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1998 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Not nearly Beloved

    published October 15, 1998

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

  • Screen tests

    published October 8, 1998

    The Montreal World Film Festival runs for 10 days through Labor Day, and the Toronto Film Festival picks up a few days later and carries on for... More >>

  • Fatal detraction

    published October 8, 1998

    Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita still has the power to scare off people. Proof is the book's new movie adaptation, directed by Adrian Lyne and scripted... 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 >>

  • Burnt offering

    published October 1, 1998

    Who would have guessed that a movie called Firelight could give off so little glow? William Nicholson, the screenwriter of Shadowlands (1993)... 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 >>

  • Oys in the 'hood

    published August 27, 1998

    Slums of Beverly Hills is the first feature by the young writer-director Tamara Jenkins, and it has its mild amusements. It's one of those movies... More >>

  • Hellfire

    published August 20, 1998

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

  • A knockout

    published August 6, 1998

    Nicolas Cage has never seemed more dazzling than he does in the new Brian De Palma 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 and death 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. It's a delicate,... More >>

  • No cojones

    published July 16, 1998

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

  • The long trailer

    published July 2, 1998

    Michael Bay is the director of Bad Boys and The Rock and the new asteroid-attack movie Armageddon--which should be called The Very Big Rock. He... More >>

  • Afterthought special

    published June 25, 1998

    The 1967 musical Dr. Dolittle, which starred Rex Harrison, was a commercial disaster for its studio, Twentieth Century Fox. The new nonmusical Fox... More >>

  • Art and angst

    published June 18, 1998

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

  • Camera ready

    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 >>

  • Pint-sized

    published May 21, 1998

    The "Size Matters" marketing campaign for Godzilla is far more ingenious than the movie. It's also highly annoying--and somewhat misleading. After... More >>

  • Out of time

    published May 14, 1998

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

  • Born to kvetch

    published May 14, 1998

    In Barbara Kopple's new documentary Wild Man Blues, we follow Woody Allen around Europe on a whirlwind concert tour with his New Orleans jazz... More >>

  • Road to ruin

    published May 7, 1998

    Most disaster movies would be a lot better with more disaster and less "human drama." In Deep Impact, the impending obliteration of much of earth... More >>

  • A dead horse

    published April 30, 1998

    Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Miserables, which he began in 1845, runs in most editions to around 1,500 pages. The latest film version--there have... More >>

  • Promiscuous prudes

    published April 23, 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 actor who... More >>

  • Everyday ravishments

    published April 16, 1998

    From its very first frame, Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy whooshes us inside the rollicking, deranged world of 12-year-old Francie Brady (Eamonn... 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 >>

  • Four-year itch

    published March 19, 1998

    If ever there was an Op-Ed movie--a movie destined to be written about in an "elevated" realm beyond just the movie pages--it's Primary Colors.... More >>

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