Harold Schneider

Harold Schneider

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Stay Hungry Review


OK
Jeff Bridges plays a wealthy real estate magnate tasked with evicting the employees of a local gym so he and his pals can raze the city block. This setup doesn't sound like much -- but Bob Rafelson's quirky production is difficult to resist, thanks to lively performances by Sally Field and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rafelson, who's lately been making films with titles like Tales of Erotica and Porn.com (the latter starring himself), knows how to put the right amount of oddball perversion into his movie. Bridges and Field (she's the manager of the gym) quickly start a torrid affair, which distracts from Bridges' ability to foreclose on the property. When Arnie appears, the setting morphs into the "Mr. Universe" competition as backdrop; the final scene of bodybuilders posing to homeless people on the street is priceless and worth the cost of a rental alone.

Continue reading: Stay Hungry Review

The Two Jakes Review


Weak
Never willing to leave a classic alone, Hollywood finally dug up Chinatown and sequelized it with The Two Jakes, and they even let Jack Nicholson take the director's chair.

Continue reading: The Two Jakes Review

Black Widow Review


Weak
The grand dame of Lifetime-class "women's thrillers," Black Widow is both obvious (dig the title and try to figure out the plot -- Theresa Russell's the black widow; Debra Winger is the FBI agent hot on her tail!) and hopelessly dated (good lord, what's with Winger's hair?). Today, Widow is interesting as kitsch and camp and because poor Dennis Hopper is in it. Check it out next time it's on the WE network.

WarGames Review


Extraordinary
With the enormous selection of crummy techno-paranoia movies on video shelves these days (The Net, Virtuosity, and Hackers are among more recent titles), the discriminating viewer will eschew a flashy cover or a big star and rent one of the classics. Not only was WarGames the first film to tap into fears about the dangers of technology at the hands of mad geniuses, but it's easily the best as well. It's also the movie that put Broderick and Sheedy on cinema's map, and the picture was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1983, including one for Walter Parkes and Lawrence Lasker's brilliant screenplay. At the time, WarGames also sparked an almost inconceivable interest in computer hacking among our juvenile intelligencia (I was one of them), and the movie's effect on Hollywood and the American consciousness can still be seen today. While these days, Microsoft is a more frightening reality than lone hacker-types, the resonant phrase "Shall we play a game?" still retain its power.
Harold Schneider

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