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Maurice Review


Very Good
The second of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, Maurice is one of Merchant-Ivory's strongest showings.

A painstakingly produced period piece, this Edwardian drama centers around the title character Maurice (pronounced "Morris") Hall (James Wilby), an Edwardian-era fancy lad who finds himself smitten with a schoolmate during his days at college in Cambridge (though this is of course notoriously against the law in England at the time). At first, he's smitten with Clive (Hugh Grant in his first major film role) but after seeing what happens to a friend of theirs (Mark Tandy) when he's busted for homosexuality and sentenced to hard labor in prison, they both attempt to mend their ways. Clive gets married, Maurice attempts hypnosis. This seems to "cure" Clive -- well enough, anyway -- but Maurice still can't shake it. Eventually he winds up shacking up with the much lower-class gamekeeper at the country estate.

Continue reading: Maurice Review

A Bridge Too Far Review


Good
There are star-studded projects, and then there's A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie the likes of which would cost upwards of $300 million to make today. There are lots of bridges in the film, actually: The Allies aim to capture a series of them in German-occupied Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden, a byzantine plot that would theoretically cripple the German war machine in western Europe, where Germany is already on the run. However, Allied mistakes and an unexpected amount of German firepower nip the plan in the bud. The film is more a showcase for some searing acting -- and at three hours long, there's plenty of it -- than it is a classic war film. The battle scenes just don't come across as impressively as in other films of the era -- the fact that VW Beetles with plastic tank shells on them were used in lieu of some of the Panzers is just one sign that all the budget went to that exhaustive cast list.

Trading Places Review


Excellent
Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd have made some bad movies in their day, but Trading Places is one of their respective bests.

Now legendary, the film has been referenced and homaged to an extent matched by few other recent films. It's a classic story: Greedy Phildadelphia commodity brokers Randolph and Mortimer Duke (the inimatable Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) bet the sum of $1 on a "scientific experiment," namely that they can depose their successful managing director Louis (Aykroyd) and replace him with a common street bum named Valentine (Murphy).

Continue reading: Trading Places Review

Noises Off! Review


Very Good
Loads of fun, and not just because Nicollette Sheridan is in her underwear for the entire movie. Noises Off! is an uneven but very entertaining adaptation of the play, which in turn is about a play being staged with various degrees of failure, thanks to inappropriate relationships, drunkeness, and various mishaps on set. They don't make balls-out slapstick movies like this any more -- not for adults, anyway -- and you really don't think of them being directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Continue reading: Noises Off! Review

Stealing Heaven Review


OK
This based-on-a-true-story fable about love and repression in medieval France is both touching and silly. And as erotic as any costume drama can get, I figure. This sex-fueled romp has a pretty gal falling for a celibate theologian... no good for anybody. Sadly, the movie is ruined not by its melodramatic plot but by the '80s synthesizers that punctuate every single scene of the film. The Middle Ages never sounded so electronic. Ugh.

Bad Timing Review


Good
Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing is often remembered by fans as a forgotten masterpiece and an unfairly censored classic, but has 25 years muddled their perception of a film that's really an experimental curiosity at best? Check out the new Criterion DVD and judge for yourself.

Bad Timing tells an extremely simplistic story: In Vienna, psychologist Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) meets a mysterious blonde named Milena (Theresa Russell) at a party, and soon they strike up an affair. Eventually she turns up in the E.R. What happened? A detective (Harvey Keitel, attired and styled as the obvious model for Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega) is sent in to investigate.

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The Boys From Brazil Review


Excellent
A fun curiosity of a movie, from the end of the career of both Peck and Olivier (and Mason, for that matter... okay, and Steve Guttenberg, too). Telling the mysterious tale of Josef Mengele (Peck), who is living in Paraguay in the late 1970s, trying to rebuild the Third Reich, The Boys from Brazil takes a long time to get to its big secret. When you do finally get there, it's a mixture of ahhhhh and huh? that makes the film mostly worthwhile. Have a bit of a laugh at the scientific silliness that the movie revolves around, too.

Maurice Review


Very Good
The second of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, Maurice is one of Merchant-Ivory's strongest showings.

A painstakingly produced period piece, this Edwardian drama centers around the title character Maurice (pronounced "Morris") Hall (James Wilby), an Edwardian-era fancy lad who finds himself smitten with a schoolmate during his days at college in Cambridge (though this is of course notoriously against the law in England at the time). At first, he's smitten with Clive (Hugh Grant in his first major film role) but after seeing what happens to a friend of theirs (Mark Tandy) when he's busted for homosexuality and sentenced to hard labor in prison, they both attempt to mend their ways. Clive gets married, Maurice attempts hypnosis. This seems to "cure" Clive -- well enough, anyway -- but Maurice still can't shake it. Eventually he winds up shacking up with the much lower-class gamekeeper at the country estate.

Continue reading: Maurice Review

Raiders Of The Lost Ark Review


Essential
You'd have to be a heathen to argue with the fact that Raiders of the Lost Ark stands as the best action-adventure movie ever made.

And an un-American loser.

Continue reading: Raiders Of The Lost Ark Review

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Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Review

Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Review

You'd have to be a heathen to argue with the fact that Raiders of the...

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