Sometimes it is as curious as all get-out (see Anne Hathaway in Havoc). I don't know if I've ever seen a more radical departure of film roles than Hathaway's decision to go from the Princess Diaries films to this one. Hathaway's former work is almost unilaterally square in the rated-G realm. Her PG-rated movies earned those ratings primarily due to events like Hathaway falling on her butt.
Continue reading: Havoc Review
The hardest thing about an outsider trying to infiltrate a subculture and explain it to the masses is that the truth is often lost in the translation. Toback throws together a huge canvas of characters and actors in attempt to create a clear picture of why white kids are motivated to impersonate black rappers' lifestyles and why rich whit guys treat black rappers like Arnold and Willis from Diff'rent Strokes.
Continue reading: Black And White (1999) Review
A slam-dunk natural subject for Clark, Bully follows the based-on-reality story of Marty Puccio (Brad Renfro), who along with his girlfriend Lisa (Rachel Miner) decides to brutally slay his "best friend" Bobby (Nick Stahl) as payback for a lifetime of abuse. Set in the ultra-trashy nether regions of southern Florida -- and I mean seriously, beyond-WWF trashy -- there's little to do but drive your car, play video games, have sex, and beat the crap out of your friends.
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Amusing enough, and a quick read. And Fast Sofa, the movie, keeps the guts of this road trip intact -- enough to realize that our pal Rick is on a real road to nowhere. Jake Busey makes for a creepy and considerably miscast hero, though Jennifer Tilly's wanton Ginger is enough fun for the both of them. Stealing the show, however, is Crispin Glover, as a shut-in sophisticate named Julian who tags along on the latter half of Rick's abortive journey. His outfit alone is reason enough to rent the tape.
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Not only does the provocative title of Tart mislead us, but the packaging features a lithe Dominique Swain on its covers, her schoolgirl skirt blowing up to expose her panties. The tagline: "Sex, Drugs and Study Hall."
Continue reading: Tart Review
Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger give a pair of extraordinary performances in "The Door in the Floor" as a couple whose souls and whose marriage have never recovered from the deaths of their teenage sons six years before.
Their lives are like broken teacups glued back together -- they may look undamaged from a distance, but up close it's clear they're now made up of psychological shatters and shards that can never be the same again.
Not that they haven't tried to move forward. Hoping to retard their overwhelming sense of loss, they even had a daughter -- played by 6-year-old Elle Fanning, the not-quite-as-natural little sister of uber-talented 8-year-old Dakota ("Man On Fire") -- who seems to subconsciously understand her function in the family.
Continue reading: The Door In The Floor Review
A troubling vérité-style docudrama about worthless, contemptible, murderous teenage losers, "Bully" is a raw and graphic, half cautionary tale, half exploitation flick, similar to director Larry Clark's controversial 1995 film "Kids."
But as infamous as "Kids" was for its grossly candid depiction of drug use and careless, even vengeful sex, it was largely fictional. "Bully" isn't quite as coarse, but may be more chilling as it is based on true events: The circumstances surrounding the very premeditated but very sloppy slaying of a malevolent south Florida delinquent who physically intimidated and verbally abused his friends until, well, they killed him.
Fascinating in a "Cops"-meets-Psychology Today, can't-help-but-look kind of way, every character in this film is a vile imbecile -- the kind of nitwits who genuinely look to angry white rapper Eminem as a role model.
Continue reading: Bully Review
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