John Hardy

John Hardy

John Hardy Quick Links

Film RSS

Sex, Lies, And Videotape Review


Excellent
Steven Soderbergh didn't just launch the whole movies-with-all-lowercase-titles craze (as it's commonly written), he also launched the '90s rebirth of independent cinema with this singular effort. Mostly a chatty drama about sex in various levels of perversion, the film's momentum comes from the sudden arrival of a sexually dysfunctional James Spader, who throws a wrench into the lives of the other three principals -- a married couple and the wife's sister, engaged in a sad love triangle. Earnestly acted and expertly directed by Soderbergh in his major directorial debut, the film is a piece for film students and cinema fans alike.

The Limey Review


Good
Part of me feels like I didn't really get The Limey. Though it's a spare 85 minutes, director Steven Soderbergh always has a trick or two up his sleeve, and I was sure some twists were in store for me.

Witness Out of Sight, with criminal and cop falling into an unlikely romance. Witness Sex, Lies, and Videotape, which broke the indie film scene wide open. Witness Schizopolis - you know, all of it.

Continue reading: The Limey Review

Gigli Review


Bad
That deafening sound you hear is negative buzz. Gigli just opened, and already it has plenty. Early test screenings started it. The media fueled it. And the release of the film may finally conclude our on-going fascination with A-list celebrity couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

For those who never tune into E! (shame on you), here's the backstory. Ben and Jen fell in love on the Gigli set. Fireworks off-screen, though, didn't translate to chemistry on-screen, and the movie was shredded by test audiences. Columbia originally planned to open Gigli in November 2002, but hesitated and shelved the film until now, which usually signifies disaster.

Continue reading: Gigli Review

Schizopolis Review


Good
Hovering somewhere among a botched experiment, a sneaky assault on modern-day life and cinema, and the greatest home movie ever made is Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis. Made at the tail end of the indie-film part of Soderbergh's career (which started off with Sex, Lies & Videotape in 1989 and provided diminishing returns afterwards), and right before he banged into the mainstream with Out of Sight in 1998, it has a no-holds-barred kind of frustrated genius to it that, even though it doesn't always provide rewarding viewing, is definitely worth a peek.

As far as the "story" can be described, Soderbergh himself (in his only starring role) plays Fletcher Munson, who works for the L. Ron Hubbard-like New Age prophet T. Azimuth Schwitters (Mike Malone). A pale-faced wage slave, Munson haunts his cubicle, doing nothing, and occasionally nipping off to the office bathroom to masturbate and make funny faces in the mirror. Meanwhile, there's some strange goings on involving bug exterminator Elmo Oxygen (David Jensen), who darts about the city in his jumpsuit and goggles, romancing housewives and speaking entirely in seemingly randomly-generated, Rorschach-blot dialogue ("nose army ... throbbing dust generation ... beef diaper"). Then, Soderbergh shows up playing the other major character, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Korchek, who, to be quite honest, isn't nearly as interesting as Munson, who at least gets to write reams of meaningless babble for Schwitters to spout in public. This sideline with Korchek doesn't distract much, though, from Elmo Oxygen's rants, or scenes of office politicking with Munson's co-worker, Nameless Numberhead Man - both hilarious in a Theater of the Absurd sort of way.

Continue reading: Schizopolis Review

Gray's Anatomy Review


Very Good
You know from the start that this is not your typical Spalding Gray video (there are now four in release). First off, as opposed to his typical man-behind-a-desk scenario, Gray's Anatomy begins with ten minutes of other people's monologues, and the film continually cuts back to them as it progresses. Compared to his stage version, Gray has pared out about half of the original material regarding his wild search to cure a rare eye condition, a quest which led him from a Native American Sweat Ceremony to a Filipino psychic surgeon and beyond. The guts of the story are still there, but with Soderbergh's bizarro direction, you may have a hard time plucking them out. Yet, in spite of Soderbergh and the painful lack of an audience/laugh track, Gray's story is immediately compelling, proving that once again, a talking head can truly entertain an audience. And we are given a welcome relief from the usual Laurie Anderson cacophony with a smooth score by Cliff Martinez. While I've always felt this monologue was a bit disappointing due to its lack of a real ending, Gray's Anatomy makes for required viewing for anyone wrestling with a medical condition and the angst that surrounds it. Gray fanatics and neurotics in general are also encouraged to pick up a copy.

The Underneath Review


Very Good
The Underneath opens with a surreally bizarre, green-tinted shot of Michael (Peter Gallagher), driving along the Austin, Texas backroads in an armored car. The coloration and the look of dread on his face are enough to make you sick to your stomach. These are also the perfect introduction to a film noir where you just know nothing is going to turn out right.

Michael is an ex-compulsive gambler, returned to his Austin hometown ostensibly to turn his life around and get a real job, but in reality having some less savory motives. His ex-wife, Rachel (Alison Elliott), is in town and attached to a local, small-time hood. When Michael tries to patch things up with Rachel, a plot suddenly (and quite inexplicably) develops between the three to rob the armored car that Michael drives. The plan is hatched, and the fun begins.

Continue reading: The Underneath Review

John Hardy

John Hardy Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

The rapper teams up with Apple Music on his latest project.

The Cast Of 'Will And Grace' Have Reunited, But What Are They Up To?

The Cast Of 'Will And Grace' Have Reunited, But What Are They Up To?

The NBC series ended a decade ago, but Will, Grace, Karen and Jack haven't changed a bit.

Advertisement
Idina Menzel Flashes Gigantic Sparkler Following Engagement

Idina Menzel Flashes Gigantic Sparkler Following Engagement

Now THAT'S an engagement ring. Good job, Aaron Lohr!

Robbie Williams Announces New Album 'Heavy Entertainment Show'

Robbie Williams Announces New Album 'Heavy Entertainment Show'

The album is Williams’ first release since 2013’s ‘Swings Both Ways’.

Dev Patel Is A Lost Boy In Touching True Story Drama 'Lion'

Dev Patel Is A Lost Boy In Touching True Story Drama 'Lion'

There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.

Advertisement

John Hardy Movies

The Limey Movie Review

The Limey Movie Review

Part of me feels like I didn't really get The Limey. Though it's a...

Gigli Movie Review

Gigli Movie Review

That deafening sound you hear is negative buzz. Gigli just opened, and already it has...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.