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1997 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Pop, pop, fizz, fizz

    published May 15, 1997

    Gummy with heartfelt folderol and overbearingly chummy, Fathers' Day comes across like a feature-length expansion of its sniffle-and-giggle... More >>

  • Why, spy?

    published May 15, 1997

    If you're hankering to see a movie that sends up swinging '60s London and Carnaby Street and vintage James Bond movies, don't bother to check out... More >>

  • Star whores

    published May 8, 1997

    In The Fifth Element, the all-knowing, all-powerful Supreme Being of the Universe turns out to be Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), an orange-haired babe... More >>

  • Thou shalt not suck

    published May 8, 1997

    Judy Davis is often at her ravaged best when she's playing women pulled apart by their own warring impulses. Torn between their isolating desire... More >>

  • Rip-off

    published April 24, 1997

    New-to-movies subjects are hard to come by, but Traveller has one: the inbred world of Irish grifters living in the backwoods of the American... More >>

  • I love LAva

    published April 24, 1997

    Volcano is set in Los Angeles, and audiences get high watching the city crash and burn. For L.A. haters, Volcano could prove a peak experience.... More >>

  • Dead Heads

    published April 17, 1997

    Remember this joke? Question: Want to know how you can lose 10 pounds of ugly fat? Answer: Cut off your head. Well, according to the press... More >>

  • Catch her in the rye

    published April 10, 1997

    Kevin Smith is an impassioned jokester. The young writer-director double-whammies the audience by filling in his stick figures with thick brush... More >>

  • A killer

    published April 10, 1997

    Don't let the glut of movies about hit men stop you from seeing Grosse Pointe Blank. It's not quite like any other movie--let alone one about a... More >>

  • Devilish fun

    published April 3, 1997

    When Val Kilmer walked away from the Batman franchise, it was only a matter of time before he offered up his own competing brand. The Saint isn't... More >>

  • Oh, Mother

    published April 3, 1997

    On its surface, The Daytrippers probably seems like your generic '90s American independent let's-get-our-friends-together-and-make-a-movie movie.... More >>

  • A Paramount mistake

    published March 27, 1997

    By re-releasing The Godfather, Paramount Pictures is both honoring itself a and perpetrating a crime. The honor is that one of the greatest and... More >>

  • God help them

    published March 27, 1997

    In The Devil's Own, Brad Pitt plays Frankie McGuire, an Irish Republican Army gunman with 24 kills to his credit--13 British soldiers and 11... More >>

  • The pointy-head gang

    published March 13, 1997

    City of Industry starts out promisingly and then turns into the kind of crime thriller only a pointy-headed postmodernist could love. Since a lot... More >>

  • Pacino and Lefty

    published March 6, 1997

    The ingredients are familiar: Donnie Brasco stars Al Pacino as a Mafia soldier and Johnny Depp as an FBI undercover agent who infiltrates the mob.... More >>

  • Amateur hour

    published March 6, 1997

    Waiting for Guffman is such a funny mess that it keeps you laughing even when you realize it's not much better directed than a cable-access talk... More >>

  • Don't waste your life

    published February 27, 1997

    The new Richard Linklater film, subUrbia, adapted by Eric Bogosian from his 1994 play, opens with a long, unbroken tracking shot through a... More >>

  • Little Orphan Commie

    published February 20, 1997

    Kolya is being talked up as the odds-on favorite to cop this year's Oscar for best foreign-language film. It just might win. It's cuddly and... More >>

  • A sharp right

    published February 13, 1997

    In Norman Mailer's The Fight, his great book on the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle," he begins by writing of Ali, "There is... More >>

  • Power outage

    published February 13, 1997

    In Absolute Power, Clint Eastwood plays Luther Whitney, a master thief who burgles on little cat feet. He's as stealthy as the Pink Panther... More >>

  • Woody's melancholy baby

    published January 16, 1997

    World governments may topple, stock markets may soar and crash, deadly viruses may mantle the globe, but one constant remains: Woody Allen still... More >>

  • It's a wonderful life

    published January 9, 1997

    Marvin's Room, starring Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep as sisters who reunite uneasily for the first time in 20 years, is one of those movies about... More >>

  • Go ahead and cry

    published January 9, 1997

    A famous movie composer once told me a joke: Two songwriters are sitting around, and one of them says to the other, "I just saw the most amazing... More >>

  • '96 rewound

    published January 2, 1997

    My first impulse in putting together a 10-best list for 1996 was to dispense with the new stuff altogether and go for the revival gold. The best... More >>

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