blake Allen, a struggling New York City... More >>

  • Misery Loves Company

    published April 30, 1998

    Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Miserables, which he began in 1845, runs in most editions to around 1500 pages. The most recent film version -- there... More >>

  • The Boy With the Thorn in His Side

    published April 16, 1998

    From its very first frame, Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy whooshes us inside the rollicking, deranged world of twelve-year-old Francie Brady... More >>

  • Phony Folksy

    published March 26, 1998

    Probably every film director itches to make a Western, so let's be thankful that, with The Newton Boys, Richard Linklater has scratched his itch.... More >>

  • Campaign Trailer

    published March 19, 1998

    If ever there was a movie destined to be written about in an "elevated" realm beyond the movie pages, it's Primary Colors. Thanks to Monica... More >>

  • Fallen Angels

    published March 12, 1998

    A movie starring Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, James Garner, and Stockard Channing ought to be a whole lot better than Robert... More >>

  • Slouching Toward Noir

    published February 19, 1998

    Palmetto is a film noir set in a torpid seaside Florida town. It's based on the 1961 James Hadley Chase novel Just Another Sucker, and when we... More >>

  • French Curveball

    published January 22, 1998

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

  • The Flesh and the Spirit

    published January 15, 1998

    Martin Scorsese's Kundun is a deeply ceremonial experience -- like watching a serene pageant of colors, rituals, and costumes. It tracks the life... More >>

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Archives: 1998 | 1997