Amy Locane

Amy Locane

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Carried Away (1996) Review


Weak
It's not every day we get full frontal nudity from Dennis Hopper and Amy Irving -- much less in the same scene. And thank God for that. But behind the borderline creepiness of the movie lies a tepid story: Hopper and Irving are rural types carrying on a tentative romance. But student Amy Locane (who specializes in this role) comes into Hopper's classroom, and before 10 minutes are up, she's naked and bedding him in the barn. Eventually this turns out badly for all parties, as you might imagine. Worst, possibly, for the audience.

Going All the Way Review


OK
Jeremy Davies doesn't really make for a credible ladykiller, nor does he even pass for a G.I. straight outta WWII. Going All the Way's bevy of beauties (dig the cast list) can't make much more out of Mark Pellington's coming of age flick, but an early Ben Affleck proves that, well, Affleck will always be Affleck. Ultimately it's goofy and a little bit confusing, but a few of its insights are worthwhile, if far from unique in this genre.

Route 9 Review


OK
An awful lot better than it should be, Route 9 is a made-for-cable ripoff of A Simple Plan, but it succeeds remarkably well. Perfectly suited for late night TV watching.

Hell's Gate Review


Terrible
It's ripped from today's headlines, as a psychotic mental patient (Patsy Kensit) who believes she is the girlfriend of Jack the Ripper reincarnated, wreaks havoc on the family of her vacationing psychiatrist (Patrick Muldoon), who she believes is Ripper himself.

Got that straight?

Continue reading: Hell's Gate Review

Bongwater Review


Grim
Unfortunately poorly realized, this tale of a pot dealer/artist (Luke Wilson) who ends up going all goofy for a local crazy (Alicia Witt) never really works -- throwing a pile of nutty character actors like Brittany Murphy, Andy Dick, and Jack Black at us in the hopes of making us forget there's no story here. That works from time to time, and Witt is always a charmer, but otherwise this one's a throwaway. Dig that video cover!

Prefontaine Review


OK
Slightly less-realized than late-to-the-race competitor Without Limits, Prefontaine is still a reasonably good retelling of the life story of Steve Prefontaine, the opinionated and brash distance runner who choked during the Munich Olympics and died in an untimely car crash before he could redeem himself in Montreal in 1976. Prefontaine focuses more on tertiary characters than Limits, some of which are interesting and some of which are not, but really gets annoying for its mock-documentary style. Namely, the actors are "aged" and interviewed in the present day, talking about Pre, complete with subtitles identifying who they are. The problem, of course, is that it's all fake -- and the last thing you want to feel when watching a biography is that you're being lied to.

Cry-Baby Review


Good
John Waters first went mainstream with the 1988 classic Hairspray and then defied midnight-movie fans who complained he'd gone all lame and mainstream by daring to follow it up with a full-on musical comedy. Set in late-'50s Baltimore, Cry-Baby is his delightful tribute to Elvis, juvenile delinquency, and rockabilly music. How can you resist Johnny Depp twitching and crooning like The King?

On the right side of the tracks lives the virginal Allison (Amy Locane), all blond hair and crinoline skirts. Her grandmother, Mrs. Vernon-Williams, runs a charm school and is the local dictator of good taste and deportment. Her idea of fun is to host talent shows where "square" teens sing "Mr. Sandman" in barbershop harmony.

Continue reading: Cry-Baby Review

Secretary Review


Grim

For most people "Secretary" may be a "love it" or "hate it" movie. Let's face it -- a dark, quirky, sado-masochistic romantic comedy isn't for everyone. But for me it wasn't the subject matter that ultimately defeated the film's captivating performances and absorbingly twisted story. It was the unfulfilling, incongruous, "wait a second, did I miss something?" ending that confirmed what I suspected all along: "Secretary" only has one-half of a story arc.

The enticing Maggie Gyllenhaal (sister of Jake and his co-star in "Donnie Darko") gives a deeply immersed, credibly transitional performance as Lee Holloway, a fragile, frumpy, habitually self-mutilating psychiatric patient recently released from a mental hospital.

Back home with her drunken father and clingy, angry, victimized mother, she quickly slips into compulsive old patterns of self-abuse (she has a homemade kit full of drill bits and porcelain ballerinas with sharpened toes she digs into her thighs). But all that begins to change when she lands a secretarial job in the opulently 1970s-styled office of peculiar, soft-spoken E. Edward Gray (James Spader) -- a lawyer with an erratic temper and kinky peccadilloes.

Continue reading: Secretary Review

Amy Locane

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