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1997 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Soft touch in the head

    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 >>

  • Punch drunk

    published December 25, 1997

    If Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown didn't arrive weighted with post-Pulp Fiction expectations, it might be easier to see it for what it is: an... More >>

  • Schlock poetry

    published December 18, 1997

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

  • Send in the clones

    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 >>

  • Top guns

    published November 13, 1997

    A team of Russia-based international bad guys want to knock off someone at the very top of the U.S. government. Who you gonna call? The... More >>

  • Reactionary pop

    published November 6, 1997

    In Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, based on the late Robert Heinlein's 1959 sci-fi opus, the killer arachnids upstage the humans. Not that... More >>

  • Dumbing down

    published November 6, 1997

    Family films are often pitched for "the child in us all," but Bean doesn't have an ounce of "inner child" in it. It's been worked out to appeal... More >>

  • Bad medicine

    published October 30, 1997

    A glance at the cast list for the new Sidney Lumet hospital drama Critical Care might lead you to expect an embarrassment of riches. Instead, the... 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 >>

  • One happy family

    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 >>

  • Spiritual torpor

    published October 9, 1997

    Seven Years in Tibet feels more like Seven Days in the Movie Theater. It refuses to come alive--not 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... More >>

  • Cold bore

    published September 25, 1997

    The Peacemaker is the first feature from DreamWorks Pictures, the studio headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. It... More >>

  • Police brutality

    published September 18, 1997

    The 1950s-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 >>

  • Losing it

    published September 11, 1997

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

  • Real Girls

    published August 28, 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 >>

  • Women under the influence

    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 >>

  • Sucking to please

    published August 21, 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 >>

  • Naval gazing

    published August 21, 1997

    In G.I. Jane, Demi Moore's Naval Intelligence officer, Lt. Jordan O'Neil, is recruited as a test case to be the first female Navy SEAL. She gets a... More >>

  • Shoot the sheriff

    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 >>

  • Going down

    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 >>

  • To coldly go

    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 >>

  • Twin towers

    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 >>

  • Batman on ice

    published June 19, 1997

    Bring earplugs to Batman & Robin. A pair of noseplugs wouldn't hurt either. The fourth installment in the Batman franchise is one long... More >>

  • Spielberg's Lost

    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 >>

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